CMOS vs CCD

Started Sep 21, 2012 | Discussions
ardneytas
Forum MemberPosts: 64
Like?
CMOS vs CCD
Sep 21, 2012

can CMOS match the CCD indeed ?

Leica says....the "new" technology transfers CCD properties to the CMOS sensor.. so, to include video, they went CMOS ?

Here's what the basic difference is between the two sensors: In a CCD sensor, every pixel's charge is transferred through a very limited number of output nodes (often just one) to be converted to voltage, buffered, and sent off-chip as an analog signal. Hence, all of the pixel can be devoted to light capture, and the output's uniformity (a key factor in image quality) is high. In a CMOS sensor, each pixel has its own charge-to-voltage conversion, and the circuitry also includes amplifiers, noise-correction, etc. so that the chip outputs digital bits (rather than an analog signal). These extra functions increase the design complexity and reduce the area available for light capture. Also, with each pixel doing its own conversion, the output uniformity is lower, resulting in a more adulterated output fidelity.

So how has leica circumvented this ? Instead, why not continue CCD and just add noise reduction circuitry to the final output ?

Anyone donating 2 cents ? One from the "noisy" CCD sensor.

Saty

photomeme
Regular MemberPosts: 225
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to ardneytas, Sep 21, 2012

CMOS technology is inherently a noisier technology, but has a lower manufacturing costs and on-chip technologies that enable much faster image processing and additional features like live view.

speedier machine gun image taking was the #1 motivation for the conversion to CMOS. it was not cleaner images.

however, it is clear that the top manufacturers invested mightily in CMOS on-chip noise reduction technologies. IMHO for the first few generations, this resulted in 'plasticky' image rendering. back when nikon was still CCD and canon was CMOS, the differences were dramatic -- i stuck with nikon to avoid the plastic look of the early canon CMOS cameras. but with time, i think they've largely addressed that issue.

for me, CCD still has a superior base ISO rendering.

it's a big concern that the forthcoming 'M' is the first time out full frame CMOS for Leica, working with a European firm without the trade secrets and patent portfolio of the majors. if they pull off noise-reduced CMOS that's not 'plasticky' first time out, i will applaud them.

i've made the MM decision, and will be interested to see both its base ISO and high ISO CCD performance in images of my own choosing. the ability to access native pixel CCD performance vs. antialiased bayer demosaicked downsampled performance out of a CMOS with heavy on-chip noise reduction is intriguing.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Godfrey
Forum ProPosts: 27,625
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to ardneytas, Sep 21, 2012

The only way to say how much the new sensor will change the M image quality is to have one and the M9 side by side and do comparative testing. Frankly, I trust Leica to do the right thing when it comes to imaging quality with their cameras ... they've produced a wide range of digital cameras with all kinds of different sensors and preserved their "look" very nicely throughout all of them.

But if you want to know more about the new sensor, take a look here:

http://lavidaleica.com/content/technical-sensor-details-new-m

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dr. Ulrich  Rohde
Contributing MemberPosts: 849Gear list
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to ardneytas, Sep 21, 2012

I am probably one of the few non Leica associates, who have M8, M9 and M 240 pictures taken and can compare them.

The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior.

As I am on the way half around the globe, I think I will only be able to share some good examples after October 15 , taken with the M 240 and the new 50mm/2.

All of you will not be disappointed. Stay cool !

 Dr. Ulrich Rohde's gear list:Dr. Ulrich Rohde's gear list
Leica X Vario Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Leica M8 Leica M9 +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,066
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to photomeme, Sep 21, 2012

photomeme wrote:

speedier machine gun image taking was the #1 motivation for the conversion to CMOS. it was not cleaner images.

Sad IMO.

however, it is clear that the top manufacturers invested mightily in CMOS on-chip noise reduction technologies. IMHO for the first few generations, this resulted in 'plasticky' image rendering. back when nikon was still CCD and canon was CMOS, the differences were dramatic -- i stuck with nikon to avoid the plastic look of the early canon CMOS cameras. but with time, i think they've largely addressed that issue.

I think you are generalizing too much. I saw more "plastic" from the CCD D200 than the first full frame Canon, the original 1Ds and also .. interesteringly - from the CMOS D2x. I recently acquired a Canon 1Ds mk III (obviously CMOS too) and the clarity is nothing short of amazing. I never saw this kind of IQ comming from my D800E (and beleive me, I have tried ... after all, it was quite a lot of money that went that way).

