Canon EOS-7D Mark II Mystery Image, Bill Eaton Stuff, and 7D II Ship-date News « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Mystery Image, Bill Eaton Stuff, and 7D II Ship-date News

The Streak Continues: 326

I photographed at DeSoto yesterday morning with client-friend Bill Eaton who drove over on Sunday afternoon from his home in Stuart FL. (See more on Bill below.) Despite what most would rate as dismal conditions, we had a great morning and we both learned a ton. We used lots of high ISOs and Bill learned to expose to the right to produce the highest quality image files with the least noise. I have several new high ISO images to share with you and more than a few good flight images as well, the latter despite limited chances. I will do that asap.

This blog post, the 326th in a row, took me about 1 1/2 hours to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization in DPP v3.14.41.0. It was published just before 5:30am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL.

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This image was created with the hand held Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1 stop as framed: 1/1250 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. AWB.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed 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.

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Mystery Image

What does this look like to you? Is it the bill of a tropical bird? If so, what family? What species? If not, what is it?


This image was created with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (at 400mm) and the EOS-1D Mark III (now replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR . ISO 3200. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 in Av mode. AWB.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2014 William Eaton

Bill Eaton

After joining us last weekend for the sold out DeSoto ITF Meet-up session and all day on Saturday, Bill joined me again yesterday. Bill kindly shared four of his images with me last night including the lovely first winter Greater Yellowlegs. In addition to photography lessons Bill got shorebird ID and natural history lessons as well. He did a great job with all four images.

Here is the e-mail that I received from him after what turned out to be a one on one morning for him.

Hey Art, I just wanted to take a moment and offer a heartfelt THANKS for a wonderful day at Ft DeSoto!! Your tips kept coming one after another and your obvious interest in my learning curve was wonderful and very well received by this amateur behind the camera. Four hours seemed to fly by in a matter of minutes. I especially enjoyed learning to push my histograms to the right. The soft light this morning and the gentle wavelets on the water yielded wonderful images with a fantastic water color effect. Not to mention that going to the high ISOs allowed me to consistently create sharp, high quality images. Good stuff!!

From angle of light to exposure tips to composition thoughts to getting in the right position relative to the flocks for flight photography made for a really a great day. It was also a pleasure to trade stories of places we have been and some of our experiences ranging from those truly special images to the dumbest of mistakes. All is all it was a great day! Best Wishes and good shooting at Bosque.

Shorebirds/Beautiful Beachcombers

If shorebirds confuse you at all, get yourself a copy of my Shorebirds/Beautiful Beachcombers. Includes ID tips, shorebird biology, migration, and tons more. All in my simple-to-read easy-to-read style.

Used Canon EOS-1D Mark III Digital Camera Body

Price reduced $251 on 10/22/2014!

Michael Zajac is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark III professional digital camera body in Excellent condition for only $999. The sale includes the battery charger, one battery, the original paperwork, the camera strap, the original box, and shipping to the continental US.

Please contact Michael via e-mail or by phone at 732-979 -6644. Photos are available upon request.

I have seen lots of great flight images that Michael made with this camera. This body features a 1.3X crop factor sensor and is a great step-up for someone who wants to move to a pro body. It’s powerful battery drives AF much faster than the pro-sumer bodies especially with f/4 lenses and either a 1.4X or 2X teleconverter in place. As you can see with Bill Eaton’s image above, high ISO performance is excellent as long learn as you learn to expose well to the right. I have a great 1D III image of a gator swallowing a young Brown Pelican that was made at ISO 6400. It made the finals of the BBC contest several times. With the price drop this body is a steal.

Used EOS-1D Mark IV Digital Camera Body

Marc Lombardi is offering a used EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera body in excellent condition for $2699. The body has one minor cosmetic scratch on top. The sale includes the charger and two batteries, a RRS plate, 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 Marc via e-mail or by phone at 610-585-3500 (Eastern time).

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

Use the BAA Affiliate logo link above to pre-order your 7D II, shoot me your receipt via e-mail,
and I will do my very best to have your order expedited once the camera begins shipping.

Ship-date News

Amazingly, both B&H and are showing 30 October as the revised ship-date for the about to be released EOS-7D Mark II. I e-mailed Chuck Westfall of Canon for confirmation and addition details. I will update asaihfh (as soon as I hear from him).

This just in…

This just in via e-mail from Chuck Westfall:

Shipment of the 7D Mark II from our warehouses to authorized US dealers will begin on October 30th. It will probably take at least a day or two for the shipments to arrive at the dealers.


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29 comments to Canon EOS-7D Mark II Mystery Image, Bill Eaton Stuff, and 7D II Ship-date News

  • Hi Mike,


    Kind of have a problem that I would like to run past you, concerning the 7D Mark II. We all know that in the APS-C department Nikon has made an incredible step up with the D7100. The IQ is plain stellar for an APS-C body and I just can’t get my head around it how they managed this.

    Not all of us know that :). I have neither used nor even heard of the D7100 till right now. Have you used it?

