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01-07-2019, 10:10 PM - 3 Likes   #15631
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When I first started photography I had a zenit with no battery cap and no light meter, I just stuck with one type of film (the cheapest) and learned what it did.

About a year in I was chatting with a photographer who experimentally poked a battery in my camera and held it there with a key - turns out that the light meter had been perfectly functional the whole time, and all I needed was a bit of tape and tinfoil to make it fully operational. I'd long siince developed a sunny f11 system (for my development technique) where I would look at shadows and judge the aperture by the distance at which the shadows became fuzzy, The guy I was chatting to was quite shocked to discover that it was actually pretty accurate, especially for the 100iso film I was using. I still use that method occasionally now, and I'm quite happy to this day that I didn't have anybody teaching me the 'correct' way to do stuff, I wouldn't have gotten into antique process stuff if I'd been taught 'good' photography straight off. Being used to weirdness helped a lot for that.

Now I'm quite happy to use whatever, I quite like new technology and have even been known to write code when I absolutely have to. As I see it, I can just switch off the functions I don't need or want, and they can be fun to play with. Occasionally I get something I like, for instance the colour isolation feature on the k50 gave me exactly one shot I liked (mainly because I think it's funny).



01-07-2019, 11:10 PM   #15632
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
I use centre focus almost 100% of the time too, and I donít personally see a huge loss by handing more of the AF duties to the camera if it can do a better job of it. My Pentax struggles though if I have it set to continuous auto focus/Ďtrackingí and then recompose that centre point too far off centre, or recompose too fast.

In the case of geese/kids advancing towards you single point focus is always going to be behind the subject by the time the photo is taken.
The difference for me is I rarely use AF.C as I find it a little too jumpy. Yes, there's always that out-of-focus issue, which requires being a bit clever (focusing on something ahead, or using capture-in-focus) or just wait for a moment when it's not a problem (admittedly difficult with a charging goose).

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
I hear you on taking the fun out of it, but equally getting home to find a lot of missed focus shots isnít fun either. I enjoy sharing the final result with friends and family, so my fun isnít limited to the taking period only.

Iím able to argue this point either way, but do accept that there are strengths and weaknesses in the gear I have right now. The K-3 is perfect for a lot of what I do, as Iím sure the K-P or K-1 etc is similar for others. I am keen so see what improvement Pentax may bring to future cameras though, and hope it fits some of my requirements.
I used to dread getting my films back, probably weeks after shooting, only to find most of them were blurry. That was more true of the old manual focus SLR than my MX50, but even that had its moments. Now with digital, I'm able to take far more photos and get quicker feedback (when I get them on a computer, often the same day, I can see if they're really sharp) and am learning where I go wrong and what to do about it. Many learnings from this very forum (e.g. f/11 or higher for my DA55-300).

As I said, it's very much my personal position, but I just don't want to explain myself to the camera and have it do all the thinking. I feel it becomes more "recording scenes" than the "art of photography."

Also, it strikes me how much smarter these systems are going to need to get to work around issues like focusing through a fence or cage. Easily done with a simple centre-point focus.
01-08-2019, 12:08 AM - 1 Like   #15633
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EDIT It had a buy now of $30. But someone obviously thinks he can get a better deal and started the bidding at $1.

Last edited by GUB; 01-08-2019 at 01:49 AM.
01-08-2019, 12:31 AM   #15634
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Took some pictures at Whanganui Virginia Lake recently, and the DLSR is a right pain for any down low type shots.
Call me nitpicker, but it wasn't the DSLR that caused you the pain.
It didn't matter in this instance whether the viewfinder was optical or electronic; what would have helped the most is an articulating back LCD.
I found the K-1's LCD very helpful in this regard, noting that there are of course other (arguably less robust) solutions that support more extreme angles and more degrees of freedom.

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
I love the optical viewfinder, but there are times when I use the DSLR in 'mirrorless mode' that I wonder why I just don't have a mirrorless in the first place.
Well, the reasons to not have a mirrorless in the first place would be (not trying to be exhaustive):
  1. wanting to avoid an EVF.
  2. not wanting to lose money when switching a complete system.
  3. wanting to avoid the intrinsic weaknesses of mirrorless cameras.
There is quite a bit to say about 3.; from the top of my head I'll just mention, potential striping and banding issues (due to OSPDAF), reduced battery life, worse ergonomics (if the camera is optimised to be compact), not saving in weight overall once extra batteries and multiple high-quality lenses are considered.

On the plus side, many mirrorless cameras do a lot(!) better in the video department than any Pentax DSLR and probably than most DSLRs, as they are trying to cover videographers as well as photographers.

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Newer EVFs are supposed to be a lot better, and the tech will only continue to improve over time.
Well, I'd highly recommend to try for yourself.

