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Snake oil in photography

r042wal

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My only suggestion is to take a look at the interview in case the way I described his comparison was not worded properly. I see for example after a little digging, smaller pixels have more noise but I think the point Andreas was making in his interview was that more processing was required for higher megapixel cameras because the smaller pixels have more noise. I think I said the processing created noise which would be incorrect in hindsight. It's not my area of expertise so take a look at the interview.
 

r042wal

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I went back and listened to the interview again to make sure I had the accuracy down correctly. Andreas Koch used the following examples.

A 6 megapixel camera required no post processing processing. The signel to noise ratio was enough so it could be processed right away. The smaller the pixels became, the lower the signal to noise ratio got and the higher the noise. In a 25 megapixel camera, the smaller you reduced the pixel, the more the signal decreased. In a 25 megapixel camera, more post processing is required.

Then Andrea goes on to compare with DSD. He says the noise is always there and if you start with DSD64 the signal to noise ratio is high but if you go to DSD128, the signal to noise ratio starts to come down. By the time you get to DSD256, the signal is so close to the noise floor some serious processing is required to extract the signal out of the noise floor.

w ww.youtube.com/watch?v=pSc2ibXy0y0&list=PLhLUXQPaF2U7vRKL_H8KW1Tm8WNQ0qUl4&index=1
 

Roland68

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Another which sounds profoundly like HIFI sellers "this lens has creamy bokeh".
Bokeh as myth or snake oil?
Here you can test how it works, or trust your eyes...
http://www.bokeh-masters.com/?lang=en

The Zeiss Otus at number 1 in the ranking is a heavy and solid manual lens. It should also be difficult to find something similar in terms of imaging performance.
 

JeffS7444

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Traditionally Leica have made exceptionally high quality cameras - arguably the best ever ...
Based on what metrics? ;) IME, you can certainly take good photos with the things, but first and foremost, today's Leica is a luxury brand, and in fact, they were once part of LVMH. There is nothing wrong with offering products calculated to stir the emotions, but viewed purely as photographic tools, you have a number of alternatives. Since at least the 1980s, Leica has sometimes relied on outside contractors for their products. Contractors including Tamron, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Eumig, Minolta, and no doubt others.
 
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Gorgonzola

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Based on what metrics? ;) IME, you can certainly take good photos with the things, but first and foremost, today's Leica is a luxury brand, and in fact, they were once part of LVMH. There is nothing wrong with offering products calculated to stir the emotions, but viewed purely as photographic tools, you have a number of alternatives. Since at least the 1980s, Leica has sometimes relied on outside contractors for their products. Contractors including Tamron, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Eumig, Minolta, and no doubt others.
I briefly owned a Leica M4 circa 1968. It was mid-run two-stroke model as I recall; it had the rigid Summicron f/2 50mm lens. Simply put it was the finest built and finished piece of hardware that I've ever owned. I needed an SLR however, so sold it in favor of a Nikon F.

I payed $350 for it used; if in as good condition today as it was then, you would likely pay about $2000 -- basically virtually not loss of value.

pt-LeicaM3-01.jpg

... stock picture.
 
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Rednaxela

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Great pictures happen outside of the camera.

The suggestion that in this day and age there is anything inside the camera that truly makes a difference is the snake oil.
 

tonycollinet

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Great pictures happen outside of the camera.

The suggestion that in this day and age there is anything inside the camera that truly makes a difference is the snake oil.
Well that also is bunkum. Yes great pictures are *visualised* outside the camera. But if the camera has not the technical capability to realise that image, and with sufficient quality, it will never happen.
 

Rednaxela

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Well that also is bunkum. Yes great pictures are *visualised* outside the camera. But if the camera has not the technical capability to realise that image, and with sufficient quality, it will never happen.
Any camera you can buy today will have that technical capability and will be of sufficient quality.

If not you’re either a niche photographer or a gear head.
 

tonycollinet

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Try and get very shallow depth of field at portrait differences using a compact camera or very small sensor camera.

Try getting a good wildlife shot of a bird with a camera that can't take a good long lens, or one of a bird in flight that doens't also have fast and capable auto focus.

You can call these niche applications if you like, but if you do, there are more niche applications than non niche.

Of course - if your vision is to take simple social pictures of one or a few people standing relatively still in good lighting - then any old phone will cope.
 

Keith_W

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Try and get very shallow depth of field at portrait differences using a compact camera or very small sensor camera.

Try getting a good wildlife shot of a bird with a camera that can't take a good long lens, or one of a bird in flight that doens't also have fast and capable auto focus.

You can call these niche applications if you like, but if you do, there are more niche applications than non niche.

Of course - if your vision is to take simple social pictures of one or a few people standing relatively still in good lighting - then any old phone will cope.

Exactly. Not to mention the dynamic range and richness of colours you get with a larger sensor. Most people I know take their holiday snaps with their phones. When I show them my holiday snaps they are blown away and now they want to get a "real" camera.
 

Rednaxela

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When I show them my holiday snaps they are blown away and now they want to get a "real" camera.
Next holiday they’re gonna show you the same snaps as before, just with more dynamic range and richer colors.
 

Rednaxela

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Try and get very shallow depth of field at portrait differences using a compact camera or very small sensor camera.

Try getting a good wildlife shot of a bird with a camera that can't take a good long lens, or one of a bird in flight that doens't also have fast and capable auto focus.
Of course.

