Point & shoots, no improvement as long as sensors stay SMALL

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rich, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    them, and kept improving the processing?

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    Rich, Nov 5, 2007
    #1
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  2. Rich wrote:
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp


    I keep my Panasonic at ISO 100 where the quality is best. On the other
    hand, my DSLR will produce excellent quality results at ISO 1600.
    Different cameras for different needs.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 5, 2007
    #2
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  3. As far as image quality and noise go I think your right. They aren't going
    to be able to keep cramming more resolution on the current tiny sensors.
    However, what we might see is improvements to the other parts of the camera.
    Higher quality lenses, better metering, better and faster focusing and
    things like that. We might see some of the non-sensor technologies used in
    dSLR's show up on point and shoots.

    This is until they come up with a new sensor technology that will allow them
    to increase the resolution on small sensors.

    Personally, I think they just need to forget about making things small,
    smaller, smallest and start putting dSLR sized sensors and build point and
    shoot cameras around them even with them being bigger. There will always be
    the tiny crappy point and shoots for those that care more about camera size
    than picture quality, but I think there is a large market for those that
    want dSLR image quality without the dSLR (meaning interchangable lenses). I
    would love a Panasonic FZ30 with a dSLR sensor even if the camera doubled in
    size to do it. I hate interchangable lenses and would drop my Pentax K10D in
    a heart beat for such a camera.

    The Spider
    The Spider Formally Seated Next To Little Miss Muf, Nov 5, 2007
    #3
  4. Rich

    AAvK Guest

    "The Spider" <> wrote in message news:472fa215$0$14145$...

    > As far as image quality and noise go I think your right. They aren't going to be able to keep cramming more resolution on the
    > current tiny sensors. However, what we might see is improvements to the other parts of the camera. Higher quality lenses, better
    > metering, better and faster focusing and things like that. We might see some of the non-sensor technologies used in dSLR's show up
    > on point and shoots.
    >
    > This is until they come up with a new sensor technology that will allow them to increase the resolution on small sensors.
    >
    > Personally, I think they just need to forget about making things small, smaller, smallest and start putting dSLR sized sensors and
    > build point and shoot cameras around them even with them being bigger. There will always be the tiny crappy point and shoots for
    > those that care more about camera size than picture quality, but I think there is a large market for those that want dSLR image
    > quality without the dSLR (meaning interchangable lenses). I would love a Panasonic FZ30 with a dSLR sensor even if the camera
    > doubled in size to do it. I hate interchangable lenses and would drop my Pentax K10D in a heart beat for such a camera.
    >
    > The Spider




    I think a P&S is a P&S, hence I feel it's OK to use a smaller sensor. But as they are
    I do think the sensors are too small. I use the Fujifilm s6000fd (as the world knows
    by now) in which the sensor is a measly 1/1.7... good grief. TG it is only 6.3 MPs
    and does produce great quality images, and genuine low noise at high ISO settings.

    However I would be much happier if the sensor were at least 4/3 in size, with larger
    pixels which accept more color (and the same 6.3 MPs), famous and desireable in
    older D-SLRs from canon and Nikon.

    The 4/3 chip is a size that is midway between P&S sizes and APS-C sizes which can
    be seen on dpreview.com, it's the best idea. But if the camera is a D-SLR, the sizes
    should be APS-C and up. Sigma will be dawning a new P&S with an APS-C Foveon
    chip sometime soon, but it will have a single focal length lens which equates 28mm.

    --
    Giant_Alex
    not my site: http://www.e-sword.net/
    AAvK, Nov 6, 2007
    #4
  5. Rich

    Henry Guest

    "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >



    It's impossible not to agree with you - those images are simply awful. I
    used to have an E20, which compared to those was a Leica.

    I still can't understand why cameras like the Olympus 8080 (which was
    supposed to have excellent image quality) were dropped in favour of these
    new cams..How can it be 'consumer demand'? - those who are knowledgeable
    would urge against small sensors crammed with more pixels, and those who
    don't know/don't care are hardly likely to have expressed any sort of
    preference one way or the other.

