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Topics - pwp

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EOS Bodies / Canon SL-1 as travel camera
« on: September 02, 2013, 06:21:45 AM »
It's adventure time again. We have just booked three weeks in Laos, trekking and backpacking. This time I just didn't want to lug the 5D3 plus glass. Research pointed me towards the brilliant range of mirrorless cameras, the Olympus OMD in particular. This ran a very close second to the final choice. My shooting style needs quick response AF, and a viewfinder for me is a must. The winding road eventually led to the new, tiny 100D/SL-1. OMG this camera is TINY! APS-C sensor, viewfinder, light weight and sharp price clinched it. Plus it takes all my Canon glass. For the trip I've set it up with one of the classier EF-S lenses, the EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6is.

Check it out compared to it's bulked-up siblings:

And there is a moral to the story. My initial SL1 was a DOA, exchanged the next day over the counter without question. It's a good argument for buying new gear well before a planned trip, and also for buying from an authorized dealer. We're not leaving for a couple of months. If I'd cheaped-out and bought gray, just a couple of days before leaving for the trip, the potential for disappointment would have been very high.

Almost a week in, I'm loving it. This new class of tiny DSLR deserves a big future. I'll remember to post some Laos shots when we get back.


Software & Accessories / CarrySpeed straps vs The Rest
« on: September 01, 2013, 10:30:32 PM »
I know the subject of accessory sling straps has been discussed endlessly, but has anyone had direct user-experience with the CarrySpeed strap? In particular I'm interested in the functionality/performance/perceived security of the C-3 Mounting Plate, the steel pin & the strap attachment to the pin.

The video makes it look good, but then most promotional videos do.


Lenses / tripod collar for 135 f/2
« on: August 27, 2013, 08:12:07 PM »
I have a 135 f/2, it's a nice sharp copy which needed +9 AFMA on all my bodies to become stellar. But I hardly use it, reaching more often for the 70-200 f/2.8isII.

Just now I realised why...no tripod collar. I shoot well over 50% portrait orientation, often on a monopod. If there was a tripod collar for the 135 f/2 I know I'd use it almost daily.

A quick web search including eBay revealed nothing...does anyone know if this item is exists?


Lenses / 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 vs 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
« on: August 25, 2013, 08:12:30 PM »
Usually my lens and body purchases involve 1-Series & L glass but as a very lightweight alternative travel camera I've been intrigued by the tiny SL-1/100D. For my shooting style I'd have the DSLR advantage ahead of a mirrorless.

If I went with a kit lens, how good is the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 is stm vs the ef-s 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is stm? I have absolutely no experience with either.


CS6 won't run the now ancient (though perfect for my needs) custom web gallery template I patiently built back in CS2 days. I find the web gallery templates available through Bridge and Lightroom don't quite cut it for showing commercial clients their images.

The Turning Gate http://shop.theturninggate.net/ on the face of it looked like a great solution. So I got the $25 CE3 Gallery plugin. OMG it's HUGE! It's bloatware! It's so complex and poorly designed it ultimately defeated me. The galleries it is capable of generating are mostly terrific, but the mud you have to wade through to get there takes far too long and pushed my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Can anyone point me in the direction of good, viable web gallery creation software/plugins? I'm not after freeware necessarily, just something that looks professional, is configurable and just works.

Thanks in advance.



Software & Accessories / DNG converter weirdness
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:00:07 PM »
I use DNG converter just about every day of my life. I'm on PC Win764. After a big archiving session where I used lossy conversion on several thousand files to crunch down the size, DNG Convereter has stopped working. Check out the screenshot.

None of the grayed out panels work or respond. I uninstalled (V 7.2) by deleting the DNG.exe from C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe and reinstalled  and restarted. The issue was unchanged. So I uninstalled and reverted to V7.1. Exactly the same. Next I uninstalled and ran the new V7.3. Exactly the same.

Fortunately I can run my conversions on another identical Win7 64 PC on the network, but it's not ideal of course. Any ideas?


Lighting / Fastest Sync Speed
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:38:30 PM »
I'm constantly hitting the wall with slow flash sync speeds. Australian light can be hard, harsh and brutal, and when there is no option but to shoot through the middle of the day, fill flash is often a must.

Low powered options are obvious, HSS with speedlights often save the day, but a true high speed sync camera body would be brilliant to enable full use of Einsteins etc. I'm quietly hoping for 500th on the upcoming 7D2. I appreciate and understand why higher sync speeds on FF bodies is technically challenging, but how about APS-C?

My 1D Mk4 has a handy 300th sync, and my long retired EOS 1D had 500th sync. Brilliant.

