Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nikon Cannonballed into the Mirrorless Pool

The Nikon Z6 and Z7 are the most important Nikon bodies of this decade.

After loads of experimentation, Nikon have finally jumped into the pool enthusiastically.  The CX mount was cute but there was never a chance for it to succeed in a big way, any more than Pentax' Q-series of mirrorless miniature bodies.

There is one, huge problem with this system--the lens interface is a secret.  If Nikon wanted to be extremely successful, they would have already published the interface, so that Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron would have lenses available.

There are a number of companies with experience interfacing with mirrorless bodies and that knowledge could provide a number of good, maybe great, lenses more quickly than Nikon could provide them.

Currently, the 3 lenses available show me that Nikon is concerned with enthusiasts, not professionals.  Sure, you can buy the FTZ adapter but an f/4.0 zoom lens and two f/1.8 fixed focal length lenses leave a lot of room for improvement.

What I've read so far leaves me with the impression that dSLR users aren't going to just pick up these bodies and start shooting.  Welcome to the mirrorless club!

I adapted my techniques from shooting sports with a dSLR to mirrorless bodies and I have even switched back and forth, having one of each with me.  People should always adapt, but many will waste their efforts on complaints.  It may not be easy, but it is possible to change.

Even with phase detection AF points, they may want to leave the focus lock a bit loose and lock from time to time while following the action.  Tracking on mirrorless bodies has improved but it's far from perfect.

I'm waiting to see who buys equipment.  I will likely be amused by the Sony fanatics claiming victory.  Considering how the A7 was, claiming victory might be premature.  The D850 has shown that Nikon can put together equipment that excels.  Once they understand how things should work and what they're doing, I suspect Sony will be looking for ways to improve.

Update: Canon did something also.  ;)  It wasn't as interesting.  FujiFilm's X-T3 is more interesting to me than Canon's EOS R, but Nikon's Z6 and Z7 with the new mount have my attention.

Next week, September 25th, we'll find out whether Panasonic has a 135 Format hybrid camera system or not.  If so, will it be a good thing?  I can't imagine them doing this without a partner.  It's supposedly not Olympus nor Leica.  Would Pentax be interested?

Update 2018.12.08: Panasonic announced that they were working on equipment based on the Leica mount for the SL series and its APS-C relative.

Considering that nothing has been set in concrete, anything could happen.  Sigma is joining, not just with lenses, but with a modified Foveon sensor for 135 Format.

Update 2019.02.17: Panasonic has two bodies for the L-mount, Nikon has added a lens or two, and Canon has added another, rather low cost body.

At US$1300, Canon will get the attention of a great many people.  I still believe that Nikon has the better lens mount for the future.  However, given Panasonic's understanding of hybrid camera systems, I think that they will keep Canon and Nikon humble, and show Sony a trick or two.

Sony has done okay so far because it was the only company in the niche, but that's all gone now.  They have to compete now.

If Sigma puts an L-mount on each of their DG lenses, Panasonic will have great third party support, unlike Nikon and Canon who don't want it and are forcing third parties to reverse engineer support.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Photographing a Wedding: Preparing for the Worst

Photographing a wedding seems the worst I could handle.  Most of the people are people I likely don't know.  If the daughters are anything like their mother, it could be very emotional.

How do you photograph the wedding of two people who already have four children?  Life has changed a great deal over time.  I remember my uncle saying "Are you playing 'So Happy Together'?" because my cousin and his fiancee had already been living together.

I bought a Joby (the Gorillapod people) Pro Sling Strap.  It's a brilliant, complicated strap that hooks into your tripod socket.  I probably should have bought the extra piece to allow it to be used more easily with a tripod.  It wasn't cheap, but it was discounted quite a lot, so it seemed a good choice from a reliable brand.

Other than that, I believe I need another (at least, one) SD Card that can record video and write photos at high speed.  I have two camera bodies (Panasonic GH4. GM5), both of which do HD video.  I could record 4K video but that's a bit much.  No one wants to see their flaws that much.

I was thinking about using the small camera behind the altar or whatever home-made setup they're using, to record the bride's walk down the aisle.  I can have someone start and stop it remotely, using a phone--if they remember.

Otherwise, I've got a slightly wide (15mm f/1.7) angle lens, plus zoom (12-35mm f/2.8) lens for the wedding party shots and reception shots.  I've got a portrait length (42.5mm f/1.7) lens for closer shots, plus a zoom (35-100mm f/2.8) lens for the vows.  I've also got a fisheye Olympus 8mm f/1.8) lens that works in lower light situations, if things get weird.

I need to figure out something neutral to wear since I don't have many clothes these days.

Update 2018.09.08: Got the strap, an SD Card (SanDisk Extreme, up to 90 MB/sec), a light gray, short-sleeved shirt, and I've ordered another GH4 battery.  I'm still feeling more than a bit of anxiety but whatever.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Apple's Worth on Paper Hits $1 Trillion

Today, more financial history was made.  Apple surpassed the One Trillion U.S. Dollar mark in value--the highest of any company in known history on this planet.

That's not to say that it is actually worth that, but that's quite a feat.  They previously made the history books by being worth more than Exxon-Mobil, a fuel company.

It makes me feel a bit silly that I didn't put my US$2500 into Apple stock at $13.5 per share in 1995, instead of buying a computer.  I could have had numerous computers by now, although I had, but for leftovers from a periodic sale of the stock.

Update: Amazon is likely the second to achieve such a status.  If that happens, will Alexa laugh at most requests again?

What happened with all those old companies, such as General Electric?