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Messages - Stu_bert

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EOS Bodies / Re: Memory Cards--What is the absolute best?
« on: December 11, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
I have used SanDisc cards since I switched from film to digital cameras.  I shoot a 1Dx and a MKIV.....what is the absolute best card that I can put in my cameras?
Be careful on the 1D MK IV, SD speeds are indeed hampered by the controller (in the camera). So doesn't matter what card you put in beyond a 20MB/s card, you'll find no difference. Which means if you are writing to both then the SD is a "bottleneck"

Both the MK IV and the 1DX can do UDMA 7 in CF so the latest cards will give you the best performance. Of course this is more in terms of how quick the camera flushes to the memory card. I recently tried a 60MB/s CF vs 30MB/s on the MK IV and was pleasantly surprised by the difference  :D

Finally, you perhaps might want to consider trading off size of memory card vs speed. By this I mean I'm not happy with more than 8GB card for normal (16GB for sports nature) on the basis of how much data I am prepared to lose should a card fail. I've only had 1 CF fail - a transcend, which failed before I used it in anger (failed during soak testing)

Best therefore does depend, as mentioned, on your needs...

Video & Movie / Re: if you have 12 minutes to spare...
« on: November 25, 2012, 08:40:53 AM »
...you could watch this breathtaking short-film taken with 5d(markII?) and 7d (not the underwater and air footage though).

Sea Bites (english subtitles) on Vimeo
(you have to click on the link just under the video)

Breathtaking story, killer filmmaking about, probably, one of the most dangerous ways of living you can have.


Paul, that was a worthywhile 10 minutes spent - thank you for sharing it with us all. I honestly didn't care what equipment was used, but the final results - wow.

Yup, concur with others. Manual focus for landscapes etc. I chose the hyperfocal distance and focus there at 10x magnification. Avoids AF hunt, avoids changing the lens / body position to focus. Allows simple composition - rules of thirds, and finally allows me to tune exposure in real time before I shoot (visually / using the RGB overlay)

For any "static" subjects, I'm not sure why I would *not* use LV :)

EOS Bodies / Re: February & March are Announcement Months for Canon [CR2]
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:15:01 AM »
A non-removable grip is a catastrophe for me, as it makes the camera not fit where I want it, and it makes it heavier and bigger than it needs to be for the 99% of the time I don't need a grip.  If you want a grip, buy a grip.  I never have, and I never plan to.  That's the beauty of a removable grip - those that want one can have one, those that don't aren't forced to have one.  This is one reason I'd never buy a 1D body.

The downsides to a removeable grip are that, when installed, there's a fair bit of flex (which results in additional vibration when mounting to a tripod), and the grip-body attachment has no weather sealing (that's at the battery compartment, and we all know electricity and water don't usually play nice).  The integrated grip is one reason I'm very glad I have a 1-series body.

Since I use a hand strap, simply taking the grip on and off is not something to be done frequently or on a whim.

Also, the accessory grips bulge out both in front and in back, whereas the integrated grip bulges in front only, exactly like the 'landscape' grip. That makes the 1-series more comfortable to hold vertically than a gripped non 1-series body, to me.

The 1-series should be built just like the 1V was - removable grip that's far better designed that the bottom-mounted removable grips of today.  It was good enough for the 1-series then, and to me it was better than the 1-series is now.
Wouldn't that cause problems with the dials on the 1Dx?

I'm an integrated grip guy and miss them if I go back to a 7D or 5D for all the reasons mentioned - balance, grip/size, controls. I frequently walk around all day just holding the 1Ds by the grip - I find them that comfortable and the extra size makes it easier. The extra balance is definitely a plus....

If they could make a 1 series removable with all the buttons n dials in the best position, then I am sure that would appeal to more people... guess that's another trade off  ???

Alternatively, on the basis that the price has dropped £600 in 7 months (launch £3K, current £2350), maybe you just need to wait until Feb for it to be where the D800 is now  :D

If anyone knows why HK prices for Canon is closer to Nikon pricing, would be interested if it is more than local market conditions.... I'm just assuming that's why grey import price for the D800 is closer than 5D MK III

To the original OP, have you considered digitalrev? I know it's tempting me!

You pay more than the original prize in the UK when customs get their hands on the camera.

As you point out, you need to read the small print when considering Hong Kong imports, it generally goes

"...you will be considered the sole "Importer" of the product to your country for all purposes, including customs regulations and copyright and trademark laws."

Another source that you might consider is HDEW et al. A lot of people swear by them (they are a 'grey importer') and you can even pick your camera up from their shop in Surrey.  There are still the other concerns about warranties etc. that go with using unauthorized channels. 

