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  #1  
Old April 6th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Default Color Parrot 1.2 - "At the camera" measurement tests

As many of you know, we do not support the notion that a "reliable" determination of incident illumination chromaticity (as needed for white balance color correction) can be made by a measurement made from the camera position (that is, the camera position, and aiming, to be used for the actual shot), regardless of what "instrument" is used (excluding "artificial intelligence" instruments, such as a camera's "automatic white balance" facility).

But now we have a "white balance measurement diffuser" said by its manufacturer to produce reliable results for that measurement technique, the Color Parrot version 1.2.

So we thought we might want to give it a try in actual use.

By way of background, the manufacturer tells us that the Color Parrot's abilities in that regard are largely conferred by its relatively-narrow "directivity pattern". As with this technique generally, we cannot understand how that property can enable the technique to function reliably. But we were certainly willing to look into that claim.

We did not take the large collection of shots that would be needed to gave a broad view of the success of this technique. Were we planning to do so, we would probably want to take and analyze perhaps five shots each taken under perhaps ten clearly-distinct illumination and shooting situations. We leave that to others of a more-masochistic bent.

Rather, we took shots using this white balance measurement technique in a single photographic setting: a human model, shot with fairly tight framing, in an illustrative "indoor lighting" situation. The camera used was a Canon EOS 40D. The lens used was a Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4.0 IS USM lens.

We also took the same shot using white balance correction based on a WhiBal gray card target at the subject.

In each case, the result of the "white balance measurement" was used to set a "custom white balance" (CWB) refernce in the camera, which was then used for in-camera white balance color correction of the various actual shots.

The three white balance measurement techniques used were:

a. WhiBal gray card target, held by the subject at chest height, measured as recommended by the camera manufacturer.

b. Color Parrot 1.2, used with the camera in the precise location and aiming situation used for the shot proper. (The lens was arbitrarily set to its shortest focal length and the focus to infinity.)

In the actual shots, the model still held in place the WhiBal gray card. We have credible data on its reflective chromaticity. Thus, by measurement of its "reflected light" chromaticity as recorded by the camera, with in-camera color correction applied, compare to its "known" reflective chromaticity, we can quantitatively judge the "accuracy" of the overall white balance color correction.

That chromaticity was measured in two ways: by examination of the JPEG output image in an editor, reading the chromaticity on an 8-bit RGB basis, averaged over a small rectangular area in the center of the image of the gray card target. (Given the fairly large deviations encountered her, we did not feel it was worth the trouble to go through he 16-bit TIFF conversion to read the chromaticities on a 16-bit basis. Thus we must recognize a source of experimental error from quantizing error. We estimate that error to be on the order of 0.001 du'v' unit.

We then compared that chromaticity with that which would have been ideally recorded for the gray target (that is, had white balance color correction been achieved in the "theoretically ideal" way).

Some may question the significance of the result for a white balance refernce measurement using the WhiBal gray card, since measurements on that same target were used to assess the "accuracy" of the end result. But since we "know" the reflective chromaticity of the gray card (from the manufacturer's data), then the determination of overall white balance performance, even with this device playing its dual role, is valid. (I'll spare you the algebraic proof.)

If of course one wants to say, "Well, that data for the WhiBal gray card was not independently verified" and thus the entire procedure is suspect", then I suggest you ignore this entire report and await a comparable report from a laboratory with fancier reference sources than we have.

But. moving right along. . . .

Here we see the delivered, color-corrected JPEG images for both of the color balance measurement techniques. The offset of the chromaticity of image of the gray target from its "ideal" value is noted in terms of a du'v' value.

Color corrected based on a reference frame taken from a WhiBal gray card at the subject position (same position shown in the shot). Total discrepancy from "perfect correction": 0.0011 d u'v' unit (in the cyan direction).



Color corrected based on a reference frame taken with a Color Parrot 1.2 diffuser "from the camera position"). Total discrepancy from "perfect correction": 0.053 d u'v' unit (in the cyan direction).



(You can just tell how excited Carla is about the ongoing parrotry!)

