Is 24 MP sensor better than 16 MP?

Started Oct 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
ET2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,110
Re: Useless 14 bit eh

cgarrard wrote:

Useless, to you, not to all.

It's 100% useless.

Go search posts by GordonBGood on this very forum and you will find out why.

This topic has been discussed greatly on this forum already

If that's not enough, have a look at this University of Chicago page:

http://theory.uchicago.edu/~ejm/pix/20d/tests/noise/noise-p3.html

scroll down to DR part where you will find:

Curiously, most 14-bit cameras on the market (as of this writing) do not merit 14-bit recording. The noise is more than four levels in 14-bit units on the Nikon D3/D300, Canon 1D3/1Ds3 and 40D. The additional two bits are randomly fluctuating, since the levels are randomly fluctuating by +- four levels or more. Twelve bits are perfectly adequate to record the image data without any loss of image quality, for any of these cameras (though the D3 comes quite close to warranting a 13th bit).

A qualification is in order here -- the Nikon D3 and D300 are both capable of recording in both 12-bit and 14-bit modes. The method of recording 14-bit files on the D300 is substantively different from that for recording 12-bit files; in particular, the frame rate slows by a factor 3-4. Reading out the sensor more slowly allows it to be read more accurately, and so there may indeed by a perceptible improvement in D300 14-bit files over D300 12-bit files (specifically, less read noise, including pattern noise). That does not, however, mean that the data need be recorded at 14-bit tonal depth -- the improvement in image quality comes from the slower readout, and because the noise is still more than four 14-bit levels, the image could still be recorded in 12-bit tonal depth and be indistinguishable from the 14-bit data it was derived from.

And besides, even DPR reached the same conclusion in their A580 review:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra580/page7.asp

"The A580 captures its image information in 12 bit RAW files vs the Nikon D7000's 14 bit. In theory this means the Sony records less shadow detail but in practice, when playing with these Raw files, we could not notice any difference."

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