APS-C IQ King

Started Jun 7, 2012 | Discussions
kiet
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APS-C IQ King
Jun 7, 2012

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

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Le Kilt
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 7, 2012

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

Why APS-C? (then again, why not?)

Interesting question, could Canon, Nikon or Sony or anyone get much cleaner high iso shots by reducing the pixel density dramatically?

From 12800 and above there's still a lot of noise on the best cameras, so one that could be clean at iso 102400 would probably sell well for those night-time shooters and Jazz club aficionados.

6 MP is not much compared with our 20+ machines, but you can still do a lot with them if the quality is there. 8-10 MP FF would do me
Canon? Nikon? Sony? Anyone listening ???

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VisualNectarPhotography
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 7, 2012

this happened once before with the nikon d2hs, 1.5x crop. the d2x was out at the same time and had 12mp. the d2hs had 4.1 and was regarded as having amazing IQ, mine still impresses me... just need a new battery for it.
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kiet
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 8, 2012

Le Kilt wrote:

From 12800 and above there's still a lot of noise on the best cameras, so one that could be clean at iso 102400 would probably sell well for those night-time shooters and Jazz club aficionados.

I want to shoot at 1/4000 @ f16 all the time. Even on well lit days you can't do that at ISO 400 much less twilight or dimly lit clubs and restaurants.

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Peter 13
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 8, 2012

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

And I want a 5-1000/1.2 lens.

What you want cannot exist. There is less than a stop that can be gained in terms of shot noise with the Bayer sensor design.

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Silverback1988
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It will suit for family or travel maybe ? :)
In reply to kiet, Jun 9, 2012

Hi kiet,
While I am still waiting for 40+ MP monster from Canon,
(I need one for my work but not all of the time)

I am with you about this low res APS-C body.
There are many times that we don't need the resolution,
or the resolution is already reduced by NR anyway.

So I think a low res camera is just make sense for those who shot mostly in a low light situation, OR a situation where resolution is not important.

In a G1-X form perhaps ?

-
Brian

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

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graphikal
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Does not compute
In reply to kiet, Jun 9, 2012

Resolution is an important component of image quality. Perhaps you should be more specific in saying that you want a low-resolution camera with excellent pixel-level image quality, but you should also be aware that higher-resolution images can improve a great deal when down-resed.

Perhaps you should buy the new T4i. It will apparently offer mRAW and sRAW, which might be to your liking.

As for wanting ridiculously high ISOs with good image quality, simply having larger fewer pixels will not do this. There is less and less light loss to the borders between pixels with each new generation of cameras-- that's the aim of features like "gapless microlenses". In addition there are hard physical limits that our wishes unfortunately can't change.

All that said, I think it would be a wonderful idea to have DSLRs with more modular designs: pick the body, shutter and buffer, and sensor one desires in mix-and-match fashion. I would long ago have offered a black-and-white sensor in multiple bodies for low-light shooting.
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Le Kilt
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Never say never
In reply to Peter 13, Jun 9, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

And I want a 5-1000/1.2 lens.

Impractical but possible!

What you want cannot exist. There is less than a stop that can be gained in terms of shot noise with the Bayer sensor design.

Where do you get that from? Sensor design hasn't stopped improving, in ten years we may have perfect 100 mega-pixel sensors with no noise at any iso.

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Le Kilt
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Does compute
In reply to graphikal, Jun 9, 2012

graphikal wrote:

Resolution is an important component of image quality. Perhaps you should be more specific in saying that you want a low-resolution camera with excellent pixel-level image quality, but you should also be aware that higher-resolution images can improve a great deal when down-resed.

Perhaps you should buy the new T4i. It will apparently offer mRAW and sRAW, which might be to your liking.

As for wanting ridiculously high ISOs with good image quality, simply having larger fewer pixels will not do this. There is less and less light loss to the borders between pixels with each new generation of cameras-- that's the aim of features like "gapless microlenses". In addition there are hard physical limits that our wishes unfortunately can't change.

The point was could we have clean noise at a higher iso with lower resolution?

With much less pixels maybe a design could be found today that includes the gapless micro-lenses but also more heat-sinking around the pixels that keeps the noise down at higher ISOs.
Ridiculously high ISO is very useful in low light or with long lenses
Step by step we will get there...

All that said, I think it would be a wonderful idea to have DSLRs with more modular designs: pick the body, shutter and buffer, and sensor one desires in mix-and-match fashion. I would long ago have offered a black-and-white sensor in multiple bodies for low-light shooting.
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Peter 13
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Re: Never say never
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 9, 2012

Le Kilt wrote:

What you want cannot exist. There is less than a stop that can be gained in terms of shot noise with the Bayer sensor design.

Where do you get that from? Sensor design hasn't stopped improving, in ten years we may have perfect 100 mega-pixel sensors with no noise at any iso.

