Bad Little Pixels

Started Jan 16, 2011 | Discussions thread
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John Sheehy
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Bad Little Pixels
Jan 16, 2011

Time for a new mythbreaker/eyeopener.

The Canon 5D2, while not as good with high ISO noise as the D3s, is still one of the top 4 or 5 DSLRs for low high ISO noise, especially in the 800 to 6400 range.

I decided to take a shot with the 5D2 with a 90mm sharp macro lens (Tamron f/2.8), at ISO 3200, and take the same shot with 92mm on my Casio superzoom, from the same distance, with the same Av and Tv values; basically the same optics and exposure, just a different pixel architecture and density. The Casio has 1.69 micron pixels, the 5D2, 6.4. The 5D2 is obviously better per unit of sensor area, right?

Let's see:

Not much difference, besides the resolution, and a slightly different interpretation of blues vs purples in ACR for the two cameras. The Casio only goes to 200 in RAW, so I had to under-expose 200 by 4 stops. The Casio is a 4-stop push in ACR.

Big pixels are still good for one thing - they make RAW files smaller and faster to handle.

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John

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