Canon PRO1/ sensor-lens compromise done right?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Guenter Fieblinger, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. Two features are standing out on the Canon PRO1:
    8 MP sensor in the small format of 8.8 x 6.6 mm
    28 - 200 mm (f: 2.4-3.5) "L"-line lens (incorporating 14 elements
    in 10 groups, 1 fluorite, 1 UD glass, 2 aspherical elements)

    Lets have a look at both features.

    The 8 MP sensor of the PRO1 may be compared to the much larger sized 6.3
    MP sensor of the Canon Rebel (Canon 300D) with an area of 22.7 x 15.1
    mm. This spells out to more than 7 times area per picture element for
    the DSLR.
    The benefit of the large sensor is connected to reduced noise,
    especially important in low light conditions.
    For those lesser mortals whose experience is limited to the 4 MP sensor
    of the Canon G2 or G3: the size of the picture element on the 4 MP
    sensor is some 25 % larger than the ones of the PRO1.
    The PRO1 could appear to be a bit weak in sensor size - but read on.

    Now to the "L" type lens. These are considered to be the high quality
    line of Canon offerings.
    In the Canon Talk Forum of the <www.dpreview.com> site a link was
    mentioned to an evaluation of "L" glass lenses that Canon is producing
    <http://www.is2k.com/tekreview/L_glass.htm>.
    This hands-on comparision by Chris Ludwig shows some convincing shots
    comparing a "L" type zoom-lens to a 'normal' zoom-lens of the Canon
    range. The difference in picture quality is compelling and one asks
    oneself why one ever did a photo with lesser quality lenses than the "L"
    glas. Well, first of all these lenses are expensive and they are real
    heavy, as are all these 35 mm type zoom lenses.

    Done it right in designing the PRO1?
    The ingenious streak Canon may hve had is to develop a sized down "L"
    zoom that weighs in at a few hundred grams because it doesn't need to
    be large in diameter due to the small sensor size.

    This compromise makes sense: a camera of the size and weight of a G2 or
    G5 should render excellent pictures in many circumstances with the
    possible exception of low light conditions.

    It should be born in mind that a larger sensor area would have shifted
    the whole design to a much larger and heavier camera and a much more
    costly lens. In this light the f-stop of 2.4 - 3.5 should be considered
    a well chosen compromise, too.

    I would ask the more knowledgeable contributors to this newsgroup to
    comment on this reasoning that is at present still speculative as we do
    not know how well the PRO1 will perform in real life situations. But if
    the "L" zoom lives up to expectations I should not be surprised if the
    PRO1 would fill a much needed slot of a handy camera giving superior
    quality pictures especially in non specialised everyday shooting.
     
    Guenter Fieblinger, Feb 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. Guenter Fieblinger

    R2D2 Guest

    Guenter Fieblinger <> wrote in
    news::

    > Two features are standing out on the Canon PRO1:
    > 8 MP sensor in the small format of 8.8 x 6.6 mm
    > 28 - 200 mm (f: 2.4-3.5) "L"-line lens (incorporating 14 elements
    > in 10 groups, 1 fluorite, 1 UD glass, 2 aspherical elements)
    >
    > Lets have a look at both features.
    >
    > The 8 MP sensor of the PRO1 may be compared to the much larger sized 6.3
    > MP sensor of the Canon Rebel (Canon 300D) with an area of 22.7 x 15.1
    > mm. This spells out to more than 7 times area per picture element for
    > the DSLR.
    > The benefit of the large sensor is connected to reduced noise,
    > especially important in low light conditions.
    > For those lesser mortals whose experience is limited to the 4 MP sensor
    > of the Canon G2 or G3: the size of the picture element on the 4 MP
    > sensor is some 25 % larger than the ones of the PRO1.
    > The PRO1 could appear to be a bit weak in sensor size - but read on.
    >
    > Now to the "L" type lens. These are considered to be the high quality
    > line of Canon offerings.
    > In the Canon Talk Forum of the <www.dpreview.com> site a link was
    > mentioned to an evaluation of "L" glass lenses that Canon is producing
    > <http://www.is2k.com/tekreview/L_glass.htm>.
    > This hands-on comparision by Chris Ludwig shows some convincing shots
    > comparing a "L" type zoom-lens to a 'normal' zoom-lens of the Canon
    > range. The difference in picture quality is compelling and one asks
    > oneself why one ever did a photo with lesser quality lenses than the "L"
    > glas. Well, first of all these lenses are expensive and they are real
    > heavy, as are all these 35 mm type zoom lenses.
    >
    > Done it right in designing the PRO1?
    > The ingenious streak Canon may hve had is to develop a sized down "L"
    > zoom that weighs in at a few hundred grams because it doesn't need to
    > be large in diameter due to the small sensor size.
    >
    > This compromise makes sense: a camera of the size and weight of a G2 or
    > G5 should render excellent pictures in many circumstances with the
    > possible exception of low light conditions.
    >
    > It should be born in mind that a larger sensor area would have shifted
    > the whole design to a much larger and heavier camera and a much more
    > costly lens. In this light the f-stop of 2.4 - 3.5 should be considered
    > a well chosen compromise, too.
    >
    > I would ask the more knowledgeable contributors to this newsgroup to
    > comment on this reasoning that is at present still speculative as we do
    > not know how well the PRO1 will perform in real life situations. But if
    > the "L" zoom lives up to expectations I should not be surprised if the
    > PRO1 would fill a much needed slot of a handy camera giving superior
    > quality pictures especially in non specialised everyday shooting.