    So the decision to market these things must be squarely down to the camera
    companies themselves - one can perhaps understand why gadget makers like
    Casio would produce 'feature packed' (but ultimately useless) novelty
    cameras, but why did the 'real' camera manufacturing companies join in this
    foolishness? How can optical specialists like Olympus and Pentax churn
    these things out and not be ashamed?
    Henry, Nov 6, 2007
    #5
  6. Rich

    timeOday Guest

    Rich wrote:
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >


    Yikes! The sad thing is, that isn't a shirt-pocket camera either, but a
    rather bulky, dare I say dSLR-inspired, "compact" camera.
    timeOday, Nov 6, 2007
    #6
  7. Rich

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Rich wrote:
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >

    P&S cameras have improved greatly, even though sensor sizes remain
    small. I don't think we are near the limit for what technology can do
    with the small sensors, even when they continue to make each element
    smaller. Yes, a larger sensor, at whatever technology level, would make
    a better image, but would increase cost. I am sure a lot of thought
    goes into the decision-making at the camera manufacturer's design facility.
    Ron Hunter, Nov 6, 2007
    #7
  8. Rich

    Scott W Guest

    Rich wrote:
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >


    Most of what you post if crap, but in this case I have to mostly agree.
    If they can sell a DSLR with a sensor that has a 28mm diagonal sensor
    for just over $500 the cost of using a sensor with a 14mm diagonal
    should be be high at all. But the norm seems to be about half that with
    most current P&S camera using a sensor with a diagonal just over 7mm.

    I would think there would be a market for a P&S camera with a sensor
    size in the range of 10-15mm, clearly the camera makers don't believe
    that this would be a very large market.

    Scott
    Scott W, Nov 6, 2007
    #8
  9. Rich

    Rich Guest

    On Nov 6, 1:16 pm, Scott W <> wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    > > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > > them, and kept improving the processing?

    >
    > >http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp

    >
    > Most of what you post if crap, but in this case I have to mostly agree.
    > If they can sell a DSLR with a sensor that has a 28mm diagonal sensor
    > for just over $500 the cost of using a sensor with a 14mm diagonal
    > should be be high at all. But the norm seems to be about half that with
    > most current P&S camera using a sensor with a diagonal just over 7mm.
    >
    > I would think there would be a market for a P&S camera with a sensor
    > size in the range of 10-15mm, clearly the camera makers don't believe
    > that this would be a very large market.
    >
    > Scott


    Marketing whores killed the quality P&S. They convinced people there
    was some value in superlong zooms and idiotic megapixel counts which
    cannot be made to support decent sized sensors without high cost. For
    instance, a 2/3" sensor camera with integrated 10x zoom would likely
    cost $1000 today, even if cheaply made, while a Nikon D40 and 18-200mm
    zoom can be had for about $800.00...
    Rich, Nov 6, 2007
    #9
  10. Rich

    Alan Meyer Guest

    On Nov 5, 11:12 pm, "Henry" <> wrote:
    > ...
    > I still can't understand why cameras like the Olympus 8080 (which was
    > supposed to have excellent image quality) were dropped in favour of these
    > new cams..How can it be 'consumer demand'? - those who are knowledgeable
    > would urge against small sensors crammed with more pixels, and those who
    > don't know/don't care are hardly likely to have expressed any sort of
    > preference one way or the other.
    >
    > So the decision to market these things must be squarely down to the camera
    > companies themselves ...


    I would guess that the average consumer only knows a few quantitative
    measures about cameras:

    Number of megapixels
    Size of zoom range
    Size of the LCD display on the back
    Price.

    Those are what the camera companies seem to have to compete on.

    So my guess is that the companies grit their teeth, hold their noses,
    and come out with cameras that compromise quality to get big numbers
    on the first three for a small number on the fourth.

    Alan
    Alan Meyer, Nov 6, 2007
    #10
  11. Rich

    Alan Meyer Guest

    On Nov 6, 1:16 pm, Scott W <> wrote:
    > ...
    > I would think there would be a market for a P&S camera with a sensor
    > size in the range of 10-15mm, clearly the camera makers don't believe
    > that this would be a very large market.


    Remember, as the sensor size increases, so must the lens size
    and cost to get the same f/stop and zoom range. If you're trying
    to make a small and low priced camera, it's a problem.

    Alan
    Alan Meyer, Nov 6, 2007
    #11
  12. Rich

    John Navas Guest

    On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 02:48:27 -0600, Ron Hunter <>
    wrote in <>:

    >Rich wrote:
    >> Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    >> acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    >> were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    >> them, and kept improving the processing?
    >>
    >> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >>

    >P&S cameras have improved greatly, even though sensor sizes remain
    >small. I don't think we are near the limit for what technology can do
    >with the small sensors, even when they continue to make each element
    >smaller.


    Technology has already greatly improved what can be done with a small
    sensor, but there's still clearly room for further improvement, witness
    the amazing noise reduction possible with Neat Image and Noise Ninja.

