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Messages - SiliconVoid

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EOS Bodies / Re: More Talk of an October Announcement of a DSLR [CR1]
« on: September 27, 2014, 09:06:31 AM »
This pathetic whining is really getting boring..
Years ago everyone was happy with 21.x mp because it serves 99% of all photography, and for a disturbing percentage it was more mp than Nikon offered. Then Nikon came out with the D3X and that same percentage said 'meh' 3mp isn't any big deal, my camera still does everything I need it to do.. and is about 5x above their capabilities anyway.. The sun rose and set, the moon shined bright, and everything was peaches&cream..
Then years later Nikon releases 36mp and the four horsemen can be seen in the sky!! All the sudden the camera you have been producing incredible images with is all the sudden a piece of crap that no one can even rationalize why they bought it to begin with... O.o
The 'need' for more mp is more about your ego than your print.

Their are those that will now try to redirect their peni.. er, mp envy by claiming DR and IQ and blah and blah. The irony is that the differences in the components contributing to IQ are not actually higher in the Nikon bodies, and even in some perfect scenario where one aspect is higher (like that whopping ~1 stop of DR in the shadows you can't even see) it only exists in one or two sensitivity settings, and no other component of IQ is higher. DR doesn't make the image nor does it create IQ by itself. For example take any D8xx image you think is the absolute representation of IQ and in your editing software take it down to 16bit color, now how great is it...?

So the little pixel packers are left to pointing out the superior IQ as scored by DxO, however that is all they want to see, the SCORE and RANKING, without actually looking at what the supposedly superior sensor is really doing. Give you another example, open your LR or similar software and organize all the thousands of images you have by ISO.. I will wager that the highest percentage of them are above 400 ISO. Why is that relevant? Because by ISO ~500 the D8xx does worse than just about every upper end body out. In all areas of IQ (DR, SNR, Tone, Color).. and even at the two ISO settings where the D8xx shows higher DR it is a) less than what can be perceived (as stated by DxO - +-1 not noticeable) and b) at those settings it performs worse in the other components of IQ.. that is a wash folks, the only thing it then offers is more mp to bolster your ego.

The solution is stop buying every new model that comes out because you were duped by marketing and fanboy sites that you have to have the latest model on the market. That will cause the manufacturers to stop releasing these bullS___ updates and put out a body that you don't need to upgrade. Then you will have more to spend on lenses, which will have more impact on how your images look than anything else you could possibly do.. short of a photography course, and heck if your aren't wasting your money on versions xx of what you already have you could get both..

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:50:10 PM »
"Point is I love DSLRs but I'm starting to think a small compact mirrorless makes a heck of a lot more sense for holidays and general use."

- They absolutely do, that is why so many people own both..

That is a good point, regarding current tech versus older tech, though my reference to the same 'technology' being used was in the context of technology limitations. In that at some point we will reach the boundaries of our technology where we are limited to xx number of pixels per mm. At which point APS-C sensors will not have any more than half the pixel count (40% for Canon) of full frame sensors and cropping becomes nothing more than an output/framing preference.

You and I will likely not see that day, but someone will..  :)

Commendations on the in-depth research and comparison of the 7D and 5DmkIII.

Although the example used could be a little misleading as your results do not exactly show how APS-C sensors 'will' have a reach advantage over 35mm frame sensors - but exactly how they 'could' such as a 7D at 18mp over something like the 5Dmkx at 22mp when using the same lens for the same subject at the same distance. As APS-C sensors with less than half the pixel resolution of 35mm sensors still exist, and will likely be the case as long as the same technology is applied in both sensor designs, the ideology that APS-C will provide an advantage depends entirely on the mp/mm ratio of both sensors - not simply APS-C over full frame.

For example in Canon world (1.6 multiplier) something like the 7D would only provide the reach advantage you show as long as the smaller sensor provides at least 40% of the pixel count of the larger sensor. In other words, an 18mp APS-C sensor would have no reach advantage over a full frame 45mp sensor, because they would both produce the same resolution/data of the subject to crop for final output. Further, if the smaller sensor provided less than half the pixel count (less than 40% in the case of Canon) it would have no advantage at all as the larger sensor would have more pixels across the subject - both before and after cropping.

