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Old Oct 19, 2006, 3:33 PM   #1
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I am actually very interested in a camera that can take night cityscape shots, with very good per-pixel sharpness, crystal clear clarity, and with very low noise.

I want the night cityscape results to be very well defined, with distance lighted buildings well defined, clear, and per-pixel sharp.

I don't desire the images taken to be too soft, with artifacts, and rough looking (With signs of processing etc...). The images of the night cityscapes must be silky smooth, per-pixel sharp, and not processed looking.

I would be using the camera at the lowest ISO setting for the photographs, and I desire very good "high quality" JPEGs, and the R.A.W. format. (Speed is not an issue)

This is the assignment that I wouldgreatly liketo fulfilllater on, so I am preparing for it now. I would really want to capture very high quality night cityscape shots in the future with the criteria described above.

I don't want distortions, purple fringing (This will be the worse), and badly processes JPEGs (Terrible!)when I'm shooting in JPEG mode.

I am currently totally neutral and is opened to any suggestions! (Money is now not an issue) But try to suggest something realistic and practical.

EDIT: I will be using the camera on a tripod for all those long exposure night photographs.


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Old Oct 20, 2006, 10:26 AM   #2
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Second edit: (Sorry, I have a budget, and it is around U.S. $1000)


Just now I was researching for the camera that can produce the above criteria.

I have researched many cameras, and I have choose to research atdcresource's site due to the fact that they have shots of night city skylines there. (Taken with the various cameras)

I have ruled out many cameras due to some image quality factors of those models. (At least according to what I can seebased onthe photos) I shall list the models out belowand state why I have ruled them out (As far as I can remember): Keep in mind that all those comments refer to the night city skyline shot only. (The review only shot everything in JPEGs, so every judgment made will be to wards the JPEGs only)

I viewed all the night city skyline shots taken by (all the selected cameras) at the lowest ISO only;

The Kodak P880: The image quality isn't bad for a compact pro-sumer model, butthe imageis lookingrather processed and have some visible JPEG artifacts.

The Sony DSC-H5: The image quality was really not bad at all, especially for a small sensor format. However,the JPEG imageprocessing of the H5 looks rather consumer like to me. (At least from what I canmake out based onthe image)

The Pentax K100D (dSLR): The image isn't bad at all, but I also noticed some JPEG artifacts and some details are not well defined. (Such as the large lightedtext display)

The Sony Alpha (dSLR)-A100: The image was rather well defined and not bad, but there were very strong purple fringing! (That alone really put me off!)

The Fujifilm S9000 (9 mega pixel): The image quality is just not good, as far as I can tell. The image is very fuzzy looking; details are all fuzzy like. (Very very surprising fora camera with the SuperCCD V HR) [I really expected great results]

The Samsung GX-1S (dSLR): Somehow, I just don't like the image quality at all (Or how it look), although factually it might not be that bad.

The Olympus EVOLT E-500 (dSLR): I also don't like how the image look at all, with blown out highlights etc...

The remaining cameras that qualify are listed below. (Not in any form or orders as I would also desire your comments)

The Fujifilm F30: Very impressive for a small sensor ultra compact! The image is well defined, very detailed, and somehow have that per-pixel sharpness! (I say this because that camera comes with a 1/1.7" image sensor!)

The Sony DSC-R1 (Large APS-C CMOS): Hmmm, the image quality certainly isn't looking perfect, it must be due to the rather weak JPEG engine...However, I can still see the great lens quality from that image. Hardly any purple fringing (If any at all that I can see), and rather detailed looking throughout. (I bet the image will blow me away if it was captured in RAW!) [I can see that it would look so much better]

The Nikon D70s (dSLR): Very good per-pixel sharpness, very well defined, and clean looking! (Some hint of moire artifacts at the minute details, and slightly soft images though...)

The Nikon D50 (dSLR): Very impressive indeed! Really smooth looking image with superb per-pixel sharpness, & very clean! The image is as well defined as the Nikon D70s'. (The image looks quite soft though)

The Canon EOS 350D (dSLR): The image quality is seriously good. Very excellent per-pixel sharpness, very well defined, and very clean. Furthermore, the image was taken by the 18-55 kit lens!!! (This is one impressive dSLR...)