Other than leaf shutter MF DSLR cameras, is there anything around that has FAST sync speeds? I'd even consider a sub-APS-C sensor provided it was acceptably high quality. Fuji? Panasonic? Olympus? Or (gasp...) Nikon?


PowerShot Cameras / G15 buffer depth
« on: December 05, 2012, 06:46:44 AM »
Looking to pick up a good P&S with RAW capability and a bright lens...the G15 is ticking a lot of boxes. There is also the attraction of staying in the same Canon ecosystem. One piece of information I have not been able to find in any review or spec list is the buffer depth when shooting RAW. And how quickly does that buffer clear?


PowerShot Cameras / G15 & S110 reviews posted
« on: November 22, 2012, 12:30:21 AM »
DP Review has posted its G15 full review

Also, The Photography Blog has just posted their review of the Powershot S110

It's good news in Canon Compact Land.


EOS Bodies / Best low-light AF body
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:04:55 PM »
At a function last night in a very dimly lit venue I struggled yet again with low-light AF. The 5D3 with 580EXII & 24-105 f/4is was OK except for the black AF points, which made it unprofessionally slow to always be sure of correct AF, but the 1D4 with 580EXII & 70-200 f/2.8isII was absolutely hopeless with a very large number of missed shots. Both bodies were on one-shot AF mode, keeping as often as practical on the cross-type AF points.

I'm actually considering picking up a couple of pre-owned 5D2 bodies just for these type of events. They have the handy red AF points and from memory are better than than the 5D3 for very low-light AF.

Any thoughts on this? What's the red-hot very low-light hero DSLR hardware?


Software & Accessories / The fastest CF card...
« on: October 06, 2012, 09:18:55 PM »
I just got two of the Lexar Professional UMDA 7 1000x CF cards that B&H are running a special on for a two-pack. Wow!

Testing in the 5DIII shooting full size RAW, set to high speed continuous 6FPS, I did a burst and shot until it started to splutter. Would you believe 35 frames, and it cleared for another full run after about three seconds.

The same test with Sandisk Extreme 60 Mb/s 32Gb, it started to splutter at 18-20 frames, and took way longer to clear. An older 8Gb Sandisk Extreme IV 45 Mb/s  carked it at 15 frames, and understandably took longer again to fully clear.

So if you are consistently hitting buffer in your 5DIII, get yourself a couple of Lexars. I'm very, very impressed.


Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Best flash diffuser for 580EX/600EX-RT
« on: September 22, 2012, 10:44:20 PM »
Over the years I have used Stofen diffusers and a variety of Gary Fong diffusers on my 580's.
They both have their strengths & weaknesses. They're both a step up from any number of home-made devices I've tried.

There seems to be a rush of competing products in well thought out camera straps, but I'm not aware of any breakthrough designs in the flash diffuser market. In another CR thread today I've become aware of the Demb diffuser products which I immediately ordered online. If anyone has had positive experiences with anything else, whether it's manufactured or homemade, I'd love to hear about it.



EOS Bodies / 7DII feature requests...
« on: September 19, 2012, 08:39:36 AM »
There is another CR thread which is hammering the 180th sync speed of the new 6D. Plenty of photographers don't care one way or the other, and others place a high value on fast sync speeds. Yes, HSS is an option, but often at such reduced power output to render it of little useful value.

Which brings me to the 7DII wishlist. (Yes I know a 7DII may never happen, but let's run with this...)
The smaller APS-C sensor makes it a simpler matter to manufacture a shutter with a higher sync speed.
Remember the 500th sync on the original 1D? It was a flawed camera in many ways, but that fast sync speed rocked.

Listen up Canon DSLR R&D team! How about genuine 500th sync for the 7DII? I'll personally visit Japan and give each one of you a big hug.

What do you want to see on a 7DII?


Software & Accessories / EOS Utility 2.11.4 & OS X 10.7.4
« on: September 11, 2012, 08:31:50 AM »
EOS Utility 2.11.4 & OS X 10.7.4 on my MBP is proving to be a very flaky combination, crashing several times a day tethered to my 5D3. It crashes, freezes and today needed three force quits followed by a full shutdown/restart each time. It's really tedious for myself & my thankfully patient clients.

The high quality USB cable is firm at each end and is helped by a velcroed loop at the camera/tripod end to make accidental unplugging impossible. Is it just me?


Lenses / Yikes! Shorty McForty for $129
« on: August 31, 2012, 12:00:51 AM »
It didn't take long for the McForty to drop. AUD$129...with free shipping. That's getting close to 50 f/1.8 pricing.

I know some people feel a bit ambiguous about eGlobal but I have had no problems at all with smaller items like this. For big dollar items, particularly those with CPS qualification relevance, I do stick with my regular local dealer.


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