Posts Tagged ‘Canon EOS 50D’

Wednesday, March 16th 2011

Tankar om nya kameran

7D och 50D är egentligen väldigt lika, men också ganska olika visar det sig.

Här är ett par saker jag tänkt på efter att ha haft min 7D i en dryg vecka.

Autofokus

Det är väldigt trevligt att ha så många fokuspunkter att välja på. Det finns nästan alltid en punkt som täcker motivet och man slipper sätta skärpan först för att sedan flytta utsnittet som man vill ha det.

Den är snabb och verkar vara exakt. Men jag har märkt att den missar ibland när man kör med förminskade fokuspunkter. Bäst att använda normalstora eller expanderade punkter alltså.

Ljusmätning

Ljusmätningen är klart smartare och är mycket bättre på att ta hänsyn till små ytor i bilden. Här är ett ganska extremt exempel. Det här tycker 7D är en normal exponering:

Bilden föreställer en vacker månbelyst himmel och en liten stuga, om ni inte ser det. =)

Jag hade egentligen hoppats på att få med månljuset i molnen och väntade mig att kameran skulle göra bilden mycket ljusare. Men den tog uppenbarligen väldigt stor hänsyn till de små ljusen i huset och såg till att inte överexponera dem. Nästan lite väl mycket kan jag tycka, men det handlar bara om att jag måste lära mig hur kameran tänker.

Jag ser det ändå som positivt att kameran försöker behålla det svarta svart. Min tidigare 50D hade helt klart gjort bilden ljusare.

Här är ett till exempel:

Skjulsta, Eskilstuna

I det här fallet behövde jag bara dra upp exponeringen ett steg för att få det som jag ville. Är övertygad om att jag hade fått gå åtminstone två steg upp på 50D för att få snön lika ljus.

Auto-ISO

Det faktum att ISO går ända upp till 3200 när man väljer Auto-ISO är lysande. Det blir riktigt lätt att fota inomhus utan blixt och utan risk för skakningsoskärpa. På 50D gick Auto-ISO bara till 1600, vilket ofta slutade med skakningsoskärpa i dunkla förhållanden.

Trådlös blixtstyrning

Det här är en sån där grej som är både extremt användbar i rätt sammanhang och väldigt kul att leka med. Standardinställningen kommer nog att bli att fyra av den externa blixten utan att den inbyggda blixten bidrar till exponeringen.

Brorsan bevittnar en atombomb i köket alt. Husse borde inte laga mat.

Wednesday, March 2nd 2011

Ny kamera på väg

I måndags kväll sålde jag min 50D till Lars Guth. Återstår att sälja mitt batterigrepp BG-E2.

Nu är en ny Canon EOS 7D på väg till mig från en till synes pålitlig Ebay-säljare i Taiwan. Att beställa kameran i ett paket med batterigrepp kostade bara ~1 000 kronor mer, så jag passade på och tog ett ett sånt på en gång.

Egentligen har jag väl alltid haft ögonen på en 7D. 50D var mest som en mellanlandning på vägen dit.

Jag gillar verkligen de tvålrunda formerna på den här kameran. Löjligt hur mycket man påverkas av känslan och utseendet hos en sån här grej egentligen.

Canon EOS 7D

7D har ett antal finesser som jag ser fram emot att få prova. En del av dem kommer egentligen bara att underlätta sånt som redan var möjligt med min 50D, medan andra skapar helt nya möjligheter.

Till exempel så kan man aktivera ett rutnät i sökaren som borde göra det lättare att hålla kameran rakt, de gånger man faktiskt försöker hålla den rakt. Jag lider nämligen av en lindrig form av HLD, horizon-level deficiency. =) Sökaren är också 22 procent större till ytan, vilket borde underlätta att sätta skärpan rätt.

Bildkvaliteten är naturligtvis snäppet bättre också, eftersom det är en nyare kamera. Autofokusen är bättre på att fånga rörliga motiv. Man har stora möjligheter att flytta runt funktionerna på knapparna, så man får dem precis där man vill ha dem. Jag tror till exempel att jag kommer att vilja ha AF stopp-funktionen på AF ON-knappen. (Logiskt?) Att kunna hindra autofokusen från att aktiveras är ibland väldigt användbart. Jag kommer nog också att koppla M.Fn-knappen till det elektroniska vattenpasset i sökaren.

