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Author Topic: I want to change my Pentax 645D system!  (Read 8630 times)
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2013, 11:19:24 AM »
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On the eye fi- I've got em' use em' and with a network they're fine as long as the camera produces a jpeg, though straight from camera to Pad it's kind of iffy.  I do like tethering to a pad though, because it makes it more the AD and me rather than the AD, me and 10 others.

I've seen a trend lately of more photographers who set up the tethering station, use Capture Pilot to dial into it wirelessly, and then turn off the monitor of the tethering station.

The speed, workflow benefits, and power of tethering to a Mac Pro are there, but all mid-shoot image-review is entirely on the iPad.

I think (half jokingly) this trend is from folks seeing the IQ2 being used direct-to-iPad and wanting to have their older backs accomplish the same thing (but with a cable out the back to the computer as a required evil to get there since they don't have a IQ2).
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« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2013, 02:44:40 PM »
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Doug,

With all due respect you seem like a nice guy and you obviously know your products but you've got camera backs to move so I can't expect much more out of you than to dispute what I'm saying. I'm just one working photographer (albeit with a few successful friends) out here in the wilderness. I would LOVE to say budgets are bigger than ever and all of my clients think cost is no object but it just ain't the case. My clients don't give a crap what camera I'm shooting with as long as I produce images that move them. I know there's guys like Rankin, Nadav Kander and whoever is the hyphenated fashion photography team of the moment that agencies want to throw gobs of money at but by-and-large the photo industry is populated by folks that are looking for the most cost-effective tool to produce jobs with ever-shrinking budgets. Most of the high-end photographers I know don't even own gear - they rent everything. And if they do own a camera it's usually Canon or Nikon. What really makes my head spin is how many photographers I know making a living shooting with just their iPhones. Talk about ROI. One of my editorial clients wants me to take over their instagram feed for a week. It's going to be funny sizing 40 megapix images down to 2 megapix.

Also, everything you described with tethering via a 33 ft long cable can be done wirelessly with a work station and an adhoc network. I shot with a 5d MKII and a wifi grip for years and I could set up Canon's software to apply a recipe to every file that appeared magically on the monitor. It's nice the Capture One supports wifi now but I was doing it almost 3 years ago. I can even punch up jpgs that are wirelessly transmitted to my iPad. You're right about my needs - I try and keep the AD happy and that generally can be accomplished with an iPad, an eyefi card and Shuttersnitch. I've never a heard single complaint that I didn't hire a tech to drive a Mac tower with a 30 inch monitor. I frequently work on location with a smaller crew and because of that I can adapt to whatever the AD or CD throws at me. I know there's dudes out there that have to work in a studio with an entourage of techs, assistants and the entire rental house at their disposal but those guys days are numbered. Agencies just aren't spending that kind of cash on stills - it's all about motion now.

There's way too much navel gazing that goes on in these forums about megapixels, micro lenses, capture software, etc by people who don't seem to actually make a living working behind the camera. I check in here from time to time and find the same tired arguments and justifications for buying a $25k rig with some value-added something another and 24/7 support (never needed that with my Canons). I've owned a Valeo, Aptus, Mamiya and Phase backs and now I own the Pentax. I can assure you - the Pentax does the same thing those other backs did for a fraction of the cost (well, maybe not that POS mamiya). Furthermore, there's absolutely no justifiable reason for me to shoot with the Pentax over my 5D III. I'd even go so far as to say I can accomplish the same thing with the 60D I bought my daughter. It's all about client perception and managing their expectations. If my rental budget is $10k you can damn sure bet I'm going to rent a MFD, a work station and all the other accoutrements because I know the client is expecting the dog and pony show but I could produce the exact same job for $2k and if the client wasn't on set they wouldn't know the difference.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 06:33:21 AM by bcroslin » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2013, 02:47:02 PM »
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James,

There's a couple of things you can do to make the iPad adhoc network rock solid. Most of it has to do with the iPad itself. I'd be happy to send you an email with the info.

Bob
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2013, 03:04:52 PM »
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Also, everything you described with tethering via a 33 ft long cable can be done wirelessly with a work station and an adhoc network. I shot with a 5d MKII and a wifi grip for years and I could set up Canon's software to apply a recipe to every file that appeared magically on the monitor. It's nice the Capture One supports wifi now but I was doing it almost 3 years ago. I can even punch up jpgs that are wirelessly transmitted to my iPad. You're right about my needs - I try and keep the AD happy and that generally can be accomplished with an iPad, an eyefi card and Shuttersnitch. I've never a heard single complaint that I didn't hire a tech to drive a Mac tower with a 30 inch monitor. I frequently work on location with a smaller crew and because of that I can adapt to whatever the AD or CD throws at me. I know there's dudes out there that have to work in a studio with an entourage of techs, assistants and the entire rental house at their disposal but those guys days are numbered. Agencies just aren't spending that kind of cash on stills - it's all about motion now.

