Getting down to the nitty-gritty about noise and it's effect on IQ Locked

Started Apr 15, 2010 | Discussions thread
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OP Crocodile Gena Senior Member • Posts: 1,017
Two points, four bullets.

Crocodile Gena wrote:

So, to restate my position once again, in the example posted, I see images that have the same noise, but the 40D pics are simply more blurry.

Do you disagree with my position?

Steen Bay wrote:

Well, I'm not quite sure I can agree that we should say "less blurry" instead of "more noisy", and "more blurry" instead of "less noisy" I think that the differences in noise and detail between the 40D and 50D images simply are too small to draw any general conclusions about pixel density. A bit of sharpening applied to the least noisy/sharp images could very well make the images almost indistinguishable.

First point: sharpen the 40D images, compare them to the 50D images, and tell me what you see.

Second point: the 50D has 50% more pixels than the 40D -- we're unlikely to see pixel counts jump by more than that for any two successive generations of cameras (the 1DsIV is rumored to have 32 MP -- 50% more than the 1DsIII, for example).

OK, to sum up the discussion:

  • If two images from the same format and sensor efficiency are compared, the sensor with more pixels will appear more noisy at 100%

  • If these two images are compared for the same scene, then I say the images will have the same noise, but the image made with fewer pixels will be more blurry. You, on the other hand, say that the image made with fewer pixels will be less detailed and less noisy. The pertinent question, then, is not the semantics of the argument, but which image has the more pleasing appearance.

  • In any case, the image made with more pixels has more IQ options, since we can always downsample and/or apply NR to give a smoother appearance at the expense of finer details.

  • Thus, the only advantage to sensors with lower pixel counts is that the images take up less memory, take less time to edit to their potential, and camera bodies likely can have a faster frame rate. However, the first two disadvantages can certainly be dealt with by using lower resolution captures, like sRAW or multiple jpg size options.

Do you disagree? I have a feeling that our only disagreement is the semantic disagreement of the second bullet.

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