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Beyond Megapixels - Part III

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the you-must-mean-gigapixels dept.

Media 231

TheTechLounge writes "Beyond Megapixels - Part I & Part II have both been posted here at Slashdot, and now it is my pleasure to bring to you Beyond Megapixels - Part III. This is the final part of this series of editorial articles examining current digital photography hardware. In this segment I will be focusing on function, filetypes, and features."

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231 comments

does anyone care? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440337)

no. fp.

Astroglide (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440338)

GNAA, where are you? I went to your headquarters in Montreal but all that I could find was an empty bottle (2 liter sized) of Astroglide. What must I do to show my love of the cock? Please help me, I am in hell without you!

Meow? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440341)

Meow meow Matt Bruce meow meow Henrietta Pussycat meow meow Presidents of the United States of America meow Kitty?

HOW DOES THIS BASH MICRO$LOTH OR WORSHIP APPLE? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440342)

in other words, WHO CARES?

Boy oh boy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440346)

I wish I were a subscriber so that I could have read thrilling articles like this one a couple hours early.

Seriously, has anyone actually read all three of these? One?

corepirate nazi puppet blog pushes censorship (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440347)

part doh

YRO: kode developed to counter robbIE's fauxking pateNTdead PostBlock censorship devise. (Score:mynuts won, not cooperative)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 15, @03:10PM (#9433204)
where did they ever get all those dialups?

more guys like this, a few less billyonerror/stock markup FraUD softwar gangster felons, & the wwworld would be a better place.

HELSINKI, Finland, June 13 - If Tim Berners-Lee had decided to patent his idea in 1989, the Internet would be a different place.

Instead, the World Wide Web became free to anyone who could make use of it. Many of the entrepreneurs and scientists who did use it became rich, among them Jeffrey P. Bezos ( Amazon.com), Jerry Yang ( Yahoo), Pierre Omidyar ( eBay) and Marc Andreessen (Netscape).

But not Mr. Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at a Geneva research laboratory at the time. That is why some people think it is fitting - or about time - that on Tuesday, Mr. Berners-Lee will finally be recognized, with the award of the world's largest technology prize, the Millennium Technology Prize from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation. The prize, valued at 1 million euros ($1.2 million) is supported by the Finnish government and private contributors.

The Internet has many fathers: Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, who came up with a system to let different computer networks interconnect and communicate; Ray Tomlinson, the creator of e-mail and the "@" symbol; Ted Nelson, who coined the term hypertext; and scores of others.

But only one person conceived of the World Wide Web (originally, Mr. Berners-Lee called it a "mesh" before changing it to a "web"). Before him, there were no "browsers," nothing known as "hypertext markup language," no "www" in any Internet address, no "U.R.L.'s," or uniform resource locators.

Because he and his colleague, Robert Cailliau, a Belgian, insisted on a license-free technology, today a Gateway computer with a Linux operating system and a browser made by Netscape can see the same Web page as any other personal computer, system software or Internet browser.

If his employer at the time, CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, had sought royalties, Mr. Berners-Lee said he thought the world would have 16 different "Webs" on the Internet today.

"Goodness knows, there were plenty of hypertext systems before that didn't interoperate," he said in an interview on Sunday as three days of award ceremonies began here.

"There would have been a CERN Web, a Microsoft one, there would have been a Digital one, Apple's HyperCard would have started reaching out Internet roots," he said. "And all of these things would have been incompatible."

Software patenting today, Mr. Berners-Lee said, has run amok. In April, Microsoft was awarded a United States patent for the use of short, long or double-clicks on the same button of a hand-held computer to start applications, according to a report earlier this month on eWeek.com. At the same time, Microsoft said last week that it was appealing a $521 million judgment - the second-biggest patent-infringement award - won by a Chicago company called Eolas Technologies over plug-in applications in Internet browsers.

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, we just don't care. if you want to whine, go get yOUR own fauxking corepirate nazi puppet blog.

My camera (1, Insightful)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440357)

I don't understand the whole hype about MEGApixXels.

I have a 2.0 megapixel camera. It was about 250 bucks when I purchased it.

It's an Olympus D-380 Digital Camera, it uses a (60?) meg flash memory card. Connects to the computer via USB to upload pics.

I've -never- seemed to need a new camera after this year of having owned it. Pictures are pretty clear, they're great for vacation, taking pictures of my latest case mod, pasting links of me almost naked on slashdot (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/18/15152 01&mode=nested&tid=133&tid=186&tid=214 )

Or just about anything else.

What's this growing need of a huge megepixel camera?

What? Do you enjoy being able to clearly see an ant from taking a picture with your camera 12 feet above an ant mound?

Re:My camera (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440377)

This article is just trollbait. Slashdot editors do this before they have an interesting story to 'feed the trolls' so to speak. Check the posts in the article at -1 and you'll see the feeding. Fairly predictable slashdot cycle. And I think this is a repeat anyways, just that just makes it easier for the editors.

Cheers

Re:My camera (2, Interesting)

slabbe (736852) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440380)

But the article adressed issues such as white balance, which often is of central importance, even with a 2.1 megapixel camera (unless you are shooting black&white).

Re:My camera (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440392)

It pretty simple. You and I and a huge percentage of the population probably don't need more than a 2 or 3 megapixel camera, but unless the companies can come up with something else to use as a marketing gimmick, they will be pushing the megapixels.

Re:My camera (2, Interesting)

weighn (578357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440435)

as with anything digital, the more data/info you can capture, the more you can do with it afterwards. Ramp up the megapixels, sample rate, clock rate, and so on.

Re:My camera (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440574)

Professionals need the high megapixel stuff. Suzy Shitforbrains doesn't need a 6 megapixel digital camera to take pictures of her cat to post on her web page or send to her friends and family.

