August 28, 2014, 01:25:49 AM

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Messages - LDS

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Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 25, 2014, 03:35:44 AM »
I was expecting some marvelous increase in resolution since the file size goes from 7MB to 22MB. Do you guys see a big improvement?? Is RAW worth it?
RAW has nothing to do with resolution - the megapixel count doesn't change. RAW, unlike JPEG, contains all the information read from the camera sensor, and is not  compressed with a lossy algorithm (one that discards data, JPEG does it). That's why sizes are so different. But not because of the pixel count.
Because RAW has more data (especially more levels - bits - for each color channel), it allows for recording more subtle transitions, and, when manipulated by a good application, there's more room not only for recovering bad exposed images, but also for improving good ones. Also RAW lets you to decide how to process the image, you know what you shoot and the desired final result. The in-camera RAW to JPEG converter (cameras always shoot RAW...) doesn't know, and applies a preset process.
Sharpening a RAW file with a good application may yield better results than in-camera sharpening, and deliver what will look better 'resolution', because finer details may be seen.
But mastering RAW processing takes time and requires experience. You need to train your eye to understand what kind of processing an image needs, and learn how to apply it with your tool(s) of choice.
If you didn't it already, look for books, tutorials, etc. to learn and understand RAW processing, a trial-and-error approach without solid foundations about digital image processing usually doesn't get you too far.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 18, 2014, 01:51:03 PM »
why would anyone not want to get the best possible rendition of that content?

Can you measure it - the "best possible rendition" - using a scientific method, or it is just a matter of personal tastes in selecting parameters with a tool or another?

IMHO Schewe is right when it calls a RAW file a "digital negative". From it you can produce different images depending on what you want from it. Is there a tool that produces the "best result always"? I don't think so.

Photography Technique / Re: APOLLO missions - image inconsistencies
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:36:01 AM »
I also like the part about how it was too dangerous so it would not have been done for real....
Especially when they were almost all military pilots with active service in war, and/or test pilots flying prototypes and experimental planes - which may kill you as well.
Having a chance of walking on the Moon and enter History is a good incentive to risk, far better than dying over Vietnam, for example, and be remembered by no one.
After all, for example, even reaching South Pole at the beginning of the last century was probably too dangerous - and Scott's team died in the attempt - but Amudsen succeeded despite how risky it was (thanks to careful planning - the Moon program was very well managed, unlike the Shuttle one).

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L For Sale
« on: August 17, 2014, 12:02:54 PM »
if you really want to go crazy, the Hubble telescope is 57,000mm.....

and there is one in the Canary Islands... 16,500mm at F1.6... Who says you can't get a lens that is both fast and long.....

Just they aren't lenses but mirrors... AFAIK the largest lens telescopes are still the Yerkes, Lick and Paris ones, although I'm sure they won't stand your actual IQ requirements. Also minimum focusing distance could be an issue... and still they lack aperture control and AF.
The Swedish solar telescope in Canary Islands has a very different design compared to telephoto lens.
And, BTW, many large telescopes have different 'focus' positions that allows them to change focal length to allow for different types of instruments, for example IIRC high resolution spectrography requires very long focal lengths. Something alike very big extenders...

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 16, 2014, 02:41:12 PM »
The biggest issue with Lightroom is that users often just try to learn as they go, and miss some of the features.  Its really worth the trouble to purchase a book and work entirely through it.


In his book "The Digital Negative - RAW image processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw and Photoshop", Jeff Schewe writes:

"If you fell in love with the way your image looked when you chimped the LCD on the back of the camera, this first look in Lightroom or Camera Raw might be disappointing. Neither Lightroom nor Camera Raw uses the camera-maker’s software development kit (SDK) for rendering the digital negative, so expecting the preview to look like the camera LCD is unreasonable. When he was designing the rendering engine, Thomas Knoll made a conscious decision not to try to match the camera companies’ “looks” but, instead, to present you with a reasonable and normalized preview of your image." 

In LR 5 camera profiles allows to match the camera "look".

IMHO among the best books about LR is Martin Evening's "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book - The complete Guide for Photographers", it's not a light read, but it is comprehensive and really explains how LR works (and why).

