April 19, 2014, 05:33:41 PM

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Messages - David Hull

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1
Software & Accessories / Re: Adobe Lightroom Mobile Version Official
« on: April 08, 2014, 11:56:09 AM »
It appears to be absolutely worthless if you are not part of the Adobe Creative Cloud game or pay them $10/month to use it.  I thought it might work as a stand alone app but apparently not did I miss something?

2
Canon General / Re: PMIdigital - worth it?
« on: April 05, 2014, 10:41:17 AM »
I've read the various threads about sticking with B&H, Adorama, etc., for large purchases and avoiding the risks on ebay.  Usually, I do purchase from B&H and have been since the 90s.  However, PMI digital is an authorized Cannon dealer/retailer and noticed a few things on their recent ads and would like your thoughts:

1.  Some ebay ads say they are a Canon dealer, others ads say they are a Canon RESELLER.  For warranty purposes, I would stick to ads that only say they are a Canon dealer.

2.  The ads I would stick to also specifically include all that is supposed to come with the box and say that they include a "Canon 1 Year Parts and Labor USA Warranty."

3.  They have a 30-day return policy and they have 100% buyer feedback.

So if I purchase from them in this way, what is my risk?  As long as I can input the serial number online at CanonUSA, I should be ok, correct?

Thanks for your input.
I bought my Canon 5DIII from PMI Digital and had no problems whatsoever.  I picked the brand new in the original box version -- you can (or could at that time) buy the broken apart kit version for a bit less.  The camera had all the parts, warrantee card, box contents appeared to have never been returned or tampered with etc.  I would recommend them.

3
Rather than disseminating useless marketing fluff, Canon should give us the raw data, so we can see whether their claim is substantiated or not.
They could publish a costed BOM for each of their cameras too, that would be nice.

The average repair cost is at least partially providing information regarding costs for parts replacement. This is of course not the same as a BOM, but should imply that vendors like Nikon or Leica do provide rather expensive parts. Once you apply factors like production costs depending on production volume the difference to Canon becomes smaller, as both Nikon and Leica don't produce the same quantities Canon does. Of course quantities produced at Nikon are still far more than at Leica.

I think that part of Canon's higher repair cost is related to the speed with which they are able to turn the repairs around.  This is even more impressive when you realize the amount of gear out there compared to the others.  Roger needs to put up a third chart (maybe he has it) which compares the amounts of stuff that he has sent back among the manufacturers.  I bet that Canon wind that one as well.  To me the higher price for Canon reflects the concept of you get what you pay for.  Quick turns on a high volume means multiple repair centers, a larger staff, etc.  All this costs money.

4
What would be nice to see is a chart indicating average repair costs, customer satisfaction, use by professionals, units remaining in service over years, etc.  Categories where Canon has probably done well, but who knows how well compared to other brand.


Courtesy of Roger at lensrentals.com.  This is data from 2012-2013, he has previous years available on his blog, too.






The average repair cost is not surprising -- my 24-105 went belly up a while back and they charged me $408 to fix it.  That was a bit of a surprise.

Interestingly enough, I had it back in roughly 5 days.

5
Rather than disseminating useless marketing fluff, Canon should give us the raw data, so we can see whether their claim is substantiated or not.
They could publish a costed BOM for each of their cameras too, that would be nice.

6
Well... they clearly don't hang out on internet forums like this one and DPR then  ;).

7
Canon General / Re: Off Brand: Nikon Announces the D4S
« on: February 27, 2014, 09:32:00 AM »
With regard to the 400k ISO, IMO the real question should be "where does the ability of the AF to work crap out?"  Super high ISO isn't of much use if you can't focus clearly. 

8
Canon General / Re: Canon lack of innovation
« on: February 18, 2014, 04:41:07 PM »
I keep reading on hear about Canon's lack of innovation.  Apparently not everyone agrees, as they landed at #3 in this article on "The world's most innovative companies":

 http://money.msn.com/inside-the-ticker/the-worlds-5-most-innovative-companies


If you received a $2000 bonus every time you successfully filed a patent for your company (e.g. Canon), would that be sufficient motivation to encourage you to create as many patents as possible? And if you were so motivated, what would your outlook on other companies that also register lots of patents be?

You DO understand why companies do this, right?  It is not so they list higher on some arbitrary magazine or web sites "innovation" ranking.

