Michael Uschold

Michael Uschold

Lives in United States Seattle, WA, United States
Works as a Semantic Technology Consultant
Joined on Mar 22, 2009

Comments

Total: 30, showing: 1 – 20
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Unfortunately, it is hard to find photo contests these days that are both free to enter and that do not retain rights to publish entrants' photos. So most contests seem commercialy motivated. Small fees might help pay for admin costs, but many fees are $10 or $15 or more per photo. Seems high.

I talked to a lawyer about this, and he said one of the issues is liability of the entity sponsoring the contest. It is simply not feasible to keep track of what rights are associated with which photos. I don't fully buy this argument, but there might be something to it. These days, rights can be in the metadata and used as a search field.

Direct link | Posted on May 23, 2014 at 18:02 UTC as 4th comment

It is certainly true that the rules are clearly stated. It would be good if there was a standard code of ethics (or some thing, it not ethics) for photo contests that well respected photography organizations would sign on to. Then contest sponsors could advertise their contests by saying it has been approved by this standard code. Not everyone reads the small print.

I think that DP Review should give careful thought as to what kinds of promotions it wishes to publicize. And for (what I consider) egrigous contest rules such as this one, DPReview should choose to not publicize it at all, or should highlight a warning about it.

Direct link | Posted on May 23, 2014 at 18:01 UTC as 5th comment

An excellent article. Two thoughts. First, please do some tests of the add-on lenses for smartphones, there may be some good quality lenses out there that can close the gap further between smartphones and DSLRs.

Second, I am glad to see film in the test. It can serve as a stable baseline against which to compare modern cameras. I recently made an 11x16 print from a Canon S45 4 megapixel camera that came out in 2002! I was startled to see that the quality was excellent. How many people need to print larger than that? A poor or average image quality rating from a modern camera need not deter a buyer, if they know it exceeds the quality of the best film ever (e.g. Velvia 50).

Of course, marketers don't want to hear this, they want to sell more and better stuff even if the quality improvement will never be directly experienced by the photographer.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 6, 2014 at 18:57 UTC as 26th comment | 1 reply
On Mobile Photography Awards seek entries post (5 comments in total)

Does anyone know what the entry fee is for? My enthusiasm for entering would vary depending on whether the proceeds went say to charity, vs. 100% to fund administrative costs and prizes vs. is a major profit-maker for the organization running the competition, even after paying out for admin and prizes. I see entry fees more and more for photo competitions which years ago was not the norm. I always wonder what they are for. One could easily spend $100s per year on such fees, which could be spend on photos or gear or other things.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 28, 2012 at 22:22 UTC as 1st comment
On Just Posted: Nikon D3200 in-depth Review article (357 comments in total)

Hmm, no penalty for 24 vs. 12 megapixels? What about reduced frames per second due to more processing needed, what about more noise at high ISO due to pixel density. Come on guys, you know better.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 27, 2012 at 01:12 UTC as 39th comment | 4 replies
On Photoshop CS6: Top 5 Features for Photographers article (98 comments in total)

Before the spot healing brush strokes applied at the end, there is obvious grass in the rock where the head was - not very impressive at all. The final version is not bad, I acknowledge.

On a separate point, pity about the dark tree top, likely a result of a graduated ND filter.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 7, 2012 at 21:55 UTC as 25th comment
On Scientists demonstrate 'paint-on' batteries article (108 comments in total)

The technology gives designers an option, it is not handcuffs. It does not require you do use it in a particular way. Most of the commenters seem to assume it is impossible to use the paint-on battery technology to make a rechargable-replaceable battery - what is that assumption based on? If that assumption is false, then you can still get the advantages of having the battery be any shape you want., which still frees up designers. Hopefully it would remove weight, but I saw nothing stated about that.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2012 at 19:46 UTC as 10th comment
On Scientists demonstrate 'paint-on' batteries article (108 comments in total)
In reply to:

rrr_hhh: I think it is absolutely anti ecological in its concept : what when the battery is at the end of its life ? Thrw it away, with heavy metal components (those of the battery) polluting the environment at a higher rate, becase they will be more difficult to separate from the body of the camera.

