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|The End is Nigh...|
Posted On 2012-08-10 , 7:58 AM
I am giving serious thought to stopping these blog entries - The website was created as an informative one and as a base to try out search engine optimisation techniques, and as that it has performed moderately well. It was also made to make money, which it has not...
My creative energies are being put more and more into crafts such as making jewellery and trying to sell that, and I find less and less time to devote to this website and blog. That's not to say I don't have time to take photographs but writing these blog entries takes up a lot of my time, and thus far the only rewards seem to have been spam comments on older blog entries about all kinds of subjects other than photography.
Therefore I expect this will be the last blog entry I make here, apologies to any and all followers and a big thank you to those who have followed read and enjoyed my blog entries each week.
So long, and thanks for all the Fish.
James AKA 'Spoon Cam'
|EOS M Continued...|
Posted On 2012-08-03 , 9:00 AM
Last week I blogged about the recently announced compact system camera from Canon, the EOS-M (M for Mini), since then I have been reading a great deal about it and several issues/warnings seems to be popping up...
||First is really simple and its not exclusive to the Canon EOS M as several other CSC's suffer with the same problem, but it's lenses: Yes there is an EF lens adapter... but as this spaces the lens away from the camera body by a considerable amount before you attach a lens, this makes even the most compact of EF lenses seem enormous when attached to the camera body, in contrast with the kit lenses available on launch.
Therein lies the second problem although I remain hopeful that in the long term it will not be an issue - Canon say that they have no plans for any more EF-M mount lenses in the near future, so if you cannot shoot what you need with the 22mm or the 18-55mm lenses on offer at launch you either can't use the EOS-M or have to resort to the EF adapter and the huge lenses problem mentioned above.
The reason I am hopeful that this will come to nothing is that officially Canon weren't going to release a CSC at all having "all bases covered" in their camera range, so maybe they have some idea's for new compact lenses but cannot make announcements until they are at least in a prototype stage or later.
|Perhaps a lesser issue but it has been picked up on by a number of photographic journals - is the confusing nature of the camera's name and features: its a EOS name suggesting professional quality and control, yet it's styled like entry level Canon IXUS camera's and has features aimed at beginners and people who are not traditionally camera users suggesting it's a stand alone product to encourage new photographers. As a small example the camera has no mode dial, yet it does have a touchscreen through which the expected mode dial choices such as Av/Tv/M etc can be selected.
The other half of that issue is the price, which is at launch similar to the price of a Canon EOS 60D, putting it far above the price of an entry level DSLR yet seemingly being an ideal camera for beginners or as a first camera for anyone although I have my doubts that the average joe would spend so much on a camera, when the 'professional looking' Rebel T3(1100D) or T3i(600D) would cost far less.
Now don't get me wrong, I am excited about this new camera - and it's the most likely CSC for me to buy as a second body or a lightweight alternative to my 7D... I just wanted to point out that there are mixed reviews of it so far and that it is not all good news.
Posted On 2012-07-27 , 9:07 AM
||As expected Canon are the last of the major camera manufacturers to enter the compact system camera market - Just announced this week the 18 megapixel Canon EOS-M.
The camera bears more than a passing resemblance to the high end Panasonic GX1, and has a high end spec and price-tag to match. That having been said it does pack in an awful lot to a small camera body:
• 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
• New EF-M lens mount
• 31 point AF - using a hybrid AF system with phase detection pixels on sensor
• ISO 100-12,800 expandable to ISO 25,600 (DIGIC 5 processor)
• 4.3 FPS high speed shooting(for 17 jpegs, or 6 RAW files)
• 3" (7.7cm) 1040k dot touch-screen
• Full 1080p HD movie shooting, with creative picture styles applicable to stills and video.
