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Author Topic: Mini Medium Format Shootout  (Read 36613 times)

Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #100 on: November 22, 2010, 04:29:05 PM »


I also noticed that many of the photos have an embedded color profile for what appears to be Mark's monitor rather than sRGB, aRGB or ProPhoto.  Using a monitor profile seems like an unusual choice.  Perhaps the authors of the article could explain why they chose to use the monitor profile, or perhaps it was inadvertent. 

The colour space of the original converted images is ProPhoto RGB.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #101 on: November 22, 2010, 04:33:53 PM »

It WAS in another thread, but was completely ignored there. :-\

It is on-topic because a possibly valid proposition, e.g., the 645D is a great camera, is weakened by false supporting arguments. Now the whole article, which was almost certainly done in good faith, comes across as an exercise in self-justification.

Best,

Matt

Did it occur to you that people may have other things pre-occupying their time rather than giving you 24/7 instant answers on a totally voluntary undertaking such as a web forum?

As for the pseudo-psyc 101, see my comment to Ray; but he's been around here for a long time; being a Newbie with 2 posts, maybe we can steer you into a more productive mode of participation on this forum.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #102 on: November 22, 2010, 04:49:47 PM »

If an article displays either poor technique or outright bias in one area, doesn't that alter your opinion of the rest? It's sad because the rest of the comparison is so well done. By leaving out the Canon bashing they would have done this site a great service by enhancing its credibility.

And I did not suggest that the authors were motivated by self-justification. Please read what I wrote.


There was no "Canon bashing". The technique used for all the images was identical in terms of the approach used to maximize image quality from all the cameras used. I too was surprised by the Canon outcome, because I use this camera all the time regardless of that the fact that I own a Phase-One; there are all kinds of situations in which it makes more sense to use a DSLR than an MF. If you read the article to completion, you would have seen the comment in the conclusion about the kind of performance I expect - and normally get from the Canon. We had a choice of either including what we got in that particular session or leaving it out. We chose to objectively report on exactly what was achieved then and there, but publish a qualifier along with it. By the way, would you mind your revealing your name and your credentials to be making speculative comments about poor technique or bias?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

michael

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #103 on: November 22, 2010, 04:57:41 PM »

Glad you're back Mark. I was biting my tongue the entire week that you were away and while the kids had their say.

What is it about the net that allows what are likely otherwise civil adults to posture so aggressively?

Michael
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fredjeang

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #104 on: November 22, 2010, 05:14:16 PM »

In many ways the more relevant and more interesting comparison would have been between the Leica S2 and the Pentax.

There again I don't think it would be worth bothering, the differences in such a test would be minimal at 100% on screen and virtually invisible in print.
Absolutly! Those 2 cameras are natural competitors.


But now let's get serious for awhile.
And finally, I was thinking about that Pentax and I'm disapointed really.
-it doesn't cook
-it doesn't display my road on gps
-it doesn't have smile and sunset detection
-it doesn't integrate with my fancy I.phones, I.pods, I.pads, and does not have an apple logo anywhere
-it doesn't exists in pink color like the Kx
-it doesn't have a Lamborghini limited version
-and...it's cheap. :o

all that is not serious at all for such a brand.

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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #105 on: November 22, 2010, 05:41:22 PM »

Glad you're back Mark. I was biting my tongue the entire week that you were away and while the kids had their say.

What is it about the net that allows what are likely otherwise civil adults to posture so aggressively?

Michael

An interesting question indeed, particularly about the underlying presumption. Inner self, outer self, what's the mask, what's the reality - not so clear. Perhaps requiring real names and full disclosure would help?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #106 on: November 22, 2010, 05:43:19 PM »

Absolutly! Those 2 cameras are natural competitors.


But now let's get serious for awhile.
And finally, I was thinking about that Pentax and I'm disapointed really.
-it doesn't cook
-it doesn't display my road on gps
-it doesn't have smile and sunset detection
-it doesn't integrate with my fancy I.phones, I.pods, I.pads, and does not have an apple logo anywhere
-it doesn't exists in pink color like the Kx
-it doesn't have a Lamborghini limited version
-and...it's cheap. :o

all that is not serious at all for such a brand.



AH - at last! A breath of fresh air and a real perspective on the things that matter in camera design! Thanks Fred. :-)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Vivec

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #107 on: November 22, 2010, 05:57:42 PM »

Glad you're back Mark. I was biting my tongue the entire week that you were away and while the kids had
Michael

First of all, i think it was a very nice and informative review -- thanks Nick, Mark, and Michael.