I recently tried the EVFs of a Fuji GFX 50S (USD $6500) and a Fuji X-H1 -- I don't have any interest in these cameras, I just wanted to learn about the state of the art of EVFs -- and the experience was really bad. First of all, there is the whitebalance issue; a room lit with artificial light that doesn't come from incandescent light bulbs just looks horrible, in my view. Of course you can adjust the whitebalance, but that's extra effort and my day would already be ruined.

There is also an unnatural brightness to the viewfinder and an artificial look that turns me off. For me personally, photography is not only about the results but also about the process and (just my personal problem) I wouldn't be able to find enjoyment in working with one of the current EVFs.

Also, note that on the X-H1, the viewfinder would sometimes just stutter a bit, similar to a micro stutter when playing games, but I'd call it a "mini stutter" or just plain "stutter" because it was quite off putting. The GFX 50S only showed the same stuttering when I was using AF. So yes, both cameras showed consistent, discrete lag, when I made them AF on something. It was like playing a bad video game, as opposed to photography. You get no idea how the experience really is from reading about EVFs, on DPReview for instance.

I haven't experienced this myself and perhaps it is a problem of the past, but some Sony models decrease the EVF resolution when they cannot keep up anymore (yuck). A definitely still current problem is that the EVF refresh rate completely tanks on some models when using burst mode. I'd be surprised if during the next Olympic games all the white lenses we are so used to seeing at the sidelines, will be replaced with mirrorless equivalents. The technology is not there yet, in my opinion. Note that even Rishi Sanyal wrote "telephoto performance of adapted lenses is still quite poor (outside of the central region)." about a recent Sony model. I don't know how performance is on native telephoto lenses, but I do know that most mirrorless systems are not competitive in terms of what they offer in the long focal length range.

If these downsides don't matter to you then you'd just enjoy the perks of EVFs, such as being immediately able to see whether the image is exposed correctly, or having much better support for manual focus (as you can zoom in while having the camera to your eye). There may be more advantages, I'm not trying to be comprehensive here with my pros and cons; just trying to throw in some considerations that one does not always see emphasised in the mirrorless-friendly press.

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Autofocus can be right across the frame too, so tracking AF in a mirrorless seems much better than what my K-3 can do.
I don't want to disagree, but just bear in mind that AF point coverage and AF tracking performance are separate concerns. Not entirely unrelated, but still separate from each other.

There are a number of DSLRs which have much better AF tracking performance than your K-3. A K-1 II may even provide a useful increment (but still wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the DSLR game). Nikon's "3D" tracking is apparently very good in keeping a subject in focus even if it moves within the frame (within reasonable limits). So losing the focus on the goose wouldn't happen with a top-end Nikon, I'm quite sure of that.

Pentax has a rather poor version of that "3D" tracking; never tried it myself as I haven't shot anything moving with my K-1 yet.

I'm pretty sure there are also some DSLRs with a wider AF frame coverage, but none will compete with what mirrorless models can offer.

No free lunch though, as the OSPDAF may not be useful anymore in low light and can produce artefacts like striping and banding, as I mentioned before.
Also, bear in mind that "mirrorless" does not equate to good tracking. There are many older mirrorless models which are pretty bad at tracking. Even a modern model with OSPDAF may not be that competitive, if it doesn't have the computing power to keep up. I don't trust the mirrorless-friendly press to provide us with reliable information on that subject. If I went mirrorless, I'd consult reliable sources about which model can actually cut the mustard.

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
I guess just saying there are limitations either which way you go.
Definitely!

It's a game of trade offs. Mirrorless cameras definitely have advantages. I think the (almost) complete liberty where to put the focus point without worrying that non-centre AF points may be "out" a bit, or just the reduced (but not completely eliminated) need for AF micro adjustments would be very nice to have. I'd also enjoy the better manual focus support.

However, there are also downsides and I highly recommend to try a camera for yourself before you make the jump.

QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
I am keen so see what improvement Pentax may bring to future cameras though, and hope it fits some of my requirements.
Same here! I hope they'll create a nice successor to the K-1 (II)!


Last edited by Class A; 01-08-2019 at 12:46 AM.
01-08-2019, 12:37 AM   #15635
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QuoteOriginally posted by zkarj Quote
Is this progress, or is it taking the enjoyment out of it?
I think the answer to that question is highly personal.

If one enjoys focusing then better automation would surely make the photography process less satisfying. Better automation also takes away from the pride one can have about achieving some results that required skill. I don't see anything wrong with either of these sources for enjoyment.

