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Thread: More on sensor plus

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    More on sensor plus

    These things are very hard to do scientifically in a way that satisfies everyone so this is my sharing something I did primarily for myself: others are welcome to draw their own conclusions or to decide that the methodology isn't worth drawing conclusions from.

    I shot all these at the same EV's (barring the difference between 1/40th and 1/45th for example) and this means that the Leica M9 shots are slightly underexposed, the Canon 5DII about right and the P65+ shots slightly overexposed. C1 defaults on every files give slight differences in NR and sharpening and this over-sharpens the Canon files.

    The aim was to test my recent feeling that the P65+ sensor plus files weren't as good as I'd hoped/expected.

    Here's the whole scene. I shot by hand rather than tripod so as to maintain the perspective without shuffling tripods and allowing light levels to drop. Glass was 80D on the Phase, 50 Lux on the M9 and 50 Cron with adaptor on the Canon, F2.8 on each.

    Last edited by tashley; 31st May 2010 at 11:20.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Now here are batches of comparables, all exported at 100% JPEG quality and in Adobe RGB

    First ISO 800, Canon then Phase then Leica:









    Now ISO 1600, Canon then Phase then Leica:







    Now ISO 2500, Canon then Leica:





    Finally 3200 first Canon then Phase:





    I hope this is interesting possibly even useful, to someone other than me. I will make my own comments in he next post.
    Last edited by tashley; 31st May 2010 at 11:22.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    SO what conclusions do I draw. Hmm, it's really tough. I tried copying the Phase file's NR and sharpening settings to the Canon files at 3200 and the Canon file STILL has that horrid , painterly, pointillist look at 100% view and, more interesting from a print perspective, at 50% it still looks odd. I am sure there's some half-baking going on in camera, so the Canon .CR2 file is not truly RAW but has some NR pre-applied. Bottom line at ISO 3200 I'd probably prefer to have the Phase file to work with because at least then I would be making the NR decisions myself.

    at 1250 I'd rather have the Leica file, especially if I were making prints. At 1600, even though it is noisier, I would still probably prefer the Leica file but it's a toss-up between it and the Phase and the lens drawing might have something to do with it.

    At 800 they all have pluses and minuses but I'd probably just about swing for the Leica first and then it's a draw.

    So I conclude that the Canon loses, the Leica for me is the surprise high ISO winner as high as it goes, and that Sensor+ is a lot more promising than I first thought, provided I don't get any more banding, which so far I haven't!

    YMMV....

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Tim, I commented on the banding in your other thread.

    I'd pretty much agree agree with your conclusions except to my eyes, the Leica file looks over-sharpened (jaggies in the 'bands' on the bowl) at 800 and 1600, and then it looks like you missed focus (to the front) with the Phase. I'd also state that in the Phase 1600 shot, color is better in the fruit and there is significantly better shadow tonality compared to either the Leica or Canon.

    Finally, in the Phase 3200 shot, if you reduce Lum NR a bit and adjust the surface slider in the advanced noise tool, you can attenuate that granular effect pretty significantly -- at least to the point it will be superior to the Canon, and for my eye to where it will be preferable to the clumpiness in the Leica 2500 shot. I actually prefer the posted Phase 3200 crop to the posted Leica 2500 shot due to better color and better shadow response, and I think the Phase would print better as shown. But I realize that is also a personal preference trade-off item.
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Tim, it would be interesting to hear your impressions of how these look printed at about 10" to 14" wide. Maybe not all of them since the ISO 800 will probably work in all cases.

    Compressed screen shots are hard to evaluate, and even at 100% the noise issues seen on screen aren't usually what you actually get in a print at viewing distances. All to often we make judgements based on screen images rather than the end purpose ... which is a print.

    I think the practical application of high ISO Sensor Plus in available light use (at least for me) would be at print sizes more in the 10" to 14" wide area. My reasoning is that this is probably the most used print size when shooting higher ISOs ... for one example, a poll I once read clearly showed that 90% of all candid available light wedding and event work was never printed beyond 8" X 10". Nothing on the internet ever approaches an 8" X 10" @ 360 PPI full rez print.

    Since the Phase sensor ratio more closely matches real world print papers (8 X 10 live area on a 8.5 X 11 paper), a useful print test would be an image cropped to 8" X 10" where the Phase file would gain a bit due to the sensor's ratio compared to the 35mm cameras.

