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Messages - Famateur

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 25, 2014, 01:01:58 PM »
Microsoft actually tried once, with Longhorn. They put a massive amount of time, money, and effort into it, and some of the initial early alphas (one of which I have, somewhere, on a DVD here) were AWE-SOME. Microsoft built a new OS that pretty much wiped the floor with any other OS.

I remember having high hopes for longhorn, though I never actually took any of the alphas for a spin. When Vista rolled-out, it was more than disappointing...

...unless it comes from Apple, of course, Apple is the god-king-fruitloop of the brainwashed masses....

LOL! Nicely put.

...massive breaking changes to backwards compatibility would have alienated the majority of their existing installed base.

Understood. Backward-compatibility is a two-edged sword for industry leaders -- it helps secure a loyal customer base who then hold innovation hostage to familiarity. When the "Up" folder button was abandoned, Microsoft indicated that it was a code-branching decision, and I'm sure there are thousands of similar decisions like that with each new version.

I might be mistaken, but I would think that UI customizations (menu items, taskbar layout, shortcuts, docs, toolbars, open/close/minimize buttons) would be possible without hitting the backward-compatibility wall -- it's the underlying functionality the interface is connected to that faces that constraint. What I'm imagining is a UI system that assigns every link, menu item, shortcut and UI widget a visibility status, location, behavior and relationship to other items. Then a user could mix and match and rearrange in whatever way they want. It's just the skin over the top of all the core functionality. Such customizability wouldn't prevent some things from being added/removed (like the Up folder button), but it would allow supreme flexibility in organizing the OS interface for the most personalized and efficient navigation and workflow.

You should look at Opera 12. Before they ditched their own rendering engine and become a Chrome Clone, Opera was the most customizable, feature rich browser on earth.

I've actually got Opera 12.17 installed right now (mostly for cross-browser compatibility testing for work). While I've enjoyed it when I've used it, I admit that I've become so accustomed to Firefox over the years that (despite its flaws) I haven't given any other browsers a serious look. Maybe I'll blow the dust off Opera and check it out in more detail.

There is another option for this as well. Windows has supported inline mount points, hard links and symbolic links for quite some time.

That works, too. I used to use Junction Link Magic to "move" stuff off the system drive.



Anyway, fun stuff. Thanks for the extra background and insights.

I think all I'm really wanting (and I know it's firmly in the "wish" category) is for Microsoft to A) Build the stellar OS I know they can build, and do it from the ground up, and B) Have a central guiding principle for the UI of ultimate customizeability for the user where they make as few "this is how/where we think it must be" decisions in favor of "let the users tweak it, hide it, move it, arrange it to their tastes".

By the way, as schizophrenic as Windows 8 seemed at first (is this for a mobile device or a desktop???), I fully support the idea of a single OS that serves multiple devices seamlessly. Ubuntu touch looks interesting on that front. The trick is to keep the learning curve across devices as low as possible while maintaining device-appropriate UI look/feel/behavior. Not Easy. I'm hoping Microsoft gets there sooner than later...



Apologies to the OP for the sidetrack.  :-X

2
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 24, 2014, 07:20:04 PM »
The controls do get small, though, everything is small, as Adobe does not seem to have put any effort into supporting High DPI displays yet.

Lightroom 5 fully supports HiDPI Retina displays, and on Windows it has a 200% UI font scaling option. Most of the CC products are in the same state. Windows rendering isn't as good as OS X Retina, because it has a number of issues with HiDPI scaling that Adobe are working closely with Microsoft to address. It will be a while before we get feature parity.

Glad to hear Adobe is working with Microsoft on improving scaling for HiDPI displays. Good points from Jrista, too, about multiple monitors. I rarely have fewer than two monitors, so this is particularly interesting to me. Any word on whether Adobe will dynamically scale the Lightroom UI (eventually) based on destination display DPI?

3
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:46:14 PM »

I'd warn you away from Windows 7 if going high DPI. Windows 7 has the bare minimum support for it possible. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has VASTLY superior High DPI scaling and support. There is also little reason to not use Widnows 8.1 these days. You boot into the desktop by default, which is nearly identical to Windows 7 with a few minor tweaks here and there. The only major difference is the start menu has been replaced with the start screen, however you can get third-party utilities that restore the start menu as well.

Windows 8 boots in seconds, and overall uses far less memory and is generally much faster than Windows 7. It is also far more resource efficient, which increases battery life in a laptop compared to Windows 7. There is very, very little reason to downgrade, and so many reasons to stay with Windows 8. If you go with a 3200x1800, Win 8.1 is definitely the better option.

Good info -- thanks. I've been using Classic Shell on Windows 7 to try to maintain the UI experience I enjoyed with XP for so long, so I'm guessing I can do the same on  8.1. If performance and battery life are that much better, I might just give it a shot. Thanks for the recommendation!



Small Rant to Microsoft:

The user experience, particularly navigation, is sacred. Yes, people can (and must, at times) adapt to new interfaces, but how we do things is the most important part of the user experience, and for those of us who use their computer for 8-10 hours per day, or more, little annoyances become major pain points (why take away my Up Folder button??? Even "restoring it", it no longer navigates literally UP the file structure on the disk).

