But I Can Get It Cheaper on Amazon

I work at a camera store.  Have been for the past 5 months.  I love talking with customers about their photography interests and options.  So many different experiences, so many peculiar situations.  Everything from those who have accidentally attached an accessory incorrectly and can’t detach it to those who have a peculiar photographic need such as surveillance in their role as a private investigator.

Continue reading “But I Can Get It Cheaper on Amazon”

Crop Mode in Camera or Crop in Post

There was a bit of a Facebook exchange recently in our camera club about how best to achieve a fill-the-frame image when your lens can’t provide enough reach. This wouldn’t even have been a discussion a few years ago – the only two ways to do it would have been to zoom with your feet (get closer) or to crop in post production. DSLRs offered no other options.

But today’s higher end DSLRs and all (most?) mirrorless cameras offer another option where you can isolate how much of the sensor read-out is captured in the RAW data for a particular image. When converted, that reduced RAW data then “fills the frame” appearing to create a zoom or magnified effect and brings you in “closer” to your intended subject.

The exchange on Facebook fell into two camps: those who called the result magnification and those who said that was misleading. Well, in fact, they are both right.

Continue reading “Crop Mode in Camera or Crop in Post”

Another First for Nikon – A New Lens That Comes with a Health Warning

A couple of weeks ago, Nikon announced a new lens aimed at those (likely professional) folks who want reach, speed and superb image quality. It is the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, designed for their flagship mirrorless camera, the Z9. Its cost ($14,000 USD) will make it inaccessible to most, but for those who can, there is one additional consideration: it comes with a health warning. Some people should not use it.

This is a first – I’ve never seen a health warning attached to any camera equipment. I had to explore that further, and found myself quite concerned. This is the actual warning that appeared in their press release on January 18, 2022:

Continue reading “Another First for Nikon – A New Lens That Comes with a Health Warning”

A Treatise on Tripods

Do you own a tripod? Do you use it? Is it something that sits in the back of the car rarely seeing the light of day? Do they annoy you? Are they more trouble than they are worth?

I see the full gamut of opinions on tripods, with photographers of all genres either swearing by them or swearing at them. Over the course of 40 years of photography, I’ve used all brands at all price points. I’ve now landed on a collection (yes, more than one) that works for me.

This is a YouTube video piece that I hope will help you make an informed decision about using tripods. Hopefully you’ll find a few points that you hadn’t considered – or even a few points that you had that lead you to a specific decision. Leave me a comment here or there about what works for you.

Is It Possible Not to Want the Latest Gear?

I’ve had an interesting experience since my last post (more than one, but only one worth writing about). The Canon EOS R3 was officially released, after many many months of rumor. The announcement confirmed everything rumored.

Full frame, completely new sensor, instant on, super high speed continuous shooting, multiple people and object tracking modes, eye-controlled autofocus, integrated grip for portrait and landscape shooting, huge ISO range. Additionally, file transfer through multiple methods, including wifi and network cable directly to camera. And lastly, new connection options in the hotshoe, allowing for seamless connection of microphones and other accessories.

And I have absolutely no interest in it.

Say what?

Continue reading “Is It Possible Not to Want the Latest Gear?”

The Canon EOS R5 is NOT a Video Camera!

For the past year, I’ve been using the Canon EOS R5 as my primary stills camera.  It is a superb piece of equipment, carefully engineered to fulfill all of my wildest dreams for stills photography.  I purchased it for what will become a recurring theme for me – how to make photography more convenient.

As I get older, there are aspects of photography such as the tracking of moving subjects, the determination of tack sharp focus, remembering to switch from high ISO back to normal ISO, remembering to switch from single shot to continuous shooting and back, that could use a little help.  The Canon EOS R5 provides that to me exceptionally well.

Its large, high resolution viewfinder allows me to arrange all of the important shooting information around the edge of the frame without affecting the ability to see the subject clearly.  That’s what defines a mirrorless camera frankly and separates it from a DSLR.  That clear view of the subject and the settings allows me to set up the shot easily even with my diminishing vision, and when I can’t, there are built-in warnings and colour overlays to help me.

