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by Karl Egressy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:35 am
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I took some pictures of the same bird species a few days ago at the same location as I did in 2007.
It made me wanting to go back and check those old images. I posted one Pine Grosbeak , that is.
In the bird species subdirectory I found pictures taken with Canon 20D/Canon 300 f 4.0 L IS.
Going back even further I found images taken with the same lens and Canon 10D camera.
Since then I went through all Canon cameras 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 7DM1, 7DM2, 1DM3, 1DM4, 5DM4, 500 f 4.0 M1 and M2, 300 f 2.8 M1 and did not find any improvement in IQ.
Details were just the same sometimes 20D and 40D  and especially 50D produced better details.
In retrospective it makes me wonder why we spent so much money on equipment.
I see on this website good quality pictures being posted taken by more than a decade old camera and they look fine.
More surprisingly somebody started posting bird pictures taken with a point and shoot camera and they are just fine.
I checked the price of that point and shoot camera.
it is a discontinued model but I can buy a used one for 180 CAN.
Well, it seems to me that the kid in us wanting to get new toys all the time and IQ is not a major factor.
Can you relate to this?
Thanks.


Last edited by Karl Egressy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
 

by Joel Eade on Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:54 am
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Karl Egressy wrote:
I took some pictures of the same bird species a few days ago at the same location as I did in 2007.
It made me wanting to go back and check those old images. I posted one Pine Grosbeak , that is.
In the bird species subdirectory I found pictures taken with Canon 20D/Canon 300 f 4.0 L IS.
Going back even further I found images taken with the same lens and Canon 10D camera.
Since then I went through all Canon cameras 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 1DM3, 1DM4, 5DM4, 500 f 4.0 M1 and M2, 300 f 2.8 M1 and did not find any improvement in IQ.
Details were just the same sometimes 20D and 40D  and especially 50D produced better details.
In retrospective it makes me wonder why we spent so much money on equipment.
I see on this website good quality pictures being posted taken by more than a decade old camera and they look fine.
More surprisingly somebody started posting bird pictures taken with a point and shoot camera and they are just fine.
I checked the price of that point and shoot camera.
it is a discontinued model but I cam buy a used one for 180 CAN.
Well, it seems to me that the kid in us wanting to get new toys all the time and IQ is not a major factor.
Can you relate to this?
Thanks.


I can relate ... basic tools in skilled hands can produce wonderful results and that skill cannot be simply purchased.  Posting small jpegs on the internet doesn't bring forth all the advantages of newer equipment.  Larger images and in particular large prints are much more likely to reveal significant differences in the gear used to acquire the image, Additionally you might factor in things like the keeper ratio or how difficult is it to get a really nice sharp image with the most advanced gear compared to older technology. Finally.....it's just fun for most folks and part of the fun is having new toys :)
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:03 am
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One thing of note regarding the equipment you mention that you used is the quality of the lenses. When you use high quality lenses, the camera used is of much less importance as long as you use the proper settings and focus. When I first started out, I used medium quality lenses. When I bought my first 80-200 f2.8 Nikon lens, I couldn’t believe the image quality with a Nikon FE body. When I bought a Nikon F4 to go with it, shooting was easier, but IQ did not show a drastic improvement. The lens is where most of the IQ comes from, considering that all settings are correct that is. I know that some of the latest high mp sensors can bring out more from an image, but most viewers of photography are not connoisseurs that would be aware of the difference. I saw an article recently, which I didn’t read, that was about this subject(lenses). I will try to find it and will post a link if it is relevant.
Regarding the P&S, images posted online don’t really reflect what the true quality is when closely inspected. I have posted several images taken with a phone here and gotten good comments, but they are not something to be blown up large like an image from a dedicated camera.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Karl Egressy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:23 am
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
One thing of note regarding the equipment you mention that you used is the quality of the lenses. When you use high quality lenses, the camera used is of much less importance as long as you use the proper settings and focus. When I first started out, I used medium quality lenses. When I bought my first 80-200 f2.8 Nikon lens, I couldn’t believe the image quality with a Nikon FE body. When I bought a Nikon F4 to go with it, shooting was easier, but IQ did not show a drastic improvement. The lens is where most of the IQ comes from, considering that all settings are correct that is. I know that some of the latest high mp sensors can bring out more from an image, but most viewers of photography are not connoisseurs that would be aware of the difference. I saw an article recently, which I didn’t read, that was about this subject(lenses). I will try to find it and will post a link if it is relevant.
Regarding the P&S, images posted online don’t really reflect what the true quality is when closely inspected. I have posted several images taken with a phone here and gotten good comments, but they are not something to be blown up large like an image from a dedicated camera.

