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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 1, 2006, 4:38 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
ELDDJOC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 156
Default

I read on the specifications page of many cameras about the size of the CCD imagers (ie. Sony DSC-F717 has a 2/3-inch 5.24-megapixel CCD imager) -

But what is the difference ?

So the
2/3-inch 5.24-megapixel CCD imager of Sony would be better than the Canon Powershot G6's 1/1.8-inch CCD imager ?


ELDDJOC is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 1, 2006, 6:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 824
Default

I don't mean to be condescending, but unless you're a technician, I wouldn't become too dependent on descriptions of measurements like those you quote. Fact is, few photographers have a good understanding of all the technical aspects of the sensors in their cameras. What matters is: does it take good pictures? Does it feel good in your hands? Does it have the other features you need? And the answer to that question goes beyond any description of how many megapixels are in how large a sensor. In an absolute sense, sensors with more megapixels should produce higher resolution, but the majority of people never print larger than 8x10 (A4), and a 4MP camera will print that large handsomely. Also, to some degree, the concentration of pixels is related to the ability to handle noise at high ISOs; higher concentrations of pixels generally mean more difficulty at handling high-ISO noise, but again, it's not an exact correlation, and most people shoot at low ISOs anyway, so that's just one more factor to take into consideration.

If you're just interested in the technology, here's some sources to start you out:

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...al-camera2.htm
http://www.tcs.org/ioport/jun03/camera.htm
http://www.photozone.de/3Technology/digital_3.htm

I found these by a few seconds of googling, but there's much more info available out there.

Norm in Fujino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2006, 5:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
ELDDJOC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 156
Default

I am not trying to be technical - its just that everyone's opinion varies so much, and unless you get to try out every camera for long periods of time, it is really hard to find the cameras that are truly good.

I found that just about everyone agrees that these 3 prosumer cameras are the best yet :

Sony Cybershot F717

Canon Powershot G3

Canon Powershot G6




ELDDJOC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2006, 7:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
bernabeu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 990
Default

the larger the sensor the better it is



5meg on a small sensor will give an inferior image to 5meg on a large sensor
bernabeu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2006, 8:00 AM   #5
Member
 
Thaipo Negative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 37
Default

With so many variables it pays to understand what they mean, there is no point getting something you cant use, just as there is no point in getting something that wont live up to your expectations, it only takes one thing to make the difference between the right choice and the wrong choice. If you look at the last link, it shows the difference in size between a compact and DSLR, its quite a big difference.

http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/cmos/fullframe-e/blur.html

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography...e_matters.html

http://www.digicamhelp.com/digital-camera-sensor-size/

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...mp;unified_p=1

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...r_Sizes_01.htm


Thaipo Negative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2006, 12:33 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

bernabeu, the issues are way more complex than that... to the point that "bigger is better" is basically not correct I own the Canon 1D Mk II N and the Canon 20D. The 1D's sensor is larger but, in my experience, it has *slightly* more noise at 400ISO and even 200ISO than the 20D. My assumption is that the 20D uses some technology that the 1D doesn't have. The 1D came out after the 20D, but I bet it was designed by a separate group at Canon at the same time as the 20D. The 20D group did something different that makes it slightly better.

Norm's comment is basically correct. Sensors on modern cameras have gotten good enough that you should consider other features just as highly as resolution.

Resolution should be a "check box" item (i.e. is it enough? Yes, learn more. No, look elsewhere") it should absolutely NOT be the deciding factor.

You need to consider how powerful the lens is (not the "x" factor listed in marketing like 10x or 5x, but the lens focal length in "35mm equivalent"), how the camera fits in your hands, do the buttons fit comfortably? Do you want a camera you can fit in a pants pocket? How about a purse? Is even large acceptable? How fast does it focus? Do you care about macro mode? How good is it at Macro?

All of those things will cost you the shot long before number of MP enter into the equation.

Now that you've reduced it to 3 cameras, try to find a store that carries them and check them out in person. Also, look at sample images in reviews. Really think about what you'll use the camera for (people? buildings? flowers?....)

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 2, 2006, 3:43 PM   #7
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

ELDDJOC wrote:
Quote:
I am not trying to be technical - its just that everyone's opinion varies so much, and unless you get to try out every camera for long periods of time, it is really hard to find the cameras that are truly good.
It should be clear that most people don't know anything from what they're talking about and just play parrot with (fancy sounding patented and trademarked) words told by most loudest PR BS department...


