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Messages - Famateur

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Photo Paper advice
« on: August 15, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »
Everyone that prints enough of their own photos these days will eventually discover Red River Paper.

I'm responsible for the care & feeding of an Epson 4900 and I'm not at all shy about spending money on quality supplies. I print a lot and these guys offer top-notch quality and the best customer service in the business. Period.
+1 on Red River - I always found it to be an excellent match for my Epson printers.  I ditched the photo printer for many years (waiting for color profiling to catch up) but bit on the Pixma Pro 100 deal as well a year or so ago for my personal printing.

The best paper I've found for the Pixma is the Canon Pro Platinum paper.  I'm more of a matte paper guy, but I have to say that the Pro Platinum produces some amazing glossy prints and comes close to the metallic prints in terms of depth & color saturation.  Keep an eye on Canon USA's store for deals - last year I purchased several packs of the Pro Platinum 8x10 paper in a buy one, get four free deal with free shipping and extra paper (4x6 packs) for spending over $50.  I spent $67 and got nearly $600 in free paper.  Really.  I have enough paper to last me many, many years now!

Now if they'd just do the same thing with the ink, I'd be all set, but I think there's some kind of conspiracy going on here ;D

Ditto here. I didn't even have a printer yet (but I knew I'd be looking), and when that paper deal came along, I stocked up. Then I got the Pixma Pro-100 with the rebate and paper deal from Adorama in June. The rebate just arrived this week, so when all was said and done, I ended up with 250 sheets of Canon Pro Luster 8x10 paper (~ $175), 50 sheets of 13x19 Canon Semi-Gloss (~ $35) and the Printer (~ $389), a combined value of about $600, for a grand total of about $70.

So far, I'm loving the prints. Took some figuring to get the color management right between the printer driver and Lightroom, but I think I have it figured out now. Holding up a portrait of my daughter to my calibrated IPS display, I was giddy at the result. :)

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:49:40 AM »
I see a lot of talk about CPU's, ram, double disk drives, and 17 inch screens. None of that matters if the LCD screen is crap. And trust me when I say all TN panels are just that. It doesn't matter what the resolution is, the upgrade path, whatever. It's still like looking through muddy water, and when you turn your head an inch you're getting different colors and contrast.

Agreed! With current technology, it's IPS or nothing for photo editing.

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:48:00 AM »
It might be helpful to know that the Dell XPS 15 is the "consumer" version of the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation from their "business" line. Not sure if that means it will last any longer.

I use Dell Precision, and it is difficult to fault them. Built like tanks and they are among the most powerful laptops you can buy (hence the size). For video editing and high res photo editing I would say go with a Dell Precision. You just need to decide the size, specs and model you want.

Very reassuring -- thank you! I'm excited for mine to arrive...

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:59:30 PM »
I went out looking at laptops last week, I looked at 50 or more.  None impressed mt as suitable for a primary photo editing tool.  Displays were mostly horrible, and all seemed to have one drawback or another.

Amen. It's so hard to find the right combination of power, size and display quality -- oh, and price. :)

Some of the Lenovo machines tempted me, but I just can't get past the Fn key being swapped with the Ctrl key. I'm sure I'd get used to it if it was my only keyboard, but I'd rather keep the "manual of arms", as it were, identical with all my other keyboards. Maybe these two keys can be programmed to be swapped back to "normal"?

Another thing that bugs me is port layout on most machines. First, putting display and power ports on the side is just silly, but nearly all of them do these days. Second, they almost always put the two close together on the same side, leading to EMI that can make the external display look like it's had one too many Red Bulls (that's right -- unplug your power cord, and suddenly the dancing lines disappear). Power and display adapters should be on opposite ends...of the BACK of the machine. Maybe I just haven't found a display cable with decent enough EMI shielding... :P

I'll know in a couple of weeks if the Dell Precision M3800 I ordered is worth it...

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 14, 2014, 04:31:39 PM »
It might be helpful to know that the Dell XPS 15 is the "consumer" version of the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation from their "business" line. Not sure if that means it will last any longer.

My only experience between equivalent "consumer" and "business" laptops is with HP. I got a business laptop, and my boss got essentially the same machine from their "consumer" line to save money. Seven years later, he's on his third "consumer" laptop (getting ready for a fourth), and my trusty HP is still going strong and has never let me down. I'm only moving to the Dell because a 7-year-old laptop just can't keep up with all of today's demands, and the current stable of HP mobile workstations just can't compete for the combination of price, performance and size -- not to mention the Ultrasharp display. If the Dell disappoints, I'll go back to HP.