Here:

http://www.sensorgen.info/

The QE now is about 50%, roughly speaking.

The noise at high ISO is mainly shot noise (google it). It is part of the image, and there is nothing you can do about it. A perfect sensor with no noise would count every photon with no read noise (google it) but the shot noise is there.

Did I mention that I want my 5-1000/1.2 lens to have a fisheye switch at the wide end?

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graphikal
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Nope
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 9, 2012

The OP started off with the basic realization that larger sensors can offer better noise characteristics (this is obviously because they collect more light). Then the OP somehow fell prey to the idea that fewer pixels would give better image quality, never realizing that

1) resolution is an important aspect of image quality-- no one would covet a 4-pixel sensor no matter how good the pixel-level noise characteristics, and

2) if there is no degradation from extra pixels, they're always better-- and the OP obviously has no idea how much or little he/she is losing with higher-resolution sensors, as modern ones are quite good in terms of lessening light loss from increased pixel boundaries, and

3) downsizing an image cleans it up, and

4) there are hard physical limits. It is foolish to think that in a few years, or ever, we may have 100 MP sensors in handheld cameras with noise-free images at arbitrarily high ISOs; suggesting such a thing simply points out that you know nothing about noise.

The point was could we have clean noise at a higher iso with lower resolution?

Lowering resolution is not a solution to lower noise at the image level, but rather at the pixel level. Take a high-res image from a good modern SLR and downsize it to 6 MP sometime.

With much less pixels maybe a design could be found today that includes the gapless micro-lenses but also more heat-sinking around the pixels that keeps the noise down at higher ISOs.

Not really. If you introduced some sort of heat sink around a pixel, it would impact the total light-sensitive area, decreasing efficiency. If you had a heat sink which did not do this, say a cooler sitting behind the sensor, you could use it with any resolution of sensor. (I think that's not a bad idea and IIRC there are some kinds of specialized cameras that do that.)

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rjjr
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 9, 2012

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

I've been using my 20D (8.2MP) since late 2004 but over the last year I've been looking to upgrade.

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bobn2
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Re: Does compute
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 9, 2012

Le Kilt wrote:

The point was could we have clean noise at a higher iso with lower resolution?

With much less pixels maybe a design could be found today that includes the gapless micro-lenses but also more heat-sinking around the pixels that keeps the noise down at higher ISOs.

Or maybe it couldn't. 'More heat sinking around the pixels' would do nothing to reduce noise, since the electronic noise from pixels is a very minor noise source. All your plan would do would be to reduce the resolution, and the efficiency of the sensor, thus resulting in more noise than the high resolution version.
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Le Kilt
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Re: Never say never
In reply to Peter 13, Jun 9, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

Le Kilt wrote:

What you want cannot exist. There is less than a stop that can be gained in terms of shot noise with the Bayer sensor design.

Where do you get that from? Sensor design hasn't stopped improving, in ten years we may have perfect 100 mega-pixel sensors with no noise at any iso.

Here:

http://www.sensorgen.info/

The QE now is about 50%, roughly speaking.

The noise at high ISO is mainly shot noise (google it). It is part of the image, and there is nothing you can do about it. A perfect sensor with no noise would count every photon with no read noise (google it) but the shot noise is there.

Valid point, I just wonder how much we can improve on quantum efficiency and read noise, hopefully we have a few more stops of decent iso left to exploit.

Did I mention that I want my 5-1000/1.2 lens to have a fisheye switch at the wide end?

Maybe the front element could be inflatable...?
Did you see the Nikon 6mm? Incredible beast!

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Le Kilt
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Re: Nope
In reply to graphikal, Jun 9, 2012

graphikal wrote:

The OP started off with the basic realization that larger sensors can offer better noise characteristics (this is obviously because they collect more light). Then the OP somehow fell prey to the idea that fewer pixels would give better image quality, never realizing that

1) resolution is an important aspect of image quality-- no one would covet a 4-pixel sensor no matter how good the pixel-level noise characteristics, and

2) if there is no degradation from extra pixels, they're always better-- and the OP obviously has no idea how much or little he/she is losing with higher-resolution sensors, as modern ones are quite good in terms of lessening light loss from increased pixel boundaries, and

3) downsizing an image cleans it up, and

4) there are hard physical limits. It is foolish to think that in a few years, or ever, we may have 100 MP sensors in handheld cameras with noise-free images at arbitrarily high ISOs; suggesting such a thing simply points out that you know nothing about noise.

The point was could we have clean noise at a higher iso with lower resolution?

Lowering resolution is not a solution to lower noise at the image level, but rather at the pixel level. Take a high-res image from a good modern SLR and downsize it to 6 MP sometime.

I do, it's amazing how you can retrieve some IQ when downsizing.

I just like looking for alternative solutions, and sometimes they're not there

With much less pixels maybe a design could be found today that includes the gapless micro-lenses but also more heat-sinking around the pixels that keeps the noise down at higher ISOs.