For some the mathematics may be difficult to follow as Canon does not have anything even close to 45mp (not even half that currently) so we can use another brand like Nikon. The 12mp APS-C sensor of say the D300s, or the 16mp APS-C sensor of the D7000, provide no reach advantage over their 36mp FX bodies because even with the subject only covering a ~50% region of the sensor it is still resolved by more mp than the APS-C sensors.

Still a very informative research project within the offerings of one manufacturer where a photographer has the choice of an APS-C body providing more than 40-50% of the pixel count of full frame.  :)

Reviews / Re: DxO reviews Sony A7s: king of low light photography?
« on: August 08, 2014, 10:25:51 AM »
Zigzagzoe, you obviously have an affinity for the D8xx (and/or possibly just anything with Nikon's name on it, or anything with a Sony made sensor) and you created a fresh account on a Canon site so you could inform everyone of your preference - and that is fine. The D8xx is also a fine camera, for some photographers, because it can provide a specific solution to a specific need - not because it, and Sony, produce the end all be all in photographic reproduction.

(Sorry.. I don't really do quotes, and even if I did there are far too many needed to address the volume of brand-fan-biased statements made in your posts - and I am long winded enough as it is.)

The A7S has a great sensor in it, and is a pinnacle example of what a large percentage of the industry (not just Canon users suffering from mp-envy) have been proclaiming and wanting for years. Which is to put todays tech in a sensor that provides minimal work flow in a package that offers lens flexibility, SLR AF performance, reasonably flat ISO performance curve, and solid field ergonomics. The A7 line obviously does not come through in all those areas, most notably lacking in system lens selection and ergonomics, but does demonstrate that MP and +.5ev shadow DR at base ISO is not all there is to this industry. I think the resistance you encounter might stem from your perspective that the area of photography that takes place at base ISO is so significant as to be all that counts in photography when coupled with less than half a stop of shadow DR... and obviously (whether mentioned or not) a complete acceptance of data provided by a rating-for-hire service like DxO - and that is fine as well, for you.

The reality however is that across the entire spectrum of photography more images are captured outside base ISO than within - and at an exponential level - and that is where the D8xx is simply bested by many, if not most. Therefore evaluating the performance of a camera across a reasonable sensitivity range is more relevant and substantive than what might be produced at one specific sensitivity setting. That is not to say that low ISO isn't relevant, but attempting to quantify in comparison to something like the popularity of low speed film is quite skewed. ASA64 speed film for example was certainly popular, and because it did produce the best imagery, however that was/is because of the limitations of light sensitive substrate materials - not because lower sensitivity always produces better IQ. Digital imaging technology does not actually have a 'native' operating range, it is not limited by any specific sensitivity, it is simply the design of the sensor chosen by the manufacturer. Standard film sensitivities are most often targeted in digital sensor design because our environment (the intensity of sun light) and photographic preferences (controlled dof) etc, maintain a demand to retain those sensitivity settings. As an example of preference versus need; Once ASA200 and ASA400 were being produced within acceptable output standards (mid1970s) those speeds not only sold more than lower speed films, even during the rather limited time of sale (~1970 to early 2000s) they accounted for more sales than the total of ASA64/ASA100 film combined. Even if we concede that base ISO were ones only requirement, you still could not evaluate 'pure' IQ -purely- on DR (the only component of IQ something like the D8xx has over anything else) as literally everything else in the visual spectrum are factors of the whole. Measuring 'pure' IQ purely on DR is flawed logic and indicates one who does not know enough about what goes into IQ as they should.

To continue visiting something like the D8xx; The majority of its DR 'advantage' only exists in shadow/dark regions, AND only at base ISO, AND only by .5ev, which is a very subjective need/benefit. If a photographer has no need or intention to raise the shadows of an image then the D8xx offers nothing other than MP, which is an even more subjective need/benefit. DR range (as is measured and rated today) is not an measurement of accuracy, it is a range of a spectrum. If you plotted visible dynamic range on a linear scale (-6 to +6 in this example) the D8xx at its best sensitivity setting offers nothing that is not available from any other camera between say -4 to +4, and when certain exposure modes are enabled it can be increased to -6 to +5 staying within its best sensitivity setting, which is great. However maintaining honesty its curve in highlights steepens to the point of clipping prior to its increased highlight range. Basically it offers the user an option of trading some detail in its increased highlight range to gain some shadow range, which brings us back to the previously mentioned 'advantage' - if not raising shadows, it is purely subjective benefits.

