23 October 2020

African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town

African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town

A road trip trip via Kalk Bay, Simon's Town, Scarborough, Kommetjie and Noordhoek, took us to Monkey Valley (Noordhoek) for the most unforgettable lunch and sunset. 

One of the many highlights of the day, with artist and Nikon photographer, Linda Strydom, was an impromptu visit to the informal Arts & Craft Market / Souvenir Shop at Boulders Beach, Simon's Town.

On this crisp Cape Town morning we sampled the rich, creative  and unbelievable colours of African art (with the generosity of their creators giving us oodles of discount to purchase their craftmanship - this is actually sad as there is the obvious lack of tourism due to the global Covid Pandemic).

Image Gallery
10 images with Canon EOS 6D / EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens and Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Av Mode: Auto-ISO / various apertures (f/5.6-f/11).

All images Copyright Vernon Chalmers Copyright Policy

African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Craftmanship: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

Godfrey's Sunbird: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
Godfrey's Sunbird: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

Milnerton, Cape Town Flea Market View

15 October 2020

Latest Canon Digital Photo Professional DPP For Windows | Mac

Latest Canon Digital Photo Professional For Windows | Mac
Download Canon DPP 4.13.10 For Windows

Download Canon DPP 4.12.60 For Mac

For Canon EOS and Powershot Photographers
Latest Free Canon Desktop Digital Professional (DPP) JPG / RAW Photo Editing Suite.

Will work with the older CR1 / CR2 and new CR3 RAW files from the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6

After the recent launches of the Canon EOS R5 And Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless camera, Canon updated DPP for supporting the new body.

The latest versions of the free Canon Desktop Digital Professional software (Ver 4.13.04) Download Links are available from my Canon Camera News website for both Windows and Mac.

Currently there is a Desktop Digital Professional Express App for iPad, but no Android version.

Please note:  a Canon EOS / Powershot camera serial number is required to enable the software download.

Or alternatively update can be performed directly from an older version of Digital Photo Professional. Go Help and Check for Updates.

Latest Canon Digital Photo Professional Download Links

For Windows Desktop
 Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.13.10 for Windows

For Mac Desktop Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.12.60 for Mac

iPad App Digital Photo Professional Express App for iPad

PDF Instruction Manuals Canon Digital Photo Professional PDF User Manual Downloads

Canon Digital Professional (DPP) 4.13.10 Supported Models
EOS Kiss M2 / EOS M50 II, EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS Kiss X10i / EOS REBEL T8i / EOS 850D, EOS-1D X Mark III, EOS Ra, EOS M200, EOS 90D, EOS M6 Mark II, PowerShot G5 X Mark II, PowerShot G7 X Mark III, EOS Kiss X10 / EOS REBEL SL3 / EOS 250D / EOS 200D II, EOS RP, EOS R, PowerShot SX70 HS, EOS D2000 *, EOS D6000 *, EOS D30, EOS D60, EOS 10D, EOS Kiss Digital / EOS Digital REBEL / EOS 300D Digital, EOS Kiss M / EOS M50, EOS REBEL T100 / EOS 4000D / EOS 3000D, EOS Kiss X90 / EOS REBEL T7 / EOS 2000D / EOS 1500D, EOS-1Ds Mark III, EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1Ds, EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1D C, EOS-1D, EOS 80D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 7D, EOS 70D, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 60Da, EOS 60D, EOS 5DS R, EOS 5DS, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D, EOS 50D, EOS 40D, EOS 30D, EOS 20Da, EOS 20D, EOS 9000D / EOS 77D, EOS 8000D / EOS REBEL T6s / EOS 760D, EOS Kiss X9i / EOS REBEL T7i / EOS 800D, EOS Kiss X9 / EOS REBEL SL2 / EOS 200D, EOS Kiss X8i / EOS REBEL T6i / EOS 750D, EOS Kiss X80 / EOS REBEL T6 / EOS 1300D, EOS Kiss X7i / EOS REBEL T5i / EOS 700D, EOS Kiss X70 / EOS REBEL T5 / EOS 1200D / EOS Hi, EOS Kiss X7 / EOS REBEL SL1 / EOS 100D, EOS Kiss X6i / EOS REBEL T4i / EOS 650D, EOS Kiss X50 / EOS REBEL T3 / EOS 1100D, EOS Kiss X5 / EOS REBEL T3i / EOS 600D, EOS Kiss X4 / EOS REBEL T2i / EOS 550D, EOS Kiss X3 / EOS REBEL T1i / EOS 500D, EOS Kiss X2 / EOS REBEL XSi / EOS 450D, EOS Kiss F / EOS REBEL XS / EOS 1000D, EOS Kiss Digital X / EOS Digital REBEL XTi / EOS 400D Digital, EOS Kiss Digital N / EOS Digital REBEL XT / EOS 350D Digital, EOS M100, EOS M10, EOS M6, EOS M5, EOS M3, EOS M2, EOS M, PowerShot G16, PowerShot G15, PowerShot G12, PowerShot G11, PowerShot G10, PowerShot G9 X Mark II, PowerShot G9 X, PowerShot G9, PowerShot G7 X Mark II, PowerShot G7 X, PowerShot G5 X, PowerShot G3 X, PowerShot G1 X Mark III, PowerShot G1 X Mark II, PowerShot G1 X, PowerShot SX60 HS, PowerShot SX50 HS, PowerShot SX1 IS, PowerShot S120, PowerShot S110, PowerShot S100V, PowerShot S100, PowerShot S95, PowerShot S90 *: Can now handle CR2 files converted with the CR2 Converter.

