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Archive 2012 · Canon, please make better sensors...

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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Canon, please make better sensors...

anthonygh wrote:
Let say say the 1Dx sensor is Canon's best ever (as someone states above)....who buys that camera? I may be naive here, but I assume it is professional photographers.....most of whom will need to produce images that will eventually be seen as some form of printed image.

So the quality of the final image is highly dependent on the quality of the print process. Maybe I am doing something wrong, but my only hands on comparison to date are files from a 5D and 40D with the same lenses with the same model taken during a studio session...printed to A3 on
...Show more

The more controlled your shooting environment, the less robust your camera needs to be. In the studio the main variables that affect quality are color sensitivity, tonal range and megapixel count. And, to a lesser degree, dynamic range. Here the two cameras are near identical:

40D 5D
Megapixels 10.34mp 13.22mp
Dynamic Range 11.18ev 11.13ev
Tonal Range 8.51 bits 8.79 bits
Color Sensitivity 22 bits 22.9 bits

Sure, a FF sensor is going to be sharper than a equivalent megapixel APS-C camera and the 5D has an extra 3 megapixels but you're not going to see that detail on an A3 sized print. Everything else is a wash. Unless you jump to a 5D2 or digital medium format you're not going to see a drastic increase in the quality of your images in a studio setting.

However, what if you were shooting on location and had an undesirable background that needed to be neutralized with shallow DoF? Shooting at f/2.8 with an 85mm lens on a 5D is going to produce an appreciably sharper image than a 50mm at f/1.4 on a 40D.

The reason that the 1DX is Canon's "best sensor ever" is that it has the best high ISO performance of any Canon camera on the market. At ISO 12800 the 1D X will produce a capture equal or better than a 40D at ISO 3200. In the studio, a 5D2/5D3/1Ds3 would do a slightly better job just by virtue of megapixels.

Honestly, any camera produced in the past 5 years can deliver acceptable results given the right conditions and enough time. Better technology only increases the latitude of conditions a camera can deliver acceptable results in. It's the difference between being able to get a useable shot at 2 EV and saying, "oh well, guess I can't get the shot." It's the difference between having a tack sharp image and wishing that your AF could have locked in time to capture a moment.

Nov 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Canon, please make better sensors...

snapsy wrote:
Again, how do you properly expose an image whose dynamic range exceeds the capabilities of a sensor?

Mild HDR, or good judgment of where to clip shadows/highlights.

As with sharpness, you can never have too much DR available. But that doesn't mean you will use it. To retain the most contrast and "punchiness" typical subjects will use the same range as we have available, not 20 stops of DR. The extra DR is good for making adjustments or dealing with excessively contrasty conditions, but not needed in typical shooting. At least not needed in the way it is being stridently voiced by so many photographers.

I'm all for more DR (and MP), but that isn't stopping me from getting the best photo structure I've ever had.


After reading further:

I don't want to sound "old", but back in the day. . .

We used to call managing contrast range "technique". Transparency films had a range of, what, 8 usable stops of latitude from darkest details to blown highlights. Now, we don't even use the term "latitude", do we?

I remember how excited I was to get the 5D and Canon's DPP and really be able to pull some details out of shadows and highlights, even more than I could with the earlier 20D. I felt so relieved to be away from using film!

Now we have something like 11+ stops of DR, and because of my history, it seems still like a luxury and safety net. Granted, there are times I would like a couple extra stops to pull up some shadow detail or bring out some highlight details.

We can't overlook the benefits of the PP software these days either -- that's practically a revolution in itself.

I'm not saying we shouldn't want the most improvements possible. Just that with what we once considered normal photographic approach from the film era, we should be able to make some pretty wonderful photos, even at the commercial level.


Edited on Nov 10, 2012 at 04:01 PM · View previous versions

Nov 10, 2012 at 03:44 PM
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Canon, please make better sensors...

chez wrote:
I use Define 2 and it does squat with banding.

I've used it with a variety of 5DM3 images and it completely removed the banding with no visible artifacts. It has a bit more trouble with 5DM2 images but can still greatly improve the image. You should give it another chance. Here's the only sample I have handy:
Nik Dfine before+after 5DM3

Nov 10, 2012 at 03:58 PM
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Canon, please make better sensors...

chez wrote:
Yeh, the 5d3 AF is great, but it is nothing new. That AF was available for years in the 1series cameras. All Canon did was put the existing AF into the 5d2...no new tech.

+1: the 5D III is what the 5D II should have been in the first place with a decent AF system.

Nov 10, 2012 at 05:31 PM
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Canon, please make better sensors...

Canon will deliver for sure, Fred's question is at what price and how soon when reasonable sensors on market already spell this cleaness - ISO400: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7084/7374419558_b6b92b13d1_o.jpg

Nov 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
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