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Messages - gmrza

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Mirrorless on the Horizon?
« on: July 05, 2011, 11:38:11 PM »
my 5-cents here:
- Digital full-frame version of Canon 7 w/ 50mm f/0.95 to directly compete with M9
- don't really care about lenses mount as long as it can mount some M lenses (via adaptor or not)
- Couple of extra lenses 28/35/50/90mm would be nice

Are there other canon fans that would vote for this?
That will be a fun camera to have. The only question is How many Canon fans will give up the auto focus? I am for it as long as Canon brings back the rangefinder lens with fine focus adjustment With a fine range finder built into the camera.

I think there will ultimately be some challenges that Canon (or any manufacturer needs to address):
- with a fixed lens system (e.g. Fuji X100) a cheaper leaf shutter is viable.  For an interchangeable lens system, the
   the cheapest shutter system is probably a focal plane shutter (since a leaf shutter would need to be built into
   the lens).  A focal plane shutter adds quite a bit of complexity over the type of leaf shutter that the Powershots have.
- Autofocus on mirrorless systems has not been perfected - contrast-detect autofocus does not work as well
  as phase-detect (which requires a reflex mirror).  Leica's solution was to do without autofocus.  With larger sensors,
  using the sensor to do contrast-detect based focusing is a drain on the battery, and creates heat.

These are probably the two biggest technical challenges I can think of.  There are probably more.

I believe that the reason that Canon has not jumped headlong into the mirrorless segment yet is because
the technical problems have, to date, led to solutions which are not appropriate to the market Canon wants
to address.

Maybe Canon are on their way to sorting out the technical issues?  I don't know.

While I would welcome a range finder, I think that most users (the bulk of the market) want autofocus.  Most
people who take snap-shots don't want to spend time on focusing.  Most people under the age of 30 have
probably also never encountered a camera that does not have autofocus! - The first camera I bought - an
EOS650 - had autofocus, but I have used cameras like a Zeiss Ikon and Canon T70 to have the experience of
having to use manual focus.  (The Zeiss will see use again once I put aside the cash to have it overhauled,
as I am currently scared to use it, for fear that it will break after over 20 years in storage.)

PowerShot Cameras / Re: PowerShot G13 [CR1]
« on: June 29, 2011, 06:31:43 PM »
I wouldn't think of going to 12 mpix as "back in the MP race". These two cameras are clearly purchased fairly often based on reviews and street credibility, so its a fair bet that the extra megapixels in the updated do improve picture quality measurably.

Personally, I wonder if its not a back-illuminated CMOS instead of a CCD. That would quickly explain the megapixel jump and big jump in video capability.

After all, its not as if Canon can really make a one-off sensor for this segment, which is why Canon has been buying CCDs for this segment from Sony for a while.

Like I said before, these are pretty optimized designs, so evolutionary changes are all I would expect. On the S100, in-camera chromatic aberration correction could quickly yield some extra design freedom on the optics, though.

Makes you wonder about the market that the camera is being positioned to.
The G5, which was very firmly positioned towards the enthusiast segment (because DSLRs were
largely unaffordable then) sported a f/2 lens at the wide end.  A faster lens (especially a zoom)
costs more to build, whereas the happy-snapper market is demanding greater zoom lengths,
regardless of the fact that there is a loss of image quality with super-zooms.

I wonder if the enthusiast compact camera market segment is large enough for Canon to
be really interested, or is it going to be left to the likes of Fuji (and Leica), and possibly the
M4/3 crowd.

I am personally quite happy with 10MP.  I would prefer a bigger sensor, less noise and a brighter
lens as enhancements. Those are factors that would motivate me to buy a new camera, not a 2MP
bump in resolution (which is less than a 10% linear increase in resolution).  Who knows, as well,
whether the lens is sharp enough to cope with more resolution...

Maybe I should wait for the G15 before upgrading my G11, and just quit whining.


PowerShot Cameras / Re: Large Sensor PowerShot? [CR1]
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:58:24 PM »
gmzra, sorry, I simply don't belive you, those images could not have been captured intentionally with a G camera.


I've also had people tell me a image could not have come from my point and shoot, and they called me a liar.  It certainly lowered my opinion of them.


The point I was trying to make is that, given an understanding of the limitations of the tools you are using you can achieve good results.

Macfly: with the horses, I achieved exactly what I wanted - the barrel races are totally predictable, because the course goes around the barrel.  After the first couple of riders, you can work out exactly when to release the shutter - give or take a bit, depending on your own reactions and the skill of the rider.  The bulls are a bit more tricky, because the action is much less predictable.  You do however still get an idea of when the rider is going to fall - the scary moments usually happen just around when he hits the ground.  Admittedly, my keeper rate was not as good as that of my wife, who was shooting with a 5DmkII - still not the ideal camera, but better.

