Key Specs:

  • Full Frame
  • 24.2mp Sensor
  • 10 fps
  • 693 Phase Detection AF Points
  • 425 Contract Detection AF Points
  • 4K HDR Video

Likes:

  • Size, Weight, and Portability
  • Frame rate
  • Full Frame
  • Image Quality

Dislikes:

  • Initial AF acquisition
  • AF point size
  • EVF (takes getting used to)

I have owned my camera for just a couple of weeks now, and have had the opportunity to take it to some local parks to test it out in nature.  This is no where near enough time to give a full opinion on the camera, however it is enough time to get some initial thoughts and impressions that I wanted to share (I’m not promising that these will not change as I use the camera more, for better or worse).

 

AF Points
The camera has 693 phase-decection, of which 425 of them are also contrast-detecting, AF points, and covers 93% of the viewfinder, that is absolutely incredible, especially in comparison to some of the DSLR cameras out there.

 

When I first started shooting with the camera on “single point”, I was like this AF point is HUGE, especially shooting chickadees at any distance.  What I didn’t realize, and actually didn’t see anywhere in the manual is that the single point has three sizes, small, medium, and large, and I think I was on large.  So that solved, the single AF point is actually a reasonable size.

 

I still haven’t found much use for the other AF points, other than the single point spot assist.

 

I do enjoy, especially being a frustrated Canon shooter, how much of the frame (like all of it) you can cover with the AF point.  This makes it really handy when trying to setup an animalscape type shot, and could see how landscape shooters would find this useful.

 

Autofocus
As for the autofocus itself (once I found the right-size points), was a little on the slow side, especially on the initial acquisition of focusing on something.  This can be a bit frustrating when shooting the popular “little chirpy birds” (as defined in all bird books – haha), because by the time you get the focus they are flying off to another branch, and you have to start the process all over again. I also think that this would make shooting small birds in flight, like Tree Swallows, very frustrating, but when you nail it, you will nail it.

 

I do find however that the camera is actually pretty good at keeping the focus locked on as the subject moves around, and I am not finding a bunch of blurry shots when shooting a burst.

 

Frame-rate / buffering
The camera boasts 10 frames per second, and it was one of the key advertised features is the frame rate of the camera.  While the frames per second is important, to me the more important question is how many shots can I take until the camera slows down and begins buffering.  In my normal shooting, using RAW images, SD card, and 1/1000 shutter speed I was able to get just over 25 shots before the camera started slowing down, which I think is pretty good.

 

Along the same lines as this is the blackout, you know the momentary (can be nanoseconds) where you cannot actually see anything through the viewfinder.  I do find the blackout to be a bit longer on this camera than I am used to when looking through the viewfinder.

 

Something I am finding particularly annoying is if I shoot a burst, and then want to recompose, I need to wait for images to clear the buffer (or at least some of the images) before I can get my AF point back and refocus to take another shot.  I have also noticed that while copying images to the card, you cannot access the menu, or switch from still to video shooting until all the images are cleared.  This could really be the difference between getting and missing the shot.

 

Electronic Viewfinder
I think the biggest noticeable difference for anyone that is switching from a DSLR to a Mirrorless is the electronic viewfinder. While I think they have come a long way from some that I have looked at in the past, it’s still not crisp and sharp, and the colors even seem a little distorted compared to what I am used to with the DSLR.

 

Meanwhile, the rear LCD shows a very nice view of the image, but I just can’t stand to hold the camera out in front of me while taking pictures…I feel like a tourist holding out my iPhone.

 

Image Quality
Outside some of the limitations that I noted above (assuming you aren’t waiting for your buffer to clear and miss the shot), the image quality of this camera is really quite nice.  You get a lot of fine detail, and it certainly is steps above point-and-shoot cameras, and I am very interested to see how it compares to the Canon full frame 5D Mark IV.

 

There are still many things left to test, the one thing I haven’t really tested yet but am super curious about is the ISO performance.  I have several shots at ISO 3200 that seem pretty clean.  I am hoping on the upcoming Great Bear Rainforest trip I will get some opportunities to try it out,

 

I’m excited to take this camera out on it’s first test – the Spring Great Bear Rainforest trip, and see how it holds up under real conditions.  I also still have a lot more testing to do including how it works with the metabones adapter, as well as how it compares to other full-frame cameras.  So stay tuned.