    I read a lot of the times that the 7D Mark II has slightly better IQ than the 70D, but to be honest that camera disappointed me when looking at IQ and comparing it to the D7100.

    I have never used a 70D either. I have used the 7D II and love both the IQ and the control of high ISO noise….

    I am using the old 7D and I really begin to see the weakness of this body when having to shoot at higher ISO’s which is something I have to do very regularly.

    The original 7D has always performed poorly at the higher ISOs for most everyone.

    The only other option I can think of is the 5D Mark III, but it just so damn expensive (excuse my language).

    7D II is lighter, has about twice the frame rate, and the image quality and control of high ISO noise is at least comparable.

    Nikon fills the gap between their top Full Frame bodies (D800, D800E, D810) nicely with the very capable D750 and D610 which are quite alright for photographing action. Canon merely offers the 6D, which I wouldn’t call capable of shooting action in a long shot.

    I cannot comment on bodies that I know nothing about.

    So my problem is this: I am seriously considering turning in all my Canon equipment (which I rather not, because I am quite happy with my set of lenses) so I can finally get an affordable Full Frame body which is perfectly capable of delivering very high IQ even with higher ISO’s.

    So you want a 1D X for under 2K :).

    What are your thoughts on this gap that Canon seems to have left open for Nikon to fill in with cheaper but very, very capable Full Frame bodies? Because it sure feels like a Grand Canyon like gap to me….

    Life is about choices. Just the other day I was listening in on a conversation trashing Nikon for not have a good crop body for birds, action, wildlife, and sports… Different strokes. And as far as I know most or even all of the Nikon full frame bodies suffer from relatively slow frame rates.

    Looking forward to what you think!

    Kind regards,


    I wish that I could be of more help but I cannot comment on camera bodies that I have not used and I refuse to pass along the chatter from the internet folks who have never used the gear they are writing about :).

    Whatever you decide please use our B&H affiliate links for any new purchases and do know that we have a good track record for selling used gear here at BAA.

    later and love, artie

    • Hi Mike,


      Wow, thanks for the incredibly thorough reply! Since you took all this time and trouble to answer my questions, I thought I would take the time to answer yours as well. Again: really appreciate the effort you put in!

      YAW. Thoughtful questions and concerns deserve thoughtful responses 🙂

      I have not used the D7100 myself, but I know people that I trust who did and they shared their findings and results (images at 100%) with me so I could compare. I got interested in this camera after seeing some reviews and test results so I thought it would be a good idea to ask users for their experiences. It is really impressive to be honest, even though the camera is just 6 fps.

      That is much better than listening to the internet geniuses….

      I am very happy to hear you feel the 7D Mark II deals with noise very well. My main issue with the 7D is the noise, and I am looking for a body that can produce good images at 1600+ ISO. The 7D is having trouble there, and even more so when the weather let’s me down (which is often in the Netherlands). Now I will just have to wait and compare results between for example the D7100 and the 7D Mark II when more images become available for comparing.

      Good plan.

      – It is reassuring to hear the 7D is known for not performing too well in low light and with high ISO since this is exactly how I feel about it.

      Common knowledge….

      – That you would put the 7D Mark II on equal terms with the 5D Mark III when looking at IQ and ISO is astounding to me.

      It is astounding to me too.

      If this really is the case then Canon made a larger jump than I thought and than what I have seen people from Canon state themselves. That the 7D Mark II has a lot higher FPS is absolutely a plus, but would you state that the 7D Mark II is a great alternative to the 5D Mark III when looking for high IQ in low light?

      Though it does not make sense I would at this sense say that the performance is comparable. Others with a better eye for fine detail may very well disagree with me when the smoke clears. I will be posting some SI) 3200 7D II images here soon.

      – I understand you can’t say anything about bodies that you haven’t experienced yourself. The results of the Nikon bodies are promising to say the least though, even though they indeed have lower FPS than say a 7D Mark II. The 6D is not meant for action so I understand it’s not a good comparison, but it would have been stellar if the 6D would have had at least 6 fps and the focussing system of say the 70D.

      As far as I can figure the 7D II blows away the 6D for birds and sports….

      – Haha you caught me there. Yes please, and where can I buy this incredible model for under 2k? 😉

      B&H price is $1799. Let me know if you want me to send you the B&H Landed Cost Calculator so that you can figure the total cost to deliver one to The Netherlands.

      – I see your point. The grass is always greener… I guess this is a recurring story, since I am sure that people using Nikon have enough to “complain” about as well.


      – Good point and I appreciate your stand on this. I always try to investigate claims on IQ, AF and the likes as thoroughly as I can by getting my hands on the camera myself or by asking users that I trust to share their findings and results with me. I have noticed that loads of people online are making false claims that camera’s and/or lenses are bad or good while in most cases the user is at fault himself (in case of claims that equipment is bad) or not as critical as I am (in case of claims that equipment is just plain awesome).

      You can purchase any of the 7D II RAW files that I have posted for only $5. Though everyone wants to see the RAW files we have sold only three of them :)….

      Well that’s about it. I will give the 7D Mark II another chance and will go over all your articles again with a more open mind. Who know what I might find :).

