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11-02-2008, 11:47 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Marc,

What lenses did he use?
I'm curious if you were as impressed w/ the 24-70 as I was...
As mentioned, we're still waiting for the first lot of shots from the 700 to come through (He's in the field at the moment). I was referring to all other instances of camera-model progression.

11-03-2008, 07:16 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
Our company has just purchased the D700 for our field photographer at his request. Many of the pros re. this model cited on this thread are the reasons he cited to justify the investment, in particular the full-frame capacity. Prior to the D700 he has used the D300, D80 and a couple of Canons during the last few years.

His shots come via my studio for post-processing and editing prior to publication, so I get to inspect the comparisons, and despite the technical advances and greater specs of each new model, the final images that go to press show little if any improvement from earlier work.

Post-processing by its nature tends to pull all images either up or down to meet a specific standard for publication, so superfluous advances in image quality tend to be filtered out.
It will be interesting to hear your opinion on this and see if it matches what I have seen myself and what quite a lot of other photographers (working pros) have been seeing in their output.

I think it is fair to say that there is a gain in IQ moving from APS-C to 35mm, as there is a different set of other pros and cons. Whether these are important enough to us, is an individual question based on application and output. But even if it does not make a difference in your particular situation it does not mean the advantages are superfluous in general, just that they are that for your individual needs.

QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
From a professional point-of-view, it's a little bugbear with me that there's too much investment in new bodies and not enough in other areas that would greatly enhance our images - lighting equipment for one, refresher courses in the principles of photography for another!
Now this weagree completely on.

QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
I'll be interested to see the first lot of shots come through, but I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of quality that surpasses previous images. Possibly we could sit the shots side-by-side with older images and spot definite technical improvements, but I suspect the differences will be wholly academic with little practical benefit to their end-use.
Well that depends on shooting conditions and a lot more... however there is a learning curve as well. even comming from a D300 in terms of how to achieve optimal input to you. Software used for processing the files means a great deal too, as do the processing, but you already know all this.

When working with NEF files either C1 or Capture NX2 are the two converters giving you the best output IMHO.
In my experience, when comparing these two to the output from Adobe LR, ACR, Aperture and Silkypix the former two are a better choice. Capture NX handles high ISO files the best, C1 is the better one for low ISO shooting.
Adobe, so far has been a bit of a letdown handling the NEFs...

QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
There is a point where advanced body specs pass the threshold of practical application, at which point the only avenue for improvement is via the photographer's willingness to advance their knowledge of photographic technique and hone their skills accordingly. The shots taken with our old Canons and D80 are still in circulation for repeat publication, as are our 35mm and medium-format trannies, and they still hold up against our more contemporary images.
And why would they not, the statement however is very subject matter and shooting scenario dependant.
That said and as said a number of times the Sony 10MP sensor is capable of a very impressive output, at low ISO in particular. The D3/D700 sensor is a notisably step up (even from the D300), but I would be surprised if it was not.

QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
Our images could be improved, but those improvements would be made via better lighting equipment, and pure inspiration on the part of the photographer. Full-frame may have definite advantages, but better quality of image could be achieved with far less investment than is currently required by purchasing full-frame technology.
I agree light, composition and the photographer is usually the limiting factor, but both might actually take you a step further you know.
11-03-2008, 07:35 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote

Post-processing by its nature tends to pull all images either up or down to meet a specific standard for publication, so superfluous advances in image quality tend to be filtered out.

From a professional point-of-view, it's a little bugbear with me that there's too much investment in new bodies and not enough in other areas that would greatly enhance our images - lighting equipment for one, refresher courses in the principles of photography for another!

I'll be interested to see the first lot of shots come through, but I'm not holding my breath in anticipation of quality that surpasses previous images. Possibly we could sit the shots side-by-side with older images and spot definite technical improvements, but I suspect the differences will be wholly academic with little practical benefit to their end-use.

