Poll on the use of Live View on DSLR

Started Oct 11, 2010 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 55,673
Re: I understand what you're saying...

Great Bustard wrote:

Similarly, I liked Oly's decision that 12mp was enough - instead of putting their resources into figuring out how to cram 18mp into the sensors of their cameras they decided money could better be spent in other areas. After all, it's better to have 18mp and not need them then need them and not have them, right?

Again, I don't know the difficulties involved in making smaller pixels. But I do know that, for a given technology, smaller pixels keep the same DR, as both the read noise and FWC scale with pixel area for a given tech. As to whether improvements in getting less read noise / area or a higher FXC / area could be done if they weren't trying to make smaller pixels, I can't comment.

But, Bob could. And I'm pretty sure he's stalking me, and will jump in with some concrete details.

The problem with John's speculation is that it assumes that Olympus had R&D control over the sensor, but it appears that they are very much the customer of Panasonic. Very simply, the decision that 12MP was 'enough' was taken because 12MP was all they were offered, and simply they didn't have the capability to do any 'cramming' of pixels themselves.
Looking at the performance of the E-PL1 sensor against the GH-1 sensor we find:

Pen_E-PL1 - QE: 42%,read noise:11.2 e-, saturation capacity at base ISO: 17424 e-
DMC-GH1 - QE: 50%, read noise: 4.2 e-, saturation capacity: 18662 e-.

So Olympus just isn't getting the best FT sensors available, whether its 12MP or 18MP. If they had control, even if they really thought that 12MP was 'enough' there is a much better 12MP FT sensor.
As for what 'cramming' 18MP does to a sensor,
EOS_60D - QE: 40%, read noise: 1.5 e-, saturation capacity: 24322 e-.

On the point about scaling and read noise, I haven't done all the figures for Canon yet, but you can see Canon's 10MP sensor (and Chipworks says their silicon tech doesn't advance very much)
EOS_1000D - QE: 33%, read noise: 5.2, saturation capacity: 36058

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