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November 12, 2008 at 6:28 AM #47715gauss256Participant
I’ve been a reader of Videomaker for a while and am constantly frustrated by it. The topics covered are good but too many of the articles leave me with an empty feeling. An example: the About Face! article. I’ve been curious about the face detection feature for some time. I want to know: how does it work? is it reliable? what effect does it have? would I want this feature in my next camera?
But basically the article just says: faces are important, lots of cameras have the feature, and if you want to know if it’s useful you have to try it for yourself. That’s useless! I knew all that before I read the article. The writer should give me his opinion. We’re all adults (sort of) and will know that it is just an opinion and not the final definitive word on it. But tell me something. You know more about the topic than I do, tell me something I don’t know.
Ditto for the basic instructional articles. I am looking to buy my first lighting kit. I feel like I’ve read a zillion articles in Videomaker about lighting. But basically they all just say, “think about what you need and choose your equipment appropriately”. Useless! Instead, tell me what you personally would buy for $500 or $2000. Other knowledgeable people will disagree but that’s fine. Start a
fightdiscussion and let’s get some real points of view being shared.
That would make the magazine much more useful. Don’t be so timid!
November 12, 2008 at 8:55 AM #196438RobParticipant
I kinda could see your point until you got to this:
But basically they all just say, “think about what you need and choose your equipment appropriately”. Useless! Instead, tell me what you personally would buy for $500 or $2000.
That’s ignorant. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU NEED. What someone else would buy with $500 or $2000 is useless information because they’re not doing the same thing you are doing. If you have $2000 and you know you do a lot of 3 point lighting for interviews, you will spend that $2000 differently than someone who will be lighting large scenes….
We all make video because we like making video, but unfortunately sometimes you have to put the camera away and do some research, which isn’t fun. No magazine will tell you what you need. It’s impossible.
November 12, 2008 at 9:13 AM #196439RobParticipant
So I went and read the About Face article you linked, and most of the questions you asked in this post are answered in this article.
how does it work?
Well, there’s 2 or 3 paragraphs explaining how it works. Cameras with this featureimplementalgorithmsso the camera can recognize faces.
Most face detection algorithms recognize not just one, but multiple faces. Usually they consider the face closest to the center the most important or primary face; they notice others behind it or on the periphery, but focus and image adjustments will follow the primary face. If the primary face leaves the frame, the software will choose a new primary face. Many of the current crop of cameras will pick five or more faces (if they’re available).–A whole paragraph strait from the article.
If you wanted to know what algorithms are, then you’re reading the wrong magazine dude.Mathematicianscreate algorithms, and no disrespect to Videomaker, but I don’t think they could explain it to you and I don’t think you’d understand anyway…
what effect does it have?
Well that’s a no brainer. It allows the viewer to clearly see faces…
is it reliable?
Probably. It states in the beginning that Nikon started it and then others jumped on the band wagon. Why would others follow along if it wasn’t working?
would I want this feature in my next camera?
Like I said in my earlier post, no one call tell you what you need. That’s for you to decide. And if you can’t decide, the article provides an example of when you may NOT want this feature:
“So far, all of the camcorders we’ve seen that include face detection also let you turn the feature off. Why would you want to do that? An artsy shot with flowers in focus and the subject holding them in soft focus is a good example of when you might want to turn this feature off.”
–From the Article
See, they give you an example of what you may not want this feature. So if you think there will be a lot of times when you’re going to want very shallow depth and the person in the shot will be out of focus, then maybe you don’t need this feature…
Did you actually read this article or are you just judging harshly because you’re unsatisfied…because you don’t want to think, you just want people to tell you want to get…
November 12, 2008 at 5:06 PM #196440EarlCMember
Good responses Rob. Interesting that a fight, er, uh discussion point(s) has been issued but no reply as of yet. Maybe it’s been too soon.
As a career journalist it has been my experience (and opinion) that reporting facts is just that, limited to the knowledge and research capabilities and resources of the individual making the report. Statement of opinion, however, is an editorial and not to be confused with the former.
True, as the original post points out, it would be nice if somebody who has had direct hands on experience (not opinions derived from reading of manufacturer BS releases, paid reviews sponsored by the same, or parroting what has been heard over the various forum grapevines) would pipe in once in awhile and provide a “tell” on their “findings” as they apply to the expectations, needs and application of the writer/video producer.
Even that, however, isn’t going to answer all of somebody elses questions regarding the same. Some questions simply HAVE to be answered via personal examination, hands on experience and individual research based on specific needs of the person seeking information.
November 12, 2008 at 6:53 PM #196441gauss256Participant
Of course I need to do research and take my particular requirements into account before making a decision. Reading Videomaker and this forum are part of that research. I’m not looking for a definitive answer in any one place. A mix of facts, recommendations and opinions are the input to the decision. I still contend that the face detection article doesn’t tell me any more than a press release from the manufacturer. I don’t need Videomaker for that and it’s not doing its job if it doesn’t offer more. The article’s author has the camera–I don’t. And I’m not going to buy it to research this particular feature.
As for lighting, there was another post on this forum from someone who stated clearly the kind of lighting needs he has (interviews) and that he has an entry-level budget. He got two kinds of responses. Someone posted a link to B&H lighting kit and said “that’s what I’m about to buy,”and listed a few pros and cons. Another person posted a long rant about how he needs to set aside a solid week (but months would be better) and study everything about lighting in extreme depth and then maybe he will be in a position to make a decision.
The OP would be foolish to rush out and buy the B&H kit based on that one opinion, but it is a least a specific starting point for more investigation and discussion. And even if he did just buy it, it’s probably not terrible and getting hands-on experience with something is better than endlessly reading about the subject. The suggestion that the OP do more research is useless. He is obviously already doing some research, which includes his post to the forum.
My point is that too many Videomaker articles are just as uninformative.
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