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The megapixel race

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Anonymous
January 3, 2005 4:39:11 PM

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

Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?

In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?

- Siddhartha

More about : megapixel race

Anonymous
January 3, 2005 5:42:17 PM

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

In article <1104788351.382914.66660@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
> P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?
>
> In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
> at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
> are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
> has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?
>
> - Siddhartha

Professional 35mm cameras will probably max-out around 16 to 24 MP.
That's about all you can get from the lens. There's pretty much no
limit for large format cameras, though.

Other Canon technologies are advancing too - Better image stabilizers,
compact telephoto lenses, low noise sensors, long exposure ability, USM
focusing, wider dynamic ranges, etc.
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 12:52:16 AM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
news:1104788351.382914.66660@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
> P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?

Megapixel race?

Technology advances and it is possible to make more pixels
at the same cost. That trend is true for all electronics.
You can view that as a race - I view it as a sound principle
for making advances.

There will always be cameras with different amount of pixels.

For decent small pictures you need 1-2 Mpixels and up.
For decent bigger pictures you need 3-5 Mpixels and up.
For some pictures you need more.

As long as you don't want to do oversampling or other
advanced techniques - this will always be true.

Now - oversampling is interesting. Instead of advanced optical
anti aliasing filter you have lots of pixels and simple optical
anti aliasing filters. Then you do digital filtering on the oversampled
picture to get a much sharper picture - just as you do with
audio signals. That would be a great improvement.

Another interesting idea would be real digital zoom where
the lens is sharper in the center and the sensor has more
pixels in the center. That would be cool.




/Roland
Related resources
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 12:55:47 AM

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

On 3 Jan 2005 13:39:11 -0800, "Siddhartha Jain"
<losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
>P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?
>
>In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
>at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
>are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
>has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?

I would like to see more in the SLR world of the interchangeable back
Leica has introduced. I have used for years a 35mm Ziess Contarex
which had interchangeable film backs. I would like to see the same in
a high end slr both interchangeable film and digital backs.

http://www.leica-camera.com/produkte/rsystem/digitalmod...


*****************************************************

"Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun
With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done
The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day
....
Through sixty-six and seven they fought the Congo war
Fingers on their triggers, knee-deep in gore
For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees
They killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese
....
Roland the Thompson gunner...

" Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"
Warren Zevon from
"Excitable Boy"
January 4, 2005 1:38:13 AM

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

Hell just give ma a Camera that works, no banding, focus problems, lockups,
flash that works, and
24 Mpix I will be happy.





"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:a9fjt05u8enh35k29rp5u0brmm6r9bg6nq@4ax.com...
> On 3 Jan 2005 13:39:11 -0800, "Siddhartha Jain"
> <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
> >P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?
> >
> >In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
> >at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
> >are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
> >has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?
>
> I would like to see more in the SLR world of the interchangeable back
> Leica has introduced. I have used for years a 35mm Ziess Contarex
> which had interchangeable film backs. I would like to see the same in
> a high end slr both interchangeable film and digital backs.
>
> http://www.leica-camera.com/produkte/rsystem/digitalmod...
>
>
> *****************************************************
>
> "Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun
> With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done
> The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day
> ...
> Through sixty-six and seven they fought the Congo war
> Fingers on their triggers, knee-deep in gore
> For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees
> They killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese
> ...
> Roland the Thompson gunner...
>
> " Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"
> Warren Zevon from
> "Excitable Boy"
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 2:43:06 AM

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

Kevin McMurtrie <mcmurtri@dslextreme.com> wrote in news:mcmurtri-
0DDD82.14421703012005@corp-radius.supernews.com:

> Professional 35mm cameras will probably max-out around 16 to 24 MP.
> That's about all you can get from the lens. There's pretty much no
> limit for large format cameras, though.

The sharpest lenses available for large format photography
max-out at approx. one gigapixel. NOTE - ordinary professional
lenses do not handle one gigapixel, you must have special
lenses optimised for distant objects only.

