Releveance of sensor size in a PS camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sam, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Sam

    Sam Guest

    I see some of the more expensive newer digital cameras are using sensor
    sizes like 1/2.3 or 1/2.5 while my older Canon A80 used a 1/1.8 and even
    a friends SD700IS 1/2.3. I found the image quality in general to better
    on the smaller image sensor size than the larger 1.8. What gives?
    Sam, Jun 13, 2008
    #1
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  2. Sam

    ASAAR Guest

    On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:37:05 GMT, Sam wrote:

    > I see some of the more expensive newer digital cameras are using sensor
    > sizes like 1/2.3 or 1/2.5 while my older Canon A80 used a 1/1.8 and even
    > a friends SD700IS 1/2.3. I found the image quality in general to better
    > on the smaller image sensor size than the larger 1.8. What gives?


    With respect to the first part of your statement, you're not
    seeing the big picture. When you bought your A80, many P&S cameras
    used 1/2.5", 1/2.7" and even smaller sensors, so for its time, the
    A80's sensor was unusually large and not at all typical. On the
    other hand, many of today's P&S cameras use larger sensors, such as
    the 1/1.7", 1/1.6" and 1/1.5"(2/3") sensors used in several Canon
    and Fuji cameras.

    As for the second part, there's much more to image quality than
    sensor size alone, and in general, cameras using larger sensors will
    have better image quality than those using smaller sensors. Which
    large and smaller sensor cameras have you used that caused you to
    think otherwise? If you're correct, I think that the reason that
    the camera with the smaller sensor produces better image quality has
    more to do with superior image processing and/or a better lens.
    ASAAR, Jun 13, 2008
    #2
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  3. Sam

    Sam Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    >
    > With respect to the first part of your statement, you're not
    > seeing the big picture. When you bought your A80, many P&S cameras
    > used 1/2.5", 1/2.7" and even smaller sensors, so for its time, the
    > A80's sensor was unusually large and not at all typical. On the
    > other hand, many of today's P&S cameras use larger sensors, such as
    > the 1/1.7", 1/1.6" and 1/1.5"(2/3") sensors used in several Canon
    > and Fuji cameras.


    I looked on dpreview at their newest P&S cameras and most of their cameras
    have a sensor size of 1/2.5. Which current Canon brands have below 1/1.8?

    > Which large and smaller sensor cameras have you used that caused you to
    > think otherwise? If you're correct, I think that the reason that
    > the camera with the smaller sensor produces better image quality has
    > more to do with superior image processing and/or a better lens.


    Comparing my A80 to Canon SD700 IS, the SD700 pics are super, the same with
    an older Fuji and the current SD750, SD1000 from Canon which arent very good
    according to many local repots. I also read a recent review of the SD950 or
    SD900, I can't remember which but the pics it took weren't very good,
    compartively speaking.
    Sam, Jun 13, 2008
    #3
  4. Sam

    ASAAR Guest

    On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 21:18:39 GMT, Sam wrote:

    >> other hand, many of today's P&S cameras use larger sensors, such as
    >> the 1/1.7", 1/1.6" and 1/1.5"(2/3") sensors used in several Canon
    >> and Fuji cameras.

    >
    > I looked on dpreview at their newest P&S cameras and most of their cameras
    > have a sensor size of 1/2.5. Which current Canon brands have below 1/1.8?


    Canon's SD950 IS has a 1/1.7" sensor. Fuji's F50fd and F100fd
    have 1/1.6" sensors. The much larger S100FS has a 2/3" sensor. All
    of these camera's sensor sizes are listed on DPReview, even though
    not all of them were honored with full reviews. :)


    >> Which large and smaller sensor cameras have you used that caused you to
    >> think otherwise? If you're correct, I think that the reason that
    >> the camera with the smaller sensor produces better image quality has
    >> more to do with superior image processing and/or a better lens.

