Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Camera of the Future

Recently one of the Spanish newsgroups had interviewed me (and my very talented Spanish translator, Francesc Garcia) about the books, photography, and other general stuff.  (If you're interested you can read the whole thing here, but it's in Spanish.  A Google translated version is here.)  One of the questions I was asked was "What would your dream camera be like?"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The A500's Metering has Nothing to do with Face Detection

 In December's blog entry I raved about how unexpectedly good the A500 / A550's metering system was, and at the time I had attributed it to the integration of Face Detection into the metering algorithms.  It made perfect sense, and if I were on the design team, I too would have said, "Hey, look, it's reasonable to assume that the face is what you want to focus on, and it's equally reasonable to place a great emphasis on the light on the face when determining what the exposure should be!".  Placing such emphasis on the face meant getting great shots in very difficult light - even shots of people who are backlit!  (See the December blog for examples.)

It turns out that I was completely wrong.  I did some follow-up tests with a backlit subject and shot with Face Detection ON and OFF, with Live View ON and OFF, with Multi-segment metering and Center-weighted metering, and even with Autofocus set to ON and OFF.  They ALL came out exposed identically to the left figure above.  So Face Detection really had nothing to do with it.  Then I grabbed my A700 and took the same shot of the same subject.  It took a darker shot, as I have been trained to expect from all built-in light meters made since the 1960's.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lumodi - A different Breed of Flash Diffuser

You've heard of umbrellas and softboxes before - those are classical means of diffusing light (especially light from an accessory flash) for very pleasing portraits.

Let me introduce you to a 3rd kind of diffuser: Something called a "Beauty Dish" made by a company called Lumodi.