March 11, 2014, 07:22:03 AM
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Messages - jrista
I think it looks great. Sometimes, distant light pollution can add an intriguing aspect to wide field night sky shots like that. It does tend to limit your ability to expose, and the darker the skies the better in the long run...but light pollution isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Of course, not everyone in this forum shares my optimism, particularly after having high DR/noise hopes for the last couple of years and having them dashed. They're like Buttercup, and I'm Wesley as we're fleeing to the Fire Swamp for safety:
Buttercup: We'll never survive!
Wesley: Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has...
What are the dangers of the Fire Swamp? The High DR spurt, but there's a popping sound from the ADC before that, so those are easily avoided. Lightening pattern noise, but Aglet was clever enough to figure out what that looks like, so we can avoid that, too. What about the ROUS? Resolution of Unusual Suckiness? I don't think that exists.
What I really want to see is a collapsible high-end telephoto lens. The long telephoto lenses are just impractically long; nobody's camera bag can hold a lens that's 18 inches long. But most of the space is air, which means that the vast majority of space taken up by these lenses is wasted. If Canon instead built their non-zoom telephoto lenses with multiple telescoping, locking segments, these lenses might actually be practical to carry around.
I think diffractive optics will solve that problem eventually. All of Canon's DO lenses are physically shorter than their non-DO counterparts. Sometimes significantly. Canon must have over a dozen patents related to grating and particle dispersion DO technology...only a matter of time before they have it perfected enough to use in a high end lens like the 800 or 600.
I bet neuro's already working out how to fit it into his finances...
Not really. I like having f/4 when I need it, and 840mm f/5.6 when there is sufficient light. I'm actually leaving the other way, toward the 300mm f/2.8 IS II.
"actually *leaning* the other way"??
Anyway, completely agree. I prefer the versatility of the 600 vs. the 800. The next lens on my list is also the 300/2.8 II, as 600mm is often a bit too long and heavy for wildlife work.
Wow, this has got to be a dream lens for those that shoot birds and wildlife.
I bet neuro's already working out how to fit it into his finances...
And, why not. The technology behind a lens like this must be pretty incredible. Kudos to Canon.
Actually, the 600/4 L II + 2x TC on a FF (either 5D III or 1D X) pretty much fulfills the dream. It is astonishingly sharp even with the TC, and mind blowingly sharp without it. For those times when you need to photograph a bigger bird, and prefer not to move (which usually scares off the birds), having the ability to go shorter than 1200mm or 840mm is extremely handy.
...maybe give us a non-DO 400 f/4 for the masses...
I'm not sure why this keeps coming up...a non-DO 400/4 will be the same diameter and a bit longer than the 200/2. It won't be 'for the masses,' unless you think 'the masses' can afford a lens that will cost well over $6,000. An 'affordable' 400mm lens will have an f/5.6 aperture, and there are two already (100-400L and 400/5.6), and hopefully we'll see updates to both soon.
Aye. Both need some serious IS attention, and some improvement in IQ would be very welcome. I'd happily get rid of my 100-400L in favor of a new 400/5.6 L IS with at least four stops of hand holdability.
Another debate on sensors, and now Nikon is / or is not crushing Canon's sales because of it. The sensor is just a small part of the big "picture", so to speak.
If you haven't figured it out by Canon's actions with DSLR's in the last few years they seem to think Video is the future.
I doubt the sales lost or gained from Nikon are significant compared to the sales Canon lost to the iPhone and other phone manufactures. Canon should have gotten a clue from these companies. Where are the Canon phones built in to their cameras? The dedicated P&S is dead, add a smart phone to the back of it and people will come back. I would think seriously about buying a T5i phone, it would be smaller than bag phone I had in 1988. How about a new M model 1/8" wider with an iPhone on the back. I might pre-order.
Sensors, who's is better? Unless Canon sensors crash I don't care. I have my good glass, in a year or two this debate will be about a completely different set of specs on sensors and I will still have my good glass.
It's a good point about good glass. That's the reason I spent over ten grand on the EF 600mm lens. But there is a cost do buying good glass...the system has to last. If the onslaught of racing technological improvements in the CMOS Image Sensor sector continues, Canon's sensors will become irrelevant in a few years. Image quality took a jump with the D800...what happens when even your smartphone camera can achieve dynamic range like that, and every DSLR except Canon's does even better?