Not really. If you introduced some sort of heat sink around a pixel, it would impact the total light-sensitive area, decreasing efficiency. If you had a heat sink which did not do this, say a cooler sitting behind the sensor, you could use it with any resolution of sensor. (I think that's not a bad idea and IIRC there are some kinds of specialized cameras that do that.)

You're probably right there, although I'll see if I can remove some of the pixels from my sensor and wrap some small copper wire around the remaining ones to keep them cool, you never know, it might help...

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pgb
pgb
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Re: Nope
In reply to Le Kilt, Jun 9, 2012

Le Kilt wrote:

You're probably right there, although I'll see if I can remove some of the pixels from my sensor and wrap some small copper wire around the remaining ones to keep them cool, you never know, it might help...

It does for astro work. There was a company that sold various coolers
but I can't find it.

http://www.zodiaclight.com/astrophotography/chipHeating5.htm

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ultimitsu
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 10, 2012

kiet wrote:

I don’t need 36MP or 22MP for that matter. What I want is killer IQ (image quality) in an APS-C body. I understand there is a physics factor that correlates a larger sensor to cleaner images but I would love to own a 6MP (yes six megapixels) that would give me clean ISO 102400.

Anyone else with me?

Even if you are right about big poxels and cleanness, You are still mistaken in thinking good iq is all about clean high iso image. Since most images taken by most people are in sub ISO 400 range, color retention, accuracy, depth, and dynamic range are all very important, in fact, arguably more important than high ISO cleanness.

Since the inception of gapless microlens, there is no advantage in having larger pixels as far as iq goes. Only a list of disadvantages.

The only time larger pixels make sense is for the want of more fps in drive mode.

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NetMage
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 10, 2012

If you want low noise high ISP images, take a 60D image, run very aggressive NR on it, then downsize to 6MP.

Personally I think resolution is the most important part of IQ, and I'd rather have a extremely high res sensor that provides noisy (pixel level) images I can clean-up and downsize, and clean low ISO images with resolution intact.

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Meshuggah
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Re: APS-C IQ King
In reply to kiet, Jun 10, 2012

kiet wrote:

Le Kilt wrote:

From 12800 and above there's still a lot of noise on the best cameras, so one that could be clean at iso 102400 would probably sell well for those night-time shooters and Jazz club aficionados.

I want to shoot at 1/4000 @ f16 all the time. Even on well lit days you can't do that at ISO 400 much less twilight or dimly lit clubs and restaurants.

ditto. i use wide end sometimes for artistic purposes but most of what i shoot of a subject i want completely in focus. i end up using F10 or so quite often but its tough without sunshine. i own a sony slt and it drives me crazy as its the lowly a33 and i cant go over iso800 or noise is a problem. my other pet peeve is slow shutters so ive got no option but find a good iso performer.

so for my upgrade im looking at canon and pentax. perhaps 70D if the price is right and the features are good enough. Id love a 7DII but it may be a bit too steep. K5II is looking like a possibility and the new k30 is also a solid prospect. i dont mind nikon but they dont seem to have anything atm that impresses me in my pricerange.

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RedFox88
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Re: Nope
In reply to graphikal, Jun 10, 2012

graphikal wrote:

The OP started off with the basic realization that larger sensors can offer better noise characteristics (this is obviously because they collect more light). Then the OP somehow fell prey to the idea that fewer pixels would give better image quality, never realizing that

1) resolution is an important aspect of image quality-- no one would covet a 4-pixel sensor no matter how good the pixel-level noise characteristics, and

So the d2h was a junk camera?

2) if there is no degradation from extra pixels, they're always better-- and the OP obviously has no idea how much or little he/she is losing with higher-resolution sensors, as modern ones are quite good in terms of lessening light loss from increased pixel boundaries, and

3) downsizing an image cleans it up, and

No it does.\'t. Noise in, noise out!

4) there are hard physical limits. It is foolish to think that in a few years, or ever, we may have 100 MP sensors in handheld cameras with noise-free images at arbitrarily high ISOs; suggesting such a thing simply points out that you know nothing about noise.

The point was could we have clean noise at a higher iso with lower resolution?

Lowering resolution is not a solution to lower noise at the image level, but rather at the pixel level. Take a high-res image from a good modern SLR and downsize it to 6 MP sometime.

With much less pixels maybe a design could be found today that includes the gapless micro-lenses but also more heat-sinking around the pixels that keeps the noise down at higher ISOs.

Not really. If you introduced some sort of heat sink around a pixel, it would impact the total light-sensitive area, decreasing efficiency. If you had a heat sink which did not do this, say a cooler sitting behind the sensor, you could use it with any resolution of sensor. (I think that's not a bad idea and IIRC there are some kinds of specialized cameras that do that.)

So you are a silicon sensor designer? LOL. didn't think so!

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