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Messages - dtaylor

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Lenses / Re: Review: Sensor Performance of the 7D Mark II
« on: December 06, 2014, 05:14:41 PM »
1. an extra 2-3 stops over what Canon delivers now actually would make a big difference for a lot of the shots where it matters at all. It's exactly what you'd need to pull off many dappled forest scenes and such, even if it won't cover every single HDR shot.

It really isn't. That's why people struggle to produce meaningful real world examples whenever this debate comes up. It's easy to underexpose the corner of a bedroom by 5ev. Not so easy to produce a pair of publishable images where the Canon just had to have bracketing while the Sony did not.

2. those GNDs only work for a very, very few simple types of scenes. They are totally useless for most scenes including virtually any forest scene or any of the jrista interior type shots.

Why do you think this is a counter argument in the age of HDR?

3. multi-shot HDR can work in more scenarios, but it doesn't work out that nicely when there is motion be it from water, a breeze or subject's own motion.

It's rare that this is a problem. Extremely rare. Shooting through tall grass in the wind with the sun directly behind the grass rare. Except...Exmor cannot handle that in one frame either.

It also tends to require slow tripod work (you can sometimes do hand-held, but it tends to leave at least some weird artifacts here and there that can be a beast to clean up;

I don't know where you're getting this. Hand held is stupid easy with a fast DSLR, especially with IS.

LOL how typical. Every single thing the Canon is best at makes a real difference, but anything it's not absolutely doesn't matter expect just barely at all in the only the most extreme scenarios.

Nice strawman.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sensor Performance of the 7D Mark II
« on: December 06, 2014, 04:26:23 AM »
Roger, I'd like to add my thanks to those of others for your participation here!


So would I. Roger, I've found your site to be a valuable resource for years. Great to see you here.

Lenses / Re: Review: Sensor Performance of the 7D Mark II
« on: December 05, 2014, 05:23:41 PM »
And it's interesting that some improvements for astro photography are awesome (and they are) but then if say some landscape (not that only landscape shooters can benefit) shooter is looking for a 3 stops improvement, that's just minor nonsense and it's all on the photographer, people have made great pics forever so why should they even care, it just says something about the photographer doesn't it.

If a competitor had a >20 stop sensor that eliminated GND filters and HDR, that would be a "game changer" and would warrant the endless discussion and hand wringing we see here.

As is there are a couple stops of difference, which can be useful at times, but which simply cannot replace the techniques landscape photographers have used for years and decades. jrista's own interior shot demo that was here a while back showed two things. One, the Sony had more shadow latitude and the shadows were of higher quality. Two, even the Sony could not be stretched to retain the highlights and at the same time yield shadow quality that would be acceptable for publication. With a paying client you would be bracketing on either camera.

If you're into sports, the 7D II's AF and buffer make a real difference. If you're into astro, it's sensor characteristics apparently make a notable difference. If you're into landscapes...well...for all the words spilled on the Internet over DR and DxO I'm not sure it has ever actually resulted in a print that's observably better then another print. It's hard to even make the tripod/hand held argument when you can easily hand hold 2-3 frame brackets with no IS, and 5-7 with the latest IS lenses.

As I've said before, Sony FF Exmor will sometimes save you time and effort. And that's nothing to sneeze at. I would fault no one for buying a D810 or A7 for the sole purpose of saving time and effort. But you're not going to miss the shot on Canon. Canon's lenses, AF, UI, build quality, etc, etc...for many people these are more important then a few extra minutes spent on a blend or adjusting a GND filter, especially since you often have to do the same with the competition.

Just sick of all the nonsense where people just put down anyone who dares want to push things forward regarding something that someone else doesn't need/do or regarding something their pet brand that they worship doesn't do the best.

You are not pushing anything forward by posting here. A coordinated email campaign might get Canon's attention. A letter with a copy of your receipt for a D810 or A7R might get Canon's attention. Posts in these forums...or on any forums...are not going to get Canon's attention.

I am curious as to what Canon's management thinks of DxO and DR, if anything. And for the record I would love to see this improved. I just don't understand the obsession with it.

There's less difference today between the "weakest" sensor in an entry level, small format (m43, APS-C, FF) ILC and the best sensors in the most expensive small format ILCs then ever before. Yet some how we are spending more time talking about those differences, and people (not you specifically, nor jrista) on the Internet are becoming more arrogant about the performance of "their" sensor. It gets annoying, which is why you see the push back you are complaining about.

Dream away

I certainly wouldn't buy one on the hope or assumption that this will happen. But I wouldn't put it past Canon if they feel sufficient market pressure.

