Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Where Are Digital SLRs Going?
A conversation with Canon’s Chuck Westfall offers a glimpse of the future
PCPhoto: Who are the customers for these digital SLRs?
Westfall: The audience for digital SLRs is split between those who are transitioning from 35mm SLRs to digital SLRs. But the other half of the digital SLR market is certainly those making the move up from compact digital cameras.
PCPhoto: What do you perceive as the important qualities and features that photographers are primarily concerned with? Is higher and higher resolution still key?
Westfall: What we've determined over the last year or two is that people have moved beyond megapixels and into the other aspects of image quality. They're especially starting to notice the level of noise that happens at the higher ISOs, because that's such an important part of how an SLR photographer likes to shoot. They want to be able to shoot under low-light conditions and they want the flexibility to decide whether or not to use flash, rather than be forced to.
PCPhoto: Is the decreasing impact of noise happening as a result of the sensors, software, or both?
Westfall: The sensors themselves are certainly making progress in terms of combating noise. That's why the CMOS sensors are so highly regarded because they exceed what can be done with the CCD in terms of conventional digital SLRs. Overall, they offer better noise performance at high ISO speeds, larger sensors for the money and lower power consumption.
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