Finally, here we show that offset from "theoretically ideal color correction" in each color-corrected shot, plotted on the u'-v' plane:



Comment

We are not surprised by the direction of the discrepancy of the color correction with the Color Parrot ("from the camera position"). There was a lot of red surface within its "view", and the direction of the discrepancy is consistent with our expectations for that.

Still, the correction there is not outrageously far from the "theoretical ideal". We attribute that to the fact that, even with the fairly narrow directivity pattern of the diffuser, there were still a number of objects in its scope that were probably, on average, "not that far from neutral".

The narrow pattern of the device makes it come closer to fulfilling the "reflected light" description often given (inappropriately, for most diffusers) to the "from the camera position" measurement technique. As I sad before, if that's what one thinks is desirable, then we have it here.

Certainly either of those images would have been "acceptable" in a number of contexts. We've seen bluer skin than that in Color Parrot demo pictures.

We wish all users of "from the camera position" white balance measurement (with whatever tool) similar good fortune.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:45 PM
Michael Tapes Michael Tapes is offline
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Hi Doug,

I would want to stress that this test is only valid for the Canon 1.6x (crop sensor) type of cameras. A nikon camera, for instance, whether full or cropp frame, uses the entire avaible frame to measure its in-camera WB, while the Canon only uses the center circle. One can extrapolate from this that the Color Parrot will produce different results based on the "in-camera" WB technology in the specific camera body used. That is a negative aspect of the CP's limited acceptance angle, that it is camera body specific.

Care to comment.

BTW...Do you know what those of us who were early buyers of the CP are supposed to do about getting the 1.2 version, Surely we will should not be penalized for the fact that while represented as a fimnished product, it seems apparent to me that testing and validation (and maybe rationalization) was still going onwwhen I purchased in good faith. Do you know the procedure for us to get our deserved free upgrade to the CP V1.2?

Thanks...
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  #3  
Old April 6th, 2008, 12:57 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Michael,

If your whibal card is so good, why would you want to buy something else? Is there some advantage to the parrot?

Best wishes,

Ray
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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Tapes View Post
Hi Doug,

I would want to stress that this test is only valid for the Canon 1.6x (crop sensor) type of cameras. A nikon camera, for instance, whether full or cropp frame, uses the entire avaible frame to measure its in-camera WB, while the Canon only uses the center circle. One can extrapolate from this that the Color Parrot will produce different results based on the "in-camera" WB technology in the specific camera body used. That is a negative aspect of the CP's limited acceptance angle, that it is camera body specific.

Care to comment.
Well said.

But this is not a result of the narrow acceptance pattern per se. It is more a potential result of the fact the Color Parrot does not provide a uniform illuminance "image" across the sensor (and perhaps not a uniform chromaticity one as well - we haven't tested that much). And in many situations, it doesn't illuminate the entire frame at all (depending on the lens focal length, focus distance, and so forth).

But that can be substantially mitigated merely by removing the black mask. And if one is a fan of a narrow acceptance pattern (I can't imagine why), fear not - doing so will hardly change the acceptance pattern at all. (So why is the mask there? Beats me.)

Quote:
BTW...Do you know what those of us who were early buyers of the CP are supposed to do about getting the 1.2 version
I haven't heard of any general policy on that. I guess you would need to contact Drew about that.

Thanks for your comments.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Michael Tapes Michael Tapes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
Hi Michael,

If your whibal card is so good, why would you want to buy something else? Is there some advantage to the parrot?

Best wishes,

Ray
Hi Ray,

I try to buy all competitive products and put them through a comprehensive test series. That way I can be knowledgeable about the products if someone should ask me about it. The way Drew has handled this product is a disgrace IMO. The V1.0 to V1.2 transition is just one example. His incorrect assessment of WhiBal is another. His very biased and inaccurate "unbiased" tests and reports are just another. Hard to win when he runs the site. He can say anything he wants and will always get the last word. And he makes as if the "lord above" sanctions what he does. Not the height of professionalism IMO.

But just my opinion. Can't fight the publisher when he is the mfg as well.

Thanks for the question. I hope my response makes sense. I am just an angry and broken competitor (NOT) now that a product has topped my humble little WhiBal (and it's 30k+ satisfied user base).

