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Old 17th Sep 2010, 10:32   #1
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I bought a camera - finally! :) (and my ongoing user experience)

Thanks to the extensive advice I received in different post (find it here), and after some heated debate I decided and today bought myself a Canon 7D with a 18-135mm kit lens to start with.

I would like to thank everybody that advised me or just joined the conversation, it was very welcomed! I promise I will post some photos soon.

Rob

Last edited by Synay; 20th Sep 2010 at 13:38. Reason: Updated the title.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 10:51   #2
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Nice!!!!!!
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 11:02   #3
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I reckon you should have waited out for the Nikon D7000 imho, but hey
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 11:23   #4
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Originally Posted by GregTheRotter View Post
I reckon you should have waited out for the Nikon D7000 imho, but hey
Seconded - the D7000 sounds beastly

But congratulations on a great buy, Synay. Hope to see some shots soon
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 11:49   #5
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After an initial feel and a bit of play I made this as a goodbye photo for my old but still working camera. With that much quality, I won't be using old one any time soon



Now for the serious practise and manual reading
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 11:52   #6
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Yeah, D7000 seems like quite a beast, but I've made so much research into this one and I like the idea of pairing the 7D with Canon's L lenses along the line. According to few reviews that should bring out the ultimate quality out of it. Even dpreview wrote that kit lens is somewhat of a limiting factor here. Anyway, it's a good start for me and I'm very happy.
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 12:00   #7
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Yes, Get some L lenses. They really make a difference. In the mean time, consider getting the 50mm 1.8. Its cheep and stopped down, its rather nice. But not L lens nice!
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 12:56   #8
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You do realise that the term 'L lens', just means pro grade lens, with a red ring of paint around it.. even so, you couldn't really brag about owning the 24-105L, or the 17-40L, or the 70-300L (that's not even constant aperture), just because it's an 'L' lens. But hey, if you actually think you'll ever be buying a 50 1.2, or an 85 1.2 (the only lenses Nikon doesn't make - that would make me jealous as a Nikon user, but they don't as the 50 has problems with focus shift, and the af 1.2 can't focus for jack), and somehow believe that canon L lenses are better than Nikon nano coated x y z lenses, then fair play. More Nano coated, 14-24, better af/flash system goodness for the rest of us. Then again, you wouldn't really use the 14-24 on a crop body so nevermind. Please excuse my fanboism Enjoy the cam
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 14:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregTheRotter View Post
You do realise that the term 'L lens', just means pro grade lens, with a red ring of paint around it.. even so, you couldn't really brag about owning the 24-105L, or the 17-40L, or the 70-300L (that's not even constant aperture), just because it's an 'L' lens. But hey, if you actually think you'll ever be buying a 50 1.2, or an 85 1.2 (the only lenses Nikon doesn't make - that would make me jealous as a Nikon user, but they don't as the 50 has problems with focus shift, and the af 1.2 can't focus for jack), and somehow believe that canon L lenses are better than Nikon nano coated x y z lenses, then fair play. More Nano coated, 14-24, better af/flash system goodness for the rest of us. Then again, you wouldn't really use the 14-24 on a crop body so nevermind. Please excuse my fanboism Enjoy the cam
That is all true, just that really good lenses from Nikon tend to be ever so slightly more expensive. I mean I can buy and IS L F4 constant 70-200mm lens from canon for like 900, with Nikon a bit over a 1000. I mean we are speaking relatively as it's hard to speak of cheapness at this level. I've been with Nikon for years and I find their cameras excellent to say at least, but it was a time to let go Plus I needed the camera before 2nd October, so I bought to the best I could. I think
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Old 17th Sep 2010, 18:07   #10
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My fears about switching from Olympus to Canon is that they have pushed their sensors to such Mp ratings that I'm afraid that even the L-lenses can't keep up with their resolution demands.

I'm waiting in the shadows to see what D400 and D800 will bring to the game. Especially I'm hoping that they would bring video features to Canon level, since I'm getting more and more interested in doing video with a DSLR.

