Monday 19 June 2023

More R7 Thoughts and Damn You Sony


Canon R7, EF 75-300 f4-5.6 III USM on EF to EF Adapter

Canon R7, RF-S 18-150mm f3.5-6.3, 3 shot/1 stop bracket to HDR

First off, Sony - Why couldn't you have announced your 2023 f4 zooms in 2022? I likely would have kept the A7RIV if the 20-70/4 and the rumoured new 70-200/4 Macro (to be announced July 12th) had been available. Those two lenses would address most of my lens complaints with FE mount. Compact, good range, excellent glass unlike the mediocre ZA 24-70 and G70-200/4 and better close focus. My only beef is the 16-35/4 being Power Zoom and I'd probably just run a 15/16mm prime instead as a complement to the 20-70/4 if I was still running Sony kit. 

When I saw the rumour for the 70-200/4 Macro I had some regret that I didn't stay Sony, which lasted until I saw the rumours for the A6700, which looks to be based on the A7c body design (which I dislike immensely). It solves none of the ergonomic issues of the A6600, even if the internals will no doubt be excellent. I still say Sony needs an A7000 which is the A6700 internals, possibly with more buffer in an A7IV body. 

Guess I didn't wait long enough before jumping ship to OM System. That said, I'm not unhappy with where I ended up. 

I've had the R7 now for a week and I'm getting used to it. I need to do a manual dive though, there has to be an easier way to engage AE Bracketing than how I'm doing it, I just need to figure that out. I also miss bracketing burst being automatic, but you can get it by setting a continuous advance mode. I'm thinking I need AEB to be setup on a Custom setting, so I can access it quicker. C2 likely makes sense (and C3 can be my wildlife/bugging set)

I'm up over 1300 images so far with the R7 now. Yesterday was an 830km day with many stops for photography. I went up north-east of Barry's Bay towards Algonquin for the first time, and revisited some places I'd seen last year south of Killaloe and north of Highway 7. 

I did some RAW Bursts of Dragonflies and some regular 15fps bursts of Redwing Blackbirds. Two takeaways are that an EF 75-300 II USM is not a viable lens for this due to both IQ and slow focus and my AF settings are not very optimal. I'm not exactly experienced as a bird photographer, but it was fun. 

I also shot a lot of bracketing bursts, 3 shot/1 stop bursts which is my standard for any landscape shooting. That worked very well and having track & recompose back was really nice. The R7 does that on par with the A7RIV, the OM-1's AF didn't do that well at all (AF-C+TR would lose the track point very quickly). This is a method I started using the the A7RIV and have come to love, it's like focus & recompose, but with the subject staying locked. One nice thing with the R7 is it will subject detect automatically while using this so, as long as I get a bird/bug near the point, it will lock on and I can start tracking it. 

Overall I'm getting comfortable quickly with the R7. I've added the 10-18 STM and a TTArtisan 25/2 to the collection (and borrowed my partner's 75-300 yesterday). That gives me 16-240mm-e setup (vs the 24-300mm-e I had with the OM-1), but since the pixel density is similar between the R7 and OM-1, I can crop down to m43 to get 300mm-e. I'm really losing aperture and IQ with the 18-150 vs the 40-150/4 Pro, but gaining better close focus. 

I do like having a proper UWA zoom back, I've been using primes for that role since I sold the m.Zuiko 9-18 a few years back (excepting some brief use of the ZA 16-35/4 in fall 2021), and having a zoom for that is a nice change.  With the OM-1 I did't have any wider than 24mm-e options, but I didn't really miss it either, the subjects I shot with the OM-1 didn't really benefit much from wider, although I would have missed a wider option for sure if I'd been carrying the OM-1 yesterday.

I am planning on adding a telephoto next (likely the RF100-400) and then a higher-end normal zoom to replace the good but not quite excellent 18-150 as my go-to midrange zoom. Good chance that will be a Sigma 17-50/2.8 in EF mount if Canon doesn't bring something to the table soon or allow Sigma/Tamron to make 3rd party RF lenses. After that a native Macro is on the table, but I suspect I'll stick to the cheap manual focus primes for anything else short term. 

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