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.

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.

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.

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.

When I first saw that Canon was releasing a new 70-200 f/2.8L IS III lens, I was excited because I thought finally an update on what I think is the oldest lens in my fleet.  I had hoped that in addition to a performance update, I would also see some weight savings, which would mean that it might find itself in my camera bag more often.

 

Well, when it came to the weight, my hopes were not fulfilled.  The new 70-200 f/2.8L lens is only SLIGHTLY lighter than the old version, like 50 grams (1490g vs. 1440g).  I haven’t had the change to weigh the actual lenses since I have picked mine up but I will say that I really do not notice any difference in weight between the lenses when the tripod foot is removed.  With the tripod foot on, there is a slight difference in weight, but certainly not the earth shattering weight difference that we are seeing with the new 400 f/2.8.

 

Snow Leopard – Calgary Zoo

I was debating whether or not to bring the lens on the Great Bear Rainforest trip, and wondered if it would feel like a duplicate because I knew I would be brining my 100-400 lens, and had weight restrictions to keep in mind.  In order to give the lens a quick test I brought it to the Calgary Zoo.  I have to admit, I was really pleasantly surprised by the results.  Since I have purchased the 100-400 a few years ago, I haven’t found that I am using the 70-200 as often, because it often doesn’t have the focal length needed for a lot of wildlife.  But reviewing my images from the zoo, it really made me consider that I should be using it more.

 

One of the zoo images included in this post was of a Snow Leopard, and considering that this image was shot through the glass, I was really surprised how sharp it was.  In addition to being shot though glass, I also shot it at only f/2.8, because the green background was really quite ugly and distracting. I was surprised that I was able to see the hairs on the snout of the Snow Leopard despite that it was shot through the glass.

 

Despite it not being much lighter than the old one, I decided to pack it along for the Great Bear Rainforest trip given the results that I had with it at the zoo, and I am really glad that I did.  The second day out shooting we were shooting in the heart of the rainforest, and because the river was not that wide, we were actually working at pretty close focal lengths.  I ended up using the 70-200 pretty much exclusively that day, at least where the “big subjects” (like bears) were concerned, and the lens did not let me down.  I found that having an f/2.8 lens greatly improved my images, given the low-light I would have constantly been battling high ISO and low shutter speeds if I had used the 100-400.

 

 

Seeking Salmon

Seeking Salmon was one of the shots that were taken with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM, and was actually shot wide open, because I wanted as high of a shutter speed as possible given that I wasn’t sure if the Spirit Bear was going to pounce at a salmon (if she could find one).

 

I have not yet done head-to-head testing between the new and old 70-200, and I do not know if the slightly lighter weight and fluorine coating are worth upgrading from the old one to the new one (stay tuned for that).  I will say that if you are planning to add a 70-200 to your fleet of lenses, you will not be disappointed with the image quality achieved with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM.

 

If you are debating getting this lens and have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at contact@wildlements.ca. Or stay tuned to my recent photos and blog for more thoughts as I use the lens more, and review more of the images taken with the lens.

EOS R:

  • 30.3 megapixel
  • Full frame CMOS sensor
  • Adapter allows for using EF lenses
  • Phase detect AF
  • 5,655 selectable AF Points
  • 5 frames per second with continuous AF
  • ISO Sensitivity of 100-40000
  • Low light focusing of EV -6
  • No in body stabilization
  • Same battery as other Canon DSLRs
  • One SD Slot
  • 4k video capabilities
  • Battery life of 350 shots (EVF)
  • $2,999 CAD

Canon Announces Full Frame Mirrorless EOS R

 

Last week I posted about the recent Canon announcement that I was the most excited about, the new 400mm f/2.8.

 

I am almost as excited about the announcement of the full frame mirrorless, EOS R.  I am excited to try this out in comparison to the Sony a7iii that I recently purchased.

 

EOS R
Priced at $2,999 CAD, Canon’s first step into the full-frame mirrorless comes with a 30.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. An interesting feature of the EOS R is that when the camera is turned off the curtain is closed to protect the sensor against getting dust and dirt on it.  Dust on the sensor has been something that I have noticed quite often with the Sony a7iii, so I am interested to see how the “closing” of the sensor works, and whether it does keep dust off the sensor.

 

When it comes to autofocus, Canon is using a phase-detect system with 5,655 selectable points…no that is not a typo they are actually advertising over five thousand AF Points. With this many AF points, 100% of the vertical and 88% of the horizontal sensor is covered by autofocus points.  This is pretty impressive, and hopefully this is something that can be carried over to the DSLR, because this is one of my biggest frustrations with the 1DX Mark II, sometimes the points are not where I need them, especially in the low end.

