Canon powershot series noise

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by massimo, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. massimo

    massimo Guest

    I have tested a Canon Powershot A520 and an Olympus Camedia C4000Z.
    They're both 4MP and the characteristics are quite the same. I noted
    the Canon has a lot of noise when the ISO is set at 400. The Olympus
    shows a better response. I noted in the past the same problem comparing
    other types of Powershot and Camedia cameras. The sensor is a CCD type
    for the two cameras and I think the properties should be the same (for
    that level of cameras).
    What's the problem with Canon?
    (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    low even at 1600 ISO)
    massimo, Aug 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. massimo

    Tom S Guest

    "massimo" <> wrote in message news:...
    > I have tested a Canon Powershot A520 and an Olympus Camedia C4000Z.
    > They're both 4MP and the characteristics are quite the same.


    The C4000Z retailed for $500 while the A520 retails for about
    half as much. Better optics and noise handling = higher cost.
    E.g.:
    C4000Z: 1/1.8" sensor.
    A520: 1/2.5" sensor.

    > I noted
    > the Canon has a lot of noise when the ISO is set at 400. The Olympus
    > shows a better response. I noted in the past the same problem comparing
    > other types of Powershot and Camedia cameras. The sensor is a CCD type
    > for the two cameras and I think the properties should be the same (for
    > that level of cameras).
    > What's the problem with Canon?


    The unfortunate trend now for point-and-shoot cameras (not
    just with Canon by the way) is toward putting more MP on
    smaller sensors, with resulting cruddy image quality, smaller
    signal-to-noise ratios etc. Each successive generation of
    models is cruddier than the last.

    > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > low even at 1600 ISO)


    Yep.
    Tom S, Aug 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. massimo

    Paul Heslop Guest

    massimo wrote:
    >
    > I have tested a Canon Powershot A520 and an Olympus Camedia C4000Z.
    > They're both 4MP and the characteristics are quite the same. I noted
    > the Canon has a lot of noise when the ISO is set at 400. The Olympus
    > shows a better response. I noted in the past the same problem comparing
    > other types of Powershot and Camedia cameras. The sensor is a CCD type
    > for the two cameras and I think the properties should be the same (for
    > that level of cameras).
    > What's the problem with Canon?
    > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > low even at 1600 ISO)


    sorry, but my Olympus c-725 is as noisy as hell at 400 ISO and 200 is
    pretty awful too

    --
    Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Stop and Look
    http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
    Paul Heslop, Aug 25, 2005
    #3
  4. massimo

    Paul Heslop Guest

    Tom S wrote:

    > The unfortunate trend now for point-and-shoot cameras (not
    > just with Canon by the way) is toward putting more MP on
    > smaller sensors, with resulting cruddy image quality, smaller
    > signal-to-noise ratios etc. Each successive generation of
    > models is cruddier than the last.
    >
    > > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > > low even at 1600 ISO)

    >
    > Yep.


    This is an interesting point. But shops online don't always give
    sensor size etc

    In a point and shoot of varying pixels say, 2 mp to 6mp what kind of
    sensor sizes are best? (Or should I say what should I look out for?)

    Would 3,000,000 on a 1/2.5" CCD be better or worse than 2,000,000 0n a
    1/3.2"?

    --
    Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Stop and Look
    http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
    Paul Heslop, Aug 25, 2005
    #4
  5. massimo

    Mark B. Guest

    "massimo" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have tested a Canon Powershot A520 and an Olympus Camedia C4000Z.
    > They're both 4MP and the characteristics are quite the same. I noted
    > the Canon has a lot of noise when the ISO is set at 400. The Olympus
    > shows a better response. I noted in the past the same problem comparing
    > other types of Powershot and Camedia cameras. The sensor is a CCD type
    > for the two cameras and I think the properties should be the same (for
    > that level of cameras).
    > What's the problem with Canon?
    > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > low even at 1600 ISO)
    >


    While they have the same pixel count, the sensor in the Canon A520 is
    smaller than the Olympus (1/2.5" vs. 1/1.8"). So it's not a Canon issue,
    just sensor size. Sensor size has a large affect on noise, that's why DSLRs
    perform so well at high ISO.

    Mark
    Mark B., Aug 25, 2005
    #5
  6. massimo

    Tom S Guest

    "Paul Heslop" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Tom S wrote:
    >
    > > The unfortunate trend now for point-and-shoot cameras (not
    > > just with Canon by the way) is toward putting more MP on
    > > smaller sensors, with resulting cruddy image quality, smaller
    > > signal-to-noise ratios etc. Each successive generation of
    > > models is cruddier than the last.
    > >
    > > > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > > > low even at 1600 ISO)

    > >
    > > Yep.

    >
    > This is an interesting point. But shops online don't always give
    > sensor size etc
    >
    > In a point and shoot of varying pixels say, 2 mp to 6mp what kind of
    > sensor sizes are best? (Or should I say what should I look out for?)
    >
    > Would 3,000,000 on a 1/2.5" CCD be better or worse than 2,000,000 0n a
    > 1/3.2"?


