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Messages - dtaylor

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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.

EOS Bodies / Re: Enough Full Frame Talk: Where are the 7D II Rumors?
« on: September 17, 2012, 08:44:22 PM »
true, i do believe though that there is a place & a market for pro APS-Cs

I hope Canon does not forget this, and shame on Nikon if they have. Even if FF sensor fabrication dropped in price, APS-C sensors are very useful and capable teleconverters. If you need reach and you're focal length limited, you need APS-C.

EOS Bodies / Re: Enough Full Frame Talk: Where are the 7D II Rumors?
« on: September 17, 2012, 07:28:06 PM »
Since I'm obviously dreaming (some of my wishes will never come true)...

I suppose this would have to go on a flash, but...I want to have user selectable (on/off), IR rangefinder AF for the center AF point, just like on the old 35mm P&S bodies from the 1980's. This type of AF system is 100% spot on accurate in total darkness and the time to compute distance is identical regardless of lighting or subject contrast. This would be killer when using fast primes in dim light.

This single feature would give Canon such a huge advantage for weddings, concerts, clubs, and street that people would literally jump to Canon just for this feature. I can't figure out why this old but reliable technology has completely escaped the notice of today's engineers. (Note: I'm not talking about faint red lines to assist the camera's AF module. I'm talking about bouncing an IR beam off the subject to find the distance to target.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Enough Full Frame Talk: Where are the 7D II Rumors?
« on: September 17, 2012, 07:17:35 PM »
My wish list?

* Cleaner and more detailed 1600/3200; consistently usable 6400. I would love to see a 1-2 stop improvement in noise at the high end and a 1-2 stop improvement in DR at the low.

* 63-point AF from 5D3.

* ETTR metering option in RAW that lets me set the percent of the frame that can blow to white. The meter should then intelligently expose to the right for me. The percent-white option is critical to prevent specular highlights from killing the attempt to ETTR.

* Kill the mode dial. Let me choose the mode on the screen and thereby have unlimited named custom modes. Heck, let me assign default modes to memory cards, i.e. if I insert this card I want to default to "My Landscape" or "My Surf Settings".

* Aperture based micro adjustment profiles for lenses. In other words, let me fine tune the AF at each aperture through f/5.6. Properly used this would make AF with fast primes much more reliable. (Their focal plane shifts as the aperture stops down.)

* Infrared and radio flash control.

* Even better weather sealing. (I've had one failure under conditions where my 7D was soaked, but it came back to life after an hour in the sun. Still it was very unnerving. I'm pretty sure the point of failure was the rear joystick. Admittedly the joystick on mine was a bit touchy from day one, so maybe the seal just isn't right on my copy.)

* Flip screen would be nice IF it did not compromise weather sealing.

* 10 fps would be nice but not necessary, 8 fps is very good.

* Touch screen would be nice but not necessary.

* Dual card slots would be nice.

If Canon has a clue, they will get Apple to let them install iOS and open their DSLRs to apps. If they can't get Apple to do it and/or Apple costs too much, Android is fine to. If I were high up in Canon corporate I would make this happen ASAP. But as a user it's not as critical to me as the rest. I just think it's a major missed opportunity among all the vendors. No camera made has a UI or feature set that can touch what's possible once you open the camera hardware up to one of those two OSes.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 6D Official Specs
« on: September 16, 2012, 10:05:18 PM »
Please make it around 1500.  I'll buy it if priced like that.

Given the AF system, that's all the higher it should cost.

EOS Bodies / Re: Adorama is Taking Pre-Orders for EOS 6D
« on: September 16, 2012, 09:57:29 PM »
The 5D3 should be cheaper than the D600? That's a bit ridiculous don't you think?

Nope. In terms of sensor IQ that is where it sits. It is simply not a competitor to the D800. At the same price or slightly less then the D700 it is spec'd well and would be a very solid competitor.

And who exactly are they behind? Nikon isn't even making the sensors Sony is, so.... who exactly is Canon behind again?

Canon is behind Sony. Since Nikon uses Sony sensors, Canon is also behind Nikon.

