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Are They Pro quality image wise???


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#61 crawdad

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:38 AM

A good prosumer G11 or S90 or similar P&S today probably rivals a dSLR from two or three years ago. As technology advances each steps forward or in the case of the G11 and S90 back to a lower MP count to improve dynamic range and picture quality.

The upcoming wave of EVIL cameras from Nikon, Canon, Oly and others will blur the distinction and develop into a new category of it's own with capabilities yet realized.

Travel restrictions will increasingly restrict carry on and mobility when hauling dive gear so new, compact rigs will be developed to allow photographers to get great capability with a small footprint. Only professional photographers and the most ardent amateurs will struggle onward with the archaic SLR format.
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#62 erichK

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:13 AM

The upcoming wave of EVIL cameras from Nikon, Canon, Oly and others will blur the distinction and develop into a new category of it's own with capabilities yet realized.


These small and light dslr sized-sensor interchangebale lens cameras are already being actively sold by Olympus and Panasonic. And when Olympus announced its third Pen Model, the Pen PL, slated to sell for around $600 (the earlier two were/are around $1000), they also anounced the UW housing for it. For those of us who dive and take along a camera, rather than dive mainly or just to take pictures, this - in terms of size and complexity and expense - is just about the perfect solution. Of course the manufacturers housing never have all the bells and whistles of third party ones, but in my experience, they work quite well for the occasional UW photographer.

Travel restrictions will increasingly restrict carry on and mobility when hauling dive gear so new, compact rigs will be developed to allow photographers to get great capability with a small footprint. Only professional photographers and the most ardent amateurs will struggle onward with the archaic SLR format.


Just as there still are Nikonos users, and Ansel Adams work-alikes (a couple of dozen of them even bearded look-alikes) shooting the things he shot with monster 8X10 cameras. Each to his or her own, but I really don't see much point in such archaicisms, evem if the result is sometimes quite beauitiful. Life is to short to repeat what otthers have done - and especially to endlessly go on doing so - even when more expeditious and pleasant alternatives are available.

I prefer to devote scarce carry-on space to such vital equipment as dive computers and sometimes regulators, rather than monster camera rigs.

#63 james

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:54 AM

I would say that a compact camera with a 5x cropped sensor (compared to 24x36) will never equal the image quality of a DSLR. That's because each time the manufacturers improve the technology on the compact cameras they improve the DSLR's at the same time. So they both move forward together.

That's NOT to say that the compact cameras photos won't be "use-able" - because if the photos from a compact are made correctly, they can look great!

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#64 crawdad

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:23 AM

True, agreed, but most people are not shooting full size sensors anyways, they are shooting the DX size and I think all we are saying is that the emphasis on camera development may be shifting away from dSLR to other more manageable formats not constrained by archaic mechanical systems like moving mirrors and prisms or even shutters.

At some point the resolution/MP wars will be rendered mute when they exceed the capability of the human eye--yeah, a long way off maybe--but just as nobody really cares anymore about clock speed on their computers so will go the MP and resolution wars. It will reach a point where either format and the new emerging formats can provide publisher quality and we are getting there now.

If, you could get resolution that exceeds printing capability or requirements for publishing and low noise below the objectionable threshold, why would a person continue to use a large camera, all else being equal (and no it isn't just yet)?

Put another way, camera technology may continue to leap ahead year by year but the human eye, brain, human tastes evolve less rapidly, when all technologies meet the HUMAN requirement then the next avenue is miniaturization---which is what we are seeing now with the new formats.
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#65 james

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

To answer your question crawdad: shutter lag and image quality.

Look at it this way - this conversation has been going on since 2000 when the first DSLR's came out.

And another "blast from the past" Did the Olympus E system (ala E-330) "revolutionize" underwater photography? Is it even around anymore? If not, why not?

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#66 crawdad

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:15 PM

To answer your question crawdad: shutter lag and image quality.

Look at it this way - this conversation has been going on since 2000 when the first DSLR's came out.

And another "blast from the past" Did the Olympus E system (ala E-330) "revolutionize" underwater photography? Is it even around anymore? If not, why not?

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You must not have read what I just wrote but no matter. The shutter lag and the image quality will be rendered moot, when that happens, and it is and will be soon enough that it no longer matters.

