Joel Halbert

Lives in United States Tucson, AZ, United States
Works as a Engineer
Joined on Jul 4, 2003

Comments

Total: 39, showing: 1 – 20
« First‹ Previous12Next ›Last »
On article Small but mighty: hands on with the Panasonic GX85/GX80 (312 comments in total)

In section 5: "Like the GX8, the GX85 includes 3-axis in-body image stabilization and a Dual IS system which adds two extra axes if you use a lens with built-in stabilization."

This seems directly to contradict the press-release (and the DPR summary just before it), which says that the In-Body system is 5-axis even before you add the O.I.S. tandem assistance:
"Combining an O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis)..."

It seems like this needs to be clarified, and possibly section 5's blurb should be re-written. But thanks for getting the three features out so fast.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 06:53 UTC as 71st comment | 4 replies
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: Canon's G3X is a better buy.

Richard & co. have been beat up, quite recently, for long delays in other Panasonic reviews (namely GX8). I'm guessing they pushed this one out very fast because it changes the landscape of choices in the market, more so than most other camera introductions over the past year. Also perhaps helped by personal enthusiasm from at least one staffer - I detect that in this review, and have seen it quite a bit with (for example) Sony FF cameras lately.

Agreed that if you want to see a review of a camera (because you want to know about it, or because you want others to know about it), it is frustrating when it doesn't occur during the critical first several months of the product replacement cycle.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 01:02 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: Can someone please remind me - how big IS a 1" sensor? Even 35mm "full frame" is less than 1" in the shorter dimension ...

Brian

To amplify a bit on Richard's comment that "the naming system is broken" - a snip from a DPR post of mine about 1 year ago:

Image sensor size is described by an arcane standard, and it goes like this:

Back in the early decades of early video, when imaging was done via electron (vacuum) tubes, the image was focused onto a photo-charge-sensitive plate. Typically, the cylindrical glass tube that housed the imaging plate had a diameter of about 1.5 times the imaging plate diagonal. Engineers would refer to the imager size by citing the tube diameter, and since most of the development was in the USA, the measurements were cited in inches.

So, a "one inch" imaging tube housed an imaging plate roughly 2/3 of an inch diagonal, while a "four thirds inch" tube housed an imaging plate just under an inch diagonal.

This nomenclature, as silly as at seems now, has stuck and is used for describing the size of many digital still-camera image formats.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:54 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

Searching: Gold 82%........really.

I'd say it seems appropriate. This is a milestone product in the evolving landscape of digital cameras. So was the first TZ travel zoom, so was the first mirrorless ILC, so was the first 1" RX100 compact, and others. Very satisfying performance and versatility in a remarkably small package.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:34 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

Florida Kayaker: I don't really get it.
"Overall, the ZS100's photo quality is very good, though not the best in the 1"-type sensor class"
Well yes, detail looks terrible as does color comparatively.
"Despite a few quibbles, the ZS100's image quality is light-years ahead of any other compact travel zoom on the market"
because there is nothing else that qualifies as a travel zoom that employs a 1" sensor?

This review although bestowing "gold" has made me re-think purchasing this camera. I have had it in my basket on Amazon for weeks now but now i'm thinking better to give up the 100-250 range for significantly better image quality found in other 1" compacts. Anyone else feel this way? Maybe my take is all wrong.

"That is to say at the least shouldn't it be as good or comparable IQ to RX100-, G7X, at shorter focal lengths?"

In short, no. As with lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras, greater zoom ratio requires greater performance compromises.

I mostly use Panasonic`s pretty-darn-good 10x zoom on my MFT camera, for convenience, but could do better for critical IQ and low-light by switching between a couple of higher-rated zooms, and of course even better yet with half a dozen primes.