    >
    > Comparing my A80 to Canon SD700 IS, the SD700 pics are super, the same with
    > an older Fuji and the current SD750, SD1000 from Canon which arent very good
    > according to many local repots.


    Note that the discontinued, entry level A80 is a *much* older
    camera (from 2003), so not only does it lack Canon's newer improved
    processing engines, it also used a fairly low resolution 4mp sensor.
    The SD700 IS (from 2006, probably also discontinued) has a higher
    resolution 6mp sensor. If current prices are a guide, the SD700 IS
    is a much better camera, with current prices (used) according to
    DPReview of about $444 for the SD700 IS and just $85 for the A80.


    > I also read a recent review of the SD950 or SD900, I can't remember
    > which but the pics it took weren't very good, compartively speaking.


    I'll have to disagree, based on reviews that *I've* seen. I tried
    to find a less-than-enthusiastic review of these cameras and was
    unsuccessful. Can you recall or identify the review website? Or
    was the review that you recall simply some user's not-very-impartial
    opinion? In any case, I'll bet that the SD900 and SD950 produce
    much better pictures than Canon's now-ancient A80. Here's what
    DPReview had to say about the SD900 :

    > # Excellent resolution, good color
    > # Clean, detailed results at lower ISO settings . . .
    > # Reliable exposure system
    > # Fast and accurate focus
    > . . .
    >
    > After testing the SD 800 IS recently I didn't have particularly high hopes
    > for the SD900, so I was pleased to see that - as compact high resolution
    > models go - it produces superb, reliable output no matter what you throw
    > at it. This, above all, is the mark of a successful 'point and shoot' camera
    > - that you can rely on it time after time to produce good results no matter
    > how challenging the photographic situation.
    > . . .
    >
    > The SD900's biggest selling-point for us is simple; it offers some of the best
    > (perhaps the best) image quality in this category . . .


    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd900/page10.asp


    The SD950 wasn't reviewed by DPReview, but it was by some others,
    including Imaging-Resource, Steve's Digicams, DigitalCameraReview,
    PopPhoto and CNET. Here are some snippets from their reviews :

    > Image Quality. I really don't have any serious complaints about the image
    > quality of the Canon SD950 IS. Would that all digicams were as good, really.
    > I was especially pleased with the color capture of some dramatic scenes that
    > ranged from neon signs to gathering storms. "That's it!" I'd say after looking
    > at the shot in the LCD. And later, looking at it on the monitor, I'd nod
    > appreciatively -- something that doesn't always happen.
    > . . .
    >
    > Printed output is astonishingly good, producing impressive 16x20-inch prints,
    > and even ISO 400 shots are good at 11x14. If you're looking for a good,
    > take-anywhere camera with great versatility and good color and tonality, the
    > Canon SD950 deserves a close look. No question, the Canon PowerShot SD950
    > is a Dave's Pick.


    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SD950IS/SD950ISA.HTM


    > When shooting outdoors, the SD950 captures beautiful images with good
    > exposure and rich colors, in both Large Fine and Large SuperFine modes.
    > Images are also sharp, however, I did notice a bit of noise when shooting
    > with an ISO of 200, but not enough to affect a printed photograph.
    > . . .
    >
    > Bottom Line - The SD950 continues in the tradition of the S100 that was
    > started back in 2000, leading the way in the digicam market. A stylish
    > and durable camera, with an outstanding 12.1 megapixel imaging sensor,
    > 3.7x optical zoom and image stabilization, make this an incredibly versatile
    > camera. Great performance and excellent image quality just add to this
    > already outstanding package.


