April 17, 2014, 03:18:00 PM

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Topics - unfocused

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1
EOS Bodies / 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:19:55 PM »
Okay, I know one is discontinued and the other is non-existent, but this is mostly for fun and a bit of learning.

Do the experts here think that the overall image quality of the 7DII will match or at least come close to the APS-H 1D IV? Why or why not?

2
Pricewatch Deals / Act Fast 600RT now in stock at Canon Refurbished
« on: March 24, 2014, 04:29:12 PM »
The 600 RT just came back into stock at the Canon Refurbished Store. 20% off! Canon Price Watch lists about 30 in stock. Better act fast.

3
Third Party Manufacturers / Samsung NX mini – I'm speechless
« on: March 20, 2014, 04:38:55 PM »
Maybe I'm just feeling like a Luddite today, but I am having a very bad reaction to Samsung's latest camera – or more accurately to the way it is being promoted.

I lost count of how many times they used the word "selphie" in the announcement release. You start the self-timer by giving the camera a wink. It doubles as a baby monitor?

Quote
The camera features a solid premium metal body with a luxurious leatherette finish, making the camera the natural choice for style-conscious shooters looking to make a statement.


Is this really where photography is headed?

http://photorumors.com/2014/03/18/samsung-nx-mini-smart-camera-announced/#more-56044

4
EOS Bodies / Canon won't offer a high megapixel body
« on: January 24, 2014, 02:08:11 PM »
Well, that should stir things up a bit.

Here's the setup: Phase One and Hasselblad have announced 50 mp sensors for their large format (I really don't feel that we can refer to these as "medium" format anymore) cameras.

Some may see this as a sign that Canon "must" now offer a high megapixel sensor. I think just the opposite.

We have discussed to the point of nausea the idea that the larger sensor size of "full frame" cameras will always outperform APS-C. So the same principle applies here. There is simply no way that a DSLR sensor can match the performance of these large format sensors.  Scale up a 19 mp APS-C sensor and you get to just under 50 mp., so you are talking about pixel density somewhere between that of the 7D and 70D to match the new 50 mp of these large format cameras.

If Canon cannot compete on quality, they can only compete on price. So, then the question becomes, what percentage of the large format market is price sensitive? I'm guessing that few current users of either Phase One or Hasselblad would be convinced to switch based on pricing. That, in turn, leaves the sales potential only for new users. The point is we are talking about a niche, within a niche, within a niche.

Now, if Canon were to take one of their APS-C sensors and simply scale it up to full frame they might be able to keep their development costs down, but would it be low enough to turn a profit on the body? I don't know. And, you'd have to account for the extra waste that would occur with the larger sensors.

All in all, I'm thinking that a high megapixel body is becoming less and less appealing for manufacturers.

Let the flame wars begin!!!

5
Site Information / Worst Camera of the Year
« on: December 23, 2013, 02:44:49 PM »
For a little fun, wander over the Photo Rumors. He's running a "worst camera of the year" poll.

I voted for that goofy add-on lens that Sony is trying to sell to smart phone customers, but it looks like it is a distance second to Hassellblad's latest disaster. Oh, and the Canon Powershot N is in fourth.

6
EOS Bodies / 5DIV, 7DII and future of upgrades
« on: December 02, 2013, 04:12:22 PM »
Reading some of the excellent commentary here, especial Jon Rista's take on the amount of headroom that remains in ISO improvements (I don't for a second pretend to understand terms like quantum efficiency, so I have to take his word for it)...re-reading some columns by Nikonista Thom Hogan...and seeing that Fuji is announcing another new, free firmware upgrade for the X-Pro-1, got me thinking about the future of DSLR upgrades.

I recall Canon's commitment when it released the original F1 that they would not release a new model for at least a decade. Their purpose was to demonstrate to professional photographers that they were committed to their pro-level SLR and that photographers could purchase the camera knowing it would be fully supported.

For most of the past decade, gear enthusiasts have been spoiled by the remarkable and near continuous improvements in DSLRs. But, those improvements are increasingly coming at the margins. Higher megapixels, increased dynamic range, high and low ISO improvements, while nice, are generally needed only under very specific conditions for very specific purposes.

Any honest assessment would acknowledge that for 90-95% of subjects and conditions, the cheapest entry-level Canon and Nikon will produce results that under real world conditions will be indistinguishable from the flagship models.

Fuji has followed a path with their X-Pro-1 of releasing firmware updates to keep the camera current and boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. (To be fair, Canon did much the same thing when it released it's major firmware upgrade of the 7D – extending the practical life of the camera and effectively giving customers a free "7D.20" version of the original.)

So, having said all that, I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the upgrade cycle for the 5DIII to 5DIV will equal or exceed the cycle between the 7D and 7DII and that we are entering an era in which upgrades will be fewer and further between.

At the same time, I am going to suggest/hope that Canon and Nikon will offer more significant firmware upgrades during the interim. 

