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Subject: "V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?" Previous topic | Next topic
jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sat 23-Feb-13 10:54 AM
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"V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
Sat 23-Feb-13 12:02 PM by jbloom

Wethersfield, US
          

Edit: I just now realized that the D3200 and D5200 are also 24-MP DX cameras, so this isn't a new situation. Serves me right for not paying attention to the low end of the DSLR line! But the reasoning is still valid, I think.

One of the things that has been enticing about the V1 I got during the initial fire-sale pricing a few months ago has been using it with a long lens and the FT-1 to get some amazing telephoto performance. Its effective focal length (crop factor) outstrips anything in the Nikon DSLR world. The D800 was the resolution king of the DSLR world, and even if you cropped a D800 image down to the central 10 megapixels, the size of the V1 image, the effective crop factor was only 1.9x compared to the 2.7x of the V1. (And the cost difference, well....)

But there is a new DSLR resolution king: the D7100. If you crop its 6000 x 4000 image down to the central 10 megapixels you get an effective crop factor of about 2.4. That's only slightly less than the V1/FT-1 value. But for that slightly less crop factor you gain full autofocus, including AF-C mode, plus other DSLR goodness. To me, the AF advantage easily outweighs the slight crop-factor difference. Put it this way: Would you rather have your 300 f/4 be an 810-mm equivalent with single-point AF-S focusing or a 720-mm equivalent with 51-point AF-C focusing? Then factor in such differences as 7 fps and no viewfinder lag with the D7100.

Now, I realize there are a number of caveats here. What will be the quality of a D7100's central 10 megapixels compared to the V1? We don't know yet. And for those who are buying new, there's a substantial price difference. Also, the V2 and J3 are 14-MP, upping the Nikon 1 system's game. But I already have the V1, so that's the comparison that interests me. (For those who want to compare the V2/J3, note that the central 14 MP of the D7100 represents about a 2x crop factor.)

I'm not going to throw away my V1 and FT-1 by any means. For one thing, there's the little matter of $1200 to switch to the D7100. But for those who are looking to the Nikon 1 series as a means of stretching out their long lenses, the gap has just narrowed considerably.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?
walk43 Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
1
Reply message RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?
jbloom Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
2
     Reply message RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?
walk43 Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
3
          Reply message RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?
jbloom Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
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               Reply message RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?
walk43 Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
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jbloom Gold Member
23rd Feb 2013
6
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walk43 Gold Member
24th Feb 2013
7
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jbloom Gold Member
24th Feb 2013
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walk43 Gold Member
24th Feb 2013
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richardd300 Silver Member
24th Feb 2013
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jbloom Gold Member
24th Feb 2013
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richardd300 Silver Member
24th Feb 2013
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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012Sat 23-Feb-13 12:53 PM
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#1. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 23-Feb-13 12:54 PM by walk43

Pennsylvania, US
          

Jon,

Thanks for bringing this up. The Nikon D7100 release also states that the D7100 has an additional 1.3 crop option (image area) in the menu. The way I read that is that the 1.5 DX crop.... times the 1.3 optional crop (as in the D800 with 1.2 and 1.5 image areas) yields a 1.95 effective crop with full 7100 capabilities.

So a 300 f/4 becomes a 585mm FOV vs the 810mm FOV on the V1/FT1.....(but more than the 70-200VR @540mm with the V1/FT1).

That is very compelling. The IQ of the D7100 with those crop options... combined with full and quick AF, with AF tracking, lower noise, better DR, etc., etc., may be just what wildlife folks may be looking for. The question now will be build quality of the 7100...or should I say D7100 production Quality Control regarding dust and AF issues like the D800 and D600 have had. Time in hands will tell.

Dan
(Nikon D800 & V2)
"My most rewarding photos are those that capture something I didn't 'see' in the viewfinder....so just SHOOT."

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sat 23-Feb-13 01:28 PM
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#2. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 1


Wethersfield, US
          

That's correct, Dan, but I wasn't really concerning myself with the in-camera crop mode, rather with the ultimate resolution that is achieved after cropping the image to the same resolution as the V1 gives, whether the cropping is done in-camera or in post-processing. After all, most of us will crop in post anyway. It is on that basis that the effective crop mode of the D7100 (and D3200 and D5200) becomes 2.4x, with the images from both cameras, V1 and D7100, cropped to 10-megapixel resolution.

There are some advantages to use of the in-camera crop mode having to do with speed and file size and with the coverage of AF points, but to compare image quality and crop-factor, I think it's best to consider cropping to equal resolutions. That's what determines how many pixels you have on the subject.

It's also unclear to me how much better the noise and DR will be once you crop the D7100 image down to 10 MP. Much of the advantage of the DX cameras over the Nikon 1 cameras comes from having a larger sensor, and you lose some of that advantage when you crop the image. How much? Hard to say until we try it.