All anyone is saying is that Canon needs to step up their game, broaden their focus, and compete more effectively on multiple fronts. Dynamic range also doesn't just apply to stills photography, either. Canon is a new entrant to a fairly well established digital cinematography market. Again, sensors for the cinema segment are also improving. Red demonstrated a cine-sensor with over 20 stops of dynamic range! Sony has produced numerous smaller video sensors with incredible dynamic range (although nothing yet that quite compares with 20 stops). The sensor IQ debate doesn't actually end with stills, it is a video factor as well (and in many ways, DR is FAR more important for cinematography than it is for stills.)
Will Canon actually succeed in the video market? What'll happen when their cinema line remains stuck at 12 stops of DR while all of their competition continues accelerating to 20 stops and beyond? If the future is video, then Canon still needs to compete, and DR is still a factor. I hope they figure that out and do something about it before their (rather diverse) competition crushes them. I've invested too much.
Speaking about emphasis: I find the recent news that Nikon is patenting an adjustable AA filter really exciting. I wish that was Canon.
...I would LOVE an AA filter I could disable for my landscapes, and enable for my birds.
Canon Leads in Sensor Tech
Also, last, while I did respond to some of the things inside the body of your post, I guess I was mostly responding to the title.
Yes. I am totally guilty of baiting people with the title.
Haha! You did indeed.
I do appreciate that you and others are discussing this intelligently.
Well, it seems we'll be able to, finally.
I was motivated in part by watching the back and forth on the DXO thread and seeing that most of it amounted to schoolyard taunts from both sides.
Yeah...DXO is a real pain point in the Canon community (and not just because of the DXO scores...DXO definitely seems to have some issues with brand weighting, which is even more visible with their lens reviews.) Their scalar "score" is an atrocity...and it would be so even if Canon cameras didn't score badly. Their measurement data is useful, but trying to linearly rank cameras is just a bad idea IMO. I prefer the DPR approach, bucketing cameras into gold, silver, bronze buckets. Little looser and general, but it fits the extremely diverse set of measurable data points better.
I certainly hope the next generation of 7D will have all the things you mentioned (better autofocus, better frame rate, etc. including sensor improvements over the 70D). I think Canon does have a challenge ahead of themselves – they need to produce a 7DII that is enough better than the current model to convince current owners to upgrade because I do believe that the bulk of their sales of the 7DII will come from 7D owners.
Totally agree. I guess around this time next year, we'll learn what Canon meant when they said they would be doing something interesting with the 7D II sensor. I'm very curious to know if that interesting thing has a video or stills bent...
I do agree with some of what you've said about DSLR video. On a much earlier thread I suggested that video and stills, having converged for the past several years, may be at the point where they start to diverge again. I don't know enough about the technology, but I suspect it is unlikely that Canon can continue to improve their DSLRs in both video and stills without one starting to conflict with the other.
Sometimes I dream that the next 7D will not have a dual pixel sensor and instead Canon will use what they learned in developing that technology to make a sensor that performs better for stills photographers. I can dream can't I?
I don't think it is impossible for Canon to achieve that. I do, however, think they need to spread the R&D spending around a bit more. I can't really remember the last time there was a significant still photography innovation. The 61pt AF system might be the last thing I've heard that seriously improved still photography IQ in the Canon world...and that was quite a while ago now, couple years at least.
I've tried to use the video capabilities of my 7D a few times to record some of the interesting things I see out in nature, the stories that a few still photographs just can't tell. I've come to the conclusion that outside of your basic shaky-camera gig with quirky focus, you can't really use a DSLR for good quality video without investing in some of the tools that actually make it practical. A focus puller, a fluid-filled tripod head, a proper screen magnifier and shroud, etc. Once you get those things, and really want to start producing some higher quality cinematography, you start to realize you can't really do it all on your own, and you realize you need even more gear...maybe a dolly for smoother panning, and at least one other person to pull focus while you focus on everything else. Then you start thinking abut audio, the need for some external microphone jacks, cleaner video output, RAW video output, so on and so forth. Its just another rabbit hole.
