John Mason

John Mason

Lives in United States Lafayette, USA, United States
Works as a President and Top Tech for Software Firm
Joined on Mar 19, 2001
About me:

Cycle, Hike, Run, Explore and take a lot of pictures as I wander


Total: 13, showing: 1 – 13
In reply to:

djsphynx: Looks good overall.

That said, if I'm not mistaken, it only has 1 USB 3 port. I'd love to use something like this for when I travel but I'd need 2 USB3 ports so that I can back up to my two external HDs that I travel with. It was one of the reasons I passed on the 11" MBA a couple of years ago, that iteration if memory serves didn't have 2 either. Maybe the SP4 will have it. YMMV

I have a first generation Surface Pro and use 2 little adaptors that let me use it like a brick for desktop use. One is a 3 port USB3 splitter which lets me plug in a mouse, keyboard and external 3tb hard drive, and the other is a displayport to hdmi adaptor (which processes sound to the monitor as well). On the road I just bring the usb3 splitter and external hard disk. All in all the port and expansion capability look the same as what I'm having fun with now. I'll be looking to ebay my 1 and upgrade to a 3 as this new machine looks really sweet! (and more like version one should have been :) )

Direct link | Posted on May 22, 2014 at 18:39 UTC
On A travel-sized large-format 4x5 camera? article (219 comments in total)

Finally, a camera for those that judge a camera mostly based on sensor size!

This is a real advancement as you can change to a new sensor yourself without replacing the camera.

About time!

Direct link | Posted on Apr 21, 2014 at 21:22 UTC as 74th comment
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jim Salvas: Following the enthusiastic reviews on DPReview and the user reports in the forums i will be buying an EM-1 outfit in January to replace my D300 and its big bag of lenses. The only reason for the delay is that I will receive about $4,000 from an investment in early January, all of which will go toward the new outfit.

For the next month, I expect to go through the tradeoff comparisons, figuring out how best to allocate that money on lenses and other accessories.

One thing I'm afraid to leave behind is the excellent Nikon flash system, as my SB800 and SB600 have been responsible for some of my best images over the last four years. I am a big believer in creating my own light, but I see very little in the Olympus reviews or user reports about the flash system. Will I be disappointed?

I picked up 2 FL-600r's which are controlled by free little flash the EM1 comes with. I'm finding them quite capable.

I see some mis-information about these flashes. A popular m4/3 blog complained that they would sometimes miss the remote control because you couldn't turn the sensor to face the controller flash. This is not true. The flash heads in the fl-600r rotate 360 degrees (180 each way) so you can always have the flash aimed where you need and have the RC sensor pointing back to the camera.

The other problem seems to be people not understanding slave vs RC modes and thinking the controller flash contaminates the light field. In Slave mode it will, in RC mode you can turn it off.

I'm finding the flash system quite good. My prior was Canon 580ex flash setup. I've not worked with Nikon so can't comment.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:50 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

KariIceland: My opinion on the last years "winner of the year" the OM-D as an OM-D owner myself and having purchased it AFTER seeing that article:
I have owned this camera for almost a year now and in NO way did it deserve camera of the YEAR, neither does this camera, the X100s or X-pro 1
Deserved last years win in my opinion & this year?
Who knows who deserves the win but NOT this that is for certain.

If a gear of the year award goes or should go to a game changing camera then the EM1 or the A7 series are both great choices. The EM5 was also great, but the EVF was not in the same league. (I owned the EM5 and now the EM1)

The EM1 will attract many more FF converts than the EM5 would have simply because of the improved EVF. The vastly improved ergonomics help too.

It's quite true that absolute IQ is not very different between the EM5 and EM1, but in most other regards there is a large usability difference between the two.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:45 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: As nice as the EM1 is, it really is a tough sell for anyone like me who already owns an EM5 and who doesn't need to use 4/3 lenses on it. The image quality is virtually identical, and while there are some very nice new features, $1400 is a lot to pay for them.

But I will be buying that mouth watering lens.

Unless you absolutely need PDAF, then you might be better off waiting for the EM1 MkII or EM1 MkIII.....

Yes - the em1 IQ wise is very very close the the em5. I normally used the partial grip on the em5 so the size is very very close.

I traded in my em5 and got a 2nd em1 body since I often go on hikes with a cotton carrier with 2 bodies and prefer two bodies that operate identically so I don't go crazy.

I do find the EM1 ergonomics to be much better than the EM5. I rarely have to go to the menus or even the SCP to change anything.

Also, the EM1 improved CAF for native m4/3 lenses using the PDAF side to help predict movement. So, it's not just the 4/3 legacy lenses that benefit from the dual AF technology.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:39 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

Richt2000: Surely the A7R is the remaining (and real) gear of the year.... ?

Pop Photography agrees with you about the A7R. However, with no IBIS and the size once you put good lenses on the A7R, it's shutter, lack of optimized system lenses, the vagaries of Sony jumping from format to format without a clear commitment make this a pre-mature camera system for any type of gear of the year award in my mind.

I do believe there is great potential with the A7 series and might become the main direction of future Sony development.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:35 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

GaryJP: I have spent the last couple of days shooting an open air rock music festival. The first day, and night, I took out the Olympus. It is without a doubt my favourite M4/3 camera. But let's not keep pretending it does the job as well as a DSLR. It does not. I had far too many missed-focus shots, and the focus was slow, particularly in low light. I have used my 5D Mark III after that first session and the difference is night and day. There are situations where it is okay, but even an entry level APS-C DSLR would have outperformed it in these specific circumstances.

