Road Lice: I am not so disturbed that Eric has bestowed new powers of surveillance upon Big Brother as I am by the fact that "The force of marketing is greater than the force of engineering". When shopping for cameras I dread having to sift through hectares of semi-dysfunctional cameras that are really misleading marketing trinkets designed to appeal to the unwashed masses. I would prefer the best engineering available in a camera.
I don't trust camera manufacturers and I suspect they conspire against everyday consumers and photography enthusiasts alike. I would like to know what the actual difference in manufacturing costs are between an 18 megapixel APS-C sensor and an 18 megapixel Full Frame sensor. Am I being denied an inexpensive Full Frame camera by the the forces of marketing?
Question: "And what would one get with the knowledge of sensor manufacturing costs?"
Answer: The deepest, darkest secret of the camera business!
The costs you mention (like R&D, licensing and transportation) are the same for an APS-C sensor and a Full Frame sensor. I want to know what the difference is. I want to know if a camera company is reducing the cost of a camera by $50 by giving me an APS-C sensor instead of a Full Frame sensor.
And the cost of a 600D with the same sensor as the 7D is $750. However, the price of complete cameras does not tell me anything about the manufacturing costs of their constituent components. Rather than relying on Wikipedia or the suggested retail prices of cameras to speculatively interpolate the costs of sensors I was hoping that someone familiar with sensor manufacturing would spill the beans on what it actually costs to make sensors.
With all due respect to Wikipedia, I would like to know what the actual difference in manufacturing cost is for the sensor. Are we talking about $25 or $100 or $250?
I am not so disturbed that Eric has bestowed new powers of surveillance upon Big Brother as I am by the fact that "The force of marketing is greater than the force of engineering". When shopping for cameras I dread having to sift through hectares of semi-dysfunctional cameras that are really misleading marketing trinkets designed to appeal to the unwashed masses. I would prefer the best engineering available in a camera.
Re: Frozen batteries
I do not travel with a car to warm batteries. My photo safaris consist of being outdoors for days at a time. I hit a pocket of air south of Yellowknife that went below the lowest capability of my thermometer (-50C). My camera batteries stopped working and it was a beautiful clear evening due to the cold temperatures. I have not come up with a battery solution. The only thing I can think of is wiring up some kind of contraption to make the camera use disposable lithium batteries (which work in cold temperatures).
Yes you can store batteries in a vest under your jacket but at -40 they freeze the instant you put them in the camera.
Dianoda: Thanks for the excellent article. Good tips on the winter mountaineering gear and batteries.
Good timing, too, as I'm in the early stages of planning an ice-climbing trip to Canada (to Jasper, Alberta, or perhaps Banff) to welcome the new year, and the chance to photograph the aurora is a big plus to me. Hopefully aurora activity will be significant. Can anyone from the Jasper/Banff area offer comment on local aurora watching? Thanks in advance!
Sounds like I'll also want to bring along the double plastic boots and some serious down to keep me functioning in the frigid nighttime winter conditions. Fun stuff! Planning to bring my 7D and renting a 24mm f/1.4 (with damage waiver), and I'm pretty sure my Manfrotto 190cxpro3 is up to the task. And snow shoes for the tripod might be worth it...
Dianoda, Banff is quite far south and has lots of light pollution. You can see northern lights fairly often in Jasper but they are nothing like Ben's pictures (which are the most astounding northern lights pictures I have seen). The best foreground location for northern lights is halfway between Banff and Jasper in the Sunwapta Pass - which can be a dangerous drive in winter and also very cold, like -40.
Like Ben says you have to go much further north for the better northern lights. Yellowknife is much better than Jasper. The Dalton Highway (see the above photo) and the Dempster Highway are even more awesome. Both of those highways involve extreme conditions, especially the Dempster Highway.