Digital Photography Review has given high praise to the Panasonic GH2 mirrorless micro four-thirds camera in its recent review, calling it the first camera of its sensor size with usable 6400 ISO. One must assume they are using the term "usable" very broadly, but still, it is clear from reading the review and user feedback that the new 18-megapixel camera is a leap above its predecessors (actually, only 16 of the megapixels are used at any given time).
Given that the GH1 was rife with complaints of banding at 1600 ISO, if the GH2 can even manage 3200 ISO I will be impressed. Indications are this is indeed the case. Some nice-looking 1600 ISO pictures taken with the GH2 can be seen here. Sample images comparing the GH2 to other cameras at all ISOs can be viewed at DPR or Imaging Resource.
Equally important, DPR is reporting that the GH2's autofocus is a significant upgrade from earlier Panasonic models. While Panasonic mirrorless cameras have fast autofocus compared to Olympus, the G series still lags behind the speed of phase detect focusing DSLRs. By closing the gap, the GH2 casts another weight for micro four-thirds technology vs. single lens reflex on the convenience vs. quality scale.
The GH2 might not be a revolutionary development (in all essential points it is very closely related to its predecessor, the GH1) but we're confident in saying that it is the best mirrorless system camera that we've ever tested, bar none. With the GH2 Panasonic has finally demonstrated that it is able to compete with the APS-C format competition when it comes both to resolution and critical image quality. Although the GH2's Micro Four Thirds sensor is smaller than those found in cameras like the Canon EOS 60D and Nikon D7000, it runs them both pretty close. Up to ISO 3200 in fact, we'd stick our necks out and say that the GH2 can hold its own against any of the current crop of APS-C format cameras on the market, which is high praise indeed.
Bird photos using the electronic tele-conversion (EZ Zoom) feature on the GH2.
As a low light photographer, high ISO is of great importance to me, but there is another trophy on the GH2's mantle: many users, including Thom Hogan, say that it is the best interchangeable lens camera for video.
The new Macbook Pro laptops have Thunderbolt connectivity that allows users to add files to the computer at a rate of 10 gigabytes per second. So if I'm doing the math right that means you can fill up your entire hard drive in about 30 seconds.
Ctein over at The Online Photographer is on the job. Or rather, postulating about It, since this is more of a theoretical question.
It being: just how fast can a camera capture light? In the film era, the fastest rolls available at stores were 1600 or 3200 ISO (often something more like 1000 ISO push-processed). These rolls were pretty grainy.Top-line digital cameras can now get decent image quality at 6400 ISO, still-usable quality at 12,800 ISO, and a marketing department claim of 102K ISO to round out the numbers.
But what is the limit? How much faster can photo sensors go?
Here are Ctein's observations on the steps that can take digital camera high ISO speeding into the future:
First, install a back-side-illuminated sensor (unless I misread the specs, the D3s isn't using one). BSI sensors are about twice as efficient as conventional ones at gathering light. Large pixels don't benefit as much as small ones. For the D3S I'd be conservative and call it a 2/3 stop gain (for micron sized pixels, it's distinctly more than one stop).
BSI sensors haven't made big inroads yet, although they're in a few cameras. I suspect a combination of cost and the fact that smaller-sensor cameras need them more desperately.
Chinese blogger and activist Michael Anti wants to know why he is less worthy of a Facebook account than company founder Mark Zuckerberg's dog.
Anti, a popular online commentator whose legal name is Zhao Jing, said in an interview Tuesday that his Facebook account was suddenly canceled in January. Company officials told him by e-mail that Facebook has a strict policy against pseudonyms and that he must use the name issued on his government ID.
Anti argues that his professional identity as Michael Anti has been established for more than a decade, with published articles and essays.
Anti, a former journalist who has won fellowships at both Cambridge University and Harvard University, said he set up his Facebook account in 2007. By locking him out of his account, Facebook has cut him off from a network of more than 1,000 academic and professional contacts who know him as Anti, he said.
"I'm really, really angry. I can't function using my Chinese name. Today, I found out that Zuckerberg's dog has a Facebook account. My journalistic work and academic work is more real than a dog," he said.
Ostensibly, the "real name" policy was created during Facebook's early days in order to provide reliability and trust on the website. That was back when Facebook actually followed privacy guidelines. Now that Facebook has made public release of profile pictures, friend lists, etc mandatory and is unloading a slew of private information- including phone numbers and addresses- to outside developers, one can question why Facebook should be trusted with anyone's real name. But that's a bit beside the point here.
With the case of Michael Anti, we see someone who was using his actual name... at least as far as the name he uses in professional circles. Is Facebook going to say that Bob Dylan must go by Robert Zimmerman? As a writer in China, Anti already has more than enough trouble dealing with censorship authorities here. Facebook should be deeply ashamed.
Some might say its a bit much to describe this as censorship as I have done in the headline. I say censorship is a small word for it. What greater censorship can be done than the delete a person's entire account? Their messages, their contacts, their personal photos, their online identiy.
This isn't the first time Anti lost a blog hosted by a U.S. company. Acting at the behest of the Chinese government, Microsoftshut down Anti's MSN Spages page in 2005.
Not to mention that there are a few good reasons why a human rights activist in places like China or Iran may not want to be posting on Facebook under their real name.