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Messages - elflord

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5Dc a good option?
« on: March 24, 2013, 11:36:20 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a ff option does bring out more vignetting which isn't the biggest problem in the world, but it can turn a good ef lens on a aps-c  into a pain to edit on a ff.

For a given lens that's true, but that's a property of wide fov lenses, not full frame. To compare apples to apples, you need to compare equivalent focal lengths (same fov) and either optimal apertures on both bodies, or "equivalent apertures" (e.g. to take into account that you can stop down a bit more and bump ISO if necessary on full frame for the same depth of field and comparable image quality)

Once you do that, it becomes much less clear that you'd expect more vignetting on FF. One thing that you do gain is that Canons wide primes are all FF lenses (and some of these, such as the tilts are outstanding). There's little point (in my opinion) in APS-C users going with FF primes wider than about 35mm because you're paying a staggering amount of money to cover a wider fov than you need. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Upgrading from Rebel XT
« on: March 24, 2013, 09:08:26 PM »
So what do you think? Will it fit my needs, will it be a good upgrade for the cost? or should I hold off and see what happens to the price of the 7D, if a 7DMII is announced in the next couple of months?

Thanks, here's a small sample of some of the photos I take if that helps.

I think that seems like a reasonable choice. Your emphasis on glass is the right one. If you go full frame, you start several hundred dollars behind (even if you get a used 5DII) and you also need to find yourself a kit lens. So then you start close to $1000- behind, just to replicate your existing setup.

You could possibly save a little by going to an XXD series body, but then you'd lose the AF performance and possibly AFMA (depending on which body you use). Though for your current glass selection that's really a moot point. But overall I'd say don't go higher than the 7D for a body given your budget.

There are a bunch of obvious upgrade possibilities that would probably get you further than upgrading the body (from a 7D that is) --  upgrade the kit lens (either a 15-85mm IS, or a third party f / 2 . 8 zoom ) add a faster lens (e.g. 50mm f/1.4 or an 85mm) for portraits, and a decent tripod for the landscape photos, upgrade the telephoto lens (the possibilities here are endless ... ). Full frame wouldn't hurt but glass will help more (and hold its value much better than a body)

Who said anything about extra physical controls?  All of those features could be implemented in the menus of the 5DIII.  The 5DIII already has "Scene Intelligent Auto" (the Green setting)

My point is that the green box itself is a top level item (it takes a spot on the mode dial, at least on the 5DII).

Putting the art filters inside any menu, which requires a few steps of navigation to reach and also generally requires taking ones eye from the viewfinder, renders them considerably less useful (aside from the fact that most users of this body consider such features useless in general this would make them a little bit more useless).

As long as they are buried inside a menu, those features wouldn't actually be harmful. I'm going out on a limb here, but my guess is that there haven't been a lot of requests for these features from 5D users. Your post is the first I've heard of this.

This is not about loss leaders/free riders.  People paying $0 for their blogs get ads on their site, so they are not necessarily loss leaders/free riders.

You seem to be trying really hard to not understand here. The marginal software development cost of adding users to a software product is 0. Therefore the economics of developing software are completely different to those of developing camera bodies.

Far from providing any illumination, your analogy is off base and amounts to a willful obfuscation of an issue that you are apparently unwilling or unable to address in a more forthright manner.

Let me ask you why they chose to omit the cool creative filters and scene modes in the 5DIII?  (Hey, I would really like them. :) )  Or why they chose to include the green Auto mode on the mode dial of the 5DIII?

Putting extraneous items on physical controls is not comparable to having an extra item in a 3 deep menu heirarchy -- since they can't custom build a camera for everyone, they need to make a cost/benefit call which means any item on the physical controls must be carefully thought out.

It wouldn't surprise me if there was some internal debate about the "green box" on the 5D -- there is after all already a P mode as well as Av and Tv.

