Sunday, 30 March 2014

a walk on the lake

yesterday was a lovely day out on the lake ... as an Australian I never quite loose the magic feeling (and slight apprehension) of walking straight off the shore and over to an island.


This was taken with my FD200 which was a wee bit too telephoto, so to get the angle I wanted I stitched 2 images together and voilla ... higher res version of what I'd get with a 100mm lens.

Oh, and the ice was thick and movement (combined with lack of snow) is showing the cracks too.



:-)

Friday, 28 March 2014

shallow portrait lenses 43rds vs Full Frame (part 2)

Way back in 2011 I wrote a post about comparing portrait length lenses on micro 4/3 vs full frame. I had always meant to do a part two of that article, but things got in the way of that (as my friends will attest).

So with the excuses out of the way I have felt moved to make the second part of that comparison because the topic still seems quite interesting to people. I see on a board that I follow that people are interested in comparisons between the Nocticron on a micro4/3 and a cheaper Full Frame system, which is more or less quite related to what I did back in 2011. To sum up the points I made back there I felt that the evidence I found supported:
  • there is a essentially two stops difference between 4/3 and Full frame to get the same Depth of Field.
  • that there were significant contrast differences between a 50mm @ f1.4 on a 4/3 and a 100mm @ f2.8 on a full frame
  • that the Canon 5D Mk1 had a better detail than the GH1
  • that there was better highlight and shadow details in the 5D than the GH1

To recap:

The image from the Olympus 100mm at 2.8


and then the 4/3 camera with the 50mm at 1.4

Stopping the 50mm f1.4 down to f2.8 we find it to be more or less equal to the contrast of the Olympus 100mm lens at f2.8.


but of course with much increased DoF (as expected).

Which brings me to observe that so far it is my experience that simmilar F-stop numbers produce similar contrast. Personally I find the 50mm @ f1.4 to be too milky and too soft. The close examinations in that article show that flare and reduction of contrast are the culprits.

However back in that article I wrote that it would be interesting to compare the new Oly 45 f1.8 ... let me quote:

Perhaps the new Olympus 45 f1.8 lens would solve these problems and yield a lens which would
  • have the contrast I find in the Olympus 100 f2.8 on full frame,
  • have at least similar (if not better) sharpness
  • be more compact and light weight than the FD f1.4
The lens will set you back about $400 as it seems to be panning out, which is quite attractive. The initial discussion of the new Oly 45f1.8 indicated prices would be much higher, but if it does come in at $400 that will put it right on par with the typical 100mm f2 lens.




Since the Oly is a 45mm not a 50mm, you will need to get closer to the subject as there is a significant difference between 45mm and 50mm. It may work out near enough, but I suspect that you'll get a tighter DoF out of a 100mm lens on full fame than even the Oly45mm f1.8 simply because I got exactly that when comparing the 50 and the 100.


With both images I tried to focus on the back edge of the cap. Using the magnify zoom focus assist on the GH1 it was easy to get that spot. Looking carefully its clear that the 50mm lens on the 4/3 the focus zone is much deeper even at f1.4. By the distance from the ear to the eyelashes, they are starting to go out of focus on the 100mm at f2.8 but not on the 50mm at f1.4. This means also that you won't get that on the Olympus 45 f1.8 either.

The New Material


I have a couple of things I wanted to show, first is the differences in more detail between the two images in two ways:
  1. same diameter aperture
  2. same f-stop aperture
Recalling that F-Stop is a ratio of lens focal length over aperture diameter (so a 50mm lens with a 25mm diameter aperture would be a f2 lens).  Again I have an old post explaining that on my older server here. As Depth of Field is essentially related to diameter not strictly aperture having the same diameter aperture between 4/3 and Full Frame works out to be f1.4 on the 50mm on 4/3 and f2.8 on the 100mm on the Full Frame.

So at the same diameter

and next at the same aperture:

I notice two things seem related at different settings: 
Contrast at fstop and Depth of Field at aperture diameter.

I see that at the same F number the contrast levels are almost the same and yet the background Depth of Field is deeper (IE more focused). I'm not sure if this transfers to other lenses or if its just here.

Ok, the next thing I noticed in panning around the images was how much better (cleaner) the 5D image was to the GH1.

