matthew saville

matthew saville

Lives in United States CA, United States
Works as a full-time photographer & gear tester / reviewer
Joined on Mar 31, 2004
About me:

Astro-landscape photographer / adventure photographer. Writes camera gear reviews. Destroyer of cheap tripods.

Comments

Total: 2736, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

matthew saville: Can you imagine the mocking that any major camera manufacturer would get if they made a constant f/5.6 zoom in the mid or wide range?

If you want a lightweight, compact, affordable kit, get an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds system. Unless you ALSO need the absolute maximum light-gathering full-frame offers, such as f/1.2 or f/1.4 primes, then you're wasting your money getting full-frame in the first place.

Get yourself an f/2.8 or f/4 zoom for a smaller sensor, and get yourself an f/1.4 prime for when you need more light-gathering. Have fun with a 100% portable lightweight kit!

Equivalent lenses can turn out to be roughly equal size, but what I was saying was, if you're not interested in the last 1-2 stops of light-gathering, just forget 'em!

It's also about image quality and build quality. A lot of the MFT lenses that are "huge" and don't seem to have a "size advantage" is because they're aspiring to be as flawlessly sharp as possible, whereas the slow, small FF lenses are made of cheaper materials, and compromise a bit in corner sharpness or other respects.

Bottom line- if you want to see the most fair comparison, you have to at least attempt to achieve ceteris paribus.

I do agree, that FF offers more versatility, since it's the sensor itself that image quality superiority comes from. If I want a portable kit, I'd rather have a Sony FE body with any of the five in the "ultra-tiny" Rokinon family of 2.8 primes and 1.8 primes. But, I also am not kidding myself about the compromise these lenses make in terms of build quality and image quality.

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2020 at 05:38 UTC
In reply to:

bernardlang: This is exactly what Nikon is doing with the f1.8 range for the Z.

The lenses are not super compact but they offer top notch quality in a package much smaller/lighter/cheaper than the top of the range f1.2/f1.4 lenses.

Compare how much you need to spend and carry with Nikon Z to get one of the best 85mm ever designed vs Canon RF.

Cheers,
Bernard

Wow, the trolls are coming out in force on this one.

Nikon has made f/1.8 the new f/1.4.

If you're too obsessed with stereotypes and status symbols, there are plenty of mediocre f/1.4 primes on Sony for you to drool over and sing delusional praises about...

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2020 at 03:07 UTC
In reply to:

Kiril Karaatanasov: Smells like thinly-veiled Canon advertising.

No one has dared to release f/7.1 lenses before and I guess now that m43 is officially dead DPReview finally use the correct lens equivalence formula to prop up Canon's diminishing sales

Your argument falls apart when you realize that Canon beat Nikon and Sony to mirrorless f/1.2 primes, f/2 zooms, and (Nikon only) to an f/2.8 holy trinity.

Why hate on Canon, when they're doing such a good job of covering BOTH bases?

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2020 at 01:28 UTC

Can you imagine the mocking that any major camera manufacturer would get if they made a constant f/5.6 zoom in the mid or wide range?

If you want a lightweight, compact, affordable kit, get an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds system. Unless you ALSO need the absolute maximum light-gathering full-frame offers, such as f/1.2 or f/1.4 primes, then you're wasting your money getting full-frame in the first place.

Get yourself an f/2.8 or f/4 zoom for a smaller sensor, and get yourself an f/1.4 prime for when you need more light-gathering. Have fun with a 100% portable lightweight kit!

Link | Posted on Jul 3, 2020 at 01:19 UTC as 18th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

mick232: "The ‘S’ originally stood for ‘sensitivity’ but now I think it should stand for ‘supreme’ in terms of image quality, and expression. "

Translates to: we don't have a new super-high sensitivity sensor specialized for the A7S3.

But, but... "really big pixels"!!! ;-)

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2020 at 19:17 UTC
In reply to:

Kyle Style: "What were the major requests from a7S II users?"
"Mainly things like 4K/60p, 10-bit 4:2:2… really what you’d expect."

I'd expect 8K and RAW video. Is sounds like he is managing expectations for an under speced camera.

@entoman,

You said you don't care at all about video specs, but then you said that only a fool would call a Sony under-spec'd.

Either you're calling all video shooters fools, or you're just refusing to acknowledge that Sony isn't leading the pack any more in terms of video specs.