 

Feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca if you are planning to pick one up and have any questions, or to share some of your own personal feedback.

My 2018 Photo Tour season is about to begin.

 

Coastal

We are starting 2018 off with a new, more exploratory (for us anyway), trip of the Southern part of the Great Bear Rainforest.  This trip is new to me, as not only will we be visiting a different part of the Great Bear Rainforest, but also visiting during a different time of year, the Spring…and surprisingly it’s not even raining so far.

 

While this part of the Great Bear Rainforest we will be less likely to see Spirit Bears, we may have the opportunity to photograph Sea Otters, and other marine life, along with Grizzly Bears.  And if we are super lucky maybe even a Coastal Wolf, like the one pictured here that was photographed in the Northern part of the Great Bear Rainforest (the Khutzeymateen) last spring.   But you never know what you are going to see until you see it, that is the beauty of nature, it’s beautiful and unpredictable.

 

There is still one spot available on the 2019 version of the trip if you are interested in joining us, visit my photo tours page.  Otherwise stay tuned for a post-trip update.

The question of “who needs mirrors” (i.e. mirrorless camera) is one I’m hoping that I can answer in the coming months (or at least form an opinion on).

 

I’m hoping to take possession of on my new Sony A7III next week, where I will spend the next couple months putting it to the test. I will be comparing it not only to itself, but also to the my Canon DSLRs as well.  And also hoping to borrow the flagship Sony A9 to do some more comparisons.

 

In the past I have shied away from Mirrorless Cameras because the electronic viewfinder made me feel seasick, and the reviews were just never that good that it made sense for me to own one (compared to my DSLRs).  But with Sony’s latest cameras and with rumours of Canon and Nikon coming out with their own full-frame mirrorless cameras, it seems like the have taken a bit of a leap.   While trying them in the store the Electronic Viewfinder seemed to be way less nauseating than before, and the AF was really quite something.

 

I’m excited to try out my new camera when it gets here, and start reporting on my results.  I’m going into it will a completely open mind, and maybe my mind just might be blown.

 

Stay tuned to my blog for my thoughts as I put the camera to the test, and also feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions that you would like answered.

Death Grip

 

Due to a cancellation, there is now one spot available on the 2018 Into the Great Bear Rainforest trip.  More information is available on my photo tours page.

 

There are also two spots available on the 2019 trip as well, more information is available here.

 

As always, feel free to contact me for more information, contact@wildelements.ca.

 

PS – I promise we only serve fresh fish on the boat, unlike the one being carried by this Spirit Bear.

Loving Life

Our 2019 Photo Tours are now available for public consumption.  In 2019 we have some new and exciting trips focused on the coast of British Columbia.

 

All trips can be found on my Photo Tours page.

 

As you will notice a number of trips are already sold-out, this is the result of people who were on the “Priority Booking” list for these trips, and received the first right of refusal to sign-up for the trips.  If you would like to be added to the Priority Booking list for 2020, or if you would like to be placed on a cancellation list for an already sold-out trip, please contact me at seminars@wildelements.ca.

 

These spots probably won’t last long, so contact me at seminars@wildelements.ca if you are interested in getting more information or if you are interest in signing up.  Sign up now and you will be Loving Life like this Sea Otter.

Jumping for Joy

Update, this spot has now been sold, however there are still spaces available on the 2019 version of this trip.  More information can be found on my Photo Tours page.

 

Good news for anyone that is looking to explore and photograph the Johnstone Strait area of British Columbia, we have one spot available on the trip 2018 Marine Mammals Instructional trip from August 1 to 10, 2018.

 

Details can found on my photo tours page.

 

Or you can view more details in the trip brochure.

 

This Jumping for Joy Image was photographed during my 2016 trip.  If you would like more information, or would like to join me this summer, contact me at seminars@wildelements.ca.

Lightroom Classic CC

  • Performance Upgrades
  • Collection Updates
  • Filtering Upgrades (edited/unedited)
  • New Camera/Lens Support

Lightroom CC

  • Adding Copyright on import
  • Android upgrades
  • iOS upgrades
  • New Camera/Lens Support

This week Adobe released new versions of both Lightroom CC (version 1.2), and Lightroom Classic CC (version 7.2).

