October 24, 2014, 04:39:27 PM

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Messages - dcm

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Software & Accessories / Adobe or Apple photo software?
« on: Today at 04:19:26 PM »
Reached a crossroads with my new iPad Air2 - its faster and higher resolution than my iPad 3 (non retina) so I might actually be able to do some photo editing on it.  Time to revisit my photo software choice - Apple's Photos on iPad/Mac or Adobe's Lightroom on iPad/Mac.   They seem to be heading the same direction.

In the past I mostly used my iPad 3 to preview/backup photos and post a few shots to social media while travelling.  I saved any serious editing for home on my maxed out Mac Mini with 24" monitors and Aperture / DxO OP9. 

The Air2 seems to have enough speed and resolution to do some editing so I'm looking for some feedback about Lightroom on the iPad.  I was never impressed with Photos on iPad so I haven't used it much for editing.  I may have to play around with it a bit more on the Air2.   Since I have no Lightroom experience on iPad or Mac, I wonder if anyone that has used it on an iPad could comment.  What would you use to catalog and edit photos on your iPad - Photos or Lightroom?

I am still waiting to see what the new OS X Photos app offers when it replaces Aperture next year so the picture is incomplete for now, but I'll assume it is closer to Aperture than iPhoto for my purposes.  I would still use DxO on the Mac for any serious work. 

I may let my iPad software decision drive the Mac decision.  Maybe someday DxO will have something on a tablet ;-)  I'm well aware of the pricing model issues.  Let's ignore that for now.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ST-E3 and Canon A-1
« on: Today at 03:19:16 PM »
Still have my A-1 / 199A combo - they worked well together.  Many years of useful service and still functioning.

EOS-M / Re: Recommendations for lens to supplement EF-M 22mm?
« on: October 19, 2014, 09:57:56 PM »
Filmed the grandkid with both the EF-M 22 and EF-M 18-55 in the last year.  The 18-55 with IS wins hands down when going handheld for movies.  I'd only shoot the 22 with a fluid head on my tripod - my wife get nauseus easily.   I do have a fluid head for my FF rig but that defeats the purpose of using the M for me.   

Did some quick experiments in my office panning the walls and moving from near to far objects and back with a few lenses.  Nothing definitive, just a quick look to see how they did through the viewfinder. 

The EF-M 18-55 was the best.  The IS on the EF-M 11-22 and EF-M 55-200 smoothed the motion.  AF on the 11-22 was quick and accurate, but seems to hunt more on the 55-200 as you might expect.  The AF on the 22 was good, but the motion was a bit jerky with no IS.

I also have an old FD 35-105 converted to EF mount.  It works well if you can handle manual focus since it has 180 degree throw.  At 35mm and f/3.5 it has lots of DOF so pre-focus is possible.  No IS so a tripod would be good.  My quick test was ok at 35, pretty jumpy at 105.  This is probably representative of any old MF lens mounted with an adapter since they don't have IS.

Did a similar test with my EF 24-105L which I have used on my 6D.  Autofocus is pretty jumpy and noisy - the internal mic picks it up in my past experience so I use an external mic.  However, the IS makes all the difference, smooth movement, no jerkiness so I just turned off the AF and manual focused in these tests.   It doesn't have quite the focus throw of the FD lens so it might be harder to nail focus.  The new 24-105 IS STM would be something to consider for video.

Also tried the EF 40.  Autofocus was a bit quieter and smoother than the 24-105, but it seemed to hunt more in my simple test panning around the room and was a bit jumpy to watch.  The lack of IS might also affect AF.  I also tried my EF 35L and found it did better than the 40.  AF noise was low and it didn't seem to hunt near as much.  Seemed less jumpy, but that may be inertia from the extra mass ;-).

The EF 17-40L with no IS was ok at 17, but lots of hunting at 40.  I wouldn't use it for video on my FF either.  I may someday consider the new wide angle zooms like the 16-35 f/4L IS if I do more FF video, but the M seems to be my primary video camera for now.

So I'd suggest a lens with IS if you plan to handhold at all.  If you want to use autofocus then I'd stick with EF-M or EF STM lenses for the silence, even with an external mic.  The EF-M 18-55 sure seems like the best bet in your price range at this time.  The other option would be an adapter with a good manual focus lens to get some experience with manual focus and no IS on a tripod.

