John Mason

John Mason

Lives in United States Lafayette, USA, United States
Works as a President and Top Tech for Software Firm
Joined on Mar 19, 2001
About me:

Cycle, Hike, Run, Explore and take a lot of pictures as I wander

Comments

Total: 19, showing: 1 – 19
In reply to:

Dimitris Servis: It seems to be extremely difficult for people to grasp the simple fact that f2.8 @ 1/1000 is the same EV regardless of the format.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_value

Here's a visual property, since you're asking. Overall noise in a final output print is one factor that depends on total light rather than just exposure value. For most shooting, there is overlap between systems with various sensor sizes where you can get similar output. The differences show up on the edges of that overlap. I shoot FF and m43rds and you learn to deal with each systems strengths and weaknesses. I just finished my 4th trip to Carlsbad Caverns, 2 times with m43 and 2 times with FF over the course of 17 years alternating the form factors over the years. These differences are obvious in shooting situations like that. The current m4/3 cameras far outperform my old Canon FF, but the Sony FF crush the latest m4/3 in that situation. The general rule is more photons, lower noise given the same sensor tech. This favors FF.

Link | Posted on Aug 28, 2017 at 21:32 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1385 comments in total)
In reply to:

John Mason: Some thoughts .....

If people focus on ultimate image IQ they are going to see better value in competitive or even lower cost full frame or even APS-C products.

If people focus on the ease of getting 'keepers' no matter the environment with a bulletproof camera and some of the most amazing lenses out there, then they are going to have less problems with the price.

I used to be dual system for years shooting with the 1D series from Canon and the various E cameras from Olympus. Low light was always advantage Canon. Size and weight of the kit and more accurate colors was advantage Olympus.

I switched to just Olympus when the EM-1 series came out simply because I found that, while the Canon still had an ultimate low light advantage, using the Prime noise reduction feature in the DXO raw processing software, there was just not a meaningful advantage anymore. The more consistent focusing especially with fast primes on the Olympus system, I stopped grabbing the Canon kit.

I did up above, but was not referring to the 1DX. As my thread said it was the 1Ds.

Yes, the sensor will always not perform to larger current sensors simply because of the physics of size. But it's surpassed what used to be state of the art only a few years ago. The point is, is it good enough IQ for the output you need or are looking for. If it is, and it's lighter, lower cost, bulletproof, great lenses edge to edge even fully wide open, what's not to like :)

The way I'm looking at the Olympus system these days is, yes, my sensor tech might be 5 years behind compared to it's FF equivalent, but I'll keep upgrading the bodies while building up my lens collection and the number of situations I would have wished for my prior FF world become less and less.

DXO prime does help with that equation of how often I wished for my 1ds, 1ds MKII or 5d Mk II which were my prior FF cameras.

Link | Posted on Dec 9, 2016 at 21:41 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1385 comments in total)
In reply to:

ChrisH37: It may be just me but I've attempted to switch to M4/3 twice now (once from Nikon FF, once from Fuji X), as much as I love the size and the fantastic range of glass, the images just feel very flat and 'digital', much closer to a basic compact than an APS-C camera, oddly.

I'm as far removed from a pixel peeper as it's possible to be, and have absolutely no allegiance to any system (Pentax aside I've owned them all!), I really, really wanted to make the switch (E-M1, 12-40mm, 75mm 1.8 etc) but just couldn't get on board.

Just curious, do you rely on OOC jpegs? I always shoot raw and process with mainly DXO but sometimes Capture One or Lightroom.

Any 'flatness' you are seeing might well be gone if you start working in raw. Certainly you can 'unflat' to your taste with raw without artifacts.

I have the EM1 and Pen F and the Pen F jpegs are not as 'flat' as the EM1. But my impression is they are juiced up a bit on the Pen F. In any case I shoot raw so get the same results in terms of flatness or unflatness from any camera I use.

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 21:30 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1385 comments in total)
In reply to:

samfan: Quite a monster. It reminds me of the situation with E-1 back in 2003. It was also expensive and also had an immediate disadvantage of the small sensor. On paper. In reality it was s superbly designed camera.

When I had a chance to play with it back in the day, I was only losely familiar with digital cameras but was quite immediately able to understand and control it. It felt right in the hand, well built, and weather sealing was legendary. Nikon and Canon really matched some of its capabilities only with the D200 and 40D respectively.

