Richard Butler

Richard Butler

DPReview Administrator
Lives in United Kingdom Seattle, United Kingdom
Joined on Nov 7, 2007

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In reply to:

Photo graphic: Looks like someone was "born yesterday".

Even though they were near finished with their review, they "paused" reviews (just after realizing the score would be their highest) of better cameras (wasting the work they had done) because they were "too busy".

But don't worry, the check is in the mail and the 645Z after all this time will eventually be reviewed!

Isn't that exactly what Occam's Razor is for? Where you have insufficient evidence, assume that the simplest explanation is correct?

To be clear, I have no additional insight into the workings of DxO than you guys do, but I do know what it's like trying to get hold of a 645Z from Ricoh.

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2017 at 17:55 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

SmilerGrogan: Talk about blowing out someone else's birthday candles. What kind of unresolved emotional pain is a person carrying through life that prompts them to seek out and crush the dreams of our visionaries? What life experiences taught him that only the most mediocre ideas have any chance at success?
Not to mention that the problem was solved by Leica with the R9 as others have already mentioned.
The universe loves you Richard, please try to love it back.

SmilerGrogan - not impossible, just highly improbable. And the difference between what some people are hoping for (and I'm saying is very unlikely) is a retrofit module, not a back for a camera designed to be modular.

It's a quick, lighthearted piece, so I haven't tried to make it as technically watertight as I would for a more in-depth article. I figured that most people would be willing to accept the Leica R8 and R9 are obscure edge cases to an article about "dust[ing] off your beloved Nikon F-something."

Link | Posted on Oct 13, 2017 at 17:50 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

fsahouri: could be a stupid question, but what if the issue is in both d5 and d850 but you can only see it because of the high resolution of the d850?

It's a reasonable question but no, the difference isn't just one of being able to see the mis-focus in more detail. The D5 stays on the subject, whereas the D850 sometimes loses the subject completely.

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2017 at 19:47 UTC
In reply to:

Photo graphic: Looks like someone was "born yesterday".

Even though they were near finished with their review, they "paused" reviews (just after realizing the score would be their highest) of better cameras (wasting the work they had done) because they were "too busy".

But don't worry, the check is in the mail and the 645Z after all this time will eventually be reviewed!

It is peculiar, I agree.

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2017 at 05:37 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

jdc562: Regarding autofocus, this is not much of a test--easy-peasy for just about any run-of-the-mill camera. It's not too hi-tech to distinguish a close subject from a distant background. A better, and more relevant, set of tests would have more high-contrast and well lit elements nearer the subject.

And yet most cameras are terrible at it.

The idea behind the test is to first test the camera's ability to judge a changing subject distance, predict its speed and drive the lens suitably quickly. Most PDAF cameras can do this, CDAF cameras tend to struggle.

Then we add the extra layer of complication of expecting the camera to recognize and track the subject. The weave also adds more variation to the approach speed. Between these two changes, most modern cameras only perform moderately well at this.

Essentially this simulates, with a good degree of repeatability, a semi fast subject moving in a way that is unpredictable to the camera (eg a child running around).

For sports cameras we then take it a stage further by going out and shooting sports (with similarly coloured targets and objects crossing at different depths). We'll be doing this with a D850 and grip in the coming days.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 23:00 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Livio Spallone: I could be wrong but 3d tracking is about keeping track of the movement of a low resolution shape and color part of the subject. In the failed test the face of the subject goes close to the wall : same colors. Would like to see a d5 tracking the face in the same condition : subject and background of the same color.

That's the point. While it's a bit disappointing that the claims of 'D5 level' AF performance appear not to be true, the D850 is generally very good, relative to its other high pixel count peers.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 22:20 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Livio Spallone: I could be wrong but 3d tracking is about keeping track of the movement of a low resolution shape and color part of the subject. In the failed test the face of the subject goes close to the wall : same colors. Would like to see a d5 tracking the face in the same condition : subject and background of the same color.

Carey shot the D850 side-by-side with the D5. The D5 doesn't make the same mistakes.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 21:44 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Robin Ducker: I have said it before and I say again, test again with the battery grip and high power battery. I think the results will be better. All of the D850's autofocus electronics should then be on a par with the D5 with less latency and more drive for the focus motors.