However, irrespective of whether joseph is a 'newbie' or not, he did seem to have a valid point that there is something wrong with the 100% crops. And after reading the responses it seems to me that the authors have not addressed this - right?  it is fine if a mistake was made, but it would be good to confirm this. Anyway, I am quite interested in the results -- not everyone has the opportunity to work with such amazing cameras :-)

Thanks again for taking time to do such review.
 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 11:13:22 PM by Vivec »
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Ray

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #108 on: November 22, 2010, 07:17:57 PM »

But my expectations of you were better than this. You are supposed to be a seasoned professional photographer who can see objectively without personalizing issues using phoney psyc-101 non-insights. Obviously, despite the content and context of this article you remain completely clueless about the mindsets brought to bear on its research and preparation. Comments of this ilk don't belong on this website because they contribute NOTHING to learning and understanding, and this site and forum are meant to be about that.

I see that I have upset you Mark. Sorry! But I did use smileys.

On a serious note, I do genuinely get the impression there's an element of self-deception amongst many photographers extolling the benefits of MFDB systems.

Take the issue of the AA filter for example. I remember well, a few years ago on this forum, when the question was first posed, 'Why do DSLRs need an AA filter but DBs don't?'

The answer that made at least some sense, but wasn't entirely satisfactory, was that experienced and professional photographers, who would be the sort of people most likely to use MFDB systems, could be expected to have the knowledge, understanding and competence to deal with moire and aliasing issues whenever they arose, using whatever software that was available to fix the problem.

However, most amateurs buying DSLRs, might think there was something wrong with their camera on first seeing a few examples of obvious cases of moire. They might return their camera as being faulty.

This might be a plausible explanation in relation to the prosumer, cropped-fromat DSLR, but really doesn't explain why the significantly more expensive Canon 1Ds series of FF DSLR, aimed at the professional, also needs an AA filter.

The explanation that the primary reason why DBs (and the Leicas) do not have AA filters is because they would make the already-very-expensive camera or back even more expensive, sounds a much more plausible explanation to me.

Of course, marketing has a role to play here. If the disadvantages of not having an AA filter are perceived by many as outweighing the advantages, then work has to be done extolling the virtues of a lack of AA filter whilst downplaying the obvious disadvantages of moire problems.

This is what appears to have happened. That marginal, extra crispness of a good DB image where moire is not a problem, can also be easily confused with the generally higher resolution that the MFDB produces as a result of its greater pixel count.

When I first checked out the MaxMax site to see what a 5D image looks like when the camera's AA filter is removed, I was very disappointed in the degree of improvement. It was noticeable, but strictly for pixel-peepers in my opinion.
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bjanes

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #109 on: November 22, 2010, 09:44:37 PM »

The Leica M9 isn't MF, but it also has no AA filter. I think this is a matter of design philosophy (sizing-up the relative value of the trade-offs) and marketing. There are hardware and software approaches to this problem - when it occurs.

Mark,

Yes, but the M9 is not a dSLR and, because of the short lens to sensor distance, there might not be room for one. Remember, with the M8 there was not even room for an IR filter. One can reduce the color effects in Moire, but the actual aliasing is very difficult to remove. The old Kodak full frame dSLR also didn't have a blur filter and it was notorious for moire. As you say, there are trade offs. One can pay to have the blur filter removed from a dSLR, but few do.

Regards,

Bill
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #110 on: November 23, 2010, 10:03:45 AM »

I see that I have upset you Mark. Sorry! But I did use smileys.

On a serious note, I do genuinely get the impression there's an element of self-deception amongst many photographers extolling the benefits of MFDB systems.

Take the issue of the AA filter for example. I remember well, a few years ago on this forum, when the question was first posed, 'Why do DSLRs need an AA filter but DBs don't?'

The answer that made at least some sense, but wasn't entirely satisfactory, was that experienced and professional photographers, who would be the sort of people most likely to use MFDB systems, could be expected to have the knowledge, understanding and competence to deal with moire and aliasing issues whenever they arose, using whatever software that was available to fix the problem.

However, most amateurs buying DSLRs, might think there was something wrong with their camera on first seeing a few examples of obvious cases of moire. They might return their camera as being faulty.

This might be a plausible explanation in relation to the prosumer, cropped-fromat DSLR, but really doesn't explain why the significantly more expensive Canon 1Ds series of FF DSLR, aimed at the professional, also needs an AA filter.

The explanation that the primary reason why DBs (and the Leicas) do not have AA filters is because they would make the already-very-expensive camera or back even more expensive, sounds a much more plausible explanation to me.

Of course, marketing has a role to play here. If the disadvantages of not having an AA filter are perceived by many as outweighing the advantages, then work has to be done extolling the virtues of a lack of AA filter whilst downplaying the obvious disadvantages of moire problems.

