Mike Sandman

Lives in United States Brookline, United States
Works as a Retired management consultant
Joined on Mar 20, 2003
About me:

Sony Alpha 7Rii - switched in Sept 2015 from Canon 5D Mark II; Sony/Zeiss 24-70mm f/4; Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS; 70-200 f/4 IS; 17-40mm f/4 L; 24mm TSE II; 420EX; 580 EX II; Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro; Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. Epson 3880 printer. Sony NEX 6. Started with a Balda 35mm rangefinder in 1956.

Comments

Total: 153, showing: 1 – 20
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The 14mm goes to the top of my wish list.

Link | Posted on May 3, 2016 at 21:15 UTC as 13th comment

This may be a dumb question, but don't the Sony A series DSLRs with half-mirrors accomplish the same thing, although in a different way?

Link | Posted on Apr 7, 2016 at 01:47 UTC as 2nd comment
On article Beta: try out our new 'light' color scheme (587 comments in total)

I love it. For a while when I had a Windows PC, I used Readability (I think) to flip to black-on-white. I migrated to Mac and this new scheme, while it does look generic, is far easier for me to read. It's great that you'll offer the two schemes as alternatives. Please finish the task.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 02:53 UTC as 350th comment
In reply to:

PKDanny: You happy????

HowaboutRAW: you're right - my aplologies to you both!

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2016 at 18:23 UTC
In reply to:

PKDanny: You happy????

Actually, we do. You have a Fuji X-mount, a Sony E mount, a Sony FE mount, and a Nikon Coolpix with a fixed lens.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2016 at 02:17 UTC
In reply to:

mario loconte: I think Mr. Tokura is still ignoring what is the metabones adapter and the new sigma adapter, and how the metabones works on the A7R II camera.

I'm a canon user with three L lenses and two third part lenses, and I cant stand anymore with this gap of features. Especially for videos.

Well then, switch to a Sony alpha body. I did and I'm quite happy with the camera and the way my EF lenses work on it (with the Metabones IV adapter).

Link | Posted on Mar 3, 2016 at 04:07 UTC

Mac users running El Capitan who have memory cards with 64 or more GB have been unable to use Bridge to "get photos from camera". We've been grumbling on the Adobe forum and Adobe has been promising a fix, but this isn't it.

Although you can download it image files now fro a 64GB card in the camera, you don't get anything like full Bridge functionality. You can't assign new names or convert the file to .dng (at least for Sony .arw RAW files). So this is a second-rate workaround that is very disappointing.

If the update does in fact provide full importing functionality into Bridge for MAC El Capital, please tell me -- I will be happy to learn that I'm wrong. And if Adobe is still working on a proper fox for El Capital, it would be nice to know that as well.

Link | Posted on Feb 13, 2016 at 23:12 UTC as 3rd comment
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Digital cameras - A company that can increase profits despite a drop in revenue is doing somethng right. In this case, they've succeeded in shifting from higher volume, low profit point & shooot to low volume, high profit ILCs.

Sensors & batteries - the slide shows an impairment charge aggainst the battery business. That means Sony's auditor looked at the battery business's book value vs. it's profitability and decided the book value was unjstifianly high. So they reduced book value via an impairment charge. This is a.very unhappy event for the managers of the battery business, but it doesn't have a direct effect on the camera business. And even though sensors and hatteries are combined into the same reporting unit, it doesn't mean that the sensor business is in trouble.

Well, it's an interesting strategic question. As an investor, do you you want to own shares in business that's strong in a highlly profitable niche market segment (like Apple) or have a very high market share in a low- margin market (like Dell in PCs and Nokia in cell phones)?

If you're a corporation executive, the answer depends on whether your goal is profitability or revenue.

Sony earned about 12% operating profit on its camera sales in the third quarter of 2015, when the sales of alpha series II cameras was just ramping up. That's a very high return for a consumer electronics product line. The total profit was up despite a drop in revenue and, very likely, a steeper drop in unit sales.

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 05:03 UTC

Digital cameras - A company that can increase profits despite a drop in revenue is doing somethng right. In this case, they've succeeded in shifting from higher volume, low profit point & shooot to low volume, high profit ILCs.

