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Author Topic: PMA 2009  (Read 11012 times)

dalethorn

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PMA 2009
« on: March 10, 2009, 01:28:46 pm »

Two quotes from DP Review's review:

"....There were a couple of key trends that surfaced at PMA 2009. The first is the rise of the compact 'super zoom' - a sector created by Panasonic with its TZ series and now a target for virtually every major camera manufacturer."

"....It was refreshing to see the focus of attention turning to what's inside the camera (rather than the usual emphasis on megapixels, zoom range, screen size and body style)."

I'm misunderstanding the transition in their analysis from superzooms being "a target for virtually every major camera manufacturer" to "attention turning [away from] zoom range."

Maybe that Simon Joinson guy grew up on MTV and doesn't have a more than two-paragraph attention span.
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Wally

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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 01:49:23 pm »

when taken in context it makes perfect sense what he wrote

"......The first is the rise of the compact 'super zoom' - a sector created by Panasonic with its TZ series and now a target for virtually every major camera manufacturer. It's easy to see the appeal of a pocket camera with a 10x or greater zoom lens for those wanting to travel light"

the appeal here is the size of the camera not just the zoom range.

and

"......We might not quite yet be in 'quantum leap' territory, but it was refreshing to see the focus of attention turning to what's inside the camera (rather than the usual emphasis on megapixels, zoom range, screen size and body style). Fujifilm has introduced the promising Super CCD EXR sensor, and the ultra fast performance of the latest CMOS sensors has already been put to use in several different ways, and the future promises even more exciting developments."

New and better sensors are what he is talking about

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dalethorn

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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 05:53:36 pm »

Quote from: Wally
when taken in context it makes perfect sense what he wrote
"......The first is the rise of the compact 'super zoom' - a sector created by Panasonic with its TZ series and now a target for virtually every major camera manufacturer. It's easy to see the appeal of a pocket camera with a 10x or greater zoom lens for those wanting to travel light"
the appeal here is the size of the camera not just the zoom range.
and
"......We might not quite yet be in 'quantum leap' territory, but it was refreshing to see the focus of attention turning to what's inside the camera (rather than the usual emphasis on megapixels, zoom range, screen size and body style). Fujifilm has introduced the promising Super CCD EXR sensor, and the ultra fast performance of the latest CMOS sensors has already been put to use in several different ways, and the future promises even more exciting developments."
New and better sensors are what he is talking about

Actually, no. He's talking about several things, yes, but mainly he's ranting against the small cameras for two things he doesn't like: 1) More pixels, and, 2) Long zooms where priority is to the long end, not the short end which he prefers, obsessively.

One reason he's so wrong is that more pixels is always desirable, since at the end of the day, pixels is all you have. He doesn't trust the mfr's to make those pixels "good pixels", and I do trust them. The other reason is that users have spoken thunderously on zooms - they prefer long to short.

Read MR's informal review of the G10 - totally at odds with Joinson.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 06:26:02 pm »

Quote from: dalethorn
One reason he's so wrong is that more pixels is always desirable, since at the end of the day, pixels is all you have. He doesn't trust the mfr's to make those pixels "good pixels", and I do trust them. The other reason is that users have spoken thunderously on zooms - they prefer long to short.

Read MR's informal review of the G10 - totally at odds with Joinson.

I'd have to disagree with that. I'd clearly prefer 6 MP of good quality rather than the mess delivered by the G10 for instance.

By themselves, the pixels of the G10 look OK, just compare them with a top DSLR like the D3x and you see that there is something wrong going on...

Is the G10 still able to deliver OK prints? Yes, but considering the usage most of us are making of cameras like the G10, we'd be a lot better off with better DR and less shadow noise at 6MP. Really, what are the odds we need to print an image shot with a compact digital at a size  larger than A4, maybe A3 once in a while.

More DR/less noise would hugely increase the quality of all the images we shot casually with the G10, while more pixels only helps with those very rare cases when an image shot with such a secondary camera needs to be printed large.

Cheers,
Bernard

ErikKaffehr

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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 09:00:50 pm »

Hi,

In my view there is little merit to have much higher pixel density than what's limited by diffraction. Some oversampling may be useful. To my understanding 4/3 is diffraction limited around f/5.6 with the present 10-12 MPixels. APS-C may have a limit around 15 MPixels at f/8. With smaller formats obviously much less pixels are useful.

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I'd have to disagree with that. I'd clearly prefer 6 MP of good quality rather than the mess delivered by the G10 for instance.

