Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       3              8       9       end
  

Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony
  
 
rhawidantas
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Seems that the Start Eater Algorithm issue has been gathering pace with the bone headed decision of Sony to handicap the cameras on exposures over 4s.

It has been a known issue around this forum (and on DPReview as well).

Ian Norman with one of the most famous sites on the net, lonelyspeck, has released an open letter to Sony which can be found here: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/why-i-no-longer-recommend-sony-cameras-for-astrophotography-an-open-letter-to-sony/

Basically he is mentioning that if we want to see a change on it, even a simple menu toggle, we have to take matters on our own hands.

As per recommended by him I have sent an email to: [email protected]

If anyone out there is truly affected by this this is the time to put your money where you mouth is.



May 04, 2017 at 01:19 PM
rhawidantas
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Hello Sony,

I am writing with great concern about the so-called “Star Eater” problem affecting Sony Alpha cameras.

Most of the latest Sony Alpha cameras employ a spatial filtering noise reduction algorithm when using Bulb mode. This noise reduction targets hot pixels. It affects RAW files and cannot be turned off, even when using Uncompressed RAW. The primary issue with the spatial filtering is that it greatly affects astrophotography: dimmer stars that occupy only a few pixels are erased, essentially “mistaken” for noise by the filtering algorithm. The result is an astrophoto with greatly reduced visibility of dim stars and an overall appearance of reduced resolution.

This issue affects all recent Sony alpha mirrorless cameras including the a6000, a6300, a6500, a7S, a7R, a7, a7II, a7SII and a7RII. It likely affects more models, too. The issue has been thoroughly discussed and analyzed by others in the community, particularly on the DPReview forums and on Jim Kasson’s Last Word blog. References are at the bottom of this email.

The blog, lonelyspeck.com, focuses specifically on accessible landscape astrophotography for beginners and I’ve personally been a big fan of Sony cameras up until now. While the spatial filtering on Sony Alpha cameras has been documented for a long time, it didn’t really affect the simpler forms of astrophotography that do not require shutter times longer than 30s. If we used these cameras in M mode and let the camera time the exposure up to 30s long, the camera would not apply the problematic spatial filtering. For most cases in landscape astrophotography, night sky exposures almost never exceed 30s in order to reduce star trailing.

But I’ve recently learned through Sony Alpha Rumors, as well as the DPReview forums and Jim Kasson’s blog, that Sony has issued firmware updates to at least the a7RII and a7SII (3.30 and 2.10, respectively) that now forces the same “Star Eater” spatial filtering on all exposures that exceed 3.2s in shutter time, even when not in Bulb mode. What was once a problem that only affected the niche case of Bulb exposures now affects ALL reasonable untracked astrophotography exposure times for common focal lengths.

Personally, learning of this change (and verifying the issue for myself) has led me to question my desire for future Sony camera bodies and has made me very skeptical of future firmware updates. I hate the thought of having recommending a camera to someone only to learn that something has changed that would have me question my original recommendation. These aren’t cheap tools. As a result, I’m no longer recommending and will be forced to discourage the use of current and future Sony cameras on my blog, unless we see a fix.

I’m reaching out because I believe Sony has the capability to fix this issue to win back the support of so many loyal fans. We have already seen Sony make improvements and fixes to the a7 series when DPReview published about the original issues with Sony’s compressed RAW artifact problems. As a result, Sony issued firmware updates for the a7II, a7SII, and a7RII that enabled uncompressed RAW. It was a fix that was favorably commended by many in the photography community. Now, we need another fix.

Sony, please fix the “Star Eater” spatial filtering issue via a firmware update… the problem was introduced/exacerbated with firmware so it’s obvious it can be fixed with firmware. At the very least, make it a selectable option in the menu such that it can be disabled when desired. Adding the option to disable it for Bulb mode would just be icing on the cake.

This letter is available publicly as a blog post on lonelyspeck.com, documenting the issue for their readers. I’ve recommended the a7SII and a7RII to so many people for landscape astrophotography and it would feel disingenuous to not tell them about this issue.