 

The biggest update for Lightroom Classic CC that has me excited is the boost to performance for computers that have 12GB or more of ram. The boost in performance is advertised to be both when importing and exporting photos as well as when switching between loupe view. I have noticed that images are seeming to import faster, and the building of embedded previews has also been faster.  I have also noticed an improvement in how fast images deleted when selecting a large number of photos at one time.  In terms of how much actual time savings it is I haven’t quantified because there are so many factors that can impact it, including the number of other processes being run on the computer.

 

The other features of the Lightroom Classic CC upgrade which have me less excited (because I probably won’t use them) is the ability to create collections from folders, or from the map view. They have also added new filtering functions, including filtering based on whether an image is edited/unedited. Since I don’t do my editing in Lightroom, I don’t have a need for this filter, however I could see how it could be handy for those that do their editing in Lightroom, because you can see which images you still need to edit, or find one that you have edited more quickly.

 

More on the updates on Lightroom Classic CC can be found on the Adobe’s website here.

I am encouraged to see that Adobe is continuing to provide upgrades, especially performance upgrades, to it’s classic version.  I know they said they were going to continue to support and upgrade it, so I am happy to see that they are executing on the promise.

 

The changes to Lightroom CC are less exciting, with most of the changes coming to the mobile versions for Android and a few for iPad.  The upgrades for computer version is the ability to add copyright information when importing, and also they fixed a number of customer issues.  A number of improvements were made to android version, and you can see them all on Adobe’s website here.

 

Both version added support for new cameras.

 

If you have any questions on the latest updates, or my experience with them, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.

Breathtaking Breach

Are you looking to capture stunning images like the one in this post? Are you looking for a great photography adventure in 2019?

 

We are currently working our way through the priority booking list for all those that requested “first right of refusal”, and once that is complete we will be posting the trips online, hopefully in early February.

 

For those of you who are not aware, we allow clients to sign up to our priority booking list, more details can be found in the Priority Booking section of the Photo Tours page.

 

Once 2019 is available, we will begin to take names for our photo tours in 2020.

 

To see many of the great images that I was fortunate enough to capture on our trips over the years, visit my Journeys gallery.  Feel free to contact me for more information on any of our photo tours contact@wildelements.ca.

Breathtaking Breach

Are you looking to capture stunning images like the one in this post? Are you looking for a great photography adventure in 2019?

 

We are currently working our way through the priority booking list for all those that requested “first right of refusal”, and once that is complete we will be posting the trips online, hopefully in early February.

 

For those of you who are not aware, we allow clients to sign up to our priority booking list, more details can be found in the Priority Booking section of the Photo Tours page.

 

Once 2019 is available, we will begin to take names for our photo tours in 2020.

 

To see many of the great images that I was fortunate enough to capture on our trips over the years, visit my Journeys gallery.  Feel free to contact me for more information on any of our photo tours contact@wildelements.ca.

Good news for those that are looking for a late November trip, we have added a new trip to the roster for 2018 the “Kluane-Haines Explorer”, and there are spaces available.

 

View from Above

This trip starts off in Whitehorse in Canada’s North, and splits time between exploring Kluane National Park, and photographing the Dall Sheep that traverse the mountainside in this breathtaking environment.  This is followed by visiting Haines, Alaska, where you will spend several days along the river that is still open, and photographing the thousands of Bald Eagles that migrate to these open waters.

 

More information about this trip is available on my Photo Tours page or contact me contact@wildelements.ca for more information.

 

We are in the process of finalizing all the details of 2019 trips, and will be contacting those on the priority booking list soon about securing your spot.

Good news for those that are looking for a late November trip, we have added a new trip to the roster for 2018 the “Kluane-Haines Explorer”, and there are spaces available.

 

View from Above

This trip starts off in Whitehorse in Canada’s North, and splits time between exploring Kluane National Park, and photographing the Dall Sheep that traverse the mountainside in this breathtaking environment.  This is followed by visiting Haines, Alaska, where you will spend several days along the river that is still open, and photographing the thousands of Bald Eagles that migrate to these open waters.

 

More information about this trip is available on my Photo Tours page or contact me contact@wildelements.ca for more information.

 

We are in the process of finalizing all the details of 2019 trips, and will be contacting those on the priority booking list soon about securing your spot.

With 2017 coming to an end it gives me the chance to review my photos and reflect on some of the unique opportunities and images that I was able to enjoy in 2017.

