October 26, 2014, 02:04:47 AM

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Messages - jrista

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1
The noise is not blotchy: conversions from some converters are blotchy. And this is exactly as true of D7100 conversions too, depending on converter.

It's also painfully obvious that Nikon uses on-chip NR to deal with Chroma - I've been saying for years that the results I get with the default Chroma NR in Capture One are identical to how Nikon files look: I actually once asked Phase One whether they'd licenced their Chroma NR algorithm to Nikon.

But - to repeat - the character of the noise you're seeing has practically nothing to do with the camera and almost everything to to with the converter.

And in the tests I've done comparing 7D Mk II files against D7100 files, converting in Photo Ninja and in Raw Therapee (remember, the D7100 is a supported camera, the 7D Mk II is not), the D7100 loses out: and it is of course prone to banding/pattern noise in pushed shadows to an extent an order of magnitude (yes, I know what that means) more than is the 7D Mk II.

But - really? - Complaining about the "quality" of the Chroma noise? The single easiest thing to fix (by a country mile), of all the things that might impact on image quality?

Are you really that desperate for something to bash the 7D Mk II about?


At the moment this is purely anecdotal. I'm going off of real images that can be viewed and compared by anyone. Based on the data at hand, the data linked in the original post of this topic, I can draw no other conclusions other than what I have, based on the observations I am able to make.


I am currently evaluating Capture One 8. I haven't had a chance to do a full blown comparison between it and Lightroom. You may well be right, C1 may indeed handle NR better. I have no data from which to base an opinion yet. Even when I do, all I can do is base an opinion of how my own data from my own images compares. I cannot take my own images and use them as a basis for comparison with DPR's data, though.


Within the given context, which in this case, in this thread, is DPR's sample images, the Canon conversions, whatever was used to make them, end up looking worse. Given that very significant number of photographers (probably a, likely strong, majority, topping DPR, DXO, and C1) use Lightroom to edit their RAWs, I think the comparable data DPR provides is very indicative of what people in most cases are going to get. MAYBE it's because of LR. Until there is an extensive and reasonable set of conversions done from all the same cameras that DPR lists, with a similar kind of test scene, as an analytical person, I have to base my opinions in a thread like this off of what everyone else can see and base their own opinions on.


There is no value in making the aggressive and combative claim that it's the person sitting behind the keyboard, or the archaic software they are using, that's the problem. Not unless you can provide irrefutable evidence of such a claim, and demonstrate how a tool like C1 can improve results. (If it does indeed, then I'll do what I can to provide such evidence myself...I'm all for getting better results, and if C1 can do that for me, then hell, I'll ditch LR, or at the very least, use C1 to do my base RAW edits, and use LR to manage the library of original RAWs and conversion TIFFs.)

2
EOS Bodies / Re: 4K Products Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 24, 2014, 11:34:47 AM »
"You can pick an A7r up for as little as $1700 used, A7s' used for as little as $2000."

Ever wondered why these owners are selling?


Actually, those prices were from the LensRental used equipment store. They buy a bunch of copies of things, and sell a LOT of used stuff. I haven't seen those kinds of prices elsewhere, and I honestly haven't seen nearly the volume of used Sony cameras as I do used Canon cameras. That's expected, though, given the ratio of Canon sales to Sony sales. I don't think used sales can in any way be used as a gauge of which brand is better, you would need impeccable statistics about how many used items from each brand are on sale, and a damn good idea of why they are on sale, to make any kind of assessment as to why they are being sold.

3
It's no quirk of screen, browser, or anything else. It's a matter of characteristic...it's not the amount, it's how the noise presents. I'll produce some direct comparison images and GIFs from DPR data so people can judge on their own screens. Canon sensors are still more blotchy in most instances. Even the a6000 has a better noise characteristic than most Canon crops, with the exception of the reds and brown/tan swatches. It does have more color noise, however it's cleaner, random color noise with more per-pixel frequency and characteristic...it's not blotched.


I use that term very explicitly and specifically...blotched. That refers to characteristic, not amount. Canon color noise has a nasty characteristic. It's one of the things hate bout the 5D III at low ISO...it's the same blotchy characteristic in the shadows. Noise character matters just as much as noise amounts. As far as amounts go, there isn't a full stop difference between any one of the APS-C cameras. At most, on a normalized basis, there may be a third stop difference, but that's to be expected...barring color noise characteristic, the amount of noise overall is ultimately determined by total sensor area, Q.E., and maybe fill factor.