 

Another feature of the EOS R that Canon has added is making the AF available for “nearly the entire image” when shooting at f/8 or f/11.  So this means that you could attach a 2x extender to an f/5.6 lens (turning it to f/11) and still have AF, something that cannot even be done with my 1dx Mark II.  I am interested to test this and see how it actually performs, and whether it is an available feature that isn’t really all that useful in practice.  I have used the 1.4x extender on the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II to see how it performed, and I found the autofocus to be incredibly slow.

 

The frame-rate is advertised as 8 frames per second. However, with closer reading that 8 frames per second is only when not using continuous AF.  When switched to continuous autofocus the frame rate decreases to 5 frames per second, and will drop to 3 frames per second if you have selected focus priority in your settings. I do not even remember what it is like to shoot wildlife with a camera at 3 frames per second.  The buffer is advertised to be 47 Raw files.

 

Low-light focusing should not be an issue with the EOS R, it has the ability to focus at EV -6, and has ISO range of 100-40000.

 

Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointing, is that the camera does not come with any in body image stabilization, a feature available in both of the competitors (Nikon z6 and Sony a7III). I am not sure what drove the decision by Canon to skip it, maybe they are trying to drive the sale of the IS lenses, and intend for all the RF lenses to be image stabilized and thought it was unnecessary.

 

For this camera Canon has created a new mount, the “RF” mount, but also has three different adapters available to use existing EF lenses with the camera.  This is a benefit over my Sony mirrorless which has a Metabones adapter that allows me to use my Canon lenses, however the autofocus is so slow that I find it is not even worth trying to use it.

 

The battery life of the EOS R has room for improvement, with life of 350 shots per charge, however that’s consistent with other full frame mirrorless cameras.  The benefit for anyone that owns another Canon camera, like the 5D Mark IV, the battery is the same, at least you do not need to bring an additional charger.  The camera only has one memory card slot, which holds an SD card, so there is no ability to record backup, or have image overflow.

 

I am really looking forward to getting my hands no my camera, which is expected to be here mid-October (of course, right after I get back from the Great Bear Rainforest). I plan to keep my Sony a7iii in order to compare the two.

 

More about the EOS R can be found on Canon’s website.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.

Canon 400 f/2.8L IS III

  • Incredibly Light (2840g)
  • 1000g Lighter than vII
  • Improved IS – 5 stops
  • Balance Redistribution (towards back)
  • Coatings – Less Ghosting and Flaring
  • $15,799 CAD

My last blog post was asking, maybe even begging, Canon to step-up and compete the with recent Nikon announcements of a full-frame mirrorless and something that could compete with the 500 PF.  Well I guess I owe Canon a “thank you”.

 

Canon announces the release of the lightest 400 f/2.8L on the market (the 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM)

 

Before the new Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM was announced, I was talking to my sales guy at The Camera Store here in Calgary and said that unless they shaved a lot of weight off the lens, I was not going to be getting a new one (I have only had my current one for 1.5 years).  Well Canon did just that. The new version 3 of the 400mm f/2.8 weighs in at just 2840g, which over 1000g lighter than the previous version of the lens, it is an over 25% reduction in weight….this is absolutely incredible.  Needless to say the minute I saw this spec, I put my name on the list to get one.

 

Other than being incredibly lightweight, now topping Sony by being the lightest on the market (by 50g), the 400 f/2.8L III also has improved image stabilization, and now comes with 5 stops of image stabilization compared to “only” 4 stops in the 400 version 2.

 

In addition to the improved weight and image stabilization, Canon has also changed the balance on the lens so that it has more weight toward the back closer to the mount.  I am looking forward to seeing how this lens is to hand-hold.  I find with my current lens hand-holding it can be a challenge because I have to hold it so far out that it’s hard to get my arm properly braced (because I’m so small). Weight distribution and balance can be more important than just total weight, especially for hand-holding lenses…airlines won’t care though, they will just care about total weight.

Coastal

The lens comes with “Super Spectra Coating and Air Sphere Coating” which should help reduce flare and ghosting on the lens, although truthfully, it is not something that I have noticed being a real problem with the 400 version 2.  There is also some improved weather sealing and ability to use the lens at higher temperatures, however that’s not a feature I need, because it’s not like the Great Bear Rainforest ever really gets that hot.

 

As to be expected, this lens doesn’t come cheap, it is listed on Canon Canada’s website at $15,799 CAD.

