Canon EOS R7 vs. R5 and R3

I had a chance this morning to test the Canon EOS R7 against the R5 and R3. All cameras were set to roughly the same menu settings. Each was used in shutter priority (TV), shutter 1250, ISO Auto, and F/11. Each had the same 100-500mm RF lens with a 1.4x converter.

My subject stayed the same as well. Lucky for me, a fledgling eastern bluebird stayed on the same branch during my test.

All images were taken while I was seated in the same chair at the same angle. The sky was partly cloudy with lighting remaining generally the same during the test.

Notice that the bird photographed with the R7 is larger in the frame. The Canon EOS R7 has a cropped sensor so the subject will appear bigger with a telephoto lens. Hence, the reason a lot of bird photographers like photographing with a crop sensor camera.

Here’s the images larger:

Eastern bluebird fledgling with the Canon R7. The bird is larger in the frame due to the cropped sensor.
Eastern bluebird photographed with the Canon R5. Same bird from same vantage-point but notice that I zoomed back a tiny bit by mistake.
Eastern bluebird photographed with the Canon R3.

I was impressed with the auto focus on the Canon R7. The camera was set to Flexible Zone 1, Subject, and Eye Detect. The Canon R7 never failed to acquire focus on the small bird. (Watch for my post on camera set-up.)

I’ll compare ISO in a future post but here’s a look at the Canon R7 image enlarged to 100%.

The same photo from above enlarged to 100% photographed using ISO 6400.

Posts coming up will show my set-up for the R7, file size, ISO, and night photography. Stay tuned!

First impression with the Canon R7 shows that this is going to be a great camera for bird photography.

Subject Not In Focus

If I have it on autofocus and it looks clear in the view but comes out completely blurry, is that the autofocus not working, or is it just me? I have a Canon Rebel T1i.

Alysia
The rufous-tailed hummingbird is in focus but the wings and tail are blurred. The camera was set to 1/300th of a second shutter speed. Focus confirmation on the head. Wings and tail are blurred because the shutter speed was not fast enough.

My Answer: Good question.  When you look through the viewfinder and focus – there’s a green dot in the lower right or left of the viewfinder.  That green dot flickers if you’re on AF-C and it’s solid if you’re on AF-S.  That’s the focus confirmation.  Your camera is focusing on something. 

BUT, if the shutter speed is too slow then you won’t stop the action.  Shutter speed too slow and the subject will be blurry.

Here are some screen grabs from various camera manuals to illustrate:

Reminder that shutter speed stops action. The shutter speed (that’s the 125 above) needs to be fast enough to freeze the action.

Shutter speeds to keep in mind when shooting:

  • 1/8th of a second blurs water (that’s 8 in the view finder) if camera is on a tripd
  • 1/15th of a second is needed if camera’s on a tripod but the subject is gently moving
  • 1/60th of a second is needed for living subjects standing still
  • 1/250th of a second is needed to stop fast walking or slow running
  • 1/500th of a second is needed to stop running
  • 1/4000th of a second is needed to stop a duck in flight

This is the type of thing we cover in my Basic Photography class. Join me for a class in the future. See all my online classes on my website. www.kathyadamsclark.com

#photonotinfocus

Canon R7 and R10 Announced

Canon has finally announced their less expensive line of R mirrorless cameras. Both the R7 and the R10 look like great cameras to me. Each is smaller, lighter and less expensive than the R3, R5 or R6. Yet, each is loaded with a ton of features that will make any photographer happy.

Both come with a cropped sensor and their own line of lenses.

I haven’t had a chance to touch or feel the R7 or R10 yet. The folks at B&H Camera, though, have put together a nice comparison chart.

Have a look:

Copied from B&H Photo Video

Here’s a link to B&H’s full analysis.

Sanderlings with the Canon R3

Galveston Featherfest 2022 began for me with a Birds in Flight workshop on East Beach. We found these little sanderlings feeding along the shore. Sanderlings are only 7-inches long and they are in constant motion. You can imagine the fun we had photographing them. Canon R3, 100-500mm RF lens, 1.4x extender, shutter speed in the 1/4000th to 1/8000th range.

