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Author Topic: New crop of 8 mpx's  (Read 2141 times)
Bobtrips
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« on: March 06, 2004, 10:56:16 AM »
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I think that what you're seeing is the shrinking of the 'serious' camera.  With new technology that will allow more sensor surface to be dedicated to light capture, less to wiring, signal/noise ratios will improve.  And/or pixel counts will grow.

The present sensor size used in this year's fixed lens 8 meg cameras may not be 'large enough', but it's certainly looking like there's no need for a 'full-frame' sensor, maybe not even a 'half-frame' to replace what we did with 35 mm film.

The only downside I see to a smaller, lighter, less expensive camera is the difficulty of getting shallow DOF.  (Of course, this to some extent is offset by very deep DOFs when desired.)  Subject isolation may just become something done during editing for many of us.
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Scott_H
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2004, 07:16:36 PM »
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If oly had packaged a 2/3" 8 MP sensor in an e-xx body, and sped the buffer up, a lot, I'd be seriously tempted to upgrade.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2004, 10:05:09 AM »
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I think it's starting to become reasonable to expect that most (if not all) the image quality shortcomings of the high mp ps's (at least the A2) can be acceptably mitigated in software - if not right now, certainly in the next year or so. Witness the quality of the most recent sharpening and noise algorithms. It will also be interesting to see what the consumer side of the DXO product will bring. It's also interesting to think where this trend might lead over the next few years!

For the landscape shots I do - with the wide and tele extenders on the A2 I get 22 to 300mm range in a package that weighes probably 1/20th of what I lug around with a 1D and 3-4 lenses, no dust, and more resolution - albeit at the expense of noise, CA, distortion, softness, and a 100mm off what the 100-400 gives me. My expectation is that those shortcomings (except the length) can all be acceptably dealt with in the post processing workflow.

Landscapes account for about 80% of what I shoot, the remaining requires fast AF and frame rate, or really high ISO, so absolutely the 1D will stay around - I love the tactile sensation of working with the 1D, but a good percentage of what I shoot is accompanied by lots of walking....
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BJL
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2004, 01:17:16 PM »
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Quote
I think that what you're seeing is the shrinking of the 'serious' camera. With new technology that will allow more sensor surface to be dedicated to light capture, less to wiring, signal/noise ratios will improve.
There is news from Sony that could be very promising in this direction, even though initially it is in the form of a 1MP camera phone sensor: http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20040305S0031

  What excites me is that this sensor is a frame transfer CCD instead of the interline transfer CCD common in small sensors (see the glossary at http://www.roperscientific.com/library_glossary.html for details of the difference.)

  Frame transfer style reduces the amount of non-light sensitive area needed on the sensor surface, thus increasing sensitivity and perhaps well electron capacity. This should lead to higher usable exposure index (miscalled "ISO speed") and perhaps higher dynamic range at a given pixel spacing.

  Overall, I see 2/3" format becoming more and more satisfactory for the main image quality needs of the great majority of even moderately serious photographers, so that the most common reason for larger sensor sizes will be for the various consequences of access to lenses with larger maximum effective aperture diameters. In particular
a) lower minimum depth of field,
 higher speed through gathering more total light from a given subject in a given exposure time
c) from that same greater light gathering ability, more light for an optical TTL viewfinder, to give a bigger and/or brighter image: electronic sensors might be getting more sensitive, but our eyes aren't! The only 2/3" format cameras with optical TTL viewfinders so far, the two Olympus E-xx models, seem a bit limited in viewfinder image size and brightness, though their use of a beam-splitter in place of a reflex mirror hurts a bit. Maybe good enough EVF's will someday make this item irrelevant.
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DaShiv
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2004, 10:09:04 PM »
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I don't know about "needs", but the potential of future improvements in "full frame" 35mm sensors that will allow them to easily surpass medium format makes sticking with comparatively convenient DSLR's immensely lucrative. Worse comes to worse, with better sensors in the future, I will be able to carry shorter lenses, crop more aggressively, and still maintain traditional 35mm film resolution or better.

Whatever technological improvements made to smaller sensors can and will, in all likelihood, be carried over to larger DSLR sensors. Assuming that entry-level DSLR's and top-level prosumer all-in-one's remain similar in pricing (as they are today), it's an easy choice for me to give up prosumer features like smaller size, movie mode, and compact megazoom in exchange for the imaging advantages that a larger sensor confers. 35mm-sized DSLR's are still comfortable to handhold, and to me that's what matters for my portability "threshold". Given the future choice between a better-than-35mm pocketable prosumer camera or a future DSLR with a useful ISO 12800, I know which one I'm going to choose, no matter how good that 2/3 sensor becomes.
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