Mike Sandman

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: 146, showing: 21 – 40
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In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

The Manfrotto device (and the CamRanger and Camera Control Pro) don't stream photos back to your iPad. They give you a live view with the ability to adjust focus point and the usual shot parameters -- aperture, speed, exposure compensation. Some apps (and the CamRanger) let you set bulb exposure and allow you to set up interval exposure for time lapse.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 30, 2015 at 03:06 UTC
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

Depends on the camera & app. True for some, not for others.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 23:04 UTC

Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

Direct link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 22:07 UTC as 11th comment | 9 replies
In reply to:

Duckie: A universal mount will force compatibility above capability (just like PCs). Vendor specific mounts will allow optimised performance (like a Mac). What's the point? People typically spend time/money finding what they like and spend on "dream combination" and get settled (or move on). It is not a necessity to be able to mount everything with one mount. You just select your gear with good judgement and move on. If you can't make the judgement, the ability to mount more is even more confusing. The planet of so full of excess gear that they need to invent new excuse to sell more.

Brian Smith seems to have an infinite variety of lens mounts to play with, but his hype about that really obscures the main point:
If you're switching from a Canon or Nikon DLSR to a Sony or Olympus mirrorless camera and you have Canon or Nikon lenses, the mirrorless cameras' adaptability to 3rd party lenses removes a significant switching cost. It's a lot easier to change systems when you can keep using your existing lenses.

I suppose you can settle on "dream combination," but dreams last a night, not a lifetime. Canon & Nikon led the DSLR market for a dozen years, but now there's a viable and perhaps even superior alternative to the DSLR. And if lens adaptability makes switching easy, why not dream anew?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 23, 2015 at 20:57 UTC
In reply to:

jhinkey: Sony giveth and likely Sony taketh away in some way . . . hopefully the camera doesn't now behave poorly in some other way as a result of using the uncompressed RAW files.

brendon1000 - Well, you're right about that the lossy 40MP files were OK in most situations. But for those of us who are shooting at night, the artifacts at the boundary between very bright and very dark could be a problem. Lossless RAW gives us the the full potential of the sensor in those shooting situations. That's a logical and practical reason for welcoming Sony's update.

If it also helps Sony sell more cameras to people who were otherwise concerned about this admittedly small issue, that too is a logical, practical reason for Sony to make the effort.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2015 at 15:19 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

PVCdroid: This article should have referenced the Michael Topes video on Luminous landscape which does a better job of visually comparing the results and commenting skiing the way. Here is the link.

https://luminous-landscape.com/sony-a7r-ii-review-dynamic-range-compared-to-canon-5dsr-canon-1dx-and-nikon-d810/

Yes, that's an excellent and comprehensive comparison, and its conclusions are nuanced.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 7, 2015 at 03:34 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marb67: I am in a good position as I am replacing my Nikon D200 which has served me well. I need a good enough video facility to afford me short clips to sell as stock (not so interested in 4K at this stage). I have thought long and hard between the Nikon D750 and the D810, especially as the prices are so good at the moment. I know the 2 cameras are the best DSLR's for video at the moment and image quality is excellent. Now the A7R ll has been thrown into the ring I have wondered about this but some things put me off:

1) The huge price
2) Lack of lens choices/High cost of native
3) Noise issue/hot pixel
4) Overheating video mode
5) General flaky unreliability of the software in the camera.
6) Many poor reviews on B&H
7) Poor Raw files
8) Massively large files.
9) Poor battery life

Hi dcolak- No, I'm not turning off the NEX-6 after every series of photos, but there is a "sleep" function,after all. If I didn't have various Canon DSLRs I might be happy with the NEX-6's battery life, but... I'm not. It's possible that the WiFi on the NEX-6 is draining the battery, but it doesn't seem possible to completely shut WiFi off on that particular camera. With the 7Rii that arrived a couple of days ago, I've put it into airplane mode to eliminate any drain from WiFi, so that may help. We'll see. I'm not the only one with these concerns, but I think the 7Rii's advantages outweigh the shortcoming.

Meanwhile, after a couple of days' use, the other concerns expressed by the OP have been answered at least regarding stills. The lens choice issue has been answered by a Metabones IV adapter w/the latest firmware. Third party lenses autofocus OK in good light, tho not enough to follow fast moving subjects. Canon lenses do better - and very well in good light.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 30, 2015 at 14:46 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marb67: I am in a good position as I am replacing my Nikon D200 which has served me well. I need a good enough video facility to afford me short clips to sell as stock (not so interested in 4K at this stage). I have thought long and hard between the Nikon D750 and the D810, especially as the prices are so good at the moment. I know the 2 cameras are the best DSLR's for video at the moment and image quality is excellent. Now the A7R ll has been thrown into the ring I have wondered about this but some things put me off:

1) The huge price
2) Lack of lens choices/High cost of native
3) Noise issue/hot pixel
4) Overheating video mode
5) General flaky unreliability of the software in the camera.
6) Many poor reviews on B&H
7) Poor Raw files
8) Massively large files.
9) Poor battery life

(2) No question that the choice of lenses is limited, unless you want to focus manually or have one of the Canon lenses that will autofocus well with a Metabones version IV adapter.

