Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

Lives in United States Raleigh, United States
Works as a Product Manager
Joined on Jan 3, 2004

Comments

Total: 29, showing: 1 – 20
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On article iPhone X vs. Samsung Note 8 (365 comments in total)
In reply to:

J A C S: "The iPhone X's wide gamut OLED is the most color accurate device on the market."

Was that tested, if so how, or it is just a marketing claim?

Yeah, it's funny that the author is claiming that the iPhone X's use of a Samsung OLED display is somehow more superior to Samsung's use of a Samsung display. 🤔😂

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2017 at 13:31 UTC
On article iPhone X vs. Samsung Note 8 (365 comments in total)

The Note 8's screen, like the Note 7 is also a Wide Color Gamut screen, so not sure why you're giving the advantage to the iPhone here.

http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note8_ShootOut_100.htm

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2017 at 13:29 UTC as 90th comment | 2 replies

This will be great for photojournalists who are increasingly expected to bring a live element to their work, using things like Facebook Live to publish video real-time. Their options are pretty limited right now, so a modular system makes a lot of sense, giving them more control, stability, battery life with the phone able to play multiple roles as needed.

Link | Posted on Jul 11, 2017 at 22:12 UTC as 22nd comment
On article Google Pixel XL camera review (200 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: The Pixel may "show better dynamic range than most competitors in bright light" but that doesn't mean the photos look good. In my experience the photos generally look flat, phony, and really awful with skin tones in portraiture. This is an area Apple's processing, while it may technically yield less DR ultimately yields a more pleasant-looking photo. It's a shame, because due to Google's insistence on re-enabling HDR+ even after someone's turned it off means I ended up switching to a different camera app. That said, the Pixel is an excellent phone overall - the best Android phone I've ever used - but for now I prefer the iPhone 7 Plus as a photographer.

I typically do a bit of processing in SnapSeed to most of my photos, and even in that case I'm not really happy with them most of the time when HDR+ is figuring in heavily. It's not just the overall color balance, but the balance between restored highlights and the rest of the shot - sunsets are particularly rough. It's not that they're usable though, but given the choice between the two I lean towards the iPhone.

Link | Posted on Dec 22, 2016 at 15:12 UTC
On article Google Pixel XL camera review (200 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: The Pixel may "show better dynamic range than most competitors in bright light" but that doesn't mean the photos look good. In my experience the photos generally look flat, phony, and really awful with skin tones in portraiture. This is an area Apple's processing, while it may technically yield less DR ultimately yields a more pleasant-looking photo. It's a shame, because due to Google's insistence on re-enabling HDR+ even after someone's turned it off means I ended up switching to a different camera app. That said, the Pixel is an excellent phone overall - the best Android phone I've ever used - but for now I prefer the iPhone 7 Plus as a photographer.

Well, yeah... having more personal experience with cameras leads to a more informed opinion. I've used both extensively, traveled with both, used both in similar situations (and often in the exact same scene) and while there's certainly cases where I prefer the Pixel to the iPhone and vice versa, by and large I prefer the iPhone's rendering - particularly with HDR shots. Keep in mind, that's the Pixel using the default camera app and HDR+ in particular - I ended up replacing the default app with Camera FV-5, which eliminates the HDR+ issue, but unfortunately raises its own.

It's a shame, because I love the Pixel (just switched back to it today in fact) - great battery life for an Android phone, very peppy, I prefer Nougat to iOS 10, and OLED screens are the best. But, I love photography and for that the iPhone 7 Plus wins for me - particularly in cases where I can use Portrait Mode (ie, not all the time).

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, so as usual YMMV.

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2016 at 17:48 UTC
On article Google Pixel XL camera review (200 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: The Pixel may "show better dynamic range than most competitors in bright light" but that doesn't mean the photos look good. In my experience the photos generally look flat, phony, and really awful with skin tones in portraiture. This is an area Apple's processing, while it may technically yield less DR ultimately yields a more pleasant-looking photo. It's a shame, because due to Google's insistence on re-enabling HDR+ even after someone's turned it off means I ended up switching to a different camera app. That said, the Pixel is an excellent phone overall - the best Android phone I've ever used - but for now I prefer the iPhone 7 Plus as a photographer.

Have you used both phones extensively?

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2016 at 16:38 UTC
On article Google Pixel XL camera review (200 comments in total)

The Pixel may "show better dynamic range than most competitors in bright light" but that doesn't mean the photos look good. In my experience the photos generally look flat, phony, and really awful with skin tones in portraiture. This is an area Apple's processing, while it may technically yield less DR ultimately yields a more pleasant-looking photo. It's a shame, because due to Google's insistence on re-enabling HDR+ even after someone's turned it off means I ended up switching to a different camera app. That said, the Pixel is an excellent phone overall - the best Android phone I've ever used - but for now I prefer the iPhone 7 Plus as a photographer.

