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Dear Ski Photographers...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

... no need to tilt your camera angle to make the terrain look steeper.  We can all see the horizon in the background - you're not fooling anyone.  Thanks.

post #2 of 17

What? Don't all trees grow leaning downhill?  :rolleyes

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

What? Don't all trees grow leaning downhill?  :rolleyes


Well, if it's snowy enough, lots of them do. I've found myself straightening a horizon that was already straight because of the trees and then putting it back when I realized all the trees were leaning downhill.

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

... no need to tilt your camera angle to make the terrain look steeper.  We can all see the horizon in the background - you're not fooling anyone.  Thanks.

Busted!  I do this with microsoft office picture manager on almost every photo I post on EpicSki.  But I try to do the rotation so the horizon is level because many times it is tilted in the flat direction.  I shoot on the go with little staging or thought about horizon.  As we all know it is hard to capture steepness in photos and I like to get that if I can after the fact.  Here is one from Jackson Hole that could fit your complaint.  In this case I held the camera unlevel due to hasty snap.  I did not correct the viewing angle and left it falsely steep because if I leveled it I would have had to crop one or more of the humans out of it to come up with a rectangular photo: LL

Of course, I ain't a legit ski photographer.:o 

post #5 of 17

If the horizon is not level it is not as blatant as some I have seen.

 

Nice picture. :) 


Edited by GreyPilgrim - 5/1/15 at 3:36pm
post #6 of 17

You mean like this? Level the horizon on this one and the trees lean uphill.

 

intoTheAbyss.jpg

post #7 of 17
I'm a bigger believer in straightening the trees to vertical that are in the center of the sightline. Sometimes the horizon is a fooler.
Edited by sibhusky - 5/3/15 at 9:43am
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

In a bigger believer in straightening the trees to vertical that are in the center of the sightline. Sometimes the horizon is a fooler.


Yep.  Technically, this is the only reliable way to fix the camera tilt.    Or, as I put it, 'find a vertical in the center of the photo and use it as a guide'.

 

 

            Peter Haley

            news photographer

            The News Tribune

            Tacoma, WA

            (206) 713-5115 c

            peter.haley@thenewstribune.com

            http://tinyurl.com/mhdj9ff

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post
 


Yep.  Technically, this is the only reliable way to fix the camera tilt.    Or, as I put it, 'find a vertical in the center of the photo and use it as a guide'.

 

 

            Peter Haley

            news photographer

            The News Tribune

            Tacoma, WA

            (206) 713-5115 c

            peter.haley@thenewstribune.com

            http://tinyurl.com/mhdj9ff

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

Trees don't always grow straight to the sky in windy areas. The good news is that a lot of new cameras have an electronic level display. THAT doesn't lie. Whether a truly level photo is visually pleasing is another matter. The electronic level display does make things easier when shooting Lake Tahoe while standing on top of a mountain, although tilting the image in post sometimes looks better.

 

 Now that there is so much cool electronic stuff in some DSLRs (sensor star tracking to avoid star trails with long exposures, sensor shifting to greatly increase resolution w/o greatly increasing file size, in-camera shake reduction good for 4.5 stops, etc.), it may be time to upgrade again. Some of this stuff requires a tripod, but WTF.  It is still pretty awesome. Unfortunately, Canon and Nikon are lagging with some of these technological improvements.


Edited by quant2325 - 5/4/15 at 10:25pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

Whether a truly level photo is visually pleasing is another matter. 

 

Yep. The other issue is that sometimes a perfectly level photo, due to the angle items in the image, may give the impression that there's a tilt to the photo that isn't there. It's an optical illusion, but one that you're better off dealing with by tilting the photo off of level, rather than sticking to what was actually level.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

Trees don't always grow straight to the sky in windy areas. The good news is that a lot of new cameras have an electronic level display. THAT doesn't lie. Whether a truly level photo is visually pleasing is another matter. The electronic level display does make things easier when shooting Lake Tahoe while standing on top of a mountain, although tilting the image in post sometimes looks better.

 

 Now that there is so much cool electronic stuff in some DSLRs (sensor star tracking to avoid star trails with long exposures, sensor shifting to greatly increase resolution w/o greatly increasing file size, in-camera shake reduction good for 4.5 stops, etc.), it may be time to upgrade again. Some of this stuff requires a tripod, but WTF.  It is still pretty awesome. Unfortunately, Cannon and Nikon are lagging with some of these technological improvements.

