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      10-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #23
dcstep
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Originally Posted by immiketoo View Post
DCStep, slightly off topic, but I have been wanting to join Direct Buy for a while, but I can't find any info on membership costs. When you say membership fees are steep, what are we talking here?

You're talking a few thousand (four-digits, around $4,000 depending on a few variables). We were buying lots of furniture at the time and I recovered my investment and then some in the first year of the three-year gig. You have to accept an invitation to sit through a short presentation to get the actual price.

As an example, my 5D2, including the 24-105 f4L "kit" lens cost me about $2800. Savings are larger on furniture, particularly special order pieces. When you compare street prices for things like HDTV LCDs, like Sam's vs. DB, the difference is pretty small. On high quality, good furniture, DB usually beats the sale prices substantially, but not always.

They also run specials quite often. I just paid $25 for a 49-piece stainless table setting from a top name, Japanese maker. Through DB you'd pay two to three times that normally, and in stores you'd pay four to five times that. We don't use DB religiously, but I consider it on any big purchase and I eyeball the specials and jump on those a few times per year. Their brands are some of the very best, but not all of the best.

So, you listen to the pitch and then you look through the catalogs for your prospective purchases. If it makes economic sense, then it'll be pretty clear after your session in the store. If you decide to sign up, you sign up right then.

So, the math is, assuming a 20% savings over real street prices (not full retail), do you plan to spend enough in the next three years that you'd recover around 4-grand and then some to make it worth your while. That's a pretty steep hurdle, but if your remodling, moving into a new house, refurnishing, then it can pay off pretty quickly. We got into the gravy level in the first year, so I feel real good about it. The savings are real, but you really have to know street prices and consider them vs. the DB prices.

Dave
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      10-01-2009, 11:30 AM   #24
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Thanks Dave that was extremely helpful...
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      10-02-2009, 04:26 AM   #25
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For me, I am just not fond of that big of a crop that the chip offers. It is a smaller chip which means smaller film plane. It will help you punch in further. Personally, I'd just carry my 300 f2.8 and throw on a 1.4x and work on my skills of getting closer to the subject but that is only my preference.

The 7D looks to be a solid consumer, even possibly pro-sumer camera.
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      10-02-2009, 12:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrumphoto View Post
For me, I am just not fond of that big of a crop that the chip offers. It is a smaller chip which means smaller film plane. It will help you punch in further. Personally, I'd just carry my 300 f2.8 and throw on a 1.4x and work on my skills of getting closer to the subject but that is only my preference.
In principle I agree with you. If your subject takes up a small portion of the frame and you need to crop then the image would always look better if you could get closer - and better still if you could get close enough to use a larger sensor/film format.

That said, for wildlife - in particular little skittish birds - that often just isn't practical. Serious pros will set up elaborate bird blinds and wait for hours or days for the subject to approach close enough to get the shot they want. Ordinary mortals though will take all the focal length and resolution help they can get. Improving stalking skills certainly helps, but some birds just won't let you get closer than 50 or 100 feet, and then you want the longest lens and finest sensor resolution you can find.

We could get deep into the weeds and talk about noise, diffraction and the advantage of larger photosites, but for focal length limited bird shooting I saw a small but noticeable advantage in my old 450D compared to the 5D2, and suspect that the 7D would show a similar small advantage over the 450D.

Horses for courses. For general purpose shooting I think the 5D2's about as good as you can get short of high dollar MF systems. For birds and other small critters though it looks like the 7D will be the superior machine.
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      10-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by spectrumphoto View Post
For me, I am just not fond of that big of a crop that the chip offers. It is a smaller chip which means smaller film plane. It will help you punch in further. Personally, I'd just carry my 300 f2.8 and throw on a 1.4x and work on my skills of getting closer to the subject but that is only my preference. ..
I'm not getting rid of my 5D2, so I'll have that sensor when I need it. I want something suitable for birds in flight. Also, I believe in reviewing test images rather than just looking at a sensor's size and making a judgement. Moore's law is in effect with sensors and what didn't make sense as recently as 12-months ago migh work tomorrow.

About getting closer, at my favorite spot, I'm either at waters edge or a nearby high point about 20-feet away from water's edge. The birds come in from every direction, except more come from the large lake just to the North of me. Hence, my attraction to the high spot just North of the pond. The birds come right in and don't avoid me, but catching their bank into the wind will involve catching them all over the pond, which is 200-ft or so at it's max.

