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Can standardization ever be achieved with digital photography?

 
 
EMAIL.VERIZON
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      01-23-2004
In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film mattered
as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a $10
camera or a $2000 camera. You could be sure that when you put a 24mm NIKON
lens on ANY Nikon camera, the resolution would be relatively equal across
all models. The only differences would be in exposure and feature sets.

Although the quality of a lens is important in digital photography, the
overriding factor as regards resolution is the quality of the CCD. The CCD
replaces (no pun intended) the roll (roll as in what it does not what it is)
of film in a camera, but unlike film, every CCD is different, even within
one camera line, example; Nikon may use a Kodak CCD in one camera and a Sony
CCD in another, and God knows what in another, there is no standard way to
determine resolution from one manufacturer to another, and even worse from
one camera to another even within one manufacture. I would even hazard a
guess that CCD's may even be different within a model, Sony could not
provide any more of X for the Nikon 2500 so lets buy X from Samsung to
continue the 2500 line for several more months. (I am only using Nikon as an
example, they may or may not do this, but it doesn't change the fact that
CCD's are different across all models and all manufactures).

Where does that leave the consumer, prosumer and professional? Absolutely
nowhere!! Until there is an agreed upon standardization in both size (every
size of CCD, except full frame 35mm, is a joke). After 100 years of 35mm
photography, we all know what a picture taken with a 24mm lens is supposed
to look like and cost and its not supposed to come from a 16mm lens costing
3 Times a 24mm. Manufactures should pool their R&D and agree to one color
space and one type of sensor, so comparisons amongst cameras are on an even
basis.

Will any of this happen ... of course not!!! Unlike the old days when
competition amongst camera manufactures was determined by quality,
competition is now determined by merchandizing and greed. Is everyone out
there really so stupid to think that when Canon puts a Rebel SLR body
w/28-80 ZOOM for $199 RETAIL, on sale, without the moving parts, pastes a
CCD in the middle and calls it a Digital SLR and charges $999, that the
camera in question really is worth that amount? Get real.



PS: Please, no responses on how Canon needs to get back its R&D costs, that
one is already taken by the Drug Companies. (The same Drug Companies that
post an average 40% profit margin, the highest in ANY industry).


 
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Tom Thackrey
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      01-23-2004

On 22-Jan-2004, "EMAIL.VERIZON" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
> factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film
> mattered
> as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a $10
> camera or a $2000 camera. You could be sure that when you put a 24mm NIKON
> lens on ANY Nikon camera, the resolution would be relatively equal across
> all models. The only differences would be in exposure and feature sets.

(big snip)

Standardization evolved in film cameras just like it will in digital-- where
it matters.

In the case of film, the film itself was the standardizing factor (try
mounting a Canon lens on your Nikon body). Despite the apparent acceptance
of 35mm as a standard, there were many semi- and incompatible film formats
introduced, several are still with us. Remember half frame 35mm? MF & LF
shooters manage to cope with a variety of aspect ratios. An 80mm lens is
quite different at 6x45 than at 6x9. That doesn't seem to bother anyone.

I don't see the need for standards as to sensor size or even aspect ratio.
If anything we need some standard terminology.

Your statement about resolution is actually wrong, too. Film has resolution
limits, not just lenses.


--
Tom Thackrey
www.creative-light.com
tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
do NOT send email to http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (it's reserved for spammers)
 
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John Horner
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      01-23-2004
> Will any of this happen ... of course not!!! Unlike the old days when
> competition amongst camera manufactures was determined by quality,
> competition is now determined by merchandizing and greed.


Uh, I think you are missing the picture and reality.

Many, many different film sizes have been used and are still being used.
35mm became a defacto standard because it balanced many needs for a huge
number of users, but it competed head to head with roll films in the early
days, 126 carts (for snapshots) throughout the 60s and 70s and somewhat with
APS in these final hours.

Camera makers have done all sorts of things which in retrospect seem foolish
and hardly based upon competing on quality.

