November 27, 2014, 07:16:02 AM

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Messages - David Hull

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1
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D II sensor measurement
« on: November 19, 2014, 12:59:41 AM »
They've just announced results at http://www.senscore.org/
Great... with this and DxO there is no longer any need to take actual photographs to compare equipment.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II - DXO, Tony Northrup, and You
« on: November 11, 2014, 04:40:41 PM »
I absolutely looove to watch his videos!!!
They are soooo stupid, I can't believe that guy has got over 200k subscribers...

But, seriously, he had a point there about ISO being the most important factor and the 7DII being great. :)

He is the larval form of Ken Rockwell.

3
On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Sony facilities are used to fabricate the sensor but sensor design comes from Canon.

what about industrial espionage?
would that not be a problem?

buying a finished sensor is no problem but handing out all your technical stuff to a competing company so they can produce your latest and greatest?

i mean sony is not like other companys who could produce sensors for canon, they are a direct competitor.

it´s not like apple is handing out chip production to TSMC.
TSMC does not produce phones or tablets.
It is a bit the other way around actually.  Sony would have to tip their hat to Canon in that they would have to provide all of their process models and libraries to enable Canon to design on their fab.  That said, unless Sony is geared up to support fabless semiconductor companies, they may not really have the support in place to allow Canon to use their fabs.

4
Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

So if I understand correctly, the purpose of incessantly complaining about the lack of DR in Canon sensors is to get Canon to notice, light a fire under Canon's ass, and inspire them improve DR? That objective, by nature, requires repeating the same sentiment (Canon's DR sucks) over and over again on a forum. That action, by nature, is one that many people on this forum find very irritating. Naturally, those people will eventually voice their displeasure.

What I don't understand is that when people happy with their Canon gear voice their displease, the pro-DR guys all of a sudden start complaining that they're being bullied, and complain that they're being personally insulted? I'm not saying that personal insults are OK, but seriously, what do you expect? Should I go stand in front of a church, proclaim the virtues of Islam, and expect a welcoming response?

The notion that the pro-DR guys are innocent angels in all this, and only the brainwashed happy Canon guys are throwing the insults, is absolutely ridiculous. You must have missed the posts where the DR advocates state their intentions of saving the anti-DR guys from their ignorance, showing them the error of their ways, and showing them how much happier they'd be if that had equally high standards of IQ and DR. That must constitute objective commentary in your book.

So if I understand correctly, the purpose of incessantly complaining about the lack of DR in Canon sensors is to get Canon to notice, light a fire under Canon's ass, and inspire them improve DR?

I think that if history proves anything with regard to this particular issue -- it proves that this strategy has been ineffective.  We've been slapping this around for about 8 years that I can remember.  Apparently this DR thing isn't producing enough market churn to raise Canon's interest in making a change.  One guy hit the nail on the head, I think, by saying something like "Just because sensor B is only 90% as good as sensor A, doesn't mean sensor B sucks (or is even close to unusable). 

5

Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

The thing is, we don't know yet what fabrication line the 70D and 7D2 sensors are made on... but we do know that going to the 20.2Mpixel design from the 18Mpixel design, the ISO performance increased slightly... The more complex lithography required for DPAF should have meant a reduction in high ISO performance, so they must have done something to counter it, and using their existing 180nM line (P/S sensors) seems like the most likely scenario... Also, it costs a lot more money to keep 2 fabrication lines open than one, so my bet is that the death of the 500nM fabrication run is already happening.

I wonder if Chipworks will dissect the 7D II sensor. It's been a long time since they dissected a Canon sensor... Would be nice to know what process Canon is using.
I would like to know what ADC they are using, I suspect that it is something like the Analog Devices ADDI 7004.  Their sensors seem to be just fine regardless of what geometry they are making them in.  They seem to be getting in excess of 15 stops of DR out of the latest ones (6D for example), if you believe Sensorgen.  They just toss it away on the bottom end due to an implementation that is not optimized performance at the bottom end of the ISO range like the Sony stuff is.  In terms of the sensor itself, it appears to be every bit as good as anything that Sony has produced (except for whatever they put in the A7s, or whatever that one is that can see in the dark).

I agree, I think the primary source of noise is downstream of the sensors. I think Canon sensors have a lot more dark current (based on my experience with 7D, 5D III, D5300 and D800 astrophotography subs)...when my Canon sensors are very cool (i.e. during winter), such as -8°C, they don't have any visible dark current even after several minutes worth of exposure. Much warmer than that, they do. D5300 (and D5100 files too, I guess) files, on the other hand, fare FAR better at much higher temperatures, they don't seem to have much visible dark up to around 10°C.

I still think a transistor shrink would benefit Canon, as well as a move to a more advanced fab and higher Q.E. design. Overall, though, I agree. I think the primary source of noise is down stream, probably the ADC.

