Camera System Tribalism

I sometimes make the mistake of heading into the camera forums. I generally leave filling angry at all the self justification of my system is the best. People treat camera systems like their football clubs, only one can win.

The last time I went into the camera forums it was to look at the affect of flash sync speed and power settings of some for some of the cheaper Chinese made flash units. You then get drawn into other corners and regret it.

Part of the problem seems to be that some of the camera companies have really got their social media campaigns working well with well know social media celebrities using their cameras and promoting them. Sony are possibly the best at this with Nikon being the worse.

The problem is this seems to feed online tribalism, and its a shame. Some hobbies like pen and stationary collecting, and also watch collecting seem to attract people that can appreciate other brands and other peoples choices, but in the camera forums its ‘my camera is the best, yours is crap’.

Everyone should appreciate the technical tour-de-force that is the Sony camera systems. Canon also like Sony with the ability to design great cameras, great sensors but also build the sensors and cameras and glass all in house. Nikon on the other hand are with Leica one of the great glass manufactures, designing new types of glass to solve new issues. Nikon and Leica are also getting into sensor design but are reliant on other sensor manufactures to produce these sensors for them. For a long time the cheaper Nikon cameras have used off the shelf Sony sensors but with Nikon electronics around them, while the high end pro cameras have had Nikon designed sensors and are manufactured by several sensor companies including Sony, but also Toshiba and Aptina.

I have always said that there is little difference now in the quality coming out of the cameras from the different manufactures. Despite the claims on the forums, Nikon is not behind in the focusing department, it just needs setting up differently, Leica do not have the best menus, just a different take on what’s important to offer and how.

Depending on what’s important to you and what feels to good in your hand, how you work etc should guide your camera choice.

For some the technical options all available in the Sony menus is a help, for me I hate not being able to find anything, but if I was a Sony user I would get used to it. I love the simplicity of the Hasselblad and Leica menu system, they are a breath of fresh air to me.

Some will have arguments about technical choices the manufactures have made. I dislike the way some lens artefact processing and noise reduction is done and baked into the Sony RAW files, but then I also dislike the low level noise reduction that the Canon R range do at low ISO, in my opinion its unnecessary. I am a Nikon fan boy and I would also argue that some the processing of white balance they do pre-writing out the RAW file is also detrimental, but then I like post processing my images my way.

Often many people will choice a camera for the way a default file comes out of a camera, the image from a Sony, Canon or Leica do look different and sometimes its this that draws people to them.

So camera choice, this is not my camera is better then yours, its more that the camera I choose suites me and the way I work and the way I want my images to look.

Flare

Leica M10

On a bright summer morning walking down a woodland lane, shooting into the sun is not a good idea, the high contrast, risk of flare generally will not result in a good image, but sometimes, just sometimes it works.

Nikon Z8? : The real D8xx mirrorless camera

With the announcement of the pro spec Z9, rumours abound about the Z8, the mirrorless version of D8xx line.

Bonnie taken with Nikon D800

The Z7 is good but it is a prosumer camera, missing a few things the D850 has, around memory banks and focus modes.

The question is going to be resolution. Everyone says it has to match or beat Sony’s latest 60MP wonder, we know they are testing 45MP sensors and in reality as we are talking area, 45MP is not much different to 60MP but if they release it as 45MP it will be seen on the internet as a failure. The Canon R5 is 45MP and for now I think that makes sense, but I feel Nikon will get a kicking if they go that route.

Spring Walks

We had a lot of rain this spring, the warmer weather caused by global warming in the artic is causing cooler wetting weather to be driven south to us.

We still had some nice days and when we have a nice Sunday morning I am off shortly after dawn with our hound, Ted the Greyhound, over the fields with a camera over my shoulder.

Over the years since moving here I have been collecting pictures of the local fields, some freshly ploughed, some full of crops, others past their past.

I don’t always come back with any pictures worth showing but sometimes I get lucky.

If you go for a walk take a camera, you may surprise yourself and get a really nice picture.

WWDC 2021

Its that time of year again when Apple fan boys get all excited. As an Apple fan boy myself, I’ll be interested and watching closely to see where Apple is going.

My iPhone is now approaching four years old so I’ll be thinking of replacing it this year or next. Also I am interested to see what Apple do with the Mac mini. I would like a new media server for the home and a Mac mini may just be the machine for the job.

I am sure the main interest for most people is were iOS and WatchOS is going, so I am sure there will be something for everyone, just no Steve Jobs, ‘One more thing’.

Nikkor Z Mount Lens – Roadmap

Image from https://nikonrumors.com/2021/01/17/updated-nikon-nikkor-z-mirrorless-lens-roadmap-2.aspx/

Building out a new system is hard work. For those already in the Nikon system the adapter to use our existing F mount lens goes a long way, but until a few key more lens are released, Nikon is playing catch up on the lens.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, Profoto flash with CTO Gel and a shoot through Umbrella.

I’ll forgive Nikon somewhat, as the lens they have released have been out of this world, the 70-200mm f/2.8 is close to being the best zoom lens ever, and there is nothing standard about the 50mm f/1.2.

Everyone has their own idea of the ideal lens set, and Nikon are offering us the standard trinity of zooms, the f/2.8 set that take us from 14mm to 200mm.

I want to see a high quality 70-200mm f/4 but also a 24-105mm f/4. Canon already have a great 24-105mm f/4 and it makes a great all purpose lens.

I would be happy with a 24-105mm f/4, a 50mm f/1.2 and a 85mm f/1.4 for my needs. In fact I would happy trade the 24-105mm for a high quality 35mm f/2 and use that as my general day to day lens, with the 50mm and the 85mm used for studio and location portrait shoots.

The system is growing nicely, complete a nice set of f/4 zooms and the 400mm and 600mm telephotos and its well on the way, and more professionals who are currently not Nikon users but want to go mirrorless would consider it.

With these lens, give me a body that matches the D850 in features with the latest sensor tech and I may jump myself from my DSLR.

Getting Colour Temperature – do we need to get it right?

White balance card

If you shoot jpeg then yes get it right in camera, but for us RAW shooters why should we bother?

Its easy to fix it post but come on, who wants to have to colour correct all the images you took on your last shoot, yes with Adobe Lightroom you an fix one and then replicate it across, but its just another job you have to get done.

Get it right in camera.

Once you have everything correct its then easy to work from a common starting point and colour grade to how you want it.

How card slots do you need in a camera

CF Cards were relatively physically robust, SD cards less so. Many pros and amateurs like having two card slots. Writing RAW to one and Jpg to another for backup. A few recent cameras have had a lot of flack for not having two card slots but card technology has improved a lot recently.

While CF and SD cards are prone to failure the new designed XQD and CFexpress have had no recorded failures due to hardware. Now all cards have a recommended number of read writes, and it is when you exceed these you start to get errors. Errors with these new cards are due to exceeding these recommendations.

If your camera uses one of these new types of card I would be less worried about needing two slots for safety. Some photographers who after a shoot hand a card to a third party but also need a copy for themselves then yes there are ways cases for two slots, sometimes event photographers will print out a quick jpg and sell to the client on the day so having jpegs to one card and raw to the other is handy from a work flow perspective, but for many of us one card slot is now enough.

No matter how many card slots you have I would recommend you replace your cards regularly. It is likely now age and exceeding the number writes that will get you rather a the card failing early.