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Messages - hgraf

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Yongnuo 35mm f/2 Canon Clone on the Way
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:48:56 PM »
lol. And you just know it will be built to last.

I would not recommend anybody buy this.

Have you ever used a Yongnuo product? If not, then I don't see why your recommendation would be worth anything.

FWIW, I HAVE some Yongnuo products, and all I can say is that they are VERY well built, and seem to hold up perfectly well for amateur use. The speedlight clones I use have never let me down, and the Yongnuo (damn that's hard for me to spell...) wireless flash remotes haven't caused me any problems either.

Early reports for the 50mm clone show it to me minimally as optically as good as the Canon, and better in many ways. Granted, the plastic fantastic isn't the paramount of build quality, but for amateurs it's more then good enough. Hell, my plastic fantastic has taken a beating and still works perfectly great.

I for one welcome this lens. If it's optically similar to the Canon equivalent it will be an absolute home run. The 50 and 40mm lenses from Canon are too narrow for crop users in many situations, 35mm is much more useful.

Plus, on top of this, I personally believe that the "big guys" need a kick in the bum, they've been releasing lackluster products for years. Sony has been doing a great job lately of showing what can be done on the higher end, and if Yongnuo can get things moving on the cheap glass side I'm all for it.


Post Processing / Re: Backup to Blu-ray
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:28:34 PM »

According to the site, the technology will be relevant for at least 10-15 years from now.
As the discs have not been around for very long so it is not known how well they hold their information.
An estimate I found was 100 to 150 years. That's cool. Currently I am using hard disks.

I'm not sure you can trust what that site says, it appears to be a marketing type site. My personal opinion of marketing has always been: lie as much as you can without getting into too much trouble.

I can't speak for the longevity of BD. But I do have data from previous generations of optical media, and saying those discs will work 100-150 years from now is pure hilarity.

In my experience, user writeable optical media has a reliable life span of AT MOST 1 year. I've got discs that lasted longer then that, some much longer, but NONE have lasted longer then 10 years (CDRs), and most haven't lasted longer then about 3 years for CDRs and ~1.5 years for DVDRs.

The reason is the chemicals used in user writeable optical media isn't very stable. Since it has to react to light to change state, it means long term stability is an issue. It's just a consequence of the technology.

Again, I can't speak for BluRay, my oldest BluRay disk is about 2 years old, it's still readable, but I don't hold up much hope.

Note that PRESSED optical media is a different beast altogether, aside from some issues with early CDs (the aluminium oxidized, google "CD rot") they will I believe last many decades. I have commercially pressed CDs that are 30 years and still play fine, and commercial DVDs that are maybe ~10+ years old play fine as well.

Personally, the only viable backup media at the moment is multiple harddrives. Replace them every few years and you'll be good to go.


Post Processing / Re: DNG vs. original RAW in the long term
« on: December 23, 2014, 06:29:48 PM »
Well... I am not so sure.

(1) I am not aware of any Win95 emulators (not that I was in need of one, and not that I have enough interested in this to search the web for one... But to my knowledge, the software that came with my USB 2.0 DVB-T receiver would not run on any system of today. Luckily, this doesn't worry me, as this software was crap, anyway, and I've never used the stick with Windows. I mention it just as an example. When cameras of today are replaced by something completely new, such as the technology that Lytro uses, formats and software of today will become obsolete. How quickly that will happen, and when it starts... only time will tell.
(With Linux the DVB-T stick runs as fine as ever, BTW).

The reason you don't see a win95 emulator is two fold:
1) most applications that run on win95 will run on the latest version of windows
2) for those that don't, install win95 on a spare machine or in a VM

As for your example, yes, there are certainly pieces of hardware and associated software that may be more difficult to get working.

That said, let's not loose sight of what we're discussing here. We're NOT talking about a day-to-day machine here. We're talking about the theoretical situation where ALL current software has lost the ability to read a CR2 file, and the only solution is to run some ancient software. In that case, all we are interested in is "resurrecting" this lost format and converting it to something "current". In that case, creating a VM or running an emulator is a small amount of work to get what we want.

Our concern is never getting the images back, not editing on an ancient platform.

(2) Even if there are emulators that are able to run the system and the software, you use now: Can you be sure you can connect all your storage devices? What this means is, that every once in a while, when connector standards evolve, new drives need to be purchased and huge amounts of data have to migrated to them. Noone expects to see USB 2 compatible devices in 20 years, I guess...