You can do some basic things with DSLR video, and software like Adobe Premier helps (especially with its post-process image stabilization features...however then you really wish you had the full 4k 4096x3112 resolution so you have some extra pixels to support the cropping that comes along with that stabilization)...but anything more, and a simple DSLR just doesn't cut it, and it is an R&D funding black hole...
I find the viability of DSLR video in professional DSLR cameras to be limited without a lot of extra gear, and a growing number of additional features that would need to be added to stills cameras to make it really viable. Even for something as simple as filming the local fowl and fauna to make a short, but quality, video. So I totally agree...I think it is time the technologies diverge...at least at the professional level. I honestly couldn't really care what Canon does with their consumer grade products. ;P
I think you are missing the key underlying factor that fuels the arguments involving Canon's sensor technology: Low ISO Image Quality. From a purely technological standpoint, fabrication process and advancement are also underlying factors.
To be blunt, Canon's physical technology IS inferior. They use a fabrication process that is over a decade old, and there is no denying that at ISO 100, 200, and to some degree 400...their shadow noise is NASTY!...
Whether the technology is old or not is only relevant if it has an impact on their ability to sell cameras, which doesn't seem to be the case. There is zero evidence that the market agrees with your assessment and until the market does, Canon has no incentive to change.
It is not the case yet, but on all of the relevant forums, including CR, the sentiment that Canon sensors do not provide enough low ISO DR definitely exists and is growing. Sure, people vote with their pocket books. I guess the sales numbers of Canon cameras over the next few years will really tell the story, and there will always be die-hard loyalists who will never switch brands. I would also be interested to see if Nikon's sales would increase if they could produce enough supply to meet demand in markets where it is really high, and expand their customer support team to be large enough to deal with the technical issues they have in a way that pleases their customers.
No, not any concrete market information yet...however I do believe there is some pretty strong sentiment in all the major forums on the internet regarding Canon sensor technology.
Canon needs to stop focusing on video, and refocus in stills photography, in their photographic DSLRs.
Why would a company refocus on a shrinking market while ignoring a growth market? I'm a stills photographer, but let's face it...we are all along just for the ride. The growth market for both commercial and amateurs is video. It doesn't take a genius to look at the growth of YouTube, Netflix, OnDemand, Independent Networks, streaming over websites, etc. etc. to see where the growth and demand is.
The next generation of filmmakers are already out there making videos using Rebels. Canon fully intends to move them up through the system. There is no "next generation" of stills photographers to speak of.
I think you may be mistaken about the DSLR market. DSLR sales, for photography, have been increasing at higher rates than mirrorless cameras, and in cases where DSLR sales dropped, they dropped less than mirrorless sales:
There is a specific article that talked about changing trends that I cannot find at the moment (I've posted the link on this site before) that discussed the shift towards DSLR is being fueled by increased use of smartphone cameras, claiming that once users get a taste for photography, they inevitably want higher quality photos. The article seemed to jive with what I've heard from the people I know as well...a growing number of them are buying entry level DSLRs (rather than mirrorless or other compact cameras) as counterparts for their smartphone cameras. That jives with Nikon's missed targets and cuts in their sales forecasts for the 1-series, as well as the rumors that Nikon will be releasing some kind of entry-level DSLR to compete with Canon's new 100D.
Photography, including in the case of DSLRs, is still a growth market. Depending on the source of the numbers, DSLR sales will grow anywhere from 17-26% this year, which is significant. Video makes sense for entry level gear as well, for the very reasons you specify...but does it still make sense for professional grade DSLR cameras when Canon also has the Cinema line? If someone is professionally looking to do cinematography with a DSLR, the C-line is better suited, and could use some entry-level and mid-level parts. It also seems that if a consumer wants something for video, a mirrorless camera is the easier device to use...yet sales of mirrorless have been growing slower than sales of DSLR cameras and in some cases fallen considerably...which also makes me think it is photography people are interested in.
I want Canon to compete, on all levels, not just one level at a time. Sure, their technology is good. It is quickly becoming "not good enough" for the current age.
Well, I think that is exactly the point. Canon's technology is "good enough" and the history of technology is that "good enough" almost always beats "the best."
Not trying to be argumentative. John, I respect both the depth of you technical knowledge and your skills as a nature photographer. I'm just trying to play the devil's advocate here and force people to think outside their own wants and desires and see that there is a different way to interpret the current state of the market.
