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13.8MP Kodak Tops Previously Leaked Canon 342

MadCow42 writes "With the professional imaging trade show Photokina opening this week in Koln Germany, digital camera manufacturers are announcing a stunning new lineup of professional digital cameras. These include a 13.8 megapixel monster from Kodak, and a 11.1 megapixel camera from Canon. I'm sure Nikon isn't too far behind, but no news yet on their offerings. These cameras are positioned for the professional photographer, but with list prices from under $4k to $6k, they're not out of reach for the 'pro-sumer' market either. The best news is that new products like this will push prices down on the 4-6MP cameras at the high end of the consumer level." We mentioned the premature release giving Canon's hand away; like MadCow42, I want to see what Nikon has to say.
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13.8MP Kodak Tops Previously Leaked Canon

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  • by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:55PM (#4317096)
    "Oh shit!"

    OK, I'm sure they'll come out with something.
    • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:36AM (#4317250) Homepage Journal
      Nikon is the choice of pros for reasons other than pixel count. Nikon understands the concept of an investment. They realize that a professional photographer does not want to replace thousands of dollars worth of lenses just to get a new camera body. That's why you can take 20 and 30 year old Nikon lenses and put them on a brand-new Nikon digital SLR. Sure, it won't magically turn them into autofocus, but they will still work fine.

      Nikon also builds a level of quality into their cameras that's just missing from many other brands. While Canon and Minolta make some great cameras, the pro Nikons are almost beyond reproach. Many of them have been used by photojournalists in such grueling conditions that it's a wonder that they work at all, but they just keep going until the lettering is all worn off of the countrols and the bodies look like they've been dragged behind trucks.

      Consumer camera manufacturers don't get it, changing lenses on an all-too-frequent basis. They often come up with an all-new design that is totally incompatible with older lens series. While Canon has had some success in the semi-pro and pro market, Nikon is still king of the hill there.
      • by shepd ( 155729 )
        >Nikon understands the concept of an investment

        Ahhh HAHAHAHAHA! ROTFLMAO! Now that's funny.

        Nikon doesn't give two shits about their customers. Just ask anyone who owns an older model CoolScan. We trashed a few not so long ago because they worked fine, but Nikon won't devlop new drivers or touch the damn things. We lost a slide insert once. We ended up with a "spare" unit because Nikon doesn't make replacement parts for products that are more than a couple of years old.

        Nikon is the shittiest company I've dealt with, barring Iomega.
        • Nikon doesn't give two shits about their customers. Just ask anyone who owns an older model CoolScan.

          You're comparing an old slide scanner to a pro-model SLR camera? Get real. They aren't even from the same branches of the company. That's like deciding that you won't buy a Yamaha piano because Yamaha stopped carrying parts for your motocross bike.
          • >They aren't even from the same branches of the company.

            Maybe so, but they're definately more related than a piano and a motocross bike.

            I'd say they're related like an engine and gasoline. If you have an SLR camera and want to take the film digital, you'll need a slide scanner. Very related products, IMHO.

            When a company (or its branches) decide not to support one of these two products, the chain of events breaks down, you see, and you end up screwed.

            If being from a different company branch makes it OK, I guess buying an Acer scanner (for example) is fine because Acer computers are what is mostly related to their bad name, not their scanners.

            Nikon, in general, deserves a bad name if they can't support the digital end of things properly, and from my experience, I'd rather buy a PCChips or Acer product instead. Much more reliable support, that's for sure!
            • Nikon, in general, deserves a bad name if they can't support the digital end of things properly, and from my experience, I'd rather buy a PCChips or Acer product instead.

              There are thousands of professional photographers that have been made very happy by Nikon over the years.

        • A couple of years ago when I was doing research for the best CONSUMER 3 megapixel camera on the market, Nikon spanked them all. Although I paid close to $1000 for the camera, it has been a rockstar ever since. I have no regrets about buying this wonderful piece of equipment.

          It's the Nikon Coolpix 990, by the way. They have a 995 out now.
      • You are right about protecting your investment in Nikkor lenses, but haven't you noticed that the new Kodak and Fuji cameras are all F-mount bodies? You can keep your lenses and still get one of these spiffy cameras. Also there is no officer waiting to impound your film equipment just because you buy a digital body. Keep them both and use them when appropriate. You can buy digital bodies from Nikon too, of course. Life is good for Nikon owners.

        (p.s. I don't have any lenses from the 1970s, but I'm still glad that my modest investment in recent af nikkor lenses will not be wasted when i move to digital)

  • We're closing on 35mm with about 8 MP....with about 20 MP we'll be in the 645 category. What's next?
    • by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:17AM (#4317182)
      Yes, those are the usual claims, but they really are misleading. With resolution targets, if you use the right lenses and film, you may get something that by some naive calculation corresponds to 8 Megapixels.

      However, the imaging characteristics of film and digital are just different; resolution isn't everything and you can't compare them that way. For practical purposes, a 4 or 5 Megapixel gives most amateurs and professionals similar functionality to what they get with 35mm. Under many conditions, a 5 Mpixel digital camera produces nicer images than a 35mm film camera with any film, and under some other conditions, it's worse.

      In fact, scaling up such estimates to medium format is particularly silly. People generally don't use MF or LF for higher resolution, but for characteristics like tonality and DOF. Even if you manage to get the right film and the right lens on your MF system, the longer shutter speeds and smaller DOF will likely counteract any theoretical gain in resolution under most conditions; and films for MF on the whole aren't as good for 35mm either. A Rolleiflex (maybe even loaded with Tri-X) or Pentax67 can't compete with modern 35mm SLR systems and lenses, but that's not the point.