In comparison, the A7S provides an exceptional performance range that would benefit a greater percentage of its industry than anything else available. At base ISO it provides greater IQ (DR + TR + CS) than anything on the market, and through its operating range it maintains a performance curve advantage that just gets greater as ISO sensitivity increases. As is proclaimed by DxO, it is -currently- the king of low light, tone, color, and even DR (because the majority of photography doesn't need .5ev of recoverable shadows at ISO100) - BUT just as IQ is a measure of more than one parameter, a camera is measured by more than its sensor. Were it not for a very significant failing in system lens options and ergonomics the A7S could very well displace a substantial amount of Canon/Nikon market share.. as it is though, as a whole, it simply fills a void, of a niche, just like the D8xx and every other camera that has ever been produced.

 ::) Wake me up when they release the auto-aperture FD lens adapter...  ;D

Software & Accessories / Re: Rain protection for 5D3 and lens
« on: July 16, 2014, 12:57:02 AM »
Put an umbrella mount on your tripod/monopod - then no one has to hold it.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Anyone own both Canon and Nikon
« on: July 16, 2014, 12:46:06 AM »
This is late (I do not get to sit down at a computer as often) but if you are simply after resolution and hate shadows in your images, I would suggest as some others have done - which is something like the A7R. Purely as a 'digital back' for whatever lenses you wish to use.

As for lenses, I would strongly suggest a couple of Canon's TS lenses before the Nikon's, simply because many of Nikon's lenses of recent years rely a good deal on in-camera corrections, which has allowed Nikon to slack on physical IQ in the lenses. This means that when not used on a Nikon body the lenses do not perform as well. Canon on the other hand, which only recently included/support lens correction in-camera on the very latest bodies, have had to maintain a little higher physical IQ in the lenses.

Sure, most pp software provides lens correction, but not on off-brand combinations.. so you will not get the proper corrections on something like the 14-24mm when used on the Sony body as you would on a Nikon body, and the same goes for the 17mm or 24mm TS on the Sony body, but the Canon's would need less correction to begin with.

Rental of your proposed setup will provide the best information regardless..

To give you an idea on what benefit in-camera corrections can make, DxO has the opportunity to test lenses on an independent body - a real measure of how a lens is designed, built, and performs - by testing on something like the A7R (as it has the same resolution that DxO says makes all the difference in the world) but stated that most people purchasing something like a Nikon lens would be using it on a Nikon body, and therefore any compensated benefits to be had in that combination are relevant to the lenses performance scores.
(Even though in-camera corrections mask the lenses physical design and performance)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon's D800E 30% sharper than D800
« on: July 16, 2014, 12:16:01 AM »
*This references the inaccuracies of sensor scoring primarily, but if one feels this logic is sound - then everything else provided by DxO should carry the same weight.. otherwise:*

For those interested, or anyone concerned with physical testing/measuring/grading (in the context of empirical data results) DxO does not actually measure the 'downsampled' image.. DxO does not evaluate the downsampled data at all, and derive their scoring based on the lowest achievable ISO setting regardless of how poorly said camera/sensor performs through the remainder of its designed operating range. As a matter of fact, there is absolutely no scoring, averaging, or ranking in any way associated with how the sensors operate through the rest of the manufacturers designed operating range. They run their measurements on the pixel level data, and because they are convinced by their math that 'every' aspect of image quality improves at a ratio of xx/pixel like perceived noise does, it is not necessary to take measurements on the 'downsampled' 'normalized' data..
(Interestingly, they have been challenged by some in the industry to actually measure a real downsampled image, but that would mean having to redo all of their measurements and subsequent rankings so they decline the challenge.)

