J Birn

Lives in United States East Bay, CA, United States
Works as a CG Lighting Artist
Has a website at www.3dRender.com
Joined on Dec 26, 2009


Total: 19, showing: 1 – 19
In reply to:

Lee Jay: Still fixed focal length?

Adding a zoom would be great, it would be a much more useful photographic tool if there were more focal lengths available (especially considering that a drone can't get very close to many subjects) , but the technology just isn't there yet.

Right now, DJI only sells zooms with super-expensive specialized models https://www.dji.com/zenmuse-z30 and it could take years before anything like that and a gimbal that makes it useful even reaches consumer- or hobbyist- grade drones at all, much less the more compact, portable models.

Link | Posted on Jan 13, 2018 at 02:46 UTC
On article DJI launches Phantom 3 SE entry-level camera drone (81 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: I was about to buy a Spark as my first camera drone, then this comes along and (apart from being much bigger) seems to blow the Spark out of the water in terms of value for money! So where's the catch?


It's not as portable as a Spark, but it looks like a better camera (it shoots RAW files, 4K video) and better range and a better price (if you were going to buy the remote controller.)

The Spark is the neat selfie drone they have on sale in Apple Stores, and it can take off from your hand, and the gesture controlled flying is a clever trick, but if you don't mind carrying a bigger drone around you certainly can get better drones for your money. On the other hand, a lot of people buy drones then don't find many occasions to fly them, so getting a more portable drone you'd be happier to take with you to more places might mean you'd fly a smaller hand-launched drone more often and get more shots with it -- this part depends on you.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2017 at 22:30 UTC
On article DJI launches Phantom 3 SE entry-level camera drone (81 comments in total)
In reply to:

Stefan Sobol: 2.5 mile range in the video link is just silly. In the US you can't legally flight it beyond VLOS except in pretty rare circumstances. No one I know can see a Phantom that far away.

They should reduce the video range (or at the very least make the video xmitter power selectable) to have more power available for flight time.

P.S. I'm not buying any of the newer Phantoms until DJI changes/eliminates their flight approval system. It's not up to them to decide where/when I can fly my sUAV.

Drones live or die by whether they have a rock-solid connection to the transmitter. The quoted ranges are for unobstructed line-of-sight transmissions under ideal conditions. Once you start getting objects in the way or any other kind of interference, and you'll be glad you started out with a stronger signal.

25 minute flight time is excellent for $600 drone with these specs, I don't think you'll find better.

It must be frustrating that it's not up to you to fly wherever you want, even in illegal no-fly zones, although to not fly a new drone at all seems like a more severe restriction.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2017 at 22:21 UTC
On article The DJI Spark is a $500 HD mini drone (96 comments in total)
In reply to:

mrkarisma: Can you shoot in raw?

No raw. It says so on DJI's specs page. :(

Although in terms of camera tricks, it does add a coolfocus-after-you-shoot feature where you can shoot a shot in 'shallow focus mode' and then tap on the app's screen where you want it to focus, sortof like a Lytro. It's shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b133h35NaO4 at around 7:45.

Link | Posted on May 25, 2017 at 18:55 UTC
On article Fancy is a pocketable smartphone gimbal (18 comments in total)

Why do dpreview headlines pretend that proposed crowd-funded products already exist? To be honest, you could say it "could become" a new pocket gimbal for cell phones, or it "is proposed" as a crowd-funding campaign, but don't act as if there is already a product.

Link | Posted on Feb 14, 2017 at 19:06 UTC as 10th comment | 1 reply

Only a 1 / 2.8-inch CMOS sensor though... if they kept the low resolution but at least put a 1" or MFT sensor inside, it would be a more interesting product.

Link | Posted on Dec 6, 2016 at 18:08 UTC as 62nd comment | 3 replies
In reply to:

Snikt228: Is anyone else nervous about giving a Ukranian start-up company full access to their Google Drive store?

This seems like it involves a lot less trust than downloading an app or a plug-in from a company. The website just accesses the pictures you uploaded, instead of having their software running on your computer or phone.

Honestly, when I first spotted your post I thought you were posting about being 'nervous about the Ukraine' out of concern, with the news today that Russian artillery is shelling within the Ukraine. I hope everyone is doing well over there.

Link | Posted on Aug 22, 2014 at 19:16 UTC
In reply to:

Mike FL: I (may be we) should STOP to buy any camera for next couple of years until all the Sony new tech are on the market.

Good Job, Sony.

My kid is only going to be this age once. Life's too short to miss out of using decent equipment that's available now and using the best equipment you can afford and are willing to carry. And who's to say that 10 years from now Sony (and other companies) won't have some other very promising new tech. that's still under development?

Link | Posted on Jun 18, 2014 at 17:25 UTC
On article Leica T (Typ 701) First Impressions Review (2257 comments in total)
In reply to:

samhain: @DPR did you ask Leica for an official response before publishing this?

The only place I saw the mis-information they are correcting is on dpreview.com (and it's still there with no correction at http://www.dpreview.com/previews/leica-t-typ701 ) where they said "Where they differ from most mirrorless designs, though, is in using only optical correction for distortion, rather than incorporating software corrections into the lens design."

What was dpreview's source for that? Was their source something issued by Leica? If so, what?

