Hello Steve,

How are things? I have been following the site regularly and enjoyed the articles and updates. Dana's submission was uplifting and thanks for the tip on the Adobe Lightroom update. I haven't used it much since downloading it but the map feature really caught my attention. I always found maps to be interesting and the possibilities with this in Lightroom seems to be extensive.

I have had a few questions that I feel I've started to answer through research on the internet but in doing so raised new questions you may be able to help with.

1. In regards to in camera HDR image processing I wondered about the length of time it would take to fire off three shots on, say, a camera that achieved "approximately" 6 shots per second. I deduced "approximately" 1/2 sec plus the exposure time for a total time always greater than 1/2 second increasing to the cameras limit for max exposure which seems to be around 30 seconds for the cameras I looked at. (This brings up an intermediate question... Would it be wise or even possible to execute three consecutive shots in the 30 second range or would the sensor over heat?) I derived the conclusion that the average time for an in camera HDR image would be between >1/2 second to around 5/6th second. I came to this conclusion using beer math while sitting at the computer one evening so I may be a bit off base here.

2. Another assumption was that the write speed of a memory card might (it does) effect the number of shots per second. After reading your article on memory cards I shopped around a bit and found quite a few choices on B&H alone. Looking at SD and CF cards I noticed the read/write speeds for both were generally comparable between cards of the same size with the exception of Lexar that offers 32, 64 and 128GB CF cards with a speed of 150MB/s. Here (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/841566-REG/Lexar_LCF32GCTBNA1000_32GB_CompactFlash_Memory_Card.html)

My questions here are:

a. Is there an advantage to using one type of card over another ie... CF over SD or SD over CF if they are rated at the same size and speed?

b. Will USB2 be able to read the 150MB/s cards at full speed and do these cards read and write at the same speeds?

3. Are there HDR cameras already on the market capable of writing at 150MB/s, or does it really matter if the files are smaller than 150MB? For instance, will a 22MB file write substantially faster on a 150MB/s card vs. a 90MB/s card?

My reason for this research is to determine how to utilize in camera HDR image processing. My thoughts that 6 shots per second is fast were dashed after thinking about it a bit. Wondering how a half second relates to the camera world I went back online to a music site, no less, and found an online digital metronome. (http://www.metronomeonline.com/) I clicked on 120 to set it at 2 beats per second and it started to clack away. Now bear with me... While the metronome provided it's steady beat I clapped my hands as fast as I could to see how many times I could clap in a 1/2 second. I found two claps to be the rough average leading me to the realization that quite a bit of movement can happen in a 1/2 to 5/6 second time frame. Now, this was allot of work to figure out what camera manufactures are already telling us, right? (That, "HDR is effective for still life and landscapes.") My efforts have helped me gain a better idea of how to judge the movement of a wave, running water, or the wind moving a tree branch during certain landscape shots to include HDR. There are even metronome aps for iphone and android out there.

1. Learn to use Photomatix Pro and raw images.. much better.

2. I consider 4fps the bare minimum for “average” static scenes suitable for HDR.. even static scenes have moving clouds/sky/water/leaves/branches. 6 is marginally better, 9-11 a lot better.

Thanks and I hope all is well. Talk later.



Joe –

You’ve been busy!  I’m going to take these questions in order the best I can.  Here goes:

1. Great question.  My answer and the manufacturers answer will probably be different, and for sure our motivations are different.  Yes, sensors can overheat and when they do noise is much more present.  Also, sensors can be overheated and their characteristics can/will change.  A case and point is the 5d2, originally it had a 30 minute max recording time as a pre-release.  Canon’s testers demonstrated how easily a 30 minute recording span would eat sensors and ruin cameras.

Cooling is always possible through different mechanisms, but they require power, space, and if not implemented perfectly will decrease from image quality.  So yes, there are limits.  I don’t know if the 30 second limits you’re speaking of for HDR will cause issues, you’ll just have to try it.  But 30 minutes of an open shutter (as required for video) sure does.. so in the production models Canon knocked it back to I think.. 10 minutes.  Some cameras are less in the 3-4 minute range.