    Excellent post. I look forward to hearing from the pros.
     
    R2D2, Feb 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. R2D2 <> wrote in news:Xns948A839396EFBR2D2starwarsjedi@
    130.133.1.4:

    > Excellent post. I look forward to hearing from the pros.


    Yes - good post.

    A good lens will not help against noise. So, if Canon
    have not done anything really spectacular, this detector
    will be really noisy. The press release says nothing
    about a sensor technology break through, so ...

    A small L lens? The other prosumer thingies also have
    special high quality lenses called Zeiss T* etc. I would
    say that a high quality lens is a must with such a small
    area. One really good lens is the lens in Minolta D7.
    If this lens is as good or better, it is of course very
    nice. Don't hope too much though.



    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Feb 9, 2004
    #3
  4. Guenter Fieblinger

    Rick Guest

    "Guenter Fieblinger" <> wrote in message news:...
    [..]
    > I would ask the more knowledgeable contributors to this newsgroup to
    > comment on this reasoning that is at present still speculative as we do
    > not know how well the PRO1 will perform in real life situations. But if
    > the "L" zoom lives up to expectations I should not be surprised if the
    > PRO1 would fill a much needed slot of a handy camera giving superior
    > quality pictures especially in non specialised everyday shooting.


    We can comment on the reasoning all we want, it's all speculation
    until sample images are posted. In my view, if Canon can keep the
    CA down to G3 or even G5 levels they'll have a real winner on
    their hands. But there will always be a segment of the market who
    look no further than the number of MP -- they don't know or care
    e.g. that a 6MP 300D outresolves an 8MP Sony F828. And these
    idiots will buy a Pro 1 pretty much regardless of image quality.

    Rick
     
    Rick, Feb 9, 2004
    #4
  5. Guenter Fieblinger

    SD Guest


    > e.g. that a 6MP 300D outresolves an 8MP Sony F828. And these
    > idiots will buy a Pro 1 pretty much regardless of image quality.
    >


    That might be your concern but is not the concern of people who like to
    have live lcd preview, histograms, video mode no botheration with
    additional lenses. 300D might resolve better but the 8MP is close enough
    for what most people want to do to the better 6MP. I for one wouldnt buy
    an SLR because its cumbersome to carry around, but I'd like an 8MP or a
    IS long zoom like the panasonic lumix fz-10. I'd never want a 300D with
    multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is highly over-hyped. In many
    supposedly noisy images I have a hard time finding the noise. Nobody
    looks at any pictures with a magnifying glass in attempts to find noise.
     
