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Messages - ahsanford

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1
Reviews / Re: Gizmodo reviews the Canon 7D Mark II
« on: October 21, 2014, 05:46:13 PM »
Im buying it, and I generally agree with the review.  I dont carry my 7D much now unless its for birds or underwater, I bought a 6D for people, but even that with lenses is starting to feel relatively heavy, given what image quality you can get with smaller cameras now for walkaround photography.

The market has changed, and most people wont want what this camera offers in exchange for the downsides for your average joe - if they just bought it on the basis of the plaudits it will get without realising its relative specialisation in todays market, they would be shortchanged.

The wildcard is, of course, how many people see the 7D2 as a specialist's tool and how many see it as a roundly robust camera for general photography?

Enthusiasts see the 7D2 as being a camera for the reach-obsessed and budget constrained.  And there are sports/wildlife/birding folks out there that will be able to do 95% as much with a 7D2 + 400 prime as those with a 1DX + 600 prime for a ton less money.

But, let's face it, those folks have to be only, what, five percent of the eventual people that will end up buying a 7D2?  Sure, we talk about them.  Sure, the value proposition is through the roof for those folks.  But how many really are there?

So, yes, Gizmodo readers and Best Buy walk-in dudes/dudettes will buy one because it's new, it's powerful, and it's built to last.  They aren't hung up on SLR footprint, size, weight, etc.  They also aren't hung up on needing a FF sensor.  But man, will it nail the shot of their kid at a school concert, sporting event, family trip, etc.

Plus, I also think it's a relative top-end camera for the beginning pro photographer (the small-town photjournalist was a great comment someone made) who is on a tight budget.  If a starting photog has $2-3k to invest in a new system, not all of them will take Canon/Nikon's entry level FF rigs -- they very well may see a better value in a loaded APS-C rig or a mirrorless APS-C rig, a few lenses, and a flash.

- A

2
Reviews / Re: Gizmodo reviews the Canon 7D Mark II
« on: October 21, 2014, 05:23:19 PM »
I'm just thinking, folks like us do huge amounts of our own research before buying our gear so why would Canon put a pre-production model into the hands of a less than capable reviewer, such as Gizmodo?

As stated before, large gadget/tech sites like Gizmodo, Engadget, Wired, CNET, etc. have massive readerships -- likely far in excess of even the most visited photography writing sites/blogs.  So I'm not surprised at all that they got a pre-production model.  I'd imagine that tech editors at other established institutions like Consumer Reports, NY Times, etc. were given early access as well. 

To answer your question, why does a great band with a loyal fanbase choose to tour as an opening act for a much larger band? Exposure, exposure, exposure. Canon didn't need to push much message at folks like us -- I'd gather some 50% of the CR forums' folks who were in the market made a call on buying a 7D2 solely from the spec sheet being confirmed by Canon's announcement, while the rest of us are waiting for detailed reviews. 

Remember, Canon doesn't need to court us, it needs to court new users --> enter broader appeal tech sites like Gizmodo and company to push their message further.
 
Not everyone who sees pre-production equipment is a legendary safari photog or Olympic sports shooter.  There's great value in seeing the market for what it is -- lots of different shooters with different needs -- and sampling your wares with them prior to launch.  Now I doubt a lower-on-the-totem-pole sort of reviewer/blogger could offer major feedback that would change the design, but I imagine that they would be excellent guinea pigs for sizing up marketing messaging, prioritizing the most impactful / least well understood features, etc.

- A


3
Reviews / Re: Gizmodo reviews the Canon 7D Mark II
« on: October 21, 2014, 11:26:39 AM »
Trying to get this straight: according to the review the original 7D was a great all-purpose camera.

The 7DII comes out and it does everything the original 7D did, plus it has more features, better low-light performance, better autofocus, etc., etc. all for the same price. But according to this review it's not an all-purpose camera?

What exactly do they think you could do with the 7D that you can't do better with the 7DII?

It's not that -- it's what else is available in comparison these days.

In 2009 (?) when the 7D came out, enthusiast mirrorless digital was in its infancy and was really only suited for basic walkaround shooting.  So, relatively speaking, the 7D stood out above all other [APS-C] options as the clear best in class on many, many fronts.

Now, in 2014, what the 7D2 does better than everyone in the APS-C market is...  well... less.  Burst and AF are best in class and the rest (IQ, low light, etc.) needs to be proven out by the pro reviewers.  But now, instead of just the single best in class Nikon APS-C as an alternative, now Canon has a slew of mirrorless competitors.  The 7D2 will only resoundingly beat them in action photography and build quality -- non-action IQ, video quality, etc. are not clear wins for Canon anymore.