The only reason a widely accepted set of film size standards was relatively
important was that processing labs could only be set up to handle a very
limited number of formats at low cost. Digital imaging has solved that
problem largely because the labs are easily able to handle a huge variety of
digital file formats, sizes, etc. without an impact on the lab's hardware
investments. To oversimplify "it's only software" now to handle a
bewildering number of different available input file formats.

Camera sensor sizes are highly unlikely to standardize for the various
marketplaces. The optimum size sensor to meet the needs of the cell phone
with camera user is different from the shirt pocket camera which is
different from the low light prosumer shooter and different yet from the
professional travel photographer. There are legitimate engineering,
manufacturing, cost and yes marketing reasons why the manufacturers use lots
of different sensors sizes in different applications.

Some of the present churn seems pretty dumb, such as Canon fielding an
untold number of different sensor sizes on their DSLR cameras. At some
point very soon I expect that we will see camera makers continue towards
decoupling their digital offerings from the legacy 35mm cameras which went
before.

All that said, there are some efforts out there to try and establish a new
standard. The Kodak/Fuji/Olympus "4/3" sensor size idea is one such effort.
I think that they are having some trouble so far getting other equipment
makers to sign on. Where, for example, are Kodak or Fuji's DSLR entries in
that market?

Of course you can choose to opt out of the whole nonsense for now, but do
not expect to see a standard digital imaging sensor size or design any time
soon. This is not due to the imagined evils of marketing people (though
as an electrical engineer I'm sometimes sympathetic to that feeling ) ...
it is a result of the many complex realities of the industry.


John


 
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Ron Hunter
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      01-23-2004
EMAIL.VERIZON wrote:

> In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
> factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film mattered
> as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a $10
> camera or a $2000 camera. You could be sure that when you put a 24mm NIKON
> lens on ANY Nikon camera, the resolution would be relatively equal across
> all models. The only differences would be in exposure and feature sets.
>
> Although the quality of a lens is important in digital photography, the
> overriding factor as regards resolution is the quality of the CCD. The CCD
> replaces (no pun intended) the roll (roll as in what it does not what it is)
> of film in a camera, but unlike film, every CCD is different, even within
> one camera line, example; Nikon may use a Kodak CCD in one camera and a Sony
> CCD in another, and God knows what in another, there is no standard way to
> determine resolution from one manufacturer to another, and even worse from
> one camera to another even within one manufacture. I would even hazard a
> guess that CCD's may even be different within a model, Sony could not
> provide any more of X for the Nikon 2500 so lets buy X from Samsung to
> continue the 2500 line for several more months. (I am only using Nikon as an
> example, they may or may not do this, but it doesn't change the fact that
> CCD's are different across all models and all manufactures).
>
> Where does that leave the consumer, prosumer and professional? Absolutely
> nowhere!! Until there is an agreed upon standardization in both size (every
> size of CCD, except full frame 35mm, is a joke). After 100 years of 35mm
> photography, we all know what a picture taken with a 24mm lens is supposed
> to look like and cost and its not supposed to come from a 16mm lens costing
> 3 Times a 24mm. Manufactures should pool their R&D and agree to one color
> space and one type of sensor, so comparisons amongst cameras are on an even
> basis.
>
> Will any of this happen ... of course not!!! Unlike the old days when
> competition amongst camera manufactures was determined by quality,
> competition is now determined by merchandizing and greed. Is everyone out
> there really so stupid to think that when Canon puts a Rebel SLR body
> w/28-80 ZOOM for $199 RETAIL, on sale, without the moving parts, pastes a
> CCD in the middle and calls it a Digital SLR and charges $999, that the
> camera in question really is worth that amount? Get real.
>
>
>
> PS: Please, no responses on how Canon needs to get back its R&D costs, that
> one is already taken by the Drug Companies. (The same Drug Companies that
> post an average 40% profit margin, the highest in ANY industry).
>
>


It is likely that when the digital camera industry matures some
consistency across models, or even manufacturers will come to pass.
Customers looking for reliable quality will encourage this, but I don't
expect to see it for decades.
Maybe when digital is as old as film...
 
