JacquesBalthazar

Lives in Belgium Belgium
Joined on Oct 29, 2004

Comments

Total: 106, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Unfade for iOS scans and restores old prints (30 comments in total)

Just had a quick try: this is a joke of an app. Takes pic, stores it, applies an automatic filter, done. No way of tweaking anything: same cocktail each time. all it does it pumps up the warmer colours and adds a bit of contrast. Nothing you could not do just as fast with a cheap flatbed scanner and any standard scanning software. Or by using phone cam and any good editing app. In fact, it takes time to make sure the phone is parallel to pic, at right distance, no reflection on the pic surface, etc. Much faster and more precise to just slip pic on scanner surface. Only advantage I see is for people who want to scan pics directly from old albums (when visiting grandma for example)...I feel I wasted money that would have been better spent on a glass of very good beer. I'll try again this evening more thoroughly and will report back if I find the above too negative.

Link | Posted on May 27, 2016 at 03:59 UTC as 8th comment | 2 replies
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2458 comments in total)

A couple of months down the road now with my X-Pro2 and still agree with most of the facts and opinions of this review.

I just want to add my subjective bit: I am now certain that the X-Pro2 is the most enjoyable digital camera I have ever owned, FF included, and I just love the output it generates.

The JPEG OOC are almost always stunning, and the right raw processing tools produce equally brilliant results, if one decides to rebake pics in PP.

In summary, for me personally, the XPro2 easily beats any digital M (or any mirrorless I ever tried) from both the shooting experience (build, design, operation) and the IQ standpoints.

Really looking forward to the X-T2 now, hoping to leave DSLRs behind for good. Will depend mainly on the haptics: the design of additional grip and balance with the bigger zooms need improvement compared to X-T1. A slightly larger/heavier body would be nice. Assuming IQ will be on par with X-Pro2, and hoping speed of operation further improved... :-)

Link | Posted on May 24, 2016 at 06:15 UTC as 16th comment
On article Benchmark performance: Nikon D810 in-depth review (255 comments in total)

very interesting review, and worth the wait. In particular, it is great to get some solid and replicable data across brands and combinations of lenses and bodies on the previously mysterious interaction cocktails between mirrors, shutters and VR.

Interesting to see those specific cases where the remedy (VR) can increase the illness symptoms (blur).

This begs the question of potentially similar downsides with IBIS on high density sensors, both in DSLRs and mirrorless. Any opinions?

Link | Posted on May 13, 2016 at 05:41 UTC as 45th comment | 1 reply

Neat.

if I had the disposable income, this the current digital M I would get. And then its Monochrome limited edition when it comes (with the ISO wheel in Leica-correct black I am sure).

But, since I do not have that funding, I'll celebrate this launch today by loading my 25 year old M6 with a roll of "real raw" organic sensor material, and have the full experience.

Last time I changed the battery on the M6 was 5 years ago, by the way, and I do not even have to worry being stuck if it runs out of juice.

In your face, M-D.... :-)

Link | Posted on Apr 30, 2016 at 06:56 UTC as 79th comment
In reply to:

Murat Sahan: Its incredible that an APS-C camera can give useble pictures at iso 12800 but it seems like it can. Bravo Nikon Actually, had a new look with the low light setting and it looks even better than the competition at ISO 12800. Almost as good as the D750

Agree with @HowaboutRAW on Xpro2. There is a lot of smearing of details in the high ISO D500 samples, which hides the noise.

Xpro2 has more noise at same iSO but much more detail. And that noise looks like tight grain rather than a mix of smudges and artifacts. In fact high ISO D500 jpeg samples remind me of previous generation Xtrans in terms of "smearing", Except it climbs much higher up the ISO ladder.

The above does not change anything to the fact that the D500 looks like a fabulous picture taking machine, and is really tempting.

For people with mixed Nikon/Fuji estates (quite a few of those around), this D500 is going to create a problem for the coming XT2. If it had a couple more wide angle prime lens options, I'd be tempted as well. Oh, darn, I am tempted anyway.

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2016 at 07:07 UTC

Nice performance. But not that extraordinary. Is there baked-in NR going on ?

looking at 12800 ISO for example (a "reasonable" super high setting that occurs in real life) and at 6400, I feel I see "smearing" in the D500 pics, that I do not see in, for example, the Xpro2 ones at same setting, which in turn has more visible "grain" noise. I see that quite easily in the faces. And I had noticed as well in the high iso images posted in the forum (birds and dogs).

So, less visible high ISO noise, but also a bit less detail?

Again, a great camera overall, probably one of the greatest at this moment in time....

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2016 at 04:13 UTC as 67th comment
In reply to:

JacquesBalthazar: Does this process work with third party lenses, or does the individual calibration of lenses require Nikon to Nikkor?

That is encouraging, thanks!

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 11:29 UTC

Does this process work with third party lenses, or does the individual calibration of lenses require Nikon to Nikkor?

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2016 at 02:31 UTC as 81st comment | 3 replies
On article Fujifilm X70 Review (352 comments in total)

Interesting to compare the haptics between GR and X70. Both are clearly made for "expert" photographers, but come to the essentials from radically different angles.

I am an old analogue dials and knobs kind of guy, and am very comfy with my Fujis, but I do realise that in the digital age, the traditional interface embrassed by Fujifilm is not necessarily the most sensible.

The GR also claims solid 20th century roots by pointing back to the film GR1 of course. But that interface matured really nicely. It is a truly ingenious design.

I still have and enjoy the Nikon A (purchased before Ricoh GR was launched) and I very much enjoy the X100t. But if I had neither, I'd now go for the GRII I think.

Pity these guys screwed up the GXR adventure: a proper MILC with Ricoh GR haptics could have been a real hit.

Link | Posted on Apr 19, 2016 at 11:58 UTC as 43rd comment | 2 replies
On article Fujifilm X-Pro2 firmware update 1.01 now available (75 comments in total)

I only had the reset once, on first day, but nice to have the fix so fast. Their speed of reaction is great here, and, more generally, I feel very safe, as a customer, in the knowledge they have consistently embraced constant improvements post release for all their X bodies and lenses. That is exactly how it should be in this fast paced digital world.

Link | Posted on Mar 25, 2016 at 05:29 UTC as 6th comment | 1 reply

I have the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AFS, and it does a stellar job. But this one is really really tempting based on spec sheet. The VC in particular will bring real advantages for low light portraiture or general night photography (cityscapes, etc). Also their new SP build + WR is much nicer than Nikon's f1.8 range, as I found out since purchasing the 45mm. If it renders as well (or better) than the Nikkor, it should be worth the investment. The 90mm is appetising as well.

Link | Posted on Mar 23, 2016 at 11:55 UTC as 15th comment
On article Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review (2458 comments in total)

"Singular device" indeed, and a wonderful shooting experience, with great quality results. The Xpro1 was a great draft, while this is already a classic in my own personal pantheon of classics, and the only digital classic that comes to my mind just now....

Link | Posted on Mar 15, 2016 at 04:07 UTC as 103rd comment

These look like fun! If reality matches spec sheets, and they are as fast and reactive as I hope, these might be the snappiest "compacts" around, with enough quality for 99% of enthusiasts. Well done!

Link | Posted on Feb 23, 2016 at 05:45 UTC as 156th comment

Very, very appetising! Going to be an expensive Easter!

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:26 UTC as 43rd comment

Nice! Welcome back, Pentax! Congrats, Ricoh!

Link | Posted on Feb 18, 2016 at 05:22 UTC as 30th comment
On article Pocketable APS-C: Fujifilm X70 real-world samples (255 comments in total)
In reply to:

tikkypl: 16 mpix, 28mm f2.8. Where this camera is better then my Ricoh GR, which is extremly sharp, small, light weight and with excellent menu system?

The physical interface is the difference. Some users like to see all main settings at an analogue glance, even with camera turned off. The other difference is that the lens does not retract, alleviating at least some of the dust sucking issues of the GR. A pocketable camera should withstand pocket lint. Anyway, the GR is great, and this one feels great also. Albeit a bit late in the game for the sensor specs.

Link | Posted on Feb 9, 2016 at 05:36 UTC
In reply to:

tongki: Maybe information is not correct,
But Sony acquire Zeiss and Minolta, right ?
Zeiss lenses and Minolta with G series lenses
So, the new G master is adopted from Minolta technology ?

Sony never acquired Zeiss. There are complex arrangements between Sony and Zeiss regarding the production and branding of some E, FE and A mount lenses.

Sony acquired the Minolta SLR legacy when Konica-Minolta abandonned the photography market back in 2006. The A-mount was created by Minolta in 1985.

Link | Posted on Feb 4, 2016 at 08:36 UTC

These sure look sweet, in design as well as specifications! They do beg for a larger flagship FE body, designed to balance with such lenses, with better ergonomics than the A7II line (I just hate the haptics of those cameras anyway).

These G lenses would make Minolta proud... :-)

It is also interesting to note that, in the FE world, the Zeiss brand suddenly becomes a "mid-range" option from a price perspective. Shows a lot of confidence from Sony !

If I were starting from scratch, I'd seriously consider FE now....

Link | Posted on Feb 4, 2016 at 07:00 UTC as 42nd comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

Digitalis32: The fact that so much controversy has been sparked over digital alteration of this image shows how far photography has evolved over they decades = not at all.

Is correcting a slanted horizon in PP manipulation: yes
Is correcting a lenses distortion and CA manipulation: yes, it wouldn't be there at all if lens designers were doing their job properly.

Puritanism has no place with digital photography, go back to wet collodion.

One could argue that the ease of digital manipulation completely destroyed the credibility of photography as a means of capturing an objective "slice" of reality.

That said, manipulation exists ever since photography was invented. Even wet plate collodion allows a small degree of darkroom manipulation.

I liked the old photjournalism process of joining the full contact sheet of a complete roll of negatives to the proposed enlargement, or the requirement to work with slides only.

I guess the equivalent now is to join the RAW file, and let the editor make the judgement calls, according to published criteria.

Link | Posted on Feb 3, 2016 at 07:10 UTC
On article Design, looks and desire: Olympus does it again (397 comments in total)

Yep, more Leica III than Olympus Pen F. More forties than sixties. Silhouette looks great, but some of the detail finish maybe not where it wanted to be. In particular, horrid fonts on PASM dial. Wonder if it gives the same "hollow" feeling as the X100? It looks heftier, which would be nice. There is nonetheless something a bit sad with this retro quest in the sense that it indicates more appetite for nostalgia than for bold innovation (in design). The original Pen F was sleek. The XA was creative. Interesting that Leica designers appear to be more innovative than the others at the moment: Leica T, Leica SL, Leica S....

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 18:32 UTC as 91st comment
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