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Dennis
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It's funny how many people react violently against the idea of Auto ISO in M mode (never mind whether you can set EC at the same time). I think some totally misunderstand and think that a camera with this feature *always* sets the ISO for you in M mode (hint: it's just an option !) Some just huff and say, in a blustery manner, "M means manual", which brings to mind Nigel Tufnel arguing "these go to 11". And then you get those who object to the camera "making the decisions for you". "Giving up control". What they (quite astoundingly) don't get is that any time you control 2 of the 3 exposure settings (or 1 of the 2, in those days of yore) is that the camera isn't "deciding" anything. It's calculating. It's automating a task that computers do brilliantly. Given the meter reading and the exposure parameters you've chosen, there can be one and only one possible value for the remaining parameter. The ISO can't be "too high" unless you've set the other exposure parameters "too low" (or metered incorrectly). So the moral of my story, also for those not well versed in these modes, is to not confuse "Auto" with "Program" or (shudder !) *intelligent* auto (iAuto) ! Auto is short for automatic or automation; it automates a calculation to save you time. You're not giving up any control using Auto modes, and can typically do anything in shutter or aperture priority that you can do in manual mode, provided you're looking to base your exposure on the camera's internal meter. Program, iAuto and scene modes are where you start to give up control (though even then, if you know what those modes are doing, then you can make the argument that there's a degree of control in choosing them).
Here's how I look at it. The meter calculates a target EV. Depends on the scene and the metering mode you choose. EC should change that target EV. So if you meter a scene in which you know the meter is likely to be fooled, you compensate. Simple as that. Then you have your three parameters which get you to that EV and various exposure modes you can use. Aside from manual, every other exposure mode adjusts something to get you to the target EV. So if you dial in EC, you should get to that corrected EV. Practically speaking, I chose a Nikon D7000 over the Canon 7D when I switched from Sony 2.5 years ago for two reasons: (1) a quiet shutter option (without switching to live view) and (2) Auto ISO in M mode that works with EC. I shoot ice hockey. Lighting levels vary across the rink, due to uneven lighting and the presence of a bank of windows at one end of the rink. I want 1/500s and f/2.8 and the ISO can be whatever the ISO needs to be. But I need exposure compensation to account for all that ice. (Colors of uniforms vary from white to black so spot metering isn't a very viable option). For slower shooting, I much prefer to meter, lock and recompose if there's something in the scene that's likely to throw off the meter. But for some shooting, EC is the way to go. The final argument is simply this. Compared to wifi and in camera HDR and stitching, this stuff is stupid simple. 1960s. A kid can program this years before programming 101. Cameras today feature all sorts of features to make them appeal to almost anyone imaginable, but then fall flat on basics like this. If a handful of photographers can use it, throw it in !
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on What Overrides What? at The Online Photographer
"Which one would you choose?" I'd go for features and ergonomics, given 8 out of 10 for IQ. That's good enough.
I also just sent a modest donation. Here's the reason. I like all of the photos you're offering as prints. I just don't really know what I'd do with a print. What I'd really love to have is a book with those photos and 100 more like them. I get that good prints are much nicer to look at than reproductions in a book. But photos, in general, are best viewed in series or groups, IMO. So if I can see many photos at a gallery, that's great. But 1 or 2 or 3 in a home collection ? I can put the money to better use buying books of photos. And as for displaying photos, I know some will disagree with me here, but my house is my house, not a gallery, and my walls are part of that house, and I want them filled with *my* photos along with other decorative artwork that I want to see every day, either because it's interesting enough to look at every day, or because it's simply decorative. My collection of photo books is modest compared to many, but I have more photo books than I could ever have prints on display. I almost ordered one of the small prints, just to see another nice print with my own eyes and to see another example of Ctein's printing (I bought the bridge photo he printed to demonstrate the potential of modest gear), but ultimately just guessed at your profit margin on the print and sent that. Why am I telling you all this ? I'm not sure, other than to share a thought on why some people may not buy prints *AND* to hopefully inspire you to get back to your ideas about publishing books. Which, of course, would probably be easier if you had a bigger office ... Good luck !
I'm a little surprised by these results, though I'm not sure what I would have guessed them to be. I suppose the D700 shouldn't surprise me, nor the X100(s) other than how high they are on the list. The EM5 surprises me, though in hindsight, it makes sense. So if the top 13 represent 223 out of 650, and I can assume that the remainder have less than 10 votes each, then if they average 5 votes each, that would be 85 camera models ... I'm guessing somewhere between 50 and 100 ? You did ask film users to list their favorite film camera, but still, that's a lot of diversity, when I would think there would be just so many "cult classics". The low percentages for Nikon and Canon should be a little distressing to those companies. It's a scientifically unsound poll, but you'd think they'd covet the "AdAms" (to steal from your latest post) that frequent a site like yours.
