Camera Equipment and Airline Carry-on Rules Update

Various friends and acquaintances have been updating me recently on their experiences flying safely with their camera gear since the new airline rules about carry-on luggage. It seems for the most part, providing their needs aren’t excessive (ie. providing they didn’t try to take as much as they could before all the changes) they have been able to successfully fly with their precious camera and maybe a lens or two.

It seems though that officials are taking a very good look at all electronic gear, including your photography kit, having you unpack it all, in some cases swabbing it, so do plan on taking a little longer than your friends if you cart in half your studio. This is not the time to be getting there five minutes before boarding!

A couple of people have tried to order hard cases at their normal suppliers and found them out of stock.

The strangest report I have heard is from David Honl where they overlooked his camera gear to inspect his hotdogs, heh.

Added: Excellent discussion over at this post and in the comments, especially the tip to check your insurance small print as it seems some insurance policies DO NOT cover camera equipment checked in the hold!

So, have you flown lately? Planning to? Share your experiences here in the comments please.

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Nikon DSLR Camera Rumours – New D70s?

I don’t know if the Nikon fans amongst you have gone to the Nikon Site lately but they have a flash teaser there about a new 10.2 megapixel Nikon DSLR due in 20 days. A replacement for the D70s? With the release of the Sony Alpha sporting the same sensor as the pro line of Nikons (but hundreds of dollars cheaper) hurting Nikon marketing machine that is where I would put my money right now …

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Canon 350D DSLR Upgrade – What will replace the Rebel?

Over at Flickr: Photographer’s Tech Resources I asked the members to speculate what the replacement for the Canon 350D will look like. I got some great answers and the discussion is still going on.

There are a couple of features that would be great but I can’t see
happening, resolution increase and full size sensor. Full sensor would
make it ridiculously expensive even if the engineers could sneak it
past marketing. On the resolution side I think they could feasibly
manage a consumer camera now with 10mp for same price as the current
8mp but I don’t think they would want to eat into the rest of their
lineup. Having said that the 300 to 350 did bring with it an increase
of 2mp …

One thing I would love them to do is match the Nikons and have digital
overlays for the focus screen, I find them so nice to line up horizons
and for rule of thirds shots (so shoot me, I am an amateur, why do you
think I own a 350d in the first place!).

All the features I can think of them adding would eat into the 20D/30D
market in some way. My wishlist makes it basically a smaller, lighter

So what do you think the 350D replacement will be like and what will they call it? The 400D?

FWGroove suggested a list of features that I completely agree with apart from number 3, I think the 350D starts up just fine and it is actually one of the faster DSLRs on the market for boot time:

  1. Put focus points in “rule of thirds” locations. After all, that’s where you’re supposed to put your subjects right?
  2. Flash exposure compensation. We shouldn’t have to hack our firmware to get this feature.
  3. Faster startup.
  4. Stop making the grey ones…They tarnish the image of the 300D/350D.
    I just feel they look like cheap point and shoots and they look funny
    with black or white lenses.
  5. Larger viewfinder for better manual focus.

We all seem to be agreed that Sony is going to have a big influence on the final design, they are aggressively entering the market with a decent machine with a good heritage. There is some discussion about in-body vibration reduction, probably to early to draw conclusions about what impact that feature will have and there is some doubt that Nikon and Canon will follow suit. Sensor cleaning, another Sony feature, would be a welcome addition. As Fenster says though, perhaps too late to change the design of this coming model he also speculates if the successor will not be an upgrade but a dumbed-down model like the D50 was to the D70s.

Back when we were rumour-mongering about what turned out to be the Canon 30D there was talk of a budget DSLR, the 3000D. Perhaps that will be it?

My guess is while we might know by autumn in time for Christmas,
probably some big photo show like Photokina, it might well be Feb 2007
(PMA?) like the 30D ..

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Konica Minolta No More

Anyone else read this? Konica Minolta to stop producing cameras and all digital equipment?

They have even pulled out of the show in the NEC.

More here …

Again with the Digital Vs. Film!

OK, you might think this is getting boring but I found this article from a professional medium format user very interesting.

Source: Shootout

State-of-the-Art 35mm if like me you’re excited about the dramatic changes that are taking place in photography right now and want to know what’s happening at the bleeding edge, then you will likely find this of interest.

I chose Fuji Velvia as the film to use on the Pentax because it is the highest resolution colour film available. Not the finest grained — that honour goes to Fuji Provia 100F. But there is no colour film that can touch Velvia for resolution. The Canon was set to ISO 100, even though Velvia is rated at ISO 40. I could have set the Canon to ISO 50, but this is a reduced dynamic range setting, and in any event I was looking to primarily compare resolution, not grain. Digital has finer grain by far than film.

I am only left with the conclusion that I no longer retain any advantage in shooting medium format film. It’s more expensive, less convenient and produces lower quality images. The range of lenses available to me is much greater with 35mm digital, including the availability of longer lenses, wider lenses, more zooms, Image Stabilization, wider aperture primes, and tilt / shift lenses. You can see where I’m going, can’t you? At least this is the case using the tools and techniques that I have learned over the past 7 years of working digitally and the past 35 years of traditional darkroom work. Would this conclusion be any different if I used a different scanner, different film, and different medium format set-up? I can’t say for sure. I don’t think so though. Do you believe otherwise? Then please go out and do a similar test for yourself

So one photographers opinion? While he had other photographers help him in his tests this comment stands out for me (my emphasis)

For the past year I have been shooting for various magazines, – Vogue… Harper’s Bazaar…Vibe – with the Canon 1D and recently with the 1Ds. I was told by the math-bound technocrats that I could not print a double page spread with the 1D. – a Vogue spread is 11×17 – only to prove them wrong by printing a Kodak Approval print for the 1D file against the 6×7 film 200mg file drum scanned on a Crossfield. When I asked the printer to pick the Kodak Approval he thought was best; he picked the 1D Kodak Approval. No contest!

…. It is my experience that the 1Ds images appear to be almost grainless and sharper than 6×7 film. Compare prints — any size — from each format and the 1Ds print is chosen every time. — Melvin Sokolsky

I guess these are only opinions but I think if people, professionals, are making these calls now (2003 actually), how much life in general use has film got? Not much by my reckoning. Let the luddites and sentimentalists stick to the old school, my money is on digital!