Single hard drive and max 8GB memory is not my dream. Nice display, but all in ones still feel to me like immobile laptops.

That's the minimum config.  You can upgrade to 32Gb memory and a 1Tb SSD drive.  Also has two thunderbolt ports and 4 USB 3 ports.  You would typically add a thunderbolt RAID for your photo storage, leaving the internal for the OS and applications. 

This would be similar to what you would do with  a maxed out MacPro that contains 12 cores, 64Gb, a 1Tb internal drive, 6 thunderbolt ports and 4 USB 3 ports that can handle 3 4K displays or 6 thunderbolt displays.

Photography Technique / Re: Shooting in a Dark Skating Arena Advice
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:49:12 PM »
BTW: Some of the best shots are impromptu before, like applying makeup or queuing up to go on the ice, and afterwards where the kids milled around on the ice with their friends after the lights came back up.  My kids have as many of those shots in their albums as the money shots when they were performing.  For them it was about the whole experience with their friends, not just the performance itself where they were often skating solo or in a different group than their friends.

Photography Technique / Re: Shooting in a Dark Skating Arena Advice
« on: October 15, 2014, 02:04:52 PM »
I did this when my kids skated in annual ice shows for several years - on film, manual focus.  Fast lens and shutters are key.  With digital I would use manual, spot metering and let the camera adjust the ISO.  You will need a camera with good focus tracking.  The occasional blur in a spin or jump can be interesting so a slow shutter can also be fun.  Much of the shooting will focus on individual skaters in spotlights.  However, there are occasions/sets with general scene lighting that a fast wide angle is needed. 

My advice, go to some of the last practice sessions and the dress rehearsal.  The practice sessions will help you with the flows on the ice and the key locations you may want to shoot - pay attention to the choreography.  Lighting and costumes may be missing at these but its a good chance to practice tracking your targets under good light and see the backgrounds.  Shooting from center ice may not be ideal, just outside the neutral zone / blue lines is usually better.    The dress rehearsal is a good way to shoot everyone in costume with the planned lighting.  Its the time to dial in your settings and get some more practice.  I often got some keepers from both.

Our club did 3-4 shows each year (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) and I tended to shoot more than one event.  This helps if you want to shoot some wide angle to mix with the telephoto and is easier than handling two bodies in the dark.  There are also times when 2 or more groups are on the ice at a time which makes it hard to get both.  Shoot from different locations if you attend multiple events.   It also helps because you never know which times they will skate clean versus fall.  If you only have one show, then the dress rehearsal is your backup so treat it the same. 

Other parents usually aren't as critical.  It will be better than anything they get from the stands with a P&S.  And they will more likely be using a video camera or buy a video if the club has one made.

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Owners Post Your Pictures
« on: October 14, 2014, 01:38:21 AM »
Really beginning to enjoy my M on the trail with the 11-22 and CPL.  A few shots from a recent hike in Rocky Mountain National Park to Andrews Tarn and Andrews Glacier at 11,400 feet to complete my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - might as well get the ice water at the source.  I really appreciate the size and weight of the M on hikes like this - 4 miles one way with 2200 feet of elevation gain.  I'll settle for the M with the 11-22 and 55-200 over the 6D with 17-40 and 70-200+1.4x any day for this type of hike. 

I've included 11mm and 22mm photos in most cases. DxO OP9 with NR, vignetting, and lens softness turned on.

The Loch - about halfway there.  Andrews Glacier is visible on a ridge near the center of the photo.

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

At treeline - pretty much a rock scramble ahead up and over the ridge.  The tarn and glacier are above the ridge and not visible.

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

Half way up - the tarn and glacier are still above the ridge and can't be seen.

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

The tarn and glacier.  You can spot a person descending the glacier about mid way down towards the left.

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

The view back down.  The Loch is visible just left of center in these photos

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

by dvmtthws, on Flickr

Trying to stay on the oldest OS can be a losing proposition from my perspective (35 years industry experience in HW and SW R&D).  You will continue having to upgrade as MS and application providers like Canon cease to support the oldest versions of Windows.  With Windows 10 on the horizon, MS will likely drop support for Windows Vista when it releases - I believe their policy is support for only the last 2 versions (7 & 8).  Canon will follow suit and you will need to upgrade again if you want any updates.  You may also find performance suffers if your hardware is old, the file sizes increase with larger sensors, and new features are added to DPP.  I'd also be concerned about reliability problems looming with old hardware.  Upgrading the OS can exacerbate problems.

