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Messages - sdsr

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EOS-M / Re: Is the canon eos-m a dead end system?
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:48:32 PM »
"because there are no small CSC tele lenses without huge compromises in IQ"

I would dispute that claim Olympus & Fuji both make very good and high IQ lenses for CSC cameras. Lenses like the Olympus 12mm f2 ED, 60mm f2.8 ED, 75mm f1.8 ED, Leica 45mm f2.8 in micro four thirds or the Fuji XF 27mm f2.8 all perform excellently.
The lenses you mentioned are not really "tele" lenses

Well, not the 12mm, but taking that crop factor into account, current primes get you to the equivalent of 150mm (I would add the 45mm Olympus to the list), with very high image quality.  As for Micro 4/3 zooms, they tend to compare quite favorably with their dslr equivalents and are, of course, much smaller and lighter.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A7 / A7R Reviewed by Thom Hogan
« on: March 11, 2014, 03:53:28 PM »
I'm sure I haven't tested my A7r as thoroughly as Mr. Hogan did his, and my experience with the D800e is limited to a week's rental with a couple of (high end) lenses (mostly the latest Nikon 85mm 1.4), and thus perhaps doesn't count, but I'm tempted to suggest that one reason why he finds it hard to describe the differences in image quality between the two is that the flaws he singles out in the A7r are either trivial or simply don't show up in most "normal" use (though I probably shouldn't use that term - for all I know, my use isn't "normal").  This is merely anecdotal and doesn't prove anything, but speaking just personally, after I returned the Nikon and looked at the images I took with it I sensed no camera/lens envy/remorse, but after trying both Sony A7s I promptly bought an A7r (it doesn't hurt that, as Hogan concedes, the two Sony FE primes are "stunningly good," but at the time I made my decision I had used nothing but adapted Canon lenses).

Aside from that, it seems a bit odd that he decided to evaluate the A7s in terms of whether they could be considered "the best all-around" camera, surpassing his beloved D800e (itself an odd choice for the title, as others have pointed out).  The structure of his review suggests he's rather missing the point.  I haven't read any of Sony's publicity stuff, but I wonder how many people genuinely interested in these cameras in the first place, or who know and like these cameras, would suggest that they are contenders for such a title in the first place?  No-one would recommend them for very fast performance, let alone herons-catching-fish, for instance, and whether they would be a good recommendation to anyone at all as the only camera they need own would depend entirely on how they like to use their cameras; for a lot of people they would be a terrible choice.  (I'm surprised that Mr. Hogan doesn't seem to acknowledge that some people prefer EVFs.)

As we all know, nothing's perfect, so you compromise.  If you really care about noise, you get a 6D and forego the AF etc. advantages of a 5DIII; if you really care about herons-catching-fish you forego a degree of resolution; if you want maximum versatility in a small, light system, you buy into Micro 4/3 and accept the (decreasing) disadvantages of a smaller sensor.  And so on.  For my part, while the A7s aren't as versatile as any of the cameras I've mentioned, I greatly appreciate the ability to get images of such high quality and detail so easily out of body/lens combinations this small/light. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:53:51 PM »
I buy from both.  The only time I had a problem with a purchase from either company was with an order from Adorama, when something they sent me was damaged in transit and returned to them before I ever set eyes on it; it didn't take much to obtain a refund from them.  Other things being equal (i.e., in stock, same price, etc.), I tend to favor Adorama because provided I place my order by 8pm I will receive it the next day even if I select their cheapest (typically, free) shipping method, unless it's something fairly trivial like a filter (NY to Philadelphia is next day via UPS ground, which they tend to use).  If I order from B&H it usually takes a day or two longer.  No big deal unless you're impatient.  Of course, depending on where you live such a consideration may not make a difference in the first place. 

Both are equally good at accepting returns if you don't like what you bought, though again Adorama is slightly quicker here too - with B&H you have to await an email authorizing the return; you don't with Adorama.  But the wait is usually no more than an hour or so....

(Both seem equally good in terms of the quality of their used equipment too.)

Does Canon's (or anyone else's) camera subdivision play any role in determining its "computer" rankings, the category in question here?   Do cameras, as a category, fit into this particular ranking at all?  If the answer to these questions is "no"....

Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 11, 2014, 12:10:52 AM »
PS - this may not apply to you, as I've no idea where you're from, but if you'll be returning, say, to the US, one reason not to take too much gear is this: the last time I flew back from Paris, the security person checking my carry-on bags made me remove each of my carefully packed lenses and open them up so she could verify that they were merely lenses.  No big deal, really, and perfectly understandable, but I had taken too many lenses, it took rather a long time and I suspect those in line behind me weren't entirely amused....

Lenses / Re: Lens Advise for Europe Vacation
« on: March 11, 2014, 12:01:26 AM »
A few random thoughts:

- If architecture and museums includes interiors, in case you don't already know this, it's worth pointing out that some of them are very dark inside even during the day (The Madeleine, for instance, has no natural light at all except a couple of skylights), and some won't allow a tripod (even if they did, in the more popular ones you would get in the way); so IS or fast lenses that perform well in low light wide open, esp. with coma (the candelabras in Notre Dame create coma from hell with lesser fast lenses like the 28mm 1.8), would be helpful (your Sigma would be good, though it's probably not wide enough). 

- The same applies to walking around at night, of course - which, at the risk of stating the obvious, is something you'll want to do: much of Paris looks marvelous at night. 

- Do you have experience carrying several heavy lenses all day?  The last time I was in Paris, with my 5DII, I found that if I took much with me, after a few hours of walking around I was almost ready to toss it all into the Seine and ended up taking just a couple of lenses with me, if that, when I left the hotel - 17-40 and/or 24-105 and/or 70-200 f4 IS during the day, with one or two faster ones for night or when I planned to go into somewhere with low light.  I would hate to carry around the 70-200 2.8 IS II all day and suspect that when I return to Paris in a couple of months I'll take only my Sony A7r with a couple of primes, and maybe some of my Olympus M4/3 - I probably take better photos when not worn out by lugging stuff around.  But that's me - you may be in far better physical shape! 

- For my taste, the most attractive parts of Paris are the narrow streets in the 5th & 6th Arr. on the Left Bank; a fairly wide lens would be useful for that (plus, as someone else said, something longer for the gargoyles).

- Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never had any security/theft issues with cameras (or anything else) in Paris, despite carrying around a 5DII + 70-200 f4 IS in plain sight for hours on end.

Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: March 10, 2014, 03:59:24 PM »
Why the DxO bashing?

The bashing are performed by insecure  brand owners.

Well, maybe.  But I currently own Canon FF & APSC, Sony FF and Olympus Micro 4/3, and have previously owned Nikon and Pentax....   

Others have explained better than I can the various biases (i.e. the criteria they use) of their evaluation process, but even leaving that aside, by trying to reduce all of this to a single number they're making the same fundamental mistake that everyone else makes when doing so (and not just in this context, of course), namely trying to reduce measurements of properties that are incommensurable to some point on a common scale and, in the process, omitting some properties altogether.  For instance, the five qualities of a lens that they explicitly provide numbers for (sharpness, transmission, distortion, vignetting and chromatic abarrations) may each be measurable, but they're not measurements of the same sort of thing on the same scale, so you can't just add them up (you might as well try to add your weight to your height - it's a conceptual absurdity).  And if you care about coma, say, or bokeh (try measuring *that*!), well, they don't seem to figure in at all.

To the extent other sites do this, their scores are absurd too, for the same reason.  I'm not sure why DxO's has become the reference, though, often invoked by other reviewers, bloggers, etc.  Maybe it's in part because, to an untrained, casual observer, the presentation looks so scientific - lots of charts and numbers and nothing as preposterous as testing a lens on a camera or a sensor in a lens/camera, or as vulgar as showing actual photos taken with any of the equipment reviewed (or am I missing something?).  To state the obvious, you can only take a photo by putting a sensor in a camera and attaching a lens to it; how any one of these components "performs" (in some weird sense of the term) in isolation hardly matters.  Which is why the most useful (to me, anyway) review sites provide photos (preferably comparative) to prove their points, and why ultimately there's no substitute for trying equipment first-hand.  It doesn't matter if lens A has a better score somewhere than lens B if, for your purposes, you can't see a difference that matters.

Oh, and like many others, I think DxO's software is good (probably the best for noise reduction).

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 08, 2014, 09:55:50 PM »

So- should I pass on the Statue of Liberty & Empire state Bldg? I expected those to be way up on someones list but maybe they arent that interesting?

