matthiasbasler

matthiasbasler

Lives in Germany Germany
Works as a GIS developer, hobby photographer
Has a website at baslerphotos.de
Joined on Nov 25, 2012

Comments

Total: 51, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Highlight reel: top video trends from NAB 2016 (36 comments in total)

8K is ~34MP, correct? Which means that none of my current cameras, including the 24MP D750 comes anywhere close to create even stills in this resolution. Not that I would need to ...

And besides, with 6500€ and upwards 4K beamers are still so expensive that I doubt I as a hobby photographer will be able to project any 8K(!) content - even just pictures - to a larger audience within the next 5 years without going bancrupt.

Sounds like a future that might or might not affect me in 10 years ... that is, if my eyes are still good enough by then ...

Link | Posted on Apr 26, 2016 at 16:38 UTC as 4th comment
In reply to:

Joseph S Wisniewski: "The multiple perspectives captured mean you can generate 3D images or video from every shot at any desired parallax disparity"

Except that single point cameras are essentially useless for 3D video, because the occlusion is only correct from the single viewpoint. Moving the viewpoint means that you now need background that was blocked from the single viewpoint.

The end result is that the images look like bad automatic 3D conversions, until a skilled artist retouches all occluded areas.

Exactly. The light field cameras should not be seen as "single point cameras", they can be best compared to an array of cameras mounted next to above above each other, and in post you can choose the perspective of the one you like most or choose two of them for a 3D effect.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 21:41 UTC

To the calculations and assumptions done by dpreview. I agree that this video beast likely has (an needs to have) an excess of resolution in order to give the editor a real choice for focus.

WIth the Lytro Illum you could refocus your image to any point, but there was only a limited range in which the image was anything like sharp. (It had two maxima at depth -4 and +4 with a local minimum at ±0 where the image was just acceptable, but not really good. This left me with no real choice where to put my subjects if I wanted them to be sharp (~-6 to -2 and/or 2 to +6, roughly).
Excess resolution would give me the freedom to re-focus on anything from, lets say, -10 to +10 and still have an acceptable sharpness.

P.S. They Lytro Illum did not have a spatial resolution of 5MP! The spatial resolution is nowhere officially stated (afaik) and the camera can only export rather soft 4MP JPG files, the effective resolution is ~2MP in ideal conditions.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 21:37 UTC as 8th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

vscd: Big words agains. We already heard them on still photography.

> common sense says that this monster will one day fit in the palm of your hand.

Not as long as physical laws are valid.

Getting an idea of the 3D scene and therefore the mentioned perspective shift, all this only works if the camera is able to look at the object from sufficiently different angles.
You wouldn't get any serious parallax from a camera with a 1cm front lens. The parallax of the Lytro Illum (~4 cm maybe) is already rather limited compared to the human eye.
And although there will surely be further advances in miniaturizing servers and storage I doubt you will get a camera with these specs town to the size of a common DSLR. Maybe down to the size of a "normal" studio movie camera, which would be sufficient.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 21:22 UTC

> a 755 MP sensor capable of capturing images at 300 fps

Given that my 3 year old notebook requires 2 minutes to compute one 40 megaray image of the Lytro Illum (each 65 MB large) then either

a) Lytro has done some magic to significantly cut down the computation time and has finally come up with a suitable compression algorithm or
b) the movie cutters will need their own supercomputers or a whole data processing center (or cloud computing) in order to initially process their movie takes in anything less then days

In case of (a) I wish Lytro would utilize this magic for their Illum users as well. (Of course I know they won't... )

Link | Posted on Apr 13, 2016 at 16:23 UTC as 7th comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

matthiasbasler: A year ago I still hoped Lytro would be the start of a new era of cameras. I was seldom so wrong.

What's worse is that it seems only a matter of time now that Lytro will shut down its image server, which is basically the only possibility to share the "living pictures". (Unless you are willing to share 60MB image files plus the application via email or the like)

So I now have a camera which I paid 1200€ for (!!!) a year ago, whose resulting images take up ~100GB(!) and will be more or less useless in a foreseeable future.

You may understand I am angry ...

@electrophoto
>You new about the dependency on lytro web-services, about the file size, about the inability to easily share & distribute the results, before you made the purchase.

I didn't. I read some other people's reviews and watched a some of their support videos, but several things, like the huge files or the way Lytro desktop manages images, or the fact that sharing to 500px actually means hosting the image at Lytro ... those things came as a surprise. They weren't mentioned anywhere. I didn't expect these, otherwise I would have done more throughout investigation first.

