The IMAGING RESOURCE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
NEWSLETTER


Volume 13, Number 21 21 October 2011

Copyright 2011, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the 317th edition of the Imaging Resource Newsletter. We pack the smallest Lowepro Fastpack AW with everything you need to make a movie. Then the team evaluates the new Canon EOS flagship, the 1D X. We put our chisel down to spend an evening with Hubert Burda, who has described our age as the Iconic Turn. Picture that.

A gentle reminder: As we explained in the last issue, we're looking for your 2011 Ersatz Nobel nominations for Extraordinary Customer Service. Email your nomination with the subject "Ersatz Nobel" to editor@imaging-resource.com soon! Thanks!


TOPICS

SPONSORS
This issue is sponsored in part by the following companies. Please show your appreciation by visiting their links below. And now a word from our sponsors:
P E N T A X

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S O N Y

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S I G M A

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Are you in the digital photo business? This newsletter is read by approximately 55,000 combined direct and pass-along subscribers, all with a passion for digital photography. For information on how you can reach them, contact us at editor@imaging-resource.com.

Feature: Lowepro 150 AW Packs Your dSLR Video Gear

When Derrick Story showed off Lowepro's new line of Fastpack bags (http://thedigitalstory.com/2011/09/sneak_peek_-_lowepro.html) in September, he got us thinking. Not an easy thing to do, either.

We wondered if they might not solve a few little but nagging problems.

The first problem is the one of carrying a laptop and a camera through an airport.

The second one is carrying your camera gear comfortably on a hike. This one bit us in Yosemite where we relied on a shoulder bag.

A third one (not quite pressing) is what to carry on the floor of a trade show. There aren't many trade shows with floors any more, though.

Lowepro sent us the Fastpack bag of our choice to test. Despite our previously well-documented Herculean strength, we thought we'd try the smallest one, the 150 AW (http://products.lowepro.com/product/DSLR-Video-Fastpack-150-AW,2281,16.htm).

DESIGN

Lowepro designed it to handle a 13-inch laptop, a dSLR with a kit lens and some audio recording equipment, too. You can't attach a grip to the dSLR but you can strap a tripod to the side of the bag. Lowepro thinks of it as the perfect bag for dSLR video enthusiasts.

When FedEx dropped off a big box here the other day, we were surprised at how light it was. We had no idea what was in it (the label wasn't particularly revealing) but whatever it was had the weight down right.

Inside was the 3 lb. 150 AW. It's the narrowest of the bags at 9.8 inches wide. Its 8.3 inch depth and 17.7 inch height are also a scoche smaller than its two larger siblings. While those dimensions are well within carry-on restrictions, it struck us as overhead bin depth.

The outside of the black bag is 300D Poly Dobby PUX2 and 600D Polyester. The gray inside is 200D Poly with PU. Slipping a 13-inch laptop against the gray lining unnerved us. It sounded like glass scratching the laptop case. Of course, the laptop was fine. And it's easier to clean rather than that soft velvet-like surface of the InCase sleeves.

But if you like to transport your laptop in a sleeve (which is the best way we've found to get it through airport security), you might prefer the larger 250 AW, designed for 15-inch laptops.

To get to the laptop slot, which is closest to your back, you unlatch two side straps and unzip the zipper to the compartment with two zipper pulls. Quick and easy. No sloshing around, either, it's a nice, tight fit.

Big enough for a tablet in a cover or case, too, we should add.

The hump of the bag is composed of two compartments that sit on top of each other.

The top compartment is the audio section. And if not audio, everything else. It's generously sized with a zippered compartment against the back wall and a sound cord wallet on the floor. There's a mesh pocket to the right of a pocket whose front side doubles as a business card holder. And there's a strap with a hook for your keychain, too. The compartment cover, which is shaped a bit like a hood, has a zippered pocket on the outside.

But the slightly larger lower compartment is where the action is. Lowepro ships the bag with a set of dividers nicely laid out to fit two small objects in the lower right corner and some cables or accessories in the top right corner. Those snugly surround the T-shaped opening for a dSLR with a lens attached. We tried a few different models and were happy configuring the inserts with their orange pull tabs to fit a mid-sized dSLR. You can also drop a Micro Four Thirds camera in there but it swims around. It's really designed for a dSLR.

