EasyClick: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt NASA supposed to have technology decades ahead of what's available on the market? They're the guys inventing the science and breakthrough technology...By the same reasoning they should have a photo sensor that would only be available today on the market. I understand the article but I just thought otherwise... Maybe someone should send an iPhone to Mars??
Of course NASA aren't investing in semi-conductor fabrication plants just for the sake of a space camera when the part itself has wide spread use outside of space exploration and hence is already manufactured to the best quality which present progress allows. Though one can ask why they chose the 2MP version when 11MP cameras were sitting in retail stores, that's the what this discussion is mostly about.
Dario D: Unlike a lot of commenters, I trust that the Curiosity guys are making their camera decisions for logical reasons.
About the overall approach, though, I'm wondering if Kate Piecrust has a good point. She said:"I also find it interesting that a Mars probe ten years from now will, based on how things are done at NASA, likely be sporting the technology available today (...)"
If that's true, NASA might want to examine that, and see if there isn't a more future-proof way to approach this stuff.
(Heck, if it could technically work, there could just be a row of slots in the next rover's arm, ready to have a bunch of top-level phones duct-taped into them. (When one dies, it gets ejected.) To keep things simple, and isolated from the rest of the bot, each phone would have its own tiny solar panel, and an antennae to send its images to the MRO/whatever. (Of course, this is all oversimplified, but I'm of the impression that simplicity is an engineer's main thing. I'd send a camera Barbie.))
You're quoting the user who doesn't get that resolution and field of view are two quite different things.
The suggestion that NASA must make all the right decisions because they're NASA made by you and others is purely an appeal to authority. Give NASA's size and bureaucracy they will sometimes make decisions which are less than ideal - why must this decision not be one of them? No one here can say so, they just assume their own ignorance is shared by others so no one else here is qualified to place a critical eye on the decision.
hc44: I'm gonna go against the grain here and say it's a compromise which didn't have to be made. You shouldn't have to re-invent the whole camera because of a sensor change. A sensor can be though of in abstract terms as a plug-able component with a fixed I/O interface. Resolution can be a variable which the rest of the camera can be made to work with as a variable. A hi-res raw image can be down scaled, sometimes you send the hi sometimes the low, you have the option. The engineers shot themselves in the foot when they began the project allowing for a fixed res sensor only, and did so knowing technology advances. In the 60s the Apollo project got a man on the moon in under a decade, imagine how fast pasted their project was, but now they can't change a camera sensor in the space of 8 years.
"Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic space probe mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011"
"The EOS-1Ds is a full-frame 11.4 megapixel digital SLR camera body formerly made by Canon, released in the spring of 2003."
Ran Plett: I just want to say one thing... They put this machine on another planet. And they are taking pictures and sending them back to this planet. From another @#$$% planet!! And some people complain about pixel count?!
Yep. You sent this $*#&$ thing to another &#&#*# planet! Another planet! And you spent $%#$@ billion dollars!!
Why the @#$# did you only put a 2 megapixel @*#&%^$ sensor on it!!???
Ivan Voras: I hope that next time someone has the good sense to just go and buy that 38 MP sensor from Nokia for $500 and stick it somewhere on the rover. It doesn't have to be the "master camera", it doesn't need to be heavily advertised - they can call it an "auxiliary photon sensor" or something silly like that, it doesn't have to be mounted on a special robot hand or have fancy optics - whatever piece of gorilla glass Nokia stuck in there will work just fine, but when there's some Really Interesting Rock they want to look at, or hopefully even some moss or lichen, that is when that sensor will come to be really handy. And as a bonus, nobody will care if a $500 piece of electronics weighing next to nothing breaks 6 months after landing or looses 50% sensor pixels after being exposed to radiation for a year.
Perhaps slightly tongue in cheek this post?
I'm gonna go against the grain here and say it's a compromise which didn't have to be made. You shouldn't have to re-invent the whole camera because of a sensor change. A sensor can be though of in abstract terms as a plug-able component with a fixed I/O interface. Resolution can be a variable which the rest of the camera can be made to work with as a variable. A hi-res raw image can be down scaled, sometimes you send the hi sometimes the low, you have the option. The engineers shot themselves in the foot when they began the project allowing for a fixed res sensor only, and did so knowing technology advances. In the 60s the Apollo project got a man on the moon in under a decade, imagine how fast pasted their project was, but now they can't change a camera sensor in the space of 8 years.
cleverinstigator: I'm sorry why not put up a few satellite relays in between so we can get some decent images of the planet why spend that much money on a mission that is 8 years behind in sensor technology. 2mp is a joke for landscape shots.
It's OK they've got a panorama shot mode. Still not as good as Sony NEX though, you can see the joins on the NASA shots.
jkrumm: Personally I liked it better when there were no comments on the front page, only in the forums. The front always turns into a disagreeable mess.
What do you need?
cgarrard: No finder or finder choice, no hotshoe, no grip, no image stabilization, flat buttons, first things I think. I can't get around those much. Sure it has a bigger sensor and decent looking lens, but holding and using a camera makes more of an impact to me. Had it a front grip and I.S. I might give it a pass, but not in today's market and the year is still young. Surely Sony aren't the only ones that are going to make big sensor compacts. Just watch and wait.
This apple is no good because it's an orange!
Richard Franiec: Limited editions, if perfectly executed, could be a good investment on behalf of grand grand kids:http://news.yahoo.com/1923-leica-camera-fetches-2-16-million-euros-185156596.htmlWhy so many posters find it upsetting is mystery to me. If you cannot afford Hermes Edition, grab your d-Lux5 or M something and have fun with it. No need to stress yourself out. Leica is known for successfully pulling stunts like this one, unlike rare wood edition of Sigma SD1.
Mechanicals pass the test of time. Do you think the microelectronics and battery will still be working in the year 2100?
"I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany, and I own a Leica camera"
Vegans won't like it.
JWest: These pictures really are amazing. But is it just me, or are there a lot of "jaggies" in some of them? It's especially noticeable on the hard lines of the shuttle - almost like the pictures have been aggressively compressed.
It looks like the resize used a non-interpolating algorithm. I expect better from a NASA astronaut!
Seahster: Hi everyone,
I've been a happy owner of the X-Pro1 for a few weeks now, and have been shooting and documenting my thoughts on this camera on http://handcarryonly.com/tagged/fuji in case anyone is interested.
I would say it is not a camera for everyone and every situation but for street and travel photography, it is where it truly excels, with the high IQ and low weight package.
Is it just me or do the pictures have an old school look about them? Maybe it's just Singapore haze.
Hinder: Thank you, it was overexposed, I saw the guy taking a shortcut across a school playground and tried to hurry it, I hadn't seen a minibike in years!
And subject is in focus with panning.
Underrated photo. Good composition and subject, and looks like a "genuine" over exposure.
As already commented, none of these top photos are accidentally overexposed.
Where's the boat?
Awesome, you're a legend! A+++++++ would vote again!