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Old Digital Cameras do great

By Glen Charles

I am still amazed by the picture quality of some older cameras. It seems that modern camera software engineers can't quite recreate the original colors in the scene that you shot. As you know, whatever colors are captured by the camera lens and filter system (sensor filter), they are all converted to a gray scale. Yes, that's right, there are no colors in the picture. The camera computer reconstructs color from the grayscale image, and how well it matches the original scene is up to the software engineer. Different cameras make different colors. Often the camera gives you a way to adjust the colors to what you saw, through "film" selections, or in RAW processing, where another software engineer offers a different renditions of the scene.

This is why so many color pictures are disappointing OOC, and why you have do do PP to get it right.

In the old days, the engineers were apparently more artistic, and so we got those rich colors that created such good fall pictures, and good boat pictures, as you can see here on LI site.

http://www.leicaimages.com/showphoto.php?photoid=46943&showall

Anyone want to argue about this?

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Reply from Glen Charles on 11-1-14 7:50 AM
I just received a SOny SEl5018 lens. This is a 50mm f1.8 Aspheric design. For the price $300 it can't be beat. The MTF curves are flatter and better than many Leica 50mm lenses, and a whole lot better than any of the kit lenses. It had good reviews, so I bought one on sale at SONY store. I also received a NEX 5-R which I wanted for its CIZ with fixed focus lenses ( I had this on the NEX 3N, but the 3N doesn't match with the Fauer finder I always use - this finder is so much better than the electronic finder in the a6000 and Nex-7, as the image is huge, about the same as looking at a 51" TV at normal viewing distance!) Anyway as usual for my first tests I make a picture of my wife. The lens is way too sharp for portraits of women! I downloaded an app from SONY into the camera and this enabled me to get a softer picture without blurring the details of the hair.
I also had a picture made a year ago on the Panasonic FZ1 camera with the Leica Vario Elmarit f2.8. I was astonished to see that the detail and sharpness of the old 2 MP camera equalled the new SONY 16MP camera with a really good lens. I posted a comparison picture on this site (two eyes) which I blew up to 200% to show how good the file is from the old camera. You can blow the image up to 500% and won't lose detail but you see actual square pixels - how nice, instead of the blurry mess that most modern cameras produce.
http://www.leicaimages.com/showphoto.php?photoid=47028
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