Mirrorless Cameras (MILC) and Lenses

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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There's a switch in mentality toward wanting to take the photos that create personal personal satisfaction and the commitment to having something on hand to take those photos vs. using the object of convenience. So many people are just going to take that path of least resistance.

I have a collection of very attractive young women who like and want me to take the photos I take and I have access to photograph events on occasions where most people would not be allowed a camera, so I usually have at least one of my camera bodies on hand, even if it's just a crappy old Lumix GF2 or my Akaso Brave 6. Once I decided I'm going to keep at least something on my person most of the time, I literally forget that my phone is also a camera.
 

LunarMist

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There's a switch in mentality toward wanting to take the photos that create personal personal satisfaction and the commitment to having something on hand to take those photos vs. using the object of convenience. So many people are just going to take that path of least resistance.

I have a collection of very attractive young women who like and want me to take the photos I take and I have access to photograph events on occasions where most people would not be allowed a camera, so I usually have at least one of my camera bodies on hand, even if it's just a crappy old Lumix GF2 or my Akaso Brave 6. Once I decided I'm going to keep at least something on my person most of the time, I literally forget that my phone is also a camera.
What is the business model or is it TFP equivalent in modern era?
 
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LunarMist

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The R5 has some defect with seeing and focusing well on eyes with highly red body. AF consistently sucks well beyond random chance compared to similar subjects in other colors or neutrals. :(
 

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What is the business model or is it TFP equivalent in modern era?

Some people pay me and some people don't. I've sat down and taught people lighting and photo processing (please shoot in raw. Yes, even on your phone). Also, digital marketing, storage organization and even just an explanation for how to use the most relevant platforms for the kind of content on offer. It's harder than it sounds, especially for people who are mobile device natives.

Lessons cost money. My rule with photography is that the bare minimum is that it shouldn't cost ME anything, but I know someone who lets me use their small empire of unoccupied AirBNBs, which helps a lot, but if someone is trying to get started and has nothing to offer, I will do it just for fun. That usually means they have to let me screw around with lighting setups for a while.

Sometimes I'll do a flat-out boudoir session. I charge for those since the expected outcome is usually prints and there is a material cost to that.

Finally, I charge for videography and video editing, because that's never an auto-pilot task. It's one thing to point a camera at someone but it's very different to color grade across multiple cameras and to have the right mics and lighting for the task at hand. The people willing to pay are absolutely making a living from those videos and also realize what a massive PITA editing can be. Two people are giving me several hundred dollars a month each for my help in that area, which definitely feeds my giant hard drive addiction.
 

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One of my clients is a starting YouTuber. Managing their social media has been fun. We collaborate on her talking points and scripts, review and manage viewer engagement. They shoot the video and I do all the editing, production, uploading etc. 3x 20 minute videos and 4x shorts per week. Currently gaining 500 subscribers a week. It is quite lucrative.
 

LunarMist

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The IQ requirements for U-Tubes are rather limited and there are plenty of cameras for that purpose.
I'm sure that the Google is making billions from it, though I don't watch the programs normally.
 

LunarMist

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Some people pay me and some people don't. I've sat down and taught people lighting and photo processing (please shoot in raw. Yes, even on your phone). Also, digital marketing, storage organization and even just an explanation for how to use the most relevant platforms for the kind of content on offer. It's harder than it sounds, especially for people who are mobile device natives.

Lessons cost money. My rule with photography is that the bare minimum is that it shouldn't cost ME anything, but I know someone who lets me use their small empire of unoccupied AirBNBs, which helps a lot, but if someone is trying to get started and has nothing to offer, I will do it just for fun. That usually means they have to let me screw around with lighting setups for a while.

Sometimes I'll do a flat-out boudoir session. I charge for those since the expected outcome is usually prints and there is a material cost to that.

