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Contact: ietphotography@gmail.com

 

www.facebook.com/artinaframe

 

In case you want to buy prints of my work, please visit my website: www.ietphotography.com

taken on the west coast of South Korea which has the beach fenced off in case of invasion from the north and to keep out north korean defectors

IR Photography

 

Armed with a Flickr ID, I packed my tripod, IR filter and camera. I went to a private and exclusive club nearby. I brought my Flickr ID just in case Im accosted by security guards. Well what do you know? Since I had my Flickr ID hanging in my neck, I appeared to be on official photography mission. Two guards passed by and even greeted me good morning.:))

 

Happy weekend!!

Explored. Nov 28, 2008. # 29

PLEASE COMMENT/FAVE :)

 

DESIGN BY "KAZANLAK10 (DEVIANTART)"

I ONLY MODIFIED SELECT AREAS.

*Pistol grip more plausible * Shortened receiver to reasonable length * Tweaked the stock * Redesigned connection point between RIS and receiver * longer magazine * played around with the RIS and trigger group area.

Original: kazanlak10.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0#/d4obax0

 

Credit:

Throw Lever: Shock

Davidman: Text

Braydenmaine: XPS3

Wiikling: Textures

Wes: Rails

Keeb: Kong logo

 

I wasnt sure how best to make this the caliber the guy on deviantart had it, so i kind of went in the middle.

_______________________________

The KX212 is a sleek, comfortable carbine designed for close quarters combat and personal security detail. Engineers at Kong used high quality polymer for the receiver and stock, this keeps the KX212 light and very durable.

The receiver is rigged with a recoil dampener behind the bolt-this paired with the foregrip and added weight of the suppressor provides for extreme controlability, even in the full automatic fire mode.

A left side hinged folding and telescoping stock with a rubberized no slip canted cheek rest provides maximum comfort for the user.

The weapon can be chambered in .300 Blackout or 7.3X40mm [105 grain] (shown here) ammunition-available in either Supersonic or Subsonic. Subsonic ammunition paired with a 45 round free fall polymer magazine and QD suppressor makes the KX212 both silent and deadly.

This robust carbine also features a Kalashnikov style bolt, charging handle, and gas piston system.

An exposed CCW threaded barrel bolt allows for the user to remove the barrel for maintenance or to exchange for different lengths without disassembling the receiver.

The bolt release lever is located just forward of the user's trigger finger allowing for quick magazine changes and easy operation.

Topped off with a custom QD stubby grip, EoTech XPS3 Holographic, and finished in Kong two tone Honey/Charcoal.

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Hidden away amongst all the interface enhancements and feature additions in Android Pie is an all-new feature that has somewhat slipped under the radar for many users. Lockdown mode is a new security-focused addition that is going to be of particular use to anyone who is worried about protecting their private data in situations where their smartphone might not be in their possession.

 

Let’s start with a quick background on what lockdown mode is all about. There has been an increasing number of instances where law enforcement officials or thieves have forced smartphone owners to use their fingerprints or face recognition tech to unlock their device. With face recognition technology becoming faster by the day, you might not even realize that your phone has been unlocked without your permission.

 

Also read

 

Android P security: snooping forbidden

 

As well as a whole raft of new features, Android P includes some substantial security improvements including blocking apps from recording you secretly and more encryption for backups. Android P’s security improvements aren’t just about fixing …

 

Lockdown mode comes in as a worst-case option that lets you disable face unlock, fingerprint-based unlock, as well as any smart unlock options you might have set up. It goes a step further and even blocks lock screen notifications so that any private conversations remain just that: private. As forcing users to enter their password is illegal in most places, this could potentially act as a deterrent against law enforcement officials trying to pry into your data. Once you enter your pin, password or pattern-based unlock, all the options are enabled again.

 

Enabling lockdown mode is a fairly straightforward process and requires you to dive into the Settings app. From here, navigate to the Security & Location option. Tap Lock Screen Preferences and toggle on Show Lockdown Option from the list.

 

You can activate lockdown mode by holding down on the power button. A new option will now show up above the screenshot icon. Tapping the lockdown icon immediately locks your phone and hides away all lock screen notifications. To use your smartphone, you’ll need to enter your PIN , pattern, or password depending on what you’ve set as a failsafe.

 

Unfortunately, there is no option to have lockdown mode as a notification shade toggle, so you’ll have to activate it every time you wish to use it. That said, it is not a feature many would need to use frequently. Directed at security-conscious users, lockdown mode could come in handy when handing in your phone at airport security or even as a quick way to hide lock screen notifications.

 

Next: Android 9 Pie review: Closing the gap

 

What you need to know about Android Pie’s lockdown mode syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

 

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A WORRYING trend of ‘dognapping’ has emerged in Cumbria – with pets and alive dogs baseborn for budgetary gain.

 

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Nationally amid ten and 20 dogs a anniversary are believed to be taken by organised abyss afore actuality captivated to bribe for cash.

 

In some cases, the animals are kept until the buyer appeals for their acknowledgment in barter for a accolade – with the bandit afresh calling to affirmation they accept begin the dog.

 

In added cases, the bent calls the buyer and states they accept purchased the pet accurately afterwards realising it has been stolen. They afresh accede to acknowledgment the dog to the buyer in barter for the declared acquirement price.

 

In Cumbria, one addled buyer was appear to accept handed over hundreds of pounds to ‘buy back’ her admired pet from a man in a car park.

 

The adventure was not appear to the badge for abhorrence the beastly would be baseborn for a additional time.

 

Jayne Hayes, architect of the online, volunteer-run database DogsLost, said this blazon of abomination was growing beyond the country.

 

“This isn’t abnormal unfortunately.

 

“We are seeing amid ten and 20 cases a week.

 

“It’s a difficult situation, the buyer aloof wants their dog aback and the thieves apperceive this.

 

“If they get abroad with it once, they’re activity to do it again. It’s an accessible way to get money.”

 

DogsLost has helped accumulate about 80,000 dogs with their owners acknowledgment to online posters and amusing media sharing.

 

Ms Hayes offered this admonition to anyone whose dog is believed to accept been stolen.

 

“Get out there with posters and get it online in that aboriginal 24 hours.

 

“Make abiding as abounding bodies apperceive about your dog as accessible so it becomes too hot to handle.

 

“We apperceive bodies will address their ancestors and accompany if they anticipate they’ve got a baseborn dog.

 

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“But if you don’t get the dog aback quickly, accumulate going. Nothing disappears into attenuate air. We’ve accepted baseborn dogs appear aback bristles or six years later.”

 

In Cumbria, a cardinal of abode owners appear levels of aegis aural their businesses were acutely bound – with aerial tech surveillance and alarms installed.

 

However, able kennels were not anticipation to be a ambition for dog thieves, they added, because of the assorted layers of (security)

 

A agent for Cumbria badge said dog annexation was a abomination that was taken acutely seriously.

 

“In Cumbria, there is no affirmation of organised abomination groups targeting accurate breeds,” they added.

 

“In the aftermost 3 years, we accept advised 45 crimes involving annexation of dogs, beyond a ambit of 26 altered breeds.

 

“The majority of the thefts booty abode in area or yards of the owners’ premises.”

 

New admonition issued by the force is for owners to acquaintance them anon if accession gets in blow claiming to accept their baseborn pet.

 

The agent added: “Always acquaintance the badge as anon as you are acquainted that your dog has been taken, alarm badge on 101 or 999 in an emergency, and accumulate us abreast of any acquaintance fabricated by bodies claiming to accept your dog.

 

“If a actuality has brought your dog, and you can prove it is your dog, afresh they accept purchased baseborn property, which is an offence.

 

“You should never be asked to duke over money to accept your dog returned.

 

“If accession is allurement you to pay to get your dog back, we would admonish you not to accommodated with them.

 

“If you accept appear your dog as accepting been stolen, accumulate badge abreast of any acquaintance that is fabricated with you apropos your dog, so investigations can be agitated out and offenders can be brought to justice.”

 

Sheepdog baseborn for the additional time

 

Tri-coloured alive sheepdog Sprite was alternate to her home abreast Brampton in September aftermost year.

 

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She had been taken from the acreage area she lived by a bandit four months earlier.

 

Distressingly, her owners apparent thieves had burst into her bound abode afresh on December 4 – demography collie Sprite, age-old four, and eight-year-old Welsh collie Meg.

 

Buyer Jane Eden said she was accident achievement of seeing her dogs alternate this time.

 

“We are suspicious. We anticipate whoever took Sprite and Meg charge accept accepted the dogs, because one was actual afraid and would alone go to accession she knew.

 

“We paid a accolade aback Sprite was alternate afterwards she was baseborn the aboriginal time.

 

“There’s a lot of amount in alive dogs which is why they are generally targeted.

 

“Buying a accomplished sheepdog in its prime will amount £3,000, £4,000, £5,000.

 

“We are an amoebic farm, we cannot do afterwards dogs, so it has amount us a lot of money in accession to the agitated of accepting Sprite and Meg stolen.”

 

Aegis at the acreage has now been strengthened, and absent posters assuming photos of Sprite and Meg accept been aggregate on amusing media bags of times.

 

They are additionally registered as baseborn with the badge and a ambit of organisations affiliated to sheepdogs and farming.

 

Mrs Eden added: “We don’t accept abundant achievement of seeing them afresh this time.

 

“With alive dogs they are added acceptable to be awash to accession who is activity to assignment sheep – alike if they apperceive the dog is stolen.

 

“With pet dogs, they can be baseborn for allurement which is absolutely cutting for the owners.”

 

‘It’s been the best alarming acquaintance of my life’ – devastated buyer speaks afterwards pet dogs were baseborn

 

CUMBRIA mum of one Shelley-Anne Keenan has announced of her confusion afterwards award out her admired pet dog had been awash on a website afterwards actuality baseborn aftermost year.

 

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Thieves took 18-month-old atramentous Cockapoo Sassa from the family’s garden in Anthorn in August forth with their accomplishment Patterdale cantankerous Jack Russell terrier Layla.

 

The abomination was appear to Cumbria badge and the online database LostDogs while Mrs Keenan bound set about distributing posters alms a accolade for their return.

 

She additionally launched a amusing media attack with the advice of LostDogs in a bid to allotment photos of Sassa and Layla as broadly as possible.

 

But Volunteers for the pet chase website Absent Dogs afresh beatific a archetype of a additional advert – asleep aloof six canicule beforehand – acquaint by a agent in Cumbria who was alms Sassa for aloof £250.

 

The acquaintance capacity had been removed and Sassa’s clutter of puppies had additionally already been awash on.

 

“All I can do now is achievement that she has gone to a ancestors home and is not actuality kept in a cage about for ancestry purposes,” Mrs Keenan added.

 

“This has been the best alarming affair that has anytime happened to me.

 

“My little babe has been calling for Sassa and Layla. She doesn’t accept area they’ve gone. The agitated is unbelievable.”

 

Cockerpoo puppies – a cantankerous amid a poodle and a cocker spaniel, are consistently awash for in balance of £800.

 

Sassa’s puppies were awash for aloof £650 while the £250 amount tag absorbed to Sassa herself was low for an 18-month-old dog.

 

Mrs Keenan believes this was so that a new buyer would not ask too abounding questions about her accomplishments – or for paperwork such as an up to date anesthetic affidavit to be anesthetized on.

 

Sassa had been microchipped, a simple action in which a baby accessory is amid beneath a dog’s bark registered to their owner, while Layla, who had been rescued by the ancestors aloof weeks earlier, had yet had the procedure.

 

Mrs Keenan hopes this will advance to her actuality alternate at some point in the future.

 

“I don’t anticipate we’ll get Layla back. We’d like to anticipate that at some point a vet ability browse Sassa admitting and we ability get her aback in two or three years.

 

“I aloof appetite my dogs back.”

 

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Now, I am quite sure the next Samsung NX would be the m43 duo.

 

We went to Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture of Japan, and it was a weekday, so there were many retired men and tourists from Asia and Western countries.

It seemed like the older people the more seriously into EVF cameras because of their bad eyesight.

 

Many had a Fuji XT2(or XT20), Sony A6500, A7MK2 and rarely A7R2(for average people here it is too expensive).

Some had Olympus or Panasonic but a very few had any sort of m43.

Only a very few had D-SLRs, it is like the older they are the more willing to go mirrorless for the EVF.

 

But most of Western tourists still had a D-SLR mostly Canon 5DX or Nikon D8XX.....a couple of guys had D850 already.

I think the one camera system dying at fastest rate is m43, it is really changing......the m43 used to be the dominant mirrorless player here in Japan, but now only tiny young ladies who buy cameras for fashion item have it, but even those slowly migrating into Fuji land since the launch of the Fuji X100F and some cheap X cameras like XE3 and XT20.

m43 is making the same old mistake of their 43 era-oversizing and overpricing everything and killing all its inherent charms.

  

Why m43 is doomed 17(updated3)

Will m43 system die prematurely before the 2020 Tokyo event? Will Nikon go under before the next 2020 Tokyo event?

I personally doubt the both cases. I think m43 is doomed and so is Nikon........but the main difference here is the m43 team has no future at all with their current mount system unless they incorporate a bigger 43 format sensor proposed by some Olympus engineers a few years back. Nikon, on the other hand, may still have quite good chance in FF mirrorless market if they could just give up the stupid old F mount for the better future.

I feel Panasonic and Olympus always have some difficulty to convince or persuade their system is good enough even if it actually becomes some sort of point of sufficiency for many people........the tiny sensor choice forces any m43 lenses to be at least two times sharper than FF counterparts and still not as sharp as a cheap FF with a cheap lens, the recent DXO review of the Olympus 25mm f1.2 pro clearly shows its limitation as a whole system.

Do not get me wrong it is a fantastic lens as its own, but any lens needs to be work with a decent sensor to get the best out of it....and as all m43 sensors are so low-resolutioned, there is no chance for them to compete with a decent FF or even a APS-C with a decent or even a cheap lens favorably in a lab.

But in many camera forums there are many avid m43 supporters repeating Nikon the biggest loser in this game, and many of m43 and Fuji fans seem to think it is already too late for Nikon to play a decent role in the mirrorless game.

Yeah Nikon has made a few serious mistakes over the last 5 years, especially the temporal D800 success made them really stupid! They got too cocky and did not realize a bit more DR at base ISO over Canon cameras back then was not a big sells generating point for them. The DR issue was only a big issue in typical silly DR obsessed camera forums and only some of us extremely(maybe excessively) anal about crazy detail at pixel level rather than image level actually care about it.

But Nikon took it too seriously and tried to use it as their new lethal bio weapon against Canon and mirrorless guys while completely ignoring the real important new techs such as fast LV AF, decent durable shutter units, etc.

.........but has it worked out well for them in real market?

The biggest problem for Nikon has been they do not know how to ignore the old DR trolls and so-called experts in the YouTube world who do not have any clue about what they're teaching over the net. Nikon must learn how to use those self-proclaimed experts(actually a con artist) such as Lloyd, Gary Fong, and the guy runs Photography Lite, etc, etc.....rather than getting always used by those crazy YouTube con artists.

I think Mr.Hogan and Northrup seem to be rare exceptions here because they are more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore they see the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon, or any camera company, the mirrorless is nothing but just an old tech just like the D-SLR......Thom, Tony, Kevin, etc, all know about that and write about it repeatedly(but the trolls and fanboys conveniently ignore the fact, anyway).

 

Maybe, still, so-called mirrorless is kind of important for the short term future in the ILC market.....though, it is not the long term solution....for any one.

I think even Nikon knows it well, that is why they are said to be working on a real innovative camera(not sure ILC or fixed lens one) product that uses Android as its OS and rumored to have a multi-lens and sensor units just like the Light L16. The computational camera is the real future of camera.

 

But, for now, the big sensor mirrorless is the most profitable and important segment of camera market and that is why decent LV performance is the most important aspect of any new camera because it is a clear sign indication of how well a manufacture will do in mirrorless AF. And so we have tested a several copies of Nikon D7500 and I have confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic G85, let alone the Olympus EM1MK2 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Sony A9.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

After all, all young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

 

So Nikon seems really doomed and maybe even worse looking than the m43 team, but is m43 team really in a better spot than Nikon is in now?

 

The second serious issue for Nikon is the market perception of their brand has changed so rapidly since the series of terrible beta-stage experimental camera launches since the D600......hey we must realize that the D750,for example, got a several or more times recalls already.....that is why I sold it and replaced it with a trusty D810.

 

Let's be honest even Sigma's CEO Yamaki admits that many young people see bulky DSLR's in particular as a vestige of the past and wouldn't be caught dead with one, the fad having lost its "coolness factor" some 8 or so years back. I , for one, always feel D-SLR odd whenever I try to shoot my D-SLR again. It feels so anachronistic.

 

And more shocking news to Nikon is many many young people in Japan do not even know what Nikon is or what they have been selling here. In fact, a several 25 year old boys came up to me and asked us if Nikon a trusted brand or just a cheap copy brand from the third world?

But then, the so-called mirrorless, especially m43 perceived any better than the D-SLR by the young?

 

I think no, all the Cool Kids take photos with their iPhones. I don't know of any type of stand-alone camera that would qualify as cool. If there was or is such a camera system, it would have to be the One sensor compact such as Sony RX-100M5 or Canon G7X MK2.

If someone doesn't want an DSLR because it's "not cool" they aren't getting a m43 or a Fuji X ,either.

To normal people they are not really small or discrete at all, just as annoying as a big D-SLR, but with a lesser quality sensor.

 

They may get a 1" compact, or simply use their phone. Majority of NORMAL people never care about long zooms or super wide or a set of super fast primes that we fanatics really think important to any good camera system......

Actually, no camera forum denizens realize this but we have to face the fact that all ILC cameras are big-if not monstrous to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor size).

 

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Tokyo with one of my younger friends here forced me to understand it the hard way.

 

A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and just intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying!

 

He even said it is really pain-in-ass to use any ILC, it does not matter a m43 or a FF, but if he has to use an ILC, he will go all the way up to FF or at least APS-C cause every ILC even m43 or Nikon One are big and annoying to most anyway.

In other words, as long as they require interchangeable lenses and thus require a dedicated camera bag, they are all equally annoying in practice.

 

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big camera body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G7XMK2 when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something on tripod, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people anyway, as my younger friends say............

 

Honestly, ILC's for the most part are a pain- in- the- ass to use and annoying and quirky that deprives away our freedom of choice of our tourist activities or at least restrict it. You need to carry a camera bag, usually with at least one or more other lenses, you are switching lenses, and fiddling around with non-phone like ergonomics that only your creepy old grandpa love, plus you must change lenses over and over every single block you walk pass by to get at least acceptable focal range like in the zoom on the RX100M5..

 

As far as we(my co-workers and I)remember, we now only see or have 2 types of dedicated camera users in our city or any tourist venue here in Japan:

 

1 a group of D-SLR(high end ones) users.

To my surprise, a huge group of twenty-something guys and girls, all with tripods, down at the city hall park, taking night shots of the fountain or cityscape at Kobe port using high end dSLRs-mostly Canon 5DMK4, 5DS-R, or Nikon D810.

 

2 a few One inch compact shooters(usually young boys).

They are usually walking alone and probably domestic tourists and some rare cases some European tourists with some Sony A6XXX or older NEX bodies. And they seem to be all boys no girls.

 

Contrary to the common forum belief all women photogs I know use a big D-SLR or at least A7 or Fuji X, no one use m43 or Nikon One, and they say to occupy the good place in a famous tourists venue or in some event such as a summer festival here, they need the biggest camera and tallest tripod they can handle..........or they'd be looked down cause the Photographic world is dominated by older grumpy faced males who look down on being young and female....... Sad, but I think it is the reality.

 

When I shoot paid events with D-SLRs the cops or the security guys never bother me. But when I have a tiny compact camera or m43 type of mirrorless, many cops bother me.

Many Westerners do not understand it how look of our camera changes the way people perceive us in the public in East Asia. It is a huge issue for us in most part of East Asia. If you are a girl not a boy, you really need a big serious looking camera to get the best position you want to get for any event you shoot here. It is that simple, and my sister and her friends experience it all the time whenever she goes out for shooting with her friends or co-workers.

Fortunately, as a almost middle aged man, I have no issue of that sort. However, even I know it is easier to take the best place with a big D-SLR like the D5 than with a m43 in any event here.

In China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc, public perception is very important, and the ignorant public usually thinks the bigger ones the more serious cameras, or the people with a big camera or cameras are more important paid serious shooters, thus people respect them and usually treat them nicely.............it is why m43 is not taken seriously in these Asian nations with relatively tiny people such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Singapore,etc. If you want to be taken seriously but hate a D-SLR like me, you need a high-end Sony or a high-end Fuji here in Japan and in most part of Asia.

 

When I was shooting a big piano concert with my A7R2(because it had silent shooting feature unlike my Nikon d810 or Sony A7R), an old guy with Nikon D3300 told me not use a TOY for a serious work...........Oh well, surprising to the least, but even old guys with Rebels or Nikon D3XXX think my Sony A7R or A7R2 a toy here just because it is so small.........laughable but true, average people here are that ignorant and proud of being ignorant.......