Doesn't make sense to me ... maybe they thought the Df would be the D700 replacement. In which case, they shouldn't have thought at all. They did ok in the APS-C market, going from the D70/80/90 to the D7000/7100. Stick with a good thing. But they, why they haven't developed a D400 is a mystery as well. Oh well, let mysteries be mysteries; I'm happy with my D7000 and if I were to ever move up the food chain, I'd be happy with Nikon's choices. Meanwhile, I still think that the X100s (that I don't own) is most likely to be my favorite digital camera of all time :)
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2014 on Why Didn't Nikon...? at The Online Photographer
Wow - very nice ! His b/w is fine, but to me, he stands out as a color photographer. It reminds me of (what little I've seen of) Saul Leiter.
Mike wrote: "Whenever any experienced photo-dawg says they like B&W, it has to be tempered with the assumption that what they mean is that they like the 10% of B&W out there that's purposeful, skilled, and deliberate." I think that to a certain extent, the same can be said about color, but with a major caveat. First off, you have people who just don't consider the issue and look at and shoot color by default. Then I think that *some* of the people who say they like color are really saying the don't like black and white. And finally, you get people who like color, but only like color done well, and that's pretty rare, too. I think I agree with you that b&w can be more expressive, because it's easier to manipulate; you can control it to generate something that's both different and good. With color, you're much more limited in the degree to which you can control it while still generating output that's good. So you can do more with b&w during/post capture, but with color, you have to see it or control it in front of the lens. When you can do that, it's wonderfully expressive.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2014 on What a Great Comment! at The Online Photographer
If it was in front of a window, maybe the photographer/linguist got himself in the picture after all.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2014 on Our Changing Language at The Online Photographer
"The super-simplicity of smartphones is part of what's herding the public toward using them as cameras." It's also what's herding the public toward using them as computers.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2014 on Grind the Axe at The Online Photographer
I can only guess, having used film and having no desire to go back to it ... but my guess is that I would very likely want to give it a whirl, even if just once.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2014 on A Question of Now at The Online Photographer
I mentioned in my answer to your "favorite digital camera" poll that none of my digital cameras has been nearly as fun as my favorite film cameras. The Mamiya 7 II was always a "dream camera" of mine. It still is, to an extent, but now that I've given in to the convenience of a digital workflow, it would be either a major shift or a fun diversion (in which case it's much too expensive). I don't see much in the digital camera market that approaches these classic cameras - granted, this is an expensive product, and there are medium format digital alternatives (as well as Leicas), but there were plenty of affordable film cameras that had loads of charm. (The venerable Nikon FM2 was another "dream camera" that I never owned). I suppose the Fuji X100s is the closest I can think of to my wonderful compact rangefinders. None of the DSLRs I've owned match my film SLRs (both manual and autofocus) for their ... maturity ? Completeness ? Je ne sais quoi ! (Fuji's 'X' system comes closest to having the appeal of the Mamiya for me). Anyway, I should just dismiss any and all irrational thoughts about the Mamiya right now. After all, if I really thought I'd go out and shoot 120 film again, I have a perfectly good Rollei TLR sitting in a cupboard.
I've owned 6 digital cameras (not counting cheap family p&s's) and can't say that any of them approach my favorite film cameras in terms of likability. That said, I'd choose the Sony RX100 over my more practical cameras for likability. The KM 7D was pretty likeable, though, as was the Sony F717.
Mike wrote: "That's a sign of good reviewing, when you can accept the reviewer's insights but don't feel the need to accept his (or her) verdict (judgments)." I see it more as a sign of good reading comprehension. Today on some other site, I participated in a thread discussing Thom Hogan's review of the A7 & A7r. His review wasn't 100% glowing, so Thom was roundly attacked, accused of being an anti-Sony, Nikon-worshipping, m43-fanboy. Despite the fact that he's been criticizing Nikon regularly, has been shooting a Sony RX1, and is now going to sell that because the A7 (which he RECOMMENDED !) with the 35/2.8 makes more sense. I came to the conclusion that people like Thom, Steve Huff, Michael Reichman and yourself all review cameras based largely on how you use them and, presumably, how many of your readers use them. Regular readers know where you're coming from and read the review from that perspective. And even if they're not regular readers, most subjective reviews include verbiage that points on, very explicitly, that it's a subjective review containing personal opinions. Yet what happens, time and time again, is that as soon as a review is posted, it gets linked across fan sites and forums and within seconds, people check it out. They don't read it. They scan it, looking for anything negative, and then they trash the review. Anyway, have fun with the camera. It will be interesting to see what you think of it. I really liked the XE1 and lenses when I tried them out, and I love Fuji's strategy. It's not the most practical choice for me, but the system I'd most enjoy using (I think). But I have to wonder if it's been so overhyped that you're bound to be disappointed.
