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Thread: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

  1. #1
    simon_t
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    GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Hello all,

    I'm looking for a new compact camera to live alongside my DSLR, replacing my aging Canon S45. I intend to use this as my carry-around camera, so I'd like it to be small and fairly robust, but capable of producing very good files (incl. RAW) if I bump into a photo opportunity. Also, I often take photos at parties. My preferred settings for party photos are: MF, slow sync + exp. compensation *and* flash compensation (-1.5 or so).

    These requirements have narrowed down the field quite a bit. The candidates are: Ricoh GRDII, Canon G9 and Panasonic LX2. However, I still have a few open questions and I hope you can answer some of them.

    1) On the LX2, is it true that you cannot select slow sync flash without red-eye reduction? The manual seems to say so. If that's the case, it'll be too slow for my needs, leaving the GRDII and G9.

    2) On the GRDII and G9, can you use slow sync flash, exposure compensation and flash exposure compensation in any combination?

    3) How is the flash exposure on the GRDII?

    4) I have looked around on Flickr to find some full-size samples from each camera. I was very disappointed in many of the GRDII shots: watercolor-like blotchiness at all ISO values, especially 200+. However, the shots in Sean's review seem fine. Can I conclude that the RAW files are OK, but the JPG engine is not so hot (Canon appears much better)?

    5) On the GRDII, do you need to save a JPG along with every RAW file? The RAW files seem awfully large from the spec sheets (approx. 20MB).

    6) Yesterday, I have fondled both the GRDII and the G9 in the store. I immediately got along with the GRDII, whereas the G9 seemed a little cluttered/confusing. Of course, this is a first impression only. Are there any other people who have used both cameras? Does the handling improve over time? (I did also read Sean's review)

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers,
    Simon
    Last edited by simon_t; 3rd February 2008 at 08:44.

  2. #2
    helgipelgi
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simon_t View Post
    6) Yesterday, I have fondled both the GRDII and the G9 in the store. I immediately got along with the GRDII, whereas the G9 seemed a little cluttered/confusing.
    I think you've got the answer right there!

  3. #3
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by helgipelgi View Post
    I think you've got the answer right there!
    I'm certainly partial to the GRDII, but if, for example, the flash controls aren't up to snuff I'm off to buy the Canon. There are some things the camera needs to do well (flash control, exposure control, MF, decent quality) and some things I would prefer (intuitive handling, small size). Hence my questions

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    Member kai.e.g.'s Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Hi Simon,
    Just out of curiosity (because I'm facing exactly the same decision as you soon), what made you eliminate the GX-100 from your finalists?
    Cheers,
    Kai

  5. #5
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kai.e.g. View Post
    what made you eliminate the GX-100 from your finalists?
    The absence of flash exposure compensation... it's a shame, because it may have been the best compromise. Oh well.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simon_t View Post
    Hello all,

    .....
    1) On the LX2, is it true that you cannot select slow sync flash without red-eye reduction? The manual seems to say so. If that's the case, it'll be too slow for my needs, leaving the GRDII and G9.

    ...
    Hi Simon,

    I bought the Dlux 3 just 3 days ago, after comparing it to both the G9 and the two Ricoh offerings. The G9 was quickly eliminated, mainly because of its size and general feel (this was just before Seans review..), and the GRD II because I felt too restricted by only 28 mm.

    So it was either the Dlux 3 or the GX 100. Very close contenders; my final choice was based mainly on the feel of the two, the Dlux 3 felt more solid and less "plastic-y". But I also liked the 16:9 screen a lot. The Ricoh was much easier to hold, however.

    Now, after shooting away for 3 days (and nights...:sleep006, Im growing more and more happy with my choice. This tiny toy can do a LOT! And the image quality is excellent (only tried raw, and I doubt that Ill ever shoot any jpeg).

    As for your flash question above: no, you cannot have slow-sync without the red-eye fireworks.... However, it is easy to fool the system into cooperating: select forced-on flash (you still control it by raising the flash or pushing it closed), and use shutter priority with a suitable time setting; also reduce flash output 1 step or so.

    That said, I personally find all such small built-in flashes next to useless, with the sole exception of the "bounce-able" flash on my Digilux 2.

