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Topics - Mt Spokane Photography

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We occasionally get posts from new users who see all the wonderful professional images posted on the internet and want to improve their work.
I think it would be useful if we could list some of the issues and the good things that a person switching from a small sensor P&S to a DSLR should expect.
I've bought a number of DSLR's barely used locally by disillusioned photographers who went back to their P&S.  For them it was likely the right decision.  I'm sure we could all expand on this, and perhaps a Admin will make it sticky so new users can take advantage of it, kind of a FAQ for those upgrading from P&S to DSLR or even large sensor P&S like the G1X.
Things that new users find disappointing:
1.  The main complaint I hear is the pictures are blurry, or not in focus.  The fact is, small sensor cameras usuallly are very easy to focus and have a huge depth of field to hide any focus errors.  This is a big factor that buyers did not realize.
2.  The Kit lenses are plenty sharp, but are not suitable for low light photography wothout supplemental light or a steady tripod and long exposure.  New users do not understand the need for external flashes, or wider aperture lenses in low light.
3.  Weight and size.  Lets face it, its a pain to carry a big rig and heavy lens or set of lenses with you, and it might just make you a target for thieves.
Benefits of a DSLR:
1.  Speed:  By that, I mean that you can usually take photos as fast as you can press the shutter.  Many P&S cameras take about 2 seconds between shots.
2.   Shallow depth of field.  This is something that P&S users intrepret as a blurry image, but once you understand it, you can use distance, focal length and aperture to create a 3d look where a subject is in focus and the foreground and background are smoothly blurred.
3.  Low light photography using no supplemental lighting.  Sometimes the use of flash or other supplemental lighting is banned, or would ruin a image.  A DSLR with a much larger sensor has better low light capability by increasing the ISO setting.  Its also possible to gain advantage with wider aperture lenses, but you do have to understand how to use that f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens to get depth of field and sharpness by selecting the right lens for the subject distance.
The Best Lenses Under $500 for Crop Bodies (EF is fine)
18-55mm IS  - Standard zoom, sharp but limited to good light, and inexpensive construction.
55-250mm IS -   Telephoto zoom, sharp but limited to good light, and inexpensive construction A good buy.
50mm f/1.8  Standard Prime lens, wide aperture good sharpness, inexpensive construction and a good buy for the performance.
50mm f/1.4 - Standard Prime lens,wide aperture good sharpness, better construction.  Performance is not a lot better than the f/1.8
85mm f/1.8 - Short Telephoto Prime Lens Wide aperture and very good sharpness.  Excellent performance for the price.
please add more.
The Best Under $1200 for Crop Bodies:
17-55mm f/2.8  High Quality Standard Zoom with excellent sharpness and the widest aperture found in a zoom.  If you can afford it, get it.
lots more to add

Pricewatch Deals / Canon Refurb 400mm f/5.6L $910
« on: April 10, 2013, 03:05:23 PM »
Just added to the refurb site.  I don't recall seeing it here before.

Lenses / How Much do you use your Canon EF 16-35mm L ??
« on: March 23, 2013, 03:52:25 PM »
Last July, I bought a new one for $1350 on a impulse buy from Newegg, but haven't really warmed up to it.  I previously found the same thing with my 17-40mmL.
I use it on my 5D MK III.
I do low light photography, and have analyzed the photos I've taken.  Almost all of them are at f/2.8 and fall in the 24-35mm range of focal lengths.  They also required that I boost my camera ISO to very high levels, often 25600.
I'm thinking of selling it, but I hate to.  It is a very sharp lens, no problem there, I just find that I have little need of super wide angles.
Perhaps a 24mm L to go with my 35mmL, or a 24-70mm f/2.8 to replace it?
Here is a example taken at 35mm, ISO 25600.  It was in blue light, which explains the tint.  There is lots of noise, but it prints well at 8 X 10.
16-35mmL @ 35mm ISO 25600

I think I like the one taken with my 85mm f/1.8 at f/2 and ISO 16000 better.  Maybe a 85mm f/1.2?

Third Party Manufacturers / Nikon finally Admits D600 Dust Problem
« on: February 23, 2013, 09:49:16 AM »
Well, they at least admitted what many owners have known for months, but are still in denial that there is any widespread problem.  Why can't Nikon just be straight forward and admit the issue in a timely manner?  They have been hurt by poor sales and a bad rep over this, when they could have sent out a letter like this long ago.
The answer is likely that users who haven't checked their sensor and do not even know how, will send in their camera for a cleaning.  I hope they have resolved it with newer production units, but nothing is said or admitted there either.

