MarkInSF

MarkInSF

Joined on Jan 11, 2012

Comments

Total: 428, showing: 1 – 20
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On article The mighty PEN: Hands-on with Olympus PEN-F (163 comments in total)

It looks like a nice camera, but the price is simply absurd. I think the GX8 is seriously overpriced, too, but it offers more than this does, especially for the video fan. This looks like less camera than an A6000 at over twice the price (and the Oly doesn't even have a kit lens at that price) . Yeah, I know I'm comparing Sony's current street price with the Oly list price, but that's what the Oly is selling for now and they haven't dropped prices quickly in the past. I guess if you value style, think IBIS is essential, and love the great build quality this is better than an A6000, but the Sony has a bigger sensor, more capable autofocus system, and probably better video performance. And with the money you save you can buy several lenses. I want to take Olympus seriously, but they keep doing this.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 03:33 UTC as 16th comment | 3 replies
On article Inching forward? Canon PowerShot G5 X review posted (386 comments in total)
In reply to:

justmeMN: I look forward to your review of the Canon G9 X. If nothing else, it should get the Most Pocketable Award, for cameras with a 1" sensor. :-) It costs significantly less than the Canon G5 X too.

Half the price of what? The basic RX100 is going for $400 in my neck of the woods, while I've yet to see the G9X for under $450, and typically it is still at $500. The only RX100 model that goes for twice the Canon is the IV, and it is an exotic sports car inside that modest body. The G9X isn't even in the same class.

That said, I think the G9X may be the most appealing of these new Canons, especially if the price drops down to match the base RX100. It will be slower than the Sony, but basically similar in features, though the Canon will have WiFi and the touchscreen to its advantage. In such a small camera with a modest number of buttons the touchscreen is a big advantage I wish the performance and battery life were better (judging by the poor performance of others in the line), but in a modestly priced and very tiny camera some compromises are to be expected. For the casual users who are this model's target it won't feel especially slow and most of those users don't shoot hundreds of pictures per day. Many never shoot action shots or use subject tracking. It will handily outperform their phone or p&s.

For those casual shoiters, the G9X may be the second best pocketable compact for under $500. For people who already find the RX100 a bit of a chunk in their bag or pocket, the G9X may even be the very best. For enthusiasts it will be a non-contender, but not every camera should be designed for them.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 17, 2015 at 10:26 UTC
On article Inching forward? Canon PowerShot G5 X review posted (386 comments in total)
In reply to:

The Squire: "For photographers who care about speed and ultimate image quality, the RX100 III is the way to go."

Beaten by a year-and-a-half old Sony...

The II may not have added much in the way of new technology, but it added quite a few features your average person finds useful or desirable, like the tilting rear tscreen and WiFi. And a hot shoe, not heavily used by most buyers, but nice to include as it also supported accessories like an optional EVF. I think the II was Sony recognizing they had a hit on their hands and broadening the line's appeal by adding just about every popular feature they had omitted short of an evf (had to leave something for the III). The last two models have pushed the technology beyond what seemed possible for a pocketable camera. I can't even guess what a 5 could add, though my wish would be for increased zoom range, but without an increase I size or decrease in lens quality that's probably not going to happen.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 17, 2015 at 09:59 UTC
On article Inching forward? Canon PowerShot G5 X review posted (386 comments in total)
In reply to:

Catalin Stavaru: I actually think that the more interesting camera (outside this enthusiast forum) from the Canon 1" sensor offerings is the G9X. It has only 80% of the volume of the *original* Sony RX100, and 70% or less of the volume of the recent RX100 versions. There is no point in making a large, sophisticated camera with small sensor, unless reading these forums too much. A large camera is a waste without la large sensor.

Hmm, I'm not the only one thinking that. The bigger/pricier/more ambitious Canons in this line are let down by their slow performance/poor battery life/soft lenses, none good enough for enthusiasts and inexcusable at the price.

The same compromises are less likely to bug casual buyers of the G9X, who get that great sensor in a exceptionally small, light camera. For a camera in that class the limited battery life and modest speed are easier to forgive, as is the plastic body. As something like an S120 with much better low light image quality the G9X is a reasonable prospect, though it needs to compete on price with the original RX100, which I see regularly for $400. OK, maybe slightly more for the touchscreen and Canon name.

The G5X makes a lot less sense. It's too limited for enthusiasts and too expensive for everyone else. The RX100 M3 is better in most ways and its lesser compromises are easier to accept in a pocketable camera. In the G5X the limitations just look like penny pinching, not necessary compromises. At least it doesn't look as foolish as the G3X, where the missing EVF looks even more like penny pinching.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 17, 2015 at 09:12 UTC
In reply to:

NAwlins Contrarian: The real question is how the quality compares between a top-quality JPEG that is then compressed in JPEGmini and a JPEG created in Lightroom (or whatever) with the parameters set so that the file size is the same as the JPEGmini output. IOW, is it really significantly better than just using a higher level of compression in Lightroom? Call me skeptical.

