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: 594, showing: 21 – 40
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On A closer look at the Nikon Coolpix P900 megazoom article (179 comments in total)

This is one of the few ways in which small sensors can still win. The camera's lens is huge... until you compare it to other lenses approaching 2000mm f/6.3. My closest FF lens is a 1250mm f/11 mirror lens; it could swallow about 4 of this camera, and it produces bokeh full of doughnuts. On the other hand, the sensor here is around 5.6X crop factor, which means the lens focal length range is really about 4-350mm... which explains why it is so much smaller than my mirror lens. Of course, that is still an awesome optical achievement: a typical 70-200mm f/4 FF lens is bigger than this lens. The price is also impressively low.

In sum, this seems like one heck of a versatile camera for the price. On a pan/tilt mount, this could be an amazing security camera. It probably is fixing a multitude of optical sins in firmware, with IQ suffering somewhat, but it's still darn impressive.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 2, 2015 at 11:58 UTC as 66th comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: What a frank, information-filled, free flowing interview.

I don't know why others, in other companies, behave otherwise.

As far as I am concerned, with this interview, Toshihisa Iida-san has elevated Fuji's image to a level no 100 media publicity campaigns could.

Well done.

(...and to DPR too, since there are no good interviews without great questions...)

Rishi: Good question. I wasn't assuming they're fabbing them (most semiconductor companies are fab-less now), but I was assuming they design them... because they heavily advertise that their sensors are "exclusively developed by Fuji." That could be a lie. Do you know of any sensor maker that has ever made sensors with any of the strange Fuji pixel layouts (e.g., the big & little pixel pairs)? The odd CFA patterns could be applied to stock sensors, so they don't imply Fuji designs their own sensors.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 1, 2015 at 13:07 UTC
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: What a frank, information-filled, free flowing interview.

I don't know why others, in other companies, behave otherwise.

As far as I am concerned, with this interview, Toshihisa Iida-san has elevated Fuji's image to a level no 100 media publicity campaigns could.

Well done.

(...and to DPR too, since there are no good interviews without great questions...)

Agreed; the tone of this is excellent for both DPR and Fuji. It seems a very matter-of-fact marketing assessment of Fuji's position.

I do wonder a bit about all the focus on AF (no pun intended) using EVFs that make manual focus so effective... I see this as pretty clearly aiming at cutting into Canon's market share for Fuji's growth. That's also consistent with the emphasis on video modes.

The thing I'm always surprised by is that Fuji doesn't seem to be selling their sensors to other companies (e.g., like Sony does with theirs). I wonder why not?

Direct link | Posted on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:37 UTC

Very interesting and clever idea. I don't know if people will go for this or not. Personally, I like an EVF, but double-image focusing is one of the few focus technologies that can challenge peaking with manual lenses. Unfortunately, the need for the Konost to couple to the lens focus pretty much eliminates using all the cheap old SLR lenses out there with their rangefinder... and most old rangefinder lenses are not too cheap (and certainly not those in M mount).I don't think they'll get huge sales unless they have a few good lens options at nice price points. In a lot of ways, this is more Leica than current Leicas. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Feb 25, 2015 at 02:54 UTC as 85th comment
In reply to:

DStudio: "It also has an integrated lens motor allowing for focus, iris and zoom to all be controlled from an ARRI hand unit, wirelessly. This makes the ALEXA Mini 4K an excellent choice for use with a drone."

I find this statement dubious. Only those with very high budgets might do this. The risk of damage using a drone can be reasonably high, so you'd have to be able to afford to rent or buy a number of units and somehow get them insured.

Most independent filmmakers need not apply (at least for drone use).

It's a 5-pound camera -- a small, cheap, drone can't lift it. However, the words small and cheap have rarely applied to Arri (and never to the lenses typically used). I see this mostly as an answer to what Red has been doing, because Red has been eating a lot of the "low end" of the high-end cinema market....

Direct link | Posted on Feb 24, 2015 at 12:52 UTC
In reply to:

babola: "... he's even developed his own remote-controlled camera system for getting as close as you can with dangerous animals like rhinos, lions and… meerkats."

