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Messages - molnarcs

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Too much dynamic range?
« on: November 24, 2012, 09:00:20 AM »
I don't quite understand all the technical background, but I can attest to the advantages of high DR in my work. I do a lot of interiours, and most of them are high-contrast situations, often necessitating trips to PS for better noise control (I bought Noiseware Professional which used to be better than LR, maybe still is), occasionally blending in different exposures (I always do bracketed shots for interiour work), etc.

With the d7000 and now the d800, my trips to PS noticeably decreased. In fact, I don't recall any situation in the past year where I had to use blending. My only comparison is the 5D MK II and Rebel T2i, and my gut feeling is that you can push the d7k at least a stop more without image degradation (colour shift, noise, etc.) In Lightroom terms, this is about 30-40 points on the shadows slider, or being able to push both blacks and shadows on the Tone Curve significantly more. For me, it means staying in Lightroom for 99% of my workflow. You can just feel how much more malleable are NEF files then CR files.

I'm not sure any of this matters if you're shooting JPEG. Except maybe if you have ALO enabled. With Canon's, I never used ALO (and I didn't use ADL it with the d7000), but when I bought the d800, I just left ADL (the Nikon equivalent to ALO) on Auto setting. I'm a raw shooter, but lately I've been experimenting with JPEG+RAW because I started shooting events now (not much interiour work lately). As far as I can tell, ADL works well, I don't see any image degradation, and the change is quite subtle actually, but for the better as far as I can tell. Where it truly matters is when you shoot RAW.

I heard a good description of RAW somewhere - RAW is like a box of light. When you look at a RAW shot from either Canon or Nikon you basically see the same image and DR. The difference becomes prevalent when you're start messing with it, changing exposure or using curves. With a high DR camera, you can push shadows more without significant image degradation. It is as simple as that. You have a bigger box of light with a high DR camera ;)

By the way, your photos are magnificent! I don't even know what most of my favourite photographers shoot. I know some shoot Canons, others shoot Nikons - and the end results are all magnificent. Once you have invested in either system, I don't see much reason to change. I didn't have a huge investment (Sigma 10-24 and a Rebel) when I bought the Nikon d7000 (and the new Sigma 8-16 which was to replace the 10-24 anyway). The 5D MK II wasn't mine. For the things I shot back then, the high DR of the d7k did make a difference, made my life easier. But for the things you shoot, it might make zero difference. As I said, what you get with high DR is a bigger box of light, but if you don't see the limits of your current box, then you don't need a high DR camera ;) And I think for JPEG shooters it doesn't matter at all.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon Sales Rising
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:03:13 AM »
and nikon has produced the more exciting cameras this year.
at least in my pricerange of 2000-3000 euro.

Even there, I'd take a 5DIII over a D800 for general use.  I'm sure I'd find the D800 exciting if my primary subjects were landscape and architecture, but they're not.

+1!  I am learning this the hard way.  I love the D800 for shooting outside and shooting still scenary like landscape, but trying to shoot a moving subject even outside or shooting indoor with a flash sometime is a hit and miss game with the AF on the D800.  It is also very sensitive to lenses selection.  In low light prime lenses are almost impossible to focus with the D800...

As a result (and to my surprise to some degree) my go to Camera for shooting ISO 100 with a flsh inside is actually my ... 1DX!

I bought a d800 about 3 weeks ago, and unfortunately, it was a lemon. Center focus point dead-on, but BOTH left and right way off. This especially affects moving subjects. Took me three weeks back-and forth between the shop until I got a replacement. First they "fixed" it - all focus points were basically even... evenly bad. My 50mm lens that needed zero AF Fine Tune with my d7k needed about +30 when the body came back from "repairs." Finally, I got a new body, and fortunately, it's accurate and fast, even in low light. From what I gather from reviews (I haven't handled the 1DX) they are pretty much on par, negligible difference in focusing speed and accuracy... if you get a good copy. Which reminds me - while Nikon sales are up, service quality is way down. The left AF focus issue is a huge let-down, especially the silence on the part of Nikon :(

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EOS Bodies / Re: [Poll] Canon Reign Supreme Again?
« on: November 04, 2012, 01:11:40 PM »
I don't know where the better high ISO performance argument comes from. Traditionally, Canon had the higher resolution while Nikon had better high ISO capabilities. The 3Ds is still the best performing low-light camera (with the 1Dx just catching up).

d800 ISO 8063 1/100 F/1.8 50mm. No post-processing (import to Lightroom, export to JPEG), High-ISO NR off.

EDIT - The above comment is true since the D3 of course.

No they don't.  The D4 doesn't even have as high of ISO capabilities as the 1DX.  I'm tired of charts and scores, this is experience-based.  Sorry.  If you want to prove me wrong, go out on a poorly lit football field this fall.  Shoot each camera at ISO 25,600 and tell me which camera has better high ISO capabilities.