      So, don't wait for some big, high-resolution digital camera to do digital imaging. 12 Megapixels is nice, and some people may need, but most amateurs and professionals probably don't. The real news about the two latest SLRs is that they have no focal length multiplier, and that means that we finally get real wide-angles. That's been the real limitation of digital cameras so far.

      • However, the imaging characteristics of film and digital are just different;

        That's what I've been saying all along. For my money, digital cameras just won't compare to film until they can emulate various types of film stock. Just like I can get reverb, chorus and delay plug-ins for my audio editor, I'm not buying a digital camera until I can get (or it comes with) different plug-ins like "cheap polaroid" or "Tri-X" or whatever that all react to light (and specifically shadows and very bright light) and reproduce colors in the same way that those film stocks do.
  • Photo-Quality (Score:2, Interesting)

    So, at what megapixel mark reach comparable to "photo quality". Not to say the actual quality of photos, but high enough for 720-dpi or so - so you could print it as a decent photo?

    Or are we already there, and I just don't pay attention?
    • We're not there. There are pixel counts that are at or above film resolution (it really depends on what kind of film you're comparing to: that bulk-pack 10-for-$10, or pro-grade slow-speed b&w...).

      But digital isn't touching two other important advantages of film: colourspace and dynamic range.

      Still, it's rapidly coming to the point where film is going to be replaced. For most purposes most of the time, digital seems to be there...
    • 13MP=13 million pixels
      720dpi= 720 dots in an inch
      720x720dpi= 518,400 dots in a square inch
      13million/518,400= 25 square inches

      This means you can make a 5"x5" photo quality photo with a 13MP camera if photo quality is 720x720 dpipi to you. Most printers can only really do 360dpi with any real color detail. Look at the vertical resolution of the printer you want to use. I don't think many printers overlap vertically, but they do horizontally. Keep in mind that 600dpi laser printers have more accuracy than any inkjet I've seen so far. They do so because toner is smaller than ink. A new toner had to be invented for 600dpi laser printers AFAIK. Photo printers are magical, so none of this really applies with them since it usually isn't ink, thus no transference or size issues, but I haven't seen any photo printers that print much more than 25 sq. inches.

      Also, just for people who can't do math (not you, other posters), 10x10 is 4 times larger than 5x5. 13MP is indead 4 times more accurate than 3.25MP, not just 2x. (some people are still learning multiplication appearantly)
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:57PM (#4317103) Journal

    Someone, somewhere, should be working on inexpensive reusable "films" that have the same resolution as traditional film. It just doesn't make sense to be buying new cameras everytime CCDs get cheaper. At the very least, someone needs to make the chips interchangeable, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon since the camera companies like things the way they are. So, what kind of brew of light sensitive chemicals, magnetism, and degaussing apparatus will give us cheap "digital film"? Only time will tell.

    • Reusable "digital film" will be far too long coming due to the difficulties in establishing standards and because it adds unecessary and physically troublesome steps to the digitizing process. Also, how does it make more sense to be buying new digital films each time they get cheaper/better as opposed to CCDs? Aren't they just different implementations of what will eventually be much the same thing?

      Who's to say that a roll of reusable film would be cheaper or more effective than the middle ground that is emerging? That is, developing large MP CCDs that replace the film plane on a 35mm camera. That is, attaching a CCD in place of film in a regular SLR camera. In that situation, the upgrade cost is reduced and compatibility will be maintained with the existing 35mm format.
    • by hpgoh ( 79309 ) < minus herbivore> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @01:23AM (#4317447) Homepage

      Digital backs like this [], this [] and this [] have been available for medium and large format cameras for quite a while, although at that sort of price they're out of the range of your average amateur photographer. SiliconFilm [] has been promising digital backs for 35mm cameras for as long as I can remember, but they're still "under development" - read vapourware. They are showing two new models on the website (4.2 and 10 megapixels), although the product "photos" on their website leave a lot to be desired.

      For those who are wondering what a digital back is and why you'd want one - it's a device which is attached to the back of the camera and provides an imaging surface in place of a roll or sheet of film. They can also have onboard flash storage or they can be wired to a computer. Pros may add digital backs to their kits because they already have thousands of dollars worth of camera bodies, lenses, filters and other accessories. Rather than buying a whole new camera system and associated accessories, they can get a digital back to fit on their cameras and keep their existing kit.

  • I was an "early adopter" of a Kodak DC-210 1-MPx digital camera. I've taken thousands of pictures with it - most archived on CD-R.

    I love it!

    Between my 5 children, running my own business, and home-schooling them, I just never got the time to run stupid errands like developing film.

    My my DC-210, I just plug the Compact Flash card into my USB reader, save to the HDD, and every few months to CD-R.

    Given that my 1.0 MPx camera blows up to about 6x8 before looking "grainy", I can't see the need for more than about 4 Mpx, but then again, "we don't need more than 640k!"...

    With my DC-210, I get pictures I simply wouldn't have any other way... pictures I will cherish as an old fart.

    Anyway, I recommend one. Highly.
    • More resolution is always good. It lets you take a picture at maximum zoom, crop it (or zoom in with your picture viewer) and still get high resolution.

