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Messages - Aglet

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...for those who still need ultimate IQ rather than overall performance

For them, no dSLR (not even the D800E) will suffice. 

EDIT:  but wait, I just checked DxOMark, and the D800E has a better sensor than the Phase One IQ180.  Now I'm the one who's confused...   ::)

Funny, i KNEW you were going to make a snide reference to an MF camera. :P

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon DSLR Body Rumors for 2013
« on: January 03, 2013, 12:43:45 PM »
.. Microlenses improve Q.E. by increasing the number of photons that actually make it all the way to the photodiode, but photodiode capacity is entirely dependent on area...and in that respect, all else being equal (which is pretty much the case these days), larger pixels are still better.

I still wonder about another technology that could add some improvement to the overall QE and that's an old tech called "black silicon" from a few years back.
basically, I think it was a nano-structured surface that reduced reflectivity of the sensor (not sure if it can also work on the microlenses and AA filters) so that more photons got into the Si to do their work generating image electrons.

Even if such a surface treatment did not appreciably improve the QE, it'd still be nice to reduce the overall reflectance of the sensor+AA array which could help with overall contrast, flare and ghosting to some extent.

The IQ of the 5DII wasn't the 5DII's problem.  The 5DIII fixes pretty much everything that was a problem with the 5DII - AF, frame rate, VF coverage, etc.  Sorry, but a 5DII owner who doesn't see the 5DIII as an upgrade is blind...and might see better looking through the VF of a D800.

5d2 IQ certainly was and still is a problem for many people.
Did you forget that it showed vertical striped noise patterns in low ISO midtones when it first arrived?  Striped blue skies your preference?..  ;)

5d3 did little to fix the IQ problem but certainly presented a much better overall camera for event shooters.  Good for them.

For those of us who want the best IQ, in preference to overall system performance, the 5d2 is a failure. It has worse (pattern) noise character than my 40D.
The 5d3 is no improvement for those who still need ultimate IQ rather than overall performance.

The 6d might actually be the viable alternative for unsatisfied 5d2 owners who don't need to pay extra for the unneeded speed and AF of the 5d3 and aren't ready or willing to move to another platform. 
I haven't yet tested it myself but from what I've gathered so far it seems the 6D's IQ does improve noticeably over the 5d2's AFA banding noise issues + it has much improved hi ISO and low light AF ability for those times it's required.

File size complaints re the D800's raw files?...  pointless.  If you spend the $ on gear you have to realize you need a modern computer to keep up also.

No it isn't pointless, it is a significant cost factor involved in the decision making process that is too regularly dismissed with the casual "HDD's are cheap" meme, add in a $2,000-4,000 computer and your D800 is not so cheap! Sure if you are a pro and can write this stuff off against income, but many are not and when all is said and done it is the bulk market of amateurs that keeps the pro gear R&D going, sure Canon and Nikon might make money off pro gear but that isn't where the bulk of their income or profits comes from.

I guess I meant to say, "it's pointless complaining about it."
You know the larger file sizes will slow down post-processing so it's not coming as a surprise.
Stepping up to higher res is a 2 step process, the camera+glass, then the post-processing ability.

I have a 2010 iMac with an i7 and 12GB of RAM and it's just fine for my PP needs, even for large stiched panaramas.
If I had to process 100s of shots per day, then I'd want more speed but IF I WERE DOING THAT I'd have a faster computer or stay with a lower rez camera.
If you're doing that, hopefully you're making money at it and justify the cost of a faster computer.

if a hobbyist is upset about this, well... new computer's next on your wish list, I guess.
I don't worry about storage costs, storage IS cheap these days, when compared to all the other tech items.

6.   Assuming it’s true that the D600 has superior dynamic range, as we’re constantly being told, this didn’t reveal itself in any comparisons I made among the photos I took.  In one dark photo, just for the heck of it, I brightened shadows as much as I could in lightroom, but the only difference I noticed was that there was a bit more noise in the Canon image than the Canon equivalent – which I would have expected as it was darker in the first place.  (I seldom lighten shadows at all, and when I do it’s not by much, and the 6D’s images responded just fine.)   ..
That’s already more than enough, so I’ll stop!

Thanks for that bit.  That's what I'll be testing when I can spend some time w the 6D as I often take shots where I will be pushing shadows a fair bit.  good to know I may not be wasting my time. :)

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 60D Stock Levels Getting Low?
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:39:31 PM »
After looking around a bit iv decided to stick with canon glass. The choice is now between the 15-85 or the 17-40 L. Theyre both around the same price, just have to decide whether i want the extra range or better IQ, Iv read good things about both but at the moment its a coin flip.

