ProfHankD

ProfHankD

Lives in United States Lexington, United States
Works as a Professor
Has a website at http://aggregate.org/hankd/
Joined on Mar 27, 2008
About me:

Plan: to change the way people think about and use cameras by taking advantage of cameras as computing systems; engineering camera systems to provide new abilities and improved quality.

Comments

Total: 1452, showing: 41 – 60
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In reply to:

ProfHankD: The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

GonOS: You're missing credibility and manners. ;-)

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 20:45 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

GonOS: I'm a professor doing computational photography research and once was a professional commercial photographer; I work towards building future technologies, and understanding where we are is a part of that. You can be jealous of all my toys, but I have yet to buy a photography "toy" without an explicit reason supporting either personal photographic use (for personal purchases) or my research (for research budget or personal purchases). The A9 is an awesome bit of tech, but as packaged, it's not particularly useful for anything I'm currently doing, thus I don't have or want one. For that matter, the only Apple thing I own is their stock. ;-) My opinions are just opinions, but they are based on serious evaluation... some of us still believe in the scientific method rather than proof by blatant assertion and insults.

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 14:16 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

David Bo: I don't agree. Rishi gets appropriately excited to see new things; that's his job. Also, although the D850 may be a dinosaur, at least it's a pterodactyl -- it flies. ;-) Following my strange analogy, the 5DIV is a dinosaur wearing designer clothing; all dressed up with nowhere to go. For example, of the fleet of cameras I and my students used for the eclipse, the 5DIV has the dubious honor of not producing a single usable image -- exposure looked ok but was a bit off, and the same with focus, and vibration from the mirror/shutter (in the handy invervalometer mode which oddly is disabled in live view mode) did in what remained; in fact, our best shots came from Canon PowerShot SX530 HS. The 5DIV's raws are also lousy because Canon adjusts exposure based on half the pixels and then adds the two halves -- usually, but unpredictably, clipping the raw, even in the dual-pixel raws (which are encoded as A+B, B).

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 13:28 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

Rishi: "Nikon has not denied the future. The D850 just isn't it." It's not about denying the future, it's about not leading to define it. It's very late to be announcing they're working on a pro-mirrorless lineup, and my confidence they can quickly come up to speed in a different type of camera system is zero (I glance at my KeyMission 360). I also know several R&D folks who became frustrated and left Nikon over the past few years.

That said, I do think the Nikon D850 incorporates a good set of tweaks on the D810, and it probably is the most capable DSLR overall. My Canon 5D IV has been a huge disappointment -- nicely packaged, but very low functioning (they really messed-up the dual-pixel raws, which were why I got my 5D IV) at least until there's a Magic Lantern port. Incidentally, for most of what I do, the Sony A7RII is the current best answer (not Sony's A9 -- it doesn't support camera apps built using OpenMemories).

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 05:21 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

dash2k8: You can't approach the IQ of the D850 a decade ago, and there are dozens of incremental improvements and technological upgrades in the D850, but the basic functional aspects of the D850 are mostly disturbingly between my Sony A100 (circa 2006) and A350 (circa 2008), except for the video abilities. The A350 didn't do video because the main sensor was still a CCD, but it provided a true OVF with a flip-out LCD live view (fed by a second camera inside the OVF). Nikon's own cameras from 2007 are also disturbingly similar to the D850 in most respects but video.

So, yes, I consider most of the D850 features to be tweaks on 2007 technology rather than things unheard of until recently -- not that the tweaks aren't good or important (they are both), but in comparison look how far Sony has gone since then! Nikon did take a fairly bold step with the Nikon 1 series, but it didn't start as a winner and they haven't pushed hard enough to evolve it into one.

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 03:24 UTC

The D850 seems an excellent step, but it's a baby step. Aside from the video, it's basically a DSLR one could confuse with a decade-old product. The Sony A9 isn't really that big a step for Sony either. The difference is that Sony's already been on a path to the future for a decade and, well, Nikon isn't and Canon sort-of isn't quite either. So, congrats to Nikon for making a class-leading DSLR that should hold many current Nikon users... but I doubt it will make many people switch to Nikon.

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2017 at 02:05 UTC as 33rd comment | 13 replies
On article Nikon D850: First full-res sample images (361 comments in total)
In reply to:

Axel114: I'm always disappointed in the choice of samples. Why can't we have a distance shot of a skyline or something where it's actually interesting to look at the detail?

