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'[TECH] Camera sensitivity and noise'
2011\03\25@173321 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
The recent talk about pictures kicked me in the butt to finish something I
started a month or two ago.  I took some pictures with my new camera at
different ISO settings to get a feeling for what is usable under what
conditions.  If anyone has a Nikon D3S or is considering getting one, the
results would likely be worth a look at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.

It would be interesting to see the same tests on other cameras, especially
over time as I expect this is a area where improvement will be steady and
substantial.

Some companies seem to focus on "megapixel madness" versus low light or low
noise.  Nikon clearly was thinking the latter when they designed the D3S.

However, the D3X goes the opposite route, perhaps showing how even high end
camera designers disagree, or maybe that marketing felt they had to make a
showing with many megapixels or be perceived to be behind.  If anyone has
access to a D3X, I'd love to see equivalent tests done, including shrinking
and filtering the high resolution D3X image to the same resolution at the
D3S so that noise and sensitivity can be compared apples to apples.  More
noise is acceptable at higher resolution, but it's not clear whether the
extra resolution of the D3X, and other megapixel madness cameras from other
vendors, is enough to compensate for the extra noise.  I suspect not for the
current crop of cameras, but real data would be interesting to see.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\26@070321 by RussellMc

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              Direct CC + list copy intended.

>  If anyone has a Nikon D3S or is considering getting one, the
> results would likely be worth a look at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.

Absolutely no point in looking.
A complete waste of time :-)
BECAUSE the D3S is THE best there is. If you want the ultimate in low
noise or high ISO performance, it's the one to buy.

If you want substantially more portability and half or less the price
tag, buy a D700.
The D700 is about half a stop behind the D3S. Maybe one stop some places. Maybe.

I want a D700S, but they don't sell it yet :-).
I'll probably end up with a D700 - you can almost fit one in a waist
pack (bum bag to some). Almost.
Ideally, wait for he D700S (or D800 or whatever) and THEN buy a D700
second hand.

If you want to compare sensors this is the place
Hours (literally) of fun here for the camera keen.
Note that I've set it here to the ISO/Sports tab.
Others may ant to use colour depth or dynamic range tabs.

Note here how the D3S is half a head better than anything else for
sports/high ISO/low noise use.

          http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Camera-Sensor/Sensor-rankings/(type)/usecase_sports

Their software is bearable too

         http://www.dxo.com/intl/photo

They claim and seem to show that their RAW converter is substantially
better than the competition.


    Russell


{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\26@075223 by Lee Jones

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> If anyone has a Nikon D3S or is considering getting one, the
> results would likely be worth a look at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.

Your examples show up your film background... Image sensor's
native speed may not be in the 100 / 200 / 400 sequence.  Higher
& lower speeds are created by applying gain & anti-gain via the
electronics to match common & expected ISO speeds.

Sensor's native speed may be ISO 160, so that may have lower
noise then ISO 100 (e.g. to get ISO 100, sensor is used at 160
then sensitivity is processed down).  Each processing step can
increase noise or reduce quality.  Entire article on this in
a very recent Digital Photo Pro magazine.

I know I hadn't thought of digital SLR "native sensor speed" in
anything but old 100 / 200 / 400 film speed sequence until I
read about it recently.

So you may want to repeat your tests at other ISO settings and
look for lowest noise value.  Modern digital SLR sensors are so
good that you may not be able to see a difference at "low" (say,
under 800) ISO settings.

As far as I know, neither Canon, Nikon, or other major brand
release data on the native sensor sensitivity.  So you can't
just go look it up in the datasheet. <sigh>

                                               Lee Jone

2011\03\26@085728 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Lee Jones wrote:
> Your examples show up your film background... Image sensor's
> native speed may not be in the 100 / 200 / 400 sequence.  Higher
> & lower speeds are created by applying gain & anti-gain via the
> electronics to match common & expected ISO speeds.

Yes, I understand that.  However, I was measuring the camera to learn how to
use it most effectively in different circumstances.  For that purpose the
whole process is a black box.  It really doesn't matter *how* the camera
achieves what it does, only *what* it can be counted on to achieve in
various conditions.

Also, setting the ISO a little off from whatever the native value is isn't
going to make a whole lot of difference.  The further off you get, the more
post processing is applied.  If the native value is 160 and I set it to 200,
I seriously doubt I'll be able to see the difference in quality the 1/3
F-stop post processing correction will add.

Did you look at the pictures I posted?  You can see the quality changes very
little for whole F-stop increments in the 200 to 1600 range.  It's not going
to suddenly have a spike of different characteristics in there that's not
caught by one of the adjacent tests no more than 1/2 F-stop away.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\26@164406 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
RussellMc wrote:
>                Direct CC + list copy intended.

I can't see a good reason for that since now I get two copies and I have to
be careful when doing a reply.

>> If anyone has a Nikon D3S or is considering getting one, the
>> results would likely be worth a look at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.
>
> Absolutely no point in looking.
> A complete waste of time :-)
> BECAUSE the D3S is THE best there is. If you want the ultimate in low
> noise or high ISO performance, it's the one to buy.

I wasn't doing this to decide which camera is better, but rather to see what
the tradeoffs mean when you're out there taking pictures.

> I want a D700S, but they don't sell it yet :-).

I thought you were a Minolta guy, or was that Canon?  Once you acquire
lenses and other accessories, it makes switching brands more painful.

> Note here how the D3S is half a head better than anything else for
> sports/high ISO/low noise use.
>
>
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Camera-Sensor/Sensor-rankings/(type)/usecase_sports

Their criteria are fine as far as they go, but still lacking.  To be fair,
they should standardize on a particular image size.  A camera could have a
crappy signal to noise ratio but with a gazillion pixels so that when you
filter the result to the same size as another camera it achieves the same
results.  For example, they give the D3X a rating of 2000 versus the D3S
with a rating of 3250.  Does that take into account the fact that the D3X
gives you something like 22(?) Mpixels versus 12.something for the D3S or
not?  If it doesn't, then the comparison is not fair because I could take
the noisier D3X image, reduce it to the same size ad the D3S image, and
increase its signal to noise ratio in the process.

2011\03\27@091657 by Lee Jones

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Lee Jones wrote:
>> Your examples show up your film background... Image sensor's
>> native speed may not be in the 100 / 200 / 400 sequence.  Higher
>> & lower speeds are created by applying gain & anti-gain via the
>> electronics to match common & expected ISO speeds.

Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Yes, I understand that.  However, I was measuring the camera to
> learn how to use it most effectively in different circumstances.
> For that purpose the whole process is a black box.  It really
> doesn't matter *how* the camera achieves what it does, only *what*
> it can be counted on to achieve in various conditions.

*how* may matter if it directly leads to better or worse noise.
But currently we must infer the how from the results.

> Also, setting the ISO a little off from whatever the native value
> is isn't going to make a whole lot of difference.  The further off
> you get, the more post processing is applied.  If the native value
> is 160 and I set it to 200, I seriously doubt I'll be able to see
> the difference in quality the 1/3 F-stop post processing correction
> will add.

Some sequences I've seen show that 1/3 F-stop -- at certain points
-- does make a visual difference in noise.

Possible cause (from others, not my idea but sounds reasonable)
is that process inside camera has 2 phases.  Gain stage operates
in whole stops.  Separate ISO loss stage operates in fractions of
an F-stop, follows gain stage, and introduces more noise than gain
stage.  For example, assume sensor's native sensitivity is ISO 160.
Going up to ISO 640 takes 2 stops of gain.  Going to ISO 400 is
done using 2 stops of gain followed by 2/3 stop of speed loss.
If that's true, you are better off (noise wise) using ISO 640
than using ISO 400.

Harder to evaluate this on your D3S or other full frame sensor
digital SLR body because the sensors are now very low noise.

Easier to see some of these issues arise when testing an APS-C
size sensor in a mid-range camera.  Original work that found the
non-intuitive results was done by someone with a Canon EOS 7D
taking photos over the entire ISO range with lens cap on to
maximize noise visibility.

> Did you look at the pictures I posted?

Yes.

> You can see the quality changes very little for whole F-stop
> increments in the 200 to 1600 range.

And image quality from higher end Nikon & Canon bodies is great.
When pressed in low light, I'm now using ISO 3200 and getting
roughly the same noise level as a couple of body generations
back when used at ISO 800.

Because of lenses owned, I use Canon bodies.

In your other post, as I recall, Russell uses Minolta lenses
and bodies and migrated to Sony after they bought Minolta.

                                               Le

2011\03\27@185939 by RussellMc

face picon face
> In your other post, as I recall, Russell uses Minolta lenses
> and bodies and migrated to Sony after they bought Minolta.

Yes*.
But, alas, will probably migrate to Nikon within the year if Sony
continue to refuse to make a real top end camera.
The Sony A900 produces the world's best (arguably) 35mm studio images
but is a wan joke against a top Nikon or Canon full frame 35mm at high
ISO.

Nikon because I most desire high ISO / low light performance and Nikon
is king in that area, so far. Not by much but by enough.
D3S is the best you can get, but is both too large and too costly for
what I want or can reasonably afford. D700 is very very close and
Nikon will almost certainly produce a D700s or D800 or whatever this
year that is D700 physical size but >= D3S in performance. A 2nd hand
D700 may become very price competitive at that stage :-).

The great "risk" is that Nikon will be swayed by the desire to
maximise overall return (funny that) and produce a single compromise
rather than two more niche models The D3 has D3S and D3X. The D3S is
"only" 12 Mp (megapixel) against the 18-20-24- ... mP madness of the
herd, but it simply smiles sweetly and happily trounces them when it
comes to low noise performance. People are talking about possible 15 /
18 / ??? mP successors. Even if they manage to equal or exceed D3S
performance they could do better again at lower mP. FWIW.

The D700 meets my desired spec. Better is always better but D700
works. ie street photography on poorly lit streets at night hand-held
(with due care) and no flash and "bride about to walk up aisle at back
of church and in shadows", hand-held with due care. "With due care"
and stabilisation can give you 2 to 3 stops of shutter speed over what
the basic rule of thumb used to say you can do hand held. (Speed_min =
1/focal length in mm). Nothing helps too much if the subject moves
;-).


          Russell

* Most is "just money" but Minolta made some nice lenses, most of
which I could (and/or would) never afford.

Greatest lens loss for me is my Minolta 500mm reflex (mirror) lens.
f8 fixed. 500mm fixed. vvv compact and low weight.
The ONLY auto focus mirror lens made now or ever. All others are manual focus.
In trickier situations it needs manual focusing but often AF is excellent

2011\03\28@090211 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
RussellMc wrote:
> But, alas, will probably migrate to Nikon within the year if Sony
> continue to refuse to make a real top end camera.

I'm not convinced Sony is really serious about high end professional level
cameras.  Maybe they are working on it in a back room someplace, but Sony
does a lot of different things, and I wouldn't be too surprised if
management finds someplace else to spend the resources it would take to
become a world class professional camera maker, and then stay there.

> The Sony A900 produces the world's best (arguably) 35mm studio images
> but is a wan joke against a top Nikon or Canon full frame 35mm at high
> ISO.

So it takes the best pictures except when it doesn't?

> Nikon because I most desire high ISO / low light performance and Nikon
> is king in that area, so far. Not by much but by enough.

Canon is never far behind, but I think caught a case of megapixel madness.
They may yet get over it.  Nikon is currently on top and has been there for
a few years, but long term either of these two will probably be at or near
enough to the top to make jumping ship not worthwhile.

> D3S is the best you can get, but is both too large and too costly for
> what I want or can reasonably afford. D700 is very very close and
> Nikon will almost certainly produce a D700s or D800 or whatever this
> year that is D700 physical size but >= D3S in performance.

Probably.  The D3S is a really great camera with two downsides that I can
see.  First, it is a bit pricy, but of course we're talking about a business
expenses, right ;-)   Second, it's a tank.  I knew that up front and got it
anyway because in my opinion that is outweighed by its other really great
features.  If you want something small and light, this isn't it.  However, I
fully plan to schlepp mine into the back country on many occasions, just as
I did my F3T.  Keep in mind a decent complement of lenses will outweigh even
the D3S.

Surprisingly, I also find the D3S actually a bit more comfortable to hang
around my neck over my shoulder when hiking than the F3.  The F3 was smaller
and lighter, but a lens on it would make it tip down so that it would hang
at a awkward 45 degree angle.  It was tricky to keep it from bouncing too
much or digging in and being uncomfortable.  The D3 hangs more flat against
my body, which makes it both dig in less and bounce around less.  I do have
to flip it over my shoulder more when I might have kept the F3 hanging
straight down from my neck when walking.  You will feel the D3 on your neck
after a while.

