Joel Halbert

Lives in United States Tucson, AZ, United States
Works as a Engineer
Joined on Jul 4, 2003

Comments

Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Medium-format mirrorless: Hasselblad unveils X1D (1190 comments in total)
In reply to:

LFPCPH: In the past few years we have seen the introduction of 10 (ten) very similar lens bayonets.

Leica T aka (SL)
Nikon 1
Fujifilm X
Canon EF-M
Sony E (NEX)
Four Thirds
Micro Four Thirds
Samsung NX
Leica S
Hasselblad X1D

They all basically do the same. As a consumer I find it frustrating that so many products are incompatible. There are now more such lens mounts then there where lens mounts for 35mm SLR's (I think). There were never that many VCR cassettes types and CD's and tape cassettes were standards for several decades.

It is sad that the camera branch cannot deliver a common standard.

a. Medium format larger than so-called "full-frame": Leica S & Hasselblad X, but again SLR vs. mirrorless.
b. "Full-frame" & APS-C: Leica T/SL, EOS-M, Fuji X, Sony E & Samsung NX. All mirrorless, so here is your biggest opportunity for collaboration.
c. FT vs. MFT - again, transition from SLR (and very telecentric emphasis) to the original mirrorless mount.
d. Nikon 1 - much smaller sensor than MFT.

3. The "mount" is not just mechanical, but also the electronic & electromechanical interface (the contacts and detailed function). Different systems use completely different AF methods, power, lens correction data transfer etc. - and were developed at different times as systems evolved. A cooperative standard would need a much more generalized, reconfigurable and future-proof interface protocol than anyone has actually implemented - though that would be a good thing, it's easy to understand how the interfaces evolved and aren't inter-operable for both technical and competitive reasons.

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2016 at 16:36 UTC
On article Medium-format mirrorless: Hasselblad unveils X1D (1190 comments in total)
In reply to:

LFPCPH: In the past few years we have seen the introduction of 10 (ten) very similar lens bayonets.

Leica T aka (SL)
Nikon 1
Fujifilm X
Canon EF-M
Sony E (NEX)
Four Thirds
Micro Four Thirds
Samsung NX
Leica S
Hasselblad X1D

They all basically do the same. As a consumer I find it frustrating that so many products are incompatible. There are now more such lens mounts then there where lens mounts for 35mm SLR's (I think). There were never that many VCR cassettes types and CD's and tape cassettes were standards for several decades.

It is sad that the camera branch cannot deliver a common standard.

Interesting observation, and I don't disagree that there could be benefits to both customers and manufacturers from a little more sharing of mounts.

However, there are at least three quite significant technical reasons for this proliferation:

1. Some of the mounts are for swinging-mirror SLR designs, others are for mirrorless product lines. This brings a strongly different minimum lens-to-sensor spacing requirement, which has a fundamental effect on lens design constraints and size.

2. The size of the image varies widely through this list, and this is a pretty fundamental issue in lens mount design, though one could make four broad categories:

(continued next post)

Link | Posted on Jun 22, 2016 at 16:30 UTC
In reply to:

noflashplease: It's another Panasonic body and I'm not even sure what it's supposed to replace? Perhaps it's time for Panasonic to start reducing the number of overlapping models? The M43 world is increasingly crowded and there just isn't any real innovation.

Well, the new shutter is real innovation, and apparently very effective. 5-sais IBIS combined with lens-OIS, and available in 4k, is an unmatched combination. No-AA image capture algorithms are a step forward also. Such advanced features appearing first on a non-flagship model is an innovative strategy that seems to be generating a lot of enthusiasm.

Overall it's hardly a me-too effort or a boringly predictable budget model. I look forward to top-send models with these upgrades plus more.

Link | Posted on Jun 14, 2016 at 20:18 UTC
In reply to:

BradJudy: I like seeing the original Kodak Brownie in the list, but I'm not sure why DPReview chose to highlight an image of a Kodak model that was released 50+ years later.

If you are looking for the first rollfilm and "Kodak" named camera, it isn't a Brownie at all. The first Kodak cameras were introduced in 1888. Those had factory-loaded film and the customer shipped the camera back to Eastman for processing and reloading. The first user-loadable rollfilm "daylight cartridge loading"versions were 1891 I believe. The Brownie name, very popular but not representing all Kodak box cameras, came in 1900.

