Pragmatic 104: Mirrorless Revolution

28 September, 2021


Watching photography evolve in the past few years had demonstrated with computing power comes the possibility of ditching the SLR entirely and going mirrorless. Clay returns to discuss the mirrorless revolution. And yes, Clay called it first.

Transcript available
Welcome to Pragmatic. [Music] Pragmatic is a show about technology and contemplating the finer details in their practical application. By exploring real-world trade-offs, we dive into how great ideas can be transformed into products and services that impact our lives. This episode is sponsored by Solver by Aqualia. Solver is an amazing calculation app that works the way your mind does when you're working out a math problem on paper. More powerful than a calculator, simpler and quicker than a spreadsheet, Solver can help you solve your math problem. Visit and check it out today. This episode is also brought to you by ManyTricks, makers of helpful apps for the Mac. Visit for more information about their amazingly useful apps. We'll talk more about both of our sponsors during the show. Pragmatic is supported by you, our listeners. If you'd like to support the show, you can by supporting our sponsor or by becoming a premium supporter. Premium support is available via Patreon and through Apple Podcasts channel subscription. Premium supporters have access to early release, high quality ad-free episodes, as well as bonus material from all of our shows not available anywhere else. We're edging closer to our monthly goal to go advertising free across the network, but we're going to do that with your help. Pragmatic is also a podcasting 2.0 enhanced show, and with the right podcast player, you can also stream Satoshi's and boost with a message as you listen. Just visit to learn how you can help this show to continue to be made. Thank you. I'm your host, John Chidjie, and today I'm joined by my friend, Clay Daly. How are you doing, Clay? - I'm good, how are you? I am doing fantastically because I'm just thrilled to have you back on the show because we last spoke on episode 94 about photography. Yeah, that was 10 episodes ago, I guess. Yeah, I know 10 episodes, two years. It's been a rough two years. Okay. I think globally speaking, that's a fair assessment. And that has impacted the podcast regularity for me for that and a myriad of other reasons. But I mean, two years, well, it's been about two years. And in those two years, for me, a lot has happened and I've come, oh, I like to think a long way in with photography. So the time is right for us to have another chat, I think. So thank you for agreeing to come back on and have a chat about photography again. - Anytime. - Awesome. Well, last time, just a bit of a recap. So if you're, so dear listeners, if you have not listened to episode 94, first of all, shame on you, you really should. Because if you want to go back and have a refresh, you could pause now and go back and have a listen. It's only a short one, it's only two hours and 20 something minutes. So don't worry. But we did cover a lot of ground. And one of the things that I, my posit, I suppose, from the episode, last time we spoke, Clay, about this on Pragmatic, was I was putting a question out there. Is it worth buying a, in air quotes, real camera? Or is just a basic smartphone camera going to be enough for me? I think that the conclusion of that episode was that if you want to do something more advanced than what a smartphone can do, it is definitely worth buying a real camera. You know, obviously with the whole thing about saying like a real camera is a device that's dedicated as its sole purpose is to do that one thing as well as possible, as in be a camera. And so, the funny thing is that we did touch on DSLRs and mirrorless but one of the things that you said to me at the time was that you wanted to get into mirrorless a few years ago when I bought the D500 and you're prepared to jump brands to get to a really good mirrorless camera and I looked at that at the time and I thought "nah, this whole mirrorless thing, I don't know about that" But what I've increasingly seen in the last two years is that the whole revolution in digital photography seems to be a mirrorless revolution. It's all going mirrorless. And there is so much evidence now about that that I don't think anyone can deny it anymore. I think that DSLRs are on the way out. I mean, and I wanna point out that you did call this long before I did. So yeah, you kind of nailed that. So, I mean, I did a little bit of research into, I know, right, funny, me, research. I did a little bit of research into just Canon and Nikon, or Nikon, however, if I've been mispronouncing it, I don't, you know who I mean. - I said it both ways, so go ahead. - Yeah, oh, excellent, come on. Well, I'm gonna stick with Nikon then, since that's the way I've always said it. But anyhow, so I found a rumor site, a rumor site that said that Nikon would be releasing two DSLR upgrades in 2021. I haven't seen them yet. So I don't even know if that's true. I've seen it as well and it was a bit baffling to me. But yeah, but I mean, they haven't actually and it's now September. In fact, it's late September. So I don't know if that's even true. But if you look at their what they've released in the past each year every so many years. Last I can tell they haven't released a new DSLR in over three years I believe if I do my math correctly from Nikon. Sounds about right. Yeah so everything they've released has been mirrorless and they're pimping the Z9 because well and and that's a that's a top-of-the-line mirrorless. That's not a DSLR. Right. So then I had to dig into Canon and Canon aren't developing any more EF lenses. As far as I know, they haven't released any updated EF lenses. Everything is RF mount for the mirrorless line. So have you heard of any like a Canon, to the best of your knowledge, are they releasing any? - I haven't seen, I believe, I mean, you know, Nikon and Canon both were sort of a bit late to the party. And, uh, but once they did jump in, I mean, they went big, um, you know, and, and that's why you see, uh, uh, does that nine and the R three were Bay, both of them were sort of dangled in front of the perspective, uh, groups because they want to make sure that they kept their base, right. They want to make sure that, you know, that Nikon is going to stick around and work on a camera that's going to be really powerful. Canon is going to work on something really powerful. Canon has finally released theirs. We're waiting for Nikon now to release theirs. Because Sony jumped in early. Olympus and Panasonic really jumped in the earliest, but they aren't really the ones people are flocking to because Sony did what they did with the ability to give you a really good hybrid system, you know, photography, video. And that's why a lot of people are really intermittent, right? Because you could have video done without having to set up a whole big rig just to get your DSLR to be able to do video well, right? - For sure. I mean, that's an interesting point. I just wanna, I'll just put a pin in that and we'll circle back to it. But so one of the other things that we were talking about, I think it was a couple episodes ago on BubbleSort, was we were talking about my toying with the idea of switching to Canon just to get to like an R6. Because the, and the reason that I put at the time was that all of the reviews of Canon were that Canon were better in low light and in autofocus for autofocus tracking. And that's what I really wanted. And so I was trying to justify, but even at the end of that conversation, I hadn't decided to. And since then I've decided not to do that and I've stuck with Nikon. So what I ended up doing is I ended up going, okay, before I get to that, maybe I should just quickly talk about my current cameras. And I can actually say that now because I have multiple, which is, I don't know how long that's gonna be the case. So one of them I own, one of them I'm renting. So the one that I own is of course my trusty Nikon D500 and I moved originally from my original D5500. So the D500 it's got a 20.9 megapixel CMOS sensor and it is a DX DSLR. So yeah, APS-C. - Great. - Yeah, the one I have chosen to rent at the moment is a Nikon Z6 II. So that's not a Z6-1, this is the second generation one. And the key difference with the Z6-2 for me is it has two XP-6 processors in it, which means that the, essentially the Z6-1 was simply, was just probably crippled. It's analogous to the Series Zero Apple Watch, I think, insofar as it was the minimum viable mirrorless that they could make at the time. And it struggled. And like with autofocus in particular, it had a great sensor, but it was terrible at autofocus. And a lot of pro photographers just panned it and said, do not touch it. Same with the Z7. - The original one. - And that was the original one. Yeah, the Z7, don't put a two after it on me 'cause they never called the Z7 one, but you know. So the Z7, it's like, no, no, no, no, no, don't touch that. And same with Z6. And that was what was driving me towards Canon at the time. But then I started to read more about people's hands-on experiences with the Z6 II and the Z7 II. And I ended up going with the Z6 II for two reasons. Well, obviously that was the first reason was that they'd got the auto focus working. It was the fact that the Z6 over the Z7 had better low light performance 'cause it's a 24.5 megapixel backside eliminated CMOS sensor, which outperformed the Z7, although the Z7 was 45 megapixels. And when we spoke about this, you pointed that out actually. Yeah, 'cause I was saying, "Oh, I want the more megapixels in the Z7 "so that I can crop." But what, you know, crop to zoom kind of thing, 'cause