    I'd be very interested in seeing or hearing from users, what an ISO 1600 Sensor Plus print looks like @ 8" X 10" and 11" X 14". I rarely exceed 1600 for any situation with any camera, and rarely print much larger than 10" wide ... but given the occasional need to crop, an 11" X 14" would provide the info for most actual applications.

    Another test that would be of interest with Sensor Plus is the use of flash at ISO 800 or 1600. It is common to use higher ISOs combined with dragging the shutter to open up dark backgrounds while using flash to light the foreground subject. I use this technique a lot regardless of which camera (although it is harder to do with the Leica M9). In fact this was one application that partially persuaded me to pass on the Leica S2 / SF58 when I tested it in hopes of eliminating the need for a 35mm DSLR. In theory, Sensor Plus would seem very promising for this fairly common application.

    -Marc

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I'd pretty much agree agree with your conclusions except to my eyes, the Leica file looks over-sharpened (jaggies in the 'bands' on the bowl) at 800 and 1600, and then it looks like you missed focus (to the front) with the Phase. I'd also state that in the Phase 1600 shot, color is better in the fruit and there is significantly better shadow tonality compared to either the Leica or Canon.

    Finally, in the Phase 3200 shot, if you reduce Lum NR a bit and adjust the surface slider in the advanced noise tool, you can attenuate that granular effect pretty significantly -- at least to the point it will be superior to the Canon, and for my eye to where it will be preferable to the clumpiness in the Leica 2500 shot. I actually prefer the posted Phase 3200 crop to the posted Leica 2500 shot due to better color and better shadow response, and I think the Phase would print better as shown. But I realize that is also a personal preference trade-off item.
    I agree with pretty much all of that Jack, and thanks for the tips. It is as I said at the outset impossible to set a level playing field here due to the issues of preference, perception and default processing not to mention issues of lens drawing and exact exposure. But my main conclusion, that my earlier experience of banding with Sensor + shouldn't put me off because it has a lot to offer and is probably better than the Canon, is very useful to me!

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Tim, it would be interesting to hear your impressions of how these look printed at about 10" to 14" wide. Maybe not all of them since the ISO 800 will probably work in all cases.

    Compressed screen shots are hard to evaluate, and even at 100% the noise issues seen on screen aren't usually what you actually get in a print at viewing distances. All to often we make judgements based on screen images rather than the end purpose ... which is a print.
    Hiya!

    The shots as posted are 100% quality JPEGs and are in Adobe RGB so they're about the best one can do. And if I printed them I'd still be wondering whether I'd got the profiles right to do dues to each camera. Sometimes when in real doubt I do that but on this occasion viewing on an Eizo at 50% tells me 90% of what I need to know, I think! Also, I politely disagree that the final destination is print. Only about 5% of my images which get any wide viewing actually make it to print. Sure, they're usually the best 5% but, for example, I think that how shots look on an iPad will soon be just as important for a lot of people. Have you seen the Guardian's Eyewitness app? It's just beautiful.


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I think the practical application of high ISO Sensor Plus in available light use (at least for me) would be at print sizes more in the 10" to 14" wide area. My reasoning is that this is probably the most used print size when shooting higher ISOs ... for one example, a poll I once read clearly showed that 90% of all candid available light wedding and event work was never printed beyond 8" X 10". Nothing on the internet ever approaches an 8" X 10" @ 360 PPI full rez print.

    Since the Phase sensor ratio more closely matches real world print papers (8 X 10 live area on a 8.5 X 11 paper), a useful print test would be an image cropped to 8" X 10" where the Phase file would gain a bit due to the sensor's ratio compared to the 35mm cameras.

    I'd be very interested in seeing or hearing from users, what an ISO 1600 Sensor Plus print looks like @ 8" X 10" and 11" X 14". I rarely exceed 1600 for any situation with any camera, and rarely print much larger than 10" wide ... but given the occasional need to crop, an 11" X 14" would provide the info for most actual applications.

    Another test that would be of interest with Sensor Plus is the use of flash at ISO 800 or 1600. It is common to use higher ISOs combined with dragging the shutter to open up dark backgrounds while using flash to light the foreground subject. I use this technique a lot regardless of which camera (although it is harder to do with the Leica M9). In fact this was one application that partially persuaded me to pass on the Leica S2 / SF58 when I tested it in hopes of eliminating the need for a 35mm DSLR. In theory, Sensor Plus would seem very promising for this fairly common application.