Those lenses MUST be wide angle. Otherwise the air itself
would be the problem.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 3:52:17 AM

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

Roland Karlsson wrote:
> Technology advances and it is possible to make more pixels
> at the same cost. That trend is true for all electronics.
> You can view that as a race - I view it as a sound principle
> for making advances.

Isn't pixel size at loggerheads with pixels per area unit? Will that
limit how many pixels you can pack in a square inch of sensor surface?
- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 4:02:40 AM

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

Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
> Other Canon technologies are advancing too - Better image
stabilizers,
> compact telephoto lenses, low noise sensors, long exposure ability,
USM
> focusing, wider dynamic ranges, etc.

I was interested in knowing about advances in two basic functions -
metering and AF. If you take Canon's example, the metering is at
21-zone for the last five years since EOS 1V. The AF on Canon EOS 1Ds
Mark-II is the same as Canon EOS 1V, that is, 45-point AF. Except for
the image sensor electronics, all other electronics seems to be the
same as on the EOS 1V that was introduced in 2000.

And I guess its pretty much the same story for other dSLR
manufacturers. They took the electronics from 4-5 year old film SLR
cameras and put them in the flagship dSLRs.

Have these functions hit a limit electronically? Or are the
manufacturers simply ignoring it for the moment because they are too
busy with the sensor electronics?

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 4:04:14 AM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1104788351.382914.66660@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
> P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?

No. Take a look at the Sony P150. It's a 7.1MP cam with a very small chip,
and produces very good pix, with relatively low noise. If they can do that
with smaller photo sites than the 8MP ZLRs, why not 'upscale' the technology
and improve the 8MP cams? We haven't reached the ceiling yet. I'd guess at
12MP ZLRs next year.

>
> In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
> at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
> are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
> has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?
>
> - Siddhartha
>
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 4:47:43 AM

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

In article <pPjCd.274749$5K2.44648@attbi_s03>, SB@comcast.net says...
>
> Hell just give ma a Camera that works, no banding, focus problems, lockups,
>flash that works, and
>24 Mpix I will be happy.


Mamiya has a 22mp camera with a 36mm x 48mm sensor. Price $15-20K est.

Tom
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 6:56:38 AM

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

"TAFKAB" <TheArtist@FormerlyKnownAs.Bowser> wrote in message
news:iYlCd.275013$5K2.24607@attbi_s03...
>
> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:1104788351.382914.66660@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > Where do you think the megapixel race will plateau? Or has the digital
> > P&S train already halted at 8MP for the time being?
>
> No. Take a look at the Sony P150. It's a 7.1MP cam with a very small chip,
> and produces very good pix, with relatively low noise. If they can do that
> with smaller photo sites than the 8MP ZLRs, why not 'upscale' the
technology
> and improve the 8MP cams? We haven't reached the ceiling yet. I'd guess at
> 12MP ZLRs next year.
>
> >
> > In the SLR world, what new camera technology is coming up? If you look
> > at the specs of the Canon EOS 1V and EOS 1Ds Mark-II, the electronics
> > are pretty much the same. So in the last five years what improvements
> > has Canon made towards better metering, AF etc etc?
> >
> > - Siddhartha
> >
>

Pop Photog Jan 2005 shows Canon 16.6 MP EOS-1 beats film. Interesting.
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 7:00:17 PM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
news:1104828737.205918.43740@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

> Isn't pixel size at loggerheads with pixels per area unit? Will that
> limit how many pixels you can pack in a square inch of sensor surface?

There is a limit of course. But - we are not near it at
all with regard to electronics. There are some optical
reasons not making it too small.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 7:00:18 PM

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

Roland Karlsson wrote:
> "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
> news:1104828737.205918.43740@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:
>
>
>>Isn't pixel size at loggerheads with pixels per area unit? Will that
>>limit how many pixels you can pack in a square inch of sensor surface?
>
>
> There is a limit of course. But - we are not near it at
> all with regard to electronics. There are some optical
> reasons not making it too small.
>
>
> /Roland

Roland,
Don't forget about photon statistics. That limits
pixel size to get a good picture before the limits of
electronics. I wrote the following in another thread:

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.