Noise

Back in that earlier article I observed that the 5D held shadows and highlights better than the GH1 did. I am sure that this is going to be the case across all the micro4/3 but would love to actually see results (not just fanboyism). In that comparison I used ACR to do my conversions, and still noticed some differences. The other day I used DCRAW to do the conversion because I wanted to see what was actually in the RAW files, not what cunning reconstructions that Adobe can do (which they do so well).

As you (should) know, both these cameras use a typical Bayer Array, which contains 2 times as many Green pixels as it does Red or Blue. There is no actual RGB pixel, this is constructed during 'demosiacing' from the R G and B pixels found in the Bayer array (as in figure to the left). There are of course various algorithms for this each with various advantages.

This has the basic effect however of making the Green channel much stronger (less noise) than any other channels. If you have not done this before I suggest you load any image into Photoshop and look at each of the colour channels. Of course if you have a foveon sensor camera, where you will not see such differences in RGB ...

This noise does make a difference on a print, especially if you print large. Some years ago (before blogs existed) I wrote a post on my observations of this here as well as some other observations on channel noise differences between JPG and RAW here. While the focus of those articles is not the same as here, there is some overlapping information of relevance.

So, starting again with the same diameter (to keep same DoF) and looking at the Red Channel from the images (converted as 16bit TIF) we see this:


And the levels of detail in the darkness of the red are dreadful on the GH1 while allso the hightlights are blown to saturation too.

Now, lets look at the images obtained with the same F-Number (and of course the shutter speed was slowed by 2 stops as the aperture was brought down too):


We now have a much happier comparison between the two images, although still the GH1 has a bit more noise than the 5D, its a lot better than it was at f1.4, which is curious.

To compare the other channels I have put together this pair of animated GIF files cycling through the images:
Colour - R - G - B

5D


GH1


So its pretty clear that the GH1 files do not have the same capacity to be free from noise or saturation as the 5D does. This of course will be noticeable as a grubby noise in the shadows when comparing the two, or a softness (as all current noise reduction algorithms I've seen produce).

I would love to make this comparison with a newer lens like the Olympus 45mm f1.8 to see if it does a better job of the contrast.

the JPG versions

I realise that some people are JPG only shooters, so I thought I should include the JPG's that came from the cameras. These were both with settings as "standard" as possible.

5D @f2.8


its red channel


which isn't too bad really.

Then to the GH1 @f1.4



its red channel

same mushy shadows as I obtained with RAW processing, perhaps worse.
So in my view, even the marvels of in-camera processing just make it clear that working in RAW has been a benefit to the Panasonic.

Thoughts

Does this mean I don't like my GH1? Not at all, its still exactly the camera I wanted it to be. Its light, it does great video and takes a host of lenses. I love it. All this means to me is that I'm more aware of the actual differences that will result in use between the cameras.

Does this mean I'll be ditching my 5D? Well no, while I hate it for being a fat slug it produces good images. Fat slug you say? Ok, lets look at a few images.

This is my 5D:

and from exactly the same location (the camera that took the pictures was on a tripod, it didn't move and it was using a manual focus lens which I also didn't move) my
EOS 630 film camera:

Did you notice how much more blob there is in front of the camera and how much more bulk there is behind the film plane (yellow line)? Yet the 630 gives me shit-hot fast AF, fast 5 frames per second motor drive (twice the speed of the 5D) and lasts about a year of shooting on a single battery (well ok, you need to feed it film too). Its lighter than the 5D and almost as convenient to carry as my GH1 is really.

I happen to like digital cameras but dislike DSLR cameras for their bulk. I hate how fat DSLR cameras are in comparison to 35mm film cameras.  Of course the new Sony a7 seems to have solved that problem.

Below is the crew of cameras used in making this post (obviously not taken with any of these cameras):


When going on holiday just walking around I'm far more likely to have my GH1 with me than a 5D. (In fact I'll probably take the 630 along because I prefer the way negative reacts when shooting in harsh light). However when I'm shooting an important event like a wedding I'll be sure to be taking along a Full Frame camera like the 5D.

Also the GH1 (by being a smaller 4/3 format) allows me to make better use of my telephoto lenses, or even own telephoto lenses which I could not make use of before (such as my FD200mm f4 which only weighs 440g and is really cheap as it won't fit on any DLSR).

In the end to answer the question I posed in the opening of the first post (you remember that one, back here), while its close, the cameras are not fully "fungible" ... each has distinct differences, each brings something different to the table.

