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: 1397, showing: 141 – 160
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On article 2017 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-900 (553 comments in total)
In reply to:

hansip87: A6000 really needs update though. it's getting old at this point. If only A6300 get dropped to A6000 price.. (but i don't want my A6300 resale value dropped too though :p)

An A6100 will be nice, with A6300 sensor and AF, but plastic body and no weather protection.

The old A6000 is honestly still at/near the top of this set in most respects, especially image quality, while arguably being too cheap for this group (body only below $500). According to the Amazon links on this page, the Fuji X-T20 is $899.95 body only and the T7i is $899.00 with the 18-55mm kit zoom -- so I wouldn't even think the Fuji belongs in this group which is "based roughly on US MSRP" -- the price grouping seems way off.

All these are fine cameras and I'm seeing less and less value in DPReview trying to call "best" without specifying for what purpose. It would be much more useful to have articles that talk about which cameras are best suited for which types of uses, because the differences at that level are more and more confusing to shoppers.

Static price groupings are problematic. If articles are organized by use suitability, you know you could allow readers to dynamically filter based on live Amazon pricing....

Link | Posted on May 5, 2017 at 13:21 UTC
In reply to:

DPPMetro: It's funny that DPR is criticizing Cincotta, but never acknowledges the rabid cheating, shilling, arbitrary deletions, backscratching, and irregularities that are now pretty much the modus operandi of the challenge section of DPR.

The challenges don't allow you to enter one you post. However, you are correct that a frustratingly high number of entrants seem to actively ignore any rules posted, and with low participation to begin with, appropriately disqualifying people can result in an empty challenge. That depressing reality is why I've been posting fewer challenges as time goes on... and I suspect it's also why there are now fewer serious entrants, so it continues to spiral down....

Link | Posted on May 2, 2017 at 10:33 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix FZ80/FZ82 real world samples gallery (78 comments in total)

For a 20-1200mm equivalent, this lens seems quite good. One shot with horrific flare, but overall I notice the limited DR of the camera much more than lens defects here. Really quite an impressive accomplishment....

Link | Posted on May 1, 2017 at 10:36 UTC as 33rd comment
On article In praise of shooting monochrome landscapes (335 comments in total)

I always liked B&W for people photos, because it is too easy to think of a color photo of a person as being that person's image rather than a work of art. However, the big reason to favor B&W was that photochemical postprocessing was way more flexible for B&W than for color... and digital media remove that issue. There is also the issue that you effectively get more gray levels with color than monochrome because JPEG, etc., is usually just 8 bits/channel. So, I rarely shoot B&W now....

Link | Posted on Apr 30, 2017 at 23:05 UTC as 62nd comment
In reply to:

thx1138: This is the bottom end of the change over price and still no 400 f/2.8 in their kit, so it's not going to happen for a huge % of sports shooters. Wedding photographers and maybe golf shooters would switch. Golf shooters can't take a shot until after the golfer hits the ball currently, silent shooting allows them to shoot the whole swing.

Any way talk is cheap 99% of the white noise on dpreview is from those that will never ever buy the A9 or own or touch a supertele but are full of absurd doomsday scenarios for pro DSLR users and know better of course.

The silent shutter is the killer feature for golf.

Link | Posted on Apr 26, 2017 at 10:35 UTC

Switching from any brand to another with an incompatible mount is expensive and initially awkward -- especially if you work for an organization that has a collection of equipment for their preferred brand. Nikon to Canon or Canon to Nikon is a much tougher move than Canon to Sony because there are AF adapters that allow a phased move from Canon to Sony, but there is a lot of what us engineers call hysteresis in equipment brand choices. After all, it's not like an "inferior" camera body or lens will generally prevent one from getting the shot; truth is that a lot of cameras are now well above the minimum requirements for pro use, so momentum and personal preference reasonably can play a major role.

Any way you look at it, Sony is really earning their position as a top camera brand, and the A9 is just one more bit of proof.

Link | Posted on Apr 26, 2017 at 01:38 UTC as 77th comment | 2 replies
On article Sony a9: Why being better might not be enough (767 comments in total)

The killer question is: do those non-native lenses work well enough on the A9 to be competitive with Canon/Nikon native use? For Nikon, the answer is currently no. For Canon, the answer may well be yes -- my little sampling of EF lenses actually average faster focus adapted to my A7RII than native on my 5DIV. There are also the pile of A-mount lenses that might be competitive.

In sum, you don't have to switch everything to Sony all at once to switch to using a Sony body for a lot or maybe even everything. Even if Sony had a full line of every dream lens in native FE, that still wouldn't cause in-house collections of lenses to suddenly be replaced; that change will take time, but I think it has begun....

