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Author Topic: Michael's Tests of EOS-1Ds  (Read 17558 times)
Ray
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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2002, 07:13:50 AM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Doug,
Fred seems to have quite a few really useful 'Photoshop Actions' available at a very affordable price - almost too good to be true. I see he's got two different programs that tackle the limited dynamic range of the D60 - Dynamic Range Increase (DRI) and Highlight Recovery Action. Actually, there's a third program - Shadow Recovery. I think I'll give them a try. Hope they're not too buggy. Thanks for the suggestion.[/font]
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jwarthman
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« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2002, 05:27:32 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I do not agree. When you have something to throw away, it is always better rather then making up or inventing something.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']I think that was my point!  :-)

For a given print size, the less interpolation necessary, the better.

What I'm wondering is if someone with access to a 1Ds might conduct a test. Print a full-frame image with no interpolation.

Compare that with another print that *simulates* a 3 MP sensor (e.g. D30) with the necessary interpolation to get the same size image.

It seems that would show how prints made with 3MP and 11 MP sensors render fine detail differently.

Enjoy!

-- Jim[/font]
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2002, 12:12:15 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hi Ray,

Yes about the Line pairs per mm that is exactly the same thing I thought as you just wrote it down, but if you carefully analize some tests you will see that the experts are quite above this simple calculation as we see it.

Today in the morning it came to my mind that digital Photography reminds me to that old? system of painting by numbers.

What does the light reading element say when it sees 50% white and 50%black. I guess it converts it in a 50% grey?. It the light reading element (pixel?) gets 70% white and 30% black? will it be a light grey or will it be white? I could continue but what comes out? I think this has been somewhere fixed by software that say this pixel is black because it gets 90% of black so the 10% white is cut off or viceversa. In this case if I would have to pixels the 100% white would fall on one and the 100% black would fall on the other, etc. etc. etc.

I am speaking on that zones where there is a clear delimited border of Dark and Light.

How big are the light reading elements in a film? the silver particles ? OK they have the addiction to form groups, this is what I understand as grain and what if the film industry takes them away the addiction of forming groups (like we humans), won´t the film then be far superior than a digital at the moment?

I think they solved it quite good at the Fuji Provia 100F and 400F films. I can not speak from other film makers because I took the decision 2 years ago only to use Fuji because of the results and O do nat want to experiment anymore.

Another question is: Will the film industry be interested in developing solutions for the problem of grain building up? or not?

I think here it depends who in the film company is still interested in film or not and if they see future in the film or not. Maybe Fuji keeps doing the good job. They have the digital cameras and they still in the same time developed the Provia films 100F and 400F. Will this interest stay alive or not?

So after writing down all this I still have no answer how the line pairs per mm resolution is calculated.[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2002, 05:13:22 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Almost twice the resolution provided different lenses are used to compensate for the 1.6x factor. Since you're not comparing different images, your experiment would merely give you an idea of what 'double' the resolution looks like.[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2002, 08:50:23 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Michael,
You've certainly demonstrated what an imressive camera the 1Ds is. Despite a slight disappointment with my D60 regarding dynamic range, I'm very pleased with it in most other respects. It simply produces better looking photos than 35mm film. The lack of grain and noise is more impressive than that appealing quality of MF (reduced grain because of the larger format, I mean). But there are a couple of statements in part 4 of your review which seem contradictory. I'll copy and paste them below if that's all right.

"I have not had an opportunity to do any rigorous testing of dynamic range. But a few hundred varied frames show me that it appears to be comparable to that of the D30 and D60, which I have extensive experience with. Figure on a solid 6 stops of dynamic range.
Few photographers will find the 1Ds wanting with regard to available dynamic range. I judge it to be about one to two stops better than transparency film, and roughly comparable to colour negative film — but of course much less noisy / grainy."

I haven't found this to be the case with my D60 - that it is roughly equivalent to colour negative film. Perhaps it's my technique. Perhaps I should be underexposing more and extracting more detail from the shadows. On the other hand, I haven't done any rigorous testing either. 6 f/stops might be close to the bottom of the range of colour negative film but no where near the top of the range. The figures I have in mind are, 4-6 stops for slide film, 7-9 stops for colour negative and 9-11 stops for B&W. Maybe your figures for these ranges are different. Would you care to comment?[/font]
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Marshal
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2002, 01:34:36 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I think I see what you're talking about Sergio with the antenna in the test images. One thing I do notice is that overall, it has a sharper, clearer look in the 1Ds image.

But to be perfectly fair to film, I agree a little bit with a few detractors of the review who pointed out that the particular Imacon scanner Michael has is no longer among the best scanners, desktop or otherwise. While I agree that a $10,000-$12,000 drum scanner is way out of the budget for most people to afford for their own home, and drum scans from a lab can get expensive quickly also, a good pro desktop scanner like Nikon's 8000ED at $2,989(from Publishers Perfection)has 4,000 DPI and 4.2 DR and a Nikkor ED lens, which can give drum scans a hard run for the money with 35mm up to 4X5 format. A comparison between the 1Ds skyline images and scans from the 8000ED would be very telling, one way or the other.

