Yearly Archives: 2012

My thoughts on the Canon 6d

Canon Announces the Canon EOS 6D DSLR « Canon Rumors:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera, a versatile mid-range full-frame camera with the durability and performance professionals require and the creative imaging options serious photographers crave. Canon has coupled the incredible image quality of a newly designed 20.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ Image Processor with the creative potential of built-in Wireless and GPS features. The camera also includes an 11-point AF array and 63-zone dual-layer iFCL metering sensor together with 1080p Full HD video capabilities, in an affordable camera body. Building upon the qualities that made the EOS 5D Mark II camera so successful, the EOS 6D bridges the gap for budget-minded photographers, videographers and cinematographers who are eager to step up into the world of full-frame imaging.

I’ve been trying to decide what I think about the Canon 6d today. I’m probably the target audience for this body; I love my 7d, I’m clearly in the advanced-amateur or prosumer bucket as far as gear and attitude, and I’ve been thinking that at some point, I’m going to want (“need”) to add a full-frame body to the mix. I’ve thought for a while that going with a 7D for my bird/critter work and a moderately priced full-frame for landscapes, time lapses and video would be a sweet spot for me.

And yet, at first glance, I’m not sure about the 6D. Two things bother me. First, I don’t see the autofocus system as any kind of improvement over the 7D, and perhaps even a bit of a regression. It certainly isn’t the big step forward I was expecting. Second, there have been some significant changes to the how the camera is managed, with fewer buttons on the back and a different set of operations to make the camera behave from the 7D. Both of these seem to be “simplifications” of the unit to help squeeze it into the price point they were aiming for.

I can live with different bodies needing different operational habits (mostly), but I wish camera manufacturers were farther down the path of standardizing this by now. I realize each body has its own quirks and features to support, but when things are in a crunch, having to think through which body requires what button pushing to do whatever can cost you a shot. The AF changes bother me more. That may be a killer for me.

I’m going to wait until the body hits the field and see what folks I trust say about the body overall and the AF response, but right now, I find myself thinking about a 2nd 7d instead of 6d, or biting the bullet and buying a 5dM3.

I guess my reaction is that they more or less hit the price point, but that the feature set just doesn’t impress me. The tradeoffs they made to the rest of the setup to fit in the cost of the full frame sensor just doesn’t seem to create a body I want. Maybe once people start shooting with it and I can rent a body and try it out I might change my mind, but right now, I’m just not sold.

One way to tell you’re maturing as a photographer

I’m convinced one of the more significant tipping points in the maturation of a photographer is when you make that mention shift from “Damn, I only got 20 keepers from my photography today” to “wow! I have two keepers from today’s work!”.

That may seem like a trivial shift in mindset, but I don’t think it is. It’s a combination of a realization that you have a lot of good work in your library already, and an understanding that what you’re trying to do is add better work to it, not just more images. And that it’s okay to decide not to add stuff into your library just because it’s “good enough”. 

Look up the word “cluster” in the dictionary, and you’ll see HP’s logo….

HP’s Smartphone Announcement ‘Soul Crushing,’ Says Matthew McNulty:

But Matthew McNulty, the former senior director of the HP Enyo team, Enyo being the successor to webOS, said he would be surprised if HP used webOS for its new smartphone since many engineers have left the company, including McNulty who departed HP for Google in May.

However, if he still worked at HP, McNulty said the announcement from Whitman would have been devastating.

Matt’s right, and I think he speaks fairly for most webOS/Palm people, current and former.

But I think we need to be careful about trashing Meg here. 

We have to remember that Palm (the company) was a bit of a cluster — and the first phone shipped when it had to, not when it was ready to ship. And Palm was running out of money. And then HP stepped in and turned Palm into a much better funded cluster, and HP really did try to help Palm be successful. Except HP then got sidetracked into its own series of clusters, whether it was Mark Hurd (who along with Shane Robison were the primary supporters behind buying and funding Palm) being forced out over his choice of dinner companions, or HP hiring Leo (WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? OMG, WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?) and Leo trying to blow up any part of HP he didn’t understand, which was big parts of the company. 

So when Meg was brought in, her primary function was as a field surgeon, trying to keep the patient alive long enough to get to the hospital. Massive damage was done to HP and to webOS, and most of the webOS damage was almost of the “innocent bystander at a drive by shooting” type as a side effect of Leo’s attack on the PC division. 

Meg could have just written webOS off and shut it all down as a damaged investment not worth fixing. Given how many much bigger and strategic problems she had at HP when they brought her in, nobody would have blinked at that. But she brought in Marc Andreesen to help her figure out what to do, and they committed even more funding to give it a third life as an open source technology. Whatever you think about Leo, HP and how badly they screwed up things with webOS and Palm, it needs to be remembered that at least a couple of toes were shot off by Palm itself with it’s own gun before Leo pulled out the Uzi.

And in all honesty, Meg has done a rather amazing job of giving WebOS another chance, and has been honest about it. She could have used the “there are just too many bigger problems I need to deal with” excuse and shut it down cold. She could have put it on life support, or funded it just enough to let it fail and then said “I tried”. She could have just stuck it in a closet and quietly killed it a few months later when things quieted down. But she put an honest effort and honest levels of funding into giving it a shot, and she deserves full credit for that. 

And to the credit of the folks sticking it out with webOS (unlike myself, who ran like a rat off the ship when I had a chance to without any regrets…) they seem to be doing what they need to do, and I’ve been really impressed with the results so far. So maybe, just maybe, what Meg set in place will succeed. I’m sure rooting for it. And she deserves credit for that. Given how badly Leo screwed everything up, I’m frankly amazed how much progress she’s made at HP so far. Still a long, hard path for the company as a whole before it’s fixed, if it ever is, but IMHO, it’s in good hands.