Likewise, the LCD is big, bright, rotatable to any angle that saves my aging back and knees, and yet lets me get the camera into the right angle to capture any scene, no matter how high or how low.

I can customize essentially every button and dial to perform the function that works for me, I can set up and save custom shooting settings that give me everything from landscape setups to close up to action setups at the flick of a button.  And I can save out all my customizations to a file to store remotely, in case something causes the camera to need a reset.

Sounds like a gem, doesn’t it.  It’s fast, light, smart and takes pretty pictures too.  It even shoots video.

Say what?  Shoots video.  But the title of this blog is that it is not a video camera. Read on, intrepid friend.

Continue reading “The Canon EOS R5 is NOT a Video Camera!”

Let There Be Light – The Truth About Crop Sensors and Lenses

I consider myself a photography geek. I love the technical side of photography. Learning about how lenses work, the reasons why aperture, shutter speed and ISO contrbute what they do to image quality, different sensor designs, the technical differences between full-frame vs. crop sensor, etc. etc.

And more than seven years into this full-time journey, I thought I had heard most of the explanations about why cameras work they way they do. I get it. I can explain it. Even as new technology is released, I revel in doing deep dives into that too.

Of course, I should state that none of this helps the artistic expression in my photography nor will reading this article help your artistic expression. But it does lay the groundwork for quick decisions about how to possibly achieve a specific artistic effect. For example, to get that creamy bokeh, I know I need to do x, y, z. So, to be clear, knowing how your camera works isn’t the be all and end all of being a good photographer. But it will get you part way down that road.

That said, I find it fascinating when I run across a technical fact that I didn’t know. That’s what this post is today.

Continue reading “Let There Be Light – The Truth About Crop Sensors and Lenses”

How Many Lenses are Enough?

A bit of a different approach this week. Instead of a written blog, a video blog or vlog.

Many of us analyse, assess and re-assess the decision about which camera to buy. Not sure we apply the same level of introspection to lenses. Yet some lenses can cost as much and more than the camera body they are attached to.

I realized recently that my lens collection needed a thorough look. Some of the factors I considered at the time of purchase have changed or are no longer relevant. Especially true as you get older.

This vlog is about my introspective look through my lenses. And the decisions that resulted. Let me know if you find this helpful and I’ll do more of these types of introspective looks in the future.

Also, I would really appreciate it if you would consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. It is free to do so, although it requires a Google account. My goal is 100 subscribers, after which time our friends at Google will allow me to configure the channel exactly as would like. I guess that’s an incentive to try harder when starting out. I won’t bother you for anything else. Promise.

Jumping Into the Deep End

Senior CitizenI’ve decided in 2021 to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  Why?  The residue of 2020 and its horrible effect on my well-being, plus the fact that in 2021, I will officially become a senior citizen.  Both have been and are scary.  But in some way, both have inspired me to fight back.  Getting older reveals obvious changes in body and mind, and I want to control both of those if I can.  My biggest fear, revealed only to all of you, is that I might start to lose my rationale self, lose my curiosity about the world and start to forget people, places and events.  There is a history of that in my family.  I can’t have that happen.  What better way to address that than to try new things, learning as I go, keeping the mind fresh and tuned.  So what’s the plan? Continue reading “Jumping Into the Deep End”

Fall is About Renewal

LeavesNot quite what you expected?  In the northern hemisphere, Fall is typically about shutting down, about returning to routines that don’t include time at a vacation home or sunlit walks in shorts and a floppy hat.  We begin to cocoon, bringing in our lives indoors, at least more so when it gets dark 4 hours earlier.

But Fall is also about renewal of the craft of photography.  Myriad trade shows, new gear releases, new software releases – everything to tantalize the tastebuds for next season.  I’m less caught up in this than I used to be, but still find some of the new developments fascinating. Continue reading “Fall is About Renewal”