Digital camera - Megapixels Versus CCD size

  je-haz 21:55 04 Dec 2007


I am looking at 2 digital cameras by the same manufacturer.

One is 8MP and has a 1/2.5 CCD,
the other 12mp with a 1/1.7 CCD

Do you know which is best?

It seems that 1/1.7 = 0.58, whereas 1/2.5 = 0.4
But then 0.58 div 12 = 0.048 versus 0.4 div 8 = 0.05

So am I right in saying that the 1/1.7 CCD is better, but because it has more megapixels it is in fact worse?

  FatboySlim71 23:35 04 Dec 2007

Don't be too concerned about megapixels, 6 megapixel is enough for most people. One of the most important things on the camera is the lens quality rather that megapixel amount. I'm not sure about CCD size but I can imagine someone on here will know about it.

  aquatarkus 08:17 05 Dec 2007

your pretty much correct the more megapixels they keep craming into smaller and smaller ccd's the worse the noise and final quality will be.
its a shame that manufactuers keep the megapixel race going instead of concentrating on quality, but the marketing guys seem to be running everything and they've created the more the better.
it will be very interesting to see what happens when the Sigma DP1 compact camera finally is release as this uses the same Foveon sensor used in the Sigma SD14 DSLR, this sensor will be roughly 8 times the size of a 1/2.5 ccd.
have a look here click here
the only problem at the moment is probably going to be the price around £800


  anchor 09:27 05 Dec 2007

aquatarkus: the Sigma DP1 sounds wonderful BUT, (there is always a but), it has a fixed lens the equivalent of 28mm, & max: aperture of f4. No zoom, or even the facility to change lenses. This will put many users off. Also £800 is an awful lot of money.

je-haz: I would say that the 8 Mpixel is more than adequate. You do not mention the make, which in my opinion is of great importance.

  Noels 09:37 05 Dec 2007

click here

See the above info

  Diemmess 09:51 05 Dec 2007

More important than pixels is lens quality and a manufacturer name for best "old fashioned 35 mm" cameras.

Noise, similar to graininess and all sorts of other flaws tend to creep in to bargain offers.

6M pixels can print to vast size way beyond even an A3 printer, and as always the skill of the photographer perhaps matters most of all.

  anchor 12:20 05 Dec 2007

Lens quality and good manufacturers name for the best cameras.

Diemmess: you are correct; this is why I asked what make je-haz was considering. There are some very poor cameras on sale with high mega-pixel ratings. You need a good lens and good electronics.

  je-haz 13:02 05 Dec 2007

My options were a:

- Casio Z1200 (12mp with a 1/1.65 CCD and a basic lens)


- Panasonic Lumix FZ18 (8mp with 1/2.5 CCDm 18x zoom Leica lens)

The casio has the better size CCD, but the Lumix has the more sensible number of megapixels and a better lens.

But ironically, the casio gets amazing reviews for image quality, whereas the lumix tends to wip out sky and let noise creep in.

Very different cameras I know, but which takes the best shots?????

  je-haz 13:11 05 Dec 2007

ive gone for the lumix. hope i made the right choice. i know its superior on paper....but the reviews are a mixed bag.

then again...i guess a lot of people who are reviewing it are expecting dslr quality - which it wont be!

  anchor 14:06 05 Dec 2007

I bought the Panasonic DMC-FZ8 this summer, and can affirm that its superb.

I know its not the same model, but shows that the combination of Panasonic electronics and Leica lens is an excellent marriage.

I was impressed with the optical image stabilisation which enabled me to get acceptable hand held pictures at slow exposures, which would have been impossible without it. Here is an unmodified example taken at 1/4 second; hand held - (size reduced & compressed); not perfect, but acceptable.

click here

The LCD screen is very good and can be seen even in the brightest sunshine. Shutter lag is par for the course; table here:

click here

Auto colour balance in tungsten light gives a distinct yellow tone, but I have yet to see a camera that is perfect in this respect on Auto.

My model has the same size CCD, and do NOT find the sky burns out in typical shots. Have a look at this unmodified example taken in Crete, (exposure 1/400 sec, F5.6). The image has been downsized and compressed to reduce downloading time.

click here

Hope this information helps.

  anchor 14:10 05 Dec 2007

je-haz: I feel sure you have made the right choice, and won`t be disappointed.

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