There is a point where advanced body specs pass the threshold of practical application, at which point the only avenue for improvement is via the photographer's willingness to advance their knowledge of photographic technique and hone their skills accordingly. The shots taken with our old Canons and D80 are still in circulation for repeat publication, as are our 35mm and medium-format trannies, and they still hold up against our more contemporary images.

Our images could be improved, but those improvements would be made via better lighting equipment, and pure inspiration on the part of the photographer. Full-frame may have definite advantages, but better quality of image could be achieved with far less investment than is currently required by purchasing full-frame technology.
Most intelligent thing I read for a looooonnnnngg time
One of the holy grail of FF was the implied increase in DR. This is also one of the holy grails of all digital photography.
To date, it's all mostly smoke and mirrors...............
Marginal gains and oddly enough, not cited as a reason for ff much except in the context of noise. Which we all know can be easily mitigatd in PP......
11-03-2008, 08:33 AM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Most intelligent thing I read for a looooonnnnngg time
One of the holy grail of FF was the implied increase in DR. This is also one of the holy grails of all digital photography.
To date, it's all mostly smoke and mirrors...............
Marginal gains and oddly enough, not cited as a reason for ff much except in the context of noise. Which we all know can be easily mitigatd in PP......
Noise mitigated in post processing also tends to destroy detail, and can produce some pretty interesting artifacts as well.
The files I have seen coming off the D3 have an amazing lack of noise in dark areas. One can take a file of a black suit and raise the levels to the point that detail in the black areas is fully visible with no noise as all.
This is not a marginal gain, or smoke and mirrors, but rather a quantum leap in quality over what is available to the small sensor high pixel count photographer.

11-03-2008, 05:54 PM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
Whether these are important enough to us, is an individual question based on application and output. But even if it does not make a difference in your particular situation it does not mean the advantages are superfluous in general, just that they are that for your individual needs.
Yep. So the bottom line is: No camera is the "best", or even "better" than another until the individual photographer has determined what needs to be achieved. Professional photographers will be divided on this matter ... always will be.
11-03-2008, 06:42 PM   #111
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
Yep. So the bottom line is: No camera is the "best", or even "better" than another until the individual photographer has determined what needs to be achieved. Professional photographers will be divided on this matter ... always will be.
I think every camera is better or best depending on situation.
What I talked about was IQ differences and these difference are there, thus there is a better from an absolute point of view, but whether it matters for your intented output is a different matter entirely.

I hope you will provide feedback when you have gone through the first couple of 100 prints from the D700?
That is honest interest on my part btw...
11-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
I think every camera is better or best depending on situation.
What I talked about was IQ differences and these difference are there, thus there is a better from an absolute point of view, but whether it matters for your intented output is a different matter entirely.
Yes, the image's final incarnation is what matters. If the end-use goes beyond the photographer, then that's where the consideration should be.

Commercially speaking, if neither the standard of the final reproduction process nor the client's expectations are as high as the quality of the shot, then the margin defines a superfluous value. That's what I mean by technology exceeding practical application. And yes, it's a subjective valuation that needs to be made by the individual.

Last edited by marcdsgn; 11-03-2008 at 07:56 PM.
11-03-2008, 08:00 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
Yes, the image's final incarnation is what matters. If the end-use goes beyond the photographer, then that's where the consideration should be.

Commercially speaking, if neither the standard of the final reproduction process nor the client's expectations are as high as the quality of the shot, then the margin defines a superfluous value. That's what I mean by technology bypassing practical application. And yes, it's a subjective valuation that needs to be made by the individual.
Well seems we agree...

Thanks for walking me through what you originally wrote.

