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Messages - Botts

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31
Canon General / Re: Why Wedding Photographers’ Prices are “Wack”?
« on: December 11, 2013, 03:56:18 PM »
My brother and I both got married about 20 years ago before the internet or digital photography had been invented. He hired a professional photographer who probably used a Nikon or Canon.  I had less money so my father and I shared the photographic duties using a Praktica BC-1.

My wedding pictures are more memorable and technically better than my brother's. You don't always get what you pay for.

Don't tell me how much your equipment cost or how many year's experience you have. If you want $4000 then show me pictures I'd pay $4000 to own.

And don't complain about people who want $400 photos. That's like Rolls Royce whinging about people who want Toyotas. There are lots of price points in the market. If a customer isn't offering what you're worth then politely decline. Don't waste your breath arguing unless you think you can upsell them.

Exactly.  Never hesitate to ask a photographer for a bigger example of their portfolio.

If he's got 8 photos online as his portfolio, you don't know if those are the only good 8 photos he's taken, or the best 8 photos of hundreds. 

Find a photographer with a good body of work, that is in your style, in your price range.

32
Canon General / Re: Why Wedding Photographers’ Prices are “Wack”?
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:38:21 PM »
I have read that article before, it was a good read.

I would like to attempt to do a study on wedding photography price regionally.  Here in Edmonton, AB it seems that $2,750 is about where pricing starts for a photographer who has IMO a quality portfolio.  The median income in Edmonton is $56,338 annually.  The average price for a single family detached home is $376k, and the average condo is $222k.

It would be interesting to determine how much of an impact the external labor and housing markets have on photography pricing.

33
Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:35:00 PM »
Thank you for the link to the Gepe cases. One of those might come in handy for me when I go to Hawaii in August.

As for filter quality, that may indeed affect the effectiveness of some filter wrenches. In my case however, I was using B+W XS Pro filters. The filter got stuck when I had a B+W circular polarizing filter on top of it and instead of just turning the polarizing filter I ended up turning both of them and screwing the clear filter in much tighter than it needed to be. (I was in a very dusty environments so I didn't want to take the clear filter off before putting the polarizing filter on.) Clearly user error and I love my B+W filters. I was able to easily get the polarizing filter off the clear filter, but the clear filter is really really stuck and I have not been able to get it off with the filter wrench I have.  It still may be a limitation of my strength. I'm going to try a couple more things and if they don't work I'm going to take the lens and the filter wrench and the rubber kitchen jar gripper to a photographer friend of mine who is much stronger than I am.

Try a strap wrench maybe.  Something like this, it's rubber so it won't mar the finish.  They pretty much rock if you have problems opening things, my mom keeps one for tough jars and the like.  *** Could be a risk here, if it's cross threaded, you may tear the threads out of the filter or the lens.  I seem to recall that brass is softer than aluminum, so the threads on the filter should fail before the lens threads.  Based on the fact that the clear filter was installed and fine before, I would imagine that it isn't cross threaded though.

OK, this is not an accessory but for me "Release Shutter Without Card" is a useless feature, which I never use but can get into trouble real easy ...
We've all probably been there before.  Since then, that has been the first thing I have checked on every new Canon body I have used.  I also stick to 16GB SD cards, as if one fails during a day of shooting, I have only lost half the day, vs losing a full 32GB.

34
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:37:18 PM »
My head is still saying go with an iMac, but this is not going to be cheap. I now understand the best option is to go with the 256GB SSD/Flash option and go with USB 3.0 externals for storing things like photos, keeping things like the Lightroom catalogue on the internal storage.

In terms of future proofing I am sure getting near the top of the line model will do me for the next 5 years with no problems at all. The price of the following comes to £2,228.99:
•  3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
•  8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (RAM TO BE UPGRADED AT A LATER DATE) For info sake, to add 16GB would cost you around $200 delivered.
•  256GB Flash Storage
•  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 Good for future proofing, but if you don't foresee yourself doing video work, probably a splurge.

Syder makes a good point though, but for me what is above I am sure will be more than I need so to me that is future proofing, I know other may think otherwise, your thoughts?

What is slightly putting me off getting an iMac is the price, above is just the price for the iMac, not taking into account buying Photoshop again, the CS6 I currently have is only for Windows but Lightroom 3 is for both, but I would like to get the latest version of Lightroom. At some point I’ll probably add an Apple USB SuperDrive and other things. The main add on here will be USB 3.0 externals, bringing the cost easily over £2500. Nearly forgot the i1 Display Pro which is essential.
If I recall correctly, Adobe will switch licenses from Windows to OS X.  See this link  There's always the Photoshop Photography Program, which includes LR5 and Photoshop CC for $9.99 as well.