Lenses / Re: Dustin Abbott's "Review" of the Old Sigma 50/1.4
« on: December 03, 2014, 10:34:06 PM »
The old Sigma 50mm is roughly as sharp at f/2 as the ART is at f/1.4 (not quite, but very close). It's sharper then both the Canon 50 f/1.4 and the Canon 50 f/1.2L when all are at f/1.4. You can see this in TDP's samples.

In real world use f/1.4 is perfectly usable. f/2 and f/2.8 come off very sharp.

I would say the old Sigma 50 has some of the best bokeh of any lens made. I would rank it slightly higher then the ART in this respect.

Color fringing outside the plane of focus is common to all fast primes, and I wouldn't say the old Sigma was worse in this respect then other lenses at the time of its introduction. Though it could really stand out at times (i.e. brightly lit black on white detail where some of the detail lies slightly outside the plane of focus), in normal use it was not an issue at all (i.e. portraits).

AF is finicky on the old Sigma, but that to seems to be common to all fast primes as well.

I've been able to shoot with an ART and I'm considering an upgrade. But I think very highly of the old Sigma, and consider it a steal at its current price.

Dustin either had a bad copy or was way too harsh in comparing it to the ART. It's a very good lens.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samsung NX-1 Review
« on: December 03, 2014, 05:37:07 AM »
There are plenty of people posting on the Samsung Talk section of the DPreview forums who actually own the NX1, and they are seeing nothing like what those two reviews report. The general consensus is that the guys who did those reviews either set up their cameras incorrectly, or that they had bugged lenses/cameras.

There are also posts from people on various forums with similar problems and no clear resolution.

It's entirely possible that there's a general configuration or QC issue. (I consider the former to be unlikely at this point.) But simply claiming that one or the other is the case does not make it so.

I suppose we will have to wait and see if Samsung issues firmware updates, if other reviewers run into these issues, etc.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samsung NX-1 Review
« on: December 03, 2014, 12:05:37 AM »
I did a similar test in another thread and saw that while the NX1 is about equal to the 7D2 for high ISO in bright light, it's worse in the DPReview lowlight test with both downsampled to 8MP and a small amount of chroma noise reduction applied.  The quality of the NX1 noise was odd and detracted from the image quality.

If I have to choose with no NR I would pick the NX1 by a hair. With color NR I would pick the 7D2, though again by a small margin.

Color long as it's below a certain threshold...cleans up easily in ACR. With that removed the NX1 seems to have more luminance noise, though not enough that I would pick between the two based on this.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samsung NX-1 Review
« on: December 03, 2014, 12:03:49 AM »
It should also be noted that the worst AF performance in this review occurred with a specific lens. The 85mm. When he put on the 16-500mm f/2, the AF performance shot up and seemed fine.

The tracking sequence was shot with the 16-50 and it was terrible.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samsung NX-1 Review
« on: December 02, 2014, 09:10:05 PM »
Most reviewers of the reviewers concluded that they had not set up the camera properly though.

It's easy to post that in comments, but is there any evidence that this is the case? We've got two reviews reporting the same results. The guys in the GCF review played with the frame rate and AF configuration trying to get it to work. You can tell the one guy has no love for Canon and wanted the NX1 to perform, but couldn't get it to.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Samsung NX-1 Review
« on: December 02, 2014, 06:05:52 PM »
There is a lot of buzz about the IQ coming out of the NX1 so I downloaded the NX1 studio "DNG" files from DPreview and did a few comparisons...You are free to make up your own mind, but so far I cannot agree with people who say that the NX1's high-ISO noise performance is close to "some" current full frame cameras, I'm just not seeing it.

The NX1 seems to be the camera everyone wants to love. 28 MP...BSI...insane number of AF points...15 fps...on paper it looks like it blows away the competition.

Reality is turning out to be a little different.

Turn off the NR and the sensor is no better then competing crop sensors. That's not a bad thing, it's definitely at the top of the heap and IQ is excellent. But it's not FF, and it does not offer a high ISO, DR, or detail gain over the competition.

AF at 15 fps? Well...

In TheCameraStoreTV's review ( there's a short AF tracking sequence. Their stated opinion was that it did well, but I think anyone who has used an upper tier DSLR would be horrified. Half the frames were OOF while tracking a guy approaching at the speed of a brisk walk / slow jog. They also noted that single shot AF performance was poor in low light and inconsistent at best in good light.