Thanks for the followup. I've worked with every model of Canon and Nikon's wireless grips/attachments. So I'm quite familiar with what you're refering to.

You can not do what I described wirelessly in a way that is fast.

Via wireless you can either send JPGs (saving raw to the card) which creates a broken workflow which needs to be reconciled after the raws are downloaded. Or you can send raws which is very slow (compared to cabled tethering and in the context of anyone shooting more than one image at a time).

Both of those options will be great for some kinds of photography and some photographers. Again it's quite clear that your methods have worked well for you, and I have no doubt you've made your clients happy. I am not in the business of telling someone else what they need, only helping them find ways to meet those needs. But I can tell you that for many of our clients there is a distinct need to at least have the option for a large tethering monitor and a tethering method which will keep up with fast paced shooting of large files with styling applied in real time, selects being pulled and processed on the spot, preliminary compositing/retouching done on set as needed, layout analysis (overlay) done throughout, and backups (including offsite backups) maintained in near real time.

But again, it sounds like the limitations of doing non native wifi (i.e. add on attachments or cards) are not a problem for you - which is great. Nobody wants to shoot with a cable; they only do it when the annoyance of the cable is superseded by the advantages. There is a reason why when you walk into Milk, Splashlight etc that most of their shoots include tethering (with a cable), and it's not just "dog and pony".
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 03:29:15 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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sbernthal
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« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2013, 11:11:03 AM »
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I am not aware of many professional photographers using Pentax. Perhaps there are, although I seriously doubt it.

Funniest thing I've read all day....

I'm glad I could amuse you.

However - in the 35mm segment Canon and Nikon dominate the market with no contest - since I don't think Pentax even has a full frame 35mm, I would be astonished if their share (of pros) is over 1%.

The the DMF market, Phase/Leaf and Hasselblad rule, and let's be generous and give Pentax 5% - I think it's much less than that.

I know quite a few professional photographers and not one Pentax user.

That is not to say that there's anything wrong with that camera, but it is not one of the major players in the pro market.
I'm pretty sure most of its buyers are amateurs who don't want to break the bank.
Many pros would insist on solid tethering, for that reason alone would not consider Pentax.
Also C1 support is a major point for a pro.
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bcooter
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« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2013, 09:08:40 PM »
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snip
 There is a reason why when you walk into Milk, Splashlight etc that most of their shoots include tethering (with a cable), and it's not just "dog and pony".

Doug,

Earlier this year I explored a new medium format system, looked at everything, got some good quotes and to change my system would cost 30 grand minimum with three lenses.

Then the schedule became loaded and all of my projects just didn't allow the time and circumstance to use medium format, so I bought a 1dx.  

They required constant light (because of the motion content), quick life like situations, the ability to go from fast tether to fast cards and quick track focus.

They also required professional motion equipment that we've invested big in.

Now I've been through all the still studios you mentioned, shot in most and rarely do I see anyone that shoots with medium format actually own the whole system.  They or the publisher, client, agency, producer rents for them.  

I'm not saying medium format doesn't have a place, that would be too broad of a brush, but when I can buy two RED One's for the price of 1 medium format camera, I have to go with what our work requires and I don't think I'm alone at this.

Now if Phase had a camera like a more robust Canon 1dc, that shot 4k video, high rez stills, tethered through ethernet (have you tethered through ethernet yet? . . . it's amazingly reliable), I'd have opened my wallet.

And just a suggestion.  If phase one wants to make about 2 trillion more in earnings, make it so C1 will batch process and transcode prorezz video.   The only function they have to add is tracking and allow it to run to a dedicated graphic card.

Just a thought, but if phase does that one, my money is ready.

If Phase makes a 4k 1dc competitor* that shoots raw footage and stills, give me a call, but don't forget the software suite.

_____________________________________________________

Bob, I'll pop you a pm and would like your eye fi settings.  I also use shutter snitch and am curious about your setup.

______________________

Tmark,

I don't know who you are, but know you've been there and have done it and I assume done it well.

In regards to tethering, I agree, unless you've worked with an AD a long time and we have a mutual trust.  Then those AD's are happy to see a few frames and trust you, or the really good ones, don't care whats in the camera, they care what's happening on set.

We tether with stills, with motion, with hdmi monitors and to pads and I don't mind client comments, but know when a lot of people are in the room throwing expressions at the monitor it has an effect on the subject.

