Your choice of body for wildlife?
/forum/topic/1152646/3

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Andrew J
Registered: Mar 20, 2006
Total Posts: 3490
Country: United States

Pixels per duck. You will never have a shot with 1 million pixles that out does the same one with 2 million. I defy you to post an example that breaks this rule.



Jonathan Huynh
Registered: May 01, 2003
Total Posts: 9368
Country: United States

1D IV



Schlotkins
Registered: Aug 06, 2004
Total Posts: 2133
Country: United States

I mainly shoot wildlife with a 7D as I am typically focal length limited. After my rotator cuff is fixed, I'm going with a 5DMIII and a 7D.

With that said, I can see the appeal of the 1D IV. If I was shooting in poor conditions on often or was a little better at sneaking up on stuff, I think that's the winner.

Chris



uz2work
Registered: Mar 04, 2004
Total Posts: 11686
Country: United States

Schlotkins wrote:
After my rotator cuff is fixed.


Chris


The advent of IS has definitely allowed many of us to be able to shoot hand-held with much bigger and heavier lenses than would have been the case before IS. I have to wonder, though, how many of us who have done extensive shooting with lenses that weigh 7 or 8 pounds or more are going to discover that the price we ultimately are going to pay for doing so is rotator cuff damage. In the past year, I know that I've had difficulty with the rotator cuffs in both shoulders. While mine didn't require a surgical fix, both of them took about 6 months worth of healing before extreme pain subsided, and I'm not sure that I'll ever recover full range of motion with either shoulder. I'm confident that almost a decade of shooting hand held with my 500/4 was a major contributing factor to the issues I've had, and that is just one more reason why I value the way that the pixel density of the 7D allows me to use a lens that weighs 1/2 of what the 500 weighs and still allows me to put as many pixels on the subject as I would be getting if I used my 500 with my 1D Mark IV.

Les



Suresh T
Registered: Jan 28, 2007
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

RE pixels per duck, for the physics inclined, here is a detailed explanation:

http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/cropfactor/index.html
http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/telephoto_reach/index.html

To summarize the above analysis for the purposes of this discussion, "pixel pitch" determines resolution. Below is the pixel pitch in microns for a few Canons DSLRs (lower is better):

1D3: 7.2
5D2: 6.4
1D4: 5.7
7D: 4.3

To get a better idea of what the above numbers mean, below is a comparison of the "relative" pixels the following body/lens combination puts on a subject at the same distance from the camera (higher is better):

300mm+5D2: 1.0
300mm+1D4: 1.1
300mm+7D: 1.5

400mm+1D4: 1.5
400mm+7D: 2.0

500mm+1D4: 1.9
500mm+7D: 2.5

For example, from the above numbers, 7D+300mm (1.5) resolves for the same camera-to-subject distance:

- as much detail as 1D4+400mm (1.5)
- "50% more" detail as 5D2+300mm (1.0)

Of course, these numbers don't factor in sensor noise/quality, but in good light, a 7D sensor theoretically resolves more detail than the other sensors.

There are also diffraction limits to resolution at very long focal lengths, but I doubt most of us need to worry about that. :-)



Jeff Nolten
Registered: Sep 06, 2006
Total Posts: 1642
Country: United States

I agree with UZ2. Both my 7D and 100-400 are optical compromises compared to the no-cost-barred alternatives currently available. Yet both are good enough to be worthy contenders when cost and weight are considered. Most of my wildlife photography involves travel so portability is a very important consideration when choosing wildlife gear.



vachss
Registered: Oct 09, 2003
Total Posts: 1381
Country: United States

Suresh T wrote: Below is the pixel pitch for a few Canons DSLRs (lower is better):

1D3: 5.0
5D2: 4.4
1D4: 3.9
7D: 3.0


Ummm... in what units might these be At least in microns the pixel pitch of the 5D2 is 6.4 and the 7D is 4.3.

(I told you it was risky to start invoking physics when a bunch of physicists are around).



Suresh T
Registered: Jan 28, 2007
Total Posts: 65
Country: United States

vachss wrote:
Suresh T wrote: Below is the pixel pitch for a few Canons DSLRs (lower is better):

1D3: 5.0
5D2: 4.4
1D4: 3.9
7D: 3.0


Ummm... in what units might these be At least in microns the pixel pitch of the 5D2 is 6.4 and the 7D is 4.3.

(I told you it was risky to start invoking physics when a bunch of physicists are around).


Good catch. I misstated the term in my original post, but my conclusion remains the same. The original numbers are actually the "plate scale" in arc-seconds per pixel for a 300mm lens, and so are proportional to the pixel pitch in microns for those bodies.

I edited my post to correct this, and also interpret these numbers better.



Schlotkins
Registered: Aug 06, 2004
Total Posts: 2133
Country: United States

uz2work wrote:
Schlotkins wrote:
After my rotator cuff is fixed.


