Canon 1Ds replacement ... shooting the Canon 20D in Alaska

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Hilton, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    I just got back from 11 days in the backcountry, 9 days of smoke and rain, one
    day of OK shooting on caribou and wolves, then yesterday was a wonderful day
    with 4 hours shooting a grizzly at close range as it foraged nearby and 2 hours
    shooting a wolf pack on a caribou kill at East Fork of Toklat river (Denali).
    The kill was just a few yards from the bridge so we could shoot full-frame with
    a 500 mm. Some days you stomp the grapes, some days you drink the wine.

    One of the people with us for 5 days is a contract pro with Canon and had two
    20D's with him, taking promo shots for Canon. He let us slip in a card and
    shoot RAW+Jpeg (can only look at the jpegs until the RAW converters are
    updated) and it was a pretty nice little camera from the images I saw,
    definitely a step up from the 10D. I still prefer my 1D Mark II for faster
    shooting and 1Ds for larger prints, but the 20D looks like a great camera.

    He also mentioned that Canon will "soon" announce the 1Ds replacement, a 16
    Megapixel model that will be pretty close to medium format in print quality.
    From what he said it will be announced at the Sept photo show (Photokina?). I
    wish he had one on this trip to play with :)

    No guarantees, sometimes rumors don't pan out but this was from someone in a
    position to know what's going on for real. So maybe hold off on the 1Ds
    purchase for a few days to see what's announced.

    Don't email me with questions, I'm back into the woods in two days to
    photograph brown bears for a while. Life is good!

    Bill Hilton, Sep 6, 2004
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  2. (IMHO, 16MP will be better than 645 for all practical purposes, no matter
    how 645 is printed. Since 12 or 13.5MP would still be arguably not quite as
    good as 645, I suppose there really is meaning to jumping to 16MP as soon as

    Hmm. I'd rather see 13.5MP (3000 x 4600) (or even 12MP (2830 x 4245)) and
    lower noise than 3266 x 4900 (although 3300 x 4950 would be cute: 11x14 at
    300 dpi).

    I guess they're amused by the idea of 13x19s at better quality than 8x10s
    from the 6MP cameras<g>.

    The problem, though, is that 16MP requires 46 lp/mm at a fairly decent
    contrast, and if you look at Canon's published MTF charts, they only go to
    30 lp/mm, and lenses are often quite funky at the edges/corners even at 30
    lp/mm. Especially wide angle lenses.

    We'll probably see a lot of test shots taken with the 100/2.0 lens, one of
    the very few lenses ever made that holds up out to the corners<g>.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 6, 2004
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  3. Bill Hilton

    S Lee Guest

    David J. Littleboy choreographed a chorus line of high-kicking electrons
    to spell out:
    I've got one of those, get me a 1Ds II :)
    As far as the lenses vs. pixels situation goes--well, one is a lot
    easier to improve than the other.
    S Lee, Sep 6, 2004
  4. SNIP
    Not quite. The charts only show a line for 10 and 30 lp/mm. We have no
    information how these lenses perform at higher spatial frequencies,
    but we do know that the sensor itself poses a physical limitation with
    its native sampling density, its AA-filter, its fill
    factor/microlenses, and its physical size. The modulation of lenses
    tapers off gradually, but usually exceeds the sensor by far.

    The 1Ds for example has a sampling density of 8.8 micron which poses
    an absolute upper limit of 56.8 cycles/mm, and that is before the AA
    filter reduces the modulation. A 'full frame' 16MP sensor would
    presumably have a sampling density of 7.3 to 7.4 micron, with an
    inherent limiting resolution of 68.5 - 67.6 cy/mm dictated by the
    Nyquist frequency.

    In current practice (small sample) this works out to something like
    this: (I know
    it's too crowded with lines;-))
    It shows the measured MTFs of a few cameras with decent lenses,
    adjusted for equal output size by using the same criterion as DPreview
    does; Line Widths per Image Height but based on a fourier analysis
    instead of on haphazard alignment of bi-tonal (square wave signal)
    patterns with the sensor array. The triangles are at the Nyquist
    limit. Any significant modulation (say >10%) beyond Nyquist will
    result in visible aliasing (10% of a 100:1 subject contrast will be
    visible to the human eye).