    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/canon_sd950_pg5.html


    > IMAGE QUALITY
    >
    > The SD950 IS is the seventh Canon P&S I've reviewed here at DCR.com,
    > and the previous six all offered good image quality and color. Nothing's
    > changed – the SD950 IS does a good job producing quality images.
    >
    > General Image Quality
    >
    > Overall image quality is quite good, with pleasing sharpness and resolution.
    > . . .
    >
    > Outside of the big sensor, there may not be any particular category that the
    > SD950 IS leads the pack in. Image stabilization and a 2.5-inch monitor, for
    > example, are as common as fleas on a dog's back. It's when you add up the
    > sum of its parts that the true worth of the 950 begins to shine through. This
    > camera doesn't do anything poorly, and does a host of things quite well.
    > That should be enough for most folks.
    >
    > Pros:
    >
    > * Good image and color quality
    > * High resolution with typical class noise performance
    > * Viewfinder
    > * Solid construction and build quality


    http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3367


    > Image quality was fantastic as ISO 80, 100, and even 200, but began
    > to suffer at ISO 400 when viewing the image at 100% on a computer.
    > Noise became overwhelming at ISO 800 and above, so avoid these
    > higher ISO modes if possible.



    http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4727/camera-review-canon-powershot-sd950-is-page2.html

    > Image quality from the SD950 IS is very impressive and clean at lower ISOs.
    > Colors are accurate and well saturated, and exposures tend to be accurate,
    > even in some tough situations. For example, the camera did a good job of
    > balancing the built-in flash with the ambient light from the lamp in our test . . .



    http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/canon-powershot-sd950-is/4505-6501_7-32591168.html
    ASAAR, Jun 14, 2008
    #4
  5. Sam

    Sam Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'll have to disagree, based on reviews that *I've* seen. I tried
    > to find a less-than-enthusiastic review of these cameras and was
    > unsuccessful. Can you recall or identify the review website? Or
    > was the review that you recall simply some user's not-very-impartial
    > opinion?


    As far as the SD900/950 goes, I read that the camera was decent but there
    was noticable noise at ISO 200 which turns me off right away
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/canon_sd950_pg5.html and here:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=canon_sd950is&opinion=40366

    A few were subjective opinions on the SD750 and one was from Steve's
    digicams about the SD750. The last page about low light and noise, as well
    as some distortion. The other subjective opinions basically backed up the
    faults: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/SD750_pg5.html

    For me, I hate noise and my A80 has noticable noise at anything above ISO
    100 which really limits shots. When upgrading to a newer P&S, I dont' want
    to lose any quality. Having used the SD 700 IS, which was a fine camera
    except it lacked full manual and not high enough MP it's hard to find
    another P&S that's comparable or better . Further adding to the
    frustration, I hate it when a manufacturer makes some improvements only to
    mess something else up...one step forward two steps back.
    Sam, Jun 14, 2008
    #5
  6. Sam

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 04:29:10 GMT, Sam wrote:

    > As far as the SD900/950 goes, I read that the camera was decent but there
    > was noticable noise at ISO 200 which turns me off right away
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/canon_sd950_pg5.html and here:
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=canon_sd950is&opinion=40366


    How noticeable was noticeable? If noise is noticeable at high
    magnification on a computer monitor but not in an sharp 8"x10"
    print, it wouldn't turn me off at all. It's interesting that the
    words that turned you off appear to be the words that I quoted :

    > When shooting outdoors, the SD950 captures beautiful images with good
    > exposure and rich colors, in both Large Fine and Large SuperFine modes.
    > Images are also sharp, however, I did notice a bit of noise when shooting
    > with an ISO of 200, but not enough to affect a printed photograph.


    If you're turned off by "a bit of noise" that isn't enough to
    "affect a printed photograph", then I'm afraid that your dream
    camera will remain just that - a dream. This discussion has also
    veered from your original assumption that in general, smaller
    sensors produce better image quality than the older, larger sensor
    in your A80. Have you owned or used an SD950? Even if it has "a
    bit of noise" at ISO 200, I'm quite sure that your A80 produces
    pictures that have much lower image quality and probably more noise
    than the SD950 at any ISO. Are you still using the A80?


