5D3 vs D800: Microlenses

Started Apr 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
stephenmelvin
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,547
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A few problems with your hypothesis
In reply to Great Bustard, Apr 23, 2012

Great Bustard wrote:

The 5D3 sensor:

http://www.sensorgen.info/CanonEOS_5D_MkIII.html

is essentially the same as the 5D2 sensor:

http://www.sensorgen.info/CanonEOS_5D_MkII.html

I think it's more accurate to say that it's similar to the 5D2 sensor. After all, its noise characteristics are very different, from the elimination of horizontal pattern noise at low ISO and almost no pattern noise at high ISO's.

but it has a signficantly higher QE (0.57 stops higher). This is most likely due to a more efficient gapless microlens covering.

That no doubt has helped.

As it turns out, the efficiency of the microlens covering has much to do with how much of the light at wide apertures makes it into the photosensitive area of the pixel.

The issue is angular sensitivity, not overall coverage. Unless the individual microlenses have a wider angle of view, then they won't have any more capability to "see" the larger apertures than the existing microlenses.

The 5D2, for example, lost 0.35 stops of light at f/1.4 and 0.55 stops of light at f/1.2 (essentially making f/1.4 and f/1.2 the same effective aperture):

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/F-stop-blues

The D3s lost 0.3 stops of light at f/1.4 (essentially the same as the 5D2), and, presumably, also about the same at f/1.2.

So, the question is if the new microlens by Canon might not improve upon that significantly, and give the 5D3 a greater low light wide aperture advantage over the D800.

It would be very nice indeed. And let people who own Canon's pricey super speed lenses get what they paid for. But doing this may reduce the overall sensitivity of the microlenses.

Would be nice if DxOMark updated their test on the issue.

I would be surprised if they did. They produced that during a period of low activity in the digital SLR market. With four major releases in the first quarter of 2012, and many more expected, their marketing department doesn't really need these puff pieces right now.

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