Home > Wireless > Interview with Professional Photographer Joe Decker Interview with Professional Photographer Joe Decker Eugenia Loli 2004-05-11 Wireless 17 Comments Our sister site NewMobileComputing (NMC) features today an interview with professional photographer Joe Decker (gallery), discussing digital photography, essential software and much more. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 17 Comments 2004-05-11 10:20 am A very good photographer, a real artist. I wouldn’t call him a reviewer (I have read his review of the Canon 1D). His interview was a relatively interesting read (it doesn’t go very far) as I’m presently switching to digital photography. 2004-05-11 12:01 pm If you are looking to buy a digital SLR in the lower pricerange then Nikon D70 is a very good alternative. It’s simply the best camera in that pricerange. I thought that Nikon was pretty much out of the game so it came to me as a surprise how good that camera really is. I just wish I could afford one myself :/ Btw, ain’t it funny, since the introduction of digital cameras computer retailers are now camera salesmen and techsites do interviews with photographers I mean it’s just a medium. Photography will always be pretty much the same. (nothing bad, just a note) 2004-05-11 12:51 pm Calling the Nikon D70 the best camera in its pricerange is a bit subjective. It offers more functionality and feels more sturdy than the Canon EOS 300D/Canon Digital Rebel, but in actual photo quality it seems a bit of a letdown. I was sort of anxiously awaiting test results of the Nikon D70, because on paper it looked very promissing. But having seen a few reviews on the web (and looking at the actual photo results) the EOS 300D beats the D70 hands down (in my opinion), even though the reviewers of the sites don’t seem to be so negative of the D70 results. It even made me wonder how impartial one of the reviewers is (he did not seem to notice the moire paterns in the D70 shots!). Here is a rave review of the D70, with comparison pics from the EOS 300D, where the reviewer rates the D70 higher. But all I see is strange artifacts in the D70 pictures, problems with noise and saturation of dark area’s, bland colours in particular the studio shot. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond70/page21.asp Look at the strange aftifacts in the 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th detail shown. Strange patterns, moire effects and oddities… and the air shows a strange noise. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond70/page22.asp The EOS 300D seems to be more detailed in this shot, the dark colors are deeper, making the D70 picture look bland in comparisson. This review rates the D70 better, but I think the reviewer has gone bonkers in his evaluation of the actual photo’s. The reviewer in this review http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/d70-review/ does notice the weird moire artifacts of the D70, but fails to spot the strange noise in the sky and the strange affects seen especially clear on all edges of the building on the left in this picture: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/d70-review/DSC_0014.JPG It is like looking at a monitor where the blue red and green are a bit out of sync, you get strange not-sure-if-they-are-blue-ish-or-red-ish edges on what should be a grey concrete colour. Nikon is aware of the moire problems. On their site the say that you should shoot the picure again in a different angle if moire appears! As you can see in the D70-EOS D300 comparisson shots, the EOS is as least as detailed… so the reason Nikon gives for the moire effects seems a bogus one. A camera with a lot of features is nice… but number one feature to me is photo quality. And to me, the D70 does not cut it, even my Canon Powershot S30 seems to give (much) better results in the area’s that are problematic for the D70. (NO moire ever, sharp, good saturation, no “noisy” sky). So, I am going to steer clear from a Nikon DSLR and will either get a Canon EOS 300D or its follow up. And in the mean time use my S30 and my film SLR. I am sure the Nikon fan-boys will start a nice flame war now in true Mac vs. Windows fashion since this is OSNews, but for anyone interesting in buying a digital SLR camera, look critically at the photo’s in above mentioned reviews… because, at least to me, photo quality is very important. 2004-05-11 12:59 pm I thought that he just skimmed the surface in many areas. There are many pitfalls awaiting the unsuspecting Consumer Digital Camera buyer. Battery life is only one of them. I have had a digital camera for almost 4 years so I do have a little experience in this area. My top tips for anyone buying a consumer Digital Camera (Not a 35mm Body replacement like a EOS10D or D70 etc) are 1) Forget all about Digital ZOOM. Better to get a wider range Optical Zoom. 2) Optical Viewfinder is a must for those bright days where the LCD in unviewable. Also saves on Battery. 