A70 to S2IS - Any Difference. . .Help Requested

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ANDS!, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Specifically I am talking about the level of "grain" (I guess noise) that I am getting in certain shots. Its mostly prevelant on shots where these alot of solid color (like a sky photo), but I can also notice it on close-up shots. Im also finding that I have to use a post-photo program to increase the sharpness on shots to bring out the detail in most all my shots.

    What Im basically asking, is this a problem with all digital cameras (I dont really see that on these SLR/Non-film camera), or is it reduced the higher you go in the camera food chain. I am looking to upgrade my camera, however, an SLR or dSLR is (finanacially) just not an option at this time. I am also unable to "wait and save for a better camera"; as I need this camera for an upcoming vacation, and am going to need better shots than just "pointing and clicking".

    Heres a couple of pictures Im talking about (and its really only obvious when the photo is at its maximum resolution):


    http://img170.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0278sm3.jpg

    http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/1765/img0318eq2.th.jpg

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Digital noise is caused mainly by signal amplification from the camera's sensor. The higher the ISO, the more the signal is amplified...and the more noise you get.

    The problem with most digital cameras...is that the sensors (digital film) are very, very small...about the size of a pinkie nail. Then, they cram many pixels (photosites) onto those small chips...which gives them a high pixel pitch...which again...makes for noisy images.

    This is the main reason why Digital SLR cameras have a superior image quality...especially at a higher ISO setting. Most digi-cams are terrible at ISO 400 and above, with 200 being just OK. A Canon 20D is pretty darn good at ISO 800 and still usable at 1600 (3200 being available but not all that useful).

    Technology is getting better though. The new Canon G7 has a small sensor...but is surprisingly good in terms of digital noise. I'm not sure of the price of the G7 though...it's probably pretty close to the price of a Rebel XT DSLR.

    As far as the S2IS vs the A70...the IS will help to get sharper shots...and the lens is probably a little better (I'm not certain about that though).

    You will still get noise at higher ISO settings...but maybe you can avoid using a higher ISO because of the IS. Also, if you can use a tripod or some sort of support...that is another way to avoid using high ISO.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was reading up about ISO and its relation to noice (those two pictures were taken a long while ago, and Im just now noticing it when checking out other pictures) - I think I used AUTO for both these shots (it doesnt tell me what the ISO is in Adobe Bridge - or rather I dont know if I can tell it from the info in Camera Data [Exif] )

    My biggest purchase problem (besides not being able to drop 500 bucks) - is that I also want something with a good movie record feature on it. The camera I have now is ok, but itll only take the 30-second clips. That gets annoying obviously.

    So long and short of it - even if I get these cool add-on lenses for th S2 IS, it really isnt going to be the factor that reduces this noise?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure about the age of the S2IS vs the A70...newer cameras will usually exhibit less noise due to technology/design advances...but not always.

    Typically, those 'add-on' filters/lenses won't be doing you any favors. They reduce image quality along with what ever effect they do have.

    Unfortunately not.

    If you can't spend enough to get a camera with a bigger sensor...you can still try to maximize you image quality. Like I said...using a tripod will often allow you to keep the ISO at it's lowest. This won't work for moving subjects, as you will need longer shutter speeds...but for scenic stuff...it should really help. You don't even need to haul around a big tripod. I carry a pocket sized tripod when I don't want to take a bigger one. There is even a cool product that is a bean bag with a tripod screw on top...all you need to do is support the camera...and keep the ISO set to 100 (or whatever is low).
     
  5. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ahh - so basically:

    "Get a tripod and Stick with what ya got, until you can get a dSLR camera"? -

    Or will even dSLR's have this kinda of grain no matter what?

    As an aside, even though I know where its at, its less bothersome to me when I resize the pictures down for some reason.

    Thanks for taking the time to disambiguify some of this stuff.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, the best digital cameras have very little noise at low ISO settings. Almost unperceivable...but if you look, you could probably find some.

    For the most part, a DSLR will show much less noise than a digi-cam. Like I said...ISO 400 on your A70 is probably worse than ISO 800 or 1600 on a camera like the 30D.
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok this is what I came up with using some of your suggestions:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Looks good to me.
     

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