    I'm well aware of the shortcomings of such a limited test, but it is
    more useful than theory only. The test was performed with the help of
    the Imatest application (

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 6, 2004
  5. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    I suspect that we have Nikon to thank for this relatively quick upgrade (if
    it's really coming this month). This most likely means that Nikon is about
    to release their own full-frame show-stopper to compete with the 1Ds, so
    Canon is compelled to push forward once again. This is getting VERY VERY

    If it's true, I'll be waiting to see what happens to prices.
    Mark M, Sep 6, 2004
  6. Yes, but it's a good guess things are a lot worse at 45 lp/mm than at 30
    lp/mm. Especially for normal and wider lenses. (Medium telephoto primes will
    be fine all the way out to the corners, I suspect, even at 45 lp/mm. My
    jaundiced view of photographic technology is due in part to my intest in
    subject-free images of large spaces. Voyeurs, birdwatchers, and insect
    molesters have more fun.)
    By now we know that digital systems cough up decent contrast at 2/3 the
    Nyquist frequency, and to do that, the lens has to cough up decent contrast
    at 2/3 the Nyquist frequency. And Canon wide angle lenses clearly won't do
    that at the corners at 45 lp/mm. That's a reasonable inference from those
    Unlike you, I'm interested in _practical_ imaging. And I've looked closely
    at the charts, and you're right: if you look at 800% on the screen, you can
    see that, for example, the 1Ds really does resolve the charts well above 2/3
    of the Nyquist frequency. But for making images of real scenes that people
    will actually look at, stuff that you can only see at 800% really isn't

    So I take 2/3 Nyquist frequency, where, at 100% on the screen one can barely
    count the lines in the chart, as a point where I need decent contrast.
    Agonizing about what happens above that seems seriously pointless.

    It seems to me that this "practical imaging cutoff frequency" is quite a bit
    lower for film. Theory should, after all, reflect practical reality. And
    film images look really grody at high magnifications.

    By the way, I'm finding that with my eyes, 200 dpi looks pretty good at 10
    or 12 inches, but doesn't hold up at 4 inches (whereas 330 dpi from 1Ds
    images do<g>). But 200 dpi is a 17x enlargement from the 300D sensor.

    My experience with film is that 17x enlargements are nowhere near acceptable
    at just about any distance.

    Of course, 200 dpi from the 1Ds sensor is more like a 14x magnification.
    Film looks pretty poor at 14x, nowhere near as good as digital at 200 dpi.

    So your data (graph below) that sharpened Provia "has a better MTF" than the
    1Ds doesn't jibe with subjective reality.
    Actualy, not enough lines. It would be interesting to see no sharpening vs.
    aggressive sharpening for the 10D.

    Interesting. Especially that the 20D without sharpening is the same as the
    10D, but that sharpening really helps. I wonder if they're using the same AA
    filter but that the extra pixels allow sharpening to rescue more detail.

    But it fails to capture the perceptual experience that scans are really
    really ugly. Resolution isn't worth doodly squat if you can't make pictures
    with it, and the detail out at the tail of the MTF curve dies a hideous
    death in the noise. And I'm not convinced NeatImage helps half as much as
    you think it does.
    Yes. A neat idea (if I understand correctly): basically a single edge
    transition gives you enough information to calculated the whole MTF curve.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 6, 2004
  7. I suspect it's more Kodak's fault. I was expecting either 12MP or the same
    13.5 MP as Kodak, but in thinking about it, since Kodak doesn't use an AA
    filter, the aliased eye candy would kill Canon in the reviews, so they had
    to crank the pixel count.

    To a certain extent, I don't like it when bogus technology forces honest
    mfrs to make decisions they might not make otherwise, but I'm also tempted
    to shout THANK YOU KODAK at the top of my lungs.

    If this 16MP rumor is true, Canon is really serious about kicking butt at
    the high end<g>.

    I've always thought that 16MP (essentially filling the frame with 10D
    pixels) was the right idea as the long term target, but it strikes me as
    overkill now. 12MP images printed at A4 (325 dpi or so) on a current inkjet
    are amazing: you can put your nose on the print and it looks good. And since
    200dpi looks great from 10 or 12 inches away, it's fine for 13x19 (although
    real hardcore landscape types will be happier with the 250 dpi from 16MP).

    Hmm. Maybe Canon were right: 16MP is 200 dpi at 16x24. And 200 dpi from
    digital looks a lot better than 16x magnifications from film. So 16MP is
    seriously interesting at the high end.

    Still, I'd sell my grandmother to the arabs for a 12MP full-frame camera,
    Pro cameras will never be affordable or liftable by amateurs. I really hope
    Canon comes out with a full-frame midrange in the $3,000 price range. Oh,
    well, back to scanning 645 for now.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 6, 2004
  8. Bill Hilton

    Clyde Torres Guest

    Since following this newsgroup, I've noticed that there are some rather
    biased Canon and Nikon users, probably rightly so based on each persons'
    experiences. All I know is that I am very glad that Canon and Nikon push
    each other toward better cameras. I just happened to come along at a time
    when the D70 came out and judged it the best camera for the money two months
    ago. I am very happy with it, and it has produced professional quality
    pictures of my granddaughters. If I were shopping for a dSLR camera this
    month, I would wait and look at the 20D. I like the competition between
    Canon and Nikon. It helps make sure that we have consistently better
    cameras to play with. Some of the other vendors have some pretty decent
    cameras, too, but it is these two vendors that drive the dSLR/dPaS camera
    industry. Thank you both!

