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Q/Q2 image quality

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I've been on the fence for a while on buying a QP versus a Q2. In trying to decide, I've spent a good bit of time looking at the wonderful images from both cameras here on the forum. I would really prefer the QP for file size, however to my eye, I think I've concluded that there is a different feel to the Q2 images. The color, detail, clarity etc seems a cut above with the Q2. The black and white also strikes me as better. I realize much of this may be owing to the photographer and post processing and as I said, wonderful images from both. Overall though, looking at many images from both, the Q2 images strike me as somehow better. Difficult to articulate, but wondering if others have similar thoughts. Thanks!

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I think you have your own answer already . Over the long term Q2 is preferred  images quality,   newer electronics etc.  Most probably the file size will not be an issue as you will have a faster computer in the future .   

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Sold my Q last week after two years of nothing but enjoyment fun with it. Thought I was going to finally take the plunge into digital M (own an M3 currently and love it). But....I ordered a Q2. Not even sure I'll be happier/less happy/as happy, but one thing I know for sure is I missed the Q later the same day after I sold it! Images with either camera are going to be awesome, and the slightly improved ergonomics of the Q2 (big fan of the button they put on the thumb wheel) as well as the weather sealing and SL battery upgrade are solid.

About the image quality -- I expect to have better results at low ISO and worse results at high ISO, simply because when you cram 47 million of something into the same area that 24 million occupied before, each of the 47million pixels on that new sensor should be ~1/2 the size of the original Q's pixels. This has been discussed plenty since the Q2's release, so I'm sure you're familiar with what I'm talking about. How much does that matter to me? Not too much. I hardly ever went above 3200 ISO with my "awesome low-light" Q camera. I think I just second-guessed my intention behind selling it in the first place because I decided to hold off on diving into digital M. 

Which one are you more likely to buy and think "should I have bought the other one?" Sounds to me like you're trying to talk yourself into the Q2.. I did!

Whichever you get, you're going to love it.

 

 

Edited by leicameech

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11 hours ago, leicameech said:

Sold my Q last week after two years of nothing but enjoyment fun with it. Thought I was going to finally take the plunge into digital M (own an M3 currently and love it). But....I ordered a Q2. Not even sure I'll be happier/less happy/as happy, but one thing I know for sure is I missed the Q later the same day after I sold it! Images with either camera are going to be awesome, and the slightly improved ergonomics of the Q2 (big fan of the button they put on the thumb wheel) as well as the weather sealing and SL battery upgrade are solid.

About the image quality -- I expect to have better results at low ISO and worse results at high ISO, simply because when you cram 47 million of something into the same area that 24 million occupied before, each of the 47million pixels on that new sensor should be ~1/2 the size of the original Q's pixels. This has been discussed plenty since the Q2's release, so I'm sure you're familiar with what I'm talking about. How much does that matter to me? Not too much. I hardly ever went above 3200 ISO with my "awesome low-light" Q camera. I think I just second-guessed my intention behind selling it in the first place because I decided to hold off on diving into digital M. 

Which one are you more likely to buy and think "should I have bought the other one?" Sounds to me like you're trying to talk yourself into the Q2.. I did!

Whichever you get, you're going to love it.

 

 

I’ve posted this sentiment elsewhere, but to summarize. I had my Q for 3 1/2 years. Loved everyday with it. A very satisfying experience. I have a Q2 now. It’s EVF, resolution, weather sealing, ergonomics are better. I especially like the added customizable thumb wheel button. You’ll love your Q2. 

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I also thought there would be an issue with the file size but not so.  There is so much to work with and the files have not slowed my work flow down.  Granted I do not shoot 1,000 images like I used to at weddings, so now an outing might be 50-100 images.  Don't let this be a worry for you.

 

Cheers

 

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For myself, it's a superb complement to the SL. It's likely to be my fastest return on investment in terms of professional work. Nonetheless I still feel an M is faster simply because there's no break in concentration for me but everything else about the Q2 makes up for the lack. It's just little things I felt I traded away for other things that made up for it. One thing I do dislike is the right side dial which is awkward during shooting for me but it's a matter of getting the hang of it.

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19 hours ago, markgc said:

I've been on the fence for a while on buying a QP versus a Q2. In trying to decide, I've spent a good bit of time looking at the wonderful images from both cameras here on the forum. I would really prefer the QP for file size, however to my eye, I think I've concluded that there is a different feel to the Q2 images. The color, detail, clarity etc seems a cut above with the Q2. The black and white also strikes me as better. I realize much of this may be owing to the photographer and post processing and as I said, wonderful images from both. Overall though, looking at many images from both, the Q2 images strike me as somehow better. Difficult to articulate, but wondering if others have similar thoughts. Thanks!

This is the first time I've read someone saying the rendering of the Q2 looks better than the Q – quite a bit of the opposite sentiment can be found here. The truth is there is likely zero difference in the final output outside of resolution and processing.

