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Messages - dtaylor

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EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 28, 2014, 04:54:31 PM »
I think I would be more impressed with these sorts of photographers if they produced something artistically compelling when they did this.  I keep harking back to the infamous Fred Miranda comparison of the 5dIII and the D800 where he shot a bunch of beautiful photos in Yosemite but to demonstrate how bad the Canon was he had to go find a special scene to demonstrate it and produced a photo that was unusable for anything but his demo.  this after he proved that he could shoot such magnificent shots with the Canon equipment.

This is why I comment that most of this whole sensor argument is hype for the most part.


For such huge differences it sure is hard to tell one sensor from another...even one format from another (m43, APS-C, FF)...while browsing work at Flickr and 500px.

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 28, 2014, 04:51:05 PM »
With two more stops of sensor DR, or to be more specific...with two more stops of shadow-lifting ability, with a sensor that has read noise in the deep shadows that has a nice random appearance without any banding of any kind, I could probably get away with my GND filters, some hefty shadow lifting, and one single shot...instead of bracketing 5, 7, 9 shots and having to deal with some frustrating HDR mergers. Things aren't quite as bad when I'm west facing east at sunset, or east facing west at sunrise...however, even in those circumstances, many of my older shots, taking with my 450D and 7D, still have problems with detail in the shadows...those cameras still have 11 stops or less of DR. Having two extra stops would have meant I could pull out much cleaner, more colorful detail from the shadows.

I'd really be curious to know, how many people run into the same situation? I've been spending a lot of time browsing through landscapes at 500px. There are a LOT of people who photograph landscapes. I think landscapes might be 500px's largest category.

This might be a case where Magic Lantern's dual iso mode (and auto ETTR) helps, at least that's how I've used it in challenging situations, letting auto ETTR expose iso 100 to not clip (or let them clip a bit) highlights and then have iso 800 or so help with shadows.

Something's not adding up. 2 more stops of range != 5-9 shots in an HDR merge. Heck, if all you need is 2 stops you can fire off two frames and quickly blend them without any HDR software using a layer mask. You can hand hold that with most DSLRs.

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:28:04 AM »
I never shot/developed film, but my understanding is that there's a difference between digital "dynamic range" and film "exposure latitude."  Maybe someone who knows something of this can chime in...

There was a difference between those terms in the film world before digital. Also: "dynamic range" didn't really take hold in the film word until scanners became common place. Sometimes "exposure latitude" was used to describe what we would call DR today. Other times it might be called exposure range or luminance range.

Strictly speaking, exposure latitude is how far the film can be pushed/pulled during printing to render correct tones given an underexposed/overexposed scene that was still within the film's total exposure or dynamic range.

So if you have a 10 stop film and you shoot a 4 stop scene underexposed by 3 stops, can you make a successful print?

I would argue that exposure latitude is more appropriate to describe what we observe with Exmor sensors. Time and again examples show that Canon sensors are recording similar shadow detail, it's just marred by noise. If that noise can be successfully cleaned up, the IQ differences are minimal. In very deep shadows it is often difficult or impossible to clean up. In either case, Exmor clearly has more exposure latitude at the hardware level.

I don't think this has been covered yet so, er... Pow!


If they actually sold under the brand name Megatron I would buy more of their lenses  ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:33:43 PM »
The need for extended DR in landscape photography confuses me. Velvia, long the standard for 4x5 color photography, had 4-5 stops of DR and produces the most beautiful images.

I would actually place it at 5-6, but regardless slide landscapes often used GND filters. Galen Rowell was one of the innovators here.

Printed images only have 4-5 stops of contrast.... if the scene has a huge dynamic range as shot it probably won't look good printed now matter how you shoot and process it.

I would have to disagree with this. You're obviously compressing the scene luminance range down to something that can fit on paper, but done properly it looks very good and closer to what the human eye would see. Adam's original Zone System itself was a system for predictably doing this.

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:29:02 PM »

It's essentially an emergency recovery tool for badly underexposed photos. High quality landscape work...where extended DR is often needed...is simply not produced this way. You bracket and blend/HDR, or use GND filters.

IS? High quality work is produced with a telephoto lens on a sturdy tripod. Auto focus? Nah. If you don't have the skills to work the focus ring in a timely fashion, you can't produce good work.

All false analogies.

I find that the problem is not Canon sensor noise, but the simple fact that the tonality and detail is sub par vs. a properly produced shot.