they're both full frames. But in the end, I thought about it, it's like, but I really need that low light. - Yeah. And because I'm doing indoor basketball photography and I'm doing it in a stadium in that is basically got the worst light you can imagine. I mean, it's not quite as bad as candlelight but it's not that much better. It's just so bad. I'll talk a little bit more about that later, but anyway. So that's what I'm currently using. And I've been using the ZX2 now for almost two months. Not quite, been about seven weeks. And it's, today was my first day using it in cricket. I've used in multiple, many games of basketball, a few games of netball at night as well. And this thing for portrait and stills, still photography at nighttime. And it's just like no flash and it's magic. This thing is incredible. It just pulls beautiful photos out of the darkness. It's just incredible. So, anyway, that's what I'm currently using. I'll talk a little bit more about pros and cons of mirrorless in a minute, but how about me just quickly run through your, what you currently use. And I mean, day to days, 'cause I know that you've got a wall full of cameras. So, yeah, not the, yeah. So let's go with the day to days, please. - So I still have my original Sony A7, which is what I bought probably in 2018 or so. And I added just recently the a7R IV to that because when I was shooting events or shooting portraits, the a7 was struggling. It probably is no better than the Z6 original in terms of focusing, you know, in low light situations. I do use external flash sometimes and that does help. But my main two cameras right now are the a7R IV which is 61 megapixels and the a7 which is 24. It's a great combo if you actually if you have both of those setups. Something where you have the ability to have you know something because my a7, technically The a7 and the a7R IV in terms of low light ability are about the same because the 24 megapixels is really good at gathering light and the a7R IV with 61 megapixels all these years of evolution have made it something that can actually gather enough light. Not amazing like, you know, Z6-2 or A7R3 or A7S3, but good enough. Interesting. Yeah, because I know that you've, you're one of the things that you love to do apart from street photography is moon photography. Which, you know, I've come to appreciate is significantly different to just astrophotography. I think lunar photography has to be held separate to that, simply because it's quite difficult to do it well. - I'm not sure if it's difficult, but it is, you know, astrophotography takes actually more time, right? Moon photography, shutter speeds, I mean, we're talking about a bright globe in the sky. The shutter speeds could be a lot higher with astrophotography. If the shutter speeds are too high, you're not getting anything. Yeah, I guess. Yeah, well, I absolutely agree with that. But I guess what I was trying to get at is that the what I found is that there's the precision versus the that's a precision of how accurate the photo can be in terms of the details of each crater, every speck of dust on the on the moon's surface versus capturing kind of like the mood of the moon in contrast with like clouds and different other aspects like landscape and that's the difficult bit I think. - Yeah, no and that definitely is a difficult bit, yeah. Because it's a balancing act. - Yeah, exactly and it's hard to strike that balance. I've really struggled. I mean... - No, no, I agree with you on that for sure, yeah. - Yeah, but that's a good challenge, yeah. - Yep. - That's a good one. It is what keeps me going, right? I mean, to keep trying to strive for that perfect moment. And for the most part, I was shooting the moon with manual lenses until just now, till my recent purchase. And yeah, out of focus is, for me, a bit of a struggle, just because I've been shooting it manual for all this time. But I'm actually enjoying that. I'm enjoying achieving, trying to achieve the same level of what I was trying to get, what I was getting before. - Were you doing linear photography, I think, with a, was it 800 millimeter reflector? - At one point I had 500, I have a 500 times two, so I have one that's a thousand, basically. And I have, my main one is actually a 300 with a 2X, which is a 600, but then you put it on the body, which is 2.7. So yeah, okay, sure, of course. Fair enough. So your recent purchase was what sorry? The Sony 200 to 600. Oh, yeah. Which, you know, putting it on the 61 megapixel camera, I actually have a 1.4 converter as well. But putting that on a 61 megapixel Sony body, you know, if I were to crop in a little bit, the quality is still better than what I would get with the small Nikon sensors that I am using. Wow, okay. That's a heck of a lot of reach too. I mean really. Impressive. Okay, cool. So well thanks for that. I guess one of the things I wanted to sort of flesh out a little bit was some of the pros and cons of DSLR versus mirrorless because as I was making a lot of these sorts of choices as I imagine you've gone down a similar path is that there's lots of different opinions out there about, "Oh, well, you can't possibly have a mirrorless because of DSLRs will always be better at this, this, this, and this." So I'm like, "All right, well, let's flesh some of that out." I think the biggest single one for me with a DSLR as an advantage, well, a supposed advantage, I think is reasonable to say, is everything you see through the viewfinder, you see it live real time. There's no, there's not an electronic viewfinder. It's a real, just you're seeing exactly what the camera sees. Um, you know, except obviously when the mirror box is sort of like doing the whole flip thing and taking the actual photo. Um, but it still makes it a lot easier to track, especially a fast moving subject. If, if you're doing like lunar photography, it's a, it's a non-issue. If you're doing something that I think that's not moving, it's a non-issue. But if you're on sports photography, you know, I've noticed in the D500, yes, it is actually easier. I do believe that it's easier on a DSLR to track fast moving subjects than on a on a mirrorless. Agreed. There is. Yeah, there is a but though. And I guess the thing is that just because you can see it through the viewfinder doesn't mean the camera's focusing quickly enough or holding focus on that subject. So, I can point the camera at a moving subject, but if it's moving like the worst case scenario is my focal plane set at how many meters, yards, whatever away they are from me. If and if I don't have that depth of field cranked so that if they're moving too much towards me, then they're going to drop out of that. Yeah, they're going to drop out of focus real fast. So if that camera's not adjusting, then it doesn't matter if I'm tracking them and pointing the camera in the right direction. They're gonna be a blur before I can blink. At which point then, I don't get any keepers. So what's the point? - Yeah, I agree. You know, when I first transitioned over to mirrorless, and I still have some DSLRs, but when I first transitioned over, I was, it was Panasonic, where if you were shooting the Panasonic, there's no way you would want to shoot Miller's because I mean, what you saw in the viewfinder was hyper-pixelated, super-pixelated, and very laggy, and you kind of had to shoot with anticipation, right? You'd have to be where the action would be before the action was there. And you'd have to sort of know the camera to know what its limitations were and how to make sure that you could have the focus happen where it's gonna be. You're gonna have a lot of missed shots because again, you're keeping an eye on the real life stuff happening in front of you at the same time as having a camera who's very laggy. We've gone completely way far beyond that. We still haven't gotten to the point of DSLR. - No. real time viewfinders. But like you said, if the DSLR isn't really helping you in terms of being able to sort of track that, and you know, I mean, you could have, I mean, the systems are pretty good, but for me, the mirrorless benefits sort of outweigh, even though it's slightly laggy compared to DSLR, it still outweighs the DSLR for me. - Yeah, and I agree with that statement, specifically with regards to this point, specifically. What I found is that, I will set my, like, okay, it depends on the sport. And so, for example, today I was taking photos of cricket. And so, if I'm taking photographs of a bowler, when the bowler's coming in to deliver the ball, I set my focal point just near the umpire and at F 5.6, cause that's the lowest I can go on my 200, 500 zoom. You know, that's, that's still a reasonable depth of field. So even if they're, you know, like five metres, either side of that focal point, they're still going to be pretty sharp. And so I can get away with that and I'll hold focus there and I won't actually adjust focus and I'll just let it rip. And I'll just, you know, take, you know, a burst photos as they're delivering and pick the best one. And I can get away with that. But basketball's tricky. And it's also tricky with cricket if you're trying to follow the ball out to the fielder, because then you don't know which field it's going to go to. You can't set up your shot. You got to wait. You got to track it. And that's so hard to get it right. And what I learned is that with the D500, any sport, in fact, where I can set the focal focus point and wait for the action to come to me, that it doesn't matter. The D500, the mirrorless doesn't make any damn difference because I'm not tracking a subject exactly. It's kind of moving into the zone where I can capture the photo. So, where it struggles and what I found is it struggles more, it's struggling because of the