Dan Tong

Lives in United States Chicago, United States
Works as a Computer Consultant, Photographer
Joined on Jan 3, 2003
About me:

Olympus 2100UZ
Minolta Dimage 7i
Canon S400
Canon EOS 300D

Comments

Total: 194, showing: 1 – 20
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The music is what I like about the video most !

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2016 at 22:28 UTC as 2nd comment

I filled out some answers to the founding member pages just to see what questions they asked etc. and found that after choosing Video, Pro level, they asked what was the subject of the work and they had Portrait, Editorial etc. almost all dealt with still photography, with very few choices relevant with Videography and filming (such as independent films).

Like too many other companies, the people that Parachut put in charge of this survey/questionnaires, do not appear to be familiar with the somewhat different scope of still vs video photography, the very reason for filling out these forms.

The company sounds interesting but if it is run by amateurs, to the extent that this experience suggests, they're not likely to be successful.

Here's my suggestion to Parachut, find competent people to do each task and then test everything, over and over until it works otherwise you're going to crash notwithstanding your company name. Best luck, in any case.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2016 at 00:21 UTC as 1st comment
On article D500 owner formally accuses Nikon of false advertising (475 comments in total)

Truth in advertising is an important concept, but unless it is enforceable it is pretty meaningless. The description is misleading.

This has nothing to do with the qualities of the camera, or of Nikon's innovations, and it applies to ALL COMPANIES. We want the truth, not BS.

Link | Posted on Jun 17, 2016 at 07:01 UTC as 102nd comment
On article Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift Resolution: Updated Field Test (210 comments in total)

Pentax is a seriously innovative company that pays more attention to photographers than most other companies. The Pixel-Shift feature is great, as long as you know when to use it.

Link | Posted on Jun 9, 2016 at 01:43 UTC as 12th comment

I can think of only 2 or 3 really useful features introduced by the Subscription PShop since CS6. So much for the promise of not being limited by the update cycle of the standard purchase model - just total BS.

I have not subscribed and just use PShop CS 6 and based on the announcements here, I don't think I'm missing much based on "my use" of PS, your experience may differ.

The sharpening feature (useful mostly for movement blur), is now available in PS Elements (the cost of a plugin when on sale) a feature which I found far less useful than I hoped. I expect Content Aware Cropping to be available on PS Elements soon, so if you really want it, that's one way you may be able to get it without subscription to PS.

Link | Posted on Jun 1, 2016 at 21:45 UTC as 1st comment

I'm sorry to hear about his ill health and passing. His columns were always enlightening, and practically focused on the usability of cameras as tools to do art.

Link | Posted on May 20, 2016 at 03:48 UTC as 87th comment

Cinema of the Future, Great stuff !

Link | Posted on Apr 21, 2016 at 22:13 UTC as 15th comment
In reply to:

Eric Hensel: Here come the armchair engineers, and box-thinkers...

PazinBoise,

Couldn't have possibly said it better.

Thanks

Link | Posted on Apr 14, 2016 at 00:30 UTC

It's amazing how with hindsight, it's become clear that Lytro should have focused on exactly this part of the industry, rather than the consumer market.

How interesting to have witnessed, from a distance, the emergence of this amazing technology, from Ph. D. dissertation to a potentially huge shift in the way movies will be made in the near future.

There is little doubt in my mind that if not Lytro, then some other company will ultimately re-make film making, Changing both the technology and the artistry because choice and freedom inspires such things.

Congratulations to Lytro !

Dan

Link | Posted on Apr 13, 2016 at 23:17 UTC as 6th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

BigOne: Questions from an amateur.

1. 755 MP x 300fps = 226,500 MP = FIVE GIGABYTES PER SECOND. How the hell do you record this? Is there even a memory device capable of writing at such speed?

2. For a regular consumer focusing may be a problem. For professional cameramen... have you ever seen an errorneously out-of-focus shot in any movie? Is it really such a huge advantage for them?

