Picture Quality

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by s6, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. s6

    s6 Guest

    I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?
     
    s6, Mar 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. >I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    >shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    >difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    >from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?


    There's an enormous difference in quality.

    Given a single print, you won't always be able to tell which camera it
    came from, but if you take the same shot with a good dSLR and a good
    P&S, the dSLR will give you a better picture.

    If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH better
    picture.

    -Joel

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Mar 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. s6

    Bigguy Guest

    Number of pixels is the same...
    Size of pixels is larger in DSLRs - this means higher sensitivity and less
    noise...
    Lens quality, shutter lag, focus speed, CPU speed, viewfinder, flash,
    battery life, card write speed are (generally) all better in DSLRs.

    Could you tell from a print? Depends on print size and other variables. Also
    depends on the photographer...
    P+S cameras take great pictures of stationary subjects outside on sunny days
    ;-)
    DSLRs allow great pictures in a much wider range of conditions..

    Some pictures could only have been taken on a DSLR, and some are obviously
    done on a P+S... but outside of this, no I don't think you can reliably tell
    the difference. YMMV

    Guy

    s6 wrote:
    > I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    > shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really
    > a difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or
    > a file from each of the camera tell which came from which type of
    > camera?
     
    Bigguy, Mar 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    >> I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point
    >> and shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there
    >> really a difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a
    >> print or a file from each of the camera tell which came from which
    >> type of camera?

    >
    > There's an enormous difference in quality.
    >
    > Given a single print, you won't always be able to tell which camera it
    > came from, but if you take the same shot with a good dSLR and a good
    > P&S, the dSLR will give you a better picture.
    >
    > If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH better
    > picture.


    Why?
    Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on a
    P&S?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 24, 2005
    #4
  5. s6

    Jim Guest

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote in message news:9NA0e.4580$...
    > Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    > >> I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point
    > >> and shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there
    > >> really a difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a
    > >> print or a file from each of the camera tell which came from which
    > >> type of camera?

    > >
    > > There's an enormous difference in quality.
    > >
    > > Given a single print, you won't always be able to tell which camera it
    > > came from, but if you take the same shot with a good dSLR and a good
    > > P&S, the dSLR will give you a better picture.
    > >
    > > If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH better
    > > picture.

    >
    > Why?
    > Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on a
    > P&S?

    Probably so. An off camera flash is preferred if for no other reason than
    reducing the likelihood of red eye (no, it won't eliminate it completely).
    Also, the dSLRs seem to have more powerful processors that do a better job
    of matrix metering.
    Jim
     
    Jim, Mar 24, 2005
    #5
  6. s6

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:

    >>I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    >>shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    >>difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    >>from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?

    >
    > There's an enormous difference in quality.


    That's far too broad a statement.

    At low ISO settings, (100-200) most people can't tell the difference
    between a DSLR or point and shoot image. Functionally they're
    the same.

    At ISO 400 and higher, DSLR's have lower noise. They can generally
    take cleaner shots at ISO 800 and 1600. This is because DSLRs have
    larger sensors that gather more light and require less amplification.

    The 35mm lenses that most DSLRs use have much wider apertures than
    the fixed lenses on point and shoot cameras. This allows for a narrow
    depth of field which is better for portrait work and isolating subjects
    by blurring backgrounds.

    Note that there's also more to it than the camera body. A DSLR with a
    cheap lens will be more likeley to produce worse images than the average
    point and shoot. (I'm thinking of Samyang and Phoenix lenses with
    optical quality plastic lens elements).

    If you go to www.dpreview.com you can check camera reviews and see
    samples from DSLRs and pont and shoots.
     
    Jim Townsend, Mar 24, 2005
    #6
  7. Jim wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"
    > <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote in
    > message news:9NA0e.4580$...
    >> Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    >>>> I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point
    >>>> and shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there
    >>>> really a difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a
    >>>> print or a file from each of the camera tell which came from which
    >>>> type of camera?
    >>>
    >>> There's an enormous difference in quality.
    >>>
    >>> Given a single print, you won't always be able to tell which camera
    >>> it came from, but if you take the same shot with a good dSLR and a
    >>> good P&S, the dSLR will give you a better picture.
    >>>
    >>> If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH
    >>> better picture.