Given my choice, I'd much rather set the shot, shoot a few dozen frames and let the AD and if he/she wishes the clients view a series of images instead of one feeding through every 2 seconds.  That way they can see a body of work, or options rather than looking at them come through and only seeing the image they want, if only the hand was over 3" or the smile was a little less/more/wider/smaller.  Then the spontaneity gets lost.

The one upside of running so many cameras with motion and stills, nobody knows which monitor to look at anymore.

IMO

BC

*Actually there is a still and motion camera that gets close to competing with the 1dc and in a lot of ways offers more.  The Panasonic GH3.  72mbs intra video file, 16 mp (or 4k still file, touch screen autofocus, Multiple lens mounts, including PL adapters and metabones for speed.  All for the cost of $1,200.


« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 07:05:58 AM by bcooter » Logged

sbernthal
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« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2013, 08:52:34 AM »
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I work for an agency.  I'm not an Art Buyer, AD or CD, but I work closely with them, and here is what I see:  I look at lots of files from lots of systems, mainly when they get back from the retoucher and copy is added. Proofs.  I can't tell the difference between any of them, for the most part.  Slight differences, sure, mainly due to a larger sensor or smaller sensor, or 2:3 versus 4:3.

Here is the dirty secret, from an agency point of view:  so long as it tethers well no one cares what camera is being used.  No one cares.  At all.  The IQ from any FF DSLR up to IQ280 is almost indistinguishable for (most) advertising.  Beauty is a notable exception, some very high end fashion as well.  What we look for is a look that matches the AD or CD's idea.  It can be general, with a specific shooter in mind, or it can be just a style.  We only hire people we know can execute whatever look we are after, usually represented by a mood board.  No one cares how they do it.  No one looks at a DMF camera and says:  "Look at that camera!  This guy must be a pro."  If we are paying $80,000 in fees and usage the shooter better be a pro, and believe me no one without significant experience and recommendations is EVER hired.  We trust who we hire to do their job as an independent contractor.  How s/he does it doesn't concern us.  What does concern us is that the camera tether.  Period.  

I wanted to respond to this post before, but I was busy.
The industry has undergone many changes, and a very important one is that the ad agency paradigm is not the only game in town.
Using the internet, buyers and sellers find newer faster and cheaper way to find each other.
Ad agencies take obscene commissions, which I find many advertisers abhor.
Now they just don't have to pay it anymore, unless they want a traditional campaign.
Any producer of goods and services today requires photographs to market his wares over the internet.
That means the market is much bigger than it ever was.
It just doesn't go through the agencies anymore.

True that the agencies don't care much about tech quality - they are much more attuned to creativity.
They photoshop everything to death anyway, so that camera used is not critical.
But - my client, the industrial/commercial company, making its own materials using in house marcom and graphics, but hiring a professional photographer, because it just doesn't make sense to keep one in house - they do care about the files.
I've had the requirement made to me many times - they want "10,000 pixel files" - if they get only "8,000 pixel" files, they are disappointed.

As far as the difference between platforms being visible by "pixels peepers only":
It is very easy to post comparisons in situations where it is hard to tell the difference between platforms.
In most common cases, in files I see from my clients or marketing materials over the web, it is mostly very easy to see which picture is Canon, which is Nikon, and which is Leaf/Phase (I can't tell the difference between Leaf and Phase or Hass).
The color rendition is totally different, and the end result is worlds apart - especially for products.
The clients are clearly able to see it and some of them demand it.

Budgeting $3,000 a year for equipment upgrades is not unreasonable I think.

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TMARK
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« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2013, 09:02:27 AM »
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Cooter,

We commisioned Nadav Kander to shoot a print ad for a financial services company.  Shoot was tethered but only because we had a very specific layout and needed to match overlays.  It was actually a small group, with Nadav and the AD working very closely in a collaborative manner.  After the frame was dialed in, reviewing the screen stopped, but files were reviewed before sending the model away.  Then the next model would show up and stand on the T.

Yeah I've been there and still miss it some.  I could have kept it going but being honest with myself I didn't have the drive anymore, not with kids and not with the constant marketing.  I always marveled at your hustle Cooter.  That hustle is what it takes.  When I was approached to work on strategy, which we had done for an agency, I jumped at it:  direct deposit, health insurance, (some) smart people.  The downside is that the hours can be brutal, bureaucratic politics of big money can be obsene, and conference calls go on forever.  And I don't get to shoot for commerce anymore.