It would get even more interesting with Toronto pics from a Kodak 14n thrown in. The 14n with it's 13.5 effective MP resolution(2.4 more MP than the 1Ds)would make for a very fascinating contest and one I would definitely like to see.[/font]
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Dale Cotton
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« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2002, 12:16:42 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Ray, RS, Marshal:

Quote
Dale, Have you any idea what this statement really means?"

- Nope. I'm more the artistic type. Thanks for the clarification. So far as I know Ed Monaghan's 50 lp/mm would be considered a very conservative estimate, and really good equipment should do correspondingly better.

Tony:

Quote
I have tested and found 12+ stops with these materials. 10 stops of this is completely usable, there is severe compression in the rest, but it is still there. This is absolutely liberating compared to tranny, and gives me the control I only had in the wet darkroom with B&W, and more.

Three cheers for being brave enough to say this in public. Problem is the blankety-blank grain-aliasing robs me of much of my ability to leverage this resource (and I have a 4000 ppi scanner). I almost wish I hadn't been spoiled by neg film, then I could look on the seven stops of a typical digicam (accepting a bit of noise) as liberating. Still, if I could afford the Kodak 14n, I'd be tempted, if just for a change of opponents.

If once the reviewer tribe got exposed to a dSLR with ten stops of D.R., they'd never again be willing to tolerate seven.[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2002, 10:35:55 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I think perhaps the following table on diffraction limits (which I've copied and pasted from Roger N. Clark's site) might explain the 6 micron limit. As you can see, at F5.6 distortion from diffraction is represented by a 6.3 micron blob. Call it 6 microns. A high quality lens is likely to be 'diffraction limited' at around F5.6. The higher quality the lens, the larger the aperture (the smaller the F stop) the diffraction limit will apply. Some really top notch lenses might be diffraction limited at F2.8. This means that other aberrations due to coma and chroma etc are at such a low level that the predominant distortion is due only to diffraction. Stopping down will not produce sharper results, except in so far as greater depth of field might minimises focussing errors.

However, there's something misleading in Roger Clark's statement. He says, practical limits have already been reached regarding pixel size. Many people might interpret this as relating directly to the diffraction spot size at a fairly useable aperture of F5.6, but I think he's referring to the manufacturing process of the sensor chips and I think he's already out of date.

Any implication that, because lens resolution is limited by a certain diffraction spot size at a particular F stop, there is no advantage in having pixels smaller than the diffraction spot size, is patently false in my view. That would be like saying, because my lens cannot resolve more than 80 lp/mm, there's no point in using a film that has a greater resolving power than 80lp/mm. Now we all know that that's a totally false statement, don't we?

DIFFRACTION
 
Diffraction limits the ultimate detail an imaging system can deliver. This is a fundamental limit due to the wave nature of light.
The trend in digital cameras is to increase the pixel count, and the easiest way to do this is to decrease pixel size. However, practical limits have already been reached! The diffraction spot size in the focal plane is a function of f/ratio and is independent of focal length. The diffraction spot size is:
       
F/ratio      Diffraction spot size   
2        2.2 (microns)   
2.8       3.1    
4         4.5    
5.6       6.3    
8         8.9    
11       12    
16       18    
19       21    
22       25    
32       36    
45       50[/font]
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Grumpy
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« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2002, 10:29:13 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hi All:

Gee, this is quite a thread here. I'm no expert when it comes to the more scientific stuff, but as someone who spent a day shooting with a 1Ds and has his own images of subjects he understands, I agree wholeheartedly with Michael's (and Rob's, etc.) conclusions.

I really didn't think it was possible for a mere 11MP to best 35mm chromes, but for my sort of shooting, it certainly does. I've been shooting with Provia 100F in my EOS1v for a couple of years now, and have made countless scans with both the Polaroid SS4000 and my Howtek SM4500 drum scanner. Even my best drum scans can't hold up to the 1Ds images, in spite of being substantially larger in file size. I've got the prints to prove it.

I did all my shooting in raw mode, and used a private beta of Zoombrowser to convert them to tif. I recall the moment I first laid eyes upon the converted image. It looked a bit soft, just like the images out of the D30 do, but this is a good thing, not a bad thing. You can sharpen the #### out of the images the 1Ds produces and the results are stunning. The level of detail in the image is really unbelievable.

