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Messages - unfocused

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EOS Bodies / Re: Is a 46mp Canon EOS-1 on the Way? [CR1]
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:38:41 PM »
Why can't anyone actually read Craig's posts, instead of just skimming the attention grabber headline and jumping to conclusions? Nothing in the post about an EOS-1 style body. Nothing.

...if you were new to the pro market it's a tough choice between the D800 and the 5D3.  I guess one lends itself to the wedding market and the other to the landscape market ...

You hit the nail on the head. Now ask yourself this: what do you think the ratio of professional wedding photographers is to professional landscape photographers – 1,000 to 1? 10,000 to 1? How many professional wedding photographers are there in your city? Now compare that to the number of persons who actually earn a living in landscape photography.

Canon targeted the 5DIII to a very specific professional market. It is about the only large professional photography market remaining. It is a market that is highly competitive and the practitioners cannot afford to let their competitor down the street gain a technological edge. As with almost everything in life, it's not the best technology that is the best technology that meets a market need that wins.

In contrast the D800 is a very nice high resolution camera, but there is no large, clearly defined professional audience. Right now the D800 is selling very well to meet pent up demand from Nikon shooters. But once that demand is met, will they be able to sustain the market? Not so sure. On the other hand, eventually almost every wedding photographer in the world will end up buying a 5DIII because they need to edge that its high ISO performance gives them when shooting. (Unless of course they go for the 1D-X, with even better high ISO performance.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 6D Announcement Soon? [CR1]
« on: September 09, 2012, 09:58:15 PM »
I still see Canon's path as pretty obvious and easy.

I'm bookmarking this so I can quote you in 2013 :-)

Please do. I'm, offering a money-back guarantee if I'm wrong.

Nicely fills out the line, giving consumers and pros more choices and helps transition buyer to two bodies each.

But why would Canon want to split the former two bodies (40d/5d) into *five* different ones (70d/7d2/6d/5d3/5dhd)? Sure this gives people more choices, but Canon is about making money and this variety also creates confusion and more support and manufacturing costs.

Imho if they expand the ff line they'll drop one of the crop cameras, i.e. no 7d2 but a bumped up 70d. And your "5d hd" might be very well an expensive "1d hd" at first because the people really wanting a $3000 36mp sensor have switched to Nikon by now.

I'm sure every manufacturer would produce just one model of anything if they could be confident it would sell and if they had no competition. But, they do have competition and if Canon doesn't meet the market demand, others will.

It is clear from the Rebel line that using modern manufacturing techniques, it's possible to offer minor differentiation and still keep the line profitable.
Consumers like choices. Ever go shopping for a TV, a car or even laundry detergent? I don't know about others, but if I'm spending $1,000 or more on a product I'm going to make sure I've compared every available model and picked the one that I think will work for me. If one manufacturer doesn't offer any choice, I'll go to the one that does offer some choice.

If having three (maybe four) full frame options and five or so APS-C options is beyond someone's brainpower, they probably aren't shopping for a DSLR anyway.

We've been through this discussion before on numerous threads. Both the 60D and the 7D have been great sellers for Canon. A full frame equivalent of the 60/70D is more of a threat to the 5DIII than to the next generation of the 7D.

7D owners have a high level of satisfaction and are fiercely loyal to the camera. Having just developed that market, it's unlikely that Canon is going to abandon it now.

A 6D is never going to satisfy most 7D owners, who want the extra reach , build quality and professional features that the 7D offers. And, despite the fantasizing that is going on, both the 6D and the D600 are going to be positioned well below the D800 and the 5DIII.

I'm the least confident in the high-megapixel camera. Not sure what the market is for that. But, I assume Nikon did some market research and they seem to be selling, so I imagine Canon is not going to concede that customer base and if they can slide a high megapixel sensor into the existing 5DIII body without major modifications, it's a financial winner for them.

All fun to speculate about. Good news is that after this week we'll know what Nikon is offering and that will give us a very good idea what the 6D will be like.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 6D Announcement Soon? [CR1]
« on: September 09, 2012, 03:51:13 PM »
I still see Canon's path as pretty obvious and easy.

