Mike Sandman

Mike Sandman

Lives in United States Brookline, MA, United States
Works as a Manager
Joined on Mar 20, 2003
About me:

Canon 5D Mark II; 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. Epson 3880 printer. Canon Powershot S-95. Started with a Balda 35mm rangefinder in 1956.

Comments

Total: 68, showing: 41 – 60
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In reply to:

jonikon: The worst of the lot by far is the E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS, which does not even come close to doing an APS-C sensor justice. Only the very center is reasonably sharp and it quickly gets softer going out from there. I was surprised how much distortion the E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS has, even at 50mm. I have pocket cameras that have better lenses than that!

With all due respect, I downloaded that image, displayed the grid in Photoshop and carefully rotated the image to align the window frame, inside shutter and pool cue with the grid. I did that because it's hard to judge distortion when the straight lines are at a slight angle due to rotation of the image. The lines of those vertical elements are straight, not distorted. Take the time to try it yourself and you may change your mind.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 12, 2012 at 21:13 UTC

Thanks for posting these. I've ordered the NEX-6 hoping that the 16-50 lens would be better than the 18-55, and despite the complaints here, the shots are useful and I'm somewhat encouraged about the 16-50.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 12, 2012 at 18:03 UTC as 13th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

TKinVA: Just one comment.

Please don't use dark blue. dark grey, or any other dark color for type on a black background.

It's very low contrast, and it's very hard to read. Especially for us older folks.

For instance, the list of threads in the forum uses a dark blue font, and the "(1 hour ago)" uses a dark grey font.

Agreed!

Along the same lines, it would be great if the whole site was converted to the colo[u]r scheme see in "Print View"

Direct link | Posted on Oct 1, 2012 at 01:48 UTC

Overall, the changes look like they will enhance the value of the forums. Thank you!
The increased spacing, however, will slow down the process of scanning for threads that catch one's eye. Perhaps you ought to reconsider that, at least on the top page.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 14:10 UTC as 169th comment | 1 reply

September 19 is the day Swedes play April Fool's Day pranks.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2012 at 01:13 UTC as 192nd comment
On Canon EOS 6D preview (1044 comments in total)

Canon offers the 6D, a relatively affordable full frame camera with improved technology vs. the 5D II. Forum readers complain that it doesn’t have everything the Mark III has and more; dPreview raises a skeptical eyebrow.

Sony offers the NEX-6, a more affordable version of the NEX-7 but with 2/3rds the sensor pixels and no touch screen. Forum readers cheer about the price and dPreview applauds the arrival of a less fully featured but less expensive model.

Like Sony, Canon’s filling in its product line by offering something less expensive and less fully featured. Nothing wrong, stupid or venal in that, any more than there’s anything wrong with Sony’s product strategy.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2012 at 12:26 UTC as 234th comment | 2 replies
On HDR for the Rest of Us article (199 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jan2009: Thank you for this article, I am also a big fan of natural looking HDR, I could not stand surreal HDR. I would have like more details and example of reading the histogram.

In your car example, how did you know to use more over exposed shot vs. just the 0, +2 and -2 EV?

There are at least two ways to know how to bracket to get the extremes of dark and light. (1) Take shots 1 stop apart. Check the histograms. You need one that has the curve starting in the lower left corner and one that has the curve starting in the lower right corner. (Leave the aperture constant and keep adjusting your shutter time until you cover the full range.) Or: (2) Take your series of shots and look at all of them ion your LCD review screen. If there's a flashing warning on the screen indicating an area that's blown out, or too dark, you need to take at least one more bracket shot. A tripod really, really helps here. I can take three bracketed shots with a single setting using a Canon 20/30/40/50D or 5D Mark II, but often that's not quite enough. Comparable Nikons can take a wider range of bracketed shots (and so can the 5D-III).

Direct link | Posted on Aug 28, 2012 at 01:10 UTC
On Mars rover camera project manager explains 2MP camera choice news story (187 comments in total)

The morning after the landing, while having breakfast. I opened up the New York Times' mobile edition on my iPhone and looked at a B&W photo sent from Mars after the camera traveled 353 million miles.

It's great to see dPreview publish information about the camera, and it's REALLY amazing to see the images. Thank you, NASA!

Direct link | Posted on Aug 9, 2012 at 00:50 UTC as 67th comment | 1 reply
On Reuters' showcases EOS-1D X multiple exposure modes news story (226 comments in total)

I agree that the high frame rate makes this capability interesting. Think about the shots from the early days of strobe that used stobe light to "freeze" a moving or falling object. Strobe is no longer required...

