Over the last couple of weeks I have purchased a bunch of new Canon camera gear, probably the most I have every purchased in such a short period of time.


I picked up my R5 a couple of weeks ago, and have only had a couple of chances to go out and shoot with it, not enough time to start my review on it.  I will say that the animal eye AF is incredibly good (and really surprising).  It was able to detect the eye of a number of animal test subjects, from deer to little Pika, so it seems like size doesn’t matter.  I am looking forward to putting the camera through the paces and really get a feeling for it. If only there were photo tours!


This week I picked up an R6, and had one chance to go out and use it again with deer and Pika, and it seems like the autofocus is almost as good, or possible even as good of that of the R5.  I am curious how the ISO performance between the two bodies will differ.


And finally I just picked up a RF 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens the other day.  I was surprised that Canon went with the extending zoom on this lens.  It is nice for travelling, or putting in a pack, but I am curious if it will have moisture or dust issues. I am also looking forward to comparing it to the EF 70-200 to see how the performance of the two lenses varies.


Now I am just hoping to find some good test subjects over the coming weeks to really get to start using this new gear.  If you have any specific questions on any of the gear, feel free to email me contact@wildelements.ca.


  • 20 fps electronic
  • 12 fps mechanical
  • IBIS
  • Advanced animal detection
  • Dual card slot (one CF Express)
  • 8k full frame video

Canon has released more details on its latest mirrorless camera the EOS R5.


This version of camera is a higher specced version of the EOS R, which was Canon’s first step into the full-frame mirrorless cameras.  With the EOS R as a wildlife photographer I found that it had a few gaps, so I found it never was able to replace my DSLRs.


The EOS R5 is more closely matched to the 5D Mark IV based on the specs that have been announced, with a few new and improved features compared to both the 5D Mark IV and the EOS R.


The two specs that I am the most excited about are the in body stabilization (IBIS) and the advanced wildlife subject tracking.


The IBIS will work with lenses that already have optical stabilization, so will have improved image stabilization while shooting hand-held.  I can see the benefits of this while shooting from the zodiac at Stellar Sea Lion rock haul outs, which often requires shooting in very rough water.  More image stabilization for hand-held shooting will be quite beneficial, and the Nikon shooters I know that already have it in their mirrorless camera bodies, they really like the feature, so I am excited to use it for myself…finally!


The advanced animal subject tracking is also quite an interesting new camera feature, but will be dependent on how well it is executed and how well it works.  If it works as advertised where it can stay on the face and eyes of animal subjects, it could be very useful for my wildlife photography, especially if action breaks out suddenly and you lose a few seconds changing your AF point location.  But again, it will depend on how well it has been executed.


The EOS R5 will shoot up to 20 frames per second while shooting in electronic shutter, and 12 frames per second in mechanical shutter.  I imagine that I will most often be using mechanical shutter, given my type of shooting, but even with 12 frames per second it is more than capable of capturing wildlife action.  I am going to guess that in order to get these frame rate it will require using the CF Express card slot, and may not be capable with the SD card.



Another small improvement over the EOS R is the addition of an extra card slot, with one of the card slots being CF Express.  So shooters will now have less buffering (from the faster card), and will also have the added benefit of an extra card slot to either make a backup in the field, or to have overflow in case you get too excited and fill a card.


The final big feature of the EOS R5 is the ability to shoot 8k video full frame (no crop).  I am not really big on video and mostly shoot it for the purposes of a quick documentary clip, and not high level production, but a lot of Canon users have been asking for this feature, so this will appeal to some users.


I am looking forward to getting my hands on this new camera and putting it to the test, and hopefully I will be able to take it on a photo tour or two this season.  If you have any questions, or things you want me to test when I get my hands on one, feel free to contact me,  contact@wildelements.ca.



I picked up my new Canon 1DX Mark III a couple weeks ago, and actually have not had too much time to get out shooting with it just yet. But the small amount of time I have spent with it, I do have a few first impressions of it that I thought I would share until I have more time to spend with it.  The following are a few of those first impressions, and what I still plan to come when it comes to testing and shooting the 1DX Mark III.


