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Messages - MrFotoFool

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EOS-M / Re: EOS M or Powershot S110?
« on: September 07, 2013, 10:48:06 AM »
After being very unhappy with the quality of my point and shoots (first a Canon A1000 and then a Panasonic Lumix LX5), I bought the Canon M with 22 lens on the 299 special.  I am extremely happy with it and I finally have a point and shoot with quality that is useable.  The main thing for me is not so much the file size or sharpness as the increased dynamic range.  In outdoor shots with a mix a full sun and shade the smaller camera photos were so contrasty they were almost unusable.

I do carry the M (with pancake lens) in my shorts pocket.  As stated, they will not fit in tight jeans pocket, but cargo shorts yes.  Of course if you want the zoom lens then it is not pocketable at all, but I only use the pancake lens and plan to never add anything else.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« on: September 06, 2013, 11:45:03 PM »
The dramatic increase on online shopping is bound to change the model of how taxes are collected.  I can imagine that eventually all states will require sales tax to be collected on shipped items, as they must be losing lots of revenue.  If not, the only obvious alternative is to dramatically cut services or raise fees and taxes in other areas.  Since I do photography part time (very part time), I do pay sales tax on photo equipment purchased online (which is called use tax).  However, I try to buy from a store in state whenever possible and only order online if it is unavailable locally.

Software & Accessories / Re: JPEG as a travel alternative
« on: August 31, 2013, 11:30:27 AM »
Well I will be the one to go against the grain.  I shoot JPEG only almost all the time.  After doing it that way for a couple years, everyone said I was crazy so I tried JPEG plus RAW for about six months.  The alleged advantages of RAW were virtually nonexistent IMO.  I went back because RAW for me is a waste of time and storage space.  I only went digital three years ago and before that I was shooting slide film, which has a narrower latitude than even my current JPEG's (on a 5D2).  So two plus decades of shooting slide film taught me how to get exposures spot on and for me I don't need RAW.

Even when I look at examples online, where they show a side by side of a RAW and JPEG, most of them look virtually identical and they are trying to tell me how much better the RAW looks but honestly I do not see it.  The advantages to RAW may be there, but they are blown completely out of proportion.

Lenses / Re: A Big Lens Announcement in September? [CR1]
« on: August 28, 2013, 11:41:44 PM »
A new-and-improved 100-400?

This lens is loooong overdue and would likely sell like hotcakes, as did the current version.  I was recently looking at Nikon and they have a new improved version of their 80-400 and the reviews are off-the-charts positive.  The improved Canon would need zoom ring instead of push pull and preferably start at 80mm instead of 100mm to match Sigma and Nikon.

There are two options for doing a photo website.

Option one is using a company with templates (which can be customized), which will charge you a monthly or annual fee.  From reading photo magazines and forums, two of the most popular seem to be SmugMug Pro and Zenfolio, but there are others.

Option two is to buy web design software and build your own.  Adobe Dreamweaver is the one that a lot of professional web designers use, but I think it has a fairly high learning curve.  The one I used to build my site is Serif Web PlusX (current version is PlusX 6, the one I got was PlusX 5).  I chose it because it was highly rated on review sites and Serif also provides a reasonably priced hosting package that includes domain name registration (with your own name if you do the Gold Package, which I did).  What I mean is it does not say Serif in the domain before your name - it just has your name.  They are based in England and I am in the United States but have had no issues at all.  They also have great phone support whenever I call them.

You can use and customize their templates or build a site entirely from scratch.  I chose the latter.  If you have a PayPal account, it lets you set up sales fairly easily.  The advantage to building your own is that you can offer exactly the prints you want and have them printed at your favorite lab (hopefully a local lab to support your local economy).  If you use SmugMug Pro, the orders go through one of their four chosen labs.  They are also shipped directly to the client, which is convenient but it prevents you from checking the prints or signing them, as I like to do.

Here is Serif's site if you are interested: http://www.serif.com/

Here is my site if you want to see the kind of thing you can do: http://www.hoodfineart.com/

Lenses / Re: Pimped my lens!
« on: August 23, 2013, 11:25:03 AM »
. . . Also helps when you are trying to sell images if they recognize you.

