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dp
11-10-2012, 05:10 AM
I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Canon 7D. Some of what has gone into the choice is Nikon support (not impressive), remote control capability, high capacity sensor, good reviews, stabilized lenses (but spendy), and good video characteristics. It uses a CCD sensor that can create a "jello affect" but that can be moderated by careful planning. Don't do this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0qC0_nIUq9s#! or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=LVwmtwZLG88&feature=fvwp

My feeling is the 7D is near the top of the almost professional cameras and can do all I need and still be simple for the needs of my wife. There are a lot of preprogrammed options in it and they are not difficult to learn.

The one driver for consideration is price. This goes out the door for more than $1600 more often than not, and there's not much in the box you take home. That includes the camera, some cords, some software that claims to work well in Windows as well as Mac, and a choice of one of several lenses. The one necessary lens is a 50mm 1.4 and the rest are fluff but expensive fluff. Motorized stabilizing lenses is not cheap.

Other cameras on the short list are Nikon 5100, Canon 60D, and a few others over the price range of $1200/2000.

I know Macona has a 60D and I wonder how it is standing up to the urge to stay current, and also what other camera users think of the current crop of higher end amateur snappers.

My purpose is to create video tutorials, nature photos, and to create a big stack of photos of stuff our kids can toss out when we're gone. That will include a river cruise across Europe to the Black Sea, for example. Secondarily I want to work only with RAW images, and all of the mentioned camers are compatible with my post software.

The Artful Bodger
11-10-2012, 05:17 AM
I have just bought a Pentax K-5 and didnt even consider any other marque as the Pentax DSLRs will handle Pentax lenses back to when Adam had a Box Brownie.

Old Pentax glass is easy and fairly cheap to find and acquire and with image stabilisation in the camera that works with the old Pentax lenses.

Here is one comparison, no doubt there are others on-line
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon_EOS_7D-vs-Pentax_K-5

But the Pentax does fall outside your price range! ;) (much cheaper).

BobL
11-10-2012, 06:11 AM
The D7 body is a very good body but it is not a pro body - and even Canon classifies it in the "enthusiast" range
Any focus on buying a quality camera should be less on bodies and more on lenses
Any DSLR camera above about 6Mp is more lens limited than CCD limited -- if you can afford an L series then they will make more difference than the upper end bodies.
Even quality DSLR bodies should be regarded as having a limited lifetime, mechanical shutters fail, electronics die etc. Lenses however should last a lot longer.

With the D7 having a small sensor a standard 50 mm lens will be more like an 80 mm - good for portraits and indoors but will be limited for travels, something like the 24-70 f2.8L would be ideal

macona
11-10-2012, 06:12 AM
My 60D has been great, I cant complain. I am currently using the Magic Lantern firmware that sits on top of canon's firmware that gives me some extra features. http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki I expect the 60D will be replaced soon.

They only thing about the 7D is it is getting a little long in the tooth and there should be a Mark II version coming out soon, rumors of January. I personally would buy a used 5D Mark II over a 7D new.

All the current cameras use CMOS, not CCD. Thats why you get the Jellycam effect, it is the rolling shutter. If you are on a mac iMovie has a post processing feature that pretty much eliminates the jellycam when you get it.

The 50 1.4 is a great lens, but if you do get a 7D it will be more like a 80mm because of the 1.6x crop factor of the smaller lens. So you might consider a 35mm or 28mm instead. I recommend the 17-40L, great lens, cheapest of the L series (About $700) and is almost impossible to get a flare off of even pointing towards the sun. And there is almost no distortion at full wide.

Another option is the new 6D, it is more of the successor to the 5D II than the 5D II is, at least price wise. It has a full frame sensor.

Like you have said, Nikon sucks when it comes to support. At laika we had looked at using nikon camera and nikon would not even give us the time of day. Canon on the other hand leant us cameras to try, helped with the api's for the camera to do remote control, and other support. A friend just bought on of the new Nikon full frames and one of the things he misses is no remote computer control.

Canon also allows you to use adapters to used other brand lenses on their bodies. The canon has a short focal place distance so you can use pentax and nikon lenses easily, of course in manual. Adapters are cheap, about $12.

My Pentax was nice but they are way behind in features for the equivalent price range.

The Artful Bodger
11-10-2012, 06:20 AM
My Pentax was nice but they are way behind in features for the equivalent price range.

So you dont agree with the comparison I posted?

macona
11-10-2012, 07:56 AM
The 7D is three years old now, thats why I say wait if it is a 7D he wants.

Your Old Dog
11-10-2012, 10:03 AM
I"ve been a Nikon boy my entire life. Recently went Canon and never looked back. I have the Mark 5 IID and like it's size and comfort. I have the 24-105 VS which is phenomenal in my opinion. I also have a Canon 100-400 for birds and that brings me to my suggestion. If you plan to shoot birds and wildlife I would buy whatever has the fastest frame rate. My Mark 5 does not have enough frame rate to get the really choice shots while they are on the wing. Faster frame rates will pretty much guarantee you the expression/action/positioning you want.

As for quality, I think all these new genre of digital optics are now splitting hairs for quality. If you ever go for the Canon 100-400 VS make sure you can send it back if it mounts loose. I've had it fail to shoot because the lens had to be held just right in the mount. I bought that lens at a small local camera shop and returned it. I bought my second one from B&H which has huge turnover and you get fresh stock. Have fun.

jkilroy
11-10-2012, 10:17 AM
The Nikon D600 is what you want, just about the best combination of size, performance, and fantastic color rendition.

J Tiers
11-10-2012, 10:24 AM
I have used several types of lower end /middle digital cameras, and if Canon is as good at higher end as they are at lower/middle, don't bother with anyone else.

Good optics even in cheap cameras, exceptional service, good color rendition in everything I have used.... it goes on. If this can be extrapolated up, I certainly would choose Canon 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

Mcgyver
11-10-2012, 10:25 AM
Some of what has gone into the choice is Nikon support (not impressive.

I have a Nikon D80 and it has been an excellent camera and I am very happy with it.....but I would agree with the above statement.

The other thing is the lenses nowadays just feel so flimsey; I suppose in the field the light weight is a big advantage but compared to my old Nikkor lenses they feel like a bit of a joke

Boot
11-10-2012, 10:29 AM
I just bought the 7D from B&H in NYC last month. It's great does everything I want it to do. I'm a graduate commercial art degree holder . I do all sorts of photography. It serves it's purpose and then some. I paid $1357 for body only. They just came out with it's replacement and it's labled 6D cost is about $2099 at B&H. A little more than I wanted to pay. It is a 20.mb camera compared to the 7D at 18+. Boot

Mcgyver
11-10-2012, 10:29 AM
I"ve been a Nikon boy my entire life. Recently went Canon and never looked back. I have the Mark 5 IID and like it's size and comfort. I have the 24-105 VS which is phenomenal in my opinion. I also have a Canon 100-400 for birds and that brings me to my suggestion. If you plan to shoot birds and wildlife I would buy whatever has the fastest frame rate. My Mark 5 does not have enough frame rate to get the really choice shots while they are on the wing. Faster frame rates will pretty much guarantee you the expression/action/positioning you want.

