A Partial Mea Culpa

Started Dec 12, 2013 | Discussions
CMurdock
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A Partial Mea Culpa
Dec 12, 2013

When I say that this is a partial mea culpa, I mean it.  However, it needs to be said.

I've been going on in another thread about how Canon images are absurdly soft, but part of the problem, it turns out, is my browser.  I use Firefox when looking at pictures, but I use Internet Explorer when posting on this forum (because Firefox won't display the drop-down menus).  However, the way that Firefox works changed a few months ago.  It now calculates the size of the display, and if the display is large, it automatically enlarges everything -- fonts, graphics and pictures.  Thus, when Ctrl-0 is pressed, a picture does not display at 100%.  Rather, it displays at 125%, which makes every image appear soft.  In order to get an image to display at 100%, I have to press Ctrl-minus twice.  I figured this out a couple months ago, but I haven't always remembered to do it -- and the result is that many of the images that I've been looking at appeared softer than they were.

Now, I said that this is a partial mea culpa, and it is.  Even when viewed at 100%, many Canon images (especially the ones from their point-and-shoot cameras) still look soft and over-processed to me.  Even their DSLR images fall short when compared to the state of the art in image sharpness, which can be found in the images from Sigma cameras.  The truth is, Bayer technology is getting old and tired.  It results in images that are soft and must be sharpened (even when the AA filter is left out).  And the colors in Bayer images, being extrapolated from adjacent pixels as they are, don't look as exciting or crisp as they might.  Nonetheless, I promise that when ranting against Canon in the future, I'll rant a little less adamantly.  Or, at least, I'll make sure I'm viewing the images at 100% before I rant about how soft they are.

As for all you people who called me a troll, you are jerks, and your name-calling was far worse than anything I said.  It is the name-callers who are the real misfits, not the people who have strong opinions like I do.  You can't make a reasoned argument, so you call names -- that's always the way it works with your kind.

filibuster
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, Dec 12, 2013

Hi CM: Depending on your operating system of course, have you tried IE11? With the ‘Status Bar’ ticked, you can see the % of zoom in the bottom right hand corner. I tend to use ctrl-scroll a lot, especially as I find text on this site too small to read comfortably, but then scroll back or ‘Ctrl 0’ for image viewing. The options are available with a right-click on the top bar.

Just a thought.

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brianj
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, Dec 12, 2013

CMurdock wrote:

When I say that this is a partial mea culpa, I mean it. However, it needs to be said.

I've been going on in another thread about how Canon images are absurdly soft, but part of the problem, it turns out, is my browser. I use Firefox when looking at pictures, but I use Internet Explorer when posting on this forum (because Firefox won't display the drop-down menus). However, the way that Firefox works changed a few months ago. It now calculates the size of the display, and if the display is large, it automatically enlarges everything -- fonts, graphics and pictures. Thus, when Ctrl-0 is pressed, a picture does not display at 100%. Rather, it displays at 125%, which makes every image appear soft. In order to get an image to display at 100%, I have to press Ctrl-minus twice. I figured this out a couple months ago, but I haven't always remembered to do it -- and the result is that many of the images that I've been looking at appeared softer than they were.

None of us knows how the other sees our images, there are different browsers, various gamuts, uncalibrated monitors some new and some old where they interpolate the image and some people may not even have their video card set to the native resolution of their monitor, and horror of horrors some may still be using analogue cables to their monitor. Then there is magnification factor as you have now discovered.

Now, I said that this is a partial mea culpa, and it is. Even when viewed at 100%, many Canon images (especially the ones from their point-and-shoot cameras) still look soft and over-processed to me. Even their DSLR images fall short when compared to the state of the art in image sharpness, which can be found in the images from Sigma cameras. The truth is, Bayer technology is getting old and tired. It results in images that are soft and must be sharpened (even when the AA filter is left out). And the colors in Bayer images, being extrapolated from adjacent pixels as they are, don't look as exciting or crisp as they might. Nonetheless, I promise that when ranting against Canon in the future, I'll rant a little less adamantly. Or, at least, I'll make sure I'm viewing the images at 100% before I rant about how soft they are.

