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Megapixel War Over for Point and Shoots?

 
 
measekite
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      11-29-2008
Using the G10 as an example do the majority of readers feel the MP war is
over.

It seems that as the sensor size remains (for the time being) fixed on
most of the point and shoot cameras the mfg has reached the limit on
increasing the MP while still improving image quality.

At any ISO over the minimum (80/100) and in any light other than bright
high contrast light the image quality is becoming less and less. More and
more processing is being used to rid the image of noise translating to an
increase in artifacts and a reduction in sharpness. So while you have
more pixels for cropping and greater print sizes the real image quality
has not improved and much of the time is less.

Now for those snapshooters who print 4x6 with very little cropping the
image quality is quite good but still will not look better than the
previous batch of camera a couple of years back even though the cameras
itself have more features and may be better.

So what is the answer to getting better results. A 4/3 PS will be too
heavy and bulky but a larger sensor is needed. Maybe a sensor size
between the current PS and a 4/3 might be considered for cameras the size
of a Canon A series but for the smaller elph size cameras the MP count may
have reach its limit.

So an A size series with a larger sensor and with an EVF might be the best
choice for a new generation of PS cameras. Also add an articulating LCD.
Now this needs to be smaller than the current long zoom EVF cameras like
the Canon S5 or SX10. Maybe the size of near a G10 but way less
expensive. Having RAW may be a benefit to some and not expensive to have
as standard on all cameras.

So what you do think?
 
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Steve
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      11-29-2008

On Sat, 29 Nov 2008 19:05:55 GMT, measekite <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Using the G10 as an example do the majority of readers feel the MP war is
>over.
>
>It seems that as the sensor size remains (for the time being) fixed on
>most of the point and shoot cameras the mfg has reached the limit on
>increasing the MP while still improving image quality.


Sensor noise notwithstanding, if you've been paying attention to the
whole diffraction limited discussion (which I don't blame you if you
haven't) you'd realize that the MP war is over for that sensor size
from an actual useable resolution. Maybe not from a marketing
standpoint though.

The reason it's over is that with all those 14MP on that little 1/1.7"
sensor, there's already more than enough spatial resolution at the
sensor to over resolve an airy disk. So even with a perfect lens
(which it does not have) in most circumstances you won't get any
better resolution in your images by going to higher MP counts.

Now if you only consider noise and aren't concerned about the fact
that increasing MP count doesn't get you any better real resolution,
adding more pixels can give you more to average out noise in your
final, properly rescaled image. But, increasing the pixel density
increases the noise per pixel. So at best, it's a zero sum game and
in reality, it seems to be a losing proposition.

Steve
 
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Andrew Koenig
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      11-29-2008
"Alan Browne" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

>> I think the MP war just claimed another victim: me. I bought a G10 with
>> high hopes, but image quality just isn't there. I'm dumping it and taking
>> a long look at micro 4/3 for a smaller camera. I had hoped that


> At roughly the same sensor size as a cropped DSLR and quality lenses, it
> should do little worse than cropped DSLR's.


I think the G10 sensor is much smaller than a cropped DSLR. Canon's website
says it's a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but I can never remember how to translate
that into actual dimensions. Instead, I will note that the lens has a range
of 6.1-30.5mm, which Canon claims is equivalent to 28-140mm on 35mm film.
That's a compensation factor of 4.6. As a 4/3 sensor has a compensation
factor of about 2, I conclude that the G10 sensor is slightly less than half
the linear dimensions of a 4/3 sensor, or slightly less than 1/4 the area.

Putting it differently, a full-frame DSLR has a sensor with about 20 times
the area of a Canon G10. That's quite a difference.