      And yes, most everyone who has ever said "I wish I had a picture of that" would benefit from a digital camera. There's no barrier to just snapping a shot. If it doesn't work, no loss. If it does, you've got an awesome shot. It's risk free and quickly pays for itself by giving you so many photos you'd have never had. For parents, it's almost essential. So many more pictures of the rugrats, including all the moments that wouldn't be important enough to bring out a film camera that later turn out to be very important.

      Don't forget backups. Your CDRs are probably as long-lasting a most drugstore prints but they're considerably cheaper. You can easily afford to burn a few more copies and keep them off-site.
  • How will this tie in with face-in-the-crowd situations that we read about on this site every day? Couldn't this new digital camera lead to the government taking away more of our rights? Keep reading, I'm reaching a point...

    What I mean to say is, we read about facial recognition software and the way that the government abuses it every day here on Slashdot and on other privacy sites. With the ever-higher resolutions on these cameras, it will only make it that much easier for a computer to pick out someone's face in a crowd, tieing them into a huge database of personal data that the government keeps a secret and taking away their Constitutional right to privacy. The potential consequences are astounding.

    I think perhaps we should think more carefully about the implications of such an advance in technology before we go ahead with blindly cheering it on. Dire predictions just might turn out to be true.

    • Just a wee bit paranoid are we. Not that they couldn't do it, but come on, don't you think that if they wanted to, they'd already have such a beast. After all, the cameras they use for spy planes easily bested anything available for the common man for a good long time, what makes you think they don't have a 10+ megapixel digital camera now?

      Now on the practical side, at 10+ megapixels running at a frame rate of say 10fps, we're talking a huge amount of processing required to do any type of facial recognition. Plus keep in mind that the problem of doing facial recognition lies not in the resolution of the images, but other things like being able to interpolate features at differing angles (both x and y), not to mention simple things like a shaved vs bearded face, hair cuts, etc, etc, etc. Remember, you only need a small set of points to match fingerprints, you don't need 400dpi scans of them to do matches. Until facial recognition makes this type of algorithmic leap, I don't think that the escalation of the resolution wars is going to help any govt find anyone.
    • . With the ever-higher resolutions on these cameras...

      This will stop, at least on any particular body. The sensor isn't the only thing that limits resolution, the lenses do, too. Consumer lenses from Canon won't actually live up to the resolution of the D1s, the Canon "L" series lenses (generalization alert) will live up to that resolution, but double the resolution once or twice more and you'll just be wasting technology.

  • focal length (Score:5, Interesting)

    by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:05AM (#4317137)
    The big news about these new cameras is that they finally don't have a focal length factor--with older digital SLRs, your nice, expensive 20mm lens turned into 28mm or 32mm. To me, that matters much more than the extra resolution--there are few or no decent wide angles on current high-end digital cameras.

    Now, if only the price came down...

  • Imagine... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Alien Being ( 18488 )
    taking a picture of a Beowulf cluster with one of these!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Or taking a picture _with_ a beowulf cluster of these!
  • by repetty ( 260322 )
    So, is this a good time to ask whether floppy disk drives are worth having?
  • These cameras are positioned for the professional photographer, but with list prices from under $4k to $6k, they're not out of reach for the 'pro-sumer' market either.

    Since when was $4k-6k "pro-sumer" range? I'm no photography/digital camera buff by any stretch of the imagination so maybe this is just my naivete but I can't see spending that much money on one of these cameras unless you are professional when a 4-6 megapixel camera delivers damn good quality pictures and will be significantly less expensive.
    • I dunno .. I remember when I was looking to buy a camera a few years ago, for fun and to do some copywork.. it was me and this older dude at the counter. I settled on on a cheap Canon EOS Rebel and a the best lenses they had (the total was around $1000). The dude was going through every high-end EOS there was, the ones with eye-controlled focus, the ones with attachments for high-speed 7+ fps shooting, etc. He bought the most expensive camera and lenses, and easily put away $8000 or so.

      I was asking him advice on the cameras, thinking he was some hot shot photographer. Finally I asked him if he was indeed a photographer, and what he photographed.

      Turns out he was a doctor and he was buying the camera "to take on trips" and take photos of "the dog and kids".

      So, yeah, there are people who just walk into the camera store and say "Give me the best". These people also do this in electronics/computer/stereo shops.

      A nice demographic to target...

      • "A nice demographic to target..."

        Yes, and "pro-sumer" is just some damnyankeeism marketroid-speak trying to mask what they really mean - Dilbert had it right calling them the "stupid rich" ;)

        Me, I've got a Fuji s602. 3.x Mpel interpolated up to 6, pics coming in at 2.5Mb (6mpel fine) or 18Mb (6mpel TIFF). Works nicely in the dark, emulating up to ISO1600.
        And my local Jessops price-matched against some of the better online pricing as well: GBP 600 for the camera, 128M smartcard, batteries & charger.
        It's a step up from my old Sony DSC-F505 (2.1Mpel); it's a rather nice toy, will keep me in jpegs for the next ~2 years or so.

        Ruddy "professional" cameras, indeed...
    • Computer enthusiasts, would drop $4-$6k on an SGI if they could (and were into that type of computing)

      Street Rod'ers, would drop $4-$6k (easy) on their cars.

      RC Airplace / Car / Boat enthusiasts could drop $4k on their piece.

      Oil Painting (classes, supplies, frames, etc.) can run $4k for those interested.

      Gun collectors, no prob.

      None of the above are "Professionals" but are above the average "consumer" so they are "pro-sumer." I hope this helps.

