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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Is it just me or this one of the most complicated and confusing kickstarter promotions you've ever seen?  Maybe it's just too early in the morning...  ???

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: I took the cheap road to FF
« on: November 10, 2014, 05:07:52 PM »
Sporgon, thanks for the info about the serial numbers.  I guess my serial number beginning with a 2 is why I have so many 1000's of actuations on my 5D without a failure!

And I'll also agree that the 5D can be a bit prone to sensor dust.  (Ditto for the 30D and 40D.)  Much more so than newer bodies.  I think they did something to help with static electrical charges or something because it sure seems like I was always cleaning the older body sensors.  Now not so much...

Wow, just picking up my 5D was a nice feeling.  I'm not normally very nostalgic but I got some great images with this 5D.  In fact, I think I'll go out and shoot with it a bit more soon.   :)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: I took the cheap road to FF
« on: November 10, 2014, 03:28:38 PM »
Wow, great info about detecting if the fix has been applied Scott!  Even though I've heard of this 5D mirror issue, I honestly never thought to check my 5D.  I've used the dickens out of it and I bought it used.  Turns out, mine hasn't had the fix either.

Maybe I'll get send it in to Canon.  Any advice on which service center is the best and if there is a particular way to request this repair?  Thanks.

BTW, I want to congratulate the OP on his 5D purchase.  I hope you love this camera, I sure have!!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Recommend first slr
« on: November 07, 2014, 07:11:53 PM »
I'd go refurb. Either an SL1 or a T4/5i. Then add either a 50 prime or a 18-135 zoom with IS.

I loved my 50mm f/1.8... and I wanted to love the 50mm f/1.4... but I didn't... it was as good... maybe better... but I didn't like it that much especially with the 80mm crop field of view. 

I think a 30 or 35 is more tolerable... I think having a prime is worth having initially... it helps to figure out whether you like think dof, bokeh, and image quality... and low light...

Ditto.  That is why I like my EF 28mm f/1.8 USM prime so much.  It works great on both crop and full frame.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Recommend first slr
« on: November 07, 2014, 07:10:41 PM »
Look at the Pentax K5 or K3. 

Rugged with real weather sealing (watch some of the youtube videos!)
In Body Image Stabalization means that you don't have to pay extra for a stabalized lens
Lots of really good glass both new and used

All this at a low price so you can afford to buy a body and a few good lenses.

I have considered a Pentax weather sealed system several times over the last couple years.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which SD card for Canon 70d?
« on: November 07, 2014, 07:06:34 PM »
I'd recommend sandisk... they have an excellent reputation (and only buy from an authorized retailer... and depending on how often you clear the information, you really probably don't need much more than 8gb...

Do you format SD card before you start using it? I've heard different opinions about that.

Personally I format the SD card in the camera after every shoot.  In other words, every time I am done with the thousand or so images I retrieve from it, once they are imported into Lightroom and exist in 2 places, I format the SD card in the camera to erase it.

I've been in the computer industry since 1983.  Whether you choose Apple or Windows doesn't matter to me.  Both work well, and I know there are fans of both technologies.

If you choose to go the Windows route, I purchased a computer a few months ago that I can highly, highly recommend.  It's a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga (not the Yoga 2).  I bought mine at a Microsoft Store because they don't allow any junkware to be installed on it when it's purchased through them.  Here's the link:

The screen on this Thinkpad Yoga is a 12.5" 1920x1080 IPS non-glare screen.  It's really nice.  I do have a 23" IPS monitor that I plug into occasionally, but I find that I can do most of my post processing without the bigger display.  I do have a Spyder calibrator for the screen and the external monitor.

If you get this machine, be sure to set the display scaling to 100% (it will probably default to 120%).  100% works great for processing photos.

Good luck with your new machine, whatever it happens to be!

