Luminous Landscape Forum

Site & Board Matters => Rantatorials => Topic started by: dwswager on February 16, 2015, 11:15:30 am

Title: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: dwswager on February 16, 2015, 11:15:30 am
With Respect to the Rantatorial They Just Donít Get It (http://luminous-landscape.com/rantatorial/they-just-dont-get-it/):

Even allowing for the fact that there are 2 different types of photographers, those that need the best image they can get out of the camera immediately and those that need the best image data for later post processing, it is frustrating that camera companies can't understand that the best way to differentiate their products is by making them more usable.

I'm at least happy that my Nikon D810 has 3 of the 4 function mentioned covered; missing the digital based exposure metering.   The Highlight Weighted metering is a nice start, now all they need to do is have a way to tell the camera to set the exposure to that point, instead of just using it as a limiting function.

Oh, and both the D810 and D7100 allow manual mode when using Auto ISO.  In fact, as long as there is not a significant risk of overexposure, I typically use Manual mode with auto ISO to shoot sports.  If, in bright conditions, I might be at the bottom limit of the ISO range, especially with the D7100 bottoming out at ISO 100, I will switch to shutter or aperture priority.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Iluvmycam on February 16, 2015, 01:48:06 pm
With Respect to the Rantatorial They Just Donít Get It (http://luminous-landscape.com/rantatorial/they-just-dont-get-it/):

Even allowing for the fact that there are 2 different types of photographers, those that need the best image they can get out of the camera immediately and those that need the best image data for later post processing, it is frustrating that camera companies can't understand that the best way to differentiate their products is by making them more usable.

I'm at least happy that my Nikon D810 has 3 of the 4 function mentioned covered; missing the digital based exposure metering.   The Highlight Weighted metering is a nice start, now all they need to do is have a way to tell the camera to set the exposure to that point, instead of just using it as a limiting function.

Oh, and both the D810 and D7100 allow manual mode when using Auto ISO.  In fact, as long as there is not a significant risk of overexposure, I typically use Manual mode with auto ISO to shoot sports.  If, in bright conditions, I might be at the bottom limit of the ISO range, especially with the D7100 bottoming out at ISO 100, I will switch to shutter or aperture priority.

It was a sad day they invented the program dial to replace the shutter speed dial and Fuji invented focus by wire. These 2 terrible inventions came from camera fondling engineers that are not high level documentary photogs. The most that should have been done was an A setting for shutter speed and an A setting for aperture. 

The trend is to dummy down lens and cams by removing manual controls. That is what you get when you have camera fondlers running things.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Mike D. B. on February 16, 2015, 02:04:50 pm
It was a sad day they invented the program dial to replace the shutter speed dial and Fuji invented focus by wire.
I completely agree.  Focus by wire is absolutely horrible!  I don't know if it's cheaper to produce than proper cam/gear focusing or it was done simply done to introduce change.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: jjj on February 16, 2015, 02:28:22 pm
It was a sad day they invented the program dial to replace the shutter speed dial and Fuji invented focus by wire. These 2 terrible inventions came from camera fondling engineers that are not high level documentary photogs. The most that should have been done was an A setting for shutter speed and an A setting for aperture. 
Are you talking about shutter speed dials like Fuji has resurrected on the XT-1? If so I hated them, unergonomic and clunky and was one of the reasons I bought Olympus OM cameras as they had shutter dial around lens mount instead, a far more ergonomic location. They above all other makes seemed to have designers who were actually photographers. The retro shutter dial on the Fuji mars an otherwise excellent camera design.

Quote
The trend is to dummy down lens and cams by removing manual controls. That is what you get when you have camera fondlers running things.
The only cameras that I ever see that are missing manual controls are aimed at people who do not want such things.  :-\
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: vartkes on February 16, 2015, 04:24:48 pm
A very well thought out and communicated article. Absolutely, the arrogance of Canon (I am enslaved by Canon L lenses I own) and Nikon is unbelievable. I am hoping and praying that soon Fuji or Olympus will hear you Michael and come through with some of these implementations that will turn the market leaders on their heads. By them I will be ready to trade in the Canon door-stops and buy the lighter and more capable gear.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Telecaster on February 16, 2015, 04:41:40 pm
I completely agree.  Focus by wire is absolutely horrible!  I don't know if it's cheaper to produce than proper cam/gear focusing or it was done simply done to introduce change.

Replacing mechanical stuff with electronic stuff usually involves saving money. But it can improve reliability and/or longevity too. Focus-by-wire doesn't bother me so long as it doesn't have an absurdly long or short focus throw.