 
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Mark Thomas
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      11-29-2008
BÔwser wrote:
>
> "measekite" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:nogYk.8523$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Using the G10 as an example do the majority of readers feel the MP war is
>> over.
>>
>> It seems that as the sensor size remains (for the time being) fixed on
>> most of the point and shoot cameras the mfg has reached the limit on
>> increasing the MP while still improving image quality.
>>
>> At any ISO over the minimum (80/100) and in any light other than bright
>> high contrast light the image quality is becoming less and less. More
>> and
>> more processing is being used to rid the image of noise translating to an
>> increase in artifacts and a reduction in sharpness. So while you have
>> more pixels for cropping and greater print sizes the real image quality
>> has not improved and much of the time is less.
>>
>> Now for those snapshooters who print 4x6 with very little cropping the
>> image quality is quite good but still will not look better than the
>> previous batch of camera a couple of years back even though the cameras
>> itself have more features and may be better.
>>
>> So what is the answer to getting better results. A 4/3 PS will be too
>> heavy and bulky but a larger sensor is needed. Maybe a sensor size
>> between the current PS and a 4/3 might be considered for cameras the size
>> of a Canon A series but for the smaller elph size cameras the MP count
>> may
>> have reach its limit.
>>
>> So an A size series with a larger sensor and with an EVF might be the
>> best
>> choice for a new generation of PS cameras. Also add an articulating LCD.
>> Now this needs to be smaller than the current long zoom EVF cameras like
>> the Canon S5 or SX10. Maybe the size of near a G10 but way less
>> expensive. Having RAW may be a benefit to some and not expensive to have
>> as standard on all cameras.
>>
>> So what you do think?

>
> I think the MP war just claimed another victim: me. I bought a G10 with
> high hopes, but image quality just isn't there. I'm dumping it and
> taking a long look at micro 4/3 for a smaller camera. I had hoped that
> even with higher noise the increase in resolution (pixel count) might
> produce better prints, but it does not. I compared an 8x10 of the same
> subject shot with a Sony 828 and the G10, and the Sony produced better
> prints. I would have loved to see a G10 with a 2/3 8MP sensor, but it'll
> never happen. Damned shame, too. No more small sensor cameras for me.


Coincidentally, the op made me think back over all the p&s cameras I've
used, and there were two that had the most dslr-like performance *in
good light*. They were the Sony F828 and the Olympus C8080. Those
cameras both gave the best pixel-to-pixel sharpness I've seen from any
p&s (great lenses). They both started to get noisy above base ISO, and
there were the other problems associated with small sensors, slow
electronics and contrast AF, but the lenses on those two cameras were
superb (ok, there was the occasional purple-fringing of the Sony, but
that Zeiss lens was wonderful), and the sensors were excellent at their
base iso rating..

I find it very depressing, especially when you look at the performance
of cameras like some of the early Fuji series (F10-F30), that
manufacturers haven't been able to develop the true potential of
2/3"-ish sized sensors. If they kept them at around the 8Mp level -
which is AMPLE for the majority of p&s users - I think they could have.

If someone created a good, low noise 8Mp p&s camera with a lens like
that Zeiss 28-200 (that purple-fringing would be pretty easy to correct
now with today's in-camera processing!), or the Leica-designed ones on
the Panasonics, it would sell in the millions. But no.

Perhaps it just reflects on the typical 'discerning' p&s
user-without-a-clue (you only have to look around for an example..) and
their reaction to advertising where only megapixels matter. I'm not
knocking p&s cameras - I use and like them and there are several good
ones - but it's sad that they fell into this hole, when I believe they
could be much, much better.


I do think the m4/3 format is good idea, and will be interested to see
where that goes, but there is still a *huge* market for small superzooms
with good high-iso performance. Some of the manufacturers have got the
*lenses* up to scratch, now, how about fixing the bloody sensors by
reversing this stupid MP race!!

As an analogy, how do you think a new *film* would succeed, if it was
marketed as "the highest resolution colour film ever produced - better
than Kodachrome 25 or Velvia", but they *neglected* to admit it had the
grain of Konica 3200... Would it last?
 
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Paul Furman
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      11-29-2008
Mark Thomas wrote:
>
> If someone created a good, low noise 8Mp p&s camera with a lens like
> that Zeiss 28-200 (that purple-fringing would be pretty easy to correct
> now with today's in-camera processing!)


Purple fringing CA can't be removed like red/green CA in software. PF
occurs all around bright contrasty areas & you have to do some tricky
desaturating to minimise it.

