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Open Source Brings High-End Canon Camera Dynamic Range Closer To Nikon's

Soulskill posted about 1 month ago | from the does-this-mean-i-should-stop-throwing-away-my-cameras-after-one-use dept.

Open Source 88

PainMeds writes "Magic Lantern is an open source 'free software add-on' that 'adds a host of new features to Canon EOS cameras that weren't included from the factory by Canon.' One of ML's newest features is a module named Dual ISO, which takes advantage of the sensor in some of Canon's high-end cameras (such as the 5D MK II and MK III) to allow the camera to capture an image in two different ISOs, greatly expanding the dynamic range of the camera, and bringing its dynamic range closer to Nikon's popular D800 and D4."

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88 comments

Awesome! (5, Informative)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 1 month ago | (#46370829)

Magic Lantern is fucking awesome. It turned my Rebel T2i (550D) into something that I definitely wouldn't have been able to afford. If you own a Canon DSLR, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You'll be amazed, confused, and then even more amazed.

That being said, the cameras mentioned in the summary cost more than all my lenses combined. Sounds like an awesome feature, but not one that will be available to casual photographers.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46370901)

Modded you up so A/C but yes, ML makes my T2i an incredible piece of kit, esp for me with the video recording. Haven't updated in a couple years so may need to see what the latest is with ML.

Re:Awesome! (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 1 month ago | (#46370931)

I'm running an old version as well. I've actually not even tried to record video with my T2i since I got it years ago, and after visiting the ML website just now, I'm surprised (and excited) to hear that ML is primarily lauded for its video recording features. Curious to see what makes it so awesome, as I really can't fathom what kind of features might apply in the video realm.

Re:Awesome! (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 1 month ago | (#46371855)

... I really can't fathom what kind of features might apply in the video realm.

There's quite a bit. You can control multiple mic inputs, manual audio levels, actual HDR video (not just stills!), white balance without referring to a still frame, wide variety of focus assists, DIY reticules (like for custom aspect ratios, title/action safes), much more.

Highly recommend it!!

Re:Awesome! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 1 month ago | (#46370999)

As soon as warranty is up on my 6D I'll try it out.

It's probably worth my while to pick up a good used T2i body and try it out.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371067)

6D has been out two years now? Wow.

Re:Awesome! (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 1 month ago | (#46371293)

As soon as warranty is up on my 6D I'll try it out.

Unfortunately, Magic Lantern development for the 6D has been pretty spotty. An unofficial release is available; check out this thread [magiclantern.fm] for instructions/info. If you don't want to try on your 6D, definitely give it a go on a T2i. It's truly amazing software.

Re:Awesome! (3, Informative)

Cito (1725214) | about 1 month ago | (#46371603)

I use CHDK " Canon Hack Development Kit "
I opted for a bridge camera as I couldn't afford a full DSLR so the bridge gives me DSLR capability full manual, etc, and with chdk installed I get most all the toys magic lantern has plus ability to run 3rd party scripts in .lua or.bas, but without insane cost of lenses

I absolutely love my Canon Power shot SX40 HS with CHDK and shooting raw

Re:Awesome! (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 1 month ago | (#46372005)

I absolutely love my Canon Power shot SX40 HS

Well, if you can stomach hyperzooms, you probably wouldn't notice prime lens quality anyway. ;-)

(Having said that, why Canon screwed up G1X is beyond me. Or perhaps they just didn't want to compete with themselves?)

Re:Awesome! (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a month and a half ago | (#46372681)

I dont zoom much with it, the sweet spot is macro shots which I love
http://www.flickr.com/photos/q... [flickr.com]

Rarely use zoom, I wanted bridge camera for DSLR ability with a built in 3 in 1 lens, bridges have telephoto, wide angle, macro sweet spots. Without buying 3 separate lenses.

So for my budget I get a DSLR type camera in the bridge camera
Which I use for macro photography and local newspaper freelance

Re:Awesome! (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | about a month and a half ago | (#46387823)

His point wasn't about zooming, it was about image quality. and i use to use a bridge camera (SX100 10x zoom) for the same reasons yourself especially the macro but after going DSLR about 4 years ago i cant go back to the noisy mess that are point and shoots. Funny thing is i thought the images from the powershot were great until i started shooting with a DSLR. even the kit lens would give cleaner and sharper images.

Re:Awesome! (0)

_merlin (160982) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374281)

Magic Lantern is fucking awesome. It turned my Rebel T2i (550D) into something that I definitely wouldn't have been able to afford.

