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Photography Question 
Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
daryllucarelli.com
 

Which is sharper?


If a typical landscape image is taken with 8 megapixel $1000 range DSLR and at the same time and an identical images is taken with a high level 8 megapixel non-dslr which images will be sharper, have better resolution, and blown up to 16 x 20 could a person tell the difference.....I know there is other features that are important - weight, interchangeable lenses, cost, sensors (?) etc...but I am looking specifically for this questions to be addressed. Daryl


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10/1/2005 11:24:03 AM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  When you say non-dslr, if you mean a point and shoot, then the DSLR would definitly be better. A 6MP DSLR would even be better than an 8MP P&S.


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10/1/2005 12:39:03 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Especially with pro lenses.


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10/1/2005 2:51:51 PM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  I think you have the wrong idea of what exactly a megapixel is. A megapixel refers to the resolution of the photo, 6.3 megapixels is 3072x2048 on a computer, and 3072 times 2048 is going to equal about 6,300,000. That is ALL that megapixel is. In other words, my camera could shoot at 100 megapixels, but if the sensor and lens stink, it's just going to be a huge resolution file that looks like crap. Now you say that you don't want the lens to be put into account, but you have to put it into account, otherwise a DSLR cannot get a picture. Also, DSLR's use much higher quality sensors than non-DSLR's. So even if you put a kit lens, or a middle of the road lens on a DSLR, it is going to look at least 5 times sharper. The lenses on most P & S cameras don't even compete with the lenses you can put onto a camera. And I imagine that the only reason you're asking this question is to decide which camera is more worth it, and the answer is the DSLR. I hope this helps you out.


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10/1/2005 2:58:13 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Well I would be led to believe that actually the point and shoot would be better when it comes to DOF. Point and shoots tend to have an extreme DOF. So if you are shooting a landscape then you would get a better shot in 'less' light situations. Of course this would depend on the settings, camera etc that you are comparing. I remember when I went from my first camera to a DSLR I could not get a crisp shot for the life of me. It took me a lot of time to learn the camera. Where point and shoots tend to be built with ease of use in mind with less consumer manipulations. So, that is where having a DSLR would come in handy. You can adjust for more different lighting situations in a DSLR 'manual' camera that has more features. Thus, that camera could come up with a shot that was not possible on your point and shoot. So, if you are really good with your manual functions you would be better off with getting a camera that will allow for a lot of artistic impressions (adjusting to lighting situations, distance, closeups etc).

The biggest question you should ask yourself is where do you see your photography going. If you are going to be shooting family pictures and not art type photos then the point and shoot would probably be best. If you want to be able to shoot in numberous lighting situations and different subjects like going from a bug to a Blue heron nesting in a 400 foot tall tree you would be better with the dslr.

Also, you need to see if the point and shoot camera is interpoluting its images to get that high megapixel, I have seen this on a lot of cameras lately, pretty sneaky for a not so knowledgable consumer. Again, that would depend on the cameras you are comparing. This right here could be the answer to your question. If they are interpoluting the file then it would not be as crisp. If they are not then technically they would not be different unless the lighting situations, distance or other factors came into play where the point and shoot could not produce what the DSLR would. (Shooting bugs-macro, shooting distance, shooting high variations in light etc.) Another factor is the arguement that the quality of a photo is not obtained by the camera but the lens, and the person. Therefore, if you believed this arguement for glass then you would be better with a DSLR.

Probably more info than you wanted I just thought that I would bring them up because a photo is a little more about other factors than a megapixel.


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10/1/2005 3:04:23 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  That is funny Forest we just posted simultaineously!!! Almost the exact answer! :)


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10/1/2005 3:05:49 PM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  Definitely ironic, Melissa. One thing to note here, Daryl is that Melissa is also talking about the fact that a point-and-shoot has the ease of use factor, and at times, the price factor. But if you know what you're doing (I.E. you know how to work in manual modes where you select shutter-speeds/apertures/exposure settings, etc.) and price is less of an issue. There is truly no comparison, the DSLR blows point and shoot cameras out of the water. One thing to keep in mind is that the lenses on point-and-shoot cameras are normally very, very low quality; they are just trying to make the camera sound good when selling the point-and-shoot camera; whereas, on DSLRs, they have to make you buy the camera and the lens. You will get a lot sharper pictures on DSLR's also if you get more expensive 'L' lenses from Canon. Interchangable lenses are normally the factor on how sharp your DSLR picture is, but really, no matter which lens you choose, it will always look better than a Point-and-Shoot camera, with it's low-end lens. But, if you are willing to drop a thousand dollars on the camera, as well as a thousand dollars on a L series lens, your pictures will be about 1000 times better with a Canon 20D and a Canon 17-40mm f/4 L lens or a 20D and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens. The lens on a DSLR has a lot to do with the sharpness, as it does on a Point-and-Shoot, what's the difference? Point-and-shoot, you're stuck with the low-end lens they attatch to it, DSLR, you can go anywhere from $100 to $100,000; and the $100 lens is going to be sharper than the attatched lens on your point and shoot. So the more you can spend on lenses, the sharper the DSLR camera is going to be for you. But if you have the means to do so, get a DSLR without a hesitation.


