How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
ejmartin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,274
Re: Who doesn't get it

DSPographer wrote:

Why quote read noise at minimum ISO? That just tells you about the
maximum photosite level minus the A-D system DR. The read noise at
high iso tells you about the sensor sensitivity. State of the art
cameras have read noise of about 2.5 electrons independant of
photosite size.

Because so many people seem to think that small photosites are inherently noisy with low DR, not realizing that in comparing a small photosite camera to a large photosite camera by looking at 100% is not comparing the two on an equal footing.

So one point I wanted to make is that at low ISO, and comparing the image quality (noise and DR) at a fixed spatial scale, there is essentially no difference between the two, at any luminance level, and the small photosite camera has the additional advantage of higher resolution.

For high ISO applications, I agree that the one advantage of larger photosites is in high ISO read noise, yielding lower noise in shadows; photon noise, and hence noise in midtones and highlights, is still comparable between the small and large photosite cameras, just as it was at low ISO.

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