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Archive 2012 · Your choice of body for wildlife?
  
 
Steve Spencer
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p.5 #1 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


uz2work wrote:
You would be right on 2 out of the 8, which makes your choices quite a bit worse than what you would expect to get with random guesses.



Actually the result is very much within what would be expected by random guesses



Sep 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM
alundeb
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p.5 #2 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


Here is a comparison of image quality under "Equivalence" (Same subject distance, same framing, same DOF, same shutter speed) between the Pentax Q small sensor, and approximately 25.6 x 19.2 mm out of the 5DII sensor (it is cropped a bit more on the long side to get a 4:3 aspect ratio). The crop factor between the two utilized sensor areas (and pixel pitches) is 4.16.

Setup 1: Pentax Q with EF 135 mm 2.0 L. ISO 125. 1/50 sec.
Setup 2: Canon 5DII with EF 400 mm 5.6 L + 1.4X TC III. ISO 2000. 1/50 sec.

Unfortunately the ducks didn't want to pose anymore, and it started raining. So this is wildlife of another kind.

As expected, the larger sensor is clearly better. Or more correctly, the lens resolving power is the limiting factor. However, at web sizes, with some processing, the small sensor can still produce a good quality image.


Pentax Q 135 mm F/2 full image






5DII 560 mm F/8 near full image






Pentax Q 135 mm F/2 full image with strong local and slight global contrast enhancement








5DII 560 mm F/8 100% crop






Pentax Q 135 mm F/2 100% crop






Pentax Q 135 mm F/2 100% crop after heavy processing






Edited on Sep 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM · View previous versions



Sep 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM
indiawilds
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p.5 #3 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


I use a 1D Mark IV. It is by far the best body I have used in the field.

I used to keep the 1D Mark II as my back up, but disposed it off. 7D doesn't come close to the Mark IV. 5D III is also good, however, you will need even longer lenses to get the same close-ups. I have been using the Mark IV since Jan 2010 and it is not only good for wildlife photography but also for filming. The high ISO performance is good too. Check the trailer of my film in link. http://www.indiawilds.com/diary/nominated-for-special-awards-in-wildlife-vaasa-festival-finland/

The film was completely made with the Mark IV and got nominated for Special awards in Wildlife Vaasa Festival Finland. Check the gaurs (which look like bison) jostling with each other. Those were filmed with a 400 f2.8 L IS USM lens at 2.8 at ISO 12800. There is noise, however, when certain situations demand, you can use this camera.
Sabyasachi




Sep 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM
ruhikant
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p.5 #4 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


Recently, there had been 4/5 treads already on this topic in this forum.
If your maximum focal L is 400mm ( not the 400/2.8IS), 7D suits you very well. Since you already have Ef500/4ISL, any camera will serve you well but it depends on your style of shooting.
I have been photographing birds using Ef500/4ISL paired with 1D4 for a while, it is 80K clicks now. Recently, I have added 5D3 and it is about 15K clicks at the moment.. I always take 5D3 when I want to walk a long distance or with no tripod/monopod. I prefer handheld shooting, so a little bit weight saving with 5D3 matters a lot when I am standing for 3hrs at a time and the new AF system can be configured in many ways to suit the situation. Above all, the reaction time is much faster with this combo when something comes up while talking to friends. If 700mm with 22MP camera is too short, it will be still too short with 1D4 (yes, 1D4 can AF with 2XTC, but 5D3's LV AF is also quite good for stationary birds, alternatively, 1.4TC+1.4Tc combo gives reasonably good AF with EF500/4IS) but when you are able to get close to the bird, you can fill 22MP with 5D3.

One example with 5D3 at 700mm, handheld.
About 35% crop.






and 100% crop of the above:







Yeah, 6FPS is quite adequate too, here is an Osprey Diving sequence I posted in N&W forum.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1149747/0#10971102

If I have to keep only one camera, it would be 5D3 since 5D3 is very good landscape and wedding camera as well.