4
Pretty much comports with what I've been saying for a while about the 7D Mk II based on my own Raw conversion tests. That the 7D Mk II gets within a stop of the FF cameras is damn' impressive.

And - again - the 70D, and the 7D Mk II, show no appreciable pattern noise in pushed shadows.


I wouldn't say that at all. At "Full Size", that may be true, however once you switch to "Print", FF pulls ahead again, with considerably lower noise in all cases.


I would also strongly dispute the notion that the 7D II does better than the D7100. Again, at "Full Size", the gap is small, however at "Print" size, the D7100 exhibits far less color noise. The 7D II still suffers from color noise problems. This is most obvious in the monochrome color swatches of the test image, but yellow, orange, green, and blue swatches also suffer from blotchiness due to color noise. Yellow and blue and maybe purple seem to be the most hard hit of the color swatches.


The third gray swatch from the right edge of the color checker demonstrates the differences in color noise best. I am actually rather impressed with the 6D noise...very clean.


The grain pattern at ISO 3200, 6400, and on most color swatches 12800 is a far more pleasing random mostly mono grain with the D5300, D7100, D810, 6D, 5D III, A7r, A7s, etc. than it is with either the 7D II or the 70D (or any other Canon crop). Color noise is still a key problem for Canon crop sensors at high ISO (and I suspect with shadow lifting.)


The D5300 seems to perform a bit more poorly on the brown and tan swatches...color noise is worse in those, for some reason, however its quite excellent in all the rest. The D7100 does not seem to have that problem...all of the swatches look excellent on the D7100 at Print size.


Overall, I don't see a whole lot of difference in luminance noise levels overall between any of the crop cameras. Luminance noise seems to be about the same on a normalized basis. The key difference is color noise and how it presents. Canon's characteristic blotchiness is still in play. I am not sure how it compares to older cameras...it's not possible to select the 7D in their new comparison tool on DPR. I suspect the 7D and 5D II are worse, but Canon crop is still worse than everyone else when it comes to color noise (and the 5D III and 1D X are still worse than the D810).

5
EOS Bodies / Re: 4K Products Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:51:23 AM »
Hold off on the A7S just a bit more.
I gave up and bought an A7s ($2,500) and a GH4 ($1,700).  They are both ridiculously fantastic. 

Canon might eventually add 4K to the 5D Mark IV, but I can't shoot with that now.


I see no reason to wait on Canon anymore. They may eventually get there, and eventually may be second quarter 2015. But when they do, is it once again going to be technology that competes with last years competitors products? Or the ones from a couple years ago? Especially with camera bodies...they come and go so fast now, and the prices are getting lower and lower thanks to the competition. It's easier to buy a product like the GH4 for a specific purpose, instead of always having to find a high end expensive product that does everything.


I'd just get the A7s now, if you want it, LTRLI. There is no evidence as of yet that the 5D IV is going to have 4k. It may have it, and if it does, is it going to be as good as what the A7s already does? (Doubtful, IMO...I don't see Canon sensors getting that kind of Q.E. for a while yet.) You can pick an A7r up for as little as $1700 used, A7s' used for as little as $2000. By the time Canon's new cameras released next year are tested and proven, you'll probably be ready to move on from the A7s anyway, and Sony should have the successor ready as well (assuming they don't release it well before Canon releases anything). That just mans you have more options and the ability to better gauge which camera will best suit your needs for 4k.

6
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 160 vs. 100
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:52:06 PM »
In my experience, the differences in noise for the full and +1/3rd (push) stops are not really enough to get worried about for current Canon generation cameras. I have noticed that the 2/3rd (-1/3rd or pull) stops are a bit noisier, however it's still usually not enough to worry about.


Older 18mp APS-C parts had more problems with noise, and the 2/3rd pull stops were pretty noisy. I don't know about older FF parts. So long as your using a current model, however, I simply don't worry about it. Canon read noise is high, and it's high no matter what (at lower ISOs)...a third stop change in high read noise isn't going to change things much. At higher ISOs, the shift with third stops is less significant, and so doesn't matter at all.

