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.


Total: 146, showing: 41 – 60
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Signed by the artist.. $6200...
Maybe if it was signed by Picasso.

Direct link | Posted on May 2, 2015 at 17:30 UTC as 155th comment | 1 reply
On article Sony Alpha a7 II Review (847 comments in total)

Dan Barcaglia... If, as you say, the A7ii is within a stone's throw of equalling a D750, Sony's done very well. I've spent an hour with the camera in a store, and I think the heft is actually an advantage vs. the A7. The bulk that bothers you is a function of adding the grip, which improves the camera. (In the review, you show the A7 next to the A7ii with a larger lens, which is not quite fair.)

I use a 5D Mark II, and the A7ii is a lot lighter and it's a great deal smaller. For a FF DSLR user, it's a very comfortable step away from lugging a brick. It's only bulky compared to its lesser APSC brethren.

The only thing holding me back is the lossy RAW, and I thank you for making a strong point about that. Maybe Sony will do something about that with a firmware update... Fuji would.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 20, 2015 at 01:32 UTC as 56th comment | 1 reply
On article Sony Alpha a7 II Review (847 comments in total)

Sony, if you're listening out there... fix the RAW compression issue via a firmware update and I'll place my order the next day.

I think the review is on target with its complaint. They say you're a "stone's throw" from being fully equal to a FF DSLR. You'll be a hair's breadth away with lossless RAW, or perhaps an option to save as an (uncompressed) DNG.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 4, 2015 at 03:30 UTC as 86th comment | 19 replies
On article Sony Alpha a7 II Review (847 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike99999: There's something you reviewers are not getting, and that is the target market.

People buy their initial Nikon DX or Canon Rebel. They like the size. But then they learn there's barely any upgrade path. There's only a handful of lenses and most of them suck. Nikon and Canon force them towards a big and heavy full frame DSLR, nothing to do with the original camera size they fell in love with.

That's why the Olympus OM-D and Fuji X-T1 are so popular. You still have a crop sensor, but at least you get a fantastic lens selection.

And now Sony has their own "full frame OMD". And let me tell you this. The A7 II despite its added bulk is still smaller and lighter than my original D5000, my first camera and the camera that made me fall in love with photography. You get full frame performance in a DX-sized package. It is fantastic for most of us.

This is why the A7 series are so successful as well. So many people frustrated with the Canon/Nikon upgrade path now have another great option.

True as far as it goes, but there's not much of an upgrade path with regard to lenses unless you use an adapter. Sony is way behind Fuji and 4/3rds brands on this.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 3, 2015 at 18:13 UTC

This is great news. I use Amazon's "Glacier" service to archive about 400 GB of photo files at a cost of about $4.00 a month, and those files are stored in a way that delays access depending on Amazon' Web Services (AWS) traffic load. No-delay access for an unlimited amount of photo storage for $12 a year is a very good deal. Amazon's AWS is the largest provider of on-line storage, and there's excellent redundancy & uptime.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 26, 2015 at 16:49 UTC as 76th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: For 23 years, I consulted globally in the field of competitive intelligence (no, not corporate espionage). My clients included divisions of companies like Canon, Sony and... Kodak. Not everyone (even at a firm like Sony) accepted the idea that they needed to pay attention to competitors, but the ones that did were more successful than the ones that didn't.

A company that wants its internal teams to compete with each other rather than encouraging them to compete with the outside world is making a significant mistake. If Canon really thinks there's nothing to learn from Nikon or Sony, it's reached an intellectual dead end.

Thoughts U Us writes, "Rarely do you get much of a sense of where the company is truly headed." True, true. That's the problem - they're not headed in the right direction.

The Fuji and Sony interviews were specific in giving credit to competitors - even to Samsung! But Canon's CEO talked about how Canon looks inward for its competition by encouraging teams to compete with each other. To me, that means they're looking in the wrong direction. Perhaps they're superior in DSLRs, but their competitors are superior in mirrorless, and Sony and perhaps Fuji seem to be superior in some aspects of sensor design. Canon's mirrorless team should be trying to learn from and compete with Sony, Samsung, Panasonic & Olympus. This is a textbook case of having a blind spot about one's capabilities vis-a-vis competitors

Direct link | Posted on Mar 15, 2015 at 01:59 UTC

For 23 years, I consulted globally in the field of competitive intelligence (no, not corporate espionage). My clients included divisions of companies like Canon, Sony and... Kodak. Not everyone (even at a firm like Sony) accepted the idea that they needed to pay attention to competitors, but the ones that did were more successful than the ones that didn't.

