Richard Butler

Richard Butler

DPReview Administrator
Lives in United Kingdom Seattle, United Kingdom
Works as a Technical Editor
Joined on Nov 7, 2007
About me:

Richard graduated as a scientist but had a lot more fun writing and shooting for his university magazine. A number of years spent variously as a reporter, writer and editor on science and engineering titles combined his knowledge of science with his interest in images and words. But it was spotting the connections between emission spectra, white balance and all the nonsense he'd taught himself playing around in Photoshop that helped kindle an interest in digital photography. Searching for a camera led to him discovering DPReview and Richard was recruited by Phil Askey in 2007. He's been combining his love of photography, communication and attention to detail (pedantry?) ever since.

He has unusually strong opinions about lenses for the APS-C format.

Comments

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In reply to:

nakeddork: Seriously, why does dpreview insist on beating this dead horse?

Because it's a really interesting camera that many people have bought and would like to see live up to its promise?

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2012 at 20:26 UTC
In reply to:

micahmedia: "click here" bit has no link.

Sorry about that. It should be there now.

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2012 at 19:28 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III low-light ISO series samples (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

tbcass: Why take a camera that is meant to produce high quality, high resolution photos and only show samples crippled by poor lighting conditions? I want to see the best the camera can do.

We really can't win, here, can we?

We are hoping to publish real-world shots as soon as possible and will shoot our standard tests under studio lighting.

Link | Posted on Mar 3, 2012 at 02:11 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III low-light ISO series samples (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

Natan Lorenzi: It isn't fair, with controlled light, and NR strong, it'll never show the real low light capacity of this camera. To prove what i'm saying, here is a sample shoot by me with a Nikon D90 + AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G @ iso 6400 f/10 and 1/3s. That is great result, clean with details and low noise, with controlled light.

http://natanlorenzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/DSC3776.jpg

what you think about? We need real life samples!

It is low light (around 3EV) and is more challenging than natural light.

It is not shot with studio strobes. NR is set to default, not strong.

Link | Posted on Mar 3, 2012 at 02:05 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III low-light ISO series samples (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

marike6: First thing studio shots with flash lighting is not a good test of a camera for low light / high ISO performance. A camera will always look better, less noisy in artificial flash lighting.

Secondly, the only way to view these samples is by downloading the full-size images, and opening them on your computer. They look OK, but I'm hearing a ton of super positive comments, but upon viewing the full size images like ISO 6400, it's clear that NR is heavy, and it is smearing away fine details like the mouses fur. I don't remember my 5D Mk II having such heavy NR in JPEG, but then I hardly ever use JPEG, so...

Lastly, a comment below states these to be on par with the D3s. They are not. They may be an improvement of 1 stop over the 5D Mk II, but nowhere near the D3s. The D3s high ISO images are clean WITHOUT smearing fine details.

If you tried reading the accompanying text, you'd realise these are NOT shot under flash lighting. They're shot under 3000K lighting that more closely resembles Tungsten lighting, rather than our standard, daylight-balanced studio lighting.

Richard - dpreview.com

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 23:45 UTC
In reply to:

DStudio: It may be $100 less, but it's not $1000. The previous Silver Edition, body only, was about the same price as this bundle.

No idea how I managed not to spot that.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 22:53 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III low-light ISO series samples (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

fyngyrz: Andy:

Does the 5DmkIII preproduction unit DPR is in possession of have the ability to turn OFF the high ISO noise reduction data damage mechanism, uh, I mean, feature?

If so, can you turn it off for JPEG and/or RAW?

Thanks!

I don't think we've ever been allowed to provid Raw files from a pre-production camera. We also don't post Raw files before we have Adobe Camera Raw support and can post converted versions.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 22:16 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III low-light ISO series samples (302 comments in total)
In reply to:

nicolaiecostel: The test is no good. I am an event shooter for many years and I have yet to shoot a box of crayons lit by an incandescent lamp, with the camera on a tripod. The real low light is in the evening, in a pub, or at a disco, at a pool-alley, on a walk down the Thames with the girlfriend. I shoot at wedding receptions, at meetings, in dimly lit orthodox churches, not in a studio. That is why these images are no good, a compact camera could perform flawlessly in a studio too.

I want to see images with backlighting, with spots of different colors on the subject, shot at f 2,8 handheld.

These were shot under low-light and under the sorts of lighting you're likely to be shooting under - these are not colour-balanced studio lights.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 18:15 UTC
On article Canon EOS 5D Mark III hands-on preview and video (264 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michael Barker: Finally a still camera useful for video production, i.e. one with a headphone jack.

It'll certainly be interesting to see which people choose - I suspect many people will find the 5D III's low compression video much easier to work with.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 17:50 UTC
On article Canon announces EOS 5D Mark III 22MP full-frame DSLR (457 comments in total)
In reply to:

Chev Chelios: Anyone know whether it will let you spot meter off a selected AF point??

All I can find is the marketing guff about the "63-zone Dual-Layer sensor linked to each point of the AF system" but no word whether spot metering can be moved off of the centre point.

I believe it will. I'll check tomorrow.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 06:31 UTC
On article Canon announces EOS 5D Mark III 22MP full-frame DSLR (457 comments in total)
In reply to:

Demmos: Any word on the HDMI... will it stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port like the D800?

That's covered in the preview. No, it won't.

Canon thinks most people would prefer intraframe compression as being easier to handle.