Regards, Jim

I would support Jim's suggestion as well.  The Yoga is a great product from Lenovo despite it being in their consumer line.  The Yoga 1 can be obtained for a great price point too.  The Yoga 2 was very well reviewed as a super upgrade but the screen is so high resolution that you will need loupes to read it.  The resolution of the Yoga 1 is much more realistic.  Lenovo also makes a business line rugged Thinkpad version of the Yoga that is heavier and more expensive but it has an amazing keyboard and is a little easier to set up and support.  If you go to the Microsoft Store, make sure you also check out the Surface Pro 3.  It is also a great product.  Very well designed, well made and a strong competitor to the Yoga series.  Also keep in mind that when you start looking at touch screen designs, Windows 8 is your best bet.  As much as folks like to hate it, it's actually a great and perfectly fine OS, esp after they released the 8.1 update.

 :-[  I gotta throw out an apology to the OP because unfortunately it appears that this thread has (yet again) devolved into a Mac vs PC debate and I don't think the OP has received much in the way of useful advice about his request.  I started out just wanting to counter the all too common 'Mac just works' lines and ended up writing a dang novel and falling into the tempting debate trap.

Please understand that my main point is that both platforms are great and pretty similar from a hardware and reliability standpoint.  One isn't more magic than the other, they just use different interfaces and are supported differently.  And if you look at business line PCs instead of Best Buy specials, that hardware is much more robust, well made and reliable.

So I'll say sorry and appeal to everyone to read the OP's original request for advice about laptop features and tech and NOT about why he should buy Apple or PC.  (Which he actually said at the end, he didn't want a flame war.)

I would also invite the OP to do a search on CR about this topic because there have been several long and involved threads already about this topic and there will likely be a lot that can be gained by scanning them.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Owners first thoughts
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:30:48 PM »
Great work RichM!!

Those are some great shots and the IQ and focus looks awesome.  Thanks for sharing!

dstppy, I do the same thing with Lenovo Thinkpads and other brand enterprise level laptops, PCs and workstations.  I buy various refurbished models that are about 2-3 years old all the time for clients, for a fraction of what they cost when they were new, many still under warranty and use them for years.  They don't lose much value because I purchased them at a low "pre-depreciated" cost to begin with.

I totally agree with what you are doing with your used Apple purchases.  The only difference is while you pay $800 for the used MBA, I'm buying a Thinkpad T420 for about $375 with an i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, USB3 and a 1600x900 screen.  I install a nice mSATA SSD for about $80 to $140 depending on capacity and then I have two drives in the unit, the SSD for the system and apps and the existing hard drive for secondary storage and internal backups.  I can also get a choice of high quality docking systems for the thinkpads where I can connect up to three digital displays easily.  So for around $500 I have over $2000 worth (original retail value) of enterprise level stuff that is built like a tank and will easily run for at least another 3 years but really as long as I want to keep it.

Here's some refurbished examples (all running Win7 Pro x64 with COA attached)... 

T420 with i7 for $315
T420 with i5 & 8GB RAM for $375
T420 with 128GB SSD $372


It can happen on the Mac, but it rarely does. Don't pretend it's otherwise.

I understand.  I won't pretend if you won't.  My point is simply that Macs are not immune to the same problems that PCs have and Macs also have problems that PCs don't have.  I have Win7 PCs that have literally never experienced a problem too.  I set them up clean and simple and don't let misc crap get installed on them.  This helps ensure fewer problems.  If a user takes good care of their system, Windows is very reliable.  Therefore, I think the user should make a choice based on the experience and interface of the computer, not based on things that are fairly equal.

I believe that your point is that Macs are less prone to problems.  And in some ways, you are correct.  Especially when people are not careful with what they allow to be installed on PCs.  I think Macs are less susceptible to junk (like BS toolbars, etc) getting installed while online but they aren't immune and it's common to see Mac enthusiasts trumpet that Macs are superior when in fact they are merely different and less of a target for some of the junk that PC users have to be more mindful of.  PC users need to be a bit more vigilant about avoiding malware, etc than Mac users but otherwise I think that most things about both systems are fairly equal.  Apple can issue bad updates just like Microsoft can.  That's just part of writing software.