Sanderling; Calidris alba; Galveston; Texas; East Beach; Spring
Sanderling; Calidris alba; Galveston; Texas; East Beach; Spring
Sanderling; Calidris alba; Galveston; Texas; East Beach; Spring
Sanderling; Calidris alba; Galveston; Texas; East Beach; Spring

Have you photographed Sanderlings? Are they a challenge?

Canon R3 — Flying Birds

The Canon EOS-D1X was my workhorse camera for years. It focused fast, held focus, and never hesitated. That what I hoped from the new Canon R3.

So far, my hopes are reality.

I grabbed a couple of hours during sunny weather this weekend to photograph at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. My goal was to photograph ducks and raptors in flight at high shutter speeds.

Blue-winged teal in flight. Canon R3, 100-500mm RF lens, 1.4x extender, shutter speed 1/8000th
Blue-winged teal flying low along the cattails. The Canon R3 kept focus on the bird and didn’t get distracted by the cattails. (100-500mm RF lens, 1.4x extender, 1/8000th shutter)
Blue-winged teal in flight. Same equipment and settings as above.

Below is a series of a black-bellied whistling-duck that I tracked across the marsh. The camera is set on large zone autofocus versus a small cluster of focus points.

When the bird flew behind the reeds, the Canon R3 didn’t lose focus. The camera stayed locked on the bird and didn’t get distracted by the brush.

Red-tailed hawk under similar circumstances. Tree limbs come between the bird and me. The Canon R3 doesn’t get distracted by the limbs. It stays focused on the bird.

During my time in the field, I aimed the camera at any bird that flew nearby. I aimed the camera at hawks and vultures in the distance. Not once did it fail to acquire focus on the bird.

One or two times the camera lost focus during a burst but it reaquired focus by the next click of the shutter. I used to see this same thing with the EOS-D1x.

I missed a couple of birds but those were “operator error” versus the Canon R3. The R3 is living up to the hype and I’m a happy photographer!

Female blue-winged teal comes in for a landing.

Please feel free to post questions below. Would you like me to test something during my next outing with the Canon R3?

Canon R3 — Birds in Flight

I always loved my Canon D1X for the way it locked on to birds in flight. The camera did its job and I had to make sure everything else was in sync to get the photo.

The Canon R3 appears to be meeting those same standards. My test today involved birds flying around a neighborhood lake so not the most dramatic species for photos. Good test subjects, though. Take a look.

Great egret in flight. 1/1600 shutter at ISO 800.
Double-crested cormorant at 1/1600 shutter speed and ISO 2000

In both instances, the R3 didn’t hesitate. It locked on to the bird and held focus while I tracked the subject with the camera. The focus confirmation stayed on the screen. The camera never lost focus or tried to hunt.

Very impressive so far. I’ll try smaller birds next.

Questions or comments please post below. Thanks for reading.

Canon R3 — Shutter Speed of 1/64,000

Day 2 with the Canon R3 and I went to a nearby lake to photograph birds in flight. Someone nearby was flying a drone so I took a picture of it. The drone flew over to me and hovered. Photo Opportunity!!

The Canon R3 locked on to the drone without much problem. This photo is 1/1600 shutter with ISO 400. Notice the propellers are blurred.
I changed the shutter speed to 1/12,800. Yes, there’s a shutter speed faster than 1/8000 now! Notice the propellers are nearly stopped. ISO 4000 for those interested.
I rotated the shutter speed dial to 1/64000. Yes, we have that now! ISO is 20,000 at this point. A bit of noise reduction was needed but not much. Notice that the propeller blades are frozen at this point.

Shutter speeds range from 1/64000 to 30″ seconds on the R3. Life just got a lot more interesting.

Canon R3 — First Look

Canon R3

After a long wait I finally got my Canon R3. I’ve used the Canon R5 and R6 for the past two years. Use the “search” feature here to read my reviews of those cameras.

The Canon R3 was advertised as a mirrorless equivalent to the Canon D1X. The D1 line and particularly the D1X have been my preferred camera for over 15 years.

This first review of the Canon R3 is with minimal set-up. I took the camera out of the box and set the following menu items: (1) date and time, (2) copyright, (3) Raw, (4) animal eye focus, (5) AF Servo AF Case 2, and (5) High speed release. That’s it! The bare minimum for this first test run.

