October 29th, 2014

3-Camera Quality ID Answers and More & Painstaking? Yes.

The Streak Continues: 333

Yesterday was a day of trying to deal with the challenges of transitioning from a PC to a MAC after a lifetime of the former…. This blog post, the 333rd in a row, took me about 2 1/2 hours to prepare. It was published at about 7:15am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL.

After getting back from a morning photo session down by the lake Jim informed me that this was the first blog post inadvertently published without a title. That was rectified at 8:37am :)

Please help us out…

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.



If what you learned here on my blog about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II has inspired you to purchase this great new camera body, please consider using the logo link above to support our efforts here in bringing you the latest, greatest educational materials on daily basis.


aaa

Image A

Image A

Image A was created with the EOS-1D X.


bbb

Image B

Image B

Image B was created with a beta version EOS-7D Mark II.


ccc

Image C

Image C

Image C was created with the EOS-5D Mark III.

Thoughts

If the premise that the images from the 3 camera bodies cropped to the same subject size would be easily distinguishable with the 5D III image showing the best image quality and the greatest detail and the 7D II image showing the worst image quality the rankings would have unanimously looked like this:

A: 1D X
B: 7D II
C: 5D III

Having seen the converted RAW files I would have rated image C as best by a slim margin with images A and B pretty much equal. Even at that, to my eye all three JPEGs looked pretty darned good.

Results

Amazingly, to me at least, eleven folks nailed the test, whatever it was worth, rating image C–from the 5D III–as best, image A–the 1D X image–as next best, and image B–from the 7D II–as the worst of the lot. That said, six folks thought that image C was the “worst” by assigning it to the 7D II. Several folks felt that the images were either very close or virtually indistinguishable. All of the above of course assuming that folks understood the issues involved….

Nick, commenting on a similar post here, stated that the “test” (my quotation marks) made no sense nor could it provide any valid information. I have no clue as to whether he is right or wrong but he seemed to know what he is talking about.

Conclusions

#1: As I have stated here many times, I simply do not have a good eye for fine detail. Why do I say that? Many folks in addition to the nine who nailed the test clearly identified the 7D II image as having the poorest quality.
#2: With more than a few folks feeling as I did that the images were quite close in quality, the 7D II is a seriously good, reasonably priced digital camera body that produces quality images while offering great reach via its 1.6X crop factor sensor.
#3: Bogus or not, the test was lots of fun and led to a wonderful exchange of ideas. Flawed or not, I will look for a way to repeat it with a cooperative avian subject.
4: For the most part, I will go back to doing what I do best: make good images. And my plan for the immediate future is to continue using the 7D II for nearly all of my photography. Those who see me as a shill for all things Canon need to ask themselves, “Would he be choosing and using the 7D II while keeping his 5D III and his two 1D X bodies in the bag?”


galapagos-storm-petrel-_09u8964-north-seymour-galapagos

This image was created on the 2013 Galapagos Photo-Cruise with the hand held the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC engaged at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops off the light blue water: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode was about 1/2 stop too dark. AWB.

Central Sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus AF barely caught the petrel’s right wing as originally framed and was of course active at the moment of exposure. Learn everything there is to know about the 1D X and 5D III AF systems including how to manage the various AF Area Selection Modes, when to use which one, and several ways to move the AF sensor around in my 1D X AF Guide and the 5D Mark III User’s Guide. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. .

Galapagos Storm Petrel dip feeding

Painstaking, or Not?

In the “Painstaking or Not?” blog post here, I wrote:

Did this image take 8 minutes to optimize? Or one hour and eight minutes to optimize? Is there any evidence that major Photoshop “fowl” play or is this pretty much straight out of camera with a fairly large crop? If the former, what did I do?


09u8964-north-seymour-galapagos

This JPEG represents the original capture from which the optimized storm petrel image was created.

Painstaking?

Yes, the image optimization, which took one hour eight minutes, was painstakingly done. I worked large and carefully. It was a relatively large crop. Best of all, nobody detected any evidence of Photoshop hanky panky.

The Image Optimization

After converting the 1D X RAW file in DPP 4 I brought the image into Photoshop. The unfortunate 2nd bird that merged with my primary subject was removed using a variety of techniques and tools that included Divide and Conquer cloning, the Clone Stamp Tool, the Patch Tool, several Quick Masks, and Denise Ippolito protective cloning on a Layer, the latter two fine tuned of course using Regular Layer Masks. Then some NIK 50/50 work, some Eye Doctor work, and some selective sharpening of the face via a Contrast Mask. Voila.

