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Haven't watched all the videos, but probably enough to give a decent idea. Must admit the blur gallery in the version I've got is not something I was all that aware of and it certainly gives more control over the quality of blur as well as allowing multiple control points. What it doesn't do is offer any sort of magic bullet for the perennial problem of masking, which is the time consuming and problematic bit of the operation. It may help reduce the problem of halosity that arises with either blur around the subject or even on a duplicate layer, but not without even more work still by creating non blurred hotspots behind a duplicated, masked subject.
Certainly no quick fix. It's a bit of a relief in a way there's no killer feature in CC, because we're not gonna lease it...
Quote: On the subject of sales, many an amateur who is aspirational and wanting to spend serious money on his hobby will buy what he sees the professionals using - DSLRs.
If you want to sell CSCs to those kind of people (ones who've rejected smartphones and compacts because they want to use what they see pros with) then you'd have to convince the pros to switch to CSCs.
Can you convince professionals to give up heavy DSLRs? There'll be the odd photo journalist who switches, but I can't imagine many wedding photographers, fashion photographers, sports photographers using CSCs. I doubt that Canon, Nikon etc would really want them to anyway?
I couldn`t get to Rewind this year even though its right on my doorstep, went looking for pictures and stories instead and stumbled upon this.
He`s a working pro that shoots pretty much anything and below the Rewind story there is another saying he had switched to M4/3 and states his reasons why.
The Sony SLT cameras are part way to mirror less, removing the mechanical side of the mirror.
My next camera will be the A99 mk 2, was this to be mirror less, I would welcome it.
Quote: magic bullet for the perennial problem of masking
Chris, what's your current method?
Do you paint your mask then use refine edge / refine mask to perfect it? That's the way I normally do it. For stuff that's in sharp focus and the background is already blurred latest CC PS does a neat trick where it selects just the in focus bits, someone's head for example, with some feathering from that point you could create pretty realistic bokeh.
Only video I could find on the focus mask technique
Neat trick that Chris and it would be useful for some of my work, but not particularly useful for adding blur that isn't already there.
As for my current method, it depends on what the image is and what the size of reproduction will be. If it's fairly small often I'll just do a rough hand drawn mask [when I say rough, it's all relative, isn't it?]. If it's larger and trickier I'll be a lot more precise, masking off the bulk of the image and then refining with brushes of various thickness, opacity and feathering [for things like hair, which can be incredibly time consuming]. What's worse still is extracting images that have shadows and/or transparency where I might take a multi-stage approach of blending a version by 'muliplying' and overlaying that with a differently masked duplicate with adjusted opacity to bring back some colour and contrast.
Quote: not particularly useful for adding blur that isn't already there.
Exactly what I thought and I've not tried it yet, I suppose it could enhance / improve any existing blur.
Quote: masking off the bulk of the image and then refining with brushes of various thickness, opacity and feathering [for things like hair, which can be incredibly time consuming
Chris, please tell me you've tried the vastly-improved refine mask / refine edge? It's only been in PS since CS5 afaik.
When introduced one of the PS team said "I know it’s easy to knock Photoshop (or any mature tool) by saying, “You guys always just go add new stuff & never fix/improve what’s already there.” In the case of Refine Edge & many other spots within CS5, however, you’ll see that instead of adding something new, we’ve gone back and significantly overhauled what already existed. I think you’ll like the results."
You need to see this all the way through then try it yourself! Lot of people missed it or don't know how to use it properly.
Thought I'd already replied to this! I didn't know it could do that and I'm very impressed - that could potentially save me hours and give more effective hair masks.
It does strike me once again however they're demonstrating with a best case scenario - plain backgrounds like this aren't the most difficult things to mask from - you could without this select the background using the colour value and adjust the 'fuzziness' to increase the amount that shows through the hair outlines and quickly add to anything removed from the main body of the mask by that. Still very useful though and I've bookmarked the video so that I can try out the technique next time I have an extraction to make - it will be interesting to see how effective it is with busier background.
Thanks for the link - my colleagues appreciate it too!
