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: 448, showing: 81 – 100
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On article Insta360 One X hands-on review (40 comments in total)
In reply to:

Xavios: "In still image mode you can activate HDR mode, configure interval shooting and capture in Raw format. A self-timer is on board as well."

Good news. I often shoot my own spherical HDR images to light up 3D scenes. This would take the hassle of shooting a chrome ball for HDRIs away for good.

The HDR mode is a multi-image capture and tonemapping all-in-one, like any modern smartphone. This means 8-bit output, not 32-bit, so no good for 3D lighting. Great for regular photography, though!

Link | Posted on Nov 15, 2018 at 13:19 UTC
In reply to:

Arastoo Vaziri: The title itself makes me want to wait for Holga.

I just keep reading it as "ki-L-pix" because my eyes aren't what they used to be, and frankly that's what I think its actual function is.

Link | Posted on Oct 18, 2018 at 12:06 UTC
On article Insta 360 launches ONE X 360-degree 5.7K action camera (62 comments in total)
In reply to:

agrek: Very cool. Looks like a nail in the coffin of traditional, GoPro-like cams.

Also the logical step in the evolution of the Ricoh Theta, which seems to have gotten tired of the race.

Link | Posted on Oct 10, 2018 at 23:07 UTC

<serious comment>I have an add-on "moto-mod" for my current phone (Moto Z3) which is essentially this, without the viewfinder, buttons or hotshoe, but with a 10x optical zoom built in; the Hasselblad TrueZoom. The grip, physical shutter and optical zoom are great, and make a far better "pocket camera" than the phone alone. However, the sensor and software suck compared to the current phone it sits on (Moto never upgraded the mod). This idea uses the phone's upgraded camera and adds more physical controls, but in order to be "universal" it's just huge. I rarely put my TrueZoom on because of the added bulk (and lack of HDR+), so this must not be for "pocket camera" folks wanting better controls, but for serious iPhone-ographers who probably already have extra lenses, a mount, or even a gimbal. Tiny market. </serious comment>

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2018 at 13:15 UTC as 89th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Parshua: 24-105mm f2.8?! Did I read that right?

FuhTeng won the comments section on this article. We're done here.

Link | Posted on Sep 25, 2018 at 21:35 UTC
In reply to:

jimrpdx: So I'm thinking "mid range" phones are $299? If it's over $125 it's all noise to me. So much for "the norm". Nice that they are FF cameras though!

If you follow Apple's pricing guide, "mid range" is $400-600, and from the specs I'd think this Samsung will be closer to $400.

Link | Posted on Sep 22, 2018 at 17:03 UTC
On article Motorola launches Moto Z3 with optional 5G module (55 comments in total)
In reply to:

S Yu: I suppose the battery's useful.

I am typing this on my Z3 play, and IMHO Motorola/Lenovo should have included the battery mod with the very first Z, and every one of them after. Once you try it out, it becomes indispensable as multiday insurance.

The camera mod is pretty good, too. Yeah, not a huge improvement in res or quality, but 10x optical zoom is well worth it, now that they are under$100 on the Bay.

Link | Posted on Aug 5, 2018 at 20:45 UTC
In reply to:

Foosa dee cat: They seem very high quality but $$$$$$$$$!
What are they made out of unobtainium???

AFAIK, pretty much everything sold by RRS is not only assembled in the US, but made from raw materials in the US, just like Acratech. Where those raw materials come from... I don't know, but it's probably not the US.

Link | Posted on Jun 15, 2018 at 00:37 UTC
On article DPReview TV: Sony RX10 IV Review (267 comments in total)
In reply to:

JeffGM: As soon as "the minivan of cameras" statement was issued I knew that Chris was not being influenced by Sony. On the other hand that label is a bit insulting to an apparently decent camera. I would guess camera you-tubers and vloggers get spoiled by getting to use all the most expensive gear so every quirk of a camera is more obvious to them. Chris seemed to be not impressed with this camera. He said he was going to be objective and I think he is being true to his word. This camera has a lot of features but the price still seems pretty high for a camera with a one inch sensor.

@Wye, with Chris you can never quite tell if that's a typo or intentional, but it sure does conjure an image!

Link | Posted on May 13, 2018 at 22:00 UTC

Of course, DPR is clearly biased against the competing "Pet-ax" camera, just because it has a swinging blade instead of a treat dispenser...

(Nice work, Dale!)

Link | Posted on Apr 1, 2018 at 13:13 UTC as 102nd comment
On article Why brand market share shouldn't matter to you (546 comments in total)

Next, you're going to say we should actually *use* a particular camera (or camera brand) before making sweeping judgments about capability, competitiveness, or suitability for a purpose. You know perfectly well we'd rather just read spec sheets, reviews (!), and marketing drivel in order to pontificate endlessly! ;)

Link | Posted on Mar 11, 2018 at 13:31 UTC as 130th comment
On article 2019 Buying Guide: Best drones (118 comments in total)
In reply to:

brn: Have any suggestions for drones that don't transmit GPS data back to China?

Build one yourself? Kidding... mostly. AFAIK only DJI drones require an app be connected to the 'net to pilot the drone (opening up the flow of all telemetry back to the Chinese manufacturer). That's the reason the US Army banned them.

If you're freaked out by any *possible* data connection to China (i.e: apps are made there), look at drones from Hobbico; their drones are built in China, of course, but the apps to fly them are made at their headquarters in Champaign, IL., USA. Of course, that only means a US company has access to your GPS data...