Someone linked a paper about per-pixel ADC recently. Apparently it's fairly difficult to do, but if you do it right, you can dramatically lower the frequency of the ADC units, and increase ADC parallelism to 1/4 the pixel count (one ADC per four pixels, capable of simultaneous output for each attached pixel...so effectively 1/1 parallelism as far as output DU's go). Pretty amazing.
I think that is what is doing the job for Sony.  They have a very low speed SAR style ADC so they get the full benefit of their sensor noise figure all the way down to minimum gain.  Canon can't do that since their high speed ADC (pipeline architecture, I suspect) can only give about 12.5 effective bits even though it is a 14 bit converter -- that's just all those things do.

6

Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

The thing is, we don't know yet what fabrication line the 70D and 7D2 sensors are made on... but we do know that going to the 20.2Mpixel design from the 18Mpixel design, the ISO performance increased slightly... The more complex lithography required for DPAF should have meant a reduction in high ISO performance, so they must have done something to counter it, and using their existing 180nM line (P/S sensors) seems like the most likely scenario... Also, it costs a lot more money to keep 2 fabrication lines open than one, so my bet is that the death of the 500nM fabrication run is already happening.

I wonder if Chipworks will dissect the 7D II sensor. It's been a long time since they dissected a Canon sensor... Would be nice to know what process Canon is using.
I would like to know what ADC they are using, I suspect that it is something like the Analog Devices ADDI 7004.  Their sensors seem to be just fine regardless of what geometry they are making them in.  They seem to be getting in excess of 15 stops of DR out of the latest ones (6D for example), if you believe Sensorgen.  They just toss it away on the bottom end due to an implementation that is not optimized performance at the bottom end of the ISO range like the Sony stuff is.  In terms of the sensor itself, it appears to be every bit as good as anything that Sony has produced (except for whatever they put in the A7s, or whatever that one is that can see in the dark).

7
I actually don't see jrista as a problem at all.  Having read through some of his posts (apologies his stamina for writing exceeds mine for reading so I won't claim to have read them all) I can see his knowledge dwarfs mine but he's presented enough evidence to convince me of the point.

The thing that I find irksome is the posts that often follow his and the more reasonable DR aficionados by others saying things like the following (emphasis is mine):-

  - Canon cameras or systems are years behind their competitors.
  - Canon need to do something now or it's all over for them.

That's just opinion and in my mind a long way from the truth.  I think the 7D2 which has suffered a lot from this debate due to timing is going to be a stunning camera for the intended audience.  It will capture images, situations and moments that many other cameras that it is in the same price bracket as will simply miss altogether.  Does that mean those other cameras are years behind?  No, they just have different strengths and weaknesses.

I, and possibly a number of others, take exception to how this issue is raised to above all others by some.  And once again I refer people to jrista's post about renting the Sony.  He made his point about DR and backed it up but was already recognising that the Sony had other problem areas that could be significant.  For what he was doing it was better, for what some others do it won't be.

It's a relative weakness for certain types of photography, it isn't make or break any more than the Sony's weaknesses are.  Canon spends its money on a variety of things, maybe it's been outdone in sensors but I think it's ahead of most in other areas.  It seems, you just can't have it all wherever you look.

  - Canon cameras or systems are years behind their competitors.
  - Canon need to do something now or it's all over for them.

That is the sort of stuff that prompts my "Hype" remark.

8
Most of this DR stuff (not all of it but a great deal of it) is nothing more than hype.

I'm curious to know how many people who say that DR is mostly just hype have actually played with enough Exmor-based RAW files to really understand the differences.

There is this notion that the only thing more dynamic range offers is additional shadow pushing. That's not the case. Shadow pushing is by far the most obvious benefit, but on a normalized basis, more dynamic range improves IQ across the board. I've provides some RAW files people can download...I really encourage them to. They aren't phenomenal works of art...but they do demonstrate the differences.

I also encourage anyone who downloads to not just compare the differences at 100%. Doing that doesn't reveal as much of a difference, and that is primarily because your comparing 36mp @ 100% to 22.3mp @ 100%. That means the frequency of the finest detail elements and the frequency of noise are different. The primary difference at 100% is the shadow pushing. Once you normalize, you start to see the full benefits of an Exmor sensor...which means lower noise across the board (not just in the shadows), sharper detail, better color fidelity, etc.
I have played quite a bit with images from Sony based cameras and I am not denying the advantages that are there for certain specific applications.  When I said hype, I am really referring to the way these demos are usually presented.  Take a look at the recent bologna from Tony Northrup for example.  This sort of thing can be quite misleading IMO. 

9
You don't see those who care about the issue running around trying to subtly or not so subtly hint that the pics of those who don't care all stink do you?

