Mike Sandman

Lives in United States Brookline, United States
Works as a Retired management consultant
Joined on Mar 20, 2003
About me:

Sony Alpha 7Rii - switched in Sept 2015 from Canon 5D Mark II; Sony/Zeiss 24-70mm f/4; Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS; 70-200 f/4 IS; 17-40mm f/4 L; 24mm TSE II; 420EX; 580 EX II; Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro; Sigma 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. Epson 3880 printer. Sony NEX 6. Started with a Balda 35mm rangefinder in 1956.

Comments

Total: 168, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Sony a7R II versus a7 II: Eight key differences (397 comments in total)
In reply to:

davev8: """""Sony's a7-series marked the debut of full-frame mirrorless, and Sony still dominates this market with its a7S II, a7 II and a7R II.""""
obversely sony dominates the FF mirrorless market .. and it sound impressive until its pointed out that sony market share has not improved since 2008 so basically they have traded A mount sales for FE mount sales

Well that's just the point. High market share doesn't necessarily lead to high profits. :-)

Link | Posted on Aug 7, 2016 at 17:01 UTC
On article Sony a7R II versus a7 II: Eight key differences (397 comments in total)
In reply to:

davev8: """""Sony's a7-series marked the debut of full-frame mirrorless, and Sony still dominates this market with its a7S II, a7 II and a7R II.""""
obversely sony dominates the FF mirrorless market .. and it sound impressive until its pointed out that sony market share has not improved since 2008 so basically they have traded A mount sales for FE mount sales

"...making 1 £$ 1000 times is better than making 10£$ once."

No, not necessarily. If you make a higher profit per unit and have lower unit sales, you earn a much higher return on sales (obviously) and probably a higher rate of return on capital. It's sort of like Apple phones vs. Samsung phone. Samsung sells more units but Apple makes a much higher profit per phone. If you'e an investor, you probably prefer the latter results. And Sony seems to do that in cameras, despite their poor profitability in other markets (notably consumer electronics).

Link | Posted on Aug 7, 2016 at 14:45 UTC

The Mavica was a neat product for its time - 1999 - but the use of a floppy disc drive highlights how much changed in just the next few years. By 2002, there were 5 MP sensors and 256 MB CF cards, which left the Mavica in the dust. The shrinking cost of sensors and memory were omens of the limited future of film.

It's interesting to note that after the Mavica, Sony stepped back from the leading edge, sticking largely with small sensor cameras, while Canon and Nikon stepped forward with practical DSLRS. Now Sony seems to be intent on reclaiming its position as an innovator, a position they held briefly with the likes of the Mavica.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2016 at 02:37 UTC as 28th comment | 2 replies

10+

Link | Posted on Jul 15, 2016 at 02:39 UTC as 11th comment
On article Faster flagship: Hands-on with the Fujifilm X-T2 (114 comments in total)

The less mushy buttons and the criticism that a lot of mirrorless cameras are afflicted by much control prompt a question (from a Sony Alpha 7Rii owner): Could the mushiness be fixed if a camera repair shop installed stronger springs under the buttons on some of these cameras? (Maybe we need a teardown from iFixIt or LensRentals to show us how).

Link | Posted on Jul 7, 2016 at 16:26 UTC as 13th comment | 4 replies

Thanks - excellent article, with lots of detail about "how to" both in the field and on the computer. I've done HDR panos, a tiny bit of astro and lots of cold weather work, and seeing someone combine all the pieces is inspiring.

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2016 at 18:17 UTC as 18th comment

Wonderful. I've been a frequent visitor to Singapore and this is a perfect way to capture the feeling of energy in the architecture and changing skyline.

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2016 at 01:17 UTC as 28th comment
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (222 comments in total)
In reply to:

ktjones: An alternative program to Photoshop for performing the post-process stacking is Zerene Stacker. Its website is here:

zerenesystems.com

Although it's mostly used for macro imaging, Zerene Stacker will work on any focus-stacked image series, including landscapes, as described here:

zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker/docs/tutorials/stackinglandscapes

Yes, I agree. Stacker is reliable and a great deal easier than going through the process in Photoshop. The only thing in favor of the laborious method detailed in this article is that you get complete control over the blending of frames. But of you want to try focus stacking and not spend 30 minutes or more blending multiple layers, do try Zyrene Stacker.

Link | Posted on May 29, 2016 at 20:40 UTC

The 14mm goes to the top of my wish list.

Link | Posted on May 3, 2016 at 21:15 UTC as 59th comment

This may be a dumb question, but don't the Sony A series DSLRs with half-mirrors accomplish the same thing, although in a different way?

Link | Posted on Apr 7, 2016 at 01:47 UTC as 3rd comment
On article Beta: try out our new 'light' color scheme (722 comments in total)

I love it. For a while when I had a Windows PC, I used Readability (I think) to flip to black-on-white. I migrated to Mac and this new scheme, while it does look generic, is far easier for me to read. It's great that you'll offer the two schemes as alternatives. Please finish the task.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 02:53 UTC as 460th comment
In reply to:

PKDanny: You happy????

HowaboutRAW: you're right - my aplologies to you both!

