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Messages - Don Haines

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46
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:16:00 PM »
Generally speaking, a manufacturers top of the range product is aimed at pros. Take knives, pans, laptops (the business lines), and I presume microscopes etc.

My Calphalon Commercial cookware was bought at Macy's, and my Wusthof pro knives came from Williams-Sonoma...not a restaurant supplier.  I've never seen a 'pro' microscope.  General Motors ran a marketing campaign for their Professional Grade trucks...I know a few people who use them to commute to their professional office jobs.

The top end is aimed at people who are willing and able to pay the higher price.  "Pro" is purely a marketing distinction.

I do not see why you think where you bought something has to do whether it is pro-grade or not.

You are right to say "The top end is aimed at people who are willing and able to pay the higher price".

But is also true to say those products tend to be of a better build, quality and lifetime expectation which are things that pros look for!

I know nothing about microscopes, but I would doubt that a consumer grade microscope is the same as those used at multi-million dollar R&D departments or in hospitals that demand the best.

Are you saying that if a trained doctor is using a consumer-grade microscope then it automatically becomes a pro-grade microscope?!

No of course it does not.

Same as if a pro photographer uses a 10D or a point and shoot or a phone to capture his shots. It does not make those cameras pro grade, and as such they are not pro cameras.

In general, doctors use very low end microscopes... if at all.  Now lab technicians.... they have decent gear... but if you really want to see the good stuff go to a physics lab for a scanning tunneling electron microscope so you can see those individual atoms...

A real "pro" goes for the gear that get's the job done, not the very best. A doctor in a fertility clinic is not going to get the very best.... they want to watch how the sperm moves, not kill it and check to see if all the atoms are in the right place :)

47
EOS Bodies / Re: Multilayer Sensors are Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:50:59 PM »

Creating a Jpg out of the RAW file is a completely different story... Processing that RAW file is a massively parallel operation... the image is typically broken up into 8x8 blocks and run through the jpg compression engine... then groups of blocks are run through the compression engine... and so on until the whole image is done. The 18Mpixel sensor makes an 5184x3456 image... and that makes 279,936 blocks to compress on the first pass, 4374 blocks on the second pass, and 68 blocks to finish off on the third pass..... Since it is essentially the same sequence of operations on each block, parallel cores on a GPU can speed things up by well over a magnitude....


Same thing holds true for rendering images in software to display on the screen or to create print files...


Aye. It wouldn't matter if you were rendering to JPEG or simply rendering to some kind of viewport buffer. Each pixel can be independently processed. Since you have millions of pixels, and each one is processed the same, you can write very little code, and run it on a GPU which is explicitly designed to hyperparallelize pixel processing. You would simply be executing pixel shaders instead of standard CPU code. With the modern architectures of GPUs, you can make highly efficient use of the resources available.

YES!
The GPU's are far more efficient than general purpose CPUs for running shaders and the like.... as mentioned above, That's what the chip was designed for!

48
EOS Bodies / Re: Multilayer Sensors are Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:47:00 PM »
I've been curious for some time why Lightroom doesn't make extensive use of the capabilities of my video cards...if games can render vastly more complex scenes 60 to 120 times per second using a GPU, Lightroom should be able to do what it does on a 5-layer RAW quicker than it renders a bayer RAW now.

Agreed.  DxO Optics Pro used to be rather slow at displaying images at 100% on my Mac, and even filmstrip thumbnails weren't very fast.  A version back (IIRC), they added GPU acceleration and it sped the rendering up significantly.

The guy that writes the Camera Raw code says GPU acceleration would help very little with the Camera Raw pipeline.


I honestly have a very hard time believing that. There is no way the current code is as parallel as it could be when run on a GPU. CPU's simply cannot achieve that kind of parallelism. I wouldn't be surprised if they had to completely rewrite the ACR pipeline to properly take advantage of GPU power, but I think they should do that anyway, and build in support for pipeline-level plugins so third parties could add things people have been asking for since v2 was released...like debanding support, or AF point overlays, etc.

For creating a RAW file in the camera, it is doubtful that GPUs would accelerate the process. Creating the RAW file is a read/dump process with very little (if any) processing being done. It is basicly read from the sensor as fast as you can and dump to the buffer....

Creating a Jpg out of the RAW file is a completely different story... Processing that RAW file is a massively parallel operation... the image is typically broken up into 8x8 blocks and run through the jpg compression engine... then groups of blocks are run through the compression engine... and so on until the whole image is done. The 18Mpixel sensor makes an 5184x3456 image... and that makes 279,936 blocks to compress on the first pass, 4374 blocks on the second pass, and 68 blocks to finish off on the third pass..... Since it is essentially the same sequence of operations on each block, parallel cores on a GPU can speed things up by well over a magnitude....

Same thing holds true for rendering images in software to display on the screen or to create print files...

