ABC news warns about horrible, tiny-sensored P&S's

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    'Fraid it's too late. The 20 megaxpixel, 1/2.5 sensored camera is
    bound to appear.

    ABC
    Why More Megapixels Don't Make Better Pix
    Have a Pocket-Sized Camera? Watch Out for Too Many Megapixels
    By CHRIS GAYLORD

    April 25, 2009 —

    When it comes to electronics, more is better. Consumers want more
    features, more hard-drive space, more cellphone minutes and more
    battery life.

    But with digital cameras, it's not that simple. Many stores will tell
    you that the worth of a camera is measured in megapixels. The more
    manufacturers can pack in, the better, right?

    Not necessarily, says Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo.com, an online
    newsletter for camera tips and projects.

    A high-megapixel count doesn't always equate to better image quality.
    Actually, if camera designers try to cram too many megapixels into a
    small camera, it can have the opposite effect.

    Such a counterintuitive snag mostly affects tiny digital cameras, the
    ones compact enough to fit in your pocket.

    To keep sizes down, manufacturers place itty-bitty image sensors
    inside their point-and-shoot models. These small parts perform well
    within a certain range. But when companies try to raise the megapixel
    count without increasing the dimensions of the camera, the same size
    sensor now has to do more work.

    The result are larger but less accurate images, Gupta says. The
    overburdened sensor can lose sharpness, struggle in low-light
    situations and add "noise" (small blotches or odd colors).

    Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots, but the
    extra room allows for much bigger sensors and often better image
    quality per megapixel.

    Cameras are rarely advertised on their sensor sizes, which makes the
    warning difficult to act on. But the problem usually pops up when
    companies release two very similar models, one with more megapixels
    and, most likely, a higher price. In those situations, the extra few
    hundred dollars doesn't necessarily buy you a better camera.

    Sensor technology improves all the time, making the issue of cramped
    megapixels less important each year. Improved lenses and anti-shake
    features also dampen the effect.

    But even if companies could make a flawless 18-megapixel camera the
    size of a deck of cards, few people will ever need that much, Gupta
    says.

    Start With 8 Megapixels

    He suggests that shoppers start looking at eight megapixels, consider
    10, but think hard before shelling out for a 12-megapixel camera or
    higher.

    "Six megapixels is great for 8-by-10 prints," he says. "We use a six-
    megapixel camera for everything on the site. ... In fact, we're making
    a Photojojo book and shooting with the same camera for all of those
    pictures."
     
    RichA, Apr 26, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. RichA

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    Being an old geezer, I remember when transistor radios first came out in
    the late 1950's / early 1960's. The major advertising claim in those
    days was how many transistor's their radio had. There were even cases
    where a manufacturer had put in dummy transistors with all 3 leads
    soldered together just so that they could up the count.

    The manufacturers will make what sells, not necessarily what is best.

    Gary

    On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 21:40:19 -0700 (PDT), RichA <>
    wrote:

    >'Fraid it's too late. The 20 megaxpixel, 1/2.5 sensored camera is
    >bound to appear.


    [snip]

    >A high-megapixel count doesn't always equate to better image quality.
    >Actually, if camera designers try to cram too many megapixels into a
    >small camera, it can have the opposite effect.


    [snip]
     
