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Old Jan 9, 2009, 4:48 PM   #1
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Over at LL, there;s a really interesting report on the Canon 50D and its new 15MP sensor:

http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/50d.shtml

" I had never noticed uncorrectable colour fringing with a 40D. Can this really be? Can just a change from 10 megapixels to 15 megapixels make that much difference?........ The move from 10 megapixels to 15 megapixels really does make those nasty lens aberrations significantly more difficult to deal with. From now on, photographers working with cameras having the resolving potential of the 50D (or better) will need to choose lenses very carefully. And they will have to learn to focus carefully as well."

"The 50D review at the Digital Camera Review site suggests that the "per pixel" resolution of this camera is not up to the standard of previous cameras..... "

Now what does that mean for non-FF sensor based camera systems ? I think Oly's original thinking behind 4/3 and the quality of the lenses means hopefully we won't be effected by what's being seen on the 50D. Personally I think they should try and stick to 10-12MP and go for better DR and noise at ISO1600, 16bit A/D conversion ,etc for the sensors.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jan 9, 2009, 7:29 PM   #2
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I'm not sure about the Canon problems but do agree that the mega-pixel race is stupid for most users but as we all know lots of people buy something because it has bigger numbers in one way or another. 10 mp for most of my work is enough but getting low noise and good dynamic range are a lot more important but trying to get general users aware of this is totally different. Can you imagine the ad on TV trying to explain why this is better than the new 20mp camera that has been launched but is really noisy at ISO 200 (this is theoretical but you get the idea). Joe public not having a clue what makes a quality image is the biggest problem for the entry and middle range cameras.
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Old Jan 12, 2009, 3:14 PM   #3
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hi Harj
yeah it wont end there though
more Mp does sell cameras, so we will get slightly lower IQ IMO
'E3 has about the same sensor density as 50D
E30 is way over

4/3rds Olympus E30 = 54.666 (12.3Mp); 225 sq mm
4/3rds Olympus E3 = 44,888 (10.1Mp); 225 sq mm
4/3rds Olympus E520 = 44,444 (10,0Mp); 225 sq mm
4/3rds Olympus E330 = 33,333 (7.5Mp); 225 sq mm
4/3rds Olympus E1 = 20,987 (5.1Mp); 243sq mm

APSC Nikon D90 = 33,064 (12.3Mp); 372 sq mm
APSC Nikon D300 = 33,300 (12.3Mp); 369 sq mm
APSC Nikon D40x = 27,027 (10.0Mp); 369
APSC Nikon D40 = 16,260 (6Mp); 369 sq mm

APSC Canon 50D = 45,180 (15Mp); 332 sq mm
APSC Canon 40D = 30,792 (10.1Mp); 328.56 sq mm
APSC Canon 450D = 37,195 (12.2Mp); 328.56 sq mm

APSC Sigma Foveon = 16,456 (4.69Mp); 286.68 sq mm

FF Canon 5D II = 24,305 (21.0Mp); 864 sq mm
FF Canon 1DsMkIII= 24,537 (21.2Mp); 864 sq mm
FF Canon 5D = 14,814 (12.8Mp); 864 sq mm
FF Nikon D3 = 14,069 (12.1Mp); 860 sq mm
FF Sony A900 = 27, 842 (24Mp); 862 sq mm

I really wish we had something like a 6-8Mp alternative
on todays technology we could get much better high ISO
then as you point out, the consequences for DR
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 4:06 PM   #4
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Hi Guys

I think were in pretty interesting territory right now with regards sensors and MP. I can;t see any of the manufacturers giving us less MP, esp ASP/FT sized sensors although you never know with Pana esp after the LX3 and its sensor.

