March 04, 2015, 07:40:54 PM

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Being owner of Canon 1DX and Sony a7s + Sony a7r I found review below interesting for me , maybe it would be interesting for others
"The legendary high-ISO handling of the A7S is just amazing, whilst I use my Canon 5D Mark III for professional work if I need to shoot in low-light the A7S will do a much better job."

EOS Bodies / Re: DPReview Interview with Chuck Westfall of Canon USA
« on: February 07, 2015, 09:16:18 AM »
The optics are where Canon shines, and that is probably main reason why Canon still may have the largest market share. For us users, it would be better if Canon got out of the sensor business altogether.  We just want the best product for our needs, and do not care who makes most money.

I am afraid that this could happen eventually.
  Taking into account sensors innovations acceleration curve driven by other companies and processing and fabrications requirements to put those innovations in life I  became very skeptical about Canon ability to keep up with this sensors technologies innovations race.  Sensors are semiconductors companies businesses and that requires huge investments to implement new technologies/processes if company wants to manufacture that themselves.  I think that in some future situation in sensor business will be the same as with processors business for PCs - only few companies with huge resources dedicated to that would be able to keep up with that race.  In PCs market, there are only couple of major players - Intel and AMD. Where  are all  others now?

  The only way to survive for Canon and similar companies in long run is to outsource things that they cannot do better than others.  They can design their sensors and ask Samsung/Sony/Toshiba or Intel to manufacture them or use whatever best is available now. I would be excited if Canon would come to agreement with Aptina to use Aptina sensors and their technologies.  Alternatively, the same for Sony or Samsung.
  Canon is one of the best with the lenses and camera systems, which is traditional business in photography, but their current weakness now is in sensors technology/manufacturing area, which is totally different domain. 
  5Ds would be the perfect device if it would have the best sensor available now, which  in turn would make 5Ds to be the best product on the market serving much wider range of potential buyers than it can do now with Canon sensor.

 Sure that 5Ds will be selling very well even with Canon sensor but if that would be Sony or Aptina sensors with their latest sensors technologies  then a lot of people  (including me) would be attracted back to Canons from using other products like Sony a7R with Canon Lenses for hi-res still photos.

   I am sure I am not the only one who started using a7R with Canon lenses having tired of waiting Canon hi-res body with up to date sensor tech. And as I mentioned in another post I was not disappointed with that combination and what’s more some canon lenses are MUCH more easier and MUCH more convenient to use on a7R body than on Canon body  as Canon does not provide anything to assist with manual focusing and Sony does that very well  (EVF and focus peaking).
  Conceptually and practically for me Sony a7R is just digital back for my Canon lenses and this combination allows me to use the best from both sides (Canon lenses tech and Sony sensor tech).  But I would be much happier  if  I could be able to use better integrated one single system like 5Ds

  I have sad feeling about Canon decision to use their old tech sensor in 5Ds instead of using better sensors from other companies which can do that better than Canon  (this is called outsourcing).
 I had very high expectations for that camera but was disappointed at the end.  If it possible to do product much better and make it  superior then why to degrade the whole system quality/performance  by putting mediocre component inside the system which is not up to the level of other system components.
  By telling mediocre, I do not mean that this sensor is bad technically – it seems that is just using 7 years back sensors technology providing average performance, which could become the bottleneck for the whole system. Being systems designer/integrator for many years  I do not consider this as the best approach for the system design, when product  is intended to have life span for at least about 3-5 years from now or even more for many people and I never do such things myself.  From general systems design/development prospective Canon approach seems to be not very optimal to say it mildly.  In long run term in modern world, companies, which do not keep up with innovations race, put themselves at high risk in the future. We have seen many examples of that.

EOS Bodies / Re: Bingo! New Canon 5Ds has 50.6 MP new rumored specs
« on: February 06, 2015, 11:46:30 AM »
All I wanted was Sony/Nikon like dynamic range, great color, clean low ISO's.
Looks like we aren't getting that and a release 4+ months away! - pretty typical Canon.
Pretty disappointed, I thought they were finally coming around, but not very surprised after all.

