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Old Apr 7, 2008, 9:16 AM   #11
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There is a school of thought that proclaims than anything of 6.0mp is totally unneeded, and it just reduces image quality. Certainly some of the 10mp and 12mp cameras have shown that to be true.

One of the better cameras I ever had was the Sony H-2, a 6mp camera. It had beautiful images, a 12X optical zoom, and a flash that really had a good flash range. Asnoted in his post, we consumers vote with our wallets. Our message to the manugacturers, is we want more and more megapixels, longer zooms, and we are willing to pay for it.

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 4:06 PM   #12
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Mabh,

Basically, what happens is the A70 has a relatively large sensor packed with a fairly small amount of pixels, while the S5 has a smaller sensor packed with a lot more pixels. So, while the S5 might be able to catch a bit more detail, each pixel has to amplifyit's tiny little portion of the picture more. This all leads to more noise and blurriness when viewed at 100% magnification.

When you view an image at 100%, that is pixel-to-pixel, you will notice the downfall of this "pixel-packing". Unfortunately, the general public is so hooked on using megapixels to judge how good a camera is that manufacturers will cram as many pixels onto a sensor as they can, even at the expense of image quality.
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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brokenbokeh wrote:
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Mabh,

Basically, what happens is the A70 has a relatively large sensor packed with a fairly small amount of pixels, while the S5 has a smaller sensor packed with a lot more pixels. So, while the S5 might be able to catch a bit more detail, each pixel has to amplifyit's tiny little portion of the picture more. This all leads to more noise and blurriness when viewed at 100% magnification.

When you view an image at 100%, that is pixel-to-pixel, you will notice the downfall of this "pixel-packing". Unfortunately, the general public is so hooked on using megapixels to judge how good a camera is that manufacturers will cram as many pixels onto a sensor as they can, even at the expense of image quality.
Thanks a lot, Brokenbokeh!! Your explanation seemed quite a lot reasonable.

If you dont mind, I'd like to take the oportunity and ask for a bit more of your knowledge and post the following question/though:

If that is the case, can I assume that if I use 50% of the S5 capacity in terms of pixels, I will get better images??

I mean, if I configure it to work as a A70 (3.2 megapixel pictures instead of the 8), will I get better resulting image quality pics??

If not, what can I do to get better pics with it????

If i just cant, which i just cant believe is possible, I will try to sell it or put it aside and get back to the excellent A70.

Thanks again!!


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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:11 PM   #14
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"If that is the case, can I assume that if I use 50% of the S5 capacity in terms of pixels, I will get better images??

I mean, if I configure it to work as a A70 (3.2 megapixel pictures instead of the 8 will I get better resulting image quality pics??"


It's hard for me to make that determination - I wouldn't want to lose the detail, I usually don't judge my photos by looking at them with 100% magnification on-screen. If you take one of your photos with the S5, and resize it (in whatever image editing software you use) to the same size as the A70, you've done pretty much what the camera does when you configure it that way. A lot of people have tried this method! Of course, you can try it and see how you like it.

Here's the other thing we're up against, which I haven't mentioned: believe it or not, the A70 has a larger sensor! Yes, not only does the S5 cram more pixels into it's sensor, it is using a smaller one. I believe the sensor size for the A70's sensor is 1/1.8" (a little smaller than 2/3 of an inch) while the S5's sensor (I think) is 1/2.5" (4/10 of an inch). Why does Canon - and other camera companies - do this? Because that big lens on your S5 costs a bunch of $$ to manufacture. The smaller the sensor, the smaller Canon can make the lens, and thus it is cheaper. It seems counter-intuitive to me, in a way; I mean, if someone wants to buy an ultrazoom and lug it around, that person must be more "into" photography than someone who buys a little pocket camera, right?

Now, if you were to print an 8x10 of a photo taken with the exact same settings and post-processing with each of your cameras, the print from the S5 would show more detail, and the print from the A70 might show some jaggies on slanted lines, or blurry edges. But if you are going to "pixel-peep" - look at your photo at 100% magnification on screen - the S5 may indeed look like a blurry, noisy mess.

