11-20-2015 09:24 AM
"Can I assume that all tripods and cameras come with a 1/4-20 thread?"
No. But any camera or lens you are likely to buy will have 1/4x20. The larger screw sizes are primarily for larger format cameras. One word, you don't really need all that heavy tripod. The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod is well beyond what the average hobby photographer needs. It supports 20 lbs. It may even be a little much for some people. It is made of aluminum. The same tripod in carbon fiber Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod. neither of these are cheap but not terribly expensive. Another suggestion is the Manfrotto 190go! Aluminum Tripod (15 lbs). It is a more hobby user friendly version. But these are only my thoughts. I have used Manfrott/Bogen for years and been highly satisfied with them. I have four of them! Plus the studio version the 3046 with a 501 head. It is the one in the picture. It is too big to move around easily. And if it isn't easy to use, you won't. That simple!
11-20-2015 09:46 AM
"I don't understand how you are using the word "cropped". Are you manipulating the lens or photo in some way?"
Cropped is a term used to indicate the photo was edited in Photoshop. You can 'crop' to a percentage if you want to. The bird was cropped to 100% (approx.). 100% is considered pixel level. To do this you pick out a section of the original shot and enlarge it to 100%. You discard the unwanted area. There are other less expensive options to Photoshop. Some are even free.
Here is my favorite saying, "Photography is 1/2 camera/lens (gear), 1/2 post editor and 1/2 you. As you get further into photography you will come to understand this more!
There is another aspect that no one has mentioned yet. That is post editing. If you do not do this you are unlikely to ever get really good photos. You should also be shooting with RAW quality. Not jpg.
11-20-2015 10:35 AM
"There is another aspect that no one has mentioned yet. That is post editing. If you do not do this you are unlikely to ever get really good photos. You should also be shooting with RAW quality. Not jpg."
So to get the best pics, I need to set the image recording quality to "raw" and then edit with my Corel Paint Shop Pro. Got it.
Good news: Just actually measured the distance from feeder station to camera; it was 64', not 80'. That will help.
11-20-2015 11:43 AM
"So to get the best pics, I need to set the image recording quality to "raw" and then edit with my Corel Paint Shop Pro. Got it."
I can not comment on how well Corel works or not. I wasn't even aware it was still around until another friend of mine said he uses it. Might be fine. I dont' know. I use Photoshop and Lightroom and they are the ony ones I actually know. There is the lesser version called Photoshop Elements. I would be inclined to use it over Corel. But that is just me.
If you buy the 7D Mk II, you will get the free DPP4 from Canon. It is a basic, pretty crude, editor.
"Good news: Just actually measured the distance from feeder station to camera; it was 64', not 80'. That will help."
Every little bit helps!
11-20-2015 01:54 PM
7D Mk II camera
I need to select a memory card. Seems that CF is superior to SD, but the former comes in 16, 32, 64 and 128 gigs. For my setup, which do you recommend?
You're overthinking this. Any of them will do. If you have to have an objective criterion in order to make a decision, buy the one that affords the lowest cost per gigabyte.
There's one potential trap with really large cards: you can shoot a lot before you have to copy the images to a computer. Don't make that mistake, because cards are not infallible and have been known to go bad. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.
11-21-2015 11:32 AM
I'm not a birder, but a friend of mine is. There are numerous articles and videos on how birders get their shots.
The "purists" do it the hard way -- which means they find the birds in the wild and and photograph them in their own environment. This might involve locating their nests, etc. and carefully setting up a camera trained on the right spot and waiting for them to return.
Some photographers will "stage" the "natural environment" by getting an attracive tree branch (no longer attached to a tree) and setting it in the location where they'll get a clean shot... then playing audio-recordings of the bird's mating call to attract birds to the branch. The "purists" believe this is cheating.
The bird feeder seems to be way down on the pecking order (pardon the pun)... because it's not even as involved as staging something to look natural (feeders don't look natural so those shots are less desirable.) But it occurs to me that I have heard of people staging the ornamental branch close to the feeder and arranging the camera angle so that the feeder is technically out of frame. Birds tend to get territorial and protective of "their" feeder... and wont allow other birds to perch at the feeder until the more aggressive bird finishes eating. So the other birds will wait their turn on a nearby branch. If you supply said ideally-located branch, then the birds you want to photograph and somewhat likely to perch on it and you can get the bird without ending up with a bird photograph with the feeder in the shot.
If you remotely trigger the camera, then you can get that camera pointed at your staged branch -- and it can be pretty close. You'd probably want to protect the camera otherwise the bird might decide that the camera itself makes a good perch and you probably don't want bird droppings on your camera.
While cameras such as the 70D and 6D have built-in wifi and you can use a phone to trigger them, you an get wireless remote triggers in a range of prices and capabilities. One of the nicer solutions I've seen is a device called a CamRanger. It's about the size of a mobile phone and it connects to the camera via USB (it's battery powered). You install software either on your phone, tablet, or computer -- which connects to and controls the camera. You basically have ALL of the capabilites that you'd have if you used Canon's own utilities (e.g. like doing a remote control / tethered shooting session using EOS Utility on your computer). You get a live video feed of what the camera sees. You can focus, set exposure, shoot, download the images, etc. and it's all wireless.
11-21-2015 12:19 PM - edited 11-21-2015 12:20 PM
For a non-birder, you sure know a lot about shooting birds! At the very least, you have shown that the subject is infinitely complex. However, as a novice, I expect that most of my early shots will be through the french door to the feeder.
Current shopping list:
11-21-2015 02:12 PM
"The "purists" do it the hard way -- which means they find the birds in the wild and and photograph them in their own environment. This might involve locating their nests, etc. and carefully setting up a camera trained on the right spot and waiting for them to return."
This is the boring way that I was telling you about!
"Some photographers will "stage" the "natural environment" by getting an attracive tree branch (no longer attached to a tree) and setting it in the location where they'll get a clean shot..."
Then there is Photoshop. Put the bird and branch, whatever, whenever, wherever you want them!
"The "purists" believe this is cheating."
I am sure they would. But I will never tell.
"Current shopping list:"
11-21-2015 03:13 PM