PIX 2015
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: 725, showing: 1 – 20
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On Holga Digital camera project launched on Kickstarter article (40 comments in total)
In reply to:

nerd2: LCD-less camera 8MP 1/3.2" CMOS sensor? My smartphone has 16MP 1/2.6" BSI CMOS sensor WITH WQHD OLED display. Why on the earth do we need this kind of monstrosity?

Sometimes less is less, and the only thing you have more of is marketing hype.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 31, 2015 at 21:06 UTC

"What's hard to deny, though, is that no camera maker has gone back to a blank piece of paper to work out how a digital camera could work, rather than how to make a digital camera that works like their film era cameras did."

Wrong! Companies like Casio (e.g., QV10), Minolta (e.g., DImage V), and Kodak (e.g., DC260 Digita) did that in the early days of digital cameras, which explains why these companies are the market leaders today. Oh wait... they're not. ;-)

I think Sony has been doing the most exploration of the design space lately, but it actually has worked for them. Probably because they have a tradition of exploring design spaces for consumer electronics, which cameras now are. Now if only we could get Sony to allow other people's code to run in their cameras... the Sony culture of controlling everything about the device doesn't mesh well with the internet-connected intelligent behavior we expect from devices.

I explore using CHDK to reprogram Canon PowerShots. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 28, 2015 at 18:58 UTC as 119th comment
On Sony Alpha 7R II: Real-world ISO invariance study article (334 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: As a service to the community and a research project at the University of Kentucky, I've been working on a free program to credibly repair the artifacting in ARW2 files. I asked for aligned training images differing only in exposure at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56345899 , and have gotten some from various cameras. However, I also can use the above type of ISO sequence for training. I'd like DPReview's permission to use the above images for this purpose and, with appropriate citation, in any scholarly publications on the topic.

PS: The repair algorithm isn't quite good enough to be posting yet... hopefully within the next week or so I'll post a link here and/or in the FF Sony E forum.

The tool still isn't ready for posting, but here are two crops from the above ISO 100 raw data that show the repair quality is fairly good:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56389545

Direct link | Posted on Aug 28, 2015 at 17:03 UTC

The day ML (Magic Lantern) supports this is the day it becomes interesting.

Right now, it looks like a weak competitor to a cheaper two-year-old Sony. Adding ML and dropping price (as happened with the EOS M) could make me buy a small fleet of these for research use (which didn't happen for the original EOS M -- I stopped at one). At least the 11-22mm f/4-5.6 pricing is reasonable... although 11mm on a 1.6X crop isn't really competitive with Sony's 10-18mm f/4 on 1.5X crop.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 27, 2015 at 09:43 UTC as 129th comment | 2 replies
On Sony Alpha 7R II: Real-world ISO invariance study article (334 comments in total)

As a service to the community and a research project at the University of Kentucky, I've been working on a free program to credibly repair the artifacting in ARW2 files. I asked for aligned training images differing only in exposure at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56345899 , and have gotten some from various cameras. However, I also can use the above type of ISO sequence for training. I'd like DPReview's permission to use the above images for this purpose and, with appropriate citation, in any scholarly publications on the topic.

PS: The repair algorithm isn't quite good enough to be posting yet... hopefully within the next week or so I'll post a link here and/or in the FF Sony E forum.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 25, 2015 at 16:44 UTC as 17th comment | 1 reply
On MIT proposes new approach to HDR with 'Modulo' camera article (114 comments in total)
In reply to:

forpetessake: "MIT proposes new approach" -- LOL, as many people already mentioned here, this idea has been discussed for years, there is nothing new about it.
The other ideas that were discussed are: global shutter -- multiple shorter exposures instead of a single longer one. Then, multiple switching load capacitors -- I think some company already implemented it. Then, pixels with different sensitivity (at the expense of noise). And probably more.
What the DPR should have mentioned though, is that all those approaches extend dynamic range by proportionally lowering the sensor base ISO, they can't improve the dynamic range at the same ISO -- the only way to do the latter (at the same CMOS) technology is to increase the sensor size.
There is a limit how low ISO can go before it becomes impractical. If say, ISO 25 is the lowest people can be interested in, compared to base ISO 100 now, then it means any of those methods can increase dynamic range by maximum 2 stops.

Most academic institutions only issue press releases on research when there has been some externally recognized accomplishment, but MIT regularly puts out press releases on work that is no more significant than the average technical conference paper. Fair enough; they are a private institution that profits greatly by this type of branding. However, DPReview shouldn't be so lazy and/or desperate for content that they blindly echo these releases as though they were important advances.