3. Philosophical. When you shoot a picture or a film scene, there is certain finality in the "Cut!" command. You shot it, it's final. It gives the image certain character. You can easily recognize Godard or von Trier by seeing a simple pan. But with all those post-production abilities where you can change anything, won't they make movies plasticky and characterless?

4. Even more philosophical. It's not the technology that made cinema the art we love and cherish. It's WHAT they shoot not HOW. And with the crap that goes on screens these days, I doubt this technology will make it any better.

Continued:

I don't know if there are videos available on the web that show how with the goal of producing a 3-15 minute short, 5 to 10 editors, given the same material (hours of shots), make amazingly different versions from the same material. If you know if such project that is available to view on-line, please post the link.

Here's my editing work to show that I've had a some experience doing this stuff:

https://youtu.be/pRYmZRWZ51U

Thanks for listening,

Dan

Link | Posted on Apr 13, 2016 at 23:07 UTC
In reply to:

BigOne: Questions from an amateur.

1. 755 MP x 300fps = 226,500 MP = FIVE GIGABYTES PER SECOND. How the hell do you record this? Is there even a memory device capable of writing at such speed?

2. For a regular consumer focusing may be a problem. For professional cameramen... have you ever seen an errorneously out-of-focus shot in any movie? Is it really such a huge advantage for them?

3. Philosophical. When you shoot a picture or a film scene, there is certain finality in the "Cut!" command. You shot it, it's final. It gives the image certain character. You can easily recognize Godard or von Trier by seeing a simple pan. But with all those post-production abilities where you can change anything, won't they make movies plasticky and characterless?

4. Even more philosophical. It's not the technology that made cinema the art we love and cherish. It's WHAT they shoot not HOW. And with the crap that goes on screens these days, I doubt this technology will make it any better.

Here's a general reply to points 3 and 4:

There is a world of difference between the original (unedited) scenes as they come out of the camera and the final edited film, because of color grading (which often changes the entire visual "atmosphere" and "feel"); because of cutting (tons of frames end up on the floor, or are used in different time sequence) which makes huge changes to the rhythm and pacing etc; and finally because of the addition of sound effects and music. Think of what Taxi Driver would be like without Bernard Herman's incredibly original and effective compositions.

Editing is under-appreciated by almost everyone who has not done serious editing, or watched it being done. Not all directors are fully involved in editing, but many are, although editing can completely change a film.

Continued in next post ==>

Link | Posted on Apr 13, 2016 at 23:07 UTC
In reply to:

Roman Korcek: What does DP stand for, please? I assume it's not "Digital Photographer" and a quick Google search was... not helpful.

Director of Photography or Cinematographer -the person behind the "camera".

Link | Posted on Apr 13, 2016 at 22:47 UTC

I paid the full price many years ago, but I don't begrudge having it available for everyone. Handy to install for Adobe Photoshop alternatives that are plug-in compatible.

Great news for consumers, bad news for competing plug-in companies. What does Google get out of this besides great PR ?

Link | Posted on Mar 25, 2016 at 20:58 UTC as 65th comment | 2 replies
On article Class 10 200GB microSD card on the way from Lexar (71 comments in total)

Fantastic ! Usually such a super high capacity, high speed card would be announced with an doubiously affordable price, but this is bargain priced, relatively speaking, and a dream come true for video makers.

Oops - just became aware that write speeds are NOT clearly spelled out.

As for the tiny size problem, if your camera, like most at this time, uses standard SD size, simply use an adapter, and it becomes easier to handle, and less easy to lose.

Link | Posted on Mar 25, 2016 at 20:13 UTC as 15th comment | 1 reply

I am excited about these two features even though I don't have a GH4, which I would use mostly, but not exclusively, for video use.

Panasonic is one of the most innovative camera makers and it is great that they are making these two features available on the GH4, a camera with video features that are hard to beat.

