Moon Maid's sensor comparison

Started Feb 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Marianne Oelund
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In reply to Luke Kaven, Mar 1, 2012

Luke Kaven wrote:

Is this what you would call the decisive edge in low-light performance for the D4 design? I had held out some hope that the squeaky clean Exmor would perform on a par when seen at 12MP.

I haven't included this effect in the posted curves because I need more data before I'll accept it, but it does appear from the samples I have, that the D800 read noise (in ADU) is climbing more slowly than proportionality to ISO. On the surface, one wouldn't expect this, since ISO sensitivities above ISO 1000 (if it follows the D7000 example) should be only by numerical scaling.

I can see two possible explanations: 1) Some gain sharing at high ISO, such that some of the boost is still provided by the analog electronics; 2) A slight amount of NR is being applied to the RAW data.

It will require test images to determine exactly what's going on. If it's 1) or something similar, it's good news since the D800 will receive about a 2dB SNR boost in dark tones at high ISO. If it's due to NR, though, there will be many disappointed users. We shall see.

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