xtoph

xtoph

Lives in United States seattle, WA, United States
Works as a anthropologist
Has a website at www.phloiterer.tumblr.com
Joined on Sep 22, 2004

Comments

Total: 89, showing: 41 – 60
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On Breaking the Rules article (142 comments in total)

I think the article is well written and helpful, though the title might be a bit provocative. That is, nothing could be more conventional than the gnomic admonishment to 'break the rules!' Just try googling that or something similar and see the hundreds of articles that come up; even nat geo has articles on its photo technique site walking you through the process of breaking the rules. Try to find an essay on what the rules are you're supposed to break, and it is actually harder.
But the actual article here doesnt get too lost in the romance of being a 'rebel', and gives some practical examples, so well done. Helpfully, it also seems to avoid the trap of demonizing the rules in the first place, which always seems rather silly, and to encourage some thoughtfulness about how to see your photos. That seems more productive than insisting there are no and never were any visual logics circulating out there to break in the first place.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2012 at 08:10 UTC as 66th comment
On Accessory Review: Manfrotto 294 Carbon Fiber Tripod article (50 comments in total)
In reply to:

Photo Pete: I'm with other posters re the review format. No disrespect but this didn't tell me anything other than carbon fibre is lighter and less prone to vibration than aluminium and that the reviewer doesn't like ballheads. The manufacturer's weight rating means nothing.... It may be able to support 11kg, but vibrate like a jelly when it does so.

More critical information would be a guide as to what focal length lens can be used without vibration blur for a mid weight dSLR kit, or did the head exhibit lockdown creep or jerk when making fine positional adjustments. What is the range of support positions possible (max height, min height, angle to vertical etc).

Unlike one poster above, I think a degree of lab testing is something to be expected from DPReview. The forums are the place for opinions, the reviews should be the place for quantifiable and impartial assessment.

The idea of a vibration test by measuring the number of pixels blurred is a good idea. You could use a standard dSLR kit with 300mm lens focused on a test chart. Take one shot at 1/1000 second and one at 1 second (critical vibration from shutter and mirror movement is usually most visible between about 1second and 1/20 second) and measure the extra number of pixels of blur in the longer exposure. NOT using mirror up or exposure delay mode would allow the shutter vibration and mirror slap to expose any instability. Provided you use the same dSLR and lens for each test this would be a good and relatively quick way to compare stability of an overall leg / head kit.

For the heavier duty kits it would be possible to use a longer focal length lens as a more stringent test.

If you wanted to test just the legs then you could use a heavy duty Arca Swiss head in the test. If you wanted to test just the head then you could mount it directly onto studio legs or directly onto a test bench.

If you really wanted to be thorough you could additionally test with centre column up, down or horizontal ( if the option is available). If nothing else that would let people know that a manufacturer's maximum height figure that relies on extending the centre column should be taken with a pinch of salt!

I really haven't seen many good tripod and head tests and DPReview could really set the standard here.

Photo pete makes excellent suggestions, in line with the overallgist of many commenters: that this "review" adds little if anything to the info on the spec sheet, other than a relatively context-less opinion from the reviewer that its a good quality product. It is hard to see how this differs from an advertisement or catalogue blurb.
I can understand wanting to keep tripod reviews manageable, but what's the point if the entire review adds no extra information?
I suggest you offer the writer a chance to re-write this, incorporating at least some of the suggestions in the feedback.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 3, 2012 at 11:21 UTC
On Nikon announces development of three 1 Nikkor lenses article (76 comments in total)

If they produced a fast and small 12mm lens for this system i would buy in--at this point it offers some impressive capabilities. F/1.4 or even 1.8 would be enough, though it would be really impressive to make something faster.

A 50-equivalent would also be nice of course, but then you would also need something like a 28 equivalent. Simpler to split the difference... Or just go all-in and make the three. Okay, that isnt likely.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 21:26 UTC as 10th comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

jon404: Photographers -- if you had a new iTouch with the truly hi-res 326ppi screen, would that be enough to serve as a picture presentation device? Or, do you think that the larger size of the new Retina iPad makes it a better purchase... at, I guess, about double the price?

The itouch (or iphone) is better than nothing for ad-hoc portfilio sharing, but no, not 'enough' imo for that purpose. Many people you want to share your photos with--practically anyone over 40 for starters--will have difficulty appreciating pictures that small. (i am not just guessing, i actually have had occassion to use both iphone and ipad to share photos with dealers, galley owners, other photographers, and random people.)

