Re: Sony tells DSLR shooters they're idiots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Trevor, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Trevor

    Trevor Guest

    "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Can't the camera just use the histogram, exposing to the right,
    > minimising the number of blown out pixels? That doesn't require any
    > database.


    Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However that
    will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    without any further adjustment.
    Appropriate options to suit a variety of users are a must with any camera.

    Trevor.
    Trevor, Dec 9, 2012
    #1
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  2. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However that
    >> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >> without any further adjustment.


    > The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    > be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    > metering.


    All cameras with plenty of exposure sensors are doing just that --
    they construct a histogram from those sensors. But of course they're
    bound to miss fine detail unless they have a very large number of
    sensors. Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    sensors has increased.

    The famous "database of thousands of photographs" then has the kind of
    histograms constructed for it that the exposure sensors would
    produce. A panel of typical users democratically decide on the best
    exposure for each photograph. A statistical categorisation and
    matching is then done of types of histogram and exposures which ends
    up with the algorithmic rules of histogram categorisation and exposure
    used in the camera -- a kind of statistical boiling down of the
    database to essentials.

    Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not. The same
    thing incidentally can be done with focusing -- if face recognition
    and multipoint focus is turned on the camera can prefer to focus on
    faces. That means if a white haired old uncle with his back to the
    camera steps partly in front of the dark skinned bride and over the
    central focus point, the camera will still focus and expose for the
    detail of her face, rather than the hairs on the back of her uncle's
    head.

    Once upon a time, long long ago, before any of you children were born,
    cameras used to average the scene brightness to choose exposure :)

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 9, 2012
    #2
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  3. Trevor

    Trevor Guest

    "Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However
    >> that
    >> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >> without any further adjustment.

    >
    > The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    > be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    > metering.


    Doesn't the OM-D already? Being EVF it can easily, unlike an optical DSLR.


    > Alfred Molon
    > ------------------------------
    > Olympus E-series DSLRs and micro 4/3 forum at
    > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    > http://myolympus.org/ photo sharing site
    Trevor, Dec 10, 2012
    #3
  4. Trevor

    Trevor Guest

    "Eric Stevens" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 10 Dec 2012 19:50:31 +1100, "Trevor" <> wrote:
    >>"Alfred Molon" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>> In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >>>> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However
    >>>> that
    >>>> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >>>> without any further adjustment.
    >>>
    >>> The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    >>> be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    >>> metering.

    >>
    >>Doesn't the OM-D already? Being EVF it can easily, unlike an optical DSLR.
    >>

    > I can't find anything which says that it does.


    Or doesn't?

    >Do you have a source?


    No, I thought Alfred was the Olympus expert, that's why I asked him.

    Trevor.
    Trevor, Dec 10, 2012
    #4
  5. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >> In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >>> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However that
    >>> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >>> without any further adjustment.


    >> The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    >> be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    >> metering.


    > All cameras with plenty of exposure sensors are doing just that --
    > they construct a histogram from those sensors. But of course they're
    > bound to miss fine detail unless they have a very large number of
    > sensors. Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    > sensors has increased.


    Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    > The famous "database of thousands of photographs" then has the kind of
    > histograms constructed for it that the exposure sensors would
    > produce.


    Nope. Not histogram. Histogram implies not caring about
    the spatial positioning of the values.


    > Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    > figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    > subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    > detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    > camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    > camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    influence on AE.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 19, 2012
    #5
  6. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >>> In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >>>> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However that
    >>>> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >>>> without any further adjustment.


    >>> The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    >>> be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    >>> metering.


    >> All cameras with plenty of exposure sensors are doing just that --
    >> they construct a histogram from those sensors. But of course they're
    >> bound to miss fine detail unless they have a very large number of
    >> sensors. Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    >> sensors has increased.


    > Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    > negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    It was a generalisation based on the fact that in my sequence of
    camera purchases autoexposure has improved as the number of sensors
    has increased, and seeing others report similar experiences. Did the
    people you heard this from have personal experience, or were they
    reporting what they had heard?

    [snip]

    >> Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    >> figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    >> subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    >> detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    >> camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    > Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    > face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    > influence on AE.