For both the 5D2 and the 60D you could easily detect the differences in noise with the "dark frame" test, but with actual photos there wasn't any noticeable difference between adjacent 1/3 stops...


I see more noise in normal shots with the 2/3rd stop settings...no dark frame required.

7
EOS Bodies / Re: 4K Products Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:46:28 PM »
I was surprised at out how much backlash there was after the C100 Mk II announcement because for years people have been complaining about the C100 having no 60p, a poor viewfinder, no internal mic on the body, etc. and they gave us all those things.  I think it's true that people will continue to want more than what is currently offered partly because that's how we've been conditioned.  If we got 4K 10 bit output there would be people demanding internal 4K.  If we got internal 4K then people would demand 120fps.  If the C100 had all those things then what could Canon add to the C300 to get people to buy it instead of the C100? 

Like jrista said, people complain on all the forums.  A friend of mine rarely complains about anything, but when he found out the Sony FS7 didn't have the same sensor as the A7S he said he wasn't interested in it.  I would guess that Canon is doing the best that they can while looking out for themselves as well as consumers. 

Of course, if the new C300 doesn't have 4K then forget everything I just said  ;) lol

It depends on WHEN they implement new functions. Obviously if they only move to 4K when everyone else is moving to something better, then it is still a dollar short a day late.

We want them to implement these features when they are current technology, not when they are old technology.


+1 This exactly. Canon used to be ahead of the curve, and was driving market change. Now they seem to be behind the curve on a lot of things, and are following market change.


People don't want critical features like 4k after they had to move to another brand because they needed it, and Canon didn't have it. I see 6k video on both Red and Arri cameras now. Another one, KineMAX from a Chinese manufacturer, is offering 6k for less than ten grand. And Canon is just now finally getting to 4k.


It's this whole "behind the curve" think that I think keeps Canon customers frustrated. They aren't innovating market leadership anymore, they are following the crowd. I get how that's frustrating for some people, given how deep brand loyalties can go.

8
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:23:06 PM »
Partial solar eclipse from today. Started at 3:20pm, continued until sunset. I imaged through the central period, up to peak and a little after. The sun was too bright before and after that to really image it properly, as I was just using my 10-stop ND filter and f/22 or narrower. :P


Nice big cluster of sun spots just below center, though. (Note, this image is big, so you can see the sunspot detail. Also look at the periphery of the sun for some surface structure detail.)





Next time, I have to have a proper solar filter handy, or maybe even a Lunt solar telescope.

9
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:20:50 PM »
I did a timelapse video which features Andomeda and Orion. Skip to 5:25 if you care to watch it.
Not bad i believe for 5 sec exposures. 6 seconds for Orion but there is a bit of star trailing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDv7laP1G54


Good stuff! Damn good indeed for such short exposures. What camera did you use?

10
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:20:23 PM »
Another image, again without the Astronomik CLS filter. This one was an easier target than the Pleiades: Andromeda Galaxy, actually the full complex of M31, M32, and M110.
Really Beautiful. Congrats.
I love those astro pictures that start to become three dimensional.


Thanks. Pretty happy with how this one turned out...definitely got some of that sense of three dimensions in there, which was actually more challenging than it sounds.

11
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:19:46 PM »
Amazing photos jrista, i am only starting astrophotography with hope of learning the sky while shooting the milky way, don't have a telescope, but a friend took this photo with his using my 600D.


Looks great! Slap that telescope on an equatorial tracking mount, and you'll be amazed what you can do (although Orion is a deceptively challenging subject, due to it's massive dynamic range...the core around Trap blows out entirely well before you even begin to start getting any useful detail on the surrounding dust detail.) Andromeda is probably an easier target, still bright but not quite nearly as bright as Orion nebula.

12
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: October 23, 2014, 09:17:59 PM »
hey Jrista,

How do you find the Orion ST80ED and camera for tracking? Is the 400mm focal length enough?


I don't actually use the ST80ED, I just use the basic ST80, the real cheap one. For guiding, all I care about are the stars, and once the ST80 is focused, they are good enough for guiding.