I'm getting a Sony a7r for the time being for my TS-Es and see what happens.
I will most likely be getting that 11-24 though if its as good as it looks.

I did that as soon as a7r became available and I was not disappointed.
I am using a7r mostly with Canon TS-E 17, Canon EF 24-70 F.2.8 L II USM and Sony Zeiss  55 F1.8.
What is interesting that using Canon manual TS-E 17 on a7r is much more easier and more convenient than on Canon camera as a7R  has  EVF and focus peaking feature. Viewing 10x enlarged focus area in EVF  with focus peaking makes it extremely easy for manual focusing.

I had a hope that 5Ds would have  sensor with performance similar to Sony sensors  (or Aptina sensors with their new sensor technologies) but this did not come true.
5Ds has  very nice set of new exciting features (which I would be very interested to use) and if that would be combined with sensor which is on par  with existing Sony sensor in a7R   that would be really game changing  combination.
But only increase to 50mpx based on old sensor tech is not  attractive at all to me.   Sony a7R with Canon lenses works perfectly well and provides extremely well looking images.  Will see soon what Sony will answer with new Hi-Res camera ( ???a7rII or a9 ???) which is rumored to have new  tech 46mpx sensor

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: DP Review of New Canon 5Ds
« on: February 06, 2015, 07:12:34 AM »
So, who all are moving over to Nikon / Sony?

I was using 1Dx for several years and mid of the last year I bought  Sony a7R and use it now  with Canon TSE-17 and 24-70 m2 lenses as walk around  camera  for still images (not for sport/events/actions)  and  like very much  look and quality produced by a7R.   
   1Dx still has no competitors for action/sport/events etc. photography except for Nikon D4s which had actually better than 1DX for low light photos.

Few month back bought Sony a7S to try and see what it is about.
I was a bit skeptical about low resolution but I was much impressed when started to use it.
Now I am using a7S most of the time as walk around camera especially for low light photos.
It is just amazing camera. Even with low-resolution (only 12mpx) images produced by  a7S look and feel is if they were made with higher res camera and they are so clean that I could not believe that it is possible before.   Now even 1Dx is used much less frequently but this will stay with me until 1DX2 comes up .
    I had high hopes that  new Canon Hi-Res camera would convince me go back to canon from a7R ( I considered that as temporary solution until new Canon Hi-Res body) so that I would be  able to use available Canon lens in more convenient way than on Sony a7R  but looking at 5Ds/5DsR sample images I was really disappointed.  Images from a7R  (with Canon lenses)  looks more pleasant to me and more clean especially in shadows and sky. 
Always was tempting to go to Pentax 645z but this is too big change for everything. May be eventually will go with Pentax 645Z II.

    So now will be waiting what would be next Sony update with hi-res sensor.
 I believe this will be step forward compared to what they have in a7R.
  There is interesting picture with Sony roadmap from sonyalpharumors rumors
   2015 seems to be year when they are going put all their recent innovations (tested in recent cameras) in the new body expected to be announces soon. And their approach seems to me to be movement in right direction

Already there....

Autopano Giga (Image stitching software) uses GPU cores to accelerate image processing. It makes a HUGE increase in speed...

Autopano Giga  ( ) seems to be very attractive product - seems to be much superiors compared to stitching in Photoshop

Are you using it and if so what is your feedback on that ?
It is not cheap but seems that product cost is for real  value

...when it is possible to utilize more than 1500 processors on latest NVIDA cards for processing instead of just 4 or 8 cores on main CPU.

Just to level expectations - just because modern GPUs have 1500+ cores doesn't mean that you'll gain a 375x increase in performance over a quad core machine by utilising them.

  Sure, I was not telling that using additional 1500 CUDA cores compared to 4 main CPU cores would give 375x increase in performance.  Single CUDA core and single main CPU cores have different processing power and available to them resources and their main target applications are different.
   What I meant that using full CUDA processing resources using all available CUDA cores could provide drastic improvement in performance for RAW image processing.  Especially could be useful for image denoising  which could be splitted into huge number of parallel processes  using separate process for each small image block.

