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07-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
To the people discussing EVF vs. OVF ...

One aspect often overlooked is the high dynamic range of the human eye (if allowed to use microsaccades). Large sensors and forthcoming sensors with high quantum efficiency and low readout noise come pretty close.

So, what the human eye sees and image information available for post processing will be pretty similiar soon and has an advantage to the human eye today.

This means that an EVF with its 8 bit dynamic range and its tendency to ruin the eye's dark adaption can only provide a glimpse of available image information.

Theory? No!

A couple of weeks ago, I photographed a great Midsummer fire, with people's faces being partly indirected illuminated by the fire and their bodies creating great shadow shapes. Very well seen in the OVF. And I could render part of it by RAW image processing. But the rear screen showed nothing but black with a few bright blotches. Completely useless.
And power consumption. Never forget that. An OVF requires nil. An EVF with bells and whistles will suck the juice and render a good part of the weight savings from EVIL et al moot as the batteries grow to keep up.

07-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
"For anyone who thinks micro 4/3 or EVIL in general is so great, why not just buy one that already exists?"

Well....why not just buy a full frame from one that already exists? I think if you get a Canon you can use your Pentax lenses or at least some of them.
If you read my post carefully, you already had the answer before you asked the question. I cannot use my Pentax lenses on any FF dSLR without butchering them, which I have no inclination to do. Anyone who wants an EVIL they can use with their K-Mount lenses, on the other hand, can do so without damaging them, so there's no need to wait for a Pentax EVIL, adapters are already being introduced to let you use K-Mount glass on the new EVIL cameras coming out right now.
07-19-2010, 04:45 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Pentax should invest where the money is - the mirrorless market, which is set to be the fastest growing segment in the next few years. It simply does not make sense to chase after a sub 2% market segment; Pentax has wisely go with 645D instead where Canikon domination does not exist.
The mirrorless market may not be the fastest growing market segment, that is pure speculation at this point.

It makes perfect sense for Pentax to produce a FF dSLR, as with sensor prices declining, a reasonably priced FF dSLR can now be made. The small market share (and where does this number come from? More Japanese data?) is inversely proportionate to the price tag, which Nikon and Canon have kept artificially high due to lack of competition (Sony's offering was a failure due to poor performance). The FF market share is going to climb, and the APS-C market share will sink, as the price differential shrinks, so if Pentax continues to stick to an APS-C only dSLR strategy they will be marginalized further to the point of irrelevance. The EVIL fad will probably be over before Pentax could get one to market anyway. A perfect niche exists in FF for Pentax to exploit (i.e., smaller and lighter body/better viewfinder than Nikon/Canon) and the R&D would not be challenging since it's within their usual area of expertise.
07-20-2010, 12:45 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Even though EVF can accurate display the sensor coverage area and things like white balance, there will be some difference between LiveView and actual shooting mode - mainly because LiveView is done with open aperture and has to set a limit on shutter speed to maintain a reasonable refresh rate.

During low light, the liveview shutter speed (1/60 or 1/30 s) may be quite a bit higher the select shoot mode shutter speed. This is to maintain the EVF refresh rate.

That's why in some camera, you can select whether you want the EVF to bias towards final image capture, or to ease viewing.
Of course, you would use the lever now used for DOF preview to toggle or momentarily switch to either mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
One aspect often overlooked is the high dynamic range of the human eye (if allowed to use microsaccades). Large sensors and forthcoming sensors with high quantum efficiency and low readout noise come pretty close.

So, what the human eye sees and image information available for post processing will be pretty similiar soon and has an advantage to the human eye today.

This means that an EVF with its 8 bit dynamic range and its tendency to ruin the eye's dark adaption can only provide a glimpse of available image information.
Why would a future high-quality EVF for use in semi-pro and pro cams have only 8 bit dynamic range? Why couldn't it have adaptive backlighting or ND filters?

Well, with adaptive backlighting, 8 bits per color is actually plenty for real-time applications.

The eye's dynamic range without time for adaption is actually not that large - which causes the problem you're mentioning in the last sentence of your post. This means we don't need huge static contrast (very high static contrast suffices), but we need very large dynamic contrast to be able to properly show very bright scenes in bright sunlight, and to not ruin dark adaption in lowly lit scenes.

