TWiP #164 – Megapixels: A Bridge Too Far

On this episode of TWiP, Canon develops a 120 Megapixel sensor, Sony releases a trio of new cameras, and the US Government wants you to push more paper.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Alex Lindsay, Joseph Linaschke, and Ray Maxwell.


The winner of our “Tweet to Win an ENTIRE Photo Book Library” contest was Kwame Johnson. Kwame has won the entire Craft & Vision eBook collection!

A huge thank-you to all who entered!

Craft & Vision has graciously provided a discount to the TWiP listeners. Just purchase 3 or more books (they’re only $5 each!) and you’ll get 20% off. Just use the coupon code “VAN20“.

Do it NOW because the code will expire Saturday September 4th at Midnight Pacific time.


Canon Develops a 120 Megapixel Sensor
Canon announced that they have developed an APS-H sized sensor that is capable of recording 120 Million pixels making it the largest sensor in existence. The panel discusses the pros and cons of such a large sensor. Ray feels that the laws of physics and the properties of light make the pixel size on this chip a bridge too far. Go to Cambridge in Color and visit the tutorials to learn more about diffraction photography which talks about the limits of light.

Sony Launches 3 New DSLRs with Increased Autofocus Speeds
Sony released three new cameras this week.  Two of them feature translucent mirror technology which is designed to increase auto focus speeds by doing away with the traditional mirror technology. These two cameras do not have an optical view finder but use an electronic view finder only. Sony also announced the A560, which is a traditional DSLR with a mirror box and an optical viewfinder and features Multi-frame Noise Reduction, Sweep Panorama mode, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1920×1080 60i video capture.

Government Pushing for New 1099 Requirements
New government legislation will require any businesses purchasing more than $600 in goods and services from a person or corporation in a year to report that amount to the IRS and the person you paid it to. Currently credit card purchases are exempt from this requirement. The ASMP is encouraging photographers to send a letter to Notice.comments@irscounsel.treas.gov indicating their disapproval of this requirement and noting the burden it will place on small businesses to complete this paperwork.


QUESTION #1: From CelloMaestro: I’m looking at traveling to Antarctica in November and would love to take some shots while I’m there but I’m worried about the effect the extreme cold might have on my camera. How do you go about shooting in cold environments like this, do you need special gear? Is it dangerous to change lenses etc.? And what other problems can I expect like exposure for snow or focusing problems? I’m using a Panasonic GF1 with various lenses.

Joseph: This particular camera may not be the best for the extreme temperatures. Even pro level cameras aren’t rated to the extreme temperatures but they are at least weather-sealed. A few things to bear in mind: Batteries will die fast in the cold – have extras and keep them warm. Place in ziploc bag when bringing indoors so condensation forms on the bag, not the camera. I found this online: grease used to lubricate the shutter will be much thicker, so exposure time may not be as reliable. It will most likely be bright, so consider an ND filter. A polarizing filter might be good for the blue skies. In the extreme cold your LCD may fail so it’s best to just turn it off which conserve battery anyway. Focusing problems: none except  you can’t focus where there’s no texture, so you can’t focus on a wall of snow. Changing lenses shouldn’t be a problem but just keep the snow out. If all the gear is to temp, nothing will fog up but if you remove your lens and your gear isn’t at temp, it will fog on the sensor.

QUESTION #2: Adam Bindslev asks: I am a member of the This Week in Photo-flickr group … but I am having a hard time figuring out what to use it for? What is the general idea behind that group? What discussions belong on Flickr rather than here in the forum? Is it generally for posting the photos that we also link to here for critique? Is it for the competitions?

Frederick: The Flickr group now has over 10,000 members. Initially it was the place for competitions but we’ve now moved that over to the This Week in Photo Forums so the Flickr group is a place for you to post your images, get critiques, and start discussions. The forums are more of a discussion area.

QUESTION #3:  Bradley Thomas asks: I’ve heard that there are some older rechargeable battery packs for a Canon 550ex out there that I can get used that still work great. Can’t seem to find the model I am looking for. Any suggestions?

Joseph: Canon makes an external battery pack called the CP-E4 for around $185 which you can load up with AA batteries and connect to your flash for faster recycling. I also found one by Opteka that holds 6 batteries and is a lot cheaper, only $40.



Last week’s photo mission was “Annoying” and the winner was Dazza17 for his photo ‘Your Annoying and Weird Dad

Visit the forums to find out what the next photo mission will be.

You can enter the photo mission contest by going to https://thisweekinphoto.com/forum


Follow us on www.twitter.com/ThisWeekInPhoto

Join the Flickr critique group. You can also join our Facebook group.

Frederick Van Johnson – www.frederickvan.com or www.twitter.com/frederickvan

Alex Lindsay – http://www.pixelcorps.com or www.twitter.com/AlexLindsay

Joseph Linaschke – www.apertureexpert.com or www.confessionsofatraveljunkie.com

Ray Maxwell – www.twitter.com/colorguy


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Show notes by Bruce Clarke at www.momentsindigital.com or www.twitter.com/bruceclarke

Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by Cachefly. Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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