ProfHankD

ProfHankD

Lives in United States Lexington, United States
Works as a Professor
Has a website at http://aggregate.org/hankd/
Joined on Mar 27, 2008
About me:

Plan: to change the way people think about and use cameras by taking advantage of cameras as computing systems; engineering camera systems to provide new abilities and improved quality.

Comments

Total: 680, showing: 1 – 20
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On Canon warns about dangers of counterfeit camera gear article (99 comments in total)

A counterfeit product is one that is falsely simulating another -- including being incorrectly labeled as the other product. Stuff clearly marked as coming from a third-party manufacturer, including batteries, is NOT counterfeit. It is always smart to know what you're purchasing before you buy it, but in the USA any product that doesn't match the written specs provided by the seller is generally returnable for a refund; for example, that's true of stuff bought from random folks on eBay. The trick is to get specs in writing -- don't ever buy something based on your guess as to what it is nor someone's verbal description.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 3, 2015 at 02:23 UTC as 29th comment
On Sony: An eye on focus article (549 comments in total)
In reply to:

Random Asian Guy: Wow, that's seriously impressive.

I'm already expecting all the critics saying 'Mehhh, I've been shooting Manual for 35 years and can focus on the eye faster'

or

'That's nothing my XXXXX camera is much better, Sony is not a real Camera Company'

The problem isn't that "Sony is not a real Camera Company" but that CaNikon are not real consumer electronics companies. ;-)

Actually, Sony has a long history as an industry leader in electronic imaging from back when that meant video. They also inherited and heavily leveraged the Minolta legacy in still cameras. Not really all that surprising that Sony+Minolta is more innovative than CaNikon; they always were from at least the 1970s (which is when I started doing photography professionally, primarily using a Minolta XK).

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2015 at 13:49 UTC
In reply to:

DStudio: Charming, yet painful (the video).

802.11 takes a lot more power. Then again, there are about a dozen different low-power choices; this is a relatively fast one.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2015 at 12:05 UTC
In reply to:

DStudio: Charming, yet painful (the video).

The video is trying to define the "last centimeter" problem, for which there have been many solutions. There are two types of functions: ID exchange and high-speed data transfer. NFC and QR codes have won for IDs and 802.11 has won for high-speed transfer, whereas Transferjet could do both functions well.

The problem is that the USB2 dongle in the video is a terrible way to do this for a phone, etc. Sort of reminds me of the idea of having a car with cool upward-pivoting doors like a Delorean, but having them swing outward so much that you couldn't open them enough to squeeze through if a car was parked next to you. ;-) Sony is the consortium leader and Toshiba is making an SD card implementation... I'm sure the dorky dongle is not the preferred implementation.

Direct link | Posted on Jul 2, 2015 at 04:40 UTC

Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz went out of business in 1991. IMHO this is an attempt to use "soap bubble bokeh" to bring back the brand. You can still get an original Trioplan for less, the overcorrected SA that causes this (ugly) bokeh is found in other lenses, and saying it's available in "mounts for all modern DSRL- [sic] & mirrorless cameras" needlessly insults users of Pentax, Samsung NX, .... ;-)

Their WWW site lists a bunch of "made in Germany" lenses that sound more appealing and look oddly familiar. For example, their 9-bladed NOCTURNUS 50mm f/0.95 sure looks like the Mitakon Zhongyi product with identical specs. They carefully define "made in Germany" to mean "assembled in Germany using the best, globally available components and are precisely adjusted with great care." Is the Trioplan special for them because it's their first lens where the design came from Germany? I'd be happier if they just said that -- I welcome new lensmakers, but I hate marketing BS.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 30, 2015 at 00:03 UTC as 27th comment | 9 replies
In reply to:

Stephen Scharf: You've got to feel for Fuji....they do the right thing for customers, and they get bashed for it.

They put out a wonderful and significant enhancement to a superb camera FOR FREE, and they get bashed. They don't put out a free enhancement, and they get bashed.