A company that wants its internal teams to compete with each other rather than encouraging them to compete with the outside world is making a significant mistake. If Canon really thinks there's nothing to learn from Nikon or Sony, it's reached an intellectual dead end.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 11, 2015 at 03:06 UTC as 98th comment | 4 replies

The photos are artfully-composed and they show the lens's capabilities at f/1.4, an aperture where you'd expect a shallow depth of field. I much prefer this sort of samples gallery than pictures of Yokohama from a hotel hoom, even though it's easier to discern corner sharpness from bland rectangular buildings than it is from these.

And FE lenses are particularly interesting because I'm think of jumping from Canon FF to Sony FF. Thanks for posting, and please give us the"shooting experience" page of the Alpha 7ii review soon.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 7, 2015 at 18:49 UTC as 12th comment

I agree with the earlier post by Edymagno that the 410 is so heavy that it unbalances a carbon fiber tripod. So the almost 1 pound drop in weight is most welcome, despite the loss of capacity. But it appears that they've designed this one like the 410 in that it doesn't pan/pivot over the center of the tripod. That's a problem when shooting panos. You can buy a 3rd-party Swiss-Arca replacement mount from Hejnar to fix that on the 410; perhaps that will work for this head as well.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 5, 2015 at 04:16 UTC as 15th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

princewolf: If they don't give full refunds to backers, it's a rip-off, as that amount of money brings them huge interest in any sensible bank.

Uh... banks don't pay depositors as much in interest as they charge borrowers. Last time I looked, interest rates that banks were paying depositors in the US, Europe and Japan were under 1%. If they raised UKL 300,000 and held the money for a year without spending any of it, that would be about UKL 3,000 in interest. Not what I'd call "hugh interest."

Direct link | Posted on Mar 4, 2015 at 00:55 UTC

It's very refreshing to read so many un-hedged, direct statements from a camera company executive. Thanks, dPreview, for asking the questions, and thanks Fuji, for answering them forthrightly. Mr. Iida even acknowledged Samsung. This kind of thinking is responsible for Fuji's successful transition from film to digital vs. Kodak's failure.

It would be very nice (and quite a surprise) to see an equally frank set of answers from Nikon or Canon about how their cameras stack up against the competitors.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 28, 2015 at 14:43 UTC as 71st comment | 11 replies
In reply to:

Randy Veeman: For those who said Canon mirrorless is doing well in Japan, here you go. They are outselling Fuji, Pentax and Nikon.

3 kinds of falsehoods - lies, damned lies and statistics. Thus, Canon is "outselling Fuji, Pentax & Nikon."

Well, yes. The graph shows Canon had an 11% market share in 12/14, just about tied with Panasonic & Ricoh. Sony & Olympus together have a 55% share. Not a very stirring performance for Canon, but not dead either. The surprise (to me) is the low share held in Japan by Fuji. That may be a function of aiming for the top end of the mirrorless market.

Makes one wonder who has the highest profit. It's not always the market leader. Apple has 92% of the smartphone market profit despite having a much smaller market share than Samsung.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 22:21 UTC

Quoting from the editorial:
"By not participating I suspect these two giants hoped that the acidic CSC would just go away or at least not be encouraged to grow. Instead, Nikon and Canon have allowed new and struggling brands to multiply their wares like bacteria in a dirty petri dish."

So true... ! Excellent editorial. Thank you for giving Canon the kick in the rear that it deserves.

Canon has the classic problem of a market leader facing disruption: "Should we introduce a product that will eat our own lunch?" The answer is, "Do you prefer to eat your own lunch or have someone else eat it for you?" Apparently Canon still thinks Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Samsung & Olympus will just nibble on the garnish, but ultimately they'll grab the whole sandwich.

Case in point: I'm have a Canon 5D Mark II (and Sony NEX-6). I was waiting for 5D IV, hoping for significant innovation. But now that the shape of the next generation of 5D's has been revealed, I've ordered a Sony Alpha 7ii.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 15:30 UTC as 260th comment
On article Nikon D750 Review (1970 comments in total)

Excellent explanation, and interesting even though I don't own the D750. Thank you.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 21:56 UTC as 156th comment
On article Gary Fong launches virtual camera tutorial service (141 comments in total)

Wow -- there are a lot of snarky comments about this! All you so very sophisticated critics, wouldn't you like to spend enough time fooling around with the controls on an expensive camera before you plunk down you credit card? Here's a way to do it, albeit within the limits of doing things virtually.