AF Points

The marketing materials had me really excited, it stated that the 1DX Mark III was coming equipped with 191 AF Points (155 cross-type points) with all of them being f/8. My thoughts were “Finally, more coverage of the frame”, making it a little easier to frame shots when you want the subject further down in either the left, or right, corner, when trying to capture an animal with a landscape behind it.  Well I got excited for nothing, while there are more than 130 more AF points, they are covering not much more of the frame (maybe no more of the frame).


What that means is that there are a ton of really tiny AF points that can help increase the precision of your autofocus, assuming it falls within the array of points available (and not out in no mans land where there are no AF Points).  With the AF points being so small, it makes me wonder if there is really any use not for the Spot AF point, because it is just such a tiny little focusing point.  I guess I will get an answer to this once I get more time with the camera, and test the Autofocus a little more carefully.


There has also been a revision to the “Cases” where you can set the parameters for the responsiveness of the autofocus.  The changes that I have noted (but not had a chance to test yet) are that there are now only 4 cases (as opposed to 6).  Canon has added an auto case which is supposed to adapt to how the subject moves.  And finally they have removed the parameter for AF Point Auto Switch, which I am not that bothered by, because I didn’t find that it was overly useful anyway.


Auto ISO

There were no notable changes with the Auto ISO, more specifically, Canon is still only offering full stops for shutter speeds when setting the Auto ISO, which definitely does bum me out a little bit, because having 1/3 stops would be way more useable.


New Button

The new AF On button with smart controller allows you to scroll the autofocus point without the need to press another button first.  It’s a pretty slick button, however I do find that it is pretty sensitive, so I think it will take some getting used to in order to work with it quickly.  I also wonder how it will respond when shooting in the rain, and if my fingers are wet.  With the amount of time that I spend on the coast of British Columbia, I am guessing I will get to put it to the test.


Other Notes

I have noticed in the little bit of time that I have spent with the camera, it seems to be a bit quieter especially when shooting large bursts, it sounds like the mirror is less “slappy”.  Coupled with this is that the mirror blackout does not seem to be as long as it is with the predecessor the 1DX Mark II.


What’s Next?

Next on the agenda for me is to spend some more time actually shooting the camera.  In addition, I hope to spend more time testing the ISO performance, and comparing it to the 1DX Mark II, and also testing the Autofocus and how it compares to the 1DX Mark II.


If you have any questions about my thoughts on the 1DX Mark III, feel free to contact me at contact@wildelements.ca.

Today is a big day for this Canon user.


My Canon 1DX Mark III has arrived.  I am so excited to get out and try it, and compare it to the 1DX Mark II.  Ergonomically it feels pretty similar to the 1DX Mark II, but we will see how it stacks up compared to the 1DX Mark II, especially for my focus, wildlife photography.


Also, last night Canon has released a statement that it is working on a new mirrorless, the EOS R5.  I am very much looking forward to trying a new mirrorless camera.  I feel like the EOS R really didn’t meet my needs, especially as an owner of the 5D Mark IV, so I am looking forward to Canon’s next attempt at the mirrorless cameras, and hopefully this fills a void in my current camera line up.


The EOS R5 is advertised as having 20 frames per second, and 8K video, but the rest of the details are pretty vague.  Based on the photos that are floating around online, the camera looks much more ergonomic, and more similar to the 5D Mark IV.   There are lots of rumors out there, so I guess we will just need to wait and see what the actual specs are when the “real announcement” is made.  Canon also mentioned that they are working on a 200-500, and 24-105 lens for the RF mount, so it looks like they are really trying to catch up in the mirrorless game.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on my new 1DX Mark III, or if there is anything you specifically want me to test out for you.  My email is contact@wildelements.ca.

Canon 1DX Mark III:

  • 20.1 megapixels
  • DIGIC X processor
  • 191 total autofocus points (all f8)
  • 155 cross-type AF points
  • Head, face, eye detection
  • 16 frames per second (viewfinder)
  • 20 frames per second (live view)
  • 1000 image buffer (raw)
  • 400,000 pixel RGB Sensor
  • 5.5K and 4K Raw Video
  • Dual CFExpress card slot
  • Weight: 1440g (with battery)
  • $8,999 CAD ($6,499 USD)

Finally, the official announcement for the Canon 1DX Mark III is out!  You can view it on Canon Canada’s website here. This comes almost 4 years after the announcement of the 1DX Mark II (which was announced on February 1, 2016).   And since the teaser by Canon at the end of last year, I have been anxiously awaiting it.


