Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Sony

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 1, 2004, 5:00 PM   #1
Rbi
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Default Noise levels of Sony F828

I read some reviews about the Sony F828 camera. Because this camera is on my "shopping list" I was very interested to see the outcome of these reviews. What I could read is that noise levels are one of the weak points of this camera.

I downloaded some fotographs of the F828 and compared them to
photographs of my F505v, expecially blue skies. A quick look shows
the same noise in the blue on both camera's. Next I took some
fotographs made on a lower resolution of the 505v. There was no (less) visible noise anymore.

Is it right to consider that the noise of the F828 is less (not visible) on 3/5 MP shots?. I want to shoot most photographs at 3/5 MP and use the rest for digital zoom or for special occasions when I need to use the 8 MP really. Can someone give me an answer on this. I did not read anything about noise-levels at lower MP shots.

Thanks in advance and the best wishes for 2004.
Rbi is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 1, 2004, 6:48 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 49
Default Noise as expected, but is not the only issue

> ... noise levels are one of the weak points of this camera.

It would so appear. Also:
- chromatic abberration (purple fringing)
- inability to mount heavy wide/tele adaptors
- inability to adapt to large external optics generally
- no "fine mode" video to CF-II cards
- proprietary RAW format
- slow shot-to-shot time for RAW
- zoom is manual only (no remote)
- IR mode locked to full-aperture only

The noise is not surprising, given the sensor
geometry. The CA is not surprising, given the
zoom range. Some of the other deficiencies are
deliberate on Sony's part, and less excusable.

I'm still waiting for a serious technical review, such
as on dpreview, before deciding. The reviews
published to date add little to what was already
known from early buyer reports (and the fact that
the camera went to market without reviews
predisposes many people, including me, to presume
that Sony has something to hide).

Sony has yet to even mention this camera in a
press release.
Boundless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2004, 8:11 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

Noise is not all that different than other digicams in the 5MP range. At least below ISO200. Above 200 it does seem to get bad, and I am sure many would not like the noise level at 200. But at 100 and 64, it seems to be quite well controlled on well lit subjects.

You also added:

It would so appear. Also:
- chromatic abberration (purple fringing)
This appears on ALL digital cameras, including the much larger sensor dSLR's. Yes, it might seem high on SOME subjects, but is controllable if you know what you are doing. This will depend very much on your subject matter.

- inability to mount heavy wide/tele adaptors
I don't think there is a wide angle addon that will work with this lens, unless Sony puts one out, but I see no reason why most tele addons would not work, but probably not a full wide setting.

- inability to adapt to large external optics generally
Again, I don't see why this could not be done with the right adapters.

- no "fine mode" video to CF-II cards
Sorry, but I think video on a camera like this comes under the heading of 'who cares'. If you want to take video, get a real video camera. Even the cheapest DV camcorder will take much better video than the 828.

- proprietary RAW format
ALL RAW formats are propriety. Caon, Nikon, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta and now Sony - all different and incompatable with each other. I think what you ment to say was encrypted RAW format. On this I agree with you.

- slow shot-to-shot time for RAW
Yes. I wish Sony had used a larger buffer memory AND allowed the simultaneous taking of photos while the camera wrote to the memory card.

- zoom is manual only (no remote)
This is not a negative, but a VERY BIG plus. Electric zooms are very imprecise and s u c k battery power.
(believe it or not, the post was censored - guess which word!!!)

- IR mode locked to full-aperture only
Since most people will not use IR this is not an issue except only for those few.

In other words, the camera is not perfect, but it is also not the lemon it's critics would like to make it seem. Some of the items that people don't like may be corrected in a firmware update at a later date. At least we can hope so.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2004, 9:54 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 49
Default Zooming in on the issues

> Noise is not all that different than other
> digicams in the 5MP range.

Except that this is an "8Mp" cam.

Actually, all I need is 6Mp, and I may yet buy
an F828, but only after I see controlled,
detailed technical tests that allow me to
assess the noise, and assess to what
extent I can control it.

>> CA:
> This appears on ALL digital cameras, including the
> much larger sensor dSLR's.

Yup, and it may also be acceptable, once I have
a test in hand that shows when the CA is a
problem, and to what extent.

>> - inability to mount heavy wide/tele adaptors

> I don't think there is a wide angle addon that
> will work with this lens, unless Sony puts one
> out, but I see no reason why most tele addons
> would not work, but probably not a full wide setting.