Unlike the foveron, the bayer encoded sensor which interpolates, will need to be sharpened even at full size, but no one does that because it is not needed if you print to paper, and if it is reduced for web viewing it can be appropriately sharpened as the last step.  But you will not look at this size which looks sharp, you need to look at the original resolition which hasn't been sharpened and then say it is too soft.  And to make matters worse, we are all looking at this on a LCD monitor that has three separate stripes of color, so even the monitor is not like the foveron which can display all colors at the one pixel point.  So our monitors could also be made much sharper if they could create a foveron type technology for the LCD display.

And out of all this compromise you are quibbling over variations in sharpness.  Without wanting to be rude to you, I have to say that there are more important things in life.

As for all you people who called me a troll, you are jerks, and your name-calling was far worse than anything I said. It is the name-callers who are the real misfits, not the people who have strong opinions like I do. You can't make a reasoned argument, so you call names -- that's always the way it works with your kind.

I agree, there is no need for labelling or name calling.

Brian

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CMurdock
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to filibuster, Dec 12, 2013

Thank you, I'll check it out later today when I have the time.

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CMurdock
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to brianj, Dec 12, 2013

brianj wrote:

Unlike the foveron, the bayer encoded sensor which interpolates, will need to be sharpened even at full size, but no one does that because it is not needed if you print to paper, and if it is reduced for web viewing it can be appropriately sharpened as the last step. But you will not look at this size which looks sharp, you need to look at the original resolition which hasn't been sharpened and then say it is too soft. And to make matters worse, we are all looking at this on a LCD monitor that has three separate stripes of color, so even the monitor is not like the foveron which can display all colors at the one pixel point. So our monitors could also be made much sharper if they could create a foveron type technology for the LCD display.

And out of all this compromise you are quibbling over variations in sharpness. Without wanting to be rude to you, I have to say that there are more important things in life.

First, let me say that I look at all my images on a monitor, so I like them to be sharp on my monitor.  If I print 3 images a year, that's a lot.

Different things matter to different people.  I am a perfection freak, and I take great pleasure in viewing the details of a sharp picture.  It's almost like having a telescope into the distance.  Imperfections like softness, compression artifacts and halos really bother me.  It's just the way I am.

As to whether there are more important things in life, of course there are -- but on this forum, I am talking about photography.

I'll be back this evening to answer any more posts that are made.

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Robert Tolputt
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, Dec 12, 2013

I really cannot imagine why anybody would want to extend this thread given the OP´s record of being an megatroll with a pathological Foveon fetish and self deluding obsessions with "sharpness" or "softness" of every camera he has read about, but not evidently ever used.

Please stop this !

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Dale Buhanan
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, Dec 12, 2013

Greetings,

For what it might be worth, I am using Firefox also - sometimes -- IE the rest of the time.  The drop down menus work just fine in Firefox for me using ver 25.01, which just updated to ver 26 when I went to look at what version it was to tell you.  But with both of these version -- which are the latest -- the drop down menus work normally, just like in IE.

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kind regards
Dale

Edit:  Oh, and I'm not particularly thrilled that firefox blows up the pictures for viewing either.  I would prefer it leave them alone, or no more than 100%.  I hope the new update just fixed that. 

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CMurdock
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to Robert Tolputt, Dec 12, 2013

Robert Tolputt wrote:

I really cannot imagine why anybody would want to extend this thread given the OP´s record of being an megatroll with a pathological Foveon fetish and self deluding obsessions with "sharpness" or "softness" of every camera he has read about, but not evidently ever used.

Please stop this !

A perfect example of what I've been talking about.

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BIJ001
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Re: Firefox won't display the drop-down menus
In reply to CMurdock, Dec 12, 2013

CMurdock wrote:

(because Firefox won't display the drop-down menus).

I use Firefox 26.0 for the time being and I do not think it does not display the drop-down menus. They are alive and kicking.