As an aside, and germain to the topic, I'm seriously considering the Pentax.  In some ways its a plastic lump like a Nikon/Canon, but the VF is impressive, as are the lenses.  400iso looks pretty fetching.  The files feel like M9 files, and I like that.  And its cheap(ish).  The AF seems to work very well, and the thing fits my hands.  Sure, I'd rather have a Hy6 with an Aptus II-7, but that is some pricey for non-professional work.  I'm also not convinced of teh viability of the V blads as a digital platform.  As much as I love the V, I don't think the tolerances are up to digital, and the mirror slaps too hard for ambient handheld at the relatively low ISO usable on the Leaf backs I like.  The RZ is just too big for how I work.  Since I don't need to tether, the Pentax may be my new baby.




I don't know who you are, but know you've been there and have done it and I assume done it well.

In regards to tethering, I agree, unless you've worked with an AD a long time and we have a mutual trust.  Then those AD's are happy to see a few frames and trust you, or the really good ones, don't care whats in the camera, they care what's happening on set.

We tether with stills, with motion, with hdmi monitors and to pads and I don't mind client comments, but know when a lot of people are in the room throwing expressions at the monitor it has an effect on the subject.

Given my choice, I'd much rather set the shot, shoot a few dozen frames and let the AD and if he/she wishes the clients view a series of images instead of one feeding through every 2 seconds.  That way they can see a body of work, or options rather than looking at them come through and only seeing the image they want, if only the hand was over 3" or the smile was a little less/more/wider/smaller.  Then the spontaneity gets lost.

The one upside of running so many cameras with motion and stills, nobody knows which monitor to look at anymore.

IMO

BC

*Actually there is a still and motion camera that gets close to competing with the 1dc and in a lot of ways offers more.  The Panasonic GH3.  72mbs intra video file, 16 mp (or 4k still file, touch screen autofocus, Multiple lens mounts, including PL adapters and metabones for speed.  All for the cost of $1,200.



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TMARK
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« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2013, 09:22:22 AM »
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Hey there, I don't think you work in the US, do you?  I say this because your description of your market is vastly different than what occurs here.  We also work by the hour, and take cuts on media buys, and have fee arrangements.  We don't work on commission like Willie Lohman. 

In the US your larger companies have internal marketing departments which are more and more professional, but they still have an AOR to do the heavy lifting of connecting with consumers.  For instance, there is a certain financial services companies that has a creative team that is composed of former ad agency people.  They are good, totally professional, but their reach is limited because they are the client, there is no one telling them their ideas don't work, are old, or cliches.  So what the internal team does is direct mail, in store displays, banner ads, and management of their outside agency(ies), which do the heavy lifting and overall strategy.

I do think you can sometimes tell the difference between large and smaller sensors.  Depends on the sophistication of the retouching, the subject matter, the light, working distances, etc.  The days of the 5d and 1ds2 and their flat files ended with the 5d2/ds3.  Color is different, sure, but not that much to really matter.  At least not enough to get in the way of communicating an idea, which is what we want.  That is whole point, though, right?  Visual commmunications conveying a message that sticks has little to do with seeing an erant nose hair on a model, or the color response of a CCD sensor, unless those visuals are part of the message.  The tech must serve the message, and different systems have different aesthetics.  An agency doesn't care how its acheived, as long as the images serve the idea.  And it must tether.

I wanted to respond to this post before, but I was busy.
The industry has undergone many changes, and a very important one is that the ad agency paradigm is not the only game in town.
Using the internet, buyers and sellers find newer faster and cheaper way to find each other.
Ad agencies take obscene commissions, which I find many advertisers abhor.
Now they just don't have to pay it anymore, unless they want a traditional campaign.
Any producer of goods and services today requires photographs to market his wares over the internet.
That means the market is much bigger than it ever was.
It just doesn't go through the agencies anymore.

True that the agencies don't care much about tech quality - they are much more attuned to creativity.
They photoshop everything to death anyway, so that camera used is not critical.
But - my client, the industrial/commercial company, making its own materials using in house marcom and graphics, but hiring a professional photographer, because it just doesn't make sense to keep one in house - they do care about the files.
I've had the requirement made to me many times - they want "10,000 pixel files" - if they get only "8,000 pixel" files, they are disappointed.

As far as the difference between platforms being visible by "pixels peepers only":
It is very easy to post comparisons in situations where it is hard to tell the difference between platforms.
In most common cases, in files I see from my clients or marketing materials over the web, it is mostly very easy to see which picture is Canon, which is Nikon, and which is Leaf/Phase (I can't tell the difference between Leaf and Phase or Hass).
The color rendition is totally different, and the end result is worlds apart - especially for products.
The clients are clearly able to see it and some of them demand it.

Budgeting $3,000 a year for equipment upgrades is not unreasonable I think.


