Joined on Jun 6, 2006


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On Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 article (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

Boss of Sony: Is this camera made of wood? I'm looking for a camera that's made of wood.

I woodn't.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 22, 2014 at 19:26 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 First Impressions Review preview (1318 comments in total)

The LX7 has time lapse, built-in ND filter, 120fps 720p video, and currently sells for $260 at Amazon. The sensor is only 1/1.7, but the lens is a fast f/1.4 at wide and f/2.8 at long. It fits in a large pants pocket or any coat pocket.

Is it really worth another $600 to get a m4/3 sensor and 4k? Hard to think up a good lie that will persuade SWMBO.

That mechanical lens cover looks a bit vulnerable in the open mode, as if it could be circumcised accidentally.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 14:53 UTC as 261st comment | 6 replies
On Sony a7S used to shoot Chevrolet commercial article (278 comments in total)
In reply to:

Princess News: Why so many Sony haters? A pro is telling the world of photography how awesome this camera is and many are mad for saying so! I don't get it.

There is good reason to grumble over a "prosumer" camera that can't be used properly without investing >10x the cost of the camera body for added gear. A bummer that neither the a7s nor the PXW-X70 can capture 4k internally.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 16:09 UTC
On Sony a7S used to shoot Chevrolet commercial article (278 comments in total)
In reply to:

pkosewski: They took the A7S and they built this complicated rig, but they used one of Nikon's lenses.
This really tells the whole story about Sony E system...

Unfair. Sony will certainly introduce at least one new E sytem lens over the next 5 years. Consider the plethora of lens options offered to NEX owners. Ho ho ho.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 15:24 UTC
On Sony a7S used to shoot Chevrolet commercial article (278 comments in total)
In reply to:

dash2k8: All these haters coming out of the woods! I see this situation as Company A decided to use Device B to shoot Commercial C. Who cares what they use, as long as they get the desired results? The Mona Lisa was painted with a 0 megapixel camel hair brush but the result wasn't so bad, was it?

If you don't like the A7s, say "I don't like the A7s" or "I would use something more powerful/expensive/professional." To dump on this camera just because it's not an Arri is nothing but self-service.

Historical painters bickered interminably over everything. Jealousy ruled. Leonardo kept Mona Lisa (a trans-gender self-portrait) hidden during his life. His contemporaries would have sneered or laughed. Very odd that such a homely work end up in the pantheon of obligatory praise. Rafael was a much better painter. [Leonardo rolls in his grave]

Direct link | Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 15:17 UTC
On Sony a7S used to shoot Chevrolet commercial article (278 comments in total)

The gear set-up in the photo says it all: the camera body itself is a tiny, tiny component of what is involved in industrial-grade video productions. There is a geometric increase in direct cost and post-production investment to obtain smaller and smaller quotients of quality. Those tiny quotients may make a difference in public response to a 10-second TV spot for Chevy.

It's a surprise, though, that a firm would bother with a cumbersome jerry-rig with an a7s, given that there are quite a number of excellent professional video cameras pre-built with good controls, filters, and so on. Is Sony cannibalizing its own sales of such gear?

Another question: why prefer an a7s for an automobile ad? The rolling shutter problem, exacerbated by the feed from the large sensor, might make the Chevys look rubbery as they drive by. Or maybe most of the ad will use those (now ubiquitous) slider and jib shots.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 15:09 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply
On Sony announces Alpha a5100 compact mirrorless camera article (106 comments in total)
In reply to:

Fazal Majid: It's 2014. A camera's video features are not "impressive" if it's not 4K.

4k video can be cropped and still look good when rendered to 1080p. Cropping is a standard tool in still photography, so why not video? In addition, 4k allows for more digital stabilization of shaky shots without IQ loss.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 18, 2014 at 15:29 UTC

Innovative, yes. But ... does anyone plan to buy (and keep!) the Illum?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 1, 2014 at 15:53 UTC as 3rd comment
On Readers' showcase: Landscape photography article (107 comments in total)

Dream shots.

