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Thread: Sensor Size/Image Quality

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    TheReason
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    Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Question for the forum:

    With the upcoming announcement of the Nikon D800 with a rumored 36MP Full Frame 35mm Sized Sensor, what if any are the advantages of a MF sensor now that DSLR systems are making huge leaps in the MP count?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by TheReason View Post
    Question for the forum:

    With the upcoming announcement of the Nikon D800 with a rumored 36MP Full Frame 35mm Sized Sensor, what if any are the advantages of a MF sensor now that DSLR systems are making huge leaps in the MP count?
    Each capture format size has a different relationship of Field of View to Depth of Field. There is a corollary derivative relationship as well between light gathering power and depth of field driven by sensitivity (itself influencing format size as a function of photosite technology, size, and desired pixel resolution).

    Once sensitivity, pixel density, acutance, and dynamic range are at a satisfactory quality plateau for any format and specific shooting scenario, the choice of format is all about those relationships.

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    TheReason
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Thank you for the insightful, factual and very technical answer. I understand the relationships between all these factors will make the question almost an apples to oranges comparison, however I am really seeking a more simple answer. Will the image quality of a 36MP FF DSLR sensor be equal to a 40MP MF sensor?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Teeny tiny pixels and an AA mask and mass produced DSLR bodies and tolerances aren't going to be conducive to equivalent image quality as current crop 40MP MF sensors and cameras. It's basic physics & optics at work.

    I'll also wager that there will be a lot of disappointed Nikon shooters who can't get the image quality they're expecting from the lenses available today & technique. Diffraction will raise it's ugly head at ever wider f-stops, just as it did already with the D3x.

    Btw, I'm a long time Nikon shooter and have no Nikon axe to grind - I hope that they can overcome these basic considerations. We'll have to wait and see.
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    it will boil down to this:

    almost the same pixel count, but one is crammed into a smaller format, so the pixel cells are not the same size. this can affect noise, colorcast effects, iso ratings, etc in various ways
    the firmware built into the sensor can be quite different, mfg to mfg. some people hate nikon's, canon's work, some love leica and Phase and blad, for example
    measuring image quality is ultimately subjective as only a few features can be quantified

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    TheReason
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Teeny tiny pixels and an AA mask and mass produced DSLR bodies and tolerances aren't going to be conducive to equivalent image quality as current crop 40MP MF sensors and cameras. It's basic physics & optics at work.

    I'll also wager that there will be a lot of disappointed Nikon shooters who can't get the image quality they're expecting from the lenses available today & technique. Diffraction will raise it's ugly head at ever wider f-stops, just as it did already with the D3x.

    Btw, I'm a long time Nikon shooter and have no Nikon axe to grind - I hope that they can overcome these basic considerations. We'll have to wait and see.
    Great points. THose 36 MP in the upcoming D800 will have to be tiny. Really tiny. It seems like the upcoming D4 and the upcoming Canon 1Dx have decided image quality and sensitivity are more important with the FF having an ideal amount of larger pixels and better ISO performance with very respectable MP count. Glad to know the MF still has natural advantages.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Not so tiny at all !

    about the same size as on a 7D, which if can remember right is one of the best Cameras actually for lowlight stuff and image quality in APS-C.
    double the chipsize and there you have 36MPix.

    And what about the 80 Mpix IQ180 - 5.2 Micron Pixel size and leader in Dynamics and Image quality on DXO Mark ?

    So..........

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    I think that it's certainly true that Nikon know what they are doing, as witnessed by the initially maligned V1 that has been showing the world that they can squeeze excellent image quality and low noise out of a 3.3u sensor. I'm just not sure that the glass available will be up to the task.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Not so tiny at all !

    about the same size as on a 7D, which if can remember right is one of the best Cameras actually for lowlight stuff and image quality in APS-C.
    double the chipsize and there you have 36MPix.

    And what about the 80 Mpix IQ180 - 5.2 Micron Pixel size and leader in Dynamics and Image quality on DXO Mark ?

    So..........

    regards
    Stefan
    Wow. Great facts in this post. Thanks for the info. So in your opinion, why would the major DSLR manufactures not offer higher MP count in the flagship models? (D3x and 1DX) why are they going to be outdone by prosumer models like the D800?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    I would guess that Nikon and Canon sell many, many more of the D700 and 5DII than the D3x and 1DsIII, to the point where the lower profit margin still yields more money total due to higher sales. However, the sports pro cameras must be selling more, i.e. D3/D3s and 1DIV. I cannot think of any other reason for Nikon to release a D4 with 16MP and a D800 with 36MP (although neither has been confirmed, to my knowledge).
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Teeny tiny pixels and an AA mask and mass produced DSLR bodies and tolerances aren't going to be conducive to equivalent image quality as current crop 40MP MF sensors and cameras. It's basic physics & optics at work.
    According to the rumor site, there will be one version with an AA filter and another without an AA filter (rumored Nikon D800).

    What physics and optics are you talking about, Graham?

    Is 5.2 micron (even smaller pixel than the one in a Nikon D70) limiting for a MF digital back and are there lenses that would do justice to this for the entire area (not just the center) of a medium format sensor?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    I think it absolutely misleading to define Flagship=most MPix.
    Flagship is probably technologically highest devellopment with highest system price of a brand.

