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Recommendations for Firmware changes

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Vince Binder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vince Binder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Recommendations for Firmware changes
    Posted: 13 January 2009 at 04:46
I've seen a few threads that talk about firmware changes, they tend to devolve in to discussions about raw converters and noise.

It's safe to assume that EVERYONE would appreciate better noise handling - every camera engineer knows that by now - the marketing people care about this but not as much as specs that help sell the camera (mega pixels).

So Other than NOISE (which if it can be improved then it should be). This is a list of changes that I'd like to see.

  • Greater consistency in metering.

  • Live View (may not be possible as fw update)

  • Zoom on Int. Preview - at least 100% to help critical focus.
  •    
  • Function to allow auto-bracket to work with mirror lockup. There are any number of ways this could be accomplished.

    • Forcing the 2 sec self timer mode though menu options

    • Programmable shutter delay of .5,1,2,3,4,5 seconds. When set, any time the shutter is released the mirror would flip up then delay before exposure. This may result in less than optimal exposure if the sensor can not be used to determine current exposure values (i.e. - meter requires mirror to be down - not sure about this) Personally this is no worse than Manual exposure so if we can't use the sensor to meter then I'm still ok with this.

  • Single press bracketing with mirror lockup. Assuming programmable shutter delay - then when Auto bracket Mode is selected - this menu option would cause the shutter to lift the mirror - delay for programmed amount then fire off the specified sequence of bracketed shots, then return the mirror to the down position.

  • Bracketing EV setting should be selectable from 1/3, 1/2, 1,2,3,4,5 EV.

  • EV adjustments upto 6 stops. (HDR / Exposure blending)

  • stopdown override on Intellegent Preview to make critical focus easier

  • Multishot - sensor shift to take 4 or 16 shots automatically shifting the sensor between shots for increased resolution


 



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alpsoandso View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpsoandso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2009 at 10:21
Any camera I buy must have the ability to lock up the mirror prior to shooting.
Even if it is for 2 seconds, as on the A100 2 sec delay. I think it is essential to have some form of mirror lockup.

Alp
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AlexKarasev View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AlexKarasev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2009 at 16:41
alpsoandso: pls clarify - A900 certainly has "some form of mirror lockup".



Vince: excellent summary. I've said the same thing before about multiple exposures while the mirror stays locked up (reducing shake and latency between shots, thus minimizing scene movement and light changes between the shots), for purposes including HDR, bracketing and Maxxum 7 style in-camera STF.

Ditto on LiveView - even if it's VERY slow AF, or even MF only, and refresh as slow as 5 fps, it would still be VERY useful for many applications as long as it allows zooming in to sensor pixel level (or indeed beyond i.e. a 2x or 3x magnified pixel view for critical focusing).

It would be nice to introduce an extra-extra-fine jpeg option (or make the exisisting extrafine higher quality), plus independently control the size and quality of the raw and jpeg output - i.e. being able to keep a full sized raw but generate a downsized jpeg that can be as small as 720x480.

Of course we want the optical instruments without the chip to be supported, as described in earlier posts in depth. Briefly, on attachment, the camera allows you to enter focal length, max aperture and, optionally, special function (micro{scope}|macro|normal|TS|tele{scope}) and name/label (so you can recall the settings from the list of saved lenses in the future). The working aperture can then be manually dialed in by the control wheel (of course no linkage to the lens's mechanically selected value - just a way to let the camera know). This is used in EXIF metadata, AE, and SSS.

Last but not least, I'd like to see a raw-specific histogram that helps create more optimal "digital negatives" i.e. a balance of noise and DR. This histogram would just show the distribution of the actual 12 bit values in the three channels (R,G,B) stored in the RAW file, i.e. unaffected by exp. comp., color balance, etc. Ideally I'd like the diagram to be navigable (zoom in + pan and/or a control wheel-scrollable vertical line with 12 bit R G B value and pixel count callouts).    I definitely want the zoomed in views of the right and left extremes of the diagram (0 and max exposure) in little picture-in-pictures in the top left and top right corners whereby one pixel on A900 LCD represents one 12 bit value.

Alex

Edited by AlexKarasev - 15 January 2009 at 17:18
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Stef. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stef. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2009 at 19:42
Alex- your last point is one of the most important point for me. I can easily live without live view and would prefer less gimickry in my camera such as all the scene modes in the A900 but what drives me bonkers is the fact that when shooting in RAW the image on the back of the camera and the histogram shows me a Jpeg version that reflects all the Jpeg settings that I had put in. (The worst part is if you set DRO to advanced and plus something) I would love to see a function whereby once I set the camera to RAW all Jpeg settings are automatically cancelled and the histogram/image on the back of the camera reflect just the raw data.
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alpsoandso View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpsoandso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2009 at 10:32

Alex.

It was not my wish to imply that the A900 does not have any mirror lockup.

