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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: Marine03 on September 06, 2012, 03:03:49 PM

Title: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Marine03 on September 06, 2012, 03:03:49 PM
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc. 
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: neuroanatomist on September 06, 2012, 03:22:50 PM
APS-C vs. FF, you're paying for the bigger sensor.  Silicon wafers are the basis for CMOS image sensors, and they're a fixed cost.  You can cut a lot more APS-C sensors from a wafer than FF, and the larger area of FF mean more loss to QC.

Electronic systems have noise - the better the electronics and the cooler they run, the less noise, and less noise means you get a cleaner image, or you can amplify more if you need to.  Consider the ISOs possible with today's sensors.  Ever see ISO/ASA 25,600 film?  The 1D X delivers usable images at that ISO.

Within a sensor size (comparing Rebel/xxxD to xxD to 7D), you're getting features (in fact, they all use the same image sensor, with the exception of the 650D which adds on-sensor phase AF) - better AF system, higher fps, better metering, build quality and sealing, etc.  5DIII vs. 1D X is similar - higher fps, better metering (which also means better AF), better build, more customization, etc.  Some of the features are physical, some just firmware (so yes, Canon could include those 'for free' on lower models, but they need to maintain differentiation, too).
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Marine03 on September 06, 2012, 04:37:56 PM
So what your telling me is there is no reason why we actually need different sensors other than marketing purposes.  Cause like I said before with old camera's the features not sensors is what made them unique. 

So even though FF sensors cost more, if they sold 100K rebel FF's a year I think you could spread R&D costs around and prob make a profit.

How many MP equivalent would a traditional 35mm film equal out to in print size.

Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: jfretless on September 06, 2012, 05:40:51 PM
The word "megapixel" was a god send to the camera makers.  It was a way that they could easily show people, 4MP is better than 2MP.  ...and people would buy new cameras solely based on that.

In the film days, I think technology reached a plateau.   Look at the flagship Canon EOS 1v HS.  10FPS and 45 AF points.  ...and that was in the year 2000.   

What has canon really improved in?  Sensors.  We still are around 10FPS and 45 AF points.  in 12 years?

oh and...

...everyone knows that once a new camera is released, the previous model is rendered useless and unable to produce usable images.

The past couple of generations have been trained to consume, consume, consume.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: dr croubie on September 06, 2012, 06:03:08 PM
http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/film/chrono_1933-1955.html (http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/film/chrono_1933-1955.html) has good info, as does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS-1v (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS-1v) (the timeline down the bottom).

From top to bottom, a few differentiators of quality:
1V, top of the line. 45pt AF (same as 1D/s), 21-zone metering, spot-linked metering, interchangeable focus screens (same as 1D/s), 100% view pentaprism, built like a tank and weather sealed (as well as any 1D/1Ds), 3fps or 10fps with motor drive, doesn't fog IR film.
Older 'top', the 1NRS. 5pt AF, 10fps with power drive, 100% pentaprism, 16-zone metering.

1-rung down, EOS 3. Same 45pt AF (but with eye-control), same screens, 97% view prism, pretty much all the same as 1V, but does 4fps or only 7 with motor drive, and the film counter does fog IR film.
Older 'next top', EOS 5. 5pt AF (with eye control), 94% pentaprism, not as well sealed as the 3 (afaik). inbuilt flash (the 3 and 1V had no flash, like the 1D/5D).

1-rung down, EOS 30V. Only 7-zone AF (with eye control), first camera with E-TTL II flash metering, 35-zone metering (it was a lot newer than the 3 and 1v), only 90/92% viewfinder coverage.

1-rung down, EOS 300X. 7-pt AF, 90% view pentamirror, 35 zone metering.

