How far have P&S's come?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rich, May 30, 2010.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Not as far as you might think. They are much faster when it comes to
    processing, hugely faster. On the order of 5-10x in some cases.
    Resolution is also much higher than years ago. But for image quality,
    not as far. Below are images taken with a 2004 Nikon Coolpix 5400
    with 5 megapixels and a Panasonic LX3 (2009) with 10 megapixels. The
    Panasonic has the superior lens, but the images are about 0.7 stop
    dimmer than from the Nikon indicating perhaps the pixel size has
    effected over sensitivity. I equalized the images (except for WB) in-
    terms of brightness. Both are at 400 ISO with the same aperture (0.1
    stop diff) and exposure time. Both are from raw files and the
    slowness of the Nikon when it comes to processing is in-part due to
    the fact it was never intended to handle raws, that capability was
    added later in a firmware upgrade.

    Coolpix:

    http://www.pbase.com/andersonrm/image/125036002

    Panasonic:

    http://www.pbase.com/andersonrm/image/125036009
     
    Rich, May 30, 2010
    #1
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  2. Rich

    SMS Guest

    What the camera makers should be doing is putting more powerful flashes
    on cameras as the pixel size decreases. I was behind someone at Costco
    who was complaining to the photo person about how dim her indoor
    pictures were, and that when she was using film she got much better
    results. The clerk was trying to explain the reasons for this (and I was
    impressed that the clerk knew enough about digital photography and
    sensors to properly explain it) but the explanation clearly went over
    the customer's head.

    They should have some sort of visual aid with the different sensor sizes
    for different camera models, along with a 35mm film frame size so people
    can understand why the P&S digital cameras with tiny sensors do so
    poorly in low light. It's especially a problem with ZLRs where people
    buy them and think that they're going to get SLR-like performance in low
    light, without realizing that they're going to have the same problems
    they did with pocket size P&S models, or they'll have to spring for a
    expensive flash attachment.
     
    SMS, May 30, 2010
    #2
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  3. Rich

    Ray Fischer Guest

    And because an idiot wants to justify his prejudices, those two
    cameras must be used to represent ALL compact cameras.
     
    Ray Fischer, May 30, 2010
    #3
  4. Both of these cameras have the same size large-ish (1/1.7) sensors. Most
    compacts have 1/2.3 or so. So it's a reasonably fair comparison. The
    5400 is an interesting beast, in that it is one (the only?) camera that
    has a four-colour CCD, rather than the usual RGB Beyer pattern. I have a
    5400, and it's given me great service (except for the CCD dying once, but
    that was replaced for free.)
    How superior? The 5400 goes to 1/2.8 but zooms longer. Horses for
    courses.
    Why force them to 400 ISO, and then require a 1/2000 shutter speed, for a
    landscape? My 5400 spent most of its life on Auto, and only ever
    selected 400 ISO when I was shooting in the pre-dawn dark.
    The Nikon's fine JPEGs are pretty nice. I'm sure the LX3's are too.

    You can't change the laws of physics, though. You might be able to
    improve the sense amplifiers a bit, but you can't catch more photons than
    the geometry allows.

    Cheers,
     
    Andrew Reilly, May 30, 2010
    #4
  5. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Still waiting for that picture, dunce cap.
     
    Rich, May 30, 2010
    #5
  6. Rich

    Rich Guest

    I agree, I was just illustrating the difference at a higher ISO. Both
    cameras produce relatively clean images at 100 ISO or lower.
    True.
     
    Rich, May 30, 2010
    #6
  7. Rich

    LOL! Guest

    LOL!

    You're being trolled by a role-playing photographer that's never even held
    a camera in his life. Maybe I'm wrong about SMS. Every time he manages to
    dupe one of you fools it's actually priceless entertainment!

    LOL!
     
    LOL!, May 30, 2010
    #7
  8. Rich

    SMS Guest

    Noise would be pretty hard to explain to non-techies, but showing how
    pixel size (the same number of pixels in different size sensors) affects
    light gathering capability should be pretty intuitive.

    Actually there are already video tutorials that explain this, but
    putting it on a handout might be helpful not only in the photo
    processing departments of stores but in the camera departments. Too many
    people buy P&S cameras solely by megapixels, LCD size, and zoom lens
    range without understanding anything else.
     
    SMS, May 30, 2010
    #8
  9. Rich

    ROFLMAO! Guest

    Translation: "I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but let's see
    if he'll buy this BS I read on the net somewhere once..."
    Translation: "I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but let's see
    if he'll buy this BS I read on the net somewhere once..."
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!
     
    ROFLMAO!, May 30, 2010
    #9
  10. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Why not pick one identity and stick with it? It's not like your going
    into politics and have to worry about your posts resurfacing at some
    point.
     
    Rich, May 30, 2010
    #10
  11. Rich

    DanP Guest

    A smart reader will not believe him either way.
    But he stands a better chance with the gullible readers if lots of
    sock puppets seem to agree on all that bullshit.