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sbernthal
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« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2013, 09:47:20 AM »
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I am not in the US, and I have no idea how things work over there.
If you work at an agency, then you would normally know the business that comes through the agency, not necessarily aware of transactions that bypass you.
I'm talking about the thousands of manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers and entrepreneurs - the language of budgets and shooting days is not the only language spoken.
Making catalogues of 100's of images can be very profitable for a photographer, and from the client's point of view does not require an ad agency at all. In that case - which is a very big case - image quality is pretty much everything.
It can be a company of 1-10 people who still sells its products in millions of dollars, but doesn't have the "direct mail, in store displays, banner ds" - that is the old paradigm, which IMO is going away.
Other companies are B2B companies, which don't need the fancy B2C approach, but still want to show their business clients respectable materials.
I've done work for agencies and for enterprises big and small - the prices when going through an agency are much higher, making the client purse ache, and giving the contractor and very nice payday, but few and far between, and requiring much schmoozing and hot air manufacturing not normally required at all when interacting directly with manufacturers.
I think that's why people are saying the budgets are shrinking - because businesses are less eager to pay the exorbitant prices of ad agency production. Those numbers can be really startling.

I apologize and I don't mean to be disparaging of the ad industry, but many today question the efficacy of traditional advertising.
Among them an Israeli a senior ad executive working in NY - Oren Frank - he still writes for Israeli newspapers, and write several pieces about this issue exactly.
TV ads, magazine ads, online banners - are they worth the price today?
Are they selling or just annoying the consumers? How easy is it for the consumer to bypass them completely?
There are other ways to provide consumers with the information they need to make purchasing decisions - i.e. to give them the information when they ask for it, rather than push it driven by media cost and availability of space.

As for image quality difference - sensor size is only a part of it - from the point of view of the things I care about, it manifests only in diffraction. The other major difference is color rendition - as the different companies have totally different color rendition programs.

You say "The tech must serve the message" - you're thinking about the one image, the ad agency thinking.
I'm thinking about all the images.
The one clever creative idea is what the ad agency is geared to, but is it the the most cost effective way to go for the client?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 09:50:46 AM by sbernthal » Logged
TMARK
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« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2013, 10:26:11 AM »
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This debate is going on here as well regarding the efficacy of of big agencies.  The effectiveness of an agency and its campaigns is determined by segment.  Packaged foods, paper goods, can all be handled by in house teams.  They are not, but they can be handled that way.  I mainly deal with financial services.  The problem with a service is that its value is perception.  You sell an idea, an attractive idea, personalize it so that a consumer at least looks at the company when buying coverage. You can take a no-name company and make it number one.  This is worth hundreds of millions in value add and its based on the creative idea and sound strategy. 

It sounds as if your niche, which is a good one, you have hard goods and B2B, you don't need the big creative idea, in essence you don't need to create the branding.  The target is buying out of set requirements and may have fewer choices.  You are essentially making the target aware of your features and that you exist.  Its just a different approach and can be done for less because the client isn't paying for strategy or creative.  No agency is really needed, just photos and a marketing department and a sales force.

After doing this for two years what I've come to realize is that "digital strategies" are a crap shoot.  The gamble on 'Big Data" and Facebook and social media is essentially a wash.  There are strategies that work in digital media.  I can't discuss them because they are propriatary, but they do work.  In any case, the agencies aren't going away but they will be doing business differently.  Now and increasingly in the future sale to consumers will depend on the creative idea and branding of products and services.  At present, only agencies (small and large, digital houses, etc) have this capacity.  Billing will likely change, but one thing fortune 500 companies like is certainty, and when you propose a compensation scheme wherein the agency shares in the increased revenue or success of a product due to the marketing, they get all weak in the knees and mad, and stop complaining about the media buy.

I am not in the US, and I have no idea how things work over there.
If you work at an agency, then you would normally know the business that comes through the agency, not necessarily aware of transactions that bypass you.
I'm talking about the thousands of manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers and entrepreneurs - the language of budgets and shooting days is not the only language spoken.
Making catalogues of 100's of images can be very profitable for a photographer, and from the client's point of view does not require an ad agency at all. In that case - which is a very big case - image quality is pretty much everything.
It can be a company of 1-10 people who still sells its products in millions of dollars, but doesn't have the "direct mail, in store displays, banner ds" - that is the old paradigm, which IMO is going away.
Other companies are B2B companies, which don't need the fancy B2C approach, but still want to show their business clients respectable materials.
I've done work for agencies and for enterprises big and small - the prices when going through an agency are much higher, making the client purse ache, and giving the contractor and very nice payday, but few and far between, and requiring much schmoozing and hot air manufacturing not normally required at all when interacting directly with manufacturers.
I think that's why people are saying the budgets are shrinking - because businesses are less eager to pay the exorbitant prices of ad agency production. Those numbers can be really startling.