As for quality, I think all these new genre of digital optics are now splitting hairs for quality. If you ever go for the Canon 100-400 VS make sure you can send it back if it mounts loose. I've had it fail to shoot because the lens had to be held just right in the mount. I bought that lens at a small local camera shop and returned it. I bought my second one from B&H which has huge turnover and you get fresh stock. Have fun.

geez YOD, you went from ringing endorsment in the first paragraph to scaring one completely away from Canon in the second ..... lenses that have to held just so....and have best before dates :eek: :D

macona
11-10-2012, 10:38 AM
I just bought the 7D from B&H in NYC last month. It's great does everything I want it to do. I'm a graduate commercial art degree holder . I do all sorts of photography. It serves it's purpose and then some. I paid $1357 for body only. They just came out with it's replacement and it's labled 6D cost is about $2099 at B&H. A little more than I wanted to pay. It is a 20.mb camera compared to the 7D at 18+. Boot

I dont think I would consider the 6D the replacement for the 7D. 6D is full frame, I think it was made to fill in the $2k price mark that was left when the 5D III came out closer to $3k.

aostling
11-10-2012, 11:11 AM
Have you considered mirrorless instead of a DSLR? The Sony Nex-6 is beginning to ship: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2012/11/just-in-time-for-thanksgiving-nex-6.html

dave5605
11-10-2012, 11:21 AM
My feeling is the 7D is near the top of the almost professional cameras and can do all I need and still be simple for the needs of my wife. There are a lot of preprogrammed options in it and they are not difficult to learn
T

What does the wife say? Does she agree 'they are not difficult to learn'?

My SIL has gone through a couple of high end digital cameras with all the bells and whistles. He loves them.My daughter knows how to use them but universally ends up buying her own camera(s) that have less bells/whistles, are 1/4 the bulk, doesn't have to worry if she will drop it on the ski lift or lose it in the woods while hiking with the dogs. Doesnt worry if she will bang it up.

Her cameras don't have a dozen things she has to remember to ignore. Hooking her cameras up to her MAC is idiot proof. All she wants to do is manage them with IPhoto or slap them into Facebook pages. She does videos and voice overs too. Additionally she doesn't have to ask her husband for the $3000 camera he is carrying around guarding like a mother hen guards her chicks.:)

I'm not saying don't buy what you want (you should) but don't wimp out and cry about spending money on cameras if the wife wants to spend $300 on something she would use a whole lot more.

I'd bet my daughter takes 100 photos/videos for each one her husband does and probably saves/uses most of them. Her camera is compact enough it fits in a coat pocket and is unobtrusive. His camera hangs around his neck like a Kurt vise, not to mention the extra lens and bulky flash.

So, just saying, wife going to be happy, or just be resigned to using your camera?

saltmine
11-10-2012, 11:40 AM
I'll stick with Nikon. My first really good film camera was a Nikon, and even though the old Nikorex body wasn't worth much, the "hog-beater" of a telephoto Nikon lens was sufficient to trade for a new FT with a motor drive and two lenses. When digitals came along, I tried a few of the competitors. Each had their strong points, but I ended up with another Nikon. Years ago, my brother borrowed my Nikon, and now, him & his wife both own "high end" Nikon digitals and it's all my fault.
Just remember....you get what you pay for.

lakeside53
11-10-2012, 12:26 PM
I recently bought a Nikon D600; my first digital slr since my D70 (which still takes great pictures) 10 years ago. Before that.... 20 years of Nikon film cameras - N8008, F100, F4, F5 etc.. and a bunch of pro and travel lenses. Oh... all those lenses still work on my D600! Over the years didn't want to spend money on the D3... waited until a full frame got down to my price point. The body is about $2k.

I'm blown away by the D600. I have about 1500 pix on this one already - it really is an amazing camera. I'm all over cameras and rarely put them in any auto mode, but this one does just about as good as me 95% of the time. Wife - here - it's on auto - just press the button. NO, STOP - you have to point it also!

But... Canon verses Nikon? Phooey - they both make great cameras at similar price points and thank god we have both of them in the market place to push each other around. Wish I could say the same about Ford/Chevy. lol.. (just kidding).

PixMan
11-10-2012, 01:35 PM
+1 to everything lakeside53 said.

I also had Nikon FE, 8008, F4S and the original pro DSLR, the D1. I'm stuck with a faultless D200 for now, but looking at the new D600 and others as an upgrade next year. All my older lenses fit and work in almost every mode, though I no longer own any manual focus ones.

dp
11-10-2012, 02:24 PM
Some follow-up:

My range of choices is based on what is available today. I've bought new in the past things that were replaced with newer versions almost within days, but with everyone playing their cards close it is nearly impossible to second guess that. So I have a nearly new iPhone 4s, a MacBook Pro laptop with 32-bit processor, a nearly new but now dated Mac Mini Server, etc., and that was even after waiting a reasonable time. :)

I looked at all the full-frame options and can't justify $2000 for a body. All my existing glass is Nikon, such as it is - I still have a Nikon FG and in fact just put new batteries in it after 6 years and discovered there's still a roll of film in it! That has motor drive, 80-200 zoom, 50mm, flash. I imagine there's a way to adapt those to a newer camera but features are lost. I had a beautiful fixed focus 105 that popped off the body and landed jelly side down, breaking the glass on the mount end. I miss that one.

I handed my wife the 7D in the store with a 50mm lens on it, she turned it on, found the full-auto setting, and started shooting pix. That is what she does with our Sony DSC cameras, too. The camera didn't get in her way. She likes the live view where I prefer the view finder. I need/want remote control (well, want :) ) and there's not many cameras that can do that, and of the affordable and feature rich ones I've looked at, the 7D is the best fit for capability and budget. For the difference in cost between that and a full frame body I can buy another chunk of glass.

I don't know where I read the 7D has a jelly effect problem but it's good to know it doesn't. The 50mm/no full frame math escaped me so yes, the 28 is the closer fit to my last 50 years of SLR photography. I think one mentally frames a picture before looking through the view finder after years of shooting, so that is why I always come back to the 50 (and 105). I know that when I use my DSC I tend to fidget the zoom level to the equivalent of my old 50. I've done side-by-side with my Nikon and it's uncanny.

In every case the newer cameras have internal post processing capability that I am certain I will ignore. I'm not a fan of most HDR images I see but have friends that just love it. That can be done outside the cam. Other presets may prove useful but I never use them in my existing equipment. I prefer to drop unadulterated images into my Mac and fiddle them there. But you pay for those features, I suppose.

I've no doubt that by February I will suffer buyer's remorse as something totally nicer will come out and if nothing else, the price of the 7D will drop. Life is funny like that. But by then I'll have photographed several concerts my wife's singing group will be doing, winter scenes in the Pacific North Wet, my mantis' eggs will have hatched and the nymphs will be very photographable, and my wife will have wall-sized pictures of our cats being too incredibly cute to ignore. And hopefully I'll have several videos of my shaper and my Eureka gear cutter reliever project progress.

oldtiffie
11-10-2012, 06:23 PM
I've had a Panasonic DMC-TZ3 "point and shoot" for quite a while. It did everything I wanted it to do but as with any camera I only use it when I need to - which lately isn't very often at all. About all that gets used lately is the battery charger which I've used quite e few times since I last used the camera - but I have spare batteries - so I don't get caught with a flat battery.

Just about all that I am likely to want to capture has been done already - but its there ready to go if I want it.

Your Old Dog
11-10-2012, 08:08 PM
geez YOD, you went from ringing endorsment in the first paragraph to scaring one completely away from Canon in the second ..... lenses that have to held just so....and have best before dates :eek: :D

Nah! I'm a retired photographer and call'em as I see'em. We chose Canon lenses at work over Angenieux For no other reason the phenominal service. My first 100-400mm lens was from a bad batch as some googling showed others with same problem. I figured a high volume dealer would be more likely to have fresh stock with fresh upgrades and enhancements. I was right. The 100-200 VS is only a f4.5 lens but who needs lens/glass speed when you simply set the ISO rating to a gazillion and blast away. Don't advise get so carried away on lens speed with todays chip technology . How's this, I got a bumper sticker on the back of my clunky SLR that says "MY other Camera is a Leica M9" :D

Your Old Dog
11-10-2012, 08:12 PM
What does the wife say? Does she agree 'they are not difficult to learn'?

