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Messages - unfocused

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Lenses / Re: do image stabilisers decrease image quality?
« on: November 07, 2012, 10:44:41 PM »
This is all very amusing, but it doesn't seem as though anyone is answering the OP's question. As I understand it, he/she is asking if the addition of optical image stabilization negatively impacts the sharpness of a lens.

I'm like the least technical person on this whole forum, so I'm certainly not qualified to answer this. But it does seem like a good question. I might expand on it a bit.

First, the idea that adding lens elements would degrade an image seems irrelevant because, as I understand it, stabilized lenses don't have any more or less elements. (That doesn't mean there aren't a different number of lens elements in a stabilized lens vs. an stabilized lens, just that the two are not related to one another.)

I think a more relevant question might be whether or not the construction of a stabilized lens sacrifices sharpness under certain conditions. From what I have read, the difference between stabilized and non-stabilized lenses is in how a group of lens elements are mounted within the lens – not the actual design of the lens elements. In a stabilized lens, a group of elements are mounted in a housing that uses gyroscopes to keep the elements stable when the housing shifts or moves. So, I guess the question really would be: since the lens elements effectively "float" within the IS housing, is there a reason why they might not be as sharp as elements that are solidly mounted within a lens tube?

One reason this seems like a logical question is that Canon recommends turning off stabilization when a lens is mounted on a tripod. If you get a sharper image without stabilization on, when the camera is firmly mounted, it does at least raise the possibility that a non-stabilized lens would be sharper than a stabilized lens.

Okay, all you tech geeks, have at it.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Would I benefit from going full frame?
« on: November 07, 2012, 06:43:56 PM »
Actually an interesting thread that seems well-balanced. I always love Roger's Lens Rentals articles as they tend to put things in real world perspective.

I have considered adding a full-frame body as well and may do so at some point, but honestly, Canon's recent actions are pushing me toward sticking with APS-C. Why?

Money. It's that simple.

Every time I do the math, reality sinks in and I just can't make the cost-benefit analysis work in favor of full frame.

I'm not earning money from photography. While I would like to explore the possibility in post-retirement, that's a few years down the road and for now, I'm concentrating on improving technique and building up my personal portfolio.

For what it is worth, here is my perspective:

My main interest in full frame is at the wide end. I have been spoiled by the 1.6 magnification for longer lenses and would almost certainly continue to use the 7D for telephoto lenses when I am distance limited. There would be some advantage to being able to use my telephoto lenses with both bodies, but that is a convenience not a necessity.

The cost of entry into full frame will be, at a minimum somewhere around $2,300, and that would be for a refurbished 5DII and 24-105mm lens, the bare minimum needed in my opinion. I already own the 15-85mm EF-S and the Tokina 11-16. So, the wide end is covered with my 7D. The 24-105 would replicate the 15-85 range, but not the 11-16 crop range. So, initially, it would be a compromise that would have to be supplemented by the 7D when ultra-wide is needed.

Now, $2,300 isn't out of the question, but that is for old technology. If I want the 6D and the new 24-70 L lens the cost of entry rises to about $3,500.

But, that is for a single lens kit. To take full advantage of the full-frame I would want to invest in other lenses, such as the 24 2.8 IS prime and probably the 135 f2 prime. After all, what is the point of the full frame if you can't take advantage of its perceived shallower depth of field?

Because I seldom shoot at over ISO 400, I regularly print images at 12x18 with the 7D with no loss of quality. I've gone as high as 18 x 30 without any problem.

Like many photographers today, the vast majority of my pictures end up on the internet at 72dpi. The other use I have for prints is in photo books, which never get larger than 9 x 14 maximum.

So that's where I am at. I can't bring myself to spend well over $2,000 on old technology, I can't justify $3,500 for the minimum of what I would want in new technology and I certainly can't rationalize $4,000 for the 5DIII and kit lens. Plus, I am not anxious to start adding new lenses at $800-$1,200 a pop.

