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Canon 7D in the field

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Canon 7D in the field, testo e foto by Juza. Pubblicato il 08 Giugno 2012; 0 risposte, 5283 visite.

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 1/1000 f/5, iso 400, handheld. Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina.

In my latest trip to Patagonia I have had the opportunity to use extensively the 7D in the field, for wildlife photography. I bought the 7D in late November and I immediately liked it...now I like it even more! This photo has been taken in Tierra Del Fuego, near Ushuaia. Like all wildlife photos of this trip, it is taken handheld: using a stabilized lens, plus relatively high ISO, it is possible to get tack sharp photos! The image quality of the 7D is a good improvement in comparison with the previous semi-pro APS-C cameras, like the 20D, 40D, 50D. The 20D has good image quality up to ISO 1600, but the 40D made a little step back in terms of ISO capabilities - it had more resolution, but from my tests it was about 0.5 stops noisier. The trend continued with the 50D: even higher resolution, but a bit more noise than 40D and 20D...with the 7D, instead, things have changed: while resolution keep growing, this time the noise has been lowered in comparison with the 50D. The 7D is fully usable up to ISO 1600, and even 3200 can be used if you don't mind some noise.

What about sharpness and resolution? In studio, with the 7D you can get a detail that is very close to the detail of 1DsIII...in other words, fantastic! In the field, it is a little more difficult to get the best from the 18 megapixels APS-C sensor: if you use cheap lenses or so-so techniques, you won't see much advantage in comparison to the 10 megapixels of the 40D. Of course resolution will never be worse - in the worst case it will be on par. It is a common misconception to think that a photo is "sharper" when taken with a low pixel count camera: if you have first rate lenses and great techniques, a camera with more megapixel will give the same sharpness and more resolution (more detail). In the worst case, the camera with more megapixel will look softer at 100% (because the image is more magnified), but when comparing photos resized at the same resolution, for example at 10 megapixels, the detail will be the same.

100% crop (post processed with noise reduction and sharpening) from the previous photo.

The 300 f/2.8 L IS is one of my favorite lenses, and it makes a great combo with the 7D: you get a 480mm f/2.8 equivalent, razor sharp even wide open. The large aperture allows to get fast shutter speed, and the APS-C sensor gives 1 stop advantage in terms of depth of field, in comparison with fullframe. You can even use it with the 2x teleconverter, with surprisingly good results, if you stop down a little...I have been amazed by the image quality of 7D + 300 2.8 IS + 2x! And with this combo you have a 600mm f/5.6 (960mm equivalent), a killer lens for wildlife, easily handholdable and easy to carry around, unlike the bigger superteles.
Of course, other than a good lens you need fast shutter speed, to avoid motion blur, and good AF. If you are not satisfied by the sharpness of your photos, be sure to check the AF calibration: for example, my Canon 300 2.8 required a -15 correction, otherwise all photos were slightly out of focus.

Overall, I have appreciated nearly everything about the 7D - there are only two things I'd have like to see improved: even lower noise (the 7D is already good, but 1 or 2 stops of improvement are always welcome!) and two APS-C wide-angles to replace my fullframe Sigma 12-24 and Sigma 20 1.8. We will have to wait a year or two to get lower noise in the next 7D, while for the wide-angles I had a nice surprise when I came back from the trip: Sigma has announced a 8-16mm for APS-C, equivalent to 12-24mm on fullframe! This is one of the lenses I was waiting for, and if image quality will be good, it will become my wide angle on the 7D...and in my next trip I may even leave at home the 1DsIII!

Some more 100% crops from other photos:

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 1/2500 f/2.8, iso 400, handheld. 100% crop (post processed with noise reduction and sharpening).

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 1/320 f/3.2, iso 800, handheld. 100% crop (post processed with noise reduction and sharpening).

Last, a pretty impressive 100% crop from the 300 2.8 + 2x, stopped down by just 0.3 stop!

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Canon 2.0x TC, 1/1250 f/6.3, iso 400, handheld. 100% crop (post processed with noise reduction and sharpening)

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