Link | Posted on Apr 24, 2017 at 12:15 UTC as 155th comment

It's interesting that as still and video cameras converge, lenses for them are quickly diverging. It seems like the last year or two just about every lens maker has come out with cinema-oriented versions. Are they really selling that well or is it simply that higher pricing (and higher markup) are tolerated better in that market?

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2017 at 22:58 UTC as 4th comment
On article Samyang Lens Station USB dock spotted in the wild (26 comments in total)
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: The simple fact that a brand has to offer a "Lens Station" for "firmware updates and customization" is an important red flag in what relates to buying 3rd party lenses for proprietary mounts.

Take Sigma's case, for instance.

In spite of also having said "dock" and having vastly improved the accuracy of the AF on their EF lenses working on Canon bodies, they simply seem unable to sort out the consistency side of the equation.

You might be doing fine with a Sigma lens on a Canon body, beautifully accurate AF photos pumping out of the camera and then, all of a sudden and without reasonable explanation, the lens decides to focus on something else for a particular image or series of images.

A lot of the point in this comes down to the camera manufacturers not having open specs for their lens interfaces. If they were, you'd be able to do this stuff via the camera... as many cameras can do firmware updates for native lenses.

Link | Posted on Apr 23, 2017 at 09:16 UTC

Hmm. It's a Canon/Fuji party with a rather narrow range of lens types....

Link | Posted on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:33 UTC as 22nd comment
On article Hands-on with the Panasonic Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4 (162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Quest21: Come on Panasonic it's time to make a camera with iso50 for low noise. With this lens it would be great for landscape or cityscape...

Not how it works. Low ISO with a high-sensitivity sensor means you need high well capacity... and small sensor pixels don't get that. You'd just clip dynamic range, which isn't a strength for MFT now.

Link | Posted on Apr 19, 2017 at 10:22 UTC
On article Light's L16 camera is in final stages of testing (305 comments in total)
In reply to:

orion1983: ...and what is the size of a single 23MP sensor? I could not find this info....

Argh! Forgot to mention the high-res images are 5163x3872, i.e., not quite 20MP. Scaling these images down to 12MP and back up to 20MP actually improves the IQ by smoothing some JPEG compression artifacts (identifiable by their 8x8 DCT pattern); the level of scene detail seems to be about what should be present in a single good 12MP capture, and the lighting should have allowed good captures.

Just to be clear, I am a very strong proponent of computational photography methods being used in cameras -- but I strongly oppose technologies being oversold. For example, overselling abilities is why the state of the art in consumer-level 3D printing has been nearly stagnant for several years: people made claims beyond what the tech could do, so there has been relatively little excitement/investment in making the tech actually able to do what was claimed.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2017 at 13:11 UTC
On article Light's L16 camera is in final stages of testing (305 comments in total)
In reply to:

orion1983: ...and what is the size of a single 23MP sensor? I could not find this info....

falconeyes: just to close this discussion, with the pseudo-random camera placement, the odds that they can't find a pair of non-occluded cameras for each scene feature are very low, so synthetic bokeh should be reliable if not computationally cheap. Enhancing overall IQ and resolution by as much as they claim is MUCH harder, and might even be impossible for most scenes, especially at closer focus distances.

They only give 3 high-res images on their site, two of which are more than sufficiently distant so that dumb stacking (without any significant alignment) will work. The middle sample image is a portrait that is close enough to have issues, and it's pretty good, but does have some issues -- e.g., there's a strange shadowing (ringing?) around the back edges of the hair rather than normal blurring of the edge. That defect is consistent with making a failed attempt to combine edge points that didn't really align due to occlusion.

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2017 at 12:35 UTC
On article Light's L16 camera is in final stages of testing (305 comments in total)
In reply to:

orion1983: ...and what is the size of a single 23MP sensor? I could not find this info....

falconeyes: Hmm. If they think just simple alignment and stacking will give them the improved IQ they claim, I think they're wrong unless they don't let you focus closer than about 30*max distance between lenses (which would be several meters)... that's roughly where occlusions start to become less significant.

There is no such thing as "an array of lenses with no gaps" at the level of the bokeh (especially if those lenses have variable apertures). Bokeh are extremely sensitive to tiny flaws, making it very difficult to produce high-quality apodizing filters; e.g., the STF lenses make an optical flat from a plano-concave smoked glass and a plano-convex clear glass with the same refractive/dispersive properties.

