Camera image quality survey

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Sharon Wang, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Sharon Wang

    Sharon Wang Guest

    Hello all,

    I am interested in finding out about camera image quality and whether
    it is *the most* important factor in buying/choosing a camera. I found
    a few surveys out there that had image resolution but not image
    quality in general. The issue is that higher image resolution does
    not always equal to better/higher image quality.

    So I have decided to hold a short survey at this link

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/59PQGTJ

    This is not a spam or advertising. If anyone could please spare 2 mins
    to do it, I'd be most grateful. I'll also post the results here for
    everyone to see when it is finished

    Thank you so much in advanced!

    Kind Regards,

    Sharon
     
    Sharon Wang, Dec 27, 2011
    #1
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  2. Sharon Wang

    BobS Guest

    SPAM
     
    BobS, Dec 28, 2011
    #2
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  3. Sharon Wang

    David Kerber Guest

    >,
    says...
    Image quality is driven primarily by the lens, not the camera body.
     
    David Kerber, Dec 28, 2011
    #3
  4. Sharon Wang

    Robert Coe Guest

    : >,
    : says...
    : >
    : > Hello all,
    : >
    : > I am interested in finding out about camera image quality and whether
    : > it is *the most* important factor in buying/choosing a camera. I found
    : > a few surveys out there that had image resolution but not image
    : > quality in general. The issue is that higher image resolution does
    : > not always equal to better/higher image quality.
    :
    : Image quality is driven primarily by the lens, not the camera body.

    Debatable, but the operative point is that perception of image quality is
    highly subjective. That and the fact that a survey conducted as proposed will
    be extremely unscientific, make any result meaningless.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Dec 28, 2011
    #4
  5. Quite.

    Surveys can also be badly formed and created simply as PR fodder to boost
    polls or manufacture headlines. Results can also be withheld until you get
    the outcome you're looking for, and so forth.

    I never do surveys nor do I own a store card because I know the value of my
    data and privacy. It's much now what with data being bought and sold, and
    datamining combining multiple datasets. Have to draw the line somewhere.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Dec 28, 2011
    #5
  6. Sharon Wang

    Sharon Wang Guest

    Those are possible but this survey is not for PR or manufacturing
    headlines etc.
    I will post the results here once completed so nothing is sold and no
    identifiable private information is revealed

    I am only trying to get an idea about what people think when getting a
    camera and feel
    that there isnt (to what I've found so far) a survey that looks at
    image quality in cameras in general. The ones I have found
    have been looking at "Image resolution" instead of image quality.
    Image resolution is one factor that affects image quality.

    I know this is not professional as I am only trying to get an
    indicative idea with sufficient numbers

    In regards to "Image Quality being primarily driven by the lens not
    the body" .....
    The lens is one of the first and important part to forming a good
    picture but there are other factors such as, for example,
    the type/level of compression used in the camera.
     
    Sharon Wang, Dec 28, 2011
    #6
  7. Sharon Wang

    Savageduck Guest

    ....and that is irrelevant if you are shooting RAW.
     
    Savageduck, Dec 29, 2011
    #7
  8. Sharon Wang

    David Guest

    Not quite. It will also depend on capture sensor size/quality/type as
    well as, in some cases, whether a different colour filter array is
    used. The list can probably keep going on and on. I was using
    compression as an example. RAW has its ups and downs...with the downs
    being that it is inherently large and difficult to share. A raw is
    generally a dumped output of the sensor, which has to be decoded and
    demosaiced. The demosaicing algorithm used will affect the picture
    quality.
     
    David, Dec 29, 2011
    #8
  9. Sharon Wang

    Savageduck Guest

    it will always depend on the lens/sensor combination, but once you
    start talking about file compression and jpeg processing you are in a
    different realm and you have made a choice to work with a lossy file
    format. That is a compromise of convenience.

    "Downs"!
    Who cares about sharing straight out of the camera, or if a RAW file is large?
    Personally I choose to shoot RAW and share images I have processed and
    saved as jpegs and/or prints.

    ....aqnd as you have alluded to, no all lens/sensor systems are equal,
    neither are the results produced by various in camera processing. So I
    remain with RAW shooting, unless there is a particular occasion when
    those who want instant gratification and are somewhat less judgmental,
    then I will shoot RAW+JPEG and end up with even larger files.
     
    Savageduck, Dec 29, 2011
    #9
  10. Sharon Wang

    Pete A Guest

    Very rarely. The limited 2 megapixel resolution of HDTV and monitors
    does not prevent them from displaying stunning images.
    Really? I was under the impression that knowledge of what makes a good
    picture is far more important than the imaging quality of the equipment.

