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Links & Reprints

I came across your article Should Photography be Illegal? and wanted to know if we could put a copy of the article in our camera club newsletter and on our Web site.


We always try to work with camera clubs whenever we can, and generally have no problems with your reproducing articles in camera club newsletters as long as you drop us an email to let us know (the author must give their permission as well, so we can't give a blanket OK for all articles). On your Web sites we ask that you link to our stories rather than copy them to your site. After all, revenue from advertising is what keeps our doors open, and we're paid based on how many people come to visit us.

What's the Big Deal About a Full Size Chip?

This article generated quite a bit of feedback ranging from "it works and I don't care how" to lengthy technical discussions. Here are some samples.

In the article "What's the Big Deal About a Full-Size Chip?", Jim McGee fails to mention one of the bigger benefits of the crop factor (1.3x, 1.5x, 1.6x) - that the centre of lenses are usually much sharper, have better contrast and are better overall than the edges. The crop factor means using a cheaper lens is feasible in the quality stakes; and those going to fullframe sensors have been realising that it's only the very good lenses that can cut the mustard at that level (11MP, 14MP and now 16MP).

Robert McArthur

[Jim Responds] Modern manufacturing techniques and advanced lens designs have made light fall off is much less a problem with today's lenses than it was in the past. So I would take issue with the statement that "it's only the very good lenses that can cut the mustard". After all a full size sensor is still the same size as a 35mm film frame, which these lenses are already designed to cover. Good quality lenses, not just pro lenses should work quite well with a full frame sensor.

Regarding the article "What's the Big Deal About a Full-Size Chip?" by Jim McGee:

The article gives an example for the smaller chip size "cropping factor" with a pair of images, with the left one having a red box showing how the smaller chip only covers part of the "full" image. The caption says (in part): "They don't offer any magnification."

I think the caption is wrong. You see, all the pixels on the chip are now used for the "cropped" area, hence that area is "magnified" (just think of the pixels on a chip covering a certain area of the view; increase the number of pixels, you get magnification, reduce the area, you get magnification). Furthermore, since the outer edge of the frame provided by the lens is cropped, poor quality of the lens (typically visible on the edges) is less visible. Of course, those needing wide angles loose whereas those doing macro win.

What you would like to be interested in is the number of pixels per square inch on the chip (or pixel size). A 6M chip with 1.6 FOV cropping factor may be a lot more useful to you than a 6M full frame chip. And then you get to all the other technical details that the article chose not to cover.

So, for the article's purpose, a smaller size chip really does have a magnification, which in simplest terms can be thought of as just a focal length multiplier for the lenses used. The way I read the article, it tried really hard to dismiss that as false, but gave no real basis for that argument.

Arto Selonen

[Jim Responds] Arto actually makes my point for me. There is no real magnification, only the apparent magnification that comes from cropping, which would be no different that cropping a 35mm frame. 

I shoot wading birds down here in Florida (when I'm not ducking hurricanes). With my D60 my 300mm lens is a 450mm lens. I don't care about all the technical arguments. In my book that's a good thing.


The Joys of Kayaking

I've often thought of shooting from a canoe on the lakes around my home but I've always been worried about the safety of my gear. After reading Mitch's article I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did. I spent one of the most enjoyable Saturdays I've ever had shooting fall foliage with my husband out on the lake. 


Sigma SD10 - Is 3.4 Megapixels Really 10 Megapixels?

Sigma SD10 - Is 3.4 Megapixels Really 10 Megapixels? with regard to this article each "pixel" on an ordinary digital camera ccd is only taking in 1/3 of the light and therfore the size of the image being 2268 x 1512 is completely irrelevant. A 10.2 megapixel ordinary camera ccd can only produce the same image quality as a 3.4 megapixel full colour and the file itself is bigger because each of the pixels only contains 1/3 of the information used when creating the image.

No Name Provided

[Jim McGee responds] I stand by my comments in the article. The file size is 3.4 megapixels. You can claim that the colors of your pixels are more accurate than the other guys, but you can't claim that your 3.4 megapixels are really 10 megapixels. Imagine going to the super market and asking for a 16 oz T-bone for the grill. What would you say if the butcher handed you an 5 oz steak and told you it was really 16 ounces because his steak was "better" than the other guys? Somehow I don't think you'd buy his explanation. Foeveon's argument is no different. It may be wrapped in more jargon, but it still smells like what comes out of the back end of a bull to me.