Canon General / Re: Carry on restrictions on South African Airways
« on: August 14, 2014, 07:23:54 PM »
I don't know if it works for airlines in other countries, but in the U.S., if you have to check gear in a bag and want to guarantee that it arrives at your destination, put an unloaded firearm along with it.  Declare the firearm when you check it in (or else go directly to jail).
In some countries (i.e. Italy) you need some kind of license to carry around firearms. and be careful with international travels, especially check the destination allows you to enter with a firearm without a good reason (i.e. a sport event, your job, etc.), may depend on the type of firearm. Hunters may have some advantages, but it could be hard to fit a rifle into a camera bag.

But bags manufacturers should start to make bag with an embedded GPS tracker...

I am the only one who does not trust media that can be deleted? ???
Not only deleted, but modified also...

Delivering images on read-only media could still be a good idea - not an old one - because it can shield you from customers complains if *they* (or someone else on their behalf, say a print service) do something silly and/or irreparable with the images, and then try to assert that is what was delivered by you. If you ever need to demonstrate what the original was, you can point at the DVDs, and it is better if the DVDs contain digitally signed and time stamped hashes of the files delivered also. That will thwart any attempt to recreate a DVD.

Of course that depends on your kind of customers, how much you need to protect yourself from troubles, and for speed/versatility you can also make the same files available as downloads. Digital signature with a timestamp could also be a good idea for them also.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:29:42 PM »
He wrote that the colours appear more natural and representative of the original scene. And that the images are sharper at the beginning, straight out of camera (without any adjustments).
That depends on the kind of pre-processing the software applies to RAW images when you open them. A RAW image *can't* be displayed without some kind of pre-processing - what in LR is in the "Process Version". In LR you can use both camera profiles and import presets to tailor the initial image to your tastes. For example you can match one of the camera RAW processes selecting it from Camera Calibration -> Profile.

LR default profiles are pretty conservative, AFAIK, and don't try to render a "good" image from start, because it can't know what is good for you, your specific camera, and for a given image.

I wouldn't judge a RAW editing tool from its initial display of a RAW images, especially if this can be calibrated as you like. Other are the factors about choosing one software or another.

Software & Accessories / Re: Zoombrowser v. Imagebrowser
« on: August 11, 2014, 01:25:59 PM »
I am in contact with Canon's Executive Response Team about their abandoning Zoombrowser for Imagebrowser.  I understand that Canon has made an upgraded version of Zoombrowser but it is only avialable to high-end camera customers.  I would appreciate any feedback from others on this issue.  Thank you.

Canon should reconsider its investment in IB, because AFAIK it is MS Silverlight based, and AFAIK Microsoft has abandoned Silverlight development. Support will be available until 2021, though. Maybe rewriting it with a different technology, maybe portable to devices like tablets, would be sensible today.

I understand the need for a browser separated from DPP for all those PowerShot/Ixus users who don't use DPP, but DPP users will also need tight integration into a browser application, and IMHO using different user interface frameworks for the products is not a good idea.

Just I believe it's difficult to deliver a product with an easy to use interface for amateur photographers, and a powerful one for prosumer and professional ones. Probably is better to leave IB as an entry-level, easy to use tool for the low-end market, and add good browsing/catalog/search functions to DPP, being able to work in a single application with different "perspectives" is better than switching from an app to another, especially if they also don't share a common user interface.
Just I don't know if the return from free tools for Canon camera users justify such an investment. especially many are probably using other tools like LR.

Software & Accessories / Re: Any NAS Experts? quick question
« on: August 09, 2014, 11:18:57 AM »
the speed limitation of Gigabit ethernet will not be relevant to backup storage

Actually, Gigabit Ethernet allows for speed around 100MB/s - you may hit the disk speed bottleneck far before hitting the network speed limit unless you have fast disks on the other side - but most NAS disks are slow ones (RAID may increase speed - but RAID 5 only increase read speed, and decrease write one).

But to exploit Gigabit Ethernet full speed usually is necessary to enable "Jumbo frames". Usually each Ethernet packet is just about 1500 bytes in size (it's called MTU - Max Transmission Unit), and transferring many large files thereby implies a lot of packets - the packet management overhead may impact performance. Modern network devices support larger MTUs, up to about 9000 bytes, called "Jumbo frames". Usually they are disabled by default, because not every device may support them, and some older software may have issues.
But when Jumbo frames are enabled on *all* devices used (network cards, switch/router, etc.), the number of packets transmissions is reduced and performance thereby increases.