This camera is about versatility and compactness. It is pretty darn good, even by enthusiast standards, in any given situation. What makes it great is the extremely wide range of situations in which it can deliver pretty darn good results, while allowing you to forget it`s there when you`re not shooting.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:27 UTC
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (494 comments in total)

DPR, when I scroll down the "Gear in the Story" section and the "Shop Now" links below it, the only Panasonic camera listed is FZ1000. It seems that the ZS/TZ100 and the LX100 are both missing from the lists.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 17:21 UTC as 102nd comment | 1 reply
On article Studio tests and samples: Leica SL (beta) (752 comments in total)
In reply to:

Old Cameras: If anyone recalls there was a film camera called the Leicaflex SL that was not successful. It was their first attempt to compete with SLR's but was expensive of course, heavy, and lacking in features. I'm sure it was well made, but my understanding is that it cost more to produce than the asking price, and the asking price was astronomical for the day. They eventually gave up and stuck with the rangefinder cameras for which they were famous, and they been sticking with them ever since. I do not count the rebranded Leica SLR's that came later, I'm talking about a camera they actually made themselves. I think Nikon was smart enough to know that it's all about the sensor, I don't believe Leica has this competence.

Minor correction, the SL was the second iteration of the SLR cameras; the first was simply "Leicaflex", the second "Leicaflex SL" and the third "Leicaflex SL2", then followed by the "Leica" R3 through R5 which were based on Minolta bodies. This sequence doesn't consider minor detail variants, and also not mirror box accessories (Visoflex et. al.) for Leicas.

To me, the most striking aspect of the Leicaflex-era camera bodies was the outstanding viewfinder. Better than almost any other 35mm SLR, noting that most good 35mm SLRs back then had bigger and brighter finders than most DSLRs today. Things started downhill when low and medium SLRs began to use mirror assemblies rather than real mirrored pentaprisms.

It would not have been my advice to base the naming or styling of the new mirrorless line on the Leicaflex SL. Like many others, I was expecting a kind of ILC "Q" / EVF+AF "M" styling. also I think they should have had a good range of prime designs ready at launch.

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 06:17 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: OK, face it.

This is a mouth watering camera, and we all want one. I just can't aford one. But if I could....

AshMills, your gear list shows Nikon D800 - same width, taller, deeper and notably heavier. I'm not sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of record-breaking behemoth.

(Reminds me of the recent brouhaha over the Panasonic GX8, deemed a "big beast" by DPReview and a legion of posters, despite being smaller than than EM1 or GH4.)

I'm not claiming you should prefer the Leica over the Nikon - that is a completely different discussion.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2015 at 22:28 UTC

This is not a camera segment that I am deeply familiar with, but noting all the bigness and "monstrosity" comments, I looked for a competitive Canon as an example. The 5DS / R is substantially bigger in all dimensions, including about twice the depth - as expected with mirrorless vs. mirror-box - and heavier. And of course the EOS 1D cameras are in yet a further, really huge category.

So for those who are looking at this range of DSLR models, the Leica seems not so big after all. The lenses will all be top-notch, but the selection will grow very slowly. More like a smaller alternative to the Leica S, and with much more advanced AF. Not what I am looking for, but this is a specific range where portability is secondary, and relative.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2015 at 18:41 UTC as 81st comment
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

I am not an expert on this particular tax or the history around it. But though it seems wrong, I'd be hard pressed to say it's "odd" or unusual that taxes, regulations and offices stay on long after they should have been obsoleted. I think that unintended consequences are more often the rule than the exception.

A few years ago, I would have said that this is a typical example of moribund European over-regulation. In 2015, though, I can no longer sit in America and feel bemused by such foreign foolery. We are fast becoming the champions of it, as we simultaneously cease being the champions of anything worthwhile.

Note how many people here are so quick to demand an end to the simply awful practice of trying to make any money in exchange for goods or services (though of course deriding the competence of any company that loses money in a given year). That is why I wrote back to you in particular; I don't think your general philosophy runs along that line.

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 00:41 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

Marty, I understand the distinction you draw, but I think this paid upgrade falls squarely in your second category, not the first. The V-Log profile is a new feature, apparently very desirable to sophisticated videographers, apparently not trivial to implement, and its absence from the original GH4 was neither a planned "hold-back" nor a crippling issue. It's an up-side add-on feature.

To be clear, the paid upgrade does _not_ have anything to do with the >30 minute recording capability - it only implements V-Log. The time limit (for Europe) is due to an arcane tax issue, not a deliberate crippling by Panasonic. The new GH4R model includes the extra tax in its price, thus eliminating the time limit for Europeans (and also bundles the V-Log feature). The text is confusing in that it jumps back and forth between the V-Log GH4 firmware product and the GH4R unlimited-time-plus-V-Log camera product, two separate things. But neither product is a charge to fix a prior "deliberate crippling".