    It *need* not, but in cases where the kind of autoexposure is biassed
    towards the in focus areas it inevitably will be as a natural
    consequence of the autofocus following the faces.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 22, 2012
    #6
  7. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >>> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >>>> In article <ka1bdq$4c1$>, Trevor says...
    >>>>> Yep it sure can on any live view digital camera, and some do. However that
    >>>>> will still not suit some people who simply want a Jpeg to look "right"
    >>>>> without any further adjustment.


    >>>> The issue is having reliable metering in the first place and this would
    >>>> be given if for instance the histogram is used by the camera for
    >>>> metering.


    >>> All cameras with plenty of exposure sensors are doing just that --
    >>> they construct a histogram from those sensors. But of course they're
    >>> bound to miss fine detail unless they have a very large number of
    >>> sensors. Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    >>> sensors has increased.


    >> Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    >> negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    > It was a generalisation based on the fact that in my sequence of
    > camera purchases autoexposure has improved as the number of sensors
    > has increased, and seeing others report similar experiences.


    In the same time the world population has also increased, as
    have the national debt of the US. Based on that fact higher
    national debt and more people improve autoexposure. :)

    > Did the
    > people you heard this from have personal experience, or were they
    > reporting what they had heard?


    I /think/ it was some white paper from camera manufacturers.


    > [snip]


    >>> Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    >>> figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    >>> subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    >>> detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    >>> camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >>> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    >> Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    >> face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    >> influence on AE.


    > It *need* not, but in cases where the kind of autoexposure is biassed
    > towards the in focus areas it inevitably will be as a natural
    > consequence of the autofocus following the faces.


    I'm afraid that while your claim is plausible, it doesn't mean
    it's true. One *easy* counter example: AF face recognition on &
    integral exposure metering set.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 24, 2012
    #7
  8. In rec.photo.digital Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    [big snip]

    > I'm afraid that while your claim is plausible, it doesn't mean
    > it's true.


    Since that is equally true of your claim it seems that the sensible
    thing to do is that we agree to differ.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 28, 2012
    #8
  9. In rec.photo.digital Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    [snip]

    >>>> Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    >>>> sensors has increased.


    >>> Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    >>> negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    >> It was a generalisation based on the fact that in my sequence of
    >> camera purchases autoexposure has improved as the number of sensors
    >> has increased, and seeing others report similar experiences.


    > In the same time the world population has also increased, as
    > have the national debt of the US. Based on that fact higher
    > national debt and more people improve autoexposure. :)


    Except that we have no reason to expect that world population and
    national debt affects autofocus, whereas the number of autofocus
    sensors was increased in order to improve autofocus. That doesn't
    prove it, but it makes the causal relation more likely.

    [snip]

    >>>> Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    >>>> figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    >>>> subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    >>>> detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    >>>> camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >>>> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    >>> Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    >>> face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    >>> influence on AE.


    >> It *need* not, but in cases where the kind of autoexposure is biassed
    >> towards the in focus areas it inevitably will be as a natural
    >> consequence of the autofocus following the faces.


    > I'm afraid that while your claim is plausible, it doesn't mean
    > it's true. One *easy* counter example: AF face recognition on &
    > integral exposure metering set.


    That's not a counter example to my claim. It's a counter example to
    general claim I quite sepcifically did not make. Read my claim again.

    Note too BTW that in some recent DSLRs you can no longer set purely
    integral metering. The handbook may suggest you can, but in practice
    there's a bias towards any focus sensors which are in use. IIRC this
    has been discussed here in recent monts -- unexpectedky large shifts
    in exposure when slight changes in composition move a bright area off
    the sensor focus area. Same goes for the RAW files of some cameras
    which turn out to have been unavoidably slightly cooked.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 30, 2012
    #9
  10. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > In rec.photo.digital Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >>> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >>>>> Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    >>>>> sensors has increased.


    >>>> Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    >>>> negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    >>> It was a generalisation based on the fact that in my sequence of
    >>> camera purchases autoexposure has improved as the number of sensors
    >>> has increased, and seeing others report similar experiences.


    >> In the same time the world population has also increased, as
    >> have the national debt of the US. Based on that fact higher
    >> national debt and more people improve autoexposure. :)


    > Except that we have no reason to expect that world population and
    > national debt affects autofocus,


    Oh, the higher the population density, the higher the chance
    that any random focus will hit some person ...

