December 20, 2014, 12:37:15 AM

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Messages - David Hull

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: i folded and bought CC :(
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:26:20 AM »
and at least Adobe has offered their package at a reasonable price (finally !).

not if you do video work too

Once upon a time you used to be able to even do something like upgrade InDesign once every three gens and Premiere Pro package (including PS) once every three gens and then add in a stand alone PS upgrade along the way if needed. Or forget the InDesign and just upgrade PP every once in a while and PS extra as needed.

I believe that is the root of the problem they are trying to resolve.  It is that behavior that is driving all these guys to adopt the subscription model.

And with the rental model, you can pay them for years, thousands of dollars and then if you quit you have nothing, nada, to show for all that money spent. You don't get to keep anything even if you did it for years and spent thousands.
What they need to do is what MathWorks does which is that once you stop paying, the SW keeps working with the features it has and the support stops.  That way they get their subscription and the user still has something when they quit.

Exactly my problem with the CC model. I strongly prefer the perpetual license plus paid software maintenance to keep current, like Mathworks uses. Offer the initial license at a reasonable price, offer a software maintenance subscription plan that pays for their ongoing development and keeps users current on features, but let users "get off the train" and keep using what they have. If you want to "get back on the train" you pay a reinstatement/catch-up fee then resume maintenance. Or buy another perpetual license and start over.

If I have a down year, financially, or don't like the direction they're taking the product, I don't want to have to pay ransom to keep using the software I've been paying for all along. That's too much risk for me. I'm staying with CS6 and stand-alone LR for just this reason, so they're not getting any more money from me whereas I'd be willing to pay for a maintenance plan.
Of all the ones that I use, I think MathWorks is the closest to having something that works for both them and the customers too.  I think that part of the problem is that Adobe sells to a lot of individuals while these other guys tend to be paid out of a corporate coffer somewhere.  Regardless though, I think this is going to be the future of SW.  These people have a steady flow of R&D that goes into the products but the existing model doesn't guarantee a steady revenue stream to support it.  They have all discovered that as the product matures (and PS is certainly in that stage of life) that they are providing more of a service and the subscription model works best.  The only thing that seems lacking for Adobe is a way for people to gracefully opt out.

2
Canon General / Re: Canon USA Addresses the Gray Market
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:17:57 AM »
I'm very disappointed with the article. It's a blatant insult to our intelligence. The domestic products are no different from gray market in any color, shape or form. The only difference is that Canon charges a fortune to service gray market items while domestic items are free under warranty. I've bought domestic and gray market and have never felt the "advantages" of "localized" products. What a bunch of bs.
If you buy GM and it breaks, simply ship it to the service center in the region where you bought it and they will service the warrantee.

3
Software & Accessories / Re: i folded and bought CC :(
« on: December 16, 2014, 04:54:04 PM »
and at least Adobe has offered their package at a reasonable price (finally !).

not if you do video work too

Once upon a time you used to be able to even do something like upgrade InDesign once every three gens and Premiere Pro package (including PS) once every three gens and then add in a stand alone PS upgrade along the way if needed. Or forget the InDesign and just upgrade PP every once in a while and PS extra as needed.

I believe that is the root of the problem they are trying to resolve.  It is that behavior that is driving all these guys to adopt the subscription model.

And with the rental model, you can pay them for years, thousands of dollars and then if you quit you have nothing, nada, to show for all that money spent. You don't get to keep anything even if you did it for years and spent thousands.
What they need to do is what MathWorks does which is that once you stop paying, the SW keeps working with the features it has and the support stops.  That way they get their subscription and the user still has something when they quit.

4
Software & Accessories / Re: i folded and bought CC :(
« on: December 16, 2014, 01:20:35 PM »
9.99 a month for CC, LR, etc? no brainer.  THose you are complaining that you don't own it... What good is "owning it" when "it" changes every two years and you have to buy "it" again???

Because you don't have to buy it again unless the "old" version no longer does what you need. 

Just because a company puts out a new version, does not mean that the old version is no longer useful.  It depends on the individual customer.  Many people choose not to "upgrade" for every version but may wait for a few versions and then "upgrade".  Many other people choose to "upgrade" for every version.  All depends on what the customer needs and wants.
It also depends on how the vendor wants to sell their product.  A lot of companies that do SW for a living, have adopted this model (MathWorks with MatLab, Keysight with ADS, and even Microsoft).  It works well and at least Adobe has offered their package at a reasonable price (finally !).

