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Messages - Hillsilly

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541
Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF135mm f/2L USM
« on: February 25, 2012, 02:09:19 AM »
My latest project is trying to photograph flying foxes.  As they're moving and its dark, I'm pushing my camera's autofocus system to the limit and a lot of the time it just won't lock on (I've only got a window of a few minutes where they're active and my AF still works before getting too dark).  I'm finding it a bit of challenge to get a decent shot.  But I'm slowly refining my technique, and I'll get there one day.  I know the type of composition I want, but I just can't get them to go where I want them!  Lens wise, I've settled on the 135mm.  Its the only fast telephoto that I've got.  Being sharp wide open makes it a natural choice.  It's an awesome lens. 

542
EOS Bodies / Re: What will we do after Feb 27/28?
« on: February 23, 2012, 04:16:36 AM »
I hear that the 5Div will be one sweet camera.  Soooo much better than the 5Diii.

543
Next Christmas, when Santa's little helpers are taking pictures of Santa and children, I can almost guarantee that they'll be using a t3i.  Elves know when they're onto a good thing.  And it also seems to be the current camera of choice for smart professionals.  Best combination of features, image quality and price.

544
EOS Bodies / Re: Mirrorless Wish
« on: February 20, 2012, 11:33:28 PM »
Quality glass doesn't have to be big.  Leica lenses are quite small compared with similar Canon lenses and they are probably almost as good.  The size of the lens is probably one of the many considerations that designers take into account.  Canon designers seem to prefer bigger lenses  (For each focal length, I think our lenses are biggest!  Yay!).  I assume it makes other design problems easier to solve? 

There are also a lot of small APS-C lenses around.  Have a look at the new Pentax 40mm for their APS-C K-01.  It's tiny.  I think the whole mirrorless debate would probably be less relevant if Canon released some pancake EF-S primes. 

545
As mentioned above, it is a combination of the small enhancements and extra thought that goes into the design that set them apart.  For me, the key differences are the build quality, weather sealing and "toughness".  You get the feeling that they'll just keep going and features like the dual card slots give you that extra level of redundancy if anything goes wrong.  Image-wise, they're no different to other cameras.  In fact, they also miss out on some things, too.  For example, the 1Ds Mk III only goes to ISO 3200, whereas the similar sensored (identical?) 5Dii goes to 25,600.  Also, 1Ds models lack video.  (Who ever heard of a camera that can't take videos??  There was meant to have been a firmware upgrade on 1 April last year which unlocked this feature, but it looks like Canon pulled this at the last minute - probably to get people to fork out more money for the 1Dx). 

546
EOS Bodies / Re: Mirrorless Wish
« on: February 19, 2012, 07:59:08 PM »
There was nothing that could be considered ultra wide angle...

Did you have a look at micro four thirds?  There's the Panasonic 7-14mm and the Olympus 9-18mm.  Although neither are cheap, so you'd have to be really comitted to buy one.

I've done a complete 180 on this.  I like mirrorless cameras, and a few months ago I would have happily joined into the "Canon must release a mirrorless camera or the sky will fall down" brigade.  And if you look at the camera sales outside of the US, mirrorless cameras are making up a noticeable and growing percentage of sales.  I think that even in the US, there is a growing interest in smaller cameras. 

But now I'm thinking, who really cares if Canon doesn't release one?  There's enough variety out there already. If they released one with EF & EF-S compatibility - great!  But otherwise, nobody needs a "Canon" mirrorless camera.  If Canon believe that their R & D budget is better spent on DSLRs and associated lenses and that their efforts shouldn't be diluted across a range of products, I'm not going to second guess them.  I'd much rather have them do one thing well than several things at an average level.

547
Lenses / Re: IS substitute for faster glass in low light? Not convinced.
« on: February 17, 2012, 10:00:58 AM »
If taking a photo of a stationary object, then you'd have a greater chance of a sharp photo with the f/4 IS.  But you're still stuck with a 1/2 second shutter speed.  If you're taking photos of people or anything involving action, the faster shutter speed of a f/2.8 lens might work better.

548
Canon General / Re: Is it worth *really* studying photography?
« on: February 17, 2012, 03:31:30 AM »
OK - it sounds like you've got an edge over a few of your fellow students. But how are you going to keep that edge and stay ahead of the pack? 

The 80 other people in your course are your job market competition.  At least if you stay in the class, you'll be able to prove to all and sundry how good you are compared to them.  Above average grades, maybe an award or two, a few glowing references and your job prospects should improve dramatically.

But don't let your experiences with these people in your first week deceive you.  Very few school leavers know much about anything when they leave high school.  Many probably chose your course because it sounded fun or cool.  But if they are driven to succeed, then they will achieve.  Plus, I doubt that your exams will involve questions like "what does 35mm mean?".  Instead, you'll be given tasks that require you to demonstrate artistic vision.  A knowledge of equipment can only take you so far.  If I was looking at two people in their first week and person A had a good technical knowledge about how to use a DSLR and person B didn't know much about cameras, but spent every second of the day drawing or painting or some other creative task, I'd be backing person B to be kicking Person A's butt in a photography course after 6 months.     

The people in your course would have been selected for a reason.  If its not their camera knowledge, it must be their art skills.  Watch out!

549
EOS Bodies / Re: I can't decide what to do!
« on: February 15, 2012, 02:44:59 AM »
The 1Ds Mkii also lacks video, which might be important with weddings. 

