Letters to the Editor: Problems with a Camera’s Autofocus

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 35mm f1.4 L II review product images (2 of 7)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Letters to the Editor is a recurring series where Chris answers specific emails/letters that could benefit more than one photographer, interesting questions or questions that come in often. Have a question? Send it to chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com with subject: Letter to the Editor: (Your name here).

Hey folks!

We’re back with another edition of Letters to the Editor. This week’s question comes from Juli who has a problem with the autofocus performance with her camera. Now as many of the more advanced shooters know, this can be affected by a whole number of issues but nailing down the one in particular can be tough.

Here’s Juli’s letter.

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Watch This Photographer Photograph Harpy Eagles in the Nest

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Photographer Jeff Cremer recently completed a video showcasing his trek into the rainforest to photograph the elusive Harpy Eagle–the largest eagles in the world. While he’s at it, he also talks a lot about the Canon 800mm f5.6 lens that he’s shooting with and trekking up high into the trees. His lens is covered in camo gear to keep it blended in well with the surroundings and he’s using the Canon 7D to capture photos of the birds.

Jeff talks about how he’s shooting in aperture priority with the ISO fixed at 800 to allow the shutter speed to be fast enough. This way he can focus more on actually getting the photo than fiddling with settings. Jeff also talks about exposure compensation and how brighter images reduce the amount of ISO noise in a scene.

The video is a great break from the daily routine and will get you excited if you aren’t already by one of the world’s most elusive birds.

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First Video Samples of Magic Lantern’s Canon 7D Raw Video Hack Are Out


A couple of days ago, we reported that Magic Lantern has released a fully testable version of their hack for the Canon 7D. To recap, the hacking crew found a raw video output for the camera very similar to what they’ve found in the Canon 5D Mk III and 5D Mk II. EOS HD notes that the footage isn’t as good as the Mk III’s though but it is better than the hacked Canon 50D. Apparently, the Canon 7D has faster write speeds than read speeds, and can achieve reach 91Mb/s, where 83Mb/s is required for 1080/24p raw but read speeds hover around the 60Mb/s area. It can also only shoot 1736 x 1156 pixels max.

Granted, you’re still not going to get the 70D’s autofocusing, but it is still nice for cinematographers to know that they can get more out of their investments at this point.

Demo video footage is after the jump.

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Magic Lantern is Hacking the Canon 7D


Editor’s Note: It’s been in the works for a while now according to Planet5D; but it is further developing into quite an interesting story.

Magic Lantern has been hard at work improving their hacks for the RAW video output on the 5D camera series, and now they’re hard at work with the Canon 7D. So far, they’ve found the RAW image buffer and while silent video recording is working, they’re still developing the hack to also record audio. Partially because of the dual processors, the camera is tougher to hack vs the one processor in the Canon 5D series.

When the 7D came out, many photographers thought that it was a superior camera to the Canon 5D Mk II: it’s actual compliment at the time. The reasons why were because of better weather sealing, faster frame rate shooting, vastly superior autofocus system, and ergonomic improvements that made it seem more serious and Nikon-like vs the traditional 5D’s elegant feeling. Indeed, I owned one. I loved it, and a part of me still really misses it.

The camera was used on the set of Saturday Night Live for a while, and that was without a hack. In the hands of a true creative, the camera can totally rock.


Magic Lantern Improves the Canon 5D Mk III and 7D RAW Video Functionality to 14 Stops of Dynamic Range

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Product photos Canon 5D Mk III (2 of 10)ISO 200

According to a brand new report on Planet5D, the Magic Lantern team has improved the dynamic range of the RAW video functionality from the Canon 5D Mk III and 7D to 14 stops. To catch everyone up to speed, the team originally found a CineDNG raw video output in the Live View functions of the camera. However, their next challenge was to find a way to record it and then record it to the point of capturing something that would make sense for filmmakers. They found a way to do so, and in the process turned Canon’s DSLRs into some of the greatest video capturing devices out there for the money.

Planet 5D is stating that it gives you, “…approximately 3 additional stops of dynamic range by using a new way of taking a photo by using ISO 100 for some of the vertical lines of the shot and ISO 1600 for the rest of it. He’s (the creator of the hack) also sharing his initial thoughts on how to re-combine the lines of 100/1600 to give you the full resolution of your image back!”

This might be one of the best times to pick up a 5D Mk III or a 7D. If you combine the latter with Sigma’s new 18-35mm f1.8 lens, it’s a bang for your buck deal.

Via Planet 5D

Cheap Photo: Awesome Price Drops on the Canon 6D And More

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 6D Hands on review first impressions product images (1 of 6)ISO 1600


Canon has dropped their prices on some of their cameras and lenses. Check them out:

– Canon 50mm f1.8 = $89.99 when added to cart at Adorama or $94.00 at B&H Photo

– Canon 6D = $1,999.99 when added to cart at Adorama or B&H Photo

– Canon 7D = $1,199.00 when added to cart at Adorama or B&H Photo

– Canon Instant Savings on Speedlites and Lenses


– Nikon D600 VIDEO KIT

– Nikon D600 PHOTO KIT

– Nikon Deals

Firmware 2.0 For The Canon 7D is Now Available

As promised by Canon the firmware update for the 7D is now available. It was previously announced late June and we have gone over the features here. You can find the firmware update here on the Canon site, just select your OS and version then scroll down to firmware.

Bringing new life to the model may mean that they are trying to clear inventory or prolong its replacement a bit longer. Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the update!

New Features Coming to The Canon 7D in August

Canon just announced that in August they will be releasing the previously leaked firmware update for their popular 7D camera. In Canon’s statement they mention that they want to continue to offer the users of their current cameras the best features. I will quickly go over the key features and the minor tweaks coming in a couple months. Quick and faster seems to be the overall theme since most of the features include some kind of speed enhancement.
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