All this talk about "equivalence" is silly

Started Jun 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
jonas ar Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: Bzzt.

aus_pic_hunter wrote:

The matter of the bigger pixels is discussed many time before and many people don't agree but I think the pixel size plays a role as well. Because the amplifiers connected to the pixels are nonideal, they add noise to the signal coming from the pixel. When the signal from the pixel is larger the added noise is smaller percentage wise. Looking at compact cameras the signal from a pixel is so small that the added noise from the amplifier is significant resulting is a noisier image.

What makes this more complex is that amplifier design is still improving with each generation and therefore cameras with different technologies cannot be compared 1 to 1. Advances made in amplifer design allow sensors to have more pixels while keeping the total noise in the image the same or made even lower. However these improvements can't go on forever at which point the total noise in an image from a sensor with more pixels will increase over the previous generation.

You may find these comparisons of interest:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=37472402

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=38568922

It is easy to compare the performance of pixels of radically different size in cameras of the same generation. Just make sure to analyse the same area from each sensor and use the same focal lenght, aperture and shutter speed.

Kind regards,

Jonas

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