October 20, 2014, 10:56:24 PM

Author Topic: Canon falling behind in sensor performance  (Read 12764 times)

dilbert

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3086
    • View Profile
Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« on: March 21, 2011, 06:54:36 AM »
From DxO's conclusion on the 600D:
http://dxomark.com/index.php/Our-publications/DxOMark-reviews/Canon-EOS-600D-in-depth-review/Conclusion

"The new EOS 600D brings no improvement over the 550D other than a few features. The two sensors perform exactly the same, and show the same persistent noise problem in dark areas at low ISO speeds, preventing it from achieving good dynamic range metrics. By contrast, Sony’s new sensors have efficiently solved this issue, and it will be interesting to see how Nikon’s D5100 performs. Competition may be tough between Sony and Nikon, but Canon continues to lag behind them both."

Ouch!

Seems like Canon is asleep at the wheel...

canon rumors FORUM

Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« on: March 21, 2011, 06:54:36 AM »

EYEONE

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 09:10:23 AM »
DXO is a little too nit picky. Some sensors are better than others but at the end of the day in modern photography we're basically arguing about with Cheeta is faster. Bottom line is: Cheetas are really fast
Canon 5D Mark III w/BG-E11, Canon 7D w/BG-E7: EF 24-70mm f.2.8L, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, EF 40mm f2.8 Pancake STM, Speedlite 430EXII + 430EXI, Canon EOS 3

lol

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 505
    • View Profile
    • My dA
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 10:04:37 AM »
Given the 18MP sensor was first used in the 7D some year and half or so ago, it's still holding its own today. That does bring forward a further thought, what is the typical market lifespan for a sensor before they bring out a new one? Are we about to see a new sensor generation in the 7D2/70D/650D whichever comes first?
Canon 1D, 300D IR, 450D full spectrum, 600D, 5D2, 7D, EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L
EF-S 15-85, TS-E 24, MP-E 65, Zeiss 50/2 macro, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300/2.8 OS, Samyang 8mm fisheye

Lawliet

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 415
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 10:38:13 AM »
Afaik the last time a camera shared the sensor with it predecessor was the 20D/30D. And Canon had a clear advantage in the noise department back then. :)
I'd be surprised if the next cycle doesn't get a updated sensor/readout circuit.

kubelik

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
    • a teatray in the sky
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 10:50:21 AM »
with the number of camera types canon is producing concurrently, its to be expected that they would utilize the same sensor across multiple bodies, and try to get as much out of the sensor as they could.

part of the feeling that canon isn't pushing their sensor tech as much as before is that sensor technology has reached somewhat of a plateau where you are not going to be able to simultaneously ratchet up image quality and pixel count, as was the case for the previous decade.

I dislike DxO testing because it exaggerates what in reality is very minor differences in actual capability; however, a number of people have noted that the new Nikon sensor in the D7000 has significantly improved noise characteristics and color integrity at the bottom of its dynamic range.  I think canon will come back and work on image quality more for the next round of sensors.

I remember when the 5DII came out and people moaned about banding at the bottom of the dynamic range; when canon came out with the 1DIV it was immediately clear that they had invested serious effort into producing far more even film-grain-like noise quality.

I have no doubt we'll be seeing some greatly improved sensors coming out over the next couple of years, both from canon and from its competitors.  which can only be a good thing for the industry.

gene_can_sing

  • Guest
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 04:07:44 PM »
I think Canon has been milking it for too long on the Digic 4. That sensor was awesome when it came out in 2007. But that was 4 years ago. They need to release Digic 5, and it better be awesome for making people wait 4 years. Companies like Apple, Dell, Intel, etc... release a significantly improved processor every year, and it boggles my mind that Canon takes 4 years to update theirs. That is insane in this day and age where tech advances every day.

Even Panasonic with their GH2, updated their processor in 1 1/2 years. Even though the GH2 sucks for stills, for video it took a leap over the Canons.

I think for the stills guys, the processor updates are not that important, but for the video guys, we want more and better and soon.

Osiris30

  • Guest
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 04:39:47 PM »
I think Canon has been milking it for too long on the Digic 4. That sensor was awesome when it came out in 2007. But that was 4 years ago. They need to release Digic 5, and it better be awesome for making people wait 4 years. Companies like Apple, Dell, Intel, etc... release a significantly improved processor every year, and it boggles my mind that Canon takes 4 years to update theirs. That is insane in this day and age where tech advances every day.

