Tom May

Lives in United States Carson City, NV, United States
Joined on Aug 25, 2000

Comments

Total: 53, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Next level: iPhone 7 Plus camera review (187 comments in total)
In reply to:

ZJ24: Like the review and images that demonstrate the features. I think the phone pic haters have to get that the smartphone has promoted photography in a way that nothing has probably since the Kodak Brownie in 1900.
My kids are 15 to 21 and take at least 5 to 10 photos every day with their iPhones and Galaxies - meaning they are selecting subjects, distance, composition, lighting several times a day every day.
They use my gear for shooting sports occasionally and are interested in the way certain Youtubers use manual focus in their videos so that's opened up a new set of conversations.
But for a lot of what they do, the quality, immediate feedback on a large high definition screen and access to filters and instant publication on social media is something we could have only dreamed of in the 80s.
It doesn't replace the skills and equipment of traditional photography, it complements them and promotes them. And also keeps you on your toes - there are some great phone pics out there.

Someone that things like you do;

http://om.co/2016/09/12/standalone-camera-losing-fight-with-the-iphones/

Link | Posted on Nov 7, 2016 at 23:13 UTC
In reply to:

SELEES: So many people mentioning the iPhone 7 as a better alternative to the Sony RX100 MkV....what are you doing on this site if the iPhone 7 is your benchmark, really? The RX100 (of any generation) actually fits easily into your shirt pocket, that is how small it is. iPhone 7 and 7+ on the other hand hang out the top of your shirt pocket, so the Sony is VERY convenient to carry around. The quality it produces far outweighs that of any smart phone, even the Mark 1.

I suspect that most people have a smartphone on them, whether that be an iPhone or Android OS phone, and given the cost and fact that they would still be carrying the smartphone, I think that the point is that the smartphone has or is becoming "good enough".

That's very troubling for the camera market when 1 inch sensor camera's are displaced by smartphones, whatever the numbers.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2016 at 01:19 UTC
In reply to:

fuego6: AMAZING.. REVOLUTIONARY.. oh.. yeah.. meh!

It's actually a fork in the road.

One direction is to push the evolution of single imager modules; the other is to develop multiple imager systems. Both might have computational imaging in software and hardware, but multiple imaging system would appear to have significant feature advantages over single imagers, albeit the tradeoff now might be to take a slight hit in IQ.

Link | Posted on Oct 25, 2016 at 19:59 UTC
In reply to:

GigaBrent: Sounds like I'm the only one bugged by the green skin tones and sharpening artifacts in the S7, that the iPhone 7 avoids well. I'm sure the general public would prefer the sharpened image, but the S7 is applying way more contrast and sharpening in jpeg processing.
Just look how they handle the lines under the white guy's eyes, or the color of the black guy's face.
I would like to compare RAW to RAW, but even that isn't quite fair, since Apple is doing some burst-photo-merge-voodoo using it's processing power and efficiency advantage under normal jpeg shooting.

I'm sympathetic to the difficulty of testing the iPhone 7 Plus imager configuration, but shooting a 2D target isn't going to give you much useful information other than larger imagers tend towards better IQ than small.

I'll happily wait for real world dpreview tests to wring out what the iPhone 7 Plus is capable of as a computational imaging system.

Link | Posted on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:54 UTC
In reply to:

Ross Murphy: I care, they are upping the ante and forcing other manufacturers hands, that will benefit all of us. If they didn't make this stuff in China, none of us could afford these things. Lens is probably by Largan (http://www.largan.com.tw/index_en.asp), I heard Sony could not keep up with supply so this is not a Sony sensor. Whatever the make or brand, it benefits photographers.

Ross,

It is Largan for the module, and not a Sony imager primarily due to the earthquake delaying production. Apple may be designing the optical stack, focus, and OIS systems, but no way to know.

The big deal is that Apple is getting out in front with the imaging processor which puts them on a path to more and better computational imaging, even if to date it is mostly an ersatz bokeh.

Link | Posted on Sep 10, 2016 at 19:40 UTC
In reply to:

Vahab: Just a gentle reminder: there is out there the Panasonic CM1 cellphone with a 1" 20 meg pixels BSI sensor and Leica lens, introduced in 2014 (two years ago). I'm curious to know how Apple 7 fares here.

I'll bet Panasonic sells a few 10's of thousands of them at most.

Niche, not mainstream.

Link | Posted on Sep 10, 2016 at 19:31 UTC
On article Apple unveils iPhone 7 and dual-cam iPhone 7 Plus (920 comments in total)
In reply to:

Robert Holloway: Hilarious responses below. I remember when the iPhone was first introduced in 2007 and people saying it was junk in comparison with their Point & Shoot camera because it was better quality. Well P&S cameras are sure selling fast!

Mark these words, this is the most important photographic announcement in 2016 and here is why. It's because an f1.8 optical zoom combined with bokeh is the next leap forward on smart phones that are already killing vast sections of the camera market. For most people, that is already good enough, for many more it's another reason they don't need to carry a second device.

Samsung and others will have their versions on the market in months, the iPhone 7s smaller version will have it and soon, this technology will be in millions of people's hands and pockets.

Does the 7+ replace my a7r2 with a Zeiss 35/1.4? No, but as a second, go any where camera, it may be perfect. For many it will be perfect - period. Oh yeah, it's also waterproof!

I haven't a clue of how effective Apple's algorithms are for computational imaging in the iPhone 7 Plus, we'll know soon enough, but I'm savvy enough to realize that Apple is both serious about imaging, and is building a stack of technologies that places significant pressure on both its smartphone competition and the traditional camera manufacturers.

