Bryan Costin

Lives in United States MD, United States
Works as a Web Administrator
Joined on Dec 26, 2000


Total: 58, showing: 1 – 20
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The output is an odd mix of over-smoothed and over-sharpened. Reminds me a little of my old Sony WX9 compact. Details exist if you look for them, but there's a general lack of fine texture that makes the whole thing look weirdly synthetic.

I'm surprised by the stitching errors. The multiple cameras are fixed relative to one another and all have known optical characteristics, which seems like it should make the alignment and corrections simpler and more consistent than a sweep panorama, or stitching in Photoshop.

Lots of potential in this approach, though. Hopefully future firmware updates will help.

Link | Posted on Aug 7, 2017 at 19:12 UTC as 5th comment
In reply to:

Not an old man: another expensive vintage nonsense. a 50mm 1.8 lens takes the same quality images if not better. If you want a better lens buy a Zeiss...why this ?? I am sure hipsters will be coming after me after seeing this comment. Bring it on....

"Better" is entirely subjective. If you want the particular look that a specific lens gives then that lens is the best choice.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2017 at 19:05 UTC
On article Hot mess: Remembering the Leica M8 (157 comments in total)
In reply to:

Dave Oddie: These throwback articles are interesting but for me underline one fundamental truth, that old digital camera of this "vintage" are basically crap compared to what we have today.

This is ironic in a way because an even older Leica film rangefinders will never be obsolete so long as film is still made and able to be processed. You can use modern film and lenses with your older film camera but you are stuck with that outdated 10mp sensor with an M8. The same applies to other makes as well of course not just Leica but the virtually guaranteed obsolescence of a digital camera means I'd be far happier to have shelled out the amount of cash we are talking here for an M7 than for an M8

Not crap, just slightly less awesome. I was recently exercising an original Canon 5D which now is a little more than 10 years old. The results are just as good as they were 10 years ago. Compared to my Sony A7RII there's no live view, less latitude for in-post adjustment in exposure, and a lot less resolution. But in practical terms it's still a fantastic and very capable camera.

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2017 at 18:03 UTC
On article Google will no longer develop Nik Collection (391 comments in total)

I use SilverEfex and AnalogEfex, and occasionally some of the other apps. I'll probably continue to use them as long as they continue to run, which should be quite a while. They work fine in Windows 10 and don't use any proprietary formats.

I had purchased SilverEfex before Google acquired Nik. I was concerned it would disappear without a trace, but Google not only updated and supported the packages for years, they also made the entire suite available for free. I can't really see any reason to be upset with them.

Link | Posted on May 30, 2017 at 15:49 UTC as 207th comment

One of my favorite compacts. I took mine with me everywhere for years and was seldom disappointed with the results. I almost always used RAW/JPG with Dynamic B&W. The controls, size, and responsiveness made for a near perfect combination. I upgraded to an LX-5 but I never really cared for it, for some reason. After that I switched to the Sony RX-100 series.

Link | Posted on May 8, 2017 at 19:17 UTC as 5th comment
In reply to:

ewelch: Here's an idea. The encryption doesn't scramble photos, it just turns them into cute cat pictures! That way when the Gestapo, er Homeland Security, border security, [insert oppressive government jerks] security ask to see what's on your camera, they say, "Aw, cute!" rather than, "Come with me."


Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2016 at 20:12 UTC

It's not so different from how snapshots were taken pre-digital. Finish a roll of film, send it off to the lab to get it developed and printed, maybe with a note for the darkroom tech describing any special requests. And when you got back the prints it could be a bit of a thrill seeing how your photos came out.

This seems prohibitively expensive, particularly since they've apparently automated the retouching process. I guess they'll find out if there are enough people with spare money who find this appealing.

Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2016 at 19:14 UTC as 36th comment | 2 replies
On article Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm F10 (122 comments in total)

I still have my F11, bought used from KEH years ago. I'd borrowed an F30 and was very impressed with it, but it was a bit more than I wanted to spend at the time. The F11 turned out to be a great little camera with very nearly the same image quality and enough flexibility to serve as my daily carry for a few years.

Link | Posted on Oct 27, 2016 at 16:10 UTC as 4th comment
On article Ultra-compact: Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II review (584 comments in total)
In reply to:

tbcass: $3300 for a fixed lens camera is something I could never justify. I'd rather have an RX100IV which is smaller. 1/4 the price, far more versatile and has IQ that is 90% as good. This is a camera for people with lots of money burning a hole in their pocket.

As far back as glass plates or sheet film, there's always been a market for high-end, fixed-lens compact cameras. And because the engineering challenges are steep and the market is relatively small, they've always commanded a price premium over mass-market point-and-shoot and SLR cameras.

If you really need or want such a camera you'll be willing to pay more, and manufacturers will make them for you. If you don't, you won't, and they won't. Everybody gets what the want. That's the magic of a free market.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2016 at 20:04 UTC

So it no longer a phone with a camera welded on, it's a camera with data capability that runs Android.

That actually makes sense. Most people already have a phone they like, and they have no interest in buying or carrying a second phone. But a connected camera? That's a lot more interesting.

But they'd have been better off relaunching as a new product to avoid the obvious snarky comparisons to the previous model.