    The only thing I can criticize about my D70/AF-S 18-70mm combo is the time
    based SW it came with. Nikon Capture 4 is a POS. How does the Canon SW
    compare to the Nikon SW? Any cross dressers out there know?

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Sep 6, 2004
  9. I'm not a cross dresser, but Canon's software isn't all that great. I like
    BreezeBrowser a lot better. Unfortunately, it only offers "basic" raw
    conversion for Nikon, not the "high quality" conversion it offers for Canon.

    You could consider Photoshop CS.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 6, 2004
  10. Bill Hilton

    Clyde Torres Guest

    David, a friend of mine let me borrow Photoshop CS for one month to try it
    out. At the end of the "trial period," he couldn't wait to do the
    switcharoo. Now I'm seriously considering buying Photoshop CS, but it costs
    about half of what the camera cost! Kind of like bin Laden, it's just a
    matter of biting the bullet.

    Clyde Torres
    Clyde Torres, Sep 6, 2004

    Yes, I agree. A good 50mm lens will not be that much worse than a
    telelens, just a little (mainly in the corners). Wide-angle lenses
    needed for your type of images on the other hand rapidly becomes a
    compromise, especially if a crop factor forces an even wider angle
    lens to be used. As long as the subject is stationary, stitching
    together several longer focal length images (with inherent higher
    quality) does the job (it also provides many more pixels). I
    occasionally used 4 overlapping landscape ones to increase the number
    of pixels, or 3 portrait ones to capture a wider angle with a better
    lens and more pixels. Huge projects (incl. 360 degree ones) require
    more images.

    1. It is you that claims that there is no usable information in a film
    image that isn't also in a DSLR image.
    2. I not only claim that is not true, but I'm willing and able to
    prove it is not true.
    3. You are misjudging me
    ( would do nice e.g. on
    a door).
    I like to plan the requirements needed for a shot, and for some of
    them the current DSLRs don't produce the quality I require. Since most
    shots cannot be retaken, I use the equipment that captures the best
    quality my budget allows. To predict the usability, I do my homework.
    Low noise is a benefit for DSLRs, resolution is a benefit with low ISO
    It is relevant the very moment you make an enlargement that exceeds
    the native image size in pixels output at 300 ppi, so anything larger
    than a 7x10 inch uncropped image from a 6MP DSLR at normal viewing
    conditions. Mind you, I have produced and sold several images at sizes
    I never thought to be acceptable in advance but, due to technical
    skill and inherent image quality, they were. So I do know there are
    possibilities to bend the 'rules', but I also know they are a

    You are exaggerating again ;-)
    Angular resolution dictates a permissible loss of resolution with
    viewing distance.

    One'd need (preferably) a Raw file of a sharp (non-clipped) slanted
    (approx. 5-6 degrees) edge to do it well, and results obviously vary
    with lens/aperture. Small radius sharpening will usually lift the
    Nyquist modulation to a higher level as well. That may create aliasing
    artifacts and visible halo if overdone.
    Don't forget that the 10D default also has some sharpening applied,
    and the 300D has higher default sharpening. The AA filter thickness
    needs to be fitted to the different sensor pitch, so I'm pretty
    certain they are different.
    It is important to note that the modulation of the DSLRs decreases
    rapidly towards the Nyquist limit, so resolution is present at one
    point, and gone at another point. That may look artificial.
    Film+scanner modulation gradually disappears as detail gets finer and
    finer which looks much more natural, assuming noise/graininess is kept
    under control.
    For me it is obvious, and also digicams benefit from Neat Image. One
    shouldn't overdo it though, because that would look unnaturally

    Correct, it is modeled after the ISO standards for digicam- and
    scanner resolution measurements, and then some. An approximately
    horizontal and a vertical edge will give a good evaluation for
    vertical and horizontal MTF.