There’s a northern mockingbird in this bush. The Canon R3 locked onto the eye and held focus despite all the tangle of brush in front of the bird. No coaxing on my part. The camera did all the work.
Ruby-crowned kinglet is a hyper-active little bird that never sits still. The Canon R3 found the eye and stayed with the bird as long as I could keep the bird in the frame.
Uncropped image of a white-throated sparrow in the brush. The Canon R3 found the eye and stayed with the bird. This is an easy one because the sparrow wasn’t very active. The Canon R3 didn’t get distracted by any of the round leaves nearby as we’ve seen with the R5 or R6.
There weren’t a lot of flying birds during my test run. The wind was blowing hard and erratic. A few black vultures flew across, though. I raised the Canon R3 and the camera immediately found the bird. No hunting or hesitation. The Canon R3 stayed with the bird as long as I could keep it in the frame.

The Canon R3 works like the Canon D1X! I feel that I finally have a D1X back in my hands but with all the bells-and-whistles of a mirrorless camera.

The Canon R3 is a big camera so it has a different feel in the hand. I’ll write about that in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

I’ve been asked to compare noise between the R5 and R3. I’ll do that comparison in another post. Keep watch for that one.

The Canon R3 has Eye Control. This is a new feature where the camera uses my eye to determine where to focus in the frame. Can’t wait to explore that feature!

INITIAL IMPRESSION:

  • The Canon R3 looks and feels like a D1X
  • Minimal set-up is needed to get this camera up and running. Yea!!
  • Precise auto focus that allows us to photograph birds deep in the brush with Animal Eye activated.
  • Birds in flight are tracked on par with the D1X.
  • Exposure Simulation allows us to over or under exposure to get the picture right in the camera. This is expected in today’s mirrorless cameras.

Stay tuned as I work with the Canon R3.

Ask questions below or suggest items that you’d like to see tested. Thanks for reading!

Why Am I Playing With Lights?

Illustration of Additive Color

We learn when we play. We know that from childhood. Kids play and figure out new things. Kids play a game of kickball in the street and learn management skills, communication skills, dexterity, and lots more.

So as a nature photographer, why would I play with colored lights? It’s fun and I might learn something.

There’s this thing in the world called Additive Color. When you shine a colored light on something, the color of the object is altered. You’ve seen this in a stadium watching our favorite band. The different colored spotlights coming from different directions create interesting effects. You’ve seen the same thing at a stage play or opera. Gels are put on the spots to change a scene from dawn to sunset.

We’re taught in grade school that when all the colors are added together we get white. Well, I tried coloring with all the crayons and never got white. That’s because crayons or paint have pigments and subtractive color happens. Mix a lot of colors of paint together and you eventually get black or maybe “yulk.” Pigment doesn’t work the same as light.

Project a blue beam of light over a red beam of light and we get magenta where there’s overlap. Project green beam of light over a red beam of light and we get yellow where there’s overlap. Project that same green beam of light over blue and we get cyan.

Notice that my example uses Red, Green, and Blue. That’s RGB color — one of the choices of a photograph’s color space. You know RGB color from your computer or the back of your camera.

Additive Color is used in portrait photography but not often in nature photography.

Background (Skip ahead if you’re not interested)– I’m a “mentor” to a photography group with some really advanced photographers. There are four “mentors” and we give the photographers assignments at the beginning of the year. That’s 12 total assignments for the year. My January 2022 assignment was “Additive Color.” I didn’t give any explanation or help. Just two words. One of the photographers, James Woody, created a photograph for the assignment of red, green, and blue lights pointing at a crystal ball. You might know that I love crystal ball photography so I had to try my hand at recreating James’s photo.

This is the photo James Woody created.
My photo of a crystal ball with
red light from the left, green light in the middle, and blue light on the right.
Just the blue and green lights.
Notice the flaw from the crystal ball in the left shadow.
Different camera angle.
Another camera angle.

Thanks to James Woody for the inspiration for these photos. Visit James’ website to get some inspiration of your own. www.jrwoodyphotography.com

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