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 5, 2005 1:10:11 AM

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

"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote in
news:41DB0EA6.7010000@qwest.net:

> 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.

Yes and no.

You are right regarding high quality pixels.

But - you could have lots of more low quality pixels and
make a high quality picture. You could even have a massive
amount of pixels where less than one photon is catched per pixel
and then make a good picture.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 1:10:12 AM

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

Roland Karlsson wrote:
> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote in
> news:41DB0EA6.7010000@qwest.net:
>
>
>>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.
>
>
> Yes and no.
>
> You are right regarding high quality pixels.
>
> But - you could have lots of more low quality pixels and
> make a high quality picture. You could even have a massive
> amount of pixels where less than one photon is catched per pixel
> and then make a good picture.
>
>
> /Roland

I disagree. As you move toward a photon per pixel, the
signal-to-noise drops to one, and that assumes zero read
noise, which is not currently theoretically possible,.
So then you are basically dithering 1's and 0's
to make up the image with any tonality.
Thus, you ultimately are adding the pixels back together.

This is effectively what film does, with individual grains
changing with exposure to light, but it takes grain clumps,
to give some tonality. And we know that current digital
sensors of > 6 megapixels produce better images than most
films.

To get an image pixel with a signal-to-noise of 200, how many
pixels would one need to add together? I bet it is a several
micron diameter area. Again it comes down to photon counting
statistics. You need 200 squared photons = 40,000 photons
to get that 200:1 signal-to-noise, so you would need 40,000 pixels
in your example. We are back to the big sensor.

Roger
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 3:11:32 AM

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

Roland Karlsson wrote:
>You could even have a massive
> amount of pixels where less than one photon is catched per pixel
> and then make a good picture.

How do you capture less than one photon per pixel? IMO, you can't split
a photon. And how do you find a die to cast pixels that are smaller
than a photon?

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 3:33:37 AM

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

"Harvey" <hcohenREMOVE@frontiernetTHIS.net> wrote in message
news:WtoCd.2258$3k3.575@news01.roc.ny...
>
snip
>
> Pop Photog Jan 2005 shows Canon 16.6 MP EOS-1 beats film. Interesting.

Yeah, but that's a full-frame sensor with much larger photo sites than the
ZLRs, so it is a different class camera all together. It's nice, but too
damn big and a boat anchor.

Plus, its performance with wide angles is, well, lacking. For that kind of
money, I want excellence all around.

>
>
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 8:07:01 AM

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

Graham Holden wrote:
> For information: Nikon's D70 has a 1,005-sensor metering mode. I
don't
> know if this is borrowed from other bodies or a "new thing".

Umm ... thats not 1,005-sensor metering. Its 1,005-pixel sensor
metering :)  And that feature can be found on the Nikon F5 released in
1996(?)!!

> I doubt we're anywhere near a limit of what _could_ be done. I
suspect
> that _to_a_degree_ they're (a) playing mega-pixel games and (b) in
some
> cases, too closely duplicating aspects of the way film worked, and
not
> exploring some of the possibilities that digital might offer.

I think they are trying too hard to match film features and quality and
do not realise that the paradigm has totally shifted with digital image
capturing. As I have noted in another thread that I started, there are
features that are being carried over from the mechanical/film cameras.
For eg, why is sensor gain still at 50, 100, 200? Why not at stops of
10 or atleast 50. Then I am sure modern lens diaphragms can be stopped
at finer fractions that the older lens used to be. The same goes for
the electronically controlled shutter speed. But no, these are still
the same as they were on the older fully mechanical cameras.
- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 11:02:26 AM

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

Chris Brown wrote:
> In article <1104930421.277845.196870@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
> Siddhartha Jain <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> >
> >Then I am sure modern lens diaphragms can be stopped
> >at finer fractions that the older lens used to be.
>
> You have that completely backwards. Older and manual cameras tend to
have
> aperture blades which are manually set before taking the picture. The
only
> limit on the number of aperture values available is how precisely you
can
> turn the ring.