And a "fixed lens" imho is not an indicator that a camera is unsuitable for professionals. And even less since 1" compact cameras with a fast lens and an equally versatile zoom range as Lytro exist which have an image quality and functionality more than good enough for almost any use case except special things like using tilt&shift lenses or sports photography.

Link | Posted on Apr 7, 2016 at 17:22 UTC
In reply to:

Yake: This was so predictable, even on the day the Lytro camera was announced. Lytro was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

Most (nearly all) consumers don't want to adjust focus on their photos post-exposure. They don't want to adjust focus on their photos ever. Instead, they want their photos to simply BE in focus. They don't want to have to think about focus at all. Consumers want pictures, just pictures, not work. And Lytro always sounded like needless work.

The only people who like to work on pictures are some (not all) professionals and a small percentage of photography hobbyists. And those are exactly the people who tend to get focus right, thus not needing a post-exposure focus solution.

That said, the same technology may have other applications, just not in consumer cams.

For me the initial selling point indeed was "post focus" ... until I realized that focusing with the Lytro was actually *harder* than with a normal camera.

But now, a year after, I like three features, in this order:
- the 3D effect for close subjecs (aka perspective shift)
- Focus shift, the animation of the focus moving seamlessly from background to a foreground object or vice versa
- Being able to get anything from F1 to F16 from *one* shot.
Note that "correcting focus in post" is not on the list, neither is focus plane tilting, which I hardly ever use. (I am perhaps not creative enough...)

Rishi, you mentioned "Image stabilization after-the-fact". I never heard of this one before and I doubt the Lytro had this. Actually it is is a camera you should always put on a tripod and use with low ISO in low light in order to retain as much of the low resolution as possible. Almost all of my handheld low-light shots ended up being discarded for being blurred.

Link | Posted on Apr 6, 2016 at 19:28 UTC
In reply to:

matthiasbasler: A year ago I still hoped Lytro would be the start of a new era of cameras. I was seldom so wrong.

What's worse is that it seems only a matter of time now that Lytro will shut down its image server, which is basically the only possibility to share the "living pictures". (Unless you are willing to share 60MB image files plus the application via email or the like)

So I now have a camera which I paid 1200€ for (!!!) a year ago, whose resulting images take up ~100GB(!) and will be more or less useless in a foreseeable future.

You may understand I am angry ...

@Everlast66
> products like the Illum are exactly the type of items that become collectable

[Laughing] Now that the Windows API has become somewhat stable I have no doubt I can still use Lytro Desktop 5 in 2025. Better still, five years in the future the Lytro Desktop software will run with an acceptable speed on my future notebook, and with 8GB SSDs by then people will find the 60MB-90MB image files quite acceptable. (Maybe not the quality, though.)
Hey, this camera will become more usable and thus more valuable each year! ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 6, 2016 at 19:01 UTC
In reply to:

matthiasbasler: A year ago I still hoped Lytro would be the start of a new era of cameras. I was seldom so wrong.

What's worse is that it seems only a matter of time now that Lytro will shut down its image server, which is basically the only possibility to share the "living pictures". (Unless you are willing to share 60MB image files plus the application via email or the like)

So I now have a camera which I paid 1200€ for (!!!) a year ago, whose resulting images take up ~100GB(!) and will be more or less useless in a foreseeable future.

You may understand I am angry ...

@JackM
> angry at yourself, right?

Mostly yes, for being too naive. And angry at amazon.de to sell the camera as "for semi- and professionals", which was plainly a lie, except for the price.

I have learned an important lesson a hard way:
If a product doesn't work as required for for you, don't expect the producer to fix it (or the software), better give it back as long as you can ... and test it well within these 14 days (in Europe).

Link | Posted on Apr 6, 2016 at 18:53 UTC
In reply to:

lambert4: I always teetered on the edge of trying it but the low resolution result was just too imrtant. I hope they find success in whatever they choose, it was acompletely new platform for photography they tried to introduce. Now companies like panasonic have focus pull and other variations. Kudos and best of luck!

I fad a Canon Powershot G3 once and was happy with its 4MP images as well.
But the truth is, that although the Lytro Illum could export images with a size of 4 MP, these images were so soft that the actual resolution was 1.5MP, maybe 2MP with optimal conditions. They didn't even look crisp on a Full HD screen. Had the Illum reached an effective resolution of 2.5-3 MP it had imho been already a much more useful camera. But technical and computational limits didn't permit for this at the time being. (My 3 year old notebook is already buckling under the heavy computing for the Illum.)

