Why does Canon not make a single FF 1D with optional crop mode?

Started Oct 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
pixelpepper Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: FF but with the same pixel count !

Tacksharp wrote:

I have to believe that the light-gathering efficiency advantage of larger pixels on a larger sensor would potentially provide lower noise than the same resolution sensor with smaller pixels (and sensor) with equal technology level.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence that larger pixels are mor efficient than smaller ones, until you get to really tiny pixels. In fact, P&S pixels seem generally to be more efficient than DSLR ones. This is partially due to the smaller microlenses not hitting the f/0.5 limit for spherical optics. To achieve gapless microlenses on the big D3 pixels, Nikon had to adopt a 2 element aspherical design. Canon has never managed large, gapless microlenses, one reason why the 5DII doesn't have them, while the 50D, 7D and 1DIV do. Certainly, there's no measurement evidence to suggest that within the range of DSLR sensor sizes, there is a difference in efficiency due to pixel size.

The 1D4 does have more pixels, and this could help reduce the apparent noise when downsampling the image size to a 12mp FF image size. I don't think that would overcome the inherent efficiency advantage of the 120% larger pixels (8.45^2 vs. 5.7^2), though--unless Canon's sensor technology is much more advanced than Nikon's/Sony's.

Except that there is no evidence, or theory, that suggests that 120% larger pixels is an advantage, when viewd at the same image size. The 1DIV can never be 'downsampled to a FF image size' - the sensor has the dimensions it has, those can't be changed by resampling.

Even if you don't believe smaller pixels are potentially noisier than large pixels, you do seem to believe that FF is potentially less noisy than 1.3x crop.


Either way, it would be an amazing feat for the 1D4 to get anywhere near the ISO performance of the D3s. Then, you could simply look to the 1D4's higher resolution for better IQ (even if you do manage to fill the D3s's FF frame).

If the 1DIV has matched the ISO performance of the D3s from a smaller sensor, it is an amazing feat. It would indicate that Canon has regained the lead in sensor technology. I believe it is in part due to moving to their new, smaller geometry, fab line. The old one was behind what Sony and Nikon's fab partners have available.

However, I am interested to see if the 1D4's smaller pixels will be able to retain that certain IQ pop I'm used to seeing in the 1D3. I have $5k worth of faith/hope that the drop from the 1D3's 7.2 microns to 5.7 microns pixel pitch will be overcome by sensor tech advances over the last 2 1/2 years.

I'm never sure what people really mean by 'IQ', even less 'IQ Pop'. There's one poster round here who's always on about the qIQ of his 1DIII, so far as I can see, it mostlt has to do with processing decisions.

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