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Old February 16th, 2005, 12:29 PM   #1
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Chip size

Just a query I have about CCD size - not really DV realated though. CCDs in consumer and prosumer cameras have got smaller as the years have gone by. Would I be correct that the main reasons are to keep the camera smaller and also to enable longer zooms with shorter overall focal lenghts?
I have a very old Philips VHS camcorder with a 1/2" CCD and also a 15 year old Sony V5000 Hi-8 - I believe this has a 2/3" CCD. If so, were many consumer/prosumer camcorders from this time (late 80's/early 90's) equipped with 1/2" CCDs and more importantly the huge 2/3" CCDs? Would I be correct in saying that due to large size of the CCD, the low light capability of this camera would be much better than today's small handycams with 1/4" or less CCDs, especially due to the relatively low amount of pixels (only Hi-8 format) in relation to the CCD size?
It certainly beats my 1/4" Digital8 for low light capability but not so sure about beating my Panny AG-EZ1 with 3 x 1/3" CCDS.
Does today's technology mean that pixel technology allows more light into each individual pixel even though they are several times smaller than the pixels in my old V5000? It seems like defying the laws of physics to me!!!

Graham

PS: The DOF available with the V5000 is truly amazing thanks to the long focal lenghts!!!! Puts most cameras to shame
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Old February 18th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #2
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The DoF for the V5000 should be due to the sensor size, ie, 2/3"
(close to 16mm film).

CCD or CMOS sensor size is not the only thing to consider, pixel
size is another. From what I remember the larger the pixel the
more light it absorbs, but the lower the resolution (ofcourse).

If I where to guess, I'd say the two main reasons sensors are small:

- price (camera's have become a LOT cheaper!!! and margins needed to be increased)

- most consumers can't work with shallow DoF, they need most or everything in focus
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Old February 18th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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Back up the boat a bit...

My Panasonic GS400 has 3-1/4"ccds at 710k effective video
The Sony VX2100 has 3-1/3"ccds at only 410k effective video

From the sound of what you're saying is that the two should be fairly similar in performance. The Pani has smaller ccds, but a larger pixel count. The Sony has smaller pixel count, but larger ccds.

Are you saying that the video quality will be nearly identical between the two?
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Old February 20th, 2005, 04:05 AM   #4
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If this question is directed at me, then I don't know. Quality of the
end product is not only determined by the sensor, but also by the
glass, the processing etc. etc.

The GS400 should have a larger depth of field but not as good
low-light capability as the VX2100. The resolution of the GS400
looks larger, so it will probably resolve fine detail better.
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