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Messages - jrista

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1
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« on: July 31, 2014, 03:34:18 PM »
Canon made revolution  few years ago. Currently it is a stagnant company, which still focuses significant aattention to dying P&S market. Product cycle for semi-pro and pro products is very long and shows that Canon does not sufficiently invest in R&D as other companies. Canon started loosing in the following areas:

1) Mirrorless market - they loose to Fuji, Olympus, Sony;
2) Sensor technology - loosing to Sony;
3) Lenses - starting to loose to Sigma and Tamron as these 2 companies started producing high quality lenses, which match or in some cases exceed qulity of Canon lenses (e.g. Sigma 50 mm 1.4 Art, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC) for affordable price.

Losing is a tough way to put it.  Being #1 means you have many mouths to feed -- not just enthusiasts and pros in a forum.  I'm truly curious to see what chunk of Canon's business folks like us in this forum (and like-minded shooters not in this forum) actually represent to them.

Also, advances in one small segment of the photography world does not make Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Sigma and Tamron the 'team to beat'.  It means that they have had success in one small segment of the photography world.  That's all.

And lest we forget, the company arguably most revered for its innovation and 'firsts in the industry' -- Sony -- can't seem to understand photographers well enough to produce a top-to-bottom well thought out camera that is free of non-trivial flaws.  They seem predisposed to come up with something cool and useful (that I might want!), shoot it out to the market half-cocked, and under-deliver.  What's worse is that they don't seem to learn from this, and they just shoot out another version in record time with similarly iffy results. 

So it's more than who is on a roll or has the best team or most innovative pipeline -- I want the company that most consistently satisfies its customers.  Bleeding edge innovation isn't my driver.  I want a camera/system that does exactly what I want it to do.  Canon may be slow, but they have never let me down with what they have delivered.

- A
When I jumped ship from Olympus to Canon, the choice was Canon or Nikon. Canon had the lenses that I liked and when it came to the user interface, there was no comparison...Canon let me do what I wanted easily, Nikon had me diving into menus... I went Canon

As things stand today, for my purposes everything about the Canons is superior to the Nikon and Sony offerings except for the sensors and I expect the gap to narrow drastically or even disappear soon.

Look at the clues...

Clue #1: Canon sensors are inferior to Nikon/Sony. Everyone knows that. You can bet that the people at Canon know that too.
Clue #2: Canon executives have hinted that something big or revolutionary is coming.
Clue #3: The 7D2 has been delayed for "production reasons".. We know it isn't just making another copy of the 70D sensor with a few more or less pixels.. it has to be something else.
Clue #4: The delay is NOT DPAF. It is here and in production in the 70D. Being a lower cost camera and stocked and sold in general consumer stores, it is a safe bet that 70D sales will exceed that of the 7D2 AND the entire FF lineup. A bit more for a 7D2 will not matter.
Clue #5: Canon has sensor fabrication facilities that work on much finer lithography than the APS-C and FF sensors of today. Pick up a Canon P/S camera for proof....
Clue #6: P/S sales are declining and this means extra capacity is opening up on those finer lithography production lines...
Clue #7: We know that by going to row or column A/D on the sensor that they could drastically drop noise and increase the DR of their sensors. You can bet that Canon knows this too.

My bet is that the delays in 7D2 production are due to moving the A/D onto sensors with finer lithography. This has to happen at some point and now is the logical time. I would expect a rapid refresh of the FF lineup after this.

Correct me here if I am wrong with this conclusion --- but in all the posts i have read here regarding the internals of a camera body --- heat is a factor in the quantity of noise, which would harm sharpness and overall IQ. 

Correct me if I am wrong yet again, but, is it conceivable that canon bodies could improve IQ by finding more ways to reduce heat inside the camera body?   Just tossing ideas out there...

Heat can cause two forms of noise: "Amplifier glow", which is really just IR radiation increasing temperature, and dark current noise. Dark current is always flowing through the circuitry of a sensor, and it sometimes causes the release of an electron into a potential well (i.e. a photodiode). The rate at which dark current causes the release of free electrons is dependent on temperature, it effectively doubles every 5.8°C.