...everyone knows that once a new camera is released, the previous model is rendered useless and unable to produce usable images.
That's why I bought an EOS 3. It's only as good as the Velvia 50, Efke 25, and BW400CN that I put in it...
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: preppyak on September 06, 2012, 06:59:55 PM
So what your telling me is there is no reason why we actually need different sensors other than marketing purposes.  Cause like I said before with old camera's the features not sensors is what made them unique.
I would argue that cost is a huge part of marketing, so, technically yes marketing is why, but, only in a roundabout way.
Quote
So even though FF sensors cost more, if they sold 100K rebel FF's a year I think you could spread R&D costs around and prob make a profit.
Except if they can drive 50% of the profit margin of a 5D with the Ti series, and yet sell 50x as many, they'll make a hell of a lot more money. The biggest thing APS-C (and now mirrorless) is lower the entry barrier to better photography

Honestly evaluate the average DSLR buyer. They have no idea the difference between APS-C and Full-Frame in terms of how it impacts pictures, and so they probably aren't going to see the benefit of paying 5x as much for a 5dIII over a T3i. So Canon would be losing hundreds of thousands of sales if they only offered a full-frame entry camera at say, $1500.

Sensor size can be marketing, but, it also has many, many practical applications for why its bigger on some cameras and smaller on others. Most entry DSLR users would be frustrated by missing focus with the shallow DOF of full-frame, or by their pictures looking softer because their cheap lenses don't match the image circle. Not to mention, good full-frame lenses are heavy and expensive to make. APS-C is a way to cover those flaws yet still provide much better IQ than a P+S at a reasonable price.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: neuroanatomist on September 06, 2012, 07:07:22 PM
So what your telling me is there is no reason why we actually need different sensors other than marketing purposes.  Cause like I said before with old camera's the features not sensors is what made them unique. 

I disagree - size matters.  Let's use your 35mm analogy, why is APS-C called that?  Because of the old APS film format, which had smaller negatives than 35mm, resulting in lower quality and smaller max enlargements.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: distant.star on September 06, 2012, 08:35:23 PM

.
Wow, this is the kind of discussion that could go on for hours -- on bar stools!

Since I'm a teetotaler, I'm going to make one point -- then head for the door.

Back in the film days, the "sensor" was a very mature technology. There are a few people around today who will suggest film chemistry could be dramatically improved, but really that's just picking the fly scat out of the pepper when compared with digital imaging.

Today's optical sensor technology is not mature technology. Over the last 10 years this upstart has evolved so fast (consistent with all new technological applications) that camera makers have had a dicey time keeping up with it well enough to formulate consistent product offerings. Development has slowed a bit now (and manufacturers have also gotten more control over the "development" so their engineering and marketing folks can get some breathing room to establish the kind of baselines that money-making entities like corporations so adore.

Almost overnight we've gone from a mature technology with limited possibilities to a radically new technology with almost unlimited (longterm) possibilities.

It's been a hell of a ride so far!

Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: risc32 on September 06, 2012, 08:36:38 PM
so now we are suggesting that they should all have the same sensor? damn, i had been lamenting how they(other than the 5d/1d series) all did seem to have the same (7d) sensor. No, i hear what you are saying. other than costs involved in sensor sizes, and i don't doubt they are real differences, you are just paying for things like metering, build, whatever,whatever. they, the camera makers, just found themselves with another thing, sensors, they can use to their advantage to mix up the line-up. i don't dislike them for it. if they all waited until "full frame" sensors hit low costs instead of making up the little crop sensors cameras, us nonrich guys would still be only dreaming of shooting digital.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: paul13walnut5 on September 06, 2012, 08:45:54 PM
If it was a straight transition from 135 format film to full frame sensors, one would of course ask "Why have APS-C at all?"  but of course those who were there know it wasn't quite like that...

APS-C & APS-H were a godsend when DSLRs were in their infancy and production costs massive.

It set the ball rolling, would Canon have tackled their own FF sensor straight off the bat?

With the gift of hindsight a revisionist might think why have APS-C at all.  But that would be to ignore the benefits of APS-C such as focal length conversion (a godsend for budget wildlife / sports shooters) compact form and to render a generation of EF-s users lenses obselete.

The film analogy is also a little weak.  Budget bodies have always had more headline features but less top end functionality.. pop up flash vs weather sealing..  compact form vs fps...  PIC modes vs QCD...  things like higher shutter synch speeds, added AF functionality at f2.8, AF at f8 etc weren't headline features, but for the folk who used their cameras in anger, for money, they were essential.