Of course you see that, constantly and in no way subtly.  Not in a personal way, as in 'your photos stink'.  But, if Canon sensors have "poor IQ", deliver "sub-par/unacceptable IQ", and/or just plain "suck" (all of which are quotes from 'those who care about the issue'), that's tantamount to saying pictures taken by those using Canon dSLRs are poor, sub-par, or just plain suck.  Has it really not occurred to you that statements like 'Canon sensors deliver poor IQ' are a slam on the images of anyone using them, and how some people might just find that a little wee bit offensive?
Yep... I think you hit it right on the head.  What generally fires me up on these things is some goofball making a statement like "Canon needs to improve their IQ" as if there were a problem with Canon IQ in some general sense.  If there were any truth in that statement at all it would be evident in every image out there, which it clearly is not.  I really doubt that any one could distinguish which images were shot by which system given that they were well produced and presented in a proper blind test.

Most of this DR stuff (not all of it but a great deal of it) is nothing more than hype.

10
why don't they establish a thread specifically for this topic and leave it there.

Because this currently is the most pressing issue for about 50% of the people here. People can cope with artificially dumbed down camera software - magiclantern alleviates some of that pain. People can deal with ergonomics. People can deal with lenses - most are fine and many 3rd party alternatives are available cross platform. But people cannot deal with an image which cannot be processed in the way they like because of high shadow noise. Then they look over to their neighbor and despite all the shortcomings of the other camera systems his image shows a higher resolution and less noise. Many of us often hit this barrier.

This is not the reason why there is complaining... that will never stop... but it is the reason why this one topic is so prevalent.
Then they should simply buy the product that they want and be done with it.  What these people are really saying is that DR and resolution aren't the most important things that they need (or just WANT) otherwise they would made a switch.

11
Canon General / Re: Site trolling
« on: October 02, 2014, 11:12:36 AM »
I think there is a genuine concern that Canon sensors are no long competitive and are a generation or two behind Sony and Nikon (same sensor).  There is some minor gripping about this and that feature or mirroless offerings but the real complaint is the sensor.  When Canon had the best sensors (a long run) the Nikon fan sites were awash with similar complaints on their sites and the fanboys saying things like "12MP is all you ever need".  Same thing you are seeing now on this site.  The fanboys are saying things like "18MP is all you need". "I would never buy a camera with than many mega pixels", or "It's the glass, yeah, thats why I stay with Canon" ignoring the fact that Nikon has equally fine glass and Sony shooters have access to better stuff.  If Canon catches up the same old fanboys will be lining up to buy the best stuff and crowing about how important the big sensors are.
I think some of the Canon commenters should feel a bit vindicated by the fact that Nikon just dialed back the MP in their latest FF camera to 24.  They must have had some reason for doing that.  It wasn't to save money as the sensor will be the same parts cost.  I suspect that there were plenty of Nikon users that really had no use for 36 MP.  I think they wanted to put something closer to the 5DIII.

Nikon dialed back nothing.  Did they take their 36mp sensor off the market?????? They used a cheaper (but better than Canon) sensor so they would not compete against the 820D.  They built a camera at a price point (cheaper than Canon, more MP) so as not to cannibalize a market they already serve.  Nikon gives their customers a choice of FF sensors "36mm?  yeah, we have that..... will 24 do?  Sure, we have that too".  Canon (18, or 20 or 22....want more?  we don't have it and you don't need it....BTW we have better glass).  I will not stop saying it.  The most important component of a camera is the sensor.  Canon sensors are not as good as Nikon and Sony sensors.  CANON!! WE WANT BETTER SENSORS!!!! WE WANT WHAT NIKON AND SONY HAVE!!!!
That 24 MP sensor isn't any cheaper than the 36 MP one -- same technology, same wafer cost, same yield, same number of die per wafer -- that's how it works.  They put a 24 MP camera on the market because there was demand for better performance in terms of something other than the MP number.  I expect that a sufficient number of Nikon users wanted smaller file size and the 62% higher firing rate that comes with it.

As for your last comment, that about sums it up as far as I am concerned.  We want it because Nikon and Sony have it.  Nothing to do with better photography or any semblance of real practical need.  It is all about feature envy from what I can tell.  Here is a clue for you:  As long as all you do is bellyache on camera forums, Canon needs to take no action.  Nikon and Sony apparently make what you want so sell all your stuff and go buy what they make. If more of you mindless whiners did that (instead of all the mindless whining and forum trolling), you would [probably see more action from Canon -- money talks.