But they're well built, have good battery life (1,500+ photos per charge), weather sealed, have dual card capability, excellent images at low ISOs, great autofocus.  For what they do well, and at the prices they're going for, they're a good buy.

550
Lenses / Re: New canon 24 2.8 USM - consumer or Pro ?
« on: February 14, 2012, 07:07:21 PM »
Hi, I've seen the comment that this lens is designed for video use in a few places.  Is that simply because it has IS?  Or is there something else that Canon has incorporated to optimize it for video use? 

I've been intrigued by this lens, too.  I've been thinking about picking up a small, wide lens for a while.  But the old 24mm didn't seem any better than some of the zooms that I have and the price of the 24L didn't really excite me.  This new f/2.8 might just fit the bill.  Luckily, I'm in no rush to do anything and can wait for a few reviews to come out.  From some of the comments that I've seen, image quality should be very good and it will be interesting to see if it is comparable with the 24L.  With USM and IS, I think it could be a winner (especially if the street price is a bit lower than the $850 everyone is quoting). 

551
Canon General / Re: Is it worth *really* studying photography?
« on: February 14, 2012, 12:15:02 AM »
With many jobs there is often a big disparity between the number of people studying and the number of potential job opportunities.  Photography is one of them.

I also work in such an industry, and it took me several months to find my first decent job.  Now, I run my own business and the job market is still as tough as ever.  Twenty years ago, similar businesses wouldn't think twice about hiring a promising undergraduate.  Now, I've got applicants with Masters degrees and PhD students applying for entry level jobs.  In Australia, during the Howard era, there was a 50% jump in university enrolments along with significantly increased TAFE participation.  Now it is virtually expected that people would do some additional formal training after completing high school, even when the job you are targeting doesn't really require it.

If a lot of people are currently studying photogrpahy as university, then employers will start expecting it and it will become tougher and tougher to get that first job without a degree.  The degree becomes the key to entry.  And even then, it still doesn't guarantee a job.

But, realistically, two years after you get your first photography related job, nobody will care if you have a degree or not.  They will be more interested in your character, experience and how you perform.  Therefore, you're probably in a catch 22 situation.  You probably don't really need to study, as on the job training should be sufficient.  But its harder to get a job without the study.  The easy option is to get a year or two's study under your belt and see how you go on the job market.  As an undergraduate, you'll find work experience opportunities easier to obtain, and who knows what might come from that?

552
Site Information / Re: Tutorial Section
« on: February 13, 2012, 09:33:08 PM »
Love the idea.  There are some very knowledgeable people on this forum, that already write great articles (for example, I read through Neuroanatomist's article on autofocus yesterday and thought it was very good).  I suspect that that's one of many of his articles.  Given some of the information posted on this site, there must be many others already writing great content (or capable of it).  It would be great see some of these articles listed on this site.

But playing devil's advocate, chances are that if you are good enough to write tutorials, then you're good enough to get paid for it, or develop your own site and have control over your intellectual property and, if you wanted, generate some income from it via advertising or through promotion of your own business.  It would be interesting to see how many people would voluntarily contribute detailed content.  But prove me wrong.  Don't let my negativity affect things. I think its an excellent idea and worth trying.

553
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« on: February 12, 2012, 11:54:01 PM »
I know, just having some fun.

554
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« on: February 12, 2012, 10:41:29 PM »
ok JT13.  You wanted a blind test, here is your blind test.  Is this image from a FF or crop camera?

iPhone?

As mentioned above, I like the photos from FF.  But I also like the photos from my old camera.  In a side by side comparison, you could probably identify which camera took which photo, but for 90% of my photos that doesn't necessarily make the FF photo "better".  Just different.  Unless you're shooting wide open and looking for more background blur, or want to shoot at high ISOs, the real world difference is immaterial. 

555
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« on: February 12, 2012, 08:35:05 PM »
I'm a recent convert to FF.  After using a 30D for a while, I picked up a cheap, used 1Ds mkii late last year.  As mentioned by others, there's noticeably less Depth of Field when shooting with wide apertures and you are generally shooting with longer lenses.  Combined these help to give images more "pop".  Photo's from the new camera seem to have more of a realistic / "3D" look.  Colours seem "better".  The photos have more detail.  Of course, this could be due to a lot of things - my imagination and twice the megapixels being the main things that come to mind.  But overall, I definitely prefer the photos from the FF camera.  In my first week with it, all I can remember thinking was "Wow, I should have grabbed one of these earlier".  Even now that the initial excitement has worn off, I still think that there was a big quality gain by changing cameras.  And given that my camera is 7 - 8 years old, I'd have to assume that a newer FF camera would be even better.

Now, that was going from an 8.2mp crop camera to a 16.7mp camera.  I'd like to think that the sensor in a 7D would be significantly better than a 30D and the increase in megapixels to a FF camera isn't as big.  But there would be a slight difference.  Given that you'd have to change some lenses and buy a new body, you'll just have to decide if a minor gain is worth the price. 

A simple, cheap experiment - Pick up the cheapest working Canon film SLR you can find off ebay (maybe $15), a projector ($20) and a roll of Provia ($6).   Take some photos and project them onto the wall.  That's what FF versions of your photos would look like.  Do they look better?  If so, make the switch to FF (then sell the film camera and projector and get your money back).     

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