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Messages - dtaylor

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EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 24, 2014, 02:24:22 AM »
Well, your just plain wrong about the DR. Your using IR's "total DR" number, which is irrelevant, 

It is the ONLY relevant number. The definition of DR is not up for debate.

How hard you can push shadows due to noise (i.e. grain) is LATITUDE.

Even IR's results where they don't completely ignore noise even jive, and IR ALSO gets approximately a two-stop difference between Canon sensors and Exmors.

Guess what would happen if you fed Imatest or DxO the D800 and 5D3+NR file you posted? They would report nearly identical DR. But applying NR to the D800 will not reveal any more detail or bump its score the same, at least not with Imatest. (DxO thinks blacker blacks with no detail still = more DR, so maybe their score would go up. But it would also be useless.)

Picking an arbitrary noise/processing threshold and arguing about it is worthless for this very reason.

You are correct that some careful NR can close the gap. Thing is, if you actually look at my sample images I recently posted, there is still a gap.

Yes. You might even spot it on a 36" print with the D800 print sitting next to it  ::)

And, it was extra work to do the NR on the 5D III image.

Usually the "extra work" involves moving sliders in ACR. I generally tailor my NR selections based on the image in front of me any way, regardless of sensor, unless it's base ISO and I won't be pushing shadows at all because they're all solid there.

If you don't want to do any work, then you probably aren't converting a RAW in the first place. For those people there are automatic 3 shot HDR modes.

The real kicker is the gap is growing.

No it's not. It's about the same today as it was when the D7000 came out against the 7D. Both sensor series have improved over time by small increments.

I don't think we'll be stuck with 14-bit ADC units for long...technology is moving far too fast for that.

Someone has to be able to fabricate a sensor that can produce useful bits >14 first. If someone does that at Photokina while Canon ships a 70D sensor variant, then Canon has a problem. But even Sony's 12 MP FF sensor isn't doing that yet so I kind of doubt it.

As others have stated, 4k video recording is starting to become a more common feature among competitors, and the quality of that video is higher than you can get with a Canon.

I'll give you that one. As a stills guy I don't personally care, but Canon needs to start shipping 4k as well as some of the other features of ML.

I've also been getting more and more into astrophotography equipment...Some of these things are RADICALLY superior to what Canon has to offer.

But these are also niche tools, are they not? In terms of general purpose cameras, I'll grant that a Sony Exmor is a better choice for astro, but it's not like you can't do good astro with a 5D2/3 or 6D. Flickr is full of those shots.

That is TWENTY FREAKIN STOPS!! The thing has a 20-bit readout mode to fully support that many stops as well.

But we don't see that in any general purpose, high resolution ILC gear. So what's the trade off? If it doesn't arrive in our cameras for two years, and Canon does the same thing at the same time or shortly after Sony (for example), then they're not way behind. They would be way behind if Sony's current FF sensors had 20 stops.

So, the 70D? It doesn't sell because of it's sensor.

The 70D has an excellent sensor that is competitive now. If Sony brings out a 20 stop ISO 25,600 APS-C monster tomorrow, that will change. But you're reading about all this new stuff that no one has yet in a general purpose ILC line. Which means there is a trade off...maybe as simple as fab yields...that everyone is experiencing.

What happens when Sony drops a LITERAL 16-stop sensor on the market?

Canon will respond. Even if it means buying the sensor from Sony, if their market is threatened they will respond. But my guess is that 16-stop sensor is not coming as soon as you imagine, nor is Canon's that far behind. Plus, I see a lot of patents coming from Canon for RGB multilayer sensors. Foveon shot themselves in the foot by overstating the advantage, but the advantage is significant. Anyone else doing any R&D here?

To get control of their noise problems, they are going to have to stop manufacturing ADCs they way they have been manufacturing ADCs for over a decade now...

When it affects their market share I'm sure they will. They're still #1, and the smart company pockets profits but has tech ready to go when they need it. I know that sucks when you want to see rapid innovation, but it's typical behavior. If you're the underdog you innovate wildly...and often lose money...trying to get at the top dog. If you're the top dog, you protect your position.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 10:03:32 PM »

High ISO? In the DPReview and IR studio comparisons the 70D looks pretty much the same as the D7100 (for example). I would shoot either to 6400 if need be.

I  put the camera away at ISO 1250. And I own it.

I guess you would be putting any APS-C away then. Makes sense if you want 24-36" prints. Not so much if you're posting online or printing to 8x10.

The 7D could make a nice ISO 3200 8x10, with noise that looked like tight film grain from a low speed portrait film, as long as you nailed exposure.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 06:52:34 PM »
I'm still bummed that Canon has STILL not demonstrated they are getting competitive again on the sensor front...re-purposing the 70D sensor in the 7D II just smells really sloppy and cheap....

The 70D sensor is competitive. So what would you like them to do?

