JohnFredC

JohnFredC

Lives in United States Sarasota, FL, United States
Works as a Software Developer
Joined on Apr 18, 2005

Comments

Total: 23, showing: 1 – 20
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On Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX30 preview (49 comments in total)

I've had a Sony T100 (8Mp, similar form factor, NOT waterproof/shock proof) for 7 years this spring. It has been dropped on concrete (+ various other surfaces), and submerged in a pool. Still focuses & exposes properly. I've taken over 20k pictures with it and prefer it to my other cameras for many situations. For anything smaller than 16x20 the detail is sufficient to very good. This new TX30 will take even better pictures..

I love the folded optics, so discrete, and the placement of the lens in the corner means you can actually see the tiny little thing you're taking a macro of.

This camera can be pulled from your pocket, concealed in your hand, turned on with your thumb, a sharp, properly exposed and focused image snapped, the camera turned off (again with your thumb) and back in your pocket in less than 5 secs.

A great all-around camera for those who hate to carry a camera but like to take pictures.

I wish for WiFi, though.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 24, 2014 at 18:49 UTC as 10th comment
On CP+ 2014: Hands-on with Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II news story (201 comments in total)

So the flip-up screen essentially kills the camera's usefulness for portrait (vertical) oriented photography from positions other than eye-level.

65% of my photos are vertically composed. What was wrong with the previous flip-and-rotate design? The camera wasn't made any smaller by moving to the new, less useful design, plus the there are more moving parts in the screen mechanism and more ways to break it.

Sigh.

The lens looks great, I'm sure the sensor is adequate, the rings on the lens look, well, useful if two hands are available. The rest?

Not so much.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 15:17 UTC as 28th comment | 1 reply
On Sony introduces large-sensor 'high-zoom' Cyber-shot RX10 news story (114 comments in total)

Now we are talkin'! This camera is aimed directly at me. Directly. My only complaint is the inability to turn the back LCD face-in to protect it. That's just the way Sony rolls.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2013 at 12:17 UTC as 27th comment
On Mobile madness? Our opinion on Sony's QX clip-on cameras news story (233 comments in total)

This is very very creative of Sony. Exciting, even. Sony seems bent on innovating come hell or high water and I applaud them. Who else is testing the market with such interesting approaches? One of these days one of these things is going to "stick" big-time and this offering seems sufficiently well thought out to be a candidate.

If Sony is smart they will share the API with developers.

I would pair either of these with my Note 8 tablet. There is nothing quite like the ease of composing and focusing on an high-resolution 8" screen.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 4, 2013 at 16:18 UTC as 92nd comment
On 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop) article (352 comments in total)
In reply to:

lesirotes: No mention of Zoner Photo Studio from http://www.zoner.com/ or the more limited free version Zoner Photo Studio FREE from http://free.zoner.com/

I second this choice. Except for projects that require layers, Zoner has replaced PSP (and Lightroom for most things) in my workflow. Zoner's advanced noise and sharpness (aka "soft contours") tools are very comprehensive. Adjustment dialogs are non-modal. Dual (side-by-side) thumb panels in the browser tab. IMO the best UI of any tool mentioned here, and I've tried them all. Reasonably priced.

Direct link | Posted on May 18, 2013 at 13:01 UTC
On 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop) news story (450 comments in total)

What? No Zoner (Zoner.com)? Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Direct link | Posted on May 18, 2013 at 01:09 UTC as 108th comment | 1 reply

The problem with larger sensors is the size of the lenses. As long as manufacturers persist with camera form factors where the lens protrudes from the front of the camera, the sensor size will determine pocketability. This continuing reliance on historical camera design impedes progress in the areas debated so enthusiastically in this thread.

The first mfg who combines a larger sensor (1" would be swell) with a folded optics design (similar to the Sony T-series, for instance) and a decent zoom range (6x-10x), smart camera interface via large touch screen, and SLR-style mechanical controls ergonomically placed, will change the camera paradigm forever, and get my money almost immediately.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2012 at 22:05 UTC as 24th comment | 6 replies
On Leaving my DSLR at home: An iPhone experiment post (171 comments in total)

The point here is how convenience engenders creativity. I carry a tiny Sony (folded optics) everywhere I go, hidden in my pocket, an enormously more capable camera than any smartphone has. The camera itself is smaller than my Lumia phone. With such a device on ones person at all times, options for creative photography explode. Prints @ 11x14 @ 300 dpi are sharp as a tack and the DOF available without jumping through hoops is freeing. Suddenly, if you see a picture, you take it, and the camera will have gotten it, it goes back in your pocket, you move on. This method will change your photographic life, away from equipment fetishism (SLR enthusiasts take note) toward the best pictures you ever made.

