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Messages - Famateur

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EOS Bodies / Re: Bad News Closing out 2013? [CR2]
« on: September 20, 2013, 03:27:38 PM »
Reading some of these posts it sounds like some of you are seriously, seriously weak in the willpower department when it comes to new camera gear that we probably shouldn't spend money on.

This is good, I no longer feel so alone  ;D
I consider it my personal responsibility to support Canon, AMEX, and the photo shops, and all of their families - LOL...

Just think of it as "doing our part to help the economy recover. :)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 2 5d3's or 1d x
« on: September 20, 2013, 02:16:04 PM »
As much as it would be awesome to have a 1DX, I'd lean towards either:

  • Two 5DIIIs
  • One 5DIII and one 6D
  • One 5DIII and new lens

The decision would hinge on which lenses I already had and what the gear would be used for. With option 2, you might even have some left over to still get another lens, depending on the lens. That would give you a great primary body, a capable backup AND another lens.

Either way, I like the idea of having a capable backup to a great camera should one camera fail (and if it does, it will be at the worst possible time). As is often said in my other "shooting" hobby, "Two is one, one is none." Redundancy is a good thing if you're earning your living with your gear.

Of course, if your gear isn't mission-critical, that 1DX would be awfully fun to play with! :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Bad News Closing out 2013? [CR2]
« on: September 20, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »
I hope Canon isn't banking on economic recovery next year...

I'm still hopeful that things improve, but the fundamentals that drive it aren't reassuring (at least in the USA). Our "official" unemployment numbers are down a bit, but so is our participation rate -- significantly. Fewer people working plus record-setting food stamp enrollment is not a winning formula.

Financial markets are sky high right now, but it's artificial with ongoing quantitative easing. Once the Fed turns off the spigot, the markets will react, and I don't think it will be pretty. If the spigot stays on, it could get uglier as it can't support the markets indefinitely, and once they reach critical mass...

On top of all that, costs for most families continue to climb, as do taxes; the new healthcare law kicks in, causing many companies to cut hours to avoid providing healthcare; private insurance rates keep going up and up...did I say I was hopeful? Trying to be, anyway... If it recovers, it will continue to be slow and drawn-out. We're already five years into what seems like a "lost decade" in the USA. Japan knows a thing or two about that...

The trouble for some of us (hobbyists like me, anyway) is that, despite the economy (or our budgets), we'll probably buy the camera gear we want (think we need) when we probably shouldn't. I guess Canon is kinda doing us a favor by giving us more time to save up. :)

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Lightroom 5.2 Available
« on: September 18, 2013, 12:52:22 PM »
Never mind. I went ahead and backed-up my catalog to another location and attempted the 5.2 installation.

I went with the assumptions that I should point it to the existing Lightroom directory, it would retain my serial number and settings and that as an "update" and not an "upgrade", it would be free of charge.

The update/installation process produced eight "Error 1310" messages where it couldn't write to a directory, but the [Retry] button seemed to work each time, so hopefully all is well. Opening Lightroom, it now says Version 5.2 in the splash screen, and my custom identity plate is still there. Looking good so far...

All in all, it was pretty painless but not convenient to have to essentially download and reinstall the entire program. The irritating part was just not knowing if my assumptions were correct and wondering if it would nuke everything from the old installation (I tend to have bad luck in making things worse when trying to update/improve something that already works fine).

Oh well -- now that I'm done, I can forget about the inconvenient update process and go back to learning/enjoying Lightroom. I love this program!

Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Lightroom 5.2 Available
« on: September 18, 2013, 11:43:01 AM »
Forgive my ignorance (I've only used Lightroom for a few weeks), but I have questions about the udpate process from 5.0 to 5.2:

1. Is it free? I would assume yes, but I don't have CC, and I don't want to go through the hassle of updating only to find that I need a new product key.

2. When I click the link in the update prompt in Lightroom, it takes me to the Adobe download page, and it downloads a complete, standalone version (890MB!). Not just update files? Is this normal for Lightroom updates?

3. I went ahead and downloaded that "update" and began the install process, but so far, it seems like it's completely unaware that I have Lightroom 5.0 already installed. Should I choose a new install destination folder, or point it to the folder of the existing program?

4. I have a couple of plug-ins (e.g. LR/Enfuse). Will I have to reinstall them and/or re-enter settings for them?

I'm new enough to Lightroom that I haven't gone through all the backing-up procedures, et cetera, and I don't want to screw-up this update and lose a lot of work I've done. If those who know the update process well could offer guidance, I'd much appreciate it!