Just let me say this about that! The Canon instruction manual is extremely well written as opposed to the Nikon D100 and D200. I found the Canon manual a very nice and un-confusing read.

Frank K
11-10-2012, 08:21 PM
I started out a number of years ago with the original Canon EOS Rebel and over the years upgraded through the Rebel line. The first thing I learned early on was the importance of good glass to bring out the full capability of whatever body you use. Over time I have managed to buy what, for my purposes are the 3 ideal lenses. I have the Canon EF 17-40 f4L USM, EF 24-105 f4L IS USM, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS USM, EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro USM and a 1.4X converter. I’ve found Canon’s “L” lenses to be excellent but expensive and worth it. These were purchased over a span of a few years.
I just recently purchased a 7D and for the most part am pleased with it. It’s a bit heavy but I can deal with that. Its one fault is that the images are a bit noisy. I do almost all of my shooting in aperture priority mode with ISO set to Auto. As a rule this works fine but if you do need to push things, noise can become visible (but not necessarily objectionable) above ISO 400 and very noticeable at ISO 1600 and above. Low light is not your friend. Fast lenses are. Overall I’m happy with the 7D.
One misconception that a lot of people seem to have is the one involving using lenses designed for “full frame” cameras on APS-c sensor sized cameras such as the 7D. They hear that they should multiply the lens’ focal length by 1.6 to get the equivalent focal length; i.e. a 70-200 becomes a 112-320. That’s not really true. You do NOT gain any additional magnification. What you DO get is the field of view of the longer lens. Your subject doesn’t appear any bigger; you just see less of it.

Your Old Dog
11-10-2012, 08:23 PM
........................................ I think one mentally frames a picture before looking through the view finder after years of shooting, so that is why I always come back to the 50 (and 105). I know that when I use my DSC I tend to fidget the zoom level to the equivalent of my old 50. I've done side-by-side with my Nikon and it's uncanny.

In every case the newer cameras have internal post processing capability that I am certain I will ignore. I'm not a fan of most HDR images I see but have friends that just love it. That can be done outside the cam. Other presets may prove useful but I never use them in my existing equipment. I prefer to drop unadulterated images into my Mac and fiddle them there. But you pay for those features, I suppose. .................................................. ...............

You belong in a Leica M9 rangefinder, that's the kind of shooting you do and then you're shooting prime lenses with more detail. With your computer you crop and chop and I think you said you wanted to shoot RAW, Lightroom and the NIK suite of software will get you to what you want. It's a new day where imaging is concerned and you need to throw out some old beliefs. Full frame/20 or better mega pixel will net you great results. My Leica kit consist of a 21,24,35,50, 50 f0.95 Canon, 70 and 90. I normally leave the house with one lens on the camera and one more in my pocket and I'm not afraid to crop when I get home. (The 24, 50 f0.95 and 70 will be on the auction block soon as I like to work lean.

Evan
11-10-2012, 09:10 PM
First a little correction. The Canon or any other high megapixel prosumer camera does not have a CCD sensor. The 7D has a 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor. The reason is mainly power consumption. You would need a battery belt to run a CCD sensor that size and it would need active cooling. It's a shame but there is no way around it. CCD is a much better technology with far better pixel to pixel consistency. It also has much less noise if kept cool. Also, a CCD has much higher quantum efficiency as it will record over 90% of the photons that land on the active area. It also has higher efficiency since it has no surrounding dead zone for each pixel. With a CMOS sensor every pixel has an associated integrated amplifier transistor which uses 20 to 30% of the total landscape and is not light sensitive.

With all those good CCD features goes a 500 to 1000% price increase.

I have one camera that was one of the very last to have a real CCD sensor, the Nikon 4300. The image quality at the pixel level is far superior to any other camera I have and I have many.

As for Canon cameras in general, they are my choice. They are far from perfect but they are very good. My daughter is a pro photographer, the type that starts at $3000 per day for shoots. She uses nothing but Canon. I'm not certain what her current camera is, she buys a new one every year or two. The latest I know for sure was the 5D but she has probably relegated that to backup by now.

Oh yeah, I almost missed a chance to brag about my daughter. She is part owner of the Hinton Voice Newspaper and of course the photographer.




The Hinton Voice claimed three first-place nods for photography, and one for sports coverage, at the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) awards on April 26.
The four first-place finishes were tied for the most among any news organization of any circulation in Canada. The paper also took second for overall general excellence – losing to the Ladysmith Chronicle Herald by only one point – and two third-place finishes for writing in only its first year of eligibility for the awards.

http://hintonvoice.com/voice-heard-loud-and-clear-at-national-awards-p1813-140.htm

rohart
11-10-2012, 10:40 PM
Lakeside - you say the D600 works with your old lenses ? I'm stuck with my D1H because AFAIK only the D1/2/3 run their meter with the old AIS lenses, and I can't afford the upgrade and I don't want to chip my old lenses.

Will the D600 take all my AIS lenses without me having to program each one in each time I use it ? I only want metering, nothing fancy. I know my daughter's D5000 won't.

macona
11-11-2012, 12:10 AM
Some follow-up:


I looked at all the full-frame options and can't justify $2000 for a body. All my existing glass is Nikon, such as it is - I still have a Nikon FG and in fact just put new batteries in it after 6 years and discovered there's still a roll of film in it! That has motor drive, 80-200 zoom, 50mm, flash. I imagine there's a way to adapt those to a newer camera but features are lost. I had a beautiful fixed focus 105 that popped off the body and landed jelly side down, breaking the glass on the mount end. I miss that one.


That why I mention buying a 5D II used, around here they sell for about $1300 to $1400 used. I would buy that any day over a 7D.

I use my 200MM Nikon F4 Macro on the 60D. Works great.

I only shoot RAW. Space is cheap so who cares and it gives you a little more fudge room in post processing if you need it. Also the computer's RAW conversion is usually better than the camera's.

lakeside53
11-11-2012, 12:12 AM
ROHART : I don't have any AIS... but there is a compatability list enclosed as separate pages with the D600 manual. They should work fine with metering.

From the Nkon web site (where the FAQ isn't up to date with the D600/800, but they do mention the D700:

AI lens : Manual focus lenses with Aperture Indexing levers can be used on any D-SLR with few exceptions. In general, the higher end D-SLR's (such as D3X, D3, D700, D300S, D300, D200, D2 and D1- series cameras) can meter with these lenses, but when used on the consumer cameras (D80, D70, D60, D40-series, D3100, D3000 etc.) the user will need to determine and set the exposure manually. Click Here for an article describing the differences between these two types of lenses.

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14439/kw/D600%20lens%20compatibility

LKeithR
11-11-2012, 03:47 AM
First a little correction. The Canon or any other high megapixel prosumer camera does not have a CCD sensor.

All the early Pentax DSLRs had APS-C sized CCD sensors--up to and including the K10D. With the K20D they moved to CMOS sensors.


With all those good CCD features goes a 500 to 1000% price increase.

Those early Pentax DSLRs certainly weren't overpriced. I do agree, though, that CCD sensors can produce some very special looking images.

I've been a Pentax shooter for nearly 50 years. They are "different", but certainly not outclassed by the Nikon and Canon offerings. Sadly, most people buying digital cameras today tend to spend more time comparing numbers rather than looking at images. If you are a decent photographer and capable of getting the most out of your equipment a Pentax DSLR combined with some of their superb lenses will be all the camera you ever need...

The Artful Bodger
11-11-2012, 04:14 AM
Unfortunately the numbers that influence the decision too much is often the price...