    Gary Edstrom, Apr 26, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Apr 26, 6:40 am, RichA <> wrote:
    > 'Fraid it's too late.  The 20 megaxpixel, 1/2.5 sensored camera is
    > bound to appear.
    >
    > ABC
    > Why More Megapixels Don't Make Better Pix
    > Have a Pocket-Sized Camera? Watch Out for Too Many Megapixels
    > By CHRIS GAYLORD
    >
    > April 25, 2009 —
    >
    > When it comes to electronics, more is better. Consumers want more
    > features, more hard-drive space, more cellphone minutes and more
    > battery life.
    >
    > But with digital cameras, it's not that simple. Many stores will tell
    > you that the worth of a camera is measured in megapixels. The more
    > manufacturers can pack in, the better, right?
    >
    > Not necessarily, says Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo.com, an online
    > newsletter for camera tips and projects.
    >
    > A high-megapixel count doesn't always equate to better image quality.
    > Actually, if camera designers try to cram too many megapixels into a
    > small camera, it can have the opposite effect.
    >
    > Such a counterintuitive snag mostly affects tiny digital cameras, the
    > ones compact enough to fit in your pocket.
    >
    > To keep sizes down, manufacturers place itty-bitty image sensors
    > inside their point-and-shoot models. These small parts perform well
    > within a certain range. But when companies try to raise the megapixel
    > count without increasing the dimensions of the camera, the same size
    > sensor now has to do more work.
    >
    > The result are larger but less accurate images, Gupta says. The
    > overburdened sensor can lose sharpness, struggle in low-light
    > situations and add "noise" (small blotches or odd colors).
    >
    > Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots, but the
    > extra room allows for much bigger sensors and often better image
    > quality per megapixel.
    >
    > Cameras are rarely advertised on their sensor sizes, which makes the
    > warning difficult to act on. But the problem usually pops up when
    > companies release two very similar models, one with more megapixels
    > and, most likely, a higher price. In those situations, the extra few
    > hundred dollars doesn't necessarily buy you a better camera.
    >
    > Sensor technology improves all the time, making the issue of cramped
    > megapixels less important each year. Improved lenses and anti-shake
    > features also dampen the effect.
    >
    > But even if companies could make a flawless 18-megapixel camera the
    > size of a deck of cards, few people will ever need that much, Gupta
    > says.
    >
    > Start With 8 Megapixels
    >
    > He suggests that shoppers start looking at eight megapixels, consider
    > 10, but think hard before shelling out for a 12-megapixel camera or
    > higher.
    >
    > "Six megapixels is great for 8-by-10 prints," he says. "We use a six-
    > megapixel camera for everything on the site. ... In fact, we're making
    > a Photojojo book and shooting with the same camera for all of those
    > pictures."


    Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots

    nuff sed
     
    La-a-a-a-a-aarry the La-a-a-a-a-a-a-mb, Apr 26, 2009
    #3
  4. RichA

    Private Guest

    "Bob Haar" <> wrote in message
    news:C619FD5F.456078%...
    > Where is the news in this?
    >


    Slow news day.
     
    Private, Apr 26, 2009
    #4
  5. RichA

    NBC Guest

    [snip]

    More Megapixels=Better Digital Zoom

    Some P&S cameras have 10x to 24x optical zooms that you can add 4x
    digital zoom too.

    Its nice to be able to analyze and frame a 40x or more stabilized image
    in a bright 3 inch screen.

    Give me More Megapixels!

    NBC
     
    NBC, Apr 26, 2009
    #5
  6. RichA

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 13:24:44 -0700, "NBC" <> wrote:

    >More Megapixels=Better Digital Zoom
    >
    >Some P&S cameras have 10x to 24x optical zooms that you can add 4x
    >digital zoom too.
    >
    >Its nice to be able to analyze and frame a 40x or more stabilized image
    >in a bright 3 inch screen.
    >
    >Give me More Megapixels!


    There is a limit as to what can be achieved with technology in smaller
    and smaller sensors. It has to do with the laws of physics,
    diffraction, and the particle nature of light. The smaller the pixel
    sensor, the poorer a job it is going to do, even if perfectly
    manufactured, and no amount of technology can change that.

    It's like with telescopes: There is no limit to how much magnification
    you can achieve, but beyond a certain point, all you are doing is making
    a small fuzzy image into a large fuzzy image. This applies to even
    perfectly manufactured optics.

