Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Digital camera specs

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 9:45:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Happy 2005!
I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better camera"
is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better indicator of
image quality.
Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera manufacturers
advertise their sensor sizes?
Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often compare
megapixels.
Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different cameras
within a specific budget range?
Just curious...

- Eugel

More about : digital camera specs

Anonymous
January 3, 2005 9:45:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Eugel Yeo wrote:
> Happy 2005!
> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
> camera" is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better
> indicator of image quality.
> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
> manufacturers advertise their sensor sizes?
> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
> compare megapixels.
> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different
> cameras within a specific budget range?
> Just curious...
>
> - Eugel

Well in fact both sensor size and the number of pixels and the type and
design of the sensor are all important as are other factors. However that is
not what is important to the marketing team. They use whatever is easy to
sell. Pixels are easy to understand (more is better) and therefore can be
sold without explication.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 9:45:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Eugel Yeo" <clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:41d92250$1@news.starhub.net.sg...
> Happy 2005!
> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
camera"
> is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better indicator of
> image quality.
> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
manufacturers
> advertise their sensor sizes?
> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
compare
> megapixels.
> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different cameras
> within a specific budget range?
> Just curious...
>
> - Eugel
>

As soon as one manufacturer started selling megapixels the others followed
like lemmings. The public thinks the more the better totalling ignoring
sensor size, lens quality, build quality etc. The manufacturers are gearing
their sales pitches to the AVI (Average Village Idiot) with an eighth grade
education.
Related resources
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 9:45:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Eugel Yeo" <clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:41d92250$1@news.starhub.net.sg...
> Happy 2005!
> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
> camera"

Yes, that is basically true but one must look at several factors. In an
automobile, more horsepower is very nice but must be balanced with safety,
economy, usability, etc. Having lots of horsepower is not a good reason to
select an automobile if other factors are ignored.

> is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better indicator of
> image quality.

Generally, the bigger the sensor size the better the camera. But, this is
like megapixels and horsepower. If the marketers ever detect that consumers
are keyed in on sensor size, then we will see huge sensor cameras that are
no better than what we have now.

> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
> manufacturers
> advertise their sensor sizes?

As of now, most consumers don't know and don't care. When consumers shift
to a new focus, the marketing folks will follow!
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 9:45:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Harvey wrote:
[]
> As soon as one manufacturer started selling megapixels the others
> followed like lemmings. The public thinks the more the better
> totalling ignoring sensor size, lens quality, build quality etc. The
> manufacturers are gearing their sales pitches to the AVI (Average
> Village Idiot) with an eighth grade education.

Much more fun if they labelled the cameras:

- cheap and nasty

- entry level, don't expect much

- mid price, we don't make too much profit from this but we sell a lot

- expensive for those idiots who have more money than sense

David
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 11:29:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Eugel Yeo wrote:

> Happy 2005!
> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better camera"
> is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better indicator of
> image quality.
> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera manufacturers
> advertise their sensor sizes?
> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often compare
> megapixels.
> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different cameras
> within a specific budget range?
> Just curious...
>
> - Eugel

What one really wants to know about the sensor are:

1) total number of pixels (e.g. the megapixel count)

2) the active sensor area (e.g. in square microns, or at least
linear microns.

3) read noise, and

3) noise due to dark current (e.g. could be spec'd as
noise with an exposure of 5 minutes at a certain temperature).

The active sensor area, which correlates with sensor size
is proportional to the number of photons one can collect.
Think of buckets out in the rain. The larger the bucket,
the more raindrops get collected.

Current better digital cameras are photon noise limited.
For example, see:
http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/digital.signal.to.no...

High end DSLRs' like the Canon 1D Mark II an Canon 10D are
photon noise limited. So are at least some P&S, like the
Canon A60. The sensor size correlates with the number
of photons collected and converted to electrons. The electrons
are held in a well (a voltage potential well), analogous
to the bucket holding rain drops. When the well is full, you
can't collect any more photons (electrons). The measured
values are (from the above web site):

Full Well Maximum possible Pixel Spacing
Camera (electrons) signal-to-noise (microns)
Canon 1DMII 52,300 229 8.2
Canon 10D 44,200 210 7.4
Canon S60 22,000 148 2.8

So signal-to-noise directly correlates with sensor size
(which correlates with sensor spacing).

Web sites like http://www.dpreview.com give the sensor
size and number of pixels. E.g. the S60 is 2592x1944 pixels,
and 7.18/5.32mm. So the pixel spacing is:
7.17mm *1000 micron/mm / 2592 pixels = 2.8 microns/pixel
Sensors with about 6 or more micron pixel spacing will
deliver excellent images assuming the rest of the electronic
chain and lenses are good.

