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Author Topic: "Quit pissing in the pool or get banned", an open letter to michael  (Read 32338 times)
Farmer
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« Reply #100 on: February 03, 2012, 05:32:59 PM »
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I suppose you are not a lawyer, so I wonder how you (and many others in this thread) can make such legal claims.

IANAL either, but public persons have severely lowered expectations of privacy, and I'm quite sure the actress will lose her case promptly as long as her birth date was gathered from a public source or without breaking the law - but I bet it's going to be settled off the books with corrupt payoffs, aka. out-of-court settlement.

Well, if you want to take it that far, even a lawyer can't tell you what is and what isn't a crime - only a judge, jury, etc can make that decision.  It's all opinion, and you don't have to be a lawyer to have an opinion or even a correct one.

In certain areas, I absolutely have an expert opinion (from my days in international trade finance and banking) that any smart lawyer accepted (and more than once presented before a court as an expert) including the legality or otherwise of something.

In this case, clearly, unless someone says otherwise, we are all laymen expressing an opinion.  If we banned that, there'd be no interenet forums left :-)
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« Reply #101 on: February 03, 2012, 05:46:12 PM »
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In certain areas, I absolutely have an expert opinion (from my days in international trade finance and banking) that any smart lawyer accepted (and more than once presented before a court as an expert) including the legality or otherwise of something.

Not sure if serious.
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« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2012, 06:00:03 PM »
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Quite serious.  "Law" is a really big subject and no lawyer will claim to be an expert on the whole of it.  People in industry with specific expert knowledge (including some legal aspects of that) will often have more knowledge than a lawyer in that small, specific area.  Lawyers aren't automatically 100% correct all of the time on any matter relating to law - otherwise, they'd never have clients who lost.

So I think it's silly to dismiss someone's opinion on a legal matter simply because they're not a lawyer.  Would you use that opinion to base a legal defence or position?  Most likely not, unless you happened to know that they were an industry expert and commenting on their are of expertise in which case you may well rely on that knowledge and then perhaps seek additional legal opinion depending on the nature of the matter.

Hell, even as an 19 year old clerk in a bank, I knew more about the local bills of exchange act and processes and procedures than some lawyers at the firm that the bank used.  They were fresh out of university doing very basic work but I had a manual and training about a very small scope subject and I knew I was correct and often imparted that knowledge to the new lawyers.  The smart ones listened, went away, checked and came back and agreed.  The smart-arse ones used lines like, "you know I'm a lawyer" but eventually they would be told by their superiors that they were wrong and life and work would progress.

After 15 years in that industry, I can assure you that I knew more about the relevant parts of the law than someone practicing law and doing conveyancing or family law or the like.

In the context of this discussion, I have no expert opinion or knowledge, just lay knowledge and my own research.  I'm enjoying seeing opinions from other people who appear to be in a similar position as it drives me to further research and understanding.
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« Reply #103 on: February 03, 2012, 07:40:28 PM »
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<snip>But then again I've lost track of the numbers of times I've heard the comment "all Latin music sounds the same", which is as dumb a comment as all European music sounds the same. Just because someone cannot tell the difference between audio gear or different Latin songs [or whatever] does not mean there is no difference.
Are you sure that you are interpreting that comment like it was meant to be?

If someone told me that "all country music sounds the same", I would interpret it as the variation was so low that one song had the same value as another for a particular listener (meant as a negative remark towards one genre). If the statement was supposed to be "no-one will ever be able to distinguish song A from song B in a blind listening test", that is indeed a strange comment, and one that should be easy to disprove.
What people mean is quite simple - they cannot tell the difference. No more, no less.
But they usually say so as if it were the music were to blame and not as it is usually the case that they are simply unfamiliar with it.
A chap I know who played in a Latin band admitted that when he first came to salsa classes, he couldn't tell the difference between a salsa track and a merengue track - salsa + merengue being two very different dance styles, done to quite differently structured music with very different tempos. And no chance with differentiating between a son and a cumbia [two examples of many kinds of music that you can dance salsa too]. The reason, despite being a musician, he was completely unfamiliar with Latin music.