Regarding D7100 quality control, we will just have to see. The D7000 bodies didn't suffer from the dust/oil problems of the D600, but too many of them did have focus misadjusted coming out of the factory. Hopefully, Nikon will up their QC performance for the D7100.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012Sat 23-Feb-13 01:50 PM
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#3. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 2


Pennsylvania, US
          

Thanks Jon. I meant to add that the in camera crop was another option. I like your actual size comparisons. I' don't have the 7100 specs handy but I think the pixel pitch on the 7100 is smaller than the D800. So how would your comparisons match with cropping with the D800? And noise comparisons??

Dan
(Nikon D800 & V2)
"My most rewarding photos are those that capture something I didn't 'see' in the viewfinder....so just SHOOT."

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sat 23-Feb-13 02:06 PM
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#4. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 3


Wethersfield, US
          

It's easy to figure out. The V1 image is 3872 pixels wide. The D800 is 7360 pixels wide, so to crop the D800 to 10 megapixels would result in a crop of 7360/3872 = 1.9. Since the D800 is an FX camera, that translates directly to a 1.9x crop. So:

D800: 1.9x
D7100: 2.4x
V1: 2.7x

Once again let me emphasize, if you compare to the V2 you get a different result because that has a 14-MP sensor. We have to be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking these calculated crop factors are the same thing as the sensor-size crop factors we are used to dealing with. These are based on pixel density not sensor size. When you are trying to figure out how to put the most pixels onto a subject, pixel density is what you want to consider. When you are trying to figure out what happens when you're framing shots to fill the viewfinder, sensor size is the relevant comparison.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012Sat 23-Feb-13 07:58 PM
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#5. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 4
Sat 23-Feb-13 10:22 PM by walk43

Pennsylvania, US
          

Jon,

If you don't mind, I would like to follow up a little more. Bear with me as I try to explain. I still grapple with the "formulas" for comparing sensors, pixel density, IQ, sharpness and the like.

I know that pixels come in different sizes and that those sizes also have different benefits and trade offs (sharpness, color, DR etc.). Bigger pixel dimensions/sizes gather more light for example.....more dense pixels (per sq cm) can produce higher resolution (and hopefully sharpness)...so there must be some trade off there between compromising the quality of the image .... for example color etc, ....to number of pixels per sq area yielding possibly sharper images. Again that assuming you have 10MP in each sample...if I read you right.

Also, it seems to me that as technology gets more 'miniature', the capabilities (via firmware/software) of the camera to overcome some of the associated drawbacks of miniaturization (and thereby exploit the benefits) will/could get more capable with each new camera release.

Bottom line I guess is: When pixels get more dense, is it possible that the camera makers accomodate for the smaller size somehow to get better light and color, without or in addition to increasing the ISO/noise? If thats the case, then comparing different cameras might not give us the right answers since there are several variables..

I don't even know if all this makes sense to me....but I had to ask!!


Dan
(Nikon D800 & V2)
"My most rewarding photos are those that capture something I didn't 'see' in the viewfinder....so just SHOOT."

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sat 23-Feb-13 11:41 PM
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#6. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 5


Wethersfield, US
          

Actually, it isn't really the size of the pixels that determines the image quality. The highest-rated DX sensor by DxOMark is the one in the D5200, which Thom Hogan, at least, thinks may be the one used in the D7100. That's a 24-MP sensor, with the highest density of pixels on any Nikon DX sensor. So a 24-MP sensor is beating sensors with lower pixel density (that is, with bigger pixels). Of course, that's a pretty new sensor design. But the one in the D7000, a 16-MP sensor, isn't much older, and the D5200 sensor beats it. (Not by a lot, but it does beat it.)

What makes the quality suffer is when the sensor is small (or you use only a small part of a sensor by cropping). That's why I said it remains to be seen how much better the D7100's 10-MP crop will be than the V1's 10-MP image. The V1's 10-MP sensor is 13.2 mm x 8.8 mm. A 10-MP crop of the D7100 sensor will be using an area of the sensor about 15.2 mm x 10.1 mm. That's bigger than the V1 sensor, but not a lot bigger. If the V1 sensor and the D7100 sensor are of similar technology (which I don't know for sure), I would expect the IQ of the D7100 10-MP crop to be a little better than the V1 image. How much? Dunno, but it may not be a massive improvement.

But each generation of sensor seems to be better than the last as the manufacturers develop and refine sensor technology. That's why the 24-MP sensor of the D5200 is much superior to, say, the 12-MP sensor of the D300.

As for the in-camera processing, yes, it does get better, but you are still almost always better off starting with a raw image, and that doesn't get processed by all that fancy in-camera processing. It's raw sensor data.

Bottom line, then, is that sensor quality is dominated by two factors: sensor size, and what technological generation it is from. Of course, there are variations, but in general that's the case.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012Sun 24-Feb-13 11:23 AM
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#7. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 6


Pennsylvania, US
          

Thanks again Jon. You do an excellent job explaining this. Your explaination of the sensor technology getting better with each generation is the essence of my point. Only you have a much simpler and articulate way of stating it. When I mentioned in camera processing, I meant the sensor technology to capture the best/most information...not in camera settings for jpeg output. Thanks for clearing that up.

