Is 6MP of P&S same as 6MP of DSLR?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by kenneth.oskouian, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. I recently upgraded from 4 to 6MP and still didn't see the sharpness I
    was expecting (my comparison reference is my Nikon film SLR with
    Nikkor 24-120 Zoom) .
    The guy in the camera store told me that is because the sensor in a
    P&S is much smaller than a DSLR.
    Differences in lens quality aside, does it really make any difference
    to shoot with a DSLR vs. a P&S?
    kenneth.oskouian, Feb 10, 2007
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  2. kenneth.oskouian

    ray Guest

    I would tend to think it depends a little. If you're comparing your P&S
    jpeg picture with a raw photo from a dslr which has been tenderly
    manipulated to bring out the best, then there would probably be a
    significant difference. If both cameras shoot a jpeg with comparable
    compression, I expect to see little difference.
    ray, Feb 10, 2007
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  3. kenneth.oskouian

    Scott W Guest

    I have both a 8 MP point and shoot, a Sony F828, and a couple of 8 MP
    DSLRs, the DSLRs are
    noticeably sharper. I would say that F828 with its 8 MP might be
    about as sharp as a 6 MP DSLR.

    You can compare for yourself at this site

    Scott W, Feb 10, 2007
  4. kenneth.oskouian

    babaloo Guest

    Technically the data coming off the larger dSLR should be better, all things
    being equal, because of the superior lens and sensor.
    However the digital world is based on the end result, output more than
    Depending on processing the images from even your 4mp P&S might look better
    than images obtained with a dSLR under identical circumstances.
    Wondous things can be done with Photoshop: distortion correcting and
    sharpening filters, used properly, can rock your lifetime attitude toward
    absolute concepts of camera and lens quality. It astounds me how many people
    just don't get that idea.
    babaloo, Feb 10, 2007
  5. kenneth.oskouian

    Joel Guest

    I don't think RAW does much of the magical but some advantage of more room
    to control the explosure, and little extra advantage because it has very
    basic processed. And RAW or COOK also depend on the software as they
    usually don't give the exact result.

    And with retoucher RAW isn't the end, and RAW still can do what JPG (or
    TIF if you prefer TIF) has to offer. What I mean that RAW is very limited
    or can do so much (just some basic adjusting color, temprature, white
    balance, contrast etc..) other than that RAW has nothing to sing about. Yes,
    I do use RAW but with important photos then they have to be fine tuning with
    Photoshop before collecting $$$$$
    Joel, Feb 10, 2007
  6. kenneth.oskouian

    Joel Guest

    Photo taken with P&S usually look better than the one taken with DSLR. And
    the image quality of DSLR also depend on the quality of lens (it can make a
    big difference), setting (this one also can make a world difference), and
    lighting etc.. And DSLR usually capture much more detail than P&S

    So, if you really want to explore the world of post processing then you
    may want to go for DSLR. Or you may just google for some original hi-rez
    image taken by some hi-end DSLR so you can see for yourself.
    Joel, Feb 10, 2007
  7. kenneth.oskouian

    Paul Furman Guest

    Here's a comparison of detail in a 10MP P&S to an 8MP dSLR:
    Stand back from your monitor 20 feet & the P&S looks better.
    Paul Furman, Feb 10, 2007
  8. kenneth.oskouian

    ray Guest

    Of course, raw is not the end all and be all; but raw IS losless - jpeg is
    not. Many cameras have 'overzealous' jpeg compression even at their fine
    setting. Tiff, of course, is also lossless. If you lose detail, then the
    result is not as good as it could be - that is my point.
    ray, Feb 11, 2007
  9. kenneth.oskouian

    Wilba Guest

    Another perspective - what I miss with my Olympus C-770, compared to my
    ancient film SLR with a few cheap lenses, is the range of possibilities.
    Shutter speed: 1/1000th-15s (1/1000-1s in auto modes) vs 1/2000th-B,
    aperture: f2.8-f8.0 vs f1.7-f22, film speed: 64-400 vs 12-1600, and focal
    length: 38-380 equivalent vs 28-600 (and the ability to multiply with a

