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Messages - Meh

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EOS Bodies / Re: Big 5D Mark II Price Drops in Canada & USA
« on: November 01, 2011, 10:54:17 AM »
So, it is Nov 1st and the 5D2 is still $2000 here in Canada and the 5D2/24-105 kit is $2800. When are the rebates supposed to end?

Most of the Canadian retailers are still offering the 5D2 body for $1999 but don't have stock.  The Vistek website indicates they have stock but they increased their price a little over a week ago maybe because the stock at other stores was getting low (just guessing).  FutureShop website states the $1999 sale price is in effect until Dec31st and maybe it was FutureShop that led with that sale price... all the other retailers offer competitive price matching.  Futureshop is also out of stock now but I would expect them to have more on order if Canon even has stock.  I picked up the 5D2 body for $1899 last Friday when they had a one-day offer of $100 off any camera over $1000 in addition to any sale price.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5Diii vs 7Dii (FF vs APS-C)
« on: October 30, 2011, 10:15:15 PM »
No I wasn't - else I would have quoted your comment

Fair enough.  You'll forgive me for thinking so given that you commented immediately after me and I hadn't noticed anyone else had made a statement similar to what you put in quotations marks.

I wouldn't accept that the 7D is 'far superior for sports action photography' over the 5DII. It has the edge on AF and fps - but not that much - as it then loses out on iso. From experience it is in wildlife where the 7D pulls away more.

Interesting view and actually I appreciate that from someone who has used the 5D2 and 7D as extensively as you have.  I've used the 5D2 a few times (borrowed) but only just recently bought one since the prices are now so low and I'm glad to know it will be more useful for sports photography than I thought it would be.  I don't think the general consensus (going by what I've heard and read on this site and elsewhere) is that the 7D only has a small edge on the 5D2 for AF and fps.  It also has an edge over the 5D2 on weather sealing which is certainly beneficial for outdoor sports.

I feel that reading something into Flickr stats would apply only to Flickr users. Not that many serious or pro togs using Flickr - they have their own websites.

True, stats can be misleading if applied to populations that are not well represented by the sample population.  If there are few pro photographers posting to Flickr as you say then any insights can not be applied to pros.   Several of the comments about the Flickr data questioned the applicability and from a statistics perspective I think that there could be a bias in the "type of user".

I just copied the Flickr usage stats for Canon into Excel and added it up for fun (fun?) to see what it looks like for all camera types.  The "avg. daily users" is a one day snapshot so the numbers I have a different from what 7enderbender got and the "one day" thing is itself a limitation.  Data from yesterday is a total of 47,370 members posted a photo with a Canon camera.  Of those 34,218 (72%) were from a DSLR.   Of those 8,617 (25%) were from a 5D, 5D2, or 7D and 25,601 (75%) were from any other Canon DSLR.

I agree it's not something we can draw big conclusions from but it's interesting.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5Diii vs 7Dii (FF vs APS-C)
« on: October 30, 2011, 11:30:44 AM »
"progressed from a 7D to a 5DII" now that is a contentious statement.

This is a presumption that APS-C is the cheaper, less worthy camera and that only 'real' photographers graduate to full frame - ie sensor snobbery.

When will people realise that Full frame and Crop bodies are just tools for different jobs. One is not better than the other - just different.

If you're referring to my comment, then what I said was "picked up a 5D2 as they progressed in their photography" which did not imply that either camera was better than the other.  I agree they have different strengths and weaknesses... the 7D is far superior for sports action photography for example but the 5D2.  My point was only about the relative likelihood of the large group of 5D2 owners picking up a 7D as a second body vs. the opposite as a possible theory to explain the skew in the flickr stats and that theory was it's more likely that at this point in time, many more "enthusiasts" bought a 5D2 when it came out and did not add a 7D as a second body versus those that bought a 7D then also picked up a 5D2.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5Diii vs 7Dii (FF vs APS-C)
« on: October 29, 2011, 11:04:45 PM »
c) if you look at the camera usage stats on flickr for instance you'll see that there are over 10,000 average daily users who have one of the recent Rebels. Around 4,100 have a 5DII. 3,300 have a 7D and only 1700 used a 60D. 

You could argue that the 5DII has been around for longer...

