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holymoly

Everything Digital Photography

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Mostly an enclave to house discussions relating to digital cameras and lens; and to share photographs, preferably one's own. Yes, including instagrams.

 

Jeremy should be happy about this... :D

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The Canon EOS M is faintly reminiscent of the Carl Zeiss Jena Werramatic. The smallness of it, the curved top plate, the clean Bauhausian design, the tiny exquisite lenses and this -- its density. The Werramatic is a hefty camera. It's small, but feels like a solid chunk of brass. The EOS M is like that too -- its curvy, organic form makes us think its light when in fact it is densely heavy. They even share the same carrying studs.

 

werra-matic.jpg

 

^Prettiest little camera ever from the 1950s, but it is surprisingly heavy for its diminutive size.

 

The Canon EOS M (2012)

canon-eos-m-review-03-640x426.jpg

 

Was at KLCC tonight for some shopping and took some pics with the M + 22/f2

IMG_2258_zps4cca90ef.jpg

 

One of the nice things about the towers is how accessible they are to the general public. Some towers sit upon a podium-like building so you can't actually touch the tower. But the Twin Towers go straight to the ground, and the pillars can be touched by anyone. The most experiential design ever, I think. See how the tower is uninterrupted all the way to the base which can be touched by anyone.

IMG_2249_zpsa39cf4cd.jpg

 

The base is very much part of the public's experience of the building.

IMG_2279_zps7f063606.jpg

 

Modern day cathedral. To capitalism and consumerism.

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Every single review of the EOS M mentions its "slow autofocus". A new firmware update sped AF up a lot, but it is still lagging compared to the Olympus PENs (fastest in the world) or Canon's own DSLRs. For this reason mainly, the EOS M failed in the market.

 

I think people lack perspective with these things.

 

For most of history, cameras did not have AF. The most iconic pictures were taken with them. The Leica M was known as a camera for "decisive moments", yet till today, the Leica M has no AF. The Hasselblad Vs were professional cameras, with Carl Zeiss lenses, and they never had any autofocus.

 

People got on fine without AF. You focussed on a ground glass, or a ground glass with split prism. With rangefinders, you lined up the image on a small rectangular patch. Compared to even the least competitive AF today, these cameras were ridiculously slow to focus, and very taxing on the eye.

 

So the AF on the EOS M is maybe 50% slower than the Olympus PENs. 30% slower than maybe the Canon 1DX. I don't know for sure. But that is still blazingly fast as to be instantaneous. It is so fast, I don't need it any faster.

 

Why would anyone complain about how the EOS M takes 20 ms longer to focus than his Canon 5DIII? What does he do with the AF speed? He will tell you he takes pics of "critters" in the garden. That he likes to take pics of birds flying over his house.

 

This non-issue with the AF tells me one thing: cameras are a buyer's market. Consumers can ignore a camera even if it has only one aspect that is not entirely competitive with the best-in-class, because there are so many cameras out there to buy. It's brutal on the camera makers. No wonder so many of them are loss-making.

 

The EOS M is a miracle of a camera. There are no qualifications to that statement. Unless you like to take pics of birds in flight, you will never think of the AF.

 

Its merits are so numerous, I can't be bothered to go into them.

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It appears that when Canon M first came to the market, the autofocusing ability came into scrutiny because people were comparing it to existing Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung mirrorless systems. Panasonic and Olympus autofocusing systems are really blazing fast and Sony Nex has pre-focusing to lock on to subjects. Not only was the Canon M autofocus significantly slower, it was also inaccurate. Apparently sometimes the autofocus would lock on and then jump out of focus even when held steady. The popular Canon compacts like the S110 were outperforming the Canon M on autofocusing too. A new firmware upgrade to the Canon M did help the autofocus speed but I am not sure whether that improved the accuracy and locking on. Maybe you can touch on that. 

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As I was saying, the AF of the M is just not an issue. It is blazing fast. It is faster and more accurate than my Sony A55.

 

The M has a special feature that makes its AF seem slow when in fact it is not. Called "touch shutter", touch any part of the screen and the M

 

a) relocates the focus point

b ) focusses

c) releases the shutter

 

all in a single touch.

 

Now, if any of these idiots were to use an Olympus or Sony or whatnot, they would have to use the control wheel to move the focus point, then half press the shutter button, pause to check for focus confirmation, then press the shutter button all the way.

 

Who is faster?

 

The M does not have a slow autofocus. In a bit more time than most cameras take to focus alone (step b ), the M does all three steps.

 

I would like to challenge all and sundry to a duel of cameras. We will see who takes a picture with an off-center subject faster. The M will win every single time.

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I am planning a second video. To be exact, I've been planning a second one ever since the first was done. It has been several months since the first video, and I can't bear to watch it anymore. So crude, so amateurish. So many things I would do differently.

 

This second video will be shot with totally different equipment. The previous equipment was really poor. The lens used for the majority of shots was made in the 1960s. The camera's video output is widely disparaged amongst videographers as being the worst. This time around I shall use a camera famous for its video capabilities and use a lens from 2012.

 

Even the files will be different. RAW files. Yes.

 

I have built up quite a bit more equipment inventory since the first video. This is still going on. For instance, the lighting in the workshop is flat and meh, so this time around, I shall use special lighting.

