JacquesBalthazar

JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 81, showing: 1 – 20
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On Am I missing something here? article (636 comments in total)

Richard,

You make some fair points and ask some good questions. Just one correction: you forgot the 18.5mm f1.8 lens (equiv around 55mm FX), which is a gem in itself. For the rest, it is a matter of opinion indeed. For very many applications the 1" sensor size makes perfect sense. The Nikon 1 users are usually very enthusiastic about the reactivity and speed of the system, the video features and the quality of the stills output. I know I love the V1 and keep going back to it after having failed to enjoy the more trendy but sluggish mirrorless offers (Nex 7, Fuji xe1).
The sarcastic comments that pop up every time the Nikon 1 is mentioned do no good to anyone and are usually completely off the mark. Nikon has produced a great system, with many highlights, and quite a few odd gaps, baffling user interface details and bizarre marketing choices. I will buy the V3, if the 18MP output is as good as the V1's 10MP. And the new long zoom. And the 32mm f1.2. And keep my DSLR outfit.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 13, 2014 at 05:43 UTC as 210th comment | 3 replies
On Nikon D4s First Impressions Review preview (1052 comments in total)

Beautiful machine! This is indeed a really impressive technological showcase of a tool.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 25, 2014 at 12:10 UTC as 221st comment
On Fujifilm X-T1 First Impressions Review preview (1657 comments in total)

Nice one Fuji! Hope lag is now gone. Very tempting....

Direct link | Posted on Jan 28, 2014 at 10:55 UTC as 366th comment
On AP cuts ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer article (170 comments in total)
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: The element that was cloned out was an important piece of information. It was telling the viewer that there were more than one reporter at that precise location. That brings insight and questions about the "PR" logistics around the photographed incident : how did the reporters get there? Who brought them there? Why? Did the gun carrying person in the picture know he was moving in front of reporters? Did he place himself in that way at that location because he knew the press was there?

By cloning out the camera, the photographer wanted to avoid such questions being raised by the viewer. He wanted to suggest exclusive intimacy between him, the fighter and the war surrounding the scene. That is not a minor act, and Mr Contreras knows that full well. AP did the right thing.

On the other hand, If I was running a news agency, I would probably hire the talented Mr Contreras now, as he has certainly realised the risks of doctoring such images and wil never be tempted again.

@LeitzKameraAktion: you are right. It did not cross my mind that the videocam might have been his own, simply lying there. Another proof that a picture does not necessarily tell the whole story, cloning or no cloning.... Does not change the fundamental issue though.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 25, 2014 at 08:11 UTC
On AP cuts ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer article (170 comments in total)

The element that was cloned out was an important piece of information. It was telling the viewer that there were more than one reporter at that precise location. That brings insight and questions about the "PR" logistics around the photographed incident : how did the reporters get there? Who brought them there? Why? Did the gun carrying person in the picture know he was moving in front of reporters? Did he place himself in that way at that location because he knew the press was there?

By cloning out the camera, the photographer wanted to avoid such questions being raised by the viewer. He wanted to suggest exclusive intimacy between him, the fighter and the war surrounding the scene. That is not a minor act, and Mr Contreras knows that full well. AP did the right thing.

On the other hand, If I was running a news agency, I would probably hire the talented Mr Contreras now, as he has certainly realised the risks of doctoring such images and wil never be tempted again.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 24, 2014 at 05:06 UTC as 66th comment | 3 replies
On Fujifilm teases upcoming SLR-style X system camera article (921 comments in total)
In reply to:

marike6: Locking exposure dials a la the Nikon Df? Any amount of money that DPR loves this camera and the dials from day one. :-)

Part of what makes the X cameras at least interesting is the rangefinder design, the whole poor man's Leica thing.

What is the point copying a DSLR body styling? It's has no bright Pentaprism so why the pseudo pentaprism housing?

This is a head scratcher move from Fujifilm that is for sure. No FF, just an X camera dressed up as a DSLR. Has anybody asked why?

"Locking exposure dials a la the Nikon Df?": unfortunately no lock on that dial it seems. On XE1/X100, EC dial is way too sensitive to unintentional manipulation (rubbing against clothing while carrying or just by holding camera in hand). Kept ruining opportunities. With Df, EC only happens when you want it to. The dial locks are features I truly love with the Df. For the rest, this new X sure looks nice. With the new 58mm f1.2 and Fuji's xtrans processing, this will be a killer portrait machine !