De två stora nyheterna i 7D för min del är video och möjligheten att styra blixtar trådlöst. Mycket lekpotential där, men trådlös blixt är också väldigt användbart vid porträttfoto. Ska bli kul att testa lite videoinspelning med manuell skärpa och se vad våra fotografer får gå igenom när de ska göra webb-tv.

Wednesday, February 23rd 2011

Canon EOS 50D till salu

Min Canon EOS 50D säljes på blocket.

Jag nämnde det lite försiktigt i ett tidigare inlägg men tänkte att jag kan ju lika gärna slå på stora trumman. Jag ska sälja min 50D för att i stället skaffa mig en 7D. Om du är intresserad av en mycket välskött Canon-systemare så finns annonsen här.

Den är i praktiken knappt inkörd och bör ha massor kvar att ge.

Sunday, February 20th 2011

Camera Gear History

I’ve been thinking about summing up my camera gear over the years, and how I’ve switched stuff around. So here goes.

Canon EOS 300 with EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 and battery grip BP-200.

I’ll skip right over the compacts I had, and start with my first SLR. In 2001 I bought a double lens kit with …

  • Canon EOS 300 (above)
  • Canon EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6
  • Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6

In february 2003 I bought an external flash, the Canon 420EX. I just realized that the flash is the oldest piece of gear that I’m still using.

I stayed out of the digital game until 2006 when the Canon EOS 30D was released. Now I considered the technology had matured enough for me, so I bought a 30D at the shop where I was working back then – with a nice discount of course.

Canon EOS 30D (body only).

At the same time I got a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 as a standard zoom for the 30D. I tried to sell my analog camera and the 28-90mm lens, but didn’t succeed.

Later the same year I expanded my kit with two more lenses …

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6

I sold the 75-300mm and just used the sharper 70-300mm with image stabilization.

The next addition I made was the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, mid 2007.

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

At this point my camera bag was pretty much complete, with lenses from 10mm to 300mm, an external flash, various filters, a screw-on close-up lens, and various other bits and pieces.

So this is when I started thinking about upgrading various parts of the kit.

The first lens I upgraded was my standard zoom, selling my Sigma 17-70mm and getting Canon’s great EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, in January 2010. I bought the Canon lens second hand in Stockholm, in good condition and for a very decent price.

In May 2010 I got a very good deal on a new Canon EOS 50D and sold my 30D after about 27 800 clicks. You can read my thoughts about the 50D here.

Canon EOS 50D.

My latest upgrade, in January 2011, was switching the Sigma 10-20mm for a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Having the f/2.8 aperture all the way from 11 to 55 mm is great.

And now I’m extremely close to switching my 50D for a 7D. I’ve only had the 50D for nine months so it might seem a little … premature. But thanks to the great deal I got when I bought it I can sell it second hand with a very small loss.

All in all I’ve been through eight different lenses and three camera bodies, moving on to my fourth.

What’s your camera history?

Friday, December 3rd 2010

Perfekt vinter

Massor av minusgrader, tjockt med frost, en sol som är på väg neråt och lagom klar himmel. Sverige blir inte mycket vackrare än såhär.

Jag tog på mig termobyxorna, packade kameran och åkte en kvart tidigare till jobbet (började kl 14 i dag) för att hinna stanna på ett par ställen som jag spanat in tidigare.

Använde mitt 17-55mm och 10-20mm. Som vanligt ungefär.

Syns tankeprocessen i mina fotspår när jag letade den bästa vinkeln?

Allén till Haga slott

Det här var tydligen allén till Haga slott. Det tycks finnas väldigt många fina alléer runtomkring Enköping. Och jag tycks alltid känna ett starkt behov av att fota dem.

Fingrarna värkte efter bara någon minut utanför bilen, trots att handskarna var på.

Frostiga trädgrenar

Frostiga trädgrenar

Enköpings näs kyrka

Enköpings-Näs kyrka och kyrkogård.