Have you actually used a prosumer or professional camera? Firmware won't turn your pentamirror viewfinder into a pentaprism. It won't give you an extra command dial that really helps when you're using manual exposure and/or flash. It won't give you a top LCD that you can read while you adjust your settings in direct sunlight. It won't give you additional cross-type autofocus sensors. It won't give you dual card slots. The most useful things you get when you pay more for a camera are in the hardware.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46375635)

No need to be a dick. I would consider the Rebel T2i a "prosumer" camera, and am quite impressed with what Magic Lantern has accomplished. You sir, are nothing more than an elitist asshole.

Re:Awesome! (1)

_merlin (160982) | about a month and a half ago | (#46378427)

I'm not being a dick or an elitist. I'm simply trying to point out that firmware replacement won't get you the equivalent of a more expensive camera. The hardware additional features are things that really do matter when you're taking photos in challenging conditions:

  • A pentaprism viewfinder is brighter and easier to focus with in low light than the pentamirrors used in low-end DSLRs
  • Memory card failure happens - having images written to two cards simultaneously can save you
  • Being able to instantly adjust two parameters without going through menus makes life far easier when when shooting things that move
  • Top LCDs show you all the most important settings/stats immediately without the battery drain that having the colour display running would
  • Additional cross-type autofocus sensors work better in low light and with servo/tracking autofocus (e.g. for sports and birds in flight)

Ultimately "prosumer" is just a label - you should always buy the cheapest body with the functionality - but that aside, it doesn't apply to the Canon Rebel/Kiss line. These are very much mass market consumer cameras, with the trade-offs clearly favouring size/weight/price reduction. This isn't inherently bad, as you get a camera capable of taking pretty decent pictures for a relatively low price. But telling yourself it's a "prosumer" camera just makes you look silly, and if you do need to shoot in more challenging situations, you'll really appreciate the additional functionality that you get with something like a 70D.

Re:Awesome! (1)

bigrockpeltr (1752472) | about a month and a half ago | (#46388327)

while you may be right, you would be using the wrong tool for the job if you tried it like that. Of course firmware won't weatherproof your camera, nobody claims it will. HOWEVER, hardware is not the only thing being upgraded as you go up the line from rebels up to X-D, software is also being upgraded and in some cases if you want a particular software feature, you have to get a higher end body. This is what magic lantern addresses at its core and then adds on additional software features.

If you are someone that requires those features you list (two cards slots or weathersealing for eg) then you are most likely a pro and should invest in a higher end body.

On another note i could really do with a 70D now lol T3i has been great but starting to run into some limits (Avid enthusiast/amatuer)

Re:Awesome! (2)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#46376863)

A stupid and off-topic remark.

The extra options offered make a nice addition to reasonably priced hardware.

works on the 550D too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46388217)

dual-iso works on the 550D, brah. give it a try!

on a sunny day you can see all the way up and all the way down. detail in clouds and detail in the open mouth of your portrait subject, and detail in the vending machine that snuck into shot that you didn't even see on the day.

Nikon is still a step ahead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46370847)

Nikon is still a step ahead! First post!

Re:Nikon is still a step ahead! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 1 month ago | (#46371031)

Nikon is still a step ahead! First post!

My crappy old Nikon D70s, consigned to the junk heap, says they could do better on build quality and components.

Re:Nikon is still a step ahead! (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 1 month ago | (#46371461)

Nikon is still a step ahead! First post!

My crappy old Nikon D70s, consigned to the junk heap, says they could do better on build quality and components.

Consumer line = consumer quality.
Should have opted for the D700.

Re:Nikon is still a step ahead! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373517)

Nikon is still a step ahead! First post!

My crappy old Nikon D70s, consigned to the junk heap, says they could do better on build quality and components.

Consumer line = consumer quality.
Should have opted for the D700.

Odd that. I could drive nails into a board with my old FE II and it would still work like a Swiss watch. It's been banged up and struck rocks while hopping to a better vantage (and slipping) and all I ever lost as a lens cap. Consumer end back then was still quality. Now consumer is an excuse to use cheap parts. So much fail there.

Re:Nikon is still a step ahead! (1)

_merlin (160982) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374293)

I dunno, I abuse my D90 pretty badly, and it just keeps on working perfectly. Maybe I'm just lucky. Or unlucky - if I could actually break it my wife wouldn't mind me buying a new body.

No free lunch (5, Informative)

mtippett (110279) | about 1 month ago | (#46370863)

Alternate line exposure is not new, it is in a lot of current generation sensors. Omnivision, Sony and Toshiba all have sensors out with this capability.