If you want to give a glimpse of what's next, look at things like papers that won awards in technical publication venues, etc.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 21, 2015 at 00:06 UTC
On iFixit tears down Sony's new a7R II to find its secrets article (290 comments in total)
In reply to:

marshwader: Looks a tad fragile inside the "alpha dog". Not much of a chassis. Better not drop it.

Don't drop ay such device. ALL tech with micron-level alignments is fragile. However, this is classic Sony: every part engineered to fit together as one coherent system rather than random pieces glued/screwed/cabled inside a camera-shaped box. The button structure is particularly impressive -- all the buttons implemented as external covers over board-mounted switches without cables should make it much more robust. Just beautiful.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 19, 2015 at 21:26 UTC
In reply to:

Leandros S: I don't understand how it's a 2015-2016 award when only the first half of 2015 could be accounted for.

From the EISA WWW site: 50 experts voting, decision made end of June, products in some reviewer hands start of year, widely for sale by Oct. 1. That explains why it's A7II and not A7RII for Sony, but I'm shocked the Canon 5DS qualified on the in-reviewer-hands timing. I wonder if qualifying for this award has anything to do with the big gap between announcement and availability for the 5DS?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 18, 2015 at 01:26 UTC
On Stacking Exposures challenge (4 comments in total)
In reply to:

luirod: Dose it include Insects

As subjects? Sure.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 15, 2015 at 03:23 UTC
On Stacking Exposures challenge (4 comments in total)
In reply to:

Xezi: Congrats on this challenge, it got some of the the most interesting pics of the year imo.

I'm pleased too. Not even anything to disqualify! I guess folks willing to deal with stacking are actually also smart enough to read and follow challenge rules.... ;-)

(Oh oh. Did I just curse things by saying that long before the challenge is over?)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 15, 2015 at 03:22 UTC
In reply to:

everybodyisone: "interchangeable mount" Dreamland. ... I wish more manufacture would follow that...

For manual still lenses, M42 would have been THE standard if only Nikon hadn't made the F flange distance too long. For cinema lenses, blame Arri. Their PL mount has a huge 52mm flange distance, which is even longer than old Adaptalls.

It looks like Samyang didn't really redesign the optics for this, nor accommodate different aperture ring directions (e.g., EF vs. F), but simply devised a universal mount that could fit INSIDE PL enough to work. Cool. We'll have to see if Samyang's universal mount ends up seeing broader use or not. It would be nice if it did, but I shoot with 18mm flange distance Sony E-mount bodies now, so almost all lenses work with cheap adapters anyway. Actually, ALL of the non-E mounts they support -- PL, EF, F, and MFT -- are adaptable to E-mount (and to most mirrorless mounts).

Direct link | Posted on Aug 12, 2015 at 15:10 UTC
On Rough and ready: Olympus Tough TG-4 review article (240 comments in total)

For rugged use, I have an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW and an Olympus Stylus Tough TG-860 (as well as a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2). The Olympus cameras are really robust and excellent in features; for example, the TG-860 has a flip LCD and 21mm equivalent wide. However, IQ has always been weak compared to regular compacts (I use a lot of Canon PowerShots with CHDK giving me raw access).

Raw gives a bit of a second chance to rescue images, and I think that's great, but IS THE RAW HERE REALLY RAW? Most compacts have lenses with a wider view angle than advertised and bad distortion, but I don't see that in the supposedly uncorrected raw images here. In the studio comparison, you don't seem to have corrected CA for the raws; did you correct cropping and distortion or does the camera deliver a "partially cooked" raw?

Direct link | Posted on Aug 10, 2015 at 12:57 UTC as 64th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Marcelobtp: The thing that most standout here was the lenses!
This lenses have very nice qualities!
Not so surprised about resolution nothing that i care too much seeing on a monitor(4k).
Colors i cant really judge but looks like we are seeing better skin tones out of the camera.
Good to see.

Rishi: well, I can see why you like it... although I'm not a fan of starbursts. I suppose such short focal lengths can be extra-picky about adapter tolerances, and a slightly short adapter might have thrown some floating-element compensations? The one on the Metabones adapter looks much more competitive in IQ with the Sigma 8-16mm on APS-C, although transverse CA looks pretty heavy.

I haven't tried fixing the CA on your shot, but I suspect after that, this Canon lens would give a little more usable resolution on FF than I get from the Sigma on 24MP APS-C. If only the price were not 4X the Sigma.... ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 9, 2015 at 00:59 UTC
In reply to:

Marcelobtp: The thing that most standout here was the lenses!
This lenses have very nice qualities!
Not so surprised about resolution nothing that i care too much seeing on a monitor(4k).
Colors i cant really judge but looks like we are seeing better skin tones out of the camera.
Good to see.