    Gary
     
    Gary Edstrom, Apr 26, 2009
    #6
  7. RichA

    Fred Guest

    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > Gary Edstrom <> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:31:18 -0700 (PDT), La-a-a-a-a-aarry the
    >> La-a-a-a-a-a-a-mb <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots
    >>>
    >>>nuff sed

    >>
    >> So why in the world do you need to pick between the two? If you are
    >> really into photography, why not have both?
    >>

    > Because if you are "really into photography" you will figure out a way to
    > use a DSLR each and every time.
    >
    >

    Well it just goes to show then that you're not "really into photography",
    just pretending to be!

    If you only haul a clunking dinosaur of a DSLR around with you all the time,
    then you're bound to miss out on loads of photo opportunities that the more
    savvy "real photographers" enjoy, carrying more discrete cameras when the
    situation warrants it.

    If your mind is closed to new technology, and still stuck in the mindset of
    40 years ago, then you're obviously not a real photographer.

    QED
     
    Fred, Apr 27, 2009
    #7
  8. On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 08:47:58 +0100, Fred wrote:

    >> Because if you are "really into photography" you will figure out a way
    >> to use a DSLR each and every time.

    >
    > Well it just goes to show then that you're not "really into
    > photography", just pretending to be!
    >
    > If you only haul a clunking dinosaur of a DSLR around with you all the
    > time, then you're bound to miss out on loads of photo opportunities that
    > the more savvy "real photographers" enjoy, carrying more discrete
    > cameras when the situation warrants it.
    >
    > If your mind is closed to new technology, and still stuck in the mindset
    > of 40 years ago, then you're obviously not a real photographer.


    And even if you're stuck in old technology, lots of 'serious'
    photographers used small 35mm-cameras back then. Ofcourse, Leica has the
    best known example of such a small system.





    --
    Regards, Robert http://www.arumes.com
     
    Robert Spanjaard, Apr 27, 2009
    #8
  9. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Rich <> wrote:
    > Gary Edstrom <> wrote in
    > news::


    >> On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:31:18 -0700 (PDT), La-a-a-a-a-aarry the
    >> La-a-a-a-a-a-a-mb <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots
    >>>
    >>>nuff sed

    >>
    >> So why in the world do you need to pick between the two? If you are
    >> really into photography, why not have both?
    >>

    > Because if you are "really into photography" you will figure out a way to
    > use a DSLR each and every time.


    Depends what kind of photography. For example, if you want to suspend
    a radio controlled camera with remote wireless live view from a helium
    balloon or a kite, then a DSLR is a rather problematic choice which
    most avoid for good practical reasons :)

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Apr 27, 2009
    #9
  10. RichA

    Bob Larter Guest

    Gary Edstrom wrote:
    > On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 13:24:44 -0700, "NBC" <> wrote:
    >
    >> More Megapixels=Better Digital Zoom
    >>
    >> Some P&S cameras have 10x to 24x optical zooms that you can add 4x
    >> digital zoom too.
    >>
    >> Its nice to be able to analyze and frame a 40x or more stabilized image
    >> in a bright 3 inch screen.
    >>
    >> Give me More Megapixels!

    >
    > There is a limit as to what can be achieved with technology in smaller
    > and smaller sensors. It has to do with the laws of physics,
    > diffraction, and the particle nature of light. The smaller the pixel
    > sensor, the poorer a job it is going to do, even if perfectly
    > manufactured, and no amount of technology can change that.
    >
    > It's like with telescopes: There is no limit to how much magnification
    > you can achieve, but beyond a certain point, all you are doing is making
    > a small fuzzy image into a large fuzzy image. This applies to even
    > perfectly manufactured optics.


    Nicely put.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Bob Larter, Apr 27, 2009
    #10
  11. RichA

    Bob Larter Guest

    Matt Clara wrote:
    > It's funny, Bob, but you have the exact same sig file a fella named
    > Lionel used to use here on the photo forums.


