#663. Decisive steps. Looking into my past purchases to plan the future.

#663. Decisive steps. Looking into my past purchases to plan the future.

The cat is out of the bag. After months of waiting, Sony have released the A7RIII. Thus I, and many other A7RII owners, ask myself the question: is it worth upgrading?

 

 

The answer to this question is made less obvious than some would like it by the fact that, uncharacteristically, Sony haven’t let a “new-improved-and-class-leading” sensor carry the day and the decision. The new camera simply incorporates the same sensor as its predecessor. But pretty much everything else is, according to Sony, new and improved.

 

Which forces me to consider: what is it -or would it be- that makes/would make this camera irresistible?

 

 

As it happens, at the same time, I am revisiting lots of old pics to cull and save space on my storage devices. Which begs the question: am I getting any better at this? Is it thanks to my not inconsiderable spending on this hobby?

 

 

Which leads me to the post title: decisive steps. What have the decisive gear-related steps been that have improved my picture-taking -if any? And my answers are not even close to what I would have expected.

 

 

Step Zero: start with a Canon 40D (APS/C, 10Mp) and a mid-range zoom (17-85mm).

 

 

Step One: Trade up my one zoom to multiple primes. First to Canon primes (50mm f:1.4, 85mm f:1.8), then Zeiss (Planar 50mm f:1.4, Planar 85 f:1.4). Looking into the viewfinder was all I needed to know to prefer primes over my zoom. Not technically accurate as I know now, so what became a very real love story started on false premises. But the faster aperture and lower weight clinched my decision. Not denying also the snob appeal. Sort of “real men do it the old-fashioned way: with MF primes!”)

 

 

Step Two: trade up from Canon 40D to Canon 5DII. Was it a substantive step up, worth my hard-earned? Definitely. What was/were the decisive step(s)? The 5D II had much better noise performance, which let me get away with shooting inside a church, whereas the 40D wasn’t good enough for my taste at this exercise. The 5DII had a much better viewfinder, which helped me no end focus properly with my beloved MF Zeiss primes. The 5DII was FF Vs the 40D’s APS/C. Nice to have, but not vital. It helped me use my lenses at their proper focal length.

 

 

Step Three: trade up from Canon 5DII to Canon 5DIII. Was it a substantive step up, worth the money? Definitely not. The only upgrade was in the AF system, and I was shooting MF. I “only” bought it because I was leaving days later for a major photo trip, and didn’t have time to see reviews, or courage to leave without one.

 

 

Step Four: buy alongside my FF Canon a small-and-light Sony NEX and Zeiss ZM rangefinder primes. Was it worth the money? Definitely. Because it let me carry my camera with me at all times, including in business trips and meetings. It simply opened up a new world of opportunities. Also and it proved super important, the EVF with magnification transformed my keeper rate overnight. With stationary subjects (my kind), mis-focusing became almost a thing of the past, Vs a frequent occurrence with my OVFs. And the NEX also offered a tilting LCD, letting me shoot from the waist, something I do frequently even today.

 

 

Step Five: buy a light tripod, alongside my full-size one. First a Cullmann, small, cheap and plasticky. But I got very nice night shots thanks to it, and carried it twice around the world. Then I upgraded to a Gitzo 0541 that was still light enough, but could hold either my smaller NEX system or my larger Canon DSLR. That let me take a tripod with me almost at all times, and gave me more opportunities to shoot in low light.

 

 

Step Six: Canon 5DII/5DIII and DSLR Zeiss primes to NEX 7 and Zeiss/Leica rangefinder primes. Was it an upgrade? Worthy of my hard-earned? Yes and Yes. It let me consolidate my large and my small camera systems into one, making it simpler and less expensive. It let me have my best system at all times. And, in many ways, the NEX7 had better IQ (for me, my preferences, my taste) than the Canon. Better colours, better DR, enough so that it was worth retreating to a smaller sensor format. And it was better than the NEX 5N it also replaced.