Edited by hdmesa

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Am ‎05‎.‎09‎.‎2019 um 03:23 schrieb leicameech:

About the image quality -- I expect to have better results at low ISO and worse results at high ISO, simply because when you cram 47 million of something into the same area that 24 million occupied before, each of the 47million pixels on that new sensor should be ~1/2 the size of the original Q's pixels. 

 

 

This is a myth.

Take whatever sensor you want on dxomark and compare them. The pixel size has no effect on the hight ISO noise BUT the technologie (microlenses, electronic hard/soft-ware, current consomation (increasing heat and magnetic perturbations)) make a big difference. Pixels have never been that small and the noise has never been so low.

SNR ratio are identic but half a dB of dynamic range is lost after ISO 100: nothing to worry about.

Edited by Alain88
error

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2 hours ago, Alain88 said:

This is a myth.

Take whatever sensor you want on dxomark and compare them. The pixel size has no effect on the hight ISO noise BUT the technologie (microlenses, electronic hard/soft-ware, current consomation (increasing heat and magnetic perturbations)) make a big difference. Pixels have never been that small and the noise has never been so low.

SNR ratio are identic but half a dB of dynamic range is lost after ISO 100: nothing to worry about.

Don’t believe it’s a myth. I think this is a key reason older Panasonic cameras are doing better in low light. It’s not a matter of pixel size it’s a matter of the space between them. 

It’s also clearly evident in GFX50S and medium format digital. 
 

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On 9/4/2019 at 6:23 PM, leicameech said:

About the image quality -- I expect to have better results at low ISO and worse results at high ISO, simply because when you cram 47 million of something into the same area that 24 million occupied before, each of the 47million pixels on that new sensor should be ~1/2 the size of the original Q's pixels. This has been discussed plenty since the Q2's release, so I'm sure you're familiar with what I'm talking about. How much does that matter to me? Not too much. I hardly ever went above 3200 ISO with my "awesome low-light" Q camera. I think I just second-guessed my intention behind selling it in the first place because I decided to hold off on diving into digital M. 

Whichever you get, you're going to love it.

No reason your high ISO results will be any worse with the Q2. Yes, the per pixel SNR is worse as you get smaller and smaller pixels, but that’s not a fair or reasonable comparison.  Instead, one should look at the amount of noise visible at a given print size/image size.  Set things up so the image fills your screen or fits on a certain size paper and smaller pixels don’t hurt things at all.  View both at 100%?  The smaller pixels hurt but that’s only because you have more effective magnification.  

In other words, you can always trade back your higher resolution for better SNR just by down sampling, but you can’t go the other way.  You can convert your 47 megapixel ISO 3200 Q2 image to a 24 megapixel image and it will look an awful lot like a Q image at ISO 3200.  They are very similar if you compare apples to apples, i.e., compare them at the same image size not the same percent. 

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Am ‎10‎.‎09‎.‎2019 um 15:06 schrieb BXL Gotham:

Don’t believe it’s a myth. I think this is a key reason older Panasonic cameras are doing better in low light. It’s not a matter of pixel size it’s a matter of the space between them. 

It’s also clearly evident in GFX50S and medium format digital. 
 

It is. I wonder which camera you're talking about because I haven't found one been better than todays camera... Medium format digital camera can't really been compared as the market is very small and the developpements too.

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2 hours ago, Alain88 said:

It is. I wonder which camera you're talking about because I haven't found one been better than todays camera... Medium format digital camera can't really been compared as the market is very small and the developpements too.

I listed my cameras. Suggest you revisit this as it’s incorrect. This is a key reason camera makers keep pics count lower on cameras that need better low light performance (less noise). I’m sorry but you’re mistaken in discounting this as a major factor.

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I get tired of hearing the point made that when equalized for print or viewing size, a higher resolution sensor will have no more noise or motion blur than a lower resolution sensor. While true, it’s not a rule that applies well in practice. And by that I mean: when someone upgrades from the Q to the Q2, it should be assumed that they will 1) still view images at 1:1, either for pleasure or for utility and 2) they will make larger prints. No one is reviewing their Q2 files and stopping at 50% zoom level. Most who buy the Q2 will try (and perhaps continue) to print at larger sizes.

And when comparing 1:1 from Q to Q2, you will see more noise, and you will be able to more readily notice motion blur.

So while calling people out for making incorrect statements like, “Higher resolution sensors ‘create’ more motion blur artifacts,” is good, such a correction should always be given with the caveat that when viewed at 1:1 or printed at larger sizes, motion blur may become more evident and noise may increase (Sensor technology advances may negate the noise increase to some degree but usually don’t eliminate the difference from one generation sensor to the next).

A statement along the lines of, “With a higher resolution sensor, you may need to pay more attention to your shutter speed and technique” is completely accurate. The implication should be understood that the user intends to view at 1:1 or print larger, and there is no need for a pedantic response.

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If you print larger you'll see more noise, it's not sensor related, it's just that you print larger... If your sensor resolution is higher you'll see the small motion blur that was hidded under a single pixel in multiple pixels. To compare images you have to keep them at the same size, and at the same size the motion blur will be the same ration of your total image.

