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Messages - sdsr

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391
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New iPhone: Final Nail in the Coffin
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:39:47 PM »
The reason for the poor sales of point & shoot cameras is more to do with the lack of interest of casual shooters, in any serious camera functions... any decent P&S camera will take better photos than a smartphone ... but casual shooters don't care about most of the stuff a serious photog would, the casual shooters only care about capturing the 'moment' they like and share as fast possible with a device that they are already carrying, regardless of the 'quality' of the image ... like my wife who likes the images of her iPhone ... the other day she took an image of a flower which to me looked very ordinary and bland, but she liked it coz it reminds her of a moment she cherishes ... she doesn't care about shutter speeds, fstops, ISO etc ... I think a vast majority are like that, for them carrying another device (P&S camera) is more of a pain, while they can 'get by' with their camera phone. A case in point is the Samsung Galaxy smartphone with a zoom lens, which has far better options (as a camera) than any smartphone, but it isn't selling like hot cakes.

That sounds about right.  50% of photos taken with iPhones are of plates of food in restaurants that get posted to facebook during the meal; and facebook is probably the destination of most of the remaining 50%.  For such purposes you don't need anything better, and in terms of convenience an iPhone wins every time.  It reminds me a bit of iPods - people seem content to wander around listening to over-compressed audio files via crappy-sounding free headphones as their sole source of music.  In both instances it's probably the case that more people are able to participate than ever before (taking photos, listening to music on the go); maybe for them it's good enough and they fill in the gaps with their imaginations rather than worrying about whether it could look/sound better.

392
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100 Epic Shootout
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:43:15 AM »

I am hesitant to use many RAW images for analysis in these comparisons for a few assumptions (which also may be incorrect):

1. Everyone has a different way to process RAW, and in many cases, some people will be more or less effective & creative in processing RAW files than others. The variation you can get between someone who really knows what they are doing in RAW vs someone who doesn't is pretty wide.
2. Even converting the RAW files into JPEGs to display in the video often changes how they look comparatively. 
3. I'm more interested in what the processors are doing in camera, as the typical user (example: soccer mom) wont even use RAW files.


That all makes sense to me, and the "soccer mom" model may well be as good a target audience as any (assuming such a buyer seeks out reviews such as yours in the first place!); it underlines the point that comparing image quality is difficult given the almost infinite number of variables a user can play with.  But maybe next time, if you have the time, you could toss in a couple of minimally processed (e.g. nothing more than LR's default import settings) RAW files along with the rest.

If you want to see if Rockwell's "fix" for the green bias works on the D7100, here's his recipe for the D600 (I've no idea how well it works there, either):

MENU > SHOOTING > White Balance > AUTO > right click to AUTO Normal > right click to the rainbow chart > click one down to M1 > OK.

Set M1, and the green goes away and the LCD looks fine. My biggest whines about this is that we ought not have to tweak it to get neutral color, and when we do tweak it, exactly like the other 2012 FX Nikons, the jump between M0 and M1 isn't fine enough to let me dial-out the green exactly how I'd like it dialed out.

393
EOS-M / Re: EOS-M or New EF lens?
« on: September 09, 2013, 03:38:49 PM »

as far as turning the screen off, I was hoping that like the DSLR's you can turn live view off and speed up the shutter action.


If you turn live view off on a DSLR you use the viewfinder to focus; if you turned off the screen on an M, you would see nothing at all - there's no viewfinder, so you would, in one sense, be shooting in the dark.... You might as well close both eyes while you're at it!

394
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100 Epic Shootout
« on: September 09, 2013, 02:46:08 PM »
Thanks, Michael – much of that video was useful and interesting (and, if my decision were based on your review and I were in the market for an APS-C camera, I would have no hesitation choosing the Canon unless there were Nikon APS-C lenses I particularly wanted). 

A few thoughts on just one topic, for whatever they’re worth:

The problem with overall image quality comparisons made by taking a JPEG of the same model/scene in the same light etc. with two or more cameras is that while one may look obviously better than the other(s), the differences aren’t necessarily explained by any inherent feature of either camera, even assuming the same lens is attached to each (was it, by the way?). 

Take, for instance, that sickly green that the Nikon added even to things that aren’t green at all (such as the model’s skin) in your examples.  Presumably that can be fixed by adjusting the color balance in the JPEG settings by using a similar tweak to that provided by Rockwell for fixing the green bias he’s complained consistently about in the D800 and D600 since the day they were released.  I suspect each camera’s JPEG settings could be tweaked so that the results look much the same as each other in terms of tone, sharpness, noise, etc. 

