57even

Lives in United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
Joined on Jul 16, 2012

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On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)

A lot of commentators here seem to be missing the point. Whether you 'like' the images from the Pixel2 or not is not the point. The fact is they greatly exceed the physical parameters of the sensor used in that phone.

If people are going to be tempted into buying dedicated cameras, they will demand some level of visible superiority over what they can do with a phone. That means some similar techniques will have to be available, either in-camera or in post, to stay ahead.

In practice, a lot of this is just focus stacking or HDR stacking, but what is unique is the Pixel2's ability to identify areas of an image intelligently and align the stacked images so precisely. It does a much better job of HDR (the results look quite realistic) than some HDR efforts I have seen, and the 'fake bokeh' is pretty smooth too...

I would like some control over these effects, but there is no doubt that they work. They will work just as well on a D850, in most cases - and with better quality data.

Link | Posted on Apr 29, 2018 at 11:34 UTC as 69th comment | 3 replies
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

mckracken88: Landscapes with a phone? Is that guy for real? Hahah. (or for that matter any subject where you want details and not a grainy smear)

Also a real photographer (and/or someone who cares enough) will despise fake computational effects and prefer reality.

Reality? In a photograph? Puhleeze.

What is real about the tone curve of film emulsion, or Bayer interpolation. As for manipulation, take that up with Ansel Adams and Pablo Inirio.

Link | Posted on Apr 29, 2018 at 11:10 UTC
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

drjs: Really great article. Very well written and has great depth.

I think what we need to think about isn't what Smart Phone is doing right, but rather what real cameras are doing wrong. All of the computational photography "tricks" can be done on a large sensor camera but all of the traditional camera companies are either unable or unwilling to implement. Everyone is chasing larger sensor, brighter lens, faster AF instead adding useful software programs into the camera.

The future of photography is a combination of software and hardware. The innovation from past few years for smart phone is a perfect argument for this. For as long as traditional photography vendors are unwilling to realize this, smart phone camera will continue to leap forward in results. We as photographers needs to have better understanding of technology and not beholden-ed to our idea what photography should be.

@LilBuddha

I agree, that's the point. I want the same tools, but I want to choose when to use them and to control how they work - much like I do with sharpening, or lens correction. It's all maths under the covers, but I can see the results and adjust accordingly.

I see 'computational' photography as just an extension of this, similar to HDR merges or panorama stitching. It's not new, just getting smarter and more accurate. The biggest 'improvement' is the ability of the algorithms to identify or 'sense' foreground and background objects, and edges, with uncanny accuracy. Not sure how they do it, but it's pretty darn clever IMO.

Accurate masking in PS is always a challenge, however 'smart' the tools claim to be. Easier than it was, but the Google Pixel 2 is almost uncanny.

Link | Posted on Apr 28, 2018 at 18:13 UTC
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

drjs: Really great article. Very well written and has great depth.

I think what we need to think about isn't what Smart Phone is doing right, but rather what real cameras are doing wrong. All of the computational photography "tricks" can be done on a large sensor camera but all of the traditional camera companies are either unable or unwilling to implement. Everyone is chasing larger sensor, brighter lens, faster AF instead adding useful software programs into the camera.

The future of photography is a combination of software and hardware. The innovation from past few years for smart phone is a perfect argument for this. For as long as traditional photography vendors are unwilling to realize this, smart phone camera will continue to leap forward in results. We as photographers needs to have better understanding of technology and not beholden-ed to our idea what photography should be.

@lilBuddha

A minuscule proportion of people had a darkroom and even fewer did their own color prints. I certainly do not have LESS control with digital, and it is far more accessible.

But much as I am impressed with the computational techniques used in smart phones, I prefer to have some control over the effect. I don't like having some algorithm decide what's best, even when it does a reasonable job.

And I would certainly want to maintain a 16-bit workflow in a wide colour space, not end up with an sRGB 8-bit JPEG with 90% of the information stripped out.

Link | Posted on Apr 28, 2018 at 10:26 UTC
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

drjs: Really great article. Very well written and has great depth.

I think what we need to think about isn't what Smart Phone is doing right, but rather what real cameras are doing wrong. All of the computational photography "tricks" can be done on a large sensor camera but all of the traditional camera companies are either unable or unwilling to implement. Everyone is chasing larger sensor, brighter lens, faster AF instead adding useful software programs into the camera.

The future of photography is a combination of software and hardware. The innovation from past few years for smart phone is a perfect argument for this. For as long as traditional photography vendors are unwilling to realize this, smart phone camera will continue to leap forward in results. We as photographers needs to have better understanding of technology and not beholden-ed to our idea what photography should be.

There are two ways to look at it. You can have a tool that lets you adjust the parameters as you edit an image, like unsharp mask, or you can have a tool that makes the decision for you.

