45

Sensors are rectangular by tradition, based on the historically traditional shape of image media. But there is a technology/business decision that drives them to be rectangular, also. Sensors are rectangular because they are made using semiconductor fabrication techniques. These techniques call for “printing” multiple sensor circuits onto a silicon wafer. ...


33

There are a lot of reasons why a lens is produced round: From the side of the manufacturer, it is easier and cheaper to manufacture spherical lens and easier to calibrate when you combined different lens to achieve a unique feature, e.g. macro, telephoto etc... For the general users, most of us will definitely agree to say that it is more convenient to ...


26

It's very important to realize that it is not the high ISO setting itself that results in noisy image, it's that fact that using a high ISO setting means you capture very little light. Light is made up of photons which are randomly emitted by a lightsource. When the light levels are low or the exposure time very short then the number of photons you get will ...


19

The technology is not primtive but actually quite advanced. Every component important to photography is constantly being researched and improved. The cost of those improvements are passed on to buyers, just as with everything else. Furthermore some of what you suggest would render a camera worse for photography: The interface of each manufacturer is highly ...


19

One more reason: The light gathering capability is largely governed by the area, whereas some of the optical quality goes down (or it is more expensive to correct to the same level) with the maximum dimension. A circle minimizes the maximum dimension for a particular area. Despite that, manufacturing concerns are the overriding reason. Fortunately, a ...


17

A funny point is that the shape of the aperture (thus of the lens) affects the apparent shape of an out-of-focus light source (often called "bokeh"). You can see that looking at the custom bokeh images (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Custom-Bokeh).


16

As a fairly generic answer, I'd go for an older higher level camera every time. To me, higher spec cameras tend to have a longer life span (in terms of shutter actuations), and more solid build than entry level ones. Although saying that it is more likely that they have had heavier use before getting to you. I reckon also that features and specs of high end ...


15

That particular ring, by itself, is the aperture stop. The normal operating mode of the Land Camera (150, at least) was a coordinated exposure system that coupled particular shutter speeds and apertures using the EV system. From the Land Camera 150 user manual, The shutter dial adjusts the camera to the right combination of shutter speed and lens ...


13

I'm totally with Itai on this one. DSLR's are by no means "primitive". On the contrary, they are very advanced and refined tools for serious photographers. To answer each of your points directly. A primitive interface If you are referring to the menu systems...they may visually look primitive, however they are designed for functionality, not looks. ...


13

In my opinion it boils down to two factors (assuming you mean DSLRs in the low- and mid-range): Higher level cameras give you more features and more control than entry level cameras. Newer cameras have better low-light capability than older cameras (and generally better image quality due to technological advancement). Given an amount of money you balance ...


11

Very Unlikely There is a lot of R&D going on in sensor technology right now, even the examples you give are at best misleading. You only talk about megapixels, there are a lot of improvements that can be done without increasing the pixel count. For example, just compare pictures from a 8MP cell-phone camera from a new model to a 4 year old model. APS-C ...


10

Reduce it, yes. For example, the Canon 5D Mark III is 2/3 stops better than the Canon 5D in high ISO performance, although their sensors are the same size, because it is seven years newer. Of course, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results, but I see no reason for incremental gains not to continue to be made. Eliminating it ...


9

There has been an improvement between the 40D and 650D, but not that great. Certainly less than a stop. You'll get a far far greater improvement in image quality by getting more light onto the sensor. There are a number of ways to achieve this: Depending on what lens you're currently using you may be able to get a three stop improvement by switching to a ...


9

I think the problem here is one of level of detail. While vectorization works great for making an image that can scale infinitely, it relies on firm patterns that can be mathematically described. Unfortunately, real life is full of imperfections and variations that make it impossible to describe in a pure vector format, at-least with any meaningful gain. ...


9

Well, lenses are not always "round" in shape. However that has nothing to do with photography. Here are some examples: Cylindrical lenses are very useful for some applications of 1-D cameras and beam astigmatism correction, as well as beam shaping. Fresnel lenses, can come in many shapes, and are used for focusing light with twist. see for example : https://...