   If on my laptop PRIME DXO denoising  takes  about 150 seconds  for A7R,  80 seconds  for 1DX and ~23 seconds for a7s RAW files  and I see  this process is using all  4 main CPU  cores (8 threads) on laptop up to 100% and  boosts  CPU clocking up to 3.4Ghz and CPU temperature jumps to 100C  then using  1536 cores of NVIDIA GTX 780M could provide drastic performance improvement and reduce load on main CPU.  Even 10X better performance would result in 15sec for a7R, 8 sec for 1Dx and 2 sec for a7S with prime denoising and I believe that could be even much better fully utilizing all CUDA cores

  When I started this topic I provided several inks to the very interesting presentation regarding the subject, one is NDIVA presentation and the other one of the very impressive real time embedded image processing implementations.  That  papers shows what level of performance   improvement   could be achieved using CUDA technology for image and video processing directly from RAW file .

Benchmark results for Fastvideo  industrial cameras implementation with  real time processing are really amazing:
Final Benchmark on GPU (Titan)
CMOSIS image sensor CMV20000, 5120x3840 (~20mpx), 12-bit, 30 fps
   GeForce GTX Titan GPU
   Host to device transfer ~1.5 ms
   Demosaic ~3.1 ms
   JPEG encoding (90%, 4:2:0) ~7.8 ms
   Device to Host transfer ~1.3 ms
   Total: ~13.7 ms
P.S. This is the benchmark for PCIE camera CB-200 from XIMEA
Solution for Photo Hosting
   Task description: load-decode-resize-encode-store
    Image load ~1.5 ms for 2048x2048 jpg image
   JPEG decoding ~3.4 ms
    Downsize to 1024x1024 with bicubic algorithm ~0.7 ms
   JPEG encoding (quality 90%, 4:4:4) ~3.4 ms
    Image store ~1.0 ms
    GPU processing time ~7.5 ms
Total time ~10 ms

I wish to see that level of performance in products that I currently use, especially in some new LR release.

And more info in NVIDAI presentation:

I am wondering when image processing softwares (LR, DXO, C1 etc.)  will start using GPU for image processing .
For C1 that would be quite a while ago with continuing improvemts over the recent years/releases.

Yes , you are right, C1 and DXO uses that to some extent (with GPU acceleration enabled) but I am not sure how efficiently they utilize full GPU power. My understanding that mostly for image rendering and less for RAW processing.
But actually both are pretty fast on my laptop with NVIDIA GTX 780m card

Here are some interesting tests results for C1:

But LR is still not using GPU acceleration and not sure if that this  will be utilized in LR6.

Interesting how long we will be waiting until Adobe will start using GPU acceleration in LR  (including RAW processing not only Open GL for smother  rendering ) to improve performance especially NVIDIA CUDA processing

This is possible and there are some implementations providing extremely fast processing:

 I am wondering when image processing softwares (LR, DXO, C1 etc.)  will start using GPU for image processing .
 This could drastically increase performance and processing capabilities and could help to implement more complicated and more resource demanding algorithms. Especially using NVIDIA CUDA – when it is possible to utilize more than 1500 processors on latest NVIDA cards for processing instead of just 4 or 8 cores on main CPU.
One who first implement this could have great advantage over other competitors.

This question comes to my mind each time when there are news about new major S/W releases – e.g. now with the information that Lightroom 6 will be coming soon.

Earlier Adobe was telling about difficulties to implement parallel processing but this does not reflect current realities.

Simple search on WEB shows that there are patents existing for GPU image processing as well as number implementations and API Libraries to utilize CUDA technology for image and video processing including RAW files processing  and some implementations which provide amazing processing speed.

Here are some references:

1. GPU  Raw image processing patent  US 8098964 B2



I would suggest to have a look at this :

ORIGIN PC is US based PC manufacturer/vendor for professional top level grade laptops and desktops which are fully customizable - could be ordered in any required for customer configuration.
You just need to select laptop , select required configuration, place order and you will get best for your budget.