    > For me, I hate noise and my A80 has noticable noise at anything above ISO
    > 100 which really limits shots. When upgrading to a newer P&S, I dont' want
    > to lose any quality. Having used the SD 700 IS, which was a fine camera
    > except it lacked full manual and not high enough MP it's hard to find
    > another P&S that's comparable or better . Further adding to the
    > frustration, I hate it when a manufacturer makes some improvements only to
    > mess something else up...one step forward two steps back.


    I've been there and a little over a year ago bit the bullet,
    getting a shooter that provides much lower noise, even at high ISOs.
    Very small and lightweight . . . at least for a DSLR. :)

    I'm still waiting for the ideal small, pocketable P&S with very
    high ISO/very low noise, manual controls, viewfinder and high image
    quality. I don't expect to see one anytime soon. But if I'm
    willing to be reasonable and not especially finicky, the wait will
    be short. If not the SD950, maybe its successor will do. Or maybe
    a modestly improved replacement for Fuji's F50fd/F100fd.
    ASAAR, Jun 14, 2008
    #6
  7. Sam

    Sam Guest

    ASAAR wrote:
    : How noticeable was noticeable? If noise is noticeable at high
    : magnification on a computer monitor but not in an sharp 8"x10"
    : print, it wouldn't turn me off at all. It's interesting that the
    : words that turned you off appear to be the words that I quoted :

    Actually it wasn't you, it was the previous reviews I read up about.
    What really swayed me was that comment on dpreview on how the poster was
    upset with the 950 compared to his 850. The truth is that I haven't
    gotten that far to look at the pics since I had already eliminated the
    950.

    : If you're turned off by "a bit of noise" that isn't enough to
    : "affect a printed photograph", then I'm afraid that your dream
    : camera will remain just that - a dream. This discussion has also
    : veered from your original assumption that in general, smaller
    : sensors produce better image quality than the older, larger sensor
    : in your A80. Have you owned or used an SD950? Even if it has "a
    : bit of noise" at ISO 200, I'm quite sure that your A80 produces
    : pictures that have much lower image quality and probably more noise
    : than the SD950 at any ISO. Are you still using the A80?

    The main reason I asked about the sensor size was that in one of my
    local forums, people were critizing various cameras because of their
    sensor size. And yes, I am still using the A80 but the wife needs
    another camera because she gave her to her mother. So I am looking to
    buy one for "her". I haven't owned or used the SD950. I know she would
    be satisfied with almost any P&S as long as it had IS or some other type
    of image stablization.
    :
    : I've been there and a little over a year ago bit the bullet,
    : getting a shooter that provides much lower noise, even at high ISOs.
    : Very small and lightweight . . . at least for a DSLR. :)

    I thought about a DSLR too but not only is the cost an issue but the
    portability.
    :
    : I'm still waiting for the ideal small, pocketable P&S with very
    : high ISO/very low noise, manual controls, viewfinder and high image
    : quality. I don't expect to see one anytime soon. But if I'm
    : willing to be reasonable and not especially finicky, the wait will
    : be short. If not the SD950, maybe its successor will do. Or maybe
    : a modestly improved replacement for Fuji's F50fd/F100fd.

    Me too, I wasn't planning to get another camera unless it's on sale and
    there have been some good deals lately, but everytime I research it,
    either the overall review is negative or noise, purple fringing, or
    picture softness seems to be an issue.
    Sam, Jun 14, 2008
    #7
  8. ASAAR wrote:

    > On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 21:18:39 GMT, Sam wrote:
    >
    >>> other hand, many of today's P&S cameras use larger sensors, such as
    >>> the 1/1.7", 1/1.6" and 1/1.5"(2/3") sensors used in several Canon
    >>> and Fuji cameras.

    >>
    >> I looked on dpreview at their newest P&S cameras and most of their cameras
    >> have a sensor size of 1/2.5. Which current Canon brands have below 1/1.8?

    >
    > Canon's SD950 IS has a 1/1.7" sensor. Fuji's F50fd and F100fd
    > have 1/1.6" sensors. The much larger S100FS has a 2/3" sensor. All


    I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.