    SD, Feb 9, 2004
    #5
  6. Guenter Fieblinger

    Rick Guest

    "SD" <> wrote in message news:c08mre$8mi$...
    >
    > > e.g. that a 6MP 300D outresolves an 8MP Sony F828. And these
    > > idiots will buy a Pro 1 pretty much regardless of image quality.
    > >

    >
    > That might be your concern but is not the concern of people who like to
    > have live lcd preview, histograms, video mode no botheration with
    > additional lenses. 300D might resolve better but the 8MP is close enough
    > for what most people want to do to the better 6MP. I for one wouldnt buy
    > an SLR because its cumbersome to carry around, but I'd like an 8MP or a
    > IS long zoom like the panasonic lumix fz-10. I'd never want a 300D with
    > multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is highly over-hyped. In many
    > supposedly noisy images I have a hard time finding the noise. Nobody
    > looks at any pictures with a magnifying glass in attempts to find noise.


    Points noted, but one does not need a magnifying glass to see the
    CA/PF problems on the F828 -- they're readily apparent even in
    uncropped images.

    Rick
     
    Rick, Feb 9, 2004
    #6
  7. Guenter Fieblinger

    Stephen Guest

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 14:25:33 -0500, SD <>
    wrote:

    > this noise stuff IMHO is highly over-hyped


    I think this new camera sounds very handy. But noise is important. In
    particular, low-light noise is very important.

    Since moving to digital I have found that I take lots and lots of indoor
    casual shots, often with very low light. The quick colour correction for
    digital photos makes this so much easier than with conventional film.

    So it is now very important, to me at least, that an expensive camera can
    work well in low light.

    My 10D does a great job. If the new Pro1 can get close to this, but with
    the ease and portability it seems to offer, it will be very handy indeed.
     
    Stephen, Feb 9, 2004
    #7
  8. Guenter Fieblinger

    Thebigone Guest

    "Roland Karlsson" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns948AC4AE46518rolandkarlssonchello@130.133.1.17...
    > R2D2 <> wrote in

    news:Xns948A839396EFBR2D2starwarsjedi@
    > 130.133.1.4:
    >
    > > Excellent post. I look forward to hearing from the pros.

    >
    > Yes - good post.
    >
    > A good lens will not help against noise. So, if Canon
    > have not done anything really spectacular, this detector
    > will be really noisy. The press release says nothing
    > about a sensor technology break through, so ...
    >
    > A small L lens? The other prosumer thingies also have
    > special high quality lenses called Zeiss T* etc. I would
    > say that a high quality lens is a must with such a small
    > area. One really good lens is the lens in Minolta D7.
    > If this lens is as good or better, it is of course very
    > nice. Don't hope too much though.


    Zeiss T is just a sticker

    The canon Lens actually includes a Flourite,UD,Aspherical Elements. It is
    obvious which will win.
     
    Thebigone, Feb 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Guenter Fieblinger

    Mark B. Guest

    "SD" <> wrote in message
    news:c08mre$8mi$...
    >
    > > e.g. that a 6MP 300D outresolves an 8MP Sony F828. And these
    > > idiots will buy a Pro 1 pretty much regardless of image quality.
    > >

    >
    > That might be your concern but is not the concern of people who like to
    > have live lcd preview, histograms, video mode


    Too bad the better video was implemented on the S1 - 30fps until the card is
    filled. The Pro1 is just a gimmick - 15fps for only 30 seconds.

    > no botheration with
    > additional lenses.


    'botheration?' Whatever.

    >300D might resolve better but the 8MP is close enough
    > for what most people want to do to the better 6MP. I for one wouldnt buy
    > an SLR because its cumbersome to carry around, but I'd like an 8MP or a
    > IS long zoom like the panasonic lumix fz-10. I'd never want a 300D with
    > multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is highly over-hyped. In many
    > supposedly noisy images I have a hard time finding the noise. Nobody
    > looks at any pictures with a magnifying glass in attempts to find noise.
    >


    I don't need a magnifying glass to see the noise at ISO 200 on compact
    digicams - it's higher than ISO 800 on my 10D. It's not overhyped, it's
    whatever you can live with.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Feb 10, 2004
    #9
  10. On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 14:25:33 -0500, SD <>
    wrote:

    >
    >> e.g. that a 6MP 300D outresolves an 8MP Sony F828. And these
    >> idiots will buy a Pro 1 pretty much regardless of image quality.
    >>

    >
    >That might be your concern but is not the concern of people who like to
    >have live lcd preview, histograms, video mode no botheration with
    >additional lenses. 300D might resolve better but the 8MP is close enough
    >for what most people want to do to the better 6MP. I for one wouldnt buy
    >an SLR because its cumbersome to carry around, but I'd like an 8MP or a
    >IS long zoom like the panasonic lumix fz-10. I'd never want a 300D with
    >multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is highly over-hyped. In many
    >supposedly noisy images I have a hard time finding the noise. Nobody
    >looks at any pictures with a magnifying glass in attempts to find noise.