Canon Digital Professional (DPP) 4.13. 10 for Windows Sample Image Editing Screen Grab

Canon Digital Professional (DPP) 4.13. 10 for Windows
Canon Digital Professional (DPP) 4.11.02 for Windows Sample Image Editing Screen Grab

Free Canon Editing Software Suite - Canon Digital Professional For Windows | Mac

01 October 2020

Representing Cape Town / SA Tourism with Zeitz MOCAA image

Explore Epic South Africa - Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication
Image: From the National Geographic Your Shot Publication
Explore Epic South Africa : National Geographic

Proudly representing Cape Town / South African Tourism as a National Geographic Your Shot Partner Photographer.

My photo visit to the Zeitz MOCAA Museum - V&A Waterfront Cape Town (with Joseph Inns) was recently recognized with the publication of one image by National Geographic / South African Tourism in promoting our beautiful country.

Publication: Explore Epic South Africa (National Geographic / SA Tourism Board)

Zeithz MOCCA -  V&A Waterfront, Cape Town 
A vast, disused grain silo complex overlooking Cape Town’s historic, working harbor now holds the world’s largest museum for contemporary African art. Spread over nine floors, the Zeitz MOCAA has 80 galleries and a cathedral-like atrium, carved from the silo’s original storage tubes: an incredible transformation that honors the old, while giving center stage to the new.

"Up The Silos at the Zeits MOCCA - V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Vernon Chalmers Zeiyhs MOCCA Museum Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication
Vernon Chalmers Zeitz MOCCA Museum Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication

Canon camera used: Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm lens (Auto-ISO / f/11 / handheld)

Link to my Zeitz MOCAA Museum images here on my website

Link to the National Geographic / SA Tourism Publication

South African Travel Destinations in the National Geographic / South African Tourism Publication
  • Driekop, Northern Cape
  • Hermanus, Western Cape
  • Hole In The Wall, Eastern Cape
  • Howich, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Mpumalanga Drakensberg
  • Mwene Valley, Drakensberg
  • Nambiti Private Game Reserve, Ladysmith
  • Port Edward, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Shakaland, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Table Mountain, Cape Town
  • Table View, Cape Town
  • Zeitz MOCCA Museum, V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
'A small prime lens with lots of potential'

At first I didn't consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime / consumer lens as an option while planning for the 2015 Partners Hair Design Training Academy Graduation / Fashion Show in Cape Town.

Prime sharpness

My initial thoughts were that the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM may be a tad short for this close-up hair fashion shooting application, but as a fast, sharp and small non-zoom lens it could just be good enough for the catwalk (if I could move with the action). With all the confidence in the world I paired it with the EOS 70D; using the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS 6D for the group / wider angle shots.

Just love 85mm... after shooting with 400mm for months
Great value and sharpness for a consumer lens and I am sure there are a few similar priced Sigma and or Tamron 85mm lenses that could possibly do the same job. If you're prepared to learn how to zoom with your feet the 85mm focal length could work well on full frame / crops bodies (85mm on full frame vs 136mm on APS-C / crop when considering the crop factor of 1.6).