Link | Posted on May 10, 2016 at 16:36 UTC
On article Small but mighty: hands on with the Panasonic GX85/GX80 (315 comments in total)

In section 5: "Like the GX8, the GX85 includes 3-axis in-body image stabilization and a Dual IS system which adds two extra axes if you use a lens with built-in stabilization."

This seems directly to contradict the press-release (and the DPR summary just before it), which says that the In-Body system is 5-axis even before you add the O.I.S. tandem assistance:
"Combining an O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis)..."

It seems like this needs to be clarified, and possibly section 5's blurb should be re-written. But thanks for getting the three features out so fast.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 06:53 UTC as 72nd comment | 4 replies
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (327 comments in total)
In reply to:

ttran88: Canon's G3X is a better buy.

Richard & co. have been beat up, quite recently, for long delays in other Panasonic reviews (namely GX8). I'm guessing they pushed this one out very fast because it changes the landscape of choices in the market, more so than most other camera introductions over the past year. Also perhaps helped by personal enthusiasm from at least one staffer - I detect that in this review, and have seen it quite a bit with (for example) Sony FF cameras lately.

Agreed that if you want to see a review of a camera (because you want to know about it, or because you want others to know about it), it is frustrating when it doesn't occur during the critical first several months of the product replacement cycle.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 01:02 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (327 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: Can someone please remind me - how big IS a 1" sensor? Even 35mm "full frame" is less than 1" in the shorter dimension ...

Brian

To amplify a bit on Richard's comment that "the naming system is broken" - a snip from a DPR post of mine about 1 year ago:

Image sensor size is described by an arcane standard, and it goes like this:

Back in the early decades of early video, when imaging was done via electron (vacuum) tubes, the image was focused onto a photo-charge-sensitive plate. Typically, the cylindrical glass tube that housed the imaging plate had a diameter of about 1.5 times the imaging plate diagonal. Engineers would refer to the imager size by citing the tube diameter, and since most of the development was in the USA, the measurements were cited in inches.

So, a "one inch" imaging tube housed an imaging plate roughly 2/3 of an inch diagonal, while a "four thirds inch" tube housed an imaging plate just under an inch diagonal.

This nomenclature, as silly as at seems now, has stuck and is used for describing the size of many digital still-camera image formats.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:54 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (327 comments in total)
In reply to:

Searching: Gold 82%........really.

I'd say it seems appropriate. This is a milestone product in the evolving landscape of digital cameras. So was the first TZ travel zoom, so was the first mirrorless ILC, so was the first 1" RX100 compact, and others. Very satisfying performance and versatility in a remarkably small package.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:34 UTC
On article Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review (327 comments in total)
In reply to:

Florida Kayaker: I don't really get it.
"Overall, the ZS100's photo quality is very good, though not the best in the 1"-type sensor class"
Well yes, detail looks terrible as does color comparatively.
"Despite a few quibbles, the ZS100's image quality is light-years ahead of any other compact travel zoom on the market"
because there is nothing else that qualifies as a travel zoom that employs a 1" sensor?

This review although bestowing "gold" has made me re-think purchasing this camera. I have had it in my basket on Amazon for weeks now but now i'm thinking better to give up the 100-250 range for significantly better image quality found in other 1" compacts. Anyone else feel this way? Maybe my take is all wrong.

"That is to say at the least shouldn't it be as good or comparable IQ to RX100-, G7X, at shorter focal lengths?"

In short, no. As with lenses for interchangeable-lens cameras, greater zoom ratio requires greater performance compromises.

I mostly use Panasonic`s pretty-darn-good 10x zoom on my MFT camera, for convenience, but could do better for critical IQ and low-light by switching between a couple of higher-rated zooms, and of course even better yet with half a dozen primes.

This camera is about versatility and compactness. It is pretty darn good, even by enthusiast standards, in any given situation. What makes it great is the extremely wide range of situations in which it can deliver pretty darn good results, while allowing you to forget it`s there when you`re not shooting.

Link | Posted on Apr 5, 2016 at 00:27 UTC
On article Opinion: Enthusiast compacts have finally come of age (492 comments in total)

DPR, when I scroll down the "Gear in the Story" section and the "Shop Now" links below it, the only Panasonic camera listed is FZ1000. It seems that the ZS/TZ100 and the LX100 are both missing from the lists.