Tonality and detail is sub-par if you're lifting shadows with a sensor that can't handle it.

It doesn't matter what sensor you are using. The way tonal values are converted from analog to digital and encoded means that the lower stops of exposure have fewer possible tones.

See: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:50:18 PM »
How do those touting Exmor advantages demonstrate them?  They underexpose by 4-5 stops then push the shadows back up.  While there are valid reasons to do that, it's an 'advantage' that's totally useless to the vast majority of dSLR buyers.

It's essentially an emergency recovery tool for badly underexposed photos. High quality landscape work...where extended DR is often needed...is simply not produced this way. You bracket and blend/HDR, or use GND filters.

This goes back to the reason for the common advice to ETTR: there are few tonal values in the deep shadows. Sometimes I am surprised and find that I can process a single file where I shot expecting to HDR. But if I have to push shadows more then 2...maybe 2.5 stops...I find that the problem is not Canon sensor noise, but the simple fact that the tonality and detail is sub par vs. a properly produced shot.

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:37:02 PM »
If the 5D III is not cleaning up as well as your 7D, there is something very wrong with your 5D III, or there's a setting off in your software. I use Lightroom for processing, and with the most recent version, the difference between Canon FF and 7D detail recovery is massive.

I wouldn't necessarily say massive, but concur that a 5D3 recovers better then a 7D.

Yeah, I think it's clear Canon is going to sit tight with their conservative designs. More and more they are becoming like Toyota, competent and comfortable, but living off their peak of 2001-2005.

Can Canon change their ADC arrangement to eliminate deep shadow noise without running afoul of Sony's patent? Can they do so with their current fab situation (whatever that might be)? Are the yields economical at this time given that this is a feature much debated on forums, but only actually used by a small minority?

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:30:21 PM »
The Nikon image has pitch black shadows. It's the back sides of the bed, the back side of the desk, and the back side of the curtain. It was over a +5 stop lift, according to the guy who made the images.

They all have some pitch black shadows. But overall the Nikon photo is much closer to your sunflower shot that was given more exposure and the 70D shot. If you shove the brightness on your monitor all the way up, those three files all have quite a bit in their shadows before they are pushed. Your darkest sunflower shot? Nothing but some very dark "blocks" around the locations of sunflowers. (Looks interesting actually, like an old Atari game got scaled up.)

I'm not saying Exmor would have the same noise had it received less exposure. But in my experience you do not want to have to push shadows that hard. Tonality and fine detail are nothing like a proper HDR shot because, as you yourself pointed out, there are very few tonal levels in those last few bits. I generally run into this before I run into noise issues on Canon sensors. I contend that if your darkest sunflower shot was made on a D8x0 that it would have very little shadow noise, but also not look anything like the HDR shots you admire.

What all of these threads are missing is a series of controlled underexposure tests with Canon and Exmor pushed back up to see exactly what one gets at each push (+1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6). I would be interested in going to a park and shooting that series and providing the RAW files for review, but it would have to wait until a weekend when I can borrow my friend's D800. I know he's using it for paid work for the next couple of weekends.

As for my file, have at it: http://1drv.ms/1vmTXXq

Thank you. I'm getting roughly the same results.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:00:40 AM »
As unfocused stated in a different context- you let your keyboard run off before your brain and now you have to keep it up... (paraphrasing)

You can always tell that someone is about to provide a rational and logical proof of their statements when they open with personal insults  ;D

1. I did not drop images into PS and zoom to 100%. As I clearly stated before, I set the image full screen on a 24" monitor to see how it looks. Being higher resolution, the 7D gains an advantage in terms of pixel downsampling,

That depends entirely on the program used to view the samples and the scaling to screen resolution. Some popular viewers will chew up files, Apple's Preview being an infamous one. In print I would agree.

2. My comments about the 7D noise is not an opinion, it is an observation.

To others it is an opinion until you provide examples.

What would be my reason for doing that?

Oh, I believe that when you looked at your screen you saw noisy images. It just doesn't mean what you think it means.

3. Your guess was I don't know how to compare images. Well, as a scientist...blah blah blah...I am fortunate that the expert reviewers that accepted my work for publication didn't share your view!

One has zero to do with the other. That said, I have an honest question: are you this defensive when someone critiques your scientific work?

Now, less cross-examine your rants:

Oh boy here we go!  ;D

4. You still haven't cited any "reproducible" tests or shown any of your own images.

Just head on over to DPReview or Imaging Resource.

