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Old Apr 16, 2004, 1:15 AM   #1
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Default What is it about dSLR's?

Is there anything inherent about fixed lens digicams that make them inferior to dSLR's in terms of picture quality? I presume that both types operate on CCD/CMOS and the only thing different is the reflex action?

Is it only because that dSLR's are made to a higher spec??
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 2:12 AM   #2
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They are built to take punishment of more demanding work, offer much more flexibility in focal lengths, and are just faster overall to work with. And their larger sensors account for smoother, less noisy images as well as usable high ISO images (>ISO 800), and shallower depth of field.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 2:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is it about dSLR's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckrogers
Is there anything inherent about fixed lens digicams that make them inferior to dSLR's in terms of picture quality?
No. The only things inherently better about dSLRs are that you can change the lens and you get a proper TTL optical viewfinder. (There were some non dSLRs that gave the latter, the Oly C2500L and the E10/20, but I don't think there are any now). The trouble with a removable lens of course is that you get dirt on the sensor, which is much worse than getting it on a bit of film.

dSLRs tend to have slightly larger (physically) sensors which makes the less subject to noise, but that's by no means always the case. A lot of dSLRS have 2/3" (roughly) ccds just like a lot of fixed lens digitals.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 3:42 AM   #4
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So one day, fixed lens digicams (maybe a Sony 939 etc) can technically be superior to the current day dSLR's...
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 4:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
A lot of dSLRS have 2/3" (roughly) ccds just like a lot of fixed lens digitals.
That's not true. From the original D1, D1x, D1h, D2h, D100, D70, D30, D60, 10D, 1D, 1Ds, 1D MkII, D Rebel, 14N, SLR/n, SLR/c, 760, 720x, 660, 620x, 620, *ist D, S1, S2, S3, E1, upcomming Minolta DSLR, etc... all have had their sensors larger than 2/3". The smaller of the bunch uses the 4/3" sensor, and that's still twice the size of a 2/3". The last DSLR to employ a 2/3" sensor was the E20. Minolta at one time had their RD-3000 DSLR employing dual 1/2" sensors but it had a minimum aperture of f/6.3 with any lenses. Sony also had true DSLR's in the past, the D700 and D770, but those used a 1/2" ccd.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 7:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: What is it about dSLR's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technophile
The trouble with a removable lens of course is that you get dirt on the sensor, which is much worse than getting it on a bit of film
It's not that bad. Yes, dirt will get in, but the filter over the CCD can be cleaned. Also, depending on the subjects and background you may not notice the spot(s) for ages. Then, depending on the subject and background, you can always fix the odd spot through using the Photoshop clone tool. I've had entire films ruined by scratches, but I've still to have an equivalent problem with my DSLR.

Where I find the DSLR can realy score is in -

1) The available lens range. There, budget permiting, you can use the best tool for the job.

2) Colour management. I can use a rich colour space (Adobe 1998) and then convert as required for subsequent processing.

3) Realistic RAW support in terms of procesing speed.

Regards,
Graham.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 8:30 AM   #7
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I wanted to second both marokero & checklg.

I also wanted to add that a DSLR usually has a faster frame rate and faster shutter lag.

But I would also say that it is very possible that a fixed lens camera could be better than a DSLR. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn't use superior parts (than now) and produce better images. But right now that market is based on cost more than quality. "good enough" rules the day, so they limit features or just build with inferiour parts so that the shutter lag isn't as good, the sensor isn't as good at reducing noice, the time to write to the memory card is slow.

All of these things have been solved in the higher end cameras, but they are not in the lower end ones. Size and cost are the only limiting factors that I can think of.

Eric
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 7:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckrogers
So one day, fixed lens digicams (maybe a Sony 939 etc) can technically be superior to the current day dSLR's...
Depends on what you need/want.

The DSLR has one major advantage: You can switch the lens if it is not to your likeing. Example: I want a LONG telphoto (>500mm). It can not be had on a fixed lens digital. Some people want very wide angle (< 30mm).

With a DSLR I can have either and/or both. Otherwise there is no technical reason why a fixed lens can not be as good or better than a DSLR. In fact the fixed lens has the avantage of a camera body coupled to a lens specifically designed for it. Each has its place.

Cheers,

LewTwo

--- Brand new Pentax 'funny name' DSLR ---
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 7:41 PM   #9
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I have to reiterate the shutter lag part, I bought my dSLR for that reason. Point and shoots with LCD preview tend to be slower - I've missed dozens of shots of kids waiting for the camera to do it's thing.

LewTwo's point on matching the lens to the sensor/camera is a good point. dSLRs have a weakness with wide angle lenses, sensors are not as tolerant to light coming in from oblique angles as film is.

Part of the marketing of the 4/3 systems is that the lenses can be built with digital sensors in mind.

The reality is that camera makers are aiming the dSLR's at a consumer that is willing to pay more and is expecting more too. Years ago camera makers made some nice fixed lens rangerfinders but the market split off into 'pro' SLRs and 'consumer' point and shoots. The middle ground of the rangefinder became a niche and expensive product.
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Old Apr 16, 2004, 8:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursa
...Point and shoots with LCD preview tend to be slower - I've missed dozens of shots of kids waiting for the camera to do it's thing.
Does your camera have the option to shut off the preview? The S602Z can be set so that there's no preview.
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