September 17, 2014, 04:08:02 PM

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Topics - JasonATL

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It appears that Lensrentals.com is transitioning their used gear for sale to Lensauthority.com. I asked Lensrentals.com about this and received an e-mail saying that they were transferring their used gear slowly to lensauthority.com.

This disappoints me, as I have bought a few used items from Lensrentals.com and been very pleased with their service and the quality of the used gear. I've also been a pleased customer of their rental business.

I know nothing about Lensauthority.com and their site has very little info about them as a company. My hope is that it is owned by Lensrentals and that they've started a new site to handle sales. This would lead me to expect the same good service and quality control. Does anyone know anything about Lensauthority? Who they are? Where they are located? What their reputation is?

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Third Party Manufacturers / Sandisk QC lacking?
« on: September 12, 2012, 06:41:02 PM »
I have always relied on Sandisk SD cards. Other brands have let me down in not living up to the rated speeds. I have about a dozen Sandisk SD and CF cards.

However, my last two Sandisk SD cards (one an Extreme 32GB and the other an Extreme Pro 32GB) have both been DOA. Neither the camera nor the computer could format the cards. In the Extreme card case, the camera could see it, but reported an error. In the Extreme Pro case, the camera wouldn't even turn on. Had to pull the battery to get the camera back, indicating that the card itself had a short in it.

Had I just been lucky before, or is Sandisk quality slipping?

Regardless, any tips for a different reliable brand?

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EOS Bodies - For Video / Audio on 5D Mark III - noisy in-camera pre-amp?
« on: August 20, 2012, 10:20:55 AM »
It seems that the 5D3's pre-amp can be quite noisy, at least when combined with my Beachtek DSA-XLR pre-amp. So, I sat down to try to see how to get the best results.

Here's a video I made of my tests. https://vimeo.com/47819373

The solution seems to be to set the 5D3's pre-amp as low as possible using the manual audio (microphone) controls. At zero, the audio is off. So, I set it to +1 click above off. To get a signal, though, I had to use the headphone out on my Beachtek, rather than the line out. The apparent (I don't know how to test this technically) signal-to-noise ratio defintely seems good, or at least better, in this configuration.

To get the same signal using the line out (rather than headphone out) on the Beachtek, I had to have the 5D3 set to about +1 or +2 clicks above center (50%). As you see (or hear) in the video, the pre-amp noise is really high at that setting.

Oddly, the pre-amp noise gets WORSE as you lower the manual control from +2 to +1 clicks above center.

My takeaway is to use as low a 5D3 audio setting as possible. However, I wonder if the unconventional headphone out from the Beachtek could cause problems that I haven't thought of or that don't show up (or sound off) in this test.

Any thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions for a better configuration?

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Third Party Manufacturers / Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 14, 2012, 07:57:35 AM »
I don't think I've ever paid the "normal" retail price for Canon glass, as it seems like they run rebates or sales a few times per year - and I rarely need to purchase a lens under a deadline.

I'm looking to buy a new Zeiss lens, but haven't seen them go "on sale" (e.g., rebates, etc.), but haven't been watching prices too long. Has anyone ever seen Zeiss glass go on sale?

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A colleague lent me his new Nikon D800, so I shot video of my resolution chart with it to compare to my (okay, my wife's) 5D Mark III.

https://vimeo.com/46242792

My take is that there are some aspects of the D800 video PQ that make it appear sharper, but on closer inspection, its true resolution looks to be perhaps 50 lines or so more than the 5D Mark III? The aliasing issues are clear, even (especially?) on the resolution chart. As with the 5D Mark III, the D800 is a nice cam.

Oddly, the HDMI output appeared to switch to 720p when I hit record. Perhaps I didn't have a setting right, as I thought it was supposed to have "clean" (full resolution) output via HDMI.

Attached is a frame grab of the 200% zoom with light sharpening.

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It is well known that video from the 5D3 benefits from sharpening. However, I was noticing some rather unattractive artifacts when sharpening shots with red in them. The red would pixelate or "ring" at the borders with other colors.

The solution I've found (that others might already know about) is to use a chroma blur filter prior to sharpening.

The frame grabs below show what is going on. You can check out my short video about this, if you're interested. Any comments or other tips to deal with this are appreciated.

https://vimeo.com/42314148

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