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Author Topic: From past to future...  (Read 4268 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« on: August 04, 2012, 09:32:09 AM »
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Michael,

I read your article with considerable interest. I agree with your writing, especially regarding raw processing. Regarding the RX100, I ordered one the same day I read your review, and it is really the first pocket size camera I ever had that I enjoy using. I enjoy it, not without reservations, but still I use it a lot. I just made an A2 side print from an RX100 image and it is quite impressive.

I guess that what is most important for most of us is that you recover from your illness and surgery. There used to be a popular song in Sweden "Det går bättre dag för dag" , meaning "it gets better each day" and I hope it applies to you.

Best regards
Erik
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 09:57:02 AM »
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Smart move avoiding daytime TV. It cannot possible help.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, I believe, are one of the mysteries of the modern world. No amount of narcotics can help to unravel that.

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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 11:09:25 AM »
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Michael clearly hasn't yet recuperated fully, the article wasn't nearly as grumpy as might have been expected.
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michael
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 11:54:02 AM »
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Michael clearly hasn't yet recuperated fully, the article wasn't nearly as grumpy as might have been expected.
You're right. I restrained myself a bit more than I normally might have.

Drugs do strange things to the brain.

Michael
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 12:03:14 PM »
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Hi Michael,

Always nice to hear from you. Nice to see that you are back!

Best regards
Erik

You're right. I restrained myself a bit more than I normally might have.

Drugs do strange things to the brain.

Michael
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Martin Ocando
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 12:36:13 PM »
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You're right. I restrained myself a bit more than I normally might have.

Drugs do strange things to the brain.

Michael


So awesome to see you around here again, Michael. Get well fast.
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Martin Ocando
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 07:22:35 PM »
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  Dear Mr. Reichmann,  obviously first and foremost - I wish you to get well as soon as possible (and I don´t mean that just as a common phrase, indeed). Just for you to know, I wish you that from the distant Czech Republic - maybe it helps too that somebody so faraway keeps thinking of you.   Smiley

 I don´t want to dissect health and diseases theme, all I would like to say that unfortunately almost nobody can avoid more or less serious time regarding his body condition during his lifetime. I believe that even this kind of unpleasant experience is important for a man to fully realize and appreciate the value of his transitory existence. I´m sure what you are through now will become a new, revived launch point for your creativity, flock of unanticipated ideas and overall joy of life, a point you will often return to in the years ahead. I dare to speak so straight (which may sound even impertinent to some) just because I was already also through a very unpleasant surgery and long-term treatment ....actually despite being much younger than you :-).

 To the "From past to future" article...:

 1) RAW conversion issue - absolutely perfect hit, what else to add...?

 2) Current CMOS sensor technology (slowly) seems to be at the end of its rope. Yes, we have all those 36mpx sensors but the high iso performance is not really better than the older 12mpx sensor, albeit the dynamic range has been slightly improved. But you know as well as I do that there is a certain limit of "meaningful pixels" on the 24 x 36 area....  at least with the current technology. Is there a new, promising direction in the sensor development area on the horizon?

3) The bayer filter array, which drastically devalues the value of high mpx sensor, should be gone:  The foveon-type sensor should be the future, however, Sigma doesn´t seem to have enough development power to push it forward fast enough. Or maybe is there a serious, hidden limit in that technology causing the lack of interest from big players..? Oh, and the AA filter should be totally gone, too. The moire thing should be handled by sw where necessary.

3) All the mirorless hype is nice but the only rather serious camera is Sony NEX7 (Fuji X Pro 1 is too crippled IMHO). Unfortunately, Sony hasn´t been able to offer enough fast, high quality lenses for it.  I hoped that Canon would bring even more polished and fine-tuned semi-pro mode beating the NEX-7. Hoped for more quality fast primes, like Fuji has for its half-done X-Pro, targeting the semi-pros or even pros who also sometimes wish to walk out light, i.e. without the D4 + 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, while keeping the top image quality and bringing the "real" shallow DOF photography light, too.

Probably Canikon feel they would horribly cannibalized their big DSLRs if they offered such a mirorless line... ?  