Sure, a 300x with the same lens and film as a 1v may have the potential to give you the same image quality, but what if that lens is a TS-E that you can't rotate fully because the knobs foul the flash?  What if you want to change the focus screen to suit your application?  What if it rains?  What if the sun is behind the camera in a remote shot? What if you don't have an FEL button when dealing with fill light outdoors?  What if you need to do spot averaging?  What if you need to check depth of field whilst changing the zoom?  What if you want to change emulsion half way through a roll then change back?  What if you want a quieter rewind in a church?

Better cameras don't make better photographers, but they help better photographers make better photographs.

Before the 5D FF DSLRs were outwith the reach of all but the wealthy or professionals.  Without the 5 years of APS derived sensors leading up to the 5D we may not have had the 5D at all.

Whilst Neuros analogy stands there are practical considerations as well.  APS was perfectly adequate for the needs and aspirations of those spending APS money on a camera.  Much the same as the vast majority of those buying rebels aren't really thinking about 20"x30" prints.

FF cameras for all would be lovely.  But they would also be unnecessary.  I don't think it's a capitalist conspiracy.  I think it's more horses for courses.

Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: CharlieB on September 06, 2012, 09:45:07 PM
The marketing term for megapixels is "measured-in quality".

The master of this is the venerable Sear-Roebuck Company.  The 5.2gallon Craftsman shop vac clearly isn't as good, or pricey as the 5.9 gallon model. 

~~

In the old days, there was clear distinction of cameras, as there is today, by feature set.  Its just that the features were different.

Back in the 90's we had the EOS-1 varient, the EOS-3, the EOS-5, and the EOS-7's... not in that order, and the Rebel line up. 

The IQ was more or less the same thru the whole line - as the FILM and LENSES were the same.  You got, back then, metering, FPS, other features, viewfinder coverage, flash manipulation, that sort of thing... and yes, build quality.

Today, IQ is part of the feature set.

I've still got a pair of EOS-5's, and they seem like Rebel lineup as far as build quality goes... even below that really.  My Rebel XTi was built nicer, felt better, sturdier.  But they work! 

Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: pwp on September 06, 2012, 10:59:18 PM
This wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS) describes all Canon film bodies from 1987, and has links to more detailed information.

FWIW the one and only thing I miss about film is meeting other photographers at the lab. Now we have our conversations here.

-PW
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Hillsilly on September 06, 2012, 11:52:01 PM
.....So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.

100% right. 

FYI, the last brand new Canon film SLR I bought was an EOS 3000 (as a second body with my 7e).  The 3000 was bottom of the line with virtually no fetaures.  It was around 1999/2000 and cost about $350.  I bought it because it was so cheap - it was on special and was normally $500+.  The top of the line Eos 1 was just over $2000 (and I think it still is).   For the price, you get so much more camera today.

Just like today, 90% of people just bought the cheapest slr.  Even now, I still run into people with 3000's. 

In between the Eos 3000 and 1, you had the 300, 33, 30 and 3 - all differentiated by build quality, weather sealing, FPS, focus points, eye control focus, AI servo speed, encoding of data onto film rolls, electronic recording of shot data, flash synch speed, max shutter speed etc etc.  By the late 1990's, camera had become very sophisticated and (ignoring the change to digital) its not surprising there hasn't be many big improvements to the basic features.

The prior generation used "5"'s instead of "3"'s in the model name.  But like todays, there was never any real consistency with the numbering schemes.  Eg, my first Eos in the early 1990's was 1000FN.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 06, 2012, 11:59:27 PM
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.

It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Ew on September 07, 2012, 01:01:31 AM
This wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS) describes all Canon film bodies from 1987, and has links to more detailed information.

FWIW the one and only thing I miss about film is meeting other photographers at the lab. Now we have our conversations here.

-PW

Yes!

Same goes for film production - less lab, more post house and forums.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Tcapp on September 07, 2012, 01:22:48 AM
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.

It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.

Ahhh 1988. Good year.









(year of birth, in case you were confused)
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Hillsilly on September 07, 2012, 02:26:11 AM
It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.

Delta 3200 pushed 3 stops.  (You set ISO manually at 6400 and then set exposure compensation at -2).

