How does the D3 achieve such high ISO?

Started Feb 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,781
Re: Who doesn't get it

ejmartin wrote:

So if one is not fixated on the pixel (which corresponds to a
different spatial scale depending on the pixel size) but rather looks
at a fixed scale, pixel size is essentially irrelevant within a wide
range, its major effect is on resolution, not noise. Unless of
course you print images based on pixel size and so different sizes
for different cameras, rather than some standard size where smaller
pixels are a smaller percentage of the image.

Emil, what you say here makes sense, and I've seen you post this before. In practice, I don't think it works out quite right. There is no doubt that the apparent noise advantage of large pixel cameras based on evaluation at the pixel level is highly misleading. However, even when compared at the same overall print size, the large pixel cameras enjoy a noise advantage in my experience. Low light 1Ds II files against 5D files, both ISO 1600 pushed to ISO 3200 and printed at 12 x 18" - the 5D files have better detail/noise from the examples I have seen. Same goes for pocket cameras, eg Fuji F30 vs Canon G7 (granted the Fuji sensor is a touch larger) when compared at ISO 800 and up at any given same print size. Same for low light high ISO D3 vs 1Ds Mk III examples I have seen on the web and printed for my own evaluation at equal output sizes. I don't know why practice should deviate from the theory you are putting forth, but this is what I am seeing in the prints.

Regards,
Amin

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