Golden City Film's review ( is painful to watch. These guys need a script, a 20m time limit, and a few Red Bulls. But to the point...their review of the NX1's AF and EVF could hardly be worse. They hated it in the studio and when trying to shoot running dogs. You can tell the one guy doesn't like Canon. He even says at one point that he laughed when the NX1 was announced hoping it would be a 7D II killer from the paper specs. But he's keeping the 7D II having concluded the NX1 is useless for stills in the situations he needs, both sports and studio work with strobes. The review is...harsh on the AF, the EVF, and also the buffer.

On the other hand...every review has glowed about the NX1's video quality. Everyone seems to love it. No one is even bothering to talk about video on the 7D II. Which is a shame because I would imagine the 7D II has the processing power to output 4k and to do a better job on video quality. I'll be the first to point out that the 7D II is a very targeted, high end crop sports/wildlife/action camera, not a video camera. Never the less Canon seems to be slipping on video, at least outside of the high end, $,$$$ pro market.

I am right there with you...I really dislike the blotchy color noise of Canon cameras.

Color noise in the 7D2 samples cleans up completely, with no loss of detail, using CNR in ACR. This is true for the NX1 as well.

Cleaning up luminance noise, no matter how random/fine, is always a trade off involving noise and detail.

My comparison of RAW samples (no NR at all - no Chroma no Luminance  NR)  at DP comparison tool   which I posted a bit earlier shows that at  ISO3200 NX1 RAW samples visually  look better/cleaner/crisper than ones from 7Dm2  and as I also noted NX1 noise pattern is visually better and more pleasant than noise pattern of 7Dm2.

In the tool the NX1 image is larger and therefore gives a better impression as to sharpness and detail. Psychologically you will always pick the larger image even if the smaller is actually a little better, and even if one image is displayed at two different sizes and you are told they are different cameras. This does not happen when the images are viewed at the same size, even when scaling the 7D2 up.

As to the noise, same as in the IR scene. With no NR the Canon is slightly worse (more color noise). With color NR...which completely eliminates the color noise in ACR btw...the NX1 is sightly worse (more luminance noise, and that's harder to clean up). Never the less, the differences are far too tiny to matter in print.

I would bring up mountains and mole hills but this is more like mountains out of ant hills.

That's my point. Statistically, the NX1 has lower noise, which leads to richer color and contrast (hence the reason the parts of the NX1 image that are supposed to be dark look dark! :P)

It does have very slightly lower noise, but that is not the reason it's a darker image which is what leads to the difference in our perception of color and contrast.

Again I'll note that with color NR the 7D II ends up looking a tiny bit cleaner, i.e. lower luminance noise. But in the end neither requires a different work flow or more work. Neither has "better data."

It should also be noted that I could not find an actual 5D III raw file for download from IR. I looked around, and I could be missing it...but all I could find was a JPEG converted from RAW.

5D3 review, samples, thumbnails, scroll way down for this scene in ISO 6400.

Hmm, I am not sure what your using to process, but you are getting radically different results than I am.

Since there's only one ACR update that can process RAWs from either camera, it's pretty obvious what I'm using  ;)

This is from ACR in PSCC...I simply opened both ISO 6400 NR0 RAW files without any edits in ACR, downsampled the NX1 to the 7D II dimensions, and aligned the images as layers, then cropped the following area:

I turned off sharpening, LNR, and CNR, and then scaled up, just like I said. I want to see what comes off the sensor. And I didn't want anyone replying that I made the 7D II look better by scaling the NX1 down to its dimensions.

Your results are not "radically" different from my 7D2vNX1 screenshot. Are you confusing that with the 5D3vNX1 screenshot?

There appears to be visibly less noise in the NX1 image. The color also appears to be richer, less washed out.

The NX1 appears darker in both our samples. Not sure why. That affects perception of noise and color, even more so at a smaller scale, and would affect any statistical analysis. That said, I would give the edge to the NX1 by a hair, but not enough to matter when using NR and other settings in ACR and PS.

More to the point, the NX1 is not equivalent to the 5D3, and the difference there matters.

To see if my feelings about the images were correct, I saved the cropped areas as 32-bit TIFF and ran both through PixInsight's statistics tool.

You're splitting hairs. No one would ever know the difference in a processed print. The NX1 has the expected IQ for a modern crop sensor, but it does not leap ahead of anyone else. In fairness, neither does the 7D2, though I think it does gain a little on the 70D to put it on par with the competition in terms of high ISO.

I would have expected BSI to result in more of a gain based on its impact on smaller sensors, but perhaps Samsung isn't quite on par in some other respect like micro lenses.

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