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Messages - jonjt

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EOS Bodies / Re: Sony Sensors Coming to Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: December 15, 2014, 04:17:28 PM »
I'll wait until I see what the 5D mkIV offers, before I lend any weight to this. 

The 7DII seems to handle smooth gradients and constant tones WAY better than the 7D did.  That was a major issue I had with the 7D.

In any case, the 5DIII definitely shows more detail, and less chroma and luminescence noise at high ISO than the 7DII does.  But man, you really have to look for it.  I'm questioning if its worthwhile to pay twice as much for a refurbished 5DIII and 24-105, when I can "simply" buy a new 7DII and not have to deal with the transition to FF.  I tend to shoot slow moving targets more often but still, the 7DII is compelling.

Now you done it! How dare you suggest full frame might not be worth the investment!

Seriously, even though I switched from 7D I to 5DIII about a year ago, I'd have to say you really do need to think long and hard about whether or not it's worth the price of entry to full frame. I would say it depends in part on what lenses you already own because, as you correctly point out, it's not just the cost of the body, it's the cost of the lenses as well.

Clearly the gap is narrowing and while there always will be a gap, it is moving more and more toward the margins.

Now, expect to see an avalanche of posts from full framers telling you how APS-C can never compete with full frame. But, just remember, we have to justify our investment.

Yeah, I'd have to replace my standard zoom and my wide angle zoom.  That's almost 4k dollars.  I'd probably get 1500 dollars from selling my 11-16, 17-55 and my 7D.  I'm just not sure it's worth it, in comparison to what I can get from the 7DII.

In any case, I'm going to wait until the 5DIV is released, before making a decision.

The 7DII seems to handle smooth gradients and constant tones WAY better than the 7D did.  That was a major issue I had with the 7D.

In any case, the 5DIII definitely shows more detail, and less chroma and luminescence noise at high ISO than the 7DII does.  But man, you really have to look for it.  I'm questioning if its worthwhile to pay twice as much for a refurbished 5DIII and 24-105, when I can "simply" buy a new 7DII and not have to deal with the transition to FF.  I tend to shoot slow moving targets more often but still, the 7DII is compelling.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Announces CN20x50 Cine-Servo Ultra Zoom Lens
« on: October 16, 2014, 12:58:06 PM »
This thing is going to be well over 100k

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Says Higher Resolution Sensors Are Coming Soon
« on: September 26, 2014, 04:40:44 PM »

I just wanted to do a full jrista quote at least one time, too :-p ...

... and care to comment that you have to take care of inflation, because when Canon has moved to a smaller process, faveon or quantum sensors it might be 2100 and you're money has gone :->

Lets hope my investments beat inflation over that period. 

In any case, if Canon doesnt do something big for the 5DIV, I'll just get a 5DIII and be done with it.  The move to FF will give me a big upgrade anyway.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Says Higher Resolution Sensors Are Coming Soon
« on: September 26, 2014, 10:29:02 AM »
Could you expound on what "so far ahead" means?  I'm curious why Canon's sensors are dead last in terms of performance and innovation.

See below.

What is a fact and what is relevant is not always the same.  It depends on the individual and the situation.  It is a fact that the Sony sensor is better in certain situations.  But that fact is not relevant for all photographers.  Obviously it is relevant to some such as yourself — I am not disputing that.

You are still missing the point. :P You keep going back to perceptual factors...subjective factors...things that change from person to person. Some people may only use ISO 400-1600 for their photography, and the DR they get from a Canon sensor is more than enough for their needs. Great. But that has nothing to do with what I'm usually talking about.

You keep injecting these external subjective factors, when they simply don't matter when it comes down to the technology. You get annoyed that I say Canon sensors are far behind everyone else. Why? This has nothing to do with whether Canon sensors are good enough for you personally. If they are, GREAT! That's wonderful.