Re:My camera (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440992)

Personally, I'd like an uber-camera that'd let me turn photos of buildings into texture sets.

It'd have a decent load of pixels, along with support for saving in a non-lossy format.

One Use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440399)

Aerial photography would be a good application, needs GOOD resolution, but the average consumer won't have access to aircraft.
Then again the average consumer buys a P4 3.4GHZ EE with FX5900 XT and 4GB of Ram to use type reports so... why the hell not,eh?

Re:My camera (1)

armacc (782729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440414)

I suggest that for Mr & Mrs Average anywhere around 2 or 3 mp is more than adequate.
However, if you decide that you want to have some of the images printed in large scale (10x8 or bigger) then those extra pixels will make a significant difference to the final print.

If you are using a digital camera for taking pictures to enter in competition then you can't have too many pixels.

Any pro photographers out there care to coment?

Re:My camera (5, Interesting)

Ripping Silk (582933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440417)

horses for courses. Glad to hear you camera is all you need.
But you may not be as happy to see that quality picture on a sports illustrated double spread for instance.
People still use film because there is still an issue with the merits of film/CCD/CMOS. Until film is well and truely surpassed by digital, expect to see the megapixels get.. uhhh . mega'rer.
I've recently got into SLR digital with a 10D. Along with that I got some 'L' series lenses, and I would expect my picture quality will steadily improve as the pixels go up. I'm looking forward to it.
What? Do you enjoy being able to clearly see an ant from taking a picture with your camera 12 feet above an ant mound?
Actually..... yes... :) (if we had ants that made mounds in NZ!!)

Re:My camera (4, Informative)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440698)

But you may not be as happy to see that quality picture on a sports illustrated double spread for instance.

Sports Illustrated accepts pictures from the Canon 1D (4MP) and the Nikon D1H (2.6MP). Nowadays its staff photographes are mostly using the Canon 1D-II (8MP).

But, the truth is, number of MP doesn't matter. What matters is the size of the photosites on the sensor. A digicam has little photosites 2x2 microns. To get a picture, you need high amplification, so you get noise in the shadows. You've got a cheap lens, so you get chromatic abberation in the highlights. On top of that, you get low overall contrast. A DSLR on the other hand has photosites 7x7 microns or 9x9 microns. No noise in the shadows at "low" ISOs (which are still higher than most digicams), no abberation in the highlights from those nice lenses, faithful colours overall.

I've recently got into SLR digital with a 10D. Along with that I got some 'L' series lenses

I've a D30 with L glass. It's simply not worth me ugrading to a 10D - the photos I get from my 3MP look beautiful printed at 12x8" (using Photoshop to interpolate as necessary). The way the human visual system works, contrast and faithful colour matters more than resolution. All the lamers who bought the Sony F828 have no idea what a mistake that was, they just want more megapixels to boast about - that 2.6MP Nikon completely blows it away.

Re:My camera (5, Insightful)

SushiFugu (593444) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440421)

Have you ever tried printing those 2 megapixel images? 2.0 may be all well and good on a monitor, but printing is a whole 'nother ballgame. You won't be getting any kind of acceptable 8x10's out of that. And we're not even talking professional use here, just simple at home printing, when you start talking about actually selling your images or doing other serious work with them, the need for 5+ megapixels becomes painfully clear.

So yes, 2.0 is enough if all you're doing is posting the images online or archiving them for the heck of it, but when it comes to really putting them to work, whether it be printing just for at home framing or for professional work, you'll quickly see the need for those "hyped" high megapixels.

Re:My camera (3, Informative)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440557)

Have you ever tried printing those 2 megapixel images? 2.0 may be all well and good on a monitor, but printing is a whole 'nother ballgame. You won't be getting any kind of acceptable 8x10's out of that.

I've had full page shots from my 2MP Powershot A60 printed in real, live magazines. They work FINE for 8x10 or 8.5x11 for that matter.

The parent poster is correct. 2MP is more than enough for most people. I never recommend more than 3.2 - 4MP for most anyone who solicits my opinion. Unless someone is looking for room to crop an image, anything more is usually a waste of flash memory.

Re:My camera (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440759)

These are the kind of Magazines that get their ad spreads by fax.

Yeah I know this breed.

Probably sells commodities to rednecks.

Serious printers understand what it takes to get the most from their press. and they probably don't own a fax machine or a 2mp camera - certainly not as part of the copy generating process.

Johnny come lately - anyone can buy a mac and be in the printing busines types - the kind that think design is best accomplshed by making sure no two consecutive phrases share the same font (or color)

This is your market for 3MP publication quality cameras.

The good news is - its a big market.

AIK

Re:My camera (1)

Doomie (696580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440594)

Well, FYI, 8X10' is probably not the most common format that there is. At least in Europe, 10x15cm is the norm for print-outs -- and these look very fine for 2MP files!

Re:My camera (1)

turnin (698827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440597)

Which technology we are missing here? Printing? or ...
A 2 MP image is really sharp and great enough on 20 inch CRT, but not even decent for a 8x10" print !
Could someone explain?

Re:My camera (4, Informative)

CTachyon (412849) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440689)

Displays have approximately 100 DPI (dots per inch) of resolution. Printing on a cheapie inkjet has 300 DPI. Printing on a high-quality but still consumer-level laser printer tops out around 1200 DPI. Each time you double the DPI, you need 4 times as many pixels to attain it.

Re:My camera (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440942)

300 dpi on a 4" x 6" photo is 2.1 MPixel.

Very few images printed on 1200dpi printers have that many pixels, they are mostly doing interpolation to eliminate jaggies.

Re:My camera (2, Informative)

trs998 (696344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440428)

I've got a Fuji A201 2 mp camera. The images are crappy, mainly due to a tiny lens and cheap components.

My main camera is a 3^H6 mp Fuji S602Zoom with a big lens, a threaded ring, manual control of everything, a 1cm macro mode, and raw (well, tiff) image output.

