Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 15, 2004, 10:20 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7
Default Sell a Sony DSC-P10 to buy a DSC-P8 or DSC-P10

Hello everybody,

Im thinking of selling my DSC-P9 (4Mp) to buy a newer Sony camera, P8 or P10. As im not sure yet, i would like to have second opinion to check if its a good change or maybe Im wrong in my decision. In case your response is one of these teo (P8/P10), which of them would you buy? Apparently the only different feature between them is the resolution, but ive seen several photo galleries where P10 give a better image quality (or at least for me) at the same resolution, is there any other different feature to make P10 much better than P8?

Thanks in advance.
mfernan80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 15, 2004, 11:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

Why are you wanting to upgrade?
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2004, 11:05 AM   #3
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I think you'd be making a big mistake, especially if you take a lot of indoor photos.

First of all, there is very little difference between 4 and 5 Megapixels. Remember, resolution is computed by multiplying width times height. As a result, it takes 4 times the resolution to double the image size. A jump from 4 to 5 Megapixels would make very little difference in the print sizes you could use.

Second of all, you would have higher noise in either the P8 or the P10, compared to your P9, with all other things being equal (lens quality, image processing algorithms).

Most of the newer 3MP compacts are using a much smaller 1/2.7" sensor, compared to the 1/2" 3MP sensors used in older model cameras (Nikon 990, 995; Olympus C-3030z, etc.).

The "newer generation" of subcompact cameras using this 1/2.7" CCD typically have more random noise in low light, due to their very tiny 2.7 m pixel pitch.

BTW, the pixel pitch in the new Sony DSC-F828 (that you're hearing so much "noise" about (pun intended) is also 2.7 m (same as in many of the new 3MP models, like the P8 ).

For comparison purposes, the pixel pitch in the 5MP 1/1.8" CCD used in most of the compact 5MP models (including the P10) is 2.8 m (still larger than in many of the newer 3MP models, and neither of these are exactly "low noise champs").

Your 4MP Sony P9 uses a 4MP 1/1.8" CCD with a larger 3.1 m pixel pitch.

This sensor has got one of the best noise profiles around in compact consumer cameras. Now, some new 4MP models are using even small 1/2.5" sensors, which is why some of them have higher noise.

I like to think of noise from a CCD, in the same way I think of a Sound Amplifier turned up without any input. You get lots of hum and hiss with the sound amplifer.

With a Digital Camera, the photosites for the individual pixels work in a similiar way. When not enough light reaches the sensors, at higher ISO speeds (which is "turning up the volume" from the sensor), you get image noise (versus sound noise).

In order to make up for the small size of the photosites (which can't gather as much light), the manufacturers must amplify the signal from them to get the equivalent sensitivity of a larger sensor. This increases noise in low light and underexposed areas of the image.

Because of the smaller photosites (what I'm referring to as pixel pitch), in cameras using denser sensors (like the P8 and P10), they are not able to gather as much light, which makes them more prone to noise.

This is why a Digital SLR (using dramatically larger sensors, with much larger photosites) perform so much better in low light and higher ISO speeds.

Unless your photos will all be taken outdoors in good light (and you have a genuine need for the very slight increase in print size you'd get), or you have a specific need for a feature available on the P10, I think you'd be making a mistake.

To put this into perspective, that's why a camera like the Canon S50 has higher noise and CA, compared to the 4MP S45; the Canon G5 has higher noise and CA compared to the Canon G3, etc.

I would never recommend going with the 5MP 1/1.8" CCD, over a camera using the 4MP 1/1.8" CCD - unless there was a specific need to do so.

BTW, I purchased and returned a P10 last year. I found it's indoor performance to be lacking, with noise far too high in shadow areas of the photos. ISO 160 was pretty bad in shadow areas, and this is where the camera would usually boost ISO speeds to, in order to sufficient flash range for many indoor conditions. A 4MP 1/1.8" CCD would have handled these situations much better.

Now, I'm guilty, too. After returning my Sony P10 for a refund, I purchased another camera using the same 5MP 1/1.8" CCD - the Konica KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta DiMAGE G500).