Re. metering: with any mirrorless system I should be able to choose an "ETTR" option and then entirely forget about metering. Cameras should be smart enough by now to get it right first try. Can't figure out the difference between unnecessary (specular) & important highlight data? Create better evaluative algorithms. In fact I'm not sure there should need to be any metering options other than a dial assigned to exposure compensation. In all auto modes (Program, Av, Tv, "manual" with Auto-ISO, etc.) everything should be ETTR'd. Let the camera derive nice JPEGs and motion frames from optimal data. And when you need/want to take full control you can use full manual mode.

-Dave-
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: dwswager on February 16, 2015, 09:08:23 pm
Replacing mechanical stuff with electronic stuff usually involves saving money. But it can improve reliability and/or longevity too. Focus-by-wire doesn't bother me so long as it doesn't have an absurdly long or short focus throw.

And now that absolutely everything on a modern DSLR is set electronically, why can't we save the complete state of the camera for later recall?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: bokehcambodia on February 17, 2015, 12:44:02 am
 ??? d'oh to nearly all manufacturers;
They must be thinking the majority of buyers are either beginners or clueless enthusiasts... even pro DSLRs lack these features for over a decade;
Someday there will be a camera that get's it right  ::)
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: jjj on February 17, 2015, 08:57:37 am
Re. metering: with any mirrorless system I should be able to choose an "ETTR" option and then entirely forget about metering. Cameras should be smart enough by now to get it right first try. Can't figure out the difference between unnecessary (specular) & important highlight data? Create better evaluative algorithms. In fact I'm not sure there should need to be any metering options other than a dial assigned to exposure compensation. In all auto modes (Program, Av, Tv, "manual" with Auto-ISO, etc.) everything should be ETTR'd. Let the camera derive nice JPEGs and motion frames from optimal data. And when you need/want to take full control you can use full manual mode.
Not everyone is beholden to ETTR metering. It's just one method of exposing an image, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer. Most people have never even heard of it. It's known by some on LuLa as basically this is where the concept originated, but eleswhere......
"Correct' exposure is whatever gets the results you require. Requirements vary.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: NancyP on February 17, 2015, 10:27:01 am
I just decided that the Rantatorial is a fine addition.

I will enter a related rant: There should be an option for showing the RAW histogram, not just the jpg histogram. This is a variant on the "Zebras for RAW" Rant.

I agree about the boneheadedness of not allowing AutoISO on manual setting.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: smthopr on February 17, 2015, 12:57:51 pm
regarding the digital camera metering rant...

I'm thinking here that the issue might be in the way that RAW images are processed in DSLR cameras.

I use movie cameras for my day job.  When we record RAW or (sometimes) LOG images, the recorded data remains the same always, but the ISO setting is saved to meta data for RAW processing later. (in LOG mode, changing the ISO, and thus exposure, moves the image up and down the scale).

What that means in practice is that shooting a low ISO image essentially exposes to the right, and a high ISO exposes to the left, if you will.  But the live monitor image is adjusted to show the metered (intended effect) exposure.  It also means that highlight DR is reduced at low ISO and shadow DR is increased.  The opposite is true at high ISO settings.

If this were the approach taken in a DSLR still camera, metering can be left as it is, allowing for fully adjusted JPEG and live view (or review). Changing the ISO setting would be how one would ETTR, knowing that there will be less highlight protection the lower the ISO setting, but maximum image quality (providing you don't clip wanted highlights!)

If the camera had the feature of showing clipping in the viewfinder for each color, it would be easy to maximize quality by changing the ISO setting only.  No special ETTR metering required.  For example, the RED cameras have a "traffic light" in the view finder showing RGB.  When the "R" light goes on, you know you're clipping the red channel and so forth.

As it is now, from what I can see using my Canon 5D, is that analog gain is applied to the sensor data as the ISO is increased, before recording the RAW image.  Maybe there is some noise processing advantage to this, I don't know. This is what makes it necessary to think about exposing to the right.  But Arriflex and Red certainly don't do this :)
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: rdonson on February 22, 2015, 01:57:12 pm
As long as there's a pile on for rants going let me add mine.

My Fuji X-T1 is a camera that I really enjoy and it works well for me.  I would, however, love to be able to store all the settings or even multiple versions of setting to a file on the SD card.  I just recently set up a second X-T1 and it was tedious to go through each setting and get it to my preferred state.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on February 24, 2015, 03:37:15 am
Not everyone is beholden to ETTR metering. It's just one method of exposing an image, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer. Most people have never even heard of it. It's known by some on LuLa as basically this is where the concept originated, but eleswhere......
"Correct' exposure is whatever gets the results you require. Requirements vary.