 

 

Step Seven: Sony A7R over NEX 7. Worthy upgrade? Definitely. Simply put, the IQ was much better in all respects. But it did cost me using my delightful Leica rangefinder primes, which the Sony FF sensor definitely didn’t like. I am still (partly) in mourning over that. But moving to FF (once more) from APC/C was (once more) nice, though not vital.

 

 

Step Eight: Switching from LightRoom to Capture One. Worth it? The best money I ever spent on photography. For 100€, it improved the IQ of every picture I took since. I know many of you don’t want the hassle of a change. But I have to call it the way it was/is for me.

 

 

Step Nine: The Billingham camera bag. Worthy purchase? And how! Probably the best money I spent, second only to changing PP software. Yes, it is expensive. But it let me carry a camera and 3 large lenses anywhere without looking out-of-place in business surroundings, the way I would have with a Lowepro.

 

 

Step Ten: A7R to A7RII. Was it an upgrade? Worth my money? Yes and yes. It was not the slight resolution upgrade that made a difference. Nor the considerable improvement in manufacturing quality. It was IBIS. Having every lens stabilised made my life a whole lot easier in that I could now shoot much more freely in places where tripods are not allowed, such as churches, and only carry my tripod on those few occasions when I am going to shoot into the night, well before sunup of after sundown.

 

 

Step Eleven: Come A7RIII. Sure, lots of “nice to have”. Twin card slots, better weather protection, new and improved shutter, improved IBIS, improved DR (though not all reviewers can verify that as of now on pre-production cameras). But none of that is decisive. What could be decisive is pixel shift. Much better definition and colour accuracy is the promise. But it requires (a) a tripod for multiple, identical shots shifted by just 1 pixel, (b) a totally stationary target otherwise things head south and (c) using Sony computer software to merge the 4 shots. How that pans out, meaning how much of a pain is it, Vs how much of a gain is still very much an open question. On that hangs the fate of Step Eleven.

 

 

Conclusions are many. The most meaningful money I’ve spent is not where I’ve spent the most money. It is PP software, improving very pixel of every picture. It is a bag that allows to have my camera with me all the time. It is a light tripod, then IBIS, to let me shoot even whe the light isn’t there. Sure supercalifragilisticexpialidocious primes are great, and fun, and gratifying, and let me indulge my bokeh sluttiness, and be a snob, and… but… And huge megapixel count is pretty much the same…. Does that mean that I am coming of age? Or just getting old, and throttling the GAS-fired boy-who-likes-toys in me?

 

 

One concrete example of this line of thinking. Today, I have a 28-55-85 lineup. I miss a 35, and could get the wonderful Zeiss Milvus f:1.4. But then, is there any shot I could get with a 35 that I can’t get with either 28 or 55? Not really. But I could swap my Otus 28 for a Milvus 25 + Milvus 35, and there, I could get some extra shots on the wide end. But how do I carry 4 heavy lenses in an everyday bag? Or should I go very wide, with a (delightful) Loxia 21n abd keep the 28, ’cause 21-to 35 might be too wide a gap? Conversely, I bought my Sony 85 GM to have one AF lens, but it is too close to my 55 in focal length to be really optimal. Should I replace it with a Batis 135 f:2.8? Would it get me extra opportunities? Answer: probably yes, like a 25. This is now my line. Forget the incremental IQ improvements unless they are decisive, go for what gets me more opportunities. And that begs the answer: go out, and shoot. Go out some more and shoot some more. That is the prime recipe for more and better pictures… Oh, and before I think of buying more lenses, how do I reconcile that with the fact that I carry 3 lenses with me at all times, but only change from the one-out-of-the-3 on the camera less than 10% of the time? Because I am lazy? For sure. But would changing my lens help me get more and better pics? Frankly, surprising though it may seem, I am not sure. Because when I feel I need it, I do it. But in the cast majority of cases, I get by without needing it, so….

 

 

And you, looking back, what are your steps?

