Tag Archives: canon

Canon 5D Mark IV – Some Thoughts

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

I’ve never shot with a full frame camera before a week ago, but the Canon 5D Mark IV is the first full frame DSLR I’ve seen that has the full range of specs I want from a camera – touch screen, WiFi, etc. I rented it for a week from Borrow Lenses, and here are my impressions.

Operation

This model’s operation is extraordinary. Everything is easy to understand (important since the rental didn’t come with a manual or the time to read one). Connecting it to my phone was a matter of only seconds to do, and the connection was very stable. The dedicated buttons for picture review, rating, etc. on the back were very easy to operate, the joystick button was, true to its name, a joy – much nicer to use than the D-Pad on my 70D. Combined with the abilities of the touch screen, it made rating photos during two sporting events (football and volleyball) a breeze, allowing me to cull my photos in the field without missing a play.

Battery

Ouch. I went through nearly two batteries at full power during 1.5 football games (varsity and freshman games). That’s nearly twice as fast as my 70D. I wouldn’t think of taking this camera out without at least four batteries to back me up, and I only have three (including the one from the rental). Battery drain was unacceptably high.

Image Quality

I was most excited to see the tremendous quality difference a full frame sensor would make over my crop sensor. I mean really excited. Perhaps my expectations were too high. When zoomed in, I could see minute distinctions between the 5D and 70D in noise reduction – and it is true that more of my shots with the 5D were  in sharp focus than the 70D. It’s not clear to me whether this was from some magical technology in the camera, or just better shooting on my part. I carried both the 5D and 70D with me to both sporting events, interchanged lenses between them – and I honestly can’t see a hugely significant difference.

Well, there is one difference. There is enormous lens vignetting on the 5D that is not present with the same lens on the 70D. It was correctable with Lightroom so not a killer (easy enough to create an import default preset to manage it) but the level of vignetting using professional quality lenses was striking.

The other difference I was particularly looking for was stop improvement. I’d always been led to believe that a full frame sensor will gain between 1-2 stops over a crop sensor. Such was not the case between these two bodies. Using identical ISO, shutter speed and aperture, there was virtually no visible difference in the image exposure of the same general scene.

Bottom Line

I have better uses for the price of a 5D. Studio equipment, new lenses – almost anything would produce higher quality images for me than this camera body. While the operation of it was intuitive and fast, image quality offered little improvement and in some ways suffered against the image quality of the 70D. The battery drain was really not insignificant in reaching a conclusion either. It was shockingly bad. I really wanted to have to struggle with my conscience about spending the money on this camera, but there is no debate in my mind. I’m better off with what I have.

Posted in Flower, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography Also tagged , , , |

Rework Wednesday – Harley

Rework Wednesday - Harley

F/4, 1/400, ISO-200, 18MM

This is one I’ve been wanting to rework possibly longer than any other photograph. The original was OK, but it is very evident how green I was at post-processing at the time. It’s particularly evident if you look at it on a flat-panel screen from a very high angle. It was a drizzly, overcast day when I took the photo, and I struggled getting the clouds to provide some texture. To be fair on my post-processing skills, the picture first went wrong in the camera. I was lying on the ground and had a lot of difficulty with framing and metering. I should have been 5 or 6 feet back really.

However, in post-processing, I tried to fix the clouds with the adjustment brush in Lightroom. I didn’t yet have the imagination or experience to do area adjustments without the brush. Consequently when viewed from a high angle there are lots of halos around everything because the adjustment brush is a really lousy way to do that sort of editing.

This time I focused on not blowing out the black areas, which gives the whole thing a bit more of an HDR look. I used the gradient tool and a bit of vignette to bring out the clouds a bit. And I did end up using the adjustment brush after all, but for the sort of thing it is good at – I lightened the shadows in the eyes to get rid of the raccoon look.


Rework Wednesday – Har by Anthony Bopp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Posted in Natural Lighting, Photography, Portrait Also tagged , , , , , |

Rework Wednesday – Windless

Rework Wednesday - Windless

f/13, 1/200, ISO-800, 50mm

This is perhaps the first of my Rework Wednesday series that I’m uncertain is much of an improvement over the original. I added a sepia tone and goosed up the contrast in a couple of different ways, and added a more prominent vignette. My thought was to give the impression that the sun was rising behind the windmill for some added drama (though the direction the camera is facing is straight north). I’ve never been fully convinced I should leave the power lines in but in the end I like the added depth they give to the shot.

This isn’t one of my favorites, but I like this version better than the original.


Rework Wednesday – Windless by Anthony Bopp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Posted in Autumn, Landscape, Mechanical, Natural Lighting, Photography Also tagged , , , |

Nuts And Bolts

Nuts And Bolts

f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-400, 55mm

My formal photography training, such as it is, comes from a journalism focus, and I find that 30 years later it still influences my approach to photography a great deal. In this case, I took several photos of this bucket of bolts before I realized that the tiny dried up plant that was growing in the midst of this metal was not adding to the photo I was trying to capture. Yes, it was interesting in its own right to some extent, but it wasn’t really prominent enough to add to the photo, and rather merely detracted. So I finally plucked it out and got the picture I wanted, but only after consciously telling myself that it was OK to do so.