To quote an old saying: if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So by having both full frame and 35mm (well and large format too) and understanding the differences, I can pick which tool is right for the job.

:-)

Monday, 24 March 2014

In pursuit of riches

Lately my life has been about enriching myself. Trying to find my spirit again and perhaps seeing if I can grasp hers.

My monthly migration takes me past this creek. I spent a little time down there today on the way back to the train, just reflecting and admiring the beauty of the spring transformation.



For sure you don't get this sitting in an office. Makes me wish I'd brought my sound recorder, as the bird sounds were nice too.


enjoy

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Gearing towards a photographic vision

this is just a general ramble (well which of my posts aren't?) about photography, creating images and the gear we use. It was inspired by a post on a friends blog over here. I thought his post and his reflections served as a good rumination for all photographers asking themselves "why".

One of the things which many photographers do is buy gear. There are often many reasons for buying gear, such as wanting something new or hoping to get better images. Often its a lust for the expensive , exotic or unattainable.

Strangely few seem to consider themselves as a key component in making the image. Its like the classic insult of telling a woman she has a good oven because her baking is good.

The image here is taken with my Toho 4x5 camera one still and cold winter day in Finland. Click it to load a larger preview (or 'middle button' click it should load that into a new window. There is nothing magical or high tech about the Toho, its it's just a box to hold the (sheet 4x5) film. The lens is a simple 180mm standard lens. Nothing exotic, no super fast aperture.

The image happily supports a scan of 3000dpi or 15,000 x 12,000 pixels or about 180Megapixels. To be honest I don't think that any digital camera at any price will make a significantly superior image. I'll plop below a segment (lower left) of scan taken some time ago with my Epson 3200 scanner at 1200dpi. That scanner is not 'top shelf' and issues like focus prevent it getting the full detail out of the image.


Back when I took this shot (oh, around 2009) there just wasn't anything around at all in the digital realm which would do better, perhaps there still isn't. Something like this will cost you less than 1/3 the cost of a full frame DSLR body.

Pursuit of IQ

Something which people often forget (and is part of the reason why I don't have 'big gun digital') is that if you want high resolution images you have to work for it.

While its possible that the top shelf full frame DSLR cameras will go really close to this film image (and at what cost), to get such an image you'll need to dedicate yourself to using a good solid tripod be sure to focus critically and have a really top shelf lens. (Yet the lens I took that shot with cost about US$200 which is one of the advantages in having a bigger capture area).

My point here is to remind people that if you want to get high resolution images then just buying the right gear is not enough. Sony a7 alone is not going to do it, you'll have to work for it yourself too.

More years ago than I would like to admit to I read this book on high resolution image making, I still recommend it. Sure, some of the parts about film development are no longer relevant, but the aspects of camera and lens still are. If you are interested in learning about making your images clear and sharp then that's a good book IMO.

For myself  if I'm going to struggle around with a tripod then putting a camera up and carefully focusing it (remember it has to be focused well too) then it just seems like a let down if all I do is click and then have to pull it all down again. Its kind of like going to all the trouble to court a lovely lady, take her out to dinner and then fall asleep after a quick hump.

Opportunity not missed

Now I don't always want to drag along a tripod for every image, and so it is for this reason that I love having appropriate cameras for the job.

Micro4/3 for instance is great as its light, its compact, has more than sufficient resolution and has interchangable lens capability.

Image resolution is not top shelf but if I'm hand holding the camera then its likely I'm not going to get a 24Megapixel image (even if I have a 24 megapixel sensor and a lens which can deliver that result too).

For sure the micro4/3 camera will not give you the same IQ results as a Sony a7 or a Canon or Nikon full frame camera at maximum enlargements, but if you're hand holding maybe its true that you won't get the difference either.

Not to mention that focus accuracy may actually make the DSLR image of lower quality (see back focus / front focus which drove me nuts with my DSLR cameras). Ironically enough I went to Micro4/3 because I wanted to get sharper images (because out of focus is not sharp). So why carry around a lump of a camera and a triod when you're not going to take the time anyway?



True flexibility predates "systems"

Which leads me to lenses. One of the really nice features of micro4/3 (well and the NEX cameras which also have short focal flange distance) is that you can get some great lenses for not much money which can give you the opportunity learn. This is because not only can you take advantage of what your maker provides, but what almost every other maker provides. Systems are intended to lock you in to their stable.

