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UHS-II cards make a huge difference for sequential shots on my Oly E-M5 IIs. For focus bracketing, the even with the fastest UHS-I cards, the buffer fill at about 10-11 shots, and the exposure rate sloooow waaaay down. As I generally shoot hand held and often things that move in even a slight breeze, this was often fatal. With faster UHS-II cards is seems that writing to the card is as fast as images are produced, and I have yet to fill the buffer. ---------- "But I notice it when downloading to the computer: the UHS-II card is definitely much faster." And that's with a regular card reader, I'll bet. You should see the images fly off a Lexar 2000x card using their UHS-II reader - WOW. ---------- "I guess it's obvious which kind I prefer." I have and use those, but little lately. IMO, they are designed backwards. I have for decades had a Millers Falls metal bodied tape where a button on the side releases the tape to rewind. Pull it out and it stays there automatically, 'til told to come back. But I've been unable to find a replacement for the beat up tape itself. Now, glory be, there are new well made tapes that work the same way, Komelon SelfLocks. Nirvana.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Missing at The Online Photographer
"The picture above, for instance, is dead sharp in the middle of the shoreline and a bit unsharp on the edges, both north and south." The camera is not square to the shoreline. Are you sure that this is not, at least in part, DoF? DoF softening that would never have been noticed in prints of any reasonable size from 35 mm film can show up with high MP sensors viewed at 100%. As you say, testing can be a tricky business. [As I say, I just decided to bail and get a lens that the camera's IBIS works with, to better get a handle on that function as I would personally use it. That's all. --Mike]
Monochrome images are highly artificial abstracts of the visual images we see. Grain and noise are technical failures of the imaging device/system. Shallow DoF is an artifact of our imaging systems, not how we actually "see" 3D things. Many photographers decry the loss of these inaccuracies. Perhaps the kind of images you describe depart from "reality" in different ways than the above. Deciding which is more real is more a matter of taste than anything measurable. My personal take is that yes, my "straight" images and those of many others with contemporary equipment and software are truer to the original subjects than before. It seems to me that this distinction is also in a sense a matter of taste. If Picasso tells something about at least some of his subjects that some people find to be "truth", then literal accuracy of reproduction is not particularly important. Some people find my abstract images to contain something important, something that moves them, even though the original subject is often unknowable.
Such an interestingly different take than my personal experience. I suppose that is in part because you are in the position of observer of the behavior of an amorphous group of other photographers via the anecdotal info of reviews, blogs and forums. I really don't understand the complaints about the relatively short life span of digital cameras. For me, it's always been about what I could do with a camera that determined when I switched. A prior camera went on the shelf due to functional obsolescence, not wearing out. Nikon F yielded to the much smaller, lighter OM-1. OM-1 was largely replaced by the TTL-OTF AE of the OM-2n. My long run with the OM-2n yielded to the spot metering of the OM-4. I feel that I haven't changed in this regard, but the rate of additional capabilities in digital cameras has shortened the functional life of my cameras. My first digcam was a Canon S110, a 2 MP P&S. That showed that digital was for real. Stephen Sharf was kind enough to lend me his D60 for a few days. That proved to me that adapted OM mount lenses would work well on a DSLR. Next was a Canon 300D/Rebel with firmware hack to make it in effect a 10D. As I became more adept at digital and post processing and ran up against the limitations of WA on APS-C back then . . . I bought a 5D, which met my needs, in spite of the release of many other cameras, for 5 1/4 years. Feeling the need for a larger LCD and live view, I bought a 60D. Although I got many good images with it, I never really bonded with