Don't like grain?  Just shoot medium format or larger.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: dr croubie on September 07, 2012, 10:13:03 AM
It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.

Delta 3200 pushed 3 stops.  (You set ISO manually at 6400 and then set exposure compensation at -2).

Don't like grain?  Just shoot medium format or larger.

Coincidence, tonight I just shot a 120 roll of Delta 3200 at iso4000. We'll see how it turns out (1/30s at f/2.8-4, it was dark in there)
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: RLPhoto on September 07, 2012, 10:28:24 AM
I still miss shooting Velvia 50 for landscapes and Ektachrome for portraits. Those were the good days.  ;D

I never liked kodachrome, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understood that.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: paul13walnut5 on September 07, 2012, 11:34:32 AM
I loved the rush to the letter box when the slides came back.  I loved the smell as you popped open the plastic box.  I far preview holding a slide up to natural light and looking though, much more of sensation of depth of field, than on a VDU.

When they stopped making AGFA Scala a bit of me died.  I've still got a roll of XP2 in the cupboard.  Might roll out the old EOS 3 with my 100mm f2.0..
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: neuroanatomist on September 07, 2012, 11:44:15 AM
I never liked kodachrome, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understood that.

I blame Paul Simon.

I wonder if that gave Nikon a boost, as well?   :-X
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Ew on September 07, 2012, 12:28:00 PM
I still miss shooting Velvia 50 for landscapes and Ektachrome for portraits. Those were the good days.  ;D

I never liked kodachrome, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understood that.

Every once in an ektachrome dream I wake and create a color profile to try and match the old joy ... But no, it's not the same ...
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: distant.star on September 07, 2012, 01:21:12 PM
I still miss shooting Velvia 50 for landscapes and Ektachrome for portraits. Those were the good days.  ;D

I never liked kodachrome, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understood that.

Something old, something new
Something red, something blue

The blue team liked Velvia and Ektachrome. The red team went for Kodachrome.

When I started scanning my 30+ year-old slides, I found the Ektachrome washed out, some of it just gone. The Kodachrome looks like the day it was shot.

If I had to, I could go back and live in a Kodachrome world.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: RLPhoto on September 07, 2012, 01:25:00 PM
I still miss shooting Velvia 50 for landscapes and Ektachrome for portraits. Those were the good days.  ;D

I never liked kodachrome, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understood that.

Something old, something new
Something red, something blue

The blue team liked Velvia and Ektachrome. The red team went for Kodachrome.

When I started scanning my 30+ year-old slides, I found the Ektachrome washed out, some of it just gone. The Kodachrome looks like the day it was shot.

If I had to, I could go back and live in a Kodachrome world.

I shot kodachrome for alittle bit, and the few slides I do have are just as ugly now and they were 30 years ago. ::)

Here is a old ektachrome scan on a Epson v500. Its not perfect but these were stored badly.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: unfocused on September 07, 2012, 01:26:29 PM
Getting back to the original post. I think the answer is pretty straightforward.

Pre-digital meant that film and camera were two separate things. You bought a camera and you bought film to go into that camera. The variety of film available far exceeds the variety of sensors currently available. You had slow speed, fine grain B&W (slow being about ASA 25) up to "fast" 800 ASA, with most people shooting 400 Tri-X. Maybe not the best, but it was the most readily available and sold the most in the U.S. at least. Then you had color print films and color slide films, all in various flavors of speed. Not to mention Tungsten and Daylight versions.

In addition, you had many different film formats, from large sheet films to tiny drop-in cassettes, all with a variety of speeds.

Today, every camera uses only one "film" and that's the sensor. It has to do everything and it is part of the camera (no changing sensors at least for now). B&W, color print, color transparencies, high speed, low speed, tungsten, daylight, etc. all in one sensor. So, really, it should come as no surprise that there are a few (and really it's only a relative handful of varieties of sensors that are available) different flavors of sensors.

One more thing. The quality of that sensor, even in the smallest formats, vastly exceeds the quality of most films. In the old days it was generally conceded that even the cheapest lenses would outperform the film's resolving power. Today, sensors are pushing the limits of what lenses can resolve.