Prior history says yes. 20 years ago is 1994. The predominant storage formats were 3.5" floppies and CDROMs. Both are easily read by modern machines with either a preinstalled DVD-ROM drive, or a USB-floppy drive (have one in my desk).

Go back 30 years and things may get a little more dicey. 5.25" floppy drives are much harder to find.

All that said, yes, if you leave a bunch of backups in a box for 50 years you MIGHT be in trouble. That's why I recommend people do what I do: live backups. Keep your data up on modern media. As the media progresses bring your data with you. If it is REALLY that important to you then it's a small price to pay.

My backups started on ZIP disks and CD-ROMs, moved to DVD-ROMs, and now live on hard drives, drives that all get updated in various degrees. My live backups are current as of an hour (cron job running every hour). My offsite (away from my home) backups are at most a month out of date. My last tier is at most 6 months out of date, and is secure in a vault.

Am I crazy to put this much effort into it? Perhaps, but my photos and other data are that important to me.


Post Processing / Re: DNG vs. original RAW in the long term
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:53:27 AM »
Software doesn't "disappear", it may no longer be updated, but you'll always be able to find it on the web.

How about this, if you're REALLY worried about it, archive your RAW files WITH a piece of software that does the conversion.

Yes, but that alone won't help. As has been said before, you need an OS and hardware to run such software on. I have a low motivation to put a 32-bits Windows XP machine, that takes ages to boot, in a safe, with a copy of DPP, just to make sure...

Yes, it will. Just because your current machine might not natively be able to run the software, doesn't mean it can't run at all. Emulators for pretty much every platform in existance can run on current machines, often with more performance then the original hardware! Getting a win32 XP emulator 50 years from now is pretty much as guaranteed as you can get.

Post Processing / Re: DNG vs. original RAW in the long term
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:47:44 AM »
what happens 20 years from now? the software that processes these files will not run on anything available then.

False. Completely false.

Let's look at history here. Consider a computer that's >30 years old: the Commodore C64. You can STILL run pretty much any software that ran on that platform using emulators. And the C64 was WAY WAY less common and popular then windows and x86.

Even if a computer platform 20 years from now won't be able to run windows and x86 software, it will have an emulator that will. Even android has DOS emulators today.

The conundrum gets even worse if you think 100 years from now. Will there be any devices that can read our USB drives that far into the future? We have family images created 150 years ago and while not necessarily in greatest of conditions, we can at least view them. How do we archive for our grand kid's grand kids?

Easy, do what I do: live backups.

While I have offline backups using HDs at the moment, everything I have is also in live backup form, meaning a platform that is current for the day. At the moment it's 2.5" hard drives, which is a migration from DVDs. IN the future? I'll simply migrate it to whatever format comes next.

Is it work? Yup. But what in life that's worth doing not worth a little effort?

Post Processing / Re: DNG vs. original RAW in the long term
« on: December 22, 2014, 10:16:02 AM »
Software doesn't "disappear", it may no longer be updated, but you'll always be able to find it on the web.

How about this, if you're REALLY worried about it, archive your RAW files WITH a piece of software that does the conversion.

Personally, I'm not worried about it, there are SO MANY images out there using Canon's RAW format I don't see any software "dropping" it any time soon.

As for DNG, while the image data might be losslessly captured, there are other elements of the RAW file that may not, meta data being one thing. I'm not sure what else is in a RAW file that DNG doesn't store, but I'm sure there's something.

Landscape / Re: Railway odds and ends...
« on: November 15, 2014, 10:30:38 PM »

Technical Support / Re: Canon 600D, Sandisk and Corrupted MOV files
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:09:05 PM »
Thank you everyone for your support  :D

I found a nice application that tests the speed of the SD card you want to test, I tried with the fake SanDisk and the maximum writing speed was 16 Mb/s! So that explains why the video were corrupted!

Actually, while contributing perhaps to the problem, it's likely not the main cause.

"fake" cards often compromise in two ways (assuming they work at all): speed and capacity.

It's very common for say a 16GB "fake" card to actually be a 2GB die, rigged in such a way that the OS THINKS it's a 16GB card (very easy to do if you've got access to the firmware for the cards controller, it simply responds that is has more sectors then it actually does).

The result is a card that "works", until you fill it beyond a certain limit. After that the card will continue to report it's writing data, but any read back will be zero.