So while I firmly beleive that the M9 CCD is somewhat the "ultimate" , the jury is out for me regarding the new CMOS.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,066
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Dr. Ulrich Rohde, Sep 21, 2012

Dr. Ulrich Rohde wrote:

The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior.

Looking forward to the samples. Dynamic range is an interesting topic that get a lot of fuss at the moment over at the Nikon forum. When you dig deeper, its mostly about the ability to pull shadows from underexposed pictures, or flatten the contrast to fit all 14 stops of captured dynamic range into the output medium be it print or screen. The result are mostly flat or artificial looking pictures. Technically its sort of interesting or even impressive to see how something all black can form into something recognizable at least. Artistically not so much.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,066
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Leos, Sep 21, 2012

Leos wrote:

Dr. Ulrich Rohde wrote:

The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior.

By the way .. the noisy CCD images responds quite well to noise reduction in Lightroom 4.1. Much better than many other cameras I have used. The difference, when comparing the M9 to the D700 for example is a lot closer than the 2 stops suggested by pixel peeping raw's.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
photomeme
Regular MemberPosts: 225
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Leos, Sep 21, 2012

Leos wrote:

I think you are generalizing too much.

The point about early CMOS = plasticky compared to CCD is really only valid as a generalization. The manufacturers quickly poured $$$ into improving on-chip noise reduction. Some hit the mark, others didn't. CMOS is largely past this issue, but I still have a bit of distaste for base ISO renderings.

I have a D200 in my possession and I'm surprised by your characterization of it. At base ISO, it is outstanding, as far from plasticky as you could imagine. It is horrible at high ISO.

So while I firmly beleive that the M9 CCD is somewhat the "ultimate" , the jury is out for me regarding the new CMOS.

I think it was the first successful unantialiased full frame camera (Kodak's 14D doesn't deserve the title).

As regards the new sensor, the jury has not yet been empaneled.

It's depressing to hear that we'll be receiving a just a trickle of samples from preproduction cameras from assorted sources, after Photokina.

Continuing the analogy, it's like pre-trial leaks rather than hard data.

Nothing like the MM introduction.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jl123
Regular MemberPosts: 220
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Leos, Sep 21, 2012

"The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior. "

So what does this mean? That people are generally right about the CCD M's except that its got better colors, less noise, but ultimately lower quality picture quality? Hmmm, j

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jl123
Regular MemberPosts: 220
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to jl123, Sep 21, 2012

Sorry rewrite: (darn that 10 minute edit rule!)

"The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior. "

So what does this mean? That people are generally right about the CCD M's except that the NEW CMOS has got better colors, less noise, but ultimately lower quality picture quality? Hmmm, j

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Godfrey
Forum ProPosts: 27,625
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to jl123, Sep 21, 2012

I think it means, simply, that the new sensor outperforms the M9 sensor, regardless of whether it is CMOS or CCD technology.

What a photograph looks like is much more a matter of how the data the sensor collects is rendered than what the sensor technology is, given the baseline of quality data that nearly any modern imaging sensor can provide.
--
Godfrey
http://godfreydigiorgi.posterous.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dr. Ulrich  Rohde
Contributing MemberPosts: 849Gear list
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Godfrey, Sep 21, 2012

This is correct. We need to think of the sensor and the processing as one unit. There you can make it right or wrong.

From my point the sensor needs to correctly record what I see, and let you play it back.

Lite Room and other tools allow you to make it a piece of art that does not follow the reality

 Dr. Ulrich Rohde's gear list:Dr. Ulrich Rohde's gear list
Leica X Vario Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Leica M8 Leica M9 +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tele_player
Regular MemberPosts: 248
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Dr. Ulrich Rohde, Sep 21, 2012

In my experience with M9, RAW files need at least a little processing in Lightroom (or some other RAW processor) before they start looking like a correct recording of what I saw. Of course, I can then go beyond that to the 'not following reality' phase.

Dr. Ulrich Rohde wrote:

This is correct. We need to think of the sensor and the processing as one unit. There you can make it right or wrong.

From my point the sensor needs to correctly record what I see, and let you play it back.

