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Thread: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

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    Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Hi All,

    Some around the web have commented about CCD sensors having a different look than CMOS, saying the CCD gives a more analogue film-like rendering. For Pentax 645D owners, do you find this to be true? Are there differences you see in the output of the 645D vs. other modern Sony CMOS sensor based cams such as the D800, that could be attributed to some quality of the CCD sensor in the Pentax?

    I'm aware of the modern CMOS advantages in terms of lower noise at higher than base ISO's, increased dynamic range, and better performance in long exposures. But my main concern right now is determining if the CCD in the 645D actually has some advantage in it's rendering for a landscape shooter despite CMOS' advantages. If so I may be inclined to purchase a 645D rather than the Z I have preordered.

    Perhaps Phase One and Hasselblad [edit: and Leica] users may have thoughts to share on this as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ross
    Last edited by SeattleDucks; 22nd April 2014 at 19:05.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    I imagine its a very difficult question to answer for anyone with anything other than an oppinion at the moment as the camera has not been released yet. I personally feel the advantages of CMOS more than make up for the (subjective) difference in look over CCD.

    As processing techniques/engines evolve I imagine the difference will be less apparent.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    The only similar experience I have had is when Leica went to CMOS for the M(240) compared to CCD in the M9.

    Personally, after two weeks of testing and experimenting with post processing approaches, I subjectively didn't like the new camera's image qualities (look and feel) and for the first time in 35+ years did not buy a new M despite improved operational characteristics.

    Whether that will hold true for MFD in general, or Pentax specifically, is anyone's guess right now. One thing is certain, any of these cameras will deliver stunning detail … then it comes down to personal aesthetic preferences weighted against operational needs.

    BTW, I will be facing the same decision soon enough when Leica goes CMOS for their S camera … I currently shoot with a S2-P that uses a CCD sensor, which I love because the files have a certain naturalness to them, something others have also commented on. That may be an attribute of the lenses for all I know, but I can't determine that for sure until I can try a CMOS version.

    When it comes to MFD, I have a pretty firm policy of "try before you buy".

    - Marc
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...I will be facing the same decision soon enough when Leica goes CMOS for their S camera … I currently shoot with a S2-P that uses a CCD sensor, which I love because the files have a certain naturalness to them, something others have also commented on. That may be an attribute of the lenses for all I know, but I can't determine that for sure until I can try a CMOS version...
    Ditto for me re-Hasselblad and the new CMOS model.

    This post comments on Leica CCD vs CMOS in the M-Series, and it seems the CMOS ticks enough boxers to make it a wise choice. But I get Marc's point - as for me the CCD in the Hasselblad delivers wonderful color - and is frequently commented on my customers (and yes, lens and processing play a part too). Anyway, more food for thought here Leica M (typ 240) Field Test and Review

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The only similar experience I have had is when Leica went to CMOS for the M(240) compared to CCD in the M9.

    Personally, after two weeks of testing and experimenting with post processing approaches, I subjectively didn't like the new camera's image qualities (look and feel) and for the first time in 35+ years did not buy a new M despite improved operational characteristics.

    Whether that will hold true for MFD in general, or Pentax specifically, is anyone's guess right now. One thing is certain, any of these cameras will deliver stunning detail … then it comes down to personal aesthetic preferences weighted against operational needs.

    BTW, I will be facing the same decision soon enough when Leica goes CMOS for their S camera … I currently shoot with a S2-P that uses a CCD sensor, which I love because the files have a certain naturalness to them, something others have also commented on. That may be an attribute of the lenses for all I know, but I can't determine that for sure until I can try a CMOS version.

    When it comes to MFD, I have a pretty firm policy of "try before you buy".

    - Marc
    I completely share Marc's opinion regarding the differences in output between the CCD based M9 and CMOS based M240. Sure on can fiddle and develop a workflow that emulates many of the aspects of the M9 look in M240 files, but it's not uniformly consistent and there are some types of images/lighting that simply come close but not the same. Again this is very subjective but that's been my experience working with similar and closely matched pairs of files between the two cameras.

    The M240 is a lovely camera and I could use many of it's advantages over the M9....but the look of the image and output comes first before anything else. This is especially true when the shear number of files I need to adjust and tweak is substantial/ I don't want to spend days tweaking endlessly images, to just to get a large percentage to get close or somewhat near the look I want. The M9 RAW files have a look I love and so does the 645D.

    I have no basis to say this yet and it may be completely wrong, but I have a sneaking feeling that a similar situation to a degree will hold true between the CCD based 645D and CMOS 645Z. That's why I'm treading slowly before considering selling my 645D for the 645Z. Time will tell....it always does.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    I fully agree Dave - can't wait to get a proper body of 645Z files to consider in order to make this decision. But Pentax has certainly done a good of job of making the decision a tough one with their improvements to the body's functioning. Here's hoping the file properties don't let the thing down.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    I fully agree Dave - can't wait to get a proper body of 645Z files to consider in order to make this decision. But Pentax has certainly done a good of job of making the decision a tough one with their improvements to the body's functioning. Here's hoping the file properties don't let the thing down.
    Ed, analogous to Pentax making things difficult with all the added features of the 645Z, Leica did exactly the same with the M240, maybe even more, since operationally, the differences between the M9 and M240 were striking. At the end of the day, there were a fair number of individuals who decided to stay with the M9 or simply after moving to the M240, went right back.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    This subject was addressed in detail over at LuLa, and you might want to take a few minutes and read through this post. Some pretty heavy hitters over there, offering both pro and cons on color, CCS vs CMOS.

    The Future of CCD Sensors

    Paul

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    I'll be contrary to other opinions here. I believe the differences between CMOS and CCD are there, but other things affect the image MUCH more, such as the filters used, and pixel site size. The whole optical pipeline is different when comparing say a D800 to anything else. Here are my insights:

    Optical pipeline
    To play the High ISO game, I believe Nikon uses far weaker colour filters and more mathematical methods than Canon or Sony, hence I personally feel Nikon let us down with the D800, since they didn't address the weakness in their system (colour, especially red->oranges->yellow in bright conditions). I did some analysis of this (using various nikon files vs A77 and A99) and recall it was around 2/3rds or more of a stop extra speed Nikon vs Canon/Sony with a degradation in colour, especially skin tones, especially around the hair line of brunettes and fawns.