Tim F. that was priceless !!! (no pun intended)
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2014 on To the Moon, Alice at The Online Photographer
It's easy to see why Canon would be more concerned about Fuji than Nikon or Leica. The latter are the enemy they know. Fuji can step out of the box at any time. But I can tell you why they're likely more concerned about Fuji than Panasonic or Olympus: two syllables. Yup. I hit on this recently when reading something else, and it dawned on me that it's these two syllable names that grab your attention and stick in your memory. Nikon, Canon, Leica, (Sony), Pentax, Ricoh. Ap*ple, e*Bay, Pay*pal. I Goo*gled it and sure enough, ran across a number of articles recommending 2 syllable names for your new company. Ko*ni*ca Mi*nol*ta never stood a chance, poor buggers. Foo*gee sounds good. Be afraid, Canon, be very afraid. On a side note, in reply to BH's comment, it's precisely the (widely reported - not from personal experience) difficully in processing X-Trans raws that turns me off from the 'X' line. I'm not in the market for a new system any time soon, so it's a moot point, but I find Fuji's X system very appealing otherwise.
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2014 on The New Fuji X-T1 at The Online Photographer
Mike, Feel better ! I guess I'm in the minority, and you need to do whatever you need to do to avoid losing readership. Personally, I haven't read the reruns - I have a vague recollection after the first couple sentences and then no interest in rereading them, so if it were up to me, I'd just say to stay away from the computer, rest up, and we'll be here when you're all better. - Dennis
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2014 on Mike Update at The Online Photographer
Brrr ! We hit -13 Friday night in our little corner of CT (the coldest I can recall). It was -7 when we got home late at night from relatives and I told my daughter to just hang out for a minute and experience it before going in. (Her tween reply: "It doesn't feel that cold"). We're just barely in UDSA Zone 5b which says our annual extreme low is -10 to -15, but even so it's pretty rare. On the plus side, we just invested in some insulation this past spring (blown in the attic, rigid foil-backed to seal off dormer spaces, and foam in the basement along the sill plates) and now at least our house stays at 68 instead of dropping into the low 60s when it gets below zero. (It also stayed cooler all summer with the a/c running less).
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2014 on Cold Spell at The Online Photographer
If you bought the GF1 in 2009 and went through 4 cameras, I don't think revising your target is going to help ! Personally, I like the 3-5 guideline. My goal is 4 years from a camera; 5 is better, 3 is acceptable, unless my needs change drastically (unlikely). Another benefit of waiting to upgrade is that you never know what else will be available when the time comes. I can fully understand the difficulty with settling on a mirrorless camera, though. We all wanted one even before the Pen was announced. And there was pent up demand when the first generation hit the market. Next to our DSLRs, early ILCs were immature; second generation ILCs still immature. There are several on the market now that I think you could plan to use a few years, but I still think they all have their share of issues that need to be addressed over time. I suppose that's one of the ironic things about the supposed lack of innovation from Canon & Nikon: it's easier to pick something and stick with it. (Or at least it SHOULD be, Mike !) I bought my D7000 & Nikon lenses 2 years ago (replaced another brand, so I knew what lenses I wanted) and I'm just not looking at anything else. Not waiting for missing lens X or Y or jealous over something that brand Z has. I bought into a mature system, and if some want to complain about a lack of innovation, I'm enjoying what they've developed over past decades, rather than waiting to see if some new, innovative system gets fleshed out before it gets revamped.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2014 on Camera Profligacy at The Online Photographer
It seems that you're willing to accept 'connectedness' on a photographers terms. Maybe in time, you'll accept photography on connected terms :) I'm not there yet, either, but acknowledge that it's not "us" ... readers of your blog and other enthusiasts ... behind the wheel. I'm not even in the passenger seat or a back seat driver, for that matter. I'm the stowaway in the trunk. Let me out when we get there. All the stuff about sitting on your photos to be sure they're suitable for sharing doesn't pertain to the vast majority of pictures being shared, because they're not meant to last. Immediacy is more important than longevity. And if you're not in constant communication, you'll be forgotten. Photographers who share less might as well still be in that invisible world of prints you talked about recently.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2014 on Curmudgeon-in-Training at The Online Photographer
s.low wrote: "Maybe you should also consider a prize for the best looking camera. A design award for the Panasonic Lumix GM1" I do think the GM1 is a neat looking little camera. One that, even if I wasn't in the market for it, I wanted to like when I tried it. The controls are too tiny & fiddly, like the earlier Canon S90. It might be pretty, but otherwise a design failure in my book. No comment on the Df - I think it's something of a flop, as it seems like a schizophrenic camera that does some things well, but not other related things (like being half of a good sports camera and half of a good landscape camera and half of a good camera for legacy lens owners, etc). But I think it's primarily a flop relative to the buzz Nikon tried to create. I'm not convinced, offhand, that there aren't cameras more deserving of a razzie.