The DPP 4 eGuide

The RAW file for this image was converted in the original DPP 4. DPP v4.01.0 now supports the 1D X, the 5D III, the 6D, and the soon to be shipped 7D Mark II. It is a totally new program, far more sophisticated and complex than the various iterations of DPP 3. Thus, Arash and I created a new, stand-alone eGuide for DPP 4, one that really simplifies things. As so much work and effort went into the creation of the DPP 4 eGuide, it does require a separate purchase. Learn more about this great new guide by clicking here, or purchase a copy here.

Those using older Canon camera bodies like the 1D Mark IV, the 7D, the 50D, the 40D, the various Rebels (not recommended for serious nature photography), are directed to the original DPP RAW Conversion Guide click here. DPP 3 (the latest version is DPP v3.14.41.0) does a fine job of converting images from the older camera bodies. I used it for several years.

DPP 4 eGuide Kudoa via e-mail from Melvin Grey

Artie, Thank you very much for creating and sending the superb new guide and for the excellent service.THANK YOU and ARASH, once again, for an invaluable guide and THANK YOU for your continuing educational blogs. Melvin

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s images is covered in detail in my Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Digital Basics File is an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips (including the recommended Surface Blur settings as taught to me by Denise Ippolito), details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, Contrast Masks, Digital Eye Doctor, using Gaussian Blurs, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

APTATS I & II

Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS II. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only. Please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 weekdays to order.

New Used Photo Gear Listing

You can see the complete and right now extensive listings here. The highlights include a mint Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and two Canon Tilt Shift lenses.

Used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Lens

Kathleen Graff is offering a used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM lens in very good to excellent condition for $4799. The sale includes the front leather hood, the rear dust cap, the original case with keys, a Lens Coat, a 4th GD Custom Lens Adapter Plate CP-51, the lens manual, and insured shipping to US addresses only. Photos available. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Kathleen via e-mail with a copy sent here. Alternatively, you can try her by phone at 262-797-2530 or 262-389-7998.

The old five was at one time the world’s most popular telephoto lens. It still makes great images with both TCs.

IPT Updates

Most IPTs are either sold out or nearly full. For complete IPT info and info on related programs please visit the IPT page here.


hooptie-card-shadle-aa

Images courtesy of and copyright Captain James Shadle (aka Froggie). All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbills and More Instructional Photo-Tour via pontoon boat. 4 1/2 DAYs: $3200. SUN FEB 22 thru lunch on THUR FEB 26, 2015/Strict Limit: 6 photographers/Sold Out.

You can see the complete details by scrolling down in the blog post post here. Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


bosque-2014-ipt-card

Join Denise Ippolito and me for four great days of photography and learning at one of our soul places. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). NOV 29 (afternoon photo session)-DEC 3 (morning session), 2014. Totaling 4 FULL-DAYS: $1449. Leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Saturday 11/29. Limit 16/Openings: 2

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


bosque-creative-card-2014-1200-wide

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for two great days of photography, fun, and learning at one of our favorite soul places. We will surely be taking you out of the box on this workshop. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


san-diego-ipt-card-layers

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2015 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): FEB 1 thru the morning of FEB 5, 2015: $1799 (Limit: 8/Sold Out)

Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


palouse-2015-cardE

Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) #2/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 2.


uk-puffins-card-ii-layers

Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Openings 2. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.


galapagos-composite

Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 5.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

October 28th, 2014

The 7D Mark II: A Better AF System. BAA Mac Attack! Great 7D II/DPP v4.01.0 News.

The Streak Continues: 332

Yesterday was a another day of crossing things off my long to-do list as two months away from home (but for three days in early December) looms closer and closer…. I did make time for my morning meditation and for an easy 3/4 mile swim followed by ten minutes of forced laughter. This blog post, the 332nd in a row, took me about 3 hours to prepare. It was published just before 4:30am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. I was up very early today :).


great-blue-heron-in-pink-blue-_36a1593-fort-desoto-county-park-pinellas-fl

This image was created at 7:33am just after sunrise on the very cloudy morning of 20 October at Fort DeSoto Park. I used the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens (hand held at 200mm) and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 3200 (from small RAW). Evaluative metering plus 2 1/3 stops: 1/1000 sec. at f/3.5 in Tv mode. AWB.