 

I’m really excited to get my hands on this and compare it to the version 2 of this lens.  I’m really hoping that weight savings doesn’t translate into optical performance sacrifices, but I’m optimistic that this soon might become my new favorite lens. This image of a coastal wolf “Coastal” was photographed with the version 2 of the lens in the Khutzeymateen in 2017.

 

More about the lens can be found on Canon Canada’s website and feel free to reach out to me with any questions contact@wildelements.ca.

 

Stay tuned for when I get my hands on one and can start comparing it to the version 2 of the lens.

Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF

  • Incredibly light – 1,460g
  • Price $4,900 CAD
  • Weather sealed
  • Nikon’s Fluorine Coating

Nikon z7

  • 45.7MP
  • 493 AF points
  • 9 frames per second
  • Weight – 585g
  • 330 shots battery life
  • $4,700 CAD

Nikon z6

  • 24.5MP
  • 273 AF points
  • 12 frames per second
  • Weight – 585g
  • 310 shots battery life
  • $2,800 CAD

Well if you are a Nikon shooter (which I’m not!), you have noticed a couple of exciting announcements, and all I can say is “Canon – You’re Next” (PLEASE!).

 

Nikkor 500mm f/5,6 PF

The announcement that I am most excited for, at least for my Nikon friends, is the release of the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR. I have always been incredibly envious of the 300 PF whenever I have seen one on the trip, so now that Nikon has stepped it up and released a 500, I’m hoping it is a kick in the pants that Canon needs to start releasing some newer and lighter equipment.

 

The biggest surprise for me is the price tag of the 500 PF, at just under $4,900 CAD, this compares to the Canon 400 f/4 DO of over $8,800 CAD.  The price is absolutely incredible, and gives photographers (well Nikon shooters) the ability to get a longer focal range at a lower price.  Especially when compared to the Nikon 500mm f/4 at just under $13,000 CAD.

 

In addition to the lower price tag, this lens (and one of the appeals) is that it comes in at a lower weight, weighing less than half of the 500mm f/4, coming in at 1,460g (compared to 3,880 for the 500 f/4). This makes the 500 PF a great lens for photographers who travel often, and and restricted for baggage size and weight.

 

Of course, I’m not about to get too excited for Nikon shooters, or jealous, just yet because it still all hinges on image quality, but assuming it’s anything like the 300 PF, I think Nikon shooters are lucky and have one more option when it comes to lenses.

 

It also comes weather sealed and with Nikon’s Fluorine Coating, making it a capable lens for rugged shooting conditions.

 

More information on the 500 PF can be found on Nikon’s website.

 

Nikon Full Frame Mirrorless  (z7 & z6)

The next announcement that has me begging Canon to step-up is the announcement of two full-frame mirrorless cameras, which compare quite closely to the Sony a7iii and a7riii.  Both of these cameras come with a different mount, but have the ability to use an adapter to make it compatible with the existing f-mount lenses.

 

The z7 is a full frame 45.7MP camera that has 493 AF points, and shoots at 9 frames per second.  The price tag of this body is just under $4,700 CAD, and weighs in at just 585g.  It also comes equipped with video capabilities including 4k video. And one thing this camera has that the Sony’s do not, are xqd slot, but only one, which could take some getting used to for shooters used to two.  More about this camera can be found on Nikon’s website.

 

The z6 is a full frame 24.5MP camera that comes with 273 AF points, and shoots 12 frames per second.  The price tag of this body is just under $2,800 CAD and it weights 585g.  It also comes with the ability to capture 4k videos.  More about this camera can be found on Nikon’s website.

 

Two common complaints with mirrorless cameras are the autofocus, and battery life.  The battery life of the z7 is advertised to be 330 shots and the z6 slightly less at 310 shots. This battery life is much less than the Sony a7Riii at 530 shots, and the a7iii of 610 shots.  For the autofocus, I am curious at how closely it will match that of the full frame dslr cameras, based on the technical specs, it has many of the similar AF Area Modes as the DSLR’s but we will see how well it functions.

 

Hopefully in the not too distant future I am excitedly writing and gushing about the new releases from Canon (hopefully!).  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.

Pleasant Surprises:

  • Image quality
  • ISO Performance
  • Dynamic Range (high ISOs)
  • Metering
  • Frame-rate
  • Size/Portability

Disappointments:

  • Autofocus (initial acquisition)
  • Electronic viewfinder

I have had the Sony a7III Mirrorless camera for a few months now, and while some things have surprised me, there are still a few things that I will say continue to disappoint me.

