If a 35mm film compact was possible why not a large sensor P & S possible?

nonamexx

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
209
Reaction score
11
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Sorry for the dumb question.

I was wondering why digital P & S cameras have small sensors when film compacts could use 35mm film without a huge SLR like lens?

On another note. I still have old prints of photos taken with a Samsung 35mm film camera, but the prints are old and not exactly able to compare them with the modern P & S digitals, but still they look quite good. Were 35mm film compacts, used properly, more capable qualitatively than modern entry-level P & S digital cameras?

Tried to search online for this, but only got information/comparisons between 35mm SLR and DSLR, not point and shoots.

Of course, I realize film is a different medium, but still film compacts are quite a bit smaller than DSLRs, especially the lens. Would love to be educated about this.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,916
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ummmm, it *is possible* to design and build a compact digital camera with a large, 35mm-film sized sensor. Sony has recently brought one to market, at a very high price. It has a "full frame", roughly 24 x 36 millimeter sized digital sensor, combined with a very good quality, non-interchangeable lens. The camera body and the attached lens both are of a size that is roughly the size of the same components that were used on many earlier-generation, 35mm film compact cameras.

The camera manufacturing companies make decisions based on who knows what criteria. SONY is not really "a camera company", but a huge, diversified consumer electronics and entertainment company.

I think the real reason that digital P&S cameras have small sensors is....PROFIT!!!! SMaller sensors are easier and cheaper to make, and to buy. SMaller sensors give greater yield per wafer. Small sensors are very low in cost, so camera makers can buy small sensors very affordably, and build low-cost cameras that they sell for a decent profit. Digital P&S cameras are losing a lot of market share, as PHONE cameras become better, and more capable. I think the market segment for large-sensor digital P&S cameras is really only a niche market; the new iPhone, the new Android and Galaxy phones, plus iPads, all those devices take decent stills and video. The fact is that a smart phone is a MULTI-FUNCTION device, and carrying JUST a phone is now a very viable option for the person who wants "point & shoot" type stills and video...PLUS, the smart phone also makes calls, sends and receives texts, browses the web, and finds directions, and connects to many social networking sites, plus it plays music, and shows videos. All in a package no thicker than a deck of playing cards.
 

Sw1tchFX

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 3, 2006
Messages
7,499
Reaction score
478
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Alot of the reason is that light can hit film at just about any angle without major consequence. Sensor's have microlenses that funnel light into the photosites, but that light has to be coming in through a lens that's fairly telecentric, otherwise there's intensified vignetting and CA. Leica's sensor in the FF M cameras have angled microlenses towards the corners to help alleviate this a little bit. It helps, but it doesn't fix it completely.


To have a small proint and shoot camera with a FF sensor in it is expensive. The RX1 is the cheapest option at $3000! It's like having a conventional sensor that's the same size as 4x5 and trying to use a 75mm lens on it. Yeah right, it's not going to work.
 
OP
N

nonamexx

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
209
Reaction score
11
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
The reason I asked is that, a large sensor P & S could really be useful in taking on vacations etc. without losing image quality and where lugging around a DSLR would be impractical. From what you have said, I suppose the cost may be prohibitively high and not justified for a P & S.
 

Sw1tchFX

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 3, 2006
Messages
7,499
Reaction score
478
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Just look at how much the compact FF cameras are? RX1 is the mcdouble of them at $3000, the Leica M is about 7k? It's not cheap.
 

bratkinson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
1,642
Reaction score
318
Location
Western MA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Marketing is a tricky thing. Basically, every manufacturer that has multiple products has various 'targetted price points'. Whether it's cars, computers, or cameras, various levels of product are aimed at specific price ranges. Compare the 'basic' Chevrolet to a loaded Cadillac. Most buyers are price conscious, and even $100 higher than they can afford is asking too much. For others, $80,000 for a new, fully loaded Cadillac is not a concern. If new Cadillacs cost only $25,000, the more 'affluent society' would dismiss them as being 'cheap'.

And so it goes with cameras. Those that can afford $100-200 to take snapshots, have low-end point and shoots available. Unfortunately, that market is quickly disappearing to the cell phone makers. The next price point is in the $400-600 range. There we have the non-interchangeable lens type of higher-end point and shoots such as the Canon G series. In the $600-1200 range, Canon consumer-level DSLRs such as a T4i with an 18-55 lens. Then it starts getting expensive with the xxD and xD Canons and big white lenses.

So, can Canon or Nikon make a $300 point and shoot with a full-frame sensor AND make a profit? Nope. How about at $500 or $600? Probably not. Even if they DID put a FF sensor in a point-and-shoot sized body, then it's necessary to upgrade the lens to a higher level of IQ, otherwise, the optical resolution capabilities of a FF sensor is 'wasted'...and hence, the added expense of production.