Direct link | Posted on Jan 21, 2014 at 12:22 UTC
On Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G review preview (412 comments in total)

It is a specialty lens. While 58mm is close to the 50mm "standard", the small reduction in angle of view and additional compression make it a very suitable indoor "action" portrait focal length. I see uses for this for low light photography in bars, at parties, weddings, etc. Sure the 50mm can do it as well but it is not exactly the same. The 60mm macro can do it from f2.8. The 85mm requires more distance, more room to back off. The 85mm makes it harder to get 2 people together in focus.

It is also a seductive specialty lens in its design, prioritising for a set of goals beyond "sharpness". The obsession for ultimate sharpness, outside of scientific applications and some landscape styles, is mainly self gratifying pixel peeping fun. Some of us prefer "mood" or "atmosphere" to "lines per millimetre".

I'd understand the hate if this lens replaced the standard 50mm f1.4, but it does not. As a specialty lens, the price might be right for the target users.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 31, 2013 at 16:28 UTC as 87th comment | 2 replies
On bored girl--Mirik, India in the Discussion challenge: Off Centered Subject challenge (19 comments in total)

Wow! This is a gorgeous picture indeed!

Direct link | Posted on Dec 31, 2013 at 04:40 UTC as 2nd comment
On Nikon Df Review preview (1617 comments in total)

AF is indeed not the strongest Df feature. I have been using mine for more than 2 weeks now, and, while I genuinely love the overall experience, I do find the Df's AF a bit less sure footed than the D800's. Specifically in very low light situations where this camera otherwise excels. In those situations, it hunts a bit more and sometimes does not lock on subjects that I feel the D800 would. Typical example is focusing on model eye at portrait distance in dark bar or dark street. That comes marginally easier with the D800. As per light sensitivity data for the AF module in spec sheet.

For the rest, I do find it very good at manual focusing. Not sure if there is any black magic going on in the viewfinder or if it just a placebo effect, but it works for me with MF lenses, including with the f1.2 50mm. Success rate around 90% wide open when careful.

A great companion for nostalgic old farts like me, or for the younger folks who crave for a more "analogue" interaction with the world.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 20, 2013 at 06:56 UTC as 302nd comment
In reply to:

CFynn: Wonder how this compares to the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4?
That lens is the same focal length and speed, but available at less than one third the price. Has nice bokeh too.

Nokton 58..... I am curious as well. That one is a jewel....

Direct link | Posted on Nov 14, 2013 at 13:11 UTC
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)
In reply to:

DaveE1: I like the design of old cameras. I can see why some people collect them.

But a modern camera mocked up to look retro? Personally, I don't quite get it. Maybe it is the modern screen on the back mixed with the vintage style that makes me wince.

This one looks particularly odd to my eyes; almost looks like a digital camera in a underwater housing from some angles. It's not ugly, and Nikon are perfectly right to test it in the marketplace.

Then again camera manufacturers are catering for people who run their high resolution photos through filters to make them look like they were taken with a film camera with faulty light sealing.

"Then again camera manufacturers are catering for people who run their high resolution photos through filters to make them look like they were taken with a film camera with faulty light sealing."

EXCELLENT! ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Nov 6, 2013 at 11:22 UTC
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)
In reply to:

Uuno Turhapuro: I am surprised that the fact that iso and exposure compensation dials are on the left side of the camera has not been discussed here before?

I am using my left hand to support the camera and setting focal length, focus and maybe aperture ring. So if I am using manual mode and want to use fixed aperture and shutter speed and setting the correct exposure via ISO I have to move my left hand from its correct position. Same if I am using aperture or shutter priority I have to move my left hand again to change exposure compensation. So how is this exactly better than using command dials with and without simultaneous button press with my right hand to set all these important setting without moving my left hand?

@T3: absolutely right!

That said, I have been re-using my FM3A since the rumours started on the Df, and rediscovered it gave me the greatest pleasure to operate. A pleasure I have never found when using the D800, even if the latter is a very high performer, fast, accurate, responsive. The D800 is a tool so perfectly efficient, that it spoils my fun (I am not making a living out of pics). Go figure.

I also use my old M6 every once in a while, again with the same great pleasure. The digital Ms try hard to replicate that experience, but it is not the same: they are clunkier, heavier, slower, noisier. I tried to like them, but just not as much fun (and not really that good).

Tried the Fujis as well, and while they look good, they are just....clunky (cannot find a better word), and the command and control dials and buttons feel cheap and fragile. No fun for me either.

Maybe the Df then. Nothing to do with ergonomy. More to do with (the hope of) pleasure and fun. Looks solid and fast.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 6, 2013 at 07:26 UTC
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)
In reply to:

dprmja: No split screen for manual focusing!!

My Nikon FM, thanks to split screen, was way more comfortable to adjust focus than any DSLR I had.

