Lives in United States United States
Works as a Travel writer/photographer
Joined on Aug 1, 2003


Total: 73, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Hands-on Preview (206 comments in total)
In reply to:

kaiser soze: With this camera and the other larger MFT cameras that Panasonic makes, it is obvious that the body is large in relation to the lens. It is further obvious that the reason is that for these cameras, the body needs to be larger in order to allow a useful quantity of physical controls. This is all very obvious. There can be no argument on these points. There can be no question that this camera could just as easily take advantage of an APS-C sensor, and not even the lens would be larger, because similar lenses that Sony makes for NEX are not any larger. None of this is in any way deniable. Furthermore, when the various size differences are all considered, it seems apparent that if Sony were to make a mirrorless camera with FF sensor, it would be about the size of this camera, albeit with a somewhat larger lens. (The lens would not be nearly as large as a lens for FF with mirror.)

And the point? You want Panasonic to abandon MFT? You'd prefer Sony to make the camera of your dreams?

Alternate hypothesis: Body is larger because market research shows that larger camera bodies are taken more seriously by the target audience (let's face it, Nikon and Canon's FF bodies are a tad bit larger than their FF film bodies ever were).

I don't quite get why Sony could or would make a FF body of this size, yet no other maker does. Faith that Sony can miniaturize better than anyone else? Physics is physics. Larger sensor requires larger glass. Could they build a really small box to put on the back of that larger lens? Yes, but I think we'd hear a whole lot about bad balance (the heavier the glass, the more leverage is needed to keep it level, hence a larger grip), and, yes, silly appearance.

Link | Posted on Apr 24, 2013 at 16:19 UTC
In reply to:

tko: Did the photographer have permission from Desmond to take the photo? Or where Desmond's rights signed away as some type of a blanket college agreement?

Because if Desmond didn't sign a model release of some type, how can Masck have ownership? You can't take a photo of just anyone and use it for gain. Or if you can, it seems like a silly law, because the photographer would have nothing w/o the subject and the pose.

I'm fairly certain that amateur athletes (and most, if not all, pros) sign a blanket model release as part of their agreement to participate/entry form. The sports organizations normally hold all the publicity rights. While pros may get a piece of that action, NCAA athletes do not. For that matter, you'll also find blanket model releases printed on the back of admission tickets (sporting events, theme parks, etc.).

Link | Posted on Mar 20, 2013 at 21:26 UTC
In reply to:

DaveMarx: Wow, he's rediscovered the totemic value of tools!

No sooner did our ancestors start making tools than they started building better versions.

"Why me want your spear? Mine just as sharp!"

"Here, hold it..."

"Oooh, this feel goood in hand! And your spirit carvings on shaft much better than my crude scratches..."

Tools are a fundamental expression of our humanity. Mankind = Toolmaker. Further, we identify ourselves by what we do, and we nearly always use tools to do it. If we take pride in our accomplishments, we'll value the tools we used. If we admire someone else's achievements, we honor their tools and get our own copies - we want some of our hero's mojo.

P.S. Anyone who thinks professionals don't care whether their equipment looks "professional" has never been one. What self-respecting pro wants to be mistaken for an amateur?

And why aren't current models (of anything) valued as classics? Quite simply, becoming a classic takes time.

Do artists have a greater appreciation of their tools' aesthetic qualities than "non-artists" have for their tools? I assure you, auto mechanics debate the relative beauty of various makes of open-end wrenches, not just their functional merits.

Those schooled in the arts may be better able to articulate why something is "beautiful," and can employ concepts like proportion, symmetry, perspective, harmony, etc. to describe what they encounter, but what's wrong with uneducated, visceral appreciation? "I know nothing about art, but I know what I like," may not be as flattering to the artist as a compliment from a schooled peer, but there's something to be said for art that anyone can appreciate.

Whether it's called ornamentation or industrial design, it's an expression of the makers mastery of their craft - that they can transcend the requirements of mere utility. There's little doubt that this "language of quality" is used to sell objects of lesser merit.