    I often find myself wanting a tighter aperture, a lower film speed, or a
    longer exposure for instance, but the camera won't allow me to do it. So the
    choice might be more about having a camera that you can take with you
    everywhere, or a camera that will allow you to get more adventurous.
    Wilba, Feb 11, 2007
  10. kenneth.oskouian

    Cats Guest

    The other thing about shooting RAW is that one then gets control over
    the sharpening, which is where quite a few cameras come unstuck when
    saving JPGs.
    Cats, Feb 11, 2007
  11. kenneth.oskouian


    Jan 23, 2007
    Likes Received:
    A P&S sensor IS much smaller than a dSLR sensor. This means the pixels are smaller and less light per area reaches the pixel. A P&S will have to use a higher ISO (assuming the aperture and shutter speed are the same) than a dSLR, thus creating more noise.

    Sharpness is usually a result of the optics being used. A P&S will have much lower quality glass than a dSLR (generally speaking).
    auer1816, Feb 11, 2007
  12. kenneth.oskouian

    Gerald Place Guest

    Bear in mind that a 6MP camera will still only produce a comparable final
    print of 6"x 8" printing at 300dpi. A 50 asa transparency film in an SLR
    will produce resolution way above that. It's a fact of life I'm afraid. TRy
    photograohing the branches of a tree with both cameras and compare the
    results. Beware, though: you are tempted on a computer to examine fine
    detail that you would only do on a print with a mgnifying glass, so make
    sutre you are really comparing size-for-size!

    Gerald Place, Feb 12, 2007
  13. Differences in lens quality aside, does it really make any difference
    Well, I'm not sure we can leave lens quality out of it in fact... the small
    image from the small P&S sensor has to be magnified way, way more than the
    35mm film image from an SLR for similar output print size. That means that
    the P&S lens has to be all that much sharper than the DSLR lens to produce
    similar results. True, it _is_ easier to make a good P&S lens than to make
    an equally good DSLR lens but I'm not sure it is enough to make up for this
    buillt-in disadvantage.
    Ståle Sannerud, Feb 12, 2007
  14. kenneth.oskouian

    Chris Down Guest

    I have read a number of replies on this topic and I think they all miss the
    point. I am assuming that what the OP is asking has nothing to do with
    graphics file sharpening in Photoshop or in the camera. What he really
    wants to know is what aside from lens quality influences the "quality " of
    the final shot.

    I firmly believe that the quality of the lens is the single biggest deciding
    factor, but if we are discounting that then is is sensor quality that counts
    for most. That there is variation is seems to come as a shock to a lot of
    people. Cast your mind back to the days when we all shot with film and
    consider the difference between a Wal-Mart "own brand" film made by
    God-knows-who in China and say Fuji Velvia, every serious photographer could
    understand why you bought the better more expensive film. Comparing mere
    MP count is like comparing only the ISO of films and ignoring the quality,
    with digital you decide on the quality when you buy the camera.

    The number of pixels really is not an issue at all.. If you take say a
    Canon 300D DSLR and a Canon 5D DSLR , the 5D has more pixels, but the 1.6
    crop factor means the 300D has more pixels per inch. Results with a given
    lens are much the same. As these are both Canon DSLRs the quality of the
    pixels is pretty much the same.

    There are some issues with the processing of the RAW data to JPEG within the
    cameras, even P&S cameras have RAW data they just lack the option to save
    it. My wife's P&S Canon IXUS (6MP) certainly compresses JPG more in fine
    mode than my Canon 300D (6.3MP) but only by a very small amount, about 10%
    smaller average file size not enough explain differences in the finished
    results. There is a huge difference in the quality of the photos, partly
    due sensor size and quality, but overwhelmingly because of the better

    Chris Down, Feb 12, 2007
  15. kenneth.oskouian

    Joel Guest

    Actually it seems like you are the one missing the point, because
    Sharpness and Sharpen are 2 different beasts, or a huge difference/gap
    between them.

    - Sharpness is the image quality of the whole image

    - Sharpen is no more then darken some pixel to show the edge, or to separate
    between the lighter and darker pixels.

