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 on: Today at 07:06:56 AM 
Started by RDMAX - Last post by Hywel
Up until the last few days I would have said yes, I am happy with my mirrorless system.

I just did an intensive three-day multi-model vintage fashion shoot. I had eight shooting areas set up, and was flitting between them.

This client needs web images, and I know they can handle Canon files and have liked Canon colours before now. So as on previous shoots with them, my main workhorse camera was a Canon 7D (mark one) with 24-70 mm f/2.8 L (mark one). A bit primitive by modern standards, I thought. For my own website I usually shoot either Hasselblad H3D31ii or latterly Sony A7Rii. The Hassy is out of the question for this client (I'm not teaching them the ins and outs of Phocus workflow, and if Moire happens, it can be intolerable for this client's clothes).

But because I needed a backup system, I brought along the Sony and shot with it for some sets.

And oh my god it was a reminder how far Sony have to go to sort out ergonomics and user interface.

It was a bit of a revelation how much faster and more confidently I could work with the Canon - a camera which never actually was my workhorse (I bought it for video at the start of the dSLR revolution, to replace a 5D Mark I which had been a workhorse but which has different control layout). The Sony has been my go-to camera for well over a year now, with me racking up maybe 100,000+ shots on it. You'd have figured that the camera I use daily would seem more familiar than the old one I'd not shot with in almost a year, wouldn't you? But it didn't.

Now the results of the Sony are duly impressive on the technical front, no doubt. I likely won't be printing any of the 7D shots to 24" x 36" for gallery display.

But bloody hell, it was a lot easier and more productive to shoot with than the cussed Sony, whose user interface still pretty much guarantees menu hunting and many more missed shots. The Sony has a mode for everything, but to get the shot you need to change to the right mode. The model starts to move or do some walking shots? You'd better switch to AFC and the right sort of AF settings and get your zones sorted. If you press and hope, it'll mess up. The Canon has lots of modes too, but my experience was that in use, if I forgot to change over when the model stared to move, the camera would do a pretty workmanlike job of getting it right regardless.

The Sony felt like a fussy highly-strung old maid by comparison. Capable of excellent results. But if you don't get the settings just so, it'll sulk and may not shoot a single usable frame until you change modes. Oh, and you won't get through a day's shoot on a single battery like you will with the Canon either. 

So the Sony remains a technical tour-de-force, with great lenses, a lot lighter than the Canon (essential for mountain photography) and very many fantastic features.

I'd dearly love someone to take the same A7Rii innards into a completely redesigned camera. Like completely rethought and re-engineered layout and physical design and everything.

The shoot has made me rediscover the virtues of a solid dSLR with a decent zoom lens (the 35-135 equivalence of a 24-70 on APS-C is just perfect for people/fashion photography). I'm keeping my Canon kit, and I will look at a 7D Mark II when I finally burn out the shutter on the 7D.

Of course, mirrorless systems are just getting going whereas the dSLR has 15-ish years of development, and borrow a lot of tech from the film era. I think there's more strengths and weaknesses in the mirrorless systems: I much prefer the UI of the GH4 to that of the Sony, but the GH4 can't compete with 42 megapixels full frame and dynamic range of the Sony, for example. dSLR's are Swiss Army Knives- do anything, but not quite as well as an actual screwdriver or saw. Mirrorless systems are more like a single-purpose tool. It'll cut you angles at exactly 90 degrees or exactly 45 degrees, but it won't let you bodge through when you want 63 and a half degrees.

It confirmed my prejudice that if I had to pick just ONE camera system to shoot everything with, I'd still go for a Canon dSLR, regardless of how it all looks on paper.

Cheers, Hywel


 on: Today at 07:03:56 AM 
Started by eikkon - Last post by eikkon
Nobody had this pb ??

 on: Today at 06:58:30 AM 
Started by MLrgb - Last post by Rand47
I treat this as pretty much the definitive reference.

There is an advantage to printing photographs at 720 sometimes (if the image is very sharp and has curves or diagonal lines), but you have to pixel peep (ink dot peep?) to see the difference. Most of the time I just keep it at 360. Note that if you do send the data at 720 you need to have the Finest detail box checked in the print driver or the print pipeline will just downsample back to 360 I think.


