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Releveance of sensor size in a PS camera?

 
 
ASAAR
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      06-14-2008
On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 07:27:14 GMT, Sam wrote:

> : How noticeable was noticeable? If noise is noticeable at high
> : magnification on a computer monitor but not in an sharp 8"x10"
> : print, it wouldn't turn me off at all. It's interesting that the
> : words that turned you off appear to be the words that I quoted :
>
> Actually it wasn't you, it was the previous reviews I read up about.


No, no no. I didn't mean that my reply was your original source.
I meant that it was an interesting coincidence that we both
independently stumbled on the same source.


> What really swayed me was that comment on dpreview on how the
> poster was upset with the 950 compared to his 850. The truth is that
> I haven't gotten that far to look at the pics since I had already
> eliminated the 950.


And that pretty much confirms my assessment. Every review I found
from well respected reviewers praised the SD950's image quality, and
yet you eliminated the SD950 from consideration based solely on the
comment of one person in a DPReview forum, who may or may not have
been competent, and who may or may not have had a defective SD950.


> The main reason I asked about the sensor size was that in one of my
> local forums, people were critizing various cameras because of their
> sensor size. And yes, I am still using the A80 but the wife needs
> another camera because she gave her to her mother. So I am looking to
> buy one for "her". I haven't owned or used the SD950. I know she would
> be satisfied with almost any P&S as long as it had IS or some other type
> of image stablization.


Almost all of the criticism of sensor size has been of the "It's
too small" variety. That's why I immediately noticed your original
comment that today's small sensors seem to produce better pictures
than your A80 with its larger sensor. If you find a camera that
produces images that meet your needs, don't be concerned if it
doesn't have a relatively large sensor. But in general (for a given
number of megapixels), the larger the sensor the better the IQ.

For your wife's next camera, perhaps of more importance than
making sure that the camera has IS, would be to find out if she'll
be unable to get used to a camera that has no viewfinder. Most of
the small P&S cameras these days only allow the back LCD to be used
for framing. Some people don't like those because they can
sometimes be very difficult to see when taking pictures outdoors
when the sun is in the wrong position. Others don't like them
because they find that to take pictures they have to hold the camera
in an awkward position that lacks stability. I believe that unlike
most of Canon's small "Ixus" type cameras the SD950 is one of the
few that still has a viewfinder.


> : I've been there and a little over a year ago bit the bullet,
> : getting a shooter that provides much lower noise, even at high ISOs.
> : Very small and lightweight . . . at least for a DSLR.
>
> I thought about a DSLR too but not only is the cost an issue but the
> portability.


Yes, portability is an issue, but some of the newer DSLRs are
actually quite small. Not small enough to fit in a shirt pocket,
but not uncomfortably large and heavy, as they used to be. Some
don't cost much more than the SD950, and the image quality and high
ISO, low noise performance is dramatically superior to almost all
P&S cameras currently produced. But as you've said, your wife
wouldn't need a DSLR to be satisfied. You, on the other hand, might
be tempted by the many advantages of even the least expensive DSLR.



> : I'm still waiting for the ideal small, pocketable P&S with very
> : high ISO/very low noise, manual controls, viewfinder and high image
> : quality. I don't expect to see one anytime soon. But if I'm
> : willing to be reasonable and not especially finicky, the wait will
> : be short. If not the SD950, maybe its successor will do. Or maybe
> : a modestly improved replacement for Fuji's F50fd/F100fd.
>
> Me too, I wasn't planning to get another camera unless it's on sale and
> there have been some good deals lately, but everytime I research it,
> either the overall review is negative or noise, purple fringing, or
> picture softness seems to be an issue.


Those are usually 'issues' brought up by reviewers, even good
ones. But cameras that produce noisy and soft images, and have
worse than average purple fringing can still produce excellent
prints where those defects won't be noticed unless fairly large
prints are made. I don't recall that you've indicated a need for a
small camera that can make high quality 8"x10" or 11"x14" prints.
Are you familiar with the term "pixel peeping"? <g>

 
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Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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      06-14-2008
On Jun 13, 5:37 am, "Sam" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I see some of the more expensive newer digital cameras are using sensor
> sizes like 1/2.3 or 1/2.5 while my older Canon A80 used a 1/1.8 and even
> a friends SD700IS 1/2.3. I found the image quality in general to better
> on the smaller image sensor size than the larger 1.8. What gives?


