Bigger pixels = Less noise... explain?

Started Oct 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Pultzar
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Bigger pixels = Less noise... explain?
Oct 21, 2011

I hear this all of the time including a recent post on Photo Focus "The laws of physics dictate that the more pixels you cram onto a sensor, the more noise you’ll create in your image." They didn't cite any laws unfortunately.

Is this correct? Is it because each pixel has a gap between it and the next pixel and that gap is not capturing light and therefore the sensor is less efficient?

It seems that if you have gapless microlenses, then the entire surface area of the sensor is used to capture light. Cramming more pixels in shouldn't hurt things unless the lenses lose their efficiency as they get smaller.

Of course if people do their noise comparisons at 1:1 pixel level, then they will think that they are seeing more noise. However this is a flawed way to compare noise as you should be looking at the surface area being captured rather than pixel to pixel. Printing comes to mind.

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