    Filtration
    Many people preferred the M8 to M9 (Due to filtration changes), now argue M9 vs M[240] (ccd to cmos and different filtering), I think that it's more accidental quirkyness of a very special system than anything specific to CCDs. Due to the differences from M8 to M9 with essentially the same silicon and precisely the same optical pipeline beyond the sensor filter, I argue filtration is far more important than CCD/CMOS.

    I also think with the early M's we were intrepid explorers, the latest M is far more complete. This resulted in a different mindset where we were prepared to work around the IQ quirks in the early M's, coming to endear their unusual properties.

    Sensor site
    Going from a Mamiya 33 (Aptus 7II) to a Phase One IQ160, I felt disappointed for several months, lets say even deep regret about upgrading. In part due to the superior Mamiya/Leaf profiles, but also the larger pixel site sensor just rendered skin tones and also natural greens to brows, with such incredible beauty. This is well documented on many forums and there are people who seek out these larger pixel site sensors still today. I therefore argue that the ability to capture a larger area of light has significant affect on the sensor.

    - Paul
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Since you have no history with either camera, it should make no difference which you choose as you are going to have to work with each to understand the images they will produce. Neither are going to end up making bad images. The only cravat I would make is if you are shooting portraits in the studio and then I would test the cameras side by side.

    The discussion around CMOS and CCD is rather hard with no real data. The only thing that I have heard, and here again with no real confirmation, is that to get higher ISOs the color filter array is made weaker. But yet CMOS sensors make great images--I have an RX-1 and D800 along with my 645D. I do prefer the 645D, but that could be simply because I use it more. It could also be Pentax profiling and colors rather than Sony or Nikon.

    Another hypotheses could be the effect of greater dynamic range. The greater the dynamic range, the flatter the image. I have heard lots of people say the CMOS sensors are "flat." That can be fixed with a tone curve, but how many photographers are wiling to give up highlight and shadow detail? The current aesthetic favors greater dynamic range.

    The only CCD/CMOS color test I have seen is between the D800 and Hasselblad. I don't know how much is the sensor and how much the camera profiles, but you can scroll down the page to see a color checker comparison:

    Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority? Round two «Photigy: Online Studio Photography Lessons

    If I did not have a 645D and was shopping for a Pentax MFD, I would probably go for the 645Z. There are a number of improvements that are good: ISO, live view, faster preview times, etc. However, owning a 645D, I feel no great need to change. What I get out of the camera is great--I print large on 44" roll paper.

    One thing that no one has brought up about the 645Z is that Pentax only give lens profiles with the FA and DFA series lenses. They do not profile the A series lenses. For most of the A lenses, it might not be a big deal, but if you are thinking about the A35mm, then it might be worth it to wait until someone has tested that lens with the 645Z. CMOS might be a little more sensitive to lens cast and such. At least the Phase One test of the IQ250 on tech cameras seem to indicate that.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    This subject was addressed in detail over at LuLa, and you might want to take a few minutes and read through this post. Some pretty heavy hitters over there, offering both pro and cons on color, CCS vs CMOS.

    The Future of CCD Sensors

    Paul
    Paul thanks. I've been following that discussion but hadn't contributed a post till now.

    When I say I prefer CCD based cameras to CMOS ones in general, I'm not saying it's simply the output I find more attractive and preferable and is solely due to the actual CCD chip. It could be the filter array or some other factor in the supporting cast to the sensor, but the bottom line is the look and output I prefer has been pretty consistent in cameras containing a CCD sensor.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 22nd April 2014 at 20:26.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Sensor site
    Going from a Mamiya 33 (Aptus 7II) to a Phase One IQ160, I felt disappointed for several months, lets say even deep regret about upgrading. In part due to the superior Mamiya/Leaf profiles, but also the larger pixel site sensor just rendered skin tones and also natural greens to brows, with such incredible beauty. This is well documented on many forums and there are people who seek out these larger pixel site sensors still today. I therefore argue that the ability to capture a larger area of light has significant affect on the sensor.

    - Paul
    I have to agree with this. I still think that my Aptus 65M files right from the back have a nicer colour subtlety than my IQ260 files until I've worked them.
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful discussion. Some good points brought up.

    My background is many years of landscape shooting with 4x5, 6x7, and 6x4.5 film, and I began making the transition to digital several years ago with various DSLRs, currently the D800. The Nikon has plenty of resolution and loads of dynamic range, but I am not thrilled with the files even after much work in LR5. The color often does not look quite right to me, and I sense a bit of lifelessness in the overall rendering.

    Looking at 645D images from around the web I have often seen a quality in the images that feels closer to the organic look of my film drum scans. But it is very hard to quantify exactly what it is in the files that's grabbing me.

    Though the new 645Z is not released yet, we do have current Sony CMOS sensors out there that may give a general feel for what to expect in the rendering of the Z. As mentioned, I'm not thrilled with the D800 files overall look, nor have I been drawn to the IQ250 sample images I examined. And yet images like these from the 645D have drawn me in with a sense of inner glow, local contrast, and a natural look that, again, reminds me of the high quality film scans I've worked with:

    645D review images: Google Translate

    Unfortunately, the samples posted by Pentax from the Z are not helpful at all to this investigation. Most of them are quite awful.

    I apologize if my attempts at describing what I *think* I'm seeing are not specific nor scientific enough. I do often doubt my own eyes on this topic, wondering how much my brain is being influenced by things I've read, so I appreciate the discussion here with others to help flesh these things out.

    Ross

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ross,

    No need to be sorry or apologize for describing what you see or feel when looking at certain images. Photography is a visual art form and although there may not be rigid scientific explanations of why you derive a certain feeling or reaction to certain images as those from a CCD based camera ( or any kind of camera or lens for that matter), you are not alone.

