Joseph S Wisniewski

Joseph S Wisniewski

Lives in United States Detroit, MI, United States
Works as a Speech and sensor scientist
Has a website at
Joined on Jul 12, 2002
About me:

I've been in love with photography for over 40 years.

My favorite form of photography is macro, and much of my gear is of my own design.

I've done professional photography on and off for over 20 years.
Taught 8 years at Midwest Photography Workshops.
Designed 3 scientific digital cameras and 6 lenses.

Author of mImage and (coming soon to the App Store and Google Play) ColorForEveryone.


Total: 501, showing: 81 – 100
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In reply to:

LensHood: I just don't get it with these video capabilities. Editing video is seriously time consuming and most people I know really don't have time to do that. And besides the video it is so hard to find good music to go with it. Or is it just a sales argument for people and never use it once they have it? Maybe I'm oldfashioned, but from a hobby perspective shooting stills provides far more joy.
It justbreaks my heart all the innovation goes to video instead of optimising photo more.

Even hollywood can't guarantee success after a $100 mln investement in a two hour movie. Are there really that many video amateurs that prefer DSLR over a handycam that at least has decent autofocus?

"It justbreaks my heart all the innovation goes to video instead of optimising photo more."

Does better focus count as "optimising photo more"?

What Canon has done with this new sensor should result in main-sensor PDAF that surpasses SLR mirror based AF in both accuracy and frame coverage. It's hard to imagine something that will benefit photos more than that.

Except for better lenses, and this new AF system is perfectly suited to mirrorless cameras, which means lenses that approach closer to the sensor plane. Ever heard the phrase "the Leica look"?

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2013 at 19:42 UTC
In reply to:

rarufu: Canon, i am afraid, that the times, when masses bought big and heavy DSLR stuff, are almost over.

I would not buy those again and people running arround in the city making silly photos of street cafes or of themselfes seem to be poor dinosaurs.

Second: Will those split phase detection pixels make photos better or worse from the quality aspect ?

Good luck anyway.

Well then, it's a good thing that the AF capability in this new sensor could put Canon right on top of the mirrorless heap, isn't it?

The split pixels won't harm any aspect of image quality (noise, dynamic range, etc) and they will result in more sharply focused images, so "better".

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2013 at 19:35 UTC
In reply to:

vodanh1982: M43 is an open mount system. How come they do "manual focus" only?

Cosina made house-brand AF lenses for half a dozen customers, including Kodak. They have the knowledge and the manufacturing ability. I'm going with the idea that they don't want to redesign these lenses for rear focus, or put up with the mechanical instability that seems to plague even the best super-fast AF lenses.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 22, 2013 at 16:28 UTC
In reply to:

Terry Breedlove: Perfect portrait lens for me. Fast aperture to keep shutter speeds up and iso numbers down. Perfect DOF at my favorite f2 FF eq for the fine art black and white portraits I do. I am buying the OMD em5 next week with the 17 f1.8 and I can't wait to join the four three crowd. :)

You pointed out that "The D800 is a whopping 450g heavier than a GH3".

That's probably less than how much heavier a trio of f0.95 primes on MFT than a trio of f1.8 primes on FF.

These lenses aren't about "equivalence" in day to day shooting. If shallow DOF or low light are the core of your shooting, get FF. If you don't need the speed most of the time, these Voigtlanders are great extensions that do increase the versatility of MFT.

So many people on both "sides" of an argument (that shouldn't even exist) miss this.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 22, 2013 at 16:24 UTC
In reply to:

slncezgsi: With respect to the price: Irrespectively of the focal length, it is an f/0.95 lens which makes it MUCH tougher to get the same optical performance as f/2.0 lens (equivalent speed for the same DOF in FX) - it is simply laws of physics.

Now whether it makes actually sense to buy this lens or rather go for APS-C of FX camera if thin DOF is what you are after is entirely different question.

It WILL look cool on OMD nevertheless :)

@slncezgsi, and that is why micro four thirds succeeds in it's own niche, not trying to say "anything you can do, I can do" to FF or even APS. There's nothing in physics that says it's impossible to build the f0.7 primes and f1.4 zooms that MFT needs to do the same jobs as the f1.4 primes and f2.8 zooms the FF shooter enjoys. Just that they will increase the cost, size, and weight of the whole system more than the MFT body will decrease cost, size, or weight.