Sure, you may not need many lenses, you can go get a 12-40mm zoom and then a 45-200 zoom and have the whole range covered, but will you actually get:
  • shallow DoF with those?
  • better Bokeh?
  • better value for money?
  • better photographs?
  • learn about photographic vision?
Maybe ... maybe not.

For instance I love experimenting with lenses to get a look I like, I also like to be in control. So naturally I like manual focus lenses. Last weekend I was at the funeral for my wifes grandmother (rest her soul)  and of the many good images I took, I took this image with my GH1 and the Pentax 110 70mm f2.8 lens.


The background is rendered a little out of focus which gives it nice concentration on the subject. If I had used a modern zoom it would probably have been f5.6 and the background would have been much sharper and more distracting.

Of course I could have spend nearly a thousand dollars on a new Oly 75mm f1.8, but would it have been any sharper? One can see that its actually quite sharp (again, click for larger).


Not bad for an old $50 lens hand held.

My point here is that for people who actually want to make images that acquiring the gear (yes I have GAS) should be guided by selecting something beneficial and something which will actually help you along on your journey of making images (and learning about photography). Unless you collect gear for the sake of collecting gear (not a bad hobby by the way), understanding the why and how will guide you into developing an eye into what you buy.

Having said that, equally just picking up a an outlandish bargain can prove educational in just playing with something fun.

Good images are ones you like, its important to see that and important to learn about what the tools do to enable you to make that photographic vision leap out. Its not about "full frame" (unless you have a specific reason) or about adding more megapixels or having a "all in one zoom". Its about getting images that make you happy and develop your photographic spirit.

The wonderful things about right now in photography is there are oodles of choices in gear available without spending a fortune and dabbling and learning will enrich your life for not a lot of money.

Some food for thought


Pentax 110 50mm f2.8 lens on GF1

Holga plastic pinhole camera 120 Roll film

12mm Computar f1.3 TV lens on G1

90mm Fujinon on 6x12 roll film

So go out and have fun with your camera! (don't just sit around looking at camera gear)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

breaking the winter ice

There has been a little creek frozen over not far from my home. With the rising temperatures (and the draining of water too it seems) the ice cover collapsed the other day and showed me what was beneath.



the entire underside was filled with hanging curtains of ice ribbons. Up close they were quite beautiful.


I could theorize about how it formed (probably grew from when the water was closer to the ice) but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.


sticking my camera under the ice to look around shows it to be quite a delicate exquisite palace for a mouse.


Just thought I'd share some of the beauty which normally goes unseen.

Monday, 10 March 2014

I am Jacks Automated House

In a previous post on this topic I have mentioned how I felt that so much of what I have seen in Art or Literature has been pulled out by my subconscious to be paraded before me in some sort of Dickensian manner, like spectres.Over time I have come to see these as being indicative of how others have suffered in such similar ways as I have (and so have some idea of how I feel), that it is only when I am in their positions that the true accuracy of their expression hits me in the face.

The well meaning psychopath {Psychopathy (/sˈkɒpəθi/) (or sociopathy [/ˈssiəˌpæθi/]) is traditionally defined as a personality disorder, characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.} is often taken to say something that will be perceived as supportive but is actually pouring vinegar into the wound.

Something typical like "oh well, its better to have loved and lost than to have never have loved at all"

As it happened  on the night after I took Anita to the airport I came home and did some thing to fix up the house and settled in to watch an old favorite on the screen, MIB. Only days later I found myself gripped by a single scene. Which seemed to play itself before me many times. :



I think that Tommy Lee Jones so accurately portrays in his face all the feelings that I feel when I consider my losses and react to people telling me its better to have loved and lost....

As I have said earlier: its art when it touches you. I don't know why I played this movie on the day she left, but this theme that it contains is one which I have wrestled with for some time. I have also mentioned also in previous posts on this topic sometimes it is in art that you can find some sort of balm if not a healing.

In "Fight Club" they discover a book written by someone who was disturbed. He wrote a series of books about his bodily organs and compared them to himself. Later in the movie the narrator starts quoting from Jack, stuff like:
I am Jack's... complete lack of surprise.
I am Jack's wasted life.
Well years ago I read a short story (like when I was about 12) by Ray Bradbury about an automated house in which it becomes clear that the occupants are no longer there. The house goes on cleaning itself and maintaining itself as best as it can, but without the people in it, its just an empty machine doing its best to maintain its body as it was designed to do.