Why doesn't everybody say I'm gonna go buy the Sony XXXX then?

Because Nikon has the better lens collection vs. Sony. And because Sony keeps playing with technologies that aren't ready for prime time yet. For example, I would never consider Sony's FF body because of the EVF.

I think the D800 and similar cameras are good for us as Canon owners as it forces Canon to give us better and/or cheaper products, that's the beauty of a free market with competition, but outside of the sensor what is the 800D really better at than the 5D III?

It doesn't need to be better at anything else. It's spec'd about the same on everything else, and the sensor is a significant step above Canon's.

Put simply the competition is differentiating their high end bodies on resolution and shooting speed, which makes sense. The 1Dx is fine for its market segment, but Canon is trying to differentiate the 5D3 based on nothing more than AF. The D800 has comparable AF and a better sensor. The D600 has slightly worse AF and a better sensor. What makes Canon think the 5D3 should be positioned against the D800?

If Canon did what I said above, then the 5D3 would be priced against the D600 and there would be a high resolution body priced against the D800. Canon can't deliver the noise and DR that Sony can right now. But they could scale their APS-C sensor to 45 MP FF. It would have more noise and less DR then the D800, but also more fine detail, and if it was otherwise spec'd and priced to match it would be a wash. Lots of people jumping ship for the D800 would stick around for such a Canon body.

But that body doesn't exist, and Canon expects us to pay the same price just to get decent AF. Ridiculous.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 6D Official Specs
« on: September 16, 2012, 09:43:27 PM »
Yawn  :-\

EOS Bodies / Re: Adorama is Taking Pre-Orders for EOS 6D
« on: September 16, 2012, 08:31:53 PM »
I think the difference is Nikon is trying to gain market share where as Canon feels comfortable with maintaining their current market.

Exactly. Nikon is hungry, and Canon is comfortable. And that sucks for Canon users.

There shouldn't be a 6D. The 5D3 should undercut the D600. And there should be a 45 MP something-D that undercuts the D800. Canon is behind on sensors. Not as much as fanboys like to claim while drooling over DxO specs. But they are behind right now. Their features and prices need to be better then the competition's.

And don't tell me there's a technical reason why the 5D3 is priced so high. There is not. Canon wants to use decent AF to extort money from their users. Nikon no longer plays this silly little game. I doubt there's any real difference in the manufacturing cost of an 11 point AF sensor or a 63 point one. As far as ICs go, these are the simplest ones in the camera to manufacture.

For most of the 2000's Canon had the better sensors, features, and prices. Some of Canon's early releases put Nikon to shame in their respective market segments. That's how Canon ended up on top. Now it seems they don't care to stay there.

Will I switch? I don't know. This rotten economy has me steering away from photography purchases for a while. (Thanks Obama and Bernanke you freaking morons.) But if I was ready to buy FF today, it would be the D800. If this situation persists when I finally am looking at new DSLRs again...it might be Nikon or Sony.

EOS Bodies / Re: Adorama is Taking Pre-Orders for EOS 6D
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:24:38 PM »
The Adorama mixup means we have confirmation of the sensor. My guess is that the other leaked specifications are true as well.

This is a yawner. It's a real bummer to watch Canon fall behind Nikon and Sony in FF bodies. Sony has a patent that is holding Canon back on DR and noise. But that wouldn't be the end of the world if Canon was willing to compete on features and price because IQ is still very high with Canon's sensors. Unfortunately Canon has over priced the 5D3, under-spec'd the 6D, and there isn't a high resolution FF sensor in sight.

In the 1990's and 2000's I really disliked Nikon for crippling low and mid level bodies and overcharging for accessories. I remember when you had to have a high end Nikon body just to get mirror lockup and DoF preview! Key reasons why I went with Canon. Now it looks like Nikon is putting their best forward with each new body, and Canon is purposely crippling bodies. The 6D specs, especially AF, are a joke. Not to mention that Canon prices are creeping up, up, up....

A real disappointment. Wake me next Photokina. Maybe Canon will have something interesting then.

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