Tag Archives: canon

New Canon 5DS R DSLR: A Printing Test

Yesterday Canon announced the new EOS 5DS DSLR bodies in two versions: the EOS 5DS and the EOS 5DS R The “R” model does not apply anti-alias filtering (AA-filtering) to the image. This is said to have the potential to optimize image sharpness in some cases, though it increases the risk of moire artifacts in photographs that include certain kinds of fine patterns such as fabric, screens, and similar. Both versions of the camera have 50.6MP sensors, which more than double the number of photo sites compared to previous Canon 21MP and 22MP full frame sensors.

A big question for people considering this camera is how much potential for image improvement will come from the higher-MP sensors. My feeling is that the improvement should be meaningful for photographers who already push the upper boundaries of potential print size from full-frame image files, but that the increase in MP will not likely mean amuch to photographers who don’t do this. Since I’m in the former category — and therefore quite interested in the new bodies — I wondered how this might play out in an actual print. (Prints, after all, are where the rubber meets the road with high MP cameras.)

I do not have access to raw files from the new camera, however Canon has made full resolution jpg files available online. I downloaded “Image 2″ from the link, which appears to be a straight-from-camera jpg image made with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS lens at f/11, 1/500 second, at ISO 200. The image is an aerial photograph of a dense downtown area, with many buildings and other details, including some that should reveal moire artifacts if they are going to be an issue.

My entire workflow with the image was as follows:

  1. Open the Canon jpg file in Photoshop CC.
  2. Resize to 30″ x 45″ at 300 ppi
  3. Select a letter-size section of this resized image and crop it out of the full image. Since I am interested in detail reproduction and how the non-AA-filtering body handles potential moire, I took a section that included the radiating spokes of a ferris wheel against the linear forms of buildings.
  4. Apply my customary output sharpening for prints.
  5. Keeping the resolution of the 30″ x 45″ image, I printed the small section on 8.5″ x 11″ Epson Ultrapremium Lustre paper using my Epson 7900 printer.

The results?

If I handed most people the letter-sized print they would probably think, “Not a bad print — not great, but fine.” But they would not likely notice that they were looking at a tiny fraction of an original 30″ x 45″ print. Skillful photographers and printers who looked closely would be able to see some things suggesting this… but once they heard that it was from a 30″ x 45″ inch print, I’m positive that they would join me in being very impressed. Detail is excellent, especially so for such a gigantic print size. I see no obvious examples of moire artifacts, and I’ve looked closely. I do not not see any smearing of colors, and I can see no noise whatsoever in the print.

Since this looked so good, I decided to take things to further and repeat the process — but this time resize to 60″ x 90″ at 300 ppi. For those who don’t know, that would be a very, very big printfour times the print area of the 30″ x 45″ print. Again I selected a letter-size subsection of the final huge image and printed it.

The results?

At this huge size I can certainly see that the image is softer — though whether that is a result of using a 16-35mm ultra wide lens or from the resizing or a combination of the two is open for debate. If you looked at the letter sized print and did not know that it was a crop from an image 5 feet tall and 7.5 feet wide, you would think it was soft. If you made the full print (which I’m not equipped to do!) you would be very impressed. I still see no aliasing/moire artifacts. I do see some slight color smearing in a few areas where there is a sharply delineated edge to a colorful area.

Bottom line: I’m confident that photographers using full frame images to make very large prints are going to like the results from this camera a great deal. I am certainly going to get one.

Notes:

  • Update: The cameras are now available for pre-order (as of 3/23/15), and I posted an article with more information more about the cameras.
  • The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Canon’s example file was made with the new EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens. The article has been edited to correct this error.
  • As a side note, the level of detail in the sample image speaks very well for the resolving power of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS lens.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Canon 50MP 5DS Body, 11-24mm Lens, and Updated Rebel DSLRs

I’ll start with a list, and I’ll add a few comments below.

You may feel differently, but the most interesting announcement to is that of the two versions of the EOS 5DS, a 50.6mp full frame DSLR that seems optimized for image quality. While not everyone will need 50MP in a full frame body, some of us will most certainly benefit from sensor resolution that more than doubles what was previously available from Canon. There are two models, the 5DS and the 5DS R — the 5DS R doesn’t apply anti-aliasing filtering. This has the potential to maximize image sharpness for certain kinds of photographers, and the potential risk of some moire artifacts in photographs of certain types of patterned subjects. The cameras are supposed to begin shipping in June, and I plan to get one — most likely the R model.