Bottom line, it's all about having appropriate products and making a profit for each market 'segment'.
 

Helen B

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
467
Location
Hell's Kitchen, New York
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
There are some decent P&S-like cameras with larger-than-normal-P&S sensors, and they do stand out. Cameras such as the Sigma DP Merrill trio, and the Sony RX100. The Sigmas are more like compact medium format cameras, and the RX100 is close to being the digital Rollei 35. If you don't need high ISO (well, any ISO over 200) or video, the DP Merrils are superb for both colour and B&W. That's a combination of the lenses, the sensor type and sensor size, of course.
 

AaronLLockhart

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
889
Reaction score
177
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I don't know what a larger sensor in a P&S would be beneficial for. Having a P&S with a wider angle lens and higher pixel density (higher MP) would solve that issue as well. You're talking about redesigning an entire shoe because it's inconvenient for you to tie the laces.
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
A p&s with a big sensor is something that appeals as a concept to a pretty small slice of the market (a slice which is disproportionately represented in internet forums about photography, I might add, so it feels to US like a much bigger market than it is).

The percentage of people in that small slice that will pay the price is low.

As the market size drops, the price goes up even further, since the way you build low-volume high-margin products is quite different from, and quite a bit more expensive, than building high-volume low-margin products. So you're in a kind of a weird little corner of the market. My guess is that the RX100 is being built as a halo product, not as a money maker.
 
OP
N

nonamexx

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
209
Reaction score
11
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
As to my second part of the question.

How did film compact manufacturers get away with smaller sized lenses on compact bodies with 35mm film?
And is 35mm film compact better than a modern P & S camera with a small sensor in terms of image quality?
 

KmH

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
41,401
Reaction score
5,702
Location
Iowa
Website
kharrodphotography.blogspot.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The cost of making 36 mm x 24 mm image sensors is a big factor. That's why the less expensive consumer, non-interchangable lens, mirrorless, P&S cameras use such small image sensors.
Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography

Space in the camera body for all the electronics and sub-systems is another.
 

AaronLLockhart

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
889
Reaction score
177
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
As to my second part of the question.

How did film compact manufacturers get away with smaller sized lenses on compact bodies with 35mm film?
And is 35mm film compact better than a modern P & S camera with a small sensor in terms of image quality?

I'm just trying to figure out what you mean by "compact." There are several KILLER "compact" point and shoots on the market right now. Also, the sharpness of your film is going to change varying on what film speed you are using.

These are two completely separate leagues of photography. There's really not anything to "compare." The glass in compact 35mm's were very inexpensive and low quality. That was the entire reason they were made in the first place. They were automatic cameras, simple to use, and constructed mostly of plastics to make them extremely affordable. even a cheap P&S with decent glass is going to produce as good, if not better results.
 
OP
N

nonamexx

TPF Noob!
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
209
Reaction score
11
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
As to my second part of the question.

How did film compact manufacturers get away with smaller sized lenses on compact bodies with 35mm film?
And is 35mm film compact better than a modern P & S camera with a small sensor in terms of image quality?

I'm just trying to figure out what you mean by "compact." There are several KILLER "compact" point and shoots on the market right now. Also, the sharpness of your film is going to change varying on what film speed you are using.

These are two completely separate leagues of photography. There's really not anything to "compare." The glass in compact 35mm's were very inexpensive and low quality. That was the entire reason they were made in the first place. They were automatic cameras, simple to use, and constructed mostly of plastics to make them extremely affordable. even a cheap P&S with decent glass is going to produce as good, if not better results.

I see. Thanks for that. I wasn't aware of how good or bad the film compacts were. I myself still have an old Samsung film camera though.
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
There were some good compact 35mm cameras out there. The legendary Rollei 35, for instance.

Also, a lot of the "standard" SLRs were almost compact by today's standards. I have a Nikon FE2 on my desk thats smaller than any DSLR made (albeit heavier than some).
 

AaronLLockhart

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
889
Reaction score
177
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You also had made a statement in your first post about lugging a dSLR around. This may be my personal opinion, but I don't find the weight of a dSLR to be burdoning at all. With the entry level line up becoming smaller, sleeker, and more lightweight, you might find that they are actually very comfortable.

Maybe it's just me, but I've always felt like I were afraid to drop a point and shoot, because of their small size. With a dSLR, it fits firmly in your hands, and you don't have to worry about dropping it (I mean, unless your clumsy, or possibly trip over something. However, I've never dropped a dSLR, ever.)
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top