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Messages - Botts

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After using all three methods, traditional, back button AF, back button AF off, I settled on the last, it has all the advantages of independent control that traditional doesn't, but not the thumb committing and tiring disadvantage of method two. I strongly recommend people play with all their settings to find out what works best for them in any particular scenario.

I shoot like private does with AF-On as AF Off, and I really like it for the same reasons he mentions.
It blows the mind of my bird shooting friends, but it works well for me.  I find that I find the need to kill AF far more than I find selectively activating AF useful.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 23, 2013, 02:47:54 PM »
Thank you for your reply, but the 6D is out of my budget for a 9/(11)-point, center-only cross-type AF system and I truly need to choose between a 7D or 5D2.  Plus, I don't care for the 60D-like simplified rear panel of the 6D.  Just does not suit my years of Canon EOS usage.

You mention the AF performance and your need for tack sharp photos in several posts.  IMO that completely knocks out the 5D2. The 7D has phenomenal AF and great IQ if you are shooting with strobes when the light gets low, and not relying on high ISO performance.

I still miss my 7D for action, and am eagerly awaiting a 7D2 to pair with my 6D.  That said, the center point on the 6D beats the 7D for accuracy, but the only point on the 6D that does that is the center point.

One last consideration is focal lengths, you won't be near as wide with the 7D, but as you have a 20D I'm sure you've already experienced that.

Exactly. I thought eventually she could carry the 18-55, 55-250 combo and be set if she was at some indoor sports. I know these cameras are not meant for high iso but it has to be better than ps and m4/3's. but i could always get that when the time comes. They are going to be 6 this year so I guess we have sometime.

I had rented the OM-D before, and I'd give it the edge in high ISO quality over my 7D and T2i.  It'll be interesting to see if the SL1/T5i have finally gotten a sensor that can beat modern m4/3 cameras.  Time will tell once they get into people's hands.

Thanks everyone. Lots of good advice. Yeah she already ok'd the sony nex 6 and it has an evf so we could keep that but then if I went that route I would consider the nex 3nl since its half the price with all the same stuff she uses. Just not sure if squeezing in the eos would be better for the fact that hopefully i can get her a 17-50 2.8 someday and it would be a better combo. Never been a fan of the 4/3's cameras. She looked at the rx100 and hated the flash placement. I want the eos m but everyone seems to not be satisfied with the af speed and grabbing you kids you need all the speed you can get.

That 17-55 2.8 is a wonderful piece of kit.  It's unparalleled in Canon's full-frame line.  The 40STM is a great lens too, but I found it too wide as an everyday walk around piece on my crop 7D, and I still find myself wanting to switch to the 35mm quite a bit, even on the FF 6D.

Have you played with Olympus' m4/3s?  They are another astonishing camera, with IQ that is lens limited, not sensor limited when compared with the T1i-T4i.  This may change if the SL1 or T5i have new sensors though.  They are also a very ergonomic series, specifically the OM-D.

In the end though, with what you mention in your later posts, specifically shooting kids, and likely some day in the future, kids sports, I would probably go SLR for the AF and long lens advantages.


Prior Apple Genius here.  Bseitz brings up what seems like it should be the truth.  The reality is though that OS X and Aperture are extremely intelligent when it comes to allocating RAM.  Aperture won't use what it really needs at the expense of other processes to an extent.  It knows that you may flip into something more important, so it won't take what it really wants.

Swap used in activity monitor gives a better indication of whether or not you've maxed out your RAM.

Finally, as someone who has used a MacBook Pro with both 8GB and 16GB of RAM in a similar use case to yours, I noticed a big increase going to 16GB of RAM.  Going from 16GB to 32GB in my iMac wasn't as big of a difference, still a nice little boost though.

At the risk of hijacking the thread, only doing this here hoping for benefit to more people than myself:

I always get confused about Page ins / Page outs / Swap. I used to use Page outs as my indication for needing more RAM, lately, haven't had a problem with it though. I mostly used Page outs because it also gives a bytes/sec readout, so you can tell what you're currently using. For swap, am I correct that it shows what you've used since the machine last restarted? For instance, my swap currently shows 2.92 GB, Page outs 2.42 GB (0B/sec), and Page ins 24.06GB (0B/sec). 3.42GB available RAM. So currently, I have plenty available, but given that I haven't restarted in a few weeks, at some point I did something that required some swap, and that's still showing up on activity monitor.

Thoughts? Thanks for your help!

Swap is what is currently being used.  Page ins and page outs are cumulative.

