October 25, 2014, 09:28:04 PM

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Topics - unfocused

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1
Third Party Manufacturers / DxO mark: here we go again!!!
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:34:52 PM »
From Nikon rumors:

http://nikonrumors.com/2014/10/23/nikon-d750-camera-tested-at-dxomark.aspx/

Let the trashing begin.

I think the one that I find most amusing is that they rate the Nikon D810 higher in low-light ISO performance than the 6D. Yet, if you use the comparisons on DPReview even a blind squirrel can see how awful the D810 is at higher ISOs.

2
EOS Bodies - For Stills / LP-E6N Backwards Compatible
« on: October 17, 2014, 03:16:49 PM »
Has anyone seen any information from Canon as to whether or not the new LP-E6N is compatible with older model cameras, such as the 5DIII and 7DI?

They made a point of saying the 7DII can use the old batteries, but other than one video preview from a camera store, I have not found anything saying if the new batteries can be used in the older cameras.

3
Post Processing / Noise, shadows, etc.
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:35:46 PM »
I'm bored and frustrated by the never ending discussions of shadow noise, banding, etc. etc.

Many of you on this forum  talk about how proper post processing and noise reduction can address these problems that others allege are so horrible with Canon sensors.

Let's NOT get into that debate on this thread!!!!! (I fully intend to report and request that the moderators delete any posts that seek to hijack this thread and use it as a soapbox)

Instead, I'd like to know what techniques people use to reduce noise, banding, etc. etc. What post processing tricks do you employ in Raw, Lightroom or Photoshop to fix noise issues?

4
Technical Support / Memory Cards, formatting and storage
« on: August 23, 2014, 03:28:58 PM »
A possibly stupid question, but that's never stopped me: Do people wait until a card is almost full before reformatting it?

I have the habit of reformatting my cards in camera after most shoots (once the files are safely transferred) with a 32GB card this often means reformatting a card that only has a fourth or less of its space used.

My question, does frequent formatting carry any risks or reduce the life of a card? I don't like to sift through 500 images that I've already downloaded to my computer in order to transfer another 200 shots. I'd rather transfer after I've been shooting and then clear the card for the next time.

5
Post Processing / Smart objects
« on: August 06, 2014, 07:32:20 PM »
I thought I would kick this off with a tribute to one of my favorite features: "smart objects."

Since first reading about this technique in a Scott Kelby book a few years back, I've incorporated this in my standard workflow.

Basically, I make one set of adjustments to each image using Adobe Camera Raw to optimize whatever portion of the image I want to begin with. For example, I may adjust the image to maximize a subject's face. Then, I bring it in to Photoshop as a smart object.

Make a copy as a smart object and then I have two layers that can now be adjusted independent of one another in RAW. I'll double click on the smart object to return to RAW and work on another section of the image. Let's say I want the subject's clothing a half-stop darker than their face, or I want to bring the background down a little, or I want to give the sky a different exposure than the foreground.

I make those adjustments on the second smart object and then when finished send it back to photoshop.

Now, I have two (sometimes more) layers, each optimized for a certain area of the image. It's now simply a matter of adding a mask to the top layer/layers and painting out or in the areas I want in order to create a single image.

Because I'm a real paranoid about saving steps, I'll usually preserve all these smart object layers by doing a copy and merge-layers. Ending up with a single layer that has all my adjustments (no longer a smart object) while still having all the various smart object layers in the file in case I need to go back and re-do something.

I'm wondering: Do others use smart objects and how do you use them?

6
Third Party Manufacturers / Nikon offers worst promotion...ever
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:08:16 AM »
Nikon is offering a "switch and save" promotion that has to be one of the worst deals ever. If you buy a D810 ($3,300) and at least $1,700 in lenses or strobes, they'll send you a whopping $200 voucher good for a future purchase.

Seriously? Spend $5,000 to get $200 against another purchase. Okay, it does get a little better – if you spend an extra $7,000 on lenses, etc., ($10,300 total with the D810) they'll send you a $1,000 voucher.

Oh, and by the way, the voucher is only good at the retailer where you bought the D810.

I certainly hope this isn't the start of a new trend among manufacturers and retailers.

7
EOS Bodies - For Stills / The Answer to Everyone's Complaints
« on: June 02, 2014, 05:56:11 PM »
Been thinking about this for awhile and decided I'd act on it.

If you are unhappy with Canon's perceived failure to offer (choose any of the following)  high megapixel body, mirrorless full frame camera, more dynamic range, shadow detail) I propose the following:

Send me a check or Pay Pal me $2,000 as a deposit, telling me what feature you want improved.

I will deposit it in a special savings account and will not spend the money, except under the conditions I will list below.