Hair-raising action photography
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
The main goal of covering the event was an all-round documentation of the show, guests, graduates and hair models. The biggest challenge was to shoot the extravagant hair designs with the 85mm lens on the crop-sensor Canon EOS 70D. Throughout the rehearsal I realized that it could be done as long as I move close enough with the models.

First image below is non-flash / non-action, but the others are all faster action walking / panning with the models (bounced flash). The last shot was captured during the rehearsal - no flash.

I did not really feel the need to use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II as I trusted the EOS 70D's AF and AI Servo to deliver within the same image quality parameters.

All Canon Equipment Used (during the show)

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Usm lens
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
  • Canon Speedlite 270EX II flash

Canon EOS 70D / Lens Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s 
  • Aperture: f/4
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Focal length 85mm (Canon prime lens)
  • Single Shot shooting / AI Servo Mode
  • Single-Point Autofocus / Lens AF on

(Click To Enlarge)
Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 100)


© Vernon Chalmers for Partners Hair Design Training Academy Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Reviews

Aperture Demonstration for New Photographers

Aperture Demonstration: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Aperture Demonstration for New Photographers - With Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

A brief aperture / background blur demonstration of 8 images captured at different apertures, but exactly the same depth of field between camera / subject and background distance.

Objective: To demonstrate what effect an aperture change will have on background blur when changing the aperture setting on the camera (with all other settings exactly the same).

Lens Apertures
Apertures selected from first to last image: f/1.8 / f/2.8 / f/4 / f 5.6 / f/8 / f/11 / f/16 / f22 (f/1.8 is the largest aperture (actual lens opening with f/22 the smallest aperture of the particular lens used). Read more on the inter-relationship between Aperture / ISO and Shutter Speed: Exposure Triangle>>

Note how the density of the background blur decrease from f/2.8 to f/22. The background blur changes will have very little effect on the focused subject (red telephone / money box).

Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur View

When is this applicable? In almost all subjects we photograph - from portraits to wildlife to landscapes. For portraits you want to isolate the subject by using a larger aperture (smaller f/ number) i.e. f/2.8 - f/4, for wildlife; isolating animals from their immediate habitat at i.e. f/4 - f/5.6 and for landscapes where you want image sharpness across the frame with smaller apertures (higher f/ number) i.e. f/11 - f/16.

The quality and density of the blur will depend on type of lens used, focal length of the lens, distance to subject (and to background). Various other camera / environmental factors could also have an effect on the desired outcome.

Creative application will also have an effect on the background blur, i.e. long exposures or showing motion in some part(s) of an image. Another consideration is macro photography where you may want to capture a close-up flower with a very narrow depth of field relative to its background - where you may require an aperture between i.e. f/2.8 - f/11 depending on the required blur effect(s) across the frame.

Canon EOS Camera / Lens / Speedlite Flash - Other Settings Used

  • Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens / Canon Speedlite 430EX II
  • f/1.8 - f/22 / ISO 400 / 1/60s (85mm) Manual Focus (via Live View) Tripod

(Click To Enlarge / Slideshow)

Aperture f/1.8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/2.8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/4  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/5.6  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/11  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/16  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f./22  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Shooting Location: Milnerton Cape Town (Photographer: Vernon Chalmers)

More about the Exposure in Photography Exposure Triangle

Canon EOS R6 First Impressions and Sample Images


Field / First Impressions Report: 'Canon EOS R6 / RF 600 / 800mm f/11 IS STM Lenses for Birds in Flight / General Bird Photography' for Canon South Africa

I received a phone call from Roger Machin, Product Marketing Manager, Canon South Africa, asking if I would be interested in field testing the then recently launched Canon EOS R 6 and two Canon RF lenses. Roger made it very clear from the outset that there are substantial improvements in (at least) the Autofocus System (speed and tracking) and Shooting Modes (Frames per second  / shutter application). 

The Canon EOS R6, together with the EOS R5 World Wide launched on 9 July 2020. Media Release

We discussed my testing objectives and a few weeks later the Canon EOS R6 body and two Canon RF lenses where delivered by Ashik Essop, Account Manager-Pro Dealer, Canon South Africa in Cape Town, to my training studio opposite Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. As per delivery:
  • Canon EOS R 6 Full Frame Mirrorless Body
  • Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM lens
  • Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM lens
  • SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB 80MB/s SD Card

Field Review / First Impressions Goal and Disclaimer 
As with the Canon EOS R 2019 Field Review / First Impressions the overall goal of Canon EOS R6 and RF lens review is a first impressions overview of how the equipment was applied and ultimately experienced in the genre of Bird in Flight  / General Bird Photography (in relation with my experience with a variety of other Canon EOS bodies and EF lenses). This is not a pure technical / empirical evaluation of the Canon EOS R6, listed  RF lenses against various Canon EOS bodies and EF Lenses.  