Two problems:

1. The front element of the F828 moves.
It apparently cannot support the weight of
multi-element adaptor lenses. Sony only lists
one filter-size close-up adaptor lens for this
camera.

2. Such lenses will mount, if carefully used, but
early reports show severe vignetting. Evidently
the Zeiss lens is optically quite different from
other Sony 58mm lenses.

>> - inability to adapt to large external optics generally

> Again, I don't see why this could not be done
> with the right adapters.

The front element movement means the camera
also cannot support its own weight when
adapted to a microscope, telescope, spotting
scope or other large external optical system.

This isn't a problem if it isn't a problem :-)
but I used to use a spotting scope with my SLR.

This is a big problem for F707 and F717 users
who are already buying F828 and assuming
that they can use existing accessories and
58mm adaptations. They can't, and Sony is not
being candid about this.

>> - no "fine mode" video to CF-II cards
> Sorry, but I think video on a camera like this
> comes under the heading of 'who cares'.

I care. It is one reason why I might pick a digicam
over a dSLR. And because CF-II actually outperforms
MicroDrive, and CF-II won't support "fine", but MD
and MemStick will, tells me that Sony either made
a major engr goof, or more likely, made a marketing
decision to force buyers to MemoryStick. That Sticks
in my craw.

>> - zoom is manual only (no remote)
> This is not a negative, but a VERY BIG plus.

Not for anyone considering using any of the
supported remotes, which lose a full third of
their functionality with the F828. As it happens,
I prefer the manual zoom, but Sony (and their
no-bad-news reviewers) don't make this issue
obvious to those who might care.

>> - IR mode locked to full-aperture only
> Since most people will not use IR this is not
> an issue except only for those few.

It was a political decision by Sony. It confirms that
they let politics overrule engineering. It's probably
not the only aspect of the camera so affected.

> In other words, the camera is not perfect, but
> it is also not the lemon ...

I never said it was a lemon, but Sony has certainly
acted as if it is. This major motion picture went
direct to video, and bypassed Ebert.

> Some of the items that people don't like may
> be corrected in a firmware update at a later date.

Has any Sony camera ever had a field-installable
firmware upgrade?

I'm assuming that however the cam behaves today,
if I buy one, I'm stuck with it. So I await the dpreview
before deciding. I want to know what all the warts are.
Boundless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2004, 8:30 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

Well, apparantly the list of problems you listed IS a problem for you. Okay, then the 828 may not be the camera for you.

I compared the noise of the 828 with other 5MP sensors because it is about the same size as the CCD's that are in those cameras. You cannot compare the noise of the CCD to the larger CCD's in the dSLR's, they are simply in a completely different class. Size does count.

Considering Sony crammed an additional 3MP into the same footprint as the 5MP CCD's, then the noise level is quite good.

As for mounting the camera on bigger optics, I think a bracket could be constructed for the camera/optic pair that would support the camera/optic properly. I assume you were thinking of allowing the camera (lens) to support itself, without a bracket. I assume that this is what Sony does not want people to do.

And yes, there is a vignetting problem, especially at the wide end, with this camera and with the A1/D7. Just a fact of life and the design of the optic.

Unfortunately, no camera is the holy grail, and that includes the 828. Personally, from reading the posts on the 828, especially on dpreview, I think too many people had expectations that were just way too high.

Anyway, I hope you find a camera that suits your needs.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2004, 4:34 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingthailand
I think too many people had expectations that were just way too high.
I agree. My Dad is a self employed professional of over 30 years and he was able to borrow this camera the other day. We were both very disappointed with the noise levels that this camera output. It was just horrible and completely unacceptable. I think it was a stupid stupid move on Sony's part to try and squeeze 8mp out of such a small CCD. I think they knew that marketing it as a 8mp camera would yield interest and sales. Well, they are right but in the end they are going to have a lot of returns and disappointed consumers.
SBrooks1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2004, 7:22 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 49
Default Reality and expectations collide! Few survivors.

> Okay, then the 828 may not be the camera for you.

It may yet be. I await a detailed, objective, technical
review of the sort that dpreview does.

> I compared the noise of the 828 with other
> 5MP sensors because it is about the same size
> as the CCD's that are in those cameras.

Had Sony anti-aliased the 8MP down to 5, and sold this
as an "8Mp, 5Mp effective" camera, Id have been really
impressed. Not likely.

> You cannot compare the noise of the CCD to
> the larger CCD's in the dSLR's, ...