My personal feeling is that if you're willing to spend two grand plus on a camera, a few hundred for peace of mind is worth it, but as our American friends like to say YMMV  ;D
I know you said your personal feeling was don't bother, but just to toss one out there, so to speak :)
Procamerashop (co.uk) are grey importers and you get the warranty from them, not Canon (but you should check their duration matches the manufacturer when it is >1 year). You're thus risking whether the MK III would go wrong in warranty and if it did, would the repair cost more than the difference between UK retailer and them. There's no issues with VAT & import duty...

I've used them 3 times without issue, always with a bank transfer and it has been seamless.

Current body only price is £1,956.99 vs their D800 price of £1,867.99. Direct bank transfer saves you 3% (so £1901), but there are people who are not prepared to do that with HK companies even with UK bank a/c - l've been fine. Google them if you're interested in pursing it. Camerapricebuster lists the closest as £2347.

Personally for all the stuff I've bought and the fact that I have been buying L lenses, then it's no different to when I went to the States back in 2007, spent a considerable amount on kit (I picked up my 500mm f/4 when it was <USD 7K and the exchange rate was just shy of 2:1) - the money I save went to a combination of extended warranty and into a savings a/c. To date, the only repairs I've needed are when I have been a little clumsy  :-[

Finally, I have no affinity to them...

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« on: October 30, 2012, 08:06:23 PM »
I would not say that Canon is lying, they got a little help. No the Digic 5 is not a Divinci derivative, I can't say what it, but I can say what it not.
The Digic V is the first joint-design is it not? But not one which TI mention one iota on their site. Not even a press-release, "we helped design Canon's next gen Digic processor in their dSLR"?

TI definitely provided some know-how, but perhaps more around the "manufacturing design" aspects and not in the critical imaging side based on what Canon has developed before. Sorry, don't consider the TI angle to be anything significant....

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:59:42 PM »
The main problem as I see it is that Canon don't really have any real development momentum (or budget!) on higher resolution processes. They outsource almost everything except for the larger format sensors.

The biggest difference between the others and Canon is that all the other manufacturers are all dominated by their small-sensor image sensors sales, that already now are manufactured at 90 and 110-130nm metal processes on 300mm wafers. Panasonic and TSMC will start volume shipping of sensors made on 65/45nm rules in Q1 2013. Lower mask resolutions than 130nm are not enough to land you any sales any more. Most cellphone and compact camera sensors are manufactured at those levels now, and have been for the last few years. Also consider the fact that some of the others have very large yearly revenues from logic CMOS processes at 45, 32 and even 22nm levels. All of those markets are areas where Canon totally lack any type of experience. Canon outsource all more advanced fabs on their camera bill-of-materials.

The Digic sensors are made by UMC http://www.umc.com/english/class_300/index.asp, and were designed by Texas Instruments http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/apps/videovision/end_equipment.page
The memory is most often made by Samsung http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/consumer-dram/overview
The memory/Digic package-on-package mount has to be outsourced, since Canon cannot do it themselves, and it is believed that UMC does the mounting too.
Other peripheral control and logic chips are TI, Mitsubishi, AD and Fairchild.
And is that different from Nikon how? Canon design their sensors and currently co-design the Digic 5, but to what extent they do it and what extent TI do it is not clear. What is clear is that TI don't sell that part or even mention it on their web site, so it is exclusive to Canon. Does not infer of course who own the most significant IP.

Going from a 500nm process to 180nm is like going from a 10MP FF camera to a 70MP camera in one generation. This means some really noticeable strains on the process, especially since the CMOS manufacturing process isn't as forgiving as just "taking pictures". You cant "scale to web size" and sharpen in post when you're making CIS wafers.

What you're basically asking from your equipment is to all of a sudden provide compact camera type linear resolution in a FF lens projection coverage - something almost unthinkable in the normal photographic world. The process has to be precise, to a degree where every single contrast and item on the new 70MP image is equal to or better than the 10MP camera - per pixel. In normal photographic resolution usage, we just want the final output to be good enough, which means that we downsample most images - we seldom deliver full-res images to the customers, and we seldom use full-res images in our own output.
Going from a 350nm mask to 250 and then 180nm and 12" wafers was a BIG step for most CMOS manufacturers, and most other manufacturers are a LOT bigger than Canon in this area.

