Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Sunday, August 29th 2010

Scanning Negatives

On and off I’ve been thinking of getting a negative scanner for quite some time. The other week I finally made a decision and ordered a Reflecta Crystalscan 7200 from German Scandig.

I have already scanned a number of films and it is amazing to see how much detail their actually is in those old photos. I’m scanning at 3600 dpi, which means I end up with 17 megapixel images. Probably slightly overkill, but storage space is not an issue so I’m going with safe, not sorry. Obviously though the detail and smoothness is nowhere near what I get out of my 50D (or even my 30D).

Here is the first roll I scanned.

The big win is really just to have all the old photographs digitized, which makes them easy to share and keeps them safer for the future (provided you have a good back-up routine). And just seeing all the photos, one by one, brings back loads of great memories.

First I will be scanning my own and my wife’s photos. After those ~100 films, if I have the energy, I might keep going with my parents photos.

Friday, June 25th 2010

Flickr is *Finally* Being Updated

Flickr have at long last decided to release an upgrade to their users.

The upgrade is currently only visible if you’re logged in to Flickr, but will be rolled out to all visitors in the coming weeks.

There are many improvements, but the ones I like best are a larger default size (up from 500 to 640 pixels) on the photo page and a new light box mode for viewing photos larger.

Screenshot of the new Flickr photo page.

But I can’t help wondering why they didn’t go for at least 720 pixels while they were at it. Or why not – since this is 2010 – a design that adapts the photo size to the browser window, à la Picasa? Perhaps that wouldn’t make it possible for Flickr to apply their magical sharpening that gives all Flickr photos that crisp look.

The new page seems to be designed to fit into a 1024×768 screen. If that is a requirement, then I just wish they’d spend a few more pixels on the photo and a few less on the right hand column.

Are we going to have to wait another 6 years for the next size increase?

At least they made navigation more intuitive with arrows labelled Newer and Older just above the photo. If you’re viewing a set, the buttons are labelled Prev and Next. (I’ve been using Flickr since 2006 and I still haven’t learnt if older photos are to the left or to the right on the photo page.)

The new light box is much better than the old All sizes page. (The All sizes page still exists though, and has been improved too.)

Screenshot of the new Flickr light box.

Basically it is a response to the View large on black link that many users have been adding to their photo description.

This is better though. It has a dark grey background, and buttons to move back and forward through the photos. It also has a play button that gives you a simple slide-show. The old (Flash) slide-show is still available though.

One thing that has nagged me for quite some time is the fact that the 1024 pixel images look soft, especially in comparison to the medium 500/640 pixel size. I’d really like them to apply a little sharpening to the 1024 pixel images too.

To sum up, some great improvements. They’ve really identified Flickr’s weak spots, I just wish they had done even more to fix them.

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010

Family Photo Shoot

The other week I had the privilege of taking some family portraits of my cousin, his girlfriend and their daughter. It was great fun, and since they’re all so photogenic we ended up with loads of good photos. Here are just a few of them.

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Tuesday, June 22nd 2010

Converting to DNG

After having thought about it loosely for ages, I decided to finally convert all my raw (CR2) files into the open DNG (digital negative) file format. But before I did so I sat down and did plenty of internet research to make sure I wasn’t doing something stupid.

If you didn’t know, DNG is Adobe’s attempt to create a universal and openly documented raw image file format. The (perhaps optimistic) idea being that camera makers will start using it instead of their proprietary raw formats (*cough* nikoncanon *splutter*). Whether or not this will ever become true remains to be seen.

Thankfully all photographers that want to can make use of DNG and its benefits regardless of which camera make they have, thanks to Adobe’s free DNG Converter.

Here are the factors that made me convert …

Future proof

Imagine the following scenario. Canon make a few bad decisions on their camera line-up. Nikon make a few really good ones. Nikon gains loads and loads of market share, making Canon a minor player. Canon is bought by Sony or Nikon, who proceed to terminate Canon’s own camera production. (Nikon users: Imagine the opposite.)

That could all happen in say five–ten years in a worst case scenario.

