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Messages - dtaylor

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EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 07:36:55 PM »
I have a completely different view, with the D800 I can act completely different than what I can do with my Canon cameras, which I have shown a number of times at dpreview
With Canon, you must have the camera on a tripod and take 2-3-4  exposures,

There is no way the D800 sensor can record so much that you need 3 or 4 exposures on Canon to match. That's ridiculous. You might need 2 if you absolutely must have the same noise characteristics in the shadows. But if we're being that picky, at 2 you will get a better final image.

BTW, with AEB I hand hold multiple exposure shots all the time. It doesn't work for action, but I never need it there.

with the D800 I can have the camera by hand and take one shoot and then  working with the same raw file and produce one after shadows and the other for highlight, midtone, and then  put  them together.
A certain difference  in freedom of taking photos  and with a good results because of 14 stops DR in the d800 compared to 11 stops in 5dmk2 and that not including pattern noise

3 stops? No. Not if you do the same thing with the Canon file (develop 2 versions from the RAW and merge).

The D800 is better, yes, but this is the kind of exaggeration I'm talking about.

EOS Bodies / Re: Who said Canon cameras suck?!?
« on: September 26, 2012, 07:28:18 PM »
NO ONE says that Canon suck, but the read noise , pattern noise and banding should not be there if Canon has a  modern sensor tech linje.
I do not understand why you are so upset, see the truth and stop denying that Canon's sensors are not up to date and Canon produces  sensors in the old 180nm  tech machines when others use 110nm or less and use column vise ADC  at the sensor edge.

It's called a patent, and it's owned by Sony  ;D

It's kind of hard to work around. Ask a Samsung executive. And when you do, make sure you're holding an iPhone.

EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:48:08 PM »
That's exactly my experience working with NEF files from the d7000 - approximately 30pts more on the shadow slider compared to the 7D. That's roughly one stop. For architecture/interiour work (almost always high contrast scenes) this is quite significant. Basically, it's the difference between being able to stay within Lightroom for all the post-processing I do, or having to take a trip Photoshop. This affects about 40-60% of my work.

Granted that it can definitely result in more post work and/or a different shooting style if you're always shooting at the edge. I don't want to completely discount the advantage. I just get tired of those who act like Canon should stop making cameras until they improve their sensors  :D

EOS Bodies / Re: Who said Canon cameras suck?!?
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:25:23 PM »

you know better
and that the DR game is about a LOT more than just fixing up mistakes

Let me be blunt: the final DR difference to the photographer between these sensors is FAR LESS than it is made out to be in forums. A little bit less highlight/shadow detail, or a little bit more noise in the shadow detail, is not going to be the make-or-break difference in a shot except to pixel peepers who argue in forums.

I shove some of my RAW files around pretty hard, the bulk of which have been Canon 7D files. Pretty much every wide luminance range situation I've been in falls into one of these two categories:

* I can see that there's a little more noise on the print in the shadow detail then there might have been with another body. But nobody else notices or cares because their nose isn't on the print. I still got the shot, they still love it, end of discussion.

* I shot and merged multiple frames, and I would have had to with any current body.

So at the end of the day am I out right missing shots because of using a Canon body rather than a Nikon one? Nope. Yes, I'm picky. Yes, I would like to see Canon get around the Sony patent. Yes, I would like a little more room to recover, a little less noise and more DR. No, it's not stopping me from doing anything.

I'm far more concerned with Canon's pricing than their sensor DR. The 6D should undercut the D600. The 5D3 should undercut the D800 and be more expensive than, but close to, the D600. And Canon's new 46 MP monster should be priced to compete with the D800. Instead everything is more expensive because Canon perceives itself to be at the top right now, despite sensor differences. And in terms of lenses I would say they are.

EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 03:57:52 PM »
This visually explains quite a bit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcdead/7091087059/#

I guarantee you that if you posted that shot but changed the EXIF to say "Canon 7D" people would do nothing but complain about the noise levels ;D

That is better than you could do with a 7D or 5D3, but not by leaps and bounds. I've lifted shadows on a lot of Canon RAW files. For all the howling and complaining about the DR/noise differences between Canon and Nikon sensors (at this time), lifted Canon shadows look about the same in ACR except for banding noise. Banding is what caps how far you can push it. Depending on the shot and target print size you end up only going to 60-80 on the ACR slider, which is where the banding starts to become apparent, where this user reports maxing it out to 100. So the difference is there, but it's not the end of the world.

