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I'm cursed with being a frugal yankee. Comfortable enough to afford the camera I want and then some, but won't buy more than I can reasonably justify. I figure a large part of the reason I'm comfortable enough to afford what I want is because of years of saying no to stuff I don't need. Eventually it becomes habit.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2016 on 'Camera-Comfortable' at The Online Photographer
If you ever run shy on dandelion greens, feel free to stop by my house and pick all you want (in season, of course) !
Re: occasional prints ... last time I owned an Epson was back when occasional prints were a no-no. If you weren't printing frequently, print heads would clog. I switched to Canon (which hasn't clogged, but likes to spend time & ink running through automatic cleaning cycles) but always wondered if Epson still suffers from that issue (I've been out of the loop when it comes to printers).
I love that photo ! Just when I thought the picture-of-someone-taking-a-selfie was too cliche to be interesting ...
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2016 on Debatable at The Online Photographer
I purposely took my D7000 with 16-85 out yesterday on a visit to an apple orchard w/friends, just to see how I'd like it after using my A6000 so much recently. I didn't mind the weight (at first, it seemed quite big in comparison) - I just carried it on my BlackRapid sling and it was like it wasn't even there. I liked the AF-C shooting my daughter & her friend, though I suspect a state of the art mirrorless with the right settings would have been fine. I found that I really missed the EVF, though. Some aspects, anyway. I like seeing backlighting through an OVF, but I missed the exposure preview. I can expose more consistently with the A6000. The thing that surprised me most, though, was my use of the zoom. I've gone out with an 18-200 and shot mostly in the 18-55 range. This time, I went out with a 16-80 and shot mostly in the 55-85 range. Go figure.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2016 on New Equipment Arrivals at The Online Photographer
Gosh, I can remember when the thought of a 50/1.4 for nearly $1000 - not from Zeiss, but from Sigma, of all companies - would be utterly absurd ... and here you are talking about it as good enough to not hold you back. Manufacturers really are doing a good job over the last couple years in getting the market to expect and accept higher priced products. A few years ago, after Nikon's D600 and Sony's A7, it looked like were were heading for an era of affordable awesomeness (could the $1000 FF DLSR be far off ?) Not the sub-$2000 FF bodies are the poor man's cameras that nobody really wants. APS-C bodies are back in the $1000+ range. Panasonic's G series is starting around $900 now ... forget an entry level body with a built in VF to compete with the $500 entry level DSLRs any more (other than the Sony A6000, and they were quick to rememdy that with the nearly-$1000 A6300). We've come to accept $1000 pocket cameras (RX100-IV) $1600 point & shoots (RX10-III). All of which might be a good thing. The race to the bottom wasn't going to do us any good in the long run, and I've often bemoaned the fact that it's getting harder and harder to find "good stuff" any more ... quality household items.
Re: Jim Allen's comment, "It seems to me the OEM's don't need to tell us what's in development, we generally assume something is always in development unless there's a bankruptcy on the horizon." Jim, you must not spend much time other well-populated photography forum sites. The angst is palpable. A lack of annual product upgrade announcements is a clear sign that one's chosen camera company is giving up on one's chosen camera system. Sell now, before prices plummet, they're abandoning us ! Though, to be fair, Sony might have let it's A-mount users (both of them) know it was working on the new A99-II. Who'd have thunk it ? I think one of them abandoned ship so Sony cut its potential market in half.
"Well, yeah, except...." Hah ! Good catch ! They also said it's been in development (or will have been in development) for four years. Hopefully, in the long run, that will prove to be a good thing.
