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: 830, showing: 41 – 60
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On article DPReview recommends: Best Cameras for Kids 2015 (103 comments in total)
In reply to:

The Squire: When I looked last year for a kids camera (for a 3 year old) I was very disappointed that all the child-specific ones (big chunky easy to use colorful bodies) had pathetic image quality. 1MP and very grainy seemed to be the norm. No idea why they use 1990's image sensors. Certainly isn't price or battery life benefits.

My 3 year old is already pretty comfortable using a 'proper' compact camera now. I tend to lend her my old Sony TX5 which has a very simple interface and is shock-proof.

The kid-specific ones do tend to be really bad....

A cheap, rugged (waterproof), compact is a good thing to have... and mom & dad actually get some benefit from carrying it for the little one. ;-)

However, I think a $50 Android tablet has really moved up on the list. It can easily be configured to be operable by 2+ year olds, and they're not particularly fragile (although they are cheap enough to replace). The cameras tend to be mediocre at best, but they get a big display and it works really well for videos -- that they take or just watching the usual Disney stuff. If you're lazy, spend a little more and get a wimpier one pre-configured for kids, like Nabi Jr.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 16, 2015 at 14:24 UTC
On article Video: a look at the Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II (125 comments in total)

Summary: Best IQ, still annoyed by Sony UI.
My view: BEST IQ!!! Still annoyed by price. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Dec 15, 2015 at 15:19 UTC as 33rd comment
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The "interchangeable lens mount" is a bit odd. It looks like it has a very short flange distance which should make adapting any lens to it easy, but the process to change mounts looks fairly awkward. I find Sony E-mount (or even Canon EOS-M) more appealing as a universal mount, but both those are proprietary. I suppose cinema shooters are more likely to use lenses with just one mount anyway, and this makes that one mount choice appear almost native for the body while giving you the chance to change your mind after purchase of the body.

Not to take this too far, but I don't think four screws does any better than a standard bayonet because it is more likely to suffer minor tilt. I do think a wear-free breech lock is more trustworthy than either, but the shortest mount that did that was the old Canon FL/FD.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2015 at 15:17 UTC
In reply to:

steelhead3: I didn't know that DPreview had become video site...can we expect reviews of the new Sony, Panasonic, and Canon video cameras?

RED is clearly viewing themselves as competitive for stills:

http://www.red.com/shot-on-red/photography

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2015 at 13:25 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The "interchangeable lens mount" is a bit odd. It looks like it has a very short flange distance which should make adapting any lens to it easy, but the process to change mounts looks fairly awkward. I find Sony E-mount (or even Canon EOS-M) more appealing as a universal mount, but both those are proprietary. I suppose cinema shooters are more likely to use lenses with just one mount anyway, and this makes that one mount choice appear almost native for the body while giving you the chance to change your mind after purchase of the body.

Dheorl: I don't think their mount is any stronger (nor is PL mount necessarily stronger than E). Anyway, it doesn't matter because nobody with half a brain hangs a huge lens off a body -- the body hangs off the huge lens or, for cine folks, every modular piece is mounted on a rail system. Then again, I'm sure RED is happy to give the impression that a mount swap is equivalent to having the attached mount be the native mount.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2015 at 13:09 UTC

The "interchangeable lens mount" is a bit odd. It looks like it has a very short flange distance which should make adapting any lens to it easy, but the process to change mounts looks fairly awkward. I find Sony E-mount (or even Canon EOS-M) more appealing as a universal mount, but both those are proprietary. I suppose cinema shooters are more likely to use lenses with just one mount anyway, and this makes that one mount choice appear almost native for the body while giving you the chance to change your mind after purchase of the body.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2015 at 06:23 UTC as 11th comment | 13 replies
In reply to:

steelhead3: I didn't know that DPreview had become video site...can we expect reviews of the new Sony, Panasonic, and Canon video cameras?

Actually, Canon and Sony video cameras generally have been reported here if they could be seen as vaguely competitive with mirrorless still ILCs. This RED certainly is. Basically, RED is what you get when you throw all the tech you can at spitting out raws at high FPS.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 12, 2015 at 06:07 UTC

Looks overbuilt. Kind of scary that there's stuff inside that the folks at LensRentals can't determine the purpose of. Still, looks like guts of an $1800 lens. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Dec 10, 2015 at 11:36 UTC as 43rd comment | 1 reply

Really impressive piece of glass! Looks pretty good wide open, and doesn't seem to have much of that "bokeh CA" that I'm used to seeing on fast teles. Really looks like a top-notch optic... which is incidentally also true of their latest focal reducer (which I've just recently tested in detail).

