Lives in United States Santa Monica, CA, United States
Works as a Instructor/Digital Photography
Joined on Mar 23, 2003
About me:

15+ years experience with digital & about 55 years with 35 SLR (Nikon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus) plus medium format (Mamiya 645). I also teach two introductory courses for senior citizens in digital photography at Emeritus College in Santa Monica, CA. Scope of the course is buying, setting up, using a digital camera and then editing the images. I am a strong advocate for free imaging software such as Picasa and FastStone.


Total: 35, showing: 1 – 20
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On Samsung NX1 Review preview (1223 comments in total)
In reply to:

b craw: I started as a professor of photography in 1999 (and have been a fine art photographer since '92). At the foundation of the attitudes of many students is a distortion, most dramatically perpetuated on the internet: that serious work is almost exclusively done with full frame sensors (or larger). While many 'professionals', commercial or otherwise, use FF, the prevalent perception of many others is less rooted in real understanding of difference (DoF, based on equivalence; low-light performance) and more that this is just what a 'serious' photographer does. It always seems a bit baffling to students when I produce a range of images from exhibitions shot in large format, medium format, FF, APS-C, micro four thirds, 1", and (god forbid) sensors smaller than that. Often, I follow this up showing an APS-C image shot with ~50mm (35mm equivalent) prime at f/1.8 and what results is a predictable cascade of opinions that the DoF of the image indicates that it must be full frame.

I am an instructor in the field of digital photography at a small college in Southern California. One thing I periodically do is present photos to the students shot with different sized camera sensors, different ISO levels. It is amazing how few people can see the difference if they don't know the shooting info. Of course blowing pictures up to 20x30 does reveal some differences but at smaller blow-ups very little tells the viewer which camera shot which picture. I think we automatically assign higher values to larger format cameras that are not obvious except in extreme cases. Deciding to get a full frame camera when you rarely if ever need its features is money not well spent.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 15, 2015 at 16:48 UTC
On Opinion: The myth of the upgrade path article (1458 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike99999: This article makes very little sense. The upgrade path is a real marketing strategy from the two largest camera manufacturers: Canon and Nikon. And that strategy is a proven success.

The reality is that 99% of the image 'look' is produced by the LENS. If money were no object, you choose the lens that gives you the most pleasing image, and then you attach a camera with a compatible sensor size.

However, most people have a limited budget and compromise accordingly. A crop body can be one of those compromises.

I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW YOU MISSED THE POINT WHICH UNFORTUNATELY WASN'T CLEARLY STATED. So much depends upon how large a print you are going to make and if you hardly ever make large (at least 12x16) prints I doubt, seriously doubt, if you could tell prints made by FF from APS, 4:3, 1", or even some 1/1.7inch sensors. And those who think it is all in the lens seem to forget how big a part the camera's processor can play in capturing the image. Yes, if the light gets bad, really bad, MAYBE a few can see the difference but for most of us, we can only see differences in the larger prints.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 13, 2015 at 20:40 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Review preview (485 comments in total)
In reply to:

pdelux: Way to go Panasonic. 85% is a respectable score!

As an owner of both the FZ200 and the FZ1000 I can say with some authority that the IQ of the FZ200 is very good and at lower ISO levels very much on par with the FZ1000, For most people, the FZ200 is all they need. The complexity of the FZ1000 makes it unsuitable for a lot of people regardless of how good the IQ is. Yes, there is a difference when you print large images, but until you get to or above 15x20 inch you would have a hard time telling which camera shot which picture.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 27, 2014 at 17:24 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (839 comments in total)
In reply to:

bimbobo: Suddendly a lot of "negative" comments, it seems a coincidence.

Comparing cameras is a personal judgement. People used to Canon, Sony and so on.. will find difficult to "adjust" and " probably tent to be more skeptical to other cams.

Sorry it's just my opinion but too often people "shoot" at something different and only see the negative sides

fI too noticed the sudden plethora of negatives. I wonder if Sony had anything to do with it? Might be a good idea if DPReview required the serial number of the camera you discussing before you can post negative comments about any that camera.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 18, 2014 at 20:12 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2130 comments in total)
In reply to:

Polytropia: This is a crock. There is no equivalence in apertures. F/2.8 is always F/2.8 no matter what the sensor size is. It projects the same brightness of light in all cases.

Point is: a speedlight (flash) that has a guide number of 100 feet will illuminate a subject 35.71 feet away at ISO 100 and F/2.8. No matter what your sensor size is, this will not change.

