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Old 03-14-2019   #81
benlees
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Increased sensor and processing tech may render (pun intended) lenses obsolete. Cropping is just picking an angle of view after all, optical physics notwithstanding. Ironic that Leica is advocating this approach.
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Old 03-14-2019   #82
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Increased sensor and processing tech may render (pun intended) lenses obsolete. Cropping is just picking an angle of view after all, optical physics notwithstanding. Ironic that Leica is advocating this approach.
It is inevitable that this will happen more, I suppose. Software based imaging is already making its "intrusion" into imaging and it is usual for cameras to recognize specific lenses and then apply corrections to the image in camera - after all Leica does it with its manual M lenses using simple six bit codes to ID lenses to the camera. And many manufacturers use the in-lens chip to ID the lens and have the camera apply a profile to correct say vignetting or distortion. Much easier and cheaper than developing a more complex optical solution for many applications.

But of course the "one lens fits all" approach is still still not entirely valid just because a large capacity sensor combined with cropping can be used to simulate lenses of differing focal lengths. (I presume that beyond a certain size the loss of pixels due to cropping becomes a non issue in practice at least for some applications so let's leave that aside for now).

But for bokeh freaks like me of course depth of field and rendering of OOF areas is still an issue to be contended with. Of course this could in principle be handled to an extent through software - after all I often use post processing of images to increase blur softness in areas behind and surrounding my main subject. Of course this requires a lot of processing, care, discrimination and dare I say some skill but this is not to say it could never be done in camera by clever software combined with suitable hardware capabilities.

Though it would require the camera to recognize what elements of the photo are the main subject (based on where focus falls) what parts are behind the area of main focus and what areas are in front. (It's the latter two things the camera would need additional facilities for). But if the camera can do this I suppose it could then apply an algorithm which selectively applies blur to those areas of the image or at least retain the info so necessary blur can be applied automatically by matching processing software when the image is downloaded to a computer. Complex, yes. Difficult, yes. Requires powerful new software and processors in the camera which introduce other problems like heat, weight and processing delay when saving the image which might compromise buffering etc. Yes. But impossible? Not so sure it would be at least one day. (Though I am also not sure being a bit of a purist it is desirable for me - though admittedly many would not care one way or the other.) Correct me if I am wrong but don't some cameras already have image stacking options to allow multiple focus points from multiple images to be stacked to do the reverse i.e. to produce a final photo where everything is in focus.

So long story short more and more imaging is being supplemented by software capabilities of increasing power and sophistication. If there is a latent demand for it then I suppose this stuff could well come about too. After all writing software to do something complex is often cheaper in the long run than developing and manufacturing complex hardware (like lenses with complex optical solutions) to do the same thing. And while I may prefer the benefits of doing it the old fashioned way, history suggests that me and people like me are in the minority and we will be swept away by market forces.
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Old 03-14-2019   #83
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Hi Peter,

Your images came out very nice. I know what you meant by not getting 100% what you expected from a new camera to you. I would also take photos in less challenging lights to see how the Q does there, and then I would move to the more difficult scenes to better understand the Q and figure out how to optimize settings so that you get what you ahve bene used to get, or maybe get something new.


I will keep experimenting Raid. I am reconciled to the fact that different cameras have different abilities and different shortcomings - there is no perfect camera. When I researched this (I made the decision more or less with eyes open and spent a couple of days reviewing options before I jumped. I might have spent more time but I could see that the price on the camera was quite good and priced to sell and I had to weigh this against the risk of someone else gazumping me) it was apparent that, for example, the Sony RX1 had some advantages and some weaknesses. So did the various Sony A7 models. And so did the Leica M 240 option which I also thought about. etc.

On the whole, the Leica Q seemed to have the best set of capabilities and least number of deficits for me. And I liked the idea of having a "point and shoot" (though I think this understates what the Q actually is) that is very similar in the hand to a Leica M but with AF etc).

Having said this, recent reading (after I purchased the camera) has caused me to discover at least one other shortcoming that, had I realized it, may have made me think further about buying or not buying. The Q has a reputation for banding of images in shadow areas and for this to become rapidly worse as images are pulled in post (or is it pushed - I can never remember). Given I like to protect my highlights by under exposing images up to a stop - or at least half a stop and then correcting this in post, this is potentially a much more serious problem for me especially if the Q also does not handle highlight areas all that well in any event. But here too I will try for longer and see how the camera performs generally. So far I have been happy with the ability to shoot in DNG, then have the camera turn in really nice images directly out of camera requiring very little post processing to correct images. I hope the banding issue is not something that will be too problematic. I may be able to use a couple of processing tricks I have up my sleeve to reduce this in post.