Fuji, Canon, Nikon, and Sigma all have cameras now that one way or another offer at least ONE thing, in some cases more, that Sony doesn't. They're behind.

We may have quite a few years to go before 8K becomes expected, let alone required, but, Sony still doesn't even have 4K 60p 10-bit, or RAW.

All Sony has on other video-oriented cameras right now is their incredible autofocus, which is carried over from their photography technology.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2020 at 19:09 UTC
In reply to:

abcjeff: If you want supreme quality 4k video, with high DR and ISO performance, go Sony. If you really need 8k video, buy the Canon R5.

That's exactly what everybody said about 4K when 1080p was still the widely accepted norm.

So, we have maybe ~5 years before 8K becomes truly necessary.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2020 at 19:03 UTC
In reply to:

abcjeff: If you want supreme quality 4k video, with high DR and ISO performance, go Sony. If you really need 8k video, buy the Canon R5.

Well, I was talking about sheer quality itself, that is, the DNG raw capability of the Sigma FP, which as a nature / landscape video shooter, I'd much rather have versus 4K 60p.

However, considering that the FP can do 4K 30p DNG, I really think it should also have had 4K 60p, and I wonder if it could be added later.

Link | Posted on Jun 30, 2020 at 05:20 UTC
In reply to:

Geekapoo: Sony makes great cameras except that the UI lags behind competitors (granted, it's my opinion/subjective). If/when Sony provides a revamped UI, I might buy another Sony. Right now for me, Fuji is the most enjoyable shooting experience.

@NexUser,

Also, I haven't tried the latest Z6 firmware, but I've been following the improvements closely, and they still have a long way to go. Your description of the implementation still sounds inferior to how a Sony A9 or A9 II works, at least in some ways, especially when it comes to subject tracking.

I have spent the last two years working simultaneously with the Z6/Z7, EOS R/RP, and A9/II, A7RIII/IV, and A7III. I still think Nikon's overall user interface is the best. The way the menus are organized, the way the ergonomics feel in your hand, it's all great. The Canon EOS R feels great too, and the menus/UI are fine. But neither Nikon nor Canon are matching the level of customization that Sony is putting into their latest bodies, and I've come to prefer that, despite the frustration of the worse UI and the complexity of customizations.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 21:53 UTC
In reply to:

Geekapoo: Sony makes great cameras except that the UI lags behind competitors (granted, it's my opinion/subjective). If/when Sony provides a revamped UI, I might buy another Sony. Right now for me, Fuji is the most enjoyable shooting experience.

@NexUser, It's hard to explain the difference between sheer magnitude of customization potential, and the drawback of complexity that creates, versus sheer bad UI, and how it needlessly serves no purpose besides frustrating users.

I'll say it again: Sony has come a very long way with each generation, and if your experience is with an A7 II, then you've got a world of new customization waiting for you when you try a mk3 or mk4 camera. The A9 and A9II in particular are just plain impressive in what they can do. Virtually every button on the camera is customized exactly how I want it, and no other camera offers that range of utility.

But, it took me an entire year of fiddling around, and literally getting paid to do it, before I got truly comfortable with Sony. That's what I meant about such a steep learning curve. Coming from either Nikon or Canon, there are a lot of things one is accustomed to, and specific buttons being always dedicated to specific tasks is just one such thing.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 18:17 UTC
In reply to:

Rob890: geez how many cameras do they have

It has long been a Canon tactic to hook people on beginner gear by showing flashy pros using exotic gear, ...only for the beginner to find out later that most of that entry-level stuff they bought is incompatible with their final goal / long-term investments... Not surpised that we've never seen an "L" lens for APS-C, nor that they went with a separate mount for EF-M.

TLDR, if you're considering Canon, it had better be because you're mentally and financially prepared to eventually buy the best, most exotic stuff, because otherwise the competition is a way better value.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 15:25 UTC
In reply to:

xeppelin: My take away from the interview is that A7S III will not have 8k recording. lol

Not that it matters to me. I would love to buy a decent "pure stills" camera without video recording whatsoever (only a minimal video feed to drive EVF).

The A7 III isn't as fast as the A9. An A7S III in an A9 II body need only use a slower CPU to avoid surpassing its FPS, while still offering 4K 60p video...

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 15:21 UTC
In reply to:

abcjeff: If you want supreme quality 4k video, with high DR and ISO performance, go Sony. If you really need 8k video, buy the Canon R5.

