Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Super Resolution ~ research

Super Resolution, where you take a small image and increase its spacial dimensions and try to retain as much detail as possible, has been an interesting topic for photographers over the years.

Google recently published something related to two different approaches.  

They used an artificial intelligence to learn and then apply results.  

 "...diffusion models, originally proposed in 2015, have seen a recent revival in interest due to their training stability and their promising sample quality results on image and audio generation. Thus, they offer potentially favorable trade-offs compared to other types of deep generative models. Diffusion models work by corrupting the training data by progressively adding Gaussian noise, slowly wiping out details in the data until it becomes pure noise, and then training a neural network to reverse this corruption process. Running this reversed corruption process synthesizes data from pure noise by gradually denoising it until a clean sample is produced. This synthesis procedure can be interpreted as an optimization algorithm that follows the gradient of the data density to produce likely samples..."

I wonder how well it might work for amateur and professional photographers?  Perhaps we'll get a chance to see some day.

Château de Fontainebleau ~ 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The size of things...

The older the I get the more important the size and weight of camera gear has become.

In fact, there was a time about seven years ago when I started doing push ups to build up my arms.  The Canon 5D MkII and 7D cameras owned then, along with two or three L-glass lenses were becoming too much for me to carry for a long time.  I would come back from a la traversee de Paris event exhausted.

One of the conversations folks were having online at the time was how nice it would be to have a full frame digital camera that had dimensions and weight similar to the old Canon AE-1.  If I remember correctly, Canon was saying they considered that to be the "perfect" camera size.  I can't recall their reasoning, but looking at the 1D and 1Ds I wondered why they felt they had to make those cameras so huge.

Not too long after I bought a new Sony A6000.  At first I didn't use it much as I thought the full frame Canon 5D _must_ have better image quality than the smaller APS-C A6000.  I caught on to the truth soon enough.  Sony sensors were and are nothing short of brilliant and I soon sold all my Canon gear.

I'm not sure why I thought about this recently.  Perhaps it has to do with the sizes of the Nikon and Canon mirrorless offerings.  They're still quite large and I wondered why that could be?

In any event, I thought I'd put down sizes and weights just to compare various cameras, new and old.  So, starting with the shortest base-length camera body and ending with the longest -

*Sony NEX-5T - 111mm x 59mm x 39mm - 329grams with 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens

*Sony NEX-5T - 111mm x 59mm x 39mm - 392grams with 16-50mm kit lens

*Sony NEX-5T - 111mm x 59mm x 39mm - 421grams with 30mm Sigma EX DN lens

*Sony A6000 - 120mm x 67mm x 45mm - 468grams with kit lens

*Sony A7 - 127mm x 94mm x 48mm - 769grams with kit lens

Nikon Z7 - 134mm x 101mm x 68mm - 1175grams with kit lens

Leica M4 - 138mm x 77mm x 38mm - 550grams body only

Canon R5 - 138mm x 97mm x 88mm - 738grams body, battery, CF card

Canon AE-1 - 141mm x 87mm x 47mm - 590grams body only

*Sony cameras were weighed with batteries and memory cards.

A quick glance at the list re-confirms for me that Sony continues to meet my lightest/smallest camera goals. 


Lens Stories ~ Sony 70-350mm G-Master