    Hope this helps, subjective as it is. Id at least look at the Dlux 3/LX 2 if I were you...

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    As for your flash question above: no, you cannot have slow-sync without the red-eye fireworks.... However, it is easy to fool the system into cooperating: select forced-on flash (you still control it by raising the flash or pushing it closed), and use shutter priority with a suitable time setting; also reduce flash output 1 step or so.

    That said, I personally find all such small built-in flashes next to useless, with the sole exception of the "bounce-able" flash on my Digilux 2.

    Hope this helps, subjective as it is. Id at least look at the Dlux 3/LX 2 if I were you...
    I'm not sure what "slow-sync" flash is, or what you mean by that, but if you're looking to do flash and slash type shooting with a low shutter speed, the D-Lux 3/LX2 is totally able to do that- I just shot some tests with these settings: Shutter-priority, 1/6 sec, forced flash, flash exposure compensation at -1, manual focus (zone between 1 meter and infinity) and the only limitation was flash recycle time. There was no red eye pre-flashing or anything like that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I'm not sure what "slow-sync" flash is, or what you mean by that, but if you're looking to do flash and slash type shooting with a low shutter speed, the D-Lux 3/LX2 is totally able to do that- I just shot some tests with these settings: Shutter-priority, 1/6 sec, forced flash, flash exposure compensation at -1, manual focus (zone between 1 meter and infinity) and the only limitation was flash recycle time. There was no red eye pre-flashing or anything like that.
    Yep, thats exactly what I said Happy to hear it works for more experienced Dlux 3 users than myself... (Im very impressed by your images, Maggie!).

    In any case, this method gives you far better control than a built-in program would.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Ah, the delightful synchronicity of cross-posting!

  10. #10
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Per & Maggie,
    Thank you for pointing out that my demand for a perfectly working slow-sync function may not be strictly necessary. In most cases I can probably get away with setting the shutter speed manually. So...the LX2 is back in the game (the Leica is too expensive at almost twice the price).

    The other thing that worries me about the LX2 is the sensor noise. From looking at the various reviews, it seems that the LX2 JPG engine tries to outdo the GRDII engine at watercolor-painting, so it would mostly be a RAW camera for me. Has anyone compared RAW files from the LX2 and GRDII?

    Simon

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Hi Simon,

    I bought the Dlux 3 just 3 days ago, after comparing it to both the G9 and the two Ricoh offerings. The G9 was quickly eliminated, mainly because of its size and general feel (this was just before Seans review..), and the GRD II because I felt too restricted by only 28 mm.

    So it was either the Dlux 3 or the GX 100. Very close contenders; my final choice was based mainly on the feel of the two, the Dlux 3 felt more solid and less "plastic-y". But I also liked the 16:9 screen a lot. The Ricoh was much easier to hold, however.
    Hi Per
    I went through exactly the same thought processes and ended up with the d-lux3; only with me the final choice between that and the GX100 was the longer focal length and the 16:9. It's interesting shooting with a different ratio.

    Like you, I'm really pleased with the camera - sure, there is some noise, but I've done a couple of large prints - (on 17" roll paper - so, 26" or so). They look just fine.

    I was a little worried by not being able to attach an external viewfinder . . then I realised that when in low light I'm much more likely to have an M8 around with a 28 or 50mm fast lens.

    The case is nice too!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Thanks for the kind words, Per!

    Simon, the D-Lux 3's JPEGs are useable up to ISO 400 for most images and, for the right images, even ISO 800, though it gets a little tricky. Here's an ISO 800 JPEG of mine:




    The ISO 800 RAW files are great and surprisingly robust. Ever since I got the San Disk card, I've shot nothing but RAW.

  13. #13
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Jono and Maggie,
    Thank you for sharing your high-ISO experiences with the D-Lux 3. In the meantime I have also gotten my hands on some LX2 RAW files, and the noise seems to be fine (compared to cameras from the same class). Also, there are some chromatic aberrations that are easily fixed. The RAW noise reduction is quite noticable, though, if you try to extract details from the shadows. No camera is perfect, and it seems the D-Lux3/LX2 is best used for fairly contrasty shots where the visible effects of noise reduction are pushed into the shadows.... I'll have to see how that compares with the niggles of other cameras.