Agreed, but if the cam can deliver decent 6Mp
class results with it's 8Mp sensor, it may meet
my needs.

> Size does count.

Yup, and the anecdotal user reports and "pretty picture"
review results so far are consistent with the cautions
that people posted when we first learned of the actual
sensor geometry. Frankly, I don't think Sony has much
wiggle room to improve the output of this camera.

> Considering Sony crammed an additional 3MP
> into the same footprint as the 5MP CCD's,
> then the noise level is quite good.

Agreed, but unfortunately, many many buyers, myself
included, will compare this camera to low-end dSLRs.
If I pass up the F828, I'm likely to get an EOS-300D,
even though it will ultimately cost a bit more once
provisioned with comparable focal length capability.

> As for mounting the camera on bigger optics,
> I think a bracket could be constructed ...

I fully expect all sorts of after-market hacks to appear,
unless Sony quickly replaces the DSC-F828 with a
"DSC-F929" that fixes some of the issues.

> I assume you were thinking of allowing the
> camera (lens) to support itself, without a
> bracket. I assume that this is what Sony
> does not want people to do.

It would be nice if Sony would actually speak out on
any of the questions/issues. In any case, what you
describe is exactly what is done with the F717 (which
sets expectations in this regard).

> Unfortunately, no camera is the holy grail,
> and that includes the 828.

By code-naming this the "Dark Angel", Sony set
expectations that it was a killer kam.

> I think too many people had expectations
> that were just way too high.

Indeed. But who set those expectations, and then
clammed up when unhappy news began to leak out.

> I hope you find a camera that suits your needs.

I'm sure I'll be happy with an EOS-300D, if the
F828 turns out to be Hubble Space Telescope V1.0.

Whatever we get will, of course, be hopelessly
obsolete in 2 years anyway :-)
Boundless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2004, 8:15 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 78
Default

I've had my Sony DSC F828 for a week now and even though I have'nt been able to use it as much as I would have liked but
I for one have been pretty impressed with it. I'm reading all the negative comments above and am wondering what the problem is. Movies? who cares about movies I bought a still camera not a camcorder. If a person buys a camcorder that also takes photographs, from what I've seen the stills are pretty crappy. If movies are that important to you buy a camcorder. :roll:

I photographed a snow scene with a blue sky using the f828's highest settings and then printed out an 8X10 print using a Canon i850 printer
using Epson Premium Glossy Photo paper and I could detect virtually no noise while viewing at only a few inches!!! I'm looking forward to printing some large 13" X 19" prints on my new Canon i 9000 printer ($229.99 :lol: ).
Everything is relative, compared to the Minolta DiMage 5 that I gave away
this Sony takes much better photographs.(at least they've all been in focus).
Is it perect, far from it but I haven't read about one digital camera that is, yet I still see some astounding photographs posted around the web and at camera club competitions. (including the Minolta DiMage 5)
so maybe these digital cameras with all these shortcommings really might not be that bad after all.
It's obvious to me that there are a lot of photographers out there that are dissappointed with the limitations of their current digital camera and were hoping that this new Sony was the Holy Grail of the fixed lens digital cameras. Thats never going to happen with any brand. It's up to us as photographers to work around these limitations and still get those great photographs just as we always have.
Harleyguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2004, 10:25 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

The 828 does have some shortcoming that I wish it hadn't. Mainly RAW, for me. But the rest, especially all the CA/noise comments are controlable, for the most part.

I am looking strongly at the 828 to replace my D7. It (the D7) couldn't AF on a barn door with a black and white grid painted on it, no matter what. Just hopless AF.

The 828 seems to have very good AF performance. The other BIG selling point to me is the lens. 28-200 zoom range, manual zoom and it's a Zeiss T* lens.

Although, I do wish I could add a wide angle addon lens to extend the 28mm down to somewhere between 20 - 24mm.

So I figure maybe end of January or early February. I will read dpreview's review of the camera when they post it, but I seriously doubt that I will find out anything new.

By the by, this is a supplementary camera for me, not my one and only. My main is a Fuji S2.

For Boundless: You say you might consider the 300D instead. If I might suggest taking a step up from the 300D to the 10D, or D100, or even the S2. Why? Because I have read that many people think the 300D is crippled compared to the others. Just a thought.

Whatever you decide to buy, I wish you happy image taking.

Declan
amazingthailand 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 10:50 AM.