Resolution & Processor

The Canon 1DX Mark III comes with 20.1 megapixels, which is the same number of megapixels as its predecessor.  Some people are a little disappointed that there have been no change in the number of megapixels, and while 24ish would have been nice, I am not overly disappointed that there is no change, I find 20 to be a nice sweet spot.


The camera comes with a DIGIC X image processor, and the autofocus system comes with a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor that will help to improve the autofocus speed and accuracy.   The image processor is advertised to have better ISO performance and dynamic range.  The ISO range has increased to a maximum of 102400, expandable up to 819200, but those are just numbers.  The question will be what the useable ISO for the camera will be, and whether it will be improved over the 1DX Mark II.



The biggest improvement in the camera is the advertised autofocus.  The 1DX Mark III comes with 191 total autofocus points, all of which are f/8, and there are 155 cross-type autofocus points.  With a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor, it is expected (and advertised) that autofocus will be better than the predecessor. This compares to to the 61 autofocus points (41 cross-type) of the 1DX Mark II.

In addition to the increased number of autofocus points, the camera also comes with advanced autofocus with head, face, and eye detection to help improve autofocus of subjects.  I will be curious to see how it works with wildlife subjects, or if it works at all.


The 1DX Mark III comes with an improved RBG sensor, going from 360,000 pixels in the 1DX Mark II to 400,000, this should help improve the AF performance and metering.



The 1DX Mark III is built for speed, with an increase in the frames per second, going from 14 to 16 (through the viewfinder), and from 16 to 20 (live view).  What is more impressive is that the camera has a buffer of approximately 1000 images, which is outstanding…and finally I will no longer be cringing while the Nikons are still going and my camera is buffered out.


Weight & Build & Other

Overall there is a slight weight savings over the predecessor of approximately 90 grams (with battery) with the 1DX Mark III weighing 1440 grams versus 1530 grams, but the overall dimensions of the camera remain unchanged.


The camera is equipped with dual CF Express slots.  FINALLY, Canon has produced a camera with two slots, which both take the same memory card.  However, I am a little disappointed that I invested in CFast cards and read for the 1DX Mark II that cannot be used with the 1DX Mark III.


The battery will be the same that is used for the 1DX Mark II, so at least anyone running both cameras will not need two different chargers and batteries.


As for video, I am not going to dive into the details, as video is just something I do for fun (and mostly with a GoPro or iPhone), but the 1DX Mark III does come with 5.5k raw video at 60 frames per second, as well as 4K at 60 frames per second.


The 1DX Mark III doesn’t come cheap, it is price at $8,999CAD  ($6,499 USD), so I really hope that the AF performance is as good as advertised, because the price tag is steep.


I am looking forward to getting my hands on one but who knows when that will be.  I am still debating what I will use as a second body, and whether I keep my 5D Mark IV, or my 1DX Mark II.


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

Since Christmas is near, I thought I would put together my letter to Santa (or Canon Santa) on what I would like to have on the new Canon flagship camera the 1DX Mark III. Since Canon made the announcement that it is developing the 1DX Mark III, I have been anxiously looking forward to its release, and thinking about what I hope the camera comes with.


I know that the press release was pretty vague on details, but some of the rumours are that the sensor will remain at 20.2 megapixels. This is a disappointment to some, but I think it is a sufficient number of megapixels, especially for someone like me that spends the majority of their time shooting hand-held, a bunch of really tiny pixels are a disadvantage.  Also, if you want more megapixels, there is always the 5D Mark IV, or the rumoured 75 megapixel mirrorless camera.  My hope is actually that there isn’t significant changes in the number of megapixels.


One of the details that was provided by Canon in the press release is that Canon has increased the size of the autofocus sensor.  I don’t think you can ever have too fast of autofocus on a camera.  I am really looking forward to trying out the newer, faster autofocus, to see how it performs.


I am also looking forward to seeing how the camera will perform with the new card types, and how that improves the buffer rate.  I can tell you, when you are shooting next to a bunch of Nikon shooters, and your camera buffers out, it is a real bummer.


