I kind of recently 'discovered' Reddit

Like most people who use the Internet I have known about the existence of Reddit for some time. If you are a regular user of the Internet it would be hard not to know about Reddit. And over the years I have done the occasional visit to Reddit. But I never really ‘got into it’.

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Over the last few weeks I have become more interested in Reddit. I now have an account, and I have joined a number of sub-Reddit groups—as they call them.

Being somewhat interested in photography I have joined the /Photocritique, /Pics, and /SonyAlpha sub-Reddits.

The picture of the Cosplay girl at right is from the /Pics sub-Reddit.

Reddit is apparently sometimes referred to as the “front door of the Internet”, and I can see why. There seem to be thousands of sub-Reddits and the Reddit groups are very active.

I have only joined eight sub-Reddits, including /WorldNews and /Technology, but even keeping up with these is almost impossible due to the number of articles that get posted into these groups.

I will post other related articles as I find out more about using Reddit .

Doing some site changes -- the end of the Sidebar

It seems that sidebars are a thing of the past for blog sites.

One of the issues with sidebars is for people who access the Web page via a smartphone or small screen device. If the sidebar is displayed then it takes up too much of valuable screen space. So, in most cases, the site rendering will then put the sidebar at the very bottom of the scroll—so it is no longer actually a sidebar at all. It becomes a ‘bottom bar’.

So this site will no longer have a sidebar.

How it looked before, with the side bar.

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And how it looks now, with no sidebar.

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I will gradually put the common links that I use, that were shown in the sidebar, into the main site.

Hopefully this little change will make my site a bit more friendly for users that come to the site using a smartphone or smaller-screen device.

Sony's new rumoured a7000 may have 'digital overlap HDR'

The latest rumours about Sony’s next APS-C format high end camera say that it might feature ‘digital overlap HDR’ (DOL-HDR).

DOL-HDR is a technology that allows for a semi-HDR image to be taken using two frames from the sensor with less than 1/4000th of second between frames. This allows for two frame HDR images to be taken of moving subjects.

If you look into DOL-HDR on the Web you will find that what basically happens is that the camera takes the normal meter reading, and then takes a frame at about 1.5 stops over, and another frame as 1.5 stops under; then makes the DOL-HDR using those two frames.

Some smart phones (cell phones for my USA readers), such as Googles Pixel, already use DOL-HDR. However, this is on a much smaller sensor than APS-C. Larger sensors make it harder to implement DOL-HDR because of the time taken to clear the sensor and get it ready for the second frame.

Rumours are suggesting that the Sony DOL-HDR implementation has less the 1/6000th of a second between the two frames—which, given the sensor size—is pretty amazing. Given this, then if the actual exposure was 1/1000th the DOL-HDR sequence would happen in about 1/450th of a second.

I have not seen many examples of DOL-HDR but it is said to improve dynamic range by as much as two stops in the RAW image. Imagine the post-processing opportunities that an additional two stops of dynamic range would permit.

Following is about the only good example that I could find on the Web.

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If the a7000 (assuming the camera is even called this) does include DOL-HDR, and it works as good as suggested, then that will make this new camera very interesting. Even to people who are currently shooting full frame. Especially if the a7000 does have Sony’s new 32MP big-bucket sensor.

Is Sony's rumoured new a7000 APS-C going to be THAT good?

Anyone who does a search of the Web for Sony’s likely upgrade to the highly popular a6500 APS-C camera will find that the replacement for the a6500 is most likely to be called the a7000—rather than the a6700.. You will also find a lot of articles about the rumoured a7000 being the ‘best APS-C camera ever made’.

There are a lot of writers close to the photography markets that are very confident that the a7000 will not have the same form factor as the a6500. That it will be more like the a7 series of Sony cameras, as depicted by the image below clipped from Digital Camera World.

Image links to article at Digital Camera World

Image links to article at Digital Camera World

Another of the more interesting rumours is that the a7000 will have 32 megapixels crammed onto the half-frame APS-C sensor.

This is interesting because there are many articles that can be found on expert photography pages that argue that the perfect resolution for an APS-C sensor is 24MP and that any higher resolution would result in a degradation of the image quality. This is based on the premise that the larger the size of the sensor site the better the image capture capabilities of the sensor. So, considering this premise, increasing the number of sensor sites on the same sized sensor—which, obviously, results in smaller sensor sites—in turn will impact RAW image quality.

This sensor site size problem is an issue that manufacturers of smart phones have to try and work around all the time. They work around it by adding more and more post processing to the images in an attempt to regain image quality lost on the sensor. This post-processing impacts the faithfulness of the captured image, but—by and large—smart phone users are not concerned by this. Especially as the final picture is then generally only viewed on sub-6” screen. It only becomes an issue if enlargement prints are subsequently required or heavy cropping is done.

However, it is a different story when talking about serious photographers. With serious photographers, if there is any post processing to be done then they want to be the ones doing it. All of it! Because of this Sony cannot be putting a sensor into the a7000 that does not deliver at least as good results as that of the a6500 at the RAW level. No intrusive in-camera post processing fix-up allowed.

Sony also have a great 26MP APS-C sensor. They might just avoid the whole sensor site issue created by using the 32MP sensor and put the 26MP sensor into the a7000. Issue avoided.

We may not have to wait too long. Most sites I can find are suggesting that Sony will announce the a7000 late in March.

VW T-ROC Golf coming to Australia in 2020

VW are going to bring the Golf SUV, badged as the T-ROC, to Australia in 2020.

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This looks like an interesting unit. It has three engine versions. One of them is the popular (in the Golf GTI) 2.0 litre turbo which is, according to all reports that I have read, a zippy little unit.

As Subaru’s 2.0 litre non-turbo XV (called the Crosstrek in the USA) is such a tardy performer, maybe the VW T-ROC would be a good choice to replace my XT Forester with. The Forester just feels too big for me now I am on my own. And a 2020 release for the T-TOC probably fits in reasonably well with my retirement planning.

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Checking around the Web I can see that VW does not have the same reliability rating as Subaru. This might be an issue for me. I do like to go for a reliable vehicle. Reliability is very important to me. Which is one reason I have never bought a BMW. They are not even in the Top 20 for reliability.

I guess now I will just have to wait until the T-ROC is released and see what the reviewers have to say.

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