Even Panasonic with their GH2, updated their processor in 1 1/2 years. Even though the GH2 sucks for stills, for video it took a leap over the Canons.

I think for the stills guys, the processor updates are not that important, but for the video guys, we want more and better and soon.

I *really* wish people who clearly don't understand the role processors play as it relates to noise wouldn't post such nonesense.  The noise on the Canon sensor has nothing to do with the Digic.  The Digic will only post process that noise away.. that's what is known as cooking the RAW.  Canon as a rule does not do any noise suppression on RAW data, hence the Digic is meaningless as it relates to noise.

Digics will *never* be more powerful than a full blown CPU/GPU in a modern computer, and even they can't process away the noise on the sensor to look like Sony's latest. 

Please stop suggesting that Digics have *anything* to do with noise in an image, especially when we're talking about RAW noise from DXO.  I'm not sure what you *think* these processors do, especially when shooting RAW, but I can tell you they pretty much stream bits from the sensor onto the storage card.  For RAW that's about it.  For JPEGs they must do much more work and the same is true for video, *that* is where a new Digic will have an impact.  But even a Digic 6 won't out process my PC, and it will never produce the quality I get from third party tools that take minutes to run noise routines.  Even with those tools my output isn't better than a D7000.

Canon's next sensors will just move the bar.  The same way their 18mp sensor moved the bar.  It's been a game of leap frog for a long time now and it amazes me how people lose sight of this.  Sony (not Nikon, not Pentax... SONY) made a great sensor this time around.  In fact the sensor race seems down to Sony and Canon right now (Nikon's inhouse APS-C sensor wasn't ready/good enough for the D7000).  I say *good for Sony*.  It will just push Canon forward.

There is no magic, no secret sauce when it comes to sensor performance.  Both these companies have access to the same academic research papers.  Both the companies have the resources to implement those technologies.  Both these companies have patent libraries so deep neither could possibly infringe on the other without a counter suit infringement being available.  In short; other than generational differences due to different release cycles expect similar levels of performance from similar generations of sensors.  In 1.5 years a new Canon sensor will be better than a 1.5 year old Sony sensor, I'd bet good money it.

All that said, the Digic has *nothing* to do with it.  Canon hasn't released a new Digic because they haven't needed it.  You will get a Digic V in the next FF cameras, but only because the MP count and video requirements need it.  Up until now it hasn't been needed and offered nothing had it been available (it won't improve video quality by itself, Canon's sensors can't read fast enough to read the entire sensor 60 times a second to downsample in post, hence the skip-line/skip-column approach).  Without a much faster set of readout circuitry there was/is no need for a new Digic.. period.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 04:39:47 PM »

motorhead

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 267
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 04:46:55 PM »
It's become almost a tradition for Canon to come to any party late. But that allows the company to get it right, so may not be a bad thing.

Yes, they have lost the megapixel race for the time being and I can well imagine Canon are shocked to realise it, but surely thats why the 32MP 1Ds mark4 was pulled, because (I hope) Canon are working on a different concept. Or they will be when Japan gets back to business as usual.

I cannot get excited about processor chip generations. The processor either does what it needs to do or does not. End of story. Whether thats a Digic 4 or 5 or 25 I'm not bothered.

EYEONE

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 07:01:58 PM »
Well I think DigicIV really shows it's power with the 1D Mark IV and 7D. The latter being able to push 18mp at 8 frames per second for 19 frames in RAW (Jpeg until you get bored). The only reason I can think of that Canon will be releasing DigicV is for the 28mp+ sensors coming. That's a lot of data to throw around.

I doubt Canon is as concerned about noise reduction done by the processor. They would instead work on making the sensors more efficient.
Canon 5D Mark III w/BG-E11, Canon 7D w/BG-E7: EF 24-70mm f.2.8L, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, EF 40mm f2.8 Pancake STM, Speedlite 430EXII + 430EXI, Canon EOS 3

Cornershot

  • Guest
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 07:30:32 PM »
Canon and Nikon will leap frog each other for eternity. Today is Nikon's day and tomorrow will be Canon, though you have to admire how well Nikon does for being so much smaller of a company.