Edited on Sep 30, 2012 at 08:26 PM · View previous versions



Sep 30, 2012 at 06:05 PM
kevindar
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p.5 #5 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


You will certainly see people telling you their favorite cameras, and then posting samples to back it up. The fact is you can get some amazing wildlife shots with manual focus lenses, and the fact that a web sized image is amazing, does not make a camera consistently the best for wildlife.
If money is no object, given most of us are usually reach limited, 1d4 is the best camera. 7D is excellent, but a little behind for BIF, with busy background/foreground. It tends to loose the subject more easily. Arash had a very good write up on this comparing the two.
I would choose 5d3 if not reach limited. I have never wanted more than 6fps. so thats plenty.
of course, the absolute best would be 5d3 with d800 sensor, shooting 5fps at full frame, and 6-8 fps at crop mode. but that wont happen.



Sep 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Rooster L200
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p.5 #6 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


NIKON D600 ofcourse!


Sep 30, 2012 at 07:18 PM
PetKal
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p.5 #7 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


That's it, I am selling all my 1D cameras and long lenses, and my only wildlife set up has just become 7D + 85L ........I've got enough reach with that setup, and it is easy to carry and shoot with all day, plus it's super fast (i.e., f/1.2), and also it's dirt cheap in comparison to long lens based options.

Edited on Oct 01, 2012 at 03:02 AM · View previous versions



Sep 30, 2012 at 08:05 PM
alundeb
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p.5 #8 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


PetKal wrote:
That's it, I am selling all my 1D cameras and long lenses, and my only wildlife set up has just become 7D + 85L ........I've got enough reach with that setup, and it is easy to carry and shoot with all day, plus it's super fast (i.e., f/1.2), and also it's dirt cheap in comparison to long lens based options.


Yess! Exactly the reaction I hoped for! Now since the long lenses will drop significantly in price after the discovery of pixel density, I will do you the favour of buying them from you for the cost of the materials. I will of course only use them for testing, to keep other lost souls from buying such unnecessary equipment



Sep 30, 2012 at 08:31 PM
PetKal
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p.5 #9 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


alundeb wrote:
Yess! Exactly the reaction I hoped for! Now since the long lenses will drop significantly in price after the discovery of pixel density, I will do you the favour of buying them from you for the cost of the materials. I will of course only use them for testing, to keep other lost souls from buying such unnecessary equipment


Anders, your dedication to science of photography is examplary.



Sep 30, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Liquidstone
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p.5 #10 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


PetKal wrote:
......assuming that the lens used has an "infinite" resolution.


It would seem to me that the 400 2.8 IS nearly fits that description - I can stack up to 4x worth of TCs behind it and see increasing level of captured detail (on a per frame basis, beats upressing).

Of course, I lose fast AF with the 2x and no reliable AF at all beyond 2x. If a 288 MP 1.6x crop sensor arrives, I will have the luxury of throwing away my TCs and enjoying fast f/2.8 AF (with the bonus of being able to shoot at lowest ISOs). All this while achieving maximum "reach" allowed by the optics. Looking forward to a TC-less future soon.....



Sep 30, 2012 at 09:23 PM
 

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uz2work
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p.5 #11 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


Liquidstone wrote:
It would seem to me that the 400 2.8 IS nearly fits that description - I can stack up to 4x worth of TCs behind it and see increasing level of captured detail (on a per frame basis, beats upressing).

Of course, I lose fast AF with the 2x and no reliable AF at all beyond 2x. If a 288 MP 1.6x crop sensor arrives, I will have the luxury of throwing away my TCs and enjoying fast f/2.8 AF (with the bonus of being able to shoot at lowest ISOs). All this while achieving maximum "reach" allowed by the
...Show more

I know we are not close to the 288 MP sensor that you want, but what I love the most about the 7D is related to what you are saying. With 18 MP on a 1.6 crop sensor, the 7D is the first camera that I've used that allows me to do much of my long lens shooting with a 400 mm lens and no extenders, and the obvious advantage of that is that Canon gives us the choice of 3 relatively light weight lens options at 400 mm, and those options allow for mobility, ease of hand held shooting, etc. that cannot be realized with any lenses longer than 400 mm.