I think that while the average point-and-shoot person will not need more than 2 mp, they probably will want a smallish optical zoom and reasonable lens quality.

I would benefit from my camera taking true 6mp shots (Fuji's hexagonal multi-sensor-per-pixel idea. actually 3 mp images in a diagonal hex layout interpolated to 6. I normally run it on 3. I'd say its equivalent to about 4.5 up to about 6 for straight edges (buildings))

I'm a hobbist photographer, and I often print images on A4 if they're good. A4 really needs about 4 mp so as to not see pixels (5760x1440 dpi printer)

So, yes, i want more megapixels.

Re:My camera (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440459)

It's much, much more than just the megapixels that determines how your shots will come out. The megapixels are just the limiting factor on what you can do with the photo afterwards.

Let's take a 2 megapixel image for instance. 1600x1200 = 1,920,000 pixels. An 8 inch x 10 inch print of that photo would print at a resolution of 1600/10=160 ppi (dpi) across, and 1200/8=150 ppi (dpi) down. That is low quality, approximately half of what you see in a typical magazine, and is definitely noticable.

Beyond that, I was recently at my cousin's graduation and commissioning into the army. His family brought their $250-$300 3 megapixel camera and I had my 5 megapixel Sony DSC-F717. The difference is astounding, and the megapixels have only minor significance. Because the basics of photography are not even addressed on their camera (color balance, focal length, exposure time, etc) their images in the darkened ceremony did not come out at all, whereas mine came out great as I adjusted the shutter speed, the exposure values and other settings that they had absolutely no control over.

For point & shoot, put on the web or e-mail, no, it doesn't really matter, but a good camera at 640x480 compared to el 'cheapo camera at the same resolution is quite significant.

Re:My camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440485)

It's not necessarily the NEED for many megapixels. They sell cameras. People look at two cameras and buy the one that has higher numbers.

I had a 1.2 megapixel Kodak DC120 with a 10MB CF card for 9 years. Of course, I paid $1200 for the whole deal at the time. I only bought a new camera because the old one was becoming too shabby (things falling apart) to be usable.

Re:My camera (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440540)

There are very obvious differences in image quality that result from the lack of clarity present in a 2.0 megapixel image. These defects are apparent even in a 4x6, nevermind an 8x10.

As standard print sizes continue to grow, image quality becomes more important (not less). Casual snapshots far too easily make themselves historically relevant.

Re:My camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440984)

One thing a lot of folks miss too is not just the # of pixels, but the size of those pixels.

Basically, the ol Nikon D1's with 2 megapixels beat the crap out of modern 4-megapixel point and shoots. They have full (or close to full) frame CCDs, so those pixels are much bigger and result from a LOT less noise. You can easily print out nice shots from a camera like that.

Re:My camera (2, Insightful)

lintux (125434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440595)

I think it's like most things in the computer world. Megapixels are numbers which can easily be compared with each other, whereas you can't just easily state that camera A has a better picture quality than camera B. Partially, maybe, because it's a matter of taste, but mainly because the picture quality can't be measured in a number that can be put on the label that also tells the customer how expensive the cam is.

And well, as some people say, higher resolutions can be useful when you want large prints of the pictures.

Re:My camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440896)

What! Next you'll claim that you still use a 1GHZ CPU when 2GHz is available. Consume! Consume!

I've advised several friends on digital camera... (5, Insightful)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440369)

...purchases in the last few months and I have to say that the "megapixel race" is becoming like the megahertz race in that many people use that feature alone as their determining factor. Rarely do they want to discuss optical versus digital zoom (something that Kodak is addressing with their DX6490, a 10X OPTICAL zoom in an inexpensive, well-built camera), output format, etc.

RTFA (1)

JamieKitson (757690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440391)

Isn't that the whole point of the article? Hence the title? But then I guess this is slashdot after all.

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440402)

Yeah I know dagny. I mean, it'd be better if cameras had zoom like those old cameras that photographers use.

You know, where you buy them and they come with interchangable lenses?

I'd LOVE a digitam cam like that, so I could have super super super zoom or just a normal cam... etc...

Have those cameras become a thing of the past where "fixed lense" cameras are the new craze with 100 megapixel resolution?

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440412)

You can buy digital SLR bodies with changeable lenses. Expect to pay several thousand pounds.

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

trs998 (696344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440486)

My Fuji S602Zoom has a threaded ring and a 55mm ring on the outer edge of its lens adapter.

I can put the Fuji zoom or wide angle lens on, and I've got a Cokin adapter for filters. I'm going to find out if it'll focus through a 'generic' zoom lens if i can adapt it on. probably.

The camera is a 'fake' slr (0.3mp digital viewfinder in addition to screen) but I can't see any benefits to it being a real slr (harder to superimpose shutter information for a start).

While they've just been superseded by IIRC the 6900 they're about GBP 450.

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440522)

NOT. The Canon EOS D300/Digital Rebel which is compatible with almost all EF series lenses, and has its own line of EF-S lenses can be had for only ~$950 bundled with a great 18-55 EF-S autofocus lense. Of course once you've caught the bug you can easily spend thousands on new lenses but the barrier to entry in the DSLR world has come crashing down with several competitors offering similarly priced models (though AFAIK none of them have as good of a lense on their ~$1K DSLR's)

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440829)

Nonsense. Nikon D70, Canon Rebel and others are fine bodies, under 1 grand in any currency you care to mention (except lira & yen). If you've got an existing lens collection, adding a digital body is the way to go.

Olympus C-XXXX (4, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440456)

I have a C-3000 that does exactly that. Interchangeable lenses, filters, whatever. Just like a regular film SLR. Reasonable price, too.

The C-3000 doesn't have interchangeable lenses... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441002)

...and is nothing like a 'regular film SLR'.