I don't know what the D4 will hold or when it's due.  When it comes out, the
D3 and derivative models like the D700 will likely suddenly get cheaper.  Of
course when you see the D4 you may not want the old D3 stuff anymore ;-)

> The D700 meets my desired spec. Better is always better but D700
> works.

The D700 is a nice camera.  I don't remember exactly why I rejected it, but
it might have been the lack of 100% viewfinder.  It's unfortunate that
camera makers think only those that buy their highest models can be trusted
to properly frame a shot.  That's the kind of nannyness I expect in a point
and shoot, not in a semi-pro model.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\28@091434 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 9:02 AM, Olin Lathrop <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Canon is never far behind, but I think caught a case of megapixel madness..
> They may yet get over it.  Nikon is currently on top and has been there for
> a few years, but long term either of these two will probably be at or near
> enough to the top to make jumping ship not worthwhile.

Canon seems to be getting a bit better at this, at least on some of
their lines. I have a G10 and a G12. The G10 is around 16 megapixels,
and the G12 is 10.something (off the top of my head). The G12 has
astoundingly better low light capability, and I'm really happy with
it.

These aren't the level of DSLRs, but they're a step above the average
point and shoot too.

Josh
-- A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
        -Douglas Adams

2011\03\28@092947 by Gordon

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face
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM, Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam@spam@embedinc.com> wrote:
> I'm not convinced Sony is really serious about high end professional level
> cameras.  Maybe they are working on it in a back room someplace, but Sony
> does a lot of different things, and I wouldn't be too surprised if
> management finds someplace else to spend the resources it would take to
> become a world class professional camera maker, and then stay there.

Nikon don't make their own sensors, unlike Canon and Sony. From what I
gather from the Web they have to outsource the manufacture of the
sensors.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-9319-9802

The Sony link looks like it is down played by Nikon as they say it is
exclusively for the D3x. The D3x isn't the only sensor that Sony has
made for Nikon. How much Sony were involved in the sensor is unknown.

This could be why they do not fight Nikon at the top end, as they
still get sensor sale for each Nikon sold? probably at a very good
margin :-)

Best regards,
Gordon

2011\03\28@114236 by RussellMc

face picon face
> > But, alas, will probably migrate to Nikon within the year if Sony
> > continue to refuse to make a real top end camera.

> I'm not convinced Sony is really serious about high end professional level
> cameras.  Maybe they are working on it in a back room someplace, but Sony
> does a lot of different things, and I wouldn't be too surprised if
> management finds someplace else to spend the resources it would take to
> become a world class professional camera maker, and then stay there.

Sony are a money maker that makes cameras.
Canon and Nikon tend to be camera makers that try to make money.

Sony can do almost anything they want.
Up until now they haven't wanted to make a really decent top end
camera for sporting use.
The A900 at low ISO is about unbeatable.
In a well lit studio situation it is stunningly good.
Above (or even at) ISO 400 it starts to fade compared to top opposition.

I have a Sony A700.
The top APSC camera for a long time was the Nikon D300.
Sony made the sensor.
My A700 used an essentially identical sensor.
It took Sony 4 software revisions to get the A700 images as good as
those of the D300.
The lastest competition in APSC (half frame) is pulling away from my
A700. Nikon have followed with the D300S 9and maybe another since).
Sony have not followed.
An A700 replacement has been shown in mockup form months ago.
That's easy and meaningless.
Sony will produce another top line APSC camera some time this year
(make that "probably" now, post Tsunami).
But there is a good chance that it will be more like an A900 and less
like a D700 than it should be.

Note that Sony are king of the professional video camera market. They
can do almost anything they choose.

I am "oldish but active".
I will lug what I have to where I need to BUT a D3 size machines is
larger than I'd rather lug.
If the camera is smaller and lighter there will be more photos that
are takeable that otherwise wouldn't be.
hat sounds extreme, but extreme happens ;-).
Quite apart from the price issue.
If the D700 had never been built then a D3 size machine may be "necessary".
Alas, they spoiled us :-)


Russell

2011\03\28@115406 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Tue, 2011-03-29 at 04:41 +1300, RussellMc wrote:
> > > But, alas, will probably migrate to Nikon within the year if Sony
> > > continue to refuse to make a real top end camera.
>
> > I'm not convinced Sony is really serious about high end professional level
> > cameras.  Maybe they are working on it in a back room someplace, but Sony
> > does a lot of different things, and I wouldn't be too surprised if
> > management finds someplace else to spend the resources it would take to
> > become a world class professional camera maker, and then stay there.
>
> Sony are a money maker that makes cameras.
> Canon and Nikon tend to be camera makers that try to make money.

FWIW when I was researching my DSLR purchase (nowhere in the league of
the models you are discussing BTW) Sony had some VERY attractively
priced options.

So I went to the store and tried the models I had narrowed down to.
While I REALLY like the Sony I was astonished by one thing: The
viewfinder on BOTH Sony models I was considering didn't seem to account
for the fact that some users would be wearing eyeglasses.

What I mean by this is on the Sony models when looking through the
viewfinder with my glasses I couldn't see the whole "frame", I had to
move my head around a little to see the exposure reading, and then move
a little more to see one corner, then more for the other corner, etc. I
was blown away.

Perhaps there was an attachment to accommodate people with eyeglasses? I
looked for a bit but there was no obvious adjustment that would have
remedied the situation. All I know is the Canon and Nikon I was
considering didn't have that problem at all.
I ended up with the Canon (was more comfortable with the interface, and
it had the live view feature that while not used much, is VERY useful
when needed).

TTYL

2011\03\28@120920 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> So I went to the store and tried the models I had narrowed down to.
> While I REALLY like the Sony I was astonished by one thing: The
> viewfinder on BOTH Sony models I was considering didn't seem to
> account for the fact that some users would be wearing eyeglasses.

That's surprising because other camera makers have addressed this issue for
years.  Back in 1982 when I got my Nikon F3-T, the F3 was available with a
regular and "high eyepoint" viewfinder for exactly this reason.  The T
version only came in the high eyepoint flavor.

I don't understand what the problem is either.  The viewfinders meant for
glasses have a little more narrow angle of view, but the picture is still
big and easy to see.  I don't get what the drawback is of making the image
the little bit narrower all the time.  Nikon thought it was acceptable for
the F3-T.  The D3 works with glasses and doesn't have a wider viewfinder
option, and I haven't heard anyone complain about it.  When I use it with
contacts or bare eye (it has a focus adjustment that can compensate for not
using your glasses), I don't find the image too small.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\28@154005 by Denny Esterline

picon face
<severe trimming>

> Canon is never far behind, but I think caught a case of megapixel madness..

