October 23, 2014, 12:42:48 AM

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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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Photography Technique / Swim Pictures - Share your tips/ideas!
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:44:51 PM »
Hi all,

I'm starting my forth year of swim team shooting for my sons' high school.  Up to now I've felt like I was on a learning curve as my gear/technique improved, esp the first year.  Now I'm looking for ideas to be more creative and keep it interesting.  The venues are the same and basically repeat every year.  The rare events that are held outdoors are well lit and colorful.  Unfortunately, the majority of the pics happen inside poorly lit natatoriums.  So there is always plenty of post processing happening to fix WB, lighting, clarity, shadows, etc.  Any ideas on post processing improvements is also welcome.

I have shot the last 3 years with a 60D and then a 5D3.  The lenses improved as I acquired better gear.  Now I have a 70-200/2.8L-II and a 70-300L and I have used a Kenko 1.4 TC with both on the 5D3.  I now also have a 70D to try out.  So I'm trying to also decide what lens combos I'll do now.  I'm considering putting the 5D3 on backup status (hanging left side) with a 24-105 for up close and using the 70D (faster fps, more reach) as the primary with the 70-300L or the 70-200/2.8-II with/without TC.

To summarize, I'm looking for composition and shot ideas, post enhancement tips and I'm looking for thoughts on lens+body combos.

Here is a link to all the swim pics I've posted from the last 3 years.  That should keep you busy for a while!   :P  (And THANK YOU!)   :D

http://rustythegeek.zenfolio.com/lamarswim

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Don't knock "lower cost", not to mention lower weight. Not everyone is going to be forking over $6,600.00 for an action camera. A reasonably priced "mini-1DX"-spec'ced (wrt fps and buffer) 7D2 is a very attractive compromise for those who ALSO don't have a Big White yet.

LOL Nancy!   ;D  Funny, I was thinking the same thing!  I really like nuero but it's easy to make his statement when one owns the gear he does.  (And over the years I've spent more than I care to admit as well.)

Note:  I just purchased a Canon Refurb 70D 18-55 Kit for $836 from Canon because I don't want to spend the huge $$ on the likely over $2K 7D2.  (And I think it will likely follow the same path as the previous 7D/60D releases and have a similar if not the same sensor anyway.)  My reason?  More reach with better crop sensor and higher fps (than the 60D).  That's about it.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 10:54:07 PM »
Thanks rowancastle.  The BetaShell cases are nifty, they have them at my local camera store.  I think these would be ideal for an ocean, river or other kind of water/boat based trip.  But unfortunately they almost weigh more than some lenses.  IMHO, while the BetaShell cases are ultra tough, they are overkill for hiking because they take up a lot of extra space and they are simply too heavy, esp if you need more than one.
There are a few sizes that are available in a lightweight model.....

Good to know!  I'll check into it.  For hiking I am more concerned about water sealing than crush/shock protection.  A couple of Ziplocks and/or a good drybag fills that need fine around a basic lightweight soft case or wrap.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:13:05 PM »
Thanks rowancastle.  The BetaShell cases are nifty, they have them at my local camera store.  I think these would be ideal for an ocean, river or other kind of water/boat based trip.  But unfortunately they almost weigh more than some lenses.  IMHO, while the BetaShell cases are ultra tough, they are overkill for hiking because they take up a lot of extra space and they are simply too heavy, esp if you need more than one.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:33:57 PM »
I love the MSR Whisperlite and also my Snow Peak Canister Stove kit.  We just do simple Mountain House Dehydrated meals for dinners.  Trail Snacks during the day.  And of course - VIA Coffee in the morning!   :P

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:34:44 PM »
Yikes!

67
EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: August 27, 2014, 04:32:52 PM »
Not likely...

...unless it turns out to be an amazing fantastic ground breaking camera for less than $2000.  I doubt that happening enough that I just purchased/received a Canon Refurb 70D 18-55 STM Kit for around $900 after tax.  I think it will suffice for my APS-C reach and 7 fps shooting needs enough working along with my 5D3 and 6D.

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:57:10 AM »
Yep. Time to start progressive length/elevation/weight training with the pack. I wouldn't mind gaining a few pounds of muscle and losing a few pounds of fat.

Right now I just wish that the temperature and humidity would get below 90 degrees and 90 per cent. At this point, the only hiking I would want to do involves just a large hydration bladder and not much else.

Yes!  When I'm training in May-June for the summer Philmont expedition in July, I'm in my hilly neighborhood sweating buckets carrying a heavy 60+ lb pack for 3+ miles every morning in the same hot/humid conditions.  I'm drenched when I get home and it's hard to breath.  But thinking about the dry+cooler climate in Cimmaron, New Mexico gives me motivation to keep going.  Good luck with that training!  Eat lots of protein!  (BTW NancyP, what part of the country are you located in and where do you plan to hike on your trip(s)?)

And remember, the training isn't just about stength and stamina, it's about mental conditioning.  You're also building confidence for the various challenges of the trail.  Once you get to a certain point in your training, you reach a relative plateau where you can keep going for much longer distances over different terrain as long as you maintain the will to do so.  The harder and more challenging your training, the less challenging the trail will be in comparison.   :)

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »
Another big reason I prefer Thinkpads - they have the best keyboards in the business.  Also, ease of setup using the ThinkVantage Tools and System Update utility.