There will be other applications that become feasible because of the 14 fps rate. So the news is not about multiple exposure per se -- it's about how the speed enables new forms of M.E.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 7, 2012 at 17:25 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply
On Canon EOS-M: hands-on preview of Canon's first mirrorless EOS news story (1229 comments in total)

A small camera with the quality of an APS-C sensor and a smartphone-like interface is very good idea.

The market for P&S cameras is shrinking because we have passable cameras in our phones, so offering a camera that's a huge step up from a P&S in terms of image quality is a good strategy. It's not supposed to appeal to DSLR owners who are tired of carrying their heavy gear; it's supposed to appeal to people who want something better than the output from their iPhones, and who like the touch interface. But the price does seem out of line with the rest of the market.

For those comments that trash this first offering: Canon could either start at the top and build something to compete with he NEX-7 or it could do something a bit easier, for a larger market. If I was Canon, I'd choose to start with a proof-of -concept camera like this. Just wait for the next version and you'll get your EVF.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 23, 2012 at 21:15 UTC as 148th comment | 3 replies
On Just Posted: Sony DSC-RX100 preview with sample images news story (645 comments in total)
In reply to:

Strandlaeufer: No question, this new Sony camera is capable of taking excellent photographs in a very pocketable size. By reading the review the reader is getting the impression that noise would be a matter of detector size. This isn't true. A smaller focal length leads to a higher density of light in the focal plane and this compensates the smaller detector size. Noise in photography is related to the quantum nature of light and not mainly a property of a detector. Noise depends on the IFOV of a detector element (angular resolution) and the aperture of the lens. Larger detectors allow in general lenseses with larger aperture and this is the reason for lower noise.

Strandlaeufer - I have the impression the density of pixels on the sensor is the key determinant of noise, all other things (aperture, light level, sensor type) being equal. As a practical matter, manufacturers have to pack small sensors with a much higher number of pixels per square mm, and smaller detectors generate more noise when respond to lower light levels. Sensor size would be irrelevant if one compared two sensors of different sizes that had the same receptor density. In that case the smaller sensor would necessarily have few pixels. The Sony's lower density vs. a typical point & shoot should result in lower noise.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 9, 2012 at 15:02 UTC
On Just Posted: Canon EOS 5D Mark III review news story (706 comments in total)

I've never shot a JPEG with my 5D Mark II.

As far as I'm concerned the Mark II would be interesting even if it couldn't record in JPEG format at all.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2012 at 01:54 UTC as 76th comment
On Just Posted: Canon PowerShot G1 X review news story (525 comments in total)
In reply to:

Valentinian: A large-sensor-fixed-lens-mirrorless camera doesn't make sense in my opinion due to the fast evolution of the mirrorless system. mirrorless cameras of today are much much better of mirrorless cameras of two years ago.
It's better to buy a decent interchangable lens mirrorles camera today and a couple of excellent lenses. Two short years from now you can upgrade to a much better mirrorless camera and already have the lenses. But if you buy the G1X today, what will you do with it in 2014?
The question is: don't Canon and Nikon understand that in a couple of years the mirrorless cameras quality will match the best DSLR ?

Howard, Valentinian does say that he or she would keep the lenses and be able to upgrade the digital end of the system. That's the part that, as you said, may be subject to Moore's law. I've been wondering what Canon's answer to the challenge of ILCs and I would say it's an interesting approach but probably not the right answer. At this stage in sensor development, the lens is the limiting factor in attaining image quality, but new features in the body can help you make better use of the lens. Valentinian is right. When a significant improvement comes along, it's nice to be able to buy a new body and keep the lenses. And he's correct in saying that mirrorless cameras (or cameras with a fixed semi-transparent mirror) will match DSLRs. Look at the somments about image quality in the dPreview review of the NEX7, for example.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 2, 2012 at 00:59 UTC
On Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright news story (738 comments in total)
In reply to:

Tape5: This is yet again another example of ''expert'' judgment on an issue, in this case digital photography, where the judge has no expertise of idiosyncrasies and details in what is meant by digital or the term photography. This is hideous misjudgment. I can ask Sir Sugar to fund a three months shoot of the Westminster Bridge by a group of 1000 professional photographers. Each assigned to take 20,000 shots of the Bridge and its traffic day and night. After 90 days, we have 1.8 billion photos. Then I get a Photoshop nerd to batch process combinations and permutations of all affects on each photo to create 1000 variations on each photo. We get 1.8 trillion. A few dual six cores can do it in a few days probably. Then I publish and copyright each one of them. I can then sit and sue anyone’s pants who will take a shot of this magnificent bridge again !!