I did hear a rumor that the Kodak 12MP body does NOT include an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor. If true, this should sound an alarm, since you MUST prevent spatial frequencies above the limits of the sensor from being captured. Once they're in the captured image, all the post-processing in the world won't save you. I was told the anti-aliasing filter in the 1Ds cost $2000 all by itself, which is one reason the 1Ds is priced so much higher than the Kodak. Trust me, you really DO want that filter there. I was also told the rumors of an EOS-mount Kodak camera are completely unfounded.

I've got 4 1Ds bodies on order (each from a different source), so I'm hoping to get one ASAP. Once I have one, I won't be shooting any more 35mm film, I can guarantee you that.

Cheers:
Grumpy
www.grumpysworld.com[/font]
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samirkharusi
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« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2002, 10:37:55 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']BTW, Norman Koren makes a few predictions about future developments of 35mm sized sensors. He envisages a 24 megapixel sensor that has 1.39x the resolution of 35mm film.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Hi again, Perhaps we are not as far apart as appeared at first sight. I note that Norman Koren's prediction of 24 megapixels for a 35 full format translates into 6 micron square pixels (4000x6000), capable of critical sampling of a 80 lp/mm lens. Somewhere in Canon's vast stable, there must be such a lens, perhaps the 600/4? The D60 already has 7.5 micron pixels. So within spitting distance. Since lens development is not static, though perhaps not proceeding by leaps and bounds like sensors, that cross-over point regarding the best compromise for pixel-size, noise-sensitivity, lens resolution will shift continuously towards smaller pixels, with enough time. IMHO, the 7.5microns in a D60 remain useful today between f5.6 and f11, but are overkill outside that range with the lenses I tested. At f22 those pixels are an overkill even for a theoretically perfect lens. Again, using Nyquist and FWHM to get "critical" sampling. For me, first priority remains a full-format sensor, probably for the vast majority of us :-)[/font]
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jeffreybehr
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« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2002, 10:28:56 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Doug, I quote Michael's review of the 1Ds:  
"What about a comparison with both 35mm film and medium format? I'm afraid that film has definitively lost the battle. The 1Ds's full-frame 11MP CMOS sensor produces a 32MB file — as big as a typical scan. But this file is sharper and more noise free than any scan I have ever seen, including drum scans. There simply isn't a contest any longer.

The 1Ds also fares very well against medium format. Is it sharper than 645? No, not quite, but really very close. When you add in the extremely low noise of the images compared to scanned film, and add in all of the cost and workflow advantages of shooting digital over shooting and scanning film, in my opinion the 1Ds is to be preferred. I'll gladly take the huge reduction in noise (grain) over slightly lower overall resolution any day of the week. Thomas and Chris basically have concurred with this finding after reviewing many sample images that we shot together."

This says that OVERALL, MR prefers the images from the 1Ds.  

Shoot what you want, Doug, but don't put words in Michael's mouth.

When YOU have tested a 1Ds, comparing it to your own MF images, and have published your results, you'll be entitled to your INFORMED opinions and I'll read them.  'Till then, how can you argue INTELLIGENTLY without having done it yourself?  One surely can't tell from the medium-sized JPGs anyone including Michael published.[/font]
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Tim
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« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2002, 07:07:26 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']One feature Michael wished for was automatic horizontal and verticle orientation of the file. Wow, I've been saying that for years. My Kodak 260 (4years ago? about $400) had this feature. I've since owned Nikon 990, 995, Canon D30, D60, A30 and not one of these #### cameras has had it!  :p  You may think it a small problem but when you have to reorient a few hundred photo's especially at converted file sizes, you can waste a whole lot of time.

Done ranting.
Thanks. [/font]
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2002, 12:35:20 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hi Dale,

I do not know how you came to 16,72 Mio Pixel but mathematically

36mm divided by 0.006 (microns) gives exactly 6000 pixels on the long end of the 35mm film and 4000 pixels on the short end and this multiplied gives 24 Million Pixels.

Another thing is you would then have optically a resolution of ~ 4233 pixels. More than any film scanner at the momemnt speaking of the Polaroid, Canon or Nikon film scanners.[/font]
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2002, 11:46:39 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Since current sensor pixel pitch appears to be near the limit of the resolving power of our best lenses, it might make sense for the camera designers to turn to exposure latitude for the next set of improvements.  Certainly, this seems to be the last factor where film holds the high card.

To increase dynamic range, you need to capture and process more data, resulting in longer processing times and bigger files - not always desireable.

Why not give this control to the photographer? If they provide us with an on-camera "contrast" adjustment we could increase bit depth when we need it.[/font]
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jwarthman
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« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2002, 01:34:14 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Similarly, I received notice yesterday afternoon that the 1Ds would be available to me (I'm at the top of the waiting list) in early December, for $7400.

This is about $1400 higher than I think it should be.

Have others received similar notice?

Enjoy!