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2017 at 23:48 UTC
In reply to:

Oleg Ivanovskiy: It works with a wearable IR wrist band only. And probably will become confused as soon as two such bands appear in front at the same time. Looks like this Taro doesn't care much about anything other than the band (subject's head, for example) getting into a frame - a problem for close up shots. Not very useful, in other words.

You could glue the IR band to someone's head! ;)
So, yeah, not very useful for closeups, but how often do you need high speed tracking in a closeup? Lots of cameras now have subject/facial tracking for focus, but this is a 3-axis video stabilizer. Think skiers and bikers, etc.

In the KS comments, the tech people explained that multiple bands can be tracked with the COI split between them (when they are all visible), and they recommend multiple bands for objects that rotate a lot. Also, the "AI" portion of the project is predictive motion-tracking, so when the band is out of sight, the controller estimates the vector and continues tracking until it reappears. Again, increasing usefulness, and reducing errors of confusion.

I'm interested in it because it doesn't require you to buy their pricey gimbal if you already have a gimbal that accepts Bluetooth remote control (so it's a $100 accessory). How broadly compatible it will be is the only remaining question...

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2017 at 14:53 UTC
In reply to:

Fujica: Original manufacturer seems to be Quinzuadi-
Also know as:
- Beike
- Zomei
- Afaith
- Mactrum,

And now it also seems to be sold by Manfrotto.

If you want this tripod (they are not bad by the way), then buy yourself one of these Chinese versions and safe the money for other things you might like to have.

Nope. Very different from the ubiquitous QingZhuangShiDai tripods you mention. I've handled both. The aluminum Element tripods have been in stores for a while, and they are much better than any of those brands. (Yes, the Element pods are still a rebrand, but starting from a proven, quality product.)

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:25 UTC
In reply to:

Astro Landscapes: Wow, this is downright embarrassing. Manfrotto profits must really be tanking, if they've decided to just throw in the towel and concede victory to the cheap junk market.

Not that I'm surprised, with the sheer volume of "I bought an XYZ for only $$ and it's great!" ...that I've seen in recent years.

I don't know what you people consider "heavy use" or "smooth operation" WRT tripods, but I've lost count of all the knock-off brand tripods I've destroyed over the years. The center column starts wobbling. The leg angles start flapping incessantly and constantly need to be tightened. The legs start jamming because the cheap plastic shims inside the leg locks get all sloppy after a while. The rubber on the leg locks starts melting off and/or spinning freely, making a catastrophic failure increasingly likely. The rubber on the ballhead knobs dries and cracks and falls off. The ballhead itself gets hopelessly prone to either jamming or sloppiness.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

It's the bean-counter equation, which applies to both the manufacturer and the consumer. Something of quality and durability costs more money (to make and buy), and for the mass market consumer, the ROI isn't immediately evident. You and I might go through tripods like granola bars, but 95% of the market will buy a cheap tripod, use it twice a year, then forget everything about it except how little they paid compared to a Manfrotto.

Link | Posted on Oct 10, 2017 at 13:48 UTC
In reply to:

maculatum: Wow, Troy, you apparently know little about bear biology. Once you experienced this you apparently did little or no research. Bears and other wildlife have frequented the trash dumps and landfills for as long as they have existed. When I started photographing wildlife in the 70's the best place to see and photograph bears was at trash dumps and landfills. It was the one place where bears concentrated in any given geographic areas. Plus in the 70's and 80's there were a lot more local dumps in the less human populated areas of the US and Canada.

I am truly shocked that seeing and experienced this caused such a reaction with you. It is not a big deal. Simply wildlife doing what wildlife does. Look for the most expedient and accessible means of acquiring the necessary calories to survive.

Yep. It's not National Geographic, but it's life. Still worth thinking about, though.

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2017 at 15:33 UTC
On article Live coverage of the Google Pixel 2 launch on DPReview (37 comments in total)
In reply to:

Dee Fitch: What comes after a Dxo score of 100? Can they score higher? Or does the device blow up?

They go to 11.

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2017 at 17:54 UTC

GoPro has great promo videos, but pricing the Fusion at $700 (to protect their Hero-line) is going to slow sales of this 360 cam down to Karma levels. Yes, it has lots of nice features (5.2K, waterproof) but this is a niche product, even in the niche action-cam world. That said, the GP marketing juggernaut will expose more consumers to these types of cameras and 360 video, so I guess that's a win for the market!

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2017 at 15:57 UTC as 11th comment | 1 reply
On article Throwback Thursday: Sigma SD1 (239 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michiel953: Edsel.


Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2017 at 13:11 UTC
In reply to:

Daft Punk: I have never seen anyone using one of these out in the field.

Anyone with experience care to share what they are like ?

I've used an older Tokina 500mm f/8 mirror lens for a long time. It came in native K-mount, had drop-in rear filters, and weighed about as much as a 50mm prime, all for $150. The downside is that manual focus was hard on an APS-C body (small prism and viewfinder going to a dim lens), and the contrast of the resulting shots was pretty low.

Sharpness and bokeh of mirror lenses are the price you pay for a small, light, 500mm reach. That old Tokina was reasonably sharp for the reach (like a modern kit 18-50mm "sharp" - not some $6k prime), while Pentax in-body stabilization meant it didn't require a tripod. However, the 'bowl of Cheerios bokeh" is another matter; some subjects minimized it (BIF), while others were nearly ruined by the rings (until I ran over them with a P-shop blur brush).

Link | Posted on Sep 12, 2017 at 18:43 UTC
Total: 448, showing: 81 – 100
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