Sure. Sorry, I know I come off strong. I don't dispute the current state of the market. Based on the Market, Canon is king. They are a fiscally sound company as well, and I applaud them for that. I just read about Kodak's bankruptcy filing and the final status today, and I guess the conditions of their bankruptcy agreement, which restructures the company to completely remove them from the consumer market, has made me wonder about Canon's strategy. Sure, video is a growth market. It is a growth market both at the professional level as well as the consumer level. It seems logical to me that entry level DSLR's get some "fancy" video features, but it also seems more logical to me that professionals would demand truly professional video features. Things like RAW output, full HDMI output, better support for external audio equipment, so on and so forth. They ARE demanding those things (which is clear from the video-centric reviews of high end DSLR cameras like the 5D III.)
My concern is that Canon is too focused, and is going to focus so hard on ONE thing that they miss the opportunities in other areas. My concern is that if they do that, they WILL start to lose customers in the stills market. The thing about the professional, semi-professional, and enthusiast amateur DSLR market is it is largely saturated...if those consumers start looking for better IQ (and it's clear more and more of them ARE), market share can only shift from one brand to another.
I understand there is a bigger picture. Canon is a very fiscally sound company, and they have taken a very old process very far. Does Canon see the bigger picture, though? I mean, I can only evaluate the potential future based on what I do. I understand that other people have their own demands...but maybe some market segmentation is in order. Video vs. Stills, rather than Video and Stills. Canon apparently has only so many R&D resources, and they seem to all be focused on video. Is my significant investment (over $25,000) in Canon equipment going to last for the duration it needs to (measured in decades) in order to be cost effective? Or will I wake up in five years and realize I have to switch brands, likely at a significant loss, because I haven't seen any reason to buy a new Canon camera because their IQ is still fundamentally the same as it is today, while their competitors are pushing 16 stops of DR, with more resolution, and better IQ overall?
Canon Leads in Sensor Tech
Also, last, while I did respond to some of the things inside the body of your post, I guess I was mostly responding to the title. From a technological (tech) standpoint, Canon really doesn't lead. I know they have done some good things with their tech, but it is definitely not leading...from a technology standpoint alone. Just about every other sensor manufacturer has superior technology...superior fabrication techniques, superior light gathering capability facilitated either by light pipes or BSI designs, superior quantum efficiency, greater dynamic range, often even at smaller (sometimes much smaller) pixel pitch, etc.
From a marketing standpoint, I don't think there is any question Canon is the leader. Their market share and sales numbers clearly indicate that. But in terms of Sensor Tech...I just don't believe that is the case. They definitely have better FPPDAF technology, but that is one feature in a bucket of around a dozen or so fundamental technologies that determine the technological maturity, and superiority, of a sensor.
It actually blows my mind that some companies are already pushing the 900nm (0.9µm) pixel pitch. That is small enough that it is intrinsically filtering out far IR. The next logical step would be around 750nm (0.75µm) pixel pitch...and that would basically be the limit! At that level, you would already be filtering out near-IR and a small amount of deep red light...you would no longer need an IR cutoff filter...its rather extreme. What some sensor manufacturing companies have done even at 1100nm (1.1µm), and the IQ and noise levels they have been able to maintain with such incredibly small pixels, is amazing. (Realize that a 1.1µm pixel on FF would be a 714 megapixel sensor!)
ask me strait question then
short and concise
ds/ps , you have been writing the same as I have from the beginning
HTP at 100iso = exposure after 200iso = create a head room compared to a 100iso exposure due a shorter time= halving the in falling light compared to a 100iso exposure. AND to that a 100iso gain + another s-curve/contrast curve
SO what shall you and I discuss now?
my old head room figure and iso
100is near clipping
200iso ? 1 stop of head room
Well, it seems you've changed your explanation now. Originally, you were saying the camera changed the shutter speed with HTP enabled in order to halve the actual amount of light. That is the point at issue. If you are using manual mode, with HTP on, and select a shutter speed and aperture that over-exposes enough to clip highlights, then you've over-exposed. HTP can't fix that. Nothing can fix that. The user is still in control of the exposure. As I said before, it is a user-conditioning setting...HTP has the tendency to force users to select a faster shutter or slower aperture...but that does not guarantee the user will comply.