If people are familiar with something be it a musical style, a language or even a fashion style, they notice the differences. However if are not familiar what they notice are the similarities. But people very very rarely acknowledge this basic human attribute and normally blame whatever it is that they are not familiar with.
This is why people always moan that the music they don't like is boring and repetitive, despite the fact it is probably no more repetitive than whatever music they like. The important difference being you don't mind sounds you like being repeated.

As for blind listening, do you think you could tell the difference between someone speaking Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin or would it simply sound like Chinese to your ears [assuming you are not familiar with these languages]? And what about accents? Could you then tell the difference between people who spoke Hokkien but were from different parts of the country and who had regional accents. All things very easily done by native speakers, but exceptionally difficult to those unfamiliar to a language.  An English speaking French person, who has not spent a long time in the UK, would struggle to place UK regional accents and they are markedly different as some of them are based on languages quite distinct from English. Yet [when I still lived in Wales] I could tell what specific town in Wales someone lived, by the different type of Welsh accent they had. Heck accents can vary from one village to the next here in the UK.
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jjj
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« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2012, 08:09:41 PM »
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The only difference that matters anyway is the satisfaction of the buyer.

The potential problem is that the satisfaction of the buyer of high end audio equipment is often tightly correlated with a boost of ego resulting from the purchase of new equipment. The satisfaction requires the admiration from peers and the confirmation by them that it does sound better [than the equipment it replaces].

I have the solution though.

My recommendation is simply to always support claims made by audio equipment owner that their gear sounds better now than it did before. It is key because it will make them provide similar compliments for your own gear further down the road which will make you happier and more productive (copyright Radiohead). This is the royal way to the consumeristic nirvana we are all trying to reach.

The final piece is to start believing in the following statement "we all have different taste and there is therefore no value in comparing the absolute value of 2 different equipment".

We need to be commited to this thing my friends, the future of high end audio relies on our ability to behave well as consumers!  Grin

Cheers,
Bernard

p.s.: by the way, I own what I think is some of the best stuff available at any price point (although it is much cheaper than most)... and I am very happy about it, including my cables!
The more people pay for any consumer item, the more defensive they are about its qualities and the less likely they are to admit to any flaws. As doing so basically says you wasted your money. Which is why you get so many more Mac fanbois that you do PC fanbois despite PC outselling Macs 9-1 as Apple products are expensive high end goods when compared to most PCs.
I'm however the opposite, the more I pay the more critical I am when there are flaws and will happily slag off things I have bought that don't function well, such as my crappy iPhone 4s. Sound quality at other end is so bad, people ask if I'm near a landline they can call, calls get dropped all the time and voicemail takes up to a week to arrive, so it's a waste of time. Didn't have these issues with my ancient WinMobile HTC on same network. By far the most expensive phone I've ever owned and by far the worst quality phone I've ever owned.</rant>  Grin

I've spent quite a bit of time listening to decent audio kit and have found the sound quality can vary hugely, even at the expensive end. Which is exactly the same with cameras, a £100 p+s is not as good as say an enthusiast's pocket camera, which isn't as good as a M4/3 camera, which isn't as good as a full frame sensor which isn't as good as a much larger MFDSLR sensor and so on. Yet a lot of people deny you can get same improvements in sound quality by spending more money in the same way. Usually the more you pay the better it will sound, but not always.
Once when helping a friend buy some decent but not that expensive hifi, I got her to listen to a variety of kit and one component which was way outside of her budget sounded distinctly inferior to other items less than half the price.
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jjj
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« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2012, 08:26:03 PM »
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"
One of the instances which make me feel good about living in the land of the free (speech) Wink

You may want to rethink that

Not so free press

And you may also want to look into how freedom of speech is severely curtailed when talking about the food industry.
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dmerger
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« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2012, 08:28:43 PM »
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John, against my better judgment, I will venture another comment, but it appears that perhaps you’re a little too invested in defending your position rather than an open minded discussion. Again, however, I’ll address just one of you contentions, although I disagree with others as well.

... to say that somebody is a charlatan would also be a problem, I believe, because that's also a factual matter. To call somebody a charlatan is clearly different than calling somebody a jerk; it is much more closely related to the charge that somebody is a thief ...

“Definition of CHARLATAN  …  2: one making usually showy pretenses to knowledge or ability”  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charlatan

I trust you understand my point without the need for me to spell it out. 