Also, especially for something offered as a Lightroom plugin, there's a real head-scratcher in the inability to use it to create JPEGs in the first place (from processed raw files or TIFFs of scans or whatever).

FWIW, years ago I did extensive testing of JPEG compression with GIMP, which offers a good level of control of JPEG creation / compression. The very best quality settings gave me maybe 50% compression, but in many cases I could easily get 90% compression or more while maintaining very good quality. By degree of compression I mean, compared to pixels x 3 bytes / pixel, which is about what an uncompressed 8-bit TIFF takes.

It may give the same results,but the main market for this will be Web site managers who are not creating their own jpegs from a raw file, but instead receiving them from various sources. With this product they can compress all the jpegs they get without a noticeable loss of quality and achieve significant bandwidth reductions, which is still a very big deal. People complaining that this only works on jpegs are not the true intended market. They may be hoping photographers buy a few copies, but they aren't who it was designed for.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 3, 2015 at 21:55 UTC
In reply to:

Timbukto: Let me guess...patent pending? If the output is standard jpeg...and it works in all standard jpeg browsers and devices...it IS standard jpeg. JpegMini is a *brand* and is a jpeg *encoder* but not a unique *format*. This is no different from various flavors of Mp3 encoders with LAME being the best and open source. There used to be other variant mp3 encoders that costed money and well isn't that weird...they don't exist any more and I can't even remember their name.

In addition it is highly doubtful that there is truly any unique patentable technique applied in this standard format that any other unbranded run of the mill jpeg encoder cannot also apply.

It may be very well that JpegMini is a good encoder but that will require more thorough analysis than this marketing bit.

Also the bits about it using 'perceptual' encoding as unique is hogwash as the jpeg standard is all about perceptual encoding just like MP3 is all about perceptual encoding. Silly to claim this is the only one.

Any Web site with lots of jpegs not concerned with ultimate quality would find this useful as long as it isn't too slow and can be easily incorporated into their workflow. What owner of a busy site wouldn't want reduced bandwidth costs and faster loads? Users on slow connections would probably notice the difference, if not the rest of us.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 3, 2015 at 21:42 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $1200-2000 (325 comments in total)
In reply to:

Just Ed: Owned a D600 and now have two 6D's and also use a 5D mkiii. The 6D is quite uderrated. In my experience it focuses far better than Nik's D600 particularily in low light. My point is more focus points does not equal a better focusing system. I recently took a frame of a luminous flashlight in a dark room using autofocus and exposure and the 6D did quite well. Yesterday took pics of a friend and her foster 9 month old hyper energy pointer. Not a single frame was out of focus on the 6D. Now, had I taken the 5D mkiii with me that would have been my go to. But Canon's under rated ff can be had refurbed for under a thousand bucks and will probably be cheaper if they replace it next Spring. It is an image taking machine which adds wifi and gps (use the latter often for travel and events). All my glass is L glass so that helps overall performance. 24-70L, 70-200 f/4 L and also use 100-400 mkii L..

They included the Canon as one of their secondary recommendations and omitted the Nikon. That doesn't sound like underrating the Canon unless you think it should have been rated above the Sony, a camera with image quality second to none in this category, a very effective and versatile autofocus system and superior video. If you need the specific capabilities of a DSLR the Canon looks like a fine choice.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 07:38 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800 (274 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: Thanks DPR, by recommending the A6000 you have just delayed A6100 or A7000 by a few more months.

I doubt their schedules are affected by awards. More likely they've been busy with all the other models they've introduced and the A6000 continues to sell. It's successor will likely have an advanced sensor of some sort (BSI and layered?), 4K video, and rapid burst speed. A properly implemented touchscreen would be nice, but Sony doesn't seem to think they're essential. Pity.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2015 at 06:14 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800 (274 comments in total)
In reply to:

Androole: I really wish the A6000 had a touch screen. It's such a huge liability on what is otherwise a really good, well-rounded camera. If the A6100/A7000 doesn't manage to combine a touch screen with an EVF, I think I'll have to just give up on Sony...

Sony hasn't used the touchscreen very effectively on the 5100. If they aren't going to commit fully to it as an input device they might as well leave them off. Others do this so much better.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2015 at 06:09 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800 (274 comments in total)
In reply to:

Roshni: There are cameras for so many niches here... but I would not put the a6000 in the top two of any of them.