The ipad makes a spectacular presentation device (even the non-retina ipad 2), so much so that i truly think every photographer should have one (in an ideal world). We will have to wait and see if the mini is large enough to serve almost as well, but i wouldnt be surprised if it was very good for the purpose.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 06:25 UTC
In reply to:

nofumble: I bough an iPad3 for my wife, and bought an iPad2 for my mom. The iPad 2 is $399.

The iPad mini is a reduced screen-size iPad2. Why is it priced at $329?

It does not have GPS. Is there any reason I would carry with me when I am going out?

As far as viewing photo-image using iPad3 - not worth it. It is too slow to load for my patience. Pictures taken from my DSLR are too big. The iPad3 don't handle it too well.

'does not have gps' -- where do you get that? You are wrong; apple's tech specs clearly state that the cellular models *do* have gps, just like the other ipad devices.

Weird how people start these random myths.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 06:16 UTC
In reply to:

Ken Aisin: I wouldn't call it low res. A higher res screen with something like 300 ppi simply means you have to zoom in and out a lot more for precision editing.

By the way, I thought apple would never make a tablet smaller than 10".

"There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touchscreen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. It is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one-quarter of their present size," Steve Jobs said.

I agree that the title still (even after editing from the original highly misleading version) seems off the mark.

It's the same number of pixels as the ipad 2, in a smaller space. And the ipad 2 (for that matter the original ipad) look fantastic for photos, and more accurate than most laptop screens. I expect that actual colors and contrast on the new mini will be better than an ipad 2.

Likely a sweet spot in terms of speed, battery, size, and app compatibility. I doubt any real photographers will be "dissapointed".

As for apple changing course, well, they do do that from time to time...

Direct link | Posted on Oct 24, 2012 at 06:07 UTC
On A Serious Rangefinder Compact Camera article (137 comments in total)

i think there are some obvious mis-steps (eg, a 'classic' rf style vf would have to be on the corner, not center, and it would be better there in any event), but some of the criticisms i've read in comments seem much further off the mark. what i don't think the author is getting enough credit for are some genuinely good ideas, some relatively obvious but rarely implemented (e.g., iso on dedicated dial), some probably not yet seen in actual cameras (e.g., the 'square' dial setting for custom internal defaults.

and naturally i agree that lots of manual dials are a good thing, but from a practical standpoint i acknowledge that a) they quickly become expensive, and b) they are all one more point where the camera can break down--and without some of those settings, the camera essentially doesn't work.

'ideal camera' has to strike a balance not just with what is abstractly desirable, but also with what can work, imo.

still, kudos for the effort. and don't let the naysayers get you down.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 21, 2012 at 09:36 UTC as 36th comment
On Fashion Shoot: Tips from a Pro article (82 comments in total)
In reply to:

jorepuusa: Every professional photographer who "shares" his or hers knowledge about photography to amateurs takes part in the killing of photography as profession. For some odd reason some pros do not understand that.
That is probably cause they have a firm position in the business and cannot see the problems of those who do not and specially young pros who are just starting business.
It is very sad that dpreview takes part in killing of profession by giving advice to amateurs how to shoot. The amateurs shoot for free or minimum prize. In Finland where I live professional photography is almost dead and amateurs have taken over cause those who buy pictures do not anymore see the difference of quality but consider only the money. This is why I see this kind of sharing knowledge extremely hazardous for the industry.

Let me see if i've got this straight: pros can't compete because amateurs charge less for lousy photos, but you blame hard times on pros who are too generous with their knowledge.

That makes no sense.

The fact is that good-sense articles such as this one will not suddenly trigger a flood of amateur photographers looking to break into big time fashion editorial. In fact, a more likely effect might be to give pause to the next client who sees a new book with a couple of competent pretty pics and a lowball price; maybe now they will think to themselves, sure he can make a pretty photo on his own time, but can he deliver on my time? And i don't see how tht can be bad for good photographers, or for the business.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 21, 2012 at 08:05 UTC
In reply to:

Hugo808: Pentax Spotmatic. Quit while you're ahead.

Actually, my Contax RX was the best camera I ever had, best designed, superb handling, build and image quality. It even had an external battery pack for use in the cold. They thought of everything the photographer actually needs. Every DSLR I've had has seen a depressing drop in quality in every area. Sigh, I think we've all been had by clever marketing and gadget love.

I know what you mean; i often am struck by how my om3 is still a better camera in so many ways than my 5d2 etc. the metering alone was in many respects more advanced. Small, quiet, reliable, small and useful lenses... I do wish that olympus hadnt insisted on the lens ring shutter speed, though--in that regard id prefer a digital fm2.