    And lens and the setting play a big part of sharpness. And if you do post
    processing in small detail then you will find that sharpness plays a very
    important role in post processing.
    Joel, Feb 12, 2007
  16. kenneth.oskouian

    Joel Guest

    Unless you keep re-saving the same file over and over and over then may be
    TIFF is a better choice, or if you only save it 1-2 times especially hi-rez
    image then the little difference won't be noticeable (even zoom in hundreds
    of times to see few hundreds of thousands pixels slightly change). So tome
    the jumbo size of TIFF gives very small to non benefit won't worth my time
    (even DVD is so cheap these days).

    IOW, why not try to resave a hi-rez JPEG using hi-end program like
    Photoshop or similar (at highest quality), just resave it several times or
    dozen times then zoom in until you can see pixels display as large dots, and
    trying to see the difference.

    I tested this about 10 years ago on a small low-rez image, I resaved about
    dozen times and zoomed in I don't remember 500-700+ times (or thousand
    times) that I can see a veerrrry small dot of the image filled 1/2 of 10"
    montior (I had both original and the resaved displayed side-by-side) and I
    did see few dots with color changing. And it was more/less 10 years ago.
    Joel, Feb 12, 2007
  17. kenneth.oskouian

    Joel Guest

    No! sharpening is no more than darken some pixels, some time it makes the
    noise look even worse. And sharpen is one of the option I almost never
    use, but even soften (I sometime appy soften on female).

    Also, because not all RAW converters will give the same result, so if you
    are using RAW converter then you may want to shop around for the one that
    serves you the best. And be aware that some RAW converter may damage the
    output (not the RAW file itself as the modification won't change the
    original RAW), or some converter does better on some area but worse on
    other, and some converter may cause problem to some specific COLOR's.

    Well, I do use RAW but don't know much about RAW but whatever I can see
    with my own eyes, and I don't go by whatever the book may says but my own
    Joel, Feb 12, 2007
  18. thanks Chris, for the most accurate reply to my query.
    kenneth.oskouian, Feb 13, 2007
  19. kenneth.oskouian

    Surfer! Guest

    Que? Cameras do sharpening when they process images to save them as JPG
    and some of the algorithms used are too strong or just plain bad so the
    saved JPG has nasty artefacts before it goes anywhere near PS or other
    image editors. A camera with a good lens & sensor can have bad
    sharpening and vice versa.
    A good raw converter puts the power in the user's hands. My Fuji camera
    comes with a converter than simply turns it's RAF files into TIFFs and
    does a horrible job of it. Using PS I get the control back and if the
    result is horrid it's my fault, not Fujis.
    Surfer!, Feb 13, 2007
  20. kenneth.oskouian

    Chris Down Guest

    Actually it seems like you are the one missing the point, because
    Sharpness and Sharpen are 2 different beasts, or a huge difference/gap
    between them.

    - Sharpness is the image quality of the whole image

    - Sharpen is no more then darken some pixel to show the edge, or to separate
    between the lighter and darker pixels.

    And lens and the setting play a big part of sharpness. And if you do post
    processing in small detail then you will find that sharpness plays a very
    important role in post processing.

    I wasn't missing the point at all. I was merely explaining that I wasn't
    planning to give an answer that took into account sharpening in software,
    either in the camera or PC. The reason for this was that the sharpening
    used in camera software varies tremendously, and PC post processing is the
    same pricess whether the initial file was a DSLR JPEG or a P&S JPEG. I
    think perhaps the OP was a little ill advised to use the word "Sharpness",
    when what he probably meant was level of detail and "quality" of the
    Sharpen in software by edge darkening is simply an optical trick to give the
    impression of sharpness that was not present in the original data.
    It is worth mentioning that whatever camera you are planning to buy, if you
    plan to shoot JPEG not RAW, you should take sample shots on your own media
    and take them home too look at and print yourself. You need to be sure
    that the processing done in camera is to your taste and suits the subject
    matter you plan to shoot.

    A final note on DSLR v P&S. My wife and I frequently holiday with
    friends, everyone takes P&S cameras and most chuckle at me lugging my DSLR
    and lenses about all the time. When we get back everyone wants my photos
    and asks "why did yours come out so much better".... better lens, better
    metering, bigger sensor, more control over RAW to JPEG conversion, bigger
    brighter viewfinder, less camera shake.... All possible answers, but I tend
    to just put it down to talent. :)
    Chris Down, Feb 13, 2007
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