    MPix alone don´t do nothing.

    And - it is definitely easier to build 35mm lenses with shorter focal lenght and needed sharpness than MF Glass.
    As the new Schneider/Mamiya lenses show they can reach nearly Nyquist on 80 Mpix/6x4,5 why should Nikon(and Canon/Sony) not be able to do the same on 24x36mm ?

    And finally - there is the method of oversampling bayer sensors (e.g. used by Canon´s new 300C ) as described here:

    http://image-sensors-world.blogspot....e-sensors.html

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    What physics and optics are you talking about, Graham?

    Is 5.2 micron (even smaller pixel than the one in a Nikon D70) limiting for a MF digital back and are there lenses that would do justice to this for the entire area (not just the center) of a medium format sensor?
    Let me give you an example from the Nikon world from my experience shooting with the D3x for several years. The only Nikon lenses I had that were truly up to the task of rendering the resolution of the D3x 24mp sensor were the 14-24, 24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, 24 PC-E, 45 PC-E, 85 PC-E, 200 micro, 200 VR and 600 VR. I had other excellent glass 24-70, 70-200 VR II, 200-400VR, 105 micro, etc that were all great lenses in their own right but ultimately struggled to provide across the frame resolution and distortion free images with the 24mp sensor. Now obviously pixel peeping capabilities and great image rendering are not the same thing and I'm not saying at all that these lenses weren't good, just that ultimately not all glass is equal even at the premium end of a manufacturers offerings.

    Now with 36mp and smaller sensor pitch you are going to effectively have an even smaller CoC to work with and the onset of diffraction will occur at wider apertures than before, effective depth of field will be reduced and the ability to render any lens or shooting flaws will be ever greater. Put simply, you'll start to see flaws that previously weren't rendered clearly before.

    Regarding your question about 5.2u sensors on MF backs being harder on glass, I think you'll find that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and discussion here about that. In short, yes it's tougher on glass particularly when it comes to full frame coverage and light and sharpness drop off depending upon the lens design and focal length. I don't think that anyone is saying that the best glass is being out resolved by any of the sensors yet but it is tough to provide that same performance across the frame.
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Whenever a sensor is developed with smaller cell sites over a given sensor format, the probable first effect is that (AA filters aside) is that lenses that seemed to be acceptable in the corners just look soft. This is not such a big a deal if the ultimate print size is not increased, but if it is or if you pixel-peep, the additional softness will become annoying. Using Phase as an example, I found that going from a P45+ to a P65+ to an IQ180 at each step put more demands on the lenses. This can be predicted upon careful examination of the MTF plots. Say, for example, that you consider "nice and sharp", a lens that delivers 50% contrast at your pixel pitch times by 2 (to get to line pairs per mm) and if you shoot with a 5.2 micron sensor, that converts to about 96 line pairs per mm.
    Looking at the Nikon 35mm f1.4 G lens MTD plot, you can see that at 30 lines per mm and at 21.6 mm off center (the corner of a 24x36 mm frame) you see contrast at about 30%. This lens will begin to appear soft in the corners of even a 15 micron pixel pitch sensor. Of course an AA filter just makes it appear to be a touch soft all-over.
    True apparent sharpness is also related to the subject frequencies and the sampling frequencies desired. Nyquist criteria dictate that 2 samples per period is the minimum sample rate to recover a frequency component. However, all that gives you is a square wave or a picket fence with lots of moire. A smoother sample may be possibly in the neighborhood of 4 samples per period which means that your 96 line pairs per mm might really help you get smooth samples of a 48 line pair per mm subject.
    At least theoretically, it therefore seems that several of the nikon lenses I have browsed will go unacceptably sharp just in the corners assuming that 50% contrast is your limit.
    Comparing those lenses with what I shoot on a technical camera fitted with an IQ180 shows a similar story but for a larger sensor. At F/8 with the Rodenstock 70mm Digeron-W and 40 lines per mm it gets to about 30% at the corners but stays above 50% to about a 35mm image height. There is more contrast at higher frequencies at more displacement from the image center.

    So it looks to me that if the cursed AA filter is removed, the better Nikon lenses will approach but not quite equal medium format corner resolution should a 36 MPix FX sensor be produced.
    BUT, I have 80MPix in an IQ 180, so for an equivalent finished print size, it will need less scaling so it will appear to produce more sharpness over the final print.
    YMMV and of course, these MTF plots are theoretical and actual lenses usually are not quite as good.

    OTOH a D800 is a different animal than a technical camera and it is usually held differently. Remember that a smaller cell site also requires a more stable platform or a faster shutter speed to reduce motion blur which often becomes the deciding factor in sharpness for the hand-held shooter.

    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Let me give you an example from the Nikon world from my experience shooting with the D3x for several years. The only Nikon lenses I had that were truly up to the task of rendering the resolution of the D3x 24mp sensor were the 14-24, 24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, 24 PC-E, 45 PC-E, 85 PC-E, 200 micro, 200 VR and 600 VR. I had other excellent glass 24-70, 70-200 VR II, 200-400VR, 105 micro, etc that were all great lenses in their own right but ultimately struggled to provide across the frame resolution and distortion free images with the 24mp sensor. Now obviously pixel peeping capabilities and great image rendering are not the same thing and I'm not saying at all that these lenses weren't good, just that ultimately not all glass is equal even at the premium end of a manufacturers offerings.

