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For a more detailed, and nuanced, take, Thom Hogan has weighed in.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2019 on Dire Predictions at The Online Photographer
If you change the question slightly "Do Professionals Use Pro Gear?", the language problem comes clearer. "Pro" may at one time have simply been shorthand for "Professional". But practical usage has moved on. "Pro" means something like "as good as a professional", when applied to practitioners, "what professionals use and/or of the level of quality they use, or that we imagine they use", when applied to gear and materials. When I did the exercises in PS from PopPhoto "Expert" column and got obviously better results*, I was not a professional, the journalist/expert was, because he/she got paid, albeit for shoddy work. Thus, I might claim to be more "Pro" than the professional. There's a guy in Bar Harbor, Maine with a storefront on the main street. He's a good photographer and printer, and indefatigable. Yet, my friend Bob, who for a few years sold "pretty pictures to tourists", too, is at least as good a photographer, and a better fine printer. He recently gave up that business as not worth the effort and embraced retirement. Bob was more "Pro", in terms of the final prints, and the other guy more "Professional", in that he makes a living at it. * Doesn't matter to the writer, job long ago done, paid for and the one for two or three issues in the future in process. Pleasant brush offs.
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2019 on Do Pros Use Pro Gear? at The Online Photographer
Apropos many, many previous comments, it's possible that a narrow view of an international market misunderstands what Oly is trying. Ctein wrote: "One thing neither of us knows is what the world market looks like for those huge boat anchor cameras with bottom battery packs. It could well be that they are a lot more popular than either of us know. I gave up trying to figure out what the market wanted a decade ago, when it became clear that foreign markets, about which I knew nothing, were often very different. To give two examples, Leica [SL] and Pentax's [D645] super-SLRs, which turned out to have very big followings among the upper classes in China and India, respectively. As percentages of their population, their upper classes are much smaller than in the Western world, but a small percentage of a billion people is a very large number of people. . . . it may turn out that we are not the audience." I'm certainly not the audience, and am moving away from Oly bodies, but I'm only my story, not the international market.
Toggle Commented Jan 28, 2019 on 4-Cylinder Ferrari? at The Online Photographer
The perfect camera bag exists - then it doesn't, then, perhaps after a long hiatus, another one does. It's not that the bags go bad. It's not my fickle taste, it's the equipment that changes. Latest of a long line for me . . . I had the perfect camera bag (a Tenba, no longer made, of course.) Then a PLeica 100-400 replaced my Oly 75-300, and the combination was too tall. Now, I have another Tenba, and it's close, but getting the height gave me width I don't need. Fortunately, Tenba makes the camera holder a separate thing, so I removed it from the first bag, and it's now my favorite second carry-on item. Do you live in striking distance of a real camera store? Bags are one of those things best found with gear in hand from a wide selection in person. BTW, I don't understand Domkes. What is with those metal clips? They pinch my fingers and scratch furniture. And, like LowePro, big name labels, some removable with mild violence, some not. Why not put on a label that says "I'm a camera bag, steal me!"
Toggle Commented Jan 14, 2019 on Lowepro and the 'T' Bags at The Online Photographer
". . . my bread-and-butter 12–35mm ƒ/2.8 II. Again, the Oly version might have a bit of an edge, but I like my Panasonic lens." I too would choose that over the Oly for the G9. Turn on the OIS on the lens body, IBIS in the body and enjoy the even greater IS of what Panny calls "Dual IS".
Whom Standards! Even better, To whom . . .