Seems like a very similar situation here. Some downsides natively coming with the system, but also some amazing capabilities that may not be appreciated by everyone but which can't be found anywhere else.

It also kinda reminds me of the Nikon 1 V1 (ultra fast, modern, but also expensive and small sensor)... Except Nikon completely f*cked that up, while Olympus always tries their best.

On the positive side, the 'need to chimp' goes way down with an EVF because you don't have to guess at your exposure compensation and review after the shot like on Optical viewfinders.

So, yes, like 1999 before people could chimp their shots.

Chimping you ask? That's when sports photographers first got into digital and instead of taking their next shot, they'd miss the action because they were looking at the back of their cameras going ooo ooo ooo.

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 21:24 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1385 comments in total)
In reply to:

John Mason: Some thoughts .....

If people focus on ultimate image IQ they are going to see better value in competitive or even lower cost full frame or even APS-C products.

If people focus on the ease of getting 'keepers' no matter the environment with a bulletproof camera and some of the most amazing lenses out there, then they are going to have less problems with the price.

I used to be dual system for years shooting with the 1D series from Canon and the various E cameras from Olympus. Low light was always advantage Canon. Size and weight of the kit and more accurate colors was advantage Olympus.

I switched to just Olympus when the EM-1 series came out simply because I found that, while the Canon still had an ultimate low light advantage, using the Prime noise reduction feature in the DXO raw processing software, there was just not a meaningful advantage anymore. The more consistent focusing especially with fast primes on the Olympus system, I stopped grabbing the Canon kit.

I ran out of room but one of the differences I found is focusing consistency with fast primes. I have an automated software tool that will program the pdaf offset for canon on canon bodies. It'll focus and redo the test many times and you get a variance rating. The 85 1.2 Canon, which I loved, and the 50 mm 1.2 Canon were both all over the map. With the Panasonic 42.5 1.2 wide open with eye priority focus turned on I get way more consistent results and I can leave the lens wide open. Typically on the Canon I'd stop down to 1.8 or 2 just to get rid of the wide open lack of clarity (check out the blur charts on these lenses).

That, coupled with the in body stabilization and indoor people shots are much easier to nail on the Olympus system than on my prior Canon system.

I'll be getting the 25 1.2 as it's bokeh looks amazing!

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 21:21 UTC
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1385 comments in total)

Some thoughts .....

If people focus on ultimate image IQ they are going to see better value in competitive or even lower cost full frame or even APS-C products.

If people focus on the ease of getting 'keepers' no matter the environment with a bulletproof camera and some of the most amazing lenses out there, then they are going to have less problems with the price.

I used to be dual system for years shooting with the 1D series from Canon and the various E cameras from Olympus. Low light was always advantage Canon. Size and weight of the kit and more accurate colors was advantage Olympus.

I switched to just Olympus when the EM-1 series came out simply because I found that, while the Canon still had an ultimate low light advantage, using the Prime noise reduction feature in the DXO raw processing software, there was just not a meaningful advantage anymore. The more consistent focusing especially with fast primes on the Olympus system, I stopped grabbing the Canon kit.

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 14:47 UTC as 161st comment | 7 replies
On article What difference does it make? Sony uncompressed Raw (623 comments in total)

As one of the cameras I've been most interested in, thanks for digging into this. I would not be surprised if your testing of this helped them correct the situation.

Now if they can offer lossless compression raws like Canon has for years then I'll likely get one of these little gems.

But storage is cheap so this current improvement really is getting me motivated!

Link | Posted on Sep 23, 2015 at 23:13 UTC as 54th comment
In reply to:

djsphynx: Looks good overall.

That said, if I'm not mistaken, it only has 1 USB 3 port. I'd love to use something like this for when I travel but I'd need 2 USB3 ports so that I can back up to my two external HDs that I travel with. It was one of the reasons I passed on the 11" MBA a couple of years ago, that iteration if memory serves didn't have 2 either. Maybe the SP4 will have it. YMMV

I have a first generation Surface Pro and use 2 little adaptors that let me use it like a brick for desktop use. One is a 3 port USB3 splitter which lets me plug in a mouse, keyboard and external 3tb hard drive, and the other is a displayport to hdmi adaptor (which processes sound to the monitor as well). On the road I just bring the usb3 splitter and external hard disk. All in all the port and expansion capability look the same as what I'm having fun with now. I'll be looking to ebay my 1 and upgrade to a 3 as this new machine looks really sweet! (and more like version one should have been :) )

Link | Posted on May 22, 2014 at 18:39 UTC
On article A travel-sized large-format 4x5 camera? (219 comments in total)

Finally, a camera for those that judge a camera mostly based on sensor size!

