Tony Northrup

Tony Northrup

Lives in United States Waterford USA, United States
Works as a Photographer/author
Joined on Jan 6, 2002
About me:

Check out my book, "Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography": http://sdp.io/buysdp

Comments

Total: 113, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Behind the scenes: DPReview moves to a new studio (118 comments in total)

Exciting new start for y'all!

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2023 at 14:29 UTC as 75th comment | 1 reply

"it’s not easy to deliver these computational approaches in a large sensor camera" <- I'll agree with the "not easy" part, but the R3 can do 195 FPS, and Sony's stacked sensors to 30 FPS. Olympus' sensors have been doing pretty good image stacking in-camera for years now.

I guess I'm arguing that it's not necessarily a limitation of the sensor but a limitation of big camera manufacturers to create sophisticated software. Useful image stacking to reduce noise and improve sharpness through computational photography requires aligning images, detecting movement, and then intelligently masking and combining. Phones do this pretty seamlessly, and even in low light, you'll almost never get a blurry picture - if a subject is moving the phone will just automatically freeze the motion, while stacking non-moving parts of the image to eliminate noise.

I think that's the "not easy" part.

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2023 at 15:15 UTC as 104th comment | 28 replies
In reply to:

forest dream: Since camera maker can't earn any profit margin from these smartphone connectivity app....If camera maker hasn't enough budget for software development, camera maker should open and provide camera API documentation to public. Let various talent software developer create free/paid app for camera.

I think there's HUGE potential for profit in the smartphone apps. Look what Apple charges for backing up your iPhone photos automatically - 2TB is $10/mo per device, pretty much for the rest of my life.

I'd happily pay that for something like image.canon (if it actually worked like they advertised). Imagine if all your pictures were automatically sync'd to your phone and computer without ever dealing with a memory card. Imagine if you had real-time backup so you wouldn't lose your photos & videos from a client shoot if you get robbed.

There's huge profit available in storage and connectivity, but the workflow benefits would also push many professional buyers to choose that system over others.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2023 at 15:22 UTC
In reply to:

Horshack: Excellent write-up Richard. Another issue with camera WiFi is that it's slow. This isn't because cameras are using a slow WiFi standard (most use 5Ghz), but because they implement their WiFi logic entirely in firmware running on slow, general-purpose CPUs. So while a given packet may run at network "wire" speed, the inter-packet delay in getting the next payload out runs at firmware speed.

This performance constraint can be demonstrated on the Nikon Z6/Z7. WiFi transfers are 26% slower if performed while the camera is in shooting mode vs sitting in a menu. This is due to the extra workload placed on the CPU when managing the shooting mode functionality, even when the camera is idle and not actively taking a photo.

The solution is to either move the WiFi transfer logic onto silicon or use faster general-purpose CPUs.

I think this might be partly in the driver, too. For example, the Z8 & a7RV both have 5Ghz WiFi, but the a7RV transferred ~3X faster than the Z8 in our tests (829 Mbps vs 279) - both in the menu systems. And an iPhone was ~3X-6X faster than the Sony!

Squeezing the best WiFi performance out of devices requires a lot of inter-device testing and optimization because while WiFi is a standard, there's a lot of difference between implementations (as evidenced by the massive performance differences between the Z8 and a7RV). And you need to repeat that optimization with every iOS update, at a minimum.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2023 at 15:13 UTC
In reply to:

dmartin92: I had a lot of problems getting photos from camera my into my iPhone and iPad, using the app, and then I bought a SD card reader, and it’s almost comical how easy it is, in comparison. Pop the SD card out of the camera, put the card into the reader, plug the reader into the iPhone or iPad, then import. For 20 photos, the entire operation is done in less than 30 seconds. More photos take a few more seconds, but not much. And it works easily every time.

This is the way.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2023 at 15:07 UTC

I think we, the camera reviewers, are partly to blame. Camera manufacturers are incredibly responsive when we identify weaknesses, but we mostly don't test or even mention the apps in our reviews.

The bigger problem, IMO, is proprietary operating systems. Linux, Android & others have built-in high-performance drivers for a wide variety of WiFi & Bluetooth adapters. Inter-device & cloud connections can be established with just a couple of lines of code. Camera manufacturers need to write all that from scratch with very low-level machine code, so their developers are working harder, not smarter.

As an example, lots of high-end cameras can connect to FTP servers, but none of them allow you to browse the folder structure. Because even writing a tree navigation interface would be too much work. You can't even search menus!

Also, Japan as a culture considers software to be blue collar & computer science universities are way behind. Culturally they're resistant to hiring outside Japan.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2023 at 15:06 UTC as 138th comment | 6 replies
On article Wait, Fujifilm's app is good now? (190 comments in total)

"I did have the app freeze on me a few times" -- Our expectations are so low that an app can freeze multiple times and we're still happy to have it.

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2023 at 19:45 UTC as 56th comment | 1 reply
On article Canon PowerShot Pro70 added to the studio scene (182 comments in total)

I love this and comparing it to the a7R V PixelShift is fun. But this also makes me sad. I'll miss DPReview and your articles specifically, Richard.

Link | Posted on Mar 30, 2023 at 16:08 UTC as 79th comment | 3 replies

GREAT review - consumers deserve honest and objective reviews of products that don't meet up to the marketing material or consumer expectations. Of course I'm disappointed, because DJI essentially has a monopoly on the drone market. It's been 5 years since I've found a non-DJI drone that I felt comfortable recommending.

