"at least equal or better image quality than Canon EOS-1Ds"

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Henley, May 21, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    "I've no doubt that a technically optimal Fuji Provia or Astia 100
    frame from, say, the sub-$100 Olympus µ [ mju: ] II, if professionally
    printed chemically or scanned on a drum scanner and properly
    processed, can produce at least equal or better image quality than the
    same frame shot with royalty like the Canon EOS-1Ds." (the Canon
    EOS-1Ds is an 11mp $8000 dSLR)


    What do you guys think of this?

    (p.s. please read the article if you have intentions of forming
    negative opinions of him; he prefers digital over film in practice.)
    Mike Henley, May 21, 2004
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  2. Mike Henley

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Perhaps to some extent it is a bit like the vinyl vs CD debate in the music
    world. CD is technically better, but sometimes vinyl just sounds better,
    because it isn't as good. I have a pretty good sound setup that is based on
    early 80's technology, and i think it whips the pants off modern digital
    hifi, even if technically it isn't as good. Anyway... back to the topic -
    For the price of the equipment, film still outperforms digital and by a long
    way. (note, approximate prices are average street prices here in australia).
    a $20 disposable camera will give a much better print than the basic $200
    kodak CX6200 point and shoot digital. A $300 basic SLR will give a much
    better print than a $300 digital (eg fuji S3000). A good film SLR of around
    $1000 will give a much better photo than a $1000 digital (eg fuji S7000). It
    really is only when you start getting into the $2000 and above (nikon d70,
    canon eos300), that you even start to rival film quality. Of course however
    the $200 kodak CX6200 can do something that even the most expensive film
    camera can't, and that's instant preview of photo, and a print within a
    couple of minutes of taking the photo.
    What he says about the development process is true too - in a shopping
    centre across the road from me, there are 2 mini-labs - one kodak and one
    fuji. I always used the kodak lab and kodak film, simply because i figured
    kodak had the best name. I had always thought 400 film was too grainy for
    anything useful, even when printed at 6x4, so I only used 100 speed film.
    Every time i used 400 speed film for the extra speed, the prints were so
    grainy i regretted my decision to use it. I was then starting to think my
    camera's focus alignment was up the creek because all the prints were out of
    focus. Anyway, a friend started working at the fuji lab so i got a roll
    done there and was blown away by the picture quality. A roll of 400 from the
    same batch as one I'd previously had developed that was too grainy, came out
    just as clear as 100. So I got them to do a reprint of one of my 400 negs
    that kodak did, and it came out grainy, but in focus. Conclusion - the
    local kodak minilab develops negs badly resulting in the extra grain, and
    their enlarger is out of focus. I now use 400 speed almost exclusively, and
    the results are excellent.
    I posted in aus.photo about an experience I had yesterday comparing the fuji
    s7000 and eos300d - the s7000 over-exposed the highlights and under-exposed
    the shadows - basically it just wasn't capable of recording sufficient
    contrast for the shot. plus it had horrible green halos everywhere there was
    a change in contrast (Eg between the mag wheel and tyre on the car). The EOS
    was much better, fairly close to film in ability to record the contrast. We
    started playing with enlargements (cropping the picture and printing the
    crop as a 8x6), and concluded the eos would enlarge to about a 24x18
    reasonably ok - putting it about on par with 100 film. However when film is
    over-enlarged it still tends to look ok because of the randomness of the
    grain. Digital on the other hand forms horrible square pixelation which
    looks disgusting.
    Justin Thyme, May 22, 2004
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  3. Mike Henley

    jriegle Guest

    Image quality encompasses many things. Resolution wise, yes, I can believe
    it. My own tests show 15mp - 24mp is needed to match most films in 35mm. It
    depends on many factors. Print film has the wide dynamic range advantage,
    slide films have a narrow advantage.

    Considering were only talking about the large sensors common in
    interchangeable lens SLRs, digital has the advantage in producing virtually
    noise free images. High res film scans will always reveal the grain
    structure that makes up the image.

    In the end, it is what you need from the medium. I'm happy with my 6mp SLR.
    I rarely shoot film anymore. If I do, I shoot ISO 100 speed. ISO 400 and 800
    speed grain shows on anything bigger than a 4x6 print while the digital
    camera retains the smooth colors so I have no use for these speeds in film.
    I will have no more use for film when a good 10mp+ SLR comes along at a
    reasonable price.

    jriegle, May 22, 2004
  4. Mike Henley

    Mark Weaver Guest

    Digital only pixelates if you fail to up-res before printing. If you up-res
    properly, there's no pixelation (and no grain either) -- it just looks soft
    on close inspection.