I'm finding my shooting in low light events easier on my EM1 than my 5D3. Not sure which lenses you are using, but the focusing on the EM1 has been instant and accurate. The IBIS with the primes give me a more consistent keeper rate.

I'd be curious to know which lens you are using? I'm typically using the 12 2, 25 1.4, and 75 1.8 for indoor low light event shooting.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:29 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ayoh: I am surprised by the unilateral enthusiasm for the EVF viewfinder. Based on my experience with the EM-1, the EVF gives a very pleasant experience in low and general indoor light. However in bright outdoor lighting with high contrast, the EVF experience is really behind that of an optical viewfinder due to low DR, brightness and washout due to stray light.

However it is still probably the flagship EVF experience. Especially compared to say a Fuji XE-1 which is genuinely poor with its slow refresh rate causing tearing effects even with slow panning, pixaleted view during AF, noise in low light. An OVF is still definitely best for clarity in bright light.

Having come from Canon series of cameras to the EM1, the advantages of the evf over optical are:
1. Ability to see and compose clearly in low light shooting
2. To see real time the actual effect of exposure compensation
3. Focus peaking and auto zoom in when focusing manually or with legacy lenses.

I'm sure the evf will still be improved. Yet, there are already real advantages to the technology over prior Optical viewfinders and now the size is right up there with FF.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:26 UTC
On DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 article (396 comments in total)

My favorite Canon of all time was the 5d3 often with the 85 1.2 lens attached. However, after over a decade shooting both Olympus and Canon systems, I finally went all in and got 2 EM1 bodies and some more lenses.

While there are still fringe occasions where the 5d3 would have served me better, for the vast majority of my shooting, the EM1 gets me more keepers.

Part of this is the sensor. The little sony sensor the em1 is using has even more raw post processing adjustment range than the 5d3 did.

But the biggest reason for the larger keeper rate, is the ability to use some amazing primes with the 5 stop IBIS. Whether its causal street shooting at night, or low light events, the EM1 was more consistent in getting me great results.

Interestingly, as I sold off all my Canon gear the buyer told me how in NYC the weekend before he had a Nikon guy sell off all his D800 gear for the EM1 for the same reasons.

This Gear of the Year award is well deserved in my mind.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:21 UTC as 41st comment | 5 replies
On Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction article (1852 comments in total)

I'm sorry. But I wonder how many people out there are like me and we just simply don't do cloud.

I don't do Iphone cloud on my phone, I don't do google cloud on my tablet, I don't use internet based backups, I certainly don't run my apps in a cloud dependent way.

I started with Photoshop with version 3 years ago and as the competition has come up, while I've upgraded over the years, I'm finding I just don't use it much more because the competitive raw converters have added so many features and the workflow is superior.

I have C1, DXO and Lightroom and for my needs I'm using C1 most of the time unless I need lens corrections then It's DXO.

The problem is, I use PS so seldom now that there is little incentive to join the cloud. MS is pushing this with Office 365 which has pushed most my clients to OpenOffice, because, they like me, just don't want to live in a cloud.

Direct link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 03:17 UTC as 711th comment | 5 replies
On Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Preview preview (214 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mssimo: My 2 cents

75mm F1.8 has the same DOF no matter what format camera its mounted on.

DOF of this lens is perfect for portraits.

No need to stop it down.

Lots of special glass reduces the need for post corrections.

You get what you pay for and this lens is worth every penny and it will not drop in price for a long time.

I also have the 85 1.2 and 50 1.2. If a person finds the DOF hard to work with, these lenses have a great feature. You can stop them down ! :)

The 75 1.8 option, while requiring more distance for proper framing, should address that FF thin DOF look when wanted in the m4/3 format. I'm sure this is what Olympus had in mind in coming out with it.

Be fun to see the samples!

Direct link | Posted on May 25, 2012 at 03:19 UTC
On Preview:olympusEM5 (1364 comments in total)
In reply to:

coroander: Currently selling lots of heavy Canon L glass and bodies to switch to this camera... i'm so over lugging around heavy, bulky gear and just want to get back to taking photos.

I have the 5d2 and 85 1.2 but the 85 1.2 is a difficult combo to use in terms of nailing the focus. I can see why you're selling. The closest eye feature of the facial detect on the ep3 and em5 solves the frustrations I have using the 85 1.2. Though the results on the keepers on the 85 1.2 are amazing.

I'm probably selling to. Hopefully not everyone will do this at once and crash the Canon used market.

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 at 22:58 UTC
On Preview:olympusEM5 (1364 comments in total)
In reply to:

mitrowsky SRB: Anybody knows how it will work my 14-45 (E-1 era) via MMF-3? Should I expect any problems with AF speed or smth.?

Because the 14-42 is not up to the same level of clarity as the 14-54 especially wide open. The 14-54 mk1 will work on Pens. I use mine on my ep1. The mk2 is cdaf capable. The mk 1 is not. But it still works fine but takes about a sec to focus. Not good enough for Olympus to deem it cdaf capable, but it does focus and is always accurate.

I'm getting the body only then will use my existing 4/3 zooms and add a couple of the new primes. I'll wait sill good zooms come out for m4/3rds before I start adding native zooms.

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 at 22:56 UTC
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