I don't even know why they demonstrated this on the plain backgrounds, I can get it to work on complex backgrounds. One thing that Terry White doesn't do, which I and some others prefer, is to make the feathering almost zero and use the contrast slider to get fantastically sharp extractions. It was a short video about a feature that had been improved. Since then people have learned to get more and more out of it with alternate methods.
Look at a few more videos, this dog one is quite good from Lynda.com, click through and watch it in HD
I've given that a go - not as easy as the video suggests, but nevertheless very useful. As it transpires I've used it to add blur to the background of a photo I didn't take [five figures walking across a field with trees behind, I've added another layer mask to graduate and selectively reduce areas of blur].
Trickier than the example above because the tonal levels of the grass and trees in light and shadow had a fair variation. Still probably a lot faster than doing it my normal way and pretty effective I think. Thanks again.
Quote: for serious wildlife/nature photography, M4/3 is a long way from being able to compete with Canon and Nikon in the area of extremely high quality ultra long lenses such as the 500mm and the 600mm.
This comment perhaps overlooks that a 300mm on M4/3 has a similar angle of view to 600mm on 24x36.
Providing you are happy with M4/3 sensor quality (the current best seem part equal and part better than a D3 was) you can match 600 mm f4 angle of view on 24x36 with 300 mm f4 on M4/3 for a lot less money with a lot less weight.
Not directly relevant there is a similar though not so great difference between Nikon FX and DX.
Though I'd be willing to bet the 300mm f4 will be a cracker when it appears, it's not here yet [not natively anyway you can convert 4/3 for use, but only the EM1 will perform even reasonably]. In the meantime the fastest is the Panasonic 100-300 which goes out to 5.6 at the long end and although it's not bad, it's not a stellar performer. There is Olympus' 4/3 legacy that's actually 300mm f2.8 [imagine that 600mm equivalent at f2.8 - the Sigma 200-500 comes close but it's near on £20,000 and the size of a small bus].
Faster, sharper telephotos or long zooms around the corner should help address the imbalance though and arguably make the system [because of the considerable weight advantages afforded by the crop factor] ideal for wildlife and sport, especially if there are further advances in focus tracking. The EM1 and GH4 may not be up there with the best of the best, but I know the former is useable and by all accounts Panasonic's innovative approach [DfD] has also made great strides.
What's the DfD thing?
I need more lenses. NEED em!
I'm so tempted to try either the 75- 300 Oly or the Panasonic 100-300. I've looked at lots of test photos and 'real' people's images, some are awful, some very good, the few that are outstanding tend to be below 150.
I'd still like to try one out, it's the idea of playing around with the compression effect at 600 (equiv) that interests me more than anything with telephoto. I don't really do much sport or wildlife
I'm so happy with my 17 and 45 lenses and I'll use those most frequently.
I could still do with a wide angle, wider than the 12 though, primes below 12 seem thin on the ground or are fisheye. The zooms get very good reviews though so if I could afford it I'd go ultrawide and get the 7-14 Panasonic (I know the Oly 9-18 is cheaper but I don't think it compares)
You'd be best asking David [lemmy] about DfD. As I understand it it is a focus defocus system that measures the lens behaviour against a database allowing it to lock more quickly and accurately. By all accounts initially it only works with Panasonic lenses. In the EM1 Olympus has included phase detecting sensels on the sensor itself to allow tracking, which obviously won't work across the entire frame [but that's also usually a limitation of where the cross hair detectors are on conventional SLRs too].
I haven't got an ultra-wide apart from the Samyang fisheye, which is well built, inexpensive and of course given the characteristic of such a wide optic it being manual focus is not such a big deal. Maybe ultimately I will stretch to the Panasonic [the 9mm wide of the Olympus hardly seems worth it], but at the moment for my photography it is a large expense for something I probably wouldn't use an awful lot. Of course when you get so wide with MFT it is in normal circumstances almost impossible to limit DoF much at all - not crying out to me as a must have.
If you don't mind fisheye lenses the Oly 9mm bodycaplens is good fun for £80. And very compact
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