Canon EOS-7D Mark II AF at f/8 & Mode Dial Info/ DPP 4.0 Before and After Magic « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS-7D Mark II AF at f/8 & Mode Dial Info/ DPP 4.0 Before and After Magic

The Streak Continues: 292

I am almost finished with the first edit of the DPP 4.0 RAW Conversion eGuide that I am doing with Arash Hazeghi. We spoke on the phone yesterday for a bit so I have some re-writing to do today. We will spend an hour or two on the phone on Saturday morning; I should be sending Arash the MS Word file that afternoon. The price of this extensive guide will be $40. The PDF will be sent via e-mail or via Hightail.

The rest of my day was made up of meditating and breathing exercises, a nice easy swim, healthy eating, a short nap, a 44 minute ice bath, and answering about a zillion e-mails. All that followed by another good night’s sleep.This blog post, the 292nd in a row, was published at about 6:45am from my home in Indian Lake Estates, FL.

As always, I would appreciate your using the BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases, using our Amazon logo-link for all of your household purchases, and visiting the BAA Online Store for your tripod, tripod head, LensCoat, miscellaneous, accessories, and eGuide purchases as well. Please remember, web orders only. 🙂

EOS-7D Mark II Thanks!

Thanks a stack to the 18 folks who pre-ordered their EOS 7D Mark II bodies (and lots of accessories) using a BAA affiliate link. If you missed all of yesterday’s excitement, click here. And best of luck to Geoffrey Cuff of the Cayman Islands with the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens that he ordered in similar fashion.

Convinced? Click on the logo-link immediately below to pre-order yours. This will be one hot-ticket item; the sooner you get your name on the pre-order list, the sooner you will have a 7D II in your hands.

Not convinced? Click here and be sure to see tomorrow’s blog post.

Canon EOS-7D Mark II AF at f/8 Info

Though it seemed likely from the 7D II info on several websites that the new camera would focus to f/8, it was great to have that confirmed via e-mail by Canon USA’s top tech guru, Chuck Westfall, Advisor, Technical Information, ITCG Prof Bus Strategy Plan Division, Canon U.S.A., Inc.

He wrote:

The 7D Mark II is the same as 1D X re: autofocus at f/8. Central point is fully supported for cross-type focusing, and focusing point expansion around the central point is also supported.

My Comments on the 7D II AF

I responded to a 7D AF question as follows:

I am sure that the 7D II will focus better than the 7D on any lens. I am sure that the 7D II will AF just fine with the older EF lenses. And I am sure that it will AF faster and more accurately with the Series II super-telephotos than with the older lenses. Not because of anything to do with the camera, simply because the Series II lenses feature better AF than the older lenses.

To be sure that I was not stepping out of bounds with the statement above, I ran it by Chuck Westfall. He responded by e-mail: “Looks good to me.

EOS-7D Mark II Mode Dial Info

Here is another 7D II plus,adapted from a Ken Shelton e-mail:

A Mode dial that can be locked is now standard; you have to push the center lock button to be able to rotate the dial. As the original 7D came out of the box, it was easy to inadvertently rotate the Mode dial. Fixing the problem was a $125 factory add-on. This change is important to me.

Ken surely got is money’s worth with his original EOS-7D; the shutter failed 638,444 actuations!


This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on the cloudy afternoon of September 14, 2012 at 6:37pm with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: 1/1250 sec. at f/8. Should have been +2 2/3 stops….

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF on the front center of the curve of he neck as framed above was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. This is the full frame original (well under-exposed) image capture.

Great Blue Heron with Small Pipefish

Sometimes we simply screw up the exposure. It happens to me on occasion when I am in too much of a hurry. When we do, dealing with the noise caused by underexposure has always been a problem. As you can see by taking a close look at the optimized image below, DPP 4.0 does a great job with handling the noise caused by underexposures, even relatively severe underexposures. Arash spent many days and countless hours coming up with his suggested values for both luminance and chrominance noise reduction. The two charts in the new eGuide–coming fairly soon, include his recommended values for the 5D Mark III/6D and for the 1D X for each ISO from 400 to 6400. In every case that I have encountered Arash’s values out-performed the values that were automatically suggested by DPP 4.0 in terms of reducing noise while maintaining fine feather detail.


This is the optimized image that was created from the underexposed original image that opened this blog post.

DPP 4.0 Before and After Magic

After opening this image in DPP 4.0 the first thing that I did was move the Brightness slider one full stop to the right to 1.00. Then I moved the Shadow slider to the right to +2.2 to bring up the darker tones a bit more. Then I increased both the Contrast and the Saturation one click to 1.0. Next, on the Adjust image detail tab, I applied Arash’s brilliant noise reduction values for the 1D X at ISO 800 as described above. In the new guide we teach you how to easily compare before and after magnified views. Unfortunately the Lens data for the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens is not and never has been available for any version of DPP. As a result, I had to deal with the vignetting in Photoshop after the RAW file was converted. I used both the Crop Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool (that latter at 80%). That was followed by a bit of water surface clean-up, NIK 50-50 on the face and neck, dust spotting, and selective sharpening of the face and neck via a Contrast Mask. Then I saved my master file, duplicated the image for safety, cropped the copy to 1200 pixels wide, sharpened it, and used Save for Web optimized to < 395kb for both the blog and for posting on BPN. Done deal.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here. Coming soon: The DPP 4.0 RAW Conversion Guide by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris. The more that I use DPP 4.0 for my RAW conversions the more I am impressed with it. Today, I will be finishing up my edit of our new DPP RAW Conversion eGuide. Note: at present, DPP 4.0 supports only 1D X, 5D Mark III, and 6D images.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s image 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, details on using all of my killer 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, Digital Eye Doctor, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.


Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

First-ever BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meetup Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $50

Join me on the afternoon of October 10, 2014 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place at least two weeks before the event.


Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Fort DeSoto Fall IPT/October 11-13, 2014. 3 FULL DAYs: $1099. Limit 8/Openings 5.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds in fall. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With any luck, we should get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher likely. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join us on the ITF/MWS on Friday afternoon as my guest. See above for details on that.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

At lunch (included) we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me edit–why keep this one and delete that one. If you opt to bring your laptop, we will take a look at five of your best images from the morning session. We will process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

If you decide to register and are traveling to attend this IPT, please make your reservations at the Beachcomber Beach Resort, 6200 Gulf Blvd, St. Petersburg (St. Pete Beach), FL 33706 (727-367-1902) as soon as possible as rooms for the weekend days are scarce: ARR: 10 OCT/DEP 14 OCT. I stayed there on my last DeSoto visit and was quite happy with it. Lodging is tough in Florida at this season…. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). It is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel so if you are interested it would be a good idea to register now and make your hotel reservations as well. We can, however, coordinate easily with local folks who opt to stay at home either by cell phone or e-mail.

Because of the relatively late date, payment is full is due upon registration either by check or credit card. If the former, please e-mail us immediately so that we can save you a spot. If the latter, please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register . Your registration fee is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight so please check your plans carefully before committing. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, gear advice, and first morning meeting place about one month before this IPT.


BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT.

Fort DeSoto Site Guide

Can’t make the IPT? Get yourself a copy of the Fort DeSoto Site Guide. Learn the best spots, where to be when in what season in what weather. Learn the best wind directions for the various locations. BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT. You can see all of them here.


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14 comments to Canon EOS-7D Mark II AF at f/8 & Mode Dial Info/ DPP 4.0 Before and After Magic

  • Artie,
    In reading your description of your raw conversion of an image with DPP 4.0, you mention Noise Reduction and Arash’s new settings. Am I correct in assuming that Arash is now recommending the NR function in DPP rather than in a plug-in as he did in the past?

    It would be terrific if Canon would include the 7DII in an update of DPP 4.0!


  • Neil Hickman

    Would the 7D II and the 400mm f4 DO lens auto-focus with the x2 Extender? Do you think this combination would be pushing things too far or would it be worth looking at to get that extra length?

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Neil, Great question. One that I will address in greater depth in a future blog post.

      The 7D II will indeed AF with a 2X TC and either the older 400 DO or the newer 400 DO II. This in turn raises questions about the speed of initial AF acquisition….. Remember that pro bodies (like the 1D X and the Mark IV) with their more powerful batteries will always drive the AF system faster than the pro-sumer camera bodies will.

      This brings to mind comparisons with the amazing 300 f/2.8L IS II…. I will tackle those in the coming blog post…. artie

      ps: as far as the 400 DO II (I assume) with the 2X III TC and the 7D II being a viable combination I have no doubt that it will be great for static birds provided that you pre-focus manually. Will it be as good for birds in flight as the 300 II/2X III/1D X combo? Surely not. But we need to remember that the 7D II with its 1.6X crop factor will offer a longer effective focal length than any prime lens with a 1.4X TC and a full frame camera body…..

  • Interesting about DPP 4.x. I have the Canon 1D Mk IV and the updater on the Canon site only gives the update as DPP 3.14.15. There is no explanation about why I shouldn’t update to DPP 4. Does anyone know whether the camera is just an orphan now or if there is a reason that DDP 4 shouldn’t be used for files from the Mk IV? For kicks I looked up the Mk II and it too stops with March 2014 update or DPP 3.14.15. Thanks,

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      DPP 4.0 currently supports images from the following camera bodies: 1D X, 5D III, and 6D. Images from all other Canon digital cameras bodies including the EOS-1D Mark Iv need to rely on DPP V 3.whatever…

      It is not that DPP 4 shouldn’t be used for 1D IV images. It cannot be used to convert them. You need a serial # for a 1D X, 5D III, or a 6D, but even if a friend gives you a valid serial number a 1D IV image will show in DPP 4.0 with a symbol that leaves no doubt that the image is incompatible: a pencil (indicating “edit” and a circle with a diagonal line through it (indicating “sorry, Jack.”) I will try to remember to include a screen capture in tomorrow’s blog post. In addition I have the current news on DPP 4.0 and the 7D II. artie

  • If yuu want to see and hear Chuck Westfal about the 7D2 :
    click here :
    He says, among other things, that the autofocus of the 7D2 is better than the 1DX due to the 65 cross type autofocus points versus 41 for the 1DX.

  • Carl

    Hi Artie
    I read that you have updated the Digital Basics File fairly recently. I don’t recall ever receiving an update. How could find out if I need to an update. Off hand I think I purchased around September 2012. Apologies if this is off topic.

  • David Policansky

    Thanks again, Artie. Do you plan to get a 7DII?