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Messages - digitalride

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EOS Bodies / Re: Sample Images From the EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 19, 2014, 11:29:00 AM »
at iso 6400 I think it looks just a touch smoother than the 70d with no loss of detail, I'd like to see a real raw comparison.

irfanview and other viewers usually just display the jpeg preview embedded in raw files.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 28, 2014, 05:38:41 PM »
Quantum efficiency isn't the only driver.  Read noise can be a major factor as well.  In some cases (some sensors, some ISO settings) driving read noise to zero could provide better than a 1-stop improvement.  While QE at 100% is not possible, read noise at essentially zero is possible.

Yes, I hadn't considered lowering the read noise.  Anyone know how many stops of noise improvement is practically and theoretically possible there?  I don't know enough to make sense of the info at .  I want to get a number so I can spout off and say "noise performance cannot ever improve more than X stops from what we have today" every time someone expects a 2x improvement in the next model.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 28, 2014, 03:39:27 PM »
I'm sure this is posted every so often, but it bears repeating.  For everyone hoping for a full stop improvement in noise performance in the next model of a camera, it is NEVER going to happen.  Today's sensors capture very roughly 50% of the incoming photons.  So if a sensor was theoretically perfect, sensors could be one stop better.  That's the best they will EVER be, without switching from a bayer color pattern to a foveon-like sensor.  ( In that case you could theoretically get over another stop of improvement IF you were still able to maintain the same efficiency. )  So even in another 2000 years with insane technological advances there is no way that cameras could ever be 3 stops better in raw noise performance.

So even if a sensor manufacturer could get close to 100% efficiency now, they would be insane to sell it from a business standpoint.  They could release a sensor with 60% efficiency and still be the best, and give customers small improvements for years to come.
Quantum effeciencies:

We have been spoiled over the past decade - there was a full stop of improvement between the 5D to the 5Diii, but it just can't continue on that pace without breaking the laws of physics.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod & Head - $500 or less
« on: April 02, 2014, 03:35:23 PM »
I just spent way too much time deciding on a tripod and a ball head.  I was trying to stay under $300 but ended up closer to $400.

After reading the dpreview review I looked seriously at the Sirui K-40x and the Benro B3 because it is only $140 new on ebay.  I saw comments about the Sirui not having screws to prevent the head from unscrewing from the tripod, which is a problem I have with my current tripod.  I was all set to go with the Benro B3 but after looking at used prices on Markins I decided they were worth it for their reputation.   Its tough to find anyone saying anything bad about Markins (other than a weak pano lock)   I was able to get a used Markins Q10 for just over $200 and the slightly older but almost identical M10 can be found in that price range as well.   I got some quick release plates on ebay for < $10 each.

As for the legs, I don't hike with a tripod much so I liked the weight and price of aluminum.  I wanted something tall for comfort and to avoid extending the center column in unstable conditions.  B+H had the manfrotto 055xprob for $150 up until last Friday (now $200).  If you don't need the tiltable center column the 055xb is only $135. 

Landscape / Re: Please share your snow/ Ice Photos with us in CR.
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:04:00 AM »
Lake Superior Ice Caves

Technical Support / Re: How do I order print online?
« on: November 21, 2013, 01:26:49 PM »
Darken your monitor maybe?  ;D

Yes, or put spot lights on all the photos :)

If it was just the monitors then the prints would look OK as long as the photo was exposed properly and not changed in post, but standard exposures out of a range of cameras all come out too dark in print.   

Maybe it is just my personal preference for lighter prints.

Technical Support / Re: How do I order print online?
« on: November 21, 2013, 12:36:15 PM »
I used adoramapix for a 20x30 picture of some deer in winter and it came back with pink snow.  Turns out they "corrected" it to try to make the deer look a more pleasing brown.  They reprinted it for free with no color correction and it was very nice.  I will use them again but will always specify "no corrections" in the future.

I also find that most prints (from everywhere I've tried including adorama)  are much darker than I'd like so I always brighten images up before printing, does anyone else have that problem?

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« on: September 12, 2013, 03:44:31 PM »
I have read too many internet forums and now it seems there are no good 50mm lenses for canon.  I appreciate some of the positive comments and examples, but its consistency that I'm looking for.

I had a 50mm f/1.8 and it was ok but it always seemed to miss focus on the 1 or 2 shots I got with a good smile from my kids.  I also was bothered a little bit by the pentagonal bokeh.  I gave it to my cousin who just had a baby, and I was planning on getting the canon 50mm f/1.4 the next time I saw a deal, but there are so many complaints about the autofocus on the f/1.4 too.  The f/1.2 is out of my price range, and anytime a third party brand is mentioned autofocus problems are mentioned immediately. 