Frankly such discoveries are a disservice to the society. Research should be made with sustainable development in mind. And making gear more disposable than they already are is not going in that direction, rather the opposite.

You raise an important point. The discovery is not a disservice to society, but how we use it could be. I strongly support things being sustainable.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2012 at 19:36 UTC
On Canon significantly improves EOS 7D with firmware v2 article (296 comments in total)

With all those million dollar algorithms and super fast processors coming as a freebie, how about something mind-blowingly trivial: a interval timer for timelapse photography? No, instead we have to pay a lot of extra money for a not very small and light bit of kit. What a pain! The argument that few people use that feature is poor - there are many features on every camera and every computer and every piece of sophisticated software that few people use, but they are very important to the ones that do!

End rant. Other wise a happy Canon customer.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 29, 2012 at 05:06 UTC as 41st comment | 4 replies
On Nikon D4 & D800: What do the Professionals Think? article (391 comments in total)

Hallelujah - someone finally decided to make it easy to take timelapse movies. Are you listening Canon???? I don't mind the extra expense for the feature, I do mind having to carry and extra bit of gear around. And while you are at it, what's up with limiting exposures to 30 sec? Why not an arbitrary amount of hours or minutes. Compared to the stunning amount of complexity of the algorithms for noise reduction and everything else - providing a simple timelapse feature or setting longer exposures is utterly trivial.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 23, 2012 at 03:56 UTC as 112th comment | 1 reply

It is both true and highly misleading to say that "everything you see in the world around you is in HDR". It is true because human eyes can see much higher HDR than film, and HDR can sometimes bring an image closer image to what the eyes saw.

It is misleading because many HDR photos show what they eye cannot see. In bright sun the shadow in the lower left in the image above would be much more contrasty - so the image shows us what the eye never saw. If you were there, you could only see the detail in the shadow by blocking the bright light and wait for the eyes to adjust. There is no human eye that can see both the very bright and the very dim at the same time.

A more extreme example of this is a photo from inside a dark room looking out a very bright window with detail visible throughout.

Galen Rowell sometimes used 4 stop ND filters to do the same thing using different technology. People liked the photos but to me they looked unrealistic for the same reason.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:50 UTC as 54th comment | 3 replies

Good. Maybe if droves of Canon-lovers say to heck with the G1 X and buy a NEX camera, Canon will get the message that it pays to give the customers what they want, not to protect what it wants (i.e. a healthy DSLR market). I'm very tempted to do just that. It was my lenses holding me back. Pity about the AF.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 18, 2012 at 19:48 UTC as 15th comment | 3 replies
On Fujifilm X-Pro1 preview (757 comments in total)
In reply to:

yukonchris: After watching and waiting for someone, for anyone really, to design a sensible high quality digital camera, I think Fuji finally has. I'm not sure why no one else thought to build a solid simple design with the aperture stops where they are supposed to be (on the lens), and a direct shutter speed dial on the body. They even thought to add a threaded shutter release button so traditional photographers can use a cable release!

Fuj's admonition that the new sensor produces more of a film like image is just that much better! Reports of higher dynamic range and better image detail than some larger sensor cameras is also incredibly good news! This is the first semi-pro/pro level digital camera I've seen in years that has me really excited about buying into a new system.

First impressions suggest it offers the right balance of features, controls, and functionality. As long as the IQ is as good as promised, I think I've found my next system. Sorry Olympus, I waited as long as I could...

to fuzzynormal... so real photographers don't use autofocus? I'm struggling to see how that perspective can be helpful or illuminating to anyone. Why stop there? The next level purist might look down on you for using lenses. Real photographers only use pinhole cameras - they might say. And anyway, photographers are not real imagemakers, real imagemakers only use brushes. It never stops, so why start?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 18, 2012 at 00:56 UTC

I Like this idea. I want a device that is first and foremoste a high quality compace camera but that does the basics I need from a smart phone too. Very cool - may it continue!

