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Dennis
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Sometimes I wonder if Sony is trying to continue the design of the F717 ... that was a nice camera to hold/use, in it's day. Even the "monstrous" 18-200 isn't all that bad on an A6000; just a bit heavy to dangle off your wrist. Part of the problem is that to some people, mirrorless means "tiny". The earliest bodies and the early pancake lenses from Olympus and Sony seem to have created an expectation that this is the purpose of these systems. A lot of the angst right now is over Sony's damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't introduction of the three new FE lenses. Partly because, well, they're big, and some people seem to think anything made for a mirrorless camera needs to be small, and partly because there are people still wishing for new APS-C lenses and Sony (like Canon & Nikon) seems to have decided that they have enough APS-C lenses. I still wish that, instead of the FE 28/2, Sony offered something like Samsung's 30/2 pancake lens. That would make the body/lens combo jacket pocketable, and would deliver my long desired wish for a digital version of my Minolta HiMatic 7sII (which features a 40/1.8). On the one hand, you can argue that that's what fixed lens cameras are for, but on the other, other manufacturers offer fast pancake lenses in moderate focal lengths. I think Fuji's is a 27/2.8 and the f/2.8 max aperture doesn't excite me; Sony's are 16 & 20mm, both f/2.8, and both pretty mediocre, though I think my 16 is much better than it's reputation (I just have little use for that focal length). I think any of the mirrorless systems ought to offer a few compact lenses, making them appealing as systems that can be as capable as you like, but compact when you want them to be. The problem there is that any 10 photographers will want different lenses when they want to carry a compact camera. p.s. NEX ... I despised my NEX-5 for a number of reasons, one of which was the Ericsson-designed menu. Sony used the "Alpha" (SLT) menu system on the RX100 (thankfully) and subsequent cameras. Dropping the NEX name went hand in hand with dropping the NEX menu, but I think Sony also wanted to try to get people thinking of e mount and A mount as parts of one big somewhat interchangeable system. I'm happy losing the NEX name just because of my distaste for the NEX-5 and menu system. But I don't really see the move helping to get people thinking about the whole "one big system" aspect of it.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Vile Rumor (Ex-NEX) at The Online Photographer
I own the A6000 and haven't had any concerns with AF speed (though it can't match my older Nikon D7000 for tracking a moving subject or in low light). I will say, though, that it's only fast with my Sony lenses; it's sluggish with my Sigma 60/2.8 and almost useless with that particular lens in very low light. As for video, I have no interest in 4k, outside of the ability to capture 30fps at 8MP (not on any regular basis - more a "fun" feature). I haven't read much about a "silent shutter" feature, but that would be much appreciated, as would the digital level (why on earth they ever removed that with the a6000 is beyond me). And an improved EVF would be nice. I'm not in the market to upgrade my A6000, but IBIS probably would have been the single, most compelling feature (since my two most used lenses are the FE 28/2 and the Sigma 60/2.8, both of which lack IS). I suppose it's true with all companies, but more so with Sony, somehow: you really can't count on them to do anything that they haven't announced. Their strategies just don't often jive with what I (as an amateur photographer and armchair CEO) expect.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Open Mike: I Miss IBIS at The Online Photographer
Getting rid of the tripod hole ... there are some people out there who don't use Arca-Swiss clamps on their tripods :) Actually, I'm known to do that myself. My big tripod is a set of Bogen legs with an A-S head, but I have a little Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod that I use with my mirrorless camera from time to time and it uses a square Manfrotto QR plate.
I have a signed copy of the book from the kickstarter campaign. Interesting that a signed copy is offered for a fraction of price of a new copy, which in turn is half the price of a used copy ;) I've often wondered if these ridiculous prices on amazon for out of print books are ever realized or if they amount to "trolling for fools" (to quote Brooks Jensen in an article on outrageous gallery pricing of photographs). I somehow ended up with an extra copy of Pentti Sammallahti's "Here Ever After" and have thought about selling the spare, but with my luck, I'd end up getting less than I paid after all the fees.