This is a real advancement as you can change to a new sensor yourself without replacing the camera.

About time!

Link | Posted on Apr 21, 2014 at 21:22 UTC as 74th comment
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jim Salvas: Following the enthusiastic reviews on DPReview and the user reports in the forums i will be buying an EM-1 outfit in January to replace my D300 and its big bag of lenses. The only reason for the delay is that I will receive about $4,000 from an investment in early January, all of which will go toward the new outfit.

For the next month, I expect to go through the tradeoff comparisons, figuring out how best to allocate that money on lenses and other accessories.

One thing I'm afraid to leave behind is the excellent Nikon flash system, as my SB800 and SB600 have been responsible for some of my best images over the last four years. I am a big believer in creating my own light, but I see very little in the Olympus reviews or user reports about the flash system. Will I be disappointed?

I picked up 2 FL-600r's which are controlled by free little flash the EM1 comes with. I'm finding them quite capable.

I see some mis-information about these flashes. A popular m4/3 blog complained that they would sometimes miss the remote control because you couldn't turn the sensor to face the controller flash. This is not true. The flash heads in the fl-600r rotate 360 degrees (180 each way) so you can always have the flash aimed where you need and have the RC sensor pointing back to the camera.

The other problem seems to be people not understanding slave vs RC modes and thinking the controller flash contaminates the light field. In Slave mode it will, in RC mode you can turn it off.

I'm finding the flash system quite good. My prior was Canon 580ex flash setup. I've not worked with Nikon so can't comment.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:50 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

KariIceland: My opinion on the last years "winner of the year" the OM-D as an OM-D owner myself and having purchased it AFTER seeing that article:
I have owned this camera for almost a year now and in NO way did it deserve camera of the YEAR, neither does this camera, the X100s or X-pro 1
Deserved last years win in my opinion & this year?
Who knows who deserves the win but NOT this that is for certain.

If a gear of the year award goes or should go to a game changing camera then the EM1 or the A7 series are both great choices. The EM5 was also great, but the EVF was not in the same league. (I owned the EM5 and now the EM1)

The EM1 will attract many more FF converts than the EM5 would have simply because of the improved EVF. The vastly improved ergonomics help too.

It's quite true that absolute IQ is not very different between the EM5 and EM1, but in most other regards there is a large usability difference between the two.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:45 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

Marty4650: As nice as the EM1 is, it really is a tough sell for anyone like me who already owns an EM5 and who doesn't need to use 4/3 lenses on it. The image quality is virtually identical, and while there are some very nice new features, $1400 is a lot to pay for them.

But I will be buying that mouth watering lens.

Unless you absolutely need PDAF, then you might be better off waiting for the EM1 MkII or EM1 MkIII.....

Yes - the em1 IQ wise is very very close the the em5. I normally used the partial grip on the em5 so the size is very very close.

I traded in my em5 and got a 2nd em1 body since I often go on hikes with a cotton carrier with 2 bodies and prefer two bodies that operate identically so I don't go crazy.

I do find the EM1 ergonomics to be much better than the EM5. I rarely have to go to the menus or even the SCP to change anything.

Also, the EM1 improved CAF for native m4/3 lenses using the PDAF side to help predict movement. So, it's not just the 4/3 legacy lenses that benefit from the dual AF technology.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:39 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

Richt2000: Surely the A7R is the remaining (and real) gear of the year.... ?

Pop Photography agrees with you about the A7R. However, with no IBIS and the size once you put good lenses on the A7R, it's shutter, lack of optimized system lenses, the vagaries of Sony jumping from format to format without a clear commitment make this a pre-mature camera system for any type of gear of the year award in my mind.