Neither of these forms of thermally-affected forms of noise are really a problem for most still photography. The exposure times are usually too short for enough dark current or incident IR radiation to affect the release of additional free electrons. In the case of dark current, CDS units on each column (or possibly each pixel) are reset along with the pixels, and accumulate charge for the same duration as the pixels are exposed. When each column is read out, the CDS unit charge accumulation is subtracted from all the pixels in the given column. For shorter exposures, this can effectively eliminate dark current noise. CDS units usually have a limited capacity, and for longer exposures, or exposures long enough at very high ISO, they may not be able to entirely subtract the dark current noise from the image signal. This is usually only a problem for things like astrophotography, where exposures might be many minutes long.

The use of per-column CDS units (which is usually the case...I believe even Sony Exmor sensors use a per-column digital CDS unit, since it's actually part of their CP-ADC) can actually cause vertical banding. A better approach would be per-pixel CDS units, that are reset along with each of their paired pixels, and accumulate dark current specifically for each pixel. That would eliminate the possibility that CDS units introduce vertical banding (per-column banding, really), but it does increase the complexity of the sensor. I've seen one or two patents that cover per-pixel CDS...it's been a while, but I want to say one of them was a Canon patent. I honestly can't remember.

Anyway, there are sources of thermal noise. On very hot days, your camera will absorb more ambient heat, and that can increase noise a bit, especially at higher ISO. However for the most part, I don't think that significant investment in reducing sensor temperature is going to improve most still photography IQ. The current levels of read noise at lower ISO settings completely swamp any amount of dark current. At higher ISO settings, Canon sensors are already competitive, as they are limited by physics, although a small improvement might be made buy increasing Q.E. from the ~49% average to say ~60%.

2
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to Make a Big Splash at Photokina? [CR2]
« on: July 31, 2014, 03:22:01 PM »
Canon made revolution  few years ago. Currently it is a stagnant company, which still focuses significant aattention to dying P&S market. Product cycle for semi-pro and pro products is very long and shows that Canon does not sufficiently invest in R&D as other companies. Canon started loosing in the following areas:

1) Mirrorless market - they loose to Fuji, Olympus, Sony;
2) Sensor technology - loosing to Sony;
3) Lenses - starting to loose to Sigma and Tamron as these 2 companies started producing high quality lenses, which match or in some cases exceed qulity of Canon lenses (e.g. Sigma 50 mm 1.4 Art, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC) for affordable price.

Losing is a tough way to put it.  Being #1 means you have many mouths to feed -- not just enthusiasts and pros in a forum.  I'm truly curious to see what chunk of Canon's business folks like us in this forum (and like-minded shooters not in this forum) actually represent to them.

Also, advances in one small segment of the photography world does not make Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Sigma and Tamron the 'team to beat'.  It means that they have had success in one small segment of the photography world.  That's all.

And lest we forget, the company arguably most revered for its innovation and 'firsts in the industry' -- Sony -- can't seem to understand photographers well enough to produce a top-to-bottom well thought out camera that is free of non-trivial flaws.  They seem predisposed to come up with something cool and useful (that I might want!), shoot it out to the market half-cocked, and under-deliver.  What's worse is that they don't seem to learn from this, and they just shoot out another version in record time with similarly iffy results. 

So it's more than who is on a roll or has the best team or most innovative pipeline -- I want the company that most consistently satisfies its customers.  Bleeding edge innovation isn't my driver.  I want a camera/system that does exactly what I want it to do.  Canon may be slow, but they have never let me down with what they have delivered.

- A
When I jumped ship from Olympus to Canon, the choice was Canon or Nikon. Canon had the lenses that I liked and when it came to the user interface, there was no comparison...Canon let me do what I wanted easily, Nikon had me diving into menus... I went Canon

As things stand today, for my purposes everything about the Canons is superior to the Nikon and Sony offerings except for the sensors and I expect the gap to narrow drastically or even disappear soon.

Look at the clues...