I have both, both are good in their own way.
I prefer 15-85, use it WAY more than 17-40 which is occasionally used when I need UWA on a FF body.
(even consider the very good and cost-effective Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 NON stabilized lens.  Stabilized Tamron is a little better in center, worse in corners... and stabilized.  (darn trade-offs) )

don't forget the 15-85mm has IS, making handheld low light shots much more practical than the 17-40 AND it has over 2x the zoom range.
If you have and don't mind using a tripod, and are more persnickety about ultimate IQ on crop sensor, then the 17-40 covers that very nicely for the price too. (darn trade-offs)
FWIW, I think the 15-85 is pretty much as good for IQ as the 17-40 in the overlapping range.
Either one can be had used for a good price these days, too.

Can you name a revolutionary move or two, by Canon or others, just for comparison?  I think the last 'revolutionary' releases were the Contax N Digital and the 1Ds, the very first full frame CCD and CMOS dSLRs.  Pretty much everything since then has been 'just plain ordinary' and 'market driven' incremental improvements.  A few more MP.  More AF points.  More cross-type AF points.  A couple more fps.  More metering zones.  Etc.

Uhmm .. D800.
a truckload more MP and DR to match, lots of AF ability, raw video, plenty of features, etc.

..  If you want a great tool for your money, buy a rebel.

darn right!
or one of Nikon's IQ-superior offerings like the D5100

you can not beat the performance per cost of such low cost gear that can provide IQ as well as stuff 20x the price at base and low ISO!

Any of the cheap consumer bodies is capable of large art-quality print files if you use them properly.

I have a canon 550d rebel and was considering the "jump" to FF.
The Canon 6d is in my budget. However the Nikon D800 is available (refurb) for $2,300.
I ask myself - why spend almost the same on the inferior 6d ? Why does canon seem to give less and charge more ?

Because they can charge more and get away with it.  They're in the market lead, know it, and act accordingly, much like Apple's been known to.  They've managed to create a loyal fan base of repeat customers, originally by making the best hardware experience, again, sort of like Apple.

But unlike the computer biz, there are plenty more challengers in the camera biz.  Nikon's certainly learned a few things over the years and 2012 has been a banner year for them putting out some wow products at wow price points.  Unlike Canon's yawn products at OW price points lately.

Nikon's trying to offer more for less because they have to try harder; they're still in 2nd place.

But to try answer your implied ?, which FF system you choose will depend on a lot of factors.
If you want to shoot low light, hi ISO, event sort of work, Canon's likely the better choice unless you step up to pro level bodies where either brand is near as good as the other.
If you prefer to shoot creative and landscape images at lower ISO, Nikon's raw files are more malleable in post without seeing the stripes of pattern noise most Canon cameras exhibit when raw files are pushed hard.  Especially with pro-sumer and consumer level bodies.

Those refurb prices lately are a wicked deal!
I like my D800s more the more I use them but I'm still thinking of a 6d to replace my 5d2 for those few instances where I want to use my Canon glass instead of Nikon.

And, FWIW, I generally prefer Canon's lenses but there's no shortage of fine Nikon and 3rd party lenses that are up to the abilities of the D800's hi-rez sensor and they don't all cost as much as Canon's L-class either.
My kit's stuffed with great (used and new) F-mount lenses that cost me way less than my Canon gear and they perform well enough to please a technocrat like myself.  My customers are far less particular.

File size complaints re the D800's raw files?...  pointless.  If you spend the $ on gear you have to realize you need a modern computer to keep up also.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon DSLR Body Rumors for 2013
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:30:42 AM »
70D would pretty much have to supply at least 5fps to maintain its prosumer category which the 60D nearly lost due to lost features and downgraded handling.

7d2 can have the same AF as the 7D, it was good enough for most things once you figured it out, worked well in low light and action tracking.  Adding ability to track the subject also using color cues from a more complex metering sensor would be a nice benefit to have to match some of the Nikon bodies.

but they'd better get rid of the banding and pattern noise problems for both new bodies, especially at low ISO. It's become a pathetic weakness already when competitors' cameras costing under $400, like the ultra tiny Pentax Q or D5100, can supply raw images without banding problems.

I'd take the 6D over the D600 because it fits my hand better, I already use D800s, and I'd prefer a replacement for my FF Canon disappointment known as a 5D2.

I shifted from all Canon bodies to a mix of Nikon & Canon over a year ago because I could not push Canon files to the extent I needed to without running into their low ISO patterned noise issues.

