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Author Topic: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?  (Read 4554 times)

jdramirez

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I know the argument with full frame v. crop is that you have a larger sensor so the individual sensor "pixels" aren't as close together and that allows for larger pixels and better low light performance.

So if that is true... do you think that with all the in camera processing we have today that anyone would consider a crop sensor that has full frame low light capabilities at 6400 iso?  8mp is still a decent amount of data and would allow for some cropping, though not as much as a 20+ mp sensor in good light.

I think there are too many people who wouldn't be willing to pay $500 for a camera with ONLY 8 mp. 
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 10:37:33 PM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance.  The 5DII and 20D have the same pixel pitch.

So, to answer your question...no.
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dgatwood

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 11:19:43 PM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance.  The 5DII and 20D have the same pixel pitch.

Depends on what you're looking at:

  • If you're looking at the entire picture scaled down, then yes, the total sensor area plays a role because you're binning multiple pixels together in a way that increases the effective pixel size.
  • If you're looking at a crop to the same number of megapixels, the total sensor area is irrelevant.  To the extent that the 5DMk2 has better low-light performance than the 20D under those circumstances, the difference is caused by better amplifiers, improvements in the sensitivity of individual subpixels, and other factors.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 11:26:17 PM »
Downsampling ≠ binning.  Binning is summing pixel outputs, which has differential effects on signal vs. noise.  Downsampling is averaging pixels, not summing them.

Pixel size does matter...but sensor size matters a lot more.
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jdramirez

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 11:28:09 PM »
Ok... I stepped into a conversation that I don't understand... and considering I started the conversation... I'm a touch chagrinned. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Pi

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 01:22:47 AM »
  • If you're looking at a crop to the same number of megapixels, [...]
Why would anybody be looking at that?

dgatwood

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 02:01:57 AM »
Downsampling ≠ binning.  Binning is summing pixel outputs, which has differential effects on signal vs. noise.  Downsampling is averaging pixels, not summing them.

True, it's not hardware binning, which means you don't get that extra read noise win.  That said, I've frequently seen the term binning used both for summing and averaging, both in hardware and software, but if you'd prefer to limit the term to hardware binning, that's fine by me.

The point I was trying to make is that if you take a 5DMk2 image and scale it down to the same size as a 20D image, each pixel on the 5DMk2 image came from a much larger area of silicon than each pixel in the 20D image, hence the SNR improvement from a larger sensor, if everything else is equal, comes from not doing an apples-to-apples comparison.  The fact that (AFAIK) folks can see real differences even when pixel peeping tells us that all else isn't equal.

With that said, I agree with you that no, there probably is little to no market for an 8MP camera with good ISO performance.  Read noise is getting better every day, and IIRC, the shot noise benefits of lower MP sensors can be achieved just as easily through simple downscaling.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 02:05:42 AM by dgatwood »

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 02:01:57 AM »

dgatwood

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 02:07:41 AM »
  • If you're looking at a crop to the same number of megapixels, [...]
Why would anybody be looking at that?

Why do people pixel peep?  :D

AlanF

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 02:33:24 AM »
The other argument for a crop sensor is extra reach, and it is often assumed to be x1.6 for APS-C. But, the 1.6 is for field of view.  What is important for reach in this case is pixel size, smaller pixels giving better spatial resolution.  An 8 MP crop has a 6.4 micron pixel, slightly larger than the 6.25 for the 5DIII. So the 8 MP crop has no advantage for wild life photographers as well as having lower IQ than FF.
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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 03:02:49 AM »
I know the argument with full frame v. crop is that you have a larger sensor so the individual sensor "pixels" aren't as close together and that allows for larger pixels and better low light performance.

So if that is true... do you think that with all the in camera processing we have today that anyone would consider a crop sensor that has full frame low light capabilities at 6400 iso?  8mp is still a decent amount of data and would allow for some cropping, though not as much as a 20+ mp sensor in good light.

I think there are too many people who wouldn't be willing to pay $500 for a camera with ONLY 8 mp.

An 8MP crop camera with today's tech would perform far worse than a current 5D3. It has about the same density (and even if it was say 4MP in this entire range of densities you don't gain THAT much, like you made an 8MP FF camera it would only do a little bit better at high iso than a 22MP one) anyway so all you'd do is lose 2.56x total light collecting surface area and even compared to a high density 18MP 7D it would only do a tiny bit better than if the same tech were used to make a new 18MP 7D2.

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 03:31:39 AM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance.  The 5DII and 20D have the same pixel pitch.

So, to answer your question...no.
Hi,
   I had to disagree... the iso performance of the sensor is base on the pixel size and the sensor technology, not the sensor size... 5DII have better ISO performance than 20D is due to the sensor technology and image processing advancement.

  For example, if I crop a 5D3 image to the same size as a crop sensor or I create a crop sensor mask and install in a 5D3 camera, will the iso performance suddenly become bad??

  Have a nice day.

Lawliet

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 03:51:37 AM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance. 

At least until you stop down for subject related reasons. Then the smaller aperture negates the difference and we're back at tech. advances on the sensels as such.

tpatana

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2013, 04:08:39 AM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance.  The 5DII and 20D have the same pixel pitch.

So, to answer your question...no.
Hi,
   I had to disagree... the iso performance of the sensor is base on the pixel size and the sensor technology, not the sensor size... 5DII have better ISO performance than 20D is due to the sensor technology and image processing advancement.

  For example, if I crop a 5D3 image to the same size as a crop sensor or I create a crop sensor mask and install in a 5D3 camera, will the iso performance suddenly become bad??

  Have a nice day.

What she said.

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2013, 04:08:39 AM »

AlanF

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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2013, 05:22:16 AM »
It's not the pixel size, it's the total sensor area that gives FF the better ISO performance.  The 5DII and 20D have the same pixel pitch.

So, to answer your question...no.
Hi,
   I had to disagree... the iso performance of the sensor is base on the pixel size and the sensor technology, not the sensor size... 5DII have better ISO performance than 20D is due to the sensor technology and image processing advancement.

  For example, if I crop a 5D3 image to the same size as a crop sensor or I create a crop sensor mask and install in a 5D3 camera, will the iso performance suddenly become bad??

  Have a nice day.

Your last sentence (before Have a nice day) is correct. But Neuro is writing about something very different. If you have the exactly the same image on the FF and crop (eg by standing 1.6x further away from the scene or by using a 1.6x shorter lens with the crop), then, all technologies being equal, you would get better signal to noise on the FF because its area is 2.56x greater and it gathers 2.56x more photons.
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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2013, 06:03:33 AM »
I think of the 40D as one of the best APS-C cameras in terms of IQ and usability of the camera itself. On the other hand I like the IQ the of 600D in good light (or with tripod "enabled") - not so much the buttons etc. of that camera ...

At the moment I would prefer a 32 Mpix APS-C camera which has a "clean RAW mode" with 8 Mpix consisting of quaduplets of 2 green, 1 red and 1 blue pixels:
 [1]   32 Mpix raw for standard scenery with lots of light or a tripod (if feasible).
 [2]   8 Mpix raw for low light and critical color conditions (monochrome light sources etc.)

In terms of FF I would prefer a 48 Mpix sensor with a 12 Mpix "clean RAW mode".

So in the end I don't think there is a market for an 8 MPix APS-C camera except ... it has a monochrome sensor with excellent iso performance (missing color filters) and the chance to do classical B/W photography with filters without the limitations of electronic filters in PP.
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Re: Is there a market for an 8mp crop body with excellent iso performance?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2013, 06:03:33 AM »