I believe this is why ONE of your files was partially recoverable, part of that file was written to space that existed, the other part was written to space that doesn't, resulting in a partial recovery. The other files were exclusively written to space that doesn't exist, so they are unfortunately go forever.

It's a very insidious way of doing things because the cards appear to function completely normally, as the file system is written to problems get more and more common.

802.11a is dog slow, but uses the 5 GHz band.  802.11b and g are faster, but use 2.4 GHz which is full of interference from microwaves, cordless phone, etc.   

This is a VERY common misconception: 802.11a is actually the same speed as 802.11g. In fact, in many ways, 802.11g IS 802.11a, just specified to run at the 2.4GHz band instead of the 5GHz band.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advice on a upgrade from the Rebel XS
« on: May 13, 2014, 01:28:46 PM »
I do have one more question, if you'll bear with me: does ISO performance really depend solely on the total area and Q.E. of the sensor?  If there really nothing (or only a small amount) to be gained due to better noise reduction algorithms?  I know that Canon advertises the DIGIC model in their bodies, so I had thought that going from the DIGIC 3 to the 5+ might be of some help at low light -- or is that all just marketing hoopla?

If you are shooting RAW then what the DIGIC does with your image from the point of PP is pretty much moot. When you shoot RAW your RAW converter is doing all that work. Lightroom/Aperture will almost always be better at getting what you want since you have nearly infinite control. DIGIC bakes things into the JPG based on a very small range of selections.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Advice on a upgrade from the Rebel XS
« on: May 13, 2014, 01:24:34 PM »
Let me start by explaining my situation:  I'm relatively new to photography (have been using a DSLR for about 2 years) and primarily shoot my kids at their various activities and outdoor/nature scenes (with a preference for individual plants or animals rather than landscapes). 

My current equipment consists of a Rebel XS with 18-55 EF-S kit lens, 50mm 1/8, 80-200 2.8 L, and 430 EX II flash.  For well over 90% of what I want to do, this is just fine, and has provided some shots that I'll treasure for the rest of my life (most of the shots I miss are due to me, not the gear).  But remaining few % is irritating!  Most of my problems are in low light (indoor event for the kids where flash isn't allowed or I'm too far away to use it) where I could benefit from better high ISO performance than the Rebel can offer.  The other issue is catching the "key moment" when action is occurring, where the Rebel's frame rate isn't up to the task (I shoot RAW since I don't think the JPEGs from the Rebel are particularly good, and that reduces the frame rate to about 1-2Hz).

I'm aware that a 5D III would fix all my problems.  But that's expensive, made more so by the need for a replacement for my EF-S lens.  So I'd like opinions on the more budget-friendly options, in order:

7D or 70D: these are fast enough, but do they do well enough in low light?  I'll define "well enough" as having at least the same image quality at ISO 3200 as the Rebel does at 800.

6D: fixes the low-light issues, but is the frame rate fast enough to have a decent shot at capturing action?

I'd appreciate any advice on this.  Should I go for one of the above options, or just bide my time and save up for the 5D III?

If you want ISO3200 to look like ISO800 on your Rebel, there is no APS-C option out there. The 7D and 70D are "better" then the XS in ISO performance, but not 2 stops, I'd say 1 stop is pushing it.

I still shoot with my XS, so I've very familiar with what it can do.

To battle low light then you have 2 options: get a full frame camera or get a faster lens. The Sigma 18-35 1.8 will do the latter, so that's an option. So are primes.

As for frame rate, first off try a faster SD card, that might get you a little more speed with the XS. But if you really want frame rate you'll have to go for either the 7D, 70D or 5DIII.

As for going full frame and replacing your 18-55, you don't need to go L, or even IS. There are many cheaper full frame regular zoom options that don't break the bank, especially on the used market. Yes, they won't have the amazing sharpness of L glass, but if you're up at 3200ISO it's not going to make that much difference anyways. There is always the 24-105L which is often sold grey box for really good prices.

Photography Technique / Re: What could I do better?
« on: March 17, 2014, 04:13:51 PM »
Actually, when I bought the lens, I was initially directed to Canon's 50% off sale regarding the 55-25 non STM lens.  Then I found the 70-300 also at 50% off.  So, the 55-250 was $119 and the 70-300 was $259 (plus tax).  I read reviews of both back and forth and the reviews tend to be mixed as to what is better, but in the end I opted for the 70-300 primarily because of FF compatibility. 

