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Author Topic: Nikon suggestions  (Read 7867 times)
John Camp
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« on: January 20, 2006, 09:42:29 AM »
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We have Canon suggestions further down this forum, so why not Nikon?

I'm happy with the D2x, but after using it for a while, I do have a couple of things...

Why don't pro DSLR's have a rotating view screens on the back like a lot of P&S cameras? Are the rotating screens not strong enough? If they could be made strong enough, they'd be an advantage, especially in such things as macro photography and landscape work, even though they're not 'live.' They'd also be useful in bad light situations where you can't move the position of the camera, but you could see the screen a lot better if it were at, say, 90 degrees to the camera. (I'm thinking basketball courts and football night games, where the lights are always behind you, shining into the screen.)

If it were possible to make the screen "live," that is, to add an electronic viewfinder while retaining the optical viewfinder, that would be great, and a special advantage for photo-journalists, who sometimes have to shoot with their cameras overhead, and for macro shooters of small moving subjects like insects, or flowers on a windy day.  

We seem to be getting to the point where only two or three SLR makers are going to survive; a big part of that survival is marketing, and raw pixel count means something for marketers. Everybody, of course, wants their system to survive, because of the investment they've got in it. I suspect the thing that many Nikon people would like, as a survival mechanism, is a full-frame sensor as a way to "catch" Canon. Not me. I like the advantages of the small sensor, but wouldn't mind going to 1.3, if that size would retain the DX lenses.

I would also be interested in a change in the aspect ratio to the golden section or something even closer to square (but not square) like 4:5. That would boost the pixel count for the marketers and give a more functional aspect for photographers.

We need a high-quality modern wide-angle shift lens; we could use a couple of fast wide-angle primes.

Otherwise, I'm happy. I thought the F5 was close to a perfect camera, but the D2x is even better, I think.

JC
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Hank
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006, 10:37:48 AM »
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I don't think you will have any trouble getting photographers to agree that additional features could make DSLR's a lot more versatile for specific applications.  But individual photographer talking to one of the copmanies is a lot like shouting into a well to make it rain.

I agree with your assessment of the D2X.  Nikon finally has something that offers a bit of competition to Canon, but I believe even that is narrow thinking in terms of competition and market forces to drive new features and capabilities.

I sincerely hope that in picking up the Minolta line, someone at Sony will think outside the box and make a line of bodies with lens mounts not only for Minolta, but Canon, Nikon, Pentax and more.  Talk about market share!
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Deb
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2006, 11:38:23 AM »
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New technology is great but I still just cant part with the old f2.  Its sturdy and has been dropped so many times and keeps on ticking.  I seem to take better pictures with it because  the all manual makes me stop and think.  I am too often likely to use the programed settings on my newer cameras.
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2006, 12:53:23 PM »
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Otherwise, I'm happy. I thought the F5 was close to a perfect camera, but the D2x is even better, I think.

JC
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56407\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd suggest the next generation of D?x be the same size as the F5. My F5 feels like a pocket camera in comparison to my D2x. And I used to think the F5 was a "large" camera.

Bob
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BJL
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 02:45:50 PM »
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Why don't pro DSLR's have a rotating view screens on the back like a lot of P&S cameras?
...
If it were possible to make the screen "live," that is, to add an electronic viewfinder while retaining the optical viewfinder, that would be great, and a special advantage for photo-journalists, who sometimes have to shoot with their cameras overhead, and for macro shooters of small moving subjects like insects, or flowers on a windy day.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56407\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Apparently this is indeed possible: the newly announced Olympus E-330 combines a traditional optical TTL VF with two versions of live video preview on a tiltable rear LCD. Video VF Mode A is the standard one, but unlike all previous live LCD or EVF systems, it maintains the advantage of SLR style phase detection AF, by using a small auxiliary CCD in the VF system. Mode B is mainly for macro work, opening the shutter to use the main sensor for preview and so allowing up to 10x zooming on the LCD for precise manual focus, but working only with manual focus, and with a significant shutter lag (because the shutter has to be closed again after preview and before taking the photo).

Of course, the E330 is neither a Nikon nor a professional level DSLR, but it could be a sign of things to come.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2006, 08:31:04 PM »
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I'd be happy if Nikon simply followed the convention for nearly every other thing on the planet that turns clockwise to tighten.  I'm talking about nuts and bolts and screws and taps and....

My D70's lenses install, ie "tighten" by rotating the lens counterclockwise.  So do the rear lens caps.  Exactly the opposite of what you'd expect.

They put the zoom control towards the front of the lens, where focus should be, and to zoom in, the control rotates the opposite way than do 90% of the rest of the zoom lenses in the world.  

I just don't get it.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006, 04:37:04 AM »
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Let's give it a try.

What could be improved on the D2x?