<more severe trimming, so this is probably way out of context...>

First, know that I'm only following this thread as an interested
observer, my best camera is a 4mp Olympus point and shoot from 5 years
ago. :-)

You say "megapixel madness" like it's a bad thing... But you also
suggested earlier that the test pictures should be at a specified size
to prevent post processing to improve the signal to noise ratio.
Together this leaves me a little perplexed.

As a (possibly naive) consumer, I don't really care about all the
details to achieve it, I just want pretty pictures :-). Does it really
matter if that comes from a superb 12mp sensor or is post processed
from a 20mp sensor?

-Denn

2011\03\28@162912 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Denny Esterline wrote:
> You say "megapixel madness" like it's a bad thing...

In isolation, more pixels are better.  However, Canon seems to have gone for
quantity at the expense of quality.  Their megapixel madness craze seems to
have taken engineering focus from other areas that would be of more benefit..

> But you also
> suggested earlier that the test pictures should be at a specified size
> to prevent post processing to improve the signal to noise ratio.

No, not to prevent post processing, but to specifically require it so that
the noise can be evaluated apples to apples.

> As a (possibly naive) consumer, I don't really care about all the
> details to achieve it, I just want pretty pictures :-). Does it really
> matter if that comes from a superb 12mp sensor or is post processed
> from a 20mp sensor?

That was exactly my point.  A 20Mp sensor can have a little more noise per
pixel and still come out to the same equivalent noise when post-processed to
the same resolution as a 12Mp sensor, for example.  This was also the point
I was making with the right image of the pairs in
http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.  Those are snippets of the picture after the
horizontal dimension was reduced to 1024 pixels.  You can clearly see this
effect at the high ISO settings on that web page where the left picture has
obvious pixel noise, but the right picture looks pretty much the same for
all ISO settings.  Another way to say this is that camera can easily do
clean ISO 12800 when your ultimate aim is 1024 wide picture.


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Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\28@165225 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
On Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:40 -0700, "Denny Esterline" wrote:
> <severe trimming>
>
> > Canon is never far behind, but I think caught a case of megapixel madness.
>
> <more severe trimming, so this is probably way out of context...>
>
> First, know that I'm only following this thread as an interested
> observer, my best camera is a 4mp Olympus point and shoot from 5 years
> ago. :-)
>
> You say "megapixel madness" like it's a bad thing... But you also
> suggested earlier that the test pictures should be at a specified size
> to prevent post processing to improve the signal to noise ratio.
> Together this leaves me a little perplexed.
>
> As a (possibly naive) consumer, I don't really care about all the
> details to achieve it, I just want pretty pictures :-). Does it really
> matter if that comes from a superb 12mp sensor or is post processed
> from a 20mp sensor?

I know this is a generalization, but I figure if you have two sensors
that are the same physical size but one has 20 Mp and the other 12 Mp,
the 20 Mp sensor will have more noise. And as a further generalization I
would assume that the available area dedicated to sensing is less on the
20 Mp sensor.

But if you have lots of light, both will give you a good picture, and
the 20 Mp sensor has higher resolution.

Cheerful regards,

Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be

2011\03\28@185043 by Denny Esterline

picon face
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamKILLspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Denny Esterline wrote:
>> You say "megapixel madness" like it's a bad thing...
>
> In isolation, more pixels are better.  However, Canon seems to have gone for
> quantity at the expense of quality.  Their megapixel madness craze seems to
> have taken engineering focus from other areas that would be of more benefit.
>
>> But you also
>> suggested earlier that the test pictures should be at a specified size
>> to prevent post processing to improve the signal to noise ratio.
>
> No, not to prevent post processing, but to specifically require it so that
> the noise can be evaluated apples to apples.
>
Ok, poorly phrased on my part. Let's try "prevent people from gaming
the comparison".

{Quote hidden}

And I understand that, I'm trying to understand why a person would
choose a specific 12mp camera that has been accused of being big and
heavy (at least relatively) over a 20+mp unit if it can produce same
or better picture quality with minimal post-processing? Or to put it
another way, If a superb 12mp unit has a SNR of X, if I take a less
than superb 20 mp unit and post process it to 12mp - is the SNR better
or worse than X?


-Denny

2011\03\29@080458 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Denny Esterline wrote:
> And I understand that, I'm trying to understand why a person would
> choose a specific 12mp camera that has been accused of being big and
> heavy (at least relatively) over a 20+mp unit if it can produce same
> or better picture quality with minimal post-processing?

Three reasons I didn't chose the D3X (20+Mp) over the D3S (12+Mp):

First, from the little technical information available, it seems the D3X
does not have the same low light performance, even after you filter the
larger picture down to the same size as the D3S.  Remember, a factor of 2 in
pixels only means a factor of 1.4 in each dimension.  If anyone has access
to a D3X or any other high Mp camera, please show us tests like what I
posted at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.  Or make the raw pictures available
and I'll do the conversion, taking snippets, and stuff.

Second, it's the same size and weight anyway.  The difference is the sensor,
which makes no practical change to either size or weight.

Third, it was more expensive (although if I felt is was definitely a
superior camera I might have waited a little while longer and gotten it
instead).


********************************************************************
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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\29@082507 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 29/03/2011 13:05, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Three reasons I didn't chose the D3X (20+Mp) over the D3S (12+Mp):
>
> First, from the little technical information available, it seems the D3X
> does not have the same low light performance, even after you filter the
> larger picture down to the same size as the D3S.  Remember, a factor of 2 in
> pixels only means a factor of 1.4 in each dimension.

Ideally the next worth while step above a 12MP is a 48MP  with a somewhat larger sensor, probably alternate rows offset by 1/2 pixel and cleverer design of sensor cells with less non-sensor dead space in each pixel.

A 20MP isn't quite 1.4 times resolution, yet has a much higher % of  dead space per pixel, hence can't compete with state of art 12MP using same design rules.

Of course any significantly larger sensor needs a different lens family :( and much bigger camera.

2011\03\29@085101 by RussellMc

face picon face
> First, from the little technical information available, it seems the D3X
> does not have the same low light performance, even after you filter the
> larger picture down to the same size as the D3S.  Remember, a factor of 2 in
> pixels only means a factor of 1.4 in each dimension.  If anyone has access
> to a D3X or any other high Mp camera, please show us tests like what I
> posted at http://www.embedinc.com/d3s.  Or make the raw pictures available
> and I'll do the conversion, taking snippets, and stuff.