A few years ago desktop computers (dSLR) were the go to machines, when clock speed (Image Quality) got crazy beyond the point of using it as a comparison tool (the human requirement) then miniaturization (lap tops) will be the next move (EVIL and Micro and HQ P&S). Lap top computers run programs today that a desk top a few years ago would struggle with, at some point, like I said, the format no longer matters since they can all accomplish the task beyond the human requirement. Our eyes are not going to evolve, our brains will not change sensory perception---the human requirement will have been met.

http://www.normankor...orials/MTF.html

Image quality and shutter speed will not be fall back reasons much longer, electrons move faster than mirrors, mechanical systems can, are and will be replaced by electronic analogies that are much faster.

Not arguing, just saying, what was will not always be nor should it. A range finder BTW had and has a faster shutter response than a SLR, no reason that an EVIL cannot be faster than a dSLR, none at all and several reasons for it to be faster such as no mirror to swing.
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#67 james

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

Well I suppose anything is possible, but I don't think your analogy is a good one. Let's go back to my question to you - if the E system (one of the first and well-adopted EVIL cameras for UW shooting) was so much better, why did it fizzle on the vine and get replaced with something completely different?

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#68 MikeO

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:33 PM

See, this is why I like wetpixel so much -- I can always rely on reading an entertaining conversation containing arguments about things that really, in the grand scheme of things, just may not matter all that much. Hell, there are many reasons to buy anything. Some people get off on having the newest and greatest; some people get off on having the cheapest and smallest. Some people want to make huge enlargements, some want to post 480x640 pictures on the web. Some people don't mind cropping, some people prefer not to. It would appear, however, that quite a few like whatever they have and don't mind goading others who have different stuff. Sure, I've got a nice shiny silver (chicks dig aluminum!) SLR rig but you know what? I still have a picture from my Olympus C-2020z -- yes, you read that right, a whopping 2.1million pixels and shutter lag that one could sometimes measure in days -- that I wouldn't trade for most I've gotten since then. It's a picture of a Caribbean reef shark that is near and dear to my heart. Can I blow it up to the size of an apartment building? Gosh, it never occurred to me to try! I ended up switching to the DSLR because, for MY purposes, the shutter lag on the compacts was annoying me. Right now would I like something smaller and more capable -- sure, and that's why I continue to pay attention. Will the EVIL (or whatever the heck we call them) cameras be the holy grail? I'm not convinced -- why the heck should I have to keep changing lenses? Simple question -- does a camera do what you need it to do? If so, then good on ya'! Just don't flame me because it won't do the same (or does way too much) for me.

Grumpily,

Mike

Edited by MikeO, 16 February 2010 - 01:36 PM.

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#69 dhaas

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:03 PM

Oh how I love reading this on my iPhone ;)

All I need is a housing for it now!!!!

LOL......

dhaas

I have a Canon S90 but have not given up on dSLR yet. Although what crawdad prognosticates may come true for many UW shooters sooner than we think !
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#70 davelew

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:15 PM

Well I suppose anything is possible, but I don't think your analogy is a good one. Let's go back to my question to you - if the E system (one of the first and well-adopted EVIL cameras for UW shooting) was so much better, why did it fizzle on the vine and get replaced with something completely different?

Cheers
James


The E-system cameras from Olympus fall into two categories: Four-Thirds cameras with lots of available lenses but relatively large size, and micro-four thirds EVIL cameras with only a few lenses so far. The four-thirds cameras don't add much to underwater photography. The MFT cameras, however, have the potential to allow better/cheaper wideangle lenses because there is no mirror to interfere with lens elements near the rear nodal point. When those wideangle lenses come out, I expect underwater photography to change.

The Olympus Zuiko 50mm macro lens is already one of the sharpest macro lenses out there. When that is adapted to the MFT format along with the 8mm fisheye and 9-18mm zoom (all three lenses should be available in MFT mounts by spring of 2011), the MFT format is going to be very interesting for underwater photography. The small size of MFT cameras isn't that interesting once you've added the housing, port and strobes, but the low cost & high quality wideangle lenses enabled by mounting the lens close to the sensor could be very nice.

#71 crawdad

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:35 PM

Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable? Once upon a time their were LPs and film Nikons and now there are DVDs and dSLRs. The question is are "they" (P&S) pro quality and my answer is that "pro quality" is an ill defined concept to which at some point the majority of people will not care. Some might say that they are already pro quality.

Just as computer users no longer shop based on clock speed neither will camera folks shop based on MP in a few more years because they will ALL have so much resolution, DR and capability that the argument will be rendered moot and at which point, I have to ask, why would the dSLR format continue if there were cameras as fast and as capable in a different format, shape, foot print?

