Liveview Bashers

Started May 22, 2012 | Discussions
russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Liveview Bashers

What's that all about? Sorry, but I really don't get it. I think the implementation of Liveview on the D800 is superb if used properly. What exactly is it that people are seeing or expecting that I seem to be missing? This is a serious question. Even fredandmiranda seemed to incompetently use it. Am I the only one that's very happy with how it works? I get a very accurate LIVE VIEW of aperture, light and exposure - for critical landscape focus I open up the lens to f/2.8, focus on the critical part of my subject and then drop out the aperture to around f/11. The results are spectacular. What are all the complaints really about?

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
Nikon D800
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DigVis Forum Member • Posts: 97
Re: Liveview Bashers

There are as far as I see three things that could be better:

1. When zooming LV in at 100 %, you are not getting the full sensor resolution. Line skipping with interpolation seem to be performed. This results in horrible aliasing artifacts, but – especially when increasing the LV sharpness – it is still not very hard to acquire critical focus. So basically more of a cosmetic problem.

2. Low frame rate when zoomed in at 100 %. Especially problematic for video.

3. Excessively long black-out time after taking one or a series of shots. It seems the buffer has to clear before LV is reactivated.

OP russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Liveview Bashers

DigVis wrote:

There are as far as I see three things that could be better:

1. When zooming LV in at 100 %, you are not getting the full sensor resolution. Line skipping with interpolation seem to be performed. This results in horrible aliasing artifacts, but – especially when increasing the LV sharpness – it is still not very hard to acquire critical focus. So basically more of a cosmetic problem.

Actually I think this is the 200% view isn't it? As soon as I see 'noise' I step back one and focus from there. Cosmetic as you say I think.

2. Low frame rate when zoomed in at 100 %. Especially problematic for video.

OK, I'm not a video user so I can see how that would be irritating, but this doesn't seem to be the thing that most people talk about.

3. Excessively long black-out time after taking one or a series of shots. It seems the buffer has to clear before LV is reactivated.

Hmmm. OK. To me it's not an issue - I shoot 1 frame a minute or less on landscape But surely if you're using Liveview you wouldn't be shooting moving subjects so under what circumstances would this generally be a problem?

This sounds like a reasonable capture of 'quirks' in Nikon's implementation but I'm seeing comments like "Liveview is not fit for purpose" "Liveview is unusable" so what exactly what are these other people doing I wonder....

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
ThePaleRider Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Liveview Bashers

Unfortunately, it is also the 100% setting which is poorly displayed when zooming in liveview. It makes it very difficult to assess correct focus.

This feature should be a real boon for those who shoot with tilting/swinging lenses like I do, but in its current implementation, it is very much less help than it could be. It can still be used, but it could be so so much better. The image "creeps" on the screen as you change focus (I don't know if you've ever focused a tilted lens, but it is not quite as straight forward as focusing a parallel plane lens) and it "shimmers", making it a "focus back and forth over and over and make a judgement call on what point looks least blurry" process rather than one where the point of focus can be clearly identified.

OP russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Liveview Bashers

ThePaleRider wrote:

Unfortunately, it is also the 100% setting which is poorly displayed when zooming in liveview. It makes it very difficult to assess correct focus.

How do you know when it's 100%? Is there a number somewhere on the display, in Info?

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
ThePaleRider Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Liveview Bashers

It is better than trying to do it by eye down the pokey viewfinder though, so it is still useful.

Other than tilting lenses, I don't really use liveview. Before my D800Es, I used larger format cameras for landscape work, so I must confess that I do not even know how to activate liveview on my D700s to make a comparision between the two. RTFM I guess.

The advent of the D800E is hopefully going to ease my burden (and save my back!) on the long hacks out to photo locations. I would dearly love to flog the MF and LF gear and carry a small bag on my shoulder. The only pang of doubt comes from trying to get precise manual focus with the tools currently available.

ThePaleRider Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Liveview Bashers

russbarnes wrote:

ThePaleRider wrote:

Unfortunately, it is also the 100% setting which is poorly displayed when zooming in liveview. It makes it very difficult to assess correct focus.

How do you know when it's 100%? Is there a number somewhere on the display, in Info?

It's a little moot when all three magnifications show the same jaggies, even on out of focus areas, giving an illusion of sharpness where there is none.

For many situations, it may not be a big deal or even noticeable, but for fine focus tuning on detailed distant objects it leaves a bit of guesswork still. Remember, my own gripe pertains to shifted lens photography, where the plane of focus does not pass over objects in quite the same was as more "conventional" photography.

I believe that "medium" is 100%, but I will try to find the reference for that if you are interested.

OP russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Liveview Bashers

ThePaleRider wrote:

The image "creeps" on the screen as you change focus (I don't know if you've ever focused a tilted lens, but it is not quite as straight forward as focusing a parallel plane lens) and it "shimmers", making it a "focus back and forth over and over and make a judgement call on what point looks least blurry" process rather than one where the point of focus can be clearly identified.

Yes, I've made one or two images using Tilt Shift lenses

http://russbarnes.co.uk/glass

I was doing some last night, hence my post this morning... sure there are probably a few things that Nikon might improve with firmware but I think it is a long, long way from being described as unusable, which many people have done.

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
ThePaleRider Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Liveview Bashers

Yeah, I agree. It's hardly unusable, just not as good as it could be.

How do you find the 45mm PC-E? I tend to consider the 24mm to be tilt/swing only because it degrades so quickly upon shifting (the image circle is not large enough in my opinion). Limited shifts are fine for landscape work, but are not sufficient for fine architecture, so I have resisted the 45, even though I find the 24 too wide most of the time. Does the 45mm offer much scope for shifting before the image falls to bits?

