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Photography Question 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
 

Sensors


I have a Canon 20D (8mp) and I notice the Canon 5D has 12mp (but costs around $3,500). Now Canon have just released the 50D (at 15mp) but it only costs $1300 thereabouts. This would suggest that all "sensors" are not equal. Can anyone explain?


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9/17/2008 10:29:08 AM

 
W.   
The 5D has a full frame sensor, Roy: 36x24mm. The 50D has a much smaller sensor. The 50D is a consumer dSLR. The 5D is a (semi-)pro dSLR.

About sensor sizes:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/SensorSizes.png


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9/17/2008 10:38:45 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  I know the 5D has a full frame sensor.... but it still doesn't explain the "differences". If you were to put 2 pics side by side, one from the 5D at 12mp and one from the D50 at 15mp, what would be the obvious difference? ... or are some of the price differences in the camera itself. "Consumer DSLR" and "Semi-Pro" ... what's the difference in a real world sense ?


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9/17/2008 10:47:12 AM

 
W.   
"If you were to put 2 pics side by side, one from the 5D at 12mp and one from the D50 at 15mp, what would be the obvious difference?"

2 major differences: noise and price.

Check the specs for a whole slew of 'minor' differences.

"Consumer DSLR" and "Semi-Pro" ... what's the difference in a real world sense ?"

4 major differences: price, specs, image quality and build quality.


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9/17/2008 10:51:49 AM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
Contact Ken
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  Does the Canon 5D cost $3500? The new 5D that was just announced, 21 Megapixels with HD movie, is less than that, I believe.


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9/17/2008 11:26:34 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  New electronics always get cheaper. What will you get if you go thru some archives and get the prices of calculators when they first came out?
With things like peripheral illumination correction, more and more things are being done for you.
Making that one have 21mp makes me think what they're going to do with the 1ds III.


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9/17/2008 11:52:34 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  The Canon 5D II is only $2700 US, there is a lens bundle that brings it up to $3500 w/ Canon 24-105. The thing is crazy good in low light...my good friend in Orange County kindly neglected to inform me he was beta testing the camera...low light (wedding) photographers will love it.
I'm left holding 2 1ds MarkII's so gotta decide if I blow one out and get a 5D II.


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9/17/2008 12:04:05 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Roy,

Like many, you are getting a little caught up in what has been dubbed "The Mega-Pixel war"

Other than "pixels"...There is a lot that goes into sensor design.

There are many good articles on sensor design, some written for the average guy and some written for scientists..You can explore as lightly or deeply as you desire.

Some of the more important elements of sensor design you can look for are:

1) Pixel density
2) Pixel pitch
3) Thermal reduction

Following hardware, we then begin to talk about software processing in the camera itself.

As Gregory correctly pointed out, as time advances, so does the quality and efficiency of sensors as prices drop on older technology.

"If you were to put 2 pics side by side, one from the 5D at 12mp and one from the D50 at 15mp, what would be the obvious difference?"

Well first, The D-50 does not have a 15MP sensor.

In short though, the 5D would show better color accuracy, better tonality, better resolution, and of course less noise in low light situations.


all the best,

Pete


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9/18/2008 6:57:25 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   When it comes to digital cameras, the heart of all is the imaging chip.

Size matters. The chip’s surface is covered with light sensitive sights. The number and size of each sights is an important aspect.

In color photography the chip is constructed to cause capture of thee unique images, when the shutter is tripped. Filters to the rescue; one scheme is to overlay each sight with a transparent filter. A red filter passes red and rejects green and blue. A blue filter passes blue and rejects red and green. A green filter passes green and rejects red and blue. Thus filters are used to control the color of the light energy reaching any specific sight. The mechanism by which we humans see is based on our anatomy. Sorry to report that at the present state of the technology, the way a chip sees is quite different. In an effort to pattern the chips sensitivity the filter pattern must be weighted thus the chips surface is not divided into three equal number of red-green-blue sights. This is sad because the filters must be quite strong to reject some light frequencies. This is bad because a lot of the light we want to pass is also absorbed. To compensate the sensitivity of the chip must elevated (by high ISO). We don’t know how to do this for just light. When we boost the ISO to light we also boost it’s sensitivity to infrared (IR). This thus the likelihood that the sight receives a false signal is increased.