    DanP
     
    DanP, May 30, 2010
    #11
  12. Rich

    ransley Guest

    Isnt Panasonic know to have one of the most noisy sensors.
     
    ransley, May 30, 2010
    #12
  13. Rich

    Guest Guest

    actually, it is.
    that's because the sensor technology improved more than the impact of
    smaller pixels. if you compare a more advanced sensor with an older
    design, you have more than one variable, and claiming smaller pixels
    are as good or better is misleading.

    for any given sensor technology, a larger sensor gathers more light and
    has a better signal/noise ratio. it's basic physics.
    plenty of people get lousy photos with compact digicams too and there's
    no evidence that they'd have fared better if they bought something
    else.
    you can dish it out but you can't take it. one of your favourite quotes:
     
    Guest, May 30, 2010
    #13
  14. Rich

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 29/05/10 5:13 PM, Rich wrote:
    : > Not as far as you might think. They are much faster when it comes to
    : > processing, hugely faster. On the order of 5-10x in some cases.
    : > Resolution is also much higher than years ago. But for image quality,
    : > not as far. Below are images taken with a 2004 Nikon Coolpix 5400
    : > with 5 megapixels and a Panasonic LX3 (2009) with 10 megapixels. The
    : > Panasonic has the superior lens, but the images are about 0.7 stop
    : > dimmer than from the Nikon indicating perhaps the pixel size has
    : > effected over sensitivity.
    :
    : What the camera makers should be doing is putting more powerful flashes
    : on cameras as the pixel size decreases. ...

    But that would require a more powerful battery, which would require a larger
    camera, which ...

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 30, 2010
    #14
  15. Rich

    Robert Coe Guest

    :
    : >On 29/05/10 7:14 PM, George Fillers wrote:
    : >> : >>> What the camera makers should be doing is putting more powerful
    : >>> flashes on cameras as the pixel size decreases. I was behind someone
    : >>> at Costco who was complaining to the photo person about how dim her
    : >>> indoor pictures were, and that when she was using film she got much
    : >>> better results. The clerk was trying to explain the reasons for this
    : >>> (and I was impressed that the clerk knew enough about digital
    : >>> photography and sensors to properly explain it) but the explanation
    : >>> clearly went over the customer's head.
    : >>>
    : >>> They should have some sort of visual aid with the different sensor
    : >>> sizes for different camera models, along with a 35mm film frame size
    : >>> so people can understand why the P&S digital cameras with tiny sensors
    : >>> do so poorly in low light. It's especially a problem with ZLRs where
    : >>> people buy them and think that they're going to get SLR-like
    : >>> performance in low light, without realizing that they're going to have
    : >>> the same problems they did with pocket size P&S models, or they'll
    : >>> have to spring for a expensive flash attachment.
    : >>
    : >>
    : >>
    : >> You've got me intrigued as your posts are usually pretty good.
    : >>
    : >> Are you talking about noise or exposure/inverse square law?
    : >
    : >Noise would be pretty hard to explain to non-techies,
    :
    : Translation: "I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but let's see
    : if he'll buy this BS I read on the net somewhere once..."

    What are you doing in this thread, Turkey? I've known Labrador retrievers who
    knew more about physics and optics than you do.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, May 30, 2010
    #15
  16. Rich

    tony cooper Guest

    Welcome back, John, but I see you continue to blather. No one buys a
    dslr and gets worse pictures than they would with a P&S. If they
    don't know how to compose a photograph, they don't know how to compose
    a photograph with any type of device.

    You could legitimately say that buying a dslr will not ensure *better*
    photographs, but there is no way that a dslr will produce worse
    photographs than a P&S in the same person's hand.

    There are some advantages to the P&S. If you are going to shoot
    photographs from a kayak in high seas, the P&S is the better choice
    because one can be purchased with a greater zoom range and no change
    of lenses is necessary, and because the P&S closes when off and the
    lens is covered automatically. You don't need to fiddle with putting
    a lens cap on to protect the lens from splashing water.

    You don't have to know how to use a dslr properly anymore than you
    have to know how to use a P&S properly. All you have to do with
    either type of camera is to figure out how to turn it on and set it to
    Automatic. Your photographs will be *better* if you learn to use the
    other settings properly, but all modern dslrs can be used exactly as a
    P&S is used.

    You remind me of a guy I know who incessantly brags about his 5
    year-old child and how smart the child is. He even brags that his
    child already knows how to use a knife and fork.
     
    tony cooper, May 30, 2010
    #16
  17. Rich

    tony cooper Guest

    Yes, pointing out the patently obvious fallacy of what you post is
    acting jerk-like.
     
    tony cooper, May 30, 2010
    #17
  18. Rich

    Guest Guest

    a common navas quote:
     
    Guest, May 30, 2010
    #18
  19. Rich

    SMS Guest

    What a lot of people apparently didn't realize is that when they moved
    from a full frame film sensor in their P&S to a tiny digital sensor in
    their P&S, they ended up with a camera that does poorly in low light and
    that has agonizingly long AF speeds. What's made the DSLR so critical to
    even amateur photographers is how bad P&S digital cameras are in a few
    critical areas.
    But can the 5 year old use chopsticks?
     
    SMS, May 31, 2010
    #19
  20. []
    Very true, although the tiny sensor allows such great depth of field that
    poor AF accuracy may not matter. The slow AF can make for missed shots,
    though, particularly with the longest focal lengths.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 31, 2010
    #20
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