Either way I think it's time for me to switch sides unless the new E-5 is something amazing with its IQ.

Darkened

P.S. Congratulations on the new camera. Report back here what you think of it (preferably with photos), since it's one of the options on my list...
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Old 18th Sep 2010, 00:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkened View Post
My fears about switching from Olympus to Canon is that they have pushed their sensors to such Mp ratings that I'm afraid that even the L-lenses can't keep up with their resolution demands.

I'm waiting in the shadows to see what D400 and D800 will bring to the game. Especially I'm hoping that they would bring video features to Canon level, since I'm getting more and more interested in doing video with a DSLR.

Either way I think it's time for me to switch sides unless the new E-5 is something amazing with its IQ.

Darkened

P.S. Congratulations on the new camera. Report back here what you think of it (preferably with photos), since it's one of the options on my list...
I can tell you that after a first day of use I'm very happy. I'm still getting a grip on what ISO settings to use as I remember that ISO 1600 on my old Nikon D80 wasn't enough to shoot indoors in darkened places, while 7D somehow manages to do no problem with ISO 800 and still has very good shutter speeds. It does 8 FPS even in RAW but you need speedy card to take more that 20 images this way. Very good noise control for camera with this amount and density of pixels. Over the course of next few weeks as I get to grips with this piece of kit I will make this thread my sort of blog and will show off some photos as well on various settings. Video I tried once and it seems very good indeed. Word of warning - large files! 4GB card will hold up to 130 RAWs. That's it for today.
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Old 18th Sep 2010, 13:57   #12
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Darkened, I don't know if it's an apt statement for all modern DSLRs but I noticed some consistent overexposure in the bright sunny day. You need to compensate by 0.3 stop down or even 0.6 if it's particularly sunny.
Also, depending on how sharp you like your images you will probably set up your custom shooting modes. Image below is a fairly standard Nikon sharpnes, but in 7D left on default settings it took few minutes in photoshop to add some contrast and sharpness. As I said, Nikon tends to produce higher contrast and sharpness by default.


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Old 20th Sep 2010, 01:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synay View Post
Thanks to the extensive advice I received in different post (find it here), and after some heated debate I decided and today bought myself a Canon 7D with a 18-135mm kit lens to start with.

I would like to thank everybody that advised me or just joined the conversation, it was very welcomed! I promise I will post some photos soon.

Rob
I'm not sure your choice of lens is the best, but you've chosen a great body and you've already expressed your intentions to build a lens collection over time, so the 18-135 will serve as a good starting point. However, it does lack some contrast and its colour reproduction isn't the greatest either, which you seem to already be noticing. It's also quite soft... in some ways, that's a good thing because you'll appreciate better glass when you (eventually) invest in it.

Also, while the D7000 is a lot of camera for the money and, if I wasn't already invested in the Canon system, one that'd give me a seriously itchy credit card, it's not going to be available much below list price this year. I think too much attention is placed on what gear you've got these days and there'll always be another 'best camera' around the corner - you've found something you liked, so I say enjoy it as much as you can!

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70-300L (that's not even constant aperture)
Quite a few of Canon's L lenses are not constant aperture and, since the 70-300L hasn't actually been out in the field with independent photographers yet, I'm not sure I'd put it in the same group as the 17-40 and 24-105 this early. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS was a bit soft at 300mm, but this is a new lens with a new optical formula so it's a little early to say it's going to be soft and lacking in resolution. I'd be surprised if the latter was true for certain, as it's using some of Canon's new coatings which do help to improve resolution.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 01:31   #14
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Thanks Tim S. That's true, kit lens isn't the best but will do for next couple of months while I save up for some decent lenses.

For now as I promised I'll continues to update on how 7D is in normal usage. Here is the first video usage. Settings at 1080p 25FPS on the overcast day.