    >>
    >> Why?
    >> Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on
    >> a P&S?

    > Probably so. An off camera flash is preferred if for no other reason
    > than reducing the likelihood of red eye (no, it won't eliminate it
    > completely). Also, the dSLRs seem to have more powerful processors
    > that do a better job of matrix metering.
    > Jim


    Yes, but you can use off-camera flash both with DSLRs and many ZLR cameras
    (high-end point and shoot if you like), so the comaparison isn't valid.

    I am unsure about your point on metering - I think it takes little
    processing power to work out an exposure from the metering. In principle,
    P&S may do it better as they can meter at every pixel, whereas DSLR may do
    it better because the metering is not on the sensor. The high-end P&S
    have a range of metering modes just like DSLRs.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 24, 2005
    #7
  8. "s6" <> wrote in message
    news:D6A0e.12790$-kc.rr.com...
    >I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    > shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    > difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    > from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?


    Beyond what others have said...

    Don't forget the glass. The difference can be substantial comparing the
    small lens on a point-and-shoot to say a nice Canon "L" lens. However I must
    say some of the pictures from my friends Canon A95 look very similar to the
    ones taken with my Digital Rebel and kit lens! But generally speaking.....
    while my Fuji S602Z P&S goes out to 200mm but it cannot compete with the
    70-200 f/2.8 on my Rebel or 1D. My point is, with that lens the quality of
    your images can suddenly go from hobbyist to pro.
     
    Dave R knows who, Mar 24, 2005
    #8
  9. >> If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH better
    >> picture.

    >
    >Why?
    >Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on a
    >P&S?


    Yes. And event he on-camera dSLR flashes are further away from the
    lens than the flashes on P&S cameras. With camera manufacturers
    investing so much R&D in swivel LCD screens and such, I'm surprised no
    one has manufactured a good flash....

    -Joel

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free 35mm lens/digicam reviews: http://www.exc.com/photography
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Mar 24, 2005
    #9
  10. On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:08:15 -0000, "Bigguy"
    <> wrote:

    >Number of pixels is the same...
    >Size of pixels is larger in DSLRs - this means higher sensitivity and less
    >noise...
    >Lens quality, shutter lag, focus speed, CPU speed, viewfinder, flash,
    >battery life, card write speed are (generally) all better in DSLRs.


    I'm surprised by your reference to battery life. Is this correct? I
    would have expected that bigger sensors, more processing power and
    faster focussing with bigger lenses would add up to (much) higher power
    consumption.

    At Christmas my Z10 managed a week on a single battery charge, in which
    I took over 250 photos and did *extensive* reviewing. How much better do
    DSLR's manage?

    --
    Stephen Poley
     
    Stephen Poley, Mar 24, 2005
    #10
  11. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    >>> If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH
    >>> better picture.

    >>
    >> Why?
    >> Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on
    >> a P&S?

    >
    > Yes. And event he on-camera dSLR flashes are further away from the
    > lens than the flashes on P&S cameras. With camera manufacturers
    > investing so much R&D in swivel LCD screens and such, I'm surprised no
    > one has manufactured a good flash....
    >
    > -Joel


    Well, that's an unfair comparison, in my opinion. I do agree that a
    separate flashgun can give better results, but these are equally
    applicable to both SLR and non-SLR cameras.

    On the Nikon 8400 the built-in flash is 57mm off the lens axis, and about
    60mm on the Nikon 5700. Not a lot!

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 24, 2005
    #11
  12. s6

    Eric Gill Guest

    Stephen Poley <> wrote in
    news::

    > I'm surprised by your reference to battery life. Is this correct? I
    > would have expected that bigger sensors, more processing power and
    > faster focussing with bigger lenses would add up to (much) higher power
    > consumption.


