Mark Banas

Mark Banas

DPReview Contributor
Lives in United States Washington, DC, United States
Works as a Designer/ Panographer/ Writer
Has a website at
Joined on Jan 26, 2005


Total: 456, showing: 441 – 456
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On article 1939: England in Color (part 2) (177 comments in total)

Love the sheep in Hyde Park! What a great series, Barney. Thanks for posting it here.

Link | Posted on May 3, 2014 at 17:27 UTC as 101st comment
On article Lytro announces Illum light field camera (349 comments in total)

Oooh, tiny sensor, f/2 zoom lens, 5 MP final resolution, $1500, and that signature body design....

It's the Sony F-707 reborn!

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2014 at 14:23 UTC as 103rd comment | 1 reply
On article Pentax K-3 Review (511 comments in total)
In reply to:

waxwaine: Thankyou DPR team for this extensive review. I sincerily hope it worth the hard work. Cheers.

Richard's new Maserati was spotted near DPR headquarters, and it may say "PNTXLVR" on the front plate, but look at the back!
Oh Noes!

Link | Posted on Apr 11, 2014 at 01:04 UTC

I love the big, rubber mallet in that photo... for "fine" optical adjustments.

Link | Posted on Mar 31, 2014 at 22:57 UTC as 123rd comment
In reply to:

dpmaxwell: I think the (a?) problem is that without a narrative description to go with these photos, they really don't say much to the viewer. You would have little to no idea what the subject is supposed to be. Which I suppose is a kind of photographic art, but not as impactful as a photograph that speaks for itself. Ah well, to each his own.

And this is "in my opinion" of course, before anyone *ahem* jumps in to remind of this fact.

I agree with you regarding a narrative. I searched out this interview with the photographer:

Very informative and (pun) illuminating!

Link | Posted on Mar 23, 2014 at 16:14 UTC
On article Pentax O-FC1 FluCard: The wireless details (124 comments in total)
In reply to:

wildkat2: Cant change white balance? Really? That is what you complain about? Beside the fact that Pentax has EXCELLENT AWB who really worries about White Balance when shooting RAW? And please don't tell me its concern for shooting jpeg. No one who buys a K3 and a FluCard is shooting anything but RAW.

You overwhelming need to say something, anything, negative about all things Pentax is really showing when you complain about not being able to remotely change the white balance.

"No one who buys a K3 and a FluCard is shooting anything but RAW."

Nice generalization, but if that was truly the case, it would be very tough to see the results of each shot. The FluCard uses html pages to display the images for review and download, and no browser that I'm aware of can decode and display a camera raw file. This is why the camera changes the image type settings to include JPEG...

BTW, as the author, and a longtime Pentax shooter (switched from Canon to get a K10D), I find it just a little sad and distressing that any criticism (at all) of Pentax is considered "dpreview bias." Do you see a little blue & white DPR logo next to my name?

Well, I guess if you have an overwhelming need to say something, anything, negative about a 5-star review of a truly useful and different product...

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2014 at 18:45 UTC
On article Pentax O-FC1 FluCard: The wireless details (124 comments in total)
In reply to:

tempel: I have tried to purchase the card today. Living in Germany, I was directed to the UK site. Unfortunately, that only lets me order to addresses in the UK!

So I am using a forwarding service that receives my package in the UK and then sends it to me in Germany.

Funny thing, though: The UPS tracking tells me that the card is actually being shipping from Germany to the UK now.

Also, the price posted in this article does not make sense: How can it be $99 in the US when it's 130 pounds in the UK? 130 british pounds convert to roughly 210 US$!

FYI: the prices quoted in the review are from Ricoh Imaging US ($99) and Ricoh Imaging UK (£130), respectively. They are not converted to match, as local prices are set by distributors.

Check this link:

Press the "buy" button and see the price in cart. It may be lower in the future, or from different retailers, but the price you see in the review is from official sources at the time the article is written.

Link | Posted on Mar 8, 2014 at 15:56 UTC
On article Hands-on with the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition (212 comments in total)
In reply to:

wudyi: Who's the drummer & is he the same guy riding the motorcycle?

I'm pretty sure it's the author, and the same guy (like Neil Peart and his BMW touring bikes). Look at Mike's bio, and he can thank me for referring to him in the same sentence as Mr. Peart. ;)

Link | Posted on Feb 20, 2014 at 22:50 UTC
In reply to:

AbrasiveReducer: What I would really like to know (but don't expect to find out) is how Sigma moved from making inexpensive and poorly quality controlled lenses to some of the best lenses on the market.

Most DPR readers don't go back this far but Sigma always made unique lenses. The difference now is that they are not just unique but also good, and that's an amazing turnaround. Somebody within Sigma decided that sticky diaphragms, wobbly mounts, loose screws and decentering would no longer be acceptable. This is huge achievement but they did it. I suppose nobody wants to take credit for fixing something that most people don't remember.

I'm pretty sure there is a photo of that person at the top of this article. He became CEO when his father, the founder of Sigma, died. He's probably been making major decisions for quite a while, even without the title of CEO, given that its a family business in Japan (a founder and father would never be replaced as head of his own company while alive). Of course, this is just my own conjecture...

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2014 at 22:15 UTC
On article CP+ 2014: Things we found that had been cut in half (107 comments in total)

Wh| i| every| wa| cu| i| ha| ?
Wou| th| ma| i| C- Ex| ?

