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John_Reed
09-06-2004, 07:31 PM
George, we got us a problem here. Stimulated by John Browning's question about sensor sizes, I went off and computed what they are for various cameras we've been talking about, in square micro-meters. Here's the chart:
http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/8226613-L.jpg
Here you and I have been yammering about how the 8MP cameras have just gone too far, their sensor sites are too small to avoid noise, and I've shown some Sony 828 photos and testimony to demonstrate that (incidentally, the Sony 828 line on the chart could just as well represent the Canon Pro1, the Konica-Minolta A2, or the Olympus 8080, as I believe they're all the same size sensor). But, when you look at the chart, all the FZ cameras except the FZ1 have even smaller sensors than the 8MP cameras! And yet, the FZ cameras seem to outperform the others. So it seems to me that Panasonic must have figured out some ways of improving collection efficiency, so that their sites can grab and hold more light per square micron than the competitors can? I formerly thought it was marketing hype, but here's their version of the story:
http://www.panasonic.ca/images/English/audiovideo/digitalstill/enhanced_sensitivity.jpg
It looks like they're using a "gapless" surface lens in conjunction with an "inner-layer" lens to grab more light. Evidence so far suggests that it must be working. (I'm not sure how they form and align those lenses, but hey, I didn't invent it, either!) Any comments?

D70FAN
09-06-2004, 08:53 PM
George, we got us a problem here. Stimulated by John Browning's question about sensor sizes, I went off and computed what they are for various cameras we've been talking about, in square micro-meters. Here's the chart:
http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/8226613-L.jpg
Here you and I have been yammering about how the 8MP cameras have just gone too far, their sensor sites are too small to avoid noise, and I've shown some Sony 828 photos and testimony to demonstrate that (incidentally, the Sony 828 line on the chart could just as well represent the Canon Pro1, the Konica-Minolta A2, or the Olympus 8080, as I believe they're all the same size sensor). But, when you look at the chart, all the FZ cameras except the FZ1 have even smaller sensors than the 8MP cameras! And yet, the FZ cameras seem to outperform the others. So it seems to me that Panasonic must have figured out some ways of improving collection efficiency, so that their sites can grab and hold more light per square micron than the competitors can? I formerly thought it was marketing hype, but here's their version of the story:
http://www.panasonic.ca/images/English/audiovideo/digitalstill/enhanced_sensitivity.jpg
It looks like they're using a "gapless" surface lens in conjunction with an "inner-layer" lens to grab more light. Evidence so far suggests that it must be working. (I'm not sure how they form and align those lenses, but hey, I didn't invent it, either!) Any comments?

As you said whatever they are doing is working. This is evidenced by the fact that they are the only all-in-one camera, period, that offers an f2.8 lens through the whole 12x range. This in itself is almost revolutionary. I can't think of a single lens from anyone with this specification. Even the 70-200 f2.8 ED Nikkor VR ($1700) lens doesn't even come close.

Hey, the proof is in the pictures and they speak for themselves. I can show specs that will blow your socks off, but the pictures look like crap (Kodak and Fuji are leaders in this area). The pictures I've seen taken with the FZ10 can, in many cases, easily rival my D70 (much to my chigrin).

So agian, the botom line is that the picture quality form the FZ10 (and I assume the FZ3, 15, and 20) easily matches the all-in-one 8MP shots, for half the price, and that is the final word.

John_Reed
09-06-2004, 09:32 PM
As you said whatever they are doing is working. This is evidenced by the fact that they are the only all-in-one camera, period, that offers an f2.8 lens through the whole 12x range. This in itself is almost revolutionary. I can't think of a single lens from anyone with this specification. Even the 70-200 f2.8 ED Nikkor VR ($1700) lens doesn't even come close.

Hey, the proof is in the pictures and they speak for themselves. I can show specs that will blow your socks off, but the pictures look like crap (Kodak and Fuji are leaders in this area). The pictures I've seen taken with the FZ10 can, in many cases, easily rival my D70 (much to my chigrin).

So agian, the botom line is that the picture quality form the FZ10 (and I assume the FZ3, 15, and 20) easily matches the all-in-one 8MP shots, for half the price, and that is the final word.It sort of confirms the intuition that I had about the FZ1 when I first got it - Panasonic (Matsushita) wanted to offer a really fast, no compromise, yet compact image-stabilized lens, so they had to engineer a sensor that, though it was small, would mate well with the new Leica lens, whose size would be determined by the size of the sensor. So if you look at the size chart, they really only have two sensor sizes, and two lens sizes. The FZ1, FZ3 both use the same lens and the same sensor size; and the FZ10, FZ20, and FZ15 too, use the second lens size, and share a common sensor size. Just by way of example, if we were to scale up the lens and sensor of the FZ10 to the size of your D70, (~10X larger site area), instead of having about a 2" lens diameter, the scaled-up FZ10 would have about a 6" lens diameter. Forget about handholding any shots with that monster!

D70FAN
09-06-2004, 09:38 PM
It sort of confirms the intuition that I had about the FZ1 when I first got it - Panasonic (Matsushita) wanted to offer a really fast, no compromise, yet compact image-stabilized lens, so they had to engineer a sensor that, though it was small, would mate well with the new Leica lens, whose size would be determined by the size of the sensor. So if you look at the size chart, they really only have two sensor sizes, and two lens sizes. The FZ1, FZ3 both use the same lens and the same sensor size; and the FZ10, FZ20, and FZ15 too, use the second lens size, and share a common sensor size. Just by way of example, if we were to scale up the lens and sensor of the FZ10 to the size of your D70, (~10X larger site area), instead of having about a 2" lens diameter, the scaled-up FZ10 would have about a 6" lens diameter. Forget about handholding any shots with that monster!

Exactly. I'm sure that a lot of the Panasonic video camera expertise went into the Leica design as well.

Again, bottom line, the pictures.