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You are certainly not alone, and I suspect you and I aren't the only ones who have had this fantasy. One thing I would add is the ability to save various settings groups, for different uses. My multi-remote for TV/Audio/etc. works that way, setup on the web. (OTOH, it doesn't always do what it's told.) Until then, for those of us familiar with digital cameras in general, I can say how I do it, and remain almost sane. When I get a new camera, I go methodically through the whole menu, end to end, setting things I already know about - Raw, aRGB, and so on. With unfamiliar or unclear, but interesting looking settings, I either note them or research in manual and web immediately. An advantage to this approach is discovering useful functions I never knew existed. The moment I am done with this first pass, I save the settings as Custom1. Based on my research, I may change them, then re-save. That way, when I turn the camera on, it's always set to my personal default. The next thing I do is get to know whatever quick settings tool it has ("OK" on Olympus, "Fn" on Sony, "QMenu" on Panasonic.) Then, if it's customizable, as on Panny, strip it down to the essentials. Once all that is done, there is generally almost no need to dive in to the full menu system again. All those settings for things I don't need or want are still there, but it doesn't matter, 'cause I don't see 'em. Don't let waiting for perfection keep you from enjoying the good.
I see Stephen Scharf's post [Hi!]. I'm not surprised, as he was an early adopter of Canon for motorsports. He was also the one who helped me go Canon DSLR, lending me a D60 for a weekend, so I could test OM glass using a hand made adapter I'd acquired. Proof found in the pudding, I bought the same size 6MP sensor in the original Digital Rebel. Eight happy years with Canon ended with the advent of the Oly E-M5. The mirrorless Canon FF and APS-C cameras were waaay too late to the party for me. µ4/3 and Sony A7 FF bodies were already doing the job.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2021 on Canon v. Canon at The Online Photographer
"This is influenced by technical parameters but is not a technical issue at root. It depends on each specific picture, and how you want that picture to work." Indeed. If I were concerned about tack sharp focus on all three, I'd activate focus bracketing, and make them all super sharp. OTOH, under the above rubric, I notice that the woman on the right, slightly OoF has more attractive rendering. If I were doing it, I'd look for slightly softer rendering for all three.
"Five life points if you know who the cartoon bear was named for." I can't Berra to lose those points! It ain't over 'til it's over, fat lady or not.
". . . a tonal scale that's way too short . . ." I disagree. Look at his other stuff. This guy has a lot of control of tonality. It's my bet that this look is intentional. It's not just short, it's intentionally compressed highlights and shadows around a modestly contrasty mid-range. I wouldn't do it, but I find it quite effective, as art, if not journalism.
"You can't go home to get your camera . . ." There is a solution, just one you haven't been willing to implement. You know what to do! Betweenness might also help. I don't carry a full, "serious" kit everywhere I go. I do carry a 1" sensor Panny ZS200, on belt or in bag. (Think Sony RX100 with longer zoom, more sensible EVF design.) Imagine screeching sound, as Travelall brakes heavily, pulls to side of road, man leaps out, grabs camera on tripod and film holder, scrambles up to platform on top, sets up and shoots. Result - Moonrise, Hernandez, NM. Notice, the gear was ready. Imagine screeching sound, as vehicle brakes heavily, pulls to side of road, Moose grabs camera under his legs, leaps out and runs into woods, yelling "I'll be back!" This is the prelude to some of my very finest landscape photos. I'd show examples, but 470 pixels wide doesn't work for that sort of photos.
