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tazdog

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CMOS vs CCD
« on: May 08, 2019, 01:37:56 pm »

I apologize if this has been posted before. I am a environmental portraits and portraits photographer. I currently use Canon 5dsr as my main camera. I photography clients in my studio or their environments and outdoors. I use natural light and also strobes. I want to move to MF for image quality. The problem that I have is I am located in central Virginia and the closest MF rep is 8 - 10 hours away. Yes I could rent but if I am trying to avoid doing that because that would take away from purchasing. Looking at either Phase One or Hasselblad.Thanks in advance!!

Questions

Has CMOS sensors reached image the quality of the CCD sensor?
Does 50mp cropped vs 60mp full frame make that much difference in image quality?
For environmental photography with ambient light mixed possible with CCD without resorting to long exposures?
Is the newer bodies that much better for focusing and recomposing?
I know that CCD uses a lot of power, had they improved the power consumption over the years?
Is the waist finder that much better on one system?
Is the view finder better on one system?
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Doug Peterson

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 01:46:47 pm »

The problem that I have is I am located in central Virginia and the closest MF rep is 8 - 10 hours away.

That's not a practical limitation here. We are glad to set up evaluation rentals anywhere that FedEx reaches, and count the rental toward purchase. I'll tackle your technical questions shortly.

tazdog

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 01:55:26 pm »

Thank you for the reply! Look forward to to answers.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 02:10:44 pm »

Has CMOS sensors reached image the quality of the CCD sensor?

This is too vague a question to be answered meaningfully. There are at least four medium format CCD sensors and three medium format CMOS sensors that are relevant to this conversation.

In general CMOS reduced noise and increased dynamic range. These are pretty objective and pretty indisputable.

Tonality and color are more subjective and vary as much within the "CMOS" and "CCD" groupings as they do between those groupings. For example I find the difference between an IQ2 50mp and IQ3 100mp Trichromatic larger than the difference between an IQ1 40mp and IQ1 50mp. Color and tonality are more subjective, so I'd refer you again to our database of raw files, or your own testing.

I'm pretty biased, but in my personal experience the best color is on the trichromatic or IQ4 150 coupled with Capture One.


Does 50mp cropped vs 60mp full frame make that much difference in image quality?

The difference between cropped medium format and full-frame 645 is very roughly the same as the difference between small format and full-frame 645.

The crop means that lenses are effectively longer, depth of field for any given aperture is a bit deeper, and the viewfinder is a bit less spacious to compose through. Whether this makes a small or big difference to you depends mostly on you. For example, if you find yourself shooting wide open with any regularity then the shallow DOF that full frame 645 allows is pretty hard to pass up, whereas if you only ever shoot in the middle of the aperture range then that specific difference is moot. If you're coming from small format the viewfinder will feel larger and more spacious to compose through, even if you only go to crop medium format.


For environmental photography with ambient light mixed possible with CCD without resorting to long exposures?

The key question here is what is the highest ISO you find comfortable image-quality wise. Best to do your own testing to know for sure, but if that's not possible or practical, then we (DT) have a large database of raw files, including ISO sweeps with various backs. If you do your own research make sure it's opinions/files formed with more recent versions of Capture One. For example, when the IQ160 launched I was thoroughly unimpressed with ISO 200 (full resolution), but by the time Capture One had been updated several times I found that even ISO 400 (full resolution) was pretty decent in most situations.


Is the newer bodies that much better for focusing and recomposing?

They can be, yes.

Both the XF and H4 and later have modes for focus-and-recomposing (AFr for the XF and TrueFocus for the H series). When shooting with shallow depth of field and large recompositions these modes can be quite helpful. Though I'd note that people shot medium format for many many years without any such modes  :D.

Note that the XF is on it's second generation AF sensor (HAP-2) and has had several firmware revisions to improve it's autofocus. Keep this in mind when you read reviews from early in its release when the AF was not as confident, fast, or precise.


I know that CCD uses a lot of power, had they improved the power consumption over the years?


Not really.

If you are tethering, depending on the model of back, the back can receive power from the tether cable. If you're not tethered (or tethered by a means that doesn't provide power) then expect to run through a few batteries during a long day of shooting.

The XF and IQ share the same battery type, and phase one batteries are only $70.


Is the waist finder that much better on one system?

The WLF on the XF is collapsable and you can use both autofocus and metering.


Is the view finder better on one system?

The Hassy viewfinder is lighter and more magnified.