With the use of adaptive LED backlighting, LCD TVs can achieve dynamic contrast of 2,000,000 : 1, and static (in-scene) contrasts of about 1,000 : 1 aren't uncommon. OLEDs can achieve about 1,000,000 : 1 (Samsung even have a prototype with theoretically infinite contrast. Apparently they're able to dim their OLEDs down quite well, though I suspect at the lowest levels, precision would suffer). And we both know this isn't the end of technological advance. An EVF's black level with dimmed backlight can be essentially zero.

I couldn't find proper data about the eyes static dynamic range, but i suspect it to not be so great after all, mabe 1,000 : 1 or 10,000 : 1. Its dynamic dynamic range is astonishingly high, though. But we probably wouldn't want an EVF that can push out sun-like brightness anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
A couple of weeks ago, I photographed a great Midsummer fire, with people's faces being partly indirected illuminated by the fire and their bodies creating great shadow shapes. Very well seen in the OVF. And I could render part of it by RAW image processing. But the rear screen showed nothing but black with a few bright blotches. Completely useless.
So you underexposed, and the rear screen reflected that. That's what an EVF in exposure preview mode would (correctly) show you. An EVF in "let me see something" mode would show much the same as your OVF did - though in extremely low lighting like this, today's LiveView implementations would either be very grainy or very choppy/blurry or both. My old Minolta Dimage 7i's (pretty crappy) ferroelectric EVF would switch to black and white in light like that.

I also don't quite see the connection to ruined night vision. Did your OVF ruin your night vision? Why would a good EVF necessarily be any brighter? You actually complained about the screen being too dark.

07-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
And power consumption. Never forget that. An OVF requires nil. An EVF with bells and whistles will suck the juice and render a good part of the weight savings from EVIL et al moot as the batteries grow to keep up.
Minolta has had Eye-Start systems since at least the nineties. The EVF (and whole LiveView pipeline) would not need to stay on longer than your eye peering through it. I doubt this would make a huge dent in power consumption. Look at compact cameras nowadays. They use LiveView and a much bigger display all the time, with miniscule batteries.
07-20-2010, 02:02 AM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by fzwo Quote
So you underexposed, and the rear screen reflected that.
[...]
I also don't quite see the connection to ruined night vision.
No, exposure was correct. Because there was a fire you know And the bright blotches on the screen (would have looked like fire if the fire wouldn't have changes too fast...) ruined night vision. And the blinking underexpose warning where however I admit I could have switches it off


QuoteOriginally posted by fzwo Quote
Why would a future high-quality EVF for use in semi-pro and pro cams have only 8 bit dynamic range? Why couldn't it have adaptive backlighting or ND filters?
We're not there yet. I did not say that EVFs cannot be made to meet the eye's dynamic range. If you follow my posts, I say the contrary, actually. I said that it'll take a couple more years... The current hype is like all hypes: it's a bit early.

I only said that that the EVF dynamic range aspect typically isn't even mentioned in discussions about SLD cameras.

As for the eye's dynamic range: I said "if allowed to use microsaccades" (didn't you wonder?). The eye's static contrast is only 100:1. But saccades increase it to about 10,000:1 and dark adaption to 1,000,000:1. Saccades mean that the eye looks at different portions of the VF with different sensitivities and therefore, that you need a VF with high dynamic range to start with. 10,000:1 is about 13 stops.

OLED-based EVFs should be able to display such high dynamic range in the future. They must be made for this application (12-Bit signal processing and stray light absorption -- don't trust marketing contrast claims...) and all screen overlay features must be disabled too because the eye's saccade-based DR would fail otherwise. The screen image would almost look indistiguishable from an OVF. Which definitely isn't the case at all today!

As I said: We're not there yet.
07-20-2010, 02:32 AM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
No, exposure was correct. Because there was a fire you know And the bright blotches on the screen (would have looked like fire if the fire wouldn't have changes too fast...) ruined night vision. And the blinking underexpose warning where however I admit I could have switches it off
Oh, then that was a misunderstanding. I thought all the photo showed were the blotches.

