Can standardization ever be achieved with digital photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by EMAIL.VERIZON, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. 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).
    EMAIL.VERIZON, Jan 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. EMAIL.VERIZON

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    On 22-Jan-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.

    (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 (it's reserved for spammers)
    Tom Thackrey, Jan 23, 2004
    #2
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  3. EMAIL.VERIZON

    John Horner Guest

    > 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
    John Horner, Jan 23, 2004
    #3
  4. EMAIL.VERIZON

    Ron Hunter Guest

    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...
    Ron Hunter, Jan 23, 2004
    #4
  5. "EMAIL.VERIZON" <> 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
    Dave Martindale, Jan 23, 2004
    #5
  6. "EMAIL.VERIZON" <> wrote in message
    news:FZ%Pb.7515$...
    > 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.
    Marvin Margoshes, Jan 23, 2004
    #6
  7. EMAIL.VERIZON

    cwvalle Guest

    "Marvin Margoshes" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "EMAIL.VERIZON" <> wrote in message
    > news:FZ%Pb.7515$...
    > > 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
    cwvalle, Jan 23, 2004
    #7
  8. EMAIL.VERIZON

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that "EMAIL.VERIZON" <> 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
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    Lionel, Jan 24, 2004
    #8
  9. EMAIL.VERIZON

    KBob Guest

    On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 02:50:13 GMT, "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.
    >


    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.
    KBob, Jan 24, 2004
    #9
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