Then, in 2019, it is time to buy a new computer. And with a new computer comes a new operating system. Then, it turns out, there is no software for Windows 10 that reads CR2 files from a Canon EOS 30D. Dead end? Well, probably not, but there would be a lot of hassle for sure.

Actually, even if Canon are still around in 2019 it is quite possible that they won’t release software to cater for the oldest camera models and their raw files.

With DNG files the chance of there not being compatible software is much smaller since the specification is entirely open. (Read it here if you like.) Even if Adobe were to be blasted off the face of the earth, the DNG specification would live on. And someone in the intersection between photography geeks and computer geeks would most certainly write a program that can read DNGs.

Granted, you could argue that as long as Adobe’s DNG Converter is around there is no need to rush. And there isn’t really, but there are a few more pros that made me do the switch now. Read on.

Previews and metadata

DNGs will contain a preview JPEG (tiny, medium or full size) and all the metadata of the original raw file, plus any metadata you want to add such as keywords, titles, captions or develop settings. For anyone using Adobe Lightroom, Bridge or Camera Raw this means that you’ll have one DNG file instead of a CR2/NEF image file and an XMP metadata file next to it.

Also, when you’ve changed the appearance of a photo you can render a new preview JPEG and embed it in the DNG. (In Lightroom: Right click and choose Metadata -> Update DNG Preview & Metadata.) I don’t know how NEFs work, but with CR2 files there is definitely no way of updating the embedded JPEG.

File size

DNG files are often smaller then the camera’s raw file. This is thanks to better compression, but also thanks to the possibility to use a smaller size JPEG than in the original.

I chose the medium JPEG size (1024 pixels I think) and the DNG files are on average 19 percent smaller than the CR2s from my Canon EOS 50D. My thinking here is that I don’t really need a full size preview in the raw file once I have it on the computer. In the camera it’s a different matter – there I need the full size preview to be able to check focus. And even if I do choose to embed a full size JPEG the DNG ends up ~10% smaller.

It will be a while though before I will actually see the benefit of the smaller file size, because right now I’m keeping my CR2 files in parallel with the DNGs. I also have them backed up to our two external drives (one off location) as well as on DVDs. So I have essentially doubled my storage needs.

In a few weeks though I’ll probably feel 100% comfortable with the conversion, and then I’ll delete the CR2s from my working folders and only have the three backup copies.

No negatives?

Considering that DNGs are just that, negatives, there are very few drawbacks. The only one, as I see it, is that I won’t be able to go back and use Canon’s own raw converters Raw Image Task or Digital Photo Professional. This is a rather academic point though, since I have never wanted to use either of them since moving to Lightroom. The only reason I might want to do that in the future would be to see how much better raw image processing has become since I bought my camera. So I might make such a comparison before I actually chuck the CR2 files.

Conclusion

Being a Lightroom user, the DNG format is very useful. I’m not sure if DNG is quite as sweet a deal if you’re using some other raw converter though, and DNG isn’t necessarily for everyone. But for me it definitely is a great step up from the CR2 format. So far I haven’t had any second thoughts at all, and I doubt I will have any later on either.

Thursday, June 10th 2010

More Lightroom 3 Demos

Here are a few more hover comparisons of Lightroom 2 and 3. (Here are some previous ones I made.)

Highlight edges look much better in Lightroom 3.

See how Lightroom 3 deals with the highlights. Somehow it manages to get rid of those unnatural red edges.

Lightroom 3 can deal with chromatic aberration automatically.

Here you can see how version 3 automatically deals with chromatic aberration, based on what it knows about the lens that was used. Here I used my Canon 17-55mm, which is one of the many lenses that have been profiled by Adobe. Also, you’ll notice that Lightroom 3 is much better at showing the fine branches to the right.

Automatic correction of geometric distortion in Lightroom 3.

The automatic lens correction can also deal with geometric distortion. This lets you get rid of that bulging look you often get at the wide end of a zoom lens. Since this affects cropping slightly, I’ve personally left this off by default. I’ll only use it when necessary.

Automatic vignetting correction in Lightroom 3.

LR3 can correct for lens vignetting too, but more often than not I think vignetting adds some natural punch to a photo, including the example above. So I probably won’t use this very often at all.