If a good EVF (with adaptive backlight) in a case like this ruins your night vision with the bright image of the fire, an OVF would do the same. Actually, in an EVF, one could have a "preserve night vision" mode that toned down highlights (maybe with a zebra overlay or something to show that they are brighter than shown). Yet another reason why EVFs are theoretically superior to OVFs. As it stands, the relatively low static contrast of today's EVFs would automatically prevent you from going night-blind if the EVF were configured to properly convey the dark parts of the image.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
We're not there yet. I did not say that EVFs cannot be made to meet the eye's dynamic range. If you follow my posts, I say the contrary, actually. I said that it'll take a couple more years... The current hype is like all hypes: it's a bit early.
If you followed my posts, you would have seen I wasn't talking about today's EVFs either, but of EVF as a concept for future cameras. Nobody here was hyping anything.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I only said that that the EVF dynamic range aspect typically isn't even mentioned in discussions about SLD cameras.

As for the eye's dynamic range: I said "if allowed to use microsaccades" (didn't you wonder?). The eye's static contrast is only 100:1. But saccades increase it to about 10,000:1 and dark adaption to 1,000,000:1. Saccades mean that the eye looks at different portions of the VF with different sensitivities and therefore, that you need a VF with high dynamic range to start with. 10,000:1 is about 13 stops.
I know what saccades are (so I didn't wonder ). Still, 10,000 : 1 static contrast isn't unheard of, even in today's displays. Not in LCDs, yet. And you can even buy 1,000,000 : 1 dynamic contrast displays at every electronics retailer. You're right that dynamic range is an important spec for an EVF. It's just that it's not as big a problem as your first post led to believe, because we're almost there.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
OLED-based EVFs should be able to display such high dynamic range in the future. They must be made for this application (12-Bit signal processing and stray light absorption -- don't trust marketing contrast claims...) and all screen overlay features must be disabled too because the eye's saccade-based DR would fail otherwise. The screen image would almost look indistiguishable from an OVF. Which definitely isn't the case at all today!

As I said: We're not there yet.
Of course not. But we will be. It's not a question of if, only of when and for how much.

Stray light deflection is probably what defines an EVF and sets it apart from a very small LiveView display So I think stray light absorption isn't necessary any more than it is for OVFs today.

I don't agree about disabling overlays. They just have to have adaptive brightness. This could be as easy as applying a simple screen blend.
07-20-2010, 03:39 AM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by fzwo Quote
I don't agree about disabling overlays. They just have to have adaptive brightness. This could be as easy as applying a simple screen blend.
...and why not an overlay to an optical viewfinder?

07-20-2010, 04:07 AM   #114
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That would indeed be a great interim solution. I've been asking for this for at least a year.

It isn't very easy to do, though, because you would need what's basically an EVF mirrored into the OVF. That's hardly elegant or cost-effective. And of course, you still won't have a proper histogram without additional sensors. Maybe the metering sensors could be used for that, I don't know.
07-20-2010, 05:04 AM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by fzwo Quote
Stray light deflection is probably what defines an EVF and sets it apart from a very small LiveView display So I think stray light absorption isn't necessary any more than it is for OVFs today.

I don't agree about disabling overlays. They just have to have adaptive brightness. This could be as easy as applying a simple screen blend.
Between you and me, we do probably agree about how an EVF should look like. BTW, stray light becomes a problem if the optical assembly housing the screen isn't top notch. Starting with the coating of the screen surface which normally simply is absent.

It isn't you who is hyping the EVF subject. It is the media in general because SLDs are the new kid on the block. Hey, SLDs even get away with no EVF at all which IMHO is ridiculous for serious photography. So, the mirror-free concept is hyped actually, not EVFs in particular.

Therefore, I rather play devil's advocate for the time being.

And while you're right about what you say, nobody else seems to care about support for the fragile dynamic range performance of the human eye looking at an EVF. One point is magnification (virtual screen size). Only if the virtual screen is large enough then the eye can focus onto darker regions and see if it is worth a photo (like beforementioned and now attached shadows from the fire).

Yes, overlays could have adaptive brightness. But I rather skip the generation of photographers suffering from EVFs which missed that aspect


P.S.
A random one of my images from the Midsummer fire which I could not have taken with a mirror-less camera in its present state (well, except if shooting "blind" of course) [K-7, single image (handheld, no HDR!), postprocessing in LR2].