    Talking about those other cameras, can anyone comment about the GRDII's flash performance (incl. compensation)?

  14. #14
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Ok, I will bump this only once... does anyone have experience with the flash (and flash compensation) on the GRDII?

    Thanks,
    Simon

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Simon,

    I only just received my GRDII but from my experience with the GRDI, which had no compensation mechanism, the biggest issue is the flash being so close to the lens. I remember I taped a small piece of diffuser over the flash lens to tame it as it tended to be overly strong, especially for a fill-flash application. The new GRD does allow up to +/- 2EV in 0.3EV steps. But, it is still so close to the lens that you virtually guarantee red-eye.

    Personally, I will use my Leica SF 24D (on auto) with a Nikon off-camera cord so that I can aim the flash for bouncing.

    Cheers,

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    With firmware 2.40 the GRD I does have flash compensation, this make the on-camera flash useable.
    I do not have the GRD II, thinking very strongly about getting a GX-100 though.

  17. #17
    Chuck A
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Simon,

    You are going through the same decision process that many people on this forum have gone through. These are all good cameras. The G9 was a bit too large for me also. The GX100 begged me to buy it but I think it needs one more generation to be perfected. I am hoping for a GX200 in a year or so. The GRDII is great in just about every way except for the 28mm FOV. For the meantime I bought the LX2 and I like it. Having had it only a few days I have not had the time to use it much. I noticed that the LX2 can be a bit hard to hold onto, especially for long periods. The grip in the GRD and GX100 is much better. I will have to experiment though and it will take me a while to get acquainted with the LX2.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    I have already dropped my D-Lux3. Slippery little devil. The LX2 has the little grip thingy but still hard to hold imho. I'm going to put a piece of friction tape on the front to help. Plus I don't use the thumb rest on the upper right of the back of the camera. Instead I hold it with my thumb along the lower right back edge of the camera, index on the top and middle curled on the front.

    Use your wrist strap. I've already got 3 dents from a 4' drop onto concrete

  19. #19
    helgipelgi
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    It is a surprisingly tough decision process, and I've now put my LX2 up for sale and ordered a GRDII. I'd love to own both, because the LX2 is a good camera and has that wonderful 16:9 aspect ratio, but it feels wasteful to have more (new) cameras than you can use.

    So, roll on GRDII!

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post

    Use your wrist strap. I've already got 3 dents from a 4' drop onto concrete
    LOL you should see my iphone! (I'm being careful with the D-lux3)

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    ....
    Use your wrist strap. I've already got 3 dents from a 4' drop onto concrete
    Good advice; also the wrist strap helps a lot in holding the camera. Ive put a sliding "bead" on the wrist strap, so I can make tighter over the wrist; now it can dangle safely when using the hand for other things.

    But WHAT did they think of when designing that gorgeous leather case? There simply isnt enough room to tuck the wrist strap inside; either youll have to remove it, or let it dangle outside and have it snagging on doorknobs and things....

  22. #22
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Thank you all very much for the additional comments. It seems that flash-wise, the GRDII could fulfill my needs. With my current compact (Canon S45), I have found red eyes less of a problem than I had expected, because I often shoot at close range. I am not sure whether the GRDII would be much worse. Of course, an external flash unit will do a better job overall.

    Mirroring helgipelgi's comment, and showing that camera selection can be really hard, I am now gravitating towards the camera that I had scrapped off my list before: the GX100. It's only a little bigger and a little noisier than the GRDII, the lens is not much worse (or even better), it zooms, has IS, and it's more than 100 euro cheaper.

    As for the flash: I think I may just use my Olympus FL-20 in auto mode in combination with manual aperture/shutter speed settings. When I am not carrying the external flash, I can still rely on the internal flash to give ok results (albeit with less control).

    The Dlux3/LX2 looks very good as well, but the smoothing of RAW files would really interfere with my style of photography. The G9 is great specification-wise (except for the narrow lens), but it simply doesn't really appeal to me...

    Cheers,
    Simon

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simon_t View Post
    ...
    The Dlux3/LX2 looks very good as well, but the smoothing of RAW files would really interfere with my style of photography....
    As far as Ive seen so far, this raw smoothing only shows up in 800 and 1600 ISO raws. Something dramatic seems to happen when going up from 400 to 800; the image "falls apart", with pixelations, blob-like details, and discernible banding. It seems the highest "true" sensitivity is 400, with the higher settings being only manipulations of underexposed 400 captures.