In other words, all such comparisons show is how two sets of JPEG settings compare; and since each camera provides a wide range of settings to choose from, and allows you to customize each one further, I’m not sure that proves anything useful at all - except perhaps to a novice intimidated by the prospect of changing color, noise reduction, etc. settings and who wants to compare cameras based on their unaltered factory JPEG settings (are they the JPEG settings you used?).

So, I would find it more helpful if such comparisons were made via RAW files run through the same software – LR, DxO etc. -  with minimal or no tweaking.  While such software can of course be used to make the photos look as different or similar (up to a point) as you like, thereby making comparisons useless, at least if the RAW files are left untweaked or minimally tweaked (e.g. LR’s default import settings), one should get a better idea of what each camera is “really” doing.  Do the Nikon’s RAW images have the same green bias?  Does that “makeup” look you refer to go away if you look at minimally processed RAW files?  Does Canon have a high ISO advantage merely because Canon uses more aggressive noise reduction at the JPEG settings you used?  Etc.

Finally, a question: Is that green bias visible in the viewfinder and on the monitor?  A while ago I rented a D600 and a D800 and was rather put off to see that the viewfinder in each had an olive green tint, almost as though I was wearing sunglasses (same for the monitors on both).  Luckily I noticed little or no green bias in the RAW files I shot.  So I’m wondering how similar the D7100 is to the two FF cameras (I think Rockwell’s review of the D7100 said that there was no such bias on the monitor; but I would rather it were there than in the photos!).

395
EOS-M / Re: EOS-M or New EF lens?
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:00:45 PM »

- Autofocus, really that bad?
- battery life, reports are its pretty low.
- can you turn the screen off? i'd rather have the screen off and just point guess and click.
- how good is it in low light conditions?
- what about capturing moving objects? ( most reviews i've read say its great for stationary objects, but capturing moving people is a bit difficult )

What are your thoughts?
-

Autofocus - depends what you mean by "bad".  After the firmware fix it focuses quickly and, most of the time, accurately.  If you mostly photograph big things - i.e. anything bigger than the rather large focus points - that aren't moving, it's fine.  If you need precise focus, especially selecting among small things, you need to magnify, which slows the process down quite a bit and isn't always accurate anyway.  It's a slower process than your Rebel, which I would rather use any day as far as ergonomics are concerned.  Plus, there's quite a delay between taking shots.  Whether any of this matters to you I can't say, of course.  You may find that the size of the camera makes up for it.

Battery life - shorter than your Rebel, certainly

Screen off -  sorry, but "point, guess and click" when you can't even see where you're focusing sounds absurd to me, especially since accurate focus is as important as anything else in taking a photo.  But if you don't care how any particular photo turns out and like the element of surprise, go for it.  (Actually, I'm not sure if you can use it that way - have never tried.)

low light - the image quality is at least as good as your Rebel (I suspect better, but I sold my Rebel before buying an M so I've not done any direct comparisons).  In my experience it has exactly the same focus performance as in daylight.  Overall, I suspect you won't find anything nearly as good for use in low light in a camera at or near this size/price.

moving objects - haven't a clue; haven't tried using mine for that.

396
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Can this 7D package be worth over $9500?
« on: September 09, 2013, 09:58:34 AM »
It may simply be a typo on their part.  If anyone really cares, you could call/email them....

397
Lenses / Re: Is There Such Thing As a "Best" Normal Lens for Crop?
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:00:19 AM »
I was pretty psyched about my Sigma 30 1.4 Art, but got some wild purple streaks in some pics so you fail. 
My telephoto lenses are the ultra flawless 100 2.0 and 200 2.8 II.
Is there such thing as a best normal lens (prime or zoom) for crop?  I usually don't need to go overly wide, but just a great general purpose (non-sports) lens that'll do it most the best.
The Canon 24 2.8 IS is currently loosely at the top of the list, but maybe just deal with the size of the 17-55?  15-85?  35 2.0?
Thanks.

When you say "wild purple streaks", do you mean purple fringing in corners in areas of strong contrast that are out of focus etc.?  If so, is it worse than other other lenses you have around that focal length or wider?  Purple fringing is a common problem with fast and/or lenses, esp. when used at or near maximum aperture.  If that's not what you mean, you probably have a defective lens.

I can't comment on the various "normal" zooms or the 24 2.8 IS, but you may want to consider the 28 2.8 IS too - on FF is works superbly, and I imagine it would on APS-C too.



398
EOS Bodies / Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« on: September 07, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »


The point I meant to make is that with photography I've come to the conclusion that often subjects that sound less interesting can make the best pictures.