By themselves, the pixels of the G10 look OK, just compare them with a top DSLR like the D3x and you see that there is something wrong going on...

Is the G10 still able to deliver OK prints? Yes, but considering the usage most of us are making of cameras like the G10, we'd be a lot better off with better DR and less shadow noise at 6MP. Really, what are the odds we need to print an image shot with a compact digital at a size  larger than A4, maybe A3 once in a while.

More DR/less noise would hugely increase the quality of all the images we shot casually with the G10, while more pixels only helps with those very rare cases when an image shot with such a secondary camera needs to be printed large.

Cheers,
Bernard
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dalethorn

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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 10:15:08 pm »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I'd have to disagree with that. I'd clearly prefer 6 MP of good quality rather than the mess delivered by the G10 for instance.
By themselves, the pixels of the G10 look OK, just compare them with a top DSLR like the D3x and you see that there is something wrong going on...
Is the G10 still able to deliver OK prints? Yes, but considering the usage most of us are making of cameras like the G10, we'd be a lot better off with better DR and less shadow noise at 6MP. Really, what are the odds we need to print an image shot with a compact digital at a size  larger than A4, maybe A3 once in a while.
More DR/less noise would hugely increase the quality of all the images we shot casually with the G10, while more pixels only helps with those very rare cases when an image shot with such a secondary camera needs to be printed large.
Cheers,
Bernard

Lessee, the G10 images were so good that MR was comparing them to MF - there were all those print comparisons he described, etc.  I could go on for hours with all those descriptions.  And you sum it up with the G10 delivering "a mess".  What planet are you on?  I'd say the voters are stacked way against you, and you have as much chance with that opinion as Ralph Nader of making president.  Less chance, actually.

The real problem with your opinion is not that you shouldn't have a 6 mp toy camera to play with as you please - you should have it!  But you would prefer to disallow the rest of us to enjoy a 15 mp camera that under average daylight conditions will produce a photo far superior to your 6 mp toy camera.  It's that attitude that "I don't like it, therefore you shouldn't have it" that I think marks you as a, hmmmm, camera censor.  Bad.  Very bad.

Before you say "I didn't say that", I'd like to point out that Joinson makes no bones about it, and your post here is intended to support his position.
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stever

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2009, 11:38:34 pm »

sorry, but i'm with Bernard - a quality compact camera should have the greatest usability under ALL conditions -- including low light and high dynamic range.  Not only do i want a camera that is useable for street shooting, low light, etc., a large portion of the people i see using these cameras are snapping away without regard to lighting conditions assuming that the flash will do something useful if necessary -- resulting in crap (which they may or may not care about) - decent results might be a revalation to some.

I'm sure there is a market for a camera that can take high resolution images in perfect light, but equally sure that there is a market (largely ignored) for a camera that can capture very good (though not excellent) photos under more demanding conditions.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 12:02:34 am »

Quote from: dalethorn
Lessee, the G10 images were so good that MR was comparing them to MF - there were all those print comparisons he described, etc.  I could go on for hours with all those descriptions.  And you sum it up with the G10 delivering "a mess".  What planet are you on?  I'd say the voters are stacked way against you, and you have as much chance with that opinion as Ralph Nader of making president.  Less chance, actually.

So there are some people who took that article seriously then?

Forgive me, but as a G10 owner I did not. Let me explain you why.

- all those prints comparison he described are in fact mostly one sample of a particular scene where DR is not a real factor because it is too large for all known capturing devices
- the image quality of the P45 displayed on that sample is no where close to what even my D3x can deliver. It was clearly shot in a non optimal way,
- if you are satisfied with the pixel quality of the G10, I have to ask you, what do you normally shoot with? In what world do you live?

As far as the importance of DR, I am at a loss as to why anyone would think that the G10 is even remotely close to being satisfactory here. Does it means that it cannot be used to produce good images? No.

Quote from: dalethorn
The real problem with your opinion is not that you shouldn't have a 6 mp toy camera to play with as you please - you should have it!  But you would prefer to disallow the rest of us to enjoy a 15 mp camera that under average daylight conditions will produce a photo far superior to your 6 mp toy camera.  It's that attitude that "I don't like it, therefore you shouldn't have it" that I think marks you as a, hmmmm, camera censor.  Bad.  Very bad.

A puzzling comment for sure... you do realize that the very contrary is true, don't you? You are the very person doing what you are accusing me of doing.