    If not, what are its actual dimensions?


    --
    Blinky
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    Blinky the Shark, Jun 14, 2008
    #8
  9. Blinky the Shark wrote:
    []
    > I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
    >
    > If not, what are its actual dimensions?


    You are correct.

    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 14, 2008
    #9
  10. Sam

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 00:49:13 -0700, Blinky the Shark wrote:

    >> Canon's SD950 IS has a 1/1.7" sensor. Fuji's F50fd and F100fd
    >> have 1/1.6" sensors. The much larger S100FS has a 2/3" sensor. All

    >
    > I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
    >
    > If not, what are its actual dimensions?


    Those are the actual dimensions (approx.), but the sizes given by
    manufacturers (2/3" in this case) can be misleading, since they
    don't refer to any specific sensor measurement, but to the diameter
    of a hypothetical glass camera tube neck that the sensor might very
    loosely fit within. For the gory details see :


    http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/sensor_sizes_01.htm
    ASAAR, Jun 14, 2008
    #10
  11. Sam

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 07:27:14 GMT, Sam wrote:

    > : How noticeable was noticeable? If noise is noticeable at high
    > : magnification on a computer monitor but not in an sharp 8"x10"
    > : print, it wouldn't turn me off at all. It's interesting that the
    > : words that turned you off appear to be the words that I quoted :
    >
    > Actually it wasn't you, it was the previous reviews I read up about.


    No, no no. I didn't mean that my reply was your original source.
    I meant that it was an interesting coincidence that we both
    independently stumbled on the same source.


    > What really swayed me was that comment on dpreview on how the
    > poster was upset with the 950 compared to his 850. The truth is that
    > I haven't gotten that far to look at the pics since I had already
    > eliminated the 950.


    And that pretty much confirms my assessment. Every review I found
    from well respected reviewers praised the SD950's image quality, and
    yet you eliminated the SD950 from consideration based solely on the
    comment of one person in a DPReview forum, who may or may not have
    been competent, and who may or may not have had a defective SD950.


    > The main reason I asked about the sensor size was that in one of my
    > local forums, people were critizing various cameras because of their
    > sensor size. And yes, I am still using the A80 but the wife needs
    > another camera because she gave her to her mother. So I am looking to
    > buy one for "her". I haven't owned or used the SD950. I know she would
    > be satisfied with almost any P&S as long as it had IS or some other type
    > of image stablization.


    Almost all of the criticism of sensor size has been of the "It's
    too small" variety. That's why I immediately noticed your original
    comment that today's small sensors seem to produce better pictures
    than your A80 with its larger sensor. If you find a camera that
    produces images that meet your needs, don't be concerned if it
    doesn't have a relatively large sensor. But in general (for a given
    number of megapixels), the larger the sensor the better the IQ.

    For your wife's next camera, perhaps of more importance than
    making sure that the camera has IS, would be to find out if she'll
    be unable to get used to a camera that has no viewfinder. Most of
    the small P&S cameras these days only allow the back LCD to be used
    for framing. Some people don't like those because they can
    sometimes be very difficult to see when taking pictures outdoors
    when the sun is in the wrong position. Others don't like them
    because they find that to take pictures they have to hold the camera
    in an awkward position that lacks stability. I believe that unlike
    most of Canon's small "Ixus" type cameras the SD950 is one of the
    few that still has a viewfinder.


    > : I've been there and a little over a year ago bit the bullet,
    > : getting a shooter that provides much lower noise, even at high ISOs.
    > : Very small and lightweight . . . at least for a DSLR. :)
    >
    > I thought about a DSLR too but not only is the cost an issue but the
    > portability.


