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Author Topic: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here  (Read 52204 times)

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #135 on: January 24, 2013, 05:14:27 PM »
Sporgon, I think I might be losing track of which cameras you're using for which test.

I would expect the original 5D to be somewhat but not hugely better than a latest-generation Rebel. I'm sure you couldn't tell the difference on an 8" x 10" print, and it'd be hard to tell the difference on anything you could print with a printer that would fit on your desktop. By 24" x 36", though, I'd expect the 5D classic to be better, but not earth-shatteringly so.

The 5DII will be significantly better at 24" x 36", but the Rebel is still going to make outstanding 24" x 36" prints. The bigger you go past 24" x 36", the farther the 5DIII is going to pull away from the Rebel...but both will make superlative billboards, of course.

For still life photography in good light, the difference between the 5DII and the 5DIII will be marginal, but the 5DIII cleans the 5DII's clock at action and low light photography.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #135 on: January 24, 2013, 05:14:27 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #136 on: January 24, 2013, 05:24:37 PM »
The smaller size of the crop pixels goes to compensate for other factors and is crucial in any analysis.

The question isn't whether or not you can stack the deck in favor of a smaller format.

Build a larger format sensor with pixels of the same size as the larger smaller (sorry for the brain fart!) format, and all of your math is now irrelevant because the pixel pitch is identical.

The question is what role format size plays in image sharpness. You're ignoring that question and instead addressing what role pixel pitch plays in image sharpness. We all know that, all else being equal, a smaller pixel pitch will result in more sharpness. What most of the people here refuse to understand is that, when the pixel pitch is constant, all else being equal, the larger format will result in more sharpness.

Even beyond that, if the pixel pitch is adjusted such that the two formats have the same number of pixels and the larger format has that much of a larger pixel pitch, the larger format still results in more sharpness.

The only way that the sharper format can compete is with a substantial increase in sharpness, whether from a far smaller pixel pitch or newer technology (gapless microlenses, etc) or better optics or something else.

But, once again, as soon as you level the playing field and give the larger format the same pixel pitch and comparable optics and the rest, the larger format once again regains the sharpness edge.

Cheers,

b&

tortilla

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #137 on: January 24, 2013, 05:28:18 PM »
Until relatively recently, comparing formats was commonplace and trivial. The exact same film you loaded in a cartridge into your SLR was being used in large format backs. And you really had to be clueless in those days to insist that you could get the exact same quality out of the smaller format.

And yet many people very shooting 35 mm film instead of large format, because it had it's own advantages. But I agree, in terms of IQ larger format is usually better.


dtaylor

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #138 on: January 24, 2013, 05:31:56 PM »
The full-frame image was scaled down, not up. The small format image was a 100% crop.

My mistake when I typed that post.

You really are that ignorant of the subject, no?

I can't help but laugh at your asinine behavior. You really do believe that you know more then all the people pointing out the flaws, don't you?

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Scaling down is throwing away information. It's as if the information never existed, and the end result is the same as if you had never started with it in the first place.

No, it's not. Scaling in either direction introduces a variable you can't compensate for. And in either direction final quality and sharpness depends on the algorithm and settings used. Go ahead and try scaling in PS with all the various choices. One of the things clearly affected by your choices is sharpness, the very thing you claim to be trying to isolate and test for.

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Use the same lens on different formats and you get a different field of view. Change position and you get a different perspective in addition to a different field of view. Keep the aperture the same between different formats and you get different depth of field.

Perspective has nothing to do with sharpness at the plane of focus. DoF has nothing to do with sharpness at the plane of focus, and you want lens performance (related to aperture) to be identical. The test I described isolates one thing and one thing only: detail contrast related to format.

Your test isolated nothing. You've got different lenses, radically different apertures, radically different pixel-on-target counts, and an unknown scaling variable. Way to prove...absolutely nothing.

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I was very specific in what I did and didn't change, and I did it for a reason.

And in doing so demonstrated your ignorance about how to isolate and test for a single variable.

dtaylor

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #139 on: January 24, 2013, 05:37:10 PM »
I would expect the original 5D to be somewhat but not hugely better than a latest-generation Rebel. I'm sure you couldn't tell the difference on an 8" x 10" print, and it'd be hard to tell the difference on anything you could print with a printer that would fit on your desktop. By 24" x 36", though, I'd expect the 5D classic to be better, but not earth-shatteringly so.

Canon's 18 MP APS-C sensor matches or exceeds their old 12 MP FF sensor in every respect. They're close, but the nod goes to the APS-C sensor.