I apologize and I don't mean to be disparaging of the ad industry, but many today question the efficacy of traditional advertising.
Among them an Israeli a senior ad executive working in NY - Oren Frank - he still writes for Israeli newspapers, and write several pieces about this issue exactly.
TV ads, magazine ads, online banners - are they worth the price today?
Are they selling or just annoying the consumers? How easy is it for the consumer to bypass them completely?
There are other ways to provide consumers with the information they need to make purchasing decisions - i.e. to give them the information when they ask for it, rather than push it driven by media cost and availability of space.

As for image quality difference - sensor size is only a part of it - from the point of view of the things I care about, it manifests only in diffraction. The other major difference is color rendition - as the different companies have totally different color rendition programs.

You say "The tech must serve the message" - you're thinking about the one image, the ad agency thinking.
I'm thinking about all the images.
The one clever creative idea is what the ad agency is geared to, but is it the the most cost effective way to go for the client?
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sbernthal
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« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2013, 10:41:31 AM »
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We will not settle this today.

As someone who comes from technology, I believe that big data is everything - not necessarily a good thing, but so powerful it's unavoidable.
Facebook is just one paradigm in this new field - not one that I like or invested in.
I believe much more in Google, and I'm sure we'll see new ones in the next few years.

Of course major companies still require traditional advertising campaigns which are the easiest way to total brand awareness.
In fashion catalogues we will continue to see shoots in remote destinations - but these budgets are 6 figures anyway, so I can't see how they would not use Phase, since we know that Phase has the best image quality (or at least that is the perception which is everything, right?)
When using talent presenters with 6-7 figure salaries, you would not use the best imaging device?

The large agencies have lots of money, and the fatcats who own them are used to see revenues pouring out of them at a certain rate.
They will make every effort to keep this cash cow producing - and I believe they will find a way.
But I don't think ad agencies are the best source for a photographer to get income.
A lot of the campaigns I worked for used very basic images from me - for which they paid way too much - and then did so much work on the image, that at the end it could have come out of an iPhone.
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TMARK
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« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2013, 11:28:24 AM »
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The application of big data in service to advertising is in its infancy.  New tools are coming, new platforms, new paradigms.  One thing that is certain is that as of right now the tools for leveraging that data are clumsy and inelegant.  It will get more sophisticated, that is certain.


. . . I believe that big data is everything - not necessarily a good thing, but so powerful it's unavoidable.
Facebook is just one paradigm in this new field - not one that I like or invested in.
I believe much more in Google, and I'm sure we'll see new ones in the next few years.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2013, 12:32:47 PM »
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I am sitting in a Starbucks in NYC, finalizing invoices and waiting for my 2:30 and cant but help put in two cents.  Before I add anything let me say that I am an architectural photographer who only shoots stills.  I say this because I can understand James' points.  Also, I am young, have no mortgage or children or any real responsibilities outside my of business, so my capital is more dispensable then others right now.  

I have been shooting MF for about 6 months and I find that the system is well worth it.  Not so much because the IQ of the final image is so much better, but because the ease of getting to that final high end quality is so much ... easier.  First the files are much better and can be pushed so much harder with better results.  In the past with Canon/Nikon files, I would often have to bracket, layer in PS, blend, pain the ass cutting out of windows, some more blending to make it look real, etc.  With the Phase files, I often get the image in a single capture.  My clients really do not notice this in the deliverables, but I do in time saved.  

Additionally, the lenses are that much better.  With the T/S lens of Canon, you get distortion (and not an easy barrel or pin cushion distortion, but more of a mustache).  The lenses I use now have no distortion; once again a time saver.  And for those of you counting the seconds of how long could it possibly take to remove distortion, think of this "buildings are not always built straight."  It was so annoying looking at an image and thinking "is that lens distortion or was the building not straight or both?"  

Additionally the lenses are super sharp (with the Tech Camera Lenses), beyond anything I have seen with Canon.  This requires much less sharpening in post, which never looks as good anyway.  Also, no aberrations to worry about.  

Last, the camera is much more intuitive to use with independent x and y movements.  And not to mention I can do true multiple exposures like with film, another time saver in post.  (Did I mention how much I hate sitting in front of a computer!)

So, yes I will agree that the final images delivered often do not look so much better that the client notices.  There are differences, none the less, for instance truly sharper images, and the color is ... well ... smoother (not sure how else to describe it), but nothing that jumps right out to a client.  But for me, the time saved is what makes the system better.  Not to mention I just feel more comfortable with a tech camera (this is truly personal, but it is an important thing to me).  

