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Messages - distant.star

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721
Video & Movie / Re: Urban Exploration - filmed with Canon 7D
« on: February 02, 2013, 09:35:01 PM »
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Amazing. You certainly met your objective. Very moving visuals and sound.

Thanks for sharing it.

722
EOS Bodies / Re: Another one of those should I conversations...
« on: February 01, 2013, 11:49:42 PM »
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Yes, you should do that.

Thanks for asking.

723
Reviews / Re: Kirk Security Strap review
« on: February 01, 2013, 05:00:34 PM »
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Thanks for the good review.

For me, at $75 it would have to make my coffee in the morning and open doors for me all day long!

Dollars in my pocket shield me from much inconvenience.

As Ben Franklin said: There are only three things you can count on in life:

1. An old wife.

2. An old dog.

3. Ready money.

724
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Confirms 70D; Future of Semi-Pro DSLR is FF
« on: February 01, 2013, 01:01:06 PM »
I want to rant about about the photo news media. I don't understand why industry writers have to be such sycophants. They never ask the tough questions of these executives, but instead behave like a bunch of lap dogs letting these executives sail through the interviews with softball questions.

Almost anyone who comments on this forum could have asked better questions.

It's probably a reach to consider staff at DPReview "industry writers" or media or journalists at all. Owned by Amazon, they are simply part of the marketing system designed to make people want their products. And in my reading, I haven't seen any of them that could write their way past a decent managing editor on any legitimate publication anyway.

I've agreed with and made the same point about genuine journalism in the photography equipment world. The only two sources of objective, informed information are Big Brain (neuro) here and Roger at Lens Rentals. Much as I respect them, that makes for a damn lame world of broad photo equipment journalism. How many consumers are going to find their way to those two sources?

That said, there are two things in that interview that impress me.

First, the corporate portrait. That is as perfect a headshot as I've ever seen -- and exactly the kind of perfection I'd expect to see from Canon. Imagine being the photographer charged with doing their management headshots!

Second is this statement: "My idea is that, if you increase the size, you go with APS-C - that's the architecture that allows low light performance. That was the reason I put an APS-C sensor in the PowerShot G1 X and the EOS M - for the time being, that's the standard."

He is actually saying HE is the one who did this. I can't recall a corp exec ever putting himself "on front street" (as my 12-step friends call it) before. He has stepped outside both corporate norms as well as the whole of Japanese culture with this statement, so I find it startling. If he had said "we" did it, that would have been the usual corp drivel I'd expect. And, honestly, without that, I wouldn't even have commented on this. If I'd made some public statement like that when I was in the corp world, I'd have been raked over the coals for "being off the reservation."

Also, interesting that his two APS-C installations seem to go nowhere. At least in the west the M seems to be a dud. And as I've said before when I asked the camera staff in a local (Philadelphia area) Best Buy store about the G1X, they'd never heard of it -- had no idea any such thing existed.

725
Canon General / Re: Why did you choose Canon?
« on: January 30, 2013, 10:12:39 PM »
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I prefer to believe that Canon chose me!!

726
I've been using this nick since the time of dial-up BBS' at mindblowing speeds of 2400bps. I couldn't think of a better one at the time, but it stuck and has been with me since.
As for the avatar picture, it's an HDR of the Ebonite Skull Bowling ball that I use for my other hobby, bowling.  ;D

Wow, you came late to the game. We started at 300 -- using an acoustic coupler! I remember watching one line at a time scroll in and dreaming of the rumored 9600!

727
(This, by the way is why I advise everyone to admit to their spouse or significant other that they have at least one "white" lens. Once you admit to owning one, you can sneak in another couple lenses with the same white coating and most non-photographers will never notice the difference, as long as you don't ever let them see both lenses at once. :) )

I tried that when I was married -- turned into a nightmare. I ended up having white lenses hidden all over the house. Half the time I went looking for a lens all I could find were whiskey bottles. It got very confusing. The day I found one of my lenses with a lens cap missing, I knew the jig was up. Fortunately, in the divorce settlement, she had no interest in white lenses. (She did get to keep the good whiskey though!)