    Now with 36mp and smaller sensor pitch you are going to effectively have an even smaller CoC to work with and the onset of diffraction will occur at wider apertures than before, effective depth of field will be reduced and the ability to render any lens or shooting flaws will be ever greater. Put simply, you'll start to see flaws that previously weren't rendered clearly before.

    Regarding your question about 5.2u sensors on MF backs being harder on glass, I think you'll find that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and discussion here about that. In short, yes it's tougher on glass particularly when it comes to full frame coverage and light and sharpness drop off depending upon the lens design and focal length. I don't think that anyone is saying that the best glass is being out resolved by any of the sensors yet but it is tough to provide that same performance across the frame.
    Good points on the D3x and lenses, Graham. Interestingly, it will be a mismatch of the body (rumored D800) and the glass for a large section of the users (relatively inexpensive body with high demands for resolution).

    I don't think that anyone is saying that the best glass is being out resolved by any of the sensors yet but it is tough to provide that same performance across the frame.
    It is a tough one isn't it?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Bob
    I think there is one factor in the 35mm world which is not that apparent and valid for the MF backs. All the Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLR´s are using extremely powerful image processors which crunch the actual rawdata inside the camera before they are released to the user. These CPU´s are little workstations which - used 10 years ago in a Sun or HP - would have made people very happy for 35000 $. There is sharpening, chroma removal, devignetting, colorcorrection of differing transmission on differing lens constructions to match a color consistency and much more in fractions of a second.
    I beg to say that probably a processor on a Phase or a Leaf or Hasselblad back is not nearly as advanced as the Bionz, Digic and Expeed counterparts in japanese mass products - the difference is plenty millions of dollars of R&D.
    This is the naked truth and probably the reason why the advantage of MF will shrink further and further - hen and egg. Not enough customers - not enough R&D, not enough R&D even less customers.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Bob
    I think there is one factor in the 35mm world which is not that apparent and valid for the MF backs. All the Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLR´s are using extremely powerful image processors which crunch the actual rawdata inside the camera before they are released to the user. These CPU´s are little workstations which - used 10 years ago in a Sun or HP - would have made people very happy for 35000 $. There is sharpening, chroma removal, devignetting, colorcorrection of differing transmission on differing lens constructions to match a color consistency and much more in fractions of a second.
    I beg to say that probably a processor on a Phase or a Leaf or Hasselblad back is not nearly as advanced as the Bionz, Digic and Expeed counterparts in japanese mass products - the difference is plenty millions of dollars of R&D.
    This is the naked truth and probably the reason why the advantage of MF will shrink further and further - hen and egg. Not enough customers - not enough R&D, not enough R&D even less customers.

    Greetings from Munich
    Stefan
    Image processors cannot create data that is not there. and there is plenty of image processing available to all in post production.
    I have seen the bad effects of those in-camera image processors, delivering over-sharpened files with obvious artifacts. It is one thing to offset lens vignetting, but it is quite another to reconstruct image detail beyond the theoretically possible.
    THAT is one reason I shoot MF.
    I want my images al dente, not over-cooked.
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Whenever a sensor is developed with smaller cell sites over a given sensor format, the probable first effect is that (AA filters aside) is that lenses that seemed to be acceptable in the corners just look soft. This is not such a big a deal if the ultimate print size is not increased, but if it is or if you pixel-peep, the additional softness will become annoying. Using Phase as an example, I found that going from a P45+ to a P65+ to an IQ180 at each step put more demands on the lenses. This can be predicted upon careful examination of the MTF plots. Say, for example, that you consider "nice and sharp", a lens that delivers 50% contrast at your pixel pitch times by 2 (to get to line pairs per mm) and if you shoot with a 5.2 micron sensor, that converts to about 96 line pairs per mm.
    Looking at the Nikon 35mm f1.4 G lens MTD plot, you can see that at 30 lines per mm and at 21.6 mm off center (the corner of a 24x36 mm frame) you see contrast at about 30%. This lens will begin to appear soft in the corners of even a 15 micron pixel pitch sensor. Of course an AA filter just makes it appear to be a touch soft all-over.
    True apparent sharpness is also related to the subject frequencies and the sampling frequencies desired. Nyquist criteria dictate that 2 samples per period is the minimum sample rate to recover a frequency component. However, all that gives you is a square wave or a picket fence with lots of moire. A smoother sample may be possibly in the neighborhood of 4 samples per period which means that your 96 line pairs per mm might really help you get smooth samples of a 48 line pair per mm subject.
    At least theoretically, it therefore seems that several of the nikon lenses I have browsed will go unacceptably sharp just in the corners assuming that 50% contrast is your limit.
    Comparing those lenses with what I shoot on a technical camera fitted with an IQ180 shows a similar story but for a larger sensor. At F/8 with the Rodenstock 70mm Digeron-W and 40 lines per mm it gets to about 30% at the corners but stays above 50% to about a 35mm image height. There is more contrast at higher frequencies at more displacement from the image center.