    As often said, it's an art form like most that is very subjective and there is no right or wrong....simply what you like or don't like. Now as for the best tasting ice cream flavors, that's a whole different matter .

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Well, it you had to pin me down, I would say my 645D is on the yellow-green side whereas my Sony camera are yellow-red, but it is a lot more complicated than simply color balance--kind of like trying to nail down why Kodak and Fuji film are different. I cannot tell you why, but I do like the 645D files very much. But if you want me to demonstrate a difference and a consistent difference, honestly, I would be quite hard pressed to give you something. However, if you are seeing it, who am I to call you crazy?
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ross:

    I bought the 645D in 2010 and intended to continue using a 67 film camera as well. I have been so pleased with the files from the 645D that I have developed only two 220 rolls from the 67 since that time. I've owned only a few digital cameras, but the files I've liked best have come from CCD sensors. Will the 645Z be the same? We all wonder.

    Tom
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The discussion around CMOS and CCD is rather hard with no real data. The only thing that I have heard, and here again with no real confirmation, is that to get higher ISOs the color filter array is made weaker. But yet CMOS sensors make great images--I have an RX-1 and D800 along with my 645D. I do prefer the 645D, but that could be simply because I use it more. It could also be Pentax profiling and colors rather than Sony or Nikon.

    Shashin (and Tom), I'm thinking about switching from Nikon D800E to Pentax 645D for my studio still life work. I want to go for larger sensor and CCD.
    The only thing that still stops me from doing so is that I'm used to Capture One software and the way it handles Nikon files. How do you process Pentax files, what's the best RAW converter and will I miss C1?
    Thanks! (Sorry, it's a bit off topic)

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    You'll be switching from small format to medium format, that's more significant than you can imagine. Firstly the workflow is slower (studio still life should present little difference). DoF will wonderfully creative in some ways, but a royal PITA in others.

    One thing is that going for the Pentax for still lifes maybe somewhat limiting in the sense that a modular camera system would give you more options to upgrade (e.g. to get a Linhof techno or similar).

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    On page 5 of the aforementioned LuLa thread, someone posted a comparison between the Hasselblad 60MP CCD and the new 50MP Sony CMOS:

    The Future of CCD Sensors

    What I see on a pixel peeping level is a litlle less noise and a little more dynamic range in the CMOS. Looking at the complete images side by side, I like the CCD versions better. Maybe it's the slighty smaller DR, wich gives the CCD version more apparent local contrast and a bit more 'bite'.

    I'm in the same boat as Marc and others, shooting with an S2-P and not in a hurry to move to CMOS.
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    You'll be switching from small format to medium format, that's more significant than you can imagine. Firstly the workflow is slower (studio still life should present little difference). DoF will wonderfully creative in some ways, but a royal PITA in others.

    One thing is that going for the Pentax for still lifes maybe somewhat limiting in the sense that a modular camera system would give you more options to upgrade (e.g. to get a Linhof techno or similar).
    Thanks! I have experience with MF - Phase One owner. But, for my current workflow Pentax 645D looks fine to me (I don't need movements, digital back versatility etc). It's not expensive, no need for complicated dealer contracts, and it's a decent jump from DSLR.
    It's, like I said, RAW convertion workflow that worries me. I'm used to C1 - it's colors, rendition etc.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    CCD vs. CMOS.

    Swings and roundabouts as far as I’m concerned.

    My M9 files have a certain look out of camera that I admire but as I always do some post work this is of limited advantage over my M240 files. The comparatively limited dynamic range of the M9 can be problematic.

    The advantages of the CMOS sensor in the M240 are many including more robust files that are more amenable to post, greater dynamic range and better high ISO performance. The addition of liveview and the EVF greatly expands the type of work that can be undertaken and the lenses that can be used. Critical framing and focus regardless of the lens used is key.

    If I was a wedding or social photographer shooting huge amounts of files where skin tone was particularly critical I’d pick up the M9 rather than do all that post. For much of my own work I pick up the M240.

    I’m thankful I have both.
    Last edited by KeithL; 23rd April 2014 at 06:02.
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    Shashin (and Tom), I'm thinking about switching from Nikon D800E to Pentax 645D for my studio still life work. I want to go for larger sensor and CCD.
    The only thing that still stops me from doing so is that I'm used to Capture One software and the way it handles Nikon files. How do you process Pentax files, what's the best RAW converter and will I miss C1?
    Thanks! (Sorry, it's a bit off topic)
    As you likely know, C1 doesn't support the 645D, and so I have little experience with it. I'm sure Shashin and others have more experience with RAW converters, but I have been very happy using ACR and find the adjustments I make are consistent i.e., routine and fast. The 645D is usable at ISO 1600 (3200 really if you underexpose), but suffers from chroma noise that ACR removes very well; I usually don't apply luminance NR as the noise reminds me of film grain and NR softens the image. Here's an example at 1600 (heavy crop of a sailing ship on Lake Erie, I could have applied luminance NR, but prefer the slight grain):


    _IGP9295 by tsjanik47, on Flickr
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Great info, thanks! So, ACR is just fine then. I have some experiance with it, too, so, I hope, it won't be a problem to adapt.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    Shashin (and Tom), I'm thinking about switching from Nikon D800E to Pentax 645D for my studio still life work. I want to go for larger sensor and CCD.
    The only thing that still stops me from doing so is that I'm used to Capture One software and the way it handles Nikon files. How do you process Pentax files, what's the best RAW converter and will I miss C1?
    Thanks! (Sorry, it's a bit off topic)
    The same as Tom, I use ACR. I am really happy with ACR for with 645D files. But since I also shoot a p25+ back, I have C1--Phase files in ACR stink.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    CCD vs. CMOS.

    Swings and roundabouts as far as I’m concerned.
    My thoughts exactly.

    If you have both cameras, compare their look and one HAS to be a winner then it will most probably be the one you know and are most familiar with. Whether that makes CMOS or CCD better for your chosen subject (landscape?) is just not relevant as its too subjective.