    These things aren't written in stone. Sensor technology is
    always "improving", or so we're told, but what's actually
    happening is that camera manufacturers are finding ways to
    mask noise problems at higher ISOs. If you'll be doing a
    lot of shooting at these ISOs a dSLR is the only way to go.
    Tom S, Aug 25, 2005
    #6
  7. massimo

    Paul Heslop Guest

    Tom S wrote:
    >
    > "Paul Heslop" <> wrote in message news:...
    > > Tom S wrote:


    > These things aren't written in stone. Sensor technology is
    > always "improving", or so we're told, but what's actually
    > happening is that camera manufacturers are finding ways to
    > mask noise problems at higher ISOs. If you'll be doing a
    > lot of shooting at these ISOs a dSLR is the only way to go.


    My newest one, the c-275 if left to its own devices keeps defaulting
    to the grotty 200 ISO and then takes bad pictures. It can do a
    reasonable job for some of the time if you remember to take a few
    shots of your subject but it's painful, to say the least
    --
    Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Stop and Look
    http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
    Paul Heslop, Aug 25, 2005
    #7
  8. "Tom S" wrote >
    > These things aren't written in stone. Sensor technology is
    > always "improving", or so we're told, but what's actually
    > happening is that camera manufacturers are finding ways to
    > mask noise problems at higher ISOs.
    >


    The announcements of new models seem to support your argument. It will be
    interesting to see if the about to be released Fuji (I forget the model
    name) S9000/S9500 will work as advertised at 1600 ISO! I read the
    pre-release and it did say that this model has improved software smoothing
    for lower noise at higher ISO levels. If successful it could be the 'real'
    start towards making dSLR obsolete for all except the career Pro
    Photographers.

    I said 'START' Skip M. LOL.

    Take care,
    Linda
    Linda Nieuwenstein, Aug 25, 2005
    #8
  9. massimo

    SimonLW Guest

    "Mark B." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "massimo" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >I have tested a Canon Powershot A520 and an Olympus Camedia C4000Z.
    > > They're both 4MP and the characteristics are quite the same. I noted
    > > the Canon has a lot of noise when the ISO is set at 400. The Olympus
    > > shows a better response. I noted in the past the same problem comparing
    > > other types of Powershot and Camedia cameras. The sensor is a CCD type
    > > for the two cameras and I think the properties should be the same (for
    > > that level of cameras).
    > > What's the problem with Canon?
    > > (I tested also a Canon 350D with a CMOS sensor and the noise is very
    > > low even at 1600 ISO)
    > >

    >
    > While they have the same pixel count, the sensor in the Canon A520 is
    > smaller than the Olympus (1/2.5" vs. 1/1.8"). So it's not a Canon issue,
    > just sensor size. Sensor size has a large affect on noise, that's why

    DSLRs
    > perform so well at high ISO.
    >
    > Mark
    >
    >

    I wonder what Fuji's doing with the F10? Noise performance is half way into
    dSLR territory. At ISO 400, noise is very reduced and it does not look like
    the image has been blurred from heavy noise reduction routines.
    -S
    SimonLW, Aug 25, 2005
    #9
  10. massimo

    ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 25 Aug 2005 10:12:15 GMT, Paul Heslop wrote:

    >
    > This is an interesting point. But shops online don't always give
    > sensor size etc


    Manufacturer's websites sometimes provide that information as well
    as review websites such as dpreview.com. Their reviews, however,
    don't cover all models, and can sometimes only show up many months
    or a year after the cameras are introduced.


    > In a point and shoot of varying pixels say, 2 mp to 6mp what kind of
    > sensor sizes are best? (Or should I say what should I look out for?)
    >
    > Would 3,000,000 on a 1/2.5" CCD be better or worse than 2,000,000 0n a
    > 1/3.2"?


    Sad to say, but even the 1/2.5" and 1/3.2" spec's are fantasy
    figures, but they're good enough to be used for comparative
    purposes, since then it wouldn't matter if 1/2.5" was the horizontal
    dimension, the vertical, the diagonal or something else. So, for
    example, multiply them by 10 to get easier numbers to deal with.
    You now have sensors that have dimensions of 4" and 3.125". Fudge a
    little more and say that the sensors are square, and so the areas
    would be 16 and 9.8 square inches. Since the ratio (16/9.8) is
    1.63, which is greater than the ration of pixels (3mp/2mp == 1.5),
    the 3mp sensor doesn't pack the pixels as tightly (people here tend
    to refer to "pixel pitch"). So there's a chance, not a guarantee,
    that the pixels will be slightly larger and therefore better for
    higher ISO use. In this case the numbers are so close that there'd
    probably be no noticeable difference, unless other factors intrude.

    It would be nice if real lengths and widths were given, since that
    would make them easier to compare with other sensors with known
    dimensions, such as the APS-C and 24mm x 36mm FF sensors.
    ASAAR, Aug 25, 2005
    #10
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