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Messages - Rofflesaurrr

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Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Need Best Monitor for Photo Edits
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:02:00 AM »
I used to own a NEC PA241W which was a very accurate wide gamut monitor. I have since upgraded to the new HP Z24x DreamColor display, which uses an LED backlight. CCFL backlit monitors like the NEC take time to warm up and stabilize. They also require more frequent calibration. So, I highly recommend a display with an LED backlight. Keep in mind that if you want to use a 10-bit display, you are going to need a NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro graphics card. Many people think they have a 10-bit workflow through a cheaper GeForce or Radeon card, but they only support 10-bit through DirectX. Adobe Photoshop and all other professional graphics software use OpenGL. Only Quadro and FirePro cards offer full OpenGL support. 10-bit displays mostly benefit you if the majority of your work is going to be printed. If you're going to be publishing digitally, then 8-bit is all you need, as that is the standard for the internet and 99% of the devices that people will be using.

Recommended 10-bit 27" Displays:

HP Z27x DreamColor

Recommended 8-bit 27" Displays:

HP Z27i
Dell U2713HM

Recommended 10-bit 24" Displays

HP Z24x DreamColor
Dell U2413

Recommended 8-Bit 24" Displays

Dell U2412M
HP Z24i

All of these are popular LED backlit IPS or PLS displays that receive good feedback from the photography community.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 15, 2014, 08:37:00 PM »
Any camera body that is eligible for CPS.

I was pointing to his web site that touted a career as a C programmer but he had no clue what the missing DLL meant.

Yeah, something is definitely fishy here. It's his first post, and instead of asking for help, he just came to trash talk Canon on a Canon forum. When I saw the outrageous thread title, I immediately assumed it was a troll post from a Nikon user. While he may not be trolling, it is definitely not how you introduce yourself as a new member. What kind of response do you expect to get making a post like that?

If the OP is reading this and would actually like help, please post some useful information so we can actually help you troubleshoot the issue (Computer model, operating system version, etc...)

I agree that he didn't handle things well, but I got the impression he was/is angry and upset more than anything.

As for being a former c programmer for a investment fund (or something like that) I wouldn't interpret that as being an expert in everything computer related.

I have some background in programming too and I run into problems that frustrate the hell out of me every so often.

This is true. All the programmers that I'm friends with at least are very tech savvy though. I just made an assumption. I repair computers almost daily, and it's very difficult to diagnose and correct problems through email or over the phone with Windows machines. There's way to many variables to take into account with some people's setups. Windows is not sandboxed like Apple OS X is. Nearly any 3rd party software that is installed is capable of affecting system stability and performance. It could have simply been antivirus software or files that weren't updated because they were in use. A hard drive with unmapped failed sectors will cause corrupted files to be written, as well as a bad RAM module. A corrupted download could be to blame also. I breezed through the article on his web page just now, and he did mention using the system restore function. I usually resort to this as a last ditch effort, as it rarely fixes things without making more of a mess in the process. You can't really expect Canon to be able to troubleshoot issues like this, unless it is a known issue with a workaround (i.e. incompatibility with latest service pack, etc). I've had DPP on various systems throughout the last few years and haven't had a problem with it.

I was pointing to his web site that touted a career as a C programmer but he had no clue what the missing DLL meant.

Yeah, something is definitely fishy here. It's his first post, and instead of asking for help, he just came to trash talk Canon on a Canon forum. When I saw the outrageous thread title, I immediately assumed it was a troll post from a Nikon user. While he may not be trolling, it is definitely not how you introduce yourself as a new member. What kind of response do you expect to get making a post like that?

If the OP is reading this and would actually like help, please post some useful information so we can actually help you troubleshoot the issue (Computer model, operating system version, etc...)

@Khalai: No, there are no screens that can natively display 14 or more stops at once. However, it is for that very reason that we push shadows. A RAW is rendered to the screen with a tone curve. That tone curve compresses the information in a RAW, crushing the blacks and bleeding out the highlights. The middle part of the image fits on the screen...the middle 8 stops.

The purpose of shadow recovery is to bring back the shadows that were crushed and the highlights that were bleed out. The highlights aren't clipped, they are just rendered such that they appear clipped. The shadows aren't pure black...they are just rendered such that they appear pure black or nearly so. In the actual RAW file, in linear space, all that information is decidedly NOT black or white. It's all non-zero/non-clipped information that can be utilized.