(9) I can't comment yet on how many shots the 7Rii will get from one fully charged battery. But my experience is that the same battery's life on my NEX-6 is mediocre at best. I get no more than a couple of hundred shots at best, and that's with the LCD set to display settings, not the image. You do get 2 batteries with the 7Rii, but you have to bring them and remember to recharge them as soon as you get back to home base.

I think the rest of the things you wondered about are, well, not really a concern. You can find bad reviews of just about any top-rated product, and yes, the files of uncompressed raw images will be 80MB, but both SD and HDD storage are very inexpensive.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 28, 2015 at 20:39 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

Frank C.: sold all my gear and didn't buy this, just sold all my gear, my iphone is sufficient for my photographic needs, the camera companies and their overpriced hype can stick it anywhere they want

SmOL. (Smiled out loud - just short of LOL, but thanks.)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 28, 2015 at 03:30 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

palie: now i'm on a roll. what practical price all that detail in any case ? if we're talking giclee, you can blow up a 6mp image to a massive size before it begins to pixellate. step back to a normal viewing angle, and they disappear in any case. litho ? sorry to tell you this, but printers' RIPs write all images down to the equivalent of 300 dpi ... that effectively means you can shoot a double page spread in national geographic with a 10 year old canon rebel ... and unless you specifically tell it not do so, the highest quality adobe acrobat PDF preset for litho printing turns your precious raw based photoshop file into - wait for it - a JPEG !!! think i'm joking ? ask a printer ...

Good question -- what are all those pixels good for if you can make a huge print from an 8 MP camera:

One answer: It's not all about the megapixels. For me, it's about dynamic range and the ability to push an image in ACR or another RAW converter and bring out shadows. And there are many other improvements over that 10-year-old Rebel (or current 5D Mark III in some cases), depending on what the subject matter: less noise at higher ISO; focus peaking; a wide range of bracketing options; remote control from a smartphone or tablet; tilting LCD...

And of course all those extra megapixel make it possible to crop more aggressively, so you may not need to cary that extra tele lens.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2015 at 18:36 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: I ordered this today, before seeing this partially complete review. I have no regrets based on what I've read here. My Canon gear will be on eBay shortly - as soon as I get a camera with which to photograph it.

Thanks.

Ahah - Competition! :-)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 26, 2015 at 18:20 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2124 comments in total)

I ordered this today, before seeing this partially complete review. I have no regrets based on what I've read here. My Canon gear will be on eBay shortly - as soon as I get a camera with which to photograph it.

Thanks.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 25, 2015 at 21:31 UTC as 368th comment | 3 replies
On article MindShift introduces BackLight 26L Photo Daypack (26 comments in total)

15" laptop + tablet + FF DSLR + 6 lenses + 2 large water bottles + a tripod... Will it come with a camel to carry it?

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2015 at 21:08 UTC as 8th comment | 5 replies
On article Sony brings uncompressed Raw to a7S II, a7R II and... (562 comments in total)
In reply to:

aquarta: "“The voice of our α community remains the most important guiding force of our product development plans,” said Neal Manowitz, Deputy Vice President for Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “The addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW processing is a direct result of customer feedback. Widely requested by photo and video enthusiasts, we believe the choice of RAW processing types will further elevate the performance of these extraordinary cameras.”"

What's not to like about Sony at this moment? There should be no complaining whatsoever from any of us.

Now if only dPreview could persuade Canon (and Nikon) to take mirrorless seriously... :-)

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 21:58 UTC
On article Sony brings uncompressed Raw to a7S II, a7R II and... (562 comments in total)

Thank you, dPreview, for pushing this issue on our behalf.

Sony, you need to ramp up production.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 16:08 UTC as 143rd comment | 3 replies
On article Sony Alpha 7R II: Real-world ISO invariance study (368 comments in total)

As a practical matter, the ability to push images 4 or 5 stops without much penalty (except for the artifacts at high-contrast boundaries) means that most of the time, we won't have to mess with combining shots using HDR software. This could make it a lot easier to get very good images in high dynamic range situations without a tripod.

