November 24, 2014, 02:17:35 AM

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Messages - Don Haines

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Good day. Going to be relocating at the end of this month from continental US to Stavanger, Norway. Seeking advice from experienced travelers on best way to move equipment.

If you're moving with a pro movable company they'll take care of it.

I have moved all over the world and usually only take my camera and a small flexible lens (to have it for early photos) and my two most expensive lenses (>5.000$). The rest is a question of insurance. Any pro movable company will have an insurance that lets you replace broken/stolen items at your destination. Check this in advance and get anything you are unsure of in writing (seriously).

Any respectable movable company will also require that they - and they alone - package everything. Here the original lens cases etc. are best to use. That's what Canon thinks work - it'll work for you too. And the movable companies love them.

I also make sure to have two copies of all my pictures (raw etc.) on two disks. One in my computer to be shipped and a "spare" in my hand luggage. Highly recommended. Remember to check all electronics as soon as you get your stuff.

Finally, and important, some countries will not allow you to import expensive items that are less than typical three months old without paying high taxes just as some countries will not allow you to bring it in as travel luggage (because then it does not get registered and checked for sales date). My guess is that Norway will strict on the first count (3 or even 6 months)  but will accept that you bring movable stuff in your travel luggage. Do yourself a potentially big favor and avoid any pain by checking this in advance. You can probably phone Norwegian customs and ask in English if your movable company does not know the answer to this (which could be a warning that they may not be the right people to deal with).

BTW. Norway is great for photography but also very dark. You will need the best high iso and fast lenses you can afford.

No experience with low-cost DIY packaging and shipping. But I know people who have tried going half way by going cheap with the movable company - trust me, there are many tears down that road.

Good luck!
Depending on the amount of stuff you are moving, it will probably go in a shipping container..... and that is a very safe way to travel.....

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Posting about sensors and DR!
« on: September 29, 2014, 04:52:27 PM »
I still don't understand why there is controversy....

For some people, the current crop of Canons have enough DR.... and they are happy. For others, they do not and many of them are frustrated with waiting.

Anyone else remember when digital cameras shot 16 color jpgs? Then we went up to 8 bit colour depth... then we went to 24 bit color depth (RGB at 8 bit D/A)... then we went 10 bit A/D... then 12 bit... and we have been stuck for an awful long time at 14 bit... 16 bit will come someday soon for low pixel count sensors, but right now, with the full well charge of the current sensors 14 bits is enough to count every electron in the well. Extra bits will not help until there is a bigger well to count. That goes for EVERYONE! Canon, Nikon, Sony, whoever....
Yes, if we bumped up quantum efficiency a bit we could make minor improvements.... but realistically everyone is in the same ballpark and there are not a lot of differences when you have lots of light.

The real problem is noise. If your least significant bit is toggling on and off with noise, then you have 14-1, or 13 bits, of accuracy. If you have more noise and the least significant 3 bits are toggling with noise, you have 14-3, or 11 bits of accuracy...... and that is the difference between Canon and Sony sensors. Sony sensors read with less noise and because of that the signals have more range. If Canon improved their noise levels (and it is rumoured that this has happened on the 7D2) then the gap would lessen.

The reason why some people are so interested in seeing Canon shift to a newer fabrication run is two-fold. With higher resolution lithography, there is less wasted space and the efficiency of the sensor goes up (more electrons to count).... problem is, the number could only be boosted by a quarter so it will be an incremental improvement, not something revolutionary. The other advantage of the newer fabrication process is a redesign that moves the A/D onto the sensor and reduces noise that way... and it is possible that Canon could gain almost 2 stops if they did that...

So what does this mean in the real world?

For bright areas of the picture, very little.

For dark areas, quite a lot.

Let's say that you have a dark area of a picture where the lower 4 bits should be 1000. If you have 1 bit of noise on the signal those values are going to range from 0111 to 1001... not a lot of difference. If you have 3 bits of noise on the signal it will range from 0000 to 1111, a far more substantial difference and when you push your dark areas, you see the noise. Interestingly enough, for that area, the AVERAGE value will still be 1000. With advanced noise reduction software you can reduce that noise to a more acceptable range, but this adds in another processing step for the photographer and even at that, it will never be as clean as an image without the noise.

In essence, those who are clamoring for a better sensor would like to eliminate this processing step and want better quality images out of the camera..... but show me a single photographer out there, Canon, Nikon, Sony, or whatever shooters, who would be upset with their manufacturer if they were given cleaner images?

And that is what the debate is all about.... cleaner images. We all want the same thing so why are we attacking each other over this. Let's get along and try to be respectful.