DigVis Forum Member • Posts: 97
Re: Liveview Bashers

russbarnes wrote:

ThePaleRider wrote:

Unfortunately, it is also the 100% setting which is poorly displayed when zooming in liveview. It makes it very difficult to assess correct focus.

How do you know when it's 100%? Is there a number somewhere on the display, in Info?

I came to that conclusion by zooming in to the equivalent framing in "playback" mode, where you can clearly see the individual pixels at larger than 100 % magnification. I don't have my camera at hand right now, but I believe the maximum zoom for LV is 200% (one step back gives 100%), and the maximum zoom in playback mode is 400% (two steps back give 100%).

This zoom amount also corresponds to "medium magnification" for setting f2: zoom on/off for both playback and LV modes.

OP russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Liveview Bashers

I prefer the 45 over the 24 for usability and image quality. Sharpness in the 45 is unmatched in the 24 in my view. In this respect the image quality in the 45 seems to be able to take stronger tilt and shift movements before it becomes affected. I don't know whether that's to do with the fact that making a wide angle is eminently more complicated but the effective field of view of the 45 seems to cope far better with the manipulation that tilt and shift brings.

ThePaleRider wrote:

Yeah, I agree. It's hardly unusable, just not as good as it could be.

How do you find the 45mm PC-E? I tend to consider the 24mm to be tilt/swing only because it degrades so quickly upon shifting (the image circle is not large enough in my opinion). Limited shifts are fine for landscape work, but are not sufficient for fine architecture, so I have resisted the 45, even though I find the 24 too wide most of the time. Does the 45mm offer much scope for shifting before the image falls to bits?

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
ThePaleRider Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Liveview Bashers

Thank you. I will surely investigate it when the cashflow permits.

Nice website, by the way. Very good eye.

Many Feathers Senior Member • Posts: 1,826
Using liveview for moving objects

I used Liveview all the time on the D700 for moving objects and it worked great...not nearly as long a lag time. Used it when shooting animals or kids on the floor...or for different angles where I couldn't see easily through the viewfinder. Hold the camera out...see the focusing square and shoot. Much harder on the D800, although I bought a faster card and it works better. Is usable with faster card.

3. Excessively long black-out time after taking one or a series of shots. It seems the buffer has to clear before LV is reactivated.

Hmmm. OK. To me it's not an issue - I shoot 1 frame a minute or less on landscape But surely if you're using Liveview you wouldn't be shooting moving subjects so under what circumstances would this generally be a problem?

coudet Veteran Member • Posts: 4,007
Re: Liveview Bashers

russbarnes wrote:

What exactly is it that people are seeing or expecting that I seem to be missing?

They expect it to be as good as it possible in 2012, and it's not. That's all.

bfool New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Liveview Bashers

Hi Russ,

Interested in your view on this one. I haven't taken delivery of my 800 yet - so have no first hand experience. How have you found focussing in low light situations?

The fred miranda article and this comparison:

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2012/05/fail-nikon-d800-live-view-vs-canon-5d.html

both depict the 800 live view performing rather poorly in low light and if a true representation I'd imagine this this makes trying to focus a tilt lens front and back just before sunrise a bit of a ball ache.

Have you come across this?- or do you think these guys were doing something different - maybe zoomed in too far or had the aperture stopped down etc...

Cheers Dom.

gonzalu
gonzalu Forum Pro • Posts: 10,389
Have you used it?

Zoom in all the way while trying to do critical focus... it is highly pixelated when it should be pure and smooth... that's all...

It is a horrible implementation in this day and age... plain and simple. It should look as sharp as the resulting image...

Better yet, take a look at a fully zoomed in live view... take a shot and review the shot at full magnification (fully zoomed in) if it does NOT look the same as it did in LiveView, LiveView sucks.... that's the problem!!

I rely on it in total darkness or somewhat dark shooting situations when focusing using the viewfinder is useless or close to it and/or the AF system is unable to get a good lock (no light) etc.
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OP russbarnes Senior Member • Posts: 1,660
Re: Have you used it?

Did you even read my original post? If you're using it zoomed all the way in you're looking at a 200% magnification. Step it back one... I find no problems whatsoever in using it, even in near darkness.

gonzalu wrote:

Zoom in all the way while trying to do critical focus... it is highly pixelated when it should be pure and smooth... that's all...

It is a horrible implementation in this day and age... plain and simple. It should look as sharp as the resulting image...

Better yet, take a look at a fully zoomed in live view... take a shot and review the shot at full magnification (fully zoomed in) if it does NOT look the same as it did in LiveView, LiveView sucks.... that's the problem!!

I rely on it in total darkness or somewhat dark shooting situations when focusing using the viewfinder is useless or close to it and/or the AF system is unable to get a good lock (no light) etc.
--
Manny
http://www.pbase.com/gonzalu/
http://www.thrustimages.com/
FCAS Member - http://fcasmembers.com/

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR +3 more
Dan DeLion Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Look and Feel Like a Fool!

If you had just spent $3500 for a 5D3, you'd also be bashing the D800. Otherwise you'd look and feel like a fool.

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Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,168
This
jwang88 Regular Member • Posts: 383
Re: Liveview Bashers

Have you ever tried the Canon Live View? Canon may lack of the high MP but its Live View performance is day and night compared to Nikon, the poor color, jagged resolution, big noise and vibration of the mirror flapping during the LV shooting, long black out time, inconvenience to manually open the apertures to fine focus, awkward zoom in function, etc. making the LV on Nikon way behind Canon 5D Mark III and even Mark II. So I am staying with Canon even I really love to upgrade to higher MP. Hope Canon will introduce one soon.

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