However, if focusing is just perceived to be a chore and one would rather be able to fully concentrate on composition, etc. then AF automation increases the joy, doesn't it?
01-08-2019, 01:23 AM - 2 Likes   #15636
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I recently tried the EVFs of a Fuji GFX 50S (USD $6500) and a Fuji X-H1 -- I don't have any interest in these cameras, I just wanted to learn about the state of the art of EVFs -- and the experience was really bad.
That's really interesting. I would have hoped that $6500 would have got you an almost real-time performance. Seems not.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If one enjoys focusing then better automation would surely make the photography process less satisfying. Better automation also takes away from the pride one can have about achieving some results that required skill. I don't see anything wrong with either of these sources for enjoyment.

However, if focusing is just perceived to be a chore and one would rather be able to fully concentrate on composition, etc. then AF automation increases the joy, doesn't it?
I could see this either way for the sake of argument, but what really concerns me is where it's leading, rather than where it is. I work in IT where it is a well known fact that the more helpful you try to make something, the more it can get wrong. You should hear me swearing at work. One of my mantras is "Life will be worth living when Microsoft stops trying to be helpful."
01-08-2019, 01:47 AM   #15637
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QuoteOriginally posted by zkarj Quote
One of my mantras is "Life will be worth living when Microsoft stops trying to be helpful."
Ain't that the truth
01-08-2019, 04:30 AM - 1 Like   #15638
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QuoteOriginally posted by zkarj Quote
One of my mantras is "Life will be worth living when Microsoft stops trying to be helpful."
Don't get me started!

01-08-2019, 04:31 AM   #15639
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
EDIT It had a buy now of $30. But someone obviously thinks he can get a better deal and started the bidding at $1.


Pick up is in Auckland, BTW.
01-08-2019, 08:04 AM   #15640
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Call me nitpicker, but it wasn't the DSLR that caused you the pain.It didn't matter in this instance whether the viewfinder was optical or electronic; what would have helped the most is an articulating back LCD.
I've found that holding the camera in live view either down low or overhead on the occasions when I need to, detail on the rear LCD isn't that difficult to see at an angle, even without one that articulates.
01-08-2019, 04:00 PM   #15641
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Call me nitpicker, but it wasn't the DSLR that caused you the pain.
It didn't matter in this instance whether the viewfinder was optical or electronic; what would have helped the most is an articulating back LCD.
I found the K-1's LCD very helpful in this regard, noting that there are of course other (arguably less robust) solutions that support more extreme angles and more degrees of freedom.


Well, the reasons to not have a mirrorless in the first place would be (not trying to be exhaustive):
  1. wanting to avoid an EVF.
  2. not wanting to lose money when switching a complete system.
  3. wanting to avoid the intrinsic weaknesses of mirrorless cameras.
There is quite a bit to say about 3.; from the top of my head I'll just mention, potential striping and banding issues (due to OSPDAF), reduced battery life, worse ergonomics (if the camera is optimised to be compact), not saving in weight overall once extra batteries and multiple high-quality lenses are considered.

On the plus side, many mirrorless cameras do a lot(!) better in the video department than any Pentax DSLR and probably than most DSLRs, as they are trying to cover videographers as well as photographers.


Well, I'd highly recommend to try for yourself.

I recently tried the EVFs of a Fuji GFX 50S (USD $6500) and a Fuji X-H1 -- I don't have any interest in these cameras, I just wanted to learn about the state of the art of EVFs -- and the experience was really bad. First of all, there is the whitebalance issue; a room lit with artificial light that doesn't come from incandescent light bulbs just looks horrible, in my view. Of course you can adjust the whitebalance, but that's extra effort and my day would already be ruined.

There is also an unnatural brightness to the viewfinder and an artificial look that turns me off. For me personally, photography is not only about the results but also about the process and (just my personal problem) I wouldn't be able to find enjoyment in working with one of the current EVFs.

Also, note that on the X-H1, the viewfinder would sometimes just stutter a bit, similar to a micro stutter when playing games, but I'd call it a "mini stutter" or just plain "stutter" because it was quite off putting. The GFX 50S only showed the same stuttering when I was using AF. So yes, both cameras showed consistent, discrete lag, when I made them AF on something. It was like playing a bad video game, as opposed to photography. You get no idea how the experience really is from reading about EVFs, on DPReview for instance.



It's a game of trade offs. Mirrorless cameras definitely have advantages. I think the (almost) complete liberty where to put the focus point without worrying that non-centre AF points may be "out" a bit, or just the reduced (but not completely eliminated) need for AF micro adjustments would be very nice to have. I'd also enjoy the better manual focus support.

However, there are also downsides and I highly recommend to try a camera for yourself before you make the jump.


Same here! I hope they'll create a nice successor to the K-1 (II)!
Fuji's EVFs have never been among the top ones, they are niceish, but not in the class of the Olympus, Sony & Panasonic ones.

Yes you are right, Some older EVF's dropped resolution to keep frame rates and refresh rates up if things started getting away from it, but with the advances in processors and the EVF's themselves it is improving all the time.