5
EOS Bodies / Re: Sony Sensors Coming to Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: December 16, 2014, 01:23:14 AM »
I think it would be a mistake for them to surrender chip design--both for Canon and for the users.  There needs to be MORE sensor competition--not less.
There are plenty of good sensor manufacturers out there -- even if Canon quit completely Sony would have plenty of good competition.  I think that the real issue may be that Canon's architectural approach is no longer cost competitive with the fully integrated solutions.  It may be that it doesn't scale well past 25 MP or so.  Right now they are using an additional three chips in the 7DII that Sony doesn't have (two high speed Quad ADC chips and an FPGA to tie it all together).  That stuff takes up space and costs money and battery power.

That all assumes that there is some fact to this rumor.

6
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D II sensor measurement
« on: November 19, 2014, 12:59:41 AM »
They've just announced results at http://www.senscore.org/
Great... with this and DxO there is no longer any need to take actual photographs to compare equipment.

7
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D Mark II - DXO, Tony Northrup, and You
« on: November 11, 2014, 04:40:41 PM »
I absolutely looove to watch his videos!!!
They are soooo stupid, I can't believe that guy has got over 200k subscribers...

But, seriously, he had a point there about ISO being the most important factor and the 7DII being great. :)

He is the larval form of Ken Rockwell.

8
On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Sony facilities are used to fabricate the sensor but sensor design comes from Canon.

what about industrial espionage?
would that not be a problem?

buying a finished sensor is no problem but handing out all your technical stuff to a competing company so they can produce your latest and greatest?

i mean sony is not like other companys who could produce sensors for canon, they are a direct competitor.

it´s not like apple is handing out chip production to TSMC.
TSMC does not produce phones or tablets.
It is a bit the other way around actually.  Sony would have to tip their hat to Canon in that they would have to provide all of their process models and libraries to enable Canon to design on their fab.  That said, unless Sony is geared up to support fabless semiconductor companies, they may not really have the support in place to allow Canon to use their fabs.

9
Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

So if I understand correctly, the purpose of incessantly complaining about the lack of DR in Canon sensors is to get Canon to notice, light a fire under Canon's ass, and inspire them improve DR? That objective, by nature, requires repeating the same sentiment (Canon's DR sucks) over and over again on a forum. That action, by nature, is one that many people on this forum find very irritating. Naturally, those people will eventually voice their displeasure.

What I don't understand is that when people happy with their Canon gear voice their displease, the pro-DR guys all of a sudden start complaining that they're being bullied, and complain that they're being personally insulted? I'm not saying that personal insults are OK, but seriously, what do you expect? Should I go stand in front of a church, proclaim the virtues of Islam, and expect a welcoming response?

The notion that the pro-DR guys are innocent angels in all this, and only the brainwashed happy Canon guys are throwing the insults, is absolutely ridiculous. You must have missed the posts where the DR advocates state their intentions of saving the anti-DR guys from their ignorance, showing them the error of their ways, and showing them how much happier they'd be if that had equally high standards of IQ and DR. That must constitute objective commentary in your book.

So if I understand correctly, the purpose of incessantly complaining about the lack of DR in Canon sensors is to get Canon to notice, light a fire under Canon's ass, and inspire them improve DR?

I think that if history proves anything with regard to this particular issue -- it proves that this strategy has been ineffective.  We've been slapping this around for about 8 years that I can remember.  Apparently this DR thing isn't producing enough market churn to raise Canon's interest in making a change.  One guy hit the nail on the head, I think, by saying something like "Just because sensor B is only 90% as good as sensor A, doesn't mean sensor B sucks (or is even close to unusable). 

10

Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

The thing is, we don't know yet what fabrication line the 70D and 7D2 sensors are made on... but we do know that going to the 20.2Mpixel design from the 18Mpixel design, the ISO performance increased slightly... The more complex lithography required for DPAF should have meant a reduction in high ISO performance, so they must have done something to counter it, and using their existing 180nM line (P/S sensors) seems like the most likely scenario... Also, it costs a lot more money to keep 2 fabrication lines open than one, so my bet is that the death of the 500nM fabrication run is already happening.