    What matters is does the extra cost involved getting the latest and greatest with all the additional features of CMOS (live view, small DR increase, long exposures, lower noise) add any benefit to your work?

    As simple as that I'd say.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The same as Tom, I use ACR. I am really happy with ACR for with 645D files. But since I also shoot a p25+ back, I have C1--Phase files in ACR stink.
    Thanks!

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Another vote for ACR. When I first got the 645D, I used the app Pentax provided and occasionally saw benefits (if I was willing to put in a lot of time) - but the terrible workflow just put me off using it; the benefits are minor and the disadvantages significant.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Great comments. This discussion has helped move my thinking forward.

    I realize now I have to try the 645D CCD for myself, so this afternoon I purchased a like new sample (only 300 actuations). I'll put the 645D through its paces during several weeks of landscape shooting in various parts of the US starting in May. I'm sitting on a pile of lovely Pentax A manual focus glass (I prefer these to the newer FA versions) so should be ready to go after I test to confirm the lenses are good samples.

    For now I will remain on the 645Z preorder list, but may end up canceling and putting in more time with the 645D through my scheduled autumn shoots, and likely rent a Z at some point this year to do my own comparisons with the new Sony 51.4mp CMOS sensor implementation.

    I do hope the 645D can produce a print that satisfies me a bit more than the D800 results at the target size of 40" x 30". I'm not expecting it to print as gorgeously as my scanned 4x5 transparencies, but I'll be elated if it equals the overall print results from 6x7cm.

    Ross

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ross, I'll be in Seattle next Thursday. I'd be glad to bring a phase tech cam kit with me if you want to compare to your new 645D.

    Or just to have a beer.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Ross, I'll be in Seattle next Thursday. I'd be glad to bring a phase tech cam kit with me if you want to compare to your new 645D.

    Or just to have a beer.
    Thanks for that offer Doug. Seattle is a spectacular place to have a beer with so many top craft brewers in the region. Portland is perhaps even more amazing for great ales. I won't be able to make it as I moved to Florida last year. I will be back doing some mountain shooting and microbrew drinking in the Pacific Northwest this summer

    Ross

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ross, two accessories I found really great with the 645D are the gridded viewfinder screen and the 645 Refconverter 90 degree angle finder. I also like the weatherproof IR remote, although some prefer a cable release. Enjoy.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Ross, two accessories I found really great with the 645D are the gridded viewfinder screen and the 645 Refconverter 90 degree angle finder. I also like the weatherproof IR remote, although some prefer a cable release. Enjoy.
    A wife (in my case) or SO who is willing to carry stuff is the most valuable accessory

    The IR remote is inexpensive and very handy. The eyepiece magnifier is really helpful for critical focus, although I suspect it's rendered unimportant with the 645Z.

    PS: Ross I fell in love with the Pacific northwest when I passed through in 1973 (I do remember a billboard stating "Would the last person out of Seattle please turn off the lights". Times have changed; I have returned many times, mostly to visit the N. Cascades. Florida has its charms too, but for me not as compelling.

    Tom
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    I love the images from CCD cameras I've used: 1ds, Leica M8, M9, CFV39, etc. however in every case the usability of the newer models (CMOS based) won out. The CMOS files are more clinical, cleaner, but lack the warmth of the CCD sensors.

    However I don't think one is better than the other. You can easily adjust the raw files to look like one another. In the end I don't think CMOS or CCD would positively or negatively impact the quality of your photos. That is still based on the photographer

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The same as Tom, I use ACR. I am really happy with ACR for with 645D files. But since I also shoot a p25+ back, I have C1--Phase files in ACR stink.
    Me too! I work with a number of different RAW converters but as suggested above, ACR works exceedingly well for 645D Raw files.

    Also as mentioned by others, the IR waterproof remote is handy as are attaching two dovetails QR plates for both axis of the camera for tripod work.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleDucks View Post
    .................. I'm not expecting it to print as gorgeously as my scanned 4x5 transparencies, but I'll be elated if it equals the overall print results from 6x7cm.

    Ross

    Ross,

    You may be interested in this comparison I did when I got the 645D. I shot the same scene with a 645N and 645D using the 35mm A and a 67II using a 45mm.; scans on a Nikon 9000. The 645D clearly bests the 645N. The 67 and 645D are close, but the angle of view for the 67 is larger. My conclusion: the advantages of the 645D win out.

    Tom

    tom's: 645N, 645D, 67II
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Ross, two accessories I found really great with the 645D are the gridded viewfinder screen and the 645 Refconverter 90 degree angle finder. I also like the weatherproof IR remote, although some prefer a cable release. Enjoy.
    Thanks for the heads up. The seller installed a screen he says makes manual focus much easier, the Pentax AB-82 AF Split-Image Matte.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    A wife (in my case) or SO who is willing to carry stuff is the most valuable accessory

    The IR remote is inexpensive and very handy. The eyepiece magnifier is really helpful for critical focus, although I suspect it's rendered unimportant with the 645Z.

    PS: Ross I fell in love with the Pacific northwest when I passed through in 1973 (I do remember a billboard stating "Would the last person out of Seattle please turn off the lights". Times have changed; I have returned many times, mostly to visit the N. Cascades. Florida has its charms too, but for me not as compelling.

    Tom
    LOL! Love the sign from '73. The area does have an abundance of stunning scenery. In addition to the North Cascades I particularly loved spending time at Mount Rainier. The only problem with the PNW for me is the weather, tends to be some of the dreariest in the US for about 8 months per year. In stark contrast, fall/winter/spring here in the Tampa Bay area has been incredible.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Ross,

    You may be interested in this comparison I did when I got the 645D. I shot the same scene with a 645N and 645D using the 35mm A and a 67II using a 45mm.; scans on a Nikon 9000. The 645D clearly bests the 645N. The 67 and 645D are close, but the angle of view for the 67 is larger. My conclusion: the advantages of the 645D win out.

    Tom

    tom's: 645N, 645D, 67II
    Thanks for that Tom, very interesting to see.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Hi,

    I guess I posted the response to the wrong posting, sorry!