    As Rick has pointed out, you often don't need a loupe to see the
    issues with the Sony, but just because the F828 has problems with
    chromatic aberration, I don't think it's a given that the other 8MP
    prosumer cameras we are getting at PMA are going to suffer from the
    same problem. I do tend to agree that the viewpoint that it doesn't
    look good though, although I can't recall seeing any images for either
    the Canon or Nikon out on the web yet, so of course it's assumption at
    this point.

    What we do know is that Canon and Nikon both cut off at ISO 400, which
    seems rather low these days, and could be taken of an indication of
    noise at the high end. Also, both Sony and Canon appear to have gone
    for high end glass (I've not seen anything on what the Nikon uses)
    which could perhaps be an effort to make up for deficiencies in the
    sensor. On the other hand, the Sony uses an RGBE sensor instead of
    the more standard RGBG, and who knows how much that is contributing to
    the noise in the F828's pictures? The cameras from Canon and Nikon
    will hopefully answer that question when they eventually make it into
    the hands of the reviewers.

    Something a lot of the posts around here tend to gloss over is that
    unless you are shooting on commission, photography is ultimately about
    getting a composition that pleases the beholder, which would primarily
    be you. The feature sets of the 8MP cameras are certainly appealing,
    and if you find the image quality acceptable then the best advice
    would be to ignore anyone who doesn't consider a non-SLR as a proper
    camera, go for it, enjoy the camera, and take lots of pictures.

    Andy
     
    Andy Blanchard, Feb 10, 2004
    #10
  11. Guenter Fieblinger

    Mika Yrjola Guest

    SD <> writes:

    > never want a 300D with multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is
    > highly over-hyped. In many supposedly noisy images I have a hard time
    > finding the noise. Nobody looks at any pictures with a magnifying
    > glass in attempts to find noise.


    Try ISO 400 on eg. G3 or G5. Even when scaled down to something like
    800x600, the noise hits the eye like a baseball bat. I'd like to have
    an actually usable ISO400.
     
    Mika Yrjola, Feb 10, 2004
    #11
  12. "Thebigone" <> wrote in news:c097jr$14oorr$1@ID-
    155262.news.uni-berlin.de:

    >> A small L lens? The other prosumer thingies also have
    >> special high quality lenses called Zeiss T* etc. I would
    >> say that a high quality lens is a must with such a small
    >> area. One really good lens is the lens in Minolta D7.
    >> If this lens is as good or better, it is of course very
    >> nice. Don't hope too much though.

    >
    > Zeiss T is just a sticker
    >
    > The canon Lens actually includes a Flourite,UD,Aspherical Elements. It is
    > obvious which will win.
    >


    Yes, it is probably very good. Lets wait and see if it is
    the best one so far. Would be nice.


    /Roland
     
    Roland Karlsson, Feb 10, 2004
    #12
  13. Guenter Fieblinger

    SD Guest

    Mika Yrjola wrote:

    > SD <> writes:
    >
    >
    >>never want a 300D with multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is
    >>highly over-hyped. In many supposedly noisy images I have a hard time
    >>finding the noise. Nobody looks at any pictures with a magnifying
    >>glass in attempts to find noise.

    >
    >
    > Try ISO 400 on eg. G3 or G5. Even when scaled down to something like
    > 800x600, the noise hits the eye like a baseball bat. I'd like to have
    > an actually usable ISO400.


    Hows the Dimage A1 as far as noise goes?
     
    SD, Feb 10, 2004
    #13
  14. Guenter Fieblinger

    SD Guest


    >
    > Too bad the better video was implemented on the S1 - 30fps until the card is
    > filled. The Pro1 is just a gimmick - 15fps for only 30 seconds.
    >


    what about the sony and the a2?
     
