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Mirrorless camera recommendation
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not usually an early adopter, but the features offered by the A7riii were too intriguing to pass up, so I bought one. Unfortunately, being an early adopter has its drawbacks...

I guess the Imaging Edge software is only a couple months old, and came out when the A7Riii was released. So far I have run into the following problems:

Cannot save Remote program settings. This means that the program-specific settings must be re-set each time.

Cannot set WB using Remote. This is annoying. To do WB you must pull the USB cable, and go through a convoluted process of several button pushes.

MWB is not very accurate, requiring a re-setting each time. I am not sure yet if this is saved to user memory but I don't think these shifts are saved and must be re-entered each time. Would be nice if the program saved these and applied them while in Remote.

Pixel shift mode "works", but the software inexplicably does not save the combined file with the same settings as the individual RAW files. I need to look into how to fix this as it is a showstopper.

Focus peaking works on camera LV screen but not in Remote.

Seemingly there is no access to picture profile adjustments in Remote.

So far I have not produced an acceptable shot from the camera, but will keep trying.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I figure out the problem. Software was applying some of the jpg settings to the RAW file, but only on the individual files in the Quad rendering.

I did a 2-stack of a Lincoln Cent using the A7Riii and 105PN, and then stacked the Quad rendering and Single images. Here is the 100% crop comparison:



Overall photo looks like this (Quad and single look the same):



Of course there is only so much you can tell from a gif.

The basic image quality looks pretty good with this camera and the 105PN. Aperture was f3.3, and magnification ~1.15 so feff=f7.1.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are 400% crops above/between B and E of LIBERTY:



edited to add: I will attempt a higher magnification shot with same lighting vs the 1x shot to see how a crop or magnified crop compares with the "real thing".

Still trying to convince myself the detail is "real".
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 1972
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks real to me. The highlights recede to reveal additional detail.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, must apologize for animation above. It had too much processing to make a clean comparison. There were two problems...stacking could have introduced artifacts, and we are all aware of the issues with jpg conversion. So the flow of the above was:

RAW shooting
Combine 4 each ARW to form ARQ files
Convert ARW and ARQ to TIFF (applying same levels changes)
Stack ARW and ARQ files and output as JPG
Crop and save at 4x size as JPG
Combine into animated GIF

Wow, lots of chance for error in the above.

Below I have simplified the flow to make a better comparison. New flow is:

RAW shooting (in fact, using same source files as above)
Combine 4 ARW to form ARQ (same as above)
Select one ARQ and one of the corresponding ARW files
Convert ARQ and ARW files to TIFF
Crop and save at 4x as TIFF (but I see no difference between JPG and TIFF at this step)
Combine into animated GIF

I chose a different place on the coin where this particular focus plane was in best focus.

Here's the result:



So it looks like there is a LOT more detail in the ARQ vs ARW file, though there are questions:

Lots of "donuts" are showing. Are these real or (at least partiall) a figment of the 4-shot rendering?

Looks like there is a lot of sharpening going on with ARQ. Is this actual "sharpening" or a figment of the increased (4x) information per pixel?

It's very clear that sharpening of the ARW won't give anything like the ARQ.

Edited to add: Here is the same shot above but at 100% instead of 400%:



Last edited by ray_parkhurst on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4156
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Lots of "donuts" are showing. Are these real or (at least partiall) a figment of the 4-shot rendering?


You likely have the answer at hand: shot it with a 10X microscope objective, if actually present the structures will show much better (to me the donuts holes look like sharpened shadows, just an impression.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pau wrote:
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Lots of "donuts" are showing. Are these real or (at least partiall) a figment of the 4-shot rendering?


You likely have the answer at hand: shot it with a 10X microscope objective, if actually present the structures will show much better (to me the donuts holes look like sharpened shadows, just an impression.


Here are the comparison shots of same coin, slightly different position in the field. The ARW and ARQ shots are expanded to 200%, while the 10x shots are shrunk to match.

ARW (Single RAW image) vs ARQ (Composite Quad image)


ARQ vs 10x objective


ARW vs 10x objective


So it looks like the "donuts" are false detail artifacts of the compositing process and are not actual details. This makes the ARW shot look closer to the 10x shot than does the ARQ shot.

Edited to correct typo...the ARQ and ARW were swapped. It is the ARQ that shows the donuts.


Last edited by ray_parkhurst on Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 1972
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting. The Oly 8-shot half-pixel-shift high res images really do capture additional detail relative to the normal shots.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1144
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
That's interesting. The Oly 8-shot half-pixel-shift high res images really do capture additional detail relative to the normal shots.


I do think the camera is capturing more real detail, but the 4-image compositing process is somehow adding these very annoying artifacts.

One more thing I discovered with this FF E-Mount experiment was that I can't take advantage of the short register distance using my M42 bellows. The corners of the FF sensor are masked by the M42 adapter. I'm not sure how far back I need to be to eliminate this problem, but I suspect it is the full distance of a parfocal M42-Nex adapter.

Edited to add: Camera is on its way back to store. It had some major internals loose and rattling around. I don't think that contributed to the results but was very annoying. I did NOT ask for replacement, so now I am back to square one.
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