You could pore over photos all day.
Or, as i suggested at the start, just do as Olin did and buy a D3S.
THE pre-eminent sports photography camera in the world today.
Bar none.

For studio shots the battle is more intense.
Even Sony's entries must be considered.
Results/$ the A850 is hard to beat.

______________

This, sez I, and a "few" others, is the pre-eminent camera review site
on the web
Look at the specs pages THEN jump to the conclusions page then the samples page.
The many pages in the middle are a bonus ;-).

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/

D3S            http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3s/
D3X            http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3x/
D3              http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3/

D700   http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond700/
Giant in a (large) dwarfs body.
Same sensor as d3.
0.5 to 1 stop behind D3S in noise performance.
Trounces D3X in noise performance.

D700 / D3 1075/1420 gram
Not vast in absolute terms.
Large when on end of extended arm.
(A: I do).
Flash/No flash internally. Matters.

Sensor and core image train is the same.
D3 does many 'little' things to make it better.
But same photo as D3 would take  in most real world cases.


Mi A700 fwiw  http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra700/

2011\03\29@085627 by Mohit (Lists)
picon face
Michael Watterson wrote:
> Ideally the next worth while step above a 12MP is a 48MP  with a
> somewhat larger sensor, probably alternate rows offset by 1/2 pixel and
> cleverer design of sensor cells with less non-sensor dead space in each
> pixel.
http://www.pixera.com/technology/diractor.htm

2011\03\29@090218 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 29/03/2011 13:25, Michael Watterson wrote:
> and
> cleverer design of sensor cells with less non-sensor dead space in each
> pixel.

? Do modern cameras use
RG
GB
layout to improve horizontal resolution and sensitivity (as Green takes part of Red and Blue)
instead of
RGB
RGB

Do any use
CY
YM
Which arguably would be about 50% to 100% more sensitive?

2011\03\29@091901 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Michael Watterson wrote:
> Of course any significantly larger sensor needs a different lens
> family :( and much bigger camera.

We're not quite there yet.  The D3S produces a image with 4256 pixels
accross 36mm, which is 118 pixels/mm, or 59 "lines" per mm.  Good lenses are
more capable than that, and the sensor only records one of the colors per
pixel.

Let's say that due to optics, more than 80 lines/mm is pointless.  That is
160 pix/mm, or 5760 x 3840 = 22 Mpix for a 36mm x 24mm "35mm" frame.  That
would also be the resolution for each color.  We're not there yet.  Maybe in
another decade the practical resolution limit will be hit for professional
35mm cameras and it will only be about sensitivity, dynamic range, and
noise.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\29@092531 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Michael Watterson wrote:
> ? Do modern cameras use
> RG
> GB
> layout to improve horizontal resolution and sensitivity (as Green
> takes part of Red and Blue)
> instead of
> RGB
> RGB

Of course.  Look up something called a "Bayer pattern".  Different cameras
have different patterns, but this is the basic idea.

> Do any use
> CY
> YM
> Which arguably would be about 50% to 100% more sensitive?

I sortof remember hearing of this being done, but can't remember who did it..


********************************************************************
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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\29@094920 by Michael Watterson

face picon face
On 29/03/2011 14:19, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Michael Watterson wrote:
>> >  Of course any significantly larger sensor needs a different lens
>> >  family:(  and much bigger camera.
> We're not quite there yet.  The D3S produces a image with 4256 pixels
> accross 36mm, which is 118 pixels/mm, or 59 "lines" per mm.  Good lenses are
> more capable than that, and the sensor only records one of the colors per
> pixel.
>
> Let's say that due to optics, more than 80 lines/mm is pointless.

I hadn't thought of that aspect. Good point.
I was thinking of 48MP sensor exactly based on 12MP rather than higher density. That would obviously need larger format lens as there is limit to image size (i.e. 35mm lenses adapted to a 2" x 2" body will give shading and distortion at edges of image), apart from fact your "Standard" lens would be a different focal length for same field of view.

The other way works (35mm format standard lens becomes telephoto on a 1/4" image sensor)

2011\03\29@100024 by RussellMc

face picon face
> Let's say that due to optics, more than 80 lines/mm is pointless.  That is
> 160 pix/mm, or 5760 x 3840 = 22 Mpix for a 36mm x 24mm "35mm" frame.  That
> would also be the resolution for each color.  We're not there yet.  Maybe in
> another decade the practical resolution limit will be hit for professional
> 35mm cameras and it will only be about sensitivity, dynamic range, and
> noise.

Understood, but lenses really are already a limiting factor for top
photographers, and a significant factor for the kenner of the hoi
polloi.
There are reasons why people can and do sell. $1000, $3000 and $6000
lenses. Not quite so much reason why they do and can sell $10,000,
$30,000 and more lenses (except  in > 35mm formats where anything
goes)

Getting a GOOD result at all apertures and focal lengrths is MUCH
harder and dearer on a full frame 35mm than on an APSC half frame.

Once you get into the world of MTF (modulation transfer function)
(wot's lenses got to do with modulation then ???)  and its kin you are
in a brave new (or very old world) where people will pore over results
interminably.

MTF Explained
Do I really need to know this stuff
THEIR titles ! :-)
Excellent site BTW

       http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understanding-mtf.shtml

Contrast and MTF basics

   http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/lens-contrast.shtml

MTF curves
Aghhhhhhhhhhh!

           http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF.html

And again


http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-quality-mtf-resolution.htm

How to choose the lens you need using MTF charts.
Walker!

         http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/how_to_choose_a_lens.html

Messieur Rockwell.
(Many  roads lead via)

           http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mtf.htm

http://www.photodo.com/

http://www.quickmtf.com/


Interesting but dangerous table

             http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/bestcameralensbrand.html

2011\03\29@124651 by alan.b.pearce

face picon face
> Once you get into the world of MTF (modulation transfer function)
> (wot's lenses got to do with modulation then ???)  and its kin you are
> in a brave new (or very old world) where people will pore over results
> interminably.
....

Yeah, I know, the optics guys here get all set up with their modelling software attempting to identify reflection patterns within lens systems, so they can cancel them out when looking at the stars ...

How to make a space camera ...

Get several lens made to spec, test them all, then select which ones you want to put together in one lens system, including rotation data for each lens ...
-- Scanned by iCritical.

