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Messages - Positron

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Canon General / Re: Truth in photography
« on: February 02, 2012, 02:27:15 AM »

If a photo is actually a combination of several photos, but the photographer implies that it is a single, unaltered image, do you consider this unethical?

For me, this is the main issue. Mind you, he never explicitly says that the image is one exposure (in fact, I believe someone dug up a press release where he outright says it's two*), but the corny story behind it strongly implies that it was somehow a "magical instant" when that instant couldn't have existed. Mind you, the moon could have by itself (as could the silhouetted tree), and that alone is actually, in my opinion, the most striking and memorable part of the image.

Now, don't get me wrong. Peter Lik does some nice work, and as a fine art photographer, in my opinion he has every right to make images for the sake of art rather than documentation. It's the attempt to make the image seem like something it isn't that is bothersome.

By the way, I've been to his galleries in Las Vegas, and I have to say, more than the images themselves, the presentation is jaw-dropping. I know quite a few people with enough talent to take pictures as good or better than the ones he takes, but I know absolutely nobody who can beat his marketing. And at the end of the day, all that matters in business is the ability to get a sale.

So in short, as a fine art photographer, I believe compositing images is 100% ethical. Misleading the potential buyer into believing it was a single exposure is not.

*P.S. He uses the phrase "double exposure", which refers to something completely different. This image is a flat out composite.

I really like setting it on Monochrome while shooting in RAW for the B&W preview on the screen. When you import the resultant files into Lightroom, their thumbnails appear B&W, but snap back to color the moment you view them (and can of course be made back into B&W with a single click). A lot of times a shot that I'm not a particular fan of in color has some cool compositional elements that really pop and make it a potential keeper in black and white. And of course with RAW, you can change your mind any time.  :)

Lenses / Re: How do you pay for your lenses?
« on: January 31, 2012, 05:09:36 PM »

1. Bring lunch to work - save more than $2000 per year

This. It's shocking how much you save making your own food. When I stopped buying lunch at school every day I couldn't believe how much money I saved. ($5 a day * 180 days a year = $900 - a lot of money when you're trying to put yourself through college).

Lenses / Re: How do you pay for your lenses?
« on: January 31, 2012, 05:44:35 AM »
2 words... RAMEN NOODLES! We got well acquainted with each other in the last few months.

I hope you're joking.....
Tonight I had the luxury of adding a boiled egg and some cilantro.

If you hadn't bought that DualShock 3 you'd be ~$50 closer to your next lens!

Personally, my poisons of choice are tuna sandwiches and turkey cold cuts. Mmm. Never skimp on the orange juice though; not from concentrate or bust!

...Then I take the money I save and put it in my college account. I can get lenses after I graduate  :(

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« on: January 30, 2012, 02:07:28 AM »
Well, when the XS tops out at 1600 and most everything else is higher, anything would be an upgrade there.

Don't forget that the max ISO itself is not the critical component of high-ISO performance. Low-light performance tends to increase much more dramatically between camera refresh cycles than other metrics. I used to have an XSi (released just a few months before the XS), and when I switched to a T2i (only 2 years newer, and same model line; not even an "upgrade"), I gained almost 2 full stops of ISO performance. On the XSi ISO 800 was fine but 1600 was noisier than I'd like, whereas on the T2i even 3200 is acceptable, while at 1600 I'm more than pleased with the image. Obviously FF has a huge advantage in this regard just as a side-effect of the sensor size, but I'd suspect that even a newer crop body like a 60D or 7D would give quite dramatically increased noise performance while also adding better AF, burst speed, resolution, and improved handling.

Edit: Similarly, this has been my main concern with the idea picking up a used 40D or Lumix GF1. Even as a shooter of primarily stationary subjects, the regression of ISO performance (as opposed to max ISO) worries me because I definitely use my camera for everyday snap shooting even when I'm not setting up a tripod for a landscape or macro shot, and it should be able to handle both well.

Like someone else posted at the moment in Japan Canon must be having a free run with 7D / 5D Mark II sales with Nikon not able to provide a camera body other than the D7000 for sale over there. However this may also explain why Sony is beginning to catch up as well.

When I was there last month, it's true that the D300s and D700 were practically impossible to find while the 5D Mark II and especially 7D were everywhere. However, Canon does not have the large market share lead they do in the US for one major reason: price. Here in the US, Canon gear is usually cheaper than the equivalents from Nikon (especially when it comes to lenses), but in Japan that is simply not the case. I don't know if it's a tax thing or just what the free market is willing to support, but Canon and Nikon are almost exactly the same price there.

Now, if you want cheap in Japan, buy Panasonic used. I saw a Lumix GF2 used in great condition for 13k (~$170 including tax) and I almost impulse bought it. (For those wondering why I didn't buy to resell, I was over my customs limit and the taxes on it would wipe out most or all of the potential profit.)

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III Sighting?
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:01:44 PM »
Does look awfully like a 7D except for a few slight differences. If it is a 5D Mark III, that power switch around the mode dial is making me way happier than it should... time to get my sanity examined.

Edit: mememe beat me to it.  :)

Canon General / Re: Never delete images 'in camera'
« on: January 22, 2012, 07:21:03 PM »
Okay, a related question.

I always assumed that it was best to format the card in-camera so that it is formatted to the camera's specs. I see some advising formatting on the computer. Kind of a moot point for me, frankly, since I don't even have a card reader, but, is there any difference?

Of course I'm talking formatting, not just deleting. I routinely format my card once I've uploaded the images and verified the files are okay.

To be honest, I think all the popular card types use FAT32 as their filesystem now (I know there's been some push toward ext2 for microSD, but that's not really relevant to the question). I would recommend formatting in-camera only because certain cameras with certain firmware might only be designed to read/write one filesystem or another. I suspect on modern cameras that isn't much of an issue, but the point is that there is no way to format in camera and end up with a filesystem that the camera can't read, whereas it would be possible, formatting on the computer.

There's no actual way to "damage" the card by formatting it (other than normal wear from write cycles), but it's just guaranteed to work if you do it in the camera versus on the computer.

Finally, there's no need to reformat your card every time you dump images off it. Compared to just erasing all images, reformatting rebuilds the filesystem, which is unnecessary since a filesystem never "expires". The only times I'd bother reformatting is the first time you use a card, if you switch that card to primarily be used in another device, and of course if the camera is having trouble reading/writing the card. Otherwise you're just spending extra time and putting extra wear on the card for no real benefit.

Edit: As regards "the camera's specs", all major filesystems are standard, so the camera can't somehow "do something different" as regards the filesystem. The only reason that would ever happen is if the camera's manufacturer wanted to make it proprietary to force you to buy their cards (which would no longer actually be CF, SD, etc., even if they were the same shape), which none of the big manufacturers do.

Canon General / Re: Never delete images 'in camera'
« on: January 22, 2012, 04:55:50 PM »
As for the processor - no way.

Solid state memory (such as CompactFlash) does have a limited number of writes per bit, but when you delete an image, it doesn't actually overwrite those bits, it simply deletes a pointer so that the data can no longer be accessed. It only overwrites that data when a new file is stored to the same physical location (which any competent solid state controller will only do after all other physical locations have been used, to keep the wear balanced), or when you low level format (all bits reset to 0). Even deleting everything from the card using an erase all images will only change pointers and be no different from clearing the card when it's attached to your computer.

More importantly, the lifespan of even the cheapest card is not a matter of concern right now, because by the time it dies from normal use, the card is likely to be obsolete due to increases in storage density. I've had a few cards die from use from way way back in my P&S days, and the largest one was 256MB.

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