Enköpings-Näs kyrka

Enköpings-Näs kyrka

När jag som bäst kröp runt på knä i snön för att ta bilden här nedanför kom en annan man för att besöka kyrkogården. Han var väldigt vänlig och parkerade sin bil precis utanför bilden till vänster.

Enköpings-Näs kyrka

Detta slår väl lätt de andra årstiderna i skönhet?

Thursday, December 2nd 2010

Advent

Det är något visst med att komma hem klockan elva på kvällen till tända adventsljusstakar och adventsstjärnor.

Adventsljusstake i fönster

Adventsstjärna

Wednesday, November 3rd 2010

A Day I Won’t Forget

A few weeks ago I stopped by in a magnificent oak meadow along the way to work, by Hjulstabron outside Enköping. I will remember that day for a long time because after leaving the meadow and crossing the bridge I came across a biker that had been hit head on by a car. On a 90 kph (56 mph) road.

B03516

He was lying in the ditch. Two other guys had already called the ambulance and were taking care of him. Amazingly he was alive and breathing, but obviously badly hurt and unconscious. One of them asked me to check the deep wound in his leg to make sure he wasn’t losing a lot of blood. Thankfully, he wasn’t.

B03512

Three ambulances arrived and I was asked to leave since I hadn’t actually witnessed the accident. He was taken to the hospital in Uppsala. His injuries were life threatening according to the press information from the hospital. I still don’t know if he survived, and I doubt I ever will know.

B03503

All in all it was a very strange mix of amazing natural beauty and grim, brutal reality. All in the space of less than five minutes.

B03498

Working at a paper I have seen quite a few accident scenes, but somehow this was completely different. Even though I had my camera with me in my car I never thought once of getting it out. It is standard procedure to take shots of the ambulances and the police cars, parked across the road and blocking it for other traffic. I felt a bit stupid when I got to work and realized that I had my camera with me all the time.

B03523

Here is the article we published.

Tuesday, November 2nd 2010

Catching Up in Lightroom

It has been a long while since I posted anything here. It has also been a very long time since I took the time to go through and tag my latest photos in Lightroom. This in turn means I haven’t uploaded any photos to Flickr since the 5th of September.

This afternoon I finally took the time to plow through September’s and October’s photos and upload them. Here are a few of my favourites.

B03324

Julia having a go on my parents piano.

B03275

5 am, on the way to work. Somewhere between Enköping and Strängnäs.

B03407

A few of the many, many apples we picked off my parents apple tree.

B03416

The view from our flat in Enköping. Not usually very inspiring, but quite pretty for a few days when the leaves went red.

B03376

Fried chantarelles.

Wednesday, September 8th 2010

Photoshoot with Linnéa

A few weeks ago I launched my new website for my photography business. I’ve had the business since last December, I just haven’t got round to actually making the website until now.

Anyway, while making the site I realized I could do with a few more portraits to show. So I asked for volunteers among my friends on Facebook, and got loads of replies. And the first to get pointed at with my camera was Linnéa. We went out to Linné’s Hammarby just outside Uppsala. As it turns out, it cost 60 kronor to get in, so we decided to scout for good environments nearby.

We started off in an enclosure with horses, but the horses turned out to be just a little too interested in what we were doing. They seemed to think the best place to stand was right in-between me and Linnéa, so we soon moved on.

After a little improvisation, here are a few of the shots we ended up with:

B03241B03230B03177B03162B03199

I have still to actually put them on the business website, but I might wait until I’ve done a few more shoots.

Sunday, May 23rd 2010

First impressions: 50D vs 30D

Last Friday I picked my new Canon EOS 50D up at the post office. (Quotes because post offices don’t exist any more in Sweden, you pick your parcels up at the nearest shop.)

A27759

I started by going through all the settings, changing everything to the way I want it. For instance, I don’t want the camera to rotate vertical images on the screen, I prefer to rotate the camera myself to make use of the whole screen width. Also, I set the camera to only use the main (full step) ISO speeds. 100, 200, 400, etc. And about a million other things. I customized My menu to include the following:

  • Beep on/off
  • Erase images
  • Sensor cleaning
  • Camera user setting – lets you change the C1/C2 modes.
  • Exposure compensation/AEB

Judging from experience, once I’ve got everything set up I will rarely change any settings other than those.

