December 11 2010 - Photo Jottings

December 11 2010


As expected, some people (even though they were warned) went ahead and looked at the page linked below, and now they’re mad.  This dude says it’s all invalid in an email rant, (question 10014).  Many people wrote to say either; “I don’t see that much stuff in my shots,” or “I looked at imaging-resource’s
A33 comparometer page, and nothing out of the ordinary shows up.”  They were probably checking out the A33 against regular mirror cameras.  I decided to check out that site page too, and I will agree, there isn’t much color fringing showing up, although all the images in the compare page were taken in the studio, including the house picture, which is just a poster on the wall.  Also, please keep in mind I put up the photos on my comp page to show the severity of issue, and the mountain scene crops from the entry below are extreme examples.  Depending on the light, lens and composition, you may not ever see quite that amount in your shots.

I checked Dpreview’s Sony A55 real sample images, and many shots, (including the four below) confirm some of my own results, although they didn’t go out of their way to highlight the issues like I did, because after all, they’re in the business of selling cameras and equipment.  I won’t hot-link to the original full size photos, so go to the links and click “original” below the sample.

DSC00962   Look on the right side along the tree tops, big magenta fringing.

DSC00041  Look on the lower right, by the hand rail and pipe, more magenta fringing and what looks to be a mirror ghost on the top of the handrail.

DSC02483  massive magenta/cyan fringing along the last two light poles on the lower right.

DSC00070  I see very little color fringing at all, which adds to the dilemma.

It appears to me the problem is with bright light coming at a certain angle to the lens, where the translucent mirror may be causing some additional color fringing.  Some lenses are better than others at CF control, so part of the problem comes from the lens, although that’s no different with a regular DSLR camera.  If you look very carefully at the highlights around the center of the image in a couple of the shots above, you can see some magenta fringing, which is the same as what you see in the image below, but that shot makes use of an over-abundance of specular highlights.  Also, my above selection of Dpreview’s shots are between F/5-F/13, and most of the color fringing has cleared up in the centers at those apertures, and that reflects my findings too.  I’m still not sure why the studio shots don’t show much if any difference; another mystery to solve.  With that said, I think my comp page is an accurate reflection of the issues, even though I went out of my way to show the problems at their worst, and it’s unlikely I received two bad A33s.

There are ways to correct this color fringing issue right now, although they involve some intermediate level photo editing software unless you have plenty of time on your hands, in which case just use the standard heal and clone tool.  If you take a great picture, and decide you want a big enlargement made for the living room, just download a trial version of a good photo editing program, fix your shot, and go from there, it’s not a big deal.  I think folks should just keep using the SLT cameras if color fringing doesn’t bother them; it’s a good camera in all other respects IMHO. The mirror ghosting in the comp is not something I’d worry about, it’s easy to correct in Post processing, again, using the heal and clone tool.  Color fringing bothers me, but distortion, light fall-off
and build quality are things I don’t worry about much.  Light fall-off really ticks some people off, but I never give it much thought.  It all depends on what’s important to you in an image.

It’s probably clear by now I’d rather use the Sony A900 at ISO 1600, than the A33 at ISO 200, but that’s just me.  I like the professional features of both the A700/900, so much so, that I’m not willing to compromise on a lesser camera.  I had two different copies of the A33, but I can’t live with the image quality, although I really like the rotating LCD, and the fact that it’s small and lightweight.  I bought the A33 as a backup for my other cameras, and for hiking.  I sent both A33s back for a refund.  I may try an A560/580 in the future.

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