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"You've got me right where you want me. Right where I should be. Right?" Yes. Others have already written that book. Not the one you would write, maybe better, maybe worse. But they don't keep my favorite blog perking along.
1. Frame 2. Hang 3. Enjoy Perhaps someone else will have a more monetarily enjoyable solution. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2015 on Finance 101 (OT) at The Online Photographer
You said it already a few days ago. "Have Fun With Any Camera" I do get recognition, from family, friends, acquaintances and the occasional stranger going through my books of images. Neither fame nor fortune has seemed likely. About a majority of those who go through my work encourage me to publish as 'real' books, a few very vehemently. It's my sense that as soon as I try to make it a business, it would no longer be fun. I am occasionally surprised at how serious I am about taking pictures and processing them into images I like. I also wonder if that phase of my life might pass one day. Either way is OK.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2015 on Open Mike: Pots of Gold at The Online Photographer
Robert Harshman, I don't believe I agree. I wasn't familiar with these techniques, so I took a little tour. None of what I saw involved extremely high precision movement of sensor or static subject exactly calibrated to sensel locations. The math may be similar, and what Oly has done might not have happened without these predecessors, but what it has to work with seems to me significantly different. Hassleblad has previously done something similar to, but not as good as, what Oly has done. By using the very high precision sensor movement control from IBIS (possibly why the IBIS is better in the Mark II), the camera knows exactly the locational relationship of each sensed pixel to those adjacent. (BTW, this use of the sensor location control mechanism means no IBIS in super resolution mode.) What Oly has added to the idea pioneered by Hassleblad is additional exposures at pixel pitch distances. This means no decoding to infer colors for each pixel. Each pixel location is individually sensed by sensels of each color. This both eliminates moiré and increases color accuracy. The results on things like fabric are sensational. I'm not talking theory. Take a look at the 100% images of repeating patterns in the IR review. I've also carefully compared the standardized test images on IR and DPR for the Mark II in S-R mode to the Nikon D850 and D900. The D900, in particular, suffers terrible moiré from the lack of an AA filter, and the E-M5 II gives superior results to this much higher resolution sensor camera with many subjects.
Slight caveat The E-M5 II has one oddity that affects use of Silent Mode. First, definitions: Anti-Shock Mode on the Mark I used a slight, adjustable delay after first curtain closing before opening it again for exposure. The Mark II, with A-S set for Zero Sec. delay, uses Electronic First Curtain to avoid both delay and shutter shock. Completely effective. Silent mode adds Electronic Second Curtain - no mechanical shutter action or noise at all. However, Aperture Mode with Auto ISO works quite differently in Silent Mode. With both full mechanical shutter and EFC Modes, the program exposure logic makes sensible choices of shutter speed and ISO, seeming to take into account focal length, as well. Resultant shutter speed and ISOs are like those of the Mark I and the Pens. In Silent Mode, the behavior is quite different. The "program" clings tenaciously to 200 ISO down to ridiculously low shutter speeds, then suddenly jumps to high ISOs when it gets really dim. I had been getting some amazing illustrations of the new IBIS' abliities down to the 1/10 sec. range at 300 mm (600 mm eq.), but not what I was expecting, or desired, on some things like bird shots. A conversation with Oly support insued, including sample images, EXIF data, and so on. It was left with the tech and others he consulted baffled and asking that I let them know if I figured out what was going on. When I got a second body, and it behaved the same, I was pretty sure it wasn't a sample failure. Then one day I discovered that it only happened in Silent Mode, which I usually had on in the field to avoid scaring birds, butterflies, little mammals, lizards etc. I passed this on to Oly support, who replied "it is possible that the program is different in silent mode, there is a limitation with the technology, or this could be a bug ... can determine if this needs a correction, and if this is possible, include it in future firmware versions." As this post seems to be an illustrated, slightly incomplete, summary of what I and others said in comments yesterday, I thought I'd add something substantive, if a bit arcane, to the collective knowledge of this excellent camera. I have since used this knowledge as an alternate mode for things like running water.