The cure is to make the entire chip bigger. Bigger means each individual sight has a larger surface area. Larger means the sight is more sensitive because large translated an increased probability of a photon hit and reduces the probability of being tripped off by stray radiant energy. Sensitivity to false energies is noise (signal-to-noise ratio).

There are many schemes in progress that will improve the digital chips. One remarkable advance occurred recently. Dr. Byers at Kodak, he designed the current filter pattern found on 99% of all cameras, has a new scheme. Chips will have many unfiltered sights and camera software will determine if the hit should have been red – green – blue based on adjacent sight hits. This new scheme is likely to hit the market this year and will silently incorporate into all major brands.

Other schemes use three surfaces, a sandwich design consisting of three layers each sensitive to one of the three light premieres. One more point. The price paid is based on ‘economy-of-scale’. Consider an automobile, if you make a hundred thousand copies you can sell it for $20,000. If you make only two thousand copies you must sell it for $1,000,000. Price is based on recovering engineering – manufacturing – sales – marketing costs. How many units must you sell to recover and break even?

My prediction is; chips continue to shrink as will the camera. Future format ratio will be the same a HDTV i.e. 16:9. Computer screens will also be 6:9 as will digital frames, the most common print size will be 4x7 inch. The full frame 35mm size of 24mm by 36mm will in museums next to civil war medical instruments.


Alan Marcus (marginal technical gobbledygook)
alanmaxinemarcus@att.net


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9/18/2008 7:50:02 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  To Pete H. – The specs say the D50 has a 15mp sensor (?)

To: Alan M – thanks for your extensive reply, though you did lose me quite a lot... I got the gist of it.

Regarding laying 2 pics side-by-side (one from 12mp 5D and the other from the 15mp 50D) ... I wonder is it worth it all if one has to get out a microscope to see the differences.... especially considering post processing in PS will also change things.

I also wonder who could tell the difference, if they were pushed to decide?

Maybe if one is a "purest" and undertaking large prints of say landscapes, the difference may start to appear.

When one looks at hangings in a local gallery or "art photography" (in particular) I have never seen any onlooker go up to the print and start to study it for flaws of tonality etc.

One very famous photographer once said... "A picture should be looked into... not at".

Thanks to all for replies and help.


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9/18/2008 9:59:32 AM

 
W.   
"Regarding laying 2 pics side-by-side (one from 12mp 5D and the other from the 15mp 50D) ... I wonder is it worth it all if one has to get out a microscope to see the differences.... especially considering post processing in PS will also change things."

Why theorize, speculate, project, when you could KNOW?
Put up sample images side-by-side on your screen and see for yourself what the differences are.
Don't forget to also print 8x10's to judge side-by-side.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Here's are some D50 sample photos for your perusal:
http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/nikond50_samples/
You'll have to keep your eyes peeled for sample photos of the new 5D. That camera is so new that there aren't any sample photos yet. But expect them to appear on the web real soon.

"I also wonder who could tell the difference, if they were pushed to decide?"

Why theorize, speculate, project, when you could KNOW?
Put up sample images side-by-side on your screen and see for yourself what the differences are.
Don't forget to also print 8x10's to judge side-by-side.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

"Maybe if one is a "purest" and undertaking large prints of say landscapes, the difference may start to appear."

Why theorize, speculate, project, when you could KNOW?
Put up sample images side-by-side on your screen and see for yourself what the differences are.
Don't forget to also print 8x10's to judge side-by-side.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

"When one looks at hangings in a local gallery or "art photography" (in particular) I have never seen any onlooker go up to the print and start to study it for flaws of tonality etc."

That you have never seen that doesn't mean that 'onlookers' don't do it, does it? It only means that you have never seen it. Nothing else.

"One very famous photographer once said... "A picture should be looked into... not at"."

I'd be more interested in his photos than in what he said...


BTW: the Nikon D50 has been DISCONTINUED!

Have fun!


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9/18/2008 10:24:36 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  Sorry... you are thinking of "Nikon" and I am referring to "Canon" (my apologies I should have stated this). I got my numbers back to front.

