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Author Topic: Calling All Digital Techs  (Read 18352 times)
gwhitf
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2010, 12:28:23 PM »
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At this stage in the game, with me having posted that question last night, I've also received several private emails from trusted acquaintences. When I factor that into what's been posted here, I'd say it's falling in this order so far, and pretty convincingly so:

1). Capture One 5.

2). Leaf 11.

3). Phocus 2.

Thanks for everyone's responses and honesty. For me, that H4D40 was looking pretty appealing, but until I hear several independent raves about Phocus tethered, I've got to hold off. Would be interesting to now really come up one with ONE back per brand, (Leaf, Hassie, Phase) that seems best suited for this scenario, and then deal with the camera body later. I'd love to not consider crop-chips, but the bigger ones just seem to bog down the pipelines with unnecessary (?) data.
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emcphoto
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2010, 01:15:21 PM »
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As avery busy digital tech located in NY also working in LA & MIA, I have to say I've never had a situation where a client wanted to use a Hasselblad. I don't know the numbers but I'd imagine the rental numbers to pros in these markets for Hassleblad are small.  Of course almost all Phase backs are on H2's. I'd say things are 75% Canon and the rest Phase and Leaf with Leaf owning the still-life market.  Recently we used a P65 on location tethered to a Macbook Pro and it worked flawlessly. This wasn't the newest laptop either. Pretty quick to get on screen and very little if any connection issues that I remember. Rarely I am impressed by hardware/software in digital photography performance but this was the exception. But Capture One 5 is a dog working with Canon files.  USB tethered the software locks up - constantly losing files and even just basic editing and corrections are very slow.  I don't understand it, I am looking into tethering w/ LR3 to see if its better but Phase One's color & tone is so much better that I would still have to go through C15 for Canon files.  I guess C15 is optimized to work with Phase DB files even though they are much larger than the Canon files.  
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JonathanBenoit
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2010, 01:25:08 PM »
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Quote from: emcphoto
As avery busy digital tech located in NY also working in LA & MIA, I have to say I've never had a situation where a client wanted to use a Hasselblad. I don't know the numbers but I'd imagine the rental numbers to pros in these markets for Hassleblad are small.  Of course almost all Phase backs are on H2's. I'd say things are 75% Canon and the rest Phase and Leaf with Leaf owning the still-life market.  Recently we used a P65 on location tethered to a Macbook Pro and it worked flawlessly. This wasn't the newest laptop either. Pretty quick to get on screen and very little if any connection issues that I remember. Rarely I am impressed by hardware/software in digital photography performance but this was the exception. But Capture One 5 is a dog working with Canon files.  USB tethered the software locks up - constantly losing files and even just basic editing and corrections are very slow.  I don't understand it, I am looking into tethering w/ LR3 to see if its better but Phase One's color & tone is so much better that I would still have to go through C15 for Canon files.  I guess C15 is optimized to work with Phase DB files even though they are much larger than the Canon files.

What about Leaf backs make them the choice for still life?
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2010, 01:32:50 PM »
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Quote from: JonathanBenoit
What about Leaf backs make them the choice for still life?

Especially before Phase began using DALSA sensors (40+ and 65+) the Live Preview on Leaf was a full step ahead of the Phase Live Preview.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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gwhitf
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2010, 01:34:50 PM »
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Quote from: emcphoto
As avery busy digital tech located in NY also working in LA & MIA, I have to say I've never had a situation where a client wanted to use a Hasselblad. I don't know the numbers but I'd imagine the rental numbers to pros in these markets for Hassleblad are small.  Of course almost all Phase backs are on H2's.

Another reason why the closure of the Hasselblad system is so sad. Here they are now, with a nice body and back, in the H4d40, but if everyone is afraid of the software, then they don't sell a back OR a body OR a lens. And then you look up one day, and you've moved completely away from Hasselblad.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 03:45:00 PM by gwhitf » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2010, 01:45:21 PM »
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Quote from: emcphoto
But Capture One 5 is a dog working with Canon files.  USB tethered the software locks up - constantly losing files and even just basic editing and corrections are very slow.  I don't understand it, I am looking into tethering w/ LR3 to see if its better but Phase One's color & tone is so much better that I would still have to go through C15 for Canon files.  I guess C15 is optimized to work with Phase DB files even though they are much larger than the Canon files.

