Tom Caldwell

Tom Caldwell

Lives in Australia Coffs Harbour NSW, Australia
Works as a Chartered Accountant
Has a website at
Joined on Feb 19, 2002


Total: 224, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

G1Houston: May be another important question is whether you should get the LX100 or the GM5, which is among the smallest m43 camera with interchangeable lens ability. With GM5 on the market, what is the major selling points for GX7? The tilt screen/EVF? It seems that GX7 is on the way out as a form factor unless they greatly enhance its capability in GX8 with a new sensor, GH4 AF, 4k video, etc.

The GM1/5 sacrifice some user comforts but you still get the use of the full surface area of the 4/3 sensor on them. And of course you can put any lens on them, wide, the kit zoom, even a Nocticron if you wish and you budget allows. I am not into "pinoccio" zooms not matter how good the technical specifications. And of course it might not be that hard to click together a useful camera based on the GM1/5 and get a smaller package than the LX100. Here we are - systems cameras that are smaller than convenience bridge camera zooms.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 2, 2014 at 03:02 UTC
In reply to:

caravan: An otherwise good camera,with an ugly zoom lens,oh,the horrors.

Reminds me of the lens on the Canon Pro1 and we know what happened to it. Took great images though.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 2, 2014 at 02:50 UTC
In reply to:

NeilJones: Seriously peeps. You all need to wait 2 months as Sony is about to release a killer new tech camera that will blow everything else out of the water!

Mark my words.

What! Making the A7 series user-friendly?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 2, 2014 at 02:47 UTC

Missed the obvious - compare the LX100 with the GM1 or GM5.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 2, 2014 at 02:46 UTC as 104th comment | 2 replies
On Sigma announces dp1 Quattro article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: Sigma really has found their market niche.

Their cameras are designed for people who really value "being different" above all other considerations. It doesn't matter if they cost too much or perform too little as long as they are bizarre in some way.

No one can ever accuse Sigma of running with the herd. And the odds are, no one will ever be stealing their camera designs.

They probably should stick with what they do best.... making lenses, and leave grotesque camera designs for someone else.

You can do a straw poll on here to figure out the snappers from the 45x30iers.

But I insist on liking Sigma's verve without being (yet) induced to buy one - put me down as "don't know" ;)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 21:22 UTC
On Sigma announces dp1 Quattro article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

webber15: Marty,,the camera design is not grotesque at all,,I personally think it looks better than the previous generation,,,seriously,,just look at that Nikon d810 to the right of the screen and tell me it actually looks good,,,its not attractive at all,,just porposeful,,you seem to struggle with "change"...

I am sure Sigma will sell all the Quattro cameras that they budget to make into the small niche market that they occupy and will be happy. I am not at all sure why cameras have to be judged as a failure simply because they are made and sold into market niches.

It seems that unless a camera can be made in vast quantities at infnitessimal margins and sold as "populist middle of the road", don't offend anyone with not normal looks, replace the design next year, and make it cheap ... it has not been a success. If it is profitable for Sigma to make and sell then it is a success.

If the relative few people that buy them get the appropriate horsepower for their particular needs then it is a success.

If the guys that see a camera as having to be "normal" avoid them then the waiting list to buy one will be reasonable and they will not become unobtainable.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 21:16 UTC
On Sigma announces dp1 Quattro article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

KZMike: I REALLY do wish Sigma would have some reasonable offerings for us enthusiasts.

Their sensor design really makes sense to me and with some bells and whistles like the Lumix FZ1000, they would have a HUGE sales winner. . . it is looking like Pany is going to sell a bajillion FZ1000's.

Agreed, if they made a "me too" camera they would be quickly mulched as can be seen by their foray into dslr territory. Making a camera for niche use is going to leave those who just want a camera like everyone else aghast. On the other hand the further they go into their niche only the truly brave will venture there lest "thar be a spider lurking" and it will bite.

Of course there are those that don't mind a prospect of spiders find that they seem to occupy the best territory and catch the best views.

Sigma wear their niche camera inventitiveness like a badge of honour and the more quirky it seems the shinier it gets.

I don't own one, but I admire the outrageous spunk.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 21:00 UTC
On Sigma announces dp1 Quattro article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

Tungsten Nordstein: The loupe is interesting. Let's hope it both annoys and alienates the traditionalists – especially the ones who crack lame 'lol' type jokes.