It would be nice if the manufacturers printed that info
on the box.

If one simply increases pixel count, without increasing sensor
size, then the buckets become too small to collect enough
photons and to hold enough electrons. That impacts signal-to-noise
and image quality. Thus, there is a real practical limit to smaller
sensor sizes, and around 20 megapixels in a 35 mm full frame
area is about the limit for quality images.

Roger
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:22:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 18:45:36 +0800, "Eugel Yeo" <clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Happy 2005!
> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better camera"
> is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a better indicator of
> image quality.
> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera manufacturers
> advertise their sensor sizes?
> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often compare
> megapixels.
> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different cameras
> within a specific budget range?

The most important thing IMHO is the quality of the lens.
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:22:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ken Oaf wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 18:45:36 +0800, "Eugel Yeo"
> <clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> Happy 2005!
>> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
>> camera" is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a
>> better indicator of image quality.
>> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
>> manufacturers advertise their sensor sizes?
>> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
>> compare megapixels.
>> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different
>> cameras within a specific budget range?
>
> The most important thing IMHO is the quality of the lens.

No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most important
thing is the results.

It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools and too
little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the science and too
little concern with the art.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:22:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
> Ken Oaf wrote:
>> On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 18:45:36 +0800, "Eugel Yeo"
>> <clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Happy 2005!
>>> I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
>>> camera" is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a
>>> better indicator of image quality.
>>> Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
>>> manufacturers advertise their sensor sizes?
>>> Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
>>> compare megapixels.
>>> Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different
>>> cameras within a specific budget range?
>>
>> The most important thing IMHO is the quality of the lens.
>
> No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most
> important thing is the results.
>
> It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools
> and too little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the
> science and too little concern with the art.

Well, sir, I'd guess the reason for that lies in proportions: there is
*always* science underlying the production of a photograph, and *too
seldom* much art...


--
Frank ess
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:22:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Frank ess wrote:
> Joseph Meehan wrote:
>
>>Ken Oaf wrote:
>>
>>>On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 18:45:36 +0800, "Eugel Yeo"
>>><clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Happy 2005!
>>>>I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
>>>>camera" is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a
>>>>better indicator of image quality.
>>>>Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
>>>>manufacturers advertise their sensor sizes?
>>>>Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
>>>>compare megapixels.
>>>>Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different
>>>>cameras within a specific budget range?
>>>
>>>The most important thing IMHO is the quality of the lens.
>>
>> No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most
>>important thing is the results.
>>
>> It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools
>>and too little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the
>>science and too little concern with the art.
>
>
> Well, sir, I'd guess the reason for that lies in proportions: there is
> *always* science underlying the production of a photograph, and *too
> seldom* much art...
>
>
Most of us can apply ourselves to learning the science, and do well with
that part, but art isn't something you can learn. You have it, or you
don't.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:55:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Ron Hunter" <rphunter@charter.net> wrote in message
news:yVsCd.13545$b75.7014@fe07.lga...
> Frank ess wrote:
>> Joseph Meehan wrote:
>>
>>>Ken Oaf wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Mon, 3 Jan 2005 18:45:36 +0800, "Eugel Yeo"
>>>><clean_uranus@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>Happy 2005!
>>>>>I understand from various posts that "more megapixels equals better
>>>>>camera" is more marketing than fact, and that sensor size is a
>>>>>better indicator of image quality.
>>>>>Reading through camera specifications, though, why dont camera
>>>>>manufacturers advertise their sensor sizes?
>>>>>Even camera reviewers dont compare sensor sizes, whereas they often
>>>>>compare megapixels.
>>>>>Wouldnt sensor size be a critical factor in considering different
>>>>>cameras within a specific budget range?
>>>>
>>>>The most important thing IMHO is the quality of the lens.
>>>
>>> No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most
>>>important thing is the results.
>>>
>>> It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools
>>>and too little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the
>>>science and too little concern with the art.
>>
>>
>> Well, sir, I'd guess the reason for that lies in proportions: there is
>> *always* science underlying the production of a photograph, and *too
>> seldom* much art...
>>
>>
> Most of us can apply ourselves to learning the science, and do well with
> that part, but art isn't something you can learn. You have it, or you
> don't.
>
>
> --
> Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net

Art is also something that is different for almost everyone. Some can see
art in stark black and white, while others see it in wildly distorted views
of anything. Defining art is impossible. I classify myself as having no
artistic talent at all, yet I will still shoot what I think "looks good" to
me and that is maybe a broad definition of art. I am constantly looking for
scenes that I think will "look good" and usually am without my camera when I
see them. If I have my camera in hand and look for the same scenes, they
are not there. Perception is everything.

