Points in Focus Photography

After getting excited at the prospects of what I expect to be a reasonably affordable, and exceptionally compact, 800 mm prime in the Canon RF 800mm f/11 DO IS STM, I’ve subsequently found myself completely rethinking my position on the lens. And it’s not that I expect the lens to be bad or anything like that. If anything I expect the lens will be a pretty solid value. However, for me when thinking about the issues it seems like I get a lot more flexibility and a slightly faster aperture out of the RF 100-500 and a 1.4x TC than I would out of RF 800mm f/11. Even considering that the zoom with the TC is only a 700mm lens. But with the R5’s 45 MP sensor, cropping in the extra 12.5% doesn’t really matter that much.

Also, as we approach the announcement for the EOS R5, Canon Rumors is suggesting that Canon may have some undisclosed features in store for still shooters. Well, I don’t have any insider information on what Canon’s doing, but as a still shooter, I have some features I’d like to see.

  1. Dual Gain output for increased dynamic range
  2. Actual RAW histograms and clipping warnings
  3. Synthetic neutral density capabilities with a purpose built UI that’s not just limited stacking with averaging.

I haven’t had a lot to talk about, at least not in camera land recently. But we’re quickly approaching the big EOS R5 announcement, and with it Canon is expected to announce a whole plethora of new RF mount lenses.

Of these upcoming lenses, I find 3 to be quite interesting. One, the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM, we’ve known about since the R5 was per-annoucned. However the other two, the RF 600mm f/11 DO IS STM, and RF 800mm f/11 DO IS STM, are new to me.

And while an f/11 lens, and one sporting an STM focusing motor at that, isn’t something I’d consider a high end option. Both of these lenses really open the door to super telephoto on what should be a more affordable price point than the EF 600mm f/4L and EF 800mm f/5.6L currently offer.

In this episode I talk about the need to balance consistency with maintaining standards; my experience with Blackmagic Design’s support for DaVinci Resolve as a free product user (hint it was actually really good), some observations on lighting and recording video; and a bit about f-stops, t-stops, and color matched lenses.

Canon Australia has confirmed some more details about the EOS R5, some of which shouldn’t have needed confirmation for, some of which are new, and some of which just raise more questions. Though what I found most amusing was that there was “speculation” that the announced capabilities were being called, “a fantasy” by people online discussing the camera.

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This time in the vlog, I’m talking a bit about the challenges I’ve run into with trying to wrap my head around the behavior of the new ISO specific development defaults in Lightroom Classic 9.2 and the corresponding version fo camera raw. They’re definitely more powerful than the previous method, but there are some behavioral quirks in how values are interpolated that I haven’t quite nailed down yet.

Additionally, some new images have surfaced on dc.watch for the yet unreleased EOS R5, especially ones showing the controls on the rear of the camera. In general, the camera looks reasonable for a pro oriented product, though of course only time will tell.

Nikon has finally announced their latest flagship DSLR, the D6. And quite honestly, I’m not all that impressed.

Admittedly, I’ve been critical of Nikon’s cameras for a while. And while they certainly are far from bad products, there are certainly decisions Nikon has made that leave me wondering what they’re doing.

 

On Feburary 12, 2020, Canon announced the development of their most advanced mirrorless camera to date. Moreover, it’s the first EOS R series camera that has the potential to really be a pro camera, unlike it’s predecessors. Featuring 8K video recording, 12 FPS with the mechanical shutter, and 20 FPS with the electronic shutter, and in-body image stabilization, it has the potential to be a monster camera.

But there’s a lot we don’t know yet. And for me, what’s going to make or break the camera are the ancillary features and the ergonomics that Canon packs it with.

Adobe’s record when it comes to designing software is certainly a mixed bag, sometimes we get great new features, and sometimes those features come rolling along half baked. And that’s very much the case when it comes to the new development defaults in Lightroom Classic 9.2.

I’ve previously written about using Lightroom’s development defaults as a way to save your sharpening and noise reduction settings on a per ISO basis so that they’re automatically applied to your images when you import them. In my experience, this is a tremendously useful mechanism for getting most of the way to a well optimized image right out of the image dialog.

However, in the past there have been a few major shortcomings with this approach. To start with, you had to create a default for every ISO you used — which usually meant every ISO your camera could shoot at. On modern cameras with ISO ranges from say 50 to 102,000 in 1/3 stop increments this made for a lot of tedious work. This was especially true when many of the settings were the same for multiple ISOs, but you still had to create presets for them anyway.

The second problem is that some cameras, mainly Nikons in my experience, when shooting in auto ISO, don’t always use the standard 1/3 stop steps. I’ve run across all kinds of crazy ISOs from Nikon bodies that there simply wasn’t any way to get to manually. And this of course, means that there was no way to setup a default for that ISO.

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I want to be up front and clear about something here, this isn’t a review. Moreover, these lights were purchased with my own money, which makes this that much more frustrating for me.

What this is, is my experience with trying to get these lights initially setup and working. To be fair to Dracast, the light could have been defective — though that doesn’t really excuse the discrepancies between the marketing and the product that was actually delivered — though I couldn’t find anything obvious that indicated that it was a defective panel either.

That said, I find that I no longer have the patience to put up with products that don’t deliver, so I’ve moved on. However, I wanted to talk about the problems I ran into with these lights in case anyone else was looking at them.

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