Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
pes084k1 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

AZBlue wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

Limiting my answer to the realm of printing... maximum resolution of D7100 is 6000x4000 pixels while maximum resolution of D600 is 6016x4016 pixels, so essentially the same. Printing at 1:1, you will get identical size prints at identical resolution and sharpness from each camera regardless of sensor size used. When printing, it's about the number of pixels, not the size of the sensor, that determines your size of print at a given output resolution.

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"I've been in more laps than a napkin" - Mae West

The issue has not an easy response, without factoring in post processing and camera architecture. Smaller pixels have higher MTF at the same frequency, but also higher noise. Moreover, the D7100 has not any AA filter. On the contrary, the same lens (even a diffraction-limited one) has higher MTF on a FX sensor (about 13-15%), which in turn has less noise. The DX for the same field of view has more depth of field, which favours perceived sharpness, and less vibrations handheld. Best DX lenses generally have better resolution than FX ones, but the choice is very limited.

So no naive comparison is acceptable. We have to choose the right lenses (same angle of view, optimum sharpness for each sensor), apertures giving the same depth of field in the same light and the optimal denoising/sharpening options, still different among cameras, and compare prints or at least 100% monitor images at 0.9 m of distance or more (or by a Retina display, to avoid seeing digital aliasing and artifacts at high frequencies). With a serious DX prime the difference at low ISO should be very limited (as I see with NEX 5n and D700) or nonexistent or even reversed because of easier stabilization of lenses.

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