Don Dunlap
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 3:08:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ron Hunter wrote:
> Frank ess wrote:
>> Joseph Meehan wrote:
>>
>>> Ken Oaf wrote:
....
>>>
>>> No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most
>>> important thing is the results.
>>>
>>> It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools
>>> and too little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the
>>> science and too little concern with the art.
>>
>>
>> Well, sir, I'd guess the reason for that lies in proportions: there
>> is *always* science underlying the production of a photograph, and
>> *too seldom* much art...
>>
>>
> Most of us can apply ourselves to learning the science, and do well
> with that part, but art isn't something you can learn. You have it,
> or you don't.

True, but we all have some. An that some can be developed or ignored.
If ignored it decline or nurtured it will grow.

While I believe it is very important to know and understand your tools,
it is equally important to be aware of the art and to work on it as well.
The two work together.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 3:08:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Joseph Meehan wrote:
> Ron Hunter wrote:
>
>>Frank ess wrote:
>>
>>>Joseph Meehan wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Ken Oaf wrote:
>
> ...
>
>>>> No. The quality of the lens is not most important. The most
>>>>important thing is the results.
>>>>
>>>> It seems the photo community is far too concerned with the tools
>>>>and too little concerned with the results. Too concerned with the
>>>>science and too little concern with the art.
>>>
>>>
>>>Well, sir, I'd guess the reason for that lies in proportions: there
>>>is *always* science underlying the production of a photograph, and
>>>*too seldom* much art...
>>>
>>>
>>
>>Most of us can apply ourselves to learning the science, and do well
>>with that part, but art isn't something you can learn. You have it,
>>or you don't.
>
>
> True, but we all have some. An that some can be developed or ignored.
> If ignored it decline or nurtured it will grow.
>
> While I believe it is very important to know and understand your tools,
> it is equally important to be aware of the art and to work on it as well.
> The two work together.
>

Some have it, some don't. I, for instance, have NO talent in music. I
enjoy it, can can appreciate many of the musical genres, but I could
never learn to play a musical instrument at any level of competence. I
can write, speak, and listen, but singing isn't my forte. I have been
taking pictures for about 55 years, and know a bit about the technical
aspects, and I recognize a good scene when I see one, and I can get a
good shot now and then, but 'art', it isn't.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
January 7, 2005 11:51:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks, Roger. Appreciate the information.

That's probably more info that I can possibly digest, but
I'll memorise it and the next time somebody asks me about
sensor size, WATCH OUT!!

Cheers.

- Eugel

>
> What one really wants to know about the sensor are:
>
> 1) total number of pixels (e.g. the megapixel count)
>
> 2) the active sensor area (e.g. in square microns, or at least
> linear microns.
>
> 3) read noise, and
>
> 3) noise due to dark current (e.g. could be spec'd as
> noise with an exposure of 5 minutes at a certain temperature).
>
> The active sensor area, which correlates with sensor size
> is proportional to the number of photons one can collect.
> Think of buckets out in the rain. The larger the bucket,
> the more raindrops get collected.
>
> Current better digital cameras are photon noise limited.
> For example, see:
> http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/digital.signal.to.no...
>
> High end DSLRs' like the Canon 1D Mark II an Canon 10D are
> photon noise limited. So are at least some P&S, like the
> Canon A60. The sensor size correlates with the number
> of photons collected and converted to electrons. The electrons
> are held in a well (a voltage potential well), analogous
> to the bucket holding rain drops. When the well is full, you
> can't collect any more photons (electrons). The measured
> values are (from the above web site):
>
> Full Well Maximum possible Pixel Spacing
> Camera (electrons) signal-to-noise (microns)
> Canon 1DMII 52,300 229 8.2
> Canon 10D 44,200 210 7.4
> Canon S60 22,000 148 2.8
>
> So signal-to-noise directly correlates with sensor size
> (which correlates with sensor spacing).
>
> Web sites like http://www.dpreview.com give the sensor
> size and number of pixels. E.g. the S60 is 2592x1944 pixels,
> and 7.18/5.32mm. So the pixel spacing is:
> 7.17mm *1000 micron/mm / 2592 pixels = 2.8 microns/pixel
> Sensors with about 6 or more micron pixel spacing will
> deliver excellent images assuming the rest of the electronic
> chain and lenses are good.
>
> It would be nice if the manufacturers printed that info
> on the box.
>
> If one simply increases pixel count, without increasing sensor
> size, then the buckets become too small to collect enough
> photons and to hold enough electrons. That impacts signal-to-noise
> and image quality. Thus, there is a real practical limit to smaller
> sensor sizes, and around 20 megapixels in a 35 mm full frame
> area is about the limit for quality images.
>
> Roger
>
!