Link | Posted on May 3, 2014 at 01:53 UTC
On article Hands-on with the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition (212 comments in total)
In reply to:

Zigmont: Interesting that most of the photos here except one are of the camera without its housing. The GoPro is basically useless without its housing and with it, it's bulky and difficult to mount. I have 3 different GoPros along with other action cameras that we use quite frequently. Although the Hero 3 series takes good video for an action cam, remember that with the housing, special GoPro mounts and a suction cup mount to hold it, this sucker is big and heavy compared to some other action cams.

I have a GoPro Hero 3+ myself, and it's not "bulky" with or without its little underwater housing. In fact, the whole set-up is smaller and lighter than even the smaller prime lenses I use on my DSLR.

I use it both with and without the housing, depending on the situation. When snorkling and shooting underwater, or taking family pictures/videos in a beach or pool area, I'd have it on. Making videos of my daughter on rides at Six Flags or clamped to a swing in the playground or shooting videos of opening gifts on Christmas morning, I shoot without the housing. It's a great "witness camera" for passive video shooting from different locations, especially with the way it shoots 1440P that you can crop down to 1080P in editing so you can reframe the shot losslessly in post.

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2014 at 18:10 UTC
On article Panasonic GX7 First Impressions Review (1200 comments in total)
In reply to:

AndyW17: Why is the flip-up viewfinder useful? I can see it if you're using a short tripod or a cat up a tree - but otherwise? What am I missing?

Even though pivoting LCDs can be used this way, outdoors an LCD facing the sky is all glare and not much contrast, this adds stability from your eye and gives you a good quality view from a low angle.

Reflex viewfinders are not a new idea, they've existed optically for years, and Sony sells optional EVFs that pivot and go on RX1 or some NEX models. It lets you hold the camera in a stable position with your elbows at your sides and shoot from a lower angle as you'd want to with children or fashion.

Link | Posted on Aug 1, 2013 at 21:17 UTC
In reply to:

hugh crawford: What use is 4K at 25fps ? Just curious.

As far as I know there is no display standard for 4K 25fps and 4K is a ciniema production standard for movie theaters

It's not like they have a 4K at 30fps option either.

What's the point? Lots of points!
1. Think of it as a "burst mode" that captures 8MP stills, but can grab 25 of them in a second.
2. Allows for post-production, including zooming & cropping into an image, to output full HD video.
3. Capture panoramas with ultra-wide adapters, then crop down to the part you need.
4. As you said, 4K is already a standard in theaters.

Link | Posted on Feb 12, 2013 at 00:56 UTC

The ideas behind the product (computational photography in general and light field capture in particular) are more interesting than the first product itself. Even if they never make a competitive product, at least they are building a collection of patents that could pay-off as other companies eventually adopt parts of what they first brought to market. I can't wait for the day when depth is captured along with every image, so foreground and background can be adjusted separately in Lightroom, for example.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2012 at 22:39 UTC as 31st comment
In reply to:

Pr0peller: Why manual focus? Because autofocus is useless in some cases, like shots of birds in deep foliage
Why 46M sensor? Because you may crop the aforementioned birds, and still get an excellent image.. No need for zoom..
Why 45mm lens? Because you may take pics at 1/45sec or lower, hand-held without problems..

I'd say you'd need some knowledge of photography before throwing stones on dpreview..

It's really a 14.6 MP sensor in terms of the number of pixels. Yes, it has three layers so they say x3, and will hopefully have high quality per pixel, but if you crop out the center 1 or 2 MP to get a bird, you'll only have a 1 or 2 MP image left to print.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2012 at 17:15 UTC

"capture seven pixels of information"

Probably meant seven *mega*pixels there.

Link | Posted on Jun 26, 2012 at 23:59 UTC as 98th comment | 1 reply

There's a mistake on this page: The stats on the left column, and links to more info, are all for the T20 (from 2007) not the newly announced TX20.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2012 at 19:33 UTC as 5th comment
In reply to:

BJN: The 3D bit sounds like a total gimmick. The baseline separation for decent stereo effect at tele range is too narrow. I wonder what leaving out that feature could have done to the retail price? 5.4x is pretty weak magnification for a lot of binocular use.

I didn't see any reference to the light gathering capability of these optics. The objective lenses look tiny, so I'm guessing the view is pretty dark and photo/video operation will require bright light for decent quality.

You are only looking through a pair of digital viewfinders, no OVF, so the image might appear bright enough, and could just get noisy or have reduced color accuracy in dimmer settings. I think it'll be a few years before manufacturers of conventional binoculars have to fear Sony as a serious competitor...

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2011 at 20:20 UTC
In reply to:

AlfBundy: 24x36 equivalent is
in 2D : optical zoom 66mm-660mm (with digital 20x zoom : 66mm-1320mm)
in 3D : optical zoom 33mm-330mm (no mention of digital zoom in 3D)

source : http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/cool-stuff-from-sony-binoculars-with-built-in-video-recording-feature/

Watch the video review (subtitled in english).

As AlfBundy said, he's comparing to a 24mm x 36mm (such as a full frame dSLR sensor or 35mm film frame).

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2011 at 20:17 UTC
On article Sony launches DSC-TX55 touch-screen CMOS compact (42 comments in total)
In reply to:

techmine: how big is the sensor?

@M Jesper - The sensor isn't "behind" the lens, there's a mirror or prism behind the lens and the sensor aims upwards at it. This kind of bent optical approach is why the zoom lens doesn't need to extend...

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2011 at 17:57 UTC
Total: 19, showing: 1 – 19