Digital Compacts and Sensor size
Ever since Digital cameras became available to the professional and the Consumer market alike there has been an ongoing debate about the sensor size that the manufacture selects for each Model.
You can see all the possible types and sizes of sensors here : Image Sensor types and sizes
As well as SLR cameras , I own two cameras that have sensor sizes below what most people, stereotypically would consider are professional, by which people mean that you would be able to sell the images to be printed in magazines or used for commercial reasons.
Most of the time I use these cameras when I know that their images will be used for the Internet or for personal reasons like Holidays or Family pictures.
However the Boss of Nikon-USA last year made a statement that the size of the sensor is now being made less important than ever before, simply because the image quality being produced by most sensors over that of a pocket camera or an i-phone was increasing year on year.
His statement was sure to and did raise some debate, specially from the owners of very expensive Nikon Cameras !
So , over the last few months I have taken a closer look at what he was talking about and the results are very interesting, below I have posted six images taken by a Nikon P7000 and then a Canon G1x , which as you can see from the diagram above on the left, has a much larger sensor that the other camera used here a Nikon P7000.
Many top end compact Cameras have a sensor size of 7.60mm x 5.70mm in size, the Canon G1x has a much larger sensor that measures 18.70mm x 14mm.
Many Photographers who make money selling images fell that the Canon G1x has a very acceptable image quality for a good 80% of image types and keep this compact-camera as a backup or as a carry anywhere camera. Sometimes a large and heavy SLR is just a pain to carry and makes you very conspicuous !!
So the question I was asking myself is , is there a big difference in image quality between these two Cameras here ?
Well the images below don’t appear to show many if any at all, the Nikon has a 10mp output and the Canon 14mp so if your are printing the images you could get a 36x27cm print from the little Canon and a 30cm x 23cm print from the Nikon, both at 300dpi.
This is a large surprise to me and I am sure could and would be questioned in a camera review lab but I am taking real world images from both sensor sizes and comparing them.
In all other respects I can see little defects in the RAW images coming from the Nikon as opposed to the Canon, the Colors are very good they both contain about the same level of detail in the shadow areas and the highlights such as bright areas of sky and clouds and have an image noise level that is acceptable.
So is the Boss of Nikon America correct, well yes, in many respects from looking at the results of most cameras with a sensor size of and over the 1/1.7″, with these sensors you will get some great images provided the camera itself is designed to let you do so!
Will I be throwing my full sized sensor SLR in the bin , well NO! not just yet but it is very reassuring to know that at last you can take these kind of cameras anywhere (Holidays, long walks, tops of mountains and family events) and get very good results , something that has not always been the case!
Just as some final comments,
At some point I will compare these cameras to my SLR and study these difference’s, However the very fact that a close study of the image quality difference’s is even needed shows just how good top end compact cameras have become.
I started the post by saying that this area , sensor size has always been a hot topic and it always will be but you will hear many people tell you that a type of camera is not good, when you ask “OH!!! why ?” they will bring up areas such as depth of field being Shallower with full frame sensor slr’s, very true , what they will not say however is how often they need this ability and how often they use it !!
What they also leave out is that in Macro photography you want a much deeper depth of field, otherwise that Bee your trying to get a picture of will only have its head and not its body in focus!
Three images of the same image scene
Canon G1x followed by Nikon P7000
Just a gallery today, a set of Black and white images from the Glen Upper river, Kilsheelan , I love these old Irish bridges, standing high above flowing shaded rivers below.
I took these images using a Canon G1 x, set to take raw pictures in a square format, a format that I have been using more and more as I feel it forces you to think about your image framing.
Tell it to the lighthouse boy
By : Maddie
Tell it to the lighthouse boy
the sleepy-eyed resounding boy,
tell it to the lighthouse boy,
who wakes his days away.
Sing it to the lighthouse boy
the bright-mouthed smiling smart-ass boy,
sing it to the lighthouse boy,
solemn, sweet, and still.
Cry it to the lighthouse boy,
the hold you close and call-out boy,
cry it to the lighthouse boy,
who thinks his thoughts alone.
Fling it to the lighthouse boy,
the bending low and catch it boy,
fling it to the lighthouse boy,
to carry on his own.
did you ever see eyes so sad?
blue-green as the foaming sea they watch,
stiller than still and deeper than you can imagine,
gazing to your depths and
speaking nothing of them.
so tell it to the lighthouse boy,
the sleepy-eyed resounding boy.
Tell it to the lighthouse boy,
who casts it out to sea.
I have just spend the morning at Altamont Gardens, County Carlow, getting some images of the Gardens, flowers and the old house in the grounds.
