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Messages - jrista

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1486
Lenses / Re: Dxo tests canon/nikon/sony 500mm's
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:23:16 PM »
Simple fact of the matter is a better lens will perform better on ALL sensors, 20mp, 30mp, or 50mp. The problem with DXO's tests is they quite simply don't give you a reasonable camera-agnostic basis from which to compare lenses.


Actually, they do. There is a way to extract the pure lens resolution from the data they used to publish (full MTF curves, not the nonsense they publish now).

Umm, no...sorry. The final image is a convoluted result...one could not extract a "pure" lens resolution...you could only approximate it. (For the very same reason one cannot perfectly extract noise from a noisy image...it is part of a convolution produced by a complex real-world system. Too much uncertainty and a loss of information prevents perfect noise removal.) A mathematically generated MTF that takes into account the real mathematical point spread function of the entire lens is really the only way to get any realistic idea of how a lens will actually perform. The moment that convolution is further convolved by a sensor, you lose the ability to "perfectly" (or purely) revert to the prior result...there is too much uncertainty and loss of information.

Quote
The Nikon 500/4 performs "on par" (toung in cheek) with the Canon 500/4 solely because of the higher resolution sensor. That sort of tells you that the Canon lens is particularly good, because it is performing so well on a worse sensor...but you don't really have any exact way of comparing. You only get a "feeling" that it performs so well.

Why in the world would you want to know how a Canon compares to a Nikon without a body? For bragging rights? They tell you what is achievable with the current bodies on which the lens works, the way it is deigned to work. A better lens on one body will be better on future bodies as well.

One wouldn't, necessarily. But your missing the point. The point is to call out DXO's BS approach to performing lens tests. The point is to clearly note that those tests are "camera system" tests...they are neither lens tests nor sensor tests. I wouldn't go so far as to say that is 100% useless, but it is certainly biased the way DXO does it, and there is a suspiciously long-term bias towards a particular manufacturer by DXO. (Not just away from Canon, either...even the Sony lens, which actually has better transmission, should have scored better...but it was limited by a sensor!)

1487

Have you actually used a Windows Phone 8 device? They are certainly not a joke, and after owning several generations of iPhone, I much prefer the Metro experience. The app gap is shrinking fast, and most of the apps I want are already available, and those that aren't are either coming, or I can write myself. I'd also point out that as the Android vs. iPhone battle has raged, iPhone has been losing, while Android and Windows have been gaining. Windows market share is about doubling every year, particularly with the Nokia Lumia phones. Again, I think people who skip past a Lumia just because its Nokia or just because its Windows are short changing themselves.

No point in having that argument really, not going to win anything.
I find the 'apps gap' irrelevant in about 5 mins I'd downloaded (free) every app I'm likely to need on my phone. (Nokia 925 win8)

I think what Nokia are doing is facinating, apart from IQ what I want to see improving substantially though is focus and shutter lag.

Shutter lag on an electronic shutter has always been an oddity to me. Is it simply because most smartphone cameras (and, for that matter, P&S cameras) insist on making a cutsie and unbelievably annoying little fake shutter click when people press the button? I figure, assuming the lens is focused, taking a picture should be near instantaneous...

1488
I just read some of the reviews on the Lumia 1020. I have to say, from a photography standpoint, I am REALLY impressed. It finally brings the true PureView 808's 41mp sensor, the 6-element Zeiss lens from the 925, and full Xenon flash to a phone pretty much built for photography. Their pro photo software looks rather nice, giving you complete control over all the standard aspects of exposure (i.e. want to do a long exposure and blur people walking by...you can). I love the fact that it has the extended battery "grip" accessory, too.

http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia1020


So, does this mark the true end of the point and shoot, and the beginning of full blown photography phones with all the features we *photographers* have come to expect from an actual camera? To date, phone cameras have been geared more towards the instagrammer crowd...the Lumia 1020 seems to be positioned more for pro photographers who want something simpler, but still just as capable, for a handy every-moment alternative to a DSLR.

Is it only me who thinks this?


I don't think there is much of anyone (camera or other phones) that will have much to fear from competiton from this phone, as long as it is running Windows.

 ;D ;D

Cayenne


Have you actually used a Windows Phone 8 device? They are certainly not a joke, and after owning several generations of iPhone, I much prefer the Metro experience. The app gap is shrinking fast, and most of the apps I want are already available, and those that aren't are either coming, or I can write myself. I'd also point out that as the Android vs. iPhone battle has raged, iPhone has been losing, while Android and Windows have been gaining. Windows market share is about doubling every year, particularly with the Nokia Lumia phones. Again, I think people who skip past a Lumia just because its Nokia or just because its Windows are short changing themselves.

