Jan 142013
RAW Roundup Continues: CaptureOne 7.02 and the Fuji X-Trans Format

Let us let the photos do the talking. My overall comments are at the end. I encourage you to make your own conclusions. Conversions from PhaseOne’s CaptureOne Pro 7.02 beta (C1) are at the bottom of each set. There are a LOT of options to deal with with C1 – I ended up using something like this: Sharpening Amount 250, Radius 0.8, Threshold 0.0. No noise reduction. In Noise Reduction Advanced I used Details 50 and Fine Grain 10. The conversions for the other softwares are the same as before. I added one more comparison at the bottom – conversions from DPReview’s studio scene.   — CaptureOne 7.02 is good. […]

Jan 032013
AccuRaw followup

Since my last AccuRaw post was so clear – AccuRaw close-to but not as good as the X-Pro1 JPEG, I thought it would be useful to muddy the waters a little. I selected the last two sample images because they had lots of fine, green detail. Which ACR struggles with. But this is not representative of many photographs. So I have a new sample with fine detail, but no leaves.   The scene is quite flat, yes. This is the JPEG from the camera. Provia color. It matches how I remember the scene quite well. The crops are taken from the center.   Sharpening settings: JPEG: +1 in camera Adobe […]

Dec 312012
Fuji X-Trans RAW conversion - AccuRaw takes a swing

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new CaptureOne 7.02 beta with X-Trans support. When the NDA lifts, I hope to publish an analysis of how it performs. But today I can talk a brand new RAW converter. It’s from Sandy, of Cornerfix and Chromasoft fame. Name? AccuRaw. It’s a no frills RAW converter. Spiritually, I see it as a Mac version of his iOS RAW converter, PhotoRaw. Sandy was kind enough to share 0.9.5 with me and give me permission to discuss the output. The interface is simple and straightforward. In short, you open to a browser view, pick a RAW file, then edit in a new window. It takes roughly […]

Dec 242012
Fuji X-Pro1: Great Travel Camera.....or Greatest Travel Camera?

For years I shot with Canon DSLRs. From the D30 to the 20D to the 5D. I always had a lightweight set of primes – last holding the Canon 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4, and 100/f2. This setup weighed a touch over 2 kilograms. The Fuji X-Pro1 with the Fujinon 18/2, 35/1.4, and 60/2.4 weighs less than a kilogram. Half as much. You really feel that kilo after several hours on your feet with the gear hanging off your shoulder. Which is is the primary reason I made the switch from DSLR to mirrorless. The other reasons are detailed here. Now, is the X-Pro1 the greatest travel camera made? Of course not. There […]

Nov 072012
Fuji X-Trans RAW conversion conundrums

Fuji has a history of unusual sensor design. While the big sensor designers and manufacturers like Canon and Sony focused on boring stuff like making tinier pixels, reducing on-board circuitry, and improving read-out speeds, Fuji was doing wacky stuff like non-square pixels, tiny  helper dynamic-range boosting pixels, and 45 degree rotated pixels. Fuji abandoned their SuperCCD approach around 2010 and for 2012 we have another new tech: X-Trans. Will Fuji abandon this effort in a few years, suffering from mediocre sales and 3rd-party support? We’ll see.   What is X-trans? Well, it’s basically a new way to filter color onto the sensor. Image sensors only detect the number of photons […]

Oct 072012
Another Camera for 2012

For six years I used a Canon 20D. Then for two years, a Canon 5D. Then came 2012. Tired of carrying around a heavy SLR and lenses, I moved to a more compact system – the Sony Nex system. I first got the 5N, being attracted to the large(ish) sensor and crazy small body. The image quality was excellent – the Sony sensor has 50% as many pixels and several stops more dynamic range than the Canon 5D. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I really missed having a viewfinder and switched to the Nex 7. The image quality at lower ISOs is superlative. Tons of pixels (24 million!) and still […]

May 302012

J and I returned about a week ago from a seven day Iceland vacation. We visited the West and South regions, seeing glacier(s!), volcanic craters, snow, mountains, black sand beaches, sea cliffs, lambs, shark meat, hot springs, waterfalls, and three saunas. It was a lot of fun. Slightly less so for J who had to put up with me constantly stopping and taking photos. It is such a beautiful country. It’s easy to take landscape photos because there are so few (large) trees and so many beautiful scenes. Hopefully we’ll get to back some day. Click the first photo to enter the gallery.

Apr 252012
Still shooting......

I’ve been busy with a class I’ve been taking so I haven’t had much time to make blog posts. I am still taking plenty of pictures. Last Saturday I got a bunch of nice photos of my neighborhood’s spring 5k, the “Azalea Classic“, while my wife actually ran it. Click the photo to enter the gallery. I’m still getting used to manually focusing everything. My “hit” rate was fairly good that day – maybe 70+% were in acceptable focus? But it was a bright and sunny day, so I was doing a lot of f8 shooting. The smaller size of the package (compared to a SLR) is still much appreciated. […]

Mar 252012
Mini Lens Review: Nikon 35mm f/1.4 Ai (aka "the Pounder") on the Nex-5n

This is a special lens. With some warts. Here’s the main points for the lazy – corner sharpness eh (even stopped down), center sharpness awesome (even wide open), veils like mad wide open (and even a little stopped down), and HEAVY. This lens, with a generic F-mount to E-mount adapter is around 500 grams. Over a pound. It’s big, too:   On my Nex-5n this combo is definitely front heavy. Not horrifically so (mostly because the Nex-5n is so small you have to have a good grip on the lens anyways). I’ve never held a Nex-7, but I imagine the 7’s bigger grip and heftier weight would make it a […]

Mar 252012
Mini Lens Review: Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2 Ai-S with a Nex-5n

Much of the fun of my new Nex-5n is being able to use virtually any glass made. Practically any 35mm lens can be adapter to the E-mount for minimal expense. The only negative of using “legacy” glass? Lack of auto-focus. With Sony’s semi-excellent focus-peaking, this isn’t a huge issue. Over the past month I have collected a few nice lenses and thought it would be useful to write up my comments on them. Right now I’ve got the Nikon 24mm f/2.0 Ai-S, Nikon 35mm f/1.4 Ai, Konica Hexanon AR 57mm f/1.4, Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 LTM, Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4 MC, Sony 16mm, and the Sony 18-55 kit lens (used to take […]