Sunday, August 28, 2011

Photoshop or not?

Some might think that an image which had undergo photoshop (PS) treatment is not a "real" photograph. And there's even a small portion which will say that film is the only true and "non-processed" image. However they forgot that from developing of negative to print out, certain degree of touch-up (lightness/contrast/saturation) had already being applied during the process. B/W developing involving dodging and burning which are also part of "processing". Same goes for digital jpeg images.

Photoshop-ing is more essential for digital images as CCD/CMOS sensor does not have the same dynamic range as silver halide prints yet (newer full-frame DSLR have better DR).

One best solution will be to shoot RAW as that will ensure all information to be intact and can be further tweak to own liking. What matters most is to present one very own interpretation of their final piece be it whether the image had undergone PS treatment or not.

Digital processing is also part of photography fun and I totally dig it!

Hong Kong © dzignous

Hong Kong © dzignous

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Players in DSLR market

Major players in the market now consist of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax and maybe Leica (niche market).

However, Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung have the biggest advantage among all as they have the CCD/CMOS sensor-making technology.

© Canon

Canon -
With more than 70 years of experiences, Canon held the biggest pie with their ultra-successful EOS cameras and tons of superior EF/EFS lenses. They were once the ONLY brand with the highest megapixel full-frame DSLR system (1Ds -11mp, 1Ds Mark 2 -16mp, 1Ds Mark 3 -21mp) after Contax and Kodak dropped from the market, but was de-throned by Sony in 2008 after they introduced A900 (24.6mp) and subsequently the Nikon D3X (24.5mp).

© Sony

Sony - 
Supplier of sensors for many brands (including Nikon!), Sony is fast catching up after the merging with the failing Konica/Minolta camera division along their anti-shake (the FIRST in-camera anti-shake system in a DSLR) technology. From the very first APS-C A100 to full-frame A900/A850, the recent NEX/SLT cameras also helps Sony grabbing more shares than ever.

© Nikon

Nikon -
The world's no. 2 player had one of the longest history and famed for its legacy F-mount (you can even use a 1950s lens for your D7000!). Although they were late in entering the full-frame market with the legendary D3 in 2008, lots were re-written in history.
  • First ever camera to hit ISO 12800
  • Noise-less ISO 6400 images
  • The only full-frame camera to be able to use both FX and DX lenses
  • First 3 inch VGA LCD with 307,000 pixels (922,000 dots)
  • Camera grip and body style designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and lots more

© Panasonic

Panasonic -
Panasonic enters the market with their Lumix 4/3 system,  DMC-L1 and follow up with newer micro 4/3 cameras such as G, GH and GF series. 

© Olympus

Olympus - 
Designed from ground up, Olympus and Kodak pioneered the open-format Four Thirds system and the very first E1 was introduced in Nov 2003. Their initial marketing concept was to have smaller sensor size so as to make possible smaller, lighter camera bodies and lenses. However small sensors suffered from various problems like lower dynamic range, noise, limited shallow DOF etc.

The size and weight of their flagship camera bodies (E1, E3, E5) were not having obvious advantages over other brands. Thus in 2008, Olympus and Panasonic finally introduced the Micro Four Thirds system (MFT), reliving their very first aim of creating a small, light system with the benefits of having interchangeable lens and easy controls for point-and-shoot users to upgrade from their compact cams.

Following the success with the EP/EPL/G/GH/GF series, both manufacturers began to chunk out newer MFT models and lenses. Four-third system looks set to RIP soon.

© Sony

Nevertheless, Sony NEX, Samsung NX series (mirror-less cams), both using APS-C sensors (bigger than MFT) and the rumored Canon/Nikon similar concept cameras look set to be a tough competitors to the MFT as the bigger sensors still have the obvious advantages. 

Not long in the future, we should be able to see more similar small mirror-less cameras in the market and probably one that comes with a full-frame sensor.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Design of Nikon D3

Some interesting facts about Nikon DSLR body design:
The 12mp D3 sparks a new era as it marks the very first full-frame DSLR in Nikon's history.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiar, (Italian automobile designer) who is also responsible for the F3, F4, F5, F6 and D2H/D2X. 

© Nikon

The above image (which was also featured in Nikon D3 product brochure) shows various prototypes that influenced the final D3 design. 

© Nikon

Upon a closer look, "D2H" was the initial designation for this new body design. This probably shows that Nikon had already planned for a full-frame body since 2003!

Another side note, the "red swoosh" below the mode dial and red vertical line on grip (previous models) was Giorgetto's "signature" on Nikon cameras. According to him, the rational behind the "red swoosh"  is just for aesthetic purposes.

© Nikon
© Nikon

 Below is a brief interview of Giorgetto Giugiar on the development of Nikon D3 design:


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photography is getting easier

© dzignous

Photography is getting easier. 
No more worries about:
  • Camera shake: There's IS/VR even for pathetic short focal length
  • Low-light situation: With astronomical ISO values up to 51200
    (able to shoot at 1/125 in pitch-dark places)
  • Price: DSLR pricing on-par with compact cams
    (less than S$800 for body+lens)
  • Storage space: Memory cards with up to 64gb space
    (and cheap too with 133x 8gb CF/SD card that cost only S$30)
  • Capturing action: Scary up to 10fps fast frames capture
    (even up to 30fps in bridge cameras)
  • Poster size print-out: APS-C DSLR hitting 20mp, Full-frame reaching 30mp
    (CMOS having low-noise and lower power consumption than CCD)
  • Still and videos: Full HD video function in almost every cameras
    (1920 x 1080 @30/24/fps)
  • Accessories: Tons of on-line/shops selling everything you need
    (From eyecup, straps, batteries and even vertical grip)

So what's hard about photography?
  • Knowing and applying the basic: ISO? Aperture? Shutter speed?