Topic

astronomy

2 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Shigeki Ishizuka, Kazuo Hirai, Julie Wenzel, Aimee Lake, Rebecca White, Loic Malroux

Remove the Star Eater issue on Sony A7/A7S/R mk I/II, and A9 cameras

[English] [Français] [Español] [Русский] [Deutsch] [日本語] [Svenska] Dear Mr. Kazuo Hirai, president and chief executive officer of Sony,Dear Mr. Shigeki Ishizuka, executive vice president of Sony, officer in charge of imaging products and solutions business, president of Sony Digital Imaging group. We, as present or future users of Sony A7 I/II, A7S I/II, A7R I/II and A9 mirrorless ILCE, kindly request Sony to make a firmware update for all these cameras that allows to switch on/off the “star eater” (noise reduction algorithm), whatever the exposure duration, whether it is in Bulb mode or not. This noise reduction algorithm, also called spatial filtering or “star eater” appeared in the early versions of these cameras for exposures shot in Bulb mode, from 30 seconds and above, and impacts the raw files. The spatial filtering is designed to reduce noise in photos, particularly hot pixels. Unfortunately, the filtering algorithm Sony is using easily mistakes sharp pinpoint stars for noise, deleting them from the image, greatly reducing their brightness and altering their colour, hence its “star eater” nickname. The result is a photo with less stars and the appearance of diminished resolution as illustrated in the header showing 3.2s and 4.0s exposure photos. Many nightscapes photographers and amateur astronomers have warned Sony since the first release of these cameras. The situation became even worst when Sony issued a firmware update mid 2016 that extended the spatial filtering for any exposures above 3.2 seconds on all modes. A recent update in may 2017 did not solve the issue either, though the effect of the filtering is a bit less intrusive. As this is only a software issue, we therefore kindly request Sony to update their firmware: Add in the menu an option to switch on/off all the destructive spatial filtering, whatever the mode, whatever the exposure duration. Make these firmwares updates available for all versions of the A7 I and II, A7S I and II, A7R I and II, A9 ILCEs and to the A6000, A6300, A6500 that also suffer the issue, i.e. not only to the most recent ones. In the case such update is not possible, a technical explanation through an official and detailed communiqué will be greatly appreciated. Sony Pledge of Quality states "Sony employees will always respect our customers' viewpoints in striving to deliver product quality and customer service that exceed their expectations." We are therefore confident that great care will be taken by Sony’s digital and imaging development team to satisfy this reasonable and kind request. On behalf of all present and future users of Sony cameras, kind regards, Laurent Laveder, nightscape photographer Thierry Legault, nightscape and astronomy photographer Ian Norman, nightscape and astronomy photographer, creator and editor of Lonely Speck Damian Peach, planetary and astronomy photographer Aaron D. Priest, nightscape timelapser, panographer, and instructor Babak A. Tafreshi, The World at Night (TWAN) founder and leader, freelance science journalist and astronomy communicator, photographer for National Geographic and Sky&Telescope Frédéric Michaud, amateur astronomer from Société Astronomique du Havre

Frédéric Michaud
6,488 supporters
This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to The BBC

Please do not axe The Sky At Night

We started as a group of Open University students, who were made aware that the BBC was planning to cancel The Sky At Night.  This is something to which we strongly object.  Since starting the campaign to save S@N, the BBC has stated that it is still in discussions about the future of the programme. We are also concerned that once (if) the programme is brought back, its format will have been detrimentally changed.  We want to see it continue in much the same way as it always has: pitched in a scientific manner towards people who are knowledgeable on the subject, whilst retaining its accessibility for newcomers to the hobby with items aimed at them.  We believe that it should be presented by professional scientists and/or highly regarded amateurs, bringing the latest news and information on the subject to the people who want it.  We do not want to see it fronted by a generic television presenter, or a ‘celebrity’ with no connection to the hobby.  It is a specialist, scientific programme and should be treated as such and with respect to its origins and longevity. The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, has a remit to provide educational programming and programming for minority audiences.  It is on this basis that they collect the licence fee from the British public and we feel that no programme can claim to fill this remit more strongly than The Sky At Night.  Many of today’s scientists and academics state that their enthusiasm for their subject was inspired by this programme, again what other programmes can boast that?   This campaign has captured the imagination of the general public in the just over 24 hours it has been running and has now been featured in the national newspapers: The Sun, Telegraph and the Daily Mail. For more information, join the Facebook group for the campaign. And twitter posts are using the hashtag #saveskyatnight

Karen Barker
53,381 supporters