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: 1160, showing: 61 – 80
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In reply to:

Johnny621: This particular Nikon I, serial number 60924, was made in April 1948 and is notable as being the third camera produced by Nikon. What happened to #s 0 thru 60923?

Actually, it's pretty rare that the first unit of any product sold is serial #1. Sometimes, serial numbers encode manufacture date or other production info. I also have often heard that having a higher serial number on a new product helps build consumer confidence, so manufacturers sometimes start with a random "bigly" number.

Link | Posted on Oct 25, 2016 at 02:38 UTC
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Very nice summary of the issues. However, just to be clear, problems with Li batteries are very common. The typical precursor to serious problems is the build-up of gasses that causes swelling of the package. If you have a battery that has started to expand, it should be safely discarded -- it is already failing (just not yet spectacularly).

moawkwrd: in my experience, it is disturbingly common for soft Li batteries. For example, 2 of 2 iPhone 5 in my family burst due to swelling batteries (but didn't catch fire) and 1 of my 2 SQ8 mini-DV cameras failed scorching the guts. BTW, these types of failures have been much more rare in hard-cased Li batteries... no more than a few percent among the dozens of hard-cased Li batteries I've used (yes, I use fleets of cameras ;-) ).

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2016 at 20:54 UTC

Very nice summary of the issues. However, just to be clear, problems with Li batteries are very common. The typical precursor to serious problems is the build-up of gasses that causes swelling of the package. If you have a battery that has started to expand, it should be safely discarded -- it is already failing (just not yet spectacularly).

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2016 at 10:53 UTC as 33rd comment | 3 replies

The 3.6mm kind of reminds me of the old Spiratone 12mm fisheyes... not a full circle on their intended format, but not full frame either. Looks like it would be fine as a 250-degree circle for APS-C. If only the price had 1 fewer digits. *sigh*

Link | Posted on Oct 21, 2016 at 01:27 UTC as 16th comment

Two comments: (1) my DC260 was my first digital camera that had IQ defects that looked more like a film camera than like framegrabs from a cheap video camera and (2) Digita was a near miss on supporting camera apps. A lot of the problem was that the initial set of things Digita supported (e.g., in the DC260) wasn't rich enough, but the fact so few models from so few manufacturers adopted it also hurt a lot.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2016 at 10:33 UTC as 58th comment

This is the NEX-shaped APS-C body with IBIS that so many people have been saying they wanted ever since the NEX-5 was introduced... that would have been enough for many people. The catch is, the price point isn't so much lower than Sony's FF A7II... so it's good that it out-specs the A7II in various ways.

Link | Posted on Oct 18, 2016 at 13:15 UTC as 53rd comment | 4 replies
In reply to:

ProfHankD: My wife and daughter both had iPhones which didn't burn, but had their cases burst by expanding batteries. Serious problems with glued-in batteries are common; Samsung was just unfortunate enough to (very rarely) have a very dangerous failure mode for the one in the S7. In my opinion, the disadvantages of glued-in batteries, which include various environmental issues involving disposal, far outweigh the advantages. Samsung used to have removable batteries -- as they do in the S5 that I use -- and I hope removable, sealed, batteries are what everybody gets back to. BTW, it wouldn't be that hard for the battery to be smart enough to detect a pending problem and disable itself.

NetMage: Did you take the iPhone 5s to Apple?

Yes. They replaced them under warranty free of charge. I should say that the defect was obvious; the phones were basically bursting at the seams, with up to about a 1/8" gap on one of them where the expanding battery forced the shell open.

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2016 at 19:58 UTC

And if you listen very carefully, you can hear a faint voice with a Swedish accent saying "aren't you glad we stopped doing that sort of thing?"

I just want to know if Leica followed through with the style to the packaging. This camera should definitely come in a box that is full of ping-pong balls as packing material. ;-)

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2016 at 23:26 UTC as 127th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

ProfHankD: My wife and daughter both had iPhones which didn't burn, but had their cases burst by expanding batteries. Serious problems with glued-in batteries are common; Samsung was just unfortunate enough to (very rarely) have a very dangerous failure mode for the one in the S7. In my opinion, the disadvantages of glued-in batteries, which include various environmental issues involving disposal, far outweigh the advantages. Samsung used to have removable batteries -- as they do in the S5 that I use -- and I hope removable, sealed, batteries are what everybody gets back to. BTW, it wouldn't be that hard for the battery to be smart enough to detect a pending problem and disable itself.

