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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 17 Feb 2012 (Friday) 09:59
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What has been the worst sensor and the best sensor in your opinion?

 
pwm2
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Feb 19, 2012 15:06 |  #46

JohnB57 wrote in post #13925168 (external link)
The 30D shared the same sensor as the 350D. My 5D2 owning buddy did an A/B test with his body and my old 350D using the same lens. He trimmed a crop size portion from the 5D2 shot and side by side, the images were all but identical, as you would expect from a similarly populated sensor. That proves nothing of course as the final full sensor images were totally different and the FF body won hands down. It does however suggest the "best sensor" debate is at best pretty subjective and the crop versus FF argument is all but meaningless.

On a linked point, I was noodling with my 30D body in low light the other night and image quality started dropping off significantly right from ISO 100. At 400, it was noticeably soft.

Just about "any" sensor gives good images in good light.

It's when the dynamic range is large in the motive, or when you need to step up the ISO setting, that things gets interesting.

In good light, many camera mobiles gives extremely good photos. That is also why most people are happy with their outdoor summer vacation pictures whatever camera they have. They don't expect DoF. But almost whatever camera they have, they get decent colors and sharp images.

My 350D gives perfect summer photos. But it is of no value at a party where it's dark and you can't use long shutter times.


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Old ­ Baldy
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Feb 19, 2012 15:58 |  #47

quickben wrote in post #13924856 (external link)
From the images i've seen from a friend's 5n, I'd agree with this. They're as clean as the images from my 5Dc up to ISO800-1000. Very impressive sensor.

I'd agree. If we include non Canon sensors, the little Sony NEX-5N APS-C sensor is arguably the best APS-C sensor on the market today. At least....that's what it feels like when I look at so many images coming out of this little gem, especially when fronted by some fine old MF glass.

It's FAST becoming a cult camera!

I'm right on the verge of selling all my Canon DSLR gear and getting another NEX-5N (bought my wife one recently), and some very sweet Voigtlander glass, for street, candids, travel and landscapes work.


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Feb 19, 2012 16:01 |  #48

Old Baldy wrote in post #13925546 (external link)
I'd agree. If we include non Canon sensors, the little Sony NEX-5N APS-C sensor is arguably the best APS-C sensor on the market today. At least....that's what it feels like when I look at so many images coming out of this little gem, especially when fronted by some fine old MF glass.

It's FAST becoming a cult camera!

I'm right on the verge of selling all my Canon DSLR gear and getting another NEX-5N (bought my wife one recently), and some very sweet Voigtlander glass, for street, candids, travel and landscapes work.

I had that fleeting thought aswell. I don't think I could cope with losing the ergonomics of a dslr, though.

Now if they did a full frame version of the NEX-7....


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h4ppydaze
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Feb 19, 2012 16:30 |  #49

I'm not sure I follow... I am using 50D and am not sure why it is considered the 'worst' sensor that many of you guys have used. Especially compared to the 30D/40D sensor... I'd say it's an improvement, especially at higher ISO.

As far as my best/worst... best would be the 5Dii (still need to try a 5Dc) and the worst would be any older tech stuff as I can't really afford to have images fall apart at ISO 800. I might as well be using film at that point. Though honestly I don't have a lot of experience with digital bodies.




  
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2Thumbs
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Feb 19, 2012 16:32 |  #50

If we're talking non-Canon. The 'best APS-C sensor' crown surely has to go the the Fujifilm X100? The IQ and noise handling is fabulous!


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RTPVid
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Feb 19, 2012 16:43 |  #51

gjl711 wrote in post #13925128 (external link)
...it's a data point, one of many that should be used to make a decision. Color depth and dynamic range is something that is almost impossible to see especially when all the cameras are so close to begin with. But it can be measured. Can you see the differance in the 7D 11.7ev of DR as opposed to the 1DsII 11.3ev of DR?

DxOMark is a sparky's version of pixel peeping, except it has even less relevance to actual IQ.


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Feb 19, 2012 18:55 |  #52

RTPVid wrote in post #13925758 (external link)
DxOMark is a sparky's version of pixel peeping, except it has even less relevance to actual IQ.

But if you look at the color depth, dynamic range and high-ISO scores separately, (DxOMark rolls them into one "average" "sensor score" that means little to most people because most people are not "perfectly average" and have their own preferences) then you get useful comparative information - I'd trust the objective measurements more than someone's (possibly biased) eyeballs for those measurements. ("The dynamic range of camera X blows camera Y away" - is not a helpful or meaningful comment!). If you can't understand or interpret their testing methods, and the resulting charts and graphs, then it does indeed become irrelevant to you. They are pretty clear that "resolution" and "sensor score" are distinct and are not rolled into one number - that's what many people don't get.

It's too technical for many photographers and is dismissed out of hand as a result. Luckily the technical details are meaningful to people who design the sensors (sparky, perhaps?) so even if you don't understand what's going on, the result is still the steady advance in sensor capabilities.