Wednesday, June 9th 2010

Lightroom 3 and High ISO Images

Hover this image to see what Lightroom 3 can do with a hopelessly noisy ISO 12,800 photo:

High ISO noise reduction in Lightroom 3.

(This is a 100% crop from my Canon EOS 50D.)

And since I can set up defaults based on the image’s ISO setting, I can make it do that automatically.

Tuesday, June 8th 2010

Lightroom 3 is Out!

Sooner than I dared hope, Adobe have released the final version of Lightroom 3. The biggest improvement for me will be the automatic lens correction, which deals with chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion based on lens profiles. (Although I will probably only get rid of chromatic aberration by default.)

Now I’m going to spend all afternoon playing around with the new features, and I’ll post my thoughts later on.

Friday, May 28th 2010

10,000 photos in 7 minutes

On Saturday I will have had my 30D for exactly four years. In those four years the camera has done 27,773 exposures, or 19 clicks a day on average.

Canon EOS 30D.

Out of those 27,773 exposures I have …

  • Kept 10,668 original raws and jpegs, which means I did 2.6 clicks for each kept photo.
  • Taken 2,724 (25,5%) vertical shots and 7,944 (74,5%) horizontal shots.
  • Made 27 panoramas.
  • Made 131 HDR’s.

Someone asked me, at the photography course last week, what I usually photograph. I’m always stumped by that question and never have a good answer. But now I do.

I’ve put all the 10,668 photos together into a stop motion video, or a 25 frame per second slide-show if you wish. This is probably not interesting to anyone but myself, but I guess it may inspire some other crazy (creative?) person to do the same with their photos. It does make your eyes rather sore after a few minutes though …

Here’s a table showing which lenses I’ve used the most:

Lens Number of kept photos
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 4,864
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 1,967
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 1,495
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS 1,433
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 519
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS 384
Canon EF 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 4
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro 2

My workhorse has obviously been the Sigma 17-70mm, and it has served me well. In January I got a second hand Canon 17-55mm IS and sold the Sigma. The last two lenses in the table belong to a friend, I just tried them once.

The longest exposure I’ve taken was 28 minutes 25 seconds:

Star trails 2

Tomorrow (Friday) there’s a guy coming over who is interested in buying the 30D. This camera has a lot of life left in it, so whoever gets it I’m sure they’ll have plenty of fun with it.

Monday, May 24th 2010

Ölandsbron

Last week I took a photography course in Kalmar, led by Göran Segeholm, a well known Swedish photographer/writer. Our first assignment was to write down a word describing how we felt about the course, and then go out and take a photo that illustrated that word. I wrote down hope.

I decided to try and get the sunrise in a shot together with the bridge from Kalmar to Öland (Ölandsbron). I chose the last of these six shots to illustrate hope, but sadly it didn’t evoke that word from the other people on the course when they reviewed it. Anyway, it was great getting up at 3.45 am and to see the sun rise over the horizon.

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Sunday, May 23rd 2010

First impressions: 50D vs 30D

Last Friday I picked my new Canon EOS 50D up at the post office. (Quotes because post offices don’t exist any more in Sweden, you pick your parcels up at the nearest shop.)

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I started by going through all the settings, changing everything to the way I want it. For instance, I don’t want the camera to rotate vertical images on the screen, I prefer to rotate the camera myself to make use of the whole screen width. Also, I set the camera to only use the main (full step) ISO speeds. 100, 200, 400, etc. And about a million other things. I customized My menu to include the following:

  • Beep on/off
  • Erase images
  • Sensor cleaning
  • Camera user setting – lets you change the C1/C2 modes.
  • Exposure compensation/AEB

Judging from experience, once I’ve got everything set up I will rarely change any settings other than those.

I’ve also set the Func button to access exposure bracketing. On the 30D I would have had to use the menu to get at this.

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First impressions

Here are some things I noticed about the 50D.