You cannot say that just because the sensor is bigger that changes anything because if you make the lens F/5.6 and do not change the flash guide number or ISO, then your exposure will be off.

Further, the amount of image noise generated is not exactly two stops "better" between, say, Four Thirds and 135-format. Neither is dynamic range. It varies based on the year the camera came out, how many pixels it has, etc.

DOF is also not exactly two stops different because DOF is affected by pixel density as well.

So stop LYING to people, DPReview.

The author of the article raised the exposure question and I think it has relevance which I why Tukameino was correct in pointing out the errors.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 22:43 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2130 comments in total)

Aperture equivalence
I ran a test using my Panasonic LF1 and selected sensor sizes of 12MP, 8MP, 5MP 3MP and 0.3MP. I can select those sensor sizes by using Panasonic’s EZ Zoom which trims off pixels on the perimeter of the sensor to arrive at a smaller sensor. As I read your article, I should have been needing either a higher ISO, slower shutter speed, or faster aperture as I trimmed pixels from the sensor. I found NO difference my test shots, all shot at 1/80sec, F2.0 and ISO 200, they were the same REGARDLESS of the size of the sensor I used.

Where I think you went wrong is in talking about how much less light reaches the sensor as the sensor gets smaller. What you overlooked was that the same quantity of light reached the plane of the sensor but since the sensor was smaller, it captured less light. It did NOT need all the light reaching the plane of the sensor, only enough to cover the sensor itself. According to my test f2.0 is 2.0 regardless of the sensor size.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 22:36 UTC as 218th comment | 8 replies
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 First Impressions Review preview (1267 comments in total)

As far as I am concerned, they can skip all the video crap and then drop the price to something more affordable. I can enjoy photography without having to worry or even use video. Would that make the camera lighter, faster? Maybe Panasonic should have 2 models, one with and one without 4k video.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 12, 2014 at 17:36 UTC as 261st comment | 2 replies
On High-end pocketable compacts 2013 roundup article (264 comments in total)
In reply to:

ftb72: Currently, the Sony is up to nearly $250 more than the LF1 ($300 at B&H) and the Canon is $100 more. Makes the contest a bit different.

At what difference in price does it make sense to buy the less expensive camera? If the diffence in image quality is almost undetectable why would you pay more? I have the LF1 and in test after test shooting with it and dSLRs you can NOT tell which camera shoot which image. And the response time of the LF1 is so damm good. And the size allows me to take that camera with me all the time, not something I would care or want to do with the dSLR. And having a f2 lens even thought it is only that at wide angle, allows me to shoot at very low ISO levels. The EVF, at least for me, sealed the deal as to which camera to buy. and now with it priced as low as $269 why in heaven would I pay $750 or more and not have anything better let alone near the same size?

Direct link | Posted on Apr 5, 2014 at 01:25 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Real-world Samples article (148 comments in total)
In reply to:

KonstantinosK: Hmmm... It's more expensive than a NEX6... I'm anticipating the full review.

And how many lenses do you really use? Studies show that way less than half the people with a interchangeable lens camera ever change their lenses. A larger sensor, such as on the NEX 6, which I have, provides far greater detail at higher ISO settings. I have had a number of 4/3 cameras each time hoping that it will produce good images in low light. I am continually disappointed. If all you every do is shoot in bright light, then even a throw away camera will work, if if low light is where you are, then the larger sensors are really a must.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 15, 2013 at 18:11 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 Sample Images article (69 comments in total)

Re: Panasonic FZ70- Pictures like those in the sample gallery are almost worthless. I would like to see a group of 40 CONTINUOUS IMAGES to get a better feel for how many wasted shots were needed or how many good shots one can expect getting from a bunch of shots. I also want to see the zoom expressed in 35mm figures and info about white balance.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2013 at 16:01 UTC as 36th comment | 1 reply
On File0023 photo in dpreview review samples's photo gallery (3 comments in total)

TWA flying a prop plane? Very grainy image with the appearance of a much earlier time.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2013 at 15:55 UTC as 1st comment | 2 replies
On P1000375 photo in dpreview review samples's photo gallery (1 comment in total)

good handling of backlighting. Sharp image indicates good IS at about 20x zoom

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2013 at 15:48 UTC as 1st comment
On P1000361 photo in dpreview review samples's photo gallery (1 comment in total)

Just could not handle the dynamic range. Details are dropping at the higher ISO just as anticipated.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2013 at 15:44 UTC as 1st comment
On P1000344 photo in dpreview review samples's photo gallery (1 comment in total)

