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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 23 Jul 2013 (Tuesday) 09:55
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Shooting with a telephoto lens, 1D4 or 7D

 
skycolt
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Jul 23, 2013 09:55 |  #1

Hi all, I got a question about camera selection. I am thinking about buying a telephoto lens, 500 or 600 f4, for birding. I imaging it would be great to couple a 1D4 with these lenses. But these are expensive lenses. I would prefer to save some money on camera side if possible. So I am thinking about using a 7D with them. One of my concern is the focusing of 7D. I've used 2 of the model and feel the focusing is not very consistent, especially for a flying object. For any of you who had similar questions/struggles, could you share your thoughts and experience on this? Will I feel contented with 7D or should I save more for a better camera?

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jaomul
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Jul 23, 2013 10:01 |  #2

I recently swapped a 7d for a 1d mark 2. This may seem like sacrilage because the 1d2 is an old camera with only 8mp and no video, a moderate hifhest ISO etc etc. I find the a/f on the 1d mark 2 miles ahead of the 7d. My amount of keepwers on moving subjects has definetely increased. The 1d mark iii apparently had some focus issues that were addressed by the 1d4, which in turn is supposedly excellent. not quite what you asked but may help


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Jul 23, 2013 10:02 |  #3

There is no denying the 1D4 is superb for that task. Perhaps you can check the online classified sections(here and Fred Miranda or photo.net) and get a good deal on the big 4. On the other hand, the 7D has a primo AI focus and I have no problem using one for birding.
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skycolt
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Jul 23, 2013 10:11 |  #4

Guys, thanks for the input. I've never played with a long supertele so any input will help. I know the two cameras are different on a 400 5.6, but not sure if you can still feel the difference on long tele.


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adamo99
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Jul 23, 2013 11:03 |  #5

If your budget only allows for 7D' ish camera, go with the 1DmkIII. You give up some pixels on target, but the AF initial lock and tracking on the 1-series are far superior, so the pixels you do capture will be in focus.




  
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Miki ­ G
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Jul 23, 2013 11:53 |  #6

I think that it comes down to practice & familiarity of the equipment rather than camera choice. The 7D is an awesome camera when used properly. I pre-focus the lens at a distance that I can comfortably focus on a bird flying & use AI Servo to track them. The focus stays on the target without any problems (unless of course, that user error (me) cannot track the target & the lens cannot find it again. I've also used the 1Dx & haven't found it any better than the 7D, especially with low contrast subjects, but that could be down to me not being as familiar with the 1Dx. The 7D will also give some additional reach because of the crop factor, should you need it.




  
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TeamSpeed
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Jul 23, 2013 12:08 |  #7

If you use AF with expansion or the zone modes on the 7D, it should do pretty well with motion shots. I have found that more erratic AF has more to do with lenses than the 7D. Many of the Sigma HSM lenses will "twitch" during AF tweaking by the 7D in AI Servo, but Canon USM lenses are smoother and sure with their AF tweaking, for example. This Sigma "twitch" will yield oof shots from time to time, because of whatever design they have in place to talk to the camera.

There shouldn't be a huge different in AF performance between the 7D and 1D4 for example, as they both use the same AI Servo II protocols and algorithms. The 1D4 was quicker and a bit more surefooted than the 7D, but the 7D wasn't really a slouch.

If I can follow a dragonfly and get focus on it (not consistently but it does happen), then its AF is pretty good, because it made up for my lack of tracking. :)


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juckerz
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Jul 23, 2013 15:25 |  #8

TeamSpeed wrote in post #16146593 (external link)
There shouldn't be a huge different in AF performance between the 7D and 1D4 for example, as they both use the same AI Servo II protocols and algorithms.

That's the dumbest thing I've read all day, and I was just on a NASCAR forum. These two cameras most certainly do not use the same implementation of 'AI Servo II AF'. Tracking algorithms are created for specific bodies based on the number and sensitivity of the focus points. So an algorithm for a 45 focus point 1D body isn't going to be the same as one created for the 7D's 19 points (or any subset of those points),,, now is it? Duh.


1D II, III, & IV bodies all murder the 7D in tracking accuracy and focus speed.


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TeamSpeed
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Jul 23, 2013 20:16 |  #9

juckerz wrote in post #16147167 (external link)
That's the dumbest thing I've read all day, and I was just on a NASCAR forum. These two cameras most certainly do not use the same implementation of 'AI Servo II AF'. Tracking algorithms are created for specific bodies based on the number and sensitivity of the focus points. So an algorithm for a 45 focus point 1D body isn't going to be the same as one created for the 7D's 19 points (or any subset of those points),,, now is it? Duh.