There are plenty of compact digital cameras with high pixel count, so I don't see how my opinion would threaten the availability of these.

On the contrary, opinions like yours have resulted in a dramatic of shortcoming of compact digital cameras able to answer the needs to these many photographers who do not only shoot daylight scenes with limited DR. Fuji is in fact the only company trying to address seriously this market as we speak.

The whole point is positioning. The high end compact digital cameras do in fact target only a very narrow set of users:

High end DSLR/MFDB users who need a compact camera to take with them when the DSLR is not convenient for space reasons.

What this means is that a high end compact should be usable in a variety of non controlled conditions, including many cases where DR is high, where the light level is low. I don't believe that day light situations where a high resolution is required fit into that category. I use my DSLR in such circumpstances.

So all this calls for compact digital cameras that are good generic tool, and I don't believe that the G10 meets these needs well, a 6MP compact with one stop more DR would be a much better solution for most of the likely buyers of such a camera.

Final comment on this thread.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 06:58:56 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 12:14:44 am »

I am a happy user of the G10 and I agree totally with Bernard.

Isn't that a contradiction? Well, no. Fortunately, most of my picture taking with the G10 is under good light situations with limited dynamic range in the scene, so it lets me get photos that I wouldn't get when I can't or won't lug my 5D around.

But if I could trade some of the megapixels for better dynamic range, even I would be able to get many more usable pictures.

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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

ejmartin

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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 12:34:20 am »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I'd have to disagree with that. I'd clearly prefer 6 MP of good quality rather than the mess delivered by the G10 for instance.

By themselves, the pixels of the G10 look OK, just compare them with a top DSLR like the D3x and you see that there is something wrong going on...

Is the G10 still able to deliver OK prints? Yes, but considering the usage most of us are making of cameras like the G10, we'd be a lot better off with better DR and less shadow noise at 6MP. Really, what are the odds we need to print an image shot with a compact digital at a size  larger than A4, maybe A3 once in a while.

More DR/less noise would hugely increase the quality of all the images we shot casually with the G10, while more pixels only helps with those very rare cases when an image shot with such a secondary camera needs to be printed large.

Cheers,
Bernard

I think it useful to regard the relation between digicams and DSLRs in terms of photons captured.  The G10 sensor is about 1/20 the area of a FF DSLR.  So at base ISO 80 it is capturing about the same number of photons as a FF DSLR at ISO 1600, when both are properly exposed (ie same placement of the histogram).  That is fundamentally why there are problems with DR and shadow noise.  Reducing the MP count will not do anything to affect these problems at a fixed spatial scale in the image; using coarser pixels simply moves the goalposts by coarse-graining the image to larger scales; the finer-pixel image typically has the same DR and noise at that scale too, only if one compares apples and oranges by displaying the images at different output sizes does one see an appreciable difference in noise and DR.  Many comparisons of this sort were done with the 40D and 50D with the result being that the 10MP and 15MP cameras have the same DR and noise when compared at the same output size.  Much the same is apparent if one properly interprets the results of DxO's testing.

Finally, does the FF DSLR warrant only 6MP of resolution at ISO 1600?  Interesting question, I don't know, but my rough expectation is that it can deliver more than that.  If so, then the digicam can make use of it too.
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emil

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 12:42:56 am »

Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Hi,

In my view there is little merit to have much higher pixel density than what's limited by diffraction. Some oversampling may be useful. To my understanding 4/3 is diffraction limited around f/5.6 with the present 10-12 MPixels. APS-C may have a limit around 15 MPixels at f/8. With smaller formats obviously much less pixels are useful.

Best regards
Erik

More pixels are useful any time you want to do image manipulations.  Any time one corrects for geometric distortions (did you ever look at an LX3 RAW at the wide end?), straightens horizons, resamples, does NR, reduces motion blur, sharpens, etc etc, the outcome is better if there are more pixels to begin with.  More image information is better; less is worse.  More pixels is more information.
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marcmccalmont

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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2009, 01:00:10 am »

I like my G10 but I too wish it were a 8 Mega pixel, lower noise camera!!!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont

DarkPenguin

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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 01:12:22 am »

I just want one really big pixel.  Stitching can take care of the rest of it.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 02:31:17 am »

Quote from: DarkPenguin
I just want one really big pixel.  Stitching can take care of the rest of it.

That's the way to go!