I have some of those same debates - do I want a big system and a little (or compact) ? Or do I want a do-it-all system. I have no real need for a big system, except that it's more satisfying (the files, not lugging it) and it's a hobby meant to enjoy. My idea of big isn't medium format, though, it's FF. Anyway as to landscape, I've lived all my life in northwest CT, not so far from you, and have shot landscape - "scenic" I call it, because the "intimate landscape" shots (as I've seen them called in magazine articles) are often close up shots of small slices of a landscape and don't resemble what most people think of as landscape. We have hills and we have trees and when we do find an open view, we have telephone poles and utility access roads. There are few grand vistas and no big skies, so I've shot landscape with anything from 21mm to 400mm, and the wider shots are typically of close subjects. I wondered if that was just personal preference until I went west a couple of times and saw the kinds of landscapes that landscape photographers shoot. My other thought is that landscape photographs rely heavily on the edges of the frame - not so much whether they're tack sharp, but on what you include and what you exclude. So I like to frame landscapes with a zoom. I can happily spend a day walking around with a single prime, but not for landscape photography. I'm sure I'd end up cropping frequently if I shot with primes. Though I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the quality of midrange zooms I'm seeing for new mirrorless systems, and could contemplate a handful of primes and settle for some cropping.
It does more than those two things. I believe (though I'm not sure if it's true) that if you zoom between 28 & 56, it's not just an enlargement from 28, but a computed interpolation from the two, and there will be a feature enabled with a software update to offer you simulated shallow DOF by looking at images taken with two lenses and computing depths of objects in the frame. Pretty neat stuff. I wouldn't run out and upgrade my phone for it (never mind that the "plus" is a bigger phone than I want to carry) and I wouldn't consider replacing a camera with it, but if my phone had these features, I could see making use of them. Of bigger significance, though, is the elimination of the headphone jack.
Mike points out, in reply to Ken, that the purpose of certification is to assure potential clients that you're as capable as you say. I get that, but in my view, the issue isn't that people are getting shafted by incompetent photographers; rather that people are creating demand for incompetent photographers by being so cheap. (I'm not sure certification would solve anything in that regard; they would still price shop and ignore the lack of certification). As some have said, this issue predates digital. I recall a friend who hired a relative (at the urging of her parents) who "does photography on weekends". He shot many rolls of Kodak Max film which he had processed at a local one hour lab. And due to a gear failure, she got a dozen envelopes full of strips of black negatives. She was happy to have my photos, but they weren't much to speak of, because I purposely steered clear or the paid photographer. Ultimately, buyers have to beware. Do a little research. You have the same issue with any small business. Is the florist going to deliver the flowers on time - will they be fresh ? Will the cake be there on time, fully cooked, but not overcooked and will it look like what you saw in the picture ? The caterers ? If people can figure out how to hire competent small businesses for other purposes, they ought to be able to find a competent photographers without needing a certificate. (Problem is, they get sticker shock and settle for Uncle Joe who has a nice camera).
That's a tough question because I don't see any obvious choices in a market where every option has pros & cons. I'd absolutely intend to take advantage of the opportunity to simplify my kit (I use an RX100 and a DSLR and a mirrorless now). But I'd still want things that are hard to do with minimal gear. So I really don't know. What's intriguing to me is a kind of crazy setup: RX1 RX100 (any model) RX10-II RX10-III But that's a small fortune in fixed lens cameras that need to be replaced if they fail, and still a bit of redundancy of purpose (though a consistent user interface between them). The appealing thing about it is on any given day, I'd be happy carrying just one camera (and, obviously, one lens). Part of the reason I keep looking at new camera & lens announcements is I'm waiting for some system to be the obvious replacement for my existing hodge podge.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2016 on Start Over, Begin Again at The Online Photographer
