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Topic: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: JakTrax
Posted 2011-08-19 00:16:02 and read 4867 times.

Hi all,

Another discussion thread, so let's see how it goes.....

A month or so ago, I slipped into the queue an image taken mid-2004 with an Olympus C-740UZ - a 3.2mp compact released in 2003. It was of an aircraft last seen in that particular colour scheme in 2005, so images of course exist with DSLRs with a higher mp count.

I didn't actually hold out much hope but it was a good image - the aircraft was on finals (it's hard to shoot fast-moving subjects with compacts) and was sharp, almost full-frame and noise looked well controlled. Shooting conditions were perfect - a June evening with strong sunlight and some background cloud.

To my amazement it was accepted. Now I'm wondering; was it accepted because it was an old image of an aircraft wearing a scheme no longer around? I.e. had the subject been a relatively new aircraft, would it have stood a chance?
Or did the reduced image size mask the fact that it was taken with such a low-resolution camera? It's puzzled me somewhat as there are obviously later images of the aircraft shot with much better equipment.

It's really got me wondering as I still have said camera and it's useful for poking through fences or when I'm in tight spots. Portable and discrete too. I just wonder whether my shot was a lucky fluke or whether I could still get the required quality out of it today? Obviously not going for anything too fancy but sunny side-ons of smaller aircraft static on the deck?

I doubt it would do for larger aircraft as the smaller characters on the fuselage, such as the registration, etc., would lose too much detail at only 3.2mp.

Finally, do any of you still own/use such compacts and have you had any recent success - here or or just on a personal level - shooting nice images?

Karl

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: stealthz
Posted 2011-08-19 01:02:20 and read 4851 times.

I still have a 3mp Canon G1 which I use occasionally but it is failing me in it's ability to retain settings between battery changes although it still does the deed photographically.
I also have a 3mp D30 DSLR which has not been used for a while although a couple of years ago it was dusted off and produced some images that are on the DB, this was in response to a rather outspoken Sydney spotter(I do not consider him a photographer) telling all and sundry that one needed at least an EOS 5D to get photos accepted here!

With care and the right subject it should still be possible!

** the G1 is looking at early replacement, just deciding on which type of daily carry camera I get!

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: kukkudrill
Posted 2011-08-19 01:08:23 and read 4851 times.

I used to use a C-740UZ. I have a lot of shots here that I took with it, but the latest dates to 2005. I wouldn't try uploading anything taken with it nowadays because even in 2005 I was struggling with the image quality. In particular, it had a tendency to generate strong halos around high-contrast edges which were prominent even when the image was downsized to 1024 pixels. But perhaps my particular copy of the camera was defective?

That said, I took this particular shot in 2006 with a 3.2MP compact - not the Olympus, but a Canon Powershot A510:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Charles Polidano - Touch The Skies



And currently I have a 12MP Canon compact (A1100 I believe) which I think can produce good enough quality for a.net, although I haven't used it for aviation photography.

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: ckw
Posted 2011-08-19 03:05:28 and read 4825 times.

There is a generally held view (and one encouraged by the camera manufacturers) that more pixels = better quality. In absolute terms this is not the case - in fact, more pixels can mean lower quality.

Given that a given sensor type is a defined space, adding more pixel sites to the sensor must mean that they are smaller and/or more densely packed. As a general rule decreasing the pixel site size or increasing the density will result in increased noise and reduced dynamic range.

Of course in practice manufacturers have developed improvements in sensor design and image processing which address these problems to some degree - but overall, particularly at consumer camera level, I would say that the growth in pixels has in absolute terms resulted in, at best, comparable quality with older cameras, and in some cases lesser quality. By which I mean that if you compare an image from an old 3.2mp camera with a 3.2mp section from a 12mp camera, you may find that the older image looks better.

But there are other factors to consider - if, in processing, you reduced the entire 12mp image to 3.2mp, then yes, you will probably see a reduction in noise and improvement in sharpness. Also other aspects of cameras (lens, AF, speed, high ISO performance etc.) have improved over time.

Bottom line - an old 3.2mp camera should be capable of producing quality images, but there will be limitations on how large these can be printed compared to higher mp cameras.

