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Messages - TrumpetPower!

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Technical Support / Re: Dynamic Range War
« on: March 29, 2012, 04:05:44 PM »

There is an amazing example on that page which shows that the little tiny blip on the right side of the sensor (way, way, overexposed, and extreme ETTRing) actually has as much image detail as almost the entire image histogram. That's not what anyone should do. The point is just to show how much more data and details are being recorded for any part of the image that is on the right side of the histogram, compared to the left.

Actually, that page is an excellent example of why not to do ETTR.

Look at the three adjusted histograms. Notice that tall spike on the right on the rightmost histogram? See how it's the only part of the histogram significantly different from the other two? And how it goes all the way to the top?

Even though that spike isn't all the way at the right edge, it still represents saturated, blown-out pixels. All that's happened is that ACR has uniformly reduced the blown pixels to a still-uniform value less than maximum.

Sure, the shadows are cleaner. But I bet a 100% crop of that ``Prairie'' sign would show much more detail in the properly-exposed version than the overexposed one. Were that a wedding dress, Mr. Schewe's smartypants exposure hijinks would just have made the mother of the bride very angry indeed. Even though his histogram showed a "good ETTR" exposure.

And have a look at the waterfall, too. Sure, he was able to recover a good amount of tonality, but the colors are posterized to a ridiculous extent. That exact same sort of posterization is going on in all the other overexposed highlights, with the degree of posterization proportional to the amount of overexposure.

In other words, using ETTR means all your specular highlights will be either devoid of color or have that same sort of severe posterization. Now, granted, the definition of specular highlights is that they get blown...but they'll be much bigger in area and the transition from colorful to blown will be much more abrupt and less colorful. You're basically taking a sledgehammer to your specular highlights, when they really should (in my opinion) remain light and delicate.

By all means, if you like the ETTR look, especially if you're shooting sleeping black cats at the bottom of a coal mine, go for it. But, when that cat wakes up and you want to capture the glint of the candlelight in her eye...use ETTR if you want the glint to be a hard-edged white outline, and expose properly if you want it to look like a candle flame.



Technical Support / Re: Dynamic Range War
« on: March 29, 2012, 03:00:16 PM »
I'd caution strongly against expose to the right and even bothering with thinking about linear encoding and the like. Even if that's still what's going on in the silicon, it's been ages since that sort of folk wisdom has had any practical application. Unless you've got a very specific, uncommon, awkward, and carefully-crafted workflow, you're just going to risk blowing your highlights and wind up with unnatural and weird-looking tonal and color shifts.

Expose properly, ideally with a well-calibrated incident meter.

If you've still got crushed shadows and blown highlights in critical areas of the image, you either need better light or you need to go to HDR -- and that's assuming that the crushed shadows and blown highlights are a problem in the first place...the kinds of photography where it's a problem but you can't either fix the light or use HDR are basically nonexistent.

Don't forget that there's a great deal more DR to be had in any well-exposed RAW image than what comes right out of the converter with the default settings. Much more, in fact, than any of the various numerical tests would lead you to believe. And, unless your printer is too big to fit on a tabletop, noise simply isn't a factor any more. Those whose printers take ink by the gallon have to worry about it, but they also generally know how to capture good exposures such that noise again doesn't become a problem or is at least manageable / acceptable.

And that's why the whole brouhaha over the wider dynamic range of the D800 over the 5DIII is meaningless. In the real world, you're never going to find yourself in a situation where the 5DIII has insufficient DR but the D800 is good enough. That minuscule set of scenes where it could theoretically apply still requires either better light or HDR for proper results, even if you've got the D800 in hand.

It's also why Canon went the better route this time 'round: the 5DIII's non-sensor qualities (AF, FPS, etc.) are significantly better than the D800's, and those qualities have the potential for significantly more improvements in image quality than just a few extra megapickles. At least, they do if you're shooting something other than dollar bills taped to brick walls....



EOS Bodies / Re: Canon smarter than we think
« on: March 29, 2012, 12:45:57 PM »
It wasn't just wedding and event photographers Canon was paying attention to. At 6 FPS with the flagship AF system, the 5DIII is good enough for pro sports.