    So it looks to me that if the cursed AA filter is removed, the better Nikon lenses will approach but not quite equal medium format corner resolution should a 36 MPix FX sensor be produced.
    BUT, I have 80MPix in an IQ 180, so for an equivalent finished print size, it will need less scaling so it will appear to produce more sharpness over the final print.
    YMMV and of course, these MTF plots are theoretical and actual lenses usually are not quite as good.

    OTOH a D800 is a different animal than a technical camera and it is usually held differently. Remember that a smaller cell site also requires a more stable platform or a faster shutter speed to reduce motion blur which often becomes the deciding factor in sharpness for the hand-held shooter.

    -bob
    The handheld macro shooter (in available light) is my favorite.

    Nice post, Bob.

    I wonder, though the area is small for a FF sensor, if Nikon or Sony or Canon configure it in a way there is efficient heat loss away from the sensor area as in an IQ back. Even if they attempt it, it is unrealistic with x number of frames/s captures.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Don´t forget we are at the beginning still, this technology is in it´s infancy. To be able to fire a gun does not mean it´s useful to do it. The knowhow of how a decent image does need to look like for a "rich" file (to use for prints or large blowups) is just going into mainstream and reaching these makers with a delay. They did not have interest for this until now, their customers where sports , press , wedding and portrait (on standard sizes) and amateurs.
    The large resolution does change a lot. They are learning - and they learn so fast........

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    As per Eric Fossum's quote which I think applies very well to ever greater consumer/prosumer small sensor resolutions:

    "The force of marketing is greater than the force of engineering"



    We're getting into silk purses from sow's ear territory!
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    I really think it's about the overall print size that would influence my choice. I've shot magazine covers with 35mm, FF Canon's, and no one knows the difference. For Billboards or airport installations, I choose MFD, where size does matter. Lenses have post production software to make up for any loss in optical quality, (personally, I'd rather have a good lens first, like the S2). I'd love for 35mm DSLR to catch up, it is the most reliable camera system/format i've ever used. For gallery installations it's always MF, film...yes, film!

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by TheReason View Post
    Thank you for the insightful, factual and very technical answer. I understand the relationships between all these factors will make the question almost an apples to oranges comparison, however I am really seeking a more simple answer. Will the image quality of a 36MP FF DSLR sensor be equal to a 40MP MF sensor?
    I don't think it's a valuable exercise to try to answer your question directly with facts and figures and photosite sizes, ad nauseam. It comes up to be yet another long gear-headed discussion. Certainly better, more expensive, more precisely manufactured equipment with more more more should have the capability of achieving technically better results.

    That's why my answer was rooted in a qualitative judgement of "when is enough enough?"
    Once sensitivity, pixel density, acutance, and dynamic range are at a satisfactory quality plateau for any format and specific shooting scenario ...
    When excellence in Photography is reduced to a list of technical capabilities and specifications, Photography vanishes and all we have left is equipment and image.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Really it is all about finished print size and viewing distance.
    For web work, my little gh2 does well enough.
    BUT when I want to shoot for print or when I might want more crop-ability or maybe a large print might be desired, I haul out the MF back. I have used many a Canon and Nikon but the wedding shooter influence in their design has rendered them too bland for me. So you pays your money and you takes your choice. Since we are at pixel sizes and isos where I can count the number of photons that are needed to get a sensor response in zone 2, we are also treading near the realm of shot noise and other phenomena, such as the stochastic noise produced at the edges of sensitivity where one photon more or less makes a difference in the noise threshold. The biggest potential improvement in sensor technology at this juncture might be buried interconnect to make the effective aperture of each cell larger, or the improvement of the bayer color filters to approach the quantum limits of sensitivity. Folks, we are within a factor of maybe 3-4 of that limit now assuming that you would like to obtain at least 10 bits of good data from the sensor. Some of my colleagues think we are much closer than that. So at least with silicon sensors, we can see the end of the tunnel. Photography means writing with light. That gets harder the less light we use and the smaller the sensor sites get.
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    The handheld macro shooter (in available light) is my favorite.

    Nice post, Bob.

    I wonder, though the area is small for a FF sensor, if Nikon or Sony or Canon configure it in a way there is efficient heat loss away from the sensor area as in an IQ back. Even if they attempt it, it is unrealistic with x number of frames/s captures.
    Thanks, Vivek,
    Perhaps a small liquified N2 dewar flask attached to cool the sensor?
    The problem is that given that many of the design parameters are interrelated, somebody will be disappointed since the nature of engineering is compromise.
    -bob
    Last edited by Bob; 18th December 2011 at 15:36.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Interesting discussion.

    I had dinner last night with a Professional Photographer friend of mine that runs/owns a high volume commercial photography studio. Nine Hasselblad H cameras, mostly H3D-II/39s and a few H2/39 Multi-Shots, and a bunch of Canon 5D-IIs ... big beautiful studio with multiple product sets going all day long ... more high-end Macs than the Apple store, and the most Profoto Pro-7A & Pro-8A 2400 boxes and Pro heads I've ever seen in one place ... LOL!