Wonder if this helped:

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/outposts/post/lions-captured-in-up-close-photos-by-remote-control-camera-buggy/

Pretty cute. However, watching the video, I don't think I'd be too happy about an animal dragging my several-thousand-dollar ROV camera rig off, and fixing focus didn't really get the IQ out of that 36MP camera. As I indicated in my comment below, I think a Canon PowerShot under CHDK is a much nicer choice for price and flexability. I'd also add that having a wifi SD card in whatever camera would mean the images probably aren't lost even if the ROV and camera are.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 24, 2015 at 03:43 UTC
In reply to:

JonB1975: I normally stay out of these and keep my opinion to myself.... but... no.8??? Really??? there must have been a dearth of entries......

Yeah, I don't get it either. All I can say is that this is probably a contest full of pretty flower photos, so anything that is "not that again" probably has a better chance....

Direct link | Posted on Feb 23, 2015 at 02:23 UTC

Impressive work. However, I wasn't impressed by the motion sensor he talks about in the video at his WWW site. There are vastly superior ways to automatically trigger a camera from live view data -- especially using Canons that can run ML inside. For cameras like the Sony A7S, which don't allow user-written code to run in the camera, you can still do scripted control using wifi remote control with a laptop examining the camera's live view.

For a camera trap, I'd definitely use Canon PowerShots running a CHDK script for intelligent control using motion detection. They're cheap (expendable), tiny (easily hidden or mounted in ROVs -- remotely operated vehicles), and they are nearly silent thanks to their leaf shutters (so you might get several shots before scaring critters away). IQ is lousy in dim non-flash lighting, but it's actually pretty good in good lighting, and HDR bracketing of the surroundings could fill-in the DR for the inanimate part of the scene.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 22, 2015 at 17:41 UTC as 36th comment
In reply to:

aarif: the A-mount is officially dead

E/FE mount IS a totally new system... that, just like when the move was made from film to totally new systems based on electronic sensors, supports the old A system as well as A ever was supported (along with much more). I don't own a single native FE lens for my A7 and A7II, but have plenty of AF A-mounts. I have even more manual lenses in several mounts.

I don't know how you can stand to go to a Nikon OVF after having Sony EVFs, but there are many of us happy to buy A-mount lenses at prices way below what their quality warrants, so thanks and may many people follow your path. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Feb 20, 2015 at 09:09 UTC
In reply to:

aarif: the A-mount is officially dead

I don't know where you're seeing A-mount being dead. Worst case, it's time to buy an LA-EA4... which I have along with a pile of A-mount lenses and a mix of A and E/FE bodies. The scary thing is that the next round of these may be better at video than Sony's video cameras... which might be why it's time to separate-out the video division.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 20, 2015 at 08:28 UTC
In reply to:

J A C S: "Sony users can rest easy, though, as the company categorizes its imaging division as a 'stable profit generator."

Translated form Japanese: be worried.

Sony is clearly doing very well with their sensors, and I think they are fairly stable. The only credible threat I see is Samsung, and I think the entire industry has good reason to be worried about them. Samsung is quickly becoming the digital equivalent of what Kodak was with film: for both image capture (from highly popular cell phones to serious cameras) and display (LCDs).

Direct link | Posted on Feb 20, 2015 at 02:48 UTC
On Opinion: Canon EOS 750D and 760D article (316 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: "You will be upgraded." -- Cybermen

Actually, two similar models is nothing. Look at the fleets of Canon PowerShots that come out each year with the same sensor and basic features. As opposed to Sony, which seems willing to do substantial redesign of camera guts quite often, Canon tends to make new cameras by sticking-together modules most of which have been around for years. Thus, it costs Canon very little to have a multitude of camera versions with a different module choice here or there. That helps get more space on retail shelves... which is something Canon still leads in. ;-)

No, Sony seems to make major changes every year or two, whereas CHDK/ML makes it clear that various Canons have had major portions of the guts in common for over a decade. This approach helps Canon in many ways, e.g., cutting cost, but makes major innovations harder to bring to market... which is where Sony has really shined.

PS: Even the A7, A7R, A7S, and A7II internally differ a lot more than one would expect. I don't know about the HX60V -- it isn't listed at Sony's US site, just the HX50V is listed (US vs. Europe model numbers?).