Like the other two compartments, the camera section is secured with a strap. But the cover wraps around the back horizontally, all the way across the back and the left side. That makes it possible to sling the bag under your left shoulder after slipping out of the right shoulder strap so you can open the cover on the side and quickly extract your camera.

The strap down the back keeps the cover from flying open and dropping your gear on the ground so make sure it's secured when you hoist the bag onto your back.

Probably a good idea to use the hip belt when performing the sling switch. You can think of it as an insurance policy.

Which brings us to the shoulder straps. They are among the most comfortable we've ever subjected ourselves to. Padded with a mesh lining, they each have a plastic D ring to hang a sandwich and beer from.

The back of the bag that rests against your own back is also lined with black mesh, keeping you cool. There's a pocket on the top, too, where you might hide a wallet.

Along the bottom, the mesh back separates from the bag just enough to let you hide the hip belt.

And lest we forget, the top of the bag does have a hand strap so you don't have to wear the bag to bring it along.

You can pack along a tripod too by slipping it in the pouch on the left side and securing it with the strap that crosses the top of the left side. There's even a little orange tripod icon to remind you. But it doesn't have to be a tripod. It could be a monopod or even an umbrella. The pouch itself has a pocket behind it but it's only accessible from the bottom. Mysterious indeed.

We learned all about the bag while we were hunting for the all-weather cover. We were pretty sure Lowepro neglected to include it when we finally discovered it tucked into another compartment on the very bottom of the bag. Very clever. And it doesn't detach. It's sewn to a black flap so you just pull it out and over to protect your gear and keep the bag dry. Very smart.

WARRANTY

The bag was not only well designed but very well made. Zippers zipped, pulls were ergonomic, seams were seemly, really no complaints.

Lowepro also warrants the bag against defects in material or workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner.

PACKING

It's not hard to assemble 20 lbs. of gear before you wander off. There's the 3 lb. bag to start with. A laptop of maybe 4.5 lbs. plus a camera of 2 lbs. with a zoom lens of another pound. Add a 4 lb. tripod and you've got just a handful of pounds left for accessories.

We packed a 13-inch laptop in the laptop section. Then we loaded the camera section with as much as a Nikon D300 with an 18-200mm lens. That was a tight fit. A Canon Rebel with the 18-55mm kit lens left room for some accessories. And an Olympus E-PL1 left a lot of room.

That left the top compartment free. But we like to bring a case for our glasses, a polarizer, a cleaning cloth, a notebook, a pen or two, a small digital audio recorder, a wallet (preferably someone else's), a flask, DEET, extra memory cards, maybe a card reader and, oh yes, that power adapter for the laptop. Fortunately we've weaned ourselves from the use of a mouse.

If you aren't packing and unpacking the 150 AW, you're carrying it or swapping camera bodies.

Unlike the Think Tank Photo Multimedia HDSLR system (http://www.thinktankphoto.com/categories/multimedia-hdslr-camera-bags.aspx), you don't work out of the bag. There are no eyelets for cables to pass through to the outside, no built-in mounts for microphones, no quick access pockets or tabs so you can operate your recording gear in the bag. And it isn't modular like the Multimedia gear, which you can configure to match your gear or gig.

But that's the difference between a backpack and a belt system. What you carry and how you use it determines which one is the best one for you.

CONCLUSION

So how did the 150 AW do on our three nagging little problems? Not bad, really.

It helps to have one bag that can carry both your laptop and camera gear through airports. If that was the primary use for this bag, we might prefer the 250 AW so we could slip the laptop out in a protective sleeve to go through security. And it will fit in the overhead bin, although that resembles musical chairs more than storage these days.

For hiking or just around town on assignment, it shines. You can actually carry two cameras, slinging one around your neck and swapping them in and out of the camera compartment. You can do that with any bag, of course, but not quite as quickly, we think.

And what works on the street works in the convention center, too. If you need the laptop to post stories, you've got it. If you don't, you have a nice big pocket to put literature in (but, really, these days, the only literature you need is a URL).

That's about as good as it gets for a computer/camera bag.

Return to Topics.

Feature: Canon EOS-1D X Preview

By SHAWN BARNETT and MIKE TOMKINS
(Excerpted from the full review posted at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-1dx/canon-1dxA.HTM on the Web site.)

This is a year of unusual moves in the camera industry, the latest of which is Canon's merger of the two EOS-1D pro cameras into one, the Canon EOS-1D X.