    We got into a similar discussion, and his POV was that there is no comparison, and more megs in a 35mm format won't change that, any more than the 21meg 5D-II did compared to the H3D/22 they also once used. Their 5D-IIs are used for low demand projects and the occasional editorial or location people assignments for website applications.

    The reason for this studio's raging success while other commercial studios are dying like May Flies, is that they are relentlessly focused on quality of end product to their clients ... meticulous attention to detail in every imaginable way, total control over subtile tonal separation, dynamic range and faithful color rendition in every respect. Anything less and their clients would take notice immediately ... because retouching cost would skyrocket ... which is as expensive, if not more, than the photography itself.

    These aspects had less to do with final size of use, and everything to do with all of the above characteristics. However, he did say that the larger file also allowed his shooters to sometimes pull back to gain DOF rather than stopping down and introducing diffraction.

    BTW, his opinion was that 40 meg is enough for their applications and quality standards ... in his words, "We're done". What he would prefer to see is increased operational speed, more usable features and accessories (like the HTS/1.5 which they also use), and in terms of the H lenses, a continued revamp like they've done with the recent upgrades of the HC50-II, 120-II and 150N ... namely, in his opinion, the HC35 needs re-done.

    Personally, I took note of that relationship between MFD and 35mm years ago ... with a relatively similar meg count used in studio, the MFD won every time, and as things have advanced on both fronts, that relationship has not changed.

    I think putting 36 meg into a prosumer body is a marketing ploy to snag bucks from enthusiasts that buy based on numbers. This will not only place a strain on the optics, the users experience will come under attack in terms of technique ... which seems odd from the standpoint of how these types of cameras are actually used. Besides, I could not imagine a prosumer body being used in a working studio like my friends, which is a hint as to who such marketing ploys are aimed at ... it sure isn't him.

    I also think Canon has made a brillant move with the upcoming 1DX FF 18 meg. with improved performance specs rather than sheer meg count. Bravo to them

    -Marc

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Marc,

    Your response was exactly the type I was hoping to receive. Industry related facts and needs discussed. I have worked in the industry (Here in our Detroit area) as an Art Director, Retoucher, and Shooter. The retouching and final image quality of the files are of supreme importance for certain clients, so I am happy to hear that the newer more pixel packed DSLR bodies still have a niche spot. Just as the MF systems have a time and place of their own.

    Would LOVE to see your friends studio! Sounds like heaven to me! Thanks for the great response.

    -Chris

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Marc,

    Your response was exactly the type I was hoping to receive. Industry related facts and needs discussed. I have worked in the industry (Here in our Detroit area) as an Art Director, Retoucher, and Shooter. The retouching and final image quality of the files are of supreme importance for certain clients, so I am happy to hear that the newer more pixel packed DSLR bodies still have a niche spot. Just as the MF systems have a time and place of their own.

    Would LOVE to see your friends studio! Sounds like heaven to me! Thanks for the great response.

    -Chris

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by TheReason View Post
    Marc,

    Your response was exactly the type I was hoping to receive. Industry related facts and needs discussed. I have worked in the industry (Here in our Detroit area) as an Art Director, Retoucher, and Shooter. The retouching and final image quality of the files are of supreme importance for certain clients, so I am happy to hear that the newer more pixel packed DSLR bodies still have a niche spot. Just as the MF systems have a time and place of their own.

    Would LOVE to see your friends studio! Sounds like heaven to me! Thanks for the great response.

    -Chris
    His studio is in Royal oak, close to Birmingham Chris.

    BTW, I'm in Franklin with a small studio in house doing some product work ... originally came from an Art Director background, recently retired from my Exc. Creative Director career, and now only do photography and some advertising consultation work. My clients are super picky about IQ also ...

    We should have coffee sometime and talk shop

    -Marc

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    BTW, his opinion was that 40 meg is enough for their applications and quality standards ... in his words, "We're done". What he would prefer to see is increased operational speed, more usable features and accessories (like the HTS/1.5 which they also use), and in terms of the H lenses, a continued revamp like they've done with the recent upgrades of the HC50-II, 120-II and 150N ... namely, in his opinion, the HC35 needs re-done.
    -Marc
    +1

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Marc,

    Sounds like a great idea! Lets make some plans over email. mine is [email protected]

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Now matter what you do, light still is a wave with a frequency. You may improve optics, but only to a point. And when you optimize for resolving power, you need to give up contrast/acutance. So the new Nikon may have the same pixels as my Pentax 645D, but my lenses don't have to work harder and can have nice contrast in the details.

    And sensor size matter for how the image renders no matter the pixel density. DoF is the obvious quality that is different. When Kodak came out with Tech Pan, medium-format and large-format shooters did not ditch their cameras for 35mm even though Tech Pan was rumored to have 4x5 quality in a 35mm frame.

    But likewise, 35mm has a look and feel that is not in medium format.

    BTW, an interesting comparison you can make at DPreview is one between Sony's new APS 24MP sensors in the SLT and Nex 7 camera and the Sony 35mm sensor in the a900. And try different ISOs.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Not so tiny at all !

    about the same size as on a 7D, which if can remember right is one of the best Cameras actually for lowlight stuff and image quality in APS-C.
    double the chipsize and there you have 36MPix.