Joe


Thanks, Joe.
I fully agree with you on the importance of lenses and I just did it all the time with two exceptions that ended up having to return the lens and buying the professional series instead.
 

by Karl Egressy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:27 am
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Joel wrote " Finally.....it's just fun for most folks and part of the fun is having new toys :)" Excellent point, Joel.
 

by Neilyb on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:42 am
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I remember using the 20D at ISO800 and throwing the images away, the noise was just impossible to deal with. So I do not sign up to the "skilled hands" thing when it comes to shooting low light at ISO12k, because with a 20D, 40D, 50D, or even 7D it was either impossible or did not give an image you could use. Images on this or any other website at 1000px wide, well yes almost any image down sampled can look great at that size, even from a phone.

I guess if I were shooting at ISO100, not something I can do here in European winter, I might not see the great difference?
 

by Karl Egressy on Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:22 am
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Neilyb wrote:
I remember using the 20D at ISO800 and throwing the images away, the noise was just impossible to deal with. So I do not sign up to the "skilled hands" thing when it comes to shooting low light at ISO12k, because with a 20D, 40D, 50D, or even 7D it was either impossible or did not give an image you could use. Images on this or any other website at 1000px wide, well yes almost any image down sampled can look great at that size, even from a phone.

I guess if I were shooting at ISO100, not something I can do here in European winter, I might not see the great difference?



Thanks for reminding me the ISO and  noise issues.
Back then I used ISO 200-320, rarely exceeded that limit and yes at higher ISO noise was awful.
The air and light quality here in Ontario is much the same as in Europe.
Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington are actually are as bad as Budapest IMO where I lived for 21 years before I moved to Canada.
Image size can be an issue to some.
In my case the most popular image size I was selling was 12x8".
The image size in books and magazines that I had my images published were tiny. 
Do I regret spending so much money on equipment? Not at all, it is just money.
 

by Mike in O on Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:59 am
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Auto focus for moving objects along with video are the improvements most noted, after all we are viewing the pics on 2 mpixels or now 8.  It is interesting that at CES, Sony announced their 8k TV's which will be 32 mpixels ? in resolution.  Also software has improved enough that those noisy pictures from the past cameras can be brought back to life.


Last edited by Mike in O on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by WDCarrier on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:54 am
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Karl Egressy wrote:
I took some pictures of the same bird species a few days ago at the same location as I did in 2007.
It made me wanting to go back and check those old images. I posted one Pine Grosbeak , that is.
In the bird species subdirectory I found pictures taken with Canon 20D/Canon 300 f 4.0 L IS.
Going back even further I found images taken with the same lens and Canon 10D camera.
Since then I went through all Canon cameras 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 7DM1, 7DM2, 1DM3, 1DM4, 5DM4, 500 f 4.0 M1 and M2, 300 f 2.8 M1 and did not find any improvement in IQ.
Details were just the same sometimes 20D and 40D  and especially 50D produced better details.
In retrospective it makes me wonder why we spent so much money on equipment.
I see on this website good quality pictures being posted taken by more than a decade old camera and they look fine.
More surprisingly somebody started posting bird pictures taken with a point and shoot camera and they are just fine.
I checked the price of that point and shoot camera.
it is a discontinued model but I cam buy a used one for 180 CAN.
Well, it seems to me that the kid in us wanting to get new toys all the time and IQ is not a major factor.
Can you relate to this?
Thanks.


Inasmuch as I've had the same experience I have determined it comes down to three issues:  Skill in using your equipment (Glenn Bartley uses exactly the same equipment as I do and I cannot even compete with the quality he gets); quality of the lens; and an innate ability as a photographer/artist.  A fully automatic top-line Canon or Nikon in the hands of a chimpanzee will not render publishable results (my problem, exactly!)
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:33 am
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Watch out, Dean! The competition is getting fierce! You probably remember this:

https://fstoppers.com/animal/photographer-being-sued-monkey-over-copyright-dispute-183507 

And I’ve taught a couple of ground squirrels, too:

https://www.naturescapes.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=279812

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by signgrap on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:59 am
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Karl my experience is different from yours. I had a Canon 20D, 40D and 7D and then switched to Sony a7R, a7R II and now a7R III. As a group the Sony cameras have much better dynamic range than the Canon cameras. The detail of the Canon 7D was about on par with a7R but the noise and DR difference was quite noticeable with the a7R being better and the later two Sony cameras improving on the first. Part of the noise difference if due to sensor size with the Sony's being full frame and the Canon's being a 1.6 crop. But the Sony sensors are also a much newer technology that has better noise rendition at higher ISOs. I shoot lots of landscapes. When I shot Canon including the 7D, I was always making at least 3 exposures and doing an HDR blend to get enough DR to not blow the highlights and/or block the shadows. For most landscape scenes now, except for ones with the most extreme DR, I can shoot one exposure with the Sonys and can recover more than enough highlight and shadow detail to not need to do any HDR due to high DR. And yes I have gone back to the 20D and 40D files and reprocessed them with current RAW conversion software. And yes I can pull more info out of the files from the old cameras but I can't match the quality of information I can pull out the Sony cameras with newer senor technology. Part of the increase in information in the Sony images comes from newer/better quality lenses designed for a high resolution senor, that I am currently using.
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:09 am
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Neilyb wrote:
I remember using the 20D at ISO800 and throwing the images away, the noise was just impossible to deal with. So I do not sign up to the "skilled hands" thing when it comes to shooting low light at ISO12k, because with a 20D, 40D, 50D, or even 7D it was either impossible or did not give an image you could use. Images on this or any other website at 1000px wide, well yes almost any image down sampled can look great at that size, even from a phone.