  • It feels faster and more responsive than the 30D. Mainly the viewfinder blackout (when the mirror flips up during the exposure) feels much quicker/shorter. According to The Digital Picture, the difference is only 100ms vs 110 ms. I could have sworn it felt like a much larger difference. (I hadn’t checked the specs when I felt the difference the first time.)

    Perhaps the slightly shorter shutter lag time (59ms vs 65ms) adds to the feeling of speed. Even so, that makes a total of only 16ms less time (from full press to open viewfinder again) and I didn’t know it was humanly possible to detect those kinds of minimal time values.

  • As someone put it in a forum thread somewhere, if the 30D feels like a brick, the 50D feels slightly like a hollow brick. It stil feels very well built, but just slightly more plasticky and electronic and less metal and camera. Which is strange considering it is slightly heavier, 740 grams vs 700 grams.

  • The 50D has a coarse, grainy finish while the 30D’s body is smooth. This felt weird at first, but its obviously just a matter of me being used to the 30D.

  • The shutter sound of the 50D is quite different from the sound of the 30D’s shutter. It is hard to describe in words, but I’d say it sounds quicker and more electronic somehow. And it is definitely quieter.

  • The shoulders on the 50D are higher and straighter than those on the 30D. This makes the grip slightly (5mm) taller, which is definitely a good thing. The 50D also has a notch which fits the middle finger perfectly. No big deal, but nice.

  • The functions of the three buttons on top of the camera have been moved around. The new arrangement is more logical, but will take some time for my fingers to learn.

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  • I thought the smaller play/delete/info buttons would be harder to press than on the 30D. Actually, I’d say they’re almost easier. The buttons on the 30D are very soft and need to be pushed in quite far. The 50D’s buttons have a more noticeable click and don’t go as far in.

  • The improved screen is very nice. The fact that the preview JPEGs that are included in the RAW files now are full size means that you actually can determine sharpness/focus in-camera. On the 30D a photo could look sharp on the screen, zoomed in. But on the computer there was more detail which showed you a slightly blurry photo.

  • At first I thought my Seagull angle finder didn’t seem to fit the viewfinder on the 50D. But it turned out it was just a bit tight. (In the end I’m not sure it’s any tighter than on the 30D.) I keep the small plastic adapter that sits between the viewfinder and the angle finder on all the time. It protects my glasses from scratches, but doesn’t get them greasy like the standard rubber eye-piece tends to do.

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All in all, I’m very happy with the 50D. After a week I already feel at home with the very slightly different controls. Today I put my ad up for the 30D [swe].

Side note: Sometimes I get the question why I put my camera down sideways. Simply because it puts the least strain on the front of the lens that way (when the battery grip is mounted).

Thursday, May 13th 2010

Before Breakfast

Getting up at 5 am can have its benefits, even if its hard to see the benefits just as the alarm goes off.

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Wednesday, May 12th 2010

My 50D on its way

I almost forgot! Last Sunday (the 9th) I bought a Canon EOS 50D on Tradera, the Swedish version of Ebay. I got it for the equivalent of $120 less than the currently lowest price in Sweden – less than I had dared hope! The previous 50D’s sold by the same guy went for 6,750-7,200 SEK. Now the bidding ended at 6,100 SEK, or $786 by today’s conversion rate.

Canon EOS 50D

The seller claims it is new too, but I will check the number of clicks it has done with EOSInfo when I get it. Since the Tradera/Ebay system is based on ratings I seriously doubt the seller would lie about stuff like that though. And this seller has 187 positive ratings.

Right now the camera is somewhere in the hands of the Swedish postal service.

This copy supposedly has a European warranty, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to use that here in Sweden. I’m not too worried though, these things very rarely break.

I just realized, I bought this camera without ever holding one in my hands. I haven’t even actually looked at one (recently at least) in a shop. I bought it entirely based on online reviews and videos. Back when I bought the 30D, that would have been unthinkable. Stupid perhaps, but I’m pretty confident I won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be selling my 30D, but I think I’ll wait until I have the 50D here so I can get some good-looking product shots for the ad.

Friday, May 7th 2010

Saving up for a Canon EOS 50D

Edit: This post was previously published in Swedish. At the time I was thinking of blogging more in Swedish. I’ve now decided to stick to English, so for the sake of continuity I translated this post.