Also the protocol used is important. If you use "shared folders" using "Windows shares" (SMB protocol, often called also with its old "CIFS" name), there is the older, pre-Vista version (SMB1) which is slower than the newer SMB2 and SMB3 versions introduced with Vista/7 and 8. OSX uses SMB2 as its default network file system protocol since 10.9. Check what your NAS supports, and configure it as needed.

iSCSI delivers even better perfomance, but it is not designed to share files, it is designed to use a remote disk/partition as a local one.

Software & Accessories / Re: Any NAS Experts? quick question
« on: August 08, 2014, 05:45:59 PM »
I've not worked with USB3 yet, but, in my experience, USB's throughput wasn't the slowdown, it's how it works with the computer's BUS.

Check if USB 3 devices and your PC support USB Attached iSCSI (UAS) - it greatly increases USB 3 file transfer speeds. Some motherboards (i.e. Asus) may also support a "turbo" mode that improve speed over the standard BOT (Bulk-Only Transport) used since USB 1.1

Software & Accessories / Re: Any NAS Experts? quick question
« on: August 08, 2014, 05:28:02 PM »
i think i remember that lightroom does not support network storage for files & catalogs but i could be wrong. and i don't even know if you're using that software or not.
AFAIK there could be issues storing catalogs on a network file systems. Catalogs are databases (SQLite), and usually databases don't like much network file systems for their data because they may lead to data integrity issues due to the way network file system protocols work (there are no problem using remote disks through protocols like iSCSI, but maybe somewhat lower performances).
There should be no issues using network storage for files, though, but slower performance in accessing them.

Software & Accessories / Re: Any NAS Experts? quick question
« on: August 08, 2014, 07:04:28 AM »
But do you usually edit images on laptop's local storage or external LAN-Wired storage?

That depends on your workflow, your network reliability, and how do you plan to backup data.

Working on a local copy is of course faster, and you remove a good slice of equipement that could corrupt a file from the path (network card, network devices, ecc.), especially when editing implies making many changes to a file. Performing backups or syncs of files is usually safer, because it implies accessing the whole file, and good software calculates a "fingerprint" of the file (CRC, hash, whatever) before copying it, and then compares it after it has been copied, and can thereby spot any error.
And if your only copy of the files are on the remote storage, of course you also need a backup on a separate storage. But if you need to access the same files from different devices, without attaching the storage directly each time, you may need to share them via a remote storage.

That said, it's not unusual, especially in some business environment, to work on remote files - but the whole "path" to the files needs to be "safe" enough, and that means devices, cables, power supply, etc. etc. to minimize troubles. IMHO, in such a situation working via a cabled network is better than via WiFi.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Doing Market Research on Medium Format?
« on: August 06, 2014, 12:55:47 PM »
645 for MF was/is the equivalent of APS-C, most MF systems were 6x6cm or 6x7cm.

Not true. All those formats used 120 or 220 film, and the choice among them depended on the intended use for the camera. Usually 6x4.5 were the smaller/lighter ones (lenses also), and the most useful to be used on-site and carried around, while the 6x7 ones were usually the bulkier ones, and better suited for studio work. Many models could switch form a format to another, many 6x6 models could also switch to 6x4.5 (some could also use 35mm film), if the square format was not ideal for the shot (or more shots from a roll of film were needed), and some 6x7 as well. 6x6 cameras were probably the most versatile format, and a good compromise between size and performance, and thereby the most common. IIRC only Mamiya and Pentax made 6x7 cameras, while Hasselblad, Rollei, Zenza Bronica made only cameras for 6x6 and 6x4.5 formats.

Lighting / Re: Studio lighting advice for a newbie
« on: August 05, 2014, 11:32:02 AM »
Great recommendation on that book - it's a nice overview of lighting in general and an especially useful guide for product lighting.  It's not quite as helpful for portraits, but the concepts in the book are a huge help for photography in general and have even helped me when shooting with natural light.
IMHO before attempting portrait it is advisable to start mastering lighting (and equipment) using inanimate subjects, which are usually much more patient and don't complain much about the results :) This also allows to understand how light "works" and how different surfaces and shapes "react" to it - even in portraits people may wear spectacles, jewels, clothes or other accessories that need to be lighted properly. Environmental portraits more so.
"Light - Science and Magic" has only one chapter that covers portrait (head and shoulder portrait mostly), but covers the basics - than there are specific books to choose among.

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