Who modded this +5 Informative for Christ's sake?

The guy doesn't know shit!

Re:The C-3000 doesn't have interchangeable lenses. (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441059)

Ok, ok.....not 'just like'. However....it does have the ability to add on lenses & filters, and it does have manual controls if you choose, as opposed to auto only.

No, it is not a 'digital SLR'.

Happy now?

Re:The C-3000 doesn't have interchangeable lenses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441092)

>Happy now?

Well, add on lenses are not the same thing as interchangeable lenses are they.

I wasn't attacking you, just the mods who decided your post was 'informative' when actualluy it was nothing of the sort. Sorry!

Re:The C-3000 doesn't have interchangeable lenses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441159)

Um it is nothing differnt than a el-cheapo camera.

you want a real digital SLR... buy a canon Digital REbel. the only choice.

funny, canon is the only company making real equipment for pro-sumers... the digital reble and D10 for stills and the XL1s for video... all real cameras compared to the toys the other companies put out.

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (4, Informative)

SteveM (11242) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440479)

I'd LOVE a digitam cam like that,...

Digital SLRs are available starting at US$899 (list) for the Canon Digital Rebel/300D/Kiss Digital (the name varies by region).

Visit here [dpreview.com] to learn more.

SteveM

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1, Funny)

ttsalo (126195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440489)

I mean, it'd be better if cameras had zoom like those old cameras that photographers use.

Old cameras didn't have zooms.

I'd LOVE a digitam cam like that

Check out Canon EOS 300D (Canon Rebel Digital in the US), it's around 1000 monetary units on both sides of the pond. The lack of noise from the big sensor, excellent viewfinder, focusing and responsiveness beat the latest fixed-lens 8-mpix wonders 4-0.

--

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440817)

fixed lenses also solve a major problem in digital cameras

dust collects on the imager.

Think about it.

Film is constantly fresh out of the can.

The CCD on the other hand - just sits there and wahtever parks on its surface stays there and creates obstructions until its cleaned.

Cleaning risks the entire camera - since imagers are also easy to crack.

So keeping the chamber sealed with a fixed lens - and attachments to alter range - has an unanticiated benefit.

AIK

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (5, Insightful)

FraggedSquid (737869) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440447)

I remember watching a review of digital cameras on a gadget show a year or so ago. The reviewer pointed out that the key to the image was the lens, if that is bad, then nothing else matters.

Don't talk pixels, talk optics.

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440707)

That's true in film, too: I two some pictures I took at the same time and same place with the same brand, speed, and age of film. One I took with a high quality Minolta SLR and the other with a low quality point and shoot job. The pictures from the Minolta are MUCH clearer. For example, in the pic from the Minolta, you can see the individual blades of grass that aren't visible in the picture from the other camera (the grass is just a green blur).

I own a Nikon SLR film camera now, but you can bet I won't forget that lesson when I go digital.

--RJ

Re:I've advised several friends on digital camera. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440531)

Olympus used to make the ideal digital camera for me, the E-100. SLR, with a fixed lens, but in exactly the right range for my intended use (10x optical zoom), and with exactly the right resolution for my intended use, 1.5 megapixels and very fast rapid shot mode.

I would never be making large, high resolution prints from this camera. I need it strictly for computer display.

They've stopped making it, I presume not to force the market to higher resolution cameras, but because the market is buying the hype itself so they couldn't profitably sell it.

Now they offer me a higher resolution camera, with the wrong lens (4x optical zoom) for a higher price.

About all I can do is pray that when my new camera budget reaches the price of the NOS the NOS still exists.

KFG

Not bad. Why not concentrate on F/OSS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440372)

Not bad. Why not concentrate on F/OSS abit more. As it is it doesn't look much more than any article you might find on any photography site, very photoshop centric. With barely a mention of GIMP.

Re:Not bad. Why not concentrate on F/OSS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440388)

Because the 3 people who use GIMP still can't afford a digital camera.

RTFA! (1, Insightful)

mx.2000 (788662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440495)

There's barely a mention of Photoshop either. The article is about the cameras.

Re:Not bad. Why not concentrate on F/OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440496)

that article sucks. it's non technical, it's not even news. Every nerd can google for such information.

Re:Not bad. Why not concentrate on F/OSS (1)

PetrusMagnusII (309326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440820)

More then that, why would they mention GIMP?? Have you ever heard of a real photographer ussing gimp?? I mean honestly.. .when it comes to real photography, Photoshop is the ONLY option. Now, if you're messing around with a 2.0 mega pixel point and shoot with a 3x digital zoom, sure, gimp will do what you need it to do.. umm,, open the image and maybe resize it.. but, if you're talking about a 4 thousand dollar nikon body with maybe 9,000 invested in lenses and your photographs are your livelyhood, you're gunna be needing to do more then just rotate the image.. Photoshop is more then just the standard, it's pretty much the only way to do it..
GIMP's come a long way, which is good and all, but it's still nothing more then a toy as far as a professional is going to be concerned..

First of all - imagine (-1, Offtopic)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440393)

a Beowulf Cluster of pixels... oh nevermind

You know (0, Redundant)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440413)

I still haven't seen a digital camera good enough to make me want to hang up my old Minolta SRL. I don't know if I ever will either. Theirs just something about developing your own B and W film. You just can't do that with digital.

Re:You know (4, Insightful)

ttsalo (126195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440578)

Theirs just something about developing your own B and W film. You just can't do that with digital.

You mean sloshing chemicals around in a closed tank? I didn't find that very interesting :-) Making prints was a different ballgame though. If you want the ultimate B&W print, I don't think you can beat all-chemical process.

But making color prints was a real pain in the butt. I did prints from color negatives and Ilfochromes from slides, but most of the time I ran out of patience before getting everything just right. Sending the images over the net to a printing service, where they are printed straight onto photographic paper, and sent to me via the post, is so much easier and produces so good results that I don't want to go back to the color chemicals ever again.