Three sensors to the left of the central sensor/Rear Focus/AI Servo Surround AF on the bend of the bird’s folded wing as framed. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Why the Canon EOS-7D Mark II AF System is Better

The beta version of the 7D II does an excellent job of acquiring and maintaining accurate focus in extreme low light, low contrast situations. In an effort to understand exactly why, I came up with the following:

Each 7D II AF point is a cross-type AF point with most lenses f/5.6 or faster. This means that subjects with at least some horizontal or vertical detail can be quickly acquired by the AF system. The cross-type sensors double the chance of focusing on subjects with little detail or texture. The 7D II also has a high-precision diagonal cross-type central sensor when used with f/2.8 or faster lenses. In addition, as we have learned here already, the center AF point will continue to work with extenders down to f/8. In other words you will have AF at f/8 with an f/5.6 lens like the EF 400mm f/5.6 L and a 1.4X TC and also with an f/4 lens like the EF 600mm f/4L IS II lens and a 2X TC. You also have the option it utilize the AF Expand Area Selection Mode when you are at f/8 effective maximum aperture.

Was every image that I created on that no light, no contrast morning as razor sharp on the eye as today’s image? No. But it was obvious that the 7D II did a better job of in this difficult situation than any previous Canon digital camera body. And some of the misses were due to operator error.

Another 7D II Advantage

I had been using the 300mm f/2.8L IS earlier on that morning but found myself having to back up often as the birds were too large in the frame. So I grabbed the 70-200 II and went to work. Being able to go to a physically smaller, lighter lens makes it easier to hand hold and easier follow the action. Going to the zoom of course allowed for nearly infinite framing options. It is easy to come to love this 1.6 crop factor camera for birds and for wildlife.

MAC Attack

Several times over the past two weeks I have opened my new Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display (Mid-2014) determined to process a new image and create a blog post on this new laptop. Until today, those efforts ended in failure with me stopped cold by something seemingly so simple. Today? Success.

Older daughter Jennifer has been a huge help with both setting up the MacBook and learned to navigate my way around the various programs, windows if you would :). As Parallels was included in my B&H purchase, BreezeBrowser is running smoothly on the Mac and transition from it to various Mac OS programs is pretty much seamless. Though I still struggle with some simple things I am sure that in two weeks time I will look back with a chuckle.

My MacBook Pro is light as a feather and lightning fast. And the screen is both gorgeous and incredibly sharp.

If you know the keystroke commands for “go to the beginning or end of a line of type” I would appreciate your sharing them with my by leaving a comment. And how about “refresh page” in Chrome?


dpp-4

DPP 4 is completely new and different from the various versions of DPP 3. It handles files only from the following cameras: EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS-6D, and the EOS-7D Mark II.

Great 7D II/DPP v4.01.0 News

An updated version of Canon Digital Photo Professional that supports RAW files from the EOS-7D Mark II was made available for download the Canon USA website. Though some folks had trouble getting access to the Mac version of DPP v4.1.0.1 I was able to download and install it easily yesterday evening. Hint for Mac folks: after you double click on the downloaded zip file you need to go to your desktop and click on the icon that was magically created there in order to begin the installation.

To download DPP v4.1 first click here and then click on Drivers and Software and follow the prompts.


dpp-4-guide

The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris is now available. Click here to order.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF)

BIRDS AS ART is proud to announce the release of The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris: $40.

Artie first went to DPP because he was not happy with the colors he was getting with 1D X and 5D III images from ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). Though less than intuitive, he found it fast and easy to use once he mastered the basics. He collaborated with Arash Hazeghi on the first DPP RAW Conversion Guide. Do understand that the DPP RAW Conversion Guide details the use of various iterations of DPP 3. He calls those the DPP 3.whatever versions. The latest version is DPP 3.14.41.0.

Some time ago Canon released DPP 4.0, completely and utterly new and different from DPP 3. When it was introduced DPP 4 worked only EOS-1D X, EOS-5D Mark III, and EOS-6D images and that is still the case today. It will not work with RAW files from older Canon digital camera bodies. Both authors are hoping that a new version of DPP 4 that will convert EOS-7D Mark II images will be released soon.