 

And yes, some young and trendy mom's who want the next best thing to a point and shoot do select mirrorless, but I've never seen one with a m43 has, a flash, or a tripod. That's based on dozen of events around the world, from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Tokyo to Taipei. And I study what the crowd is doing around me as much as I do the "real" photographers out in the streets, in fact, I am more interested in studying about others' choices than my own photography or anyone else's photographs.

 

Not specifically related to market share, etc.,but if you haven't read it already Thom Hogan has an interesting and I think quite balanced article about the differences, as he perceives them:Nikon FX vs Mirrorless. It is an old article, but still remains relevant today......

 

www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/seven-reasons-why-im-still.html

 

Obviously improvements in technology over time will probably narrow some of those differences and, for example, one might be Canon's patent to reduce autofocus hunting below........but again it will definitely hurt m43, not FF or APS-C.

 

www.digitaltrends.com/photography/canon-af-hunting-patent/

 

Finally, contrary to the common forum belief, the younger the photogs the more into heavy, serious-looking gear, this is glaring especially in Asia.

I think it is a simple psychology case, they just want to be taken seriously.

 

Those do not care about how they're perceived by the other photogs usually use whatever they like for whatever app they are into, and nothing wrong with that.

 

And the other group just wanting to take their own selfies with some famous monuments, just use their Google pixel phones or iPhones, and nothing wrong with that, either.

 

So there is no way m43 will be able to consolidate its market position in stills camera market despite of their recent high quality products such as the amazing GH5, the EM1MK2, and the Pro line lenses from Olympus.

No matter how practical m43 gets,with tons of advanced features , the main stream gearheads look down on it just because it has a tiny sensor.

No matter how versatile it gets , most of young beginners and especially beginner-girls avoid it since they know they need a big serious looking FF or at least APS-C to be taken seriously..

And the rest of dedicated camera users just ignore it since it is not small enough to be pocketable like the Sony RX100X or the Canon G7X2, nor is it powerful enough to compete with any bigger sensor system in the long run.

However, it is just the short term view of the industry, and I bet none of the current camera makers will be able to survive through the next decade, let alone able to make the true future of camera.The future will be the computational camera. The computational technologies actually render the skills, experience, and technologies that high-precision optical/mechanical companies like Nikon/Canon/Olympus/Sony/Pentax have spent 100 years developing almost entirely moot. It will be the world of $2 imaging chips and tiny $2 5-element plastic lenses stamped out by the millions in factories manned by robots. It'll be the domain of software and of Apple, Google et. al. It will not be about making glass, it will be about making algorithms. I can't really see how any of the camera companies, not even Canon, stands a chance in that race.

So what they should actually be worrying about now is a gigantic Western company like Apple buys or tries something like the Light L16 type of camera technology, after all , that will be the real future of camera.

The mirrorless is just a temporal thing that never even become a huge boom but probably will die prematurely even before seeing its heydays.

So maybe Nikon and Canon are much wiser not spending(wasting) for just a temporal short term future product like the mirrorless......No mirrorless at least the current form of that kind are innovative......Even the super overhyped A9 just shows that it is not the future, it is just the same basic old day camera design from 1990 with just a set of superficially innovative gimmicks thorn in, to cheat the naive public. In some ways, in good light conditions, the AF ,etc, works just incredibly well. It is very fast and very reliable. However, once the shooting condition gets worse with very little to no light, it still suddenly becomes useless; it cannot focus well in extreme lowlight, it needs about 6 seconds or longer to wake up from a long sleep, etc, etc,.........it is only incredibly fast in good or decent shooting conditions, and this kind of PJ cameras usually used in bad shooting conditions where you can not control the light. Even if the A9 is faster in all shooting conditions than the D5, the 1DX or the 5DMK4, it is still not any sort of a real innovation at all.

I mean there is nothing innovative or revolutionary about the A9 or the EM1MK2 or the GFX, they are just re-using the really boring camera-fundamentalist view of old technologies that already used in older gen mirrorless or D-SLRs.

I mean they have no new 21st century liquid lens tech, no real connectivity to internet, no API(to allow third party software apps), no true programmable U.I.,etc. Nothing innovative at all.

So all the current style of mirrorless cameras are overrated and excessively(probably deliberately)over-hyped by the so-called reviewers and self-proclaimed experts.

 

However, the D-SLRs are even more doomed and the D850 or the 5DMK5 kind of camera (that we can easily predict coming) will not help the death of the D-SLR companies, especially Nikon.

  

UPDATE:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

  

UPDATE2: Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

Now I strongly believe Nikon is really dying.

  

UPDATE3: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

 

But in the best case scenario(according to the above news paper analyst) for Nikon and other traditional camera companies, maybe the more traditional and niche they are the more likely to survive even after the death of consumer grade ILC.

 

If he is right, then Nikon most likely survive and likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus,etc will die before Nikon......and I feel they (mirrorless guys) spending too disproportionately huge(to their camera market share) amount of R and D money for the so-called mirrorless system. And the smartest one is obviously Canon as all analysts and economists agreed on this one. They are spending the least amount of R&D money and getting the best ROI ratio. So Canon and Sony are about the same size of companies in terms of total revenue, but Canon is about 30 percent more profitable......and Sony is actually barely profitable although its fanboys always think they are huge enough to devour Canon Nikon, but actually they are just as big or small as Canon and much less profitable...

   

UPDATE4: Now, I have all 3 Sony E mount 85mm AF primes and I think they are all good in very different ways.....

But if I were shopping a 85mm prime for my A7, A7R, A7R2(I sold all my 3 A7MK2 now), I would just get the GM for its super high IQ, and the cheap FE85mm f1.8 for its small size for street , casual cats portrait, etc.

 

I think the 85 is the worst Batis(all the other Batis lenses are good albeit none of these are really great), with terrible cats eye bokeh and very bad pincushion distortion that needs to be always corrected in PS.

 

I also notice that the Batis is sharp in the center, but in the edges it is not as sharp as the GM , actually even the cheap FE85mm f1.8 beats it in the edges and corners.

But if money is no object here, then there is no reason to get any other 85mm prime than the GM if you have any kind of Sony A7 series cameras.....the 85mm f1.4GM is that good, I think it is a no brainer.

 

The FE16-35mm f2.8GM, the FE12-24mm f4 G, FE85mm f1.4GM, the FE50mm f1.4Z Planer are all amazing lenses.

To me the biggest surprise(in an extremely positive way) was the FE16-35mm f2.8GM that might replace all 5 lenses I have had in that focal range, e.g., the Batis 18mm f2.8, the FE16-35mmf4Z, the FE28mm f2, the Batis 25mm f2, the Loxia 21mm f2.8.

 

I really liked the Loxia last year, but now I do not see any reason to still need it , especially after I tested a few copies of the excellent FE16-35mm f2.8GM, it is sharper than the Loxia 21, and more consistent due to the AF and versatile zoom range.

 

The 18mm Batis is a great lens and I may miss it sometimes if I sell it, but it is just not much sharper than the GM zoom to have its room in my tiny camera bag........the FE16-35mm GM and the 85mm f1.4GM really rock and I think there is no better wide zoom than the 16-35 gM in any mount system available today.....

It is very expensive but worth the high price Sony is asking for it.

People used to say Sony's main weakness is their poor quality glass and that is the Nikon's strongest area.

 

But it has been changing dramatically at a dramatic fast pace.

Now, Sony seems to have had the best zoom selection in their E mount system and that is hard to beat....

 

In addition to that , in Sony system, the great Zeiss Loxia and Batis primes are given the native lens status and guaranteed to work with any future Sony E mount camera body both by Sony and Zeiss, and it is a big advantage for Zeiss fans and any serious prime shooters.

    

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Hidden away amongst all the interface enhancements and feature additions in Android Pie is an all-new feature that has somewhat slipped under the radar for many users. Lockdown mode is a new security-focused addition that is going to be of particular use to anyone who is worried about protecting their private data in situations where their smartphone might not be in their possession.

 

Let’s start with a quick background on what lockdown mode is all about. There has been an increasing number of instances where law enforcement officials or thieves have forced smartphone owners to use their fingerprints or face recognition tech to unlock their device. With face recognition technology becoming faster by the day, you might not even realize that your phone has been unlocked without your permission.

 

Also read

 

Android P security: snooping forbidden

 

As well as a whole raft of new features, Android P includes some substantial security improvements including blocking apps from recording you secretly and more encryption for backups. Android P’s security improvements aren’t just about fixing …

 

Lockdown mode comes in as a worst-case option that lets you disable face unlock, fingerprint-based unlock, as well as any smart unlock options you might have set up. It goes a step further and even blocks lock screen notifications so that any private conversations remain just that: private. As forcing users to enter their password is illegal in most places, this could potentially act as a deterrent against law enforcement officials trying to pry into your data. Once you enter your pin, password or pattern-based unlock, all the options are enabled again.

 

Enabling lockdown mode is a fairly straightforward process and requires you to dive into the Settings app. From here, navigate to the Security & Location option. Tap Lock Screen Preferences and toggle on Show Lockdown Option from the list.

 

You can activate lockdown mode by holding down on the power button. A new option will now show up above the screenshot icon. Tapping the lockdown icon immediately locks your phone and hides away all lock screen notifications. To use your smartphone, you’ll need to enter your PIN , pattern, or password depending on what you’ve set as a failsafe.

 

Unfortunately, there is no option to have lockdown mode as a notification shade toggle, so you’ll have to activate it every time you wish to use it. That said, it is not a feature many would need to use frequently. Directed at security-conscious users, lockdown mode could come in handy when handing in your phone at airport security or even as a quick way to hide lock screen notifications.

 

Next: Android 9 Pie review: Closing the gap

 

What you need to know about Android Pie’s lockdown mode syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

 

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Enlarge (credit: Chatri Attanatwong / Getty Images)

 

ESET Research has published a paper detailing the discovery of a malware campaign that used repurposed commercial software to create a backdoor in computers’ firmware—a “rootkit,” active since at least early 2017 and capable of surviving the re-installation of the Windows operating system or even hard drive replacement. While the malware had been spotted previously, ESET’s research is the first to show that it was actively attacking the firmware of computers to establish a tenacious foothold.

 

Dubbed “LoJax,” the malware is the first case of an attack leveraging the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot system being used in an attack by an adversary. And based on the way the malware was spread, it is highly likely that it was authored by the Sednit/Fancy Bear/APT 28 threat group—the Russian state-sponsored operation tied by US intelligence and law enforcement to the cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee.

 

UEFI uh-oh

 

There have been a number of security concerns about UEFI’s potential as a hiding place for rootkits and other malware, including those raised by Dick Wilkins and Jim Mortensen of firmware developer Phoenix Technologies in a presentation at UEFI Plugfest last year. “Firmware is software and is therefore vulnerable to the same threats that typically target software,” they explained. UEFI is essentially a lightweight operating system in its own right, making it a handy place to put rootkits for those who can manage it.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians syndicated from antitheftbackpacks.wordpress.com/

If I am posting this shot, then something has gone wrong with our vacation. We should be in Myrtle Beach enjoying the last bit of our vacation. Unfortunately that is not the case. This is from our one morning at the beach during a 4 night stay that resembled a movie script from National Lampoon's Vacation Movie.

 

Here is some of the wonderful events that unfolded:

 

One hour into the trip our dog got sick and smelled like vomit the rest of the 14 hours we drove with her.

 

3 hours into the trip, the bike rack cracked the bumper on the camper and the bikes had to be attached to the Suv rooftop via tiedowns, a process that took an additional three hours to sort out.

 

Finally we get to the campground, with moments to spare before they shut down for the night, only to find our campsite (reserved this spot six months in advance), can you guess...yes..occupied. An hour and a half later and approaching midnight, they find us a campsite. It's the rejected campsite of the people who took ours.

 

We realize overnight possibly why. Camped next door are people with two dogs. Their names are Yippee and Yappy. They live up to their names by barking all night, and all day!

 

Just as the camper is set up and Al starts the suv up to unhitch. The battery in the suv is dead.

 

Saturday is spent fixing the SUV issues.

 

The lights in the camper start going wonky and dimm and flash on and off.

Never even had time to address this issue.

 

Sunday is our grace day, We are feeling better now, lulled into a false sense of security. We visit with some family and have an enjoyable day. Even shoot the sunrise. Yaay, not much drama in the sunrise, but glad to finally see the beach!

 

Monday is our move day, we have reservations to move to our dream campground down the road. Al is busy fighting with the bikes again. He Falls off a step stool and breaks his foot!!!

 

Stick a fork in this vacation. We spend the next day in the ER, and packing to come home.

 

Yikes..what a vacation!! Pass on that kind of vacation again!

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Enlarge (credit: Chatri Attanatwong / Getty Images)

 

ESET Research has published a paper detailing the discovery of a malware campaign that used repurposed commercial software to create a backdoor in computers’ firmware—a “rootkit,” active since at least early 2017 and capable of surviving the re-installation of the Windows operating system or even hard drive replacement. While the malware had been spotted previously, ESET’s research is the first to show that it was actively attacking the firmware of computers to establish a tenacious foothold.

 

Dubbed “LoJax,” the malware is the first case of an attack leveraging the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot system being used in an attack by an adversary. And based on the way the malware was spread, it is highly likely that it was authored by the Sednit/Fancy Bear/APT 28 threat group—the Russian state-sponsored operation tied by US intelligence and law enforcement to the cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee.

 

UEFI uh-oh

 

There have been a number of security concerns about UEFI’s potential as a hiding place for rootkits and other malware, including those raised by Dick Wilkins and Jim Mortensen of firmware developer Phoenix Technologies in a presentation at UEFI Plugfest last year. “Firmware is software and is therefore vulnerable to the same threats that typically target software,” they explained. UEFI is essentially a lightweight operating system in its own right, making it a handy place to put rootkits for those who can manage it.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians syndicated from antitheftbackpacks.wordpress.com/

This is a view from the first annual Greater Los Angeles Summit of Fine Art Photography held at the usual place just south of the Santa Monica Pier. hehe... No HDR!

 

Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!

 

See the 1200 pixel version!

www.flickr.com/photos/patrick-smith-photography/425824867...

  

Settings etc.:

 

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105L @40

4-second exposure @F13

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm) 0.9 (two filters would create reflections with these lights)

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

No polarizer.

ISO 50

Small Slik tripod with Manfrotto pistol grip ball head

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

 

Space was extremely limited due to heavy demand and the heavy publicity going on for at least 5 whole minutes before the big moment. So, there were a total of 3 lucky attendees including Jim Patterson, Kendra Karr, and me. Once the paparazzi were cleared from the beach by the security team, and the the airspace was cleared of helicopters, we shot the breeze for a while and then got down to business. Also, this was a 100% chimping-free summit!

  

This is the new wheel that was installed after the old one was sold on eBay for US $132,400 to an Oklahoma developer sight unseen! See this photo with the old wheel for more information. This is a very high-tech wheel with programmable lights that can create patterns and images. Also, it is powered by the solar panels you see in front of the wheel.

 

www.flickr.com/photos/patrick-smith-photography/3977498042/

 

The good news is that the wheel changes colors and patterns every few seconds. So every shot looks completely different it seems. The bad news is that you only get about 10 minutes where the light is even enough to get a decent exposure across the entire frame. That is the brief period when the lights are bright, but not too bright and there is light in the sky. The other bad news is that it takes about 7 minutes to fill up the wheel with passengers before it spins 2 or 3 times and then stops again. So I really only got a few minutes during the entire evening where the wheel was in motion and the light was good at the same time. Still, I managed to get a few nice ones!

 

Thanks goes out to Jim for saving my water shoes from a danger-filled trans-Pacific voyage initiated by a quickly rising tide!

  

Resources:

 

Google Earth

earth.google.com/

 

Simply the best way to scout out locations that there is. You can see sun angles and pre-visualize light under lots of different conditions. Sometimes you can actually pre-compose your shots! This has saved me many thousands of vertical feet of climbing by avoiding spots with blocked views etc.

 

Satellite imagery (choose 'National' for a local US region or use your fave website)

www.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/?wfo=mtr

 

Tide charting and preditions: (chose your area in US, other countries have similar websites)

tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.shtml?gid=235

 

Wave Heights (I choose 'North Pacific from Global')

polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/main_int.html

Or Here:

www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/RP1bw.gif

 

Photos of every inch of the California coastline from a small plane. Excellent for close in detailed views.

 

www.californiacoastline.org/

  

The map shows exactly where this is. It is an easy hike from the parking lot.

 

See my Flickr profile for a link to my newly designed website.

.

 

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Enlarge (credit: Chatri Attanatwong / Getty Images)

 

ESET Research has published a paper detailing the discovery of a malware campaign that used repurposed commercial software to create a backdoor in computers’ firmware—a “rootkit,” active since at least early 2017 and capable of surviving the re-installation of the Windows operating system or even hard drive replacement. While the malware had been spotted previously, ESET’s research is the first to show that it was actively attacking the firmware of computers to establish a tenacious foothold.

 

Dubbed “LoJax,” the malware is the first case of an attack leveraging the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot system being used in an attack by an adversary. And based on the way the malware was spread, it is highly likely that it was authored by the Sednit/Fancy Bear/APT 28 threat group—the Russian state-sponsored operation tied by US intelligence and law enforcement to the cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee.

 

UEFI uh-oh

 

There have been a number of security concerns about UEFI’s potential as a hiding place for rootkits and other malware, including those raised by Dick Wilkins and Jim Mortensen of firmware developer Phoenix Technologies in a presentation at UEFI Plugfest last year. “Firmware is software and is therefore vulnerable to the same threats that typically target software,” they explained. UEFI is essentially a lightweight operating system in its own right, making it a handy place to put rootkits for those who can manage it.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians syndicated from antitheftbackpacks.wordpress.com/

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Enlarge (credit: Chatri Attanatwong / Getty Images)

 

ESET Research has published a paper detailing the discovery of a malware campaign that used repurposed commercial software to create a backdoor in computers’ firmware—a “rootkit,” active since at least early 2017 and capable of surviving the re-installation of the Windows operating system or even hard drive replacement. While the malware had been spotted previously, ESET’s research is the first to show that it was actively attacking the firmware of computers to establish a tenacious foothold.

 

Dubbed “LoJax,” the malware is the first case of an attack leveraging the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot system being used in an attack by an adversary. And based on the way the malware was spread, it is highly likely that it was authored by the Sednit/Fancy Bear/APT 28 threat group—the Russian state-sponsored operation tied by US intelligence and law enforcement to the cyber-attack on the Democratic National Committee.

 

UEFI uh-oh

 

There have been a number of security concerns about UEFI’s potential as a hiding place for rootkits and other malware, including those raised by Dick Wilkins and Jim Mortensen of firmware developer Phoenix Technologies in a presentation at UEFI Plugfest last year. “Firmware is software and is therefore vulnerable to the same threats that typically target software,” they explained. UEFI is essentially a lightweight operating system in its own right, making it a handy place to put rootkits for those who can manage it.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians syndicated from medium.com/@eooke

 

First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

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Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich)

 

Greg Nojeim is director of the Freedom, Security, & Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. Eric Wenger is the director of Cybersecurity and Privacy Policy at Cisco Systems, Inc. Marc Zwillinger is the founder of ZwillGen PLLC and frequently represents technology companies on surveillance-related issues. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Ars Technica.

 

In the wake of news from Reuters on Friday that a federal court in California rejected Department of Justice demands that Facebook break, bypass, or remove the encryption in its Messenger app, it’s worth noting how little we still know about such an important dispute.

 

Depending on what specific relief the government sought from the court, the case may signal a potentially significant threat to the security of Internet-based communications. In a hyperconnected world, the implications of the government’s demand for expanded surveillance capabilities go far beyond any legitimate law enforcement equities in any single case.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake? syndicated from medium.com/@eooke

 

FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake? syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

News about our sweetheart Mimo the Bunny: we brought him to a home for animals and they kept him in order to bring him up and return him to the wild - Mimo, namely is a hare and cannot survive as a pet.

 

We've also been told that he was only one day old when we found him and that it is common for adult hares to leave their babies anywhere. They come back every 12 hours approximately to feed them and leave again. The reason they leave their babies at different spots is for security reasons in case the little ones are attacked by some animal...

 

This basically means that we should not have taken this cutie in but I don't regret it since I saw the circumstances he was in and there was no escape for him anyway. That is why I am still sure that we saved his life.

 

A newborn hare is about 120g heavy, Mimo had 102 when we brought him to his new home. We hope that he will soon recover and will visit him soon. By the way, his cute tiny ears will become as long as his body in one week only. In one month he will be 1kg heavy and will be returned to the wild.

 

We will never ever forget him!

 

Explore #418

Unikrn, a Seattle-based e-sport betting startup that conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) last year, is now facing a class action suit accusing it of violating securities law in the U.S.

