Mirrorless Cameras (MILC) and Lenses

LunarMist

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I'm getting an R7 in next week. I hope it does better than the 90D on the 500/4 IS II with a 1.4x III and RF-EF adapter.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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If you're using it on a tripod, aren't you supposed to disable the lens IBIS anyway?

I had special access to a pre season NBA game this weekend but "special access" meant a VIP suite behind one of the baskets rather than court side. I had a 70 - 200 but nothing longer. 3x zoom didn't really cut it. I didn't realize how big basketball arenas are.
 

LunarMist

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No tripod for this trip, just bags. I do put a 600/4 with TC on a tripod with true gimbal head.
Canon lens IS and camera IS are not separately controllable. If the lens has IS and it is off, the camera IS is also off. If the lens IS is on then the camera IS is also on.

In general, there is a whole mess of FUD on the interwebs about IS and tripods, etc. It just boggles how people regurgitate nonsense like a lens sensing a tripod. You should really test your own gear under simulated usage conditions and determine the amplitude/velocity envelope over which the lens/body and system IS will operate reliably. I've used about two dozen Canon L lenses with IS and thoughts are as follows.

I often don't turn off IS on longer lenses with 3-mode IS. (300/2.8, 200-400/4, 500/4, 600/4, 400/4). Mode 3 is fine all the time with RF lenses, though can result is reduced AF if the image is quite shaky pre-exposure. It doesn't work well with EF IS lenses on RF bodies and IS also keeps running. I turn off the IS for 24-70 or 24-105 good tripod mounted lenses of all kinds. The 100-500 works great with IS even at lower shutter speeds for landscapes, whereas the 100-400 II is less consistent. 70-200 lenses are in between short and long and you will have to decide based on tripod stability, lens model, and environment. IS tends to be more usable on flimsy tripods if there is constant movement, but can wig out when still. I have not tried the 70-200/2.8 RF, but suspect that the newer IS technology it contains will work better on a tripod than any other Canon 70-200.

I suspect the pros use short lenses like 16-35 or 24-70 around the basket and then somebody else shoots the midcourt and other end. A 70-200/4 and 180-400/4 or 200-400/4 probably cover quite a bit. Nikon also has a 120-300/2.8 that is a great sports lens.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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My roommate got her iPhone 14 Pro today. Still no sign of my R7 though. I'm contemplating the extra $400 to buy one with the 18 - 150, which is a lens I'd probably at least use if I had it.

Apparently the latest wave of Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom updates that are hitting in the next couple days are adding crap tons of new AI masking capabilities, like being able to specifically mask hair, lips, people or "background." At this point I'm really wondering if any other applications are ever going to reach parity with that, because things like hair flyaways are the bane of my life in photo editing.
 

LunarMist

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I captured less than 10K with the R7, but it worked quite well in EFCS at 8FPS without shutter shock. I only have practical use for the cropper with a 500/4 or 600/4. The effective angle of view on the 500/4 IS II w/1.4x III is the same as 1130mm FF and 32.3 MP is quite good providing there is enough light. The sensor has the same noise issues as the 90D from what I can see, meaning about ISO 1600 max or 800 for more range. At any ISO R7 images are still not as processable as images from the FF sensors. The 18-150 doesn't have very good IQ for 32.3 MP. It might not matter for lower-res outputs. Maybe start saving for the RF 135/1.8 IS which should be up your alley.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I have an EF 135/2 already, which is an amazing lens. I don't have as many opportunities to use it as I'd like given the limitations of my normal subject matter and likelihood that I'm shooting in a relatively small space. I got a "Launch Day" R6 that was actually delivered the day after I heard they were shipping. I ordered my R7 in the same way and I still don't know where that camera is.

Supposedly, we're going to see an R6ii in a few days, which will move up to a 24MP sensor that I can only assume will be the same one they put in the R3. I'll be interested to know if it has the same Smart Shoe and auto-level for video that the R7 does.
 