Field Review / First Impressions Objectives
It was discussed with Roger that as a Birds in Flight (fast action) photographer I would work with the EOS R6 and the new RF 600mm / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses for a week and see how the different pairings would perform in:
  • Birds in flight (fast action) photography
  • General birding (mostly perched birds)

Canon EOS R6 Brief Specifications: View Here

Canon RF 600mm / 800mm f/11 IS STM M Lenses Brief Specifications: View Here

Difference between Canon EOS R6 And EOS R5 Canon South Africa

Canon EOS R6 / RF lenses 'out of box' Impressions 
I received the evaluation body and the two RF lenses well packaged. Very similar to any new Canon EOS body and / or lens. With years of experience with the Canon EOS semi-professional and professional DSLR's the ergonomics felt immediately smaller, but did not look much different than the bigger EOS DSLRs. It really does not take long to become comfortable with the EOS R6 in hand. 

The familiar Canon EOS menus operates smoothly with the flip-out vari-angle LCD touchscreen interface and / or the traditional non-touch  procedure. One major menu addition to the EOS R6 over the the EOS R is the extensive Auto-Focus (AF) Menu settings. More about the impressive AF System later.

Canon RF Lenses
When Ashik opened the first lens box and handed me the RF 600mm f/11 STM lens I was surprised to see a 600mm lens smaller, lighter and shorter than my Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. Same with the RF 800mm lens - in reality not much longer than the RF600mm lens, but still matching the weight of my relatively light EF 400m f/5.6L USM lens. I did, of course, rise an eyebrow of the fixed f/11 aperture (on both lenses). 

For both lenses to fully operate on the EOS R6 a locking ring on the lens must be turned and some part of the barrel fiscally pulled out for extending the lens barrel. The camera will note operate without this procedure. 

Weight Comparisons: Against equal focal length Canon 600mm / 800mm L lenses
  • RF 800mm f/11 IS STM 1,260g // EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM 4,500g
  • RF 600mm f/11 STM 930g // EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM 3,050g

Weight Comparisons: Popular Canon 400 / 100-400mm L Prime / Zoom lenses
  • EF 400mm f/f.6L USM 1,250g // EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM 1,570g

Canon EOS R6 AF System (with Eye / Face / Fast Animal Detection)

The EOS R 6 (as with the EOS R5) uses Canon’s advanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF II System which utilises up to approximately100 percent coverage of the AF area and EOS iTR AF X incorporating AF tracking algorithms using deep learning technology and enhanced readout speed of the CMOS sensor and processing speed due to the DIGIC X image processor. The 1,053 automatically selected AF Zones are made even more potent by the ability to detect the human eye, face or head as well as the eye, face or body of animals such as dogs, cats and even birds. (Source: Canon South Africa).

Important Note: Due to the new AF System it is immediately apparent that the EOS R6 is a more advanced EOS R than the original EOS R with a substantially configured AF Menu.

AF Menu Tab (5 Sub-sections providing opportunity for configuring a number of options):
  • AF 1: AF Operations (7 functions) // AF 2: MF peaking settings et al (3 functions)
  • AF 3: Servo AF - Cases (7 functions) // AF 4: Lens Electronic MF et al (7 functions)
  • AF 5: Initial Servo AF point for tracking options et al (4 functions)

Available AF Modes Settings:
  • Spot AF / 1-Point AF / Expand AF Area / Expand AF Area: Around
  • Zone Area / Large Zone AF: Vertical / Large Zone AF: Horizontal

Shutter Drive Methods / Frames Per Second (fps):
  • Mechanical shutter (12 fps)
  • Electronic first-curtain shutter (20 fps) 
  • Electronic shutter (20 fps)

Grey heron with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Grey heron with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Birds in Flight / Bird Photography Test Settings and other Default Criteria

With the Canon EOS R6 I followed my normal testing approach and although I opted to be as objective as possible within my personal frame of reference during testing it was with both the Canon EOS R6 in mind and the current crop of high-performance EOS DSLR bodies it's 'competing' against - right up to the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.  