I have pics from the 3mp Canon D30 which, though small, are still of superb quality when compared to current Canon cameras.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: viv
Posted 2011-08-19 04:46:13 and read 4803 times.

The title of this thread puzzles me. The image quality of a camera does not change just because better cameras come along, it stays the same.

If you are counting pixels, no full-frame DSLR can equal the quality of a 35mm colour slide, scanned to disc. I currently shoot slides with a little Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera (1950s camera technology, manual focus, simple centre-weighted meter, manual aperture and shutter speed setting) that blow the best DSLR photos out of the water in terms of resolution, sharpness, colour rendition and saturation.

As Colin says, more pixels does not necessarily mean better.

DSLRs are nice and handy, but not the ultimate.

[Edited 2011-08-19 04:53:53]

[Edited 2011-08-19 04:54:20]

[Edited 2011-08-19 04:57:42]

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: stealthz
Posted 2011-08-19 05:28:15 and read 4781 times.

Quoting viv (Reply 4):
I currently shoot slides with a little Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera (1950s camera technology, manual focus, simple centre-weighted meter, manual aperture and shutter speed setting) that blow the best DSLR photos out of the water in terms of resolution,...

And it would but Karl's question was about 3.2mp digital cameras.

I don't see where your little Zeiss comes into the discussion, with my 10 year old FS4000 scanner those slides have a theoretical pixel count of 21+mp, apart from the perceived intellectual superiority of slide shooters how does this answer Karl's question?

I agree with Colin, whilst the race for pixel counts does not always result in better quality, comparing to film though is not always valid.

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: spencer
Posted 2011-08-19 09:35:51 and read 4747 times.

I edited an image from a 3.2(?) phone cam. At 800 wide it was lovely.
Spence

[Edited 2011-08-19 09:38:27]

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2011-08-19 10:15:39 and read 4735 times.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
Finally, do any of you still own/use such compacts and have you had any recent success - here or or just on a personal level - shooting nice images?
Quoting kukkudrill (Reply 2):
Canon Powershot A510:


I still have my Canon Powershot A530 (though it's 5 MP, not 3.2). I think it takes pretty decent photos, given its age and low price ($150 or so when I bought it):

From BOS-JFK-LGB - 12/27/08
From BOS-JFK-LGB - 12/27/08
From Flying Lesson, Van Nuys Airport - 5/3/2008


(too bad about that giant scratch on the windshield in the last one)


Quoting Viv (Reply 4):
The title of this thread puzzles me. The image quality of a camera does not change just because better cameras come along, it stays the same.


No, but A.net standards certainly do change.

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: ckw
Posted 2011-08-19 16:44:21 and read 4679 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):
No, but A.net standards certainly do change.

Yes, but the point I and others are making is that provided you do not need to crop, a 3,2mp camera is well capable of meeting (or exceeding) A.net standards. Pixel count is probably the least of your worries.

Cheers,

Colin

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2011-08-19 17:36:44 and read 4674 times.

Quoting ckw (Reply 8):
Yes, but the point I and others are making is that provided you do not need to crop, a 3,2mp camera is well capable of meeting (or exceeding) A.net standards. Pixel count is probably the least of your worries.

I hear you - I wasn't implying otherwise.  

I just figured that at least part of Karl's original post referred to whether you could get shots from low-MP point-and-shoots accepted here, as standards have increased considerably.

Topic: RE: Can We Still Get Good Images With 3.2mp Compacts?
Username: trvyyz
Posted 2011-08-20 05:27:49 and read 4604 times.

IQ of Compacts are not as good as DSLRs , every one here in the thread knows that (sensor size or even glass etc,).
Like some one mentioned above if cropping is not required, you are in a better position to get it accepted here with a 3.2mp provided the shot nailed the focus and exposure perfectly (not that easy on a compact for quick subjects). Noise also should be minimal.

Now people will say it is not the camera but the guy behind it is responsible for the quality of picture, not for A.net, the photographer cannot increase the focusing speed or sensor size of he compact.

I have 33 shots on a.net from a 3.2mp camera but none after 2004/2005. I saw how my acceptance ratio tripled or quadrupled in 2005 when i got my digital rebel back then.


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