Aside from features like the large APS-C sensor and touchscreen, the most noticeable feature is that there is a seperate flashgun much like the Sony NEX-5/5N making it much larger for flash, and perhaps most vital to its success with Canon enthusiasts: there is a relatively low priced EF-M to EF lens mount adapter meaning any EF fit lens from the past 23 years or so will fit, just bear in mind you may want to limit the size of lenses considered as if you use a colossal lens it wont seem like such a compact camera anymore, especially when you consider the adapter spaces the lens away from the camera body anyway.
|The usual criticism from many of the camera manufacturers is that the short flange depth(distance between rear of the lens and the sensor) and large APS-C sensors usually means lower image quality due to vignetting(light loss at the corners/extreme edges) - it will be insteresting to see how Canon tackle this. That having been said this side of things has been greatly improved on Canon EOS DSLR's in recent years, both by utlizing technology like gapless micro-lenses as well as the in camera "peripheral illumination correction" which can be applied as part of the jpeg conversion with most Canon lenses.
I am quite excited about this new development, and hope to get my hands on one soon as obviously the Canon system would be my first choice as a second body or compact alternative to my 7D.
|A Short Break|
Posted On 2012-07-20 , 9:26 AM
||In most lines of work you take a break and can forget about your work if you want to, that after all is the idea of a vacation right? I wouldn't say this is quite the case for a photographer however - "holiday snaps" are expected and you have a fine camera already so obviously you should take them...
So when as a photographer do you get time off? I know I'm not a professional so perhaps I don't feel this so acutely as others who are, but even as an amateur it can seem like never having a break from photography.
Now obviously there are ways and means around this, leave the big camera at home and just take your camera-phone for example, its probably adequate for snapshots after all, and limiting what equipment you can use tends to allow more room for creativity with what you do have to hand.
Equally you could simply let yourself be the holiday photographer, but take a break at other times, don't touch the camera for a week when there's nothing major happening that you would want photographs of. Taking a break in this way can be invigorating as you still see the world around you with a photographers eye but without being burdened by a camera or setting it up to capture the scene just as you want it.
Personally I've had a week a bit like that, haven't touched a camera all week and although I didn't feel especially burdened by taking pictures as I normally enjoy it so much I have found this week has given me a number of ideas and inspiration for future photographic projects and ways to capture subjects that I have found tricky in the past, simply by having time looking at them without a camera.
So take time off when you can, as it may refresh your hobby even if you didn't think it needed any refreshment at all.
|Make Hay Whilst the Sun Shines...|
Posted On 2012-07-13 , 8:43 AM
||The weather here has been pretty poor of late, a months worth of rainfall in two days and that was just last weekend! The previous two months had been wet, unseasonably so for early summer. Whilst this might seem like a bit of a downer to start on, its merely what's inspired this latest blog.
When faced with abnormally bad weather you can try new and different things with your photography, I've blogged before about abstract photography using a lightbox for example, but did you ever think to document the world around you?
It might seem odd, but the ordinary mundane things around the house or just how your part of the world looks can be amazing and inspiring to others when photographed and shared online with people who live in much different places or have different household objects to what you own.
So whilst I might complain about not going out in the sunshine during summer due to terrible weather, its wiser to simply take documentary pictures of it - Irony being what it is the sun is actually shining whilst I type this...
|I'm not suggesting you rush out with camera into the rain however, always take care too look after your equipment, many camera's are weather sealed these days but usually are little more than splash proof, and DSLR's that are weather sealed have a problem with the big hole in the front where the lens attaches!
That said you can try various tools and techniques to get bad weather pictures, try an ultra fast shutter speed and manual focus(set it to a meter or two away from you and shoot through a window) to freeze-frame raindrops as they fall, or shoot a wider scene with a neutral density filter and a very long exposure to show the movement of clouds and rain around otherwise stationary houses and such.
Puddles/pools of water also offer opportunities to experiment with reflections in places you wouldn't normally get them - you can with a little trial and error compose landscapes entirely in reflections, albeit obviously the image will be upside down, you don't even have to show any of the area above the pool of water if the detail in the reflection is clear enough. Puddles also add a dynamic to the freeze-frame idea where a series of raindrops splashing into a puddle can make for a dynamic image that anyone can identify with.
So in short: don't let bad weather put you off photography, use it as inspiration instead!
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