As good as the 1DX? No, of course not -- but it's better than lots of pro / top-of-the-line cameras (especially film) that have been used to shoot the Super Bowl and the World Series in the past. For that matter, save for the framerate (which falls into the "good enough" category), it's a better sports camera than any other camera Canon has made. And if the AF is as good as it looks to be, that alone may well make up for the slightly slower framerate over the pre-1DX cameras.

I'll bet lots of newsrooms will be picking the 5DIII over the 1DX for their reporters, especially in these economic times. Certainly, those that only buy new cameras when the old ones die will be going for the 5DIII. And the readers won't ever know the difference.



EOS Bodies / Re: This web site is making me question why I lurk here
« on: March 29, 2012, 12:18:46 PM »

And I'm pretty sure those complaining about the lack of megapickles don't ever actually make large prints.

I've got an iPF8100 sitting ten feet away from me. I just got the 5DIII on Monday so it'll be a while before I've shot anything worthy of making a real print, plus a bit longer to do the post-processing and what-not.

But, as soon as I do, I'll be loading up the 42" roll of Tyvek banner (the widest I've got on hand; coating is the same as Canon's Heavyweight Matte) and making a 42" x 63" print. And I fully expect it to be stunning.

Sure, it'll "only" be 91 ppi. But that's about the same resolution as your monitor, so it'll basically be the same as pixel peeping but with the full image.

I have no doubt that the D800 is an amazing, fantastic camera, and that we'll soon be seeing some incredible photos made from it. Had I bought into the Nikon system originally, I'd be drooling over it just as much as I'm currently drooling over my sniny new 5DIII.

But, you know what all those extra megapickles the D800 would get me with my over-five-foot print?

All of 117 ppi instead of 91 ppi.

Now, don't get me worng. That's nothing I'd turn down if you offered it to me. But nobody's going to tell the difference unless you put the two side-by-side and stick your nose a few inches away -- and, if you're doing that, you've so missed the point that it's not even funny.

Dynamic range, too. Just for kicks this morning, I did a quick-and-dirty in-camera handheld HDR shot of the sunrise. You know what? The resulting dynamic range blows the D800's single exposures out of the water. Of course, with either camera, you'd do HDR in such situations -- and that's my point. The set of situations where the native DR of the D800 is sufficient, the 5DIII is insufficient, and you wouldn't be doing HDR (especially with modern rapid-fire automated bracketing) is practically nil.

Both cameras are fantastic. If you're bitching about the shortcomings of either in relation to the other, you've probably missed the point.

Personally, I think Canon's going down a better path than Nikon with this latest round. Raw image quality with the 5DII's sensor is already more than ample for the 135 format -- if you actually need more (and damned few people do), you should be shooting a larger format. But now compare the non-sensor specs of the 5DIII with the 1-series film cameras, and you'll realize that, as a camera, it's simply unbelievable. Nikon is quite admirably squeezing every last drop out of low-ISO image quality, but the D800 falls short of the 5DIII on the non-sensor side of things, like autofocus and framerate. Plus, the only 400 f/2.8 you can mount to the D800 weighs half again as much as the one I'm using with the 5DIII.

So, if you're a photographer, you're damned lucky -- pick the camera to match your glass and bask in the warm glow of the incredible images you'll create. If you're a photographer, and you're shooting Canon, and you're thinking of switching to the D800 because of its sensor, you should forget 135 and go straight to medium format.

But the rest of all y'all who're're not photographers, you're measurebators. And that's not intended as a compliment.



EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D mark III silent shooting
« on: March 29, 2012, 09:04:02 AM »
Viewfinder blackout time is increased, but probably not noticeably unless you know what you're looking for.

I'm guessing that, in pretty much any situation where you'd want silent shooting, the blackout time won't at all be a factor, and, in situations where blackout time is a factor, you won't care about silent shooting.



EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D Mark III & Lens Combination Issues?
« on: March 29, 2012, 08:45:26 AM »
My 5DIII arrived Monday afternoon and I spent a couple hours Tuesday afternoon at the Phoenix Zoo with it mounted to my 400 f/2.8 II. I didn't notice any unusual sounds.

It's a fantastic camera, though it's going to have a bit of a learning curve. With the best shots of both the ocelot and the jaguar, the eyes were acceptably sharp but sharpest focus was on the ear. I haven't adjusted the autofocus yet, so it's possible that could have played a role, but, honestly, it's more likely to be user error.



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