I think you're doing the guy a disservice by comparing him to Weston. First, Weston was only a photographer, while this person is a Visual Artist. Second, Pepper #30 is very obvious; it's significance is made plain by simply *looking* at it. The meaning behind the potato portrait is more subtle, requiring context to be explained by the artist: "Generally, the life of a harvested potato is violent and taken for granted. I use the potato as a proxy for the ontological study of the human experience." Finally, it only took Weston 30 tries to get his famous photo. Potato #345 is the result of an order of magnitude more effort.
Years ago, I have a prime lens lineup that doubled each focal length (24, 50, 100, 200, 400). I agree with your contention that APS-C and FF are too close for a company like Fuji to consider. (The legacy manufacturers have historical reasons for doing so). I think a 2X crop makes a decent distinction. So a sensor roughly four times the size of APS-C (30x45 or so, Leica S size) would be where I'd start looking. I think I'd settle on a sensor size, then build a system around it, with a modest lineup of from-scratch lenses (no medium format crop factors like some of the other systems suffer with). Fuji showed they can develop a killer lens lineup in a reasonable period of time.
Regarding this comment: "I think FF is an evolutionary tributary that will eventually dead-end as smaller sensors get better and better." I'm not convinced. I acknowledge the sufficiency and benefits of APS-C (benefits in terms of cost and compactness, assuming sufficiency). But consumers already have migrated (or will continue to migrate) to smaller sensors, leaving enthusiasts as the market for larger sensor ILCs, and I think enthusiasts will diverge into "I want small goodness" and "I want as big as I can afford/carry". FF is kind of like the medium format of yesteryear; the better-than-we-need system that we want nonetheless. The difference is that it's about the same size as yesteryears compromise (35mm). Smaller gets better, but not every enthusiast cares. FF gets better, too, and if someone is willing to pay for and carry FF, then they get 24x36mm of awesomeness instead of a small sensor full of sufficiency. And if you think about car or audio enthusiasts; hobbyists of any kind, who settles for just good enough ? Meanwhile, you have Nikon, Canon and Sony all trying, not to "obsolete" APS-C, exactly, but to minimize it's appeal to enthusiasts and push customers to FF. I expect camera sales of all kinds to continue to drop, due to market saturation and sufficiency, from real cameras to phones to GoPros (in light of recent headlines). I don't know what to expect on the consumer front, but at least in the enthusiast and pro markets, I expect to see a continued shift from APS-C to FF (with a small shift to smaller formats for on-the-go pros, like photojournalists).
A few thoughts on sensor size: You mention "all else equal" and one place where all isn't equal is in lens selection. Legacy mounts (particularly Nikon & Canon) have extensive FF lens selections, while their APS-C lens selections are lacking in lenses that some people find important. Meanwhile, micro 4/3 offers a great lens selection, and one that (at least in many cases) does exploit the sensor size, offering reasonable compromises between speed and compactness (Oly's f/1.8 line of primes). Stepping down further, I think 1" sensors are best suited to fixed lens cameras like Sony's RX10 and RX100. Nikon's '1' series offers f/3.5-5.6 zooms, which aren't terribly exciting on a 1" sensor, and a fast prime, like the 32/1.2, is expensive and doesn't quite offer the shallow DOF of an 85/2.8 on FF. It feels very much like trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. It's has great niche uses, like a lightweight birding kit with the sharp 70-300CX. I've seen nice prints from Fuji 2/3" sensors (20x30"). Dynamic range is always the bugaboo with small sensors, even in good light where you can shoot base ISO to avoid noise. (Sony's 1" sensor is pretty good). I recently saw some samples shot with iPhones using the new Zeiss add on lenses. They were nice and sharp, showing waterfalls that were blown out blobs of white. Small sensors require work to deal with the compromises. Meanwhile, I've never used a FF digital sensor or larger (though I have shot 6x6 film). So I can't comment on whether I'd appreciate something bigger than APS-C. I like 2/3" or 1" for compacts (including relatively compact do-it-all like RX10). 4/3 or APS-C for an ILC. And FF, I consider the medium format of digital, only more affordable, so for all of us who used to dream about medium format systems we didn't need, FF has a more attainable allure. (Time will tell whether I resist). A lot of people practicing photography have no issue with using large systems. As for the article, it seems decent, but focuses a little too much on the actual sizes and not enough on what those sizes mean to the target audience. It's okay to see how much bigger one sensor is than another, but how much "better dynamic range" does one sensor give ? In other words, it says "bigger is better" but offers no guidance when it comes to deciding how much bigger to buy. But I appreciate anything that gets the message out to consumers that sensor size is more important than resolution (and I'm not aware of a better article).