Depends what you mean - if you like how cities look from on high (I don't), by all means go up the Empire State Building or something similar (I would rather look up at it with a wide-angle lens); otherwise, it's hard to avoid (you get nice, if somewhat distant, views of it and the Chrysler Building, from the High Line).  The best way to see the Statue of Liberty is probably from a boat, such as a Circle Line cruise (there's at least one that doesn't take too long and takes you around the southern end of Manhattan - great views of the city if you have the time, day or night).

Just out of curiosity, has anyone in here adapted EF lenses to the A7? Seems like most of the stuff I find is for people adapting them to the 7r.

Also, kind of off topic but figured I would pose the question since there are plenty of Sony adopters in here. The rumors re the successor to the A99 seems very intriguing between the potential IBIS, same big mp sensor, and Z shift. The IBIS and Z Shift seems like they would be completely game changing. The full sized body also wouldn't be a deterrent for me since I wouldn't be looking for a small package as I am more focused on absolute best feature set and IQ regardless of dimensions. Are any of you going to consider the updated body (considering price range, etc)?

I've used the 24-105L, 50mm and 85 1.8 on both bodies and - without doing anything resembling scientific testing - am inclined to conclude that they work equally well, the only difference being what you would expect from the resolution difference.  Some have reported worse AF performance on the A7r than the A7 (which might seem intuitive given the different focusing systems of the two bodies), but I didn't notice any difference whether in bright light or dim.

The successor of the A99 does sound appealing, especially because of the IBIS and the wider range of native lenses, but while I once thought body size didn't matter much, I've been spoiled (or corrupted, or whatever it is) by the small size of the A7s and the 35mm/55mm primes, which would presumably need an adapter to use on an A99 (and I would want to as they're probably superior to any A-mount native AF lenses.  But won't the successor still not be mirrorless but, instead SLT?  That's less appealing as the mechanism diverts light from the sensor and results in worse low light performance than you usually get from FF sensors - or at least that's been the case so far with SLT Alphas.  So I'm not so sure.  Besides, while I'm so fond of some of my Canon lenses (esp. the 70-300L, which doesn't seem to have a real counterpart in any other system), I'm disinclined to forego a FF Canon body.  If only Canon could conjure up an EF mount mirrorless FF body with IBIS....

Camera Body Gallery / Re: Anything shot with Sony A7R
« on: March 07, 2014, 09:40:53 PM »

Now I'm having second thoughts about the Sony 10-18 f/4 ... not because I think its bad, but because I recently had a chance to play with the Panasonic GX7 and I am really impressed ... the "silent" shutter is truly silent and I can autofocus by touching the touch screen while I am looking through the view finder. So I have developed real bad GAS for that little camera, plus the prospect of having a 200mm - 600mm equiv focal length in a very small package (100mm-300mm lens) is very enticing and fits perfectly for the kind of confined areas I move in (on our company's rig floor). However, the Tamron 150-600 VC had made my choice very difficult, the bloody thing is just not available for purchase online (our local dealer does have it in stock but he is selling it at around US$ 1800 ... that's a good US$ 580 more than what I'd have to pay through B&H, including shipping and customs) ... so I'm suffering from severe GAS for the past few days :-\

Allow me to add to your GAS problem by noting that you can get excellent results from the Panasonic 100-300mm lens, which through most of its length is very sharp and has great color, contrast etc.; after lugging around bulky, heavy zooms that don't even go to 600mm, I'm always amazed by how small and light it seems (even though it's probably the heaviest M43 lens) - not to mention how good it is.  (Based on some user reviews I've read I get the impression there's a degree of variation from copy to copy; if that's true, mine must be one of the better ones.)

Photography Technique / Re: Three days in The Big Apple
« on: March 07, 2014, 09:28:35 PM »
"Standard", whose excellent photos are anything but, has given you plenty of clues.  I would suggest, as his photos do, that NY isn't so much a matter of "things" as places, preferably large areas on extended walks - e.g. an afternoon walk that starts in Central Park at Bethesda Terrace, goes down the mall to the pond, where there's a bridge that gives great views of The Plaza Hotel and surrounding buildings (esp. good at dusk), continuing down 5th Ave to Rockefeller Center and from there to Radio City Music Hall and on to Times Sq. (these are all best at night).  A walk down (or up) the "High Line" (and abandoned elevated train track that's been converted into a park of sorts) which has interesting things on and around it; I spent a couple of enjoyable hours doing that last Sunday, and, tempted by the view of the Hudson, followed it with a walk along abandoned piers and parks, with a nice view of the new World Trade Center in the distance.  Depending on how far south you go, you could head east to Little Italy/Chinatown, or Washington Square and then head up Broadway to Union Square (with luck this will coincide with the superb farmers' market) and continue up Broadway to the Flatiron Building and beyond.  Or walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for great views of Manhattan from the east.  But it's hard to go wrong....