There are other variables, of course: sensor technology improves, labs work on ways to reduce cross-talk between adjacent photosites onsensors, new algorithms are created to reduce noise while retaining detail. Differences regarding in-camera jpg compression, lens quality, etc.

One more thing: Canon is noted for having somewhat "soft" images straight out of the camera. Many folks prefer this, as these images may work a bit better for post-processing. A Sony DSC-S40 (4 mp!) my girlfriend used to have produced very sharp, contrasty images straight from the camera, has a good deal of WOW factor to it. You might prefer this look, although Sony cameras will struggle with similar issues to your Canon, you may prefer how they handle the challenge.

Another thought just hit me: Canon may also have increased the jpg compression with the S5 in relation to the A70. More (higher) jpg compression = degraded pics. Camera companies do this so you can fit more images on a memory card, and they can advertise that fact.


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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:26 PM   #15
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Here's a comparison for you. I took a couple of images from over at DCResource.com. The 1st image is from the Fuji F30, 6mp, 100% crop at ISO 400.


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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:29 PM   #16
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This shot is from the newer Fuji F50fd, which yanks 12mp from a similar sensor to the F30. Thiswas taken from a 100% crop,ISO 400.

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:31 PM   #17
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Finally, here is the F50fd image resized to the same dimensions as the F30 image.


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Old Apr 9, 2008, 4:56 PM   #18
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Mabhz,

I also just went from an A70 to an S5, and was shocked by the image quality too. But after some time I changed my mind: the problem is that you just should not enlarge those images to 100%. Because you will be comparing 100% of 3Mpixels with 100% of 8Mpixels: all image faults that are visible in the S5 are lost in the coarse resolution of the A70.

Please take a moment to compare the A70's shots on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona70/page13.asp with the S5's shots on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons5is/page9.asp .
These comparisons are 1:1, they compare the same image area with the same image area (in cm or inch) instead of 100% pixel zooms. You will quickly see that the A70 has no detail at all.

Also, the S5 *is* very noisy at higher iso rates. But the A70 only has 4 iso rates (50, 100, 200, 400) of which 200 and 400 put out very noisy pictures too (I just imported the not-flashed pics of my daughters birthday - A70 - that put me back with my feet back on the ground).

Also, the purple fringing on the S5 is really mild compared to the fringing on the A70.

Well, in the end I did exchange my S5 for an A650, but not because of image quality: because of size and one-handed operation. Break-point for me on the S5 was that you can do every thing with one hand (get camera, adjust settings, etc.) but for returning it in the bag. You need *2* hands to put the ****y cap back on. Not that nice if your hanging by a rope (mountaing climbing, glaciers, etc.) or moving around (bicycle).

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Old Apr 16, 2008, 10:41 AM   #19
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Yeah I have the same issues with my S5. I was actually not that impressed with the full res quality compared to my S1, but I love all the added features of the S5. In many of my pics the subjects are fairly small and it is normal practice for me to do full resolution crops, or near full res. the image detail is poor enough I am going to try to get canon to do a warranty claim on it or sell it. Since dslrs are getting cheap enough now a days I think I'm going to finally take the plunge. Probably wont be happy with much less with todays 'cram as many MP in the smallest sensor' mentality.
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Old Jun 10, 2008, 10:30 PM   #20
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My S1 died and canon covered it in full with a freebee replacement S5. Great, but I also have soft image issues - and most notably at infinity - the S1 would take a great moon shot. The S5 will NOT. No, not in zooming in but looking at both pictures side by side on the computer screen. S1 is in focus, S5 is soft. Same thing in landscape - up to about 100 feet everything is sharp but after that is just muds out.

So, having a DSLR also and wanting a cheap hiking camera (that is what the S1 was for) I got a Canon PRO70. Had one years ago and while a dog in the megapixel department having a fast 28-70mm lens is nice - plus it handles like a nice SLR (I have T90). Wonder if RAW images on the PRO70 scaled up with good software will outperform the S5 . . . .

(http://www.pbase.com/spacecommander) for lake 22 photos with blurred background
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