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Topics - celltech

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EOS-M / EOS-M Field Performance
« on: July 31, 2013, 12:22:53 AM »
Just finishing up a vacation to Big Bend National Park using my EOS-M with 22mm f/2.  In short the camera functioned very well and I am pleased with the results.  My former "light" trip camera was a S95.

As for carrying the camera I am using an Osprey Raptor 70oz hydraulic backpack.  They are light day packs perfect for up to 12 mile hikes.  The EOS-M is in a Dashpoint 20 (minus the lens cap) wrapped around the backpack shoulder strap.  It slides down to the bottom perfectly and is never in the way.

So gripes...when pulling the camera out of the Dashpoint it is very easy to hit the picture play button and turn on the camera when you did not mean to.  In fact, you may end up hitting a lot of buttons that you really did not want to hit.  I wish there was a setting you could use to have the camera only respond to the power button.

I both love and hate the touch to focus/snap setting.  It is great to use a person in the far corners as the focus point, but you end up with a lot of palm shots as your hand brushes the screen.  I guess just delete and go on.

But for likes....the pics are beautiful.  Much more resolution and pic quality compared to the S95.  I am only shooting jpg's with +6 sharpening and +3 saturation.  The 22mm is a great lens and I don't see the need for anything else.

In short the touch lens can lead to settings getting screwed up, but it has its moments of greatness as well.  Highly recommended.

And as for Big Bend...AMAZING park.  Very few people here, beautiful landscapes and animals.  Best kept park secret in TX.  Visit it!!!!!

Lenses / 70-200 f/2.8 L only zooms to 185mm
« on: July 07, 2013, 04:20:06 PM »
Recently got a non-IS 70-200 f/2.8 L for shooting volleyball.  I noticed that zooming to the long end that the indicator line only got to the left side of the "200" marking.  At the time I didn't think anything of it, and I never went to 200mm for the games I shot.

Today I was shooting bicycle racing and while putting the pictures through LR I notice the maximum zoom for everything is only 185mm.  Has anyone ever seen anything like this?  I am assuming I will have to send it in for repair, but wondering what in the lens would block it like that...  It seems to spin fine up until that point.

Ohhh...I hope they replace it with an IS 2...

Software & Accessories / LR5 + Hyper Threading Slows Down Exporting
« on: June 15, 2013, 04:15:09 PM »
Just upgraded to LR5 and have been reading abut the supposed speed increases and what not.  It got me thinking about my own machines performance and how to make it faster.  Back when I had LR3 and a Core 2 Q6600 processor (no HT) I remember an export action would make the CPU jump between 50-100%.  I then upgraded to a Sandy Bridge 2500K (no HT either) and the same CPU usage was observed, although I did time the difference and the 2500K was *much* faster.
I have since moved to an Ivy Bridge 3770K (with HT) and noticed the CPU would run at 40-70% and didn't think much of it.  I never did a comparison between it and the 2500K.  But I was just playing with what I have and notice that with HT off an export can be much faster.
My test involved exporting 205 DNG files created from a 5D3 CR2 import.  I tried doing a single export of all 205 at once and splitting the batch into 2 export actions run together.  I used ThrottleStop to monitor the CPU wattage and core usage.  My results:
No HT:
All 205 at once:          7:34     50-100% Usage     40-55 Watts
Split into 2 exports:     6:45     90-100% Usage     46-57 Watts
HT Enabled:
All 205 at once:          9:00     40-70% Usage     40-55 Watts
Split into 2 exports:     6:40     75-100% Usage     56-61 Watts
Anyone else noticed this type of behavior?   It's easy enough to split a large export...but still, It should not be that much different.  My system specs:
Win 8 Pro x64
i7 3770K Overclocked to 4.5Ghz
16Gb Ram
Samsung 830 256Gb SSD

Technical Support / 5D3 Focus Screen Cleaning Lesson
« on: April 29, 2013, 07:45:05 PM »
Was feeling spunky the other night and decided to clean the dust from my mirror.  Was using a cotton swab and 90% isopropyl alcohol (1st mistake).  Thought what the hell, I would clean the focus screen as well (2nd mistake).

For reasons I still don't understand the focus screen ended up with "milky" stains in 2 areas.  It kinda reminded me of hard water deposits on shower glass.  I am not sure if the tiny water component in the alcohol stained it or if the swab damaged the etching on the screen.  Whichever it was, it was not coming off.

Of course the screen is not supposed to be user replaceable (and just why not Canon??? the 5D2 was...) and finding a OEM replacement was proving hard.  Then I found a service manual, got the part number and found they are only $11.  Part number is CY3-1655-000 FYI...

It's not that hard to actually replace.  Be sure you have the right sized screwdriver as the screw heads are soft and seem to be harder to find than the screen.  When you are putting the retaining spring back **do not touch the screen with anything**...that plastic is as soft as putty.

So now I have a rocket blower, PecPads and 99% alcohol to clean the mirror.  But I am never going near that screen again...

EOS Bodies / 5D3 Volleyball Weekend and General Thoughts
« on: January 13, 2013, 10:27:51 PM »
So where do I start...I have been a longtime photographic amateur and owner of many Canon bodies/lenses.  I have progressed up through 350, 450, 550 APS-C bodies until I finally got a 5D2.  The 5D2 was working fine for indoor kid things like dance, choir and plays.  It even covered soccer good enough.  And then the girl starts playing volleyball.  At that point the AF was done and beyond it's ability.  While I was able to get some good shots I ended up throwing so many away that I started to get mad.

Gym lit soccer is just *terrible*.  The lighting is trash and you really have to pull out the big gun lenses to stop the motion.  I never could see getting a 70-200 f/2.8 and instead went for some primes.  I switch between a 85 f/1.8 and the 135 f/2.0 and work around the court as I can.

After getting fed up with the 5D2 AF I waited until Christmas brought out sales for the 5D3.  I was thinking about the 6D and its "super sensitive" center point but kept thinking that every body I went through was an upgrade, but a minor one at that.  The 5D3 hit a low enough price point and I jumped on it.

I could not be happier.  I had been reading about the AF and all its settings but was not prepared for everything in the menu.  For a novice it's quite complicated...or can be.  I spent a few days getting everything set in C1-3 for a few different setups that I thought might work.  In the end I have gone with case 4, tracking turned down a notch.  I have played with the expanded 4 AF points and pure all points.  They both work well for 12 years olds.  The only time I have OOF shots is because I was not aiming at the right thing.  It's amazing to watch it track a player and just not let go.

But what has really turned me is the low light and metering ability.  I was able to shoot my 70-200 f/4 , 1/640 and let the ISO do as it pleases.  I ended up with shots at 12,800 that look great.  If you have just enough light you can really quit using the heavy 2.8 zooms.  The build quality is also much better and the CF door no longer feels like a toy.  The silent mode is also amazing.  When I go into a church or play I no longer have to feel bad for the family in front of me.  It really is a game changer.  And I sold my 5D2 in just 2 days!

So I had 1 problem.  Out of 2 days I took ~1200 pictures.  Just 1 of them resulted in the mirror seeming to get hung.  The CF light just kept flashing and I saw "err" in the viewfinder.  I either didn't notice or see the error number at the time...I have never seen an error in my cameras before.

These are just the ramblings of a photo idiot.  I don't make a living with a camera, but I feel good for you guys that are shooting a feels special to me.

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