    A few observations:

    I was shooting Pentax 67 before switching to digital. Mostly I was shooting Velvia and scanning on a Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro (3200 PPI).

    Once I got to 24MP (Sony Alpha 900) I made a few comparisons between scanned 67 and the Alpha 900, and I am pretty sure that the Alpha 900 came out on top. The articles are here:

    Pentax67+Velvia vs Sony Alpha 900

    Sony Alpha 900 vs. 67 analogue, round 2

    I recently also shoot P45+ on a Hasselblad 555ELD, and I am using LR5.4 Initially I didn't like the colour, but I made a color profile using Adobe DNG Profile Editor using a ColorChecker and I have been quite happy.

    This article has some info: P45+ colour rendition

    Right now, I cannot really tell the P45+ and Sony Alpha 99 (that I use now) apart in A2-size prints, neither for colour nor for resolution. I have not made that many comparisons as I mostly shoot with one or the other camera, but in the comparisons I made they are close. Larger sizes there is probably a difference, but A2 is what I normally print.

    As a side note, I own Capture 1 (7.2), and I have tried it a lot. In my experience C1 has significant advantages over LR5 in keeping color aliasing low, but I much prefer LR 5 processing in most other respects, so I live with it's weakness in colour aliasing control. (LR has some algorithms for tone mapping highlights and shadows, which are markedly superior to C1, in my view.)

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Ross,

    You may be interested in this comparison I did when I got the 645D. I shot the same scene with a 645N and 645D using the 35mm A and a 67II using a 45mm.; scans on a Nikon 9000. The 645D clearly bests the 645N. The 67 and 645D are close, but the angle of view for the 67 is larger. My conclusion: the advantages of the 645D win out.

    Tom

    tom's: 645N, 645D, 67II

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleDucks View Post
    I do hope the 645D can produce a print that satisfies me a bit more than the D800 results at the target size of 40" x 30". I'm not expecting it to print as gorgeously as my scanned 4x5 transparencies, but I'll be elated if it equals the overall print results from 6x7cm.

    Ross
    Hi Ross:

    I used Pentax 6x7's quite a bit back in the day.

    The 645D will help you produce some really nice color prints. Certainly cleaner than what you will get with the 6x7.

    I owned a 645D for a little while and tested it alongside a D800E (20x30 and up to 30x60in prints). The Nikon has about equal resolution. You might see tiny differences depending on the lens used, settings, technique, subject and depth of field differences. The Nikon does have more dynamic range. Without a doubt although the Pentax has more DR than any Canon. ((I used the Zeiss 15mm, 14-24mm and the 24mm PC-E with the D800E and on the Pentax I used a 35mm A (best 35mm I found, better than the FA I also had), 45-85mm FA and 55mm DFA))

    I had to go with a PhaseOne IQ160 / Arca Swiss / Rodenstock HR-W lens setup to really improve on the D800E resolution. In the process I got great (back) shifting/rise/fall capability plus front tilt/swing. Also got awesome tethering and software integration, color, and just amazing edge to edge lens performance. My IQ160 setup obviously also handily beats the 645D I had in all aspects of image quality.

    For wide angle landscape work a tech camera is unbeatable. Even if the resolution of the back were equal to what you get with a DSLR the lens performance, edge to edge, is much better and you get great lens/back movements plus the versatility of being able to build a system for your needs / wants or use the back on multiple systems (like I do with a Hasselblad H1).

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    My take on the difference between CCD and CMOS:

    There is none.

    - Err, WHAT, Ray?

    No, really. There is no inherent difference in what they do. Doped and biased silicon pixels trapping photoelectrons. That's it.

    - Ah come off it, Ray! We can SEE the difference!

    You can see differences alright - but they have nothing to do inherently with the underlying technology of CCD vs CMOS. Paul (wentbackward) identified many of the reasons above. Spectral response is the main one - a combination of front-of-sensor colour filtration, and photon absorption depth within the sensor. Both of these are at the whim of the designer, for both CCD and CMOS.

    It so happens that some manufacturers dominate in making camera CCDs, some dominate in making CMOS, and they each have a typical way of doing these design aspects that influence colour; and therefore people have mistakenly associated one kind of colour response with CCDs and another (generally deemed inferior) kind with CMOS.

    There are those who love the colour output from their Leicas (M8, M9, S, S2), or Pentax 645D, or 16/18/22/31/39/40/50 MP Hasselblads and Phase Ones; they may say it's because those cameras/backs use a CCD. Not quite! It's because they use a Kodak CCD. Same goes for all the the DALSA-chipped units. The secret sauce comes from the manufacturer, not whether it's a CCD. And then on top of that, you have how different integrators of the same sensor handle colour profiling, which is why some will prefer a Leaf back to a Phase back with the same DALSA sensor.

    - But CMOS definitely has lower noise than CCDs, Ray! You often said it yourself!

    Again, this is not an inherent property of the two kinds of device, but rather a consequence of engineering practicalities. Some early CMOS cameras and backs for photography, like the Leaf C-MOST and Kodak 14n/SLR-n, actually had worse readout noise than their CCD contemporaries. If you read a CCD out slowly enough, or employ EM-gain at the expense of dynamic range, it can be extremely low noise as well. Again, different engineering explains why Canons are noisy and have limited DR at low ISO (often worse on both counts than even older CCDs) while increasingly, Sonys (and Nikons, Pentaxes) have lower noise and high DR at low ISO, even though they're all CMOS.

    - But...my CMOS camera gives me better shadow detail and worse highlight recovery and specular handling, than with my CCD camera. Explain that!

    First, play fair: make sure you are using two cameras with very similar pixel sizes (a reasonable proxy for pixel full well capacity). If your CMOS camera is a DSLR/CSC and your CCD camera is an MFD unit, chances are that the CCD has larger pixels. And it's the area that matters - the square of the pixel width. So 5 microns CMOS might seem close enough to 6 microns CCD, but 25 square microns is a lot less than 36.

