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Old Nov 6, 2003, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default Canon Rebel Chip

I was recently told something that I hope is not true. I was told that digital SLRs come with one of 3 chips. The best chip is in Sigma cameras, the next best in Nikon cameras and the lowest quality in Canon cameras. This doesn't make any sense. I have seen very few Canon or Nikon SLRs that were not well made. I'm assuming the quality of the chip in the Canon Digital Rebel is comparable to any of the Nikon Digital SLRs. Has anyone else ever heard of a quality problem with Canon Digital Rebel chips?
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 10:38 PM   #2
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i think it comes from the fact that canon uses a cmos chip and nikon uses a ccd chip. sigma uses the new foveon technology which some feel is better. from what i have seen, to me. the nikon and canon cameras produce all around better performance than foveon. i think some people think that ccd is better than cmos. hey, take a look at the pictures on this board taken with nikon and canon dslr cameras and decide for yourself which is better, oh, yeah, look at some sigma pictures too.

dennis
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Old Nov 6, 2003, 11:11 PM   #3
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Or you could go to http://www.imaging-resource.com/ and look at their pictures. They do a very good job of taking a variety of pictures in very controled environments. Each camera takes the same picture. It makes it very easy to compare them (well, with most DSLRS the replaceable lenses makes it harder to compare because you could test the Canon with a much better lens than the Nikon and it wouldn't be fare. So don't forget to take the lens into account.)

In general I would say that djb's analysis is correct. That person was probably talking about "theory". On paper, the Sigma chip is an amazing engineering feat. Truly a wonderful idea. If they ever can get the mega pixels up higher I will buy it... in an instant. But at its much lower resolution it would have to be much better than everything else to make the lower resolution acceptable. It isn't. Its good, but not "amazing! wow! look at that!" good.

I would rate Nikon and Canon basically the same. Canon is a little ahead in the value market because of the 100ISO and low noise in the 10D & 300D. But purely on picture quality both Nikon & Canon sensors do a good job. I haven't seen reviews of Nikon's new sensor in the D2h to comment (but quality isn't what it's aimed at, it's high fps and good/acceptable quality @ 4MP.) Canon has the really high end sewed up with the sensor in the 1Ds. Wow (but it had better be with that price tag!)

Eric
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 1:46 AM   #4
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Who told you this ... the nextdoor neighbor that moonlights as a digital camera expert

Whoever it was does not know much about the subject. The Canon 1Ds - the only decent full-frame dSLR on the market uses a CMOS sensor just like all of the other Canon dSLRs. The entire Canon line produces excellent images, even when the shutter speed is out to 30 seconds or the ISO is up to 800 and even 1600!

The Nikon dSLRs are all perfectly capable cameras too but use CCD type image sensors.

The Foveon chip in the SD9 and now the SD10 shows some promise but is not in the same league as the Canon and Nikon imagers. Currently the image quality rapidly goes down the toilet with shutter speeds beyond 8 seconds or above ISO 400. It's also nowhere near the same resolution. The Canon and Nikon cameras are true 6-megapixel imagers, the Foveon is a 3.4-megapixel imager. Foveon claims it is 3.4 x 3 or 10 megapixels but that is dreaming at this time ...

-Steve
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 8:26 AM   #5
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Thank you for your responses. This sounded unbelieveable to me. I am glad to hear that this is not true.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 11:10 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that the Canon and Nikon chips do color interpolation. This mean that a 6 megapixel image resolves less detail than it "should". On the other hand, the 3.4 pixel Foveon sensor comes close to the theortical resolving power for that size imager and, according to some reviewers, approaches the performance of a 6 megapixel Bayer type sensor. I like the idea of efficient use of disk space.

The second generation Foveon sensor is getting "there". I'm hoping the third generation closes most of the remaining gap with its competition in terms of low light performance. Though it would take more than just good low light performance to lure me into replacing my D60.
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Old Nov 7, 2003, 12:20 PM   #7
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Along the lines of what you said someone pointed out something I should have realized. For the same surface area, the Foveon should be able to use the space more efficiently and therefor pack more resolution into the same space. For cost reasons, that is really appealing.

I agree about the detail resoution, but don't reject Bayer based sensors. The Bayer system does do quite a good job resolving detail, though. It's fake detail (because of how the photosites is laid out) but its still quite good.

I kinda wish someone big would buy the foveon IP and really push it to its full potential. I don't know if it could really scale up, but I hope so...the concept of that chip is really nice.

Eric
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