Regarding the numbers for 5D2 and 7D, I'm inclined to think the fact the 5D2 was released a year earlier is quite significant.  At the time, the 5D2 was quickly grabbed up by huge numbers of "enthusiasts" most of whom wouldn't have bought a 7D as a second body.  In other words, many/most of the enthusiast market willing to buy at the higher price points already went with the 5D2.  So by the time the 7D came out the middle-market was partially saturated and a higher percentage of those that bought the 7D might have picked up a 5D2 as they progressed in their photography.   I'm just guessing but that seems logical to me (because I am one of the latter ;) ) and if so it would partially explain the stats.

EOS Bodies / Re: No 5D Mark III on Novemeber 3 [CR2]
« on: October 29, 2011, 12:04:38 AM »
The prices of the 5D2 are just too low that I couldn't hold out any longer.  Picked up a 5D2 body for $1899 today but won't open the box until after Nov 3rd.  Just in case bornshooter is right this time!!!  ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: 5Diii vs 7Dii (FF vs APS-C)
« on: October 29, 2011, 12:01:54 AM »
Makes sense, was just wondering if I was missing anything besides apparent mag. Personally, I'll take real mag, and if 1:1 isn't enough, I'll go to 5x with my MP-E 65mm...and if that's not enough, I'll just use a microscope.  :P

I don't have an MP-E 65mm and, just a second let me check, nope don't have a microscope either :)   1:1 is the same regardless of sensor size but not all subject are the size of a FF sensor and may be smaller than an APS-C sensor and in that case you get more pixels on subject with the 7D.

Lens Giveaway Contest / Re: *Contest* Wildlife - Post Here.
« on: October 27, 2011, 09:31:53 PM »
Red Fox caught in a trap.

Did you set him free after you got the shot?

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a Digital camera need SLR?
« on: October 27, 2011, 01:58:49 AM »
Review of Fujifilm's image sensor phase-detect AF is explained on dpreview so it can be done.  http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10080505fujifilmpd.asp

They claim AF speed of 0.158 seconds but obviously DSLR AF is much faster since shooting at 10 frames per second and autofocusing in between frames must be less than 0.1 s.   So at least in those fuji compacts, that system is not as fast.

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a Digital camera need SLR?
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:49:00 PM »
No matter how good or fast the contrast-detect algorithms can be run, it still has to guess at the direction of focus adjustment, move the focus element a little, measure again, rinse and repeat.  That physical process of the adjustment can't be overcome by faster processing.

Could it be helped by faster processing?  Take two measurements and extrapolate to the direction and magnitude of adjustment?  Maybe that's already being done.  I agree that even so, it will never be as fast as phase detect.  But maybe fast enough in some cases?  AF times and shutter lag on P&S cameras are growing shorter, albeit slowly.

Or is the answer to build a phase-detect autofocus system into the main imaging sensor?

No, bundles of light rays from opposite sides of the lens that would converge to a single point at the image plane if that point is in focus have to be separated and compared.  Here's a link to a little graphic demo I just found that shows it:  http://graphics.stanford.edu/courses/cs178/applets/autofocusPD.html

But then, Nikon claims to use phase-detection AF in their V1 mirrorless although they call it a "hybrid autofocus".  I'll look around and try to find an explanation of how they implemented it and if it has limitations compared to the typical phase-detect AF.

Lenses / Re: Lens Announcement [CR1]
« on: October 26, 2011, 03:44:45 PM »
If Canon release a 5D 3, 35L II and a 24-70 II then I'm going to be seriously broke!

Do you really need to buy all of he new things that come out?

I convince myself that I need the things I want.  It's a personal failing but one that I enjoy from time to time.

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a Digital camera need SLR?
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:59:44 AM »
* the gopro hero 2 has built-in heat-up function to avoid quick battery run-down at low temperatures; they could add something similar to an EVF if this is really an issue

Good point.  Unlike the rear LCD the EVF is physically small and recessed and I think behind another layer of glass with an air gap (not sure about that) so has some thermal separation from the environment therefore it wouldn't take much power to keep it at least at its minimum operating temp.  There are other pros and cons to EVFs though.

* contrast-detect AF is also getting better, give it five years to be just as good as phase-detect AF for everybody except sports shooters

If by "everybody except sports shooters" you mean anyone who doesn't need fast, predictive auto focus, and subject tracking then contrast detection AF is already as good as phase-detect AF and has some advantages.  But not sure I would agree that the segment of photographers benefiting from fast AF is so limited... shooting anything that moves from kids running around, people at weddings, photojournalism, sports, wildlife, street photography, etc. is much easier with phase-detection.  No matter how good or fast the contrast-detect algorithms can be run, it still has to guess at the direction of focus adjustment, move the focus element a little, measure again, rinse and repeat.  That physical process of the adjustment can't be overcome by faster processing.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX Review
« on: October 25, 2011, 11:49:25 PM »
Image noise goes up with higher ISO, fact of life.