Another analogy:  Wordpress.com offers three price levels for blogs they host, from $0/year to $99/year $300/year.  To get the ability to edit CSS on your blog (a "premium" feature), you have to go up from $0/year to $99/year.  Of course, you get some other premium features bundled together for that price. 

You have a lot of analogies but they aren't really relevant. The $0 a year option is obviously a loss leader. Also, the fixed costs of software development are very large but the marginal (per user) cost (of the software development itself) is 0. The close to zero marginal costs are why they can afford to have free riders. Camera manufacturers do have fixed costs but they also have marginal costs. There's not much point in them letting free riders in -- the sales of rebel units are large enough that it would be crazy for the manufacturer to price them at the marginal cost (e.g. as opposed to recuperating fixed costs/making a profit).  So I think another place where the analogy falls down is that the $0 a year wordpress customers are free riders while it is probably not the case that this is true of Rebel users.

Well, you are welcome to defend it as a business decision. However, Canon's policy of going out of their way to cripple their lower end products does make them less attractive (and difficult to recommend to someone on a tight budget!)

This is where we disagree.  The SL1 is no more "crippled" by the lack of AFMA than the 5DIII is "crippled" by the lack of creative filters and scene modes.

Canon has a nice 2,500 word article on their web site on AFMA and how to do it.  That's about 5 typewritten pages, single-spaced.  Who has time for that?  Advanced users and pros ... and no one else.

Which other features would you suggest removing based on this doctrine ? Support for raw seems like a pretty good candidate -- how many pages does it take to discuss the finer points of that ? Also, what do you think of having a white balance adjustment on two axes (not even a color temperature slider -- a two axis amber/blue and green/magenta control instead).  The Rebel also has in-camera correction for CA and vignetting, so it's not too much of a stretch to think that maybe AFMA belongs there.

So I'm afraid in conclusion I simply don't really buy your theory that Canon chose to remove AFMA to make a more minimal, focused and tightly integrated, easy to understand feature set. (the two axis white balance is the nail in the coffin for that theory -- there is no way the average rebel user understands what that feature does, let alone how to use it effectively)

I have already discussed at length why creative filters on the 5D are not analogous to AFMA on a Rebel body (basically the creative filters need to take up real estate near the top of the decision tree to be useful. 5D users would laugh at them but not really be too upset if they were, like AFMA, buried in a 3-level menu so that they didn't interfere with typical operation)

Interesting question, but I'm 90% sure that the rich ladies who want a "nice" camera make up less than 2% of the market for 5D and 1D buyers.  I'd guess that 70% are professionals or are used in a professional capacity with the remaining 25% being hobbyists.

I don't follow what you mean here. Would you elaborate ? Your numbers don't add up and neither does your logic.

My point is that I believe that many of those 25% started out as Rebel users (I notice you too started out as a Rebel user ... are you a "rich lady who wants a nice camera" too ?). Also, I wouldn't completely dismiss the 70% (who may also have started off as Rebel users) -- many pro photographers are in a position of being able to choose their equipment so if they have a strong affinity with a given brand when they are hobbyists / students, they are likely to stick with it as professionals.

Whatever percentage of the potential 5 series user base start out as Rebel users, they aren't going to make up a large percentage of the Rebel user base but they are still strategically important to Canon (and other manufacturers who might want to lure them away)

Also, whatever you might say about the "majority of rebel users" -- I wonder how many 5-series and 1-series users start out as Rebel users ? (I did) There is a delicate balance here -- they do want to be able to encourage these people to ultimately upgrade to a 5 or 1 series body but they don't want to make the entry level body so awful that these users start out with a different manufacturer.

As did I.  So for us at least, and I suspect there are lots of others like us, it seems their 'cripple the low end to drive up-marketing' strategy is working rather well.  ;)

I suspect that there are many more who are not "like us" -- we have more disposable income than the typical hobbyists.