Removable batteries do add build cost and a little complexity, but "ugly" is a matter of style and personal preference.

RedFox88: Serious problems are "common"? Nope. -- YUP! Although Apple seems to have kept it quiet, the fraction of iPhone 5 destroying themselves was apparently quite high for units built in a certain period... and 100% for the two my wife and daughter had (which were not even the same color, but were bought at the same time). That they didn't die in the first month of ownership and never burst into flames doesn't make it a "non-serious" problem, just easier to keep out of the news.... BTW, one out of two SQ8 mini-DV cameras I've bought in the past month also had its pouch battery overheat and fail; no flames, but internal components scorched (I wonder if that's why the SQ8 has a metal case?).

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2016 at 16:58 UTC

My wife and daughter both had iPhones which didn't burn, but had their cases burst by expanding batteries. Serious problems with glued-in batteries are common; Samsung was just unfortunate enough to (very rarely) have a very dangerous failure mode for the one in the S7. In my opinion, the disadvantages of glued-in batteries, which include various environmental issues involving disposal, far outweigh the advantages. Samsung used to have removable batteries -- as they do in the S5 that I use -- and I hope removable, sealed, batteries are what everybody gets back to. BTW, it wouldn't be that hard for the battery to be smart enough to detect a pending problem and disable itself.

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2016 at 13:06 UTC as 58th comment | 13 replies
On article Hands-on and in-depth with the Sony a6500 (553 comments in total)
In reply to:

ProfHankD: Well, this is the IBIS+NEX-shaped-body that so many people always said they wanted... and it's a pretty clear statement that Sony isn't dropping APS-C.

The scary thing is the pricing trend: this is easily the most expensive "6" model ever from Minolta or Sony, I'm starting to expect the A9 to top $5K. Pricing seems to have new models going up more than old models are going down. Ok, I understand that Sony isn't exactly leading the race to higher prices (e.g., Fuji has APS-C bodies several hundred dollars higher), but I'm still uncomfortable about this trend for the future of cameras and photography.... Of course, an A6000 or A7 isn't all that expensive and is still capable of amazing still image quality, so maybe it's just the death of video cameras as a separate market? I.e., you buy one camera rather than a still camera + a video camera, but you pay about the same total?

Engineering is always about meeting specifications; pricing is largely about marketing. In other words, the pricing depends on how quickly you want to recover development cost, how market demand will respond to different pricing, and how this fits with other models in the line... as well as per-unit build cost. In production, I doubt that this model really costs that much more to make than an A68, but initially I'm sure it does because the have dev costs to cover an yields on new chips are often low. We'll just have to see how quickly prices drop....

It is possible that the higher price is because of the damage Sony's fab suffered... in which case, pricing might drop pretty significantly once the fab has caught up.

In sum, I'm not saying Sony's gouging; I'm saying the industry in general seems headed for assuming high unit costs and lower sales volumes....

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2016 at 21:08 UTC
On article Hands-on and in-depth with the Sony a6500 (553 comments in total)

Well, this is the IBIS+NEX-shaped-body that so many people always said they wanted... and it's a pretty clear statement that Sony isn't dropping APS-C.

The scary thing is the pricing trend: this is easily the most expensive "6" model ever from Minolta or Sony, I'm starting to expect the A9 to top $5K. Pricing seems to have new models going up more than old models are going down. Ok, I understand that Sony isn't exactly leading the race to higher prices (e.g., Fuji has APS-C bodies several hundred dollars higher), but I'm still uncomfortable about this trend for the future of cameras and photography.... Of course, an A6000 or A7 isn't all that expensive and is still capable of amazing still image quality, so maybe it's just the death of video cameras as a separate market? I.e., you buy one camera rather than a still camera + a video camera, but you pay about the same total?