I used the 50mm for portraits (indoor and outdoor, usually at f/2.0) and macro at f/16 with a set of kenko tubes. I'm using a 60D, so not having af micro adjust makes things more problematic.  Now I'm wondering if I should just go back to the nifty fifty until there is a significantly better option.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DM2 as a FF? Hmmm...
« on: July 22, 2013, 01:39:10 PM »
If we're just going to make wild speculations, I think a 40mp crop is more likely than FF - using the new 70d sensor but with the dual-pixels read separately.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Links
« on: July 02, 2013, 10:49:50 AM »
Yeah, but what's the high iso performance like?

Probably the same as the 60D for raw. 

from imaging resource:
"Sensitivity. Equally important is the Canon 70D's noise performance. Here, the extra horsepower of DIGIC 5+ should allow more sophisticated noise reduction algorithms, while the newer sensor design is said to mitigate effects of the reduced pixel pitch. Canon claims raw performance should be on par with the EOS 60D at like sensitivities, despite the slightly higher resolution. For JPEG and video shooting, the company promises a "huge improvement" in noise levels, although it doesn't state precisely what would constitute "huge".

And I can find no mention of dynamic range improvements anywhere.  As an amateur that often ends up with clipped highlights while trying to minimize noise I'm willing to wait to upgrade my 60D until Canon improves the dynamic range and high iso performance.   

Before my second son was born I got a 60D and 18-135 and 50 1.8, and I'm very glad I did.  If I were in your situation I would:

1. absolutely get a real flash that can be bounced.   Natural lighting and wide apertures are great when possible, but especially after the kids are mobile a flash bounced off the ceiling is crucial
2. get a faster lens than 2.8 on crop -  I think the shallow depth of field really makes a difference if you want your photos to look better than the average snapshot
3. go full frame - now is your chance!  A 6D + 24-105 + 85 1.8 + 430 flash might be close to your budget if you sell your current zoom and shop wisely.  If you had to leave something out maybe I'd leave out the 24-105 and add a 40 2.8 and then use a point and shoot for things where you needed other focal lengths.  You're going to need a decent point and shoot anyways since you can't always lug the DSLR around, and if your DSLR can't autofocus in video (the 7D and 6D cannot) you'll probably want to just use your point and shoot for videos.  I don't have much luck trying to focus manually with my kids moving around.

That said, if you're selling your current zoom, you're really not tied to Canon.  I would consider some other brands, the nikon/sony/olympus 16mp+ sensors do noticeably better that the Canon for high iso and dynamic range.   I've got lots of ISO 1600 shots that are too dark or too grainy to print big and put on the wall, so I have to stick with ISO 800 and flash a lot.  Most other brands also autofocus during video, which is nice with kids.    Yeah, this is a canon board and the canon sensor isn't that bad, but for the same money I think you can do a little better than canon right now. 

I like the idea of a smaller, cheaper, just as good camera system, but m43 isn't it (at least yet).   Yes, in some respects it is "as good" as aps-c, but in my opinion it is WAY too expensive to get something with apsc-like performance.  Where is the fast glass for m43 that is smaller and cheaper?  One day there may be a $120 50mm 1.8 for m43 and other cheap quality fast lenses (they will need to be 2/3 of a stop faster to compensate for the smaller sensor vs. aps-c), but for now the early adopters are getting fleeced.  Sure, small size and weight are a factor for some people, but focusing and shallow depth of field and ergonomics are more important for other people.  m43 is an alternative, not a replacement for larger sensored cameras. 

In my opinion m43 and aps-c are just points on the continuum from a cheap point and shoot to medium format, and it is ridiculous to suggest that aps-c will go away because it is in the middle - if m43 is "good enough" then why can't the interchangeable lens cameras with even smaller sensors be "good enough" and make m43 obsolete?  m43 is not at some magic sweet spot size - if such a thing existed I might say it is whatever size sensor you can build a decent system around and still fit it in your pocket. 

In the end as technology progresses and all the manufacturers get closer and closer to each other, sensor size is going to be the only real differentiator - a camera with 50% more sensor area is always going to be 50% better in some respects due to the laws of physics.  As things are now people bicker about which camera is the best due to slightly better ISO performance or dynamic range or number of pixels - so the 50% difference in sensor area between m43 and aps-c will be very significant going forward.

I use Linux (Ubuntu 10.04 at present) and have a 60D, but I don't do much post processing.  I could not find an open source raw processor that looked OK when noise was an issue.  I tried ufraw and bibble (now corel aftershot pro) for a while but couldn't get decent results compared to DPP or the in camera jpg (or even the embedded jpg preview in the raw). 

I use DPP version under wine and if DPP didn't work under wine I'd have to consider shooting jpg only or getting a different camera system or operating system just for photo work.  There are a few small glitches, mainly related to window management, but all of the functionality seems to work flawlessly.  Installing it was a bit tricky, see

I use gimp for occasional editing, and my own file based organizational system and gqview (now Geeqie) for viewing.  I'm never going to spend time organizing and tagging photos in a proprietary system that can be changed or discontinued or price-hiked with no way to fully export my meta-data.

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