 

 

PS: for those of you who might wonder: what is the theme behind these pics? There isn’t any. reviewing the course of my photo gear acquisition is like taking a walk down memory lane. This lane is hallmarked by all manners of pictures. So is my pick for this post, reflecting the diversity of opportunities and fancies.

 

 


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38 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Peter Oosthuizen November 04, 2017

    Once again a thought provoking and interesting post. Again a parallel to the golf industry which is also subject to ongoing “upgrades” due to technological advances. Both industries though are struggling quite possible for similar reasons – each has become to some extent a “fashion” business driven by the need to release new and exciting products to keep the consumers happy by providing “new, improved” products, many of which are bought for show not results.

    The much reviled Ken Rockwell has it right, in my opinion, by saying that the camera doesn’t matter but the guy behind it does.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Avatar
      jean pierre {pete} guaron November 05, 2017

      If you’re renting the w/angles to try them out, you might like to try the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | A. One of the guys at my camera store took one out on an architectural shoot, and I have to admit I was completely blown away by the shot he showed me.

      • Avatar
        jean pierre {pete} guaron November 05, 2017

        ?????? Sorry guys, that is a response to Scott Edwards’ comment, and I haven’t the faintest idea why it landed up under Peter’s.

    • Avatar
      jean pierre {pete} guaron November 05, 2017

      Something else Ken said, Peter – and the more I read, the more I believe it. In the context of a raging argument over pixel counts in DSLR sensors, he said that if you seriously want better IQ, stop all this junk about full frames – get a medium format cam, any half decent lens, and you’ll outshine ALL the stuff based around 35mm size sensors.

      Just been reading a fascinating review of the Hasselblad x1D-50c, which is not exactly the largest medium format cam. The reviewer admits you might just about get there, if all you care about is resolution – or if you never see your photos offline (as prints). But the killers are that the ‘blad has more dynamic range in the highlights (which don’t perform anywhere near as well in the DSLRs out there), giving you more room to play with contrast and shades in highly exposed regions – and sharper files. Wher it really matters in large sized prints – extremely important for commercial photographers. Conclusion – the DSLRs just don’t produce the same depth, real-world resolving power, or details in the highlights, that the X1d puts out and there’s simply no way to get the full-frame images up to the level of those taken with the medium-format sensor. And that’s why you buy the X1D.

      There’s heaps more, but I think that makes the point. I ran with 35mm, 220 roll film in both 6×9 and 6×6, and a studio cam with a 4×5 (them’s inches, not cms) back, during my half century flirtation with analogue photography. And one of my buddies always used to shoot with a 4×5 press camera (at least he did, while I knew him). The 35mm cam was topo of the range, the photos were great. But like all that stuff about the X1D, there was simply no competition, once I put the 35mm to one side and picked up any of the larger cams.

      If you stick with posting online, it’s simply wasting money to chase the illusion of perfection in these DSLRs. The real gains can only be realised in large-format reproductions – prints, that is! Yes there’s a serious diff in IQ between a vintage 2007 cam and one of the curretn 2017 top of the range cams. But fighting it out, at the top end, between ANY of the cams released during the past 2-3 years is almost pointless. The differences are barely detectable. UNLESS you jump the fence and go medium format.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Thanks for the kind words, Peter! That the photographer matters more than any camera is something nobody at DearSusan has any problem with. Still, there are cameras that “let you do things better”, and those tend to cost a lot for improvements that are not a lot (an oversimplification) and cameras that let you do more things, as I try to point out. Those are worth their price, and more IMHO. For example, i would be very cautious before buying a camera without tilt screen, or one without IBIS, or a really heavy one. Because, yeah, they might offer fantabulous IQ, but they would also take away my ability to pull off certain shots entirely…. Ah, choices, choices….

  2. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron November 04, 2017

    I think I just gave you my views on this subject – on the post about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

    Do you print your shots, or keep them digitally? If you don’t print them, I can only think the questions you ask are rhetorical – the differences in performance between the A7RII and the AA7RIII would scarcely be noticeable.