    And what about the 80 Mpix IQ180 - 5.2 Micron Pixel size and leader in Dynamics and Image quality on DXO Mark ?

    So..........

    regards
    Stefan
    Take a closer look at the results in DXO mark. Real ISO is on the IQ180 is way off. At real 100 ISO the 180 does not have that good of a dynamic range.





    That said it does not bother me too much. it's nice to have low iso sensor as I like to shoot wide open with f2 lenses on MF cameras.

    However personally I think that Phase one and Hasselblad are barking up the wrong tree with 80 MP. it would be far more interesting to see full frame sensors on 6x7 and 6x8 cameras.

    A 40MP sensor on a 6x8 camera would look more interesting than an 80MP sensor on a 645.

    Some claim that it's a cost problem. That is rubbish, because MF sensors are made (or can be made) of multiple smaller sensors tiled together.. 44MP sensor coulds be made from twice as many tiles as the aptus 22 MP back.

    I would love to have a FF sensor behind my 6x8 125mm and 180mm f3.2 lenses that both have full tilt and shift.
    Last edited by FredBGG; 18th December 2011 at 18:19.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I think putting 36 meg into a prosumer body is a marketing ploy to snag bucks from enthusiasts that buy based on numbers. This will not only place a strain on the optics, the users experience will come under attack in terms of technique ... which seems odd from the standpoint of how these types of cameras are actually used. Besides, I could not imagine a prosumer body being used in a working studio like my friends, which is a hint as to who such marketing ploys are aimed at ... it sure isn't him.

    I also think Canon has made a brillant move with the upcoming 1DX FF 18 meg. with improved performance specs rather than sheer meg count. Bravo to them

    -Marc
    Anything over 40MP on a FF 645 is by the same logic a marketing ploy.
    The Full frame 645 is only twice the size of FF 35mm

    personally I prefer the shadows in a 22MP back at 50 ISO than a high MP count sensor. Big photosites have their pluses.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Yes it would be nice to have a much larger chip able to be used on cameras with movement and lenses with larger image circles....

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Take a closer look at the results in DXO mark. Real ISO is on the IQ180 is way off. At real 100 ISO the 180 does not have that good of a dynamic range.





    That said it does not bother me too much. it's nice to have low iso sensor as I like to shoot wide open with f2 lenses on MF cameras.

    However personally I think that Phase one and Hasselblad are barking up the wrong tree with 80 MP. it would be far more interesting to see full frame sensors on 6x7 and 6x8 cameras.

    A 40MP sensor on a 6x8 camera would look more interesting than an 80MP sensor on a 645.

    Some claim that it's a cost problem. That is rubbish, because MF sensors are made (or can be made) of multiple smaller sensors tiled together.. 44MP sensor coulds be made from twice as many tiles as the aptus 22 MP back.

    I would love to have a FF sensor behind my 6x8 125mm and 180mm f3.2 lenses that both have full tilt and shift.
    I did not understand that DXO measurement at all since I measure a good stop difference between 50 and 100.
    I also checked it out with he Sekonic test chart. and their meter calibration software and that phenomenon did not appear.
    I have much trouble with the DXO methodology since so often it is very different than what I measure with my own instrumentation. This has gone on so long and it is so bad (not just with the ISO180 but with many others cameras) that I discount their data out of hand once the source is known. I decided not to waste my time trying the uphill battle of explaining why their entire site is rubbish with a convincing veneer.
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Anything over 40MP on a FF 645 is by the same logic a marketing ploy.
    The Full frame 645 is only twice the size of FF 35mm

    personally I prefer the shadows in a 22MP back at 50 ISO than a high MP count sensor. Big photosites have their pluses.
    Yeah, it still haunts me how beautiful images from the 9 micron backs look. I know a few pro shooters that still use a 528 Multi-Shot tethered in studio ... in 22 meg single shot, or 4 shot (mostly) ... and when needed, 16 shot. Pretty versatile back for studio application.

    However, I do think that there are those who do utilize 60 and 80 meg backs effectively because they 1) Work on location, like landscape artists, 2) do print very large, 3) also use tech cameras that feature optics that are up to the task 4) have frequent applications that either require 39/50 Multi-Shot or 60/80 single shot to avoid moiré.

    The only reason I have a 60 back is for shooting fabric swatches for GM every year, and a few other assignments where clients will be printing very large and the prints will be viewed very close ... like wall sized product shots for trade-show booths. Otherwise, the 37.8 meg Leica S2 with its incredible optics does everything else ... especially location work.

    -Marc

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Fred

    I took some research recently and found out that the larger chips are actually not single chips "glued" one to another, they can be made with steppers using the so called stitching method.
    The needed resolutions would be "lowtech" and available on the most Chip fabrication plants in Asia, so the production would be comparably cheap, maybe 500 € per wafer with 4 usable 6x7 chips. The only thing that is necessary for this is designing the chip (can be scaled available CMOS designs) and making the masks (some millions).

    But then Phase and Hasselblad would need to make new cameras and lenses too - The actual Rodenstock and Schneider lenses would not work in the shorter range , and these chips would be limited to tech cams using 40-50 mm and up, which would be a very small market.