lens's ability to focus quickly, not because of the body. And that's what I've learned. So, for me, tracking a subject has got more to do with the compute power in the body, of which the D500, and for my case, the Z6 II, are both quite good. But it's more the lens and how fast your lens's autofocus motor actually is. And that's when I'm tracking a subject. So, I think that it's a bit of a red herring to say, "Oh, well, I can't keep an eye on them through the viewfinder, therefore I can't track them." I don't actually think that's a real-world problem. And I've also gotten quite good at keeping both eyes open, you know, like, okay that probably sounds weird, but okay, let me explain myself. What I mean is when I started with photography a year ago I can say that now it's been a few years, is I would close my left eye and I would use my right eye, you know, through the viewfinder. And it was just like that's just the way I would take photos. So, I was focused through the viewfinder. And then what I realized is that, you know, my left eye still works, you know. So, what I can do is I can track the subject broadly speaking with my left eye and keep the position of the camera like the same position over my face. So, as I move my head, I know as I'm moving my eye and I'm moving the body around that I'm shifting where I'm focusing. And if I've then got the mirrorless and it's not keeping up with live real time, then it doesn't make any difference because I'm still tracking the subject with my normal eye looking past the body of the camera. And because I have two working eyes. I mean, well, you know, glasses notwithstanding, but you know, they mostly work. Yeah. I'd like to take a moment to talk about our sponsor for this episode. And that's Solver. Solver is a calculation app by Aqualia for the Mac. 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Solver for Mac is available from the website as well as from the Mac App Store. If you use the URL in the show notes, it helps out the show. So please use that URL in the show notes to learn more about this amazing app. Visit and check it out today. Thank you to Aqualia with their amazing app Solver for once again sponsoring the Engineered Network. The other thing that's interesting on the Z6 II that I'd like to add is that the 5.5 frames per second, it will actually keep up with the live view. But if you push beyond that, it can't keep up because the data rate coming off the sensor is simply not, it just basically floods the chat. It just can't keep up the data. Yeah, it just can't keep up. Like the buffer to save it to the memory card, you know, has got plenty of space. That's not the problem. The problem is the viewfinder just can't keep up. Yeah. So I can do 14 frames per second at its fastest rate, which is four frames per second faster than the D500. And I wouldn't have thought those extra four frames a second would make a difference. But wow, they really do does make a difference. So much so that in low light conditions, I can see the ripple effect. And you might think this is really strange, right? So if you've got like fluorescent lights or any other light lighting that's not artificially set by a switch mode supply, then you'll see that 50 hertz or in North America, 60 hertz, you'll see that light intensity changing depending upon what moment of the sine wave you take that photo and it's something that it's truly bizarre till you've seen it You know, yeah, and it's not like the flicker on a screen, but it's like there's Like a wave of darkness going. Yeah, it's really Yeah, yeah And I was and I was taking a photo of my son doing you know Attempting a layup and I'm watching because I'm looking straight down the basketball court And you can just see in each of these shots as I'm going from one to the next to the next to the next And you can see the black ripples of and they're not black. I mean, they're they're just it's slightly darker It's like shade, shade, shade areas Yeah, it's it's like there's a shade between like a imaginary cloud in strips And it's just like it's rippling down like a ripple pattern yeah, and you can see the amount of light illuminating his face because I can't use a flash and It's just I have actually will lose shots because the Z6 can't do the exposure compensation quickly enough to get the correct ISO setting to get the correct, you know, like I will throw away photos that are otherwise perfectly sharp, but they're just a little bit too dark. And if I try and lighten up too much, it goes too grainy. And I'm like, God, I hate that basketball court. It's so hard. Anyway. - All right, so let's talk about battery life. That comes up a lot. - And the funny thing is when I went mirrorless the first time, oh my gosh, painful. Even my original A7 is actually kind of painful. Like my A7, I think I have like probably, I don't know, 10 batteries, right? - Wow. - And then finally, when the second generation left us because that was still the same battery because Sony didn't realize that, you know, we were all pissed off trying to tell them. The viewfinder actually uses a battery, unlike a DSLR, right? And so now we have these giant batteries because Sony decides, well, yeah, a mirrorless should be smaller, but we're not gonna make it so small that we can't actually put a battery in there. And so, yeah, I mean, the difference in battery life compared to what I'm used to is not that big anymore. Like it used to be massive. Like I used to be able, it used to be with my Panasonic cameras and my Sony, you know, maybe like 150 for my Panasonic, maybe 300 for my Sony. Now I can shoot easily a thousand with my, my, my A7R4. Nice. Okay. So I had my first ever battery dead experience. And I'd never had a battery dead experience before because I'm, I'm the sort of like, you know how should I say stickler for detail that I've always got a fully charged battery before I go out and take photos. I never go out with a battery that's got even a fraction of a bar of the battery missing. Cause that's just the way I like. Yeah. That's just me. Now the D500 uses the ENEL A and B type of battery. And the ENEL C has got, I think it's a few hundred more milliamp hours of capacity. So when they did the Z series, they gave them a slightly larger battery with a bit more capacity to try and combat this. Now, I've got a 64 gig SDHC memory card that I've had since the beginning. And with 24.5 megapixels can fit in raw about 1200 photos roughly. So that amount of photos was enough to essentially flatten the battery. And I know that your mileage will vary depending upon how often you wake the camera up which is something that I've had to get used to doing with the Z6, because it has quite an aggressive, you know, I'm turning the power off now because you don't seem to be doing anything. And I'm like, dude, I was looking through the EVF and you just turned off on me. And I wanted to take a photo and I'm not happy with you now. Yeah. But, you know but still I don't, I don't have another memory card in my pocket and I guess at some point if I'm getting more serious about like doing large photography shoots, I'm going to have to do that at some point. But for the moment, a 64 gig memory card equals a full battery in the mirrorless. On the D500, same situation. I've still got more than half a battery left. So - After filling the card. Yeah, fill the card and I've still got half a battery. So you know, there's no doubt DSLR battery life is far better. But to be honest, it's an easily solved problem. And honestly, how many people are taking a thousand plus photos in a single session? It's not many. I mean, you know, anyway, so I do, I do. Here's the thing. Mirrorless is definitely worse on battery life. No question whatsoever. But again, I think it's a niche issue. If you're a pro photographer, you've already got multiple batteries, multiple memory cards. It's a non-issue, you know. handled. Anyway, in my opinion. No, I agree. And again, if you were there in the beginning, you would, like I welcome any advancement. Like when I got the A7, yeah, people were, you know, the internet was full of people just blasting the camera. And I'm like, listen, I came from a Panasonic camera, which was shooting 150 to 200. I welcome 350, you know, just so. Yeah. All right. So, the next one is I actually had a note here about durability. I can't remember why I wrote down durability and I thought about it, but it's like, is there someone out there that thinks that DSLRs are more durable than mirrorless? and I'm thinking, well, if you look at, 'cause if you look at Nikon's range, they make lenses like, and I've got one of them, my 55-200, that's essentially a plastic lens. It is, there's little bits of metal in it, or, but I mean, seriously, the thing is, it's plastic. And they make, like, I think it's the 3500, I think D3500, is it actually level one or whatever? That thing's made mostly of plastic. I think it's got some metal in it, but it's not made out of magnesium, I'm pretty sure. - Pretty sure, yeah. - It's, no, I'm pretty sure it isn't. That's why they sell it for so little. - Right. - Now, and that's a DSLR. Now, if you're gonna compare something like a D5 with a D500, you'd probably say, well, the D5's probably more rugged than the D500. But if you look at a Z6 or a Z7, they're both a similar kind of construction to the DSLRs I just mentioned. So they've got the same amount of metal in them more or less. So I don't understand, I don't think that it's a mirrorless versus DSLR thing. I think it's a cheap versus semi-pro versus pro maybe. - Yeah, I think so. You're probably right about that. - But I mean, I only know the Nikon examples. I mean, because to me, because mirrorless really, I don't think mirrorless were brought out necessarily be cheap cameras. They were meant to be originally more portable. That was at least my understanding. - That was it, yeah. - So it wasn't about making them out of cheap plastic. - Right. - So, I mean, yeah, 'cause I mean, if a mirrorless and a DSLR fall in the woods, you know, and please, please do not drop your cameras in the woods or anywhere, but you know, I think they both get off just as poorly when they hit the ground. Yes. Anyway. Yes, in their respective groups, like the pro bodies, yes, we'll probably fare about the same. The semi-pros about the same and the entry level probably about the same. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. All right. The next thing is, just quickly, is silent shooting on the mirrorless, which is, I initially thought was a beautiful thing and then I had second thoughts. Do you know where I'm going with this? I think so if you're talking about the effects of that you get with certain parts of this effect. So mechanical shutters, you know, I personally have a love-hate relationship with the mechanical shutter because mechanical shutters are, well, oddly in the name, mechanical and all mechanical things fail. I mean, okay, you can argue that anything electronic fails as well, because everything eventually dies. And as I famously said in a meeting at work once, everything dies. And they looked at me like I was, dude, that was really heavy. And I'm like, oh, yeah, sorry about that. Let's talk about rainbows for a second. They die as well, though. But yes, go ahead. I mean, I'm not technically incorrect, but okay, fine. It was a bit heavy for the meeting, but that's fine. - Yes. - Hey, anyhow, nevermind that, that's fine. I can look back and laugh on it now, but everyone was really upset at the time. Anyhow, right, yes, good, back on topic. So yes, everything does die, but mechanical stuff dies faster than electronics. So I always console myself that with an electronic shutter, I can in fact go to an electronic shutter if the mechanical shutter ever dies on me. So that's something, which is something the D500 it's sort of can, sort of can't, doesn't have a true electronic shutter. And so the electronic shutter on a mirrorless is great because it doesn't make any noise and it doesn't fail in the same way that mechanical one will wear out after 200,000 or 300,000 or 500,000, you know, activations. - Activations. - Yeah. - Yeah. but that does unfortunately have another side effect, like a bending effect. But I think the correct term is rolling shutter, I think. So how would you, have you had any experiences with this? - No, not really. Have you, I mean, I would imagine you probably have that happen more in sports than, 'cause I don't shoot sports, but because it is the action. - Yeah, here's the thing. I haven't tried yet in high speed, like for me, the sport that would be the hardest, the most likely to be impacted would be cricket, because when they're bowling that ball, they're bowling it at, you know, like 160 or kilometers an hour, so like 100 miles an hour. That's going to have some interesting effect with an electronic shutter at that speed. because I can't help myself, I did what every good photographer would do and I would, and I got the electronic shutter setting and I got a pedestal fan and it was, it's the middle of winter, you know, well it's not the middle of winter anymore now, we're just coming into spring but it was in winter when I was doing it so I think I got some strange expressions from other family members as I brought out a pedestal fan in the middle of winter and I took the protective cover off the front, which was also a strange thing to do, because, you know, a wise man once said, don't shove your face in a fan. And I'm like, OK, well, I did not do that, but I did in fact point the camera at it. And wow, it creates the most bizarre and trippy kind of bending effect when you take a photo of the fan blade spinning, because they're spinning at high speed. And my understanding as to why this happens is because of the way in which data is read from the sensor. So unlike mechanical shutter where everything is retained and as you pull it off the information is retained as it was captured. Whereas an electronic shutter that is not the case. It's reading it line by line basically. I mean like we haven't gotten to the global shutter yet. Because there's cinema cameras that have global shutters. We don't have global shutters. I wish we were here already. But the electronic shutter is basically reading it line by line. So by the time the blade reaches a certain point, at the bottom, it's red. So the top is set. When it gets to the bottom, it's like, OK, this is a different position. And that's why you have that effect mostly. You don't have that effect so much with the electronic front shutter, current shutter or the mechanical shutter, but definitely with the electronic shutter. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, it's an interesting effect. So anything that's moving really quickly, you're basically straight out of luck with an electronic shutter. It will look distorted. But of course that fan is spinning at however many hundred revs per minute. So, it's spinning quite fast and if you were to look at the leading edge, the speed that it's spinning at is probably significant, which is why, as I say, I think it would be an interesting exercise to try and capture a fast bowler in cricket to see whether or not I get some really cool streak effect from the cricket ball flying through the air, which could be artistic in a very odd way. So, I don't know, maybe, maybe, we'll see. I'll try when I'm feeling more adventurous in the summertime perhaps. But you know, you know, the interesting thing here, right, is that if you look at the speeds that the camera, like your fastest shutter speeds, you will get with the electronic because there is nothing moving, right? It's the sensor readout basically. The mechanical is just going to be the second and then the electronic front curtain is going to be the last. But again, the one with the fastest is the one with the effect because of the way it reads across that sensor, unfortunately. That's right. Yeah, it's interesting. It's fascinating, actually. So but having said all of that, there are lots of advantages to an electronic shutter in terms of there's no shutter shake. With a mechanical shutter, you will get some vibration no matter how minute, which if you're doing something in incredibly low light like astrophotography, not lunar photography, that will come into play as well. - Yep, big time. - And just to prove the point, I did take a photo of the Milky Way, which is my best photo of the Milky Way to date with the Z6 II. I don't know if I, did I send you that? - I don't think so, I don't believe, I know you've sent me. - You don't think so? I don't think you have. You know, what was your set? How did you do it? Did you do it with a timer? Like did you set the camera to be timer? Yeah. So it was a 10 second exposure and I was using my wide angle lens, which I'll talk a little bit more about later. But it was, yeah, it was kind of interesting insofar as I didn't do a hell of a lot to it. Like I didn't crank the ISO to a ridiculous number and I didn't, I almost got my best shot with the first shot. You know what I mean? I'm just like, it was, the difference between the D500 and the Z6 II for the Milky Way photography was just like, you know, the D500 I had to coax and mess around with the whites and the black levels and all that stuff in order to bring out the Milky Way. But with the Z6 too, it just popped without, with very little effort. - Oh, nice. - It was incredible. So I got to dig up that photo actually. Now I'm wondering what the hell I did with it. I sent it to somebody. I think I might have sent it to my wife and she was completely uninterested. (laughing) I think that was what it was. Like, I just took this photo. She didn't even say anything. I'm like, but it's the galaxy. It's beautiful. Took one of the cat also, um, mid yawn. And it looks like she's growling at us. That got a reaction, but no, the milk flew away. So I took that in the backyard. Oh, yeah. So that's, you don't have to do much in post. No. Nice. And you can see if you closely look around the top, the outside corners, you can actually see the fall off from the lens because it's a DX lens on an FX body. - Okay, okay. - Yeah. So that's what that darkening is. And I just couldn't bring myself to crop it. - The thing is that actually it's not, it's actually, I mean, it's not that bad actually. This is, I mean, it'd be worse if it was actually a daytime. - Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, and I've got lens corrections in there everything. But I mean that's, yeah, so I'll talk about my lenses later actually, because it is interesting about what works and what doesn't on the Z6. So anyway, alright. Wait a second, so how far away from your house is this? It's like literally, okay, where that photo's taken, so I've got the house, the back of the house, I've got a swimming pool and then I basically just got, you know, another 30-40 yards of just like grass and trees. So those trees are probably about 30 yards from the back of my house, 20 yards from the back of the pool. So my back is to the house. So you live in a dark side basically? Yeah, I live in the middle of nowhere, man. In a matter of speaking. I mean, it's beautiful. I love where I live. It is like, I'm a two and a half minute drive from the freeway and you can only really hear the freeway at night. And I'm about, probably about a six minute drive from the nearest train station. So I do sometimes hear the trains at night as well, but they're very faint in the background. So if you go, if you look