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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
We've seen huge breakthroughs in the computational photography techniques in the latest smartphones, as well as the launch of some excellent small sensors in more traditional cameras. Does that mean that bigger is no longer necessarily better?
To answer that question, let's look at why big sensors tend to produce better image quality and what smaller-sensored cameras and smartphones are doing to close the gap.
The three main benefits that prompt people to move to larger sensors are the ability to blur the background with shallow depth-of-field, exhibit less noise in low light situations and the ability to capture a wider dynamic range between the brightest and darkest areas of the image. Since these all primarily stem from getting more light, it presupposes that you have a lens with a wide-enough aperture to let in enough light, but this is usually possible. Collectively, these three factors mean that large sensor cameras can usually produce better-looking images. They can't make up for the photographer, of course, but if used by the same person, the bigger sensor usually 'wins.'
Computational photography allows small sensors to imitate the effects of a larger sensor, while leaps forwards in sensor performance can help small sensors produce better-looking images. But do these advances mean you no longer need a larger sensor?
The most visible example of computational photography in widespread use are the portrait modes in the latest smartphones. These use a variety of techniques but fundamentally they make some attempt to assess the depth in the scene, then apply differing amounts of blur at different depths, to simulate shallow depth-of-field.
The results aren't always totally convincing and won't necessarily satisfy the kind of demanding photographer that looks for particular character to the out-of-focus rendering (bokeh) of their lenses. However, as processing power and machine learning continue to improve, the results will only get better. And for many applications, will quickly exceed the threshold of being considered 'good enough' for an increasing number of people.
|This image was taken using Portrait mode on a modern smartphone. As well as simulated shallow depth-of-field, computational photography has added artificial lighting effects to the subject's face.|
Computational photography can also help with low light and high dynamic range scenes. Again, it's increasingly common for smartphones to be able to shoot multiple shots, then combine them. The processing is getting sophisticated enough that this can even be done with moving subjects, without the user even necessarily realizing that this is what their phone is doing.
Because most noise in photography comes from the randomness of light, shooting the same scene again and again helps to average out this randomness, just as rolling a die repeatedly helps you get a clearer picture of whether it's weighted.
The results will start to rival the output of
The same can be done in good light, sampling the scene several times (sometimes with different exposures), to extend the dynamic range beyond what could be achieved in a single exposure.
Unlike the shallow depth-of-field effect, which is simulated, these multi-shot techniques directly compete with larger sensors, since they allow the image to be constructed from more light. At which point, the results will start to rival the output of larger sensors, so long as the combination of images and movement cancellation is clever enough.
We've seen some very good small sensors in recent years, whose performance can narrow the gap with those above them. The adoption of technologies such as back-side illumination have allowed sensors to become more efficient (capturing more of the light that's shone on them). Again, since most of the benefits of larger sensors come from them generally receiving more light during any given exposure, an increase in efficiency can help smaller sensors narrow this gap.
|G1 X Mark III
F3.2 (F5.2 equiv)
|G7 X Mark II
F2 (F5.5 equiv)
This only goes so far. Partly because these technologies are also likely to have some benefit when they 'trickle up' to larger sensor sizes. This widens that gap back to the extent you'd expect, just based on the size difference. Also, the gaps between most popular sensor sizes are proportional to at least two-thirds of a stop, which is more of a difference than technology advances tend to compensate for.
There are also areas in which small sensors offer an advantage over large ones, with readout speed being the most obvious one. In general it's quicker to read out the data from small sensors, which brings a series of benefits. The most obvious is that it allows improved video quality, either through being able to read all the pixels, enabling more detailed capture, or simply through a reduction in rolling shutter.
|The RX100 V's stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM incorporated into the chip allows faster readout, which boosts video and autofocus performance.|
The other advantage, of course, is that it makes it quicker and easier to offer many of the computational photography benefits discussed earlier in the article.
There are ways to improve the readout speed of large sensors too, such as the stacked CMOS sensor that 'trickled up' from Sony's smartphone and 1"-type sensors to the full frame a9. This incorporates readout circuitry and RAM into the sensor to allow faster readout. But this comes at a considerable cost premium, as these chips are extremely complex and time-consuming to make, making it difficult for large sensors to match some of the capabilities of smaller chips.
The other potential advantage of small sensors is that they allow cameras to be smaller. This tends to means lenses with smaller physical apertures, which is one of the main things that hold the image quality of small sensors back, but the trade-off is cost and convenience. So, although you can buy mirrorless cameras with large sensors, it'll be the ones with smaller sensors that will provide the smaller overall package, most of the time.