--

f&rost pisT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440420)

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Megapixel (2, Interesting)

Agret (752467) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440423)

Almost all digital cameras have 2 megapixels these days, it's around about the industry standard, nobody needs any more in my opinion. I have a 2 megapixel camera which cost $300, my dad has a 2 megapixel camera which cost $599, theres really no difference mega-pixel wise, of course for more money your going to get a higher resolution and more features, thats off-topic though. I really don't think there's much difference once you get over 2 megapixels though, of course Digital Photographers (professional ones) would complain beacuse it's not a perfect picture when they look through a microscope at 300x though.

Re:Megapixel (1)

PetrusMagnusII (309326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440862)

For most people you're absolutely right. point and shoot , 2.0 is plenty... but, the point of the article is that mega pixel isn't the only thing you should be looking at.. all mega pixel is gunna tell you is the dimentions of the camera.
example, my friend has a 5.0mega pixel sony.. the pictures are pretty big, but that's about it.. compare it to my 6.1mega pixel nikon d70.. put a picture that both cameras took side by side, you'll notice the difference..
if you're just taking pictures for fun, not a bid deal...

but anyways.. the whole point of the article is mega pixel doesn't mean quality, just size.. and that pretty much is worthless...

You're well out-of-date (2, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440973)

Two MP was maybe the standard, what, two years ago? Three hundred for a 2 MP camera today would be extravagantly overpriced unless it was small enough to fit inside your shirt button or something. You can get 2 MP for half that price, $150 [target.com] , from a commodity discount store.

Three MP, or something like 3.2, is now below $300, more like $250.

The mid-range models are now at four -- that's the current standard, more-or-less, for solid point-and-shooters.

Personally I know from experience that if you're going to want to make enlargements, you want something like four at least. Three will be okay, but there's some degradation of the image, especially if you're going up to 8x10. That's not a microscope, it's just a picture for your desk at work. A 2 MP camera is going to be painful at that size.

The other two: (5, Informative)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440438)

For the RTFA-ers:
Beyond Megapixels [slashdot.org]
Beyond Megapixels - Part II [slashdot.org]

nitpick (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440978)

For the RTFA-ers

Shouldn't this be:

TFAR - The F...... Article Readers

Linux and RAW. (5, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440442)

Linux users can use the dcraw [cybercom.net] util to convert RAW into TIFF format. It also has a plugin for GIMP which works fine. On my camera though, the RAW files are 6.3Mb, and the TIFFs created with dcraw are 18Mb.

Have a look at my pics [umtstrial.co.uk] , too. :)

Re:Linux and RAW. (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440476)

Yeah but when you convert you lose the ability to do all of the advanced image manipulation stuff based on sensor information. There are tons of different transforms that work MUCH better if they have the info directly from the sensors rather than a pixel value extrapolated from those values. Personally I think I would run Photoshop and my camera vendors RAW utilities under xover office before just dumping the data to TIFF, otherwise why not just use superfine JPEG?

Re:Linux and RAW. (2, Informative)

ookaze (227977) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440825)

If you read the DCRaw story and homepage, you would see that the Photoshop CS plugin using at least part of dcraw, but, most importantly, that dcraw produces better results than the proprietary converter softs (see the links on the homepage).

The cool thing about the RAW format is that you can then apply all the transforms the camera is doing, but with a more powerful computer, meaning you use, hopefully, more powerful, but more demanding algorithms. You can still refer to your camera to get the actual settings when the photo was shot, or use Wine (under Linux) with some proprietary converters. That is not a problem. There are some tools for some cameras (like Canon, which I have) that can extract the infos.
There are links on the DCRaw page for that too.

Beyond megapixels (5, Informative)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440463)

I think the general sentiment of this article is very true. I remember when I bought my first digital camera, it was a case of the biggest number of pixels winning. In those days 1.0MP cameras were pretty expensive, and I remember being overjoyed that I managed to get a great deal on a Kodak that reached this "magic figure" producing 1152x864 images - rather than most of the other cameras within my price bracket at the time which were between 640x480 and 1024x768.

Skip forward to last month, and I bought my third digital camera. There were 3MP, 4MP and 5MP models within my price range, but in the end, I settled for a 4MP model with a great lens, full manual control and some nifty other features (a Canon Powershot A80, I'd recommend this model to anyone after a fortnight of snapping with it). It produces 2272x1704 images, quite a lot bigger than I'm ever likely to need.

Why Megapixels? (5, Interesting)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440481)

Well, you do need a certain minimum of megapixels, so you can have your photo printed. See, I never print photos on my PC (which is why I don't need an inkjet* with highly expensive ink (1 liter = 1 kg Gold)), but bring or send them to the photoshop instead.
They will print it using a seriously good printer on great paper, and charge a pittance for it. Some shops (and websites) also allow me to design a nice hardcover book full of my photos and text, which makes a great present for friends and family.

But the requirement-limit is at, what, between 3 and 5 megapixels. Using more is useful for cutting images and having only a small part printed, but this happens rather rarely.

Instead I want the following:

* a good optical lens (come on, an f of 2.8 is not that great, unless you live in a really sunny country) with a solid optical zoom (who CARES about digital zoom?).

* Use standard AA rechargable batteries - they are cheap, hold a heck of a charge by now, and are easily replacable - with plain batteries if necessary.
Keep in mind that these things have to be replaced every now and then, and a propriatary one isn't cheap.

* Use CF cards. Cheap, fast, big, and under steady development.

* Allow me to access the camera via USB as an external drive, without needing some kind of stupid program.

* Reasonably small, so I will usually carry it with me in my pocket instead of leaving it at home due to bulk/weight.