11-03-2008, 10:40 PM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Noise mitigated in post processing also tends to destroy detail, and can produce some pretty interesting artifacts as well.
The files I have seen coming off the D3 have an amazing lack of noise in dark areas. One can take a file of a black suit and raise the levels to the point that detail in the black areas is fully visible with no noise as all.
This is not a marginal gain, or smoke and mirrors, but rather a quantum leap in quality over what is available to the small sensor high pixel count photographer.
From what I have read lately I would probably attribute that to better electronics then better sensors... not to mention better programs..
I think it's a bit hasty to try to seperate components too far.
But the big difference here was how they doubled the number of "outputs" on the sensor - from 2 to 4, which lets the camera move information from each quarter of the sensor slower than it would otherwise do so. By decreasing the transfer time to 18 MHz, not 24MHz, that lowers the noise in the sensor resulting in better images.

Analysis: Solving Noise in High-Res Images - News and Analysis by PC Magazine
The above has very little to do w/ pixel density, just sensor design.
Granted if your going to triple the cost of a camera you better put in the best circuits...
Maybe I just like to read between the lines...
This is not always the case however, because the amount of background noise also depends on sensor manufacturing process and how efficiently the camera extracts tonal information from each pixel (without introducing additional noise). In general though, the above trend holds true. Another aspect to consider is that even if two sensors have the same apparent noise when viewed at 100%, the sensor with the higher pixel count will produce a cleaner looking final print. This is because the noise gets enlarged less for the higher pixel count sensor (for a given print size), therefore this noise has a higher frequency and thus appears finer grained.
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography
Now even using Mr. Clarkes thory, if you read his conclusion there is a big "gotcha".
Larger pixels have reduced noise at all levels, but especially at low signal levels. The obvious improvement still possible would be to reduce the read noise, but that would likely improve large sensors also, thus large sensors will always have an advantage. Whether the difference in noise is great enough for you to choose a larger sensor, and thus likely a larger and heavier camera, is a decision you must make for yourself.
ALL sensors/electronics must be equal.....
My conclusion, any quantum differences between large vs small sensors must be judged on a camera by camera sampling, especially between generations and noise differences between sensors are not always caused by what one assumes.. and it's the pixel size not the sensor size.
Re: Read noise:
This is not read noise. Read noise is signal independent and is the noise contributed by all the elements in the signal chain. If the same transistor and signal chain is used by two different pixels, one large, one small, then the read noise will be the same between the two
pixels.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1000&message=26768340
From the creator himself..

Last edited by jeffkrol; 11-03-2008 at 10:50 PM.
11-04-2008, 06:36 AM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
From what I have read lately
<snip>
Interesting summation.
I'm basing my thoughts on what I've seen, not what I've read on the internet though.. The full frame Nikon files I have seen are way ahead of anything I've seen from a cropped frame for dark area noise.
This includes files out of the D300, so I am not picking on Pentax specifically.
11-04-2008, 06:49 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Interesting summation.
I'm basing my thoughts on what I've seen, not what I've read on the internet though.. The full frame Nikon files I have seen are way ahead of anything I've seen from a cropped frame for dark area noise.
This includes files out of the D300, so I am not picking on Pentax specifically.
And it easily could be. Not debating that at all. It would also be interesting to compare it to "older" FF models.
My only point is it's probably more than just the sensor size.....
I will just assume the D3 is a low noise camera (sans any def of sensor size).
As w/ all things humanly related so as to be never easy to agree upon, it appears the D40 beats the D3 for dynamic range, which we all know is measured by the noise floor.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA900/AA900IMATEST.HTM
Managed to stumble upon someone who had both the 5d and now the d3:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=29619752&q=d3+shadow+noise&qf=m
For me, having owned a 5D, the real IQ improvements are:

1) much, much smoother gradations at every ISO
2) much, much cleaner shadows at every ISO
3) greater USABLE dynamic range at every ISO
4) more accurate color at high ISO
5) random, "granular" noise at ISO rather than pattern noise on the 5D

Last edited by jeffkrol; 11-04-2008 at 07:03 AM.
11-04-2008, 08:16 AM   #117
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Semi-related, but amusing film vs. digital comparison :-)
FiveFWD - Challenge - Blow Up - Part 3 video from The Gadget Show

Seems like it was a waste to print out a giant poster when a loupe and a small printout would have been fine...
11-04-2008, 09:06 AM   #118
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Wow! This is a long post.