Direct link | Posted on Jan 15, 2012 at 04:08 UTC as 13th comment | 3 replies

I tried Iview Media Pro years ago and really liked it. I was please that Phase One picked it up after languishing with Microsoft. Does anyone know if there is a serious following of serious amateurs or pros using this tool? If so, what are the major advantages?

Direct link | Posted on Jan 11, 2012 at 02:08 UTC as 12th comment
On Preview:canong1x (1044 comments in total)

Very disappointed. I wanted to buy a Canon-quality camera akin to the Nex 5N where I might be able to use my existing Canon lenses. This G1 X camera is way too expensive for what it is. Not interested.

Posted on Jan 10, 2012 at 07:11 UTC as 321st comment
On Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer article (183 comments in total)

Well done. I have been excited by the possibility of a small camera with DSLR quality images for a long time. I nearly wet myself recently when I saw someone on a hike with a NEX 5N. Small and light is important to me since I travel a lot and like to photograph while hiking and backpacking and kayaking etc. I read the reviews with excitement. I am ready to buy one -- except that I have a bunch of Canon lenses - so I will wait for their offering.

One very important thing missing in the article is eye level viewing. One thing I really love about an SLR is the ease and convenience and extreme clarity of thru the lens viewing from eye level. It makes a huge difference. I never feel like Im doing real photography with a compact camera looking at the viewer. I have not seen the eye-level option for the NEX-5N nor have I seen anyone say how good they are compared to a traditional DSLR -- I don't need to know how much better they are than the previous generations - which were crap!

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:11 UTC as 63rd comment | 7 replies
On Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer article (183 comments in total)
In reply to:

jj74e: I feel this article is a bit late for most people on DPR. I'm sure some new members/guests will benefit from this, but I feel like the majority of us on here- enthusiasts/professionals- already are aware of the info presented here. Well written though.

I disagree. I have been tracking this quite closely, reading many of the reviews and articles here and elsewhere. I did find it a helpful summary putting it all in one place. I learned a few things I did not know. Though, I'm sure there are some who fall into your camp and did not learn much.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:03 UTC
On Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer article (183 comments in total)
In reply to:

likesfilm: My first time here.

As a long -time photographer (decades), it is frustrating to read so often that the weight of a full-size camera is such a frequent disadvantage. I have been fortunate to be able to use cameras of all sizes and weight over the years, both digital and film based. The bulk and weight of the larger cameras has always felt better and more stable in my hands.

Of course there is a valuable place and usage for all sizes of camera, but do the majority of experienced amateurs and pros who read this magazine really believe full-size camera weight is as bad as the reviewers would have you believe?

I don't get it. Is it an age thing?; because I still like viewfinders, too. Is it manufacturer driven, as I might believe? Do the majority of reviewers and writers have enough years behind a lens to really know the advantages of a heavier weight camera. Are we just getting lazy?

Do any of you agree with me? Thank you.

So you are lucky, you don't have to pain over a tradeoff between weight and other functionality - because weight is not important to you. Weight and size is important to me because I travel a lot and like to do backpacking and on the go photography. 90% of the time a Mirrorless would probably suffice for me -- modulo the one thing that the article missed: I really like eye level view.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 07:01 UTC
On Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer article (183 comments in total)
In reply to:

powerbook duo: It is curious that we've always have the technology to make a camera like this from day one of digital camera infancy, yet it is only now that this design is starting to take hold. I have been discussing something like this with friends since around 2000. Is it inertia of the big manufacturers like Nikon and Canon that's prevented the development?

Rangefinder-type mirrorless seems like an accident or an afterthought development that spurs from miniaturization of FourThirds.

Also aren't there also issues with short flange focus distance and sensors.... something to do with light angle and has that now been mitigated by this generation of sensors?

Too right. I also have been talking about this for many years. It is about time. I'm waiting to see what Canon comes up with.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 06:58 UTC
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