March 03, 2015, 11:55:56 AM

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Messages - wsheldon

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1
Business of Photography/Videography / Re: SmugMug or Zenfolio?
« on: February 26, 2015, 04:48:14 PM »
Was with Smug for 4 years, switched to Zen because Smug doesn't allow self-fulfilled orders.

Sorry, but I can get canvases and metal MUCH cheaper than the labs they offer, so I want to fulfill those items myself and there is no way to do that on Smug, last I checked,

I hadn't thought about that before, but I believe you're right. You can turn off selling in a gallery all together, and insert yourself in the middle by holding proofs for final editing after ordering and having print packages sent to you for personal delivery, but you can't use their shopping cart for a sale without using one of their print vendors. I'm happy with their labs and prices so far, but that's an interesting point in favor of Zen.

Another issue with selling on SmugMug is that you need to pay twice as much to upgrade from a Portfolio account to a Business account just to add features like multiple price lists and coupons, which are trivial for them to implement but essential for event sales. I can live without assistant access logins, event planning tools and boutique packaging, but I do need different price lists and the occasional event coupon so I feel they're taking advantage of me a bit.

One last minor annoyance is their immaturity when it comes to communication ("Kacching - who loves ya', baby" when you make a sale - give me a break).

But that said, I do like their site layout tools and general operation, so I've stuck with them for the past few years and will likely continue.

2
Canon General / Re: Decline in DSLR sales explained
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:51:40 PM »

1. Make a compelling upgrade to a smartphone (e.g. EOS M style, with interchangeable lenses)
2. Link photo to camera (once via Bluetooth), link Canon app to social networks/email/SMS
3. Provide interface to edit and send photos via touchscreen on the back of the camera (no phone interaction needed).

I totally agree.  Users are now demanding modern touch screen user interfaces similar to what they experience with an Android device an iPhone or iPad. 

Even this year's Volkswagen Jettas DVD player/Radio/GPs units run Android.

Canon should replace their proprierary rinky dingy Digic processors with the fastest mobile phone processor they can find, run Android on the camera, and fully embrace people or groups developing apps for the devices.  With faster processors comes the ability to perform more advanced noise reduction algorithms, and also the ability to compress to H.265 video, which allows the capture of very high quality 10 bit color 4k video at high isos and at high frame rates for slow motion, and at reasonable file sizes, without the blockiness and ugly moire that's plaguing Canon's DSLRs usinh H.264 compression.

The DSLRS should be able to connect to  my mobile phone via Bluetooth thus gaining access to the internet wherever I happen to be.

This is not rocket science, the technology has been there for a while, so please Canon smell the coffee and wake up before it's too late.

I agree that simplifying connectivity and access to social media is the key, but why push all the tech onto an already-complex (and harder to update) camera body?!? Anyone who wants to tweak their images and post them right to social media is already accustomed to doing that with their phone, and phone/tablet apps, and will almost certainly have their phone with them when they're out shooting.

What I'd like to see is dead-simple pairing of your phone to your camera, as mackguyver listed as #2, then killer apps that RUN ON THE PHONE for viewing, tweaking, tagging and uploading. As things stand now you practically need an advanced degree to use the 6D/70D WiFi, and good luck if you need to use if for more than one scenario (e.g. EOS Remote and then switch back to phone). My 6D WiFi manual lives in my camera bag. An industry standard quick-connection protocol over Wifi/Bluetooth/NFC for pairing cameras to phones  (like wireless zero config for computers) is sorely needed.

As for software, EOS Remote is way too simplistic and lacks social media hooks. Shuttersnitch is much closer, but that's too oriented towards professional workflows and real-time shoot previews for clients.
We badly need software for viewing, rating, tweaking and uploading photos that you just took with your camera (that's sitting in your bag with Wifi/Bluetooth on).

Address those 2 issues and then we can turn the conversation back to image quality over simplicity.

3
Lenses / Re: buying advice: get a 135mm f2, or use existing 70-200mm f2.8?
« on: February 02, 2015, 12:11:08 PM »
Thanks for these real-world perspectives. We can argue about test charts and aperture vs IS trade offs all day, but in the end the real impact of images, as perceived by clients, matters most. I shoot theater and events with both a 135L and 70-200 f4/is (not as fair a comparison as the 2.8, but still a darn good lens and IS system), and I can instantly tell the 135L images based on color and "pop", and that goes beyond DOF because the same is true at f4. I just love the look of the images I produce with that lens.

Great combo, by the way (135L + 70-200 f4/is). About equivalent to the 70-200 f2.8 price-wise, and gives you convenience of zoom when you need it and good portability.