Las Vegas resident and lead plaintiff John Hastings filed the case at a court in Washington State on Aug....

 

iconewswatch.com/2018/08/17/mark-cuban-backed-unikrn-ico-...

Why m43 is doomed 10:

 

Will m43 be around in 2020? Or will Nikon just go under by 2020?

I personally doubt the both cases. I think m43 is doomed and so is Nikon........but the main difference here is Nikon has no way to fix their camera business while m43 may have quite bright future if they just simply rectify a few known issues of the system and start listening to the smartphone generation people.

But I feel they always have some difficulty to convince or persuade their system is good enough even if it actually becomes some sort of point of sufficiency for many........the tiny sensor choice forces for any m43 lenses to be at least two times sharper than FF counterparts and still not as sharp as the whole system, the recent DXO review of the Olympus 25mm f1.2 pro clearly shows its limitation as a system.

 

But one thing that is becoming quite clear to most of us (gear heads) in the last 2 years is that Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life, etc.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for them for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Amakase area of Oitah prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Amakase, Hita and Yufuin, which is a famous hot spring village.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kyushu I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony relaly profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kumamoto station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D500 and D5600 got a several FW updates already and I have tested it at our shop here with the latest FW installed, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than before it was first launched, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

Let's be honest even Sigma's CEO Yamaki admits that many young people see bulky DSLR's in particular as a vestige of the past and wouldn't be caught dead with one, the fad having lost its "coolness factor" some 8 or so years back. I , for one, always feel -DSLR odd whenever I try to shoot my D-SLR again. It feels so anachronistic.

But then, the so-called mirrorless perceived any better than the D-SLR by the young?

I think no, all the Cool Kids take photos with their iPhones. I don't know of any type of stand-alone camera that would qualify as cool. If there was or is such a camera system, it would have to be the One sensor compact such as Sony RX-100M5 or Canon G7X MK2.

If someone doesn't want an DSLR because it's "not cool" they aren't getting a m43 or a Fuji X ,either. To normal people they are not really small or discrete at all.

They may get a 1" compact, or simply use their phone. Majority of NORMAL people never care about long zooms or super wide or a set of super fast primes.

Actually, no camera forum denizens realize this but we have to face the fact that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor size).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Tokyo with one of my younger friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying! He even said it is really pain-in-ass to use any ILC, it does not matter a m43 or a FF, but if he has to use a ILC, he will go all the way up to FF or at least APS-C cause every ILC even m43 or Nikon One are big and annoying to most anyway.

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big camera body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G7XMK2 when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something on tripod, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway as my younger friends say............

Honestly, ILC's for the most part are a pain in the ass to use and annoying and quirky that deprives away our freedom of choice of our tourist activities or at least restrict it. You need to carry a camera bag, usually with at least one or more other lenses, you are switching lenses, and fiddling around with non-phone like ergonomics that only your creepy old grandpa could love, plus you must change lenses over and over every single block you walk pass by to get at least acceptable focal range like in the zoom on the RX100M5..

To my surprise, a huge group of twenty-something guys and girls, all with tripods, down at the city hall park, taking night shots of the fountain or cityscape using high end dSLRs-mostly Canon 5DMK4 or 5DS-R.

Contrary to the common forum belief all women photogs I know use a big D-SLR or at least A7 or Fuji X, no one use m43 or Nikon One, and they say to occupy the good place, they need the biggest camera and tallest tripod they can handle ..........or they'd be looked down cause Photographic world is dominated by older men who look down on young and women....... Sad, but I think it is the reality. When I shoot paid events with D-SLRs the cops or the security guys never bother me, but when I have a tiny compact camera or NEX type of mirrorless, many cops bother me. Many Westerners do not understand it how look of our camera changes the way people perceive us in the public in East Asia especially city area. It is a huge issue for us in most part of East Asia. If you are a girl not a boy, you really need a big serious looking camera to get the best position you want to get for any event you shoot here.

In China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc, public perception is very important, and the ignorant public usually thinks the bigger the more serious camera, or the people with a big camera or cameras are more important paid serious shooters, and thus, people respect them.............it is why m43 is not taken seriously in the nations with relatively tiny people such as Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Singapore,etc. If you want to be taken seriously but hate a D-SLR like me, you need a highend Sony or a highend Fuji here in Japan and in most part of Asia. When I was shooting a big piano concert with my A7R2(because it had silent shooting feature unlike my Nikon d750 or Sony A7R), an old guy with Nikon D3300 told me not use a TOY...........Surprising but even old guys with Rebels or Nikon D3XXX think my Sony A7R or A7R2 a toy.........laughable but true, average people are that ignorant and proud of being ignorant.......

And yes, young and trendy mom's who want the next best thing to a point and shoot do select mirrorless, but I've never seen one with a m43 has, a flash, or a tripod. That's based on dozen of events around the world, from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Tokyo to Taipei. And I study what the crowd is doing as much as I do the "real" photographers out in the streets, in fact, I am more interested in studying about others' choices than my own photography.

Not specifically related to market share, etc.,but if you haven't read it already Thom Hogan has an interesting and I think quite balanced article about the differences, as he perceives them:Nikon FX vs Mirrorless.

 

www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/seven-reasons-why-im-still.html

 

Obviously improvements in technology over time will probably narrow some of those differences and, for example, one might be Canon's patent to reduce autofocus hunting below........but again it will definitely hurt m43, not FF or APS-C.

 

www.digitaltrends.com/photography/canon-af-hunting-patent/

Finally, contrary to the common forum belief, the younger photogs the more into heavy gear serious-looking gear, this is glaring especially in Asia.

I think it is a simple psychology case, they just want to be taken seriously.

Those do not care about how they perceived usually just use their iPhone or Google Phone, and nothing wrong with that.

So there is no way m43 will be able to consolidate its market position despite of their recent high quality products such as the amazing GH5, the EM1MK2, etc.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

One of the lasts shots that I ever took of The Sea Prince.

 

In 11 years I had never actually trailed this plane before, for some reason! Possibly due to there always been other stuff to shot and the fact that there is an annoying security light that comes on if you get too close around this side. I'm a sucker for a north star trail so it had to be this side!

 

I wasn't sure on the angle at first, I had already had to compromise so much because of the overgrowth and in this case battling the impending daybreak from the right. I only just capped this off in time, I tried one more photo from here in landscape and the day had already broken, not the worst shot ever but still not what I was going for.

 

Looks like I didn't break my streak last time as it still took me ages to decide to upload this photo next. I like this one, it's fitting, the composition, the stars, it's just right for "The Final Shot" A few minutes after this was taken we said our goodbyes and left never to return.

via

   

The aftershocks of a divorce are stressful, and even traumatic in some cases, on everyone affected by the transition, but children might experience this more acutely because they shoulder the impact of a situation they often don’t understand.

 

While over time, many children adapt to the changes in their lifestyles and routines, during the initial period of adjustment, they can feel rejected, anxious, withdrawn, confused or angry.

 

These emotions are normal since children often lack the cognitive maturity to process the disturbance of their family structure, even if it was necessary or unavoidable. Children don’t always grasp the reasons behind a divorce, nor should they be expected to. They just know that Mom and Dad are separated now, and they’re being shuttled from one house to another without the permanence or stability that used to exist under a single roof.

 

As children grapple with these dynamics and acclimate to their new circumstances, they might internalize blame for the divorce and assume they misbehaved or initiated a conflict to produce this outcome.

 

However, as the parent, you can neutralize these worries and help children navigate this transition as smoothly as possible when you avoid certain topics of discussion. While it’s reasonable to feel bitterness toward your former spouse, he is still the children’s father, and informing them of all the areas he wounded you is neither age-appropriate nor constructive for their healing process.

 

When it comes to talking about your divorce here are 4 details you shouldn’t tell your children about your ex.

 

Just because these details might be true, does not mean it’s beneficial for their young and sensitive ears to absorb that information.

 

He Was Involved in an Affair

 

If your ex-husband desires a healthy relationship with the children and active participation in their lives, then disclosing his infidelity to them is bound to deter that endgame. This could be a source of vindication for you, but it’s unfair to the children if they’re still on positive terms with their father.

 

Once they know his decision to be unfaithful was an impetus for the divorce, the children might feel pressure to choose your side of the conflict and harbor guilt over wanting to maintain a connection with Dad.

 

He Does Not Help Financially

 

It might be an ordeal to persuade your ex-husband to be more consistent with child support, but even if this stretches your finances, the children don’t need to experience that added stress. When you discuss complaints about money or their father’s reluctance to contribute, this can make children fear they are financial burdens to either one or both of their parents.

 

Your hassle with the child support arrangement is not an issue that children should be forced to worry about, much less have an awareness of.

 

He Drinks Too Much Alcohol

 

When your ex-husband lives with a pattern of substance abuse, the ramifications of his behavior will impact the children, but in most cases, you can still protect their innocence and preserve his relationship with them. Addiction is a complex disease that children wrestle to understand.

 

But while it’s tempting to make dismissive comments like, “He’s selfish, lazy or erratic because he drinks too much,” addressing their questions with compassion will offer the answers they seek without vilifying their father.

 

He Prefers Being at the Office

 

Often a divorce is the result of your ex-husband seeming to prioritize his career over time spent with his family, but to express your grievances about this in front of the children is basically to communicate, “Dad thinks his work is more important than you.”

 

Even if this was the implicit message you received while married to him, there is no reason to give your children that same impression. For their own emotional security, children need to believe they are both Mom and Dad’s number-one priority.

 

Because a divorce is painful and bewildering territory to fumble through, it’s impossible to shield your children from all the sorrow or upheaval. But making a commitment not to treat them as sounding-boards for your frustration will reduce the chance of them feeling like pawns in the tension between each of their parents.

 

This works to rebuild a sense of both normalcy and safety in the home which has a positive effect on children’s emotional and psychological development in the long-term.

 

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November is a time of tradition: colder weather, football, turkey feasts with accompany and ancestors — and, of course, scouring the web for the best Black Friday deals.

 

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Sure enough, actuality you are! And, if it’s deals on acute home accessories that you’re after, you’ve appear to the appropriate place. They’ve been some of the hottest Black Friday sellers in contempo years, abnormally now that big names like Amazon and Google are about all-in on the affiliated home. Apprehend added of the aforementioned for shoppers in 2018, with lots of deals on Alexa and Google Assistant gadgets, acute thermostats from names like Nest and Ecobee, affiliated lighting kits, video doorbells, app-enabled apprentice vacuums… you name it.

 

To that end, here’s a active account of all the accessible deals we’ve spotted appropriately far. We’ve kicked things off with deals from Amazon, afresh brick-and-mortar bargains from Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Lowe’s and Home Depot followed suit. We’re befitting our eyes bald for online deals from names like Newegg and Dell, too.

 

Other food are abiding to chase as Black Friday draws near, and we additionally apprehend to see affluence of online deals complete from the manufacturers themselves. As anon as we atom anything, we’ll amend this page, so accumulate it bookmarked.

 

And bethink the accepted caveats: Best of the deals won’t absolutely be alive until Black Friday, Nov. 23, and CNET may get a allotment of acquirement from the auction of the articles featured on this page. Oh, and blast that arcade aloft if you aloof appetite to see our ten admired acute home bargains of the season. I’ll accumulate that adapted as new deals appear in, too.

 

Got it? Good. Now let’s get to the deals.

 

Amazon’s agile of Alexa-enabled acute speakers goes on auction starting Thanksgiving Day, and that includes a $30 abatement on Alexa’s flagship, the second-gen Amazon Echo. That abatement brings the amount bottomward to $69, added than $100 below than the aboriginal Echo awash for. That amount looks like it’ll be accessible elsewhere, too, including at Target and at Best Buy — and additionally Kohl’s, area you’ll get $15 of in-store acclaim for every $50 that you absorb on Black Friday, acceptation that you could buy the Echo for $69 and get an added $15 to put appear article else. Hmm..

 

Today abandoned (Nov. 14), QVC is alms two Amazon Echo speakers for aloof $100, which calmly beats Amazon’s Black Friday pricing. It’s an abnormally absorbing accord accustomed that Amazon aloof alien stereo bond for Echo speakers, absolution you accompany two of them up and breach the larboard and appropriate audio channels amid them. Add in the new Echo Sub, and you’re attractive at a voice-activated 2.1 stereo bureaucracy for a complete of $230.

 

I’ll accumulate an eye on the accord and draw this admission already its awash out, so if you’re account this, affairs are acceptable you can still account this aberrant offer.

 

Amazon already cut the amount of the last-gen Echo Dot bottomward to $30 aback the new one came out aftermost month, but the aggregation is appearance it bottomward by addition $10 for Black Friday, bringing the amount all the way bottomward to $20. I don’t apperceive why you wouldn’t aloof pay the added $4 for this year’s model, which offers a apparent uptick in complete quality, but hey, maybe you’re aloof activity to affix the affair to an alien audio bureaucracy anyway. In that case, this adeptness be the accord for you.

 

Expect to see this accord elsewhere, as well. For instance, it’ll be accessible at Best Buy starting Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) at 5 p.m.

 

Another Alexa touchscreen option: the semispherical Amazon Echo Spot, which adeptness accurately affirmation to be the smartest anytime anxiety clock. You can account it for $90 on Black Friday, a accumulation of $40. Best Buy and Kohl’s are alms the aforementioned accord starting Thanksgiving Day.

 

Also $40 off: the just-released, second-gen Amazon Echo Plus, which you’ll be able to get for $110 for Black Friday. It takes the Echo and adds a slight advance in complete quality, added a congenital temperature sensor and a Zigbee radio that can affix anon with things like acute lights and acute locks. Amazon will alike bandy in a chargeless Philips Hue White LED with purchase. Starting Thanksgiving Day, attending for the aforementioned accord –free ball included — at Best Buy, as well.

 

Picking up a new Echo Dot, or any added Echo apparatus on Black Friday? You can tack an Amazon Acute Bung assimilate your adjustment for aloof $5. Bung it in and bung article like a lamp or a amplitude boiler into it, and you’ll be able to acquaint Alexa to about-face it on and off via your new Echo gadget. And if you’d rather boutique at Best Buy, it looks like it’ll be alms the aforementioned deal.

 

It usually sells for $160, but starting Thanksgiving Day, Best Buy will advertise you Anova’s Wi-Fi-equipped sous vide babbler for $100. It’s a abundant way to baker meats to the exact acting of your choosing, and the Wi-Fi lets you adviser the baker accidentally on your phone, alike if you aren’t at home.

 

Here’s a attenuate abatement on the Siri-powered Apple HomePod, accessible at Best Buy in either white or amplitude gray for $250, a accumulation of $100. The accord begins Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m.

 

Heads up: Unlike the Echo gadgets, this accord on the Amazon-owned Blink XT aegis camera absolutely goes alive the day before Thanksgiving. It’s a wireless, weatherproof acute home camera with night vision, motion detection, chargeless billow storage, Alexa affinity (duh) and two-year array activity — you’ll be able to account one for $79, which is a accumulation of added than $50. And, if you’d rather get a brace of the things, Amazon is additionally alms a three-camera Blink XT arrangement for $230, which is $90 below than you’d usually pay.

 

Chamberlain’s MyQ Barn ambassador lets you accessible or abutting your barn from your phone, and it works with a agglomeration of accepted acute home platforms. On Thanksgiving Day, Best Buy will action it for $60, extenuative you $20.

 

It’s the aboriginal abatement in this roundup, but hey, annihilation amiss with extenuative a few bucks per ball if you plan on bushing your home with automatable Zigbee acute lights like these. And, admitting the actuality that they’ve been out for a few years now, Cree’s Affiliated LEDs, which assignment with Zigbee controllers like the Philips Hue Bridge and the Amazon Echo Plus, are still some of our admired arrangement bulbs.

 

Look for them on auction at Home Depot this Black Friday — both the bendable white and aurora versions, I adeptness add.

 

Ecobee is discounting a brace of its affiliated thermostats for Black Friday this year, including the current-gen Ecobee4. That archetypal comes with a abstracted allowance sensor that lets you clue the temperature abroad from the thermostat, which is absolutely accessible if your bedchamber runs a little too balmy or a little too algid at night. It additionally has Amazon’s Alexa congenital appropriate in.

 

It usually sells for $249, but you’ll acquisition it for $199 online at Amazon and on Ecobee’s website appropriate now. That said, the best abode to buy it is at Best Buy, area you’ll additionally get a cast new Amazon Echo Dot befuddled into the accord for acceptable measure. That’s a absurd offer, and it’s alive on Best Buy’s website appropriate now.

 

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If you don’t affliction about application your thermostat as an Alexa admission point, you can save alike added by activity with the previous-gen Ecobee3 Lite, which Ecobee is currently alms for $139, or $30 off. Like the current-gen model, it works with alien sensors and with Google, Siri and Alexa for articulation controls. The abandoned complete aberration is that it doesn’t accept Alexa built-in.

 

If Alexa in your thermostat sounds interesting, afresh how about Alexa in a ablaze switch? Ecobee pulled it off with the Ecobee About-face Plus, a smart, in-wall ablaze about-face that works with all of the aloft articulation platforms, and additionally includes congenital microphones and a apostle to let you allocution with Alexa. It’ll be apparent bottomward by $20 wherever Ecobee thermostats are sold, and the accord appears to be alive already on Ecobee’s website. Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s accept deals of their own activity as well, to capricious degrees.

 

Another acute thermostat advantage accepting a Black Friday amount cut: the Emerson Sensi, one of our admired account picks. The Sensi isn’t annihilation adorned to attending at, but it still does the job admirably well. It additionally works with both Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. Starting Nov. 22, you’ll be able to account one from Newegg for aloof $89, extenuative you $40.

 

It’s brand-spankin’ new, but the Facebook Portal video chatting hub is accepting a Black Friday abatement at Best Buy that starts at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. You’ll be able to get the smaller, 10-inch adaptation for $50 off.

 

Chamberlain isn’t your abandoned advantage for acute barn ascendancy — this little accent alleged Garadget can get the job done, too, and it works with Alexa, IFTTT and Google Assistant. Newegg will accept it apparent bottomward to aloof $65 on Black Friday, which is a steal.

 

We haven’t activated this specific acute plug, but my ol’ pal David Priest advised an beforehand adaptation of Geeni’s Wi-Fi acute bung and came abroad impressed, giving it a four-star review. This one adds in a brace of USB charging ports, and looks like it won’t block adjoining outlets. Plus, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant to let you about-face annihilation acquainted into it on and off application articulation commands.

 

At $15, it adeptness accomplish a abundant stocking crammer — and the accord is alive appropriate now on Home Depot’s website as an early, pre-Black Friday special.

 

For an added $5, you could advancement to Geeni’s weatherproofed alfresco acute plug, which would be a absolutely thrifty way to advice automate your anniversary decorations.

 

Here’s what Dave Priest had to say aback he advised Geeni aboriginal aftermost year: “The Geeni Energi stands out as one of the best affordable acute plugs on the market. Aback added integrations are added, it’ll be a absurd product.” Now, the things assignment with Alexa and Google Assistant, so it sounds like it adeptness be a abundant time to accord Geeni a shot.

 

At any rate, $20 for a well-connected alfresco acute bung is a heck of a accord — commensurable models from names like iDevices about advertise for at atomic alert as much. And, like the added Geeni switch, this accord is accessible online appropriate now as an aboriginal special.

 

It’s abandoned been out for below than a month, but that didn’t stop Google from discounting its new voice-activated touchscreen by 50 bucks for Black Friday. Small but mighty, the Home Hub’s Google Assistant accuracy are a abundant fit for your kitchen countertop, and you’ll be able to account one for aloof $99 at Target on Black Friday, or from Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s or Lowe’s starting Thanksgiving Day. Appetite to buy it alike earlier? Jet will action the aforementioned accord starting the day afore Thanksgiving at 10 p.m. ET.

 

No amount area you get it, that’s $80 below than what you’ll pay on Black Friday for its rival, the Amazon Echo Show.

 

The Google Home Mini acute apostle will be accessible for $25 on Black Friday at outlets like Target, but the best accord we’ve apparent comes from Lowe’s, area the aforementioned $25 will get you the Home Mini packaged with a chargeless C by GE Bluetooth acute bulb. This admixture is advised to assignment appropriate out of the box, so as anon as you spiral the ball in and about-face it on, it’ll automatically brace with Google Assistant for articulation controls.

 

Like best food that backpack it, Walmart is alms the Google Home Mini on its own for bisected off starting Thanksgiving Day. It doesn’t appear with a chargeless ball so it’s not absolutely as acceptable a accord as you’ll acquisition at Lowe’s, but Walmart does accept the new aqua-colored adaptation as an exclusive, which is why I’m giving it a abstracted acknowledgment here.

 

Walmart is additionally alms the Google Home Mini packaged with a Chromecast media banderole for $45 total, which is about 30 bucks off the combo’s accepted price. These two are a acceptable brace — bung the Chromecast into your TV and you’ll be able to acquaint the Home Mini things like, “OK, Google, comedy The Abundant British Baking Show on Netflix,” added added chic tricks.