For reference, here are a number of online sources that discuss the “Star Eater” problem:

DPReview:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58709160https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/55841466

Cloudy Nights:

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/498339-sony-a7s-star-eater-algorithm/https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/505754-another-real-world-example-of-sonys-star-eater-problem /https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/558230-star-eater-in-action-sony-a7rii/

SAR:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/specific-a7sii-astrophotography-fix-request/#disqus_thread

Sony Community:

https://community.sony.com/t5/Alpha-NEX-Cameras/Star-eater-in-bulb-mode/td-p/508740

From Jim Kasson:

http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/spacial-filtering-of-raw-images-by-sony-a7s-a7ii/http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/sony-a7rii-long-exposure-spatial-filtering-with-fw-3-30 /http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/16486/http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/lenr-and-sony-a7rii-fw-3-30-lowpass-filteering /http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/reverse-engineering-the-sony-a7rii-long-exposure-spatial-filtering/http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/sony-a7rii-bulb-spatial-filtering/

Sincerely,



May 04, 2017 at 01:19 PM
tntcorp
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


your efforts and initiative are greatly appreciated. :-)

i'm not aware of such issue due to the lack of a remote for bulb exposure.



May 04, 2017 at 02:30 PM
Gary Clennan
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony










May 04, 2017 at 02:43 PM
dgpfotografia
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


If you go to the LonelySpeck page: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/why-i-no-longer-recommend-sony-cameras-for-astrophotography-an-open-letter-to-sony/ you will see a representative from Sony saying that he got pointed to that blog post and that he is sending all the info to Sony engineering department:


Ian, your Star Eater post was forwarded to me by a reader. Great insight that I will pass along to Engineers for developmental consideration.

As you noted, replies from Sony are not frequent but are often heard. Feel free to, if you have other comments, forward them along to me and I will get them to the appropriate departments and individuals.
Contact me any time by phone or email.

All the best.
Rob Shelley
Pro Services Support Manager Southwest
Sony North America



May 05, 2017 at 08:58 AM
ThanhHa
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Hope they will fix this by a new firmware, not just by releasing a brand new camera with the problem fixed and call it a "new feature"


May 05, 2017 at 09:16 AM
MJKoski
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Do not worry. Maybe A9r, $7000, has it.


May 05, 2017 at 02:40 PM
Vcize
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony




tntcorp wrote:
your efforts and initiative are greatly appreciated. :-)

i'm not aware of such issue due to the lack of a remote for bulb exposure.


It does not just affect bulb mode. It affects any exposure longer than 3.2s.



May 05, 2017 at 03:15 PM
mcbroomf
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Another bit of info .. I hoped that I might be able to get an A7R2 downgraded from 3.3 to 3.2 through the Sony Pro program. No such luck, I was told "We do not downgrade firmware". Not quite the same as they cannot but it may have been semantics or language differences.

Mike



May 05, 2017 at 05:56 PM
artur5
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Tell them that, in this case, going from 3.3 to 3.2 isn't a downgrade but an upgrade.


May 05, 2017 at 06:38 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Schlotkins
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


If we are getting Sony to fix this, let's get them to do it for the bulb mode too!


May 05, 2017 at 07:00 PM
M_J_Helin
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Why was Luke Skywalker so hard to find?





May 05, 2017 at 07:26 PM
MJKoski
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Rise up against the emperor and at the same time when you are at it, ask them to drop useless 14>12bit drop after 30 seconds. I had my doubts when I left Sony for Pentax and still do - new glass for Pentax is not gonna happen soon - but at least it is the best long exposure FF body this very day.


May 05, 2017 at 10:56 PM
irreversible
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Are there any methods that can minimize the effects of this algorithm, short of just stacking a bunch of 3.2s exposures? I have a trip planned at the end of the month to try my hand at astro and have been looking to pick up an A7Rii but everything seems to be on 3.3 already.

