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Messages - x-vision

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Any thoughts?

Before 2007, Nikon didn't have FF cameras.
Even their top of the line pro model, the D2X, had a DX format sensor (1.5x crop).

So, at that time, Nikon apologists were claiming that the DX format was in fact better than FF.
One of their arguments, for example, was that FF suffers from soft corners and vignetting - and hence DX was better.

But while the apologists were arguing, pros were switching en masse to Canon.
Nikon, of course, took notice and started offering FF cameras.

Today, we have Canon apologists arguing that you don't need more DR (and resolution) than what Canon is already offering.
The situation is definitely not as bad as the DX vs FF scenario of the past but bears many similarities.

And while the Canon apologists are argueing that you don't need more DR and resolution,
my bet is that Canon is hard at work addressing these - as it will cost them dearly if they are not.

Also bear in mind that the DR debate didn't actually start whith the D800.
When the 5DII was introduced, it was very well liked and received.
Very soon, however, users started complaining about shadow noise and banding.

Thus, the so called DR debate didn't have anything to do with Nikon initially.
Instead, it was about the shadow noise and banding of the 5DII.
The D800 only added insult to injury with its high-resolution/high-DR sensor - at a time when Canon decided to reuse the same sensor, basically, in the 5DIII.

So, go ahead and brush this off as a case of 'the grass is greener on the other side' - if that suits you better.
But it's a safe bet that DR/resolution will be addressed by Canon.

EOS Bodies / Re: Is Canon now two generations behind Nikon?
« on: September 01, 2014, 02:42:49 AM »
If all the 7D2 is, is a 70D with slightly better specs, the same sensor, and a better autofocus system, it would have been out by now. Something is coming that required changing the underlying technology....

I hope you are right.

For example, the 7D2.... the sensor design for the pixels may well be the same design as the 70D, but if this rendition of the chip has the A/D moved over too, we could see a significant performance increase...

That's exactly what I'm hoping for.

If Canon moves A/D on the sensor, we can expect 1-2 stops better DR and maybe half a stop better ISO vs the 70D.
With these improvements, the 7DII image quality will be the same/better as on the 1DIV.
That would be pretty solid (and arguably the best they can achieve with a 1.6x crop sensor today).

Let's see if Canon will do it.
Because they might as well just reuse the 70D sensor, which will not be out of character for them ...  unfortunately.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 29, 2014, 11:03:14 PM »
Sure, there is no question there are limits to how small you can shrink pixels with an FSI design.

Yup. That's the clarification that I was after  :P.



You are laughing but I bet that they are going to do it in 10 (?) years.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:47:49 PM »
As I said. Technology has been marching on.


But even with light-guides (to guide the light onto the photodiode), there are still limits as to much you can shrink pixels.
These are physical entities and you cannot shrink them indefinitely with a given technology.
The light guide cannot have a diameter zero, which is obvious even from the picture you posted - if your keep shrinking the pixels.

You make it sound as if smaller pixels are always better - and that's not unconditionally true.
That's the only point that I'm making.

There's a physical limit that cannot be crossed.
That's why manufacturers are using finer and finer CMOS processes (Panasonic is down to 65nm now).
And also looking for alternative solutions - like BSI, Sony's stacked technology, etc..

So, smaller pixels are generally better - but only when newer, more advanced technologies are used.

There's also the issue of the full-well capacity of a photodiode.
Smaller full-well capacity automatically lowers SNR. You should know that.

So, it's a balancing act, really, for pixel engineers.
A blanket statement like 'smaller pixels are always better' is just that - a blanket statement.
Some necessary small print needs to be added to discussion 8).

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 29, 2014, 09:45:36 PM »
Assuming equivalent or better sensor technology, more pixels is never bad.

You mean assuming better technology only.
For equivalent technology, this works only up to a point - at least for front-illuminated sensors.

In a front-illuminated sensor, the photodiode of a pixel is located at the bottom of a well, basically (see the left diagram):

The well is formed by the layers of metal wiring above the photodiode.

As pixels shrink, this well becomes narrower and narrower.
At some point, the well becomes so narrow that the micro-lenses on top can no longer focus the light on the photodiode.
This leads to light losses - and the resulting image quality degradation.

Thus, to further shrink the pixels, you need to switch to a finer CMOS process (or maybe BSI).

The likely reason that the 5DIII has 'only' 22mp is not because Canon no longer believes in megapixels (they do).
Rather, Canon appears to have hit the shrinking limit of their 500nm CMOS process, on which the 5DIII sensor is made.

The 70D is likely made on a finer CMOS process (180nm?), though, as I can't imagine that they've
been able to stretch their 500nm process to make the 20mp/dual-pixel sensor of the 70D.

So, smaller pixels are indeed generally better.
It's not a free ride, though; there limits as to how much you can shrink with a given technology.
Beyond that, you need to change your technology - or image quality degrades with smaller pixels.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:06:38 PM »
I still say it's possible that it's the 70D sensor and new technology (better performance) at the same time.  This is because it's possible that DIGIC 6 will reduce read noise from the same sensor compared to DIGIC 5+ in the 70D.