The new Canon 50D (15mp) ... not the Nikon D50 (?). The 12mp Canon 5D is old now (4 years old at least) but I believe is still costing around $2,500 (Australian) even at discount stores.

The famous photographer I was referring to was Ansell Adams. His quote had much insight and experience.


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9/18/2008 10:39:15 AM

 
W.   

"Sorry... you are thinking of "Nikon" and I am referring to "Canon" (my apologies I should have stated this). I got my numbers back to front."

The same applies: put sample images up side-by-side on your screen to SEE the difference!

"The 12mp Canon 5D is old now (4 years old at least) but I believe is still costing around $2,500 (Australian) even at discount stores."

FYI: the Canon 5D was superceded yesterday by the Canon 5D Mark II (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos5dmarkII/). So IF you can find the 'old' 5D at all, you may expect it to be heavily discounted (since the new 5D is cheaper, and a whole lot better too).


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9/18/2008 11:19:05 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  Just checked the site but nobody is selling it.
Do you know how much it is or an approximate?
Ta ...


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9/18/2008 11:34:06 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Read my post above and I laid out the prices for the NEW 5d II....don't worry nobody listens to me. I heard if you call BH or Adorama they're taking phone orders.

Here's a link
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-9316-9607


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9/18/2008 11:50:28 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   From PMA International New Line
Canon releases EOS 5D Mark II DSLR featuring high-definition video recording, live view, full-frame CMOS sensor

Along with the ability to capture full high-definition (HD) video clips at 1920-by-1080, the 21.1-megapixel camera is full frame 24-by-36mm CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 imaging processor, and expanded sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 25,600. The camera's DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor powers the camera's 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for smooth color tones and gradation.
The new 21.1-megapixel Canon EOS 5D can shoot HD video and features live view and an enchanced full-frame CMOS sensor. It will be available by the end of November for $2,699 for the body and $3,499 kit version.

The new DSLR features continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of full-resolution JPEGs to the capacity of the memory card or up to 14 RAW images in a single burst when using a UDMA CF card. The camera includes a 15-point Autofocus (AF) sensor with nine selectable AF points and six additional Assist AF points (three center AF points sensitive to f/2.8 lenses) with enhanced light source detection and AF microadjustment. The EOS 5D Mark II camera also features a 3-inch LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution, which is four times the pixel count of the EOS 5D camera's 2.5-inch screen. Canon has reduced noise and expanded the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor up to ISO 25,600, which is three full stops higher than the ISO 3200 limit of the original EOS 5D camera. The new sensor incorporates an improved output amplifier and a more advanced color filter to improve light transmission while retaining color reproduction, says Canon.

The EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 full HD video capture at 1920-by-1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640-by-480 pixels and 30 fps, both capabilities appearing for the first time in a Canon SLR camera. Video capture is part of the camera's live view function, using the Picture Style that has been set for live view still image shooting. This allows photographers adjust image sharpness, contrast, color saturation, and white balance, and have those settings apply to the movie image. When recording video, the camera's rear LCD screen can be letter-boxed by a semi-transparent border to match the aspect ratio of the movie recording size. Features three Live View AF modes -- Quick, Live, and Face Detection Live mode -- for capturing either still photos or video. Quick mode automatically sets One-Shot AF using the camera's phase detection AF system. It also allows users to select the AF point while the live view image is displayed. Live mode uses contrast-detection AF with the image sensor and users can change the AF point using the Multi-controller. Face Detection Live mode uses contrast AF to recognize human faces. When multiple faces are detected, the largest face closest to the center of the frame is targeted as the AF point.

The camera will record video up to 4GB per clip or a maximum continuous movie capture time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, whichever comes first. Depending on the level of detail in the scene, a 4GB memory card can record approximately 12 minutes of video at full HD resolution or approximately 24 minutes in standard definition. Video clips are recorded in .MOV format using an MPEG-4 video compression. The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR automatically conducts peripheral illumination correction when shooting JPEG images, a function that previously could only be accomplished through post-image processing. Peripheral illumination correction evens brightness across the image field. Canon's enhanced Auto Lighting Optimizer technology analyzes image brightness and automatically adjusts dark areas in images so that they appear brighter. This function is aimed at high-contrast situations.

