Photos & Musings|
Photos & Musings|
Photos & Musings|
& the Site
Oh boy! Just about the time I think I have my mind made up, I change it. Even though I said before that I wouldn't consider it as an option, I did consider it and ended up ordering a Canon 6D. It should arrive in two days. Now I will attempt to explain my reasoning and expectations and then I can read them later and see if I am thinking clearly or not.
The photo here was taken with the 7D and 70-200mm lens at 123mm, f16, 1/500th sec., ISO 200. A FF camera would have given me about the same size photo at 200mm, other settings equal. But the FF would have more (a few) and larger (a lot) pixels which relates to better resolution and less 'noise'. This photo is about as good as it gets with a crop frame camera but the noise can be seen here in the sky of the enlarged photo. Not bad but it was a bugger to sharpen without making the sky look too noisy. So, OK, I want a full frame camera but why the 6D and not the 5D2?
I could say that money was no object but, of course, it always is so I will take that first. The 5D2 is currently $3100, the 6D $1750. The top dog 1Dx is $6700 by the way. All can be had cheaper but these are the US warranty, regular dealer, prices. So cost advantage is $1350. That is about 2/3rd of what I expect the 7D2 to cost when it is announced. So, yes, that is important. But if the camera doesn't do what I need, then even that advantage would quickly be forgotten. A tool that doesn't do a good job is worse than no tool at all.
What, then, is the job the 6D will be expected to do? Primarily landscape. Sometimes family photos. I will try it for some birds in flight work, thinking that, even limited to the center focus, the wider frame and brighter viewfinder may give me an edge over the crop frame 7D. If it doesn't it isn't too important as I expect the 7D2 will fill that purpose when I get one using in part the money I saved on the 6D. Oops, gave it away!
Okay, here it is in a nutshell; Only the 1Dx stands a chance of doing all that I want to do with one camera. Wildlife and landscape are two different worlds. While any modern camera can be made to work for both in a limited way, having different cameras for each type of work should produce the best results. The 6D is one half of my decision in how best to do what I want to do. I expect the upcoming 7D2 to be the other half.
On 9/15/2012 I wrote about wanting a new camera but having difficulty deciding what kind of camera to want. I followed up on 9/17/2012 with some more specific thoughts concerning the 5D3 and the soon, or so I thought, to be released 7D2.
Nothing has changed! I still want a new camera. I'm still waiting for the release of the 7D2 before I make a final decision. I have been tempted many times over the year and a half since I wrote those previous musings to buy the 5D3. But I haven't and I won't until the 7D2 is available for serious comparison. Besides all of the things I mentioned for consideration in those earlier musing,time has added a couple more.
I mentioned that I wouldn't like the hybrid sensor such as the Rebel T4i has. Now there is a new type of sensor having different capabilities that sound really good. In real life, however, it has a way to go before it is proven good enough for serious work. Bugs are being reported. If the new 7D2 has that type of sensor, I would not feel comfortable buying it in the first year. That would mean another year and more of waiting and wanting. Don't know if I could do that.
One consideration I mentioned previously was cost. I don't think that is too important now. The 5D3 is selling for around $3000. The 7D2 is expected to be in the $2000 range. The difference isn't negligible but this may be the my last major camera purchase and getting it right is worth that much if need be. Other considerations I mentioned were AF speed and IQ. As long as the sensor is of the type currently in use in the 5D3, not the new 70D, the only question on the image quality would be the noise level at higher ISO settings. This has been the minus side of the current 7D. The autofocus system on the 7D is good and the 5D3 is better so the new 7D2 should be more than satisfactory.
As you look at the photos here and in the aforementioned musings, one thing stands out. I call it 'real estate' or image size. The pigeon is well contained in the smaller sensor but it was much harder to keep it there than it would have been with the larger sensor. If an image of comparable quality is obtained in the crop, then the full-frame camera has some advantage. Different lenses can offset much of that advantage but the visual advantage of the larger sensor simply cannot be equalled by one 2/3rd the size.
However the 7D2 may have even more resolution and may have much improved noise levels. Coupled with it's almost certain higher frame rate, lighter weight and lower cost, shrug, like I say nothing has changed. I'm still waiting.
Two different subjects discussed recently on a bird list got me to thinking about rules. Image manipulation was one subject, the other had to do people behavior.
There are different kinds of rules. The first and foremost of these are ethics. These are the moral rules, or principles, such as honesty. To misrepresent something is unethical.
Then there are the rules imposed by authority. One such authority would be those whose responsibility is to manage something so that it accomplishes its intended purpose. A government agency would be one such authority. The person or entity purchasing an image is another. They have the right, or authority, to govern the amount of manipulation of the image. The same would be true of one accepting entries in a contest they sponsor. I think of these as 'hard' rules, having little or no flexibility.
Then there are rules that are more flexible that we sometimes refer to as 'rules of thumb'. These are rules that generally produce the best results but are not binding. 'Soft' rules, bend to suit.
The first discussion was about image manipulation, that is; manipulating, or changing, an image to make it look different than the photo produced directly from the camera. There are many changes and degree of changes that can be made to the digital file. These can vary from a mild enhancement to an almost unrecognisable version of the subject. There is nothing wrong with any of these changes in themselves. The wrongness is if the resulting image is incorrectly represented as to what it depicts. This is where rules come in to play.