Currently, I use the Canon A70/A75/A80. I can recommend them all, except for the lens (2.8, but this currently is standard, except for the great Olympus 5050 with 1.8), and the interface (I have to pop out the CF to read it - I'm not using some kiddy-aimed windows program here).
Not too expensive, either (nope, I have no connection to the manufacturer).

Ciao,
Klaus

* Tip: Buy a used postscripting laserprinter with >= 600 dpi. Dirt cheap, toner lasts forever, you'll love it. And no drivers needed, ever.

Re:Why Megapixels? (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440955)

come on, an f of 2.8 is not that great, unless you live in a really sunny country

Actually, 2.8 is fine on a camera that gives acceptable quality at ISO 400. The lens I use most on my Canon D30 is a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and it's fine for available-light shooting indoors. In fact I don't recall when I last used the flash on that camera. Outdoors I drop to ISO 100 or 200.

Re:Why Megapixels? (4, Insightful)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441008)

* a good optical lens (come on, an f of 2.8 is not that great, unless you live in a really sunny country) with a solid optical zoom (who CARES about digital zoom?).

There's a lot more to a lens than the F-stop . . . 2.8 is pretty darn good in a lot of the pro-lense market for SLR's. Getting larger aperatures than this often causes significant distortion in the lens . . . hence the super-expensive cost of the really fast lens, or in the case of a lot of consumer level digital cameras, crummy optics that result in a loss of sharpness . . . this is going the way of the megapixel wars . . . uninformed consumers think that larger aperature and bigger zoom = better camera . . . typically the truth is larger aperature and bigger zoom = crappier overall sharpness and more lens distortion . . . which amounts to crappy looking pictures.

Personally, I'll take my Nikon Coolpix 5000 with its slower lens (3.3) over just about any faster lens consumer digital camera any day . . . I know that the optics aren't perfect, I bought it 4 years ago, but even by today's standards, the optics are a lot better than most consumer digi-cams I've seen. And I'll take my Digital SLR over that . . . any day.

I'll tell you why (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441012)

Even if you are not going to print your digital photos, there is still one reason you might want the highest pixel count:

zooming in on the details.

Re:Why Megapixels? (1)

jimmyfergus (726978) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441075)

I'm with you on this, but standard AA rechargeables conflict with reducing camera size. Also, NiMH batteries loose charge faster than Lithium Ion/Polymer, so if you leave your camera unused for the odd month occasionally, they're not necessarily so great. I'd rather spend the extra $30 or whatever Li* adds to the price.

I don't understand why they can't make the fixed-lens prosumer models the size of the very smallest, apart from the larger optics... Closest to this seems to be the Sony DSC-V1. These cameras should be little more than a lens with an LCD attached (flip and twist)! Small is good - camera's not much use if you can't be bothered to carry it.

Finally, my pet peeve is that the long end of the zoom is usually pushed at the expense of the wide angle. Some start at 38mm equivalent, and lots around 34mm. A lens starting at 28mm is very desirable for me - for capturing vistas and indoor parties. For a 4x lens, give me a 28-112mm over 34-134mm any day (f2.0 of course...).

Re:Why Megapixels? (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441146)

1. Digital zoom is sometimes useful - treat it as "lossless cropping" when you shoot JPEG.

2. These Canon cameras use PTP. Doesn't act as a USB drive, but isn't proprietary either. Gphoto can read from them. No need to get a CF reader.

THE TRADITION LIVES!!! SLACKWARE 10 rc 1 RELEASED! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440491)

IT'S TIME TO REJOICE!

Slackware 10 release candidate 1 has just been released!

The best operating system on this planet just got better!

Part I and II. (-1, Redundant)

Johannes K. (27905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440509)

For those who are interested: Part I [thetechlounge.com] and Part II [thetechlounge.com] .

Previous Stories (4, Informative)

Roofus (15591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440516)

Since I haven't read them, and I don't see them posted here anywhere, here are the links to the first two stories:

http://www.thetechlounge.com/article.php?directory =beyond_megapixels_part_1 [thetechlounge.com]

http://www.thetechlounge.com/article.php?directory =beyond_megapixels_part_2 [thetechlounge.com]

Ah yes, I can feel the Slashdotting coming on now =)

The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (4, Informative)

fdiskne1 (219834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440529)

I am what you would consider a serious amatuer photographer. (Note that's not seriously amatuer.) I like taking nice photos and blowing them up/enlarging the best of them to frame and hang on the wall. I've even had one professional gig where I got paid for taking official photos at a wedding. A few extra bucks for me and some decent photos at a cheap price for the couple.

Here is my perfect camera:

1. Six Megapixel. You can print out an 8X10" photo at the same quality as 35mm film. More is better, but does an amatuer really need any more than that?

2. An SLR. This is a single lens reflex. It focuses the image onto the focusing screens by using the light coming through the lens (what you see through the view-finder is what you get) and has interchangable lenses.

3. Has a nice optical zoom. How many X makes a nice optical zoom? I suppose that's up to the individual, but I think 10X or more. More is always better when it comes to optical zoom.

The Canon Digital Rebel seems to be the perfect camera for me. The price is still a bit out there, in the neighborhood of $1000, but I'm sure it will come down as time goes on. I'm thinking we are nearing the end of the major advances in digital cameras. Not that we can't improve them, but they are practically at the quality/price levels of film cameras. You can get a cheapie for less than $100 that takes "okay" 3 megapixel images. Great for 4x6 snapshots. You can also spend about $1000 for everything a non-professional could want. Any improvements beyond this are gravy and probably wouldn't profit the researcher or manufacturer much.

Oh! And ignore digital zoom. I wish it didn't exist. I can enlarge it on my computer after the fact and get the same effect.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

hankwang (413283) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440628)

Six Megapixel. You can print out an 8X10" photo at the same quality as 35mm film.