    And Image Stabilizers.

    Then again, dSLRs tend have heavy-duty batteries and insanely powerful add-
    on options.

    For example:

    http://www.digitalcamerabattery.com/

    > At Christmas my Z10 managed a week on a single battery charge, in which
    > I took over 250 photos and did *extensive* reviewing. How much better do
    > DSLR's manage?


    With a 20D, 750+ exposures over a few weeks with a single standard (BP-
    511A) battery installed. (As an experiment - I had a second battery
    waiting). Then I finally got the battery handle which, among other things,
    puts the second BP-511A in it.

    It would take another experiment like the above to find out just how much
    longer the new setup would last, but I'm just not curious enough. Knowing
    that the camera is simply not going to run out of power unless I'm
    shipwrecked somewhere is quite enough.

    I also picked up a cable to let one of the above-mentioned external
    batteries power the camera, but it sits unused.
     
    Eric Gill, Mar 24, 2005
    #12
  13. s6

    Frank ess Guest

    Stephen Poley wrote:
    > On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 15:08:15 -0000, "Bigguy"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> Number of pixels is the same...
    >> Size of pixels is larger in DSLRs - this means higher sensitivity
    >> and less noise...
    >> Lens quality, shutter lag, focus speed, CPU speed, viewfinder, flash,
    >> battery life, card write speed are (generally) all better in DSLRs.

    >
    > I'm surprised by your reference to battery life. Is this correct? I
    > would have expected that bigger sensors, more processing power and
    > faster focussing with bigger lenses would add up to (much) higher
    > power consumption.
    >
    > At Christmas my Z10 managed a week on a single battery charge, in
    > which
    > I took over 250 photos and did *extensive* reviewing. How much better
    > do DSLR's manage?


    The SterlingTek 511A replacement in my 20D Canon is just 50 or so shots
    into the Low-Battery symbol after about 1,100 shots with plenty flash
    and review. I am eager to see how long it goes after the L-B symbol
    showed up.


    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Mar 24, 2005
    #13
  14. s6

    Jim Guest

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote in message news:OrC0e.4658$...
    >
    > On the Nikon 8400 the built-in flash is 57mm off the lens axis, and about
    > 60mm on the Nikon 5700. Not a lot!

    Those are both P&S cameras...
    However, the distance between the lens and the built in flash of a D70 is
    about 100mm. This distance is not enough to help with the red eye effect in
    my dog's eyes. Using an SB600 increases the distance to about 6 1/2 inches.
    This arrangement reduces the red eye of my dog, but the construction of
    canine eyes precludes total elimination.
    And, if you really want to help the flash along, you can put it on a
    bracket. I usually use both the built in flash and the SB600; the multiple
    sources does help with red eye.
    Of course, one could use a bracket with a P&S camera if it had a flash
    mount.
    Jim
     
    Jim, Mar 24, 2005
    #14
  15. s6

    Ron Hunter Guest

    s6 wrote:
    > I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    > shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    > difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    > from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?
    >
    >

    While this isn't engraved in stone, and individual experience may be
    different, generally, the more expensive cameras have better sensors,
    and better lens systems, and smarter electronics to give you a better
    picture. Else, why would an informed buyer PAY MORE?


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Mar 24, 2005
    #15
  16. s6

    Ron Hunter Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    >
    >>>I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point
    >>>and shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there
    >>>really a difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a
    >>>print or a file from each of the camera tell which came from which
    >>>type of camera?

    >>
    >>There's an enormous difference in quality.
    >>
    >>Given a single print, you won't always be able to tell which camera it
    >>came from, but if you take the same shot with a good dSLR and a good
    >>P&S, the dSLR will give you a better picture.
    >>
    >>If you have to use a flash, the dSLR will give you a MUCH, MUCH better
    >>picture.

