Friday, June 08, 2007

D60 Update

Okay, a week with the "new" camera. Everything works perfectly. The suspect "play" in the 70-300 AF/IS lense is normal and necessary for both functions. Nothing more than my out of the loop existence in a world of expensive film and tight optics. The body seems to be fully functional and I've downloaded the manuals. Talk about a steep learning curve; the manuals are interesting social experiments in and of themselves. The transfer cable I ordered arrived long before the 1Gb CF was full. Not so much as a smudge on any of the optics, lucky. The 1800mAh battery is/was fine and didn't even need reconditioning. Mechanically; Good speed, decent shadow detail, the built in flash is for interior and barely capable of birthday parties only. The USB transfer rate is 1.1 speed IOW pathetic but normal for 2002. The body has good ergonomics but very is heavy and bulky by the standards of today only 5 years later. I am comfortable with these traditional grip/controls/dials but I also know they are no longer as efficient as the newer interaction methods in a digital world. The preceding comments are but introduction. Truth told; This collection of components takes very good pictures. My littlest seven year old took this unretouched, uncropped picture:

She also took about 80 other shots and a great many of them are keepers. I remember my learning curve; careful, trained and experienced yet still getting fewer keepers than she got by accident. Brave new world. I will be keeping the entire set at least over the summer in order to tech the kids the math and physics behind the magic. I'm remotivated to take "real" pictures. The recent advances in pocketable, "point and perfec"t cameras had dulled my sense of the photographer being involved in the process beyond that of being a meat tripod.

Things that still matter: User control, optics, optics, optics, flexible composition.

37 comments:

Hyperbole said...

First?

Anonymous said...

Second.....

What's up? Is everyone on the edge of their seats watching the Paris drama?

Anonymous said...

Third

Thirst

Murst

Stephanie J. said...

That camera was a SCORE Rob.

Anonymous said...

So - should we talk Paris?

She provides as much entertainment as snowflake....

Will snowflake have the national news networks showing his slow speed drive to jail?

LOL said...

looks like a truly sweet deal, makes me want to dig out my old Pentax SLR

The Real Wagga™ said...

Can we find two different single-degree connections between Modest Mussorgsky and our snowflake jailbird?

Kerriella said...

Wow, your 7 year old took that picture? It's beautiful!

So are you going to start adding your own pictures to the new threads now? ;)

lurker said...

Even with the 45 days, Paris is getting Celebrity justice. She was stopped twice for driving on a suspended license.

They do not stop you for driving on a suspended license. They stop you for drunk or reckless driving. They only find out your license is suspended after they have pulled you over.

Rob Dawg said...

Anonymous said...
So - should we talk Paris?


No, Paris is well covered by publicpurpose.com and demographia.com. As a city it is a myth of modern planning. They merely exiled their undesireable eelments to the suburbs.

That "other" Paris Hilton bit? No. Just one of those cases of everyone having an opinion but no one has information.

Property Flopper said...

Oh Yes, let's talk about Paris!!!

I fly there tomorrow (at oh-dark-thirty, but that's another story). Spend a couple days there, then its South to ride a bike around Avignon and the surrounding countryside for a week, with a couple days after for recovery...

All in all, I'd prefer my way to spend the next two weeks than the way the "Stupid, Spoild Whore" (to quote South Park) will be spending hers.

Rob Dawg said...

oh-dark-thirty

Careful "property flopper." If you aren't careful I'll tangent off and talk about recent insane military priorities specifically related to aviation and space technology.

BJ said...

@Rob Dawg

Congratulations on the D60.

I have noticed 'play' in many lenses coming out these days. Some of that is because the bodies of the lenses are a form of plastic (polycarbonate), which helps them stay light.

On the USB, you might also want to check if your PC is USB 2.0 Full Speed or USB 2.0 High Speed. There is a significant difference. USB 2.0 Full Speed is much like the old USB 1.1 (12 Megabit/sec or about 1.5Megabyte/sec - same as the old 1.1 standard). High Speed USB 2.0 is 480Megabit/sec or about 60 Megabytes/sec). reference

One thing you will find about that 'big and bulky' system over the point-and-shoots, is that image noise will be considerably lower. The sensors are larger for the same megapixel count when compared to point-and-shoots. This allows more light to be picked up by each sensing cell, pushing the noise floor down lower.

The difference is really noticeable at high ISOs (400 and above). Compare same images from point-and-shoot vs D60 at high ISOs, viewing at a 100% view.

NOTE: On my digital cameras, I generally shoot at the maximum resolution (I can always reduce later. If shot at a lower res and I find it is a keeper, I can't increase the resolution later.), and at highest quality, raw or tiff formats.