Funny how many old contax users wax nostalgic. I never quite got their cameras, though the rts3 was very cool.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2012 at 08:14 UTC
In reply to:

John Iversen: The ONE crucial element I would have for an ideal highend camera is missing in action - that of interchangeable sensors. This, of course, would take a set of standards similar to those used by the computer industry for their components, but as the computer industry has clearly achieved this goal years ago there is no reason the camera industry cannot. The industry could offer a lineup of sensors for any particular body. Obviously, this range of sensors could run from bare-bones (and less expensive) offerings to full-tilt boogie professional sensors at the high end. Additionally, there is the possibility of sensors tuned to specific types of shooting, or specialized photography. This would NOT lose the industry any profitability (which I believe is the basis of their fear of this route), but would actually improve their range of product and profitability.

That being said, a weathersealed Olympus E-30 with a portion of the E-1 control layout would be my ideal setup.

John

John

No john, i dont think dan made your point at all. He made the point that since different sensors make different demands on the rest of the supporting electronics, many of which are cutting edge and rapidly evolving, it is unlikely that any sensor you would want to upgrade to would work with the rest of the existing camera. This to say nothing of the physical tolerances involved for getting good performance, or the compromises in overall size--any standard socket would have to lose some of the particular efficiencies a unique implementation could take advantage of.

No, modular sensors simply do not make sense, either economically or in terms of performance, for compact (dslr down) cameras.

Besides, think of all the whining about the sensor that accompanies every single new camera announcement as it is. Multiply that by three or five or nine modular sensors, and you'd have a veritable tornado of flying nits.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2012 at 08:03 UTC
In reply to:

Octane: Firmware can not change the physical design of the AF system. Most cameras did AF ok in some situations at one f-stop beyond the official limit, nothing new. It's not a matter of software/firmware, it's a matter of physical design. The AF sensors are designed to only see the light from a certain aperture. IOW, an AF sensor that is designed to see at f/2.8 will not see more with a 1.4 lens, nor does it get more light. Of course it will work with a faster lens, but when it comes to slower lenses it's more a matter of generous tolerances.
This firmware update can only allow for some more tolerance, it can't change the design. The AF system was not designed to work at f/8, like for example Nikon did for the D4. Of course that didn't sit well with Canon so they are pushing it now to match it. Real life will show how well it actually works.

While your basic point is correct, if you read the actual announcement you will see how canon ganged the central points together to act as a sort of amalgamated cross sensor.

This has the potential to offer the best of all worlds: the increased precision of the current system over f/8 designs, and functionality with f/8 lenses.

A lot will depend on how it works in practice, which we'll have to wait to see.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:03 UTC

i can't see why anyone would supply *that* as a sample, unless it is either a 100% crop of a small section, or shot at 12k iso, or both. weird.

it is also unclear because of dpr's layout that the sample comes from the tiny sensor, not the 1" model primarily discussed. but even so, it looks worse than the 3.2mp digicam i used 8 years ago.

fuzziness aside, however, it does seem to have the sort of color purity and grain structure characteristic of the nikon 1 cameras. really intriguing capabilities they are suggesting.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 9, 2012 at 09:18 UTC as 10th comment
On Just deployed: New dpreview.com forums system article (699 comments in total)

not a smooth transition. mangled several of my posts.

when posting text, then inserting a photo from dpr gallery, then more text, everything before the photo is lost upon posting (this happened first on an ipad, don't know if it is specific to that. btw, the caption editing bar for inserted photos isn't selectable on an ipad.)

handling of previously posted quoted text is horrible. it keeps jumping around, particularly if i want to take a chunk of quote, break it up, and insert several short replies. as it is, you lose quote formatting on the remaining text. to make matters worse, there is no way to apply quote formatting to correct the error.

already mentioned below how dpr gallery photos display poorly as embeds (they look flat), and you lose the second-click 'original size' display, thus making many carefully lined up comparison threads useless.

i understand resistance to change, but sometimes the resistance happens for a reason. nothing about the new look seems better.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 4, 2012 at 07:06 UTC as 254th comment
On Just deployed: New dpreview.com forums system article (699 comments in total)
In reply to:

pieces: The way the new forum is displaying photographs is very disappointing. I put up a set of photos in the following thread http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3273845 a few days ago. These photos are sharp but in the new thread they are flat, lacking detail and sharpness. This is very disappointing and certainly removes any motivation to show any photographs. I will certainly not be posting any under these circumstances.

it looks to me also like my dpr gallery photos are no longer displaying properly. lack contrast and sharpness compared to previously. oh, and the max size from the gallery is no longer available on embedded pics in the forum. this completely bolloxes many comparison files i've uploaded to my gallery--displaying them this way, at less than 100%, will make the accompanying text appear ridiculous.
terrible implementation.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 4, 2012 at 06:54 UTC
In reply to:

Najinsky: I browse more and more on the iPad, and visit sites that are not iPad friendly less and less. At the moment, using DPR on the iPad is a half experience. I can't load photos to my galleries, and more importantly I can't use various widgets, like the test scene comparison.

