Dean Holland

Dean Holland

Lives in Australia Brisbane, Australia
Works as a Photography Trainer
Has a website at
Joined on Feb 2, 2008


Total: 195, showing: 21 – 40
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In reply to:

Willi Kampmann: I think the results are very interesting, but they aren't putting enough focus on the severe shortcomings of the phones, especially the low-light shots.

I've got an iPhone 4S and frankly, I hate the 1/15s shutter setting -- without an optical image stabilization I often get blurry results even when there are no moving objects. Compare that to my E-M5's IBIS which basically lets me shoot blur-free at 1/15s while jumping on one foot. To me this is one of the most impressive technical advances in cameras in the past decade! The Nokia 1020 has OIS but I doubt its efficacy because of its simpler nature. The Nokia 1020's low-light shot also shows another shortcoming: the poor dynamic range. The shadows are completely black!

Of course those shortcomings are just temporary. The iPhone 5S already captures near-instant HDR images thanks to its fast A7 processor; automatic pixel averaging through burst shots is the logical next step. Imagine the large Lumia sensor combined with the A7's speed!

Great summary. I suppose what we're saying is that it's not "phones v. SLRs" but "processing power v. hardware". Over a long enough timeframe, processing power will win over hardware. I couldn't agree more about the 1/15th sec on most phones. What goes on at the parties at Apple and Nokia that they find 1/15th sec to be fine? Motorola must have livelier parties, as they try to hold a more reasonable 1/30th sec (the iPhone 5s makes a timid stab at this too). I haven't tested Nokia's OIS side by side against a modern in-body camera, but it works OK with both feet on the ground. With Photoshop's motion-blur sharpening, wonder how long it will be before digital image stabilization will be able to do it just as well... another processor v. hardware battle.

Link | Posted on Jan 12, 2014 at 21:05 UTC
In reply to:

Alan2014: When digital cameras first appeared, film shooters used to rubbish them and even today DSLR's are considered to be inferior to medium / large format. I guess smartphones face the same challenges versus DSLR's. However, they represent the future due to their small form factor, ease of use and sharing. Also because smartphones integrate so many other features such as wifi, GPS, etc. that are clunky bolt-ons for DSLR's. For prosumer use, the direction is clear. DSLR's and their larger sized cousins will be relegated to increasingly specialized niches such as architecture sort of like the space occupied by large format , film today

@wansai, I agree 100% based on how things are now, but I think that DSLRs as a design only have a handful of decades left in them, at most. Within 45 years, devices will have about 1,000,000,000 times the processing power if Moore's law still holds. By then, I guess it will seem archaic to use big expensive lumps of glass to bend photons around, all just to work out which direction they came from. Technology will be able to do it cheaper, smaller, and better. Whatever replaces DSLRs might not look like a phone, but technology has to make the DSLR design obsolete sooner or later.

Link | Posted on Jan 9, 2014 at 13:37 UTC
In reply to:

KAllen: I shoot with Canon 1Ds II, III and X, I also have MF film cameras. I prefer the look of my MF cameras loaded with Portra film.
Viewing images on screen for detail the Canons have it. Looking at prints I'd take the film any day for over all beauty.
Besides I have more fun with ac Rolleiflex than I do the Canons and all the gizmos that go with them.
I can't make a living with film but if I only shot for fun, I would happily stick with film, MF and LF.

I like your criteria for comparing them. I think the words you use like "beauty", "prefer", "like" and "fun" are key ones for enjoying photography. I find I get caught up too easily in "better" and "worse" comparisons instead, which may be appropriate for photography as work, but I like your criteria better!

