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Messages - John Thomas

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PowerShot / Re: Canon Announces 3 Long Zoom PowerShot Cameras
« on: January 30, 2013, 05:17:21 AM »
...high-quality images captured with an impressive 10x optical zoom lens and 12.1-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor...

?!? ...impressive??? ...impressive? ??????  ...impressive?? ????????? :o >:(

Nikon has a 42x (forty two) zoom with 18.1 MP sensor on P520.

Fuji has 30x stabilized zoom with 16MP for FinePix S4800

Also, Fuji has the F900EXR - a 20X zoom, raw-capable compact superzoom with built-in Wi-Fi, offering what Fujifilm claims is the 'world's fastest AF'. The F900 uses a 16MP EXR-CMOS II sensor with Phase Detection AF technology. A near-identical twin of the F800EXR in other respects, it offers the same stabilized 25-500mm equivalent lens, captures 1080p movies, P,A,S,M shooting modes and the ability to wirelessly transfer files via the free 'Fujifilm Camera Application' app for Android and iOS devices.


Really, the Canon offering is "impressive". But in other ways than the Canon management and/or marketing might think.



Lenses / Re: CPL + Wide Angle = Sadness
« on: January 22, 2013, 05:25:24 AM »

Usually I use CPL with good results till 24 mm, but I need to be careful (position wrt to sun, frame composition). If the thing doesn't work then I do the following math:

tripod + low ISO + big Av + in-camera HDR natural mode =  ;D

You can change the last therm of the recipe by changing it to 'Art Standard', or 'Art Vivid', as you like. If you want to add more spices then you can bracket more shoots and blend them in a HDR in PP.

Have fun!

There is also Phottix Hero Remote View which is interesting:


How do you find the image crop of the Zigview S2?

...also, after a few more digging I found these:


Very nice and cheap, but it seems that it wouldn't last long. Also it won't fit on 5D3's 3.2" screen. (perhaps an email to them can "fix" that).



priceeeey ...however an interesting idea. Well executed, imho. For over the head you must turn the camera upside down tough.

Software & Accessories / Extreme angles photography. Which tools to use?
« on: January 03, 2013, 11:25:54 AM »
Hi all,

We do enough extreme angle photos and I mean here by "extreme angle" the low angle shots (significantly lower than the eye level) and the high angle shots where the photog needs to keep the camera above of his head.

Unfortunately, as you know, 5D3 has a fixed rear screen, so we are forced to use a "trial-and-error" technique to do our shoots.

However we did some research and we found till now that there are several gadgets to help here. I will list them in the following lines with my observations, their pros and cons, (according with my (humble) opinion of course) inviting you to add / modify / delete the list. Let the ball roll:

- Right Angle Finders. Something like this one:

Cheap, good raport price / value. However these things are 90 degrees only. Also they cannot extend. It would be very nice if there would be a product which will have an extensible arm (or should I say... leg?) which optionally would change its angle at, let's say 45 degrees, in order to give more flexibility in camera positioning.

A plus is that the thing is optical, hence fast low-light AF, no batteries, small in size, lightweight etc.

As an aside note, "360 degrees rotation" from the product's spec means for me that it rotates in the parallel plane with the camera rear not on the perpendicular one.

- Field Monitors. Something like this:

Way bigger and heavier than the previous option (the above is an 7" monitor). Perhaps a 5" one would be a better choice. Also, perhaps it would be a fragile option for a photojournalist. Needs battery (ok, I can cope with that). Also, it uses the HDMI output which means that it will use the LiveView engine hence the AF will be slower (even if I use the Quick more) and the camera's battery will drain faster.

Any thoughts here?

- Mirror. A simple mirror. See discussion here:

I think it is a very good idea however I think that the camera won't be so steady since one of the hands will keep the mirror. No, I cannot use always a tripod.

Any comments? Thoughts? Better options? Better products?

TIA for your feedback

Canon General / Re: Total File Size - All Your Images and Keep or Delete
« on: January 03, 2013, 05:23:43 AM »
My two cents:

1. Do not do anything else on your cards (neither edit, neither nothing...) just download them on the PCs. The NAND cells have a finite lifetime (see and controllers from camera or USB readers are way to simple to provide advanced techniques like wear leveling, GC etc.

2. There ain't such thing like 5TB disk. WD will have them but in late 2013 (AFAIK - see The products like the one to be found  at are in fact a NAS with a RAID card in it using 5 (five) disks in RAID 0 or other config (RAID 0 not recommendable at all for data safety imho).


Software & Accessories / Re: DPP Digital Photo Professional
« on: December 27, 2012, 02:56:39 AM »
Assuming that you have Win7 installed fire up the Resource Monitor and see where is the problem.

IMHO you have a background program which trashes your disk - something like an antivirus. Sometimes such beasts can be quite aggressive. Try disabling it, if you have one.

Lenses / Re: Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 or Canon 24-105 f/4
« on: December 22, 2012, 03:10:17 AM »
You said you would use f2.8 so there is your answer. Also whomever mentioned the tamron doesn't use the outer af points on a 5diii, that is simply untrue. It is however true that the f4 lens doesn't take advantage of the double cross f2.8 points on a 5diii. I own the tamron it is excellent better than my old canon 24-70i plus with 6 years of warrantee and roger at lens rentals singing the praises of tamron service it is by far the best deal out there in a fast mid range zoom IMHO.


If you shot in low light the f/2.8 vs f/4 isn't just one stop better, is also the (great) difference in AF usage. A F/2.8 (or faster) lens use much more from AF engine than a slower lens (double cross AF points are enabled only at 2.8 or faster etc.).

Disclaimer: I have Tamron 24-70 on 5D3 shooting a lot in low-light, very pleased so far. Perhaps your copy will need AFMA but is nothing to worry about. Also, on Canon's 24-105 seemed to exhibit some CA on big contrast images.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5d3 is the 2012 camera of the year!
« on: December 22, 2012, 02:39:04 AM »
It seems that DPReview's users have a quite different POV:

Yes, I have 5D3, it is my workhorse and I love it but IMHO the DPReview's poll is somewhat closer to reality.

No, I wouldn't trade my 5D3 for Oly OM-D EM-5 or for a Nikon D800, but the other companies were much more innovative - they tried harder (ok, in the case of Nikon the gist is, of course, the Sony's sensor) offering better value at a reasonable price.

This is what I would like to see from Canon.

EOS Bodies / Re: Memory Cards--What is the absolute best?
« on: December 11, 2012, 04:22:35 AM »
Also, taking in account what others have said, (almost) all brands have inside, in fact, Toshiba NAND chips. Yes, the reliability of the case and the controller can make a difference
Isn't controller the most important part when it comes to write speed?

Hmmm.... well... yes and no. It depends. Theoretically all things being equal, yes, of course. But in our concrete case, generally no. (Ok, not so much).

Let me explain:

The cards are rated to 1000x, 600x, 400x aso. Hence their sustained data transfer rate must be somewhere around these values. Hence very different write improvements (like different arrangements of RAID-esque architectures  etc.) will push-pull the card in another speed class. An exception here is SanDisk whichd doesn't obey to the standard rating of "NNNx" varies significantly the speed in the same line (eg. 'Extreme Pro' line) which indeed indicates that they use different controllers / data access strategies (for ex. stripping) or other enhancements in different edition of cards (it seems that 128 GB is the fastest and 64 GB is the slowest by a perceptible margin).

Also, another thing to note is that the main bottleneck (like in the case of computers) is, by far, the storage media, followed by the data access type (eg. RAID type - the number of stripes). Yes, the controllers can make a difference but not so much, and, also, bear in mind that in the card market isn't easy to enter, hence hardly one finds a 'cheap' solution with a 'bad' controller (except, of course, fake labels, as I mentioned in my earlier post).

EOS Bodies / Re: Memory Cards--What is the absolute best?
« on: December 10, 2012, 03:15:09 AM » again. Another thing:

Perhaps is wise to not buy a faster card than you need. For example my Transcend 32 GB 600x can keep up with the burst rate of my camera (5D Mk3). Hence I'm not interested in 1000x cards. Perhaps only if I'll shoot in the future using CR2+JPG. But since this possibility is quite low I will not invest my money in an 1000x card which, in fact, I don't need.

EOS Bodies / Re: Memory Cards--What is the absolute best?
« on: December 10, 2012, 03:06:50 AM »
See this:

Also, taking in account what others have said, (almost) all brands have inside, in fact, Toshiba NAND chips. Yes, the reliability of the case and the controller can make a difference but usually the competitors are quite close one to another - of course this applies IF the said brand is genuine and complies to specs on the label/product package (see the link above).

From my experience Transcend gives a very good price comparatively with the two well-known brands (Lexar & SanDisk). Also, I didn't have any bad surprises with Transcend cards (CF 600x & SD Class 10 cards).


Software & Accessories / Re: Yet another tripod thread...
« on: December 07, 2012, 03:30:35 AM »
For what gear? (camera + lens. Flash also?)

For what orientation? (portrait also, or landscape only)

Where do you want to use it? (ie. outdoors also or studio only)

How often and for how long?

Anyway the reviews seems positive but the price is suspect.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Firmware officially announced
« on: June 29, 2012, 11:35:56 AM »
@AvTvM - Many thanks for confirming that
Now all we need is the min shutter speed and we get the faux M with ec through using AV
M with autoiso/ec would be good but I suspect min shutter speed would be easier

I cannot see any firmware/programming difficulty whatsover to enable EC in M mode as it is enabled in ALL  shooting modes [other than "M" and "B"]. I suspect all it would take is to change a "0 for No" to "1 for Yes" in one single byte of the EPROM for "M" mode.

Hmmm... It might be if they already have the code in 7D's firmware, otherwise I don't think so. There are other things to be updated like the GUI, for example. Don't forget that EC gauge in M mode shows other things.

However this isn't a showstopper at all and they must do it, imho. Just pointing out that sometimes the things aren't so easy as it sounds.

Lenses / Re: What's a good budget wide-angle lens?
« on: June 21, 2012, 02:46:47 AM »
Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2/8 PRO FX

Very good for what is supposed to do and cheap.

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