 

Of course, using the electronic level may be difficult or impossible while taking action shots that aren't carefully set up in advance. The sensor shift to synthetically improve resolution (thank you, Ricoh/Pentax) also does not work with action. In-camera shake reduction reduces blur caused by camera shake (although rarely as well as claimed by the camera manufacturer) but doesn't do anything for moving subjects. The Sony Alpha a7 II (full-frame mirrorless) is pretty awesome for a lot of things, but like most mirrorless cameras, it has trouble maintaining focus on moving subjects.

 

Nikon and Canon don't make perfect cameras, to be sure, but if you want to photograph moving skiers, they still make the tools of choice, mostly because of mature phase-detect autofocus systems, optical viewfinders so you can follow action in real time and well-developed lens families. The mirrorless crowd is improving and nipping at their heels, but for action, they're not there yet. The Samsung NX1 is pretty good, but lacks the Canikon lens selection and still doesn't offer real time viewing during continuous burst shooting, which makes it difficult to follow action.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

 

Of course, using the electronic level may be difficult or impossible while taking action shots that aren't carefully set up in advance. The sensor shift to synthetically improve resolution (thank you, Ricoh/Pentax) also does not work with action. In-camera shake reduction reduces blur caused by camera shake (although rarely as well as claimed by the camera manufacturer) but doesn't do anything for moving subjects. The Sony Alpha a7 II (full-frame mirrorless) is pretty awesome for a lot of things, but like most mirrorless cameras, it has trouble maintaining focus on moving subjects.

 

Nikon and Canon don't make perfect cameras, to be sure, but if you want to photograph moving skiers, they still make the tools of choice, mostly because of mature phase-detect autofocus systems, optical viewfinders so you can follow action in real time and well-developed lens families. The mirrorless crowd is improving and nipping at their heels, but for action, they're not there yet. The Samsung NX1 is pretty good, but lacks the Canikon lens selection and still doesn't offer real time viewing during continuous burst shooting, which makes it difficult to follow action.

In terms of image quality for APS-C, Nikon and Canon are now behind the Pentax K-3 II (Pentax typically uses the same SONY sensor as Nikon). Of course, for the typical DSLR buyer it doesn't matter because they will see Nikon when entering COSTCO (see article below) and will never print anything large enough to notice the difference.  In terms of getting most for the money, Pentax is way ahead with the 4.5 stops of in-camera shake reduction, the weatherproofed camera body and lenses, the sensor-shifting technology (the examples are amazing) and the other stuff mentioned in the above posts.

 

Sports? The big knock on Pentax was/is the continuous autofocus, which wasn't as good as Canikon, and the lack of super-telephoto f/2.8 lenses preferred by professional sports photographers who shoot wide open (photo enthusiasts generally can't afford $4,000+ for a super-telephoto lens). For anyone else, the smaller Pentax lens lineup is as good as Cannon and Nikon and fully backwards compatible. Tamron and Sigma have excellent offerings, usually at better prices.  My sports photos are certainly better than any of the local moms or dads shooting soccer, baseball, etc. who shoot Canikon. Why? The Pentax focus is certainly good enough...and I invested in good glass while these people shoot with their kit lenses. The cameras are all good enough, the difference is spending $ on the glass and knowing how to use it.

 

My big knock on Pentax is the slow 1/180 flash sync. and using HSS off camera (you can't go wireless using third-party speed lights), which will likely be fixed with the upcoming full frame.  I'm shooting more HSS daylight portraits of my actor son @ f/2.8 with a 200mm (or faster with my 85mm), and connecting the camera by cable to a softbox is a PITA..  

 

See:  https://fstoppers.com/editorial/new-superhero-could-pentax-k-3-ii-how-nikon-and-canon-are-lagging-behind-and-why-69009 


Edited by quant2325 - 5/4/15 at 10:25pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

In terms of image quality for APS-C, Nikon and Cannon are now behind the Pentax K-3 II (Pentax typically uses the same SONY sensor as Nikon).

This seems debatable, since, as you noted, Nikon and Pentax tend to use the same or similar sensors of Sony design. Both Nikon and Pentax may add some tweaking for their own cameras, though.

 

I was never impressed by the Toshiba sensor in the Nikon D7100, but that seems to have been corrected in the D7200, which is rumored to be a Sony.

 

Canon has some interesting developments in their sensors (on-chip phase detection, in particular), but, in general, Canon seems to be a step behind in IQ at base ISO compared to the Sony family. For many applications, it's not enough difference to matter. The Canon 7D II has some excellent characteristics which make it very useful for sports and wildlife, and which balance out any weaknesses in IQ as far as its proponents are concerned. And there are claims that its high ISO IQ is every bit as good as that offered by the Sony sensors.