Previously, the 1D line was split into two special-purpose cameras:

Price also differentiated the two cameras, with the 1D lately fetching $5,200 and the 1Ds commanding $8,000.

In merging the two, Canon has produced a single pro camera that has a faster frame rate of 12 frames per second, yet a lower resolution of 18 megapixels. And the price takes a middle road too, coming in at an expected $6,800 suggested retail price.

TECH INFO

Sensor. Canon has developed a new, high-performance full-frame CMOS image sensor specifically for the 1D X. With a pixel size of 6.95 microns -- 1.25 microns larger than on the 1D Mark IV and 0.55 microns larger than the 5D Mark II -- the 1D X's sensor is said by the company to have the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera to date. Further enhancing light gathering efficiency, the 1D X's CMOS chip includes gapless microlenses. Resolution is 18 megapixels, almost exactly splitting the difference between the 16-megapixel 1D Mark IV and the 21-Mp 1Ds Mark III. To ensure all that data can be read off the sensor quickly, the design includes 16 readout channels. Analog to digital conversion is 14-bit.

Processor. Speed demands more than just a lot of parallel readout channels. The 1D X features no less than three DIGIC image processors, although only two are used for image processing. The processors used for imaging are both DIGIC 5+ types and while we understand they feature similar technology to that used in the DIGIC 5 chips of recent PowerShot compact cameras, they're rather more powerful. Compared to the dual DIGIC 4 processors found in the preceding 1D Mark IV, Canon tells us that the new DIGIC 5+ processors offer around 17 times greater processing power. The third image processor is a DIGIC 4 type and is dedicated specifically to metering and autofocus processing.

Sensitivity. The base sensitivity is ISO 100 equivalent and ordinarily the 1D X tops out at ISO 51,200 equivalent. This range can be extended at both ends, reaching a minimum of ISO 50 equivalent at the bottom end and a whopping maximum of ISO 204,800 equivalent in the H2 setting. Overall, sensitivity is said to have been improved by around two stops over the previous generation of cameras.

Performance. The 1D X makes a step forward in burst shooting performance, besting the 1D Mark IV by two frames per second at full resolution, for a very handy 12 fps using either One-Shot or AI Servo AF. This can be increased by another two fps, if you lock up the mirror, shoot in JPEG mode and restrict your sensitivity to ISO 32,000 or below. In this case, it's possible to shoot at up to 14 fps, around 40 percent faster than the Mark IV.

Optics. Like its predecessor, the full-frame 1D X accepts Canon EF, TS-E or MP-E lenses, but not the EF-S lenses designed for the smaller APS-C sensor format. Canon uses lens-based optical image stabilization in its interchangeable-lens cameras, so the availability of stabilization depends on the lens.

Lens Correction. In addition to the peripheral illumination correction capability introduced in the Mark IV, which corrects vignetting/light fall-off, the 1D X now provides in-camera chromatic aberration correction. As with the vignetting correction, the availability of chromatic aberration correction depends on the lens in use. We understand the camera ships with around 30 lenses preprogrammed for the new function. Canon's EOS Utility software can be used to register additional lens types as needed. The CA correction can correct for both lateral and axial aberrations and does so for both JPEG and Raw image types. In addition, it's possible to correct for lens distortion, although this correction is made during processing of Raw data and hence is applicable only to JPEG images.

Viewfinder. Optically, Canon has retained a very similar viewfinder design to the 1Ds Mark III and 1D Mark IV models. Coverage is approximately 100 percent, with 0.76x magnification and a 20mm eyepoint. However, it now includes an information overlay LCD similar to the EOS 7D and also shows more information than in past models. Additions include an AF status indicator that shows when the camera is actively focusing, as well as a shooting mode indication and an additional digit on the ISO sensitivity indication.

Displays. As well as the information available in the optical viewfinder, the 1D X includes two monochrome information LCDs (one each on the rear and top panels), plus a 3.2-inch color LCD panel on the rear panel. The LCD panel is fixed in position with a viewing angle about 170 degrees. It's a ClearView II panel, which uses a resin filling to eliminate air between the LCD itself and the cover glass, reducing reflections and glare. Resolution is quite high, at 1,040,000 dots or somewhere in the region of 347,000 pixels.

Live View frames images either through the viewfinder or on the rear-panel LCD using three framing guides: either a nine- or 24-segment grid or a nine-segment grid with diagonals.