More on this will follow, I think as I get more experience of the camera and its capabilities.
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Old 03-14-2019   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post

But for bokeh freaks like me of course depth of field and rendering of OOF areas is still an issue to be contended with. Of course this could in principle be handled to an extent through software - after all I often use post processing of images to increase blur softness in areas behind and surrounding my main subject. Of course this requires a lot of processing, care, discrimination and dare I say some skill but this is not to say it could never be done in camera by clever software combined with suitable hardware capabilities.

Though it would require the camera to recognize what elements of the photo are the main subject (based on where focus falls) what parts are behind the area of main focus and what areas are in front. (It's the latter two things the camera would need additional facilities for). But if the camera can do this I suppose it could then apply an algorithm which selectively applies blur to those areas of the image or at least retain the info so necessary blur can be applied automatically by matching processing software when the image is downloaded to a computer. Complex, yes. Difficult, yes. Requires powerful new software and processors in the camera which introduce other problems like heat, weight and processing delay when saving the image which might compromise buffering etc. Yes. But impossible? Not so sure it would be at least one day.
This sounds a lot like the portrait mode in the latest generation of smartphones--some of which use two lenses and depth measurements for the effect, and some of which use one lens and, if I'm not wrong, machine learning.

Since machine learning is already making its way into autofocus technology (I think the latest generation of Olympus cameras has them?) it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that this tech will make its way into cameras with larger lenses at some point too.
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Old 03-15-2019   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Having said this, recent reading (after I purchased the camera) has caused me to discover at least one other shortcoming that, had I realized it, may have made me think further about buying or not buying. The Q has a reputation for banding of images in shadow areas and for this to become rapidly worse as images are pulled in post (or is it pushed - I can never remember).
Peter, be sure to run the latest firmware in your Q, which in my experience helped the banding issue. I underexpose (-2/3 ex comp) my Q files, then pull up the shadows if needed in post, as you described.
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Old 03-15-2019   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlees View Post
Increased sensor and processing tech may render (pun intended) lenses obsolete. Cropping is just picking an angle of view after all, optical physics notwithstanding. Ironic that Leica is advocating this approach.
B,

GoPro has a 360 video camera that allows cropping to the extent that one 360 camera can take the place of multiple cameras. The negative criticism and limitations seem to be that the post processing software needs a bit more development.

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Old 03-15-2019   #87
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Shooting cropped and crop in post are different.
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Old 03-15-2019   #88
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Shooting cropped and crop in post are different.
How so? Please explain.
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Old 03-15-2019   #89
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How so? Please explain.
Shooting cropped (i.e. the 35mm crop of 30MP of the Q2), you see and frame with the intended focal length. Your "mind's frame" changes accordingly. Then you make the decisions, which is the foundation of all art.

Crop in post, you're making a decision once more, which is convenient thanks to technology. But digital photography is still photography, and there is something irreplaceable and unrepeatable in the photographic process: you're no longer there - what had been excluded are gone forever.
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Old 03-15-2019   #90
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Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Shooting cropped (i.e. the 35mm crop of 30MP of the Q2), you see and frame with the intended focal length. Your "mind's frame" changes accordingly. Then you make the decisions, which is the foundation of all art.

Crop in post, you're making a decision once more, which is convenient thanks to technology. But digital photography is still photography, and there is something irreplaceable and unrepeatable in the photographic process: you're no longer there - what had been excluded are gone forever.
A thoughtful response. One of being "in the moment" and the other not.

Thanks for this post.

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Old 03-15-2019   #91
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I'm not sure why people are freaking out about the crop mode 'focal lengths'.

You can crop any image from any camera. Ever made. Don't need to spend $5K to do that.
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Old 03-15-2019   #92
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Q is a closed system camera..a nice one..but..still a closed system..
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Old 03-15-2019   #93
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I'm not sure why people are freaking out about the crop mode 'focal lengths'.

You can crop any image from any camera. Ever made. Don't need to spend $5K to do that.
Huss,

Not about freaking out. More about exploiting 47 Mp. That's the idea behind the Q2. It is about flexibility in a small fixed lens camera.

For many who don't print or print big the loss of IQ via cropping away mega pixels does less harm because of abundance. While not for everyone...

BTW I seldom crop, and if I do only a little. For me a Q2 would be great because 28mm FOV is a favored FOV and perhaps 90-95% of the time it would be used as such.

Cal
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Old 03-15-2019   #94
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Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Huss,

Not about freaking out. More about exploiting 47 Mp. That's the idea behind the Q2. It is about flexibility in a small fixed lens camera.

