OMD with more MP?

Started May 6, 2014 | Questions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: OMD with more MP?

Tony8232 wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Tony8232 wrote:

If each pixel can have more dynamic range due to less noise the overall DR has to go up at least as I see it. How does the new senor have increased DR it has to be because of superior design. Couple that with the larger pixel size of the 12mp sensor that gathers more light at the same exposure then to me it seems to be obvious that DR will go up.

What you overlook (and what Ulric has in mind) is that you can regain the DR lost because of smaller pixels by downsampling or, equivalently, using a bit more NR. The idea here is that a sensor with more pixels can give you more flexibility. If the light is good and you can shoot at base ISO where noise is not troublesome, you can enjoy the additional resolution. If the light is not so good and you need to shoot at higher ISOs, you can trade the extra resolution for better signal-noise performance by means of downsampling/NR.

I didn't overlook down sampling I simply didn't know anything about.

Downsampling simply means that you save the image at a smaller size than the original one. If, for example, you save a 12 MP image (say 4000 x 3000) as a 3 MP image (2000 x 1500), you downsample. When you do so, the signal-noise performance for each pixel in the 3 MP image is better than for the pixels in the original 12 MP image since each pixel in the 3 MP image is the average of four input pixels, and when averaging, the noise tends to cancel out.

I'm going to have to do some reading about camera sensors. Is this done by the camera?

It can be done by the camera (if you set it up to shoot jpegs with fewer pixels than the sensor has) but this is rarely a good idea. It's better to shoot at the original resolution and then save a copy as a smaller size on your computer (while retaining the original). The best is to shoot RAW, apply some NR in the RAW converter if needed and then save a jpeg in whatever size you like at the moment. If you want to go back and do something else later on, you still have your RAW and can do whatever you like with it.

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