1489
I guess I'd like to keep things separated while batteries have just enough juice for one day on those huge screen phones. I'd rather shoot as much as I like, use the flash as much as I like, without having to think if I can get through the day. (These things change rather quickly, though.)

I make pretty heavy use of my Lumia each day, and it gets at least 9 hours of battery life. It doesn't have a Xenon flash, but it does have an exceptionally bright duel LED flash (very high MCD). I'm not sure that the screen is really the primary power draw anyway...the bigger draw is usually the LTE and WiFi, both of which I keep on at all times now since AT&T went the way of Verizon, and is now capping bandwidth at 5Gb/mo (I browse enough high def photography and videos on my phone that I can burn through that).

One of the things I like about Windows Phone 8 is that it is actually quite efficient, and when the battery drops below a certain threshold, you can configure it to enter a low-power mode where it will only turn on the LTE or WiFi if you actually need to use it. That usually extends my battery another three hours, so I can usually get 12 hours a day out of my 920.

1490
read what I write, the real improvements are around 1,1 to 1,4 um sensel  size

and there are no APS or 24x36 from Canon or others yet= with that small pixel size

BSI cost about 30% more than FSI

Eric Fossum:

Improvements like BSI typically improve image quality mathematically and from a perception point of view, by increasing QE and reducing effects orginating from pixel stack height, when comparing two pixels of equal size. At 1.4 um pixel pitch the improvement offered by BSI is small. By 1.1 um pixel pitch, BSI offers a substantial advantage, unless some FSI breakthrough is made. BSI costs more to make so there is motivation for the FSI breakthough

It really depends on the photodiode size. A 7D has 4.3 micron pixels, but the actual photodiode is smaller than that. The entire pixel is surrounded by 500nm (.5 micron) transistors and wiring, which would mean the photodiode...the actual light sensitive area embedded in the silicon substrate, is only about 3.3 microns at best (and usually, the photodiode has a small margin around it...so closer to 3 microns). A 24.4mp sensor would have pixels in the range of 3.2 microns, however with a 500nm process, the actual photodiode pitch is closer to 2 microns.

Canon has already demonstrated that larger pixels can be huge for overall SNR (and therefor actual light sensitivity) with the 1D X. Despite the fact that the 1D X is a FF sensor, it benefits greatly from a larger pixel, and thus a larger photodiode size...as the gain is relative to the square of the pixel pitch. Production of a BSI APS-C 24.4mp sensor would mean that it could have 3.1 micron photodiodes that perform at least as well as the 7D's 18mp sensor, as total electron capacity is relative to photodiode area. A 24.4mp BSI 7D II could then be roughly as capable (~21,000 electrons charge FWC @ ISO 100) as an 18mp FSI 7D.

Personally, I find that to be quite a valuable thing. Especially given that the 7D currently performs about as poorly as one could expect by today's standards. A 2 micron photodiode in the 7D II would mean SNR suffers even more, which is going to have an impact on IQ, especially for croppers, so I can't imagine Canon doing that.

1491
Lenses / Re: Dxo tests canon/nikon/sony 500mm's
« on: July 16, 2013, 12:32:57 PM »
why would i care what the test results of a lens would be mounted to a camera i would never shoot. i would rather see test results from a lens/body combo that i could actually use.

Because lenses, especially one like this, will probably be used on new bodies for the next 10 years or so.  It will far outlast the current "best" body of a brand, possibly by several generations. [...]

So my answer is yes: to the greatest degree feasible, a "lens test" should isolate the lens, even mounting the competitors on the same body if possible.  (of course that's difficult, but that's what I'd like to see)

But there is still a problem: if you have a pure lens test, are you sure you know how to compute how it will perform on a future, say, 50mp body?

MTF charts are, for all intents and purposes, "pure lens tests". They already give us a way to compare lenses across the board, brands be damned. Simple fact of the matter is a better lens will perform better on ALL sensors, 20mp, 30mp, or 50mp. The problem with DXO's tests is they quite simply don't give you a reasonable camera-agnostic basis from which to compare lenses. The Nikon 500/4 performs "on par" (toung in cheek) with the Canon 500/4 solely because of the higher resolution sensor. That sort of tells you that the Canon lens is particularly good, because it is performing so well on a worse sensor...but you don't really have any exact way of comparing. You only get a "feeling" that it performs so well.