south, you can see the glow from Brisbane. And if you look north, you really don't see a heck of a lot of light pollution. And if you look, so like, northwest, you can see practically no light pollution, because there's nothing, like, northwest of us, pretty much. - Wow. - Yeah. - So, it is really nice. - Wish I had that here. Yeah, well, unfortunately. Yeah. I have to go really far for no light pollution. Yeah, if I want to go to a true dark sky site, I have to go all the way out to, I go about two and a half hour drive west of me, and at that point it is so dark basically you would be able to actually get decent photos of pretty much any celestial object you would like. Where I am I, yeah, but one of the problems is I really want to get a photo of Andromeda But Andromeda is hard because it never comes above 22 degrees. Which is not ideal because to the north of me, I'm at the bottom of a hill. So, I lose a bit of that to the north, which kind of sucks. Yeah. But, you know, but still. But you can see even with a 10 second exposure. So, if you look at the center of the image, you can see all of the stars are pretty sharp. but as soon as you go to the outside of it, you can see them, I think that's some chromatic aberration around the outsides. So the stars become a little bit more like a cross sort of a shape, like a plus sign, which is interesting. - What was your aperture? Was it as wide as? - I just knew you were gonna ask me that. Yeah, so it was F 2.8 and it was, because it's 11 to 16 mil on the DX in order for it to actually, well, you know, take a photo that wide, the widest I can go is actually 16. So I can't even if I, if I go down, if I, sorry, sorry, is 11. If I go down, hang on, let me get this right. Right. Right. I'm like 2.8 to four or something. No, it's a 2.8. Oh, constant. Okay. I got you. Constant aperture lens. Yeah. Yeah. It's damn sexy lens. I love it. I've always liked it. - Yeah, I know. I got it specifically on a recommendation. It was a recommendation from Ian Norman. Did you listen to that episode? It was 102. I think it was 102. - 102? - Oh, 101. It was astrophotography of- - Oh, okay. I gotta listen to that one. - Yeah. - How come you didn't ping me? That should have been a ping. - Oh, I'm sorry. - A specific ping. Clay, it's astrophotography. Ping. - Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, I just, yeah, I guess. I'm sorry about that. I just, I haven't, I like, I, you know, when things, you know, when things pop in the slack, I go listen, but a lot of times I haven't been in slack. Yeah, I haven't either. I duck in and duck out. Yeah. All right. All right. So getting back to it, I guess one of the things that I find, I was you're originally of the opinion between the Z6 and the Z7 was more megapixels means cropping and cropping means I can zoom by cropping. And that is a good thing versus an optical zoom. And the thing that I've been experimenting with and I'm finding is that now I'm on the Z6, all of my lenses, which I'll get to in a minute, all my lenses are like there's a 50/50 split, roughly. half of them are FX, half of them are DX. And, or you get one that's DX, but it doesn't, the body can't tell it's a DX, so it thinks it's an FX, whatever. - Those are the best kind. - Yeah, I know, right? Yeah. Hack the Nikon. Anyway, get off-brand lenses and you can do cool things. But anyway, yeah, so these lenses, of course, they don't have the reach because they're not DX, it's not DX body. So I lose that extra 1.5 X. And I did feel it today when I was doing the, when I was doing cricket, because I need that reach. So when it comes to cricket, I may not use the Z6 in the longer term. I may go, I may still use the D600, 500, sorry. - The D500, yeah. - Yeah. But anyhow, the reason I was bringing this up is that the optical zoom, so I've got the 85 mil full frame prime lens, which is an F 1.8, it's a beautiful lens, F mount. And I've been using that in the Z62 in basketball. And I love it because I can be at the baseline now at the offensive end and it's no longer too tight. So I can get them just in the full frame. The downside is if I'm down at the offense end and I wanna take photos of them in defense, they are now way out of reach. It was tough before, but it's pretty much impossible now. So even with 24.5 megapixels, I've tried cropping to try and pull that detail out. And it's just terrible. It just falls apart. It's not good enough. - Yeah. And the other thing is that like your situation in basketball, 70 to 200 would be your best bet. I would imagine. - That I absolutely agree with you, hands down. That is exactly the conclusion I've reached. because I need the ability to zoom optically because even if I were to go to a Z7, I think I'd face the same problem with cropping because in the end, the optical zoom to bring it in to get the maximum use of that light is gonna give you a better result in terms of the quality of the image than you'll get with a prime and then cropping. - So there's a sort of balance here, right? You would be better off with definitely having the lens on the body that you want. Because you're, 45 megapixels is a lot. Isn't that what it is, 45 or 42? - The Z7's a 40, yeah, I think it's 45. - 45 is a lot. The ability to crop 45 is definitely better than cropping a 24, right? 24, you crop that, and before you know it, you're at 10 megapixels. And that is not something that's ideal. So if you were, if you, if you, like, let's say you could only have one camera body and you're like, I need to have it for this other use case scenario. And also for sports, you know, the 45 would be beneficial if you could, if you could not get like, let's say the 70 to 200. But if you can get a 70 to 200, or something like it, you're better off doing that because you're not having to crop anything, right? You're basically just using the full frame. And your camera actually has the ability to do 1.5 crop in camera, can it or not? Yeah, yeah, I can I can do that if I want to. Yeah. So if you I don't know how easy it is. I know it's only it's not that easy. I think I could set it up to a custom button, I guess, where you could just basically fun, just have it go to a 1.5 mode. And let's say if you had to 8585 would be 85 and then 85 times 1.5. Yeah, that's true. I mean, I can do that in camera, but I mean, doing it in camera or in post, you know, it's the same end result in the end. I mean, the pixels are the pixels, right? So, yeah. Yeah. But I mean, it just helps if I'm trying to frame it when I'm taking the photo, which I actually do do when I'm doing planetary photography with the camera is I will actually pre-zoom it in that way. It just makes it a lot easier to frame it. But I guess in the end my conclusion was that to get the best of both worlds, like the best backside illuminated sensor for low light as well as the most versatility in basketball, I really need the Z6 plus a 70-200 and I need that combination. So like the D500 is not the right choice because it's not as good with low light. Right. So, but having said that, that is a $3,000 lens. So yeah, can't afford to rent everything, can't afford to buy everything at this point. So gonna have to just wait. - How much does it cost to rent that lens? - In Australian dollars? Yeah, okay, so I said 3000, that's US, it's 4,000 Australian dollars and it costs $188 a month to rent that lens. And that's the Z lens itself or that's the F lens? That's the Z lens. Okay, and how much does it do to rent the F lens now, since the Z is out? Well, if you pick one up on a nice super saver, you might get it for about $80-90 a month, which is not cheap, but not impossible. I think at this point in time, I have that quandary, right? it's a little bit of a tangent, but it's worth talking about, I think, is do you go with Z mount lenses or do you stick with F mount lenses? Because on the one hand, F mount lenses are plentiful. You can get lots of them secondhand. And with the migration away from F to Z mount, it's only a matter of time. And when that... there will come a point where you don't get a choice. It'll all be Z mount. And so you can either jump ship now or head across to the Z mount or you can try and pick up second hand lenses and just keep using the FTZ adapter. But I tell you, there's some interesting little things about the FTZ adapter. So I'm using the FTZ adapter on my Z6 too. I'm also using the battery grip for it. For what? For your D500? Oh, for your Z6. - For the Z6. - Okay, gotcha. - Yeah, yeah. And I never got the battery grip for the D500. I thought about it a lot, but I just couldn't, I just didn't. - You didn't need it really. - Well, I kind of see the, okay. But yeah, I didn't need it for the battery, no. But I did need it for vertical photography. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - So I'm doing, oh, it's beautiful for that. Except if you've got the FTZ on there. And this is one of the things I wanna mention. That FTZ adapter has this bulky knob bit at the bottom, which that's got a tripod mount in it. Now, when you pair that with the battery grip for the Z6, your fingers get jammed between that, like the finger grip and the base of the FTZ adapter. Now, if you had a Z mount lens, you would not have a problem. But if you use the FTZ, that's a pain in the butt. than you do. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's funny, the mount for the small, you know, Nikon one system, the mount is pretty much the same because they have because Canon doesn't have the, I don't think they have a tripod mount, but for some reason Nikon likes to put those mounts there. I mean, it's actually beneficial because I have used really big heavy lenses and use that tripod mount, then it's better to put it there than the body of the actual camera. Oh, for sure. Yeah, definitely. And the longer the lens you've got, the better. The more appropriate is to get it closer to the center of gravity. But I mean, anyway. Yeah, that sucks though. This episode is brought to you by ManyTricks, makers of helpful apps for the Mac, whose apps do, well, you guessed it, ManyTricks. Their apps include Butler, Keymail, Leech, Desktop Curtain, TimeSync, Usher 2, Menuware, Moom, NameMangler, Witch, and Resolutionator. There's so much to talk about for each app that they make, so we're just going to touch on some highlights. 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Thank you once again to ManyTricks for sponsoring the Engineered Network. - All right, so I guess what I want to talk about is the other limitations of that FTZ adapter. So the FTZ adapter is the F-mount to Z-mount adapter. And that means that you can use any lens with an F-mount on a mirrorless, Nikon mirrorless. But one of the cautions is that if you do, then it will, if the lens has a stabilization, then it will not, that stabilization lens, if you turn it on, will cut out the in-body stabilization in the Z6. - Really? - Yeah. And that's not necessarily the end of the world, 'cause I tried that today with a 200 to 500 and the in-body stabilization Z6 was terrible, which is not surprising when you consider the length of the barrel, you know, when it's fully extended. So anyway, but the other thing that's interesting is that they've done lots of tests on autofocus speed. So if you look at autofocus speed on a native Z mount, like 70 to 200 and the F mount, traditional like 70 to 200 millimeter, like with the fluorite element, which I did rent for a few months, it is slower on via the FTZ adapter. - Okay. By a lot or by just a little? - And I think it's enough to be annoying. I think that it's like the question would be is well, do you invest in a lens that essentially for account for amount that is on the way out? Yeah. That is a good and that's that actually if there is enough annoyance, it's not worth it. Well, the funny thing is I've read a bunch of reviews of course, as you do. And of particular interest was the one from Ken Rockwell. Because, you know, I like reading Ken Rockwell stuff because some of it makes me laugh. He's yeah, he's got some interesting opinions. He's special. He's a special guy. He sure is special. And we love him just the way he is. Anyhow, so Ken's point was that it's impossible to tell how much spherical aberration that there is with this lens and distortion and vignetting and so on, because the camera will correct for it. And there's no way to get a true raw out of it. Oh, so. Like as in like an uncorrected image out of the camera. Yeah. Which is interesting and an interesting choice on Nikon's part. So if you he said, if you look at the complexity of the 70 to 200 millimetre Z mount lens, the whatever it's called, the F1.8 S. Anyway, he said that it should be, it's surprising that they've managed to correct for all of that when you compare that to the F-mount equivalent. So his argument is that the F-mount was better on the basis that it was made out of better materials and it was made in Japan versus the other one with the Z-mount, which has got more plastic in it and made in Thailand. He always did make those sort of arguments, depending on where something was made. I know, right. I know. But I mean, the truth is that it's still Nikon spec, it's still a Nikon factory, it's just that the labor to make it is in a different country. So I do find that argument to be somewhat tenuous. If there was more substance to that, then Nikon would go out of business. Exactly. And not just Nikon. Right. Yeah, because it happens to Sony and Canon as well. They do the same thing. Exactly. Exactly right. So, rather than get hung up on his opinion, I think the point is more, for me, the practical application of the lens in the real world. They are both excellent lenses. And I think that the argument for the native Z mount lens is stronger simply because you'll get faster autofocus speed and therefore better tracking. And it is also, you know, not going to have the, it's not going to, okay. I think it'll hold its value better. So if you, yeah. So I think that the ultimate goal for me is going to be I will probably have two cameras at some point if not now. If I eventually save up enough money to actually buy out the rental for the Z6-2. I have listed my D500 for sale but I'm not going to give it away. It's in great condition but unfortunately some people look at that and say well I could a bit of buying an extra four or five hundred dollars with it and get a brand new one. I'm like yeah well you're clearly not the right buyer. So in any case you know it's like I don't want to give it away and it's a perfectly good camera. So I may well end up just keeping that and this gradually migrate across or get newer lenses for the for the Z mount as I go and only use the FTZ adapter in a pinch. Yeah. You know like if there's a particular lens I really want to use on the on on the mirrorless I can. But anyway, so let's just talk about my lenses then real quickly. And this is essentially my complete list so that I have right now today. So I have a DX 35 millimeter, which is, these are all AFS lenses by the way. I have a 40 millimeter micro DX lens, which is my macro lens, which I've used, I used for film can like photographing film and slides. Yeah, I know. Yes, I know. Not the same way that you do it, of course. Take the film photo and then scan it, you know, but still I bought it 'cause I had a whole bunch of old film that I wanted to digitize. And yeah, the difficulty for me with that is simple. And that is that, you know, if I don't have the native DX camera, then I'm not gonna get the full sensor size, which sucks because, you know, so, and before I go any further, this is one of my gripes about the Nikon system. If you attach a DX lens via the FTZ adapter on a full-frame mirrorless, it will auto crop it and it's basically an enforced auto crop. So, even if you get enough light to illuminate the FX sensor, you will, you cannot get more than 10 megapixels. Ouch. Which is ****. Yeah. Jeez. So, the forums are filled with people that are saying, this is no bueno. No, it's not. What, what, what you're going to do about this Nikon? And Nikon's answer has been, there's nothing we're going to do about it. You're going to buy an FX lens if you want FX. I mean, I shrug. - And you know, I remember, I don't know if you know about Canon, when they went with their crop bodies, their EFS lenses, their crop ones, never actually work on full frame. So that's one thing Canon, sorry, Nikon actually gave us is the ability to still use those, yeah, it crops it, but they at least give you the ability to use it. - Wow. - I don't know how it is with mirrorless, but Canon, but that's how it was with the DSLRs. - That kind of sucks. - Yeah. - So if I wanna be digitizing, if I'm gonna be digitizing film still, then I will, and I wanna keep that lens, then I'm gonna have to, you know, use the D500, which is fine, it works, but you know, it just means that I'll need a, or I need a DX mirrorless, 'cause I guess technically if I use the FTZ on like a Z5, then that would work. - Yeah. A two body setup with like the Z7, 6 and the Z5, what's the Z50? Is that the DX body? Oh, I meant Z50, yeah. Sorry. Yeah. Isn't that, that would be actually a nice setup for sports? For the reachability and for... Yeah, it would be for outdoor sports. My problem is the indoor. The indoor sports, yeah. So it doesn't have the low light performance of the Z6. Right, right. True. - That's true. - That's yeah, that's the problem. Anyway, I mentioned before my favorite Prime, the 85 millimeter F1.8, that's a full frame. And I leave that attached to the camera most of the time. I take like all the portrait photos I took. It's a beautiful portrait camera and I use it for indoor basketball at the moment and it's still my best choice for that. I have my super cheap extra plastic 55 200 mil DX lens. which I don't, man I can't remember the last time I used that. Yeah, I should probably get rid of it. And then of course my, what I call the novelty lens, my 200-500mm full frame. That's a beautiful f/5.6 constant aperture lens. It's just magic. I love that lens. I love that. I wanted that lens so bad. That constant f/5.6. It's incredible lens. But every now and then when I'm using it now on the Z6, I'm like, "Man, I really need a 1.4 or a 1.7 tele on it." But, you know, 'cause if I go to a two times, if I go to a 2x tele, that just pushes it to F11, which, you know, in daylight, you'd be right. You'd probably have enough light in, and with the ISO that you can go to on the Z6, you could probably get away with it. But I worry about how soft it'd make the image. Like I've seen plenty of people doing tests of the 200 to 500 with the 1.4 and the 1.7, and it's still super sharp. But as soon as you go to the 2X tele, it just starts getting soft. And I'm like, you know, I don't like a soft picture. It's like, John would be- - No, the 2X adapters have always been iffy. The only time I've seen 2X adapters be like ideal are in the old adaptal days, where it basically kind of becomes a part of the lens itself. I don't know why we couldn't have that system still, where someone makes it almost make it part of the body, but the 2x is not ideal. And then of course there's the 11-16mm Tokina, which one of the things on the FTZ is that because it's a Tokina, the Z6 doesn't recognize it. Now, the thing is that's interesting is that if you... Because it doesn't recognize the lens, which means that autofocus doesn't work. Autofocus does work on this lens on the D500 though, which is interesting. And it's a DX lens, which