    Yes, portability is an issue, but some of the newer DSLRs are
    actually quite small. Not small enough to fit in a shirt pocket,
    but not uncomfortably large and heavy, as they used to be. Some
    don't cost much more than the SD950, and the image quality and high
    ISO, low noise performance is dramatically superior to almost all
    P&S cameras currently produced. But as you've said, your wife
    wouldn't need a DSLR to be satisfied. You, on the other hand, might
    be tempted by the many advantages of even the least expensive DSLR.
    :)


    > : I'm still waiting for the ideal small, pocketable P&S with very
    > : high ISO/very low noise, manual controls, viewfinder and high image
    > : quality. I don't expect to see one anytime soon. But if I'm
    > : willing to be reasonable and not especially finicky, the wait will
    > : be short. If not the SD950, maybe its successor will do. Or maybe
    > : a modestly improved replacement for Fuji's F50fd/F100fd.
    >
    > Me too, I wasn't planning to get another camera unless it's on sale and
    > there have been some good deals lately, but everytime I research it,
    > either the overall review is negative or noise, purple fringing, or
    > picture softness seems to be an issue.


    Those are usually 'issues' brought up by reviewers, even good
    ones. But cameras that produce noisy and soft images, and have
    worse than average purple fringing can still produce excellent
    prints where those defects won't be noticed unless fairly large
    prints are made. I don't recall that you've indicated a need for a
    small camera that can make high quality 8"x10" or 11"x14" prints.
    Are you familiar with the term "pixel peeping"? <g>
    ASAAR, Jun 14, 2008
    #11
  12. On Jun 13, 5:37 am, "Sam" <> wrote:
    > I see some of the more expensive newer digital cameras are using sensor
    > sizes like 1/2.3 or 1/2.5 while my older Canon A80 used a 1/1.8 and even
    > a friends SD700IS 1/2.3. I found the image quality in general to better
    > on the smaller image sensor size than the larger 1.8. What gives?


    It shouldn't make any difference what kind of digital camera, but
    larger sensors can improve image quality. There are, as everyone
    points out, many aspects to image quality, even on the sensor itself.
    However, when everything else has been optimized to the max, then
    enlarging the sensor can improve things. However, if the sensor is a
    reasonable size, then other links in the chain can be the weaker link.

    As we shrink sensor size, however, there WILL be a point where not
    enough photons are collected, and the system will be photon noise
    limited in dim light.

    Remember, the lens aperture scales directly with sensor dimensions at
    a constant f/# and field of view.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Jun 14, 2008
    #12
  13. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Blinky the Shark wrote:
    > []
    >> I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
    >>
    >> If not, what are its actual dimensions?

    >
    > You are correct.


    Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than, IIRC,
    the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3" sensor's size
    somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one method for designating
    sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than x/y method. Yes, I know
    where that system originated; I'm a TV camera operator and used to use
    the old tube cameras before CCDs.


    --
    Blinky
    Is your ISP dropping Usenet?
    Need a new feed?
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    Blinky the Shark, Jun 14, 2008
    #13
  14. ASAAR wrote:

    > On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 00:49:13 -0700, Blinky the Shark wrote:
    >
    >>> Canon's SD950 IS has a 1/1.7" sensor. Fuji's F50fd and F100fd
    >>> have 1/1.6" sensors. The much larger S100FS has a 2/3" sensor. All

    >>
    >> I thought the 2/3" sensor was only about 8.8mm x 6mm.
    >>
    >> If not, what are its actual dimensions?

    >
    > Those are the actual dimensions (approx.), but the sizes given by
    > manufacturers (2/3" in this case) can be misleading, since they
    > don't refer to any specific sensor measurement, but to the diameter
    > of a hypothetical glass camera tube neck that the sensor might very
    > loosely fit within. For the gory details see :
    >
    > http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/sensor_sizes_01.htm


    Thanks. I read that a fair time ago. As I mentioned (in a post where I
    also mentioned that I used to use tube-type video cameras (that's my
    craft)), I wish there was just one, intuitive labeling standard. Of
    course, I also want free beer. :)


    --
    Blinky
    Is your ISP dropping Usenet?
    Need a new feed?
    http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html
    Blinky the Shark, Jun 14, 2008
    #14
  15. Sam

    Sam Guest

    ASAAR wrote:
    :: And that pretty much confirms my assessment. Every review I found
    :: from well respected reviewers praised the SD950's image quality, and
    :: yet you eliminated the SD950 from consideration based solely on the
    :: comment of one person in a DPReview forum, who may or may not have
    :: been competent, and who may or may not have had a defective SD950.