Right now the SDK that Canon provides to Phase and other 3rd party software is not as fast as the one they provide in their own software (EOS Utility). That means files transfer a bit less quickly and the consistency of speed is not as good (sometimes in C1 when you hit the buffer it will start to take two shots quickly followed by twice the normal wait). That SDK is also not great in OSX 10.6 which means it sometimes locks up (very dependent on what camera, what computer etc). This is not really Capture One's fault, but trust me I could care less whose "fault" it is. In the real world all that matters is results. So for now I'd suggest one of two solutions:
1) Shoot with Canon EOS Utility into a hot-folder of Capture One ("camera - hot folder enabled")
2) Use OSX 10.5.8 and accept a slightly slower overall speed

It's also important (as always) to keep your Canon body firmware up to date and to keep your computer in clean good working order (e.g. cleaning out previous versions of C1 before you do an update). I'd also strongly suggestion Capture One 5.1.1 over other versions for Canon tethering.

I know how frustrating that is given that C1 does do a much better job of the color and tone with Canon files than Lightroom/Bridge and EOS utility / Bridge are extremely limited in their functionality.

Tethering aside, the speed/performance of C1 with Canon files is very very strong. Editing through several hundred shots is a breeze. Processing quick reference JPGs (1000px) is 1-4 images per second depending on the computer and which canon camera. If this is not your experience I'd talk to your dealer to figure out what's mucking things up.

Doug Peterson
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« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 01:48:01 PM by dougpetersonci » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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emcphoto
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« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2010, 03:57:44 PM »
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Quote from: dougpetersonci
Right now the SDK that Canon provides to Phase and other 3rd party software is not as fast as the one they provide in their own software (EOS Utility). That means files transfer a bit less quickly and the consistency of speed is not as good (sometimes in C1 when you hit the buffer it will start to take two shots quickly followed by twice the normal wait). That SDK is also not great in OSX 10.6 which means it sometimes locks up (very dependent on what camera, what computer etc). This is not really Capture One's fault, but trust me I could care less whose "fault" it is. In the real world all that matters is results. So for now I'd suggest one of two solutions:
1) Shoot with Canon EOS Utility into a hot-folder of Capture One ("camera - hot folder enabled")
2) Use OSX 10.5.8 and accept a slightly slower overall speed

It's also important (as always) to keep your Canon body firmware up to date and to keep your computer in clean good working order (e.g. cleaning out previous versions of C1 before you do an update). I'd also strongly suggestion Capture One 5.1.1 over other versions for Canon tethering.

I know how frustrating that is given that C1 does do a much better job of the color and tone with Canon files than Lightroom/Bridge and EOS utility / Bridge are extremely limited in their functionality.

Tethering aside, the speed/performance of C1 with Canon files is very very strong. Editing through several hundred shots is a breeze. Processing quick reference JPGs (1000px) is 1-4 images per second depending on the computer and which canon camera. If this is not your experience I'd talk to your dealer to figure out what's mucking things up.

Doug Peterson
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Hi Doug,

Can you explain the hot folder method in C15? I've used it w/LR2 but not C15. As a phase one dealer can you say you find it works better than C15 alone?

Thanks
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emcphoto
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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2010, 04:05:57 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
Another reason why the closure of Hasselblad is so sad. Here they are now, with a nice body and back, in the H4d40, but if everyone is afraid of the software, then they don't sell a back OR a body OR a lens. And then you look up one day, and you've moved completely away from Hasselblad.


