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Messages - Hillsilly

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Film is still hard to beat
« on: May 19, 2012, 12:07:54 AM »
Film and digital do compete with each other.  Every time someone decides to take a photo, they've made a conscious decision to use a digital or film camera....and digital has won (mainly for the reasons listed above - easier workflow, quality files and image manipulation opportunities).

But it is interesting that the people still using film (even if it is only for a small percentage of their photos) include a high number of very good / acclaimed photographers.  And while they would be succesful with either medium, they still choose to use film for some critical work.  Why would this be the case?  Surely not just for nostalgic reasons? Personally, I like the "look" of film and I think a lot of others do too.  Plus, I've got a darkroom set up in my garage, and its fun to make prints.  And it really doesn't cost much if you're developing your own film.  (Although, local E6 processing costs have shot through the roof and I'll probably just stick with B & W at some point in the near future).

To say that digital has beaten film is probably just comparing 35mm film?

EOS Bodies / Re: Mirrorless Vs Regular DSLR -- Your thoughts???
« on: May 18, 2012, 05:37:01 AM »
I only get about 300 - 330 shots from my EPL-1 when using an EVF.  But the battery is comparatively small.  My 40D battery is almost double the size and I can get 500 - 600 shots.  While the logical side of me believes a mirrorless camera must need more battery power, I'd suspect that battery life is probably more a product of battery size and battery technology than mirrorless vs DSLR.

Lenses / Re: Your dream 50mm f/14
« on: May 17, 2012, 11:59:18 PM »
It would be part of the 24 / 50 / 100mm f/1.4 range for the new FF mirrorless camera.

EOS Bodies / Re: Mirrorless Vs Regular DSLR -- Your thoughts???
« on: May 17, 2012, 10:57:51 PM »
Its not that I "want" a mirrorless camera over a DSLR.  But sometimes I want to take photos with a camera that is less obtrusive or intimidating.  A camera that's a bit lighter and more ergonmical to carry around would also be a bonus. 

About 12 months ago, I purchased an Olympus EPL-1 to fill this role.  Overall I am happy with it.  Although images are a bit noisy in low light, in good light it is great and the EVF works well (and has some benefits over an OVF).  This camera has made me a mirrorless convert and if Canon introduces something better (especially if it had a FF or APS-H sensor), I'll be all over it.

But like most things, there are trade-offs.  A mirrorless camera won't be your first choice for action photos and if you were only going to own one camera, a DSLR would be a more sensible choice.   But a DSLR is what everyone's mum owns.  I agree that a mirrorless camera would be way cooler....

Lately, I've been trying to take wildlife photos in the dark using a radio trigger to power some non-ex flashes.  I'm generally shooting subjects about 20m away.  It's too dark for my camera to auto focus so I'm manual focusing or pre-focusing on a particular spot.  But I'm not getting many keepers.  My eye sight isn't the best and I just can't focus accurately or fast enough.

What can I do?

My first thought is to pick up some Canon flashes.  I understand that the AF Assist of the ST-E2 isn't very powerful and the 580EXii is better and has more features as a master controller anyway.  Therefore, I'm thinking I should pick up a 580EXii (or maybe a Metz 58 AF-2) to use the AF assist, and use this to control a couple of slaves.  Does this sound sensible?  I've heard that the AF assist on a 580EXii might extend to about 20m.  Does that sound right?

Realistically, I'm not going to pick up two or three 600EX RTs.  But given that the price difference between the 580EX and the 600EX isnt that big, should I just go for one 600EX and use this as the master controller now and future proof my system?  I assume 430EX-RTs aren't that far away?

The ST-E3 lacks AF assist.  Am I right in thinking that it won't trigger the AF assist on a 600EX (and even if it could, the lines / grid wouldn't necessarily match my AF points anyway)?

Am I missing something?  Is there a simpler or better way to obtain improved night time AF performance?

But video does hinder a camera's ability.  Canon has $X to put towards new product development.  Without video, all of it would be put towards photography and useability features.  We'd have variable ISO across the sensor, inbuilt ND grads, GPS, Bluetooth, WIFI connectivity, inbuilt ST-E3 functionality, inbuilt IR autofocus assist, improved weathersealing and durability, carbon fibre camera bodies, increased processing power, buffers, longer lasting batteries etc etc.  They'd also have the money to develop an adapter for EX speedlites that provides wireless connectivity with the ST-E3 and 600EX.  They'd even have money to develop a longer camera strap.  But instead Canon has chosen to develop DSLR video features.

I'm not saying that Canon (or any other manufacturer) is wrong with this.  Clearly, the market has spoken and we've said that we value video more.  last year, I even went out and bought a camera specifically because I wanted to take videos with a DSLR.  But to answer the initial question, cameras could be improved from a pure photographic perspective if video development resources were allocated to other areas.  But I think Canon has their priorities right in developing video.  My only concern is how much people have to pay to get top image quality (especially if they decide to discontinue the 5Dii).

In the olden days, when film ruled the roost, there was still the great disparity in price between consumer cameras and professional equipment.  But photos from the cheapest camera looked identical to the photos from the most expensive (assuming the same lens, film etc).  The only reason to pay more was for a tougher body, more fps, faster AF, and better viewfinder.  If you were simply seeking "best 35mm image quality", it made little difference how expensive the camera body was.