Under the covers, the same math is taking place. The only difference is the level of control.

And with film, we had almost no control at all by comparison.

Link | Posted on Apr 28, 2018 at 01:01 UTC
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

Mastering Light: People here just don't get it.

They remind me of a person standing in the middle of the interstate highway saying "that truck coming at me looks far away".

They think mirrorless cameras will so replace DSLRs, but within a few years high end smartphones will be the defacto tool for most top amateurs and semi-pros while only pros will still use ILCs. We are already mostly there.

Also, virtually everyone already processes there pics with software. Smartphones and simply taking it to a new and better level. Soften, dodge, burn, sharpen, lighten, etc... we've been doing it for decades. Now smartphones DP it faster and sometimes better.

It's not a matter of 'either or'. It's a matter of using innovation from the mobile world to improve the flexibility and capability of dedicated cameras. Ignoring it will just put a lot of customers off migrating.

They already borrowed a lot of the electronic tech, why not the software?

I don't care whether it's a set of Photoshop plugins, or a phone app, but there is a lot of potential for far more sophisticated use of image data from ANY camera, not just a smart phone. And believe me, it works.

If advanced cameras were only for people who edited raw images, the bottom would fall out of the market overnight. Photojournalists and many working pros don't upload raw images to news desks or blogs.

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2018 at 14:12 UTC
On article Why smartphone cameras are blowing our minds (414 comments in total)
In reply to:

drjs: Really great article. Very well written and has great depth.

I think what we need to think about isn't what Smart Phone is doing right, but rather what real cameras are doing wrong. All of the computational photography "tricks" can be done on a large sensor camera but all of the traditional camera companies are either unable or unwilling to implement. Everyone is chasing larger sensor, brighter lens, faster AF instead adding useful software programs into the camera.

The future of photography is a combination of software and hardware. The innovation from past few years for smart phone is a perfect argument for this. For as long as traditional photography vendors are unwilling to realize this, smart phone camera will continue to leap forward in results. We as photographers needs to have better understanding of technology and not beholden-ed to our idea what photography should be.

Camera manufacturers are so focused on the capture side, they have largely ignored the entire post-capture scenario. With digital data, this is far more amenable to manipulation, and if you have good quality image data (from a full frame sensor/lens say) the potential is boundless.

For folks that love messing about in Photoshop, this is less of an issue, though more automation and closer integration with the camera helps. One example is auto-correction of vignetting, CA etc. It is chore to do this by hand. Auto-stitching is another example.

But being able to automatically align and merge 10 frames taken at high ISO, or different focus, or different exposures, can provide extraordinary low light capability, or shallow DOF, or DR, whichever one you wish to exploit.

The problem from the camera companies' POV is that this largely overcomes the need to spend inordinate amounts of money on cameras and lenses. It also means they need to get into the software business!

Link | Posted on Apr 27, 2018 at 14:04 UTC
On article Opinion: the Sony a7 III could be the new Nikon D750 (1178 comments in total)
In reply to:

57even: So, finally, a camera that is better than a d750? How long did that take?

Progress is so incremental these days that getting excited about new cameras is really difficult. Frankly, I don't particularly like the d750 or A7iii - but that's just personal preference. YMMV and that's fine. In any event, I would choose based on handling qualities and other features (video etc). There isn't enough IQ difference to care about.

osv: It strikes me that most of the 'innovation' in MILCs has been trying to catch up with DSLRs.

Ok, so we are there now. But IQ is about the same as it has been for a few years now, so they are just smaller and easier to use. Which is hardly anything to get excited about.

I didn't buy a MILC because it was more 'innovative' but because it was more 'usable'. I don't see it as being particularly innovative in an engineering sense, but I plan to use it to take photographs, and that's not exactly a new idea.

A decade ago, each new camera was a major step forward. Now it's a crawl.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2018 at 21:50 UTC
On article Opinion: the Sony a7 III could be the new Nikon D750 (1178 comments in total)

So, finally, a camera that is better than a d750? How long did that take?

Progress is so incremental these days that getting excited about new cameras is really difficult. Frankly, I don't particularly like the d750 or A7iii - but that's just personal preference. YMMV and that's fine. In any event, I would choose based on handling qualities and other features (video etc). There isn't enough IQ difference to care about.

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2018 at 10:45 UTC as 34th comment | 4 replies

Which one has '3D pop' and excellent 'rendering'?

Link | Posted on Apr 20, 2018 at 22:25 UTC as 46th comment
On article Nikon dominates World Press Photo 2018 camera breakdown (385 comments in total)
In reply to:

The Davinator: DSLRs still reign supreme it seems. And Fuji beat out Sony

Full frame Sony as well.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2018 at 19:08 UTC
In reply to:

matthiasbasler: "... always push to learn more."
Does every photographer necessarily needs to strive to become better at all?