I fully agree. ETTR metering technique was something that was more required say 5 or 10 years ago, when the exposure latitude of the sensors was more limited than it is today. Today, with the capabilities of modern sensors and metering algorithms, the chances of ruining a shot due to a poor decision by the exposure algorithm are much reduced. Even my lowly Canon 6D, that is reportedly a "crap DR camera", gets it right time after time. And when it blows the highlights, normally around 1 stop or so, it is because I was in a hurry, but I can salvage the shot later, easily.

Sure, ETTR would be a good option to have, but lets not blow it out of proportion...
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Herindur on February 24, 2015, 12:33:19 pm
Not everyone is beholden to ETTR metering. It's just one method of exposing an image, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer. Most people have never even heard of it. It's known by some on LuLa as basically this is where the concept originated, but eleswhere......
"Correct' exposure is whatever gets the results you require. Requirements vary.
Not everyone using something is a poor argument for not including something these days, IMO. Modern cameras are technical marvels; I find it extremely hard to imagine any system camera in the market that does not deliver superb IQ, suitable for most purposes, bar those of technicians and artists with very specific demands. The selling point of anything are it's features. For cameras the major points like IQ, lenses, etc. seems mostly covered already by CaNikon, and the smaller producers are getting there. Crop/FF/DR/bla bla bla - there's really nothing that's "bad" anymore, just different levels of very good to fantastic. So, why should one choose one camera over the other?

If the major points are covered, the features that truly matter become the things a small yet significant amount of people need. ETTR is likely one of those things. Not barring people from using certain auto-functions in manual mode is another. And what about assigning functions to all buttons? Mostly, it's a matter of and firmware, maybe a slight upgrade of processing and wiring too. Adding such things won't cost a lot, but might inspire people to buy or upgrade to your new thing. So why should they not do this?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: jjj on March 02, 2015, 04:35:55 pm
Not everyone using something is a poor argument for not including something these days, IMO. Modern cameras are technical marvels; I find it extremely hard to imagine any system camera in the market that does not deliver superb IQ, suitable for most purposes, bar those of technicians and artists with very specific demands. The selling point of anything are it's features. For cameras the major points like IQ, lenses, etc. seems mostly covered already by CaNikon, and the smaller producers are getting there. Crop/FF/DR/bla bla bla - there's really nothing that's "bad" anymore, just different levels of very good to fantastic. So, why should one choose one camera over the other?

If the major points are covered, the features that truly matter become the things a small yet significant amount of people need. ETTR is likely one of those things. Not barring people from using certain auto-functions in manual mode is another. And what about assigning functions to all buttons? Mostly, it's a matter of and firmware, maybe a slight upgrade of processing and wiring too. Adding such things won't cost a lot, but might inspire people to buy or upgrade to your new thing. So why should they not do this?
Use the term ETTR outside of LuLa and expect to get confused responses/blank looks. I doubt very much it comes anywhere close to being a significant number of people needing this feature. I have no problem with cameras having it or anything, I'm simply doubting the demand for it.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: digitaldog on March 02, 2015, 04:46:56 pm
Not everyone is beholden to ETTR metering.
True, some are more relaxed about producing optimal exposures for whatever they are shooting. Heck, even in the film days, just push it in development a couple stops. No big deal right?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: digitaldog on March 02, 2015, 04:49:05 pm
Today, with the capabilities of modern sensors and metering algorithms, the chances of ruining a shot due to a poor decision by the exposure algorithm are much reduced.
And the chances of improving the image quality by making the right decisions on optimal exposure?

There is of course 'good enough' for exposure or anything else technically related to image capture and output that affects the data and thus quality.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: AllMankind on March 04, 2015, 04:01:11 am
One of the worst things I have ever seen, other than focus by wire, is the removal of the aperture ring on the lens.  I suspect, that at least part of the reason for this, is to limit the usefullness of the lenses to the manufacturers bodies.

The other thing I dislike is the limits manufacturers place into their firmware, thereby limiting the usefullness of the camera and handicapping (or at least irritating) the photographer.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: rdonson on March 04, 2015, 12:42:00 pm
One of the worst things I have ever seen, other than focus by wire, is the removal of the aperture ring on the lens.  I suspect, that at least part of the reason for this, is to limit the usefullness of the lenses to the manufacturers bodies.

