Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > Digital Photography > sensor size

Reply
Thread Tools

sensor size

 
 
John
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
size sensor more preferable?

Thanks,
--j

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
rafe b
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
On 7 Jan 2006 01:20:47 -0800, "John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
>a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
>getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
>size sensor more preferable?



In the same way that bigger film formats
are better than small ones.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Joseph Meehan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
rafe b wrote:
> On 7 Jan 2006 01:20:47 -0800, "John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
>>a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
>>getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
>>size sensor more preferable?

>
>
> In the same way that bigger film formats
> are better than small ones.


Not exactly. But in a way yes.

A larger sensor is just that a larger sensor. Assuming the same number
of pixels and equivalent lens focal length and aperture you may expect at
least one difference and that would be a reduce DOF of the larger sensor
system.

However other dynamics come into play and usually full size sensors
(same number of pixels) will produce a better result do to physical
constraints. However a larger sensor will often have more pixels so it will
be recording more information.

The best way to answer this question is to actually work with both
combinations and see what works best for you. It is the same sort of
questions about using 4x5 or 2 and using a faster film speed in the 4x5 or
not etc. Much of the difference is very difficult to describe or quantify.

>
>
> rafe b
> www.terrapinphoto.com


--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit


 
Reply With Quote
 
David J. Littleboy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
"Joseph Meehan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> rafe b wrote:
>> On 7 Jan 2006 01:20:47 -0800, "John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>>What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
>>>a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
>>>getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
>>>size sensor more preferable?

>>
>> In the same way that bigger film formats
>> are better than small ones.

>
> Not exactly. But in a way yes.
>
> A larger sensor is just that a larger sensor. Assuming the same number
> of pixels and equivalent lens focal length and aperture you may expect at
> least one difference and that would be a reduce DOF of the larger sensor
> system.


With the larger sensor, you just stop down one more stop and use a higher
ISO. The smaller system gets bitten by diffraction earlier than the larger
one, so can't be stopped down as far, and the larger pixels in the larger
sensor mean that you get the same image quality (noise) at the higher ISO
that the smaller sensor gets at the lower ISO. The larger format gives you
the option of using a lower ISO (with better noise) at a slower shutter
speed, of course.

That's assuming the pixel count is the same. With a higher pixel count,
things are a tad more complicated. Then it's more like film, where you have
to work harder with the larger format to get the full advantage of that
larger format.

> However other dynamics come into play and usually full size sensors
> (same number of pixels) will produce a better result do to physical
> constraints. However a larger sensor will often have more pixels so it
> will be recording more information.
>
> The best way to answer this question is to actually work with both
> combinations and see what works best for you. It is the same sort of
> questions about using 4x5 or 2 and using a faster film speed in the 4x5
> or not etc. Much of the difference is very difficult to describe or
> quantify.


It looks to me that larger formats are even more of an improvement in
digital than they are in film. In film, larger formats have worse film
flatness problems, both at capture and during projection printing or
scanning, and lenses are often funkier. But digital resolutions are so low
that providing adequate contrast at the max resolution of the sensor usually
isn't terribly difficult.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan


 
Reply With Quote
 
rafe b
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 13:34:42 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


> The best way to answer this question is to actually work with both
>combinations and see what works best for you. It is the same sort of
>questions about using 4x5 or 2 and using a faster film speed in the 4x5 or
>not etc. Much of the difference is very difficult to describe or quantify.



It's not really all that mystical, except maybe to
Ilya. It's a good question and worth debating,
because it's so fundamental.

As photographers, we're gatherers of light.
Big cameras gather more light than small ones,
and it almost always shows in the end, if you
care enough to look closely. This applies in a
totally fair, just, equitable and non-discriminatory
manner to both film and digital cameras.

[A serious question to the OP: do you care
enough to look closely?]

It goes without saying that "bigness" is a mixed
blessing. Think about it. It's not about f-stops
after all, is it? It's about how much glass you're
willing to carry to get the shot.

In the specific context of digicam sensors, what
reallly matters most is the size of the individual
sensels. If you cram more sensels into the same
area, each one then gets smaller and thus collects
less light. Better to use more silicon, but that gets
expensive, etc.

Ilya thinks we can make sensels infinitesimally
small. Methinks he's been hitting a bit heavy
on Ye Olde Cracke Rock.

Some of the best minds on this NG have tried
argue with him, but he persists. Ilya knows that
light is the thing, but he thinks we can just harvest
less and use it more efficiently. Or something.

The only way around this is to address the
underlying physics and technology. That
doesn't happen from one product cycle to
the next.

Back to the OP. Full frame sensors have
the advantage of working "as designed"
with existing 35 mm lenses. Which, amazingly,
is also hotly debated around here.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
rafe b
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
On Sat, 7 Jan 2006 23:00:00 +0900, "David J. Littleboy"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>It looks to me that larger formats are even more of an improvement in
>digital than they are in film. In film, larger formats have worse film
>flatness problems, both at capture and during projection printing or
>scanning, and lenses are often funkier. But digital resolutions are so low
>that providing adequate contrast at the max resolution of the sensor usually
>isn't terribly difficult.