That's not to say I don't admire the D800 and eagerly await Canon's answer. The 7D and 5D2/5D3 are 24-30" print cameras for critically reviewed landscapes, with the 5D2/5D3 being a bit better at 30". The D800 easily breaks into the >40" range.

EOS Bodies / Re: Dynamic Range & Camera IQ
« on: September 26, 2012, 03:36:11 PM »
Can somebody please point towards a good explanation of DR and also comparisons between similar cameras (e.g. D800 and 5D M2/3) so I can understand it better and how it impacts me? Also any explanation of camera IQ would be helpful.

From Wikipedia: Dynamic range, abbreviated DR or DNR,[1] is the ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity.... In photography the quantity is luminous intensity (brightness) and the end points are the beginning of pure black and pure white. It's generally measured and expressed in stops of exposure (one stop more being twice as much light; one stop less being half).

For example: you take a picture of a beach sunset with the sun, clouds, ocean, beach, cliff, and a cave all in the scene. As you get closer to the sun details get brighter and brighter until they are pure white. As you get closer to the cave details are darker and darker until they are pure black. The range between the point of brightness where detail transitions to pure white and the point where detail transitions to pure black is the dynamic range.

It impacts you because there are scenes in real life with a brightness range that exceed a sensor's ability to record detail. So you either have to expose to lose some detail to pure black, pure white, or both; or shoot multiple exposures and merge them manually or using HDR software.

I'm going to be blunt: like most things in photography, differences between equipment are exaggerated beyond reason in forums and discussions. It's human nature. If you look for it in a RAW converter, there is a consistent difference in DR between the Canon 7D and the 5D2/5D3 of approximately a stop. The D800 adds approximately 1-1.5 more. These estimates depend greatly on the level of shadow noise you are willing to accept for your purposes, something fans in forums never seem to take under consideration. They will howl and cry about differences seen on a monitor zoomed to 200%, and ignore that the differences are nearly impossible to see when you are purposely looking for them in a 20" print.

The difference is there, and it can be noticed in some situations. But generally speaking you will still get the shot, you might just have a little more noticeable noise / less detail at the extremes. Also, generally speaking, for landscape shots with really impressive DR / noise / detail you will be shooting and blending multiple exposures with any current body.

EOS Bodies / Re: 46.1mp Canon DSLR Previewed at PhotoPlus 2012? [CR1]
« on: September 24, 2012, 07:41:56 PM »
As a wildlife photographer I shoot primarily from ISO 800 through ISO 6400.  It would be a great camera if it could hold up with high ISO, but I doubt it will.

I don't. Noise performance is a function of technology, total sensor surface area, and then, to a much smaller degree than the first two, pixel size. It may be slightly worse than the 5D3 or 1Dx, but will be next to them, not next to the APS-C bodies.

This camera will likely be a beast at ISO 100-400 and have an expanded DR which is perfect for landscapes and studio.

DR on the other hand is directly related to pixel size, so a 46 MP sensor will do worse all other things being equal. 16-bit is a marketing gimmick if they can't actually get that much data out of each pixel. If they've worked around Sony's patent, then expect great DR despite the pixel density. If not, then expect slightly worse DR then their current FF sensors. 

While I agree it would be nice to be able to crop and still have a ton of pixels (like a crop sensor 7D), the part that will likely disappoint here is that it will have the same IQ as a 7D... which quite frankly is not that good.


The 7D has excellent image quality, pretty much equivalent to the 5D2 through ISO 800. If you've ever stitched 3 frames from a 7D, you want a 46 MP FF sensor even with Canon's current technology (as opposed to Sony's).

EOS Bodies / Re: 46.1mp Canon DSLR Previewed at PhotoPlus 2012? [CR1]
« on: September 24, 2012, 07:31:45 PM »
Oh I think it would be quite excellent for wildlife because when you crop the picture, you'll have the same ability to crop as with the 7D. It would be the full frame version of the 7D, except perhaps in fps. Birders would love it.

I also see it as being used by quite a number of wedding photographers (that aren't amateurs pretending.)