With regards to the i1DP, I think you'd want it with whichever display solution you went with, either a better monitor for the PC, or an Apple Display.

I wouldn't buy the USB SuperDrive.  For $30-40 off eBay you can get an external Bluray Reader + DVD burner drive.  It's not as sleek, but equally functional with the ability to read Blurays.  Or a bluray burner for under $100.

Can someone recommend some USB 3.0 externals for me to look at?
I would build my own external.  Buy a USB 3.0 enclosure, and a 7200RPM hard drive.  I like these enclosures the most, but there are certainly cheaper options from places like NCIX or newegg.  The most important part, is buying two sets.  Backup your stuff!  Hitachi, WD, or Seagate all make good 7200RPM drives.  If you are planning on upgrading to a RAID later, and choose WD make sure it's absolutely not from the green line. Red or Black is the way to go.
EDIT: Sorry forgot to add, I am not ruling out upgrading my current PC and getting a decent monitor.
Good option too, but recall what Rofflesaurr mentioned about being limited by SATA2.

Finally, there is a value on your happiness.  If your heart is set on an Apple, then that's probably worth something, you'll just have to decide what it is.  If you think you'll constantly think, "What if I had bought the iMac?", that may sway your final choice.

I think most the PC guys on here were suggesting buying a new PC vs upgrading yours.  That would be my choice if I were to go the PC route in your shoes.  I still think a Mac is better, but I wouldn't invest money into the current Dell.

And I would also suggest to look at 'Mac mini with i7 processor + Thunderbolt Display' combo (or 'Mac mini + Dell WhateverSharp') as another possibility to get a Mac that's capable to do some photo-work. You can easily add/replace memory in Mac mini and add second Hard Drive/SSD.
That's definitely a good option to consider, especially if photos is your #1 job.  The only thing that held me back from this option is that the Mac Mini only has integrated graphics, and not a discrete GPU.  The Mac Mini also only has 2 RAM slots, so you're limited to 16GB of RAM, vs 32GB with the iMac.  That said, you could always replace the Mac Mini as things progress technology wise.  Certainly would get more value out of the big investment in an iMac which is the display.

PS: You can install/run Windows on Macs too (unless it has a 'fusion drive' (?)). So, you still be able to run existing software while you purchasing or looking for their OS X replacements. (Apple's Aperture is also not totally useless RAW processing tool you can get for $80. LightRoom probably has more professional bells and whistles too it, but Aperture do allow at least to quickly sort through pictures, select keepers and reject the rest...)
I'm an Apple Certified Pro and Trainer in Aperture.  I love the photo management it has, but it lacks some editing features that LR5 has, including Lens Vingnetting and Distortion Correction.  I do prefer the brushes in Aperture to LR5s local edits though.  That said LR5 was clearly built to be paired with PS.
And 'NO', I do not insist on getting Mac mini instead of iMac (if you can afford top iMac 27" without spending 'unreasonable' amount of income or if you think that Mac mini is too slow or too small).

One final comment on everyone suggesting the Dell Ultrasharps, when you consider everything, the ultrasharp vs the Apple Thunderbolt Display get pretty close in cost.  The ATD also has decent speakers, FW800, Gigabit ethernet, and 3 USB 2.0 ports.

35
Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 11, 2013, 11:38:22 AM »
You may add me to the list of disappointed filter wrench owners. The clear filter on one of my lenses got stuck during my trip to Africa. I have been unable to get it off with the filter wrench. I thought perhaps I wasn't applying enough strength. Now I'm thinking I'll just try one of my rubber jar openers. I don't think the filter wrench idea is bad, but I do think the ones I have and maybe those the other posters have are poorly made.

On the other hand, I absolutely love my Think Tank memory wallets. Because I did not take a computer or other storage device along with me when I went to Africa, I took 20 SD cards in addition to the three that were in my three cameras. The two memory wallets I took worked great to keep the cards organized. And the ribbon and clips on them allowed me to attach the wallets to either my belt loops or the camera bag so they couldn't accidentally fall out and get lost. And when I was in my hotel room, I could easily throw the memory wallets into the room safe. Could have I gotten by with putting the memory cards in plastic baggies? Yes, but the memory wallets made everything so much easier and so much more secure. On the other hand, when I go out and I only need to take one or two extra cards, I don't use the memory wallets. By the way, even though my cameras all use SD cards, I buy the wallets for the CF cards. That way, I can keep my cards in the little plastic cases they come in and they still fit into the wallet. And if I ever get a camera that uses CF cards, I can still use the same wallets.