Chris


The advent of IS has definitely allowed many of us to be able to shoot hand-held with much bigger and heavier lenses than would have been the case before IS. I have to wonder, though, how many of us who have done extensive shooting with lenses that weigh 7 or 8 pounds or more are going to discover that the price we ultimately are going to pay for doing so is rotator cuff damage. In the past year, I know that I've had difficulty with the rotator cuffs in both shoulders. While mine didn't require a surgical fix, both of them took about 6 months worth of healing before extreme pain subsided, and I'm not sure that I'll ever recover full range of motion with either shoulder. I'm confident that almost a decade of shooting hand held with my 500/4 was a major contributing factor to the issues I've had, and that is just one more reason why I value the way that the pixel density of the 7D allows me to use a lens that weighs 1/2 of what the 500 weighs and still allows me to put as many pixels on the subject as I would be getting if I used my 500 with my 1D Mark IV.

Les


I agree with this completely. Fortunately, I can't blame my big lenses . I tore my playing golf.

Chris



rockant
Registered: Feb 13, 2011
Total Posts: 188
Country: United States

Wow, it amazes me the storm that a question can cause. However it does give me some direction. I do know about bad shoulders, 4th degree right shoulder separation from a bicycle race that ended before it finished.

Now how to save enough for a 1DMkIV?

Anthony



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4526
Country: Norway

Today I went to the nearest park with my favourite camera for "reach", the Pentax Q. Although the birds are wild species, I don't know if it qualifies as wildlife photography, but the stationary poses let me work on a tripod with manual focus and live view, the only way to sensibly use the Pentax Q camera with long lenses. My longest lens is currently the Canon 400mm f/5.6 L, so I am in a sense focal length limited. I could of course use teleconverters, but I prefer not to have the contrast reduction and added chromatic aberrations from those, and rather work with high pixel density.

The Pentax Q sensor is only 6.17 x 4.55 mm, a tiny fraction of a FF 36x24 mm sensor. If we extrapolate the differences between FF and APS-C image quality that has been argued in this thread, one would expect this sensor to produce rubbish.

These images were taken with manual exposure at F/5.6 and 1/60 second. The nominal ISO setting was 200 on both cameras, but they were adjusted to the same brightness in the RAW converter. The same white balance setting was used, and the conversion was done with CaptureOne 6. All noise reduction was turned off, and none applied in post.

An unsharp mask was applied in CS5 to counter lens blur and diffraction. I used strength 100 with both cameras, and a radius that would correspond to roughly the same physical dimension in the image plane. 0.8 pixels for the 5DII and 3.2 pixels for the Pentax Q. Then all images had an output sharpening at final size, at 0.2/150.

I will let you judge if the image quality of The Pentax Q is fine. If you don't like it, I will accept that with no further argument, and think about why you don't like it and try to learn from it.

Finally, if anyone is still in doubt, they can see here beoynd any doubt whatsoever that higher pixel density gives higher resolution, and high quality Canon lenses are not going to be outresolved by high megapixel sensors for a long, long time.

5DII Full image








5DII 100% crop (corresponding roughly to the FOV of the Pentax Q full image)








Pentax Q full image








Pentax Q 100% crop (pixel density corresponding to a 360 MP FF sensor)








5DII crop interpolated to match the FOV of the Pentax Q crop






dbehrens
Registered: Jan 13, 2002
Total Posts: 1894
Country: United States

For me the evolution (for my primary wildlife body) has be D30, D60, 20D, 1D Mk2, (a very short lived) 50D, 1Ds Mk2 and now 1D Mk4. Like other posters here I could post pics showing great convincing results that each of these bodies can take GREAT wildlife pictures. But to be honest the only common thread in all of those bodies was great glass and the opportunity to fill the subject in the viewfinder. (By great glass I mean that all those bodies had a 100-400 as well as either a Canon 500 f/4.5 or 500 f/4).

All of that to say with good glass and the ability to fill the viewfinder you can take great pictures with any of the bodies that have been mentioned. Of course my favorite body is the 1D Mk4, followed by the 1Ds Mk2 and 1D Mk2. But then again I took great pics with the 20D.

I also currently have the 5D Mk2 but did not mentioned it as I do not shoot wildlife with that body. However, if I did not have the 1D Mk4 or 1Ds Mk2 (really a great camera) I would be using the 5D Mk2 - and I'm sure I would have had some good times filling wildlife in its viewfinder.

All that to say you can work with the limitations of your body - but you cannot substitute good glass!

Dave



PetKal
Registered: Sep 06, 2007
Total Posts: 24884
Country: Canada

Anders, that is a good illustration of sensor pixel density effects.