4
Photography Technique / Re: Natural Light: Corporate Headshots
« on: January 14, 2015, 03:41:00 PM »
Excellent work and case study. Thanks for sharing.

5
Canon General / Re: What's a good studio lens for a small studio?
« on: January 13, 2015, 04:51:20 PM »
ähm, what's wrong with your 24-105 L ??

Exactly. That lens is typically very sharp at f5.6, particularly in the 35-85 range. Mine certainly is. It's my go-to lens for indoor portraits under controlled lighting.

6
Lenses / Re: What the better value?
« on: January 12, 2015, 06:01:36 PM »
You can't really go wrong either way. I personally went the 70-200 f4is + 100macro route, which are awesome for general and nature photography and easier to travel with, but if portraits or events are your thing you can't beat the versatility of the 2.8 zoom. Neither 70-200 can touch the macro near their minimum focus distance, particularly the f4 (MFD sharpness is it's only real shortcoming in my experience), so if you like any kind of close-ups or macro that would argue for the f4 + macro option. Real world IQ would be very close for all 3 lenses, and each is awesome within its range.

Good luck!

7
Lenses / Re: Purple fringing of 85 1.2ii
« on: January 12, 2015, 09:56:56 AM »
Agreed, and ditto for the 85 1.8 (and 135 f2) wide open. Metal on instruments in concerts and eye catchlights are other bugbears for PF/LOCA I deal with regularly, but Lightroom is extremely effective at removing those artifacts when they're bothersome. I don't hesitate to shoot wide open when the shot calls for it.

8
EOS Bodies / Re: NEW CAMERA - EOS 80D?
« on: January 09, 2015, 03:21:27 PM »
That's a Rebel based on the switches and physical size. NFC is a very "consumer friendly" feature, which also indicates Rebel. Just look at the WiFi feature of both my cameras - 6D and 70D. They don't transfer full size image over WiFi, just resized JPEGs, which is very consumerish. I use it occasionally for a quick publish to the web, but I prefer to tweak the RAW files first. NFC is made for consumers, not professionals or enthusiasts like myself.

Sorry, but I strongly disagree that WiFi is "consumerish", plus you are confusing the WiFi capabilities of the camera with those of the *very* limited EOS App. You certainly can transmit raw files and full-quality JPEGs over Wifi using the EOS Utility from a laptop (via the Canon WFT utility), or using 3rd party iOS/Android apps like ShutterSnitch.

In my experience, WiFi in DSLRs is being quickly embraced by portrait, event and wedding shooters, as well as people setting up commercial photo booths. I'd have a hard time moving from the 6D to another camera without that feature. Shooting raw+JPEG on camera and having the JPEGs stream to an iPad in real time during a portrait shoot to show to the subject is a real game changer, IMO.

There's less you can currently do with NFC, but I'm sure serious photographers will find a use for that tech in time as well. I'm not arguing that every possible piece of tech needs to be shoe-horned into every DSLR, but Canon would be foolish to ignore the growing expectations of amateurs and pros alike when it comes to device-to-device communication.

9
Technical Support / Re: Replacing Canon Flash AF assist cover
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:16:07 AM »
Hi Brian.
Not sure as the picture is not great detail, but it looks to me like it might just clip, (snap fit) in once the remains of the old are completely removed. Worth asking the supplier how it fits? Just buy it and look, worst case it costs
It looks to me like that is the basic fee for a service engineer to just pick the flash up (from reading other posts here).
At the worst the flash might need to have some screws removed and bits disconnected, and some bits unclipped.
How difficult it is would seem to me to be subjective, to me I'd just get in to it, I've been in cameras, lenses, laptops, engines, gearboxes and rear axles, to me they are all just nuts and bolts jobs that start from the premise it's broke, it can't get more broke. Mine have been low value items so failure was of less financial consequence than success. I mostly succeed, but occasionally with electronic stuff I have to do it twice, or put the tools down and walk away, go back to it!
If you are not familiar with the concepts of repairing things and you fail to repair the flash you stand to loose more than you would save if you succeed, and Canon will not put your bag of bits back together for you! ;D
Let us know which way you go.

Cheers, Graham.

One other point - flash units have large capacitors, so I'd be wary of opening up the body unless you know exactly what you're doing. Otherwise you may be in for a rather large shock (literally).

10
Lenses / Re: Where are the new Canon 50mm and 85mm lenses?
« on: December 29, 2014, 07:25:00 PM »
I have the Sigma 35A and it's incredible. I've been eyeing the 50A, but man, I really want lighter, smaller primes.

Then again, maybe I should just buy a small mirrorless system as an alternative for when size/weight matter.