The 1D Mark IV comes the closest of any 1-series camera, both before the 1D Mark IV and since the 1D Mark IV, by allowing me do most of my shooting with a 500 mm lens and no extenders. While the 1D Mark IV has, by a good margin, the highest pixel density of any 1-series body, unfortunately, Canon does not give us any 500 mm lens options in the range of 4 pounds, like the 100-400, 400/5.6, and 400 DO. Thus, the 1-series body that will eventually replace my 1D Mark IV will not likely come until there is a 1DX Mark III with pixel density that exceeds that of the 1D Mark IV.

Les



Sep 30, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Liquidstone
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p.5 #12 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


uz2work wrote:
I know we are not close to the 288 MP sensor that you want, but what I love the most about the 7D is related to what you are saying. With 18 MP on a 1.6 crop sensor, the 7D is the first camera that I've used that allows me to do much of my long lens shooting with a 400 mm lens and no extenders, and the obvious advantage of that is that Canon gives us the choice of 3 relatively light weight lens options at 400 mm, and those options allow for mobility, ease of hand held shooting,
...Show more

Les,

As regards "reach" when focal length limited and mobility, even a 7D Mark _ with "just" 72 MP will make a 300 2.8 IS a viable birding set up. Bare, that would be like shooting a 600 f/5.6 IS with the current 7D, but with f/2.8 AF. I could add a 1.4x TC and the "reach" would be similar to a 7D + 840 mm, but with a slightly slower AF. All this in a compact, hand holdable package.

Romy



Sep 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM
uz2work
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p.5 #13 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


kevindar wrote:
The fact is you can get some amazing wildlife shots with manual focus lenses, and the fact that a web sized image is amazing, does not make a camera consistently the best for wildlife.


Among the many things that a web-sized image will not expose is one that can be a severe shortcoming of a camera with low pixel density. A typical web-sized picture at between 700 and 1200 pixels on the long side is the equivalent of a print that is only around 3 or 4 inches on the long side. Thus, with a low pixel density sensor, even with severe cropping, there can be enough pixels left after cropping to produce a web-sized photo that appears to look great. But, without enough pixels, trying to print the picture that comes from a severely cropped file taken with a low pixel density sensor is going to result in a print whose quality falls apart long before you even get to an 8x12 print. Thus, showing examples of photos on the web is a knife that cuts both ways. While many like to claim that web-sized examples hide the deficiencies of a high pixel density camera like the 7D, they also hide the deficiencies of a low pixel density camera.

Les



Sep 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM
alundeb
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p.5 #14 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


uz2work wrote:
That may be one of the best demonstrations that I've seen that shows the advantages of using a high pixel density sensor in focal length-limited situations. And you don't even have to look carefully to see it. Not only does it show the greater ability of the high pixel density sensor to resolve detail, but it also shows clearly that any noise advantage that the 5D Mark II might have started out with is wiped out when you need to upscale its cropped image to match the field of view of the image taken with the camera that has higher
...Show more

Thank you for the acknowledgement, Les. With the most usual reactions being criticism or silence, it is sometimes difficult to get a sense of how a test is understood by the readers.

I did not notice the noise effect clearly until you mentioned it. Indeed it shows that fine grained noise is less disturbing even if the amlitude is significantly higher.

With such huge difference in pixel size, I expect people to become puzzled by what they actually see. It may be difficult to understand that crops that are interpolated 400% or more, actually are very sharp captures and the best quality you can get out of that sensor.