Truth is that there have been 10s of competitors that have come out since the WhiBal made accurate WB a household term. There are decent ones and makers and not. One competitor came up to me at Photoshop World last week and thanked me for inspiring him with WhiBal to make what he thinks is a better product. I have no problem with that. Honest competition. His product is different, works a different way, and by his mouth is not as neutral as the WhiBal. I wish him success with his product. The marketplace can decide based on honest presentation, not smoke and mirrors.

OK. Done now..
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Old April 6th, 2008, 02:54 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Michael,

"Britney Spears says Einstein wrong about relativity."

In no way has the WhiBal gray card target been "topped" by the Color Parrot.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #7  
Old April 6th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Michael,
Quote:

I try to buy all competitive products and put them through a comprehensive test series. That way I can be knowledgeable about the products if someone should ask me about it. The way Drew has handled this product is a disgrace IMO. The V1.0 to V1.2 transition is just one example. His incorrect assessment of WhiBal is another. His very biased and inaccurate "unbiased" tests and reports are just another. Hard to win when he runs the site. He can say anything he wants and will always get the last word. And he makes as if the "lord above" sanctions what he does. Not the height of professionalism IMO.

But just my opinion. Can't fight the publisher when he is the mfg as well.

Thanks for the question. I hope my response makes sense. I am just an angry and broken competitor (NOT) now that a product has topped my humble little WhiBal (and it's 30k+ satisfied user base).

Truth is that there have been 10s of competitors that have come out since the WhiBal made accurate WB a household term. There are decent ones and makers and not. One competitor came up to me at Photoshop World last week and thanked me for inspiring him with WhiBal to make what he thinks is a better product. I have no problem with that. Honest competition. His product is different, works a different way, and by his mouth is not as neutral as the WhiBal. I wish him success with his product. The marketplace can decide based on honest presentation, not smoke and mirrors.
I am almost speechless - hard for anyone to do that. I think, what you need to do, if it is possible, is work on something that can be used on the camera, with the same sort of care and attention you have applied to your whibal card. (this is not smoke). I think there is possibly a plastic equivalent of the opal glass that I think Bart used, I think 'Pringle' lids are not consistent wrt white.

I'm guessing, maybe like Doug, you are more of an 'engineering/scientific background'

Now it was Picasso, (maybe) who said something like 'bad art is borrowed, good art is stolen'. That really pisses me off too, wrt ideas, but then, I've never believed imitation is the highest form of flattery, that's just used by folk who have never originated anything worth while.

Best wishes,

Ray
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Michael Tapes Michael Tapes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug_Kerr View Post
Hi, Michael,

"Britney Spears says Einstein wrong about relativity."

In no way has the WhiBal gray card target been "topped" by the Color Parrot.

Best regards,

Doug
"I am just an angry and broken competitor (NOT) now that a product has topped my humble little WhiBal (and it's 30k+ satisfied user base)."

Doug....My remark was totally scathed in sarcasm (except for our satisfied 30k+ customers). There is nothing about the CP (especially at its price) that I consider worthy. It simply has nothing going for it IMO, especially given all of the other products on the market.

Caveat...I try never to talk negatively about other products, but since the CP has been introduced with such "marketing manipulation", I have broken my rule. Please forgive me..

See ya.. Thanks..
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Michael Tapes Michael Tapes is offline
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"...I think, what you need to do, if it is possible, is work on something that can be used on the camera,..."

Ray,

I do not believe in the camera attached WB tool as being valid in terms of a capture workflow. When I am shooting I do not want to stop and take off my lens hood and attached something to my lens, or hold it there. Simply gets in the way of capturing that special moment. In-camera WB has no interest for me, but for those that like the concept (although except in controlled shooting situations like the studio, I do not see the place) tools like WhiBal or ExpoDisc (aimed at the light source) are all that is needed.....and there are also 10s of collapsible targets, some better than others, as well. So I do not see a breakthrough product being needed. And certainly not for my type of photography ("street" to give it a name). So I am not looking to develop other WB technologies at this time.

But I do have 2 new and very exciting products coming up shortly. One I think I have discussed here, is a new Raw Converter called Rawƒidelity(tm) developed by Magne Nilson (of ETC camera profile for C1 fame). The other is called LensAlign(tm) and I will be showing that soon.