This is what appears to have happened. That marginal, extra crispness of a good DB image where moire is not a problem, can also be easily confused with the generally higher resolution that the MFDB produces as a result of its greater pixel count.

When I first checked out the MaxMax site to see what a 5D image looks like when the camera's AA filter is removed, I was very disappointed in the degree of improvement. It was noticeable, but strictly for pixel-peepers in my opinion.


I would need to be shown concrete evidence that cost is an issue for an AA filter in a high-end camera system whatever the size of the sensor. The more likely explanation why it is almost so universally used in the sub-MF formats is that the manufacturers simply don't want to deal with torrent of complaints they would get from moire, etc. if there were no AA filter. By the time we get to MF the market is so thin, and the people buying them are so comparatively well enough equipped to handle this issue without complaining, that the manufacturers need not fear massive consumer reaction. I think there is a tendency in discussions to exaggerate the strength of these filters and the impact they have on the images. For all we know, it could be a very mild filtering which has only a modest impact on overall sharpness and easily enough compensated in Capture sharpening. So I'm not surprised by your observation on the 5D.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #111 on: November 23, 2010, 10:11:04 AM »

First of all, i think it was a very nice and informative review -- thanks Nick, Mark, and Michael.

However, irrespective of whether joseph is a 'newbie' or not, he did seem to have a valid point that there is something wrong with the 100% crops. And after reading the responses it seems to me that the authors have not addressed this - right?  it is fine if a mistake was made, but it would be good to confirm this. Anyway, I am quite interested in the results -- not everyone has the opportunity to work with such amazing cameras :-)

Thanks again for taking time to do such review.
 

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the review and got something useful out of it.

If people are making valid, constructive points it is irrelevant to me whether they are new to the forum or not. My concern is with the substance. The judgmental issue concerning the crops and how they display in the article is whether they provide a reasonably correct comparative picture of what we are describing in the text. Only the people who have seen the original images can make this determination with confidence. Sorry, but - inevitably- that's just how it is. We are of the view that we've provided valid comparative visual guidance with these images, and unless it can be proven otherwise, I'll leave the discussion of this tangent at that.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #112 on: November 23, 2010, 10:20:44 AM »

Mark,

Yes, but the M9 is not a dSLR and, because of the short lens to sensor distance, there might not be room for one. Remember, with the M8 there was not even room for an IR filter. One can reduce the color effects in Moire, but the actual aliasing is very difficult to remove. The old Kodak full frame dSLR also didn't have a blur filter and it was notorious for moire. As you say, there are trade offs. One can pay to have the blur filter removed from a dSLR, but few do.

Regards,

Bill

Interesting points Bill. As you may know, Capture One has a Moire filter - the second to last tool of the Details panel. It allows us to adjust for the amount and the pattern, quite effectively.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #113 on: November 23, 2010, 11:04:09 AM »

Mark and Nick,

I just want to say thank you for a very clear, very informative, and thoroughly enjoyable review and "shootout." You both did a fine job, and described very clearly what you were doing. For those of us who can read English, there were no problems at all. Please don't let the Monday morning quarterbacks and Pixel Partiers get on your nerves!

Cheers,

Eric
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #114 on: November 23, 2010, 02:42:42 PM »

Mark and Nick,

I just want to say thank you for a very clear, very informative, and thoroughly enjoyable review and "shootout." You both did a fine job, and described very clearly what you were doing. For those of us who can read English, there were no problems at all. Please don't let the Monday morning quarterbacks and Pixel Partiers get on your nerves!

Cheers,

Eric

You are welcome Eric; glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. And indeed, no sleep is being lost at this end of the conversation. We go into these excursions of technical curiosity kind of anticipating the full spectrum of commentary on the way out. :-)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #115 on: November 23, 2010, 07:10:38 PM »

I would need to be shown concrete evidence that cost is an issue for an AA filter in a high-end camera system whatever the size of the sensor. The more likely explanation why it is almost so universally used in the sub-MF formats is that the manufacturers simply don't want to deal with torrent of complaints they would get from moire, etc. if there were no AA filter. By the time we get to MF the market is so thin, and the people buying them are so comparatively well enough equipped to handle this issue without complaining, that the manufacturers need not fear massive consumer reaction.

The Pentax representatives I had spoken with in March in Japan told me the same thing. They had first considered adding a AA filter to the sensor because of concerns with digital artifacts (moire being one of them) but testing showed that they could manage to control these through adequate processing and that the overall outcome was in their opinion superior for the landscape applications they are targeting.