While the above said likely holds true for professional and ambitious photographers, hobby photographers may very well have a different attitude: A hobby is supposed to create joy and/or satisfaction (in my opinion at least.) So when you look at your photos of 5 years ago and you like them ... mission accomplished. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this!

I you photograph your children, pets, flowers and you and your friends like the results, there's no pressing need to become better. (Just the opposite: Show some award-winning abstract photos with perfect composition, sharpness and lighting to your friends, and some might react: Cannot they create "normal" photos?

Long story short: If photography is a hobby to you, you can do it a the level you want the way you want.

(P.S. I don't like people talking to selfie sticks. This looks sooo unprofessional.)

"Does every photographer necessarily need to strive to become better at all?"

If you like fishing, isn't the whole point to catch fish?

Link | Posted on Apr 15, 2018 at 15:57 UTC
On article Why brand market share shouldn't matter to you (547 comments in total)
In reply to:

GaryJP: ," I'd argue most discussion of sales rankings are simply fanboyism. "

Heaven forbid it might suggest the camera companies are right about their customers' priorities and the reviewers wrong.

But Porsche are the #1 market leader in rear-engined sports cars :-D

Link | Posted on Mar 12, 2018 at 00:23 UTC
In reply to:

57even: Doesn't the Canon C700 4K cinema camera have a global shutter already?

@MikeRan

The headline is still misleading. It is not the first global shutter CMOS, only the first potential BSI CMOS, but not on a production sensor. Panasonic's 8K organic CMOS sensor sounds a lot more disruptive. Photodiodes are so last year...

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2018 at 21:16 UTC

Doesn't the Canon C700 4K cinema camera have a global shutter already?

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2018 at 17:46 UTC as 94th comment | 9 replies

Best phone for photographers is a bit like the best bicycle for motorists.

Link | Posted on Feb 13, 2018 at 03:50 UTC as 38th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

57even: Looking at the chart, it seems to have reached a kind of plateau. Is this the limit of computation processing using (relatively bad) small sensor data from two sensors? How much better will it be with three?

A full frame sensor has about 40X the area of most phone sensors, so I guess that answers the question of how far it still has to go.

True, but Phase 1 is not affordable to most 'enthusiasts'. I can pick up a SH full frame camera for less than $1000. Not much more than the new iPhone...

Link | Posted on Feb 9, 2018 at 06:09 UTC

Looking at the chart, it seems to have reached a kind of plateau. Is this the limit of computation processing using (relatively bad) small sensor data from two sensors? How much better will it be with three?

A full frame sensor has about 40X the area of most phone sensors, so I guess that answers the question of how far it still has to go.

Link | Posted on Feb 8, 2018 at 20:11 UTC as 10th comment | 3 replies

The difference is not physics, its processing. It is increasingly pointless (IMO) to use a dedicated stills camera without shooting raw.

There is still a lot more useful information in the data from an APSC sensor than from an average phone sensor, and the difference is largely in line with physical limits. However, we may have 13 EV of dynamic range, but the JPEG engine in the camera throws most of it away.

The problem with all computational solutions is that the photographer is effectively out of the loop. It is fine for capturing content, not for interpreting it. On the other hand, interpretation is a difficult skill to master.

In many ways, phone cameras are the 35mm cameras of today. Most of us who owned film SLRs used a print lab or shot slides, so we had very little creative control anyway. Given that most images are shared online, a phone will do just as well.

And for most people, that's 'good enough'.

Link | Posted on Feb 8, 2018 at 13:37 UTC as 13th comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

57even: Phone cameras are a red herring. They may have scoured the compact market, but they were never an option for any traditional ILC buyer.

The ILC market has reached a plateau because the tech is mature and the image quality does not change much with each new generation. Even so, the volume is far higher than the film SLR market ever was, and far higher value per unit. I don't think the current survivors have much to worry about - they already scaled down to match expectations.

What is more interesting is the shift in ILC demographics. Overall numbers are not changing hugely, but ILC is replacing DSLR. That is partly the new Asian market and their lack of 'SLR legacy' and the maturation of the older NA/EU/Japan markets who are upgrading less frequently, or migrating to mirrorless to save weight.

The Nikon/Canon brand names and professional legacy are all that keeps DSLRs alive in mature markets. When they get serious about mirrorless, the DSLR is dead, but the ILC is not.

@melgross

Canon's marketing engine is second to none, partly because of the sports association. If they are #1 in mirrorless it's not because the products are anything to shout about though. Making the best camera is no guarantee of sales. Having the right brand certainly is.

Beats me. I never really warmed to any of their cameras.

Link | Posted on Dec 5, 2017 at 23:21 UTC
Total: 646, showing: 81 – 100
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