Best bet is to leap forward with new hardware and software that will give you several years of service as your original investment did, rather than keep delaying and moving forward incrementally.  You can start with your new photo software and incrementally move other things from your old configuration as time and resources permit.  I assume you already have your images on a separate hard drive (internal or external) so the move should be easy.  If not, that's the first step I'd take and make sure I have a complete backup (or two) - transitions like this are a good time to make an archive.  Then pick the software you want to use in the future and build a new system around that.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Let's Get it On
« on: October 11, 2014, 03:55:31 PM »
Rocky Mountain National Park during the elk rut in late September under dark, overcast skies. 
6D/Tamron 150-600

Canon General / Re: More Canon Lens Mentions [CR2]
« on: October 10, 2014, 12:47:33 PM »
Maybe if they painted it white...  ;)

But seriously, if image quality rivals the recent great whites like the 200-400, it might be worth it. I imagine the design/engineering challenges for fast/wide are somewhat analogous to fast/long.  I haven't seen a lot of FF primes faster than f/2.8 at/below 14mm so an f/4 zoom is not unexpected.       

Still, a bit out of my price range though.

Landscape / Re: Moon photos
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:21:18 PM »
A practice shot taken a few hours before the clouds moved in and obscured the eclipse.  Single shot with the EOS M and Tamron 150-600 at 600mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO 100.

Lenses / Re: Is FoCal worth ~$150?
« on: October 08, 2014, 03:24:50 AM »
If you have to ask, then you likely would benefit from it.  If you were already sure your lenses were their sharpest with your body by some method you were using, you probably wouldn't be asking.   If you get some OOF shots and wonder whether its the camera, lens, or AFMA then it might be worth checking out.

FoCal is most beneficial for fast and/or long lenses where you have a narrow DOF.  As an engineer I appreciate the statistical approach and quantitative experimental method that you can dial up or down depending on the certainty you want in the results to trade off shutter count.  I could do it all myself qualitatively or use other tools, but I value my time and use FoCal so I can focus on other things. 

I have a pair of 6Ds with zoom lenses ranging from 8mm to 600mm, some fast primes, and both tele extenders.  It is fully automated with the 6D and lets you set two values (wide/tele) for your zooms and separate values with extenders.  The addition of the second body made me appreciate it even more since there were differences in the AFMA between the bodies.  FoCal can help you ensure you are getting the most from your expensive glass and give you some additional insights, like the sharpest f stops for each lens, performance of autofocus points, etc.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Camera for toddlers
« on: October 05, 2014, 02:26:03 AM »
I'd give a kid any old point and shoot you have laying around - no cost.  They can figure it out pretty quick.  You can always upgrade them later.

My 2.5 year old granddaughter uses her mom's old Canon Powershot S400.  My daughter collects the best shots for albums.  Different perspective - looking up at everything and everyone.   I've got an old G6 waiting for her.

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Accessory question
« on: October 02, 2014, 09:32:29 PM »
This is a more expensive option, but I already had the RRS BEOSM plate.  They discontinued the L component before I could order it, but I recently found the BG1X-L L component for the BG1X plate would mate to the BEOSM plate and not interfere with the M ports or strap mount.  See photos below.

One unexpected benefit - the L bracket makes it easier to hold the camera in my left hand while operating controls and touch screen with my right.  I am right handed and use the touch screen a fair amount so I found the lack of grip on the left problematic.  A grip on the right really doesn't work as well for me with touch screen cameras.  Now if only I could find an ARCA comfort grip/strap that would slide on the L bracket I think this might be an ideal solution. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:15:01 PM »
It's the glass.  Bodies come and go.  I see no reason to change, my gear is seldom a limiting factor.

I started 35 years ago with A1 and FD glass for me.  Later, film Elphs for wife and kids.  Then into digital with S and G series before jumping into DSLR.  I've had good experiences with Canon gear and captured lots of lasting memories.  The A1 is still around - my daughters used it just a few years ago for photography classes in the university art program (film only, no digital).

Cannot say my forays into other brands were as good, although I have never tried Nikon gear.  I know those that like Nikon gear as much as I like Canon gear.   

I did attend Nikon School back in my film days, they were pretty gear agnostic in class.  It was all about technique.

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