" the Leica S lenses are the best you can buy for pictorial photography" I didn't even read the Leica S section at first. When I did, I was amused at the above, as I was playing with some images taken with LenBaby Spark 50/2 and Soft Focus lenses - sort of the antitheses of Leica S lenses.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2015 on Two New Cameras Announced at The Online Photographer
"The E-M5 Mark II is the orphan in the lineup, to be honest. (From a cost/value perspective, anyway ... it's only $200 less than the E-M1, and we'd much rather have an E-M1." Perhaps it's in the line-up because there are people - like me - who would never be happy with the E-M1. Why pay more for a larger, heavier camera that has a grip I don't like? Leaving aside the preferences of my body's ergonomics, you say nothing about why one might prefer an E-M1 to an E-M5 II. The E-M1 has one stand-out feature, PDAF sensors, so it can work well with 4/3 legacy lenses. I have never owned any, nor do I see any reason ever to do so. OTOH: 1. The 5-axis IBIS in the E-M1 & E-M5 is the same; that in the E-M5 II is significantly improved. DPreview says 5 vs. 4 stops. I say I can see a distinct improvement in use in the field, especially in long tele use. 2. The E-M5 II switches to a fully articulated LCD from a tilt screen. This will be a plus for some, not for others. It is less convenient for quick up or down, but allows shots otherwise requiring circus level gymnastics. 3. The E-M5 II adds an high definition mode, using ultra precision sensor shift to get real 40MP images with "true' color, much like Foveon and without moiré. The results are in most ways superior to the Nikon D850 and superior for high detail pattern subjects to the D900. 4. E-M5 II ups the video ante to 60p, bitrate from 17Mbps, E-M5, 24, E-M1, to 77Mbps. 4. 1/16,000 sec (electronic) vs. 1/4000, E-M5, 1/8000, E-M1. 5. Drops the no longer needed accessory port, lowering the profile of the top hump, making the flash shoe less prone to catching in things. 6. The E-M5 II has the same resolution VF and LCD as the E-M1, as well as the same WiFi, focus peaking, HDR, etc. 7. The really impossible on/off switch of the E-M5 has been moved to a sensible location, reminiscent of the Early OMs. Still not as good as the inspired GX7, but a LOT better for me. To my mind, the E-M5 II is functionally a superior camera to the E-M1, as well as fitting my hands better. I've voted with my $, using two E-M5 IIs, and up to 3,500 shots with them. I logged 12,600 on the E-M5.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2015 on Two New Cameras Announced at The Online Photographer
"Have Fun With Any Camera" The title alone is wonderful! Perhaps the best, certainly the most succinct, summary of photography for me. Seems to me the title transcends the content, which, pleasant as it is, seems to me superfluous. The title alone would have made a great post!
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2015 on Have Fun With Any Camera at The Online Photographer
" In fact, 4/3 and APS-C are very close in size. People can’t tell which is which from looking at prints, except when the prints are pushed to extremes and the viewers are told what they’re looking at and know what telltales to look for." I took some time comparing the studio sample images from DPR and IR for Oly OMDs and Fuji Xs. In the straightforward qualities of details resolved, noise, and so on, there just wasn't a clear winner. Each scored subtle points, neither could be called a winner. On quality issues such as BH discusses and color rendering etc., they may differ, but not on the basics, which are all that is sensor size related. "And of course many people defend digicams, the sensors of which generally really are much smaller, as being very usable under many conditions and very high quality if used within their limitations." No one has yet noticed that one of the images in one of my latest books was taken with the miniscule sensor of my Panasonic XS40, at 720 mm eq., and cropped. Base ISO, decent light conditions, work from the Raw file, decent post processing skills, and the results can be very good. I was only working to about 8x10, but clearly some image files will look good larger.
I agree, it's certainly a golden age for me. When I look at the selection available just in my camera drawer, I'm amazed at the range of choice (and a bit GAS embarrassed.) My far wider focal length interests limit me to one format. Dabbling with one or two lenses won't work for me. Replicating that range in three systems would be ridiculous and far too expensive. But the range of choices of body size and features and of lenses within µ4/3 is still huge.
