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Old Dec 3, 2007, 12:50 PM   #1
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having read and considered all these "which superzoom shall i buy" posts it is becoming clear that their main problem is "too many pixels on too small sensors". Considering that this is not an issue with the digital SLRs, i assume that larger/better sensors are used on them. Are these just too big for the superzooms, or are they prohibitively expensive to put into that category of camera?? Are we likely to see better sensors in superzooms in the near future?? (I can afford to wait 6 months befor deciding on what to buy)
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 1:07 PM   #2
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Too many for what?

Any choice is going to be a compromise in one area or another.

In order to get the amount of resoltuoin you have available in a smaller camera with a lens that gives you a lot of focal range from wide to long, you have to keep the sensor size smaller. Otherwise, the camera would be too large to be practical. So, that kind of design is going to have some limitations (usable ISO speeds for a given print/viewing size, etc.).

As for improvements, we'll continue to see advances in technology as time passes, and chances are, you'll get more "bang for the buck", just like you do with any other type of consumer electronics.

But, if you wait for a newer model, you'll miss the opportunity to enjoy a camera. There will always be a newer model coming. Buy a camera and enjoy it. ;-)

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Old Dec 3, 2007, 1:43 PM   #3
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Is there any place which lists the sensor size of point and shoot cameras. Which ones have the largest sensors? It looks like sony had the largest one with their R1 but from what I see they no longer make it.

Does Fuji have the largest sensors in the point and shoot world?
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 2:12 PM   #4
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The Sony DSC-R1 is the *only* model so far that gives you a significantly larger sensor compared to other non-DSLR digital camera models.

But, keep in mind that it gave you a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-120mm, with available apertures ranging from f/2.8 on it's wide end (least apparent magnification), dropping down to a largest available aperture of f/4.8 on it's long end (most apparent magnification).

Yet, despite it's limited zoom range and brightness, it's still a larger and heavier camera compared to the "Ultra Zoom" camera models.

Any choice is a compromise.

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Old Dec 3, 2007, 2:15 PM   #5
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Big sensors need big lenses. So there soon comes a point where there's little point in not making those lenses interchangeable.

The only exception is where you go to the opposite extreme to the superzoom; which is to say a big sensor on a fixed focal length lens, but if you keep the lens relatively slow you can still make the camera quite small. There are a lot of people who are really looking forward to this little baby:

http://www.sigma-dp1.com/

That's not to say that there isn't perhaps room for some intermediate sized sensor - say a 3x crop that falls between the current P&S and the 4/3 system. Don't expect it to have a very wide zoom range though. Who knows what the market will bring?


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Old Dec 3, 2007, 3:30 PM   #6
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peripatetic wrote:
Quote:
The only exception is where you go to the opposite extreme to the superzoom; which is to say a big sensor on a fixed focal length lens, but if you keep the lens relatively slow you can still make the camera quite small. There are a lot of people who are really looking forward to this little baby:

http://www.sigma-dp1.com/
Interesting intellectual exercise.

Might be a nice panorama camera, if they can control vignetting.
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Old Dec 3, 2007, 10:28 PM   #7
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I wouldn't mind a 10X zoom limitation if I could get a larger sensor.

I have an FZ8 and it is cool and all but I would like a larger sensor. The more I read, the more I think the fuji 6000 fd might have suited me better. Perhaps my pixel peeping is getting the better of me but most times when I shoot I like to look at them on the computer.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 2:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
I wouldn't mind a 10X zoom limitation if I could get a larger sensor.
As the sensor gets bigger the "crop factor" gets smaller, and the actual focal length required gets bigger.

The zoom X factor is a pointless marketing number. A 16-35mm lens is a 2x zoom, but so is a 200-400mm lens. But of course you would use them for completely different things. One is a wide-angle zoom the other a telephoto.

If you wanted a 3x crop factor and still wanted a lens with the equivalent of 30-300mm zoom range in 35mm terms then the actual focal length of that lens is going to have to be 10-100mm. Now a 100mm focal length requires 100mm of actual space in the real world. And that has to go in front of the sensor.

If you want that lens to have a fast aperture then the front element has to get big, suddenly you are in a whole different league in terms of weight, which means the mechanicals have to be much tougher and more robust. This makes the camera much bigger and more expensive.

The Sony R1 only had a 5x zoom of approximately 24-120mm equivalent focal length it was a bigger and heavier camera than any of today's P&S superzooms. Like I said, there comes a point where you might as well just use a DSLR because the tiny number of people who would actually buy the camera makes no commercial sense.

After all with a DSLR you don't actually have to change lenses if you don't want to. Put a single decent superzoom on the front and leave it there. Go for something small and light like the Nikon D40 with 18-200mm VR, or Olympus E510 + 18-180mm.

The Sony R1 weighed 995g with battery which is about the same as the Oly E510 + 18-180mm lens (895g ex. battery). And in the same ballpark as the Nikon D40+18-200 (985g ex. battery).

So the answer to your original post is NO - you are never going to see big sensors in small superzoom cameras. If you want a bigger sensor then buy a DSLR, be careful though because if your hobby is pixel-peeping then the world of DSLRs will eat up all your spare time and cash because no pixel is ever good enough. Much more sensible to make your hobby about the pictures.

If you are going to primarily view your pictures on a monitor set a "print size" of 1024x768 and process to that size, don't worry about what the 100% view looks like, except in so far as it affects the image quality of your final "web print" or paper print. So when you are sharpening or adjusting for CA then look at the 100% or even bigger view, but the point is to make it look good in the print not at that hugely zoomed in resolution.


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