September 17, 2014, 08:07:32 AM

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Messages - pwp

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1
Lighting / Re: Your experience of Metz flashes.
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:29:57 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts and input, guys! It's much appreciated.

pwp: Metz is cheaper here than Canon SpeedLites at comparable GN's.
         Canon 600EX-RT -> $710
         Metz 64 AF-1 -> $535
$710 for a 600EX-RT? Not any more.  That sound like maximum RRP. Shop around. You should get them for under $500 now.

What about pre-owned? Good 600 EX-RT's can be picked up for under $400 if you're patient, and mint condition 580EX II's can be bought any day of the week for around $300. Canon Speedlights tend to be amazingly robust and reliable bits of kit. I absolutely hammered my pair of 580 EXII's for years until an update to 600 EX-RT's  and I've been hammering my pair mercilessly for over 12 months now. They 100% pass the tough-test.

-pw

2
Lenses / Re: how to get 300 2.8
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:13:35 PM »
Do a CR search...there have been useful threads on the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 right here on these forums.

I have the 300 f/2.8isII. Little needs to be added about this incredible lens. For some sports I often think it would be useful to have a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. It's a lens that has intrigued me for years, but I've never gone through and bought one. When I shoot football (various codes...) I have the 300 f/2.8 on one body and a 70-200 f/2.8 on the other. A Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 would free me up to just work with one body for most shots, and leave a wide on the second body.

Unless you are Mr Muscles, this is a monopod lens. It's heavy. Much heavier than the Canon 300 f/2.8. Another thing to investigate further are reports that the Sigma may not be a true 300mm, more like 280mm though this may only be at the minimum focusing distance. Check it out and decide whther this is important to you or not.

https://fstoppers.com/gear/review-you-should-want-sigmas-120-300mm-f28-sport-lens-3096
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-120-300mm-f-2.8-EX-DG-HSM-Lens-Review.aspx
http://photographylife.com/reviews/sigma-120-300mm-f2-8-dg-os-hsm
http://petapixel.com/2013/11/01/review-sigma-120-300-f2-8-one-sexy-beast/

And also check out the Fred Miranda user reviews:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=104

-pw

3
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D II or 6D
« on: September 15, 2014, 10:02:41 PM »
Now that the new 7D II specs have been released...

Should I go with the 6D or the 7DII, I know the one difference is the 6D is full frame.  How will the new 7D II do with taking portraits and everyday shooting?  Lighting ?  I hear the 6D is great with low lighting.

And is there really a HUGE difference from full frame to crop?

Thanks
As someone who shoots almost every day with a FF 5D3 and an APS-H x1.3 crop 1D MkIV, (in some ways a similar pair to a 6D and a 7DII) I understand your dilemma. For sheer image/file quality it's no surprise to anyone that the 5D3 delivers more whether shooting in the optimum 100-800 iso range and even more so above 1600-3200 iso.

If you value getting the magic moment in a dynamic flow of action whether that be sports, fast moving kids or pets or wildlife, the 7DII will give you more keepers. For premium landscape, nicely lit static shots and so on the 6D will pull comfortably ahead. Like someone else said, they're very different cameras. 

If your outdoor, landscape, static shots are going to be printed 20 or 30 inches, then the 7D2 will show it's APS-C limitations. But if you print small, or mainly view them on a screen you could be better off with the 7DII.

So consider what your intended output is going to be. If it's unlikely to be in the exhibition print category, between the 7DII and the 6D I'd recommend the latest...the 7DII. But will the budget stretch to a 5DIII? It has the FF advantage plus more sophisticated AF abilities than the 6D.

-pw

4
Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 15, 2014, 02:24:17 AM »
The most often reason is the image getting automatically cropped in LR when rotating it slightly to adjust the horizon.

This is one of the very few issues I have with LR (and why I have to use PS sometimes): If you rotate in LR, the image gets automatically cropped and there's no way to extend the canvas at the edges. With the content aware heal brush, it's no problem to fill some edge areas and keep more original pixels - but LR doesn't allow for that :-(. Maybe in LR6? LR7?

Make the request at the Adobe Lightroom Feature request page. They need feedback. It's an easy find.
While you're there, add a request for "show focus points".

-pw

5
My 4K camera of choice is the Panasonic GH4. It's utterly transformed my video work. With the exception of high iso work, it eats my 5D3 for breakfast. You shoot in 4K and publish in 1080p. For reasons I can't explain, shooting in 4K and downsampling to 1080 in post delivers way superior output to shooting in 1080.