OS X won't move memory from swap to active unless it determines that it is being required.  Some apps may store some files in memory that aren't accessed until you do something to require their loading.  I.e. you may have a preview window open on a different desktop, and not actively using it.  Similarly, a video game may precache a level, but it isn't needed until you finish the current level.  OS X won't waste the computing effort to move this from swap to active unless it is needed in active.  Obviously this causes a slight delay, but OS X won't put it back in swap as long as you need it.

Right now my Mac is using 7.11GB of swap, but I have 4.55GB of RAM free, and 11.42GB used.

If you want to do some easy reading on this see here Apple KBase article on reading activity monitor.
For some more in depth reading, here is the developer page on virtual memory. Developer Info.

tl;dr If you have no, or little RAM available (green), and a large swap file, you'll want more RAM.  If you have GBs of free RAM and some swap used, don't worry.

I'd consider M43 instead of the Sony just for lens selection.

Above all though, I'd consider whether or not your wife wants to learn the PASM modes.  I know that my fiancĂ© would simply be frustrated with my teaching, as she is quite happy with her iPhone at the moment.  She may be further ahead, but I would wonder if she might want something smaller and easier.

I'd seriously consider a Panasonic ZS30 for her if I were you.  Lots of zoom, very good automatic mode. And PASM if she eventually wants to progress to this.  It has a 24-480mm equivalent zoom range.  I wonder if your wife would feel constricted by the 40mm prime.  40mm on crop is still pretty narrow/tight.

The Panasonic ZS cameras, are a great option IMO.

Finally, the other advantage:  With a DIY build, you're not confined to a particular OS.  You can install Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows.  You could run both Mac OS X and Windows.  Whatever floats your boat.

As an individual who has gone down the hackintosh path before, if you want to run OS X on a custom built machine, you really want to build the machine for OS X.  Also, you'll have to be ok with not applying OS updates until they're tested by the hackintosh community and some other instabilities.

Next, you have to determine how valuable on site editing is for you.  I have had an iMac, and now run a 15" retina MBP.  The ability to have solid computing power while on site is invaluable.

Finally, the iMac and retina MacBook Pros have Thunderbolt and therefore the ability to add PCIe expansion cards.

All said, if you want to edit on the go, the retina MacBook Pro is the best option.  If raw processing power in the office is key, the DIY machine is going to be the cheapest, but the iMac, and OS X are sleek and operate day in, day out.  Bootcamp will run Windows flawlessly on any Mac too.

This depends entirely on your use case.  If dollars weren't an issue for me I'd keep the 24-105mm for casual night shots at a place like Disneyland, and a 24-70 f/2.8 II for event photography.

If you're like me, and like to travel light whenever possible, and may be taking night time photos of landscapes handheld, the IS benefit is immense.  I'd take a good 3-stop IS improvement over a 1-stop aperture improvement all day long.

If you're shooting people giving a speech or other photos of people on stage, the motion stopping ability of the extra stop of aperture far outweigh the IS advantage, your shutter times will be fast enough IS is generally moot.

Right now, I'm comparing my photos taken on two recent photo trips, one with the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC and one with the Canon 24-70 f/4 IS.

I am seriously considering the Tamron as the cost is so similar, and with the Tamron you gain that extra aperture stop.  Also, I found the working distance on the Canon's macro mode to be so short that it rendered it useless to me as a very casual macro shooter.

That sounds much more in line with what I'd expect.

Here's an experiment: open Activity Monitor (should be in Utilities), and pin it to your dock. Go up to View -> Dock Icon -> Memory Usage. You'll get a pie chart in the dock, showing your system RAM. Red is active, Yellow is Inactive, Blue is Wired, and Green is Free. The first three are basically "RAM being used". Green is what you have available. Go about your workflow, but check on it when things start getting slow. Do you have any green? If you have available RAM, then upgrading probably won't help. With 50MB images, you theoretically probably have enough. As others have said, it depends what else you're doing simultaneously, etc. I've found that 12 is usually enough for me for LR processing, but when I run into trouble is when I have PS stitching together panoramas.

Sparknotes: If things get slow and you have no available RAM, an upgrade would definitely help. If you have available RAM when you experience slowdowns, the bottleneck is elsewhere.

great advice - thanks, I did just as you wrote and see that I have about 1gb in the green while I play around with editing my files.   so I'm probably ok with 8gb.

thanks again bseitz!

Prior Apple Genius here.  Bseitz brings up what seems like it should be the truth.  The reality is though that OS X and Aperture are extremely intelligent when it comes to allocating RAM.  Aperture won't use what it really needs at the expense of other processes to an extent.  It knows that you may flip into something more important, so it won't take what it really wants.

Swap used in activity monitor gives a better indication of whether or not you've maxed out your RAM.