Quote:
I found that just about everyone agrees that these 3 prosumer cameras are the best yet...
Now I would keep words "prosumer" and "button controlled zoom" as fully mutually exclusive because manual/mechanical zoom is simply so much faster and more accurate.
Why do you think there isn't single SLR with button zoom?
(SLR means camera with interchangeable lens, which were practically only choises for professionals/serious hobbyers in film-era)



Narrowing what cameras would be best compromises for you would be actually quite easy without any technicalities if you just first tell some simple things...

Like what are size and price limits.
Basing to cameras you listed you're after more feature rich camera and small size doesn't matter so much.

What you would photograph, is it lanscapes, sceneries, architecture, general nature? Or is it mostly wild animals/birds?
That's especially important because those most "media sexy" super/ultrazoom cameras with 10x or 12x zoom number in adds are some of the worst choises for targets listed first.
Actually those cameras are also some of the most noisiest cameras because fitting long tele to small size requires very small sensor.
And coming to that Sony you listed is also lousy choise: Narrow "wide" angle.


Then also indoor sport causes it's own challenges which have to be considerer if that's one of the targets.



bernabeu wrote:
Quote:
the larger the sensor the better it is
Not always... for example in macro photography longer depth of field of smaller sensor non-DSLRs is big advantage.
Also bigger sensor needs much larger optics unless focal length range and speed of lens are reduced.

Now bigger sensor (actually lower density of pixels=bigger size of pixel) always means lower noise if there isn't other differences in sensors.

But when it comes to cameras with roughly similar size sensor age of camera becomes also one variable, slightly older cameras might have little more noise in photos but that's only because current higher megapixel (higher pixel density/smaller pixel size) cameras use very heavy internal noise removing.

Here's some quickly noise processed (just pushing button few times) shots from two years old camera claimed as noisy by reviewers:
http://rapidshare.de/files/14515406/...essed.exe.html (self-extracting archive)
If you compare those to shots from current very high megapixel small sensor cameras those are much better, biggest reson is just that pixel density is considerably lower/size of pixel larger than in current cameras.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 7:19 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 448
Default

ELDDJOC wrote:
Quote:
I read on the specifications page of many cameras about the size of the CCD imagers (ie. Sony DSC-F717 has a 2/3-inch 5.24-megapixel CCD imager) -

But what is the difference ?

So the
2/3-inch 5.24-megapixel CCD imager of Sony would be better than the Canon Powershot G6's 1/1.8-inch CCD imager ?
As a rule of thumb noise increases with pixel size. Thus if you distribute the same amount of pixelover a larger sensor, the pixel size increases as well, whence noise should be lower. On the other hand technology is also improving and the Sony 7 MP sensor, which is used in the Powershot G6, was a substantial progress in CCD technology. Though the pixels of this 1/1.8" sensor are smaller than then pixels of Sony's somewhat older 8 MP 2/3" CCD used in my Coolpix 8400 and Dimage A200, the 7 MP CCD has a better noise performance than the 8 MP CCD. Also contrast and color improve with pixel size. DSLRs have much larger pixels than P&S cameras and that's the key reason why their image quality is so much better. In a P&S camera the image processor has to work very hard to squeeze out a good picture from the lousy signals of a tiny sensor. Hence for the overall performance of P&S cameras the image processor plays also a very significant role and as pixel sizes become smaller this role is even increasing. On the other hand, the larger the CCD the larger the lense. That's the reason why all of these 12x ultrazooms have a very small 1/2.5" sensor, the Lumix FZ30 with its lousy 1/1.8 sensor being the only exception. Because of cost reasons manufactures more and more turn to 1/2.5" sensors. Probably more than 50% of all digicams sold this year will share the same 6 MP 1/2.5" CCD from Sony. Although this sensor is quite good relative to its size, this is not a good development.
kassandro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 6:57 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
ELDDJOC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 156
Default

Thanks for clearing that up.

I was concerned that the high number of megapixels would not match up appropriately to the smaller sensors coming out these days.

The sensor sizes seem to be decreasing, with the new Canon PowerShot A430 having a 1/3.2 sensor, which is terrible, even for a budget camera.

Even the Canon PowerShot S3 is coming out with a 1/2.5 sensor, which I thought was shocking since that meant it was the same as the S2, and that the quality would be compromised for a camera that is considered by Canon as one of its top tier cameras.

The new Nikons P&S cameras, with the exception of the P series, all seem to use the 1/2.5 sensor as well.


ELDDJOC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 2006, 8:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Rather than focusing solely on CCD size, would it be more effective to study a graph analyzing the noise characteristics of a particular camera. Perhaps that would easier to grasp.

MT
mtclimber 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 5:30 PM.