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Author Topic: Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising  (Read 120013 times)

cyberean

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« Reply #60 on: July 17, 2008, 10:26:12 am »

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... 2:3 and 4:3 in camera masks ...
actually, the d3's alternate mask is a 5:4, and not a 4:3.

though, i suspect, a 4:3 mask could also be implemented,
at Nikon's choosing.
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juicy

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« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2008, 07:21:32 pm »

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It's incredibly close.  So close that you have to look at the exif data to know the setting.

Maybe a 15% difference, but for most of  us that have used the Nikon 1000 iso looks better than the 200 iso.

This file has been messed with and obviously this is just a small jpeg with a lot of compression, but the original was smooth at 2000 iso.  So smooth we added grain/texture to it.

1600 iso on any medium format would have looked like a snow storm.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208890\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

D3 has a base iso 200. Thus if comparing the overall noisines and the scale of usable isos of for example P30+ @ iso 1600 to D3, then we should use iso 3200 on Nikon. Or in the case of backs with base iso 50 then we should compare iso 400 to iso 1600 on D3 (or P1 800 to D3 3200). Actually some of Thierry's posted examples of latest Sinars shot at 800 look remarkably clean.

Cheers,
J
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James R Russell

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« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2008, 08:07:58 pm »

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D3 has a base iso 200. Thus if comparing the overall noisines and the scale of usable isos of for example P30+ @ iso 1600 to D3, then we should use iso 3200 on Nikon. Or in the case of backs with base iso 50 then we should compare iso 400 to iso 1600 on D3 (or P1 800 to D3 3200). Actually some of Thierry's posted examples of latest Sinars shot at 800 look remarkably clean.

Cheers,
J
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209013\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Uh, ok . . . I guess.

If it's not possible to go 100 base to 800 (actually I find 800 with the P30+ to be on the very edge of the limit) then I'd be good with a 200 iso base medium format back.

Then again there are other things in play. first medium format lenses and cameras have more of a bellows factor than 35mm cameras (depending on lenses) and the lenses are usually 1 to 2 stops slower across the range, requiring, at least 1 more stop down to produce the same depth of filed.

Also when you compare high iso, it's usually not under well lit conditions.  An overexposed strobe image shot at 800 iso on a medium format back can look clean, though the real world use is usually a slightly down lit room, with continuous lighting, then the noise starts to show.

I don't expect a medium format back to be equal to dslr in speed or iso, but I would like to see more than we have now.

I can give a lot of editorial and commercial examples where a very clean 800 iso with continuous lights like hmi, or Kino's for fill is needed.

It seems every project we make the decisions on which camera system to bring along and for studio, lots of light, I'm good with my medium format backs, but for a project like retail or fashion editorial where the day will be long, the light is changing and you work to the last ounce of the day, you know you can get it done a lot easier with a camera that has higher iso.

Still, Nikon has found something in high iso.





JR
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 08:11:37 pm by James R Russell »
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juicy

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« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2008, 09:01:36 pm »

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Uh, ok . . . I guess.

If it's not possible to go 100 base to 800 (actually I find 800 with the P30+ to be on the very edge of the limit) then I'd be good with a 200 iso base medium format back.

Then again there are other things in play. first medium format lenses and cameras have more of a bellows factor than 35mm cameras (depending on lenses) and the lenses are usually 1 to 2 stops slower across the range, requiring, at least 1 more stop down to produce the same depth of filed.

Also when you compare high iso, it's usually not under well lit conditions.  An overexposed strobe image shot at 800 iso on a medium format back can look clean, though the real world use is usually a slightly down lit room, with continuous lighting, then the noise starts to show.

I don't expect a medium format back to be equal to dslr in speed or iso, but I would like to see more than we have now.



Still, Nikon has found something in high iso.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209021\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually I was referring more to the original question of having a huge range of isos vs what's realistically available today -> maximum usable iso compared to the base iso.

Photographing in low light is probably similar to climbing or some other serious sports, you run out of all the luck at once and not by degrees and of course it would be nice to freeze action with a long lense in a dark corner or under street lights. It may take a while before a "real" hi-iso back is introduced if ever since most of the backs do not have a variable iso, it's all done in raw conwersion software. Btw that's why it is possible to do an "iso upgrade" without changing hardware. But who knows, maybe even a real hi-iso back for people shooters happens some day.

There is some anticipation over the D3xyz-whatever. Interesting to see whether Nikon succeeds in incorporating any of the impressive hi-iso capabilities that you so nicely demonstrated of the D3 (compared to Ds2).

Cheers,
J
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gwhitf

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« Reply #64 on: July 17, 2008, 09:19:53 pm »

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Actually I was referring more to the original question of having a huge range of isos vs what's realistically available today -> maximum usable iso compared to the base iso. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209028\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I tested the Nikon D3 against the Canon 1ds3 today.