The underlying issue is that when doing alternate line exposure you are getting only half the resolution for each range. DSP and image processing techniques can help smooth out the issues, but you are fundamentally dealing with a half-height dark and a half-height light image. Depending on the alternate-line approach, you also get other funky color fringing issues due to the underlying bayer pattern. As the article notes, there are color fringing issues

A good generalized approach is to output a 1/2 resolution image in both dimensions, otherwise you will get a vertical stretch if you keep the horizontal width at full resolution. So it means for a 16 MP camera, you will get only 4 MP HDR images. In a lot of cases this will be more than good enough... But it makes it really difficult to sell and explain to users.

There is usually a good reason that advanced features aren't release/published. A lot of the time it comes down to features be sub-optimal on what is supposed to be a highly polished product.

Re:No free lunch (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 1 month ago | (#46371329)

Ah, this reminds me of another innovation that slashdot doesn't seem to have reported on yet: "Corephotonics' dual-camera tech will change smartphone imaging [cnet.com]." It gives cellphones more telephoto capability by having a color sensor with a wide-angle lens, and a monochrome sensor with a telephoto lens. The idea being that you're more sensitive to details in luminance than chrominance. (In fact many image formats allocate more bits to storing luminance than chrominance). It also makes sense since the longer focal length lens cannot be much larger (this is in a cellphone) so it gathers less light, and monochrome sensors are more sensitive (no color filter to absorb it). At close distances you would have a parallax problem, except then you're using the wide angle and probably don't use the telephoto image at all. I think it's really clever.

Re:No free lunch (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 1 month ago | (#46372033)

The underlying issue is that when doing alternate line exposure you are getting only half the resolution for each range. DSP and image processing techniques can help smooth out the issues, but you are fundamentally dealing with a half-height dark and a half-height light image. Depending on the alternate-line approach, you also get other funky color fringing issues due to the underlying bayer pattern. As the article notes, there are color fringing issues

Just that? If the camera is actually doing these two exposures simultaneously, I'd be worried about contrast. Better use a lens with good coatings and only few optical interfaces for these exposures.

Re:No free lunch (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#46380041)

Wouldn't you benefit from the opposite? A poor quality lens is likely to spread light over more than one pixel (not as sharp) and as a result the alternate line algorithm wouldn't end up with the weird fringing effects described above. Kind of like your anti-aliasing filter already does.

Re:No free lunch (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#46381385)

A poor quality lens (coatings- and surfaces-wise) can't achieve the same contrast in a single exposure. The optics involved is linear (like most optics in use today). Remember lens flares? Those interesting shapes are what a real world lens does to irradiation function shaped like a Dirac impulse (constant energy, arbitrarily low spatial angle). Now if you spread the energy across the scene (that's how most scenes without bright point light sources look like), what you get is effectively an infinite number of lens flares of the same size, all across the image - because it's linear optics, their intensity is proportionally scaled down, and since they're all also overlaid on top of each other, you don't see them as shapes but as sort of a "milk" spread over the picture. This doesn't usually bother photographers who use modern lenses but the effect is still there. As the dynamic range of the scene increases, the details in shadows will eventually be overwhelmed by the "milk" spilled from the highlights. It's not a question of "if" but a question of "when". I have no idea if, qualitatively, this scheme is sufficient to evoke this problem, but it's the one obvious qualitative issue that comes to my mind.

Re:No free lunch (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a month and a half ago | (#46381401)

Ooops, the last sentence was supposed to read: "I have no idea if, quantitatively, this scheme is sufficient to evoke this problem, but it's the one obvious qualitative issue that comes to my mind."

Re:No free lunch (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#46385165)

I understand what you're saying however qualitatively it doesn't seem to match the experience of people taking their $500 entry level DSLRs with plastic lens mountings, pointing them straight into the sunset and then bracketing the heck out of their exposures. The results always show increased dynamic range even from the most entry level kit lens.

Maybe it won't work on a Holga?

Beta not loading much (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46370867)

Dice, is your Beta still coming to full roll out? Just wondering because you haven't spoken much about it since your "audience" post in response to the mass riot.

Re:Beta not loading much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371027)

They claim they are listening to user input - but they redirect all to an email address. ... In which no one knows what anyone is saying and no one knows what Dice is saying back. They claim community but it's all one direction except when they occasionally say "no it's not, we're listening to your feedback on your work in progress" - without providing any evidence of such. Beta was never designed or derived from any users input whatsoever. This is simply a fact.

Re:Beta not loading much (1)

Soulskill (1459) | about a month and a half ago | (#46375447)

We are indeed listening and making changes based on feedback, and at a faster pace now that most of the underlying engineering work is done. We'll put up another post in a week or two explaining everything we've changed.