However just because a sensor is good enough for you, or good enough for John and Jane Doe over here, doesn't change the facts. The simple fact of the matter is, Canon sensor technology is really old. They have made minor evolutionary changes here and there, but fundamentally, it's still developed on an ancient process, with old 200mm wafers with lower quality silicon, on a very very old 500nm process, resulting in lower quantum efficiency, lower energy efficiency, lower yield rates, etc.

These are simple facts. It simply is what is...that is the state of Canon sensor technology. They have pushed the 500nm process REALLY freakin far...which in one sense is quite admirable from a "Getting your money's worth" from a particular fabrication process. However, at this point, it's become their Achilles' Heel...the technology is presenting limitations, and while they could keep pushing things, doing so is more likely to hurt performance even more than not. For example, on a 500nm process, the transistors and wiring take up a certain amount of die space. Why hasn't Canon shot strait to 36mp yet, or 47mp? Fill factor would become a concern...they might get more megapixels, but their older technology is probably going to hurt their IQ with smaller pixels on a FF sensor more than benefit it...relative to the competition. The competition is using 180nm and 130nm processes (maybe even smaller, 90nm), which require far less die space, resulting in fewer fill factor problems, making it a lot easier to push pixel count without losing overall light gathering capacity (which impacts overall performance.)

Canon has done an admirable job with the 500nm process, but given the design decisions they have been making the last few years, it seems clear to me that the large transistor size is holding them back. I mean, we are talking about 2000-era fabrication technology here...it's REALLY old. I don't know why Canon hasn't moved to a more advanced process, with larger 300mm wafers made from better silicon. They have 180nm fabs capable of laying down copper interlink wiring (which is much more efficient), which do use 300mm wafers and which are made from better silicon. Those fabs have already produced high efficiency sensors with 59% Q.E. (which is much closer to the top of the line Sony sensors, which are topping 60% these days). Canon has better technology...they simply are not employing it in their APS-C and FF sensors. They are still employing very dated fabrication technology and techniques for these sensors...and the impact of that older technology is quite apparent when you start digging down into Canon RAW data.

I do astrophotography, have for about eight months now. For astrophotography, working the linear signal is very important. Processing astro "sub frames" is very different from processing a RAW normally for regular kinds of photography. You work the data in linear space a lot first, before "stretching" it with an MTF curve. When your working the linear data, it's easy to see the differences. Canon data is very, very noisy, and lacks in color fidelity in the lower echelons of the signal. Exmor data (I've only worked with it from D800 cameras) is far cleaner, with richer data way down near the noise floor. CCD data is the cleanest, with extremely clean, random noise and ultra low dark current (which means the darkest parts of the signal are very smooth, without hot pixels and dark current noise intruding into the signal.) The difference between Canon RAW data and CCD data is huge. The difference between D800 RAW data and CCD is a lot smaller. Some astrophotographers who have applied the black point hack have been referring to D800 data as "near-CCD quality", which is something no one has ever said about Canon data.

The differences are real. Hence the reason I refer to this stuff as fact.

Whether the differences affect your particular kind of photography is a whole different thing. That is not concrete, factual information. It's a matter of perception. It's a matter of subjective judgement. That isn't incorrect, however, it doesn't change the facts either. Not everyone needs to use every part of the sensor. Some people simply don't care about shadow falloff quality. Some people prefer high contrast, in which case they are going to tighten up that contrast curve and crush the blacks anyway. Some people shoot at an ISO range where there are minimal differences between different sensor types. If you don't utilize the RAW signal information in a way that reveals the problems with Canon sensors, GREAT!