To be fair, I honestly like OS X.  There's nothing wrong with it except that it's very expensive because Apple refuses to sell it without the hardware that they insist on tacking a big profit margin to.  They insist they are a hardware maker, not a software maker and so they refuse to sell OS X by itself because then they know they wouldn't sell their expensive laptops and desktops without OS X to differentiate them with.  And for the past several years, all of their hardware, esp the iPhone and iPad are designed to lock folks into the Apple ecosystem to generate sales in the App Store, iTunes, etc.  It's a racket.  Regardless of how you approach it, owning Apple products is an expensive experience all the way down the line.

So with that said, my biggest issue with Apple actually has nothing to do with their products.  It has to do with Apple the company and how badly they treat pretty much everyone, developers, competitors, businesses that aren't even competitors and especially their own customers.  Apple is arrogant, aggressive, greedy and essentially a corporate bully.  And for that reason, I don't want to support them and thankfully I don't have to because there are a multitude of respectable alternatives available over a wide price range.
** END RANT **

Please understand that I in no way have a beef with you or any Mac user.  I'm just stating things the way I see them and trying hard to be objective.  I've used both and just don't see a reason to spend more money simply for Apple to grant me the privilege to use their stuff.  Because eventually that's what it boils down to after you've bought into the Apple world.

So, you might think about a local computer place (make sure you find a good one) and get the tech to build you one with Win7 on it ... if you don't have the cost of those mistakes we made first - the cost is similar to any ready made, off shelf laptop, and you have exactly what you need and no more junk on it ... 

We are lucky in that we have a very good shop in our area.  I would not consider buying a computer at a big store.  We get better prices, better service, and better quality. 

What I like most about our local shop is that they don't have the attitude that I find common with IT people.  Find a shop where they can talk with you about your computer needs instead of one that talks down to you.

If you need a question answered that you feel isn't being addressed, shoot it to me and I'll see what I can do.  Good luck in your quest!

The key thing to take away from my screen shot was that Photoshop with 3 RAW images open and Lightroom doing a 52 RAW -> 2000px JPEG export were using less than 3GB of RAM. I chose to open Google Chrome with a couple of tabs because I think most people are going to have a browser open while they are working. Chrome is a memory hog so it was adding additional memory pressure, but even so the memory used by Applications was only 6GB. The Chrome helpers are always a bit of a mystery, but they always show Not Responding...the OS just isn't able to get a good status on them.

OS X is a much less troublesome experience as a user. How many times have you tried to shut down your Win 7 laptop only to have it inform you that it has 22 updates to install and that you shouldn't turn it off until it finishes..only to find that it sits there for HOURS saying installing update 15 of 22? Ever had Windows Update run and then your Windows won't start and you have to restore to a restore point? Oh, how about all the preinstalled Norton Anti-Virus trial software, or even Office trial software? You get a new a laptop and immediately it's trying to sell you things, so now you have to uninstall. You don't even get a Windows disk anymore...only a recovery CD.

None of these issues exist on Mac. The built in backup software Time Machine...WORKS! Occasionally, you will read that an OS X update causes some laptops to lose WIFI or something like that. Though this has never happened to me, I am in the habit of waiting a day or two after the update is available to see if anyone reports problems.

Hi there bchernicoff,

Sorry in advance for this post length!  You make some good points about a comparison of Mac vs Windows so please don't take my post as trying to argue with you directly but as an IT guy for the last 30 years, I can say with some authority that owning a Mac isn't as rosy as most Mac proponents like to say.  Macs are still computers and they are using the exact same hardware that PCs use.  They have to coexist with the same external peripherals and use the same Internet while exchanging the same emails and running similar 3rd party software.  All computers, PC, Mac, Linux or whatever still have to endure the same challenges with drivers, software bugs and malware/virus attacks.  (And those that say Macs can't get malware/viruses today is irresponsible.  Sure they can and they do.  It's just not as bad as PCs.)