728
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Mostly, as already noted, for essential market coverage. Fundamentally for two reasons, I believe:

1. Because they just can.

2. Because they have to.

They both can and have to because they develop technology that gets put into their high end equipment. Some of what is in the 1Dx today will eventually trickle down and be in a $100 P&S in a few years (if the market holds together that long). Last month I bought a clearance P&S (A1200) from the refurb shop for $35. It has a Digic 4 processor, good metering and reasonable AF. And, for the poster who said he'd buy one with an optical VF, this one has it. The VF is tiny and unsophisticated, but it's a great option to have in some situations. They can do it, so they do.

Now, imagine (difficult as it may be for some of the affluent posters here) that you have a severely limited budget and you're really interested in photography. You'd love a 1Dx, but the $200 you have won't even get you into down payment land (if you could even get credit!). Say you're 18 and in college and working a PT job and know that phone cameras don't really cut it. Canon has this whole vast array of cameras that get you immersed in "shopping." You're learning features, comparing capabilities, etc. You find a lot of these cameras can do what you want -- the stuff the phone cameras can't do.

Here's an example of a woman I know in a situation where she can only afford that A1200 I mentioned. This is the kind of work she can turn out with it because she is interested in photography and has great inherent ability:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintagevix/8427228784/#in/pool-1671753@N24

Frankly, I'd be proud to call that my picture with my whole 5D3 and RAW and LR, etc. She can do it with a minimally manipulated JPG out of camera -- probably Canon's cheapest P&S.

This woman aspires to better equipment to fulfill her vision -- and Canon has a lineup to take her as far as her money can ever take her. Maybe, if Canon's cheapest was $200, she may not have been able to afford to see how good she can be. There has to be a $100 camera. And there has to be a $150 camera. And there has to be a $200 camera. And some have to have long zooms and some have to have short zooms and some need to be "ruggedized," and some have to be.... This is why they must do it.

So, Canon develops leading edge technologies they can sell at a premium to demanding professionals (who can afford it). And eventually, some of this tech trickles down to lower levels where it can provide funding for development of more leading edge technologies. This is why the can do it.

Anyway, I think that's a piece of it.

729
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma Announces New 30mm f/1.4 for APS-C
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:20:19 AM »
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One more brick to strengthen that APS-C wall.

730
Lenses / Re: Sigma 35 1.4 or Canon 50 1.4 or Canon 24-70 2.8 II
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:14:14 AM »
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I guess it's easy to toss out a question like this and see what kind of fish flop into your boat. But your question raises more questions than can possibly be answered.

You say you want a lens for "street photography" AND portraits. Then you throw in "larger compositions." Larger than what?

The term "street photography" is now so nebulous that it means virtually nothing. If you're planning to do "old masters" style street photography (candid people in public places interacting with one another and the physical world) then you'll have no choice. The 35mm is what you'll get. If by "street photography" you mean typical tourist pictures -- buildings, crowds of people, monuments, etc. then the 24-70 is the clear choice.

The classic portrait lens on a 35mm camera has been typically 85mm to 135mm. If you plan to do classic portraiture, then none of those lens choices are appropriate. If you mean something else by "portrait," then you'll have to better define what you mean.

You mention "image quality," but again you don't say what that means to you. Pinpoint focusing? Bokeh characteristics you want? Color renditions? Distortions? Vignetting? Only you know what that means to you.

Finally, there is such a wide price differential in those lenses, I'm puzzled by the cavalier nature of it. The Canon 50 is in the $350 to $400 range. The Sigma is at $900 and then you jump to $2200 for the 24-70. You can get five of the 50mm lenses for the price of one 24-70.

Seems to me you need to answer some questions before you start asking questions.

731
Lenses / Re: Lens Help - 17-40 & 70-200 f/4 or 24-70 f/4
« on: January 28, 2013, 03:22:18 PM »
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I'm hardly the lens master....

But, you'd regret not having that 70-200 if you got the 24-70. That's what your comments sound like to me.

Without carrying a lot, you can put the 70-200 on the body and carry it with you hiking and with just the tiniest of shoulder bags also have the light 17-40 along just in case. So, when that deer pops up 50 feet away, you're ready. And when you wander into that perfect landscape perspective, just change the lens. The only downside I see is you'll need f/8 to get excellent IQ with the 17-40 so you may find yourself bracing with a tree or setting the camera on a fencepost.

Those two lenses open up the whole scope of your camera. The 24-70 doesn't give you a lot more than you already have (plus the price is still too high).

