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Advice re action photography please

Railcam 14 920 2 Scotland
19 Jan 2012 4:14PM
Surprised thatmanbrian that you are completely changing systems. I assume you considered the Nikon 70-300/f4.5-f5.6 G AFS VR and rejected it. I wonder what your reason was as I find mine very easy to use and pin sharp. I am also a pensioner, so weight matters.

Looks like the thread has drifted from the OPs Nikon focussing query to Canon lenses.
thatmanbrian 9 342 3 Spain
19 Jan 2012 5:29PM
To be honest, I fancied the change to see what an equivalent Canon system was like. Sounds extravegant in these times of belt-tightening I know and may provoke a few comments from my less well-off friends (not on this forum of course!). It's a one-off splurge and the deed is done. The new kit arrived today.Tongue

I know there is a lot of rivalry between Nikon and Canon, but I've never been part of that. I used Nikon just out of familiarity since my film days. After an impatient hour or so to charge up the battery (what torture that wait was!!) I fired up the 7D. The first thing I noticed was it felt 'right' in my hands, not at all 'foreign'. The second thing was the viewfinder. It seemed darker and grainier than the Nikon (when comparing with lenses of max f3.5 apertures). But the placement of the controls made sense and were easily understood. The new DO 70-300mm lens was indeed a revelation - light and compact compared to my Nikon monster. Although it does extend quite a bit as you zoom in.

I usually use aperture priority mode and a fixed ISO, so set this on the 7D and fired off lots of test shots around the house and garden. I imported the raw files into Lightroom and found that some low-light shots (indoors without flash) showed rather more colour noise than I was used to on the Nikon D7000. The out-of focus backgrounds also looked 'different' as did the bokeh. I presume this is because of the DO lens components. Not a problem, just different when compared side by side. No one else would notice. Continuous shooting - an important aspect for capturing wildlife - was excellent and far better than my Nik. Somehow the buffer just never filled up it seemed! Well pleased with that. (I was using a Sandisk Extreme 16Gb card btw).

So after an hour or so of playing, it's down to RTFM!Grin Tomorrow I'll take it out and try in in real situations.
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2012 5:34PM

Quote:when compared side by side. No one else would notice. Continuous shooting - an important aspect for capturing wildlife - was excellent and far better than my Nik.

JPEG or RAW? I tried mine out and on 8fps shooting JPEG I got to 200 and it still wasn't slowing up. Smile Using a 8GB sanmdisk Extreme, RAW is OK at 8fps for a little over a second then clunks down to about 5fps and just keeps on going.

Enjoy yourself tomorrow - the weaher is supposed to be clearing again
thatmanbrian 9 342 3 Spain
19 Jan 2012 6:23PM
Yes RAW. Might try RAW+Jpeg to see what the camera does to jpegs but never normally use it.
LensYews 12 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2012 9:20PM

Quote:Have a look for tips on the auto focus system from previous threads in the forums and also on the Canon site. There are an incredible amount of different set ups you can use and not all of them work well for every subject. I think on the Canon site there is a dedicated area for setting up for sports & action on the camera. There was one for the 1D MkIII as well which I printed off when I got mine.

Some suggested settings for BIF:
thatmanbrian 9 342 3 Spain
19 Jan 2012 9:28PM
Great loink - thanks.
redhed17 15 881 England
19 Jan 2012 10:37PM
Just having found this thread (you know why Brian Wink), I feel you've been very hasty in the making the change, as I haven't heard of the D7000 AF being bad, if fact I've read that it is quite good and the 39 focus points 'should' be better for tracking a subject. I haven't heard that the 7D as particularly good at AF, though not at all bad, but the Nikon's have had the better AF from the D300 onwards, and though the D7000 had less focus points, got good comparisons with the 51 focus point D300/D700/D3 AF system. I have read of the noise in low ISO Jpegs though. :-/

The '7D' is the equivalent to the D300S in the Nikon range, (for features if not pixels, ie. top of the DX range) so you have gone up a level compared to the D7000 (assuming Nikon replace the D300S). Whether it will be better at focusing than the D7000 will be interesting to see. I hope so. That it feels good in your hand though is a good sign though.

You had a very good lens, which regardless of you not shooting at f2.8, let the camera focus at f2.8. That said, I found the 70-200mm VR too big when I rented one for a weekend, and didn't have the reach as I'd been used to the 70-300mm. It was very quick to focus with the D200 I was using at the time though. Smile

Fingers crossed it's what you want it to be. Smile
thatmanbrian 9 342 3 Spain
20 Jan 2012 7:37AM
Yes Red, time will tell but so far so good, well pleased. Portability was a major consideration now I'm getting on a bit!Tongue

Followed up those links guys and excellent stuff. Very useful, thanks.
NEWDIGIT 10 401 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2012 9:34AM
Have you fine tuned your camera /lens set up, you can do this via the menu. I had the same problem as you untill I fine tuned then OK
Sorry havent got my books with me but im sure there must be info in your cameras handbook.
Also switch off the VR this should not be required at your shutter speeds and may even be slowing down the AF a little
thatmanbrian 9 342 3 Spain
20 Jan 2012 9:53AM
I did do some testing to see if fine tuning was necessary but it wasn't. The question of VR is controversial on a Nikon it seems, with no clear answers as Nikon's advice is ambiguous. My new Canon says it is not for fast moving objects but is useful on a monopod. I think logically VR is for slow speeds hand-held in poor light conditions.
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2012 10:02AM
I agree there.
What many people don't stop to think about is that if you are wanting to freeze fast action (in fact it doesn't have to be particualry fast for this to apply), the necessary shutter speed is often way into territory where VR is not necessary.

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