I also cannot believe noone else wants to take Leica´s approach to make a compact body with as big sensor as possible, with lenses as fast and as compact as possible. Are there really so few of use who long for shallow DOF photography available only with full frame sensor (or larger, of course) + fast primes? You cannot obtain anything like full-frame + 35mm f/1.4 lens or 85mm/1.4 for instance from any mirorless solution on the market today, can you... For people´s photography, I still consider the shallow DOF the most significant creative aspect no APS-C or 4/3 sensor can give you (while keeping the framing relatively wide).

FF sensor in Sony NEX-9 body, their top EVF would be acceptable, real (not the "focus-by-wire" nonsense) manual focus with the terrific focus peaking + some (besides the compulsory zooms) Leica-like fast primes, say 21/f4, 35/f1.4, 90/f2, 150/2.8.... that would me my heaven :-).  It is interesting that although I keep hearing "this is too niche market" from the companies, almost every serious full frame DSLR owner I know (at least in my surroundings) longs exactly for something like this. Fully manual (with Aperture priority only), small FF DSLR - aka Olympus OM - can also be an option.

4) Printer manufacturers. With the current oligopoly of Epson & Canon (and the japanese companies do have a special sense for "deals", don´t they?), the prices of original ink are really horrendous. What I can see is that 1 litre of the original pigment ink would cost me more than the most luxury parfume for my wife or the oldest bottle of a top-quality wine you can regularly buy around here - and this is really ridiculous.

5) Lenses for DSLRs. I wish the development focus would be on reducing the size (i.e. length - I know the lens fastness is directly related to the front lens element diameter) and weight. Canon´s experiments with diffractive optics may be a good way here... As for the weight, maybe there would appear a new comparable optical material replacing the heavy and expensive optical glass one day?

6) If you must implement video into DSLRs, make it usable then! The "clean" HDMI + really usable, reliable and fast continous autofocus (even if it would mean to buy a new, special "video-tuned" lens) are the essentials.

7) Lack of real, exciting innovation from Canon & Nikon (no "exiting" stuff)  but I would just paraphrase you here...

Cool With the total dominance of Japanese companies , why no one else dares to enter still camera pro market? Look at RED in videocams for instance - they made it and very successfully...!  


 Well, so much for my point to the future Smiley



 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 07:33:16 PM by Martin86 » Logged
dreed
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 08:40:09 PM »
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You're right. I restrained myself a bit more than I normally might have.

Drugs do strange things to the brain.

Michael

It was good to see you get back on the DNG train. You've not mentioned that in some time so I was beginning to think that you'd given up.

And I mean that in a good way.

Maybe someone needs to buy the folks at dpreview (and some other websites?) a few beers to get them onside and listing "Proprietary raw format" under the "Cons" column.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 08:56:06 PM »
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Thanks for this interesting article Michael. Like the rest of us, I wish you a speedy recovery!  Smiley

2) Current CMOS sensor technology (slowly) seems to be at the end of its rope. Yes, we have all those 36mpx sensors but the high iso performance is not really better than the older 12mpx sensor, albeit the dynamic range has been slightly improved. But you know as well as I do that there is a certain limit of "meaningful pixels" on the 24 x 36 area....  at least with the current technology. Is there a new, promising direction in the sensor development area on the horizon?

Seriously?

Looking at factual data, the DR improvements we have seen are simply mind boggling.

The current technology of a camera like the D800 is sufficient to come up with a 140 megapixel body with as much DR as that of a Canon 1Dx, that itself seems to be seen by many as good enough to shoot mission critical stuff. You just cannot put Nikon and Canon in the same basket and call them Canikon simply because they both use CMOS, a technology that you don't seem to be excited about for whatever reason.

If you look at the reality of the situation today, what you see is amazing progress within the CMOS technology with very real world benefits for photographers.

The Foveon technology has been very far from delivering the same range of progress or value. It is interesting stuff for engineers, but it has not deliver on the expectations of photographers. CMOS does and that it what progress should be about.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 10:06:07 PM »
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Welcome back Michael....  Glad to see you are recuperating.  :-) Eleanor
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Ray
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 10:30:25 PM »
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As always, Wecome back Michael. Your site is undoubtedly the best photographic site on the internet.

The most fascinating new camera, yet to be released, that I've heard about recently is the Panasonic FZ-200 which sports a 25-600/F2.8 fixed zoom lens plus a host of useful features which help overcome the inherent noise disadvantage of the small sensor.

I think most people who read sites such LL, soon become aware that larger sensors have an inherent advantage in respect of noise, simply because, for any full or correct or ETTR exposure of any particular scene, the larger sensor collects more light, and noise as a proportion of signal is consequently less.