Hannu108: Nikon has generally claimed that the Sony-built sensors they used were their own designs... and they were tweaked... but I don't know anybody else who is making BSI that big. I suppose Samsung could? Am I right in thinking this chip doesn't have PDAF? If so, this could be Sony's 42MP sensor tech, but without the PDAF stuff -- which would be very reasonable for a DSLR and very consistent with the 36MP one used in the previous model.

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 10:36 UTC
On article Nikon D850: First full-res sample images (361 comments in total)
In reply to:

Axel114: I'm always disappointed in the choice of samples. Why can't we have a distance shot of a skyline or something where it's actually interesting to look at the detail?

I have to agree... these are surprisingly unappealing images, and zooming in on a scene in heavy fog or a face in heavy makeup doesn't really tell much. Give or take color rendering (which from https://www.dpreview.com/videos/9193994762/blind-portrait-shootout-sony-a9-vs-canon-1dx-mark-ii-vs-nikon-d5 I know I don't like from Nikon), this looks a lot like the A7RII... I wonder if Sony made this sensor too?

Link | Posted on Aug 25, 2017 at 02:42 UTC

Converting in camera is pretty cool if they do it well. Color negatives can be a pain to get balanced right....

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2017 at 23:06 UTC as 39th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Suave: This is nuts. Ebay is chock full of various Biotars. What's next? Legendary Domiplan 50/2.8 for $800? Or Legendary Pentacon 50/1.8 for 1200?

It would be easier to understand if there were not MILLIONS of biotar clones already out there (from the USSR) and available for prices with half as many digits....

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2017 at 00:25 UTC
In reply to:

couchpotato: You can find a good condition Canon FD 55mm F1.2 lens for less. Why bother with this Chinese lens?

That's the issue -- although there are lots of cheaper 50-58mm f/1.2 used lenses, starting with the Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 around $200.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2017 at 00:21 UTC
In reply to:

Joed700: Nikon = 10
Canon = 30
Sony = 29

I shoot both Canon and Nikon...but jpegs are meaningless to me...

Joed700: Nearly two decades ago, when sensors barely delivered 8 bits per pixel, there used to be a major problem with color shift in areas where at least one channel was near saturation. Then there was a crude fix in various cameras to propagate color. The Nikon images look like that's still in there -- JPEG highlights getting repainted at lower bit depth despite the superior bit depth of a modern sensor raw. It wouldn't be shocking because JPEG support in many cameras has changed surprisingly little over the last decade. However, I don't know this about Nikon; it's just a guess....

Link | Posted on Aug 23, 2017 at 03:25 UTC
In reply to:

Joed700: Nikon = 10
Canon = 30
Sony = 29

I shoot both Canon and Nikon...but jpegs are meaningless to me...

J A C S: Fair enough. We're taking their word that the images are unedited out-of-camera JPEGs with "default" settings, but people don't have to use default settings and even the act of placing the images side-by-side in a video involves a pile of potentially significant processing steps. Honestly, I was skeptical because of the video encoding and also because it is unclear how well the color space is preserved on the way to my display, but the shockingly high consistency on my blind scoring suggests the JPEGs vary enough to overpower those changes.

Of course, any such scoring is purely subjective. We don't have a reference for what any of the scenes really looked like. My image-ranking opinions may be more carefully constructed and more self-consistent than those of some others, but my opinions are still just opinions: NOT experimentally-verified truths. I'm sure some people loved the Nikon images... but I uniformly didn't.

Link | Posted on Aug 23, 2017 at 02:35 UTC
In reply to:

Joed700: Nikon = 10
Canon = 30
Sony = 29

I shoot both Canon and Nikon...but jpegs are meaningless to me...

Obviously, this is mostly about untweaked OOC JPEG color handling. I got Canon 29, Sony 27, and Nikon 16.

That actually seems about right for Canon and Sony -- it's a close call overall, but heavily depends on the scene. Both of those had just two 1s, and in all four of those cases, the other one had a 3: so when Canon was bad, Sony was great, and when Sony was bad, Canon was great. I'm impressed at how well Sony and Canon attacked each others weak points; marketing must have had some say in this....

The scary one is Nikon; I didn't give it a single 3! In fact, the only Nikon 2s were the four cases where Canon or Sony had a 1. I had no idea Nikon was so far behind on JPEG rendering. In fact, that's bad enough that my usual trick of using the JPEG as a starting point for what the processed raw should look like would rarely work.

