April 18, 2014, 11:38:26 PM

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Messages - Chris Burch

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Lighting / Re: Bolt Cyclone battery packs
« on: April 16, 2014, 01:29:06 PM »
Agree with you on the prices.  There is no excuse for these batteries to cost so much.  I was talking last night with an engineer friend of mine about designing the perfect external Li-ON battery pack for <$100 and crowd fund it.

Lighting / Re: Bolt Cyclone battery packs
« on: April 14, 2014, 01:55:45 PM »
The Bolt Cyclones are great battery packs, but you have several options on where to get them.  Two of them are made by Godox (PB960 or PB820) and have been rebranded by Bolt (same as several other companies including Cheetahstand).  Here is a very thorough review of the PB960 (same as Bolt DR PP-400DR):  http://flashhavoc.com/godox-pb960-lithium-power-pack-review/

I have a pair of these that I mainly use with my CL-360 flashes (also a Godox product), but occasionally use with my Canon speedlight, too.  This battery pack is much larger than the CP-E4 so keep that in mind.

I also have 4 PB820s that I was using before the 960 came out.  These work well, too, but are NiMH, not Lithium batteries.  This version was originally sold under Bolt, but that have since upgraded it to Li-ON as the  Bolt PP-310.  It's almost the exact same size as the PP-400DR but has less than half the power capacity.  The only other downside is the lack of a lock on the cable to the camera.  Having recently used one of these attached to my on-camera flash, I can tell you the cord lock is a nice and useful feature.

There is also a Bolt Cyclone X PP-600 -- this isn't from Godox, so I am not sure.  It's an inch smaller on each side, which is quite appealing, but way overpriced for what you're getting. 

Lenses / Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:45:14 PM »
If you own a prime lens that doesn't look good until you stop it down to f2.8, then you should get rid of it.  All of the newer primes (those with max apertures lower than 2.8) are quite sharp with high IQ below below 2.8.  Even if the quality at the widest aperture is lacking, stopping down 1-2 clicks will generally give peak results and should still be below 2.8. 

If you're talking about some of the older primes like the older version of the Sigma 50 f1.4, then yes...total garbage wide open.  All of the more recent L primes are quite sharp at the widest settings.  Sigma seems to be knocking it out of the park lately too with their new lenses and I already have 2 of them (the 35 and the 120-300).

It depends on your business model.  I actively shoot functions that are attended by my friends or acquaintances and posting on FB gives me the opportunity to literally put my work in front of them on a reguluar basis.  It's free advertising and allows me to show the full breadth of my work to an audience that may only have a limited understanding of what types of things I shoot or the quality of my work.  I post highlights of almost everything I shoot to FB instead of having my own blog-type of site.  It's easy and has a wider audience.  I also post everything under a separate photography page that isn't my own personal page.

If you have concerns about your images getting taken and reused, you can post lower res and watermarked shots or just opt out all together.

I just did shoot this weekend based on someone on the other side of the country who briefly met me at an event and later saw my photos on FB that were tagged and shared.  This client is likely to turn into a long-term customer, too.  That means a $0 advertising investement is turning into cash in my pocket.

EOS Bodies / Re: 6d iso compared to the 1dx
« on: February 14, 2014, 01:19:20 PM »
The 6D is a little cleaner at high ISO than the 1DX or the 5D3.  I have the latter 2 and a colleague has the 6D and I can tell a noticeable difference in the noise apparent with 6D images.  The 6D's 6400iso shots look very close to the 1DX at 4000iso.

PowerShot / Re: Canon PowerShot G1 X II Final Specifications
« on: February 11, 2014, 02:23:00 PM »
Does this mean there is definitely no dual-pixel AF in the GXII?

Especially because I bet the photogs get pretty far from wireless access points at times....

Well, I'd think they would have the place covered, especially since all current professional cameras are WiFi enabled.

What "pro" does Canon have that's WiFi enabled.  The closest you can get is a 6D, which is not really something I would be using for sports.  None of the 1-series or even 5-series have WiFi.

Canon General / Re: Deals at Adorama: 600EX-RT, Canon EOS 6D kit and more
« on: January 27, 2014, 07:41:17 PM »
I guess this was a very short-term sale.  It's 7:40pm and I can't get the sale price to pull up with or without the LightScoop.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: EOS-1D X Firmware Version 2.0.3 Released
« on: January 09, 2014, 09:19:44 AM »
This would have REALLY helped to have last week when I was shooting an outdoor wedding basically in total darkness...on New Year's Eve...when it was 32 degrees outside.  AI Servo was pretty much useless on locking onto the walking couples.  I had to use one shot (with focus assist) and walk backwards with them to get clean shots.  This update might not have improved it enough, but any boost would have helped.

PowerShot Cameras / Re: New Vixia Camcorders Official
« on: January 06, 2014, 01:31:29 PM »
One of the specs here might be inaccurate...

The Mini X doesn't seem to have any zoom capability according to the specs on the Canon website (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_mini_x#Specifications).  It appears to be a fixed focal length with either a wide or up-close option, but no variable lengths in between.

If your setup is causing the flash to fire at or near full power, it will take 2-3 seconds to recharge even with an external battery like the Propac (which I have and use regularly).  You could either slow down your rate of shooting to accommodate or make the flash do less work (change to manual, slow the shutter, increase ISO, etc.). 

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS M2 Not Coming to North America
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:13:38 PM »
I am personally quite happy to see this "upgrade" launched in the US because it allows me to keep up hope that a better version is coming here.  The new version is disappointingly low on improved features.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY want DPAF on this camera and would buy it in a heartbeat if it comes out that way.  It will save me from having to buy yet another full-sized DSLR for the few times a year I shoot video, plus I could use a decent compact camera.

I'm planning to expand my speedlite system next year. I like where the Phottix system is headed. I'm thinking about getting the Odin and a couple of Mitros flashes. Does anyone know if the Mitros has the receivers built in or will I have  to get the new Mitros +?  Any comments/reviews are appreciated. From what I've seen so far, it's a great system.

The Phottix Mitros speedlights don't have the built-in receivers other than optical TTL.  The whole point of the Mitros+ is to introduce built-in receivers.  That said, the Mitros+ looks to be pretty pricey for a third-party system.  I have been using the Phottix Stratos II triggers for over a year now and can't speak highly enough about them, so I'm def a fan of Phottix, but surprised their new flashes are so pricey.  You should definitely wait to see how the new YungNuo gear turns out for performance and price.  I suspect they will be really well priced and hopefully as (or even more) solid as all of their previous gear. 

This is an exciting period because the options for remote control of speedlights pretty much didn't exist at all, and now there are lots of options on the horizon.  I'll be making the same decision after the YN release myself.  My current setup works great, but I would love to have remote manual power control.

Lighting / Re: Why was Godox first to think of this?
« on: October 22, 2013, 05:21:21 PM »
The charge indicator alone is a break through, which is just total nonsense.  There is simply no excuse for that not to be a standard on every flash made in the last decade or more.  I'm quite pleased to see the lithium battery though, as the requirement to charge several dozen batteries before a large shoot is getting way old.

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