This page points to all recent articles published on dslrbodies.com, sansmirror.com, gearophile.com, and filmbodies.com, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll be sporadic at best in posting to this site. Several key products will be announced while I’m otherwise occupied, but I’ll catch up with them by March 23rd, when things should return to normal.
Also: Last Call for physical books. We plan to close the physical goods store on April 15th. That means that Nikon J1/V1, D40/D40x, D50, D60, D80, D700, D5000, D5100, and D3/D3s/D3x books will no longer be available in CD or printed form. Of these books, I only will be moving the D700 and D3/D3s/D3x books to downloadable, update-able forms. So if you think you want the physical product for any of those books, please check out the While Supplies Last page for discount pricing, and order between now and April 14th.
Related to that, on April 15th I’ll also be announcing how I’ll be doing books in the future, as well as launching some new downloadable books.
Latest Articles (Thursday February 26, 2015):
Gray Getting More Visible. Gray market products just keep pushing pricing boundaries and catching the attention of possible DSLR buyers. I’m seeing deals that are in the 30-40% off Nikon’s MAP pricing on a lot of products now. Article on dslrbodies.com.
February 24, 2015 Articles
Olympus officially released the 3.0 firmware update for the E-M1 camera, which adds AF tracking in continuous high shooting modes.
February 23, 2015 Articles
The Big Problem You Didn’t Have. I’m closing in on a thousand fairly long email responses to the what’s your big problem article. You know what absolutely none of you said was your biggest problem? Article on dslrbodies.com.
Understanding Numbers, Japan Edition. Updated: added Pentax and Fujifilm, fixed market share numbers. Each year, BCN in Japan reports year-end market shares for various categories of computer, consumer electronics, and camera retail sales in Japan. Article on sansmirror.com.
Samsung NX1 Review. The NX1 is Samsung’s top-of-the-line camera. In a large DSLR-style package, Samsung has put together quite a few bits and pieces that immediately spark interest to anyone looking at a spec sheet. Article on sansmirror.com.
February 20, 2015 Articles
Your Homework Assignment Reviewed and Graded. Recently I asked all of you to send me the biggest problem you needed solving. I stopped counting after a couple hundred responses. And there are so many responses it would take me awhile to carefully group and tally them correctly. Instead, I’m going to tackle what you wrote a bit more informally. Caution: very long article, several rants, some tongues in cheeks: Article on dslrbodies.com.
February 16, 2015 Articles
Nikon February Lens Rebates. As usual, before I present an affiliate link you can use to help this site, I'm going to tell you what you should think of each of the deals. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Homework Assignment. What’s the biggest problem you face with your photography and what would solve it? Article on dslrbodies.com.
Engineer/Management Interviews Tell me Nothing. Every trade show and most camera introductions provoke a series of “interviews” with various high-level executives and engineers. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Previous articles can be found in the Articles Index.
Thom's Monthly Teaching Point — Dumb Luck
I developed this one on my uncalibrated laptop, so it might be a little off in tonality/color.
So you travel to an exotic place and you end up at the hotel and…the view is the wrong direction to get star trails around the point of interest, there’s a fairly bright moon out most of the night, and the weather is moving in and likely to make your work for naught, anyway.
Heh, heh, heh. When has all that stopped me?
Most of Patagonia is heated too hot and you don’t have a thermostat you can control, so I tend to sleep with my window open. Why not stick a camera out and see what I get? So I set the camera to do really long exposures at long intervals (I think it was ten minute shots, as the whole goal was to assemble as few star trails shots together to get a full set of trails.
I can generally sleep through anything, even my camera clicking away at regular intervals, so it wasn’t until morning that I had any idea whether I had captured anything useful. This is the fifth frame in. There are others that are interesting, too. It seems the clouds and stars were dancing against each other all night, and the moon provided plenty of exposure on the peaks.
Even with film I probably would have tried the experiment, though with only 36 exposures to a roll I probably would have used even longer exposures. But with digital what’s the reason not to? It doesn’t cost anything other than a bit of time to set things up, and a bit more time to evaluate how things turned out. Sometimes you learn interesting things. First thing I learned on these shots was how dirty my sensor was ;~). I noticed a couple of star trails that were interrupted. By what? Dust. The second I noticed was the “energies” in the motion of the stars and clouds. I hadn’t really thought about which direction the clouds were moving relative to the stars. These days I do.
Is it a great shot?
No, but it’s a very interesting shot. One that has prompted me to set up my camera for nighttime serenades pretty much any time there’s anything interesting outside my window. Funny thing is, the very best shot I got by playing the dumb luck card (guided by previous experiments and observations, of course) was when I got real sick on a trip and just stayed in bed during the day. But every time I got up to use the bathroom or get some water, I’d double-check the camera and make sure that there was plenty of card space and battery life left and that nothing had gotten disturbed. That 36-hour marathon managed to capture an awesome sunset, a rainbow at sunrise, a full moon overlooking and lighting the scene, and a lot more.
One of the great things about digital cameras is that you can get feedback far quicker. Don’t know how to expose for the above shot? Wait until it’s dark, then try an exposure. Wrong? Try a different exposure.
I’m not afraid to experiment. I like it when reality throws me a surprise. I don’t learn if I keep doing the same thing the same way in the same place all the time.
If you're wondering where the previous Teaching Points went, they're here.