Finally, I charge for videography and video editing, because that's never an auto-pilot task. It's one thing to point a camera at someone but it's very different to color grade across multiple cameras and to have the right mics and lighting for the task at hand. The people willing to pay are absolutely making a living from those videos and also realize what a massive PITA editing can be. Two people are giving me several hundred dollars a month each for my help in that area, which definitely feeds my giant hard drive addiction.
But who is buying the videos and what are they for? I'm assuming it is some kind of advertising or vanity projects, not documentaries, and I never hear you talk avout scripted programs.

How long do you keep the videos after production? Keep it to one year per contract and then free up a lot of hard drive space. Or if they want longer, then make them pay more.
 

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My friends take off their clothes for money, Lunar. I've had an association with a strip club that was technically one of my first jobs, and that trust has held and been applied to years of people who have worked there since. My dearest friends now are or were dancers. Some of them have other adults-only occupations as well.

There are services that match the supply to the demand in this area; Onlyfans, Fansly, Manyvids et al. During the Pandemic I was making almost as much helping them as I was from my salaried job. I do more traditional photography work as well, so maternity and engagement pictures and even graduations are also fairly common, but as with so many things, prurient is profitable. Except weddings, but weddings are the literal worst thing.

I do have a contract for work and for terms. It basically says that the person or people who pay me for work have ownership of any output I create on their behalf, but that I reserve the rights to store, keep and exhibit for no profit in a private setting (e.g. to show samples of my work to others) anything that was produced with my equipment.

Storage isn't really an issue for me. I can always bring more drives online. I actually operate an OwnCloud for anyone who cares to use it. I found out that keeping lots of media content on 250GB Macbooks or 128GB phones often means losing access to data for people who aren't ever really taught what files are, which is apparently most people under about age 30 at this point. I have an account expiration set, so they have to log in once every six months. Even then, I don't delete their stuff. They just can't sign in until I reset their password.

And, uh, yes, sometimes I make things that do involve a script. The word "stepsister" gets used a lot in those.
 

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The IQ requirements for U-Tubes are rather limited and there are plenty of cameras for that purpose.
I'm sure that the Google is making billions from it, though I don't watch the programs normally.
YouTube Q4 2022 was $7.96B in revenue
 

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I was in Chicago yesterday due to a rare occurrence of decent, sunny weather in February. My roommate and I were walking around with cameras. She likes to collect old video games and vintage clothes ("vintage" for her definitely means things people were wearing when I was about 10), so we were in and out of all sorts of random shops in Wrigleyville and Boystown.

The proprietor of a game shop saw our gear and pulled out a Sony A6000. No lens, but it did turn on and I was able to see that it could read its storage card. He offered it to me for $220 (he said $250. I said $200. We compromised). I can't believe how tiny it is compared to my Canons. I ordered an EF to E adapter and a new battery for it. It might wind up being a nice pocket camera if nothing else.
 

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I really do like the Sony mirrorless stuff. The autofocus for video is great, and the low-light is excellent. Considering the next gen of A7 whenever that comes out.
 

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I
I really do like the Sony mirrorless stuff. The autofocus for video is great, and the low-light is excellent. Considering the next gen of A7 whenever that comes out.

I think Canon has really pulled ahead on autofocus, at least comparing an A7r4 to an R6 or R7. The R6 is particularly strong in low light; I use one in a, uh, nightclub all the time.

Canon reproduces skin colors in a pleasing fashion. Sony's colors skew to slightly bluish and washed out which IMO means they need more color processing to look good.

I'd definitely suggest renting the cameras in your price range before you buy another one. It's worth $200 to try out a body and a 24-70 on a couple systems for a weekend.

My one complaint about Canon currently is that there's no sign of authorized third party RF lenses. Nearly all my best lenses right now are EF mount Sigma Art series. I don't mind my camera being heavy but it is annoying that I have to keep track of my EF lens adapters between two camera bags and two main bodies
 

LunarMist

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Canon reds are notorious. Ideally you should create your own profiles.
A7R IV was horrid for noise. Maybe the a7R V is better, but my old a7R III was just decent at 42MP.
 