Having more dynamic range, such as you get with an Exmor, means that more of that information that falls outside the display range of your computer screen is recoverable. Canon sensors are eating away at a large chunk of that information, then scattering banding (a semi-random or non-random factor) into the signal that reaches right up into the lower midtones, which are already displayed on the screen.

So, no, there are no screens that can natively display 14 stops of DR, which is the very reason we push shadows. I took some photographs of what appears to be a dark room. In reality, the room was not dark at all, it was much more like the second set of photos I shared. The information all those "blacks" as rendered in the first set of photos was all there, in the raw. My 8-bit screen, your 8-bit screen, most people's screens, cannot display the entire range of information found within the RAW, so I had to push the shadows up to make it fit. I compressed a wider dynamic range into a narrower dynamic range. In the third set of photos, I compressed the data even more, bringing in another stop of recoverable information in the A7r file that simply wasn't there in the 5D III file. (Hell, the 5D III file doesn't even have three stops of recoverable data, let alone four or five.)

It's actually because of the limitations of display devices and print media that we push and pull the digital signals of our RAW images around. Even when 10-bit computer screens become common, and 12-bit screens start hitting the marketplace, we will still be pushing shadows for print.

Pardon me if I'm incorrect, but although the bit-depth of a display can limit it's dynamic range, it's mainly about the levels of color gradation that are possible. Contrast ratio is the equivalent of dynamic range and that's mostly limited by the display technology itself. My main monitor (HP DreamColor) is an IPS display with a 10-bit panel, and can display 1024 levels of gradation per sub pixel. It's measured contrast ratio is slightly over 1000:1, and that's nearly 10 stops of dynamic range which is decent. Lower end IPS displays are around 9 stops . My previous monitors were VA panels with 3000:1 contrast ratios (~11 stops of DR). Now my reference monitor, which is a professional plasma display, is 12-bit over dual link HD-SDI with 16 bit A/D converter. It has a 30,000:1 static contrast ratio enabling it to display approximately 14.3 stops of dynamic range. OLED displays, which are not widely available yet in anything other than phones are capable of much, much more.


I'm a big fan of natural lighting whenever possible. The ceiling bounce flash in Lee Jay's photo worked extremely well and turned out a great photo. However, if that same flash were used in your living room scene, you'd lose all the soft shadows in the room from the window light and it would look rather... odd. Same thing with Keith's cockpit photo. The lighting is clearly artificial and it makes it seem as if there is bright sunlight pouring in from behind, which is not the case. All the shadows are also at the wrong angle for the light to be coming in the front glass. Sorry Keith, I'm not trying to bash your work, just critiquing.

I think if I had to shoot your living room scene without a flash on a Canon camera, I would blow the highlights a bit and then pull them in post. I have better luck recovering highlights with Canon RAWs than I do shadows.

Thanks for the RAW photo samples. I do wish Canon sensors had more DR, but like others have said. There's more to a camera system than the sensors. IMO Nikon ergonomics are crap, and Sony is full of bleeding edge technology with botched usability. While the A7R and A7S do deliver some outstanding results, I couldn't have one or the other as my day to day camera.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Osprey
« on: February 17, 2014, 05:45:31 PM »
For some reason I was expecting to see Osprey aircraft when I clicked on this thread  :D. Nice shots of non mechanical osprey though!

Someone buy this SSD and let me know how it is. Thinking about buying one if I win the lottery twice.

Software & Accessories / Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« on: January 02, 2014, 01:35:13 AM »
I have to agree with ksagomonyants. The new Mac Pro is slightly overkill for most Photoshop work. About 1/3 of the price you pay for the Mac Pro is for the workstation grade graphics adapters. Any OpenCL enabled adapter will greatly enhance your Photoshop experience, even Intel 4000 graphics. IMO, the difference between a $150 graphics card and a $1500 one is not significant enough to justify the additional expense. On top of that, according to Adobe, Photoshop will not even utilize the second graphics adapter in the Mac Pro. If you are intent on buying one, opt for 6 cores and 32GB of RAM with the lowest end graphics option. The limited internal storage is not as big of an issue as most make it out to be. There are 6 thunderbolt 2 ports. Thunderbolt is basically an extension of a PCI express lane. Any external drives or SSDs connected to these ports will be just as fast as an internally mounted drive. You will see zero difference in speed or latency.

Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:47:32 AM »
There's no denying that the price to performance ratio is much better on the PC side. However, the operating system is an important deciding factor too. Apple products also have some of the best resale value.

Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:12:51 PM »

Now for your monitor.... lets go to the next level and get yourself a 4K monitor. If you can afford an iMac, you can afford this:

That TV might be okay for spreadsheets or office applications, but it's not ideal by any means for photo editing. It has poor color accuracy, varying panel uniformity, and HDMI 1.4 limits it to a 30Hz refresh rate which is half that of a standard monitor. Dell is coming out with much better 4K panels for around $1000-1500 with proper Displayport connections.

Software & Accessories / Re: My Dell vs iMac
« on: December 10, 2013, 09:26:19 PM »
Alright, let's clear some things up...

Your Dell has a first generation Intel i5 Processor. The iMac uses a 4th generation i5. As mentioned, it is about twice as fast as your first generation i5. It supports faster RAM speeds, PCI Express 3.0, and it runs cooler and more efficiently.

The iMac is available with flash memory, which is the same as an SSD. The flash memory is faster than any standard SSD you can put in your PC for 2 reasons. The first reason being that your Dell has a SATA II interface, which limits data transfer speeds to around 270MB/sec. The second reason is that the iMac uses a proprietary interface which is connected directly to a PCI Express lane and can reach speeds over 700MB/sec. Even SATA III interfaces in newer PCs can not reach these speeds.

The iMac also has a thunderbolt connection, which is faster than any eSATA or USB 3.0 port on any PC. This thunderbolt connection allows you to add additional storage, whether it be external hard drives or SSDs, with no loss in performance compared to an internal drive. I would opt for flash storage on your iMac. You can keep your Lightroom catalog on the internal flash storage, and keep your actual photos on a high capacity external HDD. Lightroom is still very quick when set up this way.

As for RAM, just configure the iMac with the base amount, and buy RAM from OWC (Other World Computing). They specialize in Mac upgrades and it is cheaper this way. All 4 RAM slots are accessible from the rear of the 27" iMac.

Depending on what version of Photoshop you have, and what you use it for... the nVIDIA graphics processor in the iMac will accelerate some features.

Last but not least, you're also getting an amazing 27" IPS display with the iMac. Sure, there's better monitors out there, but the iMac display is very capable and should fulfill most people's photography needs.

Hope this information will assist you in making a decision. I'm using a Lenovo ThinkStation right now, and am also considering upgrading to a 27" iMac. 

So, some friends of mine asked me to do a farm themed family portrait for them. Everyone was very busy, and the only time everyone was available at the same time was 1 in the afternoon today. Ugh. They wanted a certain background, which resulted in the sun being partially in front of them. It was hard getting everyone to try not to squint. I used on camera speedlight to try and lessen the shadows on their faces. This was very quick and I didn't have too much time to make adjustments to camera and flash settings. I'm not 100% happy with any of them, but I need to pick one to edit, and have it printed for a 24"x20" frame. I like #10 the best, but the 4th person in is moving their hand and it is slightly blurred  >:(.

I actually researched this already. The SmartLav is a TRRS plug and will not work with a normal 3.5mm TRS connector on external recorders and cameras. A TRRS to TRS adapter don't work either, because the mic is powered by the +2.7V bias from newer iOS/Android devices. I was hoping to use it with a GoPro, as it seems like a nice mic for the price, but I guess I'm SOL.

About two weeks back, I took a huge step forward in my photo gear.
I stepped from a Nikon D-80 to a, to me at least, substantial investment in a Canon system.
I hope to never ever own another Nikon product, they've joined my list that includes HP, Apple and a few others, but never mind all that for now, perhaps another time I'll rant. I may also rant about Canon interface annoyances, for now, they are on the "learn to live with them and love them" list.

Anyway, new Canon kit includes 6D, 24-105mm f/4L IS USM , Shorty Forty, 2 600EX-RTs, ST-E3-RT , PIXMA PRO-100, Remote Control RC-6, spare battery, a few other what nots. Eg-S focusing screen ordered and paid, not yet arrived.
By the way, and I hope this doesn't run afoul of forum rules, etiquette, admins or moderators, I bought from a good old bricks and mortar store in Livonia MI, a former CR advertiser, ProPhoto. I initially found them through their ads here. They offered and followed through on matching on-line prices of Authorized Dealers. They matched bundle prices of the 6D, 24- 105 kit + Pro 100 bundle, plus the 2x 600EX + ST-E3 bundle as found at a major online retailer. Plus I got the hands on with everything I had patience to play with, got lots of questions answered, mostly Canon specific or how Canon operation differs from Nikon, that sort of thing. Overall, a great retail experience.