I ordered  one in my own configuration one year ago and I am extremely pleased with that since I received that.

I spent quite amount of time evaluating different options  from different vendors and found that ORIGIN PC is the best way to go - best investment for available money - you get exactly  what you want and need .
It is not very well known brand - as they specialize not in mass production but in providing custom made system with top performance


Software & Accessories / Re: Photo Editing Laptop Recommendations
« on: January 13, 2015, 12:43:28 PM »
I would suggest to have a look at this :

ORIGIN PC is US based PC manufacturer/vendor for professional top level grade laptops and desktops which are fully customizable - could be ordered in any required for customer configuration.
You just need to select laptop , select required configuration, place order and you will get best for your budget.

I ordered  one in my own configuration one year ago and I am extremely pleased with that since I received that.

I spent quite amount of time evaluating different options  from different vendors and found that ORIGIN PC is the best way to go - best investment for available money - you get exactly  what you want and need .
It is not very well known brand - as they specialize not in mass production but in providing custom made system with top performance


Here is simple example when sensor DR and sensor  IQ are very useful.

If you think the second image is an improvement then we are talking about different things.

+2, the second image is why HDR also stands for Horribly Divergent from Reality.

1.   Interesting enough that all who replied did not get to the main point of the post and immediately started to tell how ugly the second image is))).  But second one was not main point of the message but just previews of how initial image  was pushed in processing and preview was done by windows snipping tool and was not supposed to illustrate anything – just to give idea to which extent initial image was pushed in processing.
     Main point of the post was different and was illustrated by 3 image and that was that when sensor has good DR and IQ it would allow to get similar results as multi-shot HDR images without any efforts and time spent and allowing to push hard processing limits without introducing any visual processing artifacts like noise, halos etc.  even when image is “overcooked”.

  So this was illustrated by 3d image (100% crop of the second image) showing that even when image processed to the limits it does not have noise, halos on extreme contrast transitions and it resolves details up to the every pixel.
2.  Example itself was just “Technical example” using image which mostly contains small details with uniform colors across the frame  not clearly seen on small image especially on preview done by windows snipping tool. 
This is kind of images are most difficult for HDR and could be seen well only with high enough resolution. 
Best for HDR are shots with big enough objects of different colors  in the frame.
So now I attach better preview of the second image in the first post   - directly exported with better resolution.
The same is for 100% crop which is the illustration of the main point of the post explained above- now directly exported from image processor
Also one more image that was not pushed so far and processed to have more realistic look – just compressed DR to fit visual limits – no black or white clipping and a little bit of contrast added in shadows.
Probably most will find that more pleasant for their eyes.
 And also 100% crop of it – to illustrate once more that was explained above about absence of visual processing artifacts usually found on muli-shot HDR images 
Click on any image to open it and see with better resolution.

  In any case all that images should not be considered as final images - that is just first step of processing   -  DR  compression to fit visual range.   After that person could adjust it  to personal taste by doing selective color editing (contrast/saturation/luminance) differently on highlights, midtones and shadows and doing other kinds of tone mapping  processing using most suited tools for that.

Hope all that would clarify what I was trying to say in my previous post

Here is simple example when sensor DR and sensor  IQ are very useful.
Just simple shot in autumn forest.

This is single shot exposed for the sky.
Done by using A7R with Canon TSE-17

First image – as shot, no adjustments in LR5 snapshot on LR5 screen (full image).

Second one is one processed in DXO PRO 10 – done without any efforts just in few seconds to do few adjustments. This snapshot of the processed file as seen on the windows image viewer
 For me DXO Pro 10 it is much better tool than LR5 for such kind of images – it is has separate adjustments for micro contrast, fine contrast (in LR only clarity)  and it also allows to adjust contrast separately in highlights, midtones and shadows. In LR5 it is much more difficult  to get result close to this

Third one is 100% crop from the most contract image area to see image IQ and quality of shadows recovery.
Image DR and IQ matters much for me as it save my time and efforts in getting quickly required result.