      It's all a matter of perception.
    • Since when was $4k-6k "pro-sumer" range? I'm no photography/digital camera buff by any stretch of the imagination so maybe this is just my naivete but I can't see spending that much money on one of these cameras unless you are professional when a 4-6 megapixel camera delivers damn good quality pictures and will be significantly less expensive.

      Probably true, but if you shoot a lot, don't forget that film costs can add up. (Film, processing, and in my case high-end scans.) If you are the sort of person who shoots 100 rolls/year, it's not hard to imagine this camera paying for itself in 3-4 years.

  • I can see why a 15ghz comp might be nice. Voice recon, or 3D, or working as a digital hub (calm down iMac fans, I mean "running the house automation AND your pr0n kinda thing), whatever... 100ghz is nice too. Design safer airplanes with better simulation and testing. Fold some proteins and find cures, etc...

    But what the FSCK are we gonna do with a 100 million pixel camera (around 2010ish???) WTF? Any serious uses, I'd love to hear imaginations run wild. And no, I'm not talking pr0n, I mean medical, etc. I just don't see a use for it. Do you?

    • you'd never have to frame a shot again. just point the camera in the general direction of whatever you want to picture, and then you can crop out a nice shot. Want a close-up of the same thing? No problem, just crop it closer. See a cool looking bug on a leaf in the corner of the shot? Just zoom right in, and still have enough pixels for an 8x10 glossy.
  • MP not everything (Score:4, Informative)

    by ChristopherLord ( 610995 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:14AM (#4317169) Homepage
    The Canon D1s uses a CMOS sensor (not CCD), which results in very low noise. This sensor type has a far lower noise floor then film or CCD. Although CCDs from Kodak and Nikon out-pixel-count the D30/D60/D1s, I would take a 'lowly' D60 any day of the week, simply because it has a pure color ramp with no noise, and all the resolution you would ever need, unless your printing multi-foot-wide prints.
    As an aside, the new D1s is also full frame, meaning you do not have to multiply your lenses by a certain factor in order to get correct results.
  • by Tsar ( 536185 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:14AM (#4317172) Homepage Journal
    "The best news is that new products like this will push prices down on the 4-6MP cameras at the high end of the consumer level."

    IMHO, they won't have a real impact on that market. Canon's excellent G2, a 4-megapixel camera, is currently selling at a street price of $600-$650. Others are in that same range, between $500 and $1000. Do you really think that someone considering the purchase of a $700 camera is going to be swayed by a $4000 camera with less than twice the resolution (noting that resolution varies with the square of the pixel count)? And remember, interchangeable lenses means they're extra, so the actual price difference is actually greater.

    I'm really excited about these new cameras and sensors, and I think they're going to make a big impact in the film-dominated pro market, but to think they're going to generate price pressure on sub-$1000 cameras would be like Toyota dropping Camry prices to compete with the newest Lamborghini.
    • Not the pros I know. Aside from Nat'l Geo contract pros who still (mostly) shoot slides, all the PJ's and pool reporters I know switched to digital long ago. Those guys used to spend more in a month on lab fees than they do in a year on bodies & lenses.

      This includes freelance AP stringers, Washington Post pool reporters, and basically all of the pros that aren't making ''art''. And the latter are growing fewer and fewer due to the superior workflow from digital cameras. Curiously (to me), the guys who have stuck it out with film are Nat'l Geographic contract heavies (McCurry, Doubillet) and climbing photography pros. At least one guy I know who is a professional freelance photojournalist (don't laugh, he makes plenty of money doing it) and avid climber, still uses a film back for his climbing shots.

      All this could change (a LOT) with the advent of affordable full-frame DSLRs. I know it's tempting me... and I'm just an amateur with a lot of lab fees to nudge me in that direction.
      • by jonr ( 1130 )
        If I were going on a few weeks expedition over the Sahara, I would be very hesitating taking digital camera. These babies eat batteries like there is no tomorrow. I wouldn't leave civilzation with one. I think every photographer who ventures in a remote location of the earth will be nervous without at least one camera that works on musclepower only. (My Olympus OM-1 still works, I haven't put battery in it for years)
  • by Snuffub ( 173401 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:16AM (#4317174) Homepage
    im sure a real photographer would be much happier with a headline like, Cannon develops new camera which improves color accuracy, or a camera which can take more than 8 pictures per second. these cameras will have worse image quality than 3-4 megapixel cameras on regular sized prints. (in brief the higher the resolution given a constant image area in the camera the smaller the recievers, the less light the reciever gets. noise is constant for a single reciever so the less light the less signal. ie less accurate pixels) about the only thing this is usefull for would be that it allows for very large prints, then again who's ever heard of a professional photographer printing a digital image in large format? the technology's just not there yet. for the time being ill stick to good ole silver nitrates and developer.
    • by Joe Decker ( 3806 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:02AM (#4317541) Homepage
      Actually, first, let me say that I am a real photographer, [] and I will be seriously looking at the D1s as my first digital Canon body.

      Canon's CMOS-based sensors, which will be used in the D1s, have proven excellent color stability and tonality when used correctly as shown by folks like Michael Reichmann of the Luminous Landscape. Previous digital-SLRs that used those sensors (D30, D60) demonstrated excellent low-light performance and had smaller than "full-frame" sensors, the size of the individual pixels on the D1s won't be very dissimilar IIRC to those on the Canon D60.