They must feel they are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

Fortunately they have a good heart and good spirit, so even though they get bashed either way, they still do the right thing.

Kudos, Fuji....you continue to lead by example!

AbrasiveReducer: Historically speaking, Sony is a consumer electronics company that also led in electronic imaging (video) while Fuji is a film company that also made cameras. I think you can still tell where both companies came from. Although both do more innovative things than CaNikon, I think Fuji is a lot less self-confident (maybe rightly so?) about bringing-out new technologies than Sony, and the retro styling strengthens the connection to the good old days of film for Fuji. Both companies make interesting cameras.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 29, 2015 at 20:09 UTC

Much more interesting with wifi. Still a bit pricey.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 18:56 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply
On Canon EOS Rebel T6i Review preview (293 comments in total)

Ok, image quality is quite good in practical terms (as it is for most cameras).

However, if you ignore dynamic range, Canon's latest sensors are actually pretty competitive... so why do they do such a mediocre job holding detail in JPEGs? The gap between this and a (cheaper) Sony A6000 is much larger in JPEG than raw. I know it was a pretty good JPEG processing pipeline a decade ago, but I think it's getting to be as much of a handicap to Canon as their sensors are....

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 16:34 UTC as 17th comment

Like Canon, but even moreso, Hasselblad is a company somewhat trapped by their historical success; they know they need to evolve, but they know any change will require lots of effort (development cost) and might cost them loyal customers. I'm happy to hear Hasselblad realizing that RED is a real competitor in a variety of ways. Partnering with Sony still makes perfect sense as a way forward, but they have firmly proved that minor tweaks on a Sony product will be seen as "not really Hasselblad" (except for the RX100, which is interestingly where Canon also was able to leverage some Sony guts).

In sum, this all sounds like Hasselblad is finally on the right track, but it also sounds a lot like the same track that led Minolta's camera business to be handed to Sony 2007. Either way, I expect to see some high-framerate sensors in V-like bodies soon.... ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 26, 2015 at 14:04 UTC as 24th comment | 4 replies
On Opinion: Did Sony just do the impossible? article (1040 comments in total)
In reply to:

bernardf12: Hope Sony gets it right next time by using an 8 core processor, or even a quad core like Samsung does. It will give them the horsepower needed to shoot (hopefully) 10 fps and 14 bit RAW. It must be way cheaper to buy mobile processors than to build your own. Going onto mobile architecture looks to me like a free ride for camera platforms.

The peak framerate is a complex function of many components, least of which is the ARM cores (other hardware does most of the critical work). However, I do firmly agree that Samsung is the obvious challenger to Sony's dominance in camera electronics, and they have much more aggressive fab technology than Sony... or so it seemed until Sony's latest round of sensors. ;-)

Right now, I suspect the game is largely about power/heat management (a problem FF IBIS makes tougher) and getting rid of the mechanical shutter.

As for frame rate, many cameras do at least 240FPS video at low res, and 36MP video @ 60FPS is coming. The ultimate framerate issue is that if you're shooting at N FPS, you can't have a shutter speed slower than 1/N s, and photon shot noise can make that a problem. In my TDCI research, I've been working on frameless CAPTURE and processing in which individual pixels have integration periods independent of the virtual shutter speed of the RENDERED frames....

Direct link | Posted on Jun 24, 2015 at 06:57 UTC

I think this concept of dual special-purposes for APS-C and FF (in this case, shift wide and macro ultrawide), is really smart. My primary ultrawide is currently a Sigma 8-16mm, which works great on my NEX-7 (APS-C) and works with fixably dark corners around 16mm on my A7II (FF) -- another dual-purpose lens. If one carries a spare body anyway, it's nice to have a FF + APS-C spare and get something special out of both....

