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Topics - V8Beast

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16
Lighting / If you have a 5DIII and the Phottix Odins....
« on: March 29, 2012, 03:29:55 PM »
....could you please do a quick test for me? I'm about to order some Odins up, but maintaining high speed sync functionality is critical for my shooting needs. Some people have noticed that the PocketWizards will only sync up to 1/160 or 1/200. I'd like to know if the Odins can sync at 1/1000 shutter speeds or faster.

17
EOS Bodies / How "raw" are raw files?
« on: March 21, 2012, 02:30:10 PM »
With all the comparisons of high ISO raw files that's been going on lately, my pea brain needs some clarification on a few issues. My understanding has always been that raw files represent the information that the camera actually captures in its purest form, with no manipulation whatsoever. However, others have mentioned that Nikon bodies "cook" their files by applying in-camera noise reduction. Obviously, at that point a raw file doesn't represent what the camera captured in it's purest form, and therefore does not accurately represent the performance of the sensor. Does Canon do the same thing with its raw files?

This raises a few more issues. If a camera applies noise reduction to its raw files, what's to say that it can't extend dynamic range with in-camera processing as well? I defer whether or not extending DR of raw files via in-camera software is even possible to the real tech heads on here, but if a camera did do this, how would you even know unless a manufacturer disclosed this info in its literature? 

On one hand, I can see why you'd want a true, unprocessed raw file as a means of measuring sensor performance. On the other hand, if in-camera processing is sophisticated enough to improved overall IQ to the point where that a photographer can't even tell that in-camera processing was applied in the first place, who really cares?

18
EOS Bodies / Buying a 5DII on a whim
« on: March 19, 2012, 08:25:01 PM »
I met up with a buddy of mine this weekend who is the editor of a big muscle car magazine to cover an autocross event together. He's a very accomplished photographer and does some outstanding work. During the middle of the autocross, his 1DsII - which has seen a ton of mileage over the last 8 years - took a dump. It's nothing terminal, just the dreaded "Error 99," but something that couldn't be fixed in the field. I let him borrow one of my backup bodies to get him through the event, but he jumped on the phone ASAP to order up a replacement body for another shoot he had the following week.

Him: The guy on the phone says he has a 5D Mark II, is that what you have?

Me: No, I use 5D for statics, and a 1DII for action. I'm getting a 5DIII any day now, but it hasn't been released yet.

Him: What's the difference?

Me: Better AF, faster burst rate, cleaner high ISO files, dual card slots.

Him: Well, I hardly ever use AF, and don't need fast FPS. I really like the IQ of the images you send me with your 5D, so I'm sure the 5D Mark II will be more than enough for me.     

Me: Yeah, IQ wise the 5D Mark II is a great camera. That's what Bobby (a mutual friend and fellow photog) uses.

Him: OK, then I know for sure that I'll be happy with the 5DII's IQ.

Me: You can get them for around $2,000 right now because the 5DIII's are about to be released. The 5DIII is hard to get right now and costs $3,500.

Him: I don't want to spend that much. This is just going to be my personal camera until I can get company approval to expense on new body. I'll go with the 5DII.


I know this is an extreme example, but our conversation lasted two minutes at most. I just found it funny how people can deliberate/argue/scream/cry for months on which camera to get, mulling over specs and sample images (I'm guilty of this too!). On the other hand, I watched as a working pro reached a purchasing decision in two minutes based solely on the quality of images submitted to him from other photographers using the body he's interested in.

19
With all the stink about megapixels lately, I thought I'd put together a quaint little test. Some of these are product shots I took for editorial clients with my 10 megapixel G7 point-and-shoot. The rest aren't my shots, but they're of similar engine parts taken with a 39 megapixels medium format Phase One P45. I read a post today where someone said they'd be happy with the 5DIII if it had at least 25 megapixels instead of 22, so apparently every last MP counts, but does it really?

