60d results - the bird feeder

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
Thanks again for everyone's guidance regarding my recent purchase of a 60D. I've had the camera now for almost a month, but haven't had a lot of time to work with it. I realize that the 60d is old news, but for $460 it was an easy justification as a upgrade from my T1i.

So this weekend I set up my portable deer blind at a ridiculously close position next to our bird feeder. We are frequented daily by a woodpecker family and various cardinals, warblers, blue jays, and of course - squirrels. I wanted to see the image quality as I've read criticisms about the noise levels on the 18M sensors.

Normally I would shoot manual and am comfortable doing so on my T1i. I'm not fully acclimated to the 60D yet, so I was shooting in AV with the aperture set to F2.8. I was using a 70-200 Mk II and a monopod. I did crop the output and edit in LR.

Overall, I was happy with the pictures. I did have a lot of OOF shots that I will chalk up to my mistake, but I have also noticed that other shots I've taken with other lenses seem soft too. I'll investigate this more in the coming weeks. I hope I don't have to have my lenses/camera calibrated, but if I do then I do.

So, what did I learn from this morning's events? I learned that chickadee's are lightning fast - holy cow I had a hard time keeping up with them. They act as if they had 5 red bulls before eating. I also learned that when I go out to do something, that's when mother nature will change her routine - the woodpeckers did not show, no blue jays either. I got to see a sap sucker, 2 chickadees, and some cardinals - one which was missing his crest and half of the feathers on his face. He looked like the bird version of the walking dead and I did not photograph him. All in all, the few pictures I kept I thought were good and I wanted to share them with the community.

Thanks again for those of you who answered my previous 60D questions and encouraged me to jump on the deal. I'm looking forward to furthering my photography techniques with this camera.

-wes
 

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wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
A few more...
 

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wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
and last...
 

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NancyP

EOS R
Dec 17, 2013
1,297
14
My 60D has been a great birding camera for the last 4 years, coupled with the 400mm f/5.6L. Yep, chickadees are fast, and noisy. You are doing well. Have fun.
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,314
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
wsmith96 said:
Overall, I was happy with the pictures. I did have a lot of OOF shots that I will chalk up to my mistake, but I have also noticed that other shots I've taken with other lenses seem soft too. I'll investigate this more in the coming weeks. I hope I don't have to have my lenses/camera calibrated, but if I do then I do.

The 60d is a great camera for macro or tele shots, and for that kind of money it's a steal.

The one problem is the missing af micro adjustment (thanks, Canon!) so if slightly oof shots occur you never know if it was the phase af normal variance or a systematic error. I'd advise you to get hold of a camera with afma (for example the 70d) and then test your lens(es). If there is a large afma requirement, you can get it adjusted by Canon service. The 70-200L is such a premium lens so that it's probably worth the hassle.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,265
1,935
Canada
The great think about chickadees is that you don't need hunting blinds to get close.... all you need are some sunflower seeds and a lens that focuses within half of an arm's length....

The 60D is a fine camera.... enjoy!
 

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applecider

EOS RP
May 20, 2012
489
43
Portland Oregon, Cape Cod
You said that the images looked a little soft but that you did edit in LR.

Question were you shooting raw or jpeg. How much in camera sharpening was selected?

If Raw did you sharpen in LR? My work flow is usually to use bridge to adjust raw images and I usually boost up the sharpen to about 70-75 and the radius to 1.2-1.4 and luminance as needed to get rid of grain.

The other thing is that shooting at 2.8 give yourself a pretty narrow dof, I try to shoot at 5.6 if the light permits and at least with a 5diii go up to 2500 iso if needed. The 7D and presumably your camera is not as friendly of high isos but I go to 640-800 or 1000 so to get shutter speed higher for the tweety birds.

The temptation to blame micro focus adjustment t is there but I'd look at some of the other variables as well. Sounds like you have a good set up to get great picts. More cardinals please.....

Do you put orange halves out?
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
Don Haines said:
The great think about chickadees is that you don't need hunting blinds to get close.... all you need are some sunflower seeds and a lens that focuses within half of an arm's length....

The 60D is a fine camera.... enjoy!

