Which Digital Cameras Use CMOS Sensors Instead of CCD's?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by N.E.1., Sep 21, 2003.

  1. N.E.1.

    N.E.1. Guest

    Hello everyone. I've owned about a half-dozen digital pocket cameras so I'm
    pretty familiar with the quality they output. I just got a Canon EOS 10D
    and the picture quality is SO FAR superior to all the others I've
    experienced that now I can't stand to use my digital pocket camera
    (currently a Pentax Optio S). I do miss the portability factor though, so I
    went and tested out Canon's newest high-end Point and Shoot camera, the 5MP
    G5 (figuring that if anything was going to come close in picture quality,
    that would be it). The pictures are noticeably better quality than my
    Pentax but still no where near as good as the 10D's. They both have Canon's
    new DIGIC processor so now I'm thinking that the true difference comes from
    the 10D having a CMOS sensor versus the CCD sensor used in virtually-all
    other cameras. Does anyone know of any Point and Shoot cameras that use a
    CMOS sensor instead of a CCD? Thanks for any and all replies.

    N.E.1., Sep 21, 2003
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  2. N.E.1.

    Aardvark Guest

    They both have Canon's
    Not really. It's the size of the sensor in this case. The Canon CMOS sensor
    is made for it's DSLRs, and they are bigger than those CCD ones in P&S. Not
    just bigger, but each pixel is also bigger. Pixels on P&S has valuable real
    estate taken up by shift registers, and this just don't exist on DSLR
    sensors, be it CCD or CMOS. Check out www.dpreview.com for a quick primer on
    CCD technologies.

    Anyway, bigger pixels means lower noise. That's why you can shoot a 10D or
    300D at ISO 800 and still get lower noise than a G5 at ISO 100. Conversely,
    smaller pixels give higher noise ( smaller sensor, or worse, increasing
    megapixel count without increase the overall sensor size), which explains
    the crap on your Optio.
    Aardvark, Sep 21, 2003
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  3. So the question becomes, are there any point and shoots, or more
    generally small cameras, with big sensors?

    My guess is that a big sensor needs a big lens (just because of the
    physics of light), so to get those noise-free photos you need a big lens
    and, so, a big camera.

    A separate question is, are there differences in noise among same-size
    sensors, and, a related question, have sensors of a given size and
    resolution been improving? For example, are the latest pocketable
    cameras less noisy than the pocketable cameras of a year ago?
    Constantinople, Sep 21, 2003
  4. N.E.1.

    Todd Walker Guest

    Yes, I think they are. I had a Canon G2 (which I NEVER should have
    sold,) and I just last week bought a G1 from Ebay for my wife. The G1
    has considerably more noise in the ISO 400 shots than the G2 did at the
    same speed.

    Todd Walker
    Canon 10D:
    My Digital Photography Weblog:
    Todd Walker, Sep 21, 2003
  5. N.E.1.

    Gavin Cato Guest

    The difference is the physical size of the sensor.

    i.e. even though my Nikon D1h is a CCD based camera, the sensor is
    relatively large and also has very good (lack of) noise qualities.

    Gavin Cato, Sep 21, 2003
  6. N.E.1.

    Basiltoo Guest

    Interestingly, the Oly mjuII compact 35mm camera has an excellent 35mm,
    f2.8 lens and is remarkably small.
    Basiltoo, Sep 21, 2003
  7. N.E.1.

    Mark B. Guest

    Not really, none that come close to the size of dSLR sensors.


    Mark B., Sep 21, 2003
  8. I have one of the tiny Olympus 35mm cameras, the stylus series. In fact,
    three people, seeing mine, decided to buy one for themselves.

    So why don't we have large-size sensors in small cameras, seeing as it's
    physically possible? I can only guess, but one possibility is that the lens
    quality of the stylus series, while good for a point and shoot, really does
    not match the quality of cameras with larger lenses. So the expense of a
    large sensor would be wasted (in the view of the manufacturers) on a small
    camera with a small lens.

    Just a guess.
    Constantinople, Sep 21, 2003
  9. N.E.1.

    RSD99 Guest

    Re: "...
    So why don't we have large-size sensors in small cameras,

    Because ... they cost MORE MONEY! You're talking about low-end consumer product cameras,
    for g***s' sake ...
    RSD99, Sep 21, 2003
  10. Would that say Nikon dslr's never could be as good as Canon dslr's since
    Nikon has decided to use smaller sensors than Canon use on EOS 1Ds, where
    Canon use a sensor the since of a 35 mm film? Nikon says the size of the
    sensor has nothing to do with the image quality.
    Thor Henning Wegener, Sep 21, 2003
  11. I'm asking why there aren't small cameras with large sensors. I am not
    asking why there aren't cheap cameras with large sensors.

    Small is not the same as cheap. Leica makes compact cameras.
    Constantinople, Sep 21, 2003
  12. I think it's economics. People are willing to pay $100 or $200 for a
    small cute film camera that operates fast and takes pretty sharp images,
    even if it has a fixed focal length lens. But anything with a
    full-frame sensor has got to cost $1000 or more because of the economics
    of sensor manufacturing, and few people are going to pay $1000+ for a
    small cute digital camera with a fixed focal length lens.

    If it's going to cost $300, it has to have a small sensor in addition to
    the fixed focal length lens (e.g. Canon A300). If it's going to have a
    full frame sensor, it will cost so much that it had better be a SLR or
    have a long fast zoom lens. Otherwise, (almost) nobody will buy it.

    Dave Martindale, Sep 22, 2003
  13. N.E.1.

    Jim Townsend Guest

    If people lined up to spend $4000 dollars for a full frame digital pocket
    camera, with the optics of a $500.00 rangefinder style pocket camera then we'd
    probably see lots of them.

    I'm sure the camera companies do market research.. That's probably why we
    don't see them. The bottom line is if an item is marketable, we'll see it..
    That in a nutshell is why we don't see small cameras with big sensors.

    Right now, the big sensors are just too expensive..

    BTW, Leica does make a digital camera.. They used a standard sized small
    sensor.. (4 megapixels).. The camera goes for $750.00

    They don't market large sensor digicams either..
    Jim Townsend, Sep 22, 2003
  14. N.E.1.

    Lyle Gordon Guest

    Just to point out the quality of the lens in a oly stylus epic (umju2) is
    very good but the pixel shadow or whatever you want to call it (the reason
    why there isnt a full frame digital leica M) provents a full frame portable
    Lyle Gordon, Sep 22, 2003
  15. SNIP

    That by itself is not true. However it doesn't mean that bigger is always
    *better* either. Bigger sensors *do* allow a larger photosite surface area,
    which helps to bring down noise, and there is room for more of them, which
    helps resolution.
    The supporting circuitry and firmware, in addition to the (layout of)
    controls, are also of importance.
    It will also allow less depth-of-field, thus adding a creative option for
    'focussing' attention on the main subject in a composition.

    Bart van der Wolf, Sep 22, 2003
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