Moon Maid's sensor comparison

Started Feb 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 7,746
Re: Color me curious

Luke Kaven wrote:

The more I think of it, the more I realize that the D3s had this peak in it. I think it's also reflected in the engineering DR measurements.

Yes, it shows there as a "flatter" curve through the high-ISO range.

Could you help me to understand what is going on there functionally?

Perhaps, but this does land squarely in the domain of "speculation." It appears that Nikon have found a way to achieve a gain boost of up to 1EV very early in the analog chain, perhaps even in the sensor itself. This allows read noise (in ADU) at ISO 12800, for example, to be where it would have been at ISO 6400.

Is this what you would call the decisive edge in low-light performance for the D4 design?

I'd say that's a fair statement (applies to D3s also).

I had held out some hope that the squeaky clean Exmor would perform on a par when seen at 12MP.

Not in this generation. Perhaps later, they may find a way to incorporate a design feature similar to the D3s/D4 to control high-ISO read noise better. Also keep in mind that the Exmor analog gain tops out around ISO 1000, and sensitivities above that are achieved only by numerical scaling.

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