Who can afford to buy a D4 and a 1DX plus lenses? For me, numbers reported by DxO proved to be fairly accurate in practice. For example, I do see the 2EV difference between RAWs from the MK II and the d7000 (well, closer to 1 2/3 stops) when pushing shadows in LR. Similarly, I do see close to a stop advantage to the MK II when it comes to low-light performance. Look, I don't want to convince you - and obviously I can't. You're happy with what you have, and that's fine. Happy shooting ;)

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EOS Bodies / Re: [Poll] Canon Reign Supreme Again?
« on: November 04, 2012, 12:24:44 PM »
The 3Ds is still the best performing low-light camera (with the 1Dx just catching up).


That maybe. but the very fact that 1dx is pitted against at least three other dslrs - D800, D3s(?), D4 in shadow noise, Low light, God-knows-what-other-features in that order, in-fact, speaks a lot about 1dx. Don't you think?

Pitted against the d3s and d4 - at least on DxO - to me this means they are basically in the same league. This is actually good news, but not the kind of "trashing" that the thread starter hints at. Once invested in lenses, there is no reason whatsoever to switch from one brand to the other, at least not for the kind of work these cameras are intended for.

Landscape/architecture/interiours is a different matter. I made the switch for my own work last year, because the high DR of Nikons does make a significant difference in post-production. That said, we use a number of Canon bodies in our workshops, because much better price/performance ratio, and better availability/service where I live.

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EOS Bodies / Re: [Poll] Canon Reign Supreme Again?
« on: November 04, 2012, 11:10:18 AM »
I don't know where the better high ISO performance argument comes from. Traditionally, Canon had the higher resolution while Nikon had better high ISO capabilities. The 3Ds is still the best performing low-light camera (with the 1Dx just catching up).

d800 ISO 8063 1/100 F/1.8 50mm. No post-processing (import to Lightroom, export to JPEG), High-ISO NR off.

EDIT - The above comment is true since the D3 of course.

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EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:26:50 PM »
That's exactly my experience working with NEF files from the d7000 - approximately 30pts more on the shadow slider compared to the 7D. That's roughly one stop. For architecture/interiour work (almost always high contrast scenes) this is quite significant. Basically, it's the difference between being able to stay within Lightroom for all the post-processing I do, or having to take a trip Photoshop. This affects about 40-60% of my work.

That said, for JPEG shooters it doesn't matter at all, and it doesn't matter to you if you don't rely on pushing shadows in LR too much. Which reminds me, that it looks like that 2EV difference between Canon and Nikon sensors (as measured by DxO) translates only to about 1 stop in practice when using Lightroom.

This visually explains quite a bit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcdead/7091087059/#


I guarantee you that if you posted that shot but changed the EXIF to say "Canon 7D" people would do nothing but complain about the noise levels ;D

That is better than you could do with a 7D or 5D3, but not by leaps and bounds. I've lifted shadows on a lot of Canon RAW files. For all the howling and complaining about the DR/noise differences between Canon and Nikon sensors (at this time), lifted Canon shadows look about the same in ACR except for banding noise. Banding is what caps how far you can push it. Depending on the shot and target print size you end up only going to 60-80 on the ACR slider, which is where the banding starts to become apparent, where this user reports maxing it out to 100. So the difference is there, but it's not the end of the world.

That's not to say I don't admire the D800 and eagerly await Canon's answer. The 7D and 5D2/5D3 are 24-30" print cameras for critically reviewed landscapes, with the 5D2/5D3 being a bit better at 30". The D800 easily breaks into the >40" range.

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HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: HDR with LR 4...
« on: September 23, 2012, 06:13:43 AM »
Lightroom 4 is fantastic - I think you can get at least half a stop more detail from RAW files compared to the 3.x series. The evidence is clear in your photos. For me, this means staying within Lightroom for over 90% of my post-processing needs, while I had to use PS's more advanced tools (plugins such as Noiseware Pro) far more often with LR 3.x.

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Canon General / Re: Loving Canon right now.
« on: September 19, 2012, 12:50:06 PM »
Does anyone know if the folks at nikon rumors hate nikon so much as people hate canon here?
For what i've seen and heard they dont. We should grow up.

Who here has thought about talking to their mothers about all the hate you have about canon? I'm sure she could help somehow. (ps. I'm not trying to troll anyone, just saying)

Yes, lots of hand wringing and cussing on Nikonrumors, same as here.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: D600 DXO is out!!!
« on: September 19, 2012, 12:19:31 PM »
I am not saying they're "faking" it. It's just I am wondering why is it their are brands that are tested earlier than others. Is it because nikon sees a marketing importance if dxo would release a data suggesting that the sensor in their camera is superior or canon, pentax or any other brand sees no importance in dxo data that they are not keen in sending their cameras to be tested. Because for what I know you would always see theses arguments with regards to dxo in photography forums. I know dxo mark is dependent on manufacturers to lend them their cameras to be tested but I think only nikon is the one making the most out of this publicity.

I think you answered your own question. Canon is not in a hurry to lend them their cameras, because they don't see it as a good marketing opportunity. How could they? Nikon's been pulling away for the past 3 years in sensor technology (some their own, like the D3S, d3200) some borrowed and tweaked (Sony mostly). Looks like their sensor strategy works rather well.