I think it may come down to filter quality too.  Ones that are built well usually have good threading, ones that are bargain bin can have poor threads.  I've never had to use a filter wrench on my B+W filters, but on the cheap ones the camera store sells, which several friends stick to, I've used my filter wrench before.  The shoe trick sounds good.

Also, I love my Gepe cases as I often kayak with my gear, or subject it to otherwise dicey situations.  I also really like the single hard SD cases as they make SD cards quite a bit easier to find than the stock tiny cases.

36
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:24:59 AM »
Quote
Posted by: Botts

'The iMac is the way to go for future proofing.'

No it isn't. If you want a future proof system buy a workstation. Something where you can upgrade all the components as and when you wish. And get something with a separate monitor so that you don't have to pay for a new screen when you want to upgrade your computer (the 27 inch monitor with the iMac will easily outlast the CPU and motherboard  - we've often gone two or three generations of computers with one generation of monitors). Modularity is really valuable when you're talking about building something with an eye on the future.


Of the options presented, it was better than upgrading the Dell.

As a PC user, you probably won't ever be sold on the idea of buying a Mac.  That's OK, but if a user wants to switch to the Apple environment, it's really their call.

37
Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 11, 2013, 01:40:25 AM »
Surapon,

I greatly appreciate your personality on the forum.  You are one of say 4 people I can think of by name that really make me visit canonrumors forum on a regular basis.

Please feel free to address me however you feel comfortable.  I would much rather see the members of the canonrumors forum be comfortable expressing themselves vs adopting a different personality for the forum. 

From my perspective, I associate you with true, sage advice, and a formal delivery.  I appreciate your uniqueness.

Marsu, neuro, and Rienz all have their associated uniqueness as well, and I believe it adds strength to the forum.

I struggle in my day job to address people formally as Mr./Ms./Miss etc. it has just been so missing in Canada that I have lost using formality as a habit.  Every time I saw you refer to someone as say Mr. Marsu, it helped reinforce it for me as well.

That being said, if you are comfortable addressing us as friends, feel free to address me as Brian.  I would be honoured to be considered even an acquaintance of yours.

tl;dr Everyone be who you are!  Exemplify your uniqueness, that is what makes us artists!

As Dr. Seuss once said, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."



Back to the items at hand, I would probably add these to the list of useless accessories.

Popup flash diffuser. Save the money and buy a used 430EX II.
The White Balance Filter or Expodisc - This is why we shoot RAW.  So we don't have to use goofy things like this.  If you are really concerned with colour balance just buy an X-rite ColorChecker card and use that.

38
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:43:27 AM »
The iMac FUSION storage drive OP mentioned is a hybrid drive - basically traditional HDD with flash memory bolted on for cache... similar to Seagate Momentus XT. It is nowhere near as fast as a real SSD and is limited by the speed of HDD, not by the interface. 

The fusion drive is just that, a fusion between 2 drives.  I have a 512GB SSD and a 4TB Hard Drive running in my iMac.  The computer handles deciding which data goes where, and data that is accessed more often stays on the SSD.  For smaller reads and writes it is as fast as the SSD.  For bigger stuff, it slows to the speed of the HD.  Considering it boots in about 20 seconds, and brings photoshop up in 1.5, AND has 4.5 TB of capacity, I am pretty happy with it.  If one drive fails, you loos all data.  So back it up...

Did you build your own Fusion Drive?  It seems like you must have opened your iMac as that config isn't available as a BTO.  I would caution others against this route, as:
a) It is currently untested, and slightly unstable. At the Apple Store we had some serious grief maintaining even Apple supported implementations of Fusion Drive.
b) You have to cut the adhesive holding the display in place.
c) Totally voids any semblance of AppleCare you ever had.

39
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:27:31 AM »
Ok so it's quicker, but I'm still confused with Apple not mentioning SSD but only Flash, is this the same thing?
In this case, yes. I believe Apple uses the term "flash" storage to differentiate from "SSD", which has come to mean - more or less - flash-type storage built into a housing the same form factor as "HDD" storage, and with a compatible SATA interface.