Now, when I say journalism, I mean a style of news reporting that isn’t much heard of any more. Perhaps few people even know these days that once upon a time news reporters and news organizations tried to be Continue reading »

Posted in Mechanical, Natural Lighting, Photography Also tagged , |

Standstill

Standstill

f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-400, 36mm

I love old gears. What can I say? I think it’s been quite a while since this one has been rotated but I am captured by the inerient imagery and movement that a gear and chain represents.

Posted in Mechanical, Natural Lighting, Photography Also tagged , |

Eye Of The Projector

Eye Of The Projector

f/1.8, 1/50, ISO-800, 50mm

Obviously if one is going to do a photography project about a theatre, then one needs to take a photograph of the projector. This is a closeup of the rather massive lens that digital movies are shown through at the Palace Theatre. The projection booth is not a well-lit place, and it the lens is nudged up close to a pane of “perfect” glass that would take me several months of projectionist’s salary to pay for if I ever broke. Or scratched, for that matter. Still, I managed to fit my puny Canon just enough in front of the projector to get this shot. I also managed to keep the camera fairly steady despite the awkward position I had to bend my body into to get this shot. Keep in mind this is without a tripod, a fairly long exposure, and no image stabilizing lens.

I might wish that the image was less brown, and I actually fooled around with it a bit in black and white but was never satisfied with the level of detail that was lost when the color was taken away. Still, I think the sepia evokes a mood that is fitting.

Posted in Indoor, Photography Also tagged , , |

White Needles

White Needles

f/8, 1/125, ISO-400, 50mm

I probably said this before but there is something remarkably photogenic about frost on evergreens. This shot is from a few days ago – long enough that it’ll be interesting to see what the weather feels like today, as this winter has been unusually warm. I’ll warn you, I took about 6 pictures of these evergreens and I like them all, so this probably isn’t the last you’ve seen of them.

Posted in Landscape, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography, Winter Also tagged , |

Slow Leak

Slow Leak

f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-400, 36mm

Shortly after some enterprising individual first punched a pinhole in a box and focused the light it let through onto a silver halide emulsion, I actually took a college course in photography. Once we got past the basics of how to hold a camera and what a f-stop was, the instructor started teaching us (in some cases fruitlessly) the essence of good photographs. Just about his first  rule was “never take pictures of train tracks going off into the distance. It’s trite and it tries to suggest more of a message than is actually contained in the image.”

So here I am taking a picture of train tracks going off into the distance (told you it was fruitless in some cases). Still, I think my wise old professor would probably forgive me this one transgression. This image calls up a great picture of some train rolling along, completely unaware of the trail of bird food it is painting its way  with.

I have to admit that I struggled with this one a bit. Evidently I wasn’t paying enough attention when I was looking through the viewfinder. While I thought I had things all vertical and framed up, it turned out to be rather badly tilted. Worse, there was little I could do to fix it in post processing. Adjusting the crop angle more than a tiny bit gave me much more of the horizon than I wanted (the horizon was particularly ugly in this case). Cropping out the horizon left me with too little of the tracks to look at.

In the end I distorted the heck out of it, which left things more like how I originally wanted it, but also ended up with tracks that would leave a train feeling like it was on the Tilt-A-Whirl and just about ready to tip over to the right. It’s a good lesson in triple-checking your framing, especially when you have unlimited time to take the shot.

Posted in Natural Lighting, Photography Also tagged , , |

Admit One

Admit One

f/2, 1/100, ISO-800, 50mm

A few days ago on my Twitter timeline, I mentioned that I was going to start a photo “project” for a local theatre where I work part time. Nothing major, just some computer wallpaper and screensaver images. Going into it, I knew that I didn’t have the equipment or the room to get an entire frame of the complete subject matter in many cases, so in order to create a comprehensive theme I decided to shoot only fragments of each image, showing enough to capture the location and the sense of fun and drama, but not showing the entirety of anything.

I puttered around the place for a couple of hours maybe, trying to stay out of the way of workmen who had unexpectedly appeared on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday to pull network cable through the place in a minor upgrade of the IT equipment. Some of my shots were decent, some not so much. Some of the ideas I can execute better, some of the ideas were pretty much awful to begin with. Over the next few days I’ll be posting some of the results of my efforts.

Above is kind of a neat sign that hangs over the box office window. It is an almost perfect replica of the tickets we actually sell at the Palace. I thought is was a pretty good photo, and a good way to kick off the theme. I won’t be posting Palace pics every day…I’ll scatter them around between some of my non-projects works, but here’s where it starts.

Posted in Indoor, Photography, Theatre Also tagged , , |

Screwed

Screwed

f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-400, 33mm

It seems like the world is always more interesting when viewed from really up close. If I had the money for another lens, I would almost certainly get a good macro. In the meantime, I’ll have to struggle along with my kit 18-55mm. But I don’t mind so much when it can take interesting shots like this. I have to keep reminding myself that almost anything I find on the ground can be a great picture.

Posted in Mechanical, Natural Lighting, Photography, Winter Also tagged , , , |