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2014 at 03:46 UTC as 57th comment
On article A look inside Sigma's lens factory (89 comments in total)

These very introspective, "pseudo-marketing" videos from Sigma are very well done, and showcase what Sigma prefers to be known for. There is no sign saying "Budget Alternative to the Big Brands!" Rather, we see pride and dedication in the automation, testing and handwork that goes into Sigma products.

Yes, the factory looks sterile and boring at times (imagine injection-painting all those lens switches!), and the beautiful scenery interspersed in the video serves mostly as a reminder of why these things are built, not how. Still, I don't see anything depressing or disheartening about the video overall, and I think Kazuto Yamaki knows that the Sigma name is getting closer to being a Big Brand as every year goes by.

If the video was re-edited to have the Canon, Nikon or Sony name at the front (and on the camera at the end), my guess is that there would be a chorus of "amens," followed by "so that's why everything is so expensive" coming from the comment section. Just a supposition...

Link | Posted on Feb 15, 2014 at 19:19 UTC as 22nd comment
On article Sony Alpha 7R Review (810 comments in total)

Well, I'm surprised that the 1/160 flash sync speed isn't a "Con" compared to the A7's 1/250 (w/ E shutter), or compared to Nikon or Canon FF systems. Sure, use it on a tripod to avoid shutter shake at that low speed, but what about strobist lighting?

Hmmm... maybe the 1/180 sync speed on Pentax DSLRs is no longer a "Con."

Link | Posted on Feb 14, 2014 at 02:10 UTC as 172nd comment | 8 replies
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (311 comments in total)
In reply to:

Gerard Beullac: Interesting article.
I didn't know Novoflex brand and this product seems very attractive despite the price.
I can tell you Arca Swiss gets a site, selling orientated and only in French, maybe the reason you didn't find it ;-)
I agree with what has been said before: the Arca Swiss P1 is amazing: very intuitive usage, light, and innovative too with its "reversed" ball you lock with a metallic ring: its is my day to day head, even with a 500mm mounted on the camera.

Thank you, Gerard. The site you mention, is run by Galerie Foto in Nimes, and not the actual Arca-Swiss company. It does have plenty of useful information for those of us who speak and read la belle langue.

For anglophones who want more information, Rod Klukas has a similar (but also unofficial) site at

Link | Posted on Jan 14, 2014 at 17:46 UTC
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (311 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peter K Burian: These ARE all important brands but what about Vanguard? They also make some very good heads (NOT just pistol grip type heads).

Their BBH Series is excellent. Its Rapid Level System enables photographers to guide their camera to be perfectly level with the base, quickly and efficiently.

AND a lot of nature photographers buy Kirk Enterprises tripods, heads and accessories; they also make their own ball head (just as RRS does).

I contacted the nice folks at Vanguard, and was told that none of their current ball heads have a ball diameter larger than 40mm (BBH-300). We will definitely include them in future accessory reviews, and not just for ball heads!

Next, the reason Kirk is listed as a "no show" was due to a lack of response to multiple queries for a review unit. This was dissapointing,

Link | Posted on Jan 14, 2014 at 15:46 UTC
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (311 comments in total)
In reply to:

wfektar: First, thanks for doing this. Ball size is a perfectly reasonable criterion for comparison, unlike, say, claimed weight ratings. It also seems churlish to to complain about one or two missed mfrs, as a good number are reviewed here.

That said, it is not clear whether the numbers are mfr claims or actually measured. You do note that the load ratings are claimed, as there is no standard for that -- in which case, what is the point of even mentioning them? They cannot be used for comparison. But how about the dimensions, which are easy enough to measure? Also, it seems that the Novoflex ball diameter was measured -- were any of the others?

The specifications listed were provided by each manufacturer and/or their distributor (particularly for localized details like MSRP and warranty length), with the exception of the Novoflex ball diameter. Novoflex doesn't publish or provide the ball diameter, so it was measured to be sure it fit the basic criteria.

What was my point in mentioning the maximum load ratings? Well, mainly to poke a hole in the common assumption that a larger max load # means a better, or more capable head for heavy loads. Consider that the Novoflex has a listed max load of 12kg (26 lbs) and the Sunwayfoto has listed a max load of 60kg (132 lbs), but which shows less sag or post-lock shift with a 500mm prime on top? They are still very capable heads, but the Novoflex simply handles large loads better, despite a conservative max load spec.

Link | Posted on Jan 14, 2014 at 03:27 UTC
On article Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested (311 comments in total)

Just a note to the folks questioning validity because certain brands were excluded (while the reason is right there in the introduction). I set the criteria for the heads to be reviewed in order to limit the field to heads that should perform similarly.

Of course, smaller or larger heads may also perform as well, or better, but where to draw the line? If I include a 48mm Markins (Q20) then the 50mm Feisol (CB50) should be in, and maybe even the 48mm FLM. Put in the 38mm Acratech, and there are entire product lines that can fit in the criteria! No sense in making exceptions for some and not others.

So, my apologies if your preferred brand is not in the review group (hey, even I use a Markins Q3 day-to-day), and I really tried to get a Manfrotto for the test, but their top-lock was delayed a bit and some of the sample heads had to be returned by the time it was out. Without all of the heads on hand at the same time, some comparisons would not be possible.

Thanks for all the comments!

Link | Posted on Jan 13, 2014 at 17:08 UTC as 94th comment | 6 replies
Total: 456, showing: 441 – 456
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