it. Fortunately, Oly came out with the E-M5. Almost instant affection. After about 10 months, I realized that my personal aversion to changing lenses in the field was making me miss shots. I had just acquired an E-PM2 as casual camera, which also appeared to meet my minimum requirements for serious field use, so I started carrying two cameras, with 12-50 and 75-100 zooms. As the two camera experiment became normal practice, the limitations of the E-PM2, intended only as an experiment anyway, led me to try the new GX7. It happily worked side-by-side with the E-M5 for about 14 months. Then came the E-M5 II, announced Feb. 5, 2015, my first shots Mar, 4, 2015. Headline addition was the High Resolution Mode, but IBIS was improved and there were other operational and ergonomic changes for the better, too. Did I like it? A second one replaced the GX 7 10 weeks later. Then came the really great innovation, with Focus Bracketing in a 9/15/15 firmware update. A new camera without buying one!! Now, with a once in a lifetime type exotic photo trip starting this month I was willing to consider switching to E-M1 IIs. After much research, review reading, image comparison on DPReview's studio subject comparator, and consultation with someone more expert at IQ comparison than I, who had just bought an E-M1 II, and was deciding whether to keep it, I decided that the E-M5 II is actually a slightly better camera for me. Once again, New, Better, Shiny didn't prevail. Model-----------Start---------End--------Years----Shots----- S/Yr 300D--------7/15/2004----5/28/2006----1.87---- 2,378 ---- 1,273 5D-----------5/17/2006----8/10/2011----5.24---- 12,773 ---- 2,440 60D----------4/30/2011-----8/9/2012----1.28---- 6,024 ---- 4,708 E-M5--------7/31/2012-----4/2/2015----2.67---- 12,345 ---- 4,621 E-PM2-------5/17/2013--11/14/2013----0.50---- 4,335 ---- 8,742 GX7--------11/15/2013----1/27/2016----2.20---- 2,378 ---- 1,081 E-M5 II A----3/4/2015----9/15/2017----2.54--- 12,974 E-M5 II B---5/12/2015---9/15/2017----2.35---- 8,670 E-M5s combined---------------------------------- 21,644 Of all these cameras, the only one I was glad to have an excuse to put behind me was the 60D. Perhaps not a mistake, as I don't know what else I might have done, but the closest. All this detail is in aid of providing an anecdotal example of someone who isn't following the scenario you paint, but is, for practical, photographic reasons changing cameras pretty often. I can't believe I'm not alone. An awful lot of what one hears on the web is just empty blather. There are also lots of people who buy, sell and talk about cameras and lenses a lot, while hardly doing any photography. In answer to your indirect question, my history has been something like 2.5 years per primary camera. As to the direct question, I expect an E-M5 III in a year or so, fall/winter 2018, as Oly has announced a slowing of the rate of product introductions. I don't anticipate any other cameras from Panny or other brands that would change that, but who knows? That would mean a run of 3.5-4 years for the E-M5 IIs
"You're buying eight drivers . . ." More is better? Back when I paid close attention to this stuff that was seldom true of multi-driver speakers. The effects of wave interference between a line of identical drivers are notoriously tricky. How good can the drivers be, for that price? I suspect this is another case where it isn't true. The proof would be in the listening. I'll stick with the four drivers in my pair of B&W Nautilus 805s. I see the latest version is even more expensive, 'cause it has diamonds, apparently. But leaving that aside, imagine what it costs to make that incredibly rigid box, with no flat surfaces other than the back to create resonant frequencies. A speaker is also not all about the drivers.
Well, darn! I thought I already had it, maybe even them. Tomorrow, who knows; now, they're in the bag. The camera to come doesn't take pictures. I'm about to head out on an exotic photographic adventure. I've spent a lot of time trying to think of a camera or cameras that would better serve me. Couldn't. There is no perfect camera. There are cameras that do some things better than what I have, but do other things less well, or are in other ways less suitable. It's all about balance. Your "real secret of having great equipment, by the way—use it hard, long, and exclusively, enough that you really get to know it inside and out" is a factor, too.