Oh, and congratulations on your daughter -- take lots and lots of pictures. And store those little treasures so you'll have them 50 years from now. (If we don't destroy the planet before then!)

732
Third Party Manufacturers / Argus 1.8 Billion Pixels
« on: January 27, 2013, 02:45:05 PM »
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From the "I'm glad I'm too old to look forward to this kind of world" department:

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/nova_the_next_generation_of_drone_surveillance_20130126/

The fear mongers of our world are developing a surveillance camera for drones they are calling the "Wide Area Persistent Stare" that can watch and record everything that happens in a small city.

"This is done by stitching together streams captured by a curved mosaic of 368 lens chips into one fluid video. Standing at a monitor, an operator can zoom in on specific areas anywhere within the image, opening up to 65 windows that contain magnified views while maintaining the larger context.

"From an altitude of 17,500 feet, Argus can see an object 6 inches off the ground, and automatically identifies everything that moves. Its recordings can be stored at a capacity equivalent to 5,000 hours of high-definition footage and are instantly retrievable at every level of magnification."

I'll bet when this comes about someone makes a small fortune selling hats with big mirrors on top.

Recently, I found out how much we are already being watched. A man killed a woman inside her house in Philadelphia. Cops gathered all the records from all video "security" cameras in the neighborhood. They zeroed in on one man they saw on the street, did some enhancement on his face and compared that image to the state driver license records to identify him. He confessed after 10 or so hours of persistent interrogation. Glad they caught him, but that kind of power scares me just as much as any criminal does.

733
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Roadmap for 2013 [CR2]
« on: January 27, 2013, 11:15:40 AM »
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So glad to hear about this great new source!

I'm off to find some Japanese tourists with cameras! I'm guessing the ones carrying high end equipment have the best intel?

Will report back on my findings!

734
Some more humility would be appreciated by everyone :)

That humility stuff is rarely appreciated, Beast. Especially men -- we think we're expected to be able to talk camshafts and valve timing and torque converters -- even if we don't know anything about it! Safer, of course, to BS about "sports" nonsense. How about those Dodgers!!!

735
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 02:35:15 PM »
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If you can sidestep the obligation, do. If you really can't, don't panic. It's a grand challenge, and you can have fun if you allow yourself to.

Beav talked about expectations -- very important. Make sure they know they have no reason to have great expectations. That said, I expect they've seen some pictures you've taken, and you should be flattered they asked you. But again, make sure they know event photography is a specialized occupation and getting a nice landscape shot is not the same as a wedding.

A few thoughts:

1. Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you have. It's what you know. Trying to learn a flash, even just for fill, will get in the way. Forget a second body. The chances that your body will malfunction is about the same as them changing the date back to six months from now. A second body, with a different lens, can be helpful, but you're disadvantaged. First, you're shooting a wedding, and you know nothing about how to do that properly so all your attention needs to be on getting that right. Second, it's too confusing in this situation to remember a second body and what settings are on which body (it's more than just another lens). Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you've got.

2. Work on getting one memorable shot. You can give them 50 mediocre pictures, and one great one -- all they'll see is the great one. That's the one they will come back to in future years, and they'll remember you gave it to them. Try to plan something in advance if possible. If not, keep looking for that one moment when everything comes together perfectly -- and don't hesitate! Shoot the damn thing NOW. And tell them you're best hope is that you can give them one, single memorable picture.

3. Don't be afraid of the high ISO capability your camera has. Use what you need to get the right aperture/shutter speed to make the shot.

4. If you're going to be the "official" photographer, be it. Don't let people get in front of you or block you. Direct people into shots you need. You're in charge of this production. Don't be a passive photojournalist just shooting what happens. MAKE it happen. And as I've said here before, the best piece of advice I ever got when I started doing weddings so many, many years ago -- Do NOT be afraid to do it over. If you screw up a shot, stop everything and have them do it again. Now that may not be possible on the altar (but it may be if you've got the chutzpah) but have them restage it a few minutes later if need be. Always better to be embarrassed (which everyone will forget) than hand them a bad picture (which they will NEVER forget).

People have mentioned visiting the venues where you'll be working, good advice. And finally, I'd suggest looking at some wedding photographer sites -- look at the standard shots they all get, and plan to get those at least.

And have fun. The worst that can happen is you take some lousy pictures. At least I haven't heard any mention of a shotgun!

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