1492
jrista - I am not going to buy a Nokia as I do not desire a Nokia. It is a brand that makes me yawn, actually it does not even do that - I pass it in Duty Free and rarely even stop. I do not know why that is, but there you go. If the Lumia 1020 was on Android then maybe, but it is not.

I am sure we both agree that there are exciting times ahead for the camera/phone. Whether it is Sony (an ex-user), Samsung (a current user) or some other manufacturer I really do not care.

When they make camera phones that are as capable as the RX100-II or even the RX1 then I will take note.

Well, to each his own, I guess. Like I said, I think your short changing yourself, to restrict yourself to a specific phone OS and not even "look" simply because of a company name. If your content to wait until Samsung produces something similar (which I suspect should happen sooner or later), I'm sure there will be a product out there that suits you.

In the mean time, I'm happily considering a Lumia 1020 for myself. I have held off on buying a more portable camera because I wanted something that would be easy to always carry around with me, without losing out on quality. I can't think of a better way to do that than to embed a 41mp camera (that actually gives you the option of taking full 41mp photos when using pro photog mode) into my phone...I already always have my phone on me, so that neatly solves the problem in its entirety right there.

1493
What do you have against Nokia? You clearly seem to like the Lumia 1020...so what exactly has Nokia done wrong there? Seems they have succeeded WITHOUT marketing to me. If you simply don't like the name, well I guess I don't consider that grounds not to buy something. If the technology is excellent, the technology is excellent. It doesn't really matter how the company markets, or who's name is on it. I think your preventing yourself from getting a phenomenal phone with the best camera on the market just because of some name hate. Nokia's PAST problem was that they were unprepared for the onslaught of Apple and the iPhone...however...so was everyone else! Lumia is an excellent brand, with excellent features and competitiveness. It only seems to get better as time goes on. If you have ever actually used one, your dislike of the Nokia name would disappear in a heartbeat. Remember the old saying? "The best marketing is when you don't have to."

jrista, your caps lock kept getting stuck in that post!  ;)

Hmm...that usually means the entire thing is CAPS. Only two words of my post were caps, and quite explicitly so. ;) Strong difference between a stuck caps key and careful, intentful use...

I do not dislike Nokia, nor do I like Nokia, and that is their problem - at least from my perspective. And that is why I say that in my opinion Nokia really needs to do something about its brand image.

For example, I like Mercedes and BMW, and while I respect Jaguar I would, rightly or wrongly, probably prefer the two German brands over a Jag.

The great thing about technology, and innovation is that I can applaud Nokia, admire what they have brought to market, and now eagerly await what the response from Sony (in particular) and Samsung is going to be. I am in no rush, my life will not change no matter how great a camera/phone is, and if I get one today, or in a year's time, it really does not matter. We are still in early days of the true camera/phone so things are only going to get better, which is great for us - the consumer.

Oh and btw - the rumour on the Honami is that it will be able to record up to around 4000x2000 in video clips (yep, 4K). That and the Snapdragon 800 processor, and the rumoured 1/1.6-inch sensor make me salivate! Not bad for a phone!

I think the car analogy is flawed. You buy a car with the intention of owning it for years, even a decade. You expect the company to build them to a specific level of quality such that they will last for that duration of time. You also expect the company to stand by their workmanship over the lifetime of any warranty, provide high quality replacement parts, etc.

Comparing a smartphone with a car is a little ludicrous. You generally own a smart phone for two years at most. The expectations regarding long-term parts support...well, they generally aren't there, with one exception maybe being replacement of cracked screens. Even in that respect, the cheapest and more reliable approach is to use a third party (just look into the statistics on how often iPhone screen replacements end up getting broken again, needing replacement multiple times.) In two years time on average, you'll probably be upgrading your smartphone to the next great thing. I don't think that there is ANY kind of "We stand by our product" that even resembles a corner of a shadow of what you get from BMW or Mercedes from Samsung or Sony when it comes to their phones.

So, again...I think your short changing yourself by excluding Lumia as an option for the simple reason that Nokia is the manufacturer. Personally, having owned a wide number of phones over the years, including HTC, Samsung, Nokia, as well as several iPhones, I have to say I am particularly happy with the build quality, software quality, and reliability of the Lumia 920 I have. It feels solidly built, stronger than all the iPhones I've owned, and far more sturdy than any Samsung phone (they all feel like featherweight plastic that will shatter if touched by a pin). The only other phone I've owned that felt as solidly built as the Nokia was the HTC, however it had a number of other detractors that turned me off of it (their software isn't that great), and it was as heavy as my 920 while being smaller in form factor (so, sturdy, but overly so).