    Mark Weaver, May 22, 2004
  5. Everything else he says in the article is spot on, but I think he's
    underestimating the 1Ds. If he's talking about _percieved_ image quality,
    the 1Ds gets close to 645 with ISO 100 film. IMHO, it's not quite as good as
    645, but amazingly close. 35m is a _long_ way from 645. (As I understand it,
    the 1Ds antialiasing filter is not as strong as it should be: if you don't
    want to see aliasing, you'll need more like 15 or 16MP with the same filter
    for that quality imaging.)

    Film has a long "tail": it "resolves" extremely fine detail at extremely low
    contrast. But this "resolution" isn't of much use for imaging, since it's
    extremely high noise. People who claim 35mm is equal to 24 or 35MP are
    talking about that tail. They're not wrong, it's just that it's academic. In
    the real world, you need to capture with a minimum loss of contrast to
    retain textures. The world isn't just signs and license plates. (There was a
    3MP vs. consumer color negative film comparison here a couple of years ago.
    The street signs in the film image were clearer, but the rest of the image
    was a gross disgusting mess, while the rest of the image in the digital was
    quite usable.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, May 22, 2004
  6. This is the standard/common pro view. The Canon 1Ds and Kodak 14n
    were the first digital SLR to approach 35mm color film's resolution,
    but the dirty little secret is that this is only when using a B&W
    target, since the monochrome Bayer sensor can return black values at
    every photosite, even after the color mosiac is placed in front of it
    to interpolated color. To put it simply, color interpolation is 100%
    accurate when no color is involved. With color targets, both fall
    short of 35mm by about a factor of 4.

    Foveon is roughly a 56mm film equivalent in full color...

    Though Discover Magazine rated Foveon much higher than that after
    grueling real life scientific testing...

    "Digital cameras have relied on image sensors that can't do what color
    film does: record all three primary colors of light at each point in
    the image. Instead, each light-sensitive point in the sensor measures
    just one color—blue, green, or red—and complicated software in the
    camera calculates the missing colors. Foveon's breakthrough X3 chip
    solves the problem with a three-layer design that captures red, blue,
    and green light at each point. To demonstrate quality differences, the
    monarch butterfly on this page was photographed with three cameras: an
    $1,800 Sigma SD9 with an X3 chip; a $300 Nikon Coolpix 2500; and a
    $2,300 Nikon 35 mm F5 film camera. Insets show magnified detail from
    each camera's image.


    This photograph, taken with the Sigma SD9 using a Foveon chip, attains
    levels of sharpness and color accuracy usually seen only in
    medium-format cameras that use 120 mm film, which has a resolution
    about twice that of 35 mm film."

    --Discover Magazine
    George Preddy, May 22, 2004
  7. The whole problem with all of this is that quality is whatever people agree
    that it is. Quality cannot be quantified, of course, and so there is no
    objective standard of reference. One can discuss pixels and grain, and
    that sort of thing, but one is still using arbitrary quantities to describe
    issues of quality; one defines the relationship however one wishes, and
    there is no possibility of objectivity in this regard. In science, one
    tries to limit one's metrics to those intrinsic in natural (as opposed to
    artificial) phenomena, which is why science does not address issues of pure
    quality. You simply cannot make one serve the other, in either direction!

    For instance, when CDs came out, I can remember just how excited people were
    about the clear clean crisp highs, and they tended to define quality by the
    perceived presence of these. Nowadays. this same attribute is regarded as
    artificial and unpleasant; hence the move to vinyl. It simply is a matter
    of perception.

    Now we have the argument about (for instance) pixels versus grain. Which
    defines image quality? Who is doing the looking and criticizing? Some
    people like one and some another, and the arguments are basically species
    of techy entertainment, in the main. Or so it seems to me.

    As I pointed out in a recent thread, albeit rather obliquely, some define
    image quality according to the style of brush strokes used! They claim, in
    effect, "a pox on both your houses!".

    So please understand that, while these threads are entertaining, they have
    little enduring merit. At the end of the day, we all have our own opinions
    based on our own experiences, and I suspect most of us at some point find
    ourselves thinking, "Who cares?!?!?"


    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 22, 2004
  8. Mike Henley

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that (George Preddy) stated
    ...you're an obsessional, lying idiot who doesn't know what he's talking
    about, & who just makes this shit up.