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Speaking of color processing, since almost no one makes presets for Capture One, I use a commercial application to take either Lightroom Presets or LUTs used by Resolve and Luminar, among others, to Styles that C1 can use. As a bonus, I get to apply the same color processing for video the same as photos. I got an absolute ton of LUTs through a Humble Bundle purchase a couple years ago. Most of them are useless, but the ones that that replicate the particulars of well known film stock are wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of variation in monochrome film looks in particular.
 

LunarMist

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R8 and 24-50, really? :( The R8 is 50% more expensive than the RP but with fewer controls. It's like they crappified the R6 II. You have to spend $60 for a tiny battery that lasts only a short time.
 

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R8 and 24-50, really? :( The R8 is 50% more expensive than the RP but with fewer controls. It's like they crappified the R6 II. You have to spend $60 for a tiny battery that lasts only a short time.

I think it's an excuse to ditch the R, which is an oddball option that will still be stinking up retail for a while yet, but the R7 is a better deal for the same money almost across the board. I'm glad they finally brought out an EF-S body alternative though. The M50 was an increasingly terrible idea the longer they kept it and they definitely kept it around too long.
 

LunarMist

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Globally the M series was popular and they like dinky stuff in Asia.
IQ will often be better with 24MP FX than 32MP RF-S.
The R8 will be quite popular, but the R10 will have the most sales.
The R and RP are probably out of production already.
 

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M series bodies were so frustrating. It would've been just fine if Canon supported it, but even four years ago, it was on its way out in terms of lens releases. The appeal of the small body and lens is pretty clear but I wound up telling people to look at MFT if they really wanted small. Hard to recommend a dead mount, after all. MFT is probably on life support as well, but at least it is/was broadly supported for ages.

I got a lens adapter for the little A6000. I'm looking forward to giving that thing a test run this evening.
 

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The A6000 can't cut it in a nightclub, even with a Sigma 18-35/1.8 shooting wide open. It was still fun to play with and a nice upgrade from my Lumix GF2 as a small body and it was perfectly fine outdoors even at twilight. It just didn't handle the rapidly changing lighting conditions as well as my R bodies.

My RF35mm lens drives me nuts. It's a relatively fast prime and a native lens for my Canon bodies but out of everything I use, it's consistently the lens most likely to lose focus. My rejection rate on pictures I took with it was roughly four times higher than with the other lenses I took out. It seems to miss focus a lot, even using eye AF. My Sigma lenses can (almost) all be microadjusted via a USB dock but not the Canon one.
 

LunarMist

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I did not know that Canon made a good RF 35mm prime or do you mean that cheap "macro" lens?
Have you tried the EF (Blue-Ray) 35/1.4 MK II with an adapter for better results?
 

LunarMist

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Supposedly the R50 and R10 are the replacements for the Digital Rebels and the M series.
The lowest grade Canon I would consider at this point other than the mission-specific R7 is the R6 II.
However, I'd trade all the cheap stuff for a newer R5 and an R1.
 

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Yes, the RF 35/1.8. I bought it because it was well reviewed and 1.8 is normally fast enough for my needs. Even the quasi-macro is pretty handy to have for shots of objects. Nadia's theory is that it's meant to take pictures of food, which is as good as any. I just don't get why the AF is wonky on it when my some of the EF lenses I have are old enough to drive and nail every shot. If I'm not shooting motion, OK, I use my left thumb on the upper left corner of the screen to correct focus if it's not there, but if my subject is moving, it's the wrong tool for the job. It's not all bad. That lens is fantastic for general purpose video work. Ultrasonic focus motors are our friends.

I've heard the Tamron EF 35mm/1.4 is an excellent lens and a secondhand one would've cost a little less than the RF 35. Shoulda coulda woulda.

I've been pointing to the R10 as a good entry level camera. I was suggesting the RP or Z6 for a long while.