For many who don't print or print big the loss of IQ via cropping away mega pixels does less harm because of abundance. While not for everyone...

BTW I seldom crop, and if I do only a little. For me a Q2 would be great because 28mm FOV is a favored FOV and perhaps 90-95% of the time it would be used as such.

Cal
Then get a Nikon Z7 with a 28mm lens and have $1500 left over. Plus you can also use pretty much any other lens you want. And the Nikon has IBIS.

Of course I'm just being a crotchety old basket..


Here is a nice review (perhaps posted already?)

http://www.slack.co.uk/leica-q2.html
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Old 03-15-2019   #95
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Just a query on how to use the crop mode.

I understand that both cameras (the Q and the Q2) keep the DNG file intact but crop the associated JPG file in camera. Here is my question.... Does this mean you already must have the camera set to save in both JPG and DNG formats BEFORE you try to set crop mode? Or does the camera automatically turn the duel save mode on when crop mode is activated in the menu or when the relevant button is pushed?

The thing is I never see a need to shoot in both JPG and DNG mode for normal shooting and given the size of the files would prefer not to do so in the interests of saving time when transferring files and also saving space on disk. I always post process so I am a DNG or RAW kind of guy.

If the camera requires you to activate dual file saving before activating crop mode that makes this feature of the camera substantially less useful for me as it means I cannot just make a spur of the moment decision to crop an image when I am shooting. I have to plan ahead. This kind of makes it like using an M where I would need to change a lens if I want to "crop" an image. And hence would make this feature a little bit redundant - no matter how much they hype it. Having said this, this is not a deal breaker for me since as I said I always post process and am happy to crop in post.

I have just got my Q so have not had the chance to experiment.
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Old 03-15-2019   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Just a query on how to use the crop mode.

I understand that both cameras (the Q and the Q2) keep the DNG file intact but crop the associated JPG file in camera. Here is my question.... Does this mean you already must have the camera set to save in both JPG and DNG formats BEFORE you try to set crop mode? Or does the camera automatically turn the duel save mode on when crop mode is activated in the menu or when the relevant button is pushed?...
The associated JPG is the only way to get an "out of camera" cropped result. But in any case, saving the JPG or not, when shooting in a crop mode the DNG is tagged for the relevant crop. When the DNG is brought into Lightroom it is automatically displayed in the selected crop. Of course the full non-cropped image is also there in the DNG if you choose to adjust the cropping in LR.
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Old 03-15-2019   #97
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The associated JPG is the only way to get an "out of camera" cropped result. But in any case, saving the JPG or not, when shooting in a crop mode the DNG is tagged for the relevant crop. When the DNG is brought into Lightroom it is automatically displayed in the selected crop. Of course the full non-cropped image is also there in the DNG if you choose to adjust the cropping in LR.
OK that's great to know. Am I to take it that this means that I can choose to shoot, say, at 35mm in DNG only and the DNG file in Lightroom will show the 35mm frameline boundaries overlayed on tht DNG image. That is, I can continue to ignore the option of saving in JPG and DNG simultaneously?
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Old 03-15-2019   #98
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OK that's great to know. Am I to take it that this means that I can choose to shoot, say, at 35mm in DNG only and the DNG file in Lightroom will show the 35mm frameline boundaries overlayed on tht DNG image. That is, I can continue to ignore the option of saving in JPG and DNG simultaneously?
Yes, you can ignore saving both JPG and DNG if you don't want the JPG. Lightroom will display the DNG as cropped, not with the framelines. Using the framing/crop tool in LR will allow changing the crop. I have not used this feature myself, info as I understand it from the reviews...
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Old 03-16-2019   #99
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Using a film camera seems to be far less complicated, and I can understand why many photographers stayed with using film cameras. Using modern digital cameras may require new faster computers for post processing large sized image files. I think that as we get older, it becomes more difficult to dump digital photography due to not having the patience and extra expendable money to afford quality film development. I still enjoy my ancient M8 and M9 cameras and also the basic M 4/3 12-16 MP cameras .
Getting a Q or Q2 has the advantage of focusing on one lens.
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Old 03-16-2019   #100
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Yes, you can ignore saving both JPG and DNG if you don't want the JPG. Lightroom will display the DNG as cropped, not with the framelines. Using the framing/crop tool in LR will allow changing the crop. I have not used this feature myself, info as I understand it from the reviews...
Thanks for this useful tip, Doug.
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Old 03-16-2019   #101
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... I underexpose (-2/3 ex comp) my Q files, then pull up the shadows if needed in post, as you described.
This effectively reduces raw data signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range by at least 2/3 EV compared to the highest practical exposure.