Clue #1: Canon sensors are inferior to Nikon/Sony. Everyone knows that. You can bet that the people at Canon know that too.
Clue #2: Canon executives have hinted that something big or revolutionary is coming.
Clue #3: The 7D2 has been delayed for "production reasons".. We know it isn't just making another copy of the 70D sensor with a few more or less pixels.. it has to be something else.
Clue #4: The delay is NOT DPAF. It is here and in production in the 70D. Being a lower cost camera and stocked and sold in general consumer stores, it is a safe bet that 70D sales will exceed that of the 7D2 AND the entire FF lineup. A bit more for a 7D2 will not matter.
Clue #5: Canon has sensor fabrication facilities that work on much finer lithography than the APS-C and FF sensors of today. Pick up a Canon P/S camera for proof....
Clue #6: P/S sales are declining and this means extra capacity is opening up on those finer lithography production lines...
Clue #7: We know that by going to row or column A/D on the sensor that they could drastically drop noise and increase the DR of their sensors. You can bet that Canon knows this too.

My bet is that the delays in 7D2 production are due to moving the A/D onto sensors with finer lithography. This has to happen at some point and now is the logical time. I would expect a rapid refresh of the FF lineup after this.

+100

Excellent analysis. I think you've really zeroed in on something here, and tied together a lot of the various bits and pieces of rumors and news from Canon. (Particularly the bit about declining load on their fabs that use a smaller lithography process due to declining P&S sales...I'd never thought of that!) I think it paints a pretty hopeful picture about Canon's sensor future.

(BTW, on a side technical note...there won't ever be row-parallel ADC. Rows are activated, then all the columns for the active row are read. Then the next row is activated and the process repeated down the vertical height of the sensor. That's how sensors, both CCD and CMOS, have been designed for decades. So they will either go with CP-ADC, or they will keep the ADC off die...there wouldn't ever be a RP-ADC though.)

3
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:27:30 PM »
About 10 years ago I tried an experiment where I used the same speed settings on a film cameras as I had used on a digital camera. It didn't work - the film was exposed very differently to digital (I don't remember if it was under/over.) The ISO number that you get when you take a picture with your DSLR is not the same as the ISO number used for film. Try it for yourself.

That seems like a difficult experiment to conduct. There would be too many variables to use negatives and actually quite a few variables using transparencies. Did you develop the film yourself? What were the controls used to assure that temperatures, etc., were precise. If you sent the film to a third party to be developed, you lose all control over the process.

The process of developing film is standardised - C36 is "the process" that is used to develop colour film and it is the same process the world over. The only quality impact is the amount of dust that finds its way inside the machine and then causes "spots" on your prints. Differences in paper won't impact whether the print is dark or light due to under/over exposure.

Umm...this is plain and simply not true. I'm not sure where C36 came from. To my knowledge, today, there are two primary forms of color film processing: C-41 and E6. The former is used to process color negative film, while the latter is used to process color positive film (usually, slides or "transparencies".) C-41 and E6 are not the only two color film processes still in use.

There are a lot of film photographers out there who like to use expired and old films. They prefer the edgy, "old" or "roughed up" look, and for some, the worse off the quality of film, the better. A popular kind of older color film is Kodacolor, which was primarily developed using the C-22 process, however the even older Kodachrome used the K-14 process. C-22 is probably one of the more commonly used "old film" color processes still used today, as Kodacolor was pretty pervasive for a while, and a lot of old Kodacolor film is still out there, locked away in freezers and buried on old shelves. I believe there have been other processes for developing older Fujicolor film as well (CN-16, although I believe that may be compatible with the C-41 process). That is nothing to say about Polaroid Instant film, which used a different and instant development and immediate fixation process, and there are actually quite a number of people who would love to see the classic Polaroid instant film brought back (I believe there is even a group working on replicating the film and development/fixing process independently.)

There have been quite a number of color film processes over the decades, so to say that one single process is used to develop all color film is patently false. Not only that...I've never heard of C-36...searching for a variety of combinations of C-36, film, develop, process, fixing, machine, etc. comes up with nothing related to color film development (other than the tangential C-41, E6 and C-22 of course.)