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2016 on Camera Sensor Size at The Online Photographer
Since I was a Minolta Maxxum user, I settled for a Sony F717 while waiting to see if Minolta would ever produce a DSLR. It was a nice enough camera in its day. Around $900 or $1000 then. Worth around $25 now. I took some nice enough pictures with it in good light. It could still do the same today, but cheaper cameras are better in just about every way, from image quality to viewfinder quality to focus speed, shooting speed, recording speed. I've had my RX100 several years now (and plan to keep using it several more); enough to justify the $500ish price tag. I love the idea of the RX10 with its pretty fast 28-200 equivalent, nice ergonomics, excellent viewfinder, but I don't like the idea of spending that kind of money again on a fixed lens camera. I guess that's mostly because I'd view it as a second camera (much like the RX100 now) whereas if I could really get rid of my ILCs, I probably wouldn't mind spending $1000 on a fixed lens camera every few years. Another consideration is that with a DSLR system, you buy lenses, and you can be sure that whenever you want/need to buy a new camera to use with them, there will be something available. With a fixed lens, there's no guarantee that the company will keep up that product line.
I don't use Fuji now and I expect my photography to change over the next five years and I don't really know where I'll end up. But an XT2 with the 24MP sensor (based on the early samples I've seen) with the lenses Fuji has available sounds like a great place to land.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2016 on Fujifilm Fanboy Flames at The Online Photographer
dd-b FWIW, I wouldn't need that much to retire on. $250k sounds like a great number, but right off the bat, you don't need to save for retirement out of it. (Compared to saving 10-12% like I do now). And then, if you've already paid the taxes on all but the modest gains you're going to make after winning it, you're not paying much out of that $250k in taxes, either. So it's mostly all available for spending. Some people could blow through that easily; I'd have a hard time, at least after the first couple years (I like my house, but ...) On the other hand, if I had that much money, I'd want to put some aside to secure my daughter's future. Regardless of how the numbers work out, a million ain't what it used to be.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2016 on It's My Dream (OT) at The Online Photographer
Funny thing is, as the imaginary Power Ball winner, $20million is about the amount I'd like to "keep" for exactly those purposes ... around $10m to secure a secure and modestly wealthy future for my family, and another $10m to benefit friends, family, and local charity. All the rest (of the theoretical Power Ball prize) could go to one or more big organizations (like the Gates Foundation, though I've never had reason to research which ones I'd like to give it to). The great thing about Power Ball is that the odds of winning are SO small that I feel I have the same chance as everyone else despite the fact that I haven't bought a ticket !
I always thought it was a tax on people who are bad at math :) I figured out what I'd do if I won. I'd go to someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett and try to set it up so that I'd get paid something like $250,000 a year for the next 40 years (so my wife and I could both quit working and enjoy some luxury) ... maybe a few anonymous gifts to friends ... in return for giving the winning ticket to the Gates Foundation. (I'd explore other options, too, but the idea would be that 98-99% would go to a charity that would do good work with it, I'd have financial security for life and no attention). Nice dream. I don't buy tickets so my chances are zero. But that's about the same as people who do play.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2016 on It's My Dream (OT) at The Online Photographer
I think the EXIF approach, mentioned by a couple comments, is also best used by an experienced photographer. Say I look at how I used an 18-55 on a trip. I might very well find that I used it a lot at 18mm and a lot at 55mm and a little bit everywhere else. This might suggest that I could use a wide angle prime and a telephoto prime, but if I carry only a single prime, I want something smack dab in the middle (28mm) and EXIF wouldn't show me that. There are so many use cases to consider and it all comes down to you, what you shoot, how much and when you shoot it and how important the results are from each kind of shooting. Some people insist on a superzoom for their casual stuff when they could easily skip the big camera and use a point & shoot for that. (I actually pretty much stopped using my Nikkor 16-85 because my RX100 does the same job, but I wouldn't give up my DSLR and 85/1.8 or 70-200/2.8 for anything). If you're considering a kit with 3, 4 or 5 lenses in it, are you always going to carry all your lenses or do you want to go out at times with just one or two. I don't know how a newbie figures this out without trial and error. That's how I did it. (In fact, I got started with the Minolta Maxxum system precisely because I looked for the camera body with the best "bang for the buck" and then threw in a couple cheap Sigma zooms !) Maybe it would help to have a dozen or two photographer "profiles" where people with a variety of styles and tastes explain what they shoot and why.