      Larger than 3-4 megapixel resolution does matter to me, but only because I want to make 24x16 prints. If you're happy with 8x10s, there's nothing wrong with 3-4 megapixels in and of itself (although not all 3MP cameras are created equal by any means.) Still, for regular prints there should be no reduced quality at all with proper data handling.

      I do landscacpe photography, 8fps is overkill.

      who's ever heard of a professional photographer printing a digital image in large format?

      Moving images through a digital stage is already standard procedure for many fine art photographers who do image capture on film, folks like the late Galen Rowell [] already use this process (a workflow that was, interestingly enough, improved a lot with the work of former Mac Ghod Bill Atkinson. [] (Interestingly enough, these processes end up again back on silver nitrate paper, but I digress.)

      Starting off with digital images would actually remove layers of "stuff" happening to the image reducing quality--so long as the orignial image is detailed enough (in spacial resolution, in contrast range, and in color resolution.) Existing sensors can achieve this, the missing link really was resolution.

      The new Canon D1s (not to mention the Sigma SD9, the Kodak 14MP SLR, and the Kodak 16MP digital back for the to-be-announced-in-the-next-day Hasselblad H1) are going to take serious bites into the serious film photography market.

      • I find it really interesting and suprising that you use digital over film. But it's gotten me curious as to whether im just dismising the technology because of my own intrests and not realizing it satisfies most people's needs. sorry if my first comment sounded arogant, i just get sick of the bigger numbers means better product mentality.

        So ive got a few questions.

        How does the contrast and detail of prints compare to both enlargments and contact print of standard film?

        do you see any differences in various areas of the photo or is the camera which you use able to match colors and light values across the entire photo?

        do you find using software ie photoshop is sufficient to make up for not being able to control the development/printing process?

        what kind of printer do you use for the final product?

        since you take landscapes you probably wont be able to help me here but is there a way to get really fast exposures (equivalent to 1600 iso film or greater)?

        And most importantly if you were given 10 prints would you be able to tell which ones are digital and which ones are from film?

        Any thoughts from people who have used digital cameras for professional
        • by Joe Decker ( 3806 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @11:06AM (#4319336) Homepage
          I find it really interesting and suprising that you use digital over film

          Actually, in a way I use both right now. I believe the Canon 1Ds will change that, the D-60 was close to what I needed, the 1Ds may be enough.

          How does the contrast and detail of prints compare to both enlargments and contact print of standard film?

          As far as color accuracy and tonality, while it's a bit of work (as I'll explain), digital actually gives me more control than a pure-film solution. As far as detail/resolution, 11MP should come in about break-even with 35mm film, the best lenses, etc. (My target is to be able to produce good prints up to about 16x24 inches.)

          Prints from color film provide significant challenges. Color print film usually has to be hand-balanced to a particular color by a lab, color processing is tricky. Most professional photographers use slide film which provides a visible "reference" to what a picture looks like, but chemical printing of slides (via "type R" prints, Cibachromes, etc.) give you prints which much higher contrast than the original slide, there are techniques to mitigate this, but it's kind of a mess.

          The best prints from slides made right now are made by making high-resolution drum scans of the slide, then making prints using a machine which exposes conventional photographic paper with digitally controlled laser beams, and controlled processing. With color management, I can actually send out for a print that matches what I see on my screen (although this also requires calibration of my monitor to a reference standard using a colorimeter.) This is a lot of work, and it gives prints that have better detail than darkroom prints (long explanation omitted), but it'd be better if I'd collected the digital image first rather than scanning the slide. 12MP (36MB) or so has been my "bar" for matching the resolution I can get.

          Mind you, none of this makes any useful difference for prints 8x10 or smaller.

          do you find using software ie photoshop is sufficient to make up for not being able to control the development/printing process?

          Yes, Photoshop gives me much better control of things like this than the darkroom, and repeatability as well. (Once I've dodged/burned/color corrected a scan, I can have it printed multiple times and expect to get the same results, time and time again, which is essential. This is tricky to do in the darkroom.

          What printer?...

          The LightJet 5000, [] I don't own one (they're prohibitively expensive)--I use Calypso Imaging. [] This is a very cool hybrid digital/chemical machine, essentially a digital enlarger, exposing film with lasers, processing with controlled temperature and reagents, etc. This machine (and other similar models) are very commonly used by professional photographers these days.

          since you take landscapes you probably wont be able to help me here but is there a way to get really fast exposures (equivalent to 1600 iso film or greater)?

          Good question. I think the "1Ds" is reputed to offer up to ISO 1250 or so, but I usually live on the other end of the ISO scale (most of my work is done on Fuji Velvia, which is ISO 50.) I'm told that the D-60 at ISO 400 gives results which in some ways have lower noise than 400 speed film, but I can't speak to higher speeds.

          And most importantly if you were given 10 prints would you be able to tell which ones are digital and which ones are from film?

          For well-produced Lightjet prints it would be a little tricky. The final product of either appears on standard photographic paper, photographic images tend not to lend themselves to jaggies. I just checked a couple of my own prints and a similarly produced print of this image by Galen Rowell [] and I can't find jaggies with a magnifying glass on large prints.

          What I think I could cue on easily is the excessive contrast of chemical prints from slides. So, "very probably," with the LightJet prints (assuming of course both were done very well) looking better (because they're more controllable by the photographer or printer.)

    • who's ever heard of a professional photographer printing a digital image in large format?

      An increasing number of portrait studios (ie the kind who do photos of families for the wall) are using MF cameras with digital backs, and outputting 11x14 or larger prints.