Oh dear, sorry about your mom, that sounds rough. I don't even know what to wish for you, other than the strength and balance to carry on gracefully through this time. I found those as primary care giver for my mother, but it may have been easier, as her slow deterioration was all physical until the very last few weeks. Even then, it was not dementia or Alzheimer's, just what might be called a loss of interest in the doings of life. Blessings
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2017 on He's Baaaaa-ack at The Online Photographer
Where do I get an intern to keyword all my images? \;~)> A couple of ideas I haven't seen in the comments so far, both using the power of the LR catalog system*: Geocoding - I have been religiously geocoding shots taken away from home for years**. The Maps tab in LR may then be used to find and select all the images taken in any place. I suppose if I were a portrait photographer . . . But most of my work is outside, and moving. This has been a life saver. Metadata - LR allows selecting images based on EXIF data, date (including ranges), camera, lens, focal length, and so on. That often allows finding that elusive image I didn't keyword. Combining the two functions, I can, for example, select all the shots from one small part of a particular botanic garden, in all different visits, then use metadata to select from those by date. ================= * No, I don't like or use LR for editing; I'm a PS guy. That doesn't mean I can't use it for other things. ** I used an i-gotU for years, then mostly iPhone apps, now Garmin Trex 401, for the greater sensitivity, for accuracy under tree cover, etc. LR will do the tagging from GPX file, but I prefer GeoSetter (free).
I seem to have inadvertently stumbled across a Bokeh Monster for µ4/3. I have ambivalent feelings about swirly bokeh images. Some are quite attractive, but, like anything hot, it's been overdone - "If swirl is good here, with this subject, it's good for everything." All the "officially" swirly lenses are designed for FF or larger film/sensor sizes. For good or ill, much of the effect is lost on crop sensors. They are also rather long focal lengths for smaller sensors. Although bought with other ideas, this no name CCTV 25/1.4 lens swirls with the best when wide open. That does require an ND filter in direct sun. Best of all is the price. Rather than trolling for myself, I bought a Fotasy package from of lens and C-mount to µ4/3 adapter for the princely sum of $28, with Prime free 2 day shipping and no tax. Swirl away, MFTers!
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2017 on New Old New Lens at The Online Photographer
A little photoshopping, and that could be the engine for a starship.
Oh the problems of judging thing on screen . . . I wasn't convinced by the JPEG for the original offer. The ~6x8" version in Why Photographs Work changed my mind. I believe I'd like an 11x14" Sure, I'd recommend it elsewhere, although I don't have as many elsewheres as many people.
". . . for the most part I like portraits to be engaging, not chilly—and sympathetic, rather than demeaning or cruel..." "One of my favorite examples of portraiture would have to be Edouard Boubat’s stunning Lella, Bretagne, 1947..." Every opinion is a matter of taste. That seems especially to be the case with portraits. I personally find the above two statements to be at odds, as I find that portrait cold, impersonal, distant, the opposite of a warm, sympathetic portrait. Closer to Liberty in Delacroix' Liberty Leading the People than a "real" person. Perhaps a brave, dedicated member of the Resistance. Of the 20 image examples on the What makes a great portrait? page, I quite dislike most and can say I pretty much like three. Many of the words sound good, but the examples don't work for me. Timothy Archibald says "Everyone seems to know how to play by the rules and follow the structure, but as far as the intangible goes, this third element, that’s where it all falls apart or comes together, it allows the portrait to sink or swim or really transcend." Why would there be rules? Guidelines, perhaps, to help those beginning, or those who need to take pictures of people and can't see without assistance. Rules go against basic artistic instincts. Then he provides an example, with good sounding words "The girls are being photographed, communicating with the viewer, being self aware and being all of these things and more, nothing is very dramatic, nothing heavy handed, but the end result feels utterly profound.", but the image he talks about is a complete failure to my taste, banal, not profound. I don't mean to say that he is wrong, for himself, and some others. I do mean to say that his response is not generalizable. Thomas Broening: "Avedon said that all portraits were accurate and none of them were the truth. They are all in a sense a postulation or an argument. Every-time a photographer points the camera a another person he is making a judgement. The grander the judgement the greater the lie." There seems to me to be a lot of truth in that. For example, Diane Arbus' work seems to me to be an endless repetition of her opinion of life and people. As her outlook is wildly different than mine, I find her work tedious and repetitive. All this seems to me to be generally true of the opinions on that site, words that I may or may not agree with, often do, linked to images that seem to me most often at odds with the words. One Data Point
'"Slow photography" is hip' "Hip" has never stuck to me. To me photography is seeing something, capturing it on film or sensor, taking what the capture medium hath wrought and making it into something more or less like what I saw in the first place. If I had a camera (or ACR, or PS) setting for "What Moose Saw.", I would use that. As I don't, I spend a little to a lot of time on that third step. Sometimes, photography involves noting when the light will be right, and waiting hours to months, sometimes years, for that to occur. It took several days of weather before the almost horizontal sunlight I saw briefly came again. Without that, nothing (Well, OK, not much at 480 px, either, but at least the color is OK.) Other times, it is pure reaction time, as the unanticipated arrives and then is gone. Shooting something else entirely, a shadow passed over my head, and the shot was pure reflex (and AF). I don't see that one is slow and the other fast. Each is what was required to create the image. All the rest, equipment choices, film development, analog or digital darkroom time, and on, and on, are just details, noise that can get in the way of the image. It's the image that matters. If someone likes sitting around, setting up a shot for ages, losing the light, coming back tomorrow . . . More power to them. Like developing film? Nice! But that's all enjoyment of process, not the essence photography. My personal experience is that waiting, getting it right, is more likely to lose the magic, the light, than gain much. But that's just me. (Why won't italic turn off???)