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2019 on 25 List Done? at The Online Photographer
". . . if some offered you either a brand new Fuji GFX 50R or a Nikon Z7 and two or three lenses to use for free for the next three or four years, which of the two would you say yes to?" Neither, or, if gifts, whichever one I could sell for the most $$. No, not being snarky, just straightforward. The lenses needed for my photography are either not available or far too large and heavy for these systems. I hate changing lenses in the field, slow and clumsy, missed shots, dust, dropped gear, etc. Yet I regularly use FLs from 14-800 mm -e. Here, about to go on a small boat tour of the Essex River Estuary, I am shooting with GM5/7-14 in hand, E-M5 II/12-60 and E-M5 II/100-400 around my neck. That may not fit other's needs, but it's my way. Yes, I have a FF mirrorless, the original A7, which I use for Alt photography with old or alt lenses, such as the 1962 Canon 58/1.2, ~1970 Tamron 28/2.8, Lensbabies, and so on. I can't see how either of those cameras would improve on it for my purposes.
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2018 on Camera of the Year? at The Online Photographer
[It's not a "monster." It's a medium-sized camera, neither large nor small. It's about the size of a Canon Rebel or a Pentax K-3 II. Your IMO and my IMO differ. In my gear, GM5, GX85, E-M5 IIs, E-PL7 and original A7, it would stand out as huge. And there are certainly lots of small options in Micro 4/3 if that's what one wants. People can choose what suits them...as you did. Are you suggesting that ALL Micro 4/3 bodies MUST be small? I don't see why that should be. --Mike] My complaint is that the smaller µ4/3 cameras seem to be becoming second tier. From my perspective, the E-M5 II gave away nothing in capability to the E-M1 in return for it's smaller, lighter form. Where is the 20MP E-M5 III, with 1/60 sec. HR Mode? I know I'm not the only who's been waiting for it. Why is the GX9 only sold in a kit with their consumer grade 12-60? I am relatively VF agnostic; I can live with the GX85/GX9 EVF. Lack of a wired remote release socket is annoying (the GX7 had one), but I can use the WiFI. For many folks, shortcomings like these will put it in the entry level/toy category, in spite of its equal image quality. From here, it seems that µ4/3 is running away from its original promise - and my many years of happiness with it. In the CameraSize link you shared, look at the front view; look at the sensors. Both cameras have 5-axis sensor shift IS and equal EVFs. What is Panny doing with all that size? Sure, make monsters like the E-M1X, but how about your best tech in smaller bodies, too?
"I actually do prefer a Micro 4/3 or APS-C camera over a 24x36mm. Obviously this is becoming a minority preference." Might you be conflating internet chatter with actual (and potential) sales? Lets see what it looks like after they've all been actually available for a year. You and I may not be the only ones who prefer the smaller formats*. \;~)> * Although for somewhat different reasons.
"My 24–70mm FOV equivalent lens is smaller than a medium-speed Nikkor prime." But - why is the camera larger?? "It makes the whole package much more right-sized IMO." Obviously, opinions vary. A monster, for no discernable technical reason, IMO. For me, right size for µ4/3 is around E-M5 II, GX9 size. The GX9 is, BTW, a Gear of the Year choice @ DPR. Oly is on the bandwagon, too, BIG, PRO, $$$, with the forthcoming E-M1X. I imagine the driving force behind it and the sudden plethora of FF mirrorless bodies is a search for better margins. [It's not a "monster." It's a medium-sized camera, neither large nor small. It's about the size of a Canon Rebel or a Pentax K-3 II. And there are certainly lots of small options in Micro 4/3 if that's what one wants. People can choose what suits them...as you did. Are you suggesting that ALL Micro 4/3 bodies MUST be small? I don't see why that should be. --Mike]
"Easy to toss around turns; more figuratively, easy to drive free and loose." Have you ever driven a 911? From what era? I owned a '71 for several years. You didn't toss those around turns at speed. While not exactly squirrely, it was unlike any front or mid engined car, and it was certainly possible to lose it. Overcooked it into a turn? Don't touch the brakes, unless you want to spin off into the woods! If the rear starts to feel loose, apply just a little power, and feel it tuck back in. More recent models don't do that, of course, with larger tires, better suspensions and electronic stability control. OTOH, they are much larger and heavier; I don't imagine them to be very tossable. The Boxster is tossable, but it felt claustrophobic to me and had much less storage space than even a 911. The 911 has an image as a high performance car that should be fussy. I drove as my day to day car, kid seat in the back sometimes, a big grocery shopping trip of bags fit on the folded down back seats, it ran fine in traffic, and so on. The clutch was very touchy when I got it. when it wore out and I had it replaced, Horst said one part had been in backwards. New clutch, properly installed, and that was smooth, too. [An early '70s 911 almost killed me once...we just missed the tree...and I mean just.... --Mike]
"I could use it to justify a 35–100mm ƒ/2.8 II*.... *Here's why I want one over the Olympus 40–150mm" Further reason could be the Dual IS of the Panny lens on Panny camera body. Same thing in reverse, no Oly Sync IS with an Panny OIS lens on an Oly body.