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Old ­ Baldy
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Feb 19, 2012 20:07 |  #53

2Thumbs wrote in post #13925709 (external link)
If we're talking non-Canon. The 'best APS-C sensor' crown surely has to go the the Fujifilm X100? The IQ and noise handling is fabulous!

It is great. But some who have tested the NEX-5N say it has the X100 beat, although, to be fair....I think the glass being used in many of these tests makes a huge difference.

In a head-to-head test....

Advantages of the NEX-5N

Better maximum light sensitivity 25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
The NEX-5N's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better

Movie format
Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 60fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate

Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
2x higher resolution screen

Screen flips out

Touch screen - Has a touch screen

Screen size - Larger screen 3.0" vs 2.8"

True resolution - Significantly higher true resolution 16 MP vs 11 MP
Capture around 50% more detail in your photos

Startup delay - Significantly less startup delay 1900 ms vs 3200 ms
More than 40% less delay when turning on

Interchangeable lenses
Can take advantage of a variety of lenses

Size - 111x59x38 mm vs 127x75x54 mm
2.1x smaller

Overall image quality - 77.0 vs 73.0
Around 10% better image quality

Continuous shooting - Shoots faster 10 fps vs 5 fps
2x faster continuous shooting

Battery life - Longer battery life 460 shots vs 300 shots
More than 50% more shots per battery charge

Shutter lag - Slightly less shutter lag 235 ms vs 403 ms
More than 40% less delay when taking photos

Low light performance - Slightly lower noise at high ISO 1,079 ISO vs 1,001 ISO
The NEX-5N has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance

Color depth - Better color depth 23.6 bits vs 22.9 bits
Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color

Dynamic range - More dynamic range 12.7 EV vs 12.4 EV
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range

Lowest price - Cheaper $599.00 vs $1,085.99
The best price we've seen is $487 cheaper (more than 40% less


Advantages of the X100

Built-in flash - The NEX-5N has a snap-on flash (included in the box)

Viewfinder - Has a viewfinder
The NEX-5N has an accessory viewfinder (very good 2.359MP 100% view OLED)


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h4ppydaze
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Feb 19, 2012 20:16 |  #54

The NEX-5 is a great camera with amazing capabilities but I'm still partial to the Fuji. Such an amazing design for a product. Fuji has been committed to the culture of photography and caters to professional photographers and it really really shows with their X100 design.




  
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Feb 19, 2012 20:25 as a reply to  @ h4ppydaze's post |  #55

1Ds2>1D2n>40D>30D>7D


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Old ­ Baldy
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Feb 19, 2012 20:26 |  #56

h4ppydaze wrote in post #13926742 (external link)
The NEX-5 is a great camera with amazing capabilities but I'm still partial to the Fuji. Such an amazing design for a product. Fuji has been committed to the culture of photography and caters to professional photographers and it really really shows with their X100 design.

Me too, I was about to pull the trigger on the X100, when I started reading about the NEX-5N....and that now fits my wants/desires in a camera even more, although I still love the style and design of that gorgeous X100.

I'm ordering the UWA 15mm Voigtlander and the very fast 35MM f/1.2 Voigtlander lenses for the NEX-5N. Can't wait!


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RTPVid
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Feb 19, 2012 23:30 |  #57

AJSJones wrote in post #13926365 (external link)
But if you look at the color depth, dynamic range and high-ISO scores separately, (DxOMark rolls them into one "average" "sensor score" that means little to most people because most people are not "perfectly average" and have their own preferences) then you get useful comparative information - I'd trust the objective measurements more than someone's (possibly biased) eyeballs for those measurements. ("The dynamic range of camera X blows camera Y away" - is not a helpful or meaningful comment!). If you can't understand or interpret their testing methods, and the resulting charts and graphs, then it does indeed become irrelevant to you. They are pretty clear that "resolution" and "sensor score" are distinct and are not rolled into one number - that's what many people don't get.

It's too technical for many photographers and is dismissed out of hand as a result. Luckily the technical details are meaningful to people who design the sensors (sparky, perhaps?) so even if you don't understand what's going on, the result is still the steady advance in sensor capabilities.

It's not too technical for me. I'm and electronics engineer by training and trade, and now manage an engineering team that designs ICs. I just find their testing methods, and therefore their results, not reflective of actual photographic results, and therefore irrelevant to photographers. Not irrelevant to those designing the DIGIC processors (the sparkies), but irrelevant to the photographers.

Since you brought up DR, the DR straight off the sensor is only of interest to the camera designer, not the photographer. The photographer wants to know the DR of the resulting image. This is true of most of their measurements. Unlike with film, we do not have access to the signals coming off the sensor. We only have access to the images written to the memory card.

Since the signals from the sensor are ALWAYS processed by every camera before they are written to the card (even so-called RAW is not REALLY RAW, as in unprocessed), and since the different camera manufacturers make different choices for each of their camera models wrt how the sensor data is processed and under what conditions, the measurements of the sensor are, not to be repetitious, irrelevant.

It doesn't take too much investigation by someone who has experience with more than one camera to identify DxOMark data that seems even contradictory to real results.


