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: 175, showing: 41 – 60
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In reply to:

nebulight: The Pentax 645Z houses a 51.6MP CMOS sensor that measures roughly 44x33 cm. Oh baby, 44x33cm or 17x13in, talk about low light abilities!! ;)

Mm, cm, all those European-y metric things are so confusung.

Link | Posted on Nov 25, 2015 at 22:47 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

darngooddesign: Hopefully Sony is forcing Canon to release a Pro version of the SL1. That way people who like DSLRs can get a top performing but small camera.

DSLRs have one set of capabilities and a mirrorless has an overlapping but different set. For example, it's hard to imagine a DSLR that could accept a very wide range of non-native lenses. On the other hand, DSLRs have the advantage of having optical viewfinders It would be very interesting to see a pro DSLR the size of a Canon SL1, but it wouldn't match the 7RII's full set of capabilities, just as Sony can't match the Nikon 810 in every way.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2015 at 22:41 UTC
On article What's missing? Ming Thein on the state of mirrorless (744 comments in total)
In reply to:

Paul B Jones: For me one of the most interesting insights Thein provides is towards the end of the piece where he speculates that Canon or Nikon could step into the mirrorless games in a serious way late in the day, but after many of the design kinks have been worked out by others. If so, big thanks to Olympus, Fuji and Sony for doing the heavy development lifting and to all you passionate mirrorless shooters for beta testing the system while the bugs are being worked out.

The dynamic inside industry leaders like Canon is to wait too long to react to a new kind of product, and to respond with half-measures. Witness the Canon M, a nice camera with limited ambitions. There's a long, long trail of companies that have waited too long -- see "Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation," the superb book by MIT professor James Utterback. He talks about the tendency for new types of products to be brought to market by outsiders like Sony.

For me, Canon waited too long. The technology available with its 2nd generation of Alpha FF mirrorless trumped the poor battery life. I'm not a pro. I sold my 5D Mark II and switched to Sony Alpha.

Ming Thein is understandably bothered by more things because he has to make a living with his cameras.

Link | Posted on Nov 6, 2015 at 23:40 UTC
In reply to:

Lee Jay: 700 shots on 3 batteries? I shot 2,250 shots at an airshow on one battery.

700/3 = 233 shots per battery. I wasn't dead at 2,250 and some of those were videos, so it looks like the battery life difference is about a factor of 10 between this camera and my 7D Mark II.

I usually carry 3 batteries. No way I'm buying a camera for which I'd need to carry 30!

No question that the battery life is a potential Achilles' heel for the 7RII. It seems to depend a lot on whether you're using the LCD vs. only the viewfinder and whether you've turned the automatic review off, but even when I take all the steps to conserve battery life, it gets a fraction of what my Canon used to get. In return, of course, you get technology that Canon hasn't matched in a smaller, lighter camera. But I'd give up CC or two of additional bulk and 50 grams to get a bigger battery.

Link | Posted on Nov 4, 2015 at 21:24 UTC
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

The Manfrotto device (and the CamRanger and Camera Control Pro) don't stream photos back to your iPad. They give you a live view with the ability to adjust focus point and the usual shot parameters -- aperture, speed, exposure compensation. Some apps (and the CamRanger) let you set bulb exposure and allow you to set up interval exposure for time lapse.

Link | Posted on Oct 30, 2015 at 03:06 UTC
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

Depends on the camera & app. True for some, not for others.

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 23:04 UTC

Most cameras now come with wifi and an app for controlling the camera remotely. If you have a camera with wifi, the manufacturer probably offers an app for controlling it from a tablet of smartphone. So you can use Tether Tools products that make it possible to mount your iPad or other tablet on a swivel attached to your tripod. The cost is around $150, and you don't have to worry about cables. (But wifi eats batteries...).

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 22:07 UTC as 15th comment | 9 replies
In reply to:

Duckie: A universal mount will force compatibility above capability (just like PCs). Vendor specific mounts will allow optimised performance (like a Mac). What's the point? People typically spend time/money finding what they like and spend on "dream combination" and get settled (or move on). It is not a necessity to be able to mount everything with one mount. You just select your gear with good judgement and move on. If you can't make the judgement, the ability to mount more is even more confusing. The planet of so full of excess gear that they need to invent new excuse to sell more.