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2016 at 13:24 UTC as 61st comment | 7 replies

Guys, I'm surprised at how lazy this piece is. A lot of the info is wrong, most importantly the headline claiming that it has a ring flash. True, there is a flash there in the shape of a ring, but it does not ring around the actual camera unlike what the story says. You can do better than this! ;)

Link | Posted on Dec 2, 2016 at 16:20 UTC as 4th comment
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1383 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: Great review as usual guys. Can you tell me if in Sequential Lo the transition back to Live View is "fluid"? With the original E-M1, it's a bit "jerky", flashing a frame briefly before returning to Live View. One of my biggest complaints with capturing action on the original - if this is fixed in the Mark II it will be one of the things that gets me to upgrade sooner than later.

Yeah I'll likely rent one for the weekend before buying once they're available. When I make the switch I'll be replacing a lot of stuff - two new bodies, new grip, new main flash, new batteries, new RRS bracket, etc. so it's not something I'll be taking lightly! ;)

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 03:00 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1383 comments in total)
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: Great review as usual guys. Can you tell me if in Sequential Lo the transition back to Live View is "fluid"? With the original E-M1, it's a bit "jerky", flashing a frame briefly before returning to Live View. One of my biggest complaints with capturing action on the original - if this is fixed in the Mark II it will be one of the things that gets me to upgrade sooner than later.

Thanks Carey! On the original E-M1 the only way to get it to work fluidly is to use one of the Single Shot modes, so this is a big improvement!

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 02:30 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1383 comments in total)

Great review as usual guys. Can you tell me if in Sequential Lo the transition back to Live View is "fluid"? With the original E-M1, it's a bit "jerky", flashing a frame briefly before returning to Live View. One of my biggest complaints with capturing action on the original - if this is fixed in the Mark II it will be one of the things that gets me to upgrade sooner than later.

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2016 at 21:34 UTC as 227th comment | 6 replies
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1383 comments in total)
In reply to:

Astrotripper: Correction: FL-900R external flash is not $299 like stated in the review, but $580. $300 for this thing would be too good to be true :-)

Knew that was too good to be true - d'oh!

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2016 at 21:30 UTC
In reply to:

Michael Bonocore: Good Morning DPReview friends! I can always count on you to provide entertainment for my Sunday Brunch reading! First off, thank you for everyone who checked out my photo essay. I was really really proud of it, so it means a lot that people looked at it, whether you like it or not. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things.

1) Apple did not pay for this trip. I wish. As I said, I was there leading a workshop for The Giving Lens. The only city not part of the trip with TGL was Chefchaouen, which I paid for out of pocket.

2) Shooting so much with my iPhone was not my intention. As I mentioned, the previous year I had gotten some images I was proud of with my Sony. After testing out the Portrait mode and 'telephoto' lens here in Boise, I was impressed. Always looking for a challenge, I decided to try to use my phone more in Morocco since the bokeh effect I was getting with the 7Plus was always a missing creative aspect of mobile photography.

Cont. in next comment

It's true that a lot of manufacturers have tried similar things, and Google even has it integrated into their camera app. I've used most of these (I develop mobile apps for a living, so I get to use most of the latest and greatest Android photos) and while some of them work well, none of them hold a candle to the iPhone. They're all very clumsy to use first of all, they all require you to get even closer to your subject that the iPhone does, and they all require a lot of post-processing whereas the iPhone's effect can (amazingly) be seen while framing the shot. Apple, as usual, isn't the first - but right now, they're absolutely the best.

That said, for now my daily phone is still the Pixel because I'm not a fan of the Apple ecosystem and their WiFi doesn't play well with my E-M1's. It was a tough call though, because I loved the photographic aspect of the 7 Plus - I actually brought both phones on a recent trip and used the Pixel as my phone, and the 7 Plus for HDR/Portrait photos.

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2016 at 00:15 UTC
In reply to:

Michael Bonocore: Good Morning DPReview friends! I can always count on you to provide entertainment for my Sunday Brunch reading! First off, thank you for everyone who checked out my photo essay. I was really really proud of it, so it means a lot that people looked at it, whether you like it or not. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things.

1) Apple did not pay for this trip. I wish. As I said, I was there leading a workshop for The Giving Lens. The only city not part of the trip with TGL was Chefchaouen, which I paid for out of pocket.

2) Shooting so much with my iPhone was not my intention. As I mentioned, the previous year I had gotten some images I was proud of with my Sony. After testing out the Portrait mode and 'telephoto' lens here in Boise, I was impressed. Always looking for a challenge, I decided to try to use my phone more in Morocco since the bokeh effect I was getting with the 7Plus was always a missing creative aspect of mobile photography.

