Canon has been a name worthy of mentioning when it comes to cameras and professional video equipment manufacturers. What makes its products one of the formidable choices would be the fact that they have adopted innovation at the core of its products. One of the essential elements of a Canon camera would be the processor that runs it.
In the case of a canon camera, it is the Digic Image processing unit (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit or “DiG!C”) for Canon’s family of signal processing and control units for digital cameras (DSLRs & Mirrorless) and camcorders that provide you with excellent image processing performance.
The DiG!C system on chip evolved over the years and now uses the ARM instruction sets with custom firmware for model-specific features.
What is DIGIC?
Well, DIGIC stands for Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit. Abbreviated as DIGIC, it is Canon’s name for the signal processing and control units. They are used in the Canon range of digital cameras and camcorders. There are multiple generations of DIGIC processors, and they have been differentiated from one another through the means of version number.
The latest DIGIC processor you would find is DIGIC 8, while a considerable number of cameras from Canon co-exist with the other version numbers as well. The original DIGIC engine was used on the PowerShot G3 from Canon in 2002. It was also used on Canon S1 IS and A520 along with other cameras through 2005. It contained three individual chips for video processing, image processing, and camera control.
The single-chip design was implemented in 2004 with the launch of DIGIC II. This made the design more compact and also introduced other improvements like a larger buffer and an improved processing speed.
The processing engine was introduced in 2016. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II became the first camera to feature the DIGIC 7 camera processing unit.
The new iteration of the engine brought ahead high-quality images. It also introduced the high-level performance levels to the accurate detection and processing of images. The image sensing capabilities now use precision tracking of the subjects.
It has brought a few new features and functions to the latest range of Canon cameras. One of the recent developments would be the touch detection of image subjects. It also introduces a high precision tracking functionality to the camera. Your camera will now easily and automatically detect and track the face of a person you have designated and track them all through your shooting task.
It makes the continuous shooting at 8.1 fps possible and thus would be helpful enough in tracking and capturing the objects that may even be moving a little faster. You will also have access to a 3x aperture zoom to assist you in better image clarity, even in low light situations.
Yet another improvement offered by the DIGIC 7 is enhanced image quality. You should be able to get an improved image processing even at the higher ISO speeds. You also have access to the dual-sensing image stabilization brought ahead by DIGIC 7.
This will provide you access to 3.5 stops of image stabilization when you are shooting the still images. This can be one of the huge benefits when shooting low light photos and avoid camera shake and subsequent blurring of images.
The dual-sensing image stabilization is, as the name itself should indicate, is achieved through two simultaneous processes – the gyroscope sensor detects any physical movements, and a new algorithm applies necessary corrections to compensate for the potential image blur based on the information received from the sensor.
Well, this is the latest incarnation of Canon’s proprietary image processing engine. It has introduced a whole new lot of features and functions. Some of the unique improvement that it has been able to bring forward in your Canon camera include the Digital Lens Optimiser. It also tackles the lens aberration correction features. DIGIC 8 is the first time an image processor has brought these features to a mirrorless camera.
Some of the enhancements you would find on your Canon camera with the DIGIC 8 image processing unit can be summarised as here below –
- The DIGIC 8 processor has pushed the boundaries of ISO standards still further ahead. While the maximum ISO that could be achieved with the first-ever DIGIC engine was 1600, the DIGIC 8 image-processing engine takes it forward to 40000! This should translate into an enhanced capacity to shoot better low light images. This is made possible with the aid of separation of image and noise information from the data. This achieves noise reduction digitally and improves your low light image reproduction.
- Accurate autofocus and face detection is yet another improvement introduced by DIGIC 8. While DIGIC 7 was limited to the two-dimensional tracking of images, the new DIGIC 8 also includes the depth information as well. This will help you achieve better recognition of the subject and a faster functionality at that.
- An improved face and eye detection would make it a formidable choice. The DIGIC 8 has introduced the Eye detection autofocus more simple and easy to follow.
- The continuous shooting compatibility is what should make it an excellent choice for almost all your needs in enhanced performance. You will find the best performance in terms of sustained shooting speeds on DIGIC 8.
- The dual-sensing image stabilization introduced on the DIGIC 7 is further enhanced with the DIGIC 8 further ahead.
The Concluding Thoughts
That was complete information that you would be able to expect on the DIGIC 7 and DIGIC 8 image processing engines. Pinpointing the best among them may not be that easy as they are just one generation apart and do not differ by massive proportions. Of course, the DIGIC 8 engine, being the new technology does come with a few advanced options and improvements when compared to the DIGIC 7 technology, you will still need to depend upon the camera manufacturers to find which processor the camera is equipped with.
If you are a professional photographer and looking for the high-end advantages in your camera performance, it may be a great idea to check out if the new camera you are trying to buy comes with the latest features enabled by the latest DIGIC 8 processor. However, that should not make DIGIC 7 anything inferior either.