It would be nice to know the zoom range in 35mm terms

Direct link | Posted on Aug 13, 2013 at 15:41 UTC as 1st comment
On DPReview Recommends: Top 5 Compact Cameras article (559 comments in total)

Interesting comparison but I have one comment. The Panasonic FZ200 with its constant f2.8 lens shooting at ISO 800 is like shooting at f5.6 at ISO 3200 with the other cameras. The ISO 800 shots are very good and relatively noise free. No smudging of details. It also means it will focus faster even in dim light. I just used that camera on a Baltic capital trip including Berlin and I was blown away at how fast and accurately it grabbed focus when shooting from a moving bus, even when I was zoomed out to the max and it was late and starting to get dark. It is one amazing camera. The one negative I have on the camera is how frequently I accidentally end up pressing the white balance button. I finally made a removable cover for the 4 way controller and that seems to have solved that problem.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 2, 2013 at 22:47 UTC as 26th comment
On Best Camera of 2012: And the Winner is... article (1412 comments in total)

The BEST camera is the one that you ALWAYS have with you. For some people it is the cell phone but for me it is the Sony NEX 6. It fits into my vest's pocket or most of my jacket pockets, it produces superb images in just about any kind of lighting and is quick to use. I compared the image quality with the OM and the NEX and saw little difference when the lighting was good, but the NEX was clearly better in subdued lighting, the kind I most often find when I want to take pictures.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 2, 2013 at 17:58 UTC as 200th comment
In reply to:

jorg14: I just bought a tablet from Costco
It runs all of my windows photo programs like Adobe. Plus it has a built in protective cover and an attached keyboard for quick typing. It also had a 256gb hdd, to easily store all the photographs I could ever take on a trip, and best of all, it only costs about $289.
It's called a netbook.

It is nice to hear an informed user with a common sense reply.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2012 at 05:33 UTC
On Compositional Rules article (120 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michael J Davis: Some of the principles outlines are fine. But what matters in composition is how the eyes (or strictly eye-brain) of the observer are led around the composition. I have always (over 50 years anyway) understood that the 'thirds rule' is an approximation of the golden mean. And all that means is that pleasing compositions often - not always - match some of the 'rules'.

What none of this means is that following the rules will generate a 'good' picture. In any case, we photographers try to convey a range of emotions in and through our pictures. often we require tensions between parts of the picture, often the contraposition of elements close together creates a visual conflict.

The so called 'rules' may help for getting chocolate box images, but my advice is ask yourself "B****r the rules; does this picture lead the observer's eyes where I want them to go?"!

I look forward to the article about 'breaking the rules'! ;-)


I am often amazed at how close good photographers come to be great, but never make it to that place. They are just to busy looking for excuses as to why their photos fail to reach that place then to take the time to look at what has been happening. Yes, we can crop an image and make it better and blur backgrounds in photoshop or clone out distractions, or whatever we think it takes to make a "great photo" but really, just taking a minute or two before handhand and that great shot is there without all that screwing around in photoshop.

Yes, rules are made to be broken, but it is a lot better and easier to know the rule first, seeing how it works before taking the shot, and then breaking it if necessary.

I use to be an antigue camera collector and was always intrigued by how many of the etched 8x10, 5x7 or 4x5 glass viewing screens had the rule of thirds marked on the screen itself.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 22, 2012 at 16:27 UTC
On Evolution of an image article (123 comments in total)
In reply to:

CameraLabTester: The slow shutter speed used on the first image made the surface of the lake blurred as if it had bokeh. This made the branches stand out.

This rendered the feel of a 3D image with fantastic depth, even with infinity and foreground maintained in crisp detail.

A well done and composed brilliant landscape.


I could not agree with you more, the 3D effect is fantastic. However, I do disagree with all the comments about coming back next year. Most of the people I know and come in contact with are lucky to get away each year, the thought of going back just to shoot one picture is not real for them.

I think that even the pros I know would not follow that thought. You shoot the bast picture you can while you're there and move on. You learn to walk an area to get a feel of it and find the spot to get what you want and start shooting. Coming back next year is just a bunch of bull as far as i am concerned. It sounds as if our photographer is just inflating his dedication in getting that shot, The final shot is great, but not worth two trips.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 10, 2012 at 19:13 UTC
On Site Updates and New Features article (102 comments in total)

I just wish you spent more resources on writing reviews. That is what made your site great. I fail to understand the lack of reviews done when it really matters, like as soon after a camera's release.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 25, 2012 at 00:24 UTC as 42nd comment | 8 replies
Total: 35, showing: 1 – 20
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