    Is weather proofing an issue for you? As far as I know, neither cam has satisfactory weather proofing.

    What exactly does the next cam offer, that you can’t do with the one you already have? Is it something you lust after and cannot do without? I have that issue, but I don’t see the D850 solving it for me – the D810 works perfectly well, the “improvements” in dynamic range (which is important to me) offered by the D850 aren’t great – and apparently they’re most noticeable at 64 ISO, a speed at which my issues with dynamic range don’t emerge. What’s the comparable issue for your photography? Would the new features of DxO PhotoLab offer an alternative solution (which seems to be the case, for me).?

    I log all my photos – I keep a diary note on them, in a spreadsheet – I analyse how good or bad they are, and why. And having just finished a run of a thousand prints, I can stump up with one observation. The results from the D810 and the Otus lenses are generally superb. I could make enlargements up to A2 without any difficulty – although I rarely go as large as A3 and to be honest, mostly never go past A4. So – the percentage of photos where I would expect the D850 to make a “real difference” is so small that I don’t see the point of spending another $5,000 odd buying one.

    If I wanted to spend that much, I could buy another floodlight for my macro work, a decent zoom for wildlife work and still have most of the money I’d need to fool around with a Sigma Quattro, to explore its Foveon sensor. So I’m not even lusting after the D850. It’s “interesting” – but I can leave it there. To be honest, I think I should focus on suing what I already have, seeing how far I can improve my photography, and worry about buy more gear, or replacing the gear I’m using, only when I have fully explored & exploited the potential of what’s in my camera bag[s] right now. In the meantime, whether I want something else, whether I would like something else, whether I need something else, are all rather extraneous considerations. I have a great selection of gear – I should concentrate on using that, better, before I consider moving on.

    What’s your budget spend? – could you get more bang for your bucks, spending that money on a different piece of gear? Would it improve your photography?

  3. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron November 04, 2017

    Sorry about the misprints – I can’t even claim that English is not my first language, because I was raise din Oz.
    One other thought – some of the issues raised by the promo for all of these cams can be addressed from another angle. There are some really interesting features in post processing software, these days. And it’s a heap cheaper than buying another camera.

  4. Avatar
    The anonymous grunter November 04, 2017

    Thanks, Phil.

    I had a similar start (Canon APS-C, Zooms), several Sony Nexes with vintage MF glass, switching back to a Canon Pro body for reliability with Zeiss MF lenses. Solved the size issue by dropping the Canon battery grip. Solved the low light IQ issue of Canon vs. Sony by going 1) from JPG to RAW and 2) by switching PP software from Camera Raw to C1.

    With the combination of Zeiss lenses and Capture One the Canon feels like a completely new camera in terms of IQ. Spread the histogramm in C1 (even automatic) and you get the looks of high DR !.

    Hit rate with MF: I started using high speed shooting while slightly changing focus, which also opens up the possibility of focus stacking with Affinity Photo (also excellent for panorama stitching). This way I am also faster than with the Sonys (selecting focus zone, enlarging for critical focus, shooting simply takes time, even with the Nex 5n/r/t and their touchscreens). One tap enlargement is key for any future camera I’ll buy …

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Interesting how you shoot! I really hate you for bringing this up, which means I may face another PP software change, but I may try it, as it makes so much sense. Thanks again!

  5. Avatar
    Joakim Danielson November 04, 2017

    Well I’ve taken a lot of steps the last ten years, some more important and some just GAS related, so to mention some of them:

    After using a compact camera (Canon) for some vacation trip I felt I wanted to try photography more seriously and bought a Canon 400D with the 17-85 zoom, which I enjoyed a lot. I then moved to FF a few years later, first a well used Canon 1Ds II and then the Canon 5D Mrk II. The move to FF in combination with the discovery of Zeiss ZE was of course an important step.
    Some time later I discovered the Leica world and bought an M9 and that was a major step for me, I just loved that camera and I have stayed in the Leica world since even if I now have moved to other cameras. I once had an Sony A7r that is sold now but combining an EVIL camera with my rangefinders will probably be my next step although I am not sure when and how that will happen.

