Comments on "Professional Techniques for Digital Wedding Photographers, 2nd edition"

I have recently purchased the book titled "Professional Techniques for Digital Wedding Photographers, 2nd edition". One thing that really frustrates me when reading a book is when there are blatant errors in - and I am not even talking about typo's. I am referring to technical lies.

I'll summarise by quoting the e-mail I wrote to the publishers:

From: Waldo Nell
Date: 30 December 2004 23:05:29 GMT+02:00
Subject: Professional Techniques for Digital Wedding Photographers, 2nd edition


I have just purchased the book titled "Professional Techniques for Digital Wedding Photographers, 2nd edition", and would like to submit some corrections to errors in the text. If this is the wrong email address, please forward to the relevant people.

Page 35
Quote: "The more receptors in the CCD, the higher the resolution and image quality will be".
Comment: This is not entirely correct. Yes - with more receptors the resolution would go up, however image quality actually decreases since there are more leakage of electrons between the cells (they tend to get closer if the CCD size is kept the same size), also "purple fringing" is usually amplified, and less light in general is recorded per receptor since it is smaller. Image quality is a factor of several attributes. However, stating that you would be able to product a sharp image at a larger print size if the CCD has more receptors, is a more accurate statement.

Page 37
Quote: "Most professional digital cameras can burst 5-10 frames per second at full resolution [...]"
Comment: AFAIK the fastest digital camera at full resolution today is the Canon 1D Mark II @ 8.2 MP it can do 8.5 fps. From there it only goes slower... A typical burst rate for pro SLR cameras tends to be 3-8.5 fps, whereas pro-sumer cameras handle typically 1-4 fps.

Quote: " typically create a 16-bit image, which represents millions of colors."
Comment: When they refer in RAW mode to 16-bit images, they refer to the fact that each of the Red, Green and Blue channels capture 16 bits of data. Firstly, very few cameras can do this - the top of the range Kodak, Fujifilm and Nikon cameras can only do 12 or 14 bits. In fact, I do not even think the newly released Canon 1Ds Mark II can do 16-bit colour. Secondly, 16 bit colour like I said refers to each channel, thus all three channels combined yields 16*3 = 48 bits, thus this represents 2^48 = 281,474,976,710,656 colours, which certainly is more than millions.

Quote: "When photographing in JPEG fine mode [...] you typically create an 8-bit image, which may only represent several hundred colors." Comment: Likewise, 8 bits refer to each channel. For all three RGB channels this yields 3*8 = 24 bits, which is 16,777,216 (i.e. millions of colours) - not hundreds.

Furthermore, it is not about image quality that you want to shoot in 16 bit colour mode. The human eye cannot discern much more than 2^24 colours, and for all practical purposes that is enough. However, shooting in 16-bit colour mode is extremely important if you are going to manipulate the image on a computer since several operations such as tonal adjustments will throw away colour information, and the more you have the more will be in the final image. Thus to maximise your editing capabilities of the image, use a higher colour mode - not for raw image quality.

Page 79
Quote: "The 1DS features a 5.47 megapixel CCD (creating a 4024x1324 pixel image)..." and "...the ISO range is 125-800..."
Comment: The 1Ds is a 11.1 megapixel camera using a CMOS sensor (not CCD), creating 4,064 x 2,704 images. The ISO range is given below:

ISO 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250
ISO expand: L = ISO 50 (custom function 03)

Also, its X-sync is 1/250 sec - not 1/500 sec.

-- Waldo Nell

Canon 1D Mark II and Purple Fringing

When I took some pictures of lightning the other day, I detected severe purple fringing around the lightning path itself. This bothered me, so I investigated.

An interpolated crop of 1200dpi is shown below:

Purple Fringing
Purple Fringing
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Is security really important?

I had the pleasure of being in a meeting room a few weeks ago in a large, respected company with some of their technical experts discussing the security considerations for a project I am consulting on.

Since I am paranoid about security, I obviously tried to push that they upped the security on the system dramatically (they are hosting it and will eventually take over the responsibility for securing it). It was just so startling to witness their responses to many of my recommendations, that I started to realise exactly how ignorant many people are towards IT security.

In specific, two statements freaked me out completely. One of their technical experts told me that I am being overly paranoid for wanting to install a firewall on the server, since the server is not exposed to the Internet but part of the Retail Network.

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Unexpected present for Christmas Eve

Yesterday evening while we were preparing for dinner, we had the most spectacular sunset I have witnessed in many, many years - right here in Centurion. I took some brilliant photographs, and posted them under various categories on Photudio. Browse around under Nature > Sunset and Other > Lighting Changes. Enjoy!

DOF @ F3.5 difference between SLR and non-SLR digital cameras

Ever wondered why a picture taken at say F3.5 on a non-SLR digital camera like the Fujifilm Finepix 602Zoom does not have the same DOF than a SLR camera like the Canon EOS 1D Mark II? In this article I'll explain what causes these differences.

<Missing Image>
Above is a (bad) picture taken with the Fujifilm Finepix 602Zoom @ 1/11s, F3.6 (Av), ISO 200, 35mm equiv. f.l. = 35mm.

<Missing Image>
Above is another (bad) picture taken with the Canon EOS 1D Mark II @ 1/6s, F3.5 (Av), ISO 100, 35mm equiv. f.l. = 35mm.

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