Focusing. Canon has developed a new autofocus sensor for the 1D X, its first completely new system since the current 45-point design was introduced with 1998's EOS 3 film camera. The 1D X's High Density Reticular AF sensor has an even greater focus point count, with no less than 61 AF points covering a greater portion of the image area. Working range has been expanded at both ends and is now from -2 to 20 EV.

Canon has also refined its AI Servo AF mode, which is said to have higher tracking sensitivity and better handles tracking of accelerating or decelerating subjects. Additionally, information from the RGB metering sensor is taken into account when identifying subjects for autofocus, in what Canon is calling EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF. The 1D X can attempt to detect the locations of faces and focus on these. Alternatively, it can aim to identify a subject of a particular color -- a jersey color on the field, for example -- and track this. If face detection fails because a face has been lost, it will fall back to looking for color information instead.

Shutter. There's an entirely new shutter design with lighter, more durable carbon fiber shutter blades, along with a new motor design and shutter motion, which together are said to reduce vibration and also allow a dramatic one-third increase in the rated shutter life, now some 400,000 cycles. Additionally, the 1D X is the first 1D-series SLR able to use an electronic first curtain, which further reduces camera vibration during image capture.

Exposure. Another first for a Canon dSLR is the 1D X's dedicated metering and autofocus image processor. This DIGIC 4 processor handles output from a new RGB metering sensor, with an effective resolution of some 107,250 pixels and is said to offer greater exposure accuracy thanks to both color and face detection capability. Matrix metering considers the image frame as 252 separate zones by default and in low light, the matrix metering system switches to a 35-zone view of the image frame. Subject recognition functionality is used not only for focus and exposure control, but also by the Auto Lighting Optimizer and Automatic Picture Style functions.

Flash. As is standard for professional SLRs, the 1D X doesn't include an internal flash, but instead offers up a standard hot shoe and sync terminal. The 1D X's maximum flash sync speed is 1/250 second.

Creative. Continuing the firsts, the 1D X is Canon's first SLR to offer in-camera multiple exposure capability. It's possible to combine up to nine separate exposures into a single composite image, in-camera. Four compositing methods are available: Additive, Average, Bright and Dark and the results can be reviewed on the LCD monitor. If you're not happy with the results of the most recent exposure, there's a helpful single-step Undo function. In addition, you can use an existing Raw image as the foundation for a multiple exposure stack.

Video. The Canon 1D X offers Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) video capture capability, as well as a couple of lower-resolution options and a healthy selection of frame rates. At the maximum Full HD resolution, recording rate options are 29.97, 25 or 23.976 frames per second. At 720p (1280x720 pixels), there's a choice of either 59.94 or 50 fps recording. Finally, there's a standard-def mode which offers frame rates suited for either NTSC or PAL display. In all cases, the 1D X uses H.264 compression.

The 1D X also provides a lot of control over how videos are captured. Both automatic and manual audio level controls are available, with the manual mode offering a fine-grained 64-step control. It's possible to adjust the levels during capture and sound recording can also be disabled altogether. There's an optional wind filter function and sound can be recorded either with an internal, monaural microphone or an external stereo mic.

You can also control the H.264 compression system used by the camera for HD video, opting either for ALL-i intraframe compression or IPB interframe compression. The latter considers multiple frames when compressing the video, allowing higher compression levels and more efficient file sizes, but also increasing the burden of post-processing. Intraframe, meanwhile, is similar to Motion JPEG capture in that compression is restricted within each frame, making for higher file sizes but easier editing.

There are also two methods of embedding timecode in the 1D X, with one tracking timecode only during capture of video and the other including timecode across an entire capture session, including periods where the camera wasn't recording.

Another new feature is the ability to automatically span videos that exceed the maximum 4-GB clip length across multiple files. Canon notes that no frames are lost in this process so the files can be joined back together seamlessly in post processing. The maximum capture length is still limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds, however.

Dust Reduction. While the weather-sealing hasn't changed significantly, the dust reduction functionality has been upgraded. The 1D X includes Canon's new, second-generation UWMC (Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning) dust reduction system, which doesn't simply shake the IR cut filter, but is said to do so with an underlying, carrier wave motion that's intended to help dislodge smaller particles. There's also a new fluorine coating on the cut filter glass, to help repel dust from adhering in the first place.

Connectivity. Gigabit Ethernet connectivity (1000BASE-T) is built into the camera body. If the attached network connection goes down, the 1D X will queue and attempt to resend images once the connection is restored. It's also possible to mark images for transfer when not connected to the network or a USB port to have them transferred automatically when a connection is established.