Brian Smith seems to have an infinite variety of lens mounts to play with, but his hype about that really obscures the main point:
If you're switching from a Canon or Nikon DLSR to a Sony or Olympus mirrorless camera and you have Canon or Nikon lenses, the mirrorless cameras' adaptability to 3rd party lenses removes a significant switching cost. It's a lot easier to change systems when you can keep using your existing lenses.

I suppose you can settle on "dream combination," but dreams last a night, not a lifetime. Canon & Nikon led the DSLR market for a dozen years, but now there's a viable and perhaps even superior alternative to the DSLR. And if lens adaptability makes switching easy, why not dream anew?

Link | Posted on Oct 23, 2015 at 20:57 UTC
In reply to:

jhinkey: Sony giveth and likely Sony taketh away in some way . . . hopefully the camera doesn't now behave poorly in some other way as a result of using the uncompressed RAW files.

brendon1000 - Well, you're right about that the lossy 40MP files were OK in most situations. But for those of us who are shooting at night, the artifacts at the boundary between very bright and very dark could be a problem. Lossless RAW gives us the the full potential of the sensor in those shooting situations. That's a logical and practical reason for welcoming Sony's update.

If it also helps Sony sell more cameras to people who were otherwise concerned about this admittedly small issue, that too is a logical, practical reason for Sony to make the effort.

Link | Posted on Oct 16, 2015 at 15:19 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

PVCdroid: This article should have referenced the Michael Topes video on Luminous landscape which does a better job of visually comparing the results and commenting skiing the way. Here is the link.

https://luminous-landscape.com/sony-a7r-ii-review-dynamic-range-compared-to-canon-5dsr-canon-1dx-and-nikon-d810/

Yes, that's an excellent and comprehensive comparison, and its conclusions are nuanced.

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2015 at 03:34 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marb67: I am in a good position as I am replacing my Nikon D200 which has served me well. I need a good enough video facility to afford me short clips to sell as stock (not so interested in 4K at this stage). I have thought long and hard between the Nikon D750 and the D810, especially as the prices are so good at the moment. I know the 2 cameras are the best DSLR's for video at the moment and image quality is excellent. Now the A7R ll has been thrown into the ring I have wondered about this but some things put me off:

1) The huge price
2) Lack of lens choices/High cost of native
3) Noise issue/hot pixel
4) Overheating video mode
5) General flaky unreliability of the software in the camera.
6) Many poor reviews on B&H
7) Poor Raw files
8) Massively large files.
9) Poor battery life

Hi dcolak- No, I'm not turning off the NEX-6 after every series of photos, but there is a "sleep" function,after all. If I didn't have various Canon DSLRs I might be happy with the NEX-6's battery life, but... I'm not. It's possible that the WiFi on the NEX-6 is draining the battery, but it doesn't seem possible to completely shut WiFi off on that particular camera. With the 7Rii that arrived a couple of days ago, I've put it into airplane mode to eliminate any drain from WiFi, so that may help. We'll see. I'm not the only one with these concerns, but I think the 7Rii's advantages outweigh the shortcoming.

Meanwhile, after a couple of days' use, the other concerns expressed by the OP have been answered at least regarding stills. The lens choice issue has been answered by a Metabones IV adapter w/the latest firmware. Third party lenses autofocus OK in good light, tho not enough to follow fast moving subjects. Canon lenses do better - and very well in good light.

Link | Posted on Sep 30, 2015 at 14:46 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marb67: I am in a good position as I am replacing my Nikon D200 which has served me well. I need a good enough video facility to afford me short clips to sell as stock (not so interested in 4K at this stage). I have thought long and hard between the Nikon D750 and the D810, especially as the prices are so good at the moment. I know the 2 cameras are the best DSLR's for video at the moment and image quality is excellent. Now the A7R ll has been thrown into the ring I have wondered about this but some things put me off:

1) The huge price
2) Lack of lens choices/High cost of native
3) Noise issue/hot pixel
4) Overheating video mode
5) General flaky unreliability of the software in the camera.
6) Many poor reviews on B&H
7) Poor Raw files
8) Massively large files.
9) Poor battery life

(2) No question that the choice of lenses is limited, unless you want to focus manually or have one of the Canon lenses that will autofocus well with a Metabones version IV adapter.

(9) I can't comment yet on how many shots the 7Rii will get from one fully charged battery. But my experience is that the same battery's life on my NEX-6 is mediocre at best. I get no more than a couple of hundred shots at best, and that's with the LCD set to display settings, not the image. You do get 2 batteries with the 7Rii, but you have to bring them and remember to recharge them as soon as you get back to home base.

