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03-03-2008, 11:12 AM   #1
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pixel size? what gives?

I hear your endless debate on the amount of pixels, but I've also heard people mentioning the desire for bigger pixels. I'm not familiar with this. What's the difference?

03-03-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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A biger pixel captures more light than a smaller one, so the image will be more clean, without noise. That's why the full frames cameras don't have so much noise on high iso, they have big pixels placed on an larger area.
03-03-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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You can check out a more technical explanation here:

QPcard - Dynamic range and pixel size

Basically, you will get less ISO noise and higher dynamic range (less clipping).
03-03-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
I hear your endless debate on the amount of pixels, but I've also heard people mentioning the desire for bigger pixels. I'm not familiar with this. What's the difference?
there are two discussions going around, one for increased Mega Pixles the other for full frame sensors.

There are two different approaches to increasing the Mega Pixles, the first is to retain the same sensor size and just put bigger sensors, this is what is pushing the full frame club (dare I call it that) the other approach for increasing the Mega Pixle count is to keep the same image sensor size and make the individual sensors smaller.

The problem is, as individual sensors become smaller, the noise that the sensor increases, this is especially apparent at high ISO. Noise also increases with temperature.

The full frame club is pushing for full frame because the pictures would have less noise if each sensor was bigger, compared to the same Mega Pixle count from a smaller sensor. This is especially useful for shots that are done at low light

What you should expect is that for each new generation of sensor, the noise should reduce (for a given sensor size). Manufacturers are at present taking advantage of this by increasing the MP count, but soon that will taper off, and the emphasis will be to retain the same MP count and push image quality, especially at low light (High ISO).

03-03-2008, 11:36 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. Lowell, good explanation. I'm for the larger pixels. I don't need to print huge images......but I do need less noisy ones
03-03-2008, 12:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
Thanks everyone. Lowell, good explanation. I'm for the larger pixels. I don't need to print huge images......but I do need less noisy ones
I think the standard will be set by the K20D at 14 MP. If new sensors can work on noise, I would take that over increased MP count from 14.

I already feel the K10D is actually good enough in many areas, and that is why I have not gone out to get a K20 yet. I waited 6 new model releases between *istD and K10D, and I need more clicks on the odometer before I go for my 3rd body (hell I still use the first one from time to time)
03-04-2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think the standard will be set by the K20D at 14 MP. If new sensors can work on noise, I would take that over increased MP count from 14.

I already feel the K10D is actually good enough in many areas, and that is why I have not gone out to get a K20 yet. I waited 6 new model releases between *istD and K10D, and I need more clicks on the odometer before I go for my 3rd body (hell I still use the first one from time to time)
I skipped all the digital models before the K10D. A matter of having the money. It wasn't the camera so much as the lenses. I have grown accustomed to the field of view of my 24-90 on film, and it was not wide enough at times here in the Rockies. So I needed not only to have the digital SLR, but also the moola to spring for at least 16mm focal length, and preferably shorter. I love my 12-24 for that, but find the 16-50 is my walk around lens most of the time. I find the noise level at high ISO in the k10d beats film hands down, so I don't complain about it.
03-04-2008, 06:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I skipped all the digital models before the K10D. A matter of having the money. It wasn't the camera so much as the lenses. I have grown accustomed to the field of view of my 24-90 on film, and it was not wide enough at times here in the Rockies. So I needed not only to have the digital SLR, but also the moola to spring for at least 16mm focal length, and preferably shorter. I love my 12-24 for that, but find the 16-50 is my walk around lens most of the time. I find the noise level at high ISO in the k10d beats film hands down, so I don't complain about it.
I can understand both points here.

When I bought the *istD, the 18-35 was not wide enough on the small sensor (I had a 24 mm film lens and felt it was not wide enough either), but by luck, the 18-35 was a full frame lens, (same one that shipped with the *ist). It worked very well on my PZ-1 so I did some digital some film for 3 years. I was lucky that I already had a ton of pentax compatible lenses, so there was not an issue there, and since I like wild life shots also, the crop factor was a benefit for me.

As far as noise, I agree 100%, and have made the point too many times already, that anyone who has pushed tri-x 400 to 3200 or ektachrome 400 to 1600 already knows that even the oldest of pentax DSLRs, the *istD has film beat.

03-04-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
As far as noise, I agree 100%, and have made the point too many times already, that anyone who has pushed tri-x 400 to 3200 or ektachrome 400 to 1600 already knows that even the oldest of pentax DSLRs, the *istD has film beat.
In 1962/3 I took Tri-X shots in Juvenile B hockey rinks. I pushed it to 3200 in a barracks sink. A flash bulb the size of a 40 watt light bulb gave just enough light for my Tak 135/3.5 to make the grain the limiting factor rather than the motion blur. One limitation on my shooting was that I had to make sure the players were not looking at me when that bulb went off. It would have stopped the game!
03-04-2008, 10:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
In 1962/3 I took Tri-X shots in Juvenile B hockey rinks. I pushed it to 3200 in a barracks sink. A flash bulb the size of a 40 watt light bulb gave just enough light for my Tak 135/3.5 to make the grain the limiting factor rather than the motion blur. One limitation on my shooting was that I had to make sure the players were not looking at me when that bulb went off. It would have stopped the game!
How did your barracks mates appreciate being locked out of the bathroom for the 30 minutes or so that it takes to push tri-x to 3200???

You must have been really popular

By the way, did your flash bulb melt the ice??? I would have thought so
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