Speaking of which...back to work!.

Thanks...

BTW...If anyone is interested in joining the beta group for Rƒ, please drop me a line with your resume (mtapes@pictureflow.com). It is a Windows only product for V1.0.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug_Kerr View Post
(You can just tell how excited Carla is about the ongoing parrotry!)
Do tell Carla that her (reluctant) cooperation is appreciated, around the globe. Unfortunately a little suffering is required for the advance of human knowledge, and someone has got to do it.

Quote:
We are not surprised by the direction of the discrepancy of the color correction with the Color Parrot ("from the camera position"). There was a lot of red surface within its "view", and the direction of the discrepancy is consistent with our expectations for that.

Still, the correction there is not outrageously far from the "theoretical ideal". We attribute that to the fact that, even with the fairly narrow directivity pattern of the diffuser, there were still a number of objects in its scope that were probably, on average, "not that far from neutral".
Yes, the CWB algorithm is still a great unknown, and it probably differs between manufacturers. Another metric for success may also be to compare it with the result from an AWB (which differs a bit between camera models, recent ones seem to do better).

Bart
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Ray,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
I think, what you need to do, if it is possible, is work on something that can be used on the camera . .. .
Unfortunately,from a theoretical standpoint, there is nothing "passive" that can be used at the camera position to determine the effective chromaticity of the incident illumination on the subject (which is what we must know to predictably do incident light white balance color correction). (The only hope is for "automatic white balance analysis", and there are hundreds of Japanese guys trying to get that to work.)

So there is little sense trying to perfect an impossible device. It's like trying to make a better rain gauge that, used in Dallas, will tell us the rainfall in Forth Worth. We can try all the shapes we care to for a wheel, but we still can't imagine how it will get us to the moon.

There is a thing that will work at the camera position if we can plant an accomplice at the subject.

The accomplice at the camera is a neutral diffuse reflective target (like a WhiBal gray card, or a Babelcolor bauble). The thing at the camera is a zoom lens with a very long focal length so we can get the doodad to fill the critical area of the frame when taking a white balance reference frame.

I'm assuming that the objective is to do the color correction in camera. If not, but rather we plan to do the color correction during raw development, then what we need is a neutral target that can be placed at the subject. Michael, you know where we could buy sumpin' like that?

A challenge

Let's assume that mankind had never heard of white balance diffusers. However, we understand the basic problem that calls for white balance color correction. We realize that to perform it directly, the "agent" (camera or whatever) needs to know the effective chromaticity of the overall illumination on the subject.

Now, I give the class this challenge: develop a conceptual scheme (and only then you can work on "stuff" to implement it) by which, standing 20 feet from the subject, we can determine the effective chromaticity of the overall illumination on the subject. What principle would you try to use? ("Put an ExpoDisc in front of the lens" is not the starting point of a principle.)

I'll be glad to grade the papers.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Do tell Carla that her (reluctant) cooperation is appreciated, around the globe. Unfortunately a little suffering is required for the advance of human knowledge, and someone has got to do it.
Thanks, Bart. I'll pass that on to her.

Her ancestors endured the "Trail of Tears" so that the skill and knowledge of the Cherokee could help Oklahoma develop.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:22 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Tapes View Post
BTW...Do you know what those of us who were early buyers of the CP are supposed to do about getting the 1.2 version, Surely we will should not be penalized for the fact that while represented as a fimnished product, it seems apparent to me that testing and validation (and maybe rationalization) was still going onwwhen I purchased in good faith. Do you know the procedure for us to get our deserved free upgrade to the CP V1.2?
One might even wonder which one is better, maybe the version 1.0 is to be preferred ...

The big unanswered question remains; does directivity offer an advantage for a given type of CWB algorithm? Sure, there are mixed (back-)lighting scenarios which may benefit, but how common are they.

For all I know, a WhiBal tilted up 45 degrees held at arms length might even provide a better CWB approximation, in case one cannot place the WhiBal at the subject.

Bart
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Old April 6th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

[QUOTE=Bart_van_der_Wolf;45706]One might even wonder which one is better, maybe the version 1.0 is to be preferred ...

For what? Why would one want to use any of the versions?

