Do better bodies produce better images?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by anubis404, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I've been wondering if there is a difference in the image quality of bodies with better sensors (besides megapixels and ISO performance). At first, I thought the quality of the image relied entirely on the lens, however I am starting to rethink this as I've been hearing a lot of "image quality" talk when discussing camera bodies.

    The reason I ask is because I've invested quite a bit of money in glass, and will have most of the normal focal lengths covered. Should I start investing in better bodies?
     
  2. Jeffrey Byrnes

    Jeffrey Byrnes TPF Noob!

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    The larger the sensor the better the image, in a nutshell. If you have a small sensor that has like 8 mega pixels, then you jump to 10 mega pixels, the difference isnt that extreme. But if you go from like a 10 megapixel sensor to say the new 24 mega pixel Nikon D3x you have just gotten an entire new larger sensor that puts out a better quality image. But, 10-12 mega pixels is still good. If you are shooting in raw with a Nikon D80-D300 you are making great photographs. If you have a Kodak point and shoot, youre making good snapshots. Now, if you really want to see something impressive, look at the camers and sensors Red ues. Top camera companies such as Mamiya and Hasselblad, are now producing digital backs that are hitting up to 52 mega pixles. Its not just about the body, its the sensor. I love my D80 because its a solid tight camera. The D90 feels lighter, but the sensor in the D90 is a little bit better than the D80.

    Hope this helped.
     
  3. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    To an extent YES they do.

    It does depend though, for example the K100D and K110D had the same sensor, so same IQ.

    Also sometimes more megapixels actually see's worth quality at higher ISO's. This isn't so much of a facter as with P&S's but there have been cases of crop sensors getting worse when a manufacter has put more megapixels in a higher level or replacement/upgrade to a body.

    Also of course sometimes the sensor will be the same. Some Nikons I think this is the case, so it's other features that make them better not the sensor.
     
  4. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    I would say that, typically, it is the better photographers that make better photographs..

    The early Nikon and Canon 4 MP SLR cameras still produce a quality image.... You just might not be able to blow it up to a poster for your wall....:D
     
  5. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    My view is that a good photographer will create an image using any camer however a better camera will allow images to be created that cannot on a lower spec camera.

    The 1d focus is way better than an xxD camera so it will produce more better images.
     
  6. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I'm talking about DX sensors only. Lets compare the sensor of a D40 to a D300? Besides the ISO performance and MP, will there be any noticeable difference in the images?
     
  7. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    I'd have thought so, not much probably and the main difference will be the extra mp's. There is a limit, however, and the Canon 50D is known to have worse high ISO performance than it's predecessor the 40D.
     
  8. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe there is also an improvement of colour tones, contrast and dynamic range.

    So, yeah, they produce technically better images. But if your photos are artistically crappy on a D40, they'll equally crappy on a D3.
     
  9. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    IQ wise, I honestly think there's very little difference that we can see between most current cameras and in many cases (not all). Sure, some have superior technical specs/performance in the lab, but to the human eye can you really see the difference most of the time? If someone posted a picture from a Rebel on here, could you honestly tell the difference from a 5DMk2's image of roughly the same subject? Sometimes, perhaps... most of the time I would say doubtful. Under extreme circumstances like low light/high ISO you will see a difference but under normal shooting conditions... not so much.

    Case in point.

    Check this thread out. I took my new 5DMk2 out with a member from this board who was shooting a Rebel. We both were using L glass. Check out the pics, do the 5D's images look any sharper? More colorful? Otherwise noticeably superior? I don't think they do... they look comparable to me.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-beautiful-day-chicagos-lincoln-park-zoo.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  10. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With a DSLR there would be the following things within the body that will affect the quality of the captured image:

    - AF system
    - Light metering/Exposure system
    - Imaging sensor
    - Imaging processor

    Most photographers fixate on the Sensor pixel size. This is not always a measure of the camera's capability of image quality.

    The Imaging sensor is more than just x number of pixels. The sensor also has properties of colour sensitivity and light exposure sensitivity.
    The internal processing also affects the image (for those that do not shoot RAW) after the sensor captures the data and this information is processed then saved. Most RAW shooters will be affected by the noise processing of the camera.

    So I would say that the DSLR camera body does affect the image quality.

    I preferred the film camera ... where I could change the quality by the film used.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Right my views on this:

    First off what controls an image you get?
    Well first of its the photographer - he/she has to see the sight, frame the shot, set the settings (even if its to set auto mode) and fire the shutter.
    Second off there is the lens - the lens directly affects the light quality entering into the camera body - as well as defining how you can frame the shot.
    Third you have your camera body - its the recording device - it won't get a good shot if the first two options are poor quality no matter if its a rebel or a 1DM3.

    That is how I view things and so I am willing to put my money into glass (and learning) long before I think about upgrading my camera body. When I moved from a sigma 70-300mm to a canon 70-200mm f2,8 IS L lens the jump in quality of image was very noticable - similar the jump with my 150mm macro which also let me get 1:1 macro images - something that before was impossible for me to get with my current glass and no matter what camera I had I still would not have been able to get those shots.

    Better camera bodies do offer improved features - they will have lower noise at higher ISOs, faster shutter speeds, brighter viewfinders, faster and better AF, more settings custom functions, video mode (for some ;)) and many other things. They are well worth upgrading to, but if you only have poor glass you will still only get poor results (infact results can be worse since the camera will pick up all the imperfections of the glass as well!)

    If you have your glass that you need at a high quality then I would consider upgrading your body - only upgrade your body eariler if your current one has a lack of a feature that you despiratly need to be able to make use of (such as AF motors for lenses which the lower end nikon entry DSLRs don't have)
     
  12. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Up to an 8x10 at ISOs of less than 400 there isn't any significant difference in IQ between all 8mp and up, dSLR cameras.

    After 8x10 and at elevated ISO the IQ of the "better" cameras starts to visible appear. The higher the ISO the greater the difference ... the larger the print the greater the diff.

    Gary
     

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