    As for 1600, just forget its even there... And use 800 only when there really is no alternative (sadly, the otherwise well-performing "I-ISO" includes 800, and often goes there). But 400 seems cleaner than on my Digilux 2 (still talking raw, of course).

  24. #24
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    As far as Ive seen so far, this raw smoothing only shows up in 800 and 1600 ISO raws.
    To be frank, I'm not really expecting to use any small sensor camera above ISO 400+ with good results. If I can, it's a nice bonus. So it would be fine with me if the smoothing started at ISO800.

    However, I stumbled on a set of LX2 RAW files that show this effect very clearly at ISO 100 - so they should represent the best the camera can produce. They can be found at http://www.esnips.com/web/viztygerphotos/
    The 'offenders' are P1000460.RAW, P1070119.RAW and P1030834_DNG.dng. If you look closely at the shadows, or try to boost the exposure of dark areas, it is very visible (to me, at least). Boosting the exposure is something I expect to do quite often when shooting high contrast scenes - and I greatly prefer noise to this artificial smoothing effect. I guess that whether it is an issue or not greatly depends on your shooting/processing style.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simon_t View Post
    ...a set of LX2 RAW files that show this effect very clearly at ISO 100 - so they should represent the best the camera can produce. They can be found at http://www.esnips.com/web/viztygerphotos/
    The 'offenders' are P1000460.RAW, P1070119.RAW and P1030834_DNG.dng. If you look closely at the shadows, or try to boost the exposure of dark areas, it is very visible (to me, at least)...
    Well, indeed they wouldnt have made Ansel Adams happy....

    Ive downloaded, and fiddled with, the dng file you mention (it was the smallest one), and the dark areas are indeed a mess. Still, Im a bit uncertain whats really going on here.

    After all, its a scene that would be a challenge even with compensating development of a b/w medium format negative (dark rock in shadow and foaming water in sunlight). So its conceivable that the darkest areas simply fall so close to the treshold that theyve become posterized.

    Im not familiar with exactly how the transform from linear raw space to the rendering we look at is done (no way to look DIRECTLY at a raw; it has to be rendered in some way), and from a practical point of view it doesnt really matter; the result matters, and here the result isnt pretty... But as I said, Im uncertain as to why. Im not convinced that there really has to be any smoothing involved to give the results we see in this case.

    I havent come across any scene even remotely approaching this contrast range since I got my Dlux 3 (Stocholm winter right now is a grey mess..), and Ive not seen anything like these artefacts in any of my low ISO shots. Also, the smoothing in 800 and 1600 shots isnt confined to just the darkest parts of the picture; they go all the way up to at least Zone V.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    I'm not seeing any "smearing" in P1000460.RAW at all. I'll attach a jpeg of my developed version. To me it looks sharp, and I'm kind of amazed at how well the lens resolves all those individual bricks. You can't really see them at 900xX, but at full size, no problemo.

    Also, the Leicasonic doesn't produce .DNG files, so either the file has the wrong EXIF data or there was a SNAFU in converting it to .DNG.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Per, if you're seeing "smoothing" in your RAW files I can't help but wonder if:

    1)You've got a faulty camera

    2)Maybe you're actually looking at the JPEGs that are produced at the same time

    I only say this because, I've never seen any evidence of smearing in my RAW files, but have seen plenty of it in the JPEGS.

  28. #28
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Per, the conversion from RAW sensor data to the output should not lead to posterization (and it would look slightly different). What I would expect, given the small sensor size, is noise in the shadows, even at ISO100. The fact that you don't get noise, but slightly blotched, patterned colors, seems to indicate that there is some smoothing going on.

    Maggie, when I converted that same image using Lightroom with a similar shadow boost, the smoothing was very evident on the grey bricks on the lower levels of the building on the left (not visible on your web sized image). Which converter did you use?

    Also, a conversion to DNG does not usually affect the RAW data (unless you force it to render a linear file), and it certainly should not introduce such smoothing.