Very interesting stuff, as I've just started reading the Smithsonian Visual Guide to the Universe that was under the tree. I've long known of the concept of the content view of time as an infinite series of "parallel universes" from many sci-fi stories. (This ties into David's comment about "free will" ... if there is a future that includes us, then is our own future predetermined ? Is every action I will take something I've already done in the future ?) And I think I've intuitively grasped the process idea, without ever thinking of it in the terms you've laid out here. But now after reading your thoughts/questions on time as a dimension, it makes me wonder more about the content/parallel universes concepts. We have three dimensions in space and we can only be in on place at a time. If we were over there and now we're over here, if we wanted to move back over there, we'd no longer be over here ! We can view "over there" where we were, but we're no longer there. If time were a fourth dimension, if we could look back in time (or forward) would we really find ourselves, as is popular in sci-fi ? Can we exist in two "places" in this dimension at once, a younger self and an older ? Or would we find it empty, because we'd already moved through that point in time ? Or ... weirder still ... would we find something totally alien there ? Something following us through time just as somebody else can stand where we just stood a minute ago ? And if that's the case, and we can not only fail to find ourselves in the past, because we've already moved through it, but also fail to find all the mass in our universe, then would these pasts and futures be indistinguishable from the sci-fi view of parallel universes in which people can travel to universes in which nothing is the same as in ours ? Or would it all be emptiness ? I love the concept that when we look at distant objects, we're seeing what happened in the past. If we had a sufficiently high powered telescope, we might watch a civilization die on a planet 100 million years ago and have no way of knowing what's there today. But we're not seeing into the past; we're only seeing light traveling through the universe today, so that doesn't argue for the content model. But the more I think about it and the more I put these questions down, it seems that if time truly were another dimension, that we should be able to move through it differently. Time as a process makes more sense to my brain, even if time as content makes for better stories. Happy Arbitrary Point in the Process Marked by a New Year On the Calendar !
Toggle Commented Dec 28, 2013 on What is Time? (OT) at The Online Photographer
Ooooh ... that would be a cruel decision in real life. The Leica tugs at the heart. More so since finding a box of LFI magazines. The Sony tugs at the brain. If I want a second lens, it's more affordable. If I end up loving it and want to upgrade in 5 years, it's more affordable. The sensor is better. It has AF, and I can probably focus manually more easily with it. Then again, it's louder. And if I had $10k worth of camera gear in hand, I could probably justify adding one or two more lenses over time. Probably the Sony. Can I try them both and get back to you ? I don't mind if you send it after Christmas.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2013 on Christmas Present for You at The Online Photographer
Nice touch putting the prices in the ad. That way, it effectively reads: Italian Design, Swedish Tradition bunch of technical stuff you don't understand Priced high enough that the common folk can't buy it. - Dennis
I hate to sound curmudgeonly when we have so many great cameras to choose from, but this year I didn't find any new camera releases to be that exciting. There are obvious candidates: EM1, A7/r, Df. To me, the EM1 is the pinnacle of m43; an excellent camera, but really, just a better EM5. The A7 & A7r have a lot of buzz, but are really just NEX-7s with FF sensors. The A7 is to NEX what the D610 is to the D7100. Yawn. OK, the UI isn't NEX (thankfully) but is very pedestrian. The Df is just ... weird ... a camera with one or two features that appeal to a lot of people, but one or two things that fight against the good things. It's too schizophrenic. There's the GX7 which is Panasonic's attempt to make an EM1 - the EM1 is superior in too many ways. And the GM1 which takes miniaturization too far (my RX100 has more usable controls for my average-sized fingers than the GM1) ... and is priced too high (for a camera with no VF !) The A3000 is the camera the mirrorless manufacturers need (cheap with a VF like the Panasonic G6) but too cheap - the VF is next to useless. The RX10 is interesting, but not interesting enough. (Maybe if you're into video). The D7100 is a very solid DSLR, but nothing exciting. So I'm going to toss out a couple non-obvious choices: - Ricoh GR - Canon SL1 (I was really impressed with the performance and build of this little "entry level" camera) - Pentax K-3 (only because it's closer to the long-awaited Nikon D400 than anything Nikon has done recently) - Nikon 1 AW1 - Dennis
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2013 on Camera of the Year 2013 at The Online Photographer