With regard to the lossy compression and the effect at high-contrast boundaries, I agree with dPreview that this is a strange choice on Sony's part. If you keep pestering them, perhaps they will issue a firmware update to fix this. However, the size of the files may be 80MB or more, which may be a problem for ay computer with less than 8GB of memory. Is it also reasonable to think that loss-less RAW would slow down the save process in the camera?

In any case, interesting report,and please keep pestering Sony about lossy RAW.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 24, 2015 at 16:43 UTC as 94th comment | 1 reply
On article Fujifilm X-T10 Review (508 comments in total)

Two suggestions for future reviews:

(1) Obviously we can see for ourselves that the low rating for the XT-10's video capabilities has affected the overall rating, but dPreview might want to offer both a comprehensive rating that takes all the camera's attributes into consideration and a separate assessment for stills only.

(2) For ILC reviews, please consider adding an adding an attribute along with the ones for value, image, etc. to take into account the range of lenses and accessories that are available (in the native mount, but not just from the OEM). Fuji has built a fine stable of lenses that puts Sony to shame, and while it's possible to use Canon and other lenses on a a6000 by adding an adapter, that's an imperfect solution.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 4, 2015 at 18:20 UTC as 93rd comment | 7 replies
In reply to:

Barry Goyette: I think whats not being answered with all this focus on Dynamic Range and SNR is "does 14 stops of DR produce a photo that LOOKS BETTER than one taken at 12 stops. Sure I get that the Nikon/Sony will let you shoot directly into the sun while you focus on your tulips...but when I look at that shot....I see a very strange looking sky, which is where most of that DR is being utilized. I shot some tests with the 5dsr today in stupidly backlit situations and was able to get very satisfactory results exposing for the highlights and pulling up the shadows. The shadows had a bit of noise in them sure, but at this resolution, who flipping cares...you're never gonna see it won a print shy of 24x36.

But here's the thing, when I maximized these images with their paltry 11.7 stops of DR, frankly...they looked a little fake to me. They looked a little like DPR's tulip photo...(HDR anyone?) My question is this. Would stuffing 2 more stops of DR into that shot make it look any better?

This is why I cling to HDR shooting. If you're careful combining 3 or 4 shots taken a couple of stops apart, you can have a natural looking photo with extended dynamic range, and it will look better than simply a photo that results from pushing the shadows slider to the right in Photoshop.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 10, 2015 at 01:35 UTC
On article #1 in France: Hands-on with DxO ONE (270 comments in total)

Intriguing, ingenious. A coup for DxO, and a great semi-bilingual review for DPr. (Will you do the same thing for Japanese cameras?)

From the pictures of the camera+iPhone, I have my doubts about the ergonomics. If your right hand is on the camera and your left in holding the phone, you must have be very careful not to twist the two in a way that puts a strain on the connector. And if you use one hand to change setting on the screen, that means the full weight of the iPhone is bearing on the connection, unless you can make changes accurately with your thumb while you grip the phone in your fingers.

French engineering is sometimes simultaneously brilliant and quirky - witness the Citroen DS19. But if one comes to a camera store near me, I'm definitely going to check it out.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 18, 2015 at 20:01 UTC as 109th comment
On article Sony rides wave of US Mirrorless sales surge (733 comments in total)
In reply to:

Robert Holloway: I've been a Canon SLR and DSLR user for 35 years. Look at my avatar. I've used an A7 and A6000 and am now selling my entire collection of L glass through 2015 and switching.

I'm not a Canon hater or a Sony fanboy.

Canon has a huge 12 months coming up as their innovation seems to be more driven to protect the status quo and their position within DSLR. I learned in my corporate life that if fear of cannibalization is your driving force, you simply open the door for others to do it for you.

The numbers from NPD are not inaccurate. NPD tracks all sectors and is not affiliated to any one company. I'd been scoffing at Sony for years as I strutted about with my Canon and 300/2.8L IS. It's now gone and I'm another data point in this market shift.

Over recent months I've read and watched countless videos and reviews and the world of mirrorless is a fresh and very exciting place to be.

Canon makes great cameras, but Blackberry also made great phones.

I agree with the view that Canon (and Nikon) have put themselves in line to follow typewriter manufacturers and landline phone companies. When DSLR sales go down significantly and mirrorless ILCs go up, it's the beginning of the end. Canon has maybe a year to get competitive products into the market, and that will be a struggle because their first iteration is not likely to be fully up to speed. The one thing that troubles me about Sony (and the A7 series) is the lossy RAW file compression. FIx that and I'm buying an A7ii.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 4, 2015 at 20:05 UTC
Total: 146, showing: 21 – 40
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