True.  It helps if you develop the sort of photographer's eye that lets you see the world in terms of what might make a good/interesting etc. photo as opposed to what's good/interesting etc. to look at (which isn't, of course, to say that they don't overlap).  That's one reason why I like lenses that allow for extreme isolation - macro lenses, long zooms/primes, fast primes; it's fun to take photos that bear little resemblance to what you actually see (and to see the puzzled looks on people's faces while you do so!).

399
EOS-M / Re: EOS M or Powershot S110?
« on: September 07, 2013, 09:28:11 AM »
The M is only readily pocketable if you have very large pockets and keep the 22mm lens attached; with the zoom, you would surely have to remove the lens first.  The M has vastly better image quality in low light/higher ISOs than the S95/100/110 series; the difference is smaller in good light, but still noticeable.  If you want something really small that fits easily in a pocket and zooms I would forget about Canon and get a Sony RX100 or its successor - it will cost more than either Canon but give you significantly better image quality than the S95/100/110 even if not as good as the M; i.e., a compromise costs more...  (for the price of the RX100's successor you could buy a good DSLR or M43 camera + kit lens or better - but of course most of those won't fit in a pocket either).

400
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon vs Nikon at DxOMark
« on: September 06, 2013, 02:06:13 PM »
DxOMark Lens tests are often flawed beyond being marginally useful. 

Their M43 are performed with a camera that is by most accounts the worst Micro 43 ever made.  This is true for the Sigma DN 30 M43 review. 

[snip]
 

It actually gets rather comical if you look a bit closer.   As anyone who's read a bit about m43 knows, the Olympus 75mm 1.8 seems to receive nothing but lavish praise, both in terms of image quality and as an elegant piece of engineering (to these eyes, at least, it's about as attractive as a lens gets).  DxO acknowledges that it's the best m43 prime (for some reason they reviewed it based on its performance on a Panasonic body, where it scored 23 overall and 11 for sharpness, which I'll henceforth write as 23/11), but you can tell they've become a bit fed up with all the praise it receives and try to deflate the m43 enthusiasts' bubble:

"If you’re a convert to the smaller and lighter Micro Four Thirds cameras then the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f/1.8 is excellent, but to put it into some context it’s not in the same league as other portrait lens and camera combinations. Take for example the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G mounted on a Nikon D3X lately reviewed." (The score of the Nikon 85 1.8G on the D3X is 35/17.)

All sorts of things popped into my mind on reading this, such as - Why wouldn't the highest scoring lens at DxO, on one of Nikon's best FF cameras, yield better results than even the best m43 combination? ("$500 lens on $7000 body beats $900 lens on $900 body shock horror!")  Why aren't you comparing a 75 1.8 m43 lens to a Nikon prime with an equivalent focal length (150mm)?  Why do you keep mentioning the high price of this Olympus lens (c. $900 w/out discounts) without telling us the price of equivalent lenses in other systems, let alone while suggesting by way of comparison equipment worth $7500?  For that matter, why not invoke the much cheaper D800, where the 85mm 1.8G scores even higher?

And then I started rummaging around with some of their numbers, leaving aside the oddity of comparing an 85mm with a 150mm lens.  What if you put the Olympus on the best m43 camera, the OM-D?  Its score goes up to 27/13.  Not as good as the D3X score for the Nikon lens, obviously, but what if we try that Nikon lens on a few other Nikon bodies?  On a FF D4 it gets 33/14 (i.e. sharpness much the same as the Olympus combo), while on a D700 it gets 28/11, which is exactly the same score it gets on the D7000. 

After all that, the "gotcha" end of the review seems a tad inflated, shall we say. 

401
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon vs Nikon at DxOMark
« on: September 06, 2013, 01:16:12 PM »
Dxo...I first became suspicious as to the quality of their information when I noticed typos and incorrect grammar in some of their articles...i thought, this is supposed to be a "quality" site for reviews?


Aren't they French?  If so, their English isn't too bad.  Imagine if it were the other way around....

402
EOS Bodies / Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« on: September 06, 2013, 12:29:58 PM »
My friend has a vast selection of L lenses, and in areas of repeated patterns, like roofing shingles and stuff like that, morie pops up abruptly.  Also disturbingly, although the 70D is the same way, they have eliminated the double functionality of the top LCD buttons which means white balance has gone away, and you cannot reprogram that button =(  So... if you want to change white balance, you have to dig through your menu and save that to your "my menu" to have that option readily available.  I guess for me there are no clear winners, but since the backup camera may be seeing more video than stills, the 70D is looking better from my POV

A couple of things:

1. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough, but I don't see the moire you refer to on photos taken with my 6D unless I use a small JPEG setting (and even then it's rare, e.g. on the occasional cat's whisker), and I only use that for quick photo checking to weed out photos before processing raw files. 