    SD, Feb 10, 2004
    #14
  15. "SD" <> wrote in message
    news:c0ao12$48m$...
    > Mika Yrjola wrote:
    >
    > > SD <> writes:
    > >
    > >
    > >>never want a 300D with multiple lenses. And this noise stuff IMHO is
    > >>highly over-hyped. In many supposedly noisy images I have a hard time
    > >>finding the noise. Nobody looks at any pictures with a magnifying
    > >>glass in attempts to find noise.

    > >
    > >
    > > Try ISO 400 on eg. G3 or G5. Even when scaled down to something like
    > > 800x600, the noise hits the eye like a baseball bat. I'd like to have
    > > an actually usable ISO400.

    >
    > Hows the Dimage A1 as far as noise goes?


    It's one of the better consumer camera at ISO 400 and 800, but still much
    worse than the 300D.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/minoltadimagea1/page16.asp

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 10, 2004
    #15
  16. Guenter Fieblinger

    Charlie Self Guest

    David Littleboy writes:

    >> Hows the Dimage A1 as far as noise goes?

    >
    >It's one of the better consumer camera at ISO 400 and 800, but still much
    >worse than the 300D.
    >


    So how is it at 100, which is where I shoot 99.97% of the time? In real life.
    Phil's tests appear to have it winning in one area, losing in another, with the
    whole thing close to a tie.


    Charlie Self
    "Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?" Lily Tomlin

    http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
     
    Charlie Self, Feb 10, 2004
    #16
  17. "Charlie Self" <> wrote:
    >
    > >> Hows the Dimage A1 as far as noise goes?

    > >
    > >It's one of the better consumer camera at ISO 400 and 800, but still much
    > >worse than the 300D.
    > >

    >
    > So how is it at 100, which is where I shoot 99.97% of the time?


    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos300d/page13.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/minoltadimagea1/page16.asp

    Comparing the gray patches by eye, the A1 at ISO 100 looks to me to be worse
    than the 300D at ISO 400, but better than the 300D at ISO 800.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 10, 2004
    #17
  18. > A good lens will not help against noise.

    You're right. On the other hand, a fast lens *will* help against noise,
    because it will put more light on the sensor. So the f/2.4 makes it
    attractive. Whether attractive enough, only time will tell.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Feb 10, 2004
    #18
  19. Thanks to all contributers to this thread.

    To combine a lens of aristocratic pedigree with the lower middle class
    G-body remains intriguing.

    The most memorable reference for me were pointers that lead me to a
    thoughtful evaluation of the Sony F828
    <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sony828.shtml> (authored
    by Michael Reichmann).

    The Sony F828 seemes to be targeted at the same gap between a DSLR and a
    lowly point & shoot camera. Lets see if the Canon PRO1 will be a convincing
    contender.
    As for usability the much lighter weight of the PRO1 seems more acceptable
    for a general purpose camera. But will the lens and sensor live up to
    expectations within the given limitations of size and weight?

    Guenter
     
    Guenter Fieblinger, Feb 10, 2004
    #19
  20. Guenter Fieblinger

    john Guest

    Have been following this interesting thread.

    1. The pixel pitch (the distance between the center of each pixel
    location) of the new 2/3" type eight megapixel sensor is just 2.7 µm
    (about the same as the 1/1.8"), so noise may be expected at ISO 200+
    levels. "High-end "prosumer" compact digital cameras, such as the Sony
    DSC-F717, Nikon Coolpix 5700, Olympus E20, and Minolta DiMAGE 7i, use
    the 5 megapixel Sony ICX282 sensor, which measures 11 mm diagonal and
    has a 3.4 µm pixel pitch." (Quoted from Norman Karen's site)

    2. The first 2/3" sensor appeared about 2 years ago. Wonder whether
    sensor technology has improved, or whether the noise reduction circuit
    shall have to work overtime. In the latter case, technology is headed
    towards a more "digitized" image which does not portend too well for
    everybody.

    3. Believe Canon has tried to compensate for sensor sensitivity and
    possible CA by using a "L" lens. At 2.4-3.5, it should focus much
    faster than the competition. Imagine how it would fared with a
    full-size sensor. Wish the same setup were available in a G5 5 MP
    camera.

    4. One excellent feature of the Pro1 is the bayonet mount on the lens.

    5. And what of power consumption? Does 8 MP mean more?

    Best,
    JG
     
    john, Feb 10, 2004
    #20
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