Direct link | Posted on Feb 17, 2015 at 06:07 UTC
On Opinion: Canon EOS 750D and 760D article (316 comments in total)

"You will be upgraded." -- Cybermen

Actually, two similar models is nothing. Look at the fleets of Canon PowerShots that come out each year with the same sensor and basic features. As opposed to Sony, which seems willing to do substantial redesign of camera guts quite often, Canon tends to make new cameras by sticking-together modules most of which have been around for years. Thus, it costs Canon very little to have a multitude of camera versions with a different module choice here or there. That helps get more space on retail shelves... which is something Canon still leads in. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Feb 16, 2015 at 15:46 UTC as 70th comment | 2 replies
On More things we found cut in half (CP+ 2015 edition) article (139 comments in total)
In reply to:

PowerG9atBlackForest: Covering the "open" side with a sheet of black paper (or a mirror) - would it be possible to use the other half then? Say for a half-format camera?

Not half bad, eh? ;-)

Actually, that's sort-of possible. An appropriately placed smaller aperture might allow one to get useful images out of these things. No, I'm not recommending that.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 15:54 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

crashpc: On the cell phone sensor issue, they have amazing lenses! It's a long story, but tiny optics can cheaply implement aspheric surfaces that on a larger scale simply can't be built (e.g., the Zeiss "dimpled" aspheric elements, http://lumiaconversations.microsoft.com/2012/03/05/nokia-808-pureview-carl-zeiss-science-of-making-the-perfect-lens/ ). Larger lenses still aren't outperforming the best 50-year-old designs by much, but there is theoretically plenty of room for improvement... if we get that, I agree that wildly higher pixel counts would make sense.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 15:35 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

crashpc: There are three big differences between a higher pixel count sensor and superresolution that work against the higher pixel count: (1) more photons are used for the multi-image sampling, so SNR is improved, (2) spatial gaps due to fill-factor and Bayer CFA are partially remedied, and (3) you have time to apply more sophisticated computational processing that employ better models of the PSF, spatial gaps, etc.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 15:08 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

Incidentally, resolution and DR are much more tightly linked than people realize. High DR generally goes along with high SNR, which means more subtle variations in the lens PSF can be distinguished (visually and computationally), allowing contrast to be boosted to increase MTF resolution at a given contrast value (e.g., MTF30). Thus, having more pixels with a significantly poorer SNR actually can produce computed image results with lower resolution than fewer pixels with high SNR.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Sony 36MP sensor can actually out-resolve the 50MP Canon due to DR/SNR favoring the Sony... but we'll see. On high-contrast test charts with a very good lens, the Canon 50MP will probably still beat the 36MP Sony.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 14:59 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

PS: Moire has more to do with spatial gaps in the sampling than with resolution, which AA filters only partially repair. You can have a very low resolution sensor with an AA filter and still have moire.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 14:42 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

crashpc: Look at lens resolution measurements (made without a sensor) -- they rarely get that high even in the center at the best aperture... and the published resolution figures are quite consistent with what I see on my meager sampling of 140+ lenses. ;-)

As for the 40MP Olympus, it's doing multi-image superresolution processing -- which is not subject to the same limit. In general, you'd be surprised at how much more detail can be computationally recovered (especially detail that's really just credible synthesized guesses). As I explained, most lenses are already being sampled past Nyquist under most circumstances, so the improvement is tiny -- but not zero -- as you increase sensor resolution further.

Don't misunderstand me: I'm all in favor of increased resolution, I'm just saying that little physics issues like the fixed wavelength of light and diffraction effects make really high resolution a thing for bigger sensors. In fact, I'm working on a 500MP 4x5-format sensor.

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 14:37 UTC
On CP+ 2015: Sony shows off new technology article (216 comments in total)
In reply to:

crashpc: No new breathtaking sensor? Whuh, it seems that we´re stuck at 24Mpx for APS-C and 50Mpx for FF. :-(

28MP from Samsung for APS-C.

No matter. Very few lenses come close to challenging 24MP APS-C or 54MP FF (yeah, a few more can challenge Canon's 50MP FF in the center). Increases in sensor resolution beyond the Nyquist sampling of the lens resolution still helps, but way less than before Nyquist, so I doubt that even a jump from 50MP to 500MP in the same size sensor would show much improvement across the frame with the vast majority of existing lenses. Realistically, I'd expect the major benefit to be a touch less degradation when correcting for lens distortion.

BTW, lenses for larger formats still have about the same resolution per mm, so a larger sensor can productively go much higher. See http://aggregate.org/DIT/LAFD/

Direct link | Posted on Feb 15, 2015 at 13:05 UTC
Total: 594, showing: 21 – 40
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