      You may wind up giving it a chance but you can’t give it “another chance” since you have not used it yet :).

      Kind regards,


      YAW. Whatever body you wind up with consider joining us on the UK Gannets and Puffins IPT late next June :).


      • Thanks Artie for yet another in depth reply :).


        – The 7D Mark II is back on my radar as far as a possible new body is concerned.
        – If I do decide to buy the 7D Mark II, can you tell me whether or not it is wiser to buy one in Europe for warranty issues? I understand this could be a bit of a pain if something needs to be fixed. If not I will gladly use your link to B&H.
        – I am looking forward to your ISO 3200 shots!
        – I might just be moved to go ahead and buy a couple of those RAW files to check them out. The thing is (and this is a huge problem for buying the 7D Mark II as well) I just lost my job this month so have to try and figure that out first. Financially not the most sound of situations as you can imagine.

        Well thanks one final time and till our next conversation!

        • avatar David Policansky

          Hi, Mike Koopmans. I hope you and Artie don’t mind my adding something here. First, I’m really sorry to hear you’ve lost your job; I know how tough that can be. I wish you good luck. Now a few things about cameras. First, just look at the 7D2 images Artie’s been posting. If they don’t satisfy you in any way, and you know of another affordable camera that would, you should get that camera. Second, the knock on Canon in the internet forums hasn’t been its poor high-ISO performance compared to Nikon, because at high ISOs recent Canon cameras are as good as or better than Nikons; it’s been the lack of dynamic range at low ISOs. That is rarely if ever a problem for bird photographers, except maybe photographing black and white birds in bright sunlight. And that’s a challenge for any camera and photographer. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a problem at all; I’ve never felt any lack of dynamic range with my Canon 6D, which produces lovely images of landscapes, flowers, and other things. However, it is, as you say, just not a great action camera. Finally, even if I did have to trade of performance (AF speed and accuracy, shutter speed, frame rate, and so on) against dynamic range–and I don’t think I do–then for birding I’d go with performance any day of the week. I promise you that the Nikon D7100 can’t touch the 7D2’s performance. Maybe there’ll be a new Nikon D300 replacement some day, but there just isn’t any crop camera out there now that comes close to the 7D2.

          • Thanks David for your additions. To be honest: I did notice the lack of dynamic range on higher ISO’s lately, because I shoot in low light a lot (bad weather is common here) with high ISO and in very contrasty situations. On top of that lots of birds have both very dark and white patches which makes exposure difficult enough as it is.

            The thing that surprised me was the stunning IQ people showed me of their D7100s. Really amazing stuff. But I am sure to give the 7D Mark II a try when I get the chance.

  • My guess is it’s a “bird of paradise”, which is a plant. Beautiful picture.

    Thanks for the great feedback on the 7D mark II. I’m sure I’ll be ordering the camera, and so your blog posts are very informative. I look forward to your high ISO images. Keep up the great work Artie!


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Moe. Please remember to use our B&H affiliate link when you order. Later and love, artie

  • avatar Mike

    Its the dead leaf or grass, Defiantly a plant..

  • avatar Paul

    How about a crab’s claw? 🙂

  • Hi Artie, I am loving your thoughts on the Canon Eos 7D mk11, can’t wait to have enough money to upgrade from my 7D. I think the mystery image is possibly a cattail leaf.

  • avatar David Gresham

    Bird of Paradise.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Great stuff indeed. I first thought the mystery was a bird’s bill, but shot with a 100 mm macro? I don’t think so…:) Looks like a dead leaf to me–note the cobwebs!–and my guess would be palmetto, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go out on a dead limb. Lovely image. And great image from William Eaton, congratulations. I called B&H yesterday and was told the 7D2s were expected there October 30 and that because I’d pre-ordered (through your link) on the first day, I’d be among the first to see a camera, within about a week of October 30. We’ll see.

  • avatar wtlloyd

    Hmmm….macro lens used and spider webs trailing – pretty sure it’s not a bird, unless it’s dead!

  • avatar Steven Blandin

    First image is a Leafy Ardea Alba for sure! 🙂

  • avatar Kirk Stitt

    I believe this is a Greater Yellowlegs

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That is both correct and what I wrote 🙂

      “including the lovely first winter Greater Yellowlegs….”

      See you in Bosque! artie

  • avatar Jim Kranick

    I thought plant right away not bird. But being a recently (seven years) displaced New Yorker I’m not very good at figuring these new plants and birds yet.


  • avatar Bob Allen

    Sure looks like the tip of a leaf of a monocot such as a palm. The parallel veins show nicely in this image.

  • avatar Art Buesing

    My WAG is palmetto leaf.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Maybe. Is that the same as cabbage palm or saw palmetto?

      • avatar Art Buesing

        When I lived in Archer, Florida in the early 1950’s, I remember fairly short palmettos with fibers hanging off the leaves. They might be Sabal Palmettos or some other species. A long time ago as I was 8 years old when we moved there in 1950,

  • My guess for the mystery image would be an Oystercatcher.