Don't know about all types of manual lenses but I have a Pentax
Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4. The f-stops are well-defined and turning the
ring *clicks* the f-stop into a preset value. Its like a multi-pole
toggle switch.

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 2:06:56 PM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
news:1104912692.769126.66160@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> How do you capture less than one photon per pixel? IMO, you can't split
> a photon. And how do you find a die to cast pixels that are smaller
> than a photon?

I meant - catch less than one photon in mean.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 2:19:36 PM

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

"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote
in news:41DB4CD3.1090901@qwest.net:

> I disagree. As you move toward a photon per pixel, the
> signal-to-noise drops to one, and that assumes zero read
> noise, which is not currently theoretically possible,.
> So then you are basically dithering 1's and 0's
> to make up the image with any tonality.
> Thus, you ultimately are adding the pixels back together.
>
> This is effectively what film does, with individual grains
> changing with exposure to light, but it takes grain clumps,
> to give some tonality. And we know that current digital
> sensors of > 6 megapixels produce better images than most
> films.
>
> To get an image pixel with a signal-to-noise of 200, how many
> pixels would one need to add together? I bet it is a several
> micron diameter area. Again it comes down to photon counting
> statistics. You need 200 squared photons = 40,000 photons
> to get that 200:1 signal-to-noise, so you would need 40,000 pixels
> in your example. We are back to the big sensor.

I think something in my message was unclear.

The ultimate sensor detects the x/y coordinates with the highest
possible accuracy for every photon. No sensor can do better than
that. When you are increasing the number of pixels, this is what
you are trying to do. So, in theory, there is a potential for
getting a better picture the more pixels you have.

Unfortunately, each pixel-sensor also has noise. The photon noise
is no concern as it is possible to add sensors elements to get the
same photon noise as a larger sensor element. The problem is
electronic noise, e.g. thermal noise. Noise migh be
proportional to the area of the sensor. In that case - it is
no problem and you can do the same as for photon noise. Noise
might be less than proportional to the area (e.g. constant) per
sensor element. This is a problem. Because then will combining
several element add up to more noise than a larger element.
Thermal noise might be reduced by cooling the sensor.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 2:19:37 PM

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

Roland Karlsson wrote:
> "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <username@qwest.net> wrote
> in news:41DB4CD3.1090901@qwest.net:
>
>
>>I disagree. As you move toward a photon per pixel, the
>>signal-to-noise drops to one, and that assumes zero read
>>noise, which is not currently theoretically possible,.
>>So then you are basically dithering 1's and 0's
>>to make up the image with any tonality.
>>Thus, you ultimately are adding the pixels back together.
>>
>>This is effectively what film does, with individual grains
>>changing with exposure to light, but it takes grain clumps,
>>to give some tonality. And we know that current digital
>>sensors of > 6 megapixels produce better images than most
>>films.
>>
>>To get an image pixel with a signal-to-noise of 200, how many
>>pixels would one need to add together? I bet it is a several
>>micron diameter area. Again it comes down to photon counting
>>statistics. You need 200 squared photons = 40,000 photons
>>to get that 200:1 signal-to-noise, so you would need 40,000 pixels
>>in your example. We are back to the big sensor.
>
>
> I think something in my message was unclear.
>
> The ultimate sensor detects the x/y coordinates with the highest
> possible accuracy for every photon. No sensor can do better than
> that. When you are increasing the number of pixels, this is what
> you are trying to do. So, in theory, there is a potential for
> getting a better picture the more pixels you have.

Yes, I agree, if considering only spatial resolution, but
signal-to noise is important also.

> Unfortunately, each pixel-sensor also has noise. The photon noise
> is no concern as it is possible to add sensors elements to get the
> same photon noise as a larger sensor element.

Current DSLRs are photon noise limited, as are at least some
(most newer?) P%S cameras. But if you are back to adding
sensors to get the signal-to-noise, then you haven't
gained anything.

> The problem is
> electronic noise, e.g. thermal noise. Noise migh be
> proportional to the area of the sensor. In that case - it is
> no problem and you can do the same as for photon noise. Noise
> might be less than proportional to the area (e.g. constant) per
> sensor element. This is a problem. Because then will combining
> several element add up to more noise than a larger element.
> Thermal noise might be reduced by cooling the sensor.