In the past six years, I have ordered a print at that size only twice. And they were pretty blurry (taken with a mid-range compact camera) if you look at them from close by (what I usually don't do with pictures that hang on the wall).

An expensive camera does not give you good pictures if you don't know how to create a good composition.

Has a nice optical zoom. [...] I think 10X or more.

I hardly ever zoom in all the way on my 3x zoom. The light sensitivity drops and camera shake is amplified, which means blurry pictures unless I use a tripod. More expensive lenses may not drop in light sensitivity, but the problem of camera shake is still there. I'm more bothered by the lack of wide-angles on these cameras, which usually are equivalent to f=38 mm instead of the f=28 mm on my film roll camera.

The biggest plus for me of a 2 MP digital camera is that is small, light, and cheap. I can always carry it without being too worried that it breaks or gets stolen.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

viknet (464149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440670)

Sorry to comment on this but where the hell have you seen a 10x zoom for the canon rebel, if you manage to get x7 (with the latest sigma 18-125 at 300) then you are lucky... and for a 10x, yet to see one (if any) of decent price and quality.

The canon can come in standard with a 28-50 lense wich is a 18-55 (or an x3 zoom), not to mention that you don't have any digital zoom, you cannot shout using the LCD, and does not shout movie and is bulky.

That is a lot of drawback. And even if I want to buy a digital SLR I can understand why somebody wouldn't go for it

PS.
And going partiing with a bag full of 3 different zoom is NOT an option.

Not to mention the fact that changing the lens mean dust on your CCD and that's bad....

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440711)

Oh! And ignore digital zoom. I wish it didn't exist. I can enlarge it on my computer after the fact and get the same effect.

Not quite. The photometry of the photo will be based on the entire picture. If you take an un-zoomed picture and then crop it, the photometry will be off. Probably not by much, but it's still off. Digital zoom at least allows the camera to choose the correct settings for the image you have framed.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (3, Insightful)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440722)

Don't good LCD viewfinders make SLRs redundant for digital cameras? There really isn't much point in having all that moving-mirror hardware; if you must have a bigger image for focusing, electronic viewfinders are available. I speak as someone who also uses a medium format SLR, by the way.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440792)

You'd need a very high quality electronic viewfinder to match the quality of the image as seen through an SLR. LCDs also drain far more power from your batteries than an optical system. The mirror also serves to help keep dust off the CCD whilst changing lenses, although this could be worked around.

There are no good LCD viewfinders. (4, Insightful)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440904)

Firstly, there are no good LCD viewfinders...especially when we're talking about still frame quality of any kind. Secondly, there is no need for an SLR mechanism on a digital LCD viewfinder, since the picture is being fed from the imaging CCD anyways. Cameras such as the Canon D300, 10D or any other digital SLR don't use LCD viewfinders, because that's not what their customers really want or need...and it would defeat the purpose anyway.

When I was in the camera market, I was going for either the Digital Rebel or the gigantic Sony 8MP thing...and eventually settled on the rebel. (Okay, its was the EF Lens capability that won me over). I find that being able to make image adjustments is a lot easier when I'm looking at exactly what will be photographed, instead of some downsized representation. That, and I take good pictures from anywhere in the ballpark with an additional zoom lens. :) More or less, I can do more serious amateur photography without spending my entire livelihood on film/development/printing, which allows me to take many, many more pictures.

Granted, this works because I bought my camera to be a camera...not some kind of camcorder...which is one feature most LCD viewfinder cameras offer.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440762)

More is always better when it comes to optical zoom.

Any lens that has more than 3x optical zoom will be making some heavy compromises to do so. You're up against the laws of physics here, if you want to fit such a lens into a portable package. You really would be much better off carrying several lenses (that's what SLRs are for) or two bodies with a different lens on each.

Canon makes a 28-300 lens for people who absolutely cannot change lenses in the field (for example, photojournalists in the middle of a rapidly changing situation) but almost all of its top-quality zoom lenses - the L series - are 2x or 3x. Its consumer zooms are mostly 4x or 5x.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

Bushcat (615449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440779)

An SLR

In the digital world, if it's not an optical viewer then the image is being taken from the sensor, so "SLR" is irrelevant: what you see is what you get on all digital viewers -- they're using the imaging sensor.

10X or more

You're talking about going out to, say, 350mm. Good luck hand-holding that sucker.

I note you don't mention anything about dynamic range of different sensors, charge leakage to adjacent cells, white balance limitations, pincushion & barrel distortion and so on. You shouldn't be taking people's wedding photos, they've got just the one chance of getting it right.

Re:The Camera for a Serious Amatuer (1)

AmericanInKiev (453362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440855)

My coowore picked up that camera for closer to 700

(since he had lenses for canon - no lens.

That puts the digital SLR surprising close to the high end consumer stock.

Very appealling.

AIK

Not sure this is "nearing the end"... (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441136)

I'm thinking we are nearing the end of the major advances in digital cameras. Not that we can't improve them, but they are practically at the quality/price levels of film cameras.

Not so sure. For a long time I was convinced I'd get whichever Canon digital SLR dropped below a grand, to use with my set of old EOS lenses preferably. But you know, there's a huge difference in size from the Sony snappy we've picked up in the meantime and an SLR body. There are limits to what one can do with glass, but I'm going to say we have at least one generation of significant size and weight (and resulting design) change coming for that level of camera. I want my Rebel-level camera, swappable lenses and filters and all, to be easy to carry around too. Take a look at digital camcorders like Canon's Elura or Optura series, or Sony's little uprights. Those aren't pro-grade, no, and really they're almost too small to use well in my hands, but I was sorely tempted by them before I decided on a mid-(still very compact)-sized Sony model with the same basic quality for less. You could carry those anywhere.

'Cause I'm spoiled, that's why. And right now the price of a Canon Digital Rebel is more than twice what I paid for a film Rebel in maybe 1988, so there's room for that to come down too...