For all the bluster you sometimes encounter with people claiming to be committed enough that they always carry a full DSLR kit around with them, most people find it's easier to carry a small camera with you. And you know what they say about the camera you've got with you…
Overall then, for conventional, single-shot photography, there's no substitute for making a photograph using more light, and it's usually easier to give a large sensor more light since it has a larger area to capture light. In that sense, bigger sensors are still better. However, that's not the same as saying 'you need a bigger sensor.'
Even though a larger sensor may be able to produce a better result, smaller sensors are getting better and better all the time
Improvements in sensor tech, the availability of large sensor compacts with bright lenses (that help get more light to their sensors), and advances in computational photography allow better images than ever before from small sensors.
At which point, we come back to the question of what's 'good enough.' Which isn't so much about accepting limitations, but more about being able to attain a quality you're happy with for what you're trying to achieve. So even though a larger sensor may be able to produce a better result, smaller sensors are getting better and better all the time, exceeding ever higher 'good enough' thresholds such that you may reasonably conclude that you don't need any further improvement.
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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|My Garden by Mitchmeister|
from The Secret Garden
|Crowded Skies by Rushlin|
from Seven types of aircraft - lighter than air
At Sony's press conference at Photokina the company announced that 12 more E-mount lenses will be arriving over the next two years. In addition, the company is working to utilize artificial intelligence in its technologies, with one application being Eye AF trained to detect animal eyes.
Sigma has said it will create a full-frame Foveon camera and will adopt the Leica L mount for its system. It will be able to adapt or convert SA mount lenses to the L mount, for existing users.
Hasselblad is expanding their X System with their announcement of three new lenses: the XCD 80mm F1.9, XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 135mm F2.8, along with a teleconverter. The 80mm F1.9 is the fastest in the system. Get all the details and check out Hasselblad's official sample images here.
Sigma has announced the 56mm F1.4 DC DN lens for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts. The compact 56mm lens becomes the sixth DN lens for mirrorless cameras and will make a handy portrait lens on both systems.
Sigma has announced the 28mm F1.4 Art, 40mm F1.4 Art, 70-200mm F2.8 Sport and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 Sport lenses for several full frame lens mounts, including Canon, Nikon and, in the first two instances, Sony E.
ON1 has announced the impending launch of ON1 Photo RAW 2019. The new version, due out in November, brings a handful of new tools and features in a revamped interface.
Fujifilm has said it is developing a 100MP GFX medium format camera that will include both phase detection autofocus and in-body image stabilization. The 4K-capable camera will sell for around $10,000.
Leica has announced the S3 medium-format camera – an S2 successor with a 64MP sensor capable of 4K video.
The GFX 50R is a 50MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. It borrows heavily from the existing 50S model but in a smaller body and at a lower price. How does it differ?
Fujifilm has announced its GFX 50R, a rangefinder-styled version of the company's GFX 50S medium-format camera. The 'guts' of the two cameras are the same, with the difference being the design, weight and Bluetooth, all at a considerably lower price.
In this episode of DPReview TV, we get our hands on Fujifilm's GFX 50R which hides a medium-format sensor in a new, more compact body. Watch to get Chris and Jordan's first impressions on image quality, video and more.
Fujifilm is adding a trio of new medium-format lenses to its G-mount roadmap. GFX owners will soon be able to get their hands on 100-200mm F5.6, 45-100mm F4 and compact 50mm F3.5 lenses. Pricing and availability have not been announced.
Micro Four Thirds users will soon get a super fast, constant aperture wide angle zoom.
Panasonic has announced it is developing two full frame mirrorless cameras: the 47MP S1R and the 24MP S1. We've been shown fairly advanced-looking but non-functional prototype cameras, and have been able to squeeze a few details from Panasonic.
Panasonic is developing a pair of full-frame mirrorless cameras that use Leica's L-mount. The S1R will feature a 47MP sensor, while the S1 will be 24MP. Both cameras will support Dual IS shake reduction 4K/60p video capture and will have XQD and SD card slots.
Leica, Panasonic and Sigma are teaming up. Expect L-mount cameras from Panasonic as well as L-mount glass from Sigma.
Ricoh has announced the development of the GR III enthusiast compact, due to ship in early 2019. The camera gains sensor-shift image stabilization and an updated 24MP sensor with phase-detection. The 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens has also been redesigned and a touchscreen added.
The 'I'm Back' is now available for a range of old film-SLRs, such as Nikon's F-Series, the Olympus OM10 or the Canon AE-1.
IRIX has announced its latest lens, the 150mm F2.8 Macro 1:1. IRIX claims the lens features 'close to zero' distortion and stands out with its 150mm telephoto focal length.
The RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM is one of four lenses to launch with Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system, and it boasts the longest reach of the range. Take a look at some of the samples we've gathered thus far as our EOS R testing continues.
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.