Room for a folding Clearviewer style lens on a stick type viewer here I think. If Sigma "legitimises" the idea of a fully enclosed loupe then the lens on a stick finder has to be the half-way house that retains most of the advantages and is certainly a far more compact device to carry.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 20:53 UTC
On Sigma announces dp1 Quattro article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

Quinbus: Wally Brooks is right. The DP's are in essence tiny studio/field cameras, best used on a tripod or monopod. For less than a thousand dollars (especially if you buy one of the Merrills, now going for cheap) you get images close to the quality of digital medium format that costs at least five times as much. True, you don't get interchangeable lenses, you have to put up with slow buffering and lots of other shortcomings. The DP's are still a lot easier to use than the 4x5's I once lugged around.

Sigma's marketing folks seem off base to me; they seem to want to sell these as carry-around street-snapping cameras, which they certainly aren't. Then again, remember how they tried to market the SD1 at a price of nearly ten thousand dollars?

Summary: The Sigma DP's are a niche product; if you aren't into studio/field photography, look elsewhere.

Niche cameras are not going to satisfy everyone (by definition) but if you are in the niche you will soon become a fanatic. Mobile phone users are in a niche as wide as the Grand Canyon. Plenty of advocates I suppose.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 20:41 UTC

Yet another thought - wouldn't a Panasonic GM1 be a better shape and a more versatile tool to do much the same job. Couldn't clip it on to your mobile phone to amaze your friends though ....

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 22:24 UTC as 22nd comment
In reply to:

Oleg Ivanovskiy: The first problem here is holding the whole thing. Cell phones do not have any grip on the back side. This construction, based on plastic arms, does not look reliable. And we are talking about quite expensive and fragile equipment. Just one fall - and there go your money. Other problem are controls. That are sensor-only. They (Sony) need to think a lot about UI here. Third part is power drain. Cell phone will be sucked dry after a few hours, just by the time you need it as a phone.
Still, I like this brave idea.

Just another niche. Camera users will still use cameras. Cell (mobile) phone users will still use their in-phone cameras. Most will not be bothered with such a hybrid that offers the inconveniences of both wihout a standout specific advantage. The real advantage is in the remote shooting capability where the ubiquitous phone is "cheaper" than a separately designed unit. But much the same can already be found/used with regular cameras and therefore only the (awkwardly shaped) smaller physical size is "the advantage". Pity that there is not a hot shoe as making a clip on finder would soon enough become a growth industry. Also add-on grips, soon enough it can be tizzed up to look as big as a regular camera superglued together .... ;)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 22:22 UTC
In reply to:

Wong Ping: I'm going to use this with google glass!

This modularisation has been done before with the Ricoh GXR (in a different sort of way) - it didn't catch on - but the idea is good.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 22:11 UTC
In reply to:

sportyaccordy: What is the advantage of this over a NEX or RX camera with Wifi syncing?

I see this as an awkward add on for mobile phone users but much more useful detached and remotely controlled whether on tripod or oherwise.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 22:08 UTC

So we have security cameras everywhere - now we have high quality remote surveillance cameras for everyone? Presumably not limited to oem E mount lenses but anything that an electronic adapter can fit on to them. Do we have "birder's paradise" - remote shooting from a comfortable position?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 5, 2014 at 22:05 UTC as 23rd comment
In reply to:

D1N0: Shot with a German camera. Weren't the Zorki's any good?

There is a certain (fairy) tale that Russia helped design the first Leica in secret whilst Germany was still regulated on making possible war armaments after WWI. Believe it or not the FED was in production pre-WWII in Kiev but the factory was bombed flat. Some production was kept going in a temporary location during the war. Afterwards the Zorki was made to FED designs by KMZ as there was no real FED factory left. The Ziess factory was shipped back to Russia as reparations and became a manufacturer of Ziess Contax cameras under the name Kiev. The Zorki remained in parallel development to the revived FED.

The FED was a cloned Leica by whatever means and the Zorki a cloned FED (but only post WWII). The camera made with Germany equipment after WWII was the Kiev.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 04:37 UTC
In reply to:

bluevellet: German camera used by the Soviets to immortalize German defeat.