    • Avatar
      Joakim Danielson November 04, 2017

      When I wrote Zeiss ZE I of course ment the lenses, one lens I miss from that time is the not so popular ZE 85/1.4 Planar.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Joakim, I came very close to buying a Leica camera, specifically a used M8 v2 as my “small camera” kit, to replace a stolen NEX5. But instead of buying it when I saw it on a Saturday afternoon, I decided to sleep on it, and next thing I knew, it was gone. I am pretty sure that, had it gone the other way, I would be a Leica user, or at least would have gone through a Leica phase. Like many other aging ‘togs, rangefinders can be hard to use at wide apertures when eyesight gets worse. But just look at the lovely pics Paul posted with his M9. Very tempting….
      Like you, I still have seller’s remorse over my twin ZE f:1.4 Planars, the 50 and the 85.

  6. Avatar
    pascaljappy November 04, 2017

    Thanks Philippe, that’s very interesting. I was there to witness the various upgrades but had never realised the logic behind it. This is impressive to me, as my ‘evolution’ at the same time was a lot more haphazard. But it’s interesting that we have started at pretty much the same spot, took very different routes and ended up pretty much at the same spot again (Sony A7x + manual focus Zeiss lenses).

    We’ll need to see more of the newcomer to decide whether to upgrade again or not but my recent tour of photo exhibitions has convinced me of one thing : the photos that appeal to me most often share a very high technical clarity (whereas others prefer grainy old gems). So mk3 very much beckons, contrary to my initial thoughts 🙂

  7. Avatar
    Scott Edwards November 04, 2017

    Nice evolution here, Philippe… Current dilemma: I’ve been renting the Zeiss Batis 18 and 24 for various commercial shoots. I struggle with the answer for superwide… I plan to investigate the Sony 12-24 and the Sony GMaster 16-35 for my superwide needs. I fortunately have the Zeiss/Sony Distagon 35 1.4 (so supreme and excellent for environmental portraits, certain landscapes and other purposes), the Zeiss/Sony Planar 50 1.4 (on par with or darn close to Leica in terms of results, Sony/Zeiss’s second sharpest lens and still super dreamy) and the Zeiss Batis 85 1.8 (excellent performance, sharp as the GMaster 85 1.4 though the bokeh in SOME conditions can be a bit aggressive but which I often quite like). And I have a handful or Minolta, Nikon and Leica vintage lens. My biggest surprise… my 1959 Leica Summaron 35 2.8 is amazing amazing amazing… as sharp as any 35 Leica produces to date in the mid-range (2.8 up). Just doesn’t benefit from the coatings of today’s lens. But that can be used with purpose…

    I think I’m likely going to hold out for the merger of the A9 and A7R3… that $1K reduction/rebate on my second A7R2 was too irresistible…

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Scott, I haven’t used superwides, but I can tell you that I have seen really impressive pictures with the Sony 12-24, and that photographers I trust love it. I also have no reason to doubt that the GM wide zoom will prove excellent, like other GM lenses. Just to make your life a bit trickier, are you not considering the Voigtländer ultrawides (15mm, 12mm and 10mm), ans you seem to favor prime lenses? They are native in FE-mount, attractively small and light, and priced right IMHO. I have seen very nice images from the 10mm and the 15mm. The latter had some product variation/QC issues (ugh!) early on, but that seems to have gone away now. And Voigtländer have shown with their 65mm f:2.0 Makro and 40mm f:1.2 that they can do great FE lenses. So here’s to DearSusan making your dilemma worse when you came for help! 🙂

  8. Avatar
    Cliff Whittaker November 05, 2017

    The answer to your question, “Is it worth it?”, might not be that difficult if you can first answer this question: How good is good enough?