Also, and this does apply to every market, but there is the sex appeal of MF.  Since purchasing the system, I have gotten comments like "ohh, you use medium format," or "that is a truly beautiful camera," etc.  Now mind you none of these comments came from my bread and butter clients, they came from the high end NYC and DC firms whom I have worked with (or met with and wanted to know exactly what system I shoot with).  

For me, this make MF worth it.  With that said, I shoot one type of still photography, where I always have the lighting equipment and time for set up to make shooting at ISO 50 happen.  If my business model was more like James', I am not sure if it would have been worth the money.  
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:36:59 PM by JoeKitchen » Logged

Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
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« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2013, 02:11:29 PM »
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I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this thread with good and interesting ideas.  I have come to a conclusion and that is to keep my Pentax 645D for now.

I had the opportunity to use the Phase One DF with P45+ back and the 80mm LS Schneider Kreuznach lens for two days. If my shooting would mostly be done in a studio I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the Phase One deal that I was given.

For my type of work I am better of with the Pentax. Maybe I invest in the lovely 90mm lens instead.

On the last night I had a little extra time and decided to do a side buy side evening/long exposure test shoot. Nothing fancy just a playful test. The only lens close to the Phase One 80mm was my old manual Pentax 75mm LS lens that I bought for 170 dollars. Had a little fun and experimented up to 8 minutes.

If you are interested and do not have anything useful to do and would like to play around with a few raw files maybe I can upload a dropbox link…maybe…

Best Regards
Jan
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bcooter
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« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2013, 02:25:24 PM »
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The application of big data in service to advertising is in its infancy.  New tools are coming, new platforms, new paradigms.  One thing that is certain is that as of right now the tools for leveraging that data are clumsy and inelegant.  It will get more sophisticated, that is certain.


Were in to the catch phrase syndrom. Big Data, Social Media, Integrated Campaigns.  Those are all good phrases, but unless there is strategy behind the concept and execution, it's all just data, big or not and some  of it doesn't add to the user experience it detracts.

When I sit in on a creative conference and we begin devising "creative treatments"  I hear more about color or look or something which has little to do with the concept.  Concept in advertising is king, just like story in movies is king.

Or I should add targeted concept is king.   The landscape is littered by great ideas that don't relate to the user.  I once shot a nude male model for a golf campaign.  Pretty image, won awards, tanked in sales.

The AD's goal was to win an award, hang the client.  There has to be simple agendas and in all honesty, me, the agency, the concept isn't the star.  The product or service is.

If you have great concept with execution that matches you can play it anywhere, with the appropriate modifications that make it right for the medium.  Social media doesn't like too slick commercials, those are skipped over, though they play well in mass traditional media.

In regards to mood boards, agencies and creatives have to stop pulling mediocre stock.  I can't tell you how many times I see brigtht sunlit lifestyle models in a layout with a creative brief that reads, "real, down to earth, honest situations, to not look fabricated or staged."  The visuals are 180 from the words and the problem is they are shown to the client, bought in and nobody asks if the stock looking visuals are the plan, or the words are the goal.

In regards to social media, I've seen the metrics in depth 50 times.   Some social media works as stand alone, (a small percentage), most social media works when it's supported by traditional advertising, because  just sticking stuff up everywhere can hurt more than help, or better put sticking the wrong stuff up.

I agree we're going to see a big change in how we concept, design and craft an advertising message.  Technique is going to have to change and drastically speed up.

Google may end up owning the planet and they are already positioning themselves to be the AOR (in a sense), the production company and the media distributor because they have SEO covered.

How this plays out for traditional marketers we'll see, but in my view, if you don't adapt (and this means everyone in the food chain), you'll be left behind.

There was a period if I asked if a client wanted horizontal or vertical, to a layout or wild, stills, or motion the answer was yes, or worse stills but shoot a little b roll.

I don't understand b-roll if there is no a-roll and nothing you push the button on should be secondary.

To me the smaller agencies that have embraced technology get it.  The large agencies that are still into the shoot two images a day, are leaving money, effort and creativity on the table.

This makes for a long conversation, so I'll stop now, but basically the way advertising works is the same.  You get peoples attention, they try inquire about the product and/or service.  How that happens
is where things have changed.

In regards to cameras, nobody makes the camera I need.  I don't need a 645, don't even really care if it's full frame.  

I need a Canon 1dc, that shoot long form raw (not just a minute), shoots stills of 20 mpx or so, has moveable iso and a fast grading and transcoding suite that plays off a proprietary graphics card.

That camera I'd buy, buy now and it would last.  