As for your headroom figure, I think that is inaccurate...at least, as far as how Canon sensors work (and Nikon uses sensors from so many sources, I couldn't say if that diagram conforms to any of the sensors they use.) Highlight headroom is, in my opinion, a misnomer. You don't really have any highlight headroom (rather, you have shadow footroom)...highlights cut off where they cut off, regardless of ISO setting. If you expose past that point, any "headroom" values are simply clamped to the white point. I believe Canon sensors work more like this diagram demonstrates:
When it comes to HTP, highlight headroom, or shadow footroom for that matter, doesn't come into play. HTP forces the user to assume a higher minimum ISO setting that does not actually get applied when the exposure is made. The user assumes they must compensate for a higher ISO, therefor reduces exposure by selecting a lower one with their chosen shutter and aperture. The camera then exposes, according to their selection, at a one-stop lower ISO setting. That's all. There isn't any electronic trickery, or headroom, or anything special about the hardware here. It is all virtual...actual trickery, and the user is the gullible culprit.
read what I have write, I have said nothing about M
and look again on my sketch
it illustrate also foot room and DR
You repeatedly mentioned manual mode and ISO 100 in your earlier posts about HTP.
Your diagram does not illustrate dynamic range, though. Your diagram, as currently drawn, indicates that each ISO setting has the same dynamic range, which isn't the case. The sensor itself has a constant dynamic range (the ratio between read noise and FWC at ISO 100). As ISO is increased, the white and black points change within that dynamic range (in the case of Nikon, the black point is fixed without a bias offset, so only the white point changes), but from a hardware standpoint, it is a fixed attribute. Your diagram doesn't really portray that.
Here is a copy that was run through both Topaz DeNoise 5, with vertical debanding, 100% chroma noise removal, and minor luma noise removal, as well as maximum dynamic range recovery. It was then run through Nik Dfine 2 in order to remove more luma noise. DeNoise 5 does an excellent job removing chroma and banding noise, while Dfine 2 does a better job at reducing luma noise without smudging detail.
Can you denoise now the crop from the Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square shot I posted earlier without losing detail? If I like it, I may send you the whole image, and pay you for that.
Hmm, I think I missed that one...I came into this thread in the middle. I can read from the beginning if its in this thread, and I'd be happy to give it a whirl.
Please don't! It was a joke (the image is real though).
Well, if you ever pick up DeNoise 5, it should solve the problem nicely. It is very configurable. The debanding can work in horiz, vert, or both, and each are independently adjustable. You have fine control over how denoising is applied to different color channels, the ability to recover black level (DR), etc. If you've been having trouble cleaning up shadow noise, it's pretty much the tool that will do the job. I use either Nik Dfine 3 or some other NR tool for luma noise reduction (photon shot noise), as Topaz DeNoise 5 past a certain "strength" level starts to heavily blur detail.
70D in stock at my local store.
Goin' in for some lens cap shots.
Case in point - this is how Aglet evaluates a new camera: 'pictures' with the lens cap on. He'll then boost the black images 4-5 stops, and tell us all how crappy the 'pictures' are, and how Canon still hasn't made their
sensorscameras any better.
raw files are pushed 4 stops
Do you look for bio-luminescent markers with the room lights on?
(BTW, are you a real scientist?... cuz you sure spend a LOT more time on this forum during the work day than I'd like to see any employee of mine doing)
Lens cap shots? Pushed 4 stops?? I've never heard of a worse way to evaluate a camera. That's not even photography. It shows something, but has no practical relevance.
It has practical relevance for certain kinds of photography. The most obvious being landscape photography. Another, maybe not so obvious, would be interior design photography (where you often encounter bright windows resulting in scenes that easily top 13 stops of DR.) It is not practical for EVERY kind of photography, and once you get past ISO 400, on Canon cameras, black point is usually above the banding noise floor and physics is the primary driver of noise, so it doesn't matter.
where is the banding?
You shot at ISO 4000. Thanks to Canon's use of a Bias Offset, by that ISO, the black point has moved above the level at which banding noise exists. The only noise remainder is slight quantization noise during ADC...and photon shot noise.