When I bought my 30D I was convinced that I would use it until it disintegrated in my hands. Now I’m not at all as sure.

Canon’s 50D has become very very cheap. You can get it new for 6,999 SEK, compared to the at least 12,000 SEK it cost when it was released in 2008. At the same time, I believe I should be able to get at least 2,500 SEK for my 30D if I sell it now.

Canon EOS 50D

And there are quite a few nice improvements on the 50D compared to the 30D:

  • Auto-ISO. The camera automatically chooses the ISO for you. One thing less to think about.
  • Live view. Use the screen to frame your photos. Should be great for macros, landscapes on tripod and shooting over a crowd.
  • Better screen. 640×480 pixels instead of 320×240.
  • Higher resolution sensor. 15 megapixels catches the details far better than 8. Have a look at this well-done comparison of prints.
  • Better auto focus. I seldom shoot things that move particularly quickly, but it can’t hurt to have nine cross-type sensors instead of one.
  • C1/C2 modes. Lets you save two complete sets of all the camera’s settings for quick access in particular situations. I will probably have one setup for continuous AF and 6 fps, the other for single shot AF and single frame burst. Mirror lock-up can also be saved to one of the C modes.
  • ISO in the viewfinder. Nice to always see what ISO speed the camera is set to (or which ISO speed the camera wants to use in auto-ISO) without taking your eye from the viewfinder.
  • Slightly larger viewfinder. The magnification in the 50D’s viewfinder is 0,95x compared to 0,90x in the 30D’s.
  • Raw in full auto mode. If my wife uses my camera she sets it to the Green Square™. With the 50D I will still be able to get her photos as raws and easily adjust white balance, etc. (The 30D is limited to JPEG in full auto.)

This list is more than enough for me to whole-heartedly save all of my pocket money. (We have decided that we have 500 SEK each to spend on hobbies/entertainment each month.)

At the same time I’m trying to sell some old camera accessories that I don’t use. So I hope it won’t take too long before I’ve saved up for the price difference between my second hand 30D and a new 50D.

By the way, if anyone reading this owns a 50D I wonder if you could check something for me. Does auto-ISO work respect custom function I-2? I.e. does it stick to the full step increments in ISO speed?

Wednesday, May 5th 2010

Anemone Nemorosa

Driving home from Enköping after looking at a flat for rent I caught site of these Wood Anomones by the road side. (Vitsippor in Swedish.) Found a spot where I could actually stop.

There was a rather worrying sign, Danger of tics, where I turned off. Which obviously made it feel like stuff was crawling all over my skin even though there wasn’t actually anything there.

I used my 50mm and my 70-300mm lenses, the latter with the close-up lens 500D attached for a few shots.

Wood Anemones - Anemone nemorosaWood Anemones - Anemone nemorosaWood Anemones - Anemone nemorosaWood Anemones - Anemone nemorosaWood Anemones - Anemone nemorosaWood Anemones - Anemone nemorosa

Here’s what I did to the photos in Lightroom:

  • Overexposed them by 1/3 stop.
  • Set Blacks to 18.
  • Set Saturation to -42
  • Set Tone Curve to linear.
  • Applied lens correction vignetting. Amount +100, midpoint 17.

Wednesday, April 28th 2010

Automatic Lens Correction in Lightroom 3

The one major feature that I have always missed in Lightroom is now being added! Me and about a zillion other Lightroomists have been waiting (and asking) for this for ages.

Now Adobe have announced that this will be in the final version of Lightroom 3.

So what is it? Automatic Lens Correction based on lens profiles. It lets you deal with the three main optical flaws of a lens in just a single click!

Here’s Adobe’s video showing off the feature in Adobe Camera Raw 6:

Exactly how it will work in Lightroom 3 remains to be seen, but I’m sure we’ll see the same sliders. The question is how Lightroom will handle local adjustments (spot cloning or dodging/burning) when the image is warped by the lens correction feature.

When Adobe released Lightroom 3 beta 2 without this feature, I was convinced we wouldn’t see it until version 4, at the earliest. So, three cheers for the Adobe Lightroom developers!