After you and 50,000 of your like-minded friends have sent me these checks, I will forward the money to Canon as a deposit for them to use in developing the camera feature you want. It is no guarantee they will comply, but I suspect the fact that 50,000 people have demonstrated a willingness to place a $2,000 down payment on the camera of their choice, will indeed get Canon's attention.

Now, there is one condition I am placing on this offer. Anyone who starts or participates in a thread whining about how Canon isn't paying attention to them or is about to go bankrupt because their personal needs are not being attended to, I will deduct 10% of your deposit as an trolling tax.

Basically, you must put your money where your mouth is. This has the added advantage of demonstrating whether or not there is a demand for the features you find so significant.

I am willing to add accounts for other features, in case I'm missing any. By the way, it is 50,000 x $2,000 for each feature. As some of these features are contradictory, you cannot ask for more than one for each deposit.

If, after two years, any account has not reached the threshhold of 50,000 participants, I will refund the money minus a small handling fee.

8
EOS Bodies / 1d IV vs. 7D II
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:19:55 PM »
Okay, I know one is discontinued and the other is non-existent, but this is mostly for fun and a bit of learning.

Do the experts here think that the overall image quality of the 7DII will match or at least come close to the APS-H 1D IV? Why or why not?

9
Pricewatch Deals / Act Fast 600RT now in stock at Canon Refurbished
« on: March 24, 2014, 04:29:12 PM »
The 600 RT just came back into stock at the Canon Refurbished Store. 20% off! Canon Price Watch lists about 30 in stock. Better act fast.

10
Third Party Manufacturers / Samsung NX mini – I'm speechless
« on: March 20, 2014, 04:38:55 PM »
Maybe I'm just feeling like a Luddite today, but I am having a very bad reaction to Samsung's latest camera – or more accurately to the way it is being promoted.

I lost count of how many times they used the word "selphie" in the announcement release. You start the self-timer by giving the camera a wink. It doubles as a baby monitor?

Quote
The camera features a solid premium metal body with a luxurious leatherette finish, making the camera the natural choice for style-conscious shooters looking to make a statement.

Is this really where photography is headed?

http://photorumors.com/2014/03/18/samsung-nx-mini-smart-camera-announced/#more-56044

11
EOS Bodies / Canon won't offer a high megapixel body
« on: January 24, 2014, 02:08:11 PM »
Well, that should stir things up a bit.

Here's the setup: Phase One and Hasselblad have announced 50 mp sensors for their large format (I really don't feel that we can refer to these as "medium" format anymore) cameras.

Some may see this as a sign that Canon "must" now offer a high megapixel sensor. I think just the opposite.

We have discussed to the point of nausea the idea that the larger sensor size of "full frame" cameras will always outperform APS-C. So the same principle applies here. There is simply no way that a DSLR sensor can match the performance of these large format sensors.  Scale up a 19 mp APS-C sensor and you get to just under 50 mp., so you are talking about pixel density somewhere between that of the 7D and 70D to match the new 50 mp of these large format cameras.

If Canon cannot compete on quality, they can only compete on price. So, then the question becomes, what percentage of the large format market is price sensitive? I'm guessing that few current users of either Phase One or Hasselblad would be convinced to switch based on pricing. That, in turn, leaves the sales potential only for new users. The point is we are talking about a niche, within a niche, within a niche.

Now, if Canon were to take one of their APS-C sensors and simply scale it up to full frame they might be able to keep their development costs down, but would it be low enough to turn a profit on the body? I don't know. And, you'd have to account for the extra waste that would occur with the larger sensors.

All in all, I'm thinking that a high megapixel body is becoming less and less appealing for manufacturers.

Let the flame wars begin!!!

12
Site Information / Worst Camera of the Year
« on: December 23, 2013, 02:44:49 PM »
For a little fun, wander over the Photo Rumors. He's running a "worst camera of the year" poll.

I voted for that goofy add-on lens that Sony is trying to sell to smart phone customers, but it looks like it is a distance second to Hassellblad's latest disaster. Oh, and the Canon Powershot N is in fourth.

13
EOS Bodies / 5DIV, 7DII and future of upgrades
« on: December 02, 2013, 04:12:22 PM »
Reading some of the excellent commentary here, especial Jon Rista's take on the amount of headroom that remains in ISO improvements (I don't for a second pretend to understand terms like quantum efficiency, so I have to take his word for it)...re-reading some columns by Nikonista Thom Hogan...and seeing that Fuji is announcing another new, free firmware upgrade for the X-Pro-1, got me thinking about the future of DSLR upgrades.