We all know the 7D2 is not a direct competitor to the Fuji X Pro 1 (soon to be X Pro 2), Sony a6000, or Panasonic GH4 as they serve different needs, but to the gadget community, this distinction is lost.  They often just see high-level specs and form factor and size it up as they see it.  Sadly, Gizmodo and Engadget probably have 1,000 times the page views of CR, and for better or worse, control more of the general mindshare on this topic.

- A

4
Reviews / Re: Gizmodo reviews the Canon 7D Mark II
« on: October 21, 2014, 11:00:00 AM »

Believe it or not, reviews by these Gizmodo, Engadget, etc. types are helpful -- though fluffy and anti-technical -- in that they speak to the bigger picture of the camera in a much larger ecosystem.   The Best Buy shopper comment is spot on.

If you have a cabinet full of lenses, you realistically only have one or two camera bodies to consider, so the original 7D2 announcement either sent you immediately reaching for your credit card or immediately back to the forums to pine for Canon's next camera down the road.

But if you aren't heavily invested in a specific mount, and if you are in the market to do so, and if you are a gadget guy/gal and you want to stay on 'top' of the latest tech, the buzz around mirrorless is deafening in comparison to 'yet another SLR with slightly better specs'.  These folks would rather own a Tesla than a similarly priced Mercedes or Cadillac.  The tech these folks buy is an extension of their worldview, and (provided the quality is comparable), they'd rather buy tech that places them on the bleeding edge than with the herd. 

So as non-technical and populist as this review is, he makes a fair point.  The value proposition of SLRs continues to wane as mirrorless gets smaller form factor, gets more 'pro' options/components, better EVFs, etc.  Further, comments like 'the only reason to get this is high burst rate with AF tracking' -- given that he called the stills only marginally better than the 70D -- is damning.

I still am an SLR person.  It's OVF or bust for me.  And yes, I eagerly await Bryan Carnathan and other respected reviewers to kick the tires like the professionals that they are with a killer review in our terms, in our language, etc. 

- A


5
Oh yeah, I forgot.  Ever-so-green Apple uses 100% arsenic free glass on their displays, ipads, phones, etc.  I always forgot about that because my MBP is plugged into a Dell 24" widescreen matte monitor.

A glass display is a categorical fail for me, resolution be damned.  I have two large windows in my office -- the reflections would be horrible. 

- A

6
I have never cared for the all-in-one imac design.  I prefer my peripherals to remain separate and easily switchable in case something breaks or there is an upgrade.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't sell a classic desktop computer.  You have a choice between:

  • Really roughing it:  iPad and keyboard
  • A laptop on a stand plugged into a monitor (my choice for many years)
  • A mini:  a little shuttle that has relatively limited horsepower and limited upgradeability
  • An all in one like the iMac (which is upgradeable if you don't mind following some step by step guides:  https://www.ifixit.com/Device/iMac_Intel_27%22_EMC_2639)
  • A budget busting Mac Pro.
  • Or you spec a killer PC and set it up as a hackintosh, but that's fraught with some degree of risk -- risk of buying components that don't play nicely with MacOS, risk of cooking components, risk of being locked out with subsequent OS updates, etc.

The value proposition has been best with the Mini, but I have considered replacing my 5 year old Macbook Pro with an iMac as I never use the laptop out of the docked position these days (due to iPad use, phones capable of moving files more easily, etc.).

So the iMac announcement seems like a feature-level winner, but there are some drawbacks:

  • The last iMac was a much better value proposition.  I believe there's a huge price bump for the new retina 5k version.
  • How many video cards natively support that massive resolution?  Upgrading to a nicer card in 2-3 years time (a common move by PC builders to stretch the life of their PCs) may be difficult, expensive, or outright impossible if Apple has a difficult mount geometry (which is highly possible with these kind of all-in-one rigs).
  • If you also use your nice Photoshop box to play games, you are likely hosed.  99% of the world presently makes all of its desktop/TV games for 1920x1080 resolution, and we all play them on monitors with exactly that resolution, as leaving that native resolution on an LCD monitor aliases everything all to hell.  So with that fancy new monitor, you either have to (a) enjoy gaming on a fuzzy TV like view or (b) wait until game companies offer games that run in a native 5k format (don't hold your breath) and you crush your video card trying to render all those pixels real time.  So if I bought this, it would be a dedicated Photography box only and I'd need additional space and different monitor for a gaming PC.

