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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dream machine....

Pentax have just announced their new 645Z second generation digital 645 medium format (MF) DSLR (the first was the 645D).  50 mega pixel beast, utilizing the same CMOS censor used in the Hasselblad and Phase One MF cameras that sell for 3 to 4 times the cost.  Pentax, however, have the advantage of manufacturing mainstream APS-C DSLRs and are able to utilize much of the technology in their MF cameras.  Just as the K7 technology migrated to the 645D, you will find much of the K3 in the 645Z, including the weather and cold proofing features.  This makes for a good field camera but MF of any kind also works for a studio camera.  Other MF manufactures don't have that advantage so must amortize R&D costs over a much smaller manufacturing run. 

Still, at $8500 for the body, and you would need about 5 or 6 lenses running from $2000 to $5000 each, makes member ship in the 645 club not cheap.   I keep buying those lottery tickets however, so one can dream.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cottonwood Island

I had so many comments about this image, which I used as my cover image on Facebook, that I thought I would post it here.  Many thought the image looked painterly, but here is what I did in post.  First I cropped it from a 3/2 to a 16/9 aspect ratio to remove a lot of the foreground of gravel and rocks.  I then removed some minor elements that were a major distraction because they entered the frame from outside the image, or were too bright; nothing important, just flotsam and some too bright windfall.  I then played with the dynamic contrast and saturation but brushed out the contrast adjustments on the yellow leaves on the bushes, as that was too strong.  I also toned down the green grass area as it was too bright and green.  By desaturating it, I introduced some yellow which better tones in with the overall image.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snow and Ice

I recently upgraded my Perfect Photosuite software to Version 8.  This version's Perfect Effects has a dynamic contrast filter that does a great job on sharpening and I played with it on a few photos taken in 2007. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Maple leafs

We have a maple tree in our back yard, however, these leaves are from my neighbour's tree in his front yard.  All images shot with a Pentax K7.  I used my DA* 300mm f/4.0 lens for the three images with the leaves still on the tree, and a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for the leaf frozen in ice.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frost and leaves

I picked up my new Pentax K3 camera on Friday and played with it a bit to learn the new control layout.  Pentax have changed the interface quite a bit from their previous models.  Here are a couple of images shot with the new camera.  These were taken at ISO 800 and hand held although normally I would choose to use a tripod, these were just experimenting with the camera.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New K3 will shake up the market...

Pentax, in the days of film, was a family owned business and didn't have the financial resources of Nikon or Canon.  Regardless, they were known for technical innovation and the LX was arguably the best manual focus 35mm SLR ever built.  It was in continuous production for over 20 years.  However, they lost their way for a while with auto focus and digital cameras and became something of a minor player. 

Today, the Pentax brand is owned by imaging giant Ricoh and while recent models, like the K7 and K5, were arguably as good as any APS camera out there, the new K3, which is the first new model since the Ricoh acquisition, trumps them all.  Here is an excerpt from Imaging Resource's preview of the new K3 commenting on the use of the built in SR mechanism to simulate the effect of an AA filter, which has been removed:

 "It's not often that we label an imaging technology "revolutionary", but if ever one deserved to be called such, this is it. It's a fundamentally different approach to anti-aliasing, and one that appears to have surprisingly few downsides associated with it. For the first time ever, there's a camera on the market that lets the end-user decide when they want a low-pass filter, and when they don't, with little apparent penalty regardless of their choice. And it was Pentax that brought it to us."

There are many other new and improved features, in fact though the basic body style looks similar,  this is essentially an entirely new camera.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

onOne Software

This company publish Perfect Photo Suite, photo editing software.  Essentially a group of editing tools that allow you to do things like change background, such as the sky, to a series of editing tools that are really presets but that allow you to modify the effect either globally or selectively.

Here is an image that was edited in Photo Effects 7 (8 is on the way) and had about 7 or 8 layers of effects.  This stump is across from the driveway access to our cabin at Crystal Lake, just north of Prince George.