So it's not that Canon COULDN'T do it. Even really small (in the imaging field) firms like STMicro can do it by stitching, and thereby tripling the unit prices. For Leica this isn't really a problem since the total BoM on a M series camera is most certainly lower than 2k USD. This gives a healthy margin up to the projected 7k USD end price point.
This isn't what Canon does. They live on volume, not on extreme margins.
Hold on, your making multiple assumptions here

1) Canon needs to make the leap, in volume, on FF at once otherwise they'll what exactly... go bankrupt?
2) Canon needs to sink billions (immediately) in order to compete with Sony's sensor manufacturing capability or indeed other (sensor) manufacturers to stay competitive on their own products
3) A 180nm sensor is the only way Canon can provide competitive products to Nikon / Sony
4) Canon cannot survive if it manufacturers its' own sensors

oh and presumably, Canon has been ignoring all this, has changed culture and wants to do it all together?

They presumably know what investment is possible, and what is required for their next iteration of sensors. I'm also assuming that this information is not something recent, and that they have been developing capability. Not to the level to suddenly compete with Sony, but to a level that would be sufficient to remain profitable. Whether the next FF or APS-C will be 180um and whether they will design or design / manufacturer frankly is high conjecture. Anyone who wants to make a decision on their future camera purchases based on this conjecture is someone with more disposable income than I!

In another thread, it was mentioned that the latest Sxx sensor was 180um. And clearly that's an ocean away from FF manufacturing @ 180um, but maybe that is the first "volume" process for Canon and that elsewhere they are refining a low-yield FF capability. I'm happy to be wrong, but Sony & Nikon have not been manufacturing FF sensor for more than 5 years (less?), and that's not exactly a high volume capability either. Agreed it is more than Canon have been doing, and that may explain why Canon has taken so long to switch (problems) or just the bean counters (sweat assets / more risk adversed in a shrinking market)

But Sony doesn't have too many other lines of business making money for them. Finding their position in sensor manufacturing has been a great success. Canon is not looking to manufacturer sensor for smartphones and other areas, either because they don't have the capability or don't want to be there.

And presumably, that investment Sony has made is based on the diversity of sensors they produce and indeed the volume. Again, Canon is not in that market, and surely that means the investment - should they decide it will be viable over the next 10 years, is considerably less than Sony needs to.

Finally, are we sure a 320um or 250um with the other sensor tech that has been outlined would not provide a significant step-change for Canon sensors, and since it's been done to death that a photographer / photography is more than his sensor, then if Canon's next APS-C or FF sensor is not 180um does that definitively mean it won't be much different from the current sensors???

Think I'll go back to err, taking pictures on my dinosauric kit... :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« on: October 28, 2012, 02:19:13 PM »
For those who think Canon needs to build a new fab. The article clearly indicates that Canon already has 0.18um fabrication process. That means they wouldn't have to build some new multi-billion dollar wafer fab...simply that they would need to start using the one they already for commercial products. My guess is they developed it several years ago, as they would have required something smaller than 500nm to produce a 120mp APS-H sensor, which had 2um pixels.

Yes it did, but sufficient for large volume? Unless they predict minimal usage of the new tech, over a 3 year period they would replace most of their sensor tech with it and thus would need the capacity. And that's a big investment.

As another poster stated, it is indeed about the bean counters, they keep the company operating within a risk profile the board / investors are happy with. And with a downturn in profits, I doubt they are to invest majorly anywhere.

I concur with others, bringing out a high end camera, with high MP, is a good signal to your competitors and the market that you have the tech, plus it does not require such high volumes and as you have more headroom to absorb the costs.

I'd vote against the APS-C version unless technicalities prevent Canon from releasing a FF sensor first. Just my tuppence.

(...)The 24 L MK II is slightly better than the TSE-24mm MK II (,,,)

Not sure about that - the usual lens reviewers don't agree with you, and testing and charts results agree with the same IF the lens is kept without any tilt and/or shift

Oops, senior moment.. stand corrected, thank you - TSE24mm MK II is indeed sharper than 24mm L MK II & TSE-24mm MK 1 (EF) - no idea on FD.... Sorry.

In addition to the above, you can do simple 3 shot panorama shots without worring about nodal points. Post editing it equates to a 2 x image resolution as you always lose the far edge and some overlap. But I find that's often all I want from the image, and I can also do horiztonal and vertical panos with ease.

I did toy with the 14mm L but picked up the TSE-17mm instead as I don't need the uber-WA so much. The 24 L MK II is slightly better than the TSE-24mm MK II but both are significantly better than my MK I TSE-24mm, so that might be a future acquisition  ;)

Vent on  >:(

LR 4 upgrade - USD 79 or UKP59

CS6 upgrade - USD 199 or UK190.

I *do* hope that's just some typo on the UK side and not a rethink on exchange rates....

Vent off... please continue as normal ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 and Canon's Comeuppance
« on: April 22, 2012, 01:45:32 PM »
If you have any examples of direct comparison, that would be great...
Direct comparisons? You mean shoot this scene, put the one camera down, shoot the same scene with a different camera? I'm afraid that would be impossible. If you don't want direct comparisons, the internet is littered with shots from a 1D4/400mm combination sports shots and there are a number on my web site.