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10/1/2005 3:38:52 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  I completely agree! I have all L series lenses and I just LOVE them!! They are very crisp but they 'talk' to the camera better also!! :o)


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10/1/2005 4:09:09 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Melissa my hero! you have ALL of them??? I am sooo jealous! I do not have ANY of them and I want one sooooo bad. I just put in for a grant and asked for the 17-40 and the 70-200 2.8, no IS though. I want it but it was too much. anyways...how's the 17-40. read some "decent" reviews on them but not really blow out of the water reviews. is it really nice for landscapes and things? I don't really shoot wide but thought I would throw it on the list for S&G's. lol. anyways the first two lenses I want are the 70-200 IS version and the 135 f/2. how's that prime. I just got the cheap little 50mm (f/1.8) and have already noticed extreme quality and sharpness over the zooms. that's why I want the 135. how's this lens for you, do you like it? and is it really substantially sharper and crisper and saturation loyal compared to the 70-200? thanks mel.. justin


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10/1/2005 4:20:24 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Justin LOL LOL, You are a hoot!
I stated I have all L series lenses, NOT ALL 'of' the L series lenses. OK, that would be in my dreams and then I might break my back trying to carry all that heavy glass!! You are too funny!! :o)

Anyway I have a macro 100 2.8, a 1.4 50mm portrait, 100-400 IS USM, 24-70 2.8 USM. I switched over from tamron and I tell you there is not going back once you own a good quality L!! :o) If you have any questions about these I might be able to help :o)


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10/1/2005 4:45:43 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  ooohh ok I see, I completely read the question wrong then! haha it would be a dream of mine too, to own all of them. and I would have absolute no problem carrying all of that if I had all L series! haha, anyways...28-70 worth the money? it has IS too doesn't it?


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10/1/2005 4:49:10 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  The 8 MP dSLR image will be much better than the 8 MP digicam (point-and-shoot camera). The 16x20 you get from the digicam will look bad. The 16x20 you get from the dSLR will look good. Pixels aren't always equal to pixels. In fact, in many instances 6 MP digicams produce better images in terms of resolution than 8 MP digicams.

Why? Much better dynamic range with the dSLR and its larger sensor. Much better lenses that aren't diffraction-limited at normal f-stops.

I would put a 3 MP dSLR up against an 8 MP digicam any day. Sure, you get more pixels with the digicam... but not more detail.


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10/2/2005 6:21:54 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Justin, if I was to own only one lens that is THE lense I would own!! It is out of this world!! I love it! It is so clear. I was comming from the tamron lens (equivalent) when I bought it, not being all that happy with that lens and let me tell you the difference! -WOW-! The lens makes such a major difference, plus the reaction time of that lens is pristine!! :o) That is the lense that is on my camera 85% of the time :o) It does have IS by the way.


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10/2/2005 7:26:00 AM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  John,
don't you mean 6MP DSLR, not Digicam?


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10/2/2005 10:08:03 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  No, I mean digicam. Even though the digicam has twice the pixel count, the dSLR with its larger sensor will take more detailed pictures with a greater dynamic range. That's why the 4 MP Nikon D1x is still a very popular dSLR.


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10/2/2005 12:57:58 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  So you're saying that a 6MP digicam is better than an 8MP digicam?


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10/2/2005 5:28:21 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I'm saying that, yes, under some circumstances a 6 MP digicam will actually have better image quality than an 8 MP digicam.

Keep in mind that when digicam sensors are staying the same size, so to get the increased pixel densities, they have to make each pixel smaller. As pixels get smaller they are not as sensitive and they have a problem with the Signal to Noise ratio (SNR).

Noise is a constant, yet signal depends on the # of photons that hit the photosite. While noise is a constant, smaller photosites means that less pixels hit, meaning that the SNR is lower (this is a bit of a simplification but the gist is true). This means reduced dynamic range which directly translates into reduced resolution and reduced high ISO capabilities.

Also, very high resolution sensors used in digicams with very small lenses that are diffraction limited even at wide-open apertures, and this can also negatively affect measureable resolution.

So, in many cases, 6 MP digicams are producing more detailed pictures than their newer 8 MP brethren.

I've posted another message, in another thread, where I explain that pixel quantity is not everything, and that pixel QUALITY is also very important.