Resolution? Better be north of 40 MP to see a real difference, and that's only for those of us who regularly make large prints of finely detailed subject matter (i.e. landscapes shot from a tripod at optimum apertures). Not even Sony can pull that off in APS-C right now and retain high ISO/DR.

Total DR? The 70D is 1/3 stop behind Exmor.

Shadow latitude (noise)? You yourself showed how ridiculously small the difference is when NR is intelligently applied. When I first saw a Canon v Exmor pushed shadow test I thought the tester was purposely lying because I had never seen noise that bad...because I never turn off default NR when pushing shadows hard. In fact I apply more! I routinely push shadows 2-3 stops even with the old, noisy, 7D sensor. The thing I run into pushing shadows is not noise, but a tonality/fine detail/microcontrast wall, and you hit the same wall on Sony.

High ISO? In the DPReview and IR studio comparisons the 70D looks pretty much the same as the D7100 (for example). I would shoot either to 6400 if need be.

Color? Canon seems to have nailed that one. Other people complain and profile their sensors to try and match Canon color.

The next major jumps are going to involve 16-bit designs, multilayer sensors, or some other technology twist. We are well into diminishing returns given the state of sensor fabrication right now.

The only thing "wrong" with Canon's sensors is they score poorly over at DxO relative to Exmor. So do Hasselblad medium format sensors! Only Hasselblad fans are sophisticated enough to know DxO is a joke. I doubt any of their users are silly enough to jump on a forum and say "If Hasselblad doesn't do something about these sensors I'm buying a D810!"

I hope Canon makes a major jump in the 7D2 sensor by applying NR in camera even to RAWs and therefore gaming DxO to get a higher score  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:51:37 AM »
The IR method has a lot more variables and they don't test RAW they test after conversion RAW with cooked in NR of various who knows what degrees

NR does not affect total DR. And they use ACR with default settings for ALL cameras.

(and that also explains how they manage to get this type of DR to actually measure higher than engineering DR measurements of the RAW file).

If DxO was measuring what you think they are measuring then this would be impossible no matter what processing was performed.

Go take a long, hard look at jrista's processing of the infamous 5D3 vs. D800 online test. DxO claims that there is a 2.5 stop DR difference between these two cameras. If that were the case then that door and those tiles in the far back should be BLACK. No detail or image at all in those regions, just blocked up shadow.

Instead we see the same features that we see on the D800, just with a lot more color noise.

The color noise impacts our ability to push the shadows, or shadow latitude. But the DR is darn near the same. It certainly is not 2.5 stops less.

There is your direct, observational evidence that DxO is wrong.

Perhaps more importantly for someone buying a camera, the final result with NR shows just how small the difference ends up being in the real world. Yes, the D800 is better. Could you spot it on a 36" print? Probably, but it certainly would not ruin the print. 24"? Most people could not without being told to look for it up close. 12"? Nope.

How often do you shoot a scene intended for 36" prints yet blow the exposure so badly that you need to push shadows this hard?   :o

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:25:46 AM »
Actually I found out how. IR is measuring after raw conversion and NR has been applied!

NR does not affect how many steps of gray appear between black and white on a step wedge or total DR. It WOULD affect tests against arbitrary noise thresholds for "quality DR."

BTW: they use default settings for ALL cameras.

Yeah and DxO is more direct,

Black box formulas are not "direct."

And ironically enough it turns out that the DxO measurement didn't fail and that there is an explanation for the IR result,

Try photographing a step wedge some time. Keep increasing NR until more black squares turn gray  ::)

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:10:47 AM »
Well, here's what the IR says about dynamic range.

I like that they use(d) Imatest and a step wedge. That yields an accurate, tamper resistant view of total DR. But I don't care what their opinion is on the definition of DR. The definition was solved before Ansel Adams!

Latitude...which is what you are actually talking about...is important to. But if it's as important to you as people pretend it is in online forums, then you are not exposing correctly, and quality will suffer even with Exmor. Exmor > Canon, but dealing with the scene (GND filter; HDR) will blow both away.

In practice if you are digging deeper then about 2...2.5 stops into shadows for detail then you are sacrificing tonality and micro contrast with any sensor. Canon can handle that about as well as Exmor just using the NR sliders in ACR.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 07:03:42 AM »
Your being rather misleading. This is what the article says:

I am not being misleading. IR does not specify what "highest quality" DR means, nor do they provide images to demonstrate. You and I both know the threshold is arbitrary and the result would be impacted by NR and processing (as you just demonstrated with the infamous D800 / 5D3 test above).

I am not exactly certain how they do these tests or how they are calculating dynamic range,

They are photographing a step wedge and feeding it to Imatest. Preprocessing would change the result for "highest quality", but the total is pretty much the total. Again we're crossing the line from discussing DR to actually discussing shadow latitude.

but they are pretty clear that when it comes down to QUALITY

Which they neither define in real world terms nor illustrate with real world samples, so it's pointless to debate.

Even at low, the 70D scored 11.7 stops, and at medium it was 10.8. Those numbers seem more in line with what other sites measure.