As for battery life, My Olympus OM-D E-M1 mk 1 i can shoot for a full day and only change batteries once or twice, although i do have the rear LCD turned off and no reviewing of images unless i really have too. With the E-M1 i have over the course of a weekend at motor racing or airshows shot close to 10k images PLUS video, my record was Warbirds over Wanaka in 2014 when i left the show on Sunday evening over the 3 days of the show having captured over an hours video footage AND 14,000 still frames on one camera. Sure with that heavy usage i was using 3 full and one half battery a day, but last year at WOW i still shot 7500 frames over 3 days, an hour plus of footage and was using 2 1/2 batteries a day.
Sure MILCs have a worse battery life than a traditional DSLR, but it is one of the trade offs that 90% of users switching are aware of and prepared to make.

Ergonomics is another one, that from my 5 years with mirrorless, i actually find my E-M1 more comfortable to hold than the old DSLR's it replaced, i have big hands, but the E-M1 has a comfortable grip, and all the buttons fall in to place nicely. The Mk III sony's in the A7 line are a step up again from the previous versions, sure smaller cameras like the Oly Pens, APS-C Sony's and smaller Panasonic cameras do not fit my hands well. The new Nikon Z's are nice to hold, but i havent yet tried the EOS R

MILC vs DSLR is all about trade offs, and it will come down to personal choices to see what systems will be better for each individual user
01-08-2019, 08:37 PM   #15642
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QuoteOriginally posted by zkarj Quote
I could see this either way for the sake of argument, but what really concerns me is where it's leading, rather than where it is. I work in IT where it is a well known fact that the more helpful you try to make something, the more it can get wrong. You should hear me swearing at work. One of my mantras is "Life will be worth living when Microsoft stops trying to be helpful."
Yikes!! They're still making you use Clippy at work?
01-08-2019, 09:21 PM   #15643
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kiwizinho Quote
Yikes!! They're still making you use Clippy at work?
May as well!

Most of the problems could be solved by banning Word. Most people misuse/abuse it anyway. "Smart quotes" is the biggest naming faux pas of all time. We've had critical billing processes crap out because someone copied and pasted from a Word document and those special characters play merry hell with server processes sometimes. Arguably the server software bods should cleanse any input data, but, well, they don't.

Unrelated from memory, but a colleague recently helped uncover a billing error that charged some little old lady (down south I think) something like 12x NZ GDP for one month of service. We never did get the bonuses.
01-09-2019, 04:14 PM   #15644
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QuoteOriginally posted by zkarj Quote
May as well!

Most of the problems could be solved by banning Word. Most people misuse/abuse it anyway. "Smart quotes" is the biggest naming faux pas of all time. We've had critical billing processes crap out because someone copied and pasted from a Word document and those special characters play merry hell with server processes sometimes. Arguably the server software bods should cleanse any input data, but, well, they don't.

Unrelated from memory, but a colleague recently helped uncover a billing error that charged some little old lady (down south I think) something like 12x NZ GDP for one month of service. We never did get the bonuses.
Ah yes! Word - which in Microsoft's wisdom they decided to use as the HTML editor and renderer in Outlook, except it supports its own highly non-standard subset of HTML and doesn't tend to render standard HTML properly, so doing something as simple as creating an attractive email newsletter tends to involve convoluted use of 90's vintage HTML coding. Copying and pasting from Word into any website editor tends to create a mess too, so I generally have it set to copy and paste as plain text.
Generally if I'm composing something that needs to go on the web, I use LibreOffice, not only because it's free, but because I get clean HTML to copy and paste.

The one thing I like about Microsoft Office is that it has pretty well documented automation. The down side is it's still stuck in last century using VBA as its automation language. Personally I think it should all be ported to javascript which is used everywhere. LibreOffice can be automated as well, but the object model can be quite a bit more complex, and it doesn't have a mail client.
01-09-2019, 04:36 PM   #15645
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I try to avoid word as much as possible, mainly because they make a point of locking people into upgrading by borking the backwards compatibility (and there's always some idiot in an organisation who insists on upgrading all their software and only using the latest file formats), but also because it's unnecessarily complicated to do the simple stuff i usually do. It's good business planning on Microsoft's part, the forced upgrades and the ongoing business plans they have with large organisations pretty well force anybody working with or in a large org to keep using their software (very similar to Adobe's business model incidentally).

I'm now working for myself, but when I was working for a large org I'd run into stuff like this far too frequently;



Incidentally that was a file a staff member sent to me to fix because "IT messed up my computer" (they had the same install as 3000 other staff, but had turned on every single option apart from spelling and grammar correction because their spelling was 'better than word'... it wasn't).

I don't miss that stuff at all.
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