 

Walmart calls this accord an exclusive, but Jet.com is alms this aforementioned array at the aforementioned price, and you’ll be able to get it starting the day afore Thanksgiving at 10 p.m. ET. That’s a bit beforehand than Walmart, for what it’s worth.

 

Walmart calls this array an complete too. In it, you’ll acquisition the Google Home Mini packaged with a 30-piece cookware set from Tasty that includes ceramic, nonstick pots, skillets and frying pans in red, chestnut or blue, all for aloof $99. The admixture usually retails for $230, so this adeptness be account it for the cookware alone.

 

Prefer a acute apostle with a little added oomph? The full-size Google Home gets a Black Friday deal, too, with a $50 abatement accessible basically everywhere it’s awash bringing the amount bottomward to $79. Attending for it at Target, Best Buy, Dell and Kohl’s starting Thanksgiving Day.

 

Target has a agglomeration of vacuums and apprentice vacuums apparent bottomward for Black Friday, but the better abatement we’re seeing is the $150 you can save on an app-enabled Roomba 890. That abatement brings the amount bottomward to $350, which is about as low as we’ve anytime apparent a current-gen acute Roomba advertise for.

 

You can get a acute Roomba for alike below by activity with an earlier-gen model. Best Buy will action the app-enabled Roomba 675 for $200 starting on Thanksgiving, which saves you $100 off of the retail price.

 

Newegg is the abandoned aperture I’ve apparent so far that’s alms a Black Friday abatement on the JBL Link View, a voice-activated, Google Assistant-equipped acute affectation that afflicted us aback we activated it out.

 

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That said, the $199 auction amount isn’t annihilation exceptional. I’m currently seeing the aforementioned amount as a non-Black Friday accord from a cardinal of added outlets — and if I was affairs a Google Assistant touchscreen on Black Friday, I anticipate I’d abundant rather snag the appropriately acute Lenovo Acute Affectation or the Google Home Hub, which will anniversary be accessible for $99.

 

Still, a deal’s a deal, and this is one you can buy appropriate now if you’re so inclined.

 

We’ve activated all of the absorbing new Google Assistant acute displays this year — Lenovo’s was the first, and I anticipate it’s still my favorite. Best Buy has the 8-inch adaptation apparent bottomward by a hundred bucks for Black Friday, bringing the amount bottomward to $99. That’s the aforementioned amount as the Black Friday accord on the smaller-sized Google Home Hub.

 

Best Buy fabricated this accord alive as an aboriginal online appropriate for a few days, but that window is closed, so you’ll accept to delay until Black Friday for addition adventitious at it. Some adeptness appetite to authority out to see if Lenovo’s larger, 10-inch adaptation of the Acute Affectation gets apparent down, as well. Best Buy has that archetypal included in the “up to 35 percent off” area of its Black Friday ad, but no final discounts or auction prices accept been appear for any of those yet. If it gets apparent bottomward by the abounding 35 percent, that’d accompany the amount bottomward to $165. I anticipate I’d still rather absorb $99 on the 8-inch model, but it’s still article to accumulate an eye out for.

 

As affiliated dimmer switches go, this Leviton Decora archetypal isn’t the fanciest-looking, but it is added affordable than competitors from iDevices, Lutron and WeMo, it needs no hub, and it works with Alexa, the Google Assistant and Nest. You can beating an added $10 off of the amount at Home Depot on Black Friday.

 

We haven’t activated this one, but we did analysis a separate, about identical Decora about-face that’s advised for use with Apple HomeKit (and Apple HomeKit only). Doesn’t attending like that one will be on auction for Black Friday, but amid the two, I adopt this non-HomeKit version’s versatility. And if you don’t charge the lights to dim, the cheaper, non-dimming adaptation is $10 off on Black Friday, too.

 

Starting Thanksgiving Day, Best Buy will action both the standard-size and brighten versions of the current-gen Lifx LED for $40 each, a accumulation of $20 per bulb. That’s a acceptable amount on acceptable acute bulbs that are brighter than commensurable bulbs from Philips Hue.

 

I’m not seeing it in Best Buy’s Black Friday ad, but the aggregation at Nanoleaf tells me that the banker will accept the Nanoleaf Rhythm amateur kit for $50 off. They acquaint me you’ll acquisition the aforementioned accord at Home Depot (we’re still cat-and-mouse for that retailer’s ad). No amount area you get it, that’s a acceptable accord on this weirdly agreeable acute lighting kit, which includes nine triangular, color-changing LED panels that stick to your walls, added a microphone-equipped Rhythm accent that syncs lighting changes with whatever music you’re alert to.

 

Just accumulate in apperception that new, square-shaped Nanoleaf Canvas panels are appointed for absolution in aboriginal December, so you’ve got new options advancing actual anon that adeptness be account cat-and-mouse for.

 

Starting Black Friday, Nanoleaf will bung in its unique, 12-sided Alien accent aback you acquirement a nine-panel Nanoleaf Rhythm Amateur Kit for $230 complete from the Nanoleaf website. The Alien is absolutely one-of-a-kind, absolution you about-face amid color-changing scenes by alternating altered abandon to the top and it can activate Apple HomeKit scenes, too. It usually costs $50 on its own, so this is a appropriate deal, and appropriate on par with the Best Buy action as far as amount is concerned. Aloof adjudge whether you appetite the Alien or not, and go from there.

 

Nest’s calendar of acute aegis cameras are all appealing solid picks, but they don’t appear cheap. Fortunately, you’ll be able to account a appealing ample $70 abatement on the aboriginal Nest Cam Indoor at Target this Black Friday, bringing the amount bottomward to $129. It’s not the newest model, but it’s still a aces pick, abnormally at this price. And by the way, if you don’t appetite to delay for Black Friday, you’ll acquisition the aforementioned accord accessible at Lowe’s starting Nov. 22, and on Jet starting Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. ET.

 

One added agenda — Best Buy claims it’ll accept Nest accessory apparent bottomward by up to $70 starting on Thanksgiving Day. No specifics on any of those deals yet, but I’m academic they’ll be the aforementioned ones that I’ve acquaint here. Accumulate an eye out, though.

 

Prefer Nest’s weatherproofed alfresco camera? The rugged, weather-proof Nest Cam Alfresco about sells for a abrupt $199, but you’ll be able to aces it up for $50 off at Lowe’s and Kohl’s starting Nov. 22.

 

Nest’s acute thermostat is basically an figure of the acute home at this point. If you’ve been captivation out for the appropriate amount to accomplish the advancement in your own acute home, afresh conceivably this $70 Black Friday abatement from Target will do the trick. And yep, Lowe’s will accept the aforementioned accord starting on Nov. 22, as will Newegg and Kohl’s.

 

If you appetite the complete best blast for your buck, afresh I’d absolutely advance accepting it at Kohl’s, aback the abundance is alms $15 of in-store acclaim for anniversary $50 you spend. As a result, the $170 Nest accord would crop you an added $45 to boutique with on top of the savings.

 

The plastic-bodied Nest Thermostat E costs below than the stainless animate Nest to activate with, and it’s aloof as smart. Target will action it for $30 off on Black Friday, but the best accord we’ve apparent comes from Dell, area you can account one for $70 off starting on Nov. 21. That’s the best amount on this thermostat that I’ve anytime seen.

 

Here’s a agitating accord on Nest’s accomplished video doorbell, which our camera and doorbell pro Megan Wollerton alleged “the smartest video doorbell accessible today.” $70 off is about as abundant of a abatement as we’ve anytime apparent on it — attending for the accord in-store at Lowe’s and additionally Kohl’s starting on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. Dell will additionally action it online starting the day afore Thanksgiving.

 

Kohl’s says that some Black Friday specials will be accessible online starting Nov. 19, so analysis aback that Monday to see if you can account this doorbell accord early. And again, the in-store acclaim action at Kohl’s will net you an added $45 to boutique with.

 

It’s not the better doorbuster I’ve anytime apparent (especially for a allotment of tech that’s been out for a few years now), but hey, here’s Nest’s acute smoke detector apparent bottomward by $20. Dell will accept the aforementioned accord online starting on Nov. 21.

 

Netgear’s battery-powered Arlo aegis cameras are a accepted aces for home security, and Newegg’s alms a acceptable Black Friday accord on a first-gen, three-camera amateur kit that’ll save you over a hundred bucks. The accord starts on Nov. 21 — if you absence it, attending for an almost-as-good accord at Walmart, area the three-camera Arlo kit will advertise for $199.

 

Meanwhile, Best Buy has the newer adaptation of the Arlo cameras accessible in a four-camera amateur kit for $580. That sounds like a lot, but this kit usually sells for $800.

 

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This Philips Hue amateur kit includes three color-changing bulbs, a wireless alien that docks on the bank like a ablaze about-face aback you aren’t application it, and the all-important Philips Hue Bridge that needs to break acquainted into your router in adjustment to ascendancy the lights from your buzz or accompany them with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. It usually costs $190, but on Black Friday, Best Buy will advertise it for $120. That’s a agitating accord — $30 below than you’d about pay for aloof the bulbs.

 

If you’ve already got a Hue Bridge and aloof appetite to aggrandize your system, these Hue Lightstrips attending abundant below cabinets and abaft TVs, and $60 is about as low as they anytime advertise for.

 

Just appetite to aggrandize your absolute Hue bureaucracy with an added ball or two? On Black Friday, Best Buy will advertise them for $40 each, a accumulation of $10.

 

If you don’t affliction about the colors and aloof appetite to ample out your home with automatable white light, this four-pack of plain, boilerplate Philips Hue White bulbs will advertise for $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday. This four-pack usually sells for $50, which is already a appealing acceptable deal.

 

It isn’t apparent down, but if you buy a four-bulb Philips Hue White and Color Amateur Kit from Target this Black Friday, the banker will bandy in a chargeless $50 allowance card. If you were so inclined, you could about-face about and use that agenda to aces up a benefit ball for your new setup.

 

Looking for a acute aegis ablaze to adhere aloft your garage? You could do a lot worse than this brighten from Ring, which packs a congenital night eyes camera and motion sensor, added the adeptness to adapt those motion alerts application “activity zones” aural the camera’s acreage of view. Attending for a $50 abatement on it at Lowe’s amid Nov. 22 and Nov. 25.

 

Here’s one of the best acute home deals we’ve apparent this year: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 with a new, third-gen Amazon Echo Dot for a complete of $140. The Ring on its own usually sells for $200, so this is a decidedly acceptable amount if you’ve been agog for an advancement at your advanced door.

 

Like a few of the added deals listed here, Best Buy initially listed this online as an aboriginal special, but that action is over now. You’ll get addition adventitious at it on Black Friday.

 

If you aloof appetite the doorbell, Home Depot is alms a Black Friday abatement of about $40 on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which offers a slimmed-down architecture and 1080p video.

 

If you’re attractive for a acceptable accord on acute bulbs, you adeptness accede jumping on this Sengled Element amateur kit, which will be accessible at Best Buy starting Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, for aloof $30. With three bulbs and the Zigbee hub that controls them, that’s cheaper than the two-bulb amateur kit usually sells for.

 

If the about-face appear colder acclimate already has you cerebration advanced to abutting summer, afresh maybe the time is appropriate to account a accord on a acute air conditioner controller. If so, you’re in luck because the Sensibo Sky, which smartens up impaired AC units to let you automate them as you appear and go, will be accessible for about $30 below than accepted this Black Friday. Along with app-enabled automation, Sensibo lets you ascendancy the air-conditioned with articulation commands application Alexa or Google Assistant. And yes, you can use it to automate a heater, too.

 

Bonus — you can pay a hardly lower $83 anniversary if you buy a Sensibo three-pack ($249 total), but you’ll accept to buy complete from the Sensibo website.

 

Best Buy’s additionally alms nice discounts on SimpliSafe home aegis packages, which usually alpha at $270 but will be accessible starting at $170 this Thanksgiving. On top of that, Best Buy will bandy in a chargeless standalone SimpliCam with your purchase. At the alpha of November, Best Buy was additionally alms a chargeless video doorbell with these kits, but they assume to accept yanked that accord abroad and replaced it with the SimpliCam for Black Friday. Damn.

 

Still, that’s a lot of amount for a actual able aegis arrangement that’s won assorted Editors’ Choice awards actuality on CNET. Typically, a baseline SimpliSafe kit and SimpliCam would amount you about $370.

 

With congenital Alexa controls and Google Assistant controls advancing abutting year, the platform-agnostic, premium-sounding Sonos One hits the acute apostle candied atom at its accepted amount of $200. Scoring one for $25 off at Best Buy sounds aloof accomplished to me.

 

Best Buy is additionally alms the Sonos Beam, an Alexa-equipped complete bar, at a accumulation of $50. Like best of Best Buy’s deals, the auction starts at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22).

 

You’ve got affluence of acceptable acute bung options, but at below than $12 each, these TP-Link plugs adeptness be the cheapest ones I’ve apparent that accommodate real-time activity ecology of whatever’s acquainted into them. They assignment with Alexa and Google Assistant for articulation controls, too.

 

We haven’t advised these exact models, but we activated the mini sized Kasa acute plugs and came abroad annoyed with the experience. These bigger versions use the aforementioned accouterments and the aforementioned app, so they should assignment able-bodied as a bargain way to aggrandize your acute home setup.

 

We don’t apperceive how abundant anniversary artefact will ultimately advertise for, but Best Buy’s ad lists several acute home accessories that’ll be discounted by “up to 35 percent” on Black Friday (here’s the list). Those accessories accommodate the WeMo Dimmer ablaze about-face and WeMo Mini acute plug, two accepted Wi-Fi accessories that let you automate your lights and appliances. Both assignment with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Apple HomeKit, too.

 

The WeMo Dimmer usually sells for $80, while the WeMo Mini retails for $30, so if both got the abounding 35 percent off, afresh they’d advertise for about $50 and $20, respectively. Again, we don’t apperceive how abundant of a abatement they’ll absolutely get aloof yet, so break tuned.

 

Now playing: Watch this: Tricks to account added accumulation on Black Friday and Cyber…

 

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2:06

 

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Time: 18:15

///Commence 24 Hour Report///

 

Power Intake: 3.62 Megawatts

Power Consumption: 3.62 Megawatts

Security Level: Saf101110

1010101010110101000101010110111001010101010101-

GRZZHK

 

"What the...Johnson, are the monitors still up?!"

 

"Yessir. The cameras in Hallway 421 show a breach...the network cables run through that hallway."

 

"Ah. The reserve conduits have kicked in now."

 

"Sir, it looks like Hall 421's Jani-4 was right under the breach; it fell in."

 

"Ugh...Computer!

Send Jani-4 Designance Code 420 to Hallway 421."

 

"Sir...there's movement coming from the breach. Looks like tendrils of some sort...holy cow..."

 

"Computer! Seal the blast doors to Hallway 421 once Jani-4 Designance Code 420 has completed the previous order."

...

"Johnson, don't quote me, but I don't think we're going to win this war. Those gene-manglers have a massive advantage over us...I mean, we take months to develop a nuke that can crack their macronid silk city domes, and their overgrown spiders patch it in less than ten minutes. But now they've retaliated, and from the looks of it a few seed packs and some kind of ATP-accelerating-wave bomb are going to take down our entire base and second largest city, too. Green is really getting to be my least favorite color."

 

________________________

 

Not the most natural setting perhaps, but I wanted to take a different approach to Mike Doyle's Beautiful Lego 3: Nature. I guess I'll see how that goes. At any rate, this has been a work in progress for several months now with a lot of school-filled gaps in between. Once Mike announced his contest, I knew what I wanted the base to be invaded by. My mind filled with thoughts of Star Trek's Project Genesis with a more militaristic intent. Credit to Jgg321 for inspiring me to put my biology research on Adenosine Triphospate to geeky use. Lastly, I'll point out my attempt at scenic sunset lighting (Assuming the Sun is setting somewhere on right, making you, the viewer, in the North) in case it wasn't glaringly obvious.

 

On a wholly unrelated note, I should probably point out that I turned sixteen last Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by and tolerating my chocolatized ramblings, everyone. :)

Edited By Angelica~

 

The Five Types of Jinn

The Five Types of Jinn and Their Threat to Your Digital Security

divides sentient beings into three categories. In order of creation, they are: the angels (malayka), the hidden ones (jinn), and humankind (nas or banu adam). Angels are made out of light, jinn out of fire, men out of earth (sometimes translated as mud or clay). Angels are considered neither male nor female and have no free will. Jinn, like humans, are gendered, and have free will. (This is why, in Islamic thought, Satan is a jinn, not an angel; it would be impossible for an angel to disobey the will of God.) Jinn may be benevolent, evil, or neutral, but are generally regarded as less trustworthy and more prone to trickery than people, even if they are benign. In addition to the types of jinn mentioned here, there are many lesser varieties of jinn that appear in local legends that vary from place to place. For example, in Egypt, there are thought to be female jinn who inhabit the canals and tributaries of the Nile and lure men to their deaths, much like sirens, but they don’t appear elsewhere in the Arab world.

 

Types of Jinn

      

MARID (pronounced MAA–rid)

Large and imposing, the marid are considered the most powerful tribe of jinn. They are the classic genies of folklore, often portrayed as barrelchested men with booming voices.

Originally sea-spirits, they are often associated with water, and thought to take sanctuary in the open ocean. While marid are very powerful, they are not technically minded and therefore unlikely to infect your hard drive. However, there is at least one known case of a marid being imprisoned in a flash drive and doing quite a lot of damage to the operating system, attempting to free itself. Please be aware when opening any unfamiliar attachments and if any of your computer’s peripherals exhibit a telltale blue-gray cast, please disconnect from your machine and take them to a qualified technician.

          

EFFRIT

(pronounced eff–FREET)

Intelligent and cunning, the effrit are thought to live in complex societies similar to those of humans. They are said to prefer caves and under ground dwellings. Though ostensibly demonic, they are portrayed as changeable in nature, and capable of becoming pious and good. In the Quran, King Solomon is said to have had power over a tribe of effrit, who performed various tasks for him.

 

Effrit are the greatest risk for phishing scams and online privacy violations, as they are natural schemers and also understand human personality and social interaction the best. It is thought that quite a few effrit amuse themselves sending Facebook messages to attractive potential mates using the profiles of call center employees and programmers in India, the Middle East, and the Philippines, who are bewildered by the response. More seriously, however, some effrit have the capability of writing code themselves, and it is thought that the Conficker worm, which infected some fifty million computers worldwide, may have been written by a group combining effrit and human members. Effrit are not to be taken lightly, but they can only be guarded against by the standard information safety protocols used with human threats—be wary of unverified interlocutors and executable content, and if your system slows or behaves oddly, conduct a thorough scan or contact your IT professional.

    

GHOUL

(Arabic pronunciation uses a guttural gg sound somewhere

between an English G and a French R)

 

This tribe of jinn has traveled north and west to become a common English- language term for “undead monster.” This is pretty close to its original Arabic connotation; ghouls are thought to be zombie-like jinn who haunt graveyards and prey on human flesh. They are strictly demonic and incapable of goodness. Often portrayed as nocturnal. Given their limited intelligence, ghouls are low risk in the information technology world—but you really don’t want to run into one in a dark alley.

              

SILA

Talented shape-shifters who are more tolerant of human society than other tribes of jinn, sila are most often portrayed as female. Thought to be extremely intelligent, sila are nonetheless the most rarely seen of all the types of jinn, and appear only sporadically in folklore. There is speculation that the term sila might be related to seelie, a Middle English word for “a good faerie.” (This would make sense, as sila does not appear to correspond to an Arabic root pattern.) Sila are extremely rare, both on- and off-line, and while they are intelligent and comfortable crossing back and forth between realms seen and unseen/human and jinn, by their nature they do not usually set out to harm or trick humans. Sila are, however, fond of meddling in an attempt to help. That Livejournal community member who intervened when you got overinvolved with that troll in the George R.R. Martin community?

 

Possibly a sila

VETALA

 

The original vampires, vetala are semi-malevolent spirits from ancient Indian folklore. They can possess human corpses and prevent them from decaying, and in so doing trick human beings into believing the vetala is an ordinary person. However, vetala can also change shape at will. They are thought to be natural psychics, able to foretell the future and gain insight into the past, as well as read the thoughts of others. The most famous vetala appears in “The Vampire and King Vikram,” a set of stories from the Baital Pachisi. Vetala are quite rare, and while they are certainly intelligent enough to threaten your computer, their superior mental and psychic abilities make technology somewhat irrelevant to their needs. To the extent you are likely to encounter a vetala online, it is likely posing brain-twisting rhetorical questions that keep you on a messageboard well past your bedtime.

 

Always remember that the unseen can take on disproportionate power —which goes for genies and online demagogues in equal measure. If your blood pressure rises, step away from the computer and make a cup of tea. Vetala are also extremely fond of Words With Friends—they are excellent players and lots of fun to engage with, even if their superior skill may prove frustrating.