The optical "sweet spot" is even larger than FF: some medium format lenses were stellar, but the ergonomic advantages of 35mm killed medium format even before digital came along.

MFT has strengths of its own, that even its loudest "advocates" ignore half the time in their "anything you can do, I can do better" obsession.

Think differently.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 22, 2013 at 16:14 UTC
In reply to:

ironcam: It seems to me that many people don't know that, although it produces the image of a 85/1.8, it still has the light capture capability of a f0.95.

The chase of for extreme shallow dof is just silly imo. Portraits where only the eyelashes are in focus are getting boring.

Yabokkie is totally correct. 42.5mm f0.95 puts exactly the same number of photons (those little things that actually make an image) onto a four thirds size sensor as 85mm f1.9 puts onto an FF sensor with 4x the area.

Pretending that f0.95 on MFT is the same as f0.95 on FF requires pretending that ISO 1600 on MFT is also the same as it is on FF, and it's not. That's why observatories build ever larger lenses (OK, mirrors) and larger sensors.

Given equally efficient sensors (a reality now that Sony is on the top of the game from FF to APS to MFT) you get essentially the same picture with

MFT with 42.5mm f0.95 1/200 sec ISO 400
FF with 85mm f1.9 1/200 sec ISO 1600

This is as true now as it was back in the film days, when we shot events with ISO 400 on medium format and ISO 100 on 35mm. It's why the serious landscape and product shooters used 4x5 and 8x10, because they shot those beasts as ISO 100, 64, or 50, and the ISO 4 film you need to match 8x10 at ISO 50 doesn't even exist.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 22, 2013 at 15:55 UTC
In reply to:

Gesture: I'd like to see Cosina complete the circle and issue its own digital camera (Epson RD-1 successor). Would love it to take LTM lenses like the RD-1, but that's a dream. How many cameras has Cosina built off that one chassis. (Olympus, Nikon, Bessa, Zeiss Ikon, ...)

"I wonder if Cosina -Voigtlander is planning to follow the way of Leica, and come out with a manual focus digital rangefinder"

Actually, Leica followed in the way of Cosina Voigtlander. The RD-1 (CV Bessa R body and lenses, Epson electronics) was the first M mount digital rangefinder, predating the Leica M8 by over two years. CV got out of that market about the same time Leica got in.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 17:28 UTC
In reply to:

AngryCorgi: Hang on folks...the WiFi was in there the whole time and just needed firmware changes to enable it. What if there is a useful camera hidden somewhere in the device too and all we need is some firmware to enable it?? Eureka!!

Off-the-shelf processors don't normally have WiFi transceivers. Those are complex: a mix of RF power devices and signal processing. Not to mention the filter networks and antenna that don't live on the chipset itself, and the need to design and test all that, as well as the need to get it EMC certified to the requirements of multiple agencies like the FCC.

The parts were expensive, and designing them in was expensive. They wouldn't have spent all that money if there were not plans in place from day one to have the firmware and iOS apps, so what you're seeing is simply Lytro totally blowing the schedule. Being a year late with something they obviously intended to support from day one is "what's not to like".

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 14:03 UTC
In reply to:

vadims: Arguments like "if I want the whole thing sharp, I'll do it that way" remind me those against multitasking when it just started to appear... Yes, there's a lot to dislike about Lytro as a *camera*, but attack the very ability of controlling the focus after shot? Give me a break.

You never know where things like this will end up. Space adventure movies might fail one after the other, but then there comes Star Wars -- that same genre done *right*, and all of a sudden everyone says they always knew space adventures are greatest thing since sliced bread (at least from the box office perspective).

The exact technology used by Lytro might as well be a dead end. Their form factor most definitely is :-) But that's the only game in town so far, anyway. So let's wait till (if...) the big boys roll out something of their own...

Oddly enough, as someone who used to design scientific and industrial cameras, "forensics" and "surveillance" don't come to mind, at all. Surveillance is all about covertness, resolution, low light capabilities, and dynamic range. Lytro is larger, lower resolution, and poorer in dynamic range than anything else in its price class. Forensics is hyperspectral, multispectral, macro, and high resolution techniques, and again, the lightfield design is a hindrance, not a help.

