Digital cameras capture water (on image) poorly?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Mike Henley, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    I was just looking at a review of the Olympus E-1, a D-SLR. It is one
    of the first, if not the first, cameras to use the four thirds system
    developed by olympus, kodak and fujifilm. I think this system is meant
    to be like a next generation state of the art digital or something.
    Anyhow, I looked at some of the test images and it struck me how it
    seems digital cameras capture the image of water quite poorly. This is
    an impression that i had for some time and it doesn't seem the four
    thirds system is any better.

    I know it may not be fair to judge by a small image, but even a small
    scanned and compressed image from a film camera looks way better. The
    images i took with my minox a week or two ago look way way better.

    Look at these...

    I really can't say i'm impressed :-/
    Mike Henley, Jun 11, 2004
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  2. Hi Mike,

    I use a DSLR (S2) and I've shot dozens of similar images to the ones you
    used as an example. You can see heaps of water images at - Overall I'm stoked with how the DSLR captures water, I
    think to do it well, a couple of things bear consideration.

    The sample images you refer to, I'd say were shot in overcast conditions.
    Lens speed then becomes a bit more critical, it looks like those have been
    shot at around F8 - good Depth of Field, but when the skies are grey, a
    faster aperture is required.

    DSLR's do a great job, but any DSLR is only as good as the lens you fit to


    Surfworx Photography, Jun 11, 2004
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  3. Mike Henley

    Lourens Smak Guest

    go to:
    it's an image-website with E-1 pictures, many of which have water in
    I own the E-1 and it's an impressive piece of machinery. Especially the
    lenses are great. Build-quality and ergonomics of the E-1 are second to
    Not such nice pictures, but it's more of a light-problem than a
    camera-problem I think.

    Lourens Smak, Jun 11, 2004
  4. Yuck. A Flash animation intro, and the non-Flash version is a dead
    link. The images also come out small on my screen (postcard size on my
    21" flat Sony at 1600x1200) on a white background, which makes them
    look rather drab.
    And a bit of contrast stretch in Photoshop wouldn't hurt.

    Stephen H. Westin, Jun 11, 2004
  5. Mike Henley

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    The Fuji S2 however has a SuperCCD sensor, which records bright spots
    separately, thus improving highlight detail. The E-1 lacks SuperCCD.

    Highlight burnout is a big problem with digital sensors, and it appears
    that these images have been deliberately underexposed to preserve the
    highlights, making the remainder of the (non-white) water look murky.
    If you stretch contrast, it blows out the highlights, but many people
    may prefer an increased-contrast look.
    Bill Tuthill, Jun 11, 2004
  6. Nah, you're thinking of the SuperCCD SR, which the S2 doesn't have.
    "SuperCCD" basically means that the sensors are positioned in a
    different array configuration to get more resolution in certain
    cases. Only the SR, as in the Fuji S3, has dual photodiodes to allow
    recording at two different sensitivities.

    Actually, it all looks murky.
    but no more so than with film...
    Stephen H. Westin, Jun 11, 2004
  7. Mike Henley

    Sabineellen Guest

    The pictures i took a week or two ago with my tiny minox 35 of a lake captured
    the water on film, shadows and reflections on ripples and waves,quite
    Sabineellen, Jun 11, 2004
  8. That's great. And since this is a 35mm group, let's leave it at that.
    Stephen H. Westin, Jun 11, 2004
  9. Mike Henley

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Thanks for the correction.
    Most print film actually can record a huge amount of highlight detail,
    though it's usually only visible with a scanner, not in prints.
    Bill Tuthill, Jun 14, 2004
  10. Mike Henley

    Bob Hickey Guest

    Most print film actually can record a huge amount of highlight detail,
    take advantage of the wide range. Some of the Agfa papers come out really
    well. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Jun 14, 2004
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