Link | Posted on Apr 6, 2016 at 18:32 UTC
In reply to:

Yake: This was so predictable, even on the day the Lytro camera was announced. Lytro was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

Most (nearly all) consumers don't want to adjust focus on their photos post-exposure. They don't want to adjust focus on their photos ever. Instead, they want their photos to simply BE in focus. They don't want to have to think about focus at all. Consumers want pictures, just pictures, not work. And Lytro always sounded like needless work.

The only people who like to work on pictures are some (not all) professionals and a small percentage of photography hobbyists. And those are exactly the people who tend to get focus right, thus not needing a post-exposure focus solution.

That said, the same technology may have other applications, just not in consumer cams.

> Lytro was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.
> Most (nearly all) consumers don't want to adjust focus on their photos post-exposure.

Well, call me an exception, then. When I looked at some mis-focused normal images I would never be able to take again I sometimes wished I could correct the focus in post.

Even with a classical camera I sometimes shot images with different focus and then smoothly transitioned form background to foreground or vice versa in my digital slideshow. This gave a cool effect similar to that of a re-focusing video camera.

Oh, and you should be aware that post-focus-change was just one thing to do with this camera. On close distances (flowers, small sculptures) this camera could be used as a 3D camera. And don't tell me people aren't interested in 3D either... ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 17:43 UTC
In reply to:

AbrasiveReducer: Give Lytro credit. They understand something many of the smaller market share camera companies don't seem to, which is it's an established industry with accepted norms and too many players. Great for consumers and fans, just not much of a business proposition.

But the thing in the photo looks gorgeous.

> funny looking products

Not quite. The one thing done really well about the Lytro Illum was imho the design. It was not just a boring black/silver chassis in typical DSLR or retro style, it had a design that raised interest by many photographers wherever I took it.
... something the "big players" haven't been able to design over the last years. With the exception of Pentax, maybe (K-30).

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 17:37 UTC

A year ago I still hoped Lytro would be the start of a new era of cameras. I was seldom so wrong.

What's worse is that it seems only a matter of time now that Lytro will shut down its image server, which is basically the only possibility to share the "living pictures". (Unless you are willing to share 60MB image files plus the application via email or the like)

So I now have a camera which I paid 1200€ for (!!!) a year ago, whose resulting images take up ~100GB(!) and will be more or less useless in a foreseeable future.

You may understand I am angry ...

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 17:29 UTC as 40th comment | 8 replies

> ... established industry where the product requirements had been firmly cemented in the minds of consumers by much larger more established companies.

That's one way to phrase it. The other one is that Lytro did imho a few mistakes that would have been avoidable:
- The praised their camera as one for "professionals" (see amazon!) while lacking several absolutely basic features like useful metadata support, tagging/searching and a fast workflow (time is money for pros)
- They never integrated well into the Windows ecosystem. Outside their application and their server the Lytro images are basically worthless.
- Their Lytro Desktop has never worked well on my PC, showing sporadic erratic behaviour and reproducible UI freezes in certain situations. According to Lytro these issues were not reproducible for them. Ced/Cyan 3D display never worked.
- They didn't live up to user expectations concerning the resulting image quality given the huge image files and the processing power needed.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 17:17 UTC as 43rd comment
On article Nikon D750 service advisory warns of shutter issue (347 comments in total)

My D750, according to the SN test is not affected, but obviously it is.

I was on holiday on an island and had three days with high air humidity and recurrent rain. After using the D750 outside for timelapses it showed a black shadowing on the lower part of the image, more and more frequently, first with low battery only, later always. Only letting the camera dry indoors helped recover it after a while.

There's no point in saying "Avoid Nikon" or the like. My Canon EOS 650D showed two dozens of "hot pixels" on night images after just two years. I had to send it in two times (and pay for it) in order to get them removed. The first EF-S 18-135mm IS STM also was faulty.

This likely affects many companies ant it is imho caused by the demand for quick release cycles (which limit long term testing possibilities) and the ultra-high-tech components which aren't as robust any more. Today bying a camera + lens kit is like gambling - chances are high one of them is faulty in some aspect.

Link | Posted on Mar 24, 2016 at 21:28 UTC as 7th comment
On article Lytro Desktop 5.0 introduces depth-based image editing (41 comments in total)

Now the new version is out and I have done some tests here is what I found:
- On the plus side, being finally able to give proper names to images is nice.
- I don't care about the new DepthFX features, thus didn't test them.
- The promised performance improvements ... well, I didn't find any. At least performance didn't get worse either.
- None of the bugs I have posted to Lytro seems to have been fixed. Within two hours of working with the application I had my first main screen freeze. (It would continue to show one and the same image, no matter what thumbnail I chose.)