Too many people only look at pixel quantity when they compare cameras (this is often referred to as measurebation)... but pixel quality is what makes a dSLR with a 4 MP sensor outperform and outresolve a digicam with an 8 MP sensor. It's not enough to have 8 MP of data if it is blurry data.

The camera companies know this, but they also know that consumers often buy strictly based upon megapixels... hence the rush to greater sensor densities even if it hurts picture quality.

In short, if you really want a camera that can take high quality pictures and make 8x10 or larger prints, get a dSLR.


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10/2/2005 6:23:43 PM

 
Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
daryllucarelli.com
  Forestm Melissa, Justin, Brendan, and John...and BP too....you guys are assume....I hear you all loud and clear....dslr here I come....I really do appreciate all of you talking in a language and level of (reads coming down to my level of sophistication) that I understand...I have experience in manual modes, understand ighti8ng issues, etc etc but for the life of me the marketing and "selling" to the consumer was getting the best of me...thanks alot...I feel real clear about my path now and the questions of which level to come into the dslr in now budget only..not will it work. Wow, this level of response still b;lows me away...I have always enjoyed BP, taken 3 or for classes, tuened in a images of two for the contest's and even had a few finalists awards, but this type of experience is even more valuable....Thanks again...I will go to each of your websites in the next day or so as I can imagine from your enthusiasim shown here your photo's will be good too.... I really appreciate your time for answering and for going by my website too if you did. Daryl


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10/2/2005 6:57:48 PM

 
Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
daryllucarelli.com
  I just read my response to all of you and I am embarrassed and I apologize for my terrible spelling and typing skills...I was just so excited about being respectful and responsive to your generousity with your time and knowledge to assit me..I either need to find spell check on this program or go back to school....please do not miss the point though that I do appreciate you...all of you. Daryl


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10/2/2005 7:04:00 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  No need to be embarrassed!! We are not typists we are photographers!! LOL Anyway keep us posted with your camera if you get one. I took a look at your gallery and you do wonderful work! --you need a DSLR!! :o)


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10/2/2005 8:02:50 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  ase kerrry sais, noot awl spill chckres wrok awl teh timme.


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10/2/2005 8:06:28 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  LOL!! LOL!! Good one!! :o)


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10/2/2005 8:09:30 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  And did you konw taht acorcidng to a sudty at Cmabrdige Unviesitry taht you can raed wthiout haivng the wrdos speleld pferetcly? As lnog as the frist and lsat ltetres of the wrod are in palce yuor bairn can sitll pcik up on the wrod bacuese we do not raed evrey lteetr for itlesf, but the wrod as a whloe, mkanig tihs pagraarph radealbe!

How about that?!?


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10/2/2005 8:32:49 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  WoW That really does work!! TTTTOOOO Funny!! I Con Reed it!!! LOL LOL

Melissa


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10/2/2005 10:01:59 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Hey Justin, are yu sain I don't always spall kureckly? I am insulated! (or is that insulted?)


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10/3/2005 6:57:23 AM

 
Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
daryllucarelli.com
  Always glad to provide a little entertainment for the troops. Thanks again. Melissa - As to the camera - I am thinking of either a Rebel XT, or possibly a 20D....mainly because of Canon lens for add on when I can...although I have a freind who swears by their Nikon 70s while another is recommending some new Canon model 5 or something like that...any feedback here....Daryl ps...what is LOL mean, I've see it alot on BP but never elsewhere


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10/3/2005 7:50:00 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   LOL = laughing out loud


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10/3/2005 8:05:13 AM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  I don't know that much about the Nikons I had the 10D, then I upgraded to the 20D They are very very similar cameras! The Rebel XT is a great buy for your money it just doesn't have the pro outter shell and possibly a few other minor things. The Canon model 5 is the talk of the town!! It is still a $2800+ camera but if you could afford that it would be great!! I am sure of that! :o)


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10/3/2005 8:29:50 AM

 
Forrest C. Wilkinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/15/2005
  I would go for the 20D, it is of a higher quality than the XT, and I would stay away from Nikon as it doesn't allow for as much room for expansion. That's my opinion. The only real thing that makes the 5D good is the full size CCD, which make the picture with no magnification, other than that, if you're going to drop $2800, buy the 1DmII.


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10/3/2005 1:42:45 PM

 
Daryl R. Lucarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2004
daryllucarelli.com
  Kerry, Melissa, and Forrest....thanks for the response.....going with the 20D but I will unforunately have to wait until I get back from a vacation to New Hampshire and Maine which starts Thursday..... I had hoped to get this done before I left but decided against trying to learn a new camera during the middle of a vacation....although I would have enjoyed the opportunity to use the upgrade to DSLR.... I will post any good images if I get some worth showing..


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10/4/2005 1:34:11 PM

 
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