Le Kilt: DPreview and Adam Jones : Thank you !!!
Most enjoyable to watch and very helpful, it confirms I want one too :-)
Turns out it is an infomercial, as the video is part of the 7DII product page on Amazon!
A couple questions about the review:
1. In describing Auto ISO and manually adjusting the Minimum Shutter Speed, "Auto" setting to be faster or slower, the review says that each tick adjusts ~2/3 EV, while Nikon adjusts ~1 EV. The Canon manual says that "A single step...is equivalent to a single shutter speed stop" (pg 159). Did you find your results to be different than Canon's explanation, through testing?
2. Also, Canon says that the "Auto" Minimum Shutter Speed with Auto ISO will follow the "1/focal length" rule. Did you find this to take into account the 1.6x crop factor, and thus be 1/320 minimum shutter speed with a 200mm lens, or is it simply 1/200 with a 200mm lens?
I would disagree with you about it being a Canon infomercial, in that it was not actually a very effective "7DII" infomercial - because the new and unique autofocus features of the 7DII, that Canon has developed specifically for these type of action scenarios, weren't even demonstrated, much less mentioned. It would have been nice to have taken advantage of this situation to learn if these features actually work as promised in a demanding wildlife situation, to learn if they have been improved over their implementation in the 7D and 5DIII, and to see how tweaking the various AF tracking parameters and using the different AF Cases actually affects the performance and keeper rate in real-life use. Plus seeing how the Dual Pixel technology works for Live View/Movie continuous focusing in such a perfect demonstration situation. Perhaps next time bring Canon's Rudy Winston along to remind you how to take advantage of the camera's new and unique features!
I'm on the same page as you, but for slightly different reasons. While the video was very informative to viewers for how a pro actually uses his camera to capture different types of wildlife situations, as you said it didn't actually show how the 7DII might be better/ different at it than any other camera. Not to mention, the actual camera use wasn't really specific to the features of the 7DII - most all of the features, settings, and techniques used could have been just as successfully shown with an original 7D or even a 70D.
Timur Born: Thanks for the video, I enjoyed it and it did put things into perspective.
One oddity that I noticed was when Barney mentioned how the camera's focus would follow the wolves in video even though we learned earlier that no AF-C was used. Instead AF-S was used intermittently to get focus back and that is even what the video shows just after Barney made the comment. ;)
Another thing I noticed is how high an f-stop often was needed in practice even with the crop sensor camera.
Last but not least, I often can only dream of calling ISO 1600 and 3200 "high ISO". Yesterday I hit ISO 25k at 1/15 and gave up accordingly (moving people, no flash possible).
(continued) I realize I'm being critical of a well-make piece, but I think they are very valid criticisms. They didn't just head to the Seattle Zoo to do some focus and ISO tests, they went all the way to Montana, with a pro, (and mountain lions!) to show "real world" use of the 7DII - for all that effort I would have liked to see some "real world" tests, evaluations, and demonstrations of the actual, specific features that make the 7DII unique - such as its AF system and AF Cases, and its Dual Pixel movie AF tracking capabilities.
Yes, I understand that this photographer may prefer to use One Shot (AF-S), even for some motion situations, for video and stills (as he said he was using for some of the mountain lion stills) ... so he could have done that with any camera. I think it was quite a missed opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities (or fails) of this specific camera, the 7DII, whose sophisticated AF system and AF options were specifically designed for these types of motion situations.
Regarding AF-S with video, a major aspect of the 7DII for video is the Dual Pixel technology to continuously follow moving subjects. That was unprecedented just a year ago. To ignore that capability, and to not evaluate the tracking sensitivity settings for keeping locked onto a moving subject - then what was the point of using the 7DII for this demonstration vs. using any other camera?
Yes, I was also baffled by those oddities. Using AI Servo (AF-C) rather than One Shot (AF-S), plus using the appropriate pre-set AF Case and Dynamic AF Area would have been a much better demonstration of what makes the 7DII unique, to test and show what it is perhaps capable of doing that other cameras cannot.
Taking advantage of the AF Cases, AF Areas, and other AF options to ensure sharp focus of the moving animals would have also allowed wider f-stops, rather than playing it safe with f/7 or f/11. They would have benefited from some training from Canon on the AF system before they headed out.
You will be amazed at the results at ISO 16,000 on the 7DII (yes 16,000), so the constant concern in the video on the "high" 1600 ISO settings was weird. Granted it is not the best out there for high ISOs, but much improved.
The heart of this camera, its most powerful and customizable feature, is its AF system - the AF Cases, the AF Area Modes, and the AF settings such as Tracking Sensitivity, Accel./Decel. Tracking, AF Point Auto Switching, and AI Servo Image Priority. Taking full advantage of all these options is the key to capturing in-focus images of moving subject, and these settings are able to be adapted for predictably moving subjects vs. more erratic subjects, as were encountered.
The video was informative, but I am disappointed that the above features were barely mentioned, even though the situation was an ideal opportunity to explain, test, and take advantage of those key features which distinguish the 7DII from any other camera in its class.
dojoklo: Your example video showing "the differences between the FlexiZone single-point phase-detect AF and Face-detect/Tracking autofocus" is a little weird at best, and misleading at worst. First, one really wouldn't consider Face Detect to be the "default" AF mode - it is simply one of the 4 modes that the user can choose from, and it just happens to be the first one listed. The user is expected to select the mode that best fits the scene, and so that being said...
Why do you keep trying to use Face Detect to focus on a scene clearly without a face, and then commenting how there is a lag? Yes, there is a lag as the camera ponders why the user left it set on the Face Detect mode when there are no faces to be found! And then the camera switches automatically to FlexiZone-Multi as designed. The lag can be easily avoided by setting the camera in the appropriate AF Mode before shooting, and thus could basically be considered user error.
Good point chj. And I didn't really think of it as "anti-Canon," but rather more as anti-common sense or anti-RTM!
It just came across to me as very curious, and not much different than if they had said "In the default Evaluative Metering mode, the camera does a poor job spot metering. However, if you set it on Spot Metering, the spot metering performance improves dramatically."
So, kind of accidentally disingenuous I suppose. I just think a clearer walk-thru and trial of the AF Modes, with how they are designed to work, would have been more informative and useful: Face-Detect (used with a face), then FlexiZone-Single (used to "spot" focus), then FlexiZone-Multi (used to let the camera pick the focus). (And Quick Mode to make use of the Viewfinder AF sensor but not the new Dual Pixel CMOS system.)
Your example video showing "the differences between the FlexiZone single-point phase-detect AF and Face-detect/Tracking autofocus" is a little weird at best, and misleading at worst. First, one really wouldn't consider Face Detect to be the "default" AF mode - it is simply one of the 4 modes that the user can choose from, and it just happens to be the first one listed. The user is expected to select the mode that best fits the scene, and so that being said...
There are a couple very important aspects of the 70D that this preview does not address. If you could please add some info it would be helpful:
1. Which Menu settings and Custom Functions does the 70D have/ lack compared to the 7D and 6D? These differences of functionality and customization are what can make/ break the decision for a semi-pro user or someone considering it as a second body.
2. Which AF Area Selection Modes does the 70D have? While the 19 pt AF system is similar to the 7D, The fact that the 70D appears to only offer Single Point, Zone, and Auto 19-point (while eliminating Expansion and Spot) could make or break the decision for a sports, action, or wildlife shooter (the Canon Europe specs and video seem to confirm only 3 AF Area modes.)
If you are interested in this type of layered composition and "story-telling" be sure to have a look at artists like James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg, who created painted works with a related approach, with great insight and subtlety.