So, this is where Canon has put me: I am happy with my 7D. I consider it to still be the absolutely best APS-C camera on the market today even three years after introduction. So, I will wait and see what Canon does next spring. I expect to see a 7DII and I expect it will have some marginal improvements. Even if it is released at the same price as the 6D, I think it will be a better camera and I won't have to buy wider lenses. Even if I decide to add the 17-55 2.8 lens (refurbished) it will still be significantly less costly than the 6D and 24-70 f4 and a full stop faster. I firmly believe that there will be a 7DII, for reasons that have been well-documented on this forum. But, even if it doesn't materialize, I won't have lost anything and I can decide what to do when that becomes known.

I am happy with my current kit and frankly have more than I can reasonably carry in a bag anyway. Adding lenses is always fun and tempting, but honestly, I don't need anything right now.

My point: Every case is different. But, I would be a prime candidate for the jump to full-frame. But Canon has raised the cost of entry so significantly that when I compare the cost, versus the benefits I cannot justify it.  I believe I will remain an APS-C shooter for quite some time.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Refurbished 5D MK3s?
« on: November 07, 2012, 05:54:34 PM »
Canon has not been selling refurb 5D MK III's.  They usually let them pile up for a year or so.  The Used cameras that B&H sells are not Canon refurbished.  We may see Canon refurbished 5D MK III bodies at B&H, and Adorama before they appear on Canons site.

Exactly. The 70-300 L was released two years ago, yet it only showed up on Canon's refurbished site a few months ago. Some products, mysteriously, never show up on the refurbished site. For example, the 200 2.8 L prime (which is more than 16 years old) is never listed, even though there must be thousands of them out there that would be good candidates for refurbishing.

Although the 5DII was listed on the site for a couple of years, it has really only been consistently available within the last year.

Point being, there is no consistent or predictable pattern for what gets listed and when it gets listed.

Canon General / Re: EOS-M kicking butt in Japan
« on: November 02, 2012, 05:34:39 PM »
See my comment on the original PR post. Unfortunately, PRGuy got it wrong, those are the top 10 sales figures for 01-22 October only (and there's always going to be a big rush upon launch).
Still, nice to see that it's doing well (although there's some weird things in there, like the Pentax Q sells well, and the NEX-7 doesn't, and there's no Fuji anything or OM-D in there)

In the immortal words of Emily Litella: "Never Mind." (Although I suppose those are still pretty good numbers and certainly beating Nikon)

Software & Accessories / Re: Perfectly Clear?
« on: November 02, 2012, 02:37:17 PM »
I'm not familiar with this particular product.

The effects/shortcuts appear similar to what other software offers, but this one doesn't appear to offer a trial version to download. It's not such a low-price that I would want to risk it without a trial download.

Nik and OnOne are two of the better known software plug-in suppliers and both offer free trial versions.

Canon General / Re: Black Friday Deals
« on: November 02, 2012, 10:17:32 AM »
The short answer is "no."

Black Friday is all about mass retailing. It's an opportunity for retailers to lure customers into stores with great deals on products that have broad appeal. There is no reason for any retailer to cut the price of a high end luxury item because 1) the market is too small, and 2) the customer base is not price sensitive.

Canon General / EOS-M kicking butt in Japan
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:51:01 AM »
BCN Ranking, via Photo Rumors, reports that Canon's EOS-M is in the #3 slot in Mirrorless Camera Sales in Japan for the first nine months of the year. That's pretty incredible considering the camera wasn't even announced until July.

Just goes to show how out of touch many on this forum are. And, I admit, I was (and still am) underwhelmed by the EOS-M. But, once again, Canon proves they knows how to sell them cameras.

Canon General / Re: Canon Can't Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore
« on: November 01, 2012, 12:48:58 PM »
Companies get in trouble when they fail to adapt to changing market conditions (Kodak). Those that anticipate and adjust succeed (Fuji).

Seriously, Canon is a cash flush company that just made a bit short of Billion dollars in one quarter. Now they are in trouble?