In other words, they don't want you to think you can buy an off-the-shelf SSD and install it.

You can't.  At least not easily.  It's a PCIe interface, but you'd need a custom built PCIe flash drive to fit the space inside the iMac.  A preexisting PCIe flash solution like a Mercury Accelsior wouldn't fit.

Ok so it's quicker, but I'm still confused with Apple not mentioning SSD but only Flash, is this the same thing?
Apple does use the term Flash to refer to SSDs.  The iMac's SSD/flash option achieves well over 500MB/s, often reaching into the low 700MB/s.

Botts, thanks for that information, interesting to know!
In your first post you say: “I'd go with the iMac.  The 27" display is fabulous, and the computer is wicked fast.  I've got a loaded 2013 sitting on my desk right now.”
Your also saying about upgrading my current PC, which is definitely an option, so which would you do if you were in my position and you didn’t have an iMac?
I had meant to recommend the RAID option and RAM to be used with the iMac, not the current PC.

I see what is being said about Hard Drives but the top/near top iMac will still be much faster than my current Dell and I can cope with my Dell now so any improvment will be a bonus, so speed yes is important for programs like Lightroom, but for me I don’t see it as being essential.
I think the iMac is the best option for you.  I'd order it with the 256GB SSD/Flash option, and go with USB 3.0 externals for storing your masters.  Keep your apps and your LR Catalogues on your SSD.[/b]

But this does not get around my main point of wanting a new monitor, I have a 4 year old Samsung monitor and the iMac screen will blow my Samsung monitor out of the water. It definitely will, it's a fabulous display.[/color]

The iMac is available with flash memory, which is the same as an SSD. The flash memory is faster than any standard SSD you can put in your PC for 2 reasons. The first reason being that your Dell has a SATA II interface, which limits data transfer speeds to around 270MB/sec. The second reason is that the iMac uses a proprietary interface which is connected directly to a PCI Express lane and can reach speeds over 700MB/sec. Even SATA III interfaces in newer PCs can not reach these speeds.

The iMac also has a thunderbolt connection, which is faster than any eSATA or USB 3.0 port on any PC. This thunderbolt connection allows you to add additional storage, whether it be external hard drives or SSDs, with no loss in performance compared to an internal drive. I would opt for flash storage on your iMac. You can keep your Lightroom catalog on the internal flash storage, and keep your actual photos on a high capacity external HDD. Lightroom is still very quick when set up this way.

Rofflesaurrr nails it.  I hadn't even thought of the SATA2 vs SATA3 issue.  You're effectively wasting your money putting any SSD into that Dell as it'll be limited by your logic board's SATA2 connections.

The iMac is the way to go for future proofing.  It'll have the speed to store large libraries effectively.  USB 2.0 or FW800 even, will continue to slow down your workflow.

He also suggests the catalog = ssd, and masters = hdd advantage as well.

40
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 10, 2013, 01:01:32 PM »
Just checked the GeekBench 2 scores for your i5 760 vs the iMac's i7 4771.  The iMac scores 2.01x higher on GeekBench than your dell which is substantial.

The loaded iMac scores 17% faster than my Retina MacBook Pro, which is pretty close to what I see in real world speed difference for heavy compute actions.  I.e. video rendering, or heavy PS work.  As such, I'd expect the iMac would smoke your Dell.

I still don't think I could justify anything bigger than a 256GB SSD at today's cost though, as the only thing you really need to store on the SSD is programs and LR Catalogues.  USB 3.0 / Thunderbolt also lets you add SSDs in SATA6 enclosures down the road.



Here's what I'd do instead of splurging on the 960GB SSD.
RAID enclosure $175 + 2TB Seagate $90x4 + 4TB USB 3.0 External $200

That comes to $735 and you'd get a RAID-10 enclosure with usable 4TB of space, and an external 4TB for offline backups.  You could do a 2TB version of this for $605.  It'll come down to whether or not you need that much data protection, I'd argue you always do; though I'm more conservative than most on backups.


41
Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 10, 2013, 02:26:11 AM »
Disclaimer: I worked for Apple for quite a long time.

I'd go with the iMac.  The 27" display is fabulous, and the computer is wicked fast.  I've got a loaded 2013 sitting on my desk right now.