-- Jim[/font]
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Erik M
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« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2002, 09:35:21 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I have to agree with Marshall. I'd like to see a comparison made with high detail, high frequency landscape images, expecially with--if possible--prints made at, say, 14x22 or 16x20 and higher, which is traditionally what I've bothered to use medium format for anyway. If I enjoyed smaller prints, I'd be really excited.

On an aside, has anyone here ever made any comparisons projecting digital files from a high end multi-media projector vs. a quality 35mm or medium format slide projector and lens? For my personal use, the 'weak link' in digital is the lack of information regarding the satisfaction one might or might not receive from using the current crop of digital projectors.[/font]
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Quentin
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« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2002, 05:35:16 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Awesome.  Cheesy   A word not to be used lightly, but I feel justified in using it for the 1Ds.

It's not just the resolution, although that is impressive.  Its the lack of serious artifacts.  Its Foveon like (arrgh, the dreaded F word).  I asume this is because of the light touch anti-aliasing filter.

Assuming this to be the case, I would hope (as a Nikon man) that the new Kodak will be similarly free of nasties.

An important threshold has been crossed.  A DSLR with resolution surpassing that of 35mm film.  We are in unchartered territory.  Someone better start redesigning 35mm lenses to keep up.

Quentin[/font]
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Ray
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« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2002, 10:30:25 PM »
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[font color=\'#CC9900\']Jim,
This is the whole point of my argument. It's difficult to get the facts. It's a weakness that tends to be ignored. You must know from general experience that you don't promote products by mentioning weaknesses. If a manufacturer produces an audio CD player with a dynamic range of, say, 70db, he's not going to boast about it. The listed specifications at the back of the manual are probably going to ignore this bit of information. It's not impressive. Let's be quiet about it. So is the case with digicams in general. Dynamic Range is an ignored specification. There's nothing to boast about.

When Michael first reviewed the D30, he said he thought there was slightly more shadow detail than the compared Provia F slide. There were later subjective comments, from other sources as well, that the dynamic range of the D30 was somewhere between that of slide film and that of negative (color) film. Pretty vague really. My own experience with the D60 is that the DR is very roughly inbetween that of slide film and that of color film, but probably closer to that of slide film. I would guess it's about 6 f stops as opposed to the 5 or 5 1/2 f stops of the average slide film. This compares with 8-9 f stops for some color negative films and 11 f stops for the best of the B&W films and the best of the MF $20,000 digital backs. There's a long way to go.[/font]
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2002, 05:18:01 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hi Jim,

I do not agree. When you have something to throw away, it is always better rather then making up or inventing something.

When I do prints whatever size, I always scan at highest possible resolution and then either resize up or down.

Just because of this huge discussion in dpreview, on weekend I made some tests to see if the digital really has more detail and for my use I would say digital can still wait.

I took a landscape shot with my Canon 15mm f2.8 Fisheye on Provia 100F (I think not the best example, but i wanted to see what comes out on details) and scanned it at 8000dpi on my Polaroid SprintScan4000 with Silverfast Ai 6.0. Yes 8000 dpi the software interpolates, because the optical resolution of the scanner is 4000dpi.

I do print from 20x30cm up to 60x90cm or 8"x12" to 24"x36".

The bigger you print, the lesser the resolution of the outgoing file can be because the looking distance increases.

Take the huge advertising signs on the Mega-Signposts. Each pixel maybe has the size of 1x1inch square but you see a perfect image because you are 100meters away.

I even do this for my photos in the web. Scan big and then downsize to max. 600 pixels longest side.

So I decided long ago that a ~20' MioPixel DSLR would be the point where I step into Digital Photography until then I begin to save the money for it.[/font]
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Marshal
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« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2002, 12:43:56 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I downloaded a couple of the SD9 pics as I did with the 1Ds last week. I haven't had the time yet to work with the SD9 samples, but I will say upon first look, that the color is very good in all of them. The blue sky in the SD9 sample looks more saturated than in any of the others. But again, the color in all the SD9 shots is good.

I haven't applied any sharpening to the SD9 pics yet, but the in-camera sharpness, even before USM is very good. The images look clean and clear and pretty sharp already. As good as most I've seen before USM or NS Pro.  

I'm not saying any of this because I'm getting excited about the Sigma/Foveon; the 1.7X magnification is completely unacceptable to me and therefore I won't be buying it. But I will give credit where credit is due.

As for day to day use of the camera, that will have to wait until test reports. How good or accurate is the metering, AE, AF, Ergonomics, Reliability? All those are unknowns so far. Doesn't matter, I'm a Nikon man. But based on the image quality of the samples I've seen from Phil and Kumio from the SD9, I do think the X3 is a very good chip. If Foveon could just make a much bigger version of it and provide it to Nikon.

One thing I noticed about the Foveon, like the 1Ds CMOS and Nikon CCDs, you can still easily see dust spots. At least when they're stopped down to f11 or further.[/font]
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