Besides, we all know that the specification of a piece of gear (price being one of them) is a key consideration in the purchasing decision of many people, sometimes regardless of the measured performance of the equipment (high end Audio is a wonderful example where high spec and high price do most of the selling). I believe that many MF shooters would not even have considered the 645D had it had an AA filter, again regardless of the actual performance. They had no choice anyway. :)

Regards,
Bernard
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Vivec

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #116 on: November 23, 2010, 08:31:47 PM »

The judgmental issue concerning the crops and how they display in the article is whether they provide a reasonably correct comparative picture of what we are describing in the text. Only the people who have seen the original images can make this determination with confidence. Sorry, but - inevitably- that's just how it is. We are of the view that we've provided valid comparative visual guidance with these images, and unless it can be proven otherwise, I'll leave the discussion of this tangent at that.

Thanks Mark for your clarification. This seems fair enough.

I hope you and Nick can get your hands on a S2 too and do a shootout between the three :-)
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Ray

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #117 on: November 23, 2010, 10:29:18 PM »

The Pentax representatives I had spoken with in March in Japan told me the same thing. They had first considered adding a AA filter to the sensor because of concerns with digital artifacts (moire being one of them) but testing showed that they could manage to control these through adequate processing and that the overall outcome was in their opinion superior for the landscape applications they are targeting.

Besides, we all know that the specification of a piece of gear (price being one of them) is a key consideration in the purchasing decision of many people, sometimes regardless of the measured performance of the equipment (high end Audio is a wonderful example where high spec and high price do most of the selling). I believe that many MF shooters would not even have considered the 645D had it had an AA filter, again regardless of the actual performance. They had no choice anyway. :)

Regards,
Bernard

This is very strange indeed, Bernard. If the cost of adding an AA filter is not a major issue, and manufacturers of MFDB equipment can adequately control the effects of aliasing in software, one wonders why manufacturers of top-end DSLRs cannot do the same.

Doesn't make sense to me, but of course I'm rational.

I would never buy anything on the basis that the high price alone indicated it was a superior product.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #118 on: November 23, 2010, 11:29:06 PM »

Hi,

I have looked at a lot of Leica S2 sample pictures on Lloyd Chambers DAP site. In many cases color moiré is quit obvious on those images. Stopping down to f/11 eliminates the problem by and large. On the other hand, the Leica lenses seem to be close to diffraction limited at f/5.6. The moiré effects are ugly at actual pixels but I don't know if they would be visible in prints. The kind of areas they show up are thin details with relatively high contrast, tree branches, straws of grass and so on.

As a comment on what Bernard says, AA-filtered images require significantly more sharpening than non filtered images. The recommendation is like 300-500% at very small radius. That kind of sharpening also affects noise, which we can reduce by applying capture sharpening with some edge masking.

This may be one of the small almost mythical effects that possibly give MF an appearance of better image quality.

  • Resolution (in terms of LP per picture height is higher)
  • More modulation is transferred for a small feature of give size because MTF is higher at lower frequencies
  • The image is smoother because less sharpening is needed

It may be that neither of the above factors is decisive but the combined advantages may turn into a significant improvement of perceived image quality.

Note also that none of the above factors is measured by DxO-mark! This may also explain why MFDBs perform so well at low ISO but far less optimally at high ISO. The sensor may be a bit more noisy than CMOS DSLR sensors on it's own. But, on DSLR we need to apply more excessive sharpening that amplifies noise. At higher ISOs the readout noise in CCDs may get obvious even with the small amount of sharpening needed MFDBs.

Best regards
Erik
The Pentax representatives I had spoken with in March in Japan told me the same thing. They had first considered adding a AA filter to the sensor because of concerns with digital artifacts (moire being one of them) but testing showed that they could manage to control these through adequate processing and that the overall outcome was in their opinion superior for the landscape applications they are targeting.

Besides, we all know that the specification of a piece of gear (price being one of them) is a key consideration in the purchasing decision of many people, sometimes regardless of the measured performance of the equipment (high end Audio is a wonderful example where high spec and high price do most of the selling). I believe that many MF shooters would not even have considered the 645D had it had an AA filter, again regardless of the actual performance. They had no choice anyway. :)

Regards,
Bernard

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Mini Medium Format Shootout
« Reply #119 on: November 23, 2010, 11:41:16 PM »

As a comment on what Bernard says, AA-filtered images require significantly more sharpening than non filtered images. The recommendation is like 300-500% at very small radius. That kind of sharpening also affects noise, which we can reduce by applying capture sharpening with some edge masking.

Indeed. This is why very low noise at base ISO is one important characteristics of DSLR sensors. It does affect the ability to sharpen and therefore the perceived resolution.

It should be clear by now that perceived resolution is affected both by the native lack of softness but also by the extend to which softness can be compensated by sharpening without introducing unwanted side effects.

Cheers,
Bernard
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