Evan
11-11-2012, 05:36 AM
For the vast majority of people a $100 camera of almost any brand will do what they need. Megapixels are meaningless as most people can't hold a camera still enough for it to matter, even with antishake systems. All they want anyway is pictures of the kids at the birthday party and for that they work just fine. We have a couple of cameras that my wife bought off the local equivalent of Craig's List and they cost $15 and $25 for a Nikon 5600 Coolpix and something else I don't recall. The Nikon even came in the original box with warrantee card. I carry the 5600 in my purse in case aliens land on the road ahead. It runs on 2 AA rechargeables or alkalines with is a big plus.

ikdor
11-11-2012, 05:46 AM
I would shy away from any older cameras in a world where last years pro camera will be almost trumped by this years budget version. The new versions have automatic lens distortion correction, purple fringing correction, auto expanded dynamic range, improved auto focus, etc etc.
This means more satisfactory photo's will come out of the camera, and you don't have to waste your life in front of the computer messing with correction programs.
If I was spending that kind of money I'd take the D600, but I already have Nikon lenses.
Anyway, enjoy your new toy!

Igor

dp
11-11-2012, 01:19 PM
First a little correction. The Canon or any other high megapixel prosumer camera does not have a CCD sensor. The 7D has a 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor.

That wasn't the only bad info I got. I went back to the store yesterday standing there in a Canon logo shirt was a Canon rep. So I got to talking about all this and I picked up a Canon Rebel T4i about which he said, paraphrasing, "that is a great camera - and it has a full frame sensor". I asked if he was sure and he was quite convinced (it doesn't). I then thumped on the 7D and asked about pending updates and he said Canon won't say and he didn't know. But he'd read the same rumors I've seen. Anyway - I downloaded the operating manuals of every candidate system on my list and have read them end to end. Sometimes it pays to be a speed reader.

I compromised and bought the Canon Rebel T4i with two lenses as my wife likes the touch screen, and I will be getting the 7D for myself when the new release is out. I'll probably spend the day today shooting birds in the back yard. We're on the migratory path of a lot of birds and this is the only time of year we see them. It's cold enough that I'm going to get an AC adapter and remote shutter control :). The Rebel is a decent camera except for the battery life. It will definitely be necessary to keep one in the charger at all times. The single most used feature is the dioptric adjustment as I'm constantly alternating between viewing with and without my glasses.

Congrats to your daughter - photojournalism is a difficult field to stand out in.

Mcgyver
11-11-2012, 01:31 PM
photojournalism is a difficult field to stand out in.

just like the farmer....who was outstanding in his field

oldtiffie
11-11-2012, 06:04 PM
For the vast majority of people a $100 camera of almost any brand will do what they need. Megapixels are meaningless as most people can't hold a camera still enough for it to matter, even with antishake systems. All they want anyway is pictures of the kids at the birthday party and for that they work just fine. We have a couple of cameras that my wife bought off the local equivalent of Craig's List and they cost $15 and $25 for a Nikon 5600 Coolpix and something else I don't recall. The Nikon even came in the original box with warrantee card. I carry the 5600 in my purse in case aliens land on the road ahead. It runs on 2 AA rechargeables or alkalines with is a big plus.

+1.

That pretty well sums up my requirements.

LKeithR
11-11-2012, 09:14 PM
I would shy away from any older cameras in a world where last years pro camera will be almost trumped by this years budget version.

In the camera world "obsolete" simply means that last years model has fewer bells and whistles than this years. A camera that takes good pictures today will not suddenly stop taking them when a new model appears on the market. We have long since passed the point where this years new camera takes "better" pictures than last years--most of the newer models simply make it easier to take more pictures we'll never use for anything but web viewing.


The new versions have automatic lens distortion correction, purple fringing correction, auto expanded dynamic range, improved auto focus, etc etc. This means more satisfactory photo's will come out of the camera, and you don't have to waste your life in front of the computer messing with correction programs.

The interesting thing about this is that if you take a bit of time to learn how to properly use a camera you'll be able to get mostly good "out of camera" results without having to spend hours sitting at a computer...

dp
11-11-2012, 09:38 PM
The interesting thing about this is that if you take a bit of time to learn how to properly use a camera you'll be able to get mostly good "out of camera" results without having to spend hours sitting at a computer...

Two words: Ansel Adams. He proved that 1% of good photography is being in the right place and the other 99% was knowing where that place was.

aostling
11-11-2012, 11:23 PM
The interesting thing about this is that if you take a bit of time to learn how to properly use a camera you'll be able to get mostly good "out of camera" results without having to spend hours sitting at a computer...

That's the theory, and I hope you are correct. Two days ago I bought this camera http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sony_rx100.shtml. I like to shoot RAW, but this is a 20 megapixel camera; the RAW files are about 24 MB. Developing the RAW files is very easy in Lightroom 4, but I'd like to shoot jpegs, which are only about 8 MB. That would lessen the strain on my computer resources.

There are three things I can tweak on the in-camera jpegs: contrast, saturation, and sharpness. White balance is critical too, and that can be custom set. I must not overdo the sharpening, since that can never be undone in post processing. I hope to get to where I can shoot jpegs most of the time, reserving RAW for unusual conditions, or that once-in-a-lifetime scenic view.

Evan
11-12-2012, 01:22 AM
There isn't a great deal of difference between raw and the highest quality jpg on any of my Canons, except for file size. Jpg artefacts are pretty well invisible even with heavy contrast tweaking. I set the sharpening to the lowest level. I can always apply that later. One trick I use is to always work on a 200% upsampled image and when finished resample to whatever I need. It produces better results and makes certain filters less touchy, especially any that have an effect on edges.

macona
11-12-2012, 02:35 AM
It is not so much to do with sharpness, with raw you have more color information available 12 or 14 bits per pixel vs 8 on a jpeg. That means you can get more detail out of highlights and shadows. Also when white balancing an image later I get much nicer results with a raw. I have taken pics under sodium vapor lights and used Aperture's white balance tool and got an image that looked like it was taken under white light. I tried that with a jpeg and did not get nearly as nice results.

As for a 24meg file size, who cares? We live in the age of 32 and 64 gig memory cards and multi-teribyte hard drives.

aostling
11-12-2012, 02:41 AM
One trick I use is to always work on a 200% upsampled image and when finished resample to whatever I need. It produces better results and makes certain filters less touchy, especially any that have an effect on edges.

I've not heard of this technique. How do you get a 200% file to work with?

dp
11-12-2012, 03:24 AM
I've not heard of this technique. How do you get a 200% file to work with?

Upsampling is a form of injected distortion. It is rather like the inverse of jpg compression except in creating a jpg file, content is tossed out. In upsampling best guesses are added. Some of those guesses are pretty good, though. Software that does this tends to add in additional features that amount to sharpening the image. You can simulate the visual effect of simple upsampling by using your Sharpness slider and moving to toward more blur.

I have an image I made of me testing my remote control. It is 25M as a raw image. I exported a section of it unchanged to an uncompressed jpg file, and then as a 50% jpg file, and unless you know what to look for you cannot see a difference on the screen you could swear to. That changes when it goes to paper should you wish to print a high res copy. I then resampled the full size jpg from 72 dpi to 300 dpi. The file sizes of the three are 11M, 300K, and 800K. Again, no discernible difference on the screen. In the histogram you see substantial differences between the full resolution jpg and the other two, but nearly nothing between the second two copies.

It should be noted that editing a jpg file and saving the result as a jpg file results in cascading loss of image quality as each generation is missing bits found in the earlier generation.

aostling
11-12-2012, 08:26 AM
It should be noted that editing a jpg file and saving the result as a jpg file results in cascading loss of image quality as each generation is missing bits found in the earlier generation.