    I thought about that too, but one poster wrote he returned the SD950 and
    tried a brand new one with the same result. Another commented about the
    soft pics too. The post are here: "Can't understand whats going on here.
    Nearly every reviewer has positive things to say about this camera but not
    me, i am bitterly dissapointed I sold my 850IS (7.1mp) to get the 950IS. For
    the past 6 years i have always carried an Ixus with me and not had a
    complaint and always recommended the range I found the pictures from the
    950IS camera soft and noisy Took it back to T4 and tried another...the
    second camera was exactly the same IXUS, for me is no more.

    and I change a 550 for the 950, and I am a bit disapointed, enough to want
    to change it. The image are soft, cannot take a shoot from a car rolling,
    event with no IS, focus is not good. When outside, beach or mountain the
    image are great, NO problem. I am working in industry, took a lot aof
    picture with my old 550, never have a problem, with this one, very hard,
    still problem with focus if there is a vibration in the floor, the image is
    out of focus.

    one more: The sharpness falls off a bit at long focal length; but this is
    not noticable in normal size prints.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=canon_sd950is&opinion=40428
    :::::
    :: For your wife's next camera, perhaps of more importance than
    :: making sure that the camera has IS, would be to find out if she'll
    :: be unable to get used to a camera that has no viewfinder. Most of
    :: the small P&S cameras these days only allow the back LCD to be used
    :: for framing. Some people don't like those because they can
    :: sometimes be very difficult to see when taking pictures outdoors
    :: when the sun is in the wrong position. Others don't like them
    :: because they find that to take pictures they have to hold the camera
    :: in an awkward position that lacks stability. I believe that unlike
    :: most of Canon's small "Ixus" type cameras the SD950 is one of the
    :: few that still has a viewfinder.

    I actually don't like a camera without a viewfinder, she never uses that. I
    like it because I can better gauge the framing because the ratio so I don't
    have to worry about cutting off the person's head since P&S use 4:3 ratio
    instead of 3:2. Isn't the trend moving away from 90%+ viewfinders to, say,
    ~80%?

    :: Some don't cost much more than the SD950, and the image quality and high
    :: ISO, low noise performance is dramatically superior to almost all
    :: P&S cameras currently produced. But as you've said, your wife
    :: wouldn't need a DSLR to be satisfied. You, on the other hand, might
    :: be tempted by the many advantages of even the least expensive DSLR.
    :: :)

    Hehe. What DSLR's would you be referring to? If I can get a P&S that both
    of us will be happy with, all the better.

    :: Those are usually 'issues' brought up by reviewers, even good
    :: ones. But cameras that produce noisy and soft images, and have
    :: worse than average purple fringing can still produce excellent
    :: prints where those defects won't be noticed unless fairly large
    :: prints are made. I don't recall that you've indicated a need for a
    :: small camera that can make high quality 8"x10" or 11"x14" prints.
    :: Are you familiar with the term "pixel peeping"? <g>

    I actually returned the A75 back when because I noticed the pics were too
    soft, so I got the A80. Honestly, I can see the softness in pics very
    easily. Every now and then, yes, I do get 8x10 prints, but then I use my old
    SLR for that. I would like to be able to have that ability in a P&S. No, I
    am never heard of "pixel peeping".
    Sam, Jun 14, 2008
    #15
  16. Blinky the Shark wrote:
    []
    > Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than,
    > IIRC, the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3"
    > sensor's size somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one
    > method for designating sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than
    > x/y method. Yes, I know where that system originated; I'm a TV
    > camera operator and used to use the old tube cameras before CCDs.


