Canon 5D Mark III Dismissive Thoughts

Canon announced their new update to the 5D line today, the 5d Mark III.  Its price… a whopping $3500 dollars for body only, this is $1000 more than the previous model.

For me its more about the photographer not the gear, and at $3500 it seems a bit over priced in comparison to others in this space.  It always surprises me when photogs feel the need to dump their perfectly good and working gear for something new (and untested) .  Its almost as if folks feel like their equipment has all of the sudden become old and failing overnight… just by one announcement.

I think in a month or two there will be even better deals on the 5D M2 as Canon also announced they are planning to discount the 5DM2 price soon.

For me if I were a pro I would lean towards sticking with my existing Canon 5D Mark II or Nikon D700.  If your camera breaks you are still better off saving thousands of dollars and just going with the great deals on the older models such as the 5DM2and D700 right now.

With all of the change going on in the photography business, I can’t understand why photographers would over spend on frivolous gear when their market is going through such extreme change and transition.  Buy a lens instead with your money, or expand your business or hire an assistant instead.

So just think about it…. what is this new camera model really going to get you versus what you already can accomplish with existing gear.

Good Journey!

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Camera+ Secret Feature: Volume shutter

Camera+ is an iPhone camera app developed by Tap Tap Tap.  The dev team recently made a new v 1.2.1 version available on the App Store and then announced a secret feature last thursday to enable the volume button as shutter.  This is apparently a big no…no in the Apple iPhone developers agreement.  Tap Tap Tap published these details via a twitter update, which was then later deleted.  Apple recently pulled the Camera+ iPhone application from the Apple store (for now).  More details can be found in a recent ComputerWorld post as well.

In the mean time you can enjoy the secret feature if you have Camera+ 1.2.1 by opening a Safari browser and typing this as the URL:  camplus://enablevolumesnap

Now just click the volume button to take a picture, pretty cool.


Mini Book Review: “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers”

I am an avid Adobe Lightroom user and recently upgraded to Lightroom 3. In addition to that I recently purchased a new book on Lightroom 3 called… “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)” by Scott Kelby.

I just started reading it so can’t really provide a detailed review a this time. All I can say is it is slightly larger coming in at 455 pages versus the previous Lightroom 2 book which was 429 pages. Obviously there are several new additional features to cover so this would explain the larger size. The chapter layout is very similar to previous versions of the book but refreshed for the new functionality.

I recently read about how to use the new integrated publish to Flickr feature on page 246 which was handy. The steps were easy enough. Once I read about it is all seemed clear.  With this new feature you basically just drag the image and drag it to the Flickr panel.   Then in the Flickr panel, just click the Publish button to upload to Flickr.

Photo battle: iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo -Part 2

In part 1 of the Photo Battle: iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo we looked at two images taken with both cameras.  So far it is a draw, with the iPhone 4 winning the first round and the HTC Evo winning the second.  In part 2 we will look at two more pictures and compare their properties to see if we can find a winner.

Round#3:  Monitor, Indoors but lit directly by window light

The actual shot is of a blackish grayish Dell CRT monitor.  The iPhone 4 has a slight purple hue to the entire image and especially the monitor and carpet.  The Evo’s image has a blue hue to the entire image and is especially noticeable on the monitor and carpet.  It looks like both cameras failed to capture the correct color of the dark gray monitor.  I think it leans slightly to the iPhone 4’s representation of the monitor’s actual color, but the iPhone has too much purple in the carpet also.  The Evo captured the carpet colors more accurately.  Zooming in 100% I can see both images are a bit blurrier than I would hope.  This is especially noticed near the vent holes and the upper ridge.  The iPhone’s sharpness is slightly better, but has much more noise and grain.  The Evo is softer over-all but the noise reduction has taken away some of the sharpness and noise.

Evo Image #3

iPhone 4 Image #3




















Winner of Round #3: It’s a toss up between the two images and both have several issues.  Both cameras struggled to capture the accurate color.  The iPhone 4 image has more noise/grain and thus a bit better sharpness.  The Evo has less noise/grain but is much softer, and has less sharpness overall.  I would lean towards the iPhone’s sharpness and noise/grain.  But if you prefer softer and less grain then the Evo takes it.