    > whereas the number of autofocus
    > sensors was increased in order to improve autofocus. That doesn't
    > prove it, but it makes the causal relation more likely.


    .... but what does that have to do with auto*exposure*?


    >>>>> Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    >>>>> figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    >>>>> subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    >>>>> detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    >>>>> camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >>>>> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    >>>> Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    >>>> face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    >>>> influence on AE.


    >>> It *need* not, but in cases where the kind of autoexposure is biassed
    >>> towards the in focus areas it inevitably will be as a natural
    >>> consequence of the autofocus following the faces.


    >> I'm afraid that while your claim is plausible, it doesn't mean
    >> it's true. One *easy* counter example: AF face recognition on &
    >> integral exposure metering set.


    > That's not a counter example to my claim. It's a counter example to
    > general claim I quite sepcifically did not make. Read my claim again.


    "e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not."
    ^^^^

    Sounds like a definite claim to me.

    > Note too BTW that in some recent DSLRs you can no longer set purely
    > integral metering. The handbook may suggest you can, but in practice
    > there's a bias towards any focus sensors which are in use.


    What part of that means face recognition plays any role in
    metering in that case?

    > IIRC this
    > has been discussed here in recent monts -- unexpectedky large shifts
    > in exposure when slight changes in composition move a bright area off
    > the sensor focus area.


    That would indicate a strong bias. Or a user error.

    > Same goes for the RAW files of some cameras
    > which turn out to have been unavoidably slightly cooked.


    You mean like Nikon's long exposure median filter? (Google
    for "Nikon mode 3") That's not even nearly recent.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jan 5, 2013
    #10
  11. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    > Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >> In rec.photo.digital Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >>>> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>>>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:


    >>>>>> Which is why autoexposure has kept improving as the number of
    >>>>>> sensors has increased.


    >>>>> Do you have any proof for that? Last I heard the wins were
    >>>>> negible to marginal, but I could have heard wrong ...


    >>>> It was a generalisation based on the fact that in my sequence of
    >>>> camera purchases autoexposure has improved as the number of sensors
    >>>> has increased, and seeing others report similar experiences.


    >>> In the same time the world population has also increased, as
    >>> have the national debt of the US. Based on that fact higher
    >>> national debt and more people improve autoexposure. :)


    >> Except that we have no reason to expect that world population and
    >> national debt affects autofocus,


    > Oh, the higher the population density, the higher the chance
    > that any random focus will hit some person ...


    >> whereas the number of autofocus
    >> sensors was increased in order to improve autofocus. That doesn't
    >> prove it, but it makes the causal relation more likely.


    > ... but what does that have to do with auto*exposure*?


    Sorry, brain fart, kept saying autofocus when I meant autoexposure.

    >>>>>> Of course once there are enough sensors to be able to find faces and
    >>>>>> figures within the image there are further opportunities for more
    >>>>>> subtle categorisations, e.g. the photographer probably wants the
    >>>>>> detail in frontal faces to be visible. The user can also control the
    >>>>>> camera's rules, e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >>>>>> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not.


    >>>>> Really? Any proof? At least for now, you can only switch
    >>>>> face recognition on/off for AF --- which need not have any
    >>>>> influence on AE.


    >>>> It *need* not, but in cases where the kind of autoexposure is biassed
    >>>> towards the in focus areas it inevitably will be as a natural
    >>>> consequence of the autofocus following the faces.


    >>> I'm afraid that while your claim is plausible, it doesn't mean
    >>> it's true. One *easy* counter example: AF face recognition on &
    >>> integral exposure metering set.


    >> That's not a counter example to my claim. It's a counter example to
    >> general claim I quite sepcifically did not make. Read my claim again.


    > "e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    > camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not."
    > ^^^^


    > Sounds like a definite claim to me.


    It is a definite claim. I didn't say it wasn't. I said it wasn't a
    general claim. Which it isn't. The point is that a general claim can
    be disproved by a single counter example. Your counter example
    countered a general claim I did not make, not the specific and
    definite claim I did.

    >> Note too BTW that in some recent DSLRs you can no longer set purely
    >> integral metering. The handbook may suggest you can, but in practice
    >> there's a bias towards any focus sensors which are in use.