Link | Posted on Mar 2, 2012 at 05:38 UTC
On article Just Posted: Lytro Light Field Camera review and video (309 comments in total)
In reply to:

Octane: The effect is cool, the resolution is the deal breaker. It's already very low, but the quality/detail is really poor on top of it. The edges between OOF objects and in focus objects is also not as smooth as you would see it from a conventional lens.

Second deal breaker is that all images only go through their web server. WTH?

As many have said already, it's fun to play with it for a minute, then you get bored because there is no purpose. Refocusing a photo isn't anything exciting, there is zero entertainment value.

The simple and cheap filters inside the Instagram/Hipstamatic app offer more creative looks and more fun (thus user satisfaction) even though they are very basic and sloppy. It's irrelevant how sophisticated this camera captures light rays, the end result isn't convincing in terms of quality nor fun or creative satisfaction.

Except you can only then share those images on your Mac or PC by outputting JPEGs. For the image to be interactive, it has to go through their servers.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:54 UTC
On article Just Posted: Lytro Light Field Camera review and video (309 comments in total)
In reply to:

tongki: flash based application ?

come on, now is the era of iPad,
we don't use flash anymore, that's so yeterday

There's also an HTML5 version that kicks in if it detects you aren't using Flash.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:37 UTC
In reply to:

PicOne: Can anyone get a press release published.. Eg. if RRS or Kirk announced a new camera tripod plate for this same camera, would it get this exposure? Or, XYZ company announces specially formulated LCD wipes for the V1 LCD screen...

It would depend - if we thought our readers would find them interesting.

We found out about Richard Franiec's grips from our forum, where people said they liked them. This one also addresses a concern we expressed in our review (the lack of proper grip on the V1). That's why we published it.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:33 UTC
On article Just Posted: Lytro Light Field Camera review and video (309 comments in total)
In reply to:

Nathaniel George Weir: Why do they market this camera as a refocusable camera? Why not a camera that has unlimited DOF. I guess consumers like refocusable make it appeal to a different consumer audience.

It's also mentioned on page 3 of the preview.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2012 at 00:32 UTC
In reply to:

joe6pack: Come on now. If Nokia can make a camera phone with a 1/1.2" sensor. How come digital camera makers cannot fit a M43 or larger sensor in a Canon ELPH body?

Bear in mind that the sensor dictates the size of the lens. This is small because it has a fixed, prime lens - any camera with this sensor would have to larger than current compacts. How much larger is the interesting question.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 01:51 UTC
In reply to:

Infms: "the camera will output 3, 5MP or 8MP stills, rather than offering its full resolution" is incorrect.

Supported aspect ratios and resolutions are as follows:
True 16:9 (2 MP, 5 MP [Default], 8 MP, 41 MP)
4:3 (3 MP, 5 MP, 8 MP, 41 MP)

Source: http://europe.nokia.com/find-products/devices/nokia-808-pureview/specifications

I've clarified that in most of its shooting modes it doesn't output full resolution (though it did already explain that you could get the maximum 38MP if you wanted).

Ultimately, those specs contradict Nokia's own white paper and diagram. You can't ever get 41MP out of the camera (because the lens doesn't cover the whole sensor).

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2012 at 23:34 UTC
In reply to:

Lan: Nokia isn't a sensor manufacturer, so whose sensor is it?

More samples from the 808 here:
http://cdn.conversations.nokia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Archive2.zip
(will it post the link? If not, it's on the official Nokia 808 PureView blog)

About the only instant problem I can see is a few stuck pixels. Not surprising at 100%, but somewhat surprising in the downsampled images. Buy DxO guys!

Those low ISO 38MP images look gorgeous when downsampled to ~10MP.

Design-wise it looks remarkably similar to my last cameraphone - the Kodak/Motorola ZN5. One of the few sensors to date to use an RGBW array. Samples from the ZN5 in my DPR Gallery if anyone's interested.

Congrats to Nokia on a potential winning cameraphone; just make sure it has the features that we want as photographers. Histograms and exposure compensation at least please. Ideally some way to manual focus, or to adjust the focus in some way - zoom review or peaking for the playback as well!

Nokia talks about Toshiba being a 'development partner.'

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2012 at 23:27 UTC
In reply to:

DavidSvensson: Has it occured to anyone that this sensor is just 12.9 mm on the diagonal?

(The 1/1.2" size number comes from the stupid tradition of referring to camera-phone sensors the same way old-time video cameras image vacuum tubes were reffered to the surrounding outer glass size rather than the active image-sensor area)

Which is very much smaller than any APC format DSLR camera sensor.

Still VERY large for a camera-phone, of course.

Anyway, I just looked at the last image at 100% pixels size, and WOW this is an exceptional camera by any standards. Pixel-sharp at 1.4 um pixel size.

David

That's why I put the diagram in.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2012 at 23:25 UTC
In reply to:

Deeso: P&S manufacturers better be upgrading to 1 inch sensors or more or they will be dead for good in a couple years time frame. Just like portable media players, videocameras and PDA's got engulfed by smartphones. Perhaps pure cameras will always have the edge, but phones are quickly getting "good enough" for everything.

I suspect what you mean is it won't be a compact camera anymore (point-and-shoot doesn't imply anything about size).

Canon's G1 X manages to fit a 1.5" sensor into a body not much bigger than the (admittedly already sizable) G12, so it's not impossible, just challenging.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2012 at 22:59 UTC
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