Why won't the D600 have better high ISO performance than D800?

Started Sep 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
KLO82 Contributing Member • Posts: 947
Re: Why doesn't the D7000 have D800 performance?

Lets just assume that a full frame camera which has exact same pixels as D7000. In that case will have better high ISO performance as it will collect 2.25 times ( ~ 1.2 stops) more light (due to having sensor area of 2.25 times larger) than D7000 at same exposure. Here we are talking about same sized output.

Dan wrote:
All these replies are very helpful and interesting.

I must be missing something but what's the story behind why the D7000 doesn't have equally impressive high ISO performance even though the pixels are roughly similar in size?

Grevture wrote:

Dan wrote:

Let's say we have a 1pixel sensor vs. a 100pixel sensor. The pixels of the 1 pixel sensor obviously get more light because they are 100 times bigger, getting that much more light.

The light gathering capacity is decided by the area used to collect the light, not by how many cells you divide the area into.

Some basics:

  • If you put a 1 square meter towel on the ground next to a 2 square meter towel and there is some rain - which towel will gather the most rain? Well, obviously the bigger one.

  • Does it matter if you use four half a square meter towels, two 1 square meter towels or just one 2 square meter towel to gather a certain amount of rain? No, it is the sum of the area that matters, not how many parts the area is divided into.

As someone else remarked, since the introduction of efficient microlenses, it is all about total area. The amount of pixels you divide the sensor into does not affect its light gathering capacity. However, with fewer but larger pixels you know less about exactly where the light hits the sensor and with what intensity.

It does not matter very much how much light a single pixel can gather, because a image is never made from a single pixel. A image is always made up by the sum of information from all the pixels. So in terms of noise performance (and many other things) it is always about how much light all the pixels combined can gather.

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