I was definitely messing with red / purple / pink lights shooting at the club Thursday night. I don't notice any particular difficulty with (human) eye AF on my R6.

Interesting strip club fact: Red lights minimize skin blemishes. They also obliterate detail in light skin, which looks weird in photos. Blue lights (usually) make stretch marks vanish, so a lot of the time stage lighting cycles the pink-red-purple-blue range. Approximately white lights are extremely unforgiving, so you'll almost never see those anywhere in a club.
 
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LunarMist

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Considering your line of work, why are you using Canon rather than Sony for example?
 
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Considering your line of work, why are you using Canon rather than Sony for example?

I already had EF lenses from the 5D I had been using. Granted that most of them are Sigma rather than Canon, but the only thing Sigma really gives me to complain about is weight. Their optics are excellent. That predisposed me to stick with Canon, even if I'd need an adapter to use them on anything new anyway.

I did rent the A7r4 and didn't love it. About a week later, Canon announced the R5 and R6. The R6 had the features I most wanted and was substantially cheaper than the alternatives.
 

LunarMist

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I tried the a7r4 as well and found it too damned noisy, not to mention that AF was rather weak with the 200-600. That was not long before pandemonium ensued and South America and Africa were cancelled. :(
 

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The thing I dislike about Sony is screwy the control interface is. Sometimes touch works and sometimes not. Canon cameras more or less work along the same intuitive lines as operating a mobile device, and it's pretty straightforward to operate it with the hard controls or the display. Sony involves more guessing. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other, and I really can't tell why some things are the way they are. How do Sony cameras not have pinch to zoom?
 

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I find that S*ny sucks 8 different ways, but you like those generic party lenses. :) The most ridiculous part is that they don't make a 500/4 or a single tilt-shift lens. :eek:

I've had so many problems with Sigmas lenses for over 30 years, it's just awful. Ever had a lens that was held together inside with adhesive tape that disintegrated? That would be a Sigma. Ever had a lens where the silver coating oxidized badly - that would be a Sigma. Ever have a lens where one side was extra soft - that would be a Sigma. Ever had a lens where the AF died after three weeks of use and the warranty repair ruined the lens so I had to pay for it - that would be Sigma. The only Sigma I had that is still interesting is the 150/2.8 macro because nobody else ever made that focal length.
 

LunarMist

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The thing I dislike about Sony is screwy the control interface is. Sometimes touch works and sometimes not. Canon cameras more or less work along the same intuitive lines as operating a mobile device, and it's pretty straightforward to operate it with the hard controls or the display. Sony involves more guessing. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other, and I really can't tell why some things are the way they are. How do Sony cameras not have pinch to zoom?
Did Canon make power zoom SLR lenses years ago? IIRC Minolta had some motor-zoomers but I did not start using Canon until 2000 (after the 1999 IS big teles changed the game).
 

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I've had absolutely zero problems with Sigma Art or Sport lenses. In fact, I found that I like Sigma's 50/1.4 better than the melted-butter soft Canon EF 50/1.2 and the Sigma Sport EF 70-200/2.8 more than the Canon L version (FREELY admitting the RF L version is lust-worthy though). I know and fully believe Sigma and Tamron were el cheapo problem children in the 80 and 90s, just like I remember people in the late 70s complaining about crappy Japanese cars. It seems to me that Sigma and Tamron, like Toyota and Honda, got their act together.

One other thing I do like and appreciate about my set of Sigma lenses: They're pretty much all 77 or 82mm diameter filter threading. I put an 82mm adapter ring on everything and just use the same lens cap all the time. It's a small thing, but also one less thing to think about. I have a real fondness for Tiffen and Moment filters, especially for black mist diffusion. It looks really cool when shooting video.

Also: I still haven't forgiven Sony for the DVD Burner debacle of 20 years ago, either.
 

LunarMist

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And I don't forgive Sigma from years ago. My 120-300/2.8 and 300/2.8 were the worst and nobody wanted them used.
Since my lenses are all on Canon, one of the issues is that there are no lens profiles in DPP. Maybe DXO has them for some lenses but DXO is poor for conversions that require enhancements.
 