Link | Posted on Jan 19, 2013 at 18:13 UTC

Wow, he's rediscovered the totemic value of tools!

No sooner did our ancestors start making tools than they started building better versions.

"Why me want your spear? Mine just as sharp!"

"Here, hold it..."

"Oooh, this feel goood in hand! And your spirit carvings on shaft much better than my crude scratches..."

Tools are a fundamental expression of our humanity. Mankind = Toolmaker. Further, we identify ourselves by what we do, and we nearly always use tools to do it. If we take pride in our accomplishments, we'll value the tools we used. If we admire someone else's achievements, we honor their tools and get our own copies - we want some of our hero's mojo.

P.S. Anyone who thinks professionals don't care whether their equipment looks "professional" has never been one. What self-respecting pro wants to be mistaken for an amateur?

And why aren't current models (of anything) valued as classics? Quite simply, becoming a classic takes time.

Link | Posted on Jan 19, 2013 at 02:06 UTC as 70th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

bertibus: So if I pay a photographer to spend x hours over a period of x weeks to obtain a certain genre of photo(s) for me, I do not own the work that I have paid for? And he / she can use them (the photos) as they see fit, provided that I am also allowed to use them? Is that correct?

Not quite correct. You can certainly place restrictions on the use of those photos by others. You'll just pay more for, "You can't sell them to anyone else, for any purpose, forever," than you will for, "I only need exclusivity for garden products catalogs distributed in Canada for the next 5 years." If the photographer has other ways to earn a buck off the job, you'll likely pay less.

Don't get too hung up over control issues like, "Who gets the copyright?" Negotiations are always a matter of "who wants what, more," so don't want more than you really need.

Link | Posted on Nov 9, 2012 at 08:33 UTC
In reply to:

Boris: If I hire a artist to paint a portrait for me what copyright rights does this artist have?

Boris, you'll find that a photographer will charge very different rates for a family portrait sitting vs. an advertising/catalog shoot.

No matter who you hire, for what purpose, the nature of the work and the skills required will be a factor. If someone said to you, "I'll pay you $10 to rake," you'd undoubtedly ask, "Rake what, for how long, and how big is the rake?" "Rake my lawn, until I say the job's done, you supply the rake." "How big is your lawn? Let me see what I'm getting into. And I'm not going to re-rake an area I've finished just because the wind blows." And you'd end up negotiating the scope of the job, and a price.

When dealing with work that can be copied countless times and used in countless ways, "how many copies" and "for what purpose" are going to be key bargaining points.

Link | Posted on Nov 9, 2012 at 07:02 UTC
In reply to:

Reg Natarajan: Terrible change, and I type that sitting in my office in Vancouver. Copyright law and patent law are destroying innovation, exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do. Before copyright law, we had Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. Since copyright law, we have Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado, and it's not lost on me that the latter three are all Canadian. This is an improvement?

A fair portion of the 19th, and all of the 20th centuries occurred under protection of patent and copyright law. What unimaginable advances, what works of artistic genius, might have been accomplished during those dark, stagnant centuries, had the "fetters" of patent law been removed? Poor George Eastman, poor Edwin Land, poor Ansel Adams... imagine the sleep they lost contemplating what they might have accomplished without the burden of patents and copyrights.

Besides, this is purely a matter of who holds the copyright, not whether copyright exists at all. Should the artist hold the copyright, or the client? Tell me why the client is the better steward of those rights. Then you might be on-topic.

Link | Posted on Nov 9, 2012 at 00:20 UTC
On article Hands-on with Nikon V2 (455 comments in total)

I get it - with no test results in hand, no sample shots, what can we debate other than appearance? But "ugly" vs."beautiful," "chunky" vs. "sleek?" Taste and style are manufactured, they're not inherent. The old, "Beauty is in the mind of the beholder."

Some folks want a camera that says, "I'm a serious photographer." Resemblance to gear that's already considered "serious" or "professional" is mandatory. Others will think it's sexy once Ashton Kutcher starts modeling the thing in TV ads.