However, just because you don't utilize the the RAW signal that way doesn't mean no one does. Again, that doesn't change the FACTS. Canon sensors are fabricated with old technology...a very old, very large 500nm process, on 200mm wafers (most companies stopped using those period years ago, and the ones that still do are not manufacturing huge sensors on them...everyone else uses higher grade 300mm wafers). Canon's readout system is also getting rather dated, and is still utilizing high frequency ADC units (and only a few of them) to handle all the pixel data coming off the sensor, which is largely where their very high DR-killing read noise comes from (many manufacturers have moved to on-die ADC units, one per column, that are able to operate at much lower DR-preserving frequencies that don't generate nearly as much noise), as well as even combining all the image processing into a stacked sensor+DSP package, which shortens transfer bus from centimeters to microns, which also reduces the places where noise can seep into the signal. Canon uses really old sensor technology for their APS-C and FF sensors.

If they change that (they should, at some point...personally I think it's long overdue, but there is probably some logistical or budgetary reason why they haven't yet), and move to their newer fab that uses 300mm wafers and a much higher end 180nm fabrication process, Canon sensor tech would rocket forward. By the time Canon actually does that, 180nm will already be "last generation"...companies are already moving from 180nm and 130nm processes to 90nm processes...but at least the 180nm process is much newer and more advanced. It won't limit Canon's ability to shrink pixel size at the cost of fill factor. It will probably make a move to BSI for APS-C and FF parts much more viable with much smaller pixels. A LOT of good, on the purely technological front, could be realized simply by moving off their 500nm process onto their 180nm process.

Don Haines has a theory that Canon is waiting for P&S sensor production to ramp down on their 180nm fab before they crank up production for APS-C and FF sensors there. I think that's a highly plausible explanation for why they haven't moved to a better, more modern fabrication process and more modern sensor designs yet. Personally, I have to figure that with a 50% or larger contraction in the P&S market the last couple of years, Canon should already have the ability to start manufacturing newer APS-C sensor designs there at the very least...but there could be other limitations...maybe they have to completely ramp down the P&S manufacture before they can ramp up manufacture for something else, I don't know. Anyway, at some point, it should happen. When is the real question...and everyone has differing opinions on that.

Thanks for the info.  I'll save my money until Canon moves to smaller processes, perhaps a BSI architecture, even.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Says Higher Resolution Sensors Are Coming Soon
« on: September 25, 2014, 12:37:37 PM »
@Zlatko: Your turning a general statement into a personal issue. THAT...right there...is the problem with these forums. Stop making it personal. It's not. There is absolutely zero reason to take issue with someone elses statement like that, because you are ASSUMING something about what they have said. Your creating mountains out of molehills, like so many others here.

This whole "Not everyone is like you" argument is really getting old. It is like it's intentionally making everything personal, which is exactly what we don't need. Sure, everyone is different. But everyone also falls into groups of like-minded individuals. No one ever has truly unique wants and needs. There isn't just one single person on the face of the planet who wants more DR in a Canon camera. :P

Canon sensors, from a technological and fundamental IQ standpoint, are lacking. People don't seem to understand dynamic range, which is why they don't understand that statement. It isn't just a super-deep shadow thing, where there couldn't possibly exist usable data that could possibly matter to anyone who does "real" photography.  ::) Dynamic range represents the RANGE of clean signal, from a point in the darkest tones where noise reduces information to a level of unusability, to the brightest tones where the signal saturates (the clipping point). More dynamic range affects that entire range...not just the shadows.

Shadows are usually talked about most, because recent gains on the DR front have been achieved primarily by a reduction in read noise, which affects that noise floor, the point of unusable or minimally usable information...by making it lower. However that is not the sole means of improvements on the DR front. Dynamic range has been increased at every level by increasing quantum efficiency and by increasing charge capacity. Increased Q.E. leads to lower gain, which leads to improved color...at EVERY level...shadows, midtones, highlights...even deep shadows that would otherwise be useless mush in a Canon camera. Increased FWC also allows lower gain, which leads to further improved color...again, at EVERY level.