There is no property of that device that would seem to me to give it any advantage over other tools for any mode of use whatsoever.

Quote:
The big unanswered question remains; does directivity offer an advantage for a given type of CWB algorithm?
The only real "theoretical" basis for at-the-subject measurement suggests that a "cosine pattern" (as approximated in the ExpoDisc and several other other diffusers) is optimum.

If the subject surface is not "Lambertian", then that optimum fades, but there is no alternative that would be better over all likely alternative behaviors of the surface.

Quote:
For all I know, a WhiBal tilted up 45 degrees held at arms length might even provide a better CWB approximation, in case one cannot place the WhiBal at the subject.
If we are fortunate that the incident light at the camera position is essentially the same as at the subject, then many tools can give an appropriate result. Exactly which will give the best result for a given case would be hard to predict.

It's a little bit like asking, "during what hour of the day would it be best to take sales statistics for a store that would reflect the whole day's business at another store?"

The answer is of course, "whichever hour today the sales results turn out to be the same as for the whole day at that other store."

Best regards,

Doug
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Doug,

But there must be some advantage, else every such white disk would come with a tube of Pringles attached. Ah, I forget - these are still photographers this is being sold to. The customer base to which a reel of duct tape with a label of 'Canon', or 'Nikon' would sell, whereas a cheaper, generic but better tape would not. It's a good job I'm not cynical.

Best wishes,

Ray

(btw, I'm currently working on projecting a grey beam of light, and metering off that ;-)
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:24 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Ray,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West View Post
But there must be some advantage, else every such white disk would come with a tube of Pringles attached.
Oh, there are many properties that I believe are desirable for a white balance diffuser, and a Pringles lid doesn't fulfill many of them.

The Color Parrot v 1.2 does a nice job with regard to one of the criteria: chromatic neutrality.

A small, non uniform "output luminous disk" (as on the Color Parrot) isn't necessarily bad, but it certainly isn't desirable.

I have heard no story (believable or not!) as to why a fairly narrow directivity pattern (as in the Color Parrot) would be beneficial, and I have a story as to why it is not.

Quote:
Ah, I forget - these are still photographers this is being sold to.
As contrasted to movie photographers?

Quote:
The customer base to which a reel of duct tape with a label of 'Canon', or 'Nikon' would sell, whereas a cheaper, generic but better tape would not. It's a good job I'm not cynical.
I'm having trouble following your point there.

If your implication is that the Color Parrot is likely "better", and "cheaper" . . .

Quote:
(btw, I'm currently working on projecting a grey beam of light, and metering off that ;-)
Carla says the light outside here today is gray - should I measure it and send you the readings?

Best regards,

Doug
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Old April 7th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Drew Strickland Drew Strickland is offline
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You guys crack me up!

From Doug's own report conclusions:

Did any of you read them?

"The Color Parrot is a well-constructed, effective white balance
measurement diffuser. It exhibits good chromatic neutrality (the most
important attribute of such a tool)."


"The Color Parrot white balance tool is a sturdy and convenient-to-use
white balance measurement diffuser. It exhibits a directivity pattern
that is considerably narrower than that of other white balance
measurement diffusers.7 Its degree of chromatic neutrality is quite
respectable, a desirable property. It has a higher effective total
transmission than some other white balance diffusers, which can avert
difficulty in making white balance measurements in low light with
certain cameras."


Doug doesn't agree that the from the camera position is optimal for all situations. Well, neither do I. One can very easily take a measurement from the subject position if you want the absolute optimum result for those situations. Why is this being glossed over? No idea. There is no argument here about anything meaningful.

The from the camera position is the most convenient use of the tool and many will be happy with these results. And, as clearly shown here a narrower directivity pattern is beneficial.

Although there is more to it than that. Doug has been frustrated that I have not shared more about why the tool works better in these situations. That is fine. But the fact is, it does work better in certain lighting situations.

Even Doug admits with his own example that you probably would be happy with the result. It doesn't square with his theories. That's ok. I appreciate the fact that he was open minded enough to overcome his initial disdain for the product and has now shown it to be a quite capable product. That's pretty huge in my book. An ardent naysayer who will at least now admit it is every bit as good, if not better than the more familiar white balance products.

