BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #306 is on-line here: http://www.birdsasart.com/2009/11/20/birds-as-art-bulletin-306 with lots of great images from my San Diego/Del Mar trip.
7D First Impressions
|800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the Canon EOS-7D. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6.|
I finally got a chance to try the relatively new Canon EOS-7D and I gotta say that I was most impressed, especially with the all new AF system. Focus on any subject with the central sensor and recompose and the system switches sensors to stay with the originally selected subject. You can actually see the active sensor or sensors change as you track the subject. AF is fast and sure; I never once lost focus on the cranes in flight. And best of all, the resulting images are tack sharp. In the image above I started with the central sensor and the bird in the middle of the frame. Even though I moved the bird back in the frame and several other birds flew by, the AF system was not fooled into losing the original subject.
This image was created at ISO 1000. There was a bit of noise that was easily controlled with Photoshop CS3′s noise reduction. As always, the best way to combat noise with any camera is to push the exposure to the right as far as possible without getting any blinkies.
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-7D. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 set manually.|
AI Servo AF tracking is fast and accurate even with birds flying right at you. The noise at ISO 400 is not a problem at all. And with 18 million pixels and the 7D’s superb image quality even substantial crops will yield superb optimized files.
|This is the original capture for the image above.|
To remove the two cranes in the background, I used the protect and defend cloning techniques. To level the image quickly, I used my personal Keyboard Shortcuts (as taught to me by Robert O’Toole). To smooth out the background bushes, I used the Patch Tool. To sharpen the eyes and face I used the Eye Doctor techniques along with a contrast mask. All of the above techniques are described in the recently revised, re-organized, and updated Digital Basics Flie: https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=32
You can learn more about the 7D here: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=314&modelid=19356
|Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-7D. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops: 1/30 sec. at f/16.|
Not to beat a dead horse, but the all new 7D AF system is superb.
Overall conditions at Bosque are fair at best but the crane pools have been superb in both mornings and evenings. If you will be visiting Bosque this season, you will surely want a copy of your Bosque Site Guide: https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=19. I will be sending a free update no later than very early December detailing the current conditions and hotspots.
Here is a comment from Scott Bourne on the capabilities of the 7D: “Canon is light years ahead of Nikon in the VIDEO department; the 7D produces video files as good as those from great costing many tens of thousands of dollars. I will try to post either some of Scott’s Bosque video or a link to same here soon.