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Topics - pwp

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EOS Bodies / PDF of 1DX-AF guide-Black AF Point fixed?
« on: June 13, 2012, 08:15:00 AM »
What do you make of this? Rob Galbraith has a link to an intriguing PDF paper, Canon's 1DX-AF guide.

Can we interpret from this that the black AF Point in AI Servo was a brief pre-release bad dream?


EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5D MkIII review at PDN
« on: June 07, 2012, 06:22:17 PM »
Photo District News has posted their review of the 5D MkIII


Lighting / 600ex-RT & Gary Fong
« on: June 03, 2012, 03:41:23 AM »
The Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere is a good tight fit on the 580EX & 580 EXII.
Like the 5D3, the 600 EX-RT is bigger & bulkier in most dimensions.
Has anyone fitted their 600 EX-RT with the  Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere? Does it fit?


Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / 600ex-RT AF assist power
« on: June 03, 2012, 12:20:12 AM »
With the weak low light AF performance of the 1D4, I depend on the AF Assist on the 580ex & 580 exII when shooting functions, often held in low/mood lit venues. Last night I had a lot of lost shots where the 1D4/70-200 f/2.8is just couldn't get a lock, even with the 580exII assist. The 5D3/24-105 f/4 was a whole lot better which is to be expected,  but still delivered a few  l o n g  moments while it got it's lock.

Does the 600ex-RT have a more powerful AF Assist than the 580's? If so, this could become a core reason for updating.


Lenses / the look getting dated?
« on: May 29, 2012, 08:06:09 AM »
We have all spent the past few years kitting up with lenses that will deliver sharp images at wide apertures and with smooth appealing bokeh. Such lenses are high on the "must-have" list. It's a look that I personally like a lot, as do most of my clients.

Interestingly, I've been getting an increasing, though still very occasional request in a job brief for total depth of field in subjects that my instincts would have delivered the now more conventional "look" of shallow depth of field and smooth bokeh. There is an old saying that everything old will be new again.

A brief, possibly flawed look through the photographic styles since WWII reveal a predominance of full depth of field wherever possible. Long lens work would be excluded here. I just wonder when the current desirable "look" will start to look tired and old fashioned. It will happen. It always does. Probably not anytime soon, but still it's worth staying skilled up in the art of making an image look good with a total depth of field.

We may well start grinding away at Canon to deliver lenses that perform superbly ay f/22. As ISO performance improves, shooting at f/22 with a good fast shutter speed is becoming a practical reality. Though not always a great IQ reality. Strong sales of Canons new tilt/shift lenses may push this trend.

As creatives, it's over to us to establish new looks, or at least to see the future coming and be ready for it rather than reacting once it's already run right over the top of us.

Just my thought for the day...


EOS Bodies / Canon EOS 1DX AI Servo AF Point is BLACK. Oh no...
« on: May 06, 2012, 11:58:30 PM »
Got some bad news folks. The outcry over the black focus points in AI Servo mode on the 5D3 will be repeated again and louder when the 1DX ships.

I've just come back from a Canon day at a local dealer where there was an evaluation 1DX. Sorry everyone, it has exactly the same "takes your breath away" design flaw as the 5D3, the dreaded black focus points. I don't know what the design engineers and beta testers were thinking. It reduces functionality. I'd love to hear the official reason for this design decision. There is no benefit to it.

There has been enough feedback on the 5D3 to see that this is probably this single biggest user annoyance with the 5D3. A camera like the 1DX will be used a lot more on AI-Servo mode, so the black focus point issue will be even greater.

Canon, quick! Make friends. Get the firmware fix out. The red lights are there in One Shot mode. Switch 'em on for AI-Servo!

Paul Wright

EOS Bodies / 5D Mk3 Black Squares focus points?
« on: May 06, 2012, 07:21:50 AM »
Have just done my first job with a 5D3 and for the most part I'm happy with the overall performance. Usually I shoot with 1-Series bodies but the wait for the 1DX finally suffocated me.

5D3 IQ looks fine and is about what I expected. AF is quick & accurate in one shot mode and seems to match my 1D4 in servo mode. Metering is better than any Canon I've ever owned.

I may be a little late into the conversation on this matter, but is there an obvious workaround for the breathtaking decision by Canon to render the selected focus points BLACK? On plenty of subjects your focus point is completely lost. This is a staggering error on Canon's part, crippling workflow in a fast moving dynamic shooting situation. They have set up this camera with a brilliant AF system, yet you frequently lose sight of the selected focus point because it's BLACK!

If this is firmware fixable then Canon would win friends by getting the update out to us ASAP. This alone is reason enough to not cancel my 1DX pre-order and be prepared to take the $$ hit selling the 5D3 when the 1DX eventually ships.

Paul Wright

Lenses / 400 DO f/4 vs 300 f/2.8is with x1.4 vs 400 f/2.8
« on: April 21, 2012, 06:30:21 AM »
As a daily user of APS-H bodies since the original 1D, I'm going to badly miss the reach when I shoot with the 300 f/2.8is on the 1DMk4 when I update to 1DX (when they actually ship!). 300mm x 1.3 = 390mm on APS-H.

I figured a 400 f/2.8 will be an inevitable purchase, but the 400 f/4DO has caught my attention. The 400 f/2.8is is a heavy sucker of a thing...the DO is a featherweight by comparison. The lighter, smaller 400 f/2.8 MkII would be brilliant but I'm reluctant to drop close to $12K on one if I don't really have to.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens     (163 x 349mm) (5,370g)   
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM Lens     (128 x 233mm) (1,940g)   
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens   (163 x 343mm) (3,850g)
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens   (128 x 252mm) (2,550g)   

If the DO has the IQ and the AF performance, it could be a great match to the 1DX with its improved iso performance and claimed big advances in AF. The lowest cost alternative would be the drop a x1.4 converter behind my current f/2.8 300is.