Common wisdom among wildlife photographers is that reach is essentially a function of pixel density. You can always crop a large sensor down, but large sensors tend to have lower pixel densities, so if you shoot any given telephoto lens on a small sensor and then shoot on a large sensor and crop, you get more detail from the small sensor (the one with higher density). Right now, you can put a cheaper Nikon or Canon 300/4 on an APS-C and crop and not be far from Olympus' 16MP (though for $2500 and their marketing claims, one would expect more detail from the Oly setup). I think this 300/4 gets more attractive to wildlife/bird photographers when there's a higher res sensor to put in front of it. Right now, Nikon 1 is enjoying a small cult following with birders with its (expensive) 70-300 which gives an 800mm equivalent FOV from a crop sensor that records 18MP. You can't get that kind of resoluction cropping from 300 from a larger sensor right now.
I've been shooting 85mm on APS-C for quite a few years now and enjoy it so much that I'd have a hard time moving to FF without a similar FL for candids. I could probably get by with a 105. But 85mm on FF is too short for me. The 56mm Fuji is nice and I applaud Fuji for at least making a lens that a lot of people want, but I'd be happier with a longer lens. (Contrast Fuji w/Sony where your e-mount APS-C option was, for the longest time, 50mm ... if you think nobody is asking for 135mm equivalents, who ever asked for a 75mm equivalent ?) If I could have just two primes, I'd pick a 40mm and 135mm (or equivalent). Maybe a tad shorter than 135mm, say 120mm, if I could make up my own lens.
I know that in this case, you're focused on the definition of the word, photography, but I think of it as an analog/digital issue that applies to sound and movie recording as well. Do we need to distinguish between music recorded on tape versus music recorded digitally ? Video ? And what about photos or music or video recorded by analog means but subsequently converted to digital ? I was recently bemoaning the persistent use of the qualifier "digital" which has become increasingly unnecessary when talking about cameras. But then I actually went out to a couple websites (like Target as an example) and found that they've finally got around to dropping the word. Now it's just "cameras" and "point and shoots". (Since they don't sell film cameras, there seemed no need to distinguish digital from ... well, nothing !) But DSLRs are still digital SLRs. So I guess my point is that digital doesn't need its own name because it's the alternative that's the outlier. Kind of like mobile phones are morphing into just "phones" (mobile gets to be an increasingly unnecessary qualifier) and if you can't get cell service, you can always call from your "land line".
It may be nearly two years old, but as early as last Christmas season, it was available on special for $450 (that's when I bought mine). I see that $399 looks like the new regular price - it doesn't appear to be a sale price. The camera itself is very capable, but not "high end" enough to justify a much higher price. The main weakness is the EVF. It's perfectly functional, but lower res than many competitors use, and to me, it's not pleasant (I'd happily spend more for a higher res EVF if it were to be my main camera). Sony also bweilderingly chose to remove the "virtual horizon" feature, whether to cut costs, I don't know, but it's such an obvious feature for any live view camera to offer, it sticks out by omission. Meanwhile, Olympus prices are dropping and their cameras offer IS, and the full frame Sony A7 (which, admittedly, is slower) is down to $1000. I'm kind of surprised the A6000 is all the way down to only $399, even with the competition dropping. I wonder if Sony is looking to grab market share during the holiday buying season. I opted for the Sony FE 28/2 as my main lens (I also have the surprisingly decent 18-200, purchased several years ago to shoot video with the NEX-5). The Sigma 30/2.8 seems like a nice alternative if you don't mind a slower lens. But now you've got me thinking of adding the 60/2.8 for a great 2-lens kit. (I typically have to dig out the DSLR and 85/1.8 for candids). With the reputedly excellent Sigma lenses at around $200 each, you can put together a very nice prime-based kit with a camera that's a steal at only $399.
