Andrew Macpherson

Tag: Canon

5DIII after some weeks

by on Aug.02, 2012, under Equipment, Off the wall

I must say I’m loving it. The only major pain is how long the after-market ‘L’ bracket which fits round the BG-E11 took to appear. I noticed that Really Right Stuff had shipped some, even if they were on back order, so I ordered mine too, and now it has arrived to my great relief.

I’ve been getting questions on club outings about the L bracket, as the benefit isn’t immediately obvious to someone who hasn’t used one before. The quick switch from portrait to landscape, without having to re-adjust your tripod, and the way the weight stays centred are pretty conclusive, and of course the final benefit is the vendor neutrality of the Arca style fitting

A lot of thought has gone into the ergonomics on the 5D3. I initially set up my custom menu to copy that from my 5D2, and this got me going quickly. I’ve now almost completely deleted it, because everything is so quickly available on the shooting info back menu. Strangely after finding this on the 3, I discovered it had been there on the 5D2 as well (click the joystick on the back of the 2 to activate the selection, use the set button to select the setting to be adjusted). Presumably much the same is available on the 7D.

The new features I find myself using are:

  • All those focus points
  • built in level
  • 5 and 7 step bracketing
  • all those focus points
  • the second memory card for jpgs to copy onto my iPad for preview, and to tag using Photosmith
  • faster burst mode, particularly for panning and low light
  • did I mention all those focus points?

I nearly had a failed outing, as I left in a rush, only to discover that I had withdrawn my battery tray to put the Canon batteries on to charge and not picked it up again. Fortunately I had put the AA battery tray into my camera bag, along with a box of batteries. All goes to reinforce the need to carry spare memory cards and power at all times.

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New things on the 5D MkIII

by on May.31, 2012, under Equipment, Learning

For everyone who is much too busy to put in the time that’s going to save time later by reading the manual, I thought I would highlight a few things that might be less obvious to someone coming from the older 5D models as I did, and picking up the 5D3 for the first time.

These comments assume that the 5D3 you’re looking at has not had all the buttons customised to different functions.

First off there are lots of submenus under each main heading when you press menu.  On the MkII one would rotate the main dial by the shutter release of move between the top level menus.  On the 5D3 the main dial will get you there, but by way of all the second level headings.  The Quick control Button, between the rear dial and the screen jumps quickly through the top level headings.

Wow! those are a lot of AF points, and a lot of different ways of using them, but the menu doesn’t seem to let you choose which to use, only which modes can be selected.  The choice of how much of the sensor array to engage is left to shooting time, and the tiny M-Fn button in front of the shutter release (7D users will already be familliar with this) toggles through the different modes you have enabled (all modes are on by default)

Having 2 card slots is a big win, and explicitly supporting the Eye-Fi card in the SD slot is also really good, but there is initial confusion to get round…  If one starts with just one card at the left of the menus, one can set, for instance, that one wants to save both raw and large jpeg.  A little further on one might add another card and come to the menu item where one choses what to do in terms of using it…. The choice seems to be::

  1. Use just one card
  2. Fill one then the other card
  3. Write everything to both cards
  4. Split what is written between both cards

Possibly in a different order… Well since one has chosen to collect both jpeg and raw the split write is the obvious choice, but one then seems to have both cards with the L jpegs and the raw not being saved…  Back to the image quality menu, and with split set, and 2 cards installed one can now choose what to store on each card.

That’s the obvious ones from working through the menus.  I now have 400 pages on manual to read

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New 5D3 with BG-E11, unboxing and first impressions

by on May.31, 2012, under Equipment, Off the wall

Yippee! it’s arrived.  36 hours after dispatch, impressive.  I’d been holding off waiting for the BG-E11 to become available, as I just can’t stand not having the vertical grip.  Within 24 hours of it being marked as available I had it ordered.

Small package enclosed in bubble wrap

Arrived well wrapped

(continue reading…)

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Rugby from the stands

by on Feb.19, 2012, under Equipment, Learning, Workflow

Penalty Kick

On Saturday I had a welcome unexpected chance to go to a Harlequins home game, and saw it as a chance to try some of the ideas that I’ve been picking up from Scott Kelby’s blog though just from the stands, rather than the privileged sideline access of the professional.

Kick-off was at 17:30 a quarter hour after sunset, so this was strictly a floodlight exercise.  I quickly found that the exposure on the field of play was fairly constant, but there was huge risk of variability if one let the camera “do it’s thing”so went fully manual, f2.8, 1/800th & ISO on H1 (12800).  The other half of this exercise was processing in LightRoom 4 beta, and the noise removal could only be better than the already good results one gets in Lr3. (continue reading…)

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Another Speedlight replacement

by on Oct.22, 2011, under Equipment, Off the wall

New Nissin Flash

After the problems with the YN565 I was a little more circumspect when looking for an affordable slave flash, and checked with the vendor that the unit I was considering would indeed work with my Canon ST-E2.  With a positive response I went for the NISSIN Digital Di866 Mk II this unit operates both in the hotshoe, and as an IR triggered Slave.  Missing features would seem to be

  • High Speed sync Button — only available from the Camera menu
  • Second Curtain Sync, also only on menu.

As is usual with high end flashes, there will be various sets of things that don’t get used by individual photographers — at the moment I don’t see myself using Multi for instance, but so far I’m pleased with a unit that’s half the price of the Canon equivalent, it “just works”

A note for Mac users: be prepared to go online to download the manual, as it is delivered on a mini-CD incompatible with the mechanised media slots on Macs.

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YN565 E-TTL Flash Speedlite fails with Canon ST-E2

by on Oct.04, 2011, under Equipment, Off the wall, On Site

At £102, tax paid,this looks like a real bargain, and for some people it may be.

The Speedlite works in hotshoe mode perfectly, has no flash master mode, but makes up for that with 3 Slave modes. ETTL (Canon and Nikon), plus S1 and S2 (S2 is supposed to ignore pre-flash).

It’s billed as working with the ST-E2 which is what Canon call their Speedlite trigger.  It turns out that Yongnuo make their own ST-E2, and any attempt to use it with my Canon transmitter results in a premature flash (it does recognise which channel is in use though) It also ignores the test firing signal from the ST-E2, but does operate with DoF preview (button to the left below the lens on Canon).

My Speedlite 580 is out of commission (with Canon for £104 fixed price repair) so I did not test it using that as Master, but as the whole point was to have 2 powerful speedlites for off camera use, it would be unsatisfactory even if that worked.

The EBay trader who sold it to me  accepted the return, but was unable to furnish me with a unit that would work with the Canon transmitter, so refunded my payment.  I’m left £3.50 lighter (return postage), so I hope this will help anyone else looking to use this unit who might also be misled by the description.

Anyone got any other suggestions for a lower cost unit? (Already got EX430)

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