I recall Canon's commitment when it released the original F1 that they would not release a new model for at least a decade. Their purpose was to demonstrate to professional photographers that they were committed to their pro-level SLR and that photographers could purchase the camera knowing it would be fully supported.

For most of the past decade, gear enthusiasts have been spoiled by the remarkable and near continuous improvements in DSLRs. But, those improvements are increasingly coming at the margins. Higher megapixels, increased dynamic range, high and low ISO improvements, while nice, are generally needed only under very specific conditions for very specific purposes.

Any honest assessment would acknowledge that for 90-95% of subjects and conditions, the cheapest entry-level Canon and Nikon will produce results that under real world conditions will be indistinguishable from the flagship models.

Fuji has followed a path with their X-Pro-1 of releasing firmware updates to keep the camera current and boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. (To be fair, Canon did much the same thing when it released it's major firmware upgrade of the 7D – extending the practical life of the camera and effectively giving customers a free "7D.20" version of the original.)

So, having said all that, I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the upgrade cycle for the 5DIII to 5DIV will equal or exceed the cycle between the 7D and 7DII and that we are entering an era in which upgrades will be fewer and further between.

At the same time, I am going to suggest/hope that Canon and Nikon will offer more significant firmware upgrades during the interim. 

This will certainly require some adjustments to their business model, but in a sense they are simply going back to the model that both companies followed successfully for decades. That's one reason why I believe Nikon and Canon are better positioned for long-term success than companies like Sony, which got into the digital camera market during the boom era and do not have the institutional memory or experience to easily adopt to longer development cycles and more modest sales growth.

I see Canon as particularly well-positioned for this change. They have aggressively developed products for new markets, especially the booming cinema market where growth is fed by the seemingly unquenchable thirst of the internet for new video content. Their recent emphasis on security cameras also shows they are prepared to move into another fast growing emerging market. I am less convinced that Nikon is equally well-positioned, but then I don't follow them as closely as I do Canon.

So what's the point?

In part to feed off the idea of "10 years from now" and in part to get people out of the rut of trading insults over dynamic range and other esoteric subjects that do not sell cameras and do not matter to the vast majority of photographers.

What is your prediction? Will we see fewer upgrades in the future? Will we see more substantial firmware upgrades? Given that Canon and Nikon need to continue to sell products, do you think they will become more aggressive at selling lenses, strobes and other peripherals? Will you spend less money on photography in the future, or will you just spend it differently and how?

14
EOS Bodies / Why are DSLRs so Big?
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:07:52 AM »
I've been reading with interest the many comments here about the desirability of a mirrorless system, with small size being one of the desired traits.

Well, recently I took a look at my old Canon F1 (which is on semi-permanent loan to my daughter as a decorating accessory in her apartment). I had forgotten how tiny it is compared to a 7D or a 5DIII. And, that got me wondering why are DSLRs so big?

The F1 used a reflex mirror, so we can't blame the size on the mirror housing alone. It was a "full frame" camera, so it's not the sensor. Perhaps the electronics require more space. But, then again, the F1 had to have two cavities, one for the film cassette and one for the exposed film. That was wasted space that DSLRs don't need. Yes, the DSLR battery is much larger than the little dime-sized battery that powered the F1 for decades. But, a DSLR doesn't require any of the mechanics needed by a film camera for advancing the film.

The new SL1 shows that Canon can pack most of these electronics into a smaller body.

So, I'm just wondering how we ended up with these supersized DSLRs. Is it just a styling convention – people expect a bigger camera for the price? Maybe it makes people feel more like a "pro" if they have a big camera body?

Will we see DSLRs start to shrink in the coming years? I wonder if Nikon's new retro camera will be the same size as their old SLRs.

Just some random thoughts and questions thrown out there for discussion.

15
Lighting / Speedlite Recycle Time and Custom Function 12
« on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:34 PM »
I've been having some issues with my 600 RTs not firing consistently. First shot or two fine, then nothing, then fires, then nothing. Half the frames are black and I'm missing poses.

At first I thought it was a problem with the ST-E3 burning through batteries, but putting fresh batteries in did nothing. I thought maybe something was overheating, but that doesn't seem to be the case either.

Now I'm pretty sure that it isn't the ST-E3, but that it is just waiting for the 600 RTs to recycle. I always use battery packs on the speedlites and before the last shoot I checked all my Enloops and they were at least at 80% capacity. (I recharged any that were below 80%).

Now, I'm checking the manual and I see Custom Function 12 -- which switches the recycling over to the battery packs exclusively.

Wondering, will I have better luck with CF12 or will that make it worse? Do I really need to top off all the batteries before every shoot. (With battery packs we're talking about 60 batteries). Anything I've overlooked? Anyone else ever have this issue?

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