      Digital format also allows quick and easy proofing for client choice of image - the pics get thrown onto a PowerPoint slideshow.

  • by cetan ( 61150 ) is running quite a bit of news about Photokina 2002. They've even got 2 images of the new Kodak. (Note: that's /of/ not /from/). 14n.asp []
  • by Polo ( 30659 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:27AM (#4317212) Homepage
    Here is a very detailed article comparing Film vs. Digital []

    This might be better than some 35mm films, especially at the higher ISO ratings.

    Of course, it may be easier to get larger film than a larger sensor...

    • Also try this [] article.

      This camera will be better than film. As a pro writer/photographer who already shoots digital only at 4mp (EOS-1D), I can say that 35mm film is dead but for those quaint "vintage" photographers who are doing "art" stuff.

      The amount of ignorance about digital and about photography in general here on Slashdot is shocking! These people may be geeks, but they understand little about optics, current sensor technology, film chemistry, or human perception of resolution and dynamic range.
      • These people may be geeks, but they understand little about optics, current sensor technology, film chemistry, or human perception of resolution and dynamic range.

        Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us. As for this "human perception" stuff, what happens if you have to brighten or darken the image a few notches. Human perception suddenly becomes profoundly more sensitive (or was it the image that degraded?). Or what happens if the human actually looks at some subset of your image, rather than the whole thing at once?
        • what happens if you have to brighten or darken the image a few notches. Human perception suddenly becomes profoundly more sensitive

          Is this true? I thought that the limiting factor was lousy 24-bit fileformats. 48-bit goes a bit on the way, but what is the sensitivity of current CMOS arrays...

          3D technology demonstrates that 128 bit color depth isn't useless (especially for professional
          manipulation). Now, is the problem in cameras in sensors, lacking storage technology or just archaic fileformats?

          Digtal photography should be able to bring new details to pictures where normal humans won't see a thing, maybe in the next generation.
  • Extreme Resolution (Score:3, Informative)

    by R.D.Clark ( 467410 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:38AM (#4317265)
    Just had to do the quick math to figure out the approximate "top end" that one of these cameras can shoot. My admitedly aging Epson PhotoPC 750z is a 1.9MP camera, and tops out at 1600x1200 in an interpolated mode. Normal mode is only 1280x960 which is still fantastic for what I use it for, namely web page creation. I think it is still easier to crop and scale down than to scale up.

    Anyway, going with the assumption of a 4x3 aspect ratio in the new camera, 13.8MP would yield a resolution of roughly 4300x3225 (13,867,500 pixels). Doing simple division to fit that roughly into an 8x10 photo would give you about 410dpi. A far cry better than the 150dpi that my camera is capable of. And while it is still not in the ballpark of 720dpi (7488x5616 or 41.8MP), it's surely a lot better than this amature photographer is ever going to need.

    When the 20MP cameras are available, we will be looking at 5168x3876 (20,031,168 pixels) which yields 495dpi for an 8x10 photo.
    • You cannot simply take the MP count, and convert into resolution that way. A nice article about how digital cameras work can be found at How Stuff Works [] which explains the basics in an easy way. (Great site by the way)

      For example a 2.1MP camera only produces pictures @ 1600x1200 which contains 1,920,000 pixels. This is a ratio of about 10:11. This means that the 13.8MP camera gives pictures with approx. 12.5 Mpixels You do the math of figuring out the res.

      [disclaimer]I am not into digital cameras, and all I know, I learned from this article, so don't fry me OK!!![/disclaimer]

  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:42AM (#4317284) Homepage

    Check out some pictures of the new Kodak at dpreview []. It looks pretty nice. I like big cameras that fill my hands, have a nice solid feel, and weigh a few pounds.

    Of course my dream camera is 4-6 megapixel SLR that has a full-35mm-size *interchangeable* sensor (in case I want to upgrade to more pixels), low noise, good color, and takes EOS lenses. All for $500 or less. Just a few more years....

  • A bunch of people are asking what resolution produces a good 8x10 print. I shoot at 3mp for the most part, and get stunning 8x10 prints from my $100 off the shelf printer using good photopaper. Unless you're a pro, $4000 is a waste of money for a digital still camera. If you are a pro, you'll buy a nikon d1x or a good camera; Not anything with kodaks name on it.

  • Just an FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @01:04AM (#4317378) Journal
    for anyone in the market for a digital camera. Unless you a serious photographer a 2.1MP with a good zoomable optical lens will work fine for most people. Having 3MP can't hurt, but anything beyond that is overkill(financially) for most people.

    Ask yourself this. How many 8x10 photos have you made and kept in the past few years? If your like the average consumer and do 4x6's and 5x8 's a good 2.1MP will do you well.

    Plus keep in mind that A) you will need a high speed connection if you want to upload your photos to an online printer. My father realized that after buying a 3MP and trying to upload a roll of 30 via a 56k line which as we all know only does 33.6 up. Also realize that B) printing your own photos is very expensive and between the ink and paper really burn money.

    So while its all good and well that these higher MP camera are coming out, the cost of the camera can really sometime be minimal over the other expenses you may incur.
    • Minor correction it should say,

      "Unless your a serious photographer a 2.1MP with a good optical zoom..."

      The reason is an optical zoom truely magnifies the subject, while a digital zoom just blows up the same area and doesn't really optically magnify it. This can often result in a blurry picture. So in otherwords, don't user digital zoom.
    • Re:Just an FYI (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WNight ( 23683 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:09AM (#4317674) Homepage
      I've never seen anyone do what you say your father did.