This is great article. Let's have more like it.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 13, 2012 at 13:37 UTC as 70th comment

"SmartCamera". The "camera" component implies that the primary purpose is taking pictures/video. The "smart" component implies that the functionality, UI, and connectivity options are "soft", that is, implemented in software, and therefore expandable. I see no contradiction in a SmartCamera ALSO having mechanical controls and frankly am very excited about this development in the industry. It's a long time coming. Can't wait for a camera to use a wi-fi connected disk as its image store. Looking forward to an "open" camera API, too, because I'd like to write my own UI.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 3, 2012 at 18:12 UTC as 12th comment
On Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review news story (373 comments in total)
In reply to:

JohnFredC: If Sony can fit a 14x zoom into my wife's HX9V, a camera essentially the same size as the RX100, then surely they could have fit a 5x or 6x zoom into this camera, despite the larger sensor.

The RX100 is too capable a tool to be saddled with such a slight zoom.

Actually, just the lens barrel would need to be bigger. It's already almost 4x, so what the hey, make it 5x and 5mm larger in diameter. The lens collapsing mechanism might grow a little too. Not a problem for me. It would still fit in my pocket, and be much more useful.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 30, 2012 at 00:26 UTC

This is the future, folks. In five years, a huge segment.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 29, 2012 at 18:01 UTC as 35th comment | 1 reply
On Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review news story (373 comments in total)

If Sony can fit a 14x zoom into my wife's HX9V, a camera essentially the same size as the RX100, then surely they could have fit a 5x or 6x zoom into this camera, despite the larger sensor.

The RX100 is too capable a tool to be saddled with such a slight zoom.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 29, 2012 at 16:42 UTC as 38th comment | 2 replies
On Canon EOS M Preview preview (541 comments in total)

The description of the touch screen UI is particularly encouraging. It's about time the camera guys took a hint from the smart phone guys, don't you think?

Enthusiasts' cameras of the future will have form factors and behaviors similar to small touchscreen tablets (5"-7") but with lens mounts like the EF-M.

The EOS M is Canon's big step in that direction (already taken by Sony et al), and at first glance a positive one...

...but I'll wait for the EVF and tilt-screen model.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2012 at 16:25 UTC as 171st comment | 3 replies
On Is Instagram 'debasing photography'? news story (291 comments in total)

The irony of this debate is that we have all been conditioned to accept bokeh as "artistic" in a positive way, but bokeh as an "effect" is simply a property that emerges from the physical limitations of optics and lens design. Why is it that bokeh (which makes for unrealistic photos) is somehow good, but, for instance, a sepia filter (which makes for unrealistic photos) is bad?

It seems to me that any image necessarily stands on its own merit, and that an aesthetic which values the process that created it over the image itself borders on fetishism.

This isn't wet-plate photography, folks. It's digital imagery.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 20, 2012 at 13:04 UTC as 69th comment
In reply to:

IcyVeins: The new Sony camera got over 500 comments on its preview. I doubt this overpriced hulking non-upgrade of a sucker's camera gets even half as many. Canon hasn't upgraded its sensor in three years, that's an absolute joke.

T3 said: "but it gives you MUCH, MUCH greater room to grow as a photographer!". Well, if your idea of photography is rooted in behavioral limitations associated with equipment designed for and trying to emulate 20th century technology, perhaps so. But let's be honest with ourselves: the most versatile cameras are the little pocket travel zooms. They will get all of the photos the DSLRs will, and many that the DSLRs can't. The only DSLR advantages are pixel quality, bokeh, and quickness (i.e. for sports), and those are moot when the DSLR can't even get the pic because the subject is too far away or too close for the kit in hand, or in a place where a large camera is obtrusive or uncomfortable to use. There are many more pictures out there that cannot under normal circumstances or reasonable equipment logistics be taken by a DSLR than that can be. I'll never invest in an SLR-style camera again. Too limiting.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 8, 2012 at 16:29 UTC
On Panasonic DMC GF5 preview (70 comments in total)