    Yes, it is indeed confusing. In the days of 2/3-inch and 1-inch vidicons
    and 4/3-inch (or 30mm) plumbicons, I was quite happy with the designation,
    but it's inappropriate for digital cameras. I suspect that someone in
    marketing may like the apparently bigger number of 1/2.5 compared to 1/1.7
    which they think that Joe Public may believe. After all, a bigger number
    is better, right? <G>

    One other confusion, by the way, is the aspect ratio. Should you measure
    sensors by horizontal, vertical or diagonal? Some cameras offer 16:9 with
    a 16:9 sensor, others by cropping a 4:3 sensor. And whilst most DSLRs are
    3:2 aspect ratio, the 4/3 system is 4:3! Is it sensible just to use the
    diagonal?

    3-tube 4.5-inch Image Orthicon cameras, anyone?

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 15, 2008
    #16
  17. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Blinky the Shark wrote:
    > []
    >> Thanks, David. When I read someone say it was much larger (than,
    >> IIRC, the 1/1.6" sensor, I thought I may have misread the 2/3"
    >> sensor's size somewhere. It would be nice if there was only one
    >> method for designating sensor sizes, and it was more intuitive than
    >> x/y method. Yes, I know where that system originated; I'm a TV
    >> camera operator and used to use the old tube cameras before CCDs.

    >
    > Yes, it is indeed confusing. In the days of 2/3-inch and 1-inch vidicons
    > and 4/3-inch (or 30mm) plumbicons, I was quite happy with the designation,
    > but it's inappropriate for digital cameras. I suspect that someone in
    > marketing may like the apparently bigger number of 1/2.5 compared to 1/1.7
    > which they think that Joe Public may believe. After all, a bigger number
    > is better, right? <G>
    >
    > One other confusion, by the way, is the aspect ratio. Should you measure
    > sensors by horizontal, vertical or diagonal? Some cameras offer 16:9 with
    > a 16:9 sensor, others by cropping a 4:3 sensor. And whilst most DSLRs are
    > 3:2 aspect ratio, the 4/3 system is 4:3! Is it sensible just to use the
    > diagonal?


    Hell, David...I still have trouble remembering, unless I have an example
    in front of me, if the width or height comes first. I have to stop and
    think about it before speaking or writing, say 16:9, or it's a toss-up
    whether I will express that or 9:16. And it's really aggravating. :)

    But as to your question, I'd be Very Very Happy if W/H was simply given in
    millimeters. Too straightforward to ever catch on!

    > 3-tube 4.5-inch Image Orthicon cameras, anyone?


    We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But certainly I
    was exposed to IO tales. :)


    --
    Blinky
    Is your ISP dropping Usenet?
    Need a new feed?
    http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html
    Blinky the Shark, Jun 15, 2008
    #17
  18. Blinky the Shark wrote:
    []
    > We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
    > certainly I was exposed to IO tales. :)


    Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my first
    vidicon camera before 1975....

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 15, 2008
    #18
  19. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Blinky the Shark wrote:
    > []
    >> We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
    >> certainly I was exposed to IO tales. :)

    >
    > Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my first
    > vidicon camera before 1975....


    You *built* one?

    --
    Blinky
    Is your ISP dropping Usenet?
    Need a new feed?
    http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html
    Blinky the Shark, Jun 15, 2008
    #19
  20. Blinky the Shark wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Blinky the Shark wrote:
    >> []
    >>> We were using plumbicons when I got into the biz in 1977. But
    >>> certainly I was exposed to IO tales. :)

    >>
    >> Makes you think how far we've come since then! I think I built my
    >> first vidicon camera before 1975....

    >
    > You *built* one?


    Yes, and designed some of the circuits as well. It was black and white,
    by the way. Quite a few people built cameras in those days. My metal
    work was never up to much, so the lens mounting left a lot to be desired.
    I suspect that it was actually built between 1968 and 1971.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 15, 2008
    #20
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