# Thread: New to the camera and photo theory.

1. ## New to the camera and photo theory.

Hello everyone, I'm a 19 yr old student, the average camera user and i just recently started to dig deeper into photography as a friend and I had a heated debate over the "ultrapixel" marketing of the HTC one. As a student of science, i would like to have a better insight on the camera and the photos obtained.
So far this is what i understood, feel free to correct me and contribute in this thread.

- A true view (what we see) is represented/divided digitally and displayed as a group of pixels.

- What i understand from picture quality is : Pixel density, levels of noise, size and color reproduction.

- The ideal image or picture consists of infinite amount of pixels.

- The eye cannot distinguish more than 300 ppi pictures. (unless u have an augmented eye or spyglass )

- A camera sensor basically acquires the data from light photons to reconstruct a "false" image which we see digitally.

- The camera sensor is a grid containing photosensors called sensels. The amount of sensels = number of pixels? (not sure)

- Each sensel can record only 1 kind of photon from red, blue and green due to technological limitations? So a filter (often the bayer filter as it contains more green to which the eye is most senstive) is used to capture the electrical output of 1 color of photon. The other colors are interpolated by uhhh mathematical means or softwares,.. i dont really know...

- Apparently a larger sensor is better because it captures more light overall and better sampling is done for individual pixels?

- Larger sensels capture more photons meaning that each individual sensel reproduce a more accurate pixel in the picture. Thus the picture contains more detail per pixel which improves the quality. Larger sensels also means less noise being captured and thus clearer pictures are obtained when taking pictures in the dark.
So does this mean a sensel the size of the tower of Eiffel would reproduce a super low noise highly detailed pixel? Or are there other factors which must be taken into consideration.

- Usually its the size of the sensor which limits the quality of pictures in many devices such as mobiles. Internals of phones do not allow large sensors and thus the balance between sensel size and quantity (for megapixel marketing) is the main factor worrying producers.

- Megapixels is just the amount of pixels (or degree of sampling of the real life visual) forming a picture, so the bigger the megapixel for a picture of fixed size means better quality as the pixel per inch aka ppi increases. For the average consumer 200 ppi + is alright. Beyond 300ppi is ridiculous because the human eye cannot distinguish anymore. Larger megapixels also mean a clearer image (not blurry) is obtained when digital zooming as the real life visual has been sampled more.

I know that much only, i've been reading more about it, since i spent only 1 day reading about cameras and pictures. I just keep on getting doubts and certain answers are not obtained on the net, so i thought u guys would perhaps teach me some more
Thank you for being patient reading all this and helping out , i really appreciate it

So in conclusion was the ultrapixel technology advertising from htc a risk which turned out to be successful? Was it just a well made 4mp sensor(with larger sensels than usual ones) with good post software processing which gives out these "wonderful" pictures everyone speaks about?

2. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Hi Lydia,

Welcome to CiC .

By the way, may we clarify your objectives in going into photography.

Are you in it for scientific purposes or you just want to record the world around you using your camera ( phone cam, point and shoot, dslr or whatever type).

Perhaps, just want to engage in leisurely discussion of photography.

Cheers.........

3. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Hi Lydia,

You've certainly picked up a lot of information. You have grasped some points very well, are a little shaky on others, got a few wrong and missed a fair bit out.

Rather than try and answer piecemeal, I strongly suggest that you have a read of the "Concepts" tutorial right here on CiC. That may not answer all your questions, but it will give you a good structured base to build on. Then you could come back again with some more targeted questions to check your understanding.

It won't answer your questions about the HTC one, but I think you'll be able to win most arguments . One thing you are absolutely right about - there is a heck of a lot more to producing good images than multi megapixels. As a science student, you might want to dig further into the tutorials, of course. There is some excellent stuff there.

Cheers,

Dave

4. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Lydia

But my main purpose in being here is to welcome you to CiC. But where are you? If you wish you can go to Edit Profile and put in your location, so that it appears in the sidebar alongside your message, just like mine beside this message. Then everybody knows where everybody else is.

I hope you enjoy being part of CiC for a long time to come.

5. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Thank you everyone

@Nimitz: Actually i like spending my time to learn how everything we use daily, function and have been created. Photography spiked my curiosity due to a photograph having a lens flare effect but that's a long story. I won't lie saying I am in for photography, i'm just a normal user who uses a point and shoot camera whenever i see something interesting to snap! I actually am confused about some of the principles because all that i have learnt comes from the internet and many people contradict, debates various aspects and i'm not really sure sometimes who is right.

@David: Thanks! I'm sure i made various mistakes above, im still trying to iron those out . Sure thing, ill take a look into this tutorial.

@Donald: Thanks Just added some of my info. CiC looks welcoming with nice people I might actually enjoy my stay here

6. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Originally Posted by Lydia Carlton
Thank you everyone

@Nimitz: ....... i'm just a normal user who uses a point and shoot camera whenever i see something interesting to snap! I actually am confused about some of the principles because all that i have learnt comes from the internet and many people contradict, debates various aspects and i'm not really sure sometimes who is right.

@Donald: Thanks Just added some of my info. CiC looks welcoming with nice people I might actually enjoy my stay here
Hi Lydia,

Donald's reminder works for all newbies, like when I joined.

Hey, I'm a point & shooter too like you and a mere snapshooter. Oh, there are some who do "look down" on us P & S users, but we can move on instead. Just keep on shooting I say.

Who's right?

You are.

Guru Mick Jagger, the profound philosopher of the 60's advises not to overload our minds with
useless information
kiddin jz kiddin

hehehe...

7. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Originally Posted by nimitzbenedicto
Hi Lydia,

Donald's reminder works for all newbies, like when I joined.

Hey, I'm a point & shooter too like you and a mere snapshooter. Oh, there are some who do "look down" on us P & S users, but we can move on instead. Just keep on shooting I say.

We don't look down on P & S shooters, we've envious as you have it so much easier than us.

8. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

I don't use a P&S becuase it is easier to use a more complicated camera instead of having to fool the automatics into giving me what I want. But in that respect I went to the P&S after a lifetime of using complicated cameras. Digital arrived late in life for me .. when I was 70yo

edit .. though to be truthful I am usually using my complicated camera in P&S mode but I know I have the extra features for when I need them.

9. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

I might actually enjoy my stay here
Hope so - you could be our first anime member

10. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

The cell phone marketers are trying to out spec each other by offering more and more mega-pixels on their phones and as a result the actual image quality was going in the opposite direction. HTC are just brave enough or marketing astute to buck the trend and to place sensor performance as a higher priority than pixel count. At a guess 99% of all photographs taken with a cell phone are never displayed on a screen larger than 1920x1080. So it is ludicrous to chase pixel count to such an extent that the image quality is sacrificed so much.

HTC are simply introducing some sanity into the cell phone camera market.

11. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Hi Lydia,

Welcome to CiC.
You are not really staying on the paradise island of Mauritius, are you?
Think I should try score a couple of points with you.

I think you know much more about sensors and the technology behind it than I do. You are more interested in the technology behind capturing an image and I am more interested in capturing the image than in the technology behind it.

Whatever HTC might call their “camera”, if there was anything like an “ultra pixel” either Kodak or Sony would have been onto it long before HTC would have been aware of such technology.
You will find much more information on the technology behind camera sensors on the websites of Kodak (that was sold to Platinum Equity) and Sony.

There is no phone camera that can compare favorably with the image quality from a very basic dedicated digital camera. If HTC claims their technology to outshine the technology used in dedicated digital cameras they are misleading consumers.
Even your basic P&S (point and shoot) camera will render an image far superior to that of the most advanced phone camera.

http://www.truesenseimaging.com/
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/technol...e/cmos_01.html

Manufacturers of the best digital cameras in the world use these sensors.

12. ## Re: New to the camera and photo theory.

Very interesting and informative links Andre. (And welcome Lydia).

The Sony explanations were especially interesting and well worth a read. Buried towards the bottom:

"To achieve higher pixel counts, pixels must be made smaller. However, sensitivity is generally proportional to pixel area and will decline if pixel size is reduced."

It would appear that marketing is a significant driver for ever higher pixel counts, but the trade off is reduced sensitivity, which can only be overcome by more efficient technology. We may already be well into the realm of rapidly diminishing returns in respect of image quality sensors are made with higher pixel counts and greater pixel density. Lydia makes a good point that in essence "enough is sufficient".