No touch focus should be considered a deal killer in a small light camera.
plastic feel and ergonomics are ordinary. - near the bottom in this pack.
image quality is not the best - the Fuji has a better whole photo feel and the Samsung beats it for pixel peeping where the Sony suffers terribly from the jaggers and moire,
The canon whoops it for lens value and range

I'm sure the reviewers know a lot more than I but I'm not confident on their call on this one.

I'm not saying they are wrong... but they got it wrong. I just can't figure out which of the other cameras deserves to be at the number in spot, but it looks like it should have been the Samsung. I like the Oly and the Fujis, but got the M2 (much better than the M3) because it is a little gem of a camera.

So find your niche and get the camera that suits you - you ought not be disappointed (even if you buy the Sony)

It's a very well-rounded camera at a bargain price. The image quality is comparable to the rest (some using similar Sony sensors), the evf is sharp and bright, the video features work well (if not quite Panasonic level) and the af is the best in the group, fast, accurate, capable of tracking fast-moving objects. The only real negatives are build quality that feels a bit cheap (mostly just perception) and the iffy kit zoom, which isn't a masterpiece, but is pleasantly small and has a more useful range than competitors, as it starts out wider. If I were serious about video I'd take the G7, but for what most people use cameras for the Sony is very well designed. I do think Sony should add a touchscreen, but that's the only major omission.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2015 at 05:59 UTC
On article Into the woods: Samsung NX500 Field Test (73 comments in total)
In reply to:

radissimo: out of topic: in my original country of origin we call these mushrooms "chicks"

p.s I am surprised that americans are picking mushrooms, certainly its not a case here in Scotland...

Only people who have made an extensive study of their local mushrooms should be picking them. There are too many poisonous ones that look very much like edible ones. The Northwest has very good mushrooms, with their damp weather and ancient forests. Many mushrooms are only found in conjunction with particular trees. The NW has especially nice chanterelles, one of my favorites. . Ugh as I love them, I leave picking to the experts. I like my liver working.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2015 at 11:09 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Advanced Zoom Compacts (147 comments in total)
In reply to:

Androole: Despite its lack of of any standout features and some significant deficits, I find myself most drawn to the G9X out of all of these.

It fulfills - better than any of the rest - arguably the most important goal of a pocket camera, which is to fit into a pocket.

The RX100 series have ballooned in thickness to the point where they can be fit into a set of pleated dress pants, but not any jeans that are in style, and no pants at all if I want to do my daily commute by bike.

The G9X is nearly a full centimeter thinner. The current RX100 is like putting an iPhone 5 into the same pocket as the G9X and expecting it to fit comfortably.

If I don't need something that fits in a pocket, I'll just take my GX1 + 20mm/1.7 and enjoy superior image quality in a package only modestly larger than any of these. But that's me!

The original RX100 is still available and the same thickness it always was. Sure, the subsequent models are thicker - a tilting rear screen makes that inevitable. They're still remarkably small for what they offer. I do find the size and weight of the G9X remarkable, but its slowness is hard to accept when everyone else can make cheap, speedy cameras. For a friend of mine who never shoots bursts or video and is used to older, slower cameras it will probably be ideal. But it will have to compete with RX100 models that are either cheaper or better specced, and certainly quicker.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2015 at 04:45 UTC
On article 2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras around $500 (272 comments in total)
In reply to:

badi: pretty shocked to see two nikon 1 cameras on the 6 camera selection.... maybe i just don't get it...

Maybe it's because Nikon makes two cameras that fit comfortably in this category and the others only make one? They clearly state that their categories are attempting to include all of the current models that will likely continue to be available for some time. I'm a bit mystified that Nikon thinks they need the S line, but they no doubt have their reasons.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 5, 2015 at 06:36 UTC
In reply to:

mosc: I still think there's a market for this sensor if it were attached to the right lens, like 20-300 f2.8 and made more pocket friendly. The EVF and flash hump don't slide well into the pocket. Give it a rangefinder style side EVF, ditch the hump, and design with pocket in mind. Nothing like that is going to fit in your pocket with any larger a sensor. f2.8 1/1.7" is good enough for outdoor use in shadow if it's a BSI chip. I think you can sell 1/1.7" for $700 but you have to be just about perfect every other way.

Last I checked the RX100 III was pocketable. I like the Stylus 1s, but think it should be a bit cheaper.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 13, 2015 at 22:35 UTC
On article Kowa announces pricing for three Micro Four Thirds lens (149 comments in total)

Looks good in black. Not so sure about green. Not that it isn't a nice, tasteful green, but still...