As a previous Nikon user I would like to add just a couple of comments. I used to have Nikon D80 together with a few lenses (including 105mm VR macro) until early last summer, but I decided to get rid of it all in favor of Pentax. I am a happy owner of K20D now.

The reasons. Well, Nikon does make great camera bodies, but I just couldn't find the lenses that I like. Most of the time I prefer shooting with fixed focal length short (under 100mm) lenses. Now take a look at the Nikkors and compare that with what Pentax has on offer. There is nothing even close in optical quality to the Pentax limited primes. As Pentax introduced the DA* 200mm and 300mm, my last hesitation was gone and decision made.

Another plus for Pentax lenses is a selection of weather sealed lenses. As far as I know none of the Nikkors are. This doesn't help only in case of rain or moisture, but also keeps dust out of the camera.

As for dust, I used to clean the sensor of my Nikon at least once a month. I haven't had to do this with my Pentax yet. I guess that the dust removal system works nicely and also the seals are a plus. In addition I now use only prime lenses, which do not suck in as much dust as the Nikkor zooms do .

All in all life is bright on the Pentax side!!!
11-04-2008, 09:21 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urmas R. Quote
Wow! This is a long post.

As a previous Nikon user I would like to add just a couple of comments. I used to have Nikon D80 together with a few lenses (including 105mm VR macro) until early last summer, but I decided to get rid of it all in favor of Pentax. I am a happy owner of K20D now.

The reasons. Well, Nikon does make great camera bodies, but I just couldn't find the lenses that I like. Most of the time I prefer shooting with fixed focal length short (under 100mm) lenses. Now take a look at the Nikkors and compare that with what Pentax has on offer. There is nothing even close in optical quality to the Pentax limited primes. As Pentax introduced the DA* 200mm and 300mm, my last hesitation was gone and decision made.

Another plus for Pentax lenses is a selection of weather sealed lenses. As far as I know none of the Nikkors are. This doesn't help only in case of rain or moisture, but also keeps dust out of the camera.

As for dust, I used to clean the sensor of my Nikon at least once a month. I haven't had to do this with my Pentax yet. I guess that the dust removal system works nicely and also the seals are a plus. In addition I now use only prime lenses, which do not suck in as much dust as the Nikkor zooms do .

All in all life is bright on the Pentax side!!!
First, wellcome to the forum
Second, Pentax is more difficult to find than Nikon anywhere, anyhow.Nikon has quite a bit of lenses on the <100mm range. Some of them better than Pentax some other worst, almost all of them more expensive
Third, Nikon has weather sealed lenses as far as I know (14-24 and 24-70 at least)
Fourth, most of the new Nikon bodies has dust removal system.
Fifth, you missed one of the main advantages of Pentax (the in body shake reduction).

Some things are bright on the pentax side.
11-04-2008, 09:54 AM   #120
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Thank you Gruoso!

I did leave some of the most obvious reasons for preferring Pentax out of the list. They had a strong impact on my decision though. First and foremost this included in camera shake reduction, due to which all telephoto lenses are significantly cheaper for Pentax.

I think I once asked Nikon about weather sealed lenses and they told that none of their lenses are. Some have a only rubber seal at the lens mount (or for zooms may be also in the middle), but as far as I understand it is more for keeping the dust out and protecting the contacts, when you need to change lenses a lot. The two lenses you mentioned were marketed as "highly dust and moisture resistant", but not weather sealed, as Pentax and Olympus lenses.

Well, actually I am not so familiar with Pentax weather sealing at the moment as I don't have any such lenses. My next buy will probably be the DA* 300, so I hope to know more from my own experience soon.
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