Prior to this purchase, I'd occasionally attempted to work with Nikon raw files using GIMP and ufRaw. Caused me a lot of pain and anguish just to get those raws to look as good as the as shot jpgs, could not figure why anyone would choose to work with raw.

Ha! Now I've got a 6D. Shot about 700 photos in raw + large jpg at a family reunion this past weekend. The house is finely finished log cabin facade over framing, inside and out.
Kitchen shots were incandescent lighting reflecting off of reddish logs causing a very objectionable red cast to everything shot there.
6D (and Canon) is new to me, probing through menus I discovered I could tweak the raws in camera!! This is way cool, I'm liking the results so far, starting to grok why shoot raw, wondering what will be possible once these raws are on a PC.

But, and I knew in advance of my Canon purchase, my 8 year old ownbuilt PC is not up to snuff and is due for replacement.
I loaded up the entire Canon software package that came with the 6D anyway, opened up a few CR2s in DPP to wet my toes in raw work, I'm really getting the why raw, the what and how will take longer. Agonizingly slow on the old PC though.
So, here's my current dilemma. It's time for a fresh ownbuild PC. This time I've got a good answer to the old question of "what will you be using it for?", editing current and future raw files, possibly video work as well.

I figured to start with a wide gamut monitor, work backwards from there.
I've decided on the NEC PA241W-BK-SV with its included NEC specific calibrator accessory, this component is pretty well carved in stone at this point. Briefly considered the 27" version, just don't have room for it though the additional expense is not an issue.
Now comes the first of many catches. Specs for that monitor include " 1.07 billion out of 4.3 trillion" colors. Elsewhere I find that those colors are only available with a compatible graphics interface. Huh? Does this mean DisplayPort? I've searched until frustrated, can't find any such spec for DisplayPort. Is DisplayPort a wide gamut interface? Is any integrated DisplayPort interface wide gamut?
If not, what do I need to find in a discreet graphics card?

While this is a very nice monitor, I can only recommend it if you are serious about printing. If all your output is going to be for viewing digitally, it may be more hassle than it's worth. Anything that's viewed in a non ICC aware application will appear over saturated. This monitor also uses wide spectrum CCFL tubes instead of LEDs. It takes about 5-10 minutes to warm up, and the color temperature and panel uniformity will change during this time. It also uses a lot of power and creates a lot of heat if that is of any concern to you. I eventually went back to using a professional standard gamut sRGB monitors. I like my monitors to go into standby when I'm away and be immediately ready for use when I need them.

For connectivity, DVI is okay. The PA241W uses a 10-bit panel. DVI technically supports 10 bit over dual link, but not all hardware supports it. I had to use a DisplayPort connection with the PA241W for the NVIDIA control panel to allow me to enable 10-bit color. I had a NVIDIA Quadro card at the time. I do not see the option for 10-bit color in the GeForce control panel.

Then I start to become aware of Haswell. Tech doesn't stand still at all, I'm old, having trouble even attempting to keep up even within my relatively narrow interests.
Socket 1155, Intel Gen 3; Socket 1150 Intel Gen 4, ugh....... so much to learn before I decide and place my orders.
From what I've read, neither PhotoShop not Lightroom uses a graphics card's processing power at all.
Are there other reasons I should be considering discrete graphics for this new build?
At this point in life I have no video skills, even less interest, but I know have some fairly capable gear, interests may change, if so, skills will follow. Are discrete graphics a video processing requirement?

Haswell is the newest generation of consumer grade CPUs and that's what you most likely want to go with. Socket 1150.

While Lightroom does not utilize the graphics card (yet), Photoshop does. It uses OpenGL and OpenCL to accelerate many features. Video editing software like Premiere and Media Composer will make use of the more advanced CUDA architecture available on NVIDIA cards.


Form factors.
For years, I've been intrigued with the Mini-ITX form factor. Now there's a new kid, Thin Mini-ITX, cool looking, maybe I can custom build an All In One, have some measure of portability. Nothing here yet carved in stone. ATX and a full tower is still possible, though choices really are overwhelming.

Mini-ITX is a very interesting form factor. Silverstone (one of my favorite chassis brands), makes some Mini-ITX cases with excellent cooling and room for a full length graphics card.

What chipset? So many choices I can't begin to sort through them all and their differences.

Since you are probably going to be using Haswell processors, your choices are Z87, H87, and H81. The Z87 and H87 are mostly identical. The Z87 is more targeted towards power users and includes a plethora of overlocking options. The H81 is a more economical chipset and is fairly locked down. It loses a few PCI lanes, and SATA ports.