I need to bite the bullet on something for tracking but in terms of the camera, I am looking towards more the Lodestar X2 but in terms of ED80's for guidescope there's a few to choose from.


Skywatcher Synguider is a standalone guider that a few people I know have them and have had some good results in tracking. I've seen some guys doing 15min exposure with it and a Canon Dslr, I couldn't say much about image quality as I didn't really look too hard at their final results.


The Lodestar X2 is real nice, at 77% Q.E. My recommendation for a guide camera, however, is the QHY5L-II. The Lodestar uses a Sony sensor, the QHY5L-II uses an Aptina sensor, and it has 74% Q.E. I recommend the QHY instead of the Starlite guider because it can be used for planetary imaging as well. It's got a nice high sensitivity, high resolution mono sensor that is capable of imaging up to a couple hundred frames a second with the central 320x240 pixel area (which, when your imaging planets, is often all your going to be able to use anyway, even with pretty high magnification.) The Lodestar's cannot be used as planetary imagers. They are better guiders, I think, but less versatile. I use the QHY myself, and I'll be getting an RC-type scope soon here to do planetary (and lunar) imaging with it.


As for the Synguider, that's like Celestron's Nexguide. It might even be the same technology in a different package. Those are fully self contained guiders. Personally, I try to steer people away from those. If you absolutely do not have the option of using a laptop, ever, then a Synguide or Nexguide is probably the only guiding option. Everyone images with a laptop at the very least these days (I use a 40' USB booster cable and powered USB hub to image from my desktop that I'm using right now.) Using PHD2 with a standard guider is vastly superior to using something like a Synguider IMO. Far more control, which you will really need if you ever want to image at a higher resolution, or at narrower apertures.


I've got 2 telescopes, a Celestron EdgeHD 11" CGEM DX and a Celestron CPC 9.25.

The edgeHD will be used for imaging once I pull my finger out and buy stuff for it. I will most likely end up getting a Fastar adaptor at some point for the front of the scope bringing it down to an F2, microfocuser and dovetails for the guidescope. At this stage I will just use my 5D3 for imaging.
I make the worst astronomer as I am a night shift worker.  :( 

The EdgeHD 11" is a very nice scope. It's going to be difficult to use, though. To do imaging with it, you are going to need a very hefty mount. The ones that Celestron sells it with are barely adequate. Skilled imagers have made do, and can produce some great images, but it's very challenging. You will definitely need to use OAG (off-axis guiding), so read up on how to get the right spacing in the imaging train. SCTs have certain issues that make them less than ideal for deep sky imaging, such as mirror flop. They can be superb for planetary imaging, and something like the 11" is going to resolve a TON of detail, and with a high mag barlow, you could get close to 10,000mm for some serious magnification.


I'd recommend starting with the CPC 9.25. The smaller scope is easier to manage, easier to guide, just easier to deal with overall. It will give you a chance to get the hang of things without all the frustrations that come with getting good enough tracking for an 11" aperture scope. It will be more forgiving of seeing (you'll need very very good to excellent seeing conditions to use the 11" effectively, otherwise your just throwing away any potential increase in resolving power that the larger aperture offers because seeing will be limiting you.) The 9.25 is also going to be lighter weight, so you can get away with using a lesser mount. I wouldn't recommend anything less than a mount with a capacity of at least 60lb for imaging with the 11", 100lb would be better. You just need the stability to actually benefit from that kind of resolving power.


The Orion HDX110 is, IMO, the best option for using scopes 11" and larger...but it's decidedly not very portable. The next best option, if you can scrounge up the money, would be the Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO. That's a true high end mount, and with proper PEC could be used unguided for shorter subs (maybe up to 10 minutes). It's got a 45lb rated capacity, however unlike most lower end mounts, that capacity is an imaging capacity, not a visual observing capacity. The Mach1 is very highly portable, I think it may even be lighter (when broken down, lightest part) than my Atlas EQ-G, which makes it pretty much top dog if your plan to visit dark sites on a frequent basis.

Have you ever considered a high end refractor telescope?