Would have preferred to have Lightroom just take care of the update process internally (like my browser, operating system and security software do)...

Black & White / Re: A Light Read (EDIT)
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:20:39 PM »
Photo cropped. Better? worse? or evens Stevens?
Much better for balance. It's easier to ignore that his invisible leg would be cut off than having the empty black half of the square aspect ratio. Either way, it's a fantastic image, in my opinion. Nice work.

Black & White / Re: A Light Read
« on: September 15, 2013, 01:23:41 PM »
Love the shot, and the background story makes it that much better. My only nit-pick is the balance of the composition. To my eye, it's not that there's too much black on the right side but not enough black on the left side. If it was me, I'd be tempted to expand the canvas a bit to the left in Photoshop (well, GIMP for me :) ) and fill with black.

Either way, the issue with balance is that it's a little too close to half-and-half, which makes the right "half" feel more empty.

EDIT: Looking at it again, the square aspect ratio of the image accentuates the half-and-half feel. Adding the black to the left side to make it a rectangular aspect (although not so much that it pushes the subject to the center) would be perfect...for my taste.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Never let it be said...
« on: September 15, 2013, 01:01:58 AM »
I wasn't using a yardstick I was using AF targets angled at 45 degrees to asses where the lens was focusing. I must admit that I haven't tried out my Canon 800mm F5.6 as the depth of field at 6 or 7 meters is so shallow, wide open, that any error would be immediately apparent as the depth of field is almost zero! I simply tried it on some, very co-operative, Kingfishers - eye in focus + very little else so it must be spot on (according to DOF Master it is only 1 to 2mm at these ranges and aperture). My previous long lens (a 600 F4 L IS Mk1) was also spot on on test targets.

I think I might be missing something in the AFMA process. So you you focus on some asses with AF targets nearby at a 45 degree angle?  :o

Lenses / Re: Review: Canon EOS 70D
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:00:12 PM »
I do find it a little sad that the buffer on the 70D isnt as good as the 60D (40/15 vs 60/18 I believe), despite having better processors, etc. The frame rate and AF jump are nice, which would be made even better with a bigger buffer. But that's a minor complaint

There are a couple of different demonstrations on YouTube of the 70D's buffer capacity showing that with the fastest SD cards from Sandisk (95MB/s Class 10 UHS I), you can achieve 22 RAW captures before the buffer slows. Granted, I don't know how the 60D performs with that same card, but 22 RAW images before buffer slow-down is pretty darn good for a mid-level enthusiast camera, in my opinion. That'll produce more photos in a few minutes than I care to cull! :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100 Epic Shootout
« on: September 09, 2013, 11:37:34 AM »
Michael, thanks for the thorough review. The work that you put into it shows in the quality of the video and the insights/conclusions you presented. Well done.

A few random thoughts:

  • The moire for the 70D was as disappointing as the Nikon was impressive. :(
  • AF performance (particularly servo) of the 70D eclipses any of its weaknesses (for me).
  • For the buffer test, it would have been nice to see RAW-only performance (rather than RAW+JPEG).
  • I like the way you tested outer AF points (very useful info for me).

Anyway, thanks again for the very helpful review. I'm pretty certain the 70D will be my next camera purchase, and it's nice to know its weaknesses going into it. Its strengths (in my opinion) far outweigh the weaknesses for my purposes, and it will be a big leap forward from what I have right now.

I'm excited!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: If you plan to upgrade your camera, read
« on: September 07, 2013, 03:43:28 PM »
Hi there,

I feel it's a waste of money upgrading from one Canon rebel to the next rebel or even a 60D to the 70D.
I suggest that you upgrade only to a larger sensor body.
It is just a waste of money to buy another camera having the same size sensor IMO.

Upgrade your glass instead.

I want a better viewfinder and much faster frame rate for shooting fast action.  Tried taking your advice and put my 135L on the Rebel, but the viewfinders no better and it just wont shoot any faster no matter how hard I press the shutter.

LOL...that didn't work? Dang! I was going to try that...

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: If you plan to upgrade your camera, read
« on: September 07, 2013, 03:41:46 PM »
you are taking an extreme view here.
Ofc the 7D is faster but give me an example where a 7D show better IQ than a T2i.
The glass is much more important, the 2 cameras above IMO are the same thing IQ wise

There's more to camera's than just the sensor/image quality. It's ergonomics, better AF, speed etc that helps you get that picture.

Absolutely true. Most people asking the upgrade question are regular consumer.
They will see zero improvement in IQ from say a T2i to a 7D.
Those who need high frame rate already bought a 7D.