"I'm carefully watching the prices of the Olympus E-M1 Mark II* . . ." Gotta watch close. Got mine new for $899 on an Oly three day sale. at the time, that was less than some used ones. Down to $999 everywhere now. ". . . since I still have a complete complement of Micro 4/3 lenses." Complete? [Chuckle] I have owned 30 different µ4/3 lenses. Down to 18 at the moment. "For less than $3,200, you could buy an Olympus E-M1 Mark III and Panasonic-Leica 100–400mm ƒ/4–6.3." Slight mismatch of body and lens. 1. The PLeica 100-400 benefits from sync with IBIS on Panny bodies, but not on Oly. 2. The Oly 100-400 on the Oly body allows Pro-CaptureL. The PLeica only does ProCaptureH, which isn't good for anything that moves. 3. The Oly 100-400 works with their 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. No TCs for the PLeica, and none likely, given the location of the rear elements. I know, you aren't a tele guy. But take it from one, these are significant differences. Preliminarily, it appears my copy of the Oly may be slightly optically better than my PLeica, but: 1. As Ctein said about testing the PLeica I lent him, "Hard to say how good the lens is by any objective measure. It's insanely hard to critically test an optic like that. Stuff that's far enough away that depth of field isn't a problem, there are atmospheric ripples and distortions to deal with at the 400 mm lens. Stuff that's close enough that that's not a problem, I have to compare multiple frames made with the same aperture where I shift to the camera to move the point of focus to different parts of the field of view. It's a pain and not terribly precise." My experience is the same. 2. At long focal lengths, factors other than pure optics become important, and often are more important for quality of details. I could write an essay, with illustrations. Let the OM mount Oly 600/6.5 suffice. As far as I know, only a small handful of people ever got really sharp photos with this lens on OM bodies, using heroic damping measures. On a mirrorless camera, medium tripod, with manual aperture setting, electronic first curtain, let settle for a couple of seconds, remote release - guess what - it's quite sharp!
"The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Aristotle On Sat, Mar 27, 2021 at 11:34 PM Moose wrote (in another venue): It seems to me that there are always at least three versions of any subject. The way it looked to me (or looks to me in memory.) The way it looked to the camera, as converted from Raw with defaults. The way it feels to me. The way I hope will convey to others how it feels to me Remember when we used to think of only the camera rendering as truly "honest"? I certainly recall that as a theme of many photographers. I never really believed it. But until I could manipulate the images on my computer, there wasn't much I could do about it. When I was quite young, early 20s?, I happened onto a gallery of St. Ansel's work in a museum I had gone to for something else. Among others of his iconic images, they had two prints of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico next to each other. I was stunned! the straight print was dull, uninteresting, the exhibition print stunning. I felt that the scene/subject could not possibly have been as dull as the straight print in person, or he wouldn't have screeched to a stop and rushed to get on top of the car with camera for the shot before the light changed. I felt that the great print was possibly over some objective standard of accuracy, assuming such a thing could exist, but an accurate rendition of how it looked and felt to him, at the time." TCQ opineth: "They depict “what the camera saw.” A disturbing form of literalization and diminution of humanity. I propose, oddly enough, that the camera and the human visual system simply do not see the same way. If the photos were made to be viewed by machines, OK. But they are not. If TCQ limited their statement and "Brand" to journalism, I wouldn't be bothered. BTW, anyone who thinks faked photos started with Photoshop, should read Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop, by Mia Fineman. Wonderful book
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2021 on A TOP World Exclusive at The Online Photographer
"Seems like it's mainly a prestige thing to me," I own a Canon 58/1.2 from 1964, optical design from 1962. The Canon History site says: "A standard lens for 35mm SLR cameras with the largest aperture in the world when marketed. . . This is a Gauss type lens with seven elements in five groups." Then, it was indeed about bragging rights. Now, it's part of the menagerie of Bad lenses I keep for their special, optically, uh, different, qalities.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2021 on Do You Own an f/1.2 Lens? at The Online Photographer
"I'd rather shoot with a large single-shot panoramic camera—only then I wouldn't be be doing panos at all." Question of definition? I think of panorama in terms of the format of the result, in some sort of combination with horizontal angle of view, not by the technique that ended up there. And of pano as simply short for panorama or panoramic So sure, I've made lots of panoramic photos by stitching, and many have turned out well. OTOH, the projections used by all purpose apps, such as LR, PS and Affinity, are often inaccurate, vertically bulgy in the center and/or with strange bends in straight lines. It's also easy to make them using Super/Ultra/Hyper WA lenses and cropping. These may easily be much wider than the XPan with 30 mm lens or 6x17 cm on 220 film with 90 mm lens, the old ideas of panoramic to which you refer. With the right subject, it's also possible to use a fish-eye lens and correct to rectilinear with pleasing results. How the sausage was made is of interest to sausage makers. Taste, texture, etc. are what matter the the one eating them. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2021 on The iPhone as Teacher at The Online Photographer
"Who's To Say What Is Really Art?" Me! Me! It's ALL really Art.