Direct link | Posted on Dec 10, 2015 at 05:09 UTC as 29th comment
On article Primer: Why would I buy a mirrorless camera? (551 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: The OVF camera is responsible for the downfall of the camera industry. It's so much easier for a person to shoot with a cellphone. Touch to focus, face detection, camera will meter off the face, WYSIWYG. And all these features are found in EVF cameras. Only if the big two made rebels and D3xxx with EVF before smartphones hit it big we wouldn't be in this rot as an industry.

Fri13: Didn't know that... and it's a bit bizarre. Much more reasonable to do eye gaze tracking with an EVF, although that's not common either -- despite having been first done quite some years ago. Honestly, I don't care much. I'm a manual focus guy and I still say that's where mirrorless cameras truly shine.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 8, 2015 at 14:06 UTC
On article Primer: Why would I buy a mirrorless camera? (551 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: The OVF camera is responsible for the downfall of the camera industry. It's so much easier for a person to shoot with a cellphone. Touch to focus, face detection, camera will meter off the face, WYSIWYG. And all these features are found in EVF cameras. Only if the big two made rebels and D3xxx with EVF before smartphones hit it big we wouldn't be in this rot as an industry.

Touch to focus isn't in an EVF.

Anyway, the EVF exposure simulation, focus peaking, etc. blow away OVFs. Ever try to estimate f/11 DoF on an OVF? I think the level of control given by an EVF (or even live view) combined with the short flange distance of most mirrorless bodies allowing just about any manual lens to be used, is really the primary reason to use a mirrorless system -- that level of control has never been available before.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 8, 2015 at 03:07 UTC
On Connect post Google launches Cardboard Camera VR app for Android (20 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Stereo (which is NOT 3D because of occlusions -- you can't look truly behind things) is normally done using two points of view which are essentially parallel. I assume this is simply one eye's view lagging behind the other as you turn through the panorama, which means the views are skewed slightly outward rather than parallel. At small angles, the fact that the views are not parallel is completely negligible. Sort of like Sony's old 3D panorama on cameras like the NEX-5... although I think Sony may have put a bit more computation into it....

Entropy512: Actually, I started talking with a1ex at Magic Lantern about this use of dual-pixel a few years ago... nothing has happened on that yet.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 8, 2015 at 00:52 UTC
On Connect post Google launches Cardboard Camera VR app for Android (20 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Stereo (which is NOT 3D because of occlusions -- you can't look truly behind things) is normally done using two points of view which are essentially parallel. I assume this is simply one eye's view lagging behind the other as you turn through the panorama, which means the views are skewed slightly outward rather than parallel. At small angles, the fact that the views are not parallel is completely negligible. Sort of like Sony's old 3D panorama on cameras like the NEX-5... although I think Sony may have put a bit more computation into it....

steve_hoge: interesting question. Normally, the ideal is to rotate around the zero-parallax point for a pan, but that gives very little depth info. Having a head-sized circular path should give more parallax, giving better stereo but also making things line-up less well for the pan stitch.

Actually, my favorite trick is direct anaglyph capture using a single lens: see http://www.instructables.com/id/Use-Your-Camera-To-Capture-3D-Anaglyphs/ . I also have techniques for computationally creating full-color stereo pairs from the captured anaglyphs, but the software has not been cleaned-up for public release yet (due to lack of fudning for that research).

Direct link | Posted on Dec 6, 2015 at 23:12 UTC
On article Sony finalizes buyout of Toshiba's sensor business (91 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The sad truth is that the semiconductor fab business is condensing to just a handful of players -- this isn't just an imaging sensor thing. The problem is that a new fab line costs billions of dollars, and you need to make a new line quite often, so you need gobs of sales volume to justify the investment. The answer has largely been to fab chips for others too, e.g., doesn't Sony already make some Fuji-designed sensors? Still, it is sad to see the fab choices narrowing....

Sony sensors are hybrid analog/digital. Mixed signal always needs cleaner signals, which means big "old" fab design rules.

(I'm actually working to create a sensor with about 150 billion transistor count... but it's old fab tech and huge: 4x5 format.)