Link | Posted on Mar 9, 2023 at 20:13 UTC as 24th comment | 1 reply

I've always thought these external controls were VERY cool but, real-world, they slowed me down. It just takes more time to move my hand to a separate device than it does to press a keyboard shortcut or move the cursor on my touch pad. They also take up more space on my already crowded desk.

Link | Posted on Nov 15, 2022 at 22:27 UTC as 11th comment | 5 replies

"When I captured a panorama, it only showed up as a JPEG file on my memory card even though I had JPEG + Raw chosen in my settings." - at least on my Mavic 3, the raw files are buried in a subfolder on the memory card (I think it's named PANORAMA). Lightroom Classic does not find this folder by default - you have to specifically browse to it. By default you'll only import the combined JPG file.

Overall Mavic raw panoramas work really poorly - there's no panorama app that does a great job of processing them because it captures them at weird angles (at least the "wide angle" panorama I typically shoot). There's also no option for bracketing your panoramas.

Link | Posted on Nov 2, 2022 at 15:25 UTC as 21st comment | 6 replies
On article Sony ZV-1F review (320 comments in total)

Why not express the screen resolution using the same units in the comparison table? The ZV-1F is 0.92 M-dots, the iPhone 14 is 9.04 M-dots, and the Pixel 7 Pro is 13.48 M-dots.

It would also be nice to see 35mm equivalent apertures of the different lenses, since that's what's going to give ZV-1F users some greater background separation (and likely better low-light capabilities). Someone double-check my math but I think the ZV-1F is 35mm equivalent 20mm f/5.3 while the iPhone front camera is 23mm f/16 equivalent. That means the ZV-1F is over 3 stops faster in equivalent terms, which is a huge difference!

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2022 at 15:32 UTC as 95th comment | 1 reply
On article Sony ZV-1F review (320 comments in total)
In reply to:

tangbunna: iPhone 14 Pro has no Image-Stabilizer? typo?

FWIW when vlogging with my iPhone, I use the rear camera and the Camera app on my watch to compose the shot. That rear camera is stabilized and it also has Action mode which is gimbal-like when walking.

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2022 at 15:18 UTC

*cries in CFExpress Type A*

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2022 at 15:40 UTC as 20th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Spectro: It is a research now, will it be for the google phone app. I have topaz lab denoise, which work well, have used it too much. I use topaz al sharpen more. Very impressed with that.

Yeah, that's my guess - it'll go into a future version of the Google Pixel. Absolutely amazing! Those guys are systematically destroying all the benefits of bigger sensors.

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2022 at 19:10 UTC

Anyone can steal and resell a camera with absolutely no tracking. It's ridiculous that the best solution we have is "be on the lookout for any deals that appear to good to be true." We need basic anti-theft technologies in cameras.

Simply requiring owners to register their camera's serial number upon startup could allow these cameras to be remotely bricked and thus impossible to resell. It's a software-only solution that we already use with our phones and drones.

Integrated AirTag technology could track the location of these cameras for under $20/device, allowing law enforcement to locate the criminals.

Camera manufacturers have chosen to not invest in these simple technologies, and it makes us all a target.

Link | Posted on Aug 9, 2022 at 17:37 UTC as 34th comment | 14 replies

This the second higher-capacity CF Express Type A card I've seen announced that isn't actually available. Anyone who has ever had a good day of wildlife or sports photography with an a1 has had their 160GB card fill up at the wrong moment... With all the amazing tech we have access to in 2022 it's shocking that storage capacity would become the biggest problem!

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2022 at 14:51 UTC as 17th comment | 15 replies

Good article. Can I add that if the camera is intended for people filming themselves that it should actively but optionally alert you to audio problems? If my mic dies after pressing record, BEEP at me and flash the screen so I don't record 20 minutes of silence. It would be nice if I could view an audio waveform of videos I've recorded and scrub through on-camera to verify the sound is good to know whether I need to re-record before leaving the location.

Weird how everyone wants to sell cameras to vloggers but they don't seem to understand how they're actually used.

Link | Posted on Jul 6, 2022 at 14:53 UTC as 105th comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Phil Flash: I cannot believe Nikon left out the headphone jack on a video-oriented camera. Unforced error by Nikon for sure.

Sony made the same mistake with their early attempts at a vlogging camera. In fact, the specs for the Z30 might be based on those early Sony vlogging cameras, because it takes several years to go from planning to production. I promise the Nikon Z30 II will have a headphone jack. Even though vloggers don't wear headphones while recording, it's useful to check sound before and after.

Link | Posted on Jul 6, 2022 at 12:42 UTC
In reply to:

DolphFey: I never saw a vlogger monitoring the audio with wired earphones tbh

You would if you were filming someone else, which most vloggers do from time-to-time. But even if I'm filming myself, I'll use headphones to check the sound prior to recording. After recording, I'll put headphones on to hear the video playback to make sure the mic didn't cut out and wind didn't hit the mic. If it did, I can re-record on-the-spot.

You don't appreciate the importance of a headphone jack until you've had a couple of videos ruined by bad sound that you didn't notice in the field.

Link | Posted on Jul 6, 2022 at 12:38 UTC
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