Yes, I think I should just stick with RAW, and do what Macona suggests and upgrade my resources. My 13" Macbook has a 160 GB drive, and I use it only as a desktop, connected to a 20" Apple matte display. I take an iPad when traveling these days.

Perhaps the new Mac Mini would be the best solution.

Evan
11-12-2012, 03:37 PM
I'm considering a tablet just so I can do things like previewing images and showing them to others. I can't believe the stupidity of the developers. The iPad mini has no interfaces other than headphone connector and the Google Nexus 7 has only a mini USB. Wireless is the only other option and that does not allow the ability to expand onboard storage with a memory card. The Nexus would be my choice and it is a perfect fit in my purse bag but without a card slot of some kind it is useless.

Asus has some other nice designs but they are mostly bigger than what I want and more expensive too. They have a very nice 7" tablet very similar to their Nexus 7 and it has the required card slot in microSD but it only has 8 gigs SSD. That is not enough.

I can't believe that anyone would design a computer of any sort with no hard wire data interface. It must be due to living in a place where high speed wireless is always available. The designers need to get out more and take a trip or two to someplace like the Canadian Rockies where they will quickly find that not only is there no wireless and no cell service but also very limited satellite service too because of the deep valleys and high horizons.

aostling
11-12-2012, 06:26 PM
I'm considering a tablet just so I can do things like previewing images and showing them to others. I can't believe the stupidity of the developers. The iPad mini has no interfaces other than headphone connector and the Google Nexus 7 has only a mini USB.

The iPad Mini has a Lightning connector, analogous to the 30-pin connector on the iPad 2. With this you can load photos from an SD card, with this accessory: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD822ZM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-reader

You can sync PDF files from your computer and read them on the iPad with a nifty app called Goodreader. So you might find the iPad useful for sharing information, even though it is a bummer being far from wifi zones in the northern lands.

Evan
11-12-2012, 07:04 PM
I don't want to carry any other parts. My cameras take mostly SD cards so I can use a MicroSD in an adapter. MicroSD is the defacto standard on most tablets and other small devices now and go up to 64 gigs in class 10 speed. An 8 gig class 10 card costs $11 from DX. 16 gig is $19. Nearly all other tablets are equipped with a card slot. The cost of including that feature is about one dollar. You can buy a USB MicroSD reader for a few dollars. I might just go with the Nexus since it does have a micro USB interface but I hate having something that sticks out and is very easily damaged. The price on the Nexus is very good, currently $239 here with 16 gigs and the screen is very nice resolution, better than any other 7" tablet.

The other possibility is an adapter for the camera that converts the USB to bluetooth. That would be OK but I'm not sure they exist. That's like another device I have wanted for ages. They do exist but there are only two on the market and they are way overpriced. What I want is very simple to make but for unknown reasons none of the big players have one. I want a wireless USB hub.

rohart
11-12-2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks Lakeside - I'll look at the D700 as well. I'm fed up with the NiMh batteries my D1H uses. Refit a new set and they collapse within the year.

Macona - I wished I lived in an age where my pocket was big enough to afford computers that could load big stuff fast.

armedandsafe
11-12-2012, 08:32 PM
Lakeside - you say the D600 works with your old lenses ? I'm stuck with my D1H because AFAIK only the D1/2/3 run their meter with the old AIS lenses, and I can't afford the upgrade and I don't want to chip my old lenses.

Will the D600 take all my AIS lenses without me having to program each one in each time I use it ? I only want metering, nothing fancy. I know my daughter's D5000 won't.

Richard, take a look here.
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm

Pops

dp
11-12-2012, 10:23 PM
I'm considering a tablet just so I can do things like previewing images and showing them to others. I can't believe the stupidity of the developers. The iPad mini has no interfaces other than headphone connector and the Google Nexus 7 has only a mini USB.

When I went looking for a tablet/pad I got the color Nook for the sole reason that it has a USB connector and will let me up/download my content including images, movies, music, pdf's and other ebook formats. It is seen by a connected computer as storage. And it has wifi, email, an office-like app (third party), games, and such most of which I don't care about. And it was stinking cheap. The only downside is it is Android and I don't like Google.

Yesterday after a lot of time with the new camera behind me I bought a grip battery, extra batteries, lens hood, polarizer and other basic filters, dual battery charger, and a gadget bag to toss it all in. What I forgot was the AC adapter to allow going on the grid when it is practical. The grip battery holder has room for 6 AA cells or two LE-8 batteries, so I should be good.

Paul Alciatore
11-12-2012, 11:18 PM
Using an older Pentax K series lens is not necessarily a good idea on a digital camera. The K series lenses were first designed for 35mm still photography with a frame size of 36 x 24 mm (864 sq mm). The sensor size in the Pentax K-5 is 23.7 x 15.7 mm (372 sq mm) so it only uses less than half of the area that the lens was designed for. To fully utilize the sensor's resolution of 16.3 MPixels you need a lens that is capable of resolving at least 145 lines per mm. I have read many, many lens test results but I can not recall any lenses that were designed for 35mm cameras that had anything even near that figure. In short, a digital camera really needs a lens that is designed for a digital camera. And even most of them probably fall short. But even then, most of the good ones that were designed for digital cameras probably are a lot better than the older film camera lenses.

If you ever wondered why many digital cameras do not seem to live up to their MegaPixel rating, this is probably the reason. I personally think that anything over 4 or 5 MPixels is a total waste on almost any fixed lens camera as they will never have a lens that will use any of the increased resolution. If you are considering the purchase of a fixed lens digital camera, you will be better served by shopping for features instead of pixel count. Changeable lens cameras, like DSLRs tend to have larger sensors and then a larger pixel count will be of use, but only with a top quality lens.

Oh, one tip here, which you may or may not be able to fully utilize on some digital cameras. Most lenses have a sweet spot that is about two or three f-stops down from the maximum aperture. This is due to a compromise between the diffraction limit which is better at wide apertures (low f-stop numbers) and other practical design limits that are generally better at smaller apertures (high f-stop numbers). If you have control over the aperture (f-stop) you can probably get sharper photos by setting it to this sweet spot. If you do not have direct control over the aperture setting, you may be able to control the amount of light on the scene. Decrease the light until the image starts to get dark and then double the amount of light by a factor of 4 to 8 times. This may force the automatic aperture to a middle value. This control of the amount of light could be accomplished directly by turning indoor light sources off or indoors or outdoors by adding neutral density filters on the lens. Some experimenting with different value ND filters may be needed.

lakeside53
11-12-2012, 11:42 PM
I agree. I have some great glass ($$$$). Some zoom; range? lol - 2.5:1, but with quality. These were from my late film days, and on my D70 - a 10 year old 6M pixel camera, takes vastly superior pictures than my $150 16M pixel pocket camera. I just put these lenses (mostly Nikon AFS 2.8) on my D600... Nice...

The Artful Bodger
11-13-2012, 12:00 AM
Using an older Pentax K series lens is not necessarily a good idea on a digital camera. The K series lenses were first designed for 35mm still photography with a frame size of 36 x 24 mm (864 sq mm). The sensor size in the Pentax K-5 is 23.7 x 15.7 mm (372 sq mm) so it only uses less than half of the area that the lens was designed for. To fully utilize the sensor's resolution of 16.3 MPixels you need a lens that is capable of resolving at least 145 lines per mm. I have read many, many lens test results but I can not recall any lenses that were designed for 35mm cameras that had anything even near that figure. In short, a digital camera really needs a lens that is designed for a digital camera...