"You'd think this would go without saying, but photographers photograph." What does that mean? For most of its history, photography covered a process, from exposure to print. We tended to draw a distinction between Photographers, who controlled that whole process, and more casual folks, who pointed the camera, snapped the shutter, then left the rest of the process to others, dropping off film and picking up a packet of prints. Although with more variations, much the same distinction still applies between those who work as hard or harder in the digital darkroom, to take the simple exposure to the finished product, web or printed image, and those who have their 'phones and tablets automatically put every shot on the web in social media sites. So, my question is simple, what do you mean by the verb "photograph"? Is extensive darkroom work or post processing part, or a "distraction". What about printing, matting, framing? My question is serious. I'm not sure the line is as clear as you make it sound. HC-B and Peter Turnley and others made/make finding, framing and actuating the shutter at the perfect moment Photography. For Sts. Ansel, Edward and others Photography included extensive darkroom work. Some photographers I know go to some effort to find equipment and technique that will allow their exposures to be used as they come out of the camera. I sometimes wish I could do so, but find digital darkroom work, often extensive, necessary to achieve what I envisioned when I pushed that little button. Is time and effort spent before the exposure in order to avoid time and effort after more or less of a distraction than time spent after? Perhaps one might say Photographers make finished, displayable images? Then anything that doesn't contribute directly to that process must be a distraction. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2015 on Diversions at The Online Photographer
"1. Human beings don't really know much about human nutrition yet. We think we do, but that's just hubris. We're actually in a dark age of ignorance on the subject." A great truth far too little recognized or believed. An RN engaged in nutritional research for decades said something like this to a group of us years ago - as long as we can't lock people up, feed them controlled diets, kill them and do autopsies, we will not know much. I prefer the little knowledge option. \;~)>
At least I dodged a little of that depreciation bullet. The 300D/Digital Rebel with firmware hack had all the functionality of the 10D for fewer $. It was my first DSLR, and I have quite a few images from it that stand up well today.
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2015 on Shelf Life at The Online Photographer
"The race for 'small' has gotten out of hand. I totally welcome a reasonable size camera." Ergonomics are one of the great imponderables. A largish DSLR that I used to carry for hours without discomfort using only a wrist strap gave a friend hand cramps in a handful of minutes. But I am so happy I don't have to carry such a thing any more. My first reaction to an image of the GX8 was confusion, why had they so obviously bulked up such a nice camera. The only ergonomic thing I've wished with my GX7 is that it were a little smaller. I, and my hands, which aren't particularly small, size Large gloves, really like the Oly Pen Lites and Minis. I find the tiny GM1 neither "too 'finicky,'" nor "too small to work with any ease". Mr James is certainly right for himself, far from right for me. If I were even to consider this monster beast, I would be deterred by the way they have changed the most perfectly placed on/off switch I've encountered and the best rear wheel I've ever used, with its push to change function feature and perfect placement, for my particular thumb. One outstanding thing about the GX7 is that its a modest sized camera with IBIS. I've always thought Panny's choice of mostly bodies without IS and a line of prime lenses also without IS to be strange. To get an inconspicuous camera for use in the dim, one had to use Oly bodies until the GX7, and now again. I would love the GM1 (or GM5, perhaps) for that role, but a lovely, fast prime on it is no faster than the kit zoom with IS, once the light goes down. An Oly E-PM2 is not quite as small, but 2-3 stops faster, for that use. An E-PMx the same size, but with the IBIS from the E-M5 II, is my fantasy. Unrealistic, I fear, but I can dream ... I know a couple of left eyed shooters who were happy about the way the GX7 keeps all its controls over on the right. The GX8 moves an important control far to the left. The good news, for me? My choice of of E-M5 IIs for the field, without waiting to see the GX7 replacement, was the right one. I wish all those who are finicky about ergonomics, size, control placement, etc. the luck, maybe even luxury, these days, of some quality tryout time before buying any camera.
"... he argues that people prefer choice over no choice, but that too much choice leads to paralysis and dissatisfaction—and the optimal number of choices is three" Depends on the circumstances. Probably works for cameras, cars, most tech gear, etc. I'll have the exact numbers wrong, but the story is true: The merchandisers of a major supermarket operation were trying to maximize shelf space use and profits. The major line of hair coloring products had 12 shades, but three accounted for almost 90% of sales and four for almost 95%. So they cut back to four colors. Sales crashed. The buyers had to see a full range of colors in order to determine which one they liked, perhaps through its relationship to the full range. I believe much the same is true of a lot of fashion items. Here's a display at a Target, shot 'cause I thought it was an appealing image. I'll bet those merchandisers too would like to cut back to the 3-4 colors that account for most sales. Can't be done.
Excellent advice. Both of my teenage grandaughters have expressed an interest in getting a 'real' camera. I've told 'em they are free to choose any of my "spares" (Too lazy to sell ...) I'll try asking what they want to capture, etc. and suggest which cameras might work for that, but no pushing. I'm guessing that how they look will weigh more heavily than what I might say about how they work.* \{;~)> And whatever they may pick, if one turns out to be good and interested in upping their game ... Info, lessons and other equipment might just be available. * If I were choosing that way, I'd be shooting with a black E-PL2 and 14-42 II R. Almost as pretty as a black OM-4Ti with 35-105.