My point is that when people on gear forums say there is "no reason" not to include some feature, in fact there may be a very good reason from the manufacturer's perspective.  There may be a 100,000 good reasons ...

Yet you haven't stated any for the feature that we are discussing (AFMA). Instead, you have brought up two features that are not analogous -- art filters and the print button (my comments about the art filters apply to the print button -- it's at the top level)

Also you mention it costs something to add a feature in software but gross costs are not the same thing as marginal costs. The marginal cost of putting AFMA in rebel bodies would not be very substantial (they already have the software for this)

But that's not a convincing reason for a car company to design their sports car with a towing hitch, and that towing hitch may well turn away a lot of their potential buyers.

You're doing a great job of coming up with analogies that are not relevant, but not such a great job of addressing the issue at hand (which is again, AFMA)

And if the point is to send a message, as you say, to advanced users that they really should step up, well that is a perfectly valid business decision.

Well, you are welcome to defend it as a business decision. However, Canon's policy of going out of their way to cripple their lower end products does make them less attractive (and difficult to recommend to someone on a tight budget!)

Also, whatever you might say about the "majority of rebel users" -- I wonder how many 5-series and 1-series users start out as Rebel users ? (I did) There is a delicate balance here -- they do want to be able to encourage these people to ultimately upgrade to a 5 or 1 series body but they don't want to make the entry level body so awful that these users start out with a different manufacturer.

So why the heck did Canon "cripple" the 5DIII by omitting so many features?  Why doesn't the 5DIII have fabulous built-in creative filters like Toy Camera and Grainy Black & White?  Is Canon just being greedy?

This is the first time I've heard anyone complain about this feature, and it is in jest. I agree that it is possible for a feature to have zero or even negative marginal value, and that in-camera art filters on a pro body  would have no or negative marginal value (if they were high enough in the decision tree to be accessible they would have a negative marginal value because of the resulting clutter, otherwise it would be about 0)

I don't agree that AFMA on rebel bodies is such a feature.

For one, AFMA is completely usable even if it's buried under layers of menus, because it doesn't need to be manipulated during day to day shooting -- it is only adjusted in controlled (e.g. non time critical) settings. Even on the 5DII (for example) it's buried in a 3 layer menu (go to the right tab, then select AF/other, then select micro adjust).

I don't understand why putting that in the Rebel would overly complicate things. They do already have equally confusing items (e.g. such as a two axis white balance adjustment which would have even many advanced users scratching their heads)

Art filters by contrast in cameras that have them tend to occupy spots close to the top of the decision heirarchy (sometimes they are actually hardwired into the manual controls which would be incredibly annoying for most 1D and 5D series users). They need to be done this way to be quickly accessible.

Of course, different users have different expectations.

Of course, but my point is that one of the reasons people buy inexpensive cameras is because of budgetery constraints, not because they are unsophisticated users.

I do agree with you that Canon's point of view seems to be that the Rebel line is unsuitable for the more sophisticated user. A savvy user on a budget probably shouldn't buy a rebel.

I simply don't believe your contention that Canon's reason for omitting this feature from their Rebel (or there XXD bodies from which it was removed) is to avoid adding "unwanted features". In fact on the contrary it looks like the point is to send a message to advanced users who might otherwise purchase rebel series bodies that they really should step up and buy one of their more expensive offerings.

Hey, elford,
I see you got the 5D mark III.
Is the AF on this model really that much better than on previous models? What is the st. dev for it in Canon's units (if you know of course)?

Sorry it's confusing but the camera model that shows up beneath our names has nothing to do with what we own. I own a 5DII and a micro 4/3 camera. Before that I had an old Rebel (XS).

The standard deviation and the "tolerance range" in number of  AFMA units are not fixed quantities -- variability of the AF will depend on things like subject distance, and available lighting (either ambient or flash/ AF assist). Then the range for which an object appears to be in focus could be 2 or 3 or 5 standard deviations depending on depth of field.