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Feb 20, 2012 00:23 |  #58

RTPVid wrote in post #13927580 (external link)
Since you brought up DR, the DR straight off the sensor is only of interest to the camera designer, not the photographer. The photographer wants to know the DR of the resulting image. This is true of most of their measurements. Unlike with film, we do not have access to the signals coming off the sensor. We only have access to the images written to the memory card.

Since the signals from the sensor are ALWAYS processed by every camera before they are written to the card (even so-called RAW is not REALLY RAW, as in unprocessed), and since the different camera manufacturers make different choices for each of their camera models wrt how the sensor data is processed and under what conditions, the measurements of the sensor are, not to be repetitious, irrelevant.

It doesn't take too much investigation by someone who has experience with more than one camera to identify DxOMark data that seems even contradictory to real results.


Well, actually what we want them to analyse is the raw data that comes from the sensor in a particular camera - that is what we want to use to evaluate which body to buy/use, and an objective set of measurements on that data is precisely what will be useful to us. It's semantics really - what we have a choice over is not the sensor alone, but rather the data written to the card from a sensor/processor combo. We are highly unlikely to be able to use the DR information coming from the sensor - unless we are in the business of developing processors of our own to combine with the raw sensor output :D:D:D
For film, we have to develop the exposed film to be able to analyse the image, so the developing conditions are akin to raw conversion (different developers can produce different images) and printing would be the equivalent of post processing. To your point, DxO overtly addresses the issue of what, if any, "processing" is done before the data are written.

As we do not have access to intermediate outputs on the sensor, DxOMark measures RAW images — the very same images that can be accessed by photographers who use cameras that shoot in RAW.
From DxO's testing descriptions
"Pre-cooked" RAW?
Certain manufacturers embed a small part of the processing directly in the sensor, which means that some degree of processing occurs before the RAW image is sent to the RAW converter. In this case, measurements for these "pre-cooked" RAW images can be biased by this processing.
To avoid any potential impact on our measurements, DxOMark always tests all cameras to detect any pre-processing of RAW images. A processed or pre-cooked RAW image has different characteristics from a genuinely unprocessed image. To some extent, these characteristics enable us to walk back the processing and reconstruct the original image to perform unbiased measurements, and we always inform the user about models with embedded pre-processing.

Even though they add the disclaimer "to some extent", the semantics still apply - we get what we get from the sensor/processor combo into the "raw" file and it is upon those data that we would base a purchase decision if it were to be made based on objective testing. I disagree with some of their decisions on "normalization" of data they present (especially normalizing the data supposedly representing a lens's properties by normalizing to FF even if the lens was tested on a crop sensor) The converter and postprocessing choices are quite individual, as are the "metrics" someone might use to do their own (eyeball) comparisons of different camera models. In particular, the weightings of different parameters (some of which can be measured objectively) by different photographers and their tastes, preferences etc will likely vary quite a bit. The concept of rolling all the numbers for color depth, DR and high ISO noise all into one number is particularly unhelpful. Should anyone rely on DxO alone? That would be very unwise indeed, but that doesn't translate into "DxO tests are irrelevant for all photographers"!

BTW, I wasn't meaning "you" in particular in the technical comment, indeed I would expect someone with your background to be able to assimilate data from a range of inputs and combine them to provide the "best informed" view of the situation.


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Feb 20, 2012 00:33 |  #59

Old Baldy wrote in post #13926706 (external link)
It is great. But some who have tested the NEX-5N say it has the X100 beat, although, to be fair....I think the glass being used in many of these tests makes a huge difference.

In a head-to-head test....

But what was the source of all that text in your comparison?


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Feb 20, 2012 00:49 as a reply to  @ AJSJones's post |  #60

IMO, the printing quality is the biggest variable. I realize that many here only judge "image quality" by what they see on their computer screens - which means their 'IQ' is heavily dependent on their monitors when in reality, cameras are meant to produce prints (or project their images onto huge movie theater screens).

I can take a file to my corner Walgreens and get an average to horrible looking print. (more likely closer to horrible - but still better, at least in theory, to how it would look on a computer monitor.

Or I can send my files to the high end lab I use and they will always send me back superior looking images. They use better equipment, better care and much better qualified people because they only cater to professional photographers -

They will know if a particular image will come out better using a chemical process, a digital process (like ink-jet) or dye sublimation. I can specify but I don't - they are better at judging than I am and I don't have anything close to a perfectly calibrated monitor (or more accurately a monitor that is calibrated to their printing processes.

They also have software that can enhance resolution - nothing new - so it surprises me when I read (almost on a daily basis) that more MP makes for better large images. I've seen 30x40" prints that look amazing that were shot in the 1990s with every expensive film cameras with little sensors stuck in them - like the old Fuji/Nikon collaborations (forget the models, too lazy to look them up) - same with the more advanced cameras like the original 1D with it's 4 MP sensor.

Kind of useless to make comparisons when people are judging by a medium (computer monitors) that have less DPI than a $29 printer from Walmart.


Wow, what a nice picture! You must have a really great camera!

  
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