" What I need to do is find my genius, in that antiquated sense of the word." Uh, how about Photography Writer and Blog Host? It seems to me that you are pretty darn good at that. Nothing about that meaning of genius that requires that it mean fame, fortune, or even economic survival. Think of the number of people, especially in the arts, who are highly talented, have a great genius, and also need day jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables. You might even consider yourself lucky, as your genius has supported you for many years. \;~)>
"Panasonic GX85 ($598 with 12–32mm lens—body not available separately): Currently a leader in the "better than a phone" entry-level category. Simple, small, modest in all ways, easy to use—it's also very capable and gets unusually high marks from owners, even very experienced photographers. They tend to love it. You should listen." I'm always a little baffled by lists like this. Informative, in a broad sense, but I wonder how many readers are looking to buy into a new camera system from scratch. Can't say I'm interested in any other systems, but I did just buy a sale GX85 and can give a lot of info about it and it's place in the µ4/3 stills world. Back when I was carrying an E-M5 I and GX7 side-by-side, I never did choose a favorite between them. The E-M5 II with Focus Bracketing and HR Mode broke that tie, and I haven't looked back until now. I know the Oly IBIS was supposed to be better, more axes, but in practice, I never saw that, and I used the 75-300 extensively on both. Once, I thought I had a clear example, and it turned out at the pixel level to be slightly different focal planes in a complex, 3D subject. Neither one was more correct. And so on. The GX8 was larger and heavier, and sans HR and Focus Bracketing, I loved the E-M5 IIs, so I didn't pay much attention to Panny bodies. I also found their naming confusing, and the GX 85 is no exception. Panny doesn't build the model name onto their bodies; it's only on a sticker on the bottom. What I bought as a GX85 is a GX7 II in Japan and a GX80 outside of Japan and NA. It really is like a GX7 II or II+. Compared to the GX7, virtually identical size, weight, layout and: + 5 axis IBIS + DFD focusing - With Panny lenses only, it knows the characteristics of OoF images and can predict how far and in which direction to move focus. Supposed to be quicker than Oly CDAF, slower than the PDAF of the E-M1 series, and same for tracking moving subjects. Pretty much confirmed by reviews. + Focus Bracketing, with a second mode/order added to Oly's. + 4K video with Post Focus stills + UHS I - Tilting EVF. (Which matters to Mike, and not to me.) In addition, it does Dual IS, syncing IBIS with lens OIS, only with Panny lenses. But wait! My two most used, by far, lenses are Panny, PLeica 12-60 and 100-400. I've not been too concerned with the far reaches of IS, as subject movement is usually my limiting factor. But better IS certainly wouldn't hurt. So, the GX85 is a HUGE step up from the GX7 (and GX8), and perhaps a better camera for me than my E-M5 IIs. While I do consider HR important, the versions to date are only for static camera and lens. Truth is, I only really use it for lens testing, and never in the field. The GX9 is, by comparison, a small step up, adding the 20 MP sensor that Ctein found added little in the E-M1 II, Bluetooth as part of remote control app, the tilting EVF from the GX7 and an improved menu system. IS is hard to test, I think, as the correction is for an irregular problem that varies with user, shutter speed, environmental factors and time. A quick trial suggests that the GX85 with Dual IS is about 1.5 stops better than the E-M5 II @ 400 mm, 20+ foot subject and speeds in the 1/5 to 1/25 range. Focus Bracketing certainly works. It offers bracketing from chosen focus toward infinity or alternating from further to closer, further yet to closer yet . . . The latter looks like it would save me from the too common missing of closest point of the subject, at the expense of lots more shots to toss. Down sides: No HR mode No wired remote shutter release. I didn't realize this until I went to do Focus Bracketing tests. The only remote release is via the phone app. Annoying. Tilting LCD. Not too bad. I have a love/hate relationship to articulated LCDs. Crappy for simple