I guess it was not a fair test, because every new camera feels very foreign in your hands, the first time. The Nikon felt very heavy and very clunky to me, and the LCD felt very equal (not better) than the 1ds3. I should say that I'm not a zoomer-inner on the LCD, I never do that. So maybe I didn't take the Nikon LCD thru its full paces.

I forgot to shoot the D3 at ASA 1600, so my test was a dud. But I did shoot it at 6400. Tonight, I opened two files -- the 1ds3 at 1600, and the D3 at 6400, and the D3 was noisy at 6400 but not bad, and the Canon was shockingly good at 1600; far better than Mr Russell's example of the 1ds2.

I came home, felt sort of disappointed in the Nikon, and really, more than anything, still wished for a kickass MediumFormat mobile camera. I wish I could put a digital back on a Mamiya 7 body; that kind of feeling in your hands, but not a rangefinder. Really, I want a giant 1ds3, with a 4 inch LCD, and an even larger viewfinder to look through. It will never happen.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 09:25:13 pm by gwhitf »
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James R Russell

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« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2008, 12:48:11 am »

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« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 12:14:38 pm by James R Russell »
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John_Black

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« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2008, 01:45:43 am »

Having owned the 1Ds3 for 3 years and now using a 1Ds3 for about 4-5 months, yes, high ISO is notably improved on the 1Ds3.  Canon's DPP software and its noise control parameters do very good work.  I suspect a 1Ds3 file downsized to the same size as a Nikon D3 file would put up a very good fight.
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yaya

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« Reply #67 on: July 18, 2008, 02:09:31 am »

I find it interesting that we're comparing iso and noise on MF & 35mm and ignoring the actual output size.

a 90-95MB 800iso MF file scaled down to A4 (roughly the size of a D3 file) is going to look quite good as some/ most of the noise disappears with the lost pixels.

On the other hand, a native D3 file (35MB?) at 800iso, when scaled up to 90-95MB, is not going to look as good at that MF file at its native size...

Viewing files on screen at 100% only tells half the story...actually less than a half as we did not mention CMYK conversion, dot gain etc....


My 2¢

Yair
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gwhitf

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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2008, 10:15:44 am »

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Viewing files on screen at 100% only tells half the story...actually less than a half as we did not mention CMYK conversion, dot gain etc....

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209062\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mr. Shahar,

You are correct. I will rez-down the 1ds3 1600 file today and compare it, same size, to the D3 6400 file, and somehow try to post it.

But I don't want to get off-topic here. My main purpose in starting this thread was to send up a flare, to any manufacturers reading here, that's it's not just about the megapixels. It's about Business. And in my case, Business means showing the shot to the Art Director, (hopefully) without the cost and burden of being forced to employ a $1500 a day Digital Tech for each and every job. The quality, resolution, and overall feel of the in-camera LCD is vitally important, and the importance of this interaction between photographer and client will hopefully not be overlooked. The LCD plays a vital role in the comfort of the client. And when you've got a happy client, that means return business. And when you have return business, you have the confidence to drop $60k or so on a MF system.

A G5 and Eizo monitor should not be required in order to shoot a small job. I simply feel, as others have stated here, that several years have now gone by since the introduction of the MF digital back, and with the intro of the Hassie50 and the Phase60, all we've really added is more megapixels. Features are still lagging; workarounds and excuses are still prevalent. The great ship of MF is slowing down. So many of my friends (and myself included) want to shoot medium format, but the costs, and hassle factors, are simply sending them to Canon and Nikon. What a shame. Medium format just has a look and feel, and in the end, 35 is just 35, and so many people are still rooting for Medium Format to survive.
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snickgrr

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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2008, 10:46:51 am »

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Mr. Shahar,

You are correct. I will rez-down the 1ds3 1600 file today and compare it, same size, to the D3 6400 file, and somehow try to post it.

But I don't want to get off-topic here. My main purpose in starting this thread was to send up a flare, to any manufacturers reading here, that's it's not just about the megapixels. It's about Business. And in my case, Business means showing the shot to the Art Director, (hopefully) without the cost and burden of being forced to employ a $1500 a day Digital Tech for each and every job. The quality, resolution, and overall feel of the in-camera LCD is vitally important, and the importance of this interaction between photographer and client will hopefully not be overlooked. The LCD plays a vital role in the comfort of the client. And when you've got a happy client, that means return business. And when you have return business, you have the confidence to drop $60k or so on a MF system.