My landscapes turn out bad. Always there are power lines, billboards, frumpy cattle (or human) hindsides, blown out skies, waste heaps, busy roads, haze or dust. McMansions and shanties. The sun is always in the wrong direction. The darned lightning strikes too soon or too late. Then the guard dog or angry assailant charges towards me and it's time to run.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 29, 2014 at 16:11 UTC as 5th comment

Curious how sensor array technology will appear in phone cameras, without any traditional camera company making any serious effort to employ it in conventional cameras. One symptom of a "sunset industry" may be when innovation migrates to another species of gadgetry.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 29, 2014 at 13:48 UTC as 11th comment
In reply to:

Sonyshine: Fascinating - its amazing to think this aircraft and Concorde are products of the sixties - love that analogue cockpit!

All piloted aircraft (and autos?) are 1900s tech. 1969 was also the year that Kaboom breakfast cereal made its debut and Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his first term.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 28, 2014 at 16:48 UTC

Times change and yet they don't. Externally, the jets of 1969 and 2014 look about the same and cruise at about the same speeds. Some features of the engines, circuitry, and navigation have changed, but much of the air control sytems in Aurora, Illinois have changed little since 1969, and we still depend flight tracking on a "black box" crash data recovery technology that cry for an update.

Ticketing, fuel consumption, and tarmac logistics are probabably much more efficient than in 1969, despite vast increases in volume, but the cost of security has skyrocketed, and baggage damage or loss may be persistent.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 28, 2014 at 13:18 UTC as 21st comment | 3 replies
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

dinoSnake: I just realized that you gave this camera a Gold Award, 82% rating, without even touching on - or testing - the flash system. Flash is a notorious weak spot of compact / superzoom cameras (past owner) and you didn't test the built-in flash performance nor, especially, external flash or even better when used in conjunction with the (quoted) wireless system.

Is it pre-flash TTL? Independent built-in sensor? Power levels or compensation available? How is daylight fill flash performance - is the ratio pleasing or adjustable? Does the wireless system actually WORK (as advertised)??

I believe these are good questions that a potential buyer will hit up against - at the LEAST the daylight fill performance.

Even with the best of built-in flash, many typical buyers will be displeased because it could not illuminate a sports stadium, "fill" silhouettes of people posing against a sunset, or not blow out the face blemishes. Flash shots usually fail if there is white clothing, wall, or a table cloth. In other words, any review tests would skirt precisely the situations (legitimate or ridiculous) that buyers encounter or expect.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 24, 2014 at 16:15 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

frankje: DPR, I am very sorry that in your last reviews of cameras with a fixed lens (Sony, Panasonic) you don't say anything about their macro capabilities and - quality. People might be interested in this, I think.

An Alberta camera retailer has posted a video that addresses the FX1000 macro performance.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2014 at 13:52 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

Lab D: forpetessake is once again trying hard.
But most know this camera is going to be extremely popular and offers video straight out the camera that is higher resolution than ALL Sony cameras under $4000. The reality DSLRs with disabled VFs and noisy lenses are not good for video.

The Sony AX100 shoots 4k video and sells for around $1,900.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2014 at 13:49 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

oldfogey: So DPR - apart from the lens comparison and RAW image dynamic range questions frequently noted below.- How much video 4K or 1080P can the FZ1000 record on a single battery charge? Does the sensor overheat when long video clips are recorded? What are the filesizes/min? And How well does the IS system work?
By the way how can any lens based IS system do "5 axis" - i.e. (especially) correct roll? And what about flash - is the wireless control the same as Olympus's or would one have to invest in a different system?

I don't have an FZ1000. Nor would I trust the earliest buyer reviews, since so many tend to be written within a few hours of purchase. But here's my $0.02 inkling:

Battery life and sensor heat control should be at least as good as the GH4, which has a larger sensor and can shoot 4k video for longer stretches than people might have hoped. 4k file size is large: best get a 128gb super-speed SDXC card, though a class 10 32gb will work. To edit 4k video requires a strong PC or software that employs proxy files.