The other thing I dislike is the limits manufacturers place into their firmware, thereby limiting the usefullness of the camera and handicapping (or at least irritating) the photographer.

Bold statements.  Perhaps you'd like to expand on your rants.

- how does the lack of an aperture ring limit the usefulness of the lenses on the manufacturers bodies?
- how do manufacturers limit you through their firmware and thereby irritate you?

You are aware that there are some manufacturers like Fuji that have aperture and focus rings on their lenses, right?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: NancyP on March 05, 2015, 07:03:27 pm
I found the concept of ETTR in a digital photography textbook circa 2008. It was in the section explaining ADC conversion.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: AllMankind on March 08, 2015, 05:07:08 am
Bold statements.  Perhaps you'd like to expand on your rants.

- how does the lack of an aperture ring limit the usefulness of the lenses on the manufacturers bodies?

You misunderstood.  I was saying that the lack of an aperture ring limits full function of the lens to the body of the manufacturer.  You lose all aperture control on other cameras, such as mirrorless bodies.  At best aperture control becomes very hit and miss on a mirrorless body.


Quote
- how do manufacturers limit you through their firmware and thereby irritate you?

You are aware that there are some manufacturers like Fuji that have aperture and focus rings on their lenses, right?

While I do like Fuji lenses, I would not buy a Fuji camera as they do not interest me at all.

That said, an example of firmware limits would be customizable function buttons that can only be assigned a subset of the available functions as determined by the manufacturer.  Why not allow ALL available functions be assignable?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: telyt on March 08, 2015, 03:01:32 pm
You misunderstood.  I was saying that the lack of an aperture ring limits full function of the lens to the body of the manufacturer.  You lose all aperture control on other cameras, such as mirrorless bodies.  At best aperture control becomes very hit and miss on a mirrorless body.

Adapters are available to use Canon and Nikon G lenses on mirrorless cameras with full aperture control.  That noted, I prefer aperture rings on the lens, ideally with a mechanical linkage.  It's the electronic linkage, not  the location of the aperture ring, that limits usefulness when adapted to other-maker cameras.
Title: Lets photograph like it's 1995
Post by: dreed on March 08, 2015, 08:20:22 pm
I don't think this Rantatorial goes far enough. Michael has criticised various camera manufacturers for producing cameras with usability issues (menu systems included) with remarks along the lines of "Do the people that design and manufacture these cameras actually try to use them?"

If I look at the two leading brands of cameras then their advancements in the last 5 to 10 years can be summarised as:
- more megapixels
- more autofocus points
- more frames per second

The single interesting development during that time has been "live view" and being able to focus almost anywhere inside the image. Otherwise, the way the camera is used and operates is almost exactly the same as 1995! PASM up top. A few custom modes. Nothing that didn't exist before. Focus on a subject, compose and shoot. Almost exactly what we do today except that "immediate review" is available. This makes me think that whilst the people that design the software that runs on your camera have actually been made to use it (and thus have started to show they understand what it takes to make a camera useable), they display a very poor grasp of how and where technology and digital cameras can intersect. Apart from replacing film with electronic sensors, that is. Is it too much to ask that they actually go out and shoot complex scenes so that they understand problems faced by landscape shooters?

For example, what ever happened to "A-DEP" (DEP)? (http://luminous-landscape.com/dep/) How/why would this be important you ask?

It complex scenes and especially those with subject matter close (< 10m) to the camera, it can be a challenge to get everything in focus if you're not wide or ultra wide with the lens. With touch screen cameras what I should be able to do is push a button to start focus point selection on the screen at the back, use my fingers to select (and zoom if required) areas in the image for the camera to focus on, push a button to tell the camera that I'm finished and then let it work out what the required depth of field is.

Why don't I use the depth of field displays on lenses? Because they're useless. The scale is so compressed  that it is almost impossible to use (hint: this is why cinema lenses have comparatively huge throws for focus.) Do you think you know where the true infinity point is for any zoom lens at all focal lengths just by looking at the markings on it? Think again. If the distance to the point in focus is known, why not show it on the live view screen? And/or record it in EXIF and make it available on in-camera image review? None of these type of advances have been made. We're still expected to use a lens with its distance/focus scale like it is 1995. Enough of that already!

To go even further, why can't I just select a mode where the camera chooses an f-stop that gets everything in focus, regardless of aperture? Yes, that would make it work just like a P&S or phone camera that have almost no depth of field, but for a lot of landscape photography, depth of field relates more often to how high the grass is than it does subject isolation. Why don't I just use a P&S then? I've paid $2000 for my DSLR, likely 10 times as much as a P&S: don't tell me that the more expensive model can't do something that the cheaper one can. And yes, this is something that we couldn't do in 1995 and just because we couldn't do it with DSLRs in 1995 doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to do it now.