I wouldn't write off the Lumia line of phones simply because it's Nokia. They are extremely well built, sleek and aesthetic in design, the screens are phenomenal (truly...one of the key reasons I picked the 920 was its screen...higher pixel density than the Apple Retina, better microcontrast...simply beautiful) and, back to the original purpose of this thread....their cameras are phenomenal!  ;D

1494
I am very interested in camera phones. If the Lumia 1020 was anything but Nokia, I might even consider buying it, but alas it is not.

Samsung recently launched the Zoom which has not had the best of reviews, and Sony are expected to launch the Xperia i1 Honami - a 20MP smartphone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor to take on the Samsung and Nokia camera / phone.

If Sony could add a phone to something as capable as the RX100-II I would definitely buy it. In fact if Canon could team up with a phone maker and create something as good as the RX100-II (or even better) but with smartphone functionality and similar Canon menu system to what is in the DSLRs for the camera, then I would buy that without a doubt.

I think we are still some way from the death of the p&s but we seem to be heading in that general direction. This could also affect the DSLR market as the camera phones get better and better, people will eventually grow tired of lugging the weight, extra size and attachments around.

Nokia, needs to do some serious PR and image building in my opinion, as the brand has almost 0% appeal for me.

What do you have against Nokia? You clearly seem to like the Lumia 1020...so what exactly has Nokia done wrong there? Seems they have succeeded WITHOUT marketing to me. If you simply don't like the name, well I guess I don't consider that grounds not to buy something. If the technology is excellent, the technology is excellent. It doesn't really matter how the company markets, or who's name is on it. I think your preventing yourself from getting a phenomenal phone with the best camera on the market just because of some name hate. Nokia's PAST problem was that they were unprepared for the onslaught of Apple and the iPhone...however...so was everyone else! Lumia is an excellent brand, with excellent features and competitiveness. It only seems to get better as time goes on. If you have ever actually used one, your dislike of the Nokia name would disappear in a heartbeat.

Remember the old saying? "The best marketing is when you don't have to."

1495
I definitely think so.

I use my Nokia 920 more often than my Canon, I prefer the colours and levels out of the box.

I think if Nokia continues on this path, all major camera manufacturers are going to have a hard time outpacing them.

I've gone through the sample photos of the 1020 on flickr and I cannot believe it especially at it's price.

I'm actually surprised that the closest thing to this is the Samsung Galaxy NX.

Thanks for the reply. I guess not many Canon users really care about the possibilities of something like Nokia's Lumia line.

Anyway, I agree about color...however I think that is more the screen on the Lumias than anything else. Once I import, the color actually looks a bit too saturated, where as when I view them on my phone (which, ironically, is a WAY better screen than even my Apple CinemaDisplay), they look so fantastic.

I still have a little over a year on my 920 contract, so I probably won't be getting a 1020 (or at least, not right away). I am quite intrigued by it, though...and will probably end up with the 1020, or whatever follows it, when my current contract period is up.

1496
EOS Bodies / Re: Stay with Canon?
« on: July 15, 2013, 11:39:28 AM »
i used Canon and Nikon concurrently last year. A 5D2 and D700. D700's AF & ISO performance are amazing. The DR latitude while editing RAW on Lightroom is stunning. I am no professional photographer, hence did many simple exposure mistakes. Using D700 reduce my worries on this department a lot. One example is ISO/DR related issues I encountered on Canon:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gundul/7957608758/#sizes/l/

Camera    Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure    0.01 sec (handheld)
Aperture    f/1.4
Focal Length    35 mm
ISO Speed    100
Exposure Bias    0 EV

I put a gradual exposure compensation on LR started about one third of the frame to the top. The noise is unpleasant.

On the other hand, the colors from D700 turned me off. Yes I use Lightroom, but I don't want to depend on it to the the color that I like. Hence I sell the D700 out, along with the lenses (50/1.4 AFD, 85/1.8AFD, T24-135 and a 70-210), and buy a used 1D2.

My conclusion now is, I am not going to buy another Canon camera unless its sensor has 14 DR. 5D4? 5D5? I dont know. But Canon definitely wont see my money on Camera department.


You can clean up the banding, both horizontal and vertical, with Topaz DeNoise. You can also recover DR with its black point adjustment feature as well. The unsightly dark background in your sample photo could become incredibly clean and very appealing with about five minutes of work or less in DeNoise 5.