Of course, technological innovation in a particular aspect of digital imaging can tip the balance in favour of the smaller sensor with regard to a particular aspect of performance, such as DR for example which favours the current Nikon cameras.

My main gripe about P&S cameras has always been their lack of computer power which could help overcome their noise limitations when multiple images are processed in sophisticated programs such as Photoshop.

If a camera has a slow frame rate of 1 or 2 fps at full resolution, and no RAW mode and no auto-exposure bracketing, then forget it.

But how about 12 fps up to 12 images in RAW mode, and up to +/- 3EV auto-exposure bracketing at a fast frame rate? This is what the FZ-200 has. Wow!

Not only that, it has a constant F2.8 maximum aperture across the whole range, up to 600mm. That's astounding.

Unfortunately, we don't have full reviews yet which could compare resolution at different F/stops. It would be unusual for a lens to be sharpest at full aperture, but not unprecedented. Perhaps this Leica lens on the FZ-200 atually is as sharp at F2.8 as it is at any other f/stop. If so, that would be terrific.

The 12 fps is tremendously useful for image stacking. Photoshop Extended has this useful feature. One can take half a dozen, or a dozen images at ISO 800, and Photoshop can stack the images in such a way that it chooses the best pixels from each frame to produce a noticeably improve result that, according to my own experiments with the Canon 5D, can turn an ISO 800 series of shots into an ISO 200 result, regarding noise and DR.

Of course, 12 fps is also useful for sports or any fast-moving subject. Only very expensive professional DSLRs seem to have such a fast frame rate.

This is exciting, new technology.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 10:46:33 PM by Ray » Logged
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 10:47:24 PM »
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Michael -

It was good to read your article and additional missives on narcotics.  Hopefully you won't be using the narcs long enough to learn the can mix if handled properly.. and getting back in the routine is probably the best medicine possible.

I found myself agreeing with more of your points in this article than ever before.  Nice work.


btw -  For me it was purple elephants.  Maybe that's why I moved to a country that worships elephants.. Smiley
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LesPalenik
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 01:01:47 AM »
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Quote
There's a character online in the photographic community who operates a pretty popular web site, mostly about new gear. His claim to fame is that he appears to write the first thing that comes to mind, whether based on fact, research and analysis, or simply whim. When his mistakes, misstatements and sometime downright blunders are pointed out he takes refuge in writing "I have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself).... I occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting. I love a good hoax".

In defense of the aforementioned character, it should be pointed out that he shoots in 50 knot winds hand-held at 1/4s with no problems, consistently exposes to the left, and makes all saturation adjustments right in the camera.
 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 01:21:43 AM »
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Hi,

I digress on some points.

Regarding CMOS, the main reason that little progress has been made that the technology is close to optimal. Photon capture efficiency is well above 50% (I think) so there is not that much to gain. The real gain is in lower readout noise with real improvements in DR. As CMOS is capable of capturing and detecting almost all incoming photons, there is little potential for a better technology replacing it. There will be some progress, better utilization of sensel surface, perhaps increased full well capability and so on. It will be very hard to decrease readout noise as it seems to be very close to nil.

Some improvements are probably possible on fill factor. Increasing the fill factor may also help "full well capacity". The present sensors have high fill factor but it is achieved using micro lenses. Sony has a back side illuminated sensor, but (Exmoor-R, I think) but it is only available on small sensors.

Much of the development is done cell phone sensors and similar. Once technology is mature it may progress to large size sensors.

Regarding Bayer pattern I would argue that it is a good technology. Foevon technology was based on light with different wavelength diffusing to different depth in silicon. As there are now filters there is little control over color reproduction and all color is done in math. I may also point out that all modern Foevon sensors are CMOS based.

Bayer has the advantage that the filters can be optimized for the color rendition wanted. Thus much less math is needed to reproduce color. It is correct that Bayer loses some resolution compared to "Foevon" perhaps 10% but "bayer" sensors can probably go to smaller pixel pitch because they are more efficient. Foevon is subject to aliasing, but it would not produce color moiré. But Foevon is still prone to monochrome moiré.

The mirrorless hype is in my view no hype. It is a new technology, still evolving. It has been around a long time in video cameras. There are many good reasons for mirrorless:

1) Elimination of expensive mechanical and optical components
2) Elimination of major sources of focusing error, that is moving primary and secondary mirror.
3) Elimination of a major source of vibration
4) Reduction in size and weight. A full frame glass pentaprism is big and heavy.