Wireless file transmitter. A new Wireless File Transmitter offers faster transfer rates with support for 802.11a/b/g/n. The WFT-E6A is dust and weather resistant and includes Bluetooth connectivity compatible with certain GPS devices, allowing the use of the wireless file transmitter at the same time as geotagging of images. There's no USB connection, though.

GPS. Carrying model number GP-E1, a new GPS receiver is weather resistant to the same standard as the camera body, even at the connector. It includes an electronic compass and can geotag images with UTC time, latitude, longitude, elevation and camera direction, regardless of shooting orientation.

Storage. The 1D X stores images in Raw, JPEG or Raw+JPEG formats. Like its predecessors, it includes dual card slots, with the ability to back up images to each card, switch cards by file type or when filled, etc. However, where previously the slots differed in type, they are both now CompactFlash slots (Type 1 or II) with no Secure Digital slot.

Power. The 1D X comes with a new battery pack model, the LP-E4N. It's backward-compatible, offering simply a higher mAh rating. There's a new charger included, but old chargers should still be compatible with a few caveats.

Pricing, Availability. The 1D X is scheduled to ship in the U.S. market from March 2012. Body-only estimated retail pricing is expected to be in the region of $6,800. The WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter will ship at the same time, priced at around $600. Finally, the GP-E1 GPS receiver will follow from April 2012, with an estimated price of around $300.

ANALYSIS

With the 1D X, Canon's made a curious move, retreating from the 21-Mp full-frame design of the 1Ds and 5D Mark II to an 18-Mp full-frame sensor for the sake of greater speed, better high ISO performance and presumably greater dynamic range. All are worthy goals, to be sure.

The strategy paid off in the enthusiast camera space, with educated consumers appreciating the move and taking an interest in 10-Mp S95 and G12 models. Nikon fans likewise appreciated the faithful performance of the D700, which with its 12-Mp sensor could capture clean images at higher ISOs than most other cameras in its class. Will Canon pro photographers feel the same? Or do they want something to surpass the amazing performance of the Nikon D3x, with even more resolution and speed?

For sports photographers, the new camera will be attractive for its greater speed even though it effectively reduces the magnification of their lenses (not much, but perhaps enough). And the price of admission just got $1,600 more expensive. On the other hand, will studio photographers be interested in a camera that can do 12 fps? Wouldn't they prefer to stick with their 21-Mp 1Ds Mark III? Both sides might need a little convincing. If performance (particularly in low light) rivals a Nikon D3x, many pro photographers will be interested, regardless of their discipline. Autofocus performance is also key and pros will be watching closely to see how well the 1D X does there.

What's missing in the equation is the 50-Mp sensor Canon showed off at Canon Expo last year. If the 1D X isn't adopted by portrait photographers, might the 1Ds make a reappearance with one of these high-res wonders? And what will happen with the 5D Mark II's replacement? Will it take a step back in resolution to attain some of the capabilities offered in the 1D X, particularly in the video department?

It's a very exciting time in the camera industry, with major players making bold moves to attract the attention of a growing body of eager and enthusiastic photographers. It'll be interesting to see how well the 1D X is received and even more interesting to get the camera into the lab for testing. Stay tuned!

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New on the Site

At http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEW1.HTM you can keep track of what's new on our main site. Among the highlights since the last issue:

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Book Bag: The Digital Wunderkammer

It's subtitled "10 Chapters on the Iconic Turn." The Iconic Turn? Sounds like a bad translation doesn't it? But it's an academic concept. So it has a cousin. The Linguistic Turn. Like most cousins they roam the world at the same time, the right and left sides of your brain, constantly referring to each other like a photo and a caption.

Recently we spent an evening listening to Hubert Burda, art historian and publisher, discuss his new book on this topic. He calls it The Digital Wunderkammer even in translation. Fortunately he explained what he meant: the Internet as the digital curiosity shop of our day represents a turn to the image as our primary means of communication and indeed a new aesthetic.

So it's ironic (even quaint, perhaps) that we are having this little linguistic chat.

Burda told us a little story that seems central to this conception. He was sitting in his Berlin office overlooking a major boulevard. Across from him was his new partner Rupert Murdoch. They had an evening deadline at the printing plant across the river in the suburbs that inconveniently had to navigate rush hour.