Round#4:  Dark room using built-in camera flash, picture of LCD projector

This shot was taken in a dark conference room and using each camera’s built in flash sequentially to take each respective shot.  The closer focal length of the Evo blew out the the grey color of the projector, making the side seem almost white.  The iPhone’s LED flash worked well enough to illuminate the projector and didn’t blow out the grays as much as the Evo.   Both images struggled to get accurate sharpness in the dark light.  The iPhone LED flash seems to light up more of the surrounding area of the flash vs the Evo seems to have more brightness but only close up before dropping off fairly quickly.

Evo Image #4

iPhone 4 Image #4




















Winner of Round #4: Slightly leans to iPhone 4.  Both have decent color for the conditions of being a dark room.  The Evo’s flash was a bit harsh and blew out the gray on the side of the projector, then drops off very fast.  I did prefer the iPhone 4 flash in this shot over the Evo.  It’s possible that more sampling of indoor flash between the two cameras may reveal different results.  The focal length difference of the Evo vs the iPhone could also be a contributing factor to the faster flash drop off experienced in the Evo image as the Evo flash hits the projector sooner due its tighter focal length.  More specific flash testing could yield different results.  Let me know if you find anything different or that which confirms these results.

Overall Winner: iPhone 4 wins this photo battle challenge.  The main factors that side with the iPhone 4 is the better sharpness and noise correction algorithm in the iPhone 4.  There are some shots where both cameras fail to get the correct white balance and thus have incorrect color.  Overall the iPhone won out in more of the images.  Of course all of this can be subjective to the eye of the beholder.

Tell me what you think, by sending me a reply with your thoughts.

Disclaimer:  This is a subjective test and is subject to my opinion and preferences.  Also, I have to disclose that I am a current iPhone 4 owner and carry any known or unknown bias with that.  During this test I tried to be as unbiased and fair as possible.  I posted links to the original images, so you can be the final judge.  Enjoy!

Photo battle: iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo

I will be reviewing pictures taken from an iPhone 4 with its 5MP camera vs the HTC Evo and its 8MP camera.  This will be purely a photo battle and not a feature by feature comparison since may others like CNET and Wired have already done that.

All images are shot hand held, in portrait mode, Evo in my left hand, iPhone 4 in my right.  Each was taken near simultaneously, except for the shots which required flash.  None of the images have been altered or changed from their original state.  One minor note is that some of the iPhone images had to be rotated back to portrait as they uploaded as landscape instead of the as-shot portrait mode (maybe a bug in iOS 4.0?).

Round#1:  Outdoor lighting on mostly sunny day.

The first thing I notice is that the iPhone 4 has a wider focal length than the Evo.  From a color stand-point the Evo has richer color saturation in the blue sky.  Its a bit over-done on the blue though and the iPhone 4 appears to have a more accurate representation of the actual sky.  The green trees and grass color saturation appears nearly equal on both, but iPhone 4 has a slight edge with green in its image.  The Evo image is not quite as sharp as the iPhone 4 image overall. Zooming in to 100% this is more noticeable as the EVO appears to be softer than the iPhone 4’s sharpness.  This could be the result of a better noise reduction algorithm in the iPhone 4 camera.  More shots will help reveal what’s happening with sharpness.

Evo Image#1

iPhone4 Image #1






















Winner of Round #1: The iPhone 4 wins in this set of images for its more accurate color, overall sharpness and better noise reduction.


Round#2:  Indoor lighting lit mostly by window light.

The Evo and iPhone 4 both have their whites on the cup blown out from the window lighting.  Over all sharpness goes to the Evo in its picture, this can be observed by looking at the print in the newspaper, and the image and letters on the coffee cup.  Color saturation is higher in the iPhone 4 image when looking at the wood of the desk and the red chair.  The wall and white board in the Evo image have a slightly blue hue to them where as the iPhone 4 wall and whiteboard look more accurate.

Evo Image #2

iPhone4 Image #2




















Winner of Round #2: The HTC Evo has better overall sharpness and more accurate color in theis image (except the wall and whiteboard).

See Part 2 of the Photo Battle for the final results….

Poll – What brand camera do you shoot with?