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 6, 2004
  12. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    You think? My impression of Kodak in the several years is that they have
    not persuaded anyone, save for a few niche pro markets where lighting and
    other factors make their high MP camera acceptable. For pros working in
    less-than-ideal lighting (pros outside a studio), it's not competetive in
    terms of over-all image making. This Sigma idea of theirs is going to be
    interesting. I wonder who they are trying to persuade.
    That's all I'd really be looking for. I agree that they will continue to
    aim around $5000+ for their top pro bodies...until everyone (Nikon, maybe
    Kodak...) sells a full-frame at a sensor density that begins to reach
    resolution limits (lens-based limits, that is). Then I think we'll see them
    start to drop a little further.
    Mark M, Sep 6, 2004
  13. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    I've always rooted for Nikon (and others), because I know that every time
    they come up with something great, it drives my system's company (Canon) to
    new heights of quality and affordability (Canon). I am no Nikon basher at
    all, though I'm quite happy with my Canon gear.
    Mark M, Sep 6, 2004
  14. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    Don't sugar coat it like that...
    ....Let's face it: Canon's software is complete, utter CRAP.
    The only time I EVER use the Canon software is to extract jpegs from RAW
    shots for quick review.

    C1 is great. I really don't know why Canon can't seem to get thei act
    together with software. The only thing I can figure is that perhaps they
    feel that contracting out for high quality software would drive up the price
    of their cameras.
    I think CS' RAW converter is "OK" but really only because it's convenient to
    be able to open RAW files directly into Photoshop. Other than that, C1 has
    it all over Adobe in terms of processing RAW files, IMHO.

    CS DOES have some compelling features now (over PS 7) that make it a great
    upgrade--like the history brush. -What a great tool!
    Mark M, Sep 6, 2004
  15. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    Are you affiliated with any educational institution?
    Is a family member?
    If so, you can get a FULL version (not an upgrade) of CS for cheap.
    I just bought the entire Adobe Creative Suite Professional for a mere $379
    US. That includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive, and Acrobat 6
    Professional. Normally this full-version package sells for $1200!! You can
    pick up just Photoshop CS for around $289.

    If you are somehow connected with education, take a look at for some great prices.

    -Mark M
    Mark M, Sep 6, 2004
  16. I quite agree with you on the utility (well, lack thereof) of the Kodak, but
    that won't stop the reviewers from comparing images and saying that Kodak is
    sharper at ISO 160.
    My one faint hope here is that at some point they have to come out with an
    affordable/liftable full-frame camera: I can't imagine they are selling
    enough 1Ds units (or will sell enough 1Dsmk2 units) to recoup development
    and tooling costs. It's a loss leader. They recouped those costs from me: I
    wouldn't have bought the 300D were it not for them demonstrating that
    there's an upgrade path.

    But having gone to the trouble to make the sensor, at some point, they'll be
    able to make a lot more of those sensors than they'll ever sell 1Dsmk2s, and
    the only way to make money will be to release a camera at a price (and
    weight) point suckers such as you and I will buy.

    David J. Littleboy

    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 7, 2004
  17. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    I don't know about the profit thing.
    Right now, they're "selling" more Mark II's than they can produce
    (backorders galore) and they're producing as many as they can. I think they
    may just make some $$ on it. They're also using it to successfully dip into
    the Nikon user base as many of them are defecting to Canon for Nikon's lack
    of competition with the Mark II.
    Mark M, Sep 7, 2004
  18. Bill Hilton

    RSD99 Guest

    "Bill Hilton" posted:
    He also mentioned that Canon will "soon" announce the 1Ds
    replacement, a 16
    Megapixel model that will be pretty close to medium format
    in print quality.
    From what he said it will be announced at the Sept photo
    show (Photokina?). I
    wish he had one on this trip to play with :)

    The latest issue of Rangefinder (magazine) says it will be
    introduced at Photokina, along with the 20D and the i80
    portable printer.

    [September 2004 issue, page 44]
    RSD99, Sep 7, 2004
  19. *grody*: is this a neologism or americanism? could not find it in the
    Oxford dictionary. What is the exact meaning of this word, as used by
    you (and, presumably, others)?
    But surely scanned film is digital (plus the noise, which you seem to
    find totally unacceptable).
    This sounds to me like "racial prejudice" :) against scans. I would
    disagree with this statement. I hope that your Nikon 8000 does not hear
    what you said about it in public... :)
    nobody nowhere, Sep 7, 2004
  20. Bill Hilton

    Chris Brown Guest

    In the UK, Abobe offer an upgrade from Photoshop LE or Elements to CS that
    involves a slight discount (about 25% of the purchase price), which helps.

    I understand that they don't offer this all the time in other countries, but
    it's available from time to time if you search around on Adobe's website.
    Good use to put one of the umpteen copies of Elements and LE that everyone
    has lying around, still in their cellophane wrappers.
    Chris Brown, Sep 7, 2004
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