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Messages - K-amps

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I once ran into someone who bought a 7D + 85mm f/1.2 L + 580EX II as his FIRST ever kit. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing and took a lot of stuff that more experienced photog's could take with an iPhone.

I would only go as far as saying the equipment should match the skill level of the user. Both are equally important.

I agree both are important:

But unless this guy took a loan out from his kid's college fund, I find nothing wrong in his choice or his purchase. Looks like he did his research, zoned in on a prime lens (most noobs like me would try and get max coverage from 15mm to 400mmm regardless of the speed of the lenses...) that is fast and sharp.

Why should he be asked to buy a rebel kit lens when all of us would not... The only wrong thing I can see is if he thinks he can shoot like an Art or Ansel or any great guys on this forum without learning how to shoot.

I gave my 350d and kit lens to my 12 year old daughter trying to get her into this wonderful hobby... She might take 100 pics and have 10 turn out really great... but the limitations of the kit lens then comes into play... if she had better gear, those could have been even better....

I just got my first L lens a month ago... my skills are still the same as a month ago, but my successful rate has gone up significantly. For example: Pictures with L lens dont burn out highlights as much as kit lens do, I don't know why but no one told me this would be one reason to get an L lens...

I am not saying gear is more important than skills, but gear WILL make a difference, so kudos to that guy to get decent gear.

EOS Bodies / Re: Your wishlist for your next body...
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:39:57 AM »
One simply thing. Aperture values blink on Canon cameras when light is too high or too low. I would like they would also have some kind of sound to alert about this. You should be able to configure this. I think that the sound of the cameras could be used to give them some functionalities.

For example, if the photo is overexposed and some part of the foto is completely white, sound alert. This way you can change the settings instead of taking some overexposed photos.

Talk about acoustic feedback to hawk eared subjects.... when I take pics of kids... it's hard enough to get them to focus without beeping sounds coming to them.

EOS Bodies / Re: Price point of a 5Dmk2 replacement
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:36:07 AM »
My calculation is: $300 difference between FF and APS-C, $300 for larger prism, larger shutter, lager mirror, larger body (compared to 7D). Assuming that the 5DIII have all the features of 7D then, the 5DIII should be  $600 above 7D. The current 5DII have less feature than the 7D and sells about $1000 above the 7D. Therefore the 5DII is over priced. Canon should be able to sell the 5DIII at about $2200. Since 5dIII is a FF, Canon may price it at $2800 for deeper profit.

Canon have manufacturing costs (per body produced) but they also have fixed R&D costs. How do they distribute those between the different models ? For example, if the R&D costs average $200 per camera sold, does that mean that entry level powershots "should" cost $200 plus manufacturing costs plus markup ? If you don't want to pay for the R&D, then why are we discussing prices of a model that doesn't even exist yet ? The way it ultimately works is that the way those costs are distributed among their models depends on relative supply and demand for the different models. Higher end models (those where a price increase doesn't hurt sales as much) are likely to cover more of these costs.

In terms of manufacturing costs alone -- Sony has already sold a full frame camera for $2000 (the A850). So it is likely that it is possible to get full frame cameras on the shelves for $2000 a piece with 0 marginal cost per unit  to the manufacturer.

But pricing does not depend on marginal production costs alone.  It depends partly on fixed costs and partly  on supply and demand economics (and these interact as fixed costs are likely to be distributed based on demand). The 5D Mark I has similar full frame hardware to the 5D Mark II, yet it is "underpriced" at $1000. The reason is that there is limited demand for an older model.

A lot of times, people setting the prices are not rocket scientists (surprise surprise). They do not create sophisticated price elasticity models...  I implement financial package (ERP) applications in Fortune 500 companies, and it amazes me how rudimentary their cost allocation models are. Most of the time, R&D is considered a period cost and allocated based as a percentage of selling price or product cost, then a margin is added on top of that.

If one went purely with R&D allocation, it would not inflate the prices of the higher end models as much, what does inflate those costs is the % of Mark-up tacked on. Herein comes the art of pricing, the mark-up.

 A product manager for lets say a rebel line will work on what he has to work with given his product range and not worry about pricing for the pro series, he will have sales targets (the smarter companies will have profitability targets): These Targets at times are not always set to maximize profitability, but at times are set to mantain market share and customer base till the next model comes along. The real money is made from the higher margin products, therefore for consumers, the higher end models do "rightly" seem over priced, and they are.

I am not sure if the FF's prism is 40% larger that it costs 40% more as well... the cost of material is negligible in this case, the cost over overhead would be about the same, the cost of labor might be the same or even more for the smaller prism (depending how it is manufactured). But I do get that the yields on the sensors follow a different set of rules.

A $500-600 differential between a 7D to 5D class camera (other things being the same) might be justified, the rest is fluff and mark-up!

EOS Bodies / Re: Price point of a 5Dmk2 replacement
« on: September 28, 2011, 10:26:18 AM »

.....so I would think it would cost Canon to about $400 a piece, if that, to make it.....

