Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 30, 2006, 8:49 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
jorgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 200
Default

I take a decent amount of ISO 1600 pictures, but since I take nearly all my photos outdoor, I wouldn't dare to buy a Canon as the Canons seems to have serious dust problems.

But is the Olympus so bad at 1600? I am happy with the results I get after cleaning with Neat Image. Most recently, I take handheld photos around dusk with my tiny Olympus mju 810 at ISO 800 or 1600 with good results too (after cleaning). The trick seems to be not to underexpose too much.

And is Canon as good as they say? This thread http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=19862226 says:
Quote:
It's obvious that the 20D is actually heavily smearing the detail in-camera when you use JPEG. When you use RAW, far more of the 'real' noise is evident.

What is perhaps more shocking is that the 20D demonstrates quite significant deep shadow noise at ISO100.. certainly more than the E1. In JPEGs this is not visible as the camera seems to automatically 'cut' the shadows to pure black, thus hiding any noise. Of course, I can do this myself, but I would be essentially throwing away a fair chunk of the dynamic range that I take for granted with the E1.

Further down the threads deals with focussing problems in low light and drives a wooden stake through the myth that Canon is so much better in low light than the e-1. I don't know as I have always bought Olympus equipment, though I did take a very good look at the competition before buying my first DSLR. It would be interesting to hear comparisons from someone who has both Canon (or Nikon) and Olympus.

Any takers?

jorgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 2006, 9:24 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,066
Default

thats interesting, but perhaps the situation is a tad different for E-1 which has a far less crowded sensor than say E-330. Rolling the numbers on E-1 makes it clear its going to be a low noise performer. The E-1 sensor at 225 sq mm and 5Mp shares 22,2310 sensors per sq mm.

Against the lowliest Canon 20D and Rebel, at 329 sq mm and 24,296 and 24,384 sensors per sq mm respectively.

E-330 comes in at 33,348 just behind the Sony R1 at 33,268.
To put things into perspective Canons 1D has the best performance at 864 sq mm and 7,570 sensors per sq mm.

The long and the short of it is, that four thirds either needs better technology or stay with lower resolutions to shoot at competitive iso.

Canons internal processing surley does account for some of the visible noise, being way less aggressive than Panasonics Venus Engine and visually harder to detect.

Riley
Rriley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 2006, 10:02 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
jorgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 200
Default

My point is: does Canon get its very good marks for high ISO because they clip shadows to black? This would be cheating, as it loses part of the dynamic range and it is something the tests Steve and company would not disclose. We need some pictures from real life to see how big a difference there is, both before and after using, say, Neat Image.

I don't believe it is just a matter of sensors per sq mm alone: answer two explains that the 1DS also had some noise, though doesn't specify what. Yes, it is older technology but it is one-to-one with 35mm film lenses, so I assume the sensor is big.

jorgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 2006, 10:28 AM   #24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,066
Default

im pretty sure you are on the right track, I dont know that it only applies to black, but as you alluded to earlier, at least some of this is myth that is perpetuated by the rather odd fan club that canon seem to attract.

Panasonic uses a process called pixel binning to produce an almost noise free image
I think what this does is scrap pixels that according to the algorithm carry noise, the pixel is replaced by the surrounding colour . Hence detail is blown away

Certainly if you look at canon digicams, which use the very same processing as the dSLRs, but just a garden variety Sony sensor, there is no great effort in technology there. So to see if Canon are using a similar process, it seems likely to me one could construct a test that would identify this.

Riley

edit to add image
this is a 800iso crop from S3is that has the same processing, notice how the reds bleed, and the whites are very unwhite. noise is evident right across the greyscale card, and dark greys are rather heavily defined to blacks




Attached Images
 
Rriley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 2006, 12:43 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
jorgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 200
Default

I doubt Canon uses pixel binning in their DSLRs. There is in my mind no doubt that Canon is good at high ISOs; the question is whether they are as good as some people say.

Pixel binning is a matter of combining multiple adjacent pixels to a superpixel, e.i. averaging what is received. It is used for a number of things, including 1) fast previewing of images, 2) increase (apparent) light sensitivity and 3) get rid of noise. The faveron chip might well use binning to get rid of noise. I think my mju 810 uses binning by converting an 8MP 1600 (or 400?) ISO image down to a 3200 ISO 3MP (generally noisy) image.

jorgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2006, 7:01 AM   #26
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Kendal, Cumbria UK: the English Lake District
Posts: 60
Default

I am in the fortunate position of using both an E1 and a Nikon D2X. Now I'm not going to engage in the debate about high ISO numbers, as I simply never use anything above 800, and that only very rarely, so have no contribution to make.

Jorgen asked for comments comparing the Olympus with Nikon or Canon. My own work is largely around mountaineering and wild country photography. Although the Nikon is a wonderful camera to use, it is simply too bulky and heavy for much of that sort of work. Accordingly it is used for that proportion of my photography that doesn't require me to carry loads of kit for long distances. The E1, on the other hand, has the enourmous virtue of low bulk and comparatively low weight. Used with the 14-54 lens it is just about bomb-proof and more than makes up for the lower resolution compared with the Nikon.

At the end of the day, for me, it is ease of use and durability that count, and the E1 wins on both points.
slioch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2006, 8:45 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 183
Default

-slioch

The compactness of Olympus E systems is a very competitive advantage. All
the more so with the E 400.

But, still ... would you be worried about the size of sensor size being fixed ?
As a first time DSLR buyer ... and a hobbyist ... thats my primary cause of
worry. What if cameras with larger sensors became available at an affodable
price ? Wouldn't I feel tied down into Olympus lenses ?

If I do feel that I need to upgrade to a bigger sensor and also want to use
the 4/3rd lense which I might have collected over a period of time ?

In that sense ... having a collection of Nikon or Canon lenses would be
advantageous.

I think Nikon dont have a full frame sensor camera (pardon my lack of knowledge
... am just a dummy in this field) ... but if they did come out with one, you'd
be in a better position since you already have a collection of Nikon lenses.

--
Gaggu
gaggu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2006, 10:10 AM   #28
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Default

this has some expert opinion on the same subject..
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...rebuttal.shtml
prajull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2006, 10:49 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 183
Default

-prajull

Wow ... thats some reading. Thanks for the link.

Seems like Mike Johnston kinda contradicted his own idea
which he stated in his Olympus E1 review.

And guess what, another famous Nikon guy Ken Rockwell
opines that 4/3rd standard might just go away.

This keeps getting confusing ...

I just wanna buy a DSLR thats all .... :?

--
Gaggu
gaggu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2006, 10:51 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
jorgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 200
Default

Thanks, slioch. It probably anyway wouldn't be fair to compare a very-very highspec camera such as the D2X with an Olympus. I am more after high-ISO comparisons between an e-1/300/330/500 camera versus something like Canon 20d/Nikon d70 to keep the price-difference within reason.

Sensorsize? Probably smaller and maybe a completely different type of sensor than those we know today. Olympus is likely to be willing to go to completely new technology while I can't really see C or N do anything innovative. They have so far always played safe.

I can see Olympus make some nice e-400 cameras, hopefully with lots of shortcut buttons on the back.

jorgen 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 11:40 AM.