I do believe there is great potential with the A7 series and might become the main direction of future Sony development.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:35 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

GaryJP: I have spent the last couple of days shooting an open air rock music festival. The first day, and night, I took out the Olympus. It is without a doubt my favourite M4/3 camera. But let's not keep pretending it does the job as well as a DSLR. It does not. I had far too many missed-focus shots, and the focus was slow, particularly in low light. I have used my 5D Mark III after that first session and the difference is night and day. There are situations where it is okay, but even an entry level APS-C DSLR would have outperformed it in these specific circumstances.

I'm finding my shooting in low light events easier on my EM1 than my 5D3. Not sure which lenses you are using, but the focusing on the EM1 has been instant and accurate. The IBIS with the primes give me a more consistent keeper rate.

I'd be curious to know which lens you are using? I'm typically using the 12 2, 25 1.4, and 75 1.8 for indoor low light event shooting.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:29 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

Ayoh: I am surprised by the unilateral enthusiasm for the EVF viewfinder. Based on my experience with the EM-1, the EVF gives a very pleasant experience in low and general indoor light. However in bright outdoor lighting with high contrast, the EVF experience is really behind that of an optical viewfinder due to low DR, brightness and washout due to stray light.

However it is still probably the flagship EVF experience. Especially compared to say a Fuji XE-1 which is genuinely poor with its slow refresh rate causing tearing effects even with slow panning, pixaleted view during AF, noise in low light. An OVF is still definitely best for clarity in bright light.

Having come from Canon series of cameras to the EM1, the advantages of the evf over optical are:
1. Ability to see and compose clearly in low light shooting
2. To see real time the actual effect of exposure compensation
3. Focus peaking and auto zoom in when focusing manually or with legacy lenses.

I'm sure the evf will still be improved. Yet, there are already real advantages to the technology over prior Optical viewfinders and now the size is right up there with FF.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:26 UTC
On article DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1 (394 comments in total)

My favorite Canon of all time was the 5d3 often with the 85 1.2 lens attached. However, after over a decade shooting both Olympus and Canon systems, I finally went all in and got 2 EM1 bodies and some more lenses.

While there are still fringe occasions where the 5d3 would have served me better, for the vast majority of my shooting, the EM1 gets me more keepers.

Part of this is the sensor. The little sony sensor the em1 is using has even more raw post processing adjustment range than the 5d3 did.

But the biggest reason for the larger keeper rate, is the ability to use some amazing primes with the 5 stop IBIS. Whether its causal street shooting at night, or low light events, the EM1 was more consistent in getting me great results.

Interestingly, as I sold off all my Canon gear the buyer told me how in NYC the weekend before he had a Nikon guy sell off all his D800 gear for the EM1 for the same reasons.

This Gear of the Year award is well deserved in my mind.

Link | Posted on Dec 1, 2013 at 14:21 UTC as 42nd comment | 5 replies
On article Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction (1842 comments in total)

I'm sorry. But I wonder how many people out there are like me and we just simply don't do cloud.

I don't do Iphone cloud on my phone, I don't do google cloud on my tablet, I don't use internet based backups, I certainly don't run my apps in a cloud dependent way.

I started with Photoshop with version 3 years ago and as the competition has come up, while I've upgraded over the years, I'm finding I just don't use it much more because the competitive raw converters have added so many features and the workflow is superior.

I have C1, DXO and Lightroom and for my needs I'm using C1 most of the time unless I need lens corrections then It's DXO.

The problem is, I use PS so seldom now that there is little incentive to join the cloud. MS is pushing this with Office 365 which has pushed most my clients to OpenOffice, because, they like me, just don't want to live in a cloud.

Link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 03:17 UTC as 716th comment | 5 replies
On article Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Preview (215 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mssimo: My 2 cents

75mm F1.8 has the same DOF no matter what format camera its mounted on.

DOF of this lens is perfect for portraits.

No need to stop it down.

Lots of special glass reduces the need for post corrections.

You get what you pay for and this lens is worth every penny and it will not drop in price for a long time.

I also have the 85 1.2 and 50 1.2. If a person finds the DOF hard to work with, these lenses have a great feature. You can stop them down ! :)

The 75 1.8 option, while requiring more distance for proper framing, should address that FF thin DOF look when wanted in the m4/3 format. I'm sure this is what Olympus had in mind in coming out with it.

Be fun to see the samples!

Link | Posted on May 25, 2012 at 03:19 UTC
Total: 19, showing: 1 – 19