Well I have come to realize that I am Jacks Automated house.

So to answer Jay's so insensitively posed rhetorical question, it is indeed better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

For in love I gained so much, I learned so much about being alive and feeling that life, love and death is something I now grasp with greater comprehension than I have ever done. If there is any existence after this then perhaps all these things all these feelings and all this pain will be worth far more to me than a life as an automaton.

To quote from the character of Walter Bishop
The pain is her legacy to you, it is proof that she was here. You can't escape it by building walls around your heart or by vengeance.

From here as to what to do or how to do it, I have no idea. But while my body is functioning I guess that I don't want to become "Jacks wasted life".

Friday, 7 March 2014

Sony caves in to megapixel madness

Just after I was saying of the A7 that less megapixels and more innovation would be better, I read this:



great ... so expect 50MB RAW files with no extra information in them over what you'll already see in the A7R (which is 36MPixels). Just in time to fill those 64GB cards you've just bought ;-)

I hope they're going to back this up with some capable lenses, with DxO making it clear that most lenses today are good for about 12 ~ 18 P-Megapixels of resolution. The best lens available for the Sony is rated at 29P-Megapixels and even then thats when used on the A7R, which records 36MP.

sigh ...

Personally I'd like to see innovation in the sensors as I'd be satisfied with even 16Megapixels but getting a good 16 bits worth of dynamic range out of the images (instead of 12 or less that we currently get).

To me the issue of having the consumers drive the market is that frequently the consumersjust don't have a clue about the subject. Genuine innovation goes because the consumers drive the market direction instead of the professionals. Consumers would never have directed the creation of the OM-1 nor the OM-4ti and certainly not hi dynamic range sensors like the SuperCCD.

How many slices did you want your pizza 6 or 8?  

Oh 6 please I couldn't eat 8

a thump

The snow is receding around here and so while the lake is still carrying weight (and not too wet) I thought I'd go for a walk out to one of the islands in the middle.

There was just enough icy snow left in places where you could have skied but it was windy and sleeting, and most of all the tracks to the lake are not skiable at the moment, so like others I walked.

Out on the island there is a small cabin which seems like the sort of place where people go for small conferences or some sorts of meetings or workshops. I'd never been out there before and so thought I'd make the time to have a gander myself.

As I approached the building I could see that there was a  broken window. Initially I thought "ouh bugger, someone has come all the way out here just to break a window".


But as I got closer I could see that it wasn't vandalism but just a small tragedy of nature.


I think its a Grouse. Not wanting to cut myself I thought I'd just leave it all for the people who'll have to fix the window.



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sony a7 - innovation or gradual (often sideways) progress

premise

People around the various forums are going on about how the Sony a7 is some sort of game changer. For sure its an attractive camera for many reasons, but to me it represents more gradual progress than stunning game changing innovation. Commonly people believe that cramming a full frame into such a small package is somehow amazing. My view is that its not amazing and in fact long over due. Make no mistake I think the a7 is a desirable camera, but if its a game changer its mainly because of price for full frame.

I have argued for some years (like about when the G1 came out) that there was no real reasons why interchangeable lens cameras needed to be so big as the removal of the mirror box (you know, SLR has a moving mirror right?) makes way for allowing much smaller cameras.

In a long ago blog post (here) I presented this comparison of the G1 and my 10D and went on to discuss that while the G1 looked quite small that in reality it was not so much of an innovation in size. In fact we had been progressively getting used to obese cameras and many years before 35mm cameras were actually the same size (or smaller) than the amazingly small mirrorless.

Essentially people who grew up in the digital age somehow suckle up to the advertising nipple from the camera makers and just accept that cameras must be big because Nikon and Canon made big cameras. I presented two images taken without moving the (taking) camera (or refocusing the manual focus lens) of the G1

g1-noLens

and then OM-10 35mm film SLR in exactly the same spot:

OM-10-noLens

They look to be almost exactly the same size, because they are. This becomes clearer when you hold them in your hand.

Now since that time almost nothing has happened in the SLR market because perhaps nothing needs to happen. Economic Times are tight and if people think that things are all ok, well then don't rock the boat and keep selling them what they are already buying. Essentially my view is that Canon and Nikon (well and almost everyone really) have stopped innovating and just churned out more of the same because no one demanded it.