We’re probably boring the hell out of other forum readers, so let’s not belabor this discussion any longer.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2012, 08:46:30 PM »
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I don’t think it would benefit anyone for us to continue this discussion.   Let’s just agree to disagree and leave it at that. 


We’re probably boring the hell out of other forum readers, so let’s not belabor this discussion any longer.
Surely it's up to everyone else when a discussion is finished? You cannot post some points of contention and them claim the final word. And doing so only undermines any good points you may have made.
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« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2012, 09:15:56 PM »
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I agree.  I apologize and retract my requests. 
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #109 on: February 03, 2012, 09:51:59 PM »
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The more people pay for any consumer item, the more defensive they are about its qualities and the less likely they are to admit to any flaws. As doing so basically says you wasted your money.

Bingo. As was well stated in Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty:

Quote
The Misconception: We prefer the things we own over the things we don't because we made rational choices when we bought them. The Truth?

The truth is that you prefer the things you own because you rationalize your past choices to protect your sense of self.

The Internet changed the way people argue.

Check any comment system, forum or message board and you will find fanboys going at it, debating why their chosen product is better than the other guy's.

In modern consumer cultures like America, people compete for status through comparing their taste in products. (You can read more on how that works here: Selling Out).

Mac vs. PC, PS3 vs. XBox 360, iPhone vs. Android – it goes on and on.

See the link for the rest of the article.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #110 on: February 04, 2012, 03:06:10 AM »
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Hi,

I'd say that this is really a multi part discussion.

1) A high res MFDB optimally used gives better image quality than a smaller format device, optimally used or not. I don't think anyone really argues that, possibly except one of our Australian friends, but Australians have an upside down view of the world anyway;-)

2) Is the difference between high end MF and lesser devices visible in small images? The author claims that, I'm highly skeptical.

3) Is the authors judgement distorted by fanboyism and other factors?

4) Is the author partial to the equipment he uses?

On 2) I would add that the author seems to use an iPhone image to make the point. Jeff Schewe has also a comparison between iPhone and P65+ (i think) in his book on sharpening, and I don't think I can tell apart those cameras in his expertly made prints.

On 4) I don't necessarily think so. We are all partial to equipment we use. The author has choosen that piece of equipment for some reason. I may add, that would I have the money to spend and the need of extremely high quality I guess I would end up with the Alpa/IQ180 combo, too. But I have neither;-)

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr

Sony Alpha user and definitively partial...



Bingo. As was well stated in Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty:

See the link for the rest of the article.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #111 on: February 04, 2012, 07:55:36 AM »
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What we are up against is objective versus subjective differences.  This has always been problematic in lots of different areas.  Prior to retirement I spent almost all my working career working in a US based trade association that represented pharmaceutical companies.  One of the issues I had to deal with over the years were issues related to the safety and efficacy of antidepressant drugs.  I cite this one example as a good one to show the difference between subjectivity vs objectivity.  At this point in time we do not have any scientific test that can show whether a patient is depressed or not.  We rely on the interaction between the patient and the psychiatrist where the physician uses his/her expert judgement to make a diagnosis and to evaluate whether the patient is improving or not (we may get to a point where MRI or other technologies can see differences in brain function but we are not there yet).  We also know that there is a significant placebo affect during clinical trials of these drugs.  Contrast this to the clinical trial of a prospective antibiotic where the bacterial infection can be directly measured and treatment will either eliminate it or not (similarly we can measure other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc using well documented and validated laboratory tests).

In the original essay, most of us raised objections to subjective evaluations by the author when we felt there was no scientific (including engineering) reasons for such conclusions.  This is what is difficult; one person may claim to see/hear a real difference while others may not.  This doesn't make that person right or wrong (though I/we may believe they are) in their own mind.  It's just that there is no way to conclusively prove that an individual's subjective opinion is correct or incorrect.  I think I posted this earlier, but the new book by Danny Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" goes over a lot of this in an easy to read style (Kahneman won a Nobel Prize for ground breaking work on the psychological basis of decision-making).