- A

7
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:45:27 PM »
I'm more interested in control layout and intuitive menus here Canon beats Olympus but the rotary control on the E-M10 to adjust exposure comp is easier than Canon.

Wow.  My 5D3 (and I think both your 6D and 7D) use the back wheel for EC.  There are no buttons to press... you just turn the wheel.  I'd argue that's the easiest adjustment Canon has other than the index finger wheel (for shutter or aperture, depending on what mode you're in).

I've never shot the Olympus, but how does it beat a dedicated wheel for a task?  Is it in a better location, perhaps?  Just curious.

- A

8
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:39:49 PM »
Rebels always had bad viewfinders. Entry-level shooters prefer WISYWIG though god knows anyone who has a clue what they're doing prefers optical finders.

Always glad to see insulting, ignorant comments on the web!

Having 35 years of photography experience, I was less than enthusiastic when I purchased an Olympus EM-1 with EVF.  All I had ever used was an OVF, so was skeptical.  Now after 1 year of owning both the Olympus and a Canon 6D, I wish the Canon had an EVF.  Great advantage of WYSIWYG for difficult lighting situations such as sunsets.  Many other "in viewfinder" adjustments and info available.  The lag is so minimal it has never been an issue on any shot I have taken.  In fact, the EVF is so good, I forget that it is an EVF while shooting.

And yes, I do have a clue what I am doing.  Apology expected.

Yeah, I wish the world could take a more measured approach to condemning things they don't like.

Personally, I prefer the responsiveness of an OVF and have shot DSLRs for about ten years now. 

That said, I've never owned an EVF camera (unless cell phones count :P). I have tinkered with EVFs in hands-on moments in stores -- particularly Sony mirrorless models as I have a Sony store near me.  I have found the EVFs to be bright and loaded full of information, but a shade laggy compared to what I am used to.

I think the appeal of an EVF varies on what you shoot.   If I could completely decouple the fact that those shooting with EVFs do so because it's the only VF you get with mirrorless (unless you go... Fuji or Leica, right?) -- and that's a big if -- you could parse out some nice upsides to an EVF:

  • You get the upside of LiveView without the somewhat detached composition feel of looking at the LCD.  I personally love LiveView on a tripod for landscape work, but it's not the responsive framing experience that using handholding through the viewfinder gives you.  Someone just made a comment about super bright shooting like a sunset, and you just can't experience that before you shoot on an OVF.

  • You can shape / modify your viewfinder experience.  A real time histo instead of a basic EV indicator, focus peaking, highlight clipping warnings in context in the shot, etc. would seem to be powerful opportunities if they didn't clutter things too much.

  • It has got to be easier to see in dark conditions, right?

But there are realities about battery life and responsiveness that would represent a downgrade to OVF shooters.  So, for me (and not condemning those that disagree), I'm still OVF until I get a compelling reason to leave that behind.

- A

9
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 05:56:55 PM »
And when is the last time you had trouble with a mechanical aperture?

Never. But I want "better and smaller". 100% mechanics-free. Electronic apertures are a necessary part for future Solid State Cameras with functionality that far surpasses the hybrid-half-mechanical machines of yesterday and today. At least until we really move on to lightfield imaging devices.   :-)

I think you forgot the intermediate evolutionary phase where we all become videographers and poach our best stills from video.   :P

- A

10
Lenses / More chatter on an EF 11-24 F/4L coming soon
« on: October 02, 2014, 05:55:03 PM »
I don't put too much stock into CanonWatch, but they are claiming to have a source saying that an EF 11-24 F/4L lens is happening:

http://www.canonwatch.com/ef-11-24mm-f4l-coming-probably/

Some of you in a recent poll implied that this forum community's desire for a Nikon 14-24 F/2.8 clone was less based on that lens's spectacular sharpness and more based on the opportunity the 14mm wide end on that zoom might offer.  So I'd imagine -- were this rumor true -- some folks would be super duper happy about this.

But even if this picture was not a fake, no front filterability (without a comically large aftermarket outrigger) would be DOA for me.  I'll happily enjoy my 16-35 F/4L IS and call my UWA needs sated. 

- A

11
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:56:30 PM »
Quite a debate.  I think if this rumor is true it will take this form: EVF replaces mirror assembly; body size (particularly thickness front to back) is reduced but retains general shape of Rebel series including body height; EF-M mount; kits include EF-M to EF adapter; only larger size, hand grip, battery, body material (black/white polymer), dial configuration and EVF differentiate from next EOS-M; Canon retains either some Rebel models with mirrors (and native EF-S mount) or creates a new line for those products; and Canon does not introduce many more EF-M lenses.