Weather Conditions During Testing
The first week of testing was almost impossible due to inclement weather in Cape Town. The second week I had three relatively crisp Birds in Flight / General Birding conditions with clear skies and minimal wind. 

Using the Canon EOS R6 in the field (Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve)
I spent five outings using the camera around Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve from which derived my various overall impressions, likes and challenges from the various outings I used the camera. I used both lenses for more / less the same time in flight / static bird species - exactly as I would normally use with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens and other pairings.

Setting up the EOS R6 Autofocus System
My objective was to set-up the AF System as similar as possible to all the other Canon EOS bodies I have used with advanced 61-point / 65-AF systems. 

My EOS R6 Autofocus (AF) Setup for Birds in Flight / Birding Photography

Birds in Flight / Bird Photography Test Settings and other Criteria

Over the testing period I used the following configurations and settings with the Canon EOS R6 and both the RF 600mm / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses.

Canon EOS R6 AF Settings Used
During the few days I worked with the EOS R6 I did not experiment / explore all AF options, but kept my average AF Setup close to the default settings (as I always do with a new EOS camera). For the purpose of this report I used the following main settings:
  • Servo AF
  • AF Case: Case 1
  • Subject to detect: Animals
  • AF Modes: Used both the Zone Area and the Large Zone: Horizontal
  • Shutter: Mechanical Shutter / Electronic Shutter
  • High-speed continuous shooting + (H+)

Exposure Settings
  • Manual Mode
  • ISO 500 - 640
  • Aperture: f/11
  • Shutter Speed: 1/2500 - 1/3200s

Other Settings
  • RAW Image Processing
  • Lens Image Stabilization on 

Cape Shoveler Duck with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Cape Shoveler Duck with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

General In Field Application / First Impressions

I have never captured Birds in Flight at f/11 with any telephoto lens and was quite interested in how this would play out at 600mm / 800mm. My own reference on 300mm to 400mm (depending on the light would always be f/4 - f/6.3 - with an average of  f/5.6 (+- 90% of the time). This was also an opportunity for testing the camera in different light conditions, but mostly it was about its fast action performance, image quality and ISO performance at higher shutter speeds.

Ergonomics / Weight (also with the RF 600/ 800mm IS STM lenses)
The Canon EOS R6 body and both lens pairing felt quite comfortable in my hands and I managed to capture +- 1200 images per birds in flight / general birding outing. Pairing with either the RF 600mm / 800mm IS STM lenses felt comfortable in-hand and it was definitely the lightest Canon Full Frame body and super-telephoto lens pairings I have ever used. Low weigh combinations due to Diffractive Optics covered in a hard plastic black barrel rather than metal used in professional L lenses will enable photographers to carry either body / lens pairings for long periods of time. 

In- Body IS (IBIS) for up to 8 shutter speed stops' Image Stabilisation
With IBIS you should be able to leave the tripod at home. This could then become ideal pairings for the photographers who wants to travel light and have super-telephoto lens reach for fast moving and static / low light shooting opportunities.

Mechanical Shutter vs. Electronic Shutter
Hearing the mechanical shutter firing off at 12fps is a very sweet sound for me to such an extent I predominantly used the mechanical shutter vs the super-fast and very quiet Electronic Shutter at 20fps. I also opted for the mechanical shutter due to the perception of slightly less shutter lag and the fact that I don't need 20 images of the same bird filling the SD card up.

Buffer / Burst Speeds
The average consensus is that the EOS R6 can maintain bursts of over 1,000 JPEGs or 240 RAW per burst in continuous mode. This also depends on the speed of the SD Memory card used. I used the 80 MB/s card from Canon SA and it was adequate for my purpose. Occasionally the camera would pause slightly during a burst - but by that time I had more than enough images of the current subject.

Yellow-billed duck with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Yellow-billed duck with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

AF System Field Application / Impressions

Critical for Birds in Flight Photography

AF Tracking and Detection
When Roger Machin from Canon SA initially contacted me with the proposition for testing the EOS R6 I was a bit sceptical of his enthusiasm - as I had in my mind the original EOS R's all round AF / Shutter lag performance - but, as I read elsewhere / and experienced first hand this is Canon's most advanced AF System for tracking, retaining and following fast moving subjects.