I also checked out the Canon Power Shot Pro1: It's image was really detailed and crisp looking. However, I noticed some artifacts.

Tell me what do you think of the real imageslocatedbelow>>> (I am sorry that I have to provide some examples JimC) :-)

[Links Removed] I decided to remove them because they were not working, and I also fear the moderators...:O

Sorry for the many clicking to be done. :-)

Tell me what you think.

Regards.

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Old Oct 20, 2006, 10:44 AM   #3
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Irrespective of which ever camera you decide to use, I would suggest getting a pano head and shoot multiple images to make a big pano.


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Old Oct 20, 2006, 10:50 AM   #4
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Quote:

Irrespective of which ever camera you decide to use, I would suggest getting a pano head and shoot multiple images to make a big pano.


Ehh, my next camera must not be too big...and un-affordable or unrealistic etc....

I currently still do notknow about the new Fujifilm S9100 (9 mega pixels), and the Fujifilm S6500D (6 mega pixels). (I am very curious to know how they would fare in here)
Variables makes me feel ichy...
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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The biggest variable that you didn't mention is What is the final output for the picture going to be?


If it's a mobile phone wall paper file, you can probably lower your sights.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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Your looking for a tripod.



The image quality differences are largely comparable to daytime shots, with certain caveats. Older DSLR's suffered from extra noise during long exposures, some compact cameras dont OFFER long exposures, etc. Model by model stuff. Generally speaking, all the current DSLR's can handle night shots perfectly well, and many compacts do just fine too.

Your model by model comparison seems somewhat complete, the only things to add are personal expiriences of direct comparisons, and lens considerations, both seem to be avoided by your questions.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 1:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Your looking for a tripod.

I have two of those! :-)

digraph, 100% view on my computer's screen. :-)I mean I am serious! I really want to have that kind of per-pixel quality viewing at 100%. :-)In addition, my dad's new plasma T.V. (mine you my dad's!) would be coming soon...just an idea.

tmoreau, unfortunately, there is no way I can compare with the lenses in the night city scene. But I have the idea thatif the Canon & Nikon models mentioned above, can already be so good with kit lens...why not? :idea:

But I am also getting interested in the fix lens models; those are getting better nowdays...expecially the ones with the SuperCCD.

EDIT: Yeah, I agree that 30 second or a slower shutter speed will be essential. (Bulb mode will be important also.)

Did I mentioned I checked out the panasonic DMC-FZ30? OMG, that "lowest ISO" quality imagewas just noisy for the start...
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 1:32 PM   #8
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How you going to displaythe whole image at 100% on whatever size screen you have?
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 1:48 PM   #9
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Quote:

How you going to displaythe whole image at 100% on whatever size screen you have?

I can crop. Isn't it?

BTW, and seriously; I would really (once again) like to have that per-pixel-sharp/detailed, quality from my next camera [viewing at 100%!] (Night cityscape shots)

However, I would like to achieve (as close to all that as possible), within the current budget Ihave.

Based on my past research, SuperCCD enabled cameras seriouslycannot be underestimated!! I have seen SuperCCD cameras competing with dSLR cameras before, and leaving the battlefield in triumph! (At least in it's own way)

I would like to quote from a certain computer game;

"Ton for ton, no weapon does more damage that the clan extended range particle projecting canon (Clan ER-PPC)"

The SuperCCD certainly sounds like it, where there are more heavier gauss rifles around with limited ammunitions! (Albeit with some exaggerations ) But the gauss rifles can certainly deal in more damage, and they generatemuch lower heat! :-)But they are very heavy, and requires more space.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 3:06 PM   #10
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Are you buying a camera for "general purpose use" that is acceptable for night photography, or buying one specifically and only for night photography? City skylines, or moonlit landscapes?

A good example of why you might be much more interested in other performance aspects:

Quote:
The other thing that I see is a bit of "coma". This is an optical defect caused by the lens. It appears as a slight blooming off one side of a point source of light. This would likely clear up if the lens were stopped down a bit. But this would require a longer exposure, which would lead to the stars streaking due to the earth's rotation. There's no free lunch.
You premise "Per pixel sharp night shot" just sounds crazy, maybe you should link to an example that is unsatisfactory and one that looks good so we can figure out what problem(s) you perceive in night shots.
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