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Excellent question, Cliff! And the answer (mine, that is) has to be: good enough is never good enough!:-) This is why I lug heavy lenses in my everyday bag. Because good enough is never good enough…:-)

  9. Avatar
    Sean November 05, 2017

    Hi Pascal,

    Points 8 and 10 resonate with me, as does your comment, and I quote you “…the answer: go out, and shoot. Go out some more and shoot some more. That is the prime recipe for more and better pictures…”. Good glass is a help, too …
    In sum, a terrific article
    Regards
    Sean

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Thanks, Sean, your kind words are appreciated!! But why is it that positive comments can be brief and to the point, whereas negative/nasty ones seem to go on forever? 🙂 Nah, that’s not true. No negative comments on DearSusan, you are such a nice bunch 🙂

      • Avatar
        Sean November 08, 2017

        Oops, corretion. I inadvertently attributed this article to Pascal, sorry Phil.
        Sean

  10. Avatar
    Adam Bonn November 05, 2017

    We chose our gear largely on variable data, but we fall in love with it because of attribute data

    But the interplay between variable and attribute data is rather complex.

    Look at the polarising opinion on something like the Leica M-D

    To some it’s ridiculous that a modern camera can offer so little, to others it’s a breath of fresh air

    Some are capable of taking a minimalistic approach to their camera, even if it’s complicated, others need the subtraction of features in order to ignore them

    Sometimes we buy cameras for the headline specs, but flip them because the battery life is pants, and we begrudge carrying lots of spares. Other times we own the best camera for our needs, but the strap lug digs into our finger, and we have no desire to change the way we’ve always held a camera

    Choosing a camera is a mine field, we quickly take for granted the features that made us reach for the plastic, and soon after find largely irrelevant yet deeply unpalatable aspects to ownership that have us craving replacements like cigarette smokers know they’ll going to buy another pack.

    I’ll say this for the A7RII potential upgraders though… if you’re unhappy with colour on the current one, download and edit a LOT of RAW files before pulling the trigger.

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 08, 2017

      Interesting points, Adam! But here I am thinking in low-life terms (attribute data, variable data, no can do…) that a camera is a totally simple piece of gear compared to, say, a car. On the one hand, we all manage to buy a car without having to spend time on the shrink’s couch or in the ER for terminal anxiety, yet we agonize, rant and rave over camera choices, gear flaws and other people’s opinions when they dare to be different. This may have more to do with what we, as human beings, project on our cameras than with the gear itself. Else, what am saying about myself when I write that spending 100$ is the best photo investment I ever made, but am ready to spend thousands more on the “other stuff” (cams, lenses) that I have proven to my satisfaction not to reach the “top investment” grade?

  11. Avatar
    Fabrizio Giudici November 06, 2017

    Step Eight: Switching from LightRoom to Capture One. Worth it? The best money I ever spent on photography. For 100€, it improved the IQ of every picture I took since. I know many of you don’t want the hassle of a change. But I have to call it the way it was/is for me.

    Eh eh… done that a couple of weeks ago 🙂 Yes, changing is a hassle, because there’s no portability (I mean: no way to import the photos processed with LR and have them to be processed in the same way by LR – and LR is still needed for DAM). But the change in licensing policy from LR gave me the final push.

    • Avatar
      jean pierre (pete) guaron November 06, 2017

      Your last sentence is exactly how their actions hit me, Fabrizio. I can’t find it now – but for a commercial photography setup that wants 10TB of space on the Adobe Cloud, for storage of all their photo files, the price Adobe apparently wants to charge annually is apparently more than the cost of buying four WD 12TB external drives. So 10 years down the line, with Adobe you’d still only have 10TB of storage, but if you’d gone with WD you’d have 480TB of storage, and still have about $2,000 left over in YOUR pocket, as against Adobe’s charge. And NOBODY is the least bit likely to want that level of storage – making it perfectly obvious why Adobe is reporting record profits and the internet comments are filling with comments like this, from people who are diving overboard and finding other solutions.
      OK – so there are still one or two things for which I still use PhotoShop. That said, I am now finding the speed with which I can post process relying mostly on Capture One Pro is electrifying, compared with the sheer drudgery of getting anything out of LightRoom. For specific reasons, I still turn to other software – like DxO’s ViewPoint for keystone issues – but now that I’m happily using Capture One Pro, I can’t remember having needed to get anything touched up in any way, in LightRoom, since I made the decision to buy Capture One Pro.
      And I don’t need any upgrades for PhotoShop, to get out of it what I still use it for.
      So I’m afraid that as far as I’m concerned, Adobe has run out of steam – or out of my life – or something.

