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Old 28-12-2010, 08:43 AM
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rcheshire (Rowland)
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Camera advice - Canon comparisons

I'm thinking of upgrading my 1000D and interested in hearing about user experience with Cameras such as the 7D and 5-II and others.

I've done the homework, and looked over many of the members images - very nice, but most are taken by people with either great skill and/or subject to processing.

I'm really interested in raw comparisons - if I take a shot with this camera and take the same with another, all other things being equal, including the lens, etc, etc, what differences can I expect to see.

I guess this is a question for experienced users, who have a background in semi, or professional photography and understand what they're looking at and doing.

Last edited by rcheshire; 28-12-2010 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Explanation
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Old 28-12-2010, 04:29 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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I think when upgrading camera you have to think about a couple of things first. I assume you are talking about astro-photography right? Not terrestrial. A 1000D would have a certain pixel size and sensor size. Why are you wanting to upgrade? To get more image scale? Sensor size? Then you have to ask yourself what scope you're imaging with. Is it matched to your camera? Do you reach the sweet spot as far as image scale goes? I mean it's a compromise between how much resolution you want to achieve and how good you're guiding is capable of? Then of course there is the processing part which is a very big part of the equation IMHO. You can have top gear with quality data out of the box and still bugger it with bad processing. So I think you have to look at the whole picture before considering moving up. Are you getting the most out of your current rig and where can you improve? What's the weakest point (was usually always me ). It might not be the camera necessarily. Good luck with the purchase though
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Old 28-12-2010, 07:40 PM
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Thanks Marc. The limitations are definitely mine.

I want to use the camera for astro and terrestrial work, but I'm not satisfied with the quality of the images out of the camera. How much of a handicap is the 1000D to an L series lens - should I be using these lenses with a different camera? Would the results be immediately evident? That's it, as I think more about the problem. I think that's the frustration.
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Old 28-12-2010, 08:28 PM
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tlgerdes (Trevor)
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If you cant get a good picture out of a 1000d body, then upgrading isnt going to change that.

Upgrading your lenses "could" improve your outcome, but that will depend on what your "problem" is.

The image sensor is probably the same as that in a 40D, the electronics driving the chip would have some improvements, but the sensor would be the same.

5D etc are a larger sensor, but is sensor size your problem?

What are you trying to fix?
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Old 28-12-2010, 08:30 PM
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tlgerdes (Trevor)
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Put it this way, an L series lens is never a waste of money, even on a 1000D.
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Old 28-12-2010, 09:13 PM
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re camera body

A good understanding of photography is needed to get the best out of any equipment,regardless of what price bracket the equipment is in.

two books I recommend are 'The digital photography book vol 1 and 2'

by Scott Kelby.

I am no expert,but these books help a lot.5 years ago I knew nothing about digital photography,now I know enough to know I know very little.

However,those 'expensive' L grade lenses and similar,are really not that expensive.The difference between these and the regular kit lenses is like that between night and day.The sharpness,the clarity,really gives one confidence in the field.

I use a 450d and 50d body,but put more money into my lens purchases.I am no professional photographer,and do not want to be.But people had over money to me for the images I take. I feel that the investment in expensive lenses is well worth it.When they say they have never seen images so clear.

I do very little PP,so I have to use my limited skills and understanding of light and the L's to do the job.

Here is two images with no PP or cropping,just size reduction.

The first is with 450d and a 70-200 F 2.8 L

The L's are magic,particularly the 70-200 its like it somehow does something to the air,the images have so much better clarity than any other glass I have used.

The second with a 50D and 400 F 5.6 L

really I cannot see much difference in the two camera bodies I own,sure the 50d is a bit more fancy,but its those L lenses that make a big difference.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 28-12-2010, 10:58 PM
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Thanks Trevor and Chris.

The 'problem' is, that as I look back through the many recent images, I find only one or two in focus. Most are just a smidgen out, including those taken on a tripod. Having said that, the image appears clean and crisp in the view finder, so the good ones are flukes.

Thinking about the problem, AF tends to focus on other than the subject at times, ever so slightly. I notice this panning around, feathering the shutter release. Maybe different settings would be more effective. The other issue is eyesight and wearing graduated lenses, particularly with manual focus.