If I were you, I'd go with the GPU and CPU upgrades from factory, I'd also choose the 256GB SSD.  Buy your RAM as cash becomes available. 
I run 24GB of RAM right now in this config: 4GB (stock), 4GB (stock), 8GB (aftermarket), 8GB(aftermarket).

The GPU and CPU will future proof you the longest.

With regards to the suggestion of the 960GB SSD, I'd avoid going that route.  I'd also avoid the Fusion Drive. Reasons are as follows:

1. You will outgrow the SSD, be it 960GB or 256GB.  It's a just a matter of time, then you're limited to USB 3.0 attached options anyways.
2. Lightroom runs great off a 2 HDD RAID-0, just make sure you've got a solid backup scheme or run RAID 10 with periodic offline backups.  Further, moving your Lightroom Catalogues to SSD, then running the masters off the RAID will lead to even better performance.  The Fusion drive won't touch either setup for speed.
3. Fusion Drives are currently a little finicky, and the replacement SSDs are still a constrained part AFAIK at Apple stores. I.e. if yours goes down, it's down for 2+ weeks.
4. That 960GB SSD is really expensive compared to building a fast RAID-0 + backup.  You could probably do a 4TB RAID 10 for under $600 now.  Alternatively, you could get a USB 3.0 DROBO.
5. Fire your programs on the SSD for super quick load times.

With regards to Aperture or Lightroom, keep in mind all they are, are glorified databases.  They need super quick read/write to the database, master reads are less crucial.  As such, most users with big libraries, or a need for speed run their Catalogues/Aperture Libraries on their SSDs, but store their masters / reference their masters on an external drive, RAID or otherwise.

If you have any questions, please PM me.

42
Canon General / Re: Useless or absurd accessories
« on: December 10, 2013, 02:08:23 AM »
Tied with the "tripod" that has flexible legs and can supposedly wrap around a fence post or branch.

I really hope I am not the only one who fell for that, this thing can barely carry its own weight, but it really reminded me of the "buy cheap, pay double" saying :-\

I quite liked my GorillaPod, it had its place, and my Gitzo has its place.  I use my gorilla pod lots with my P&S in places like Disneyland, or to strap a T2i to my Gitzo if I want video to supplement my photos.

Sort of like camouflage flashlights :)

As someone who has spent a substantially amount of time outdoors, I actively seek out the brightest coloured, least camouflaged items I can find.  Nothing worse than seeing someone drop a brand new camo zippo or flashlight in the bush, never to see it again. 

The only things I buy in less visible are things that I don't store in my pack if I'm trying to go low observable, but even then the items will be OD or black, not camo.


The worst accessory I can think of is the selfie stick! http://www.amazon.com/niceEshop-Extendable-telescopic-handheld-Portrait/dp/B00B0TNWIW/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1386659265&sr=1-5&keywords=self+portrait

43
Lenses / Re: DIY carbon hood for 40mm stm lens
« on: October 29, 2013, 11:33:12 AM »
No, i used epox that hardened on room temperature. No need for oven...

I see, I guess it doesn't need to be as strong as F1 chassis...

Most DIY carbon fibre things are cured at room temperature.  You use CF fabric, then coat with epoxy, similar to fibreglassing.

Pre-impregnated or prepreg CF is stored in a freezer, then shaped on a mold and heated to 100C to cure.

44
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Spec List Surfaces [CR1]
« on: October 27, 2013, 01:40:19 PM »
The noise in the 7D  reminds me of the classic Panasonic all-in-one super zooms. But yeah, terrible blue channel noise at ISO 100. I'd much rather see them focus on low ISO dynamic range and noise than ISO 64000 jpeg noise.  Any addition of megapixels to the 1.6x sensor means I won't be picking one up. 18 is already too many.

Why?  More pixels = less noise and more detail.

There is a school of thought, somewhat based in science, that bigger pixels equal less noise and/or higher sensitivity.

There are engineering realities which can nullify, mitigate, or amplify the above however.

45
Software & Accessories / Re: OS X Mavericks
« on: October 26, 2013, 10:01:25 PM »
Got the email from Planet 5D ... thought it might be of interest to some of you:
"APP Nap: FCPX under Mavericks: Won’t background render unless you change this!
For FCPX (and many other apps) under the new Apple OS X Mavericks, apps will by default, attempt to save processing for foreground apps by doing something new called “App Nap” – and that will cause background rendering to STOP unless you turn it off.

This is all news to me so I thought I’d share!"


Interesting, my FCP X hasn't been behaving like this.

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