If you are trying to pull business from the point and shoot crowd, you must understand that your competitor cameras are the travel zooms. All of these new, larger sensor cameras have better image quality than the TZs... but the low zoom ratios necessitated by the size of the sensors vs the size of the optics means that, in practice, such cameras seem almost useless for a person accustomed to the versatility of a TZ.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:04 UTC as 23rd comment
On Just Posted: Canon PowerShot G1 X review news story (525 comments in total)
In reply to:

JohnFredC: My perspective: Pros: Image quality adequate. Cons: Zoom range too short (4x?). Sensor too large for my personal use (yup: I want as close to infinite depth of field as I can get). Close focusing inadequate. Camera physically "way" too large. Loss of ISO dial (from G series) inexcusable. Viewfinder unacceptable.

But even conceding the sensor size in favor of smoother images and compromising on all the other issues, Canon has completely missed the boat here.

For 800 bucks (800!) I want a dual mode (visual/electronic) viewfinder and a better zoom (6x, minimum) with real close-up focusing... otherwise it is just a step backwards into the past of more limited capabilities. The image quality is not THAT much better than my G11 for most purposes and careful adjustment of the G11 images can close the gap substantially.

The concept of such a camera is great, the execution of the G1X much less so.

@howardroark. The low light performance is good, obviously. But besides that, for general use, IMO it is too limited in the kinds and circumstances of pictures one take with it. And if Canon continues to ignore my "unsolicited advice", then I will take my business elsewhere. Maybe to Sony.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 31, 2012 at 01:19 UTC
On Just Posted: Canon PowerShot G1 X review news story (525 comments in total)

My perspective: Pros: Image quality adequate. Cons: Zoom range too short (4x?). Sensor too large for my personal use (yup: I want as close to infinite depth of field as I can get). Close focusing inadequate. Camera physically "way" too large. Loss of ISO dial (from G series) inexcusable. Viewfinder unacceptable.

But even conceding the sensor size in favor of smoother images and compromising on all the other issues, Canon has completely missed the boat here.

For 800 bucks (800!) I want a dual mode (visual/electronic) viewfinder and a better zoom (6x, minimum) with real close-up focusing... otherwise it is just a step backwards into the past of more limited capabilities. The image quality is not THAT much better than my G11 for most purposes and careful adjustment of the G11 images can close the gap substantially.

The concept of such a camera is great, the execution of the G1X much less so.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 30, 2012 at 00:31 UTC as 119th comment | 5 replies
On Depth of Field in Macro Photography article (158 comments in total)
In reply to:

bobbarber: I think he missed the easiest step to take,which is to use an enthusiast compact camera. The small sensor gives huge depth of field, and the images are high quality. I'm talking about something like an XZ-1 or an LX5 or TL500, etc.

It depends on the resolution one finds acceptable and the "circle of confusion" tolerance. In my experience, the little Sony T-series cameras (4.8mm lens at the wide setting) can make very satisfactory macro images of many small subjects. Certainly more satisfactory than much I have seen from larger format equipment where the depth of field is more severely limited by the physics.

I talked with a pro photographer last weekend who was exhibiting large-scale closeups of sea-surf. The depth of field in the prints was horrendously narrow for such a topic, and it turns out the extraordinarily smooth images were from an Hasselblad. His statement was that the tiny area of sharpness (in the midst of the huge expanses of smooth bokeh) was his aesthetic. To each his own...

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2012 at 21:20 UTC

These little Sonys are the most versatile cameras ever. The images have decent quality. Sony's totally nuts noise control is rarely an issue in practice. Depth of field is huge for those who dislike bokeh of any kind. Macro convenience is superb, closeups can be astonishing. Menu layouts are legible and logical to use, w/good control over metering and focus. The small size enables pics in situations and environments even slightly larger cameras just cannot. Too bad this new version doesn't have the sliding front cover. The ease of slipping one out of your pocket while sliding it on with your thumb, snapping the pic with camera hidden in your hand, returning it to pocket while sliding it off without looking at the camera... lost without the sliding mechanism. Someday I hope for 6x zoom, an intervalometer function, and shutter speeds longer than 2 second. Not much else is needed except better noise reduction and somewhat sharper detail in the corners, all of which will come in time.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 30, 2012 at 17:40 UTC as 29th comment
Total: 23, showing: 1 – 20
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