    What's largely being missed is the incredible job being done by these
    low power camera processors -- they have only a fraction of a second to
    completely process the image coming off the sensor and store it, in
    addition to running the camera, and they do an incredible job under the
    circumstances. Sure Neat Image can do better, but it takes about 13 secs
    per image to do so on my relatively power hungry 1.8 GHz Pentium M.

    From the excellent overall performance of the FZ8 and FZ18, it's quite
    clear the Panasonic Venus III is a remarkably powerful processor in its
    own right, as well as in comparison to the processors used in
    competitive products. What it lacks in quality of noise reduction is
    probably just a function of algorithms, as evidenced by the improvement
    seen in the FZ18, even though more improvement would be desirable.

    What might be nice down the road is a more sophisticated architecture
    where the camera processor could do more elaborate post processing after
    the shot has been taken and first stored, multitasking when the camera
    is otherwise idle.

    >Yes, a larger sensor, at whatever technology level, would make
    >a better image, but would increase cost.


    Would also greatly increase physical size and weight, a big issue for
    most consumers. Compare sales of the FZ30 to the FZ7 and FZ8.

    >I am sure a lot of thought
    >goes into the decision-making at the camera manufacturer's design facility.


    Unquestionably, and they can succeed only by giving the market what it
    really wants, not what we may think it wants/needs. ;)

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas <http:/navasgroup.com>
    John Navas, Nov 6, 2007
    #12
  13. Rich

    Scott W Guest

    Alan Meyer wrote:
    > On Nov 6, 1:16 pm, Scott W <> wrote:
    >> ...
    >> I would think there would be a market for a P&S camera with a sensor
    >> size in the range of 10-15mm, clearly the camera makers don't believe
    >> that this would be a very large market.

    >
    > Remember, as the sensor size increases, so must the lens size
    > and cost to get the same f/stop and zoom range. If you're trying
    > to make a small and low priced camera, it's a problem.


    But the pixels are getting so small that if you try to shoot even at f/8
    you get a soft image from diffraction. trying to get really go
    resolution from such small sensors is not easy, in many ways it is
    easier to get it from a larger lens.

    I am not saying that every point and shoot camera should have a sensor
    in the 10-15mm range, but it sure would be nice if a few of them did.
    What the world really does not need right now is yet another 1/2.5 inch
    based camera.

    Scott
    Scott W, Nov 6, 2007
    #13
  14. Rich

    Rich Guest

    On Nov 6, 11:22 pm, Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <4730af73$0$19582$>, Scott W says...
    >
    > > If they can sell a DSLR with a sensor that has a 28mm diagonal sensor
    > > for just over $500 the cost of using a sensor with a 14mm diagonal
    > > should be be high at all.

    >
    > Aren't DSLRs subsidised by lens sales? Or at least the margins on body +
    > kit lens should be quite narrow.


    Yes, accessories are the cash-cows. But plenty of add-on lenses were
    sold for 3-5x zoomed P&Ss.
    Rich, Nov 7, 2007
    #14
  15. Rich

    Rich Guest

    On Nov 6, 5:56 pm, John Navas <> wrote:
    > On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 02:48:27 -0600, Ron Hunter <>
    > wrote in <>:
    >
    > >Rich wrote:
    > >> Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > >> acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > >> were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > >> them, and kept improving the processing?

    >
    > >>http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp

    >
    > >P&S cameras have improved greatly, even though sensor sizes remain
    > >small. I don't think we are near the limit for what technology can do
    > >with the small sensors, even when they continue to make each element
    > >smaller.

    >
    > Technology has already greatly improved what can be done with a small
    > sensor, but there's still clearly room for further improvement, witness
    > the amazing noise reduction possible with Neat Image and Noise Ninja.
    >
    > What's largely being missed is the incredible job being done by these
    > low power camera processors -- they have only a fraction of a second to
    > completely process the image coming off the sensor and store it, in
    > addition to running the camera, and they do an incredible job under the
    > circumstances. Sure Neat Image can do better, but it takes about 13 secs
    > per image to do so on my relatively power hungry 1.8 GHz Pentium M.
    >
    > From the excellent overall performance of the FZ8 and FZ18, it's quite
    > clear the Panasonic Venus III is a remarkably powerful processor in its
    > own right, as well as in comparison to the processors used in
    > competitive products. What it lacks in quality of noise reduction is
    > probably just a function of algorithms, as evidenced by the improvement
    > seen in the FZ18, even though more improvement would be desirable.
    >
    > What might be nice down the road is a more sophisticated architecture
    > where the camera processor could do more elaborate post processing after
    > the shot has been taken and first stored, multitasking when the camera
    > is otherwise idle.
    >
    > >Yes, a larger sensor, at whatever technology level, would make
    > >a better image, but would increase cost.

