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Thread: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

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    You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    This is the primary message when I receive Happy New Year - Merry Christmas - or just random promotion greetings from Sony.
    I love my Sony camera A900 combined with two fantastic Sony lenses. I have used my Sony-gear every day for the last two years. This camera could really be a threat to similar full frame bodies from Nikon and Canon - if only! the careful nursing from Sony - tailored for me as a semi-professional amateur - would ever reach me.
    Does it exist? - the supportive marketing from Sony for us that are a little further than ..with a combination of a small aperture and a long shutter speed you will get the most fantastic effects with moving water....!
    Where is the entrance to Sony - e.g. a forum supervised by Sony, and beyond this state?

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Hi Eigil,

    Who knows what Sony are thinking marketing wise

    Personally, I've come to realise that a camera is just a little box at the end of a lens that lets in the light -- and thus - be it a Sony, Canon, Nikon, not an overly significant part of the photographic process. Which is probably a good thing, because it means we can help more people that way

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Hi Colin,

    Your point reminds me of a description of a pin-hole camera concept I once read about. Time of exposure was measured in cups of coffee. You had to be in peace!

    It’s just that the Sony A900 body and its lenses are such nice pieces of hardware (with competitive software too) that I wonder why Sony - apparently - has put the promotion of this system into the hands of ordinary holiday-snap-shot writers and supporters.

    So what I am really asking about is, if anybody knows how to get closer to Sony to ensure that suggestions and experiences with Sony A900 would reach the right persons, a development department if I were lucky or at least a team who knows what A900 and raw files mean?

    If I contact Sony on a local support-level I will be answered by a nice person with light years of distance to the substance of this. But maybe it’s the same problem with semi-professional Nikon and Canon cameras? I doubt it.

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Hi Eigil,

    The short answer is "who knows" I'm afraid. I've been able to forward quite a few practical suggestions to "fairly high up the food chain" at Canon (some even just firmware tweaks) -- and so far my "success rate" has been 0.0%

    I don't take it too personally -- but I have come to the conclusion that they pretty much "march to the beat of their own drum" ... probably the same for Sony. On one hand there's all the nice talk of "listening to their customers", but there's also the old saying "never let the crew run the boat" (that's a job for the captain & officers).

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Eigil,
    Personally, I've come to realise that a camera is just a little box at the end of a lens that lets in the light -- and thus - be it a Sony, Canon, Nikon, not an overly significant part of the photographic process.
    That Colin, is probably a bit too simplistic, but I get your gist. On marketing and more stuff like the mentioned above, have a look at Thom Hogan's running commentary on his home page. I think he has the same experiences.

    In Holland we have a saying that translates as 'the best helmsmen stand ashore'. A good example of this is around the time of the world championship soccer when every Dutchman feels that he has more sense and insight on how the game should be played than the team's official coach. Which is actually true sometimes

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post
    That Colin, is probably a bit too simplistic, but I get your gist.
    Yes and no, to be honest. I shoot with a Canon 1Ds3 - wouldn't trade it for the world (nor any of my L-Series lenses), but in the same breath, I could probably shoot a model in the studio with an old 300D and I doubt that anyone here would be able to tell the difference in a shot that's down-sampled for internet display. For me anyway, I'd have to say that the things that have the biggest impact, preparation & lighting would be tops - along with knowledge & skill - followed by lenses - with "whatever box that lets in the light" last.

    On marketing and more stuff like the mentioned above, have a look at Thom Hogan's running commentary on his home page. I think he has the same experiences.
    I'm familiar with Thom's writings, but as a Canon shooter, I don't really invest a lot of time reading up there

    In Holland we have a saying that translates as 'the best helmsmen stand ashore'. A good example of this is around the time of the world championship soccer when every Dutchman feels that he has more sense and insight on how the game should be played than the team's official coach. Which is actually true sometimes
    Sounds a bit like formula 1 - you'd think that the commentators were team owners in a previous life

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Peter and Colin,
    Thank you. I am fairly comfortable with the feeling, that none of you were invited to "the bridge" either, though we all should have been welcomed to share a few secrets with the people there. Strange policy in my opinion. But I guess they have their own exorcists.
    Best regards,
    Eigil

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    I think the same sort of things happens in all areas, and not just in photography.

    But in a photographic context, a number of people (me included) have been pleading with the makers of the DxO Optics Raw Processing tool, to include, in the Windows version, the same 'thirds' grid for cropping that is available in the MAC version of the same software.

    Now, I'm no software engineer, but it can't be that big a task, can it?

    The response? ................ Silence!

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The response? ................ Silence!
    You probably frightened them with your 'client' reaction, so they withdrew themselves in their offices (just like snails). They will come out again when you have gone away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Yes and no, to be honest.....- followed by lenses - with "whatever box that lets in the light" last.
    I agree on the whatever box that lets in light, although sensors and such could make some difference in the end result.

    What I meant however is the design of the camera itself. You are shooting a Canon because you like the ergonomics of that camera (not the quality apparently) and you would probably not want to exchange it for a Nikon or any other brand.
    It's a mixture of industrial design (where to put the buttons and such and how to make them self explanatory if possible) and emotional design (beautiful things just work better, as has been proven by the research of Noam Tractinsky).

