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Author Topic: Equipment review articles and post-processing  (Read 943 times)

gjanee

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Equipment review articles and post-processing
« on: September 11, 2017, 11:22:44 AM »

After looking at the pictures accompanying "The SONY A9 A Camera For All Seasons" by Harvey Stearn, at least some of which appear to have been heavily post-processed, may I suggest the following rule: the images that accompany any article that is primarily about equipment must be directly out-of-camera: no gradients, no tonal adjustments, no sharpening.  I realize that a certain amount of post-processing is inevitable, in the camera and/or during RAW conversion, but for an equipment article I'd rather see what would come out of the camera were I to own that camera, as opposed to what the author is able to do with his or her Photoshop/Lightroom skills.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 01:01:39 PM »

I don't agree.

To keep my response brief: there are instances I expose to the right (ETTR) which would make an unprocessed raw image look terribly bright.  Post processing is a part of every image I create.  I expose for the situation and my intended processing.  That wouldn't help you understand the camera's capabilities, only (possibly) my thinking or mistakes during the exposure.

If it's dynamic range you want to see, then there will be countless people "testing" and posting their findings.

Rob C

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 03:35:25 PM »

No, I think the better the final images look, the better the review. One should be able to take it for granted that anyone doing a review has mastered the craft of image making! I wouldn't look upon it as the tester fooling anybody: if he can make it work then so should I. It was never expected from analogue system testers to make duff images to prove something; why with digital?

Of course, in both systems, it really comes down to the genre, and how you want to handle it, compared with what the tester might do. If he doesn't show something that's of great interest to you, then the test is pretty inconclusive and somewhat irrelevant for you. For example, if you shoot people more than anything else, you'd want to see lots of examples of skin tones, and a series of landscapes would prove zilch, one way or the other... In the end, today, where the film comes built-in, you really do need to test first before you buy, if that's a possibility for you. Ditto lenses, where yesterday's reliabilty seems not to exist...

paulbk

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 05:52:17 PM »

My 2¢ ---- If the review is about hardware (the camera):
1) I vote show me straight out of camera. No fancy post.
2) I'm not interested in what you can do in post. What software you use. Or your artistic skill.
3) Showing both, no post and with your style of post is okay.

old film days ---- The camera did nothing but wink a shutter. The film and lens made the image.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 06:04:38 PM by paulbk »
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paul b. kramarchyk
Barkhamsted, Connecticut, USA

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 11:09:04 PM »

What is "no post"?  Which raw processing software is acceptable?  If you post a JPG, which settings?  Which colour space is to be used?  How exactly will you see a raw image?  You can't, until after you process it.  One man's defaults are another man's "never never land".  If you were reading a review of a film camera and looking at images in a magazine or online, it's still been processed.  You're not seeing the original negative.
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Phil Brown

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 11:51:36 PM »

Oh, dear... sophists are having a field day! ;)

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 03:53:27 AM »

My take: the particular article about the Sony A9 was about how the camera was capable of dealing with various photographic subjects and occasions.

For those wanting to see what the hardware can do "straight from the camera", there are other websites that do that work.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 10:28:24 AM »

What is "no post"?  Which raw processing software is acceptable?  If you post a JPG, which settings?  Which colour space is to be used?  How exactly will you see a raw image?  You can't, until after you process it.  One man's defaults are another man's "never never land".  If you were reading a review of a film camera and looking at images in a magazine or online, it's still been processed.  You're not seeing the original negative.
Not to mention that in the "old" days there were various color stocks that gave quite different results.  All film was not created equal.
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Rob C

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 11:39:12 AM »

Not to mention that in the "old" days there were various color stocks that gave quite different results.  All film was not created equal.


The lovely Sarah Moon owes a great part of her career to that difference - especially with super hi-speed, grainy colour! Kodachrome wouldn't have done it for her.

;-)

donbga

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 12:46:19 PM »


The lovely Sarah Moon owes a great part of her career to that difference - especially with super hi-speed, grainy colour! Kodachrome wouldn't have done it for her.

;-)

GAF 500 was a great emulsion in her hands!
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Rob C

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 02:29:14 PM »

GAF 500 was a great emulsion in her hands!

Biba, Cacharel, Pirelli, Vogue, Nova, Mateus Rosé and many others had the pleasure! Love the lady.

;-)

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 07:08:28 PM »

Bring back Scotch 1000! (Just kidding, but it was great for grainy color.)

I think the objection to processing has some merit, though within narrow boundaries. If I were to ask, "Can I have a Standard profile JPEG exposed at base ISO to look tonally balanced (no heavy ETTR) with all in-camera user parameters (saturation, contrast, etc.) set to middle/neutral values?" I wouldn't expect anyone to protest. The usefulness of this is open to debate: if you're a JPEG shooter who treats the files the way most folks in film days treated transparencies (more or less done out of camera) it might be just the thing; but if you're a RAW snapper it's not that informative.

But if you're insisting on a genuinely unprocessed image… "No, ma'am, I don't want a bottle of water. I want two bottles of hydrogen and one of oxygen. I'll mix it up myself."  :)

-Dave-
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GrahamBy

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 07:32:38 AM »

How bad would a camera need to be that you could see it on a typical web image?
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Rob C

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 08:09:45 AM »

How bad would a camera need to be that you could see it on a typical web image?

You could start that as a new thread: Race to the Bottom.

To answer your question, maybe a very early cellphone shot?

As somebody pointed out today somewhere in LuLa, even those stitch-shots don't really say very much when viewed on the web, unless as overly large, tiresome images that have to be scrolled hither and thither. I suppose as more and more advertising goes online rather onto paper, there will be a condition of diminishing returns with über gear, which could well herald a switch in the market, with the pro spending less and the am more. I dread to think where that might lead the profession. Maybe totally into motion?

Rob

paulbk

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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 05:41:42 PM »

What value viewing images on web?
Well exposed 100% crop gives the reader some notion of image quality. Multiple selections helps: bright areas for DR, dark areas for noise.
Michael R. use to do it all the time.

If minimally processed "representative images" are not provided, then, pretty good camera, pretty bad camera should suffice for image quality.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 08:11:48 PM by paulbk »
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paul b. kramarchyk
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Re: Equipment review articles and post-processing
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 05:04:45 PM »

You can get an evaluation of the OOC JPEG output at places like Dpreview.  That's what they're good at.  On tne A9, it's very good btw (in fact, I find Sony JPEGs generally better than reputed).  The reviews we get at LL are more about the experience of using the gear, and what you can get out of it. I appreciate that every bit as much as I appreciate the detailed technical stuff. 

Now me and my A7 II are off to drool over an A9 I can't justify. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 05:11:32 PM by Internaut »
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