8

I have a 1Ds mkII and an original 5D. The fact I still have them is mainly due to the fact that they're worth a lot more to me that I would get from selling them. In other words I think they're probably undervalued on the second hand market. The main reason I say this is that the look you get from a full frame sensor is in many ways unobtainable with a ...


8

I've been doing a lot of research on this topic lately. Here is what I've found (note that I use "mirrorless" to refer specifically to mirrorless cameras with interchangable lens): tl;dr: Mirrorless can give better value, but the technology is still catching up, and poor usability in low-light means they are not a replacement for DSLR's. Pros of ...


8

Both the Canon 60D and the 700D/T5i are built around the same basic sensor: Canon's 18MP APS-C sensor with 4.3µm pixel pitch. It has also appeared in the T2i/550D, T3i/600D, T4i/650D,SL1/100D, EOS M, and 7D. When shooting RAW and editing on a computer any of these cameras can use the latest updates to Canon's demosaicing algorithms and image processing that ...


8

It depends on what aspect of the sensor you are looking at. In terms of obtaining shallow depths of field and rich background blurs, this is a physical limitation rather than a technical limitation and will remain an advantage for larger sensors indefinitely. Similarly, the aperture at which diffraction limiting is reached is better on a larger sensor for ...


7

It already happened! On film, or early digital, high ISO meant 400, on latest full frame cameras it means 6400. Problem is that each time it happens, 'High ISO' gets redefined to be even higher, or in another words, high ISO always means "so high that current tech makes it noisy". As noted by Tony, there are eventually, physical limitations as to how far it ...


6

As John points out in the comments - for modern SLRs, ISO1600 is not that much of a problem. A lot has happened since 2006 - cameras, such as all technology, evolve. Now I also think sales advice per se is not generally well liked here, so I will try to be general on the topic of upgrading: The problem: An old camera no longer suits the user's need, what ...


6

Let's say you use a rectangular lens rather than a cylindrical one. First off, the shape of the lens won't matter at all unless you have the aperture all the way open; on any slower setting, the approximately circular shape of the diaphram will be the determining factor. Assuming that you do have the aperture all the way open, the main effect will be as ...


6

There have been a lot of technological advances in the past eight years, the most visible of which will be noise performance in low light, overall speed, and convenience features like live view with a large rear LCD. It sounds like you are not really taking advantage of your DSLR in more ways than just not using advanced features – you're only using the kit ...


5

High ISO performance has greatly improved over the last few years but if you scrape the bottom of the barrel you wont see much improvement! While test results for the T4i are not out yet, if you compare the T3i to the 40D at DXO lab, their scores is almost identical (54 vs 64) and looking at the low-light scores in particular, you will see 793 vs 703, ...


5

Lenses were always being produced as rounded because it fits the manufacturing process the best. Making them square would involve at least very precise cutting afterwards, so that would make them much more expensive. (However square lenses are being produced for some special purposes) You could ask why the sensor is square rather then round? The answer to ...


5

The Canon 5D Mk 3 and Mk 1 does not have the same sensor. They both have sensor based on a CMOS production technique, but that does not mean the sensors are identical. CMOS is also the same technique used to produce the electronic chips in your computer and mobile phone, and we know those have changed (improved) since 2000. Some of these improvements have ...


5

You can take amazing photographs with any camera. The trick is to know and understand your equipment. An older professional camera might be more rugged and durable, but might have lower resolution or light sensitivity. It really depends on the specific cameras you are comparing. A few years ago I was dead set on buying a used 5DMk2 because I wanted a full-...


5

The D40X is plenty good enough to learn from before splashing any cash. The main point is that it is free. You can learn exactly what limitations it has (if any) and use that as a basis to refine what you want from a camera system in regards to your subject matter.


5

Disclaimer: I can't answer for Nikon, or any system other than Canon. But I can attempt to answer some of your questions in general, as relates to Canon film cameras. This will also serve to answer the same question someone else may have, but from a Canon point of view. Canon hasn't released a new film SLR since the EOS 30V and EOS 300X in 2004. The last ...


4

While megapixels are not changing much, that doesn't mean that sensors are not improving in other ways. For physics reasons (diffraction), at higher megapixel levels, you start gaining less in terms of image quality than you would from other improvements. Additionally, the higher the megapixels get, the less noticeable improvements in resolution are for ...


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