    The effect certainly exists in the RAW file of this particular camera, and it sure looks like deliberate processing. But, as I said, you may not notice it, depending on your processing preferences.

    Simon
    Last edited by simon_t; 7th February 2008 at 15:08.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    I used iPhoto, which seems to do much better than ACR with Leica RAW files.

    Maybe it's the converter and not the camera that is doing the smoothing?

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    the lore is that there is a difference between the LX2 and D-Lux3 wrt "processing." Perhaps this is one example of the difference?

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Well, I went looking through my RAW files to see if I could find anything like the smearing described and I found a few files that had something like what was described and they all had the same things in common: ISO800, a shutter speed lower than 1/25 of a second, an animate subject (usually my cat) and deep shadows.

    My hypothesis: what we're seeing is a fatal cocktail of noise, image stabilization, camera movement, subject movement and more noise. Add those together with any NR from the PP (and just about all of them add some) and you get a blurry, smeared mess in the shadows. So, I don't think it's in-camera NR, but the OIS and other factors.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    so what you're telling us is there's no free lunch? Don't sugar-coat it...we can take it.

    mmm, sugar...

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    You want crazy high-ISO, low noise files that you can extract CIA-level shadow detail from?

    Get a C1 MF back or a Canon DSLR.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    no, I want that software program that takes a sat photo and has the "magic enhance" button so I can read the license plate of the bad guy's car.

    And I'd like a nice tequila. No lime.

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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    no, I want that software program that takes a sat photo and has the "magic enhance" button so I can read the license plate of the bad guy's car.

    And I'd like a nice tequila. No lime.
    I'm not currently at liberty to discuss that, sir. Now I'll have to ask you to take off you shoes...

  36. #36
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Maggie, I'm quite certain that ACR doesn't cause the smoothing, because it results in slightly colored 'blobs' that are 10+ pixels in size. As far as I know, ACR/Lightroom does nothing on these length scales (except for fill light and clarity). See the following crop for what I'm seeing in that file after boosting the shadows quite a bit [it is also visible with less pushing, but I'm trying to make this work on every monitor out there].


    You want crazy high-ISO, low noise files that you can extract CIA-level shadow detail from? Get a C1 MF back or a Canon DSLR.
    Of course, you'll need a larger sensor than this. That's why I'm only expressing my surprise at artifacts that pop up at base ISO and the fact that instead of noise (which I don't mind) I'm seeing a processed smear (see image above).

    the lore is that there is a difference between the LX2 and D-Lux3 wrt "processing." Perhaps this is one example of the difference?
    That may indeed be possible. Although this will be hard to determine if we can't agree on whether it's there in a specific file like the one above I'll see if I can take a look using another RAW converter as well.

    Cheers,
    Simon

  37. #37
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Per, if you're seeing "smoothing" in your RAW files I can't help but wonder if:

    1)You've got a faulty camera

    2)Maybe you're actually looking at the JPEGs that are produced at the same time

    I only say this because, I've never seen any evidence of smearing in my RAW files, but have seen plenty of it in the JPEGS.
    1) Possibly; Ive only had it for less than a week. Nothing else seems amiss, however.

    2) Nope. I know what Im doing...

    Quote Originally Posted by simon_t View Post
    Per, the conversion from RAW sensor data to the output should not lead to posterization (and it would look slightly different). What I would expect, given the small sensor size, is noise in the shadows, even at ISO100. The fact that you don't get noise, but slightly blotched, patterned colors, seems to indicate that there is some smoothing going on....
    Simon
    Well, as I said, I dont feel up to a detailed discussion of raw conversion algorithms. Still, "slightly blotched, patterned colors" sounds (looks) suspiciously like a description of noise in a signal that has only a few distinct values (like very close to the black point treshold).

