Is there an advantage to the 1" sensor? Opinions requested.

Started Dec 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,286
Hank: how to factor-in low light noise & DR into relations between...

ProfHankD wrote:

Yes and no. The Nikon 1 line 1" sensors are a lot smaller than APS-C, but that isn't relevant -- it's just a matter of sensel size. Here's a little list of sensel sizes and approximate lens resolutions needed for Nyquist sampling:

  • Sony NEX-5 (14MP) : 5um, 50 line pairs per mm
  • Sony NEX-6 (16MP): 4.8um, 52 lppmm
  • Sony NEX-7 (24MP): 3.9um, 64 lppmm
  • Nikon 1 V1 (10MP): 3.4um, 74 lppmm
  • Nikon 1 V2 (14MP): 2.9um, 87 lppmm

Very few lenses designed for full-frame 35mm resolve even 50lppmm at decent contrast across the entire (cropped) frame even at their best aperture. This doesn't mean IQ isn't slightly better with more pixels sampling, but it does mean the difference between IQ of crops giving the same angle of view will not be anywhere near as big as the pixel counts alone suggest. Most lenses are pretty much mush at smaller than the NEX-7 sensel size....

...Nyquist limit, sensor size as the resolving power of the combined lens + sensor depends not only on sensels' pitch but also on noise; and contrast (esp. microcontrast) depends on DR, although in a somewhat indirect way - 1" sensors are at disadvantage there as well


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