So, yes, I "seriously think there might not be a whole raft of applications".

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 13:57 UTC
In reply to:

Timo Voivalin: I like the idea that if everything is in focus (and the exact point is selectable afterwards) then there is no need for complicated AF systems. That means fast, simple photography when in hurry to get THE shot.

Only if IQ would be similar to normal camera...

I like that idea, too.

Too bad it didn't happen. The lytro concept requires an AF system, and the relatively fast lens needed insures it's a fairly complex, slow AF system.

First time I tried it, I couldn't quite believe how slow it was.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 13:44 UTC
In reply to:

yabokkie: there are many interesting ideas like this.
interesting at first and soon becomes yet another boring failure.
nevertheless some one has to try it. better some one tries it for us.

Technically, Pellican and Heptagon are synthetic aperture systems, a lot different than a "light field" (not "wide field") camera.

Pelican is very clever in that it applies a "spatial multiplicity" technique to the "cheapest of the cheap" cameras, the under a buck "dot" cameras built for $39 "disposable" phones, front cameras in $59 "no child left behind" tablets, and $9 webcams.

Lytro is the total opposite, their concept requires expensive, large high-mp sensors, and large, expensive lenses. At a time when camera phones are decimating teh p&s market, they're pushing a technology that is unfriendly to embedding in a phone.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 13:39 UTC
In reply to:

Marek Rucinski: This is an example of an interesting practice: put some hardware in the device, for which the user pays (the cost of the wifi chip was included in the price), and then increase the value proposition of the product (by enabling the feature) *after* the product has been sold (!)... or not.

I think this practice is not only dishonest, but also damaging to the client (who pays for a feature he may never see enabled in the end) and therefore should attract attention of relevant regulating bodies.

Sadly, examples of very similar practices start to pop out regularly (uncompressed hdmi in Canon 5d III, cropped hdmi output in Nikon D600), but this seems to be the boldest example to date. In case of Canon/Nikon it's difficult to prove dishonesty, because they can claim genius, and incompetence of their engineers, respectively. Situation here is different, because there are physical chips that were obviously meant to be there from the beginning, but were intentionally not enabled.

"I suspect they built this around some standard tablet chipset that included WiFi"

WiFi is in a separate, relatively expensive chipset, and requires a lot of engineering for things like the antenna. Nobody just tosses in a transceiver and neglects it. You're looking at a simple case of someone totally blowing one of the R&D budgets (money, time, or manageability) for the firmware, apps, or EMC certification.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 20, 2013 at 13:29 UTC
On Leica announces X Vario zoom compact with APS-C sensor article (757 comments in total)
In reply to:

Hugo808: No live view? Some mistake surely?

It's full time liveview, LOL. There's no optical viewfinder.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2013 at 14:29 UTC
On Bell Labs creates lensless single-pixel camera article (57 comments in total)
In reply to:

MarkInSF: Not of much interest for standard photography, but theoretically impressive. Imagine some kind of 'image' made up of difficult to detect energy. Maybe each sensor needs to be large and expensive, so building an array of adequately small sensors isn't possible. This shows one way of constructing an image using just one sensor.

Hubert, we do all those things now. Terrestrial telescopes make use of the parallax from the rotation of the earth and the movement of the earth about the sun (stellar parallax). Orbital eccentricities provide vertical parallax. Coordination of telescopes in different locations provides synthetic apertures.

And a lot of important astronomical imaging is done with single pixel scanning systems, especially longer wavelengths. Once you get to the far IR, single pixel devices, either coded aperture or scanning, become common. In x-ray astronomy, you see both array detectors like in the Chandra on, and single pixel detectors. Some are scanners, others use coded optics.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 5, 2013 at 18:53 UTC
On Bell Labs creates lensless single-pixel camera article (57 comments in total)
In reply to:

spidercrown: Don't look down on the idea. Probably there is no application value at this point of time. But some genius may be able to utilize this idea to re-invent the photography industries.
LED was invented ages ago. But were no value at that time. But now, what you are reading now is lid by the LED, if you say otherwise, you should start get yourself updated to appreciate the invention ppl make.