So the algorithm used to show that noise performance (visible/percieved noise, not physical) improves at a rate of xx per pixel can be applied to all other areas of image quality..
To which DxO believes a sensor that can only capture/reproduce 22bit color at the pixel level can somehow produce 24bit+ color when downsampled.
To which DxO believes a sensor that can only capture/reproduce 90% tonal accuracy at the pixel level can somehow produce 100% tonal accuracy when downsampled.
To which DxO believes a sensor that operates at 39db of SNR at the pixel level somehow operates at 45db when downsampled.
To which DxO believes a sensor that can only capture/reproduce 12 stops of DR at the pixel level can somehow produce 14 stops of DR when downsampled.

If you are ok with theoretically calculated performance, then DxO is your source for comparison - otherwise it should be known that DxO is in the business of producing/selling post processing software. Therefore like any marketing department would do, they will cater to anything and any demographic they feel will have/produce the most momentum of interest in their software - which is apparently not bound by the laws of physics and does things no other software can do. As DxO is determined to displace Adobe, they will first and foremost attempt to appeal to the same 'creative-minded' demographic that Adobe does = Nikon.

It is ironic that after all the years of Nikon defending itself as not just 'a base ISO studio camera', and Canon refuting its ranking of being 'the everything else field camera', each camp can still be found and marketed to in the same locations they have always been.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A7r Arrived - Meeting New Buddies
« on: July 15, 2014, 09:45:22 PM »
Really curious why you expected/anticipated "IQ" to be better, better than say the 6D you already own...??

Megapixels do not have crap to do with IQ, and it does not make a hoot of a difference whether you have 1 or 2 more stops of DR because they are in the shadows anyway, so unless you intend on 'removing' the shadows in all your shots the additional DR is not even visible. Your 6D has better DR at the upper end, which is what typically gets clipped by most all Sony sensors, and that is where Canon already gives you a DR edge in addition to exposing shadows about one stop better than Nikony from the getgo...

Not trying to bash people or devices on the bases of MP envy, but unless you are needing to print base ISO images at large sizes, there is no advantage to pumping out 36mp files... that is certainly debated by many people, but it is the reality.

As for the mechanics of the device, well you mentioned not anticipating much there, so the lack of any 'real' system lenses from Sony is, and continues, to be its major failing.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: New Nikon D800s... Why?
« on: June 25, 2014, 03:45:20 PM »
Purely from a financial perspective it would make sense for Nikon to consolidate the line, as there is almost no functional difference between the two, and they have not sold anywhere close to the numbers anticipated to meet financial projections.

In that regard however, the proposed 'upgrades' would not be of of the significance many consumers would expect for a 'consolidated' model (ala 1Dx and D4). The upgrades are basically software and a badge, sans the processor - which in the end is technically still a software upgrade.. The new processor will provide the muscle needed for a different AF algorithm, noise reduction algorithm (the alleged ISO improvement), moire suppression algorithm, and sRAW (which if based on the D4 implementation will be a waste of processor cycles anyway..) oh, and let us not forget the crucial addition of GPS! (sic).
No.. What I see in this consolidation is simply an attempt to restore faith in the Nikon brand. Showing their base that when they see something wrong, or lacking in tangible benefit, they react - and decisively - to trim the fat and produce the lean mean product they should have released initially. (queue the I AM xxxxxxx theme music)

As for the 'new' model.. In my opinion they could gain back their D700 base (the ~790k they thought would upgrade) if they would take current tech in a lower mp sensor (akin to the D4) yielding better overall ISO, DR across the ISO range, color and tone across the ISO range (all without the unnecessary processing) faster fps, robust AF, 1080p video, and stuff it all into a body that is more comfortable to hold (they still have the D700 castings, heh) with truly needed ergonomic changes like moving ISO and AF mode selection to the right side so you do not have to transfer perch of the camera back and forth between your right and left hands. There is already a large hole in the body due to the flash for wireless communication, but not important either way there.
If they want to run a body like that along with a high-mp body that fewer people need/want, that would make multiple bodies more feasible all around.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 25, 2014, 04:11:38 AM »
Don't expect "eventually" to be tomorrow, though. The big name DSLR cameras are the high end ones. They don't sell as much as the Canon Rebels and Nikon Dxxxx models, but they are usually where significant leaps in larger format technologies are made. We already had major new DSLRs released over the last couple of years, and major new mirrorless cameras just over the last year. It'll be a couple years at least before we see any significant innovations trickle down to the DSLR and Mirrorless arena.