   

Information technology specialists have been working for some time to identify and profile the unique online habits of jinn, in order to better protect human users. However, after the disastrous outcome of the Tin Sari program, there is a general consensus that the likelihood of abuse of this program to target benevolent jinn is too great a risk. Until a better solution presents itself, surf carefully, and if you believe your computer has been attacked by jinn, contact your IT professional.

  

And....

 

Paranormal Energy:

   

Unusual electromagnetic field effects are often observed in association with reported paranormal activity. Two leading theories offer conflicting explanations for the nature of this EMF-Paranormal association. Go Beyond Now suggests a third model, a synthesis of the two mainstream theories. We believe that observation and analysis of the anomalous electromagnetic effects associated with paranormal activity can provide some of the most useful and scientifically credible evidence to help researchers establish the true nature of that mysterious something we call the paranormal.

 

J. Hale

 

Part 1 - The Theories:

 

Theory 1:

 

Paranormal energy forms interact with electrical circuits, electronic devices, and living organisms in ways that suggest a strong electromagnetic field is sometimes associated with paranormal activity.

 

We'll call this "The Electromagnetic Model" of paranormal energy. We've all heard reports of ghostly activity where lamps flicker, TV sets turn themselves on and off, mysterious voices and sounds come through radio and stereo speakers, etc. Since light is also a form of electromagnetic radiation, paranormal researchers could argue that all visual sightings, including the appearance of "orbs" and other mystery objects in photographs, should also be classified as electromagnetic. And let's not forget about EVP which, by definition, is electronic in nature.

 

Click any image below to learn more

     

The Electric and Magnetic

Components of an EM Wave

Move at 90° Angles to Each Other

 

Theory 2:

 

EMF radiation can influence the human brain's bio-electrical processes in ways that stimulate subjective experiences which are mistakenly perceived as external events by the person exposed to the EMF radiation.

 

We will call this the "Persinger Model" after Dr. Michael Persinger, the Canadian neuroscientist who has attained pop status in certain circles for his famous lab experiments in which the brains of test subjects were exposed to concentrated pulses from electromagnets mounted on a motorcycle helmet. The Persinger Model suggests that unusual but explainable factors such as electrical effects from natural events like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, solar flares, etc., or even the man-made sources of electromagnetic radiation so common in our modern environment are, in reality, the true stimuli responsible for reports of paranormal activity.

     

Dr. Persinger's

Paranormal Helmet

 

Theory 3:

 

Free-roaming discrete electromagnetic energy forms exist which are capable of interacting with other electromagnetic systems, they are capable of producing certain physical effects, and they are also capable of influencing human cognitive processes.

 

This is the proposed "Go Beyond Now Model". Based on the wide variety of historical background reports concerning paranormal activity, our model assumes that discrete paranormal energy forms do exist, they can sometimes be visually observed or photographed, and, from time to time, their presence can be deduced by the occurrence of otherwise unexplainable physical events.

 

Thus, unlike the Persinger Model, our proposal accepts the reality of an ephemeral and as-yet-unknown-to-science energy form that can interact with the natural world and produce real-world effects. Also, with support from Persinger's own experimental observations, we further propose that:

 

These paranormal energy forms are capable of influencing human brainwave activity in such ways that they can literally "impose" thoughts and "artificial perceptions" directly into our minds. This ability to, in effect, bypass the normal channels of sensory input (eyes, ears, etc.) can cause people to perceive or to simply "remember" things that are not real in the normal objective sense. However, such perceptions and false memories do have an external causal basis, they are not merely hallucinatory-type experiences.

   

Energy Form X

    

Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)

Aperture: f/4.2

Focal Length: 32 mm

 

Photographer Mayhem #874014 shooting Model Mayhem #874014

 

In Collaboration With: www.flickr.com/photos/notjanedoe/

 

Concept & Production: Not Jane Doe - www.flickr.com/photos/notjanedoe/

Model: Brittany Robarts - www.flickr.com/photos/brittanyrobart/

 

This was difficult to light as the boxes were extremely reflective. Any direct flash caused big burn outs. So, here I used a snooted SB800 on 3/4 power from 10 feet away (camera right) and an SB600 firing off the rear white wall at full power adding a gentler glow.

 

Makes you feel much older

Sublime the blind parade

It wrecks me how they

justify their acts of war

 

In case you are wondering.. I was wandering the ATC Mall in Alabang when I came across this guy sprawled at the bottom of an escalator. Probably on drugs but still clutching a damn cell phone. By the time I found security the guy was gone.

I showed another version of this viewpoint earlier this year. This one was taken on a return visit this time using a fisheye lens. The display case used for the reflection was quite tall and with no live view on the camera I was using I could not see what I was taking. However the display lined up centrally and placing the camera in the middle and lined up with the back of the display cabinet got me a picture with the symmetry I wanted. Photography is allowed in the Museum but not being sure whether Security would approve of putting cameras on top of Display Cases (probably not) I waited until nobody was in sight. This version is less abstract than the last with the display case being fairly obvious with the wider angle. I also retained colour in this one. The earlier version is shown in the comments

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects in 145 galleries. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The V&A is located in Kensington alongside the appropriately named Exhibition Road with the Natural History Museum and Science Museum across the road from the V&A.. This image was captured from a walkway above the Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery with the top of a glass Display Case reflecting the museum's geometric roof and skylight. It is easy to find at Gallery 50a and 50b immediately on the right from the main entrance and then up the stairs.

 

The picture was taken with a Sony A700 with a Samyang Fisheye lens at 8 mm. I took 3 shots for HDR processed in Photomatix using fusion Natural for a natural look. In Photoshop to fine tune adjustment to exposure I copied in the Minus 2 EV image and removed it with a black layer mask and then brought it back in slightly with a white brush at varying opacity to darken the skylights and highlights a little. More detail with Topaz Clarity. Some cloning out of some distracting blue objects at the bottom edge.

 

For my Photography books Understand Your Camera and Compose Better Pictures see My Author Page USA or My Author Page UK

 

Please visit my â Facebook Page

 

For Galleries, Prints and Licences see Edwin Jones Photography

Ooooooh yeah.

 

Can you feel it?

 

That feelin' of Fridayness?

 

Uh huh.

 

What a crazy ass week wasn't it?

 

I'm startin' to think that they're all crazy.

 

They'll leave you kinda lookin' like this guy if you let 'em.

 

Dude was cool.

 

He was walking down Milwaukee Avenue carrying a trombone case.

 

In my experience guys walking down the street carrying trombone cases at midnight are either crazy trombone players or they're drug dealers carrying a trombone case filled with marijuana.

 

The devil's weed.

 

Sweet Mary Jane.

 

Packed full in sandwich baggies three fingers thick.

 

I used to smoke pot in college.

 

I think the last time I bought it I bought it from a guy carrying a trombone case down the street.

 

In Honolulu Hawaii.

 

I was on my way to Bangkok and the plane hadda stop in the islands to get some gas and I decided I'd get off and explore for a couple of days.

 

Catch the next one.

 

You could do that in those days because people were cool.

 

They didn't fly airplanes into buildings or butt search you when you flew anywhere domestically like they do now.

 

I rented some crap ass Suzuki Samuri tin foil jeep like thing for twenty nine bucks a day and slept in that piece of junk all over that island.

 

Kept getting kicked off of pineapple plantations by security guards in the middle of the night after the cops threatened to throw my ass in jail for sleepin' on the beach.

 

Honolulu was really kind of boring if you're not with a hot chick on your honeymoon and I'd heard about this legendary weed called 'Maui Wowwie' and figured maybe I could score some there.

 

Maui wasn't too far away I thought.

 

I'm glad I did good in geography class.

 

Education pays.

 

I hit all the bad neighborhoods and people tried to sell me every other vice in the world but nobody had any of the sensimilian rasta love herbs I was lookin' for.

 

I'd pretty much given up on the whole idea and instead I chartered a boat and went marlin fishing for the day and enjoyed me some of the big blue ocean and since I didn't catch a marlin I decided to hit some fish joint on the beach where you could grill up your own marlin steak.

 

It was an epic dinner and when I was walkin' back to that crap ass Suzuki Samuri I see this guy in a tie dyed Grateful Dead shirt carrying a trombone case walkin' down the street with a smile on his face and lookin' like he didn't have a care in the world.

 

If you know anything about anything you know THAT guy's carryin'.

 

So as I walked by him I whispered 'weed?'

 

The guy stopped in his tracks and turned around and said 'buyin' or sellin'?'

 

'Lookin'' I answered.

 

You know... just in case he was Hawaii 5-0 undercover or somethin'.

 

Under the barbaric laws of the time they still put people in prison for havin' that.

 

Oh wait... they still do.

 

Dealer man shot back 'follow me.'

 

We walked into an alley next to the Honolulu Hilton and he opened that trombone case and holy smokes the thing was filled to capacity with the illegal green budness.

 

All neatly organized in rows according to weight and grade.

 

The guy was a professional.

 

Smelled like the Hienecken factory or a skunk farm right when he opened it I swear.

 

He was a full service pot dealer... probably specializing in the tourist market and he even had packages of rolling papers for the convenience of his customers.

 

'I do a lot of business with the japanese' he said 'they're my biggest customers.'

 

I picked up a bag of his produce after he extolled it's virtues, promising me 'you ain't never smoked weed this good.'

 

We sat on the Hilton's air conditioning unit there in the alley and he insisted on twisting up a fatty with me and we smoked it right there.

 

Good gahd he was right.

 

I had never smoked weed like that before and I never have since.

 

That stuff made me 'see' music.

 

I fell right on my ass off the air conditioning unit and he packed up his trombone case and headed off into the sultry Honolulu night looking for more business.

 

I found my shitball Suzuki Samuri and headed to the north part of the island where he said the waves were supposed to be killer in the morning.

 

No one was on the roads and I drove real slow... waiting for stop signs to turn green and everything.

 

I kept my eyes open for a twenty four hour burrito shack.

 

It had turned into a beautiful night and the stars were incredible to sleep under.

 

I slept behind some strip mall and woke up feeling like shit.

 

A day on the beach cured me of all of that and with that little bag of the ganja I made a whole bunch of new friends.

 

People could smell that stuff from a mile away.

 

Everyone was happy and the livin' was good...

 

but I hadda catch a 747 to Bangkok late that afternoon and I headed back to the airport in the flimsy little Suzuki Samuri I'd been calling home.

 

It's not a good idea to travel internationally with marijuana on your person so I finished off that stuff right before I got to the rental return at the airport...

 

I flicked the last half of my last happy cigarette carelessly into the breeze and said goodbye to Hawaii and that frickin' Suzuki Samuri with a smile and some really red eyes.

 

And a terrible hankering for a bag of Doritos.

 

You know that joint I flipped outta the car on the way to the airport?

 

Well...

 

It never left the car.

 

It landed in my camera bag and melted itself to the top of it on the inside of the flap where you open and close it.

 

Where it remained while I went through customs in two countries.

 

I got a little extra scrutiny when I landed in Tokyo after spendin' some time in Bankgok.

 

Dogs were sniffin' all my stuff and everything.

 

But they never found that half a joint in my camera bag.

 

I found it six months later.

 

Me and a buddy finished it off and reminisced about the United States and then walked around the streets of Osaka feelin' really good and havin' a new appreciation for japanese letters in neon.

 

I'm not sayin' old boy in this picture's got anything to do with marijuana dealin'...

 

He coulda just been walkin' back from a trombone gig or something.

 

But he looked like he was really feelin' the love if you know what I mean.

 

He sure reminded me of my buddy 'Budman' in Honolulu.

 

I hope you're feelin' a different kinda love today.

 

One that doesn't bug your eyes out like that.

 

I hope you got some cush plans for the weekend and you're feelin' like a million bucks 'cause you survived that crazy freakin' week without too much collateral damage to your soul.

 

We made it to Friday.

 

The rest of the week can kiss my ass.

 

Mwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

 

I'm feelin' the love you know.

 

Friday-Love!

 

Epic Friday-Love!

 

I hope you have the best weekend.

 

Marijuanaville

The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street was established in 1939 and was featured in the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." It is well known for its inexpensive breakfasts and hamburgers. Open 24-7. Definitely a French Quarter institution. New Orleans,Louisiana.5.21.2018.

I may condense this series to include just one from each city. In that case, this would be number three.

Another dark cold morning, another improvised shoot making use of available light - in this case a security light on a nearby house triggered as I approached my car.

For many of images in this set , the 16mm end of my FE16-35mm zoom was not wide enough.

 

I once replaced my FE16-35mm f4ZA with the FE12-24mmf4G in the last autumn, but I sold it and bought the FE16-35mm f2.8GM...

But now, I think I must get wider than 16mm zoom lens again.

So the new Laowa 10-18mm f4-5.6 zoom is very interesting, it is tiny and costs me only 1000US or so......

But if it does not work well in real life, I may have to buy the FE12-24mm f4G again and it is an expensive lens......I am really reluctant to give any more money to Sony but in this case I may have no other choice, I just may have to sell my FE16-35mm f4ZA(I have both f4 and f2.8GM ) and FE24-105mmf4G OSS lens that I found useless due to the terribly heavy vignetting at 24mm.

 

So for me or any wide angle fanatic, the crop system especially Fuji and Sony do not work.

 

Honestly, only one real reason why I have the A7R2 and A7R3 system is the best wide angle lineup they have.

  

Here's why I think Fuji will be the next Samsung 1(UPDATED5)

  

Sony or Nikon looks like the biggest loser in this market according to Fuji, but is Fuji telling us the whole story, or are they hiding something?

 

Too much pride destroying Fuji completely, they never learn to listen to the actual users and market.

 

I went to Kyoto university in Kyoto prefecture for work and academic conference held at Kyoto international conference center.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 3 days. I think I visited Nara, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, and Uji(this pictured place). There are about 2000 world heritage sites around this area, and so most of tourists places in Kyoto, Osaka area are always crowded recently.

 

After this short academic trip to Kansai, Japan I realized the death of consumer , especially the death of D-SLR thing is greatly exaggerated by extremely gear focused fora online.

 

In camera fora D-SLRs are said to be already dead for long long time now, and many of aggressive Fuji fanboys mock it every time they get any chance to.

But the sad reality to the Fuji fanboys is any one with any sort of MILC is the odd ball(I am included) out there- out side of the camera gear forum, and mirrorless(especially Fuji X) are still very rare to find in the real world.

 

The pathetic sells figure of the X system clearly tells it's bleak future-it may die prematurely even before Nikon F that they mock and ridicule every chance they get to.

 

From what I see in all the places I visited this time, the budget DSLR is far from being dead. And the rebels seem to be still the dominant player of the ILC( regardless of the finder type) at all tourist venues like this one.

And it is the same even at our store and most of big electronics shops throughout the Asia.

I see a lot of people still using budget D-SLRs at many many tourist venues.

Of course more people using cell phones, but my point is almost no one using so-called MIRRORLESS.

 

The reason may be that today, a D-SLR kit consisting of camera + a kit lens is so cheap, and offers so much quality, it is hard to resist. All mirrorless cameras are still very expensive to most of average camera buysers and they are very stingy, not like those of us who are obsessed with image quality and the latest and greatest things our money can buy......for many of us 3k for a camera is nothing, but for most of people even 1k is a lot of money for a camera.....and most of food mirrorless cameras even the tiny sensor ones(like the X-T2 or the EM1M2) cost over 1.5k......

The D7200 plus the cheap 18-140mm ED G VR kit lens costs only 1050 USD or so, while the similarly specified Fuji X-T2 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 costs more than 1800 US.

So the real reason why MILC is not really outselling D-SLR in the real world is the price, they are extremely overpriced for the sensor and absolute IQ you can get out of it.

So be careful and do your own research before investing any penny into the bleak looking Fuji X system.

 

But at the same time, Nikon(not Canon and Nikon, just Nikon) seems to be losing sells rapidly here, and I think most serious factor Nikon should face and work around it harder is that many of young tourists from SE Asia, Europe, and China almost always have Canon or m43(cheap ones like EM10M2 or G85).

 

I think the reason why they all prefer Canon or m43 or sometimes Sony is that the perceived AF speed in LV mode of Nikon cameras is far slower than those.

  

Now the D7500 is out and I have tested it at our shop a several times, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Sony A6500 or Panasonic G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

And now there is the A9..........

  

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony,Olympus, Fuji,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

However, Sony has been just forcibly updating their high-end cameras every 8 months or so. Now Sony has already announced A9, and I believe Sony will announce the A7M3 very soon(at November consumer electronic show in Osaka, I guess)..........and everybody at least a bit rational realizes that the A7MK2 was just an update model to set back the already overpriced the original A7price high again.............and it did not succeed the task very well.

I think Sony is doing quite well in very high-end camera market with the A7R2 and the A9, but they are ridiculously managing it in the more mass production consumer camera segment of ILC market. I mean they should not have released the A6300, they should have released the A7MK2 as the original A7.......the A7, the A6300, etc, are really like rushed-out cameras with lots of bugs.

 

I think Canon can still afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7DMK2) in roughly 4 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLRs. The bottom sustains the top always and they know it very well. They haven't spent much money into consumer ILC R &D, but they have some how managed to increase their market share especially in Asia, this is a very clever way of managing rapidly contracting business, and it seems working very well for Canon.

  

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable in the long run, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan and in most of East Asian countries including Taiwan), and their number is even more rapidly decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek and Thomas, who just temporarily bought the A7R2 for high DR work with their EF lenses. They have owned the Sony for about 12 months but they never bought any Sony or Zeiss lenses. And As the 5DMK4 with improved sensor was released they simply sold their Sony and went back to Canon. There are many people with Sigma MC11 or MB5 adapters and lots of EF lenses, I think this is the most serious problem for Sony.....the majority of Sony A7X and A9 users are what I call temporal switchers, therefore , they are not investing any penny into FE lens line.........thus Sony E mount lens sells is not great.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of Alpha 7 and 9 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

What the die-hard Sony FE and Fuji GFX and X fans in many forums do not get is they are not normal photographers but just gearheads in a very odd minority group whose main interest is not photography or camera system at all but arguing about the camera systems or cameras.

So most of them do not even care about system capability but just one latest greatest body or a lens or two. To them an alluring spec sheet is everything, nothing else needed.

 

3. Fuji, Sony and Olympus,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of a premium brand. So once they feel ripped they do not want to drop a lot of money on their so-called "system" unless they actually produce something really game-changing, and they will not.

 

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries in our " carry-on"bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones(except the A9) suddenly become useless. 

I just experienced that last week, an airplane security guy seized 3 of my tiny Sony batteries, and by the time I got to my last destination, my camera was already dead............

I used my iPhone USB charger to recharge it on my train from Naha(Okinawa) airport since on the airplane we could no longer charge battery here.

So , in the end, I might agree/have to think the industry itself is in a death spiral now, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling neither Sony nor Fuji will win this game, but they may be the biggest loser like Sony always has been in every single market it entered since 2002. I think it will be either Canon,or some complete outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount or EF mount system as long as you can and when the right time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so? Sony E mount can be like that, however, Sony does not understand the sentiment of the main stream users. Sony has just replaced so many premature cameras without any FW update or any proper support.

Some just takes it positively and says Sony is pushing the envelop harder than any one else, or keeps trying or like that, but to most of us it seems like just irritating us users by unnecessarily depreciating every camera by replacing them too often.

The A6300 had a just few months of its life, even not a full year. This is amazing and I am actually furious about it. Sony really eventually exhausts almost all its long time users.......So I think 2018 will be a really tough year for the camera companies, esp for Sony and Fuji and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great computational concept camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this time, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them to talk about that experience with their friends...........no current expensive cameras can get it right, but all new phones have got it right.

On top of that there is a huge world-wide used camera market online and the extreme fast pace camera replacing cycle of Sony and Fuji really making the second-hand market even stronger. There are many many mint D800E, D810, D800, D750, A7, A7MK2, 5DMK3, 6D, X-T2, X-Pro2, etc, sold at the half or less than half the average price of the latest cameras.

And they are perfectly capable in terms of IQ, overall usability,etc. Just they don't have the new gimmicky futures that you may or may not use..........and if the IQ is the same or identical most of people just keep using their old cameras or just buy the cheap used models. I have a few guys asked me to keep lightly used D800E or D810 for them as we get them, so I asked them deposit and they paid 60000yen.

I am sure we will get a few good D800E bodies in next week and we will send these to them and they will pay us about another 60000yen.

 

So I think cellphones are not the real high end camera killers, but the market saturation and the used camera market is. I personally never buy any new any more, just get a shop displayed model for very cheap and use it for six months and sell it to someone I know.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in the next few years. I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse of their bad performance.

 

All the above said though, I think Sony is quickly rectifying its organizational corporate structuring issues, and now they seem to at least "TRY" to listen to the actual customer base.

If you try and see the A9 , you know what I mean, it has almost everything we E mount FF users asking Sony to fix in the A7X series.

And the A7R2 is to many people already a near perfect camera in terms of actual usability and IQ.