If you want supreme quality 4K video, get a Sigma FP...

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 15:18 UTC
In reply to:

Geekapoo: Sony makes great cameras except that the UI lags behind competitors (granted, it's my opinion/subjective). If/when Sony provides a revamped UI, I might buy another Sony. Right now for me, Fuji is the most enjoyable shooting experience.

The AF system, and controlling it, is WAY better on the A9 than the Z6, once you program the Sony buttons the way you want them.

Nikon's methods of implementing AF point control, especially subject tracking, are still terrible compared to Sony.

Sony's UI learning curve is like scaling a sheer cliff. But once you get past that, you have the most versatile, powerful control of any system.

Nikon/Canon's UI learning curve is like having someone to hold your hand the whole way, because it's familiar and much more simple, but in the end you just don't get the same level of full control.

Sony has many things that could still be improved, of course, but in terms of sheer control and customizability, they've surpassed the competition at this point.

Link | Posted on Jun 29, 2020 at 15:15 UTC
In reply to:

Lee Jay: Right - because that's exactly what my eyes do. (Rolls eyes).

Either way, in this case, the truth is still the truth- you either like this style of photography and processing, or you don't.

Honestly? I don't care for it either. I'd rather shoot more dramatic, "well-lit" types of portraits with strobes. But at least I can see that many other portrait photographers, and paying clients, appreciate this style.

Link | Posted on Jun 28, 2020 at 17:37 UTC
In reply to:

Lee Jay: Right - because that's exactly what my eyes do. (Rolls eyes).

io rep,

Astute as some of your observations may be, I disagree with Pye on technical methods and nuance all the time. Just the other day he let slip another "changing ISO changes the sensitivity of the sensor" and I cringed.

Out of curiosity, what would you have liked to see more of on SLR Lounge? I'm still a full-time content creator, and now that I've retired from weddings I have even more time to create tutorials and gear reviews.

But anyways, thanks for saying "meh" about my photographic passion! At least I have the guts to attach my personal name and body of work to the comments I leave here. Can't say the same for you.

Link | Posted on Jun 28, 2020 at 17:15 UTC
In reply to:

matthew saville: OK, regarding the idea "ETTR", and how we perceive the way it is achieved:

Most photographers hear the phrase, "...TO The Right", and they naturally envision the bump(s) on their histogram moving always TOWARDS the right.

In reality, direction of movement has NOTHING to do with it. Really, we should have called it, "Expose FOR The Right" to begin with. That would have solved so much confusion!

To understand why, just think of a scene with MORE dynamic range than a camera can capture. Assume that currently, BOTH shadows and highlights are smashed against the edges of the histogram. How then do you ETTR this scene? You adjust your exposure LEFTWARD, to save the highlights.

This is why ETTR can still (and VERY often does) result in severely underexposed shadows- you prioritized highlights, and ignored shadows.

In many cases, (landscapes, etc) ETTR (EFTR?) is great! But, for things like creative portraiture, it can hinder artistic vision, cost time in post, and sometimes, ruin shots.

...If I clip a detailed highlight (meaning, not spectral such as the sun itself or street lamps) by more than 2/3 of a stop on the back of the camera, (JPG data histogram, for those of you who haven't been paying attention) then depending on the camera I begin to run the risk of its raw highlight recovery introducing posterization or color shift.

I've also been doing things differently in terms of in-camera processing for many years, too. I shoot Neutral instead of Standard Picture Style / Picture Control, and if I really want a raw-looking histogram, I go even deeper into those settings and I turn the contrast down almost all the way, and the brightness down one notch or two. (Nikon has a "brightness" setting, but I don't think Canon/Sony have one. Another reason I love working with NEF files!)

This allows the back-of-the-camera histogram to look almost spot-on with the actual raw data, at least as far as the right half of the histogram is concerned.

If you haven't yet, do try it!

Link | Posted on Jun 28, 2020 at 03:51 UTC
In reply to:

matthew saville: OK, regarding the idea "ETTR", and how we perceive the way it is achieved:

Most photographers hear the phrase, "...TO The Right", and they naturally envision the bump(s) on their histogram moving always TOWARDS the right.

In reality, direction of movement has NOTHING to do with it. Really, we should have called it, "Expose FOR The Right" to begin with. That would have solved so much confusion!