Bottom line: The choices in film that consumers used to make are now incorporated into the camera. So it should come as no surprise that cameras need to offer more variety for consumers to choose from. After all, who wants less choice as a consumer. I certainly don't.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Rocky on September 07, 2012, 03:09:41 PM
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.
It all bolts down to two item: Money and Requirement. Use existing Canon lineup as an example: On the FF, we have the IDx and the 5DIII with different sensor, different resolution, different physical size and different feature. So if you are into FF then you have your choice depends on your requirement and how much you want to spend.  The same goes to APS-C with the 7D, 60D, T4i and Xsi. Then between the FF and APS-C that is another choice.  In order to get the most out of FF execellent lenses are required. So everything is more expensive  with the FF body. On the other hand,  APS-C serves another purpose.  For people that never make 20X30 inch print It is an excellent media. It is cheaper than the FF with less requirement on the lens (using the best part of image circle).  Also for the "bird shooter", a shorter lens can be used.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: jpthurston on September 07, 2012, 03:35:03 PM
"Vastly superior"? To say a cheap point and shoot sensor is better than a large format fine grain film image printed well is specious. I make no argument in favor of film, but just put your apples and oranges in proper perspective.
I beg to differ on many points.
Having worked for a wafer fabricator, you don't just cut out more or less dies per wafer to get more or better.
Wafer yield drops significantly with die size and complexity regardless of end product. Its way more complicated than you think or allude to.
CCD chips were way noisier sensors than CMOS, but cheaper to produce, and had higher yields.
Sensor site size is way more important than total sites to image quality, especially when it comes to SNR problems.
Only recently have sensor producers been able to cram more sites with less noise on a FF sensor.
Image quality is also tied directly to the quality of the ADC chip and other camera circuitry.
Since there is a Bayer pattern issue and inherent interpolation, and a AA filter, these all can degrade image quality on a poorly designed camera package.
More megapixels just means a bigger print, but not necessarily a good image to print larger either.
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.
If anything the improvements in digital editing are the levelers in the Film vs Digital debate.
In the computer industry we have had a very basic axiom...GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
My two cents worth from a film and digital shooter.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: DB on September 07, 2012, 04:14:03 PM
My first SLR was an Olympus OM-10 (one of the most common affordable SLR's of the 1980s - a bit like the Rebels today), but my camera bag back then was bulging with accessories from ASA 25 to 400 film rolls, to Cokin filters and polarizers, plus a bunch of lenses from primes to tele-zooms and wide angles -> all costing from £50 to £200. As well as a lot of spare batteries for my power-winder.

Back then, camera bodies cost 4x or 5x the price of a good lens, unlike today. Film was not cheap either and prices varied wildly from the well known brands to generics.

However, unlike the ability to crop in PS today, in those days you could take a negative and with a Reducer/Enlarger (looked a bit like today's microscopes) you could take part of an image and blow it up to a full-size print and it would look perfect. I have a 7x5 photo still of my 19-year old nephew at his baptism where I was 30 or 40 feet away with a 220mm zoom and got a picture of him in his mother's arms, alongside half a dozen other people, but I isolated his little face and turned it into a full-sized print. Try 1600% magnification in Photoshop and look at all the square pixels.

I processed and developed all of my own colour film - had to cos' the labs would put stickers on my negatives saying 'wrong exposure' or 'unable to develop' if I had used colour filters e.g. red ones taking pictures of old castles for instance to create an effect.

Digital is a whole lot better in terms of high initial cost, but then low-cost in consumables. I guess the defining difference between film and digital is 'composition'. In the old days you thought about and planned your composition the night before. Now, with modern DSLR's you have opportunistic shooting at will, all of the time.

That is the consumerism part of modern photography, along with the desire to have the latest & greatest.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: rahkshi007 on September 07, 2012, 05:14:42 PM
Hi, i am newbie here.. i just 21 years old i think i used film when i was 13years old.. but digital surely nicer to be used... as long as the camera shooting raw, definitely can get nice picture..  here are some example of benefit especially photoshot.
The first one shoot with raw with 5dm2.. there are still plenty of dynamic range eventhough the model face is underexposed. i think that nowadays sensor keep updating is to trying to improve a better DR..
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: paul13walnut5 on September 07, 2012, 05:24:18 PM
@DB
Quote
Digital is a whole lot better in terms of high initial cost, but then low-cost in consumables.