    > What part of that means face recognition plays any role in
    > metering in that case?


    Because, as was mentioned in earlier posts, face recognition being
    switched on will cause preferential selection of the focus sensors
    which best cover the face. So if the camera has an inherent and
    ineradicable bias in exposure towards the selected focus areas (as
    some do) this will become a face-biassed exposure.

    >> IIRC this
    >> has been discussed here in recent monts -- unexpectedky large shifts
    >> in exposure when slight changes in composition move a bright area off
    >> the sensor focus area.


    > That would indicate a strong bias. Or a user error.


    The posters reporting these effects have claimed an unexpectedly
    strong bias. Other have suggested user error. That's always possible,
    but having seen it myself and carefully tested it to verify that it's
    the camera doing it even when unbiassed full frame exposure metering
    has been selected I don't doubt that some cameras do behave like that.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Jan 7, 2013
    #11
  12. Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >>> In rec.photo.digital Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:
    >>>>> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Wolfgang Weisselberg <> wrote:
    >>>>>> Chris Malcolm <> wrote:



    >>> That's not a counter example to my claim. It's a counter example to
    >>> general claim I quite sepcifically did not make. Read my claim again.


    >> "e.g. if face recognition is turned in the menu, the
    >> camera will expose for the faces it finds, otherwise not."
    >> ^^^^


    >> Sounds like a definite claim to me.


    > It is a definite claim. I didn't say it wasn't. I said it wasn't a
    > general claim. Which it isn't. The point is that a general claim can
    > be disproved by a single counter example.


    *Any* claim can be disproven by a single counter example that
    fits.

    > Your counter example
    > countered a general claim I did not make, not the specific and
    > definite claim I did.


    Assume face recognition (for AF, since there is no AE face
    recognition switch) is turned on in the menu. Your claim:
    THEN the camera WILL expose for the faces it finds.

    My counter example: ... even when set to integral (or centre
    spot, assuming the face is off center, for that matter)?

    Easy to test:
    - Centre spot: put a bright lamp in the center spot and a well
    underexposed face to the side, set AE to centre spot, let the
    AF capture the face, see what you get.
    - Integral: darkish room, brightly lit face in small part of the
    frame and to the side. Set AE to centre weighted integral,
    let AF capture the face, see what you get.

    If the face is well exposed and the room/lamp not, you've got
    a broken camera, IMHO, otherwise your camera doesn't expose
    for the face even though your claim says it does.

    Not having your camera I find it a bit hard to test your
    camera's behaviour in that point.

    >>> Note too BTW that in some recent DSLRs you can no longer set purely
    >>> integral metering. The handbook may suggest you can, but in practice
    >>> there's a bias towards any focus sensors which are in use.


    >> What part of that means face recognition plays any role in
    >> metering in that case?


    > Because, as was mentioned in earlier posts, face recognition being
    > switched on will cause preferential selection of the focus sensors
    > which best cover the face. So if the camera has an inherent and
    > ineradicable bias in exposure towards the selected focus areas (as
    > some do) this will become a face-biassed exposure.


    That's assuming a lot ('if the camera has') and is quite some
    backpaddeling from your former 'will'. Agreed, IF the camera
    does not honor spot or centre AE modes and IF the camera does
    weight the focus point highly and IF you cannot disable that,
    then the camera will expose at least somewhat for the face.


    >>> IIRC this
    >>> has been discussed here in recent monts -- unexpectedky large shifts
    >>> in exposure when slight changes in composition move a bright area off
    >>> the sensor focus area.


    >> That would indicate a strong bias. Or a user error.


    > The posters reporting these effects have claimed an unexpectedly
    > strong bias. Other have suggested user error. That's always possible,
    > but having seen it myself and carefully tested it to verify that it's
    > the camera doing it even when unbiassed full frame exposure metering
    > has been selected I don't doubt that some cameras do behave like that.


    That's probably the reason some people do call matrix metering
    unreliable and "rolling dice". But they did that even with
    cameras that lack the sensors and algorithms to face detect
    and some cameras also show that behaviour when in fact no face
    is within the frame.

    Thus: no proof that face detection plays a role.

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jan 10, 2013
    #12
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