Do you want improvement in IQ, most importantly is glass, then sensor size
upgrading T2i -> T3i -> T4i ... is a no no

People can argue about weather sealing and I agree however unless you have 1DX, you can't shoot under rain all days.

What you meant to say was that all of Canon's current APS-C sensor cameras have close enough IQ to each other so that (if you have no need of improved AF, frame rate, build quality or ergonomics) it makes more sense to upgrade your glass rather than to another APS-C body. Thank you, that's very helpful ;)

That's a great way to restate it. I think the OP meant to offer wisdom about how buying new glass may be a better long term decision than upgrading from the last generation of crop body to the current/new generation. At the same time, just like me, he's a sample of one -- others may have more compelling reasons to upgrade even with a seemingly small improvement in sensor performance.

you are taking an extreme view here.
Ofc the 7D is faster but give me an example where a 7D show better IQ than a T2i.
The glass is much more important, the 2 cameras above IMO are the same thing IQ wise

There's more to camera's than just the sensor/image quality. It's ergonomics, better AF, speed etc that helps you get that picture.

Agreed. I'll even go a bit further and say that there's more to image quality than absolute sensor performance in ideal conditions. I submit that image quality is often the misnomer used in place of maximum sensor capability.

It sounds like the OP may have meant to say that the maximum sensor capability of the newest generation of crop cameras is not a compelling enough reason to upgrade. That may be true. However, in my opinion, image quality is about exposure, focus, sharpness (even non-hardware-related factors like subject matter and composition). To paraphrase others on this thread, an image from a highly capable sensor and top-of-the-line lens doesn't have much "quality" if it's out of focus or the shot was missed with a slow frame rate.

I guess to sum up:

  • Investment in high-quality lenses is great advice.
  • Sensor capability is improving at a slower rate than in the past.
  • Camera systems are still adding useful features that affect image quality, regardless of sensor capability.

For some, their style of shooting may mean that going with #1 will bring the biggest improvement in final image quality (studio, landscapes, etc.). For those whose subjects move faster and unpredictably or in less-than-ideal conditions, a new camera body that falls into #3 might make more sense for what they need.

As always, this is just my opinion which only really matters to me. :)

Reviews / Re: Canon 70D review with raw files for download
« on: September 05, 2013, 02:25:12 PM »
One thing I noticed after downloading the RAW files is that the samples in the review video appear to be post-noise-reduction (either from-camera JPEG or noise-reduced in Lightroom). There's a healthy dose of chroma noise in the 1600 ISO sample.

That being said, on the sample RAW image in question, it does clean up quite nicely in Lightroom without too much loss of detail. I can still read the smallest numbers on the tire just fine ("For DOT test and normal highway use in North America and Australia" on the upper left side).

The sample image is a fairly close-up view of a mostly smooth object, though, so it might just be that this particular images cleans up well because there's not as much detail to lose. Still, this is WAY better than what I'm getting right now from my camera, so this still looks like a solid upgrade to me...

A bit off topic, but I'm curious why people buy Lightroom if they have Photoshop...

I'm a hobbyist, and for me, it has a lot to do with cost. I can't justify shelling out six or seven hundred dollars for Photoshop, but $99 for Lightroom? Done. In a heartbeat.

Oh yeah. I totally get it if you don't have Photoshop. But, its value is significantly diminished if you have Photoshop, since all the "develop" options are identical to what is contained in Adobe Camera Raw which is embedded in Photoshop.

Ah...right. I think I misunderstood your question. Yeah -- if you have Photoshop, I can see how Lightroom might not seem that great. I don't have any experience comparing the two, so I'm not much help there. Still, there seem to be enough glowing reviews about Lightroom 5 from Photoshop users that perhaps it's worth downloading the trial to see how it's changed since you last tried it.

Either way, the whole subscription thing just chaps my hide. I can see how it might be nice for a full-time pro that depends on Lightroom and Photoshop every day and who upgrades with every release, but for me? No way! [I hope there are enough customers like me (and others in this forum) that Adobe hears that...]

Reviews / Re: Canon 70D review with raw files for download
« on: September 05, 2013, 01:26:39 PM »
Thanks for the review!

While some may differ on the subjective assessments (like noise performance), I found your review to be thorough and thoughtful. It's nice to hear about the small things, too, like the tactile feel of the buttons. I'll probably be getting the 70D as the holidays get close and prices hopefully come down a little, so it's nice to have a good idea of exactly what I'd be getting into.

Downloading the RAW files now...

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