    >
    >
    > Why?
    > Are you comparing off-camera flash on a DSLR with on-camera flash on a
    > P&S?
    >
    > David
    >
    >

    Not necessary. MOST P&S cameras have the flash in the camera body,
    which puts it rather close to the lens, and makes the problem of
    'red-eye' worse. Also, DSLRs usually have more powerful flash systems,
    even when using the built-in flash.


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Mar 24, 2005
    #16
  17. Jim wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"
    > <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote in
    > message news:OrC0e.4658$...
    >>
    >> On the Nikon 8400 the built-in flash is 57mm off the lens axis, and
    >> about 60mm on the Nikon 5700. Not a lot!

    > Those are both P&S cameras...
    > However, the distance between the lens and the built in flash of a
    > D70 is about 100mm. This distance is not enough to help with the red
    > eye effect in my dog's eyes. Using an SB600 increases the distance
    > to about 6 1/2 inches. This arrangement reduces the red eye of my
    > dog, but the construction of canine eyes precludes total elimination.
    > And, if you really want to help the flash along, you can put it on a
    > bracket. I usually use both the built in flash and the SB600; the
    > multiple sources does help with red eye.
    > Of course, one could use a bracket with a P&S camera if it had a flash
    > mount.
    > Jim


    Yes, a clear advantage to the DSLR, However, any camera allowing a
    separate flash gun can be used to reduce red-eye, and allow bounce-flash
    etc. You just need select cameras with those features.

    I've not tried to photograph dogs - I usually avoid them - so thanks for
    your insight.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Mar 24, 2005
    #17
  18. On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 17:13:43 GMT, Eric Gill <> wrote:

    >Stephen Poley <> wrote in
    >news::
    >
    >> At Christmas my Z10 managed a week on a single battery charge, in which
    >> I took over 250 photos and did *extensive* reviewing. How much better do
    >> DSLR's manage?

    >
    >With a 20D, 750+ exposures over a few weeks with a single standard (BP-
    >511A) battery installed. (As an experiment - I had a second battery
    >waiting). Then I finally got the battery handle which, among other things,
    >puts the second BP-511A in it.


    Fair enough. Thanks.

    --
    Stephen Poley
     
    Stephen Poley, Mar 24, 2005
    #18
  19. s6

    Sheldon Guest

    "s6" <> wrote in message
    news:D6A0e.12790$-kc.rr.com...
    >I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    > shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    > difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    > from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?
    >


    I don't buy the idea that a dslr is necessarily that much better than a
    point and shoot. Any high-end point and shoot with a "good" lens should
    produce an image that rivals a dslr, given the same megapixels. But, as
    others have said, it depends. People buy dslr's because of their
    versatility, superior flash options, and the ability to change lenses and or
    purchase any lens you want for the camera to suit your needs.

    Also, because of the added costs and r&d, dslr's tend to be much faster,
    both in startup and shooting times. They also tend to focus faster with
    less searching and fussing.

    So, you should be able to take better photos with a dslr, but it depends on
    the subject, and a lot on the photographer. It may also depend on how much
    work you are willing to put into the image "after" it's been shot.
     
    Sheldon, Mar 24, 2005
    #19
  20. s6

    Matt Ion Guest

    Sheldon wrote:
    > "s6" <> wrote in message
    > news:D6A0e.12790$-kc.rr.com...
    >
    >>I understand the advantages of digital SLRs over the top end point and
    >>shoots, but if the number of mega pixels is the same, is there really a
    >>difference in picture quality? Could someone looking at a print or a file
    >>from each of the camera tell which came from which type of camera?
    >>

    >
    >
    > I don't buy the idea that a dslr is necessarily that much better than a
    > point and shoot. Any high-end point and shoot with a "good" lens should
    > produce an image that rivals a dslr, given the same megapixels. But, as
    > others have said, it depends. People buy dslr's because of their
    > versatility, superior flash options, and the ability to change lenses and or
    > purchase any lens you want for the camera to suit your needs.


    Incorrect. dSLRs typically have larger, higher-quality sensors than P&S
    models. There's more to a sensor than sheer megapixels.
     
    Matt Ion, Mar 24, 2005
    #20
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