This sounds good in theory, but it doesn't work in real life. The more you have to crop, the harder it is to nail the focus. So, while it sounds good to say you could simply take a full-frame camera of equal pixel density to a 7D and crop the image after the shoot, the most likely result will be images with missed focus points.

A FF body with AF that sloppy would never work well with fast primes. When cropping FF shots if I've encountered a problem it has always been pixel density, not AF.

As for wedding photographers, I can't understand why they would pick this over the 5DIII, which was designed with their needs specifically in mind.

Because 46 MP will bury 22 MP on large prints of group shots.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII feature requests...
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:15:46 PM »
All this says to me is that regardless of what people may think of other recent Canon decisions, they sure got it right with the 7D.

Yes they did. It is still a top of the line, competitive APS-C body 3 years later.

As a side note, I do get the feeling that people who have actually bought the 5DIII are similarly satisfied.

No doubt. The 5D3 is a fine camera. But it should have been priced to compete with the D600. Maybe not as low because it is better, but it's not the counter point to the D800. Canon needs a high resolution FF. And Canon should have introduced the 6D at an even lower price.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII feature requests...
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:10:12 PM »
* Don't need 18 MP, especially since its crammed into a much denser, smaller sensor.
* Exchange a bit of resolution for two stops better performance at every ISO level (truly two stops in RAW data, not just an improved JPEG engine--although three stops better JPEGs would be even more outstanding)

This isn't how it works. Noise is determined by total sensor size and technology level. If Canon made a 6 MP sensor with the same technology as the 18 MP one, the overall noise level would be the same. The texture of the noise would be different (larger and softer), but the amount would be the same.

Sony figured out how to read data off the sensor with less noise and patented it. This patent is the #1 thing holding Canon back right now. Pixel density has pretty much nothing to do with it as evidenced by the fact that Sony is achieving similar pixel densities with less noise / greater DR.

EOS Bodies / Re: DxOMark Sensor Performance: Nikon vs. Canon
« on: September 21, 2012, 09:23:58 PM »
dtaylor: How do you test DR?

Stouffer step wedge and visually inspect the results.

Furthermore, your results match DPReview? DPReview doesn't test RAW dynamic range...

They used to report RAW and JPEG.

My own 'real-world' tests also show ~3EV better DR on the D800 when I do side-by-side shots of high DR sunsets with my 5DIII vs. D800;

I have a hard time believing 3 stops, though I must admit I have not formally tested these bodies.

Put another way: I have to overexpose my 5DIII by 2 to 3 stops at the very least to get its shadows to match the cleanliness of lifted shadows of the D800 file that was underexposed to maintain highlights.

"Match the cleanliness" is a wide open question. Are you matching at 200% in PS or in a 20" print? And what constitutes a "match"? Does the 5D3 not "match" if there's a hint of noise that's irrelevant to 99% of uses? And to what degree does color play a role? (When you push RAW converters you can often recover detail that is correct in terms of tone, but incorrect in terms of color. How much of this you're willing to accept will alter the final judgement on DR.)

So, respectfully, I fail to see how DXOs DR & SNR, etc., numbers are the 'odd ball out'.

When I've compared their results to other sites, or to my own experience, they have not matched. One example: according to DxO the 7D (Canon's 18 MP sensor) has little DR gain over the 10D / 20D. I could tell you before formally testing them that it was large, 2 stops easily.

Now maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe their current tests are better, or maybe it just so happens that the cameras I compared were the odd balls, not the entire testing methodology. I'll take another look. But DxO seems easily thrown by small factors, or easily gamed. Michael Reichmann was a big fan when they first started, then dropped them later because really tiny things would shove one score well above another, and not just on DR.

To clarify: I don't at all mean this to be a personal attack; just looking for clarification.

As was evident from the tone of your post, and I appreciate that. I'll look more carefully at DxO's latest results.

EOS Bodies / Re: DxOMark Sensor Performance: Nikon vs. Canon
« on: September 19, 2012, 03:03:37 PM »
A lot of denial in the forum about inferiority of Canon's sensors. The knee jerk argument is that Dxomark:

How about DxOMark:
* Does not agree with the empirical results of any other major testing site. (They are always the odd ball out.)
* Produces absurd scores, such as scoring APS-C consumer sensors higher than MFDB sensors.
DXOMarks is simply giving empirical evidence to the inferiority of Canon's decade old tech versus modern tech of Sonikon.