I personally expect to benefit from continue performance gains in the iPad Pro line that will make it a viable editing platform for a wider range of video and still image users over the coming years, and in many cases eliminate the requirement of x86 compatible hardware. We will shortly have a more robust version of Lightroom for iOS, supporting DNG, and Apple is already quite robust in color management throughout iOS. Missing is traditional file management equivalence to Windows and Mac OS, but it is being incrementally addressed in iOS 10, so I expect Apple to be aware of the shortcomings and fix that over time.

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2016 at 06:08 UTC
In reply to:

Impulses: Is it accurate to call it optical zooming? (re: G5) It's more like choice of focal lengths or two completely different camera experiences more so than actual zoom per se, even if fiddling with the digital zoom will suddenly kick you between cameras in the interface (neither one actually zooms) Just being pedantic.

I liked LG's approach of adding an UW, execution could've been a bit better, I'd think Apple would try something more clever than that tho. The Apple of old would've anyway... There's a lot of potential for better IQ or more interesting effects beyond the obvious (here have two focal lengths) and the gimmicky (fake DoF effects which were already tried and turned into a short lived fad).

I'm under the impression from some articles that I've come across in the past that Apple has 800 (or so) employees working on imaging, so i would expect that Apple will in fact try something "more clever than that". What is most important, in my opinion anyway, is how computational photography/imaging will be integrated into the A10 processor to maximize performance. This would be the edge that Apple may have over the competitors at the time of the iPhone 7 Plus release.

Link | Posted on May 28, 2016 at 03:45 UTC

iPad Pro won't be the primary tool for editing, but it likely will become a serious tool for some people as software arrives and the key hurdle will be how good its stylus interacts with the iPad Pro.

For many people, the limitation will be their workflow; for others performance and connection, and still others the limitations of iOS. What should be noted is that Apple and its competitor Android OS have succeeded with ARM where MS has not, and the rate of evolution driven by ARM's power efficiency is a driver for growth in the tablet segment, quite different from the x86 hybrids like the Surface Pro.

Apple doesn't have to solve every editing workflow to succeed; just enough of them to drive adoption as one of the tools in that workflow; evolution will take care of the rest. Considering that this is first and foremost a product targeted to Enterprise customers in a wide variety of jobs to be done, I would expect it to be well adopted by the creative community as well.

Link | Posted on Oct 3, 2015 at 16:27 UTC as 41st comment
On article Apple buys camera-technology company LinX (74 comments in total)
In reply to:

neo_nights: [OFF-TOPIC]
@Lars (or anyone else at DPReview) - Few weeks ago I've looked up for any info about a successor for the Lumia 1020 and, apparently, Microsoft will abandon the "big sensor" route because it was a niche market and Microsoft realised that it'd be better for them to do just like everyone else.

Do you have any info on that?

All you lusting for the large imager might have another shot at it if Nokia builds and sells an Android device beginning in third quarter 2016.

In my opinion though, that boat has sailed and will be an even smaller niche 18 months from now. The future lies with folded optics, mems, lens arrays, and massive computation, all better suited to the thin form factor of smartphones.

Link | Posted on Apr 20, 2015 at 14:26 UTC
In reply to:

paulbysea: Well it would if you could still download iOS8. which has now been withdrawn by apple due to several problems with it.

iOS 8.02 has been released.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2014 at 02:30 UTC
In reply to:

alexpaynter: The camera module is not the same because it has a new sensor. You can argue that the depth of the module must be the same because all other factors are the same, but they aren't.

I don't know if this is the case with the iPhone 6 but new sensors tend to be able to take light in from wider angles (the isocell is an example of this) and therefore the lens depth can be less.

Having said that, I hate the protruding lens. The could have made the camera the same depth as before with a flush lens and a much bigger battery.

I think I will just wait for sony z3x (if it isn't just someone's fantasy creation). I am not sure how you can fit a 2/3" sensor with an f1.2 lens in such a thin phone without any protrusion.

WRT the protruding lens: Not having one in hand, I can only guess, but my guess would be a ferritic stainless steel that a magnet might stick to. given its precise alignment with the camera module and its cylindrical exterior, one could argue that some intrepid soul will create a lens set to mate with this protrusion, and I would bet that the engineering team made lemonade out of a lemon with that configuration.

Pure speculation on my part of course.

Link | Posted on Sep 11, 2014 at 01:11 UTC
In reply to:

Skulls: Can't save in RAW? All the smoke and mirrors and a crappy jpg?

iPhoto is being reworked into a more robust photo editing app replacing Aperture and available on both iOS and OSX. Perhaps that will be the key to future addition of RAW.

Link | Posted on Sep 10, 2014 at 15:59 UTC
On article Apple is on camera-engineer hiring spree (87 comments in total)
In reply to:

tbcass: It will be many years before these new engineers will come up with anything worthwhile. Since the camera manufacturers are way ahead I doubt this will get Apple anywhere. I see the days of Apples dominance failing fast which is fine with me.

The iPhone isn't a niche camera, so it isn't going to have niche features, and there won't be a tradeoff of a "bump" for a camera. They'll get OIS when they or Sony can design it to the thickness of the iPhone.

But take the lesson that Apple taught the industry with its own 64 bit ARM design, and even their 5s lens design; Apple wants to control its destiny, and will buy companies and necessary talent to do so.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2014 at 05:30 UTC
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