Direct link | Posted on Dec 6, 2015 at 13:50 UTC
On Connect post Pulse aims to bring advanced wireless control to your DSLR (43 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Aw, poor Sony... not compatible with this add-on because of "tethering restrictions." I guess we'll just have to continue to use the built-in 802.11 wireless support that does much more. ;-)

I don't see Note 21, but I do see image transfer listed as not supported in the control API. It does work in Smart Camera Remote app on my A7II and Sony says Sync to Smartphone app still works for A6000 (but doesn't send raws).

Just to clarify: Sony has two separate control interfaces, one for remote and one for camera apps. It's the camera app interface that can move files, and that interface isn't officially open although it recently has been hacked (it's Java running in an Android environment inside the camera). Anyway, I certainly agree that it's a little kludgey at this time....

PS: The QX1 would be the obvious thing to use, and it is listed as supporting transfer.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 6, 2015 at 10:02 UTC
On Connect post Google launches Cardboard Camera VR app for Android (20 comments in total)

Stereo (which is NOT 3D because of occlusions -- you can't look truly behind things) is normally done using two points of view which are essentially parallel. I assume this is simply one eye's view lagging behind the other as you turn through the panorama, which means the views are skewed slightly outward rather than parallel. At small angles, the fact that the views are not parallel is completely negligible. Sort of like Sony's old 3D panorama on cameras like the NEX-5... although I think Sony may have put a bit more computation into it....

Direct link | Posted on Dec 5, 2015 at 18:24 UTC as 5th comment | 5 replies
On article Sony finalizes buyout of Toshiba's sensor business (91 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The sad truth is that the semiconductor fab business is condensing to just a handful of players -- this isn't just an imaging sensor thing. The problem is that a new fab line costs billions of dollars, and you need to make a new line quite often, so you need gobs of sales volume to justify the investment. The answer has largely been to fab chips for others too, e.g., doesn't Sony already make some Fuji-designed sensors? Still, it is sad to see the fab choices narrowing....

zos xavius: Actually, AMD's fabs were quite good and they were willing to tune chip design to them and incrementally upgrade one fab at a time, which Intel was not (Intel used to keep the same exact die layout across several die shrinks). IMO, AMD's problems were mostly with upper management making bad choices... which included selling their fabs. As for power consumption, AMD did more aggressive instruction reordering than Intel, and that circuitry is always powered, so that was a large part of what started to cause problems for AMD as Intel started to build things that could compete with an Athlon64/Opteron. AMD is actually looking pretty good as of last month at SC15 -- nice ARM64, X86, and GPU products plus compiler support to execute NVIDIA CUDA code on their GPUs.

The ancient Nikon D1 was 2.7MP. Anyway, fab cost increases much faster than linearly with die area, which means more aggressive fab is economical for smaller dies first.

Direct link | Posted on Dec 5, 2015 at 16:47 UTC
On article Sony finalizes buyout of Toshiba's sensor business (91 comments in total)

The sad truth is that the semiconductor fab business is condensing to just a handful of players -- this isn't just an imaging sensor thing. The problem is that a new fab line costs billions of dollars, and you need to make a new line quite often, so you need gobs of sales volume to justify the investment. The answer has largely been to fab chips for others too, e.g., doesn't Sony already make some Fuji-designed sensors? Still, it is sad to see the fab choices narrowing....

Direct link | Posted on Dec 5, 2015 at 06:49 UTC as 20th comment | 6 replies
On Connect post Pulse aims to bring advanced wireless control to your DSLR (43 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Aw, poor Sony... not compatible with this add-on because of "tethering restrictions." I guess we'll just have to continue to use the built-in 802.11 wireless support that does much more. ;-)

Fair enough, and I still have and sometimes use 5 older Sonys that don't tether at all because they predate 802.11 support... my NEX-7 being the most annoying. It's just that complaining about USB restrictions in going to a short-range wireless repeater is a little silly.

BTW, I know it's a tad odd, but I'd use 802.11 control with a current Sony on a microscope -- see https://developer.sony.com/develop/cameras/

Direct link | Posted on Dec 5, 2015 at 06:32 UTC
On Connect post Pulse aims to bring advanced wireless control to your DSLR (43 comments in total)

Aw, poor Sony... not compatible with this add-on because of "tethering restrictions." I guess we'll just have to continue to use the built-in 802.11 wireless support that does much more. ;-)

Direct link | Posted on Dec 4, 2015 at 09:50 UTC as 8th comment | 5 replies
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