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Old 20th Sep 2010, 11:14   #15
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I can tell you that after a first day of use I'm very happy. I'm still getting a grip on what ISO settings to use as I remember that ISO 1600 on my old Nikon D80 wasn't enough to shoot indoors in darkened places, while 7D somehow manages to do no problem with ISO 800 and still has very good shutter speeds. It does 8 FPS even in RAW but you need speedy card to take more that 20 images this way. Very good noise control for camera with this amount and density of pixels. Over the course of next few weeks as I get to grips with this piece of kit I will make this thread my sort of blog and will show off some photos as well on various settings. Video I tried once and it seems very good indeed. Word of warning - large files! 4GB card will hold up to 130 RAWs. That's it for today.
Hey Synay, thanks for the user experiences. I find them somewhat more useful than reviews.

What you say about ISO settings in darker shooting environments is quite interesting. I think there are some differences between cameras in ISO performance at same ISOs and same apertures, but one stop is a lot! Are you sure that your lens with the D80 wasn't smaller aperture one?

The size of the RAW images is somewhat a concern, but only in the card department and on longer trips. I work in a computer store and hard drives are so cheap nowadays that I see no problem there. Also my computer is kept up to date, so it's not lacking in processing power either.

Quote:
Darkened, I don't know if it's an apt statement for all modern DSLRs but I noticed some consistent overexposure in the bright sunny day. You need to compensate by 0.3 stop down or even 0.6 if it's particularly sunny.
Also, depending on how sharp you like your images you will probably set up your custom shooting modes. Image below is a fairly standard Nikon sharpnes, but in 7D left on default settings it took few minutes in photoshop to add some contrast and sharpness. As I said, Nikon tends to produce higher contrast and sharpness by default.
About this overexposure, is it clipping the highlights (like my E-3) or is it just exposing to the "right"? That is a major problem in Olympus land at least with the E-3. If it's not clipping, then it would be no problem for me and would actually be useful when processing the RAW files. My E-3 actually underexposes quite badly in certain situations (up to 1 stop) and still manages to clip some of the highlights, so I'm not too keen on that happening.

Like Tim mentioned above, the problems with contrast and sharpness are most likely due to the lens you are using, but of course there are differences between cameras in how they reproduce the image. It's a long and expensive road with the L-lenses, but I wouldn't use much else with this camera. Or any other camera with these kind of Mp readings either.

I think my setup would be pretty much like this:

-10-22 EF-S (this is a maybe)
-16-35L (would be tempting to go with the 17-40L, but quality doesn't appeal to me)
-24-70L or 24-105, which isn't that great, but I like the reach (similar to Zuiko 12-60mm)
-35L 1.4 (a big maybe)
-50mm 1.4
-70-200L 2.8 IS
-100L macro
-100-400L

That's a big list and some of them I'd get used and maybe go with 3rd party equivalents with some of the lenses that are not so critical with weather sealing and sharpness. I actually like the "Bigma" for what I do, so I think the OS model would be also on the shopping list. It's worked well in good light with the E-3 and its built-in IS system.

If you keep sharing your experiences with this camera I'd be very interested in them and grateful for the effort.

Darkened
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 12:04   #16
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The 10-22 is a very high-quality piece of glass, so you could probably save doubling up focal lengths with the 16-35L in your setup Darkened

Not sure what's going on with the over-exposure Synay, but if it's not clipping I wouldn't worry. Detail increases exponentially at the brighter end of the histogram (there are 16,384 colours per channel in the brightest stop compared to approx 256 colours per channel in the darkest stop on the 7D's 14-bit RAW files) so you ideally want the camera set up to expose to the right because you can bring the exposure back into line during post and have more colours at your disposal.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 13:34   #17
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Quote:
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What you say about ISO settings in darker shooting environments is quite interesting. I think there are some differences between cameras in ISO performance at same ISOs and same apertures, but one stop is a lot! Are you sure that your lens with the D80 wasn't smaller aperture one?