For photographers seeking to shoot RAW images, without the large file size, the EOS 5D camera offers two more file size options with sRAW1 and sRAW2 recording formats. At the sRAW1 setting, resolution is 10 megapixels with a file size that is approximately 25 percent smaller than a standard 21.1-megapixel RAW image. With the sRAW2 setting, resolution is 5.2 megapixels at less than half the file size of a standard RAW image.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera is compatible with Canon EF lenses delivery by the end of November. body-only $2,699kit version with Canon's EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom $3,499.


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9/18/2008 12:53:36 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Alan N. Marcus

says, "Size matters."

Word to that Alan....lol


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9/18/2008 1:31:15 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  You have to look at image quality and all the other things to a camera that handle the info coming from the sensor.
Last year when the 1d III and 1ds II were out together, DPP magazine has Canon as claiming the 1dIII was capable of producing the best image quality of any Canon available. And the also said that the cost and difficulties of making full frame sensors at the time hadn't been coming down as quickly as many had expected. So the 5d II maybe be indicating that it has started to.
The current 5d will get cheaper. And I've read that professionals have been starting to ask that partly due to archiving issues that the focus not be so much on increasing mega pixels. So what will happen with the 1ds II will be interesting to see. Maybe 25-28mp, or image quality evolution.


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9/19/2008 7:29:15 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  On Gregs comment, a well known photographer friend in LA bought both the 5D (12mgpxl) & 1D markII (8mgpxl) after testing both out handholding and w/tripod we both agreed the 1D images were more crisp and sharp. When I asked friends at Canon about this at the service facility in Irvine they all said the 1D series is the pro series and will always be a step ahead of the 5D...now we have to wait. I've got 2 1Ds MarkII's but I'd have been really PO'd if I'd bought the MarkIII...and I was sooooooo close to springing for it. As for the old 5D, I'm buying one as a 3rd backup for sure and dumping my 20D.


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9/19/2008 8:32:59 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  I have the 20D but really need to go up a few notches.
All comes down to "money" in the end.
Thanks Oli ... and all the others for your input.


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9/19/2008 10:10:10 AM

 
Scott McCord   Roy,
From what I've been told, the 5dmkii is supposed to be awesome when it finally arrives. However, one complaint I've heard from the camera geeks is that it is still using older technology than the 50D (Sorry, I can't be specific because I don't really know the details well enough to comment further).

However, I just bought the 50D and will say that it is leaps and bounds better then the 40D on noise issues...and the 40D does fairly well itself with ISO.

At ISO3200, I see very little noise - what I would classify as excellent. When I compare a 3200 shot on the 50d with a 400 on the 40D, I don't see any difference. I also think the AWB is more accurate on the 50D than on any other previous model.

But who knows yet, because the mysterious 5Dmkii is still in hiding and can't be adequately compared to date.


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10/29/2008 8:53:01 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Scott, I have friends that are using the 5D MarkII and I am purchasing one instead of the older 5D. As for using older technology I'm curious about that statement???? The only negative to the 5DMII is the 4fps vs 50D 6fps but this is expected due to the higher megapixels. Another cool feature is video, with the 2.8L glass I've got its pretty amazing what you can do with the 5DMII. The ability to shoot in low light makes the new 5D MarkII the ideal wedding camera.
I will NOT be selling my 1Ds MarkII's since I love the durability, weather sealing, 250,000 sensor durability & 45 AF points(HUGE).


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10/29/2008 9:56:36 AM

 
Scott McCord   Oliver,
The older technology may be an inaccurate statement. That's just what I was told by some photo guys at a camera shop. However, I think they were saying that the 50D's sensor was better technology, but to me, that doesn't matter too much, because Canon's not going to spend the money to launch a less than stellar product unless something big was overlooked. I am confident that 5dmkii will take outstanding photos. And could I have found it within a week, I would have gotten that rather than the 50D.

You have friends using it? Around my neck of the woods, I'm being told that it hasn't been released yet.