      As someone else said, the point of digital is to pick and print the best, not everything. Digital loses most of its price advantage if you go and get prints made.

      I've shot 8000 pictures since May, I've had 50 4x6 prints made, mostly for greeting cards. The 5800 or so that I've kept are all on the computer. When I did want prints made I tossed the 20 different shots on a CR-RW and walked a few blocks to the neighborhood camera store/photo lab.

      As for the use for resolution? It lets you crop a lot and still have a very high-res print.

      Besides, if you keep your photos on the computer you can zoom in and scroll around, seeing a lot more detail than you could if you printed out everything at 8x10.

      BTW, for anyone looking to buy a digital camera, get one you like the interface for. Nikon has a horrible reputation in this area, Canon is great, Minolta and Olympus are pretty good. The whole point of digital is to allow you to take a picture anywhere, anytime, if you have to fight your camera to use any manual function you're not going to do a lot of photography. For choosing a camera, read the reviews at or a similar site. And don't obsess about mega-pixels. Quality is only partly related. A good 4MP will blow away an average 5MPs. And buy one with a 'fast' lens (low F-stop rating. Try to f2.0 at least.) The physical lens needs to be large, a pinhole doesn't let in enough light to be easily usable in the evening or indoors.
      • Read my reply to Zebbers below. Besides sending an attached file via email the computer novice probably hasn't uploaded anything in their life. My post was for neophytes and I stand by the anecdote. The way you think is not the way joe consumer thinks.
    • A year ago I picked up a Sony DSC-P1, which does 3.3MP. After a little experimenting I found no noticable difference in quality between 2.2MP shots and 3.3MP shots, when printed on 5x8 at a professional print shop. Even printing on 8x10, the difference is hardly noticable. So I use 2.2MP exclusively and fit more pictures on a memory stick as a result.

      It is true enough: for those people that are not really into photography, but just want to make happy snaps of their holidays, 2.2MP is just fine. As with anything, pick your camera according to your particular needs. I am a casual photographer so I picked the Sony, one of the better hobby camera's at the time. It fits in any coat or even trouser pocket so I carry it with me, always. Also a very good underwater house was available, and the underwater pictures it makes even with just the built-in flash ar just incredible. All that for a mere $900, not a lot at the time. If you make photos like I do, spending big bucks on a digital SLR is a waste of money
  • by Myriad ( 89793 ) <myriad.thebsod@com> on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @01:26AM (#4317455) Homepage

    I can just picture in Koln, Germany right now...

    Kodak: The numbers all go to thirteen. Look, right across the board, thirteen, thirteen, thirteen and -
    Canon: Oh, I see. And most cams go up to eleven?
    Kodak: Exactly.
    Canon: Does that mean it's sharper? Is it any sharper?
    Kodak: Well, it's two sharper, isn't it? It's not eleven. You see, most blokes, you know, will be shooting at eleven. You're on eleven here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on eleven on your camera. Where can you go from there? Where?
    Canon: I don't know.
    Kodak: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
    Canon: Put it up to thirteen.
    Kodak: Thirteen. Exactly. Two sharper.
    Canon: Why don't you just make eleven sharper and make eleven be the top number and make that a little sharper?
    Kodak: [Pause] These go to thirteen.


  • by asdfasdfasdfasdf ( 211581 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @01:45AM (#4317504) found here [] Roger N. Clark's photography page provides supurb comparisons and information comparing film grain resolutions, and including digital cameras in the mix.

    Many pundits here have been instantly shouting that 16+megapixels are unnecessary. They are very wrong. 16 megapixels only approxomate 35mm-- and don't even come close to large-format film.

    The comparison is educational & eye opening and EXTREMELY well documented, with pictures.

    The readers digest version is that "From these tests, it is my opinion that digital cameras will match Fujichrome Velvi 35mm film when they reach more than about 10 megapixels. Somewhere in the 12-16 megapixels will produce color image quality comparable to 35 mm film (this is a compromise of more intensity detail and less color detail than film). Somewhat fewer megapixels, approximately 7-8 Mpixels will match 35mm film intensity detail but at below 35mm film color detail.

    Medium format film: about 50 digital camera megapixels are need to match Fujichrome Velvia in 6 x 4.5 cm.

    Large format: more than 200 digital camera megapixels are need to match 4x5 Fujichrome Velvia film. How much more needs futher testing. "

    Thanks Roger N. Clark.

  • ö? o:? colon? (Score:2, Informative)

    by n3k5 ( 606163 )
    for those who can neither type nor pronounce Köln (with the funny dots above the o), the international / anglophile name of the city is Cologne.
    • Re:ö? o:? colon? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Götz ( 18854 )
      Right, it's Cologne. And if you want to write Köln and cannot find the ö on your keyboard, you can transliterate this to Koeln.

      The same rule applies to my name.

  • Scanner replacement (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phr2 ( 545169 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:06AM (#4317550)
    I'm interested in scanning old books for the Gutenberg project. Using a flatbed scanner is a pain in the neck (have to keep turning the book over to turn pages) and it's bad for the book to have to keep squashing the spine down flat. There's a machine called a "planetary scanner" for scanning books, used in library conversations departments, that looks like an overhead projector (the scanning head points downward at the book) and costs about $12K. I've used one and it's a huge thing (fills a desk and takes two people to move) and very slow (you're lucky if you can do 3 pages a minute with it).