Link | Posted on Jan 9, 2014 at 03:09 UTC
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sblecher6sj7: Three of us performed a side by side test with a NikonD800, a Canon 60d and a Mamiya 645 Pro. The Mamiya was loaded with Kodak Portra color negative film. The pictures were taken with the cameras on a tripod and the focal lengths were chosen to give the same field coverage. The focal lenth of the Nikon Test shots was !.6 times the Canon and the Mamiya focal length was 1.6 times the Nikon. Then the Mamiya negatives were scanned with a Nikon Coolscan 8000 scanner. The Nikon D800 was best performer, and handily outperformed the Mamiya , and Canon 60D also was better than the Mamiya by a smaller margin. Both digital cameras were both much less noisy than the scanned negative. Since the image from the Mamiya doesn't require as much enlargement,it's still capable of making a big print, but not as good as the Nikon D800. The Mamiya can produce a bigger print than my old Canon 30D. Too bad the test written up in DP Review didn't include any DSLR's between the 40D and The D800.

Thanks for sharing this. Did you publish it somewhere? I'd love to see the pictures too. I wish I'd included 50D - 70D too. When I started, I was trying to find a D30 and D60 (pre-10D), as I thought the phones would be more likely at that vintage. I didn't expect either to get close to the 40D. I learned a lot from doing this!

Link | Posted on Jan 9, 2014 at 03:04 UTC
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Xpress_Shutter: Something doesn't look right with the low light shot from the Lumia 1020.

It has a f.2.2 lens unit. The author has increased the exposure by .66 EV and it was still darker than all f.2.8 cameras at the same shutter speed and ISO setting.

Is Nokia faking the EXIF data?

I've noticed it too at the comparison between the previous 41 Mpixel model, the 808, and the Lumia here at connect site:

The Lumia was set to ISO 800 whereas the 808 was set to ISO 640. The 808 has a f2.4 unit and its shot was brighter than Lumia's.

More people seem to have noticed it too:

Yes - I think the Nokia is being slightly optimistic about its ISO. Have a look at the long discussion of factors in this in Mitsyfog's comments below.

Link | Posted on Jan 9, 2014 at 03:00 UTC
In reply to:

b craw: Well done, Dean. DSLRs and smartphones embody the structural and philosophical extremes in a divide that, all too often, results in strange-faced territorialism. I remember a time (and cringe to imagine just how long ago it was) that photographers would look at each others' collections of many cameras and formats and acknowledge relative delights and potentials. Sadly what presents now is advocacy for this or that - dry, flat exclusivity.

A good many conceptually-bent photographers find new potentials in in-phone cameras all the time. It wasn't even 15 years ago that a friend of mine produced a project in which he photographed persons in the supermarket secretly, then quickly rushed out to a van outside to print their image integrated into an ad that was then put into cart ad space, that cart/ad taken back into the store to be potentially confronted , then quickly rushed out to a van outside to print their image integrated into an ad that was then put into cart ad space, that cart/ad taken back into the store to be potentially acknowledged by the subject. Per his suspicion about places where we "sleep", no one every did (0/27). I just give this as an example. He used a compact point and shoot camera hidden in a book - would have today used a smartphone (although that hollowed-out book housing was a nice bit of sculpture). Point is: different objectives demand different application(s) of technology.

What you do here, locating a point of equilibrium between the performance of today's smartphone to yesteryear's DSLR, is actually very informative and curiously good fun; kind of like doing math while playing racket sports.