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:35:01 AM »
I have a 17" desktop replacement which is essentially a Clevo chassis that's been heavily customised. I think the main US seller of these is Sager, but if you're based elsewhere, google "Clevo Resellers" and you'll find local suppliers. My system is 6 years old, has 16GB of RAM, 1.5TB of storage spread across three drives, and more ports than you can shake a stick at. I went for the highest end model, which is effectively a desktop system in a very chunky laptop box. The screen is good, and it's by far and away the best laptop that I've ever owned. However, it's HEAVY (about 8-9KG including power brick), I cycle 20 miles a day with it strapped to my back, and even though I'm pretty fit, I think it's time to get something less crazy and a bit easier on my spine.

Check out some of the smaller Clevo based systems, they're highly configurable, and they can easily be upgraded down the line if you need to. They aren't pretty, but they're all built like tanks, and they perform extremely well.

Wow!  Sager!  I haven't seen that name in a LONG TIME!

71
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5DIII dual cards
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:27:56 AM »
mackguyver - I've got 15 years worth of files. all with the RAW versions in a subdirectory.  With file sizes so big now I'm having trouble finding space.  The 2x1TB drives in my laptop are 90% full.  I'm just waiting for a drive to fail.  At least my data directories are backed up to a 3TB NAS drive.

15 years of files in 1TB???
Gee, I have 5 years worth of files that are using 4+ TB (and I'm on my third 2TB volume now).  And I've done some serious cleaning a couple of times!

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:13:04 AM »
Why do you need a new one, if your is 1-yr old and pretty fast?
I'm using a VAIO Z, which is about 3 or may be even 4 years old. It used to be a top-range, so it's pretty competitive now with i7-2660k, 8 gigs of ram and 256Gb SSD drive(RAID0 of two 128GB sticks).

The only thing you need for photography you need is an external display. Get yourself a nice 27" IPS DELL and have fun.

This is very close to what I have too - a 3 yr old Vaio that I upped to Crucial 8Gb RAM and added a Samsung 500Gb SSD. The biggest improvement that came though was when I bought a 22 inch external display! The original 16.4" TN screen is totally unacceptable for photo editing so I can't recommend anything that doesn't have an IPS display. So many headaches were due to the poor screen on my laptop.

My laptop is now my desktop and doesn't move from the desk.  :(

I am going to do the same but don't have a external display picked yet. I work exclusively from a 2010 Macbook Pro. Any suggestions?

There are other threads that talk about displays.  (I'm bad about hijacking threads myself sometimes.)  So I'll say that the DELL U2410 and U2711 are ideal IPS displays but there are others.  Read the other threads and you'll learn more.

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:09:21 AM »
I'm a little late to the party here but let me address some of the points in a general sense without naming names.

Laptops (Apple or PC) are always a compromise compared to a good desktop unit with a high end IPS display.  And I agree with many who say gaming laptops are overkill.  A gaming laptop is purposed for a completely different use dependent on 3D video performance.  For photography, it's all about the display and CPU/RAM/SSD and protecting the data.

Avoid TN Displays, get IPS.  Most everyone agrees on that and the OP wants the BEST, not a compromise to save $$.

Durability - Many have said they went out and looked at laptops to compare.  Most laptops at retail stores are not built to the standards that business line laptops are.  Lenovo Thinkpads vs Lenovo Ideapad.  DELL Precision/Latitude vs Inspiron.  HP ProBook/Elitebook vs Envy/Pavilion.  The major name business lines are built like tanks for enterprise traveling workforces.  The retail lines are built for individuals who don't know the difference and want shiny plastic.

Display, CPU, RAM, SSD all matter, but not video.  After that, it's just a difference in configuration.

Macbooks aren't better, they are just different (and overpriced)They won't last longer.  They have the exact same hardware inside built by the same manufacturers.  If you like Mac, buy it.  Heck, you can even install Windows on it if you want.  But macs don't have much in the way of versatility.  They are pretty limited for real world use with abbreviated ports, no docking or removable parts like batteries, optical drives, etc.  And I HATE GLOSSY HIGH CONTRAST DISPLAYS.  But to each their own.

Workstation level business laptops are expensive but they offer multiple custom configurations like drives with RAID, mSATA and other options including replacing the optical drive with even more storage, etc.  So you can create a custom drive setup that protects your images and even backs them up internally without the need for external drives hanging off, etc.  This is one area where macs and other retail offerings are totally lost.  You can also get custom docks that you can connect at your desk with everything including multiple displays.

What would I buy?  The Thinkpad W series from a W520 on up are excellent.  DELL and HP also have great workstation level IPS offerings that are similar.  These are serious workstation replacement products that are much more durable and powerful than retail products (and macs).  You could get a refurbished unit for a lot less and still enjoy everything you need including good performance and IPS display.

I'm not familiar with the Acer unit that has been mentioned here heavily but someone is pretty impressed with it so it's probably worth a look.  It's still a retail laptop however so I'm a little worried about the durability.

Finally, I saw a comment about why shouldn't all devices have the better IPS displays?  Well, it's mostly about money and profit.  IPS is more expensive and most devices are built for profit for a market that doesn't know the difference and doesn't care.  Most of the market wants a cheaper device with specs they think matter, like hard drive capacity and fancy names on the audio chip.  An iPad costs a TON of money and gives Apple something like a million percent profit margin to boot.

OP - Good luck finding what you want.  Please stay in touch here and let us know what you decide.  Again, my suggestion is to go with a Thinkpad W series or one of the DELL or HP business offerings.

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Video & Movie / Re: Canon 6D - RAW and stabilizer test
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:21:55 AM »
Wow, that's cool.  Sort of like a marketing video for... stabilizers!   :D

Ummm.... which stabilizer did you buy?

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Neat!  Any more comments for the OP?

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