PS: Joed700, your scores don't add up -- 12*(1+2+3)=72, not 69.

Link | Posted on Aug 23, 2017 at 01:14 UTC
In reply to:

De Fotoman: Cool!

Still no a-holes crying about this article not being about digital photography?
What's going on? Did they call in sick?

Nothing preventing you from putting a digital sensor in there... just hard to buy one that is 5x8". ;-)

Link | Posted on Aug 22, 2017 at 13:50 UTC
In reply to:

stratplaya: A friend asked if she could watch the eclipse with her smartphone. I told her it would be better and safer to just buy some solar glasses. You wouldn't see anything but a very bright light on the phone's screen until about 60% plus coverage.

But that got me thinking, can a smartphone sensor be damaged if it's pointed while active at the sun?

The sensor is made using relatively high-temperature processing, and it's pretty durable. However, localized heating can damage coating, filters (including Bayer filters), and plastic parts (e.g., by a reflection off the sensor being focused on a plastic part inside the lens or body). In short, it's a bad idea. It is NOT AS BAD AN IDEA AS DIRECTLY VIEWING THE SUN WITH YOUR EYES. As the old astronomy joke goes, viewing the Sun directly without protection is a mistake you can only make twice. Cameras can be replaced. For that matter, if you only fry a few pixels, most cameras can interpolate around them as bad pixels and you might never even notice.

Link | Posted on Aug 20, 2017 at 01:13 UTC
In reply to:

brn: Like many, I've not heard of them before now. I just did a search on DPR and only found an article on their demise. Did DPR not know about them either? Perhaps DPR was too busy posting articles about NAS and cell phone reviews.

I never heard of them before either. Looking at a couple of issues, it's really impressive. Coffee-table worthy. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the words "financial viability" come easily for an art publication....

Link | Posted on Aug 15, 2017 at 02:00 UTC

Cell phones definitely do a good enough job for smallish online images, and computational photography methods will continue to make them better, but you really can't get past basic physics: you need enough photons. You can collect more by sampling over a larger area (bigger sensor or bigger aperture... or arrays of smaller ones) or for a longer time (as in my TDCI work). Both those tricks can be used to some extent in the cell phone form factor, but a bigger form factor can do better.

As for ILCs being doomed, well, maybe -- but that's because you can tune the camera system better as a whole when the sensor and lens are designed as one system (at the very least, ILC lens designs are becoming more camera-specific). For example, for the upcoming eclipse, I'm having a hard time matching the IQ of a Canon PowerShot SX530 HS zoomed to "1200mm" with my A7RII or 5D IV and the longest lenses I have. The SX530 cost me $130 as a Canon refurb.

Link | Posted on Aug 14, 2017 at 14:05 UTC as 303rd comment
In reply to:

BBQue: And the copyright to this video belongs - no doubt - to the tiger, right?!

Nope. The photographer initiated the capture. The tiger simply wasn't very good at taking direction as a model... or maybe it was VERY good at that?

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2017 at 17:07 UTC
In reply to:

Gimli son of Gloin: Very nice photos.

I would recommend a 1 inch camera instead of mFT since the IQ and resolution are very similar and all 1 inch cameras are more capable and portable than this kit.

Since the difference in IQ is not very big in 1 inch vs mFT a huge step up in IQ would be to FF. But then we would be seeing an increase in size compared to 1 inch, not so much compared to mFT.

Dheorl: "People are people, so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully?" -- Depeche Mode. I think people are generally insecure about their big purchases; they need reassurance that they have made the one best choice.

Thanks to my research, I have the luxury of buying multiple things and using the most appropriate for each task... which explains how I can praise Sony over Canon for sensors and adapted lens abilities while praising Canon over Sony for reprogrammability via CHDK and ML.

MFT is at a bit of a disadvantage because it was based on what turned-out to be wrong guesses about cost of larger sensors and dominance of the 4:3 aspect ratio, but they've really pushed the convenience features and small form factor (especially for lenses) very far. Those just don't happen to be major advantages for most of what I do with cameras. The 4K photo mode was why I bought the GX850; I'm disappointed that's a movie mode and adapted lenses always suffer rolling shutter.

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2017 at 15:26 UTC
Total: 1452, showing: 41 – 60
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