In the meantime, if you want evidence, here's one example: load up the beta and look at the comments on one of the stories. One of the biggest complaints was that the comments field was too narrow because of the right rail (which was empty once you scrolled down a bit anyway). So we removed the right rail entirely on story pages, letting comments flow all the way across the page.

Re:Beta not loading much (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#46376925)

Thanks for the update, now that fix so we can actually return to an earlier post and engage in.....discussion!

Maybe they should have thought of a different name (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 1 month ago | (#46370917)

Isn't Magic Lantern the name of an FBI spyware program designed to snarf passwords from suspects?

Pigdog DeCSS does not play DVDs (1)

tepples (727027) | about 1 month ago | (#46370979)

It could of been on purpose. Consider how Pigdog DeCSS (a program that removes style markup from HTML) was named after the DeCSS program for DVD-Video.

Re:Maybe they should have thought of a different n (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 1 month ago | (#46371253)

Magic Lantern was the name of the first image projection system which was developed in the 18th century. This firmware was originally developed in order to exploit some of the untapped capability of the 5D2 video system, and since has expanded into enhancing still features.

Brilliant work overall.

The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

linuxguy (98493) | about 1 month ago | (#46370983)

I was a Canon man. But they have seriously dropped the ball in the image sensor department. They continue to use ancient sensors that simply cannot compete in today's market. I sold all my Canon cameras and lenses and moved to Nikon and could not be happier. I do not have to resort to hacks to get an image that is close to a Nikon image.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 1 month ago | (#46371043)

I was a Canon man. But they have seriously dropped the ball in the image sensor department. They continue to use ancient sensors that simply cannot compete in today's market. I sold all my Canon cameras and lenses and moved to Nikon and could not be happier. I do not have to resort to hacks to get an image that is close to a Nikon image.

I ditched Nikon for Canon and couldn't be more happy.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 1 month ago | (#46371085)

This. I've always been a Canon guy, since I grew up on Canon gear, but in photographer communities I usually hear more stories of people ditching Nikon for Canon than the other way around. And frankly, I just like the Canon L-series lenses over Nikon lenses.

That said, Canon's sensor tech have been rather stagnant the last few years, it's needs some revitalization.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (4, Informative)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 1 month ago | (#46371347)

It goes back and forth.
Canon got a lot of Nikon users when only Canon had full frame cameras.
Nikon got a lot of Canon users (back?) with D3/D700/D300
Nikon got some Canon users with the 14-24 f/2.8
Nikon got some Canon users with the D800
Nikon got some Canon users with better CLS/TTL flash system
Canon got many Nikon users for video
Fuji now gets many Nikon/Canon users with X-trans sensor, good ergonomics and great lenses
Sony got some Nikon/Canon users with small cameras and big sensors, but lost them again with slow and expensive lenses and lack of support
Nikon lost customers with sloppy quality control
Canon lost customers with not so good sensors

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371489)

I ditched all three (yes, Nikon, Canon and Sony) for Olympus OM-D line. You get smaller, lighter, sharper and as good dynamic range in much nicer package. And you don't even need to lose in DOF as you can have f/0.8-0.95 lenses if wanted what are sharper than any Canon or Nikon lenses.
And as for bonus, you get even much longer tele lenses than what you can have for FF department without adapters, like a 1800mm. And that in best stabilized body with a best sensor protection system and EVF what has no match from OVF.

There are only three areas where m4/3 department is losing currently and they are AF tracking speed for very fast moving subjects (we are talking about a speed of tennis ball in tennis match and you trying to shoot ball just above the midfield behind receiving player) and then battery lifetime, you just don't get same 2000-3000 shot from single charge but you are limited to 800-1500 depending your shooting manner, and resolution when you need larger than 2x3 meter prints what are watched closer than 1 meter (and with a loop) or you need huge cropping possibilities.

Landscape, wedding, sport, wildlife, portrait, macro, close-up, tilt-shift etc shooting is perfectly possible with m4/3 systems today*

(* except in rare situations in sport where you really need to get that ultra-fast subject captured diagonally closing or loitering from your position, but it is better then to use MF and use skills like in old days).