Banding is typically more obvious as SNR decreases. In all cases banding appears first in shadow regions because they have the lowest SNR.

Think about a raw file made with the lens cap on. There is no light, so there is no signal. In fact the time dependent (random) read noise and time independent artifacts (banding) become the signal! Now both could be well above the analog-to-digital converter's noise floor, both are digitized and both appear in the rendered image.

With the lens cap removed the light becomes the signal. At some level of illuminance, the signal and the photon noise levels become much greater than the read noise and artifact (banding) levels. The artifact levels fall below the ADC noise floor threshold and they are not digitized.

Here's a link.

Banding that increases with exposure is periodic noise. Periodic noise is caused by interference between coherent electronic artifacts and the signal. In some cases interference could increase with signal level (exposure). Periodic noise can be minimized by in-camera data filtering.
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Old 03-16-2019   #102
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Yes, you can ignore saving both JPG and DNG if you don't want the JPG. Lightroom will display the DNG as cropped, not with the framelines. Using the framing/crop tool in LR will allow changing the crop. I have not used this feature myself, info as I understand it from the reviews...
Yes, that is the way it works. With the SL too.
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Old 03-16-2019   #103
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This effectively reduces raw data signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range by at least 2/3 EV compared to the highest practical exposure.

Banding is typically more obvious as SNR decreases. In all cases banding appears first in shadow regions because they have the lowest SNR.

Think about a raw file made with the lens cap on. There is no light, so there is no signal. In fact the time dependent (random) read noise and time independent artifacts (banding) become the signal! Now both could be well above the analog-to-digital converter's noise floor, both are digitized and both appear in the rendered image.

With the lens cap removed the light becomes the signal. At some level of illuminance, the signal and the photon noise levels become much greater than the read noise and artifact (banding) levels. The artifact levels fall below the ADC noise floor threshold and they are not digitized.

Here's a link.

Banding that increases with exposure is periodic noise. Periodic noise is caused by interference between coherent electronic artifacts and the signal. In some cases interference could increase with signal level (exposure). Periodic noise can be minimized by in-camera data filtering.




While I understand the above - and the "shoot to the right" rule of thumb that follows it, (and am not disputing what you say in general) I find that shooting using "the "highest practical exposure" too often produces blown highlights when shooting outside - in the wild as it were, where sea, sky, bright lights in frame, etc have to be contended with as a practical reality. Blown highlights are almost always obvious, ugly and rarely acceptable in an image. And as a result they too often ruin an image completely. Hence it becomes desirable (at least) to expose somewhat for the brighter areas then pull the rest of the image in post. This means parts of the image will be under exposed - you have moved the exposure curve "to the left". The extent that one can or should do this is matter for experience and experimentation with each image - and with each camera / sensor.

Over-dark shadows look more natural than blown highlights and you can get away with it more often, even though theoretically you have lost some signal in the image. And I find it's the only trade off that mostly works - a usable image that is not quite so replete with the data that it should have in theory is better than an image that has some areas of well exposed pixels that has maximum data combined with areas of the blank white of blown highlights which ruin the overall appearance. This is to a significant extent due to the nature of electronic sensors - too often there is not the gentle gradation from darker shades to white found in film photography - just an ugly transition to sudden blocks of white. (It is something if you will recall many years ago, Fuji tried to address early on by having two types of sensor sites in their sensor arrays - normal ones plus sensor sites designed specifically to handle bright areas)

Shooting to the right is a compromise that works brilliantly in the studio where exposure is inherently controlled by the shooter. But where one has to contend with excessive and uncontrollable brightness in the scene it pretty much works not at all, except that it is something to be borne in mind - don't overdo making the image excessively under exposed as under exposure by too much or will risk ending up with banding or other artifacts of excessively dark exposure and overall loss of data.

If the Q is excessively prone to banding in shadow areas this is a problem. But some reports do claim the tendency has been reduced with later firmware upgrades.
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Old 03-16-2019   #104
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A most expensive point and shoot, almost size of regular M.
A huge MP requiring newest computer..
Why not a zoom lens that offered various lens lengths?
I'd rather lose light than cropping image..
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Old 03-16-2019   #105
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^^^^^ +1 what peter said responding to willie’s point re SNR and intentional underexposure. i crush blacks in favor of highlight detail in high contrast light i can’t modify. Banding is the lesser of two sins, for me. Latest firmware in my Q lessens but does not eliminate it. I’ve convinced myself shadow detail is an oxymoron anyway.
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Old 03-17-2019   #106
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Interesting to note in Sean Reid's review of the Q2 comparing performance at increasing ISO to that of the older Q... He found that the original Q is inherently slightly less noisy than the Q2. But, when the Q2's higher resolution is employed in scaling down the image to Q-size, then it becomes the one that is slightly better!
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Old 04-16-2019   #107
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Hi, did anyone get their hands on a Q2 yet, and what is the experience thus far? (yes, I am tempted, very tempted....)

