SocraticGadfly: 6/5/22 - 6/12/22

June 10, 2022

Camera comparisons, and apparently Nikon checked out and ceded Canon one corner of the world

I recently upgraded on the Canon side to an 800D, the European equivalent of a Rebel T7i. My previous Canon was a T4i that I had replaced almost three years ago with a Nikon D5500, the equivalent of a T6i. All links to product information below are to DPReview sites unless otherwise indicated.

Well, it's good, but, on thing like this, buyer's remorse can sometimes happen, so I eyeballed a couple of cameras in Nikon's 7000 series.

My thoughts? They're more like Canon xD (for the unfamiliar, that "x" as nomenclature for 10, 20, 30 etc Ds up to 90D, the current APS-C top dog for Canon, since no 7D Mark III is coming along) than they are Rebels, but they try to split the difference.

They're weather-sealed like xDs. And, especially on the newer 7200 and 7500 (not sure why Nikon skipped a couple of digits; their numbering is weird), but not so much on the 7100, the shutter speed is more xD-like. 

But? All the way through the 7500, they're cheap on focus. Yes, 51 vs 45 focal points, but only 15 cross-factor on the 7100 and 7200 as well as the 7500. (I've seen websites trying to say they're really the same, to turd-polish Nikon, but they're not, not in that aspect.) That compares to the 153, 99 of which are cross-point, on thehe not-dumbed down D500. In reality, you don't need THAT many, either.

The 65 of the Canon 7D Mark II, if all of them are cross-point, is plenty unless you've got a full-frame camera of more than 30 megs.

That said? The 7500 "dumbs down" in another way. Drops to just 21.2 megs on the sensor. In its full review, DPReview tries to turd-polish that but I'm not buying. Ditto for the D500. Nor do you need a 104K top ISO speed. It's like Nikon is either trying to turd-polish processors or else thinks it can find buying suckers.

In reality, the 7100 is a Canon 70D with a larger sensor (21.2 on the Canon), but a frame a second slower and lower max ISO. Now, the Canon only has 39 focal points, but 19 of them are cross-point, ahead of the Nikon. The 7200 is a slightly slower, and 7500 slightly faster, by shutter burst, version of the Canon 80D. And, speaking of burst speed? None are close to the 90D on either that or sensor size. The D7500 is kind of long in the tooth, too, compared to both the 90D and the Rebel T8i. 

So, it appears that Nikon has ceded the Rebel area of DSLRs to Canon. Since Canon has playout room on that, the next Rebel might not get here for 3-4 years and the T9i would probably be the last. 

With no 8000 series having been started, and we're on 5 years on that now, it's likely Nikon has ceded that world to Canon too.

Any other Nikon APS-C DSLRs will be D500 level.

And, I doubt anybody else will challenge Canon. I think Sony and Fuji are basically all mirrorless. Pentax/Ricoh? I remember when the old K1000 was the entry level 35mm bomb. But, I don't see this happening either. The Pentax K-3 Mark III is the bomb compared to the D500, but it's not Rebel or even xD on one or two things. Scratch that; I think I originally meant it's not xD on one or two things. The KP is roughly an 80D with Nikon-goosing high ISO. Interestingly, even that K-3 Mark III only appears to go 1/200 on max flash sync. Also, from reviews on Amazon, apparently Pentax autofocus is semi-crappy. At the same time, it offers a sensor-tilt in-body version of image stabilization. Not sure how good that is. Reviews say it's better at shorter focal lengths, which makes sense and makes it no bueno for my desires. Also, Pentax is a battery gobbler.

Anyway, enough meandering. Camera Decision is good for letting you look for all types of cameras.

June 09, 2022

Texas Progressives salute Susan Sarandon, talk Uvalde and gas

Uvalde and related


The Trib says that even some Texas GOP donors want something done on gun control — and by Congress, not at the state level — as in things like a red flag law and expanded background checks. This includes Abbott donors with deep pockets, like Ray Hunt. Here's what Biden proposes; here's what House Dems proposed in a heated committee hearing. And, as we wait on Big Schmuck John Cornyn and Yacht Harbormaster Joe Manchin to gut this, think of Susan Sarandon.

Pete Arredondo, Uvalde ISD top cop, remains a rat in hiding. Uvalde ISD refused (NOT "declined," Trib) to fire him at a board meeting after the shooting. That's even with reports he didn't have his radio with him at the Robb Elementary scene. He's also, don't forget, on the Uvalde City Council. Meetings have to be held in public. Many city councils have "self-termination" rules after failure to attend a certain number of meetings.

A 13-year Uvalde resident says it's not as stereotyped, including noting a white elite as well as old Hispanic patróns. 

Mimi Swartz, channeling her inner Chris Hooks, talks about the weaselly Strangeabbott once again not wanting to face the music for crisis management. Former Dem political candidate Barbara Radnofsky piles on.

Off the Kuff looks at social media monitoring tools and why they were of no value in Uvalde.

Liz Hanks finds a bit of common ground with her gun-owning father. 

Robert Rivard asks Republicans a simple question.

The TSTA Blog has no patience for the Republican "solutions" to school shootings.

Other items

SocraticGadfly talks about how much, or how little, that OPEC meeting meant, while noting there IS something Biden could do, and no, it's not his plan to renormalize MBS, which he's writing about this week.

Federal prosecutors have reached a deal with builders of a private border fence in the Valley that locals say is insufficient.

Electric cars are cheaper and cheaper than ever, compared to gas-powered ones, on fueling. On non-local travel, though, the paucity of charging stations, especially fast chargers, remains a problem.