So far the stills from various camcorders are crap next to inexpensive still cameras. Everyone but the real pros could end up tossing dedicated still cameras in favor of hybrid models, if that improves somewhat.

The whole "digital hub" model could seriously reshape how we think about cameras too. Makes storage a different sort of issue, if you're tagging off the camera with your laptop all the time. Between that and potential hybrid movie/still models, you'd have to think storage will be an interesting question, anyway. That's just an obvious detail. There've got to be other implications we just haven't come to yet.

Seems like room for change yet, to me. Some major, some incremental.

Megapixels & digital zoom (1)

heneganj (786136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440556)

Remember a 4M-pixel camera with 6x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom is equivalent to a 1M pixel camera with 24x optical zoom. How many 1M cheap/consumer cameras do you know with 24x optical zoom?

Re:Megapixels & digital zoom (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440634)

Yeah, but digital zoom sucks

Beyon Megapixels: Part XXXIII (-1, Troll)

kjba (679108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440569)

"Beyond Megapixels - Part I, ..., Part XXXII have all been posted here at Slashdot, and now it is my pleasure to bring to you Beyond Megapixels - Part XXXIII!!!. This is almost the final part of this series of editorial articles examining current digital photography hardware. Stay tuned as parts XXXIV and up will certainly all be granted a slashdot post too.

Correction (0, Redundant)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440660)

Beyond Megapixels - Part I & Part II have both been posted here at Slashdot


Should have been coded :

Beyond Megapixels -
Part I [slashdot.org] & Part II [slashdot.org] have both been posted here at Slashdot


Because most readers do not keep links to stories that old...

I got my cock caught in meat grinder (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440771)

WHERE IS OLD IKE???? i sure do miss old ike.

Yes I RTFA and find it a WOFT . . . (1)

StateOfTheUnion (762194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9440913)

The article glazes over everything and provides less information then a product pamplet . . . unless you don't know anything about digital cameras, haven't seen a digital camera, have never touched a digital camera, never read about a digital camera, and you've been living under a rock, I wouldn't bother reading this article.

In all seriousness, the really odd bit about this article is that the author doesn't seem to know his audience . . . he writes about the most basic of features at a very high level for the novice (like metering, b&w, & sepia features), but then spends an inordinate amount of time describing camera raw files . . . which would be more appropriate for the more advanced user. Then he goes on do describe digital SLR features which are pro and pro-sumer level cameras. But when the author writes about advanced features, he writes about them in a very condscending way . . . like he is coddling a newbie.

I would guess that the author wrote the article with the entire audience in mind (from beginner to pro), but because of this, the author has created a mediocre article that is not very useful for anyone. It's like building the perfect automobile for everyone, without regard to the needs of specific end consumers . . . you wind up with a single product that is not very good for anyone.

Beginners would do better to read tutorials on Cnet [cnet.com] etc. and advanced users would find more benefit at sites like luminous landscape [luminous-landscape.com]

The author claims that he will write reviews next . . . Based on the quality of this article, I would read these with caution. I'd suggest the reviews at DPReview [dpreview.com] instead.

Where are the reviews of the interfaces? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9440917)

but as you become more and more addicted to digital photography there is a great chance that you'll find yourself wanting more control over the shot.
I don't want to be addicted to do professional photography.

That's why the quality of the user interface of a camera is of the same importance to me as the quality of the pictures. I want features to be there when I think of them and I want to find them automatically, just like using a Mac.

Bitdepth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441124)

I'd rather see digital cameras go deeper in bitdepth (as in HDR Images) than resolution from now on really. Maybe one day shutter speed will be left on the cameras only for purposes of motionblur :)

Here's hoping.

That's all? (3, Interesting)

baxissimo (135512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441151)

I found this series to be a pretty big let down. I guess I was expecting too much, but I was hoping the author would go down the list of where digital doesn't live up to film as a call to action for camera makers and consumers. But no, the series for the most part just talks about existing digital camera features like autofocus and zoom lenses. Oh well.

I want to see some serious discussion about things like color gamut. The gamut of film (especially slide film) is much better than that of digital cameras. Is anyone working to improve the situation for digicams? There's a interesting looking article at extreme tech that talks about gamuts here [extremetech.com] .

Basically current sRGB devices don't cover the full range of colors which the human visual system can percieve (nor does film, but film comes closer than digital). Think of deep violet for instance. You simply can't get those hues on a monitor, and so today's digital cameras just don't record those colors. However, it is likely that some day we will have monitors and hardcopy ouptut devices that perform as well as the human visual system. So ideally the pictures I take today would have the full range of color information, even if they're forced to display only a subset of those colors on current display devices. That way, in the future when "uberdisplays" are available, my pictures from 2000 will still look nice, and not washed out and cheesy like color photographs from the 60's do today.

If you widen the gamut of CCDs, you'll probably want to add a few bits to each color channel as well -- use 12 bit color instead of 8 bit for instance.

And as long as you're adding bits, the other thing it seems like digital cameras could possibly offer some day is point-and-click high dynamic range (HDR) images, say in EXR [openexr.com] format. Couldn't one build CDD sensors with automatic gain control (ISO) on a per-pixel basis, and then assemble the results into a HDR image? Currently the way to make HDR images is by taking several photos of the same scene and carefully merging them together, but that's pretty cumbersome.

With HDR images, you have much more flexibility to adjust the exposure and reveal detail in the shadows after taking the image.

What other cool things could digital cameras offer that would take us beyond simply replacing film cameras?

You Insen5itive clod? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9441157)

that s0rDed, [goat.cx]

a 3:2 output (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9441173)

Only DSLR's and some Nikons do that.

I've been shooting digital for a few years, and 4:3 STILL look ugly to me.

Please, add 3:2 outputs.
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