Finally, as someone who has used a MacBook Pro with both 8GB and 16GB of RAM in a similar use case to yours, I noticed a big increase going to 16GB of RAM.  Going from 16GB to 32GB in my iMac wasn't as big of a difference, still a nice little boost though.

Technical Support / Re: Connect DSLR to PC/Projector wireless
« on: February 17, 2013, 05:59:16 PM »
If you let us know if the projector has: VGA, HDMI, or DVI that would be great.

I'm assuming you have a recent Canon DSLR with Micro-HDMI

If it's got DVI, then you just need a cable like this:  http://www.amazon.com/Accell-J132B-002B-Type-D-Female-Adapter/dp/B005PHHO5M

If it's HDMI, you need: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10253&cs_id=1025301&p_id=7556&seq=1&format=2

If it's got VGA, you'd need something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0U008N4201 and a standard VGA cable.

Lenses / Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:33:11 AM »
I insure nothing. Regardless of how high the risk is, I'm sure the insurance companies have figured it out better than I could, and if it's profitable for them, it can't be for me, in the long run.
Otherwise, you are paying for not having to do the math and for feeling a little less uncertain about the future. Maybe that feeling is worth the money to you. But it will cost you money, not save it.

On a grand scale, for long-term you're correct.  On a realistic scale though, it comes down to risk tolerance.

Right now, I'm sitting with $9,000 worth of gear in my backpack.  This is currently my hobby.  If my backpack were to disappear, I'd be crushed, and not able to repurchase the gear.  It would take me several years to rebuild my collection.  For me, the risk of losing the insurance premium by not using it is far outweighed, by the potential risk of $9,000. 

The math doesn't make sense to insure when you include the risk of actually using all 9k of gear.  But I am not an insurance company that can afford to "write off" the capital loss.  For an insurance company, it makes sense to insure me, I'm likely 100% profit.  But to me, the cost is worth it.

Technical Support / Re: at what shutter speed you turn IS off?
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:22:24 AM »
You don't need to shoot a single image ever to have a very in depth knowledge of how the technology actually works. Personally, with regards a technical question relating to Canon gear, I would go with the word of the real Chuck over Jay Paredes.


chuck westfall will also tell you the 6D has a great autofocus system.   ::)

It depends on use case.  If you're not shooting action, the 6D does have great autofocus, it's quite accurate, and works in extremely low light.  If you are shooting sports though, you wouldn't call it great.  I'd take slightly less accurate AF for speed every time for sports.
I would say though, for me, I'll use IS all the time, unless I'm on a tripod.  I rarely shoot at 1/1000s as I'm usually more concerned about deep DOF.
That said, I'm shooting animals on Tuesday, I'll have to test my AF speed with the 70-200 f/2.8 II and the 70-300L with IS on and IS off, to see if it's a notable difference.

Technical Support / Re: How do you store and archive your images?
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:16:14 AM »
1st backup -> Daily Aperture Vault on external NAS
2nd backup -> Monthly vault on external HDDs kept at work.  Brought home only to backup.  (Currently using an OWC 4-bay enclosure)
3rd backup -> CrashPlan+ backup 1,500 miles away.

I'd consider blurays, but the cost is too high per GB right now for me.

I had the Tamron rented 2 weeks ago.  Liked it, the vignetting was a little strong IMO at 2.8 though.
It took sharp images, but my copy appeared to have the 6D issue with VC.  Apparently the newer Tamron 24-70 VC's function perfectly with the 6D.

I receive the Canon 24-70 f/4 IS tomorrow night for a week long trial as well.  I will report my results here.

I had the 24-105mm before, but the Tamron blew it away if you don't need those last 35mm.

Lenses / Re: Is your midrange gear insured?
« on: February 16, 2013, 11:37:45 PM »
Another question since I stayed clear of insurances so far: What happens if I actually loose something and the company has to replace it? Do say "No problem, no need for proof it was really stolen or it's a fraud attempt, here's your (insert value here) and have fun with it"? Does the insurance rate rise afterwards or (when) do they cancel the contract? Sorry if this sounds silly or naive, but I really have no experience with insurances at all.

My insurance company (home insurance as I'm not a pro) told me that if I'm in the USA or Canada, they'd like a police report stating the loss, but if I'm in Mexico, or a country that the police will hassle me in, they'd rather I not take the risk of reporting it.

My home insurance also didn't require an itemized list, just the ability to prove what I had in the event of loss. So I keep a copy of the receipts for all my gear in a folder in a safe, and a PDF copy of all receipts on my laptop, and in the cloud with DropBox. 

I believe this is partially because my insurance plan also covers "mysterious disappearance" without exclusion.

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