"Olympus's "pro" Micro 4/3 camera (also discounted by $1,000 right now) was met with perplexity among customers and ended up being one of its swan-songs." I will eschew the long form essay on the economics and accounting for production, pricing and sales of complex goods like this. Suffice it to say that neither you nor I can have any idea whether the E-M1x is more or less profitable than projected inside the company. Insufficient evidence, way insufficient.
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2021 on Whither Micro 4/3? at The Online Photographer
"Because it was my observation over the years that pointing a camera with an eyelevel finder at strangers in public drew their attention, but pointing a camera using a waist-level finder, while looking down at the camera held in my hands, did not." I realize that this is a fantasy. But I'm having a hard time seeing where it is better in this one particular way than flipping the LCD on the back of my cameras horizontal. Even trickier are the cameras with Twist and Shout LCDs, where the direction I'm looking may be unrelated to the direction the camera is pointing. OTOH, I have a great many street photos of people taken with long lenses, camera at eye level, from Brooklyn to Bhutan. Out of them all, I can clearly see two where the subject realized what was going on, and one maybe. The HC-B short FL model is not the only way . . . My fantasies are less grandious. 1. Get rid of the GX9 tilting EVF (that you loved so much on the GX7.) Despised, evil things. 2. Oly, let the original, film OMs go, and move the on/off switch from it's stupid location that requires letting go of the lens or body to a location operable with right hand finger or thumb! 3. Panasonic, look at others and realize we need a physical, IR or wired remote release, not just WiFi. (Sony gets special marks for the RX10 IV, with a place on the shutter button for old, mechanical releases that screw in.) 4. Whatever other annoyances that a year spent at home has made me forget. 5. Panny figures out a way to make a 1.4x TC for their Leica 100-400 zoom. 6. Some Deity goes back in time and forces all makers of zoom lenses to have them zoom the same way to direction of turning of the ring.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2021 on Digital Dreams at The Online Photographer
'If you're of the "direct unmediated view of the world" school, I doubt you'll get a much better view than this.' To get a "direct unmediated view of the world" I, oddly enough, remove my eye from the VF and look at the world (mediated by the eyeglasses I wear.) When I want to see what will, and won't, be included in the shot, I look through the VF (or at the LCD screen.) I am undoubtedly an outlier, or others like me are silent. \;~)> Yes, I can hold up an OM-1 (even larger view than the OM-4 you recently touted), next to an entry level DSLR, and - yup - the view is way better. But when I look through either one at a subject, all that falls away, and I just see the subject. Yup, the EVF on a Panny ZS40 is objectively crap. And yet, yet, I could see what I was shooting through it, get the framing right, where its LCD, and those of all its competitors without EVFs are hopeless in direct sun. Color me VF agnostic.
"A Greek Egyptian, like Cleopatra" Oh dear. Saith Wikipedia: "Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. As a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek* general and companion of Alexander the Great." As the Ptolemaic dynasts practiced rigid inbreeding, she was almost certainly a direct, blood line descendant of Ptolemy I. "Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her father, then with her two younger brothers and finally with her son) for almost three decades. She was part of a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. " This is of interest to me, as I am a documented direct descendant of her aunt, Cleopatra Selene, and thus almost certainly of Ptolemy I. * "Macedonian Greek". Or Greek Macedonian, as as even before Alexander the Great, Greece was ruled by Macedonia for a long time. Which culture was dominant is a matter of speculation and argument among historians. Cleo was, in any case the descendant of 300 years of Ptolemaic Dynasty rulers in Egypt, and had no hereditary or cultural connection with the Greeks of her time. and a daughter-in-law with way too much time on her hands at one time . . .
