The Canon R7 is the Best Canon Camera for Wild Animals

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

I continue to be amazed at the number of “pro” photographers who continue to not understand crop sensors and the importance of pixel pitch, especially for wildlife photography. After watching a number of YouTube videos about rumored upcoming Canon cameras, every single one talks about the full frame sensor as an advantage, and this is exactly wrong.

Camera Straps Suck

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Making a quality camera strap suitable for large, 400mm+ lenses must be harder than making high quality 400mm lenses, because we have many choices for excellent lenses in the 400mm range; and no good reliable straps for those lenses. You may recall that a couple of years ago a Black Rapid RS-7 strap disconnected and dropped my Canon 7D and 70-200 f/2.8L IS II lens onto the street, severely damaging the camera. It ended up costing me several hundred dollars in repairs. That was not the first time the Black Rapid strap dropped my camera onto the ground; but unfortunately I was too stubborn to learn my lesson the first couple of times my camera fell off the strap because the camera wasn’t actually damaged.

Since then, I’ve been using a Carryspeed strap. The original plate was prone to disconnect, and it too dropped my camera on the ground once and almost dropped it several times more. Fortunately, the one time I didn’t catch it before it hit the ground, I was on the beach and the camera fell into soft sand. Since then, Carryspeed has redesigned the plate; and the new plate seems to be somewhat more stable and reliable, so that’s the strap I’ve been using. However, on a recent trip to Costa Rica, a new failure mode appeared. The Neoprene shoulder strap tore several days into the trip, not so badly that the camera fell; but badly enough that I wasn’t comfortable using it any more. Unfortunately I had not brought a spare camera strap with me so I had to shoot off a tripod for the rest of the trip, which was especially inconvenient with a group in the tight spaces of some of the rain forest trails.

Torn Carryspeed Neoprene Strap


Memos from Bugshot 2012

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Silver Argiope (Argiope argentata)

After realizing how much I was hearing this year I had heard last year in St. Louis and forgotten, I decided to write a few things down.


Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Get low.

Use a polarizing filter to get rich colors in landscape photography.


Some ants have stingers, not just fangs.

Toads have been recategorized. There are no more Bufos left in North America!

Butterflies aren’t even a clade. They’re just different families of moths that have evolved along similar lines.


First Prize!

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Sand Wasp, Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus


FluidMask Not Quite There

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

For some time, I’ve been trying different techniques for extracting animals from photos and isolating them on white backgrounds. (Note that these are wild animals. These are not studio shots, and backgrounds and lighting are what they are. White boxes and umbrellas are not an option. This is not product photography. Photoshop works, sometimes, but it’s tedious. Topaz Remask also works, and can usually get the job done; but is extremely time-consuming: an hour or more per photo. OnOne PerfectMask is buggy and crashed on me, losing my work. Today I discovered Vertus’s FluidMask, downloaded the demo, and fired it up. Capsule summary:

Promising, but not yet good enough to replace the more complicated tools.

How Sharp is the Sharpest Lens?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Assume ideal conditions:

  • Stable Tripod
  • Off-camera shutter release
  • Excellent focus
  • Non-moving target
  • ISO 100
  • Excellent lighting
  • Still air
  • Aperture below the camera’s diffraction limit

Is any lens /camera combination going to be able to resolve details that are a pixel’s width apart? If not, how close do the best one’s get?

Of course different cameras have different pixel sizes. Larger cameras usually have larger pixels. So perhaps the answer should be measured in microns. How many microns can the best lenses resolve?