Some dumb questions I have been wondering about

Started Mar 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Some dumb questions I have been wondering about

Wellington100 wrote:

1) Why are camera sensors not square? Surely a square sensor is the most efficient way to get the best out of a lens?

Because most people prefer wider images, thus manufacturers can save money in production by cropping out the unused parts.

2) Does using a Polarising filter reduce the Dynamic Range of an image taken in sunlight with a digital camera?

Technically, yeah. In the sense most people would take it though, no, it doesn't; in fact, by using it you could easily get detail into areas that'd otherwise be completely blown.

3) Why do most cameras have IQ reducing AA filters when the few cameras that don't have them jump in IQ and moire is nowhere to be seen in 99.99% of the images?

Because 99.99% is an exaggeration on your part, and because aliasing (of which moire is only one possible display) was far more problematic with lower-resolution sensors than it is today with these 24 Mpx and 36 Mpx monstrosities. A filter-less Nikon D50 would've been quite ugly indeed.

4) What is the optimum resolution for small camera sensors? High resolution sensors seem to add significant file size for little discernible improvement in resolution, so what is the cut off for a functional and well rounded small sensor?

Depends on the lens; my 5 Mpx Fuji S5600 was hopelessly let down by its lens, but my 10 Mpx Samsung EX1 struggles (and mostly fails) to record everything its lens is rendering. My educated guess is that a 3 Mpx sensor would've sufficed for the former, while a 16 Mpx one would've been necessary for the latter.

With that said, though, the pace of advancement in storage cost & capacity long made file size concerns moot, so I doubt manufacturers will ever truly stop chasing higher resolution figures.

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