    >
    > Would also greatly increase physical size and weight, a big issue for
    > most consumers. Compare sales of the FZ30 to the FZ7 and FZ8.
    >
    > >I am sure a lot of thought
    > >goes into the decision-making at the camera manufacturer's design facility.

    >
    > Unquestionably, and they can succeed only by giving the market what it
    > really wants, not what we may think it wants/needs. ;)
    >
    > --
    > Best regards,
    > John Navas <http:/navasgroup.com>


    I had a look at the output (at 80 ISO) of a Fuji 9000 super zoom. It
    looked like it had been filtered through textured glass, so inferior
    to a decent DSLR output it wasn't funny.
    I'm only guessing, but I would wager that if some company (whatever
    happened to the Sigma??) put out a fixed lens, or 2-3x zoom P&S with a
    relatively compact body and at least a 4/3rds sensor, for $800 it
    would sell to the DSLR crowd anyway. Olympus produced a 35mm macro
    lens with an f3.5 focal length. If that lens weren't in a macro body,
    it would only occupy about 1/2" x 1/2" of space and would allow for a
    body that would be easily pocketable.
    Rich, Nov 7, 2007
    #15
  16. Rich wrote:
    > Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    > acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    > were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    > them, and kept improving the processing?
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp


    Well I wouldn't extrapolate the issues with Panasonic cameras onto all
    other P&S cameras. If not for image quality, Panasonic cameras would be
    the best of the best, in terms of features.

    Of course the FZ18 still earned a "Recommended" from dpreview, LOL.
    =?UTF-8?B?U01TIOaWr+iSguaWh+KAoiDlpI8=?=, Nov 7, 2007
    #16
  17. Ron Hunter wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    >> Terrible, terrible. You see where ultrazooms have taken formerly
    >> acceptable flagship P&Ss? Old 3-5x zoomed P&S's with 2/3" sensors
    >> were 10x better than this horror. Imagine if they had stuck with
    >> them, and kept improving the processing?
    >>
    >> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicFZ18/page14.asp
    >>

    > P&S cameras have improved greatly, even though sensor sizes remain
    > small. I don't think we are near the limit for what technology can do
    > with the small sensors, even when they continue to make each element
    > smaller. Yes, a larger sensor, at whatever technology level, would make
    > a better image, but would increase cost. I am sure a lot of thought
    > goes into the decision-making at the camera manufacturer's design facility.


    But obviously not as much thought as goes into the decision making at
    the sales and marketing facility!
    =?UTF-8?B?U01TIOaWr+iSguaWh+KAoiDlpI8=?=, Nov 7, 2007
    #17
  18. Rich wrote:

    > Marketing whores killed the quality P&S. They convinced people there
    > was some value in superlong zooms and idiotic megapixel counts which
    > cannot be made to support decent sized sensors without high cost. For
    > instance, a 2/3" sensor camera with integrated 10x zoom would likely
    > cost $1000 today, even if cheaply made, while a Nikon D40 and 18-200mm
    > zoom can be had for about $800.00...


    Could be that the decline in P&S quality was entirely intentional by the
    marketing people. Now if you want quality photos as opposed to
    quantities of megapixels, you have no choice but to ante up for a D-SLR
    and lenses. Meanwhile, the masses buy P&S cameras based on a)
    megapixels, b) telephoto zoom range (ignoring wide angle), c) how big
    the LCD is (ignoring the benefits of an optical viewfinder or at least
    an EVF), and of course price.
    =?UTF-8?B?U01TIOaWr+iSguaWh+KAoiDlpI8=?=, Nov 7, 2007
    #18
  19. Rich

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <4730af73$0$19582$>, Scott W says...

    > If they can sell a DSLR with a sensor that has a 28mm diagonal sensor
    > for just over $500 the cost of using a sensor with a 14mm diagonal
    > should be be high at all.


    Aren't DSLRs subsidised by lens sales? Or at least the margins on body +
    kit lens should be quite narrow.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    Olympus 50X0, 7070, 8080, E3X0, E4X0 and E5X0 forum at
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MyOlympus/
    http://myolympus.org/ photo sharing site
    Alfred Molon, Nov 7, 2007
    #19
  20. On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 13:59:08 -1000, Scott W <>
    wrote:


    >What the world really does not need right now is yet another 1/2.5 inch
    >based camera.


    Amen to that, Scott.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
    Raphael Bustin, Nov 7, 2007
    #20
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