+1  Jeff Schewe knows what he's talking about.


 on: Today at 06:46:42 AM 
Started by kencameron - Last post by bobtrlin
I'm amazed that Olympus would produce something potentially so useful with next to no guidance on how to get the best out of it.  Clearly the focus step interval is a function of the chosen f-stop, focus distance, focus step and number of images.  Olympus has the algorithm but annoyingly won't tell us what it is.  It's leaving it us to work it out by time consuming trial and error.  If they think the algorithm is commercial in confidence, they are kidding themselves.  I have no doubt Canikon had it worked out within a week of the release of the firmware update and now have their own improved versions.  If Oly really wanted this feature to take off as a must have function, they would be wise to make it as user friendly as possible.  Alternatively, one of you smart guys might do well to produce a "How to get the best out of Olympus focus stacking" manual.  OK, that's my little rant.  Frankly, I love the feature.  I now use the in-camera focus stacking almost exclusively now for my native plant macros but I'd really like to know how to get the best out of it.

 on: Today at 06:32:28 AM 
Started by BernardLanguillier - Last post by dchew
I am guilty of that too.


 on: Today at 06:30:57 AM 
Started by Lust4Life - Last post by Lust4Life
The X1D sensor is called IMX161. The other sensors are here:

Thanks, thats a beginning for what I want to learn BUT I am trying to define without question that the X1D is providing a 16 bit color ramp direct from the array/sensor or is it up-reved in the camera from 14 bit.

Both the Sony and the Fuji are only pulling 14 bits of color from their chip according to their data sheets BUT Hassie is providing 16.

 on: Today at 06:22:28 AM 
Started by BernardLanguillier - Last post by BernardLanguillier
You may have already found this page but there are some links imbedded that might help:

Thanks Dave, I have seen that, but I feel that they are doing a pretty terrible job as explaining how everything fits together.

This is typical engineers driven marketing where they put their toys forward instead of explaining how to use them. ;)


 on: Today at 06:06:35 AM 
Started by Chairman Bill - Last post by pegelli
Sunrise over the gulf from my hotel balcony in Galveston

Jetlag helps shooting sunrises  ;)

 on: Today at 06:02:39 AM 
Started by BartvanderWolf - Last post by BartvanderWolf
I certainly welcome competition for the big two players (or three if we count DxO). I wish the Topaz folks well, and I hope the Studio effort will be a success. However, it's clear that feature-wise Topaz Studio -- to put it as politely as possible -- needs a lot of work done on it.

For example, exporting a TIFF from a CR2 defaults to 16 bit ProPhoto, which is good, but strips out all metadata, which is bizarre in 2017 when there are excellent metadata libraries for C++ such as exiv2.

Hi Damon,

Yes, I agree that EXIF should be kept intact. Bugfix or Feature requests may help to fix that.

The user interface looks like it was rushed. The About menu item should not be below Exit / Quit. The menu item for the program preferences is incorrectly named 'Preference' (missing the plural), and its dialog window looks very amateurish.

Well, this is their version 1.0 release, and is available for MAC and Windows operating systems. They focused on functionality so far, and they now need to also cross some t's and dot some i's.

It's unclear what paying for the "Pro Package" today means given that many adjustment modules are sure to be coming, such as the replacement for Topaz Detail plugin. Will they be included in a purchase made today? I've queried their sales support but am yet to hear back.

You purchase what they offer right now, 14 plugins in the Adjustment Pro-pack, or individual plugins. Future plugins will be a separate purchase, but they are usually offered with a discount at introduction time or during seasonal promotions. The business model that Topaz Labs have chosen, purchase once and receive updates and upgrades forever after that, forces them to keep innovating to attract new customers, or adding new plugins with new functionality for existing customers.

While their 'Clarity' Photoshop plugin equivalent is available as the 'Precision Contrast' plugin in Studio, their 'Detail' equivalent plugin is not yet available. So I expect that to be a future addition and purchase. BTW, there is some simplified Detail functionality available in some of the other plugins, but nothing as extensive as in the full Detail plugin. Also, if you have their PS version of the Detail plugin already installed, then it shows up under the Plugins menu-bar option. After the chosen plugin finishes, a version/snapshot of your file is added to the 'Workspace' at the bottom of the user interface.

Their 'Focus' plugin is a simplified version of their Photoshop equivalent InFocus plugin. Not as feature rich, but still useful for most users because it allows to specifically address Lens-blur.

The current 50% discount for the 14-plugin Pro-pack (70% discount for previous Topaz owners), is a pretty good deal, especially because you'll receive free updates and upgrades on these 14 plugins 'forever', so it's a one-time expense/investment.


P.S. Topaz Studio is free, as are 10 basic plugins, and can be used as host program for earlier versions of the Topaz plugins that were developed for Photoshop plugin compatible applications.

 on: Today at 05:58:08 AM 
Started by AZemdega - Last post by AZemdega
Price going down. 3699 now.

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