So I think Sony is at least a bit more sincere than Fuji and Olympus.

Basically, what people call Fuji's Kaizen policy is releasing a beta stage camera and fix it with a series of FW that should be included even before the actual product launch. So there is no reason for us to thank for Fuji for their silly so-called,"Kaizen" policy.

And I think the ultimate loser in this industry will be Fuji, more specifically the GFX system.

  

UPDATE: The lack of wide angle selection issue in the crop sensor camera world is becoming more and more serious, it is really annoying. There is no 15mm equivalent in the current Fuji or Canon EOS M system. There are no TS lenses for any of the corp mount systems regardless of the AF system(mirror based or OSPDAF).

Another serious issue in the crop camera world is the lack of true ISO100 except you choose Sony or Canon...or if D-SLR is fine Nikon.....

But none of these Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji system cameras have the base ISO of ISO 100 or lower......

 

This omission of the lowest possible ISO setting that the saturation capacity of the sensor allows it to be, is very odd , the lowering the base ISO sensitivity to increase the light gathering power(also has to increase the exposure time) is the only way for the crop sensor to match the bigger sensor system, after all. But some what they all ignore this and just try to up the highest ISO setting of their respective tiny sensor system that is actually useless for many but just needs to be there to make the spec sheet attractive to many so-called reviewers.

 

I think this obtuse high ISO focused marketing is actually killing the crop system, the m43 needs ISO25, the Fuji needs ISO32 to be able to match the Nikon FX at ISO64.

  

I am quite sure if the Fuji X gets the true ISO100 base ISO or lower, then the X system would be more respected. They do not need to compete in the silly useless high ISO realm but needs true ISO100 or lower.

  

UPDATE2: Fuji X is becoming more popular than I thought it is.

I met a few Fuji X shooters in Hokkaido, and I tried their lenses for a few minutes and I was quite impressed but the real core issue of the X system (the lack of true ISO100 issue)

that I have been writing about since my first X-Pro2 experience is still not fixed or even not sorted out yet.

 

I think the crop cameras really need lower base ISO value to get the same light gathering power of the FF and therefore the lack of ISO100(better be ISO32) on all Fuji bodies is a huge issue, in fact , it is the biggest issue for me.

Also, as I wrote they must develop a set of Loxia or Voigtlander like modern high quality manual focus primes, or just ask Coshina and Zeiss to join their system.

 

To me the real reason I always choose Sony E mount over anything else is not its being FF or hybrid-4k-ability but the Loxia and Voigtlander primes.

I actually wish all makers to make lenses like that in native system with all needed electronics chips inside.

 

At least, Sony has had the courage to open the mount and let Zeiss , Voigtlander, Laowa, etc do whatever they want to do for that system. To me most of Sony's own lenses are not interesting , the Batis line is also boring, the Tokina lenses are boring, the Samyang may be good but not very interesting to me.

So if it's not for the Loxia or the Voigtlander 40 and 65, I may have left out of the Sony system a year a go.

Sure it is not a huge market but a very solid profitable market.

I really cannot understand why the other lens makers cannot try the Loxia kinda lenses?

Not every one wants boring AF lens like the Batis line or the Sony's own FE lenses.....and if they want that , then there are many options already. Lack of those kind of lenses is the biggest reason why crops systems are boring, not because of the sensor or noise........since all IQ related values are relative to your choice of preferred DOF and required shutter speed for the scene.

IOW, there are many situations where FF produces noisier images than APS-C or m43 or even One if the scene is DOF limited and use of a tripod or super slow shutter speed is not your option.

 

So-called FF fanboys never admit it but if you normalize the DOF and shutter speed for hand holding lowlight work , then the all formats are just identical in terms of noise and overall tonal range. But if the shallow DOF is needed or if longer exposure time on a tripod is allowed , then the larger sensor format is always better but the noise level in lowlight for handholdable shutter speed is all relative and FF only better when the shallow DOF is preferred. Other wise, they are exactly same as the APS-C , the m43 and the One.

 

So I think as I am a deepDOF shooter, if Fuji, Canon, Sony or Nikon or any one develop a high quality manual focus prime line like the Loxia or Voigtlander in E mount, I would move to the smaller more portable format, but it would have to be at least 30mp or better a bit higher(resolution wise). The current 24mp sensor is not sharp enough for many of us who are already very much used to the 42.4 or 36mp FF sensor or even 51mp mini MF format.

 

UPDATE3:IMHO, the biggest problem with any crop sensor ILC system is that they do not have anything really wide or manual focus-able lenses such as the Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 or Sony FE12-24mm f4G, or even more extreme new Laowa 10-18mm zoom.

 

For me , m43 and all tiny APS-C sensor format ILC systems are becoming really irrelevant for stills. I think they should be even more doomed than Nikon or Canon D-SLR dinosaurs. If I need to go 12mm equivalent wide on m43, I'd need a 6mm prime or wider, but there are no such lenses in that system, I think Fuji's situation is even worse, they do not even have 15mm lens equivalent in the current X line.......and even worse there is no real manual focus prime options other than Meike or Samyang. I think the high quality modern manual focus prime market is not huge but a very profitable important one indeed, the current boom of the Loxia and Voigtlander primes proves that, and it is one of the main reasons why I shoot Sony. We lens fanatics pay a lot of money for lenses like my Loxia 21, 25, 85 and Voigtlander 40 and 65 soon the Laowa 100mm f2.8 2x macro,etc.

 

The widest lens the Fuji X currently has seems to be the Laowa 9mm f2.8 and a 9mm lens on a 1.5X crop body is just like my Laowa 15mm f2D on my A7RX cameras and it is not wide enough for many things.

  

Now Fuji X-H1 is out and specification seems to be pretty impressive, but it is unnecessarily huge for a crop body.

 

It is bigger than most of Sony FF bodies, and even bigger than the mostly video focused GH5s from Panasonic, and I think it is embarrassing, showing how inefficient the Fuji's electronics surroundings around the sensor are.

 

The Panasonic G9 is a great body, no doubt about that and I personally want one, but why is it so huge designed based around the tiny sensor?

We compare it to our A7MK3 side by side, and realize the latest tiny sensor mirrorless cameras are bigger than their FF rivals, not much bigger but wider and taller than the A7R3 by a quite clear margin.

 

I think Fuji and m43 are both heading to completely wrong direction trying to keep up with Sony A7RX and D-SLR in absolute performance.......this is exactly what Olympus Panasonic did with their original FT format system to kill its system charms.

 

I guess their marketing guys are really obtuse-- never learn anything from their past mistakes.

 

Now, I am quite sure the next Samsung NX would be either the m43 duo or the Fuji X system, but honestly I think it will be the Fuji that ceases next.

 

The m43 at least has video or hybrid shooters with them and I always have one of their bodies for video needs as I do not like FF for video.

 

But there is no market for the Fuji system, well actually there is but they do not listen to the niche fanatic voice calling for more serious manual lenses or wide angle lenses.

 

Copyright Susan Ogden

 

Oh, how i wish we could get inside here before it is torn down.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, opened it’s doors in 1876. In its heyday it was the LARGEST building in the US...remaining that up until the Pentagon was built in 1943. It housed 7,674 patients, one of the most famous being Woodie Guthrie. Within the confines of the hospital were a chapel, dental clinic, classrooms, an infirmary and a movie theater.

 

My grandmother, who passed away before i was born, worked there in the 1940’s. My mom used to occasionally go to work with her mom and play on the playground there or go to a movie. I grew up about a mile from this grand building. It closed it’s doors for good in 2003, and has been left in ruins in spite of offers to turn it into a museum similar to what was done to Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

 

A private buyer purchased the building and it is slated for demolition the end of September. I am not sure why there is so little regard for the historic properties here. It was a beautiful building in it’s time and the architecture is pretty amazing. i could understand taking down some of the wings that are deteriorated beyond repair, but the main building should really have been saved for it’s historic value. There were several interested parties, with the money to rehab it, that wanted to save it and allow people to tour it, but the state said no and went with demolition for “Open Space”. A tragedy, imho, since it sits in one of the wealthiest counties in NJ, where open space is hardly an issue.

 

This is the only interior shot i could get, by climbing the fire escape and leaning over the railing and into the window. The ONLY thing that kept us from going in was a swarm of bees living in the window casing that were zooming in and out!! Otherwise there may have been need for the bail jar!! We kept tabs on the security guard and police activity...and actually got on the good side of the guard who let us onto the property closer to the fencing past the NO TRESPASSING signs! He felt as we did that it was an incredible waste of this place to knock it down, and since we seemed harmless, he let us wander ....little did he know we would have been inside if it were not for the bees!!!!

 

For more info and photos that do show the inside of some of this place, check this out! www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2601383/Haunting-picture...

History

The Celler "Zuchthaus (jail)", as it is called in the colloquial language to this day, is regarded as the oldest prison in Germany still in function. Here, over three centuries, all the important phases of modern correctional system can be read conceptually and structurally. They range from the "Jailhouse" of the early 18th century to the "high-security tract" of the late 20th century. This can also be seen in the frequent name changes, a total of about ten times.

The prison was built between 1710 and 1724 as "workhouse, jail und madhouse". It was built in the French style by Johann Caspar Borchmann, the master builder of Duke Georg Wilhelm. At that time the institution lay still outside the city in the Westceller suburb. It was founded in order not to leave the prisoners to their destiny, but to educate them. This guiding principle, however, did not find any entrance into the Latin saying about the gate entrance "Puniendis facinorosis custodiendia furiosis et mente captis publico sumptu dicata domus" (to punish the evildoers, to guard the raving madmen and mentally ill from public resources erected house). The educational idea was an idea that had been implemented for the first time in Holland (Rasphuis Amsterdam). At that time the very different prisoners were still accommodated together in rooms.

In the historical inner courtyard of the building complex you can find the coat of arms of Chur-Hanover with the saying of the Order of the Garter "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (evil to him who evil thinks') and the motto of the English crown "Dieu et mon droit" (for God and my right). At the beginning of construction (1710), ruled George I Louis, Knight of the Order of the Garter, and later also King of Great Britain. In 1833, all mentally disordered people were transferred from the house to Hildesheim and the lawyer Georg Friedrich König from Osterode for free speech put in prison (the same house!). At the end of the 19th century, the institution was extended to the cell prison, the "isolation cell wing", a structure still valid today. Towards the end of the Weimar Republic it became Prussian "reform prison" under the director Fritz Kleist. New were, inter alia, gymnastics, radio room and readings for the prisoners as well as a museum. That is why the Celler citizens gave the prison the nickname "Café Kleist".

From 1934 political prisoners were arrested, as had been the case during the period of the Kingdom of Hanover and the German Empire, including the Celler KPD chairman Otto Elsner and workers of the Hanomag resistance group. Otto Marloh was one of the prison directors in the time of National Socialism. At the end of the Second World War, a total of 228 prisoners died from January until the invasion of the British on April 15, 1945, as a result of the poor prison conditions of the overcrowded jail. The dead were not buried in cemeteries, but buried hastily on the prison site. After the Second World War the prison was renamed several times, first in "penal institution", then in "prison", 1972 finally in "correctional facility". At this time, arose the new exterior wall made of concrete and a highly secured special unit for prisoners of the Red Army Faction. The installation of a modern stairs house in the late 1990s was the last major structural intervention.

 

Geschichte

Das Celler „Zuchthaus“, wie es in der Umgangssprache bis heute heißt, gilt als das älteste Gefängnis in Deutschland, das noch in Funktion ist. Hier lassen sich über drei Jahrhunderte alle wichtigen Phasen des modernen Strafvollzugs konzeptionell und baulich ablesen. Sie reichen vom „Zuchthaus“ des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts bis zum „Hochsicherheitstrakt“ des späten 20. Jahrhunderts. Dies lässt sich auch an den häufigen Namenswechseln erkennen, insgesamt etwa zehnmal.

Das Gefängnis entstand 1710 bis 1724 als „Werck-, Zucht- und Tollhaus“. Erbaut wurde es im französischen Stil von Johann Caspar Borchmann, dem Oberbaumeister des Herzogs Georg Wilhelm. Zu dieser Zeit lag die Anstalt noch außerhalb der Stadt in der Westceller Vorstadt. Sie wurde gegründet, um die Gefangenen nicht mehr ihrem Schicksal zu überlassen, sondern zu erziehen. Dieser Leitgedanke fand jedoch keinen Eingang in den lateinischen Spruch über dem Toreingang „Puniendis facinorosis custodiendia furiosis et mente captis publico sumptu dicata domus“ (Zur Bestrafung der Übeltäter, zur Bewachung der Tobsüchtigen und Geisteskranken aus öffentlichen Mitteln errichtetes Haus). Der Erziehungsgedanke war eine Idee, die erstmals in Holland umgesetzt worden war (Rasphuis Amsterdam). Damals wurden die sehr unterschiedlichen Gefangenen noch gemeinsam in Sälen untergebracht.

Im historischen Innenhof des Gebäudekomplexes findet man das Chur-Hannoversche Wappen mit dem Spruch des Hosenbandordens „Honi soit qui mal y pense“ (ein Schelm, wer Böses dabei denkt), und dem Wahlspruch der englischen Krone „Dieu et mon droit“ (für Gott und mein Recht). Zu Baubeginn (1710) regierte Georg I. Ludwig, Ritter des Hosenbandordens und später auch König von Großbritannien. 1833 wurden alle Geisteskranken aus dem Haus nach Hildesheim verlegt und der Anwalt Georg Friedrich König aus Osterode wegen freier Meinungsäußerung eingeliefert. Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts wurde die Anstalt zum Zellengefängnis, dem „Isolierzellentrakt“, erweitert, eine bis heute gültige Struktur. Gegen Ende der Weimarer Republik wurde es unter dem Direktor Fritz Kleist preußisches „Reformgefängnis“. Neu waren unter anderem Gymnastik, Radioraum und Lesungen für die Gefangenen sowie ein Museum. Deswegen gaben die Celler Bürger dem Gefängnis den Spottnamen „Café Kleist“.

Ab 1934 wurden, wie schon während der Zeit des Königreichs Hannover und des Kaiserreichs, politische Gefangene in Haft genommen, darunter der Celler KPD-Vorsitzende Otto Elsner und Arbeiter der Widerstandsgruppe Hanomag. Einer der Anstaltsleiter in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus war Otto Marloh. Zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs starben von Januar bis zum Einmarsch der Briten am 15. April 1945 insgesamt 228 Häftlinge infolge der schlechten Haftbedingungen des überbelegten Gefängnisses. Die Toten wurden nicht auf Friedhöfen bestattet, sondern auf dem Zuchthausgelände verscharrt. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde das Gefängnis mehrmals umbenannt, zuerst in „Strafanstalt“, dann in „Strafgefängnis“, 1972 schließlich in „Justizvollzugsanstalt“. Zu dieser Zeit entstand die neue Außenmauer aus Beton und ein hochgradig abgesicherter Sondertrakt für Gefangene der Rote Armee Fraktion. Der Einbau eines modernen Treppenhauses in den späten 1990er-Jahren war der letzte große bauliche Eingriff.

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justizvollzugsanstalt_Celle

 

1710 - 1732 Built by chief architect Johann Caspar Borchmann (+1736) - in French chateau style

1716 - 1833 Workhouse, penitentiary and madhouse

1721 19th of June consecration of the church. Till 1848 also church of the civil community Neustadt

1833 - 1934 Penitentiary for men, till 1846 for women, too

1934 - 1936 Penitentiary and custody detention

1936 - 1947 Penitentiary

1947 - 1952 Prison

1952 - 1955 Penitentiary

1955 - 1970 Prison and custody detention

1971 Correction facility

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For many of images in this set , the 16mm end of my FE16-35mm zoom was not wide enough.

 

I once replaced my FE16-35mm f4ZA with the FE12-24mmf4G in the last autumn, but I sold it and bought the FE16-35mm f2.8GM...

But now, I think I must get wider than 16mm zoom lens again.

So the new Laowa 10-18mm f4-5.6 zoom is very interesting, it is tiny and costs me only 1000US or so......

But if it does not work well in real life, I may have to buy the FE12-24mm f4G again and it is an expensive lens......I am really reluctant to give any more money to Sony but in this case I may have no other choice, I just may have to sell my FE16-35mm f4ZA(I have both f4 and f2.8GM ) and FE24-105mmf4G OSS lens that I found useless due to the terribly heavy vignetting at 24mm.

 

So for me or any wide angle fanatic, the crop system especially Fuji and Sony do not work.

 

Honestly, only one real reason why I have the A7R2 and A7R3 system is the best wide angle lineup they have.

  

Here's why I think Fuji will be the next Samsung 1(UPDATED5)

  

Sony or Nikon looks like the biggest loser in this market according to Fuji, but is Fuji telling us the whole story, or are they hiding something?

 

Too much pride destroying Fuji completely, they never learn to listen to the actual users and market.

 

I went to Kyoto university in Kyoto prefecture for work and academic conference held at Kyoto international conference center.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 3 days. I think I visited Nara, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, and Uji(this pictured place). There are about 2000 world heritage sites around this area, and so most of tourists places in Kyoto, Osaka area are always crowded recently.

 

After this short academic trip to Kansai, Japan I realized the death of consumer , especially the death of D-SLR thing is greatly exaggerated by extremely gear focused fora online.

 

In camera fora D-SLRs are said to be already dead for long long time now, and many of aggressive Fuji fanboys mock it every time they get any chance to.

But the sad reality to the Fuji fanboys is any one with any sort of MILC is the odd ball(I am included) out there- out side of the camera gear forum, and mirrorless(especially Fuji X) are still very rare to find in the real world.

 

The pathetic sells figure of the X system clearly tells it's bleak future-it may die prematurely even before Nikon F that they mock and ridicule every chance they get to.

 

From what I see in all the places I visited this time, the budget DSLR is far from being dead. And the rebels seem to be still the dominant player of the ILC( regardless of the finder type) at all tourist venues like this one.

And it is the same even at our store and most of big electronics shops throughout the Asia.

I see a lot of people still using budget D-SLRs at many many tourist venues.

Of course more people using cell phones, but my point is almost no one using so-called MIRRORLESS.

 

The reason may be that today, a D-SLR kit consisting of camera + a kit lens is so cheap, and offers so much quality, it is hard to resist. All mirrorless cameras are still very expensive to most of average camera buysers and they are very stingy, not like those of us who are obsessed with image quality and the latest and greatest things our money can buy......for many of us 3k for a camera is nothing, but for most of people even 1k is a lot of money for a camera.....and most of food mirrorless cameras even the tiny sensor ones(like the X-T2 or the EM1M2) cost over 1.5k......

The D7200 plus the cheap 18-140mm ED G VR kit lens costs only 1050 USD or so, while the similarly specified Fuji X-T2 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 costs more than 1800 US.

So the real reason why MILC is not really outselling D-SLR in the real world is the price, they are extremely overpriced for the sensor and absolute IQ you can get out of it.

So be careful and do your own research before investing any penny into the bleak looking Fuji X system.

 

But at the same time, Nikon(not Canon and Nikon, just Nikon) seems to be losing sells rapidly here, and I think most serious factor Nikon should face and work around it harder is that many of young tourists from SE Asia, Europe, and China almost always have Canon or m43(cheap ones like EM10M2 or G85).

 

I think the reason why they all prefer Canon or m43 or sometimes Sony is that the perceived AF speed in LV mode of Nikon cameras is far slower than those.

  

Now the D7500 is out and I have tested it at our shop a several times, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Sony A6500 or Panasonic G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

And now there is the A9..........

  

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony,Olympus, Fuji,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

However, Sony has been just forcibly updating their high-end cameras every 8 months or so. Now Sony has already announced A9, and I believe Sony will announce the A7M3 very soon(at November consumer electronic show in Osaka, I guess)..........and everybody at least a bit rational realizes that the A7MK2 was just an update model to set back the already overpriced the original A7price high again.............and it did not succeed the task very well.

I think Sony is doing quite well in very high-end camera market with the A7R2 and the A9, but they are ridiculously managing it in the more mass production consumer camera segment of ILC market. I mean they should not have released the A6300, they should have released the A7MK2 as the original A7.......the A7, the A6300, etc, are really like rushed-out cameras with lots of bugs.

 

I think Canon can still afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7DMK2) in roughly 4 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLRs. The bottom sustains the top always and they know it very well. They haven't spent much money into consumer ILC R &D, but they have some how managed to increase their market share especially in Asia, this is a very clever way of managing rapidly contracting business, and it seems working very well for Canon.

  

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable in the long run, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan and in most of East Asian countries including Taiwan), and their number is even more rapidly decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek and Thomas, who just temporarily bought the A7R2 for high DR work with their EF lenses. They have owned the Sony for about 12 months but they never bought any Sony or Zeiss lenses. And As the 5DMK4 with improved sensor was released they simply sold their Sony and went back to Canon. There are many people with Sigma MC11 or MB5 adapters and lots of EF lenses, I think this is the most serious problem for Sony.....the majority of Sony A7X and A9 users are what I call temporal switchers, therefore , they are not investing any penny into FE lens line.........thus Sony E mount lens sells is not great.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of Alpha 7 and 9 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

What the die-hard Sony FE and Fuji GFX and X fans in many forums do not get is they are not normal photographers but just gearheads in a very odd minority group whose main interest is not photography or camera system at all but arguing about the camera systems or cameras.