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Dave Martindale
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-23-2004
"EMAIL.VERIZON" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>Is everyone out
>there really so stupid to think that when Canon puts a Rebel SLR body
>w/28-80 ZOOM for $199 RETAIL, on sale, without the moving parts, pastes a
>CCD in the middle and calls it a Digital SLR and charges $999, that the
>camera in question really is worth that amount? Get real.


Most of us "out here" have some idea what's in a digital SLR. It has
nearly all the same mechanical parts as a film camera except the film
winding mechanism. The reflex mirror, optical viewfinder, shutter,
metering and autofocus systems are all there, plus additional
electronics for capturing and storing and viewing images. Perhaps you
should actually learn something about one.

Dave
 
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Marvin Margoshes
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-23-2004

"EMAIL.VERIZON" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:FZ%Pb.7515$(E-Mail Removed)...
> In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
> factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film

mattered
> as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a $10
> camera or a $2000 camera.


Really? The grain of the film obviously has much to do with resolution, if
the lens is good. I suggest you reconsider your argument.

With digital cameras, and with powerful image editing software on my
desktop, I have much more control now than I did with film over resolution,
color fidelity, contrast, and so on. Photogrsahy was more standardized with
film because I couldn't afford the space and equipment for a darkroom, or
the time to process photos in a darkroom. I had to rely on others, who did
standard work - usually mechanized - unless I paid a lot for custom
developing and printing. I am much more creative now.


 
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cwvalle
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      01-23-2004

"Marvin Margoshes" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "EMAIL.VERIZON" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:FZ%Pb.7515$(E-Mail Removed)...
> > In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
> > factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film

> mattered
> > as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a

$10
> > camera or a $2000 camera.

>
> Really? The grain of the film obviously has much to do with resolution,

if
> the lens is good. I suggest you reconsider your argument.
>
> With digital cameras, and with powerful image editing software on my
> desktop, I have much more control now than I did with film over

resolution,
> color fidelity, contrast, and so on. Photogrsahy was more standardized

with
> film because I couldn't afford the space and equipment for a darkroom, or
> the time to process photos in a darkroom. I had to rely on others, who

did
> standard work - usually mechanized - unless I paid a lot for custom
> developing and printing. I am much more creative now.
>
>


There are many creative control elements that are used with film in the
darkroom. I have 30 years of experience with it up to and including printing
color. It is very difficult, demanding, and expensive. I agree that unless
you had a darkroom, much of the control of photography was lost to you. But
that does not quite tell the whole story. In digital, the biggest printer I
have is 13x19 and it can only use one kind of ink, and only makes one kind
of print. In the darkroom, I could use internegatives up to (in my case)
8x10 and could make prints up to 48 inches wide. I could make cibachromes so
deep you could walk around in them, I could make 8x10 slides that project on
the sides of buildings.

Yet, I am now considering shooting only digital. I think things that I want
will eventually be within my means. It is sort of like film was when I began
shooting. Nobody liked 35mm canmeras, now they are the holy grail to which
digital is constantly compared. I think digital systems will get better. I
think we will get rid of the 35mm dinosaur SLR digital cameras. I am hoping
for a system from nikon (or somebody) that would have smaller
interchangeable lenses, and a full set of accessories for serious work. I
recall the pentax 110 SLR and the Minolta SLR 110 which seems to make sense
to me as a design to build the next digital cameras on.

If you look at the history of photography, every change in format has
eventually led to a lighter, smaller, easier to use system. I think that
once the sensor things get straightened out, to where we can get 20 or
perhaps 100 mp out of a half inch sensor or so we could start to see some
innovative design ideas. Adapting medium format, Large format, and yes even
35mm format cameras to digital photography is really probably just a design
expediency and an attempt to extend the life span of these relics.