How were they ever going to make the deadline, Burda worried. But Murdock had no such concern. The technicians he'd brought from London set up a production system that could transmit text and images (well, page layouts) from the editorial offices to the printing plant over the phone.

That was just the seed of a revolution in communication that has brought us to the day when it costs almost nothing more to share images than it does to communicate by text. Unless, of course, you're talking about your smart phone.

It's a seed a lot of us watered, not just Murdock, we'd like to point out. Before founding Imaging Resource, for example, Dave Etchells made a living selling photo typesetters that people like your editor here bought to produce their publications. The interminable wait for a messenger to pick up copy from a contributor and bike it to the office lead to the proliferation of modems in editorial offices, not to mention utilities to convert word processing documents into the text the photo typesetting system could digest. And especially not to mention those old drum scanners that could turn images into data and simultaneously bankrupt a company.

We could grok what Burda was saying, in short.

And it's true, it isn't such a leap from that technical solution to the pleasure of a smart phone camera and its cellular connection to an image sharing service. Images are no longer more expensive than text. When Steven Jobs introduced the iPhone, he expressed wonder as he showed the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower satellite images (as if they were in real time). Now we almost take it for granted we can see what's going on far away if not with a Skype call then with a Facebook wall.

So why, we wondered, had Burda made his argument in a book?

A handsome book, we have to quickly add. Printed in Germany, it's heavily illustrated with light airy text that recounts a series of interviews and lectures on the subject of the Iconic Turn.

Well, that was another revealing moment in the evening. Answering a question, Burda remembering losing a lot of money when he tried to convince his editors to work on PCs. "Every interface," he said, "has its own aesthetic quality." He claimed that "if you are a good magazine journalist, I know so many, you really don't like the Web." You like the smell of ink on a double spread coming off the press, of seeing your name in print, your photos, "it's still the most beautiful thing in the world," he said. A few glowing pixels just don't cut it.

Whatever his motivation, the book makes accessible some inspiring arguments. It's not a "logical essay," Burda admitted. But the text is composed of ten to twenty years of notes he brought together. Great bedtime reading, he suggested.

But he was kidding. The ideas will keep you awake.

These ideas had their genesis in a series of discussions Burda had with his son Felix, also an art historian, in the 1990s. They were continued after Felix's death in a series of lectures at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

After Burda introduces the concept of the Iconic Turn, Chapter I argues that the traditional painter's view through the window showing the familiar world has been replaced by the TV set. That leads him in Chapter II to discuss the implications of the frame for an image. In short, that without a frame, there is no image, just a stream of visuals. Chapter III follows this concept into the realm of interfaces.

Chapter IV jumps to the mobile image while Chapter V compares stressful and relaxing images. Chapter VI considers "the sublime -- the beautiful -- the picturesque" while Chapter VII discusses the representation of power through images, asserting, "Images need to uphold power when the ruler is absent."

Chapter VIII compares internal and external images with a discussion of the camera obscura. Chapter IX spins out celebrity culture with a good dose of Andy Warhol, whom Burda knew. And the book ends with a list of 10 books that spawned this one.

The text is lavishly illustrated (with those gorgeous color double trucks that still have a whiff of the press about them) and interspersed with discussions Burda conducted with various professors involved in the lecture series. Among the participants are Friedrich Kittler, Peter Sloterdijk, Bazon Brock, Horst Bredekap, Hans Belting and Burda himself with Wolfgang Ullrich. They further develop the ideas sketched out in the main chapters.

We found ourselves putting this book down quite a bit. The text is airy and sparse. The illustrations rich. But the ideas are combustible.

The importance of frames? That's easily acknowledged. We frame our photos to push the world back and say, "This is an image." But that frame as an interface like Windows that allows more than one thing to happen at the same time? Hmm, take that a step forward to the quintessential frame of our time: the Google search box.

Where does that lead you?

Well, everywhere. It's the window to the curiosity shop of our day. Where you can, with social media and Warhol's example, even find yourself as a celebrity if not a brand. Something, Burda observed, that has never been possible before.

And if that doesn't put you to sleep, it will at least give you something to dream about.