I’ve also set the Func button to access exposure bracketing. On the 30D I would have had to use the menu to get at this.

A27765

First impressions

Here are some things I noticed about the 50D.

  • It feels faster and more responsive than the 30D. Mainly the viewfinder blackout (when the mirror flips up during the exposure) feels much quicker/shorter. According to The Digital Picture, the difference is only 100ms vs 110 ms. I could have sworn it felt like a much larger difference. (I hadn’t checked the specs when I felt the difference the first time.)

    Perhaps the slightly shorter shutter lag time (59ms vs 65ms) adds to the feeling of speed. Even so, that makes a total of only 16ms less time (from full press to open viewfinder again) and I didn’t know it was humanly possible to detect those kinds of minimal time values.

  • As someone put it in a forum thread somewhere, if the 30D feels like a brick, the 50D feels slightly like a hollow brick. It stil feels very well built, but just slightly more plasticky and electronic and less metal and camera. Which is strange considering it is slightly heavier, 740 grams vs 700 grams.

  • The 50D has a coarse, grainy finish while the 30D’s body is smooth. This felt weird at first, but its obviously just a matter of me being used to the 30D.

  • The shutter sound of the 50D is quite different from the sound of the 30D’s shutter. It is hard to describe in words, but I’d say it sounds quicker and more electronic somehow. And it is definitely quieter.

  • The shoulders on the 50D are higher and straighter than those on the 30D. This makes the grip slightly (5mm) taller, which is definitely a good thing. The 50D also has a notch which fits the middle finger perfectly. No big deal, but nice.

  • The functions of the three buttons on top of the camera have been moved around. The new arrangement is more logical, but will take some time for my fingers to learn.

A27762

  • I thought the smaller play/delete/info buttons would be harder to press than on the 30D. Actually, I’d say they’re almost easier. The buttons on the 30D are very soft and need to be pushed in quite far. The 50D’s buttons have a more noticeable click and don’t go as far in.

  • The improved screen is very nice. The fact that the preview JPEGs that are included in the RAW files now are full size means that you actually can determine sharpness/focus in-camera. On the 30D a photo could look sharp on the screen, zoomed in. But on the computer there was more detail which showed you a slightly blurry photo.

  • At first I thought my Seagull angle finder didn’t seem to fit the viewfinder on the 50D. But it turned out it was just a bit tight. (In the end I’m not sure it’s any tighter than on the 30D.) I keep the small plastic adapter that sits between the viewfinder and the angle finder on all the time. It protects my glasses from scratches, but doesn’t get them greasy like the standard rubber eye-piece tends to do.

A27766 - 2008-05-22 kl 23.13

All in all, I’m very happy with the 50D. After a week I already feel at home with the very slightly different controls. Today I put my ad up for the 30D [swe].

Side note: Sometimes I get the question why I put my camera down sideways. Simply because it puts the least strain on the front of the lens that way (when the battery grip is mounted).

Wednesday, May 12th 2010

My 50D on its way

I almost forgot! Last Sunday (the 9th) I bought a Canon EOS 50D on Tradera, the Swedish version of Ebay. I got it for the equivalent of $120 less than the currently lowest price in Sweden – less than I had dared hope! The previous 50D’s sold by the same guy went for 6,750-7,200 SEK. Now the bidding ended at 6,100 SEK, or $786 by today’s conversion rate.

Canon EOS 50D

The seller claims it is new too, but I will check the number of clicks it has done with EOSInfo when I get it. Since the Tradera/Ebay system is based on ratings I seriously doubt the seller would lie about stuff like that though. And this seller has 187 positive ratings.

Right now the camera is somewhere in the hands of the Swedish postal service.

This copy supposedly has a European warranty, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to use that here in Sweden. I’m not too worried though, these things very rarely break.

I just realized, I bought this camera without ever holding one in my hands. I haven’t even actually looked at one (recently at least) in a shop. I bought it entirely based on online reviews and videos. Back when I bought the 30D, that would have been unthinkable. Stupid perhaps, but I’m pretty confident I won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be selling my 30D, but I think I’ll wait until I have the 50D here so I can get some good-looking product shots for the ad.