I also think it will make the perfect wedding camera - the ISO capabilities are ridiculous! And like you, if I was fortunate enough to own the 1DS MarkII, I'd sell almost anything before I got rid of that.


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10/29/2008 1:14:42 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  There are lots of photographers testing Canon cameras for them. Many are located in CA where I reside and frequent the events I attend or work at. I know 2 AP photographers that had the 1DsMIII for a year before the release. When I head to LA on Friday I'll get a chance hopefully to shoot with the new 5DMII. Saturday I'll be using it for a swimwear/lingerie shoot if my friend can make it. I'll also be trying the New G10 with a 580EX and can't wait to see the results of both.
Release date for new 5DMII is Mid November.


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10/29/2008 2:03:47 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  The 5D will give you the ability to shoot with less noise under low light/high ISO conditions. You will also be able to isolate a subject better with the 5D's less depth of field at a given aperture.

The D50 will give you slightly finer detail due to the smaller photosite size, given good light. The smaller sensor will also give you apparent magnification of a subject due to smaller sensor effectively 'cropping' the image, e.g., a D50 image with a 500mm lens will give the same field of view as the 5D with a 750mm lens.

For most of us, the differences really don't amount to a hill of beans. Given the same field of view, and the same subject, and a 16x20 print, I don't think anyone would be able to tell which camera took the picture.


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11/20/2008 9:09:06 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  My repeated argument in many BP threads and at my camera club has been that a 6 MP sensor was all most photographers needed. This was supported in a BP thread some time ago in which many Stock Agencies were quoted as saying their requirement was 6 MP minimum, but that they preferred 8.

For all with opinions like those above, please read the attached article that was recently published in the International Herald Tribume [November 14th.] True, a European newspaper, but credible. Once you read the article, then we can continue this thread more objectively.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/13/technology/ptbasics13.php?page=1

Note, this link takes you to page 1 of a two page article. If you can't simply "go to page 2" by the link, just change the end of the address from ...page=1 to ...Page=2.

Enjoy.


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11/21/2008 2:10:37 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  John, with all due respect, "[a] 6 MP sensor was all most photographers needed" is a statement that ignores this discussion. Most of us here are not "most photographers" but instead are seriously interested in photography. We own dSLRs, we buy numerous lenses, and we make enlargements. "Most photographers" are perfectly happy with digicams, and wouldn't even read this discussion.

I can also state that I've seen a serious photographer's 6 MP photograph (taken with a Canon D60) that was cropped and enlarged to 16" x 20" that looked absolutely HORRIBLE unless viewed from a couple feet away. This print was for sale a few years ago, that photographer needed more resolution, and I'm sure he has a higher-resolution camera today.

The desire for higher resolution is real, and the need is real. This discussion was about how do two cameras with similar specs in terms of resolution differ in terms of image quality, i.e, why would someone pay for a 5D if a D50 was just as good?

I can tell you that most stock agencies aren't taking 6 MP images. That was true a couple of years ago, but the bar is raised. Many won't let you in unless you have at least 10 MP, and some want even more, because this is what their customers are demanding. Why? So they can crop and/or enlarge images without losing detail.

And finally, I consider the IHT to be about as credible as its parent organization.


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11/24/2008 12:26:58 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
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  John C.

Check out Shutterbug magazine a few months back. Its article was the source of my comment on Stock Agencies.

Years back, National Geographic wouldn't accept a digital image. When it finally came to its senses, that is - that digital was here to stay, it began to accept image shot with 3 MP cameras. Are you suggesting that Nat G would publish poor images? I think not.

Moreover, the rush to larger and larger sensors is the manufacturer's dream, not the real need of probably 95% of folks taking pictures. Most amateurs don't appreciate the difference in sensor sizes between point and shoot and DSLRs.

I've proved to skeptics in the several clubs to which I belong that one can produce an outstanding 13X19 print staring with a 3MP-produced image file. And, without a special software program to help increase file size. In fact, at least one of these, that I prnted for a friend, won a First in a state-wide competition.

You might also check out Bob McNamara's article in one of last year's Pop Photos in which he pointed out that an Olympus [with a comparatively smaller chip] produced an image at higher resolution than a Nikon [with the larger chip.] He explained the reasons [I threw my copy away or I'd cite them.]