2011\03\29@172822 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 29, 2011, at 6:59 AM, RussellMc wrote:

> There are reasons why people can and do sell. $1000, $3000 and $6000
> lenses. Not quite so much reason why they do and can sell $10,000,
> $30,000 and more lenses (except  in > 35mm formats where anything
> goes)

I'm wondering if we're going to start comparing photography stuff to  audiophile stuff.  I guess we're still in the realm where differences  are measurable, but are they really viewable under normal circumstances?

BillW

2011\03\29@174932 by mcd

flavicon
face
RusselMc wrote:

> but are they really viewable under normal circumstances?

Depends on whose normal circumstances.

When you are taking a picture of a circuit board or components, you want a
small f stop to get depth of field.  Unless you have high speed, that
translates into slow shutter speed.  Sure, a tripod can help you but it is
a bit of a pain.  And generally more light is tough because so many things
on a circuit board are shiny you need really diffuse light which normally
isn't real bright.

Unless you have a macro lens chances are you will crop pretty severely so
Olin's graininess is a factor.

So if you are posting pictures of the kids on Facebook it probably doesn't
matter, but if you are one of this crowd, it certainly does.

--McD

2011\03\29@180910 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
'William Chops" Westfield ' <.....westfwKILLspamspam.....mac.com wrote:
> I'm wondering if we're going to start comparing photography stuff to
> audiophile stuff.  I guess we're still in the realm where differences
> are measurable, but are they really viewable under normal
> circumstances?

Unlike audiophool stuff, most of these parameters have a solid scientific
basis and are measurable.

What they mean under "normal viewing conditions" is a totally different
matter.  First, what are "normal viewing conditions"?  Does that mean a
picture in a web page where it probably gets 1000 pixels accross or less?
Does it mean a print you can hold in your hand?  Does it mean a poster on
the wall you can't get close to?  Does it mean a poster on the wall you can
walk right up to?

Different parameters will matter in different situations.  Some of the
parameters don't necessarily effect what the final picture looks like, but
whether it was possible to take at all, or perhaps how easy it was to take.

For example, a camera with good low light capability allows a faster shutter
speed all else being equal.  That means there will be more cases where hand
holding the camera with a telephoto lens will be feasible.  It's not that
the final picture will look better, but that you'll never get to see the
ones that don't look good or weren't possible.  Low light capability is
useful in a number of other cases too, like action sports, in the woods,
etc.

A good example of this is a picture I took many years ago,
http://www.embedinc.com/olin/squirrel_1024.jpg.  That was with my Nikon
F3-T, a 300mm lens, and Kodachrome 64 film.  ISO 64 is pitifully insensitive
by today's standard, and was even low at the time (1985).  I was using
Kodachrome for other reasons than sensitivity.  With film, you couldn't
easily just swap out a different roll with different sensitivity as you can
now with a digital camera.  In any case, there I was with the squirrel, the
camera, 300mm lens, and daylight.  When something like this comes up, you're
stuck with whatever you have on you.  Even if had had a tripod, I wouldn't
have taken a chance on scaring the squirrel by mounting the camera on it.
There were also no trees near where I was standing.  The squirrel was
perched in a tree at the edge of a clump of woods with a large meadow all
around.  All I could do was open the aperture all the way, focus really
carefully, hold my breath and other tricks to keep the camera still, and
take a bunch of shots and hope for the best.  I took a few pictures, walked
a little closer, took a few more pictures, walked closer, etc.  In the end,
I was amazed how close the squirrel let me get.  I also got lucky that this
one shot at close range didn't get wobbled.  Some others did.  You'll never
see the ones that didn't work out.

This is a case where 1 F-stop less sensitivity probably would have killed
the picture.  It would have been in the long list of "oh well" situations
where no good picture resulted and I would have forgotten about it long ago..
This was a case where the improbably happened.  In other words, good results
would be rare from a number of similar circumstances.  Another couple
F-stops of sensitivity would definitely increase the odds.

Higher resolution also enables things you can't do otherwise.  Let's say I
want to take a picture of a problem on a circuit board to show the
manufacturer.  In that case I can arrange for sufficient light and/or set up
a tripod to allow for a long exposure.  In other words, sensitivity isn't a
big deal in this case, but resolution is.  Every 4x more pixels essentially
gives me a 2x longer lens, which can be very helpful when doing macro shots
of small things since it's often hard to get close and the choices of lenses
is greatly diminished.

Each parameter has its purpose, although they don't all directly map to
"better picture" in whatever the final viewing conditions are.


********************************************************************
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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\29@224900 by RussellMc

face picon face
> > There are reasons why people can and do sell. $1000, $3000 and $6000
> > lenses. Not quite so much reason why they do and can sell $10,000,
> > $30,000 and more lenses (except  in > 35mm formats where anything
> > goes)

> I'm wondering if we're going to start comparing photography stuff to
> audiophile stuff.  I guess we're still in the realm where differences
> are measurable, but are they really viewable under normal circumstances?

That was my reason for making a distinction between $1000 - $6000
range lenses and $10,000 - $30,000 lenses.
As Olin notes, the parameters that matter can in large part be measured.
As my many links showed - the major tool of MTF has a little more to
it than providing an eg 0 - 100 scale.
But, as in most things, the law of diminishing returns applies. There
are not so many tope end snak-oil sllers with lenses as with eg
audio-cables.
But at the very top end, once you are very very good as a lens maker,
you can probably double the price in return for some fairly esoteric
and only possibly useful manipulations. eg Carl Zeiss are among the
very very top of lens makers. If they have a $US5000 lens and decide
to make a $10,000 special version, for whatever reason, they WILL sell
some of them, rgarless of merit. The merit will be there, but few
would benefit greatly from them.

______________

Photographically this old (Sony do not make an equivalent) lens is
about as good as it gets.
Apart from being f3.5 (4 x less light than my f 1.8) it is superb.
$200-$300 second hand typically.
Less if lucky.


http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-50-F3.5-Macro_lens96.html

______________

Possibly my best optical quality lens was also the lowest price one I
own, apart from "kit" lenses which don't count. About $US150 a year or
so ago. Sonly f1.8 50mm "prime". Superb. The f1.7 costs about double
and the f1.4 more to much more again. This is a plastic bodied lens
that would split if I dropped it except it is so light that it may
bounce. However, the lenses inside are based on a cash cow Minolta
desogn from probably 20+ years back which has long paid for itself.
Sony probably make a handsome profit on thes percentage wise, while
providing a performance:$ ratio possibly unmatched by anything else
you can buy.