2. Changing the white balance on the 6D is not as complicated as you describe above.  All you do is press the "Q" button to bring up the main info screen, scroll to the white balance icon and select it; that can't be more than one or two extra steps from what you're used to; and on the 70D (assuming it's a similar design"), with its touch-screen, it should be easier still. 

403
EOS Bodies / Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« on: September 06, 2013, 09:50:34 AM »

But the 70D may well be better than the 6D at focusing on things that move, even something as slow as cricket.... ;)  I'll leave it to others to comment on that, as I don't photograph that sort of thing.  It could be that the two factors you singled out - low light performance and shooting action - lead to conflicting recommendations (the 5DIII will give you both, but at quite a price), so you'll have to decide which of the two matters more.  Any chance of renting in your part of the world so you can find out first hand?

While it would bore everyone to death if I replied to everyone I had to pick up on this too . . . cricket?  Slow?  You might not know it but AI Focus was actually invented specifically for cricket.  You focus on the cricketer and in case something unexpected happens and he actually moves (heaven forbid) you still get the picture!  ;D

It's actually (like so many things when you really analyse them) a really interesting subject.  With the players wearing all white (traditionally at least) you need to be careful on exposure and the action which can actually be quite brutally fast when it does happen keeps you on your toes.  The challenge of getting both the batsman hitting the ball and a fielder catching it as well a second or two later can be quite entertaining as it's so unpredictable!

Oh, I know, I know; you weren't supposed to take my comment seriously.  I grew up in Australia and England and was forced to play it (and rugby) at school.  As a cricket-hating schoolmate of mine described it, hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror.  Or as Robert Morley once described it on "Any Questions" in the mid 1970s - "an awful, boring game played by awful, boring people and watched by awful, boring people."  But yes, it can't be easy to photograph....

404
Lenses / Re: Can 24-70/2.8 II replace 35/1.4?
« on: September 05, 2013, 08:50:32 AM »

I think I'm with that girl.  I'm probably weird, but I don't find 24-70 zooms very appealing.  They're nowhere near versatile enough in focal length for me (for versatility my 24-105 is more useful), and within their rather narrow range zooming with your feet makes as much sense.  I would rather cover that range via a couple of light primes - a 28 IS or a 35 1.4 plus a 50 1.4, say - and save the zooms for lengths where foot-zooming isn't a good substitute: ultrawide and long.  So I would likely be asking the question in reverse....

Still, it's hard to change the perspective between 24 and 70 with your feet. I don't use the 2470 to get closer, I use it to set my perspective and then footzoom to the crop I want. Plus the AF of the 2470 kills every prime under 200mm.

No, you can't change perspective by foot-zooming; that's why I suggested a couple of primes within that range, not one, and zooms for wider (which will go at least up to 24mm) and longer (which will usually start at 70mm).  But the suggestion was for someone who shares my preferences: I was offering a, um, perspective, not a general recommendation (for all I know, no-one shares that particular preference of mine).  I simply don't find the 24-70 range very useful most of the time. 

I have no doubt the 24-70 is as good as everyone says, but does its AF really "kill" the AF on the new IS primes?  The AF on the 28mm IS I own and the 35mm IS I rented is/was impeccable and very fast, while my second copy of the old 50mm 1.4 (unlike the first one I bought) has been fast and accurate too along with having the obvious advantages of being a faster lens.   

405
Lenses / Re: Can 24-70/2.8 II replace 35/1.4?
« on: September 04, 2013, 03:55:37 PM »
What I have come to see is that prime users are envious towards the 24-70 users with all their versatility and weight saving. While I see zoom users that envy the prime users for the better image, and of course bokehliciousness of 1.4 and faster. Some girl that spent all she got on a 5D2 and the 24-70L II later wanted to get primes instead LOL, wish I could afford that lens though...

I think I'm with that girl.  I'm probably weird, but I don't find 24-70 zooms very appealing.  They're nowhere near versatile enough in focal length for me (for versatility my 24-105 is more useful), and within their rather narrow range zooming with your feet makes as much sense.  I would rather cover that range via a couple of light primes - a 28 IS or a 35 1.4 plus a 50 1.4, say - and save the zooms for lengths where foot-zooming isn't a good substitute: ultrawide and long.  So I would likely be asking the question in reverse.... 

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