I have shipped EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!! electronics all over the place (including Norway) in large black pelican cases and have yet to have a problem. You make sure your gear is properly loaded, take the cases to the courier, fill out all the paperwork (gotta love customs forms.... NOT!) and away they go....If you are worried about theft, have it arranged so that you pick them up from customs....  That way you can lock the cases and when you pick them up, customs will open them with you and do the import inspection.... otherwise, SNIP and there goes your lock...

We just use cable ties here at work.... customs cuts them, looks inside, and the paperwork is done before we arrive.... nothing has been stolen yet.... but to be fair a camera is a lot more attractive item for theft than a rack-mound router or a satcom modem :)

Abstract / Re: This image may have been photoshopped
« on: September 29, 2014, 11:38:29 AM »
Well, I just go to the ZOO in my home town, and see a lot of New breed of Animal/ Birds, and take a snap shots for you to proof too---No Photoshop involve. JUST KIDDING.
Well, The Following photos are by the PRO/ Photoshop PRO.---Not by me---Ha, Ha, Ha.
Have FUN.
WOW those are great!!!!

I was pointing to his web site that touted a career as a C programmer but he had no clue what the missing DLL meant.

Yeah, something is definitely fishy here. It's his first post, and instead of asking for help, he just came to trash talk Canon on a Canon forum. When I saw the outrageous thread title, I immediately assumed it was a troll post from a Nikon user. While he may not be trolling, it is definitely not how you introduce yourself as a new member. What kind of response do you expect to get making a post like that?

If the OP is reading this and would actually like help, please post some useful information so we can actually help you troubleshoot the issue (Computer model, operating system version, etc...)

I agree that he didn't handle things well, but I got the impression he was/is angry and upset more than anything.

As for being a former c programmer for a investment fund (or something like that) I wouldn't interpret that as being an expert in everything computer related.

I have some background in programming too and I run into problems that frustrate the hell out of me every so often.

This is true. All the programmers that I'm friends with at least are very tech savvy though. I just made an assumption. I repair computers almost daily, and it's very difficult to diagnose and correct problems through email or over the phone with Windows machines. There's way to many variables to take into account with some people's setups. Windows is not sandboxed like Apple OS X is. Nearly any 3rd party software that is installed is capable of affecting system stability and performance. It could have simply been antivirus software or files that weren't updated because they were in use. A hard drive with unmapped failed sectors will cause corrupted files to be written, as well as a bad RAM module. A corrupted download could be to blame also. I breezed through the article on his web page just now, and he did mention using the system restore function. I usually resort to this as a last ditch effort, as it rarely fixes things without making more of a mess in the process. You can't really expect Canon to be able to troubleshoot issues like this, unless it is a known issue with a workaround (i.e. incompatibility with latest service pack, etc). I've had DPP on various systems throughout the last few years and haven't had a problem with it.

I know several programmers that know very little outside of their area of expertise..... but to be fair, most of the ones I know have a very broad knowledge base... The thing is, you can't evaluate the programmer's competency or the software problem over a forum. They guy might be technically competent, he may not...

What is missing is the ability to deal with people. If you start of with a rant, you get back crap. If you start off with well thought out and polite questions, with the end goal being problem solving, that's what you usually get. Right now this subject is poisoned. If the OP is truly interested in a solution, start again.

My recommendations to him, particularly since it is an older system, is to get your hands on some software to test the computer hardware. First step in these cases with an older machine is ALWAYS to verify the operational status of the hardware.... bad memory, bad HD sectors, or even an inconsistent CPU can all cause "unsolvable" software errors... unsolvable because the software is not the problem.....

Step 2 - really uninstall the old software.... and after it is uninstalled, erase the directory it used to be in and then run a registry cleaner...

Step 3 - run your antivirus software

Step 4 - update your OS...

Step 5 - download the latest version of DPP and install it with default conditions.....

Site Information / Re: Canon Rumors Site & iOS 8 Issues
« on: September 28, 2014, 08:10:37 PM »
If this turns into an Apple bashing or fanboi lynching...........blurgh

I'm definitely getting less DR since installing iOS 8 .........
You think you have problems...... I have a  black rotary dial phone and I can't figure out how to download anything to it.....

I really screwed up my knee, and weather is blowing in rather fiercely now. I can hardly walk, so hiking up to my landscape spots (Long Lake is a great one, but it's a decent hike up past Brainard Lake, which is a nice area...and I can't take any hikes like that now. :().

