I should also add that 95% of my shots with the Canon 500 f/4 are handheld.
It's a big bugger for travelling, but I find it beautifully balanced for
handholding. Much more so than my Nikkor 200-400 f/4 for instance, which is
a smaller lens, but doesn't feel as balanced as the 500 f/4 to me.
On 25 November 2010 04:39, Alistair McKeough <>wrote:
> Some great answers, but I have a slightly different take to everyone
> The big advantage of the pro bodies is handling. Better AF, more robust.
> Quite simply, you'll get shots that you might miss with a consumer body.
> However, if you nail the shot on a consumer DSLR it looks just as good as
> anything taken on a pro body.
> If you are using a 100-400, which is a nice lens, but really in the
> consumer (may "prosumer") category, and have $4K to spend, you are MUCH
> better of spending it on a new lens. Seriously, I wouldn't even be thinking
> about a new body until you've bought a better lens.
> A new 500 f/4 can be had for around $7K now and a new 300 f/2.8 for under
> $5K. Keep your eye out for a second hand one of those. Both work very well
> with teleconverters.
> Improving your lens from a 100-400 to the 500 or 300 will give results that
> are far more noticeable in your images than upgrading the body. They'll
> allow you to get detail and contrast it's just not possible to extract with
> the 100-400. And you'll still be using the lens in 10 or 15 years, when even
> the most expensive body has been superseded many times over.
> If you want, I can send you some photos taken with a 20D (not as good as
> your 450 sensor wise) and a 500 f/4. I know Dave Stowe also has some
> wonderful shots taken on the consumer bodies.
> Do yourself a favour and get a better lens before you spend any money
> upgrading the body.
> On 24 November 2010 20:21, Robert Inglis <> wrote:
>> Dick Jenkins asked some specific questions about a couple of specific
>> Canon cameras and a couple of specific Canon lenses.
>> Dick, It is always tempting to make quick and superficial answers to such
>> question as the ones you ask but I think
>> you deserve a more considered response.
>> I have been using a Canon EOS 7D DSLR for about a year now (an upgrade
>> from the 40D which was an upgrade from the 20D which was an
>> upgrade from the 300D); I had the use of a Canon EOS 1DMk4 for several
>> hours recently; I have witnessed several 1DMk4s being used in
>> the field and have compared the images from both types of cameras.
>> I own and use a canon EF 300 mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens as well as an EF 500
>> mm f/4 L IS USM super telephoto lens (my main lens). I
>> haven't used a Canon EF 100 - 400 mm L zoom lens but I know a few people
>> who do.
>> Having the 300 mm f/2.8 L and the 500 mm f/4 L lenses I have no desire to
>> get a 100 - 400 mm L lens, most bird-photographers I know with this lens
>> seem to always use it at a focal length over 300 mm.
>> If you want a totally subjective and biased opinion................
>> The 7D is a great camera and the 1DMk4 is a fantastic camera. The 1DMk4 is
>> actually an older design than the 7D and the 7D is,
>> perhaps, slightly more advanced in some aspects of the auto-focus system
>> but it is marginal. The 7D is more advanced in its video
>> It is difficult to judge the two cameras on their relative costs. The
>> 1DMk4 is a much more robust camera than the 7D (which is a
>> much more robust camera than the EOS 450D) and probably uses much more
>> expensive mechanical and electronic bits and software. The 7D
>> is capable of taking great images but the 1DMk4 is capable of taking
>> amazing quality images.
>> The 1DMk4 has a larger sensor than that of the 7D but the 7D's sensor has
>> more pixels. This means that the 1DMk4's sensor pixels are larger than those
>> of the 7D. The result is that the 1DMk4 produces what most people will
>> recognise as better quality images but the 7D images will have more detail.
>> Overall the differences are minor but, honestly, I think the 1DMk4 images
>> are better looking.
>> My brief experience with the 1DMk4 suggests that the 1DMk4 is more
>> consistent in producing high quality images.
>> The 7D is sometimes called a 'mini 1D'.
>> I hate saying this but........if you want and can afford the best, then,
>> the 1DMk4 is the way to go. If your budget is a little less
>> ambitious but you still want an exceptional camera then the 7D is the
>> Either way, an upgrade from anything you have had before to either of
>> those cameras is a huge leap. It may take a little while to
>> fully come to grips with using them but the effort is worth it.
