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Old Oct 22, 2003, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Bob - a suggestion for the Z10

Bob - on dpreview there is a link to a number of unofficial Z10 images. They are all of very good quality - BUT like Panasonic's own site they are all ISO 50, with just one ISO 100 image. The ISO 100 image is MUCH too noisy. Judging by the 100 image (a girl by a TV set) 100 is not really usable and 200 and 400 would be hopeless even with Neatimage.

If you have occasion to pass feedback on - I would love to have the Z10. But it must have a usable 400 - I don't mine having to use Neatimage on all 400 images but they must be usable. My Canon Pro 90 IS has a 400 speed with an f2.8 - 3.5 l0x zoom - and the 400 is quite usable with Neatimage. And this is an antique as digicams go.

I need the Z10 if (1) it can be completely silent and (2) if 400 is usable with Neatimage. Otherwise I will just use my 10D - the only problem with the 10D is size, obtrusiveness, and shutter/mirror noise. Pass it on if you can. If not, hey, no problem - I know your hands are tied as to what you can do.

No need for a reply and your helpfulness is much appreciated.
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Old Oct 22, 2003, 12:04 PM   #2
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Historically, ISO 400 is noisy. Technically it’s possible to quiet it down but doing so would add a lot of cost to the camera.

The “Digital Rebel” produces a very quiet image at ISO 400, but it uses a CMOS sensor, the price of the camera is in the $1000 range, and the images are very soft – in fact much softer than our FZ10 which is only 4 MP.

As for images at ISO 50, the industry in general takes performance measurements at ISO 50. That accounts for the abundance of those images. All I can say is that our new line of cameras now makes firmware updates a very easy process. If / when we release products and the feedback indicates a problem, it will be relatively easy to make some tweaks. I guess I’m saying that we have to begin the process somewhere.
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Old Oct 22, 2003, 8:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
The “Digital Rebel” produces a very quiet image at ISO 400, but it uses a CMOS sensor, the price of the camera is in the $1000 range, and the images are very soft – in fact much softer than our FZ10 which is only 4 MP.
The low amount of noise that the 300D exhibits at ISO400 has nothing to do with it having a CMOS sensor as other DSLRs that use CCD sensor perform similarly.
The real cause is the size of the 300D's sensor - 22.7mm x 15.1mm. The FZ10 (whose sensor size is, I believe, something like 5.52mm x 4.14mm) just cannot compete with that. No matter how you slice it, the FZ10 has almost 10 times the areal pixel density of the 300D and no amount of firmware tweaking can overcome that.
Mind you, there is probably a good reason why Panasonic coudn't put a bigger sensor in the FZ10 (if the lens size difference between the FZ1 and the FZ10 is any indication) so let's assume that it was an engineering tradeof to give us F2.8 12X zoom at a reasonable size and price.

On the other hand, the "softness" of the 300D is an artifact of the in-camera image processing. Other cameras with similarly sized sensor share the low noise characteristics but not neccessarily the image softness.

So, if you require less noise at ISO400, then the 300D or 10D with an IS lens (say, Canon's 75-300 or the better but larger and more expensive 100-400) and some post processing may be the solution for you. If you can afford it, that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
If / when we release products and the feedback indicates a problem, it will be relatively easy to make some tweaks. I guess I’m saying that we have to begin the process somewhere.
Unfortunately, I don't think that Panasonic will offer "customization kits" for the FZ10 even though it is something that would really differentiate them in the digicam market.
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Old Oct 23, 2003, 5:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
The ?Digital Rebel? produces a very quiet image at ISO 400, but it uses a CMOS sensor, the price of the camera is in the $1000 range, and the images are very soft ? in fact much softer than our FZ10 which is only 4 MP.
The low amount of noise that the 300D exhibits at ISO400 has nothing to do with it having a CMOS sensor as other DSLRs that use CCD sensor perform similarly.
The real cause is the size of the 300D's sensor - 22.7mm x 15.1mm. The FZ10 (whose sensor size is, I believe, something like 5.52mm x 4.14mm) just cannot compete with that. No matter how you slice it, the FZ10 has almost 10 times the areal pixel density of the 300D and no amount of firmware tweaking can overcome that.
Mind you, there is probably a good reason why Panasonic coudn't put a bigger sensor in the FZ10 (if the lens size difference between the FZ1 and the FZ10 is any indication) so let's assume that it was an engineering tradeof to give us F2.8 12X zoom at a reasonable size and price.