This will certainly require some adjustments to their business model, but in a sense they are simply going back to the model that both companies followed successfully for decades. That's one reason why I believe Nikon and Canon are better positioned for long-term success than companies like Sony, which got into the digital camera market during the boom era and do not have the institutional memory or experience to easily adopt to longer development cycles and more modest sales growth.

I see Canon as particularly well-positioned for this change. They have aggressively developed products for new markets, especially the booming cinema market where growth is fed by the seemingly unquenchable thirst of the internet for new video content. Their recent emphasis on security cameras also shows they are prepared to move into another fast growing emerging market. I am less convinced that Nikon is equally well-positioned, but then I don't follow them as closely as I do Canon.

So what's the point?

In part to feed off the idea of "10 years from now" and in part to get people out of the rut of trading insults over dynamic range and other esoteric subjects that do not sell cameras and do not matter to the vast majority of photographers.

What is your prediction? Will we see fewer upgrades in the future? Will we see more substantial firmware upgrades? Given that Canon and Nikon need to continue to sell products, do you think they will become more aggressive at selling lenses, strobes and other peripherals? Will you spend less money on photography in the future, or will you just spend it differently and how?

7
EOS Bodies / Why are DSLRs so Big?
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:07:52 AM »
I've been reading with interest the many comments here about the desirability of a mirrorless system, with small size being one of the desired traits.

Well, recently I took a look at my old Canon F1 (which is on semi-permanent loan to my daughter as a decorating accessory in her apartment). I had forgotten how tiny it is compared to a 7D or a 5DIII. And, that got me wondering why are DSLRs so big?

The F1 used a reflex mirror, so we can't blame the size on the mirror housing alone. It was a "full frame" camera, so it's not the sensor. Perhaps the electronics require more space. But, then again, the F1 had to have two cavities, one for the film cassette and one for the exposed film. That was wasted space that DSLRs don't need. Yes, the DSLR battery is much larger than the little dime-sized battery that powered the F1 for decades. But, a DSLR doesn't require any of the mechanics needed by a film camera for advancing the film.

The new SL1 shows that Canon can pack most of these electronics into a smaller body.

So, I'm just wondering how we ended up with these supersized DSLRs. Is it just a styling convention – people expect a bigger camera for the price? Maybe it makes people feel more like a "pro" if they have a big camera body?

Will we see DSLRs start to shrink in the coming years? I wonder if Nikon's new retro camera will be the same size as their old SLRs.

Just some random thoughts and questions thrown out there for discussion.

8
Lighting / Speedlite Recycle Time and Custom Function 12
« on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:34 PM »
I've been having some issues with my 600 RTs not firing consistently. First shot or two fine, then nothing, then fires, then nothing. Half the frames are black and I'm missing poses.

At first I thought it was a problem with the ST-E3 burning through batteries, but putting fresh batteries in did nothing. I thought maybe something was overheating, but that doesn't seem to be the case either.

Now I'm pretty sure that it isn't the ST-E3, but that it is just waiting for the 600 RTs to recycle. I always use battery packs on the speedlites and before the last shoot I checked all my Enloops and they were at least at 80% capacity. (I recharged any that were below 80%).

Now, I'm checking the manual and I see Custom Function 12 -- which switches the recycling over to the battery packs exclusively.

Wondering, will I have better luck with CF12 or will that make it worse? Do I really need to top off all the batteries before every shoot. (With battery packs we're talking about 60 batteries). Anything I've overlooked? Anyone else ever have this issue?

9
EOS Bodies / To Kit or Not to Kit
« on: October 14, 2013, 04:39:35 PM »
Just curious about other people's experience/thoughts.

Everyone knows that the best deal from traditional retailers like B&H and Adorama is to buy the 24-105 mm "L" kitted with either a 6D or 5DIII.

But, lately, I've noticed that the bargain dealers on eBay often run specials selling the white box lenses and the 6D or 5DIII separately for less than what they offer the body and lens kits for (or at least that's what the math seems to be to me when I compare prices).

I get why retailers would split the kits and sell them separately to make a bit more profit, but I would think they would be just as happy to offer the same discount for the unbroken kit, yet I'm not seeing that. Anyone else getting that impression and any suggestions why that might be?

If you bought a full frame recently, did you buy it as a kit or separately?


10
Third Party Manufacturers / New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« on: September 10, 2013, 02:24:30 PM »
I don't really get that excited about these sorts of things, but I thought it would be an interesting conversation starter, especially since there is ZERO going on with Canon products these days.

New iPhone:
10 frames per second; in-camera stabilization, white and amber flashes that can be balanced with ambient light, f2.2 lens, larger sensor, slow-motion video. (If I got the specs right)

Announcement was accompanied by a slide showing a DSLR and a boatload of equipment, apparently implying that instead of all that, you can use your iPhone and get the same shots.

Is this the final nail in the coffin for Powershots and other Point and Shoots? Should Canon and Nikon worry about their DSLR sales? Try to think outside your own personal prejudices and look at it objectively. What do you think?