Finally, the "Fanboy" link was quite nice since we have also had discussions about Win vs Mac OS machines.  This is also interesting since there is much less subjectivity here since as photographers we use certain pieces of software.  Unless someone can prove to me that LR and PS (which I use) give demonstrably different results, the choice of a particular OS would be a personal one and not based on any objective criteria. Though I do see a large number of posts complaining about any change in the Mac OS imposed by Apple that disrupts one's work flow in contrast to those of us using Win machines that do not encounter such problems.  This again is an objective observation.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #112 on: February 04, 2012, 08:40:31 AM »
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What people mean is quite simple - they cannot tell the difference. No more, no less.

But they usually say so as if it were the music were to blame and not as it is usually the case that they are simply unfamiliar with it.
A chap I know who played in a Latin band admitted that when he first came to salsa classes, he couldn't tell the difference between a salsa track and a merengue track - salsa + merengue being two very different dance styles, done to quite differently structured music with very different tempos. And no chance with differentiating between a son and a cumbia [two examples of many kinds of music that you can dance salsa too]. The reason, despite being a musician, he was completely unfamiliar with Latin music.
So what can we conclude from your example? If you want to do a blind test to figure out if merengue and cumbia sounds different, you either need to:
1. Find some expert listeners
2. Do the proper training on a set of listeners.

Of course, it is possible that you want to know if "joe average" is able to distinguish the two genres. In that case, you might want to use an unbiased selection.
Quote
As for blind listening, do you think you could tell the difference between someone speaking Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin or would it simply sound like Chinese to your ears [assuming you are not familiar with these languages]? And what about accents? Could you then tell the difference between people who spoke Hokkien but were from different parts of the country and who had regional accents. All things very easily done by native speakers, but exceptionally difficult to those unfamiliar to a language.  An English speaking French person, who has not spent a long time in the UK, would struggle to place UK regional accents and they are markedly different as some of them are based on languages quite distinct from English. Yet [when I still lived in Wales] I could tell what specific town in Wales someone lived, by the different type of Welsh accent they had. Heck accents can vary from one village to the next here in the UK.
All fine and good, but I think you are missing one thing. In some cases, two things might actually taste the same. Two pianos might sound the same. Two accents might be indistinguishable. Using a blind test you can prove*) that MFDB looks better than DSLR for a given case. Or that Merengue sounds different from salsa. Or that Coca Cola taste better than Pepsi.

-h
*)"prove" in the popular, house-wife interpretation. A scientist would probably talk about significance levels, independent confirmation etc.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #113 on: February 04, 2012, 08:48:25 AM »
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1) A high res MFDB optimally used gives better image quality than a smaller format device, optimally used or not. I don't think anyone really argues that, possibly except one of our Australian friends, but Australians have an upside down view of the world anyway;-)

2) Is the difference between high end MF and lesser devices visible in small images? The author claims that, I'm highly skeptical.
I would say that "image quality" is a perceptual quantity that measurements can only estimate.

"image quality" can probably only be judged when you are presented with the final result (display or paper). If you cannot distinguish a MFDB from a 35mm camera in a given test, I would say that they have the same image quality for that particular setup/viewer.

-h
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #114 on: February 04, 2012, 08:51:46 AM »
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What we are up against is objective versus subjective differences.  This has always been problematic in lots of different areas.  Prior to retirement I spent almost all my working career working in a US based trade association that represented pharmaceutical companies.  One of the issues I had to deal with over the years were issues related to the safety and efficacy of antidepressant drugs.  I cite this one example as a good one to show the difference between subjectivity vs objectivity.  At this point in time we do not have any scientific test that can show whether a patient is depressed or not.  We rely on the interaction between the patient and the psychiatrist where the physician uses his/her expert judgement to make a diagnosis and to evaluate whether the patient is improving or not (we may get to a point where MRI or other technologies can see differences in brain function but we are not there yet).  We also know that there is a significant placebo affect during clinical trials of these drugs.  Contrast this to the clinical trial of a prospective antibiotic where the bacterial infection can be directly measured and treatment will either eliminate it or not (similarly we can measure other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc using well documented and validated laboratory tests).
Interesting background, and (dare I say on a photography forum): a lot more critical subject than choice of camera, audiophile cables or red wine.

I do think that life as a fanboy is more rewarding than life as a sceptic. Sadly, we don't get to choose.