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 1 month ago | (#46371857)

And you don't even need to lose in DOF as you can have f/0.8-0.95

Unless you spend 4 or 5 figures on single lenes, you are confused.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

_merlin (160982) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374319)

Wut? Your EVF/OVF thing alone is all kinds of wrong. EVFs don't even have the dynamic range and resolution to match the sensors in the cameras, let alone a human eye with an optical viewfinder. Then there's the issue of sensor burn from bright sources because the shutter has to be open all the time. Have you ever tried focussing in poor light with an EVF? No fun at all. The noise and update rate suck more and more as the light gets more difficult. Speaking of update rate, try shooting anything that moves with your OM-D: birds of prey, motor sport, any other sport, fashion shows. Oh and stabilised bodies still can't compete with stabilised lenses.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 1 month ago | (#46371943)

That said, Canon's sensor tech have been rather stagnant the last few years, it's needs some revitalization.

The 70D has a new sensor, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, [imaging-resource.com] which Canon will likely bring to their higher-end/full frame sensors as well.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

wwphx (225607) | about a month and a half ago | (#46376761)

In the '70s when I first started shooting, I was a Pentax guy. Black-body MX with a winder, great assortment of lenses. Made the mistake of selling the whole kit to get in to a view camera which I was not ready for. Went through OIympus, Canon, I can't remember what all. Found out that whatever it was I was shooting in the late '80s needed a complete rebuild, was whining about it to a friend who was working as a studio assistant to a pro who told me that people were dumping Nikons for Canon Eos. After discussing it with him, I rented a 630 for two trips to Santa Fe and San Diego, ended up buying it with a 35-105 Canon zoom, and have never looked back. I'm on my third film body, an Elan 7, my wife bought me a Digital Rebel which I've replaced with a T2i. Love their gear. I've also shot Nikon, I just never cared for the feel of their equipment and though I liked the image quality, never considered it worth the price to replace my kit.

My dream is to find a nice used 5D Mk 2 for the full-frame sensor and the video capability. I hate not being able to get decent, affordable wide-angle.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#46380053)

Observer bias, don't worry though I hear the exact opposite. Typically one company will temporarily leapfrog the other. A lot of people ditched Canon when the D800 came out with it's stupendiously high resolution and fantastic low-light results, just like a lot of people ditched Nikon when Canon brought out the first DSLR with video.

The real winners here are those on a budget. There's a lot of fantastic second hand gear to be had on the market sold by people who think changing systems will make them magically happy where the reality is if you compare these cameras by features, and quality with a 1 year moving average the two companies are effectively identical.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 1 month ago | (#46371173)

Nikon outsources its sensors from Sony. Really that's a pretty unstable situation and likely fleeting advantage comparing to having in-house sensor development.

Otherwise Canon has it all over Nikon. Lens quality (watch any sporting event - the white lenses are Canon's). Support (which is why I went with Canon) is far better.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 1 month ago | (#46372047)

Nikon produces a number of pro lenses in "light grey". Besides, Nikon cameras do have a advantage in (usable) ISO.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373533)

Nikon produces a number of pro lenses in "light grey". Besides, Nikon cameras do have a advantage in (usable) ISO.

I used to believe that.

Taking pictures by firelight last November in Death Valley with a Canon 6D knocked my socks off. Very impressive.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374387)

The current full frame Nikons are still more sensitive than the current full frame Canons, but whether this translates into a practical advantage depends on your shooting style.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#46376981)

And I am so happy there are competing hi-end camera's.

Says this long-time Nikon SLR and Canon G-series user.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 1 month ago | (#46371939)

Nikon is great... if you want a full-frame sensor. But there are gaps in their DX (APS-C) lens offerings. They seem to think every DX owner is only interested in shooting with zoom lenses.

Sure you can use full-frame primes on a DX camera, but that's unnecessary weight and size (compared to what a DX prime would be) - plus the optimal focal lengths aren't the same.

Re:The better solution is to buy Nikon (1)

_merlin (160982) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374301)

I use FX lenses on DX bodies all the time. When you do, you're using the brightest, sharpest part of the imaging circle. It's awesome. Also, Canon EFS lenses have poor build quality for the most part.

TFS/TFA incorrect (2)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 1 month ago | (#46371003)

From TFS/TFA:

"One of ML's newest features is a module named Dual ISO, which takes advantage of the sensor in some of Canon's high-end cameras (such as the 5D MK II and MK III)"

Nope. Dual ISO works on *most* Canon DSLRs, not just the 5DII/5DIII. More info here. [magiclantern.fm] Technical paper from the developer here. [acoutts.com]

Oh yeah, Magic Lantern is one of the most amazing and useful pieces of software I've ever come across. If you own a Canon DSLR, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Simple Mode? (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about 1 month ago | (#46371021)

I really like the feature list it brings to the table and have thought about trying it out with my T4i for a while now. One question that isn't clear though, is there a "simple mode" for those times that I just want to pick the camera up and just go shooting or recording with basic automatic settings? I know there are times that I would like/need the features that Magic Lantern exposes, but I also know that I would miss shots or video moments if I had to configure 14 settings every time I wanted to shoot something. Can a current ML user educate me here?