--
Paul Furman
www.edgehill.net
www.baynatives.com

all google groups messages filtered due to spam
 
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Eric Stevens
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-30-2008
On Sat, 29 Nov 2008 19:39:43 -0500, Bwser <(E-Mail Removed)0m> wrote:

>
>"Mark Thomas" <markt@_don't_spam_marktphoto.com> wrote in message
>news:ggsekl$kcn$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Bwser wrote:
>>> I think the MP war just claimed another victim: me. I bought a G10 with
>>> high hopes, but image quality just isn't there. I'm dumping it and taking
>>> a long look at micro 4/3 for a smaller camera. I had hoped that even with
>>> higher noise the increase in resolution (pixel count) might produce
>>> better prints, but it does not. I compared an 8x10 of the same subject
>>> shot with a Sony 828 and the G10, and the Sony produced better prints. I
>>> would have loved to see a G10 with a 2/3 8MP sensor, but it'll never
>>> happen. Damned shame, too. No more small sensor cameras for me.

>>
>> Coincidentally, the op made me think back over all the p&s cameras I've
>> used, and there were two that had the most dslr-like performance *in good
>> light*. They were the Sony F828 and the Olympus C8080. Those cameras
>> both gave the best pixel-to-pixel sharpness I've seen from any p&s (great
>> lenses). They both started to get noisy above base ISO, and there were
>> the other problems associated with small sensors, slow electronics and
>> contrast AF, but the lenses on those two cameras were superb (ok, there
>> was the occasional purple-fringing of the Sony, but that Zeiss lens was
>> wonderful), and the sensors were excellent at their base iso rating..

>
>Loved my Sony 828, and hate the fact that Sony abandoned that form factor.
>Tilt body was great, wonderful lens, real sharp. That camera, with a less
>noisy sensor would make my day. 8MP is plenty of resolution, and 28-200 is
>an ideal zoom range. Plus, I loved the night shot/night frame feature, the
>laser-assist focusing, and IR capability, and the other features. Sony
>really, really blew it by not upadting that one.


I've still got my 707. Within it's limits, its a great camera. I still
use it.
>>
>> I find it very depressing, especially when you look at the performance of
>> cameras like some of the early Fuji series (F10-F30), that manufacturers
>> haven't been able to develop the true potential of 2/3"-ish sized sensors.
>> If they kept them at around the 8Mp level - which is AMPLE for the
>> majority of p&s users - I think they could have.
>>
>> If someone created a good, low noise 8Mp p&s camera with a lens like that
>> Zeiss 28-200 (that purple-fringing would be pretty easy to correct now
>> with today's in-camera processing!), or the Leica-designed ones on the
>> Panasonics, it would sell in the millions. But no.

>
>GD marketeers...
>
>>
>> Perhaps it just reflects on the typical 'discerning' p&s
>> user-without-a-clue (you only have to look around for an example..) and
>> their reaction to advertising where only megapixels matter. I'm not
>> knocking p&s cameras - I use and like them and there are several good
>> ones - but it's sad that they fell into this hole, when I believe they
>> could be much, much better.
>>
>>
>> I do think the m4/3 format is good idea, and will be interested to see
>> where that goes, but there is still a *huge* market for small superzooms
>> with good high-iso performance. Some of the manufacturers have got the
>> *lenses* up to scratch, now, how about fixing the bloody sensors by
>> reversing this stupid MP race!!

>
>4/3 is nice, but the more I think about it, the more an XSi is better for me
>since I already have a few Canon lenses and accessories. No sense in getting
>into a second system.
>
>>
>> As an analogy, how do you think a new *film* would succeed, if it was
>> marketed as "the highest resolution colour film ever produced - better
>> than Kodachrome 25 or Velvia", but they *neglected* to admit it had the
>> grain of Konica 3200... Would it last?

>
>I wouldn't use it...




Eric Stevens
 
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Mark Thomas
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-30-2008
Eric Stevens and Bowser wrote:
> On Sat, 29 Nov 2008 19:39:43 -0500, Bwser <(E-Mail Removed)0m> wrote:
>
>> Loved my Sony 828, and hate the fact that Sony abandoned that form factor.

>
> I've still got my 707. Within it's limits, its a great camera. I still
> use it.