The XF viewfinder is a bit more neutral and a bit brighter.

I find them equally sharp, or slightly favoring the XF in sharpness.

Coming from small format either viewfinder is going to blow you away in every way.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 02:23:05 pm by Doug Peterson »
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tazdog

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 02:47:32 pm »

Thank you Doug!! Thank you for taking the time to answer. Let me digest the answers. Through your answers it has given me more to consider. As you suggested could you provide link to page to the sample images? Also at one time there was a link to the different sensor sizes which I cannot find. Thank you for letting me know about cost of rental applied to purchase.

Thank you for your help
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Doug Peterson

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 02:57:40 pm »

Thank you Doug!! Thank you for taking the time to answer. Let me digest the answers. Through your answers it has given me more to consider. As you suggested could you provide link to page to the sample images? Also at one time there was a link to the different sensor sizes which I cannot find. Thank you for letting me know about cost of rental applied to purchase.

Thank you for your help

You're very welcome. It's the greatest job in the world :).

We have some of the raws up on our website (for example here). But since we have many hundreds of gigs of raw files from 16 years of testing, we don't have a public page where you can just peruse and download whatever you want.

Shoot me an email and one of our reps will arrange access for you to the relevant folders.

douglevy

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 04:21:40 pm »

I was a ccd guy for years. I just thought the color couldn’t be matched. I’d seen files from the credo 50 and iq250 and wasn’t blown away compared to my Nikons. Now color is super subjective, but - I’ve owned a p25+, credo 40, 60 and now iq3100. The 3100 color is better than the rest. When I upgraded from the 60 I’d have been happy with “same color more resolution” - but 5 mo in, the color is better. It’s a small (10%?) but noticeable difference. It might be a 16bit vs 14 bit thing. I dunno, but it’s better, more accurate and mixes way better with daylight. The credos and daylight didn’t mix well at all for me.

This is obviously super subjective but an investment of this size really means you have to test for yourself. Forums like this (to me) are great for tech specs and “what should I be looking for?” But at the end of the day it comes down to how the camera fits into how you see.

-Doug

JaapD

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 04:29:29 pm »

More than 10 years ago CCD had an advantage over CMOS. After that millions and millions of $ went into the development of CMOS sensors and CCD vanished. Sony was/is a huge contributor in this but there are more. With this we also got a/d converters with higher bit depth.

Any color influences is only related to the color filter array, not the sensor itself.

These days with modern back side illuminated CCD chips and low noise levels (think ‘long exposures’) I would never go for CCD anymore.

Regards,
Jaap.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 04:36:20 pm by JaapD »
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Joe Towner

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 05:02:47 pm »

Hey Tazdog,

So you're asking what may seem to be a very simple question, but it's extremely complex, and there are a lot of nuances. The difference isn't CCD v CMOS - there's whole system decisions around it since you can do both Hass & Phase with either type of sensor. Which one is for you depends on what you see & how you edit.  RAW files can be had for both, and there are lots of other pros who can chime in based on their experiences. Everything from focal length to editing software plays into this discussion.

But there is nothing that beats having the camera in hand, shooting what you normally shoot and seeing the results for yourself. There are a few ways to do this, and while you may not live near a dealer, there are experiences that you should consider.  Consider taking the POCP class - it's worth it even if only for the CaptureOne License it comes with - https://www.phaseone.com/en/Events?l=pocp&r=showall

My own bias is I love shooting both, but the current advantages to CMOS are hard to ignore.:

Is the newer bodies that much better for focusing and recomposing?
TrueFocus is slick, but has limitations depending on which H series camera you're looking at (H6 is better than H5 which is better than H4).  The XF body is so advanced that the Focus & Recompose was actually added after the fact.  Huge advantage is live view at 100% with the CMOS backs, so you can dial in focus.

I know that CCD uses a lot of power, had they improved the power consumption over the years?
Short answer - Nope

Is the waist finder that much better on one system?
Yes, the XF light meter is in the Honeycomb module that does AF as well.  The Hasselblad H series has the light meter in the viewfinder prism, which you remove to use the waist level finder.

Is the view finder better on one system?
This is key reason you need to use both/any system you are considering. Without experiencing the larger viewfinders you can't comprehend the differences and nuances, and coming from FF land, you're about to look at your Canon viewfinder VERY differently.
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tazdog

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 06:55:46 pm »

Hey Tazdog,

So you're asking what may seem to be a very simple question, but it's extremely complex, and there are a lot of nuances. The difference isn't CCD v CMOS - there's whole system decisions around it since you can do both Hass & Phase with either type of sensor. Which one is for you depends on what you see & how you edit.  RAW files can be had for both, and there are lots of other pros who can chime in based on their experiences. Everything from focal length to editing software plays into this discussion.

