Yikes! The rumored Nikon D800.

Started Oct 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 58,595
Re: Yikes! The rumored Nikon D800.

x-vision wrote:

sparkling elk wrote:

isn't there really no advantage of larger pixels over smaller ones concerning realisation of best IQ from lowest to highest iso ?

Sure there is: larger pixels have better low-light ability and larger dymamic range than smaller pixels (which, of course, come at the expense of resolution).

'Better low-light ability' is questionable, 'larger dynamic range' is the reverse of the truth, smaller pixels have the DR advantage.

Here's a recent article on the subject:


Did you even bother to read the link you posted, or did you just google something in the hope no-one would bother to follow the link and call you on it? For a start, you need to follow a second link to get to the article, and second, it's about a quite specialist application, not general photography. In any case, what he is mainly talking about is small sensors not small pixels , a confusion many people seem to make.

And here's a quote from the author of the Image Sensors blog, posted as a comment to the article (emphasis is mine):

  • One trade-off in 4T pixel design is between the read noise and the full well ...

That is the case, the smaller the pixel the less read noise and the lower full well, meaning the DR per pixel remains constant, which means observed at the same resolution, the smaller pixel wins (DR increases as you downsample). The point is that although the 'full well' per pixel is lower, more pixels are fitted in the same space, so the full well per area stays the same in theory, seems to increase in practice. For instance, in the same area as a D3s pixel, a D7000 can collect nearly twice as many photoelectrons.

The people who argue that more pixels is always better are the same ones who don't understand the inherent trade-off between resolution and low-light ability/DR.

There is no such trade-off, it is you who doesn't understand.

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