    Where are the photos you claim to have sold, 'Preddy'?
    Lionel, May 22, 2004
  9. Mike Henley

    Jim Davis Guest

    I don't think many can afford a good drum scanner, nor do many want to
    scan anymore. that's the beauty of a DSLR, convert the RAW file and
    you're done. You just can't compare the colour from digital to film.

    And the 'technically optimal' is only a wetdream of film purists. It
    doesn't happen outside a lab.

    Not to mention the many other advantages of a DSLR.
    Jim Davis, May 23, 2004
  10. Mike Henley

    Jim Davis Guest

    Not true. Film, when enlarged show ugly grain.

    Digital upsizes very nicely in the printer driver.

    I have a 10 by 15 Frontier print here from an image file that was 1000
    pixels on the long side to prove it. It's completely free of any
    pixelation or grain or noise. And from proper viewing distance looks
    great. Hey it looks damned good up close too.

    Maybe if you owned a drum scanner film would rock, but I don't even
    have the space to put one, the cash to buy one, nor the inclination to
    spend hours scanning.

    10D rocks
    Jim Davis, May 23, 2004
  11. Mike Henley

    Jim Davis Guest

    No no, do not upres, let the printer driver do that for you. It does a
    better job and upresing is not done twice.
    Jim Davis, May 23, 2004
  12. Mike Henley

    Jim Davis Guest

    Yes, as a 10d user who is very satisfied and will never shoot another
    frame of film and has sold his film cameras - I think the proof is in
    the using. Film users who have not really tried a camera such as the
    10d can't really comment as to which is better. I know for me which is
    better, and I don't give a hoot who wants to stick to film.
    Jim Davis, May 23, 2004
  13. Mike Henley

    Jim Davis Guest

    Pleez do not reply anymore to this idiot. Killfile him so I don't have
    to read his second hand crap, nor comments like yours to him. Just
    plonk him now.
    Jim Davis, May 23, 2004
  14. Mike Henley

    Justin Thyme Guest

    But the thing is, how much did you pay for the 10D? For similar money you
    could have had a medium format camera, which would blow away the 10D for
    picture quality. I agree with you totally that (high-end) digital is now
    very good, but it is still a damned sight more expensive for equipment than
    film gear.
    a $20(AUS) point and click film camera with 400iso film will blow away a
    digital camera 10x it's price for picture quality. My $300 SLR loaded with a
    reasonable consumer grade film will blow away practically any compact
    camera - it's not until you get into the likes of the EOS300, D70, *istD etc
    at 8x the price, that you get a camera that seriously compares for picture
    quality - and then if I load B&W or a pro-grade film i'm back in front.
    Currently digital really only holds one big advantage over film, and that is
    in the ability for instant preview and fast print. If comparing on a $ for
    $ basis, film still wins every time. This will be short-lived though. Only 5
    years ago, a 1.3MP digital was considered high-end and state-of-the-art. I
    am _very_ confident that given another 5 years of development, digital will
    equal film on a $ for $ basis. ie, in 5 years a camera equivalent to the D70
    or Eos300 will be available for about $300AUS. I think in 5 years time we
    will see Digitals with true 35mm sensors, in the $1k-$3k price bracket. Once
    you can get a DSLR for under $500aus, or a true 35mm for under $2Kaus, then
    film will truly have had it's day. By then we will probably also see
    digitals capable of recording 9 stops of contrast like a good b&w film does.
    My opinion is that film still slightly holds the edge, but that won't be the
    case for much longer.
    Justin Thyme, May 23, 2004
  15. I think it is good to know the limits of the technology you are using.
    Of course, it doesn't mean that for every picture you have to be on the edge.

    It used to be the case that you had to go to medium format or larger to
    get something better than 35mm. But I like the 18x 'zoom' that I get from
    the various lenses in my bag. I don't think that range is practical with
    medium format.

    Now that there is digital it is interesting to see how far you can take
    digital, and how it compares to film. Is a 1Ds better than 35mm film in
    every respect, or are there areas where film is better?

    Of course, shooting style makes a difference too. Because digital is new,
    'we' want very sharp, grain/noise free images. It is possible that soon,
    we want relatively soft images, maybe with some grain added to provide the
    fog with some texture.

    Of course, some people will try to take advantage of film. For example
    by taking pictures from high contrast scenes. Or by exploiting the
    much better anti-alias filters in film.

    In the end, you have to know your tools to make creative use of them.
    Philip Homburg, May 25, 2004
  16. Mike Henley

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    And if you do up-res, you enter into the land of egg-carton artifacts.
    JPS, May 27, 2004
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