"Do classic boats make you happy?" Yes, because they are pretty. Yes, because they provide interesting photo ops, as in this selfie. No, I don't have huge hands holding a Leica, but my first digicam, a Canon S110. This was my first trip with my now wife. Carol looks pretty darn happy. Always hard to tell with our hostess/driver. But not all women riding in a classic Cris Craft are necessarily happy. I don't know these women, nor know why they were along for the ride. I also don't know if they are naturally grumpy, or were eyeballing the storm clouds, that soon rained on us a little. (Maybe my hat wasn't funny enough?) ============ Final answer to the question: Yes, for about the first half hour, then dashing about on the water starts to pall as entertainment. This was on Moosehead Lake, Maine, which is rather large, and not all served by roads, so a fast boat is useful - and visually a treat. I was a small boat sailor in my younger days - always something happening. Power boats seem to me useful, but generally not interesting.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2017 on Boat Show! at The Online Photographer
"But Merrill Foveon B&Ws are gorgeous. The transparency and smooth tonality cannot be achieved by any amount of post of a Bayer file." There's an interesting question. The HD mode of the top Oly µ4/3 bodies moves the sensor so that each pixel location is sampled by a sensel of each color. In effect the same as Foveon, although achieved quite differently. So there is no demosaicing of a Bayer array, or any array. In color, shooting HD, then downsampling to the normal size results in smoother, more accurate color and quite a bit more fine detail. I wonder what that would do for B&W.
"One argument that I have always found persuasive is this. In-lens systems allow the solution to be tailored to the requirements of that particular lens. The stabilization requirements for e.g. a 35mm lens and a 300mm lens will probably be different because the amount of image movement is likely to be different. Therefore the solution, which should be tailored to the requirement, might also be different." Right; lens focal length is needed. Wrong; the AF lenses and camera bodies communicate, so the IBIS knows the FL. Also: The IBIS systems I know of, Oly, Panny and Sony, all allow the FL of adapted manual focus lenses to be entered. This can be very exciting, and terrifying! I popped the 8 mm Oly Lenscap Fisheye on my E-M5, put it up to my eye, and half pressed the shutter release. Bang, Crash! Camera tried to jump out of my hand - Turn IT OFF! The last non-AF lens I had used on that body was 600 mm. No damage, and I learned my lesson - for now. Less clear is how important focal distance may be. The geometry says it should matter. Oly bodies put focal distance in EXIF* Panny and Sony don't, which doesn't mean they don't know it, at least approximately. And yet, the Oly IBIS I've used with MF lenses has worked quite well. * Not terribly accurate, esp. at closest and longest.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Why Canon Uses In-Lens IS at The Online Photographer
Orthogonal usage alert! I just finished taking the glass out of an old T-mount Weltblick 35/3.5 lens. I've been playing with images taken with larger than pinhole glassless "lenses". The results are very different than one might expect, which I discovered quite by accident while installing a pinhole in a lens cap. My first experiment was with an Industar-50-2. As I had guessed, the front and rear glass modules easily unscrewed, leaving me with just the diaphragm, an adjustable "larger-than-pinhole", with opening range of ~12 to 2.5-3 mm. Calculation showed that a 35 mm lens that closes down to f22 should have a minimum opening of about 1.6 mm. It was harder to get the glass out, but with a stop screw removed, the aperture mechanism can close smaller than the f22 setting, sub mm, I think. It gets asymmetric as it gets smaller, though. If I'm a good boy, stop nattering online, do a couple of chores, and the sun comes out, I may get to play with it this afternoon. (Nice segue around the questions? I never much liked 35 mm on FF film. More a 28 mm guy on film, and zoom starting @ 24 mm -eq nowadays, when I'm not in tele and macro land.)