 

The camera, when not locked down (on a tripod) will be on a special rig that stabilizes it. Really.

 

So yeah: It will be shot in RAW for incomparable colour depth and that special filigrane detail, handheld shots will be stabilized, the camera and lens are acclaimed for video and there will be superior lighting.

 

I have basically totally murdered this business of still pictures of tailoring. I don't think anyone takes pictures of jackets and of the tailoring process like I do. Gonna go murder the video portion now.

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As I was saying, the AF of the M is just not an issue. It is blazing fast. It is faster and more accurate than my Sony A55.

 

The M has a special feature that makes its AF seem slow when in fact it is not. Called "touch shutter", touch any part of the screen and the M

 

a) relocates the focus point

b ) focusses

c) releases the shutter

 

all in a single touch.

 

Now, if any of these idiots were to use an Olympus or Sony or whatnot, they would have to use the control wheel to move the focus point, then half press the shutter button, pause to check for focus confirmation, then press the shutter button all the way.

 

Who is faster?

 

The M does not have a slow autofocus. In a bit more time than most cameras take to focus alone (step b ), the M does all three steps.

 

I would like to challenge all and sundry to a duel of cameras. We will see who takes a picture with an off-center subject faster. The M will win every single time.

 

meh, no need la. as long as you get the picture you want, that's all that should matter.

 

all this unwarranted emphasis on the camera's capabilities is detracting from the actual photography itself. i think too many people are just too obsessed about pixel peeping these days with digital photography, when they should just go out and shoot. ultimately, it's all about the person behind the camera.

 

me, as long as the camera doesn't get in my way of getting the pictures i want, i'll be more than happy with it.

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That's the thing that bugs me too. They are comparing there how many frames per second, 20 ms faster AF, this, that. I have shot with scale focussing cameras with a handheld Voigtlaender lightmeter with selenium cells from the 1950's and still got pictures.

 

These features are just not important.

 

BTW, now that I have a camera with short flange distance, I can use my old Konica Hexanon lenses on the M. But they all have fungus (I didn't keep them in dry box). I'll be having this beauty cleaned...

DSC02381_zps8a2f445c.jpg

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So. As I was saying. Ok.

 

So I was looking at The Armoury tumblr and all of a sudden fucking moment I saw this.

tumblr_mz6zwccRRD1qad1efo1_1280.jpg

 

Jesus christ, I said. I have been taking pics for essentially forever, but never managed to get something like this. A bunch of Armoury fan cheongs did it. How?

 

Then I looked at the next pic on their tumblr...

tumblr_mz6zy2YQwT1qad1efo1_1280.jpg

 

And I said to myself, jesus christ, this is not real.

 

I almost never download pics to look at the EXIF data. In fact, I don't remember the last time I did it.

 

But I just did. I wanted to know what they did to get pics like that.

 

Answer?

 

Leica M Monochrom.

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This is going to sound bizarre, but I saw the above pic on another website today. But I forgot which website.

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the exact same picture? that would be quite bizarre, considering that i've not put this picture up anywhere online before this. but then again, i think this isn't an unusual perspective for photographers who visit pasar siti khadijah.

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It always bugs me that in the world of non/semi-professional photography, people emphasize way to much on the equipment as a means of getting better pics. And I don't mean comparing 1950s equipment to current stuff. I'm referring to people who upgrade their Nikon/Canon DSLRs every time a new model comes out, stating that the improved-this, faster-that, and higher-whatnot will give them better photos. My reply is always, 'If your pics suck now, they will still suck on your new equipment'.

 

On to the Eos M. My brother got one a few weeks back. What surprised me most was the low-light sensitivity. Night-time and indoor non-flash photography really is an option with this camera. I have a Nikon D40, and the slow, 3-point AF has never bugged me. 

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Three-point AF is all I would need. Most of the new cameras are overspec'd for my needs -- the EOS M has 18 MP -- 10 MP too many, so I normally shoot at reduced resolution. The one aspect I need more of is high ISO quality, to have a camera that can shoot in the dark. The other feature that is still a bottleneck is image stablization.

 

I'm quite in love with the EOS M. It's such a polished tool.

 

I got the EF-S 60/2.8 a few days ago. My gawd, it's such a stellar lens. It makes all my other lenses look mushy and incompetent.

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Most who live in towns and cities never really get to see a starry night sky. I really only noticed what I was missing when I started living in the country. From out of my balcony, it's pitch dark at night because if a lack of civilization and the accompanying lights: from street lamps, houses, shops, and cars. In towns, this ambient artificial light makes the stars in the sky difficult to see.

 

The stars remain hidden even when you gaze upwards because of the contrast-reducing stray light from around you.

 

Hoods on lenses increase image contrast by blocking stray, non-image forming light from entering the lens. Hoods are however cumbersome--most are large and protrude forwards a great deal. But here's a relatively compact, effective solution on my 35/2. image_zps36bec6cc.jpg

 

I saw this hood in a Sony shop ...

image_zpsbc286355.jpg

 

..and borrowed the idea. Executed in card on my ef-m 22/2.

image_zps18a0d67f.jpg

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my main concern with light pollution would actually be in the context of getting star trail pictures.

 

to date, i have only one semi-success with getting a star trail picture.
 

that sure seems like an elegant solution to cumbersome hoods, though i think you would still require the conventional hood for wide angle lenses.

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