-h
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« Reply #115 on: February 04, 2012, 08:59:45 AM »
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The crux of this issue has nothing really to do with 'objectivity' or 'subjectivity', or legality, socio ecomomics or left-winb politics it's about far more basic matters.......

.... a part owner of this site published an article that had the apparent sole message that to produce any photograph of great art, meaning or permanence an invisible element must be included and that efforts with  'ordinary' equipement is "not sufficient" to achieve this,...only medium format digital kit will suffice, and since this is beyond the reach of most photographers on the planet, including those who frequent this site this would seem to be an attack on the photographic efforts of most 'LuLa' followers.......

If you spend but a few moments on google you will easily turn up instances where Mark D has previously upset other groups of enthusiasts via the internet, namely the quality watch world and also audiophiles, to mention but two areas.

The whole business has been made much worse by the attitude of the site owners towards the many protests with a dismal loss of dignity, threats of banishment and "pissing in the pool" detritus that has not previously been seen here.....

.....At the very least this site (which I like others have looked at daily for ten years) has shot itself in the foot an dit now remains to be seen if the wound is terminal
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #116 on: February 04, 2012, 09:05:33 AM »
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Hi,

I agree, to a certain extent. I have made some experiments comparing 24MP and 12 MP images, and in at least case I couldn't make them apart at A2 size. So printing A2, I would say that the two were equivalent. But would I print larger and look at the same distance I would probably see a difference. Comparing the images on screen the 24 MP image was much better.

Jeff Schewe has a similar comparison in his book on sharpening. Iphone matches P65 if you print small enough.

Not sure that we cannot measure aspects of image quality. We have for instance SQF (Subjective Quality Factor), which is based on research about human vision. But we perceive the image as a whole. We cannot measure color and contrast as we actually don't find much pleasure in correct colors and tonal range but strive for a pleasant rendition, and I don't think we can measure pleasantness.

Best regards
Erik


I would say that "image quality" is a perceptual quantity that measurements can only estimate.

"image quality" can probably only be judged when you are presented with the final result (display or paper). If you cannot distinguish a MFDB from a 35mm camera in a given test, I would say that they have the same image quality for that particular setup/viewer.

-h
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #117 on: February 04, 2012, 11:48:08 AM »
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Not sure that we cannot measure aspects of image quality. We have for instance SQF (Subjective Quality Factor), which is based on research about human vision. But we perceive the image as a whole. We cannot measure color and contrast as we actually don't find much pleasure in correct colors and tonal range but strive for a pleasant rendition, and I don't think we can measure pleasantness.
My points exactly. We can measure many things - some of which correlate with parts of human perception. We are still not at the point where dxo (or something similar) says all there is to say about image quality.

We are probably at a point where most of us would benefit more from learning to use what we have rather than obsessing with it deficiencies. But I guess that is a given.

-h
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #118 on: February 04, 2012, 02:37:13 PM »
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My points exactly. We can measure many things - some of which correlate with parts of human perception. We are still not at the point where dxo (or something similar) says all there is to say about image quality.

We are probably at a point where most of us would benefit more from learning to use what we have rather than obsessing with it deficiencies. But I guess that is a given.

-h
But doing a blind "quality of print" test is much easier than comparing audio systems since the images from two different cameras (you can use different formats, lenses, etc) can be printed by a dispassionate third party and then shown to a group of observers (though doing it one on one is better since you eliminate herd mentality) asking for their opinion on the images.  Lots of different ways to do this but I suspect as with the high end audio studies that have been done you will find individuals objecting to the tests for irrelevant reasons.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #119 on: February 04, 2012, 03:45:00 PM »
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Hi,

One issue with that approach is that processing matters a lot and different images need different processing. OLP filtered images need more sharpening than unfiltered images, for instance.

Best regards
Erik


But doing a blind "quality of print" test is much easier than comparing audio systems since the images from two different cameras (you can use different formats, lenses, etc) can be printed by a dispassionate third party and then shown to a group of observers (though doing it one on one is better since you eliminate herd mentality) asking for their opinion on the images.  Lots of different ways to do this but I suspect as with the high end audio studies that have been done you will find individuals objecting to the tests for irrelevant reasons.
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