Some info on the 24 MP Nikon - from a Sony engineer

Started Oct 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 69,134
Re: You do not need the concept of ISO here

Iliah Borg wrote:

A problem often arises from misuse of terms; but misuse of terms
often indicates that something is wrong in understanding.

Hardly misuse, loose use perhaps. I don't think you have established that my basic argument was wrong, and therefore I can't see that you're in a position to assert a case of poor understanding.

Your argument basically was that Nikon are now better sensor
designers then Canon and SONY, like you stated "A good reason for
Nikon not to use the A900 sensor in a flagship model is that it has
become better at designing sensors than Sony (or Canon, for that
matter)." To which you were pointed out that yes, some sensor
characteristics in the sensor found in D3/D700 are better but some
are worse then what SONY and Canon currently have. That is true.

'Some' is a pretty loose word. On the major factor of sensor design quality, which is efficiency, the D3 sensor is 15% better than the 1DIII (and still 13% better than the 50D), going by Emil Martinec's tables. By your estimation of the sensitivity (in arbitrary units of sensor sensitivity) the D3 is 1.8 times as sensitive. As you (and I) ponted out, part of that sensitivity derives from a choice of a smaller FWC. However, that only accounts for a 1.56 times gain. Adding the 15% in gets to 1.75. Again, these two figures triangulate well enough to suggest that the 15% gain is real. There is also a technical reason to account for the efficiency, in that the 1DIII has 86% (as I remember) microlens coverage, while the D3 has 100%. This would give a 14% gain, all else being equal, which is close enough to the measured 13%, to be believable.

So, Nikon, stacking this all up, Nikon makes a sensor which is measurably more efficient, area for area, than either Sony or Canon. To me, that suggests a core technological advantage. All the rest (pixel pitch, FWC, etc) is a design choice. It may well be that if Nikon produces its own sensor for the D3x that the FWC is increased to bring the base sensitivity nearer to 100 arbitrary units of sensitivity. This will not negate that efficiency advantage, so long as Nikon can scale the cell and maintain its efficiency. Canon can do this, so it should be possible.
Which sensor characteristics are worse for the D3, in your opinion.

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Bob

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