Sony A77 sensor reports – Is sensor size more important than MP today?

Started Oct 4, 2011 | Discussions thread
mike_2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,635
Re: Sony a77 sensor - advancement or hype

Ma55l, You mentioned earlier that you're interested in the physics of the sensor technology and that in your opinion the A77 would be better served with an 18MP sensor. A little bit of research shows that any advantage would be very modest indeed at high iso, if it exists at all, and worse for detail retention at low iso, as I sho below.

Another very important point is that your continued use of a poorly captured image which has been downsized, and god knows what done to it, is not the way to better understand physics of sensors. You come across as if you have an anti A77 agenda when you do this, and there is no need as DPR have kindly provided test jpegs and raws in their studio comparison, which while flawed in many ways (focal plane) is at least approximating a level playing field. Why use your crappy image when there are these available?

Here are a couple of example of decent, I would say acceptable, high iso performance from the A77 using ACR converted raws, compared with D7000 at iso3200. These are 200% crops, and demonstrate (at least to me eyes) that there is little practical difference between the cameras at iso3200.

Here we see at iso1600 jpegs, and here the A77 does OK, thanks largely to a less harsh NR approach compared with the canikon cameras.

I would also highlight this fine iso3200 shot collected in a dark pub by DK, available for download from photoclubalpha:

The final point is this; a high resolution sensor can always be downsized to a smaller resolution, but the reverse does not gain you resolution. A high MP sensor gives you the choice as a user to run it at even 6MP, giving you a Foveon type sensor with 4 pixels feeding each image pixel and great colour, noise control and pixel leve sharpness or at the full 24MP on a good tripod and get the best resolution possible in an APS-C camera (see popphoto review), all with the same body. this flexibility is a great boon for real photographers who understand how to get the most out of their cameras, and you seem determined to deny this to them.

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IQ is not judged exclusively by high iso noise performance

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