Altamont is one of Ireland best kept old estates, known for the most romantic garden in Ireland, with some 100 acre’s in total.
Whilst still little known, it ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’
Here I post some images of just some of the hidden locations that can be found while walking around the grounds.
Altamont Gardens, County Carlow – Hidden places gallery.
Borris Viaduct, Co Carlow, Ireland
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
In January I visited the Viaduct in Borris, County Carlow.
The Viaduct is Located just north of the town and was an amazing construction for its day, back in the 1800’s this construction help link north county Carlow to county Wexford for both passenger transport and goods – daily , until 1947.
On the 1st January 1855 the first ground was cut near Borris, County Carlow, for what was to be the Bagenalstown County Carlow to Wexford, Railway.
However with expensive construction costs and difficult terrain the company only ever made it half way to Ballywilliam in county Wexford, shortly after going bankrupt with debts of £100,000.
After a period of failed ownerships the railway was sold for £24,000 by the board of works to GS&WR in 1876. Passenger services ceased on the 2nd Febuary 1931, a goods service remaining until 27th January 1947, CIE finally closed the line on the 1st January 1963, 108 years to the day after the first ground was cut near Borris.
Visiting the Location
The Viaduct is located on a farm and is used as a public foot-path, access is through the grounds of a local school. The path up to the level that the rail line would have been on is steep but easy to walk up.
The first thing you notice is that the walls each side of the Viaduct and the path are very low and are not fenced, so you feel that you want to walk down the centre of the path. It is a good few hundred meters to the end of the Viaduct itself but the walk is well worth it as the views of County Carlow from here are spectacular !!
Once you reach the end of the path the old rail line cuts through some trees, there are picnic areas offering some great views of the county, at the end of this wooded part of the walk is a small bridge with a well kept garden and another picnic area.
You get the feeling that this is a much love and well kept area for the town and a pleasure to visit.
If you are in county Carlow you simply have to pay it a visit.
Duiske Abbey, County Kilkenny, is one of the best maintained Cistercian Abbey’s in Ireland also known as Graiguenamanagh Abbey, it is a 13th-century Cistercian monastery situated in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny in Ireland.
Duiske Abbey was founded by William Marshall in 1204 and is one of the first, largest and perhaps the finest of the thirty-four medieval Cistercian monasteries in Ireland. The Abbey is the parish church of Graiguenamanagh town and beautifully dominates the town centre.
The Abbey is located in the valley of the river Barrow, on a site between the main river and the Duiske tributary. The abbey derives its name from the Douskey River Irish: An Dubhuisce, meaning “Black Water”.
Both the Abbey and the town of Graiguenamanagh are wonderful locations to visit with a camera, Park in the town and visit the Abbey first , then you can walk along the river Barrow, north towards kilkenny or south towards Waterford.
Kells Priory is located at Kells in county Kilkenny and is a great place to visit if you are in the county.
While most of America and Canada are dealing with snow storms and sub zero temperatures this winter , Ireland has been very mild with well over 40mm of rain during the Christmas period. I visited the Priory yesterday and most of the grounds are under water from flooding. The water however added a new feeling to the priory grounds and I took the following images to capture the atmosphere of an Irish winter here.
Kells Priory, Winters Gallary
Five images from the Comeragh Mountains
Just a mini gallery of black and white images taken in and around the Comeragh mountains, during the winter months last year.
This coming year I will continue to capture this wild place. some how the winter feels very much at home in these mountains.
First heard of him from Uncle John
Something about a carpenter coming down
From back up in the mountains to work
In the town and on the camps down by the lake
Ate no meat, nothing from the deadly nightshade family
And didn’t drink but once a year
In a three day bacchanal on the summer solstice
I’d seen his work and it was damn good
He was something of a mystery to me
Came down to the lake and that’s where I met him
Working on the family camp
Alight in his eye and doing the work I should’ve done
He had but one good hand and the other
The right one, I believe, had a part of a thumb
And no fingers to speak of really
But Bert could frame an addition or
Build a deck as good and fast as anyone
Had his tricks, though, like the rubber band
Around his wrist to hold the nails his hand
Couldn’t grasp,and many more I’m sure
Tried to find his house once in the back country
To drop off an anti-war t-shirt I knew he’d love
Had the right address but got lost on the
Winding dirt roads and couldn’t find it
Told my brother James about it and he said
“Maybe you weren’t supposed to!”
Our Dog Molly, she knows exactly how to relax on a Sunday evening.
After a long walk she loves nothing more than sitting down and looking at the views, she sleep’s and get her energy back for the week ahead.
Sunday evening Landscape Gallery