I also believe that a Leica camera was the favourite camera of Alexander Rodchenko and it is interesting to see that well regraded Russian photographers were using these instead of the FED bodies which were perhaps more crudely made at the time. Later Zorki's such as the 4K have been said to match if not exceed the Leica in quality.

If watches were to be erased as a sign of possible looting then one might also wonder if cameras were excluded as possible looted articles?

Not that I suspect that this is the case here as the preference of noted Russian photographers for Leica gear is well known.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 17, 2014 at 04:18 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2064 comments in total)
In reply to:

konmin: I think having a common benchmark is useful reference for everyone. I do appreciate Richard and his team for writing this article.

Hmm, for crop sensor cameras, I hope camera manufacturers would be upfront about the equivalent aperture values too.

Most do state the equivalent focal lengths (in 35mm terms) but ignores the aperture values.

The reason could be that the aperture values would appear less appealing if camera manufacturers do so e.g. a Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 OIS on a Four Thirds sensor would be 85mm F2.4 in 35mm terms.

It seems that a 42.5mm f1.2 lens made for the 4/3 sensor is exactly that. If this becomes equivalent to something else then this is for a user to determine if they wish to do so. But for a rusted in 4/3 sensor user it is 42.5/1.2 alone.

On the other hand a legacy slr lens labelled 50mm f2.0 is a 100mm f2.0 on a 4/3 camera but the f stop of the former lens is equivalent to f2.4 if used on a full frame sensor (which it cannot ever be) and the 50mm f2.0 remains f2.0 on a full frame sensor (which it is quite capable of).

To compare to lenses as if used in situations which are completely imaginary constructs is a mental exercise alone.

Therefore optical focal length equivalence is a relatively easy mental adjustment whereas the relative aperture adjustment, whilst real, is not of nearly as much practical consequence.

Unless wishing to argue about it.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 05:05 UTC
On What is equivalence and why should I care? article (2064 comments in total)

Useful article. "Equivalence" has its own complications.

Aps-c sensor users of legacy ex-slr lenses are happy with 1.5x equivalence being the crop factor. Aps-c seems to use the FF equivalence as it's standard.

In the case of focal reducers making aps-c roughly 0.71x adjustment then applying 1.5x crop factor or a combined equivalence of 1.5 x 0.71 = 1.07 compared to the nominal focal length of the lens is a standard that most users can relate to. A lens of 100mm used on aps-c will happily be thought of as 107mm equivalent. In most cases reasonably similar to the markings on the lens.

In the case of M4/3 users they look at the same lens as 100 x 0.71 or a 71mm equivalent (to 4/3 sensor use) Then of course we have to multiply by the crop factor of 2x to get yet another equivalent value of approximately 140mm for a 100mm legacy ex-slr lens used on a M4/3 camera with a focal reducer.

How this article applies to focal reducers would be a further interesting exercise.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 8, 2014 at 04:50 UTC as 251st comment | 1 reply
On Sony a6000 Review preview (748 comments in total)

I don't have any native E-mount lenses (my problem) so I cannot see any advantages (only disadvantages) in the A6000 over the NEX6. Chunkier body if that lights your fie and more megapixels to make it burn brighter. Throw away a good evf certainly leaves room to bring it back in a later model as "an improvement". Did I miss something?

Direct link | Posted on Jun 12, 2014 at 06:42 UTC as 32nd comment | 1 reply
On Picquest wants to be the Uber for photography post (24 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: OK, here's the scenario. You feel a sudden impulse to have a portrait made, and you are short on time. So you reach for your phone, and use this ap to quickly and efficiently find a portrait studio close to your home.

Luckily, you had the foresight to download this ap last week, just in case this situation ever came up!

This is what happens when someone wants to design an ap, but there are already 10,000 other aps out there, and all the good ideas have already been taken.

So they start scraping for anything that might even be remotely useful.

Next, someone will design an ap that helps you quickly find a philosopher, or a toxic waste dump. Only because no one else has designed one before.

Perhaps an app to find and app that suits the need of the moment.
Myself I think that anyone owning a camera is a photographer and therefor the map of photographers in your locality might be more like grains of sand on the shore.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2014 at 07:06 UTC
Total: 224, showing: 1 – 20
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