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Old Jun 4, 2012, 2:57 PM   #1
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Default Picture quality Nikon L120 VS Nikon P500

I have a long time friend that just moved up from a Nikon L120 to a Nikon P500. He is very very unhappy with the picture quality of his new Nikon P500. He claims that the picture quality of his old Nikon L120 is better than his new Nikon P500. I was able to view and compare the many hundreds of pictures taken with both cameras and I would have to agree with him, the Nikon L120 has better picture quality. The difference is not night and day but when you blow them up you can easily see that the L120 has better picture quality. Why is this ? Could it be because the L120 has a higher MP rating than the P500...14 MP for the L120 and only 12 MP for the P500 ? Could it be that the L120 has a CCD sensor which many experts consider to be superior to the newer and cheaper CMOS sensor that is in the P500 ? Maybe it's the lens, the P500 has a 35x zoom (lots of lenses) and it's not as fast as compared to the 21x zoom lens of the L120. Maybe it's because the ISO can be set lower (80) for the L120 and only (160) on the P500. Or maybe it's a combination of all of the above ? Your thoughts and opinions ? Thanks.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 1:53 PM   #2
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So far 129 people have viewed this post and not one reply ??? Surly someone has an opinion or comment as to why the cheaper Nikon L120 would have better image quality than the more expensive Nikon P500. I guess if you just looked at the specs. alone between the two cameras and did not take into account the price difference, the Nikon L120 has better numbers. 14 megapixels is better than 12. The lower ISO setting of 80 is better than 160. A lens rated at 3.1 is better than 3.4. When zoomed in, the big 36x zoom lens does not help image quality either as compared to the 21x lens on the L120. I don't know if the CMOS sensor in the P500 has any bearing on image quality as compared to the CCD sensor in the L120. However I do know that when Fuji changed from their Super CCD sensor in the old Fuji S200 to the CMOS sensor in their newer HS-10 model , the image quality dropped off dramatically as a result of switching from a CCD sensor to a CMOS sensor. Comments ??????
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 4:55 AM   #3
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There are a myriad of factors in any one camera which could affect image quality- certainly the type of sensor used can have an impact- though I'm not sure resolution alone is wholly significant. Whilst CMOS sensors seem to potentially yield improved high iso performance,I'm not convinced that their base IQ is better- which is probably why many premium compacts (Canon G12,Nikon P7100,Panasonic LX-5,Olympus X-S1...etc...) still use CCD's.
I'd certainly agree with your comment about the Fuji S200 to the HS10- as I owned both and came to the same conclusion- not to mention a poorer stabiliser and sub standard autofocus.... though might that have been down to the lens- or more specifically,the zoom range..?
Might this be the same issue with the Nikon...? Perhaps the lens's range is compromising IQ to some degree- though some (even Nikon) might suggest this is a fair trade off against the big zoom...
Then there's the processor/sensor combo to factor in- CMOS equipped cameras certainly seem to perform faster- and certainly helps in movie capture- but is it at the cost of ultimate IQ for stills...?
I guess some compromise has to be accepted with an all singing,all dancing superzoom camera- however,some might say they're a bridge too far...?
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 9:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply "Simon40", I must agree with all your comments in reference to overall image quality when comparing the newer and cheaper to manufacture CMOS sensors with the older and more proven technology of the older and more expensive CCD sensors. It is true, the CMOS sensors are in fact faster and they are great for movie capture but at the expense of overall still image quality. The major camera companies know this as well and that is why you see almost all premium compact and bridge cameras still using the older and more expensive CCD sensors. The big super zoom lens of 35X and 42X certainly don't help overall image quality either due to all the extra glass and magnafication of camera shake which further degrades still picture quality. I think that the CMOS equipped cameras with the mega zooms are "a bridge too far".
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Old Jul 7, 2012, 2:50 PM   #5
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Curiously- I think the CMOS- or MOS- sensor equipped FZ-150 is the best all round bridge camera out there...!
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