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mikehit
mikehit  46182 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 3:08 PM


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

Given the OP referred to "...entry level dslr " this would close the gap even mre.

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10 May 2013 - 3:08 PM

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Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314957 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 5:14 PM


Quote: 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

What are you going on about, I can see more than a few advantages M4/3 has over dslr`s Smile

I can also appreciate the advantages compacts have over M4/3 and DSLR`s Smile

StrayCat
StrayCat  1014489 forum posts Canada2 Constructive Critique Points
10 May 2013 - 6:10 PM

It all boils down to; what do you need/want, and does it work for you?; as it always has. I don't think I could go back to lugging around a full size DSLR and lenses, and the older I get, the more that applies. My last DSLR and lenses saw very little outdoors time, it was too large and heavy for a long day walkabout for me. The OM-D satisfies all my needs, and then some. If you can't live without the big kit, then that's your answer, use it.

MichaelMelb_AU
10 May 2013 - 11:48 PM


Quote: 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.

I did not come to the issue from this direction, actually. Diffraction limits for resolution are defined by relative aperture, not absolute one. What I tried to tell - predominantly larger (physically larger) optics of big sensor cameras are capable of resolving finer detail - without limiting 16Mp sensor to 8Mp camera's effective resolution.
It is interesting however how, coming from seemingly opposite directions, we arrive onto the same conclusion:

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

Must be true thenGrin

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 10 May 2013 - 11:54 PM
Steppenwolf
11 May 2013 - 8:18 AM


Quote: I did not come to the issue from this direction, actually. Diffraction limits for resolution are defined by relative aperture, not absolute one. What I tried to tell - predominantly larger (physically larger) optics of big sensor cameras are capable of resolving finer detail - without limiting 16Mp sensor to 8Mp camera's effective resolution.


It may be true that larger optics allow for greater resolving power but I don't think the lens is the limiting factor as you suggest. It's noticeable that the resolution that digital cameras can achieve (as measured by the likes of DPR) has been steadily increasing with pixel density - i.e. the 24Mp sensors outresolve 18Mp sensors, etc. This suggests to me that the sensor is still, at the moment, the limiting factor with regard to resolution.

MichaelMelb_AU
11 May 2013 - 9:08 AM

Have a look - I find this article interesting and educating. My personal experience with ultra-zooms and DSLRs remarkably agrees with this theory. OM-D fans have no reason to be disappointed though - apparently their cameras can use their sensors in full Smile
P.S. One big advantage super-zooms have over DSLRs is that they employ contrast detect autofocus vs DSLR's native phase detect one - which makes front/backfocus issues foreign to them. But that is a part of a different story...

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 11 May 2013 - 9:13 AM
LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62435 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
11 May 2013 - 9:15 AM


Quote:
It may be true that larger optics allow for greater resolving power but I don't think the lens is the limiting factor as you suggest. It's noticeable that the resolution that digital cameras can achieve (as measured by the likes of DPR) has been steadily increasing with pixel density - i.e. the 24Mp sensors outresolve 18Mp sensors, etc. This suggests to me that the sensor is still, at the moment, the limiting factor with regard to resolution.

I score this comment 8 out of 10 - and the best reply so far Grin
Image resolution(what we are really talking about) is made up is part made up of lens resolution measured in isolation, and part made up of sensor resolution measured in isolation.
If a lens measured in isolation and a sensor measured in isolation each separately resolve 100 lpm - we get 50 lpm file resolution - enough for decent image quality.
If we increase either lens or sensor resolution to 200 lpm we get 66 lpm - just over 15% increase
Then things start to get interesting - I rate 12 MP on a D300 or D3 as comfortably enough for a good 16x12 inch print using a good lens at a high performing aperture, including to 800 ISO on the D300.
By good enough I mean as good or better than is was possible with 100 ISO slide film.
Many are happy to get this quality to 400 ISO from something like a Nikon Coolpix P7700 - and do not mind waiting for several seconds while it writes a couple of RAW files.
Digressing to motor cars there are now several compact versions under 10,000 which are good enough for many motoring purposes, plenty of good all round family saloons for 20,000, and prestige models which are nice to have but far from essential for everyday motoring start around 30,000.
Back in the film era I often got "roped in" as the wedding photographer at family events. Mrs Shepherd usually got a shot or two in the album with an Olympus zuperzoom 120, though the Nikon F100 was my choice with 28-70 with fill flash for groups and 80-200 coming down the aisle.
Modern better quality compacts and 3/4 cameras can easily do much more to a better standard than was considered good in the film era.
Few "none photographers" homes have a a print bigger than 10x8.
Like the 20,000 family car many 4/3 cameras deliver more than enough performance for most purposes, and you will not go any faster safely in city centre traffic in a 30,000 car - though it costs more to buy and run.
A 2,000 lens might deliver 10% more file resolution at f8-11 than a 200 lens, but a 24 MP will deliver about 12.5% more with either lens, and 36 MP about 33% more than 12 MP - with a "however".
The however is the eye cannot resolve more than about 6 lpm at 12 inches so you cannot see all the extra resolution unless you print very big, or view on a much higher quality monitor than is fitted to most laptops.
Back to diffraction. If a lens tested in isolation resolves 100 lpm at f8 and 80 lpm at f32 increasing sensor resolution increases file resolution at either aperture.