Re: Simple Mode? (2)

NeoMorphy (576507) | about 1 month ago | (#46371277)

If you're worried, it boots off the sd card. You can have multiple sd cards, some with ML, some without. Though it's fairly simple by default.

Re:Simple Mode? (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 1 month ago | (#46371791)

...is there a "simple mode" for those times that I just want to pick the camera up and just go shooting or recording with basic automatic settings?

Yes, and it's very easy. Just hold down the MENU button when booting, and it boots to Canon factory standard - no ML.

Re:Simple Mode? (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a month and a half ago | (#46372997)

Corrected - it's the SET button

...is there a "simple mode" for those times that I just want to pick the camera up and just go shooting or recording with basic automatic settings?

Yes, and it's very easy. Just hold down the SET button when booting, and it boots to Canon factory standard - no ML.

Re:Simple Mode? (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 1 month ago | (#46371797)

I believe if you press and hold the "SET" button when powering up your camera, it will bypass Magic Lantern and load the vanilla Canon firmware.

Re:Simple Mode? (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about a month and a half ago | (#46372343)

You know what would be nice? A good smarthphone remote interface for this, something simple, light, fast with low latency Wonder if it could be done with a EyeFi card? Hmm. Bigger screen would be nice. They have a USB PC interface, but it's cumbersome for field use. Beyond my coding skills for sure (sysadmin, not dev), anyone want to try that? I'm ducking as I say this, but I'm a Windows Phone type (Lumia 928, awesome camera that's not as ridiculous as the 1020)

Re:Simple Mode? (1)

drkim (1559875) | about a month and a half ago | (#46372993)

...is there a "simple mode" for those times that I just want to pick the camera up and just go shooting or recording with basic automatic settings?

Yes, and it's very easy. Just hold down the SET button when booting, and it boots to Canon factory standard - no ML.

Shutter Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371201)

I'm hoping someone in the know might read this. I've spent a lot of time searching the web and never found an answer...

I have for a long time wondered why shutter lag is so long in modern dslr cameras. Some film cameras had shutter lags as low as 8ms. I have looked at shutter lag in a Canon 60d and found it to be 72 ms. I did the experiments awhile ago so I might not remember the numbers exactly correctly, but it was something like 10 ms for the mirror flip and 5 ms to open the shutter. The other 57ms it was just sitting there doing nothing visible. I have tried using mirror lockup and that didn't change the 72 ms. I also tried disconnecting the lens which didn't impact lag. I have some theories about what the camera is doing during those 57 ms, but they are just guesses. I'm wondering if you have any ideas?

Getting a shutter lag to under 15 ms is useful for certain cases, and today the only option seems to be external shutters which have a lot of negatives.

Re: Shutter Lag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46372211)

Shutter lag is inversely perportional to camera cost. As one goes up, the other comes down.

Re:Shutter Lag (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#46377093)

How about it's not a mechanical camera using film?

As you observed the mechanical parts are fine, it's the electronics that need time to stabilise and transfer the picture.

Which one? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371325)

So what does the article try to mean?

Dynamic Range is not same thing as Exposure Range.
Exposure Range is calculated in stops (EV) and it tells what can be difference between darkest and brightest parts of image where any data can be recorded, example D800 gives with a base ISO about 14.5 stops of exposure range. What means your landscape image can have details in bright clouds and then shadows under trees. Olympus E-M1 camera has 13.8 stops exposure range in base ISO. That is only 2/3 stops lower exposure range than what Nikon top model offers.
Dynamic Range tells how much information can A/D processor detect from sensor in specific energy consumption and it can be higher or lower but not result to lower or better Exposure Range. Dynamic Range informs more about Linear Resolution of the sensor, how much data you can pull and push from brightest and darkest part, but it isn't still same thing as Exposure Range is.

It is like people believe that F-stops is the light gathering capability meter. While it is only meter to light passing trough aperture, while T-stops is the meter to light gathering. The T-stop value is always lower than F-stop, meaning example F/1.4 lens has about T/1.3-1.35.

Re:Which one? (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373759)

Uh... no. I'm not saying no one uses those terms the way you define it, but "dynamic range" is pretty much the only term I've seen used for what you call exposure range.