In the meantime, DPP 4 performs superbly with his 1D X and 5D III images. When he first opened DPP 4 he felt as if he were in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 and was being asked to fly it. There were so many tabs and buttons and controls that he simply closed the program. He immediately called Arash and asked him if he wanted to work together on a DPP 4 guide. After 100s of hours of work the guide is now ready to teach you to conveniently and easily use DPP 4 to create the finest possible image files from your 1D X, 5D III, and 6D image files. Basically, Arash sent artie a sophisticated outline that he re-crafted into a clear, concise, easily understood, and easy to follow how-to guide written in the BAA style. Arash created all of the charts, diagrams, and graphics.

His charts with recommendations for both Chrominance and Luminance Noise Reduction values for each of the 3 covered cameras at various ISO settings are alone worth the price of the book. He spent many dozens of hours experimenting with high ISO RAW files and shares his findings with you in the DPP 4 Guide. Folks will surely want to create some sort of easily accessible quick reference on their laptops and home computers.

DPP offers a host of great features some but not all of which are reminiscent of ACR. These include the following: Multi-image display, the extremely valuable Before/after Comparison layout, Highlight/shadow warnings, White Balance, and the eight RAW Conversion tabs that include sliders for Brightness, Highlights, Shadows, Contrast, Hue-Saturation, Color Tone, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminance), Lens Corrections, and Digital Lens Optimizer among others. We teach you how to best utilize each of those and many more. We share our slightly different DPP workflows and dozens of tips that will simply make your life easier. Arash uses DPP4′s rating system for choosing his keepers while artie continues to rely on BreezeBrowser Pro for that. DPP offers a variety of sorting filters. We explain all of the options. In addition, we teach you how to set your preferences and how to arrange your workspace for the greatest efficiency.

Both authors firmly believe that the manufacturer’s conversion algorithms will always out-perform 2nd party software when it comes to preserving image quality, fine detail, and accurate color rendition.

The authors wish to thank Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston of Canon USA for their help; they are always available to answer our nit-picking questions. Sincere thanks also to Ken Kovak, Bob Schwartz, Dane Johnson, and John Stuhlmuller for their thoughtful and substantive reviews of late drafts of the DPP 4 manuscript.

You can order your copy of the DPP 4 Guide for $40 through the BAA Online Store by clicking here, by calling Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 with credit card in hand, by sending us a check made out to “Arthur Morris” or a money order for $40 to BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, or by by sending a Paypal for $40 to e-mail. IN the latter two instances be sure to note DPP 4 Guide so we know what you are ordering :).

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

October 27th, 2014

Image Quality Camera ID Challenge: 7D II/1D X/5D III. DPP 4 Guide Released! Great New Used Gear Listings Priced to Sell Instantly

The Streak Continues: 331

Yesterday was a day of crossing things off my long to-do list as two months away from home (but for three days in early December) looms closer and closer…. I did make time for my morning meditation and for an easy one mile swim followed by ten minutes of forced laughter. My mile swim is about 88 lengths of the pool. Uncharacteristically, I had a nasty cramp in my left calf and had to quit and walk the last half of the last lap. You gotta love it.

This blog post, the 331st in a row, took me about 3 1/2 hours to prepare. It was published sometime before 8:30am so that Jim can get the DPP 4 into the BIRDS AS ART Online Store for your ordering convenience.

Please help us out…

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.



If what you learned here on my blog about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II has inspired you to purchase this great new camera body, please consider using the logo link above to support our efforts here in bringing you the latest, greatest educational materials on daily basis.


dpp-4-guide

The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris is now available. Click here to order.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF)

BIRDS AS ART is proud to announce the release of The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris: $40.

Artie first went to DPP because he was not happy with the colors he was getting with 1D X and 5D III images from ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). Though less than intuitive, he found it fast and easy to use once he mastered the basics. He collaborated with Arash Hazeghi on the first DPP RAW Conversion Guide. Do understand that the DPP RAW Conversion Guide details the use of various iterations of DPP 3. He calls those the DPP 3.whatever versions. The latest version is DPP 3.14.41.0.

Some time ago Canon released DPP 4.0, completely and utterly new and different from DPP 3. When it was introduced DPP 4 worked only EOS-1D X, EOS-5D Mark III, and EOS-6D images and that is still the case today. It will not work with RAW files from older Canon digital camera bodies. Both authors are hoping that a new version of DPP 4 that will convert EOS-7D Mark II images will be released soon.