"The M510 has a small bluetooth receiver you have to plug into a USB port, which defeats the advantage of a wireless mouse for me since ports are my issue." Slight tech misunderstanding. This mouse, and the majority of wireless mice, those that use a tiny USB receiver, are NOT Bluetooth. They use proprietary coms in the 2.4 Mz band. If it doesn't say Bluetooth or BT, it isn't. So . . . these mice, and keyboards, don't interfere with BT mice and keyboards. I have one of each next to each other on my pad, one for desktop, one for portable when I'm home. They are usually both on at the same time. I've never had any trouble at all. A guess? Neither of your old mice that were interfering with each other is actually BT. I've still had bluetooth issues. and "Also, the M510 requires that it be in an immediate sightline with the receiver unit to work properly" Are you still referring to interference? If so, these statements are contradictory. My experience with several wireless, not BT, mice over the years is that they have to be reasonably near the receiver, but not "in sight". BTW, although not help for your particular situation, the Logitech receiver for your new mouse can handle multiple wireless Logi devices with the one receiver. OTOH, little dongles that make one USB port into several are cheap and transparent.
Toggle Commented Feb 19, 2021 on Mouse and Keyboard at The Online Photographer
"There's a book. (Where there's a book there is hope.)" There's also a new, much less expensive book. I have no idea what's in it, or of the reporduction quality.
All my cameras, Oly, Panny and Sony, have my standard settings stored to C1, and the dial or quick menu set to C1. Several comments to Mr Weese's essay are upset that letting the camera go to sleep or turning it off loses the immediate settings. My opinion is the reverse. I Love that I can be sure when I pick up a camera and turn it on, the settings will be in a known, general purpose state. Gone are the days of forgetting to reset something(s, then getting blindsided later.
A possibly sub-optimal solution: ---------- One ------------- Lead-acid batteries really don't like to be fully discharged. The ones used in cars REALLY don't like it. Even deep discharge models, such as used in boats, RVs etc., age faster if discharged below 25% ~=12.0 v. The model of deep discharge, followed by jump, is a model of short battery life. One of the quirks of my beloved 26 yo convertible is a tendency to randomly empty the battery. Put an ammeter on it, nada, have a shop check it overnight, nada. Use it day to day and happen to leave it unused for a few days and, the other kind of nada. The solution that has finally freed me from this madness for the last three years is a smart Charger/Maintainer like this Press the button against the pool table, the battery starts going down a little, the charger starts up, bringing the battery up to 100% while happily keeping the lights (or whatever) on. ---------- Two ------------- For the specific situation, and for most "dead" battery situations, the thingie you bought sounds fine. But what about when you are out, in the dark, likely somewhere remote, and the battery is actually dead, no 2-3 amps to charge the capacitors? Yup, been there, more than once.* The definitive answer really IS a LiIon Jumper battery. I bought this one (or an identical looking earlier model) from Costco for $50-60. It's been excellent, also starting other cars/trucks than mine several times. People see this little thing, and smile behind my back. Then their vehicle starts right up, and I'm the hero. \;~)> * My huge, old, clunky, lead-acid based jump starter saved those days.
Not Bewitched - But Bothered and Bewildered. My photos are viewed as 900 pixel high web images, 8x10" pages in books and/or up to 16x20 prints. I can't figure out how an MF sensor would improve on the appearance of photos displayed in those ways in any way. I don't know of any photographs I could make with an MF camera that I could not make equally well, by the above criteria, with my µ4/3 gear. The vast majority of the 58,000+ photos I've taken with µ4/3 since 2012 could not, or would not, have been taken, had I been using MF gear. (~6% of those were near 40 mm eq. FL.) If I were gifted with one of theses cameras and a couple of lenses, I'd just turn around and sell them, unopened. I Do have a couple of A7 FF bodies, but those are for exploring and enjoying the unique rendering, with luck, Bad, of ancient vintage lenses for 35 mm film and contemporary LensBabies. Cropping a FF swirly bokeh lens to cut off most of the swirly part by use of a crop sensor body is silly. Even if I could find adapters for eight different lens mounts to a MF camera, and somehow overcome long register distances, I would gain nothing over a FF body but a round image circle and surrounding darkness.
