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Does (camera ) size matter ?

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Anonymous
January 28, 2005 12:14:03 PM

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

I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
sizes.

Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
But I doubt this is the mase.
Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
--nw

More about : camera size matter

Anonymous
January 28, 2005 2:52:43 PM

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

norris_watkins@hotmail.com wrote:
> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>

Yes, generally, the smaller the lens, the more light you need for a
picture, and the more you are subject to image quality problems.
However, some balance should be found between convenience (large sizes
can be a PITA), and picture quality. I won't buy a camera I can't carry
in my pocket because picture quality matters little if I don't have the
camera because I didn't want to carry it around..
You will find that the smallest cameras have good quality only if they
are on the high price range for that size of camera.

--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 3:24:30 PM

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

Norris,

I'd recommend looking at Steve's Digicams review site
http://www.steves-digicams.com/

Lens quality does vary with each camera and this would give you an idea
since they discuss this with each one they have reviewed.

Hope this helps.

CM

> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>
Related resources
January 28, 2005 3:42:50 PM

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

norris_watkins@hotmail.com wrote:

> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.

That would be true if photons were similarly scaled according to the
size of the lens.

The short answer is: all things being equal, a bigger sensor gives
better quality images. For a given sensor size, a bigger lens will
probably be faster, allowing one to work in less light. Bigger lenses
aren't necessarily better, but they tend to be. For a given sensor size,
it might not be so important how many pixels there are -- not so long
ago someone compared actual photos taken with his 3mp camera and a 5 mp
camera in a store, and the 3mp had higher resolution (in real terms --
you could read more of the text in the signs)

Bob
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 5:18:46 PM

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

I have two cameras; one an 8 meg Sony F828 that a blacksmith could probably
use to shoe horses with. The other is a 4 meg (no bigger than king size
cigarette pack) Canon S410 that I use for backup. The quality of each
camera is good but I much prefer to use the Sony. Why? I have large hands
and hate the small size even if I can carry it in my pocket. Size does
matter. Be certain that you are comfortable handling whatever you buy.

<norris_watkins@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106932443.946122.152690@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 9:10:59 PM

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

norris_watkins@hotmail.com wrote:
> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>

Ouch! Where to start?

Smaller cameras tend to have less space for the sensors which are then
less sensitive to the light and/or give more noise (speckles) in the
picture. A poor 5MP camera may be no better than a good 4MP.
However, if you want a holiday 'point and shoot in daylight' then a
small one will be fine.

They also tend to be more cramped front to back for the lens so you tend
to have
- a shorter focal length - distant objects appear smaller
- either no optical zoom lens or a limited range.
- limited light gathering ability so you can't operate in low light
conditions without a flash, and even then flashes are limited in the
distance they can cover. 4 metres range for a typical camera flash,
perhaps 15m or 20m for a big add-on unit.

As for your particular question, the amount of light is the area of the
glass divided by the focal length. So if you double the diameter the
area quadruples and you get four times as much light. The measure for
this is the 'focal ratio' and you'll see figures like f2.8, f4, f5.6.
f8, f11 - a halving of light admitted per step (or 'stop' as it's called).

These are only generalisations though. Why not lurk in groups like
this, or try manufacturer's pages -
http://www.fujifilm.co.uk/digital/cameras/ten_things.ph...
is one I found helpful but ignore the hype.

I'll don my anti-flame suit now for over-simplifying!
Best of luck.

Phil
Anonymous
January 28, 2005 9:19:20 PM

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

norris_watkins@hotmail.com wrote:
> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky
> SLR sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw

Yes, but rather then try to figure out all the theories, I suggest you
read the reviews of each camera you are interested in, ideally all put
together by the same source so you can compare features and results. Then
consider how important size is to you. Small light is convenient. Most
people however can hold and adjust a larger camera better than a smaller
one. Thin it down to a few models and then go and grab one with your very
own hands. Go though all the processes of taking a photo. How does it feel
to you, You don't care how it feels to me. Can you make the regular
adjustments? Can you see the image comfortably when taking the picture?
These are important things.

Good Luck

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 3:32:02 AM

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

On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:42:50 -0500, bob <not@not.not> wrote:

>The short answer is: all things being equal, a bigger sensor gives
>better quality images.

Bob is right.

However, all things are not always equal. For example, I bought
myself a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1 (meanwhile upgraded to FZ2
firmware) instead of the also available, bigger, better FZ10,
almost entirely for the reason that the FZ1-2 is much smaller.