Canon sensors have lower Q.E. and often lower (and sometimes MUCH lower) FWC than competitors sensors. The only reason Canon sensors have decent SNR is because Canon weakened the CFA, resulting in more color crosstalk and color bleed between pixels. That's where the "waxy" and often "muddy" SOOC color that has become a hallmark of Canon cameras comes from...poor color purity at each pixel. Some people like the "warmer" tone...which ironically is in large part a consequence of high color noise which is biased to red. A loss in color purity can be dealt with...it's ultimately mathematical, so it can be corrected. It's just one more thing, though, that you wouldn't have to think about with better sensor technology.

Technologically, Canon sensors DO lag behind the rest. I personally consider Canon sensor technology to be dead last...and I spend a lot of time researching sensors and sensor technology. Canon is hardly mentioned, has hardly been mentioned in the fast-paced sensor world, for years. When they are mentioned, the mentions are rather lackluster. DPAF patents simply get that...a mention, no fanfare. There are some RADICAL and truly amazing innovations occurring in the sensor world...the cutting edge is so far out there compared to where Canon is, it's doubtful Canon could ever reach it, assuming they cared to try. This is a purely technical assessment...there is nothing personal here. It's just based on some simple facts about the core technology. You can choose to take offense at this, but that's your deal. I'm not here to purposely offend you...this is just the state of the technology (which is a rather sterile set of factors, and certainly not the sole factors that have an impact on the ultimate perception of IQ for each individual.)

The notion that only Canon considers IQ as a whole is a fallacy. The Nikon D800 and D600 cameras have demonstrably better IQ, "as a whole", than Canon cameras do. There may be a few nuanced differences here and there, like warmer vs. neutral color tone or one by default preserves highlights more while the other preserves shadows more, that may cater to different preferences, but overall, Nikon cameras with Exmors in them have some of the best IQ and most flexible RAW images for DSLR cameras on the planet. Sony may be a different story...they chose to lossy-compress their "raw" images, so I don't know that the same statement can be applied to them specifically...but Canon is not the sole retainer of "considering image quality as a whole."

That statement is also suspect, given that they really seem to be considering image quality within a bubble of their own specifications, ignoring the gains that can be made in areas they are...apparently simply uninterested in. If Canon really cared about image quality as a whole, they wouldn't be ignoring low ISO IQ, where their sensors suffer the most, and by a very considerable margin. They wouldn't be ignoring similarly significant gains being made on the high ISO/low light front as well...the 2-stop DR advantage is no longer just a low ISO thing...it's an ultra high ISO thing as well. Canon (at least, the Canon alluded to by Maeda's comments) has tunnel vision...their idea of "image quality as a whole" seems to largely revolve around upper midtones and highlights (the areas where Canon sensor IQ is fine). I say upper midtones, because it is also very easy to demonstrate that Canon lower midtones also suffer from read noise intrusion. In the grand scheme of things, I think Canon's issue is again, a technological one. I don't think they have the fab capacity to manufacture APS-C and FF parts on their (technically very superior) 180nm process...and they don't have whatever is necessary...budget or business or shareholder signoff...to build another (very expensive) fab.

I could keep lopping off pieces of the "whole" pie here...but I'll stop.

DR isn't just about shadows, it's about the entire signal. It isn't just about unusable black pixel data that no one cares about...it's about improved color fidelity across the entire signal range. It's about cleaner, smoother falloff into shadows, even if you otherwise don't touch them. It isn't just about lifting shadows, it's more often about preserving highlights (where shadow lifting MAY simply become a consequence of that preservation.) Dynamic range is dynamic range...it doesn't exist in one area of the signal or another...it defines the range within which the signal can be created, shifted around in, and processed within...as well as to the richness of that signal.