I tried that route, buying a cheap micro 4/3 system used (Olympus PEN E-PL5) for ~$200, but finding high quality lenses that don't cost as much/more than EF equivalents has been a problem. The cheap kit lenses have pretty mediocre IQ, but going up-market quickly gets you to $500-$1000 each. Due to the smaller sensor, IQ starts dropping due to diffraction by f5.6 so it's ideal to start with the biggest aperture you can, but selection is poor and prices are high for what you get. I eventually found a good price on a lightly used Panasonic 20/f1.7 (~$250), but I'm stuck with so-so Olympus 14-42 and 45-150 to round out my kit and I can't find a really good wider angle I can afford.

That said, it is a joy to carry around a 3-lens kit covering 28mm-300mm (FF equivalent) in a tiny bag that only weighs a pound or two, and still get great 16 mpix images that hold up well to ~1600 ISO, but the ergonomics suck compared to my 6D and I just don't enjoy photography as much.

A larger mirrorless with built-in viewfinder would be better, but then you're too close to the 6D in size/weight/price, so I don't see the point unless you're after some other specialized feature (like 4K video, focus peaking, etc). So going mirrorless is no panacea in my experience, tempting as it as (and practical).

Regarding the OP, I would really like to see an improved 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 (or 1.4) as well. I like the 85/1.8, and have gotten some great images with it, but the obvious purple fringing below f2.8 does really limit it's usefulness for shallow DOF work. I have bought and sold 2 copies of the 50/1.4, finding them terrible below f4 (soft and low contrast), so lots of room for improvement there as well.

11
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: using EOS Remote with 6D, af not working
« on: December 26, 2014, 10:06:23 AM »
Chaps! I found a much better solution for this as I always shoot "back button focus". In the EOS Remote App, there is an option under settings "Show AF Button", turn that on and you get a second "shutter release" button that lets you auto focus before you shutter release.

Exactly. That's what I do as well (since I use BBF and don't want AF on the shutter button).

12
Lighting / Re: No 600EX-RT discounts this holiday?
« on: December 25, 2014, 11:38:13 AM »
Should we not expect any price drops on this unit at all for the foreseeable future?

The recent sale in Germany was also only half-baked on premium products like the 600rt. Obviously Canon has decided to really go for it - either people pay their price, or they have to switch to an inferior clone.

That's because if well-off customers or pros want reliability, they'll pay the price - and if people want to save money, €100 less won't matter if Yongnuo is still €150 below that. If I'm correct with this analysis, I don't expect any price drops on the 600rt - or a "little brother" 440ex-rt to appear anytime soon.

I hope you're wrong about the prospects of a 4xx-rt. I love the 600, but it's just too big to stick on a macro bracket and I don't always need all that power for a hair light or fill. A 1/2 price, slave-only 4xx-rt would be perfect for rounding out a multi-flash system. I had to buy a 90ex + 270ex just for off-camera macro that I could easily handle on my bracket, but I'd dump those in a second if a 4xx-rt came out.

13
I use a grip about 1/3 of the time on my 6D, primarily when shooting long events or doing kiddie sessions with WiFi on sending photos to a nearby laptop for real-time printing. The primary reason is not having to worry about battery drain, but I do really like the feel when shooting both landscape and portrait. Gives me the best of both worlds - take the grip off and tote the compact 6D around with me, or put it on and have the extra grip comfort, better balance with larger lenses and tons of battery life.

14
Technical Support / Re: Question about 50D known issues or recalls.
« on: December 18, 2014, 10:52:47 PM »
I bought a 50D used about 4 years ago and it's been a workhorse. At the current selling price it's a solid bargain and should server your friend well.

15
Software & Accessories / Re: i folded and bought CC :(
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:38:58 PM »
Thanks for the clarification on MathWorks' policy, wsheldon; that's really helpful to know.

So, given your stated needs, if Adobe were to come to you and ask how they could improve their policy to make you feel good about their subscription service--while still allowing them to make a reasonable profit from their labors--what would be your answer? There are obviously a number of ways to skin this cat, but I think the photo-hobbiest market has a legitimate beef with their current policy and if we can communicate that to Adobe they may be willing to listen.

Honestly, I think a hybrid approach would be ideal. Offer a CC subscription option with a higher start-up fee that gives you the right to keep using your latest version if you stop subscribing, but still offer the lower priced pay-as-you-go option with no start-up for the people that makes sense for. Basically an option for a perpetual license but within the existing CC infrastructure.

Offering hold-outs like me who are clinging to our full versions of CS6 and LR5 a discount for that perpetual license option would be even better (and smooth our ruffled feathers).

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