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 04:08 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

Marty, of all people here, I would expect you to be in favor of free market forces. If a competitor offers similar or better capability for free or for less, then Panasonic's model won't be the wave of the future. But if customers see the value, pay the relatively nominal cost and encourage Panasonic to pursue more upgrade projects for more revenue & profit, then yes it will be the wave of the future because it works for both provider and consumer.

All the other political, anti-business whining here is irrelevant and inconsistent with _many_ practices that we already accept in other areas of our life and our consumption.

We're not discussing disaster-relief corruption, war profiteering or melamine in the baby formula - it's V-Log for your GH4.

Link | Posted on Sep 2, 2015 at 06:02 UTC
In reply to:

Edgar_in_Indy: So Panasonic lens firmware can be updated from the camera? That's kind of cool. Do a lot of other camera makers allow users to update their lens firmware that way?

So now it's a conspiracy that manufacturers build processors, AF and stabilization control into lenses, that lenses store profiles the body can use to optimize AF and image quality even as the line expands?

Also, I guess someone didn't get the the "avoid old legacy lenses conspiracy" policy when they (from the get-go) enabled shooting with lenses that have no communication, built several modes of manual focus assistance into the lenses, and in fact sold adapters (from the get-go) for their own (Four-Thirds and Olympus OM) or partner (Leica M and R) legacy lenses.

It's probably part of the conspiracy that they did these things, so that no customer would actually be affected by the conspiracy, so they wouldn't notice that it was happening and the mad conspiracy could remain secret and powerful.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2015 at 16:29 UTC
In reply to:

Francis Carver: Let me see now if I get the lowdown here.

First, I buy a M4/3rd camera. But no lenses for it.

Next I buy a pricey Metabones lens adapter.

Them, I buy some Canon lenses.

Shake or stir and pour over ice, maybe?

Of course that is a classic straw-man scenario. You try to make the product concept seem ridiculous by assuming that the entire system selection is based on a Speed Booster optical chain, instead of the real scenario which is expansion of possibilities on top of the native MFT system's (extensive but not unlimited) lens selection.

I do not own a Speed Booster presently, but it is an impressive product and executed with surprisingly high (and fully revealed & specified) optical performance. The addition of quite-usable AF (and the free upgrade to that major benefit for existing owners) tells me that this is an excellent product from a very innovative and forward-thinking little company.

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2015 at 08:34 UTC
In reply to:

Infared: Another reason to buy Olympus :-)

I try to stay out of brand debates; I have and appreciate Olympus products also, but it is tiring to see Olympus users jump at every opportunity to make such a comment. There have been _many_ reports of buttons and dials falling off Olympus cameras, weak and bent tripod bottom plate mounts, and the occasional PRO lens separating from its mount. Panasonic, for all the other-side sneering, has a demonstrably low repair incidence for their cameras. This serial number issue is obviously a problem but I would say it's more of a manufacturing-flow issue (incorrect ink or incomplete cure) than a design flaw.

On the other hand, I would not be optimistic about the likelihood of no-problem handling in warranty repair. Panasonic's contracted service facilities don't seem particularly sensitive to customer service when anything unusual crops up, so I'm disappointed that Panasonic is suggesting one needs the original UPC, box or retained proof-of-purchase. They need a better solution.

Link | Posted on Jul 9, 2015 at 10:23 UTC
In reply to:

maxnimo: Why do they call it a 1" sensor when not even the diagonal is even close to 1" in length?

It's a good question. Image sensor size is described by an arcane standard, and it goes like this:

Back in the early decades of early video, when imaging was done via electron (vacuum) tubes, the image was focused onto a photo-charge-sensitive plate. Typically, the cylindrical glass tube that housed the imaging plate had a diameter of about 1.5 times the imaging plate diagonal. Engineers would refer to the imager size by citing the tube diameter, and since most of the development was in the USA, the measurements were cited in inches.

So, a "one inch" imaging tube housed an imaging plate roughly 2/3 of an inch diagonal, while a "four thirds inch" tube housed an imaging plate just under an inch diagonal.

This nomenclature, as silly as at seems now, has stuck and is used for describing the size of many digital still-camera image formats.

Link | Posted on Apr 19, 2015 at 02:16 UTC
In reply to:

thejohnnerparty: Hum. 20 MP. If Sony can make 20 MP on the 1", why isn't the M4/3 going to be somewhere near 24 MP or 27 MP? That would get closer to the density of the 1". Hum?