For $1,700, you get:

  • Intel i7 4712HQ 2.3 - 3.3GHz (Haswell)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB Hybrid Drive (with available second bay)
  • 1920x1080 IPS Ultrasharp touch display
  • 18MM (.71") thin
  • 4.15lbs

Edited to add: For another $75 on Amazon or NewEgg, I can double the RAM. Another $90, and I can add a 120GB Samsung SSD for system and programs and use the hybrid drive for storage.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D or 7D mkII?
« on: August 14, 2014, 01:42:26 PM »
Seems like good advice so far. Here are a few more thoughts to consider...

This is really a decision between full frame and crop for your needs, especially when we don't know what a 7DII will have, if released.

If you choose the 6D, you'll need a new lens (the EF-S 15-18 will not work). This brings the cost of switching to full frame up more than just the cost of the 6D body. Selling the 450D and 15-85 would offset that, if you don't plan to keep them. Also, you can occasionally find the 6D and 24-105L kit for about $2k. I think I've seen kit-separated 24-105L lenses go for around $650, so that makes the 6D around $1,350 new if you sell the 24-105L.

The sensor in the 6D is considered by some to be Canon's best. I would be surprised if the 7DII sensor produced better image quality. At high ISO values, it's reasonable to assume it won't touch the 6D (although I'd love to be surprised!). This makes it a matter of reach and AF performance versus superior image quality. You'll have to decide which you value more. If doing mostly landscape, I would say 6D. If doing mostly wildlife, I would say that whatever Canon's next top crop camera will be will have the reach and AF performance to "get the shot" and good enough image quality at lower ISO values to make beautiful prints at the sizes you desire.

If you don't need a wildlife powerhouse (super-high frame rates, weather sealing, powerful AF tracking), then the 70D would probably do fine (it's no slouch) for the safari's where you need reach and reasonably good AF. Depending on your lens choice (and Canon's pricing for its next top crop), you might be able to do 6D and 70D together for the price of the 7DII.

Good luck! With hope of announcements from Canon just around the corner, it's a fun time to be shopping for a camera...

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 13, 2014, 10:09:03 PM »
I would not choose a gaming laptop for both reasons already mentioned:

1. Gaming systems usually employ a TN+Film panel for fastest response time, but colors shift significantly with viewing angle. Even viewing straight on and not moving your head, the screen is large enough that the colors will shift from one part of the screen to the other. When it comes to photo editing, I would say IPS is your best bet.

2. With a gaming system, a lot of the cost is in the graphics chip, and that is largely wasted for photo editing. Better to put that money into more RAM (Lightroom can never have too much!) and a solid state hard drive for your system drive. A second drive bay could be used for a high-capacity traditional hard drive.


I'm going to pick up a Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation shortly. It has a 1920x1080 Ultrasharp display (IPS), 8GB of RAM and a decent processor. I'll probably add another 8GB of RAM for a total of 16GB (cheaper for me to do it than Dell). There's also an optional 3200x1800 IGZO Ultrasharp display (IPS), but you then have to "configure" your laptop, which adds another $60, then the screen upgrade is like $79, so to have the high-res display adds about $139 (and I'd rather add RAM). Most of my editing is done on an external monitor, but it's nice to have an Ultrasharp on the lappy.

One downside is that because it's a touch display, it's glossy. Not a fan of glossy displays. Other than that, for price, performance and size (.71" thick, 4.15lbs), it beats anything else I've looked at -- even the HP Z-Books.

EOS Bodies / Re: A Bit of EOS 7D Replacement Info [CR2]
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:58:51 PM »
Yep Famateur, you pretty much nailed it.  I thought later that my post could have been interpreted as negative but it's actually neutral.  It's just a fact and you elaborated on that fact well.

That being said, there are some things that really irritate me, like the 5D3 not having a removable focus screen.  6D and 1DX do, but the 5D3 doesn't.  Same with Canon not having built-in intervalometers.  There's actually quite a list of things that Canon does (or omits) that don't really affect profit either way but yet they do it anyway.  It's very frustrating when good money is spent on a high dollar camera that isn't entry level.