Weird. I remember growing up watching the LED become the number one display for clocks, and a common display for lots of other instrumentation from calculators to thermometers to the exposure display in my Nikon FM2 (a camera that launched about 1/3 century ago). Those "no value at that time" displays were pretty ubiquitous. How long ago did they start appearing in keychain flashlights? 25 years? 30? I remember the high brightness LEDs causing a stir in the mid 80s, and appearing on the first LED car brake lights around 1990, better than 20 years ago.

No one "looked down on" the LED. It had obvious applications from day 1, and it just kept evolving, improving in power, cost, color range, and efficiency, and each new improvement brought new uses. This aperture coding invention has no obvious uses that will cause it to grow and thrive.

As far as "what you are reading now is lid by the LED", I'm using a 30 inch Dell with a fluorescent backlight. ;)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 5, 2013 at 18:46 UTC
On Bell Labs creates lensless single-pixel camera article (57 comments in total)
In reply to:

Cameras do 1080p do we still need 1080p camcorders: I can see this in fixed focal length applications such as flatbed scanners
or webcams

but for a camera.. how will it zoom? how will we control bokeh etc..

You can zoom over an effectively infinite range by moving the sensor back and forth (it's a point sized sensor, it's easy) behind the modulator.

You can control bokeh by using a small array of sensors. They're single pixel, so relatively cheap.

Still not a particularly useful technique.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 5, 2013 at 18:34 UTC
In reply to:

ManuelVilardeMacedo: Canon innovating? Now that's what I call a surprise...

Yeah. It's not like they came up with the locally buffered CMOS sensor or anything.

Or the first practical stabilization system.

Or a usable ring ultrasonic motor, as well as the first really usable micromotor AF. (That's a minor innovation. All it did was displace Nikon as the number one camera maker).

Or the first DSLR liveview (on the 20Da).

Or tying with Nikon for the first movie mode.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2013 at 16:43 UTC
In reply to:

BJL: How about calling this technology "X3", which is the jargon adopted as an industry-standard by CIPA? "Foveon" is just one approach to X3, and not the one that Canon is pursuing, and the "X3" tag is also well-known.

> It would be sweetly ironic, would it not, if the ultimate art in digital sensor design actually used ideas from film emulsion technology

What's so ironic about that? A Bayer pattern sensor is "film emulsion technology". It uses organic filters, just like current color filter array sensors (and like the human eye). The Canon, Foveon, Nikon, and Sony layered sensors don't use organic filters.

I has different resolution on its different color layers, again just like film or a human eye. Why is that like film? Because the film makers alter grain size and density on each layer to achieve different densities.

And the grains of one color partially block those of another, so you have a color mosaic.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2013 at 15:07 UTC
In reply to:

roy5051: Will Canon be paying Sigma for licensing the idea?

What's the attitude, Kendall?

I mentioned two things, lowering costs and color separation. Cost wasn't just a failure, it may have been "the" failure, the one that sank Foveon. They used to market their sensors very aggressively to the P&S and cell phone markets on purported cost savings that never materialized. That's the main reason they never got appreciable wins in those fields.

Every last Sigma model has launched at a significantly higher price than any color filter array camera in their class. It's not always been as insane as the launch of SD-1 at $10,000, but the Foveon sensors have never been cost competitive.

And the color you tout is achieved at the cost of an insane amount of math and guesswork. You get good results, now, because you've put a lot of effort into getting there. The average photographer wants good color because of the camera he uses, not "in spite of" it.

Foveon has its strengths, but neither cost nor efficient color separation are among them.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2013 at 14:57 UTC
In reply to:

Timmbits: sounds like a solution where the real problem isn't one

Layered sensors solve problems of video scaling: dramatically increasing low light sensitivity and reducing moire. They also provide the same benefits to liveview.

They simplify AA filter design, as they eliminate color moire, which is much more visually distracting than luminance moire.

The Canon design theoretically should improve low light performance a stop over their color.

Direct link | Posted on May 24, 2013 at 14:37 UTC
Total: 501, showing: 81 – 100
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