If the image is an outright fraud, misrepresents the subject or scene with the intent of deception, that is unethical. If done for the purpose of gaining value from someone, it is also illegal. However, the purpose and not the alteration is the defining factor. In the case of 'hard' rules, though, purpose is not a consideration. If a news editor pays for images to use in a publication he has a ethic that governs what he requires in those images. That ethic will cause him to set very specific rules about what he will or won't accept. It's those rules, not the ethic, the photographer must follow. The ethic is open to interpretation, the rules are not. The same can be said for a competition. A better looking image may be had with some enhancement. It is the rules though, not the ultimate result, that governs how much enhancement is allowed.
If someone, such as myself, has a web site they post their photos to, they can do pretty much as they want. If they want to mislead someone, and it's not for gain, they could do it but it would still be unethical. They would be breaking a rule that no upright person wants to disregard. When it comes to 'soft' rules, however, purpose again becomes the predominate factor. If the purpose is to show the subject in it's natural environment then a 'rule of thumb' would bar cloning it out. If the purpose was to aid in identification of a subject by showing it's features clearly, then removing a distraction would be a logical thing to do.
The other subject that started me thinking about rules was people behavior. Specifically, behavior as it relates to viewing and photographing wildlife. Our first group of rules, ethics, is not as rigid but the basics, such as proper behavior and not seeking dishonest advantage, still apply. There is, however, some overlap here in what some may consider ethical and others may think of as 'rule of thumb'. The Nature Photographers Code of Conduct is a good example. It is something I agree with in almost every way. But is it ethic or is it 'rule of thumb' or even somewhere in between? A quote; "Never let your presence cause the animal any stress. If there is a sign of stress, pull back." A question; what is stress and what is normal caution? A bird or animal has an area of tolerance that will change as they become used to a presence. The rule is cardinal but can be a little 'soft'.
'Hard' rules, those imposed by a regulating authority should not be mistaken. The authority has the obligation to make those rules plain and individuals have the obligation to learn and follow them. If one side fails to fully do their part it certainly doesn't relieve the other of their part. Reminds me of a saying regarding trespass; if in doubt, stay out. So if we aren't sure of a rule, assume the firmest restriction, you'll survive.
I started fooling around with video when I was trying to go lightweight with the Panasonic GH2. At that time, after doing a couple of videos and putting them on YouTube and embedding them like this one here, I started a separate section on this site just for video. I also started using Vimeo and subscribed to a plus feature to give me higher definition and more control over how they were presented.
Now, some three years later, I have gone back to using the APS-C type of SLR camera bodies with full size lens for most of what I do. I have found the SX50 to be just right for the times I want the lightweight option. So now I am pondering the amount of video I may do in the future as well as what I may use to do it and how best to display it on this site. Here are my thoughts at this time:
Musing, mostly about photography, is what this site is all about. I have a Photo Gallery with photos without comments, but it is hosted on another site and the link above is only a link to that site. When I post a photo or a video it is usually to illustrate some point in my musing. It seems to me that I am better served by putting any video here in my musings rather than in a separate gallery.
Quality beyond a certain point is superfluous for such purpose and can even be detrimental, causing problems on older computers or slower connections to the web. Therefore, I am going to post all future video in the standard resolution and discontinue the plus subscription. I will also be removing the Video Gallery from this site.
Cameras these days almost all have video capabilities. This makes it easy to just use whatever is at hand when video is desired. The biggest requirement for video purposes is an autofocus system that will refocus quickly and smoothly as the subject moves about. The new SLR's show promise but, so far, the SX50 is the only camera I have that comes close enough to be usable without manual focusing, something I find to be beyond MY capability.
Notice the Lincoln's Sparrow in the video, an unusual bird in my yard this time of year.
I am going to be pondering this question more than once and in more ways than one in this and future musings.
Resolution is much the same as information. More of it allows a clearer picture to be seen but only when presented in the right way at the right time. Consider this photo on the right and compare it to the two similar photos from October 21st. As you see them here on the web page there is little difference. They are all about the same file size and are approximately the same physical dimensions. If you enlarged any one of them to closely examine a section they would still look about the same as each other. In other words; any one has all that is needed to allow the viewer to see clearly the scene depicted. All of them have been reduced from the original to this size with just that intent. If I had put the original file sizes on the site, you would only see a part of the photo at one time.
However, if a closer look at detail is desired, then having the original file becomes more important as does the size, or resolution, of the file. On the left I have a comparable crop of each of the three original sized photos. The larger photo would print a nice picture 36" wide while the smallest would be just OK at 10", still a nice picture if that is all that's needed.
Here's the point; If you want to see the 'whole picture', you may not have as clear a view of all the details as you might like but trying to have all the details at once may make it hard to see the whole picture. Putting it another way, you could walk all over the mountain you see here, examining it in great detail, and only have the vaguest of ideas of what it looks like as a whole.
On the other hand, if you have this overall view and then use the greater resolution to clarify details with a closer look, you can have a better understanding of the scene. For instance, in the original of the highest resolution photo here, Camp Muir (used by mountain climbers) can be seen by those knowing where to look.
Obviously, to show a large area, such as this scene, on a web page doesn't require huge amounts of resolution. If, however, your wish is to see clearly only a small part of this scene then more resolution, or information, can be vital. In fact, the small part can then become picture of it's own. Sometimes photos are taken with just that aim in mind, to crop and portray a certain part of what the camera/lens captures. Even those photos are better understood by the viewer if they are able to first see the 'bigger' picture.