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Author Topic: Canon falling behind in sensor performance  (Read 12402 times)

IWLP

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2011, 03:03:31 PM »

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.

DIGIC is the digital image processing system on board the camera, not the sensor itself.  The DIGIC processor takes the signal from the sensor, then processes it (imagine that), to output a file.

The idea of using RAW data is that you get the original, pixel-level data without additional processing.  Therefore, you theoretically are bypassing the DIGIC noise reduction, allowing you to use various PC-based noise mitigation solutions.
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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2011, 03:03:31 PM »

EYEONE

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 03:16:03 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.


I think you may be confusing sensors with the image processors. They are different things.
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dougkerr

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 03:32:22 PM »
Sony has developed and implemented complex algorithms into their latest Exmor sensor.

I'm not sure what kind of algorithms there are in sensors. Sensor systems, maybe.

Best regards,

Doug

Olly

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2011, 04:22:13 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.


I think you may be confusing sensors with the image processors. They are different things.


I am not confusing the sensor with the DIGIC 4. But they are linked together in a layer. And the separate layers work together.

Here is how it goes: Sensor -> ADC -> DIGIC 4 ->

My point is this: Canon claim that DIGIC 4 leads to lower noise. In order to get low noise images you need a good read-out system. Everything starts with the processor. But from there on we don`t really know exactly how Canon treat the data stream. We know that the ADC converts electrical signals from the sensor into digital signals. We know that DIGIC 4 processes the signal. According to Canon DIGIC 4 is capable of processing the signal very fast AND reduce noise. Read the article. It incorporates "noise reduction technology".

What is most important? The sensor? The processor (DIGIC 4) ? The ADC ? The complex algorithms? I don`t know, but I know they work together and I know that DIGIC 4 plays an important role in reducing noise and cleaning up the shadows. All this according to Canon.

The exact implementation is probably a well kept secret.

We are not only talking about JPEG`s here. We are also talking about raw files. They are processed too. It differs how much they are processed though. Some camera makers are cooking them as we know, but even Canon is "treating" them. But how much do they "treat" them and exactly where in the processing chain does it happen? They have not said.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 04:42:06 PM by Olly »

Olly

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2011, 04:35:20 PM »
Sony has developed and implemented complex algorithms into their latest Exmor sensor.

I'm not sure what kind of algorithms there are in sensors. Sensor systems, maybe.

Best regards,

Doug

I have "seen" a Doug at ProPhoto. He is a technical genious.

I like the word Sensor System. Even if DIGIC 4 has it`s unique role it is part of a integrated layered system working together.

If we are talking about noise reduction I think the algorithms are the vital reason why the Exmor sensor has so much lower read noise / better DR than Canon cameras. Are they implemented before or after the ADC? I don`t know.

match14

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2011, 05:12:42 PM »
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...


Do what I do and completly ignore everything from DxOMark.

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2011, 05:43:25 PM »
Canon and Nikon really are a horse a piece.  Each has their strengths and weaknesses, but they both have good SYSTEMS as a whole.

Sony could have the greatest sensors in the world, but they don't have lenses, they don't have flashes, and they don't have third party support.  In the current market, I could never recommend that someone buy a Sony dslr, no matter how good the sensor tests in DXO.

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2011, 05:43:25 PM »

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2011, 08:12:16 PM »
Canon and Nikon really are a horse a piece.  Each has their strengths and weaknesses, but they both have good SYSTEMS as a whole.

Sony could have the greatest sensors in the world, but they don't have lenses, they don't have flashes, and they don't have third party support.  In the current market, I could never recommend that someone buy a Sony dslr, no matter how good the sensor tests in DXO.

Actually, those Sony Zeiss lenses are excellent, as well as expensive, and the many Minolta lenses are excellent as well.  Sigma has been making compatible lenses, and Tamron just signed on.

While Sony is not ready for all the professionals, they are getting there amazingly fast, and their decision to keep the Minolta lens mount means plenty of low cost used lenses of high quality are available.

The main objection I have to Sony as a professional camera maker,  is Sony itself, and my concern that they may decide to drop out of the high end full frame market.  They are an electronics company, and I do not know just how dedicated they are to staying in the high end market.

Olly

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2011, 08:23:09 PM »
I think eventually Sony will drop full frame. I have been thinking about investing in the A900 for a while. Coupled with Zeiss lenses and in-body stabilisation it would be great. But after some research I too am having doubt about Sony`s committment to full frame.

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2011, 11:08:10 PM »
I've always been curious about DxOMark.  Given that the Sony sensor is used in the current top three rated APS-C cameras (the Pentax K-5, the D7000 and the Sony A580) and these get a significantly better mark than comparable Canon sensors, I always wondered if the difference is noticeable?  Has anyone actually compared the photos produced from any of these cameras out in the wild?  I'm happy with Canon image quality, so I'm really interested to hear how other manufacturers have improved on it.  A non-technical person like myself would normally assume that an "82" for the Pentax would be heads and shoulders above a "62" for the 1100D.  But does this actually mean anything in the real world?  Also, interestingly, the Pentax is rated similarily to many full frame sensors.  That can't be right, can it?  (I know there's more to a camera system than just the sensor, just asking for pure academic interest...)
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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2011, 01:01:17 AM »
Canon and Nikon really are a horse a piece.  Each has their strengths and weaknesses, but they both have good SYSTEMS as a whole.

Sony could have the greatest sensors in the world, but they don't have lenses, they don't have flashes, and they don't have third party support.  In the current market, I could never recommend that someone buy a Sony dslr, no matter how good the sensor tests in DXO.

OK, just browsed their more-fancy-than-functional website, there is more depth to their lineup than last time I looked; so I'll gladly eat crow on that one...

...still wouldn't buy one though.

Commitment to the market is a good point.  Sony has a long history of coming up with proprietary versions of standard technologies (DAT, Mini-disk, ATRAC, Memory Stick, HiFD, UMD, SACD, BETA, etc.); and dumping them when they don't take off as well as hoped.  They also have a recent incident of being hostile towards customers (rootkit fiasco).

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2011, 12:59:44 PM »
I've always been curious about DxOMark.  Given that the Sony sensor is used in the current top three rated APS-C cameras (the Pentax K-5, the D7000 and the Sony A580) and these get a significantly better mark than comparable Canon sensors, I always wondered if the difference is noticeable?  Has anyone actually compared the photos produced from any of these cameras out in the wild?  I'm happy with Canon image quality, so I'm really interested to hear how other manufacturers have improved on it.  A non-technical person like myself would normally assume that an "82" for the Pentax would be heads and shoulders above a "62" for the 1100D.  But does this actually mean anything in the real world?  Also, interestingly, the Pentax is rated similarily to many full frame sensors.  That can't be right, can it?  (I know there's more to a camera system than just the sensor, just asking for pure academic interest...)

The problem with DXO is to know how to interpret the numbers. You really have to read their definitions carefully to get it right. #62 vs #82 means nothing.

What distinguishes the Sony made sensor from current Canon sensors is exceptional dynamic range at low iso, and exceptional low noise in the shadows. Will it be noticeable? It depends on many factors. If can be very noticeable. It depends on the situation, the type of shooting and post processing you do. On the other hand you could be doing a type of shooting that give you no benefit of very high DR sensors.

Full frame cameras still win when you look at high iso performance. A signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) value of 30 is considered "excellent". The 5D Mark II has a SNR value very close to 30 at ISO 3200. The Nikon D7000 has the same value at ISO 1600. The 50D, 60D and 7D has a SNR value of 30 somewhere around ISO 1000.

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Re: Canon falling behind in sensor performance
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2011, 12:59:44 PM »