Sensors & batteries - the slide shows an impairment charge aggainst the battery business. That means Sony's auditor looked at the battery business's book value vs. it's profitability and decided the book value was unjstifianly high. So they reduced book value via an impairment charge. This is a.very unhappy event for the managers of the battery business, but it doesn't have a direct effect on the camera business. And even though sensors and hatteries are combined into the same reporting unit, it doesn't mean that the sensor business is in trouble.

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2016 at 18:18 UTC as 7th comment | 6 replies
On article Sigma 20mm F1.4 'Art' lens real-world sample gallery (136 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Thanks for posting these. Where are the shots using the a7Rii? Only the Canon shots seem to be available.

Thanks!

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 20:08 UTC
On article Sigma 20mm F1.4 'Art' lens real-world sample gallery (136 comments in total)

Thanks for posting these. Where are the shots using the a7Rii? Only the Canon shots seem to be available.

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 19:04 UTC as 37th comment | 2 replies
On article Going Pro: We interview Fujifilm execs in Tokyo (367 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Interesting interview and commentary -- thank you.

APSC vs FF: I spent some time in B&H handling the XT-1 and the Sony Alpha 7 (at the time), along with a Canon 5D Mark III (and I was a Mark II owner). The Sony wasn't very much bigger than the Fuji XT-1. a7ii series bodies are a bit deeper and heavier, so the latest FF Sonys carry a moderate size and weight penalty vs. the XT-1, but nothing like the penalty Nikon and Canon exact with FF (or even prosumer APSC) DSLRS.

The Fuji executives are certainly right in in alluding to Sony's lack of depth in lenses -- FE mount in particular. Adapting Canon lenses certainly alleviates that, but with some obvious negatives (no film-related pun intended). All in all, there are tradeoffs with any manufacturer's system. If Fuji makes it to the top three (or even top 4) by sticking to a well-designed APSC product line, more power to them.

It's truly stunning to read that Fuji's film sales are less than 1% of what they were in 2000.

FE lenses are too few for sure. Too big... yes, compared to the very well designed Fuji lenses. Too expensive... well, Fuji lenses are not inexpensive. There are tradeoffs with both and I came close to going with Fuji instead the alpha. The fact that we and others are able to have this discussion about Fuji vs. Sony is a bad sign for Canon and Nikon.

Link | Posted on Jan 21, 2016 at 03:38 UTC
On article Going Pro: We interview Fujifilm execs in Tokyo (367 comments in total)

Interesting interview and commentary -- thank you.

APSC vs FF: I spent some time in B&H handling the XT-1 and the Sony Alpha 7 (at the time), along with a Canon 5D Mark III (and I was a Mark II owner). The Sony wasn't very much bigger than the Fuji XT-1. a7ii series bodies are a bit deeper and heavier, so the latest FF Sonys carry a moderate size and weight penalty vs. the XT-1, but nothing like the penalty Nikon and Canon exact with FF (or even prosumer APSC) DSLRS.

The Fuji executives are certainly right in in alluding to Sony's lack of depth in lenses -- FE mount in particular. Adapting Canon lenses certainly alleviates that, but with some obvious negatives (no film-related pun intended). All in all, there are tradeoffs with any manufacturer's system. If Fuji makes it to the top three (or even top 4) by sticking to a well-designed APSC product line, more power to them.

It's truly stunning to read that Fuji's film sales are less than 1% of what they were in 2000.

Link | Posted on Jan 21, 2016 at 02:48 UTC as 80th comment | 11 replies
On Connect post CamFi is a wireless controller for your Nikon or Canon DSLR (45 comments in total)
In reply to:

JanMatthys: Does the camera have to be in Live View Mode to use this gadget? or is it using the HDMI signal?

Both this CamFi and the CamRanger put out a wifi signal with its own SSID, and you connect your smartphone to that wifi source. You don't have to be in Live View, and there's no cable connecting your camera to your phone, so you can set up the camera and walk some distance away from it.