3) The delay between pressing the shutter and the picture being taken. Some cameras have up to 0.5 secs. This is useless if you want to take anything apart from Landscapes and still life. 4) The focussing speed can be pretty poor when compared to 35mm Compacts. Again try it out. 5) Batteries. How easy are they to buy/recharge. Get a 2nd with the camera. 6) Memory Cards. Forget the 16 or 32Mb titch that may come with the camera. Get at least one of 128Mb or higher capacity. (I use 4 of at least 512Mb in size) 7) Forget the salesman’s Eye Candy(or Bullsh1t). Get one that you are comfortable with. How does it fit in your hand. Can your fingers use all the minute buttons(esp Sony ones) 8) How long does it take the camera to write the image to the memory device(eg Compact Flash etc) and how many pictures can you take before you have to stop shooting. And Importantly 9) Go for as higher pixel sized thingy as you can afford. He didn’t really cover the pros & Cons of half sized vs Full Sized CCD chips and what it means to Wide Angle lenses (a 18-35 turns into a 27-52 on Nikon D100) RAW Image capture as he mentioned is only possible on the higher end camera like Canon EOS or Nikon Dxxx etc. This is awonderful feature that basically allows you to retake the picture again in your PC. I now shoot mostly in RAW unders exposing by 2/3 of a stop and correct the image in Photoshop. IMHO, for many things Digital is every bit as good as Film but for me, I still get better results from my F100(using Slide Film) than my D100 Nikon when doing Landscape work But that is just my opinion. 2004-05-11 1:20 pm I’ve compared the pictures you linked to and all I can say that both have their artifacts, just different ones. The 300D has a nasty haloeffect in the outdoor picture while it’s slightly sharper with the studioshot. I have only tried the D70 for a couple of weeks though, but I still liked it a lot better than the 300D considering both features and image quality. I was aware of the moire problem but I’ve never been able to produce it myself, though I mostly take natureshots so that could explain it. I’m not a fanboy of any specific camera company, as all cameras have their strong and weak point. No brand is superiour. I’ll keep using my film SLR for some time since I don’t think that they digital SLRs are worth the price to me yet. But if I was to buy one in the lower pricerange, based on my own experience it would have to be the D70. 2004-05-11 1:51 pm The halo effect has to do with the lens used, not any peculiarity of the camera body used. As far as sharpness, it might be influenced by the CCD used, but is most likely due to the lens, tripod, mirror slap. 2004-05-11 2:25 pm I just recently purchased a D100 which is the predecessor to the D70, and I am very happy with the purchase. The price came down to $1400. I love the speed and the quality, and it works great for me. Quality-wise I can get better color from Fuji Velvia in a normal 35mm, so I keep both the film camera and the digital in the bag and shoot what’s necessary. And to sum it up, they are just tools of the trade. Some of the best images in the world could be taken on a $50 pawn shop special. Some of the worst could be an a $50,000 commercial steup. And if quality is what you’re truly concerned about you should be using a 4×5 or an 8×10 camera! 2004-05-11 3:04 pm I spent a good few weeks looking into cameras before making my final decision. I read a number of the sites reviewing this or that camera and found more positive reviews then negative reviews of the Canon EOS 300D. There were dozens upon dozens of photographic evidence showing me that the Canon EOS 300D was a great choice in the price range, especially with the included lense in the kit. It allowed me to get started being able to take a decent number of photographs without having to invest money in a lense that I might have later regretted. The only problem is the 1.6 multiplier that needs to be applied to additional lenses, which also cuts into the field of view for a particular lense. The only way to get ‘decent’ wide angle shots will unfortunately be with the much higher priced lense on the market, at least until Canon or someone else increases the range of purely digital SLR Lenses. 