I should also say no one I work really likes the H2 its just better than what's out there. Alot of inconsistencies over the years, firmware incompatibility between lens and body, having to send out of town for repairs, etc.  Its too much in my opinion, tries to be all auto everything, I just want a camera that works.  One you don't need a scientist or computer engineer to repair. But the lenses are nice.The new Phase One with the tiny grip is a non-starter.  If it was up to me everyone would shoot Canon or a RZ.  But whatever was done to make the P65 and the P40 I assume (which i haven't used yet) work so well is very impressive.
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gwhitf
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« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2010, 04:11:51 PM »
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Quote from: emcphoto
I'd say things are 75% Canon and the rest Phase and Leaf with Leaf owning the still-life market.

Not sure why this amazes me to read this, but it does. 75% of your jobs use Canon? Nikon at all? It's that much more 35mm than MF in your business?

I also agree with your statement above -- you use the H2 not because you like it; it's because there's nothing any better.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 04:13:05 PM by gwhitf » Logged
emcphoto
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« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2010, 04:17:19 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
Not sure why this amazes me to read this, but it does. 75% of your jobs use Canon? Nikon at all? It's that much more 35mm than MF in your business?


No Nikon. Eventhough I hear the new cameras are nice. Everyone used to shoot Nikon film cameras but we all know what happened there.

Alot of jobs are moving away from DB to Canon's there's just less need for that format in commercial photography. Mainly its about getting the shots - very few can tell the difference. A recent P65 job was supposed to be a markIII but they wanted to save money on retouching so they only wanted to retouch one file for the ad. they needed the option of a horizontal and vertical so we went with a P65 for the pixels.  but it was rented so the cost was negligible.
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« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2010, 06:00:20 PM »
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See for me the P40+ handles both the full res images when needed and sensor plus replaces the canon/nikon. Sure it is maybe not as convenient but even though I am using a MF for a stupid PR gig sometimes , why not. 10 mpx is plenty even though a canon would be easier. I am more than happy to just use the one system for many different types of work. Just keeps my gear life simple and the P40+ screams at ISO 800 and 1600 on sensor plus. I don't need any higher ISO and never have. But on the other hand at Full res . not sure anything is better except it's higher res. cousins. The files are extremely good. Now is the DF perfect , to some no . But I actually like it , not in love with it but I'm not in love with any body that is out there anyway. Except the DMR and the one that fit me very nicely. The S2 I don't like the handling at all, so go figure. Lenses are too heavy over the body , bad balance for me. The Hassy H i do kind of like as far as body. But I'm a C1 junkie and that program gets better all the time and i really like the Phase backs. Just like anything some compromises are made but I have no love at all for a canon in any form. Been there done that and will NOT return. People just have different check list but I do see the P40+ handling these extreme jobs that are being talked about with relative ease. Reason I said demo them because i really feel for some folks this maybe there answer, it's that good. The files are the story the rest is getting there. But your never going to get exactly what you want in a body , we all are different.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 06:06:45 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

pschefz
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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2010, 06:33:16 PM »
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regardless of software, SSD (s) in you macbook pro will make more difference than processor speed....the new OWC are supposedly really amazing...i have a ocz vertex and it still BLOWS any HD out of the water....especially when it comes to capture and small reads and writes....no comparison....also: battery life is (a little) better and no moving parts....

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gwhitf
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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2010, 07:05:49 PM »
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Quote from: pschefz
regardless of software, SSD (s) in you macbook pro will make more difference than processor speed....the new OWC are supposedly really amazing...i have a ocz vertex and it still BLOWS any HD out of the water....especially when it comes to capture and small reads and writes....no comparison....also: battery life is (a little) better and no moving parts....

Paul,

Can you explain this setup? Every time I hear it mentioned, I think of Scratch Disk for some reason, and I associate it with Lost Data. I know that is nuts, but I can't picture how you'd set up your Mac to run with this alien drive SSD thing. Does it just show up as a second disk on the Desktop? But it's your Boot Disk?
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gwhitf
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2010, 07:12:23 PM »
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Quote from: emcphoto
Alot of jobs are moving away from DB to Canon's there's just less need for that format in commercial photography. Mainly its about getting the shots - very few can tell the difference.