But there is nothing that beats having the camera in hand, shooting what you normally shoot and seeing the results for yourself. There are a few ways to do this, and while you may not live near a dealer, there are experiences that you should consider.  Consider taking the POCP class - it's worth it even if only for the CaptureOne License it comes with - https://www.phaseone.com/en/Events?l=pocp&r=showall

My own bias is I love shooting both, but the current advantages to CMOS are hard to ignore.:
TrueFocus is slick, but has limitations depending on which H series camera you're looking at (H6 is better than H5 which is better than H4).  The XF body is so advanced that the Focus & Recompose was actually added after the fact.  Huge advantage is live view at 100% with the CMOS backs, so you can dial in focus.
Short answer - Nope
Yes, the XF light meter is in the Honeycomb module that does AF as well.  The Hasselblad H series has the light meter in the viewfinder prism, which you remove to use the waist level finder.
This is key reason you need to use both/any system you are considering. Without experiencing the larger viewfinders you can't comprehend the differences and nuances, and coming from FF land, you're about to look at your Canon viewfinder VERY differently.
Thank you for taking the time to reply
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tazdog

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2019, 06:57:10 pm »

Hey Tazdog,

So you're asking what may seem to be a very simple question, but it's extremely complex, and there are a lot of nuances. The difference isn't CCD v CMOS - there's whole system decisions around it since you can do both Hass & Phase with either type of sensor. Which one is for you depends on what you see & how you edit.  RAW files can be had for both, and there are lots of other pros who can chime in based on their experiences. Everything from focal length to editing software plays into this discussion.

But there is nothing that beats having the camera in hand, shooting what you normally shoot and seeing the results for yourself. There are a few ways to do this, and while you may not live near a dealer, there are experiences that you should consider.  Consider taking the POCP class - it's worth it even if only for the CaptureOne License it comes with - https://www.phaseone.com/en/Events?l=pocp&r=showall

My own bias is I love shooting both, but the current advantages to CMOS are hard to ignore.:
TrueFocus is slick, but has limitations depending on which H series camera you're looking at (H6 is better than H5 which is better than H4).  The XF body is so advanced that the Focus & Recompose was actually added after the fact.  Huge advantage is live view at 100% with the CMOS backs, so you can dial in focus.
Short answer - Nope
Yes, the XF light meter is in the Honeycomb module that does AF as well.  The Hasselblad H series has the light meter in the viewfinder prism, which you remove to use the waist level finder.
This is key reason you need to use both/any system you are considering. Without experiencing the larger viewfinders you can't comprehend the differences and nuances, and coming from FF land, you're about to look at your Canon viewfinder VERY differently.
Thank you for taking the time to reply
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Christoph B.

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2019, 11:53:57 am »

If you want a high resolution at low ISO at low cost a CCD sensor is still a good option. Even a P65+ will deliver great results within its limitations.

But as soon as you crank up the ISO it's a different story, CCD sensors will start falling apart beyond ISO 400-800 with great loss in color fidelity and a a lot of grain - and with medium format sensors strong tiling will appear.

Same thing with long exposures, even with newer CCD backs they have a lof of trouble with exposures beyond 15 seconds. Even the P45+ (once highly praised as "king of long exposure") doesn't deliver a good image quality during those long exposures at all. Capture One does a great job with reducing the grain and hot pixels, but that also kills all the details and all of that potential resolution is completely useless.

So if you shoot in a studio with loads of light and short exposures (with flash) even an older CCD sensor will still deliver. But for everything elese - CMOS.
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HonorableSensor

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2019, 12:43:38 pm »

I apologize if this has been posted before. I am a environmental portraits and portraits photographer. I currently use Canon 5dsr as my main camera. I photography clients in my studio or their environments and outdoors. I use natural light and also strobes. I want to move to MF for image quality.

I think the first question is, "are you leaving any image quality, on the table, with your current setup"? 

It's impossible to know all the variations that you might have, so I won't presume to guess. 

But for instance, have you looked at different RAW converters, checked that your lenses are as sharp as possible, etc.  There might be cases where your current workflow isn't delivering the best results your equipment is capable of; if this is the case, then, buying MF and using the same workflow may not give you the results you want.