Friday, May 7th 2010

Saving up for a Canon EOS 50D

Edit: This post was previously published in Swedish. At the time I was thinking of blogging more in Swedish. I’ve now decided to stick to English, so for the sake of continuity I translated this post.

When I bought my 30D I was convinced that I would use it until it disintegrated in my hands. Now I’m not at all as sure.

Canon’s 50D has become very very cheap. You can get it new for 6,999 SEK, compared to the at least 12,000 SEK it cost when it was released in 2008. At the same time, I believe I should be able to get at least 2,500 SEK for my 30D if I sell it now.

Canon EOS 50D

And there are quite a few nice improvements on the 50D compared to the 30D:

  • Auto-ISO. The camera automatically chooses the ISO for you. One thing less to think about.
  • Live view. Use the screen to frame your photos. Should be great for macros, landscapes on tripod and shooting over a crowd.
  • Better screen. 640×480 pixels instead of 320×240.
  • Higher resolution sensor. 15 megapixels catches the details far better than 8. Have a look at this well-done comparison of prints.
  • Better auto focus. I seldom shoot things that move particularly quickly, but it can’t hurt to have nine cross-type sensors instead of one.
  • C1/C2 modes. Lets you save two complete sets of all the camera’s settings for quick access in particular situations. I will probably have one setup for continuous AF and 6 fps, the other for single shot AF and single frame burst. Mirror lock-up can also be saved to one of the C modes.
  • ISO in the viewfinder. Nice to always see what ISO speed the camera is set to (or which ISO speed the camera wants to use in auto-ISO) without taking your eye from the viewfinder.
  • Slightly larger viewfinder. The magnification in the 50D’s viewfinder is 0,95x compared to 0,90x in the 30D’s.
  • Raw in full auto mode. If my wife uses my camera she sets it to the Green Square™. With the 50D I will still be able to get her photos as raws and easily adjust white balance, etc. (The 30D is limited to JPEG in full auto.)

This list is more than enough for me to whole-heartedly save all of my pocket money. (We have decided that we have 500 SEK each to spend on hobbies/entertainment each month.)

At the same time I’m trying to sell some old camera accessories that I don’t use. So I hope it won’t take too long before I’ve saved up for the price difference between my second hand 30D and a new 50D.

By the way, if anyone reading this owns a 50D I wonder if you could check something for me. Does auto-ISO work respect custom function I-2? I.e. does it stick to the full step increments in ISO speed?

Wednesday, April 28th 2010

The Myth of the Megapixel Myth

When Canon released the 50D I thought it had too many pixels. And I thought I was smart in thinking so.

Canon, please understand that SLR buyers aren’t as gullible as compact buyers when it comes to megapixels.

But in reality I had fallen for the myth of the megapixel myth.

(This post grew to almost a 1,000 words. If you haven’t got all day, skip to the conclusion.)

Lets start from the beginning.

The megapixel myth refers to the notion that a higher number of megapixels equals a better camera. And in calling it a myth, we are implying that camera manufacturers are increasing the number of megapixels on camera sensors only to trick everyone into constantly upgrading their cameras. Indirectly, we are implying that there is some intermediate number of megapixels that should be considered optimum for a given sensor size.

Ironically, the optimum number of megapixels always seems to be equal to the number in the camera generation one step back from the very latest release. Giving thousands and thousands of spoilt (and misguided) photographer brats an excuse to pour out their disgust in a million forum posts. A bit like I did.

One day it won’t make sense to add more pixels, but we have a long way to go until we reach those numbers. As it is now, we’re still gaining a lot of detail in our photos when the resolution increases.

On photography discussion forums you often hear the claim that a high resolution sensor needs really good glass, or even that it outresolves available lenses.

But those claims simply aren’t true. They are based on an incorrect mental model of how resolution works.

Even if you’re using a really cheap or soft lens, you’ll still get more detail out of it with a higher resolution sensor.

Have a look at these two tests at Photozone.de:

(If you own the 18-55mm IS, don’t scream at me – I’m not claiming it is a soft lens. Read on.)