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Hi Donald,

    I like your images very much. The “grey” ones are great. Had a nice flash-back to my zone-system days with Tri-X and Toyo-45. It’s interesting to meet landscapes different from the “official” internet versions, as you imply yourself.

    Your “small” problem with the DxO Optics Raw Processing tool triggers me. Small problems can be a pain in a certain body-part when they are not taken care of as one could wish.
    My problem is equally small. I have used PhaseOne’s CaptureOne raw converter for several years, first with my Nikon set and since early 2009 with Sony A900 and a couple of very good lenses from Sony/Zeiss.
    Suddenly, with the ARW raw files from Sony, the vendor data for the lens was distorted by C1. I could use Adobe Camera Raw. This software extracts the information without problems. But I am a bit sentimental about C1, as it origins from Copenhagen.
    Even as a good old customer I have not been able to move anybody inside PhaseOne to reconsider a correction. There is “no known ETA” for this problem, I am told. From my PPL-days I got the impression, that ETA had something to do with movement, but CaptureOne6Pro!! 6.2.1, 6.2.2 and lately 6.3 deliver the same error. Not much has moved, and I am disappointed.

    Now - PhaseOne blames Sony for conducting a closed policy regarding access to their software. But how hard can it be. It’s a raw-file, and unless it has been encrypted from the camera (which in that case does not bother Adobe CR) it should be easy to identify and extract the right data.
    But here, Donald, I am alone too, because my only use of this information is for a small utility that corrects lens distortion on the basis of the vendor lens information and actual focal length.
    Well, there is another issue with tethered shooting that is not possible with Sony in C1 either, and same explanation from PhaseOne.

    So my intention was to contact Sony and say: Be open, it’ll pay!
    I have tried via the local support option a couple of times. No answers.
    Last edited by Eigil Skovgaard; 30th September 2011 at 08:28 AM.

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    I agree on the whatever box that lets in light, although sensors and such could make some difference in the end result.
    Hi Peter,

    I think the differences are more theoretical. In reality, I'm really only interested in two characteristics - (1) sensor resolution, and (2) sensor dynamic range. In terms of resolution - for an online image - it really doesn't matter as we throw away about 97% with the 1Ds3 sensor; for a lower resolution sensor we'd probably only throw away 90% ... but either way, still far more than we need In terms of dynamic range - again - I probably only need about 6 stops for a properly lit studio shot - and both would have a LOT more than that. So in all honestly, about the only thing that might make a difference would be the accuracy of the autofocus. I still have 22 x 33" canvases hanging on my gallery wall shot with a 20D - alongside those shot with a 1D3 and 1Ds3 ... and there really isn't any difference between them when viewed at normal viewing distances.

    What I meant however is the design of the camera itself. You are shooting a Canon because you like the ergonomics of that camera (not the quality apparently) and you would probably not want to exchange it for a Nikon or any other brand.
    It's a mixture of industrial design (where to put the buttons and such and how to make them self explanatory if possible) and emotional design (beautiful things just work better, as has been proven by the research of Noam Tractinsky).
    Well to be quite honest Peter, if it weren't for the cost of changing all my lenses and other Canon-specific equipment, it really wouldn't bother me because after a short learning curve I'd be able to get exactly the same result. In terms of ergonomics, I relate it to buying a new car ... it feels a bit strange for a couple of days until one gets used to it, but after that it just feels completely normal.

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    I sometimes find that with the things I have little control over (like product development and politics), that, rather than beat my head against a wall, I evaluate the options available (including the 'do nothing' and 'wait and see' options), make my decision and move on. I can stack the odds in my favor for what the future might bring but as I can't count on it, I don't beat myself up when I later discover that I've made the wrong choice. Provided I've done my homework, it was the right decision at the time given the information available. Zen Peace.

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    I have come to realize that I am always wrong when attempting to prognosticate Canon's offerings. The last time I tried was when I was absolutely sure that Canon would never add IS to the 70-200mm f/4L lens. And look what happened... arguably one of the best lenses in the Canon line.

    But, here is an idea that I have thought about for a long time, a fast mid length prime lens with IS. How about a Canon 30mm f/1.4 with IS capability? That would blow the Siggy 30mm f/1.4 out of the water. It would be an available light wonder. Imagine hand holding at 1/10 second @ f/1.4!

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I think the differences are more theoretical.
    ...
    I still have 22 x 33" canvases hanging on my gallery wall shot with a 20D - alongside those shot with a 1D3 and 1Ds3 ... and there really isn't any difference between them when viewed at normal viewing distances.
    Let me rephrase it then, as my initial comment was perhaps too short (but it was a bit off topic, so I did not want to expand too much):
    I am not saying that you can't get similar results with different cameras or that canvases won't look the same at 'normal' viewing distances.
    But, just like with any other tool, you get used to the characteristics of your camera and your workflow is tuned in to that.
    With your first camera ever you won't be aware of that, but with a second or third you will begin to notice the differences between brands. These differences can all be ironed out in the processing of the photo through various programs of course, but they are still there and you will develop your own preferences for certain characteristics along the way.