means that because it doesn't know what it is, it doesn't try to auto crop it. So, I get to see the full circle as you change from 11 to 16, you see the circle, you know, fading just around the outside of the image which is cool. Where is it usable? It's starting to be usable. It's usable at the narrower and not the wide end. Okay, so more like 14 to 16 maybe? Yeah, it's more like a 15 to 16. Okay. Which is really more like a 16. But you know, but the other thing that's interesting is of course, because it's not auto focus, I could go manual focus. But of course, with a wide angle lens, it's usually less of a problem. It's an f 2.8. But yeah, anyway, it's still a great lens. And you can still select it in light, like in Photoshop and do the lens adjustments after the fact. Okay, so you just Yeah, you just tell it Oh, yeah, by the way, I took this on a on a Takina. Yeah, 1116 DX blah, blah, blah, blah. And and it just takes care of it all for you, which is cool. But yes, that's an interesting little thing about the FTZ adapter on that one. And I used to have a 50 millimeter FX with the body motor, which I've got rid of, that required the body motor for focus 'cause of an AF, not an AFS. I sold that, that's gone. And I did rent for a few months, a 70 to 200 FX pro lens, which was gorgeous, but I just couldn't keep paying the money for it. So I returned it. Kind of was annoying. So how about you? What lenses are you currently sporting on your Sony? - For the Sony, it's a 15 Voigtlander, 15 millimeter, which I actually originally bought for real estate photography, but I don't do that anymore. So it's mainly my landscape, cityscapes, architecture, astro. - Hang on, hang on, hang on, hold the phone, hang on. You did real estate photography? - Yes. - Seriously, tell me about this. When was this? - It was a couple of years ago. It's actually fun because basically you just get the space, you just get the keys to the place and you just get to, no one's bothering you. Very often it's just like, they say, okay, how many hours do you need? You walk in and a lot of time, the one thing that sucks about real estate photography in the United States, I don't know how it is elsewhere, but people are messy and they would leave their place a mess and I'm like, do you wanna sell the place or what? So I would actually spend a lot of time cleaning up and setting up their stuff for them before I actually took pictures. And that's kind of why I sort of walked away from it a little bit. - You should have charged extra for that, man. Come on. - Yeah, that's a good point. I should have. That's a good point. But yeah, like, you know, you look at a place and you're like, okay, this place should take me maybe an hour to shoot. And then you walk in and you're like, oh, snap, this place is a mess. - Oh man. Yeah, well, there's a difference between making a place look like it's lived in and not actually caring enough to tidy it up. - It's kind of a, yeah. Fine line there. Actually not such a fine line, it's kind of an obvious line, I would have thought. All right, cool, interesting. Okay, I didn't know about that, there you go. Yeah, cool, so that was a super wide. - Yeah, that was a super wide. I mean, 'cause the one thing is, you know a lot of times people when they go shoot places, they just maybe stitch two pictures together, but if you're doing sort of, if you're doing maybe HDR, because let's say the light was extreme outside versus inside, it's easier just to have two pictures or three pictures and rather than having to stitch a bunch of pictures and then also HDR merge, it's just so much easier. The 35 2.8 sonar, which is actually I think my first lens, 'cause I bought my Sony just body only and then I went to look for a lens and it was the 35. I was actually using it with like cheap adapters, using my old manual focus lenses. And the 35 2.8 is basically just sort of a small pancake-like lens. I finally bought a 50 1.8. I've always had a 50 1.8 in every camera system I've had. And I didn't have that for Sony until just recently. And the reason I got that is because when I'm doing portrait sessions and I'm in a smaller space, The 85mm which I also have but it just wasn't working because I was too close. I have a 90mm which was my portrait lens and the issue was with my old Sony A7 I was having issues focusing and that's why I got the 85mm. Now I'm happy I got the 85mm because it is so much better for portraits. The 90mm is awesome for when I'm doing weddings and I need to shoot details and then I just bought the set the two to 600 with a 1.4 adapter and I haven't shot it as much as I wanted to because of work but it just it feels so right in the hand. Yeah, yeah, that's a beautiful lens. Yeah, I've heard Yes, I've heard many good things. I've only you know, I almost bought the 100 to 400 and then I was gonna do a 1.4 Yeah. And I'm like you know what I'm gonna always have a 1.4 on there so I'm like I might as well just go for the 2-600. Yeah, definitely. But the 100-400 was also very highly regarded. So yeah, I don't think you could go wrong with either of those lenses but if you really wanted that reach then I can understand the choice you made for sure. If I were shooting sports I would have gone for the 100-400 just because you could actually focus closer like the closest versatility. - Yeah, exactly. And the thing is that the ability for the subject to be closer to you, 'cause the two to 600, you have to be close to eight feet away from someone or something for it to even start focusing. - Yeah, exactly. And the other thing I found is that even with mine, with the 200-500, if I put that on to, yeah, so I put that six meters to infinite with focus, so it doesn't even bother trying. And if you do flick the switch over to full range, then it still struggles at 200 millimeters to focus on anything. - Yeah. - So, I mean, I tried that today in the game of cricket. I was photographing for the club and yeah, it struggled. It really struggled up close. - And this is under Zed body? - Yeah. Yeah. And I basically got it with the manual override. Basically gave up trying to get auto focus to work someone that was too close. Yeah, yeah. So, I was just trying to get like a really tight headshot for someone that was you know at the 200 mil and it was just not, no, I was not playing, was not playing the game. Anyway, alright. Well, that's pretty cool. I did have one other thing I wanted to mention with that's that I and this is more of one of it's it was sort of like an epiphany and an epiphany that I had late in the game. So, last episode because I re-listened to the last episode as preparation for this one. And one of the comments I made in the last episode was regarding the number of stops of light you get with in-body image stabilization. The thing that did not occur to me at the time, but it has since dawned on me, like I said, it's an epiphany, is that in-body image stabilization is effectively pointless above a certain shutter speed. Because what I didn't realize is that, So, I mean, if you've got, if you're trying to capture action like I am going in that, in a basketball court, the lighting's terrible, but you still want to capture it at least. I try for 1/1000 if I can get away with it over a second because I don't want any motion blur. And the difference is, yeah. And the difference is astounding. If you can go 1/1000, 1/1600, you know, I can't go any higher than that because then the ISO has to crank too much. But in-body image stabilization is not gonna help you at those speeds because you're not gonna see any movement from your hands or yourself moving at those speeds. So it's there to protect against your hands shaking and moving when you're taking a lower shutter speed that with a longer exposure. And it just is a silly thing, but I didn't realize at the time. So, I thought I'm going to get like an extra two or three stops of light out of it. And it's like, well, no, it just means that I can go lower. So, I can in fact push it down instead of like the lowest I could take a photo would be like the slowest. It would be 1/100th maybe. I can now drop that to 1/50th, let's say, because of in-body image stabilization. Right. But once I reach a certain shutter speed, it ceases to have any use. - Right. - And that's something I didn't, and I mean, do you have thoughts on that? - Yeah, so in body simulation, when you get past a certain shutter speed, and also when you get past a certain focal length, there isn't as much benefit. Now, if you have a native lens to that body, and that, let's say that lens, like the 200 to 600 has stabilization built in and you turn it on, the combination of the lens and the body, they work together to sort of help stabilize that lens itself. Now, the shutter speed, if you're past the shutter speed, hopefully you're not shaking enough 'cause if you shake too much, I mean, it doesn't matter how much image stabilization you have, you screwed the picture, right? If you're shaking too much for it to compensate for, let's say, five stops of compensation, it doesn't matter how good of a stabilization it is. If you're shaking too much, it's of no benefit anyways. But the in-body stabilizations are really meant to sort of save you for the lower shutter speeds, slower shutter speeds. But at the same time, it's also meant to sort of-- and I'm not so sure how-- I haven't read-- I haven't really read research on Nikon. But Sony-- and I know all-- if I'm not mistaken, I think Canon has it where the stabilizations with lens and body are supposed to sort of become this one unit to sort of be greater than what it used to be when you had a DSLR. Yeah, that's exactly what the Nikons do as well, or rather, that's what they say they do. Because I have no native Z mount lenses, so