At one time I worked for Rockwell Semiconductor when Lucent came knocking on the door and said, "Hey guys, we are Lucent... you know the old Bell Telephone Laboratories"   "well we have a boat load of patents and we're pretty sure you are in violation of quite a few of them so why don't you consider taking out a blanket license, as in, you hand us a bag of money each year and we agree not to bother looking" "otherwise we are about to start."

Sadly, THAT is what patents are for in the modern age and that is why companies encourage people to file.

9
I wonder what the story is from the Olympics?  I see a lot of White lenses there it appears to be more than half but there are quite a few black ones as well.

10
Note that this new flash is weaker - I guess they called it "MR14" because it looks the same and "MR10.5-EX" would have sounded lame.  The GN of the new flash is 10.5m/34 ft, vs the GN of the original that is 14m/46 ft.

Other than the LED modeling lights, a revised LCD display, and a shorter recycle time I really don't see any benefit of this flash over the original.  The shorter recycle time may simply be due to the fact that it's less powerful...

There's also confusion over whether this is RT or not.  The DPR blurb states, "Canon also announced the MR-14EX II Macro Ring Light, which can be controlled wirelessly using the radio-based 'RT' system."  Controlled wirelessly isn't the same as controlling wirelessly, and an RT slave-only capability for a flash that only mounts to the end of the lens seems really stupid.  No real information one way or the other, because the 'wireless' in the vendor product pages could refer to optical control.  Having the new MR14 be a master for the -RT system would be quite useful, but it's not clear if this is the case (I'm guessing no, simply because I'd assume if it was, Canon would have called it the MR14-EX-RT).
I was thinking exactly the same thing -- my guess is it is Optical or IR or whatever they have always been.

11
Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 09, 2014, 11:21:50 AM »
What I find really interesting is when the DR/FPN Evangelists are actually challenged with an image that squarely disputes their assertions religion, they all ignore it.

hmmm?? Don't get "FPN"?

Fixed Pattern Noise, it is the banding that can be seen if you process files badly, particularly if they are badly exposed files processed badly.

FPN = Five-stops Pushed Noise

LOL  +1

12
Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:04:32 AM »
There's obviously a lot of very knowledgeable people here so I'll pose a question that's been bugging me for a long time.
How is it possible for DxO to claim > 14 stops of dynamic range for cameras with a 14 bit ADC  ???
Phil.
Noise determines what is considered "absolute black", and from this absolute black is counted how many points of DR to reach full white (highlights without texture). When DXO makes downsize to 8 megapixel, the noise is reduced, and this aspect of sensor 36 megapixel lead comparative advantage. If you do not apply to downsize 8 megapixel count DR will not reach 14 stops.

But how can you possibly get more than 14 stops from a 14 bit conversion?

Phil.
There are many ways to do this -- one thing to consider, for example, is some CD audio equipment that used 12 bit converters to get 16 bits of performance through oversampling or the so-called "1" bit designs that produced 16 bit equivalence. I don't think this is what is going on here though.  I think if you pick the correct settings on the DxO presentation the Sony's measure out at about 13.8 bits of DR which is not surprising for a low speed SAR design.

13
Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 08, 2014, 05:15:25 PM »
If you are shooting static subjects, how hard is it to bracket and merge to 32bit in photoshop and get all the DR in the world with even the worst camera.

And if you shoot moving targets, how often do you actually use iso 100 which is where this advantage actually exists? I at least virtually always use much higher ISO to freeze motion and well at high ISO it is actually Canon that got the best DR according to DXO.

I find it funny when I hear this too.

Even a landscape can have dynamics that prevent working around DR limitations by bracketing and merging.
If it's small and static, then it can be lit to fix it... unless it's not practical, you know, like outdoors.
So these workarounds aren't always viable either.
Then you shoot something else that you can shoot.  For most of us, that's just not a huge disaster.  The reality is that this whole DR argument is pretty much a non starter an any practical sense. 

As I said earlier, if it were the huge issue that people like yourself seem to think it is, nobody would buy the equipment but that isn't really what we see in the real world, now is it?

14
Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 08, 2014, 05:09:24 PM »
I think what really frustrates the Nikon/Sony fan-club is that despite what really is a significant difference in measurable performance between the system implementations chosen by the two manufacturers, it really is mostly a corner case issue and hasn't really proven to affect the bottom line enough to force Canon to address it. 

