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Author Topic: MFDB or dSLR?  (Read 12318 times)
feppe
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« on: September 09, 2007, 09:46:02 AM »
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Based on the lively discussion on another thread, I came up with the idea to have a quiz on whether LL readers can really tell the difference between a MFDB and dSLR shot based on a web-sized JPEG.

So I spent the Sunday afternoon on PhotoSig, PBase, photo.net and flickr, collecting images from both formats. The results is a quiz with a wide variety of 50 MFDB and 50 dSLR shots, with various subject matters, level of expertise, etc. The quiz takes 10-20 minutes, so it's not as bad as it sounds.

So, let's see people put their money where their mouth is and get answers to the questions. Can you tell the difference on unfamiliar photographs? Can you pass the quiz (75% correct)? Will you dare to post your results here? Who will be the King of the Backspotters? And perhaps most importantly: is there any point in this?

Well, here's the quiz. Enjoy!
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amsp
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2007, 10:54:48 AM »
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Well, I got 64%. There is just no way in hell you can judge from pics that size. Besides, a dslr in the hands of a good photographer will produce better results than a DB in the hands of a crappy one any day of the week, and most of the pics in that survey were a sorry sight. I've made amazing 70x100cm enlargements from my 1Ds, but I can also honestly say that a perfect shot from my P25 will make any dslr green with envy. The detail and depth is almost scary at times. This will of course only make a good photo better, nothing more. In the end it's always the image that is important, and no one will be a better photographer just by buying a DB.
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samuel_js
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2007, 11:08:08 AM »
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The pictures are too small and to compressed.
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Willow Photography
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2007, 11:21:14 AM »
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Strange: I also got 64%.  
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Willow Photography
Craig Lamson
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 11:53:09 AM »
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Strange: I also got 64%.   
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=138201\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

62%
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Craig Lamson Photo
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Dustbak
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 12:41:09 PM »
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Hahaha,


I got no more than 47% but indeed it is very difficult to assess anything based on those small JPG's. To me most could have been DSLR and some even cell phones.
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 12:55:21 PM »
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60% correct.
I have to judge on 3D look with small pictures and a lot of pictures are just not that good lit to start with.

On the landscapes you will see some pictures looking VERY flat and some looking stunning 3Dimensional.
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nicolaasdb
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 01:17:28 PM »
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59%,,,but I judged a lot of them on their crop!
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 01:17:38 PM »
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60% correct.
I have to judge on 3D look with small pictures and a lot of pictures are just not that good lit to start with.

On the landscapes you will see some pictures looking VERY flat and some looking stunning 3Dimensional.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=138212\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wait a second....Are you now saying its the lighting and not the back that is causing the "3d" look?  

If these backs were so far superior to the dslr, that "3d" look should be visable regardlees of the quality of the light.

So which is it, the back or the "light"?
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Jeffreytotaro
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2007, 01:56:16 PM »
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Your premise is ridiculous.  Judging image quality on web-sized jpegs?Huh
Why not judge them based on verbal descriptions?
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Jeffrey Totaro
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feppe
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2007, 02:24:38 PM »
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Here are some interim results after 50 completed surveys:

68% of respondents have more than 5 years photography experience
76% are professionals

Of those shots that the responders were unsure of (40-60%):
- 20 were dSLR shots
- 20 were MFDB shots

Of those photos which were overwhelmingly (75+%) voted either dSLR or MFDB:
- Those shots which were voted to be dSRL: 11 correct, 1 incorrect
- Those shots which were voted to be MFDB: 5 correct, 5 incorrect

I'm not drawing any conclusions at this moment, although the latter pairing is quite interesting. I have quite a bit of bandwidth left so I'll keep this on until I hit 90% or so of my bw for the month - if I do. Hmm, seems unlikely: my bw can take 3000 completed surveys, so spread the link far and wide!

Please note that the images are culled from the web from various sources, so I have no access to originals or full-sized crops, so what you see is what you get
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 02:56:08 PM by feppe » Logged

Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2007, 02:41:58 PM »
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The pictures are too small and to compressed.

They're no smaller than some of the images posted to show the "3Dness" of MFDBs in the other thread.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 03:02:06 PM »
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Your premise is ridiculous.  Judging image quality on web-sized jpegs?Huh

The claim was made by several MFDB shooters that the difference between MFDB and DSLR images was distinguishable even in web-sized JPEGs, and they even posted samples to "prove" this. Read the thread cited in the first post and the point of all this will make more sense.
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pss
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 03:17:30 PM »
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i would like to thank you officially for showing what really is a no-brainer anyway...you cannot judge anything from a jpeg on the web...even if it was much bigger....there is so much more to this...and a very well shot, well manipulated DSLR file can beat a poorly shot DMFB file any day...even in print....
some of the landscape shots look like they are layered exposures which would make it almost impossible to tell from a print (as long as the mpix count is close)...
btw i got 51% and i pretty much based it on what format i thought the guy behind the camera thought he should have at that point...
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samuel_js
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 04:24:47 PM »
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It seems like a few people here are warming up for war, while others like me are tired, specially after the almost 15 pages of the other thread. So I'll write the same as in the other one.
Time to close the door.  
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2007, 04:45:54 PM »
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Hi,
Maybe you don't get how depth works (I don't mean disrespect).

Let's make it very simple.

When you photograph a white piece of paper lying on the floor front straight above no human soul can see the difference between a DSLR, P&S, MF etc.

HOWEVER
When you go in the forest in the goldenhours and make a picture with some nice fog and the light hitting the trees I think the story changes alot and alot of people will see much more depth in the MF capture.

It's not ONLY the light, it's not ONLY the MF backs.
It's the combination of both.

But actually that's 101 photography
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vgogolak
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2007, 05:09:19 PM »
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Given the number of  people who got over 60%, and the fact that these were jpgs without direct comparisons I would say the evidence is clear that the difference CAN be seen. As a statistician I would say 60% plus is not going to be expected from random selections.,(I selected randomly, to get 44%, within is within standard error for a 100 N sample)

A lot of them looked like slr to me, not 3d, detailed, sharp without artifacts etc. that I expect from MFDB. Then I remembered a Steinway fellow saying he could make it sound like a Wurlitzer, or Knabe, or Baldwin. I don't think a Wurlitzer piano can be made to sound like a Steiway!

Good fun anyway, and some good shooting  (making the point that you don't always need to top tool, as a MFDB (oops, maybe can't say that !  :-)

Victor
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feppe
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2007, 05:21:24 PM »
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Given the number of  people who got over 60%, and the fact that these were jpgs without direct comparisons I would say the evidence is clear that the difference CAN be seen. As a statistician I would say 60% plus is not going to be expected from random selections.,(I selected randomly, to get 44%, within is within standard error for a 100 N sample)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=138260\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's way too early to draw any conclusions, certainly not "clear" evidence. I'm guessing that 60% success rate is within 1 standard deviation from 50% (ie. guessing). That would mean there is no statistically significant result of respondents accurately telling whether a shot is MDFB or dSLR. But I'll hold with statistical number crunching until I get a significant number of results - and we're not nearly there yet.
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rainer_v
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2007, 05:38:52 PM »
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shame on me.
46%.

i am not worth to use mf gear.
i knew it ..

thanks a lot for the work you made yourself in preparing the test  .....
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 06:35:50 PM by rainer_v » Logged

rainer viertlböck
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Quentin
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2007, 06:50:30 PM »
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61% correct.  

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
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