What is it about the Internet that makes people incapable of reading an entire post and instead simply pull a small quote out of context so they can write silly drive-by comments.

Canon General / Re: Canon's MAP Pricing Goes Into Full Effect Today
« on: November 01, 2012, 12:41:34 PM »
People are mixing apples and oranges here.

Apples: Canon's retail prices.

Oranges: Canon's minimum advertised price policies.

On the "apples" side: legitimate questions can be made and debated about whether or not Canon is charging too much for some products in relation to either market demand or perceived value. That's a constant subject of debate on this forum with opinions ranging from the delusional and paranoid to those who have no financial constraints and would buy anything with a Canon brand on it. Regardless of what you think the "proper" price should be, that really has no relevance to MAP pricing policies.

On the "oranges" side: Canon is moving to enforce its Minimum Advertised Price policies, which exist to bring price uniformity to its dealer network. On a related thread, another individual posted a link to a Wikipedia article that explains the legal history of MAP pretty well. No point in repeating that. They are legal and they are used by many manufacturers. The simplest summary might be to say that manufacturers cannot tell a retailer what price to actually charge for a product – which is a private transaction between the buyer and seller. But, they can say what price the retailer can advertise the product for sale at.

MAP, as others have pointed out, has absolutely no bearing on Canon's own profit margin. The price that Canon charges its resellers is not being increased.

Why have MAP? To level the playing field between retailers. It is not in the best interests of either the manufacturer or the consumer to allow a single large retailer to undercut all other sellers to the point that they drive the other sellers out of business and create a monopolistic situation where the manufacturer and customer are both totally depending on the whims of one retailer.

Using the 5DIII as an example, we can all see how the lax enforcement of MAP has impacted pricing and the market over the past several months. Canon's MSRP has never changed, but the "street price" has fluctuated wildly. Great news for individual buyers, but a real problem for the network because retailers have no assurance that when they play by the rules they won't be undercut by someone who is gaming the system.

Canon has a dilemma here. If they turn a blind eye to the violators, they risk alienating their dealer network and undercutting their own ability to compete in the marketplace. So, they have moved to enforce what they view as the "real" and "correct" prices for their products.

Which brings us all back to the "apples." The recent "bargain" pricing of the 5DIII seems to show that the "correct" price may be out of line with the marketplace. If that is the case, it will correct itself over time and there is little that either Canon or its dealer network can do to stop that.

Let the marketplace sort it out. If Canon's prices are too high, demand will drop. Canon will be forced to adjust the price and retailers will find new ways around MAP.

Simplified version of my workflow:

Based on Scott Kelby's "double processing."

I use Adobe RAW to make adjustments in RAW, then open as a smart object in Photoshop. Make a new Smart Object layer (not a duplicate layer) and then open that layer in RAW to make adjustments to other areas of the image. Do this as many times as needed to tweak all the areas. Use layer masks and the paintbrush tool to reveal or cover up portions that I want/don't want in each layer.

I tend to save all my layers in Photoshop (psd) in case I ever need/want to go back and tweak the image.

I'll save a final copy as a JPEG (often two copies, one for printing and one for the web).  I end up having the original RAW file, one PSD file and one or more JPEG files. (A small one for the web, a large one for printing)  Probably not the most space efficient, but it gives me flexibility. I know I can always go back to the original RAW file and start over, or I can pick up in the middle with the PSD file if I want to try a different look.

EOS Bodies / Re: Where the heck is the 70D or 7D mkII?
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:54:32 PM »
The 7D II will be released either in the spring or within one month of the Nikon D300 replacement.

The 70D will be released six to nine months after the 7DII or within one month of the D7000 replacement.

Yes, the 7D is getting a little long in the tooth, but with the firmware upgrade it is still very competitive. By comparison, the 12 mp D300 looks like a dinosaur. I don't know how Nikon manages to sell any of them (or if they do).