I find that these differences are often only noticeable when you put the two videos together side by side in the same production. Is there a visible difference to the two videos that you produce once both are at 1080p?

I shoot my videos now on the 1DX but am looking for a good new secondary camera that will allow me to put the two together without one being so much visibly better than the other. I have even considered getting the C100, which would also solve a few other issues I have.


This rather long review is worth sitting through, and the examples Dave Dugdale runs through match my own experiences.
http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/gh4-review/ & http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/gh4-tutorial-downscaling/

And if you've got the time, this is highly informative:
http://dslrvideoshooter.com/panasonic-gh4-review-video/

-pw

6
I am looking for an light & compact flashgun, that can be used external and on the camara-shoe.
I found the Godox Witstro AS360 and the similar looking Walimex Pro Light Shooter 360.

I like the ability to use additional lightformers. And these lightformers seem to be not expensive.

Does anybody own one of these products? Which one to prefer?
Can I use them wireless too without the 200€ expensive wireless adapter?
They're the same flash...rebranded. Godox is a company that is happy to supply their products to resellers who want to rebrand them. The Godox AD-360 sells as the Cheetah 360 in the US, the T-One W-Series 360 in Australia. There may well be more rebranded versions that I'm unaware of. They're gutsy and well made. Be aware they are fully manual, no TTL though a TTL update is rumored. Godox sells very inexpensive radio triggers. Check their website.

-pw

7
Lenses / Re: The New Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Pancake
« on: September 12, 2014, 01:50:34 AM »
It seems the problem here is that most don't want pancake lenses. What I see a demand for is Ef-s primes with fast apertures and not that much emphasis on size.
That doesn't explain why the 40mm has a place not just in a lot of photographers bags, but in their hearts too.
Is there another Canon lens that has a nick-name: the Shorty McForty ? It's been a very big seller.

When I don't feel like lugging around a 5D3 or a 1-Series body with usually heavy glass, the 24mm pancake bolted onto my travel/walkabout SL-1 is a very appealing concept.

It may not be on your shopping list, but let's watch...if the price is right this lens will absolutely sell its socks off.

-pw

8
4K eats storage like nobody's business. 

I am not knocking 4K at all.  It is what it is, and the world will demand higher quality over time.  Just be prepared to dump some serious money into 4K, and these cards at $700+ are just a part of it.

OTOH, 4k uses barely any space compared to 1080p ML RAW.
My 4K camera of choice is the Panasonic GH4. It's utterly transformed my video work. With the exception of high iso work, it eats my 5D3 for breakfast. You shoot in 4K and publish in 1080p. For reasons I can't explain, shooting in 4K and downsampling to 1080 in post delivers way superior output to shooting in 1080. Storing lots of 4K does have its issues, but your best work is now future-proof.

With the GH4, the 4K goes through some kind of modest compression, and being MFT means that 10 minutes of GH4 4K output is almost exactly the same size as 10 minutes of HD on the 5D3.

Getting back on subject, these new fast U3 cards are a must for 4K shooters, the older cards just don't keep up. The high capacity is a welcome bonus.

-pw

9
Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 11, 2014, 07:53:04 PM »
Vote: Yes (other)

The "real photographers never crop" school was born out of the perceived tiny 35mm film limitations, a genuine reality for photographers some time last century transitioning from medium or large format film, which was very croppable.

But it's never cut and dried. Your post-pro which includes cropping will be dictated by the needs of the project. My most common crop would be a simple straighten, then maybe a slight crop to lose a distracting element at the edge of frame (sometimes I use Content Aware Fill instead) all the way to a substantial crop which just makes the published image a stronger composition. Or you may need to fit a shape dictated to by a designer. Often a brief will specify shooting loose to allow design-stage cropping flexibility or leaving room for text, mastheads and so on.

There are a million valid reasons to crop. But there are no excuses for careless composition and framing.

-pw

10
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: How do you say Nikon
« on: September 11, 2014, 12:52:52 AM »
Real Americans know that Nikon rhymes with icon.
That may be so, but elsewhere on this nice, diverse  blue planet, some say Knee-con, some say Nick-on, some say po-tayto and some say po-tarto, some say toe-mayto and some say toe-marto.

As a slight digression, in the late 1800's George Eastman knew he was on a winner with his inexpensive box camera which subsequently sold it's socks off and made George an absolute fortune. He wanted a name for his camera and film that could be easily pronounced in any language on the planet. The word Kodak is an invention.