In the meantime, DPP 4 performs superbly with his 1D X and 5D III images. When he first opened DPP 4 he felt as if he were in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 and was being asked to fly it. There were so many tabs and buttons and controls that he simply closed the program. He immediately called Arash and asked him if he wanted to work together on a DPP 4 guide. After 100s of hours of work the guide is now ready to teach you to conveniently and easily use DPP 4 to create the finest possible image files from your 1D X, 5D III, and 6D image files. Basically, Arash sent artie a sophisticated outline that he re-crafted into a clear, concise, easily understood, and easy to follow how-to guide written in the BAA style. Arash created all of the charts, diagrams, and graphics.

His charts with recommendations for both Chrominance and Luminance Noise Reduction values for each of the 3 covered cameras at various ISO settings are alone worth the price of the book. He spent many dozens of hours experimenting with high ISO RAW files and shares his findings with you in the DPP 4 Guide. Folks will surely want to create some sort of easily accessible quick reference on their laptops and home computers.

DPP offers a host of great features some but not all of which are reminiscent of ACR. These include the following: Multi-image display, the extremely valuable Before/after Comparison layout, Highlight/shadow warnings, White Balance, and the eight RAW Conversion tabs that include sliders for Brightness, Highlights, Shadows, Contrast, Hue-Saturation, Color Tone, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminance), Lens Corrections, and Digital Lens Optimizer among others. We teach you how to best utilize each of those and many more. We share our slightly different DPP workflows and dozens of tips that will simply make your life easier. Arash uses DPP4′s rating system for choosing his keepers while artie continues to rely on BreezeBrowser Pro for that. DPP offers a variety of sorting filters. We explain all of the options. In addition, we teach you how to set your preferences and how to arrange your workspace for the greatest efficiency.

Both authors firmly believe that the manufacturer’s conversion algorithms will always out-perform 2nd party software when it comes to preserving image quality, fine detail, and accurate color rendition.

The authors wish to thank Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston of Canon USA for their help; they are always available to answer our nit-picking questions. Sincere thanks also to Ken Kovak, Bob Schwartz, Dane Johnson, and John Stuhlmuller for their thoughtful and substantive reviews of late drafts of the DPP 4 manuscript.

You can order your copy of the DPP 4 Guide for $40 through the BAA Online Store by clicking here, by calling Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 with credit card in hand, by sending us a check made out to “Arthur Morris” or a money order for $40 to BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, or by by sending a Paypal for $40 to e-mail. IN the latter two instances be sure to note DPP 4 Guide so we know what you are ordering :).


stop-sign-in-water-_36a1480-indian-lake-estates-fl

This image was created at 8:36am on the clear morning of 19 October down by the lake near my home. I used the BLUBB-supported/hand held Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 200mm) and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. AWB.

Focus was set with Central sensor Rear Focus/AI Servo AF on the edge of the letter “O” as framed. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Typo Notice

The image above, all three images in fact, were created at ISO 400. Not at ISO 1600 as originally stated. Someone with a decent knowledge of exposure should have caught that…. Why? 1/1000 sec. at f/8 in pretty bright sun at ISO 1600 would have been two stops over.

Creating the Three Images

I set up the tripod and pulled the legs out tight to the tabs. I framed the image with the 7DII at 200mm. I locked down all the tripod head controls and the tripod collar. I created several images at ISO 400 at f/8. Then I traded out the 7D II for the 1D X and made several images at ISO 400 at f/8. Then I traded out the 1D X for the 5D III and made several images at ISO 400 at f/8. Back at the ranch I chose the sharpest image from each set. I converted the 7D II image in DPP v3.14.41.0, I converted the 5DIII and 1D X images in DPP v4.0.

Then I executed my plan for creating the JPEGs for comparison.

I started with the 5D III. I enlarged it to 100% view by clicking twice on the Zoom Tool. I set the crop ratio to 1:1, a perfect square. I started at the uppermost point of the octagon and dragged the crop down to the very edge of what looks like the block letter “D”(but which in reality was the letter “P” and its reflection). I executed the same crop as closely as possible to the 1D X and the 7D II images. Then I set the crop to 550 px by 550 px and cropped each image.

Each JPEG was marginally adjusted for brightness and saturation so that the three were fairly similar.

That is a close as I could come to a fair comparison….