Link | Posted on Oct 7, 2016 at 12:17 UTC as 59th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Elite83: Never understood the point of such products. Maybe my analytical-type brain doesn't work the same way as most people's... but the way I see it is you loose information granularity by using such a product. The majority of these effects can be easily achieved in post or even smartphone app once imported from your camera. You can always go from a normal capture to a "tailored" capture in a few clicks or taps.
I get it's "authentic", analog, hardware-based, whatever you want to call it, it's not synthesized. But is that really "it"? I'm not hating, I really just do not understand.

WalPhoto: My telescope-like lenses include a 1250mm telescope, and yes, they are very usable (although hand-holding the 1250mm is a very bad idea). To be honest, I use mirror lenses more than I can imagine using this Lensbaby; my Spiratone 300mm f/5.6 is particularly appealing.

Link | Posted on Oct 6, 2016 at 19:24 UTC
In reply to:

Elite83: Never understood the point of such products. Maybe my analytical-type brain doesn't work the same way as most people's... but the way I see it is you loose information granularity by using such a product. The majority of these effects can be easily achieved in post or even smartphone app once imported from your camera. You can always go from a normal capture to a "tailored" capture in a few clicks or taps.
I get it's "authentic", analog, hardware-based, whatever you want to call it, it's not synthesized. But is that really "it"? I'm not hating, I really just do not understand.

Eric's right; I am overthinking it... but given the political scene in the US today, I figured seeing someone actually think might be good for the nation. ;-)

As for my insane collection of lenses, see: http://aggregate.org/DIT/MYLENSES/

The thing that makes it sane for me to have so many lenses is that I've done a lot of computational photography research grounded in measuring actual lens properties -- especially the out-of-focus point spread function (OOF PSF). How many of those 150 do I really use? Virtually all of them. How many do I regularly use for "normal" photographic purposes? About 30 are in the regular rotation. It's nice to have choices allowing subtle properties to be better matched to the specific circumstances, but I don't feel very limited traveling with 5-6 lenses. One more point: I've only spent about $4000 total on those 150+ lenses. ;-)

Link | Posted on Oct 6, 2016 at 11:52 UTC
In reply to:

Elite83: Never understood the point of such products. Maybe my analytical-type brain doesn't work the same way as most people's... but the way I see it is you loose information granularity by using such a product. The majority of these effects can be easily achieved in post or even smartphone app once imported from your camera. You can always go from a normal capture to a "tailored" capture in a few clicks or taps.
I get it's "authentic", analog, hardware-based, whatever you want to call it, it's not synthesized. But is that really "it"? I'm not hating, I really just do not understand.

I've got over 150 lenses, so obviously I think that rendering differences can be useful in some way, but I look at this rather extreme trio of rendering defects as potentially dangerous. I'm a big believer in the idea that art is intentional -- the whole making, not taking, photos thing. If having the new tool to play with inspires you to experiment and think more deeply about how to use the tool to make photos, great; even better if it allows you to make an image you envisioned, but couldn't make without it. However, the danger is that many people will treat these "canned" sets of image defects as though they magically make every photo fine art -- taking lots of bad photos as they lazily overuse the effects and effectively become worse photographers rather than better ones. Here's hoping people avoid that trap....

Link | Posted on Oct 6, 2016 at 02:24 UTC
On article Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art real world sample gallery (217 comments in total)
In reply to:

Twong: I am just happy to stay with APC, it seems that the SIgma 8-16 on APC gives better performance than this 12-24 on FF.

Don't know about this one yet, but Sigma's old 12-24 on FF was indeed beaten by their newer 8-16mm on APS-C. Unfortunately, the magic doesn't continue to work when the 8-16mm is used on FF via a 1.5X teleconverter... which isn't as strange a hope as it sounds, because their older 10-20mm APS-C lens does really well on FF via a 1.5X teleconverter. The 8-16 does pretty well directly on FF around 16mm, but vignettes on anything much wider.

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2016 at 18:54 UTC
In reply to:

DStudio: "The amount of detail it can capture is astonishing, but what I appreciated more was the 3D quality that so many pixels dedicated to a tonal transition can create. The curve of a ceramic pot or a person's cheek is described not only in the greatest physical detail but also in tonal and color detail, and that really adds something to the image."