So what does Panalecia/Oly and thus 4/3'ds do to get around this problem? Is it possible to increase the sensor size but still keep it within the 4/3 patents and not impact lens quality ? I'm sure if that was the case Oly would have done so but I'm wondering if the spec does allow for a larger sensor than whats been used - even if its just marginally larger that would still help. There's been rumours about a square sensor etc etc but that appears to have been "pie in the sky"

I think for now the future of both FT and APS camera's is fine - the FF cameras are just beasts and not what I would want to be carrying around or working with.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jan 13, 2009, 4:13 PM   #5
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HarjTT wrote:
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I think for now the future of both FT and APS camera's is fine - the FF cameras are just beasts and not what I would want to be carrying around or working with.

Cheers

Harj

:? :O

The onlycaviat I was give regarding the *full frame* bodies is, if someone figured out how to offera new modelfor, or less than $1,500, which is still more than I am willing to pay for anything. If a full frameDigital Rebel for instance, were to ever become available around $1,000...
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Old Jan 13, 2009, 6:02 PM   #6
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Greg Chappell wrote:
Quote:
HarjTT wrote:
Quote:
I think for now the future of both FT and APS camera's is fine - the FF cameras are just beasts and not what I would want to be carrying around or working with.

Cheers

Harj

:? :O

The onlycaviat I was give regarding the *full frame* bodies is, if someone figured out how to offera new modelfor, or less than $1,500, which is still more than I am willing to pay for anything. If a full frameDigital Rebel for instance, were to ever become available around $1,000...
Not a matter of if, but simply when. At some point, the market will be flooded with "entry level" DSLRs-if not now. In order to continue todrive sales and keep those that just bought a DSLR, wanting to buy the next best thing, manufacturers will continue to develop newer better faster and ultimately 'higher end" bodies. Probably, with capabilities that I haven't imagined yet.

In so doing, the price of last years "best of breed" (which in this case is the Full Frame DSLR) will be further reduced. Happens all the time.

I can't wait for that day to arrive as I sure would love to get my hands on a used Nikon D700, which by then should sell for 800.00:?

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Old Jan 14, 2009, 12:58 AM   #7
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HarjTT wrote:
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So what does Panalecia/Oly and thus 4/3'ds do to get around this problem? Is it possible to increase the sensor size but still keep it within the 4/3 patents and not impact lens quality ?
its US Patent 6910814, and it says within:

"the term "4/3 type" refers to the size of the image pickup device, and a 4/3 type image pickup device has an image circle with the diameter of about 21.2 to 25 mm."

which allows for a sensor 20 x 15mm, a diagonal of 25mm, and an area of 300 sq mm, or about a 33% increase in area (focal magnification factor of 1.732x). This is just shy of Canons APSC at 328 sq mm 1.62x.

FTx Olympus = 20,000 (6.00Mp); 300 sq mm
FF Canon 5D = 14,814 (12.8Mp); 864 sq mm

It is interesting to consider, that such a sensor at 6Mp, would have well sizes that approximate 5D, because of the reduced wiring required on the sensor surface for newer nMOS versions.

I dont know about you guys but, I would much rather resample a 6Mp image up to (42% increase) 12Mp i size, than suffer the effects of tiny photosites, and win a subsequent gain in ISO performance/DR to boot.

ISO performance would go up by 2 stops, which means that ISO3200 would look similar to the current E3 800ISO, and we could add a further 2 stops reach to ISO128,000. Thats far more useful to me that a 42% increase in resolution.
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Old Jan 14, 2009, 1:31 AM   #8
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Greg Chappell wrote:
Quote:
HarjTT wrote:
Quote:
I think for now the future of both FT and APS camera's is fine - the FF cameras are just beasts and not what I would want to be carrying around or working with.

Cheers

Harj

:? :O

The onlycaviat I was give regarding the *full frame* bodies is, if someone figured out how to offera new modelfor, or less than $1,500, which is still more than I am willing to pay for anything. If a full frameDigital Rebel for instance, were to ever become available around $1,000...
i think the chances for that are close to zip for quite some time
why ?
Sensors do not fall in price, as the technology to manufacture them is relatively unchanged. A major contributing factor is the defect rate for sensors cut from wafers.