Now to support my view that the A7 is not really a massive innovation let me present a few pictures (to perhaps save a few thousand words).

getting rid of the mirror for starters

The new trend in mirrorless cameras has made it clear that a mirror box (if not an actual shutter) can be eliminated from in front of the sensor, making room. Decent SLR cameras have a little circle with a line through it to allow you to measure the distance from subject to film plane (although this has dropped off many cameras now days as noone actually does this anymore).  The 5D however still has such a marker, so its easy to see where on the body the sensor plane is.



Everything in the grey area can now go.

So with that identified we can look at what part of the camera bulk exists just to allow the mirror to flop up and down (and not collide with the lens) and could be removed.

Which of course in mirrorless cameras it is. I've put below 3 mirrorless cameras (2 micro4/3 and one APS-C) from even the first ones released way back in 2009 to show that indeed this is how much that in reality can be saved.



Clearly there is much less space needed with a mirrorless interchangable lens design.

The next thing is of course bulk ... why so big? I can only suggest its because its a fashion. I suspect its from the days when people seemed to expect cameras to be bulky, and perhaps a public mentality:
A big camera is a kewl proffessunal lookin camera. I wanna take proffessunal lookin pictures so I need a big camera.

So comparing the a7 and the current 5D we see that from the front too there is much extra size. I've taken these two images and scaled them so that the sensors are both aligned and the same size in pixels and as they are both 36x24 FF sensors that should be a good approximation of


Now recall that the Sony a7 actually uses the same mount as the NEX, meaning that the mount holds the lens away from the sensor by exactly the same distance. Which makes it clear that an a7 could actually be the same dimensions as the m4/3 (which gosh it is). So to me all that Sony have done is to recognize that a market actually exists and put the bigger sensor into the body that the mirrorless design enabled nearly 5 years ago now.

I recall being stunned when I first saw the D30 in Tokyo that it was in fact fatter than my EOS 630, which is a film camera and so even has all the motors needed to pull the film through (as well as two spots for the film to come from and go to). This was explained away (back 15 years ago) as being needed for the electronics and battery ... well that aside looking at the current m4/3 cameras all that space clearly hasn't been needed for some time.

So to me Sony have introduced a welcome progression in digital cameras perhaps a little later than I'd like, but none the less very welcome.

What Sony has in my opinion also done is to show up CanNikon for being the dinosaurs they are and not innovating at all. To be fair however since clearly the market (comprised in the main of clueless sheep but with quite a few KoolAid drinking Wangers proclaiming they can see the way) has not demanded it, why supply it?

In my view Sony has been quietly picking up expertise in the area of Digital Cameras starting back in 2009 with their very desirable Alpha series (which btw was still a 25Megapixel Full Frame camera not much development in size if you ask me).

Personally I'll be pleased when the camera makers stop with megapixel madness and start making sensors which actually do yeild a good 14 (or more) bits. Even this is not really innovation because back in 2004 Fujifilm made a great camera called the S3Pro with the SuperCCD in it. This essentially allowed the user to get a fantastic dynamic range. For instance in testing I did ages ago I found that the Canon sensor only gave a little over 11 bits of data (0000 1111 1010 0111) while the Fuji SuperCCD gave a good 14 (0011 1101 1111 1101). Folks that's 2 stops extra headroom. A stunningly larger amount of actual information in the photos. The DxO site has since found this out (and made the data a little more mainstream) so the message is beginning to be understood. What this means for the normal photographer is of course less blown highlights as well as a much smoother dynamic range without needing HDRI.

For example below is an image comparing what was captured in RAW on the SuperCCD and the camera JPG (same camera settings). I think anyone can see that the reds are just blown severely on the JPG.


No blown highlights and no blown red channel. Even RAW files from other makers would blow the channels in this test. Now personally I'd call that more like innovation, not just whacking in more megapixels, as to be honest there are very few lenses on the market (and perhaps fewer buyers) which will get the 36Megapixels in resolution projected on the sensor.

Such innovation in digital imaging will not really take a hold however until more people use RAW or camera makers make better RAW engines in their cameras and see the differences (even in gentle light camera JPG engines have a tendency to blow channels see here). So perhaps again such innovation will not be around for a while.

Meanwhile another glass of Corporate Kool-Aid for you?