What makes something an Übercamera? Why might I want one? What if one wants an Ünterhund? My $ went for something smaller, lighter, with a smaller sensor; something that meets my personal photographic needs far better than either of these. I used the original 5D as my primary camera for five years. A truly wonderful camera, but larger and heavier than I need/wanted. So I know the physical package intimately, and why I want something else. The Sony has never appealed. It seems aimed at people other than me. I revel in small, light, AF lenses. I have friends who love working with large, heavy, preferably "brass and glass", FF MF lenses on FF Canons and/or Sonys like these. My candidate for Ü-whatever camera of the year is Olympus E-M5 II. For lens, the M.Zuiko 75-300, because the improved IBIS of the E-M5 II and EFC shutter make it like a new lens at the long end.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2015 on Reigning Übercamera at The Online Photographer
Oh dear! I've been resisting for weeks the urge to update my menagerie of µ4/3 bodies. Then John K. praises his pair of E-PL5s and I notice for the first time that the screen hinges up at the top, rather than half way down the back, as the E-PL3, E-M5 and GX7 do. Oly introduced the E-PL6, a '5' with a few software updates, outside the US. Apparently, they didn't sell well, as they recently started selling them here for $299, including the 14-42 II kit lens (which one may sell on to reduce the net cost). That's less than the E-PL5. You should be getting your little spiff for the one coming here. Perhaps others will decide they need one, too. Available through your Amazon and B&H links.
"There was a very successful Kickstarter campaign (the we helped publicize) which resulted in the publication of his first-ever book" Do you mean to say first ever book of his pre millennial lifetime of mostly monochrome work? I know your aversion to flower images (except in SF?) I can understand if you don't much like the almost endless series of books of color images of flowers, shells, foliage, butterflies, etc., that he started around 2000. They look like they may be overdone even for this lover of flower images. But I do think they disqualify the lovely looking 2012 book you reference as being a first ever.
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2015 on Two Recent Deaths at The Online Photographer
You go Guy!!
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2015 on Blog Note at The Online Photographer
"I also learned that, as a rule, camera sales staff sell cameras and do not make images." I have no idea if it is true today. For most of the history of retail camera shops, manufacturers offered "spiffs", cash bonuses to sales people for sales of their equipment. As you might imagine, this had a major effect on what they recommended at any given time. I already knew it, but tales from a close friend as he spent a couple of years behind the counter in the mid 60s further opened my eyes. I don't even think the sales people are necessarily wrong. Most of them know what has been repeated in this thread so many times: it's the photographer, not the camera and that the practical differences between the various major brands were minimal in actually making images. So why not make a little money?
"It's as I've always said: the taming of contrast is the main technical concern of outdoor photographers. Always was, still is." Seems to me that, with proper equipment and technique, that capturing a very wide DR is now possible. The trick now seems to be finding a way to represent it in low DR media that looks natural. Still a difficulty, but the nature of the problem has moved.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2015 on The Photography Critic at The Online Photographer
"Back then, the best digital cameras were barely good enough, and bad ones were, well, just plain awful." Then again, I've spent time looking for ones that were awful in interesting, possibly useful, ways. "It's never mattered much to me what someone else uses to take their pictures with, as long as I'm getting something out of looking at their pictures." Never any snobbery, in any direction, in which images you or I get something out of. \;~)> No matter how dressed up, our preferences, individual or group tastes, are all judgements, and only valid or meaningful within the context of those who hold them. One person's loathsome snap of rubble in an abandoned building is another's wonderful art. It's often fun to explore where our individual tastes do and don't overlap, as in the comments to your Random Excellence post of Juan Buhler's dog in a pick-up back in 2007. We change, too, as we experience the world. We had an [incomplete] interchange of viewpoints about this in "Color Pictures vs. Pictures in Color vs. Pictures of Colors" earlier this year. Then, you experienced something that changed your opinion, or taste, in one area. "I even have to eat some very recent words (written to Moose) because David Boyce sent a print that is almost purely a rectangle of brilliant blue, with just a bit of variation, and I have to admit it really works as a print." I admit my inspiration was physical paintings I had seen years ago, similar affects to which I wished to create. So I had "seen the prints" when I created my web images. You "got" it when you saw a print. Taste is a very tricksy thing. Looking back, I see that this theme of differences in taste/preferences is one I come back to again and again, as in Seeking the Best
"The article assumes the show will be controversial. I don't see why." Sounds more like an attempt at marketing manipulation in the hope that people will think a lot of recycled images are somehow new and startling. I'm not saying anything about the premise, only that it's recycled "news".
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2015 on Hall of Shame at The Online Photographer
"Making a picture that's technically what you want is where photography begins, not where it ends." And that first part is hard.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2015 on Quote o' the Day: Mike at The Online Photographer