If I had one wish for Microsoft to grant for a future release of Windows, it would be this: Make every, single, element, of the user interface customizable. Allow me to drag, arrange, pin, doc, hide whatever I want, wherever I want it. This includes menus, toolbars, taskbars, anything. Let me choose which mode the OS boots/runs in, regardless of the device it's running on. Let me choose how I want the OS to serve me. Don't force me to live with your choices on my behalf. I appreciate the effort to guess my wants and needs, but give me the option to override your choice if it misses.

Feel free to have everything a certain way as a default for beginners, but give UI nuts like me the ultimate in flexibility. I want MY Windows experience to be mine.

Mozilla Firefox almost got there with the latest version. I can customize and arrange nearly everything about the toolbars, even the contents and order of what's in the menu. The only thing they dropped the ball on was locking the Stop/Refresh button inside the address bar (it's tiny, too) and removing the Separator from the menu of doo-dads you can choose from to customize the toolbar.

One can dream...For now, I'm still getting by with a combination of Classic Shell, Nexus Dock and various registry hacks.  :P

While I'm at it, if I had a second wish it would be: Store the operating system and programs on one partition and all my files on another by default so re-imaging is quick and easy, without affecting my files/data. I do this manually any time I get a new machine, but I still have to go through and change the default locations of things like My Documents, My Pictures, et cetera. Why mingle all my data on the same logical drive as the OS and programs? If something borks my registry or otherwise pollutes my operating system, I want to just re-image and move on with life.

Whew! Sorry about that, guys/gals. Just had to get that out of my system.  :-X

4
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 24, 2014, 01:24:29 PM »
...Adobe does not seem to have put any effort into supporting High DPI displays yet. I don't know why, they are rapidly becoming ubiquitous, and with 4k on the way, they will be well behind the times if they don't do something about it soon.

I was thinking the same thing. While the display on the M3800 is touch, I'm not sure if a stylus will be practical/possible (plus, I'll be downgrading to Win7, and I'm not sure how 7's support is for touch).

To your point about the trend toward 4K, it would surprise me if Adobe didn't get with the scaling program soon. If I can get anywhere near the lifespan out of the new Dell as I have with this HP, then 3200x1800 might be a good bet, counting on Adobe to catch up in the next year or two.

Thanks for the input!

Maybe I spring for the 3200x1800 display now, knowing I can add more RAM any time in the future. Adding more pixels, not so much...  :P

5
Software & Accessories / Re: laptop for tethered shooting?
« on: July 24, 2014, 12:45:54 PM »
...It's about as good as my Dell XPS 15, which has a 15.6" 3200x1800 screen...
...The text on my XPS 15 is actually slightly larger than it is on my 2560x1600 desktop, and it's BRILLIANT.

Jrista, I'm curious about your experience with Lightroom with a 3200x1800 display and scaling. I've heard that for screens of that density on a laptop it was nearly unusable (didn't support scaling or didn't do it well).

I'm about to order a replacement business laptop (my faithful HP mobile workstation is finally reaching the point -- after 7 years -- where it's having a hard time keeping up with processing requirements these days). The new machine will be a Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation (I think it's just a "business" version of the XPS). Trying to decide if I want to "future-proof" by choosing the 3200x1800 IGZO display over the 1920x1080 for another $120 or to spend the difference on more RAM -- and I know Lightroom loves RAM.  :P Both displays are IPS and have the Ultrasharp moniker, so I'm expecting them to be pretty darn good.

With your experience using Lightroom on the 3200x1800 XPS, would you say it's worth it, or would you double your RAM?

Thanks!


To the OP, theft is one of those things that just makes my blood boil. We work hard for what we have, and then someone decides they can just take it. In a period of about 11 months, I had two cars stolen, three stereos, a tank of gas (from the loaner truck I was using after the car was stolen) and a large toolbox of plumbing tools right out of my condo laundry room. I know that sinking feeling well. Needless to say, I've moved FAR away from that place to a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts. Good luck with your decision on replacing your Mac...

6
Photography Technique / Re: Help: lightning photography?
« on: July 18, 2014, 03:39:33 PM »
I once programmed an old TI-82 graphing calculator to act as an intervalometer for my G12, and it worked beautifully. Not sure the cable/jack is the same as for the 70D...maybe I should take a look! :)

Huzzah! The jack is the same on the 70D as it is on the G12. The cable fits!

I'm going to go dig up my TI-82 and try my luck again...  :P

Success!!!

The TI-82 intervalometer works with the 70D, just like it did with the G12. I would expect that it will work with all the Rebel/XXXD models, too. Just check to see if the camera input uses a 3.5MM jack and not some proprietary connector.

For anyone who is interested, here's a link to instructions: http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-a-TI-Graphing-Calculator-into-an-Intervalomet/?ALLSTEPS

Here's the program code specific to the TI-82:

: Prompt A
: While 1
: For (H,1,A,1)
: End
: Send(A)
: End

----------------------

Just choose your camera settings and then start the program, entering the number that will produce the interval you desire. I think 100 corresponds roughly with 1 second. I'm pretty sure it sends the signal to trigger on that interval, regardless of the shutter setting, so you'll want to figure that in when you choose your interval.