The large, bulging hump on top goes back to the old Nikon F's Photomic viewfinder, a huge kludge for holding then-bulky electronics. The F's original, meter-less viewfinder was a tiny, pyramid-shaped bump above the main camera body. For a while a Photomic was nearly embarrassing, an admission that one wanted built-in exposure-making help. Until a fair number of pros were seen using it. While the prism hump shrank once electronics were built into the body, big is still considered cool.

Link | Posted on Oct 26, 2012 at 15:58 UTC as 79th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Piet Maartens: One aspect that is often overlooked is that Ansel Adams worked mostly with large format view cameras – I think up to 11 x 14 inches. This probably limited the amount of film he could take with him and the Zone System enabled him to get every exposure spot-on. Exposure bracketing would not only have been impractical, but also very expensive. Such limitations hardly apply to 35 mm photography and digital imaging. Whilst it is always good to have a sound understanding of the theory, the practical relevance of the Zone System nowadays seems to be limited. The only benefit I can see is that it trains the photographer’s eye and mind. Or am I missing something here?

Is the practical relevance limited? If the only issue was the cost of sheet film vs. memory cards, yes. Economic necessity may have helped drive the development of the Zone System, but its goal was to achieve a pre-visualized result. You can bracket a 5-stop spread and all 5 might contain blown-out highlights, or fail to pick up desired shadow detail. No matter how cheap the recording medium, you have to know how to get what you want, or you'll likely waste both time and opportunity.

For me, the intellectual beauty of Adams' work was his ability to pre-visualize a result coupled with the technical mastery to bring that result to fruition. That's my personal definition of art.

Sure, we all discard far more frames than we keep. Even Adams expected to produce no more than 6 worthy images in a year. But we have to ask ourselves, when does all that bracketing and multi-frame burst shooting move our work from "art" to "luck?"

Link | Posted on Oct 8, 2012 at 06:54 UTC
In reply to:

Micky Nixgeld: Does somone need "The Zonesystem" in the age of HDR and other digital "goodies"?
For film it´s great, but...

Zone System is an incredible tool for fitting creative expression to the limitations of the physical medium. Whether we're talking about photo-chemical film emulsions, digital sensors, analog audio tape or digital audio (I very successfully applied Zone System techniques as a Classical and Jazz recording engineer), there are always physical limits - too bright, too dim, too loud, too quiet. How do you photograph (or record audio) so that you have as much highlight detail and shadow detail as possible within a single image or recording? Zone System. The specific techniques for doing that vary from medium to medium, but the lesson is universal.

Adams trained as a pianist in his youth, and I believe he brought his understanding of musical dynamics (from pianissimo to fortissimo) to photography. Light and shadow, loud and soft.

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2012 at 22:59 UTC

Anyone remember the Y2K Bug? Data storage costs were so high in the day that they dropped two digits off dates (12/31/1972 vs. 12/31/72). The cost of storage continues to drop dramatically. So, if you shoot about a Terabyte's worth of images a year, why worry about what that'll be costing you even a few years from now? Pixel density is not growing nearly as fast as storage prices drop, so even if file sizes increase, there will still be savings.

I don't see many RAW-shooters stepping down to a lossy format, but Lossy DNG could be very appealing to JPG-shooters looking to step up. I also think it has a better chance of being adopted as an in-camera option than "full" DNG.

More intriguing to me is the 32-bit floating point capability. Let's call this "extended dynamic range," rather than HDR - it can encompass sensors with greater dynamic range, as well as in-camera processing of multiple, bracketed exposures. Gotta look to the future!

Link | Posted on Oct 5, 2012 at 23:30 UTC as 30th comment | 2 replies
On article Accessory Review: Nimbus Cloud Dome (96 comments in total)

Wow! A product so special that folks forgot to say bad things about the iPhone.

Is a smart phone unsuitable for posting small product images on eBay? They have more than enough resolution for a web catalog image, and have several advantages when it comes to getting those images up online quickly.