Good point about the film flatness issues.

The theoretical advantage of "more film" is
never fully realized because bigness has other,
unintended consequences.


rafe b
www.terrapinphoto.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
John wrote:

> What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
> a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
> getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
> size sensor more preferable?
>
> Thanks,
> --j


At the pixel level, given the same number of pixels between the
two cameras, the larger camera has larger pixels which collect
more light giving a higher signal-to-noise ratio and larger
dynamic range, See:

Digital Cameras: Does Pixel Size Matter?
Factors in Choosing a Digital Camera
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...el.size.matter

Larger pixels also are more forgiving regarding lens
aberrations, and diffraction. Its a quality win win situation
at the cost of bulk, weight, and cost of the larger camera.

The D200 has 6.1 micron pixel pitch and the 5D has 8.2. Both are
working in the sweet spot for great imaging (6 to 9 micron range)
which gives great signal-to-noise and large enough pixels that
lens performance is great. The 5D, having more pixels and
that are slightly larger has theoretically better numbers (but I
don't know for sure because the full well capacity and read noise
have yet to be published). In any case both should be great
cameras, given good lenses. Some more info with digital camera
specs:

The Signal-to-Noise of Digital Camera images
and Comparison to Film
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...ignal.to.noise

Roger
photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
 
Reply With Quote
 
Scott W
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
"John" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> What is the main difference between a full size sensor (EOS 5d) and
> a smaller sensor size (Nikon D200). Is a smaller sensor worse in
> getting light/resolution compared to a full size sensor? Why is a full
> size sensor more preferable?
>
> Thanks,
> --j
>


Large sensors make the optics a lot easier. It is much easier to make a high
f number

lens then a low one, as the sensor size get larger you can go to higher f
number for a number of reasons, the light gathering of each pixels is larger
so you need less light, diffraction is less of a problem, and you can still
get small DOF when needed with out going to very small f numbers.

As a reference point the cameras on the mars rover use 12 micron pixels and
an f 20 lens. Because of the high f number they can get away with using a
Cooke triplet and still be diffraction limited.

Scott




 
Reply With Quote
 
Philip Homburg
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-07-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
rafe b <rafebATspeakeasy.net> wrote:
>As photographers, we're gatherers of light.
>Big cameras gather more light than small ones,
>and it almost always shows in the end, if you
>care enough to look closely. This applies in a
>totally fair, just, equitable and non-discriminatory
>manner to both film and digital cameras.


Except that if you fix subject distance, field of view, and depth of field,
the total amount of light across the frame tends to be more or constant
(independent of the frame size).

Larger formats can 'store' more light. But once you find a system that is
big enough to handle the amount of light you've got, there is no point of
selecting even bigger systems.


--
That was it. Done. The faulty Monk was turned out into the desert where it
could believe what it liked, including the idea that it had been hard done
by. It was allowed to keep its horse, since horses were so cheap to make.
-- Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
 
Reply With Quote
 
Scott W
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-08-2006
"Philip Homburg" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:d462hmvbr30ei9gack853ajd53@inews_id.stereo.hq .phicoh.net...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> rafe b <rafebATspeakeasy.net> wrote:
>>As photographers, we're gatherers of light.
>>Big cameras gather more light than small ones,
>>and it almost always shows in the end, if you
>>care enough to look closely. This applies in a
>>totally fair, just, equitable and non-discriminatory
>>manner to both film and digital cameras.

>
> Except that if you fix subject distance, field of view, and depth of
> field,
> the total amount of light across the frame tends to be more or constant
> (independent of the frame size).

This is true

> Larger formats can 'store' more light. But once you find a system that is
> big enough to handle the amount of light you've got, there is no point of
> selecting even bigger systems.


This is not complete true. If you fix the subject distance, field of view
and depth of field then a larger sensor will be using a lens at a higher f
number, this can either reduce the cost of the lens or if you keep the cost
the same improve the quality. There is a limit to this of course since the
lens can get pretty large, but not as large as you might think since the
aperture of the lens would stay the same.

In the end there is a trade off between the cost of larger sensors and the
cost of the lenses that are used. As the number of pixels increase the need
for a larger sensor is going to also increase, not just for capturing more
light but also to keep the cost of the lens within reason.

Scott




 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
pixels / pixel size / sensor size stu7 Digital Photography 4 04-29-2012 11:03 PM
question about relationship between sensor size and print size. ftran999 Digital Photography 8 02-22-2007 03:37 PM
Dust on sensor, Sensor Brush = hogwash solution? MeMe Digital Photography 29 02-12-2005 04:51 PM
Eclips cleaner and Sensor Swabs to clean your digital Camera Sensor? IMKen Digital Photography 7 06-22-2004 08:00 PM
D-SLR Sensor Resolution and Sensor Size Comparison Size Matters! Steven M. Scharf Digital Photography 32 05-16-2004 10:41 PM



Advertisments