Signal to Noise Ratio: Why some camera comparisons are wrong

An age-old measure of the performance of many types of recording is “signal to noise ratio”. In essence, it looks at how much noise there is compared to useful signal in any given medium, whether it’s an analogue transmission or even a digital recording. There’s one thing that I’ve noticed a lot recently, and that is when people compare cameras they often look at 1:1 crops to compare the results. In particular, they use this to compare noise performance between cameras. However, when comparing cameras of different resolutions, this may not actually give you an accurate comparison. The reason for this is that when doing this you’re only looking at one part of the equation, the noise, without considering the other part: the signal. 

Introducing StreetLUX for Lightroom & Photoshop

Today, I’m happy to announce the launch of my latest set of Lightroom Presets: StreetLUX. I got the idea for StreetLUX when I was processing my most recent set of photos from my Street Photo Diary series, and I was originally using my Monolith Presets. I wanted a high contrast look, but I wanted to create something a little more “film like” so I went back to the drawing board and came up with a new set. But I didn’t stop there and I also created a set of colour presets too, which were inspired by the “chrome” style of films from the past.

Lensball Review

If you haven’t seen them before, a Lensball is basically a polished glass sphere. That’s pretty much all there is to it, but once you’re aware of it, you start to see them cropping up everywhere, in Instagram and other online photos. A little while ago, the company that makes them sent me one to review, and I’ve been having fun with it ever since.

Video: Shooting Street Photography with the Nikon D700

In the latest episode of “Street Photo Diary,” I decided to shoot some street photography with the Nikon D700. The D700 is probably still my all time favourite camera. I love the ergonomics of it, and I love the images it produces too. While it is a big and heavy camera, and it may not seem like the first choice for shooting street photography, after a while, you don’t even notice the weight or the bulk.

Street Photo Diary Issue 35: Black and White in Dublin

It was a bank holiday weekend here in Dublin this weekend, and as is traditional at the start of August, many people were away on holidays. The result of this is that the city was unusually quiet. I had headed out to shoot an episode of my “Street Photo Diary” companion video series and while I normally complain about how busy it is, for once it was nearly too quiet.

About those Worm Artifacts and Fuji X-Trans

Despite the fact that Fuji’s X-Trans cameras have been out for several years now, and despite the fact that the issues with Lightroom are well known, there is still a surprising amount of misinformation being spread about this. What’s worse is that some of it comes from what you would think would be reliable sources. One of the most confusing issues surrounds what people call “worm artefacts”. Here is my attempt to set the record straight.

What I want from an Asset Management System

While we see a renaissance of sorts when it comes to photo editing software, in my opinion, the management side has taken a back seat. If you look at many of the recent developments across newer and updated applications, most of the development has been on the image editing side. Lightroom, for example, has seen only minor changes to the database side of the application in years. There are lots of new technologies out there that would be really useful to photographers if they were all together in one application, and yet, in my opinion, there’s nothing that does everything. At least not yet.

Random Acts of Photography: London Edition

I’ve been taking a little break this week, and I got to spend some time in London. The city, like the rest of the UK and Ireland, is currently experiencing a heatwave, and as someone who doesn’t do well in the heat, I’ve found it quite oppressive and hard to function. Anyway, I haven’t really been taking many photos, but here are a random few from the few days in the city.

The Sounds of Dublin City - An Experiment in Audiotography

I had this idea a while ago that I have been keen to try out for a while, but I only recently managed to do it. I have some colleagues who are visually impaired, and I was thinking about how people use photography as a way to collect memories of a trip or a momentous occasion, and I wondered what the equivalent might be for someone who was visually impaired. So I had the idea to try recording a soundscape.

Luminar Flash Sale

Skylum software is having a flash sale on Luminar for the next four days from today, Thursday, July 19, through to Sunday, July 22. I normally don’t post these offers, as everyone who is on the affiliate programme will be shortly, and my RSS reader gets full of the same post, but it’s a pretty good deal, so I’m going to make the exception this time.

Fuji Releases the XF-10. Some observations.

Fuji today announced a new compact camera, the XF-10. The XF-10 is an ultra lightweight compact camera, with a 28mm equivalent lens and an APS-C Beyer sensor. “The camera also includes enhanced Bluetooth capability.” It’s fairly inexpensive, retailing at $499. I’m not really a news site, so rather than go into every detail, here are a few of my observations, about the camera and the launch.

Alpine Ridge

The last time I went to Glendalough to shoot has ended up being the gift that keeps on giving. Every now and then I go back to my collection of images from the day and discover something else, or rediscover a shot that I’d dismissed. In this case I discovered a series of shots of the tree line that I had previously glossed over.