Looks like I was very close in my estimates:


Thanks for sharing.

EOS Bodies / Re: No 5D Mark III on Novemeber 3 [CR2]
« on: September 27, 2011, 01:21:51 PM »

Back to the more interesting rumor on 5Dmk2 replacement, there is no way we would find out if there is one coming. The moment is it actually known when a replacement is coming, virtually all 5dmk2 sales will stop, except those buyers with no interest in cameras which, lets face it, if your spending $$$$$ on 5dmk2 + bits, your generally going to research the internet a bit (or for most of us, a hell of a lot, infact WAy to much)

This is a very strange time given the devastation earlier this year to stock and manufacturing plants. Its not long ago they only just got back up to full production. So we know before July/Aug there was no stock of the 5Dmk2, so there was no stock pile to try and reduce. We are in September and there are price cuts, so this isnt to shift a massive stock pile of 5Dmk2's.
So obviously they are making 5dmk2 again, if they announces a replacement now, available for Feb 2012, who do you think is going to buy a 5dmk2? Thats right, the people i mentioned above and there arnt many of them at this price point.

How about the camera-savvy people who can't afford the 5D ii at its current price range, ( so of course can't afford the 5Diii when its released)  but are hoping to snap it up at a bargain price when the 5Diii is announced?!

Get a 5d classic. It still has excellent image quality. One will run you about $900-$1200 on feebay depending on condition, use it for a few months, then sell it when the 5d3 comes... and not lose more than $50-100 Thats the price of a 1 day rental! Why wait?

Canon General / Re: Improving composition - photography skills
« on: September 27, 2011, 12:38:39 PM »
Firstly thank you all for the references and tips.  will need time to digest the materials mentioned here.

Let me share 2 specific challenges I face with my photos:

1) Exposure - with digital - even a slight brightness often "kills" the colors by "blowing them out". When I shoot outdoors (I live in a very sunny country) I find it very hard to set exposure - as "normal" exposure often is much to bright and colorless, if I start to underexpose - I get dark spots in the frame? Any tips on outdoor shots in bright light ?

I am looking again... and love em more...  :) Did you do something for lighting? I don't see facial shadows caused by a single point source of light (sun)... did you compensate with flash?

"Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson discusses metering in some depth. The first step if you are taking pictures of a scene with really bright highlights is to make sure that you are metering the primary subject and how to meter when photographing challenging scenes.

A quick summary: the way Peterson likes to do it is put the camera on manual and fill most of the frame with whatever he wants to use as his point of reference and manually set the exposure, then recompose. Alternatively one can use AE lock combined with shutter/aperture priority.

2) Portraits. Everyone talks about using a small f/stop >=2.8 to produce background blur (bokeh) and give the shot a nice affect. However I find - that f stops 2.8 and smaller - can easily produce blurry shots as the smallest movement of the subject (not to mention a group shot where people are not all the same distance from you) causes blur. I found that nothing ruins a nice portrait more then a blurry kind of picture (unless this was intended for some artistic purpose)
What is the best F/stop for portraits ? What about if you use a flash ?

The best F stop depends -- depth of field varies with subject distance. If you're close to minimum focus distance, you could need a much narrower aperture than f/2.8 to avoid "foreground blur".  If you're taking a full body portrait with a 50mm lens on a crop, subject movement will not throw them out of focus (assuming you focused correctly). See online depth of field calculators.

For portraits, there is no one best F stop, but if you go with a narrow aperture, you will need a more cooperative background.

Flash can be used as necessary to provide enough light. Ideally, you choose the F stop based on depth of field preference. As you've probably observed already, for group shots you often need more depth of field, especially if the subjects aren't conveniently lined up in the plane of focus. A flash really helps for these because then you don't need to stretch the aperture to get enough light, instead you can close it to get enough depth of field.

Canon General / Re: 5D mark II versus 7D spot focus
« on: September 27, 2011, 12:09:49 PM »
If i may, the autofocus sensor receives light from the mirror so the more light hitting the mirror, the more light gets sent to the autofocus sensor... they are 2 separate sensors... the 7d DOES have a more advanced sensor, but light being light, if it doesn't receive as much light as the 5d does, it can only do so much...  In good lighting, the 7D kicks the 5d's butt every which way, but in low light, lighting becomes even more important. 

If you will, here's what I mean... the crop sensor is 1.6 smaller than a full frame sensor... a little more than half the size than a full frame sensor... Take 2 softboxes... both pumping out the same quality and strength of light... If 1 is on and the other is off, that's basically what a crop sensor is getting in light... a full frame camera would be like turning on the second softbox of light... you're not increasing any intensity of light but it's a bigger source overall 1 vs 2 and so it's more light and in terms of exposure, that's around 1 stop difference.  The full frame mirror will receive 2x the light gathered from the lens (all the light the lens can send it) and that light bounces into the AF motor.  The crop sensor still gets all that light but the mirror is smaller, sensor is smaller, and a lot of light is then wasted and not used...