So most of them do not even care about system capability but just one latest greatest body or a lens or two. To them an alluring spec sheet is everything, nothing else needed.

 

3. Fuji, Sony and Olympus,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of a premium brand. So once they feel ripped they do not want to drop a lot of money on their so-called "system" unless they actually produce something really game-changing, and they will not.

 

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries in our " carry-on"bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones(except the A9) suddenly become useless. 

I just experienced that last week, an airplane security guy seized 3 of my tiny Sony batteries, and by the time I got to my last destination, my camera was already dead............

I used my iPhone USB charger to recharge it on my train from Naha(Okinawa) airport since on the airplane we could no longer charge battery here.

So , in the end, I might agree/have to think the industry itself is in a death spiral now, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling neither Sony nor Fuji will win this game, but they may be the biggest loser like Sony always has been in every single market it entered since 2002. I think it will be either Canon,or some complete outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount or EF mount system as long as you can and when the right time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so? Sony E mount can be like that, however, Sony does not understand the sentiment of the main stream users. Sony has just replaced so many premature cameras without any FW update or any proper support.

Some just takes it positively and says Sony is pushing the envelop harder than any one else, or keeps trying or like that, but to most of us it seems like just irritating us users by unnecessarily depreciating every camera by replacing them too often.

The A6300 had a just few months of its life, even not a full year. This is amazing and I am actually furious about it. Sony really eventually exhausts almost all its long time users.......So I think 2018 will be a really tough year for the camera companies, esp for Sony and Fuji and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great computational concept camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this time, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them to talk about that experience with their friends...........no current expensive cameras can get it right, but all new phones have got it right.

On top of that there is a huge world-wide used camera market online and the extreme fast pace camera replacing cycle of Sony and Fuji really making the second-hand market even stronger. There are many many mint D800E, D810, D800, D750, A7, A7MK2, 5DMK3, 6D, X-T2, X-Pro2, etc, sold at the half or less than half the average price of the latest cameras.

And they are perfectly capable in terms of IQ, overall usability,etc. Just they don't have the new gimmicky futures that you may or may not use..........and if the IQ is the same or identical most of people just keep using their old cameras or just buy the cheap used models. I have a few guys asked me to keep lightly used D800E or D810 for them as we get them, so I asked them deposit and they paid 60000yen.

I am sure we will get a few good D800E bodies in next week and we will send these to them and they will pay us about another 60000yen.

 

So I think cellphones are not the real high end camera killers, but the market saturation and the used camera market is. I personally never buy any new any more, just get a shop displayed model for very cheap and use it for six months and sell it to someone I know.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in the next few years. I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse of their bad performance.

 

All the above said though, I think Sony is quickly rectifying its organizational corporate structuring issues, and now they seem to at least "TRY" to listen to the actual customer base.

If you try and see the A9 , you know what I mean, it has almost everything we E mount FF users asking Sony to fix in the A7X series.

And the A7R2 is to many people already a near perfect camera in terms of actual usability and IQ.

So I think Sony is at least a bit more sincere than Fuji and Olympus.

Basically, what people call Fuji's Kaizen policy is releasing a beta stage camera and fix it with a series of FW that should be included even before the actual product launch. So there is no reason for us to thank for Fuji for their silly so-called,"Kaizen" policy.

And I think the ultimate loser in this industry will be Fuji, more specifically the GFX system.

  

UPDATE: The lack of wide angle selection issue in the crop sensor camera world is becoming more and more serious, it is really annoying. There is no 15mm equivalent in the current Fuji or Canon EOS M system. There are no TS lenses for any of the corp mount systems regardless of the AF system(mirror based or OSPDAF).

Another serious issue in the crop camera world is the lack of true ISO100 except you choose Sony or Canon...or if D-SLR is fine Nikon.....

But none of these Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji system cameras have the base ISO of ISO 100 or lower......

 

This omission of the lowest possible ISO setting that the saturation capacity of the sensor allows it to be, is very odd , the lowering the base ISO sensitivity to increase the light gathering power(also has to increase the exposure time) is the only way for the crop sensor to match the bigger sensor system, after all. But some what they all ignore this and just try to up the highest ISO setting of their respective tiny sensor system that is actually useless for many but just needs to be there to make the spec sheet attractive to many so-called reviewers.

 

I think this obtuse high ISO focused marketing is actually killing the crop system, the m43 needs ISO25, the Fuji needs ISO32 to be able to match the Nikon FX at ISO64.

  

I am quite sure if the Fuji X gets the true ISO100 base ISO or lower, then the X system would be more respected. They do not need to compete in the silly useless high ISO realm but needs true ISO100 or lower.

  

UPDATE2: Fuji X is becoming more popular than I thought it is.

I met a few Fuji X shooters in Hokkaido, and I tried their lenses for a few minutes and I was quite impressed but the real core issue of the X system (the lack of true ISO100 issue)

that I have been writing about since my first X-Pro2 experience is still not fixed or even not sorted out yet.

 

I think the crop cameras really need lower base ISO value to get the same light gathering power of the FF and therefore the lack of ISO100(better be ISO32) on all Fuji bodies is a huge issue, in fact , it is the biggest issue for me.

Also, as I wrote they must develop a set of Loxia or Voigtlander like modern high quality manual focus primes, or just ask Coshina and Zeiss to join their system.

 

To me the real reason I always choose Sony E mount over anything else is not its being FF or hybrid-4k-ability but the Loxia and Voigtlander primes.

I actually wish all makers to make lenses like that in native system with all needed electronics chips inside.

 

At least, Sony has had the courage to open the mount and let Zeiss , Voigtlander, Laowa, etc do whatever they want to do for that system. To me most of Sony's own lenses are not interesting , the Batis line is also boring, the Tokina lenses are boring, the Samyang may be good but not very interesting to me.

So if it's not for the Loxia or the Voigtlander 40 and 65, I may have left out of the Sony system a year a go.

Sure it is not a huge market but a very solid profitable market.

I really cannot understand why the other lens makers cannot try the Loxia kinda lenses?

Not every one wants boring AF lens like the Batis line or the Sony's own FE lenses.....and if they want that , then there are many options already. Lack of those kind of lenses is the biggest reason why crops systems are boring, not because of the sensor or noise........since all IQ related values are relative to your choice of preferred DOF and required shutter speed for the scene.

IOW, there are many situations where FF produces noisier images than APS-C or m43 or even One if the scene is DOF limited and use of a tripod or super slow shutter speed is not your option.

 

So-called FF fanboys never admit it but if you normalize the DOF and shutter speed for hand holding lowlight work , then the all formats are just identical in terms of noise and overall tonal range. But if the shallow DOF is needed or if longer exposure time on a tripod is allowed , then the larger sensor format is always better but the noise level in lowlight for handholdable shutter speed is all relative and FF only better when the shallow DOF is preferred. Other wise, they are exactly same as the APS-C , the m43 and the One.

 

So I think as I am a deepDOF shooter, if Fuji, Canon, Sony or Nikon or any one develop a high quality manual focus prime line like the Loxia or Voigtlander in E mount, I would move to the smaller more portable format, but it would have to be at least 30mp or better a bit higher(resolution wise). The current 24mp sensor is not sharp enough for many of us who are already very much used to the 42.4 or 36mp FF sensor or even 51mp mini MF format.

 

UPDATE3:IMHO, the biggest problem with any crop sensor ILC system is that they do not have anything really wide or manual focus-able lenses such as the Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 or Sony FE12-24mm f4G, or even more extreme new Laowa 10-18mm zoom.

 

For me , m43 and all tiny APS-C sensor format ILC systems are becoming really irrelevant for stills. I think they should be even more doomed than Nikon or Canon D-SLR dinosaurs. If I need to go 12mm equivalent wide on m43, I'd need a 6mm prime or wider, but there are no such lenses in that system, I think Fuji's situation is even worse, they do not even have 15mm lens equivalent in the current X line.......and even worse there is no real manual focus prime options other than Meike or Samyang. I think the high quality modern manual focus prime market is not huge but a very profitable important one indeed, the current boom of the Loxia and Voigtlander primes proves that, and it is one of the main reasons why I shoot Sony. We lens fanatics pay a lot of money for lenses like my Loxia 21, 25, 85 and Voigtlander 40 and 65 soon the Laowa 100mm f2.8 2x macro,etc.

 

The widest lens the Fuji X currently has seems to be the Laowa 9mm f2.8 and a 9mm lens on a 1.5X crop body is just like my Laowa 15mm f2D on my A7RX cameras and it is not wide enough for many things.

  

Now Fuji X-H1 is out and specification seems to be pretty impressive, but it is unnecessarily huge for a crop body.

 

It is bigger than most of Sony FF bodies, and even bigger than the mostly video focused GH5s from Panasonic, and I think it is embarrassing, showing how inefficient the Fuji's electronics surroundings around the sensor are.

 

The Panasonic G9 is a great body, no doubt about that and I personally want one, but why is it so huge designed based around the tiny sensor?

We compare it to our A7MK3 side by side, and realize the latest tiny sensor mirrorless cameras are bigger than their FF rivals, not much bigger but wider and taller than the A7R3 by a quite clear margin.

 

I think Fuji and m43 are both heading to completely wrong direction trying to keep up with Sony A7RX and D-SLR in absolute performance.......this is exactly what Olympus Panasonic did with their original FT format system to kill its system charms.

 

I guess their marketing guys are really obtuse-- never learn anything from their past mistakes.

 

Now, I am quite sure the next Samsung NX would be either the m43 duo or the Fuji X system, but honestly I think it will be the Fuji that ceases next.

 

The m43 at least has video or hybrid shooters with them and I always have one of their bodies for video needs as I do not like FF for video.

 

But there is no market for the Fuji system, well actually there is but they do not listen to the niche fanatic voice calling for more serious manual lenses or wide angle lenses.

 

Maltese Falcon rules roost at John's Grill

SAN FRANCISCO Bird and mystery lovers toast literary icon's return

 

The bird is back and it's bigger than ever.

Nine months after someone snatched a replica of the Maltese Falcon from its perch on the second floor of San Francisco landmark John's Grill, owner John Konstin and 90 bird and mystery lovers welcomed a new replica of the fowl made famous by Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel and Humphrey Bogart's 1941 film noir classic.

 

"The falcon's going back upstairs, but this time it's going to be bolted down, locked in its case with security cameras, the whole thing," said Konstin, who kept a nervous eye on the new bird throughout the Friday afternoon unveiling.

 

Of course, at about 150 pounds of lead and bronze, the new falcon isn't going to be quite as easy to grab as the 50-pound plaster replica it replaces. The sculpture, done by Peter Schifrin of the San Francisco Academy of Art University with the help of student interns Ah Young Jeon and Zach Roberts, stands about 17 inches high, compared with the 12 inches of the purloined bird.

 

Schifrin also took some artistic license with the new bird, giving him a fiercer, more realistic look.

"One of the hardest things was making this like the original Maltese Falcon, but not too much like the falcon," Schifrin said. "I wanted to make this more falcony, because the original was more parroty or even pigeony."

 

Konstin's original bird of choice, of course, was one of the two falcon prop statues used in the movie, and in 1994, he went back to New York to bid on one of them. But when he saw the bidding soar to $398,500, he decided the replica was just fine.

 

John's Grill, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, has gotten plenty of mileage out of a single sentence by Hammett, who worked next door in the Flood Building in the 1920s, eating and, more often, drinking at the restaurant.

In the novel, Sam Spade, Hammett's iconic shamus, stops at the restaurant and orders "chops, baked potatoes, sliced tomatoes."

 

That was enough to get John's Grill named a national literary landmark by the Friends of the Library USA, complete with a plaque over the door. When the U.S. Postal Service put out a Humphrey Bogart commemorative stamp in 2007, officials unveiled it at the restaurant.

 

Not surprisingly, "chops, baked potatoes, sliced tomatoes" were served to the guests Friday in the tribute to the restyled falcon. Representatives of Mayor Gavin Newsom and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were in the crowd, which joined in rousing sing-alongs of "San Francisco" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

 

Hammett's blending of fiction and reality, "of what's real and not real," is one of the things Julie Rivett, the writer's granddaughter, likes most about his stories.

Hammett's haunts and hangouts in San Francisco were an important part of his writing, lending an air of reality to his detective stories.

 

"I'm pleased to have the bird back home," Rivett said.

Konstin originally put up a $25,000 reward for the return of the stolen statue, but when the bird didn't turn up, he decided to use the money to commission the new, improved falcon.

He could have saved a bundle. One online entrepreneur is offering "an authentic Haunted Studios 75th Anniversary Maltese Falcon" at a special price of $150, shipping included. It even includes a "personalized gold sealed Certificate of Authenticity" for the replica of the original fake bird.

 

John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writer Published 4:00 am, Saturday, November 17, 2007

Being confronted by Security Guards is always a funny thing. I thought I might run into some in Pershing Square remembering the time I got stopped by one three years ago trying to take a picture. The security guard was super nice about it informing me that it wasn't the picture taking that was bothering him but it was my tripod I couldn't use. I asked him "why no tripods?" but he didn't really seem to know.

 

Monday I was walking by Pershing Square and decided to give it another shot. Maybe the policy had changed who knows? So I went in but turned my ISO up a bit higher so my brackets would be faster. That way I could at least finish my shots before being asked to leave again.

 

I was in there for about ten minutes taking shots and there were people walking around doing maintenance but so far no security. I kept looking around just in case but so far so good. Unfortunately for me, my luck didn't last long. Down at the end of the park I saw a security guard. He started walking my way but didn't seem to be in much of a hurry. It took him about 10 minutes to walk the 100 feet to get to me. It took him so long I was convinced he didn't care about me and I had taken several rounds of brackets already and was getting ready to walk to another spot. But just as I got up, we had the dreaded talk.

 

Again he was super nice about it, told me about the no tripod rule but didn't really know why. Something about tripods being professional equipment or something. I decided not to argue and left. At least I got a few shots in this time :)

 

How this shot was made:

Canon 5d mkII, Canon 16-35mm lens at 16mm

5 Bracketed exposures on location

 

Combined all 5 exposures using the Merge to 32-bit HDR plug-in. Did adjustments in Lightroom trying to get it as close to final as possible. Image taken into photoshop CS6 for more adjustments. Used Nik Software, Viveza 2 to add "structure" for some micro contrast and Dfine 2 for noise reduction and cleanup. Small tweaks to exposure and contrast to finish.

 

Want to learn more about how I process images? Check out my tutorial - www.joshuaguntherphotography.com/merge-to-32-bit-hdr-tuto...

 

NO MORE PLAGIARISM, WE WANT MORE SECURITY IN FLICKR!

  

"Flickr, listen up! We want more safety!

The amount of members affected by piracy and /or unauthorized use of their images grows more and more everyday.

 

It is not enough to state in our user profiles and in every photo the existence of a copyright; and that permission shall be requested of the author of the photo if somebody intends to use of that image.

 

It is not enough to report or block these people because FLICKR does not take action against these thieves, copycats, pedophiles and/or sadists! They keep on using their accounts as they wish, with the photos taken from other users without their permission to use them.

 

WE, honest and ethical USERS of FLICKR; free thinkers who respect the work of their colleagues, who use FLICKR in a LEGAL way and constitute a community that wants to nourish from the photos of others WTHOUT COPYING their photos and WITHOUT MISSUSING their works; DEMAND the following:

 

That our copyright be respected.

That Flickr creates new security tools to protect our work.

That it becomes forbidden for a user to re-enter the gallery of the person who blocked or reported him/her.

That the accounts of people who PLAGIRIZE, copy or use photos acquired without permission and, in many cases, with illegal purposes in activities prosecuted by law, such as pedophilia and pornography; be suspended indefinitely.

 

FLICKR, listen to your users! The warning that informs you that an account does not pass the filter of security is insufficient. You have to create safer accounts.

 

We want Flickr to make an adecuate follow-up of the accounts reported. We do not want anymore "moderation" without justification. Webmasters of Flickr, we demand respect on the moderation of all our accounts in Flickr and that a clear difference between art and pornography shall be made.

  

FLICKR: it is time to improve your security system and to guarantee the service we all deserve.

 

We join this worldwide action today in order to protect our art and to demand better service and a better FLICKR. A place where we can keep on sharing ethically and legally our viewpoints on life and the world from our lens!

 

Thanks for considering our proposal and for improving on the issues afore mentioned"

A security silk rope in case of emergency :)

via WordPress ift.tt/2Ix4IRK

 

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich)

 

Greg Nojeim is director of the Freedom, Security, & Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. Eric Wenger is the director of Cybersecurity and Privacy Policy at Cisco Systems, Inc. Marc Zwillinger is the founder of ZwillGen PLLC and frequently represents technology companies on surveillance-related issues. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Ars Technica.

 

In the wake of news from Reuters on Friday that a federal court in California rejected Department of Justice demands that Facebook break, bypass, or remove the encryption in its Messenger app, it’s worth noting how little we still know about such an important dispute.

 

Depending on what specific relief the government sought from the court, the case may signal a potentially significant threat to the security of Internet-based communications. In a hyperconnected world, the implications of the government’s demand for expanded surveillance capabilities go far beyond any legitimate law enforcement equities in any single case.

 

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

 

FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake? syndicated from medium.com/@eooke

 

FBI vs. Facebook Messenger: What’s at stake? syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

The Apollo Pavillion by Victor Pasmore. Been wanting to do something here for a while now and a mate, Jonathan, suggested we try some wire wool spinning so i jumped at the chance of some company because believe Me, You dont want to be here late at night on Your own. So we arrived here about 11.45pm to be greeted by a group of teenagers who decided they didnt like a rubbish bin attached to a lampost so proceeded to bash and kick it off and throw it in the middle of the road!! Which then kept getting ran over by the passing traffic! So we waited til these idiots left and picked a spot to shoot from. Well when We looked round there was a huge pole just back from us with CCTV cameras on watching all directions, We hesitated abit but then thought, what the hell We are not smashing the place up so We decided to go for it, Jonathan went first and did the spin on the right, then I stepped up and did the spin underneath, just as I started My spin a few drunk passers by commented with some nice choice words about us taking F*$%ing photos and thought We were setting off fireworks!! So We then hastily packed up and scarpered in case security or someone called the police!! But its a great spot and I will be going back!!

 

So ive put the two shots together to get this, hope You like it!! And be sure to check out Jonathans photos:

www.flickr.com/photos/jonathan500d/

For many of images in this set , the 16mm end of my FE16-35mm zoom was not wide enough.

 

I once replaced my FE16-35mm f4ZA with the FE12-24mmf4G in the last autumn, but I sold it and bought the FE16-35mm f2.8GM...

But now, I think I must get wider than 16mm zoom lens again.

So the new Laowa 10-18mm f4-5.6 zoom is very interesting, it is tiny and costs me only 1000US or so......

But if it does not work well in real life, I may have to buy the FE12-24mm f4G again and it is an expensive lens......I am really reluctant to give any more money to Sony but in this case I may have no other choice, I just may have to sell my FE16-35mm f4ZA(I have both f4 and f2.8GM ) and FE24-105mmf4G OSS lens that I found useless due to the terribly heavy vignetting at 24mm.

 

So for me or any wide angle fanatic, the crop system especially Fuji and Sony do not work.

 

Honestly, only one real reason why I have the A7R2 and A7R3 system is the best wide angle lineup they have.

  

Here's why I think Fuji will be the next Samsung 1(UPDATED5)

  

Sony or Nikon looks like the biggest loser in this market according to Fuji, but is Fuji telling us the whole story, or are they hiding something?

 

Too much pride destroying Fuji completely, they never learn to listen to the actual users and market.

 

I went to Kyoto university in Kyoto prefecture for work and academic conference held at Kyoto international conference center.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 3 days. I think I visited Nara, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, and Uji(this pictured place). There are about 2000 world heritage sites around this area, and so most of tourists places in Kyoto, Osaka area are always crowded recently.

 

After this short academic trip to Kansai, Japan I realized the death of consumer , especially the death of D-SLR thing is greatly exaggerated by extremely gear focused fora online.

 

In camera fora D-SLRs are said to be already dead for long long time now, and many of aggressive Fuji fanboys mock it every time they get any chance to.

But the sad reality to the Fuji fanboys is any one with any sort of MILC is the odd ball(I am included) out there- out side of the camera gear forum, and mirrorless(especially Fuji X) are still very rare to find in the real world.

 

The pathetic sells figure of the X system clearly tells it's bleak future-it may die prematurely even before Nikon F that they mock and ridicule every chance they get to.

 

From what I see in all the places I visited this time, the budget DSLR is far from being dead. And the rebels seem to be still the dominant player of the ILC( regardless of the finder type) at all tourist venues like this one.