Direct link | Posted on Mar 4, 2015 at 00:43 UTC as 37th comment | 1 reply
On article Nikon 1 V3 Review (649 comments in total)
In reply to:

Alexis D: Thank you Nikon for these "1" cameras. Big sigh of relief for Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Fuji each time Canikon release their sub par mirrorless cameras. These small makers are given more time to establish a stronger base and better chance of survival. Viva la competition, et aussi la diversité!

I love having USB charging as an option. Third-party chargers can typically be had for a few dollars, though it would be nice to include one. Get one and you have the best of both worlds. You can even charge two batteries simultaneously overnight if you have access to USB, which you probably do if you travel with a laptop.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 16, 2014 at 07:21 UTC
On article Nikon 1 V3 Review (649 comments in total)
In reply to:

MicekyVee: Quote: We were disappointed we couldn't directly set exposure compensation changes to one of the command dials - a feature found on Nikon DSLRs.

Umm. Set Fn2 to Exposure Compensation.. press on the rear control dial bring it up and turn to adjust.. press again and done. Couldn't be simpler.

I'm probably the only owner of the two most bashed cameras on DPReview.. the Nikon V3 and the Canon G1X MkII. Nikon for daylight and lens selection.. have the trifecta 6.7-13VR, 10-100VR and 70-300VR and the Canon for low light and when I need flash.
From an handling POV and my uses (rarely print large), I'm not missing my DSLRs at all. For me, it's fit for purpose with some niggles mostly with the flash system. YMMV.

True, but what he's noting is that the rear dial also presses in. That's Fn2. So you don't have to move your thumb at all. Just click in on the dial, turn it one way or the other, and click again to return the dial to its primary function. It's not quite as simple as assigning the function to the dial as its primary function for that mode, and it does use the Fn2 button, but it is quite easy and only uses one dial and its built-in button.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 16, 2014 at 07:14 UTC
On article Chicago-based Calumet Photographic closes U.S. stores (195 comments in total)
In reply to:

plantdoc: Living in the photo mecca of San Francisco, I was disappointed with Calumet. I expected a well stocked, B&H type store. However, the store always seemed very light on merchandise but with plenty of space. I expect this is the handwriting on the wall for all brick and mortar stores. Even my clothing and shoes must be ordered online because I have special needs and no one stocks anything suitable.Change always happens...good or bad... time will tell I suppose. Now it's order, wait for shipping, and hope you get what you want deliver safely.
Greg

Or go to the newish Samy's South of Market. I also found Calumet disappointing on several visits in recent years. Not being a pro, they had no interest in me. The staff preferred to stand around and gossip instead of finding out what I needed. I've only been to Samy's a couple of times, but they were both friendlier and more helpful.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 15, 2014 at 00:36 UTC
On article Am I missing something here? (627 comments in total)
In reply to:

Richard Murdey: On lenses:

The 32/1.2 is a oddity, its a cost-no-object lens for a sensor format that is deeply compromised. However if you are fully invested in Nikon 1 and insist on that level of compactness, it is a fantastic thing.

There's the cheap and perfectly serviceable 10 mm and 18.5 mm primes, various standard kit zooms, an extremely good 30-110 telephoto zoom, an ultrawide zoom, two superzooms, and now a, what, an ultra-tele-zoom?

Most of these lenses are absolutely tiny for their effective FOV, and most are very cheap as well. That's the promise of the CX format delivered: You can take an FX dSLR and one lens out of your bag, and stick a Nikon 1 camera, 3-4 lenses, mini tripod, flash, and wireless remote in the same space.

The 30-110mm is an excellent lens that in no way resembles the lackluster 10-30mm. They have nothing in common. What's remarkable is that the very sharp 30-110mm has often been available in two-lens kits for all of $100. This is a very nicely made lens, as are the others, with very solid construction and metal mounts. The 18.5mm f/1.8 is a good standard prime, and the wa zoom is a honey. Yeah, it isn't fast, but it's adequate for that sort of lens, and it is optically excellent. I wish there were some more fast lenses in the lineup, but they seem to be emphasizing size and price (the only really expensive lenses being specialty items that will sell in small numbers.) The mainstream lenses are all quite reasonable.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 13, 2014 at 08:21 UTC
In reply to:

Jogger: How do the micolenses work on this set-up?? Wont the micro lenses be really wonky? Rectangular lenses?

BSI sensors still benefit from microlenses. A significant portion of the sensor's area is still occupied by circuitry, but flipping the sensor over means the circuitry isn't on top of the detector layer, where it reflects/absorbs some of the light. In a BSI sensor the light has to pass through a thin layer of silicon only.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 30, 2014 at 21:52 UTC
Total: 428, showing: 1 – 20
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