A G5 and Eizo monitor should not be required in order to shoot a small job. I simply feel, as others have stated here, that several years have now gone by since the introduction of the MF digital back, and with the intro of the Hassie50 and the Phase60, all we've really added is more megapixels. Features are still lagging; workarounds and excuses are still prevalent. The great ship of MF is slowing down. So many of my friends (and myself included) want to shoot medium format, but the costs, and hassle factors, are simply sending them to Canon and Nikon. What a shame. Medium format just has a look and feel, and in the end, 35 is just 35, and so many people are still rooting for Medium Format to survive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209123\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Beautifully spoken.
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James R Russell

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« Reply #70 on: July 18, 2008, 10:54:14 am »

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, and so many people are still rooting for Medium Format to survive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209123\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This would  be like funny, if this conversation was going on the old RG forums 3 or 4 years ago, but the non funny thing is this same exact conversation has been going on for 3 or 4 years.

JR
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 12:13:42 pm by James R Russell »
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gwhitf

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« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2008, 11:17:14 am »

Again, I have nothing against Techs, but let's stay on the topic of Money.

Take your investment in the MF camera, the back, the lenses, the computers, (the servers/RAIDs), and all the related $99 items that we all know that are necessary. Then don't forget to factor in the cost of being forced to use a Tech for however many shooting days you shoot per year. Multiple that number of days times $1500-1800 per day. And don't forget that some of those days will be on the road, so add to that the Tech's airfare, and then their hotel room, and then their per diem, (and their excess baggage charges).

Compare that to having a MF camera with a killer LCD that you could actually use, and show a client, (unlike the Leaf, Phase, Sinar, or pretty much anything out there right now). If you had that DB, you could train a number of freelance assistants in how you want your cards downloaded. If one of them was booked, you just call the next one. So now you're paying $300 or $400 per day for an assistant to simply take a CF card, stick it in a Reader, and download it to your 17" laptop, into a folder, and then hit "Sync" to the external drive that's velcroed to the lid of your 17". If they try to charge you extra for "being a Tech, since they're downloading", you simply cross them off the list and move on.

Run that math, and compare the annual numbers. And then add those Tech costs to the same Excel area as the MF DB investment, because in the current sorry state of LCDs, you can't have a DB without employing a Tech, if the job is of any size at all. And let's be honest, everyone no matter the budget is now spoiled to seeing every frame pop up. Even editorial.

Maybe if we speak Dollars And Cents, the manufacturers might understand for a change.

And if you can't give us an LCD, then give us an Output Port, to run a cable out of the DB and into some kind of Iphone, with a decent screen. Even that would be a massive improvement.

In the end, when there is $60k or so of investment, it does come down to Dollars and Cents, especially in this new economy.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 11:18:46 am by gwhitf »
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Jack Flesher

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« Reply #72 on: July 18, 2008, 11:24:55 am »

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I do really wonder who will buy a 50/60 mpx backs.  I think maybe it's the person that equates those numbers to format size, like 35mm to 8x10, not knowing that at some point you just aren't going to see a difference in print, (any print) and unlike moving from 35mm to 8x10 the look of the image doesn't change that much because for the most part were still just shooting to the two smallest frame sizes available in professional photography.
JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209141\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

James, if you seriously think that between 35 digital and MF digital "the look of the image doesn't change that much" then you need to shoot something besides your P30+...

Don't get me wrong, the P30+ is an excellent back, especially for what it excels at -- speed and ISO -- but the P30+ does render more softly and a bit less DR than backs without micro-lenses...  Compare ISO 100 or 200 files from a 1Ds3 to any past generation 22MP digital file -- P25, Leaf 22 or Mamiya ZD -- and the difference is night and day; at least as much as the difference between 35mm film and 4x5 film...  (And yes I know this last comment will piss off a few 1Ds3 owners, but it's a fact...)

I think the issue is most photographers have forgotten how bad 35mm film was compared to full-frame digital.  Personally I think 35mm digital pushes MF film and MF digital pushes 4x5 film -- and yes, some of the latest P&S digicams push the best 35mm film cameras of 5 years ago... (And yes, I know this last comment will piss off a few 35mm film shooters, but it's also a fact...)

Cheers,
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 12:42:13 pm by Jack Flesher »
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James R Russell

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« Reply #73 on: July 18, 2008, 11:42:37 am »

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« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 12:12:57 pm by James R Russell »
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James R Russell

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« Reply #74 on: July 18, 2008, 12:12:18 pm »

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James, if you seriously think that between 35 digital and MF digital "the look of the image doesn't change that much" then you need to shoot something besides your P30+...

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209148\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thank you Jack, your right and I just sold my wife's Infiniti, rented out my NY space  to a Rock Band  and put a new P65 plus on order.  In fact I'm so concerned I thought I just buy two, because I don't want the quality of my work to drop off.