That may well be true, so what lens should I be looking for in the digital lens lineup for my Pentax K-5 to replace my 500m f1:4 Sigma lens from the film era and how much should I expect to spend? I am shooting (or trying to) wildlife in low light.

dp
11-13-2012, 12:52 AM
Here's my first photographie d'art - my mantis, Miss Bug, has placed her third egg sack since she joined our family in early October.

http://metalworkingathome.com/images/MantisAndEggSack.jpg

As always, she placed the package on the ceiling but the camera's twisty wiggly touchy screen (tm Kai W, http://digitalrev.com/) allowed me to avoid photo gymnastics by letting me see from a comfortable perch the little lady pinching off the last of it. I think I see some blooming in the color reproduction. :)

Untouched raw image except to crop and render as jpeg. The TIFF version is over 5M in size. The shot was A+, full auto, flash.

Evan
11-13-2012, 01:49 AM
I personally think that anything over 4 or 5 MPixels is a total waste on almost any fixed lens camera as they will never have a lens that will use any of the increased resolution.

Almost correct. I have one Japanese very old lens that is preternaturally sharp. It is without doubt diffraction limited right to the edges. I use it for astrophotography, usually. I modified it by cutting off the entire iris end of the barrel since it wouldn't focus on the sensor. I glued it to a body cap to fit my Canons. Since I removed the iris it is always wide open which makes it very easy to use. <grin> It's a Miranda f135mm telephoto.

Here is a comparison between it and the Canon kit telephoto lens. I took these images a few years ago during the big fire to check for arcing on the .5 megavolt transmission line near here. This shows how truly crappy the kit lenses are. I doubt if it is any different with any other brand. It also points out just how much you give up with a zoom lens and all the extra surfaces. The Miranda is my standard of comparison.

http://ixian.ca/pics10/lens1.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics10/lens2.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics10/lens3.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics10/lens4.jpg

The photos were taken in nearly dark conditions with a 1 minute exposure at ISO 3200. The purpose was to detect corona/arcing which can be seen on the Miranda photo on the power lines. The Camera that BC Hydro uses costs $100,000. They could not understand how I took these photos.

macona
11-13-2012, 04:33 AM
Yes, I think I should just stick with RAW, and do what Macona suggests and upgrade my resources. My 13" Macbook has a 160 GB drive, and I use it only as a desktop, connected to a 20" Apple matte display. I take an iPad when traveling these days.

Perhaps the new Mac Mini would be the best solution.

I use a Mac Mini as my primary machine, it is an older Core2Duo server version. Great little machine. I pulled it apart once to replace the two internal 500g drives with two 80gig SSDs and set them up in Raid 0. Pretty darn fast, the thing boots in less than 10 seconds. The construction inside is amazing, no wasted space at all.

A lot of people claim that the mini is overpriced, but I have never found an equivalent PC version that has the same processor and all features in the same size package. Most PC versions start at $600 without a processor, memory, or HD, OS, and still have an external power brick.

The new minis looks nice, core i7 with thunderbolt. I plan to upgrade to one once I get a job again.

small.planes
11-13-2012, 05:13 AM
Whilst the Miranda maybe sharp, it also has approx 3x as many pixels per physical feature in each dimension, not really a true comparison...

Dave

macona
11-13-2012, 07:43 AM
The other possibility is an adapter for the camera that converts the USB to bluetooth. That would be OK but I'm not sure they exist. That's like another device I have wanted for ages. They do exist but there are only two on the market and they are way overpriced. What I want is very simple to make but for unknown reasons none of the big players have one. I want a wireless USB hub.

There are eye-fi cards, SD memory cards with wi-fi built in. Transfers photos from your camera to your digital device wirelessly.

macona
11-13-2012, 07:46 AM
Here's my first photographie d'art - my mantis, Miss Bug, has placed her third egg sack since she joined our family in early October.


As always, she placed the package on the ceiling but the camera's twisty wiggly touchy screen (tm Kai W, http://digitalrev.com/) allowed me to avoid photo gymnastics by letting me see from a comfortable perch the little lady pinching off the last of it. I think I see some blooming in the color reproduction. :)

Untouched raw image except to crop and render as jpeg. The TIFF version is over 5M in size. The shot was A+, full auto, flash.

Yeah, the little flippy screen is pretty great. Now you just need to get an off camera flash. So much better than the on-board flashes.

Evan
11-13-2012, 01:39 PM
Whilst the Miranda maybe sharp, it also has approx 3x as many pixels per physical feature in each dimension, not really a true comparison...

It's fair. That is a matter of image scale due to different focal length. Were the focal length even the comparison would be worse, not better. Presenting the images at the same apparent scale instead of pixels would not improve matters.

Evan
11-13-2012, 01:40 PM
There are eye-fi cards, SD memory cards with wi-fi built in. Transfers photos from your camera to your digital device wirelessly.

I will look into that. However, it needs to fit under the closed cover door.

macona
11-13-2012, 01:59 PM
They are the exact same size as a normal SD Card. Pretty amazing really.

http://www.eye.fi

They have a compatibility checker on their site.

They pop up on woot.com every once in a while.

dp
11-13-2012, 03:44 PM
I use a Mac Mini as my primary machine, it is an older Core2Duo server version. Great little machine. I pulled it apart once to replace the two internal 500g drives with two 80gig SSDs and set them up in Raid 0. Pretty darn fast, the thing boots in less than 10 seconds. The construction inside is amazing, no wasted space at all.

A lot of people claim that the mini is overpriced, but I have never found an equivalent PC version that has the same processor and all features in the same size package. Most PC versions start at $600 without a processor, memory, or HD, OS, and still have an external power brick.

The new minis looks nice, core i7 with thunderbolt. I plan to upgrade to one once I get a job again.

I have two mini's and I'll buy more if any show up around here. One of the best little general purpose systems out there. The new ones are fantastic as they have the quad core I7 processor and are much smaller than the original. The bottom twists off to get to the ram slots. You can install Windows on them in a dual-boot config, or run Windows as a VM, of course. There are no expansion slots and no serial or parallel ports so that can limit them for some users. USB -> Serial adapters abound.

small.planes
11-13-2012, 03:46 PM
Nope, its not fair. Either you misunderstand, or you choose not to understand.

Typically a lens on a digital camera will exhibit 3-5 pixels of 'smear'.

There are numerous reasons for this, but I have tested a lot of very expensive lenses including Zeiss, Nikon, Schneider, Qioptiq amongst others. Typically the BEST lens had at least 2 pixels of smear, on a 7 micron pixel CCD, which has larger imaging sites than most current DSLR and compact cameras.

The crop of the miranda has the yellow sign at approx 130 pixels wide, and the number 1 is typically 5 pixels wide, with the typical 3-5 pixel edge smear.
That gives a ratio of ~ 0.038.

The Canon crop has the sign at about 40 pixels wide, its hard to tell with the JPEG artifacts.
Assuming the sign is the same sign in the real world( ;) ) the same number 1 is approx 1.5 pixels wide.
Even the very very best lenses would struggle to image that on a large photosite sensor, nevermind a DSLR sized photosite.

If your Miranda was of the same focal length as the Canon, or rather the other way round, since the Miranda is fixed, then it would be a more reasonable test of the imaging quality of the lens.
Interestingly, under lab conditions, with the same focal length the cheap Nikon lenses (such as the F1.8 50mm) are actually only marginally, and subjectivley, worse than the Zeiss and other lenses that cost 10X or so as much.
There are certainly aspects that the lens designers can chose to emphasise over others, sharpness is one, but it costs in other areas of the image quality, such as distortion.

Dave

Paul Alciatore
11-13-2012, 09:41 PM
That may well be true, so what lens should I be looking for in the digital lens lineup for my Pentax K-5 to replace my 500m f1:4 Sigma lens from the film era and how much should I expect to spend? I am shooting (or trying to) wildlife in low light.