Direct link | Posted on Jun 24, 2015 at 05:55 UTC as 25th comment
In reply to:

Mike Gerstner: From a layman's point of view:

I'm beginning to think that Canon hasn't figured out the technology yet to get lower shadow noise from their sensors, or that the only technology that is "usable(?)" is owned by sony & canon won't cough up the dough to get licensed to use it. Something's goin' on that makes no sense, to me anyway. I'm still hopin' that Canon does have a clue & is gonna show some progress in the very near future.............but the hopes are fading.

Otherwise, very nice photos. Resolution is very nice, but I'd rather have 24M images & better shadows.

Canon's using an older fab and sensor design, but the Magic Lantern folks have figured out how to use alternating lines of different ISOs to get near-Sony DR from at least some Canons. I'm sure they'll do it ASAP IF it is technically possible....

Direct link | Posted on Jun 24, 2015 at 05:37 UTC
In reply to:

RuneMC: Stacked sensor sounds very interesting if it means something like the Sigma sensor/image quality.

4K video also interesting, but 8K would have been even more interesting to extract panorama images from the video with Microsoft ICE 2.0 for example.

And the EVF - please drop it to drop the price significantly.

Will probably keep my RX100 Mk1 and wait for RX200 (whenever that may be) - although if the stacked sensor is exceptional, then I might be tempted...

Nukunukoo: very difficult to say. In general, mixing analog/digital on a chip tends to produce noise problems that reduce any such benefit, but Sony has lots of experience with this, so ...? Certainly, this type of fab allows for very different chip architectures which can have many benefits -- e.g., the TDCI (time domain continuous imaging) research I'm doing really depends on having circuitry under the photosites.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2015 at 14:39 UTC
In reply to:

RuneMC: Stacked sensor sounds very interesting if it means something like the Sigma sensor/image quality.

4K video also interesting, but 8K would have been even more interesting to extract panorama images from the video with Microsoft ICE 2.0 for example.

And the EVF - please drop it to drop the price significantly.

Will probably keep my RX100 Mk1 and wait for RX200 (whenever that may be) - although if the stacked sensor is exceptional, then I might be tempted...

Nukunukoo: yes, "stacked" here basically means logic under photosites, not Foveon-like multi-layer photosites. The active area per pixel on this 20MP sensor is probably still only about half that of the 16MP E-M5II, but the E-M5II has a lower pixel count, non-BSI conventional sensors have significant pixel vignetting (the photosite is surrounded by tall wiring that blocks off-axis rays), pixel QE (quantum efficiency) is usually higher for smaller chips because more aggressive design rules still give good yields, and Sony gets to tune the lens+sensor together. In other words, sensor performance is likely to be very close to high-end micro4/3 overall even if per-pixel area still favors things like the E-M5II. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 11, 2015 at 14:24 UTC
In reply to:

cgarrard: DELICIOUS- RX10 II.

Oh boy.

At this point I'm wondering if Canons Semi-Conductor division can even catch up. Doesn't look likely. Sony is pulling really far ahead of competition, all of it.

lacikuss: Are you suggesting that CaNikon have superior optics or are leading optically in some way? I'd strongly dispute that. I think Sigma, Zeiss, Samyang, etc. are the optics leaders.

Anyway, I think IQ is mostly about photographic technique (both at capture and in postprocessing), then sensor, with optics in a relatively minor role. Actually, it was largely like that with film photography too. ;-)

I also don't think that film & camera coming from different companies implies sensors and bodies should too. Cameras are really consumer electronics (embedded computers), and the sensors are just part of Sony's expertise in that field. As for the optics, Sony's been in video optics for a very long time, and they acquired some really innovative stuff from Minolta, but I think they've rightly decided it's not really their thing and have heavily leveraged their relationship with Zeiss, producing some fantastic optics (at a higher cost).

Direct link | Posted on Jun 10, 2015 at 23:12 UTC
In reply to:

cgarrard: DELICIOUS- RX10 II.

Oh boy.

At this point I'm wondering if Canons Semi-Conductor division can even catch up. Doesn't look likely. Sony is pulling really far ahead of competition, all of it.