The 707/717/828 series were brilliant. It was sad that the 828 got such
a bad rap over the purple-fringing because it was a non-issue in most
scenes and compared to other cameras of its day, it absolutely ran rings
around them. Had very good af speeds, and yep, the IR ability was a
bonus. I'll be buying a s-h one when the opportunity arises.

>> 4/3 is nice, but the more I think about it, the more an XSi is better for me
>> since I already have a few Canon lenses and accessories. No sense in getting
>> into a second system.

Fair enough. Again, I think 4/3 gets a bad rap in some respects - the
newer ones have good high-iso performance (far better than any p&s and
comparable to the bottom end dslrs), and Olympus glass is very nice.
The E520 twin lens kit is a stand out bargain for what you get.

But I shall procrastinate further until the first few m4/3s appear, and
then finally make a decision. I'm just not a Canon/Nikon sort of person,
so it will be between those and Sony or Pentax, I think.

 
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Paul Furman
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      11-30-2008
Walter Fess wrote:
> On Sun, 30 Nov 2008 00:22:45 -0500, "RichA" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> "Paul Furman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:c9kYk.9904$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> Mark Thomas wrote:
>>>> If someone created a good, low noise 8Mp p&s camera with a lens like that
>>>> Zeiss 28-200 (that purple-fringing would be pretty easy to correct now
>>>> with today's in-camera processing!)
>>> Purple fringing CA can't be removed like red/green CA in software. PF
>>> occurs all around bright contrasty areas & you have to do some tricky
>>> desaturating to minimise it.

>> What people don't seem to realize is that purple fringing is actually
>> diffused across the entire image, reducing contrast and effecting colour
>> fidelity. You can't just cut it off the edges, and when it is severe, it
>> bleeds into the subjects forming the edge. By the time you do enough to
>> reduce it at an edge, you've compromised the whole image. Better to get a
>> lens good enough to control it.
>>

>
> What you and others might fail to realize is that you're a total idiot.
>
> It is NOT "diffused across the entire image". Where'd you invent this nonsense?
> And is NOT the lens that causes it, it's the sensor design. While you can
> minimize it by using smaller apertures or longer zoom settings (making the
> light-paths more perpendicular to the sensor's micro-lenses), it's not the lens
> that is the culprit. The lens can exacerbate it but it is not the cause of it..
> When you know your camera well enough and expose your scene properly you can
> eliminate it entirely during all of your photography. But then, that's for
> experts, not snapshooting amateurs that have it appear as a "diffused across the
> entire image" effect. (I can't believe someone would even be stupid enough type
> that nonsense.)
>
> What digital-photography rock did you crawl out from under?


No it's not the lens, it's the small sensor the poor lens is trying to
keep up with. You see the same purple fringing on 35mm cameras when
there's a super-fast lens trying to push the limits.
 
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Paul Furman
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-30-2008
Billy Vales wrote:
> Paul Furman wrote:
>
>> No it's not the lens, it's the small sensor the poor lens is trying to
>> keep up with. You see the same purple fringing on 35mm cameras when
>> there's a super-fast lens trying to push the limits.

>
> Dear Resident-Troll,
> ...
> Many (new & improved) points outlined below completely disprove your usual



I'll take that as confirmation of my point.
 
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Paul Heslop
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-30-2008
Allen Smithee wrote:
>
> "Paul Furman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:c9kYk.9904$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> >> If someone created a good, low noise 8Mp p&s camera with a lens like that
> >> Zeiss 28-200 (that purple-fringing would be pretty easy to correct now
> >> with today's in-camera processing!)

>
> > Purple fringing CA can't be removed like red/green CA in software. PF
> > occurs all around bright contrasty areas & you have to do some tricky
> > desaturating to minimise it.

>
> I haven't experienced purple fringing myself only normal CA, so am only
> talking theory here, but isn't that what 'defringe' does in ACR? I was
> under the impression that this was for removing purple, red and magenta
> fringing, for example around secular highlights?


I have a superzoom which has very bad fringing if contrast is high. I
used to use one of the defringe options in photoshop or paintshop on
my older camera but sometimes the fringing is so bad on this one that
using these methods actually leaves an obvious colourised or even grey
tone strip in the place of the fringe.

--
Paul (We won't die of devotion)
-------------------------------------------------------
Stop and Look
http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
 
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