I can reliably inform you that the last entry level film SLRs (Nikon f65's, EOS 300x's, Dynax 5's) cost only a little less than what folk are paying now for cameras like the D3100 or 1100D, the budget DSLRs are probably cheaper in real terms than the last equivalent film era cameras cost.   

At the top end it is a bit different, however, & decent lenses seem more expensive than ever.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: CharlieB on September 07, 2012, 06:44:41 PM
I never liked kodachromeod th, Why did it get so much rave?  I never understoat.

Kodachrome could be harsh in a lot of instances.  It had outrageous detail in the shadows, tended to burn highlights easily, more easily than any other transparency film.  But... if you could control the lighting, or you were shooting in good conditions... to me at least, it yielded results were pretty outstanding.  The ultra fine grain of the 25 and even 64 variety was superior, and even the 200 speed had an interesting quality.  You either loved it, and dealt with its shortcomings, or you hated it.  I shot an awful lot of birds and scenery with Kodachrome 200, some of that in 120 size (talk about to die for these days!).   You want to see something?  Project a well exposed Kodachrome 120 size slide on a screen, one taken say... with a Hasselbled and 150 Sonnar.  We just dont have that sort of thing at our disposal today.

Then there were the dye transfer prints from Kodachrome.   Total manipulation.  It was the silver based way of getting HDR prints.  Done right, dye transfer prints were superior in all respects to anything else out there.

And on that note of wistful history... I'm due a bourbon, just because.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: bdunbar79 on September 07, 2012, 07:07:04 PM
It's the sensor.  Could you buy 25,600 speed film back in 1988 and shoot low-light football at 1/2000s at night?  Of course not.  They didn't do it that way.  DSLR's, namely the 1D X, is truly revolutionary.

Delta 3200 pushed 3 stops.  (You set ISO manually at 6400 and then set exposure compensation at -2).

Don't like grain?  Just shoot medium format or larger.

I never did it.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: DB on September 07, 2012, 09:17:26 PM
@DB
Quote
Digital is a whole lot better in terms of high initial cost, but then low-cost in consumables.

I can reliably inform you that the last entry level film SLRs (Nikon f65's, EOS 300x's, Dynax 5's) cost only a little less than what folk are paying now for cameras like the D3100 or 1100D, the budget DSLRs are probably cheaper in real terms than the last equivalent film era cameras cost.   

At the top end it is a bit different, however, & decent lenses seem more expensive than ever.

@ Paul

I can well believe it. There is a much greater price range today between entry-level -> mid-range -> top-end. When I lived in London, amateurs/enthusiasts mainly bought second-hand gear. I never bought a new lens until 2011! In 1990, there were dozens of camera shops (The Camera Exchange, Jessops in New Oxford Street, Chancery Lane + quite a few other small independent stores dotted around the City) that sold predominantly 'used' lenses, plus they were happy to take older lenses as trade-ins - a bit like PC game stores nowadays. If you bought a lens on a Friday, used it over the weekend and didn't like it, you just exchanged it for something else the following Monday and it might have cost you a tenner (at the outside). I imagine that Edinburgh & Glasgow were very similar with specialist stores that have probably disappeared. To be replaced by Harvey Norman, Dixons & Argos...where the staff couldn't tell the difference between an 'f-stop' and a 'bus-stop'.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: paul13walnut5 on September 07, 2012, 09:32:38 PM
I worked in a Jessops in Glasgow, our mark up was sometimes as low as 5% on new gear (SLRs lenses) but we made it back in filters, batteries bags and D&P.  If we couldn't mark a used item up by at least 100% of buy in we didn't buy it in.

The staff price on used gear was excellent.  I don't think I ever owned a new camera or lens before my 400D, it was stupid not to buy used, especially at the staff prices.  Mitigated the crap wages, but then, when you're a student...