Cheers,
Bernard

dalethorn

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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 02:07:14 pm »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
A puzzling comment for sure... you do realize that the very contrary is true, don't you? You are the very person doing what you are accusing me of doing.
There are plenty of compact digital cameras with high pixel count, so I don't see how my opinion would threaten the availability of these.
On the contrary, opinions like yours have resulted in a dramatic of shortcoming of compact digital cameras.....

Cheers,
Bernard

The contrary is true, of course.  My real-world example is the LX3, 10 mp on a 1/1.63 sensor - much less dense than the average 10-12 mp 1/2.33 sensor.

In certain situations, i.e. as a "party" camera shooting people indoors without flash, makes usable 8x11 prints from ISO 800 images, which the denser-sensor cameras don't do as well.  In most other situations, it's no better than the average high-density sensor camera.  I noted particularly the low light outdoor photos of trees and other nature subjects with the LX3 were very muddy, and that's with the noise processing turned down as much as possible (-2).

So the bottom line is that people like Simon are fighting a losing (and very dumb) battle trying to reduce resolution on compact cameras, when the general public (who aren't that dumb) know what works and what doesn't.  People who want lower noise should be buying bigger more expensive cameras anyway.  DUH.
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marcmccalmont

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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 02:29:56 pm »

quote name='DarkPenguin' date='Mar 10 2009, 07:12 PM' post='266660']
I just want one really big pixel.  Stitching can take care of the rest of it.
[/quote]

A recent landscape taken with my 4 pixel FF camera, nice!
Marc
[attachment=12070:4px.jpg]
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Marc McCalmont

BJL

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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2009, 04:01:33 pm »

Quote from: ErikKaffehr
To my understanding 4/3 is diffraction limited around f/5.6 with the present 10-12 MPixels. APS-C may have a limit around 15 MPixels at f/8. With smaller formats obviously much less pixels are useful.

Not obvious at all, once you allow that the main need for higher aperture ratios is more DOF, and with a smaller image format, the same DOF is achieved at a f-stop that is lower in proportion to the reduction in image size and thus in focal length, so that in the end, with a given sensor pixel count, the apertures giving equal DOF also give an equal diffraction effect on resolution.

Only when sensor resolution is so high that avoiding diffraction effects would requires apertures larger than maximum for the lens, or larger than the "sweet spot" aperture at which the lens is sharpest, is a format up against a resolution disadvantage due to diffraction.

In my understanding of actual observations, not sloppy theory, noticeable diffraction effects only occur with Bayer CFA sensors when the f-stop is about twice or more the pixel spacing in microns, so about f/9 for the latest 12MP 4/3" sensors, still well above the sweet spot aperture for most Four Thirds lenses, as that is often around f/4. So maybe diffraction will limit Four Thirds to the resolution of about a 50MP sensor, but I expect other factors like DR, lens resolution limits due to optical aberrations, and lack of interest from most customers, to set a lower resolution limit than that. An Olympus rep. interviewed by CNET at PMA 2009 indicated that Four Thirds will not go beyond 20MP in the foreseeable future.

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Ray

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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 08:04:01 pm »

It's difficult to understand what some of you guys are arguing about. If you are convinced that there are benefits to having fewer but larger pixels on a sensor of a given size, relax. Fujifilm are now catering to your needs.

Here's a description of the remarkable properties of the Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR.

Quote
High Resolution mode, which deploys all twelve million pixels, and is designed to offer the finest detail of intricate subjects when light is full and even

High Sensitivity and Low Noise mode, which caps two adjacent pixels together to produce 6 million large photodiodes, which are big enough to absorb light in the darkest of conditions, to produce low-light shots of extraordinary quality with minimal noise and grain; and

Wide Dynamic Range mode, which captures different exposures with two sets of six million pixels, which, when combined, gives an excellent level of detail in highlights that would otherwise be lost.

I think this might be the P&S for me, but I'm disappointed it does not support full HD movie mode.
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aaykay

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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2009, 08:23:11 pm »

Quote from: BJL
An Olympus rep. interviewed by CNET at PMA 2009 indicated that Four Thirds will not go beyond 20MP in the foreseeable future.

Actually the Olympus manager stated that they intend to stick to 12MP for the 4/3 sensors, and improve other aspects of imaging.  

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-10189546-39.html
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2009, 08:24:36 pm »

Quote from: marcmccalmont
A recent landscape taken with my 4 pixel FF camera, nice!
Marc
[attachment=12070:4px.jpg]

Pretty amazing composition.

Cheers,
Bernard
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