Doing all that walking you won't want to lug around a lot of heavy gear, obviously, but aside from that, at the risk of sounding reckless, I think the security warnings you've been given are overstated.  I don't like camera straps and bags (unless I'm taking something small like M43 or Sony A7r) and typically carry just one camera with one lens, holding it in my hand (I find it far more comfortable, but maybe that's just me).  I do this quite a lot in NY and have never had a problem or sensed a situation where there might be one.  Maybe it's just because I'm pretty familiar with it, but it seems like a pretty safe city to me (likewise Philadelphia, where I live and do the same thing).

Anyway, have a great time!

Canon General / Re: In need of a "walk around" camera
« on: March 07, 2014, 11:51:36 AM »
My wife and I travel on a regular basis and, of course, photography is an important part of our excursions.  At this time I am using a 1D-X, which I absolutely love, but there are times when the weight, appearance and size of this camera make it impractical and/or unsafe to carry.  For those reasons I am looking for another camera or body that would be more practical to take when the 1D-X would not be appropriate.

Image quality is a major consideration.

I sure would appreciate some suggestions on what might be an acceptable addition to my travel equipment.

If you want image quality at least as good as you're getting from your 1Dx, want to be able to stick with Canon lenses, and don't need fast autofocus, I would recommend a Sony A7/7r (plus several spare batteries) + metabones adapter (or forget the adapter and buy the two native primes, which are small and light by Canon standards - the remarkable resolution and sharpness of A7r + 55mm 1.8 allow for heavy cropping and may allow you to forego anything longer - and provide much faster focusing).  I doubt anything as small comes close to the image quality such a combination produces (few bigger cameras do either, for that matter).   

If APS-C will do, the SL1 has excellent image quality by APS-C standards, and if you only take the smaller Canon lenses with you it should be pretty inconspicuous.  Since you already own Canon lenses, unless they're all big I don't see much point in trying another brand for APS-C.  (I seem to be in a tiny minority in not being impressed by the image quality generated by Fuji's X sensors, though maybe the newest one will be better.)

If you want small + light + inconspicuous and the ability to change lenses, and don't need FF quality, one of the better Micro 43 bodies (esp. Olympus OM-Ds, with their excellent IBIS) seems by far the best option to me; compared to even most APS-C lenses many of their lenses seem almost weightless, many of the lenses are excellent, and the image quality compares favorably with APS-C.

If you want something that will literally fit in a pocket, the Sony RX100ii (or whatever the latest one is) is probably the best.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5d mark ii (should I keep it )
« on: March 06, 2014, 11:36:34 AM »
my question is about the 5d mark ii    Since I have a 5d mark iii should I keep my 5d mark ii?

What do you use your 5DII for?  If it's something you take with you just in case your 5DIII breaks but don't otherwise use it, you might as well keep it.  If you don't use it at all, you might as well sell it.  If you need to have two bodies you can use in identical ways but like a different lens on each so you can just switch cameras rather than swapping lenses, sell the 5DII and get another 5DIII.  If you want a second camera but with better noise performance than the 5DIII, sell the 5DII and get a 6D.  If you want a rather different experience altogether (including higher resolution), sell your 5DII and buy a Sony A7r + EF adapter (+ Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8).  Is replacing the 5DII something you can readily afford?

In short, I don't think anyone can usefully answer your question: it depends on what you do/want/need/can afford, and you haven't told us anything about any of those considerations....

EOS Bodies / Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« on: March 04, 2014, 03:44:40 PM »

I'm just going to say screw it and shoot everything at minimum focusing distance and wide open.  I don't care if all of my subjects are in focus... seriously... what do they expect... not to be blurry?




There's room for adaptation and growth while still providing a clear path through each line. Even varying from this structure, it's better than the complete disaster they have on their hands right now.

Whatever else one may think about Canon's line-up, in light of its commercial success compared to its competition your use of the phrase "complete disaster" seems a tad idiosyncratic.   

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