I'll see what I can do about getting some more demonstration shots.  Given the tone of this thread, I don't think it will matter much...same old stuff, same old retorts, same old nastiness. I simply set out to demonstrate the differences, as best as possible...which required an extreme situation. It doesn't matter if you always do a 5-stop push, even with a one or two stop push, the differences can be realized.

I'm pretty dismayed at some of the insults being thrown, not even at myself, it's just not necessary (Sporgon!) We can be civil about this issue.
I am waiting the results with an open mind.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 28, 2014, 11:32:21 AM »
a somewhat different pose... Common Merganser yawning.

Canons Reputation is ok for all that People who do their Job in Sport-, Journalism- and Wildlife-Photography. That stuff smells like sweat and blood, Mosquitos and Cocaine, Gunpowder and elephant dung.

Obviously the Canon-Guys are now working on their Image in the World of Chanel No 5.   :)

Greetings Andy

Gunpowder and elephant dung?

Talk about a job where you just stand around all day and "shoot the Sh*t" :)

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 28, 2014, 10:48:38 AM »
Common Mergansers and a loon... shot while out on a solo canoe trip this weekend... If you are quiet you can go upwind and drift downwind to get close enough for pictures..

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 28, 2014, 10:44:49 AM »
Common Mergansers taking off. Shot from a canoe in Algonquin park.... I sat with them for about 30 minutes until another canoe came along and scared them off....

At the same time, I don't think anyone deserves to be called a "Canon fanboy" for discussing the practicality of this shadow latitude difference, especially in light of some of the hyperbole seen on this forum.

Personally, I don't understand how someone can be accused of being a "Canon Fanboy" for pointing out that another company does something better. Could someone please explain the logic to me?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Says Higher Resolution Sensors Are Coming Soon
« on: September 28, 2014, 09:53:35 AM »
One advantage that the 7D II can offer that I don't think the 5D III or 1D X could ever really compete with is the ability to get long equivalent focal length at a faster max aperture...allowing the use of more than just the central cluster of AF points at the much slower f/8. The 7D II could achieve an effective 1344mm focal length (FoV equivalent) at f/5.6. At best, FF cameras can achieve 1200mm f/8. The added AF power the 7D II can offer at a very long effective focal length is intriguing.

That's true if your output requires more than the 7-8.6 MP you'd get by shooting the FF at 840mm f/5.6 and cropping to the APS-C FoV.  Granted, the 20 MP APS-C allows deeper cropping, but in most cases the IQ will suffer from atmospheric impact at distances which would require such deep cropping.

birds are often very small so the distance even at 800mm and more are not always all that great and atmospherics don't always play much of a part in things

Yes, to demonstrate the point, this (rare and exotic) bird was less than 50 feet away, and this was taken at 1,900mm on 1.6-crop.

You might need an equipment upgrade for pictures of rare and exotic birds.... Might I suggest black oil sunflower seeds :) The trick is to focus on the sunflower seed and wait for a bird to materialize around it..

Seriously though, I shoot birds from dozens of centimeters to hundreds of meters. Usually (although obliviously not always) getting close is a big problem and more pixels on the target is usually a good thing.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: September 28, 2014, 09:40:00 AM »
If you take a closer look at my "personal text" ("The dark side...") on the left hand side or read through my first post here, where I tell my photographical journey, you'll know that I already had left Canon (in film days) and came back. Why?

Because Canon offers the (IMHO) best overall package in the market:
  • really good bodies (maybe lacking some IQ today)
  • best lenses
  • best support and service
  • decent pp freeware (DPP, etc.)
  • stable and reliable market approach (no mount gambling like Sony, no financial troubles like others)

If I was to start today, I'd seriously consider Oly and the OM-D E-M1. But the great lens setup is still to come there...

Now I'm already settled ;)
I really like the OM-D E-M1 and the menu system. I think Olympus is far more innovative than Nikon or Sony and like their menu system... If I were to go for a smaller form factor, this would be it.... but I REALLY!!!!! like the glass with Canon... the 100L macro and the 70-200 beat anything Oly has...  Then again, there are adaptors :) , such quandaries to ponder!

We are truly blessed in that we have such a wealth of great cameras to choose between.... and the reality is, no matter which one you pick, you made a great choice....

Technical Support / Re: Circular Polarising Filter
« on: September 28, 2014, 09:29:08 AM »
You need to track down this lady and ask her to hold the camera :)

Seriously though, I was in a plane they were filming from... it was a Twin Otter that had a special door which had a pair of "ports" in it that could be remove for filming.... VERY COOL!!!!!

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