I am convinced that the D800 cropped is not as good as the V1's straight out of the camera IQ for me. But, the V1 has far more noise than the D800 and until I can test it out on warm, sunny, days I can't make a decision on the V1. I know that in general use, with my shooting techniques, I get better bird shots, showing more feather detail, than I do with the D800...almost 10 out of 10 times.

Quick question...do you crop/resize/downsize your raw images before or after you do any post processing? My practice has been to do a 100% crop of what I want from the original image, then downsize to a desired physical size if needed, and then do my post work for color, levels, highlights, shadow recovery, etc., etc., with sharpening last. Then save the final image as a jpeg.


Dan
(Nikon D800 & V2)
"My most rewarding photos are those that capture something I didn't 'see' in the viewfinder....so just SHOOT."

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sun 24-Feb-13 11:56 AM
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#8. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 7


Wethersfield, US
          

>I know that in
>general use, with my shooting techniques, I get better bird
>shots, showing more feather detail, than I do with the
>D800...almost 10 out of 10 times.

I'm a bottom-line person. If that's what works, that's the way to go.

>Quick question...do you crop/resize/downsize your raw images
>before or after you do any post processing?

I generally do WB, exposure and noise adjustments in ACR, open the image in Photoshop, then do toning and color adjustments. For my sports work, my next step is to crop and resample at the same time, then sharpen. Most of my sports photos are output at a standard resolution, not the full resolution of the camera, so that workflow fits my needs best. Because of that, and because I don't want to vary the workflow too much lest I get confused, I use pretty much the same workflow for non-sports images, except when I crop I don't generally resample, and I do only light sharpening. I save the edited image at full resolution as a PSD file. When I want to output it, I then do any resampling and sharpening that's needed for the particular output medium and resolution and save that separately, not touching the saved PSD image. Leaving the resampling/sharpening for last lets me easily optimize the image for different media or sizes after all of the editing is done. For example, I can, and have, used the same edited PSD file to produce a poster-size print, by resampling to a higher resolution and applying an aggressive, large-radius sharpening filter, and a Web-display image by downsampling to a lower resolution and applying a lighter, small-radius sharpening filter.

Note that my workflow is based around Photoshop, where changes are destructive. A workflow based around Lightroom or Capture NX would likely be different.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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walk43 Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2012Sun 24-Feb-13 12:19 PM
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#9. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 8


Pennsylvania, US
          

Jon,

Thanks again. I have been using ViewNX2 to do about the same, then save as a jpeg out of VNX2 and go to PS CS3 for final work. I will download ACR and give your workflow a try. I really like your gallery and you do great work. I try to be a active learner when I see good things to emulate.

Dan
(Nikon D800 & V2)
"My most rewarding photos are those that capture something I didn't 'see' in the viewfinder....so just SHOOT."

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 24-Feb-13 03:31 PM
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#10. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 8


Dyserth, GB
          

<<Note that my workflow is based around Photoshop, where changes are destructive.>>

Great workflow example. One thing, whenever I'm processing non RAW images in Photoshop, I always hit Ctr+J (Cmd+J on a Mac) to make a new background layer. Any changes I make there don't effect the original image.

Richard

Visit my Nikonians gallery

Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sun 24-Feb-13 03:43 PM
6355 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 10


Wethersfield, US
          

That can be useful if you plan to delete the source JPEGs after creating the PSD files. (I assume you're saving PSDs. Otherwise layers are moot.) However, if you crop the image I don't believe you can recover the uncropped original from the copied layer. Or can you? I've never really looked into it.

I never delete the files that came out of the camera -- RAW or JPEG -- so I don't feel the need to keep a layer with the original image; I can always go back to the original file from the camera if need be. In the case of RAW images, the ACR adjustments I made, which are nondestructive, are stored in the folder with the NEF, so I can start from that point in the workflow if I choose.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 24-Feb-13 04:07 PM
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#12. "RE: V1 plus FT-1 a little less compelling?"
In response to Reply # 11


Dyserth, GB
          

Yes, you are correct about PSD's. To my knowledge you can't avoid artifacts caused by sharpening etc. the background layer is a good idea especially using jpegs. My workflow is always first stop Lightroom 4, then after manipulation exported as DNG files, these are stored in a DNG folder. The original NEF files are archived onto a dedicated 2TB hard drive with their associated Lightroom catalog. Often I need a jpeg for printing which may need slight manipulating for the web or printing and this is where I use Photoshop background layers.

I actually have 2 backup drives and I have been accused of backup paranoia, but I lost a hard drive some years ago complete with images etc.

Richard

Visit my Nikonians gallery

Visit my website www.pixels4u.co.uk
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

  

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