Property Flopper said...

Rob Dawg -

Feel free, I'm not in the military, just worked as a consultant for them for a couple years. Guess some of the language stuck.

Naval Sea Logistics Center - very little you could bring up regarding waste or inefficiency would surprise me... could be a fun topic. Won't be on much longer today (and off internet while on vacation) - hold it until 25 June and I'll be happy to join in.

Benoit™ said...

Just wanted to mention -- a Google search of "LossMitPro" brings up CaseyPedia as the #1 hit.

Sweet. :-p

Rob Dawg said...

BJ,
All true except the USB. A Dual G5 Mac is my image station. The D60 is just a slow transfer. Wow, 12 minutes instead of 1? Big deal.

The noise is indeed lower with this system. The implications is what I did not get into. Sadly we appear to be in an era of using software to interpolate data rather than using optics to collect the true data.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

Another funny 'snap shot' of IAFF,
snickers.....
#
59. Michael
June 8th, 2007 at 8:47 am

@#3 .. LOSSMITPRO

THIS IS YOUR ADVICE AS A PROFESSIONAL .. are you fricking kidding me …. You are recommending to Casey to Ignore A Contract … and that is your “Professional” advice?

NOTE TO CASEY: Can this dude quickly. He will lead you to further ruin…..

MY GOD what is the business world coming to? But then again, the advice he is giving you is worth what its costing you. Dump him soon.

BJ said...

@Rob Dawg.

All true except the USB.
I don't understand the statement. Off the top of my head, I don't know what the G5 USB interface is, but here are some interesting notes. Almost looks like the G5 slows down on high bandwidth devices.

Sadly we appear to be in an era of using software to interpolate data rather than using optics to collect the true data.
I don't know exactly to what you are referring to on this.. so shotgun approach.. and possible neural overload for some.

sensor design With some systems the sensors interpolate, others don't. The system is interesting, but it has its own problems. It uses a 'stacked sensor' design. Its weakness is when you take a picture that has small bright objects in it (ie. lights on a bridge during a night shot), the light bleeds(blooms) over into the other sensor columns. The result looks pretty bad.

Trying to get a sensor to sense R,G,B values within one cell space is very difficult (light likes to travel in a straight line, sensors have to be tuned to a specific band). This is why sensors will interpolate across. Actually interpolate is not quite the right term. Most sensors use a Bayesian filter to determine what the corresponding Red value would be in the cell that is sensing Green (likewise for the other colors).

signal to noise ratio
In terms of the noise floor, I was talking about sensor behavior. Light arrives in quanta.. ie photons. You don't get 1/2 a photon. If have a small sensor, it will pick up photons related to the size of the sensor. Double the dimensions of the sensor, I quadruple the number of photons received in the same amount of time. The noise floor is almost a constant random value per cell (simplification here). If I increase my signal strength by 4x, I have effectively reduced my noise floor by 1/4 through the larger sensing cell. This means cleaner low light, flash and long exposure time night shots.

digital zoom A marketing piece of sh*t. Optical zoom is the only way to go. I don't even bother with digital zoom. It tries to invent a sensed pixel value where there is value stored. The value it adds is a complete fabrication.
For example, using binary values in an array. If the actual values available are:
0 127, 15, 30, 202, 10.
And because of distance, I can only record a pixel the size of two of the cells, (the lamp post is too skinny).. I will record/sense
63, 23, 106.
Adjoining pixels get averaged together.

If I then try to digitally 'zoom' this, I would get values like
63, 43, 23, 65..
Which does not match the original. The middle values were lost when recorded at the sensor.

Optical zooming allows the image to be enlarged so it fits to the sensor.

I'm a former 'film' guy.. who has gone digital... and I rely on the 'glass(lens)' quality. I have noticed that some of the good digital cameras (SLR types) can show problems in the glass (lens) that were not visible on film. I am currently waiting to see if Sony (who picked up the Minolta design) is going to come up with an update. I heard that they may be. I want to see about checking the updated Sony Alpha against the 'BIGMA' lens I have.

lawnmower man said...

Not any more: Casey just pulled the LossMitPro guest post and all comments from, or mentioning, him.

BJ said...

sorry about the nightmarish highlight link above. The blog software has problems with links that have a terminating '/' in the link name. The reference was to Foveon..

Stephanie J. said...

You know, a good shave, grow his hair out a bit, some peach lipstick, and Casey could be Paris Hilton.

BJ said...

This is a test to see if I can get around the terminating '/' problem on links..

Link to Foveon here..