It shouldn't make any difference what kind of digital camera, but
larger sensors can improve image quality. There are, as everyone
points out, many aspects to image quality, even on the sensor itself.
However, when everything else has been optimized to the max, then
enlarging the sensor can improve things. However, if the sensor is a
reasonable size, then other links in the chain can be the weaker link.

As we shrink sensor size, however, there WILL be a point where not
enough photons are collected, and the system will be photon noise
limited in dim light.

Remember, the lens aperture scales directly with sensor dimensions at
a constant f/# and field of view.

 
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Blinky the Shark
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      06-14-2008
David J Taylor wrote:

> Blinky the Shark wrote:
> []
>> I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
>>
>> If not, what are its actual dimensions?

>
> You are correct.


Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than, IIRC,
the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3" sensor's size
somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one method for designating
sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than x/y method. Yes, I know
where that system originated; I'm a TV camera operator and used to use
the old tube cameras before CCDs.


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Blinky the Shark
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      06-14-2008
ASAAR wrote:

> On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 00:49:13 -0700, Blinky the Shark wrote:
>
>>> Canon's SD950 IS has a 1/1.7" sensor. Fuji's F50fd and F100fd
>>> have 1/1.6" sensors. The much larger S100FS has a 2/3" sensor. All

>>
>> I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
>>
>> If not, what are its actual dimensions?

>
> Those are the actual dimensions (approx.), but the sizes given by
> manufacturers (2/3" in this case) can be misleading, since they
> don't refer to any specific sensor measurement, but to the diameter
> of a hypothetical glass camera tube neck that the sensor might very
> loosely fit within. For the gory details see :
>
> http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...r_sizes_01.htm


Thanks. I read that a fair time ago. As I mentioned (in a post where I
also mentioned that I used to use tube-type video cameras (that's my
craft)), I wish there was just one, intuitive labeling standard. Of
course, I also want free beer.


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Sam
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      06-14-2008
ASAAR wrote:
:: And that pretty much confirms my assessment. Every review I found
:: from well respected reviewers praised the SD950's image quality, and
:: yet you eliminated the SD950 from consideration based solely on the
:: comment of one person in a DPReview forum, who may or may not have
:: been competent, and who may or may not have had a defective SD950.

I thought about that too, but one poster wrote he returned the SD950 and
tried a brand new one with the same result. Another commented about the
soft pics too. The post are here: "Can't understand whats going on here.
Nearly every reviewer has positive things to say about this camera but not
me, i am bitterly dissapointed I sold my 850IS (7.1mp) to get the 950IS. For
the past 6 years i have always carried an Ixus with me and not had a
complaint and always recommended the range I found the pictures from the
950IS camera soft and noisy Took it back to T4 and tried another...the
second camera was exactly the same IXUS, for me is no more.

and I change a 550 for the 950, and I am a bit disapointed, enough to want
to change it. The image are soft, cannot take a shoot from a car rolling,
event with no IS, focus is not good. When outside, beach or mountain the
image are great, NO problem. I am working in industry, took a lot aof
picture with my old 550, never have a problem, with this one, very hard,
still problem with focus if there is a vibration in the floor, the image is
out of focus.

one more: The sharpness falls off a bit at long focal length; but this is
not noticable in normal size prints.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...&opinion=40428
:::::
:: For your wife's next camera, perhaps of more importance than
:: making sure that the camera has IS, would be to find out if she'll
:: be unable to get used to a camera that has no viewfinder. Most of
:: the small P&S cameras these days only allow the back LCD to be used
:: for framing. Some people don't like those because they can
:: sometimes be very difficult to see when taking pictures outdoors
:: when the sun is in the wrong position. Others don't like them
:: because they find that to take pictures they have to hold the camera
:: in an awkward position that lacks stability. I believe that unlike
:: most of Canon's small "Ixus" type cameras the SD950 is one of the
:: few that still has a viewfinder.

I actually don't like a camera without a viewfinder, she never uses that. I
like it because I can better gauge the framing because the ratio so I don't
have to worry about cutting off the person's head since P&S use 4:3 ratio
instead of 3:2. Isn't the trend moving away from 90%+ viewfinders to, say,
~80%?

:: Some don't cost much more than the SD950, and the image quality and high
:: ISO, low noise performance is dramatically superior to almost all
:: P&S cameras currently produced. But as you've said, your wife
:: wouldn't need a DSLR to be satisfied. You, on the other hand, might
:: be tempted by the many advantages of even the least expensive DSLR.
::

Hehe. What DSLR's would you be referring to? If I can get a P&S that both
of us will be happy with, all the better.