up or down, compared to tilting, but much better for odder set-ups. Loss of my beloved Mysets activated by Fn Buttons. May be inevitable, as they are gone on the E-M1 series. Bottom line: Not determined. I'm going to work the GX85 into my normal photography to see if better IS, faster focus, different Focus Bracketing win out. Another alternative could be the G9, better features in a bigger, heavier body. Quick summary: G9 = GX9 in big, weather sealed body + HR Mode ± top plate LCD + Better EVF + 1/8000 + UHS II + bigger battery + articulated LCD + remote control socket + three custom mode settings on Mode Dial. I think it would beat out an E-M1 II for me, if I give in to big.
Panasonic GX85 ($598 with 12–32mm lens—body not available separately)" A much better deal for the next couple of days is the body, 12-32 and 45-150 lenses, SD card, bag and UV filter at B&H for $498. If the lenses are excess, as they are to me, ship 'em off to KEH and get $138 back, for a net body cost of $360, a serious steal on a good camera.
Lovely Rant! "I'd own both. Old, bad lenses and new, super-sharp, hyper-clinical ones. One for fun. The other for fun." Oh, I do I do. I also own some in between, for things the others don't do. That's fun, too. \;~)> ". . . you can use any lens you want to on a digital sensor . . . If it's a good sensor, it will merely capture whatever the look and properties of the lens happen to be." Not universally true. Some combinations of MF lenses designed for film and some digital sensors do not duplicate the look and properties of the lenses on film. I'm aware of several examples from friends and the web. Particularly true, it seems, of many (S)WA lenses. My particular example was a Tokina AT-X 150-500 mm lens. I had some good results on film. I was unable to get anything that didn't look like impressionism on Canon 300D and 5D.
The thing about 40 mm lenses for FF film SLRs is that they were the shortest FL for most camera designs that would clear the mirror without using a retrofocus design. The differences you saw between the 40/2 and 35 or 28 mm likely were due mostly to the big difference in the optical designs. A 40/2 will tend to draw/look like a wider 50/1.8, as they are both six element Double Gauss based designs.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2018 on Zeiss Batis 40mm ƒ/2 at The Online Photographer
"Culturally, we do seem to be involved in a project—the project of asserting that there's actually some sort of pot of gold at the end of the "technical image quality" rainbow." Thought experiment: You are a painter, perhaps one of those we now call Old Masters. Someone comes to you with a new pigment. You try it. Wow! You can now create that elusive color you've been unsuccessfully working on for years! You buy it, and make a painting that's been in your mind, but that you couldn't make before. Later, working on another painting, you discover this pigment, perhaps reacting with another color, perhaps in a new binder, does something on canvas that you had never before imagined, and which takes you to a new creative result. The movie Tim's Vermeer makes a good case for the idea that Vermeer's unique paintings were in large part the result of technological innovation, not technique superior to his peers. That's my angle on the tech changes - improvements of the digital era. There are many kinds of photographs that I wished to make, going back to the '60s, but could not. Quite a number of them are now possible. It works the other way, too. I've been working to create looks that are far from the kind of super IQ you talk about. Some quite specific in my mind, at least to start with. But they tend to slither along the way. A '60s Canon 58/1.2, some other pre computer design lenses and the Nikon Soft filters I was unaware of when they first came out have gone a long way toward my goal. Then, on the new tech side, a digital FF camera and contemporary image editing software have made the process of trial and error seemingly infinitely quicker and cheaper and allowed effects impossible before. The point is, one may look at technological change as driving the artist away from the point of art, as you posit above. Or as providing new tools that allow the creation of otherwise impossible art, or that may lead to the new and previously unimagined. The creative aspect of the unconscious is not always, perhaps seldom, permanently subverted by the preoccupations of the conscious intellect. You have your own idea of what our subconscious(es) should be creating. It/they may disagree.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2018 on Best Comment Ever at The Online Photographer