 

Rock Climber

My year started off with a trip to the Yukon to check out Dall Sheep that are native to the Northwestern Part of North America, and therefore not something that I have the opportunity to photograph on a regular basis.  While I only had time to spend two days traversing the mountain range, I actually was able to come away with a few great photos of these unique creatures.

 

I had the opportunity to capture both close-up photos of the Dall Sheep and also some animalscape images taking in the beautiful mountain ranges that we were surrounded by.  My favourite image of the trip Rock Climber, was a lucky shot as I happened to turn around in time to see this Dall Sheep approaching us from behind, and it stopped right on the edge of the rocks, perfectly posed with the mountains behind him.

 

I also had a few other favourite images from the trip, the other images from this trip can be viewed in my Mammals Gallery.

 

I followed my trip to the Yukon with my Khutzeymateen trip in June 2017.  For those that don’t know, the Khutzeymateen is a Grizzly Bear Sanctuary located off

Coastal

the Northern Coast of British Columbia.  It is closed to public visitors, making the images that one captures on this trip very unique.  Of course the main draw to the Khutzeymateen is Grizzly Bears, and they were out in large numbers during our 2017 trips, where we saw somewhere in excess of 20 different Grizzly Bears on both the 4 and 3 day trips that I was on.  We were also lucky to spend time on both trips with a Coastal Grey Wolf.

 

In addition to the Grizzly Bears, I also had a couple of firsts in the Khutzeymateen, including seeing a couple of Black Bears, which is unique as the large number of of Grizzly Bears usually keeps the Black Bears away.  We also saw my first-ever Mink, which were roaming the shoreline, and we also saw a porcupine. So while the main draw is the Grizzly Bears, this remote location can be full of surprises, and this year was sure a lot of fun.

 

 

Leap of Faith

I have many favourite images from the Khutzeymateen this year, so I couldn’t keep it to just one.  My favourite Coastal Wolf shot is one I titled “Coastal”.  It just really depicts what a Coastal Wolf along a really stereotypical coastal background. I really liked the color of this wolf, with it having a lot more white than some of the other wolves I have seen along the BC Coast.   We didn’t walk away with any shortage of shots after this trip.

 

I have many Grizzly Bear images from the Khutzeymateen that I am happy with, including a number of images with mothers and cubs, or just the cubs.  But I think my favourite of the trip is probably Leap of Faith, mostly because it is just such a unique shot, and one that none of us expected.  Watching this Grizzly Bear as it approached the little channel of water is that he would go into it and walk through it.  Much to our surprise, he decided to make a Leap of Faith and jump and clear the water.

 

More images from my trips to the Khutzeymateen can been found in my Khutzeymateen Gallery and if you are interested in joining us on a trip in the future, visit my Photo Tours page.

 

In the summer I visited Northern BC where we had to take a helicopter into a remote camp in order to photograph Grizzly Bears feasting on salmon in the rivers.

Look What I Caught

This year we were really lucky to get the opportunity to photograph many different Grizzly Bears catching live fish, as

Ready to Pounce

opposed to just picking up carcasses along the edge of the river.  My favourite images from this trip were of the same bear, one image where he is ready to pounce at the fish titled “Ready to Pounce”, and the other is him showing off the fish he caught titled “Look What I Caught”. We watched this Grizzly Bear everyday that we were there, and he would entertain us for hours with his fishing, splashing around, and very slowing devouring every part of the fish.

In the fall I visited the Great Bear Rainforest for the fourth year, and as always, we had the opportunity to photograph a

diverse array of wildlife that calls the Great Bear Rainforest home, including Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Spirit Bears,

Humpback Whales and even Killer Whales. While I’m still working my way through the images from the trip, one of my favourite so far is Under Cover, because not only does it have one of the rarest animals in Canada, but also because of how

Under Cover

she peeked out from under the dense cover of the Great Bear Rainforest at us.

 

To see other images that I have taken visit my Great Bear Rainforest photo gallery.  If you are interested in joining us on a future trip, find out more on my Photo Tours page.

 

In 2017 I had the opportunity to capture many great images, and I am looking forward to what 2018 has to offer.  Also with the start of 2018, we will be soon releasing our tour dates for 2019, contact me if you are interested in more information contact@wildelements.ca.