6D & 70D = Same basic feature sets and construction, one full frame and one APS-C, improved autofocus (to 7D level), slower frame rate than higher end models. High ISO performance better but not as good as next level up.

7DII & 5DIII = Same basic feature sets and construction, one full frame and one APS-C. 7D gets an autofocus similar to 5DIII. Faster frame rate in 7D due to smaller file sizes. High ISO performance improved in 7D but still below full frame 5DIII.

5D HD = High resolution version of 5DIII with apprx. 46 megapixel sensor. Slower frame rate and much more limited at high ISOs. Basically the same camera as the 5D and same pricing, but with a high resolution sensor installed.

Nicely fills out the line, giving consumers and pros more choices and helps transition buyer to two bodies each. I'm guessing we will see the 6D first. The 70D, 7DII and 5D HD may not come until 2013.

EOS Bodies / Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:26:29 PM »
Getting back to the original post. I think the answer is pretty straightforward.

Pre-digital meant that film and camera were two separate things. You bought a camera and you bought film to go into that camera. The variety of film available far exceeds the variety of sensors currently available. You had slow speed, fine grain B&W (slow being about ASA 25) up to "fast" 800 ASA, with most people shooting 400 Tri-X. Maybe not the best, but it was the most readily available and sold the most in the U.S. at least. Then you had color print films and color slide films, all in various flavors of speed. Not to mention Tungsten and Daylight versions.

In addition, you had many different film formats, from large sheet films to tiny drop-in cassettes, all with a variety of speeds.

Today, every camera uses only one "film" and that's the sensor. It has to do everything and it is part of the camera (no changing sensors at least for now). B&W, color print, color transparencies, high speed, low speed, tungsten, daylight, etc. all in one sensor. So, really, it should come as no surprise that there are a few (and really it's only a relative handful of varieties of sensors that are available) different flavors of sensors.

One more thing. The quality of that sensor, even in the smallest formats, vastly exceeds the quality of most films. In the old days it was generally conceded that even the cheapest lenses would outperform the film's resolving power. Today, sensors are pushing the limits of what lenses can resolve.

Bottom line: The choices in film that consumers used to make are now incorporated into the camera. So it should come as no surprise that cameras need to offer more variety for consumers to choose from. After all, who wants less choice as a consumer. I certainly don't.

Technical Support / Re: Phantom Ranch Trip
« on: September 07, 2012, 01:03:36 PM »

We did a portion of the trail two years ago, so I have a decent idea of what to expect. Planning on lots of conditioning over the next year. It's not really a question of whether or not we can do it. I know we can. It's more a question of how miserable do we want to be while doing it.

To answer the original question, I'm not sure I'm drooling over the new Fuji, but I definitely am interested and wish Canon were equally innovative in this area.

No, it's not going to replace my DSLR and selection of Canon lenses, but that's not the point.

I don't find the G1-X interesting (lens too slow, mediocre viewfinder, unappealing aspect ratio). The M series is a non-starter without a viewfinder and, besides, I'd have to buy new lenses to use it anyway, so why not look at competitors. I'm not going to put a 100-400 zoom on an M series camera even if I can, so my DSLR lens collection is a bit irrelevant in that regard.

I'm waiting to hear how the viewfinder performs on the new X-E1. That's going to be the real test as far as I'm concerned. On paper it sounds great, but what is it like in the real world?

I think the point is that with each new offering, Fuji seems to be getting closer to what I want in a carry-around-always-with-me camera. Canon and Nikon are offering compacts that I don't find interesting or useful. No, it's not a DSLR replacement. But as a supplement, I'm very interested. And, yes, I admit that the beautiful design of the Fujis is appealing. Most of the mirrorless offering are just plain ugly and if I'm going to be carrying something around most of the time, it might as well be nice looking.

Technical Support / Phantom Ranch Trip
« on: September 06, 2012, 11:37:57 PM »
So, here is the deal. We've scored some of the most difficult reservations in the world: a night in the Phantom Ranch cabins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for next September.