For short exposure times, meaning a few seconds, DSLRs are
photon noise limited. But every sensor has read noise. While it
depends on gain (ISO), for the 1D Mark II and 10D, it averages
about 10 electrons. Your sensor must collect enough photons
so that the read noise is small in comparison to photon
noise or your signal-to-noise becomes too small.

Here is an example of current read noise:
http://www.ccd.com/ccd108.html

Of course, if read noise can be made negligible, then your
idea may work, but we would still be adding pixels together
to get signal-to-noise. With an adaptive addition algorithm,
one might maintain some spatial resolution than simple
square area addition.

It will be quite a challenge to achieve this. As the pixel
count goes up, the readout rate increases dramatically.
The Canon 1D Mark II, at 8.2 megapixels and 8+ frames per
second has a pixel readout rate of greater than 60 million
pixels/second. Changing specs to 1 micron pixels (and 3
frames per second, one gets 551 megapixels and 1.6 billion
pixels per second readout rate (0.6 nanosecond/pixel).

The signal level in one pixel would be ~1/64 that of a 1D Mark II,
thus the signal-to-noise per pixel would be only 28 at maximum
(assuming 0 read noise), iso 100, and worse at higher iso
(10 at iso 800). This is much worse than film. With the low
signal to noise, one would need no more than 8-bits per pixel.

I don't think it will happen in our lifetime, but I suppose
it could be possible. I predict high end cameras will plateau
at about 20 megapixels in a 35mm frame size, and improvements
will come in other areas, like long exposure quality.

Roger
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 3:42:14 PM

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

On 4 Jan 2005 01:02:40 -0800, "Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:

>I was interested in knowing about advances in two basic functions -
>metering and AF. If you take Canon's example, the metering is at
>21-zone for the last five years since EOS 1V. The AF on Canon EOS 1Ds
>Mark-II is the same as Canon EOS 1V, that is, 45-point AF. Except for
>the image sensor electronics, all other electronics seems to be the
>same as on the EOS 1V that was introduced in 2000.
>
>And I guess its pretty much the same story for other dSLR
>manufacturers. They took the electronics from 4-5 year old film SLR
>cameras and put them in the flagship dSLRs.

For information: Nikon's D70 has a 1,005-sensor metering mode. I don't
know if this is borrowed from other bodies or a "new thing".

>
>Have these functions hit a limit electronically? Or are the
>manufacturers simply ignoring it for the moment because they are too
>busy with the sensor electronics?
>
>- Siddhartha

I doubt we're anywhere near a limit of what _could_ be done. I suspect
that _to_a_degree_ they're (a) playing mega-pixel games and (b) in some
cases, too closely duplicating aspects of the way film worked, and not
exploring some of the possibilities that digital might offer.

Regards,
Graham Holden (g-holden AT dircon DOT co DOT uk)
--
There are 10 types of people in the world;
those that understand binary and those that don't.
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 5:45:01 PM

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

"TAFKAB" <TheArtist@FormerlyKnownAs.Bowser> wrote in message
news:BBGCd.617894$wV.270998@attbi_s54...
>
> "Harvey" <hcohenREMOVE@frontiernetTHIS.net> wrote in message
> news:WtoCd.2258$3k3.575@news01.roc.ny...
>>
> snip
>>
>> Pop Photog Jan 2005 shows Canon 16.6 MP EOS-1 beats film.
>> Interesting.
>
> Yeah, but that's a full-frame sensor with much larger photo sites
> than the ZLRs, so it is a different class camera all together.

Correct, it's beyond comparison. That's not to say that a ZLR can't
make nice pictures in the hands of a capable photographer.

> It's nice, but too damn big and a boat anchor.
>
> Plus, its performance with wide angles is, well, lacking. For that
> kind of money, I want excellence all around.