That's no longer the case.  Now, people have to spend a lot more if they are seeking "best image quality from a non medium format camera".  And if this is what they are seeking, they will be looking at a 5Diii or D800.  And I don't see any problem with people thinking that way.  But the 5Diii and D800 are expensive.  And that's because they do have some many capabilities, functions and features.  It is actually surprising that they are as cheap as they are.

They are regular rumours of a bare bones Canon Full Frame camera.  I'd be very curious to see what price such a camera could sell for.  I think there is a market for a very simple camera that had superior image quality.  If Canon could sell such a camera for around the $1,500 - $1,800 mark then they will rule the camera world for many years to come.  Everyone who's a crop camera user and has had a nagging doubt that their pictures would be better if they only had a full frame camera would buy one.  I'm hoping this is the mirrorless camera that's coming.

Canon General / Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« on: May 13, 2012, 12:47:25 AM »
I agree with the above three posts. 


Some photographers retain the negatives / computer files so that they can earn future income from print sales.  Often the prices charged are over the top.  Your clients might just be concerned about this.  Plus, who thinks they'll be able to track down their wedding photographer in ten years' time?

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with requesting the RAW files.  When I chose a wedding photographer, I specifically chose one that would give me all of the negatives after printing off the photos that we selected.  If I was searching for a wedding photographer today, I'd be very suspicious of a photographer that didn't include the RAW files in their package. 

If you can live with a smaller sensor size, have a look at the Olympus OM-D.

Lenses / Re: BATTLE OF THE PRIMES: F1.8 Vs F1.4
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:46:59 AM »
If you like pentagon shapes, you've got to get the 1.8!  The 1.4 tends to turn out of focus highlights into dull circular shapes that merge neatly into the background. Only the 1.8 will give you the clearly defined pentagons that serious photographers seek.

Ok - jokes aside, I've got a 1.8 and like it a lot.  But it does have flaws, most of which are mentioned above - lack of sharpness wide open, noisy autofocus, ordinary bokeh.  For all intensive purposes, the 1.4 is "better".  But...the 1.8 weighs next to nothing and is reasonably small.  If you're heading out, its very easy to slip into a pocket and I rarely go anywhere without it.  And from f4 onwards it is sharp, and I doubt you'd be able to easily tell the difference between photos from either lens.   The clear giveaway is the pentagon shaped highlights, which tend to be prominent with the 1.8.  Doesn't necessarily make the photos bad, but you sometimes wish they weren't there.

EOS Bodies / Re: Is this heresy?
« on: May 09, 2012, 04:05:04 AM »
Personally, I'd love an X-Pro1 and I can appreciate why you are considering it.  But the 7D is a more capable performer - especially if you're taking photo's of fast moving babies.  Hmmm. Coolness and comparative simplicity vs features/capabilities that you might or might not need.  It's a tough call.  While she wouldn't be using your lenses if you went with the X-Pro1, I think the 7D is the long-term practical decision if you've already got some quality gear to share.

I had a similar discussion with my dad yesterday, who's thinking of retiring his trustee Canon film SLR and joining the digital age.  If you're not heavily invested in lenses, do you stick with Canon or do you look at the competition?  Our anti-Nikon tendencies ruled that option out immediately (yes, its hereditary!).  We're not 100% convinved about EVF's, so ruled out Sony, and we don't think the mirrorless cameras are quite there yet.  After narrowing the field down quickly, we were just left with Pentax and Canon.  I think we decided that the 600D or 60D would be a safe bet.

I'm thinking of picking up a 580EX ii.  But being a careful purchaser, I thought I'd look around and see what else is out there.  The closest competitor seems to be the Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2.  The price difference isn't that big.  Just wondering if there is any compelling reason not to choose the Canon flash?

Is there anything else out there to consider? The 600EX-RT is probably a little too pricey for my occasional level of use.  I'll also use the flash on a variety of different cameras so an "auto" mode (External Automatic Flash Exposure in CanonSpeak) is desirable, which rules out the 430EX II.

Lenses / Re: Worth Getting 24L & 35L both?
« on: May 02, 2012, 04:04:49 AM »
Why not get both?  They're both good lenses. If you are unsure which is for you, maybe do a search of your current photos to see if you're favouring one focal length over another.  Personally, I find 24mm a very versatile focal length.  Good for group shots.  Plus, you can take a full body photo of someone in which they take up a reasonably large part of the frame and you can still get some good background detail (or bridesmaids/family) in.  But if you're getting in very close, the 35mm, might give you slightly more pleasing results.

Lenses / Re: Are primes really more sharp?
« on: April 26, 2012, 04:13:33 AM »
I think the days of categorically saying primes are sharper than (quality) zooms are over.  Its more a question of the versatility of a zoom vs wider aperture and lower weight of a prime.  Primes are usually cheaper, too.

There are some shots that you can only get with a wide aperture prime.  Yet there would rarely be a shot that you could only get with a zoom.  (Unless you are doing some ultra tricky zoom-while-you-take-the-shot thingy - in which case you obviously need a zoom!).

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon is getting owned in sensor technology
« on: April 20, 2012, 03:56:48 AM »
But I must say the d800 score really shocked me since they even beat some of the medium format cameras.

Well, the Sony Alpha 900 has scores that beat the Leica M9, and Hasselblad H3DII 50 and so on.

And the Pentax K5 (with crop sensor) beats the 5D3.

I've no problem acknowledging that the Nikon might have a "better" sensor as tested with the DXO methodology.  But it doesn't mean it produces better pictures.  Canon have rarely been competitive with DXO rankings, but I still prefer the look of the photos taken with their cameras.   

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