had the opportunity to use my mother’s dog to put the autofocus on the EOS R to the test. And it would not be an understatement to say that it was a real test of the AF system.

 

 

Super Dog

I have been extremely happy with the speed of autofocus acquisition on the EOS R.  I find that it locks on focus quite quickly, especially on more stationary or slow-moving subjects, and the number of photos in focus when shooting non-moving (or slow moving) subjects is quite high.

 

When testing the predicative abilities of the autofocus of the EOS R, using a dog running straight towards me, I noticed that the focus was not really up to the task.  It would get focus quite quickly, however it wasn’t fast enough to continuously re-focus as the puppy got closer.  While the first image was usually in focus, only sometimes was the second image, and very rarely was the third image.  The slow frame-rate of the camera was also noticeable in this scenario, because the number of shots taken while the dog was running at me was quite a bit lower than the 5D Mark IV.

 

If you are headed into a scenario where you are going to continuously have something running towards you, or driving directly towards you, such as any kind of race, then I do not think that the EOS R would be my top choice of a camera to take.

 

I also tested the autofocus while panning with the dog running right to left (or left to right), and I found that the autofocus was quite a bit more stable and held focus significantly better than when the dog was running straight towards me.  I would not hesitate to use the camera when in a scenario that I am planning to do a lot of panning.

 

I will admit, the dog was moving quite a bit faster than most wildlife subjects that I have photographed in the past, so while the EOS R has room for improvement, it is one of those situations that you probably would only notice one percent of the time, not in every day use, or at least not in the situations that I typically photograph.

 

I also did some testing on the AF Methods (area mode options) during the testing, so stay tuned to my future blog post on my thoughts on the various options.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at contact@widlelements.ca.

Spirit Bear Gear Bear Rainforest British Columbia

Spirit of the Great Bear Rainforest

We have just added a Brand New trip in 2019, August in the Great Bear Rainforest. This trip will start in Bella Bella, British Columbia, and travel north up the coast of British Columbia and ending in Kitimat. This trip includes 7 full days aboard the sailboat Ocean Light II. 

 

Typically these trips sell out a year in advance, so this is your opportunity to book and travel in the same year.

 

More information on this trip can be found on my photo tours page, or send me an email at Contact@wildelements.ca for more details on this exciting new trip.

EOS RP

  • 26.2 megapixel
  • Full frame CMOS sensor
  • Adapter allows for using EF lenses
  • Phase detect AF
  • 4,799 selectable AF Points
  • 4 fps with continuous AF (AI Servo)
  • ISO Sensitivity of 100-40000
  • No in body stabilization
  • Different battery
  • One SD Slot
  • 4k video capabilities
  • Battery life of 270 shots (EVF)
  • $1,699 CAD

Canon just announced another camera in their full-frame mirrorless line-up, the EOS RP. This is a lower priced mirrorless camera, aimed towards those photographers that are looking to step up to a full frame camera, without the price tag of the EOS R, or 5D Mark IV.  The camera comes with a full frame 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor with phase detect autofocus and 4k video, at a very reasonable price tag of $1,699 CAD.

 

So what’s the biggest difference between the EOS RP and EOS R, or why not go with one of the traditional full-frame entry level Canon DSLR’s, like the 6D Mark II.  See below for what I think are some of the biggest differences:

 

The biggest difference between the two are the price tag. The EOS RP comes in at $1,699 CAD, compared to $2,999 CAD for the EOS R.

 

With the lower price tag, comes a little less in terms of performance of the EOR RP compared to the EOS R. The camera comes with a 26.2 megapixle, slightly less than the 30.3 megapixels of the EOS R.  It comes with the robust autofocus phase-detection system that was introduced with the EOS R, and 4,799 selectable autofocus points.   The camera also comes wth a lower frames per second, it’s 4 when using AI Servo autofocus, compared to the 5 with the EOS R.

 

A few other things that I noticed when reviewing the camera specs is that the battery life is less than half of that of the EOS R, and only advertised to be 270 shots.  So while the camera is lighter, the lightest full-frame Canon camera, weighing just over one pound, but this weight savings might be offset by all the extra weight of carrying batteries around with you. Another thing that I saw that would be slightly annoying for people with other Canon cameras (7d mark II, 5D mark III, etc) is that it uses a different battery, whereas the EOS R uses the same battery as those other cameras, so eliminates the need for an extra charger, and different kind of batteries.

 

In comparison to the 6D Mark II, the DSLR entry level full-frame camera, the EOS RP comes in at the same number of megapixels and less frames per second.  The EPS RP weighs less than the 6D Mark II, with the 6D Mark II weighing 1.51 lbs versus 1.07 lbs, and it is smaller overall.  Best of all the the EOS RP is less expensive, with the 6D Mark II coming in at $1,999 CAD.  So it really makes me wondering why you would pay more for the 6D Mark II.