      • Avatar
        Fabrizio Giudici November 07, 2017

        For me it’s not only a matter of prices, but a principle (that, in practice, might well lead to price considerations). I strongly believe that people should be able to _own_ the tools they need for their business (ok, photography for me is not a business, but the point is the same, just less strong). We all know that software can’t be owned, we only get the right to use it (in the same way as we don’t own a printed novel or a recorded tune on a CD), but in practice the consequences are the same: with a perpetual license, once I’ve paid for it, nobody can prevent me from using that piece of software indeterminately. Things are indeed a bit more complex with software, because we know that without updating an application, sooner or later an update of hardware or operating system might block it from working. But I can test in advance for that event and plan a solution with plenty of time.

        Not having a perpetual license, not only I’m immediately prevented from using the application if I don’t pay the monthly fee… the manufacturer might at a certain point decide not to renew my license for other reasons, other than paying. For instance, Facebook and Twitter have their censorship policies that prevent some people from publishing certain contents, and they are largely independent of local laws: the Silicon Valley has got the very bad trend to consider itself as a sort of super-state where they can impose their own “laws”, and I can’t accept it. Maybe you’re a photo-journalist and are working for an agency that is not liked in the Silicon Valley and all of a sudden get blocked. I’m a citizen of my own state and subject to its laws, that I know I can try to adjust – together with other people – by means of the tools provided by democracy. But I don’t have any way to adjust a multinational behaviour, because they are a private property, not a democracy.

        One might say: but if one is subjected to a certain discrimination, it’s likely he’s not alone, and can go through legal actions. Fine, but in the Adobe General Terms of Use I read:

        13.3 No Class Actions. You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action.

        AFAIU, if you try a class action, Adobe has the right to block you immediately from using the software. We know that legal actions take time, and in the meantime you’re blocked. And if you’re alone against a major multinational… you lose.

        • Avatar
          philberphoto November 08, 2017

          Fabrizio, as you know, I am on the same side of the fence as you. No way will I give money and depend on people to access my pics for as long as I please. That said, the real beauty of C1 is not in the fact that “it is not Adobe”, it is in the files.
          And, if you “only” switched a couple of weeks ago, do watch (some of) the many videos avaialble for free where David Grover shows the ropes on how best to use the software. I find them very useful, and thy are free, too!

          • Avatar
            Fabrizio Giudici November 08, 2017

            Yes. Indeed I had also started looking at C1 time ago – with some problems on my side, for instance at a certain time I was a bit late in upgrading my Mac OS X, and I wasn’t able to run the trial. But a few articles and comparisons already made me think that C1 is of a superior quality.

            I’ve looked at a large number of videos. They are really useful, because I thought that the learning curve was harder – I supposed I could be able to switch by the end of the year, while I was able to do in a few days.

            I confirm, it’s faster than LR – and for some respects I’m appalled at looking the quantity of details it brings out of my RAW files, without artifacts. Also for the colour rendering, it’s much better. With LR I had to use custom profiles for my cameras to start from a pleasing neutral point (with some side effects), while it seems that C1 default profiles are much better. Also the fine-tuned colour editing is surprising.

        • Avatar
          jean pierre (pete) guaron November 15, 2017

          Fabrizio, I can no longer find the article – but when I came across part of their price list for using their Cloud, recently, I was stunned. A large photo outfit, wanting to use 10TB of storage, would be paying enough each year to buy 48TB of WD external hard drives and still have cash in the bank, compared with the cost of ten years storage of only 10TB on Adobe’s Cloud.