Thanks, Jean-Marc
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Old 04-16-2019   #108
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Hi, did anyone get their hands on a Q2 yet, and what is the experience thus far? (yes, I am tempted, very tempted....)

Thanks, Jean-Marc
My friend Kristian Dowling who used to post here a lot under the name "LeicaShot" just put up some photos and short video on his instagram from the recent Thai New Year in Bangkok, which is essentially one big water fight. It the shows the camera with lots of water on it and some of the images that he shot with it. It's pretty interesting.

I am sorry but I don't think he posted it on any websites so you would have to look at his instagram which is his first and last name with no space between them.

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Old 04-16-2019   #109
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I have now had time to post a couple of Leica Q (not Q2) shots to my Flickr account (I have been quite seriously ill and so have done little shooting for the past month). The shots here were taken in evening / night time settings and pulled. I have not seen banding so far. The images are nothing special however and there was some crazy exterior street lighting color to contend with in the second image. Being made with an identical lens and with a processor which is closely related to the Q2's newer process I would expect very similar results from that camera with the obvious exception of resolution and possibly as noted below by another poster, some difference in noise.

Tapas Bar by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Night Time - Bar Crawl by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #110
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Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
While I understand the above - and the "shoot to the right" rule of thumb that follows it, (and am not disputing what you say in general) I find that shooting using "the "highest practical exposure" too often produces blown highlights when shooting outside - in the wild as it were, where sea, sky, bright lights in frame, etc have to be contended with as a practical reality. Blown highlights are almost always obvious, ugly and rarely acceptable in an image. And as a result they too often ruin an image completely. Hence it becomes desirable (at least) to expose somewhat for the brighter areas then pull the rest of the image in post. This means parts of the image will be under exposed - you have moved the exposure curve "to the left". The extent that one can or should do this is matter for experience and experimentation with each image - and with each camera / sensor.

Over-dark shadows look more natural than blown highlights and you can get away with it more often, even though theoretically you have lost some signal in the image. And I find it's the only trade off that mostly works - a usable image that is not quite so replete with the data that it should have in theory is better than an image that has some areas of well exposed pixels that has maximum data combined with areas of the blank white of blown highlights which ruin the overall appearance. This is to a significant extent due to the nature of electronic sensors - too often there is not the gentle gradation from darker shades to white found in film photography - just an ugly transition to sudden blocks of white. (It is something if you will recall many years ago, Fuji tried to address early on by having two types of sensor sites in their sensor arrays - normal ones plus sensor sites designed specifically to handle bright areas)

Shooting to the right is a compromise that works brilliantly in the studio where exposure is inherently controlled by the shooter. But where one has to contend with excessive and uncontrollable brightness in the scene it pretty much works not at all, except that it is something to be borne in mind - don't overdo making the image excessively under exposed as under exposure by too much or will risk ending up with banding or other artifacts of excessively dark exposure and overall loss of data.

If the Q is excessively prone to banding in shadow areas this is a problem. But some reports do claim the tendency has been reduced with later firmware upgrades.
Hi Peter - I have been following your comments for years! The ultimate Lurker ;-)
Your explanation above articulates my experience. In fact you explain the issues so well that I have taken the liberty of copying it and passing it on to a few budding photographer friends (and relatives). I have also advised them that it is all your work, and I have referred them to this forum and your articles on Steve Huff's site.
kind regards
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Old 6 Days Ago   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agricola View Post
Hi Peter - I have been following your comments for years! The ultimate Lurker ;-)
Your explanation above articulates my experience. In fact you explain the issues so well that I have taken the liberty of copying it and passing it on to a few budding photographer friends (and relatives). I have also advised them that it is all your work, and I have referred them to this forum and your articles on Steve Huff's site.
kind regards
Thanks Agricola. Much appreciated. Take all the liberty you like. Cheers Peter
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Old 6 Days Ago   #112
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All this internet hoo-har about requiring X amount of megapixels in order to effectively crop and also requiring X amount of megapixels for certain print sizes.

I passed a billboard poster (the size of a building) with an image from an iPhone at the weekend. AN IPHONE. 12mp.

This has been a public service announcement.
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