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Is 4 Mpix camera just as good as 5 Mpix when available light is the limiting factor?

 
 
Woody
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      09-16-2004
I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.

Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?

Leonardo
 
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Charles Schuler
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      09-16-2004

"Woody" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
> the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
> megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
> be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.
>
> Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
> the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
> expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
> best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
> ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
> Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
> much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
> quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?
>
> Leonardo


You have to check noise by buying or by reading reviews such as
www.dpreview.com

There is no simple way to evaluate digital cameras as each user has
different priorities. Megapixels are important but are also over hyped by
marketers.


 
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Colin D
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      09-16-2004
Woody wrote:
>
> I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
> the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
> megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
> be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.
>
> Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
> the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
> expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
> best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
> ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
> Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
> much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
> quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?
>
> Leonardo


Noise is a function of the sensor size. Go for the camera with the
larger sensor, and the faster lens. The difference between 4 and 5Mp is
negligible.

Colin.
 
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Era
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      09-16-2004
Woody wrote:
> I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
> the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
> megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
> be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.
>
> Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
> the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
> expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
> best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
> ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
> Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
> much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
> quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?
>
> Leonardo


Why not get the Powershot A95 (5 megapixels) and the price is just a
little bit more and performs better than the A85
 
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Mike
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      09-17-2004
Do you know how the A95 compares to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1?
I'm buying a digital camera for my son and decided on the Sony DSC-W1.
It'll be used primarily for P&S baby pictures and vacation pictures.

Thanks,

Mike

Since I know nothing about digital cameras I'm trying to get all of the
information I can.
"Era" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:414a2146$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Woody wrote:
>> I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
>> the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
>> megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
>> be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.
>>
>> Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
>> the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
>> expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
>> best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
>> ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
>> Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
>> much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
>> quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?
>>
>> Leonardo

>
> Why not get the Powershot A95 (5 megapixels) and the price is just a
> little bit more and performs better than the A85



 
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John Wright
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      09-17-2004
"Mike" wrote
> Do you know how the A95 compares to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1?
>...It'll be used primarily for P&S baby pictures and vacation pictures.


Both are good cameras, and each has unique features.

The W1 has a much larger 2.5" LCD (1.8" in A95), and a very fast full
autofocus shutter lag (wide angle) of 0.3 sec, pre-focus ultrafast lag of
0.01 sec - something that would be very handy for taking pictures of kids.
It also has a live histogram, pre-flash metering, etc. - for those who can
use these features. A little smaller and solid compared to A95.

But W1 has no shutter priority or aperture priority modes (A95 has both),
has a smaller aperture range of f2.8-f5.6 (f2.8-f8 in A95), only three ISO
steps 100/200/400 (A95 has 50/100/200/400).

Take your pick.

Regards - JW


 
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Chuck Norris
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      09-17-2004
On 16 Sep 2004 15:06:40 -0700, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Woody) wrote:

>I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
>the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
>megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
>be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.
>
>Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
>the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
>expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
>best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
>ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
>Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
>much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
>quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?
>
>Leonardo


I can tell you from first hand experience that that A80 is crap in low
light, and really not practical to use above ISO100. Autofocus is poor
in lowlight as well. Manual focus is nice, sure, pictures are decent,
but not in low light.

Just reading some forums on the Sony, a lot of people saying it's not
to great in low light, and wishing they'd of bought the Canon, check
here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...key=sony_dscw1

If your going indoors, and could live with 3MP, I'd recommend the
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3. Great in low light (for the price, very
great), autofocus actually works in poor light, flip up flash works
pretty well as a fill flash, and it cost a bit under $400. Oh, and 12x
optical zoom and Leica lens ain't bad either.
 
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Grim
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      09-17-2004
"Woody" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
>
> However, I
> expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
> best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
> ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.


So forget the crap cameras with max apertures of F2.8. Get a digicam with a
fast lens; something like F1.8 or F2.0. That will allow you to shoot in poor
light without having to use a high ISO setting and deal with the resulting
noise. Something like an Olympus C-5050 if you can still find them (I think
they stopped making them, and switched to the C-5060 with a crap slow lens).


 
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Dave Martindale
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      09-19-2004
(E-Mail Removed) (Woody) writes:
>I'm shopping for a digital camera and I've narrowed my choices down to
>the Canon Powershot A85 (4 megapixels) and the Sony DSC-W1 (5
>megapixels). I'm going to be taking some indoor photographs that will
>be enlarged to at least 8x10, maybe 11x14, with little or no cropping.


>Given ample lighting and using the lowest ISO setting, I would expect
>the 5 megapixel camera to produce a better enlarged image. However, I
>expect the available light in my situation to be only adequate at
>best, certainly not ample. Therefore, I will be forced to use a higher
>ISO setting, which will undoubtedly introduce noise into the image.
>Under these circumstances, wouldn't a 5 megapixel camera show just as
>much noise as a 4 megapixel camera, thus reducing the overall image
>quality and losing the advantage of having an extra million pixels?


This depends on the size of the individual cells in the sensor. All
other things being equal, if the overall sensor size is the same,
increasing the number of pixels makes each pixel smaller which makes
noise worse. But the "1/1.8 inch" CCD in the DSC-W1 is quite a bit
larger than the "1/2.7 inch" CCD in the A85, so it has larger individual
sensors, and ought to have somewhat lower noise.

But you should be comparing to the Canon A80 (4MP) or A95 (5 MP). These
are the equivalent Canon cameras with 1/1.8" CCD. Or to a Canon G2,
which should be relatively inexpensive used, which has a 1/1.8" CCD
*and* a lens that is one full stop faster.

Dave
 
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Mike
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      09-26-2004
Sony W1: can the user see the f stop and shutter speed on the lcd or view
finder?

"John Wright" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:414a3d12$0$10346$(E-Mail Removed) u...
> "Mike" wrote
>> Do you know how the A95 compares to the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1?
>>...It'll be used primarily for P&S baby pictures and vacation pictures.

>
> Both are good cameras, and each has unique features.
>
> The W1 has a much larger 2.5" LCD (1.8" in A95), and a very fast full
> autofocus shutter lag (wide angle) of 0.3 sec, pre-focus ultrafast lag of
> 0.01 sec - something that would be very handy for taking pictures of kids.
> It also has a live histogram, pre-flash metering, etc. - for those who can
> use these features. A little smaller and solid compared to A95.
>
> But W1 has no shutter priority or aperture priority modes (A95 has both),
> has a smaller aperture range of f2.8-f5.6 (f2.8-f8 in A95), only three ISO
> steps 100/200/400 (A95 has 50/100/200/400).
>
> Take your pick.
>
> Regards - JW
>
>



 
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