Darkened
I used to use 18-105mm VR lens (which was kit as well) and it has pretty much same F3.5-5.6, so no difference there.

Quote:
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Not sure what's going on with the over-exposure Synay, but if it's not clipping I wouldn't worry. Detail increases exponentially at the brighter end of the histogram (there are 16,384 colours per channel in the brightest stop compared to approx 256 colours per channel in the darkest stop on the 7D's 14-bit RAW files) so you ideally want the camera set up to expose to the right because you can bring the exposure back into line during post and have more colours at your disposal.
I'm pretty sure it's not clipping as I can rescue overblown details when I process the raw image in photoshop without much problem at all.

For now I'm quite impressed by the camera. you can set it up exactly how you want, in matter of the fact it is good to read the manual as the amount of options is a bit overwhelming at first. I'm also concerned with the battery life. Give it, I've done couple of short videos and about 233 shots, played with some settings and reviewed images on the screen some and battery went down to 39%. I will keep draining it until it dies to see how much exposures can I get. Note that used inbuilt flash only once (I hate using these small flashes). I will keep you guys informed as I go.

This one is to show that the camera exposes really nicely in almost all the parts of the photo. You get nice detail everywhere. It was shot at F5, ISO 800 (you can see some noise on the blacks already), 1/500sec.


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Old 20th Sep 2010, 14:19   #18
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This one is to show that the camera exposes really nicely in almost all the parts of the photo. You get nice detail everywhere. It was shot at F5, ISO 800 (you can see some noise on the blacks already), 1/500sec.

What you're refering to is dynamic range, and just about any camera could have pulled that shot off without blowing highlights etc. But hey. Unless you actually meant that "there is plenty of detail with low amount of noise even at Iso 800"
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 14:26   #19
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Quite a few of Canon's L lenses are not constant aperture and, since the 70-300L hasn't actually been out in the field with independent photographers yet, I'm not sure I'd put it in the same group as the 17-40 and 24-105 this early. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS was a bit soft at 300mm, but this is a new lens with a new optical formula so it's a little early to say it's going to be soft and lacking in resolution. I'd be surprised if the latter was true for certain, as it's using some of Canon's new coatings which do help to improve resolution.
I didn't mean to say that the 70-300L was in the same leage as the 17-40 oe 24-105, just that those lenses aren't exactly why people shoot canon. They shoot canon for their 1.2 and (used to; nikon 24 1.4 and 35 1.4, tee hee) 1.4 primes, and maybe the 70-200 F4, and again things change; because they're cheaper on the lens front. The new versions of Canon lenses are going to pricey, probably just as pricey as the Nikon lenses (70-200 F2.8 VR II/ IS II etc), but don't quote me on that.

Then again some people are so brand biased before they even handle either camera brand, that they just go ahead and buy whatever brand they like the logo of. I suppose my initial choice was biased in that I had a canon compact that turned out to be faulty, then when I went to handle dslr's in store, there was only the D80 and 450D to try out, so the D80 won just because it felt nicer, and had a pentaprism as opposed to pentamirror viewfinder (was brighter) and I had already read good reviews on the D80 (funny that ey, considering that the D80's meter is a bit of a dog).
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Old 21st Sep 2010, 00:47   #20
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Posts: 442
Synay has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Night time testing

This time some night time testing. I must say that I found that despite such a high pixel count and density ISO performance is quite frankly nothing short of spectacular. Only at 6400 noise starts to be a proper issue, and that I think could be used in some photography (for that extra grainy effect). You can download the file here. (note - file is 108MB large); It consists of photos, processed from RAW at ISO's 100, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 and 6400. Skipped 200 as there's no difference to 100 and 12800 as this will be very grainy. Photos taken with the same setting varying only ISO speed, didn't apply any adjustments while converting to jpegs.

On the bad side, night time video shooting is not that great. It's seriously grainy, though camera exposes quite nicely. Here's the sample:



As a bonus, here's what you can do with this relatively short lens but such a high pixel count.

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