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Thread: A pro's opinion on this camera...

  1. #1
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Default A pro's opinion on this camera...

    Everything I need or over kill? Good speed for capturing northern lights?

    http://www.shopcartusa.com/P_Canon_P...01/View_Specs/


    I am camera iliterate.
    Thanks

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    Here's what DPReview has to say about the Canon G9...
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...n/canon_g9.asp
    It's just a preview without sample image data though.

    Here's my opinion...

    Canon's G series have always been some of the best point & shoot cameras made, and they have improved a bunch since I bought an original G1. I still use it occasionally. However, as with all digital P&S cameras they use a small digital image sensor so digital noise will still be an issue in low light. Fuji has probably done the best with taming the digital noise demon with their f20/f30/f40 series, but if you want to (almost) cure it you have to go to a larger sensor. That will require a digital SLR, or a very rare, and expensive, large sensor rangefinder digital camera.

    If you insist on a smaller camera than a DSLR, the G9 is probably one of the best options available right now.

  3. #3
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Here's what DPReview has to say about the Canon G9...
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...n/canon_g9.asp
    It's just a preview without sample image data though.

    Here's my opinion...

    Canon's G series have always been some of the best point & shoot cameras made, and they have improved a bunch since I bought an original G1. I still use it occasionally. However, as with all digital P&S cameras they use a small digital image sensor so digital noise will still be an issue in low light. Fuji has probably done the best with taming the digital noise demon with their f20/f30/f40 series, but if you want to (almost) cure it you have to go to a larger sensor. That will require a digital SLR, or a very rare, and expensive, large sensor rangefinder digital camera.

    If you insist on a smaller camera than a DSLR, the G9 is probably one of the best options available right now.
    Thanks, I wa slooking at the DSLR models and really don't know the differance. What is the "digital noise" I keep hearing about?

    Thanks curt

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    Digital noise is the irregularity or graininess in parts of the image that should otherwise be smooth. Some of it is chroma noise (colorful dots and bumps in shadow areas), and some of it is luminance noise (light & dark irregular patterns, again mostly in darker areas of the image). There are several causes, but mostly it comes from the amplifiers for each photo site (pixel on the sensor). As the photo site gets smaller (by shrinking the sensor, or increasing the megapixels) fewer photons actually strike the smaller site, and each photo site has to be amplified more than if it was larger and received more photon hits. The bottom line is that small sensors with high megapixel counts are the worst offenders.

    A digital SLR has a comparatively large sensor with large, sensitive photo sites, and so they produce less noise. In general they also produce a sharper image and resolve more detail. The better ones also focus faster, and shoot way more responsively, especially in low light or with fast moving subjects.

    A lot of new technology has improved the noise issue, and should have made for better images, but since the sensors keep getting divided up in to more and more, ever smaller photo sites, the image is not improving as much as it should/could. But the marketing department knows that more megapixels are the prime selling point for a new camera model, so the situation is not going to get any better for some time.

    Unless you are often making 11x16" prints (or larger) you really don't need more than 5-6 megapixels. I have a 5MP camera that makes reasonably good 11x16" prints, and I used to have a 3MP camera that made nice 8x10" prints. Pros may need 20MP for some things, but the rest of us are just wasting pixels.

    In the good old film days we worried about film grain, and the faster (more sensitive) the film the worse it got. Today we struggle with digital noise. The cure then, as now is to increase the size of the sensor/film until the quality is acceptable. If you remember the tiny old 110 film format that Kodak tried to pawn off on everybody you may remember the grainy pictures that were often produced. This was especially an issue with 400 ISO/ASA film, and in dark areas. It's the same thing today. If you increase the sensitivity (ISO) of your camera to be able to shoot in low light, your camera's pixel amplifiers get turned up, and they in turn produce noisy images. Film had an advantage though, grain had a certain look to it that was often considered desirable. Not so with digital noise, it's almost always ugly.

    Smaller sensors make good use of smaller lenses, and make for the smaller cameras that we all like to put in our pocket. But increased quality comes from larger sensors, which require larger lenses, and make for larger cameras to pack around in larger bags. Somewhere you gotta draw the line though. So pick a size you are willing to pack, and an amount of money you are willing to spend.

    More details about digital noise can be found here: http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...g/Noise_01.htm

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    Pick up a canon film cam a "nifty 50" (50 mm f1.8) and some 100 or 200 speed velvia and you can capture great northern lights. Should cost you around 300 bucks and you will have a professional film camera...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Digital noise is the irregularity or graininess in parts of the image that should otherwise be smooth. Some of it is chroma noise (colorful dots and bumps in shadow areas), and some of it is luminance noise (light & dark irregular patterns, again mostly in darker areas of the image). There are several causes, but mostly it comes from the amplifiers for each photo site (pixel on the sensor). As the photo site gets smaller (by shrinking the sensor, or increasing the megapixels) fewer photons actually strike the smaller site, and each photo site has to be amplified more than if it was larger and received more photon hits. The bottom line is that small sensors with high megapixel counts are the worst offenders.

    A digital SLR has a comparatively large sensor with large, sensitive photo sites, and so they produce less noise. In general they also produce a sharper image and resolve more detail. The better ones also focus faster, and shoot way more responsively, especially in low light or with fast moving subjects.

    A lot of new technology has improved the noise issue, and should have made for better images, but since the sensors keep getting divided up in to more and more, ever smaller photo sites, the image is not improving as much as it should/could. But the marketing department knows that more megapixels are the prime selling point for a new camera model, so the situation is not going to get any better for some time.

    Unless you are often making 11x16" prints (or larger) you really don't need more than 5-6 megapixels. I have a 5MP camera that makes reasonably good 11x16" prints, and I used to have a 3MP camera that made nice 8x10" prints. Pros may need 20MP for some things, but the rest of us are just wasting pixels.

    In the good old film days we worried about film grain, and the faster (more sensitive) the film the worse it got. Today we struggle with digital noise. The cure then, as now is to increase the size of the sensor/film until the quality is acceptable. If you remember the tiny old 110 film format that Kodak tried to pawn off on everybody you may remember the grainy pictures that were often produced. This was especially an issue with 400 ISO/ASA film, and in dark areas. It's the same thing today. If you increase the sensitivity (ISO) of your camera to be able to shoot in low light, your camera's pixel amplifiers get turned up, and they in turn produce noisy images. Film had an advantage though, grain had a certain look to it that was often considered desirable. Not so with digital noise, it's almost always ugly.

    Smaller sensors make good use of smaller lenses, and make for the smaller cameras that we all like to put in our pocket. But increased quality comes from larger sensors, which require larger lenses, and make for larger cameras to pack around in larger bags. Somewhere you gotta draw the line though. So pick a size you are willing to pack, and an amount of money you are willing to spend.

    More details about digital noise can be found here: http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...g/Noise_01.htm
    That explanation helps out alot, thanks for your time!

    Curt

  7. #7

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    Unless you are often making 11x16" prints (or larger) you really don't need more than 5-6 megapixels. I have a 5MP camera that makes reasonably good 11x16" prints, and I used to have a 3MP camera that made nice 8x10" prints. Pros may need 20MP for some things, but the rest of us are just wasting pixels.


    Very good point here. I would add that the use of a tripod is absolutely essential if you want to enlarge prints up to 8 X 10 and 11 X 16.

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