    Now, underexpose your CMOS camera by about 1 stop. If you bracket a bit, you'll find an exposure where the highlights are about as good as the CCD, and the shadows have degraded but are still no worse than the CCD's.

    You will probably have to add a further -1 stop underexposure to the CMOS camera for every stop above base ISO that you shoot the CCD, since most CCD units, especially MFD ones, fake higher ISO by simply underexposing, which gives naturally enough gives even better highlight recovery, since what were highlights slide down towards the mid-tones and the shadows are utterly foresaken.

    - And the film-like quality and smooth highlight tonal gradations that people associate with CCDs? I suppose you have an answer for them, too?

    I do. It goes back to the "high signal, high noise" nature of the typical CCD photographic capture. The typical CMOS capture OTOH has "moderate signal, low noise". (Again, I stress that what's typically engineered is not an indicator of absolute underlying performance capabilities). Plot signal to noise versus intensity (or Adams' zone scale) and the two representative curves cross over in a way which explains these visual effects. Manipulating these curves is essentially what software like DxO Filmpack does to create more film-like images from digital.

    - Look, we all know that CMOS can do Live-view and Video and CCD does them poorly, if at all. That must count as a real difference?

    It's only a difference in off-the-sensor routing of the signals. If you force* all the data from a CMOS sensor through a single serial pipeline like a CCD does, you'll find them no different in those regards. [* Why on earth you'd do that is not the point...I'm just saying that again it's not inherent to the sensor internals]

    Ray....clicking "submit" and waiting for the
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    Smile Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ray,

    A lot of good points. A few remarks:

    Regarding highlight tonality/separation/DR I try to keep my exposures reasonably ETTR on both DSLR and MFD. I also frequently check my exposures in post using RawDigger, it is a learning experience.

    So I try to expose to just avoid clipping, and at those exposures I see very little difference between my Sony DSLRs and my P45+ at base ISO, and base ISO is what I essentially use. (On DSLR sometimes I use high ISOs, but in those cases I am more concerned about getting the picture than maintaining highlights.)

    Something I have observed is that Capture One generally applies a "film curve" that causes the image to be overexposed, so using C1 can "lull one into" underexposing, which may help in protecting highlights.

    You also seem to suggest that square pixel size is proportional to full well capacity (FWC). Is FWC not dependent on the process deployed? From sensor data I have seen it may be concluded that some pixels have very large FWC (like Nikon D4). Is FWC over pixel area constant or is it improving over time with better processes?

    Something that probably plays a role is that there is a tendency to thinner design rules resulting in a better ratio of active area vs. passive components. It seems that the number of passive components is reduced in modern CMOS designs, using shared transistors for instance.

    I may also feel that white balance plays a significant role in colour rendition, which may be underestimated. Getting a good white balance may be more important than small differences in CFA design.

    Finally, finely tuned profiles may make a significant difference.

    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    My take on the difference between CCD and CMOS:

    There is none.

    - Err, WHAT, Ray?

    No, really. There is no inherent difference in what they do. Doped and biased silicon pixels trapping photoelectrons. That's it.

    - Ah come off it, Ray! We can SEE the difference!

    You can see differences alright - but they have nothing to do inherently with the underlying technology of CCD vs CMOS. Paul (wentbackward) identified many of the reasons above. Spectral response is the main one - a combination of front-of-sensor colour filtration, and photon absorption depth within the sensor. Both of these are at the whim of the designer, for both CCD and CMOS.

    It so happens that some manufacturers dominate in making camera CCDs, some dominate in making CMOS, and they each have a typical way of doing these design aspects that influence colour; and therefore people have mistakenly associated one kind of colour response with CCDs and another (generally deemed inferior) kind with CMOS.

    There are those who love the colour output from their Leicas (M8, M9, S, S2), or Pentax 645D, or 16/18/22/31/39/40/50 MP Hasselblads and Phase Ones; they may say it's because those cameras/backs use a CCD. Not quite! It's because they use a Kodak CCD. Same goes for all the the DALSA-chipped units. The secret sauce comes from the manufacturer, not whether it's a CCD. And then on top of that, you have how different integrators of the same sensor handle colour profiling, which is why some will prefer a Leaf back to a Phase back with the same DALSA sensor.

    - But CMOS definitely has lower noise than CCDs, Ray! You often said it yourself!

    Again, this is not an inherent property of the two kinds of device, but rather a consequence of engineering practicalities. Some early CMOS cameras and backs for photography, like the Leaf C-MOST and Kodak 14n/SLR-n, actually had worse readout noise than their CCD contemporaries. If you read a CCD out slowly enough, or employ EM-gain at the expense of dynamic range, it can be extremely low noise as well. Again, different engineering explains why Canons are noisy and have limited DR at low ISO (often worse on both counts than even older CCDs) while increasingly, Sonys (and Nikons, Pentaxes) have lower noise and high DR at low ISO, even though they're all CMOS.

    - But...my CMOS camera gives me better shadow detail and worse highlight recovery and specular handling, than with my CCD camera. Explain that!

    First, play fair: make sure you are using two cameras with very similar pixel sizes (a reasonable proxy for pixel full well capacity). If your CMOS camera is a DSLR/CSC and your CCD camera is an MFD unit, chances are that the CCD has larger pixels. And it's the area that matters - the square of the pixel width. So 5 microns CMOS might seem close enough to 6 microns CCD, but 25 square microns is a lot less than 36.

    Now, underexpose your CMOS camera by about 1 stop. If you bracket a bit, you'll find an exposure where the highlights are about as good as the CCD, and the shadows have degraded but are still no worse than the CCD's.

    You will probably have to add a further -1 stop underexposure to the CMOS camera for every stop above base ISO that you shoot the CCD, since most CCD units, especially MFD ones, fake higher ISO by simply underexposing, which gives naturally enough gives even better highlight recovery, since what were highlights slide down towards the mid-tones and the shadows are utterly foresaken.

    - And the film-like quality and smooth highlight tonal gradations that people associate with CCDs? I suppose you have an answer for them, too?