Lite Room and other tools allow you to make it a piece of art that does not follow the reality

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
hariseldon2007
Regular MemberPosts: 117
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to tele_player, Sep 21, 2012

I still use a D200 and it can produce excellent images with good light, but it is not handled well by Lightroom, it takes a lot of work to produce a good image,my M9 produces great images with much less effort in Lightroom.

The early signs from my recently acquired D800 are encouraging. I don't think we should worry unduly what is inside the sensor, just judge the results.

Likewise with the equipment , the Nikon with 24/70 f2.8 is an excellent tool to respond to a variety of shooting opportunities quickly, the M9 is discreet and I think one is more thoughtful. The combination of the two is brilliant.

The new M sounds a very interesting blend of the old and new but I suspect I will not change my M9 in a hurry!

I think the idea of splitting the M into a no frills digital rangefinder AND a rangefinder combined with modern mirror less camera, EVF, focus peaking , GPS, grips, video etc is brilliant , as the new camera can be stripped back to the basic form as well.

I suspect Leica would not go down this route if the new sensor is anything less than outstanding , looking forward to seeing the comparison shots when they become available.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dude Man
Regular MemberPosts: 141Gear list
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to photomeme, Sep 22, 2012

photomeme wrote:

CMOS technology is inherently a noisier technology, but has a lower manufacturing > costs and on-chip technologies that enable much faster image processing and > additional features like live view.

I find it hard to believe manufacturing cost played a role in Leica's decision to switch to cmos. Not picking on you I've heard the manufacturing cost reasoning from more than a few here on the Leica forum. What's an extra few hundred bucks on $7k?

 Dude Man's gear list:Dude Man's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Leos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,066
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Dude Man, Sep 22, 2012

Dude Man wrote:

photomeme wrote:

CMOS technology is inherently a noisier technology, but has a lower manufacturing > costs and on-chip technologies that enable much faster image processing and > additional features like live view.

I find it hard to believe manufacturing cost played a role in Leica's decision to switch to cmos. Not picking on you I've heard the manufacturing cost reasoning from more than a few here on the Leica forum. What's an extra few hundred bucks on $7k?

Considering what kind of compromises the japanese are making just to save a few bucks I would hardly descripe the outlook to save a few hundred bucks as insignificant. Leica already "hit the roof" regarding end product pricing so obviously they must do something to maintain their profit margin. Personally, I think that they wanted CMOS for liveview and video though, as much as I dislike that descision

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
janlu
Senior MemberPosts: 6,551
Like?
Beautiful photograph.....
In reply to ardneytas, Sep 22, 2012

I want only comment on your shot...... very nice indeed ... a lovely moment with great composition and exposure.... just love that little guy putting his candle... and the wonderful "bokeh-ing" perspective !! Hope it make sense... !!

Gianluca
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianlucanardini/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sponnan
Regular MemberPosts: 114
Like?
Re: Canon 30D vs M9
In reply to janlu, Sep 23, 2012

I have the old 30D and M9. I do like the color, contrast and the quality of M9. I think the files from M9 have a great latitude as well. I really dont think they can improve the file quality anymore anytime sooner the files are that good in my opinion ( though I do not shoot at ISO2500). Having said that, I think when the "EXPOSURE" is correct, 30D can also bring high quality images. I think CS5 or lightroom can process images very nicely even from an old CMOS provided, the exposure is correct.
Have a look.
30D, ISO 1200 ( even at larger size the picture is very clear)

Indoor shot of my wife and baby girl. 30D and ISO 800

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daedalus2000
Senior MemberPosts: 4,564
Like?
Re: CMOS vs CCD
In reply to Dr. Ulrich Rohde, Oct 19, 2012

Dr. Ulrich Rohde wrote:

I am probably one of the few non Leica associates, who have M8, M9 and M 240 pictures taken and can compare them.

The comments in this Leica Talk forum are essentially correct. However

I find that the color renderings , noise an dynamic range 6 dB better then M9) are superior.

As I am on the way half around the globe, I think I will only be able to share some good examples after October 15 , taken with the M 240 and the new 50mm/2.

All of you will not be disappointed. Stay cool !

Dr Rohde,

You promised to release some pictures from the new M 240 after the 15th of October. Are you in a position now to share them with us?

Thanks, D

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads