Douglas F Watt

Douglas F Watt

Lives in United States Boston, United States
Works as a Neuropsychologist
Joined on May 15, 2008

Comments

Total: 53, showing: 1 – 20
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On Enthusiast mirrorless camera roundup (2014) article (123 comments in total)

What?? No Sony A6000 in this group?? No A7ii/s/r? The Nikon 1 is totally out of its depth in this group . . . it's not even a fair comparison. But it does show what Nikon thinks of the whole mirrorless thing. . .

Direct link | Posted on Nov 27, 2014 at 06:39 UTC as 38th comment | 1 reply
On Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review preview (671 comments in total)

what's troubling here are the signs that DPR is simply in over their heads: a) have had to go to 'fluff' 1st impressions reviews for all kinds of stuff and the number of actual substantive reviews per month has really dropped off from the start of the year; b) not able to collect information competently (took JPEGS from this camera with NR turned off, didn't notice - until I pointed that out - same mistake made on the Sony RX1r too) and hasn't reshot the studio images for either Sony camera, leaving everyone wondering what's up; c) neglecting Sony out of a Canikon bias (doubtful given all the Gold Awards to Sony stuff over the last three years).

Bottom line - something is really amiss at DPR. Desperately short staffed? Overextended?

What is going on with DPR???????

Direct link | Posted on Nov 15, 2014 at 01:09 UTC as 6th comment
On Canon PowerShot G7 X Review preview (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

mcolvin1: For $598, I could buy the Sony a5100, which from reviews I have read at other sites, is probably a better camera (APS-C sensor, 24 mp, touch screen, very fast auto focus, etc.) It is only slightly larger than the Canon G7 X (with the kit lens). Better lenses can be added later. DPR has yet to do its review. I am hoping that it will get a high rating. If so, that will be the one I will buy. Its image quality is supposed to be as good as the Sony a6000, which has excellent IQ. But it is small enough to fit in a fanny pack and carry all the time. After reading DPR's review of the G7 X, it is no longer on my list. Why pay more for it when it is probably not as good as the a5100?

@2eyesee

Yup. Like I said, it's all about tradeoffs.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 12, 2014 at 15:49 UTC
On Canon PowerShot G7 X Review preview (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

mpgxsvcd: I think Canon will see this as a good reason not to use other companies sensors. They will say that putting the Sony sensor in this camera was the reason it failed to produce the results they wanted.

Canon should just go back to their roots. Make a really good Rebel Camera with a Great new zoom lens. Make the lens fast with great AF for video but they need to figure out one way or another how to put a good sensor in it.

I don't care if they make it themselves or buy it from someone else. It needs to finally be as good or better than the competition. Then just advertise the heck out of it and they can get back on track.

the differences in their DxO scores are pretty modest, and don't translate into a meaningful difference in picture quality. Don't get too fixated on DxO numbers. It's just one set of metrics.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2014 at 23:19 UTC
On Canon PowerShot G7 X Review preview (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

mcolvin1: For $598, I could buy the Sony a5100, which from reviews I have read at other sites, is probably a better camera (APS-C sensor, 24 mp, touch screen, very fast auto focus, etc.) It is only slightly larger than the Canon G7 X (with the kit lens). Better lenses can be added later. DPR has yet to do its review. I am hoping that it will get a high rating. If so, that will be the one I will buy. Its image quality is supposed to be as good as the Sony a6000, which has excellent IQ. But it is small enough to fit in a fanny pack and carry all the time. After reading DPR's review of the G7 X, it is no longer on my list. Why pay more for it when it is probably not as good as the a5100?

so don't buy the kit lens! It's all about tradeoffs. Either the RX100III (arguably better camera than the G7X) or the Canon will be way more compact than the A5100 with a lens on it, but both will not really compete with the 5100 in the pictures department (the RX100III will beat the 5100 in the video department)

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2014 at 23:14 UTC
On Canon PowerShot G7 X Review preview (394 comments in total)
In reply to:

monkeybrain: So the Samsung NX Mini's (also 1 inch sensor) sample's gallery was up and the camera on sale before the Canon was announced. But DPReview clearly prioritised the Canon review because it'll get more hits and have (presumably indefinitely) sidelined the Mini review despite the sample's gallery having some very promising shots.

Hi Richard

Seems like a pretty fair review to me . . . but (and not to pile on :-)) I am surprised that you rated the screen and viewfinder experience on the G7X and the RX100III as the same?? Really? Was that a hiccup?

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2014 at 23:11 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

Hi Rishi

yes, i am confident that there are probably some hardware restrictions that prevent the RX100III and even the A77II from doing 4K (and prevent the RX100 from doing it too). But I get the sense (just guessing on this) that Sony is late to the party on 4K. No on-camera record ability on the 4K on the A7s, and no seeming interest in this ability anywhere else. I think they have company on this sluggish/ambivalent embrace of 4K - (Nikon!), but the interest in 4K is about to explode as the sets enter the mainstream (we bought out first 4K set this summer and love it). If Samsung's new PHONE has 4k for Pete's sake, then flagship DSLRs (even APS-C ones) should have it. I think they are really underestimating how quickly interest in 4k will pick up. The new codec (forgotten its designation but the Nx1 has it) will really help by reducing the obscene file sizes. Sony will be caught with their pants down on this.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 31, 2014 at 00:04 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

armandino: It strikes me how bad the Sony SLT-A77 II is in noise when compared to the peers.

Which images are you guys talking about? The JPEGs were removed (due to someone not paying attention and shooting the scenes with high ISO NR turned off!). The RAW images are all close, w/ the A77II and the 7D about the same at 6400, and the 7100 and 7DII both slightly (and I mean slightly) better. Curiously, if you look at DxO testing the three cameras in this class, the A77II at 12800 is less noisy than either the Canon or Nikon APS-C (7D DxO testing not available but 70D probably using the same sensor (http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-II-versus-Canon-EOS-70D-versus-Nikon-D7100___953_895_865). There is really nothing separating the cameras that is truly meaningful in these metrics - people fixate on DxO numbers, but that is nothing but a slightly more sophisticated version of the megapixels wars. It's really whether you like shooting with the camera, its OS, and its support ecology that become the really important question. No the minutia.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 29, 2014 at 20:32 UTC
On Canon PowerShot G7 X First Impressions Review preview (954 comments in total)

Nice to see that Richard has a real sense of humor (he should express it more often):

"At which point you try to compensate for the excessive compensation you've applied and are reminded that the dial operates the opposite direction to every other camera you've ever used, meaning you have to compensate for your compensated compensation. Then the battery runs out, because it's too small."

In fact, I've had more chuckles reading this group of comments, and the review itself, than I've had on any photo blog in a while. Most of the time, it's a crabfest of trolling and grouchiness. This one was pretty good (although there is still no shortage of grumpy customers).

Direct link | Posted on Oct 29, 2014 at 01:45 UTC as 14th comment
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

Hi Rishi

Excellent ideas!

I noticed the RX1R having its NR turned off on high ISO simply by looking at the images (I own the RX1). I'll have to check those images that you mention in your last post on the comparometer out later today - gotta run to see patients. Meanwhile, your feedback would be appreciated about the review I've just done on the A77II. It's the first review on Amazon's website on the camera. Still working on it . . .

My biggest concerns are 1) overexposure (both from flash and ambient light); 2) use of line skipping instead of full frame sampling in video (a real puzzle given Bionz X processor); Sony's dismal instantiation of PlayMemories on this camera; 4) no apparent interest in 4k.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 27, 2014 at 14:34 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

If two Sonys (RX-!R and A77II) had their JPEG studio takes poorly shot with high ISO NR turned off, I get what you mean by quality control problems at DPR. It suggests that if there are other sets of high ISO JPEGs that appear uncharacteristically noisy, it might make sense to check those also. I agree that that default Sony JPEG engine is overly smooth and too aggressive on NR, but it can be tweaked (sharpness for one can be easily improved), and of course, there is always shooting in RAW. . .

I also think that the high ISO performance is significantly enhanced by both the in-body IS and the MF NR setting. You can also set where the MR NR ISO is shooting those multiple frames, to really squeeze the last iota of quality out of low light images.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 27, 2014 at 03:14 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

One other impression Rishi

I suspect that the exact same mistake was made with the Sony RX1R - the JPEGs look like NR was turned off on high ISO. No way that it has way worse high ISO JPEG noise than the RX1.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 27, 2014 at 00:48 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

Hi Rishi
Thanks much for the prompt reply. I suspected as much in terms of the NR settings. I think part of my comment however might have been misconstrued - b/c RAW and JPEG noise DO have a correlation (you have to in a sense choose b/t noise vs loss of detail in JPEGS, and there is no free lunch on that point), I believed that the relatively identical RAW noise in the A77II compared to the A6000 made me suspicious that someone had altered the default high ISO noise setting - which you confirmed.

As for the second question, PD is only on the A6000 sensor, and pulling it off of the circuitry typically helps a little with high ISO noise, at least in RAW. I believe that the PD elements on chip also hurt the A99's noise profile a little bit. As for default NR setting (A77II) severely hurting detail, I'm curious whether there is any evidence that the A77II has a radically different JPEG engine compared to the A6000 - which I think does a superb job of preserving high ISO detail.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 27, 2014 at 00:37 UTC
On Canon EOS 7D Mark II First Impressions Review preview (2600 comments in total)
In reply to:

kevin_r: Somehow, I'm puzzled by the fact that we have studio images for the Canon 7D Mark II whilst there are still none for the sony A77 Mark II which has already been out in the market for months......
The Canon still has to appear on the shelves.
Really strange, that.

Hi Rishi

The above trollling comment from Serickmetz totally aside, I am wondering what you had for firmware version in the A77II, and what your high ISO NR was set on for the studio images (and are you absolutely sure about that being the default setting??), as the levels of chroma noise in the A77II JPEG images vs. the A6000 is 1) striking; 2) not remotely what I am seeing on my A77II (firmware 1.01). This increase clearly is not accounted for by any corresponding increase in RAW noise, as those images are roughly comparable. Also, the slight 1/3 f-stop noise penalty relative to the A6000 from the SLT system would probably be partially mitigated by taking PD elements off chip in the A77II.

Secondly, when will you guys have a full review of the A77II?

thanks, DW

Direct link | Posted on Oct 26, 2014 at 22:03 UTC
On High Flyer? DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Drone Review article (180 comments in total)

You guys are too kind. If you simply tested a camera (vs. a FLYING camera) with this kind of performance, you would give it a 55. Quit pussy-footing around :-). This much money for such - at best - average compact camera pictures doesn't seem like a great value. It would appear that the helicopter portion is better than the camera portion.

I guess the question that the review omitted is what the competition might be like?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 14, 2014 at 14:33 UTC as 64th comment
On Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review preview (671 comments in total)

The silence from DPR about the potential status of a review on the A77II is deafening. Numerous posts on the blog here expressing distress about the lack of a formal review, and not a peep from DPR. Is DPR too busy to respond? Or is no response thought wiser than bad news (that a full review isn't going to happen)?

Direct link | Posted on Oct 14, 2014 at 03:02 UTC as 18th comment
On Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review preview (671 comments in total)
In reply to:

TheEnthusiast: Ever since I sold my A77 and all my APS-C lenses to go full-frame with the A99, I've sorely missed the compactness of the A77. The A99 beat the old A77 in low-light performance by a solid two stops, and the colors in the A99 are terrific. But the A99 is a boat anchor. While I can't give it up, I've been looking for something smaller-lighter as a second camera. At the top of my list have been the A7r and the Leica T. Both of those cameras have walk-around zooms that are somewhat compromised, apparently due to an attempt to attain the last measure of compactness.

One of the things I truly loved about the A77 was the superb 16-50 lens. It doesn't have the Zeiss name or even the G-designation, but it is relatively compact and a fantastic value. Its only significant flaw was some mid-image, barrel-like distortion that I noticed most when comparing RAW images to camera-corrected jpegs of the same shot. The A77 II with the 16-50 lens is a tempting package to me.

I've had the A65, the A99, and now the A77II. I found that the weight of the CZ24-70 plus the A99 just about a pound more than I wanted to tote around even with a shoulder strap. I could be persuaded back to FF by a A99II if it was a real home run. Loved the 24-70 but like you said, the combination is a boat anchor. It's all tradeoffs. I also think that the AF system on the A77II is better than the A99. Way better sports camera, esp, with the deeper buffer.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 12, 2014 at 12:43 UTC
On Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review preview (671 comments in total)

Here's another classic mis-step associated with the once-over-lightly treatment. DPR is just plain wrong when they state "The electronic viewfinder, on the other hand, is unchanged" (from the A77). Nope. It's not. Way better control over contrast, and way better in low light.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 11, 2014 at 05:20 UTC as 19th comment | 1 reply
On Sony SLT-A77 II First Impressions Review preview (671 comments in total)
In reply to:

K E Hoffman: Five months! Do you want me to drive down to Seattle on the weekend and help with review, I will :) . This is the best APS camera ever made under $1500. You should be getting these reviews out in 30-60 days.. Are we going to wait until after Christmas for D750 and 7DII reviews? I can even bring my own camera!!

It appears that DPR has gone in the direction of once-over-lightly reviews of everything under the sun vs. detailed reviews that are timely for major products. Since they have been trying to hire someone, I suspect they are seriously short handed. I agree that it is a unique camera (I love mine), but there are also some issues that suggest it was rushed to market (particularly the overexposure in bright light, and the dismal smartphone interface).

Direct link | Posted on Oct 11, 2014 at 04:59 UTC
On Tune in to DPReview Live this Thursday and Friday article (238 comments in total)

Speaking of hot bullet points, which of the first impressions reviews of new cameras will make it to a final (full) review? Some? All? Is this information a state secret?

Waiting with baited breath. Not to be confused with being baited by manufacturers.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 8, 2014 at 01:57 UTC as 68th comment | 1 reply
Total: 53, showing: 1 – 20
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