After the few outings I had with the Canon EOS R6 I most definitely share Roger's enthusiasm and can without doubt state the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II System with intuitive Tracking and Detection will become a formidable standard for all new EOS R bodies - and I don't believe you will hear many complaints from the fast shooters (in any field).

AF Method / Mode used
From the 6 AF Methods / Modes I only used Zone AF and Large Zone AF Horizontal. I personally preferred Large Zone AF Horizontal (due to a relatively low risk of possible environmental obstacles i.e. trees and buildings). Both methods worked satisfactorily and made tracking and detection easy - even for faster and smaller flying birds.

It took one or two outings for configuring of the AF to have a similar responsiveness and tracking as per modern professional EOS bodies (61-point / 65-AF systems). I have not worked with the EOS-1D X Mark III, but the understanding is that the New EOS R5 or R6 should at least perform on similar levels.

The EOS R6 was in a different class compared of the original EOS R, especially when using the shorter RF 600mm f/11 IS STM lens and I felt much closer to my Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. Keep in mind that with both the RF 600 / 800mm fix aperture lenses operating at f/11 will be slower than the f/5.6 I'm used to.
Click to Enlarge
  
Pied Kingfisher in Flight Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s  Specked Pigeon in Flight Canon EOS R6 / RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Canon EOS R6 / RF 800 / 600mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Paired with the RF 600mm / 800mm IS STM lenses
I was quite surprised with the AF tracking, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system in tandem with the new DIGIC X image processor, with its deep learning technology performed exceptionally well in tracking even the smallest of small birds in flight here - the pied kingfisher! It locked on with ease, especially when using the RF 600mm IS STM lens - the tracking felt on par with my Canon 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L USM lens birds in flight setup and in my opinion, with the animal tracking option enabled, is definitely the most advanced AF System I have worked with up to now. 

The animal tracking function - once it locked-on the subject will form a solid blue outline around the entire subject - and maintain this during a fast-burst continuous shooting session. Should it lose the position it may connect again depending on the bird's position / flight direction movements. 

I could not really achieve this so well with the RF 800mm IS STM lens, but the technology applied is quite a phenomenal step forward in user-assistance in acquiring and continuous tracking of fast moving subject. Its not going to work so well on a bird suddenly entering the frame and moving out again, but with careful planning and anticipation of flying subjects the photographer should get this assistance in most continuous bursts.

Click to Enlarge
 
Lesser Swamp Warbler Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s    Cape Canary Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Perched Bird Photography Woodbridge Island
As always there is an opportunity for capturing perched birds, I would not change much in the camera settings to get a few perched birds into the in-flight mix. The reason for no change is really the fact that there is not a lot of time between the odd perched bird and the predominant Bird in Flight objective. 

For this, all I really did, in Manual Mode, was to lower the shutter speed for lowering the ISO - if the ISO was set to Auto-ISO. With the EOS R6 and the rather long 600mmm / 8000mm RS lenses Auto-ISO did not perform exceptionally well at f/11 and I used pre-set ISO's between ISO 500 - 800. Not a problem - just an adjustment if the Aperture is that high (at f/11),

Other Important First Impressions

Image Quality with the RF 600 / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses
I have never been much of a pixel-peeper, but saying this I expect quality results in terms of the expected (professional) standard of kit in my hands - therefore I should do everything possible to enhance the best outcome in terms of the gear, light conditions, exposure settings and AF setup. The EOS R6 (with the two RF lenses I used) rendered acceptable in-flight images / perched bird images comparing to images created with even the EOS 7D Mark II / EOS 7D / 5D Mark IV paired with professional L-designated 300mm / 400m lenses. Here I must stress that Exposure Settings / quality of light will have an significant impact on the final Birds in Flight Image. 

Background Blur
Both lenses provided for more / less the same high quality Bokeh as I would achieve with my 400mm at f/5.6 on both my Canon EOS Full Frame or Crop bodies. This will very much depend on distance between camera and subject - and then subject to background. As an experienced photographer around Woodbridge Island know by now where the best background blurring opportunities will be - so a lot of achieving a satisfactory  Bokeh is to plan for it.

Shooting at a fix f/11 Aperture (RF 600 / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses)
Not an ideal aperture when considering I have been using f/5.6 at an 90% average on most other Canon consumer / professional prime and zoom telephoto lenses for birds in flight  the last eight tears. It took me one outing to get the gist of an absolute fixed f/11 Aperture. It took me one outing to make the necessary adjustments. With good light it is much less of a challenge, but you have to keep your eye on high shutter speeds vs ISO performance.