Scroll down to the section titled MTF. The diagrams show how much detail the lenses can produce on the two cameras. Specifically, they show how many horizontal black and white lines you can fit into the image height before they blend together into a grey mush.

Note that the Extreme Corners which are the softest areas of the lens, produce a higher level of detail on the 15 megapixel camera – just like the centre of the lens. So just because they’re soft on the 8 megapixel camera doesn’t mean they won’t produce more detail on a 15 megapixel camera. This is because the lens and the sensor both combine to produce the details in the final image.

A sharper lens will always give you finer image detail, no matter what the sensor resolution. And a higher resolution sensor will always give you finer image detail, no matter what the lens in front of it!

Some maths

Mathematically, this is an approximation of how it works:

1/I2 = 1/L2 + 1/S2

or

I2 = 1 / (1/L2 + 1/S2)

I is image detail, L is lens resolution and S is sensor resolution. These are linear resolutions, just as in the MTF-charts I referred to above. (Megapixels are two linear resolutions multiplied together, width x height.)

Let’s say we have a camera with S = 2,300 and a lens with L = 3,000. That would give us an image with 1,825 lines per picture height:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/2,3002) = 1,8252

I = 1,825

If we now buy a better camera with, say, S = 3,200 we’ll get more and finer details in our images:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/3,2002) = 2,1872

I = 2,187

As you can see, the lens is still able to resolve a lot more detail than we get in the final image.

To get anywhere near the maximum performance out of a lens, the sensor needs to resolve at least three times as much as the lens:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/9,0002) = 2,8462

I = 2,846

2,846 lines is basically 95% of what the lens in this example can resolve.

As you may have noticed, the numbers in my examples above are not just taken out of the blue. The values for the sensor resolutions correspond to the image heights in pixels of the Canon EOS 350D and Canon EOS 50D.

I chose a lens resolution value that would make the image resolution values (1,825 and 2,187) correspond fairly closely to the average measured resolution in Photozone’s tests that I linked to. In other words, 3,000 line widths (per image height) is probably roughly what the 18-55mm IS can resolve.

Conclusion

So, what does this all mean? Well, since the numbers in the examples above correspond roughly to reality, we can make a simple calculation.

To get 95% of the resolution out of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS, or any other half decent lens, we need a sensor ~9,000 pixels high. Which means the width would be 13,500 pixels.

That equals 121.5 megapixels!

Even if we settle for 90% of the lens’ resolution, we need 60 megapixels to get there! Currently, Canon’s cameras are getting something like 60-75% out of the EF-S 18-55mm IS.

These figures obviously sound insane. But it is no more insane than having 12-14 megapixels in a compact camera. (A digital SLR has more than ten times the sensor area of a compact.) Flash memory and hard drives are getting cheaper all the time, so one day it will happen.

In other words, the megapixel myth is a myth in itself. Camera makers are not being tricksy when they add more megapixels. In fact, if we want to get the most out of our lenses we need lots and lots of megapixels!

Of course, there are many other aspects of a camera that are at least as important as the sensor resolution. And when it comes to compact cameras, with sensors no more than 5 or 6 mm wide, we’re probably reaching the upper limits of what makes sense. By now, I’m guessing that compacts are getting practically all the resolution out of their lenses.

Friday, October 31st 2008

Too Many Pixels, Canon

Dpreview.com just posted their full review of the Canon EOS 50D. The interesting part is when they look at the noise performance.

Canon EOS 50D

According to the review, Canon have claimed that the 50D will perform better than the 40D even though it has 50 percent more pixels. If you scroll down the test page you can clearly see that this is not the case at all.

Also, the pixel density of a 15 MP APS-C sized sensor is more than even the best lenses can cope with.

So what you get is this: Unnecessarily large files with more noise (which in turn increases the file size even more).

Canon, please understand that SLR buyers aren’t as gullible as compact buyers when it comes to megapixels. That said, the 50D has many other nice features: A huge, high-res screen, HDMI output, front/back focus adjustment per lens, to name a few.

All those are features I want on my next camera. Just not the oversized, noisy images.

So. Dear Canon. Please release an update to the 30/40/50D series with the nice gadgets of the 50D, but with a more reasonable sensor resolution. 10 MP is about right I’d say.