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2016 at 18:23 UTC
In reply to:

PKDanny: You happy????

Actually, we do. You have a Fuji X-mount, a Sony E mount, a Sony FE mount, and a Nikon Coolpix with a fixed lens.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2016 at 02:17 UTC
In reply to:

mario loconte: I think Mr. Tokura is still ignoring what is the metabones adapter and the new sigma adapter, and how the metabones works on the A7R II camera.

I'm a canon user with three L lenses and two third part lenses, and I cant stand anymore with this gap of features. Especially for videos.

Well then, switch to a Sony alpha body. I did and I'm quite happy with the camera and the way my EF lenses work on it (with the Metabones IV adapter).

Link | Posted on Mar 3, 2016 at 04:07 UTC

Mac users running El Capitan who have memory cards with 64 or more GB have been unable to use Bridge to "get photos from camera". We've been grumbling on the Adobe forum and Adobe has been promising a fix, but this isn't it.

Although you can download it image files now fro a 64GB card in the camera, you don't get anything like full Bridge functionality. You can't assign new names or convert the file to .dng (at least for Sony .arw RAW files). So this is a second-rate workaround that is very disappointing.

If the update does in fact provide full importing functionality into Bridge for MAC El Capital, please tell me -- I will be happy to learn that I'm wrong. And if Adobe is still working on a proper fox for El Capital, it would be nice to know that as well.

Link | Posted on Feb 13, 2016 at 23:12 UTC as 3rd comment
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Digital cameras - A company that can increase profits despite a drop in revenue is doing somethng right. In this case, they've succeeded in shifting from higher volume, low profit point & shooot to low volume, high profit ILCs.

Sensors & batteries - the slide shows an impairment charge aggainst the battery business. That means Sony's auditor looked at the battery business's book value vs. it's profitability and decided the book value was unjstifianly high. So they reduced book value via an impairment charge. This is a.very unhappy event for the managers of the battery business, but it doesn't have a direct effect on the camera business. And even though sensors and hatteries are combined into the same reporting unit, it doesn't mean that the sensor business is in trouble.

Well, it's an interesting strategic question. As an investor, do you you want to own shares in business that's strong in a highlly profitable niche market segment (like Apple) or have a very high market share in a low- margin market (like Dell in PCs and Nokia in cell phones)?

If you're a corporation executive, the answer depends on whether your goal is profitability or revenue.

Sony earned about 12% operating profit on its camera sales in the third quarter of 2015, when the sales of alpha series II cameras was just ramping up. That's a very high return for a consumer electronics product line. The total profit was up despite a drop in revenue and, very likely, a steeper drop in unit sales.

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 05:03 UTC

Digital cameras - A company that can increase profits despite a drop in revenue is doing somethng right. In this case, they've succeeded in shifting from higher volume, low profit point & shooot to low volume, high profit ILCs.

Sensors & batteries - the slide shows an impairment charge aggainst the battery business. That means Sony's auditor looked at the battery business's book value vs. it's profitability and decided the book value was unjstifianly high. So they reduced book value via an impairment charge. This is a.very unhappy event for the managers of the battery business, but it doesn't have a direct effect on the camera business. And even though sensors and hatteries are combined into the same reporting unit, it doesn't mean that the sensor business is in trouble.

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2016 at 18:18 UTC as 7th comment | 6 replies
On article Sigma 20mm F1.4 'Art' lens real-world sample gallery (137 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Thanks for posting these. Where are the shots using the a7Rii? Only the Canon shots seem to be available.

Thanks!

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 20:08 UTC
On article Sigma 20mm F1.4 'Art' lens real-world sample gallery (137 comments in total)

Thanks for posting these. Where are the shots using the a7Rii? Only the Canon shots seem to be available.

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 19:04 UTC as 37th comment | 2 replies
On article Going Pro: We interview Fujifilm execs in Tokyo (354 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Interesting interview and commentary -- thank you.

APSC vs FF: I spent some time in B&H handling the XT-1 and the Sony Alpha 7 (at the time), along with a Canon 5D Mark III (and I was a Mark II owner). The Sony wasn't very much bigger than the Fuji XT-1. a7ii series bodies are a bit deeper and heavier, so the latest FF Sonys carry a moderate size and weight penalty vs. the XT-1, but nothing like the penalty Nikon and Canon exact with FF (or even prosumer APSC) DSLRS.

The Fuji executives are certainly right in in alluding to Sony's lack of depth in lenses -- FE mount in particular. Adapting Canon lenses certainly alleviates that, but with some obvious negatives (no film-related pun intended). All in all, there are tradeoffs with any manufacturer's system. If Fuji makes it to the top three (or even top 4) by sticking to a well-designed APSC product line, more power to them.

It's truly stunning to read that Fuji's film sales are less than 1% of what they were in 2000.

FE lenses are too few for sure. Too big... yes, compared to the very well designed Fuji lenses. Too expensive... well, Fuji lenses are not inexpensive. There are tradeoffs with both and I came close to going with Fuji instead the alpha. The fact that we and others are able to have this discussion about Fuji vs. Sony is a bad sign for Canon and Nikon.

Link | Posted on Jan 21, 2016 at 03:38 UTC
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