My first Nikon was a D5100, cheap, great IQ, fits my hand well and was easy to get used to. Tilted sensor issue affects most of the 8 I've now tested but... they're under $400 now!  Best IQ/$ I've seen.

Next came a pair of D800/e bodies.  I love the ergonomics and compared to my 5D2 the raw files are fabulous for what I need. There's a button for nearly everything and once used to it it's very much a photographers' tool, programmable and adaptable enough for most jobs.  Requires 2 hands to operate more often than a Canon body.

I planned to sell one D800 and replace with cheaper D600 but, like the D7000, the ergonomics of the D600, for some reason, presses my irritation button, instantly.  Just plain hate the feel of the D600 and D7000!  It also was not worth the $1k savings to not have all the extra goodies I was starting to enjoy using on the D800.

I'm ready to toss my 5D2, it's raw files are too affected by low ISO pattern noise.
I had a quick feel of the 6D and like it.  It feels like a decent enough layout and likely performs better than my 5D2 but need to make my test shots before I know if swapping my 5D2 for a 6D is an actual upgrade.
Also, with rumors of improved sensor tech coming from Canon, I'd like to see a FF body that actually performs really well at low ISO. I can't say, today, if the 6D's low ISO has improved enough to be comparable to the $380 D5100's raw files.  6D's hi iso performance certainly looks better but that's not what I really need to augment my kit.
I want a FF Canon that performs much better than the 5D2 for low ISO IQ at similar resolution, nothing else is needed.
I will not buy another Canon body, however, until it is essentially free of low ISO fixed pattern noise like current Nikons are.

Gotta give it to Canon tho, they make a better user interface in every body they make, very intuitive.  Nikon's UI takes a lot more getting used to, often puzzling what some functions are until you learn them.
OTOH, Canon seems to re-arrange button layout on every model, so I often have to pull out a flashlight and look for a control in the dark.  Kinda wish they'd pick a layout and stick to it for a while.
One more major thing for me is that Canon's live-view works a heckuva lot better than Nikon's in low light. This is 5D2's amazing feature in comparison to even the latest Nikons.

Happy New Gear!  :)

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikons and Canon's equivalent
« on: December 31, 2012, 01:48:49 PM »
As such, I want to know what is the Canon "equivalent" of the Nikon D700. I know that there will definitely be problems in comparison. I know that the 5D2 doesn't really match up to the D700 in terms of specifications like AF points, FPS, etc.

no real direct comparison; 5d3 for speed and AF, 5d classic for resolution

Also, is the EF 50mm f1.4 as good as the AF-D 50mm f1.4 in terms of accurate focusing (I know this varies with different lenses), speed of focus, colour rendition etc? Individual lens reviews can only say so much so I hope to know if they are comparable.

both of those 50mm f/1.4 lenses are quite good, color rendition is subjective and editable so a moot point to me.
I prefer the Canon one for slightly better border and corner performance, tho on the lower rez D700 the Nikon lens' slightly reduced performance is not likely even noticed.  On a D800 the extra sensor rez could allow an even greater effective overall system resolution.

On a good Nikon body, like the D700, AF speed of the Nikon's screw-drive lens could be a little faster than the USM Canon lens. Nikon's AF accuracy is also very good, altho I've not used the D700 myself.  Those who do shoot with the D700 love it for various reasons and the AF is one of them.
Nikon's D-series lenses are reputed to be very fast focusing when used with high end bodies.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 60D Stock Levels Getting Low?
« on: December 31, 2012, 01:31:09 AM »
Thanks for your input. Iv spent a little bit of time with a 60D, had i bought one a few months ago id be more than happyif i was still shooting with it today, but to purchase one now feels a bit wrong, its just a bit of a weird time for the top of the line canon aps-c market. I also considered a 7D but i still have the same dilema. As you say, CES is a just over a week away so im going to wait and see if announcements are made but from what iv heard even if they are announced next week they may only be available sometime mid 2013. I really hope that wont be the case as iv got quite an itchy 'trigger' finger at the moment (ha) and dont feel i could wait too long, im just hoping an announcement is made next week and they release the product soon after otherwise im still stuck with this predicament.

As far as lenses are concerned i was thinking of getting a 17-85 but my friend has one and he claims the barrel distortion at the wide end is a bit much. The 28-135 was another option but on a crop sensor i fear it wont be wide enough. The 15-85 seems like a good choice, i dont mind spending a little bit more for better glass. There doesnt seem to be much choice for a mid range variable zoom (walkaround lense).