I have been using the 5d2 for a good while now, and I don't tell anyone this, but I tether with EOS Utility and DPP coupled. Gorgeous fast Previews, full screen. Bulletproof operation on MacBookPro; never crashes. It's not sexy, but it works great. The odd thing: I end up doing the color tweaks in the Menu of the 5d2, using Color Temperature, when I want to change the color. I don't do it with the software. I know many people would laugh, but once you do it for a while, it's super fast -- just go to CustomMenu in the camera, and super fast, move the ColorTemp from say 2800 to 5500, even up to 7500 for warm. Kinda like sticking on an 85B, with E6. The software is so Plain Jane that you're almost embarrassed to tell people you use it, but you can teach any First Assistant to use it in two hours, thus avoiding a Digital Tech. (Oops, did I just say that...? Sorry). Let's face it -- some jobs, using a Tech is just massive overkill.
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2010, 09:47:55 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
Can you explain this setup? Every time I hear it mentioned, I think of Scratch Disk for some reason, and I associate it with Lost Data. I know that is nuts, but I can't picture how you'd set up your Mac to run with this alien drive SSD thing. Does it just show up as a second disk on the Desktop? But it's your Boot Disk?

Some info here:
SSD

There are a few pages, at the bottom of each page click through to next page.
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Esben
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« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2010, 09:05:00 AM »
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Quote from: stewarthemley
Phocus is now a highly competent program but you need to know about one REALLY ANNOYING thing: previews are not sharp unless you zoom in. Goodness knows why. Every raw converter I know about gives sharp previews so WTF can't Phocus? That would slow you to almost a standstill if you want to shoot fast and tethered. Hass are bringing in some great new features but this lack of a basic requirement is bewildering.




If your Phocus image browser is showing less then 25% enlargement, it will draw the information from the embedded jpeg in the raw file, but of course show the preview with the correct color look.
If you click on the file to show 25% or larger, it will render the information from the raw file.

But I think what youre referring to is that the file first renders a little soft and then comes in sharp. This has to do with your computer and how fast it is.

If I was a photographer and was shooting fast and tethered, I would prefer to see a low res preview instead of no preview until the high res file has finished rendering. This works the same way in C1 Pro, it will take a little bit of time for each 50 or 60 mpix file to render as they come in.


In regards to gwhitfs opening question,  both C1 Pro and Phocus are capable of processing out jpegs, with color settings, super-fast, and within seconds for hundreds of files.


Laptops:
I have to say, I like the fact that PhaseOne has the option to battery power their backs while shooting tethered.
The MBP 15 has a higher firewire voltage then the MBP 17. Low power can be an issue with some specific backs/computer combinations.
You were asking specifically about Phocus and MBP. When I tested my oldest laptop, an MBP 15 -  the model that came just before the unibody came out. I was able to shoot non-stop tethered, powered by the internal battery, with the release button pressed constantly down on the H4 50, until the MBPs battery was in the red at 16%. No hiccups, the files came in just fine.


Cameras:
I got the chance to loan the new Hasselblad H4 50mpix camera for 9 days, 3-4 weeks ago. I used it on one 3 day ad job here in NYC. We were shooting a fair amount of frames a day, maybe around 1000/day.

The camera worked perfectly and the True Focus system is right on. The images looked amazing!

The P65+ is at the top of the mpix race, there is no doubt about the quality of the files as well as to the H4 50mpixs files. I have not had the chance to compare the files directly side by side, but I would think they would be neck to neck.  I think the most interesting camera right now is the Hasselblad H4 40 because of the micro-lenses. The extra +1 stop you gain with the P30 and now with the H4 40 is often a life saver. We have gotten spoiled with the high ISO DSLR cameras and we have gotten used to shooting at ISO 200-1000.

The Nikon 3x makes beautiful files, it's a great camera, but it is not geared for high phase tethered shooting. There is something about the tethered connection that seems a bit unstable, especially if you are shooting fast and furious, I would option for CF cards or a Canon.