This thing isn't intended for photo pros. If you know any craftspeople or collectibles dealers, ask 'em how they deal with their catalog shots, and whether they're satisfied with them. Ask how many hire a pro with a Linhof (ok, Hasselblad) and a studio full of gear. Mostly, it's DIY, and this is something that can make their work a bit more polished. That translates to competitive advantage, even on eBay.

As to photographers judging any product by the cost of materials? I hope the price of your exhibition prints is a whole lot higher than your paper costs.

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2012 at 22:57 UTC as 59th comment

Higher resolution, multiple manufacturers and technologies... All good things. The future of EVF is looking better all the time.

Lag? That is mostly a microprocessor issue, and those, too are moving forward at a brisk pace. Our biological "processor" lag is worse. Nerve impulses move much slower than electrons through copper wire and silicon, and muscle contraction is hardly instantaneous. We're constantly anticipating shots - we just don't recognize it.

Do you think EVF is not ready for prime time? Ask the TV cameramen who have been using EVF since the day they attached a vacuum tube-based monitor to a vacuum tube-based video camera - Day One.

The clearest viewfinder isn't found on an SLR or rangefinder... It's the wire frame on 4x5 press cameras. Inaccurate? Yep. But framing accuracy wasn't as big a deal when your photo editor could crop like crazy. The tiny 35mm negative made framing accuracy critical. A "small sensor" issue.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2012 at 16:11 UTC as 13th comment
In reply to:

Anepo: Oh look all the IDIOTS who refused to believe me when I said Sony WOULD get into Olympus Camera Department and not just the Medical one were wrong, what a F***ing surprise!

If it's a buy-out, what about the other 88.54% of the voting shareholders? What about the votes of the other members of the board of directors?

We can each read the tea leaves our own way. We can take the announcement at face value, or weave hidden agendas. I'm going for face value for now.

On the medical imaging side? There's a joint venture that Sony will control. Sony brings the next generation of video to the table and shares in Oly's already powerful medical business. Olympus uses Sony's tech to remain strong and competitive, at lower R&D cost. Patent royalty costs may also be lower.

Cameras? Economies of scale and lower R&D. Sony works on the sensors, Olympus produces Sony-branded lenses and keeps its factories humming. Where mft lens designs/parts are adaptable to APS-C sensors, there's a chance to quickly grow the NEX lens line-up, probably improving acceptance of the product line.

All good business moves, all covered by the public statements. Seems clear enough to me.

Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2012 at 20:12 UTC
In reply to:

Anepo: ... If sony gets ANY say in the company .... Let me put it this way: Who wants to buy an OM-D E-M5 I just purchased less than half a year ago?

Exactly. Not to worry! If Sony kills Oly m43, they can't be sure the Oly customers will switch to Sony. Chances are, they'd get less than 20% of Oly's existing customers. Plus, killing an interchangeable lens product line? One reason it's created in the first place is to ensure that customers keep coming back for more gear (lenses for the body, new body for those lenses...). What are the chances Sony would want to drive a fair chunk of that after-market business to Panasonic? ;) Finally, this is just a 10% investment, not a controlling interest. There's just so much one member of a board of directors can do.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 22:39 UTC
In reply to:

lemon_juice: How wonderful it would be if Apple gadgets didn't take up space at dpreview and instead we could read more about real photographic equipment...

I doubt you can blame smart phone coverage for the lack of in-depth lens tests. a handful of intensive lens tests would occupy more staff time than the past year's smart phone coverage. Perhaps you could blame coverage of low-priced P&S cameras, too? The editors and publisher here have their reasons for allocating repertorial and testing lab resources. If we like their decisions, we come. If we don't, we leave. The net effect on visitation determines their continued employment. And if you like most of what they do? Skip the stuff you don't like.

"Digital Photography Review" I don't see "Professional," or "Serious," or "Large Sensor." News is news, cameras are cameras. Lots (and lots) of digital photos are taken with smart phones, many serious photographers use them as, at least, an adjunct to their other gear. To ignore any camera that's going to be sold in the tens (or hundreds) of millions of units is plain silly. You and I can be snobs. DPR cannot.