Now, since your Pentax appears to have much higher "reach" than 5D, why don't you try to shoot the same scene, from the same distance, with:

Pentax + 85mm f/1.4
5D + 400 f/5.6



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4526
Country: Norway

PetKal wrote:
Anders, that is a good illustration of sensor pixel density effects.

Now, since your Pentax appears to have much higher "reach" than 5D, why don't you try to shoot the same scene, from the same distance, with:

Pentax + 85mm f/1.4
5D + 400 f/5.6



Peter, I mentioned "reach" as a tongue-in-cheek provocation, but your proposed test is interesting.

It may not be exactly the lenses you mention, but will you accept these premises for the test:

- Same distance to subject

- Same Field Of View

- Same Depth of Field

- Same shutter speed

- Approximately the same number of pixels per image (this will imply a slight cropping of the 5DII)

This would be possible for me to do with:

400 5.6 L + 1.4 TCIII , 560 mm F/8, on the 5DII, cropped to 4000x3000 pixels
135 F/2 on the Pentax Q at 4000x3000 pixels



uz2work
Registered: Mar 04, 2004
Total Posts: 11686
Country: United States

alundeb wrote:
Today I went to the nearest park with my favourite camera for "reach", the Pentax Q. Although the birds are wild species, I don't know if it qualifies as wildlife photography, but the stationary poses let me work on a tripod with manual focus and live view, the only way to sensibly use the Pentax Q camera with long lenses. My longest lens is currently the Canon 400mm f/5.6 L, so I am in a sense focal length limited. I could of course use teleconverters, but I prefer not to have the contrast reduction and added chromatic aberrations from those, and rather work with high pixel density.

The Pentax Q sensor is only 6.17 x 4.55 mm, a tiny fraction of a FF 36x24 mm sensor. If we extrapolate the differences between FF and APS-C image quality that has been argued in this thread, one would expect this sensor to produce rubbish.

These images were taken with manual exposure at F/5.6 and 1/60 second. The nominal ISO setting was 200 on both cameras, but they were adjusted to the same brightness in the RAW converter. The same white balance setting was used, and the conversion was done with CaptureOne 6. All noise reduction was turned off, and none applied in post.

An unsharp mask was applied in CS5 to counter lens blur and diffraction. I used strength 100 with both cameras, and a radius that would correspond to roughly the same physical dimension in the image plane. 0.8 pixels for the 5DII and 3.2 pixels for the Pentax Q. Then all images had an output sharpening at final size, at 0.2/150.

I will let you judge if the image quality of The Pentax Q is fine. If you don't like it, I will accept that with no further argument, and think about why you don't like it and try to learn from it.

Finally, if anyone is still in doubt, they can see here beoynd any doubt whatsoever that higher pixel density gives higher resolution, and high quality Canon lenses are not going to be outresolved by high megapixel sensors for a long, long time.

5DII Full image








5DII 100% crop (corresponding roughly to the FOV of the Pentax Q full image)








Pentax Q full image








Pentax Q 100% crop (pixel density corresponding to a 360 MP FF sensor)








5DII crop interpolated to match the FOV of the Pentax Q crop






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 pixel density.

Unfortunately, though, you can be assured that there were still be many who don't want to be bothered to be confused with the facts.

Les


PetKal
Registered: Sep 06, 2007
Total Posts: 24884
Country: Canada

Anders, yes, please see what you can do with that.

When looking at two different cameras, and all other things being equal, and that is a key premise, then, naturally, the body with higher resolution should yield a higher amount of detail, assuming that the lens used has an "infinite" resolution. That means, effectively, that the entire "system" resolution is governed by the camera resolution.

However, all other things are never equal between two different cameras.
Furthermore, once we start substituting lens FL for sensor "magnification", a couple of effects take place which places the shorter FL lens at disadvantage. One is the AF system which is crop independent, ie., its "resolution" is not in synch with the imaging sensor resolution. Therefore, with the reduced lens magnification, the AF system ability to focus on the same target diminishes as well.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

uz2work, let me guess: 1D4,7D,1D4, 7D, 7D, 7D, 1D4, 7D














uz2work
Registered: Mar 04, 2004
Total Posts: 11686
Country: United States

splathrop wrote:
uz2work, let me guess: 1D4,7D,1D4, 7D, 7D, 7D, 1D4, 7D




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.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

Anders, looking at your similar-framing images, I suspect the focus point in the 5D II image is somewhat short of the duck's eye, and may have missed the duck altogether. The body feathers look more comparable between the images than the heads do. If so, that may be affecting your comparison.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4526
Country: Norway

splathrop wrote:
Anders, looking at your similar-framing images, I suspect the focus point in the 5D II image is somewhat short of the duck's eye, and may have missed the duck altogether. The body feathers look more comparable between the images than the heads do. If so, that may be affecting your comparison.


Don't think so. There is moire in the feather behind the body.








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