Since you mentioned a boat anchor:
http://www.dslrexchange.com/image_dir/jorge/3570at70f8S...
and another at the 35mm zoom position:
http://www.dslrexchange.com/image_dir/jorge/zeiss3570at...

I don't agree with the camera lacking, it's many lenses that are
"exposed" as lacking. Of course that is only visible in poster like
print sizes...

Bart
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 6:40:48 PM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

>I think they are trying too hard to match film features and quality and
>do not realise that the paradigm has totally shifted with digital image
>capturing. As I have noted in another thread that I started, there are
>features that are being carried over from the mechanical/film cameras.
>For eg, why is sensor gain still at 50, 100, 200? Why not at stops of
>10 or atleast 50.

It only makes sense to set ISO via a logarithmic scale. The usual
sequence of 50,100,200 gives you one-stop precision. Under some
circumstances it might make sense to allow ISO to be settable in
half-stop steps, so you'd have a choice of 50, 70, 100, 140, 200, 280,
400, etc. There's no reason you'd ever want fixed steps of 10 or 50.

But even switching to half-stop steps in ISO doubles the number of
entries in the ISO selection menu. Is this useful to anyone, since the
visual difference between 50 and 100, or 400 and 800 is relatively
small. Of course the camera manufacturers could provide smaller steps,
but to what benefit?

>Then I am sure modern lens diaphragms can be stopped
>at finer fractions that the older lens used to be. The same goes for
>the electronically controlled shutter speed. But no, these are still
>the same as they were on the older fully mechanical cameras.

My Canon P&S cameras allow shutter speeds to be changed in 1/3 stop
steps. The exposure compensation control also operates with 1/3 stop
precision. Since 1/3 stop is a barely visible change in the final
image, why would I want finer control of exposure than this? Finer
steps mean it takes longer to select the exposure I want, without any
apparent gain anywhere else.

Dave
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 6:41:00 PM

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

In article <1104930421.277845.196870@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
Siddhartha Jain <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
>Then I am sure modern lens diaphragms can be stopped
>at finer fractions that the older lens used to be.

You have that completely backwards. Older and manual cameras tend to have
aperture blades which are manually set before taking the picture. The only
limit on the number of aperture values available is how precisely you can
turn the ring.
January 5, 2005 6:49:28 PM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
news:1104930421.277845.196870@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> Then I am sure modern lens diaphragms can be stopped
> at finer fractions that the older lens used to be.

Depends on the lens. With my Nikon FM2, some of my Nikkor lenses had very
definite stops (ball bearings that dropped into holes) that made
intermediate settings difficult, while some were very soft.

On my 4x5 lenses, there are no mechanical indications of the stops at all,
just a smooth turn of the lens to select any aperature value at all.

Bob
January 5, 2005 6:52:20 PM

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

Graham Holden <look@bottom.of.post> wrote in
news:connt0pm1papkilldl208786929g0bkjs1@4ax.com:

> I doubt we're anywhere near a limit of what _could_ be done. I suspect
> that _to_a_degree_ they're (a) playing mega-pixel games and (b) in some
> cases, too closely duplicating aspects of the way film worked, and not
> exploring some of the possibilities that digital might offer.
>
>

Photographers in general seem to be pretty conservative. It makes sense
that the manufacturers would keep the dSLR pretty close to film, until
they know where to go with them. They *are* exploring the limits of what
can be done in purely digital, but they're doing that exploration in the
non-SLR market, where mistakes aren't nearly so costly.

Bob
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 8:22:09 PM

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

In article <1104940946.559914.318180@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
Siddhartha Jain <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
>Don't know about all types of manual lenses but I have a Pentax
>Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4. The f-stops are well-defined and turning the
>ring *clicks* the f-stop into a preset value. Its like a multi-pole
>toggle switch.

That's a bit more modern than I was thinking about. Think lenses for medium
format folders, TLRs and large format cameras, where the aperture is set
into a leaf shutter (such as a Prontor or a Compur), and typically set by
sliding a lever on the front of the shutter.