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2017 on The Best 35mm Lens at The Online Photographer
". . . an entry-level DSLR with a small mirror-box finder? You get a tiny little prison-window-at-the-end-of-a-tunnel view, so small that details can be hard to see" We are not all created equal. My first DSLR was the first Digital Rebel, aka 300D. It had exactly the kind of OVF you describe; others had worse things to say about it. I could sit at home, look through the 300D and an OM-1, and see how vastly superior the OM views I had used for many years was. Yet, in the field, the OVF just disappeared; I somehow "saw through" to the subject, and was never bothered by it. E-M5 II EVF better than GM5? On paper, sure; GM5 has about half the pixels, 2/3 the apparent size. In direct comparison, OK, if you say so, but I just never notice when using the cameras. The eensy little EVF on the ZS50? OK, it's not great - but infinitely better all the same class cameras from others, as they don't have one at all. And it works when I use it. I can see and frame what I'm shooting; at the long focal lengths, aiming is far easier than with the LCD. My only gripe with the Oly, Panny and Sony EVFs I use is the reds. Beautiful fall colors look muddy in the EVFs, somewhat better on the LCDs, but reds are shot on faith. I can't imagine buying any DSLR now. If only just for one thing you don't mention, let alone others - precision focus. The Oly Varimagni is a wonderful little piece of mechanical/optical engineering, solid, bright, clear. Compared to the magnify functions of EVFs, it's 2.5x max is very limited. I always felt I was just making better informed guesses than without it. If mirror or screen aren't perfectly aligned/seated, all bets are off. On tripod or copy stand, the EVFs give precise focus OVFs couldn't even dream of - and it's exactly what you will get, not an estimate.
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2017 on Why Buy a DSLR? at The Online Photographer
"The distortion at 12mm is enormous . . . but corrects well, albeit with consequent loss of view angle and edge sharpness. " The loss of angle of view is avoidable. DxO Photo Pro corrects by outputting a file larger in pixel dimensions than the input. PTLens can do much the same thing, for less money and a bit more fussing. I wrote a little about this, with examples, on Christmas, 2015 and Kevin Purcell commented further. Since then, I did a more detailed comparison between correction methods, happily with the 12-32 lens that's the subject here. Unfortunately, explaining everything that's going on in those images, some pretty subtle, requires about 900 words, a bit lengthy for this venue. But it should be obvious from the images alone that the cropped AoV of in-camera JPEGs, ACR/LR, Viewer 3 and Silkypix, is not the only way.
". . . thinking I would get both better IQ and about the same IBIS. I was wrong: in my experience (or my camera sample) the Sony IBIS is almost like a placebo in the sense sometimes one doubts it's making anything. I made some tests and confirmed that I only gained 1 stop in the best scenarios but mostly half a stop with IBIS on, hardly worth it." It's physics and the relationship between linear dimensions and area. Making the possibly unwarrented assumption that the two sensors weigh about the same per area, the FF would weigh four times as much. Then, for the same amount of correction at the same AoV, that heavier sensor has to be moved twice as far. Accelerating 4x the mass and then stopping it over twice the distance, in the same time, is more than 8x the work. A proper engineer, not me, could tell you what that amounts to. To match the performance of the E-M5, let alone the better E-M5 II or even better yet E-M1 II, would require really big, powerful movement hardware. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole camera shook. I've made this suggestion to friends who find the idea of FF with IBIS seductive. Sorry you found out the hard way.