Software & Accessories / New FOCAL (Beta for Pro Users)
« on: February 18, 2013, 10:19:29 PM »
The upcoming 1.8 version sounds like a big step forward.
http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/2013/02/focal-1-8-release-candidate-available-for-focal-pro-users/Updates and FixesWith the last major issues with the Mac version of FoCal ironed out, we’ve been steaming ahead working on fixed for various bugs and improving the features of FoCal.  This new version brings the following updates:
  • RAW analysis – RAW sensor data is now analysed by default for more accurate and repeatable results
  • A new TurboCal tool for Canon cameras which performs a shutterless AF microadjustment calibration in 20-30 seconds!
  • A new Camera Information tool showing lots of useful information about your camera (including shutter count where available)
  • Addition of Focus Controls to the Target Setup tool to allow live adjustment of focus (useful for Aperture Sharpness/TurboCal tests)
  • A completely rewritten Dust Analysis test which is faster, gives better results with more detail and even detects hot pixels!
  • Much of the analysis has been made multi-threaded for improved performance on common multicore processors
  • Improvements to the integrated licensing to not require program restarts in most cases
  • Option to use Canon Legacy interface files for older cameras (e.g. Canon EOS-1D(s) Mark III)
  • More information in the reports for all tests (e.g. camera firmware, operating system version etc)
  • Fixes to handling of Canon EOS-1 series camera mode control
  • Fix for Nikon shutter speed inaccuracies

Anyone tried it?  Shutterless sounnds good to me, using up a few hunndred shutter actuations to calibrate a few lenses is noot something I look forward to.

Pricewatch Deals / Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L MK II on Sale
« on: December 07, 2012, 11:55:19 AM »
Beach Camera /Buydig .com has the lens for $2199.  You must add it to the cart to see the price.  I suspect that other stores would match the deal if you call them.

Pricewatch Deals / 5D Mark III now in Canon Refurb Store
« on: December 05, 2012, 01:55:31 PM »
I see that the Canon 5D Mark III is now in the Refurb store.  $2799
I also see that there is a 20% Promo Code "Hush6" but it only applies to a few models.
They may add more models later.
BTW, I also called the CLP program, but its not on their list yet.  They were very nice about it, and even checked with a supervisor, but no deal.

Pricewatch Deals / Canon Refurb Store Restock 20% off
« on: November 30, 2012, 08:10:19 PM »
Some interesting lenses that are not normally in the refurb store. 20% off while they last!
20mm f/2.8
28-300mm L
180mm L Macro
18-15mm fisheye zoom

Pricewatch Deals / 5D MK III $2799
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:01:52 PM »
Another ebay unauthorized dealer, they have lots of good feedback though.

Canon General / Adorama Storm Status Update 10-31-2012 Good News!
« on: October 31, 2012, 03:24:43 PM »
*** Thanks for caring and here's a update ***
 NJ Warehouse: Back at work with power and all orders of the past few days should ship today.
 NYC Store: We are closed due to the local power outages and waiting to have power back, we have no confirmed time for that.
 NYC Office: Some dept's are operating via generated power and assuring that your orders are being processed.
 Shop with us ONLINE at http://ow.ly/eV3pY
 Phone: Call us at 800.223.2500 and our lines should be fine!Good News!
I ordered a camera on Sunday, so I was hoping that the delay would not be too long, I know the warehouse is in a old Navy Yard, so I was expecting the worst.

Pricewatch Deals / Adorama G1X Deal - $399 net
« on: October 28, 2012, 03:05:28 PM »
Adorama has a combo deal for the G1X, it includes the camera, printer, and adobe software for a net price of $399 after $400 rebate.
I've been looking for the price to drop to something reasonable.
If I sell the printer and software, its a better deal yet.

Pricewatch Deals / Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 MK II Price Break? $2274
« on: October 27, 2012, 06:23:23 PM »
As more dealers are getting stock, I noticed that buydig (authorized dealer) has knocked a few dollars off the price of the lens.  You need to use the FALLSAV25 code to get the $25 off.
Global sales are very difficult right now, and once the early adopters have their lenses, I look for coupons, one day ebay sales and other discounts to begin.

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