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I can only respect the corporate grudge. Fatwa on all the bastards.

It makes sense that would be an issue with DPP, but I've never considered using it. I remember some precursor Canon camera software that wanted to keep had data somewhere under Program Files YEARS after user directories were standardized in Windows and I've been wary ever since.

Capture One didn't have ICC profiles for R bodies when i first got my R6, but it does know every lens I threw at it, and bodies have been added in updates.

Adobe stuff didn't get a camera profile for R bodies for almost a year after the R5/6 launched, either.
 

LunarMist

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DPP doesn't leave any weird files. It's not like that awful LR database and the sidekcik files. :(
None of the programs are good at corrections as DPP. Even DXO, which supposedly has some deconvolution processing per lens, was disappointing with some of the Canon zoom lenses. Most people don't use DPP because it's not an end-to-end processing soltution, so too slow for most work, especially if it is low margin.
 

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This is another one of those "long memory" things, but Canon used to package a gallery and light editing cool with cameras in the Win98/NT4 days that didn't put things under Pictures in My Documents. It was a big source of irritation for me because the only other software I regularly saw doing that were Intuit applications.

My roommate's standard workflow seems to be to run whatever she has through Adobe's DNG converter before moving things in to Lightroom/Photoshop. I'm not sure why she does that. She said it's just what she was taught to do.
 

LunarMist

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I wouldn't know. IIRC in the 1990s you had to buy a Kodak DCS series to get a Canon EOS mount on a digital camera and mostly newspapers and news orgs owned them. Canon did not have FF until Thanksgiving 2002 and I got one 1Ds around March of the next year. I found some download of Canon Utilities RAW Image Converter 2. I was using Breeze about a week after the purchase so the Canon programs must have been useless. ;) The date of DPP 1.00 is about a year later in 2004. However, DPP didn't do very much until v 3.
 

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I believe the cameras with the software in question were Powershots or their predecessors rather than DSLRs.

I do have a Kodak DC290 kicking around my place somewhere. It's definitely an antique at this point, but I recall it smoking the image quality of early smartphone cameras. Turns out, it had a 7.2x5.5mm sensor that's probably around 50% larger than what a phone would probably had, even if the phones had a much higher sample rate over their sensor than the Kodak.
 

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A tool I like and use a lot is Optyx, which uses AI to help me cull my photos. I bought my copy of Optyx 1.0 just days before it transitioned to a subscription product with the 2.0 release. It keeps me from agonizing over facial expressions and which photos represent the best lighting in a series and it really does save me a lot of time in editing.

Optyx apparently lost access to its 1.0 registration system, which has kept me from using it for the last few weeks. I haven't been using their software because I didn't want to move to the subscription version, but they just sent me an email to say that I've been granted a lifetime license to the 2.0 version. I was honestly bracing to hear that I'd have to switch to the subscription version but they actually did the most best thing they could have for me.

Optyx and Topaz DeNoise are really the two products that take care of my biggest photo editing needs. I'm sure I can apply a LUT or Look or Preset using whatever digital developer, but running my workflow through Optyx first saves me a crap-ton of time in culling and Topaz DeNoise takes care of almost everything my raw developing tools don't. Topaz is a bit fussy, but when it can use a GPU, it works in ~8 seconds/photo, so I don't mind playing with it.
 

LunarMist

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Topaz DeNoise maybe become EOL. There has been practically no development on it in nearly a year.
Topaz is pushing hard for the PhotoAI, which contains the functionality of several of their programs. Unfortunately it is more expensive and controls are currently primitive because they want it to be easy to use. I'm not convinced that people will spend $200 for a tool that is so amateurish.
 

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Denoise is the only one of the tools I use. I don't even have PhotoAI installed. I paid for an extra year of updates and we'll see if that's worthwhile.
 
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