Hopefully the kerfluffle actually gets some results this time!



May 06, 2017 at 10:56 PM
rhawidantas
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


I got the following message from Sony.

I can't actually call them, since I live in Sweden instead of North America and told them that, but if anyone feels like calling then feel free:

Hi Rhawi,

We're sorry to hear that. To best assist you regarding this concern, please call our alpha support team.

Sony support hotline: (800) 222-7669
Sony alpha technical team: 1-239-245-6360
Business Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM ET (Midnight).
Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

We look forward to your continuous support to Sony products.

Regards,
Anthony
Sony Social Media Team



May 07, 2017 at 02:34 PM
rhawidantas
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


And it seems that Ian, from LonelySpeck.com, has had similar feedback:
UPDATE, May 4, 2017: I received the following reply from Trung Vu of Sony Alpha Pro Support:

We have forwarded your concern to our sustaining engineering group.

Trung Vu
Senior Product Specialist
Sony Alpha Pro Support


UPDATE, May 5, 2017: I spoke with Rob Shelley of Sony Pro Services on the phone. He has informed me that he will try to contact the relevant parties in engineering about the concern. That said, it seems as if he was never previously aware of this issue and is not fully sure of what needs to happen next for a fix. I hoping that he will take this matter seriously and find the right people in order to forward our collective concern.

UPDATE May 6, 2017: I and several others have received the following generic reply from [email protected]:

We’re sorry to hear that. To best assist you regarding this concern, please call our alpha support team.

Sony support hotline: (800) 222-7669
Sony alpha technical team: 1-239-245-6360
Business Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM ET (Midnight).
Saturday – Sunday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

We look forward to your continuous support to Sony products.

Regards,
Anthony
Sony Social Media Team


I’m changing my original recommendation of emailing Sony to calling Sony at the above phone numbers. Please reference this article by directing them to: lonelyspeck.com/stareater

Thanks everyone who has been trying to contact Sony. Keep it up and we might actually see a solution! I’m hoping for the best from Sony. –Ian



May 07, 2017 at 02:36 PM
Gary Clennan
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Even though I am not terribly bothered by this, I decided to call Sony support anyway. I was advised that "Sony engineers are aware of the issue and are working on a Firmware update to fix the issue as we speak". He told me (twice) that the issue will for sure be fixed and will be implemented via FW update. Take it for what it's worth but this is exactly what I was told...


May 08, 2017 at 04:00 PM
RoseandCharles
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


Gary Clennan wrote:
Even though I am not terribly bothered by this, I decided to call Sony support anyway. I was advised that "Sony engineers are aware of the issue and are working on a Firmware update to fix the issue as we speak". He told me (twice) that the issue will for sure be fixed and will be implemented via FW update. Take it for what it's worth but this is exactly what I was told...


That is good news at least. Is there a timeframe for this? We have a trip coming up at the end of this month where we'd like to do some night sky shots. Granted, it probably won't be as big of an issue as for more serious astrophotographers, but needing to keep exposures at ~3sec instead of going longer will be annoying.



May 08, 2017 at 04:01 PM
Gary Clennan
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


RoseandCharles wrote:
That is good news at least. Is there a timeframe for this? We have a trip coming up at the end of this month where we'd like to do some night sky shots. Granted, it probably won't be as big of an issue as for more serious astrophotographers, but needing to keep exposures at ~3sec instead of going longer will be annoying.


I asked him how long and was told 1-2wks was his best guess. I wouldn't bank on it but I would think that it is in their best interest to get it resolved quickly. He said it is their "most urgent" FW update they are working on. We will just have to see...



May 08, 2017 at 04:13 PM
mjm6
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Star Eater Algorithm and getting in contact with Sony


I hope they go to having it be a long exposure noise reduction option in the settings rather than just defaulting back to the 30 seconds, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.


May 08, 2017 at 05:49 PM
1
       2       3              8       9       end






FM Forums | Sony Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       3              8       9       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password