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70D question


This is probably going to be a really dumb question, but I am going to ask anyway.  I just bought my first dslr camera, the 70d, and it's all a bit overwhelming for a newbie.  I intend on buying one of the DVD sets that explains the cameras features but in the meantime, the one thing I haven't been able to find in the manual or by clicking through the cameras menu is this, and it's my dumb question;

I will use this camera for wildlife photography and while watching the numerous camera review videos before I made my purchase I heard where they kept talking about how this camera has a crop sensor of 1.6x and by using this feature it would turn a 255mm lens into a 408mm lens?  Ok, so is this a feature you turn off and on or is this camera just always using this crop sensor?  And I think crop sensor was the correct term?


previous camera - Nikon CoolPix

new camera - Canon 70D

new to the dslr world, have a lot to learn

I have shot deer, elk and antelope all over Colorado for more years than I can even remember. Both film and digital.

I mean using both rifle and camera. I just prefer a camera these days.  Smiley Frustrated

From the photo examples you posted, I think you should not buy anything additional until you learn to use what you have.

And of course the most important thing is to get focus perfect.

Another point is to get some post processing software such as Photoshop Elements 12. And learn it, too.


A good substitute for a telephoto lens is, get closer. It looks like you can get close. And getting closer is way cheaper than a big tele or big zoom.


So your next assignment is, sell a pup and buy PSE 12.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I believe today (Jan 11) is the last day you can buy PSE 12 for $30 off = $70. I had 11 but couldn't get it to read the RAW files off  the 70D but the ACR update in PSE 12 does work for the 70D. So I would say hurry up if you want to save $30.


You got some good advice here but I would recommend that you really learn the ins and outs of photography and don't let the camera make all the decisions for you. A good instructional I found that will help you is below:


For the last 8 months I have been taking many bird photos with my SX-50 (P&S with 1200mm equivalent) but I basically controlled all the settings - I did not shoot in auto mode. Now I'm moving up to the 70D and about to buy the 400mm 5.6f lens as I can see much better definition in the birds (from other photographers shots) once they get beyond 25 feet. In your case since you are shooting deer I think the zoom you have would suit you better for now. Like others told you learn to shoot with what you have and eventually you may want to upgrade to yet better lenses.


The reason the birder said the 400mm prime lens was so great is because practically all his shots will contain the entire bird in the field. What I Iearned with the SX-50 is always zoom in as close as you can. If I had a 100-400mm zoom practially all my shots would be at 400mm anyway so clearly the prime should be preferred for its better optics. Your use is different so I think you probably want a zoom lens.

"If I had a 100-400mm zoom practially all my shots would be at 400mm anyway so clearly the prime should be preferred for its better optics."


You made a good point. I have noticed that most folks with zoom lenses tend to use the high side of the lens way more than the short side. So you say, why would anyone want to buy a more expensive and heavier lens when a better, lighter, prime is available? At this moment Imagine Stabilization is the answer. Canon is working on a new version of the 400mm prime with IS but it is not out yet. Maybe in 2014!?!

So here is you dilemma. Slightly better optics or IS? I am going to say in this case IS wins. That makes the 100-400mm zoom more of a buy.

And as Mr. Myers photos display, post processing, like PSE 12 is essential. Get it. Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Hi again Dee,


You'll enjoy the 70D and 55-250mm lens.


The larger sensor size of a DSLR (compared to the point n shoot you've been using) should allow you to use higher ISOs for those low light shots. And with 20MP, you will be able to crop a bit and still have a nice image. 250mm is a farily long telephoto. Plus Image Stabilization is going to help you a lot.


The person who told you to get a telephoto prime instead of a telephoto zoom is probably an old-school photographer. I felt the same way myself for many years, and even now all my lenses longer than 200mm are primes, but today's  zooms are far better than the ones of the past. I would certainly consider a long zoom now, just for the convenience. With a prime lens there will be times you wish it were shorter, just as there will be times you wish it were longer. With a zoom, a turn of the ring (or a push/pull in the case of the Canon 100-400) solves that conundrum quickly.