Pretty much what I said 1.5 years ago, and nothing has changed since then.

And 1.5 years from now, you'll still be saying the same thing, because nothing ever changes. On these kinds of forums, people see the tech and which tech is better than other tech, and nothing else, and because everything ultimately boils down to one competitive battle or another with humanity, there will always be a competitive battle.

It really isn't about the IQ or the Art. It's just about the fact that Tech A has more DR than Tech B, therefor religiously speaking, Tech A must be better. All that matters to Tech A fanboys is that "they won". That's it. Even if their arguments are pure inanity, even if they come off as the worlds largest tools ever to walk the face of the planet, they really don't care...because "they won". Somewhere along the line, Tech B will have more DR or vastly more megapixels or somesuch, and the Tech B fanboys will go at it on the Tech A forums stoking the fire over there about how now "they won". It'll be just as disgraceful then for the Tech B boys as it is now for the Tech A boys.

Meh. Competition. I really hate competition, especially when it isn't necessary nor useful. We aren't in a competitive sport...were artists (or at least, were supposed to be.) We should all be sharing our art, helping each other improve our art, and enjoying art. That's the entire point of having a camera in the first place, damn the technical specifications. That's why I think the Bird Photography thread in the image sharing forums is probably my favorite thread on this site...its never been anything but people sharing their art, complimenting others work, sharing ideas and techniques to get better shots, etc.
Yep...  Apple/PC, Chevy/Ford, Canon/Nikon .....


15
Reviews / Re: Why the DxO bashing?
« on: February 08, 2014, 01:34:23 PM »
...
Many Canon Rumors trolls may experience great satisfaction from demonstrating that ~2 stop deficit in low ISO DR by shooting images with the lens cap on, then pushing those images 4-5 stops in post. 
...
Many times in the DR debate, those bashing Canon sensors have been asked to provide examples of shots ruined by Canon's 'poor low ISO DR' that would have been saved by those extra two stops.  Personally, I have almost no examples of that situation - in many scenes, the ~12 stops I get is sufficient, and when the scene DR is greater than 12 stops, it's almost always greater than 14 stops, too.

Dude, it's not just the extra DR but the rampant noise in the shadow details of Canon files. This all but makes the bottom stop or two useless.

To give you an example of a scene I tried (and failed) to capture with Canon equipment, I had a setting sun behind a building that I could see through the door on the east, down a corridor and out the open door on the west side. As you can imagine, the detail outside the building on the west side was brightly lit (direct/diffuse sunlight), the side of the building I was on was maybe in the 50% grey area and the interior of the building was quite dark. There was very limited ability to expose to the right due to the outdoor area being lit by the sun but at the same time, if I didn't push it then the interior was lost to noise from Canon's sensor.

So to mimic what has been said about the dynamic range of the 5D Mark II (and by extension at least that of the 5D Mark III) "usable DR of the camera is one or two stops lower than what is measured due to the inability to use the shadows."
So what.  What I always find so interesting about these discussions is that at the end of the day, based on all the examples that people tend to put up (the photo you are referencing most likely no different) this superior "state of the art" sensor technology with all this extensive DR advantages has done very little to advance the state of "ART" with regard to photography.  If it really produced the dramatic advances in Image Quality that the proponents always claim, it would have gained significant traction in the market place.  If IQ were really a significant problem with Canon equipment as the Sony/Nikon proponents like to conclude, nobody would buy Canon product -- yet countless thousands of photographers have been able to use it with tremendous success despite this corner case limitation.

I think what really frustrates the Nikon/Sony fan-club is that despite what really is a significant difference in measurable performance between the system implementations chosen by the two manufacturers, it really is mostly a corner case issue and hasn't really proven to affect the bottom line enough to force Canon to address it. 

The endless barrage of poorly executed example images just hasn't gained the traction they expected.  The reaction to most of these (and there have been a boat load of them over the years) has been "yea... but why do I care".  The best example of this is probably the oft quoted Fred Miranda review where the reviewer shot two pages of magnificent images in Yosemite and could not produce a shot where the DR of the camera was a limitation -- to do that he gad to shoot something way less compelling.  Both sides seem to be reasonably satisfied with their choices.  Do I wish I had the same low shadow noise that I could have with a Sony sensor probably yes, do I wish Canon would solve it -- probably yes.  Has it ever gotten in my way, no not really.

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