The Startech device is eSATA connected to my PC and configured as a classic RAID 1 mirrored pair. RAW files are transferred to the device as soon as I get home and the RAWs are processed in DXO Optics Pro and TIFFS (or JPEGs) are then output to my working drive; these files are not generally backed up because they can be regenerated at any time from the original RAW. DXO generates a file which records the steps of any processing done and the software automatically applies the setting when you open the RAW again (you can of course amend or reset). The RAW file remains unchanged.
The only advice I've got is that we simply have to get a proper handle on BACKUP. As an IT professional, I have seen too many horror stories even to the point where Clients have faced ruin having failed to administer proper backup procedures. Clearly, that doesn't apply to us non proffessional Photogs but none of us would be happy to lose our images, I'm sure; think of the earwigging you'd get from your SO if you lost all those baby pics!! It's not that expensive either, the setup I've described (Startech + 2x 2TB drives) will only set you back around £200. In the past I've spent zillions on film processing and prints that are no longer necessary; swings and roundabouts, I guess.
So, I got my hands on a Mamiya 645DM with a 28MP Back. Wow... a whole 4MP more that the SONY α850/α900.
Okay, it's a change. :p
Like SONY is with the α850, Mamiya does not sell this particular model camera anymore, either. It was only out for about a year! Who do they think they are? Canon? OMG, did a season change? Should be a new Canon. Okay, I know, I know... SONY has a new starter camera for every day of the week.
Bearing that in mind... what are some of the rather salient points of using this camera over the Full Frame SONYs, you ask?
Well, if inflexibility is important to you, this thing is pretty inflexible. For one thing, obvious untethered use must have been a large sticking point, because this $20,000 camera (LAST YEAR) does not have an AC Adapter for the camera body or the digital back. Everything is battery and they must be recharged regularly (I'm talking "shoot interrupting" rates, here). The camera body uses 6x "AA" and the digital back uses a separate and rather large rechargeable cell pack.
Now, I haven't shot any side-by-sides with this camera, as I am still getting used to the layout, but I also only have on 2.8/80mm lens on it... which shoots an equivalent 50mm-looking shot on the 35mm Full Frame. By comparison to the 35mm style lenses, these Medium Format lenses are close to 3-6x the cost of the standard 35mm ones.
Apparently, for $28,000, these days, you can get a 56MP/645. Double the resolution density. These style cameras just seem to be quite a bit harder to work with, ergonomically. The digital back's menu system is "touch screen" on the rear, which they provide a stylus for. The viewfinder is very spartan, with no obvious metering.
The use of this beast is an education unto itself. To me, it seems almost "regressive" in light of the convenience to be found in SONY's Full Frames. I may just blow this one off... and stick with what seems to work just fine.
One of the crusades I got involved with, here at school, was how to eliminate the unsightly tattoos that now adorn the current generation of young people. I mean, it's like they all ran out and got these things for whatever reason and are effectively made themselves useless as "clean" models. It is like a plague of sorts, turning our young people into permanent advertising canvases. C'mon... just say it, already... "It is a Photoshop editing nightmare!"
There you have this beautiful bride, looking absolutely adorable and endearing, in her $$$$ wedding dress. She turns to the right, and crawling on her shoulder is a portion of some unreadable spiel she had placed there in memory of "Tuffy," her playful kitten who got run over by freight train bound for Schenectady, NY. Look, I realize people have their "reasons," at the time, and that they are motivated to do certain things that may lack the clarity of wisdom and age. Good lord, let's hope so. Unfortunately, when you do it with "body ink"... you have made your mark, forever, and the mind of fourteen-year-old is not that of a twenty-something.
Then, again... makes you wonder: "what's eatin' 'em?"
As a photographer, all I see is an unparalleled mess to clean up with editing, pasting and hours of wasted nonsense. The mother of the bride watching, over yuour shoulder, as you try to produce a "clean" image of the child she gave birth to. Not some Art Deco painting gone nuts. Yeah, maybe they are paying for it, but it is still an annoyance of unlimited magnitude.
