Am I thinking myself out of a D4?

Started Jan 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
VBLondon
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Re: Am I thinking myself out of a D4?
In reply to MrSkelter, Feb 2, 2012

MrSkelter wrote:

I'd like to read that V1 thread. Link?

It's a D4 thread on this forum, but the analysis posted includes CX and DX sensors, here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=40340498

A possible oversight in their argument seems to be the assumption that the only way to combat noise is to gather more photons.

You're right, I agree. But the Quantum Efficiency of the sensor limits what is achieveable, the rest of the system (up to the image processing point) can only add noise. So if the D3S is 57% efficient and 3 stops "larger" than a V1 sensor, the improvement possible relative to today in the V1 is about 1 stop (ie. assuming its present sensor is 50% efficient and near 100% is possible) through sensor efficiency. The next question is how much noise the rest of the hardware is adding? My guess is less than 2 stops, probably a lot less (?). Hence, my totally amatuer view that the randomness of photons in low light is the ultimate limit, and it that means CX hardware will never outperform the present D3S.

Of course, I guess that NR software could ultimately have some super-intelligent way of recognising scenes and compositions and "painting the picture" to "eliminate" noise, in the way that an artist could create a portraitf from a grainy 0.1mp image. But there's a point at which that stops being photography and ends up as some sort of reconstruction!

My guess is that Nikon thinks we're about there, or will be in 2-3 years, that they don't need to build a larger sensor and consumers will never care about ISO's past 12,800.

I do agree that if Nikon can develop the system and extract the maximum size advantage in terms of lenses, CX could prove highly competitive relative to m43 and APS-C for all but some hobbyist niches. I don't think the sensor size is a barrier, it's the system development.

Anyway, even if we are not totally agreeing, it's good to have a friendly debate. Apologies also that I am throwing about technical terms without really understanding the subject, except for bits gleaned from some of the very knowledgeable posters on the forum.

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