I was waiting for a Digital FM, and ready to pay the price for that.
But this is one of the key features that is missing here!

I don't know, like an iPad without multitouch!
This makes absolutely no sense.

No ground glass, no optical focusing aid. Cannot use this reliably with fast manual focus lenses. Makes no sense to pitch AI and pre-AI metering capability, and deny the option of a good focusing screen. Never mind the "hybrid" viewfinder option that was rumoured a month ago, and that could have made this camera an absolute winner.... Disappointed. It is pretty though.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 6, 2013 at 05:03 UTC
On Nikon Df preview (2817 comments in total)

No ground glass, no split screen focusing aid, this means the Df is unfortunately as useless for the fast old or new manual focus lenses as the other Nikon DSLRs. What a shame!!!!

Direct link | Posted on Nov 5, 2013 at 08:10 UTC as 851st comment
On Just Posted: Our Nikon Coolpix A review article (352 comments in total)

Fair review. I am one the crazy/lucky guys who ended up with both A and GR. always dreamt of an APS GR, but when the A came out I thought that was it, and had no idea the Ricoh was round the corner. So I have learned to use and love the A before splurging for the GR. in retrospect I was all wrong of course, and having both feels silly. All this to say is that, after time with both, I unexpectedly prefer the A. Despite the better ergonomics and UI of the Ricoh. Not sure why I do. It has to do with build and finish I think. The A is very well put together in all aspects. The materials used feel better, and the dials and buttons have great tactile feedback. Better for me than GR. and I just love the output and IQ. Finally, I like the "made in Japan" bit. It is noteworthy in today's age and a good thing for many fundamental reasons....

Direct link | Posted on Jun 7, 2013 at 04:39 UTC as 31st comment | 1 reply
On Is this the new Leica 'Mini M'? article (370 comments in total)

(Comment deleted by author)

Direct link | Posted on May 30, 2013 at 06:16 UTC as 87th comment
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: One question from me, for the reviewer: what are the real life consequences of GR's 12-bit RAW processing vs the A's 14-bit ? I would have assumed there would be an impact on DR and maybe also on colour gradation. Or not?

@marike6: thanks for the reference. 1 EV DR difference can be meaningful, and something nice to have when one tries to salvage a pic marred by exposure error or excessive contrast. I am very impressed by the IQ I get with the A, shooting raw. I am pretty sure that in 90% of cases (or more), the GR will provide just as much quality. Cool cameras..... Wonder how the GR's 21mm adaptor performs....

Direct link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:50 UTC

One question from me, for the reviewer: what are the real life consequences of GR's 12-bit RAW processing vs the A's 14-bit ? I would have assumed there would be an impact on DR and maybe also on colour gradation. Or not?

Direct link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 04:03 UTC as 17th comment | 6 replies
In reply to:

JohnyP: Another useless preview. In the last 30 days there have been 2 camera reviews! Most cameras are either announced or previewed. Those previewed ones are likely to end up just like Nikon D4 - previewed and forgotten.

@R Butler: what would be the downside in publishing a schedule of coming reviews? It is not like you would be disclosing strategic insight to your "competitors". Such a schedule would help potential buyers better time their own purchases. Those of them who trust your methodology and share your views anyway. The indirect advantage of publishing that schedule would be to force you guys to feel the healthy heat of a public deadline... ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Apr 23, 2013 at 03:51 UTC
On Just Posted: Ricoh GR preview article (159 comments in total)
In reply to:

SunnyFlorida: I've been a Nikon user for a long time but a consumer for longer, it's great to see products like the Ricoh bring a dose of reality to the Nikon Accounting Execs who over the past 6 years have been overpricing their products relative to similar products in the market, sorry Nikon I'm not paying a 40% mark up for brand name.

I do not think it is "for a brand name". It could be for a variety of good reasons:
1) Manual focus on lens ring: preferable for many to lever or dial on the back;
2) 14-bit colour depth. That will bring a real IQ advantage in real life (skin tones, landscapes, etc);
3) Compatibility with existing Nikon accessories (flash system, GPS, wi-fi, etc) for people who already own Nikon DSLR;
4) Nikon after sales and repairs all over the world (they might suck, but they exist);
5) Integration in NEF workflows for Nikon users (NX2 fans in particular);
6) Made in Japan (a democratic country).

Finally, not quite sure the real life "mark-up" is 40% now (I bought mine 100 EUR under street price just after release), and prices will come down further, a usual with Nikon (special rebates, bundles with hood or OVF, etc).

Direct link | Posted on Apr 18, 2013 at 18:25 UTC
Total: 81, showing: 1 – 20
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