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Site Information / Bring Back Karma – NOW!
« on: March 27, 2012, 01:07:29 PM »
I just spotted this on another thread:

Gee I miss the karma system... some of the comments are just getting out of hand -_-

I too have noticed the amazingly rapid degeneration on this site since Karma was dropped. People suddenly feel the urge to insult one another, use negative stereotypes and call each other names. I'll bet if you did a word search on "fanboy" in the last week you'd find the frequency about 10 times what it used to be.

In less than two weeks this site has gone from one of the most civil and helpful forums on the web to sinking down there with so many other sites on the web, where drive-by comments, name-calling and denigrating other users is the order of the day.

Time to admit the experiment was a failure and bring back the Karma. Whatever its flaws. It worked.

Technical Support / Dynamic Range War
« on: March 09, 2012, 10:53:00 AM »
Okay, I've noticed a lot of discussion (to put it politely) in other threads about the "dynamic range" of the new 5D III sensor. I'm hoping someone can enlighten me a bit and explain why or if I should care.

I'm not clear what exactly people mean by dynamic range. It seems like at least two definitions are possible.

1) Are you referring to the ability of the sensor to record detail in a scene that has a wide range of light. For example, are we talking about the ability to capture detail in a brightly lit canyon, where the light ranges from near total sunlight to near black. So that, a sensor that has a dynamic range of say "9" would be able to record detail for up to four stops from the midpoint in either direction?

2) Or, are you referring to the ability of the sensor to record discernible differences in light. For example, a range of "9" would mean that on a scale from black to white, there would be nine clear steps visible?

It's been many years since I read the Zone System (and frankly, I found the books excruciatingly boring), but as I recall Adams' basic premise was that film was capable of recording far greater dynamic range than could be reproduced by photographic paper (much less commercial printing). By manipulating exposure and development of the film, he sought to compress the dynamic range recorded by the film, so that it could be aligned with what the final print could reproduce. The general concept, as I recall, was to expose to retain some detail in the shadows and then develop to retain detail in the highlights.

My understanding is that photographic prints even today have less possible range than sensors and computer monitors less than prints. (Although the back lighting of monitors gives the appearance of greater saturation and richness in colors)

So, if I am wrong about this, can someone explain it in understandable terms. And, if I am right, then why should I care at all about dynamic range so long as the final medium is always going to be more limited than the medium used to capture the image in the first place?

EOS Bodies / Refurbished 5D for $1,759
« on: March 05, 2012, 10:20:52 AM »
Just checked the Canon USA Refurbished Store. They have dropped the price of the refurbished 5D II to $1,759.20.

EOS Bodies / Buy the 5D III or wait for the 5D IV?
« on: March 02, 2012, 12:52:32 PM »
Hey...somebody had to be first. Why not me. :)

Seriously though, and only marginally related to the thread's title (That's called marketing by the way), the new specs of the 5DIII got me thinking about the future of DSLRs.

I know that whenever a new model of anything comes out, we convince ourselves that it is exactly what we have to have and if we just have that we will be happy forever...until the next model comes out. But, if the 5DIII actually performs anywhere close to what Canon is claiming, I am hard-pressed to think of what other features I might ever want in a DSLR.

Full disclosure here: I am not in the market for a full frame DSLR and don't anticipate I will be anytime in the foreseeable future (I am too addicted to the advantages of a 1.6 crop factor).

But, I look at the others specs of the 5DIII and realize that the promised ISO, noise and dynamic range would more than meet my needs. The autofocus would be more than sufficient for anything I am likely to shoot. I might have some small interest in a little faster frame rate, but probably not really. The resolution is more than adequate (I find the 18 mp of the 7D just fine and usually end up throwing away megapixels anyway. I've done prints up to apprx. 2 x 3 feet with no problem at 18 mp, so 22 is more than adequate for virtually anything I will ever do.

The point I'm trying to make is that for a full frame camera, this doesn't seem to me to be a camera on a two-three year replacement cycle. Rather, I could imagine this camera still being very viable for a decade. I know that's a risky statement since no one knows what the future will hold, and, of course Canon is in the business of creating "must have" features in order to keep selling new product. Yet, I do have a hard time imagining what those features might be.

I'm not saying this is the same for everyone, but I am suggesting that we may be turning a corner in the DSLR market where, as the technology matures, the old two-three year cycles won't be applicable in the future.

In my own individual case, I am a big fan of my 7D. It is the best camera I have ever owned and I am a former F1 owner. But, I do see that there are things Canon could improve on for the 7DII. If they follow the path they've set out with the 1Dx and now the 5DIII, I can well imagine a 7D that would also have an extended life cycle.

So, I'm just throwing this out there for others to pick apart. Are we reaching a point with DSLR technology where the viable life-cycle of cameras will grow far beyond the two-three year cycle we've seen in recent history and return to the more traditional five to 10 year cycles that characterized film cameras?

EOS Bodies / The (un)official I'm switching to Nikon thread
« on: February 29, 2012, 01:00:41 PM »
I figured I'd save everybody some time and valuable internet space by going ahead and opening up this thread.

Beginning tomorrow night all those who are disappointed because Canon did not create a 5DIII to their personal specifications and offer it at $1,500 can lodge their complaints here, on one handy thread, instead of having to start their own personal complaint thread.

By opening this thread now, it will also allow persons to begin the whining before the Mark III is officially announced.

On Saturday, this can be followed by the "Should I buy the Mark III or Wait for the Mark IV?" thread.

EOS Bodies / Not a Canon vs. Nikon Thread
« on: February 24, 2012, 10:32:56 AM »
Okay, this is just an opportunity for people to express their own pet theories, not to bash one brand or another.