I gave some extreme examples sure, but my point is still quantified. The primary difference in our expression is verbiage that attempts to assert knowledge and understanding of physics... (no offense, just an observation)
I work for a medical equipment manufacturer specializing in imaging technology, and if no comparison were made beyond the technology we work with I can assure you that consumer digital imaging products are not implementing the latest imaging technology. If one were to then compare other industries that develop and implement imaging technology outside the realm of consumer photography products, dslrs might as well have a little chimp inside with a tablet and chisel... The physical size of a $2.5billion device has little to do with researching the concepts of that technology for other applications, especially when the $2.5billion device contains many more elements than the digital sensor, and provides ample room for design and implementation to meet other criteria such as serviceability and maintenance - not how small the packaging could be.
However if you are prepared to offer higher megapixels, improved noise algorithms, marginally improved read noise, and the absence of a mirror (all within the concepts of traditional sensor design) as examples of 'new technology' then we have little to discuss given the discrepancy in perspective and definition.

This if funny as hell btw: Fstoppers Nikon DF Digital Camera Hipster Review
Fstoppers Nikon DF Digital Camera Hipster Review

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 18, 2014, 06:57:32 PM »
You clearly don't understand the primary source of noise. It is impossible to have ISO 100 performance at ISO 6400, while still having comparable sensor resolution to sensors of today. "Noise" is a general term that refers to ALL noise in an image. NOT all noise in an image is from the camera's electronics. Noise caused by camera electronics is called read noise, however read noise only affects the deep shadows, and it is generally only present to a relatively significant degree at lower ISO settings. You are also missing the fact that dynamic range is relative to noise. Eliminate noise, and you effectively have infinite dynamic range (or, in the case of a digitized result, you gain the maximum dynamic range up to your bit depth...whatever that may be...14bits/14stops, 16bits/16stops, 1024bits/1024stops.)

On the contrary, I am well aware of where noise is introduced, both as a consequence of design as well as the increased gain to have a sensor simulate higher ISO sensitivities..
However do not be mislead in the assumption that the digital sensors in modern cameras in any way represent the cutting edge of digital imaging - they do not - they are not even close. Unfortunately real cutting edge technologies result in million dollar digital imaging equipment that is of course not cost effective to build into a consumer product. Additionally do not assume what we know about physics today is all there is in the universe, our knowledge and conceptual understanding of physics has been challenged many times over through human history. Your response asserts your comprehension of imaging technology is limited to any single wafer sensor design, and additionally those limited by todays consumer technology… The Hubble telescope for example can resolve more detail than the D800, with greater dynamic range, and all at much higher ISO ranges because that is what is was designed to do regardless of cost as it was not intended to be a consumer product - yet its total mp count is a mere 5.1mp. It does however use multiple sensors to capture the analog data which is then put back together to produce an image, but clearly showing that 'more mp' is not the only approach to image quality.
In dslr sensor design there are several immediate approaches that could be researched, one being a sensor that is designed to operate at a base signal amplification much higher than current technology (~300 ISO) resulting in a base ISO sensitivity of say around 3200, with the greater gain adjustment at the lower sensitivity end as opposed to current implementation, and only a small increase in gain to achieve 6400-12800. Textbook physics tell us that such an approach would not leave enough signal strength at ISO 100 sensitivity to get readable data (again thinking we know everything about physics) but that could be countered by charging and reading fewer photosites at lower sensitivity settings. Then increasing the number of photo sites charged and read at the higher ISO range. That would of course mean the resolution output of the camera is lower at lower ISO settings and higher at higher ISO settings, or it could simply be set to output say 15mp images during ASIC processing regardless of the actual mp count of the sensor.. There would of course be a massive number of consumers who would feel cheated in some way in buying a 45mp camera that only outputs 15mp images, but hey people are buying a 36mp camera today that has to be downsampled to 8mp in order to generate DxO award winning images so that should not really have any impact as long as it produces the desired output in the end, right…
Another method would be multiple sensors, very much the same method high end digital video camera equipment is designed. With only a small increase in camera size there could be multiple sensors utilized to only read certain spectrums of light, four being the most logical array (Red, Blue Green, and UV to measure intensity) which would yield more color and light intensity data than is captured today by any consumer device. Data that translates to detail, color spectrum, tonal accuracy, and dynamic range..
Yet another method would be a single wafer design where one third of the photosites are dedicated for each primary color spectrum, somewhat similar but further on the approach taken by Fujifilm and their X-Trans sensors (and the original design found in the S2, S3, S5 Pro)..
Fujifilm is probably the best example of what I meant in my original post.. Canon/Sony/Toshiba/Aptina are not actually pushing the boundaries of digital imaging technology, they are catering to the boundaries of consumer marketability. Fujifilm is unfortunately one of the few (if not the only) consumer imaging company actually trying to advance the digital imaging world at this time by working outside the box.. As I stated earlier, and it is to the actual detriment of the technology, it is simply a matter of dollars and cents - for Canon/Sony/Toshiba/Aptina it is cheaper to try and improve current technology than to explore/develop new technology. The major players have too much invested in current technology to explore a new approach, at least not any time soon.
Regarding my ‘unfortunately’ reference to Fujifilm I did not mean that in a bad way, quite the contrary, I love Fujifilm’s approach - What I meant is if new technology like that was being backed by the kind of money/research Canon and other major players spend on 'old-tech' improvements we would already be where I stated we should be in the imaging world.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:11:38 PM »
I think the bigger question is - Does Canon Even Need to Answer the D4s...
(btw: if naming convention holds up the D4s will not be any significant increase in mp, if any at all, so it is not going to be a 'pro-body' D800 - just improvements Nikon feels worthy of a different model name)

