Are performances in low lights really important ?

Started Jan 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
HumanTarget Senior Member • Posts: 1,347
Re: Are performances in low lights really important ?

dreamer61 wrote:

Hi ! honestly this is out of my reach technically

I just mentioned the link because there are interesting explanations and graphs

It is clear that there is much more than the simple pixel size that gives the performance

Nevertheless I notice some trends:

1) if we take the top of the line from Nikon and Canon their sensors have less pixels and so bigger in size than the other less expensive models

2) usually they also better performance in low light so I think that this is a plus that some pro wants, like those who needs high shutter speeds maybe ?

It's quite possible that the technology used in the top-of-the-line cameras has not yet been able to scale down well.  I really couldn't say what the deciding factor is, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. The larger the sensor, typically the slower the technology advances, because the more demand there is.  So smaller sensors can usually manage smaller pixels (and camera phones have improved pretty rapidly).

2. In some cases, it's preferable to have speed over resolution.  There are technological limits to how many pixels you can process quickly, and pros often want high fps counts.

I agree that also the way the pixels are realized matters of course. The construction is important

You mention the Canon Powershot G15

It does not seem a champion in low light by the way

I said for its size. A full frame sensor is about 20.8x the size of the G15's, so if they could scale the G15's pixels to full frame with the same efficiency, you'd get a score of 3434 (since you'd be getting 20.8x the light at the same exposure settings).

In other words, the G15's sensor is more efficient than the D4's despite having smaller pixels, but the D4's size advantage (20.8x) is far greater than the G15's efficiency advantage (somewhere around 10%-15%).

I understand your point and I do not understand why the technology is not applied to the other models. I admit that I am a little obsessed with the sensors ... but it is a very important element of the chain, For me it sets the top of the performance that can be got from an equipment the rest being just electronic chips .... like in computers.

Sensors are fascinating, no doubt, but there's a lot that goes into the design decisions behind them.  They've come a long way already and I look forward to what new tricks the engineers have up their sleeves.

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