FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions
VincentR
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Re: FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop
In reply to theranman, Aug 27, 2012

theranman wrote:

I look forward to trying that when I eventually get the FZ200. Thanks, Vincent.

No worries! I'd like to see your results. Ideally, 3 exposures for such a big jump from plus 3 stops to minus 3 stops, a total of 6 stops, may not be enough for best results. 7 exposures, each differing by one stop might be better.

Anyone who has an editing program like Photoshop will have a great advantage, but such a program will cost more than the camera.

Another feature of the FZ200 is its 12 frames per second burst rate in RAW mode at full resolution. If the subject is static, and you want a better quality image without messing around with merging to HDR, stacking 12 shots, each with equal exposure, might be sufficient. Photoshop has the ability, with its stacking feature, to provide a single image consisting of the best pixels selected from each of the 12 exposures.

It would be interesting to see just how much increase in DR and how much reduction in noise this process could produce with the FZ200.

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Erik Ohlson
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Bird PP
In reply to myssvictoria, Aug 27, 2012

myssvictoria wrote:

Erik, WOW. I've been rather worried about small birds with the FZ200. Can I send my pics to you for pp? I am very surprised at what you were able to pull out. Once the DMW-LA7 hits the streets and I can use a TC, and if I can pull off some pp like you, I think I will be very happy with this camera for birding. Thanks!
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WOW , Thanks and thanks to the others who mentioned it!

I am no way a PP expert. For this I used my regular PSE8 + Topaz DeNoise.

First I just wanted to up the contrast a bit but for some reason I tried Auto Smart Fix which I usually don't use, but if it had done the job, I could have reported that which would be cool.

I liked it, but wanted a bit more, so I did do about 10% more contrast, then I decided to soften the "Noise" so many folks get all excited about, so I did a 40% denoise with the Topaz DeNoise plugin, just enough to rid the wingfeathers of "Chroma Noise".

Then a moderate amount of Unsharp Mask & Sharpening & it was done except for the last step: "File> Save for Web." Oddly, this is designed to reduce file size, but when I use "High, Higher & Highest" IQ setting, it seems to somehow IMPROVE the picture, while greatly reducing file size. Others have noticed this, too.

Anyway, that was all - full disclosure.

As far as I recall, the Bush Tit photos were SOOC. What an experience that was, inside a fennel bush with my camera "conversing" with the birds!

Another Bush Tit shot from that time:

I have never before or since been so close to wild birds.

-Erik

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myssvictoria
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Re: Bird PP
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Aug 27, 2012

Thanks, Erik for sharing your process. Interesting about the export improving the pic.
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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Bird PP
In reply to myssvictoria, Aug 27, 2012

myssvictoria wrote:

Thanks, Erik for sharing your process. Interesting about the export improving the pic.
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Vickie
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Thank you, Vickie,

I'm sorry to say I can't recall whether you were on this forum when Trensamiro was posting his marvelous shots with his ZS3, but there was a LOT of controversy about his photos - no EXIF !!!

He stated that there were no tricks, but that the photos were processed through a file-size reducer (not PSE, I don't recall what it was) and that may be what happened.

I mentioned this strange effect some time ago & Danielsonkin said he'd noticed the same thing.

I guess it's all about "Life was simpler before technology made life easier."

-Erik

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Erik Ohlson
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Setting the record straight.
In reply to VincentR, Aug 27, 2012

VincentR wrote, in part:

Anyone who has an editing program like Photoshop will have a great advantage, but such a program will cost more than the camera.

To clarify: "Full PhotoShop" DOES cost a lot!

But - not to worry - I, personally, use PSE8 on an old iMac (OSX 10.4.11) and have never heard of anything CSE does better. I'm sure there must be SOMETHING to justify the extra cost, I've just not heard of it.

PSE is pretty inexpensive, but I got my PSE8 on eBay for even less, and also my earlier PSE4 which is almost as good.

I'm told that Picasa (which I have not tried) is free.

The Topaz DeNoise plugin cost as much as I spent for my PSE8, but is well worth the extra cost for my Mac - if you use a PC, Ximagic Denoiser is free.

-Erik

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VincentR
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Aug 28, 2012

Erik Ohlson wrote:
VincentR wrote, in part:

Anyone who has an editing program like Photoshop will have a great advantage, but such a program will cost more than the camera.

To clarify: "Full PhotoShop" DOES cost a lot!

But - not to worry - I, personally, use PSE8 on an old iMac (OSX 10.4.11) and have never heard of anything CSE does better. I'm sure there must be SOMETHING to justify the extra cost, I've just not heard of it.

PSE is pretty inexpensive, but I got my PSE8 on eBay for even less, and also my earlier PSE4 which is almost as good.

