Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera

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  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Hi Emiel,

    I'm not entirely sure if the lense does not have any contacts towards the body, but technically there is no need for it! There is no information in the current bodies that is needed to have a VR lense operating. At least, not that I can think of as an electronics engineer ;-). In that sense, I assume that there is no communication between lense and body, since there is technically no need to have it. I do not think Nikon expected communication to be needed when they developed the first VR lense years ago!


    The Fuji Super CCD uses the standard CCD technology, but with octagonal pixels (rather than square ones), which provides increased horizontal and vertical resolution, compared to a traditional sensor of an equivalent pixel count.
    The new SuperCCD's use HR or SR sensors (there are 2 different types!).
    The SR (Super dynamic range) sensors use two photo diodes per pixel location, one for high frequency (brighter) and one for low frequency (darker) light to produce more detail. There are 6.17 S pixels and 6.17 R pixels, giving a combined resolution of 12.34 MP - 4256 x 2848 pix.
    This is the Fuji S5 Pro. Has to be said; This camera has 6 different dynamic range settings! And what I think is that with the lowest dynamic range, it operates like a 12.34 MP camera and with the highest dynamic range setting, it operates like a 6.17 Mpix camera. Highest dynamic range means it combines S and R pixels to calculate one new pixel. Lowest dynamic range would mean it uses the S and R pixels to calculate the content of two pixels output. In that sense, with a high dynamic range it increases detail and decreases MPix and with low dynamic range it operates like a standard CCD (but with softer output).

    The HR (High resolution) - the other type of SuperCCD - uses pixels at 45 degrees to horizontal. The on board computer interpolates all data to convert the read-out to normal horizontal/vertical pixel orientation - adding an extra pixel between each pair of actual pixels on the sensor. A 6 MP SuperCCD HR can therefore produce 12 MP files but no more detail is added. BUT I expect this sensor to be MUCH more light sensitive than a standard CCD with all pixels neatly next to each other. And with higher light sensitivity comes lower impact of noise algorithms etc. and with this more detail.

    To recap;
    Small sensors with high resolution produce limited dynamic range, reduced image quality and more noise due to the increased amplification required to transform the light to digital (the image). You actually don't need more pixels per square mm, you need bigger pixels on the same sized sensor (that is less pixels) or bigger sensors! Or in the case of the Super CCD a smarter placement of the pixels on the avialable square mm.
    Bigger pixels means more light, less work for noise algorithms and less blooming. You will have - feeling wise - more detailed and better images as a result. Well, a larger sensor costs more, that is a downside. Doubling the size of a sensor is 4x the production cost. Less pixels per square mm on the other hand does mean that you can't blow up your picture as big as you sometimes would hope you can.

    Then why was I not so fond of some 6MP alternatives I presented?
    Sensor-wise (pixels per sq mm) they are perhaps better, but other things have changed as well. The through-put of those sensors is low. New microprocessors make for quicker speed in dealing with the output of a sensor. So, more fps these days. Other things improved as well; the noise algorithms got better for most 10 MPix cameras, the focus speeds went up, the metering / white balancing improved over time. In that sense, I think the 10 MP cameras of today are better than the 6 MP cameras that have been developed 2.5 - 3 years ago!


    What you could do if you only shoot Jpeg; Use your 10 MP camera to shoot 6 MP low compression pictures. The 10 MP is downsampled, but with the in-camera downsampling one can expect a bigger dynamic range. I know, it's a guess, but I think if you would compare print-outs that are downsampled by the camera, I expect them to have a slightly higher level of detail than 10 MP shot that you resized later on in Photoshop.
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Interesting text I've learned things, but there where also things I knew allready..
    as for the less megapixels per mm. That's why for a example a 5D performs so well, also on noise aspects! Yeah indeed the costs are a lot higher when the sensor gets bigger, this is because of the yields, they drop when the sensorsize increases. And ofcourse some material costs, but it's the yield that does it. a full frame sensor is just harder to produce.

    thanks for explaining the SuperCCD.

    But okay, let's get on topic and help the guy choosing again :-)
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Having in the family a Canon 400D as well a Nikon D80, my vote goes for the Nikon D80.

    Regards

    Knut
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    My advise is pretty simple.
    It's pretty tough nowadays to make a bad choice. When shooting raw - all digitals are so close together, that differences are in most cases academic.
    You will have your budget of amount X. While reviews are important and help to sort out junk, you as the user are at least as important as that.
    So go to a good store, and check out there camera's in the 'X' price range. Hold them, touch them, feel the built, and see how good you get along with it.
    Whether Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax or Olympus - you can't really make a bad decision. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, because at the end of the day it's the photographer and his eye and technical ability, that makes or breaks a shot. Use a MKII or II wrong it produces crap, use a Coolpix right and you can get National Geographic Material.

    Be comfortable with the camera - but handle it - see it live, before buying it. And don't worry too much about making or having made the right choice.

    Cheers, Klaus