Yup, outside your professional shooting, I just assumed you had maybe done some comparison - not during the polo games and the like  :D The 27MP effective of the 1D vs the 25MP crop of the D800 both at 400mm would be interesting, but I appreciate that is being cheeky!! ;D

And sure, I'm willing to admit that part of my glee is due to the lens, but I also temporarily shot with a d7000 and wasn't nearly as smitten. I was going to get a D4, but full frame 16.2MP just wasn't going to cut it. I used to shoot important events with a 1D4/400 on a tripod and a 7D/70-200 f2.8 II on my shoulder for when the action got close. Now I'm hand-holding everything with just one camera and getting great shots.

Indeed, so it is not more the lens and not the camera? Handholding the 400mm would be difficult, hence your use of a tripod and the inflexibility that comes with that. Handholding the 200-400mm I would guess is a little more difficult than the 70-200, plus the extra MP is a little more unforgiving. Don't get me wrong, I am only trying to understand, not trying to critique. Your money, your job, your decision.  :)

Canon doesn't really have an answer. I have explained this before, so if you've read it, move along. There's the vapor-lens 200-400/f4 +1.4x that I had been waiting on for the better part of 3 years, but the pricing on that looks to be more than what I paid for the d800 and the 200-400/f4 lens. Then what would I put that lens on? A $3500 5D3? That has no advantages. A 1Dx? I suppose that might be killer, but to get the reach of the d800 I have to drop in the 1.4x and then I'm at f5.6. And then there's the small matter of the $6800 price tag of the camera. The MSRP of the Canon 200-400 + 1Dx looks to be approaching $19,000. I paid almost exactly half that. Half!!

Plus this lens still doesn't exist... and neither does the camera. Some will say "nobody pays full MSRP for lenses." Well, yes they do. In the first year or so when they come out, the big lenses sell at full price, if you can even find them. The 400/2.8 II is still $11,500 at B&H and Adorama, despite being out for some time. It may come down in a while but how long do I wait. Until 2014?

I'm not crazy. I'm not needlessly berating Canon with my shrill hysterics. Others will do what I have done. Many others.

As per my original post, Andy Biggs & Andy Rouse are 2 big names in wildlife who swapped from Canon based on the 200-400mm and the AF of the series III I believe. So yes, the specific combination of lens & a good Nikon body is what made it for you. And I have considered it myself....

But, and I appreciate it is subjective and somewhat emotive, other than the 36MP and the flexibility of the 200-400mm lens, what's your initial impression of the differences between the two? Handling, AF, ISO etc? Not looking to bate you or anyone else, just interested in your feedback.... thanks

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 and Canon's Comeuppance
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:50:25 AM »
Gear is gear. It's normal for everyone to want more for less/same, unless you work for Canon or Nikon :-)

Are Canon perhaps pushing the envelope of reasonable pricing? Yup. How much did the flooding & earthquake cost them? Dunno. Why are they charging more than Nikon? Numerous factors I am sure, many of which have been floated here.

Should we continue to berate Canon? Well only if it is measured complaints. If anyone from Canon does read this site, if it becomes rant/vent central then I think they will frequent it less. I certainly would. Will pricing on the Canon lenses & bodies come down? History shows it should, so if you don't have a burning need then wait. I'm still happy with my kit and will wait out 2012 to decide and just hope to improve my photography :-)

To the original OP - how much are you putting down the better photography to the 200-400mm VR and how much to the D800? I know of a few photographers who have switched to Nikon specifically for the 200-400mm, and although Canon have one on the horizon, I suspect many people here will be more interested in a 100-400mm MK II (due to pricing)....

So, how much is the AF of the D800 better than the 1D MK IV for you, and how much is the 200-400mm giving you better flexibility to catch the photos you desire? Comparing the 400mm vs the 200-400mm is frankly unfair given all the variables. D800 better resolution? Sure, the 1D has an effective 27MP to a FF, so the 36 of the D800 will certainly help some in terms of cropping...

If you have any examples of direct comparison, that would be great...

Finally, I personally like the fact that I can shoot stills for 95% of the time, but can use the same glass on the same body, flip a switch and take some video. When I travel, my bag is full and I even try to avoid taking my 20D IR now just to avoid 2 sets of batteries & chargers. All my critical gear is in hand luggage which restricts me to those airlines that allow 15+ KG of kit. Adding a separate Video Camera even if it can take my EF lenses is just more kit. Appreciate it is horses for courses...

would be interested in some mid-term views from those who have picked up a D800, once you've got used to the camera and have a good feel on how to get the best from it...

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