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Canon General / Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 15, 2012, 02:19:13 PM »
Lots of good advice here.

Since you have ready access to a CPA, you are very fortunate because he can help you with a sharp-penciled approach to what is realistic. That's something that too few small business people consider when starting out and why so many small businesses close down the road.

Of course you have to balance out your need to make a profit and the ability or willingness of your clients to pay. It's very easy for others to say that you should be charging more, but very hard for you, at this point, to turn down opportunities to learn and gain experience because your clients can't or won't pay what your services should be worth.

Ask yourself if this is a hobby or a business. Right now, you are charging hobby rates. Are you content to continue charging hobby rates knowing that it is unlikely to ever lead to earning enough to operate a business? Would you be happy joining your Dad's accounting firm for your day job and then continuing the photography work on weekends and evenings?

Your Dad will have better advice, but here are a couple of quick exercises: Let's say you continue to charge $75 for a live shoot of an hour or less. Multiply that by how many shoots you can reasonably do in a year. Three gigs a week, year round, at $75 each – that's less than $12,000 gross.

Now, what's the most you realistically believe you can earn in the foreseeable future?   Let's say you could get $500 per shoot and score the same three jobs a week. That's pretty aggressive, but even at that rate, you'd be grossing less than $80,000 a year. That's a living, but it is never going to make you rich.

Finally, something to consider. If you really feel you cannot charge more than $75 a job right now (possibly your clients can't afford any more than that), consider setting a higher, more realistic rate and offering a discount of some sort. That could give you some headroom in the future. "I'm planning on turning pro next year, but right now I need to build up my portfolio, so I am offering a special 'starving artists' discount. The catch is that I retain the rights to the photos and I'll need a signed release from all band members. You can use the pictures to promote your band, but not to earn money from t-shirt, poster or other sales. I will sell you the rights to all the pictures, but that will cost you quite a bit more."

Canon General / Re: Canon's MAP Pricing Goes Into Full Effect Today
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:57:42 PM »
It's been less than two weeks since MAP pricing has gone into effect. Here is what I have noticed:

"Real" prices for most items have not changed much. Maybe a few of the high demand items (5DIII) have crept up a bit from the deep discounts some retailers were offering, but for most lenses and bodies, I'm not seeing much difference. What I am seeing is a lot more "can't show" pricing from the major retailers. It's a bit inconvenient, but it doesn't seem to have caused a significant spike in prices for the majority of lenses and bodies.

It seems retailers are anxious to get consumers to open their wallets while the economy remains sluggish and MAP pricing isn't doing much to hinder the competition. In fact, I've seen some real bargains lately (lower prices than before MAP) My take: you can try, but it's pretty hard to stop the marketplace from setting prices.

EOS Bodies / Re: First 6D review up - does [KR] read [CR] ?
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:47:05 PM »
The guy has figured out how to make a living off of photography and internet. I admire that, as it's no easy task.

His writing is entertaining and he manages to get people to go to his site, even though it's probably one of the ugliest sites on the internet. No frills. Candidly, I much prefer his down-to-earth, don't-confuse-me-with-the-details, cut-to-the-chase approach than many of the pompous pseudo-artiste Ansel-Adams-Wannabes out there.

Technical Support / Re: Photoshop CS6 issue
« on: November 14, 2012, 09:48:27 AM »
Never had that problem. Had something similar with a Photoshop Plug-in. It was a problem with the video card/driver.

A couple of observations from using the 7D. The on-camera flash must fire for the trigger to work. (The flash has no effect on the exposure as it is synced to fire before the shutter opens, but it must fire.) This has a tendency to overheat the flash very quickly. Once it overheats, it shuts down until it cools off. The net result is that you are out of business until it cools down. Embarrassing and frustrating if you are in the middle of shooting a portrait.

I don't know if the small 90EX fires when you use it to trigger a slave or if it is subject to the same overheating, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does overheat quickly, given its small size. Just something to be cautious about.

After several embarrassing and frustrating incidents, where the flash quit triggering my 580 II's, I decided to go for the Yongnuo knockoff of the ST-E2. I'm not a professional, so I could not justify the cost of pocket wizards. The Yongnuo is less than half the price of the ST-E2, has worked very well and even rotates in the hotshoe so it can be aimed better at the strobes (something the RT-E2 doesn't do). If it dies on me, I can always use the 7D's on-camera trigger, but this way I have a backup. Just something to factor in.

EOS Bodies / Re: A Brief 2013 Canon Roadmap [CR1]
« on: November 13, 2012, 10:25:44 AM »
Please don't let this descend into yet another Canon sensor vs Nikon sensor debate. They've become boring and pointless.

How about the future of APS-H? Oh...wait... that's boring and pointless as well.

Will there be a 7DII? Super boring and super pointless.

In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with a topic that hasn't been flogged to death on this forum.

Canon General / Re: Suggestions for website hosting?
« on: November 11, 2012, 06:52:07 PM »

Very secure, very responsive and yes, you can use FTP. I assume you are interested only in hosting services, which is what Dreamhost does. Basically, you put your site up there and manage it yourself (although they have instant downloads of most content management systems such as Word Press, Joomla, etc. )

I built my own site because I wanted to do it as a learning experience. As an aside, I dropped Flash last winter because of frustration over not being able to have slide shows work on iPads. I am now powering the slide shows with a third-party option: Galleria. Although there are several other HTML-based slide show options out there.

You can follow the link in my signature to see the site in action.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 06:04:57 PM »
Convince you?

Well, if you haven't discovered the beauty of using smart objects you have no idea what you are missing. Open a file in Adobe Camera Raw. Process it the best you can for the main exposure. Open as a smart object. Duplicate as a second smart object. Double click to open in Raw. Process that one to improve upon other areas of the image. Add a layer mask. Paint in the areas you improved upon with the second file. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. as often as necessary.

Save it as a PSD file preserving all the layers. Six months from now, you can go back and refine or completely rework the image without having to start over from scratch. Plus, you've still got your original RAW file in case you do need to start over again.

It's the difference between performing surgery with a scalpel instead of a meat cleaver.

EOS Bodies / Re: Where the heck is the 70D or 7D mkII?
« on: November 08, 2012, 03:22:22 PM »
I would only disagree that the 6D IQ will surprise people...unless those people actually expect it to be much better than any other Canon sensor. Canon has not yet demonstrated an improved manufacturing process, so it is doubtful that the 6D sensor will be radically changed in any way.

The Canon exec in the Photokina interview in some other thread already stated that the 6d sensor uses the same tech level as the 5d2/5d3 sensor, so there won't be any positive surprises here - it's really a 5d2 in a smaller 60d-like body updated to current manufacturing processes like digic5.

I find this perplexing. Comments on this site and others from 5DIII users have led me to believe that the 5DIII shows some significant improvements over the 5DII in noise levels at higher ISOs. So, when you say the 6D uses "the same tech level as the 5DII/5DIII sensor" which sensor are you talking about?

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.

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