Link | Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 17:21 UTC as 104th comment | 1 reply
On article Studio tests and samples: Leica SL (beta) (754 comments in total)
In reply to:

Old Cameras: If anyone recalls there was a film camera called the Leicaflex SL that was not successful. It was their first attempt to compete with SLR's but was expensive of course, heavy, and lacking in features. I'm sure it was well made, but my understanding is that it cost more to produce than the asking price, and the asking price was astronomical for the day. They eventually gave up and stuck with the rangefinder cameras for which they were famous, and they been sticking with them ever since. I do not count the rebranded Leica SLR's that came later, I'm talking about a camera they actually made themselves. I think Nikon was smart enough to know that it's all about the sensor, I don't believe Leica has this competence.

Minor correction, the SL was the second iteration of the SLR cameras; the first was simply "Leicaflex", the second "Leicaflex SL" and the third "Leicaflex SL2", then followed by the "Leica" R3 through R5 which were based on Minolta bodies. This sequence doesn't consider minor detail variants, and also not mirror box accessories (Visoflex et. al.) for Leicas.

To me, the most striking aspect of the Leicaflex-era camera bodies was the outstanding viewfinder. Better than almost any other 35mm SLR, noting that most good 35mm SLRs back then had bigger and brighter finders than most DSLRs today. Things started downhill when low and medium SLRs began to use mirror assemblies rather than real mirrored pentaprisms.

It would not have been my advice to base the naming or styling of the new mirrorless line on the Leicaflex SL. Like many others, I was expecting a kind of ILC "Q" / EVF+AF "M" styling. also I think they should have had a good range of prime designs ready at launch.

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 06:17 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: OK, face it.

This is a mouth watering camera, and we all want one. I just can't aford one. But if I could....

AshMills, your gear list shows Nikon D800 - same width, taller, deeper and notably heavier. I'm not sure why everyone is acting like this is some kind of record-breaking behemoth.

(Reminds me of the recent brouhaha over the Panasonic GX8, deemed a "big beast" by DPReview and a legion of posters, despite being smaller than than EM1 or GH4.)

I'm not claiming you should prefer the Leica over the Nikon - that is a completely different discussion.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2015 at 22:28 UTC

This is not a camera segment that I am deeply familiar with, but noting all the bigness and "monstrosity" comments, I looked for a competitive Canon as an example. The 5DS / R is substantially bigger in all dimensions, including about twice the depth - as expected with mirrorless vs. mirror-box - and heavier. And of course the EOS 1D cameras are in yet a further, really huge category.

So for those who are looking at this range of DSLR models, the Leica seems not so big after all. The lenses will all be top-notch, but the selection will grow very slowly. More like a smaller alternative to the Leica S, and with much more advanced AF. Not what I am looking for, but this is a specific range where portability is secondary, and relative.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2015 at 18:41 UTC as 82nd comment
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

I am not an expert on this particular tax or the history around it. But though it seems wrong, I'd be hard pressed to say it's "odd" or unusual that taxes, regulations and offices stay on long after they should have been obsoleted. I think that unintended consequences are more often the rule than the exception.

A few years ago, I would have said that this is a typical example of moribund European over-regulation. In 2015, though, I can no longer sit in America and feel bemused by such foreign foolery. We are fast becoming the champions of it, as we simultaneously cease being the champions of anything worthwhile.

Note how many people here are so quick to demand an end to the simply awful practice of trying to make any money in exchange for goods or services (though of course deriding the competence of any company that loses money in a given year). That is why I wrote back to you in particular; I don't think your general philosophy runs along that line.

Link | Posted on Sep 4, 2015 at 00:41 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

Marty, I understand the distinction you draw, but I think this paid upgrade falls squarely in your second category, not the first. The V-Log profile is a new feature, apparently very desirable to sophisticated videographers, apparently not trivial to implement, and its absence from the original GH4 was neither a planned "hold-back" nor a crippling issue. It's an up-side add-on feature.

To be clear, the paid upgrade does _not_ have anything to do with the >30 minute recording capability - it only implements V-Log. The time limit (for Europe) is due to an arcane tax issue, not a deliberate crippling by Panasonic. The new GH4R model includes the extra tax in its price, thus eliminating the time limit for Europeans (and also bundles the V-Log feature). The text is confusing in that it jumps back and forth between the V-Log GH4 firmware product and the GH4R unlimited-time-plus-V-Log camera product, two separate things. But neither product is a charge to fix a prior "deliberate crippling".