Man am I glad I dodged that bullet.

Much appreciated.

JR
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Jack Flesher

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« Reply #75 on: July 18, 2008, 12:39:47 pm »

And you know me well enough -- or at should by now -- to know that's not what I meant James...  I would rather own a P30+ than a pair of 1Ds3's 8 days a week.  In fact, I would love to find a good deal on a used P30+ just for it's advantages.  My only point was your comment -- so let's come back to it:

"...not knowing that at some point you just aren't going to see a difference in print, (any print) and unlike moving from 35mm to 8x10 the look of the image doesn't change that much because for the most part were still just shooting to the two smallest frame sizes available in professional photography."

So answer me this: IF you seriously believe what you stated in that quote, then why aren't you shooting a 1Ds3 instead of your P30+?

Cheers,
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 01:04:17 pm by Jack Flesher »
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BJL

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« Reply #76 on: July 18, 2008, 12:44:08 pm »

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* About 28-30 megapixels. That's all we need. Seriously. We're throwing away most of the data already, even from the Canon or the P21, when it comes time to size for repro size. Make a big sensor well, or whatever it's called, to reduce noise or diffraction, but only give us 28-30mp. Anything else will get thrown away.
* Full frame 645. Yes, full frame, like the P65, but only 28-30 megapixels. No cardboard masks, no hyped-up reduced finders. Just full-frame 645.
* ASA ranges from 25-1600.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208633\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
On-sensor binning/downsampling might give 645 format, 30MP, decent ISO 1600 from the new Dalsa-Phase One sensor, but how about this as a variant:

Update the lens systems (focal length choices) and viewfinders to match the 44x33mm format of the smallest current MF sensors. (I would dare to call this "Full Frame" as opposed to being a "crop format" once the lens choices and viewfinders fit the sensor size, if I am right that good control of FOV, perspective, DOF and such and a good VF are the main virtues associated with "Full Frame".)

Current sensors in that 44x33mm format already give the desired pixel count and will give about 40MP with the new generation of 6 micron pixels, and with micro-lenses, could be able to get to at least fairly good ISO 1600; especially with downsampling from the 40MP option of the new lower noise photosite designs.


For ISO 25, add ND filters.
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ruraltrekker

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« Reply #77 on: July 18, 2008, 12:51:44 pm »

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So now you're paying $300 or $400 per day for an assistant to simply take a CF card, stick it in a Reader, and download it to your 17" laptop, into a folder, and then hit "Sync" to the external drive that's velcroed to the lid of your 17". If they try to charge you extra for "being a Tech, since they're downloading", you simply cross them off the list and move on.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209146\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree with that. The process you describe is no different than keeping the 120 rolls labeled correctly & insync with the film notes sheets of yesteryear. Probably the most important aspect of an assistant's job on my shoots. The basic handling of the laptop & CF cards to me is an expected part of the skills of a photo assistant and definitely doesn't elevate them to a "tech". Hell my 14 year could handle the job without blinking.

Great topic GWHITF. Thanks for starting it.

Ken
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ruraltrekker

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« Reply #78 on: July 18, 2008, 12:56:52 pm »

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I would rather own a P30+ than a pair of 1Ds3's 8 days a week.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209173\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well I wouldn't. Not for a location advertising shoot. And that is the point of this topic. Right now if the 1Ds III is suitable for shooting the job (in in most of my cases it is more than) then I am not going to add the pain as the current MF systems do. Though the Canon does have a few short comings, some of which can be overcome in one way or another, the system allows me to concentrate on the important part: the images that need to be made.

Ken
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gwhitf

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« Reply #79 on: July 18, 2008, 01:01:55 pm »

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Current sensors in that 44x33mm format already give the desired pixel count and will give about 40MP with the new generation of 6 micron pixels, and with micro-lenses, could be able to get to at least fairly good ISO 1600; especially with downsampling from the 40MP option of the new lower noise photosite designs.
For ISO 25, add ND filters.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209175\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This smells like a perfect application for Mr. Russell's side business of manufacturing stickers. If you call it "full frame" then it is full frame, right? I'm sure Mr. Tech Talk will rally behind Hasselblad's logic of doing that.

All Mr. Russell needs to do is measure the size of the P30 cropped sensor, and then make a sticker and call it "Full Frame 540", instead of "cropped 645", and the marketing guys at Hasselblad will follow suit.

And then make another sticker that says "1600" even though to get to 1600 you've got to move that Exposure slider bar up a couple of notches.

It's all about how you set it up inside your mind. Just add the word "hybrid" to your car, even though it's a Chevy Suburban, and all of a sudden, you can hold your head high in the supermarket parking lot.
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