Some people are not aware, but in fact the price of the GH4 has dropped noticeably in the last 3-5 months from it's intro price.

I have a GH3 that I used for shooting Catching Broken Glass:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRYmZRWZ51U&feature=youtu.be

and I don't know whether to wait for the GH5, coming in Sept, or to go ahead and buy a GH4 once the price drops further. This is a common decision problem and there is no clear answer, especially at this point in time when we don't know what the GH5 will be like.

Link | Posted on Mar 17, 2016 at 23:01 UTC as 6th comment
On article Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review (537 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ed Overstreet: The new Auto feature for the electronic shutter, added in the firmware update which gives the Post-Focus feature, is now also available in the G7 in a firmware update -- as well as Post-Focus for that camera. The G7 uses the same batteries as the GX8, so they compliment each other nicely.

The review completely misses the point (IMO) of Post-Focus. Post Focus really shines if you want to do focus stacking in a situation where the subject(s) in the frame aren't moving around. With Post Focus it is now possible to do hand-held capture for focus stacking quickly, silently and easily. In about two seconds of 4K MP4 burst you can record the scene at all focus points in the frame with an f:1.4 - f:2.8 lens in low light at much faster shutter speeds and/or much lower ISOs than you'd need at f:16 or f:22, and yet get the same effective depth of field in your focus stack and without the loss of sharpness from the diffraction you'll get at f:16 or f:22 on most MFT lenses.

I would expect that Post Focus would be incredibly useful for Macro Photography.

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:22 UTC
On article Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review (537 comments in total)
In reply to:

MrTaikitso: As a 3 month GX8 owner, I think this review pretty spot on, although I did not know about the shutter shock until now. I have the 12-35 f2.8 Panasonic lens and just switched on Auto Electronic Shutter and set the shutter to between the speeds mentioned, and the Auto ES did not activate, so I'm assuming the 12-35 lens is not in the list.

Grip wise, this is always subjective. While the GX8 is not as comfy as the G7 or GH4 (or the Oly EM series), I don't find it a problem for my hands thatare medium sized, I'm 5' 11".

As with all m4/3, interior low light stills are a no no, unless you have a very fast lens (20mm 1.7 or the totesamazeballs Nocitron* 1.2), BUT, as per this review, the GX8 really is outstanding in all conditions for video, just keep the aperture wide open and ISO below 1200 and things will stay peachy. I shot a 30 minute movie in a badly lit interior the other day and it turned out great.

*Component of the USS Enterprise 1701 Warp Drive coil. :D

Have you checked to see if the Auto ES feature might work with a firmware update for the 12-35mm F/2.8 lens ?

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:20 UTC
On article Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review (537 comments in total)

After the glowing reviews and few items in the CON category I was very surprised to see a somewhat low score and Silver rather than Gold rating.

What's going on ?

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2016 at 22:17 UTC as 87th comment
On article Pocketable APS-C: Fujifilm X70 real-world samples (253 comments in total)
In reply to:

LiveFromPhilly: I wish somebody would make one of these 18.5mm APS-C cameras with a little built in viewfinder like the film GRs had.

It wouldn't even have to be complicated since it's a fixed focal length. Just give me some frame lines and tell me what my shutter speed, ISO, and aperture are.

Viewfinders are a plus when you follow fast movement which does not work well with LCD screen, otherwise what you say makes good sense.

Link | Posted on Feb 10, 2016 at 18:54 UTC
On article Panasonic's Post Focus feature arrives November 25 (218 comments in total)

I love it. It's another way to automate what anyone can do manually taking 10-20x as much time. Wish the GH4 (a camera I would like to buy once the price drops with the introduction of the GH5) had this capability.

Panasonic has to be congratulated for innovation. It's especially unusual for a large company, but perhaps the this department is run like a small, agile, company.

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 03:22 UTC as 42nd comment | 1 reply
Total: 194, showing: 1 – 20
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