I have a high end refractor. ;) The 600mm f/4 L II has one of the flattest fields with excellent corner performance. I've looked at the quality from a lot of refractors, a whole lot, and very few achieve the IQ that my 600mm lens does, and most do it at a slower f-ratio. For those that achieve similar IQ at around an f/4 f-ratio, you have to spend about as much, or even significantly more, than I did on the 600mm, so it's a wash. I also have some versatility that you don't generally get with a normal refracting telescope...I can attach the 1.4x or 2x TCs and increase my focal length/imaging scale if I need to.


I actually recommend the Canon 300mm and 600mm L series lenses a lot. I think they are some of the best "telescopes" you can get for the price, given how fast they are. You lack some flexibility when using Canon lenses...you cannot use standard focusers, you don't have any backfocus, so you cannot use things like OAG for better guiding. But for the most part, at the image scales you normally have with these lenses, guiding with an independent guide scope is fine up to around 15 minutes.


If I was ever to buy a "real" refractor, it would probably be the Takahashi FSQ106. That puppy is one of the few that has a similarly flat field, however it has it because it has an 88mm image circle. For most dedicated astro CCD imagers, you use a TINY portion of that giant image circle, so the field is exceptionally flat. The large image circle allows you to use either a reducer or extender, which reduces the image circle to 44mm. You lose corner performance when doing that, however, but it's still quite usable. The large 88mm image circle is also compatible with big imagers, like the 56mm diagonal square KAF-16803 based CCD cameras. (There aren't many scopes that can handle those huge imagers...RCOS and PlaneWave make some, but they are exceptionally expensive. I think AstroTech has one or two new Ritchey-Chretien Truss scopes that have 65-70mm image circles, but even those are some seven grand or so.)


I will probably be getting the AstroTech 8" RC telescope soon here. I want something with a longer focal length for galaxy imaging and planetary imaging, and the AT8RC is only $895.




13
EOS Bodies / Re: 4K Products Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 23, 2014, 06:21:16 PM »
Well, the frequency with which Canon customers or potential customers complain about Canon "crippling" or otherwise shortchanging their products is a clear indication that they want more for every dollar. Canon hasn't thus far been willing to respond to all those demands for more/dollar...until they do, your going to keep hearing people complain.


It's become a simple fact that you can often get a LOT more value with other brands than with Canon. That's not to say that Canon doesn't make a good product...but their products are increasingly not providing what their customers demand. Some simply jump to another brand or add another brand to their kit. Others complain. Hopefully Canon will change in 2015 and actually start delivering.

Those are the ones Canon will actually listen to.  Canon listens to dollars, no vents :-)


Sure. It's not going to stop people from complaining, though. That's my point. People complain when they don't get what they want. Just a fact of life. People complain all the time on Nikon forms, and Sony forums. It isn't a Canon-only thing...it just may be a bit more prevalent on Canon forums because Canon has seemingly ignored a good number of big customer demands for a few years at a minimum now.


All I'm saying is, people won't stop complaining. Once Canon finally gets 4k capability into all their gear, 6k and 8k will probably already be the hot new thing, and people will complain about that.

14
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: ISO 160 vs. 100
« on: October 23, 2014, 05:42:33 PM »
In my experience, the differences in noise for the full and +1/3rd (push) stops are not really enough to get worried about for current Canon generation cameras. I have noticed that the 2/3rd (-1/3rd or pull) stops are a bit noisier, however it's still usually not enough to worry about.


Older 18mp APS-C parts had more problems with noise, and the 2/3rd pull stops were pretty noisy. I don't know about older FF parts. So long as your using a current model, however, I simply don't worry about it. Canon read noise is high, and it's high no matter what (at lower ISOs)...a third stop change in high read noise isn't going to change things much. At higher ISOs, the shift with third stops is less significant, and so doesn't matter at all.

15
EOS Bodies / Re: 4K Products Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 23, 2014, 05:37:08 PM »
Well, the frequency with which Canon customers or potential customers complain about Canon "crippling" or otherwise shortchanging their products is a clear indication that they want more for every dollar. Canon hasn't thus far been willing to respond to all those demands for more/dollar...until they do, your going to keep hearing people complain.


It's become a simple fact that you can often get a LOT more value with other brands than with Canon. That's not to say that Canon doesn't make a good product...but their products are increasingly not providing what their customers demand. Some simply jump to another brand or add another brand to their kit. Others complain. Hopefully Canon will change in 2015 and actually start delivering.

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