Toggle Commented May 27, 2017 on New Bird at The Online Photographer
"...What do you think?" I think it should look like this. Well, not exactly; a working GX8 should do better than this PS hack. There's also a bright line/halo along the tree line. And a lot of noise overall. ========= I'm not sure it's the right camera for this area, which seems to call for more horsepower . . . This mystifies me a little. What sort of horsepower do you need? You are publishing technically weak iPhone images here. A GX8 would be far better. . . . a Nikon 1 would be better, or the toy Pentax, any number of P&Ss, including those like the Panny ZX50 that I use for casual outings, which has an actual EVF. Take that shot with a GM1 with 14/2.5 and you get the same view, with far, far better IQ. That combo is much smaller in length and width than the 7s, albeit much thicker. Actually a much better fit in my jacket pockets. Had you taken Keuka in the Rain, with any 20 MP µ4/3 camera, you would have an image you could print beautifully to at least 16x20. I've got beautiful landscape 16x20s from the 16 MP E-M5 II. [Well, two things. One, I'm trying to review the iPhone 7 camera, which means I have to use it. And two, I didn't mean to be out photographing—I was on my way home from a meeting, and got stopped in my tracks—literally—by the beauty of the light. After stopping to take one picture, I got going, and photographed on till almost dark. Yes, I would have loved to have an E-M5II along, but I...didn't. --Mike]
Toggle Commented May 27, 2017 on New Bird at The Online Photographer
With the E-M1 II, Olympus introduced the ability to save settings, and the three sets of custom setting, to any computer storage device. The latest firmware update has added that ability to the E-M5 II, again including the four sets of custom settings, called MySets on that body. A HUGE improvement over notebooks, etc. One may not only reset the camera, then restore all one's settings, but one might have alternate sets of settings saved.
"I always took it as a sign of ineptness on Sony's part that people rather use old manual focus lenses rather than their OEM offerings." You may misunderstand what's going on for many people. I have several friends who want nothing more than a good FF back for their beloved old manual FF glass. They are essentially brand agnostic for the "back", sometimes rabidly brand loyal for the old glass, and completely uninterested in the AF lenses for the back. Many were/are using Canon DSLRs, the almost universal recipient for MF lenses, as digital backs. As the only mirrorless FF body, with it's short register distance, the A7 line is the new universal recipient. Focusing aids in live view make these lenses much easier to use well on mirrorless than DSLRs The addition of IBIS makes the Sonys the only real choice for lovers of old glass who want digital backs. Various problems such as stack thickness, cover glass and other imperfections leave many unhappy and/or undecided. Various patents lead to rumors and hopes for another player to get into FF mirrorless. Should that happen, with internal design more favorable to MF glass and as good/better IBIS, these hordes* will abandon Sonys like hot potatoes. Me? I like crappy old glass with interesting flaws, LensBabies, soft focus lenses, old Nikkor Soft filters and such for the Alt parts of my photography. My A7 is perfect for that. I don't care about IBIS or IQ effects of stack thickness. I can't imagine what I would do with a Sony AF E-mount lens, well, sell it. * Well, . . .
". . . in the emerging larger-than-full-frame / cropped medium-format sensor camera realm." Ken's descriptor is accurate, but awkward. Mike likes to define things. What's the TOP approved naming convention to be? FF+ MF- Mutt FF sliced in half is half-frame. 645 is really half-MF, 6x9 cut in half. To me, 6x6 is the smallest that really deserves the MF name. Using frame height, to minimize format proportion differences, 44x33 is 37% larger than FF, and 45% smaller than 6 cm wide formats, so I'd vote for FF+. The Phase One 53.7x40.4 format could then be MF-
How appropriate. So far, whatever laws govern increases in storage capacity and the number of images I produce are working together well. My several year old 3 TB image and back-up drives are nearing full. The replacement 6 TB WD Blue, for back-up, is sitting on my desk; the 6 TB WD Black, primary, should be arriving this afternoon.