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Old Jan 21, 2004, 10:46 AM   #11
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Thanks again JimC, you seem to really know your stuff. The two issues I am dealing with in trying to pick the "perfect camera" are one, it needs to have an underwater housing capable of going to at least 40m (and cost a lot less than $1500 like many of the 3rd party housings, lol) and two, provide me with quality prints that are as large as possible. From what I understand, a quality 4MP camera can provide great 8 x 10 prints but I really want to be able to print a bit larger if I get a really nice photo.

All this led me to the Olympus 5050 and 5060 since they both have housings made by Olympus that are very inexpensive, the image quality got great reviews, and 5MP will allow me to go just a bit larger than 8 x 10. I do worry a bit about the noise but most of my pictures will be in clear water with an external flash so I think "low light" should not be an issue.

I was really glad you responded to my posting because your point about the faster lens of the 5050 meaning more light, faster shutter speed, and lower ISO was a very good one that I had not considered.

I do plan on getting back into photography (above water photography that is, lol) so things like "low light" conditions are important, but as you said there is no "perfect camera" so I need to balance the shortcomings of the 5050 against its "fit" for my underwater needs.
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 11:39 AM   #12
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Well, you have to way the benefits of 1MP worth of extra resolution in a 5MP model using the Sony 1/1.8" CCD, versus the lower noise in a 4MP model using the Sony 1/1.8" CCD.

There's really not much difference in resolution. Remember that it takes 4 times the resolution to double the image size (because resolution is composed of width x height).

So for practical use, there is very little difference.

Here is a chart that shows the Pixels Per Inch being sent to a printer at popular print sizes and resolutions:

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleed...tables.htm#ppi

You can also interpolate an image to allow larger print sizes. Interpolation adds pixels, based on the values of adjacent pixels. This does not add to the detail captured, but does allow larger print sizes without pixelation.

You have to weigh the detailed destroyed by the higher resolution sensors in low light and higher ISO speeds by noise, versus the better low light/higher ISO speed performance of some lower resolution sensors, when selecting a camera. So, you have to factor in the conditions that you'll be using a camera into the equation.

Since there can be a significant difference in noise between the two sensors, you may be better off with the lower resolution sensor in some shooting conditions.

Sure, if I knew that I'd keep ISO speeds lower, then I'd prefer the little extra detail I'd get with a 5MP Model. However, if I planned on taking a lot of available light shots, then I may want a lower resolution model using the same sensor size instead.

As far as the comparison between the C-5060z and C-5050z; even if noise was more than twice as high in the older model (and I doubt it is, since they both use the same sensor), it's faster lens would offset it IMO.

This is because it could shoot at lower ISO Speeds, to get equivalent shutter speeds, in the same lighting conditions (thanks to it's brighter lens), compared to the newer model.

Again, there are always tradeoffs when making a camera decision.

The good news is that the harder it is to choose between two similiar models, the less likely that you'll notice a significant difference in the photos between them.
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 12:45 PM   #13
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That's a great chart, just printed it out. I didn't realize the difference between a 4 and 5MP was as slight, I was thinking along the lines of 25% more info = 25% larger picture with same clarity. What I saw when looking at the chart was a 2MP camera had about 150 px/inch at 8x10 and a 4MP camera had about 153 px/inch at 11 x 14, an increase of only 40% in size with twice the MP.

I am still leaning towards going with the 5050 because of its image quality/features, etc. compared with the other cameras that have affordable underwater housings. That requirement has greatly limited my selection, really trimming the field to the Oly C-5050, Oly C-50, Oly C-750, Cannon Powershot S400, and Cannon Powershot S50 although the housing for the S50 is only rated to about 30 meters so it has dropped off the list. I think Sony and Fuji have a couple cameras that have housings but I was not overly impressed with them except for the Sony P10.

Have you used the C-5050 yourself?
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 1:00 PM   #14
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No, I have not owned the C-5050z, but I follow cameras closely. I've also followed many threads by this camera's users in different digital photography forums.

BTW, I have used the Sony P10 on your "short list". I was not impressed.
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 7:22 PM   #15
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Good to know about the Sony P10, I would much rather get the 5050 anyway :lol:
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