I think the rest of the things you wondered about are, well, not really a concern. You can find bad reviews of just about any top-rated product, and yes, the files of uncompressed raw images will be 80MB, but both SD and HDD storage are very inexpensive.

Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2015 at 20:39 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Frank C.: sold all my gear and didn't buy this, just sold all my gear, my iphone is sufficient for my photographic needs, the camera companies and their overpriced hype can stick it anywhere they want

SmOL. (Smiled out loud - just short of LOL, but thanks.)

Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2015 at 03:30 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

palie: now i'm on a roll. what practical price all that detail in any case ? if we're talking giclee, you can blow up a 6mp image to a massive size before it begins to pixellate. step back to a normal viewing angle, and they disappear in any case. litho ? sorry to tell you this, but printers' RIPs write all images down to the equivalent of 300 dpi ... that effectively means you can shoot a double page spread in national geographic with a 10 year old canon rebel ... and unless you specifically tell it not do so, the highest quality adobe acrobat PDF preset for litho printing turns your precious raw based photoshop file into - wait for it - a JPEG !!! think i'm joking ? ask a printer ...

Good question -- what are all those pixels good for if you can make a huge print from an 8 MP camera:

One answer: It's not all about the megapixels. For me, it's about dynamic range and the ability to push an image in ACR or another RAW converter and bring out shadows. And there are many other improvements over that 10-year-old Rebel (or current 5D Mark III in some cases), depending on what the subject matter: less noise at higher ISO; focus peaking; a wide range of bracketing options; remote control from a smartphone or tablet; tilting LCD...

And of course all those extra megapixel make it possible to crop more aggressively, so you may not need to cary that extra tele lens.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2015 at 18:36 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mike Sandman: I ordered this today, before seeing this partially complete review. I have no regrets based on what I've read here. My Canon gear will be on eBay shortly - as soon as I get a camera with which to photograph it.

Thanks.

Ahah - Competition! :-)

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2015 at 18:20 UTC
On article Sony Alpha 7R II Review (2162 comments in total)

I ordered this today, before seeing this partially complete review. I have no regrets based on what I've read here. My Canon gear will be on eBay shortly - as soon as I get a camera with which to photograph it.

Thanks.

Link | Posted on Sep 25, 2015 at 21:31 UTC as 388th comment | 3 replies
On article MindShift introduces BackLight 26L Photo Daypack (26 comments in total)

15" laptop + tablet + FF DSLR + 6 lenses + 2 large water bottles + a tripod... Will it come with a camel to carry it?

Link | Posted on Sep 18, 2015 at 21:08 UTC as 8th comment | 5 replies
On article Sony brings uncompressed Raw to a7S II, a7R II and... (562 comments in total)
In reply to:

aquarta: "“The voice of our α community remains the most important guiding force of our product development plans,” said Neal Manowitz, Deputy Vice President for Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “The addition of Uncompressed 14-Bit RAW processing is a direct result of customer feedback. Widely requested by photo and video enthusiasts, we believe the choice of RAW processing types will further elevate the performance of these extraordinary cameras.”"

What's not to like about Sony at this moment? There should be no complaining whatsoever from any of us.

Now if only dPreview could persuade Canon (and Nikon) to take mirrorless seriously... :-)

Link | Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 21:58 UTC
On article Sony brings uncompressed Raw to a7S II, a7R II and... (562 comments in total)

Thank you, dPreview, for pushing this issue on our behalf.

Sony, you need to ramp up production.

Link | Posted on Sep 15, 2015 at 16:08 UTC as 143rd comment | 3 replies
On article Sony Alpha 7R II: Real-world ISO invariance study (370 comments in total)

As a practical matter, the ability to push images 4 or 5 stops without much penalty (except for the artifacts at high-contrast boundaries) means that most of the time, we won't have to mess with combining shots using HDR software. This could make it a lot easier to get very good images in high dynamic range situations without a tripod.

With regard to the lossy compression and the effect at high-contrast boundaries, I agree with dPreview that this is a strange choice on Sony's part. If you keep pestering them, perhaps they will issue a firmware update to fix this. However, the size of the files may be 80MB or more, which may be a problem for ay computer with less than 8GB of memory. Is it also reasonable to think that loss-less RAW would slow down the save process in the camera?

In any case, interesting report,and please keep pestering Sony about lossy RAW.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2015 at 16:43 UTC as 96th comment | 1 reply
Total: 175, showing: 41 – 60
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