This is an extremely good lense review site. Dedicated to Minolta A
mount equipment but 3rd party lenses often translate between brands.
User assessments go to make up an aggregate score with user comments
in 5 categories being available. For a lens that is at all known this
is about as good a way as any of deciding what a lens is like in all
real world situations.  Sometimes you can get a better idea than doing
a brief test yourself. Sometimes.

  http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp

My 50mm f1.8 SAL50F18 is here.
User overall rating 4.33/5 which is very good but not utterly superb.
But sharpness is 4.58, colour 4.52, distortion 4.53 and flare control
4.,.43 all from 60 reviews.
Build is 3.57 due to the cheap plastic body - still OK considering,
and I frankly am very happy with ther resultant $ tradeoff.
$149 retail.

       http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sony-AF-DT-50-F1.8-SAM_lens523.html

The $369 f1.4 50mm is here
4.61 overall, with 4.73, 4.78, 4.85, 4.46 ratings as abovce and build = 4..21.
A definitely superior lens.
100 reviewers.

 http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sony-AF-50-F1.4-_lens305.html

The f1.4 lets in (1.8/1.4)^2 = 65% more light than the f1.8 "fully
stopped down".
Which helps - and the depth of field is even shallower - which is one
reason why you mayu use a lens at f 1.x.

This was taken with my f 1.8 50mm lens, and makes ue of several of
it's attributes.
Theo\rough glass, low level display lighting 0.2 seconds hand held -
unlike Olin & squirrel I had display cases to lean on.
f 1.8 allows me to pick out one head only.

       http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/atw/china1102/rmatw1102/random-musings-dog-2.html

Same lens THROUGH (essentially invisible) cage bars at f1.8
        http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/srs/through-the-bars.html

Smaller aperture but 250 mm focal length allows a similar result.
(Only one head but no background)
This lens cost about 5 x as much but isn't as "good" (but is very
flexible as 18-250mm)

       http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/srs/dsc08575-10000227.html

500mm at close range does the same thing  - sometimes more so
   public.fotki.com/RussellMc/srs/pict2720r2bs.html
  About $800 new for Sony version (mirror lens)



..

2011\03\30@002155 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 29, 2011, at 3:09 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> What they mean under "normal viewing conditions" is a totally  
> different
> matter.  First, what are "normal viewing conditions"?  Does that  
> mean a
> picture in a web page where it probably gets 1000 pixels accross or  
> less?

Well, that was what you were mentioning on your test photo page.  And  they were "artistic" rather than technical photos, so perhaps it would  be difficult to tell the noise from the leaves in any case.  It was  sort of a "if I'm publishing this sort of photo on a web page, I have  proven that I can leave the ISO setting up in the stratosphere", and I  was thinking that if you're going to publish that sort of photo on a  web page, you could have used a $200 P&S...  For the sort of technical  photography someone else was mentioning, the quality improvements you  get from a solid tripod and good lighting setup are probably more  significant than what you get from going from a $1000 to a $5000  camera.  Maybe...

My own photophile leanings have been strongly challenged by the whole  "convenience vs quality" debate.  The last three times I've made the  SLR vs All-in-1 decision, I've come down on the latter side.  And I've  started carrying around one of those flattish P&S cameras in my waist  pack...

BillW

2011\03\30@020143 by RussellMc

face picon face
> My own photophile leanings have been strongly challenged by the whole
> "convenience vs quality" debate.  The last three times I've made the
> SLR vs All-in-1 decision, I've come down on the latter side.  And I've
> started carrying around one of those flattish P&S cameras in my waist
> pack...

I go for convenience - how can I most conveniently carry the camera I
need to get the results that I want? " :-)

There are vanishingly few places that you are liable to take your P&S
that I wouldn't  take my DSLR, probably. For those I take my  older
and thus smaller Sanyo Xacti video + stills camera from my shirt
pocket (really) and use that. (Not HD, but this records VGA 30 fps
MPEG4, unlike most other pretenders).

I carry a DSLR in my waist pack,  often :-)
Not a small one either.
But bigger than Olin's.
(Except I lost the waist pack recently en route Shanghai-Brunei:-(.
Camera was not in it but $2000 of technical goodies were.

> For the sort of technical
> photography someone else was mentioning, the quality improvements you
> get from a solid tripod and good lighting setup are probably more
> significant than what you get from going from a $1000 to a $5000
> camera.  Maybe...

For fixed scenes you do well with the highest Mp and lots of light.
The eg Sony A850 will beat the Nikon D700.Or the D3S. And will give a
D3X a good fight.

Where the desired speed-noise-light tradeoff is set by the environment
or your desires then a high performance sensor counts (~= low noise
per ISO ratio).

Tripod and lighting help in a "studio" or fixed landscape situation,
provided the lens is good enough.
No amount of light and stability helps bad MTR, bad falloff across
image or in corners, chromatic aberration, and much more.
Generally speaking a $1000 lens should not be terrible, a $2000 -
$4000 lens should be getting professional and over that should do
something special. That's a lot of money for bits of cut glass :-).

My $150 50mm f1.8 is the exception that proves the rule because it is
a prime - fixed focal length - so can be designed to do one thing as
well as possible for the $. The f1.4 is noticeably better but they can
charge almost 2.5 times as much. (Some of that is the better body but
that is not a vast component, probably).

Camera or lens stabilisation (several methods) allows lower shutter
speeds for a given degree of camera stability but are of no help in
most cases for target movement.
Some cameras will focus track a target within an image (one of my
older Minoltas does) but this is not tye same as compensating for
image motion. It's certainly possible but I'm not aware of it being
done - could easily have missed it.


          Russell
.

2011\03\30@064510 by Lee Jones

flavicon
face
>> [12mp up to 48mp digital sensors]

Digital camera backs with more than 48 megapixels are already
available.  See medium format equipment from Phase One, Leaf,
Hasselblad, etc.  Sensor sizes are in the class of 6cm x 4.5cm
with large photosites.  Some have modes where 4 photosites are
merged into a single pixel for higher ISO speed while keeping
noise _very_ low.  Serious downside is prices are $20,000 and
upwards due to low volume & difficulty in manufacturing them.

Even more than the past, medium format is reserved for high end
fashion, commercial advertising, etc.  Clients want a really
clean image when doing double-page magazine (or catalog) spread
or enlarging to billboard size or even larger (e.g. the huge
semi-transparent prints which cover half of the side of a
30-story hotel in Las Vegas).


>> [very expensive lenses]
>> but are [differences] really viewable under normal circumstances?

