Return of Interesting article on DxO about 5D III and D800...

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
John Sheehy
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Re: Return of Interesting article on DxO about 5D III and D800...
In reply to qianp2k, Apr 13, 2013

qianp2k wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

RichRMA wrote:

If that were absolute, the Pentax Q would be the most important wildlife/astrocamera extant.

The only reason that I don't use the Q for more focal-length-limited work is because it is not easy to use it adapted to DSLR lenses, as far as subject quality is concerned, versus cropping from DSLR sensors, it trashes them.  The big pixels just can't compete, for both resolution and visible noise.

John, I know you're a huge fan of super high pixel density

Anyone who truly understands what proper sampling is, does; the only drawback is speed and storage when high pixel density is combined with large sensors, and that may vary opinions a bit.

. This scenario only applied when you unable to move closer or you don't have long enough lenses.

This scenario is very common for certain types of shooting.  "Only" disappears in that context.  Skittish birds like wild sparrows can often only be approached, even carefully, down to about 30 - 40 feet.  Do you know how small a small sparrow is on an APS-c frame at that distance with 400mm?  It would fit in a cellphone sensor, with room to spare.  Warblers at certain times of migration forage mainly high in the trees, with only a rare individual coming down to a decent level.  You need to get far from a tree to have a good perspective on a warbler foraging in the treetops in the spring.

If there was an EOS camera, fully functional like the 7D but with a much smaller sensor with much smaller pixels, I'd pay $2000 for it in an instant.

However in reality Pro(s) and many enthusiasts willing to spend more on super tele lenses and DSLRs in various crop formats so they don't need to crop severely.

The range of crop formats is way too narrow.  I would like to see formats large enough that the entire image circle of FF lenses are in the frame, so you can crop to the max of the circle.  I'd also like to be able to use my EOS lenses on smaller formats than APS-c.  A smaller sensor, unless the implementation is totally botched, noise-wise, is superior to using a TC if the need for shutter speed prevents you from getting a full base-ISO exposure.  That's the only case in which using a TC is superior, because you can saturate the full sensor, collecting more photons in a single exposure.  Most wildlife photographers use ISO 400 to 1600, but you can collect as much light with the small sensor at a lower ISO forgoing the TC, and by not cropping away total sensor light collection.

Then no way Q or any small sensor cameras can even touch Sharpness (resolution + acutance) and IQ as a whole.

You're regressing to a different paradigm.  We're talking about when one is focal-length-limited, and in that context, only resolution and noise per unit of sensor area are relevant.   The Q's sensor trashes any FF sensor in that context (and there's nothing special about the Q's sensor; it is just a run-of-the-mill 1/2.3" sensor that happens to have RAW output and can be adapted to a plethora of lenses).  DR is about the same as the D800, and high-ISO noise is only about 1/2 stop behind the best DSLRs, and better than the worst.  Resolution potential is high, and some good DSLR lenses actually are under-sampled by the Q's pixel density (like my 70-200/4L IS at 200mm and f/4).

You seem to fail to appreciate the differences between sensor per unit of sensor area; all you seem to see is pixels.  I don't want to see that there are any pixels at all, in my captures!  I want virtual analog capture; you seem to want crispy mosaics.  Think of film, as an analogy.  You can put the same emulsion in a 110 compact film camera, and an 8x10" larger format.  The 8x10" gives much better resolution with equitable lenses, and has less appearance of grain with the same display size.  With the same lens, a crop of the 8x10" the size of the 110 film frame would be exactly the same quality.   Put an inferior, grainy film in the 8x10" camera only, and it may still be superior for full image quality, but is inferior for the crop scenario - this is the analogy that most closely correlates to the Q vs the DSLR.  The Q has better "emulsion", so the inferior "emulsion" of the DSLR can be better or worse in practice, depending on how much of the DSLR frame you actually use for your output.  If you can't accept this fact, you're always going to come to false conclusions.

That's why Olympus FT DSLRs never really take off in sport fields and serious wildlife photography (except birding involved in small birds as even 800L is not long enough), no mention small-sensor Q as IQ from respective systems are not even close.

IQ is meaningless without a context.  "SQ" (subject quality) is what I worry about.  What good is is IQ if you only need a fraction of the "image".  My 6D has better IQ than my Q using the whole frame for the final output, at all ISOs.  I can't say the same for my other DSLRs.  The Q has better shadows at low ISOs, by a good margin, than my other DSLRs, including the 5D2, and it has less ugly noise at ISO 1600 than my 10D, and maybe even my 20D or 30D.  Crop those DSLRs, and things get even worse for the final result (subject displayed at a certain size).

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