I suspected it was neutral. Think of my reply as taking your post as an opportunity to dust off my soapbox, and not specifically directed at you. :)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Another Nikon full-frame
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:53:52 PM »
Whether or not nikon will be expanding its lineup to a total of 5 tired old FF mirrorslappers or not. And whether Canon will or should do so too. Rather than finally launching a top-notch mirrorless FF camera system and enter the era of smaller, lighter and more capable camera gear. :-)

That would definitely boost Canon's battery sales! ::) Over on SLR Lounge, one reviewer (who switched from Canon to the Sony A7) admitted that for a full day of shooting, he needs 4 fully charged batteries (at $80 a pop), and for shooting video, he needed 8-10! His stack-o-batteries was impressive.  :P

Seriously, we probably won't see Canon move into full frame mirrorless until battery life, EVF and AF speed/accuracy rival their DSLR counterparts.

Edited to add: It's also currently a market of smaller, lighter and less capable revenue/sales.  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: Suggestions of a Canon MF announcement at Photokina!
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:03:15 PM »
What about the possibility of Canon entering the Medium Format sensor market?

By providing sensors to existing MF systems, Canon would avoid the burden of creating its own lenses, backs, et cetera.

I know almost nothing about medium format, so to those more knowledgeable than me, could this be a more likely possibility, especially if Canon unveils some exciting new sensor tech with a 7DII (read high pixel density, high image quality)?

EOS Bodies / Re: A Bit of EOS 7D Replacement Info [CR2]
« on: August 11, 2014, 04:46:47 PM »

This is purely a question of how to manipulate the market and target user to get maximum profit.  That's what it's ALWAYS ABOUT.  Anyone who thinks that Canon is sweating the small stuff because they love photographers and care about building a perfect camera to help photographers be more creative is being naive.

It's ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY, it always has been and it always will be!

Agreed. It's always about the money. It has to be -- it's a business, not philanthropy! A business's first priority must be to stay in business. Next priority is profit for its stakeholders (otherwise, who would risk investing their money, and if no one invests, how does the business support growth and development?). How the business responds to market needs is simply the strategy to achieve these ends.

Anyone who thinks that building the perfect camera to help photographers be more creative will keep the company financially viable for decades in a highly competitive market is also naive.  :P

Here's a thought: How would a wedding or portrait photographer's business do if he or she only offered one package at one price -- the one they thought was the perfect package for everyone? Wouldn't such an approach narrow their market and limit their revenue?

Another thought: Research into new technology is expensive and does NOT include a guaranteed return on that investment -- it's risky! Do companies try to squeeze as much revenue out of the market as possible? You bet they do! For profits, yes, but also to fund research that carries significant risk.

Another thought: The companies we see being "innovative" or "bold" (like Sony) are taking tremendous risk in an attempt to gain market share. Their position in the industry compels them to take these risks to stay competitive. The market leader need not take more risk than is necessary. Such a measured strategy helps protect long term financial viability and funds risk-laden research  -- despite the heartburn it causes some consumers.

Another? :) Products are released in cycles and there will be alternating periods of excitement and lull, but some seem to forget that the lull is in the market, not the lab. That lull also produces revenues that recoup development and production costs and hopefully provide enough profit to fund future products.

All that being said, I'll worry about the 7DII specs if/when a 7DII is announced. :P

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII - where are the leaks ??
« on: August 05, 2014, 05:46:47 PM »
The 7DII will be a weather-sealed body – that means no leaks.
Unless it has a light leak under the top LCD, of course :P

Yes. Yes, of course. Naturally not those four...

Canon Middle Manager: Thirty men guard the 7DII specs.
Canon CEO: Double it! My 7DII must be safe!


CanonRumors, tear his keyboard off.

Oh, you mean these specs.

I mean, if we only had a spec sheet, that would be something....'s been a long time since we've had a good run of Princess Bride adaptations. I always enjoy them... :P

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII - where are the leaks ??
« on: August 05, 2014, 02:20:24 PM »
The 7DII will be a weather-sealed body – that means no leaks.
Unless it has a light leak under the top LCD, of course :P

Yes. Yes, of course. Naturally not those four...

Canon Middle Manager: Thirty men guard the 7DII specs.
Canon CEO: Double it! My 7DII must be safe!


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

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?

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