DPR's noise comparison of similar cameras with different size sensors is misleading.

Started Dec 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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DPR's noise comparison of similar cameras with different size sensors is misleading.
Dec 21, 2012

I was wondering why the images from cameras with larger sensors in the noise review often look less sharp, noisier, and less saturated than images from cameras with smaller sensors.

Here's my theory:

Look at the Sony RX100 review and its noise comparison with the Olympus XZ1.

Because the RX100 has a larger sensor, if the sensor of both cameras records the same target, the image of the target is spread out more on the larger sensor; a comparison of the same area on the sensors of both cameras will show an enlarged image of the target (and a smaller part of the target) on the large sensor; I suspect this is what DPR displays now.

But don't most readers want to know, how much difference will the larger sensor make at given magnifications of the image? Will there be higher resolution, less noise, etc. in the image from the larger sensor?

To answer this, a better comparison would be  images of the same area of the test target on both cameras. Even nicer would be reader control of magnification of each image of the target  from each camera in the comparison.

Then you could reach a conclusion such as, a 4x magnification of an image from camera A has the same noise as a 6x image from camera B. Wouldn't that be more useful?

As it stands now, aren't the images compared in the noise chart also an indication of color saturation and sharpness, and can't they be affected  by enlargement? (The greater the enlargement, the lower the apparent saturation and sharpness.)

What's your thought on this?

Olympus XZ-1 Sony RX100
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