I'm told that Picasa (which I have not tried) is free.

The Topaz DeNoise plugin cost as much as I spent for my PSE8, but is well worth the extra cost for my Mac - if you use a PC, Ximagic Denoiser is free.

-Erik

Maybe you're right, Erik. I've never compared PSE with the full version of Photoshop. I use the Extended version of Photoshop. The useful features which I think would be very relevant for anyone trying to match the image quality from the FZ200 with that from a DSLR, would be "Merge to HDR" to reduce noise and increase dynamic range, "Photomerge" for automatic stitching of images, and "Image Stacking" of multiple, almost identical shots, which one could take with the FZ200 in burst mode at 12fps.

Image stacking might be preferable to auto-exposure bracketing if one has difficulty getting a natural effect when merging to HDR, as some folks claim to experience.

I might be getting a bit technical here, and out of my depth, but I understand that 'photonic shot noise' is a much greater source of noise with small sensors because, for any given scene, the smaller sensor is exposed to a smaller amount of total light, at the same ISO setting of course. The amount of shot noise, on average, is given by the square root of the number of photons the sensor is exposed to.The image stacking process in Photoshop will select the best exposed pixel from each image.

I don't have much reason to use this feature with my DSLRs, but I recall experimenting with it some years ago with my Canon 5D and found that the resulting image from several stacked images taken at ISO 1600 had about the same quality, in terms of noise and resolution, as a single shot taken at ISO 400 with 2 stops greater exposure, and if not quite as good as the ISO 400 shot, certainly better than an ISO 800 shot with one stop greater exposure.

I recall I was stacking 5 or 6 images. Stacking 12 images should produce an even better result, if the scene is static and camera is on tripod.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to VincentR, Aug 28, 2012

VincentR wrote:

Erik Ohlson wrote:
VincentR wrote, in part:

Anyone who has an editing program like Photoshop will have a great advantage, but such a program will cost more than the camera.

To clarify: "Full PhotoShop" DOES cost a lot!

But - not to worry - I, personally, use PSE8 on an old iMac (OSX 10.4.11) and have never heard of anything CSE does better. I'm sure there must be SOMETHING to justify the extra cost, I've just not heard of it.

PSE is pretty inexpensive, but I got my PSE8 on eBay for even less, and also my earlier PSE4 which is almost as good.

I'm told that Picasa (which I have not tried) is free.

The Topaz DeNoise plugin cost as much as I spent for my PSE8, but is well worth the extra cost for my Mac - if you use a PC, Ximagic Denoiser is free.

-Erik

Maybe you're right, Erik. I've never compared PSE with the full version of Photoshop. I use the Extended version of Photoshop. The useful features which I think would be very relevant for anyone trying to match the image quality from the FZ200 with that from a DSLR, would be "Merge to HDR" to reduce noise and increase dynamic range, "Photomerge" for automatic stitching of images, and "Image Stacking" of multiple, almost identical shots, which one could take with the FZ200 in burst mode at 12fps.

Image stacking might be preferable to auto-exposure bracketing if one has difficulty getting a natural effect when merging to HDR, as some folks claim to experience.

I might be getting a bit technical here, and out of my depth, but I understand that 'photonic shot noise' is a much greater source of noise with small sensors because, for any given scene, the smaller sensor is exposed to a smaller amount of total light, at the same ISO setting of course. The amount of shot noise, on average, is given by the square root of the number of photons the sensor is exposed to.The image stacking process in Photoshop will select the best exposed pixel from each image.

I don't have much reason to use this feature with my DSLRs, but I recall experimenting with it some years ago with my Canon 5D and found that the resulting image from several stacked images taken at ISO 1600 had about the same quality, in terms of noise and resolution, as a single shot taken at ISO 400 with 2 stops greater exposure, and if not quite as good as the ISO 400 shot, certainly better than an ISO 800 shot with one stop greater exposure.

I recall I was stacking 5 or 6 images. Stacking 12 images should produce an even better result, if the scene is static and camera is on tripod.

I take it from the "polite" phrasing that this is intended as a "Put Down", but unfortunately most of the features which you mention DO exist in Photoshop Elements in one form or another, often under "File> New> ..."

My POINT is that 99% of what one wants to do in PP is available without spending "more than the price of the camera".

Not a difficult concept.

Thanks for the lecture, Vince, but I categorically reject dSLR's as too much junk to lug around - been there, done that: I rejected that in the early '90's for personal use, having with relief rejected 4x5 & 8x10 film (oh! - and 20x30" film for photo-lithography) when I quit photography as a profession in the '60's for a more stable income and to keep photography FUN , rather than WORK .

