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iq and sensor size

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youmightlikethis
youmightlikethis e2 Member 111003 forum postsyoumightlikethis vcard Scotland
9 May 2013 - 8:29 PM

lets say you take a good compact something like canon g and a good ccs like a pen and compare it with results from entry level dslr with kit lens same subject same iso would you notice much difference in a4 print

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9 May 2013 - 8:29 PM

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mikehit
mikehit  46102 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2013 - 8:58 PM

'Same ISO' is a movable feast: ISO 800 and the differences will start to show, but asusming you meant all shot at ISO100 I guess there will be little real-world differences outside pixel-peeping.

MichaelMelb_AU

The difference will be noticeable even in Internet sized photo - for a trained eye. While noise in small sensors has dropped dramatically, they are still behind DSLRs in terms of image detail and dynamic range ( i.e color cleanness and image smoothness)

mikehit
mikehit  46102 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2013 - 9:17 PM


Quote: While noise in small sensors has dropped dramatically, they are still behind DSLRs in terms of image detail and dynamic range ( i.e color cleanness and image smoothness)

There are reviews of the OM-D that show it is at least comparable to the 5DII in noise and detail, and given that the same sensor has been rolled out in all its PEN cameras, I think you are pushing that claim, especially at base ISO


Quote: for a trained eye

To me, the key factor is not side-by-side comparison but looking at an image in isolation and being able to say 'that image is inferior'.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314803 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2013 - 9:29 PM


Quote: Lets say you take a good compact something like canon g and a good ccs like a pen and compare it with results from entry level dslr with kit lens same subject same iso would you notice much difference in a4 print

At low ISO`s, no.

youmightlikethis
youmightlikethis e2 Member 111003 forum postsyoumightlikethis vcard Scotland
10 May 2013 - 6:11 AM

thanks for replies I am not entirely convinced about the four thirds better iq argument I have been using pl3 canon g10/powershot 220 and do not see much improvement over small sensor cameras

StrayCat
StrayCat  1014397 forum posts Canada2 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 6:56 AM


Quote: The difference will be noticeable even in Internet sized photo - for a trained eye. While noise in small sensors has dropped dramatically, they are still behind DSLRs in terms of image detail and dynamic range ( i.e color cleanness and image smoothness)

Michael, I've been using an OM-D for over a year, and I think nothing of using ISO1600 on this camera, something I never felt comfortable with on other cameras. As far as image detail and dynamic range, what SLRs are you talking about? The OM-D has been tested time and time again against some of the best, including full-frame, and has at least held its own. If, on the other hand, you're talking about sensors in compact cameras, I can't discuss that, because I don't use them.

Denny

Steppenwolf
10 May 2013 - 9:03 AM

I've compared various cameras (compact, CSC, DSLR (APS-C)) by taking the same photo with each and printing it out at A4. Provided that you set up the aperture to get the same DOF and use an ISO that it can manage without noise it's very difficult to tell them apart. Maybe an expert could tell the difference, but I suspect that they'd need to look at the photos 100% instead of printed at A4, which makes it easier.

However, the bigger sensor wins when you up the ISO or photograph something tricky with a big dynamic range - or when you take long telephoto shots.

kodachrome
10 May 2013 - 9:08 AM

M4Thirds have certainly made huge strides in recent times in image quality, to a point in some instances where they equal some DSLR's. I'm sure the arguments for and against will continue. Its at high ISO settings where a APS-C CMOS sensor starts to leave the M4T behind.

According to one well respected review site, Panasonic and Olympus have applied some very sophisticated and extensive processing to achieve these results from a small sensor, and one critisism was that pics from the Panny at least looked over processed.
I might sound a tad critical but having owned a Panny G3 for several years, its my experience of its ISO performance and IQ. Great camera if you keep to sensible ISO levels.

