In this post: Impressions of Canon, Nikon, photobooks, a collegue and the review with Joe McNally.
Day 2. Friday. No long party planned for this day (or we won’t survive the 3 days).
Day 2 was fully planned for “look around everywhere” and “say hallo to well-known contact persons”.
On the list of course: Canon. No big surprise, with 2 “Canonians” in the group of 3.
My spontanious judgement of the first touch with the EOS 60D: Nothing to complain about haptics and built. The new Multicontroller inside of the back-wheel feels a bit spongy but is reacting instantly and so remains very usable. If our thumbs aren’t that big. Strangely I haven’t taken any pictures. I guess my interest in APS-C-cameras decreased since my move to full format. I’m sorry, I romise I’ll be better. I was propably still upset they dropped the sync-port in this middle-class model. Even though radio transmitters are very popular nowadays, this makes the light(in)former an angry boy.
I had an interest in the Powershot G12. My imoressions: It’s much lighter than it looks at first. Unfortunately, haptics are therefor unpleasingly “cheap plastic”. We liked the quick response on start though, as well as the many “manual” controls directly on the body, like the wheel for the ISO sensivitiy. I, for one, thought it was kind of weird to have the sd-card in the same slot as the batteries as it is in the cheap models. Also not very pleasing: The control wheel on the back (which reminds of the one at the EOS 60D) can only be securely operated if you’ve got small thumbs. Hwoever, the second common ground with the DSLR is a good one: As to expect, the G12 got an articulated screen. I have to say that the DLSR one’s looks to be of a little better built, though.
My assistant took some test pictures (in opposition to him I don’t have SD-cards for my cameras). His judgement: The JPEGs really suffer from hefty noise suppression (but we haven’t checked if it could be turned of). The RAWs aren’t supported by ACR at the moment.
We also styed somewhat longer at the Nikon booth, where you could get to see and feel the new D7000. My nikon-ian first assistant didn’t missed the oppurtunity to shoot some RAWs and JPEGs as well as a short video, of course. Of what I heard he pretty much likes the JPEGs and the video. As for the RAWs, we are still waiting for ACR-support. As soon it is here, I’ll also take a look at them. 😉
The P7000 got also our interest, in comparison to the G12. Haptics are better, but the body doesn’t fit my hands very good. Especially the (sorry, but it’s true) quite dumb placed collar holder is annoying. Starting time feels to be as fast as the Canons’, the controls are much easier to handle with bigger hands and fingers, but the overall handling and user interface seems to be a lot less clear and much more relying on menus. The SD-card is to be found at the same place as in the competitor. The P7000’s biggest flaw: It for a unknown reason lacks an articulated screen. K.O. in the last round.
Enough tech-talk now.
We also looked around in the hall for suppliers of “finished goods”, a.k.a. prints, books and poster. I’m often shocked how few photographers care for the physical products nowadays. I’m going to compare and review some of these products here soon because of that reason.
Saal Digital showed us some impressing looking books with real prints. We especially were interested in the soon-to-be-available glossy one which barely shows any fingerprints. A review is planned for the future. Therefore we observed some alternatives, too, like memoproduction, which till then was unknown to me. They only deliver to pros and distributors. I’m thinking of using such products as stylish alternative for a portfolio.
We could’nt pass the booth of Sigma without noticing the amazing work of my tripple-colleague (photographer, FotoTV-presenter, writer) Eberhard Schuy which show a obsession for details. You can see the daintily setting and usage of light in his work out of far distance. We definately share a passion there, even though in different subjects.
Besides the already mentioned maintaining of contacts there was also a portfolio-review on this day’s schedule. You simply can’t get enough feedback about your work. So you should take every opportunity. And how often do you get the chance to be critiqued by Joe McNally?
Even though Joe is working on different subjects with different methods than I do, he undoubtely has decades of work experience in the front line. Plus he definately knows “something” about lighting.
This altogether is more than enough to gain my full respect and to be a more than interesting reviewer for my portfolio.
Sadly Joe looked a bit weary and drained. Which is not that surprising after several days of photokina, multiple speeches and who-knows-how-many portfolio reviews. This is why I contained our meeting to the minimum, the review. Which is a bit sad, as I would’ve loved to talk with him about other things (as an interview, for instance).
Joes first question was: In which form would I present my portfolio. You know: paper or digital, like on an Laptop, IPad or the likes.
I know, probably many of you are big fans of iPad-Portfolios.
My very own opinion on that topic: Pictures still look best on prints.
So I put my printed portfolio on the table. Joe took it and ran over the pages. In the meantime he asked me some questions about my status, my clients and about some of the lightings.
When he was finished, there was a moment of suspensed silence. You could tell he had some difficulties in giving me an advice. I was neither disappointed nor totally surprised. As I mentioned, Joe’s and mine filed of work only have few overlaps. However, he apparently wanted to help me.
His advise was to push the pictures to the “next level”. Let loose creativity a bit more and also try crazy stuff.
He was quite satisfied with the other aspects of the pictures, he particularly mentioned the lighting and the clean post. Such a critique from such an experienced photographer felt like an accolade to me. Nevertheless: There’s still much to do for me (and I’m glad there’re always new goals to achieve).
This is a general advice I can give you, too: Never be satisfied with what you got. Don’t stand still. Always strive for the better, the other, the newer. The one who stands still, loses the motivation for this work, the passion and finally your work and your business will suffer.