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.


Total: 77, showing: 41 – 60
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On Accessory Review: Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL article (48 comments in total)

For all of you who laughed at seeing the OM-D in the photo at the beginning of the article:

I have the slightly smaller version of this bag, the D466, and it holds my Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105 lens attached in the bottom compartment along with at least one and sometimes two other short-barrel lenses. It's a tight fit and it's heavy, but it works. It also holds a 15" laptop, a quart-size Ziplock bag with assorted cables, and the computer's power supply. Sometimes I can even squeeze in an apple (the edible kind). It's my go-to backpack for long business trips when I will have a day off or a weekend to explore a new place. The chest strap is very helpful in keeping it on and comfortably in place. It's been around the world at least five times (all the way around...) and it still looks like new. One can sneer at the concept and at OM-D in the photo, but people who own these bags have the last laugh.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 28, 2012 at 00:48 UTC as 12th comment | 6 replies
On Adobe releases Lightroom 4.3 and Adobe Camera Raw 7.3 article (69 comments in total)

Sony NEX-6 raw files are also supported, it seems.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 13, 2012 at 18:24 UTC as 12th comment
On 2012 Holiday Mobile Photography Gift Guide post (33 comments in total)

Small correction -- the Restoration Hardware lens is a microscope in your pocket, not a telescope as the current caption indicates.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 11, 2012 at 01:27 UTC as 8th comment | 1 reply

Awful scene. Publishing it is in bad taste, but that's often what readers buy. Republishing it seems to extend the reach of the Post, which is unfortunate.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 4, 2012 at 21:40 UTC as 90th comment
On Metabones adds autofocus to Canon-NEX adapter article (63 comments in total)
In reply to:

Deleted-pending: One reason I would never buy such a small camera : you are holding the lens and not the tiny camera !
It looks like a sheet of paper holding a metal tube.

If you think it looks ridiculous to mount a large lens on a small body, well, it's the appearance of the image that's important, not the appearance of the device that's producing it.

The adapter & a big lens are not something to stick in your coat pocket all the time, but it will be useful, especially for those who have full frame Canons and sometimes want the 1.5x focal length multiplier you get with an APS-C sensor.

If the price seems high, consider the cost of a Canon L-grade lens, or Zeiss lens for the NEX.

Of course you could use Canon EF and Ef-S lenses on a Canon M, but that too requires buying an adapter. And unfortunately the Canon M is designed as an upgrade for point & shoot camera, not as a small-package alternative for full-featured DSLRs.


Mike Sandman

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2012 at 19:54 UTC
On Mirrorless Cameras: A Primer article (183 comments in total)

This article, posted only 10 months ago, is pretty good but it needs an update. A growing number of models now have electronic viewfinders for those who prefer to put the camera up to an eye. They cost more than models that don't offer viewfinders but they may be more suitable for serious photography. And three or four now have hybrid auto-focus systems that promise faster focusing speeds, including the Nikon 1 mentioned in the article, but also including the newest Sony NEX models and the Canon M.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 28, 2012 at 16:59 UTC as 25th comment | 1 reply

Fun article. I've been waiting f or something like the CameraMator so I could easily use the iPad screen as a fine focusing aid without having to tether to a laptop. Very nice.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2012 at 14:13 UTC as 12th comment
On Interview - Phil Molyneux, President Sony Electronics article (133 comments in total)

Well, I'm one of those business people who use terms like "disruptive."

At the macro level [an economics term in this case], Sony is changing the nature of the products we can buy.

The NEX line challenges consumer/prosumer DSLRs with high IQ in a small package. The RX-100 changes the game for quality point & shoot cameras. Alpha 77/99 challenge pro-level DSLRs with far better live view functionality. An interchangeable RX-1 will soon offer a Leica-like camera.

In each market segment, Sony makes us think about switching from "incumbent" brands. Its a lot like what Apple did to Sony -- think iPod vs. Walkman.

Even if you sneer at terms like "synergy" and "disruptive," consider how much Sony has shaken up the market. That's good for us. Competitors will have to respond by improving their products.

Good interview. Thanks, Sony, for shaking things up.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2012 at 20:15 UTC as 16th comment | 1 reply
On Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review article (187 comments in total)

A quibble: It would have been nice to have the usual discussion in the conclusion section about how this camera stacks up against its direct competitors, and perhaps how this class of camera fares vs. the Sony DSC-RX100 (OK, a more expensive small camera but with a far larger sensor). Instead we get links to other reviews, which is OK, but... that's not a replacement for a more robust comparison.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2012 at 00:12 UTC as 61st comment | 1 reply
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.


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 170th 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 (1035 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

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 article (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

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 article (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
Total: 77, showing: 41 – 60
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