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CMurdock
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Re: Firefox won't display the drop-down menus
In reply to BIJ001, Dec 13, 2013

BIJ001 wrote:

CMurdock wrote:

(because Firefox won't display the drop-down menus).

I use Firefox 26.0 for the time being and I do not think it does not display the drop-down menus. They are alive and kicking.

In my version of Firefox, I can't even create a new thread because that option is in a drop-down menu.  I have lots of add-on programs running, and one of them must be blocking the drop-down menus.  I enabled pop-up windows for dpreview.com, but that didn't fix the problem.

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Augustin Man
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, 11 months ago

About the thread you started on Canon being "soft" in shooting landscapes, please enjoy this:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52947315

Happy shooting,

Augustin

P.S. It's not S110, mind you, but SX50, a camera with an even smaller sensor

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rebel99
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to Robert Tolputt, 11 months ago

Robert Tolputt wrote:

I really cannot imagine why anybody would want to extend this thread given the OP´s record of being an megatroll with a pathological Foveon fetish and self deluding obsessions with "sharpness" or "softness" of every camera he has read about, but not evidently ever used.

Please stop this !

i think it is about time for op to adjust his daily med. dosage. case in point, he continuously remind us what kind of person he is, frankly, i don't think anyone cares

cheerz.

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rebel99
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Re: Firefox won't display the drop-down menus
In reply to CMurdock, 11 months ago

CMurdock wrote:

BIJ001 wrote:

CMurdock wrote:

(because Firefox won't display the drop-down menus).

I use Firefox 26.0 for the time being and I do not think it does not display the drop-down menus. They are alive and kicking.

In my version of Firefox, I can't even create a new thread because that option is in a drop-down menu. I have lots of add-on programs running, and one of them must be blocking the drop-down menus. I enabled pop-up windows for dpreview.com, but that didn't fix the problem.

sounds like you need to get a new laptop instead of coming across as a technologically challenged person

cheerz.

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Norman B
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, 11 months ago

OP

I think it is important to compare apples with apples when looking at the IQ of various cameras. Sensor size and cost is  important. Many of the posters on this forum have posted  good looking images with a camera that has a 1/2.3 or 1/1.7 sensor and cost under $500.00. As far as I can tell, Sigma cameras are in the $800 dollar range and use a Foveon X3 sensor. I don't know how that compares size wise. At the very least, I think the 'you get what you pay for' rule fits in here. I do believe that both sensor types have their pros and cons. Cameras with the same sensor size and approximate cost should be compared  with each other IMO when it comes to something like IQ. I don't know what Canon cameras you are comparing the Sigma camera to.

Having said that, I use a G12. It is good enough for me and suits my needs. My one complaint with the G12 is that pics come out with a plastic look every once in awhile. I'm sure what is causing that but believe it is sensor related. If anybody knows how to avoid this, please let me know.

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threed123
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to Norman B, 11 months ago

I don't know what's going on here, but first, if you are using VGA from computer to your monitor, it will be soft. So you should be using hdmi or dvi minimum. But a cheap video card can cause softness issues as well, as well as a bad monitor. Seeing clear sharp text on monitor is the true test of a good monitor.

As for image sharpness. We must not confuse sharpness with detail. An apparent soft image can have lots more detail than an edge sharpened image, though people tend to think sharpness equates to detail. It doesn't. Unless your camera lens is top rated, image quality will always be a compromise. Plus jpgs are created from RAW images by adding saturation, sharpness and contrast by the camera processor. All that creates to an artificial image that can only be less than the RAW image, never more (can't add detail)--just seems like more because your eye probably likes sharp over saturated images--ala eye candy.  Just saying.

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Stakeouttoo
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Re: A Partial Mea Culpa
In reply to CMurdock, 11 months ago

been using FF from the very beginning at Mozilla.. current version 26.0 works a-ok as always... sounds like the OP has a constant problem with tech devices including cameras and posts for the sake of posting just trying to stir the pot..

just remember the old saying " it is not the typewriter that makes mistakes"

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