You really expect someone to comment on those low-res images without any ISO information?

Those are 50% views of one of the Imaging Resource studio test scenes. I remember which cameras I picked...but now I forget the order...hmmm...guess that was Arias' point  ;D

If you're so convinced, why not post some of your OWN 7D images at ISO 1600 without any de-noising.

And listen to all the whining that I didn't do X or Y or Z right and that must be the reason it looks good but FF SURELY would be better if I had just shot it at the same time???

Nah...just go look at professionally produced and unbiased results. IR's studio scene can vary in lighting, but their Dave Box scene is strictly controlled.

And he is annoying and obnoxious. But he feels like a sweetheart compared to you.

Let's get down to it, shall we? You said the 7D was noisier then the 5Dc and 50D. I said professional tests showed otherwise. You got hurt that I contradicted you. The rest of this is fluff.

So...is no one ever supposed to contradict you online? Point you to evidence that shows something other then your opinion? Is this how you practice science?

I made a subjective comment, stating my observation with my own camera. And you keep trying to prove that I have an 'opinion' against the 7D based on 'what?

Not at all. Just pointing out your opinion is contradicted by hard evidence and is likely due to some other factor.

how you are making a normal, civil discussion into a fight.

First you say that. Then you say...

7. I am surprised human nature sometimes amazes you. It should always amaze you, considering how foreign it should feel...

Who is starting a fight? And who, btw, is blatantly violating forum rules? Did I personally attack you or insult you once? You've done it three times now in this one response.

If you can't handle the possibility of disagreement then maybe you shouldn't offer your opinion  ;)

Post Processing / Re: Noise, shadows, etc.
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:50:56 AM »
I don't actually rate Lr/ACR as highly as I used to in terms of noise handling, and give the nod to Capture One these days.

Keith - have you noticed any resolution/fine detail differences between Capture One and ACR? I only ask because the thing that made me an ACR fan was that I noticed a substantial fine detail gain with my 7D over DPP. (Not sure if that's still the case.)

For some reason I had it in my head that Capture One was expensive, but it's not. I'm going to have to give it a try.

EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:37:37 AM »
The thing your missing is that detail buried in "shadow" isn't the problem. It's detail buried in READ NOISE that's the problem. "Shadows" extend for hundreds to thousands of levels...read noise usually only intrudes a dozen or so levels into the deepest of shadows. It's those very deep shadows that mark the difference between a Canon sensor and an Exmor.

The image you edited is more along the lines of this:

Your Nikon example is also more along those lines. Your sunflower shot with all the color noise is pitch black before being pushed. The bedroom scene, night scene, and sunflower shot without all the color noise are not pitch black. You can see some shadow detail in all of them.

Honest questions...not trying to pick a fight after the last thread...what RAW converter are you using on the sunflowers? What NR settings did you set in the converter itself (not in post)? Are you willing to provide the "pitch black" RAW file for others to try their hand at?

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:24:55 AM »
Just out of curiosity, how did you determine the density of negatives? How accurate were the measurements?

Densitometers. Depended on the model and calibration.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:10:24 AM »
I had one back in the good old days of the B+W darkroom.... I kind of wish I had one now because this has gotten me very curious as to how my various cameras compare... I might have to order one :) (any recommendations?)

http://www.stouffer.net/TransPage.htm - T4110.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought of "stops" as an analog/perception scale and that it did not necessarily match up with a digital scale... perhaps part of the confusion here is that people are talking about two different things yet using the same terminology.

Close. Stops apply in digital photography, but there's no direct translation from sensel SNR (or any of the related engineering formulas) to photographic dynamic range in stops. You have to test the system. There are multiple reasons why but...this thread is already painfully long.

Post Processing / Re: Noise, shadows, etc.
« on: August 25, 2014, 11:59:08 PM »
Instead, I'd like to know what techniques people use to reduce noise, banding, etc. etc. What post processing tricks do you employ in Raw, Lightroom or Photoshop to fix noise issues?

One thing I do is try to minimize noise in ACR before the file is converted for PS. 3rd party plugins have some of their own advantages, but if you can clean it up in RAW it seems to be better in my experience.

So I will tailor the luminance and color NR related sliders to the image while viewing at 100%. If you need to, you can use the adjustment brush to tailor NR in specific areas. Or produce two files from the RAW and blend.

Luminance NR can obviously destroy detail, so you have to be careful, but color NR seems pretty effective and relatively non-destructive.

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