Given that the majority of my photography is done on the coast of British Columbia, and sometimes in dark, and rainy weather, improved ISO performance is at the top of my list.  I am hoping for improved noise performance and dynamic range at the high ISOs (over ISO 3200).


Another nice to have in the new flagship camera with be in body stabilization (IBIS).  While I am not overly optimistic that the camera will come with this, given that the mirrorless camera (EOSR) didn’t have it, I don’t think I will bet on it.  But some of the rumours are that the camera may come with it.


And my final wish, that Canon will just release the 1DX Mark III already, and have sufficient supply so I can get one quickly!


Feel free to share your wishes (or any rumors you have) with me at contact@wildelements.ca.

I picked up my 90D this fall, and so far I have had just a few opportunities to get out and start shooting with it. I am looking forward to getting the chance to use it even more in Yellowstone coming up.


The first thing I wanted to assess is what the noise is like on the 90D. Given that it is 32.5 megapixels on a cropped sensor, I had a feeling that I would not see much of an improvement in noise, compared to what I experienced with the Canon 7D Mark II.  Well my assumption was correct.  The noise performance falls behind that of what I experienced with the 7D Mark II.


This photo of a Great Gray Owl taken at ISO 6400 is quite noisy, however it’s not easy to see on the web version of the photo.  I have not done any noise reduction on the image, I took it from Lightroom, and performed a few small edits in Photoshop, and compressed to to 2400 pixels on the long end.  That being said, the noise is manageable in the post production, and you are able to make a cleaner, less noisy image with it.


I also had the chance to compare the 90D with the D500 to compare the ISO performance on the two cameras (using 70-200 f/2.8 lenses).  And I am sad to report that the noise performance on the 90D falls behind the Nikon D500.    When looking at the test images, the Canon is almost a full-stop behind the Nikon D500, so the noise at the Nikon at ISO 6400 is more comparable to ISO 3200 on the Canon 90D.  I attribute this partly to the more reasonable sensor size of the Nikon having only 20.8 megapixels.


The following are the images of the Canon 90D at various high ISOs and the sample of the D500 at ISO 6400.  These were all compressed to 2400 on the long end in photoshop using bicubic.

Canon 90D @ ISO 3200

Canon 90D @ ISO 6400

Canon 90D @ ISO 12800

Nikon D500 @ ISO 6400


Also, here are two comparisons of ISO 6400 between the D500 and 90D, with the images cropped to 2400 pixels (no other adjustment made to image size).

Canon 90D @ ISO 6400

Nikon D500 @ ISO 6400


As you can see, the Nikon is less noisy.


I am going to take more time to test it out while I am in Yellowstone, but so far, I am not noticing much improvement in ISO performance. Additionally, I want the opportunity to test out the autofocus and overall image quality of the camera.  But at this point I’m not sure if it will get a permanent spot in my camera kit.  I really think that having a cropped sensor with so many megapixels is really the downfall of this camera.  If I get the opportunity to get my hands on the 7D Mark II to compare it to the 90D, I will report on my findings.


If you are interested in more information on the 90D, please feel free to email me contact@wildelements.ca to discuss further.

Canon 1DX Mark III:

  • Improved autofocus
  • 28x Bigger AF Sensor
  • New CMOS Sensor & DIGIC Processor
  • Improved frame rate
  • Dual CF Express Slots
  • Wifi, Bluetooth, & GPS Connectivity

Following in the footsteps of the Nikon “announcement” of the D6, Canon recently announced that it is developing the EOS-1DX Mark III, the successor of the 1DX Mark II, which is the flagship camera body for Canon.  You can read a copy of the Canon Canada press release here.  The announcement is a little light on details, but below are some of the “details” provided.


Canon has stated the updated flagship camera body will have improved autofocus speed and accuracy, which as a wildlife photographer (or even for sports shooters) is one of the features that we look forward to the most.  The improved autofocus will be the result of a bigger autofocus sensor, which is 28x bigger than that on the 1DX Mark II.


The 1DX Mark III will come with an updated CMOS sensor and DIGIC processor, which they say will improve ISO performance, and also allow for the recording of 4K60p video with the camera.


