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Monday, 09 February 2009

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I think there is an issue with the nature of the question itself. I suppose there is an allure to distilling something down to one number, because then I can say this is better because it has a higher number. In practice something like a camera will not be understood by just one number.

Let's say camera one is a 9, and two is a 7. What if camera one weighs 750 lbs, and camera two weighs one half of a pound. What if the 9 image quality could only be obtained at 12 mm focal length and I want to take pictures of birds. What if the 9 image quality is at iso 3200 and I want to do motion blur. What if the image quality 9 is at iso 50. Camera one may have a higher number, but it might not be able to take the pictures I want to take.

That is why I look at something like the DXOmark numbers as something that may be useful, but I am not going to purchase a camera because it has a higher DXOmark.

I think part of the problem is that you've been unconsciously applying context from the original argument that spawned the question. If the imaging device, or sensor, was to be used for scientific purposes of comparing several objects which could only be photographed at different settings, then consistency across the board would be weighted higher. The vague terms "settings", and "quality" probably had some definition to them in your mind that was not expressed. Settings could mean:
- sensitivity (gain/ISO)
- power state (sleep, mobile, off, turbo, normal)
- colour range (b&w, narrow, 100% NSTC)
- Something totally irrelevant to the final image
Quality could mean:
- resolution
- logarithmic dynamic range
- linear dynamic range
- colour accuracy
- shot to shot consistency when shooting the same scene over and over, eg. for motion detection

Unfortunately, that holds true for PhD degrees as well. Sigh...

"...read all the comments, and addressed all the arguments, and understood all the misconceptions, only then do I know how I should have written..."

So said Charles Darwin in reference to _Origin of the Species_. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that he considered the 6th edition, the last he personally edited, to be the one to read. The earlier editions did not contain what he considered errors. It was just that responce proved that he occasionally didn't explain himself as well as he should have done.

You are in good company.

Sort of
"the morning after the night before..."

"The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say." - Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903

Hypothetically speaking, if a larger number of comments indicates greater understanding of a hypothetical issue. Then the first post was your most understandable.

Welcome to the world of teaching! Every time I think I've come up with a way of explaining a complex assignment such that no one will be confused, there will be someone in the class who comes up with a _new_ way of being confused.

The best you can do is hone your sense of obvious and typical errors, and you ability to address those. The rest you just have to cope with on the fly as they arise.

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