Which is more important...

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,064
Re: Which is more important...

thesilverfox wrote:

...the lens or the sensor in determining the quality the resulting image.

In a way, this is sort of a trick question. It isn't a good question as an either/or. It's like asking whether the engine or the brakes are more important in a car...you can't leave either one out of a car and still have it function as a car. The lens and the sensor determine different parts of image quality.

If the lens is faulty, it might project an image onto the sensor may have problems with focus, chromatic aberration, distortion, or it may have an aperture too small for you to achieve the depth of field or exposure you want.

If the sensor is faulty, it may have noise characteristics that make it too slow for you to achieve the exposure you want, or it might record bad color or have too narrow of a dynamic range.

You can start to prioritize lens vs. sensor effect on image quality if you have a specific photographic goal in mind. Because if your goal is narrow depth of field, then you know that the lens must have a wide aperture. If your goal is general flexibility in low-light exposure, then you know you need at least either a fast lens or a low-noise sensor, and hopefully, both. If your goal is image sharpness, that will usually be more about the lens than the sensor. If you want wide dynamic range, that will be more about the sensor than the lens.

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