Comparing Mac vs PC is much like comparing Canon vs Nikon.  Neither camera is bad, they are just different and both essentially do the same things, just in a different way that appeals to each user based on their personal needs and preferences.

If one owns a Mac, it can still exhibit the same problems as a PC.  It has a spinning wheel of death.  It can hang on shutdown or during normal operation just like a PC.  It can slow down due to a fragmented hard drive.  Files can still get corrupted and cause problems with the system.  Macs also receive updates and sometimes buggy updates that can cause problems just like PCs do.  The other realities that exist include limited driver support from many peripherals or longer wait times for drivers or driver updates.  Limited software support from some software vendors or no support at all.  Harder to find information about problems on forums and limited support from Apple because Apple tends to ignore/deny problems until they decide the problem actually exists at all and then they issue fixes whenever they get around to it.

True, Macs don't have a lot of bloatware on them when they are purchased.  But that comes at a premium because all the bloatware on PCs is part of what makes them cheaper.  That and the fact that PC makers have to be more competitive and so don't mark up PCs at such a high profit margin like Apple does with all their products.  This is why I purchase BUSINESS LINE PCs refurbished where they are much cheaper and don't come with anything installed except Windows 7 Pro x64.  So even cheaper and no bloatware on a higher quality PC made for enterprise, not consumers.

Frankly, it's a waste of time to compare memory usage stats because on both PC and Mac, the actual underlying architecture of the operating system is complex, fairly unknown outside of the internal programming arm of each company and doesn't really matter much with regard to true performance.  I'm not saying Macs don't perform, they perform great!  But so do Windows PCs running (again) on the same hardware.  It's better to compare the results of applications designed to test each aspect of performance like disk, cpu, graphics, different real world application times, etc.

In general, the comparison of Mac vs PC hardware and performance is moot.  They are both essentially the same in that regard.  Where they are totally different is the interface and the software approach.  This is a personal preference of the user and it's important that the user understand the the biggest difference between Mac and PC is the interface and the philosophy of the design.  If someone wants to customize and tweak things to do things a certain way, the Mac will present roadblocks.  The philosophy of a Mac and OS X is to keep things simple and limit choices by design.  (And look really really pretty.)  Simplicity and elegance are the strengths of OS X.  Windows on the other hand offers a multitude of ways to do the same thing and allows infinite change, choice and customization.  And it doesn't try to look elegant, just functional.  That is its strength and so can be daunting so some users.

In summary, the choice of Mac vs PC is all about the user experience.  All the other things are essentially equal and it's unrealistic to pretend otherwise.

Software & Accessories / Re: What accessories for 7d Mkii?
« on: November 06, 2014, 07:58:24 AM »
Not sure about the true practical battery performance of the 7D2 yet considering the prices that the new LP-E6N batteries are at, I would just stick with the E6 version for a few months.  And if you've got several, why worry about the age until they start to actually fail?

I fully agree. Me too, I'm not convinced this battery will do much better compared to the old one. I will keep using my old ones, and if I need to buy a supplemental one in the future, then it will be a N version.
I really think that Canon did provide some more electronics inside to have a better look on the power consumption and to prevent third brands from copying it that easy.

Yeah, ditto.  Somewhere I stated that my 7D-2 uses the 3rd Party Wasabi Battery with no problem whatsoever.  No warnings, no smoke, full data shown and no Japanese Swat Teams at my door, etc. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II Owners first thoughts
« on: November 06, 2014, 07:54:16 AM »
FWIW toddbeall, I think the 70D is a great camera.  I've shot a few swim meets with it and it has produced great shots and handled well.  And the swim meet shots are High ISO in terrible light.  They have much better IQ than the 60D.  The focus is much better than the 60D and 7 fps is very nice as well.  Unfortunately I don't do much video but that is supposed to be what it is best at with the new sensor tech.  I think you would be delighted at how well the 70D performs when upgrading from the T2i.  Hugh increase in all aspects of the camera.  Plus the touch screen is pretty handy too.  I happen to be selling mine unless the 7D2 I bought sells first.

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