ISO Performance (RF 600 / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses) 
As said above, it was quite challenging to work with a fixed f/11 for birds in flight / fast action photography and it was required to adjust from my default Auto-ISO to a fix ISO. In low light conditions Auto-ISO would shoot up to ISO 3200 at a shutter speed of  2500 / 3200. I used manual ISO's 500 - 640 most of the time. With this setup I left the ISO as is and kept going focusing on finding fast flying subjects. Interesting in various Canon documentation  it is claimed that the EOS R6 handles darker scenes better than the EOS R5. Auto-focus is possible between EV-6.5 (dark) and EV +20 (light).

 Battery Life
The official battery life rating is about 510 shots with the LCD and about 380 shots with the viewfinder.
On each outing I captured +- 1200 images and there was probably still between 10 -20% of battery power left. One advantage is that the new Canon LP-E6NH battery used will be backward compatible with LP-E6N and LP-E6 battery packs. 

Grey heron with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Grey heron with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Other / Optional features I liked about the EOS R (for Birds in Flight / Perched Birds)

Dual Memory Card Slots
Dual UHS-II SD card slots with Auto-switching

Compatible with EF and EF-S lenses (With optional RF Lens adapter)
This is quite high on my list of preferences. The compatibility with all current EF and EF-S lenses is a major feature and will be for many enthusiast and professional photographers with these lenses. It could very well be one of Canon's Unique Selling Points (USP's) down the line for photographers buying into the EOS R system due to their current selection of EF / EF-S lenses. It makes a lot of business and consumer sense for me. 

RF 1.4x / 2xLens Extenders
Both the 600mm / 800mm IS STM lenses are compatible with the new 1.4x and 2x RF lens extenders.

Shutter Durability Rating
300 000 actuations (clicks)

Challenges while working with the Canon EOS R6 / RF 600mm / 800mm IS STM Lenses

Shutter Lag?
During my Field Report / First Impressions Testing while working with the Canon EOS R in 2019 the biggest challenge experienced was an substantial shutter lag of the mirror body while out doing my birds in flight testing. With the EOS R6 this is practically nullified and I only experienced lagging using the Electronic ViewFinder, but after the second outing / and using the Electronic Shutter (and a fine-tuned AF System) I forgot about it. So no real issue for me.

f/11 Aperture with 600 / 800mm IS STM lenses
I would describe both these lenses as enthusiast lenses as they are not constructed to the level of professional L-designated telephoto lens standards. At 600mm / 800mm at f/11 there will be some challenges in the field. Both lenses performed slower than my average f/5.6 - which will slow the AF down and this could have an impact on effective tracking. At f/11 the photographer will also have to keep an eye on exposure settings (especially at higher apertures and low light conditions). But, for the weight and the price it should be an effective value proposition for the enthusiast wildlife photographer requiring longer focal lengths and a lighter traveling pairing. With experience, adequate skill and good lighting these lenses should deliver good to excellent results.  

Updated post-processing software for CR3 RAW files

Prospective buyers of the Canon EOS R6 should take note of this. A few updates will have you sorted in no time if your editing software is not updated to read CR3 RAW files.

Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 4 users: CR3 files will only work with DPP 4.10. This is a free upgrade from Canon. I opened the CR3 files with DPP version 4.12. 

For Adobe Lightroom Users: The updated Adobe Lightroom 9.2 is fully compatible with EOS R6. 

My processing was done with Lightroom Classic 9.4 

Transferring images from camera to computer
I used both my Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 and Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 Multi Card Readers for transferring CR3 images without any issues.

Click to Enlarge

African Oystercatcher Canon EOS R6 / RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s African Darter Canon EOS R6 / RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Canon EOS R6 / RF 600mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Conclusion
 
At the conclusion of my Field Testing / First Impressions Report on the Canon EOS R I wrote "After spending a few weeks with the EOS R I am optimistic and fairly convinced that Canon will deploy substantial future resources in the development of the R System" 

Canon executed this with the launch of both the Canon EOS R5 and the EOS R6. The new EOS R6 is a feature-rich Full Frame Mirrorless EOS body that should appeal to a variety of photographers - including fast action / Birds in Flight  photographers.

The most outstanding feature for me is the new Autofocus System that is now defining the way forward for a wide variety of genres / applications - including tracking and detecting fast moving animals - even some of the smallest and fastest birds in flight.