Do you have a FF camera? If not, why does FF compatibility matter?

Is it because you MIGHT get FF eventually?

I see this opinion alot. People avoid EF-S lenses because they "might" go full frame one day. As a result, they are paying more for a lens that's heavier and bigger then it needs to be.

Lenses (ESPECIALLY Canon/Nikon lenses) simply don't depreciate in value very much (beyond the new-used transition).

Consider your case, you mention the 55-250 was $120, and the 70-300 was $260. Say you bought the 55-250 instead. Have you checked used prices for the 55-250? It's about $100-120. So, you could sell that lens today, and at worst be back $20-$30.

Yes, selling EF-S lenses when you buy a FF camera (if you ever do) might be a bit of a hassle, and if the future hassle is enough to warrant buying FF lenses so be it.

Personally, I don't see it. I buy the lens that's most appropriate for the body I have today. I don't buy something purely because I MIGHT get gear in the future that isn't compatible.

Note I'm NOT saying to AVOID FF glass. I owned the nifty 50 before I ever needed a full frame lens, mostly due to it's insane cheapest and it's wide aperture. If FF glass serves a need not available in the APS-C space (say a tilt shift lens) then by all mean go for a FF lens.


Photography Technique / Re: What could I do better?
« on: March 17, 2014, 11:22:12 AM »
Looking for constructive feedback.

Camera is a 60D with a 70-300 IS non L @ 300 mm.

1/1000, ISO 400, F8.0.

When I zoom in to 100%, the deer are soft and grainy.

First look: the image is back focused. You can see it in the grass, the front limit of "in focus" appears to just be on the edge of the deer, it's clear to me that the central focus point was slightly behind the deer.

Note that this might NOT have anything to do with your technique, it could be that your lens on that body back focuses slightly. Of course, it's also possible that your camera focused on the shrubs behind the deer. When in a rush these things can happen.

As for the softness otherwise, I don't know that lens too well, so I don't know what it's typical sweet spot is at that focal length. I know with my 55-250IS it sharpens alot going from 5.6-8, and sharpens a little more at 11, so for my lens I try to shoot at 11 whenever I can. In your case I think you could have got away with shooting at 1/500 f11 and might have gotten a slightly sharper shot (ignoring focus issues).

I'd recommend putting your camera on a tripod and shooting something with good contrast at various apertures and focal lengths to find the sweet spot for your particular lens.

The grain/noise you see has to do with the ISO. Frankly, I'm surprised at ISO400 you get that much noise on a 60D? Did you pull the shadows up a bit? In any case, carefully apply some noise reduction in LR to clear it up, I don't think it'll impact the image too much.


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Medium Format
« on: March 17, 2014, 09:07:26 AM »

Shot with a Hasselblad H4D-40.  That is the shot before editing.  The final shot was given some mood, and the bits of orange tape were cloned out:


If your response is that the scene could have just as easily been shot with a Canon 5D3, while true, that misses the point.

What is the point? I don't really see anything in that shot which couldn't have been captured with a full frame or even APS-C sensor? Is the "look" the point?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Medium Format
« on: March 13, 2014, 08:52:51 AM »
Does anyone not think that, perhaps 10 years from now, Canon will be into Medium Format in a big way?  It just seems everybody thinks small cameras will go extinct because of smartphones, so the only thing left to do will be to go bigger.  Is the Leica S2 system so much bigger than 35mm format?

But is the answer "big cameras"? There is a very simple fact with big cameras: they are physically big!!

The question should be: 10 years from now, will the market and consumer interest for Medium Format be any bigger then today? Will it be big enough to warrant Canon's entry?

Without a question, medium format sensors will come down in price. but price isn't everything. Consider the average buyer of say a 5D MKIII today: would they choose a medium format camera if the price were the same?

Perhaps, but enough to sustain the market? Perhaps not.

Here's a question: in the film days, why wasn't there a mad rush to formats bigger then 35mm? In fact I'd say there was a mad rush AWAY from medium format once 35mm came into being.

There is no way around the physical size issues of anything bigger then 35mm. The bodies are bigger, the lenses are longer/heavier/bigger.

It seems the market has choose 35mm as the perfect compromise between quality and size. This has been the case for MUCH longer then digital cameras have been on the scene.

I'll check back in 10 years... :)

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