This is brilliant - a much clearer conclusion than mine in fewer words! By putting the cameras on a continuum, not a hierarchy, you show how they all have worthy characteristics. None is better than any other, just more or less appropriate for a given application. I'd extend the scale a bit, and put large format at one end, smartphones at the other, and DSLRs somewhere around the middle. It's essentially a sensor size scale. At the ends are the specialist tools which excel at few things. The DSLRs are the jack-of-all-trades generalists in the middle. The progress that I should have been writing about is how technology is starting to usurp the scale itself.
Love your thinking. If I ever play you at tennis, remind me to set you a particularly thorny maths problem first.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2014 at 21:08 UTC
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Juandante: Extremely biased review. First of all, those images don't show the quality of the color reproduction, and dynamic range. This review is based only on the image details, and a bit of noise. Since when a good camera is only those two last points ? It is a pure joke, also, that the tester upscaled a low ~5 mpx picture to 20 mpx. While this tiny sensor Nokia is from 41 mpx to 20 mpx. It is logical that it will win ! You want to stretch an image to make it ugly and zoom all the defects (Canon 10D) and reduce an image to hide all its defects (Nokia)... It is 10x more intelligent to upscale ALL pictures to 50 mpx... Or lower all to 2 mpx ! I have an APSC camera of 2011 and 2007, and a Iphone 5s. And my Iphone will NEVER match my 2 DSLRs ! Maybe for a 2003 camera, but if it is fullframe, for the color and noise, I doubt ! Please make a new review, not biased, and showing all the global image quality as you know how to do it very well DPReview !

Hi Juandante, thanks for following-up and checking the pictures. I agree that the Nokia is really limited for dynamic range in jpegs - it's almost as limited as the transparency film. So I'm keen to see how it does with raw when it's released in a few days. When you compared the Nokia and the 10D at 100%, did you make the pictures the same size first? Otherwise, you're looking at a 6x greater enlargement for the Nokia, so it shows the ugly painterly noise reduction. To my eye, the Nokia captures massively more detail than the 10D in EV15 - I'd put it closer to the D800.
I agree that it's weird to compare old to new, but the purpose is to get a sense of how far we've come and how fast we're moving, not to choose which to buy.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2014 at 13:00 UTC
In reply to:

Chrismcg: "can’t change the perspective and feel of pictures by zooming or changing lenses"

You can only change perspective by moving your camera position - changing lenses only crops or sees more of the same perspective view.

Hi Chrismcg, that's true for the perspective of each part of the scene itself, but the lens still chooses the total amount of perspective you're able to capture in the image. If I only owned a wide lens, I couldn't avoid huge depth and perspective in every picture without cropping, no matter how far back I moved. That's the perspective challenge that I feel that smartphones face.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:37 UTC
In reply to:

MistyFog: Dean, I was rather curious about the relatively high ISO used by the 1020, and the very low ISO used by the iPhone. I would have thought that at ISO3200 versus 1250, there would be more than twice the amount of light in the 1020's image. Any comment on why this might be the case? Also, what was that +0.66 Raw adjustment?

Some of it might be the tungsten light; different sensors might lose sensitivity to different degrees without as much blue light around. Just a guess. Apple say that the iPhone 5S has an always-on shadow recovery (probably like Nikon's Active-D lighting, or Canon's i-Contrast), which may be a factor here. I can't say that I've seen much evidence of it in side-by-side comparisons with the iPhone 5, so it must be pretty subtle. HDR wasn't on for the iPhone shot. The Nokia was down-sampled from 38MP.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2014 at 01:22 UTC
In reply to:

Michael Uschold: An excellent article. Two thoughts. First, please do some tests of the add-on lenses for smartphones, there may be some good quality lenses out there that can close the gap further between smartphones and DSLRs.

Second, I am glad to see film in the test. It can serve as a stable baseline against which to compare modern cameras. I recently made an 11x16 print from a Canon S45 4 megapixel camera that came out in 2002! I was startled to see that the quality was excellent. How many people need to print larger than that? A poor or average image quality rating from a modern camera need not deter a buyer, if they know it exceeds the quality of the best film ever (e.g. Velvia 50).

Of course, marketers don't want to hear this, they want to sell more and better stuff even if the quality improvement will never be directly experienced by the photographer.

Didn't think of using add-on lenses! Good point. Anecdotally, I've found that the fisheye and close-up lenses are pretty good. They take a toll on sharpness, but they're fun. I haven't found any half-decent telephoto lenses at all yet. Does anyone know a good one?

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2014 at 01:08 UTC
Total: 195, showing: 21 – 40
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