* Posts by HywelPhillips

4 posts • joined 2 Nov 2014

R&D money for science – from your taxes?


So... how DO we get more of public good things?

Serious question for Tim.

Let us suppose for a moment we consider more science to be a public good, in the sense that the more science we do the greater the benefit is likely to be for all human-kind, competitors and collaborators alike, in the long run.

In that case, how does economics suggest we proceed in order to maximise the amount of science done by the human race in toto?

Has anyone tried it? If so, what were the results, compared with other alternative approaches?

Why the BBC is stuffing free Micro:bit computers into schoolkids' satchels


I was delighted to discover that the Raspberry Pi does. I'll be getting one just for old times' sake! I wrote my PhD Thesis on an Archimedes...

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.


Re: Hard on the eyes

Yeh, me too. It is giving me eyestrain.

Too much white space, the fixed width layout isn't helpful on a 30" screen, the menu bar with popups is annoying.

But most of all it is just hard to read for my poor aging eyes :(

Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to real photography?


Digital photography isn't dead yet

This is a very odd article.

Claiming that there's a void between the iPhone and Medium Format digital is plain wrong. Sales may have been falling, but a Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon D800 paired with decent lenses is a general-purpose imaging power-house far more versatile than the author's franken-rig Medium Format bodge.

Can you get specialised kit with higher real resolution? Sure, if that's all you care about. But try taking a shot of a humming-bird in flight or the moment the wicket falls or the racing car crosses the line with a frankenrig MF or a tech camera. You'll struggle a LOT more than a 5DIII photographer will struggle to get a decent landscape shot.

The author is also clearly not interested in the main development in digital cameras in the last decade, which is the ability to read out the systems fast enough to shoot moving pictures. The imaging quality of a RED Epic is getting up towards that of a top-end dSLR. It can create 19 megapixel images at 100 frames per second.

Even a cheap Panasonic GH4 can read out fast enough to do 4K at cinema frame rates, and also delivers perfectly acceptable stills for a lot of purposes.

It may not suit the sort of photography the author does- slowly considered landscape and architectural photography- but for those of us shooting people and stuff that moves, it's a damn good time to be alive and working.

He's also apparently ignorant of the current state of MF digital, being unaware of the exciting Pentax 645Z (low cost, 50 megapixel sensors) or the very well thought of Leica S series.

There's also reasons for preferring modern lenses designed for digital sensors rather than film- for example, most digital sensors are much more sensitive to the angle of light rays incoming than film was- you can't get away with such steep incoming angles towards the edges of the sensor without bad vignetting. The Hasselblad and Leica digital MF lenses have been redesigned accordingly. Sure, they are compromised, but they are a compromise suited to the sensors behind them, rather than film.

And although I do use and enjoy a Hasselblad MF digital system for most of my commercial work, I could do most of it perfectly well with a 5Diii and still get paid.

I'm glad the author has found a system which works for him, but the state of digital cameras is nothing like as bad as he is painting.


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