Will we be having this argument, which I guess it is, five years from now when the dSLR has 40MP and the whatever other class there is of camera has 38.5MP and both are fast as lightening with low noise and easy handling?

Why are so many stuck on a format that has largely been shaped by film heritage instead of breaking free at long last? Instead of a shutter, why not an e-gate or a on/off diode for the sensor instead of a mechanical light gate (shutter)? When an EVF can replicate and exceed the capability of an optical VF system, why stick to the optical system? Don't say well because of reliability, we left that behind when cameras went all electronic years ago even before digital. Cameras do not need shutters or mirrors or prisms anymore, they are simply evolutionary holdovers or soon will be.

Why should you have to keep changing lenses?---why not--I did--several times until I finally gave up. I was more a Leica RF shooter anyways though I owned two Nikonos and three Nikon SLRs and housings.

I don't understand why my belief, and that of many others, who prefer a smaller footprint that cameras will soon evolve that combine the best of both worlds (P&S and SLR) then challenges, insults, aggravates SLR users. It is as if there is a need, that "snob" appeal to justify owning the systems. If there is some need to believe that having a SLR makes or defines a photographer as being real or more serious than some user with a pinhole camera, I guess so.

I have a friend who said cloning was impossible because God said so, I looked at him and said I am not sure what God said in that regard but do not box yourself into a corner that will cause you (him) to question your faith, well, cloning is old news now.

After now having sold off thousands of dollars of film equipment, I feel free, no longer married to a format or a pile of lenses. Today's P&S give me 90% of what I want and in a few years or less there will be new alternatives that fulfill the "human" requirement beyond which, this argument is DEAD. If it makes one feel better, I do not think the SLR will go away, I just think they will move further upscale as other forms of equipment push them in that direction much as large format has done today.

Edited by crawdad, 16 February 2010 - 06:35 PM.

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#72 echeng

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 08:02 PM

Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable? Once upon a time their were LPs and film Nikons and now there are DVDs and dSLRs. The question is are "they" (P&S) pro quality and my answer is that "pro quality" is an ill defined concept to which at some point the majority of people will not care. Some might say that they are already pro quality.

I don't think it is upsetting anyone. But you need to define "pro quality" and the conditions of shooting before you make assertions about compacts reaching a particular bar. Are you talking about shooting in bright conditions? Shooting macro? Shooting wide angle in super low light?

Compacts have their advantages, but absolute image quality is not yet one of them, and will not be until sensor sizes increase. All you have to do is look at the images coming out of SLR shooters vs the images coming out of compact shooters. Yes, there are some incredible images that come out of compact cameras, and some of those images may have been much more difficult to capture with an SLR. But the vast majority of high-quality images out there have been captured with SLRs because of the advantages that they CURRENTLY have over compacts. I shoot the system that gives me the highest likelihood of nailing a good image when I'm presented with the right opportunity. I understand that if I had a tripod and perfect conditions, a normal-sized print from an image taken by a G11 might be indistinguishable from an image taken by a Hasselblad with digital back, but when a sailfish shoots by at high speed, I want an SLR with a sharp wide angle lens and dome port.

I am sure that eventually, someone will put a big sensor into a compact-format camera and get it right, but that time is not yet here.

I agree with your statement that SLRs will be pushed upscale. It has always been "upscale" when compared to the number of compact shooters. I'll take it one step further: with cameras in virtually every phone out there, I don't think stand-alone cameras of any form will be commonly used by the masses. You're talking about the pains of mirrors, prisms, switching lenses -- but there is a bigger annoyance, which is carrying a dedicated imaging device to begin with.
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#73 ktwse

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:53 AM

I have to say that this discussion takes a completely different turn with the introduction of m4/3.

m4/3 cameras are very clearly not "P&S", nor are they compacts in the traditional sense. Rather, they bridge the gap between the traditional SLRs and compacts. The Panasonic G series can rival the focus speed and shutter lag of "entry level" DSLR systems (probably considered "pro" in this thread). And the sensor size of m4/3 is large enough to provide IQ at nearly the same level as that of APS-C sensors even at high ISO.

A Canon S90 can't rival a DSLR in terms of absolute IQ but it's probably more than enough for most users. m4/3 take that one step further. For a lot of people like myself, who enjoy using DSLRs on land, the huge investment in both money and travel space is more than a bit off-putting. However, with m4/3 both cost and weight is dramatically reduced.