Cont. in next comment

Michael I think your shots here demonstrate what I've been telling people about my experience using the 7 Plus - it's not that the quality is objectively better than other phones (it's not), it's that the photos you can take with the portrait lens and Depth Effect are fundamentally different than the shots you'd take with another smartphone. This is a function of the focal length in large degree (and how it influences your perspective on your subject), but the Depth Effect when it works, can work really, really well and yield a shot that is indeed pretty close to what a dSLR would produce. It's a very promising development, and I'm sure Apple will keep developing it so that it's better and better (solving the noise issues, hopefully).

Link | Posted on Nov 20, 2016 at 19:39 UTC
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: The Pixel may indeed be sharper, but the default camera apps' HDR+ makes photos look flat and phony, particularly with skin tones. Pretty awful, IMO.

It's tough to argue with though. The truly amazing thing about the iPhone 7 Plus isn't just that it has shallow DoF emulation that works reasonably well (other phones obviously have had it for a while, but not to as good an effect, IMO), but it renders it "live" as you're shooting. Presumably that requires a light of tight integration between the software and hardware, and making that openly available to all developers may be impractical and/or expensive.

Link | Posted on Oct 26, 2016 at 21:08 UTC
In reply to:

Sam Bennett: The Pixel may indeed be sharper, but the default camera apps' HDR+ makes photos look flat and phony, particularly with skin tones. Pretty awful, IMO.

I've been using the Pixel for the last few days, so my assessment is based on my personal experience. I create mobile apps for a living, so I'm lucky enough to get to use these products first hand, including the iPhone 7 Plus, which IMO has much more natural-looking processing. Now, that doesn't mean the Pixel isn't capable of creating excellent results, it's just that the Google Camera app itself needs improvement. The hardware I'm sure is fine. To that point, I've switched to using the "Camera FV-5" app for a while to see if I like the results there more.

Link | Posted on Oct 26, 2016 at 20:06 UTC

The Pixel may indeed be sharper, but the default camera apps' HDR+ makes photos look flat and phony, particularly with skin tones. Pretty awful, IMO.

Link | Posted on Oct 26, 2016 at 15:52 UTC as 10th comment | 5 replies
In reply to:

FRANCISCO ARAGAO: Such a cool way to damage a camera.

I've been using SpiderHolsters for about 7 years and I can't say my gear has experience any damage beyond scratches here and there that would come from using any sort of retention system that leaves the camera exposed.

Ultimately my cameras are tools, tools get worn. The benefits (quick, secure access that doesn't impeded your shooting) greatly outweigh the chance that you might bump your camera against something.

Link | Posted on Oct 19, 2016 at 20:48 UTC
In reply to:

snapa: A simple belt pouch with minimal protection would be a much better option to protect your expensive camera and lens. It could also provide space for a spare battery, SD card, lens rag. If you're not worried about your camera/lens swinging around at your side and getting banged against all kinds of things, it's a good option :/

I've found bags to problematic for three reasons A) they're very dependent on what lens you're using (potentially needing different bags for different lenses) B) they actually get in the way more when moving through crowds, etc. since they're typically bigger than they need to be and they're still dangling around your hip even if you DON'T have the camera in it and C) it's more difficult to insert/extract a camera out of a bag vs. a holster.

I shoot events with two cameras, and the sheer speed at which I can switch between the two with two SpiderHolster's on my hip can't be matched with any other system I've tried. Straps get in the way and limit how I can shoot.

Link | Posted on Oct 19, 2016 at 20:44 UTC
In reply to:

jadot: Not sure how different this new version is, but I've been shooting weddings with two of these (one on each hip):

http://spiderholster.com/black-widow/

A lot of people here don't seem to like this kind of system, but they're missing out. I've been shooting this way for years - now with an XT1 on one and an XT2 on the other. I've never dropped, smashed, banged, scratched any of my cameras. I can run with these things on. I'm hands-free at a wedding when I need to be. I can carry a small pouch for batteries and a flash if I want to. That's it. No big bag, no cameras around my neck, no straps al around my body, no damage to my cameras. The only one issue that I can see you might have is that you might need to remover the pin if you're going to want to use a tripod, but I rarely do at a wedding.

I usually take one on holiday, or on a walk. What's not to love?
Too much hating around, mostly from people who haven't tried one.

I've been using the SpiderHolster since it first came out and love it. I'm glad to see this introduction, because the original is pretty heavy and overkill for my cameras. The Black Widow is okay, but I don't like the quick release mechanism since it's difficult to pull out the camera and unlock one-handed. You have to use one hand to unlock, and one to remove the camera. With my rear-facing Spider Pin setup, I can release the lock with my thumb as I pull the camera out. The metal version also makes a much more confident (and sometimes distracting) "clink" when the camera is returned to the holster.

I'll definitely be buying a couple SpiderLight's once it's available.

Link | Posted on Oct 19, 2016 at 20:40 UTC
Total: 29, showing: 1 – 20
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