And by the way:
Although there has never been an official statement it seems obvious to me that 500px has de facto ceased support for displaying Lytro images, although the Lytro software still offers to upload images to them.
Even Lytro's own profile looks rather barren now: https://500px.com/lytro
If 500px really had an interest in it they had fixed this issue within the last two months, I am sure.

Link | Posted on Dec 15, 2015 at 18:11 UTC as 2nd comment
In reply to:

luisflorit: Why do I always see lots of artifacts in the blended (stacked) final results??
I've never seen a satisfactory HDR or panorama automatic implementation, always poorly blended. And the results here indicate to me that this focus stacking has the same problems (man face around the nose, and just everywhere in the church image). Manual blending or using dedicate software like Hugin always gives me MUCH better results, although with extra work of course.

I believe this kind of soft halos is not a problem of this (or any other) camera, but rather inherent to how image stacking software works. Think about it: If you have an image with sharp background your foreground will be blurry, which means that a twig (for instance) in the foreground will appear softer and thus wider than it is. It covers quite a bit of background. The software would need to replace this larger section but in the foreground image the twig is crisp and narrow. Thus, the halos stem from information not available in any of the original images.

Since the Lytro literally looks around objects it doesn't have this problem to this extent.

I wonder if you really can circumvent this issue by stacking manually... ?

Link | Posted on Nov 27, 2015 at 18:03 UTC
In reply to:

luisflorit: Why do I always see lots of artifacts in the blended (stacked) final results??
I've never seen a satisfactory HDR or panorama automatic implementation, always poorly blended. And the results here indicate to me that this focus stacking has the same problems (man face around the nose, and just everywhere in the church image). Manual blending or using dedicate software like Hugin always gives me MUCH better results, although with extra work of course.

Thanks, now I see what you mean. The issue is directly left of the man's nose and continues down to its upper lip. Clearly not perfect but nothing I would depend a pro or contra for this camera on.

Link | Posted on Nov 27, 2015 at 17:36 UTC
On article Lytro Desktop 5.0 introduces depth-based image editing (41 comments in total)
In reply to:

forpetessake: Even though the foreground is very close to the camera and background is virtually in infinity, the automatic separation is pretty poor and defects are visible even on that small picture. The PS mask would do a better job in not much more time. And, of course, in real work creating a mask is the simplest of the tasks. Getting the lighting and colors consistent is more difficult.

Looks like Lytro is still looking for an application for their product and have hard time finding any.

> I wonder how much of this is due to the inherent low resolution of spatial capture?

Not much I believe. As far as I understand the process the depth image is derived by comparing the images taken from different angles and identifying objects in them. This means that on parts of the image with little or no contrast the camera has no chance of separating foreground and background. My typical issue: a green flower stalk in front of a similarly green meadow. A radar sensor would see the stalk, but a camera cannot. No problem on a 2D image, but in a 3D scene the result is a flower hovering in mid-air. (Detection has somewhat improved though.)

Link | Posted on Nov 25, 2015 at 18:28 UTC
On article Lytro Desktop 5.0 introduces depth-based image editing (41 comments in total)
In reply to:

LF Photography: Here is what the internet taught me about Lytro over the years:

- They invented a revolutionary tech that allows choosing focus in PP
- The came out with an expensive gadget camera that didn't sell
- They came out with another, even more expensive camera, that was better, but still bad.
This one also didn't sell.
- They closed up shop and turned to VR
- They just came out with an software update for their camera system.

That is all.
I'm sure there's more to the story, but at this point, I just don't care anymore. No disrespect intended, as I'm sure Lytro is a great company with great people, but Light Field Tech, just as VR tech (ironically), has been around for a long time, and hasn't caught on for a reason; It's not good enough. At least not yet. And once it becomes good enough, it will have to earn the consumer's trust all over again, and prove itself as something more than just a hip gadget.

After having used the Lytro Illum for half a year I also wonder if the light field approach Lytro has taken is the right one to achieve the goals they had and I had when I bought the camera.
Getting images with ~1.5 MP-2MP resolution and artifacts out of a 40MP sensor makes me feel there must be some better way. Panasonics "Post focus" function sounds like a better trade off for most photographers:
- You get 8MP resolution (enough for me)
- There are no limitations to how to place your focus points. (Yes, you have to focus with the Lytro Illum, and imho it's harder than with a conventional camera)
- You can get conventional JPG images out of it and are not tied to a proprietary, somewhat buggy software.
- Your images are not 120MB each (!)
On the other side:
- the Lytro Illum can photograph moving objects such as animals, although it is imho useless for fast motion, e.g. sports.
- the Lytro Desktop software offers useful features such as videos, perspective shift, virtual aperture.

Link | Posted on Nov 25, 2015 at 18:15 UTC
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