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

Wow, I snagged that one just in the nick of time, not that I have anything against LMP.
just postin on my day off from my looser w-twoer.

Rob Dawg said...

BJ,
All true except the USB.
I don't understand the statement. Off the top of my head, I don't know what the G5 USB interface is, but here are some interesting notes. Almost looks like the G5 slows down on high bandwidth devices.


The G5 Mac is full 2.0. The 5 year old D60 is 1.1. there's no mystery here. The data transfer is slow, nothing more, no other suspects.

As to "sensors" we appear to be on the same page. There are some differences but far too esoteric to go into here.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

@ lawnmower man ,
I still have that LMP page open and someone is impersonating LMP.
He posted a really visual over the top response to his sock puppet.
Do you guys want it posted here?

BJ said...

@Rob Dawg

There are some differences but far too esoteric to go into here.
Aww.. but that is the fun of it!! Ok.. back to Casey Serin vs Paris Hilton...

NOTE: The link to see if we can get the wiki above Casey's own site (name not mentioned) on Google searches... ☺

lawnmower man said...

not that I have anything against LMP

Oh, LossMitPro's one of us now, but:

I really dislike LossMitPro's bullying "take my stuff down" demands. OK, yes, he retained copyright of the guest post -- but in my mind once you've submitted a comment, you've relinquished control over it.

There was also more than a hint of "do what I say or I'll use what I know against you" in his threat to Casey. This does not seem terribly, um, professional to me.

I also really disliked his attempt to redefine "fair use" as something that requires permission. I was very glad to see the immediate strong push-back against that particular bit of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I see it now....

Finally, snowflake gets taken to court, found guilty, is sentenced... and as he is taken away by the deputy, screams out:

It's not fair!!! Mom!!!!

BJ said...

A FYI for posters here.. There is a problem with the blog software when the "a href" code if the referring URL has a terminating '/' in its path. In that case, the URL has to be 'quoted'.. ie

a href="http://www.foveon.com/"

as opposed to

a href=http://www.foveon.com/
which causes the link-highlight craziness when posting (the rest of your post past the link becomes part of the link reference)..

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

@lawnmower man and Dawg,
Well, again, I still have the thread, but when I close it it is going to be gone. Want the highlites?

Rob Dawg said...

FMW,
Save everything and worry about sorting it out later.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

I will save it in my word file then. It is pretty funny stuff, LMP has a sock puppet.
Let me know if you want me to e-mail it to you.

BJ said...

Because of our flipper AKA Casey Serin

I think people will find the following article on mortgage fraud interesting..

Stephanie J. said...

CHJTS rescheduled the talk-cast (Haterz style) for Monday. Details on my blog.

I'm leaving work early so I can get into town before the worst traffic. Besides, I can really use an icy-cold beeah.

G'night all. Please save new drama until Monday.

Steph

Kevin said...

Rob,

Buy a card reader. It's the only way to go. Faster and won't drain your camera battery. You can get one for < $20 new.

Miguel said...

Just wanted to mention -- a Google search of "LossMitPro" brings up CaseyPedia as the #1 hit.

Sweet. :-p


And CaseyPedia is now #3 for searches on "Nigel Swaby". #2 is that video, and #1 is his own SLC blog.

Now wouldn't it be hilarious if those positions swapped round?

BelowTheCrowd said...

Rob,

A couple of tips:

You'll thank yourself if you just get a CF card reader to plug into your machine directly. I am currently working with an 11mp camera which I use exclusively in raw mode, meaning 15MB files are common. I transfer to my PC using a firewire CF reader. (Mine came with a high capacity Sandisk card, but I think you can get them as standalone items.)

Takes the transfer down from 15minutes (using USB 2.0!) to a minute or two. Pop the card out of the camera, pop into the card reader, copy, put back in the camera, reformat.

The "looseness" in the lens is necesaary for modern autofocus lenses. It has to be a bit loose for the small lightweight servos to move it quickly and accurately. Older "metal and glass" optics desined for non-autofocus systems always had much more of a tactile feel to them because they were designed for our hands and fingers.

Not sure if your camera shoots raw format. That'll get you the maximum resolution and the greatest control over how the data that hits the sensor gets interpolated, adjusted, compressed, etc. Of course you do end up with large files that require either the dedicated Canon software or a recent version of Photoshop to use, and often the older cameras will "choke" on the size of the files if you shoot more than a couple of images in rapid succession. If you shoot jpgs you'll end up with smaller and more easily usable files, but give up some degree of control.

Have fun. The DSLRs definitely give you a huge edge in quality over any of the other types, for a multitude of reasons.

-btc