In 1884, Eastman patented the first film in roll form to prove viable; he had been tinkering at home to develop it. In 1888, he perfected the Kodak camera, the first camera designed specifically for roll film. In 1892, he established the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York. It was one of the first firms to mass-produce standardized photography equipment. The company also manufactured the flexible transparent film, devised by Eastman in 1889, which proved vital to the subsequent development of the motion picture industry.

So thanks George!

-pw

11
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Do you need a really high ISO?
« on: September 10, 2014, 10:52:22 PM »
Q: Do you need a really high ISO?
A: Day to day? Hardly ever.
A: Occasionally and perhaps unexpectedly? Yes! I love the fact that with my 5D3 and to a lesser extent the 1D4 I can ramp up the iso to 6400 and occasionally beyond. If 25,600 was viable I'd use it. I use 1600 & 3200 at evening or indoor events all the time. I light subjects with a touch of fill flash (bounced preferably) and still hold enough background for good effect. For someone who once regarded to then amazing Fuji 800 neg film as a gift from the gods, the option to push out another 3-4 stops opens previously undreamed of creative options.

Hell, I used to think Kodak Tri-X was fast (industry standard 400 iso B&W neg film for those born recently).

-pw

12
Lighting / Re: Your experience of Metz flashes.
« on: September 10, 2014, 08:59:25 PM »
My experience with Metz has been mixed. I used to shoot daily news with The Metz 45. The NiCad batteries were fine for a few months then faded fast. We had to carry 4-5 of them. I never really liked them. Later I got a Metz 60 CT4 just because of the "bang for the buck" factor. I dug it out, dusted it down, charged the battery & sold it last week for $100. I got a Metz 54 MZ hotshoe flash when I got the Canon 1Ds in late 2002. The 1Ds and Canon Speedlights were so utterly hopeless at delivering anything like a correct exposure, the prevailing knowledge at the time was to go with a Metz. As well as the faulty ETTL exposure mode it had something called Auto-thyristor or something which metered differently somehow. It kind of worked.

But really? Metz? Why go there? Just go and get a couple of Canon 600 EX-RT speedlights.

-pw

13
Previous EOS Utility updates have been loaded with bugs, especially for Mac users. It has been either buggy Canon software or the Canon software not behaving with an updated OSX. I've often said that Canon is great at making cameras but their software is, well....they should really just stick with making cameras.

There may be a thread somewhere at the Canon Forums, POTN http://photography-on-the.net/forum/ that deals with this.
But thanks for the heads up, I'll stick with the older version of EOS Utility for the time being.

-pw

14
This may not be exactly what you need but others who clicked into this thread because of Ring Flash in the subject line (like me!) may be interested in the just announced and soon to be released Godox Witstro AR400 Ringflash. This has 400ws output!
http://flashhavoc.com/godox-witstro-ar400-ring-flash-coming/
As one of the many great fans and owners of the super-gutsy Godox Witstro AD360, this ring flash looks like it could be fantastic.

-pw

15
For stills, Canon rules, but videographers are leaving Canon in alarming numbers. Some are picking up the low-light king, the Sony A7s which requires an external recorder to record in 4K, and lots more, myself included have gone to the game-changing Panasonic GH4 which records 4K internally. You don't actually need 4K, but if you record in 4K and downsample to 1080p in post, and publish in 1080p, it's orders of magnitude better than shooting 1080p straight up.

Photocat, if your question is a serious one, put the time aside and watch these very long reviews all the way through. They're very, very instructive.

Having shot video with 5D2, 5D3 and SL1, the GH4 leaves them gasping for respectability. The only caveat is that the 5D3 will outperform the GH4 at high iso's, but not by as much as you'd expect, especially if you're recording in 4K. It's no exaggeration to describe the GH4 as a game changer. Metabones has just released the Speedbooster MFT adapter for Canon, so you can use your Canon glass on the GH4 if you choose. Personally I went for the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 and the 35-100 f/2.8
 
http://www.learningdslrvideo.com/gh4-review/ (or GH4 review and why I am leaving Canon)
http://dslrvideoshooter.com/panasonic-gh4-review-video/
http://eriknaso.com/?s=GH4
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/panasonic_gh4_report.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/gh4_video_primer.shtml
http://blog.planet5d.com/2014/06/panasonics-4k-gh4-an-indepth-look-at-this-incredible-camera/?hvid=3sWtjk
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_GH4/

http://www.metabones.com/products/details/MB_SPEF-m43-BM1 Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster

HTH

-pw





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