I wonder if Chipworks will dissect the 7D II sensor. It's been a long time since they dissected a Canon sensor... Would be nice to know what process Canon is using.
I would like to know what ADC they are using, I suspect that it is something like the Analog Devices ADDI 7004.  Their sensors seem to be just fine regardless of what geometry they are making them in.  They seem to be getting in excess of 15 stops of DR out of the latest ones (6D for example), if you believe Sensorgen.  They just toss it away on the bottom end due to an implementation that is not optimized performance at the bottom end of the ISO range like the Sony stuff is.  In terms of the sensor itself, it appears to be every bit as good as anything that Sony has produced (except for whatever they put in the A7s, or whatever that one is that can see in the dark).

I agree, I think the primary source of noise is downstream of the sensors. I think Canon sensors have a lot more dark current (based on my experience with 7D, 5D III, D5300 and D800 astrophotography subs)...when my Canon sensors are very cool (i.e. during winter), such as -8°C, they don't have any visible dark current even after several minutes worth of exposure. Much warmer than that, they do. D5300 (and D5100 files too, I guess) files, on the other hand, fare FAR better at much higher temperatures, they don't seem to have much visible dark up to around 10°C.

I still think a transistor shrink would benefit Canon, as well as a move to a more advanced fab and higher Q.E. design. Overall, though, I agree. I think the primary source of noise is down stream, probably the ADC.

Someone linked a paper about per-pixel ADC recently. Apparently it's fairly difficult to do, but if you do it right, you can dramatically lower the frequency of the ADC units, and increase ADC parallelism to 1/4 the pixel count (one ADC per four pixels, capable of simultaneous output for each attached pixel...so effectively 1/1 parallelism as far as output DU's go). Pretty amazing.
I think that is what is doing the job for Sony.  They have a very low speed SAR style ADC so they get the full benefit of their sensor noise figure all the way down to minimum gain.  Canon can't do that since their high speed ADC (pipeline architecture, I suspect) can only give about 12.5 effective bits even though it is a 14 bit converter -- that's just all those things do.

11

Anyway, at the end of the day if all Canon sees and hears is that it's not that big of a deal, nobody but a few will care, we will be stuck with this old 500nm fab for another decade or two, literally. So I don't see that it does anyone any good to minimize it. Even if you don't need it, it won't hurt you and a new fab might bring stuff that you do care about more too. Plus at least once in a blue moon you must mess up the exposure on a one of shot and at least you'll be able to rescue that better. And for those who do care more, we'll it would be great. Less money to get all your gear from one brand than a mix. Less to carry and drag around which can be a pain, literally. Canon does make awesome lenses, has a very nice UI and so on so it is nicer if Canon improves their sensors to go to a different system.

The thing is, we don't know yet what fabrication line the 70D and 7D2 sensors are made on... but we do know that going to the 20.2Mpixel design from the 18Mpixel design, the ISO performance increased slightly... The more complex lithography required for DPAF should have meant a reduction in high ISO performance, so they must have done something to counter it, and using their existing 180nM line (P/S sensors) seems like the most likely scenario... Also, it costs a lot more money to keep 2 fabrication lines open than one, so my bet is that the death of the 500nM fabrication run is already happening.

I wonder if Chipworks will dissect the 7D II sensor. It's been a long time since they dissected a Canon sensor... Would be nice to know what process Canon is using.
I would like to know what ADC they are using, I suspect that it is something like the Analog Devices ADDI 7004.  Their sensors seem to be just fine regardless of what geometry they are making them in.  They seem to be getting in excess of 15 stops of DR out of the latest ones (6D for example), if you believe Sensorgen.  They just toss it away on the bottom end due to an implementation that is not optimized performance at the bottom end of the ISO range like the Sony stuff is.  In terms of the sensor itself, it appears to be every bit as good as anything that Sony has produced (except for whatever they put in the A7s, or whatever that one is that can see in the dark).

12
I actually don't see jrista as a problem at all.  Having read through some of his posts (apologies his stamina for writing exceeds mine for reading so I won't claim to have read them all) I can see his knowledge dwarfs mine but he's presented enough evidence to convince me of the point.