LunarMist

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I hope they keep the ergonomics of the R6 II more similar to the R6 or R5 than R7. The R7 is just stupidly designed, not good for the human hnads and not good for R5/R6 users. The power switch is right where the control dial is on the R5. The video is a third position on the On/Off switch so it is easy to accidentally engage the video mode. The traditional rear dial is concentric with the AF position toggle, but it is is so small that anyone with large thumbs will rotate it sometimes while changing the AF point. I don't know how it will function in winter. Full gloves will be impossible. Even using gloves with movable flaps to let out thumb/first digit and digits in a glove liner may be questionable. We'll see in December.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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As long as they don't bring that godawful touch bar from the R back, I can probably get used to almost anything else, although I definitely miss the top display on my old 5D.

On the R6, I do find that I have to be very deliberate in recording video, because the record button is too close to another button that's a similar size and shape. I wind up looking down at the camera to start a recording almost every time.

I move AF using the camera screen with my left thumb as a joystick if I'm using that instead of Eye AF, but I'm left handed, so that feels more natural than using the joystick in the first place. It's possible to get gloves that work with touchscreens. I use them with my phone probably four or five months out of the year, although that might not be ideal for someone who is used to working the joystick.

If I were to wish for a single feature to make its way back to the new Canons, I'd REALLY like to be able to shoot stills and video at the same time. I know I can framegrab something if I really want it, but that's not the same thing. Lately, I've been using my phone and a USB capture device to record video from the HDMI out on my phone, but my phone can only grab 4k30. This is kind of a time saver for some of the shooting I do, and models like being able to see what I'm doing since my phone also acts as a monitor in that circumstance.
 

LunarMist

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Unless you have 3 hands, I don't know what supports the lens and zooms, while the right thumb and right index finger control the camera.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Unless you have 3 hands, I don't know what supports the lens and zooms, while the right thumb and right index finger control the camera.

Flip the screen. You can control focus and shoot by dragging and tapping your left thumb on the screen if you'd like. I'd love to see a left-handed camera. Having everything on the right is a real inconvenience IMO. Even with my heavy Sigma lenses, it's not a big deal to have my thumb wrapped around the back of my camera body.
 

LunarMist

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I'm right handed, but anyway I need to constantly zoom and that is a fair ways away from the body with the longer RF or adapted EF lenses.
 

LunarMist

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The R7 shipments are in most stores this week. I should have a couple in soon. Unfortunately there is no way to save the R7 custom settings since the camera is so cheap. It's a half hour project to configure every time. :(
 

LunarMist

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Is that your first one? I'm struggling a bit with the gloves on my second R7. Even with the thumb/index finger flipped back and the glover liners I tend to rotate the control when using the AF toggle.

I'm trying to decide if it is feasible to get away with half-speed UHS-II cards or Tier 2 full-speed cards. The Tier 1 full-speed (half duplex) cards are rather pricey and I already have over 2TBs in high-grade CFe Type B cards. My 576GB of the fast UHS-II might last a week, depending on usage. Actually I am hoping not to need to use the R7 very much, but I know it will be tempting as the R5 runs out of reach. I am testing several other cars also.
 

LunarMist

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The R7s buffer really sucks once I use the higher framing rates. :( The designers really cheaped out by using the stupid SDXC cards instead of CFe. Otherwise they should have given it more RAM. ISO 1250 S/N is about the same as 3200 on the R5 though the image is 32MP rather than 45MP, so per image will still be somewhat worse. So many things about this camera are just a little out of whack. It seems OK to use, but then going back to the R5 the soft EVF, smaller rear display, and buffer are obnoxious. You have to work around all those limitations.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I finally got my goddamned R7. It feels cheap compared to the RP I had and I don't like having the power control on the right-hand side. From just chasing my cats and roommates around the house with it, it definitely doesn't keep up for low light; ISO 6400 looks to be about as high as I can push it without the shot being too noisy, but it'll probably spend most of its time with my 70-200 or 15-30 (yes, 15-30 isn't great on a crop body, but what I have is an image stabilized lens with a quiet motor, which makes it handy for video work).
 