I say good riddance to film, darkrooms, and flm cameras. Bring on the new
ideas.

Carl


 
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Lionel
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      01-24-2004
Kibo informs me that "EMAIL.VERIZON" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated
that:

>I would even hazard a
>guess that CCD's may even be different within a model, Sony could not
>provide any more of X for the Nikon 2500 so lets buy X from Samsung to
>continue the 2500 line for several more months.


Uh, this does not happen. I really have no idea how you might've come up
with this strange notion.

>Where does that leave the consumer, prosumer and professional? Absolutely
>nowhere!! Until there is an agreed upon standardization in both size (every
>size of CCD, except full frame 35mm, is a joke). After 100 years of 35mm
>photography, we all know what a picture taken with a 24mm lens is supposed
>to look like and cost and its not supposed to come from a 16mm lens costing
>3 Times a 24mm. Manufactures should pool their R&D and agree to one color
>space and one type of sensor, so comparisons amongst cameras are on an even
>basis.


Doing that for digital sensors would make about as much sense as
insisting that film manufacturers standardise on a single ISO & colour
saturation style.

>Will any of this happen ... of course not!!! Unlike the old days when
>competition amongst camera manufactures was determined by quality,
>competition is now determined by merchandizing and greed. Is everyone out
>there really so stupid to think that when Canon puts a Rebel SLR body
>w/28-80 ZOOM for $199 RETAIL, on sale, without the moving parts, pastes a
>CCD in the middle and calls it a Digital SLR and charges $999, that the
>camera in question really is worth that amount? Get real.


<rolls eyes>
I tell you what - when you, personally, can "paste a CCD into the
middle" of a film camera *and make it take pictures*, then I might be
prepared to take your ridiculous comments about DSLR pricing seriously,
okay?

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
 
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KBob
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      01-24-2004
On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 02:50:13 GMT, "EMAIL.VERIZON"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>In the old days (remember film), resolution was determined by only ONE
>factor. That is, the quality of the lens. Of course the ISO of film mattered
>as well, but film was an equal qualitative factor whether it was in a $10
>camera or a $2000 camera. You could be sure that when you put a 24mm NIKON
>lens on ANY Nikon camera, the resolution would be relatively equal across
>all models. The only differences would be in exposure and feature sets.
>


Baloney. More often than not, film grain limited resolution just as
much as lens quality, and I've got books of tests to prove it. And
then there's the matter of enlarging and all the factors there that
further diminished image quality. Right now, we're seeing full-frame
digitals (14n, 1DS) that can show 80-100 lp/mm resolution, and that
compares well to many common films. Most decent lenses can resolve at
this level as well, but for some peculiar reason digital cameras seem
to profit from highly performing lenses better than one would expect
from resolution values alone. To put resolution in perspective, I
found many 35mm lenses that could show diffraction-limited resolution
at f/4 and f/5.6, with high-contrast resolutions of up to 240+ lp/mm
in the case of Leica Summicrons and some Micro-Nikkors. Admittedly
these resolutions could not be achieved without the use of special
films and developing methods, but they indicate that 35mm CCDs of up
to 20 MPx or more might provide additional image quality. My guess
would be that there would be diminishing returns beyond that--at least
with lenses that we have at present. Many modern lenses (especially
zooms and retrofocus WA's) would be found to be very poor performers
indeed if we needed the resolution required to match up to a 20 MPx
sensor.

These earlier tests also seem to indicate that medium and large format
lenses are no match for high-end 35mm types, with ultimate resolutions
(even for Hassleblads and Bronicas) generally measuring in inverse
proportion to image dimension as expected. This would tend to
indicate that we're not likely to achieve great things beyond our best
35mm examples with medium-format CCD arrays, regardless of their
density. In short, we may see some modest increases in sensor
resolution, but we will soon find that our lenses are becoming a
limiting factor.
 
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