Holy cow Don! That is a far better way to attract birds than what I did :)
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
NancyP said:
My 60D has been a great birding camera for the last 4 years, coupled with the 400mm f/5.6L. Yep, chickadees are fast, and noisy. You are doing well. Have fun.

Thanks NancyP!
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
Marsu42 said:
wsmith96 said:
Overall, I was happy with the pictures. I did have a lot of OOF shots that I will chalk up to my mistake, but I have also noticed that other shots I've taken with other lenses seem soft too. I'll investigate this more in the coming weeks. I hope I don't have to have my lenses/camera calibrated, but if I do then I do.

The 60d is a great camera for macro or tele shots, and for that kind of money it's a steal.

The one problem is the missing af micro adjustment (thanks, Canon!) so if slightly oof shots occur you never know if it was the phase af normal variance or a systematic error. I'd advise you to get hold of a camera with afma (for example the 70d) and then test your lens(es). If there is a large afma requirement, you can get it adjusted by Canon service. The 70-200L is such a premium lens so that it's probably worth the hassle.

I have a friend with a 50D. I'll see if he'll let me borrow to test against. I don't have a real camera shop close by to check it out. I'm not necessarily saying that my lens or camera is off, but it would be nice to have something to compare to. My previous camera, T1i, I didn't have any issues with any of my lenses. I'm betting it's me.
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
applecider said:
You said that the images looked a little soft but that you did edit in LR.

Question were you shooting raw or jpeg. How much in camera sharpening was selected?

If Raw did you sharpen in LR? My work flow is usually to use bridge to adjust raw images and I usually boost up the sharpen to about 70-75 and the radius to 1.2-1.4 and luminance as needed to get rid of grain.

The other thing is that shooting at 2.8 give yourself a pretty narrow dof, I try to shoot at 5.6 if the light permits and at least with a 5diii go up to 2500 iso if needed. The 7D and presumably your camera is not as friendly of high isos but I go to 640-800 or 1000 so to get shutter speed higher for the tweety birds.

The temptation to blame micro focus adjustment t is there but I'd look at some of the other variables as well. Sounds like you have a good set up to get great picts. More cardinals please.....

Do you put orange halves out?

I haven't blamed AFMA yet, just making an observation. I did shoot in Raw but I don't remember all of the settings I used in lightroom. I'm not in front of the PC I edit on. You may be right on the DOF. I'll have another go at it this weekend and will up my aperture to f4 or f5.6. Last, I put out regular bird seed and sunflower seeds. I have not tried orange halves.
 

lycan

EOS M6 Mark II
Jun 28, 2013
57
0
wsmith96 said:
Don Haines said:
The great think about chickadees is that you don't need hunting blinds to get close.... all you need are some sunflower seeds and a lens that focuses within half of an arm's length....

The 60D is a fine camera.... enjoy!

Holy cow Don! That is a far better way to attract birds than what I did :)

That wouldn't work in southern europe. They have plenty of food all year around so they won't get close to humans. I even tried to put a feeder in my garder but no bird used it :(
 

Marsu42

Canon Pride.
Feb 7, 2012
6,314
0
Berlin
der-tierfotograf.de
Don Haines said:
The great think about chickadees is that you don't need hunting blinds to get close.... all you need are some sunflower seeds and a lens that focuses within half of an arm's length....

Ooooooh, these are really sweet :) !!!

wsmith96 said:
My previous camera, T1i, I didn't have any issues with any of my lenses. I'm betting it's me.

Probably, Canon lenses are usually adjusted just fine and f2.8 isn't as critical as 1.2. But if you can there's peace of mind after making sure. Note that every camera body needs different afma adjustment values, so if your ti1 worked fine your 60d might not.

Last not least, afma is not a magic bullet. Newer cameras have different settings for the long and wide end of zooms, but it's still not sufficient since afma also changes with the subject *distance*. Afaik the newest Sigma lenses take this into account while Canon (still) doesn't.
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
941
30
Texas
Update - regarding the question of my LR settings. I have sharpening set to 25 with a radius of 1.0 and detail of 25. Luminance noise reduction is at 30 with detail at 50, contrast 0. Color noise reduction is at 25, detail 50, smoothness 50. Adjusted exposure by .98, color 5200.

Btw, I didn't post the blurry pics. I'm pretty sure the problem is me.
 
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