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Well, I went looking through my RAW files to see if I could find anything like the smearing described and I found a few files that had something like what was described and they all had the same things in common: ISO800, a shutter speed lower than 1/25 of a second, an animate subject (usually my cat) and deep shadows.
    Ha! Now were getting somewhere! This is exactly the kind of situations where Ive seen this effect in 800 and 1600 settings (in my case a shaggy dog and a somewhat less hirsute wife, but I doubt the algorithms can distinguish between species...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    My hypothesis: what we're seeing is a fatal cocktail of noise, image stabilization, camera movement, subject movement and more noise. Add those together with any NR from the PP (and just about all of them add some) and you get a blurry, smeared mess in the shadows. So, I don't think it's in-camera NR, but the OIS and other factors.
    Quite possible; I dont have enough knowledge to challenge that hypothesis. In any case, the images in question look terrible. Ive realized, and accepted that Ive bought a good 100 - 400 ISO camera that can do 800 in a pinch, and that has a useless 1600 setting, Ill never even touch again (after all, one can do things to an underexposed 400 file in the converter, and might do it better than the camera).

    Finally, Im intrigued to hear you get good conversion results from the Apple OS engine; Ive only seen it at work in Preview, and there no editing is possible. iPhoto isnt enough for my workflow, but I might have a look at Intaglio.

    Anyway, within a few hours Ill have to disconnect and be off for the mountains for a week. So if I dont answer again, Im not sulking.. I look forward to see what this thread has come to after a week; I feel Ive learnt a lot from it already. Thanx all!

  38. #38
    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    ...Finally, Im intrigued to hear you get good conversion results from the Apple OS engine; Ive only seen it at work in Preview, and there no editing is possible. iPhoto isnt enough for my workflow, but I might have a look at Intaglio.
    ....
    Bah! Of course I meant Pixelmator ( http://www.pixelmator.com/ ), not Intaglio! And the edit period has expired. Too much flying around...

  39. #39
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Well, as I said, I dont feel up to a detailed discussion of raw conversion algorithms. Still, "slightly blotched, patterned colors" sounds (looks) suspiciously like a description of noise in a signal that has only a few distinct values (like very close to the black point treshold).
    Technically, you may be right. However, that would mean that Panasonic is using a bit depth that limits the dynamic range at base ISO (10 bits?), because the signal down to the posterization level is quite clean. Plus, there is some additional interference/spatial correlations leading to the stripy/blob-like character.

    My conclusion is that the dynamic range is limited by this effect (whatever it is) instead of by 'simple' noise. Just to be clear, I don't intend to 'bash' this camera, but there seem to be trade-offs involved in any model, and this appears to be one of them.

    Per, enjoy the mountains!

    Simon

  40. #40
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    My hypothesis: what we're seeing is a fatal cocktail of noise, image stabilization, camera movement, subject movement and more noise. Add those together with any NR from the PP (and just about all of them add some) and you get a blurry, smeared mess in the shadows. So, I don't think it's in-camera NR, but the OIS and other factors.[/QUOTE]

    I LOOOVE your FCH : Fatal Cocktail Hypothesis
    LOL! Cheers ...

  41. #41
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Looking at that crop Simon, I think you've hit on it- to me it looks like chroma noise, all mooshed together at the limits of lens/sensor resolution.

  42. #42
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Looking at that crop Simon, I think you've hit on it- to me it looks like chroma noise, all mooshed together at the limits of lens/sensor resolution.
    The problem is that it cannot really be an issue of spatial resolution, because the bricks in the brighter parts of the building look just fine. It's something that's done by the sensor and/or processing at lower signal levels, be it quantization, noise, or something else...

  43. #43
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Many thanks to all of you for addressing my questions. This weekend I have bought the GRDII.

    I am very impressed by the handling of this camera. In some ways, it's better thought out than my DSLR and it's *much* faster/better than my old Canon S45. Plus, it's a lot smaller than both. During my initial tests, I sometimes missed being able to zoom, but being forced to use the wide-angle has already triggered me to take a few unusual shots as well.

    Anyway, I'm having fun Here's one from this morning on the way to work. Shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom.

  44. #44
    wbrandsma
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Congratulations Simon with your GRD2. Where did you make this beautiful photo in the Netherlands? It doesn't look like Gelderland to me where I live. I hope you will enjoy your Ricoh a lot!

  45. #45
    simon_t
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    Re: GRDII vs. G9 (vs. LX2) - a couple of questions

    Thank you, Wouter. The photo was in the eastern outskirts of Amsterdam. At first it seems a little rural, but if you look closely you can see the A10 highway crossing the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal in the distance, and the crane on the right is only one of many - not to mention the cars. The area is heavily being developed.

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