16MP sensor improvements?

Started Apr 24, 2013 | Questions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Rather significant, actually, although YMMV applies

jim stirling wrote:

Anders W wrote:

jim stirling wrote:

Jonas Palm wrote:

The 16MP sensor shows remarkable advantages in dynamic range (almost 2 f-stops !) and roughly 1 f-stop improvement in high-ISO noise. And of course higher resolution.

Pretty damn significant in my book, you would have to go to the very best full frame sensors to get a similar jump from the 16MP sensor.

That is a bit of hyperbole the new Nikon APS models { D5200/D7100} comfortably outperform the best mFT options by the time you get to the best FF the difference is pretty huge {2.8 stops colour depth, 2 stops DR and at least 1.7 stops high ISO{2 if you take into account the flexibility the extra detail gives you in post processing of noise}.

That's a bit of hyperbole Jim. I guess what you actually wanted to say is that the difference compared to the best FF sensor (I guess you are talking about the D800/D800E), is about 1.5 stops color depth, 2 stops DR at base ISO and slightly more than one stop DR at higher ISOs (the DxO high-ISO score is useless), all of which at the same 8 MP normalized resolution for both cameras alike. If you compare the D800 at its original 36 MP resolution with the best MFT sensor at its original 16 MP resolution, the differences are of course smaller than those I listed.

Now, these comparisons are of course valid only if we compare at the same ISO. If, instead, we compare equivalent photos (same DoF) in higher-ISO shooting, then the best MFT sensor is about half a stop ahead for color depth and more than half a stop ahead for DR (again at the same 8 MP normalized resolution).

Now , Anders we have had this discussion before

Right. So why don't we continue exactly where we left off three months ago so that we don't have to repeat ourselves. Here's what I said in my latest reply to which you have yet to respond:


, and again I would say that I am only interested in output . Lets make our target a nice 18"x12" print { larger would suit the D800 more} from both formats , the detail and DR advantage at low ISO are clearly in favor of the D800. Where our agreement tends to fall apart is my suggestion that at high ISO the extra detail in the D800 allows for one to use additional NR on the 2 stops higher ISO file while still maintaining at least as much detail as and now better noise than a two stops lower ISO E-M5 file.

Once again I will use files from Focus Numerique which we while cannot guarantee absolute controlled light. Certainly give shutter speeds and exposures that suggest their studio set up is certainly more consistent than our beloved DPreview. Below are the links to the  respective raw files I have used 800 ISO on the D800 compared to 200 ISO on the E-M5 in the first comparison, and 6400 ISO on the D800 compared to 1600 ISO on the E-M5. I used central areas of the image with high detail to reduce the effects of lenses , and for easy comparisons.



My processing is exactly as follows for the low ISO files I downloaded the RAW files , turned off default NR in ACR 7.4 to maximize detail, gave standard sharpening, added basic low level NR to D800 , the results are D800 more detailed and if anything less noisy.Then I re -sized both images to match at 300dpi for an 18" print

In the 1600-6400 ISO comparison I again downloaded the RAW files , turned off ACR default NR , used a combination of sharpening and NR to give each file the best balance between maintaining detail and balancing noise. Then I re -sized both images to match at 300dpi for an 18" print .The consequences of further processing to the E-M5 file is higher noise if sharpened, any further NR to the E-M5 file results in loss of detail , in both situations the D800 maintains its 2 stop output advantage advantage

200ISO on E-M5 VS 800 ISO on  D800

e-m5 200 vs D800 800

E-M5 1600ISO vs D800 6400 ISO

My conclusion is that looking at output results the D800 maintains a 2 stop lead over the E-M5 { with regard to detail & noise}. I would be grateful if you { and anyone else who wants to join in } would download the files processing them to give the best output balance between noise and detail. And show me where { you think   }  I am going wrong . I am a real convert to the advantages of higher MP cameras, and hope we move along that road further . This is by far the best way to compare the respective files as I assume what most of us are interested in is a final image { camera + lens + processing = output}



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