Great comment; I noticed right away how much better than usual the sample pictures are - even viewing at less than 5 x 7 on my non-retina MacBook Pro.

As much as we may feel smart for getting a 35mm ILC and quality lens for 1/10th of the price, we should not let our enthusiasm confuse us into thinking they're "almost the same" - they're nowhere close to it.

Thanks to Phase One, hardware and software is being pushed forward for those who need it and can afford it.

Yet perhaps those who need it most are those who view the photos - those who have no control over the quality that's being presented to them.

Yet another push of sensor technology by Sony. You know, I'll probably never buy a Phase One, but I think it is really useful that they are there nudging Sony in good directions. To put it bluntly, even if it is mostly about having more and bigger pixels, this camera proves there's still plenty of room to improve upon even such a technological tour-de-force as the A7RII.

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2016 at 12:37 UTC
On article Going wide: Irix 15mm F2.4 sample gallery (108 comments in total)
In reply to:

entoman: Excellent set of photos to depict the way such a short lens can be used to dramatic effect with various subjects. Certainly stimulating enough to make a lot of people consider getting an ultra wide-angle. However, although it looks to be very sharp, the flare produced by the Iris lens is simply not aceptable.

I don't think these photos are particularly enticing, but the overall message that comes across is THIS LENS FLARES. I haven't seen structured flare this bad even from my Canon FDn 35mm f/2 on its worst day. Was this lens designed for JJ Abrams fans? If so, it's worth noting that he has appologized for using so much lens flare and didn't do it in the latest Star Trek movie....

Link | Posted on Oct 2, 2016 at 18:22 UTC
In reply to:

bobbarber: Some new company should build a decent camera (like the just introduced Y1 M1, nothing earth shattering) and open up their code base to let people do what they want.

I really like this about CHDK, but a lot of the ancient Canon point and shoots on which it works best have really limited hardware. I'm thinking a step up from that.

I understand (I think) why you don't get this from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, etc.

First, people might get bad results. (Hacker programs ISO 4 quadrillion, takes photo, shows it to friends. "You say you took that picture on your new Sony? Well, I'm never buying that camera!")

Second, people might fry the hardware with bad code. (Hacker programs 12 hours of continuous video to computer hard drive. Camera melts down.)

But the benefits might outweigh the risks for a new company. Somebody might carve out a little niche for themselves by giving buyers freedom to program.

CHDK works on some modern PowerShots, but usually lags by about a year due to reverse-engineering the changes needed to port to each new camera. For example, I use it with the 20MP ELPH 160 and the 240FPS-capable N (one of the oddest cameras you'll ever see). If only Canon would help a little, porting CHDK would be virtually instantaneous, the menus could be fully integrated, and the software would be a lot more robust... but no, Canon has lifted features from CHDK and Magic Lantern, but doesn't facilitate porting/development of either one.

I have students use CHDK in my Cameras as Computing Systems course, and I've been using it in research for many years, but without support from Canon, it will never be a fully reliable option. I'm also playing with OpenMemories for Sonys, but it's a similar situation. Just think how different the world could have been if Digita had been done right.... :-(

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 02:29 UTC
In reply to:

Tom_A: Refreshingly honest and humble comments about the Lunar.

Actually, refreshingly modest, understated, and, well, good ol' Hasselblad. :-)

This kind of open discussion about who makes their lenses, the Fuji competitor, thermal issues, the Sony rebranding fiasco, etc. is outstanding. Makes me wish I had an excuse to buy an XD1 right now... which is how I used to feel about their products decades ago. Welcome back!

I would love to see this openness continued in the camera firmware with SDK support allowing in-camera scripting, apps, or custom firmware extensions to be created by users and 3rd parties. It's been promised many times -- remember Digita? Even without manufacturer support, many of us have implemented various awesome things using CHDK inside Canon PowerShots, Magic Lantern for Canon EOS, or OpenMemories for Sony. Cell phones support creating such apps, but no higher-end camera manufacturer currently does. Perhaps the new Hasselblad can lead in establishing this new level of modularity?

Link | Posted on Sep 28, 2016 at 16:33 UTC
Total: 1160, showing: 61 – 80
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