Vanitas Photo: read that; not using a mac, downloading originals and viewing under Linux (yeah, I'm a geek). BTW, the "to taste" raw processing used generally looks a little coarsely shaded and oversharpened to me.

No matter; that Canon 11-24mm just isn't competing well on FF with my Sigma 8-16mm on APS-C, which makes me sad because I really want a FF ultrawide zoom. I wish somebody would make a cheap little 12-16mm f/8 that delivers great IQ on FF....

Direct link | Posted on Aug 8, 2015 at 13:04 UTC
In reply to:

Marcelobtp: The thing that most standout here was the lenses!
This lenses have very nice qualities!
Not so surprised about resolution nothing that i care too much seeing on a monitor(4k).
Colors i cant really judge but looks like we are seeing better skin tones out of the camera.
Good to see.

I think the Sony/Zeiss lenses did very well, with IQ of the Batis 85mm f/1.8 in the second shot just about perfect. Unfortunately, that awesomely wide Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM seems to have IQ fall off pretty quickly toward the corners.

I really would love to have a <=12mm FF ultrawide zoom for my A7II (and future A7RII), but so far I haven't seen a clear IQ win over my Sigma 8-16mm at 8mm on my NEX-7 (8mm APS-C is 12mm FF equiv). Worse still, the price is a little higher on the SIgma 12-24mm and is MUCH higher on this Canon....

Direct link | Posted on Aug 8, 2015 at 00:11 UTC
In reply to:

Turbguy1: Clever use of what is effectively stereophotography....

The novel thing here isn't that, it's the specific algorithm. Usually, this type of multi-frame processing has been used to build a 3D model which can be re-rendered, whereas here they're simply masking and warping. Appears to work quite well... almost as well as MIT's PR office. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 6, 2015 at 10:52 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Catch is, this is obviously leaving... so maybe they were not quite as welcoming as advertised? ;-)

Relax. I was merely pointing out that propeller wash is at the rear of the boat, so this is headed away from the scene pictured, not towards it as the caption would suggest.

Direct link | Posted on Aug 4, 2015 at 17:05 UTC

Catch is, this is obviously leaving... so maybe they were not quite as welcoming as advertised? ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Aug 4, 2015 at 14:14 UTC as 1st comment | 2 replies
On Sony reportedly shifting focus to full-frame cameras article (453 comments in total)
In reply to:

cdembrey: My guess is there will be No Full Frame cameras within 5 years. Who wants a small/light camera with Huge lenses—not me!

Sony, Canon and Nikon are living in the past. Cameras now-a-days are computers. Someone from the computer world will come along with a totally software driven camera. Now someone here will say you need FF for shallow DOF, but the real answer is that there is an app for that.

cdembrey: The sensor cost for the 4x5 sensor with 500M processors should be about $5 -- it would be a segmented solar cell film deposited on top of a processor array made using fab tech that's about 4-5 generations old. A camera based on it would probably be under $1000. BTW, it would deliver over 16EV DR and deliver frameless video at the equivalent of over 1000FPS. However, it's a very strange new type of camera, and still early stage research, not a commercial product.

Sony's A7RII sensor actually requires much more aggressive fab, so $3K is a pretty good price for it until the fab gets tweaked and yields increase... then prices will dive. That's how it worked for the A7, for example. I can easily imagine a FF Sony body under $500 using FF sensor fab tech that's a few years old. Besides, many APS-C and micro4/3 competitors are over $1500 -- more expensive than Sony's current A7 FF!

Direct link | Posted on Aug 4, 2015 at 01:23 UTC
On Sony reportedly shifting focus to full-frame cameras article (453 comments in total)
In reply to:

cdembrey: My guess is there will be No Full Frame cameras within 5 years. Who wants a small/light camera with Huge lenses—not me!

Sony, Canon and Nikon are living in the past. Cameras now-a-days are computers. Someone from the computer world will come along with a totally software driven camera. Now someone here will say you need FF for shallow DOF, but the real answer is that there is an app for that.

cdembrey: I'm an electrical and computer engineering professor doing computational photography work, and I've actually been working toward a 4x5 (inches) sensor. Physics favors big sensors, even if they don't fit in your cell phone. BTW, that 4x5 sensor chip would embed a 500,000,000-processor parallel supercomputer. ;-)

Incidentally, it is strangely true that lenses for 4x5 are usually smaller than those for FF or even micro4/3. It's a long story as to why....

Direct link | Posted on Aug 4, 2015 at 00:30 UTC
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