Well that's one way of looking at it.

I would prefer to look at it as the noise being reasonably constant (within limits) but the signal being reduced due to the lower light levels available when you have to use higher ISO settings.  The end result is a lower signal to noise ratio (SNR) leading to a noisier image.   The post-capture ISO amplification applied gets you back to the correct image brightness, but as it boosts signal and noise equally, cannot do anything to correct the already impaired SNR, hence the noise that was there all along becomes relatively more visible.

Impaired SNR is the natural result an under-exposed sensor which of course is what you get if you use an ISO setting higher than base ISO.   The exposure meter may say you are not under-exposed, but that is because it is adjusted in advance to allow for the amount of post capture ISO amplification which is going to be applied later.  By going above base ISO you are effectively accepting under-exposure at the sensor.

I would therefore say that high ISO noise performance is a somewhat mythical concept, as in reality the performance at any ISO setting is largely dictated by the SNR ratio at base ISO.  The better this is to start with, then the better the results as you start losing signal due to low light levels. 


Yes, SNR is what matters most to what we see as image noise and you're absolutely right, ISO amplification happens after the sensor is exposed and amplifies the recorded signal at each pixel which includes the noise component... the camera doesn't know what the true signal was and how it was affected by the noise.  When shooting in low light the input signal is much lower so the SNR is in turn lower and the image looks noisy.

On the issue of thinking of noise as a constant, that depends what kind of noise we're talking about.  There is noise from the electronics (read noise) which is fairly constant and photon noise (aka shot noise) that is not constant.  Both contribute to the total noise (random variation) in the recorded signal.

Photon noise scales as the square root of input so the noise goes up with input signal in absolute terms (not constant) but is a smaller percentage of the input (higher SNR).   With very low light levels (dark shadows, night photos) photon noise can be significant.

Read noise is fairly constant for a given ISO setting and is in the range of around 2-20 electrons for most CMOS sensors.  Again, in dark scenes when the input signal is low (which is when we use higher ISO) the read noise becomes much more significant relative to the input signal (lower SNR) and we can see the noise in the dark areas of the image.

Even when we look at an image we can't "see" or know that a particular pixel (or any area in the image) was supposed to be say 500 photons but was recorded as 495 or 510.  What we see is the unnatural variation in adjacent pixels or groups of pixels that wasn't in the true input.  So say a group of 20 pixels were supposed to all be 500 photons but they were recorded due to noise anywhere from 470 to 530 we can see that variation and because it's random variation we know intuitively that the image isn't supposed to look that way and it's therefore noise.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DX Review
« on: October 25, 2011, 10:56:35 PM »

Good points.  Given the slight drop in MP rather than an increase over the last generation FF sensor, the increase in standard ISO range, the fact that technology has progressed, and Canon's statements I would also hope for more than 1 stop increase.  My comment was meant more generally... that a full stop improvement over a predecessor body is a significant improvement.  Two or more stops would be even better of course.  As far as what body to compare to as the predecessor we could just as easily compare to the 1D4 since that was the most recent 1-series body but your point is still valid because the increase to 18MP FF from 16MP APS-H alone should result in improvements even if there were no other tech advancements.  How much improvement in noise and DR will "cut it" will depend on the user.

Lenses / Re: The price 300mm 2.8 IS--is just greed--maybe?
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:22:44 PM »
It's strange that there is such emotion on the pricing of things we want but can't justify the price.  It turns into a rant about corporate greed... there is such a thing as corporate greed but the pricing of products is an open and transparent thing and they aren't taking advantage, if you don't like the price don't buy.   What do you think the cost to produce any Apple product is... what's the markup on an iPhone... yet Apple and Steve Jobs are heroes.

There is so much to running any business far beyond just the cost to manufacture a product.  Who's to say what Canon spent on R&D to improve any given lens, re-tool the manufacturing process, etc.  Then there's marketing, distribution, overhead.

Even if Canon is making a killing on any particular product, so what?  If the market doesn't like the price and no one buys they will lower the price after a while.  Ultimately they're going to sell it for what the market will bear.  I wonder if the people who complain so much about corporate greed would sell their house for 20% less than market value because the business press reported widespread over-valuation in the housing market?

Lenses / Re: The price 300mm 2.8 IS--is just greed--maybe?
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:11:56 PM »
Time to "Occupy Canon?" :)

Nice one!  +1

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