I know it's not at all conclusive, but discussing the problem helps the thinking process. I'll work on the issues mentioned.

I guess the first question was, is there something wrong with my camera. Thanks once again.

PS. These problems have only surfaced with the purchase of an L series lens. I think it's also a matter of learning to use it effectively.
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Old 29-12-2010, 05:52 AM
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tlgerdes (Trevor)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcheshire View Post
I know it's not at all conclusive, but discussing the problem helps the thinking process. I'll work on the issues mentioned.

I guess the first question was, is there something wrong with my camera. Thanks once again.

PS. These problems have only surfaced with the purchase of an L series lens. I think it's also a matter of learning to use it effectively.
I think the last line is the crutial one. Once you are for sure that your skills are exceeding the cameras capability, then it is time to upgrade.

Until then, education on what, how and why, will improve you no end, it will also identify the When in the upgrade cycle.

Until then, you are canon fodder for the salesman.
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Old 29-12-2010, 06:12 AM
Dennis
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I’ve only used a 40D and 7D and even though their auto focus system may be more advanced than the xxxD series, I still have my fair share of out of focus and soft images.

If you have all AF points active, the camera will usually focus on the object nearest the camera with the greatest amount of contrast. If your target lies further away, then it will likely be OOF.

Even on a tripod, slow shutter speeds can produce soft images when you pixel peep, unless you use Live View/Mirror Lock Up and a remote shutter release.

I think that you can check which AF point was used when the photo was taken so go back over some of your less sharp images and establish if that is a candidate for the subject being OOF.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 29-12-2010, 06:37 AM
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Sleeping on the issue, I realise that all my kit lenses stop at f/4 - f/5.6, with what seems to be point-and-shoot DOF - very difficult to get it wrong.

I'm not used to the very shallow DOF with this new lens, particularly at the bigger apertures. In low light conditions the longer shutter speeds, particularly hand held, conspire to add camera movement with rapid changes in focus.

The reading I have done doesn't address issues such as this, it's been basic stuff, but sufficient to analyze this particular issue.

It has been very helpful to establish that I'm not wasting my time with an entry level device that will never perform as desired. I can move on with confidence that the equipment is capable and address my own limitations.

Quote:
Once you are for sure that your skills are exceeding the cameras capability, then it is time to upgrade.
Spot on - that was the thought that prompted me to start this thread. You've articulated it well.
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Old 29-12-2010, 07:53 AM
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re camera

Sounds like you have got a lovely L lens (which one?).

The lower number AV is a bit tricky to use,it will take some time to adjust.

Also,you have'nt mentioned what setting points you have focus set to,it sounds like you have not selected the point at which you want camera to focus on,this is an important point.Regardless of grade of body.

I nearly always have the camera in manual mode,and selected the focus point,that way I tell the camera what I want,and not have it tell me what I can have.

Hope this helps,Chris
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Old 29-12-2010, 09:41 AM
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Dennis, I just saw your post - missed it while posting the last. All of the issues that you describe I can see in my images - many thanks - a good starting point.

Chris. It's a 200 mm f/2.8L II USM telephoto. I chose it for its optical qualities vs price, conscious of its intended use - birding/action, portraits and wide field AP. There is no time to zoom, or it's not necessary.

Chris and Dennis, thanks. Focus points have been on my mind too. I've been using auto select. I intend trying manual centred, that should eliminate focus on surrounding branches etc. The only problem is shooting against a cloudy sky (AF tends to focus on the clouds if the shutter is half pressed), loosing the target in the view finder, then having to refocus once it's reacquired - usually too late. That's true of auto select also, except that focus is reacquired sooner (once the target is in the FOV). Guess I can't have it both ways.
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Old 29-12-2010, 11:45 AM
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re camera

The 200 L prime.is an amazing piece of glass,you certainly will not have any issues with that,just getting use to it after kit lenses-that's all.

I use the 200 end of my 70-200 F 2.8 a lot for people/sports action.

Bit short in the legs for wildlife,but have used it,will try and post some images for you.Here is a sample at 200 mm of my nieces wedding at f2.8 low light,no PP. (she really liked this),the lens was on the 450D.

The 200 prime will be better for astro work than my 70-200,I get lots of reflections in my images,there must be lots of glass in side this lens.