As digital technology matures and improvements with each generation become more marginal, expect the refresh cycles for various bodies to extend. What was once a two-year cycle in the 2000s, has become a three-year-plus cycle now. By the end of the decade, it may be four years or more. 

Early 1960s: got a bakelight plastic Agfa box camera handed down from my Granddad;

Mid 1960s: Started borrowing my Dad's cameras. I remember a Twin Lens Reflex, a Tesina and a Minox, but there were others as well. Started developing and printing pictures with my Dad.

Late 1960s: Bought my first SLR, a Konica. First SLR ever with autoexposure. Eventually got a 20mm, 135mm and 300mm. All cheap off-brands. Most used a pre-set aperture ring.

Mid-1970s: Got a job at a small daily newspaper and bought a Canon F1, AT-1 as second body and Canon 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm and Vivitar 100-300 zoom. Eventually bought a Canon 200 mm 2.8. Kept that kit through three kids, two marriages and several career changes. Lack of a darkroom, raising kids and job responsibilities meant little photography other than trips and birthdays.

2000s: Got divorced for second time, bought a Rebel xTi as first digital camera.

Got married again. Bought 7D shortly after it came out. Accumulated a variety of lenses and other equipment since then. 

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/4L IS Coming [CR3]
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:04:27 PM »
Seems like the perfect kit lens for the 6D. Don't know why this is a surprise. If you are going to offer an "entry-level" full frame camera, you've got to give people a decent and affordable kit lens to go with it.

Yes, it has to be priced under the 24-105. Doing so would enable Canon to offer a 6D with lens combination in the neighborhood of $2,600.

I do question the "L" designation, but that's just marketing anyway. Slap a red ring and $20 worth of weather-sealing on it and call it good.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Wildlife of the Kruger National Park
« on: October 29, 2012, 05:06:31 PM »

Some very nice images here and on your blog. I'm curious. Many of your city shots seem to be using HDR, but in a very appealing subtle way, instead of "hit 'em over the head with a 2x4."  Also, since they are street shots, I assume you aren't able to bracket exposures. Are you willing to enlighten us on some of your techniques.


Canon General / Re: Canon Can't Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore
« on: October 29, 2012, 01:05:18 PM »
Read a little further: "As for compact digital cameras, while highly functional PowerShot-series models contributed to healthy sales, unit sales for the third quarter declined from the corresponding period of the previous year due to sluggish market demand."

Also: "Demand for compact digital cameras is anticipated to increase for models offering high functionality and high added value."

Canon is acknowledging sluggish demand for compact digital cameras and targeting higher end models (In particular the G1X and EOS-M). So, yes, they recognize that the traditional low-price consumer PowerShot models are not doing well and they are targeting the higher end.

This is a problem for all camera manufacturers, not just Canon. For years, profits from low-end consumer models have provided a foundation for manufacturers to build off of. DSLR sales remain strong and profitable, but will there ever be sufficient demand to replace the revenues lost from compact digital sales? I doubt it. It would not surprise me to see Canon's imaging business unit (cameras) and similar units within Nikon, Sony, Fuji and others all shrink considerably in the coming years. Bad news for employees who work on the production lines for compact digital cameras. But, since the ultimate success of a company is based more on return on investment rather than gross sales, a smaller, leaner imaging business unit doesn't necessarily spell doom.

Companies get in trouble when they fail to adapt to changing market conditions (Kodak). Those that anticipate and adjust succeed (Fuji).

Part of Canon's (and Nikon's) strategy seems to be to diversify the DSLR product line: maintaining a full range of APS-C models while expanding their Full Frame offerings. But, the DSLR market is fairly mature, so they also need to capture new customers with the high-end compacts. Manufacturers must navigate generational and cultural differences and the high-end compact offerings are part of that strategy.

There is absolutely NOTHING in the report that supports many of the posts on this thread. It might be fun and personally satisfying to misread this report to confirm pre-conceived ideas of what Canon's pricing strategy should be for a product that a forum participant happens to think costs too much, but the financials simply don't support any of that wishful thinking.

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