Everything else is just single purpose expense.

P.S.  I'm bidding a gig now that has a still budget and the AD who is very forward thinking wants motion.  Either still or anamatics, but motion non the less.  They don't have the budget for full blown high 7 figures 30 second spots (don't need them), but need to do more than hang a still in the store lcd and on the web.    There are solutions, but not from old think.

IMO

BC


« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 02:48:37 PM by bcooter » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2013, 03:17:58 PM »
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As an aside, and germain to the topic, I'm seriously considering the Pentax.  In some ways its a plastic lump like a Nikon/Canon, but the VF is impressive, as are the lenses.  400iso looks pretty fetching.  The files feel like M9 files, and I like that.  And its cheap(ish).  The AF seems to work very well, and the thing fits my hands.

That pretty much covers it. I've shot handheld at ISO 800 quite a bit...looks fine & the texture maybe even suits a more spontaneous approach. I recommend getting one & having some fun.

-Dave-
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TMARK
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« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2013, 03:28:11 PM »
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Cooter,

You got it.  Everything you do has to be in service to the material you are co-creating with the agency and even the client.  Check your ego at the door and be collaborative and understand the brief, even if the mood board consists of photos scanned from Real Simple and the brief is Gritty and Real.

Advertising still comes down to Art & Copy conveying a message that triggers an emotional response.  No consumer connects with BIG DATA.  Good will is not created with an algirhythm.  Something in the art and copy has to grab a consumer, set emotional hooks.  

Your approach of serving the message is the only approach that works.  

About smaller digital agencies and the crisis in the big agencies, I see all these small boutiques make a splash then are bought by Grays or McKann and simply ruined.  The agencies need to develope this level of talent in house by letting them breath, giving them space. 
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sbernthal
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« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2013, 03:51:55 PM »
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Were in to the catch phrase syndrom. Big Data, Social Media, Integrated Campaigns.  Those are all good phrases, but unless there is strategy behind the concept and execution, it's all just data, big or not and some  of it doesn't add to the user experience it detracts.

Big data is not just a buzzword.
It's not about advertising.
Big data is about math and world domination.
It serves corporations in marketing - not in advertizing.
Maybe in big data in advertizing is in its infancy, but in corporate marketing it is already in full swing, and affecting all of you today.
I can see why you would be skeptic about big data in advertizing - it is not really a tool for advertising, it is a tool for corporations marketing that can allow them to bypass advertising.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3324
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 04:07:31 PM by sbernthal » Logged
TMARK
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« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2013, 07:01:25 PM »
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A quick reply because I don't have the time.

Big Data or not, corporations need agencies to build a campaign, convey a message, and most importantly build a brand.  Big Data offers a solution for the demise of mass media (TV and Radio) as the prime avenues to consumers.  Corporations need agencies for the same reason they need law firms:  outside businesses perform these services better than they can in house.  Marketing departments are gone, replaced with Brand Managers and Brand Stewards.  Internal marketing is limited to branding and managing outside agencies, just like teh general Counsel's office handles regulatory matters and manages outside law firms.  Corporations don't have the culture to have internal law firms or ad agencies that are any good.  They are effective at managing a brand, but not in creating a message that reaching a consumer, even when the corporation knows that teh consumer is looking to buy its product and can contact him/her directly.

What Cooter was writing about buss words is that Big Data is tossed around by people who don't have a conceptual handle on it, just like "digital strategy". 

Corporate marketing, at least for US based corporations, maybe English ones too, is dead.  Its branding now, its building good will and conveying a vibe as much as a message.  Corporations do a bad job at this for the most part, just like they fail at making ads or getting a message across, Big Data or not.  When I say Big Data is in its infancy in advertising, I mean the leveraging that data to reach consumers in a delicate and inobtrusive way.  The message is usually correct, the good will, if anyone will look at an ad or piece of branding, is good.  Its the delivery.  Every country is different but that's how it works here.  With teh exception of Disney and General Mills, corporations just can't do creative work, which is where the rubber hits the road.

In short, agencies aren't going anywhere, but they will be in a differenet form.  They will be around because corporations that are focused on making jet engines and locomotives and tractors or investment banking are not very good at non-core business functions, such as litigation and branding.  That they leave to experts.



Big data is not just a buzzword.
It's not about advertising.
Big data is about math and world domination.
It serves corporations in marketing - not in advertizing.
Maybe in big data in advertizing is in its infancy, but in corporate marketing it is already in full swing, and affecting all of you today.
I can see why you would be skeptic about big data in advertizing - it is not really a tool for advertising, it is a tool for corporations marketing that can allow them to bypass advertising.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3324
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