Can't afford a vacation because of those high gas prices? The Monthly has staycation ideas.

But, even if you're not homeless with limited resources, mind the heat.

The Observer header says "Southern Baptists face up to sexual abuse." The story says, no, they haven't; they've received a report about it that denominational leadership is slow walking.

"Jessica Wildfire" talks about how we'll be told it will all be mild for the rest of the decade.

The Texas Signal presents a brief history of Pride in Texas.

Houstonia lists the top LGBTQ+ bars in Houston.

Who is Nomiki Konst? Per that Politico link, a fringe player on the inside-circles of people presenting themselves as progressives within the left hand of the duopoly, while unable to explain how they worked for a nat-sec agency and in the past touted Biden for president, while apparently straight lying about some political issues, now wanting a NY State Senate seat.

June 08, 2022

Ukraine, Week 12: Biden wants to "renormalize" MBS, but still won't push peace talks? But, he DOES say "land for peace"

MBS is of course Saudi Arabia's "scary motherfucker" (per Phil Mickelson) de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. President Biden says nothing is set in stone, but is planning on visiting Riyadh.

Interesting.

“I have been engaged in trying to work with how we can bring more stability and peace in the Middle East and there is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and some Arab countries at the time – including, I expect, would be Saudi Arabia, would be included in that if I did go,” Biden said Friday near his beach house in Delaware.

But, you can't bring more stability and peace to Eastern Europe by pushing for comprehensive peace talks between Putin and Zelenskyy?

By the way, MBS is a scarier motherfucker than Putin. 

Then, of course, there's this round of bullshit.

“I’m not going to change my view on human rights,” Biden said, “but as President of the United States, my job is to bring peace if I can, peace if I can, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Biden's also not going to change his view on Zionism and throwing Palestinians under the bus (which MBS also does, more surreptitiously).

Yes, the trip is being postponed, but that's because it's being wrapped into larger foreign policy travel. Biden's going to go to Spain and Germany to strong-arm them on arms for Ukraine. C'mon.

And, Blue Anon goes blowin in the wind with Biden. Duopoly tribalism. That said, Kamala is a Cop remains even more incoherent.

==

That said, on Saturday, Biden did officially say Ukraine needs to consider "land for peace." It's the first time, as far as I know, he has explicitly said that.

So, a few questions:

  1. What took him this long to utter that publicly?
  2. Will he actually push for peace talks?
  3. Will he cut off or at least slim down the arms bazaar if Zelenskyy gets truculent (which is quite possible)?
  4. How's he going to sell this to the rest of NATO?

Two questions beyond peace talks in the narrow sense:

  1. How does he square this with wanting to overthrow Putin a month ago?
  2. Is this a sign of "incoherence"?

And, one question you know the answer to:

  1. Does "land for peace" apply to Israel, too?

Of course not.

==

Per Jessica Wildfire, the capture of Mariupol and its Azovstal steel operation cost Ukraine FORTY PERCENT of its steel production. Its troops aren't trained to use the advanced arms the Fraud supported selling them. The ruble has rebounded "to become the world's best performing currency so far this year" before a late May slide, with Chinese help. Putin holds the world wheat hostage. Isn't it time for peace talks? And, this is why Kissinger said they need to start by the middle of July. Merikkka won't care after that.

==

Reuters explains just how much the war is wrecking wheat prices.

June 07, 2022

Coronavirus Week 111: It's more than just a blip

As COVID news slows down, I'm more likely to not post every week. I didn't last week.

Per the header, two weeks ago, I noted that many said this was NOT just a blip, the latest surge. And, the Guardian confirms that, claiming that because of new standards by St. Anthony of Fauci, CDC, et al, that actual US COVID cases may be 30x higher than officially reported.

That said, the flip side is, the death rate from this current surge round is low. And, we had lesser undercounts in previous surges. None of this is to say that we are at, or near, "endemic." I've chastised Fauci et al on that, too. In terms of epidemiology, such a determination can only be made ex post facto.

And, at some point in the near future, probably around the start of fall, I'll write more on that.

Xi Jinping's Zero COVID strategy: A new version of Mao's Great Leap Forward?

June 06, 2022

Top blogging of May

As is the case, not all of these posts may have been FROM May. However, many are.

This one was a hit in its first 24 hours, then faded again rapidly. It was about all the things wrong with small-town high school graduation speeches.

Second? I called out the Squad for being the Fraud on Ukrainian warmongering and militarism.

No. 3 was noting, after the Supreme Court leak, how a majority of Americans are like me on abortion — right in the muddied middle. (It's one reason I blog about it rarely and have never written a paid column about it — it's a good way to get arrows in your butt from multiple directions.)

No. 4 was about duopolist Noam Chomsky going a bridge too far on Ukraine and citing Trump as someone who allegedly solve evernthing, when duopolist lefty Noam was really just trying to own the libs.

No. 5 was the biggie for me: Hank the Knife Kissinger joining Noam AND the NYT editorial board in calling for a negotiated peace. I later added that Pope Francis was more honest about NATO "barking" at Russia than Warmonger Joe has been.

No. 6 was related to No. 1: Small-town values at small-town graduations also aren't that impressive.

No. 7? A deconstruction of David Sirota, who likes to attack "Team Blue" while firmly being a part of it, especially on foreign policy.

No. 8? My Week 10 roundup on Ukraine, which had Realpolitik before Hank the Knife spoke.

No. 9? My musings on the possibility of climate change shit hitting the fan in just 3 years.

No. 10 was my take on the Northern Ireland assembly elections, including callouts of other leftists for talking about a Sinn Fein win when it just treaded water and the Alliance won.