I'm not completely cost driven, I just need to maintain the reach I currently have with APS-H when I move to the FF 1DX in a high performance, sensibly cost effective  setup.

Paul Wright

Besides the obvious RT functions and ST-E3 functionality, are there any valid reasons to upgrade from 580exII?

Paul Wright

PowerShot Cameras / DP Review full review of G1X
« on: March 30, 2012, 05:18:08 AM »
DPReview has just posted their full review of the Canon Powershot G1X.

Paul Wright

Third Party Manufacturers / Eye-Fi & 5D3
« on: March 21, 2012, 07:38:12 PM »
There is a current thread on CR discussing the pros and cons of CF vs SD with the 5D3. Rather than take that thread OT, here's a new tangent on the subject.

What interests me is the potential to stream small JPEG files to an iPad using the SD sized Eye-Fi and Shuttersnitch, while saving RAW files to the CF card. Rob Galbraith sounds impressed, but there's a scent of advertorial about this particular reporting. It's important to get real-world user experience feedback.

This would be very cool checking files on a decent sized very high res iPad screen vs the camera display. Also good for assistants keeping an eye on things or give the iPad to a client to stop them hovering over your shoulder and to deliver the client another all-important bit of "wow-factor".

Posts on the Eye-Fi forums don't necessarily paint a picture of trouble free use of Eye-Fi. Wouldn't it be cool if it was a seamless, low anxiety setup? It's completely mystifying why Eye-Fi doesn't produce a CF wi-fi card, but that's another story.

So here's my question. Who on this list uses Eye-Fi with Shuttersnitch & iPad and is it a simple matter to set up as a reliably useful accessory?

Paul Wright

EOS Bodies / 5DIII buffer depth
« on: March 04, 2012, 11:16:43 PM »
I've been looking for information about the reduced size RAW files for the 5DIII, plus the buffer depth for RAW.
Can anyone fill the gaps here?

5DIII RAW:    buffer: 13 shots,  22.10 Megapixels,  pixel dimensions (5760 x 3840)
5DIII mRAW: buffer:  xx shots,    xx Megapixels and pixel dimensions (     x     )
5DIII sRAW:  buffer:  xx shots,    xx Megapixels and pixel dimensions (     x     )

When shooting some sports with the 1D4 I sometimes find it useful to switch to mRAW to push the buffer out from 26 to 33.
I'm expecting a huge leap with the 1D4 buffer with its' dual digic processors.

Paul Wright

Lenses / 16-35 f/2.8II vs 17-40 f/4
« on: February 20, 2012, 07:18:41 AM »
I've been using a 17-40 f/4 for commercial work since it was first released in 2003. At the time it absolutely creamed the unloved original 16-35 f/2.8 from 2001, especially when hooked up to the 1Ds from around the same period.

It's been good but frankly the 17-40 isn't satisfying me the way it used to. I'd like to hear from photographers who have had both the 17-40 f/4L and the 16-35 f/2.8L II.

The newer lens is going to be a clear winner at f/4 but how close are they in reality when shooting at f/8 and f/11?
My bodies are FF (soon to be 1DX) and 1D4.

Paul Wright

Third Party Manufacturers / George Eastman's Kodak dream is over
« on: January 19, 2012, 06:54:12 PM »
So it has come to this. Here's Kodaks official page on the Chapter 11 plus PDN & DP Review editorial.

If you have read the best selling Steve Jobs biography he talks about his desire to bring art and technology together; witness the exquisite industrial design of all current Apple products and the commitment to bring creative functions via software and functionality within reach of the maximum number of users. And all this wrapped up in an extremely viable business model.

George Eastman, the founder of Kodak was probably the Steve Jobs of his day with an equal desire to Jobs to bring art and current technology together in the form of the first widely available, inexpensive camera. Like Jobs he changed the world.

Our future has more George Eastmans & Steve Jobs in waiting. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Paul Wright

EOS Bodies / Gray vs Authorized Resellers
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:06:15 PM »
This issue came up on another thread which was starting to drift a bit OT.

The question came up concerning warranty support and indeed the willingness of an authorized Canon repair facility to do even non-warranty repairs to gray market equipment.

Quote: "If a camera is gray market will a canon facility repair it, I have always been told no that you would have to use a third party repair shop. I would avoid gray market for that reason alone."

Where I live there is absolutely no issue getting a gray Canon item repaired at the authorized repair facility. It's business for their workshop.

A potential irritation with gray is if a warranty claim kicks in. You may have to jump through hoops to get the job done through your gray seller. A lot of gray sellers offer the Mack Warranty. Read up:
What have peoples experiences been with Mack Warranties?

Maybe I've been lucky but in over 20 years shooting Canon with a LOT of new gear all heavily used and occasionally abused, I've never had to get anything repaired during the 12 month warranty period. Later on...yes.

Another issue kicks in if you are a CPS Member (where I am a Gold member). Equipment not purchased through an authorized reseller does not qualify for CPS benefits.

I highly value the very existence and quality of support from our local CPS. I also value the existence and quality of support of local professional resellers with whom I have long term relationships. This all adds up to tangible business support with a very real value.

However if my circumstances were different I would probably be tempted to occasionally buy gray.

Paul Wright

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