T3i 3x Zoom w/ 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro

Wanted to put the T3i's new 3x Zoom featuer to the paces, so I shot some bugs with the 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro. At 10x you do notice it gets soft and it's pretty hard to see what's going on with these little guys. So for now here's an all 3x Zoom video which shows the original camera position. (except for the first few seconds. You'll see the text change). The shakiness was because it was a windy day, it's not from the camera. It's also pretty hard to pan at 3x Macro, everything is exaggerated.

I know what you're thinking. Wow, what a rare treat to find a flower full of sooo many lady bugs with great fill lighting? A very unique experience to have outside in nature. Ok, I admit. I cheated. Just a little.

I'm going to try this again in a more controlled environment when I get my real lights setup. I was at home and limited to what I could use. You can't use bulbs that generate too much heat or the flower will wilt and the lady bugs will 'crisp'. These little FLO's don't output as much as the LED panels which i'll try (maybe tomorrow).

find-price-button Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR

31 thoughts on “T3i 3x Zoom w/ 100mm F/2.8L IS Macro

  1. Pingback:

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  2. Paul

    You are ABSOLUTELY right. I got the wrong information. Thank you for special did the video for me. The Canon 60D will be my first DSLR.
    Thank you very much.

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul - Just FYI, I had (3) Canon 60D's and used it to shoot a music video just a few days after they were released. That review is completely incorrect. Hopefully this video will be uploaded by the time you read this. Check this out: https://vimeo.com/21431317

  4. Paul

    I read a review said the Canon 60D can not do manual exposure DURING movie recording. Only when we stop recording. But the Canon 600D have this innovation.
    Thank you for the 600D manual white balance information. It is of great use to me.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul - You would be incorrect in your comment. Both the 60D & 600D (T3i) cameras CAN do FULL MANUAL exposure. The 600D (T3i) 'CANNOT' do Manual Kelvin (white balance).

    Remember that the Canon 60D came out 'after' the T2i which already had Manual Exposure options. When you buy any of these cameras the default for video is set to Automatic. The 60D does indeed have it, you have to change it in the Menu options from Automatic to Manual. You do not use the 'M' dial like the 7D or 5D Mark II. You select the little 'video camera icon'.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul - The Canon 60D is better built with more features. (except new zoom feature)

  7. This lady bug test is still the only video to show up under a search for "T3i zoom" on both YouTube and Vimeo.

    I guess people haven't gotten them yet, or most people don't care/know about the zoom feature.


  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Nitsan - Thanks, i'm not real happy with it. Lighting was tough to underexpose the sky and fill the flower. I didn't have my good lights with me, i'll try again.

  9. Hey! nice! i made a few macro shots with my canon 7D and those chinese macro adapters with my 50mm 1.8 canon lens

    but this is great, im wondering if is time to sell my canon 7D, im really unhappy with the firmware updates and can´t understand why canon is leaving us 7d owners behind...

    here is my macro video

  10. I'd like to see a test with a cheaper zoom lens, maybe at a slower aperture too. Maybe even the kit lens as a 'worst case' scenario?

  11. Kevin

    For the love of all that is awesome, please please PLEASE put a 3000 mm EOS'ed telescope "lens" on the t3i and then do a 10x zoom crop.
    I hear if you point it up in the sky at night, you can see into the future where Uma Thurman dates Ben Affleck.
    Or at least you can see into people's windows, from the next city over

  12. Tuukka

    And here are some expectation for the test:

    full sensor = line skipping leads up to jagged edges
    full lens area* = more vingeting, lenses are not as sharp in corners
    full dof = beautiful bokeh, same depth of field as stills
    full quality = as sharp image as lens can resolve

    one third sensor = no line skipping delivers better edge quality
    one third lens area = same pixel size, but uses the "better" part of the lense
    one third dof = zooming will neutralize the bokeh difference
    full quality = as sharp image as lens can resolve

    one third sensor = no line skipping delivers better edge quality
    one third lens area = same area because the zoom is digital
    one third dof = same dof because the zoom is digital
    one third qualit = known as digital zoom and it means three times softer image

    *with line skipping the pixelsize is the same as in 3x zoom

  13. Tuukka

    Yeah, comparison would be awesome!

    1) 20mm, 33mm, 66mm & 200mm zoomed to 200mm.
    2) Or just the same lense but changing the distance.
    - Side by side, screencaps from video, png!

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @videoguy916 - Yes there's some noise on the 100mm, it's a Hybrid IS different than the 17-55mm. It should be off when on Tripod though.

  15. Jenny

    Good job Emm!

    I'd like to see a video w/ straight technically comparison. Too bad I only have the lenses but no T3i 🙁
    Otherwise, I will upload a 1080p video on youtube. Maybe I will borrow from someone to do the experiment.

    The setting will be:
    Mount T3i on a tripod with 15mm rail system and follow focus, no filters, studio coontrol lighting, excatly same steady object (not a real human face b/c it change from scene to scene), same setting, same location for every shot.
    Shot w/ Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II @200mm f4 1/50s ISO 100 [email protected] IS ON, no digital zoom
    Shot w/ Canon EF 24-105 f/4 IS @66mm f4 1/50s ISO 100 [email protected] IS ON, 3x digital zoom
    Shot w/ Canon EF 24-105 f/4 IS @33mm f4 1/50s ISO 100 [email protected] IS ON, 6x digital zoom
    Shot w/ Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS @20mm f4 1/50s ISO 100 [email protected] IS ON, 10x digital zoom

    This would tell the difference between optical excellence and digital artificial.


  16. videoguy916

    Emm- Does the IS motor in your 100mm make some strange noises (especially when starting up and shutting down)? I just bought mine new, and the IS is pretty loud. It makes a bit of a clunk, and a bit of a hiss here and there.

    I have a 17-55mm IS as well, and it is whisper quiet compared to my new 100mm.

    It is definitely working well to stabilize, but I want to know if I may have a noisy model that needs to get sent back.

  17. videoguy916

    I got my 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro in the mail a few days ago and finally had a half our this afternoon to try it out. So I went outside, and couldn't find a bug ANYWHERE! So I resorted to following around the pets. I am very impressed with the IS on this lens. Here is what I ended up with (shot almost entirely handheld - except for the nail, leaf shots, and one bunny shot).

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Simon - Thanks! I'll make it much better with the proper setup, try try again..you live you learn..

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Ryan - I'm really not happy with this video, it was way too windy and overexposed. I didn't have my real studio stuff with me at home, and just used the Fluorescents which didn't output as much light as I wanted.

    The 10x was soft, but mainly way too 'Macro-ish' to see what was going on.

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @Jor-Alim - The blue was the sky. I shot out from the garage. I didn't have an ND filter for this lens so I had to close my Aperture, which is normally what you you do in Macro anyways. After 'trying' to bring the sky down a bit, I had to add some fill to the flower. Hence the fluorescent lights. I didn't have my LEDs at home, and couldn't use anything else or I would cook the little guys with too much heat. I'm going to attempt this again tomorrow in the studio with a more controlled environment for the 10x test.

  21. Jor-alim

    How did you get the blue background. Is that sky? Or a matte sheet? Or those color bulbs that you got?

    Awesome, now I really want this cam. Just waiting so see what Canon has up its sleeve with the 5D MK3.

  22. Jordan


    Thanks for the examples. I'm really interested in seeing how this looks on people. I think that'll be a big deal breaker/maker for most.... how it looks on people.

    Also... seeing a shot at 3x "digital" zoom and then framing the same shot by zooming with your feet would be helpful. Putting the same shot side by side would make it easy for all to see the IQ usefulness/uselessness of this feature.

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