There is no way you could guarantee a success rate necessary for professional action photography with a G series.  That doesn't make the camera a piece of junk.  Much the same way, I prefer to cut wooden sleepers with a circular saw, because I can rip cut a 2.4m long treated pine sleeper in seconds.  I don't have any idea how long the same job would take with a hand saw, and whether I could even cut a straight line that way.  That doesn't mean that my hand saw is a piece of junk.

Don't knock the tool if you are using it outside of its intended range of uses... If you manage to stretch the tool to its limits and get good results, enjoy the satisfaction!

The other point I wanted to make is to make the most of the tools you have, rather than complaining.  Which is why it is fun to leave the DSLRs in the cupboard sometimes and take out the G11.

Oh, and look at Neil van Niekerk's blog post about shooting a wedding with a Fuji X100!:
Great results - yes. Fun - absolutely yes.  Would he risk doing that for a paying client - never!

PowerShot Cameras / Re: Large Sensor PowerShot? [CR1]
« on: June 28, 2011, 08:07:30 AM »
Well it's more than just the sensor, the camera has to work, and based on the aweful G12 I've been messing around with I doubt they're on the right path.

The G12 is such an absolute piece of junk that I won't buy anything expect the absolute top of the range Canon again. I haven't owned such a useless camera since my very first Fed Zorki lll back in the mid 70's. How Canon created such a piece of junk out out what was an almost acceptable platform amazes me. My weekend with at the Montreal F1 GP was so tragic I just started laughing at all the pictures it missed, 19 out of 20, maybe 39 out of 40. No matter what I did to override its silly nanny habits it would still dwell and pause, missing every single bit of action, it was so stunningly useless that I'm actually amazed they sell any of them at all!

So, even if they put a bigger better chip in a pocketable camera, there is no guarantee that it'll be any use at all based on the disaster that is the G12!

I understand your feelings, and see that you believe very strongly that the G12 is a piece of junk.

I own a G11.  Let us work on the basis that the G11 is functionally almost equivalent to the G12.  Actually, it lacks a few features that the G12 has, so it must be a worse piece of junk.

In that light, I would like to present the exhibits below, which prove what a piece of junk the G11 is.

My cousins' bulls were so offended by the lousy G11 that they threw anyone who tried to get onto their backs!

This last one is not a sports shot, but is further proof of just what a lousy camera the G11 is.

#sarcasm off

Seriously, my wife got much better shots of the bulls with the 5DmkII (oh sorry, that is also a lousy camera for sports).
I would not take a Powershot to shoot sports professionally, or to shoot professional studio portraits, or to shoot a wedding.
On the other hand, when you understand its limitations, a camera like the Powershot G11 or G12 can produce amazing results.
That said, I would probably never take a 5DmkII with on my bike as it would not fit in my backpack with my notebook and clothes.

When I want a camera that I can just pocket, without having to cart an entire backpack with me, the G11 gets my vote.  Yes,
it has shortcomings, but every camera on the face of this earth is a compromise.

It's all about horses for courses.

EOS Bodies / Re: Camera lets you refocus after photo is taken
« on: June 23, 2011, 06:37:20 PM »
Apparently it (or at least, a similar prototype from 2004-2005) uses a microlens array between the main lens and the sensor. I'm not clear on how that helps, but I'd like to have it explained to me.

It seems that they are somehow capturing the direction information about incoming light, as well as just its intensity.

It looks as though the computation to perform the "digital refocusing" is pretty heavy.

Most of the articles about it refer to a microlens array.
There is another write-up on Wired as well:

I think the important point that is being alluded to, but not addressed directly is that this technology takes one element of interpretation and moves it from the photographer to the viewer of the image:
Traditionally, the photographer chooses where he/she wishes to place the point of focus, in order to direct the viewer's attention. With this technology, the viewer takes on this control.
From an artistic point of view, this raises an interesting discussion about whether or not the artist wants the viewer to have control of the interpretation of a work. - While the utility of a happy snapper being able to choose the focus point after shooting is something that appeals too many consumers, the interaction of the viewer with the interpretation is a totally different discussion.  Some photographers may not like the idea, because they will choose focus in a way that suits their interpretation of a scene, and they may not want the viewer to interpret a scene differently!

PowerShot Cameras / Re: PowerShot Rumor: S95 Replacement [CR2]
« on: June 22, 2011, 10:54:09 PM »
Camera manufacturewrs have had a dismal record of product naming.  They obviously did not forsee the rapid development of digital cameras, and thought that like film cameras, they might pop out a new model every 10 years.

They really need to develop a better plan for naming models.

Well, they went from S80 to S90 to S95 . . . S100 is not inevitable . . .

Honestly, I don't see what's wrong with the MK version. Hell, Honda is so much better than GM just from sticking to a naming convention alone.  The current accord is informally the 8th generation . . . which is perfectly fine as insiders all know what it means, and you can quickly find out with a google search.