 

The following tables shows a comparison of the three camera bodies:

    Specification                          EOS RP                     EOS R                     6D Mark II

Megapixels                               26.2                              30.3                               26.2

AF Points                                  4,799                            5,655                               45

Frames per second*                      4                                  5                                   5

ISO Range                         100-40000                 100-40000                 100-40000

Battery Life (shots)**                 270                              560                           1,200

Price (CAD)                             $1,699                         $2,999                        $1,999

 

*Frames per second for the mirrorless is bases on being in AI Servo AF.

**Battery life on mirrorless is based on room temperature and eco/power savings modes enabled

 

If you are in the market for a new full frame entry level camera, the EOS RP seems like it will be a nice place to start.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me at contact@wildelements.ca.

Canon EOS 1DX

I am selling my used Canon EOS 1D X.   I am the original owner of this Camera and I am selling it because I have been keeping it as a backup for my 1DX Mark II, but I haven’t been using it.

 

Price: SOLD

 

Includes the following:
Canon EOS 1D X

Original box

Front Cap

Battery Charger and one Battery

 

This camera is in good working order, I just sent it into Canon to have it cleaned and tested.

 

If you are interested in purchasing, please send me an email contact@wildelements.ca.

Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM

I am selling my used Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM.   I am the original owner of this lens and I am selling it because I have upgraded to the 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM lens.

 

Price: SOLD

 

Includes the following:
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Original box and packaging

Soft case

Hood, lens cap, and end cap

 

This lens is in great working condition.  There are some signs of wear and tear with some paint scuffs around the mount, and on the lens hood.  These are cosmetic only.

 

If you are interested in purchasing, please send me an email contact@wildelements.ca

Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II

I am selling my very gently used Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM that I have owned since October 2017.   I am selling this lens because I have not been using it much, and recently got the EOS R with a 24-105 lens, so I think I will be using it even less.

 

Price: SOLD

 

Includes the following:
Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II USM Lens

Original box and packaging

Soft case

Hood, lens cap, and end cap

 

This lens is like new.  There are no damage to this lens, it is clean and in good working order.

 

If you are interested in purchasing, please send me an email contact@wildelements.ca.

I’ve had a random finding a couple times now while shooting with the EOS R while it’s snowing.  It seems to want to focus on the snow, or more really the snow pulls the focus away from the subject, and it has to work harder to keep focused on what I want focus on.

 

EOS R + 400 f/2.8L II @ ISO 3200

It is crazy how drastically it impacted my “hit ratio” of sharp shots when it’s snowing versus not snowing, it’s like I went from not missing a shot, to having a ratio of 50% if it started snowing.  In Yellowstone, I started making the decision to switch to the 5D Mark IV if it was snowing out.

 

I tried to switch to different AF Area modes to see whether there was a difference between single point, expanded point, etc., but I did not see an improvement, and as the point got bigger it seemed like it was jumping off the subject more, which makes sense.   Next time we get a good snowfall around here, I am going to go out with a stationary subject and see what they hit ratio is.

 

I saw that Canon is intending to put out a new firmware for the EOS R, and while the details of the update have not been disclosed I’m curious whether or not this will be addressed.

 

I’m curious how this finding will be impacted by heavy rain that sometimes occur on our coastal trips, and whether this camera will essentially be unusable in these situations. I will keep testing and playing around with it, and keep you updated on what I find.  Feel free to contact me with any questions contact@wildelements.ca.

It’s getting close to that time of year, when everyone is getting excited to book their trips for next year, so when will the 2020 trips be available, here is the latest information on what to expect:

 

Grizzly Bear Great Bear Rainforest

Grizzly in the Great Bear

1. When 2020 Photo Tours Will Be Publicly Posted.

 

Detailed descriptions of our 2020 Photo Tours will be posted on the Photo Tours page of this website in early-to-mid February (we are still working on finalizing some details on the 2020 photo tours). The minute those trips are listed on the photo tours page we will begin taking registrations for them.

 

2. Can I Reserve a Spot Ahead of Time?

Sort of. We have a Priority Booking List for EACH photo tour we offer. Think of it as a “first right of refusal” list. If you go on this list you will receive FIRST crack at getting a spot on the trip (based, of course, solely on when you went on the list). So if we have a photo tour where we can take 6 participants, the first 6 on the Priority Booking List are guaranteed of a spot if they still want it when registration opens. We do hold off on taking registrations until we know the final dates and pricing of each trip. You can find out more about the Priority Booking List for 2020 Photo Tours on our Photo Tours Page. Please note that there is NO commitment on your part in going on any Priority Booking List.

 

To help you out a little, you should know that some of our 2020 photo tours (mostly those that have been around the longest) already have very long Priority Booking Lists and the chances of getting a spot on these trips now (by going onto the Priority Booking List NOW) are low. However, a number of our newer trips have pretty short lists and if you act fast (i.e., going on the Priority Booking List for those trips now) you have a really good chance of getting a spot. So here’s a quick and dirty guideline (and just go to our Photo Tours Page if you need more info about these trips):

 

A. Photo Tours With VERY SHORT Priority Booking Lists (trips you WILL get on):

• Pacific Rim Explorer Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Spring in the Southern Great Bear Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request

 

B. Photo Tours With MODERATE LENGTH Priority Booking Lists (trips you have a GOOD chance to get on):

• Haida Gwaii Explorer Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Marine Mammals of the Central Pacific Coast: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Summer in the Southern Great Bear Instructional Photo Tour: 2020 Priority Booking List Request

 

C. Photo Tours With LONG Priority Booking Lists (so in the “What the heck…you never know” category):

• Khutzeymateen 5-day Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Khutzeymateen 4-day Photo Op Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Into the Great Bear Rainforest Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Into the Great Bear Rainforest Photo Op Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request

 

Note that we will be accepting names on any of the 2020 Priority Booking Lists up to the end of day on January 23, 2019.