Do I ever think Doug is going to be a cheerleader for the product? Of course not. Do I still have some issues with some of his methodology and overall approach, yes. Is it worth my time and his effort to continue to nitpick those things, no. Do I still consider Doug and Carla friends? Absolutely. Doug is one super intelligent man, with a cute and understanding wife to boot.

Now back to the argument...
When using the from the subject position the cp performs better than the expodisc, and is still more convenient than the whibal. In fact, according to Doug's own data you would not be able to tell the difference between a from the subject measurement using the expodisc or the cp as compared to the whibal.

So, what is the whibal?

A 50 cent piece of plastic that has an incredible margin. So what? I hope Michael makes a killing with his 50 cent piece of plastic. For all his sour grapes, Michael still has a family to feed.

Do I say this in my article? Do I attempt to smear him, his failings, or his product on prophotohome, his own site or elsewhere? Absolutely not. I present the facts. I guess he doesn't like the facts. That's ok. I understand he has a 50 cent piece of plastic to promote.

Folks seem to get caught in a "negative spin cycle" here and for the "moderators" to be doing it should not be acceptable.

The Color Parrot tool very clearly has many, many advantages over the competition.

Not the least of which are the following:

1. More Convenient (usually no need to adjust color in post, as with the whibal)
2. Center Weighted
3. Accurate (one of the few truly spectrally neutral white balance tools)
4. Better Constructed and Thinner
5. More Cost efficient (one size fits all lenses up to 82mm)
6. Works better in Low Light

The point about all of these tools is that they all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Some people like gray cards, some people like diffusers. There is no need to attack people who prefer one over the other. This type of argument amounts to nothing more than a Nikon vs. Canon type of debate.

Let's live and let live, people!

I'm certain the whibal works great for many people. The ExpoDisc works great for many people and the Color Parrot works great for many people.

We will continue to promote the color parrot product to the best of our ability. Sometimes this does include comparing and contrasting it with other white balance products. I expect these other manufacturers will do the same. Let's try to keep it about the products and not about the people.
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  #18  
Old April 7th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hil, Drew,


[quote][QUOTE=Drew Strickland;45792]You guys crack me up!

From Doug's own report conclusions:

Did any of you read them?

"The Color Parrot is a well-constructed, effective white balance
measurement diffuser. It exhibits good chromatic neutrality (the most
important attribute of such a tool)."


True indeed.

"The Color Parrot white balance tool is a sturdy and convenient-to-use
white balance measurement diffuser. It exhibits a directivity pattern
that is considerably narrower than that of other white balance
measurement diffusers.7 Its degree of chromatic neutrality is quite
respectable, a desirable property. It has a higher effective total
transmission than some other white balance diffusers, which can avert
difficulty in making white balance measurements in low light with
certain cameras."


All true indeed.

Quote:
Even Doug admits with his own example that you probably would be happy with the result.
That is to say, in the one actual photographic test, Carla's skin didn't come out unacceptably blue.

Quote:
It doesn't square with his theories.
Not a good conclusion. I have no theory as to why something should work from the camera position. When we have a case of a fairly good result there, it doesn't conflict with any of "my" theories. It may mystify me, but it doesn't conflict with any theories.

Quote:
An ardent naysayer who will at least now admit it is every bit as good, if not better than the more familiar white balance products.
Are you referring to moi? If so, I never said that. I said it is sturdy, easy to use, and has a very respectable chromatic neutrality. I have never said nor intimated that I found it to be, or would expect it to be, "every bit as good, if not better than the more familiar white balance products."

Quote:
In fact, according to Doug's own data you would not be able to tell the difference between a from the subject measurement using the expodisc or the cp as compared to the whibal.
What data are you referring to? Are you saying that because I found the Color Parrot to have a good chromatic accuracy that I think it should behave as well in an at-the-subject measurement as other tools? I certainly never said that, and I don't believe it. I believe that its narrow directivity pattern is a potential disadvantage there.

Quote:
So, what is the whibal?

A 50 cent piece of plastic that has an incredible margin. So what? I hope Michael makes a killing with his 50 cent piece of plastic. For all his sour grapes, Michael still has a family to feed.

Do I say this in my article?
No, you say it right here. What the devil are you talking about?