So its one of those 3...or perhaps a third party?? Sigma, tamron? :-\

Sigma's 17-70mm OS seems not bad and being updated shortly too. (I don't personally use this lens so can't say more)
New Sigmas are alleged to be produced with better quality control so hopefully less variability in IQ.
They've sometimes suffered from de-centering issues in previous product that could otherwise be good but hit-and-miss on whether you'd actually get a "good" copy of one.

Canon's EF-S 15-85mm quickly became a favorite of mine on the 60D as a general purpose, walk-around and everything else lens.  It's a bit bothered by CA within a few mm of either end of the zoom range and occasionally has severe corner shading that can't be corrected (combination of filter ring and IS system near limits on some shots) and even some mushy extreme corners at the wide end.  But none of this is enough to make me leave it at home until I can determine whether a competitor's equivalent performs any better.

IMO, I've never liked the 17-85mm for its distortions and the 28-135 is not nearly wide enough, even on FF, for my preference.

One more question... Long exposure NR, does it do a good job on Canon camera or better turn it off and fix the image in Lightroom or DPP ?

In-camera long-exposure NR does a great job of eliminating hot-pixels if you have the time to spare for it to expose and subtract dark frames = to exposure time (up to 30s at least)

BUT, it also INCREASES the baseline (blacklevel) noise slightly on all the the Canon cameras I've tested. (and there's lots)

you probably won't notice this increased black level noise unless you are also pushing the dark areas up in post to do something like show more foreground detail in a starry sky shot.

I now use a different method to shoot and post-process such shots.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR1]
« on: December 28, 2012, 07:29:22 PM »
Just sold my 7D for a decent price.  ;D
Now I can recharge my credit card and wait to see what's around the CES corner.
Hopefully something with better low ISO performance and equal or even better AF and, dare I wish for it, to be affordable?  Would be nice to hang an improvement on the end of my 100-400mm.  I can wait until summer on that.

My 5D2 should find a new place to live too. gonna take a bath on that one.  ???
Possibly followed by my love-it-hate-it 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II if I don't stay in the Canon semi-pro body camp.  :-\

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 60D Stock Levels Getting Low?
« on: December 28, 2012, 02:18:10 PM »
Im in a situation where im looking to buy my first dslr but am also unsure as to what to purchase. Iv had my eye on the 60D for quite some time and now the price has dropped considerably. The problem im facing is that this product is over 2 years old and from what iv read a replacement or 60d-7D amalgamation announcement should be coming soon, however i have no idea when we could expect the product to hit store shelves or its release price. I have more than enough money to purchase a 60D now and still have a fair amount left over or purchase its replacement upon release. As most of you know a dslr purchase is a mini investment and i dont want to regret buying a 60D so late on when a new one could be just around the corner, with better features/IQ/sensor etc.

Was just wondering what some of you guys would do or you thoughts on the matter, any advice at all would be very much appreciated!

It's always a tough decision WHEN to jump on the bandwagon. :)
I've had 60Ds since they first came out.  Sold one, kept one.  It's my favorite general purpose body at this time and the first one I grab if I'm off to do some quick documentary shots.  I keep a 15-85mm on it all the time, covers most situations more than adequately for me.  The simplified controls, semi-compact size, good ergonomics, flip screen all are useful.  You can pretty much shoot and control it with one hand if needed.
IQ from the 60D is on par with Canon's best, no worries there. (shares the same weaknesses too)

We're all waiting to see if the rumors of improved Canon sensor technology will show up in the next model, whether that will be a 7D2, 70D or the next consumer Rebel.  Likely not the Rebel tho because the T4i is pretty new yet.

These next models SHOULD be announced within the next 6 months if history has any relevance.

An announcement COULD be made as early as 2nd week in January for the CES gig.  CES is a consumer electronics oriented show so a good venue for consumer or prosumer product announcements.  Hopefully we'll learn something about the new tech by the time CES is over.  Often, in order to garner as much free advertising from the media as possible, they'll issue press releases and announcements a week ahead of the show.

If you can bide your time until after CES, hold on for a few more weeks.
If the money is burning a hole in your pocket then the 60D is a decent camera and will provide you with plenty of good images at a price that's very appealing right now.  It should still have good residual resale value a year from now if you upgrade then.  Judging by Canon's recent pricing on new product its replacement may fall to an appropriate price point by then too.  Any "extra" money you have is always well spent on good glass.  Lenses don't change very often, bodies in this range come and go much more quickly.

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