However a beautiful portrait is also beautiful with less shallow a depth of field. Unless you maybe had to blur your background away, which would get us back to my point about things happening outside vs. inside the camera.

The need for shallow DOF could also be informed by an artistic vision, but in that case it certainly is a very specific requirement.

You can call these niche applications if you like, but if you do, there are more niche applications than non niche.
This is an interesting thought. Will think about it some more. At this point though I think most of today’s photography is not essentially improved by shooting it with more advanced gear.
 

Roland68

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Great pictures happen outside of the camera.

The suggestion that in this day and age there is anything inside the camera that truly makes a difference is the snake oil.
I do not think so.
The now incredibly good mechanical stabilization (IS) of the sensors and above all the combination of sensor and lens IS make it possible to take sharp, free-hand pictures that would otherwise not be possible.
I find 1/25s freehand with a 600mm lens impressive and the reason why I shoot a lot with Olympus.
With normal focal lengths, I often don't have to set up a tripod in the evening or at night, because even 1/2s still delivers sharp images. Of course, this only works for non-moving objects.
 
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Offler

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Of course.

However a beautiful portrait is also beautiful with less shallow a depth of field. Unless you maybe had to blur your background away, which would get us back to my point about things happening outside vs. inside the camera.

The need for shallow DOF could also be informed by an artistic vision, but in that case it certainly is a very specific requirement.


This is an interesting thought. Will think about it some more. At this point though I think most of today’s photography is not essentially improved by shooting it with more advanced gear.
I have been advocating film photography for quite a long time. That included FullFrame format too, as I own few vintage lenses by Zeiss.

In 2015 I decided to give another try to a digital photography, while after owning heavy set of vintage film gear, I was looking for compact system with replaceable lenses. I was skeptical about every single digital system at that point, be it Fullframe or other. I gave a chance to OM-D E-M10.

To my surprise the photos were not just "good enough" but actually good, and traces of digitalization or heavy burden or full frame systems were not with the camera.

Then I upgraded to E-M5 Mark III and it was exactly as you said - more dynamic range and richer colors. For most of the time I was doing "reporter style" photography. Quick shots, little to no postprocessing, quite recently about a year ago I started to do portrait photography, mainly cosplayers and people who play LARPs. It isnt exactly a beauty photography for a beauty magazine, but its similar enough to learn editing practices.

I definitely improved my photography by getting the right tools. The camera, lenses, display which allows calibration and thus better color grading, and by better editing.

Yet there are certain factors outside these which makes photography good or worse. It has something to do with momentary inspiration, or with the right person posing for the photo.
 

GeorgeBynum

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I always wondered whether you really need more than 200fps because people spend stupendous amounts of money to do so.
In industrial applications, higher rates often matter for production speeds. 35 years ago, I was working with 1000 fps to monitor part interference in physical machinery operations.
 
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Offler

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Try and get very shallow depth of field at portrait differences using a compact camera or very small sensor camera.

Try getting a good wildlife shot of a bird with a camera that can't take a good long lens, or one of a bird in flight that doens't also have fast and capable auto focus.

You can call these niche applications if you like, but if you do, there are more niche applications than non niche.

Of course - if your vision is to take simple social pictures of one or a few people standing relatively still in good lighting - then any old phone will cope.
I posted this photo before when I was asking for directions how to edit it. I used to be a photoreporter and beauty photography wasnt exactly my thing.

But... Bokeh at M43, M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens. Taken outside at 1/2000 at F1.8 with flash in FP mode.
P5210262c.jpg


People speak about Fullframe as it is the only system to get this type of bokeh, but its mainly an effect caused by focal lenght and Fnumber of lens.

Case A:
To get exactly same shot of FF as the one above i can:
- take 75mm F1.8 and to shoot it from half distance - its because the viewing angle on FF is wider on the same focal lenght. Bokeh will be the same, but the perspective will be different
- take 150mm f1.8 and shoot it from the same distance. Perspective will be the same, but the bokeh will be different - probably larger and to account for this you can stop down to F3.6 and adjust exposure to 1/1000.

Case B:
When it comes to camera equipment I also have a bit of hoarding problem and good prime lenses with nice bokeh are interesting for me. Last lens I purchased was Sirui 50mm f1.8 Anamorphic.

It has really nice oval shaped bokeh and beautiful lens flare, but...

Its fully manual, with very shallow DOF so you have to utilize viewfinder and every possible focus assist. Even then photos will be slightly blurred. Its very inconvenient to use and the benefit it had to my photography is atm still bit questionable.

There is a plenty of lenses like this with F0,95, usually manual, heavy and large without anythng what would make their use bit more convenient.

I am not disputing whether the lens has or hasn certain bokeh, or way it renders images, what I do question is price and usability of these. And how similar is this to 2000 dollar gold plated USB cable. Both of these products do work, they may even do whats advertised
 
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Offler

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Exactly. Not to mention the dynamic range and richness of colours you get with a larger sensor. Most people I know take their holiday snaps with their phones. When I show them my holiday snaps they are blown away and now they want to get a "real" camera.
This is partially a thing of how much bits per channel can the sensor generate. For example we usually use sRGB, which is 8bit per one channel.

Many current cameras create 12bit or 14bit RAW files which is great for post processing. Sensors are usually also nominally capturing 12-14 bits but real value might be a bit lower, like 8-9 bits per color channel.

Again more thing of a specific sensor generation and sensor pixel size than the sensor size.
 
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