Eventually you will probably want longer than 250mm, especially for the smaller critters, birds and wild hogs you don't want to approach too close. When that time comes, the Canon 100-400mm IS will be a good choice. The Sigma 120-400 OS or 150-500 OS are viable alternatives. And the recently announced Tamron 150-600mm VC sounds interesting. The USM lenses (or Sigma HSM, Tamron USD) will make for faster, more accurate focus, too.


Me, I'm saving up for a Canon 200-400/4L IS 1.4X Smiley Happy


In the meantime, I'll just have to be happy using my 300mm, 500mm lenses and teleconverters.


300/4 IS...

Hi mom!


300/4 IS with EF 1.4X II teleconverter....

Young black-tail buck



300/2.8 IS.... Tom turkey strutting


500/4 IS...

Bush t*t at nest


500/4 IS with EF 1.4X II...

Western grebe


Have fun learning to use your 70D and lenses!


Alan Myers

 San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories





Great tips and advice from all of you. Keeping notes here on my end of all the input.


I went to the woods yesterday but didn't really get a chance to get any deer shots.  This morning I wake up and look out my back window and low and behold, I had a beautiful photo op.  I ran and grabbed the 70D and started taking pictures.  I had it set on RAW and AUTO.  I tried the other settings but I must have messed something up because it would only work in AUTO mode?  I have now reset the settings to factory and it works fine.  I'm sure I had something set incorrectly in my ignorance of how to set the camera up?


The first picture.

That back fenceline is 285 yards from by back porch, so he's at about 250?  The lens is zoomed in all the way and without me cropping.  It's pretty good I think.

Now I cropped it just to highlight him.  Fuzzy/soft, but still a lot better than the Nikon Coolpix at that distance.  And this is well beyond my normal shooting distance of 125 yards.

He's probably around 200 - 210 now?

And cropped.

Within 200 yards, starting to chase his woman...

cropped....I'm liking it for the lens that have, very happy so far...

Now's he's in hot pursuit and probably at 175 - 200 yards... again, I'm happy with the results for having it on auto and me being a rookie with this camera. 

cropped.....still decent in my book....

and finally, both are at full speed...blurry, but probably all my fault for having it in auto?  Had one of you guys had it set right and in your hands, probably much cleaner?


Obviously, my goal is to get pictures at or near the quality of those that you all have posted, which are awesome by the way and in no way do mine compare to those.  But one day!  Saving my pennys now for the lens upgrade but in the meantime, I will read materials, watch videos, and practice with what I have.

I'm excited about the results so far and you're pictures are an encouragement of what good things lie ahead.



and when I look at say the turkey picture above, mine might as well be from a disposable camera.  Great picture, so clear, and sharp in detail.  I'm humbled.....


previous camera - Nikon CoolPix

new camera - Canon 70D

new to the dslr world, have a lot to learn

You should have chosen the "sports" pre set, since you had little time to do anything else.  But anyway those pictures are impressive as well as the animals in them.  Nice shots.  

Now tell me how you post pictures in this forum, I tried and it keeps telling me my picture is to big.  I have a monarch butterfly in flight I have been itching to show.  

I resize the pics down to 800x485 before I post them.


previous camera - Nikon CoolPix

new camera - Canon 70D

new to the dslr world, have a lot to learn

I do "DSLR 101" around here locally and my biggest reward is when a student makes good progress and is thrilled with there work. You are well on your way, just keep shooting. Shoot a lot. File all you can in the back of your mind and after awhile it will become second nature.

Don't buy anything........yet. You need to walk before you run.

Critical, learn some post software I.E. preferably PSE 12 but there are others. I would say 99.9% of all the 'great' photographs you admire are post processed, some highly processed!


Tip: Forget the green square on your camera.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I have Elements 10 and PS6 on my home PC and just downloaded the 30 day trial of Lightroom.  Also, the camera came with a lot of software and although I haven't explore them all, there is one that stands out, can't remember the name and I'm at work now so I can't pull it up.


I was going to buy the upgrade to Elements 12 then I remembered I had PS6, which 'work' bought for me to use.  I find 10 is easier to use than PS6, maybe since I started on 8 and upgraded to 10, so it's what I'm most familiar with?  I use PS6 some at work, muddle my way through mostly, but know enough to get what I need from it, which is the tip of the iceberg of what it can really do.



previous camera - Nikon CoolPix

new camera - Canon 70D

new to the dslr world, have a lot to learn