Rumormongering is such a funny business. In that linked blog post (phoblographer) the author writes: "Very few pieces of news make me almost drop my coffee cup while inbibing some precious morning java, but a report from Fuji Rumors did just that." followed by "Insane, right?" Why is news that a camera company is going to release a new camera "insane" ? It seems like (many) camera buyers are in a perpetual state of angst about their gear. Is my brand going to go out of business tomorrow ? Are they ever going to make another camera ? Are my lenses all going to be obsolete ? Something's insane about it all.
Wow ... Mr. Turnley has seen a lot of stuff since McClellan Street, I guess. What a book the photos in that video would make !
I'm not sure there's much to compare between the SL and the 645Z aside from system price. The 645D is a bigger, 51MP camera for slower, more deliberate photography, while the SL advertises its fast AF and 11fps frame rate. Basically, I would hope that for anyone looking to spend $10K to $20K or more on a system, the choice between those two would be dead straightforward, based on how/what they shoot. The A7 series are probably more of a toss up; I could see people wanting the Leica, but settling for one of the Sonys. IBIS, choice of sensors, price and lens lineup are pretty compelling advantages. Especially price. I think the SL isn't for the dyed in the wool Leicaphile, but for the people who always wanted to be Leicaphiles, but didn't really want a rangefinder.
We live on 6 acres; 1/4 or so of it is a swampy area with deciduous trees, another 1/4 or so is a grove of pines (planted by the man who built the house). We have scrub cherries lining two sides of the property, but the house sits in a lawn with precious few trees. The "green desert" we call it in the summer. All the leaves from all those trees fall straight down or blow around, never enough to worry about doing anything other than mowing over. And get this - we haul bagged leaves from my in-laws' 1/4 acre lot in a downtown residential neighborhood to our house to add to our garden every fall. His lawn looks a mini version of yours - mature maples that drop a thick carpet of leaves. I think you're a little far for me to haul your leaves, though.
I do that. I'll spend time post processing it, get it "just so". Then I'll look at it and realize it wasn't worth the time and toss it, like I should have done from the start. I have to believe there's something worthwhile in the exercise. Your photo is actually almost really good. Get rid of the guy in the white shirt (or reposition him), maybe orient yourself a little differently and you get a great line of "men in black" (though you'd probably need them to be positioned a little more fortuitously). The instinct was there, but you don't find great shots on a "hit and run". I actually realized that with my nature photography years ago. I'd go somewhere like Yellowstone Park or the Smokies and come home with "nice" shots, but what can someone who doesn't know the area do in a one week trip at some arbitrary time of year, at the whim of the weather, compared to photographers who live and breathe the area. I remember spending 15 minutes at a popular picture spot overlooking Yellowstone Falls. In that time, I couldn't count how many other people came and went, including one young guy with some sort of large format camera ! (Nothing too big, might have even been a Graflex ?) How many people visit it in an hour, a day, a year ? And how many opportunities does someone who lives there have to get there in different seasons and weather ? I think it's fun to dabble in things we're not good at, good to be honest about it. The best photographers are usually the ones who work the hardest, so no reason to expect greatness at something you don't do regularly.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2015 on Wishful Photographing at The Online Photographer
p.p.s. While I can't pick a best R&R song, I can pick a best album. (And that album wouldn't even have any of my candidates for best song, oddly enough). Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms. Lots of contenders, but if I were told I could pick any album to listen through from start to end, I'd pick that more often than any other.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2015 on What's It Gonna Be? at The Online Photographer
p.s. I see other people didn't feel limited by one lens, so I'll follow up my previous answer. If multiple lenses are allowed, then I'd go for a Nikon D750, I think.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2015 on What's It Gonna Be? at The Online Photographer