    The lens will impart its own characteristics to the image. However, the
    laws of physics dictate certain trade-offs e.g. a lens designed for
    ultimate sharpness will have sub-optimal bokeh and vice versa. Which
    design has the highest image quality?
    Overall image quality is application dependent therefore it cannot have
    an across the board absolute value, relative figure of merit, or a set
    list of significant factors that influence it.

    If I wanted a cheap camera just for producing Web thumbnail images then
    lens barrel/pincushion distortion would be my main concern; the quality
    of JPEG compression and lens sharpness would be irrelevant.

    These are thought-provoking:

    <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/quality-vs-value.shtml>

    <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml>
     
    Pete A, Dec 29, 2011
    #10
  11. Sharon Wang

    PeterN Guest

    You disappointed me. I was hoping you were going to say that image
    quality depends upon the artistic ability of the photographer. But, like
    too many others, you fell into the technical trap.
     
    PeterN, Dec 29, 2011
    #11
  12. Sharon Wang

    Pete A Guest

    Nope! Read again my paragraph starting "Really? I was under the
    impression ..." I worded it to cause a few wry smiles.
     
    Pete A, Dec 29, 2011
    #12
  13. Sharon Wang

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 12/29/2011 6:09 AM, Pete A wrote:
    : > On 2011-12-28 22:58:14 +0000, Sharon Wang said:
    : >
    : >> On Dec 29, 4:47 am, "Charles E. Hardwidge" <>
    : >> wrote:
    : >>>
    : >>> : >>>
    : >>>> Debatable, but the operative point is that perception of image
    : >>>> quality is
    : >>>> highly subjective. That and the fact that a survey conducted as
    : >>>> proposed
    : >>>> will be extremely unscientific, make any result meaningless.
    : >>>
    : >>> Quite.
    : >>>
    : >>> Surveys can also be badly formed and created simply as PR fodder to
    : >>> boost
    : >>> polls or manufacture headlines. Results can also be withheld until
    : >>> you get
    : >>> the outcome you're looking for, and so forth.
    : >>>
    : >>> I never do surveys nor do I own a store card because I know the value
    : >>> of my
    : >>> data and privacy. It's much now what with data being bought and sold,
    : >>> and
    : >>> datamining combining multiple datasets. Have to draw the line somewhere.
    : >>>
    : >>> --
    : >>> Charles E. Hardwidge
    : >>
    : >> Those are possible but this survey is not for PR or manufacturing
    : >> headlines etc.
    : >> I will post the results here once completed so nothing is sold and no
    : >> identifiable private information is revealed
    : >>
    : >> I am only trying to get an idea about what people think when getting a
    : >> camera and feel
    : >> that there isnt (to what I've found so far) a survey that looks at
    : >> image quality in cameras in general. The ones I have found
    : >> have been looking at "Image resolution" instead of image quality.
    : >> Image resolution is one factor that affects image quality.
    : >
    : > Very rarely. The limited 2 megapixel resolution of HDTV and monitors
    : > does not prevent them from displaying stunning images.
    : >
    : >> I know this is not professional as I am only trying to get an
    : >> indicative idea with sufficient numbers
    : >>
    : >> In regards to "Image Quality being primarily driven by the lens not
    : >> the body" .....
    : >> The lens is one of the first and important part to forming a good
    : >> picture
    : >
    : > Really? I was under the impression that knowledge of what makes a good
    : > picture is far more important than the imaging quality of the equipment.
    : >
    : > The lens will impart its own characteristics to the image. However, the
    : > laws of physics dictate certain trade-offs e.g. a lens designed for
    : > ultimate sharpness will have sub-optimal bokeh and vice versa. Which
    : > design has the highest image quality?
    : >
    : >> but there are other factors such as, for example,
    : >> the type/level of compression used in the camera.
    : >
    : > Overall image quality is application dependent therefore it cannot have
    : > an across the board absolute value, relative figure of merit, or a set
    : > list of significant factors that influence it.
    : >
    : > If I wanted a cheap camera just for producing Web thumbnail images then
    : > lens barrel/pincushion distortion would be my main concern; the quality
    : > of JPEG compression and lens sharpness would be irrelevant.
    : >
    : > These are thought-provoking:
    : >
    : > <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/quality-vs-value.shtml>
    : >
    : > <http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml>
    : >
    :
    : You disappointed me. I was hoping you were going to say that image
    : quality depends upon the artistic ability of the photographer. But, like
    : too many others, you fell into the technical trap.

    I'd say you fell into the trap of comparing apples and oranges. The artistic
    ability of the photographer is what it is, at least at any given time. In
    comparing image quality, one tries to judge what equipment will show that
    ability to best advantage. Ability itself is involved in that calculation only
    to the extent that better equipment does more for a better photographer. At
    least that's how I see it.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Dec 29, 2011
    #13
  14. I drafted a few comments but it all got a bit long. The shortest comment I
    can think of is if the film or sensor is good enough for the print or
    screen, and the camera is a functional box, I'd run with what my mother said
    and get one with a good lens.

