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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 19, 2004, 4:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
Default 8MP Prosumer vs 6MP DSLR, which is the best?

I read somewhere that DSLRs produce better quality images even if they have smaller megapixel ratings? I.e., a Nikon D70 with 6 MP should produce a bigger quality image that an 8MP shot taken with a Sony F828 (or any prosumer camera with a rating of 8MP). If I remember correctly, the article says that DSLRs have largely megapixels than prosumer models (if there is such a thing).

Please help as I am interested to buy a Nikon D70. I already own a Sony V1. Should I consider a lower price Nikon prosumer like a Nikon 8700?
jallantan is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 19, 2004, 6:12 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 365
Default

I have read the same in serveral different locations as well. Basically the actual sensors on the DSLR's are much bigger than the sensors on the digicams. As a result each pixel collector on the DSLR is bigger. This is very beneficial because they are able to collect light much easier then the digicams to produce better images with less noise. This also explains why the DSLR's can take pictures at higher iso's with less noise. Noise in a simpified explanation is caused because each the pixel was not able to collect enough light which the DSLR's have less of a problem with.
mdparker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 2004, 8:20 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I wanted to mention that I agree with mdparker.

I wanted to give you more detail so you know how to refer to what you're actually talking about.

The part of the sensor that actually "senses" or detects the light is called a photosite.

photosite density (how closely packed together they are) effects noise. The closer they are together, the more noise (in general) you get (current can bleed from one photosite into another, effecting it.) The larger physical sensor means you can spread them out some.

Photosite size also matters. You don't want amazingly small ones and having a larger sensor allows you to make them bigger. Of course too big is also a bad thing (for image quality, not noise), but so is too small. Because of the big push for a sensor that produces a larger picture, "too large" really isn't a concern... the concern is too small. The photosites are (I believe) smaller on the 828 than the D70.

Noise effects how far you can enlarge a picture. The more you enlarge, the more the noise will be visible. Therefor having lower noise (and everything being equal) means you can enlarge more. But the question you are really asking is this:

Can I enlarge a noisier 8MP picture to something larger than how much I can enlarge a less noisy 6MP picture?

For example it is possible that the 8MP picture could enlarge to 9MP and still look ok (that is only a 12.5% enlargement.) But a 6MP image enlarged to 9MP would not (a 50% enlargement.) If the difference in MP size is so great, it is possible that the smaller enlargement of the 8MP would look better than the greater enlargement of the 6MP, even if the 8MP sensor has more noise.

The problem is that you are combining two things that are not directly related. Image size and image quality. A larger picture doesn't inherently produce "better quality images" (in your words.) It might be better for what you want to do, but that is a separate issue.

jallantan
You might have noticed a backlash against people asking "what camera should I buy?" (what you are asking is a form of that question.) There are a variety of reasons for this, which you can find by looking at back posts.

Here is the rub. A camera is a tool. I will not recommend which car to buy without knowing how you use the car (carry 3 kids and soccer balls? Drive fast on the highway? Work on a farm?) The D70 is designed for a different type of photography than the 828. You can't change lenses on the 828, there is no battery grip for the 828, there are fewer flashes, no ring lights. And I didn't even touch on the questions of cost (extra lenses cost more) and size (well, in this case the 828 is not a small camera, but the 8700 is not that big compared to the D70 with a zoom lens.) I could go on.

Without knowing what type of photography you will do, I have as good a chance of suggesting the camera you should get as I do just randomly doing a product search on "camera" and picking one.

Eric

Ps. I stated the last part the way I did because I want others who read this to learn. One thing we are getting sick of here is that people ask “what should I buy?” and then tell us absolutely nothing about how they will use the camera. Get this often enough and you get sisk of the question.
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 2004, 9:39 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
marokero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 769
Default

I've enlarged a 6mp image from my D100 to about 10mp and it looked pretty good. Not perfect, but very acceptable. A well exposed image and very low noise image, however smaller than a larger noisier image, will yield more pleasing enlargements. I remember comparing images from a D30 to my former E-10. Even though the E-10 had 4 megapixels and the D30 had 3, when it came to enlargents, the D30's images looked much better. When enlarging an image you also enlarge noise, which then becomes harder to clean up with any noise reduction solution.
marokero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 2004, 9:40 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 575
Default