 

This blog post is by no means meant to be a true “camera test”, but more of a “in the field” and “gut-feel” assessment.

 

Pleasant Surprises:

Image Quality / Image Sharpness
I continue to be quite surprised with the overall image quality that the Sony a7III is capable of producing. I find that when the photo is in-focus they are really quite sharp.  I think I am even more surprised by this because I’m using a lower-end lens than I am used to (using the Sony 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 G OSS vs. the Canon L-Series lenses that I am used to).

 

I would like to try out the Sony with the 100-400, or even the new Sony 400 f/2.8, but with the rumours of Canon releasing it’s own full frame mirrorless sometime in the future, I have limited budget that I really want to invest in the Sony system.

 

In the future I plan to still do some head-to-head shooting with the Canon, including the Sony vs. Canon 100-400’s with the 5d Mark IV, but just haven’t had the time that is required for detailed testing and reviewing.

 

ISO Performance / Dynamic Range
For the price of the camera, I’m continued to be extremely impressed by the ISO performance of the Sony a7III. I find that it rivals that of the 5D Mark IV, and with good post-processing skills can get useable images at ISO 6400+.  This makes the camera more well-rounded than some of the similarly priced DSLRs in terms of being able to use it in darker settings (thinking the Great Bear Rainforest), or with lenses that aren’t f/2.8.

 

I have been finding that when an image gets noisy, it gets really noisy.  What I mean by that is that I feel like it goes from hardly any noise, to so noisy the image isn’t useable, I guess it’s a good thing that you are able to pus the ISOs otherwise you would be stuck with a bunch of really noisy images.

 

I am also finding that the dynamic range on this camera is incredible, even at the higher ISO’s like 5000+.

 

Metering
I find the meter on the camera to be incredible, it does a really good job at reading the scene and not blowing highlights or blocking up shadows, and I find that I’m required to do less compensation when shooting in multi-segment mode compared to what I have experienced in other camera.

 

Frame-rate
There is nothing to complain about when it comes to frame rate, the 10 fps seems to play out as advertised in the real world.  While it is no D5 of Canon 1dx Mark II, and there would be certain scenarios when you would want to manage your buffer (like a Humpback Whale breaching), it’s perfectly capable buffer size, and it outperforms the 5D Mark IV (7 fps), which I use plenty

 

One word of caution, if you turn your camera to silent mode, it is literally silent, so if you accidentally sit on the cameras shutter you will have no indication that it is taking 50 or more shots of the zodiac floor.

 

Size/Portability
The main reason I decided to buy the camera was because of the size.  Sometimes it is one thing to read the specs of a camera and think “wow, that is light (or heavy)”, but it is another thing to actually use it in the real world, because weight distribution and ergonomics can play a big role in whether something actually feels light, or heavy.

 

After using it on a trip, taking it for some walks, having it in my backpack, and generally just using it, I am still finding it to be quite light and portable. I am even able to throw it into my relatively small hydro pack with the 70-300 on it.

 

Disappointments:

Autofocus:
I said it in my initial impressions blog post (here)  and I am going to say it again, I am still disappointed with the autofocus.  And while I am aware that it is much improved over previous versions of mirrorless cameras, for me, where I am used to flagship Canon cameras I remain to be disappointed.

 

Initial acquisition of objects, especially small, quick moving objects, is still slow, causing me to miss shots. I find that after initial acquisition the autofocus does a reasonable job sticking on the subject, and locking and keeping focused.  So while it is not all bad, if you cannot acquire initial focus you will not need to worry about maintaining focus.

 

While the autofocus is a bit annoying at times, having the ability to put the AF point pretty much anywhere in the entire image is pretty awesome, although in practical terms it is likely pretty rare that you would use some of the extreme edges for the AF Point.

 

Electronic Viewfinder:
In my initial thoughts blog post it was one of my biggest annoyances, the electronic viewfinder, and if I recall I said it would take some getting used to….well I am still not used to it.  I find it to be less noticeable if I am just shooting with the mirrorless camera all day, but if I am switching back and forth between the mirrorless and DSLRs, it becomes very noticeable.

 

Conclusion:
I’m not ready to throw away all my DSLRs just yet.  They are still highly capable, and in my opinion more highly capable, than the Sony a7III, however when I want something small and light for walking around “in case” I see something, I don’t feel like I am grossly under-equipped and will be left with images no better than a cheap point and shoot camera.

 

I am looking forward to continuing to taking the Sony a7iii on my next photo tour, Marine Mammals at the beginning of August, and putting it to the test some more.  If you are considering the a7III and have any questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.