For example, if I Google "dynamic range photo" (and in the interest of fully disclosing my methods, that's the first search term I tried), the first five results are:

"Overall, the dynamic range of a digital camera can therefore be described as the ratio of maximum light intensity measurable (at pixel saturation), to minimum light intensity measurable (above read-out noise)."
http://www.cambridgeincolour.c... [cambridgeincolour.com]

"In photography, dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark which can be seen in a photo."
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tec... [kenrockwell.com]

"The dynamic range of a sensor is defined by the largest possible signal divided by the smallest possible signal it can generate." This one is closer to your definition of dynamic range.
http://www.dpreview.com/glossa... [dpreview.com]

The wikipedia hit I get goes right to the HDR articles, which says "In photography, dynamic range is measured in EV differences (known as stops) between the brightest and darkest parts of the image that show detail." If you follow the link to the dynamic range article, you get "Photographers use "dynamic range" for the luminance range of a scene being photographed, or the limits of luminance range that a given digital camera or film can capture, or the opacity range of developed film images, or the reflectance range of images on photographic papers." (emphasis mine)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

The fifth link, http://www.stuckincustoms.com/... [stuckincustoms.com], doesn't have any definition of dynamic range, and is basically an ad site.

So if I'm generous and count dpreview for you (and then count the fifth link as neutral), that's 1 out of 4 links that agree with you and 3 out of 4 that use "dynamic range" to mean what you call "exposure range".

Whoa... (3, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 1 month ago | (#46371533)

Two different ISOs?

Hasn't one International Standards Organization caused enough design-by-committee standards harm? Do we really need another?

Re:Whoa... (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a month and a half ago | (#46375403)

Situation: There are 2 competing standards organizations.

"2? Ridiculous! We need to develop one universal standards organization that covers everyone's use cases."
"Yeah!"

Soon:
Situation: There are 3 competing standards organizations.

Re:Whoa... (1)

msauve (701917) | about a month and a half ago | (#46376835)

You might at least give credit where it's due. [xkcd.com]

Re:Whoa... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a month and a half ago | (#46378179)

Duh, it's a parody of a well-known work, at least well-known in Slasdot readership. I guess the next time I refer to the theory of relativity, I should refer to "on the electrodynamics of moving bodies".

Re:Whoa... (1)

msauve (701917) | about a month and a half ago | (#46379057)

"Parody" doesn't mean what you think it means. Perhaps you meant "plagiarism."

Re:Whoa... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a month and a half ago | (#46380441)

Dude, it's modded up as "funny" as I intended, therefore it is a parody. Besides, you just plagiarized my post by using my word "parody" ;D

And yet Pentax wins... (1, Informative)

used2win32 (531824) | about 1 month ago | (#46371713)

A shootout of a 24MP APS-C sensor on a Pentax K-3 against a 24MP full frame Nikon D600.

"We figured the Pentax would do a good job, but we never imagined the results would be so outstanding. Our testing shows that the Pentax K-3 swept the Nikon D600 in almost every image we took. Even at high ISOs the Pentax held its own against the full frame sensor!"

http://www.digitalcamerareview... [digitalcamerareview.com]

"This test clearly shows the full frame Nikon D600 does not have image quality that is nearly as appealing or accurate as the cropped sensor Pentax K-3. Plus, the Pentax K-3 is currently $500 less expensive than the Nikon D600."

Maybe they need to keep updating the software.

Re:And yet Pentax wins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46372981)

And sadly, the K-3 is a substantial step down, dynamic range-wise, from its predecessors int eh K-5 line.

Also, interesting to note that Pentax often shares the same Sony-made sensor as whatever top APS-C model Nikon has at the moment, yet continually wrings out far better performance via superior image-processing implementations.

Subjective review (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a month and a half ago | (#46375199)


Your single source is a review of subjective qualities *perceived* in JPG conversions from RAW files made by lightroom. All the review is about is what base curves and algorithms LightRoom applies to the RAW files, not about the actual quality of the RAW files itself, or the ability to make a decent image of said file with manual adjustments. Analogy: you are comparing the quality of JPG images an automatic scanner software generates from two different brands of 35mm film in a film scanner. These cameras have different requirements for making adjustments to things like colour balance, saturation, sharpening and such to get an optimal image output.
As soon as images get rated on how "pleasing" they are, I'm out when it comes to a *technical* review. Give me objective measurable repeatable tests and results and I'm willing to take you seriously, but not this.

fujifilm S5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#46371719)

Fuji S5 pro had a sensor that was capturing two samples at each pixel (well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FinePix_S5_Pro and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_CCD will explain it better than me), the results at the times were amazing but the camera was painfully slow and was not helped by an anemic buffer, it got confined to wedding photography and things like those.

not chromatic aberration (1)

vossman77 (300689) | about a month and a half ago | (#46372921)

While I thought the results were cool, I was annoyed by the bloggers use of the word 'chromatic aberration' instead of color noise.