LunarMist

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1600 is as high as I will go with an R7 (~4000 equivalent on R5), but I'm not getting paid. The R6 or R6 II will be much better in low light. The video reviews indicate that the R7's oversampled 4K is pretty good, but the line-skipping 4K modes kinda suck. The cropped 4K is really quite tele like 4/3. I'm curious how that video works for you.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'll say that I have enough faith in Topaz DeNoise to use 6400 ISO on the R7. We're having awful weather here. It might be a while before I do anything interesting with it.
 

LunarMist

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Well outdoors you should be able to use lower ISOs. I would be using the R6 at high ISOs. The more I use the R7, the less I like it.
Mathematically I need about 20 useful images before the Ground Hog's Day to meet break even.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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The R6 is the dark room with no control over lighting champion. I partway wonder if I should return it for an R6mk2 instead, but unfortunately, I won't get many opportunities to shoot outdoors in good light for several months unless I manage a couple weekend getaways to the south or west. I definitely like it a lot better than the RP. Of that I am certain.
 

LunarMist

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The 1st gen R bodies were not very good. I think they were rushed prematurely from marketing pressures and priced cheaply enough that the most severe of the limitations (AF and FPS) could be overlooked. Considering that your subjects are mainly humans or humanoid forms the R6 II seems a natural despite not containing a fast-scan sensor as the R3. I'm mildy intererested in the R6 II for a particular low light project.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'm to pack for a surprise offshore trip next week. I'm taking my RF 35mm for sure; it's small and inexpensive. But 24 - 70? 24 - 105/4? 24 - 240? 28-70? :D I'd have to rent a 24 - 105 or the insane 28-70, but my Sigma 24-70 is enormous. I've never been on a cruise. I'm going on a cruise.
 

Newtun

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I'm going on a cruise.
Don't go overboard on this idea. 😉

Is it one of those "mega-ships" with thousands of prisoners passengers?

My bro-in-law had just Emailed this morning, with a NYTimes-article comment about the recent incident where a passenger fell off the boat:

"When I imagine being trapped for 5 days with 4000 boozing, overeating strangers upon a massive sea toilet​
... the prospect of falling 80 feet into shark-infested waters seems preferable."​
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Don't go overboard on this idea. 😉

True story: a former co-worker of mine has been involved in ongoing national news because he dropped his wife's grandchild out of an open window while on a cruise. He was found criminally negligent but I believe his family is still trying to pursue a civil suit against the cruise line.

But in this case, several of the people who have stayed at my place for long periods of time got together and paid for the trip. They wanted it to be a surprise until they realized that I'd probably want to pack more than my usual camera bag for my visit to Florida.

Honestly, I'm not super sure about the cruise idea either. I'm the person still wearing a mask when I go to the grocery store. On the other hand, free trip to Nassau.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I found myself missing the fast aperture a lot more than I thought I would, but I will say that conditions aboard a cruise ship generally led to some absolutely killer golden hour lighting, above and belowdecks both. I was able to get photos uploaded to Google Photos from my devices within 8 hours of taking them, but if I'd been shooting with Lunar's R5, I wouldn't have been able to hit that time frame.
 

LunarMist

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I've been on more than a few ships, from around the Antarctic circle to more than 80° North, crossing the equator many times and being in other places at sea. I have photographed many subjects from a cruise ship to expedition vessel to a Zodiac to a mokoro, but never would I photograph anything on the ship.