Dynamic range affects the whole signal. If you look for the differences between images with more and images with less DR, differences are there, all over the place. Sometimes they are subtle, sometimes they are obvious. Sometimes subtle is exactly what you need (such as in the case of clean, smooth shadow falloff...I LOVE that myself...I would take that over the often "scratchy" shadow falloff I get with Canon sensors any day...and that doesn't involve any shadow pushing whatsoever.) Whether they matter to you or not is indeed a matter of personal preference...but having more cannot possibly ever be a bad thing. At worst, it may simply be an unused thing, on average it will give you more flexibility in post, or reduce your workload by not requiring more complex or extreme editing procedures, and at best, it can allow you to do things in a single shot that cannot be done in a single shot when you have less DR, or allow you to do things that simply cannot be done with cameras that have less DR. It cannot possibly be a bad thing...so why take offense at comments made about DR, especially if it's something you simply don't care about?

If you don't care about DR, then just ignore those who do...and there won't be anything to take offense at. Unless you get in someones face about your assumptions about them, it's highly unlikely anyone actually cares that you don't care about the same things they do, so there is little reason to assume they are trying to force something on you that you don't want. :P If you get up in peoples faces about their opinions, then sure...things are going to turn personal, and your previously mistaken assumptions will become actualized. At that point, your in a death trap. You've made your assumptions come true, so now you really do have something to take offense at, and thus things spiral endlessly.

Could you expound on what "so far ahead" means?  I'm curious why Canon's sensors are dead last in terms of performance and innovation.


EOS Bodies / Re: High ISO Samples from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 17, 2014, 10:57:39 AM »

To my eyes, the squirrel at ISO 3200 looks at least one or even two stops better than the 7D

It's a lot worse than any 3200 ISO image that ever came out of my 7D - but that's to be explained by the fact that the squirrel is either be a SOOC jpeg, or a DPP conversion. DPP is a poor high ISO converter.

Once the good converters catch up, it'll be an excellent camera - but that squirrel doesn't show the potential at all.

Just for reference: this is 10,000 ISO from my 70D, converted in Capture One. The 7D Mk II will be better than this, no question.

Here's a 6400 ISO 100% crop from Capture One, just for completeness.

Use the right tool for the job...

Those shots look great.

Could you comment on the high ISO abilities of Lightroom, in comparison to Capture One?


That's all fine and dandy but in the Real world,  hardly of any use. Only a handful of lenses actually can resolve the details of a 36mp sensor. Forget about a 50mp sensor on that Sony glass.

That's not how resolution works. The final value is a result of the combination of all components (lens and sensor or film) and is always lower than the weakest component. But strengthening any component leads to an increase for the entire system, even if that specific component is "past" the resolution of the weakest component,  i.e. the weakest component is not a hard limit in the way you're imagining it to be.

At any rate, you can discern plenty of lenses on 24 MP APS-C sensors which means they will show an advantage on 50 MP FF.

That said, it would be difficult to see any difference between 24/36/50 MP except on the very largest prints. We're hitting the point of diminishing returns with respect to even 36" prints.

You said it is always lower than the weakest component.  So therefore, the weakest component has to be a hard limit on resolution.  Perhaps increasing the resolution of another component causes the system resolution to asymptotically approach the weakest components resolution?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« on: July 31, 2014, 06:05:37 AM »
I really do not expect from Canon something super new or super mega new technology :) Take a look back to history: I remember all big expectations related to 6D. There were many wishlists but in reality Canon produced significantly crippled FF camera, which AF does not even match old 7D :)

Now I really expect that after 5 years Canon will launch 7DII, which will have 70D sensor, slightly more megapixels (expect 24 MP), slightly higher FPS, GPS and WiFi. That's it :) Do not expect significant revolutions in sensor. If there were such revolutions, there would be a leak of information already. For example, Sony announced curved sensor technology, which will be implemented in their future models.

Canon made revolution  few years ago. Currently it is a stagnant company, which still focuses significant aattention to dying P&S market. Product cycle for semi-pro and pro products is very long and shows that Canon does not sufficiently invest in R&D as other companies. Canon started loosing in the following areas:

1) Mirrorless market - they loose to Fuji, Olympus, Sony;
2) Sensor technology - loosing to Sony;
3) Lenses - starting to loose to Sigma and Tamron as these 2 companies started producing high quality lenses, which match or in some cases exceed qulity of Canon lenses (e.g. Sigma 50 mm 1.4 Art, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC) for affordable price.