My 400 prime I do not get any reflections and is good for astro work

hope this helps,Chris
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Old 29-12-2010, 01:10 PM
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That's a very sharp shot, and you've captured both expressions very clearly.

With the APS-C sensor, the effective FL is +60% - 320mm, which I feel is plenty most of the time.

I have a 2x extender which takes it out to 640mm and f/5.6 , I've managed a few hand held shots with this from time to time, but it's really a tripod lens at that length.

For astro work the absence of fringing is outstanding, and not too bad with the extender.

Some images would be good. I'm keen on seeing what others are achieving with their equipment.
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Old 29-12-2010, 03:09 PM
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Rowland,

Firstly, use the centre focus point -- focus and recompose. So long as the point of focus isn't too far from the overall composition as a whole. Example, focus on the eyes of your subject and move camera slightly down in order to frame the subject properly. You have to be very careful with focus and recomposing; you want to keep the pivot point of the camera at your nose and move the lens down in a subtle arc so as to keep within the depth of field of the plane of focus.

If you have centre point focus point expansion available in your custom settings, enable it. I have enabled it on my body and it helps the centre point get focus.

Finally, when using the 200mm lens, ensure that your shutter speed, at the very least is 1/200s, preferably 1/320s. I know with my camera, I have to use a 1/1.5*focal_length shutter speed to ensure crisp shots, handheld without image stabilisation.

It can be done with lower shutter speeds, however. Refer to attached image (slight crop) which was shot with the following details (using the very lens in discussion here, the 200mm f/2.8L II USM):

1/160s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso500

H
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Old 29-12-2010, 07:06 PM
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H. Thanks again. I tried the lens out with manual select on centre - a few hand held shots following your suggestions, and even added the 2x extender.

The results are outstanding, even hand held. I think this is partly due to loosing 4 stops and the greater DOF. I'll spend more time working at f/2.8 and see how that shapes up - bottom line, I'm now 'seeing' the difference in DOF at the various ratios, and more conscious of placing the focus point on the target - before, I was just pointing and shooting.

I'll need to work on focus and recompose as outlined. The portrait is very sharp with DOF evident looking back toward the ears. Including the crop and monochrome it's very effective, focuses attention on the face. Very nice indeed.
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Old 29-12-2010, 08:36 PM
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re camera

The lower the AV number the shallower the DOF,as in Humayan's image,which

draws the attention to eye's and face (nice work H).

Here is a couple of images,the kingfisher at F 2.8 using my 70-200,see the tip of beak out of focus,was just playing around with DOF,as I took this not long
after I got the lens,Also works a treat in low light.

You will have a ball with that 200 L prime,apparently if one has the means

The Canon 35 mm L prime,and 135 mm L prime and your lens are considered the 'Holy trinity' of primes.(plus a 5D2)


Here is a couple of people in action shots with my 400 L prime.the last image is a crop.you can make out numbers/details of rifle.

All images no PP or cropping,except the last one.

Enjoy your Lovely L glass

Chris
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Old 29-12-2010, 11:43 PM
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The 550D,7D and 60D use the same 18mpx sensor, you can choose based on features. The 550D has the best IQ/price ration, the 7D has the best functionality. The 60D is in the middle and is the only one with a movable LCD.

The 5DII is 22mpx and less noisy, if you take night shots then there IS a difference.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:02 AM
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Chris. Thanks for taking the time to answer my queries and posting images - it all takes time - very much appreciated. I'm following up on all the advice posted here.

Luis - thanks. I did my research on these camera's, but I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to claims and revues. I guess I like to see it with my own eyes. That's not very trusting, is it.

Other than the 5II with a different sensor, it's seems that with Canon it's just a matter of functionality.
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Old 30-12-2010, 03:47 PM
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re camera body.

Yes,Rowland-reviews are not always the best way to get an idea of kit.

Have you looked on 'Fred Miranda reviews' its very good.I rate it my favourite when checking out kit.

You mention may be buying a 1000D,check out the 500D too.A chap I know had this camera at astrofest and took some great images with it,it had less noise issue than the 450D,I think its 15 mp and got video too.

I was quite impressed with it.

Here is another image,I took with 70-200 at F 3.5,very late afternoon,cloudy,with no flash,hand held using the 450D,there has been some PP and crop with this one.

Chris
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