Link | Posted on Sep 3, 2015 at 04:08 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: "paid firmware upgrade"

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

Marty, of all people here, I would expect you to be in favor of free market forces. If a competitor offers similar or better capability for free or for less, then Panasonic's model won't be the wave of the future. But if customers see the value, pay the relatively nominal cost and encourage Panasonic to pursue more upgrade projects for more revenue & profit, then yes it will be the wave of the future because it works for both provider and consumer.

All the other political, anti-business whining here is irrelevant and inconsistent with _many_ practices that we already accept in other areas of our life and our consumption.

We're not discussing disaster-relief corruption, war profiteering or melamine in the baby formula - it's V-Log for your GH4.

Link | Posted on Sep 2, 2015 at 06:02 UTC
In reply to:

Edgar_in_Indy: So Panasonic lens firmware can be updated from the camera? That's kind of cool. Do a lot of other camera makers allow users to update their lens firmware that way?

So now it's a conspiracy that manufacturers build processors, AF and stabilization control into lenses, that lenses store profiles the body can use to optimize AF and image quality even as the line expands?

Also, I guess someone didn't get the the "avoid old legacy lenses conspiracy" policy when they (from the get-go) enabled shooting with lenses that have no communication, built several modes of manual focus assistance into the lenses, and in fact sold adapters (from the get-go) for their own (Four-Thirds and Olympus OM) or partner (Leica M and R) legacy lenses.

It's probably part of the conspiracy that they did these things, so that no customer would actually be affected by the conspiracy, so they wouldn't notice that it was happening and the mad conspiracy could remain secret and powerful.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2015 at 16:29 UTC
In reply to:

Francis Carver: Let me see now if I get the lowdown here.

First, I buy a M4/3rd camera. But no lenses for it.

Next I buy a pricey Metabones lens adapter.

Them, I buy some Canon lenses.

Shake or stir and pour over ice, maybe?

Of course that is a classic straw-man scenario. You try to make the product concept seem ridiculous by assuming that the entire system selection is based on a Speed Booster optical chain, instead of the real scenario which is expansion of possibilities on top of the native MFT system's (extensive but not unlimited) lens selection.

I do not own a Speed Booster presently, but it is an impressive product and executed with surprisingly high (and fully revealed & specified) optical performance. The addition of quite-usable AF (and the free upgrade to that major benefit for existing owners) tells me that this is an excellent product from a very innovative and forward-thinking little company.

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2015 at 08:34 UTC
In reply to:

Infared: Another reason to buy Olympus :-)

I try to stay out of brand debates; I have and appreciate Olympus products also, but it is tiring to see Olympus users jump at every opportunity to make such a comment. There have been _many_ reports of buttons and dials falling off Olympus cameras, weak and bent tripod bottom plate mounts, and the occasional PRO lens separating from its mount. Panasonic, for all the other-side sneering, has a demonstrably low repair incidence for their cameras. This serial number issue is obviously a problem but I would say it's more of a manufacturing-flow issue (incorrect ink or incomplete cure) than a design flaw.

On the other hand, I would not be optimistic about the likelihood of no-problem handling in warranty repair. Panasonic's contracted service facilities don't seem particularly sensitive to customer service when anything unusual crops up, so I'm disappointed that Panasonic is suggesting one needs the original UPC, box or retained proof-of-purchase. They need a better solution.

Link | Posted on Jul 9, 2015 at 10:23 UTC
In reply to:

maxnimo: Why do they call it a 1" sensor when not even the diagonal is even close to 1" in length?

It's a good question. Image sensor size is described by an arcane standard, and it goes like this:

Back in the early decades of early video, when imaging was done via electron (vacuum) tubes, the image was focused onto a photo-charge-sensitive plate. Typically, the cylindrical glass tube that housed the imaging plate had a diameter of about 1.5 times the imaging plate diagonal. Engineers would refer to the imager size by citing the tube diameter, and since most of the development was in the USA, the measurements were cited in inches.

So, a "one inch" imaging tube housed an imaging plate roughly 2/3 of an inch diagonal, while a "four thirds inch" tube housed an imaging plate just under an inch diagonal.

This nomenclature, as silly as at seems now, has stuck and is used for describing the size of many digital still-camera image formats.

Link | Posted on Apr 19, 2015 at 02:16 UTC
Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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