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Thread: Considering switching from Olympus to Canon

  1. #1
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    Considering switching from Olympus to Canon

    I've been an Olympus shooter for about 18 months or so, using first an E620 & 70-300mm lens and now an E30, 50-200 SWD & EC14 teleconverter (EFL 580mm). While I've really enjoyed shooting and learning with this gear, I feel like I've come to a crossroads with my photography.

    I'm ready to make a significant investment in some good quality glass, but unfortunately with all of the speculation about the future of Four Thirds systems, I'm not willing to spend several $1,000s on an Olympus lens.

    So, I'm considering making the switch to Canon.

    My research has led me to the 7D, which by all accounts looks to be a pretty decent birding camera. While researching lenses, I've basically settled on the 100-400mm L IS USM lens. My main subject is birds, and while I've read very good things about the 400 f5.6 prime, I live in a forest/bushland type area, with a few good reserves with quite tame birds, so the versatility of a zoom lens is a must. I figure this will be a decent combination to produce quality bird images while I learn how to use the new Canon set up. It also enables me to lust after a 500 f4 & 1.4x tc combo for the future.

    Questions:
    Will the Canon 430 EX II be a sufficient external flash for bird photography?
    Any monopod recommendations for this combo?
    Which backpack would you recommend for this set up?

    Any hints/tips/links for settings etc for the camera/lens/flash combo to really get the most out of this gear?

    Thanks in advance
    Adam
    Adam Blyth Photography

    Canon 5D III | EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM | EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM | EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM | EF Extender 1.4x III | 580 EX II

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    Your ideas are about right. The alternates being Pentax K-5 or Nikon D7000.

    As for the flash, spec seems ok, also consider using a better beamer to get more light onto the subject.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    I am considering upgrading to the 7D & this is the recommended Canon camera for birding. I have the Canon 100-400mm L & I can tell you you will be please with it. I use it heaps & not just for birds. Like you the birds I encounter can be quite close & at times I have not been able to shoot them because I am too close & if you move back they fly off. At the moment & am using a 500D which has been great to learn the fundamentals with but now I am finding that the fpm is too slow for what I want to do & even more importantly the buffering speed is so slow it is painful to watch the birds flying by!!

    The backpacks I use are the Lowpro Flipside 200 & 400. I use the 200 most, access is from the back so no one can pinch your gear & spun around on your waist it converts into a nice clean table area to change your lenses. In the 200 I can carry, a flash (if I want), 1 body, 100-400mm l, 24-105mm L, 50 mm. It has side pockets for lots of bits & a hidden tripod carrier. The 400 holds way more, my back is broken so I stick to the 200 mainly now.

    Flash I have the 580 & to tell you the truth I am not a fan of flash so I don't use it.

    As far as the monopod, if I use a tripod I use a conventional Benro...I don't think a monopod will stop much movement. . I don't have much trouble keeping the shutter speed around at least 1/500s. The lens is heavy & it will be even more so with a 7D. My right arm is not functioning at the moment (Torn Rotor cuff) & severe pain but I have been able to manage shooting all day recently with pit stops & analgesia. With the IS on & keeping the shutter speed up I can still get a sharp shot. So it is possible to manage this set up even with a physical problem.

    This pic was something I took with the 100-400mm L the other day that was a bit different


    Phyllorhiza punctata by Gemini2261, on Flickr
    Imagine a world without photography... one could only imagine. - Berenice Abbott

    I Shoot Canon


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    Oh & I forgot to mention I highly recommend using a shoulder strap set up such as Black Rapid 5 & connect the strap to the lens collar of the 100-400mm L....WAY BETTER!!!

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    Sounds like a good combo you have planned.

    Having both the 580 & 430 flashes, for birding go the 580 for a couple of reasons,
    1/ you're often trying to get more reach than they're really designed for, so every bit of grunt helps.
    2/ The rotary dial on the back of 580 is quicker/simpler than the 430 to + or - flash compensation or to dial it in manually.
    Last edited by Art Vandelay; 08-04-2011 at 10:42am.

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    Great post Juanita, thanks very much for taking the time. Those backpacks look great. I'm heading into the city tonight to get a look and feel for the 7D and various lenses, I'll be sure to check out some backpacks as well.

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    You cant go past the Lowepro mini trekker AW in MHO. Well made, comfortable, not too big and not too small. I can fit my 40D Gripped, w Sigma 120-400 in it with room for flash, filters, batteries etc. Check it out.

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    For birding I am using the 7D / 100-400 combo and I'm very happy with it. I combine this with the 580EX II flash, a Manfrotto 681b monopod and 498rc2 ball head (though I'll be changing this to the 322rc2 once I get around to changing the grip to left-handed ) and a Black Rapid RS-5 strap. If I take a backpack for just this gear plus filters, spare batteries, etc, I use a Lowepro Fastpack 250, which has a good sized top compartment to carry some lunch, etc, otherwise if I want to take other lenses as well I use the Lowepro Flipside 400.
    Last edited by Michaela; 08-04-2011 at 11:23am.
    Michaela

    Comments and critique always welcome and appreciated.

    My photos on Flickr
    Canon 5D Mk III | 7D | Assorted Canon Lenses


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    Where abouts did you buy your Black Rapid RS-5 strap from Juanita & Michaela?