The CR Pipeline doesn't create 8x8 blocks of compressed data.  It creates uncompressed raster data that's highly interdependent (think about applying gradient filters, healing spot corrections, brushed adjustments, etc.).
Different words, but close to what I was saying.... (RAW data is NOT highly interdependent)
Sensor to RAW - serial process.... all you need is a single core to read the sensor quickly and dump to memory. There is no way to "parallelize" the process unless you redesign the sensor and A/D to dump out enough bits at a time to make it worthwhile... in other words, instead of reading one pixel at a time, read multiple pixels at a time.... perhaps it will be done that way in the future, but as things stand now with Canon sensors and A/D you get a byte at a time and any attempts to throw multiple cores at that process would probably slow it down.

RAW to JPG - parallel process. The more cores the better.

Since Neuro's and Jrista's comments were about rendering RAW (or other formats) files on a computer, the comment/argument of creating RAW files in-camera is a tangent that sidetracks from the discussion at hand, which is rendering images on a computer.

In theory, using a GPU with multiple cores (There are NVidia chips with 512 CUDA cores) will speed up rendering of images. THAT IS THE REASON THE CHIPS WERE CREATED!!!!! You can plop 3 cards with dual chips into a computer for 3072 cores.... if you so choose. BTW, Cray made a supercomputer out of Nvidia craphic chips....

In practice, on my home system, rendering a panorama from 324 images took 2 1/2 hours with the GPU disabled and 11 minutes with it enabled.... about a 14 times increase in speed.

EDIT:
I was wrong about the GPU specs.... the Nvidia 980 cards have 2048 cores running at 1.2Ghz and render 144 BILLION points per second. I could fit 3 into my chassis at home for 6144 cores... that's 7.3 TERRA flops! over 12 times the GPU power I have now......

49
EOS Bodies / Re: Multilayer Sensors are Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:17:39 PM »
I've been curious for some time why Lightroom doesn't make extensive use of the capabilities of my video cards...if games can render vastly more complex scenes 60 to 120 times per second using a GPU, Lightroom should be able to do what it does on a 5-layer RAW quicker than it renders a bayer RAW now.

Agreed.  DxO Optics Pro used to be rather slow at displaying images at 100% on my Mac, and even filmstrip thumbnails weren't very fast.  A version back (IIRC), they added GPU acceleration and it sped the rendering up significantly.

The guy that writes the Camera Raw code says GPU acceleration would help very little with the Camera Raw pipeline.


I honestly have a very hard time believing that. There is no way the current code is as parallel as it could be when run on a GPU. CPU's simply cannot achieve that kind of parallelism. I wouldn't be surprised if they had to completely rewrite the ACR pipeline to properly take advantage of GPU power, but I think they should do that anyway, and build in support for pipeline-level plugins so third parties could add things people have been asking for since v2 was released...like debanding support, or AF point overlays, etc.

For creating a RAW file in the camera, it is doubtful that GPUs would accelerate the process. Creating the RAW file is a read/dump process with very little (if any) processing being done. It is basicly read from the sensor as fast as you can and dump to the buffer....

Creating a Jpg out of the RAW file is a completely different story... Processing that RAW file is a massively parallel operation... the image is typically broken up into 8x8 blocks and run through the jpg compression engine... then groups of blocks are run through the compression engine... and so on until the whole image is done. The 18Mpixel sensor makes an 5184x3456 image... and that makes 279,936 blocks to compress on the first pass, 4374 blocks on the second pass, and 68 blocks to finish off on the third pass..... Since it is essentially the same sequence of operations on each block, parallel cores on a GPU can speed things up by well over a magnitude....

Same thing holds true for rendering images in software to display on the screen or to create print files...

50
EOS Bodies / Re: Multilayer Sensors are Coming From Canon [CR2]
« on: October 15, 2014, 07:23:42 PM »
I've been curious for some time why Lightroom doesn't make extensive use of the capabilities of my video cards...if games can render vastly more complex scenes 60 to 120 times per second using a GPU, Lightroom should be able to do what it does on a 5-layer RAW quicker than it renders a bayer RAW now.

Agreed.  DxO Optics Pro used to be rather slow at displaying images at 100% on my Mac, and even filmstrip thumbnails weren't very fast.  A version back (IIRC), they added GPU acceleration and it sped the rendering up significantly.
Agreed!
When AutoPano (panorama rendering) added GPU rendering the time to render large panoramas dropped from hours to minutes. My video card has 512 CUDA cores running at a gigahertz.... WAY!!!! more computing power than a quad core Pentium....

51
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 15, 2014, 05:47:44 PM »
Part of what I do at work is photography, and I get paid for it..... I am most certainly a professional, so that makes me a "pro" photographer.

This is the imaging gear I use....

