Do better bodies produce better images?

anubis404

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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?
 

Jeffrey Byrnes

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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.
 

Katier

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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?

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.
 

LarryD

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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
 

EOS_JD

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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.
 
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anubis404

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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?
 

Katier

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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?

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.
 

epp_b

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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?
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.
 

inTempus

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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
 
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dxqcanada

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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.
 

Overread

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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)
 

Seefutlung

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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
 

inTempus

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I would say most current generation bodies, regardless of cost, can nail focus. I would also say most current generation bodies have good light meters. Most current bodies also use fairly modern CMOS sensors (with a few CCD's still in circulation). I realize not all CMOS sensors are created equal and they all will have different characteristics regarding light sensitivity, color sensitivity, dynamic range, etc. But in the end it's still quite hard to look at any given image and say with any certainty that X picture was taken with a Rebel vs. a 50D, or a D90 vs. a D300.

There are vast differences between a Rebel and a D3x, clearly. But for the average image that's printed/posted online and not blown up to movie poster size I can't really see much of a difference. Sure, I'm by no means an expert but 99% of the population isn't... and that's your typical audience I would say. So as others have noted, an accomplished photog shooting a Rebel will produce far better images than I will armed with my 5DMk2.

That's just general IQ.

Regarding features of the different bodies, now that's a whole different ball game. I know with my limited experience that shooting fast moving subjects like football players or runners with something like my 50D is infinately more challenging than using something like a 1DMkIII. I have had the opportunity to shoot a 1DMkIII and it's nothing short of amazing. It just inspires confidence being in your hand... :)

I don't mean to pass off any of these comments as me "knowing" anything... these are just comments based upon my own observations. I could be all wet, as usual. :D
 

AlexColeman

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Tharm, you are a little bit wrong with your statement, D90 and D300 are generally accepted to be the same image quality. However, I do agree with you, certain bodies and certain glass perform better in certain situations. There is a lot of gray area between a D40 w/ kit lens, and D3X with 85 1.4 for portraits. It is really both body and glass that produce the image, so changing each gives you different results, but to what degree is dependent on the body and lens.
 

inTempus

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Tharm, you are a little bit wrong with your statement, D90 and D300 are generally accepted to be the same image quality. However, I do agree with you, certain bodies and certain glass perform better in certain situations. There is a lot of gray area between a D40 w/ kit lens, and D3X with 85 1.4 for portraits. It is really both body and glass that produce the image, so changing each gives you different results, but to what degree is dependent on the body and lens.
Oops, I meant to type D700. :)
 

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