- smoother transitions to blown highlights thanks to a higher bit depth,
- a real RAW based histogram with advanced control of the definition of blinking highlights (channel, level,...),
- a 2 shot mode where a second image would be taken immediately after the first one by changing the opening/speed in such a way as to avoid completely blown highlights in a paramatrable way (see above),
- a smart hyper-focale mode that could be paramatreble for optimal detail considering the lens used (actual diffraction data would be taken into account),
- a real time measurment of the actual shake that took place when shooting handheld, this information would come from the lens VR sensors, and would help assessing the sharpness of images in the field for immediate reshooting if needed,
- a smart auto-iso mode that would compute the optimal combo of speed and ISO for best image quality based on actual measurments of shake levels by each user (this would be stored in camera). For User A with very steady hands, 1/10 at ISO 800 will provide a sharper image, while for User B with less steady heands 1/20 at ISO 1600 would be better,
- a lighter body while preserving the current form factor and shock absorbing capability,
- the gathering of all settings in a single custom bank instead of 2,
- the ability to somehow overrule by software the mechanical choices one has to make on the body in terms of AF modes, and shooting speed (especially mirror lock-up). This should also be storable in a custom bank. I don't see how this could be done without major ergonimcs change for the AF mode, but it could be done relatively easily for the shooting speed setting,

Cheers,
Bernard
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 08:51:20 AM »
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Ok, my turn

I'm pretty happy with the D2x and see few flaws. As for wishes, I would purchase:

full frame sensor at D2x pixel quality

full bit depth

new primes at the wide end to allow excellent captures edge to edge on such a high density sensor

The next gen d3x should also be based upon the F6 form factor whereas the camera is two piece. Upper only for carry, upper and battery pack for studio. (hmmm sounds like the D200)

A rewrite of Capture. It's such a dog on speed it's almost useless. Great color though

Other than that, I think Nikon has it wired already. Great ergonomics, backward compatability to earlier manual lenses, etc. etc. are already in place

bob
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 11:08:24 AM »
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Ok, my turn

I'm pretty happy with the D2x and see few flaws. As for wishes, I would purchase:

full frame sensor at D2x pixel quality

full bit depth
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56897\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, I have come to understand (if not agree with) "full" meaning 24x36mm, so that apparently any smaller format is "partial" or "incomplete", and any larger format is "over full" or "overstuffed". But what is the distinction between full and partial when it comes to bit depth? I hope that you are not arbitrarily taking 16 bits as full just because storage of more than 8 bits requires using two bytes and therefore 16 bits of storage space, without regard to whether all the bits contain meaningful or useful information.

To me "full bit depth" would mean enough bit depth to faithfully record the full dynamic range of the sensor; never mind that some A/D converters produce excess bits, so that several of the least significant bits are useless, describing nothing but sensor noise. The highest dynamic range I have seen for any sensor so far is about 4000:1 for some medium format sensors with 9 micron Full Frame CCD photosites, and 12 bits covers that (12 bits gives a range of 2^12:1 or 4096:1. Indeed, in the MF world, Kodak, Dalsa and various digital back makers using their sensors refer to a 12 bit dynamic range. I suspect that the sensors in all 35mm and smaller format sensors have less that 4000:1 dynamic range, so 12 bits should cover them all, but 10 bits could be inadequate.
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 12:28:04 PM »
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I'd be happy if Nikon simply followed the convention for nearly every other thing on the planet that turns clockwise to tighten.  I'm talking about nuts and bolts and screws and taps and....

My D70's lenses install, ie "tighten" by rotating the lens counterclockwise.  So do the rear lens caps.  Exactly the opposite of what you'd expect.

They put the zoom control towards the front of the lens, where focus should be, and to zoom in, the control rotates the opposite way than do 90% of the rest of the zoom lenses in the world. 

I just don't get it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56870\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually, this is another area where Nikon is ahead of other less-well-thought-out systems (like Canon.) A huge proportion of Nikon's users -- welll over 90% -- are in the northern hemisphere, and having this reverse-screw system prevents the Coriolis effect from loosening critical elements of your camera system.  

JC
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 01:28:27 PM »
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The highest dynamic range I have seen for any sensor so far is about 4000:1 for some medium format sensors with 9 micron Full Frame CCD photosites, and 12 bits covers that .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56906\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I guess Medium Format dynamic range (12 bits) would be my "wish".

With the rapid pace of sensor development, can't we expect that at some point in the "future" or at least the equivalent (ala Fuji split pixel)?

Bob
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BJL
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 02:47:25 PM »
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I guess Medium Format dynamic range (12 bits) would be my "wish".

With the rapid pace of sensor development, can't we expect that at some point in the "future" or at least the equivalent (ala Fuji split pixel)?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56921\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This suggests another wish: closer Nikon/Fuji collaboration, leading to well-designed pro level bodies with sensor options including Fuji Super CCD along with the current Sony CMOS and CCD sensors. Right now, it is as if choosing a camera system locks you in to one brand of film, or even one particular variety of film (albeit it with great latitude for push/pull processing.)