We will be traveling very light. Pair of underwear, toothbrush, exercise shorts and shirt to sleep in, snacks and lots and lots of water. Right now I'm planning on my 7D (unless the 7DII comes out before then), with the 15-85mm lens. No grip. Just extra batteries for this trip.

Dilemma number one: hiking day pack or camera backpack? Since comfort and every ounce counts, I'm inclined to take a day pack designed for hiking; most likely something with a built-in water bladder or a bladder insert. Carrying the camera inside a backpack is kind of pointless, so the camera will be out most of the hike.

Dilemma number two: extra lens? I'm not about to lug my 70-300 or 100-400 up the canyon, but I am giving some thought to buying a 70-200 f4. On the one hand, I'd hate to miss a chance at some critter because I don't have anything longer than the 15-85mm. On the other hand, if the 70-200 is in my backpack, what good is it going to do me?

Dilemma number three: camera strap. I've got the Black Rapid Sport, but I can't say I'm overwhelmed by it. Lately, when hiking, I've just been using a regular strap (Kata) and looping it through a handle on my Kata camera backpack (takes the weight off the neck and essentially forces the backpack to carry the camera). Again, stressing lightness, anyone with hiking and packing experience have a favorite strap configuration.

Dilemma number four: dump the 7D and go with a 1DX or similar small, all-in-one body and lens kit. I know that every extra ounce on the 7D is going to feel like a pound coming back up.

I'm inclined to go minimalist here. This is about the experience, not the photos. Yet, I doubt I'll ever be down there again, so don't really want to miss an opportunity.


Here is what I would do (This is meant to teach you to fish, not to catch the fish for you):

Open in Adobe Camera Raw. Kick up the blacks, contrast, etc. to get the overall image as best as you can. Don't worry about the shadows or highlights right now.

Open as a smart object. In Photoshop, make a new smart object via copy (must be a new smart object so the two objects are not linked.)

Open the second smart object in Adobe Camera Raw and start working on the highlights, to bring some detail back into them (adjust exposure first) (Always work downward from the list of adjustments in Camera Raw, starting with exposure and moving down the line. If one adjustment messes up the exposure, go back and adjust the exposure slightly).

Send the second layer back to Photoshop. Now you have two layers, one should be optimized for the midtones, and one for the highlights. Do you need one optimized for the shadows? If so, make another smart object copy and repeat the above in Camera Raw for the shadows.

After you have your two-three layers, add a layer mask to one of the layers. Using the brush tool paint away the parts of the layer to reveal the layer underneath that you want to use. (For example, if your layer optimized for highlights is below the layer optimized for midtones, you will paint away the highlight areas on your midtone layer to reveal the highlight layer underneath) If you paint away too much, switch the brush to white and paint it back in.

After you are done with the second layer, then do the same with the third (create a layer mask and start painting away the areas you want to reveal on the layers below).

This is a really abbreviated version, but experiment and you'll get the idea. Smart layers are absolutely great in this regard, because you can compress the range of tones to fit the subject.

When you get done, link the three layers and then copy all three. You'll now have six layers (or however many you've created times two). Make the original layers invisible and then merge the copied layers using "merge visible" that way, you have one layer you can work with and three invisible layers that preserve all  your work, in case you have to go back and adjust something later.

Now, this isn't going to help with cropping (which this photo is going to need quite a bit of). Your can either crop it beforehand in Camera Raw or crop it later in Photoshop. I'm not sure how much cropping you'll be able to do and still have a decent print, I would just start chopping away gradually, until I reach a balance that looks good.

Smart object technique courtesy of Scott Kelby. Highly recommended.

Of course in Photoshop there are a dozen different ways to do the same thing. I just find this the easiest.

EOS Bodies / Re: The ultimate Photokina bet poll...
« on: September 04, 2012, 04:20:10 PM »
I'm leaning toward "none of the above."

It seems very quiet for an imminent announcement. Sounds like Nikon will make their announcement/announcements around Sept. 13. Almost all the details of the Nikon full frame entry level camera seem to be confirmed, yet there are no solid rumors of the Canon. I'm thinking Canon Rumors Guy's October date is more likely. I'd like to be wrong, but I'm afraid I won't be.

I think next up with be either the 70D or the 7DII or both.