4
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:01:00 PM »
@zigzagzoe: You know, when you first posted in this thread, I thought you had some interesting things to say. I  agreed with some of them, didn't agree with all of them, and I tried to reasonably counter those points (once even with some visual evidence...you blew right past that one, and I'm curious why...because it PROVED my point? The same point others are making?). However you have devolved to the same level as everyone you've been belittling and are now insulting. You are absolutely no better than anyone your trying to make fun of.

I had some respect for you personally at first, but the last few pages of your responses, you've done nothing but try and personally attack one particular guy. He may have misinterpreted your initial post, and I believe his response was not, in my opinion, an appropriate response. You could have walked off while still on the high ground...but you stooped. Your now at same lowest point, in hand to hand combat, using the same pitiful, spiteful word-weapons, as Neuro.

I dunno man, hard to keep respecting you as I first did after the last several pages of spitfest.  :-\ You may be a "pro", but that does not automatically make you right in every single statement you make. The D800 may have been excellent for your work, and based on your work, you certainly seem to have skill. However, as has been said, your either missing, or simply refusing to acknowledge, a number of other angles on the subject here, which isn't any better than anything anyone else may be doing in regards to the benefits of using cameras with Sony Exmor sensors.


5
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:17:57 AM »
*sigh*  ???

6
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 01:11:59 AM »

There is this constant hi iso issue. When i shoot on my D800 at 1600 ISO and then size that image to 22 meg, or 3000 pixels for an 8x12 print, it's the equal of my 5D Mk3, and superior to my 5D Mk2.

Would it matter if I shot at hi ISO's a lot anyway? The D800 lacks in hi iso DR to the Mk3 by maybe a quarter to half a stop max.

Apparently that is massive to these forum and worth lauding every time the subject comes up, but over 2 stops advantage at 100 ISO (and almost 3 with the D810) isn't worth it?

That's the kind of inconstant debating I'm referring to. Giving more weight to a small Canon advantage, and less weight to a larger Nikon advantage.

You are doing what so many people do here, taking things out of context. Is a half stop DR advantage worth anything?

Half a stop, maybe not. 2 stops? Definitely. That can make a difference between needing to use HDR to get the result you want and being able to do it with one image. So what difference would that make? The time (and thus cost) associated with producing images with the requisite level of detail in highlights and shadows.

If it takes me 1 hour to produce the image that I want with the detail that I want using a single shot and 2 hours to do the same image using HDR then the lower DR camera halves my output and thus income that I can earn from it. (I'm using 1 and 2 hours here figuratively.) And at ISOs less than 800, Nikon's latest cameras deliver that ability to save time and thus money.

He was talking about at high ISO, not low ISO. At high ISO, from 800 onward, the difference in stops is at best half a stop, if even a quarter stop, in favor of any given brand. The advantage with an Exmor is only about two stops or a bit more specifically at ISO 100 (it's about a stop at ISO 100, less than a stop at ISO 400).

7
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 30, 2014, 12:49:22 AM »

There is this constant hi iso issue. When i shoot on my D800 at 1600 ISO and then size that image to 22 meg, or 3000 pixels for an 8x12 print, it's the equal of my 5D Mk3, and superior to my 5D Mk2.

Would it matter if I shot at hi ISO's a lot anyway? The D800 lacks in hi iso DR to the Mk3 by maybe a quarter to half a stop max.

Apparently that is massive to these forum and worth lauding every time the subject comes up, but over 2 stops advantage at 100 ISO (and almost 3 with the D810) isn't worth it?

That's the kind of inconstant debating I'm referring to. Giving more weight to a small Canon advantage, and less weight to a larger Nikon advantage.

You are doing what so many people do here, taking things out of context. Is a half stop DR advantage worth anything? Probably not, but if the camera with the high iso DR advantage also has a handholdable 600, which you need and are using, and it has better AF, which you also need and are using, only a fool would buy the camera system with the half stop worse DR, worse AF, and heavier lens.