The industry standard is 40 defects per wafer, so for example out of a 180mm dia wafer you get only 2 working sensors per wafer, 4/3rds b/se they are smaller get a much higher ratio, leaving around 32 working sensors. Canon APSC gets around 14. Since the wafer cost is the same, the costs attributed to FF are exponentially much higher.

So its not a simple 4x calculation for the difference between FF and 4/3rds sensors, although that would remain true for the also expansive AA filter.

Is this provable...
When 5D came out in Nov 05 it cost $3,300 at release
5DII cost $2,700 at release, so after 3 years the price has fallen $600, or $200 a year, to get to $1,000 at that rate would take a further 8.5 years.

These price falls are pretty much inline with cameras across the board, in some cases a bit less, and are more probably b/se of increases in volume than reduced sensor costs. It seems one change can be attributed to photographers being more willing to part with around $3k (which looks like a comparative bargain against $8k)
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Old Jan 14, 2009, 2:15 PM   #9
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"its US Patent 6910814, and it says within:

"the term "4/3 type" refers to the size of the image pickup device, and a 4/3 type image pickup device has an image circle with the diameter of about 21.2 to 25 mm."

which allows for a sensor 20 x 15mm, a diagonal of 25mm, and an area of 300 sq mm, or about a 33% increase in area (focal magnification factor of 1.732x). This is just shy of Canons APSC at 328 sq mm 1.62x."

Now thats interesting as the current sensor in the E3 and I'm assuming all current 4/3 cameras seems to be 17.3 x 13.0 mm active area. That raises the question to whether the current 4/3 lens designs are designed for the current sensor size (17.3 x13.0) or for the max. 20 x15mm ? If the lenses are designed for the 20x15 then Oly have kind of hit a home run but I'm curious to why we have yet to see such a sensor ?

MP wise - 6MP would be fine but I keep on thinking of the Sigma Fevonon sensor and the position that Sigma have been in with having to deal with having a mere 4-5MP sensor in the camera even though the pictures clearly have much more detail than that and are closer to 10-14MP. I think an 8MP or max 10MP sensor @ 20 x 15 with the increase in DR, and less noise at higher ISO would suit many esp if the IQ is there.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jan 14, 2009, 2:49 PM   #10
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HarjTT wrote:
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Now thats interesting as the current sensor in the E3 and I'm assuming all current 4/3 cameras seems to be 17.3 x 13.0 mm active area. That raises the question to whether the current 4/3 lens designs are designed for the current sensor size (17.3 x13.0) or for the max. 20 x15mm ? If the lenses are designed for the 20x15 then Oly have kind of hit a home run but I'm curious to why we have yet to see such a sensor ?
hey Harj...

Back in the beginning we had Kodak sensors, and the spec says that KAF 5101 (E1) and KAF 8300 (E300) are dimensioned at 18x13.5, the readable part of the sensor is actually larger at 19.7 x 15.04mm. If you need a reminder, the diagonal of the Panasonic 4/3rds sensor is 21.6mm (its in the EXIF too), dimens 17.3 x 13mm

and ah yes the lenses, well as it happens.....
some character put a 4/3rds kit lens onto a Pentax APSC and posted the image. He had to prefocus, as there is no electrical connection, and it had to be wide open for the same reason, yes there was some vignetting, and of course it could only shoot the chart with non optimised focus (no infinity focus either) but it really wasnt as bad as all that. I have that image, but ought not post it, Im happy to email it.

The other thing of interest is this
As to vignetting edges etc, which should be more serious, all you have to do is stop down 1/3 stop and you are in the same place as with regular 4/3rds. Lose 1/3 stop in aperture, gain potentially 2 stops in ISO.

If that were not enough, what about sharpness etc, that must suffer right, wrong!
The MTF we measure lenses at is considerably improved, where FF use 10/30 MTF, and 4/3rds 20/60, FTx should use 15/45, the lenses are bound to be sharper.

the following image is of KAF-5101celongspec.pdf the spec sheet for E1 sensor

and the dimensions of KAF-5101 (E1) from the same document, the white area inside the sensor is the readable area. They dont use all of it as the outlying pixels are for other uses.

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