    Well yeah, that's because we're the same person. ;^)


    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Bob Larter, Apr 27, 2009
    #11
  12. RichA

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:11:37 -0400, "Matt Clara" <>
    wrote:

    >"Gary Edstrom" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 13:24:44 -0700, "NBC" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>More Megapixels=Better Digital Zoom
    >>>
    >>>Some P&S cameras have 10x to 24x optical zooms that you can add 4x
    >>>digital zoom too.
    >>>
    >>>Its nice to be able to analyze and frame a 40x or more stabilized image
    >>>in a bright 3 inch screen.
    >>>
    >>>Give me More Megapixels!

    >>
    >> There is a limit as to what can be achieved with technology in smaller
    >> and smaller sensors. It has to do with the laws of physics,
    >> diffraction, and the particle nature of light. The smaller the pixel
    >> sensor, the poorer a job it is going to do, even if perfectly
    >> manufactured, and no amount of technology can change that.
    >>
    >> It's like with telescopes: There is no limit to how much magnification
    >> you can achieve, but beyond a certain point, all you are doing is making
    >> a small fuzzy image into a large fuzzy image. This applies to even
    >> perfectly manufactured optics.
    >>
    >> Gary
    >>

    >
    >Aren't those two separate issues? With telescopes, there's the issue of the
    >atmosphere making images blurry, so that further magnification is of no use
    >in extracting more data; whereas, with image sensors, current technology
    >needs x number of photons per pixel to come up with something we humans
    >perceive as an image that accurately reflects reality?


    No, the main limit of a good telescope from a good viewing location is
    the resolving power of the optics. The resolving power of the optics is
    limited by the laws of physics, even for perfectly manufactured optics.
    Diffraction cause the light of two starts that are very close together
    to fuse into a single blob that can't be separated. The only thing that
    can resolve it is optics of even larger diameter.

    With image sensors, the problems of diffraction are magnified by the
    particle nature of light and the noise caused by fewer photons hitting
    the sensor. BOTH of those problems are reduced by making larger pixels.

    Gary
     
    Gary Edstrom, Apr 28, 2009
    #12
  13. RichA

    Sensor Man Guest

    On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:06:01 -0700, Gary Edstrom wrote:

    > Being an old geezer, I remember when transistor radios first came out in
    > the late 1950's / early 1960's. The major advertising claim in those
    > days was how many transistor's their radio had. There were even cases
    > where a manufacturer had put in dummy transistors with all 3 leads
    > soldered together just so that they could up the count.


    Yep. I built my first transistor radio (Heathkit) in 1957 when in high
    school.
     
    Sensor Man, Apr 28, 2009
    #13
  14. RichA

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    On Tue, 28 Apr 2009 11:34:48 -0400, "Matt Clara" <>
    wrote:

    >"Gary Edstrom" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >> No, the main limit of a good telescope from a good viewing location is
    >> the resolving power of the optics. The resolving power of the optics is
    >> limited by the laws of physics, even for perfectly manufactured optics.
    >> Diffraction cause the light of two starts that are very close together
    >> to fuse into a single blob that can't be separated. The only thing that
    >> can resolve it is optics of even larger diameter.
    >>
    >> With image sensors, the problems of diffraction are magnified by the
    >> particle nature of light and the noise caused by fewer photons hitting
    >> the sensor. BOTH of those problems are reduced by making larger pixels.
    >>
    >> Gary

    >
    >Thanks, Gary.


    The short and simple answer is 'You don't get something for nothing.'
    There is a cost to everything. Not just in life, but in technology too.

    When you push the ASA setting of your digital camera up beyond a certain
    point, or lengthen the exposure beyond a certain point, you start to get
    noisy pictures. Likewise, in the film days, going to higher and higher
    ASA film or pushing the developing produced grainy or contrasty
    pictures.

    In the same way, there will be a 'cost' associated with P&S cameras
    going to smaller and smaller pixel cells.