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The 5DII will be significantly better at 24" x 36", but the Rebel is still going to make outstanding 24" x 36" prints. The bigger you go past 24" x 36", the farther the 5DIII is going to pull away from the Rebel...but both will make superlative billboards, of course.

I've made large prints from the sensors in question. The 21 MP FF sensor is not significantly better than the 18 MP one at 24x36 at low to mid ISO. It doesn't get better as you go larger because it wasn't really better to begin with. Both sensors are good for roughly 24-30" when printing landscapes for critical review. Less demanding subjects and viewing conditions of course mean you can go larger with either. At high ISO the 21 MP FF sensor gains a very significant lead.

AlanF

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #140 on: January 24, 2013, 05:40:30 PM »
The question we are dealing with here is "Is FF sharper than APS-C?" What you are arguing, Trumpetpower, is something different. It goes back to the old days of film where all cameras had the same sensor, emulsion. And everyone knows that a large format Hasselblad or a 2x2 Rolleiflex is better than 35 mm, which is better than 110. And a huge great plate camera would beat the lot. Of course a large sensor with the same size pixels as a small one is better.  I would love a 5D with a 46 megapixel sensor as it would make the 7D with its 18 megapixels redundant.  But, the fact is that we don't have that Canon yet and we are discussing Canon sensors. 
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #141 on: January 24, 2013, 06:17:02 PM »
I can't help but laugh at your asinine behavior. You really do believe that you know more then all the people pointing out the flaws, don't you?

There is no polite way to tell somebody, such as you, the level of ignorance and / or lack of intelligence displayed by repeatedly claiming that the Canon 135mm SF is sharper than the Canon TS-E 24mm II. I'm sorry, but your repeated insistence that my test is invalid because I used the sharpest lens on the market for the one, one of the softest lenses available for the other, and that said lens difference skewed the results, when the image made with the softer lens came out sharper...well, there really aren't any polite words to describe your position.

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Scaling in either direction introduces a variable you can't compensate for. And in either direction final quality and sharpness depends on the algorithm and settings used. Go ahead and try scaling in PS with all the various choices.

That you've been on this kick clearly demonstrates that you've never done such an experiment, yourself.

Attached you'll find the results. The only significant difference, as one would expect, is the amplification of image noise in the nearest neighbor sample.

Indeed, your ignorance of the subject of scaling and sharpness is especially apparent here; anybody with experience in the matter knows that downsampling softens images, and that you need to apply a bit of sharpening to recover a bit of acutance. As with the lenses, you're arguing that something that skewed the results in favor of the small format somehow prejudiced the results against it.

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Perspective has nothing to do with sharpness at the plane of focus.

Perspective has everything to do with photography.

Just try telling a real photographer that she's got to shoot her small format camera from a different position to maximize its sharpness compared with a larger format camera -- which is exactly what you're arguing for with your royally messed-up joke of an experimental protocol.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #141 on: January 24, 2013, 06:17:02 PM »

iP337

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #142 on: January 24, 2013, 08:11:29 PM »
I'm glad to see a lot of people on this thread understand the differance between current APS-C and Full Frame sensors. :)

For those that still seem confused just go get a current full frame camera and go home happy with your sharp pics while pixel peeping ok :) now please stop posting in this thread.

For the more inquisitive minds trying to answer the topics question "Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C?"  First it's important that you understand when comparing images captured on 135 (it's not 135mm btw, it's just the cartrige size used for 35mm Photo film, I just find it easier to type "135" rather then "Full Frame 35mm") to images captured on APS-C (Advanced Photo System "Classic" created in 1996 "for High-Resolution photos") it's not the physical size of the sensor that matters it's the physical size of the individual pixel sensors that need to be compared.  So the question should REALLY be, "Are bigger pixels sharper than smaller pixels?"  the short answer to that is no but that depends on how you use it.

For example, there is no point to compare 2 pictures at 50mm and at 35mm that were taken on the same camera; if you crop the 35mm to the FoV of the 50mm and blow it up to the same size as the 50mm than it will obviously be softer because they both had the same individual pixel sizes and therefore the same "resolving" power, one just got blown up to 150% compared to the other at 100%. 

Back in the film days the grain size was tied to ASA speed (aka ISO), smaller grain (or faster ASA) also meant sharper finer details. In Digital photography there is no grain size, we now have pixel size and it is not tied to the ISO speed anymore, it's tied to resolution and sensor size. Current APS-C cameras have smaller/finer individual grain/pixel sensors than their 135 counterparts, think of it like the D800 vs the 5D3, so you need to compare them by "pixel size" not sensor size.  Unfortuantely lenses made to be sharp on 135 don't care about resolving enough for the finer pixels of new APS-C sensors, this is why Canon is updating all their lenses.  We are reaching a point where the lenses are becoming the bottleneck to image sharpness.