I can't tell you. What I can tell you is through the FTZ they don't. So, if you've got, as I said before, the 200-500, it has image stabilisation. So, in the actual lens. So if you turn that on, that forces the in-body stabilization to turn off in the Z6. But if you then turn off the lens stabilization, the in-body stabilization will turn on. But you don't get to do both. With a Z series lens, you get to do both. No, I have a question. So, and this is, I need to do more research about this with my setup because the, do you know if you were to turn on the body, sorry the lens in the Z system, stabilization for it, can you turn the body stabilization off? Hmm, not sure. Because the thing is that for my Sony system, which is weird, right? I thought, okay, I stabilization on for the lens and I go in the camera system to turn off the stabilization of the body and with that lens there's no option to turn off stabilization in the body. If the lens stabilization is on, the body stabilization is on, which is really weird. My understanding is that that's the case of the Nikon as well, is that it's either you've got stabilization or you don't and if you connect in a Z mount lens I think, I mean I could stand correct, I could, I might be wrong but I seem to recall reading that. Unless there's a way for me to find some sort of override in the body. So far I haven't found it yet. Because I was just trying to sort of do some tests, right? And I wanted to see, okay, in-body stabilization off and lens stabilization on, just to see if there is a benefit to the two of them working together versus the body not having it on. And there was no way for the body to be off. Yeah, I do wonder about that exactly and I also wonder why it would have to be either or. You know, with the EF mount I don't understand why. Unless of course there is no reason why, it's other than a marketing thing. Well, I'm wondering actually because if the thing is that if you have stabilization in the body on and then you have stabilization in the lens on and the two don't really talk, right? So you might have a system where one is stabilizing sort of the effects of your hand out here and the other one is stabilizing the effects of your hands closer. Maybe the two of them might sort of conflict with each other because you know like one is basically you know when the lens to your body, I mean the camera to your body is stabilized by your body and your head. The lens being out they're sort of slightly sways. And if you have the two of them talking to each other, at least they can work together. But if the F to Z adapter doesn't actually make the two of them become one unit, maybe that's why Nikon said it's easier for them to just say body or lens in terms of FX versus Z. - I'm not sure. I need to do some more research in that one, to be honest. Maybe we'll talk about that some other time I've had some more time to dig into it and you have as well. But I would be curious to understand the logic behind it. - Right. - So, but I guess, 'cause I didn't have too much else I wanted to cover. I guess I do. I just want to quickly mention that a comparative, just before I wrap it up, the Z6 to the D500, for those that are curious, you know, I've done the comparison now for indoor basketball, and I can effectively push the D500. It starts to get a little bit too noisy and a bit too grainy. Not wishing to get into that debate either, but anyhow, around about the, I think the ISO is anything lower than about, is it 2000? I'm trying to remember the setting, but I can go as low as 6400 on the Z6 II without noticing, without getting it. So if I go below that, it gets really, it's becomes more noticeable. - Amazing, 6,400. - So it's, I know, I just couldn't believe it. I had it down to 5,000 and I've been, I play between the shutter speed and the ISO. And so I'm still on the fence as to which is better because I think that going for a 1/1000 shutter and then an ISO 5000 is a better option. And that's at F 1.8 on the 85 mil prime. But if I go the other way and say, well, I wanna go to a 1/1600 and then I drop the ISO to 6400 to get that extra light back, Then it starts to be sort of like, well, am I pushing to be too noisy now? And am I really going to see much of an improvement in reduction in motion blur by going to a faster shutter? So, the jury's out. I'm still playing. It's only been two months. I've taken photos of. I think about six games at this point, which has been enough for me to settle on that, but I need more time, obviously, just, you know, and It'll be interesting if I do pick up a 70 to 200mm lens at some point in the future because that will be a constant aperture f2.8, whichever way I choose to go. So I'm going to lose stops of light there. So I'm going to have to make that hard choice again. Yeah. I mean, I would probably shoot your lens now at 2.8 and see, you know, like make it like your floor, right? And see if you're comfortable with that. - Yeah, I have done it a couple of times. And I will say one of the other things I do love about the mirrorless is that the electronic viewfinder correctly shows you the illumination you're gonna get based on the settings you've got up to a point. So if I crank the ISO up and down, the brightness of the electronic viewfinder goes up and down. Yeah, do that with a DSLR. Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah. Can't do that, can you? No, you can't. There you go. So, I think it's fair at this point in closing to say that my conclusion is that mirrorless is definitely the future, although admittedly, I said that many years after you already had said that. So, there you go. That's not revelation, but you know, Hey, uh, I think that there are so many more advantages to mirrorless that it is obvious to me that, um, yeah, DSLRs are going to die. It's only a matter of time and probably not a very long time. I think that we may see a small number of DSLRs come out, um, in the major brands, and then it's going to become rather like the different sized formats of sensors now, where you'll have maybe Hasselblad or Leica or whoever, like some of the more, how do I call them? Artsy brands? I don't know. - The niche brands. - Yeah, very niche. And the majors like Canon and Nikon, they might release another one or two, but that'll be probably the last ones they ever release, I would think. Yeah, I would, I would, I would agree. I'm actually surprised we you know, I mean, yeah, I think Panasonic Olympic Olympus and Sony have proven that mirrorless was viable a long time ago. And then when does that system came out? And our system came out, especially that to and our system came out like, it's inevitable. It's like, there's no way anyone could look at that and say I'm gonna go buy a D5 instead of a Z6-2. - Yeah, exactly right. If you want to talk more about this, you can reach me on the Fediverse at [email protected], on Twitter @johnchidji or on Word, or the network @engineered_net. I'd personally like to thank Solver by Aqualia for sponsoring the Engineered Network. You've tried a calculator and a spreadsheet, but if you haven't tried Solver yet, you're missing out on a great app that fits perfectly with the way your brain actually thinks. Solver 3 for Mac is available from the website as well as through the Mac App Store. If you use the URL in the show notes, it helps out the show. So please use that URL in the show notes to learn more about this amazing app. Check it out today. I'd personally like to thank ManyTricks for sponsoring the Engineered Network. If you're looking for some Mac software that can do many tricks, remember to specifically visit this URL, for more information about their amazingly useful apps. you're enjoying Pragmatic and want to support the show you can by supporting our sponsor or by becoming a premium supporter. We're edging closer to our monthly goal to go advertising free across the network but we can only do that with your help. You can find details at to learn how you can help this show to continue to be made. Big thank you to all of our supporters and a special thank you to our silver producers Mitch Bilger, John Whitlow, Kevin Koch, Shane O'Neill, Oliver Steele, Lesley Law Chan, Hafthor, Jared and Bill and a special thank you to both of our Gold Producers Stephen Bridle and our Producer known only as R. Pragmatic is a podcasting 2.0 enhanced show and with the right podcast player you'll have episode locations, enhanced chapters and real-time subtitles on select episodes and you can also stream Satoshis and Boost with a a message if you like. There's details on how along with the new Boostergram leaderboard on our website. If you'd like to get in touch with Clay, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you, mate? If I'm anywhere online, just look for CW Daily and you'll find me. Fantastic. All right. Thank you very much. So once again, a thank you to all of our supporters and a big thank you to everyone for listening. And as always, thanks for coming on the show, Clay. It's been great to have you back on. It was the best, thank you so much. And by the way, the episode is episode 101. I'm gonna go listen to Pragmatic 101 Astrophotography. So if any listeners haven't listened to it, go listen. Cool, thanks man. 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Clay Daly

Clay Daly

Clay is an avid photographer and podcaster. His photos can be found on Instagram and at his site. Clay’s other podcast can be found at Cybrcast, Through My Lens, Harm Less and Just Clay, and is a co-host of BubbleSort.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

Described as the David Attenborough of disasters, and a Dreamy Narrator with Great Pipes by the Podfather Adam Curry.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.