On the other hand, the "softness" of the 300D is an artifact of the in-camera image processing. Other cameras with similarly sized sensor share the low noise characteristics but not neccessarily the image softness.

So, if you require less noise at ISO400, then the 300D or 10D with an IS lens (say, Canon's 75-300 or the better but larger and more expensive 100-400) and some post processing may be the solution for you. If you can afford it, that is.
Exactly, you are right.
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Old Oct 23, 2003, 10:02 AM   #5
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I would really appreciate it if Bob could expand a little on the engineering tradeofs involved when designing a high-zoom digicam. Since the rest of us do not work in R&D departments of companies that produce digicams, the information that we have is incomplete at best (and possibly even incorrect).

I, for one, would be happy to get some engineering insight from someone in the industry (and in order to make sure there are no trade secrets mentioned, competitors' cameras could be used for examples).
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Old Oct 23, 2003, 10:47 AM   #6
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"Engineering Insight" is definitely not something I can discuss. Understand that my participation is aimed at explaining our products purely from an operational level. Should I start getting into theory of operation, I'd be "outta here" faster than the shutter lag on the best camera! There are issues we cannot discuss due to the company policy.
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Old Oct 23, 2003, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic
"Engineering Insight" is definitely not something I can discuss. Understand that my participation is aimed at explaining our products purely from an operational level. Should I start getting into theory of operation, I'd be "outta here" faster than the shutter lag on the best camera! There are issues we cannot discuss due to the company policy.
Even on a textbook level? Pity...

Sounds like forbidding a person who designs lenses to mention that n1 * sin (theta1) = n2 * sin (theta2) but if these are the constraints you operate under, I respect that.
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Old Oct 23, 2003, 3:05 PM   #8
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Default CCD vs. CMOS

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Originally Posted by alexo
The low amount of noise that the 300D exhibits at ISO400 has nothing to do with it having a CMOS sensor as other DSLRs that use CCD sensor perform similarly.
I take it back. Actually, CMOS sensors are more susceptible to noise than traditional CCDs, so the lower noise of the 300D is inspite of its CMOS sensor and not because of it (probably due to aggressive noise reduction, which may be the cause for the soft images).

Check the Luminance noise graph over at Phil's:



Here's a blurb from dcviews.com:

Most digicams use CCD sensors (Charge-Coupled devices) to record an image. Each CCD contains thousands of photosites which can be compared to tiny solar cells. They convert light into electrons. The electrical charge of each cell is then turned into a digital value by an analog-to-digital converter. Their special production process ensures high fidelity and light sensitivity to ensure that the charge is transported across the chip without distortion.

CMOS sensors (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) are easier and cheaper to produce because of a more conventional manufacturing process. They consume less power than CCDs. The reason that most cameras still mainly use CCDs is that, for the moment at least, they still have a number of advantages over CMOS.
CCDs have proven themselves to be reliable as they have been mass produced for a longer period of time. Also they tend to have higher quality pixels and are more sensitive to light than CMOS, making it possible to create high quality low-noise images as compared to CMOS which as yet are more susceptible to noise.
CMOS technology is improving all the time and before long their quality may well equal that of CCDs. Until then CCDs will continue to dominate the market.


And some more references:

* http://www.howstuffworks.com/question362.htm/printable
* http://vfm.dalsa.com/products/CCD_vs_CMOS.asp
* http://sensors-transducers.globalspe...Vision_Sensing
* http://www.extremetech.com/print_art...,a=2036,00.asp
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