A critical part of both of these is that "minimum aperture" is no longer an answer due to diffraction and circle of confusion at the pixel level.

To further expand upon the "Lets get rid of 18% grey", the AEB modes should all work around that but be more programmable. When working at the right edge of the histogram, the selection of frames that I might might be ETTR+0, ETTR+1/3, ETTR-1/3, ETTR-2/3 and ETTR-1 (just in case there are highlights of desire.)

And on the subject of programmable, why can't we load in LUA scripts to our cameras that allow us to run "photographic programs" that might do advanced metering (see above ETTR list), allow entering in the number of seconds for bulb, etc. Yes, making cameras able to run LUA scripts or similar would totally bring them out of the 1990s and into the 2010s.

Until then, we're forced to use 3rd parties like Magic Lantern to the extent possible with each camera to make up for the short comings of the camera manufacturers.

If camera manufacturers are wondering what do do about smart phones eating their sales then the answer is easy: put a slot in your camera for a nano-SIM and let me use the touch screen on the back as a keyboard. Just like a smart phone. Then I can program the camera with  details for web sites such as flickr, instagram, facebook, etc, so that when I chimp I can upload to social media at the same time. Maybe to a predetermined album, maybe something else. Don't make me carry around a smart phone and use WiFi or NFC from the camera to the phone - that just makes the task more complex by involving two different pieces of technology that are likely from two different manufacturers that have nothing in common and probably care little about making the other work well.

What about "weather sealing body designs" that are compromised by needing antennae? Tell that to the sub-25 year old market that whip out a smart phone in the rain with a single wipe before they snap or their friend that has the small inexpensive crop mode DSLR that they expect to work in the same environment (it doesn't go in a bag as they walk around.) If that DSLR failed because of the light rain then I'm pretty sure their backup up "camera" would be the smart phone "in the other pocket" that similarly doesn't care about getting rained on and a DSLR that will likely not only not be used but a camera type that will also be ignored in the future ("it only rained a little and my camera stopped working but my friend's phone was fine so now I don't use them any more 'cause it is a waste of money.")

And one final bit to add to my rant about what camera manufacturers don't get: how to use the lens's focal length. Putting it in EXIF is nice, but on a zoom lens, it is also very handy to know what it is "NOW", not when you're doing post. That way it makes it easy for me to check what it is and make a note of it so that if the camera/lens gets bumped and the zoom setting changed, I can easily put it back to what it was. Put it in the live view information and at the very least also the information included about an image on review. The camera won't tell us what the lens is zoomed at, despite it knowing (how else does it get put in EXIF.) Again, the way cameras work with zoom lenses, it is like we're still in 1995.
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: telyt on March 08, 2015, 10:06:27 pm
I'm OK with shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focus over the entire picture area, DOF scales, and gray matter.  This is what camera makers don't "get".
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: hjulenissen on March 09, 2015, 03:21:45 am
Not everyone is beholden to ETTR metering. It's just one method of exposing an image, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer. Most people have never even heard of it. It's known by some on LuLa as basically this is where the concept originated, but eleswhere......
"Correct' exposure is whatever gets the results you require. Requirements vary.
Not everyone prefer to focus accurately on their subject. That is just one way to do focus, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer. Actually, you can focus 30mm in front of your subject, 50cm behind it or a number of other spots, often without people really noticing (requirements vary). The physics of PDAF accuracy is poorly understood outside of a small group of camera enthusiasts, thus there is no reason for camera manufacturers to improve focusing accuracy.

-h
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: digitaldog on March 09, 2015, 10:52:21 am
Not everyone prefer to focus accurately on their subject.
Perfect! Who needs optimal sharpness when pretty sharp is good enough for (fill in the blank)?
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on March 09, 2015, 11:44:10 am
Not everyone prefer to focus accurately on their subject. That is just one way to do focus, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer.
And, while we're at it, how about this:

Not everyone prefers to aim their camera at interesting subjects. That is just one way to aim the camera, not the best way, simply one that a few people prefer.   ;)
Title: Re: They Just Donít Get It
Post by: Alan Klein on March 09, 2015, 12:33:22 pm
Is there any product in the world that can't use improvement?  I wish there was some things about me that God made differently.

Maybe like us, we just have to work around the limitations.  It gives us something to do.