I'm not sure what the R5 has to do with anything. Many pro users do sports and other events on deadlines and they write the low quality images to the second card slot, keeping the RAWs on the first slot. The HEIF images can be output at lower resolutions and are quite better than the old-school jpegs if the recipient is set up to use them though many still want jpegs. (That was the whole rationale for he A1 being 50MP when most of the PJ and sport photogs did not need the hi-res nor want the noise.) If I had to do event work I would use M (~22MP) on the R5 to a second slot, either HEIF or JPEG depending on the client. And you price the work according to the output and deadline. ;)
 

LunarMist

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I'm glad to see you come out of your shell over the past decade, but cruise ships are rather revolting to me. ;)

It's like being in a hotel resort on the ocean. Even if you spend a decent amount, maybe $500 room and closer to $1000/day all in you are still floating in a cess pool of air, water and foodborne bacteria, yeast and molds, not to mention viruses. The more private, smaller cruises may be many times more expensive. I'm really, really not into the socialism activities that normals prefer on the trips. I do and have done all sorts of activities for my role in the company at work, but that is for concrete goals (dare I say for benefit of humanity?), although most people would probably have no clue what happens in the real world. Obviously there are some islands where you have to take a ship (of some kind), just like there are some places you have to reach by air and sometimes "drop" in.

Guess I've just done too much traveling to like that part of it. For example over a period of less than 40 hours in December I was in seven airports in five countries to get back home from the destination.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'm sticking with the R7. I have two great camera bodies and the upgrade would be fairly marginal.
I'd get a lot out of a Canon 28-70/2. I have a set of Sigma EF 24, 50 and 85mm/1.4 primes +the RF 3.5/1.8 that I could probably sell to that end, but I really love all those lenses. In any case that's PROBABLY my next big expenditure.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Canon Log or h.265 output is 10-bit 422. There are no plans from any GPU manufacturer to offer support for that particular level of chroma sampling, although 10-bit 444 and 420 ARE supported on all the newest GPUs. Intel iGPUs (but not Ark), high end Snapdragon and Apple M hardware DO have 422 support. One of the pain points in video editing right now is having to immediately either make a downsampled proxy file and then allowing a CPU to chew on the real edits once the edits are finalized on the proxy (this is technically the "right" way to do it) or to immediately and destructively transcode to a format that's properly supported in hardware, which is what I usually do.

This is also why a lot of people who work with Canon, Sony and Panasonic mirrorless cameras use Atomos External recorders, since THOSE can transcode to Apple ProRes or some other editing friendly format in real time.

My Samsung S20 or Tab S8+ both have high end Snapdragon chips. If I plug a $30 HDMI to USB C capture device to my camera, I can get either phone or tablet to transcode my video to something easy to edit in realtime, just like an Atomos Ninja, apparently even for 8k60 video. I've been using this trick to use my phone as a monitor for my model, but I can capture the input from the camera on my phone at the same time I'm doing that and preserve the camera itself for stills shooting.

This is amazing news for me because it more or less eliminates my main rationale for buying a new GPU in his generation.

iOS devices can probably do the same thing but when we plugged the capture device in to an iphone 14 with a USB-C to lightning adapter, it didn't seem to do much of anything.
 

LunarMist

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Yikes, I knew that Canon was out of whack! They make real video cameras for a reason. But what do the pros and serious video people do on a low budget? Every day there are many events captured and others working on budget documentaries, advertising, etc. What exactly is the audience for your videos? Look for experts in your area, probably a specialty forum and go from there.
 

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I think the market for low-end (<$3k) cameras is disappearing quickly. As smartphones get better, there is less reason to get a cheap mirrorless or DSLR. And as the low end market shrinks, there is less reason for companies to R&D in that space, which means the cell phone manufacturers' massive volume allows them to make large gains every generation.

My Sony A7II is now just an overkill webcam for video calls.
 