The state is big enough that having a term for "everything other than the city and Long Island" seems a little pointless to me. I remember being "down" in Wappingers Falls and hearing a guy on his cell phone telling someone "yeah, yeah, I'm upstate right now". To me, that says nothing, because he could be anywhere from Westchester to Niagara, but I guess to a city rat, you're either in the city ... or you're not ! I tend to think "upstate" starts much higher than that. Westchester, Putnam and Orange are all more like the city and NJ than northern NY and Dutchess is questionable. Really, you can look at where metro north reaches. I just draw an imaginary line connecting the northern edges of PA and CT and think of that big piece of NY above that as upstate. Either way, but the standard definition or mine, you're safe :)
I think the D500 is well liked among sports shooters, photojournalists, event shooters. The most common phrase I see used to describe it is a "mini D5". I'd thoroughly enjoy using a camera like this for the handful of things I use my 70-200/2.8 for. (Right now, I have a D7000). But I'm doing less and less of that and my future is mirrorless. (I also have an A6000 and that's the camera I prefer to pick up and carry right now). I'm not committed to Sony. At some point, I expect to ditch the DSLR and possibly the Sony and settle on one system. Could even be Nikon, but has to be mirrorless. Or an RX10. That's probably the camera for me; I just take myself a smidgeon too seriously to accept it.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2016 on Any Love for the D500? at The Online Photographer
Well that was disheartening. I scrolled through my LR catalog looking at images from specific cameras (during lunch break !) The 7D has a lot of pretty files. Also a lot of problematic files. Many technically poor (OOF) and some where it handled artifically lit scenes poorly. The A700 had quite a few pretty files. The old Canon A610 had files that would be pretty except for a slightly pixelated look, even viewed small. The Nikon D7000 that replaced the A700 doesn't have especially pretty files; rather, I seem to have to work more with them than with other cameras. The A6000 is very technical. Nothing pretty about it, but nothing problematic, either. The NEX-5 I had before it had ugly green-gray shadows. Probably the newer camera I have with files that I like is the RX100: I'm not sure what to take away from that. Maybe I should consider finding a camera whose files I like better ? Maybe I like cameras that generate more contrasty files because they capture less dynamic range ? I can't read too much into it because it's mostly an apples to oranges comparison, where my earlier digital photos included lots of charming candids of little kids and later ones have lots of high ISO indoor sports & performance shots. But if I'm ever wowed by a photo any more, it's because of the moment or the lighting - the content. Not because the camera rendered it especially well.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2016 on The Prettiest Image Files at The Online Photographer
I'm not seeing anything unique to Fuji in the small web images. But I like the shot and have a soft spot for farm/rural landscapes myself. I also agree on the usefulness of a longer lens. Though, curiously, I've been thinking recently how nice it would be to have a camera like the RX10-III, with it's 600mm equivalent on a decent sensor, and then when I saw a very recent post by Kirk Tuck featuring street shots from San Antonio taken with it, they all look like voyeuristic "stalker" shots to me ... it's obvious from the perspective that they were taken from far away with a long lens, and I fear that having such a long lens handy all the time might tempt me to use it more than I should. Really, I'm comfortable with 24-200 for most things; 300 can see a lot of use on vacations, and a longer lens (which I used to own, but don't any more) would be for nature & wildlife, which I just don't find much time to do. The net of all this is that as much as I'd love to simplify everything down to a fixed lens camera or a single camera with a couple lenses, I just want different cameras & lenses for different things.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2016 on On the Way Home at The Online Photographer
It's funny; back when you posted your "photo art" piece, I was reflecting on how I like to enjoy looking at (some) types of art that I have little interest in trying to produce, myself. But I don't know if that necessarily argues against the idea of a "natural terrain". I like to produce the same types of photos you do, from the sounds of it - minimally manipulated versions of things I see, because for me, photography is all about responding to things I see (and, through photography, learning to see better). I love looking at Julie Blackmon's works, but have no interest in trying to do what she does. (I'm happy to capture a candid scene that's similar, but no desire to stage a scene). I can enjoy a posed picture, but don't want to pose people. And so on. The biggest difference in what I enjoy looking at and what I enjoy shooting, though, is that most of my books are of black and white photographs, while I'm a color photographer. All that said, there's photography that I'm comfortable looking at; photography that rarely fails to draw me in, that's similar enough to what I like to shoot (outside of the b/w v. color discrepancy) and the further I get from this comfort zone, the less likely it is that I'll enjoy looking at it (or looking at a lot of it).