Software:
As someone mentioned, Phocus can, especially on a laptop, at times, be a little unresponsive but I would say its nothing compared to C1 Pro when you ask it to batch rename a handful of files - you can see your nostril hair grow while this happens. Its funny how LC11 has become the gold standard in regards to stability. Also, there is something very nice about the color engine of LC11. The files look very fine and neutral, nearly like Fujis neutral negative film would look like, when compared to Kodak in old days.  I think both C1 Pro, Phocus and LC11 generate very beautiful colors -  LC11 being more neutral. C1 Pro develops very nice popping colors. All my clients like the colors from C1 Pro and the raw files often need very little adjustments. At times, I have clients licking my Eizo monitors in pure madness over the colors. Phocus is by default a bit more neutral in its colors but can easily be made as poppy as C1 Pro. Phocus pretty much has the same selective color adjustment tool as you will find in C1 Pro. LC11 is missing many of the advance adjustment options of C1 Pro or Phocus.

I think that both Hasselblad and Phase are moving very fast when it comes to their software, but of course not fast enough. However,  each version is an improvement.  Im sure C1 Pro will fine a solution to batch rename their files, now when they recommend not to use Bridge and XMP files in tandem with C1 Pro. In general I feel that Hasselblad is a little bit more on the ball, while Phase is introducing a lot of new features on the cost of stability, i.e. the over-pass sharpness filter Vs. stabile batch renaming,  or the ability to show the same order of your images when toggling between different folders in the browser. Its now corrected in the latest release, but it drove me and many of my clients crazy that they had to see the very first frame of a scene each time we were viewing a folder. It can create a bad dynamic in front of the client when they cant see frame 0046 - which you like - instead of frame 0001 when shifting to a new folder. Fortunately, that problem is  now in the past, and I can avoid the awkward explanations about the interruptive functions when the end client has agreed to pay sometimes $100,000 or more for a production ;-).


Best,
Esben
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 09:10:38 AM by Esben » Logged

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gwhitf
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« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2010, 09:20:21 AM »
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Quote from: Esben
clients licking my Eizo monitors in pure madness

Esben:

Let's just say you were the one to determine what back/software on a theoretical shoot, but it was fast MBP17/7200/mobile; not tower. Tethered, studio, client wants to tweak the contrast/WB/Hue as you're shooting, and see fast Previews, and wants it stable. No processing of the tiffs during the shoot; the only thing that matters is the capturing and the ease of the shoot, and watching the images come in. They might want to do things like compare one frame to another, later in the shoot, side by side. What's your overall first choice; what comes to mind first? In terms of the job, let's just say it's a portrait, or beauty. SKIN TONE ACCURACY is the main thing. Maybe the combo choices were:

* Aptus II-8, with LC 11.

* Phase P40+, with CaptureOne 5.

* H4d_40, with Phocus 2?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 10:55:21 AM by gwhitf » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2010, 09:44:21 AM »
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Quote from: Esben
As someone mentioned, Phocus can, especially on a laptop, at times, be a little unresponsive but I would say its nothing compared to C1 Pro when you ask it to batch rename a handful of files.

Yep, batch renaming (done in the background so you can do other things while it happens) is the one thing which is slow in Capture One. I wonder if you've ever compared the speed on a given laptop at which Capture One and Phocus render initial and final image on the screen when switching between P65+ or H3D50 images for editing or focus-checking or how long it takes to process TIFFs - might be an interesting perspective for the overall speed and efficiency of each program.

Doug Peterson
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2010, 10:19:31 AM »
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Quote from: Esben
The MBP 15 has a higher firewire voltage then the MBP 17.

Esben,
Is this still true with latest model MBPs?

Thanks for the good info,
Billy
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 10:39:13 AM by BJNY » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2010, 10:51:50 PM »
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I tether H3D22 to a 27"iMac w/ 8GB ram on the H3 or a Sinar and it's fine. rock solid, rip the cord out all you want. quick, processes tons of files quick, blah, blah, blah. Phocus 2 is great, most people that know how to use it will agree. Also, I tether to iMac on location as well. personally those little screens are the pits, but thats just me...
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