"Canon has a long and distinguished history with superfast lenses." Long, certainly, with the 1961 design 58/1.2. Distinguished? I have the same glass in FL mount. If one is interested in sharpness and low aberrations, they are not to be found north of f5.6. Then again, it was the fastest standard lens made at the time of introduction. I love it for the soft look for some of my Alt work, but even then, f1.2 tends to be an aperture too far.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2018 on Canon Too! at The Online Photographer
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz * However, I am sometimes a compulsive reader, hence: "The adapter, which is built from magnesium alloy and is weather-sealed, also incorporates a 1/4"-20 mount on the base to provide a more balanced means for working on a tripod with longer, heavier lenses." Watch out for this one! I have a similar design adapter for different mounts. Excellent in theory. But, mount a QR plate on either body or adapter, one that protrudes the least bit beyond the thing it's mounted to, and the adapter can't be mounted or dismounted without removing the plate. Terribly frustrating! If I needed to use it more than once in a Blue Moon, I'd replace it with one sans tripod mount on the bottom. This one will be fine if using only F-Mount lenses, but if considering a mix of F and Z mount lenses, check your QR plates against Z body and adapter. Unfortunately, as with the P1000, there are no photos of the bottom of the camera that I can find on the web. ----------- * I do have an early '60s Nikkor-Q 200/4 F-Mount. Optically wonderful, but it's pre-AI**, fully non-electronic. ** When AI meant Auto-Indexing, for the exposure meter.
"But either way, it's not the salient point to me. I want photographers to be served with what would enable them to do good work more effectively. That's where I'm coming from." ". . . or with some other workaround." I take your point, overall, but it seems to me you've gone overboard in the effort to have a long list. What's a "workaround"? "Cameras that are radically simple and de-complexified;" Don't they all come with an "iAuto" Mode these days? Spin the dial to that, and just push the button to take a photo. Or in the other direction, they all come with full Manual Mode, as well; watch the exposure meter display and set speed and aperture. It's like my first real camera, a Nikon Ftn, or my second, an OM-1. I could even only change ISO every 36 exposures! "Cameras with built-in memory;" Huh? Just put a big card in and never look at it again. Have them do it in the store or have a friend do it, then forget it. I just checked. My Olys will work fine that way. Just plug in the USB cable to download the photos. Or use the smart device app to have them appear on your device and send them off into the ether. Slow and limited, to me. Downloading a few hundred files with a UHS II card and reader is almost infinitely faster. And I have been known to need to change cards in the field. But, really, it's a non-issue. "Cameras with modern sensors that have web-only resolution, i.e., two, four, six or eight megapixels; A camera or two with a square sensor...." "" Many contemporary cameras come with the option to set the resolution, in both number of MPs and format. No, OM-Ds don't, but at least many Pannys and Canons do, and probably others. Want a 480x480 pixel camera? Just have that friend or store clerk set it, or dive into menus once, and you've got it. "Cameras that dispense with JPEG modes and options to reduce menu and processing complexity;" Hey, it's a menu option, set once and forget. I never shoot JPEGs. I never use JPEG modes and options. I never think about them. ----------------------- Might That be the problem, head space? Is it necessary that the unused options Not be there at all? Oh, that sounds snarky. It's not meant to be. It's just that I don't "get" the need for dedicated cameras to do what most can be set to do. Set and forget, if one wishes.