I never put it together that way, but that's clever --> it'd be an EOS-M with a decent grip like a Rebel.  That might be the 'EOS-M3' everyone has been waiting for.

- A

12
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:26:07 PM »
Those are different user groups.  70D / 7D / 7D2 guys value responsiveness as much as functions/features.  They won't give up their OVFs anytime soon.

I fall in the 70D "grouping" and I gave up the OVF. (The decision on upgrading my 30D's was either the 70D or the X-T1. And I chose ...  8))

The 7D2 is for me a conundrum: great camera, iffy native lenses. But that aside, obviously Canon cannot improve the EOS-M to this level, both technologically and fiscally.

That's the weird bit.  I almost now see the 70D as the top end crop camera for all-purpose use, and I see the 7D2 (by any measure, a better rig) becoming more of the specialist reach/sports tool for better funded shooters -- i.e. most of the reach-limited folks who will be bolting superteles on to their new 7D2 probably aren't sad about the lack of high-quality ultrawide and 'wider standard zoom' options for it.   ::)  To those folks, the 7D2 becomes a crop teleconverter for big glass to do more for them. 

So I just don't see the 7D2 as something you buy for standard FL use.  It's the reach camera.  No need for standard FLs on it.  If you really need great 16-something  / 24-something FF equivalent, the 7D2 might not be the camera for you.  It might be time to look into a 6D or used 5D3 to tap into that great EF glass.

I know that's a minority position, but hey.

- A

13
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:54:06 PM »
... consider a higher end EF-M body ...
How higher? On par with the 70D? That'll kill their "prosumer" mid-level camera range for sure.  :'(

Those are different user groups.  70D / 7D / 7D2 guys value responsiveness as much as functions/features.  They won't give up their OVFs anytime soon.

I just think one sweeping EOS-M upgrade that addresses the major needs of mirrorless devotees -- an EVF, more responsive focusing, better grip, etc. -- will still allow a smaller form factor camera to take pictures in more arenas.

Will it bite into crop SLR sales?  Maybe.  But if it's the inevitable future, why run from it?

- A

14
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:44:50 PM »
A few random points to maybe fill in the parts you might be missing.  ;)


Great comments, thank you.  Very helpful for answering my questions.

Always having a road to allow EF glass to work presumes that Canon will ride their epic EF lens lineup to the bitter end, which is not a terrible assumption.  But part of me wonders if the world would really end if smaller mounts got higher quality native lenses -- L, USM, pro build, etc. 

But hell -- throw us a bone, Canon.  Give me just one decent native USM lens for EF-M and I might buy an EOS-M.

- A

15
EOS Bodies / Re: Next Rebel Going EVF? [CR1]
« on: October 02, 2014, 01:24:18 PM »
Basically Canon has three possible ways to design "a Digital Rebel with OVF".

1. Rebel-style and size body, e.g. like SL-1, fixed (pellicle) mirror, EVF [or hybrid VF] and EF-S mount
This concept has failed already 2 times ... first Canon Pellix, later Sony SLTs ... similar to e.g. Alpha 57 back in 2012 http://www.dpreview.com/articles/9545765927/sony-slt-a57-hvl-le1

2. Rebel-style and size body, e.g. like SL-1, mirrorless, EVF and EF-S mount
This concept has failed also ... see Pentax K01 back in 2012 http://www.dpreview.com/products/pentax/slrs/pentax_k01

3. Mirrorless, EVF, EF-M mount = EOS M3
Concept has half-failed first time round. Not for technical reasons, but for shortsighted Canon product crippling combined with Canon greed (way too high price). 


In reality Canon does not have a choice but to take route #3. Which is perfectly fine with me. :-)

And if they are smart, it will be sold body only and in 4 kits:
A) Body with EF-M 18-55 STM and
B) Body plus dual zoom kit .. EF-M 18-55 and EF-M 55-200
C) Body with EF/EF-S adapter
D) Body with EF-M 18-55 and EF/EFS adapter

Love the vision here -- a world where EF-M replaces EF-S is not an impossible one.  I could see 5-10 years from now SLRs being relegated to the pro end only and the rest of Canon's still cameras being mirrorless.   But I see Canon supporting three still camera mounts (EF-M, EF-S, EF) for the foreseeable future. 

It makes far more sense to build up EOS-M -- beef up the EF-M lens portfolio, offer an EOS-M EVF, consider a higher end EF-M body, etc. -- before they ever try to replace what Rebels do today.

- A

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