2004-05-11 3:29 pm How come there’s no hi-res images in his gallery? The shots look great, but they’re so tiny. 2004-05-11 3:37 pm For those who want to patch a number of digital photos into a single giant picture (a la NASA mars pictures). http://www.caldwellphotographic.com/MosaicTutorial.html 2004-05-11 3:49 pm yup those are definitely digital photographs… don’t wast your money. you can grab a nice medium format camera with every lens you could want for the price of a good digital SLR. and remember if you want enlargements you can for get digital all together, 16×20 @300dpi = 28.8 megapixels, 20×24 @300dpi = 43.2 megapixels. so have fun with your digi toys, while real photographers shoot real film. 2004-05-11 4:22 pm This is a 1.09 billion pixels (40,784 x 26,800) digital photograph. http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm 2004-05-11 4:53 pm Damned! I thought John Swannell or Sarah Leggett (for example) were real photographers! Well, I have been a real photographer (with a Mamiya M 645 and a Horseman 4×5) and now I am going digital because it suits my needs, and I want to explore that method. I know a photographer, a real artist, who has never used anything else than a Polaroid. Nobody would say he is not a real photographer. Btw, thanks everybody. 2004-05-11 9:27 pm Those are digital photographs that have been sized down in order to protect the money the photographer can make from his images. Those images are quite nice and if posted in the original image size would have more then filled up your screen allowing you to print out those photos as large as 13×19 at the very least, with no image quality loss. If the camera taking the images was a higher end camera able to capture at greater then the 6.4mp of my EOS 300D, then it’s likely the original image could be printed much higher. You can’t compare digital SLR’s with the sometimes higher MP rated non-SLR digitals. The capturing sensor on those are built very differently, often much smaller and thus the captured pixels can be of a much lower quality. Ramping up an image size is an issue regardless of the photographic format used, whether it is the ‘analog’ world of 35mm or other format film you can only increase an image so much before detail begins to blur away. 2004-05-11 9:54 pm A few years back film was clearly better than digital but I think thats changed now in the modern digital SLRs. Medium/Large Format will always but better but thats simply because it’s probably impossible to make sensors that big and even if you could they’d cost a bomb – then again medium/large format costs a bomb already… I jumped last year and got a 10D (The 10Ds little brother, same sensor as the 300D) and I’m completely impressed with it. The pictures for my BeGeistert012 review a couple of weeks back were all taken with it – the light wasn’t so great so I bumped the ISO up to 800 (try that with film!) and used the fill-in Flash, even then the exposure times were a bit too long for my liking and some pictures came out a bit blurred – “Unsharp mask” soon fixed that though. I’ve had SLRs before but they dont compare to the 10D as far as I’m concerned, the fact the film has to be processed and printed means the prints come out slightly blurry (I’m not talking professional grade printing here…), I can print better pictures from my printer (Epson Photo 1290) at 2 – 4 times the size and they are still sharp. — D70 Vs 300D Canons are not known for aggressive sharpening, it looks like thats what the D70 is doing. I would prefer the 300D pictures myself but you can probably turn the sharpening down on the D70. 2004-05-12 2:30 am Digital cameras can easily replace film cameras for most home consumers. Things are different in the pro market, as it depends on the type of photography. Personally, I love my EOS 300D. It’s been a great camera. Alot of consumers don’t even need the power this camera provides. There are alot of different point and shoots available that will work well for budget minded consumers. Film isn’t dead, and probably will never entirely be replaced. Digital will be the prominent medium in the near future, regardless of what the film naysayers like to say. 2004-05-12 6:02 pm First, thanks to everyone for the complements on my work. The poster who wrote about my suggestions about issues to worry about with digital cameras is right that I glossed over quite a bit. Optical zoom is indeed better. I’m not sure I’d always agree with his comment that you should buy the highest affordable pixel count. I know many people who only use their cameras for web usage. In many cases, these people would not be well served by more megapixels. It really depends on what you’re doing. On the size of my gallery images: My gallery shots are 650-675 pixels in the long dimension, which is tuned to the resolution of the distribution of visitors to my site. They look small on a screen (like mine) whose resolution is 1920×1200, and probably yours. I absolutely will consider a three-resolution scheme for the next revision of the site. While I have not as yet fretted about image theft (the user who presumed this was my reasoning was incorrect), I’ll admit that it would be a concern for signficantly higher resolution images. Tastytaste: Actually, only a few of the images on-line were taken with a digital camera. I’ll be surprised if you can identify which ones.