The image sensor as you say is not the same as the focus sensor... are you saying the 7D has a crop (1.6x) focus sensor too??  :-\

EOS Bodies / Re: Price point of a 5Dmk2 replacement
« on: September 26, 2011, 05:00:23 PM »
Frankly, I think anyone who spends $3,000 on a camera body and isn't using it to earn a living ought to have his/her head examined.

I did.  :P  No abnormalities that I can see...

How many people get to take a self-portrait with a >1 million dollar camera?   8)

EXIF: GE Signa HDxt 1.5 Tesla MRI with
8-channel birdcage coil, T1-weighted image,
spin echo sequence, TE=10 milliseconds
(sort of like 1/100 s shutter speed)

Seriously, it's all about desire and budget.  For many people, a  $3K camera body is an extravagant purchase.  For me, it's 10 hours of consulting work...

Neuro... the frontal cortex seems a bit atrophied... or in layman speak, a bit shriveled  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: No 5D Mark III on Novemeber 3 [CR2]
« on: September 26, 2011, 11:35:07 AM »
Personally i think they will keep slightly reducing the price of the 5dmk2 up till xmas, to maximise sales, and announce a replacement Feb/Mar 2012. If the sale of the 5dmk2 are weak they will bring the replacement forward, assuming its ready.

Makes sense, unless people stop buying the 5D2, why would Canon be pushed to release a 5D3?

5D2 plus Magic lantern firmware is almost a 5D mk. 2.5  if you look at all the video features, and great stuff like AEB 9 shots, Focus bracketing and a bunch of other stuff that some people want.

Personally the only thing I am looking for them to improve is even better high ISO performance, otherwise the 5d2 is such a great performer as it is.

Canon General / Re: Improving composition - photography skills
« on: September 26, 2011, 10:52:48 AM »
Lovely shots neuro... did you manually focus the last one (with straw hat?)

EOS Bodies / Re: No 5D Mark III on Novemeber 3 [CR2]
« on: September 26, 2011, 10:42:01 AM »
No, Canon, no!

Video is, with a few exceptions, a slow and boring form of communication.  Once people realize that no one wants to watch their boring clips, this will fade.  Sure, it's possible now to shoot HD video at reasonable prices, but who needs it?

Apologies of course to those who actually are able to make good video.


The videos I make are hard to watch, I have stopped trying... the pics I take are not as terrible  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: All I Want For Christmas is a 5D Mk III...
« on: September 26, 2011, 09:05:35 AM »
Vote with your wallets and quit buying the 5D2... arent we perpetuating the delay by purchasing all the 5D2's?  :P

Canon General / Re: Improving composition - photography skills
« on: September 26, 2011, 07:49:47 AM »

2) Portraits. Everyone talks about using a small f/stop >=2.8 to produce background blur (bokeh) and give the shot a nice affect. However I find - that f stops 2.8 and smaller - can easily produce blurry shots as the smallest movement of the subject (not to mention a group shot where people are not all the same distance from you) causes blur. I found that nothing ruins a nice portrait more then a blurry kind of picture (unless this was intended for some artistic purpose)
What is the best F/stop for portraits ? What about if you use a flash ?

2.8 and smaller, open up the aperture, allowing a faster shutter, thereby allowing you to freeze your subjects better, so in this case, it's a win/win, since you get more softer backgrounds anyway. The 2 downsides (minor) are that some lenses will be sharper 1-2 stops slower, and if you are up very close, the depth of field will be so shallow that unless your subjects are in one plane, some will be blurred.

Perhaps you are referring to OOF (out of focus) and not (motion) blur caused by someone moving front to back and falling outside the depth of field... ?

To get max background blur, open up as much as you can knowing your lens will still be sharp. In the end there are many factors to consider but for this scenario, open up the aperture and work from there. Know your lens!

Lenses / Re: New L Series Lenses coming out with the 5D Mk3?
« on: September 23, 2011, 01:18:32 PM »
The 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 are the perfect tag team. The 24- 105 2.8 is just too much overlap IMO,

I prefer having some overlap on zoom lenses. In the real world it makes shooting much easier, not having to stop and switch lenses when a subject moves or to get just the right framing.

I always thouhgt that lenses are sub-optimal at their extremes, so overlap in lenses could make up for that perhaps?

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro USM
« on: September 23, 2011, 01:09:07 PM »
Have you compared the 180mm to the 100mm L? What do you think are the pros/ cons of each? (IQ wise) I know the 180 weights a bit....
.....   but the 180L does a fairly bad job as a tele lens....

Thanks. Would you care to expand on this a bit, since the samples I have seen, the 180mm has a great creamy bokeh when used as a portrait (granted it is useless indoors) and is very sharp, allows you to snap away people in the outdoors from a distance without being in their face and causing them to act unnaturally... maybe this is not the scenario you had in mind...

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