> Depends on whose normal circumstances.
>
> When you are taking a picture of a circuit board or components,
> you want a small f stop to get depth of field.

If you're doing a true vertical, a small F-stop may give you enough
depth of field.  Once aperture gets too small, diffraction effects
can cause image degradation.

If you want an oblique angle, then there may not be a small enough
F-stop to give you sufficient depth of field.  In these cases, a
tilt-shift lens or a view camera with bellows, lens, & digital back
allows for tilting and/or shifting the image in such a way that you
can keep the entire circuit board in focus at much larger F-stops.
Due to the very low sales volumes, these components are expensive
to very expensive.

> a tripod can help you but it is a bit of a pain.

You need to use the tools that allow you to do the job.  Tripod
is mandatory in many cases for professional results.  Technology
helps here -- it's much easier for me to carry a carbon-fiber
tripod than my older aluminum models (still used in-studio).

> And generally more light is tough because so many things on a
> circuit board are shiny you need really diffuse light which normally
> isn't real bright.

Soft box on a monolight (studio flash) is pretty soft & bright.

                                               Le

2011\03\30@065237 by Lee Jones

flavicon
face
>>> [12mp up to 48mp digital sensors]

> Digital camera backs with more than 48 megapixels are already
> available.  See medium format equipment from Phase One, Leaf,
> Hasselblad, etc.  Sensor sizes are in the class of 6cm x 4.5cm
> with large photosites. [xxx] Serious downside is prices are
> $20,000 and upwards

One thing I forgot to include.

The equipment is now so expensive and replaced by newer models
frequently enough that many photographers rent it for the period
of a specific shoot.  This is one of the ways to use the equipment
enough to justify the acquisition cost.  Downside is that it results
in even smaller production runs.

                                               Lee Jone

2011\03\30@072432 by RussellMc

face picon face
For sports photgraphy the D3S sensor is the best there is using the
benchmarks I referred to.

For portrait and landscapes and similar static shots  some of the Leaf
large format sensors are better.

Even Olin is unlikely to be found carrying a Leaf around. Not the
camera sort anyway.



                       Russell

On 30 March 2011 23:56, Lee Jones <EraseMEleespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTfrumble.claremont.edu> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\30@081450 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
RussellMc wrote:
>
http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/atw/china1102/rmatw1102/random-musings-dog-2.html

Nice picture, Russell!

This goes to show that 98% of what makes a good picture is not technology,
but thought put into framing, use of light, and in this case particularly
depth of field.  Technology is a enabler, but the fanciest camera can't
prevent Joe Sixpack from putting the head in the center of a large picture,
for example.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\30@083011 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
'William Chops" Westfield ' <westfwspamspam_OUTmac.com wrote:
> Well, that was what you were mentioning on your test photo page.  And
> they were "artistic" rather than technical photos, so perhaps it would
> be difficult to tell the noise from the leaves in any case.

Actually I didn't mean that picture to be artistic at all.  I just plunked
the camera on a tripod in my front yard and pointed it at something with a
good range of contrast and high detail.

> It was
> sort of a "if I'm publishing this sort of photo on a web page, I have
> proven that I can leave the ISO setting up in the stratosphere", and I
> was thinking that if you're going to publish that sort of photo on a
> web page, you could have used a $200 P&S...

For that particular scene, yes, but that wasn't the point.  Those tests
showed that if all I want is a web page photo, I can use ISO 12800 with no
penalty.  Your average point and shoot can't come close to that.  That means
there will be many situations where the high ISO lets me take a picture that
would be inaccessible at a lower sensitivity.

Also, most of the time I'm not willing to limit myself to web page quality
when taking a picture.

Again, this was just a test so I could learn what I can get away with in
different situations.

> For the sort of technical
> photography someone else was mentioning, the quality improvements you
> get from a solid tripod and good lighting setup are probably more
> significant than what you get from going from a $1000 to a $5000
> camera.  Maybe...

Usually true if you can control the lighting and have the time and space to
set up a tripod.  However, there are also cases where you come upon a photo
opportunity that is short lived, in difficult light, and you don't have a
tripod with you nor time to set it up.  I have taken a tripod on hikes, but
most of the time I don't.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2011\03\30@083726 by RussellMc

face picon face
> http://public.fotki.com/RussellMc/atw/china1102/rmatw1102/random-musings-dog-2.html
>
> Nice picture, Russell!
>
> This goes to show that 98% of what makes a good picture is not technology,
> but thought put into framing, use of light, and in this case particularly
> depth of field.  Technology is a enabler, but the fanciest camera can't
> prevent Joe Sixpack from putting the head in the center of a large picture,
> for example.

That makes me Joe sixpack in this case :-).
The head is in fact pretty much in the centre :-) - but the large size
of the strongly blurred head to the right (hopefully) stops the mind
seeing this. JHopefully :-).

Just about to get a too few hours sleep then up to drive about 90
miles south to an annual hot air balloon launch.

Hope to arrive in time to see setup and predawn launch of dome
followed by dawn launch of most. Photos will happen.


         Russell



     Russell

2011\03\30@100851 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Usually true if you can control the lighting and have the time and space to
> set up a tripod.  However, there are also cases where you come upon a photo
> opportunity that is short lived, in difficult light, and you don't have a
> tripod with you nor time to set it up.  I have taken a tripod on hikes, but
> most of the time I don't.

Do you have a walking stick that can function as a monopod? Those can be
handy at times.

-- Dave Twee

2011\03\30@150951 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Dave Tweed wrote:
> Do you have a walking stick that can function as a monopod? Those can
> be handy at times.

I personally don't like hiking with a walking stick.  I might carry a ice
axe in winter, but that's about it.  Most of the time I use nearby trees,
rocks, or sit down on the ground with knee bent and the top of the knee to
steady the camera.  This is where higher sensitivity will make things much
easier.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000


'[TECH] Camera sensitivity and noise'
2011\04\03@013130 by RussellMc
face picon face
This appears to be the latest message that Mike sent to list.

Mike appears to be the source of the recent email bounces.
As I can't advise him, as the message bounces, it would be useful if
anyone here who is otherways in contact with him asks him to check
this.


    Russell
..


On 30 March 2011 01:25, Michael Watterson <@spam@mikeKILLspamspamradioway.org> wrote:
> On 29/03/2011 13:05, Olin Lathrop wrote:
>> Three reasons I didn't chose the D3X (20+Mp) over the D3S (12+Mp):
>

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