It is sad that Sony developed the NEX-7 with few really good lenses. Olympus now has the OM-D with a modern Sony CMOS-sensor, electronic vewfinder and access to some excellent lenses. I'd suggest that we see many improvements in this area:

- Better electronic viewfinders
- Better contrast sensing AF

Regarding contrast sensing AF it has always been more precise than phase detection but far less practical. Nikon and Fuji are on "on chip" phase detection, probably combined contrast sensing AF.

But the engineers need to find out what the customers will buy. I don't think that the majority of buyers is much interested in raw files, manual focus and so on.

I don't think we will se a "RED" in still. Why?! Because still photography is on a different budget. There are options in the high end, think Alpa, think IQ180, but these items are to much exclusive for a mass market.

Best regards
Erik




 2) Current CMOS sensor technology (slowly) seems to be at the end of its rope. Yes, we have all those 36mpx sensors but the high iso performance is not really better than the older 12mpx sensor, albeit the dynamic range has been slightly improved. But you know as well as I do that there is a certain limit of "meaningful pixels" on the 24 x 36 area....  at least with the current technology. Is there a new, promising direction in the sensor development area on the horizon?

3) The bayer filter array, which drastically devalues the value of high mpx sensor, should be gone:  The foveon-type sensor should be the future, however, Sigma doesn´t seem to have enough development power to push it forward fast enough. Or maybe is there a serious, hidden limit in that technology causing the lack of interest from big players..? Oh, and the AA filter should be totally gone, too. The moire thing should be handled by sw where necessary.

3) All the mirorless hype is nice but the only rather serious camera is Sony NEX7 (Fuji X Pro 1 is too crippled IMHO). Unfortunately, Sony hasn´t been able to offer enough fast, high quality lenses for it.  I hoped that Canon would bring even more polished and fine-tuned semi-pro mode beating the NEX-7. Hoped for more quality fast primes, like Fuji has for its half-done X-Pro, targeting the semi-pros or even pros who also sometimes wish to walk out light, i.e. without the D4 + 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, while keeping the top image quality and bringing the "real" shallow DOF photography light, too.


 Well, so much for my point to the future Smiley



 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 01:32:33 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 04:29:31 AM »
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3) The bayer filter array, which drastically devalues the value of high mpx sensor, should be gone:  The foveon-type sensor should be the future, however, Sigma doesn´t seem to have enough development power to push it forward fast enough. Or maybe is there a serious, hidden limit in that technology causing the lack of interest from big players..?

The Sigma ship has already sailed, went out to sea and then sank...at one point it had some legit backers but then Sigma got a hold of it and it floundered...

At the root there's really nothing terribly wrong with Bayer pattern arrays that really good demosaicing software can't address. You might look at what the most recent versions of ACR and LR can do with a good Bayer pattern raw capture.
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 07:06:01 AM »
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In defense of the aforementioned character, it should be pointed out that he shoots in 50 knot winds hand-held at 1/4s with no problems, consistently exposes to the left, and makes all saturation adjustments right in the camera.
 

Les,
That's a very unfair characterisation of Ken Rockwell.  Wink
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dreed
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 11:49:40 AM »
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Regarding CMOS, the main reason that little progress has been made that the technology is close to optimal. Photon capture efficiency is well above 50% (I think) so there is not that much to gain,

Nikon passed 50% with the D800 (56%) and Canon are yet to get there -5D Mark III is 49%.

http://www.sensorgen.info/
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2012, 01:30:06 PM »
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Current CMOS sensor technology (slowly) seems to be at the end of its rope. ... The bayer filter array, which drastically devalues the value of high mpx sensor, should be gone:  The foveon-type sensor should be the future,

Where is the church where this liturgy is taught?

Every six months or so, someone (is it the same dude?) shows up - all fired up - who praises the Lord Foveon and declares the end of days ...
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2012, 03:25:35 PM »
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Thanks for correction!

Erik

Nikon passed 50% with the D800 (56%) and Canon are yet to get there -5D Mark III is 49%.

http://www.sensorgen.info/

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aaron
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2012, 05:07:11 PM »
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Good article but amazing cover photo "Garajonay Dawn", that's one worthy of being on paper.
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