If we look at Canon's current lineup of top tier bodies (1Dx, 5DmkIII, 6D, 70D, T5i) they all outsell their competitors offerings. While Canon surely wants to advance the technology as much as the next brand, it comes down to dollar and cents in the end.. and it is there that Canon continues to hold the lead. So other than bragging rights to some ambiguous scoring service there is actually little reason for Canon to worry about a specific brand or model they already outsell...

Not everyone will agree with this but as for the other argument - DR! - well it is not as significant or as necessary as many believe. By that I mean while a generous range can provide flexibility and creativity in certain situations it is of limited use. A properly or creatively exposed shot can relieve the need for 14 stop post processing as there would be no 'need' for it to begin with. To give an example: If Canon/Nikon/Sony/etc were to develop a sensor that captured every scene with well lit shadows, exaggerated colors, exaggerated contrast, a complete dream like scene with 50-stops of DR, and no more leeway for processing because the sensor has already captured and reproduced everything there is to be seen - people would still complain about the lack of stops they have in post as a must have, must design etc.

Isn't photography the art/science/creativity of capturing light and shadow?? If the scene being captured has shadows you cannot see into with your eye then there is no 'need' to remove the shadows in development/print, actually doing so tends to ruin the feel of the scene most of the time. It is true that there is an interest/intrigue in an image that looks the way you see the world in a dream - where everything is lit by some magical indirect lighting coming from every direction - but as it is not the way we see the world in real life it will always be a method of processing, a fad, an interest that comes and goes.. It is not something a camera manufacturer need redesign their products around. It is simply not something 'needed' to the point that people fret over 1,2,3 stops difference between this model or that brand.

We would all be better served by a sensor that produces noise free images through the ISO range, even if it did not capture any more than 11 stops of DR, and I mean without downsampling, without film-like-grain, and without 3x the post processing.. I personally would not care if Canon ever squeaked out another stop of DR as long as they work towards ISO 100 performance at >6400 ISO...

Canon General / Re: Spray and Pray Discovery
« on: October 21, 2013, 04:10:20 PM »
If it is not too windy (maybe a couple millimeters of movement of the subject) I will typically fire off 5-7 shots and then load those into PS to do some focus stacking - plus that works great with wider apertures..

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