Last Modified By LenShepherd at 11 May 2013 - 9:19 AM
MichaelMelb_AU
11 May 2013 - 10:09 AM


Quote: ...
Image resolution(what we are really talking about) is made up is part made up of lens resolution measured in isolation, and part made up of sensor resolution measured in isolation.
...
Digressing to motor cars...

Digressing to motor cars - tyres rated excellent for a family sedan will limit a sports car to family sedan's performance. Similar to that is my point about lens and sensors. Counting the camera resolution as a median value of it's components is cheating that many camera makers resolve to while holding up to megapixel driven competition. In reality though any complex technical system is as good as it's weakest component is. Having said that, I see virtues of small sensor cameras and use them extensively where the result fits the purpose. And, if anyone wishes to go to Le-Mans race in an absolutely brilliant little Corolla - I would not be bothered stopping them. The competitors will.

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 11 May 2013 - 10:10 AM
screwdriver
11 May 2013 - 10:45 AM

The 'larger sensors are better' argument is not as cut and dried as it once was even just a couple of years ago.

Smaller sensors are capable of resolving finer detail because the pixels are smaller, unfortunately higher pixel density also translates into higher noise, narrower dynamic range or lower tonal richness.

This is countered by modern sensor development, the Sony Exmore R series sensors are more sensitive to light, over 90% of the surface area compared to less than 25% on older sensors, this means the sensors are two stops faster, simply by placing the internal wiring and transistors in the sensor onto the back of it, I say simply, it wasn't simple to do.

Everybody points to the diffraction limitation on small sensors which is true, but they tend to ignore the aberration, the opposite of diffraction, present in the larger sensors and the larger lenses required for them. When people say lenses perform better stopped down a tad, they are seeing the effects of aberration.

I have a Pentax Q which has a tiny sensor and the ability to change lenses, and an aperture limit of f8, but it has no wider f stop limit, you can use maximum apertures with little or zero aberration which improves low light performance. The tiny sensor can also out resolve lenses, they need quality glass then results are much better than the 'must have a large sensor' people seem to think.

Here a link to my Pentax Q set on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-judge/sets/72157631977076250/

Most of these have been printed A3 with good results.

Chris

thewilliam
11 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

Ever wondered why Leica abandoned the R series and replaced it with the S2?

This was a very risky move and wasn't done without a very good reason. The Leica management were certain that the image quality delivered by the larger sensor of the S2 was good enough for punters to pay the much higher price. Most S2 cameras seem to be in professional hands and these folk are not easily impressed but I'd be interested to see a side-by-side comparison with the Nikon D800.

The camera is compact enough to appeal to the enthusiastic gentlefolk who form the majority of the Leica customer base so it was probably a wise move.

screwdriver
11 May 2013 - 12:25 PM


Quote: Ever wondered why Leica abandoned the R series and replaced it with the S2?

This was a very risky move and wasn't done without a very good reason. The Leica management were certain that the image quality delivered by the larger sensor of the S2 was good enough for punters to pay the much higher price. Most S2 cameras seem to be in professional hands and these folk are not easily impressed but I'd be interested to see a side-by-side comparison with the Nikon D800.

The camera is compact enough to appeal to the enthusiastic gentlefolk who form the majority of the Leica customer base so it was probably a wise move.

Leica are limited by their use of Kodak sensors which are currently several generations behind. Beautiful top quality camera with beautiful top quality lenses let down by a mediocre sensor IMHO.

Chris

MichaelMelb_AU
11 May 2013 - 1:17 PM


Quote:
Leica are limited by their use of Kodak sensors which are currently several generations behind. Beautiful top quality camera with beautiful top quality lenses let down by a mediocre sensor IMHO.

Chris

Not the top sensor, true - but Leica can afford cutting on gizmos for the sake of camera's overall balance ( in terms of design and production quality). They do not feel the pressure of selling their 16000$ marvel by bucketloads Wink And I strongly suspect that both diffraction and aberration - wise their lens can supply all of 37.5 Mp of resolution to the sensor.Grin See the S2 vs D800 comparison here.

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 11 May 2013 - 1:24 PM
Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314957 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2013 - 6:02 PM


Quote: Leica are limited by their use of Kodak sensors

Kodak sensors maybe a little behind but they can do a lovely job, my E1 had one.

Steppenwolf
13 May 2013 - 8:26 AM


Quote: ...
Digressing to motor cars - tyres rated excellent for a family sedan will limit a sports car to family sedan's performance. Similar to that is my point about lens and sensors. Counting the camera resolution as a median value of it's components is cheating that many camera makers resolve to while holding up to megapixel driven competition. In reality though any complex technical system is as good as it's weakest component is.

Again, this is simply not true. A modern sports car - with all the modern electronic aids such as computer controlled differentials and suspension - can extract vastly more grip from a standard tyre than a family sedan can. Cars are a complex sum of their parts and are not absolutely limited by their weakest component. Just like cameras.

MichaelMelb_AU
13 May 2013 - 9:01 AM


Quote: ...
Again, this is simply not true. A modern sports car - with all the modern electronic aids such as computer controlled differentials and suspension - can extract vastly more grip from a standard tyre than a family sedan can. Cars are a complex sum of their parts and are not absolutely limited by their weakest component. Just like cameras.

That'be fun to see F1 using pretty ordinary 215/60 R16 Bridgestone tyres with speed limit around 150mphTongue
Or some D800 photos made with Holga lens (YUCK!) SmileSmileBlush
Both car and camera have top-notch automatics, and could take some extra from it...

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 13 May 2013 - 9:06 AM

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