Quote:
Do I attempt to smear him, his failings, or his product on prophotohome, his own site or elsewhere? Absolutely not. I present the facts. I guess he doesn't like the facts. That's ok. I understand he has a 50 cent piece of plastic to promote.
Woof!

Quote:
The Color Parrot tool very clearly has many, many advantages over the competition.

Not the least of which are the following:
1. More Convenient (usually no need to adjust color in post, as with the whibal)

I use my WhiBal for CWB work, with in-camera color correction.

2. Center Weighted

You'll have to remind me what performance property that improves, and just how that works.

3. Accurate (one of the few truly spectrally neutral white balance tools)

Not sure what "truly spectrally neutral" (I assume you mean spectrally uniform, or chromatically neutral) means. Do you mean that it is perfect? Or conforms to some industry standard of accuracy? And I think we hardly know how many other tools are in that same ballpark. Which ones have you measured? And with what? Or do you have other data on these other products?

4. Better Constructed . . .

Better constructed than what, and in what way? The hole in the black mask is almost circular? The chips on the edge of the glass disks are hidden by the rings? The scratches where the wrench slipped on the retaining ring are easily covered with a touch-up pen?

. . . and Thinner

Thicker than a Whibal. Remiond me why thinner is better.

5. More Cost efficient (one size fits all lenses up to 82mm)

My ExpoDisc works on all lenses up to 77 mm, but that's only because I didn't buy a bigger one.

6. Works better in Low Light

Evidently quite true for Nikon cameras in the "direct" preset WB mode.

Well, I have to go play in the mud (I have a sprinkler valve whose actuator is leaking). It's good I've had so much practice lately.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #19  
Old April 7th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Michael Tapes Michael Tapes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Strickland View Post
Now back to the argument...
When using the from the subject position the cp performs better than the expodisc, and is still more convenient than the whibal..
For many shooters, the requirements to shoot a custom WB using CP or ED is a royal PITA. I know for me it is. So how about you suggest that for some the CP method is more convenient. You state it as if it is a fact. It is not.

Quote:
In fact, according to Doug's own data you would not be able to tell the difference between a from the subject measurement using the expodisc or the cp as compared to the whibal.
I clearly disagree with Doug in this case. Both visually and by measurement, I find the 2 examples to be quite different from an accurate color point of view. The shot is neutralized to the WhiBal, so of course it will read neutral, but then again, since we measure each one to stringent specs it IS in fact almost perfectly neutral, as they all are. The sother example hot balanced to the CP is -3/-2 (a*/b* channels) referenced to the WhiBal 0/0. That is a huge difference in my world. If your customers can accept that, so be it.. Just overlay the 2 images in PS and switch back and forth. OR just look at them.

Quote:
So, what is the whibal? A 50 cent piece of plastic that has an incredible margin.
You make it seem like my cost of goods is $0.50 per WhiBal. Well of course you know that is not the case. There is the material, the machining, the washing, the measurement, the lanyard, the custom case, the spoilage for material that does not meet spec, and the finished WhiBals that do not meet spec, and more. How about the 3 month search for material that met my stringent spec after our supplier changed their formula. Come on Drew....You want to compare mark-ups? We both run a business. We are entitled to a profit, and I suggest that your product at $79 is no bargain compared to the WhiBal at $29.95. But our customers can decide. Over 30K+ WhiBals have been sold with under 10 (ten) returned.

Quote:
So what? I hope Michael makes a killing with his 50 cent piece of plastic that to my recollection was actually co-created by a partner in Canada who got pushed out when he couldn't fill his orders because of border issues. I could go on and on.
Yup. My Canada partner is correct. The rest is not. I would suggest you talk with me before you spread half truths like you are now doing. And what does "I could go on and on." imply? Boy aren't you the squeaky clean guy who does not do malicious marketing. "faith, hope and love" and half truths?

Quote:
1. More Convenient (usually no need to adjust color in post, as with the whibal)
2. Center Weighted
3. Accurate (one of the few truly spectrally neutral white balance tools)
4. Better Constructed and Thinner
5. More Cost efficient (one size fits all lenses up to 82mm)
6. Works better in Low Light
1. Just your opinion
2. So What?
3. Not applicable to a transmissive device. Only the results in Vitro matter. For the WhiBal it matters and we spec and measure each delivered card.
4. Than the WhiBal?
5. Than the WhiBal?