Maybe camera manufacturers have wanted to keep people on the upgrade path.
Maybe they think people will get confused if, for instance, an EOS5D was different depending on the model year of the camera.

On the other hand Apple stick with "Macbook" "Macbook Pro" etc. and refresh them every so often, and nobody gets confused, and everybody still wants the latest and greatest.  (On the other hand, Apple have a problem coming when they run out of big cats.)

Canon have a bigger problem:
- Powershot G13 - I think not!
- What comes after Powershot S99?  (S96 has no ring to it anyhow)
- What comes after the EOS 950D?
- What comes after the EOS 90D?

Canon have painted themselves into a corner.  Nikon will take a little bit longer to hit the same problem...

Lenses / Re: Leaf shutters
« on: June 11, 2011, 08:47:05 PM »
Am I the only one feeling the need for leaf shutter lenses? Of course one could upgrade to medium format if they have the money. But why doesn't Canon provide leaf shutter lenses for 35mm DSLR?

I would assume small dof and high flash sync speed would be attractive to many. Unfortunately, this can only be done with ND and powerful flash at the moment.

So why isn't there leaf shutter for 35mm?
One could ultimately probably summarise it as that a leaf shutter system for a SLR is commercially inviable, because of the technical challenges in building such a system and the limited market for it.
A leaf shutter needs to be built into the lens assembly - the optimal location is at the aperture diaphragm.  That means, in an interchangeable lens system, that each lens must have its own shutter assembly.  While leaf shutters have the advantage of high flash sync speeds, they are more limited in terms of absolute shutter speeds.  For higher shutter speeds, they need to be relatively small.  (You can see this in a number of point and shoot cameras that use a form of leaf shutter, where they can only achieve their fastest shutter speeds when the aperture is stopped down.)
I would venture that for a SLR system, a focal plane shutter has fewer disadvantages than a leaf shutter, and ultimately makes more sense.  (At least for most users.)
While it is a compromise, you can achieve higher flash sync speeds using HSS, at the expense of absolute flash output power.
For 99.9% of photographers out there (amateaur and professional) a focal plane shutter system probably provides the best solution.  It doesn't make commercial sense for Canon to chase that 0.1% niche.  (99.9% vs 0.1% is my own hyperbole, those figures are not based on any fact.)

I have to admit I don't entirely follow your comment about depth of field.  DoF is a function of aperture and frame (sensor) size, not the kind of shutter used.

Lenses / Re: Is Canon discontinuing the EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye ?????
« on: June 09, 2011, 05:09:22 PM »

As for the 50mm f/1.0, I don't understand why it sells for so much money. It has ~1/2 a stop advantage, but reviews say it doesn't perform well optically at any aperture, and if it sold well to begin with, Canon would have continued producing it.

[Yet, I think I'll keep my EF 15mm f/2.8 FE after I buy the EF 8-15mm f/4 - I like that lens]
I have to agree with you on the 50mm f/1.0.  The 15mm f/2.8 fish-eye is a real keeper however.

Lenses / Re: Is Canon discontinuing the EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye ?????
« on: June 09, 2011, 12:12:11 AM »

I suppose the new fisheye zoom is more versatile, but for those who want to de-fish and find the f/2.8 useful, that bites.

I guess the problem Canon had with the 15mm fish-eye was that the target market was limited to 35mm film bodies and 5D and 1Ds series bodies.  Owners of APS-C and APS-H bodies were left out in the cold, and they represent the majority of EOS owners.

So, hang onto your 15mm fish-eye, and hope that it appreciates in value... Somehow I doubt it will be as good an investment as the 50mm f/1.0L *grin*

Software & Accessories / Re: Which Storage Devices ???
« on: June 07, 2011, 06:45:17 PM »
If photography is your business, get a dedicated RAID server for your backups.  It doesn't have to be hardware RAID-5 or 6, as we use software RAID-5 or 6 for a lot of mission critical stuff.  If photography is your hobby, then RAID-1 should be good enough with 2 large HDs.  It all depends on your requirements (speed, capacity, etc).

There are two points here that a few people have discussed:
1) data protection (RAID is the most common technology to address this); and
2) backups.

The two should not be confused.
There is no one-size-fits all storage solution - we all need to analyse our needs, and build a solution that fits.

What is important to remember is that RAID will protect you from a single hard drive failure (or two hard drive failures with RAID6 / RAID-DP - if you are using Netapp storage).
RAID will not protect you from a NAS or controller failure.  To do that you need to look at solutions like replication (e.g. replicate data between two NASes).

RAID also does not protect against human error - i.e. accidental file deletion, or against operating system failure - e.g. your system crashes due to power loss, and the file system is trashed when you try to boot up again.