The results one gets when making print seems to depend on file size not the size of the camera's chip. That seems to be the conclusion of George Schaub, one of BP's instructors and Editor of SHutterbug.

When I use the Transfer to Photoshop Tool in Canon's Digital Professional Photographerm, I achieve a 45 MB file from the 8.3 MB RAW file produced by my Canon 30D. That gives me more than enough file size to edit, crop, etc. The key is whether there are sufficient pixels to accept 300 dpi when printing.


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11/24/2008 1:00:01 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  May be its the full frame? Never checked out the 50D at the convention.


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11/24/2008 1:03:44 PM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  John S, yes, NG takes 3 MP images, from people wanting to enter their photo contests. Professional photographers on assignment from NG do not submit 3 MP images, or else they don't remain on assignment.

Similarly, most magazines want large images, and so do most stock houses. For instance, Alamy wants uncompressed images that are at least 48 MB, which is a 16 MP image (at 8 bits). This is so their customers can crop and resize as they see fit.

Re file size versus sensor 'size' (I assume you mean sensor photosite density, AKA megapixels), given the file is uncompressed these are proportional, i.e., higher-resolution sensors of the same technology (CFA, Foveon) produce larger RAW output sizes.

Re outstanding 13" x 19" prints, while a 3 MP image file can produce an acceptable print of that size given someone who knows what they're doing, I have no doubt that the 12 MP image file in the hands of the same person will produce a better print in terms of detail. I know that you agree, a 12 MP file will produce more detailed larger prints than a 3 MP file.


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11/24/2008 4:04:44 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
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  Nat G accepted and printed 3 MP pictures from because that's what was available a few years back.

Perhaps you should read George Schaub's article in the Shutterbug newsletter. In it he states that postion, eloquently, that the megapixel race has gone too far.

http://www.shutterbug.net/newsletter/112508commentary/index.html


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11/25/2008 7:11:29 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Okay, John S, I read the article, and so what? It is not relevant to this discussion.

This discussion was about what the difference, in terms of image quality, was between a 15 MP APS-C sensor-equipped dSLR and a 12 MP full-frame sensor-equipped dSLR... and about sensors in general.

In an attempt to tie that discussion together with your discussion, I'll note that I shoot with a Sigma SD14, a 4.3 MP camera, because of many of the reasons NOT mentioned by Schaub among them being that resolution and megapixels are only indirectly correlated if a different technology is used.

Foveon technology is the better mousetrap, but it has been constrained by lack of R&D compared to Bayer CFA sensor technology. The Bayer megapixel race is to try and get sensors so dense that the lens becomes the limiting factor. When that happens, Bayer sensors won't need anti-aliasing filters because the lens will be the AA filter. That's about where we are today, with cameras like the Sony A900 and the Canon 1DSMkIII; many users are upgrading to Zeiss prime lenses because their existing lenses from the camera manufacturer don't resolve sufficiently.

I'm personally waiting for the 8 MP 1.4x crop factor Foveon sensor. Such a camera will outresolve every other 24x36 or crop-factor dSLR on the market, with the benefit of smaller image files.


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11/25/2008 9:29:48 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  Back to my original question.... please.

Is it honestly possible to see the difference on say an 8 x 10 print (or even up to A1 size) if a camera used an 8MP sensor or a 15MP sensor (say both Canon DSLR cameras) using the same lens on both and in standard lighting conditions outdoors? (ie: not low light).

I believe that both the Canon 20D (8mp) and the 50D (15mp) use similar size sensors (ratio 1:6)... as compared to the 5D using full a frame sensor.

I myself get caught in this "chase the megapixel thing" but I often wonder is it really that necessary at the sizes I have mentioned? Could any reader honestly tell the difference on a print?

Maybe one would expect to see more clarity/sharpness (or whatever) if the print were enlarged very very very big (like a poster in a shop window) ?


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11/25/2008 10:16:50 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  For an 8x10 print, you'd be hard-pressed to see the difference.

For an A1-sized print, you'd definitely see the difference.


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11/25/2008 10:35:06 AM

 
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