Link | Posted on Jan 20, 2016 at 20:01 UTC as 17th comment | 1 reply
On article Adapted Lens Talk: Readers' Showcase and new forum! (198 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mfritter: 1. How well do various cameras support adapted lenses in terms is EXIF data. At a minimum, the camera should allow one to enter the focal length. This should tie into to reasonable auto ISO functionality - e.g., minimum desired shutter speed. One should be able to code the lens in some way so it can be quickly identified when mounted. It would be super if the identification could correspond to lens profiles in one's software of choice.

3. The issue of smearing with wide lenses on Sony Alphas. Lots of discussion regarding M-mount wides, but more discussion of other options would be welcome. I assume this is not an issue on crop-sensor cameras. So a discussion of 21-mm-effective focal lengths on mirrorless cameras would be very interesting, as well as techniques for meliorating the problem on the Alphas.

The smearing talk seems to be focused on the A7R. Do the A7S and A7 exhibit different performance? Might not less pixel density be more forgiving?

FWIW, wide-angle SLR lenses don't exhibit the same sensor-related issues, as they're mounted farther from the film-plane/sensor. There are tools available, like Adobe Lightroom's Flat-Field plugin, that do a pretty good job of compensating for vignetting and color shifts when properly configured. Sony's own in-camera Lens Compensation app is also an option.

Link | Posted on Jan 4, 2016 at 16:12 UTC
On article Adapted Lens Talk: Readers' Showcase and new forum! (198 comments in total)
In reply to:

olyduck1: Leica M glass on Sony A 7R II - I have some M mount Leica lenses circa early 1960's. Setting aside issues of connectivity and functionality, I was wondering about any opinions of how well these old lenses do OPTICALLY when used via adapters on the newer digital cameras.

I'm trying to decide whether to just use my Leica M-3 and scan the film as needed vs. investing in a digital camera that could really take advantage of the Leica M glass.

Thanks, David

There are many, many samples available for inspection out there. I've used a few Leica and other Leica-mount lenses on my A7 and A7RII and have been pleased with all of them. The results look like they did on my M3 and FED rangefinders, except better.

Link | Posted on Jan 4, 2016 at 16:00 UTC
In reply to:

(unknown member): The government really ought to take this beyond national parks. Look at Hungary and their recent photography law. Making images (static photographs and video) of people without their knowledge or consent should be a federal offense. Right now one could mostly take pictures or video images of pedestrians without their knowledge or consent - and in my opinion, this is not only wrong, but should be made illegal.

That's an incredibly stupid law.

Link | Posted on Oct 3, 2014 at 18:41 UTC

Unless you use props. What do they consider props? And why would the use of props in any way relevant to whether it's permissible to take a photo on public land?

Link | Posted on Oct 3, 2014 at 18:37 UTC as 27th comment | 1 reply
On article Hands on with the Pentax 645Z (706 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michael Piziak: If Ansel Adams were alive today I think he would use this camera.

I don't think Ansel Adams would have had any problem with this camera, at all. Most of the iconic professional photographers people like to invoke were not nearly as hung-up on their equipment as amateurs like to pretend they were.

Link | Posted on Apr 21, 2014 at 17:51 UTC
On article Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras (120 comments in total)
In reply to:

abortabort: Rangefinder coupled?

No. But the DOF at 20mm/f5.6 pretty much means everything past about 2 meters will be in focus.

Link | Posted on Apr 11, 2014 at 15:34 UTC
On article Lomography launches Russar+ for L39 and M mount cameras (120 comments in total)
In reply to:

peevee1: 20/5.6? For $650? Really? All mirrorless systems (except FE which does not have anything) have 20 or so mm, much faster and with autofocus. Pana 20/1.7, Fuji 18/2 and 23/1.4, Samsung 20/2.8, even Canon has 22/2, and Sigma has 19/2.8 for everybody.
So the market for this is... drumrolls... Sony A7s. A moronic lens for underdeveloped camera.

What? Why do people have trouble with this concept? It's a niche lens intended to provide a particular look. That's what LOMO makes. In this case it's the look of vintage wide-angle glass. It's no more "moronic" than any other special-purpose lens with unique characteristics, like fisheyes or Lensbabys. If you want a more modern full-frame 20mm lens then there are other choices that will cost less, though real bargains are much harder to come by than they once were. If you want a lens that gives this look without faking it in post-processing then you can find an original, vintage Russar somewhere, search for another vintage lens with a similar optical formula, or you can buy this new.

Link | Posted on Apr 11, 2014 at 15:29 UTC
On article Kodak reborn: A look at JK Imaging's 2014 lineup (195 comments in total)
In reply to:

Gesture: Nothing wrong. These could be sold at Walmart level retailer. Obviously, the modern digital cameras share internal components making 3rd party "break-throughs" possible.

I think that's just what they're going for. Back in the glory days of film, it seemed like every department store chain had one or two inexpensive SLRs and a small selection of perfectly adequate lenses. Often in a universal Pentax screwmount, and probably OEM'd from Cosina. These M43 cameras seem to be in that same spirit. More than a point-and-shoot or superzoom, with lots of lens options for the adventurous, but not nearly as pricey as a DSLR.

Link | Posted on Mar 21, 2014 at 20:23 UTC
On article Hungarian law bans photos taken without consent (321 comments in total)
In reply to:

George Veltchev: Communism returns slowly but surely in the region .

Totalitarianism is the same whether you call it Communism or Fascism. They're ideological twins, offering slightly different propaganda to justify exactly the same goals.

Link | Posted on Mar 21, 2014 at 17:10 UTC
Total: 58, showing: 1 – 20
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