Link | Posted on Jan 5, 2016 at 04:06 UTC
On Connect post CamFi is a wireless controller for your Nikon or Canon DSLR (45 comments in total)

I used a $299 CamRanger with a 5D Mark II and it was very useful for night photography. All of the controls were available on the screen of my iPhone, and the intervalometer feature added a functionality that was missing from the Canon. If this device has functionality equivalent to the CamRanger, it's a worthwhile tool at a far lower price point.

Link | Posted on Jan 4, 2016 at 21:27 UTC as 16th comment | 2 replies

OK, the suspense is killing me. Where's Rishi's pick?

Link | Posted on Dec 24, 2015 at 03:03 UTC as 19th comment
On article In Fine Detail: Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R In-Depth Review (717 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: A thorough review, but I question the conclusion. How does a camera that has:
Less dynamic range
Noisier Base ISO images
Poorer low light performance
A low ISO cap
Less JPEG detail
Slower AF tracking
Limited video features
No zebra or peaking options
Slow AF in Live View and video

...get an 83 compared to the 90 for the D810 and a7Rii, unless you count the first series of a7 cameras, which have different but significant shortcomings, as contemporaneous competitors.

No problem. I try to be balanced when I comment, but I screwed up in that first post.

I shoot a lot of urban night images and a lot of HDR, so better dynamic range is more important to me than the number of MP.

I admit to being rather grumpy about all of this, having owned three Canon DSLRs including a 5D Mark II before reluctantly switching to Sony. I see long range implications for Canon. The latest Sony FF bodies can readily use Canon lenses with a good adapter, so the switching cost of moving to Sony has been sharply reduced. And while 50 MP is class-leading, the Sony a7Rii has 42 MP -- not much of a gap. Canon needs to wake up or it will become the Blackberry of the camera industry.

It's enough to make any recovering Canon fanboy grumpy.

Link | Posted on Dec 20, 2015 at 04:57 UTC
On article In Fine Detail: Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R In-Depth Review (717 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: A thorough review, but I question the conclusion. How does a camera that has:
Less dynamic range
Noisier Base ISO images
Poorer low light performance
A low ISO cap
Less JPEG detail
Slower AF tracking
Limited video features
No zebra or peaking options
Slow AF in Live View and video

...get an 83 compared to the 90 for the D810 and a7Rii, unless you count the first series of a7 cameras, which have different but significant shortcomings, as contemporaneous competitors.

It's a bit scary to reply to someone who introduces an an analogy to an evil dictator in the context of a comment about cameras. But you're right that the 50MP should produce superb image quality to photographers who know how to manage the camera and who have suitable lenses. And you're also right in pointing out that Canon was aiming for class-leading image quality. It is also true that they packaged that IQ potential in a camera that has disadvantages compared to competitors, but would have been more balanced to include the camera's key advantage in my original post.

Link | Posted on Dec 19, 2015 at 03:54 UTC
On article In Fine Detail: Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R In-Depth Review (717 comments in total)

A thorough review, but I question the conclusion. How does a camera that has:
Less dynamic range
Noisier Base ISO images
Poorer low light performance
A low ISO cap
Less JPEG detail
Slower AF tracking
Limited video features
No zebra or peaking options
Slow AF in Live View and video

...get an 83 compared to the 90 for the D810 and a7Rii, unless you count the first series of a7 cameras, which have different but significant shortcomings, as contemporaneous competitors.

Link | Posted on Dec 18, 2015 at 19:31 UTC as 102nd comment | 5 replies
On article Primer: Why would I buy a mirrorless camera? (560 comments in total)
In reply to:

AnitaBower: What is preventing me from buying a mirrorless is uncertainty about available light macro performance. The available macro lenses are at most 90mm. I would like a crop mirrorless with image stabilization and a 100mm macro lens.

The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro and the Sigma with Canon mount will work on many mirrorless cameras (with an adapter) So will other makers' lenses (depending on the availability of adapters). Since you probably use manual focus for macro, the potential loss of that capability may not bother you. I think you'll find that manual focus with focus peaking on a mirrorless camera is easier and faster than focusing with an optical viewfinder.

Link | Posted on Dec 8, 2015 at 04:19 UTC
Total: 153, showing: 1 – 20
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