We have already started testing with the battery grip (the full results of which will be a separate article about shooting sports). We saw nothing to suggest it fixed the things we encountered.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 21:44 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

Matsu: I'm afraid Richard reaches the right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons. All the problems were already solved over ten years ago, it's in DPR archive too:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4888226123/leicadigitalr9

The real reason is cost. To engineer a digital back and manufacture it for sale, is basically to create a product with the same cost overhead as a camera, only one that must then be attached to an old camera that isn't really that great compared to a modern digital camera.

I have an old Nikon FE I'll never sell. It's value is purely sentimental. I've not run film through it in years. I'd even spend $500-1000 on a digital back for it, if only for my hands to remember my dad's first photography lessons to me in way that seemed purposeful and not purely nostalgic. But how many people would do that? Maybe at $200-300 ??? Manufacturers know the real market is small and low margin. That's why we've not seen it.

In fairness, cost was one of the issues I highlighted, both in this article and at more length in the 2012 and 2013 articles I linked back to.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 21:21 UTC
In reply to:

Ebrahim Saadawi: Who holds the Patent for Dual Pixel Auto focus technology? Canon seem to brag they invented and pioneered this technology in the 70D.

If Samsung can use it, it's either commissioned by Canon to do so or it's not a patented technology, in which case one would wonder, with the marvel advances that comes with Canon DPAF then why Sony and Nikon cameras don't have it too?

It all depends on what 'Sony-sourced chips' means.

If Samsung has simply commissioned Sony to manufacture the chips, then they could use the same IP we're seeing here: Sony wouldn't have the right to then use that design for itself or other clients.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 21:13 UTC
In reply to:

LiveFromPhilly: Follow the money!

*adjusts tin-foil hat*

Or just speculate wildly about the hypothetical money. Much easier.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 20:30 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Scottelly: "Timelapse recording Yes (4K or 8K movies)"

Really? I don't think you can get an 8K movie out of a D850. The camera DOES NOT HAVE THAT FEATURE. Sure, you can make 8K movies with photos from a D850, just as you can make 8K movies with photos from a Canon 5 Ds or a Sony A7r II or ANY 24 MP camera (by scaling the photos up a little bit). But none of the cameras, including the Nikon D850, can produce an 8K resolution video that you can watch on an 8K TV. You have to make such videos with a computer.

Why do you insist on spreading Nikon's lie?

Scottelly was highlighting that the way our specs were reported were misrepresenting the situation. I've subsequently amended our database to avoid this misrepresentation.

Personally, I think Nikon branding of timelapse as '8K' is misleading, since it implies video.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 19:15 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michiel953: Richard, Carey,

I can't understand why anyone 'in the know', and you two certainly are, would expect a very high res dslr's AF system (a system consisting of many high precision components working together, but tolerance are involved nonetheless) to function perfectly with any lens, without AF fine tuning, straight out of the box.

I've had the 850 for six weeks now, done quite a number of 'corporate' portraits for the law firm I'm a partner with, and fine tuning was required. Not a lot (-4 with the 85/1.4G), but still.

So?

As I say, we are going to re-check (just in case an unnoticeable calibration error at one distance ends up being exaggerated at the longer distance).

However, if the need is to re-calibrate each time you change focus distance, then that becomes a problem.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 19:09 UTC
In reply to:

Photo graphic: Looks like someone was "born yesterday".

Even though they were near finished with their review, they "paused" reviews (just after realizing the score would be their highest) of better cameras (wasting the work they had done) because they were "too busy".

But don't worry, the check is in the mail and the 645Z after all this time will eventually be reviewed!

Can we please differ to Occam's (or Hanlon's) Razor before we start chucking accusations of corruption and backhanders around?

I don't know the fine detail of DxO's business model, but I very much doubt manufacturers would supply cameras to them if they didn't think they'd be treated in an impartial manner.

What I do have first-hand experience of is trying to borrow a 645Z from Ricoh for long enough to conduct in-depth testing. I can completely imagine a scenario in which analysis of a test prompts the desire to re-check the result but the camera has been returned and getting one back becomes a headache.