I guess if I were shooting at ISO100, not something I can do here in European winter, I might not see the great difference?


ISO 800 was impossible on film, as well, if you wanted any keepers, so digital was a new technology that really wasn’t disadvantaged by that limitation at the time. That is the one door that quickly opened in digital that never was even cracked by film. Low light wildlife was only a dream and never became reality. I always shot Velvia 50 pushed a stop to 100 or else Kodak E100s. Over 200 ISO never was feasible for publication, IMO. Nowadays, I see some stuff shot at super high ISO’s that impresses me. 

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Neilyb on Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:34 pm
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
Neilyb wrote:
I remember using the 20D at ISO800 and throwing the images away, the noise was just impossible to deal with. So I do not sign up to the "skilled hands" thing when it comes to shooting low light at ISO12k, because with a 20D, 40D, 50D, or even 7D it was either impossible or did not give an image you could use. Images on this or any other website at 1000px wide, well yes almost any image down sampled can look great at that size, even from a phone.

I guess if I were shooting at ISO100, not something I can do here in European winter, I might not see the great difference?


ISO 800 was impossible on film, as well, if you wanted any keepers, so digital was a new technology that really wasn’t disadvantaged by that limitation at the time. That is the one door that quickly opened in digital that never was even cracked by film. Low light wildlife was only a dream and never became reality. I always shot Velvia 50 pushed a stop to 100 or else Kodak E100s. Over 200 ISO never was feasible for publication, IMO. Nowadays, I see some stuff shot at super high ISO’s that impresses me. 

Joe


Exactly Joe, while there are many shots that might look the same taken on a 20D or a 1DxII there are (for me at least) 900% more that I could never have achieved with the older format, or film. If I am shooting goshawks here in Germany they often come while still dark and can be gone before I achieve ISO6400 (at 1/50 sec) but I can get very good results at ISO12k, with careful processing. I would be lost without the 5Dmk4.

Velvia 50 was great for landscapes but wildlife here would be impossible :)
 

by Richard B. on Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:57 pm
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Not to mention the "King" of all slide films, Kodachrome at asa 25! Try wildlife with that. Funny, didn't seem to hinder the National Geographic photographers too much?
 

by OntPhoto on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:06 pm
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Karl Egressy wrote:
Since then I went through all Canon cameras 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, 7DM1, 7DM2, 1DM3, 1DM4, 5DM4, 500 f 4.0 M1 and M2, 300 f 2.8 M1 and did not find any improvement in IQ.
Details were just the same sometimes 20D and 40D  and especially 50D produced better details.
In retrospective it makes me wonder why we spent so much money on equipment.

Can you relate to this?
Thanks.

As you've probably learned, it's not about the equipment.  Image quality comes down to other factors such as exposure, lighting, how steady you are holding the camera, etc.  Overall appeal of an image can come down to the above and composition and a variety of other factors not having anything to do with equipment.  Equipment is important too.  If your camera doesn't get you close enough to the subject or doesn't do enough FPS, it may limit the variety of poses you can choose from.  Even then, there are workarounds. 

Knowing the above, I got off the upgrade bandwagon many years ago.  I started with a Canon 300D Digital Rebel, went to the Canon 30D and then the 40D which I kept and used for about 6 years before upgrading to the current 7D MK2.  

Mind you, if you just enjoy trying out different gear, that's alright too.  
 

by Gary Irwin on Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:25 am
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Interesting post Karl. I think it’s fairly easy to demonstrate the POTENTIAL for incremental improvements in image quality as equipment has improved over the years...just buy a 5k monitor and bring up some of your 10-year old images and compare them from what you’re getting from your current equipment. Image quality from most photo hosting sites and certainly social media sites are worthless as being representative of modern IQ potential...though that might change when flickr soon starts supporting 5k images. If all your doing is posting to social media sites then I think you have a point. That said, for me the bigger benefit is that the newest equipment makes it EASIER to capture better images, which is becoming more important since the amount of wildlife definitely seems to be in decline.
Gary prefers Nikon
 

by Karl Egressy on Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:08 pm
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Gary said:
"That said, for me the bigger benefit is that the newest equipment makes it EASIER to capture better images, which is becoming more important since the amount of wildlife definitely seems to be in decline."
Well, this is the sad reality.
I just talked to a hard core birder who has been birding forever.
He led an OFO trip down South, close the Lake Erie shore and he said: NO BIRDS.
 

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