However, I was fully aware of the noise profile of it's CCD when I bought it (it's also using the Sony 5 Megapixel 1/1.8" CCD, just as other 5MP subcompact cameras are). They did not offer a 4MP model with it's feature set. Otherwise, I would have preferred to go with a 4MP model instead. But, the flash strength is strong enough with the Konica, that I can shoot at ISO 100 indoors.

I also know of a Sony DSC-P8 user that returned his Sony and purchased the Konica KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500). He's also much happier with the Konica, since he can shoot at ISO 100 indoors, with sufficient flash strength.

Again, if they would have made a camera with the same features using the 4MP 1/1.8" CCD (as in your P9 ), I would have bought it instead -- just because it performs better in low light.

As far as the albums you looked at, lighting and the photographers skill has more to do with getting good photos than anything else.

Unless you compare two cameras, in identical conditions, you can't tell which one performs better. You also have to look at the conditions you'll take most of your photos in -- with low light shots being a bigger concern, if you want to go to a denser sensor, using smaller photosites for each pixel.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2004, 11:24 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7
Default

Wow!! im not such an expert to know those all things... I was thinking new Sony models will be better than old ones (maybe a habitual newwbie mistake), but ive seen its just the opposite.

Resolution is not very important for me, but i really thought some photos ive seen from a P8 were better than the ones from P9 (both of them were taken by me), but maybe im not looking at the right details on the pictures.

In case i decide to buy other camera, which one do you recommend me? No matter the manufacturer, but i would like the price to be around P8 and P10 prices.

Thanks for your help.
mfernan80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2004, 11:30 AM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

There may be some difference in image processing algorithms between the models. Manufacturers do make improvements in this area.

However, to tell for sure which camera performs better, you have to take photos in identical conditions with both models.

Why upgrade at all? Are you unhappy with the photos from your P9?

Sometimes, the "grass looks greener on the other side of the fence" when comparing models. Often, you're just seeing a difference in the conditions the photo was taken in. Light is a digital cameras best friend.

Your skill at using the camera can also come into play.

This has been quoted many times, but it's worth repeating:

Writer to Photographer:
"Your photos look great! You must be using a very good camera."

Photographer to Writer:
"Your books are great, too! You must be using a very good typewriter"

Edit/Update:

Again, Sony may have made some changes in the image processing algorithms in the newer models ("tweaking" white balance, saturation, contrast, sharpening, metering, etc.).

So, you may find that a new model works better, in the conditions you'll be taking the photo in.

However, I'd never buy a camera based on Megapixels alone.

There is simply not enough difference between 4 and 5 Megapixels to warrant upgrading for that reason alone -- with the older 4MP models using a 1/1.8" CCD, usually performing much better in lower light, and higher ISO speeds, than the newer 5MP models that replaced them with the same CCD size.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2004, 11:57 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

Jim

Very cute analogy.

Thanks
Phil
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2004, 12:27 PM   #7
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibsonpd3620
Jim

Very cute analogy.

Thanks
Phil
It's one of my favorite analogies.

Often times, a camera buyer looks at photos taken in reviews, by very good photographers, in ideal conditions, and assumes that all of their photos should look just as good.

There is no perfect camera, and learning how to take advantage of a model's strengths, and work around it's limitations is usually the biggest factor in getting better photos.

You see the same thing with a Golfer -- thinking that the latest titanium faced driver, with the latest graphite shaft is going to dramatically improve their game.

Well, sometimes it does. Often it doesn't.

Sometimes when improvements are seen, it's more psychological. The golfer believes that the new driver will improve his game, so it does.

There may be some improvements in the newer model cameras that warrant upgrading (or there may not be).

However, I'd figure out why I didn't like the photos from my existing camera first. Then, see if there is something I could do differently to get better results (trying to get a better understanding of why the photos didn't come out as well as expected).

It could be something as simple as learning to take advantage of the different metering modes offered, or using EV compensation, or changing the white balance setting for some lighting conditions, etc.

Or, it could be that a newer model uses a little more sharpening, or saturation (which could be increased using software).

My point is that sometimes upgrading will not achieve better results, unless you understand what the differences are between the way each camera is processing the images -- with a slight increase in Megapixels being a minor consideration (often with negative repercussions, in the case of moving to a CCD with a smaller pixel pitch).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:00 AM.