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Peter, just having a few dozen shots today and a few hours review, it's really hard to tell if the extra 5MPs are giving me much. I've a dragon shot from my 40D with same lens taken 6 months ago and when I look at them side by side at 100% the 40D actually looks better noise wise and bokeh looks much smoother?
I just charged the battery, set everything to manual and shot. Didn't check anything or set anything like I usually do for my 40D. I really like the higher-res LCD tho, single shot center point AF was set and all were handheld. Much more testing to do, going to have a local camera shop or Canon do a sensor cleaning; I'm not able to. I'll check the lens for dust, pocket rocket the sensor 1st just to check before it goes in tho.
I picked up a round hand grip; 6x1.5", kinda like the butt end of a pool cue in size. It's got a neoprene cover that really helps, has good bit of stickiness for grip, it screws into the tripod socket and gives me pretty good leverage. I'm also experimenting with a hand-wrist strap in combo with the grip, both give be a good bit of support, so much so that I may remove the 70-200's tripod collar/foot as it gets in the way now; it was helpful before. I'll try this combo out with the 300, then add the 1.4x to them. If this combo works I'll have a lot more freedom to move about, unlike when stuck with a mono or tripod
I also used this combo with a G12 and am completely stoked, they all work perfect together with my strength level down a bit. Haven't got out to shoot with it much but that will soon change!
My lady and I have been reviewing images from the 7D and 5D3, those posted here on FM and a few Jpegs sent to me by a FMer (thank you Ralph) from his 5D2 an 24-105L, and it's decided...you are correct...a 5D3 is in my/our future
It was hot this afternoon, 90f+, shot for 30mins and went back into the AirCon...it was fun getting out to shoot, breathe our fine smoggy SoCal haze! Near four hours sitting up today and my backside showed no signs of wear, so I'm hoping for an earlier start tomorrow...
PS. Just checked the exif data on my two dragon shots, 40D image was taken at ISO 200, the 50D at ISO 2500, no wonder the additional noise, graininess...more shooting needs be done that's for sure. The 50D image doesn't look so bad now, perhaps those extra 5MPs do help and if there's only one hot pixel that can be handled in post