So, how should I change my approach to get close enough with a 400mm lens on a FF camera? Some birds DO fly right over me, but that's less than 10% of the time. Also, due to low light, the 1.4TC is not practical a little later in the morning than the shots I'm missing.

Dave
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      10-07-2009, 05:47 AM   #28
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http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/forum/topic/821123
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      10-07-2009, 07:58 AM   #29
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Thank you Dr_Jones, that thread and those samples addressed exactly the issue that I had in mind regarding AF. That's a BIG improvement over what I'm able to do with my 5D2 in those circumstances.

Dave
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      10-07-2009, 09:38 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
You're talking a few thousand (four-digits, around $4,000 depending on a few variables). We were buying lots of furniture at the time and I recovered my investment and then some in the first year of the three-year gig. You have to accept an invitation to sit through a short presentation to get the actual price.

As an example, my 5D2, including the 24-105 f4L "kit" lens cost me about $2800. Savings are larger on furniture, particularly special order pieces. When you compare street prices for things like HDTV LCDs, like Sam's vs. DB, the difference is pretty small. On high quality, good furniture, DB usually beats the sale prices substantially, but not always.

They also run specials quite often. I just paid $25 for a 49-piece stainless table setting from a top name, Japanese maker. Through DB you'd pay two to three times that normally, and in stores you'd pay four to five times that. We don't use DB religiously, but I consider it on any big purchase and I eyeball the specials and jump on those a few times per year. Their brands are some of the very best, but not all of the best.

So, you listen to the pitch and then you look through the catalogs for your prospective purchases. If it makes economic sense, then it'll be pretty clear after your session in the store. If you decide to sign up, you sign up right then.

So, the math is, assuming a 20% savings over real street prices (not full retail), do you plan to spend enough in the next three years that you'd recover around 4-grand and then some to make it worth your while. That's a pretty steep hurdle, but if your remodling, moving into a new house, refurnishing, then it can pay off pretty quickly. We got into the gravy level in the first year, so I feel real good about it. The savings are real, but you really have to know street prices and consider them vs. the DB prices.

Dave
+1 on Direct Buy.

My family just built a new house (around 9,000 sq ft, to put the rest of these numbers into perspective), and we used Direct Buy for about 90% of our furniture, 60% of our flooring, 50% of our paint, ALL of our appliances, and a bunch of other odds and ends. Probably saved $80,000-$100,000. It is well worth it.

I was browsing through the website and catalog the other day, looking at cameras, and I didn't notice the 5D (or anything above the consumer level). Is that something you have to talk to a rep about?
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      10-07-2009, 09:48 AM   #31
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...

I was browsing through the website and catalog the other day, looking at cameras, and I didn't notice the 5D (or anything above the consumer level). Is that something you have to talk to a rep about?
Yes, this brings up my only complaint, you have to go to the store and look in the catalog. I don't understand why they can't load everything into their web site, since sign-in is secure. They list maybe 80% of the products online, but you have to actually go into the store front to see listing for certain items and to see actual pricing on many items. So, I'm sitting here as we speak today, wondering if I've waited long enough to go in to see if the 7D is in the catalog yet. The 5D was included a week or two after Amazon started delivering. I'm chomping at the bit to order.

Oh, my other complaint is, you can't get the Canon L-lenses, unless they come as a "kit" lens with a body. I'd be a BIG deal to get the super-teles at dealer cost. I'm going to try again, but they're reluctant to call Canon USA at my store.

Dave
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      10-07-2009, 10:06 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcstep View Post
Yes, this brings up my only complaint, you have to go to the store and look in the catalog. I don't understand why they can't load everything into their web site, since sign-in is secure. They list maybe 80% of the products online, but you have to actually go into the store front to see listing for certain items and to see actual pricing on many items. So, I'm sitting here as we speak today, wondering if I've waited long enough to go in to see if the 7D is in the catalog yet. The 5D was included a week or two after Amazon started delivering. I'm chomping at the bit to order.

Oh, my other complaint is, you can't get the Canon L-lenses, unless they come as a "kit" lens with a body. I'd be a BIG deal to get the super-teles at dealer cost. I'm going to try again, but they're reluctant to call Canon USA at my store.

Dave
Gotcha. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm itching to buy a 5D. I'll have to head into the center.
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      10-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #33
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Gotcha. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm itching to buy a 5D. I'll have to head into the center.

Yeah, the 5D2 is there at a very nice price, with or without the 70-105 f4L IS lens.

Dave
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