But m43 is just so much quicker to type. Like when you use "Canikon" to refer to Canon and Nikon.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2016 on Micro 4/3 at The Online Photographer
As John Krill says, APS-C is the 35mm of digital. But it's a whole lot easier to dabble, to test the waters or even use multiple systems these days. Years ago, when 35mm was the 35mm (!) using something smaller was really undesirable (half frame was obscure, 126 was outdated, that left 110 and disc for a carry-everywhere compact and no thanks !) And using something larger was a pretty big deal. The cameras and lenses got bigger and heavier, the film costs grew. I dabbled with a Rolleiflex TLR, but nothing with interchangeable lenses. Now in addition to tiny sensors in our phones being better for snaps than those old disc cameras, we have 1", m43, APS-C and FF; four "respectable" choices that are within reach for many. So in that sense, we're not driven to 35mm as the common denominator in quite the same way. Which is best (for me) ? Darned if I know. I currently use 1" (in the RX100) and APS-C. I find FF appealing and m43 intriguing; I also love the idea of simplifying and using an RX10 and acknowledge the practicality of APS-C. None of those will ever be more than a compromise.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2016 on The Ideal Sensor at The Online Photographer
A little late with this comment. I was reading a thread, somewhere, about sensor size & someone chimed in that FF is old news, tomorrow everyone will want medium format. It brought to mind the old "Googlephonic" bit by Steve Martin: Not hysterical or anything, but relevant. (Warning: contains profanity)
Lots of discussion (mostly elsewhere) dwells on where cameras are heading, as if they're evolving towards something, rather than diversifying. I know touch screens have their fans and for good reason, but so do cameras with well placed physical controls allowing an event photographer to change precisely the things he needs to change while shooting, with gloves when necessary, and without taking his eye from the viewfinder. From event & sports & wedding photographers to fine art and landscape photographers, moms and dads and everyone else who picks up a camera, there's no design that's best for everyone.
Re: Steve McCurry as a photoartist. What do you say about someone who produces photographs much of the time and photoart some of the time ? (Therein lies the controversy; McCurry's lack of forthrightness means you can't trust whether or not a given photograph is straight). But, gray areas aside, it seems fine to label each work as one thing or the other, but if the person produces both, it's unfair/inaccurate to label him or her. Then you get into awkward clarifications like a "photographer who dabbles in photoartistry" or "photoartist and former photographer" or maybe "photographer and part time photoartist". I just think that some photographers aren't going to to fit the scheme as well as others or as well as individual works.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2016 on 'Photoart' at The Online Photographer
I've dabbled just enough in flower photography to agree with you. I don't think I've ever taken a flower photograph that I really like. Same with (posed) portraits. Candids, sure, I love candids. Maybe if I just hung around a flower garden with a camera, I could catch them doing something interesting, instead of trying to pose them.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2016 on Specialists at The Online Photographer
"... but it would have made a wonderful picture. I can still see it in my mind's eye." That's precisely what I love about photography. As Dorothea Lange (supposedly) said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." I love the feedback loop - how the more I photograph, the more I find visually interesting things around me. That's a beautiful photo. Though I think you photoshopped the clouds in ;) Here are a couple of my own farm photos, one taken near Lancaster, PA and the other closer to Hershey (I don't believe either of them is Amish owned, though). As for the honeymoon, it doesn't have to end. My wife and I have been in our current home in a quiet town in CT for 20 years now and still marvel at the wildlife and the scenery. I love coming home after a vacation. We can spend a week away from work and chores, enjoying a new place, then drive 5 or 6 or more hours through cities, but as soon as we're within half an hour of home, traffic drops off, restaurants and gas stations disappear, we see forests and farms and it feels good.
My daughter recently went on her 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. There were 14 kids in her class, roughly that number in another 8th grade class that went with them, and about 8 teachers & staff to chaperone. Out of that entire group, my daughter was the only one with a "real" camera (and that was only a point & shoot, albeit a decent one).
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2016 on iPhone Apocalypse at The Online Photographer