The thing that I find irksome is the posts that often follow his and the more reasonable DR aficionados by others saying things like the following (emphasis is mine):-

  - Canon cameras or systems are years behind their competitors.
  - Canon need to do something now or it's all over for them.

That's just opinion and in my mind a long way from the truth.  I think the 7D2 which has suffered a lot from this debate due to timing is going to be a stunning camera for the intended audience.  It will capture images, situations and moments that many other cameras that it is in the same price bracket as will simply miss altogether.  Does that mean those other cameras are years behind?  No, they just have different strengths and weaknesses.

I, and possibly a number of others, take exception to how this issue is raised to above all others by some.  And once again I refer people to jrista's post about renting the Sony.  He made his point about DR and backed it up but was already recognising that the Sony had other problem areas that could be significant.  For what he was doing it was better, for what some others do it won't be.

It's a relative weakness for certain types of photography, it isn't make or break any more than the Sony's weaknesses are.  Canon spends its money on a variety of things, maybe it's been outdone in sensors but I think it's ahead of most in other areas.  It seems, you just can't have it all wherever you look.

  - Canon cameras or systems are years behind their competitors.
  - Canon need to do something now or it's all over for them.

That is the sort of stuff that prompts my "Hype" remark.

13
Most of this DR stuff (not all of it but a great deal of it) is nothing more than hype.

I'm curious to know how many people who say that DR is mostly just hype have actually played with enough Exmor-based RAW files to really understand the differences.

There is this notion that the only thing more dynamic range offers is additional shadow pushing. That's not the case. Shadow pushing is by far the most obvious benefit, but on a normalized basis, more dynamic range improves IQ across the board. I've provides some RAW files people can download...I really encourage them to. They aren't phenomenal works of art...but they do demonstrate the differences.

I also encourage anyone who downloads to not just compare the differences at 100%. Doing that doesn't reveal as much of a difference, and that is primarily because your comparing 36mp @ 100% to 22.3mp @ 100%. That means the frequency of the finest detail elements and the frequency of noise are different. The primary difference at 100% is the shadow pushing. Once you normalize, you start to see the full benefits of an Exmor sensor...which means lower noise across the board (not just in the shadows), sharper detail, better color fidelity, etc.
I have played quite a bit with images from Sony based cameras and I am not denying the advantages that are there for certain specific applications.  When I said hype, I am really referring to the way these demos are usually presented.  Take a look at the recent bologna from Tony Northrup for example.  This sort of thing can be quite misleading IMO. 

14
You don't see those who care about the issue running around trying to subtly or not so subtly hint that the pics of those who don't care all stink do you?

Of course you see that, constantly and in no way subtly.  Not in a personal way, as in 'your photos stink'.  But, if Canon sensors have "poor IQ", deliver "sub-par/unacceptable IQ", and/or just plain "suck" (all of which are quotes from 'those who care about the issue'), that's tantamount to saying pictures taken by those using Canon dSLRs are poor, sub-par, or just plain suck.  Has it really not occurred to you that statements like 'Canon sensors deliver poor IQ' are a slam on the images of anyone using them, and how some people might just find that a little wee bit offensive?
Yep... I think you hit it right on the head.  What generally fires me up on these things is some goofball making a statement like "Canon needs to improve their IQ" as if there were a problem with Canon IQ in some general sense.  If there were any truth in that statement at all it would be evident in every image out there, which it clearly is not.  I really doubt that any one could distinguish which images were shot by which system given that they were well produced and presented in a proper blind test.

Most of this DR stuff (not all of it but a great deal of it) is nothing more than hype.

15
why don't they establish a thread specifically for this topic and leave it there.

Because this currently is the most pressing issue for about 50% of the people here. People can cope with artificially dumbed down camera software - magiclantern alleviates some of that pain. People can deal with ergonomics. People can deal with lenses - most are fine and many 3rd party alternatives are available cross platform. But people cannot deal with an image which cannot be processed in the way they like because of high shadow noise. Then they look over to their neighbor and despite all the shortcomings of the other camera systems his image shows a higher resolution and less noise. Many of us often hit this barrier.

This is not the reason why there is complaining... that will never stop... but it is the reason why this one topic is so prevalent.
Then they should simply buy the product that they want and be done with it.  What these people are really saying is that DR and resolution aren't the most important things that they need (or just WANT) otherwise they would made a switch.

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