Why Canon need a new sensor with low read out noise

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Allan Olesen
Senior MemberPosts: 2,255
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Re: Hands up, those that did not know that?
In reply to Midwest, Apr 28, 2013

Midwest wrote:

I wonder if when Canon (as they inevitably will) brings out a new sensor that catches up and likely bests the Nikon / Sony sensor, will the Nikon forum suddenly be filled with all the angst and anguish of people wailing that Nikon has fallen behind,

You can split that into two questions:

  1. Will Canon bring out a new sensor with a 2 stop DR advantage over Nikon, so the situation is equally reversed?
  2. Will the Nikon forum "be filled with all the angst and anguish" if Nikon falls behind with less than two stops.

My best bet is "No" and "Yes."

The "No" is based on simple science. If Canon wants to catch up, they just have to remove the additional read noise at low ISO. But once they have done that, it gets really hard to find the next 2 stops of DR. They can try to reduce overall noise, but modern sensors are already so close to perfection that any future improvement will be done in very small steps - fractions of a stop. So instead they will have to increase the saturation limit of the sensor. That would be the same as lowering the base ISO of the sensor. I don't know if there is some theoretical lower limit for that, but it is obvious that something is limiting the development since base ISO hasn't really changed much during many years of digital photography.

The "Yes" is based on all the screaming I hear from my fellow Sony users because the SLT mirror gives the cameras a handicap of 0.5 stops. This clearly shows that you don't need a 2 stops disadvantage before people start complaining.

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