And, once something slips down the queue, it becomes increasingly difficult to justify the time spent to go back to it.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 19:06 UTC
On article Nikon D850 Review (1776 comments in total)
In reply to:

Michiel953: Richard, Carey,

I can't understand why anyone 'in the know', and you two certainly are, would expect a very high res dslr's AF system (a system consisting of many high precision components working together, but tolerance are involved nonetheless) to function perfectly with any lens, without AF fine tuning, straight out of the box.

I've had the 850 for six weeks now, done quite a number of 'corporate' portraits for the law firm I'm a partner with, and fine tuning was required. Not a lot (-4 with the 85/1.4G), but still.

So?

It's more that a lens that didn't appear to need calibration at one working distance did need it when the working distance changed. We're double-checking this result, but it's more the need to re-calibrate for different distances that we're highlighting.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 18:36 UTC
In reply to:

Ebrahim Saadawi: Who holds the Patent for Dual Pixel Auto focus technology? Canon seem to brag they invented and pioneered this technology in the 70D.

If Samsung can use it, it's either commissioned by Canon to do so or it's not a patented technology, in which case one would wonder, with the marvel advances that comes with Canon DPAF then why Sony and Nikon cameras don't have it too?

Sony's 'Dual Pixel' mobile chips use occasional pairs of normal pixels, not 'split' pixels in the way Canon and Samsung do. It's unclear (from where I'm sitting, at least), whether Samsung has licensed the technology from Canon or designed its own system that doesn't infringe Canon's IP. Either seems plausible.

Canon's IP clearly doesn't totally exclude other attempts at Dual Pixel designs, though, or Nikon wouldn't be patenting readout designs that enable two-axis split pixel sensors.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 18:24 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

Wye Photography: There would be nothing more I would like more than my Leica R8 going digital. Oh! Wait! It can!

Yes, if you have a modular medium format camera or one of the two Leicas designed to have different backs fitted, you're in a much stronger position.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 18:13 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

citizenlouie: Richard's article says there are these obstacle yet to be addressed:

1. Sensor/film plane alignment
2. Compatibility across the dwindling supply of film SLRs
3. Space for batteries and processing hardware

In the video (in the official Kickstarter site, not Nikon Rumors), it appears I'm Back does provide a mean to do #1 (manually adjust) and #2 (it has a moving part to affix it to the tripod mount). #3 can be easily addressed (that thing is huge, like the original Kodak DCS back for Nikon). I think the problem is, after fixing all those part into place, it's just as large as a Nikon D5, which diminishes a lot of the charm of the film SLRs. And with the current prototype (as of 10-11-17) it seems to me the final product will be 3D printed....

I think the main purpose though, is to allow some people already with a large collection of film gears to use their lenses. I've adopted some film lenses to m4/3 mount, and I think film lenses aren't designed for digital and result is poor.

citizenlouie - The article doesn't say they're yet to be addressed, it says it's unclear or arguable *how well* it addresses them.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 18:10 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

HowaboutRAW: I'm sorry did the digital back for the Leica R9 not work?

I know it was expensive--but that's not the question.

Right, it wasn't a "film" canister with a sensor plate one inserted in perfect substitution for film in a 35mm SLR. One removed the film back, something very easy to do on many 35mm SLRs, and put on a new back.

I'd argue that an MSRP of €4500 falls foul of the "keeping the cost reasonable" test. Mr Karlsson's point that the R9 was unusual in having been designed to accept other backs is also valid: it's simply not true of the majority of cameras that people talk about resurrecting.

So, while it's not physically impossible to design and build such a system, it probably is impossible to make it usable and affordable enough to sensibly compete with the alternatives that exist.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 17:33 UTC
On article Here's why your beloved film SLR is never going digital (276 comments in total)
In reply to:

Cornu: Leica DMR. That was a digital back for the Leica R9 film camera.

The headline "Why your beloved SLR is never going digital, unless it was a Leica R9 or a medium format camera designed to accept interchangeable backs" was voted down.

Link | Posted on Oct 11, 2017 at 17:26 UTC
Total: 5356, showing: 21 – 40
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