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Cheers, -Erik

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AmateurSnaps
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Aug 28, 2012

It would be great for when I don't feel like taking my DSLR gear with me, but I don't know how people use it exclusively. My main concern would be how could this replace my f1.4 50mm lens or my f1.8 85mm lens (my two curent favourites), it just couldn't.

Not putting the camera down (enough silly comments here already) but its not able to do everything.

Is is though the first bridge camera that has me genuinely interested in spending my hard earned on. Very impressive results.

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Jason Reuschlein
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Re: FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop
In reply to Yi Ding, Aug 28, 2012

Imagine the Sony RX100 sensor with that lens? That would be a great combination!

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to VincentR, Aug 28, 2012

VincentR wrote:

I might be getting a bit technical here, and out of my depth, but I understand that 'photonic shot noise' is a much greater source of noise with small sensors because, for any given scene, the smaller sensor is exposed to a smaller amount of total light, at the same ISO setting of course. The amount of shot noise, on average, is given by the square root of the number of photons the sensor is exposed to.The image stacking process in Photoshop will select the best exposed pixel from each image.

I don't have much reason to use this feature with my DSLRs, but I recall experimenting with it some years ago with my Canon 5D and found that the resulting image from several stacked images taken at ISO 1600 had about the same quality, in terms of noise and resolution, as a single shot taken at ISO 400 with 2 stops greater exposure, and if not quite as good as the ISO 400 shot, certainly better than an ISO 800 shot with one stop greater exposure.

I recall I was stacking 5 or 6 images. Stacking 12 images should produce an even better result, if the scene is static and camera is on tripod.

Thanks for the useful and informative post.

After reading it I did some research since I have the Enfuse plugin installed in Lightroom 4 that does image stacking.

My research leaned towards having different focal points for the different images. Based on my limited knowledge on the subject that seems to imply different aperture settings or at least re-focussing. I don't see how to do that with a 12x burst mode.

I'd like to do all I can with post processing to overcome the limitations of my FZ150 so I can have a comfortable amount of gear to hike with and still get good pictures.

Does stacking 12 essentially identical photos produce the improved results to which you allude?
--
Florida

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VincentR
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 29, 2012

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Thanks for the useful and informative post.

After reading it I did some research since I have the Enfuse plugin installed in Lightroom 4 that does image stacking.

My research leaned towards having different focal points for the different images. Based on my limited knowledge on the subject that seems to imply different aperture settings or at least re-focussing. I don't see how to do that with a 12x burst mode.

I'd like to do all I can with post processing to overcome the limitations of my FZ150 so I can have a comfortable amount of gear to hike with and still get good pictures.

Does stacking 12 essentially identical photos produce the improved results to which you allude?
--
Florida

Hi,

I haven't used stacking procedures for ages. The reason it came to my attention and seemed a desirable feature to have, when it was first introduced into CS3 Extended as I recall, was as a result of my frustration when trying to take photos of the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, back in 2005, with hundreds of tourist continually walking in front of me.

One of the options in the new stacking feature was to remove unwanted objects (or in the case of unwanted people, subjects, not to appear rude). The concept is, one sets up one's camera on a tripod with remote cord attached, then every few seconds one takes a shot over a certain period of time, hoping that during that period of time no-one in front of the camera has remained stationary.

After loading the individual images into a stack, each image being slightly different in the sense that someone has moved, one converts all layers to a Smart Object, then one chooses "Median" for removing objects (as opposed to "Mean" for noise reduction).

The program will then remove all objects that differ between one image and the next. If the only thing that hasn't moved is the background temple one is trying to photograph, then that's all that remains in the final image.

The program has an auto-align function, so I believe it would be possible without a tripod to stack 12 wide-angle shots taken in burst mode, using OIS and holding the camera really steady by leaning against a tree, or whatever. I would then expect an FZ200 image at base ISO to have the low noise of a DSLR.

Sorry I can't be more specific at this stage. I think I'll start experimenting again with this stacking feature in preparation for the FZ200 which I think I'll probably get. However, I'm more interested in the telephoto possibilities of the FZ200 with its fast apertures. For wide-angle shots I'll probably use my D800E most of the time. If Nikon were to produce an upgraded 80-400 with VRII and a tack-sharp F5.6 at 400mm, I'd probably buy it in preference to an FZ200.

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to VincentR, Aug 29, 2012

VincentR wrote:

Hi,

I haven't used stacking procedures for ages. The reason it came to my attention and seemed a desirable feature to have, when it was first introduced into CS3 Extended as I recall, was as a result of my frustration when trying to take photos of the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, back in 2005, with hundreds of tourist continually walking in front of me.

One of the options in the new stacking feature was to remove unwanted objects (or in the case of unwanted people, subjects, not to appear rude). The concept is, one sets up one's camera on a tripod with remote cord attached, then every few seconds one takes a shot over a certain period of time, hoping that during that period of time no-one in front of the camera has remained stationary.