Of course if you wand to use the higher megapixels image to print bigger then you'll have more noise, but finer details thus a more visible motion blur.

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So if we have to downsize the image and then have same visible noise - why would we buy the higher MP sensor? So it has only advantages at lower ISO?

In my (ideal word) view they should increase the MP in the same steps as the can improve technology and noise behavior. This would mean maybe a 36MP sensor which has as good noise at 100% as the older 24MP sensors.

On the other side with the 47MP we can benefit from the high resolution at lower and medium ISO. As someone coming from film and 50/100 ISO films its not so hard for me to stay in the range under 1600 ISO most of the times.

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In actual use, I'm finding the Q2 images, low light or otherwise, to have an edge on the Q - and if you want to crop, then even more so.  That along with improved ergonomics make it worth it.

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8 minutes ago, bullmoon said:

In actual use, I'm finding the Q2 images, low light or otherwise, to have an edge on the Q - and if you want to crop, then even more so.  That along with improved ergonomics make it worth it.

+1. Exactly my experience and conclusion. 

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One thing not considered here is the diffraction limit throughout the optical system, For an (non-existent) flawless lens on an aberration-free full-frame sensor, the diffraction limit is 30 MP @ f 8.0, 60 MP @ f 5.6.

https://gmpphoto.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-pixel-race-does-it-really-make-sense.html

Which means that, if one is a landscape or street shooter and usually at something like f8.0 or even f11, there is no MP advantage in the Q2.

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15 hours ago, hdmesa said:

I get tired of hearing the point made that when equalized for print or viewing size, a higher resolution sensor will have no more noise or motion blur than a lower resolution sensor. While true, it’s not a rule that applies well in practice. And by that I mean: when someone upgrades from the Q to the Q2, it should be assumed that they will 1) still view images at 1:1, either for pleasure or for utility and 2) they will make larger prints. No one is reviewing their Q2 files and stopping at 50% zoom level. Most who buy the Q2 will try (and perhaps continue) to print at larger sizes.

And when comparing 1:1 from Q to Q2, you will see more noise, and you will be able to more readily notice motion blur.

So while calling people out for making incorrect statements like, “Higher resolution sensors ‘create’ more motion blur artifacts,” is good, such a correction should always be given with the caveat that when viewed at 1:1 or printed at larger sizes, motion blur may become more evident and noise may increase (Sensor technology advances may negate the noise increase to some degree but usually don’t eliminate the difference from one generation sensor to the next).

A statement along the lines of, “With a higher resolution sensor, you may need to pay more attention to your shutter speed and technique” is completely accurate. The implication should be understood that the user intends to view at 1:1 or print larger, and there is no need for a pedantic response.

I agree that people inspect images at 1:1 for fun.  I do it myself.  And I agree that noise levels are generally higher when viewed at 1:1 as megapixel numbers climb.  Physics requires that.  I also explicitly mentioned that in my previous post—per pixel SNR is worse with higher megapixel counts.  While viewing images at 1:1 may be entertaining for the photographer, it is not how we tend to share images, whether online or in print form.  So I think it bears repeating that the comparison we should make is not at a particular pixel scale (unless you want to equalize it by up-sampling one or down-sampling the other), but at a given print size or view size.  That’s what is actually useful and practical.  How does the image compare in detail and in noise in the way you will actually use it?  That’s not at 100% view.

Your second point—about needing to be more careful with technique if you want to get the most out of your additional pixels—is absolutely correct and also bears repeating.  If you are just sharing on Instagram it doesn’t matter one bit, but if you are going to print large or are trying to extract every last bit of detail the lens and sensor can provide then more megapixels benefit from more careful technique and more accurate focus.

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5 hours ago, tom0511 said:

So if we have to downsize the image and then have same visible noise - why would we buy the higher MP sensor? So it has only advantages at lower ISO?

In my (ideal word) view they should increase the MP in the same steps as the can improve technology and noise behavior. This would mean maybe a 36MP sensor which has as good noise at 100% as the older 24MP sensors.

On the other side with the 47MP we can benefit from the high resolution at lower and medium ISO. As someone coming from film and 50/100 ISO films its not so hard for me to stay in the range under 1600 ISO most of the times.

Even with a theoretically perfect sensor with 100% quantum efficiency and zero read noise—and modern BSI sensors are actually quite close to that—there would be more noise as the megapixel count climbs.  Most of the noise in a low light image now is so-called “shot noise”.  It is contained in the light itself and is not a camera artifact.  This does not mean that higher megapixel cameras only have an advantage at low ISO.  It means you can “pick your poison” so to speak.  If your image benefits from the higher megapixels despite the noise?  Leave it as is.  If your image looks better with a little less resolution and a little less noise?  Either down sample or apply noise reduction.  With higher megapixels you get a choice.  With fewer megapixels the choice has already been made.

I don’t think you are going to see major improvements in high ISO noise performance from here on, whether megapixel counts climb or not.  We are very close to what the laws of physics allow.  Maybe better in camera noise reduction techniques will be developed, but that’s not really the same thing.

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