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Old Feb 4, 2005, 7:35 PM   #21
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BruceMcL wrote:
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I know I've wandered a bit from the prosumer vs. dSLR subject matter, but hopefully some of my comments will apply.
So do you think print size (i.e. having high enough megapixels to print 300dpi large prints) will be more important in the future or having less noise/bigger dynamic range/etc is more important in the future?
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 1:17 AM   #22
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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BruceMcL wrote:
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I know I've wandered a bit from the prosumer vs. dSLR subject matter, but hopefully some of my comments will apply.
So do you think print size (i.e. having high enough megapixels to print 300dpi large prints) will be more important in the future or having less noise/bigger dynamic range/etc is more important in the future?
Right now I think the manufacturers are over emphasizing the number of pixels and hiding any mention of pixel quality. It would be great if there were numbers for pixel noise or distortion like there are with audio equipment.

My limited experience tells me that megapixels are not as important as good image quality via quality sensors and optics combined with good printing technique.

Even with cell phone cameras I'd rather have a VGA camera with a decent glass lens and 3 zone focus than a 1 megapixel camera with a fixed focus and a cheap plastic lens. But Nokia and other manufacturers would rather sell lousy 1 megapixel phones than good VGA phones. I know I'm wandering again but at least it's into territory that's already in this thread.
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 10:01 PM   #23
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Alright so which has a better chip sensor, the Fuji Finepix 550 or the Minolta DiMage 600?


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Old Feb 12, 2005, 3:46 AM   #24
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I think the larger the CCD the better, they should make the ccd the same size as the 35mm film.

But people want smaller cameras, so only the pros would buy them.

What is the max size of print from a 35mm film?
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 8:00 AM   #25
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pagerboy wrote:
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I think the larger the CCD the better, they should make the ccd the same size as the 35mm film.

But people want smaller cameras, so only the pros would buy them.

What is the max size of print from a 35mm film?
There are digital cameras out there with 35mm sized sensors. Another benefit of doing that on a DSLR is that you can use lenses made for 35mm analog cameras without a conversion factor.

max print size is not easy to answer. If you only want to look from across the room you can do large murals from 35mm slides or negatives. A good 5000 dpi scan of a 35mm negative will have something like 37 megapixels of information but some of that information will be film grain. If you scan at 2500 dpi then you are not getting much or any grain but you are down to under 10 megapixels of info.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 10:16 AM   #26
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pagerboy wrote:
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I think the larger the CCD the better, they should make the ccd the same size as the 35mm film.

But people want smaller cameras, so only the pros would buy them.
It's not really the size; rather, it's cost. You can easily fit a large sensor in a compact or maybe even in an ultra-compact. Something like a compactflash card takes up alsmot as much room as the sensor. So size isn't the problem... it all comes down to cost. Producing large sensors is more costly and the consumer/prosumer market is price sensitive. Even US$100 means a lot, whereas the DSLR purchasers don't care about $100.

The high-end DSLRs already have sensors of similar size as film cameras. The low-end and mid-end DSLRs have sensors almost the same size.

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What is the max size of print from a 35mm film?
Print size is depenent on resolution. It is better to compare the max resolution of film vs max res of digital camera (actually, you should compare quality, of which resolution is one component).

According to this excellent analysis by Norman Koren, high-end DSLRs like Canon 1Ds-MK II have superior resolution than film. Even mid-end DSLRs like Nikon D70 or Canon 20D have around 80% of the resoultion as film. According to that site, the best film in the world has around 21 megapixels, while the Canon 1Ds MKII has around 15.8 megapixels. However, DSLRs win on quality in several other criteria, such as having extremely low noise.

Because of very low noise, compared to grain in film, many consider even mid-end DSLR pics (eg. Nikon D70) to be superior to film.

So if you are looking at resolution and things like noise/grain, high-end DSLRs are already there and the mid-end ones are almost there. So I would say that DSLRs are superior to film SLRs right now (this is evident by looking at what cameras professionals use--most use DSLRs now).

But, DSLRs supposedly have inferior dynamic range so film cameras are still better at some things.

Having said all that, consumers and prosumers are a different market (no one wants to spend even $100 more) and they will still be driven by megapixels/print size, rather than "quality of pics". At least that's my view. Most people in these markets are perfectly satisfied by the "quality" of the picture and things like dynamic range really won't be desired by them. My expectation is based on printing costs dropping a lot, which they HAVE in the last 10 years (cost of printing pics has consistently dropped for digital film than was the case with film 10 years ago). If printing costs drop, then resolution will be more important: everyone would want to print 8"x10" instead of 4"x6", with the occasional 11x14 or whatever. However, I expect companies to start decreasing noise somehow. This is why I predict that consumers and prosumers will have larger sensors in the future (not as large as DSLRs but larger than now).
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 4:52 PM   #27
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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However, I expect companies to start decreasing noise somehow. This is why I predict that consumers and prosumers will have larger sensors in the future (not as large as DSLRs but larger than now).
So do you think by 2006 or 2007 we could see...
a credit card sized camera with a 2/3" 4 megapixel sensor
an A95 sized camera with a 1" 7 megapixel sensor
a FZ20 sized camera with a 4/3" 12 megapixel sensor

Also, I'd like to see larger maximum apertures especially with small sensors.

