Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

    Gizmodo just posted a really good article that should be read by anyone before buying their next camera.

    Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

    Pretty much sums it up:

    But that's not entirely a bad thing. Our friend and badass war photographer Teru Kuwayama says that while "increasing megapixel counts are mostly just a pain in the ass, unless you happen to be in the hard drive or memory card business, skyrocketing ISOs on the other hand, are a quantum leap, opening up a time-space dimension that didn't exist for previous generations of photographers. I'd happily trade half the megapixels for twice the light sensitivity."


    LINKS

    * *


    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

    -Carlos A. Urbizo-


  • #2
    Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

    Fantastic, my current digital camera produces pictures very much like the image on the left. Very grainy and dark.


    POE2 Developer

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

      Yeah, I just got the Canon powershot sd780 IS. Used to have a Sony Cybershot something-something. The difference in photo-quality is literally as good as that picture!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

        High ISO ability on your Powershot probably isn't what's helping image quality, since it's got a really small sensor - and the ISO probably doesn't go up very high either. High ISO ability has to be coupled with a large sensor in order to be useful. Otherwise it will be far too noisy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

          Haha I know, just the picture quality difference is huge. I can manually set ISO to 1600 with other presets, or a special mode for 3200 ISO; no clue how that compares to DSLRs and whatnot. The technology change between about 3 years or so and the picture quality is very apparent though!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

            I'm not sure the technology has changed that much. The sensors work in the same exact way that the first digital camera sensors worked. The only real improvements have been in the manufacturing process - being able to stick more pixels in the same area. You've probably got a sharper lens, better noise, color, and sharpness processing, and higher resolution on your Canon, making your pictures come out much better than the Sony when you shrink the results. Image stabilization helps tremendously if you're not using a tripod. Try taking a pictures of something with a very good light source and a tripod with both cameras and blowing them up to 100% on your screen. I'm willing to bet that quality won't be too different. Anything past ISO 800 on your camera will probably be too noisy or soft in low light to be pleasing, depending on how Canon has programmed the noise reduction. With these compacts, you always want to take pictures on the lowest ISO setting available.

            Your 780 IS will be far inferior to DSLRs in low light situations. The reason is that a typical DSLR has a sensor that's got 10 times as much area as the sensor in your 780 IS - it's the reason why they cost so much more and have to be so much bigger, with much larger lenses a necessity! That means, roughly, 10 times as much light is hitting the sensor, and 10 times the light hitting each pixel, assuming the same number of pixels - you're going to have a much higher signal-to-noise ratio with the larger sensor. A higher ISO setting means that your sensor will be more sensitive to light. But on the flip side, it will also be more sensitive to noise. So you can ratchet up the ISO setting on a DSLR without your pictures coming out too noisy in low light. A small sensor with a lower signal-to-noise ratio is going to suffer too much noise at high ISO settings.

            Packing in more pixels on the same size sensor compounds the problem. For instance, given two sensors of the same size, one with twice as many pixels as the other, the former's pixels are going to be about half the size - and it's going to be noisier.

            In perfect conditions - bright light, tripod, subject not moving, etc... - however, your results with the 780IS at a reduced size will be pretty comparable to most entry level DSLRs. You just won't be able to get the shallow depth of field or perhaps the sharpness that a DSLR can get with good lenses. But that's still pretty excellent, considering an entry level DSLR is going to be at least 2.5 times the price of what you paid for your compact - and at least you can carry yours wherever.
            Last edited by sordavie; 02-14-2010, 04:41 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Giz Explains: Why ISO Is the New Megapixel

              Oh for a second there I thought the article was going to cover a switch from a positive format (such as JPEGs, TIFFs, etc) to a raw image format (.iso, .bz2, etc). I can't say I have any digital camera that produces images like the left one (unless it's on my cell phone).

              Sordavie's got it pretty covered with comparing regular PAS cameras with DSLRs. Which is why I hate shooting anything in low light with any of the PASs I have.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment

              Connect

              Collapse

              TeamSpeak 3 Server

              Collapse

              Advertisement

              Collapse

              Twitter Feed

              Collapse

              Working...
              X