    Cameras and the people using them have sweetspots and where they overlap is
    where the action happens. My Canon G9 is less than perfect in a number of
    ways and I'm not the world's greatest photographer so that's two small
    sweetspots. It's adequate for the screen or a medium sized print aimed at a
    general audience.

    Besides a better quality sensor (and more resolution *if* I was doing large
    prints which is extremely unlikely) and a lens with less chromatic
    aberration and more micro-contrast would be nice. CA can (mostly) be removed
    in post and the clarity amped up but it's not Leica M9 & Summicron 50mm
    perfect.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Dec 29, 2011
    #14
  15. Sharon Wang

    Pete A Guest

    Here's how I see it - for the purpose of discussion, not for argument...

    In situations where a director determines the artistic content of a
    work, the photographer/videographer needs a great deal of technical
    knowledge regarding suitable equipment for the project. Neither role
    requires an in-depth understanding of the other to make the work a
    success, but one role used by itself is unlikely to get very far. Just
    as one would not expect talented musicians to be successful in selling
    recordings without the assistance of a skilled recording engineer, and
    vice versa.

    Better equipment gives the _opportunity_ for dual role players
    (stand-alone artists) to expand into new areas and/or to specialize in
    specific areas. One of the most common traps, heavily relied on by
    marketing departments, is that owing better/newer/more equipment
    increases one's ability and status.

    As to Sharon's survey, it's all to easy to second-guess such things as:

    "Image quality cannot possibly have any real meaning to those in the
    market for a sub $100 camera."

    "Those who spend over $1000 must already have a basic knowledge of art."

    Only a carefully controlled market survey could delineate fact and
    supposition. As Charles has intimated, the results of a survey are
    heavily influenced by its objective(s) and by its design.

    I am unable to complete Sharon's survey form because (thankfully) it
    has made me question my own purchasing decisions and priorities, which
    were perhaps too heavily influenced by attempting to increase the
    breadth of my work instead of its depth. "Jack of all trades, master of
    none" syndrome, meaning "Praised by many in preference to being 'wowed'
    by a few" - the age-old logical fallacy trap of relying on "social
    proof" to determine one's self-worth and sense of direction.
     
    Pete A, Dec 29, 2011
    #15
  16. Sharon Wang

    Chemiker Guest

    All this seems to be predicated on digital imaging. Yet, much of what
    we see is not only tweaked in camera, but subjecct to Post. So I guess
    I don't see the point. Since there are so many contributary variables,
    I don't see what useful conclusions can be drawn.

    If I shoot in 6x7, on Velvia, then scan, and then post process: Upon
    what shall I base my image quality?

    Size of original image?
    Emulsion type in the film?
    Scanning quality?
    Postprocessing?

    Seems camera body (RB67) got lost in the shuffle.

    Alex
     
    Chemiker, Dec 31, 2011
    #16
  17. Sharon Wang

    Sharon Wang Guest

    Hello again,

    Hope everyone had a good new year break!

    Just reached 100 responses for the survey. Thanks to everyone here.

    Here are the results attached as an Excel file.

    In summary, the results so far rank the following characteristics in
    the order of importance (taken from the average rating of each
    characteristic)

    characteristic : average rating
    1) Higher/Better image quality: 1.65
    2) Better/more controls in manual mode : 3.33
    3) Pricing: 3.57
    4) Robustness: 3.86
    5) Size/Weight: 4.23
    6) Higher Optical Zoom: 4.36

    The other result summary are attached to this post.
    I'll continue to keep an eye on the results...feel free to let us all
    know of any comments/suggestions.

    Here is the link to the rest of the results:

    www.megaupload.com/?d=ROHL5JXN
     
    Sharon Wang, Jan 4, 2012
    #17
  18. Sharon Wang

    Sharon Wang Guest

    Sorry changed the format, it is in PDF not Excel.
     
    Sharon Wang, Jan 4, 2012
    #18
  19. Sharon Wang

    Pete A Guest

    I hope you did too.
    You may hate me for saying this: if you have 100 responses then your
    results cannot be precise to more than two significant figures or an
    integer percentage value. Don't we just love Excel :)
    Many thanks for conducting the survey and sharing the results. I would
    have guessed at a totally different ranking.
     
    Pete A, Jan 4, 2012
    #19
  20. Sharon Wang

    Sharon Wang Guest

    Hi Pete,

    No disappointment or hate :).

    Just smiling at your reply and that someone
    had actually looked at the results.

    It'll be good to hear more responses/feedback!
     
    Sharon Wang, Jan 5, 2012
    #20
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