Image Quality (IQ)


Feb 24, 2010
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#1
Hi All

I have read many comments on the various threads on a particular camera (especially the mirrorless and M4/3 type cameras) giving better IQ than another brand.

While IQ encompasses many aspects; sharpness, color saturation, contrast, details capture, etc, would it be that if we shoot in raw and if we bother to go each image using software to correct some of these aspects of IQ, then does comparison make any sense - that one camera IQ is better than another ?

Thank you.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
6,232
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SG
#2
Hi All

I have read many comments on the various threads on a particular camera (especially the mirrorless and M4/3 type cameras) giving better IQ than another brand.

While IQ encompasses many aspects; sharpness, color saturation, contrast, details capture, etc, would it be that if we shoot in raw and if we bother to go each image using software to correct some of these aspects of IQ, then does comparison make any sense - that one camera IQ is better than another ?

Thank you.
Could be the world for others.
But no it doesn't really matter for me.

Color itself is easily tweakable especially in digital age. Or, I have not had a need to reproduce the characteristics of what some camera can produce out of the box. I would think most of the good photos posted here underwent processing of sorts.

Ryan
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#3
RAW gives greater flexibility especially in terms of dynamic range. And here, different sensor technologies make a big difference.

ISO noise as well - different image sensors will have very different ISO behavior.
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
5,243
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#4
The processor in each camera coupled with the digital sensor would produce different IQ. So even if two cameras uses the same sensor, they might produce very different image quality (not that one is better or worst) they are just different.

Secondly, some sensor captured more resolution and details as compared to another, and some produced softer image, while others are sharper. Of course you might be able to tweak the outlook by photoshop or any photo editing devices... but wouldn't it be easier if the out of camera shot already produce the result or close to the result that you wanted?

Anyway, by now, I tend not to look at all these and focus more on my composition and shooting techniques, because technologies these days had reached such a stage that I find, all camera produced acceptable results irregardless of brands... (and I have used Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon and recently Sony).

Oh... and another thing that cannot be saved (completely), is noise level. Some sensor tends to be not that good in this area. However, after some reading and experience with different camera... I find that sensor is not the only thing here (although many would have thought it is)... the processor (graphic) in the camera worked hand in hand with that sensor too... and they played extremely important part in this aspect too.

The last thing I can think of is dynamic range... that... I believe is where the strength of the sensor actually came in.
 

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edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
6,032
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The Universe
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#5
Hi All

I have read many comments on the various threads on a particular camera (especially the mirrorless and M4/3 type cameras) giving better IQ than another brand.

While IQ encompasses many aspects; sharpness, color saturation, contrast, details capture, etc, would it be that if we shoot in raw and if we bother to go each image using software to correct some of these aspects of IQ, then does comparison make any sense - that one camera IQ is better than another ?

Thank you.
To me, IQ is just sharpness and cleanliness of the photograph. I don't buy any of that "microcontrasts from a certain brand's camera and lenses" thing or "the colors out of my camera are so nice". The camera is a dead tool which captures light which the photographer interprets. If you don't like it, you can tweak it later on. Dynamic range is a separate thing in my book, and of course, different sensors will have yield different DR.

Frankly speaking, for most of the photographs you see and will see, at web size I'd wager no one can tell the difference between a D70 or a more up-to-date flagship D4, at least up till ISO800 or so.

But what is your point, actually? (Or rather, what point are you trying to ask about?)
 

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Feb 24, 2010
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#6
To me, IQ is just sharpness and cleanliness of the photograph. I don't buy any of that "microcontrasts from a certain brand's camera and lenses" thing or "the colors out of my camera are so nice". The camera is a dead tool which captures light which the photographer interprets. If you don't like it, you can tweak it later on. Dynamic range is a separate thing in my book, and of course, different sensors will have yield different DR.

Frankly speaking, for most of the photographs you see and will see, at web size I'd wager no one can tell the difference between a D70 or a more up-to-date flagship D4, at least up till ISO800 or so.

But what is your point, actually? (Or rather, what point are you trying to ask about?)
I was under the impression (mistakenly) that there is actually no real benefit comparing between brands of camera as regards to IQ since images can be tweaked with software. However, Rashkae, rhino123 and yourself have most eloquently pointed out that ISO performance and DR do come into consideration and the interplay between sensors and processors and ultimately, the various camera brands do in fact have their strengths and weaknesses. Between replies from giantcopy, Rashkae, rhino123 and your good self, my query has been answered. Thank you
 

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