    Secondly, there will be a certain 'feeling' towards the camera (how hefty or light it is, how the lenses work mechanically etc.) and the lay-out of the different buttons. This is the subjective stuff really and every person might have different preferences. Again, I am not saying that these influence the end process, but they do influence the individual who is using them. They will also influence what he will buy next.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Well to be quite honest Peter, if it weren't for the cost of changing all my lenses and other Canon-specific equipment, it really wouldn't bother me because after a short learning curve I'd be able to get exactly the same result. In terms of ergonomics, I relate it to buying a new car ... it feels a bit strange for a couple of days until one gets used to it, but after that it just feels completely normal.
    Taking your example of a car: I agree partly, but it is not the best comparison.
    Every (working) car drives from A to B. They all steer in the same direction, stop if you brake and accelerate if you put your right foot down. But the feeling of each car is different and that won't change. One model will be better in cornering, the other at straight line. You might prefer hard or soft seats, but they will feel different.
    The end result is the same of course, so no need to argue that. It gets you to point B, just as cameras produce the same image if you point them at the same point with similar lenses and settings.

    I talked about how the product feels though and the emotion connected to the product. That is partly why people buy certain brands.

    Take my own case (and coming back to your car example): in the last three years I had two different cars. A Volvo V70 with 200 BHP and a Golf GTI with 200 BHP. Both just fell into my lap so to speak, I am not really a speed freak. The Volvo was leased and provided to me by my employer and the Golf was a second hand I bumped into when I needed replacement for the Volvo.
    Very comparable cars in terms of power, acceleration, braking, long distance driving. I hated the Volvo though and I (still) love the Golf. The Volvo felt sluggish and was terrible at short circles. For the rest it was fine. The Golf is much more direct and makes very tight circles. It is more bumpy than the Volvo, but I can live with that. Given equal choice between the two (same age, power etc.) and given my particular needs I would never buy the Volvo.
    My neighbour though, who manages a field hockey team of 6 year olds would never buy the GTI if he had the same choice (that is at least what I assume, given his needs).

    Now, coming back on the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eigil Skovgaard View Post
    This is the primary message when I receive Happy New Year - Merry Christmas - or just random promotion greetings from Sony.
    I love my Sony camera A900 combined with two fantastic Sony lenses. I have used my Sony-gear every day for the last two years. This camera could really be a threat to similar full frame bodies from Nikon and Canon - if only! the careful nursing from Sony - tailored for me as a semi-professional amateur - would ever reach me.
    Does it exist? - the supportive marketing from Sony for us that are a little further than ..with a combination of a small aperture and a long shutter speed you will get the most fantastic effects with moving water....!
    Where is the entrance to Sony - e.g. a forum supervised by Sony, and beyond this state?
    The reason I like Nikon (this is subjective mind you!) is that in The Netherlands they organize courses for (new or existing) camera owners. Supervised by a number of professionals you can learn more about the possibilities of your camera (or any camera for that matter, as the basics in all cameras are the same). I am not sure whether they do this elsewhere as well, but I like them for it and it supports my (again: subjective) brand choice.

    Would I ever buy a Canon or Sony? Sure, if they come with a camera that feels and looks as good as the Nikon does, why not? But for the time being, the product just doesn't speak to me like the Nikon product does.
    Is Nikon the best? I don't know. I hate their smaller mirrorless cameras, the Coolpix stuff. I prefer other brands, who did a better job at this like Panasonic or Ricoh (apologies to other brands that I haven't tried out). Perhaps they did listen better to the wishes of the consumers (like me) in this case.
    So, overall it is inconclusive for me.

    Ah well, I see the danger of short initial remarks more clearly now
    Last edited by Letrow; 30th September 2011 at 08:37 AM.

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    Re: You can make beautiful photographs by changing the incoming light..!

    Colin and Peter,

    You have revived a never ending discussion.
    Nothing is equally right for everybody. In my opinion taste and feeling is beyond any discussion.
    Though this discussion of "cars" is off the topic for sure, I’ll sing a single verse about my hardware too:

    When I validated Sony A900 against Canon and Nikon I ended up with the feeling that technically it was a matter of choosing among built in image stabilizer contra stabilizer in each lens, video-option or not, brightest view-finder on the market or not, and a few other differences of minor importance. The all over performance needed from a full frame camera was very much the same, e.g. identical sensors. The way Sony deals with noise let you choose between stochastic noise and a maximum dynamic range or high ISO with managed noise.
    I ended up with this final consideration: Value for money! With Sony I could get 90% of what I wanted for 75% of the total price for a Canon or Nikon full frame body. So, I chose Sony A900. And as a former Canon -> Nikon owner, I have enjoyed every moment with my Sony camera and lenses since.

    Except, Peter’s description of Nikon’s marketing in The Netherlands strengthen my impression of Nikon’s willingness to reach out for its semi-professional customers. I guess Sony is new on the market in this segment, full frame DSLRs. They just need to improve their marketing and I would like to stir the pot.
    Last edited by Eigil Skovgaard; 1st October 2011 at 08:42 AM.

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