I have owned the Canon EOS R for a couple months now, but with short days and busy schedule I have not had the chance to get out and shoot (and more importantly compare it to other cameras) as much as I had hoped.  Luckily I have some time off coming up, and in addition to testing my new 400 f/2.8 III I am looking forward to spending time with the EOS R as well.

 

Great Gray Owl EOS R at ISO 6400

The first thing I will say is that I am pleasantly surprised with the performance of the EOS R.  I had previously picked up the Sony a7iii which also surprised me, and all initial reports is that the a7iii was superior.  While I have not had a chance to compare the two head-to-head, so therefore have no opinion on which is better, at the end of the day I am very happy with the EOS R, and will be keeping it over the a7iii, with the main factor being the compatibility with all my existing lenses, and I have not been happy at all with the metabones adapter.

 

Autofocus

EOS R + 500mm f/4 ISO 3200

One thing that I don’t really have a handle on yet is the autofocus and how it compares to the Canon dslr’s and the Sony a7iii.  What I will say is that I am very impressed with how quickly the EOS R acquires focus, it is like you point your camera at the subject and it’s instantly in focus.  While I have used it with Big Horn Sheep and deer running, I still cannot say how well the focus stays locked-on and tracks with the subject, and whether there is a noticeable different with other cameras.

The number of AF points and the fact that you can move them over the entire viewfinder is a nice feature, especially for framing some shots, especially because I find that the Canon DSLR’s are quite limited on the edges.  I do find however that it is a bit slower navigating across all the points, as you can sometimes get yourself way over to the side accidentally. I think it will just take some getting used to.

 

ISO Performance
I expected the ISO performance to be “okay”, but did not have high expectations.  Well this might be one of the biggest surprises.  I have taken photos consistently at ISO 3200, and even a few at ISO 6400 that I have been extremely happy with, both in respect to noise and dynamic range.

 

EOS R + 400 f/2.8L II @ ISO 3200

In Body Stabilization
This is one feature available in other mirrorless cameras that have been released recently which did NOT come with the EOS R.  While I am not super upset about it because all my lenses that I shoot have image stabilization, the one area where I did notice that it was very beneficial on the a7III was when shooting video from a moving zodiac on rough water.  For me this is not a deal breaker, just a “would have been nice”.  I have also heard that it works quite well with the Nikon Z7.  I guess this will be a feature for the next Canon mirrorless.

 

Button Placement/Menu
I can’t say that I am in love with the placement of the buttons/size.  Having small hands, I thought that this would be nice that all the buttons are closer together, but I find some can be quite awkward to get to, especially if trying to access them while shooting and looking through the eye-piece.  I do have some difficulty going back and forth from the DSRL’s and the EOS R.

 

The other thing I found hard to “pick-up” was the menu, as I was expecting it to mirror (pun intended) that of the DSLR’s. Instead Canon has a lot of embedded menus, which can make it difficult to find things, or make changes….especially without the manual and in an area without cell coverage.  For example it took me over five minutes to figure out how to change the view so that the electronic level wasn’t showing in the middle of the image (making it near impossible to see the subject).  Again, I think this is just something that will take getting used to.

 

I’m looking forward to spending more time with the camera, and also comparing it to some of the others in my possession.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at contact@wildelements.ca and if you want to see a full list of features, refer to my first blog post on the EOS R which can be found here.

My Canon f/2.8L IS III has arrived, after waiting for what feels like forever…in all reality it was only a few months.  It’s arriving just in time for me to take it to Yellowstone to start testing it out.

 

My first impression was I could not believe how light the box was…I thought maybe I was getting ripped off, and the box was empty.  Un-boxing the lens and comparing it to the v2 of the 400 f/2.8 I really cannot believe how light it is.  And while the specs state that it is lighter than the 500 f/4, to me they feel about the same…which is fine by me, because I have not problem hand-holding the 500 for extended periods of time while shooting in the zodiac.   I am really wondering if I will even need to keep my 500 f/4 now, as the only reason I had it now was because it was lighter and more portable than the 400 f/2.8L  IS II.

 

With the improved image stabilization I am curious to see what shutter speeds I can shoot hand-held at, and whether or not there is any difference from version 2.  It did feel like the weight distribution was changed, but hard to say how much is true weight savings versus weight distribution to to “feel”.

 

Other than that, I have had no time to test it out, darned short days and “real job”, but I will have a week with it in Yellowstone coming up and will share my thoughts on in then.

 

For my blog post from when the 400 f/2.8L IS III was released see here.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me contact@wildelements.ca.