 

With all that said, the Pentax K-3 II is an impressive camera. It has excellent build quality, including very good weather sealing (but I wouldn't call it waterproof), excellent IQ and very good ergonomics. It is more compact than the Canikons with which it competes, and it's less expensive as well. It's much less expensive than a Canon 7D II. It sets a bar that both of the big boys should, in my opinion, match. They don't, and that has been the subject of considerable discussion in various on-line forums.

 

So why don't I have one? Several reasons:

1. My DSLR is old. When I bought mine only the first K-5 was available, and it had issues that I didn't like.

2. Nobody where I live handles Pentax, which meant I couldn't handle one, either. I didn't really consider a Sony alpha for the same reason.

3. Pentax, despite promises, has an uncertain future. It has changed hands twice in the last few years, it doesn't make money, and I don't know what Ricoh will do with it.

 

I shoot a Nikon D7000, which is widely considered to have focus problems of its own, but at the time I purchased, Pentax was nowhere close in the focusing-on-moving-things department. I know my next purchase will be influenced by information and reviews regarding the ability of the focusing system (and available lenses) to keep up with moving subjects.

 

As the article you linked noted, none of that makes very much difference. You may not see a K-3 when you go into Costco, but you probably won't see a D7200 or a 7DII either, even though Costco carries the D7200, at least in theory. The buyers in Costco aren't going to get the top focusing system, the full set of direct access controls, or the weather sealed body. To them, a D3300 looks an awful lot like a D5500 which looks like a D7200 or a 70D. Many of them would be better off with something besides a DSLR. The Panasonic FZ1000 comes to mind. Sensor as big as a Nikon CX, adequate (and fairly fast) zoom for local sports, and an innovative autofocus system that apparently works pretty well on moving subjects. All in one and you never have to take the lens off to let the dust into the body. And the thing has a burst rate that most DSLRs can only dream about.

 

So there's my opinion. It's worth nothing, as usual. I'll end with a photo I've posted elsewhere, taken with the D7000 - a sensor that's now two generations old and a focusing system that many view as problematic. It was also taken with a consumer-grade zoom that manages to focus quickly anyway. Not all lenses focus as quickly, and anyone buying a lens by any manufacturer should research this point carefully if they want to shoot action.

 

Anyway, go ahead, click on it. I like to think it's reasonably sharp, despite the old sensor, consumer zoom and crappy autofocus (although, on a computer monitor, you can't really tell). And there's no horizon, so you can't see if I tilted the camera!  :)

 

post #14 of 17

1) Except for GoPro (the most successful camera company in the world and the purpose of this thread), the camera market is in severe decline.  See: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/february-2014-nikon-news/camera-company-financials.html and the new crappy numbers, http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/cipa-numbers-for-first.html

 

2) Smart Phones are the reason for this decline, and they are getting much better. The iPhone 7 may even have some DSLR capabilities. Most people are happy with what they get from a smart phone. The other reason is that a D7100 (now upgraded) or a K-5 at 16MP is good enough for many people, so why upgrade?  I'll likely be done after the next upgrade.

 

3) Pentax is a tiny part of Ricoh.  Ricoh can afford to do whatever they want with the Pentax 2% market share.  If Ricoh wants to go after market share through aggressive pricing (like with the 645z), it can afford to do so. Nikon and Cannon are seeing a big decline in the segment, and are trying to restore profits through acquisitions of medical imaging and other companies.

 

4) The only knock on Canon was the dynamic range, which should now be taken care of through the upcoming sensors.  Sensors don't adhere to Moore's Law, but they keep getting better and better every couple of years. I still think for most of us it really doesn't matter what camera we use since all the new ones are "good enough." I'd love a full frame for bragging rights, but when assembling the family yearbook for printing ever year I'd be just as happy with anything taken with an APS-C or similar.

 

5) This whole conversation is like skis.  On a crappy snow day (when it hasn't snowed for a long while), I can be happy with a 5 or 6 year old (or new) Stockli with a 63mm waist, a Rossi with a 66mm waist, or a Solly, Dynastar, Head, Atomic or whatever. SL or GS, rec. carver...it all works for me. It really doesn't matter since they will all get the job done with the least amount of effort compared to something 40mm wider.  Same thing with cameras.  Most of the iconic photos over the last 100 years were taken on equipment that sucks compared to today's high tech sensors by photographers that maybe used three primes on a regular basis. Newer is better, but the old stuff still works well.