Boy, that is a real difficult question. It has been a while since I paid a lot of attention to the latest products in the photographic field. I upgraded from a 2 MPixel to a 16 MPixel camera recently and was really disappointed by the small increase in resolution. That got me curious and I looked around a bit. And I did some of my own calculations as you can see in the post above. I am sure that there are or at least should be some good digital lenses out there, but where they are is not easy to discern. From my earlier knowledge I can tell you that you can not count on any consistency from any of the manufacturers or even in a line of lenses from the same manufacturer. The lens test reports that I recall reading showed that one lens in a line could be very good and another, even one of similar focal length and aperture, could be only average. The camera and lens manufacturers did not have any reason to advertise resolution figures then nor do they now. Yes, I looked and have yet to find even a single lens with listed resolution specs.

Re, Evan's superb lens: In any mass produced product there will be slight variations. Just like no two mechanical parts produced in a machine shop or automated CNC factory will be exactly the same size, no two pieces of glass (or plastic) lens will be exactly the same. When a high quality lens is assembled from 5 or 6 to as many as 20 or more optical elements, each of which has tolerances, there should be no surprise that some of the assembled lenses will perform better than others. Evan probably got lucky. It would be nice if you could rummage through a bin of camera lenses and quickly test them before purchasing, but that is rarely possible. The next serial numbered lens from the same line may have been really poor.

I know this is not much help, but it does seem to be the way things are. Perhaps a good photo shop (if any still exist) may allow you to test a lens before purchase. With the prices of some of them on the market today, that is certainly a reasonable request. Slap it on your camera and take a few photos. Record the serial number so they don't switch it on you. Download the photos and check the resolution. Then decide.

The Artful Bodger
11-13-2012, 11:29 PM
Thanks Paul, all in all then I think my best option is to continue with the lenses I know and have even if they do date to the film era.

One of the characteristics of lenses for 35mm film cameras compared to lenses intended for digital cameras is, presumably, the lens throws an image in the camera that is bigger than the sensor and it is unavoidable that at least some of this overflowed image begins to bounce around inside the camera to the detriment of image quality.

macona
11-14-2012, 08:02 AM
Thanks Paul, all in all then I think my best option is to continue with the lenses I know and have even if they do date to the film era.

One of the characteristics of lenses for 35mm film cameras compared to lenses intended for digital cameras is, presumably, the lens throws an image in the camera that is bigger than the sensor and it is unavoidable that at least some of this overflowed image begins to bounce around inside the camera to the detriment of image quality.

Ummm.. No..

If you have a full frame sensor than it is exactly the same size as a piece of 35mm film. APS-C sensors are smaller and you get a cropped effect. Light does not bounce around any more than with a standard camera, everything in the camera is flocked or black.

The only modern canon lenses you could not use on a film camera with the EOS mount are the ones designed for APS-C, like the kit lenses. Other wise most lenses are the same for digital or film, though I am not sure if the old film bodies support the IS functions. Same with Nikon as well.

Paul Alciatore
11-14-2012, 11:40 AM
Thanks Paul, all in all then I think my best option is to continue with the lenses I know and have even if they do date to the film era.

One of the characteristics of lenses for 35mm film cameras compared to lenses intended for digital cameras is, presumably, the lens throws an image in the camera that is bigger than the sensor and it is unavoidable that at least some of this overflowed image begins to bounce around inside the camera to the detriment of image quality.

"Bounce around" is perhaps not the best choice of words. I would say "scattered" as it will not be reflected unless the design is really poor. All lenses will pass light outside of the boundaries of the intended image size to one degree or another. The designers can try to cut this down with internal baffles and external lens shades but none of them are perfect. As macona says, the interior of the camera is also designed to cut down on this. This extraneous light can hit the sensor (or film) but it is very diffuse and the main effect is to reduce contrast in the image, sometimes very dramatically. I was addressing the resolution of lenses, not stray light and I would not hesitate to use a lens designed for a larger format for this reason.

What you say about using the older lens makes sense. It may perform well for your use and in any case, there is no reason not to at least try it. I just wanted you to be aware that it may not perform as well as you may expect. As I said, I also have been disappointed.

Evan
11-14-2012, 01:25 PM
The best test for lens sharpness and "smear" is astrophotography. That is where the difference between "diffraction limited" or not shows clearly. A star very closely approximates a true point source of light. It is diffracted by the lens system in a mathematically predictable manner. How closely that lens replicates the correct diffraction pattern is an absolute measure of its sharpness. With cheap lenses it is rare to find any that reproduce the diffraction pattern at all. Even very good zoom lenses cannot, there are too many surfaces. Each surface produces some dispersion and when summed the result is loss of sharpness that inevitably smears the image enough that the diffraction pattern is lost.

A point source cannot be imaged by a lens as a point of light. A perfect lens produces a pattern that corresponds in size to its aperture.

Rather than explaining it here there is an excellent (as usual) explanation here (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/cirapp2.html#c2).

It is this effect that limits the ultimate sharpness of a lens. The only true test of lens sharpness is the ability to image a point source. Every lens is subject to an absolute limit of sharpness represented by this formula: angular resolution=1.22*(light wavelength/aperture diameter).

What becomes obvious is that it is impossible to accurately resolve white light. Also, all lenses produce chromatic dispersion due to varying index of refraction at different wavelengths. It is impossible to eliminate chromatic abberation in a lens although it can be greatly reduced by combining materials with different dispersions. Even so, a zoom lens has so many surfaces that the total dispersion greatly exceeds that of any fixed lens. A good fixed lens will easily exceed the resolving power of the very best similar aperture zoom lens in existence. Note that this chromatic dispersion does not apply to a mirror. A mirror is limited only by the accuracy of its shape and its aperture.

The Miranda is actually able to reproduce the Rayleigh diffraction pattern. The kit lens for the Canon is lucky if it can even resolve a magnitude 8 star at all. It is orders of magnitude worse than the Miranda.

rohart
11-14-2012, 02:06 PM
Evan suggested in a post a few days back that a $100 camera would do what most people wanted. I agree - that those camera will produce an image that will satisfy most people's requirements, and usually make a reasonable fist of close up, wide angle, low light, and the rest of it.

There's one quality you will not currently get unless you go for one of the pro-ams at least, and that is instant take.

I'm old enough to be used to a camera that lets the shutter go within a tenth of a second or so of my pressing the release. Some of the $100 cameras can take up to a second to release the shutter. I could probably get used to it, but I've usually dropped the camera from my eye well before they snap a shot. I just can't handle it, and it's quite impossible to use that kind of camera for any kind of sports, animal or portraiture photography, unless you resort to the old 'rest your chin on this pitchfork' technique.

Why on earth they are called snapshot cameras I don't know. Doze off cameras would be closer to the mark.

So much nature and portrait photography consists of holding your finger on the shutter release ready for that perfect smile, or ready for an elusive bird to glance your way, that instant release is vital.

I don't really give a toss about a lot of the so called sophistication that is bundled into modern high end camera, but I suppose it's there because of the very varied requirements of the full gamut of professional and pro-am photographers. And I definitely don't need so many pixels for most of my photography. My 2001 Nikon D1H has plenty pixels for most of my needs, although it does mean there's a bit more in my lenses that I'm missing out on when I want that detailed landscape.

Evan
11-14-2012, 02:20 PM
That is an excellent point although it isn't one I care much about. Delay is irrelevant for astrophotography or landscape shots which are my preferred subjects. The Canon DSLRs are excellent in the delay specs and they also prioritize image taking over all other functions. You can be in a setup menu and it will still take an image when you press the shutter button. The point and shoot Canon Powershots aren't nearly as good. Worse, most point and shoots have a much longer delay when used with flash for reasons I don't understand.

