Tech Tips, Twitter, and Stuff

Man what a weekend! Been having a lot of fun with the 1D Mark 4. Can’t stop playing with it. The new 35L is fantastic too. The rear element fell out when I tried to mount it on the 1D4 the first time though, but nothing a little superglue and a hammer couldn’t fix. Works great. I just thought I’d take some time for a quick update before I go play with my new toys again.

My June Tech Tips have been posted at the Digital Journalist. Check it out. And when you do, take note of how I answered the question about the crap 5D2 autofocus. Hell, let me just include it right here:

Chuck, thanks so much for your time and insight. I have a question about the 5D Mark II AF system. I love shooting with the camera in most situations, but have difficulty getting focused shots when shooting sports. In fact, the AF system seems inferior to the 40D I’ve used. If I’m reading correctly the 40/50D have high-precision cross-type AF points at all 9 AF points while the 5D Mark II has cross-type only at the 1 center point. If this is true I can’t understand why the 5D Mark II would have an inferior AF system to the lower end 40/50D cameras. Any insight?

All three of these models have 9 selectable AF points, but only the EOS 5D Mark II has an additional 6 Assist AF points surrounding the center focusing point. So, although it is true that the 8 outer points on the 40D and 50D are cross-type whereas the 8 outer points on the 5D Mark II are single-axis, it is also true that the center point on the 5D Mark II has extra capabilities for tracking moving subjects that the EOS 40D and 50D do not. And incidentally, the 8 outer points on the 40D and 50D are standard precision cross-type. Only the center point on those cameras is a high-precision type because of its longer baselength. For additional information on these cameras including a comparison of their AF systems, please check out Canon’s EOS 50D & 5D Mark II White Paper document on the Canon Digital Learning Center Web site.

See that? THAT’S why they made ME the technical spokesperson here at Canon USA. You have to appreciate my skill at answering the question without actually answering it at all. In the end, I actually sent the poor guy to read some white papers and compare AF systems, like that is going to help him to get focused shots with his 5D2 during sports. AHAHAHAHAHAHA… oh God…

Here’s a recent Twitter update by Zack Arias (regarding his 5D Mark II):

Effing Canon AF. Effing sucks. Ya hear Canon? You make great cameras but your AF sucks sucks sucks sucks. Zone focusing tonight.

We hear ya Zack. I just hope we’re listening too.

While on the topic of Tech Tips, I got a question via email which I’ll answer here before it starts piling up again.

Good day Fake Chuck,
Can I use a Nikon SB900 Speedlight with my Canon EOS 50D without losing any kind of function?
Warm regards,

How about losing all kinds of functions, Kenn? Do not even try that if you know what’s good for you. This is what happened the last time an engineer tried a Nikon flash on a Canon SLR in one of our labs in Japan:

Someone set us up the bomb.
Someone set us up the bomb.

You want none of that, Kenn, trust me. Just go out and buy one of our 580 EX II’s instead.

Matthew wrote in to point out that Lloyd Chambers is calling our 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens a “Spreading rash from unknown nasty (probable Lyme/tick).” It looks like Lloyd forgot how to use the Copy-Paste function properly on his Mac Pro. Here’s a screenshot just in case he updates the page:
24mm Rash?

24mm Rash? (Click for larger image)

Lloyd Chambers is the second photographer in a week now, after Joe Mc Nally, to have caught Lyme disease. Something might be up. If you’re a photographer, you should probably start making your time.
Meanwhile I’ve been Twittering away, as you all know from a previous post. I must admit I had high expectations when I started last week. I was hoping to come close to Nikon’s Ashton Kutcher with the amount of followers (he has 2,106,469 as of this writing), but now I’m thinking that’s a little too ambitious. So instead I’ve set a new target: John Harrington with 198 followers right now. With your help, I’m pretty sure I can reach 200 followers! So start following me, everyone!
Plus, I pimped my Twitter homepage too. Check it out. Here’s part of it below in case you can’t view it all (Buy a 23″ Cinema Display):
Recent conversation at Canon Inc. in Japan

Recent conversation at Canon Inc. in Japan

The cast, in order of appearance: Masaya Maeda (Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations) – yes, the guy who said the 5D2 body was too small to house a better AF system (Riiiight…), Haruo Murase (President of Canon Marketing Japan Inc.), Tsuneji Uchida (President of Canon Inc.).
Anyway that’s it for now. My 1D4 is feeling lonely.

16 thoughts on “Tech Tips, Twitter, and Stuff

  1. I was beginning to wonder if the FBI had found you Chuck, but thanks for the new post.

    So I know nothing about mixing flash brands. What really happens? I mean you can use them in manual mode, right? I’m sure none of the Canon specific functions work though… but then really know nothing about this kind of stuff… been an ambient light shooter my whole life. (I should post another link to a photo of my gear here just to rile up the trolls.)

  2. I think it’s not recommended because it could cause damage. And you’ll lose some functionality like TTL. A quick Google search does show people using their Nikon flashes on Canon systems though.

  3. yeah, i lose some functionality when attaching my wife’s old sunpak flash to my 400d. specifically, i lose the ability to trigger a very short burst of high intensity light from the front of the flashgun when pressing the camera’s shutter release. damn sunpak rubbish.

  4. Hi Fake Chuck,

    I’m sure you know LLoyd Chambers is really pissed with your 5DII AF.

    He calls the AF a JOKE. Canon you hear that!!!??? A joke. His photos ruined by BF AF.

    Like I said, I don’t care if its 1giga-pixels and 100 stops dynamic range and can take UV-IF-Visible Light if all the pics are OOF. Stupid Canon arrogance… 9 pt af with some stupid invisible AF points in the middle. WTF. Mind as well call it 1000 invisible AF pts.

    • Well thank our good pal Masaya Maeda, who said the 5D2 body was too small for a bigger and better AF module. Last I heard, the 1D4 didn’t appear to have any room left for an AF module at all…

      May God have mercy with all Canon shooters.

  5. If the G10 is anything like the G9, good riddance. I haven’t seen so many red eyes since my college days in uptown bars.

  6. Hey Chuck. Will we ever see a canon camera with a full sensor, modern autofocus system and good speed like Nikon 700 and when? What’s the point to add more pixels without new lenses? Just give us 12mp sensor and 5 frames per second. I will buy it tomorrow..
    Nikon now costs only 2600 in USA you know the current market price for 5D M2.

  7. Hey Chuck.

    Its July and no news updates from you. Whats going on, preparing something big, big announcement for Canon? I think you shouldnt spend so much of your free time with 1Dmk4, too much of a good think is not good for you. Try 1Dmk3 instead so you get into the mood to write something… 😉

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