Canon has also advertised the 1DX Mark III as having a faster frame rate, up to 16 frames per second using optical viewfinder, and 20 frames per second in Live View Mode.


As part of the announcement Canon mentions that the camera will support dual card slots which will take CFExpress cards.  While I am happy that Canon has finally decided to have two of the same card types in a camera, I am annoyed that I spent money on CFast cards that are no longer going to be useful, and that I will have to invest in more cards and a new card reader.  However, the CFExpress should help contribute to having a faster camera, so the investment will be worth it, and it will be nice to finally not need to have two different cards for one camera, like was required for the 1DX Mark II.


Included in the feature list are the connectivity features which include built in wifi, bluetooth, and GPS technology.  These aren’t features that I tend to use that often, however it shows that Canon are continuing to stay up on the technology for photographers that would like these features.


What is missing from the announcement is an actual release date for the camera.  I already have my name on the list to get one when the do become available, hopefully before the photo tour season starts next spring, so I can really put it to the test.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.

Canon 90D:

  • 32.5 Megapixel cropped sensor
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • 10 frames per second in viewfinder
  • 7 frames per second in live view
  • 45 cross type AF points
  • 220,000 px sensor for metering
  • High ISO capabilities (to be tested)
  • Face & eye detection
  • Vari-angle Touch LCD
  • 4K Video
  • Weather Sealed

While I was away on my Fall Great Bear Rainforest trip Canon announced the Canon 90D, an updated cropped sensor to replace the Canon 80D, and some are saying that it is also a replacement for the Canon 7D Mark II, and it will be “THE” cropped sensor body.

When I got back from my trip, I got my 90D, and am looking forward to seeing whether it will be a capable compliment to my current camera bodies, the 1DX Mark II, and 5D Mark IV.

The Canon 90D is a 32.5 megapixel cropped sensor with a DIGIC 8 Image Processor.  My first thoughts are, for a cropped sensor, that is a heck of a lot of pixels.  Both the 80D and the 7D Mark II are 24 and 20 megapixels respectively, which to me is a much more reasonable range, especially for a cropped sensor body.  When I get a chance to start using the camera, I have a feeling that it will not be very good at high ISOs, or while hand-held at low shutter speeds.

As a wildlife photographer, the goal is to be able to get sharp shots, well really that’s probably the goal of any photographer.  As a wildlife photographed I am often in situations where I am hand-holding lenses, in low light, and with sometimes quite fast moving subjects.  That means ISO capabilities, and autofocus are really critical.
The 90D has 45 autofocus points through the viewfinder, which I think is somewhat low for a wildlife camera, but the benefit is that they are all cross-type AF points, which is a positive.  By comparison, this is the same number of points as the 80D, but improved because they are all cross type, and it is less than the 65 points that come with the 7D Mark II.

To handle the fast moving subjects, the 90D has 10 frames per second shooting through the viewfinder, which is more than the 7 that comes with the 80D and the same as the 7D Mark II.

For anyone that wants the ability to shoot both stills and video, the 90D has 4k capabilities.

After reading the specs, and getting my hands on one, I am not really that confident that I will like this camera any more than I liked the 7D Mark II (which I didn’t own for long before selling), and I still am not sure whether it will be a capable addition to my photography kit. I will be testing both the ISO performance and the autofocus capabilities of the camera over the next couple months and report back.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.

This week Canon has announced a firmware update for the EOS R to version 1.4.0.


Clam Digging

In Canada the update is available here.


Some of the updates in this new firmware are as follows:

1 –  Improvements to “eye detection Auto Focus” to provide for recognition at greater distances

2 – Improvements to the Auto Focus overall, especially for smaller objects.

3 – Improvement in the lag time between the actual Auto Focus and the AF frame rate display for the images

4 – Other “fixes”


Obviously the feature that I am the most excited to try out is the improvements to Auto Focus overall, as I am hoping these improvements will take the camera up a notch and allow it to a more complimentary camera body to the rest of my kit.  I have updated my camera and will provide an update on what I think of the firmware update when I have a chance to go shooting (currently snowing, in September!!!). This clam digger image was shot this year in the Khutzeymateen using the EOS R, however part way through the trip I ended up not using the EOS R much because I found the autofocus too slow, so I am looking forward to this update.


If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.