Olly

  • Guest
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 12:19:47 PM »
I think Canon has been milking it for too long on the Digic 4...

They have. Why? Because Canon think image quality is sufficent. As simple as that. Developing a new DIGIC is expensive, improving the existing one is cheaper.

Some say DIGIC has nothing to do with noise. Take a look at what the team behind the DIGIC 4 has to say: http://www.canon.com/technology/interview/digic4/digic4_p1.html

Q; ..what, exactly, was the development theme for the DIGIC 4?
A: The key development challenge as far as image quality is concerned is eliminating that noise from the signal!

Q: So you were focusing on noise reduction. Could you be more specific?
A: There are a wide range of algorithms that can be used to achieve noise reduction. By putting these algorithms together in complex combinations, it is actually possible to reduce noise very effectively. By the time that DIGIC 4 was introduced, I believe that we had achieved the best possible results that we could have hoped for in terms of noise reduction.

Sony`s latest sensor is ahead of Canon`s DIGIC 4 in several areas. It could be we will see a new sensor from Canon this year but it is not given. Read the interview. The team is talking about future improvements to the DIGIC 4. Canon is making a lot of money these days. It could be we have to wait at least 2-3 years before we`ll see a new sensor. My guess is they will be adding new features to new cameras and we will be seeing only minor improvements in image quality.

CR Backup Admin

  • Administrator
  • 1D Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 01:03:48 PM »
Some say DIGIC has nothing to do with noise. Take a look at what the team behind the DIGIC 4 has to say: http://www.canon.com/technology/interview/digic4/digic4_p1.html


The Digic Noise Reduction applies to jpegs developed in camera, you get far better noise reduction by shooting RAW and letting your much more powerful personal computer apply noise reduction that is more sophisticated, well beyond anything that can currently be done in camera.

Modifications to the sensor noise is what we're after, programs like Lightroom or many other good ones can apply additional NR if needed.

EYEONE

  • Canon 7D MK II
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 01:44:29 PM »
I've never heard so much complaint about a product with no problems what so ever.

If no one new how long DigicIV had been used, no one would notice that image quality was lagging behind. Because image quality isn't lagging behind.

So, we're upset that Canon developed a great image processor and decided to use it to it's full potential?
Canon 5D Mark III w/BG-E11, Canon 7D w/BG-E7: EF 24-70mm f.2.8L, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, EF 40mm f2.8 Pancake STM, Speedlite 430EXII + 430EXI, Canon EOS 3

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 01:44:29 PM »

Olly

  • Guest
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 02:02:28 PM »
Some say DIGIC has nothing to do with noise. Take a look at what the team behind the DIGIC 4 has to say: http://www.canon.com/technology/interview/digic4/digic4_p1.html


The Digic Noise Reduction applies to jpegs developed in camera, you get far better noise reduction by shooting RAW and letting your much more powerful personal computer apply noise reduction that is more sophisticated, well beyond anything that can currently be done in camera.

Modifications to the sensor noise is what we're after, programs like Lightroom or many other good ones can apply additional NR if needed.

Hmm...I don`t understand what you are thinking about here. We are talking about sensor performance. JPEG is derived from the raw file. It does not matter how powerful computer and clever noise reduction software you have access to, you can`t eliminate read noise. Only the sensor can do that. Canon set a threshold with DIGIC 4. "The best we could achieve so far", according to the developer team. If you read the article the team leaders admit that more complex algorithms is needed to combat sensor noise ( read noise ) but that will lead to another problem, more processing power.

Sony has developed and implemented complex algorithms into their latest Exmor sensor. That is why they have lower read noise, which leads to better dynamic range and cleaner shadows.

I`m quite sure Canon can do this too. After all they are a technological giant. The question is if and when.

docsmith

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
    • View Profile
Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 02:59:54 PM »
It doesn't make sense to introduce a new, cutting edge sensor with your lower end camera.  The 7D is the top end APS-C camera body.  I would expect the next new "cutting edge" sensor to come out with the next 7D.  Canon would be foolish to introduce a Rebel that can take better pictures than the 7D and perhaps even rival the 5DII. 

Nope, 1D gets the good stuff, then the 5D, then the 7D, then the rebel series, not the other way around.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 02:59:54 PM »