Roger at Lens Rentals had some tests where he looked at the variability of autofocus of some different bodies (including the 5DIII) with some different lenses. My recollection was that with many tested lenses, phase detection on the 5DIII is more consistent than older bodies. Contrast detect (used in live view and on mirrorless bodies) is more accurate but slower. I'd suggest searching lensrentals for the article if you are intersted, it was a good read.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DxOMark trashes the Leica M9 sensor
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:55:51 PM »
I think you misunderstood my comment about "questionable test results" to mean "biased", I am not accusing DxO of being biased ... my point is that DxO does their testing in a certain controlled environment, lab or whatever but when we make photos in real world scenarios there are far too many variables that are simply not in the realm of any one company to accurately predict and test

Well, yes, of course -- they are in the business of measuring sensor performance, no more, no less.

This -- sensor performance -- is a really big deal to some people. I agree that for some shooting scenarios it may not be terribly important. (Actually, for what you do, some of digitalrev's reviews are probably more relevant!)

But we get some DxO fans who, without knowing my needs, (and the needs of other photographers) comment saying Nikon D5200 sensor has scored higher than 5D MK III, therefore it is a better camera and that I must accept their "facts"

Well, that's horribly ill-informed on their part. But I haven't seen these fans (are you sure they're not Nikon "fans" who would drop DxO like a bad habit if Canon started scoring higher than Nikon ?)

Anyway, the DxO score only tells us that the D5200 scored higher on the aggregate score, which in this case means that the sensor has less noise at low ISO. It says very little else about the relative merits of the two cameras.

Reviews / Re: Most Objective and Less Objective REVIEWER?
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:37:53 PM »
PZ, for example would criticize fast wide primes at f/1.4 for corner performance, comparing them, implicitly, to slower or longer  primes. Really, Klauss?
I don't think that's an accurate criticism. When he reviews test results (like soft corners or conspicuous barrel distortion or absence of distortions), he makes a point of mentioning whether those results are expected (or better or worse than expected) for that type of lens.

Never been a fan of the 4/3's cameras.
The latest offerings are worth another look even if you haven't "been a fan". Olympus switched to using Sony sensors, so sensor performance has gotten a lot better -- just a tiny bit behind Sony APS-C (due to the smaller sensor). You get the best of both worlds -- Sony sensors and the m43 lens selection. Take a look at the DxO mark scores for the OM-D (and the other new olympus cameras like the EPL5/EPM5 etc) compared to the previous generation (EP3/EPL3/EPM)


I don't think it's really necessary on Rebels since the focusing on them tends to be inconsistent anyway (at least that was the case with my old T2i). AFMA wouldn't fix that.

Not quite. Yes, the phase detection AF on most Canons is inconsistent but you can increase your good image outcome by a lot by doing AFMA. Just to give you an example. Let's say that without any adjustment your average focus is located at +6 with the shot-to-shot error of +/-3 units (that means that the lower and upper bounds are +3 and +9). If you keep it at that you will never get a sharp image. Now, if you do microadjustment of -6 units, you are zeroing your average focus position and your range becomes from -3 to +3 - much better. You will get much better images in this case.

Yep. Even if you are within the error range, you will get improvements. Suppose the keep rate when properly calibrated is 95% (+-2 standard deviations). Let's say the standard deviation is 3 AFMA units. Even if you're off by half a standard deviation (1.5 units so 95% of your shots fall between -4.5 and +7.5) your miss rate increases by about 50%, and goes up to 16% (3 times as much) if you are off by 3 AFMA units.

If you are towards the edge of the 95% band, it becomes a crapshoot (at that point it's about 50/50 -- you basically need to hope that the random component of your AF errors are in the right direction to make up for the miscalibration)

Should we expect new full frame bodies any time soon?

I heard the 5D Mark IV is just around the corner. The question is, whether to buy that or wait for the Mark V which will be even better.

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