You nailed it! 8)

8
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:47:10 PM »
jrista,

If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to get a walk through of your post processing. You mentioned using DeepSkyStacker and PixInsight to boost the DR of your files. I'd love to get a a step-by-step look at what you do. Thank you!


+1

I'd love to see it too!


Well, keep in mind, I usually use DSS and PixInsight for astrophotography. There is nothing DSS can do to improve your regular still photography, as it is explicitly designed to calibrate, register, and stack individual sub frames from an astro imaging sequence into a final "integrated" result. The primary cause of dynamic range improvement there is the calibration (the use of dark frames, bias frames, and flat frames to remove read noise and bias signal from the deep deep shadows of each individual light frame) and the stacking (which averages together dozens, even hundreds, of individual light frames to GREATLY reduce noise and actually increase the output resolution and detail.)

PixInsight can be used for normal photography, and some of it's tools might actually be good to run, lightly, on normal photography images. One of them would be TGVDenoise, which is absolutely phenomenal at eliminating (and I really do mean eliminating, not just reducing) high frequency noise. TGV has to be run carefully on astro images, as lower frequencies of noise are still usually present in astro images even after integration...but on a normal "terrestrial" photo, if used at the right setting, it could completely wipe out all high frequency (i.e. per-pixel) noise pretty handily. I haven't done much experimenting with that...I just poked around with a few bird photos that were taken at ISO 12800 to see what it could do, but I didn't put a lot of time into it. The vast majority of the time, I use PixInsight to reduce the noise of my astrophotography integrations, recover and enhance detail, then "stretch" them to do a kind of shadow lifting that would indeed put even the D810 to shame. ;)

As an example, I used PixInsight to turn this:



Into THIS:


9
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:37:08 PM »
I guess many of the responses were to be expected :-)


Just out of curiosity, did you read my reply to you? I did not see a response from you about it...just curious.

Troll? Of course, anyone who has a different viewpoint is a troll.


They are, and to get back on topic, DXO scores seem to be on the money, not just with the D800, but with all the cameras I have personal experience.


Well, I'm not here to call you a troll or make any kind of assumption that I know your reasons for switching, and whether you were pre- or post-biased or anything like that. You do, to me, seem as though you made a well educated decision, and if it improved the quality of your work, which it seems is also your living, then I'm happy for you. ;)

I do have to say that I disagree with this one point, though. I am not going to deny the DR advantage cameras built on Sony Exmor sensors have. The day I saw Fred Miranda's comparison review of the D800 and 5D III some years ago now, there was simply no denying it. I actually ran Fred's images from that review through all my denoise tools, and while I was able to recover some DR, it was at the cost of some detail particularly in the signs, and was never quite as much as the D800 had natively.

The D800 has better IQ at low ISO, plain and simple. I don't think anyone really denies that, it's kind of hard to really ignore, even if you have a brand affinity. The reason for that is Sony Exmor sensors don't throw away useful information by injecting noise into the lower echelon's of the image signal. Canon's fundamental problem is that they DO inject a lot of noise into the lower echelons of the image signal. That costs Canon IQ that their sensors (according to Roger Clark) are capable of resolving in the first place (around 15.1 stops in the case of the 5D III, which has an FWC of 68900e-, minimum read noise of 2.05e-, which leaves us with (20 * log(68900/2.05)) / 6, or 15.088 stops of sensor dynamic range. Reference: http://clarkvision.com/articles/evaluation-canon-5diii/index.html. Note, Roger Clark actually made an error in his calculation of dynamic range, he claimed it was 14.7, however he mistakenly used 2.5e- as the minimum read noise, when in actuality it was listed as 2.05e-. Hence my different result of 15.1 stops.)