And it is the same even at our store and most of big electronics shops throughout the Asia.

I see a lot of people still using budget D-SLRs at many many tourist venues.

Of course more people using cell phones, but my point is almost no one using so-called MIRRORLESS.

 

The reason may be that today, a D-SLR kit consisting of camera + a kit lens is so cheap, and offers so much quality, it is hard to resist. All mirrorless cameras are still very expensive to most of average camera buysers and they are very stingy, not like those of us who are obsessed with image quality and the latest and greatest things our money can buy......for many of us 3k for a camera is nothing, but for most of people even 1k is a lot of money for a camera.....and most of food mirrorless cameras even the tiny sensor ones(like the X-T2 or the EM1M2) cost over 1.5k......

The D7200 plus the cheap 18-140mm ED G VR kit lens costs only 1050 USD or so, while the similarly specified Fuji X-T2 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 costs more than 1800 US.

So the real reason why MILC is not really outselling D-SLR in the real world is the price, they are extremely overpriced for the sensor and absolute IQ you can get out of it.

So be careful and do your own research before investing any penny into the bleak looking Fuji X system.

 

But at the same time, Nikon(not Canon and Nikon, just Nikon) seems to be losing sells rapidly here, and I think most serious factor Nikon should face and work around it harder is that many of young tourists from SE Asia, Europe, and China almost always have Canon or m43(cheap ones like EM10M2 or G85).

 

I think the reason why they all prefer Canon or m43 or sometimes Sony is that the perceived AF speed in LV mode of Nikon cameras is far slower than those.

  

Now the D7500 is out and I have tested it at our shop a several times, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Sony A6500 or Panasonic G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

And now there is the A9..........

  

The recent excessive focus on high profit/ high end products of Sony,Olympus, Fuji,etc, will not work in the long run since there will not be enough number of well heeled guys interested in photography any more, and most of us who might switch to Sony or Fuji already have done that in the last 3 years or so.

However, Sony has been just forcibly updating their high-end cameras every 8 months or so. Now Sony has already announced A9, and I believe Sony will announce the A7M3 very soon(at November consumer electronic show in Osaka, I guess)..........and everybody at least a bit rational realizes that the A7MK2 was just an update model to set back the already overpriced the original A7price high again.............and it did not succeed the task very well.

I think Sony is doing quite well in very high-end camera market with the A7R2 and the A9, but they are ridiculously managing it in the more mass production consumer camera segment of ILC market. I mean they should not have released the A6300, they should have released the A7MK2 as the original A7.......the A7, the A6300, etc, are really like rushed-out cameras with lots of bugs.

 

I think Canon can still afford to refresh their FF DSLR (and even semi-pro APSC DSLR like EOS 7DMK2) in roughly 4 year cycles, because they sell a truck load of entry and mid-level DSLRs. The bottom sustains the top always and they know it very well. They haven't spent much money into consumer ILC R &D, but they have some how managed to increase their market share especially in Asia, this is a very clever way of managing rapidly contracting business, and it seems working very well for Canon.

  

Sony learned that they can not compete in the bottom, so they targeted the top level with the Alpha 7 system(especially with the A7X2 series), plus very high quality lenses such as the new FE50mm f1.4Z. They are able to make some profit out of that for very short time, as the margins are higher for those products. However, this is not sustainable in the long run, as:

 

1. People who moved from other systems have already done so as I already explained many times(thus, now already the A7X line sells slowed down here in Japan and in most of East Asian countries including Taiwan), and their number is even more rapidly decreasing with time. Plus, perception is very important; people using Canikon are perceiving that their brands are about to/will do something important soon, and so refrain from switching. Like my very dearest friend Derek and Thomas, who just temporarily bought the A7R2 for high DR work with their EF lenses. They have owned the Sony for about 12 months but they never bought any Sony or Zeiss lenses. And As the 5DMK4 with improved sensor was released they simply sold their Sony and went back to Canon. There are many people with Sigma MC11 or MB5 adapters and lots of EF lenses, I think this is the most serious problem for Sony.....the majority of Sony A7X and A9 users are what I call temporal switchers, therefore , they are not investing any penny into FE lens line.........thus Sony E mount lens sells is not great.

 

2. There is only a certain number of arguably high quality gear that the market can absorb, so the number of Alpha 7 and 9 cameras sold will be reducing in time. As I said, not all people want huge camera lens system at all costs of usability/cost and weight. Actually, most of normal people do not want that even if they can get FF system free.

What the die-hard Sony FE and Fuji GFX and X fans in many forums do not get is they are not normal photographers but just gearheads in a very odd minority group whose main interest is not photography or camera system at all but arguing about the camera systems or cameras.

So most of them do not even care about system capability but just one latest greatest body or a lens or two. To them an alluring spec sheet is everything, nothing else needed.

 

3. Fuji, Sony and Olympus,etc, are not Leica or Phase, no one perceives them as some sort of a premium brand. So once they feel ripped they do not want to drop a lot of money on their so-called "system" unless they actually produce something really game-changing, and they will not.

 

4. the recent airplane regulation changes really force many people to eventually go back to a big bodied camera with powerful battery since we are no longer allowed to fly with many camera batteries in our " carry-on"bag.....if only one or two batteries are allowed, most of mirrorless, especially the fullframe ones(except the A9) suddenly become useless. 

I just experienced that last week, an airplane security guy seized 3 of my tiny Sony batteries, and by the time I got to my last destination, my camera was already dead............

I used my iPhone USB charger to recharge it on my train from Naha(Okinawa) airport since on the airplane we could no longer charge battery here.

So , in the end, I might agree/have to think the industry itself is in a death spiral now, it is safest to just stay with what you already have and keep your money in your bank or house or spend your money on a new PC or a Mac or something like that, until you see what is actually winning in this game clearly. And, the saddest part is I think there is no winner in this game.

 

I told my customers that they better keep their D800E and stick with it as long as they can, at least they see what is actually winning clearly. I have strong feeling neither Sony nor Fuji will win this game, but they may be the biggest loser like Sony always has been in every single market it entered since 2002. I think it will be either Canon,or some complete outsider such as Microsoft or Red or Black Magic design or some Western company will take over the entire industry in the next decade. Or maybe even Toyota or some one like Epson will take it over from Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony. So it is really the safest to stay with the F mount or EF mount system as long as you can and when the right time comes sell it to move to the final winner's new universal mount system.

But then, the mount system idea is the 20th century idea and must be rectified, I mean we need an universal mount system.

Don't you think so? Sony E mount can be like that, however, Sony does not understand the sentiment of the main stream users. Sony has just replaced so many premature cameras without any FW update or any proper support.

Some just takes it positively and says Sony is pushing the envelop harder than any one else, or keeps trying or like that, but to most of us it seems like just irritating us users by unnecessarily depreciating every camera by replacing them too often.

The A6300 had a just few months of its life, even not a full year. This is amazing and I am actually furious about it. Sony really eventually exhausts almost all its long time users.......So I think 2018 will be a really tough year for the camera companies, esp for Sony and Fuji and they are making it tougher and tougher themselves........they should have listened to Thom Hogan, who has been giving the great computational concept camera idea for Nikon for over a decade. He even came to Japan and gave a great presentation of his idea of programmable camera system. But Nikon ignored it.

Tony Northrup said it very well.

"It's comforting as a camera nerd to know that it's the consumer market that's disappearing, especially "Built-in Lens" cameras (P&S cameras). The market for higher-end pro & semi-pro cameras still seems to be strong.

Consumers are more into photography than ever, but traditional camera manufacturers are cut out because they couldn't transition to the modern era of software- and cloud-centric photography (Instagram, FB, Snapchat, Twitter,Line, etc)."

I think he is spot-on this time, I know why none of my friends use cameras I gave them any more since they cannot upload their images to FB or Line automatically.

They just interested in documenting their own lives, so they snaps a lot and they want to upload their images online immediately after they shoot them to talk about that experience with their friends...........no current expensive cameras can get it right, but all new phones have got it right.

On top of that there is a huge world-wide used camera market online and the extreme fast pace camera replacing cycle of Sony and Fuji really making the second-hand market even stronger. There are many many mint D800E, D810, D800, D750, A7, A7MK2, 5DMK3, 6D, X-T2, X-Pro2, etc, sold at the half or less than half the average price of the latest cameras.

And they are perfectly capable in terms of IQ, overall usability,etc. Just they don't have the new gimmicky futures that you may or may not use..........and if the IQ is the same or identical most of people just keep using their old cameras or just buy the cheap used models. I have a few guys asked me to keep lightly used D800E or D810 for them as we get them, so I asked them deposit and they paid 60000yen.

I am sure we will get a few good D800E bodies in next week and we will send these to them and they will pay us about another 60000yen.

 

So I think cellphones are not the real high end camera killers, but the market saturation and the used camera market is. I personally never buy any new any more, just get a shop displayed model for very cheap and use it for six months and sell it to someone I know.

So the camera companies will suffer more from this sudden death of the consumer camera market in the next few years. I wonder if there is no natural disaster occurs in next year in Japan, then what will they use for the next excuse of their bad performance.

 

All the above said though, I think Sony is quickly rectifying its organizational corporate structuring issues, and now they seem to at least "TRY" to listen to the actual customer base.

If you try and see the A9 , you know what I mean, it has almost everything we E mount FF users asking Sony to fix in the A7X series.

And the A7R2 is to many people already a near perfect camera in terms of actual usability and IQ.

So I think Sony is at least a bit more sincere than Fuji and Olympus.

Basically, what people call Fuji's Kaizen policy is releasing a beta stage camera and fix it with a series of FW that should be included even before the actual product launch. So there is no reason for us to thank for Fuji for their silly so-called,"Kaizen" policy.

And I think the ultimate loser in this industry will be Fuji, more specifically the GFX system.

  

UPDATE: The lack of wide angle selection issue in the crop sensor camera world is becoming more and more serious, it is really annoying. There is no 15mm equivalent in the current Fuji or Canon EOS M system. There are no TS lenses for any of the corp mount systems regardless of the AF system(mirror based or OSPDAF).

Another serious issue in the crop camera world is the lack of true ISO100 except you choose Sony or Canon...or if D-SLR is fine Nikon.....

But none of these Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji system cameras have the base ISO of ISO 100 or lower......

 

This omission of the lowest possible ISO setting that the saturation capacity of the sensor allows it to be, is very odd , the lowering the base ISO sensitivity to increase the light gathering power(also has to increase the exposure time) is the only way for the crop sensor to match the bigger sensor system, after all. But some what they all ignore this and just try to up the highest ISO setting of their respective tiny sensor system that is actually useless for many but just needs to be there to make the spec sheet attractive to many so-called reviewers.

 

I think this obtuse high ISO focused marketing is actually killing the crop system, the m43 needs ISO25, the Fuji needs ISO32 to be able to match the Nikon FX at ISO64.

  

I am quite sure if the Fuji X gets the true ISO100 base ISO or lower, then the X system would be more respected. They do not need to compete in the silly useless high ISO realm but needs true ISO100 or lower.

  

UPDATE2: Fuji X is becoming more popular than I thought it is.

I met a few Fuji X shooters in Hokkaido, and I tried their lenses for a few minutes and I was quite impressed but the real core issue of the X system (the lack of true ISO100 issue)

that I have been writing about since my first X-Pro2 experience is still not fixed or even not sorted out yet.

 

I think the crop cameras really need lower base ISO value to get the same light gathering power of the FF and therefore the lack of ISO100(better be ISO32) on all Fuji bodies is a huge issue, in fact , it is the biggest issue for me.

Also, as I wrote they must develop a set of Loxia or Voigtlander like modern high quality manual focus primes, or just ask Coshina and Zeiss to join their system.

 

To me the real reason I always choose Sony E mount over anything else is not its being FF or hybrid-4k-ability but the Loxia and Voigtlander primes.

I actually wish all makers to make lenses like that in native system with all needed electronics chips inside.

 

At least, Sony has had the courage to open the mount and let Zeiss , Voigtlander, Laowa, etc do whatever they want to do for that system. To me most of Sony's own lenses are not interesting , the Batis line is also boring, the Tokina lenses are boring, the Samyang may be good but not very interesting to me.

So if it's not for the Loxia or the Voigtlander 40 and 65, I may have left out of the Sony system a year a go.

Sure it is not a huge market but a very solid profitable market.

I really cannot understand why the other lens makers cannot try the Loxia kinda lenses?

Not every one wants boring AF lens like the Batis line or the Sony's own FE lenses.....and if they want that , then there are many options already. Lack of those kind of lenses is the biggest reason why crops systems are boring, not because of the sensor or noise........since all IQ related values are relative to your choice of preferred DOF and required shutter speed for the scene.

IOW, there are many situations where FF produces noisier images than APS-C or m43 or even One if the scene is DOF limited and use of a tripod or super slow shutter speed is not your option.

 

So-called FF fanboys never admit it but if you normalize the DOF and shutter speed for hand holding lowlight work , then the all formats are just identical in terms of noise and overall tonal range. But if the shallow DOF is needed or if longer exposure time on a tripod is allowed , then the larger sensor format is always better but the noise level in lowlight for handholdable shutter speed is all relative and FF only better when the shallow DOF is preferred. Other wise, they are exactly same as the APS-C , the m43 and the One.

 

So I think as I am a deepDOF shooter, if Fuji, Canon, Sony or Nikon or any one develop a high quality manual focus prime line like the Loxia or Voigtlander in E mount, I would move to the smaller more portable format, but it would have to be at least 30mp or better a bit higher(resolution wise). The current 24mp sensor is not sharp enough for many of us who are already very much used to the 42.4 or 36mp FF sensor or even 51mp mini MF format.

 

UPDATE3:IMHO, the biggest problem with any crop sensor ILC system is that they do not have anything really wide or manual focus-able lenses such as the Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 or Sony FE12-24mm f4G, or even more extreme new Laowa 10-18mm zoom.

 

For me , m43 and all tiny APS-C sensor format ILC systems are becoming really irrelevant for stills. I think they should be even more doomed than Nikon or Canon D-SLR dinosaurs. If I need to go 12mm equivalent wide on m43, I'd need a 6mm prime or wider, but there are no such lenses in that system, I think Fuji's situation is even worse, they do not even have 15mm lens equivalent in the current X line.......and even worse there is no real manual focus prime options other than Meike or Samyang. I think the high quality modern manual focus prime market is not huge but a very profitable important one indeed, the current boom of the Loxia and Voigtlander primes proves that, and it is one of the main reasons why I shoot Sony. We lens fanatics pay a lot of money for lenses like my Loxia 21, 25, 85 and Voigtlander 40 and 65 soon the Laowa 100mm f2.8 2x macro,etc.

 

The widest lens the Fuji X currently has seems to be the Laowa 9mm f2.8 and a 9mm lens on a 1.5X crop body is just like my Laowa 15mm f2D on my A7RX cameras and it is not wide enough for many things.

  

Now Fuji X-H1 is out and specification seems to be pretty impressive, but it is unnecessarily huge for a crop body.

 

It is bigger than most of Sony FF bodies, and even bigger than the mostly video focused GH5s from Panasonic, and I think it is embarrassing, showing how inefficient the Fuji's electronics surroundings around the sensor are.

 

The Panasonic G9 is a great body, no doubt about that and I personally want one, but why is it so huge designed based around the tiny sensor?

We compare it to our A7MK3 side by side, and realize the latest tiny sensor mirrorless cameras are bigger than their FF rivals, not much bigger but wider and taller than the A7R3 by a quite clear margin.

 

I think Fuji and m43 are both heading to completely wrong direction trying to keep up with Sony A7RX and D-SLR in absolute performance.......this is exactly what Olympus Panasonic did with their original FT format system to kill its system charms.

 

I guess their marketing guys are really obtuse-- never learn anything from their past mistakes.

 

Now, I am quite sure the next Samsung NX would be either the m43 duo or the Fuji X system, but honestly I think it will be the Fuji that ceases next.

 

The m43 at least has video or hybrid shooters with them and I always have one of their bodies for video needs as I do not like FF for video.

 

But there is no market for the Fuji system, well actually there is but they do not listen to the niche fanatic voice calling for more serious manual lenses or wide angle lenses.

 

These Centuri idiots should really improve their security systems ! Not that it would make a difference to Cathlyn anyway, but still, the whole thing had been much too easy again, and thus much too boring. As requested by her fellow Nova League members, she had infiltrated this colony’s main building. As always, it was her task to weaken the base’s defense, though weaken mostly meant disabling. In this certain case, the colony did not have much human personel, but a rather high tech defense AI, which commanded all of the base’s weapons, along with every security door. Usually any hostiles would be mowed down by auto turrets, long before they even got the chance to penetrate any of the buildings. Only if the AI was disabled, a strike team could successfully attack. So, Cathlyn had decided that the AI had to be taken out permanently. And nothing was more permanent, than a little bit of highly concentrated explosives. She had already placed the charges in the server room. After all the packs of explosives looked a lot less threatening than they really were. Now, she just had to make sure, that no one would find the charges, before she was out of the base and could detonate them by remote. There were just two people in the server room, one young lad, maybe a tech expert, working on a console and a heavily armed, yet unaware soldier, who would surely not expect an attack in here. Again, this matter had to be solved most permanently. But before she would attack and after it sneak out again, it was time for a little download. This data base held critical information, regarding her very personal mission. The location of a specific man, who was one of the top targets on her very personal list.

 

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This is my entry for the Struggle for Klegon Nova League faction challenge #1: Retaliation over at the Galactic Bricks Forum.

 

Somehow I am very pleased with that build and the photos.

 

Hope you like it !

These Centuri idiots should really improve their security systems ! Not that it would make a difference to Cathlyn anyway, but still, the whole thing had been much too easy again, and thus much too boring. As requested by her fellow Nova League members, she had infiltrated this colony’s main building. As always, it was her task to weaken the base’s defense, though weaken mostly meant disabling. In this certain case, the colony did not have much human personel, but a rather high tech defense AI, which commanded all of the base’s weapons, along with every security door. Usually any hostiles would be mowed down by auto turrets, long before they even got the chance to penetrate any of the buildings. Only if the AI was disabled, a strike team could successfully attack. So, Cathlyn had decided that the AI had to be taken out permanently. And nothing was more permanent, than a little bit of highly concentrated explosives. She had already placed the charges in the server room. After all the packs of explosives looked a lot less threatening than they really were. Now, she just had to make sure, that no one would find the charges, before she was out of the base and could detonate them by remote. There were just two people in the server room, one young lad, maybe a tech expert, working on a console and a heavily armed, yet unaware soldier, who would surely not expect an attack in here. Again, this matter had to be solved most permanently. But before she would attack and after it sneak out again, it was time for a little download. This data base held critical information, regarding her very personal mission. The location of a specific man, who was one of the top targets on her very personal list.

 

_______________________________________________

 

This is my entry for the Struggle for Klegon Nova League faction challenge #1: Retaliation over at the Galactic Bricks Forum.

 

Somehow I am very pleased with that build and the photos.

 

Hope you like it !

You might think that all the locals in Daytona Beach go to the races regularly, but this isn't the case. In fact, most of the folks I know rarely do. We co-exist with the NASCAR folks, but that's about it.

 

Personally, I have only been to the track on about three or four occasions, and have only attended one race, back in the early 1960's when Sterling Moss won. Speeds were slower then, but it was still pretty incredible. As a six year old, though, about the only things I really enjoyed were the food, and FINALLY being able to get into the bathroom without an accident, after waiting for what seemed like forever! This is not really a great spectator sport for kids!

 

I've driven on the track before. When I was 15, I was in the Glee Club in high school, and we met there to work on a float for Homecoming. There were garage areas where the floats could be stored safely, and to get to them, my mom had to drive on the track. There was nothing exciting going on there, either! Mom drove slowly, and though she did try to go up on one of the banks just a little, her sense of safety and caution prevailed. It was at night, and unlike now, the track had no night lighting to speak of.

 

Not being a huge NASCAR fan, I find watching on tv is a lot more comfortable for me! Besides, when the horrible things happen, like when Richard Petty's car flew up in the air about 20 feet, and crashed, or when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. hit the wall and died, it gets pretty scary around there.

 

For most Daytona area residents, Speed Weeks mean huge delays in traffic, and possibly not even being able to GET to your place of business if you work near the track, and it always means slow business for anyone unfortunate enough to work in the heart of the city. While the race fans bring business to the area, it is mostly the motels and restaurants that benefit , and most of the locals stay off the roadways during the races, preferring not to deal with the long traffic delays. The same thing happens during Bike Week and Biketoberfest.

 

The speedway looked lonely the night I stopped there to capture some beautiful sunset clouds. There were security guards there, though, and they quickly pulled up about 200 feet away inside the gate to see what I was up to. I ignored them and went on with my shooting, and got a couple of shots of the bleachers, but the track itself wasn't visible from outside.

 

I think everyone should see a race at least once, just to experience it, but I'll leave the yearly pilgrimage to the diehard race fans!.

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