12
Canon General / Re: Site trolling
« on: October 02, 2014, 09:37:29 AM »
I think there is a genuine concern that Canon sensors are no long competitive and are a generation or two behind Sony and Nikon (same sensor).  There is some minor gripping about this and that feature or mirroless offerings but the real complaint is the sensor.  When Canon had the best sensors (a long run) the Nikon fan sites were awash with similar complaints on their sites and the fanboys saying things like "12MP is all you ever need".  Same thing you are seeing now on this site.  The fanboys are saying things like "18MP is all you need". "I would never buy a camera with than many mega pixels", or "It's the glass, yeah, thats why I stay with Canon" ignoring the fact that Nikon has equally fine glass and Sony shooters have access to better stuff.  If Canon catches up the same old fanboys will be lining up to buy the best stuff and crowing about how important the big sensors are.
I think some of the Canon commenters should feel a bit vindicated by the fact that Nikon just dialed back the MP in their latest FF camera to 24.  They must have had some reason for doing that.  It wasn't to save money as the sensor will be the same parts cost.  I suspect that there were plenty of Nikon users that really had no use for 36 MP.  I think they wanted to put something closer to the 5DIII.

13
EOS Bodies / Re: No EOS-1D X Replacement in 2014 [CR2]
« on: September 29, 2014, 10:22:26 AM »
But when?

I'm mostly curious about the 5D replacement.  Spring or not?
Didn't we just get one?

14
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Says Higher Resolution Sensors Are Coming Soon
« on: September 25, 2014, 12:56:37 AM »
They also strongly implied that they don't care about low ISO DR and will wait until after sales tank, if ever, to bother. I think they just don't like the cost of a new fab and are doing everything to avoid it, not caring what anyone in forums says or how DxO scores look and gambling that only a few will leave and sales will keep going on as they have been for years to come even if they don't improve low ISO DR (and in other places, the word about 4k for 5D4 sounds pretty negatory as well) Oh well.

Guess it's time to look Sony/Nikon if you care about low ISO DR. It sounds like it might be a loooong time before Canon responds to Exmor. Quite a shame (again only if DR matters to you, for some it won't much)....

"One thing we know from our own testing is that Canon DSLR sensors can’t quite compete with some modern sensors from Sony in terms of dynamic range. How important to you is developing sensor technology?

We are very focused on getting the best image quality. I’m not sure what measurements you’re looking at but when it comes to dynamic range for example we consider image quality as a whole, from low to high ISO sensitivities and on balance we consider our sensors to be the best.

My ideal camera is one that can take a picture in any environment from complete darkness to the brightest sunshine.

So in your opinion your sensors are currently the best [DSLR sensors] on the market?

Yes. In the EOS 7D Mark II for example the sensor we’ve used is improved compared to the previous generation, especially at high ISO and in shadows. There’s less noise."

The fact that he has to pretend that he's never heard of DxO or any forum talk or that maybe he somehow actually hasn't heard anything in the forums or from any review sites, paints a kind of bleak picture for DR. If they had something remotely close to being ready, you'd surely think he would have responded in a much different fashion. (The only possible hopeful way to read it is that he was just saving face for the current stuff and valuing that more than being afraid of giving the impression that they were not about to move sensors forward soon.  ??? :))

 :'(

I think they may be surprised at 5D4 sales if they skip low ISO DR fixes and 4k and the only thing they give it over the 5D3 is more MP. And if they do that again for 5D5....

If you don't shoot much any low ISO high DR stuff and don't care about rescuing the odd bad shot, I'm sure the 5D4 will be great though for stills.

They also strongly implied that they don't care about low ISO DR and will wait until after sales tank, if ever, to bother. I think they just don't like the cost of a new fab and are doing everything to avoid it, not caring what anyone in forums says or how DxO scores look and gambling that only a few will leave and sales will keep going on as they have been for years to come even if they don't improve low ISO DR (and in other places, the word about 4k for 5D4 sounds pretty negatory as well) Oh well.


Could you post a link to the article you are referring to?  I read the one on DPR and it really didn't say anything like this at all.

15
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: POLL: What's more important, gps or wifi?
« on: September 23, 2014, 09:51:02 AM »
You missed another option:  Don't give a damn about either of them.

I have GPS in my Car and My phone why do I need another one in my camera.  What's next one in my shoes?

WiFi Not sure why I need that in a camera either.
Hi,
    Sometime, I also wonder this when I wear my watch... my phone got clock, my camera got clock, my GPS unit got clock and even my bluetooth earpiece also got clock, so why am I wearing the watch??? Ha ha ha ;D ;D ;D Hmm... May be the only reason I can think of why I wear my watch is that the battery life of my watch outlast all the above device as the watch had auto solar cell charging (basically will last as long as the watch is working), so if one day I forgot to charge all the above device, I still had my watch... ha ha ha

   Have a nice day.
Sometimes I have thought that same thing.  I think that the reason is that for some 50 years I have gotten used to looking at the device on my wrist for the time.  I suppose I could get used to looking at my phone for the time (I know that some people have) but I just haven't bothered.

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