Why won't the D600 have better high ISO performance than D800?

Started Sep 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
Grevture
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The big re-think :)
In reply to Dan, Sep 16, 2012

Dan wrote:

So after all these years of people crying about too many megapixels, it was all a misunderstanding huh.

Yep

To be honest, for a long time, I did not get it either. Then I started to really read up on the subject, tipped of by some patient and stubborn souls here at Dpreview which have fiercly and consistently argued about this for many, many years (John Sheeny, Emil Martinec and Bob Newman being some of the most well known).

This is all very interesting and most importantly, enlightening.

A lot of things one have seen about cameras and sensors, and performance and the development over the past ten years all of a sudden start to make sense.

Many megapxels is not the problem. It is the solution to the problem

All in all its really simple. Think like this: back 20, 30 or even 50 years ago there were compelling reasons to use larger format film for really high quality captures. Which can be phrased as 'size matters' as a general rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to capturing an image on some sort of surface. And the same goes for digital sensor too - size still matters, because size translates into more information collected (more light), and the more you know about something, the better end results you can produce. Pretty simple when you think about it.

So, if size is so all important, why does not pixel size matter? Well, because we are after all interested in creating an image, and an image is never created from any single pixel, but always from many pixels combined - from a sensor area. The image is the result of the total of image data collected , and thus it is the total area used to capture the image where the size matters. Not the size of the individual measuring points. Actually, the smaller they are, the more of them you have (in number), and the more exact you image data will be captured. The quality of the information gathered is increased. Something we usually call 'higher resolution'

I hope the above makes sense, but once one gets ones head wrapped around it, its pretty simple.

Now keep in mind development always happen in bursts and spurts and is rarely a even progression. Some newer sensors are not as good as other newer sensors and sometimes this coincides with slightly smaller pixels. But if we take one step back and look at the entire forest, not just individual trees, we see that over the past 15 years pixels have gone steadily smaller and smaller, and yet sensor performance has just as steadily improved - and quite dramatically so. What does that tell us?

Grevture wrote:

The mistake in your reasoning above - which is a very common mistake - is to confuse two very different things: Pixel performance and image performance.

A image is made up of the sum of pixels, so the performance of a sensor is logically also made up by the sum of the pixels perforamnce . Not by the perforamnce of individual pixels. And a larger sensor gathers more light then a smaller one.

The performance of individual pixels is really only of interest when we actually look at individual pixels. Which, in general, is something we almost never really want - we want to look at the image .

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I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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