April 11, 2009

Twitter Q&A #5

Copyright 2008 Scott Bourne - All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2008 Scott Bourne - All Rights Reserved

Today I’ll answer some of the questions my Twitter audience posed to me this week. I received lots of questions and can’t answer them all, but I picked some that were asked more than once figuring I’d help more people by using those questions as the basis of this post. I’ll do this again next Saturday. To ask me questions on Twitter, take the following steps:

Follow me on Twitter go to http://www.twitter.com/scottbourne

Also – we’re starting a new podcast called Photofocus where we’ll answer questions so when you send them in from Twitter, they may make the podcast too.


I got variations of same question several times this week…

@bobmc: Are full-frame SLRs the future?
@michaelmunn: Do you think full frame sensors are the future? I don’t want to invest in DX glass if it’s not going to be around.

I know this is controversial, and my friend @ronbrinkmann disagrees with me on this point, but yes, I do believe that full-frame cameras are the future. I don’t know when, but I know that someday in my lifetime, the cost of manufacturing a full-frame sensor will be so cheap, that it will be the norm. I feel very strongly about this when it comes to the pro cameras, because I’ve spoken with R&D people at some of the big camera manufacturers. They are planning for all future pro bodies to have full-frame sensors. Whether or not it’s a waste of money to spend money on crop sensor cameras today I can’t say, but the experience of shooting with a crop sensor camera is very different from that of shooting with a full-frame sensor. If you haven’t tried it, you should rent a full-frame camera and see the difference for yourself.

@ricardomelo: For a graphic and web designer that sometimes uses photography in his work, is iPhoto enough or should I upgrade to Aperture?

If you’re not a full-time photographer, and if you don’t have lots and lots of pictures to manage, Aperture may be overkill. iPhoto has become a very powerful tool over the last few years. If you need basic editing and photo management, iPhoto will work. Aperture is faster, more powerful and offers the advantage of plug-in architecture as well as non-destructive editing.

@ivela: I’m in the market for a good HDR generator app. Is Hydra the one?

I think Hydra is an application to keep your eye on if you’re into HDR, but you really need to think about Tone Maps in addition to HDR and nothing tops Photomatix Pro (http://www.hdrsoft.com/) I’ve tested all the major HDR plug-ins. I actually bought and paid for Photomatix Pro. It’s fast, reliable, and does tone maps better than anything I’ve tested. This allows you to get HDR images that look more realistic. This is a fast-moving field and nobody gets to lay claim to king of the hill status forever, but as of today, I’d pick Photomatix Pro.

@rbonini Whats the best way to box a camera for shipping via courier?

Carefully :) When I’m shipping a camera, I try to ship it in its original box. Chances are it survived just fine when it came to YOU in that box and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t a good place to start when you want to ship it somewhere else. I’d place the camera in the original box (take a picture of the camera in the box with a current newspaper in the corner so you can prove both the camera’s condition and that you put the camera in the box on that day. This is good for insurance purposes. Then put the original camera box in a larger cardboard box surrounded by at least two inches of packing material. If it’s a pro-model camera and it’s heavy, don’t re-use a shipping box that someone sent you. Buy a new shipping box to make sure that you get the strength and support you need.

Also make sure you don’t ship the camera with a lens attached. If the camera has removable lenses, remove the lens, and ship it separately using the same standards.

If you don’t have the original box, I’d suggest using two inches of bubble wrap around the camera, then putting that in a box which could then in turn be placed in a larger box surrounded by the same two inches of packing material.

I also often suggest putting the camera box in a plastic bag before shipping it in case there is water damage related to shipping or storage at the courier warehouse. Yes, I know this is a lot of work, but I’ve seen some disasters when people cheap out on their shipping materials so keep in mind it’s easier and cheaper to do it right the first time.

Thanks for the questions. Please keep them coming. If you don’t have a Twitter account and don’t want one, send your questions via email to: [email protected]


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