People talk about the 7D’s noise, I hear. Well, I saw that too – my first impression was, it seems noisy in Lightroom. On the other hand:
- That is without a proper Lightroom import filter.
- The 7D has auto-ISO and my 1Dx bodies do not, so of course I am shooting at higher ISOs than I am used to.
And look how a 3200 ISO JPG looks:
Real size sample:
Well, real sized when you click on it.
Noisy? I think that is great. Remember, this is full sized detail; shot at 3200 ISO, and taken from a JPG! A few years ago, 800 ISO would have been unacceptably noisy.
Are you familiar with the “Official White House Photostream” on Flickr? http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/3993805289/
Pete Souza regularly shoots with a 5D Mk II at 1600ASA and I think his results are impressive. I think he gets opportunities to take informal pictures but must be inconspicuous, hence no flash. He also likes the EF 50mm F1.4L lens and uses DOF skillfully as in http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/3942055113/in/set-72157622427968612/.
I think there are some “teaching moments” in this photostream.
This is another reason why I want an open, extendible camera operating system. I want to be able to adjust my camera’s “auto” programming.
For example, the action or sports mode on my Nikon Coolpix P6000 wants to increase the ISO first, rather than opening up the lens (increasing the aperture) as the ambient light goes down.
I dislike the “high” ISO performance of the camera (>400 ASA) so I want to modify the algorithm.
Yes I could shoot in shutter priority with a fixed ISO but I lose the auto-focus tracking of a moving subject. That seems only to be available in the automatic action/sports mode.
I hear you. But this is why the makers resist this. Much of the difference between my 1-series bodies and the 7D is that the menus lack functions on the 7D. Functions that could easily be added. Like the ability to set limits on various modes – the 7D misses that.
But do that, and people will stop paying $8,000 for the higher-end camera. In many cases, the cameras are deliberately held back to provide marketing separation.
Not a great situation, I agree. If the makers opened up these bodies, think how much better we would have it. And we would of course still buy the higher end bodies.
Time they started adding value to introduce marketing separation, instead of removing value. But I am not holding my breath…
Oh and I love the White House stream. Do click on the “more info” link on teh right for each shot to see what lens, what focal lenght, and what ISO he was using.
(But if I read one more “oh wow incredible shot” or “oh wow, Michelle is gorgeous in this shot” comment, I think I’ll scream.)
And as for the 7D: some infuriating software GUI issues.
Like – why is there no “register and recall settings” mode? Yes, I know, you have the custom modes – but if I want to start at a good staring point in Av, say, there is no way to do that without using the custom setting modes, or wiping all settings.
Also, the lack of a “zoom in on the focusing point that was selected” is an annoyance – you so often want to see of the image is sharp, and of course you want to see where you focused, not ‘the centre and then pan to where you focused’.
Grid display is nice, but why no ‘rule of thirds’ grid?
Register a new private menu function when it’s already full. Only AFTER you scroll through the entire thing do you see ‘menu full, you cannot register another one’ – well then why not tell me that when I start selecting?
Many of these items puzzle me. If it takes me a few minutes to spot these, do they not have good GUI people in Japan? Not all of these are marketing issues – some are just bad GUI design.
If the software was open, all these would be solved immediately, and the camera would be better. Which would benefit Canon.
I think being the official White House photographer must be one of the best photography jobs around.
Yes, I like that Pete uploads his shots with all the EXIF info. It lets me drool (metaphorically) over his equipment.
Interesting point about the sycophantic comments. I think it is a feature of American politics in that it provokes both ends of the spectrum from that to outright nastiness. If there was an “Official 10 Downing Street” photostream I doubt you’d see anything like the same remarks. It’s just not British. I don’t know about Canadians attitudes but I am sure you are nothing like the Americans in your attitude to politicians.
As a contrast, take a look at this http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinthailand/3860886629/. It’s an example of what the British Embassy in Thailand publishes. It is either a very bad picture OR a not so subtle statement of the British official attitude to certain Thai politicians.
Your points about the 7D recall in spirit what I feel about my Nikon Coopix P6000 relative to Nikon’s DSLR lines. See this post http://bkkphotographer.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/did-nikon-intentionally-cripple-the-coolpix-p6000/.
The counterpoint to opening camera software is increased support. They’d have to think like a software company. I know that is hard: I used to work for Hewlett-Packard in a software business unit.
Like the pic – very funny.
And yes, Canadians are more like Brits in that respect than like Americans. In fact American-bashing a a favourite pastime here (not always justified). I think I can judge fairly honestly, having been born in Europe, educated in the UK, and lived all over the world. Perhaps that’s why I cold never be such a sycophant.
It would certainly change support. But not much would change for Canon. There’s very little support now; there will be as little support in an open platform world. Support is hardware only. It’s doable. I too used to work in software (CTO of an international company for nine years), and it all sounds like a discussion we’d have too. Give away the farm vs “rising tide raises all ships”. I’m on that latter side.
Partly, perhaps, because I have a camera that could be good, very good, with a few minor tweaks that would take minutes to make. I bet the developers in Japan have their own secret versions. Just think of the possibilities!
Oh and I know why your comments were held. “2 or more links” triggered that. Fixed.
Yes well, it’s not just the Canon firmware engineers. Lightroom has more than its fair share of weirdness, at least on the PC. I have written about some of them on the blog.
Have you ever written a Lightroom plugin? It’s not a pleasant process.
I expect you get the same spam commenters like Bill Bartmann that I get. WordPress is good at detecting them.
I am sure you know about a couple of open source camera projects. I wrote about them at http://bkkphotographer.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/the-stanford-frankencamera/ and http://bkkphotographer.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/elphel-open-source-cameras/
There’s my 2 links for this comment.