Also, HDR is much better done manually using raw images. “In Camera” is great for point and shoot stuff, but so far not for serious work.


a.  There shouldn’t be.  However, I consistently find CF cards rated at the same speeds to be significantly faster.

b.  Ideally it should, realistically it won’t.  There’s more at play with the speed ratings than just matching them up.  Almost for certain, computer depending, you won’t get full transfer speeds without either a USB3.0 card reader or a SATA card reader.  And no, while some cards read/write at the same speeds most do not.  Read the fine print.

3.  I don’t know.  Because I haven’t been interested in HDR capable cameras it’s not something I’ve looked into.  If you send me the model number(s) of what you’re looking at I’ll get back to you.

4.  Some additional thoughts:

    1. Learn to use Photomatix Pro and raw images.. much better.
    2. I consider 4fps the bare minimum for “average” static scenes suitable for HDR.. even static scenes have moving clouds/sky/water/leaves/branches. 6 is marginally better, 9-11 a lot better.



Steve –

One of the guys I meet all the time at the local open space area is using a Canon SX40.

It has a 800 mm optical zoom and a few bells and whistles on the camera. Does not take RAW but has both a view finder and LCD screen.

I checked the from the local camera store and used it for a few days. Was impressed with ease of use except for the view finder. Doesn't compare with the Nikon finder in overall "user friendly" side by side match up.

Smaller and lighter than our DSLR cameras but the results, at least what he sends me, seem sharp and with lots of good color.

He has quite a following and gives a lot of free advise to anyone who asks.

What is you opinion of the pictures shown on his web site.



Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer on this camera.

6 days until we hit the 20 hour trip to BKK.



Hi Rick –

Did you read my last piece on “camera categories?”   It has a sensor size visual aid at the very bottom which will help you see the difference in sensor size between your DSLR and the HS40.  I believe the HS40 has the 1/1.7” size sensor and your Sony and your wife’s Nikon a 23.6x15.7mm… which is a night and day difference in image quality, light collection, and high ISO performance.  If you’re always going to be shooting in really bright light the HS40 will produce adequate images.. but the less light the more limited it becomes.  That, and it’s lens is super slow..

These are so different you really can’t compare them to a DSLR on anything but they both take pictures.

If you’re asking would it be a good ‘do everything’ type camera to carry on vacation?  Maybe.  If you shoot in bright light you’ll be fine.  The long lens is very difficult to get even decent focus with.. the camera is far too small and light to brace well, you’d need to be chocked up in a high quality tripod to get sharp images above 300mm.. but that’s the same for DSLR’s too.  Some people can shoot longer focal lengths hand held, but it’s a matter of practice and your ratio of keepers to throwaways.

If I was taking pictures like this guy, of wildlife and the such.. and didn’t want to invest 20-30k in DSLR gear then the HS40 allows you to still get some decent pics for far far less.  For many this is all they need.  But for general purpose use I’d much rather have your NEX-5..

Not sure any of that was helpful.



Steve –

I purchased the FUJI SX-1 "bridge" camera here in BKK. It looks hot and has a 640 mm optical zoom lens. Small sensor and heavy as compared to others in class. Paid about $740 after VAT refund.

First report is that while it is easy to use the most important thing is picture quality and that does not measure up to our big sensor cameras. Should have listened to you and wife on that issue. Oh well, it will hit E-Bay upon my return to USA.

Siam Paragon is hosting a big Nikon show end of month and perhaps I will make another poor decision there. Looking at the D 7000 but expensive.

Off to the "jungles" for a few days of picture taking. (Not Soi Cowboy) LOL

A few shots from Nikon D5100.


A few shots from Nikon D5100.


A few shots from Nikon D5100.


A few shots from Nikon D5100.


A few shots from Nikon D5100.


A few shots from Nikon D5100.


Hi Rick –

It’s probably not the camera which is bad.. most likely it’s just really damn hard to hold the thing steady at the extended focal lengths.. which really negates the purpose of this camera.

If you’re up to it, send it to me for about 7-10 days upon your return and let me review it. I’ll chock it up in a proper tripod, find out what the camera can do, and then if the camera is fine then I’ll see if some common techniques work well with this model. You might find the camera is usable. Or maybe not. But I thought I’d throw the offer out there. I think it would be an interesting review.

The D7000 is a nice camera. So is the new D800…. ;o)



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