The DR improvement aside, which is ultimately just opening up more bit space for usable, recoverable image data to go into, IN PRACTICE, I rarely see any major differences between landscape photos taken with the 5D III and the D800. There are a few cases where I've seen photos from the D800 that you could tell took full advantage of it's edge, but for the most part, similar kinds of landscape photos taken with different but similar cameras all ultimately have very little discernible differences in quality. Here is a random sampling off of the first 5 pages of a 500px search for "flower mountain":

http://500px.com/photo/56726642/eastern-fjords-by-boris-michali%C4%8Dek
http://500px.com/photo/39464968/spring-flowers-by-lazy-vlad
http://500px.com/photo/66442921/superstitious-twilight-by-peter-coskun
http://500px.com/photo/77534433/loowit-dreams-by-michael-bollino
http://500px.com/photo/75522371/stormy-friday-by-zsolt-kiss
http://500px.com/photo/47847750/louis%27-heaven-by-lijah-hanley
http://500px.com/photo/74066923/if-2-by-zsolt-kiss
http://500px.com/photo/75963645/miss-independent-by-rami-jabaji
http://500px.com/photo/52348676/cruel-summer-by-ryan-dyar


This sampling includes photos from the D700, D800/E, 6D, 5D III, 5D II, and even a 5D! They are all of fields of flowers in front of a mountain or some landscape. Aside from a couple images that looked overly compressed, I am hard pressed to know, just by looking at the image, which camera took which photo. Even if you start picking each image apart, if you did not have EXIF metadata telling you which camera created which photo...you could simply never tell, except in maybe the 5D case (that camera is REALLY dated now), and one photo that nicely captured the setting sun and clear detail in the foreground that I don't think would have been possible with any current Canon camera (but I still had to look at the image for a moment and think: "Wow, the sun isn't blown, and the foreground has colorful detail!").

That is generally the case, when I spend time on 500px looking at photography, while there are some rare cases of say a close up headshot portrait where you can really tell it was well lit and that the image had a ton of resolution, for the most part...I can't see DXO's scores being indicative of ANYTHING when it comes down to real-world photography. While I don't agree with Neuro's interpretation of your original post, and I think he misread it and took it the wrong way and ultimately responded poorly, I think that was kind of the kernel of his retort: DXO scores...don't really seem to be indicative of real-world photography. They may be somewhat indicative of post-process editing latitude, and in many cases having improved latitude is very possibly the most important factor for some percentage of photographers (I fully understand the "time spent on each photo" argument, especially coming from pros), but I don't think that image quality boils down to two additional stops and more resolution. I believe those are factors of IQ, two of a greedy handful, but in the end...at least, based on the photography I've personally seen when browsing around sites like 500px, 1x, Flickr, etc...I think the tool simply compliments the photographer's skill in the end. (And a better tool in the hands of a skilled photographer can, and probably will, produce better results, so the D800 in the hands of a skilled photographer can be put to more effective use than a 5D III in the hands of the same photographer.)

Just for kicks, here is a landscape photo taken with a 40D. In a blind test, I highly doubt anyone would have figured that the 40D was used to make this photo:

http://500px.com/photo/69401533/casteil-by-julien-delaval

There is actually quite a lot of DR here...from the bright sun in the upper right corner to the deep shadow detail in the foreground grass.


In my search, I did come across ONE photo taken with a D800 that just made me go WOW, and I could tell tell it took full advantage of the increased DR:

http://500px.com/photo/46785278/mt-bromo-under-the-stars-by-elia-locardi

This photo is...just...wow. This kind of photo is what makes me want to get a D800, however I'm still, at least at the moment, holding out hope that Canon will release a competitor so I can stick with my preferred ergonomics and lenses (although I would like either a much improved 16-35 or a Nikon-quality 14-24).

10
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 29, 2014, 06:32:57 PM »
I can’t give up clean shadows and over 14 stops at 100 ISO, even if my heart is really with Canon due to my history with them.

Only complaint I have, and the reason I persist in my critique of DXO, is the native RAW files actually have 13.2 stops of DR. The 14+ stops of DR ONLY occurs when you downsample your images to a very specific size: 8x12 @ 300ppi. I believe that is a very critical point, as theoretically it is impossible to have more than 14 stops of dynamic range when using a RAW image that uses 14 bits per color channel. It's also critical that we always edit our RAW images at full size...otherwise, we wouldn't be editing RAW, we would be editing exported TIFF or JPEG images produced from RAW, and that amazing editing latitude would disappear into thin air.