The Digital Wunderkammer: 10 Chapters on the Iconic Turn by Hubert Burda, published by Petrarca Verlag, pages, $45 (or $34.20 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/3770551931/?tag=theimagingres-20).
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RE: Tonal Range

I question your answer that prints do not have the tonal range that negatives do. I still shoot film, edit from 4x6 prints, scan selects as TIFF usually at 600 dpi, make corrections, convert to JPEG, then get large prints made anywhere from 11x14 to 30x40. Nothing wrong with my tonal range. Other pro photographers have looked at them and think they look great.

Or maybe it's these old eyes.

-- Richard

(Well, no, it's not your eyes, Richard. It's more your mind <g>. We are great compensators by nature. But this is a measurable phenomenon. The range of brightness of a sunlit scene is something in the order of 1:10,000. The blackest part of the scene reflects 1/10,000 as much light as the brightest. A print achieves little more than a 1:100 ratio. That translates to a dynamic range of 2.0 for prints. But slides can have a dynamic range of 3.2 to no more than 4.0 and negs a little less. So you can measure a significant difference in dynamic range between film and prints. Blame the reflective nature of a print and the transmissive light of film. The art comes in picking the tones to reproduce to exhibit the effect you want. Which is where the mind comes in. -- Editor)

RE: Epson Results

I frequently find that if I return -- after a few hours or days -- to print a photo I adjusted in Photoshop, the color results may vary and I need to redo some of the adjustments to get consistent results. This leads to a waste of ink, paper and my time. I only use genuine Epson inks and good quality Epson paper. Any thoughts?

-- Andrew Geller

(We can't think of any reason for that to happen, Andrew. Print something, walk away for six hours, print it again. The prints should be identical the next day. Now, you may see a difference between a print that has stabilized over a day and one that just came out of the printer. So don't go by the fresh print, especially if you are using swellable paper that has to stabilize and dye inks whose vehicle has to evaporate. -- Editor)

RE: Canon Pro9500 Mark II

I'm looking for a printer that will best for printing restored old photos. They will mainly be in black and white so I have been looking at the Canon Pro9500 Mark II printer. But I've noticed that it doesn't print borderless prints. Is that true? Can you recommend the best printer for me?

-- Bron

(Oh, it can make a borderless print, Bron. The heavier 13x19 art papers should not be printed borderless to get through the printer, though. That issue was discussed in the review: "The fine arts papers require using the '(Margin 35)' page size setting when printing on 13x19 paper. That leaves a rather wide unprinted margin of about 1.37 inches. The Advanced Guide suggests printing borderless on the thicker sheets 'can affect the print quality or the paper feed position.'" See the review (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRINT/CP95KII/CP95KII.HTM) for a fuller discussion. -- Editor)

RE: PaperPort 11

Under Windows XP, I'm using a Canon 8400F scanner with PaperPort 11 Pro, attempting to produce a JPEG file of document so I can resize and print it. Every time I attempt this, I get an error message saying, "PaperPort Document Manager has encountered a problem and needs to close." I have removed PaperPort 11, edited out all references from the Registry and reinstalled it with a cold reboot between each action. The problem still reoccurs. If anyone has a solution to this problem, or knows how to produce a JPEG file on a Canon scanner with PaperPort 11 Pro, OmniPage 17 or Office XP Pro, please let me know. Thank you.

-- Michael Dawson

(We haven't used PaperPort ourselves but apparently it's not uncommon for it to crash. In addition, PaperPort 11 isn't the latest version, so customer support isn't going to be much help, we suspect. But let's look at the task: scan a document on a Canon 8400F and save it as a JPEG. That's not asking too much of any scanning software. Try the free demo version of VueScan (http://www.hamrick.com). It supports the 8400F. -- Editor)

Did you know that anything you scan with the demo version of VueScan has watermarks all through it, making that file unusable?

-- Michael

(Nothing unusual about that in a demo program. -- Editor)
Return to Topics.

Editor's Notes

Nikon, Sony and Western Digital have been hard hit by the flooding in Thailand with some plants having "no prospect of recovery." Production of the Nikon D3100, D5100, D7000, D300s bodies plus a number of lenses, the Sony A65, A77, and NEX-7 and WD hard drives are all affected. We note above all the loss of several hundred lives in the worst flooding in 50 years there.


Adobe sneaked a peek at a Photoshop unblur filter during its MAX 2011 conference in Los Angeles recently (http://news.yahoo.com/adobe-unveils-amazing-unblur-feature-photoshop-video-125451682.html). The last image was artificially blurred but two others were blurred by camera shake.