Cannon 7D, many would consider it to be a "pro" camera.
70-200F4.0 IS lens, an "L" lens, many consider it a "pro" lens.
100F2.8L macro lens, an  "L" lens, a "pro" lens
18-200 Canon "superzoom lens.... if I am a pro, then it must be a "pro" lens :)  (I did not buy or recommend it!)
800F5.6 lens... definitely a "pro" lens........
used to have a "rebel", dropped it 110 feet onto a concrete pad... it did not survive, but it was still "pro" equipment right up until it hit.....

Olympus "Tough" p/s camera... works great in heavy rain.... obviously a "pro" camera.

iPhone camera.... an inspection camera.... if you shove the 7D and lens through a 1 1/2 inch access port it stops working :(  Since it is used professionally, it must be a "pro" camera.

An assortment of USB webcams, used to let me remotely see where satellite dishes are really pointed to, and to observe/record cloud cover in the signal direction.... since this is a professional use, they must be "pro" cameras.

And yes, I have used a GoPro to record information in field trials.... once again, since it is a professional use, it must be a "pro" camera, and it is one of two pieces of kit that I have that have "pro" in the name. (The other is a 3/4 inch drive socket set)

Get the point? A pro will use whatever the appropriate tool is to get the required job done and not get hung up on some designation by people on the internet.

53
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 15, 2014, 04:03:23 PM »
Perhaps the cogent questions are "what makes a camera professional quality?" and "what makes a manufacturer call a camera "pro".

The answers may be quite different.

I think there is a lot of professional equipment in other industries that does not have the name pro on it. 

If you have to tell customers your product is pro, it ain't.  ;D

Professionals know what is pro quality without needing the marketing department tell them so.

None of the professional equipment I use in my non-photography career was ever marked "pro".
:)
Got about 8 million dollars of test equipment in the lab at work..... none of it is marked as "pro"....

54
And the guy's pictures were not at all stand out for anything...

says mr. anonymous on the internet.
at least he made it to nat geo... you? :P

care to share some of your work?

he does:

http://bobkrist.com/

I agree Krist's body of work is impressive, including many stunning images, but I also agree that the photos included with his ringing endorsement of Sony mirrorless are not great.  They're not among his best photos.  He also doesn't seem to tout the image quality--just praises the portability and versatility--of Sony mirrorless.

In short, it's interesting to get the perspective of a bona fide pro on the advantages of the NEX/A7 systems, but not exactly a killer argument for ditching Canon or Nikon depending on your usage.

but what if portability and versatility are his major requirements.......

55
This is what I don't understand about the photography "community".

Some guy decides to switch camera companies.  He is not saying that his previous camera sucked, nor is he saying that he thinks that every other photographer needs to follow his lead.  He simply made a choice.

But, when the story is posted, look at the defensive (and sometimes offensive) posts. 

Who cares if this person switches camera systems?  Clearly it was the right decision for him

Equally clear is that his reasons should have no influence on anyone else's decision to stay or move.

No one here can say that his reasons for switching are wrong for him.

So he switched to another manufacturer.  Good for him.  I wish him the best of luck and I hope that his new system makes him happy. 

So why did some people feel it was appropriate, or even helpful, to attack his photography? 

It just does not make sense.
+1000

If company X made camera model Y that was better than every other camera for every possible reason, then that would be the only camera that people would select. until someone invents a camera that meets a multitude of conflicting requirements, people will choose what works best for their criteria.... and to those people I say "Go for it!"

56
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 14, 2014, 10:24:09 PM »
You're all wrong.  Only the D810 is a pro camera and you all know it!

No! GoPro! The name says it all.... Go Pro.....

Nobody would mount 29 D810's to their car, but they would (and did) with GoPro :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6wI_lBj3mc

57
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 14, 2014, 07:17:02 PM »
As so many have said, it is the person behind the camera.... and being a pro, that person will pick the right tool for the job.... be it a 1Dx, a GoPro, or an iPhone. Everything has it's time and place and a real pro will not limit their options...


58
Landscape / Re: Fall colours
« on: October 14, 2014, 02:44:07 PM »
Ottawa River colours by canoe
Looks good! I´ll be in Ottawa next Monday and Tuesday. Hope to see similar weather then :)
Gatineau Park, just across the river, is a fabulous place to visit....

60
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 14, 2014, 02:39:12 PM »
Build, Performance, Features.

A solid photographer can take great photos with crap equipment and a n00b can screw up even the best of top end gear.

A pro camera is often more metal allow than plastic and has better weather sealing.

If you shoot studio, and are making a living from it, do you need weather sealing?
A "pro" camera is the right tool for the job....

I saw a tv add for a dishwasher and to my eye, it looked like the action shots were taken with a GoPro :) definitely a case where weather sealing was needed for a studio shot... but I get your point, almost all the time weather sealing is not needed in a studio.

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