A lot of old Leica screw mount lenses also have aperture rings or sliders
with no click stops.
Anonymous
January 6, 2005 1:20:06 AM

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

"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

>Don't know about all types of manual lenses but I have a Pentax
>Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4. The f-stops are well-defined and turning the
>ring *clicks* the f-stop into a preset value. Its like a multi-pole
>toggle switch.

If you take one of these lenses apart, you'll likely find that the
"clicks" are simply notches machined into the aperture ring, with a
spring pressing against them to give a "feel" for how many stops you are
changing the aperture without looking at the lens. However, the ring
almost certainly provides *continuous* control of the aperture diameter.
If you set the ring between two click stops, you'll get an intermediate
aperture.

You can determine this without taking apart the lens. Just hold the
camera firmly and rotate the aperture ring slowly and smoothly between
click stops. Then look into the lens and see if the diaphragm also
changes smoothly in opening size. I'll bet it does.

Dave
Anonymous
January 6, 2005 4:26:44 AM

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

In message <mcmurtri-0DDD82.14421703012005@corp-radius.supernews.com>,
Kevin McMurtrie <mcmurtri@dslextreme.com> wrote:

>Professional 35mm cameras will probably max-out around 16 to 24 MP.
>That's about all you can get from the lens.

Not really. My 1.6x crop-factor 20D resolves a black/white transition
edge in 2 pixels with my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro *with* a 2x
teleconverter attached. That means that the lens itself would have high
pixel-level contrast on a 84MP full-frame (36x24mm) sensor, if noise was
not an issue with such small pixels. Some of the more expensive Canon
telephotos can do that also, or close to it.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 6, 2005 4:32:53 AM

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

In message <crh1q0$sm2$4@mughi.cs.ubc.ca>,
davem@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

>But even switching to half-stop steps in ISO doubles the number of
>entries in the ISO selection menu. Is this useful to anyone, since the
>visual difference between 50 and 100, or 400 and 800 is relatively
>small. Of course the camera manufacturers could provide smaller steps,
>but to what benefit?

Well, the difference becomes a lot clearer at higher ISOs. The Canon
DSLRs like the 10D and 20D jump from pure amplification at ISO 800 to
the same amplification and 2x bit-shifting at ISO 1600, and ISO1600-like
amplification and 2x bit-shifting for ISO 3200. That seems like a
rather abrupt change, and probably points to the part of the ISO scale
where amplification starts to get ugly. If they had 12x amplification,
it might not be as ugly as the 16x (relatively speaking, of course; the
cameras do pretty well at these ISOs).
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 6, 2005 4:34:41 AM

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

In message <crh1q0$sm2$4@mughi.cs.ubc.ca>,
davem@cs.ubc.ca (Dave Martindale) wrote:

>My Canon P&S cameras allow shutter speeds to be changed in 1/3 stop
>steps. The exposure compensation control also operates with 1/3 stop
>precision. Since 1/3 stop is a barely visible change in the final
>image, why would I want finer control of exposure than this? Finer
>steps mean it takes longer to select the exposure I want, without any
>apparent gain anywhere else.

What about on the variable, automatic parameter? Why not have finer
aperture values in shutter priority, and visa-versa? A small change in
lighting can currently make a significant difference in exposure.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 6, 2005 2:44:04 PM

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

On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 22:20:06 +0000 (UTC), davem@cs.ubc.ca (Dave
Martindale) wrote:

>"Siddhartha Jain" <losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> writes:
>
>>Don't know about all types of manual lenses but I have a Pentax
>>Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4. The f-stops are well-defined and turning the
>>ring *clicks* the f-stop into a preset value. Its like a multi-pole
>>toggle switch.
>
>If you take one of these lenses apart, you'll likely find that the
>"clicks" are simply notches machined into the aperture ring, with a
>spring pressing against them to give a "feel" for how many stops you are
>changing the aperture without looking at the lens. However, the ring
>almost certainly provides *continuous* control of the aperture diameter.
>If you set the ring between two click stops, you'll get an intermediate
>aperture.

absolutely .. my old Canon FT (1968?) has such lens any "F" position
between "full open" and "full closed" diafr can be used and it
includes the click stops ..:-)
FWIW
!