Processors, yikes!
I'm seeing speeds from 2.0 to 3.2 GHz, caches from 3 to 6 GB. No idea what is a smart choice.

I believe the Intel i7-4770 is the fastest processor available for that socket right now.  There are also S and K versions. The S designates a lower max TDP (65W vs 84W), and the K version is "unlocked" for overclocking.

I'm figuring 16 GB memory, minimum, 32 GB possibly optional.

This can vary a lot depending on what you plan on using the computer for. 16GB minimum recommended.  Also, use 8GB x 2 modules so you have two free slots for future expansion. When I'm doing a photomerge in Photoshop CC, it will easily chew up 19-24GB of RAM. Many, large layers will do this too. Photoshop, like many applications, will start using virtual memory when there isn't enough RAM available. It greatly speeds things up if physical memory is available to it.

No spinning hard drives within the PC case, large capacity spinning hard drives for external back up only.
Inside the case, ideally four SSDs in two RAID 0 arrays, actuall capacity secondary to speed. Haven't even started looking for drives yet, I'm guessing and hoping that'll be the easy bit.

I think you would be content with a single SSD. Most current generation SSDs are pushing in excess of 400-500MB/sec transfer speeds. You might not see much of a difference with RAID 0 in real life usage. The Intel RAID is also a software solution and requires CPU overhead. The latency of a software RAID array will usually be higher than with a single drive. With RAID 0, you also increase the risk of data loss by 50%. I have a single Seagate 250GB SSD (On a 3Gbps SATA interface even!), and Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects all open in slightly over a second. My Lightroom catalog with thousands of images, will load high res thumbnails as fast as I can scroll. I can't imagine needing anything faster except for bragging rights (lol). If you do decide to go with SSDs in RAID, you'll need a motherboard with the Z87 chipset, as that is the only one that supports TRIM commands over RAID.
Input please? Comments on what I've written? Your personal Dream Build PC specs, hopefully with some whys?
Budget here isn't exceptionally tight, though you will notice I chose 6D rather than 5D III or 1Dx. Still, from all I've read, 6D would remain my first choice even with lotto moneys.
Hoping to get 4 or 5 years before having to go through all this again.
Oh yeah, WINDOWS 7 or 8? I'm not worried about 8's interface, there's Classic Shell for that. More worried about software compatibility. Forgot where, somewhere in my recent research, saw something about BlueRay not playable with some hardware and WINDOWS 8, really? No way I want to sacrifice BlueRay watching on the PA241W-BK-SV.
edit 1) so far, I've only looked at Asus and GigaByte boards, open for other suggestions or specifics with those two brands.

IMO Windows 7 is still the best. I tried Windows 8 and got very frustrated with how dual monitors are utilized. I never really warmed up to the interface either. The biggest problem I had though, was my NVIDIA drivers would crash multiple times a day. This was with a clean install and a final release version of Quadro drivers.

Believe it or not, Blu-Ray playback on the PA241W was not that great. Blu-Ray playback software like WinDVD and PowerDVD are not ICC aware and display over-saturated and/or incorrect colors. The PA241W also has a slightly high latency and would ghost quite a bit during some scenes.

As for motherboards, I've always used Asus in the past. However, computers that I've built for people in the last 2-3 years are starting to come back with bad motherboards. One of my own failed too. I now prefer Intel branded boards. Asus also tends to stop updating drivers after a year or two. Not just motherboards, but with all their products.

Hope this helps. I'm not as "is in the loop" as I used to be a year or two ago, so feel free to correct me.

Technical Support / Re: Not Windows
« on: July 30, 2013, 09:34:01 PM »
What neruo brought up gave me an idea; I think I'm going to pick up one of these as a 'cheap' fix/test:

My iMac doesn't have USB 3, but it DOES have Firewire . . . so that should eliminate any question as to if it's actual processing power I need or if it's a bus/disk access issue.


I'm actually surprised about the linux guys with Mac hate.  I understand it's benefits, and I only use Mac OS as a crutch because Xwindows isn't completely familiar to me and frustrates me. 

Still, it's a great step forwards from Windows and what Windows has become.

Firewire 800 is faster than USB 2.0, but not THAT fast. You'll see a realistic read/write speed of about 60-70MB/sec over Firewire 800. Most current generation SSDs will exceed 500MB/sec read speeds. You will notice a little improvement due to the SSD having near instantaneous access times though. I wouldn't waste money on a SSD if FW800 is the only connection option. I guess you don't have Thunderbolt?

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