Yes, noise and featureless areas are problems for stereo matching, but because neither of those have significant image content, you can't really see the screw-ups very much. ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 16, 2017 at 01:22 UTC
On article Light's L16 camera is in final stages of testing (305 comments in total)
In reply to:

orion1983: ...and what is the size of a single 23MP sensor? I could not find this info....

falconeyes: parallax normally just requires stereo matching to get the depth and then computationally render simulated bokeh (OOF PSF) -- you compute the diameter from the distance between corresponding points and then paint an OOF PSF of that size. The catch is that occlusions produce stereo matching problems that have no solution. Any dense regular pattern that has fewer lenses than there are pixels in the OOF PSF diameter would still require stereo matching to synthesize correct bokeh, so that really doesn't help much, and sparseness is probably a good thing.

The problem is that I have seen nothing from Light that suggests to me that they have any useful insights into the needed computation... let's hope they do and just haven't said anything about it yet. ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 15, 2017 at 20:41 UTC
On article Light's L16 camera is in final stages of testing (305 comments in total)
In reply to:

orion1983: ...and what is the size of a single 23MP sensor? I could not find this info....

Melchiorum, stacking from different camera positions is problematic because of issues like occlusion. The closer scene objects are, the more the distinct viewpoints result in missing/inconsistent data. Of course, the IQ should never get worse than a single one of the component cameras would produce... and lots of people are happy with cell phone camera images having fewer than 13MP, especially in good lighting conditions.

Link | Posted on Apr 15, 2017 at 13:20 UTC

Hmm. Standard umbrella hats are pretty unstable in a high wind -- I have enough trouble keeping a hat on my head. This device looks like it securely anchors to your body via a padded backpack-like strap system and seems to have a better wing shape. I wonder if one could get enough lift to get airborne wearing one of these? ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 15, 2017 at 05:38 UTC as 78th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

stevo23: SCOTCH whiskey. I'm just sayin'

Now if it were a bottle of the real deal Pappy Van Winkle...watch out

It's true. Top-quality Scotch Whisky is literally what they make reusing the barrels that are no longer fit to make Kentucky Bourbon (Bourbon is always matured in fresh casks to extract the maximum flavor). Nice to celebrate photographers, but speaking as a Kentucky resident, the "kit" packaging seems a bit desperate.... ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 14, 2017 at 01:15 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review (1180 comments in total)
In reply to:

snapa: It still amazes me how a 'm4/3' camera can cost $2,000 (without any lens), and be considered such a great camera. Once you start adding Pro lenses, then think about how well the IQ is at higher ISO levels with still pictures, it does not make any sense to me.

Maybe if you are looking for a very good 'video camera', it would be a good solution to your problem if you are looking to get very good videos. Still, to me, a m4/3 sensor camera for $4-5,000 (with lenses) that take just OK still pictures seems like quite a bit of money to me IMO, considering its competition with larger senor cameras.

BTW, how may professional videographers seriously look to buy a m4/3 cameras for taking serious video?

Astrotripper: all your complaints are on video, and I think they're a bit overstated; heck, the GH5 isn't even coming with log video support by default (and it has obviously poorer DR). In my opinion, the A6500 beats every micro4/3 body for stills by a much larger margin than it loses by on video. I also think $1400 is a lot less than $2000... and if it isn't, then an A7SII, A7RII, or A99II isn't unreasonable either (the GH5 is 42% more than A6500, and A7RII is 45% more than GH5).

In sum, the GH5 is an impressive enough camera, but $2K is too much for what is ultimately a big, video-centric, body wrapped around a small sensor with an aspect ratio that for video discards at least another 25% of the sensor due to choice of the 4/3 sensor aspect ratio. Your opinion may, and is welcome to, vary. ;-)

Link | Posted on Apr 12, 2017 at 14:54 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review (1180 comments in total)
In reply to:

snapa: It still amazes me how a 'm4/3' camera can cost $2,000 (without any lens), and be considered such a great camera. Once you start adding Pro lenses, then think about how well the IQ is at higher ISO levels with still pictures, it does not make any sense to me.

Maybe if you are looking for a very good 'video camera', it would be a good solution to your problem if you are looking to get very good videos. Still, to me, a m4/3 sensor camera for $4-5,000 (with lenses) that take just OK still pictures seems like quite a bit of money to me IMO, considering its competition with larger senor cameras.

BTW, how may professional videographers seriously look to buy a m4/3 cameras for taking serious video?

This camera benefits greatly from its DPReview classification, which doesn't pit it directly against, for example, the MUCH CHEAPER Sony A6500. This seems like a very good camera, and excellent for its sensor size, but it trails pretty significantly as a $2K body-only stills camera. As a video camera with rolling shutter issues, $2K doesn't really class it as a bargain either, although it's more competitive. I don't think "gold" rating is justified at this price point (especially when the A6500 is "silver"), but micro4/3 definitely has a dedicated following willing to pay more for high-featured big cameras with little sensors....

Link | Posted on Apr 12, 2017 at 03:08 UTC
Total: 1397, showing: 141 – 160
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