It's NOT just for a newbie trying to learn how to focus. I'm a Canon FF DSLR owner thinking about jumping to FF mirrorless, but concerned about Sony's hitherto odd ideas about how menus. I'd love to go through the Alpha 7ii menu to be sure it won't drive me nuts.
Take all the time you need - something you may have time to do in a camera store, or maybe not. Want to see the effect of different levels of focus peaking? Want to know if it's easy to go from single shot to time delay? To change focus points? Check it out. Obsess as long as you want without ticking off the photo store sales clerk. No matter what you think of Gary's "Tupperware," this idea has merit.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 15, 2015 at 04:53 UTC as 24th comment | 5 replies
On article Opinion: The myth of the upgrade path (1523 comments in total)

True, it makes sense to match lenses to sensor size.

But Richard, I'd like you to comment on whether there is a newly viable "downgrade" path from full frame to APS-C. For example, the noise performance of Sony APS-C sensors and the excellent image quality of Fuji X cameras (and lenses) make me wonder whether to upgrade my Canon 5D Mark II to a future Mark IV, or whether it's possible to get equal IQ and some very nice features in a smaller, lighter, possibly less expensive package.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 8, 2015 at 19:22 UTC as 407th comment
On article Editorial: 2014's Homepage Highlights (70 comments in total)

Nice summary. Thank you. Keep doing the videos and the readers' showcases.

Biggest personal highlight (or perhaps realization) was when I picked up a Fuji X-T1 and an Apha 7 at B&H and hefted them in comparison to a Canon 5D Mark III. 2015 will be the year mirrorless makes a big dent in the market for big DSLRS.

But Barney, that's an old joke in Slide 13: "Oh, Photokina... warm sausage, cold potato salad and beer that tastes like someone drank it once already," attributed to Damien Demolder in 2008. I heard it in 1986 in slightly different form from an English colleague: "America beer: English beer after it's been processed by the human body." Probably originated shortly after the start of beer brewing (Egypt & Mesopotamia, 5th Millennium BC).

No complaints... another fine year of helping us sort through the changes in photographic technology and technique. And you can be sure we're reading what you folks write.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 1, 2015 at 04:59 UTC as 19th comment
On article Nikon D750 Review (1970 comments in total)
In reply to:

zdechlypes: I am Canon 5DM2 owner and have just recently found about the term "ISO variant/invariant". Canon is ISO variant and I know it very, very well ... unfortunately.
I did not know that Nikon is soooo much better. I am about to buy 5DM3 as the prices are getting better but not able to switch as I had heavily invested in L lenses, flashes and other Canon stuff. It would be bloody expensive swap. :-(

Good job Nikon!

I too am a Canon 5D-II owner, waiting for the 5D-IV to decide whether to go that way, or move to the Alpha 7-II (which, with an adapter, allows me to use my Canon lenses).
Canon needs to offer a very good 5D-IV to counter its competitors, and unless they go to a Sony sensor or have some breakthrough in their own sensor technology, it's going to be difficult to match Nikon & Sony. For a long time, Canon had a lock on the top end, and the current disruption is good for all of us -- ultimately including Canon owners.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 20, 2014 at 19:48 UTC

Very well done - nice to see something that's not all geek-speak. I have a Canon 5DII and L lenses used mostly for landscape/architecture & am on the fence about switching to Fuji (small + high IQ but requires a whole new kit; $$$,) Sony 7-II (high DR sensor; can use adapter for Canon lenses but not much net advantage regarding size); 5D-IV (optical viewfinder but size/weight penalty and uncertain timing; $$). Alas, this video only makes the decision harder. Let's have more of these.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 18, 2014 at 15:07 UTC as 62nd comment
On article ShareGrid offers peer-to-peer gear rental (32 comments in total)

I'm an amateur with good gear - Canon L lenses, etc. I might borrow, but I'm reluctant to lend unless the rate is high enough to cover the perceived risk and I think others with good gear will feel that way. It only makes sense if lenders who have top-end gear are willing to participate. Not many people will want to borrow a cheap lens or camera.

Still, it could work for local rentals even if the rates are high, because the borrower would avoid the high shipping cost to & from firms like LensRentals. As one of the posts suggests, pros are unlikely to offer their gear for rental because of the time and effort it takes, although they too may be interested in borrowing.

So it's not going to be Uber for photo gear. but it might work in metro areas where there are enough lenders and borrowers.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2014 at 04:34 UTC as 13th comment
Total: 146, showing: 41 – 60
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