The 20MP of the 1" sensor is not necessarily there for quality reasons, more for marketing. The total area of the so-called 1" sensor is just over half that of MFT.

If your belief is that pixel density = quality (quite the opposite of what some others would say), then MFT would need 36MP to compete. And APS-C would need 60MP. And FF would need 140MP.

Yet the achievable maximum quality, by most measures, increases with sensor area. Compact cameras, from very small-sensor ones up through 1" sensor and beyond, tend to market the MP number aggressively, limited more by practical storage and frame-processing limits than by real optical needs.

Link | Posted on Apr 18, 2015 at 19:15 UTC
In reply to:

vesa1tahti: Can somebody tell me what kind of sensor is inside the Lumix DMC-GX7. I just purchased the body for only 299 € (in Finland). I use Oly lenses like 14-42mm/3,5-5,6, 45 mm/1,8, and 12-40mm/2,8. The camera is impressive, my previous model Oly E-PM2 is quite excellent, too. Thanks!

GX7 was the first model to use Panasonic's latest-design 16MP sensor, with overall performance very comparable to, some say slightly better than, the Sony chip that was used in the Olympus E-M5 and the Panasonic GH3.

Since then, this GX7 sensor or a very similar one has been used in many cameras including the flagship cameras: Panasonic GH4, GM1, GM5, GF7, LX100 (non-interchangeable compact) and Olympus E-M1.

By the way, as part of various re-structuring activities to deal with the profit crisis, Panasonic partnered with TowerJazz who acquired 51% of the semiconductor fab operations. Essentially this was a way to shift losses and more effectively market the fab capacity to non-Panasonic customers (as Sony has for years).

Most people are assuming that Olympus will jump to a new Sony sensor in the next MFT generation, but this remains to be seen.

Link | Posted on Apr 18, 2015 at 18:44 UTC
In reply to:

Serious Sam: The high ISO doesn't look too bad......but consider the X-trans can do just as good or even better. I am not so sure.

Best to wait for the DPR proper review and compare under the noise SD chart.

ajberg: I certainly did compare it to both. Sam's message didn't specify which Fuji, so most of my comments compared it to a camera that is more of a competitor in size & zoom setup. However, I did write that the APS-C Fuji is somewhat better, as I would expect from APS-C + prime lens.

Sam, I'm not defending nor commenting on the price, I'was genuinely interested in whether the LX100 is as much a failure as people were saying. I discovered it's not, but the jury is still out about the JPEG issues until we understand what is happening with the settings and the camera's attempts to deal with dynamic range - are we looking at over-ambitious iAuto processing?

And Peter - you might LOL but others here have done exactly that (compared it to 1/1.7") and claimed the LX100 is worse. So I've looked and posted about 1/1.7" LX7, 2/3" Fuji, 1" RX100, "sub-MFT" LX100, APS-C Fuji and FF Sony. Guess what, the results come in the expected order despite bashing comments. LOL doesn't change it.

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2014 at 15:13 UTC
In reply to:

Serious Sam: The high ISO doesn't look too bad......but consider the X-trans can do just as good or even better. I am not so sure.

Best to wait for the DPR proper review and compare under the noise SD chart.

More on the Fuji: compared to LX7 with its smaller sensor than X20, the ISO 6400 shots clearly have more detail on the LX7, which I didn't expect. I think it's clear that the Fuji is using heavier NR; you can see the calculator looks "plastic clean" and the scales are unreadable in the X20 shot, readable scales but somewhat grainy surface in the LX7 shot. So, I conclude that Fuji sweetens the X-Trans magic with heavier default NR - one would have to compare RAW and/or play with both (X20 & LX7) cameras' settings to reveal true differences. LX100 is way better.

N.B. I am not claiming that the controversial LX100 sample shots here don't have any JPEG problems (honestly haven't decided), just that various sweeping claims about lens, sensor, noise etc. being "awful", "worse than my phone" are demonstrably over-the-top. Even "soft lens" is not supportable.

If I had pre-ordered (I didn't) I wouldn't be cancelling just yet. Objective tests look very good, full-iAuto _may_ be problematic.

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2014 at 06:45 UTC
Total: 39, showing: 1 – 20
« First‹ Previous12Next ›Last »