P. S. a merged Nikon/Fuji would also have two sensor size options, the larger being the Fuji 645 based system distributed by Hasselblad outside Japan as the H system. If you want big, why mess with half measures like "miniature format"?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2006, 03:07:53 PM »
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To me "full bit depth" would mean enough bit depth to faithfully record the full dynamic range of the sensor; never mind that some A/D converters produce excess bits, so that several of the least significant bits are useless, describing nothing but sensor noise. The highest dynamic range I have seen for any sensor so far is about 4000:1 for some medium format sensors with 9 micron Full Frame CCD photosites, and 12 bits covers that (12 bits gives a range of 2^12:1 or 4096:1. Indeed, in the MF world, Kodak, Dalsa and various digital back makers using their sensors refer to a 12 bit dynamic range. I suspect that the sensors in all 35mm and smaller format sensors have less that 4000:1 dynamic range, so 12 bits should cover them all, but 10 bits could be inadequate.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56906\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would think that even if the dynamic range were only 4000:1 it would still make sense to have more values to describe this range than those offered by a 12 bits sampling. There is actually no direct link between these 2 concepts. Think of the ladder example where the dynamic range would be height and the sample rate the number of steps.

This is especially true for these parts of the image were very slow transitions of colors are happening over a large area, like skies for instance.

Regards,
Bernard
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2006, 03:48:13 PM »
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I would think that even if the dynamic range were only 4000:1 it would still make sense to have more values to describe this range than those offered by a 12 bits sampling. There is actually no direct link between these 2 concepts. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56939\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm going to show my ignorance here. Bit depth is a doubling or halving, exactly like stops are a doubling or halving. To me bit depth is a near equivalent of Dynamic range.

I know this is too simplistic and the impact of noise and other factors come into play.

I linked the two in my thinking. Am I wrong?

bob
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2006, 09:05:31 PM »
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Hi Bob,

It is of course true that the larger the DR the more bit depth you will need, and there is also probably no point in having too much bit depth if there isn't enough DR.

However, I don't see any further obvious relationship between these 2.

Regards,
Bernard
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2006, 11:22:35 PM »
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Actually, this is another area where Nikon is ahead of other less-well-thought-out systems (like Canon.) A huge proportion of Nikon's users -- welll over 90% -- are in the northern hemisphere, and having this reverse-screw system prevents the Coriolis effect from loosening critical elements of your camera system.   

JC
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ha.  I feel much better now.  

Peter
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BJL
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2006, 12:20:40 PM »
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I would think that even if the dynamic range were only 4000:1 it would still make sense to have more values to describe this range than those offered by a 12 bits sampling. There is actually no direct link between these 2 concepts.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56939\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
There is a quite close link between these concepts, though not an exact one, and I agree that a couple of extra bits in A/D conversion can be useful, as explained below.

Dynamic range is the ratio between the maximum sensor output level and the dark noise level (which sets the smallest significant difference between output levels at al levels of luminance). If the A/D converter is adjusted so that the difference between its successive (linear) output levels are equal to the floor noise level, little or no significant tonal gradations or shadow quality are lost in the D/A conversion. For the output levels to then cover all the way up to the maximum highlight level of the sensor, it is necessary and sufficient for the ratio of maximum A/D output level to the spacing between levels to match or exceed the ratio of maximum sensor output level to floor noise level: that is, the S/N ratio. With S/N ratio of 4000:1, 12 bits gives a ratio of maximum to minimum A/D output level of 4,096:1, just enough. Note that these A/D output levels are still linear, directly proportional to detected luminance levels: gamma compression happens later.

In practice, it might be best to have the minimum gap between levels a bit less than the floor noise level, but I can only see a case for one or two stops. Then the same one or two stops of extra range in A/D output are needed to hold highlights. So 14 bit A/D seems a good safety margin, and 14 bits could also be a good idea for linear RAW output (gamma=1, without the normal gamma compression by power 1/2.2 used for normal JPEG output.)
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dealy663
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2006, 10:29:25 PM »
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Item 4 is one I've wished for ever since moving to modern SLRs with fancy zooms.

Items 5 and 6 are excellent ideas that I never thought of before, but sure hope someone adds to our cameras in the near future!

Quote
Let's give it a try.

What could be improved on the D2x?

- smoother transitions to blown highlights thanks to a higher bit depth,
- a real RAW based histogram with advanced control of the definition of blinking highlights (channel, level,...),
- a 2 shot mode where a second image would be taken immediately after the first one by changing the opening/speed in such a way as to avoid completely blown highlights in a paramatrable way (see above),
- a smart hyper-focale mode that could be paramatreble for optimal detail considering the lens used (actual diffraction data would be taken into account),
- a real time measurment of the actual shake that took place when shooting handheld, this information would come from the lens VR sensors, and would help assessing the sharpness of images in the field for immediate reshooting if needed,
- a smart auto-iso mode that would compute the optimal combo of speed and ISO for best image quality based on actual measurments of shake levels by each user (this would be stored in camera). For User A with very steady hands, 1/10 at ISO 800 will provide a sharper image, while for User B with less steady heands 1/20 at ISO 1600 would be better,
- a lighter body while preserving the current form factor and shock absorbing capability,
- the gathering of all settings in a single custom bank instead of 2,
- the ability to somehow overrule by software the mechanical choices one has to make on the body in terms of AF modes, and shooting speed (especially mirror lock-up). This should also be storable in a custom bank. I don't see how this could be done without major ergonimcs change for the AF mode, but it could be done relatively easily for the shooting speed setting,

Cheers,
Bernard
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