Now you are going to have to watermark all your photos with zebra stripes so they will recognize them as the ones shot with the zebra lens!  :P

Lenses / Re: Wide Angle Pancake?
« on: August 18, 2013, 09:18:55 PM »
Voigtlander makes a 20mm
and a 28mm
(as well as a 40mm like Canon).

They seem to be well built and highly rated, but the downside is they are manual focus only.

Lenses / Re: Any chance Canon will incorporate 1.4x into Great Whites?
« on: August 18, 2013, 09:13:33 PM »
Would love to see it in the 70-200 2.8 and I imagine it would sell quite well.  That is my current telephoto setup, the 70-200 2.8L (non IS) and 1.4xii extender.  But adding and removing it is a minor annoyance and boy would I love to have it built in.  Doubt I could afford it though, as I bought the non-IS because I could not afford the ISii.

Canon General / Re: Should I get into this industry?
« on: August 18, 2013, 12:55:47 AM »
I concur with everyone here.  I work at a photo lab that serves both consumers and professionals - I have been there for 20 years.  For the first half of that time, the bulk of our income was from professional photographers and we had close to 50 employees.  Our pros have completely dried up over the last decade.  They are not getting jobs, we only have a few full time pros still making it, and our lab now employees about 10 people.

Furthermore, the type of photography you describe would only be profitable if you can market yourself as a high end fine art photographer.  This is exceedingly difficult and is in fact what I would love to do but have not figured out how.

It seems to me the best way to make money in photography currently, if you want to do nature or artsy stuff, is to lead photo tours and workshops.  Even this is iffy, though, because our lab gets the course brochures from the well known Arizona Highways workshops and even they told me their registrations were down the last couple years.

To wrap it up, you are hearing from all of us here that photography is not a good way to make a living in the current climate.  Sorry to be negative, but just trying to be realistic.  If you want to get a foot in the industry you could work at a camera store or a photo lab like I do, but the pay is lousy.  (Maybe a busy camera store that gives commission on high end sales would be better).

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Hand Held Night Mode - how does it work?
« on: August 17, 2013, 11:25:10 PM »
I did notice on the EXIF that the ISO is very high, 12,800.

By all means tell her to change it!  You will be doing her a huge favor in the long run.

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Hand Held Night Mode - how does it work?
« on: August 17, 2013, 01:22:04 AM »
The M does have a separate mode for (day) strong backlit scenes that uses HDR to combine three shots.  I tried using this with a subject with only one part moving and the movement showed awfully.  The handheld night mode, however, does not reveal any movement so I do not understand how it can be using a similar HDR method.  I really think something else is going on here.  My quick Google search on the topic did not reveal anything useful.

EOS-M / EOS M Hand Held Night Mode - how does it work?
« on: August 16, 2013, 11:52:28 PM »
Got the M on the 299 special and used it for snapshots on a recent Texas trip.  Was using the hand held night mode on the Riverwalk and it works amazingly well.  Just curious what exactly it does.  I know it takes four shots in a row.

But surely it is not combining them, is it?  I mean the boat was moving (albeit slowly), yet it is sharp in the photo as are all the people.  Does the camera just keep the sharpest of the four in the sequence?

EOS-M / Re: Hot pixels/dead pixels on sensor
« on: August 14, 2013, 12:15:10 AM »
I thought hot or dead pixels are ones that had burned out and are no longer usable.  Are you telling me there is a way to clean the camera to bring them back to life???

I have some on my 5Dmk2, but only notice them when shooting very high ISO.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Sigma 85 f 1.4
« on: August 12, 2013, 01:19:01 AM »
Not sure the difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is enough to make the switch.  Honestly, the DOF at 1.4 is so shallow that I often do not shoot it wide open.  The lens does have a nice feel - solid, but not too big - balances perfectly on a larger body like my 5D2.

When I first got it, however, it would not focus well at very close objects - the focus would just hunt back and forth.  I sent it in for free warranty repair and now it works fine at all subject distances.

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