Alas, while you could "sue anyone's pants" who takes a shot of the bridge and background, you won't win if you you go in fromt of the judge who handled this case.

The person accused of infringement started by misappropriating the original image, which was in commercial use, and used it for his own commercial purposes. When caught, his response was to go out and try to replicate the exact look and feel of the original and use the replica, again for commercial purposes. Taking your scenario, unless you managed to make commercial use of your 1.8 trillion images, you wouldn't have a valid claim against anyone who deliberately created a photograph that had the look & feel of one of your 1.8 trillion, and then used it himself/herself for commercial gain.

Read the judgement -- it's interesting and educational.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 26, 2012 at 19:40 UTC
On Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright news story (738 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Note the commercial aspect of the case. No on is suggesting that a photographer shouldn't replicate the scene and the manipulation of the image. But Houghton replicated the artistic elements in order to avoid paying royalties to the original artist.

I think the judge got it right. Quoting him, "No defence of independent design being advanced" means that Houghton acknowledged that he was copying the concept in Feidler's photo to create an image for commercial use, not just to paste in his scrapbook or post on Flickr. That fits the definition of infringement in my (American) mind, as well as the definition under UK law.

Separately, I'm amused by the refreshing use of the vernacular in the judge's opinion. He refers to Photoshop as a "bog standard bit of software." I don't think US judges use such informal language, but based on this example, perhaps they ought to.

dPreview, thanks for posting the story.

The example of lions: Houghton started by copying Feidler's photo and using it commercially. Having been prohibited from doing so, he made an image that is identical in many important ways to the one he tried to steal. (And steal is the right word.) Even if the image he concocts isn't an exact duplicate, it uses Feidler's concept and produces something that's close enough to the original for it to be obvious to the judge.

It's not like you or I being inspired by someone else's photo of lions and trying to do something similar. Rather, it's an attempt to avoid paying copyright fees after having been slapped using the original image without permission. Take all the actions together and you have infringement

(The "American mind" remark in my post was bit of humor in response to a complaint that US posters were applying US copyright concepts, not UK concepts. No nationalism intended.)

Direct link | Posted on Jan 26, 2012 at 00:43 UTC
On Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright news story (738 comments in total)

Note the commercial aspect of the case. No on is suggesting that a photographer shouldn't replicate the scene and the manipulation of the image. But Houghton replicated the artistic elements in order to avoid paying royalties to the original artist.

I think the judge got it right. Quoting him, "No defence of independent design being advanced" means that Houghton acknowledged that he was copying the concept in Feidler's photo to create an image for commercial use, not just to paste in his scrapbook or post on Flickr. That fits the definition of infringement in my (American) mind, as well as the definition under UK law.

Separately, I'm amused by the refreshing use of the vernacular in the judge's opinion. He refers to Photoshop as a "bog standard bit of software." I don't think US judges use such informal language, but based on this example, perhaps they ought to.

dPreview, thanks for posting the story.

Direct link | Posted on Jan 25, 2012 at 17:23 UTC as 164th comment | 5 replies
On Buyer's Guide: 10 Home Studio Lighting Kits article (91 comments in total)

Apart from the question of whether to choose strobe or continuous, I think we need to careful about buying setups that use tungsten or CFL lights when both types of are likely to be replaced by LED lamps in the near future. Tungsten bulbs in particular will be harder to find.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 21:06 UTC as 33rd comment | 1 reply
On TriggerTrap universal camera trigger goes into production news story (36 comments in total)

If I buy the Triggertrap Shield version and solder it together myself (which I can definitely do), there still has to be an interface to communicate with the device. Where do I go for that? Or, of I have to ask that question, should I just buy the built-up version?

Direct link | Posted on Dec 6, 2011 at 03:11 UTC as 9th comment | 1 reply
On Variation Facts and Fallacies article (231 comments in total)

Great article Roger - rational from start to finish.

dPreview, give us more articles at this level of technical detail.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 25, 2011 at 22:08 UTC as 114th comment
On Site updates & Tamron Challenge Winners news story (52 comments in total)

Thanks for the Print View feature. It vastly improves readability.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 24, 2011 at 00:59 UTC as 30th comment
Total: 68, showing: 41 – 60
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