Wednesday, April 28th 2010

The Myth of the Megapixel Myth

When Canon released the 50D I thought it had too many pixels. And I thought I was smart in thinking so.

Canon, please understand that SLR buyers aren’t as gullible as compact buyers when it comes to megapixels.

But in reality I had fallen for the myth of the megapixel myth.

(This post grew to almost a 1,000 words. If you haven’t got all day, skip to the conclusion.)

Lets start from the beginning.

The megapixel myth refers to the notion that a higher number of megapixels equals a better camera. And in calling it a myth, we are implying that camera manufacturers are increasing the number of megapixels on camera sensors only to trick everyone into constantly upgrading their cameras. Indirectly, we are implying that there is some intermediate number of megapixels that should be considered optimum for a given sensor size.

Ironically, the optimum number of megapixels always seems to be equal to the number in the camera generation one step back from the very latest release. Giving thousands and thousands of spoilt (and misguided) photographer brats an excuse to pour out their disgust in a million forum posts. A bit like I did.

One day it won’t make sense to add more pixels, but we have a long way to go until we reach those numbers. As it is now, we’re still gaining a lot of detail in our photos when the resolution increases.

On photography discussion forums you often hear the claim that a high resolution sensor needs really good glass, or even that it outresolves available lenses.

But those claims simply aren’t true. They are based on an incorrect mental model of how resolution works.

Even if you’re using a really cheap or soft lens, you’ll still get more detail out of it with a higher resolution sensor.

Have a look at these two tests at Photozone.de:

(If you own the 18-55mm IS, don’t scream at me – I’m not claiming it is a soft lens. Read on.)

Scroll down to the section titled MTF. The diagrams show how much detail the lenses can produce on the two cameras. Specifically, they show how many horizontal black and white lines you can fit into the image height before they blend together into a grey mush.

Note that the Extreme Corners which are the softest areas of the lens, produce a higher level of detail on the 15 megapixel camera – just like the centre of the lens. So just because they’re soft on the 8 megapixel camera doesn’t mean they won’t produce more detail on a 15 megapixel camera. This is because the lens and the sensor both combine to produce the details in the final image.

A sharper lens will always give you finer image detail, no matter what the sensor resolution. And a higher resolution sensor will always give you finer image detail, no matter what the lens in front of it!

Some maths

Mathematically, this is an approximation of how it works:

1/I2 = 1/L2 + 1/S2

or

I2 = 1 / (1/L2 + 1/S2)

I is image detail, L is lens resolution and S is sensor resolution. These are linear resolutions, just as in the MTF-charts I referred to above. (Megapixels are two linear resolutions multiplied together, width x height.)

Let’s say we have a camera with S = 2,300 and a lens with L = 3,000. That would give us an image with 1,825 lines per picture height:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/2,3002) = 1,8252

I = 1,825

If we now buy a better camera with, say, S = 3,200 we’ll get more and finer details in our images:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/3,2002) = 2,1872

I = 2,187

As you can see, the lens is still able to resolve a lot more detail than we get in the final image.

To get anywhere near the maximum performance out of a lens, the sensor needs to resolve at least three times as much as the lens:

I2 = 1 / (1/3,0002 + 1/9,0002) = 2,8462

I = 2,846

2,846 lines is basically 95% of what the lens in this example can resolve.

As you may have noticed, the numbers in my examples above are not just taken out of the blue. The values for the sensor resolutions correspond to the image heights in pixels of the Canon EOS 350D and Canon EOS 50D.

I chose a lens resolution value that would make the image resolution values (1,825 and 2,187) correspond fairly closely to the average measured resolution in Photozone’s tests that I linked to. In other words, 3,000 line widths (per image height) is probably roughly what the 18-55mm IS can resolve.

Conclusion

So, what does this all mean? Well, since the numbers in the examples above correspond roughly to reality, we can make a simple calculation.

To get 95% of the resolution out of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS, or any other half decent lens, we need a sensor ~9,000 pixels high. Which means the width would be 13,500 pixels.

That equals 121.5 megapixels!