For those who like really wide angle zoom lenses, the EF 11-24mm f/4L lens is arguably going to be king of the hill. Early reports are that it is optically excellent, and 11mm is 1mm wider than the excellent 14-24mm Nikon f/2.8 zoom. This lens (as noted above) can apparently now be pre-ordered.

The Rebel T6i and T6s are the newest updated models in the family of consumer Rebel DSLRs. These are fine cameras at a good price, and Canon will no doubt sell tons of them. They use 24mm cropped format sensors, and they are available in body-only version and it kits that include a basic zoom lens. The T6s is said to have a few more “advanced” features added.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens — A First Look

(Note: Updated 12/24/14 to add thoughts about “who should buy” this lens.)

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS IICanon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

Canon recently released the successor to their venerable 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens, the new EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I have relied on the older model for some time now… but my copy of the new lens arrived a few days ago. Now that I have used it for a day of wildlife and landscape photography I would like to share some first impressions

Four Sandhill Cranes
Four Sandhill Cranes

Four Sandhill Cranes. San Joaquin Valley, California. December 22, 2014.
© Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell — all rights reserved.

First, a few technical details. The new lens covers essentially the same range as the older model — a focal length range of 100mm to 400mm and a variable aperture range of f/4.5 (at 100mm) to f/5.6 (at 400mm). Both lenses use a zoom mechanism that extends at longer focal lengths. However, there are some technical differences:

Continue reading Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens — A First Look

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens Announced

(Updated) Canon has announced the long-rumored replacement to the venerable 100-400mm L lens. It is the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II.

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

The lens it replaces has been a very valuable “go to” lens for many photographers who wanted more reach, a reasonably small package, good optical quality, and the flexibility of a zoom. I’ve been an enthusiastic user of the older version for some time now.

Recently Canon has updated or augmented their lens line-up to improve the offerings in certain categories. For example, earlier this year they introduced their ultra wide angle zooms by adding a new EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens. That lens has been a real success, not only adding image stabilization to lenses in this class for the first time, but also providing excellent resolution across the frame — more so than either of the lenses that many photographers used before it was introduced.

For some time, many have felt that there was a lot of potential for updating the 100-400. Although it is good performer in many ways, there has been room for improvement. More modern IS systems can provide up to 4 stops of stabilization, while the older lens only provides perhaps two. The older lens has good image quality, but it could be better in keeping with more recent lenses from Canon. In fact, rumors about the introduction of the updated 100-400mm zoom have been floating around for years.

We don’t know what the optical performance of the new lens will be yet. As I write this I have seen no real reviews. (I have seen some “reviews” that are mostly lists of specifications and speculation.) When we do see them, it will not surprise me at all if this lens provides valuable improvements in the same way that the 16-35mm f/4 has. Here is some of what we do know from Canon specifications:

  • Rather than the “push-pull” design of the earlier lens, this one has a more familiar rotation ring to change the focal length.
  • As was the case with the older model, the front of the lens extends as you zoom. This means that the lens is more compact when packed.
  • Image stabilization has been updated to provide up to four stops of stabilization — especially important with longer focal length lenses.
  • Other features include 9 blade diaphragm, the familiar 77mm filter thread diameter, and more.

The list price of the lens is $2,199. That may seem like a lot of money, but if it provides the sort of image quality we all expect it is actually a rather good deal for a lens with these capabilities.

Update: I have now had a chance to look at the MTF charts for the new lens (available at the Canon web site) and they suggest that the new zoom should be a very good performer in terms of image quality. The chart suggests better image quality than the existing 100-400 (which is quite decent) and the 400mm f/5.6 prime.

I expect that this lens will be in short supply at first — for the usual reasons related to any new product introduction, but also because of a pent-up interest in the update. The lens has been announced but is not yet available — though you may preorder it if you want to be first to get one.

As for me, there is a very good chance that I will get a copy of this lens before too long. In fact, I’m leaning more and more towards placing a pre-order — something that I rarely do.

© Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
Blog | About | Flickr | Twitter | FacebookGoogle+ | 500px.com | LinkedIn | Email

Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.