The 5-axis IS will work in AVCHD mode, but not 4k, which supports only 3-axis. The IS will help, but not perform miracles. Video shot over 200mm equivalent will demand a steady hand and / or physical stabilization of some sort. Stabilization of video is a much tougher proposition than with still photos.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2014 at 13:47 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

halothane: In the UK, the Sony RX10 is now widely available for £649 ( with £50 cash back on £699) and the Panasonic is £749. ($1100 & $1250 respectively).
At those prices your choice will depend on what compromises you are willing to make - I have always been suspicious of bridge cameras, as they seem to promise much, but don't always deliver.

Alternatives with 1 inch sensors are limited to the Nikon 1, which with the evf kit would be not far off the price of Both these cameras together! So at present is a poor value comparison. For a similar size / weight, and £100 more, a Canon 100D and Tamron 16 - 300 would be a possible alternative; bigger sensor, better range but smaller apertures.

I would be happy to be given either the Sony or the Panasonic; but if I was buying one, I would choose the Sony, as it has a degree of weather sealing. YMMV!

Enjoy you photography!


"Weather sealing" means rubbery buttons and flaps. Would a "test" entail exposure to cool mist, sea spray, heavy rain, a sand storm, a very dusty road, pocket lint, or accidental dousing with a liter of spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, or beer?

I suspect there is an Achilles heel that the sealing can't control: the seams of the lens turret, which are always permeable to liquid or dust, and must suck in air (and contaminants) when the lens moves in or out.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2014 at 13:30 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sirandar: I am fairly impressed with this camera, and if I hadn't bought an EM5 I would probably get one.

The dynamic range and low light performance isn't nearly as good and the FZ1000 seems pretty noisy above 800


To never have to change a lens actually outweighs both these cons for everyday practical use.

From my experience with the Pana FZ30, I found that the lack of dynamic range and telephoto end that was too slow to be useful are the only reason I am stilll not using it, megapixels be damned.

The dynamic range on the FZ1000 isn't bad .... may not be a limitation.

I have a suspicion that the telephoto end of the FZ1000 and may be still to slow to capture great pics in anything but the brightest light. That and the noise at high ISO, may limit this camera at the long end.

'..camera with a shorter zoom but a wider aperture..."

The LX8, perhaps? To be seen.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 22, 2014 at 16:26 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review preview (668 comments in total)
In reply to:

Geekapoo: When looking for a 24/7 carry camera, I initially tried the Canon S100, which I sold to purchase an Olympus XZ-1. Neither camera gave me the type of performance I wanted. Was only when I purchased a Sony RX100 that I felt I was were I wanted to be re image quality...a compromise versus my APC and m43 cameras but much better than the standard P+S. Would have purchased a Sony RX10, but felt I had most of the range covered with my Olympus OMD EM5 with the f2.8 12-40 (Oly) and 35-100 (Panny) and going to 200mm was not where I wanted to be.

I see the FZ1000 as transformative, in the same way the RX100 (and the RX10)...but at a focal range up to 400mm and more with lower MP images/cropping. Much better than the $$$ and weight (the latter being more of a critical issue to me) to do something similar with a m43, APC or FF. I'll stongly assume be happy overall, given my experiences to date with cameras (unless Panny pulls a Fuji-like x10 disaster by capturing blobs LOL).

400mm equivalent is for the birds, beasts, and belles one can photograph only from afar. Alas, there is no 5-axis stabilization in 4k video, so best to brace somehow.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 22, 2014 at 13:36 UTC
On Dronestagram contest winners announced article (120 comments in total)

Adubon, Darwin, and other early birders and biologist use shotguns to acquire their specimens for drawing and research. Captivity for zoological exhibition (aka caging) is way to bring birds with observation range. Drones with cameras seem benign by comparison.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 21, 2014 at 13:46 UTC as 7th comment
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