    I do. It goes back to the "high signal, high noise" nature of the typical CCD photographic capture. The typical CMOS capture OTOH has "moderate signal, low noise". (Again, I stress that what's typically engineered is not an indicator of absolute underlying performance capabilities). Plot signal to noise versus intensity (or Adams' zone scale) and the two representative curves cross over in a way which explains these visual effects. Manipulating these curves is essentially what software like DxO Filmpack does to create more film-like images from digital.

    - Look, we all know that CMOS can do Live-view and Video and CCD does them poorly, if at all. That must count as a real difference?

    It's only a difference in off-the-sensor routing of the signals. If you force* all the data from a CMOS sensor through a single serial pipeline like a CCD does, you'll find them no different in those regards. [* Why on earth you'd do that is not the point...I'm just saying that again it's not inherent to the sensor internals]

    Ray....clicking "submit" and waiting for the

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    My take on the difference between CCD and CMOS:

    There is none.

    - Err, WHAT, Ray?

    No, really. There is no inherent difference in what they do. Doped and biased silicon pixels trapping photoelectrons. That's it.

    - Ah come off it, Ray! We can SEE the difference!

    You can see differences alright - but they have nothing to do inherently with the underlying technology of CCD vs CMOS. Paul (wentbackward) identified many of the reasons above. Spectral response is the main one - a combination of front-of-sensor colour filtration, and photon absorption depth within the sensor. Both of these are at the whim of the designer, for both CCD and CMOS.

    It so happens that some manufacturers dominate in making camera CCDs, some dominate in making CMOS, and they each have a typical way of doing these design aspects that influence colour; and therefore people have mistakenly associated one kind of colour response with CCDs and another (generally deemed inferior) kind with CMOS.

    There are those who love the colour output from their Leicas (M8, M9, S, S2), or Pentax 645D, or 16/18/22/31/39/40/50 MP Hasselblads and Phase Ones; they may say it's because those cameras/backs use a CCD. Not quite! It's because they use a Kodak CCD. Same goes for all the the DALSA-chipped units. The secret sauce comes from the manufacturer, not whether it's a CCD. And then on top of that, you have how different integrators of the same sensor handle colour profiling, which is why some will prefer a Leaf back to a Phase back with the same DALSA sensor.

    - But CMOS definitely has lower noise than CCDs, Ray! You often said it yourself!

    Again, this is not an inherent property of the two kinds of device, but rather a consequence of engineering practicalities. Some early CMOS cameras and backs for photography, like the Leaf C-MOST and Kodak 14n/SLR-n, actually had worse readout noise than their CCD contemporaries. If you read a CCD out slowly enough, or employ EM-gain at the expense of dynamic range, it can be extremely low noise as well. Again, different engineering explains why Canons are noisy and have limited DR at low ISO (often worse on both counts than even older CCDs) while increasingly, Sonys (and Nikons, Pentaxes) have lower noise and high DR at low ISO, even though they're all CMOS.

    - But...my CMOS camera gives me better shadow detail and worse highlight recovery and specular handling, than with my CCD camera. Explain that!

    First, play fair: make sure you are using two cameras with very similar pixel sizes (a reasonable proxy for pixel full well capacity). If your CMOS camera is a DSLR/CSC and your CCD camera is an MFD unit, chances are that the CCD has larger pixels. And it's the area that matters - the square of the pixel width. So 5 microns CMOS might seem close enough to 6 microns CCD, but 25 square microns is a lot less than 36.

    Now, underexpose your CMOS camera by about 1 stop. If you bracket a bit, you'll find an exposure where the highlights are about as good as the CCD, and the shadows have degraded but are still no worse than the CCD's.

    You will probably have to add a further -1 stop underexposure to the CMOS camera for every stop above base ISO that you shoot the CCD, since most CCD units, especially MFD ones, fake higher ISO by simply underexposing, which gives naturally enough gives even better highlight recovery, since what were highlights slide down towards the mid-tones and the shadows are utterly foresaken.

    - And the film-like quality and smooth highlight tonal gradations that people associate with CCDs? I suppose you have an answer for them, too?

    I do. It goes back to the "high signal, high noise" nature of the typical CCD photographic capture. The typical CMOS capture OTOH has "moderate signal, low noise". (Again, I stress that what's typically engineered is not an indicator of absolute underlying performance capabilities). Plot signal to noise versus intensity (or Adams' zone scale) and the two representative curves cross over in a way which explains these visual effects. Manipulating these curves is essentially what software like DxO Filmpack does to create more film-like images from digital.

    - Look, we all know that CMOS can do Live-view and Video and CCD does them poorly, if at all. That must count as a real difference?

    It's only a difference in off-the-sensor routing of the signals. If you force* all the data from a CMOS sensor through a single serial pipeline like a CCD does, you'll find them no different in those regards. [* Why on earth you'd do that is not the point...I'm just saying that again it's not inherent to the sensor internals]

    Ray....clicking "submit" and waiting for the

    Exactly my take on the subject as well.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    I may be mistaken and of course can only speak for myself, but when I express to others that so far I generally much prefer the output of CCD based cameras vs. those that are CMOS based, I'm certainly not referring to just the actual sensors used in these cameras. My preferences are based on output from these cameras and whether it's simply sensor related, associated color array's or filters or even associated components used in conjuntion with a particular sensor type, is what I'm trying to express. These differences in output so far between many of the CCD based vs. CMOS based cameras is what I am seeing in output from these cameras and although post processing and other techniques can often equalize and bring some similarities to the output from both, I still find there are notable differences.

    Each though I feel has some very distinct advantages (and disadvantages) and not at all saying either one is superior to the other. It depends on what positive factors one puts the most value on with regards to not only output from a given cameras, but it's ability to capture that image in a broad range of shooting circumstances and how well the camera can handle it.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I may be mistaken and of course can only speak for myself, but when I express to others that so far I generally much prefer the output of CCD based cameras vs. those that are CMOS based, I'm certainly not referring to just the actual sensors used in these cameras. My preferences are based on output from these cameras and whether it's simply sensor related, associated color array's or filters or even associated components used in conjuntion with a particular sensor type, is what I'm trying to express. These differences in output so far between many of the CCD based vs. CMOS based cameras is what I am seeing in output from these cameras and although post processing and other techniques can often equalize and bring some similarities to the output from both, I still find there are notable differences.