 Click to Enlarge

Reed Cormorant Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s Speckled Pigeon Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s

Personal Opinion and Recommendations (for Action / Birds in Flight Photography)

The EOS R6 arrived as a big improvement in terms of shutter lag, AF application (with the new tracking and detection functionality) and made quite an impression on me compared to the EOS R and all other modern EOS DSLR's with 61 to 65-Point AF systems.

In 2019 I concluded the following on using the original Canon EOS R for Birds in Flight Photography ''The current EOS R is in my opinion not ready for replacing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark IV et al for shooting dedicated (only) action / birds in flight to meet many (almost) instant AF-focusing or continuous burst mode expectations."

The new EOS R6 easily overcame the high-action photography limitations of the EOS R and I would recommend the EOS R6 for fast action photography / Birds in Flight photography. With an improved* version of the EOS-1D X Mark III image sensor (latest flagship DSLR camera) it is clear that the Canon EOS R System development strategy is now starting to show real high-performance maturity. I personally believe that Canon arrived at a time where the EOS R System paradigm has shifted to an imminent advantage over the traditional EOS DSLR. I'm saying this with utmost respect towards most modern EOS DSLR's - of which I own quite a few. * Canon ASIA

Canon RF 600 / 800mm f/11 IS STM lenses
For most enthusiast photographers any of these two super telephoto lenses even at f/11 will perform well for general wildlife and the occasional fast action / birds in flight photography. The shorter 600mm lens performed better (AF performance) in my shooting conditions - although the longer 800mm focal length is tempting, it will be important for the future buyer to decide between focal length, application, general lighting conditions, light weight and relatively low cost. 

More Information about Canon EOS R6 from Canon South Africa

Download the Canon EOS R6 PDF User Manual Here

© Copyright Vernon Chalmers for Canon South Africa

Little Egret with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s
Little Egret with Canon EOS R6 / RF 800mm f/11 IS STM Lens : ISO 640 / 1/2500s



Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers

Its every photographer's responsibility to be vigilant in terms of images being used without permission and to take the necessary steps to manage / report the copyright infringement to the appropriate users / parties / authorities.

Copyright infringement / management will also be discussed during our upcoming Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Workshop at Intaka Island / Woodbridge Island, Cape  Town on 7 / 8 April.

Below is a post I made earlier today (on my Vernon Chalmers Photography website) of an Airbnb establishment on Woodbridge Island using a landscape / seascape  image without my permission.

Brownie Points Africa is the latest Vernon Chalmers Photography image without permission Brownie Points Africa

Other local / international websites (mainly accommodation, travelling / tourism and advertising) using / used  a Vernon Chalmers Photography image without permission (links to posts on this website)

Original Post on my Vernon Chalmers Photography website (and I'm in the process of taking the necessary steps with all relevant parties)

Attached Image: As used / amended by the Airbnb establishment

<<Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission: Bright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island / Table Mountain Image Without Permission

It came to my attention that Bright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island at www.airbnb.com is using a Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town copyright image without permission.

When visiting theBright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island website the Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town image is located on the View Photos section listed on the main image on the the www.airbnb.com website.

This is the Woodbridge Island image that was taken by Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island without permission from a Vernon Chalmers website in Cape Town, South Africa. >>

www.vernonchalmers.photography/2018/03/bright-beachside-on-woodbridge-island.html

Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers: Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission
Copyright Infringement Warning: Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy View

Latest Use Of A Vernon Chalmers Photography Image Without Permission - Brownie Points Africa

Vernon Chalmers Photography now using WhatsApp Business

Vernon Chalmers Photography Support / Communications now also available via WhatsApp
Important Update: Vernon Chalmers Photography Support / Communications now also available via WhatsApp.

From this week I will be using WhatsApp Business for complimenting my current client support, pre-training and booking information.

The WhatsApp Business number for messaging / phone calls - direct link: wa.me/27608878087 or 060 887 8087

Due to training commitments I may not always respond immediately, but there will be an auto-responder message if this is the case.

Please note: This number is for photography training / support purposes only. Please do not add / invite Vernon Chalmers Photography to any WhatsApp group functionalities et al.

I trust this new communication channel will be of substantial assistance to current clients with Canon EOS / photography support requests and possible new clients with pre-training / specific learning information requests.

More Information: Vernon Chalmers Photography Training