After loading the individual images into a stack...

I recently completed a project just like that. There is a feature in Photoshop Elements that based on the video tutorial I watched is not even available in the full Photoshop. It is in the guided edits and is called Scene Cleaner. It allows you to remove specific objects from a photo and add objects from another photo, automagically. It was a much easier process than what you describe.

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bimbobo
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 29, 2012

What tutorial? I have Elements 10. Can you send me a link, or info where to see these tutorials?
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VincentR
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 29, 2012

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Does stacking 12 essentially identical photos produce the improved results to which you allude?
--
Florida

Yes. I just tried it again to refresh my memory. Comparing 10 stacked shots at ISO 3200 with a single shot of the same scene taken at ISO 800, using a shutter speed 4x slower, the stacked image was slightly better. In fact the midtones and upper midtones were as good in the stacked ISO 3200 images as a single ISO 400 shot of the same scene, but the ISO 400 shot had slightly better color and contrast in the deep shadows.

I need to do more experimentation using all the ISO settings on my 50D, but so far I get the impression there is more than a 2 stop advantage from stacking about 6 or 10 images at high ISO. Whether that holds true at lower ISOs remains to be seen. What I'd like to do next, when I have the time, is compare stacked images from my Canon 50D with a single shot from my D800E.

For the benefit of those who have Photoshop (and you might need the Extended version, not sure), the procedure I used was as follows:

(1) From the "File" heading, top left corner, go down to 'Scripts' then to 'Load files into Stack'.

(2) From the window that appears select the images you want to stack by clicking on 'Browse', then tick the two boxes, 'Automatically align Images', and 'Create Smart Objects after Loading Layers'. Then click OK.

(3) After this procedure is complete, which might take some time depending on the amount of memory your computer has, go to the "Layers" heading, then down to 'Smart Objects', then to 'Stack Mode'. Click on 'Mean'. That's all there is to it.

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VincentR
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 29, 2012

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

I recently completed a project just like that. There is a feature in Photoshop Elements that based on the video tutorial I watched is not even available in the full Photoshop. It is in the guided edits and is called Scene Cleaner. It allows you to remove specific objects from a photo and add objects from another photo, automagically. It was a much easier process than what you describe.

Sounds interesting. But I wonder what is behind an object that has been removed. Does the program just invent something that is similar to what sourrounded the object before it was removed?

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to VincentR, Aug 29, 2012

VincentR wrote:

Sounds interesting. But I wonder what is behind an object that has been removed. Does the program just invent something that is similar to what sourrounded the object before it was removed?

Let say you have your tripod set up on a landscape and there is a tourist on the left side of your scene (1). Then you take another picture and there is a tourist on the right side of your side of your scene (2).

After you remove tourist one it will use the landscape from scene 2. After you remove tourist two it will use the landscape from scene one. The finished picture will appear as if neither was ever there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_7JoQrAf3A

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LTZ470
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 29, 2012

Those are greats shots guys...I just fitted the TC-E15ED onto the FZ200 and off for some birding...will post results later...
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kkardster
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Re: FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop
In reply to VincentR, Aug 29, 2012
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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: FZ200 F2.8 600mm ISO400 100% crop
In reply to kkardster, Aug 29, 2012

Very interesting indeed kkardster. Thank you.
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VincentR
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Re: Setting the record straight.
In reply to Florida Nature Photographer, Aug 30, 2012

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

VincentR wrote:

Sounds interesting. But I wonder what is behind an object that has been removed. Does the program just invent something that is similar to what sourrounded the object before it was removed?

Let say you have your tripod set up on a landscape and there is a tourist on the left side of your scene (1). Then you take another picture and there is a tourist on the right side of your side of your scene (2).

After you remove tourist one it will use the landscape from scene 2. After you remove tourist two it will use the landscape from scene one. The finished picture will appear as if neither was ever there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_7JoQrAf3A

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Florida

Thanks for the link to the video. That appears to be the same principle that I described earlier, except in the full photoshop version it's all automatic, no messing around with brushes required. The whole process requires about 10 clicks on the appropriate headings and boxes, as I described earlier, but the final click is on "Median" when selecting Stack Mode, instead of "Mean" for noise reduction.

I'm always in favour of the most effective procedure at the best price. If I can get effectively the same image quality with an inexpensive, lightweight bridge camera as I can with a DSLR at 4x the weight and 4x the price, I'll choose the bridge camera. But I don't expect that in all circumstances the bridge camera will suffice.

Sometimes there may be too much messing around stacking images or merging to HDR for noise reduction purposes, or increasing file size and resolution through stitching and being disappointed that movement in the scene has spoilt the final result etc.

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