"The question for me is, are there photographers out there for whom the small viewing screens of existing cameras aren't big enough, whose work would benefit from being able to see their subjects more clearly with a much larger viewing screen?" If so, and they don't have a solution already, they aren't paying attention. There are already several solutions on the market. Those I know best and have used are Oly Panny and Sony. Herewith the Panny app being used on an iPad Mini to remotely control a GX7. I could just as easily have used and Oly camera and their app. Both offer control over all exposure settings. I could also have used a larger tablet, such as an iPad Pro. The Sony app is a bit more bare bones, but does work reliably on my A7. I was just looking at the Nikon app, for a P1000, and it does look primitive, largely useless, hence the opportunity to sell a special IR remote control. (With receiver only on the front - stupid.) I have no idea how the Canon, Fuji, etc. apps work. Then there's the Arsenal camera remote control for ". . . most Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony DSLR and mirrorless cameras." It looks to go far beyond remote control, with its AI Smart Camera Assistant, and things like focus stacking on cameras that didn't come with it. I have no idea what remote control they may offer, but there are many large auxiliary LCD screens offered for video use. Speaking of taking a chance on an innovative product, how about the Olympus Air? This is a camera without a screen. 57 mm in diameter and 83 in length, with a lens. It's tiny, but has the same µ4/3 sensor as an E-M5 II. There's a simple, effective mount on the back to hold a smart phone, but it can easily work with any iOS or Android tablet. The wireless connection uses both WiFi and Bluetooth, and gives seamless viewing and control. Yes, the concept is flawed - with Oly's lenses; the camera is too small to include IBIS and it desperately needs it if used hand held. Fortunately, the Panny 12-32 zoom is the same diameter, tiny and includes OIS. The matching Panny 35-100 zoom also is a good fit with OIS. There were several reviews, here from Imaging Resource. BUT, someone tried making and selling it! And I tried it. It does work well. Have they flown off the shelves - no. Has it led to another product from Oly or others - not yet.
"Stop assigning godlike omniscience to corporations" Almost fell off my chair! I worked for a Fortune 500 company for 31 years. Any clue that top management had about consumers was rare, possibly accidental. Many moons ago, I managed a research dept. for them. One of our jobs was to estimate sales of new outlets. Our average was quite close to actual sales, but the standard deviation was poor. Mysteries remain. "The BMW 3-series has a long history of success**, so Lexus builds a nice 3-series clone called the RC-F. High-performance car, gorgeous interior; doesn't sell. Why? No one knows." Can you spell U-G-L-Y? I didn't pay much attention until I had the chance to test drive a Toyata Mirai fuel cell car. Whatever Toyota has, I hope isn't catching. their cars seem to only vary from pretty ugly to amazingly ugly. If your are going to clone a competitor, catch the look and vibe, too. "the upshot of which is that Sony has surpassed Canon and Nikon in U.S. sales of full-frame cameras, reportedly in both dollars and units sold" So glad to hear that! Not about the fortunes of those companies, though. I just couldn't figure out why people weren't migrating from DSLRs to mirrorless in greater numbers. Seems it turns out they are!
As Mr. Arthur points out, this is an example of Alces Alces, known as Moose in America and as Elk in Europe. They don't have the other sorts of NA Elk in Europe. So Soviet Era Russian, concrete and overly noble. Herewith an American, Maine moose, in both a more American pose and material - AND - it can fly!
"In the Wildfire portfolio, note especially photo #11. That's the overpass from which Ansel Adams took his famous picture "Clearing Winter Storm, 1935." Drat, ever the pedant. Not an overpass, the Tunnel View Overlook, parking adjacent to the east end of the tunnel on the Wawona Road. One may also use long lenses from this overlook. \;~)>