Chromatic aberration means the lenses bend different colors of light differently resulting in color fringes around the edges of object. Color noise which is observed in low-light conditions here is not an aberration effect of the lens, but pixel counting noise on the CMOS detector.

not just 5DII/III (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46373019)

Its out for pretty much all cameras. 50D on up.

An yet neither of them... (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373031)

Are as good as a quality film camera loaded with quality film. Maybe one day..

Re:An yet neither of them... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373143)

Still shooting TechPan and Ektar 25 from your freezer vault, eh? C&N(&others) have left all but the finest grain, slow films in the dust for years. If you shoot anything but base ISO, you should be shooting digital - or you're missing out on details you'll never get in even moderate ISO film. (And, yes, I still own an F4s film camera)

Re:An yet neither of them... (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a month and a half ago | (#46373391)

Hey, I loved the prints I got out of Ektar it was great stuff. I still have an EOS 630 that I guess its time to get rid of.

Re:An yet neither of them... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a month and a half ago | (#46375975)

CCD have bested film in ISO range of producing quality image

16 megapixels from film? none of the ASA (later changed to ISO in mid 80s) 25 to 400 films I used in decades past did that.

color range? yes the really slow positive films do better, but you'll need to be be shooting from your tripod in broad daylight....

Re:An yet neither of them... (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about a month and a half ago | (#46378591)

Since I cannot reply to all, I will just reply to myself and perhaps you all will read it.

Digital cameras do a fine job for pretty much all utilitarian photography and to deny that would be foolish.

Having said that, in fine art photography, images where you want a very large amount of latitude, and where color really makes a difference they all still pretty much still stand in the shadow of quality film and quality lenses. If I want shadow detail I have to have some camera that will take three different exposures at three different ISO's then mathematically average them to get a mediocre image at best.

As with most things digital it is a race to mediocrity. Music, Film and most everything else. All the qualities we had with film are now replaced by lies of mathematical tricks to go and invent the latent image in a bit stream where there is no data because digital is slow. Unless you print the image it will be lost. Put a memory stick on a shelf and come back and see if it can still be read 100 years later. There are negatives that have been properly stored that I can make a print from that are over 100 years old. There are book that are over 100 years old that I can still read.

Plus 1, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46373351)

infInitesimally has steadily OS don't fear the

In camera HDR technique does not replace a superio (1)

jools33 (252092) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374395)

Firstly this kind of technique can be applied in post processing with better results (not wanting to advertise but for example using photomatix [hdrsoft.com]) than can be achieved in the camera. In post processing this technique can be applied equally to Canon or Nikon or Sony or Panasonic (pick your favourite manufacturer) images, and really the only reason it hasn't reached Nikon/Sony/others in camera yet is that there isn't such a big firmware modding community following with Nikon/Sony/others. So Canon certainly has that advantage (a bigger modding community) - (but then again as the meme goes; "Canon is the camera designed by engineers for engineers and Nikon the camera designed by photographers for photographers").

OK - so now try using this technique to take pictures of objects that are moving; you instantly see the benefit of a sensor with inbuilt increased dynamic range. HDR photography relies on multiple exposures being combined together. This means that they are forced to be static, either that or they suffer from side effects such as ghosting [thehdrimage.com], where anything moving across the image will be present in one of the exposures - and not necessarily in the same place in the other, leading to some weird looking end results. Alignment [photoacute.com] of the image is another issue - you need the camera on a tripod to make this work really well.
So really this technique does not replace a superior

Re:In camera HDR technique does not replace a supe (1)

jools33 (252092) | about a month and a half ago | (#46374515)

A shame I cannot edit (on new slashdot) to correct my own posts - as a few words appear truncated...

Re:In camera HDR technique does not replace a supe (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#46377193)

Why?

There's a Preview and then an Edit button, just like the ol' ways :)...

As a 5DmkII owner I’m trying it out today. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#46376879)

I’ve been using ML since it was first released for the 5DmkII, I got on board early and paid to get a pre-release.
Believe me, ML is fucking incredible!
Before I got my 5D I was using (and still own) an S3IS and for it I was using CHDK which was really incredible for my little camera.

I’m excited by this new development and I just downloaded the nightly build for 2/28/14 and am about to go give this a try in my backyard.

If you have a camera that can use ML or CHDK, DO IT.

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