>> I can't afford a 1DMk4 at the moment but that is the camera I want.
>> The 100 - 400 mm L lens is a very capable and versatile lens. Its great
>> virtues are its zoom range and its very short close-focus
>> distance. It is a good lens for subjects such as birds and butterflies. It
>> is relatively light when compared to the 300 mm f/2.8 L
>> lens and the 500 mm f/4 L lens.
>> The EF 300 mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is possibly the best lens Canon makes
>> but the EF 500 mm f/4 L IS USM is not far behind.
>> The 300 mm f/2.8 L will auto-focus with both the 1.4x and 2x Canon
>> Extenders (teleconverters) when fitted to both cameras.
>> The 500 mm f/4 L will auto-focus with both Extenders when fitted to the
>> 1DMk4 but will only auto-focus with the 1.4x Extender when
>> fitted to the 7D.
>> Canon has deliberately programmed the Extenders to slow the speed of the
>> auto-focus of the lenses they are fitted to but, generally
>> speaking, those lenses will still auto-focus very quickly when fitted with
>> either Extender. Image quality from both cameras does not
>> drop noticeably with either lens when the 1.4x Extender is fitted. The
>> image quality can drop a bit when the 2x Extender is used on
>> the 500 MM f/4 L lens but it is still quite good. Both lenses can produce
>> extremely sharp images so a slight drop in image quality may not cause you
>> heartache. Under any circumstances the image quality produced from those
>> lenses will usually be better than that from the 100 - 400
>> MM L zoom lens.
>> Both lenses are not light. The 300 MM lens can be used handheld even with
>> an Extender fitted but normal people general tire after a short time.
>> The 500 mm can be handheld by some people but I can only manage a few
>> The 500 mm lens is best used on a tripod and especially one fitted with a
>> gimbal head (Contact me if you want more details on that.)
>> Canon is about to release Mk 2 versions of the 300 MM f/2.8 L and the 500
>> MM f/4 L lenses. The new versions will probably be a
>> little dearer and better but there might be a few good second hand Mk 1
>> lenses around next year.
>> Would the jump from the 450D to a 7D be enough?
>> Only you can work that one out but you would probably have to use both
>> cameras (7D and 1DMk4) for a while before you could be sure.
>> What I would say is that if you do decide to settle for the 7D (and that
>> would not necessarily be a mistake) don't under any circumstances be tempted
>> to try a 1DMk4!
>> Something which should be kept in mind when considering either of these
>> cameras is the image file sizes.
>> The file size will depend on whether you record in RAW format or JPEG; I
>> always use RAW format because that gives the maximum amount of image data so
>> allowing the best final results after post-processing. But then, I am
>> retired so, of course, I have nothing to do and I can afford to spend hours
>> processing digital images.
>> For the 7D the largest RAW files (without the embedded JPEG - that's
>> another story) is approx 25 MB - huge!
>> The max size JPEG from the 7D is approx 6.6 MB.
>> For the 1DMk4 the largest RAW file (without the embedded JPEG) is approx
>> 22 MB - still huge!
>> The max size JPEG from the 1DMk4 is approx 5.7 MB.
>> What this means is that you will need lots of storage space to store the
>> images from either of these cameras.
>> And you will want to keep lots of images from either of these cameras.
>> If you record RAW image files you will need to process the images in your
>> computer and, with files that big, you will need a fair amount of processing
>> power from your computer and lots of RAM.
>> If you are used to using Photoshop you will probably have to upgrade to
>> the latest versions (CS4 or CS5) because the RAW converters compatible with
>> earlier versions will not recognise the RAW files from these cameras. There
>> are ways around this but it does make life that bit more difficult.
>> At the moment it is difficult to buy fully compatible third-party
>> batteries for these cameras and the genuine Canon batteries are relatively
>> These cameras also need fast media cards to get the best out of them,
>> faster cards than the 450D is capable of using. I suggest something like 8
>> GB SanDisk Extreme as a minimum (Extreme Pro cards are probably overkill).
>> If that's not enough info contact me directly.
>> Bob Inglis
>> Sandstone Point
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