Retinal burn

I suppose musings like this are very common among Apple haters. Basically the complaint boils down to:

“325dpi? Bah! Even a 1986-era laser printer does 300dpi and my newspaper does at least 600dpi. Until you get there, the print is smudgy and causes eye-strain.”

Apple - iPhone 4 - Learn about the high-resolution Retina display

The facts in the Apple’s advertising blurb are 100% correct. If you have a beef, don’t take the advertising head-on. The whole thing is essentially a misdirection in all but a few cases.

What a crock of shit.

Continue reading about eye acuity and displays after the jump.

Camera testing bias

Ken Rockwell goes on a tear with his new camera, a medium format digital.

As his habit, Ken Rockwell exhibits a bad case of selection bias. For example, let’s take this quote from the first article:

All the 35mm rangefinders and DSLRs look pretty much the same, and the point-and-shoot is the worst.

I’ve also shown the fallacy of falling for claims of 12-bit, 16-bit or 24-bit image processing in-camera.

As those of us who have done this for a living since the 1980s know, the noise level of any of these sensors is much larger than even 12-bit processing. Throwing more real bits at the ADC only serves to quantize the noise more accurately; there isn’t any meaningful image data needing that precision.

Well anyone can see from his sample the 35mm cameras are not the same: the Nikon D3 exhibits tonality better than the Canon 5D Mk II and the Leica M9, as it should. And those aren’t even the right 35mm cameras to be testing against—I will bet you’ll get nearly the same result as the Mamiya DM33 in the Nikon D3X (with a Zeiss ZF optic on it). He does similar manipulations of outcome bias in order to get the result he is wants to get before hand in his high ISO test.

Continue reading about Ken Rockwell after the jump

Why dSLRs (and not pocket cameras)? [The entry kit dSLR Part 2]

(Article continued from part 1)

Bigger in photography means, faster, better, stronger (and more expensive).

Many people will say the only advantage of a digital SLR is that it gives you the flexibility of interchangeable lenses.

I think that’s bullshit.

If it was true, then the days of the dSLR are surely numbered—EVIL has arrived. EVIL, for those of you who don’t know, is an acronym so new, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet. EVIL stands for “electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens” and they are a new class of camera I’ll talk about another time. Suffice it to say, EVIL will not replace SLR photography—in the same manner that APS-C has not yet dethroned 35mm (much to my surprise). Besides, a lesser-performing EVIL camera costs nearly twice as much as the kits in this article.

I believe the biggest advantage can be found in its name: Single-Lens Reflex.

In order to have a single-lens design, in order to house a reflex mirror, the dSLR has to be big—and bigger, in this case, means faster, better, stronger (and more expensive).

Marie the shooter

Marie the shooter
Elite Cafe, Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Carl-Zeiss Biogon 2,8/25 ZM T*
1/45sec @ ƒ2.8, ISO160, 25mm (34mm)

This portrait of Marie and her new Nikon D5000 entry dSLR kit was taken by an APS-H camera, which sits between APS-C and “full frame” in size. Even though this is taken with a wide-angle lens (25mm), you can easily see she really pops from the background.

From your art classes, you may have learned that perspective helps a 2D image show the 3D dimensionality. In photography, another tool, in addition to perspective, is focus via depth-of-field. Focus helps draw the eye, through the visual clutter, to the subject. This tool is nearly non-existent in a pocket digital.

By the way, the lens used in this photo is the highest resolution lens in its class ever produced—the parts that are in focus are really quite sharp. Computed depth-of-field is about half a foot (20cm).

Continue reading about Sometimes bigger is better after the jump