So why did I select the smaller, poorer camera that doesn't make
the better pictures? Because there are other considerations. To
give just one example, to get the better picture from a bigger
camera, you also have to hold it more still than the small one.
The better picture requires not only the bigger camera and
sensor, but also less camera shake.

Not to mention that the smaller camera fits into the small
shoulder bag that I always carry with me, while the bigger FZ10
does not. This translates into some relatively less good
pictures compared to no picture at all in many situations.

Just to widen the view ...

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 1:05:48 PM

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

norris_watkins@hotmail.com wrote:

> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>

As you say, lens size is an issue (specifically f/number). However, one
relatively minor issue of a smaller, lighter camera is that it is
slightly harder to hold it steady for a single shot. But, a really
heavy camera will fatique muscles after a LOT of handheld shooting, and
eventually create a worse shake. Sort of like firing pistols. It is
not really a big issue, though some do prefer a heavier camera as being
a little easier to hold still.
Anonymous
January 29, 2005 6:41:42 PM

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

Pixel size does matter. Cramming more pixels into a small chip leads to
more noise (graininess) in many cases. Is that important to you? In many
cases just having more megapixels is not that important.

The larger sensors are usually found in larger body cameras. You need to
look at this on a camera by camera basis.


<norris_watkins@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106932443.946122.152690@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 12:44:44 AM

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

anyone4tennis@hotmail.com wrote:

> I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
> sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
> sizes.
>
> Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
> I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
> Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
> sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
> But I doubt this is the mase.
> Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
> --nw
>
Theoretically it's possible to make small lenses just as well as big lenses
(otherwise no-one would wear contact lenses). So the question comes down to
what kind of camera do you want? Are you content to lug a huge DSLR, a
couple of lenses, a flash, heavy tripod and a few other bits and pieces in
a big camera bag (or chuck it in the boot of the car)? or are you a hiker or
backpacker where weight is a consideration? Or do you want a camera that
will slip in you pocket and you carry everywhere?
The catch is what you can do with it. Big DSLRs give you a huge range of
options, but is that what you need? You can take perfect pictures with a
small 2mpxl P&S camera but you are limited to about postcard sized prints.
Personally I chose the middle route a largish camera without interchangable
lenses (no dust on the sensor) but with a 6.3mpxl sensor (Fuji S7000) No
doubt some snobs will sniff 'It's not a REAL camera' but I find those people
talk a lot about how much they've spent but have very little to show for it.

1 Choose you budget.
2 What are you going to use it for?
3 Decide on how big and heavy you're prepared to carry.
Anonymous
January 30, 2005 12:44:45 AM

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

stewy wrote:
> anyone4tennis@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>
>>I m in the market to buy a 5MP camera. I saw that they come in all
>>sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a credit card to very bulky SLR
>>sizes.
>>
>>Obviously the diameter of the lens also varies proportionally.
>>I was wondering if it makes any difference if the camera is small.
>>Theoretically speaking if the image sensors are also proportionally
>>sized in comparison with the lens, the quality should not be affected.
>>But I doubt this is the mase.
>>Is there a catch with the smaller cameras in terms of the quality ?
>>--nw
>>
>
> Theoretically it's possible to make small lenses just as well as big lenses
> (otherwise no-one would wear contact lenses). So the question comes down to
> what kind of camera do you want? Are you content to lug a huge DSLR, a
> couple of lenses, a flash, heavy tripod and a few other bits and pieces in
> a big camera bag (or chuck it in the boot of the car)? or are you a hiker or
> backpacker where weight is a consideration? Or do you want a camera that
> will slip in you pocket and you carry everywhere?
> The catch is what you can do with it. Big DSLRs give you a huge range of
> options, but is that what you need? You can take perfect pictures with a
> small 2mpxl P&S camera but you are limited to about postcard sized prints.
> Personally I chose the middle route a largish camera without interchangable
> lenses (no dust on the sensor) but with a 6.3mpxl sensor (Fuji S7000) No
> doubt some snobs will sniff 'It's not a REAL camera' but I find those people
> talk a lot about how much they've spent but have very little to show for it.
>
> 1 Choose you budget.
> 2 What are you going to use it for?
> 3 Decide on how big and heavy you're prepared to carry.
>

Good points. Regardless of size, or quality, a camera sitting on a
shelf at home doesn't take any good pictures.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
!