From financial perspective Canon is doing quite OK, even better than other companies, as they still have big loyal customer base, however, in technology companies if you loose momentum you can loos all business very soon.

I definitely think it's reasonable to expect a major improvement in sensor performance, for all the reasons you specified.  Their architecture is old and they are getting beat by a bunch of other manufacturers.  Members here have detailed Canon's deficits while also detailing the changes Canon could make to improve their sensors. 

Canon has to at least match their competitors if they are going to stay relevant over the next 5 years.  I'm interested to see what this 7DII brings, if only to see what the 5DIV be able to provide.

EOS Bodies / Re: More Sensor Technology Talk [CR1]
« on: May 01, 2014, 05:46:30 AM »
Just as I'm trying to justify an upgrade to a refurbished 5DIII, this rumor happens.  I'll definitely have to wait and see what the 7DII brings.

I expected a false 7D mkii rumor for April fools.  That would have really gotten a rise out of the community.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Plans For NAB 2014 Next Month [CR1]
« on: March 20, 2014, 01:54:31 PM »
If one of those camera bodies is a Cinema EOS product, the other one might at best be a 7D Mark II? I must admit that I am highly pessimistic about this mysterious second camera being the long-rumored high-MP 1D-style camera. Perhaps it is going to be the year of the new camera body I won't invest in. :-\

I doubt it will be the "7D2" or high megapixel anything. It will be a Rebel. I seriously doubt we will we anything exciting from canon this year.


All the facts would behoove me to say otherwise but, so many people have made this arguement in the past and been wrong.  I will say that Canon would be making a serious mistep by not updating the 7D this year.  Speaking for myself, I'd forget Canon's crop format and just buy a 5Dmkiii and be done with it.  Although, maybe that was their plan all along.

EOS Bodies / Re: What's Next from Canon?
« on: March 12, 2014, 07:49:11 AM »
The difference with o-rings & gaskets and the like is they are not at wearable joints. They are put in place, and they stay in place, and there is no wear on them. The most worn seals in a DSLR are the seals around the buttons, underneath which is a full seal that separates the button itself from the electronics inside.

My point is that an articulating screen is something that will constantly be pulled out and put back, on a continual basis, over the life of the camera. The joint there is going to take a lot of wear (especially if it's one of those swivel joints.)

I am aware that it's been done. I would also be willing to bet that Olympus has encased the ribbon itself in the seal, rather than breaking the seal to allow the ribbon through.

I'm not familiar with the ways that Canon or Nikon weather seal their cameras.  However, O-rings (but not gaskets) have and continue to be used to seal joints that move.  You can find them on rotating and reciprocating machinery such as pistons, shafts, etc.  The O-ring design itself isn't innaproporiate for such joints per se, it's that you have to pick appropriate surface roughness and O-ring hardness for the taks at hand and for the surfaces that form the mate.  It's certainly mechanically possible to design a joint with a ribbon cable that is weather sealed, to whatever specification Canon builds it's camera bodies to.

Whether such a solution is appropriate and/or cost effective for a DSLR designed for a specific price point and performance level is another matter.  I think we are generally in agreement that a moving screen probably won't be included in a weather sealed, sports-focused body, for obvious reasons.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II Announcement in Q2 of 2014 [CR1]
« on: February 28, 2014, 07:02:11 AM »
After all this time, I would expect the 7Dmkii to be a vehicle to introduce new sensor technology to the market.  It's the only reasonable explinatin I can think of for the time that has ellapsed between the 7D's release and now.  I'd almost say that Canon has to release a body with a drastic change in sensor technology, if they are going to compete with Sony and Nikon. 

If they just slap some derivative of the 70D's sensor in the 7Dmkii, I think a lot of people are going to ditch their Canon bodies.

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