Introduction to Digital Photography

This is just what I was looking for. I have a 3.2 megapixel camera, and am looking at getting a SLR camera.

My biggest wants are very fast shutter speed, higher than 7x optical zoom and higher than 5 megapixels. Your chart on megapixels and resolution ratios has helped me out heaps. Currenty  I print 8x10 photos from 2048x1536 images on a 3.2 camera, which look fine from over 40cm away, even better sitting on the wall.

However I wanted to get into some real macro lens photography and just generally have good pictures that I can blow up to A1 size.

I think now I'll go for 8 megapixel camera as the 11 are too expensive.

I also liked how you explained interpolation, which I have never really understood greatly but have always seen it advertised with fuji cameras. I know to stay away from those now.

Thanks again 

Thank you for the series Introduction to Digital Photography, I've been shooting with a Canon AE-1 for years but have held off looking at digital because I really didn't understand all the terms. This has helped me out immensely. 

Thank you
Kevin Schlegel


RE: The montly contests. It would really be interesting to see all of the entries made into these contests, as it makes it a lot more interesting as well as educational. Any chance that might be available in the future? 

Joanna Pecha

Joanna, it's just a matter of space and time. Given the number of entries each it would be quite an effort to layout pages for all of the entries, not to mention accumulated space all the contest entries over the past four years would take up on the server. 


Feedback on Back Issues

Nude vs. Naked

Received by regular mail

Mr. James McGee,
I recently found your online magazine on Google and came across a debate that seemed to run for several months on the topic of nude models and how much flesh should be visible. While I do not agree with fundamentalist Muslim views that a woman should be completely covered in public, I think you will agree that an unnecessary display of female flesh represents an unnecessary temptation for your readers. 

If you refer to your Bible, God clearly states... 

The next eight pages of typewritten Biblical references and interpretations are deleted for brevity along with pages cut from several magazines to illustrate to us "acceptable" and "unacceptable" views of women.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my 
views on this important subject,
Joseph Coveney

[Jim McGee Responds] Some issues never seem to die. At this point I have, hopefully, expressed my views clearly on this topic. Rather than beat a dead horse, please see Nude vs. Naked: The Final Chapter, At Least I Hope So… for clarification.

Since the whole Nude/Naked debate I haven't seen any nude articles by Joe Farace. I hope you'll continue to publish these kinds of articles.

Thank you,

Infrared Shooting

Thank you for the piece on infrared black and white photography. It's the clearest and most complete introduction to the subject that I've ever read.

Meta Brown

Studio Lighting

This was a fantastic explaination of lighting, "Studio Lighting Techniques" by Chuck McKern. VERY informative, well written where as now I have a much better understanding. I hope I can put these lighting techs to work.

Dan Jones

65mm Macro Lens

thank you for taking the time to write the review of the 65mm 1-5X Macro Lens. I am studying equipment with an open mind (Nikon, Canon, Minolta, etc) to make the jump from a Nikon Coolpix8700 to a DSLR. I have been shooting harvestmen, Solifugids, jumping spiders 6T. The Coolpix has a 280mm and with the 6T I can focus at 12". There is a 1.5x adaptor that will also work for macro. I was ready to jump out and just get this lens from B&H but after your review realize that it is a very limited lens as you have to get very close. Not a good choice for venomous snakes that I shoot a lot. So you have saved me from a bad choice and I thank you for taking the time to post the review.

Tedd Greenwald

Kind Words

Love your mag. and look forward to receiving it in my email. I save it like desert and pour over every single item in it. Keep up the good work. 

PS. I have tons of photo mags laying in piles around my home but rarely get a chance to look at them. 

Thank you again for much pleasure!
Pat Mcfarlane

I feel like I have discovered "treasure!" When I found your website, I desperately needed to find a way to protect my work from being used without my permission. I thank you for having a very helpful article on "Copyright." I have attempted registering for a subscription, and have attempted to enter this month's contest in the category of "Transportation." I am excited about the opportunity to learn as I continue to enjoy YOUR work. 

Thanks for being there! 
Art Owens


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