Canon (http://www.usa.canon.com) has opened the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center on the historic Sunset Gower Studio lot at 6060 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles where it will foster support, research, service and training for Hollywood's entertainment industry.

The company also announced three Pixma all-in-one printers: the wireless $129.99 MG4120 and $79.99 MG3120 plus the $69.99 MG2120. With the new FastFront system, the ink storage and paper tray are both in front, allowing easy access to ink or paper. All three printers feature the ChromaLife 100 ink system in a two cartridge system, one black and one color.

Finally, Canon announced its 1D X flagship dSLR, previewed above, which will be available in March 2012 from $6,800.


Rocky Nook has published The Art of Photographic Lighting by Eib Eibelshaeuser, demonstrating how light and shadow can be used to compose photographs. The title is available via the Imaging Resource Amazon affiliate program at a 45 percent discount (http://www.amazon.com/dp/193395275X/?tag=theimagingres-20).


The free JAlbum 10.1 [LMW] (http://jalbum.net) adds an updated filter bar with filtering on keywords, keyword tagging with auto completion, import of metadata from IPTC fields in the XMP property editor, interface tweaks and other improvements.


MyPix2Canvas (http://MyPix2Canvas.com) has pledged its support for Rehabilitation Through Photography (http://www.rtphoto.org), which employs the experience of photography to empower and inspire disabled and disenfranchised individuals in the New York metropolitan area. To support RTP, MyPix2Canvas will donate 10 percent of its proceeds from customers who use the 20 percent discount code "RTP2011" to purchase canvas photo prints. The code is valid through Jan. 31, 2012.


This Flickr set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/macdawg/sets/72157627753926729/with/6238122344) contains Eddie McShane's portraits of Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zucotti Park.


Digital Darkroom, a free group show that explores the intersection of art and technology through the work of 17 master manipulators, opens Dec. 17 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles (http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org).


Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori has demonstrated how many conflict photographs are posed (http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/04/an-eye-opening-look-at-how-many-conflict-photos-are-staged/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+PetaPixel+(PetaPixel).


Lemkesoft (http://www.lemkesoft.com) has released its $39.95 GraphicConverter 7.4 [M] with import/export of JPS/PNS/MPO 3D images, import of stv, anaglyph conversion of 3D images, optional pixel size and resolution display in the browser thumbnail view, gray point correction and more.


Lovely landscapes from a Canon 5D Mark II: http://vimeo.com/29950141


JetPhoto Studio 5.2 [M] (http://www.jetphotosoft.com) adds Lion compatibility, more Flash gallery option and some bug fixes.


OK, you got to him. Kirk Tuck is not giving up his blog after all (http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2011/10/were-back-both-of-us-all-of-us.html). "I can't promise you anything but that I'll write about things I think and show images that have some meaning for me," he promised.


LQ Graphics (http://www.lqgraphics.com) has released its $49.95 Photo to Movie 5.0.301 [MW] with improved HD rendering settings, improved performance for timelines with hundreds of photos, a fix for loading NEF files, a fix for a problem gathering media and more.


Mel Rosenthal (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/a-mentors-passion-for-pictures-and-social-justice/?hp) has retired after 40 years of teaching photography. "Activism and photojournalism work together beautifully. What I'm interested in is things that are important. What do you think we are all doing now? Everybody is in the same bowl together," he osbserved.


Jonas Pfeil has created a camera ball with 36 fixed-focus, 2-megapixel digicam sensors (http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/99995-throwable-36-camera-ball-takes-perfect-panorama-photos). Toss the ball into the air to create a panorama of the surrounding scene.


Hamrick Software (http://www.hamrick.com) has released VueScan 9.0.59 [LMW] with support for networked Lexmark scanners, an Epson V300/V500 fix for high resolution scans, support for HP Photosmart C410 duplex scanning, improved alignment of visible and infrared scans and a fix for an Epson Expression focus problem.

Return to Topics.

One Liners

For just $150 per insertion you can list your URL or 800 number here (up to a maximum of 70 text characters).

Digital Photography Tutorials for Beginners: http://www.photoxels.com

PhotoRescue: http://imaging-resource.com/SOFT/PHR/PHR.HTM

Curtin Short Courses: http://imaging-resource.com/cgi-bin/nl/pl.cgi?bdc

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Signoff

That's it for now, but between issues visit our site for the latest news, reviews, or to have your questions answered in our free discussion forum. Here are the links to our most popular pages:

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Mike Pasini, Editor
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