Yet another advance in sensor tech from Sony. Not as surprising as the A7RII, but something immediately usable in cameras made by multiple companies. Sony's really starting to own the high-end sensor business....

As for the lenses, well, they only matter for Sony-branded cameras, not sensor sales. However, in case the Minolta/Sony lens heritage isn't good enough (and it certainly should be), you've got all that Zeiss glass -- like the goodie here. Actually, reminds me of the old Sony F828... which is the oldest digital camera good enough that I still use it for non-tethered shooting (mostly for NIR).

Direct link | Posted on Jun 10, 2015 at 19:02 UTC
On Sony a7R II has 42.4MP on full frame BSI CMOS sensor article (1256 comments in total)

BSI FF!!!! I'm stunned. Samsung looked like a pretty serious contender on high-end sensor technology, but this is a knockout win for Sony. I bet it's costing them a fortune to do this right now, but yields usually improve quickly, and this use in the A7RII also serves as a reference implementation to encourage other camera makers to use Sony sensors.

Makes one wonder what scary goodness will be enough for Sony to call a model in the "9" series.... :-)

Direct link | Posted on Jun 10, 2015 at 18:47 UTC as 266th comment | 1 reply

Very simple implementation of an old approach, but actually quite elegant. It's quite small, good resolution, and fully self-contained with GPS, tilt/roll, compass and stitching.

On the downside, it is 360x137.5 degrees active view, so there is a significant hole at the bottom... a problem everybody's got, but a bigger hole than absolutely necessary (probably a constraint from the lens view angles). I don't think Realtors will be upset about that.

The downside is that I don't see any video output nor framerate quoted. I wonder how slowly it stitches? The 802.11, USB3, and HDMI sound good, but I don't get why they'd use microSD for the internal storage.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 10, 2015 at 03:28 UTC as 9th comment
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Very impressive bit of optics in a very cramped space.... Does this mean that it is now feasible to do an APS-C version with no crop relative to FF, i.e., 0.67x instead of 0.71x (or 0.726x for some competing focal reducers)?

Brian:
I'm confused. There are thin adapters (no electronics) that allow micro4/3 lens to focus to infinity on Sony E, right? Couldn't one simply use that with this focal reducer to get a bigger (APS-C or FF) sensor behind the reducer+base lens combo? I'd assume the coverage of this focal reducer is such that there would be no benefit to FF beyond what APS-C sees... what is the true image circle before vignette? I understand IQ will drop significantly beyond micro4/3 diagonal coverage....

BTW, http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/55861510 has a couple of images done with an APS-C Samyang 8mm fisheye on a Lens Turbo + A7II. There's also http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54017409 about focal reducers on FF in general.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 9, 2015 at 19:52 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Very impressive bit of optics in a very cramped space.... Does this mean that it is now feasible to do an APS-C version with no crop relative to FF, i.e., 0.67x instead of 0.71x (or 0.726x for some competing focal reducers)?

Oh well; at least the slight reduction in field of view usually just clips the ugly vignetted corners of many fast FF lenses wide open. ;-)

BTW, despite owning both A7 and A7II, I'm still using focal reducers a fair bit. Some lenses still look better with the slight crop of a focal reducer on my NEX-7 (e.g., Canon FL 55mm f/1.2), and I just bought an APS-C Samyang 8mm CSII (Opteka 6.5mm) fisheye which on a FF body via a focal reducer gives an unclipped circular view. I'm surprised that others don't seem to have figured-out that focal reducers can still be useful on FF despite not covering the complete FF -- as a way of preserving the view angle while allowing other aspect ratio crops.

So, here's the wacky question: Could one get similar benefits tp APS-C focal reducer on FF by using this micro4/3 focal reducer on a Sony E APS-C body?

Direct link | Posted on Jun 9, 2015 at 15:17 UTC
Total: 680, showing: 1 – 20
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