Even if we settle for 90% of the lens’ resolution, we need 60 megapixels to get there! Currently, Canon’s cameras are getting something like 60-75% out of the EF-S 18-55mm IS.

These figures obviously sound insane. But it is no more insane than having 12-14 megapixels in a compact camera. (A digital SLR has more than ten times the sensor area of a compact.) Flash memory and hard drives are getting cheaper all the time, so one day it will happen.

In other words, the megapixel myth is a myth in itself. Camera makers are not being tricksy when they add more megapixels. In fact, if we want to get the most out of our lenses we need lots and lots of megapixels!

Of course, there are many other aspects of a camera that are at least as important as the sensor resolution. And when it comes to compact cameras, with sensors no more than 5 or 6 mm wide, we’re probably reaching the upper limits of what makes sense. By now, I’m guessing that compacts are getting practically all the resolution out of their lenses.

Sunday, April 25th 2010

An odd collection of photos

I took a nice long walk yesterday in the Sundbyholm nature reserve. I was hoping to see some kind of wildlife. And I did see a woodpecker, but that was about as wild as it got. Still, I got a few other shots that I consider reasonably interesting.

Backlit trees along the road to Sundbyholms slott.

The road leading up to Sundbyholm looks good in almost any kind of weather or light, thanks to the rows of trees along it. The above photo was shot with my Sigma 10-20mm @ 10 mm.

Rose petals on the steps to Sundbyholms slott.

There was a wedding party at the Sundbyholm mansion. (The Swedish name Sundbyholms slott suggests it’s a castle, but that gives completely the wrong impression in English. This building is definitely more like a mansion.) All the guests had gone inside and the steps up to the front door were covered with petals. Taken with the Canon EF 70-300mm IS @ 75 mm, f/4.

Here are two other photos I got during the week.

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Here I used my Canon EF 70-300mm IS with a close-up lens attached to the front. This combination works quite well if you avoid using the very longest focal lengths. This was shot at 160 mm.

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Jenny had left a glass of water in the kitchen and the oxygen was beginning to settle in bubbles, as it tends to do. Canon EF-S 17-55mm IS @ 55 mm and f/4.

Sunday, April 25th 2010

Eskilstuna panorama – again

Was driving home through Eskilstuna centre yesterday and caught sight of this scene lit by the evening sun. Just had to stop and have another go at a panorama.

Panorama of buildings by the Eskilstuna river, Eskilstunaån.

Seven vertical shots, all at 1/125 sec, f/8 and ISO 200. I could have done this with only six shots though, since I’ve cropped both the ends off.

The full size image could make a 125×50 cm print @ 180 dpi.

Friday, April 16th 2010

Back to Basics

Went out for a photo hunt on my bike today. Didn’t find anything interesting. Until I got back to our garden, where I found some very un-pretentious crocuses popping out of the ground.

I did see them on my way out, but thought naw, too boring. On the way back I thought, why not?.

I decided to use my 50mm and my angle-finder to get really low, to make them at least a bit different from the millions and millions of crocus photos flooding Flickr as we speak.

27310 - 2010-04-15 kl 12.5127305 - 2010-04-15 kl 12.4827313 - 2010-04-15 kl 12.5327309 - 2010-04-15 kl 12.5027327 - 2010-04-15 kl 12.58Yaaaawwwwn!

I don’t know, maybe I went overboard with the processing. What do you think?

The bumble bee in the last shot looks like he’s stretching, doesn’t he? And if you flip between these two photos quickly, it looks like he’s doing his morning exercises.

Friday, April 9th 2010

Wonderful Flickr Error Message

While updating one of my panoramas (replacing an existing image) on Flickr, I got this amazingly nonsensical error message:

Flickr Error Message

Is the file size limit 10 TB? Was I uploading an image larger than 10 TB? Waddya mean MB for pro users?

Thankfully I already knew the file size limit is 20 MB, so I could just ignore the stupid message.

Here’s what I believe the error message was trying to say:

File was too large – the limit is 10 485 760 bytes (20 MB for pro users).

I still can’t figure out why they would ever specify 10 MB in bytes though?!