You can downsample (or upsample) your images to any range of sizes, from 1x1 pixel to tens of thousands by tens of thousands of pixels. The dynamic range that each individual photographer may get from a D800 is completely arbitrary. Using the 8x12" print @ 300ppi ONLY has relevance when comparing cameras on DXO's site. Referencing the 14.2 stop number (or 14.8 stops in the case of the D810) outside of the context of DXO, such as you have (not to fault you, your post was great) here is actually invalid, and it's THAT, THAT very thing, that gives me persistent cause to call DXO out for producing misleading results: When actually editing a RAW in a RAW editor like Lightroom, the dynamic range of the D800 files is 13.2 stops, no more. (Similarly, the dynamic range of Canon files is somewhere between 10 and 11 stops, so that doesn't give Canon any kind of benefit, the same issues apply to DXO's tests of Canon sensors...in reality, Canon users are still stuck in the realm of ~10.5 stops of dynamic range instead of ~13, so there IS a benefit to using a Sony Exmor sensor if you use low ISO a lot.)

When your in a tool like Lightroom, lifting shadows, then all you have is the 13.2 stops of the only real "measure" of dynamic range that DXO does: Screen DR (it's something you can select when browsing through DXO's results on their site.)

I want them to blow everyone out of the water and deliver a killer high MP, hi DR sensor and give me my well missed rate button back.

But life goes on, and Canon have a following that means they are still the number one as far as sales go due to their reputation from prior to 2012, and I guess that won’t change for 2-3 years yet, so they have time to get it right.

But lets not deny reality.

If they don’t catch up, a good brand name is not going to last forever.

I couldn't agree more with all of this!  ;) While for someone like myself, who pretty much always shoots at ISO 400 or above for the vast majority of my photography (birds, wildlife, astrophotography), the difference between Canon cameras and any camera from the competition is negligible. If you always shoot at low ISO, there is no denying that Canon has noise problems, and anything that uses a Sony Exmor (which is now a fairly good number of cameras from a range of brands now) is going to produce superior low ISO results. Canon hasn't really, fundamentally changed their technology in...what...a decade plus? They have made evolutionary improvements every couple years...added microlenses, removed the gaps between microlenses, increased quantum efficiency (although recently, their improvements there have been less), and a few other things, fundamentally the core technology is the same: 500nm process, off-die, high frequency ADC, HIGH read noise.

I do agree, if Canon doesn't do something to catch up to and compete with the competition, the  high Canon is still riding will fade, then disappear, and then the bottom will fall out. Canon is the top camera manufacturer in the world...but pretty much every company that just sits and rides on their past success has ultimately failed (i.e. Kodak! They were THE film camera company of the masses for decades...where are they now? Do they even hold any more patents? They are a pitiful shadow of their former shadow, let alone of their former self.) I personally really do not want to see Canon go down that route. I LOVE Canon glass...I think their lenses are second to none in all but a very few cases (less than a handful.) I don't think I could do without Canon ergonomics (that whole package deal, the body shape and size, the button placement, options, and configurability), the menu system.)

Nevertheless, I do photograph landscapes on occasion, and I would really love to have a better full frame camera with phenomenal dynamic range and resolution, along with some improved wide angle glass (a 14-24 would be nice, but I'd settle for a kick-ass 16-35mm f/2.8 III with excellent corner performance, as I've enjoyed my 16-35mm II.) I would love to be able to lift shadows and not have to apply extra work removing banding, crosshatch noise, and the sprinkle of salt and pepper noise that shows up in the really deep shadows of Canon sensors. (Although, it should be noted, it is possible to remove banding, and when Canon's banding noise is removed, the DR of their files increases considerably...maybe not the full 2.2-2.4 stops difference between a Canon file and the Nikon D800/600/810, but enough... The key difference is sometimes you have to take a shadow detail hit when denoising, which you don't have to do with a Nikon file).