To a less degree, when a 100% crop is presented side by side with a downscaled image, the comparison effect make people start thinking there is something wrong with the 100% crop. But it is just the inherent sampling effect with Bayer filtered sensors. A 100% crop is in fact an interpolated image after the demosaic process, and can never be as sharp as a downscaled image, by principle.

Anders



Oct 01, 2012 at 08:45 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.5 #15 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


coppertop wrote:
I agree but there needs to be a better way of describing the influences of a cropped sensor than the camera having more reach.


Well I prefer the to say effective reach but seeing we get the same pixels per duck on the the lower pixel density sensor with a longer FL lens as the higher pixel density sensor with shorter FL lens, I can't see too much problem with using the term reach.



Oct 01, 2012 at 09:24 AM
Charles Gallo
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p.5 #16 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


I agree re FLL - I have both a 7D and a 5DIII, and have found in a NON FLL limited (or even slightly FLL Limited - say I wish I had a 475mm on the 5DIII, vs the 400, but the 7D isn't limited), the 5DIII blows away the 7D, more for noise and DR - but if you are FLL - sure, I'll grab the 7D. The fun is, you are about to leave the car with ONE body, and it's 50/50 you'll be FLL or not - which do you grab?


Oct 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.5 #17 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


Charles Gallo wrote:
I agree re FLL - I have both a 7D and a 5DIII, and have found in a NON FLL limited (or even slightly FLL Limited - say I wish I had a 475mm on the 5DIII, vs the 400, but the 7D isn't limited), the 5DIII blows away the 7D, more for noise and DR - but if you are FLL - sure, I'll grab the 7D. The fun is, you are about to leave the car with ONE body, and it's 50/50 you'll be FLL or not - which do you grab?


I always take two bodies out when biriding so you can pick and choose the best camera+lens combo for the situation. 7D is always taken with me as I know I'll be FL limited plenty of times with only 500mm + 1.4x as max FL



Oct 01, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Liquidstone
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p.5 #18 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


Charles Gallo wrote:
The fun is, you are about to leave the car with ONE body, and it's 50/50 you'll be FLL or not - which do you grab?


Easy for me - 7D + 500 f4 + 1.4x, I'd leave the 5D2 and 1D4 in the car.



Oct 01, 2012 at 11:08 PM
CW100
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p.5 #19 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


ruhikant wrote:
Recently, there had been 4/5 treads already on this topic in this forum.
If your maximum focal L is 400mm ( not the 400/2.8IS), 7D suits you very well. Since you already have Ef500/4ISL, any camera will serve you well but it depends on your style of shooting.
I have been photographing birds using Ef500/4ISL paired with 1D4 for a while, it is 80K clicks now. Recently, I have added 5D3 and it is about 15K clicks at the moment.. I always take 5D3 when I want to walk a long distance or with no tripod/monopod. I prefer handheld shooting, so a
...Show more

I agree, the 5D3 works for all the scenarios





Oct 02, 2012 at 12:36 PM
abqnmusa
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p.5 #20 · Your choice of body for wildlife?


just my results .... your mileage may vary

For me the 7D was useful with my 400mm lens in excellent light. The 7D put more pixels per duck wtih the downside of having more of a grainy look than full frame, or even the 40D (lesser pixel density crop).

In winter shooting or lower light the 7D often had too much noise due to higher ISO requirements. By the time noise was removed there was no image quality advantage. Yes more pixels on the subject but not an image quality improvement.

At best the 7D had advantages in good light only.

I am getting good results with non-reporting TC's on the 5D III. But this TC induced focal length and image quality will only be usable in good light.

I think there is no substitute for focal length. Too bad none of the White L Canon 400mm+ lenses are affordable. A longer focal length lens is the obvious need.

A 1D IV might be the best compromise of using a crop camera and avoiding noise.

all said I am making the 5D III images work for me. The image quality and focusing is great for wildlife and BIF. Someday I may have a 500mm to work with.



Oct 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
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