That said, I do like MF even with film.
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Juanito

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2019, 12:31:03 pm »

A few things:

I shoot a lot of portraits on MF. For my Neighbors series, I started shooting with my Hasselblad H5-40 and then switched to the X1D. The H5 was a 40 mp CCD back and the X1D is a 50 mp CMOS chip. I regularly view and print the images to four feet by five feet, with images from both cameras appearing side by side. I can't tell the difference. Perhaps if I pixel peeped on the screen I could, but as a practical matter, the files and prints from both look great and the editing/printing process is the same.

If you're looking for a good deal on MF, the Hasselblad H5-40 is worth looking at. It's relatively low priced because everyone wants the H5-50 since it's the same CMOS chip that's in the X1D. The HCD lenses have dropped in price as well now that the X1D is out.

The CMOS chip does hold up better at high ISO, but... I do have to say that I really liked the look of the H5-40 at 1600 ISO (max ISO for that camera). It had the grainy, atmospheric look of the old Agfachrome 1000. Really a unique look. The X1D at that ISO shows some grain though more like what you'd see in a current DSLR.

Honestly though, unless there's something specific that you have in mind, there's no sense in switching to MF for portraits. It's slower and clunky so you'll just get tired and miss moments. I use it because I do print my work at large scale - I have one installation up now that consists of 12 feet tall prints - and because I have extra money to throw away on expensive equipment. That said, I did an installation last year with prints up to seven feet wide from images shot with my cropped sensor Fuji XT2. Looked great. Got zero comments about resolution or dynamic range or sharpness.

One last thing, if you're shooting environmental portraits with strobes, then you'll probably appreciate the higher flash sync speed of the H series camera. The leaf shutter lenses will sync up to 1/800 sec - which is great for balancing strobes to ambient sunlight. (The X1D will sync up to 1/2000.) The Fuji GFX looks like a great camera but it's sync speed is only 1/125 - no bueno for mixing strobe and daylight. You'll find the same problem with any of the Mamiya 645 cameras as well.

Good luck!

Garry Sarre

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 11:13:47 pm »


The CMOS chip does hold up better at high ISO, but... I do have to say that I really liked the look of the H5-40 at 1600 ISO (max ISO for that camera). It had the grainy, atmospheric look of the old Agfachrome 1000. Really a unique look. The X1D at that ISO shows some grain though more like what you'd see in a current DSLR.


That's interesting Juanito.

I used to shoot Agfachrome 100asa 120 in a roll film back on a Sinar 5x4. Just to make it interesting, I'd stick a Hasselblad Softar on the lens.

Apart from being the most beautiful (and expensive) soft filter in the world, for those that don't know, it is unique for for its multiple and differing sized little lenses moulded or machined into its surface. This creates differing degrees of bokeh super-imposed on a sharp image.

Because of the high ISO, I often shot at F32 on the Sinar. The surprising but beautiful affect of doing this was that the little lenses on the surface of the Softar, became defined on the image. Little pools of softness were randomly distributed over the image which was the given cohesion by the rough texture layered over it. The effect was so beautiful for my interiors, that they made it to Vogue Interiors and Architectural Digest in the 1980's.

It is disappointing that Softar does no work well with 35mm digital, although I have had great results with Agfachrome 1000 on 35mm.

It does work with the 'Medium Format' digital, albeit with using manual focus.

What's my point? Haha. You are a brave soul for trying 1600 with the CCD Blad. You have inspired me to give it a go, but at F22 with a Softar in place.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: CMOS vs CCD
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 12:06:05 pm »

Hi,

Technically, the difference between CMOS and CCD is the way the pixels are read out. With CMOS the pixels are read out in place using thousands of analogue to digital converters in parallel.

CCD pops the charge from pixel to pixel to ADCs off the sensor.

That means in essence that signal paths on CMOS are shorter and the ADCs can be much simpler as each handles just thousands of conversion, while with CCD much more complicated devices are needed as they need to handle millions of conversions.

The net result is that readout noise is like a magnitude lower on CMOS than on CCD. Essentially it means cleaner shadows. Photodiode design is similar betwen the two.

CCDs were made by Kodak or DALSA an those firms may have had different color filter array designs.

Nowdays, MFD manufacturers all use CMOS sensors, almost exclusively from Sony and CFA materials are mostly by Fujifilm.

I haven been shooting CCD (Phase One P45+) for four years and Sony CMOS for about 10, personally I think that most differences are about WB and color profiles.

Best regards
Erik
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