What other sites? DPReview only does JPEG now, not ACR best, and DxO doesn't agree either way. (You can't cherry pick the "high" setting for Canon and the "low" setting for Nikon.)

I've worked with Canon, Nikon, and Sony RAWs and I can tell you with certainty that there is not a 2 stop difference in DR. They both fade to white and black at about the same points. What is different is how far you can push shadows due to noise vs. the work you want to put into the processing. Even with work if you push hard the final result is better with Exmor. But it doesn't matter nearly as often as Exmor fans pretend, especially in print (vs. pixel peeping).

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 01:00:40 AM »
Funny you mention Ansel Adams since I'd bet a lot of money that he'd be.... not on your side here.

Come back when you've read some of his work.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:59:27 AM »
it doesn't seem subtle to me

and how exactly is it that a bye the eye DR rating gives a higher score than an engineering rating which goes deeper in the noise floor than some eyes would like?

For the nth time...DxO is not measuring photographic DR. They are measuring sensel SNR, running those values through a 'black box' formula, and predicting DR.

Understand that direct observation always trumps theory and prediction. Always. Never the other way around. No matter how much math, effort, belief, or faith you put in a theory, nor how many so called 'experts' trust in the theory, direct observation always wins.

DxO measures sensel SNR and concludes that a 70D (for example) only has 11.6 stops DR. Someone photographs a step wedge and sees 13 stops between black and white. The question is not "how exactly is it that a bye the eye DR rating gives a higher score than an engineering rating"? No, the question is "where did the engineering testing, model, or rating fail?"

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:50:34 AM »
The 70D is at 13 stops. There isn't room for "significantly better" DR with a 14-bit ADC.

Except that the 7D has 11 stops of DR, not 13 stops.

Except that I was talking about the 70D. It's a good guess that The 7D markII sensor will be at least as good as the most recent APS-C sensor from Canon.

The D7100 and the Exmor sensors have 13 stops of DR.

13.3 to be precise.

Canon is still stuck at 11,

EOS M 12.4 Total RAW

70D 13 Total RAW

Myths die hard, don't they.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:45:59 AM »
I used to prefer Photography DR until I couldn't find a consistent means of computing it.

Step wedge test.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 12:44:24 AM »
I'm not talking about DxO's reporting of DR, I'm talking about computing real well capacity and read noise from DxO's measurements.  DxO's interpretation of their own data is pretty much total crap, and I never visit their site.  But the raw measurements are useful if properly interpreted.

I don't disagree with this statement. The problem is that people go to their site and accept their DR and overall score values at face value.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:47:26 PM »
"Photographic DR" would likely be less than DR measured this way, for a simple reason - we don't usually tolerate image detail that's near or at the noise floor.

DxO overstates DR for sensors with noise below their arbitrary threshold, and understates it for sensors with noise above their arbitrary threshold (especially in light of RAW conversion NR).

Perhaps more importantly, they're not measuring detail or steps in either case. If you photograph a step wedge with two cameras and one has slightly less noise in some of the otherwise pure black steps, DxO will count those as more DR! This is why when they "normalize" an image to 8 MP they report more DR.

It's silliness created by hardware nerds and not photographers. Someone needs to send DxO a few Ansel Adam's books.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:35:32 PM »
Sony already dropped a crop camera with 79pt AF system (granted, not all cross-type, but still excellent by all accounts), 12fps burst, and a better sensor earlier this year for less than $1700.

Every time I've looked at user reports Sony's DSLRs could not keep up in AF tracking with Canon or Nikon bodies. Not the 7D, and certainly not the 1DX or 5D3.

It's not just point count. Many Nikon bodies have the same point count as the D3 or the D4. But talk to a Nikon shooter and the actual performance varies considerably. Didn't the D800 have the same "AF module" as the D4? I know a guy who will tell you straight out that it could not track like one. Not even close.

There is no reason that Canon should be falling behind Sony of all companies.

Have you compared lenses?  ;D

At this point a "revolution" in sensor tech will require multiple layers (for DR or for color) or at least 16-bit ADCs and sensel characteristics to produce meaningful bits beyond 14. This is true for Sony as well. I got excited when the rumors were for a multilayer sensor. Now that it appears this is not the case, I expect incremental improvements.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 22, 2014, 10:27:03 PM »
The "huge difference" you are referring to in 5D3 vs. D8x0 online tests is not DR per se (the 5D3 clips to black about the same time as the D810) but latitude: the ability to push shadows without image destroying noise.

which is also DR

Except for the part where it's not.

and mostly importantly regardless of how you feel like defining terms...

I didn't define the terms. These are standard terms which were in use in the photographic industry long before I was born.

And it's a "huge difference" which can only be seen by turning all NR completely off for the Canon sensor  ::)
yeah whatever sure

Try processing the files yourself sometime. When you intelligently use the NR sliders the difference is nothing like the drama tests. There is a difference, Exmor is better, but the difference becomes a more subtle one.

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