 

6) Nice photo!


Edited by quant2325 - 5/4/15 at 10:25pm
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

1) Except for GoPro (the most successful camera company in the world and the purpose of this thread)

 

Umm... no, not really the purpose of this thread at all.  Doesn't matter what camera it is.

post #16 of 17
Canon, not Cannon. Starting to drive me nuts.
post #17 of 17

Well, we've drifted way off topic here, but it's a fun conversation. This is the sort of discussion frequently undertaken on DPReview, a camera geek forum if ever there was one.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

1) Except for GoPro (the most successful camera company in the world and the purpose of this thread), the camera market is in severe decline.  See: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/february-2014-nikon-news/camera-company-financials.html and the new crappy numbers, http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/cipa-numbers-for-first.html

Absolutely true, except that this thread was about tilting the camera, any camera, not just the GoPro. And frankly, it looks like Nikon could be in for a tough time. Canon, like Ricoh, is huge and makes most of their money doing other things, like selling office machines. Nikon is strictly an imaging company, although they have been big in medical imaging for quite some time.

 

Quote:
2) Smart Phones are the reason for this decline, and they are getting much better. The iPhone 7 may even have some DSLR capabilities. Most people are happy with what they get from a smart phone. The other reason is that a D7100 (now upgraded) or a K-5 at 16MP is good enough for many people, so why upgrade?  I'll likely be done after the next upgrade.

Also true. Smart phones are all most people want. Snap a relatively low quality image and share it instantly. Most Web venues are also relatively low quality, which matches the smart phone paradigm perfectly. Smart phones are getting better, but there are limits on sensor size in a small form factor, and true optical zooms of any length will never fit in your pocket. But maybe if you have a 40 megapixel sensor with IQ only achievable by larger sensors today, the optical zoom doesn't matter. Just crop it in camera and share it. It's a social thing, not an image quality thing. The photographic issues become cultural rather than technical.

 

Quote:
3) Pentax is a tiny part of Ricoh.  Ricoh can afford to do whatever they want with the Pentax 2% market share.  If Ricoh wants to go after market share through aggressive pricing (like with the 645z), it can afford to do so. Nikon and Cannon are seeing a big decline in the segment, and are trying to restore profits through acquisitions of medical imaging and other companies.

Ricoh can, and maybe they will. Hoya decided to give up and sell to Ricoh. Who knows? We should also note that digital greatly increased the market for SLR-type cameras, at least temporarily. Despite the recent decline Canikon still sells more DSLRs (admittedly mostly entry-level) than they ever sold film SLRs. Maybe it's inevitable, especially with the changes in usage patterns brought about by the smart phone, that people would get tired of all the hassle of a DSLR and settle for what they get with a phone. Let's face it, a DSLR is kind of a PITA, and the entry-level buyers will mostly stick them in the closet after a while, except for a few who become enthusiasts. In the meantime, the market for enthusiast and professional cameras is limited - and always has been.

 

Quote:

4) The only knock on Canon was the dynamic range, which should now be taken care of through the upcoming sensors.

Actually, Canon has had trouble with DR, banding, and shadow noise, among other things. They're all more minor than they sound, except to the hypercritical photogeek crowd. Canon still has a lot more of the professional DSLR market than Nikon does, so their sensors must be "good enough." Nonetheless, I hope they can succeed with their upcoming sensors, because Sony already owns 40% of the imaging sensor market, and competition is a Good Thing.

 

Quote:
6) Nice photo!

Thank you. I had to know what to do and where to stand, but I had a lot of help from the equipment. Thirty years ago, a film camera able to reliably capture the same image would have cost several thousand dollars at a time when the dollar was worth considerably more than it is today. Think motor drive body with a big 200-exposure back added to it, a monstrous professional telephoto lens that probably would have been a prime, not a zoom, a 25-lb Gitzo tripod and some lengthy and careful set-up after observing the lines being taken by the skiers. Even with all that, everything would have to work out just right to get that image.

 

Instead, with a relatively inexpensive amateur hand-held rig that I could easily carry while skiing, I captured hundreds of perfectly exposed in-focus images of free skiers grabbing some air, sufficiently sharp to show the concentration on their faces.

 

I couldn't have done it with a phone, however. Five or ten years from now? Maybe.

 

But, being hand-held, I probably tilted the camera! (A tip of the hat to the OP - after all, tilting the camera to make slopes look steeper was how this got started.)

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