The iPad is not like a mobile phone, the new one has a higher quality and higher resolution screen than most laptops and a fair number of desktops. It's a great device for enjoying photography and I'd really like if you supported it better.

I absolutely agree that ipad usability should be a high priority. Hovering fxns fail. Currently it is impossible to view expanded dpr gallery pictures on ipad--if they expand wider than the active frame, they just get cut off, and you cannot scroll.

The ipad is our best shot at a viewing standard in todays world, dont waste the opportunity.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 19:30 UTC
On Photokina 2012 Roundup article (102 comments in total)

Especially after the dissapointment following the realization that dpr's announcement of a fast 10mm lens for nikon one system was in fact not a brilliant new wide angle, it seems doubly cruel to inform us here about panasonics new "14.2mm F1.2" lens for m43--a lens which, if it actually existed, would cause me to instantly order a m43 camera system to use with it.

Which begs the question--why /don't/ they offer a really top-notch fast lens in this focal length? Its about equivalent to a 35mm angle of view if you prefer shooting 2:3, and makes the most of the compact camera designs to provide something to compete with the rx1 when it arrives...

Direct link | Posted on Sep 27, 2012 at 08:30 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply
On What Is Deadpan Photography? article (7 comments in total)

it seems to me that you are confusing an analysis about techniques and styles in photography with an intentional or deliberate school of artistic expression, in large part. viz, it is bizarre to claim that walker evans was a part of the 'deadpan' movement or style; the term didn't exist as a genre at the time of those sharecropping photos, and at any rate, if his subjects' expressions could be described today as deadpan, it isn't because evans had a mission to create deadpan photos, it is because he was on a mission to create naturalistic, un-dramatized photos. likewise, if photojournalists are deadpan (i assume you mean they make photos which appear deadpan, regardless of whatever their mood was when taking them), it is probably very rarely down to any concern for the latest fads in the art world. they take staid photos of staid subjects, and dramatic photos of dramatic subjects; striving for representational fidelity isn't 'deadpan' in the genre sense, it's simply objective.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 25, 2012 at 07:54 UTC as 7th comment
In reply to:

xtoph: There is a lot we do not know yet about the m10 (we don't have to follow thier silly naming gambit). For example, does it use the same shutter as the m9, or is it a new one? When using live view or evf, does the shutter have to close again first before opening for exposure, and if so what is the impact on shutter lag? Does the shutter sound the same (sealed/new body could affect sound of even the same shutter)? Does the new sensor incorporate an aa filter, or not? Is the sensor genuinely a unique design, or is it a relative of the new sony sensor (okay, fat chance answering that one)? Are the weather seals up to the same standard as the s2, or not quite? Are the led illuminated framelines dim-able?video codec and rate? Oh, sure, i could go on, but the gist of it is: please finish the camera and let us lay with it.

"play with it", that should have read. My, how embarrassing... : p

Direct link | Posted on Sep 20, 2012 at 07:05 UTC
In reply to:

Superka: This camera has the best controls: very simple and effective. Others manufactures cannot match its simplicity.No, I don't want Leica, because I hace Fuji TX-1, which is better for me. But I want DSLR manufacturer to make such simple and effective controls. Film SLR from all manufacturer had them (Olympus OM, Nikon FM.., for example). And why not to make true rangefinder camera, only rangefinder-style?

@jtan163:

Pointing and shooting with a dslr may be easier than with a leica, but actually *controlling* a dslr is not.

If you expect your camera controls to actually control your camera, there is (unfortunately) no other option that even comes close to the simple, direct and positive contols of the m cameras.

It /was/ disingenuous of you to suggest that resorting to full auto was simpler, though.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 20, 2012 at 06:48 UTC

There is a lot we do not know yet about the m10 (we don't have to follow thier silly naming gambit). For example, does it use the same shutter as the m9, or is it a new one? When using live view or evf, does the shutter have to close again first before opening for exposure, and if so what is the impact on shutter lag? Does the shutter sound the same (sealed/new body could affect sound of even the same shutter)? Does the new sensor incorporate an aa filter, or not? Is the sensor genuinely a unique design, or is it a relative of the new sony sensor (okay, fat chance answering that one)? Are the weather seals up to the same standard as the s2, or not quite? Are the led illuminated framelines dim-able?video codec and rate? Oh, sure, i could go on, but the gist of it is: please finish the camera and let us lay with it.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:02 UTC as 26th comment | 1 reply
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