1. Computer brain surgery parts: Old = ASRock Z77 Pro4 MB, Intel i7-3770K 4-core, 32 MB of memory, 500 GB SSD New = ASRock Z490 Taichi MB, Intel Core i9-10900K ten-core, 64 GB memory, 1TB SSD, mondo CPU cooler, as the MB does allow over-clocking. Kept box, PS, Video card, etc. Computation heavy post processing is zippier now. 2. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS Lens, ordered 11/15, arrived only three days after Christmas. Big, heavy, but does something nothing else does. Hope it's worth it. \;~)>
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2021 on What Was Under Your Tree? at The Online Photographer
Last year is simple, my Panny GX9 bodies, @ 11,000+ far and away primary, ZS200, @ 2,500+ secondary. This year is wildly different. The GX9s are still primary, or would be, if I got out of the house and yard. But most of my photography has been secondary. At home, I mess around with various lenses and techniques. Much of that is with FF, MF lenses, from ancient primes to contemporary soft focus. Recent additions to my MF menagerie, such as Contax Zeiss 35-70/3.4, Olympus OM 600/5.6* and a couple of LenBabies have kept me entertained photographically while sheltered in place. Oh yeah, LR reminds me of the mint FF Voightländer 10/5.6 I bought on spec. for when I can travel again. Spectacular hyper wide angle lens. Those are shot on Sony a7 and A7 II bodies, that I count as one for this question. They win a couple of late year months, will probably win Dec. Then there's the Oly E-M1 II, bought on big sale with the specific end of finding out how well their Pro Capture Mode might work for me, once I can travel again. It's up and down after Jul. But how to count it, as it takes multiple frames in Pro Capture Mode, in order to end up with one or two.? If a back ordered lens arrives, it will shoot up. Also, the Sony RX10 IV, bought for a specific trip that had to be cancelled. It dominates Feb-Apr., as I get acclimated to it for the NY trip, then fades away, not to be seen after June. So, the answer for most of this year, is "It depends." * Successful bet on rehab. Bought cheap, opened up, reversed cemented doublet element corrected, sharp and clear!
Quick look at some cameras I have: Panasonic GX9 MENU→ [Rec] → [Photo Style] [Monochrome] Setting that creates a picture using monochrome shades of gray only, such as black and white. [L.Monochrome]* Setting that creates a monochrome picture using rich shades of gray with deep solid black tones. [L.Monochrome D]* Setting that creates a dynamic monochrome picture with emphasized highlights and shadows. Sony A7 II Camera Settings: → Creative Style Black & White → Picture Effects High Contrast Mono Rich-tone Mono Olympus E-M1 II Art Filters Grainy Film I & II and Dramatic Tone II have various sub effects, including Monochrome. _____________________ You may not like this idea, but it is possible to walk out the door with a camera that shoots monochrome and displays monochrome on the LCD as it does so. Is it likely to be as subtle in tonal transitions as a Leica Monochrom? Possibly not, depending on subject. Is it as pure? Well, of course not. Is it imperfect? Sure. The effects are delivered only as JPEGs; Raw files are unaffected. OTOH, if a photo is special, the same effect may be achieved in the brand specific Raw conversion software. Or, of course, the many, many choices in Raw conversion in post may be used. This way answers the desire for a mono camera in use. If the specifics of the results outside of the camera(s) don't please, alternate conversions are available, and automatable. So let's summarize: Leica M10 Monochrom "Leitz Wetzlar", $8,295. Camera you already have, $0 Just sayin'
"Creating a Gallery Wall? Don’t Start Hammering Yet" Well, shoot. I did it without knowing it has a name, nor worrying about how someone else would do it. Also, no hammering, 3M Command picture hanging stuff.
"Pool players know that "the shot after" is statistically more likely to be missed—after you attempt and make a particularly difficult shot, you're more likely to let up on the next one and miss it." Citation please. If you have none, read about the Basketball Hot Hand Fallacy, here or search for it yourself. I suspect you will find that your "day after" phenomenon is a similar fallacy. [Hi Moose, The DAY-after idea was mere speculation, analogizing from the shot-after idea. Citation for the shot-after: If you're looking for something more rigorous, I'm afraid it won't exist. Because not only is there no way to accurately qualify a "hard shot," but different shots create different levels of stress for different players. Some players have good control of their minds, some less so. Obviously all have different skill levels. Who's to say, for instance, whether a tournament setting, or a betting situation, or making a public video creates more stress for a player, for example? So a "seat of the pants" conclusion from experience (and Ralph has a whole lot of experience) is about the best it would get on this. ...Of course that's speculation on my part as well.... :-) Mike]