As an aside, what is a "Real higher iso full frame." I don't think current technology allows much higher than what is already available in the 5DIII or 1DX. Certainly Nikon hasn't been able to match Canon in high ISO performance, so what would Canon be announcing?

EOS Bodies / Re: Time from Announcement to Release
« on: August 29, 2012, 04:03:12 PM »
While I'm usually all for renting, I'd suggest you do the math.

14 day rental of the 5DIII will run you about $400 (with damage waiver and you definitely don't want to rent without the waiver).

Ask yourself which is the better deal: Rent the 5D or pick up a refurbished 7D ($1,360) or 60 D ($800) and sell it later when a new model comes out. If you think you can sell the 7D or the 60D for more than the price less rental, you could be money ahead buying. Plus you'll both have cameras until the next model comes out.

One more thing to be aware of at Grand Canyon. This is one of the few places in the country where you are might see California Condors. Like the tourists, they frequent the South Canyon rim near the grand hotels, so if they happen to be in the vicinity, you have a good chance of seeing one. Stop at the ranger station and ask about sightings.

One cool thing about them is that every adult is tagged. So if you do get lucky and get a shot of one, you can look him or her up on the internet and find out its life history.

Finally, after you are done getting your shots from the rim, look away from the canyon and study the nearby trees. You are likely to see mule deer grazing.

Good luck and enjoy.

Third Party Manufacturers / How much is too much?
« on: August 28, 2012, 10:42:10 AM »
PhotoRumors guy is reporting the next Sony a99 will have 102 autofocus points. This got me thinking – are we getting into overkill here?

Granted, it's not even been released yet, so there is no way to know just how good or bad the autofocus will be. But, I have to wonder if we are getting to the point of diminishing returns here. Are 102 autofocus points better than 61 points?

Is this the next form of megapixel wars? "Your 1DX has a mere 61 autofocus points while we have 102."

Realistically, how many autofocus points can be crammed into the space and do they, at some point, begin to make the focusing worse, not better.

Just something I'd like to hear opinions on from those who understand this sort of thing more than I do.

Interesting. I've thought about this lens, as well as the sigma 150 macro OS. Glad to hear from someone who owns one and likes it. Sigma takes a lot of grief on these forums for inconsistency. I honestly don't know how much of that is real and how much urban myth or past lack of quality control.

It does seem as though Sigma announces lenses and then seems to have a hard time getting them to market. (Although lately, Canon's record hasn't been so great on that front either.)

I'm glad to see any manufacturer producing quality lenses, as it forces Canon and Nikon to be more competitive.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Specs? [CR1]
« on: August 27, 2012, 07:59:13 PM »
I believe there are many 'very good' (to 'great'!) EF-S lenses (and lenses from other lens manufacturers that are designed around a crop body).

The Canon 15-85mm USM IS is my most used lens, it's very versatile with it's zoom range, has great IQ, built well (better than the 17-55mm USM IS) and the USM & IS features are cream on the cake...

...For reach, I have the Canon 70-300mm L USM IS, which equates to 480mm in 35mm format. I love this lens... particularly what it can achieve on a APS-C.  ;)...

...Love live the 7D... and here's hoping to some nice improvements in the 7DmkII... which will stay APS-C by the way!   8)



Paul raised a good point. When the 70-300 "L" was introduced, Canon very clearly marketed it to APS-C cameras (as well as full frame). Same (but less successfully) with the 8-15 Fisheye. If anyone goes back and looks at the announcements of these lenses, it was clear that they were being marketed both for full frame and 7D owners.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: 5D MK III Lowest price?
« on: August 27, 2012, 04:27:25 PM »
They have re-listed the Mark III at $3,120.

From their disclaimer (emphasis added):

Our products are covered by a warranty of 1 years parts and 90 days for labor. Due to our very low low prices, we are prevented from listing our items with manufacturer warranty. Rest assured, our products are the same as if you bought in stores

Please be aware that while all items we sell are brand new and never used, there are instances where we deliver the camera body (and box contents) in a box which originally included the camera and the lens. Please be reassured that the package that you received is brand new, never used, and comes with full documentation.

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