1497
EOS Bodies / Re: Stay with Canon?
« on: July 14, 2013, 11:55:37 PM »
Let's make it really interesting... rent the following gear:

a Nikon D800E and AFS 14-24mm f2.8G zoom;
a Canon 5D Mark III and... oh, rats - Canon doesn't have anything to compete with this - why bother.  :-X

Or how about:

a Canon 5DIII and TS-E 17mm f/4L;
a Nikon D800E and...

a Canon 5DIII and MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro;
a Nikon D800E and...

a Canon 5DIII and handholdable 600mm f/4L IS II;
a Nikon D800E and...

a Canon 5DIII and an f/1.2 prime lens;
a Nikon D800E and...

we could do this all day   ::)

:D +1000

1498
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 2014 [CR2]
« on: July 14, 2013, 01:11:52 PM »
Yea, that 7D was not an easy camera for me to use. It took me 4-5 months before I really started to appreciate the information you could extract from the photos. My sharpest and most detailed shots are with it. With out a doubt what so ever for me to say that. I love detailed photos.

But? I didn't realize how poor the AF was until I went with a IV camera. For me it was a trade off well worth it. And I also think I would go with a 1DX or 5D III before ever going back to the 7D. Just for the AF.
The mark IV is the easiest camera I have ever worked with. But I cannot push it near as far as I did the 7D. The info is just not there to use and push.
My experience anyway, and my way of post processing. What really amazed me is in PS I could de noise and sharpen the 7D back to incredible detailed pics. With the IV I cannot. In my mind that is pixel density at work. Just amazing.


I haven't had the opportunity to use a 1D IV, however I have used the 5D III. It blew my mind how much better the AF system was than the 7D's. It was not only faster, but when it locked, it LOCKED. You could tell, even just in the viewfinder, that it either nailed focus, or missed it miserably. With the 7D, its "locked" range is wide enough that it can affect the final result, yet not really be entirely clear in the viewfinder. It might confirm focus, but not actually be solidly focused on whatever was under your AF point. I think that is probably the most serious drawback of the 7D.

If one was comparing resolution...say a full-frame 7D shot to a cropped 1D X shot, downscaling the 7D to the 1D X size would eliminate the issue with the 7D focus. But if you need to crop a lot (i.e. the subject was only 25-35% of the frame), then the missfocus issue was a real big issue. I consider the addition of a true professional grade, reticulated AF system, even if it ends up being something new like a 41pt system rather than the same 61pt system, to be THE critical differentiator between the 70D and 7D II. I would like 10fps, rather than 8fps, but the AF system really needs a bump up to literal "professional" grade.

Like you, at least since getting Nik and Topaz denoise tools (particularly DeNoise 5), I have not found the increased noise of the 7D to be an issue. Backgrounds may look nasty right out of camera, but within a minute of running them through DeNoise they look stunning.

www.flickr.com/photos/avianphotos


Your photography is excellent, BTW!

1499
I just read some of the reviews on the Lumia 1020. I have to say, from a photography standpoint, I am REALLY impressed. It finally brings the true PureView 808's 41mp sensor, the 6-element Zeiss lens from the 925, and full Xenon flash to a phone pretty much built for photography. Their pro photo software looks rather nice, giving you complete control over all the standard aspects of exposure (i.e. want to do a long exposure and blur people walking by...you can). I love the fact that it has the extended battery "grip" accessory, too.

http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia1020


So, does this mark the true end of the point and shoot, and the beginning of full blown photography phones with all the features we *photographers* have come to expect from an actual camera? To date, phone cameras have been geared more towards the instagrammer crowd...the Lumia 1020 seems to be positioned more for pro photographers who want something simpler, but still just as capable, for a handy every-moment alternative to a DSLR.

Is it only me who thinks this?

1500
Lenses / Re: Dxo tests canon/nikon/sony 500mm's
« on: July 14, 2013, 01:13:38 AM »
The Nikon 500mm rules @ f/32 in terms of actuance:
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/1174/%28lens2%29/393/%28lens3%29/891/%28brand1%29/Nikkor/%28camera1%29/792/%28brand2%29/Canon/%28camera2%29/795/%28brand3%29/Sony/%28camera3%29/831

This might lead to a higher summed up score because DxO produces the score from data over the whole range. If this is NOT WEIGHTED with typical use scenarios ... this gives misleading scores while the measurements are correct AND helpful.

This might explain why Canons and Nikons 4/500 have the same scores - I would choose Canon's lens because it should deliver cleaner results @ f/4-f/8 - the typical f-stops I would use.



LOL. This should become the standard response to all DXO threads. "WAT?!"

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