Replacing the camera

Damon Davison damon.davison at
Thu Feb 23 17:32:00 GMT 2006


Jason said:

> Raw is basically what the sensor sees and jpeg as we know is a  
> compressed image format where detail is lost if scaled up or down.

I shoot RAW. Not because the quality is better than JPEG, but because  
it allows me to fix blown highlights, within reason. Essentially, RAW  
allows you to have the darks from your lowest ISO setting and the  
lights from your highest. It is indeed what the sensor sees. Scaling  
doesn't really play a role, it's about pixel values, not compression  

JPEG quality isn't bad, so that's seldom a problem, especially at 5+  
MP. Anyway, I can't think of many cameras in the consumer group that  
do RAW.

I don't think having RAW is very important for most people. It might  
start to be when more cameras do it. The Canon S80 was supposed to,  
but this feature was inconveniently missing when it hit the market.  
There are some cameras that do TIFF output.

Sensor size

Struan said:

> the wee image capturing[0] things weren't as wee and hence were a  
> bit more sensitive and so overall image quality was better.


There are two things that most camera users will notice about sensor  
size. Smaller sensors are noisier, especially in low-light  
conditions. All that signal amplification from less light going in is  
what does it. On DSLR's, you'll also notice the so-called "crop  
factor" from smaller sensors. Less of what the lens is showing hits  
the sensor, effectively "cropping" the image down from what would hit  
a full-size sensor. It also means that my 50mm lens acts like a 78mm.

If you shoot in low-light conditions, then you want a big sensor. Or  

Optical Quality

The optical quality is the most important factor for consumer lenses.  
Try to find one with a nice lens. is probably the  
best review site out there and always talks about the optics.


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