The ISO range is reportedly the same as on the 70D, which doesn't bode well.
I really hope that I'm wrong, though :(.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:35:36 PM »
As a 70D owner, I'm very interested in the 7DII, as I'm hoping for better image quality.
But if the 7DII has the 70D sensor, I won't be buying it (at least until it gets heavily discounted).

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:31:00 PM »
Definitely an indication of pent-up demand..... I wonder how many will purchase one?

The 7D has had a unique value proposition of having advanced specs at an affordable price.
And now that a refresh is coming, there's naturally a lot of interest in its successor.

The thing is, many tried the original 7D but weren't impressed by its image quality.
The hope is that the 7DII will address that.

If the currently rumored specs are real, though, the 7DII will have the 70D sensor.
So, not much of an improvement in image quality.

Thus, the big interest in the 7DII might not translate into big sales.

Canon supposedly knows their business.
But they will be missing a golden opportunity, IMO, if they don't put a better sensor in the 7DII.
A certain group of users are reluctant to move to FF - and yet, wold appreciate better image quality.

As a 70D owner, I'm very interested in the 7DII. So, I'm (actively) contributing to the big interest in the 7DII.
I won't actually be buying one, though, if IQ is the same as the camera that I already have.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 24, 2014, 07:49:46 PM »

Let me also add, I'm not saying Canon's cameras are terrible. In fact, they're quite capable of getting good results. It's just that Canon no longer seems to care about having the best image quality (at least sub $6k) and being on the cutting edge in terms of features and sensor, and to me it's disappointing, regardless of sales figures, that other companies can offer overall better sensors AND better cameras, at a cheaper price.

If you want to measure "better" by sales figures, go ahead but I'm just talking about my subjective views of "better."

My sentiments exactly!

EOS Bodies / Re: Update on the EOS 7D Mark II Spec List
« on: August 24, 2014, 01:57:00 PM »
Here are the numbers (scroll down to the second table):

Two years old... Srsly where do you people get that fact that they don´t use 180nm or even smaller tech for new sensors? I see no hint of this or opposite....

The 1DX, 5DIII, and 6D are all made on old 500nm CMOS process - whether you like it or not.

The only newer sensor than that is the 70D sensor.
There's no publicly available info on which process it is using.
It's possible that it's made on 180nm process, considering the dual-pixel tech.
This has not been confirmed, though.

On the other hand, even the 70D is using off-sensor A/D conversion - like all other Canon sensors.
This is visible with the naked eye if you look at the 70D main circuit board.
It also explains the typical low DR score on DxO.

When Canon announces a 4K/60fps video sensor (either in a DSLR or in a Cinema camera),
this will be a sure sigh that they have moved to on-sensor ADC and newer manufacturing process.
This is when Canon's DR scores will shoot up to match/exceed the competition.

Until then, Canon will continue lagging behind Sony and Nikon in DR.
Deal with it  8).

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 24, 2014, 03:47:30 AM »

It is the ONLY relevant number. The definition of DR is not up for debate.

How hard you can push shadows due to noise (i.e. grain) is LATITUDE.

Look, man, call it anything you want. Here's the deal, though:

FF cameras have less noise than crop cameras. No one argues about that.
With ... ahem ... LATITUDE, it's the exact same thing: you have less noise in the shadows.

But in both cases, it's all about having less noise.

And it's very silly to argue that with some extra noise reduction, things get equalized. No, they don't.
By the same token, you can clean up an image from a crop camera and proclaim that crop is better than FF.
Would anyone take you seriously if you do that?

So, why are you doing it for DR ??

Having more DR (what you call latitude) gives you images with cleaner shadows - just like a FF camera gives you cleaner images overall.
And having cleaner shadows/images is a clear advantage. Why are you downplaying it?
What you are doing is the same as downplaying the noise advantage of FF vs crop.

It seems to me that you just can't accept that Canon, your home team, is not winning in this particular instance.

EOS Bodies / Re: Update on the EOS 7D Mark II Spec List
« on: August 24, 2014, 02:17:41 AM »
Really, though - How'd you find yourself (jrista and whomever else) so informed about the sensor tech and fabrication processes of the different manufacturers?

Don and Jrista are right.
For their FF sensors in particular, Canon is still using an old manufacturing process.
See the link that I posted above.

EOS Bodies / Re: Update on the EOS 7D Mark II Spec List
« on: August 24, 2014, 02:02:33 AM »
Ha, cheers, Don! I'm feeling thoroughly educated now ;)
Really, though - How'd you find yourself (jrista and whomever else) so informed about the sensor tech and fabrication processes of the different manufacturers? I hear people mention it on these forums all the time but is it as simple as just being in spec sheets somewhere and coming to conclude that the numbers in Panasonic's data are smaller?...
Seriously though, Canon is using old tech for their APS-C and FF sensors. I don't have the numbers in front of me ...

Here are the numbers (scroll down to the second table):

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:20:43 PM »
Are there really that many indie movie makers that are shooting in 4K nowadays or is this just all baloney?

4K is the future-proof format. That's why it's important even now, when 4K TVs are still not the norm.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:43:48 AM »
it´s still just guesswork.

... but based on years of experience  8).

No point to argue here, as it's really guesswork on my part.
But you will be disappointed if you expect better IQ than the 70D.
Like I said, trust me on that ;).

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