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"In RAID 1, two identical drives are linked together in the same volume, which are often placed in the same enclosure." Therein lies the rub; whatever external thing happens to one disk happens to them all. Randomly Accessed Moose Disks is a system which also uses two identical disks. One lives in the computer, the other lives in a fire resistant little safe - at the other end of the house. No, not automatically up-to-the-instant. Yup, requires me to manually plug the backups into the "toaster" and run the backup. Yes, I could lose some work, although not originals, as I make sure to back-up before formatting any full flash card. Also, the B-U disk has never run for more than a v. few hours, by the time it is replaced with a larger one. In RAID arrays, the disks wear/age identically. I do this for four different disks, including an SSD clone of the SSD boot drive. So far, AFAIR, the photography pairs have been 750GB, 1.5 TB, 3 TB and now 6 TB. With each upgrade in capacity, the old set has moved down the totem pole to the next category of stuff, with the hardly used B-U becoming primary.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2019 on RAID!!! at The Online Photographer
"I use almost none of the complex offerings, though I will say that eye-autofocus on the Sony A9 is a game changer." JOHN GILLOOLY And there you have it: eye-autofocus means nothing to me, but focus stacking has been a game changer, a whole new world of photographic possibilities. Poll your readers on game changers, and you'll end up with a camera with all the "excess" features and complexity you complain about. As others have already have pointed out, choosing options on the camera isn't economically feasible. However, choosing at what level of automation to use it, which features to use and which to turn off/ignore is a set of options, all for far less $$ than custom optioned cameras would cost.
Dennis hit the nail on the head in this household. "As an aside, I truly believe that many people do not think that their phone is a 'good enough' camera (how many times do you read that phones are good enough for most people)—it's just that the ease of use/sharing is worth the compromise. I think a lot of people who shoot phones as their primary camera would love a better camera in their phone" My wife is bugging me for a new phone before our trip to Bhutan. Why? For better camera(s). She's perfectly happy with all the other functions. Why not the photographically far superior high end P&S I offer? It doesn't allow quality viewing and/or sending to others. Some newer bodies allow saving JPEGs to the phone/tablet connected via WiFi or BT - but it's just too klugy/non-transparent for her.
I've got a simple, possibly silly, question, Mike. Have you ever gone out for a day's shooting with a camera set on full Automatic? My Oly and Panny* cameras call it iAuto, Sony and Canon, simply Auto, generally highlighted relative to the other Mode settings. These Modes look to be very sophisticated in analyzing the subject and optimizing the settings. Well, of course you have, that's way your iPhone works; that's why it's so easy to operate. You need to download special apps to get more control. But have you done it on a real camera? ". . . the darn things got more challenging than they are rewarding." My assumption is that the Auto modes are meant to be the antidote to the complexity offered to folks like me in return for the flexibility to take photos I otherwise could not. I freely admit I've not tried them, but they weren't meant for me. Perhaps the Mode dials should be hidden, or act like keys, removable; maybe require a password to activate for anything but Auto? I wonder what proportion of these cameras are never used with any other settings? And perhaps how many more should be. \;~)> * Panny adds an iA+ Mode option.
Apples to Oranges. Like comparing a crop sensor camera to an MF camera. Wildly different sizes and "horsepower". Put all the special features you want on a µ4/3 or APS-C camera, and it still doesn't have a big sensor, if that's what one needs/wants. The comparable Toyota is (or was?) the Land Cruiser. There are also smaller Land Rover models, possibly more comparable to the RAV4. I know no details about either, other than seeing them on the road. I did check out an RAV4 years ago. It was quite a small vehicle. I have no knowledge, nor wish to have any, about the details of SUVs. (What I DO know is that Hertz tried like crazy to put us in an SUV for a month in New England, in spite of our reservation for a large sedan. But, they take the cargo area covers off, so all our stuff would be in view as, for example, when parked at some obscure trailhead. The eventual Chevy Impala was the perfect rental for us.)
I'm very happy with less gear, more pictures and discussion/thoughts about photography. One problem with gear posts is that any one of them will only be of interest to some portion. probably less than a majority, of readers. Posts about DSLRs, mirrorless Fujis, Canon's and Nikons, digital MF may get scanned, if I'm eager for photography stuff, but then they just go straight into the mental bit bucket here. Another, from my viewpoint, is that cameras are currently complex enough that giving a review that's really complete is essentially impossible. For example, none of the reviews I've seen, and I was looking, of the recent Panny G and GX bodies even mention that they have added focus stacking, let alone that they have added an option to it beyond what the originator, Oly, provides; an option that so far appears to make a big positive difference to me. Other things that are of great importance to me are how Fn buttons function and how Custom Settings work. When I read something more like an Appreciation than a Review, that focuses on how it looks, how it feels in the hand, and how it works for a little straightforward photography, it's some combination of boring and frustrating. But if you want to know how Panny's three Custom Settings may be used, in effect, as four, I'm your man. (I think I can even explain why . . .)
"... but for variety and pure photogeek fun I don't think anything out there beats Micro 4/3." You'd be talking about me. \;~)> I Own, or have owned, 28 of these lenses, plus a Laowa and a 25/1.4 CCTV lens that does swirly bokeh wonderfully on µ4/3. I can attest to how nice it is to have such a variety available. The one thing I miss is a fast prime ultra wide that provides EXIF info to the cameras. AF would be nice, too. I sold my Laowa 7.5/2 because of my experience with it in Bhutan. Neither time nor inclination to take manual notes in fast moving situations, and (sigh), I too often forgot to focus. This time I'll use a Panny 7-14/4. It's a testimony to lens variety that I could choose from four UWA zooms. Then again, I'm just as much a photogeek with old and odd lenses, glassless options and LensBabies for FF Alt photography. The new-to-me Spiratone Portragon 100/4 and my old SIMA Soft Focus 100/2 single element lenses render SO differently @ f4! BTW typo; pg 22 of the catalog, which is macro and 3D lenses, repeats the title "PRIME LENSES - TELEPHOTO" from the prior page.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2019 on Two Catalogs at The Online Photographer
Not to Worry! Honored - and Un Concerned Moose
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