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”

Too Noisy? – Adjusting the “Volume”

One of the areas that frustrates me in photography is adjusting a photograph that is “noisy”.  Even with dedicated tools, I find it hard to make any meaningful improvement in the quality of the photographs I adjust.  My noisy photographs seem destined to be noisy.  When I adjust the sliders, the edges I want to be crisp and clear are often muted, while the remainder seems unaffected.  Not at all the outcome I want.

shutterstock_105461507Even more baffling is sharpening.  Related to but opposite in intent to managing noise, applying sharpening leaves me even more puzzled, since I often see little to no change in my photograph.  And then there’s import sharpening vs. creative sharpening vs. export sharpening.  Sharpening for screen vs. sharpening for print.

How to make sense of it all? Continue reading “Too Noisy? – Adjusting the “Volume””

The Full Gamut of Emotion

shutterstock_121309360Mid-December.  Last blog of the year.  Early darkness and grey, usually rainy days.  Nothing to be glad about.  Except that this year is coming to a close and Covid-19 vaccines have just been approved for both Canada and the US.  This crap will soon be behind us.  The only reason to rejoice.  But you know what would be worse?  Not adhering to public health measures, getting sick and dying a few weeks before you are scheduled to get a vaccine.  That prospect should really make you determined to stick it out.  And it would really really make your family angry if it happened.  So don’t drop your guard now.  Just a few more months.  Hang in there.

And while you hang in, a little treatise on photography.  There are many confusing concepts in photography. When I find one, I research it, then share it with you, hopefully making your photography life easier in the process.  Today’s choice: colour, specifically colour profiles, colour gamut, the choices available and why one choice is better than another (or is it?). Read on to find out. Continue reading “The Full Gamut of Emotion”

AI AI, Oh

I suspect we will see a release shortly of Luminar AI, one of the most revolutionary photo editors to emerge in recent years.  There is a special event scheduled for December 10.  So I thought it appropriate to offer a commentary on the controversy surrounding AI in this week’s post.  Controversy, you say?  Read on. 

It seems that everyone is weighing in on the move toward more and more machine-powered editing choices, also known as artificial intelligence or AI-based editing.  What surprises me most is the number of commentaries where the writer admits to never having seen the capabilities being criticized, but the mere thought of machine-powered functionality must invariably mean both loss of control for the artist and cookie-cutter results. 

I am not in that category.  I have watched with glee and eager anticipation as companies such as Adobe and Skylum and ON1 embed more and more intelligence in their products.  I have concluded early that there is no loss of control at all:  nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading “AI AI, Oh”

What You See is Not What You Get

I seem to be on a weird and wacky schedule these days – I routinely forget what day of the week or what month it is.  But I am also getting busier, with online clubs and activities now going strong, in-person family visits a regular thing (which means driving) and solo outings wrapping up for the fall (somewhat desperately before the next lockdown comes).  I don’t really feel like I am in control, although in reality, control is exactly what I do have.

Seamless pattern with film and digital photographic or photo cameras on light backgroundBut I digress, so back to photography.  Have you ever stopped to consider the magical process that allows us to go from camera to screen to print?  With all of us staring at screens so much more these days, I started to wonder about the specifics.  I guess I have time on my hands and I am a nerd.  So here’s what I found out…

Continue reading “What You See is Not What You Get”

Competition is Bad?

There was an article this week from a Japanese market analyst who argued that competition in the camera industry is leading to the decline of the camera industry.  He cited the announcement of Olympus recently who have shut down/sold off their consumer camera business.

I have only one reaction to the story.  Duh! Continue reading “Competition is Bad?”

Jumping into the Deep End

I can’t resist commenting on the release this week of Canon’s new mirrorless flagship cameras, the EOS R5 and EOS R6.  There are lots of technical commentaries out there; instead, I want to document how I felt listening to the details of the release. Continue reading “Jumping into the Deep End”

ON1 360 Released

I don’t usually spend time on product reviews or the hype around new products, but this one caught my eye – the release of ON1’s latest software and a new service called ON1 360.

On1 360 Released

One of the most frustrating aspects of photography for me has been the inability to manage and edit photographs on a variety of platforms, when and where it was convenient for me.

Desktops are becoming more and more powerful, but who wants to sit in front of one for the day.  In this age of needing minor pleasures, it would be awesome to be able to manage and edit my photographs on my patio, with a cold drink beside me.  My iPad has more than enough capability to do that – it just needed the tools. Continue reading “ON1 360 Released”

Pure Filtered Photos

Lee Starter KitOver the past year, I decided to include filters in my camera kit.  I took them on several trips and even on local outings, determined to take the time to use them properly.  I started out with the standard collection of screw-on filters – a polarizer, a variable neutral density filter and a graduated neutral density filter.  I quickly discovered the pros and cons of these types of filters and expanded my kit to include a square-format drop-in filter system.  This consisted of a lens adapter, filter holder and a variety of 100mm square filters.

It’s been an interesting experience that I thought was worth sharing.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

Continue reading “Pure Filtered Photos”