I'll agree that Canon is behind on DR and noise because I see that in my own tests and in the tests of other reputable sites. I've even seen a lengthy discussion on DPReview about the specific patent related to sensor circuitry that is the cause of this. But scientific testing is about reproducibility, and nobody can reproduce the absurd numbers generated out of DxO. Sorry, they're a bad joke.

EOS Bodies / Re: DxOMark Sensor Performance: Nikon vs. Canon
« on: September 19, 2012, 02:58:17 PM »
Canon has some catching up to do with respect to sensor performance as measured by http://www.DxOMark.com. Canon doesn't even come close to the top performing Nikons.  (High score is better.):

Canon is behind on DR and noise due to a Sony patent they apparently are having trouble working around. That said, DxO is a complete and total joke. This is a company that ranks consumer DSLRs above medium format digital backs in IQ.

Let that sink in for a moment. Their testing methodology actually results in higher scores for APS-C sensors than for MF sensors. (Queue the DxO fans claiming that their overall IQ scores don't report overall IQ, except of course when those same fans wish to prove that camera A has better overall IQ then camera B.)

I've personally tested DR for a number of cameras (the right way). My results match results from sites like DPReview. DxO is always off, and always quite obviously wrong. It's not by a set amount in each case such that you could say their test is too sensitive or not sensitive enough. It's all over the place, over in some cases and under in others. It's like the idiots never tried shooting the cameras they test.

Canon is not so far behind in sensors that I would avoid choosing them. They're behind a little bit, not a lot. But my problem with them is that they are charging more and/or skimping on features at a time when there's an IQ gap. When your competitors have a sensor edge, you pound them on features and price. The 6D should have a real AF system and be a bit cheaper. The 5D3 should be priced against the D600. And there should already be a 45 MP FF that is priced against the D800. Oh, and cut out this 20/21/22 MP nonsense. Just go to 24 MP on FF. That's not enough of a change in pixel density to affect anything. (Though I suppose they may be trying to increase wafer yields with redundant circuitry that might eat into the MP they put on FF. This may also be the reason why the 6D uses a different sensor.)

This is a recent issue with them. Throughout the 2000's they dominated sensor IQ, feature set, and price. They're also getting greedy with new lenses. Again, they're not terrible here. It's just annoying to seem them slip behind. I sincerely hope they improve in all respects because their lens library is the best out there.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D!
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:35:15 PM »
I have just bought a 7D and have been very disappointed with the IQ from it. Much worse than my old 10mp 40D. Amazing camera but whats the point when the IQ is rubbish. So noisy where it counts 100-400ISO, very disappointed.

Do a like-for-like comparison and multiply the 10MP image by 1.8x and see which camera is best, you'll be surprised

Dude, there are so many people that don't get this it blows my mind. They just zoom to 100% in PS and start complaining, never stopping to think that 18 MP at 100% is higher magnification then 10 MP at 100%. Or worse, they zoom to 200% or 300% failing to realize that they are now testing their viewing software and not the cameras. This is the source of so much confusion and so many bad recommendations that it's not even funny.

There are people who honestly believe that diffraction and CA is worse with higher resolution cameras because they can't equalize their image sizes in PS. And there are people who will recommend a 40D over a 60D or 7D for the same reason.

Another comparison where this drives me nuts: 1D3 vs 7D. The 1D3 is a great camera, but the 7D has superior IQ across the board. Yet when the topic comes up: "Oh, my 1D3 shots are sooo smooth. Not like that noisy 7D." Yeah. Scale those shots up and see how soft and noisy they become.

Sorry, I don't mean to rant, but this hits one of my pet peeves.

EOS Bodies / Re: Enough Full Frame Talk: Where are the 7D II Rumors?
« on: September 17, 2012, 08:49:49 PM »
Sadly, you aren't going to get a revolution in high ISO noise performance in a crop sensor for a very long time... if ever.

No, you'll just continue to get incremental improvements same as FF sensors. The "crop can't do high ISO" meme is old. Today's best crop bodies match yesterday's FF bodies. Tomorrow's crop sensors will match today's FF sensors. Given the same level of technology FF sensors will always collect more light, but that doesn't mean crop won't continue to improve.

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