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    Quote Originally Posted by piXelatedEmpire View Post
    Where abouts did you buy your Black Rapid RS-5 strap from Juanita & Michaela?
    Ordered mine direct from Black Rapid.

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    I think you can buy them on ebay quite cheaply now. I bought a Chinese version for about $10 to start with, just to see if would solve my problem. It had been great... so now I will buy the Blackrapid 5 as Michaela has (the 5 was not available when I started trialling my Chinese thing). I have found that the pockets that the BR 5 offers will be great for my iphone, keys, cards & little bits ...I will most likely buy a BR 5 today

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    I just checked & the BR site is probably cheapest with the conversion today $73.40 inc post...not bad...ebay was slightly dearer.

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    So I got to take a 7D and the 100-400L for a test run tonight, and I must say I was pretty impressed. The weight is noticeably heavier than my current E30, 50-200 & EC14 setup, but not considerably. The extra reach was nice. The AF seemed to be quicker on the Canon set up as well.

    Unfortunately the guy I dealt with at both Micheal's Cameras and Teds on Elizabeth Street (Melbourne) didn't have much of a clue at all. The guy at Micheal's couldn't believe I would even consider the 100-400L over the newer 150-500 and 50-500 Sigma lenses. And I couldn't believe the prices they wanted for this gear. I'll save a packet either going grey or second hand.

    Anyway, I think I'm converted. I'm now in the market for a 7D and 100-400L lens. And time to put the Oly gear on eBay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by piXelatedEmpire View Post
    So I got to take a 7D and the 100-400L for a test run tonight, and I must say I was pretty impressed. The weight is noticeably heavier than my current E30, 50-200 & EC14 setup, but not considerably. The extra reach was nice. The AF seemed to be quicker on the Canon set up as well.

    Unfortunately the guy I dealt with at both Micheal's Cameras and Teds on Elizabeth Street (Melbourne) didn't have much of a clue at all. The guy at Micheal's couldn't believe I would even consider the 100-400L over the newer 150-500 and 50-500 Sigma lenses. And I couldn't believe the prices they wanted for this gear. I'll save a packet either going grey or second hand.

    Anyway, I think I'm converted. I'm now in the market for a 7D and 100-400L lens. And time to put the Oly gear on eBay.
    From what I understand (& I am no expert) there is no comparison in the quality of the sigma & Canon lenses...you get what you pay for & there are ppl on here that have had to send new sigma 50-500mm back 3 times under warranty & still got problems with it

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    The 7D is a great camera with very rapid autofocus and high fps - so it will be good for bird photography. Don't know the 100-400mm L but have a look at http://www.the-digital-picture.com/ for a review (also the 7D if your interested).

    I have the Lowpro Mini Trekker AW and find it's pretty good for virtually all my gear. You might want to look at a Crumpler - Industry Disgrace strap - I find it great.

    I also buy most of my stuff from eBay - much cheaper than shops such as Teds. I also get a bit from B&H in the US and find them excellent.
    Last edited by screamer; 09-04-2011 at 9:09am.

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    Well I've listed all of my current Oly gear on eBay.. the transition to Canon begins!

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    Quote Originally Posted by piXelatedEmpire View Post
    Well I've listed all of my current Oly gear on eBay.. the transition to Canon begins!
    Hi Adam,
    as I've said elsewhere, we're going to miss you in the Olympus sites but I'm sure you're going to have fun with the new setup. I also use the Lowepro Flipside 400 which holds a reasonable amount to the extent it can be quite a heavy pack if loading it up completely. It is useful for changing lenses without taking the bag off or putting down & also I use the Q-Strap system which is a copy of Black Rapid at a good price but I would still get the Black Rapid ConnectR-2 for a more solid & reliable connection plus you might prefer one of the BR fasteners & or tripod plate version, although the Q-Strap plate system is quite reliable by itself. The Q-Strap, I bought from Link Delight, but Black Rapid gear, I would only get it direct from them as they are well priced & efficient at posting the goods out to you. Which ever strap brand you use, the sling strap is a vast improvement over the neck strap for heavy gear.

    Cheers mate, I'll look for your posts here instead of those other sites.
    Ross
    I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).

    Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
    Lenses: M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, ZD12-60 SWD, ZD50-200 SWD, EC14, EC20, EX25, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
    Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
    Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

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    Cheers Ross.

    I've got a Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW that I use when I'm out and about, and the 7D and 100-400L will fit snuggly in there. I'll look at the Flipside 400 as more of a storage solution, not so much as a field use bag.

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    Well the Oly gear is all but gone ..

    BUT my new 7D and 580 EXII arrived today!

    Just waiting for the 100-400 L so I can start playing with the new gear!

  20. #20
    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piXelatedEmpire View Post
    Well the Oly gear is all but gone ..

    BUT my new 7D and 580 EXII arrived today!

    Just waiting for the 100-400 L so I can start playing with the new gear!
    Well ain't that the best news - I am really pleased for you Adam. Cannot wait to see what you produce with that combo, particularly after the learning curve.

    Congrats and the 580exII is an awesome flash - I have really been using it a lot lately and can say I am beginning to get my head around it.

    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


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