11
EOS Bodies / Canon Leads in Sensor Tech
« on: September 03, 2013, 05:24:36 PM »
After following the 30 pages (currently) of obscure debate over DXO ratings, I have to say this:

I am getting a little sick of the conventional wisdom that somehow Canon is "behind" in sensor technology. The more accurate statement is that Canon has placed a different emphasis in its sensor development than some of its competitors. And, it would also be correct that Canon has placed a different emphasis on its sensor development than a vocal group of participants in this forum would like.

Specifically, Canon has decided to push sensor technology that improves live view and video autofocus and has done so without compromising still image quality. Canon's competitors appear to be emphasizing marginal improvements in sensor performance for stills.

One can say Canon is "behind" only if one totally discounts the significant technological advancement that its dual-pixel sensor represents.

All technology development comes at a price and any company – Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, etc. – must do a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the benefit outweighs the cost. All companies have limited resources and must choose where to place those resources.

I strongly suspect that Canon's management looked at the relative costs of various sensor improvements and determined that if they could develop reliable on-sensor autofocus, the potential return on investment would be greater than simply making marginal improvements in sensor performance for stills.

It doesn't take a genius to see they are probably right. As a stills photographer, it pains me to say this, but I know that the greatest growth potential for DSLRs is in video, not stills. With the 70D Canon elected to produce a potentially game-changing technology for live view autofocus and apparently did so while marginally improving stills sensor performance. No small feat.

This is analogous to the 5DIII vs. D800. In the 5DIII Canon focused on features and performance that were targeted to a specific market – wedding and event photographers. Nikon focused on sensor improvements without much consideration to any target market (except for pent-up demand from existing Nikon users).

From what can be gleaned from available resources, it looks like Canon made the better choice.

I would not be surprised if, after the 70D has been available for awhile, we see Canon's sales once again outperforming Nikon's. (Actually, the 70D is currently outperforming the D7100, but it's a little unfair to compare a newly-released body to one that has been out for quite some time, as the same pent-up demand that drove D800 sales is likely driving 70D sales right now).

My point is: declaring one company ahead or behind on sensor technology without considering all aspects of the various offerings is a selective, skewed assessment.

As an interested observer, I think it is evident that Canon has placed its emphasis on developments that will expand sales, rather than on bragging rights for tech forum readers.

12
Lighting / Softbox Bracket Advice
« on: August 05, 2013, 12:59:49 PM »
Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I am so sick of trying to keep a softbox from swaying back and forth and up and down on a lightstand.

I use a Manfrotto Umbrella Swivel Adapter, which is very solid, but the problem seems to come in with the softbox bracket and strobe holder just not being very secure.

What do others use?

13
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / ST-E3 Overheating?
« on: August 05, 2013, 12:34:09 PM »
I know there have been some related threads on this in the past, but the answers seem inconclusive.

I was shooting a series of portraits on Saturday using the ST-E3 RT and 3-4 600 EX-RTs. Near the end of the first session, I started having problems with the strobes not firing. I'd shoot once, strobes would fire. Shoot again, nothing. It was all of them. So, I thought maybe the ST-E3 batteries were dying. Replaced them. Didn't make any difference.

Fortunately, we were near the end of that series, so went outside to shoot the subjects in some natural light. Came back after 20-30 minutes, turned on the ST-E3 and the 600 EXs and everything back to normal. For the rest of the day, I would shoot for 1/2 hr to 45 minutes inside, then go out and shoot natural light and come back in. No problems for the rest of the day.

Is it possible for the ST-E3 to overheat?

Since none of the 600s were firing, I doubt if they were the problem. I use battery packs with the 600s as well and all batteries were at full charge at the start of the day.

I used to have this problem all the time with the optical trigger (ST-E2, on-camera flash controller and the Yongnuo ST-E2 clone) I didn't think it would be a problem with the ST-E3 since it's a radio transmitter and not optical but, maybe it does because of pre-flashes? Anybody have a similar experience or an idea?

14
Pricewatch Deals / 1D-X Refurbished
« on: July 07, 2013, 11:31:41 AM »
If you have $5,400 burning a hole in your pocket, the Canon Refurbished store has the 1D-X available. 

15
EOS Bodies / Canon wants to make everyone a filmmaker
« on: July 02, 2013, 11:12:19 AM »
I believe that when Canon first introduced video in the 5DII they were just throwing in a nice little extra feature that didn't cost them anything. I also believe they had no idea how revolutionary it would be and what a demand it would create.

It was a classic case of "disruptive technology" and to their credit Canon quickly saw the potential and has been on a drive to capitalize on that potential more than any other manufacturer.

With the 70D they've taken another giant leap forward in video capabilities for the non-professional and aspiring videographer market. In fact, the 70D seems to offer as many or more upgrades for video use as it does for stills.

Of course it is a smart move. The professional stills market is shrinking. About the only market left is weddings and even that requires videos as well as stills.

In contrast, the internet video market is the fastest growing media market today and it is becoming more professional all the time. Children born today will grow up expecting to be able to watch an endless supply of content on their personal tablets and Canon wants to be making the cameras that most of the content is filmed on.

How do you feel about this? React.

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