Link | Posted on Sep 12, 2012 at 21:02 UTC
On article Updated: our Canon EOS M hands-on preview (161 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ben O Connor: First Nikon, now Canon;

Guys why do you keep doing the mistake that already done by olympus and sony! Why we can´t your previous lenses on your mirrorless solutions?

Because it's not a (business) mistake to get folks to buy a new system that requires all-new equipment? Folks with a bag full of legacy lenses may be waiting for them to see the "error of their ways," but their target customers aren't.

Their goal isn't to get committed DSLR customers to adopt/switch, but to get an all-new crop of customers. This is aimed at the mass market, not the niche.

Consider the Nikon ads featuring Ashton Kutcher. Were they intended for dedicated enthusiasts? I'll bet Canon's TV campaign will feature a very attractive sports star showing that you don't have to be a camera geek to use this great new piece of gear and get fabulous photos.

People world-wide are taking more photos than ever before. How do you get them to trade-up from a $600 cell phone camera? With an even sexier, more expensive toy.

Link | Posted on Jul 24, 2012 at 23:51 UTC

$630 million is way too much to pay simply to protect m4/3. It would probably be cheaper to let m4/3 die altogether. Not that I think Oly's place in that partnership is essential at this point. If anything, it leaves Panasonic in a position to pick up the Oly owners who have already invested in m4/3 glass.

The medical business is the real target, whoever might invest/acquire. If cameras don't fit the new owner's plans, they'll be spun-off in a blink.

If someone like Sony buys Oly... Everyone here assumes the only possible motive is to stifle competition, but buying into m4/3 is also a way to increase market share. Kill it altogether, and there's no telling where Oly's customers would go next. The real competition is mirrorless vs. DSLR, not m4/3 vs. NEX. The more excitement and innovation there is in mirrorless, the better.

What I doubt (but you never know) is that the m4/3 partnership agreement is written in such a way that either partner is up the creek if the other is sold.

Link | Posted on Jun 8, 2012 at 01:26 UTC as 11th comment | 1 reply
On article Apple iPhoto - iOS App review (26 comments in total)

I've been using this on my iPhone for about a month, and have been having a great time. Does it do everything I can do with a desktop editing program? No. Why should I expect that it should, or could?

As a tool for editing and organizing my iPhone shots? Brilliant! The image file size issues, raw? Not a limitation in this case. Yesterday I snapped bumblebees as they flew above the pavement by my feet, then edited them right there on the park bench - heavy cropping, lots of adjusting, but barely touched the app's full abilities. In Crop I could have manually adjusted tilt +-20 degrees (not mentioned in the review), and if it detects a horizon, it can auto-adjust to dead level. Previously, I'd have just cropped in Camera+, chosen a filter that gave the best results, and moved on.

Can we replace a laptop loaded with full-strength apps with an iPad? Not yet, but is that all that matters? This is version 1.0.1! Maybe by next version it'll let us work with the in-camera HDR layers.

Link | Posted on May 21, 2012 at 22:45 UTC as 18th comment
On article Leica M-Monochrom Hands-on Preview (451 comments in total)

There are certainly some intriguing reasons to buy this camera, and at least as many reasons not to. As with any other specialized device, the user aims to do something in particular, particularly well. Today's top line DSLRs are working very hard to be all things to all photographers, so that's what we expect of every professional device. Stripping away some of the excess is a nice idea.

I remember when a photographer might wear several cameras, loaded with various films and lenses (not that I could afford to). So, if this suits a photographer's needs and budget, why not?

Personally, it doesn't appeal at all on the practical level, but I can't deny the romance of a device dedicated to the art of b&w. It disciplines one to excel at that one medium, and to follow a great, old tradition. But truth be told, when I shot and processed b&w as a kid, one reason was that it was dirt cheap, and another was that what I was shooting would be published in b&w. Times have changed.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2012 at 03:55 UTC as 127th comment
Total: 73, showing: 1 – 20
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