What are the physical limitations preventing someone from making a camera with specs similar to the following:
size: 150mm*64mm*48mm
sensor size: 1" (12.8x9.6mm)
sensor resolution: 5 megapixels (2560x1920)
(this would result in 200 pixels per millimeter on the sensor, which I would think could produce fairly clean images at ISO 800 (I've seen sample images from a camera with a 4mp 1/1.8" sensor and it was super clean at ISO 400)
zoom range (35mm equivalent): 36mm-144mm
aperture range wide open: F/1.0 (or 1.4) to F/2.0

????
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 6:57 PM   #28
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This is all speculation on my part but...

pianoplayer88key wrote:
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
So do you think by 2006 or 2007 we could see...
a credit card sized camera with a 2/3" 4 megapixel sensor
an A95 sized camera with a 1" 7 megapixel sensor
a FZ20 sized camera with a 4/3" 12 megapixel sensor
yeah... I think we'll see something like that. Already the high-end prosumers (eg. Canon Powershot Pro1, Olympus 8080, Sony F828, etc) are 7 megapixel 2/3" sensor. In 2 years, hopefully you can get a compact or mid-end low-zoom prosumer with 2/3" sensor (ultra-zooms will still have smaller sensors though ). By then, the high-end prosumers will likely use something bigger than 2/3", which is what they have now.

I think the megapixels will be higher than what you are describing so the noise will be higher than what you want; however, they should have much better low-light/high shutter speed performance than now (right now, it is very difficult to take anything in low-light without flash/tripod or ending up with a ton of noise).

Quote:
Also, I'd like to see larger maximum apertures especially with small sensors.
This will be tough I think... I'm not really knowledgeable about aperatures and lens/glass technology. My impression is that dropping the aperature ratio is tough (since it's a ratio, a decrease by one stop is pretty big). Most DSLR users, who generally pay hundreads/thousands for their lenses, still can't afford the F2.0 (or better) lenses so I doubt you are going to see fixed-lens consumer/prosumer cameras, which cost far less, have such good lenses any time soon. (Dropping the aperature might also be technically difficult so that may hold things back; in contrast, increasing sensor size and packing more megapixels is technologically easier IMO).

Quote:
What are the physical limitations preventing someone from making a camera with specs similar to the following:
size: 150mm*64mm*48mm
sensor size: 1" (12.8x9.6mm)
sensor resolution: 5 megapixels (2560x1920)
(this would result in 200 pixels per millimeter on the sensor, which I would think could produce fairly clean images at ISO 800 (I've seen sample images from a camera with a 4mp 1/1.8" sensor and it was super clean at ISO 400)
zoom range (35mm equivalent): 36mm-144mm
aperture range wide open: F/1.0 (or 1.4) to F/2.0
The cost is always the problem.... I think your aperature requirement is tough but other than that, we'll likely have a camera with your specs in 2 years (or less)... it all depends on how technology improves over the years. Camera companies will have to introduce some major advantages pretty soon or else camera phones are going to kill them off (at least the low-end to mid-end prosumer market). One way digicams can beat camera phones is by having much better noise performance by having larger sensors (mobiles phones can't incrase their size). So I see an increase in sensor size as something that will likely happen whether the camera companies wnat to or not...
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 7:50 PM   #29
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So... when will we see an ultrazoom that...

has clean images at ISO 1600 (and not by heavy-handed noise reduction)
fits in a jeans pocket when it's turned off
lets in enough light at moderate wideangle (under 144mm) to take sports photos under moonlight with little noise and not too shallow depth of field
opens up to a very wide angle and in moderately good light (indoors in the daytime with the lights on) can get good large group photos
at wideangle or telephoto (or anywhere in between) can fill the frame with an ant's head
at telephoto can fill the frame with (or even if you have to do cropping you can still get a photo lab quality 8x10 of) Saturn, while not stopping down farther than F/2.8 or being too noisy at ISO 800
has noise controlled well enough so that you can stop down to F64 and crank up the ISO high enough to get a fairly clean 8x10 print indoors under candlelight at 1/250"

Or, being realistic, what can I expect? I would at least like a very high figure of merit, impressive macro capability, excellent fast shutter no flash moonlight shots, a nightshot mode that works in the daytime with full manual control of iso, aperture, shutter speed AND focus, etc.
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Old Feb 14, 2005, 12:04 PM   #30
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pianoplayer88key, you must understand that there is a relationship between the physical size of the sensor, thefocal length of the lens and the physical size of the camera and lens. Hence you will never see a 1" sensor in a camera with the physical dimensions and focal length you're seeking. Something simply has to give. Similarly, you'll never see ISO 1600 on a prosumer ultra-zoom. Prosumer size w/ focal length in the 320-420 range = small sensor = high noise = absurdly high noise at ISO 1600. You'd require a sensor of the same size found in dSLR's, which would translate into a correspondingly larger body and lens, and cost on a par w/ dSLR's. Speculate all you'd like, but absent discovery of some alternative to bulk silicon, you're asking for the impossible.




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