Evan
11-14-2012, 02:51 PM
I looked up the Eye-fi X2 and unfortunately there is a problem with my 1000D that might require me to send the camera back to Canon for service in order for it to turn on with that card in place. I don't think I'm interested.

aostling
11-14-2012, 08:05 PM
The Miranda is actually able to reproduce the Rayleigh diffraction pattern. The kit lens for the Canon is lucky if it can even resolve a magnitude 8 star at all. It is orders of magnitude worse than the Miranda.

My neighbor has a Miranda Sensorex which was jammed. I fiddled with it and unjammed it, and he was very grateful. Now I'm thinking I should ask for first refusal on buying the camera and lenses.

How do you attach the Miranda bayonet lens to your EOS camera? Did you make an adapter screwing into the Soligor's secondary 44mm screw mount?

Evan
11-14-2012, 09:36 PM
I explained earlier but what I did was chuck the lens barrel in the lathe and chop off the back end including the iris assembly. It wasn't able to focus far enough otherwise. I only use it wide open so it makes no difference to me and it is good enough for wide open use. I glued the lens body to a body cap to attach it to the camera. It is also precisely positioned at perfect focus at infinity so I don't have to focus at all for astro use. That makes it fool proof to use in the dark.

aostling
11-14-2012, 10:57 PM
I explained earlier but what I did was chuck the lens barrel in the lathe and chop off the back end including the iris assembly.

I went back and read your description, which I had missed.


I modified it by cutting off the entire iris end of the barrel since it wouldn't focus on the sensor. I glued it to a body cap to fit my Canons.

Thanks for not pointing out my additional error, about that secondary 44mm thread. That is on the Miranda body, of course, not on the bayonet lenses.

dp
11-16-2012, 06:01 PM
I have two mini's and I'll buy more if any show up around here. One of the best little general purpose systems out there. The new ones are fantastic as they have the quad core I7 processor and are much smaller than the original.

Follow-up on doing what I say, I bought a new Mac Mini i7 quad core yesterday and today it is going back to the store. It won't let me upgrade any of my software because I need OS X 10.8.2 and it came with 10.8.1. Unfortunately it won't let me upgrade that, either. After hours on the phone with support the last uppermost engineer I spoke with said newer models have this problem and they're working on a fix. No idea when it will be corrected, but the entire purpose of buying the Mini was to install software that will only run on the latest version and without that it is a bookend.

If you're planning on buying a Mac wait until the upgrade from hell episode is solved.

Evan
11-16-2012, 07:40 PM
While we are on the subject of Macs, Apple was just issued a design patent. . . On the rectangle, with rounded corners. Nothing else at all, just that specific shape when used in any display device. It also apparently took 15 people including Steve Jobs to come up with the idea.

This is the patent with all other artwork removed since according to the patent drawing only the solid lines are the design patented, the rest are decorative and not relevant.

It sure is amazing what such talented people can come up with.

http://ixian.ca/pics10/apple.png

aostling
11-16-2012, 09:25 PM
If you're planning on buying a Mac wait until the upgrade from hell episode is solved.

Thanks for the tip. I was going to wait until after Christmas anyway.

I'm still running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. I dread upgrading to Mountain Lion, because I fear that it comes with iPhoto '11 built in. That is not acceptable to me, since that version includes Faces, a feature which I abominate and which cannot be turned off. I use iPhoto '09 for wallpaper photos I import from Lightroom, and that's the only need I have for iPhoto.

dp
11-16-2012, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the tip. I was going to wait until after Christmas anyway.

I'm still running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. I dread upgrading to Mountain Lion, because I fear that it comes with iPhoto '11 built in. That is not acceptable to me, since that version includes Faces, a feature which I abominate and which cannot be turned off. I use iPhoto '09 for wallpaper photos I import from Lightroom, and that's the only need I have for iPhoto.

Aperture allows turning it off and is a bit better than iPhoto. It is the reason I bought the new Mac, in fact. Not free, though, but not real expensive.

Evan
11-16-2012, 10:01 PM
Disable "Faces":

http://www.macsupportguy.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=18782

aostling
11-16-2012, 10:21 PM
Disable "Faces":

http://www.macsupportguy.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=18782

Thanks, I think. This procedure is not for the faint of heart.

gvasale
11-16-2012, 10:24 PM
WRT to Apple's patent: All the machinery mfgrs who put in poly/lexan windows to view whats happening inside their cnc stuff gonna have to pay for what they've been doing for decades? Something like that should never be allowed. Next, they'll try and patent the full fectangle for regular windows, not Microsofts, or mayber even a straight line.

Evan
11-16-2012, 10:25 PM
It should work. All you do is lock a file to make it unwriteable. At the worst you would have to unlock it. If locking a non system file is enough to cause system problems then there are bigger problems to worry about.

Evan
11-16-2012, 10:32 PM
@gvasale

The patent is absurd. There are numerous examples of prior art. Further, it can most likely be circumvented by making the corners some non-circular shape that looks "rounded" but isn't. For instance, a series of small flats, a parabolic curve or any other non-circular curves that look circular but are provably not. It's nothing but another prime example of the badly broken US patent system. What it does is make room for green-mail by those with deep pockets, such as Apple. It should be attackable as unfair restraint of trade by the government itself.

aostling
11-16-2012, 11:02 PM
@gvasale
Further, it can most likely be circumvented by making the corners some non-circular shape that looks "rounded" but isn't.


A rectangular squircle would be my choice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squircle

Evan
11-16-2012, 11:37 PM
Being that it is a design patent it may be possible to just change the aspect ratio slightly. That should at least be good for a long lawsuit.

gvasale
11-16-2012, 11:47 PM
How many tv sets from the 50s & even 60s had squircle shape displays?

aostling
11-17-2012, 12:12 AM
How many tv sets from the 50s & even 60s had squircle shape displays?

Probably none in the 1950s. The shape first became generally known in 1959. You can read about its history here, scroll down to the History section: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superellipse. I remember reading about it for the first time in 1966, in a magazine called Product Engineering.

Evan
11-17-2012, 01:49 AM
1950s tubes were round.

dp
11-17-2012, 02:14 AM
1950s tubes were round.

My dad bought a Hoffman Easy Vision television in Sandy, Oregon in 1954 that had the puffy rectangle screen. I think at that time Portland, OR had only two or three channels including at least one UHF channel.

My favorite shows were Victory at Sea, Ombudsman, Uncle Milty, and Howdy Doody. I confess I found the early morning test patterns fascinating.

Evan
11-17-2012, 06:46 AM
The early colour TVs were round while some B/W were somewhat rectangular. The round tubes were masked top and bottom. We didn't have a TV until I bought a dead one for $5 and fixed it when I was 16. I moved out shortly after when my parents divorced and never had a home to go back to since then.

The Artful Bodger
11-17-2012, 03:45 PM
The shape first became generally known in 1959.

Maybe, but I am sure the shape of a well stuffed wool bale is pretty much what is being described and they had been around for quite a while.

dp
11-18-2012, 03:16 AM
Thanks for the tip. I was going to wait until after Christmas anyway.

I'm still running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. I dread upgrading to Mountain Lion, because I fear that it comes with iPhoto '11 built in. That is not acceptable to me, since that version includes Faces, a feature which I abominate and which cannot be turned off. I use iPhoto '09 for wallpaper photos I import from Lightroom, and that's the only need I have for iPhoto.

Just blundered onto this thread at the Apple support forum - it is one of several on the same theme.

https://discussions.apple.com/message/20304896#20304896