To understand why, just think of a scene with MORE dynamic range than a camera can capture. Assume that currently, BOTH shadows and highlights are smashed against the edges of the histogram. How then do you ETTR this scene? You adjust your exposure LEFTWARD, to save the highlights.

This is why ETTR can still (and VERY often does) result in severely underexposed shadows- you prioritized highlights, and ignored shadows.

In many cases, (landscapes, etc) ETTR (EFTR?) is great! But, for things like creative portraiture, it can hinder artistic vision, cost time in post, and sometimes, ruin shots.

@Thomas, I thought you might be a Canon shooter, with your claims of 1-2 stops of highlight headroom. I remember the early days of DPR dynamic range tests, where they would show identical exposures and then graphically line up both the highlight and shadow headroom so that you could see which cameras could recover more in which direction. That was really neat, and I always missed that.

I too remember the days of the D60 and D30; and the 10D was the first "decent" camera that was actually decent compared to film. I still have 10D, 20D, and 5D raw files to re-test.

Since those days, I've gotten into gear reviewing as a job, and so I've tested the raw files of almost every prosumer and high-end camera from Canon, Nikon, and Sony since those early days. Suffice it to say, Canon does usually have the nicest looking recovered highlights, if you're brave enough to clip a whole 2 stops of important detail, HOWEVER, I wouldn't go that far today, especially not with a Nikon or a Sony.

Link | Posted on Jun 28, 2020 at 03:43 UTC
In reply to:

matthew saville: OK, regarding the idea "ETTR", and how we perceive the way it is achieved:

Most photographers hear the phrase, "...TO The Right", and they naturally envision the bump(s) on their histogram moving always TOWARDS the right.

In reality, direction of movement has NOTHING to do with it. Really, we should have called it, "Expose FOR The Right" to begin with. That would have solved so much confusion!

To understand why, just think of a scene with MORE dynamic range than a camera can capture. Assume that currently, BOTH shadows and highlights are smashed against the edges of the histogram. How then do you ETTR this scene? You adjust your exposure LEFTWARD, to save the highlights.

This is why ETTR can still (and VERY often does) result in severely underexposed shadows- you prioritized highlights, and ignored shadows.

In many cases, (landscapes, etc) ETTR (EFTR?) is great! But, for things like creative portraiture, it can hinder artistic vision, cost time in post, and sometimes, ruin shots.

@LensBeginner,

Sony live/in-camera histograms are the worst. If a highlight is small enough in the frame, it will literally disappear off the right edge of the histogram, no spike, no nothing, it just vanishes.

I've always highly appreciated Nikon in terms of back-of-the-camera histograms, because their individual RGB clipping warning is very useful for correctly exposing the red channel of firey sunsets. Plus, on most Nikons, I've found that cranking the JPG Active D-Lighting" to its maximum can give a rather decent sneak peek at the raw shadow recovery , but I usually don't recommend others try that because it can be a recipe for disaster if you're not very diligent when it comes to testing your camera and understanding what you're seeing...

Link | Posted on Jun 27, 2020 at 07:02 UTC
In reply to:

matthew saville: OK, regarding the idea "ETTR", and how we perceive the way it is achieved:

Most photographers hear the phrase, "...TO The Right", and they naturally envision the bump(s) on their histogram moving always TOWARDS the right.

In reality, direction of movement has NOTHING to do with it. Really, we should have called it, "Expose FOR The Right" to begin with. That would have solved so much confusion!

To understand why, just think of a scene with MORE dynamic range than a camera can capture. Assume that currently, BOTH shadows and highlights are smashed against the edges of the histogram. How then do you ETTR this scene? You adjust your exposure LEFTWARD, to save the highlights.

This is why ETTR can still (and VERY often does) result in severely underexposed shadows- you prioritized highlights, and ignored shadows.

In many cases, (landscapes, etc) ETTR (EFTR?) is great! But, for things like creative portraiture, it can hinder artistic vision, cost time in post, and sometimes, ruin shots.

@SmilerGrogan,

As a landscape and timelapse photographer, I run into sunrises and sunsets with dynamic range that is well beyond what a Canon sensor could capture, and often pushing or exceeding the limits of what a Nikon or Sony sensor could capture.

For this reason, achieving /exactly/ the right amount of faint highlight clipping in-camera, and therefore achieving the "perfect" raw file in post, is critical.

Link | Posted on Jun 27, 2020 at 06:55 UTC
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