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Old Sep 30, 2012, 6:44 PM   #1
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Default Canon P&S Image Sensors

I have some questions about the Image Sensors in today's...and yesterdays...Canon Point & Shoot Cameras.

Back when I bought my PowerShot SD600, there were cameras with a CCD image sensor and ones with a CMOS sensor. I had done a little research and found out that CCD sensors were better on picture quality where CMOS sensors were less processor demanding and yielded better battery life. So if you wanted a camera with a CCD sensor, you would want to make sure it used Lithium batteries instead of Alkaline "AA" (as it would eat batteries otherwise).

Fast forward to today and I am noticing, on Canon's site, that there is now a High Sensitivity CMOS sensor. I'm being led to believe it's better than CCD now due to the HS-CMOS cameras costing more money than CCD cameras (where before HS-CMOS came along, CCD was more expensive than CMOS).

There is also something else to factor in, when I selected my Powershot SD600, I did it because back then the Image Sensors were also different sizes and the SD600 was the largest megapixels (at the time) that had the 1/2.5 CCD sensor instead of the 1/2.3 CCD sensor. Today I have noticed that all the sensors (either CCD or HS-CMOS) are all 1/2.3 for Canon P&S Cameras.

So my question to all the people who use this forum regularly is: Will an HS-CMOS sensor camera yield better quality pictures now than a CCD sensor camera?

Years ago it was simple, CCD was better in photo quality than CMOS, now with HS-CMOS...it might be a different ball game.

(I've also noticed that there is now a Digic 5 processor for many Canon P&S Cameras, whereas my SD600 has a Digic 2).
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 9:38 AM   #2
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There are several factors to consider- all of which play a part in the final image output- lens quality,processor,sensor type etc...
It's very difficult to say which sensor is "better" than the other because it is only a single part of a bigger equation.
What is clearly evident however, is that most mid to high level compact cameras are utilising CMOS sensors, as are DSLR's- so I guess on that basis alone you could assume that they are superior in some way- and given that low light performance seems to have improved in tandem with the increasing use of CMOS sensors, again,clearly the sensor must be a factor.
Not all Canon P&S sensors are of the 1/2.3" size- the S100 (and the new S110) and the G15 now utilise a 1/1.7" CMOS sensor.
As for Canon's "HS" designation- that's probably just a prefix relating to the camera's higher overall speed in operation as opposed to something scientific relative to the sensor alone...
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 3:51 PM   #3
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Not all Canon P&S sensors are of the 1/2.3" size- the S100 (and the new S110) and the G15 now utilize a 1/1.7" CMOS sensor.
Thank you for your response, and especially for the line you included above. Now I have to look into another possible selection for my replacement.

I didn't even know about the 1/1.7, Thanks again.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 6:19 PM   #4
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Also, if you consider Canon's G1X a "point and shoot", it has a rather large 18.7 x 14mm CMOS sensor...!
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 6:18 AM   #5
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The Canon G1X is a little out of my price range, but I guess it's easy to understand how they could put a larger Image Sensor in it. I've been thinking about the Powershot ELPH 110 HS. Any experience with that one?
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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Known as the Ixus 125HS over here in the UK- it's a fairly decent point and shoot- designed with simplicity in mind.
Image quality holds up pretty well,despite 16mp crammed into a 1/2.3" sensor.
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...125_hs_review/
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 11:43 AM   #7
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well for starters a 1/2.3 sensor, is larger than a 1/2.5 sensor. A CMOS sensor has its own built in noise limiting taking work, and complexity from the cameras processor. CMOS sensors are less costly, provide less battery drain, but are not necessarily better sensors than CCD's, but are cheaper. For the camera companies at least!. So they can spoof you, and make better profits.

Some of the early DSLR's used CCD sensors, but were well out of the cost bracket for John Doe, Hasselblad still does. Their cameras cost around Twenty Thousand, and UP>.

Fuji made the PRO 1&2, which fell on its face because of its cost considering the market at the time. It used an inproved CCD of three layers, not the common bayer pattern. Each pixel site sensed three colors at different layers, just as film does. They were great! but cost too much to be marketable, to the average camera buyer.

DSLR's use large CMOS sensors, and provide good results. But boy would they be better with CCD's, but again would only appeal to the pro, and not all of them because of the cost. So the cameras companies really!, could not afford to produce them. Hasselblad does it because of their clientele, which does not include me and you. Or your average pro photographer, but at that price they really don't have to sell many to stay in buisness, neither does Rolls Royce.

Oh yeah, wanna guess what kind of sensor "Hubble" has?.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 5:06 PM   #8
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Image quality holds up pretty well,despite 16mp crammed into a 1/2.3" sensor.
I wonder, if on that note, that I should look for something maybe in the 10 or 12 MegaPixel range instead of 16?

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Well for starters a 1/2.3 sensor, is larger than a 1/2.5 sensor. A CMOS sensor has its own built in noise limiting taking work, and complexity from the cameras processor.
I didn't know that about the 1/2.3 being larger. Looks like CMOS has improved quite a bit. The processor of the Camera I like so far is a Digic 5.

Unfortunately, this chart I found doesn't show where the 1/2.5 fits in, but I do believe you.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 5:12 PM   #9
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The Canon S100 has a Digic 5 processor and a 12mp 1/1.7" CMOS sensor- and with the S110 due out now- maybe the fine S100's prices will drop...?
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 9:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Unfortunately, this chart I found doesn't show where the 1/2.5 fits in, but I do believe you.
It would be about a line width, inside of the indicated 1/2.3. There is not a great difference to crow about, but when you use that insignificance to throw on 2 million more diodes, or pixels. That does make a difference, that being much more noise.

There is a point of diminishing returns, in P&S cameras. You can only make the sensor so big, before you run into having to make the glass MUCH bigger, to get the same focal lengths. You can only do this by increasing physical body sizes. But you also cannot keep increasing the MP's, because more noise is the result.
So now you must attack that with more aggressive noise reduction, chopping up detail. There is no free lunch, a new better sensor is the answer. The Faveon sensor was though to be the answer, but cameras equipped with those sensors suffer from very low lack luster images. But the noise levels are great, but the cost of those cameras is also Great $$$.
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