    This camera sounds like a great alternative. 3000 by 4000 pixel resolution means 400 dpi for a 10" text area (two pages of a book) and you need that resolution for good OCR'ing. The camera is portable--just bring a typewriter page holder to prop up the original, and fast: click! (turn page) click! (turn page) click!.

    If I get the cash together I could imagine buying one just to use for stuff like this.

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Haych ( 519525 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @02:35AM (#4317606)
    Am I mistaken, or does this camera [] by Kodak have 16 megapixels?
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You're right, but that is a back that fits on a medium format camera instead of a 35mm SLR.
  • my experiences (Score:3, Informative)

    by rvr ( 15565 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:08AM (#4317670) Homepage
    I have had digital cameras for almost 5 years now and have shot over 16000 of pictures, taking up about 2.5gig. I have a P70 canon right now and am looking to get a new camera. I am serious in an amateur way about photography so your mileage may very. My experiences and wants:
    • Don't be fooled by "digital zoom" - optical is the key and you will love optical zooms.
    • optics do play an important role, and you pay for good optics (hence the price difference)
    • battery life - definitely rechargable.
    • next shot delay - how long between pix does it take the camera to get ready. Mine is slow and its irratating.
    • make sure you get something other then serial port downloading. (ie firewire, usb or I got an ImageMate CompactFlash reader - fast)
    • I miss the control of my SLR, the next camera I get will have more then just auto programs.
    • the more megas the better, try and get a step higher then you can afford. My massive 1.2 mega pixel 4 years ago is dinky today. Am glad I did not get something much smaller back then.
    • take lots and lots of pix - you are bound to get a few jewels if you shot lots. My rule of thumb for my SLR was 1-2 great shots in a 24 pix roll.
    • small cameras are easy to carry, but I like something substantial to hold on to.
    • digital cameras allow you to experiment and I let my kids go nuts with it!

    So how much saving over film & developing charges? Well, 16000 pix / 24 pix = 666 (!) rolls of film. 666*$10 film & develop charges = $6,600. Thats the minimum it would have cost! And I probably shot at least two to three times that and tossed out the crap.
  • Foveon (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:30AM (#4317712)
    These cameras sound interesting, but I'm waiting to see how the foveon [] cameras turn out. The camera previewed there was recently announced to by $1800 for the body.

    I have to think that buying a really high end diigtal camera in the next few years is only practical for a company with a lot of money - otherwise the imaging and storage technologies being developed and refined really make waiting worth while.

    At the moment a good film scanner and camera are as appealing to me a digital system, and cheaper too. Plus film is a lot easier to deal with at the moment when travelling if you take more than a few hundred pictures.
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @03:35AM (#4317726)
    The actual number of MP required to equal 35mm quality depends totally on what you are doing. In a series of tests years ago, I believe it was established that most hand held users of 35mm cameras could not achieve a resolution much over 25lp/mm under normal conditions. Roughly speaking - and I'll explain why roughly - this is equivalent to a 2.1MPx digital sensor.

    On a tripod, and assuming no subject movement, resolution will be limited by a combination of the film capability and the lens capability. This gets quite complicated because with conventional film the resolution degrades fairly gracefully. As the detail gets smaller lens contrast is lost, but also film contrast is lost because of scatter, flare, grain pattern. In theory a Leitz 50mm lens operating at around f/5.6 can achieve an equivalent of about 30MPx, but in practice nothing like this will be achieved by most subjects most of the time.

    However, there are other fiddle factors. First, digital camera makers lie^x^x^x apply interpretation to their camera sensors. A camera advertised as 2.1MPx tends to have rather fewer actual working pixels, the rest is done by "interpolation", a process which involves removing artefacts, a degree of dither, and the fact that most image sensor cells, instead of having RGB sensor sites, have in effect RGBG with twice as many green, owing to the need for an XY matrix. It also loses performance because, having only a small photosensor, the lens design is compromised. All the years of 35mm lens development do not apply to the tiny short focussed lenses of small digital cameras.
    Second, there is no direct equivalence between film photography, with its analog response (gradual degradation of image as detail gets smaller) and digital sensors which are all or nothing. Increased subject contrast increases resolution on analog cameras but can only increase the contrast on a digital sensor.
    Finally, with a film camera you can increase resolution and image quality at the expense of light sensitivity by changing film.

    My conclusion: I suspect that for most people most of the time something like a Canon G2 is perfectly adequate. But if you want to take high res photos on a tripod, if you need to use long or short focus lenses, if you want the highest color resolution, you need film.

    Since you can currently get this quite easily, buy the G2 now, keep the 35mm system and wait till the pros start discarding their second hand bodies when the pixel count goes up to 22 or 30. There will be some bargains, and with your 35mm system you can always get the performance when you need it, using that old clunky silver technology.

  • Since when $4000-$6000 became prosumer range? The only product you could possibly buy at that price range and still call it "prosumer" with a straight face is a beat up race car to use on weekend races.

    Prosumer is actually on the $1000-$1200 range. ust go to an electronics store and see how many camcorders. SLRs and digicams cross over that price range.

    Not a hell of a lot.
  • 50 Mega Pixels (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sambo99 ( 224628 ) on Tuesday September 24, 2002 @12:00PM (#4319703) Homepage
    This guy [] has created 50 mega pixel images using current digital cameras!

    I guess his life will be 4 times easier :).

    Also there is a preview of the cannon on

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.