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Author Topic: What's the big deal with processors ?  (Read 1554 times)

mattbr

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What's the big deal with processors ?
« on: October 16, 2014, 07:22:33 am »

Hi guys,

there's a question that's been bothering me for a bit... beside the fact it's an easily-marketable feature, what's the point of the processor arms race (the much marketed Bionzes and Exspeeds and DIGICs) for the users that don't shoot JPG ?

I mean, sure, I can see where quickly processing the previews from RAW files when you chimp is important, and MIPS can't hurt, but what are those things used for if you're doing the heavy lifting on a computer, later ?
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DeanChriss

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 08:23:18 am »

Processors still are not fast enough. Some cameras still have to use several of the latest ones (one for metering, one for servo auto-focus, one for image processing) in order to obtain frame rates of 12-14 FPS. It's not easy to maintain sharp (predictive) AF on a quickly moving subject while keeping up with changing exposure while writing 12 or 14 frames to a CF card each second.
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dwswager

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 10:17:59 am »

Rule number 1:  There is never enough processing power!  For a specific application, a processor may be fully capable, but as more processing power becomes available, different and new uses will fully consume and overwhelm the processing power available.

1. Predictive and focus tracking
2. Evaluative metering.
3. Live view processing
4. Advanced frame rates.

The list goes on and on!

***UPDATE***

The D810 is better than the D800 twins in a lot of ways, but mostly because the xSpeed4 processor provided the power for better focusing, focus tracking, higher frame rates, etc.

And the PlayStation 3 was so good because of it's processor.  Because Sony had an exclusive deal for the processor, the Military had to wait until the Playstation 3 was release, bought a shitload of them and then ripped the processors out to do product development on sensor systems.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 03:56:12 pm by dwswager »
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NancyP

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 10:57:12 am »

Case in point: The Sigma Merrill series of Foveon sensor cameras are s-l-o-w to write to card, partly because of the large file size (48 Mb apiece!), partly because there is a lot of fancy computation involved in deriving "red" "green" and "blue" from the depth in the sensor at which the photons are detected. There are no filters, so one is not counting total photons per site and just shoving that number into a "red" "green" or "blue" bin according to which physical filter is sitting over the photosite, as in Bayer sensors. The "speed" of the Sigma processor is probably on a par with the average other-brand processor but it has a larger workload.

I love my Merrills, though.
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mattbr

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 06:56:12 pm »

Thanks a lot for the explanations guys !!!
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 12:01:22 am »

Hi,

Just moving the data from the sensor to internal memory is a lot of work. Most people shoot JPEGS converting up to 36 million Bayer pixels to 36 million RGB pixels is an incredible amount of work, all that is done on battery power.

The processors are not that remarkable, but those ASICs contain a lot of special developed stuff optimised for handling of images.

Best regards
Erik

Hi guys,

there's a question that's been bothering me for a bit... beside the fact it's an easily-marketable feature, what's the point of the processor arms race (the much marketed Bionzes and Exspeeds and DIGICs) for the users that don't shoot JPG ?

I mean, sure, I can see where quickly processing the previews from RAW files when you chimp is important, and MIPS can't hurt, but what are those things used for if you're doing the heavy lifting on a computer, later ?
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Erik Kaffehr
 

TyDillon

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Re: What's the big deal with processors ?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 02:03:52 pm »

Without a processor, a digital camera can do nothing. Faster, more cores, smaller, cooler, and more efficient. All of these make the user experience better.

Also remember that it is not just about the power of the processor to AF, read exposure, display images, etc., but also the efficiency with which it does it. Lower power use=longer battery life. Many mirrorless users would love more efficient processors.
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