    I agree that longer focal lenghts would work beautifully on such a chip.
    But I also see that there are alternatives - the new organic CMOS by Fuji will have a better spectral response, thus using more photons per pixel.
    I am pretty sure we will not see larger chips than 4,5x6 for standard imaging- the trend will be shrinking not growing sizes.

    and using the CCD´s as low iso devices on a tripod is certainly also possible with a 36Mpix CMOS of smaller 24x36mm size

    Greetings from Munich
    Stefan

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Take a closer look at the results in DXO mark. Real ISO is on the IQ180 is way off. At real 100 ISO the 180 does not have that good of a dynamic range.

    That said it does not bother me too much. it's nice to have low iso sensor as I like to shoot wide open with f2 lenses on MF cameras.

    However personally I think that Phase one and Hasselblad are barking up the wrong tree with 80 MP. it would be far more interesting to see full frame sensors on 6x7 and 6x8 cameras.

    A 40MP sensor on a 6x8 camera would look more interesting than an 80MP sensor on a 645.

    Some claim that it's a cost problem. That is rubbish, because MF sensors are made (or can be made) of multiple smaller sensors tiled together.. 44MP sensor coulds be made from twice as many tiles as the aptus 22 MP back.

    I would love to have a FF sensor behind my 6x8 125mm and 180mm f3.2 lenses that both have full tilt and shift.
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    I wish one day the myth that print size is somehow determined by pixel resolution would die the death it deserves. That does not mean I am against large MP backs, but the MP aren't giving you bigger prints.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Hi Shashin

    this is what I meant with "rich" files. It´s mostly about cleanness, uniformity, signal to noise and straight colormanagement - means NO harsh corrections/Colorspace transformations and camera profiles.
    Sharpness and resolution are important but beyond 100 MB image data this is not essential anymore. (viewing distance and eye´s resolution)

    Greetings from Munich
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I took some research recently and found out that the larger chips are actually not single chips "glued" one to another, they can be made with steppers using the so called stitching method.
    This is correct - all commercial MF sensors are created on a single substrate and it is very expensive. Big modern chips (CPUs in desktops for example) are manufactured using similar techniques BTW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    The needed resolutions would be "lowtech" and available on the most Chip fabrication plants in Asia, ...
    This seems "obviously correct", but there are some unfriendly dragons dwelling on the pastures you need to pass. You want the entire chip to respond the same way to the light, and that is darn difficult to attain in practice. It requires some ridiculous tolerances that are pretty hard to meet in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    ... so the production would be comparably cheap, maybe 500 € per wafer with 4 usable 6x7 chips.
    It would be nice if it could be made that cheap. Unfortunately the yield would likely be rather low for a chip of that size. Rather than 4 usable chips, you would probably get 4 unusable chips most of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    The only thing that is necessary for this is designing the chip (can be scaled available CMOS designs) and making the masks (some millions).
    Actually this would be challenging in itself. It is possible. Canon made an experimental chip some time ago to see how hard it would be, but it is not trivial. Depending on how much money you think it takes to make a problem nontrivial of course ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    But then Phase and Hasselblad would need to make new cameras and lenses too - The actual Rodenstock and Schneider lenses would not work in the shorter range , and these chips would be limited to tech cams using 40-50 mm and up, which would be a very small market.
    If the chip had a resolution comparable to current backs, the pixels could be larger. This would make it easier to make the back respond better at steep angles, at least for a CCD sensor. CMOS lends itself better to small pixels, so they would probably be screwed.

    I also think both Rodenstock and Schneider might be able to find some large format designs in their drawers they could build pretty quickly if there was demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I agree that longer focal lenghts would work beautifully on such a chip.
    But I also see that there are alternatives - the new organic CMOS by Fuji will have a better spectral response, thus using more photons per pixel.
    Chip manufacturers tends to think that "better response" = "more sensitive", which you get by making the color filters wider. Trust me on this: that approach sucks, at least if you need colors.

    Case in point: the Foveon sensor is a great idea, but the "color filters" are not a good match to the way human perceive colors. Once you try to wrangle out some colors from the RAW data you end up with a lot of noise.

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by TheReason View Post
    Question for the forum:

    With the upcoming announcement of the Nikon D800 with a rumored 36MP Full Frame 35mm Sized Sensor, what if any are the advantages of a MF sensor now that DSLR systems are making huge leaps in the MP count?
    While the explanation of the nature of quantum physics has hijacked another thread - to the amusement of MFD marketing. The question might be... Is the difference enough to warrant the substantial increase in price for MFD? I've owned H4's, Phase DF's, and I've realized now, that the frustrating reliability of MFD, has to be part of the equation. If one prints really big photographs and gets paid to do so, then yes, MFD is has its advantages. Otherwise, save the $ for great lenses, and a trip to Iceland!

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    While the explanation of the nature of quantum physics has hijacked another thread
    Quantum physics? Where?

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    ...I've realized now, that the frustrating reliability of MFD, has to be part of the equation...
    Maybe we just need more Japanese manufacturers like Pentax to get into the MFD field...