They chose not to invest in sensor manufacturing at the dawn of the digital era. Perhaps they didn't have the capital (much smaller company than Canon) or perhaps they thought it's too risky. They did, however, put a lot of money into sensor design R&D. Manufacturing capacity is there, at least 4-5 Japanese companies (Panasonic, Sony, and other names I can't recall). They have developed a number of sensors over the years (d3s being probably the most successful) but they also stayed open to new developments in the market. I think they had a partnership with Sony as far back as the d2x.

In theory, Canon could do the same - I don't think Nikon's deal with Sony is exclusive. The d800 maybe - they might be cross-licensing patents, for example, but it's probably only for a limited term. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the latest Sony improvements in low light performance were due to some IP exchange deal, but we'll never know. But imagine the built, ergonomics and performance of the 5D Mark III with the d600 sensor. That would be the camera!

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EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Review
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:03:12 PM »
This is really suspect.  There are parts of the review that he seems to have forgotten to change the wording from 5D mkiii to 6D.  It seems that much of this review was cut and pasted from his first impressions with the 5d mkiii.  Also, I remember very similar images from the hibachi grill with his kids (same angle and everything).  He either really likes going to the hibachi (I don't know anyone who goes ore than once a year), or there is something very fishy going on here....


Part of the 6D review is KR's 5DIII review.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/6d.htm#rex
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/5d-mk-iii.htm#rex

It's just a Work In Progress (at a certain point, the words "UNDER CONSTRUCTION - read no further" appear.


Good ol' Ken. Also, he used Katie's picture (exactly the same photo) in a review for another camera already (or lens). I swear I saw it before! But this crook is known for reviewing stuff he doesn't have so no surprise there.

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« on: May 04, 2012, 06:21:50 PM »
Can't comment on the Mark III, only used the Mark II. Also, disclaimer: I'm shooting Nikon now.

I see the argument that dynamic range doesn't matter, or only matters in edge cases quite often. Well, I guess there is some truth in it. It depends on your work/interests, lots of conditions. DR may or may not be important to you. Instead of going back-and-forth with academic debates, I'll show how it helps in various situations I shoot in - with examples.

I shot the International Pillow Fight Day event here in Saigon. Fun work, for free of course (non-profit, fun-loving people organized it, couldn't resist). The event took place at 3pm, very hard light, in park where the trees didn't offer enough coverage. Yeah, high contrast situation, hard like, dark shadoes, bright patches of sunlight. Now not all photos are like that, but there are quite a few where I pulled at least 1 stop from the shadows without loss of detail, without smudging the colours, and without any visible noise even at 100%. That's what dynamic range is in practice. It may or may not matter to you, it matters to me and probably the people I did it for too. I wouldn't be able to do it without the DR of the d7000. Here:
Pillow Fight Day Saigon 2012 Small | Large


Now I don't do many events, I'm an interiour photographer, doing lots of landscapes as a passion (and these year, more and more people, fashion, portraits). In interiour photography, good DR is gold. Ironically, some of the most expensive properties I shot had the worst lighting. Huge rooms, big windows, shooting scheduled for 3pm (and no, I couldn't change it). Hard light coming through windows, rooms too big while lighting not enough to overpower the natural light. This is situation where it's impossible to get a perfect exposure, and HDR is out of question with apartments (too long to explain why). Examples starting here, and the next few pictures: http://molnarcs.500px.com/apartments_villas/photo/16

Landscapes. I don't think I have to explain this one, because its kinda obvious. That said, 90% of my recent landscapes are less than 10 EV, lots of good shots that require minimal post-processing - and in many of them you wouldn't see a difference even if your camera were limited to 8 EV. But that 10% - I'm glad that I had some EV leeway there!

Remember, good DR doesn't mean pulling 6 EVs from shadows. It means pulling 1 EV cleanly - or even half EV. The more DR your camera has the better in the situations above.

Lastly, in commercial photography, there is a good reason top PROs use Hasselblad and medium format cameras. They have phenomenal EV at base ISO, and they are using every single bit of it. Walk through any upscale shopping centre, and you'll see tons of large backlit prints - and it's not just resolution and megapixels. Here's a video comparing the d800 with a Hasselblad. The new "king" of DR in 35mm format can't stand a chance (and why DR does matter in commercial photography).
D800 vs Medium Format with Roth and Ramberg Small | Large


RichATL, you're wrong on so many levels that I lost count. DR does matter in quite a lot of situations. Now you may or may not shoot in those situations, but saying that only brainwashed "pixel peepers and gearheads" care is a bit over the top. And as to your jpeg argument... ever heard of picture controls? Seeing your "computer programmer in Japan" line I guess not.

Ultimately, everybody has to decide for himself. If you rarely find yourself in a situation where you'd love to brighten the shadows up just a bit more, but you're losing details... I guess it doesn't matter. Sports, indoor events come to mind with constant, even light. Lots of examples where DR doesn't matter that much. That said, it would still be prudent to make your voice heard to Canon instead of going full denial RichATL. Higher DR has tangible, very practical benefits in many situations. Is the gap Canon and Nikon/Sony sensors huge? I honestly don't know. It's there, and its not good in my opinion.

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