I know some of the above is meant to be compared to the ED, but there again you make everything very ambiguous and generalized. And your tear down "review" is biased and generalized as well.

Quote:
The point about all of these tools is that they all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Some people like gray cards, some people like diffusers. There is no need to attack people who prefer one over the other. This type of argument amounts to nothing more than a Nikon vs. Canon type of debate.
Here we can agree. I just wish your presentations of your product upheld this philosophy. I do not attack your product as much as I attack your marketing techniques.

Quote:
I'm certain the whibal works great for many people. The ExpoDisc works great for many people and the Color Parrot works great for many people.
Speaking for the WhiBal....many, many, many, many, many people.

Drew,

You are a good showman, but not my style. And that is only my opinion. It is a free country, so best to you.

Best...
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  #20  
Old April 7th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Michael,

[QUOTE=Michael Tapes;45806]
I clearly disagree with Doug in this case. Both visually and by measurement, I find the 2 examples to be quite different from an accurate color point of view.

Could you tell me which test results you are referring to? I have taken a lot of data.

If by any chance speaking of my latest report, that did not involve measurement "at the subject" for the CP (as intimated by Drew).

Of course I can tell the difference between the two shots, but we need to realize that "from the camera position" is an iffy thing in any case, and I was trying to be charitable within that context. (You see what that got me!)

What I really meant is "the CP probably does about as good in that mode as anything else could probably do".

The numerical data speaks for itself (as you point out).

Here it is again:



Best regards,

Doug
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  #21  
Old April 7th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK - Somerset
Posts: 1,703
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Hi Doug,

Quote:
Quote:
Ah, I forget - these are still photographers this is being sold to.
As contrasted to movie photographers?
Yes, I have more dealings with video guys. They tend to not worry at all about the name, the hype, whatever. They get on and take the video. The ones I know tend to be far more pragmatic. Of course, there are reasons for that, but I do not know of any still photographers with the same mind set.
Quote:
Quote:
The customer base to which a reel of duct tape with a label of 'Canon', or 'Nikon' would sell, whereas a cheaper, generic but better tape would not. It's a good job I'm not cynical.
I'm having trouble following your point there.

If your implication is that the Color Parrot is likely "better", and "cheaper" .
No, it's more like the belief that because it has a 'name' it is good. 'Badge Engineering, or whatever you wish to call it. A bit like, in the early days of pc's they had to have IBM on the front, in most business situations (arty based business's excepted who have the same thing about apple). So, to succeed, if that suits your definition of success, do something/anything, good or bad, preferably trivial, so it doesn't take too much effort. Better still, copy something already out there. Make it look as if it does something really important, really well, then promote it like whatever, promote the brand name. Then, the odd crock get's missed.

I'm saying, that for Bart, possibly for others, his bits of glass are better and cheaper, for some, a pringle lid is good enough, and so as I'm not being selective, in some circumstances, a shirt collar, or a cardboard box will do instead of a grey piece of plastic.

Of course, nobody was ever able to take a colour photo ten years or so ago, I suppose. I mean you really really need these to take a photo. If you don't have one, you are doomed to failure as a photographer? If I get one, I will take better photographs? Snake oill salesmanship is not dead.
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  #22  
Old April 7th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Drew Strickland Drew Strickland is offline
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Posts: 102
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Quote:
Snake oill salesmanship is not dead.
People can use a bicycle to get from point a to point b. That doesn't mean it is the best/ most appropriate mode of transportation for every purpose.

It also doesn't mean that BMW is anymore a snake oil salesman than Schwinn. They are both products and they both have good profit margins.

If someone wants to get to work on roller skates, that's great for them. But, it's certainly not for everyone.

Michael may only pay 50 cents for that piece of plastic, but it is a piece of plastic that has been researched for application to a specific problem. It is also a piece of plastic that has to be marketed, sold, protected, etc.

Will it make you a better photographer. Absolutely not. But, it can certainly save you time and provide a good reference for what the lighting was like in a given situation.
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