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I would guess that Nikon and Canon sell many, many more of the D700 and 5DII than the D3x and 1DsIII, to the point where the lower profit margin still yields more money total due to higher sales. However, the sports pro cameras must be selling more, i.e. D3/D3s and 1DIV. I cannot think of any other reason for Nikon to release a D4 with 16MP and a D800 with 36MP (although neither has been confirmed, to my knowledge).
    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I would guess that Nikon and Canon sell many, many more of the D700 and 5DII than the D3x and 1DsIII, to the point where the lower profit margin still yields more money total due to higher sales. However, the sports pro cameras must be selling more, i.e. D3/D3s and 1DIV. I cannot think of any other reason for Nikon to release a D4 with 16MP and a D800 with 36MP (although neither has been confirmed, to my knowledge).
    I think you make some good points.

    As a dealer, we rarely get any special information except minuscule hints a day before an actual announcement. However, as a dealer we also see which bodies move, and the 5DMark2 outsells the 1DsMark3 100 to 1 or better (I haven't had anyone ask about a 1DsMk3 in 2 years). We still sell a fair amount of 1D Mark 4's however ... some shooters just need the high speed and pro body.. But that's a pretty small market segment overall. I don't know if Canon is even making the 1DsMark3 anymore.

    Same thing with Nikon ... we sat on two D3x's for over a year until the tsunami then were able to unload them on eBay.We have had many shooters switch from Nikon to Canon just because they want the 21mp sensor but don't want to drop 8K on it. Nikon shooters opt for the d700 if they want FF.

    So it appears the "flagship" (meaning highest price) cameras of both companies might be durable pro bodies with lower resolution, probably cropped sensor, state of the art AF and outstanding noise performance.

    So if the rumors are true, the high resolution bodies appear to be headed towards lower price range pro cameras, not as rugged, perhaps less robust AF, and other cost cutting measures.

    There is a much larger potential market for a high resolution camera as long as they keep it in the 2.5 to 3k price range ... in the 5k price range sales would be a fraction ... guessing around 5%.
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    If the D800 will indeed be 36MP, I will probably just get a D4 and call it a day. I love the pro bodies (I have a D3) and 100% viewfinders, but I would like a bit more resolution. I was hoping for 18MP, but 16MP is close enough. I find 12MP just a little small, and anyway, having better ISO performance and video are also attractive.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Esben

    I am just asking: if Dalsa can make a large CCD why aren´t they doing a large CMOS ? Even if the cost would be the same like CCD (which I doubt) the advantage would be immense, such a chip could be used for the varioust purposes.Even if they only make one design with lets say 60 MPix, this could be the bread and butter workhorse for a whole industry.

    And as Mr. Hakansson/Phase has said last year: the Contenders need to cooperate.(interview Profifoto 4/2010)

    Both Phase/leaf/Mamiya and Hasselblad have to sit down to a table and do their homeworks/speak .......and I add: as long as they still can !

    Greetings from Munich
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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Oh Dalsa explains some of it here http://www.teledynedalsa.com/sensors...d_vs_cmos.aspx
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Esben

    I am just asking: if Dalsa can make a large CCD why aren´t they doing a large CMOS ? Even if the cost would be the same like CCD (which I doubt) the advantage would be immense, such a chip could be used for the varioust purposes.Even if they only make one design with lets say 60 MPix, this could be the bread and butter workhorse for a whole industry.

    And as Mr. Hakansson/Phase has said last year: the Contenders need to cooperate.(interview Profifoto 4/2010)

    Both Phase/leaf/Mamiya and Hasselblad have to sit down to a table and do their homeworks/speak .......and I add: as long as they still can !

    Greetings from Munich
    Stefan
    My, my, you are all over the forum with the gathering clouds of doomsday and technocratic threats left and right Stefan ...

    The nerds are in charge of Photography ... you must do as the hive-mind says ... you will be assimilated ... resistance is futile.

    I'm with Guy Mancusio ... I haven't seen a CMOS camera yet that can touch these antiquated, creaky old CCDs ... heck, the dinky res DMR stuff still looks better than the
    latest greatest mega meg CMOS wonder-cams. But hey, who cares what the stuff looks like, it's just photography.

    -Marc

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    My, my, you are all over the forum with the gathering clouds of doomsday and technocratic threats left and right Stefan ...

    The nerds are in charge of Photography ... you must do as the hive-mind says ... you will be assimilated ... resistance is futile.

    I'm with Guy Mancusio ... I haven't seen a CMOS camera yet that can touch these antiquated, creaky old CCDs ... heck, the dinky res DMR stuff still looks better than the
    latest greatest mega meg CMOS wonder-cams. But hey, who cares what the stuff looks like, it's just photography.

    -Marc
    +1,
    but hey, I AM a nerd LOL
    -bob

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    Re: Sensor Size/Image Quality

    Marc

    no wonder that you have not seen a CMOS that made you happy yet - because there is none made (of the matching size) !

    and Bob- thanks for the link- I knew the document , but there again this text part:

    " Both CCDs and CMOS imagers can offer excellent imaging performance when designed properly"

    and the last sentence say it all:

    "CCDs and CMOS will remain complementary. The choice continues to depend on the application and the vendor more than the technology. Teledyne DALSA's approach is "technology-neutral": we are one of the few vendors able to offer real solutions with both CCDs and CMOS."


    So the question remains !


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