MichaelMelb_AU
10 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

While discussing image quality coming from different cameras one has to remember camera "anatomy". As I have already said, sensors had seen a lot of progress lately, especially small format sensors. So it is not inconceivable that under some ideal conditions they may produce image quite comparable to their "older brothers". What conditions?
- Plenty of light (reasonably low ISO);
- optics resolution matching sensor's megapixel count.
The first condition is an easy one, but the second condition (optics resolution) is a bit of a challenge with small sensor cameras. The problem is - larger aperture ( absolute, not relative) lens have better angular resolution - i.e higher detail level. And larger sensors require larger lens - compare f2.8 lens for 1/2" sensor and APS-C Grin
Therefore, talking about image quality in terms of sensor alone is pretty much pointless - one has to consider the whole system resolution. However, it become a commonplace to characterise whole system by the sensor - so be it. That's why I say that small processors are not really up to the same result as bigger ones.
Now about OM-D. I did not mention it specifically (not deliberately) - as I was rather talking in terms of camera classes, not individual camera models.
This particular camera seems to work out some magic with sensor data processing which puts it close enough to DSLRs, especially with computer screen images and small prints. I believe it has to be true - with overall system price slightly overshadowing EOS60D "semi-pro" basic set .

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 10 May 2013 - 11:43 AM
ChrisV
ChrisV  7717 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 11:45 AM

It's rather odd I find, that the more 'enthusiastic' proponents of the m4/3 format will extol the virtues of their larger sensors over compact cameras and yet deny any similar advantage over larger sensors still. It's a basic flaw in logic.

Having said all that, in reference to the original question camera tech has come a long way and in very good light you can capture a richly detailed image at modest sizes even with the tiny sensors in camera phones [although close scrutiny will often reveal a bit of noise in flat blue skies].

I find in many situations in daylight, my m4/3 kit is well up to the job for most of my shooting. When light dips, or I am presented with more difficult shooting situations, I am grateful to have the extended capablities of my 5DII. The latter completely blows away any m4/3 camera currently available at higher ISOs - and that's four year old technology...

Last Modified By ChrisV at 10 May 2013 - 11:47 AM
petebfrance
10 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

If DXO is anything to go by, then the ISO used is going to make a difference. Signal to noise ratio / dynamic range / colour depth all decrease with increasing ISO, so although it is possible to use high ISO on many cameras the performance is unlikely to be optimal, and as such a lesser sensor at lower ISO may produce better images.
Interestingly, a number of enthusiast cameras are shipping with F1.8 / F2 maximum apertures that are actually usable, so that compared to the average DSLR / CSC kit lens (f3.5?) the extra stops advantage in appropriate conditions means that it may be possible in some circumstances to get a 'better' image from a compact than from a kit lens equipped DSLR / CSC for the same lighting conditions.

MichaelMelb_AU
10 May 2013 - 12:29 PM


Quote: If DXO is anything to go by, then the ISO used is going to make a difference. .... a lesser sensor at lower ISO may produce better images.


Sure, in brightly lit scenes images from 4/3s at ISO 100 may look better than from any APS-C at ISO1600 (even in the same conditions). However, I did not find at DXO any hints on using ISO1600 with a DSLR on a sunny dayTongue:

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53509 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 12:44 PM

Both colour depth and Signal to Noise drop as you require higher ISO's - (darker scenes or faster shutter speeds or smaller apertures for DOF), As pixel size relates to light gather ability, larger pixel sites will have the advantage in low light scenarios.

So probably nothing much in it on a bright day with a shallow DOF.
But on a dull day, needing a small aperture and possibly a fast shutter too then Yes.

Maybe one day ISO's will be so good that fast action sports photographers can shoot at f13 and get some good crowd detail too.

Steppenwolf
10 May 2013 - 2:45 PM


Quote: While discussing image quality coming from different cameras one has to remember camera "anatomy". As I have already said, sensors had seen a lot of progress lately, especially small format sensors. So it is not inconceivable that under some ideal conditions they may produce image quite comparable to their "older brothers". What conditions?
- Plenty of light (reasonably low ISO);
- optics resolution matching sensor's megapixel count.
The first condition is an easy one, but the second condition (optics resolution) is a bit of a challenge with small sensor cameras. The problem is - larger aperture ( absolute, not relative) lens have better angular resolution - i.e higher detail level. And larger sensors require larger lens - compare f2.8 lens for 1/2" sensor and APS-C Grin


I'm not so sure that the diffraction argument works totally in favour of large sensors in the way that you suggest. It's true that smaller sensors need to use larger apertures to avoid diffraction effects. However, the smaller sensor camera can get away with using a larger aperture because of its greater DOF - you often have to stop down the lens on larger sensor camera because of DOF considerations. So you lose your theoretical diffraction advantage. Also it's easier and cheaper to make large aperture lenses for small sensors than it is to make them for large sensors. Big aperture lenses for FF are very costly to manufacture and very heavy.

The bottom line is that larger sensors are better at high ISOs - full stop.

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