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2011 at 05:29 AM.
07-20-2010, 06:43 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
And while you're right about what you say, nobody else seems to care about support for the fragile dynamic range performance of the human eye looking at an EVF. One point is magnification (virtual screen size). Only if the virtual screen is large enough then the eye can focus onto darker regions and see if it is worth a photo (like beforementioned and now attached shadows from the fire).
Actually, the possibility of a really large viewfinder regardless of sensor size is one of the aspects that excite me about an EVF.
07-20-2010, 06:53 AM   #117
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QuoteOriginally posted by fzwo Quote
Minolta has had Eye-Start systems since at least the nineties. The EVF (and whole LiveView pipeline) would not need to stay on longer than your eye peering through it. I doubt this would make a huge dent in power consumption. Look at compact cameras nowadays. They use LiveView and a much bigger display all the time, with miniscule batteries.
Minuscule? Are you sure they're that small?

My Super Program uses minuscule batteries.

All cameras today dedicate a much bigger chunk of their mass to power than ever before.

And there's another factor. 80% of the world does not use a PC/Mac to process photos. They go straight from camera, processed in camera. More power. Lots.
07-20-2010, 07:10 AM   #118
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Well, compact cameras' batteries are considerably smaller than DSLR batteries. Of course cameras today carry larger batteries than cameras of yore. They carry less film to compensate for that

I don't get what the preference of users for in-camera processing has to do with this. All cameras today process their images, and all cameras, except for that funky Sigma SD9, do support JPEG (that is, processed images), many compact cameras exclusively so. Apart from that, this would be a completely unrelated issue, were it an issue at all.
07-20-2010, 07:15 AM   #119
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German system camera model statistics

As we all know, there is no statistics by camera model except CIPA which is hard to read because of all the bundles.

So, I sorted my favorite German Best Price portal by "click-thru-to-dealer" (which is relavent because dealers pay for them). Body-only offers because I don't have the time to filter out all bundles. However, I included the most wanted bundles for SLD cameras because they may be all bought as a kit (and the 5D2 because kit only) ... Kits score better and this should be taken into account. Moreover, some bodies may appear several times if offered in different colors.

This is the ranking:
  1. Canon EOS 550D
  2. Canon EOS 7D
  3. Bundle: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  4. Canon EOS 50D
  5. Nikon D90
  6. Canon EOS 1000D
  7. Canon EOS 500D
  8. Bundle: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1K
  9. Nikon D700
  10. Bundle: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1K
  11. Bundle: Sony Alpha NEX-5
  12. Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
  13. Nikon D300s
  14. Bundle: Olympus PEN E-PL1
  15. Pentax K-x
  16. Bundle: Samsung NX10
  17. Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  18. Nikon D3000
  19. Nikon D5000
  20. Pentax K-7
  21. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III
  22. Canon EOS 450D
  23. Sony Alpha 230
  24. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
  25. Sony Alpha 850
  26. Sony Alpha 330
  27. Sony Alpha 500
  28. Nikon D3s
  29. Nikon D3X
  30. Olympus PEN E-P1
  31. Sony Alpha 900
  32. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
  33. Olympus PEN E-PL1
  34. Olympus E-620
  35. Olympus E-30
  36. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
  37. Sony Alpha 450
  38. Sigma SD15
  39. Olympus PEN E-P2
  40. Olympus E-450
  41. Sony Alpha 380
  42. Olympus E-3
  43. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
  44. Sony Alpha 350
  45. Olympus PEN E-P1
  46. Olympus PEN E-PL1
  47. Olympus PEN E-P2
  48. Olympus E-510
  49. Olympus PEN E-PL1
  50. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
  51. Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10K

I summarize this as follows:
  • All Canon APS-C SLRs and the Nikon D90 are very popular (top sellers).
  • Full frame SLRs from Canon (5D2) and Nikon (D700) sell second best.
  • Very close thereafter come the SLD (Panasonic Lumix DMC-G, Sony Alpha NEX-5, Olympus PEN E-PL1, Samsung NX10).
  • At the same position intermixed with SLD come less popular APS-C SLRs (Nikon D300s, Pentax K-x, Nikon D5000, Pentax K-7, Canon 1D)
  • Then come Sony full frame, Sony APS-C, Sigma, less popular SLDs, and Nikon expensive full framers.
This looks much more like a transformation to FF within the SLR segment first before the SLD market will really take off second.
07-20-2010, 07:20 AM   #120
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I think that statistic is heavily skewed because people dream of certain products with a lot of "sex appeal", which for cameras would be EVIL and FF, so they more often click through to dealers without having any real intention to buy. Virtual window shopping, if you wish.
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