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Bookstores - Yes, brick-and-mortar bookstores are definitely dying. Photo book publishing still seems to be pretty healthy. On a recent trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The photography section in the bookstore was incredibly well-stocked with old and new titles. However, I think the majority of book selling, like so many other things has gone online. For example: https://www.photoeye.com/best-books-2018/

Brooks, have you seen a decrease in the # of complimentary titles coming your way or other signs of less publishing? Perhaps press run #s are down on any particular title but what about the # of individual releases? It seems like printing technology has made is easier than ever to do small press runs of high quality.

Raymond Jude Kaider

Re: the Here's a Thought on book resolution. Though by all means Content is King and conceding that (good) photographers were producing great images even with the early 8MP-and-less cameras, I'd still opt for a high MP, *high-end* camera (if I could afford it--and I can't) for one reason: I rarely, if ever have captured an image of which I'm proud without cropping it.

Too many times I've looked at an image in post that I thought said what I wanted it to say only to discover a much better "smaller" image tucked away within the body of the larger, a smaller image that I never even saw at the time of my shoot, let alone tried to capture.

I'm not an equipment junkie. The three Canon DSLRs I own are all at least eight years old. They have a respectable 20-22MP range. But there are times, perhaps through my own earlier oversight or lack of talent, that I have to crop, sometimes severely, to retrieve a tiny gold nugget from a lump of granite. It's times like these that more MP can be a friend.

Raymond Jude Kaider

Re: the Here's a Thought on "How We See Prints." I think a distinction could, perhaps should, be made between print size (the dimensions of the actual image) vis-à-vis paper size (the size of the paper on which the print is made).

A relatively small print (4"x6", let's say) on a large sheet of paper (11"x14", perhaps) can, IMHO, often enhance the image through forcing upon it even more focus than normal.

Kent Rebman

About spending time ... had to chuckle at that one as I just finished booking my wife and I for two weeks in Florence next spring, a place we have been a number of times, but not in the last five years. I don't know what I'll shoot, but I will shoot it. :-)

John A. Williams

Hi Brooks, I tried to leave a comment on your new Autofocus Here's a Thought podcast page which I just listened to this morning. While you discussed the merits of both types of autofocus technology methods, you ended with a conclusion that may be a little short of a full understanding of what is currently available or selectively making the conclusion because you shoot Panasonic? I don't mean that in any negative way, I love your work and communications for the photography community, thank you for making a real positive difference.

The rest of the story is that the new Sony autofocus technology encompases both Phase Detect and Contrast Detect with an algorythm to use both to their best advantage. I'm not saying that only Sony does this either, I just don't know for sure how other brands are currently handling the challenge. For example, the phase detect is best for speed and will get you there the quickest, but then the contrast detect will take you the rest of the way through tack sharp validation. Since this is the case, at least with the Sony, a general statement that the Panasonic camera is better for still shots is not correct. I know, this stuff gets mute because the tech will be changing at an ever faster pace, I just wanted to provide a little course correction. :-)

Happy New Year,

Brooks Jensen

On the PDAF vs CDAF issue, check out this video on YouTube starting at 7:30. Tony is quite clear that for accuracy, CDAF is better than PDAF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFpH0ul7Jjc&t=487s
My intepretation of this issue is that PDAF is faster (which isn't an issue for my still photography because the CDAF is fast enough) and doesn't do that in/out wobble for videos (which isn't an issue for me because I always us manual focus on my videos.) So, for just straight still photography, sounds like Northrup's advice is to use CDAF whenever accuracy of focus is the most important issue. For me, that's ALWAYS the most important aspect of focusing. Ergo, all that Internet hype about PDAF is non sequitur for my photography.

Peter Gallagher

I think many camera sensors now include PDAF 'pixels' on the sensor as well as retaining the capacity for CAF in some circumstances. I know my Olympus OMD-EM1 MkII does. With a 4/3 lens fitted, the camera defaults to PDAF for both single and continuous auto-focus. But you can force contrast auto-focus for single shots if you need by selecting "super spot auto-focus". What this does, in effect, is verify the PDAF focus by using CAF in a magnified portion of the image selected by the focus-rectangle in the view-finder. This visually confirms dead-accurate focus, implying Brooks & Northrup are right about the greater accuracy of CAF.

Still, I rarely have a problem with the PDAF default on my camera. More often, if I'm missing the right focus (or any focus) it's my fault for not working carefully enough... Usually by not checking my aperture before choosing my focus point.

Peter Gallagher

Brooks, Congratulations on a year of wonderful work. The HAT project is a impressive triumph! I hope it's not (yet) complete. I've appreciated every one::https://images.petergallagher.net.au/365-aspects-of-the-art-of-photography/ Best wishes.

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