1D II, III, & IV bodies all murder the 7D in tracking accuracy and focus speed.

You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but you are also obviously ignorant on how software works. 5 point AF, 20 point AF or 100 point AF, the same software can work, just with a larger array of data to pass focus to. I also have used multiple 1D3s, 1D4, and multiple 7Ds, and I know very, very well how they all compare.

Bottom line, the 7D and 1D4 both use dual digic iv processors with a separate dedicated AF processor, and both employ AI Servo II algorithms. Sure, there might be some tweaks and setting adjustments to the 1D4, but basically, the same platform. # of AF points and their types are nothing more than configuration data in the firmware. So perhaps my post wasn't the dumbest one out there, and you can go back to the Nascar forums. ;)

More learning grasshopper, less attacking...

From Canon wrote:
Like all EOS-1 series models, and the EOS 7D, the EOS-1D Mark IV features a dedicated autofocus microprocessor for handling AF calculations. To cope with AI Servo running at 10fps, the autofocus processor shares this processing with the camera processor, thereby improving the speed of AF calculations.

The autofocus algorithm has also been adjusted based on user feedback. The EOS-1D Mark IV has a more balanced response that has been tuned to offer a more stable autofocus operation.

AI Servo II autofocus functions in a similar way to the system found in the EOS 7D – when tracking a moving subject it will predict where the subject should be based on current trajectory and speed. If the camera obtains an autofocus reading that is substantially different to what is expected, it will ignore that reading and continue to the next predicted position. This also works effectively when an obstacle passes in front of the main subject. In this instance, the camera will continue to track the main subject basing the focus on the results calculated immediately before the obstacle passed between the camera and the subject. The changes in the autofocus system and algorithm mean that AI Servo II AF can now be used accurately with close-up subjects as well.


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bobbyz
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Jul 23, 2013 22:53 |  #10

Personally unless I was doing BIFs I will start with that 1dsmk3 you have in your signature. I used to shoot with 1dmk2 and 500mm f4 IS I and loved that combo. I assume newer 1dmk4 is much better. When I had 5dmk3 it certainly was much better than 1dmk2.


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Jul 24, 2013 06:01 |  #11

Skycolt, what lenses have you used with the 7D that had erratic AF? Also, have you watched any of the videos describing the AF modes and CF settings on the 7D to help you set it up to do tracking? The 1D4 is definitely the better camera, I loved the 1D4 and once they drop in price around the $2K mark, I will most likely pick one up again. If you have the budget to get the 1D4, then definitely get it. It performs better at high ISOs (or all ISOs actually), its AF is snappier and is more configurable, battery life is much better, and has several other great features for other kinds of shooting. You could also get a 1.4x teleconverter and get f8 AF with the 1D4, allowing you to get a less expensive lens to help offset the purchase.


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GyRob
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Jul 24, 2013 06:13 |  #12

Higher voltage of the D series will drive the lens faster so will focus faster .
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Jul 24, 2013 06:17 |  #13

If you can hold out for the 1d4, I would. Although the 7D will allow you get more pixels on target and appear to support cropping better, that isn't always the case. In my experience I have found that the cleaner files out of the 1d4 provides more cropping and post processing leeway than the 7d. The AF is similar between the two. The larger battery and tighter array on the 1d4 results in somewhat better performance.


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Jul 24, 2013 10:01 |  #14

Arthur Morris found the 7D worked well for bird shots, including BIF, for what it's worth:
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com …eos-7d-first-impressions/ (external link)
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com …ality-af-pattern-comment/ (external link)
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com …-2x-ii-tc-and-the-eos-7d/ (external link)


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jwcdds
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Jul 24, 2013 10:16 |  #15

Keep in mind that it may (and often) require higher shutter speeds to get equally sharp photos out of the 7D simply because of the higher pixel density. Any amount of shake/movement gets augmented. 7D's pixel density would be that of a 46mp FF sensor, whereas the 1D4's density would equal that of a 27mp FF sensor.

My experience is limited to the 7D vs. 1DX, but the 1D(series) can acquire focus faster simply due to the higher voltage battery to drive the AF motor. However, after both cameras acquire focus to start tracking, I've yet to encounter anything that the 7D couldn't keep up.


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Shooting with a telephoto lens, 1D4 or 7D
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