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#74 underexposed

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 02:41 AM

You might have seen this before in the GF1 thread but if you have not this is a shot with the GF1 using the 10Bar housing and the Leica M4/3's 45mm macro lens. I'm a just for fun photographer but I think it shows the potential of the format.


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#75 MikeO

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:01 AM

Why does it upset SLR users if there were to be another type of camera as capable or more capable?, etc. etc. . . .


I could turn it around and ask you a similar question --why does it upset compact users when someone suggests that a DSLR might be more capable? But if I did that, it might distract people further from the point I was actually trying to make. If you have followed what I've been saying, you'd see that I am not, in the least, upset by the potential that there might be a compact camera more capable than my DSLR. It may surprise you to know that I actually own an S90 and am thinking about housing it. My decision will be based on what makes sense for me and what I use the thing for and what I can afford, not on whether one camera or the other is, in all respects, "better", whatever that means. I'd love to have a camera for which I never had to change any lenses to do macro and wide angle (or whatever), that fit in the palm of my hand, that was very responsive, and contained built-in software that could automatically sense depth, weather conditions and distance to everything in the frame and selectively white balance accordingly so I didn't have to use strobes. Maybe you're right, maybe in ten years the conversation will be moot. However, I think it is more likely that in ten years the people who own the compact cameras that are five times better than today's SLRs will be arguing and measurebating with the people who've got in-phone cameras that are five times better than today's compacts and are wondering, as Eric intimates, why the heck anyone is being so defensive about their device that serves only one purpose ;). That's just how the internet works (if there isn't something "better" than the internet by then!), so I guess I'm just gonna accept it and move on.

Cheers,

Mike

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#76 crawdad

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:27 AM

I don't think it is upsetting anyone. But you need to define "pro quality" and the conditions of shooting before you make assertions about compacts reaching a particular bar. Are you talking about shooting in bright conditions? Shooting macro? Shooting wide angle in super low light?



Again, I guess we don't read each others post. I clearly stated that "pro quality" was an ill defined concept. If you can define it for yourself fine, what if I don't agree with your definition?

OK, I will make it simple for you, to me and for me, seeing what I see using my judgment, the G11 and S90 et al are already PRO QUALITY as are the existing and soon to be released Micro 4:3 alternatives.

How fast is fast, how high is high, when does it no longer matter--for me---we crossed that threshold this year and I no longer care. I now care about small size, low impact, small footprint, versatility, minimal travel size and weight. The IQ benchmark for me has been passed and exceeded as the printing equipment, projecting equipment and display equipment I have at my disposal is the greater limiting variables than my choice of camera format.

You guys, some of you, are hooked on numbers and specs and not vision and art.
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#77 MikeVeitch

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:39 AM

One thing that I find interesting, many stock agencies will not accept submissions from compact cameras, even those with 12mp and higher, yet will accept those from a 6 or 8mp SLR.

So for those of us who submit to certain stock agencies, we have no choice but to use an SLR.

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#78 TheRealDrew

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:46 AM

I'd love to have a camera for which I never had to change any lenses to do macro and wide angle (or whatever), that fit in the palm of my hand, that was very responsive, and contained built-in software that could automatically sense depth, weather conditions and distance to everything in the frame and selectively white balance accordingly so I didn't have to use strobes.



Hey Mike, please pick up one for me also, promise to pay you back and also buy you a beer for your efforts ;)

Kidding aside I think your point was very clear in what you wrote earlier. I have my G9 for somethings (days I do not want to carry a big rig and just out and about) and at low ISO/good lighting I love it, but on some night street shots really wish I had my 5D Mark II with me. I loved my 3040 and 8080 and the shots I got with them. Most of the time I did not realize how unhappy I was suppossed to be with various equipment I have purchased over the years and thought I was enjoying it, until I started reading some blogs, rumorsites and all the rest. ;)

#79 echeng

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:29 AM

You guys, some of you, are hooked on numbers and specs and not vision and art.

Funny, I don't see any PRO QUALITY images being shared in this thread! OK, there are a couple images, but not from those who purport to be hooked on vision and art.
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#80 echeng

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 11:33 AM

Regarding the GF1. I have one, and take it out when light is good, but in low light, images from the GF1 are unacceptable unless one can lower ISO and shoot really long exposures. Compacts are an order of magnitude worse than the GF1 in low light / high ISO conditions and in my opinion, produce unacceptable images unless one starts to get "arty" with black and white converts (last resort).

You may not be able to see it in a 4x6" print, but targeting such low print sizes is not my goal.
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