Went vastly downhill now, Jessops is like dixons except they sell less fridges.  Staff have the coolest hair styles but i couldn't vouch how good they are with cameras
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: 7enderbender on September 07, 2012, 09:35:21 PM

.
Wow, this is the kind of discussion that could go on for hours -- on bar stools!

Since I'm a teetotaler, I'm going to make one point -- then head for the door.

Back in the film days, the "sensor" was a very mature technology. There are a few people around today who will suggest film chemistry could be dramatically improved, but really that's just picking the fly scat out of the pepper when compared with digital imaging.

Today's optical sensor technology is not mature technology. Over the last 10 years this upstart has evolved so fast (consistent with all new technological applications) that camera makers have had a dicey time keeping up with it well enough to formulate consistent product offerings. Development has slowed a bit now (and manufacturers have also gotten more control over the "development" so their engineering and marketing folks can get some breathing room to establish the kind of baselines that money-making entities like corporations so adore.

Almost overnight we've gone from a mature technology with limited possibilities to a radically new technology with almost unlimited (longterm) possibilities.

It's been a hell of a ride so far!


Excellent points! And back in the days (and for the sake of argument let's stick to 35mm here, all lenses being equal) the distinguishing factors were a) build quality and b) features.

B is somewhat limited in reality once the basics are covered. Meaning, once you had a good metering system for a 3 or 4 different situations (including some kind of spot meter), decent shutter speed and a good viewfinder everything else beyond that is mostly for one-off situations or specific professional purposes.

Leaves us really with build quality and reliability. Example: when I got my first own camera my choices were a brand-new T70 or the AE-1 program used. Yep, already then people had noticed what a hunk of junk the plastic T70 was. Sure, it was all "space-age-80s-Colani-design" and may have had a few advanced features. But it wasn't fun to use and didn't appear to be build for what I ended up doing with my AE-1p...(25 years and two full overhauls later I still have and use it)
The picture quality for all practical purposes would be exactly the same with the superb Kodak and Fuji products available then (and a good lab in town, and later access to a DYI lab at my university). Same can be said when using the more upscale A1 and then the excellent F1 iterations: same pictures in 99% of the cases but a lot more fun to use and even more reliable. The T90 is its own animal and in many ways comparable to Canon's last film-SLR EOS 1-series.

Most else in between and during the early phases or digital has issues in my mind. Why? Because the selling point was "digital (and digital is better!)", silly features, the emerging AF-revolution, etc. Build quality suffered. And I want to say: in large parts it still does. None of the stuff is build to last when you're supposed to "upgrade" every 2-3 years to new "features". Sure, along the way we finally got half-way decent full-frame (meaning 35mm equivalent, which is the smallest usable format really) at a price point that is a little more digestible. So at least we can match 1980s film quality now. Yeah. Small wins. Would I want to compare my 5DII to an F1-n? Naw, not really. But in all fairness, the 5DII is more like a 21st century AE-1 for that matter. Only it won't last 25 years. Neither will any of my ridiculously expensive "L" lenses while I see no reason why any future grand children wouldn't still get a kick out of my FD glass. Just look at how the 24-70L version 1 apparently devolved into the 24-70L version 2. And now perhaps we'll see a brand-new "6D" - which (if any of the rumored features (!) are turning out to be correct would bring me back to my T70-AE1p shootout back in 86 or whenever that was.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Rocky on September 08, 2012, 12:01:08 AM
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: SiliconVoid on September 08, 2012, 12:26:44 AM
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.

{1Ds}
 ;)
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: paul13walnut5 on September 08, 2012, 12:28:17 AM
+1 SiliconVoid beat me to it.
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: Rocky on September 08, 2012, 12:36:57 AM
Look at the first generation FF camera and the images were garbage compared to well scanned and digitally edited film captures.

Thanks for telling us that the 1DIIIs (first FF by Canon) is garbage.

{1Ds}

Thanks  for the correction. I agree that with 11 MP, It cannot beat the fine  gain film.
 ;)
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: SiliconVoid on September 08, 2012, 01:12:07 AM
my first real SLR that I bought was the 450D, so before the age of digital how did Canon differentiate its model line up feature wise?   I mean back say year 1998 the determiner of IQ was the lens and film and the paper that it was printed on.  My point is, why have so many sensors across a brand's line up, with 1DX sensor, 5D3, 5D2 and then the rebel line up of sensors, if all camera's just over a decade ago had the same ability to capture light correct?  So what you pay for then is build quality, FPS, and metering etc.

