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| p.27 #10 · Still no love for the Ricoh GXR? |
I have stopped using ACR entirely as I find it does a poor job with any camera I have files from to work with, AA-filtered or naked.
Toothwalker; for most of the problems that AA filter-less cameras are bashed for, there are solutions that are quite easy, as Denoir showed. I find it easier to deal with the potential artifacts of AA-filter less cameras than some of the inherent mushiness of AA-filtered cameras, on top of the inherent problems of the individual cameras.
But, I also think the M9 does create more artifacts than the GXR M, I'll tell you that. In a short period I managed to find occasions where the M9 would add some artifacts, a little more than I thought. I am not as versed with my Wacom when it comes to dealing with it as Denoir but for the most part it posed no real problem. But I did think it was annoying at times of course.
On the GXR M however, the artifactery is on such a small scale that I have yet to find it a nuisance in any way. Quite the contrary I have found shooting situations with small detail that none of my AA-filtered cameras have coped with, but the GXR M has, like the pearl in a deep pearl metallic color, the minute detail/grit surface in the center of a plastic tweeter where the Nex 5N simply could not reproduce the small detail. Looking at the GXR M files it can easily be regarded as "noise" but when actually looking at the tweeter it is in fact a surface grit with a smooth plastic edge around it. On the GXR M files you can see the grit and the smooth surface, the latter with no noise, and on the 5n files that were shot with the same lens you can't see the detail, it has been effectively killed by the AA filter and cannot be put back together again.
With the GXR M, post pro sharpening is very easy and quite predictable as it ranges from no sharpening to very little, on all subjects and shooting conditions.
With some of the other cameras I have seen or had I think that restoring sharpness is not as easy or predictable. Recombobulating a file from a camera that does introduce mush, with the promise that you can "demush it in post pro" is just about as tiring and I find that even when someone as technically gifted as the Suede has a go at it as per the exercise above, the end result can be quite coarse and I still find the M9 files to be more pleasing. With a lot less work, and despite the inherent drawbacks.
Still, I am not on a crusade against AA-filtered cameras. For the most part I had a really hard time telling which file was with the Nex 5N and which was with the GXR M, they are both that good. I find that I would have been perfectly happy with the 5N performance if the camera had been better in actual use and if there had been no issues with the alt wide angles I have.
Also, I think the NEX 5n handles highlights better and I think the sensor is something I hope Ricoh will wrap their brains around for the coming modules. Yes please.
Recently I have had some time to tinker more with the GXR M files and I find that I am really pleased with the workflow, the imagery and the way the images look. When I find that people are advocating against AA filter-less cameras I have to question it as most of them seem not to have worked with one but back their arguments on technical explanations of how it is "supposed" to work.
Regardless of camera sensor layout we have to put in an effort in post processing, the question is how much, and in what way do we have to do it to get to where we are satisfied.
I was extremely pleased with my Sony A900 files (for lower ISO) and found it to be a helluva camera. Quite a step up in all aspects from the 5D I used to shoot with which I really never grew to like. I am equally pleased with the GXR M as I have been with the Sony A900, which I first thought I would find a bit lacking in comparison. But after some time with the camera I am really happy with it and would not trade any of the traits for a higher MP count, or an AA-filter, if it meant that I would not have the same out of the camera files that I have now.
The GXR M is not a perfect camera, but it does a marvelous job and and has a superb user interface. There is currently no other camera I would trade it for for my kind of work. There are many things I'd like to see improved but none that I feel are forcing me to seek other solutions.
Should I have to shoot more action or a lot of telephoto work I would not reach for the GXR as my primary camera.
Also, I find it kind of disappointing that the new Zoom module hasn't got a manual zoom barrel, but is restricted to the zoom button on the camera, which I have dedicated to other functions.