:: Those are usually 'issues' brought up by reviewers, even good
:: ones. But cameras that produce noisy and soft images, and have
:: worse than average purple fringing can still produce excellent
:: prints where those defects won't be noticed unless fairly large
:: prints are made. I don't recall that you've indicated a need for a
:: small camera that can make high quality 8"x10" or 11"x14" prints.
:: Are you familiar with the term "pixel peeping"? <g>

I actually returned the A75 back when because I noticed the pics were too
soft, so I got the A80. Honestly, I can see the softness in pics very
easily. Every now and then, yes, I do get 8x10 prints, but then I use my old
SLR for that. I would like to be able to have that ability in a P&S. No, I
am never heard of "pixel peeping".


 
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David J Taylor
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      06-15-2008
Blinky the Shark wrote:
[]
> Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than,
> IIRC, the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3"
> sensor's size somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one
> method for designating sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than
> x/y method. Yes, I know where that system originated; I'm a TV
> camera operator and used to use the old tube cameras before CCDs.


Yes, it is indeed confusing. In the days of 2/3-inch and 1-inch vidicons
and 4/3-inch (or 30mm) plumbicons, I was quite happy with the designation,
but it's inappropriate for digital cameras. I suspect that someone in
marketing may like the apparently bigger number of 1/2.5 compared to 1/1.7
which they think that Joe Public may believe. After all, a bigger number
is better, right? <G>

One other confusion, by the way, is the aspect ratio. Should you measure
sensors by horizontal, vertical or diagonal? Some cameras offer 16:9 with
a 16:9 sensor, others by cropping a 4:3 sensor. And whilst most DSLRs are
3:2 aspect ratio, the 4/3 system is 4:3! Is it sensible just to use the
diagonal?

3-tube 4.5-inch Image Orthicon cameras, anyone?

Cheers,
David


 
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Blinky the Shark
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      06-15-2008
David J Taylor wrote:

> Blinky the Shark wrote:
> []
>> Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than,
>> IIRC, the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3"
>> sensor's size somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one
>> method for designating sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than
>> x/y method. Yes, I know where that system originated; I'm a TV
>> camera operator and used to use the old tube cameras before CCDs.

>
> Yes, it is indeed confusing. In the days of 2/3-inch and 1-inch vidicons
> and 4/3-inch (or 30mm) plumbicons, I was quite happy with the designation,
> but it's inappropriate for digital cameras. I suspect that someone in
> marketing may like the apparently bigger number of 1/2.5 compared to 1/1.7
> which they think that Joe Public may believe. After all, a bigger number
> is better, right? <G>
>
> One other confusion, by the way, is the aspect ratio. Should you measure
> sensors by horizontal, vertical or diagonal? Some cameras offer 16:9 with
> a 16:9 sensor, others by cropping a 4:3 sensor. And whilst most DSLRs are
> 3:2 aspect ratio, the 4/3 system is 4:3! Is it sensible just to use the
> diagonal?


Hell, David...I still have trouble remembering, unless I have an example
in front of me, if the width or height comes first. I have to stop and
think about it before speaking or writing, say 16:9, or it's a toss-up
whether I will express that or 9:16. And it's really aggravating.

But as to your question, I'd be Very Very Happy if W/H was simply given in
millimeters. Too straightforward to ever catch on!

> 3-tube 4.5-inch Image Orthicon cameras, anyone?


We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But certainly I
was exposed to IO tales.


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David J Taylor
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      06-15-2008
Blinky the Shark wrote:
[]
> We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
> certainly I was exposed to IO tales.


Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my first
vidicon camera before 1975....

Cheers,
David


 
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Blinky the Shark
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      06-15-2008
David J Taylor wrote:

> Blinky the Shark wrote:
> []
>> We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
>> certainly I was exposed to IO tales.

>
> Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my first
> vidicon camera before 1975....


You *built* one?

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David J Taylor
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      06-15-2008
Blinky the Shark wrote:
> David J Taylor wrote:
>
>> Blinky the Shark wrote:
>> []
>>> We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
>>> certainly I was exposed to IO tales.

>>
>> Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my
>> first vidicon camera before 1975....

>
> You *built* one?


Yes, and designed some of the circuits as well. It was black and white,
by the way. Quite a few people built cameras in those days. My metal
work was never up to much, so the lens mounting left a lot to be desired.
I suspect that it was actually built between 1968 and 1971.

Cheers,
David


 
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