As usual great post eric. My recommendation would be (as usual) go play with both. The 828 is more compact, but much more limited in lens selection. The D70 is not a single camera that you are buying (just like the Rebel, the 10D, the D100 or an DSLR), but a whole system you are buying INTO. That allows you an amazingly diverse selection of lenses, flashes, ect. However, it is REALLY easy to end up with 20lbs of gear you are lugging around 24/7 (check out my sig- that stuff weighs approx 15lbs). I wouldn't trade it for the world though.
Ok, back to my point. Find out which camera feels the best, do a few sample prints for image quality, and decide how much (or little) weight you want to carry around. Always make as informed of a decision as possible, and (a personal rule of mine) never buy anything over certain price points without playing with it first!
Gandalf065 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 2004, 11:11 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

Luminous Landscape has a good review of the Minolta A2, which is the camera I would be looking at if I were getting an 8Mp prosumer camera because of the stabilization. This is an excerpt that answers your question well:

” Of course the natural question that people will now ask is — what about a comparison with a 6MP DSLR like the Canon Digital Rebel 300D or the Nikon D70?
I'll do such a comparison soon, but not today. In the meantime I'm comfortable in saying that just about every 6MP DSLR on the market will produce superior image quality to the 8MP cameras that I've tested so far. Their files will be sharper and have less noise.
On the other hand a camera like the Minolta A2 is much less expensive (given the lens that's incorporated), as well as considerably smaller and lighter. There are no sensor dust problems to consider either. As a vacation or "occasional" camera it would be hard to beat right now. It could also be a very suitable camera for someone wanting to test the digital waters with an all-in-one solution. I don't think though that the A2, or any of the 8MP cameras that I've tested or seen so far, will satisfy a photographer who is really quality conscious and who wants to be able to make prints bigger than about 10X12".”
http://luminous-landscape.com/review...nolta-a2.shtml

I don’t agree on the print size though. A good 8Mp like the A2 will produce a very nice 13 X 19. If you have to shoot at high ISO there are a couple of inexpensive programs that will remove any noise nicely without degrading the image quality. But from everything I’ve seen a prosumer camera with a small CCD can’t compete with a good DSLR in quality. You might want to wait for the promised comparison between 8Mp prosumer and 6Mp DSLRs to refine the comparison.
slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 2004, 8:51 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
Default Thank you and a further note to what I'd do with the camera

Thank you very much for the inputs from everyone. I do apologize, Eric, if I sound like another camera-buff wannabe who doesn't know what he/she wants.

Just a backgrounder. I started taking photos with an instamatic when I was 10 years old and quickly graudated to a Canon F1 with a multi-pound assortment of accesories by the time I hit high school. Decades later, I have a Nikon 401M, a Sony DSC-V1, and a rather old but still working Olympus C2000. When I bought the DSC-V1 I quickly discovered the limitations that a compact camera brings with it (something I should have remembered just by looking at my OlyC2K.

But having seen the benefits of digital, I am less inclined to go back to film photography. I shoot protraits, groupies, and just about anything I can get a clean shot at. The digital technique allows me to save money by downloading the photos on my Mac (and making the necessart adjustments) before I go to print.

Given that photography has always been an expensive hobby, I wanted to make sure that the next digital I buy is a DSLR. Realizing I can't afford a D2H, the D70 seems like a good alternative. What I don't want to do is buy the D70 only to be told that an 8MP compact can produce better images than a 6MP DSLR (ergo, the original reason for the question).

I have 2 Nikon compatible lenses so I will stick with Nikon. Unless you tell me there is an 8MP DSLR from Nikon coming out in a few months, I will probably get the D70 very soon.

Again, thanks for everyone's input.

Allan
jallantan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 2004, 9:47 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
marokero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 769
Default

Actually there's another DSLR from Nikon coming up during the Olympics I believe, perhaps the fabled D2x. It may be a 10 or 16 megapixel (who knows at this time?), but it may not be as fast as the D2h, and price wise it may be a bit more expensive too.
marokero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 20, 2004, 1:51 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Don't worry about it. The question you asked was a good one, but leading it towards "what camera should I buy?" is where the problem came in.

The D70 looks (on paper) to be a good camera. I would seriously look at it if I were in the market for a DSLR.

Eric
eric s 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 12:29 PM.