For low light all around camera my current favorite is A7S - it make possible to do things that were almost impossible before.
For events/sport and action 1Dx is still the best. All cameras just complement each other in different situations.
I have a feeling that many 1DX owners following the same route. 

 As Jrista mentioned in his previous post   it would be interesting to see comparison of normalized to 8mb images from NX1, 7DM2, 5Dm3 and A7S.  Attached are ones at ISO6400, ISO12800 and ISO 25600.
  Normalized images comparison just illustrates what was said before about NX1 noise characteristics  which are better than 7Dm2  and  on normalized images comparison  it is even more obvious that NX1 is much less noisy at high ISO than 7Dm2 and not very  far behind of 5Dm3.  To my opinion for general photography NX1 is much more advanced camera and has more potential than 7Dm2 and I definitely I would recommend NX1 in favor of 7Dm2 if someone asks my advice.  Also NX1 AF tracking capabilities looks much more advanced to me than 7Dm2 AF system adopted from 1DX.   NX1 AF tracking system looks like something borrowed from military object tracking systems used in optical weapon object recognition and targeting system on missiles and military jet fighters. Maybe Samsung does something this area and they used that experience this in NX1
    I have feeling that now when semiconductors giants like Samsung and Sony are on the market with the latest imaging sensor technologies and their resources in R&D and manufacturing capabilities and the rapidly increasing speed of new technologies development and implementation Canon just cannot compete any more on the sensor market (which is also semiconductor technology).  Even if Canon would develop something in their R&D LAB they still need to manufacture that and this is where is their big weakness (manufacturing processes/technologies etc.) which is very difficult to overcome and they cannot run long in semiconductors technology race (as this is not their primary business), unless they ask some other big player (e.g. Samsung) to manufacture their chips, like Apple was doing for their iPhones and iPads.
   I would be interesting to see (just my wish) Samsung coming on MF sensor market and possibly build up their own affordable ML MF camera.  They just can buy one of the MF makers (e.g. Hasselblad) and enter market easily with top-notch sensor technologies.
  On comparisons shots is also could be seen that 1Dx and A7S are almost on par with each other, maybe A7S a bit better.   But practically (from my experience) A7S images are easier to clean and they have more margin for post processing (could be pushed more) before exhibiting any problems.
  Also there are couple of comparisons with P645Z.
   Images from P645Z almost looks one stop better that 1Dx or A7S at ISO 12800 and ISO25600.
So far nothing can compete with latest MF sensor from Sony for low light performance.
Hopefully we will see soon ML MF camera from Sony.

That's my point. Statistically, the NX1 has lower noise, which leads to richer color and contrast (hence the reason the parts of the NX1 image that are supposed to be dark look dark! :P)

It does have very slightly lower noise, but that is not the reason it's a darker image which is what leads to the difference in our perception of color and contrast.

Again I'll note that with color NR the 7D II ends up looking a tiny bit cleaner, i.e. lower luminance noise. But in the end neither requires a different work flow or more work. Neither has "better data."

My perception is a bit different and I tend to agree with  Jrista.
   My comparison of RAW samples (no NR at all - no Chroma no Luminance  NR)  at DP comparison tool   which I posted a bit earlier shows that at  ISO3200 NX1 RAW samples visually  look better/cleaner/crisper than ones from 7Dm2  and as I also noted NX1 noise pattern is visually better and more pleasant than noise pattern of 7Dm2. NX1 is less blotchy , has a bit more higher noise frequencies and a bit more regular  - so should be easier to clean up compared to 7Dm2 . Blotchy noise pattern from many Canon Cameras is something that was always irritating  me as well as low performance at low contrast details in red channel - just smearing them away. 1Dx fortunately is better in this respect though also suffering a bit.   
Also on this samples NX1 is not downsampled/normalized  to 7Dm2 resolution which would also add more difference in favor of NX1.

  I was interested to see if NX1 could compete with A7S - but so far A7S is far ahead of all the competitors.
Just see here  as an example one of  test picture done handheld by A7S in extremely low  light  conditions at ISO20000.
One small screen snapshot and also  full image exported from LR

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