But, I got thinking: why is it that the two top of the line cameras announced by Canon and Nikon recently are basically clones of each other, while apparently the two second-tier (or whatever you want to call them) bodies are so divergent?

Both companies decided to put lower MP sensors in their flagships, than in the less expensive full frame models. Other features are similar if not the same. The pricing seems to be very close. etc. etc. I am guessing it's because their market research for the flagship target audience gave them each pretty much identical pictures of what the customers wanted/needed.

But then, the next level of full frame bodies (if the rumors are correct) are quite different, both in resolution and possibly in cost. Why would the market research be so different at that level and so consistent at the top end?

What's your theory?

Canon General / Canon Live Learning Worthwhile?
« on: February 15, 2012, 10:18:55 PM »
Canon has a couple of "Live Learning" events comings to Chicago in March. The "Creative Lighting with Speedlites" sounds interesting, but not sure it is $300 interesting.

Anyone have any experience with these seminars?

Lenses / Dust, is it myth or fact?
« on: February 07, 2012, 02:05:27 PM »
I know there has been much discussion about push-pull zooms and dust. But, this was a new one to me;

Internal zoom means no barrel extension to get dust in the lens.

This got me thinking (and I'm not trying to start a new "war' here) how much of the "dust in the lens" debate is fact and how much is fiction?  I guess I've always assumed that most lenses are pretty much sealed environments. You need to protect the rear element with a cap and the front with either a filter or a cap or both (although the front elements seem pretty well sealed to me.)

But, as for dust getting inside a lens either from focusing or zooming, is that really likely? Sure, no system is going to be perfect and dust is pretty persistent, but are lenses really designed in ways that can allow dust to get in like this, or are we just repeating urban legends? 

Aside from anecdotal evidence (I own the XYZ lens and it is a dust magnet or I own XYZ and I've never gotten a speck of dust in it) can anyone shed some light on this?

Lenses / Canon vs. Tamron
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:16:12 PM »
Another "rumors" site focused on a brand that shall remain nameless but which starts with "N" says Tamron has moved into the #2 spot among lens makers in Japan.

That's pretty impressive, especially since their lineup is fairly limited. Tamron's two top lenses are their 18-270 all-in-one and their new 70-300 zoom. This makes me wonder if we won't see an all-in-one soon from Canon and also, I wonder, if we are due for an upgrade to the non "L" Canon 70-300mm IS. And, if we are, I wonder how Canon improves on this lens without hurting the "L" version.

Of course they can leave off the weathersealing, but it seems like they would need to improve the optics, IS and maybe the focusing. But, they might be worried about hurting sales of the "L" version, which I suspect haven't been all that stellar anyway. On the other hand, they may figure the two are focused on such different markets, if they can sell five or six non "L" versions for every one "L" it might be worthwhile.

What do others think?

EOS Bodies / Tastes Great...Less Filling
« on: January 27, 2012, 06:06:18 PM »
Okay, I think polls should be fun and simple. Fewer choices the better. Just to stir things up over the weekend, let's see what people think.

And, yes, I know there are lots of other considerations, but keep it in perspective guys. This is for fun.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / RAW and ISO
« on: January 25, 2012, 04:09:24 PM »
Aargh! Somewhere buried in the posts of the last week or so (I think) was a discussion of RAW files, native ISO, how digital cameras read the data, etc. etc.

Now I can't find it. But, at any rate, it was way more technical than I could follow. I'm wondering if some of the more technically-minded participants might be able to give us non-techies a simplified explanation of what they were talking about and why it matters (if it does indeed matter).

When I go out to take pictures and set my 7D to ISO 400 (hey! I shot Tri-X most of my life) and shoot RAW am I really setting the ISO to 400 or am I making some compromise that I am not aware of. And, should I care?

EOS Bodies / Rebate Extended/New Rebate
« on: January 14, 2012, 12:15:56 PM »
Looking at both the B&H and Canon USA sites, it appears the 5D and 7D rebates have either been extended or a new $100 rebate is in effect. Anyway, expiration date now appears to be Feb. 4.

EOS Bodies / Is "X" the new "L"?
« on: January 10, 2012, 01:41:03 PM »
Two new Canon cameras aimed at up-market buyers. Both designated as "X."

I'm wondering if this is a new marketing strategy by Canon. Given their success at convincing us that lenses with red rings around them and the letter "L" after the name are worth paying a premium for, can we expect a whole series of "X" cameras?

I don't foresee a 5D "X" (that's what the 1D series is reserved for) but I can definitely see a 7D "X" in the future. Marketed to pros wanting more reach than the 1D, but also selling to enthusiasts who have to have the latest and greatest.

Software & Accessories / 1000 X Flash Card
« on: January 06, 2012, 05:57:34 PM »
I see Lexar has announced a compact flash card that they say is 1000X.

I've seen some discussion of this before, but can't seem to spot it now so I apologize for starting a new thread on what may be an old topic. But, would some of the technical people out there care to offer some enlightenment as to what if any advantage there could be to super high speed cards?

My understanding is that for shooting, you really only need a card fast enough to clear out the buffer of your camera before it becomes full. Beyond that, the only advantage to a fast card is that it can transfer data more quickly to your computer.

Is that correct? And, if so, on a 7D (for example) how fast would that card need to be to keep ahead of the frame rate of the camera. I've never had a problem with my 7D, but I do buy better cards, although not the most expensive.

Am I missing something? Is there any reason to buy a super high speed card if you don't really care how long it takes to download your images to your computer? How do you know what speed is adequate for your camera?

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