    Each though I feel has some very distinct advantages (and disadvantages) and not at all saying either one is superior to the other. It depends on what positive factors one puts the most value on with regards to not only output from a given cameras, but it's ability to capture that image in a broad range of shooting circumstances and how well the camera can handle it.

    Dave (D&A)
    I agree Dave. I also see notable differences.

    Who cares how it happens? I don't need or want to know how the sausage is made, just that it tastes good.

    If you like one thing over another that's creative preference, and no amount of geekified rationale is going to change that.

    - Marc

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Ray does not actually state the difference that is perceived is not real. He is simply identifying where it might come from. What I find interesting is that folks get defensive about it. Personally, if you like the "CCD" look, it might be good to try to analyze where the look is coming from. CCD cameras are not the future and at some point you will not have that choice. If you believe it is solely the sensor tech, then you are stuck. If you don't, it means there can be solutions.
    Will

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Ray does not actually state the difference that is perceived is not real. He is simply identifying where it might come from. What I find interesting is that folks get defensive about it. Personally, if you like the "CCD" look, it might be good to try to analyze where the look is coming from. CCD cameras are not the future and at some point you will not have that choice. If you believe it is solely the sensor tech, then you are stuck. If you don't, it means there can be solutions.
    Clear preferences and conviction in your choices is now being "defensive"?

    Don't care where the differences come from. I'll leave that to those that like that sort of speculative analization.

    That CCDs are not the future is obvious, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it just like with film. Besides, I already have plenty of CMOS cameras to practice on in the meantime.

    There is enough stuff to deal with in the present without conjuring up "what ifs and maybe's".

    - Marc
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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Clear preferences and conviction in your choices is now being "defensive"?

    Don't care where the differences come from. I'll leave that to those that like that sort of speculative analization.

    That CCDs are not the future is obvious, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it just like with film. Besides, I already have plenty of CMOS cameras to practice on in the meantime.

    There is enough stuff to deal with in the present without conjuring up "what ifs and maybe's".

    - Marc
    +1, I quite agree. The earlier (and earliest) pro level digital cameras produced images that were a far cry from what was achievable with film in terms of realistic and convincing output. Most serious photographers would agree with this. Yet here we are in 2014 and although many would say film and digital output is different, the vast majority I believe are now convinced of the superior output of digital. Of course there are exceptions, there always are.

    I see possibly two routes for the future of CCD sensors in conventional photography. Either CMOS will continue to evolve and improve to the point where even diehard CCD fans will see the equalization of output from a CMOS camera being close to, equal to, or superior to that from a CCD based one. I don't believe we're there yet.

    The other senario is similar to the analogue audio world vs. digital. Specialized or limited production of high quality CCD based cameras will continued to be developed and produced for those diehards that appreciate it's output and perceived image characteristic advantages and therefore a small dedicated market will grow and develop around this. Similar to high end turntable and associated analogue equipment manufacturers along with analog record producers.

    It's hard to say exactly what the near future holds with regards to all this. As interesting as it would be to know the science and specifics of why I find CCD output generally more attractive, it's not on the top of my list to find out. I simply know what my eyes see with regards to esthetic cues and intrinsic value in the CCD camera's output and thus what I'm pleased to pass along, especially if its to a client.

    With that said, I respect that others may have a very different opinion and their own personal preferences.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    My take on the difference between CCD and CMOS:

    ......Doped and biased silicon pixels trapping photoelectrons. That's it.

    ...............:Ray....clicking "submit" and waiting for the
    OK Ray, I'll bite and play Devil's Advocate .

    Silver halide crystals are simply photon counters and yet no one would state that all films are the same. You argue that all the perceived difference in CMOS vs. CCD occurs downstream of the photo event (aside from pixel size). I have no expertise in sensors, but if that is the case, why hasn't someone produced a CMOS sensor with the qualities some of us find in a CCD sensor?

    Tom
    Last edited by tsjanik; 25th April 2014 at 18:41.

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    Re: Pentax 645D, or 645Z: CCD vs. CMOS

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    OK Ray, I'll bite and play Devil's Advocate .

    Silver halide crystals are simply photon counters and yet no one would state that all films are the same. You argue that all the perceived difference in CMOS vs. CCD occurs downstream of the photo event (aside from pixel size). I have no expertise in sensors, but if that is the case, why hasn't someone produced a CMOS sensor with the qualities some of us find in a CCD sensor?

    Tom
    Tom, if you don't mind, I will chip in. Sensors have a linear response and need no pigments to reproduce color. Film has a non-linear response (they don't make good photon counters) and require dyes to reproduce color. The dye layers are also stacked, which complicates the process. The color is created through an indirect process of dye couplers with silver which needs to be removed--this get into things like the efficiency of the dyes and whether each dye layer has a similar non-linear response, and when you realize that equal color density in the dye layers don't actually produce a neutral tone, film get really messy. When going to print, you have the added complexity of the print material is also non-linear and matching tone curves become very complex.

    I don't think Ray state everything was down stream. There is the spectral response of the sensor and the color filter array.

    I like both my p25+ and my 645D. I also shoot Sony CMOS. I might be able to show a different result, but both results would still be good, neither of which could be said to be better.

    Now, I am not a big fan of magic when it comes to imaging. I do not believe things have mystical qualities. Now, I might have a preference to certain cameras, sensors, or films, but I also know there are too many variables in the process to equate any of them as having special qualities--most likely I have simply done the work with them and learnt a process to get the result I like.

    So, can you or anyone else show the qualities that are in a CCD vs. a CMOS? I am really interested. This is why in my initial post in this thread I did not recommend one sensor over the other because I am really hard pressed to show a difference--my personal feelings are really not enough.

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