Is the N1 the action/wildlife kit for me?

Started Jun 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
DaveR43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,215
Re: Is the N1 the action/wildlife kit for me?

dougjgreen1 wrote:

DaveR43 wrote:

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Tord S Eriksson wrote:

The sunrise picture was taken at the same time as the first image, but the EXIF has somehow gone missing!

As others have pointed out, the worse the light, the more important it is to lower the ISO you use (feels contrary maybe, but that's how one did it in the film days, and it works well with the Nikon 1 cameras)! Noise is least, and dynamic range best, at base ISO, so that's what you need to use when the light is dim, and adjust aperture and shutter accordingly!

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tord (at) mindless (dot) com
Mostly Nikon V1, & D600, user

Assuming you can. We're talking wildlife, which implies moving subject matter. The more the subject moves, and the more the light is sketchy, the more the larger formats will outperform the N1 despite needing to crop to fewer pixels in the frame. A 24 MP DX DSLR cropped down to the same FOV will give you fewer pixels, but close to two stops more sensitivity and DR. An FX DSLR will give fewer pixels yet, but their advantage vs N1 is more like 3 stops.

As I said, if you can keep the N1 shot to ISO 400 or less with the appropriate aperture and shutter speed, the N1 can compete - and may even be the best solution for IQ. But if you need to shoot at higher than 400, it degrades noticeably, and by 1600, there's no doubt the bigger formats will win the day. And since this application is for long lenses and potentially moving subject matter, that's why the DX or FX SLR cropped down still delivers - despite putting fewer pixels in the frame than the N1 with the same lens. Because you're looking at probably f4 or slower, and reasonably high shutter speeds, you are likely to need a reasonably fast ISO to get the right exposure.

Hi Doug, Unfortunately, what you've said about DR is actually not correct. Dynamic range of a sensor is affected directly by the size of the sensor. So if you crop an FX sensor to the same size as a Cx sensor, and the pixels use the same technology (which of course is not the case between e.g. D800 and V3), then the dynamic range of the cropped image will be the same as a Cx sensor's dynamic range.

There is a very good mathematical description of why this is the case somewhere on dpreview; I couldn't find it on a quick search, but a quick visual example can be seen at Bill Claff's Photographic Dynamic Range web site. I've selected D800 (DX) - i.e. an FX cropped to DX frame size; D7100; and D800.,D7100,D800

That the Nikon 1 sensors do inherently have lower dynamic range than the Sony based sensors is indisputable; but when cropped to CX dimensions there is no longer a 2x advantage for DX sensors.

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You're wrong, and frankly that's nonsense - think about it: The dynamic range of SPECIFIC sensor is the same whether or not the image is cropped. If you shoot a specific image, the inherent dynamic range of the center portion of the image doesn't suddenly change, just because you choose to crop away the outside portion of it. And of course, these are DIFFERENT sensors, with different pixel technologies.

What drives dynamic range is pixel density, and the technology underlying each pixel - bigger pixels, for example, can have more information stored in them because they can have bigger internal capacitors, in other words, a bigger bucket for storing information about the light that hit them in an image. The middle portion of a D7100 sensor is the same, irrespective of what amount of the outer portion of the image gets cropped away or doesn't.

The relationship described above only holds in terms of the theoretical ability to make a sensor better at a given physical size, pixel density, and technology at the pixel level. An actual specific physical sensor is what it is. The DR it can produce is what it is. And it doesn't matter how much of the sensor's entire real estate is used to make an image - the inherent DR is what it is for the center part of that image, whether or not the outer portion of that image gets discarded/cropped away, or it doesn't.

The reason these sensors have different dynamic range is the underlying pixel densities and the technology at each pixel is different in each camera. That does not change when you crop part of the image away. The N1 sensors in each generation have more pixel density than 24 MP DX, which in turn has more pixel density than the D800. IRRESPECTIVE of how much of the sensor gets used.

The evolution of the Aptina sensor has basically been to use the improvements of silicon technology entirely for the purpose of allowing more pixel density with the SAME DR. Both the DX and FX sensors have evolved along a path that improved BOTH DR and Pixel Density generation to generation. Which is why the current DSLRs are so much better than the current N1, but the current N1 is not any better than the earlier N1 in terms of DR, ONLY in resolution.

I'm not disputing that the pixels are different.  What I am disagreeing with is that the dynamic range advantage of Fx sensors is retained when the image is produced by cropping.

If I'm wrong, please explain why in this chart the Ideal CX sensor has a different dynamic range to the Ideal DX sensor, which has a different dynamic range to the Ideal FX sensor?,Ideal_DX,Ideal_FX

Look at it another way.  You are out during the early evening, light is poor, you need ISO 6400 with a f/2.8 lens to manage a 1/500th sec exposure to freeze the subject.  However, the only lens you have is a 20mm lens - really you needed a 200mm lens.  You take the picture on a D800, and then crop it considerably to be able to print out at the size you want.  There's quite a bit of noise, but at least you got the shot.  You could see the noise on-screen at 100%, and your print shows a similar level of noise.

The next night you return with your 200mm lens, take the same shot at the same exposure, and print it out again.  Now it doesn't need cropping, it looks great, no visible noise in the print.

The dynamic range of the first image is much lower than that of the second image...

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