I hope this is helpful to someone! :D

7
Photography Technique / Re: Help: lightning photography?
« on: July 18, 2014, 01:25:12 PM »
I once programmed an old TI-82 graphing calculator to act as an intervalometer for my G12, and it worked beautifully. Not sure the cable/jack is the same as for the 70D...maybe I should take a look! :)
Huzzah! The jack is the same on the 70D as it is on the G12. The cable fits!

I'm going to go dig up my TI-82 and try my luck again...  :P

8
Photography Technique / Re: Help: lightning photography?
« on: July 18, 2014, 12:35:02 PM »
I use f22, iso 100-250 and shutter speed 30 seconds. if there is a lightning strike within 30 seconds it will be in the pic. I focus manually on a treeline or the farthest object I can see. I simply point the camera where the most action is coming from, push the button, 30 seconds passes, push it again till I'm tired of doing it.

This is how I do it, too.

Unfortunately, Magic Lantern isn't available for the 70D, so I do it manually. I once programmed an old TI-82 graphing calculator to act as an intervalometer for my G12, and it worked beautifully. Not sure the cable/jack is the same as for the 70D...maybe I should take a look! :)

9
In my opinion, Canon should include touch capability on all future camera LCDs -- with a menu option to disable touch functionality. Then everyone can use it or not use it as they prefer.

I love the articulating screen. Had one on an A80, G12 and now 70D, and I can't imagine life without it. In fact, if/when I move to full frame, that will be what I miss most (unless -- crossing fingers -- Canon introduces a full frame body with articulating touch screen). If I was a pro that was hard on my gear, I might choose a fixed display for durability.

The articulating screens on all three of my cameras work like the day they were new, despite some pretty hard use (elk hunting in icy temps, snowboarding in even icier temps -- even dropped in the snow a few times, desert sand dunes with fine sand getting in every crevice, etc.). It would not surprise me if they were durable enough for hard pro use. If not, I don't think it would take much for Canon to "ruggedize" them.

Anyway, I'd want a durable articulating touch screen on any future body I own...


10
EOS-M / Re: The promised pics of the 18-200 Tammy
« on: July 15, 2014, 11:19:24 AM »
The PEZ dispenser. Somehow the feet of those dispensers are made to fit a hot shoe and you do not need to ask for smiles once you have mounted it.

Cool! I'm going to have to try this!

11
EOS-M / Re: The promised pics of the 18-200 Tammy
« on: July 15, 2014, 01:15:39 AM »
What LR is actually doing, is to remove the exact purple shade of the color from the image.  This usually is not noticible, because its a very narrow filter.  But if there is something that exact shade of purple in the image, it will no longer have any color.

And if that is ever a problem, you can use a local adjustment brush to remove the fringing from just the places it appears. I use this option occasionally and have had great success with it. Hope this helps...

By the way, Lightroom is, in my opinion, worth every penny.

12
Oh, one other thing: Bring plenty of spare (charged!) batteries for both cameras and flashes. Also bring all the memory cards you have, and if possible, a laptop to dump them to, if necessary.

Few things hamper an otherwise good shoot like running out of juice or storage space!

13
I just did the same thing for my brother and his family. Unfortunately, I only have a 70D, EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS and 430EXII, but it still turned out well. They were so pleased that they insisted on paying me about the same as the pros they were shopping around for.

One thing that made a HUGE difference: reflectors, and someone to hold/aim them.

I had a couple of Westcott 5-In-1 40" reflectors (about $40 each), and they were invaluable. Being able to bounce fill light back to the face in an otherwise back-lit scenario made for nice soft light in the front and natural hair light from the back. Of course, this works best for the individual shots. These reflectors are too small to be effective for the full group, but I was able to find a good location with great natural light. There was one location that had some harsh sun, but I just pulled the sleeve off a reflector and used the diffuser with great success.

Another thing that helped: A beautiful location with a lot of open shade.

In my case, it was a well landscaped city park with huge cottonwood trees and a stone amphitheater. The shade was enough to keep the light soft, but not so much that I had to crank up the ISO. I was on 400 ISO the whole evening. The stone amphitheater also made perfect tiered seating for some of the family shots.

If I were you, I'd put the 24-70L on the 6D and the 15-85 on the 70D. I'd bring a good tripod, reflectors/diffusers and a flash or two if you have them.

Finally, bring a happy attitude and your best compliments, and distribute them liberally while shooting. Sincere, specific compliments will help keep your subjects fresh and feeling good. Showing some of the better shots on the back of the camera now and then throughout the shoot will help, too.

Anyway, good luck, and enjoy!

14
One other thing to mention, the larger the sensor, the fewer sensors yielded per silicon wafer. This, and the increased waste (wafers are round, so the larger the sensor, the larger the wasted fragments on the edges) translates into much higher cost for sensor production.

Someone feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken on this...

15
Here some examples of mine...

Forceflow, this series is just brilliant! The burning wick? Spectacular. A perfect example of what makes macro photography so captivating -- seeing detail in things one has seen a million times but had no idea how it really looks...

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