So... I asked one of my make-up associates what there was out there that could temporarily solve this issue and make life... a bit less "interesting." Give me a boring, undecorated back any day! Have camera, will make do. If I want it decorated... I can ADD a heck of lot easier than subtracting and color matching.
So, here it is ... the link so your work won't stink.
Kryalon Tattoo Cover up
Today was an interesting day at the “Photography School,” because I got into several ad hoc discussions concerning what some new students found important and had not apparently been addressed by any of the main camera manufacturers. I also felt compelled to add my experiences and ideas on the subject.
Having all manufacturers have built-in the camera “RF-control” (ratio and sequence timing) of remote electronic flash units (ala the SONY HVL-F42 & SONY HVL-F58, or Canon 430EX II & 580EX II, or Nikon SB-700 & SB-900 Speedlight-type flashes). Simply eliminate or augment IR-control for the much more reliable RF-control.
On the SONY, coupled with Full Frame’s “intelligent preview,” this would allow the camera user a visual idea of the flash output and the eventual image, with every light control feature of the camera, without having to mess around with the seemingly difficult methods currently in use and available from the HVL-F58 (depending on which camera body you use it on). By having the control generated from inside each different camera body and “radioed” to the various flash units, it totally eliminates the need for a “hot shoe” type of transmission method.
Canon and Nikon have addressed this with IR “Commanders”, the Canon ST-E2 and the Nikon SU-800. Nice, but still unnecessarily InfraRed. Again, build this functionality inside the camera, controlled directly by the camera, as an RF-addition.
It is just embarrassing to have IR flash failures, in this day and age, just because you happened to reposition the camera or having EXCEEDED THE DISTANCE THE “IR” CAN TRANSMIT. Forget the Sun being at issue. RF offers total relief from such impractical nonsense.
Ratio control would be a dream if you could simple move a graduated “slider” on your camera’s menu for each of addressed flashes you are using. Imagine as many as six different flash units which you can either simultaneously trigger… or with some delay which you would specify in the camera’s flash menu, actually “light paint” with by allowing any one (or more) flash to go off in a pre-programmed sequence… with one press of the shutter. The combinations would be almost unlimited.
Universal adoption by all camera manufacturers of this kind of flash control would virtually eliminate confusion and capability. Every camera could do it and all new flash units should enjoy this option of operation, no matter how small.
I shot it twice more... and had no improvement. I changed the distance ... and went to five feet. Again, same result ->OOF
I am figuring, that makes sense... if it is hosed up... it is hosed up everywhere.
I then went for a manual focus... my eye said go... I depressed the shutter release and... voila, it was in crystal clear focus. WHat in the heck is a $4000 camera body AF-system doing OOF? It is freaking me out. As far as I can determine, there is no "Micro Adjust" on this bad boy, therefore, it is supposed to be spot-on. But, it's not. :mad:
So, now I have to get it in for adjustment/repair. This is not my camera, I did not buy it... I am only evaluating it and have no idea where to get service without being soaked. I suppose the smart money says, "Give it back to the school and let them figure it out." Problem is, if it is out of warranty, it may never get fixed. :rolleyes:
Doggone it... I really was looking forward to using it, THIS quarter.
Take a look... BUFF
I wrote to Paul Buff and suggested/recommended the addition of a firmware modification to his equipment that would allow for a DELAY feature for each of the 16-channels he currently has designed in the "Cyber Commander." With such a modification, you could have different flashes going off in a varied sequence, allowing you to actually light paint with a longer exposure.
I have heard nothing back from their company, but the suggestion is out there and if it were me, I would make the addition and offer it as an option to my current customer as a Version-type advancement. Call it "added value" of your existing system, just for argument.
I may just sell my current 750W strobes and go for this new set up... if he adopts my suggestion, otherwise... I already have studio strobes with radio (PocketWizard) triggering. The $ has already been spent and these financial "good times" aren't exactly all that great.