Of course smaller pixels have other issues such as light-gathering and dynamic range but new technologies such as gapless microlenses and back illiminated pixels are helping to boost these issues.

Oh and thanks for pointing out the 1Dx doesn't have a crop mode, I missed that,  but the 1Dc video and Nikon Full Frame cameras have crop modes.
"...The 1D C offers 4K (4,096 x 2,160 pixels) video capture with an APS-H crop. You can also opt for a Super 35mm crop mode, ..."

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #143 on: January 24, 2013, 08:38:08 PM »
Current APS-C cameras have smaller/finer individual grain/pixel sensors than their 135 counterparts, think of it like the D800 vs the 5D3, so you need to compare them by "pixel size" not sensor size.

If there's one thing this thread has conclusively demonstrated, it's the wisdom of the marketing departments at latching on to and perpetuating the megapickle myth...if it persists so strongly here, amongst a bunch of gearheads who damned well should know better and in spite of concrete evidence otherwise, you just know that the general public doesn't stand a chance.

b&

serendipidy

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #144 on: January 24, 2013, 08:56:15 PM »
I have done extensive testing in my kitchen and I can categorically confirm that a brand new Kyocera Ceramic Knife is sharper than either a Full Frame or APS-C camera ;D
EOS 5D miii, EOS 7D, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii, 100-400mmL IS

iP337

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #145 on: January 24, 2013, 08:59:44 PM »
hope this helps:

http://www.minasi.com/photos/dslrmag/
Quote
"The Missing Piece:  Sensor Resolution

Clearly there's the two sensors have other differences besides size.  To see that, let's do a bit of arithmetic.  Canon says that the 5D sensor holds 12.8 megapixels, and the 30D sensor holds 8.2 megapixels.  An APS-C sensor is 17 mm x 25 mm, which is 425 mm2.  A full frame sensor is 24 mm x 36 mm, which is 864 mm2.  Aha!  The full frame sensor has about twice the square millimeters' area of the APS-C sensor, but only about 1.5 times the number of pixels.  Calculating the resultant average size of a 5D "megapixel" and a 30D "megapixel," we get

5D pixel size = 864 mm2 / 12.8 million pixels = 68 mm2 per million 5D pixels

30D pixel size = 425 mm2 / 8.2 million pixels = 52 mm2 per million 30D pixels

The 5D pixels, then, are a bit larger, making for a somewhat lower-resolution image.  It's almost as if the 30D has finer grained film than the 5D.  The field of view on the 30D isn't as large, but it can capture any given thing in the field of view better than the 5D can.  Thus, if we were taking telephoto pictures of, say, birds in a nest, then the 30D would provide a somewhat better image than would the 5D.

This apparently isn't the case for all full frame sensors, however.  For example, when I looked up the megapixel values for the EOS-1Ds and the EOS-1Ds Mark II, I found that they offered 11.1 and 16.7 megapixels, respectively.  That would imply that the an EOS-1Ds megapixel would be 78 mm2 in size, worse grain than that offered by the 5D, and the Mark II's megapixel is only 52 mm2, equaling the 30D.

To sum up, then:


Full frame digital SLRs will always photograph a significantly larger field of view than will an APS-C digital SLRs
APS-C digital SLRs may, however, offer finer resolution in their sensors, meaning that they may be the better choice for telephoto applications wherein the subject is too far away to fill even an APS-C's field of view.  The only way to be sure is to compute size of a "megapixel" by dividing a sensor's megapixel count by either 425 (for an APS-C sensor) or 864 (for a 35mm full frame sensor); smaller numbers mean finer "grain" and better images.
These aren't the only factors to consider about applicability of a given camera for a given usage.  For example, the single most important factor in getting that rare shot of the vermillion-eared grubcatcher may be how quickly your camera auto-focuses!"

Basically with the large pixels of Full Frame cameras can get a wide dynamic range which of course means a lower contrast and at the sake of finer details but the pixel sizes on APS-C we get a narrower dynamic range which means higher contrast and also finer details.  It's exactly like choosing ASA back in the film days, slower ASA speeds (lower number) means sharper image but less sensative to light and faster ASA (higher number) means low light at the sake of fine detail sharpness.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #146 on: January 24, 2013, 09:00:21 PM »
Now I have difficulties to understand what you mean,  going for  higher resolution is that a myth? or not good?