I had read an article that seems to state that using mirror lockup on the A900 may be quite different from what I am used to on my A100. I do not own an A900 (yet).

The article is here:

http://aliasimages.com/Sonya900Revue.html


Here is a cut and paste of a small prtion of what was said about the writer's experience with mirror lockup...

I decided to do an MLU (mirror lockup) shot and set the drive mode appropriately. Then using the Remote Commander (a wireless infrared remote control) I stood near the subject and pointed it at the camera. Nothing happened. It appears that the Remote Commander can only work when the drive mode is "Remote Commander", not MLU. With this poor implementation, Sony have ruined what could be a perfect implementation of the remote and the true MLU of the camera. So, I set the camera to MLU mode and took the photo that way (depress the shutter once to lock up the mirror; depress again to take the image).


What I find vague is whether the writer is pressing the shutter release twice on a remote control or on the camera.
If it is on a camera, then there will be a good chance of moving or shaking the camera during the exposure.

If however, both presses of the shutter release take place on a remote control, then there is no problem.

Can someone with an A900 clarify what this article is trying to say?


Alp

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Post Options Post Options   Quote sdm9465 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2009 at 03:22
Originally posted by alpsoandso alpsoandso wrote:

Can someone with an A900 clarify what this article is trying to say?

You can't do MLU with the wireless remote supplied with the camera -- period. You can, however, do MLU using a wired remote (same one that is used for Minolta, K-M and other Sony DSLRs) using 2 second timer or the new dedicated MLU drive mode. With the dedicated MLU drive mode, the mirror comes up on first press and the shutter is released on the second press.
 



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Param View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Param Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2009 at 00:27
I think it would be best if the Mirror would stay up even after taking the picture. It would save lot of energy and the number of actuations. This could be considered in the Firmware update that the photographer can choose how many exposures he wishes to take with the mirror up, imho...

Param

Edited by Param - 21 January 2009 at 00:29
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpsoandso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2009 at 04:33
Param.

I like that idea.

So it looks like I would have to buy a wired remote to do true mirror lockup on the A900? (Flip up the mirror, wait for 2 or more seconds, take the shot(without touching the camera))??

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NIKO View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NIKO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2009 at 05:22
If possible (and I think it very well may be), add Front/Back Focus adjustment to the A700.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote revdocjim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2009 at 07:25
If they were going to make it so you could do MLU (2 sec. timer) with the wireless remote I would think they'd need to also put a wireless sensor on the back of the body in addition to the one on the front. As it is, the only practical use for the wireless remote is taking group pictures that the photographer is in and thus triggering from the front of the body.

I am also surprised to see once again, in the quote from the aliasimages.com revue, the some folks think you need to press the shutter release twice. You don't. Just once in 2 sec. timer; and two seconds later the picture is taken.

As for FW ideas, I agree that lens specific AF adjustments would be great, but don't know if it's possible.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marcin.l Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2009 at 14:22
My 2 wishes:
- sRAW (12MP)
- possibility to take full frame with DT lens
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Post Options Post Options   Quote douglasf13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2009 at 18:54
Originally posted by alpsoandso alpsoandso wrote:

Param.

I like that idea.

So it looks like I would have to buy a wired remote to do true mirror lockup on the A900? (Flip up the mirror, wait for 2 or more seconds, take the shot(without touching the camera))??



No, the 2 second timer on the A900 automatically does mirror lock up when activated from the camera body. The issue is that when you activate the two second timer off camera with the IR remote, for some reason it doesn't do mirror lock up.
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Vince Binder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vince Binder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2009 at 20:48
Douglasf13 is correct as far as that function goes.

My issue is the drive mode selections - having bracketing on the same button as mirror lockup or self-timer makes it impossible to do both.

A programmable shutter delay (time delay between mirror up and shutter release) for any shutter release press would give us a workaround - better would be to allow modes set though the menu to add to / override the drive mode button.

That way we could select auto-bracket using drive mode - and 2 sec self-timer from the menu - set up as a custom mode so we can switch easily. Then you'd have it all.

I haven't gotten my hands on a manual yet, I need to look at flash controls too. At this point I'm leaning toward a D3x because it has auto-bracket + mirror lockup, and 3 really nice shift/tilt lenses. Although I think Sony has a better range of lenses in the 70-200 range. If I do go with Sony I'll get the Zeiss lenses, maybe the 135stf, undecided on the G tele-zooms - 70-200 f/2.8 if it's noticably sharper than the 70-300 70-400 G lenses I rarely shoot wide open with long lenses so f/4 would be fine - f/5.6 is kind of pushing it as the optimum aperture is going to be right around f8 anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote utcreeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2009 at 22:24
I think the addition of an 'autobracket' as a drivemode selection would do wonders. Just select how many exposures you want to bracket. Then automatically have a 2sec delay, and MLU for all exposures. That way they wouldn't have to mess with the existing settings.

(And pretty please make that addition to the whole Alpha line! )
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