I am still a big fan of my Canon equipment, and I'll always be involved in the DXO debates (which is more what this whole thread is, a debate about the validity of many of DXO's results (which apply to ALL cameras tested by DXO, not just Nikon cameras...it's just that the skew is so much greater with Nikon cameras...14+ stops of editing latitude is impossible when the files are only 14-bit) and particularly their scoring, rather than a Canon vs. Nikon thing), but I can't help but think I'll lose some faith in Canon's ability to compete if the 7D II and 5D IV hit the streets AGAIN with...not even eleven stops of dynamic range and their nasty banded read noise. Canon needs to use some of the billions they make every year to bring their still image sensor technology into the 2010s (and out of the late 1990's).

11
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: DXO uh-oh?
« on: July 27, 2014, 04:07:30 PM »
as a multi-system user I have to agree with DXO guys, they are honest, much more so than DPR or any other unscientific review sites online.

The problem is that DXO's "science" is in dispute. How can you trust something that produces inconsistent and obviously incorrect results?

12
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: July 26, 2014, 05:12:14 PM »
Curious Deer








love the light on the fuzzy antlers! nice shots.


Thanks! That's velvet, the proper name for the fuzzy covering on a deer's antlers, until their rutting season. Just before the rut, velvet falls off, they scrape off the remnants while they sharpen their antlers on tree trunks, after which they are left with the sharp, bony antlers were most familiar with.

13
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 25, 2014, 04:01:29 PM »
Here's hoping they have a much simplified mode dial on the 7D2....

Could I suggest the following layout.....

Add C1-5, and I'd be happy. :D
Even better!

Yes! (but make it six, just in case)
Such a thing might even take the steam out of my desire for a Fuji.

Yes but how would you guys remember what your five or six custom settings actually are ? I have trouble remembering which one of three to use.

I agree with that. Canon should add the ability to name them, and when you switch to a custom user mode, it should display the name on the LCD readout, and if it's on, the background LCD display, for a few seconds.

14
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 25, 2014, 01:43:23 PM »
Here's hoping they have a much simplified mode dial on the 7D2....

Could I suggest the following layout.....

Add C1-5, and I'd be happy. :D
Even better!

Wow....that would make it essentially useless for fast-moving subjects in fast-changing light.

M mode with Auto ISO is great for fast-moving subjects in fast-changing light!  You pick the shutter speed to freeze or show motion, the aperture to give you the DoF you need, and the camera picks ISO for a metered exposure.  On the 1D X, you can bias the metered exposure by setting EC.

Aye. In the case of bird photography, the primary means of setting exposure is shutter when in manual mode. The shutter is pretty much the only thing you change once you have set ISO and aperture for a given light. For still subjects, you usually use a lower ISO, like 800. For fast subjects, you usually use a higher ISO, like 2000-6400. Whenever the light changes, you generally want to "reset" anyway, and rebase your exposure for the different light (and that can occur if you simply point the camera in a different direction.) Manual mode is pretty awesome once you know how to use it...it's infinitely flexible.

15
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 25, 2014, 01:40:27 PM »
Exactly! :D And with five custom settings, you'ed pretty much be set for...anything.

I guess I've never used the custom settings so I don't know what they can do.  Not having them on my cameras could be the root cause.

They let you choose...pretty much any setting, such as AF settings, metering settings, etc. including mode (Av, Tv, M, B), save it to a custom user mode profile. You can then switch to that profile simply by moving the mode dial to C1-N (some cameras only have C1, some have C1-3). I guess technically speaking, you would still need some way of choosing Av, Tv, M or B so you could save it when saving a custom user mode...that could be on the mode dial.

If you had a bunch of custom modes, though, you could then set up several Av modes with different AF settings...one for slower moving subjects, one for fast moving subjects, one for erratically moving subjects, one for still landscapes, and one other for say portraiture. Then it would be a simple matter of switching to the right custom mode to instantly change all the camera settings for whatever it is your shooting. The 7D, 5D III, and 1D X all have C1-3. I believe the 6D only has one custom mode.

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