Try to consider all the failure modes you need to protect against, and then architect a storage solution that fits your needs.

For instance, RAID is not for everyone.  You may find that individual hard drives are large enough, and that replicating between 2 NASes protects you from drive and controller failure, while backing up to the cloud protects you from finger trouble...

Lenses / Sigma 120mm-300mm f/2.8
« on: June 04, 2011, 04:30:45 AM »
News that's a couple of days old already:

What is interesting is that this is the first time I am aware of Sigma launching a lens with some sort of "splash-proof design" (sic).  I would be interested to see if they update lenses like their 70-200mm f/2.8 to include weather sealing, and whether that puts any price pressure on Canon.... Competition is always a good thing.  To date, the lack of weather sealing has been one of the key factors turning many people away from the Sigma 70-200mm.  (Of course, there is still the discussion about whether Canon might introduce a change to the EF lens interconnect that breaks third party lenses on a yet-to-be-released body.)

Canon General / Re: Patent - EF 50 f/1.4
« on: May 26, 2011, 07:31:11 AM »
I wonder, though, if the EF non-L primes sell enough these days for Canon to feel that a redesign and everything associated with a new product is warranted.  In recent years there seems to have been a pattern of letting non-L primes wither.

I wonder if it is a case of letting non-L primes wither, or whether other lenses (especially a lot of zooms) have been in much greater need of an update...

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III [CR1]
« on: May 20, 2011, 10:02:30 PM »

I read an interesting article on medium format sensors the other day. In it was a discussion on how many mp would be needed before the sensor outperformed the lens. Apparently Canon are said to be working on lenses for 36x24 "full frame" that will work happily up to 60mp, while on the Pentax 645 sensors would need to exceed 110mp before it becomes an issue. Basically, I believe that manufacturers will simply offer better lenses as the MP count creeps ever higher.

That same article was saying that in prints of A3 or bigger, the large MP sensors on good quality medium format systems produced a very obvious quality improvement over the 36 x 24mm "full frame" size sensors. Basically, bigger is still always better.

An interesting question about that will be what lenses like that will cost.  Clearly over time, they will become cheaper, but I expect that we will initially see such lenses being quite expensive (relative to other 35mm system lenses).
On the other hand, that still gives Canon the ability to go hunting in traditional medium format territory, as such lenses might still be cheaper than medium format lenses.  I suspect that Canon (and aso Nikon) will want to hunt as many photographers from the medium format camp as they can. - Ultimately, if your clients do not need resolution of more than 60MP, why buy a 110MP medium format system is a 60MP DSLR will do?  Many photographers who previously shot medium format film have already taken that path and migrated to DSLRs.

I am not saying that there is no need for a 110MP MF camera.  I am just postulating that Canon (and Nikon and Sony) would want to encroach as much as possible into the traditional territory of MF systems, relegating MF to being a more and more specialised niche.  (That is a pity in a way, as that stands to risk MF cameras becoming even more expensive, due to smaller market scale and less competition.)

As for 32MP on a 5DmkIII - anyone who currently makes 20"x30" prints off a 5DmkII would welcome that!

EOS Bodies / Re: We cant rule out any more quakes
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:09:56 PM »

Of course a 9 is a big deal anywhere since the magnitude scale is not linear but exponential, meaning a 7 is twice what a 6 is and 8 twice what a 7 is and so forth. LOL, I knew my geology degree would come in handy one day...I got mine right in time for the big oil bust of the '80's and the joke back then was if you had your PhD it stood for 'Pizza Hut Dude' since no jobs.

Small correction: the Richter Scale is a logarithmic scale (to the base 10).  Thus, a magnitude 9 quake is 10 times more severe than a magnitude 8, and 100 times more severe than a magnitude 7!

So, if you compare the Sendai quake to the Madrid quake, the difference is 3.7 points on the Richter scale which is a nearly 5012-fold difference in intensity!

The intensity of the quake doesn't give the full picture though - shallow quakes tend to have a more devastating impact - this was the case in Christchurch.

Software & Accessories / Re: Radio in New Canon Flashes? [CR2]
« on: May 10, 2011, 08:10:08 AM »
As PKN above said, I would assume that the new system would use one of the common wireless frequencies so as to maintain usable in all parts of the world - one of the 802.11 variations or something like Bluetooth would be obvious choices.

I have my doubts that Canon would use 802.11[a/b/g/n], however it is possible that they might use one of the ISM bands (which are used by WiFi products).  Some wireless flash triggers (like the Elinchrom Skyport) do already use the 2.4GHz band.  The only potential issue is interference with WiFi equipment, as users would now potentially need to ensure that they set their flash and WiFi equipment to use different channels.  Potentially if you are in an area where the ISM band is already crowded with WiFi signals, you may have problems operating a flash trigger system.

For going wireless, the ISM band may still be one of the best bets though.

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