Mikael, the megapickle myth says that megapickles are all that contribute to a camera's image quality. It says that an 18 megapickle 1/2.3" P&S camera like the Sony WX150 produces images 160% sharper than an 11 megapickle full frame camera like the original 1Ds.

It is, in short, the exact same "stuff and nonsense," as Joe Biden might put it, that everybody arguing with me has been spewing.

Cheers,

b&

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #147 on: January 24, 2013, 09:19:24 PM »
hope this helps:

http://www.minasi.com/photos/dslrmag/
Quote
Thus, if we were taking telephoto pictures of, say, birds in a nest, then the 30D would provide a somewhat better image than would the 5D.

This is only true in the rare case where you're so distance limited that you're cropping even on the 30D. And, in that case, you're no longer comparing 135 to APS-C, but rather two sensors of effectively the same size of something rather smaller than even APS-C -- and the two same-sized sensors have different resolutions. It should therefore be no surprise that the higher-resolution sensor of the same physical size produces sharper images.

But when you're not distance-limited, when you can fill the frame with your subject with a lens suited to the format -- such as when you've got a 300 f/2.8 on the 30D and a 500 f/4 on the 5D -- the 5D is going to produce substantially better results. That's even true in (most) instances where the 135 format camera has fewer megapickles than the APS-C camera.

Quote
Basically with the large pixels of Full Frame cameras can get a wide dynamic range which of course means a lower contrast and at the sake of finer details but the pixel sizes on APS-C we get a narrower dynamic range which means higher contrast and also finer details.  It's exactly like choosing ASA back in the film days, slower ASA speeds (lower number) means sharper image but less sensative to light and faster ASA (higher number) means low light at the sake of fine detail sharpness.

Erm...the point you're missing is that the exact same film in a larger format camera produces sharper images. Not only that, coarsely-grained film in a large format camera still produces sharper images than fine-grained film in a small format camera.

And you're also missing the point that the exact same principle holds true today with digital. Sure, to keep costs down, manufacturers don't use the same extreme pixel densities in their larger format cameras as in the small ones. But, if they were, you'd get the double benefit of both larger format size and higher-resolution sensors.

Once again, there are two variables: format size and sensor resolution (aka "megapickles"). And, of the two, format size is generally more important to sharpness than sensor resolution -- though, of course, sufficient disparities between the two can eventually tip the scales the other way, as we're finally starting to see the best and newest of the APS-C cameras catching up with the oldest of the 135 cameras.

Cheers,

b&
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 09:23:04 PM by TrumpetPower! »

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #147 on: January 24, 2013, 09:19:24 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #148 on: January 24, 2013, 09:21:50 PM »
Now I have difficulties to understand what you mean,  going for  higher resolution is that a myth? or not good?

Mikael, the megapickle myth says that megapickles are all that contribute to a camera's image quality. It says that an 18 megapickle 1/2.3" P&S camera like the Sony WX150 produces images 160% sharper than an 11 megapickle full frame camera like the original 1Ds.

It is, in short, the exact same "stuff and nonsense," as Joe Biden might put it, that everybody arguing with me has been spewing.

Cheers,

b&

More megapixels = better picture quality,better tonal transitions and less estimation errors and jaggies, easier to correct CA etc .  Here, a discussion, read John Sheehy, Eric Fossum , the father of the active cmos , this subject has been discussed many times http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/37445608

If all else is equal, yes.

But the whole subject of the thread is format size, not megapickles -- and it takes a metric fuckton of megapickles to surpass a change in format size.

b&

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #149 on: January 24, 2013, 09:30:41 PM »
What all else?

Specifically, in this case, format size.

But one can also imagine all sorts of other technological improvements independent of pixel density. Improved signal processing, capturing multiple wavelengths per photosite (like the Foveon), that sort of thing. Perhaps even an hybrid optical solution with another element in the body in the place of the focal plane that magnifies the image onto an oversized sensor.

Any of those sorts of things could conceivably result in a sensor with a certain number of megapickles that outperforms one with the same or even more megapickles.

Thus, the caveat. If everything is identical between two sensors except for the megapickle count, the one with the megapickle count will win. But if any of a number of other factors is in favor of the sensor with fewer megapickles, you'd have to examine how all the variables add up to figure out which actually wins.

And the most common of those factors, and the one which almost always trumps megapickles by a lot, is format size.

b&

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Re: Is Full Frame sharper than APS-C? My answer here
« Reply #149 on: January 24, 2013, 09:30:41 PM »