Joseph V Higbee.com P & M Intro

Photos and Musings

Volume Three

Page 10
March 31, 2014

6D and 7D Compared

American Robin American Robin Dark-eyed 'Oregon' Junco Dark-eyed 'Oregon' Junco American Robin American Robin Dark-eyed 'Oregon' Junco Dark-eyed 'Oregon' Junco

Having used the 6D for a couple of shoots and gotten familiar with it, I decided it was time to make some comparisons between it and my 7D. This first set of comparisons is all I had time for today. I would like to also do some with clear sky in the background. That would give a better comparison of the noise level as well as sharpness and halo effects. Maybe later on I can do that but for now I'll discuss what I learned from these.
   Distance on the robins is the same, the 6D junco is a little further out than the one from the 7D. Both cameras were set to aperture priority, f5.6, ISO 2000. The same lens combination was used, 300mm, 1.4X and 2X extenders, in that order. Live view and contrast AF were used. There was no micro-focus adjustment made on either camera. I used the jpg files from each camera and made no further adjustment other than resizing. The first row is the full frame captured and the second row is the crop I would normally post.
   Looking at the photos, I would say the crops are pretty equal. Detail, sharpness, noise, color and contrast all quite close to the same. What I can't show here, though is the difference between the cameras in taking the photos.
   The 6D just plain works better in every way. Even though the subject is smaller in the frame, it is easier to see. The contrast autofocus with this combo is slow on the 6D. On the 7D it is painful, going off to hunt even if it starts from being focused. I have noticed the phase detect AF is faster AND more accurate on the 6D also.
   In conclusion: The 7D is no longer part of my toolkit. It isn't needed, the 6D can do what it does, for me, and more. An improved 7D when it finally arrives? We'll see.

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April 17, 2014

6D and 7D Compared Again

White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed 'Oregon' Junco Purple Finch

A very dark, rainy, cloudy day. Wool pants, wool coat, wool hat, cotton socks, cold feet. Sitting in the gazebo for several hours trying to get comparable shots with different camera bodies. I mean, how much fun can a person have? In spite of the whining, it was interesting and I learned a little more about my equipment. Depending on how you look at it, the 6D isn't as good as I thought or the 7D is better than I gave it credit for in my previous post.
   The comparison photos here are equal distance from the camera. They are cropped to be very close to equal size. I used the 70-200mm lens with the 2X teleconverter for 400mm focal length on all.
   What the pictures show:
The image quality is pretty much the same when cropped to the same finish size. Detail definition is very close to equal. Noise level at finish size is also very close to equal. That surprised me, I expected the 6D to be superior. The 7D (and the 60D not shown) exposes about 1/2 to 2/3 stop darker than the 6D. I lightened the White-crowned Sparrow from the 7D to make it roughly the same as the 6D. The 6D is more accurate, in tone and color, out of the camera. The brightness of the viewfinder gave the 6D a slight advantage on the sparrows but the advantage went to the 7D for the 3 times more distant Purple Finch. The unadjusted photos give a pretty accurate picture of the difference that actually exists between the two views, the 7D is darker but accurately depicts the exposure without compensation. The 6D is lighter but also accurate.
   The rest of the story:
When making the decision to buy the 6D, I was hoping it would be as good as the 7D for these types of cropped photos. It is close enough but probably no better. I like the autofocus on the 6D but for these there was not much difference. When an eagle flew over, however, I raised the 6D and snapped a couple quick shots. They were too dark, of course, but it focused on the bird even though there were trees in the background, not clear sky. I have never been able to do that with the 7D. The 6D autofocus is simple but it works! The advantage of having more 'area' to work with does allow me to use the same lens over a greater range of distances.
   I like using the 6D better than any previous camera I have owned. I would like to have the advantages of the 'crop frame' when and if they improve it to where it is an advantage. The 7D was and is a very good camera but it is close to retirement age. I thought I might sell it but like all things close to retirement age, no one has much use for it even though it still has a lot to offer.

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May19, 2014

What it's all about

Western Kingbird Black-crowned Night Heron Northern Waterthrush Yellow-headed Blackbird

   I'm there!! I started in November of 2010 to make changes in the equipment I was using for photography. My principle reason was old age, mine not the equipment. The heavy lens and tripod were just getting too hard to lug around. All of the things I have gone through in making changes I have written about here in my musings over the past 3 1/2 years. Some false starts and some heavy decisions but it's done, I'm there. I have what I was looking for and am able to do all that I am capable of doing. These four photos represent what that is.
   The first one, a Western Kingbird, was taken on a short walk in the early morning in a state park in southern Idaho. Short walks, on easy trails, I can handle. The day before I tried walking too far over soft sand and needed help getting back.
   The second, a Black-crowned Night Heron, was near the road in a refuge in Utah. I had to get out of the car for this shot but the camera and lens are easily hand-holdable and it was no problem.
   The Northern Waterthrush, somewhat rare anywhere in the northwest, was in a state park in Utah. I had to wait some time for it's appearance and, when it did finally show itself, I had to hold the camera and lens in shooting position for long periods of time. Also having to shift position often to avoid obstructions.
   The Yellow-headed Blackbird was right alongside the road. I was able to lift and hold the camera and lens in position without the need of any support, a real advantage when working from the car.
   These four photos are also as good in quality as any I have ever taken. The equipment is better than any I have had and, I truly believe, is as good as I will ever need. I can now continue enjoying the taking of photos, and that's what finding the right equipment was all about.

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