In short: Different equipment price points to meet different consumer demands.

It is no mystery that larger sensors, sensors with the greatest performance specifications, and bodies providing all the features any photographer could need/want also costs the most to produce, and are not needed by every user. Digital photography technology has allowed manufacturers to actually tailor the operation and output of the cameras to meet different user demands and budgets.


Long version:
At the lowest price point, Rebels for Canon, the manufacturer focuses sensor design and implementation more on the criteria of needed output (jpg) - even if it impacts the cameras base (raw) performance. Features will generally be only those necessary to provide functionality and competitive marketing (albeit gimmicky features sometimes). This is not to covertly produce an inferior product, but because the typical purchaser at this price point will not need or desire post processing to get the results they are looking for.

In the middle price tier (Enthusiasts, and Semi-Pro) where the output demand can go either way, the manufacturer will focus sensor design and internal processing to provide the best aspects of both types of output. In addition features will be greatly expanded providing full control over the camera operation, and with reasonable accessibility such as dedicated buttons instead of diving into menus.

At the top tier you will typically find almost all features provided, and implemented in such a way that use of the cameras menu system may not be needed at all other than relatively permanent, optional, changes in camera operation. In this tier you will typically also find the best unhindered raw performance due to this sectors reliance on post processing - mainly because the images are turned over to production/marketing departments to be culled and processed - although jpg output is not worthless by any means as some professionals are satisfied by that output.

To continue with the film camera analogies; Think of it as if film cameras were made in such a way that they could only use one brand and/or speed of film, and only had certain features dependent on what film version you purchased. That certainly would not satisfy the needs of every photographer and there would have been a need for several versions of every model to appeal to different users. (Fortunately that was not the case..  :D)
Title: Re: Pre digital days, please shed some light for me
Post by: jrista on September 08, 2012, 06:39:07 PM
The word "megapixel" was a god send to the camera makers.  It was a way that they could easily show people, 4MP is better than 2MP.  ...and people would buy new cameras solely based on that.

In the film days, I think technology reached a plateau.   Look at the flagship Canon EOS 1v HS.  10FPS and 45 AF points.  ...and that was in the year 2000.   

What has canon really improved in?  Sensors.  We still are around 10FPS and 45 AF points.  in 12 years?

oh and...

...everyone knows that once a new camera is released, the previous model is rendered useless and unable to produce usable images.

The past couple of generations have been trained to consume, consume, consume.

Actually, we are at 12/14fps and 61 AF points. AF sensors are also sensitive to far less light than they used to be, down to EV -2 in Canon 1D and Nikon Dx models. We have far more high precision cross type points, and Canon is the first to offer double cross type points for even more AF precision and speed. Dynamic range has improved from maybe 5-7 stops in 2000 to around 12 stops or more today. Pixel densities have increased with a concurrent improvement in IQ. We've gone from around 4 megapixels in 2001 to 20 megapixels or more today. We've gone from a max native ISO 1600, to a max native ISO 51200 (thats a full FIVE STOPS, or 32 times as much light sensitivity!), with maximum ISO settings of today offering better IQ than the max ISO settings from a decade ago. Today, people are happily asking for fewer megapixels and better IQ from the megapixels they have (hence the 18mp 1D X and 22mp 5D III...both of which maintained the megapixel status quo while improving IQ...in the case of the 1D X by a very considerable degree.)

Its incredibly naive to say we've made no progress in the last 12 years. We've made tremendous progress. The type of images we can capture today outpace anything in history, including film (and yes, even LF film with 300dpi drum scans...you get "large" images with that, but IQ...although excellent, no longer holds up to the likes of what you can get from a modern full-frame sensor, particularly the D800's Exmor sensor...there is a lack of deep contrast and still that grain that is entirely absent from a modern high-res digital sensor). We have made phenomenal progress in the last decade plus.