And please don't cheat by looking at the exif data. I tried to erase it the best I can, but there might be some giveaways to the camera's identities nonetheless. At any rate, I've numbered each image 1-7, so try to guess which images was taken with the G7, and which one was taken by the Phase One

If you look closely enough, you can spot a difference between the G7 and Phase One images. However, I'd argue that a lot of that has to do with differences in technique. My point-and-shoot shots were taken using nothing more than natural light and some white poster board whereas the Phase One images were taken in a studio with fancier equipment. I don't know how fancy, because they aren't my shots and I wasn't there, but considering that they were commission by a rather large mega-budget corporation, it's safe to say they had the means to spend a lot more money than my editorial clients. I'll reveal who the unidentified corporation is later, but don't want to yet as it might give a clue as to which shots came from which camera.

1


2


3


4


5


6


7


Before anyone cries foul, is there any way I can upload the high-res files somewhere for download, if anyone cares to pixel peep? I can upload them onto my website's lightbox, but I have to invite people via e-mail.

20
EOS Bodies / Megapixel wars: Where do we go from here?
« on: March 15, 2012, 04:04:10 PM »
First off, this isn't another 5DIII vs. D800 debate. It's just that megapixels seems to be a hot topic lately, so I stared pondering the practical advantages of resolution. Perhaps I'm more fortunate than others, because while many have expressed the need to print 30x20 enlargements, I don't. For editorial work, a typical two-page spread measures 16x10, and there are only one or two of those per story layout.

In the early days of digital, resolution was a huge factor. The 8 megapixel 20D was the first affordable body that could be interpolated up to produce file quality sufficient for a two-page spread. The next quantum leap came with the 1DsII, which produced gorgeous 17x11 files at 300 dpi. Since then, however, the 21 mp files from the 1DsIII and 5DII have been somewhat under-utilized in the editorial world. Larger files certainly give art directors more flexibility for layouts and cropping, but the instances where you need to crop excessively  or turn a horizontal composition into a vertical (or vice-versa) are few and far between. Uploading 21 mp TIFF files onto a publisher's FTP server when you're on a tight deadline can get quite cumbersome as well. Don't get me wrong. I'll take as many megapixels as a manufacturer will give me, but the current lineup of bodies certainly offer more than enough for my needs. 

So, where do camera manufacturers go from here? The market is in an interesting position right now where the megapixel count of point-and-shoots is approaching that of flagship bodies, and a $500 T2i puts out as much resolution as Canon's $6,800 1Dx. How's a first-time DSLR buyer, who equates overall image quality to megapixel count, supposed to make sense of this?

At the prosumer level, I suppose the reception of the 5DIII and D800 will give an indication of the real-world value of ever-increasing resolution. Obviously, the D800 has proven that you can have phenomenal resolution and phenomenally low noise. At the APS-C level, however, I'm curious to see how things pan out. It looks like we're well on our way to having 30-plus mp sensors on crop bodies, primarily for marketing purposes. Are there ever going to be ad campaigns to attempt to educate consumers of the other factors affecting IQ and overall camera useful, or will manufacturers perpetuate the strategy of cramming as many megapixels on a tiny sensor as possible?

21
EOS Bodies / Here we go again: 5DIII vs. D800 raw files head-to-head
« on: March 14, 2012, 07:46:18 PM »
Now we finally have a somewhat scientific side-by-side comparison of the raw files from both bodies, courtesy of Imaging Resource.

5DIII samples:
www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-5d-mkiii/canon-5d-mkiiiTHMB.HTM

D800 samples:
www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/nikon-d800/nikon-d800A7.HTM

To make this comparo as precise as possible, I thought it made sense to compare the Nikons NEF files with no noise reduction applied to the Canon's CR2 files. Truthfully, I had a very hard time distinguishing the the 5DIII images from the D800 images. The noise, DR, and overall IQ are just so freakin' close. Maybe the 5DIII starts to edge ahead after ISO 3200, but it is the slightest of advantages. I tried to compare them at 51,200 and 102,400 as well, but IR must have forgotten to test the D800 at those ISO speeds   ;D 

DR wise, there is a noticeable advantage in the Nikon's shadow details, but again, it's only the slightest of advantages. Call me crazy, but I actually think the extra DR makes the Nikon's files look flatter. I also prefer the 5DIII's color reproduction, and the files look a tad sharper granted that might be attributable to the lenses. On a purely subjective level, to me the 5DIII's files just look better, but again, under identical shooting situations the two cameras produce nearly identical images. 