    Gary Edstrom
     
    Gary Edstrom, Apr 29, 2009
    #14
  15. RichA

    Roy G Guest

    "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Rich <> wrote:
    >> Gary Edstrom <> wrote in
    >> news::

    >
    >>> On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:31:18 -0700 (PDT), La-a-a-a-a-aarry the
    >>> La-a-a-a-a-a-a-mb <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots
    >>>>
    >>>>nuff sed
    >>>
    >>> So why in the world do you need to pick between the two? If you are
    >>> really into photography, why not have both?
    >>>

    >> Because if you are "really into photography" you will figure out a way to
    >> use a DSLR each and every time.

    >
    > Depends what kind of photography. For example, if you want to suspend
    > a radio controlled camera with remote wireless live view from a helium
    > balloon or a kite, then a DSLR is a rather problematic choice which
    > most avoid for good practical reasons :)
    >
    > --
    > Chris Malcolm


    That is a load of rubbish.

    I know of a business who suspend both a Film Hassleblad and a DSLR from a
    Helium balloon at the same time.

    There is a local business who suspend a DSLR from a small Hot Air Balloon.
    It is small enough that his own weight prevents it from drifting off.

    Roy G
     
    Roy G, Apr 29, 2009
    #15
  16. In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Roy G <> wrote:

    > "Chris Malcolm" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> In rec.photo.digital.slr-systems Rich <> wrote:
    >>> Gary Edstrom <> wrote in
    >>> news::

    >>
    >>>> On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:31:18 -0700 (PDT), La-a-a-a-a-aarry the
    >>>> La-a-a-a-a-a-a-mb <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>Digital SLR cameras are bulkier than sleek point-and-shoots
    >>>>>
    >>>>>nuff sed
    >>>>
    >>>> So why in the world do you need to pick between the two? If you are
    >>>> really into photography, why not have both?
    >>>>
    >>> Because if you are "really into photography" you will figure out a way to
    >>> use a DSLR each and every time.

    >>
    >> Depends what kind of photography. For example, if you want to suspend
    >> a radio controlled camera with remote wireless live view from a helium
    >> balloon or a kite, then a DSLR is a rather problematic choice which
    >> most avoid for good practical reasons :)
    >>
    >> --
    >> Chris Malcolm


    > That is a load of rubbish.


    > I know of a business who suspend both a Film Hassleblad and a DSLR from a
    > Helium balloon at the same time.


    > There is a local business who suspend a DSLR from a small Hot Air Balloon.
    > It is small enough that his own weight prevents it from drifting off.


    Obviously you can loft any weight you like with a big enough balloon
    or kite. Zeppelin had orchestras in their passenger balloons.

    The point is that the costs of the balloon and kite and its tethering
    and control rise very dramatically as the weight required to be lifted
    increases, and the size of the kit required shifts quickly from being
    easily carried in a backpack to needing a car to needing a special
    trailer or large van. That's why many people using that technology
    prefer to settle on the lightest camera whose quality will be
    acceptable. There's a very big difference between the cost and
    portability of what will loft a few pounds weight and several pounds.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Apr 30, 2009
    #16
  17. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Gary Edstrom wrote:

    <edited for brevity>

    > No, the main limit of a good telescope from a good viewing location is
    > the resolving power of the optics. The resolving power of the optics is
    > limited by the laws of physics, even for perfectly manufactured optics.
    > Diffraction cause the light of two starts that are very close together
    > to fuse into a single blob that can't be separated. The only thing that
    > can resolve it is optics of even larger diameter.
    >
    > With image sensors, the problems of diffraction are magnified by the
    > particle nature of light and the noise caused by fewer photons hitting
    > the sensor. BOTH of those problems are reduced by making larger pixels.
    >
    > Gary



    Hello, Gary:

    Actually, light-gathering capability determines the effectiveness of
    a telescope. To resolve >anything<, the instrument has to "see" it, to
    begin with. That's why reflectors have mirrors, and don't even bother
    with objective lenses.

    What you've written above, applies largely to refractors, therefore.
    Regardless, the eyepiece in queston always plays an important part,
    also.


    Cordially,
    John Turco <>
     
    John Turco, Jun 1, 2009
    #17
    1. Advertising

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