    -Marc
    I'm about to go away for a few days but when I get back I'll try some of this and see if the results are widely different from what I've concluded so far. It's interesting to me, for example, that my conclusions further up this thread were actually drawn from looking at the whole files in both 100% screen size and 50% views and comparing them side by side. Where Jack and I have mild differences of preference it seems that had I looked only at the crops I have posted, I would have agreed with him pretty much exactly.

    Best

    Tim

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Sensor Plus with flash is very common for me to use on PR gigs just like weddings Marc and the results are very very good even in print. I have a 7900 Epson now and files are singing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Also, I politely disagree that the final destination is print. Only about 5% of my images which get any wide viewing actually make it to print. Sure, they're usually the best 5% but, for example, I think that how shots look on an iPad will soon be just as important for a lot of people.
    Tim, if you want to have a good display on an iPad, then I can absolutely guarantee that ISO 3200 binned out of the P65+ is going to be better than even necessary!

    Okay, a bit of teasing -- I realize that while we want the best print image possible when we shoot, many end up being used for smaller display purposes. BUT, that was precisely Marc's point, and I think it is very relevant: No way am I going to shoot ISO 3200 for a 24" print, but I might be shooting hand-held at an evening venue and make an A4 print from that frame -- and in that case I submit that the P65+'s binned 800 will be indistinguishable from full-on ISO 50, 1600 is going to be excellent, and 3200 will be fully usable.
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    I agree anything I shoot over ISO 400 is not for real big prints. It's mostly all PR work or event type stuff and either being presented on projectors,web or small prints. I need to go big I will stick with full resolution and pull the dang lights out. This week i have to shoot Humvees for a client outside in 100 degree heat from a lift and all day gig. You know damn well I am shooting full res for that one and printing BIG. LOL

    This is exactly WHY I love sensor plus i can flip the switch in less than 2 seconds to it. I shoot many different types of work and this makes my system so versatile. I bought this system EXACTLY for this, reason I upgraded from the P30+. For me it gets rid of the DSLR and it may not be the perfect working situation but I get paid to bust my butt so the extra effort involved is no big deal for me and i don't need to have two completely different systems and makes my working life so much smoother when I get down to process , file, sort out and deliver images. Also the big advantage is I am working with the same type of raw file and my workflow is almost exactly the same.
    I'm a big advocate of keeping it simple after the image is made.

    BTW i know that I am one weirdo that thinks like this and many have a DSLR for this stuff. Never said i conform to any rules, regulations or standard practices.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Actually, I don't think it's a "weirdo" concept at all given what you shoot Guy.

    One thing that's for sure is that I didn't pay this kind of money to display images on an iPad ... Besides, I don't think people viewing images on an iPad are going to zoom in to a molecular level to check for noise ... at least I hope not

    My big wedding display images and portraits are all destined for 17" X 22" prints or larger ... sometimes crops printed that big. Commercial clients may use an image on their web site AND make a 8' print for a trade show or corporate lobby display. It's where the money is.

    -Marc

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Tim, I took the liberty of running your posted S2 2500 and P65 3200 jpeg crops through Topaz. Not too shabby results IMO, though perhaps I went a bit too strong on these --- would prefer to have the raws to work on obviously:
    Jack
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Tim, I took the liberty of running your posted S2 2500 and P65 3200 jpeg crops through Topaz.
    Was it S2 . . . . or M9?
    I'm confused

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    My Bad, M9. Fortunately, I do not try and keep track of Tim's acquisitions and sales!
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Who can. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Interesting, but to my eye they all look average to bad. I've not shot extensively with any of these camera's but am used to shooting digital with a D700. Obviously it has an advantage in having fat pixels, but I'm especially surprised by the Canon files here. They look overly plastic. Is this typical performance?

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    Re: More on sensor plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    My Bad, M9. Fortunately, I do not try and keep track of Tim's acquisitions and sales!
    Talk about Pot and Kettle


    to be honest, keeping track of anyone around here's sales and acquisitions would be a full time occupation . . .

    Only old stick in the muds like me keep the same stuff for more than 3 weeks

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