          Yes COPro1 IS faster- MILES faster. It suffers a bit with higher noise levels – I’m sure there’s a solution to that one, I’m still trying to find it. It’s not something that gives LR an excuse to suggest they are “better”, because they deal with this one by giving a milky finish to what might otherwise be annoying noise levels. I’m on record as saying I don’t like long exposure waterfalls – they look like someone’s pouring custard over a cliff, they have no sparkle and very little resemblance to water, falling or otherwise. And for similar reasons, I don’t like LR’s solution to noise levels. ACDsee does a better job on this one, than LR !!!!!!!!!!!!

          I can see things they OUGHT to do to improve LR – but I no longer care, I’ve lost interest (and they’ve lost a customer). I still have a couple of uses for PS, but I’ve nearly finished abandoning Adobe altogether.

      • Avatar
        philberphoto November 08, 2017

        Another satisfied C1 user! Well, you aren’t going to get any arguments from me…:-) and I like your financial approach, too.

        • Avatar
          Fabrizio Giudici November 08, 2017

          Quick fix: I always forget that “appalled” has got a negative meaning. I meant I was positively surprised, instead.

  12. Avatar
    Rohan November 08, 2017

    What Billingham did you get?
    My journey was the 5D to the MarkIII.
    Then sold the 5D to get the A7R (portability).
    Sold the A7r and the Mark iii to get the A7r II.
    Then purchased a second A7rII 2 years later.

    Just sold both and a few underused lenses and will purchase 2 A7r3.

    This was a decision as easy as upgrading from the A7r to the a7r2 (IBIS, AF, placement of shutter button)

    Similar reasons for A7r3 (battery, AF, usability).

    Notice how resolution was not a factor? The only thing that mattered was usability just like a Canon camera without the size.

    I would have gone A9 but I would only be able to do a single body. The A7r3 hit the spot.

    I do believe that image sensors have matured enough for me not to look at the next big thing.
    For my uses the examor backlight sensor regardless of resolution more than meets my needs.

  13. Avatar
    James Mapletoft November 10, 2017

    Cosina CT 7
    Fujica AX 5
    Olympus OM 2n
    Contax 139
    Sony DSC-R1
    Pentax MX

  14. Avatar
    Tim Ball November 10, 2017

    Enjoyed! You’ve finally pushed me over the edge to make the switch from Lightroom to Capture One Pro. Since Adobe announced that they were no longer updating the standalone, one payment version, I knew I had to jump ship! As the Sony version of C1 Pro is only €50+VAT, that was an added incentive
    Question: Did you find any tutorials or guides on C1Pro that were more helpful than others to start you off?

    • Avatar
      Tim Ball November 10, 2017

      I’ve just read your replies to Fabrizio, above, and I think you answered my question there, David Glover’s teaching! Thanks.

      • Avatar
        Tim Ball November 10, 2017

        Whoops, sp! Grover, not Glover!;o)

        • Avatar
          Tim Ball November 10, 2017

          Hmm, I can only find the set of 50 tutorials by David Grover for $129, not the free ones you mention. Can you supply a link? Thanks

          • Avatar
            philberphoto November 14, 2017

            Hi Tim,

            Here is the link for 13 tutorials, and, at the bottom of the page, it says, “link to the full list”.

            Capture One Tutorials

    • Avatar
      philberphoto November 14, 2017

      Tim, I would say the 3 or 4 “starter” tutorials are the ones that helped me most (what else is new?), but in fact I attended Webinars (free, with the same David Grover), because I felt I was taking more away. They are basically the same. And you can ask questions, he actually answers them during the Webinar. If you are a Sony owner, you can also find Davis grover on a thread of the SonyAlphaForum, where he answers questions (I can’t find…). But don’t forget I am not a PP expert, I only spend around 30 sec on an image I do basic processing on. But getting there, should really not be hard for you, because I mastered it…:-)

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