The three JPEGs are presented below labeled A, B, and C. It is your job to let us know which image if any you think has the best image quality and which has the worst. Which if any shows the most fine detail and which shows the least? Which if any image shows the most noise and which shows the least?

I will share my thoughts on the comparative JPEGs and reveal which JPEG was made by which camera here in Wednesday’s blog post.


aaa

Image A

Image A

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of the image quality, the fine detail, and the noise levels for Image A as compared to Images B and C. Or, you can simply let us know which camera created A, B, and C by leaving a comment like this:

A: 1D X
B: 7D II
C: 5D III

Please understand that the above is simply an arbitrary representation of what your answer might look like. It might be designed to deceive you. Or not.


bbb

Image B

Image B

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of the image quality, the fine detail, and the noise levels for Image B as compared to Images A and C. Or, you can simply let us know which camera created A, B, and C by leaving a comment like this:

A: 1D X
B: 7D II
C: 5D III

Please understand that the above is simply an arbitrary representation of what your answer might look like. It might be designed to deceive you. Or not.


ccc

Image C

Image C

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of the image quality, the fine detail, and the noise levels for Image C as compared to Images A and B. Or, you can simply let us know which camera created A, B, and C by leaving a comment like this:

A: 1D X
B: 7D II
C: 5D III

Please understand that the above is simply an arbitrary representation of what your answer might look like. It might be designed to deceive you. Or not.

Great New Used Gear Listings Priced to Sell Instantly

You can see all of the current listings here. If you have e-mailed me about selling used gear on the blog and I dropped the ball, please shoot me an e-mail with the info. Sorry, but I have been swamped :).

Used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Lens

Mike Stevens is offering a used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM lens in like-new condition (used just once) for a ridiculously low $4999. The sale includes the front leather hood, the rear dust cap, the original case, a Wimberley P-50 lens plate, and insured shipping to US addresses only. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made; Paypal is an option.

Please contact Mike via e-mail, by phone at 951-260-2507, or on his cell at 951-821-1600.

The old five was at one time the world’s most popular telephoto lens. It still makes great images with both TCs.

Used Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Lens

Mike Stevens is offering a used Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM lens in like-new condition (used just once) for a ridiculously low $7999. The sale includes the front leather hood, the rear dust cap, the original case, a Wimberley P-50 lens plate, and insured shipping to US addresses only. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made; Paypal is an option.

Please contact Mike via e-mail, by phone at 951-260-2507, or on his cell at 951-821-1600.

The 800 was my go-to super-telephoto lens for about 4 years.

Used EOS-1D Mark IV Digital Camera Body

Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Monte Brown is offering a used EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera body in excellent condition (with about 22,000 shutter actuations) for $2449. The sale includes the charger and an extra battery, the original box, cables, software, manuals, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. Your camera will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Monte via e-mail or by phone at 765-744-1421 (Eastern time).

Two Mark IVs served as my workhorse bodies for more than three years.

Used Canon EF 100-400mm L IS Zoom Lens

Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Monte Brown is offering a used Used Canon EF 100-400mm IS L zoom lens in very good to excellent condition for only $899. The sale includes both front and rear lens caps, the older-style tough fabric case, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Monte via e-mail or by phone at 765-744-1421 (Eastern time).

I used and loved my 100-400 for many years. Monte’s is one of the sharpest copies of this lens that I have ever seen. On a bear boat trip he made dozens of super-sharp Bald Eagle images that amazed everyone in the group.

Used Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS Zoom Lens

Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Monte Brown is offering a used Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS Zoom Lens in very good to excellent condition for only $799. The sale includes both front and rear lens caps, the older-style tough fabric case, the original box, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Monte via e-mail or by phone at 765-744-1421 (Eastern time).

I used this lens for about two years. It makes a great lightweight, intermediate telephoto lens that is sharp, easily hand held, and works well with a 1.4X teleconverter. It is great for hand held flight photography and would go great with a 7D II as a starter bird photography lens for folks who work around relatively tame birds.


hooptie-card-shadle-aa

Images courtesy of and copyright Captain James Shadle (aka Froggie). All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbills and More Instructional Photo-Tour via pontoon boat. 4 1/2 DAYs: $3200. SUN FEB 22 thru lunch on THUR FEB 26, 2015/Strict Limit: 6 photographers/Sold Out

Sold out. Please e-mail to have your name placed on the waiting list in case of a cancellation. You can see the complete details by scrolling down in the blog post here.

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