LunarMist

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Actually Canon just started the RF-S (MILS) series of 1.6x crop bodies in 2022 and another one (R8) is expected to be announced in February. All are $1500 or less. Sales volume should be higher than the R5/R6 and R3. Canon in partciualr is relying heavily on lenses for profits as they did not license the RF mount to anyone. The R7 is an oddity because it sells to the low-mid range of the market as a main camera, but also as an extra body for those with a $13K 600/4 RF to obtain maximum reach.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Yikes, I knew that Canon was out of whack! They make real video cameras for a reason.
Canon's C-series RF bodies do the same thing with video. It's also true for Sony's video-specific cameras and even GoPros. It's all 10 bit 422. This is standard for everything less than studio-grade cinema cameras like Arri, where 12-bit 444 is the standard. The problem is that GPU manufacturers other than Intel aren't offering hardware codecs for 422. If you're trying to stick with 422, you have to do all your work in CPU, at some fraction of realtime processing. If you have video that's already in a supported format (HEVC 420, for example), a GPU will kick in and work can be done at multiples of realtime. Losing the chrominance bits in the source video also makes color grading a lot harder. In the end, it's the fault of AMD and nVidia for not supporting the thing that high end cameras have been doing for about the last five years.

It turns out that Arc, even the lowly A380, has HEVC 422 support. It took me forever to confirm that, but it does. But Arc doesn't have nvenc, which is usually the fastest way to encode an output video. There's a lot to be said for having multiple unmatched GPUs in a Windows system set up for video editing. I put an A380 in my workstation just for Resolve Studio and it does make using native Canon video a lot easier. No more watching my CPU spike to 70% utilization as I scrub through my project timeline.


I think the market for low-end (<$3k) cameras is disappearing quickly. As smartphones get better, there is less reason to get a cheap mirrorless or DSLR. And as the low end market shrinks, there is less reason for companies to R&D in that space, which means the cell phone manufacturers' massive volume allows them to make large gains every generation.

My Sony A7II is now just an overkill webcam for video calls.

Oh no. There totally is a reason. Phone cameras are just not flexible enough. Almost all the actual improvement from year to year come from computational AI rather than improvement in sensor or lens technology. The AI gets trained on specific subjects and situations, and if you're looking at output critically, you can definitely see sometimes that for example Samsung likes to over-sharpen and wash out output. Apple seems to do a little bit of skin smoothing that's not true to life (it's also mildly notorious for wiping out detail on dark-skinned human subjects) or Pixel phones that often seem to drop highlights compared to everyone else. ILC cameras do a bit of this as well; Canon trends reddish; Sony is often flat and bluish; Fuji seems to love all things green, but it's much easier to correct big-boy camera output. The people making phone cameras expect people to take a lot of pictures of human beings and pets, so they're good at those things. They're generally NOT good at representing reality. If that's suddenly important, they're not so hot any longer. It's a lot easier to use a good sensor and good optics in all conditions than to hope Apple or Samsung trained AI to deal with whatever condition you happen to be shooting.

The most obvious place *I* see this is taking photos in the club where my friends work. My R6 has no problem at all, but even iphone 14s and Pixel 7s just produce noisy, uncorrectable mush. Anyone who has tried to take phone pictures at an indoor concert has definitely had the same experience.
 

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I agree, and that is why I have a wall of lenses for my 7DII, but the amount of content I see that is now just cell phones leads me to believe most people aren't bothering to learn photography or color science at all. Honestly the poor audio gets me more than the botched exposure.
 
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Wireless lavs when possible and getting a little boom to keep the mic away from whatever noises your lens is making go a long way to fixing that.
 

LunarMist

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I agree, and that is why I have a wall of lenses for my 7DII, but the amount of content I see that is now just cell phones leads me to believe most people aren't bothering to learn photography or color science at all. Honestly the poor audio gets me more than the botched exposure.
Why care about most people? Are they the ones buying your prints or the ones you interact with in a photo club, competition, or workshop? The main issue I see is lack of artistic vision, followed by poor technique, same as always.
Anyways there are much better cameras than the 7D II (there were even in Oct. 2014) that will work with many or all of those lenses on the wall.
 
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