A thought - why 1.6 Crop sensors wont survive

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Innocence, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

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    Not to start a flame fest, but....haha i was studying, and then I had a [dodgy] brainwave.

    why 1.6x crop sensor cameras wont live long.

    Because of the megapixel to sensor size ratio.
    its already reaching (reached?!) it's optimum, and for there to be better resolution, the physical sensor has to increase!

    Ok that's it.
    Thought I'd jsut tell you guys cos you're my only friends . :lmao:
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's a good theory...many people have said the same.

    Although, on the other hand...the megapixel to sensor size ratio (I think they call that pixel pitch)...is much higher on digi-cams....and those are going strong. They have 8 MP digi-cams with very small sensors, sure the noise is bad at higher ISO...but people still buy them.

    It's obvious (to us anyway) that bigger sensors are better...but (AFAIK) bigger sensors are still much, much more expensive to manufacture. The mid sized (APS-C) (1.6x crop) sensors are cheaper to manufacture and sell very well. Many people thought that those sensors were doomed...but then Canon has made several EF-S lenses...subsequently, other companies are making plenty of lenses for that format...so there will plenty of lenses that only use these sensors.

    The mega pixel race seems to have slowed a bit...for a while...it went from 3MP to 6 to 8 to 10....very quickly. The reality of it...6 to 8 megapixels on a C sized sensor is good enough to make fairly large prints...so do we really need more pixels? Sure, we want more...but do we need them?

    At the same time...other improvements in technology are making noise less of a problem.

    I'd like to see other improvements in sensor technology...like increased dynamic range....and even less noise at high ISO.

    This is what I think will happen. Right now (in the '35mm' digital SLR market)...Canon is the king of 'full size' sensors...and they charge an arm and a leg for a 5D or a 1 series camera....because they can. Once Nikon or someone else brings a competitive full frame sensor...Canon will be forced to drop the price...which will be good news for all of us.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One significant advantage of the smaller-than-35mm sensor size is that, when they are used with lenses for 35mm cameras, you are using the sweet spot center of the lens so all that business of corner sharpness and light falloff simply disappears because the image circle is significantly larger than the frame.

    The main advantage of the 35mm sized sensor as I see it is that it allows the photographer to use his existing collection of wide angle lenses from 35mm cameras - no small issue to be sure. But it is an issue that will become less important as time goes on simply because so many of those lenses will be replaced eventually. I don't think the image quality issues are as important as that. The top end cameras all seem to perform similarly regardless of sensor size. As Mike said, the resolution is there to equal 35mm as it is on most digitals.

    If I could have bought a Nikon digital with 35mm sized sensor a couple of years ago I would have jumped on it. Since then, however, I've sold all my 35mm wide angle lenses so I don't really care any more. The 12-24 f4 zoom does a dandy job on the digital and is almost as good as the wide angle primes I had in the 35mm days.
     
  4. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    While I'm just starting out, pretty much everything I buy is based on the smaller sensors. 'Digital only' lenses for example. It's going to be hard to tell guys like me, and the many others like me, that all of a sudden our lenses are all junk unless we want to be stuck with old technology. You can use a full frame lens with a smaller sensor but not the other way around...

    That alone tells me that the smaller sensors will likely be around for quite some time. Also as for your 'optimal' pixel to size ratio, I'm a bit of a techno evangelist. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years there were super clean, 16MP sesors in the smaller format. Or at the very least similar MP counts with much better overall image quality.


    --Illah
     
  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Ok... I am about to throw a bit-o'-mud here, but here it goes:

    This is getting into the small-med-large format issue. The reality is that regardless of the Mega-pix count, size in this case really does matter. The larger the image-capture area, the closer to real life 1:1 ratio you get.

    I have fought this issue before, and as I previously stated, I left another forum because of the sheer arrogant attitude of the respondents.

    The mechanics behind this is very complicated, and would literally take days to explain.

    1:I deal with Digital Ortho-Imagery on a daily bases (Cartographer not Photogrammetry). So I have to deal with image distortion and its effect on my work. This distortion is a result of many factors including image capture area, camera length, lens size, lens construction, purity of glass, distance from subject, etc. An example of this is to fire up Google Earth and look at the lower resolution images they use. For this discussion, the image area is the key. The larger the area, the more information on one spot can be recorded accurately.

    2: As FMW stated, the sweet spot is paramount in an APS sized sensor. The glass of most 35mm cameras will effectively work as the sweet spot on a smaller sensor, thus giving you less distortion. (See link on pin cushion and barreling). http://www.vanwalree.com/optics/distortion.html.

    3: Though this distortion is not entirely unwanted at times, the big point is that smaller sensors do not give you a full amount of accurate imaging vs. a 35mm, or med. format system. This because the area is still smaller in relation to your subject, and thus higher distortion occurs. The lens has to be engineered to (forgive me for the use of this please) ‘squeeze’ your subject onto the image area. (Focal distance).

    4: However; Even though you are at a size that doesn’t make too much difference to the average user or viewer, I do believe that most high end pros will want to go back to the more traditional 35mm system. I would be so bold as to say that Nikon will eventually play catch-up with Cannon on this, and that many of the pros will just migrate back to the full sized sensor for the sheer quality issue.
     
  6. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Why do Megapixels have to increase? Unless you're shooting for huge prints and posters (in which case you should be using medium format or large format anyhow), 10MP is more than enough for anything you'll ever do. All they have to work on now is Noise Reduction and Color Reproduction, both of which they're still making great progress on in APS sensors. You tell me which takes better pictures - a 5D or a D2Xs. At the moment, Canon's full-frame offerings get their butts kicked by APS sensors at the same price.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    but you miss one thing there ... that in order to get a similar effective optical (as in not sensor-issues related) resolution on the smaller sensor, the lens needs actually a higher resolution for the smaller sensor. That pretty much compensates with the fact you are in the sweet spot. In other words the sweet spot on the smaller sensor is less sweet than on the larger sensor, but it covers a larger area on the smaller.
     
  8. Johno

    Johno TPF Noob!

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    Bigger Sensor = Less Pixel Density = Less noise = More Surface area = More room for improvement.

    Further Development of 1.6x sensors is like shoe horning a v8 into a Volkswagen. It's alot easier to cram one in a lincoln ;). (IMHO of course!)
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, Soocom, you got me cruising the internet looking for bigger sensors. I found a very appealing one in the Hasselblad D3. 36X48 mm sensor with 39 megapixels. I'm willing to bet that baby can make some serious images. Hmmm. Maybe I should reconsider putting new siding and windows on my house.
     
  10. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    fmw......On the Blad, if your single, I'de say go for it.
    If your married...... your dead!
     
  11. birdstrike

    birdstrike Propera Explora!

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    Or want to crop. . . The 1.6 cameras will always have their place in the world between full frame and point-and-shoot. Full frame (and associated lenses) is still the best compromise between portability and resolution.
     
  12. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Portability? Tell that to someone trying to find a 300mm f/2.8 lens. APS lenses are MUCH smaller and lighter, and the 1.5/1.6x boost on the telephoto side can save a fortune.
     

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