After pixel peeping for about an hour, it really put into perspective what terrific tools each of these bodies are for creating fantastic art. It also put into perspective how silly it is to argue about the pros and cons of each body when it requires an hour of pixel peeping to attempt to distinguish any differences in IQ between them.

That's just my worthless opinion. Discuss :)

22
EOS Bodies / High ISO comparo: 5DIII vs. D800
« on: March 02, 2012, 07:11:12 PM »
You could see this one coming from a mile away. These 5DIII images have already been posted here. Just change the number in the URL from "01" to "18" to download them all.

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/files/education/technical/inside_canon_eos_5d_mark_iii/01_cinc_big.jpg


Here are some high ISO test images from the D800:

http://mansurovs.com/nikon-d800-high-iso-image-samples

There aren't many direct ISO comparisons (ie 1600 vs. 1600) in these samples, but my own worthless opinion is that the 5DIII at 25,600 looks almost as good as the D800 at 6400, and the 5DIII looks substantially better at 6400 than the D800 at 6400. So, my unscientific conclusion is that the 5DIII tops the D800 by 1.5 to 2 stops.

Discuss :)

23
EOS Bodies / 5DIII pre-order thread
« on: March 02, 2012, 01:31:57 AM »
With all the hoopla surrounding the 5DIII, who actually put their money where there mouths are and put in a pre-order? Me  :D

My order went in at 12:10 EST at B&H. Hopefully that was fast enough to get one of the first batches.

24
Third Party Manufacturers / D800 high ISO noise samples
« on: February 22, 2012, 08:15:21 PM »
Here are some test shots of the D800 compared to the D700. IMHO, he D700 was pretty much on par with the 5DII in terms of noise, and the D800 looks better despite the extra pixels.

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/02/22/nikon-d800-vs-nikon-d700-high-iso-comparison.aspx/#more-34060

25
Third Party Manufacturers / D800 is finally here
« on: February 06, 2012, 09:35:07 PM »
I know lots of Canon fans were in denial of a 36 megapixel D800, but it looks like most of the rumored specs were 100% spot on. This is a Brazilian release translated to English, so it does read a little funny, but you can make out the specs nonetheless.

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/02/06/nikon-d800-press-release.aspx/#more-32762

Come on Canon, I really don't want to switch, so please announce a 5D3 that can go head-to-head with this beastly Nikon.

26
EOS Bodies / Rumored D800 specs look mighty impressive
« on: December 16, 2011, 07:27:23 PM »
In recent days, we've read rumors that the 5DIII will get the 1Dx's sensor, or some other chip that prioritizes low-light/high ISO performance at the expense of megapixels. In the meantime, Nikon Rumors posted this spec list of the D800, which the site administrator feels is 99% accurate:

- 36 megapixel sensor
- 51-point AF system
- ISO 100-6400, expandable to 25,600
- 3-inch-plus screen
- 4 fps in standard mode, 6 fps in DX mode with battery grip
- 1080 video, of course

Link: www.nikonrumors.com

If those specs are legit, that's one impressive body to say the least. Who knows, maybe Canon will surprise everyone and announce a 30 mp-plus 5DIII, but even if it does, I doubt the AF system or FPS will come anywhere close. The 1Dx and D4 seem to line up nicely on paper, but I'm not so sure if Canon will come up with a 5DIII that can go head-to-head with this rumored D800.

I realize the verdict won't be determined until real working models of the D800 and 5DIII are in production and have been tested head-to-head, but I can see lots of people cutting their losses and jumping to Nikon if the rumors in the Nikon and Canon camps actually pan out. Hell, I'd consider the D800 an upgrade over my 1DsIII. 

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