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Archive 2011 · What drives high ISO performance?
  
 
bigbluebear
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p.1 #1 · What drives high ISO performance?


A general rule is that the larger the sensor, the better high ISO performance you will get. Thus, FF cameras generally have better high ISO performance than crop sensor cameras. However besides sensor size, what drives high ISO performance? Is it changes in the sensor hardware, software algorithms applied, or the processor chip?

I believe it's advancements in the sensor itself since I believe software is taken out of the equation if you shoot in raw.

To make it canon related, I'm just trying to figure out why Nikon performs better than Canon in high ISO (or so they say).

Edited on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:46 PM · View previous versions



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:36 PM
eskimochaos
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p.1 #2 · What drives high ISO performance?


Sensor design, readout electronics, electronic shielding and grounding etc etc. I'm hoping has some sort of whitepaper link regarding CMOS sensor design.

FWIW, read noise at high ISO's is less than low ISO's.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:41 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #3 · What drives high ISO performance?


datousteve wrote:
... I believe software is taken out of the equation if you shoot in raw.


I prefer to shoot while fully clothed.

I think that the absolute size of the pixels, or photo receptors, is an important factor. That's why the full frame sensors tend to lead for high ISO performance. It takes a while for the production facilities to make the newer, higher resolution (i.e. smaller) pixels on CF bodies in the full frame size. It's all a matter of engineering. The physics was done many years ago.

P.S. My 1DIV works OK at high ISO.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:46 PM
 

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skibum5
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p.1 #4 · What drives high ISO performance?


jcolwell wrote:
I think that the absolute size of the pixels, or photo receptors, is an important factor. That's why the full frame sensors tend to lead for high ISO performance.


but don't some of the little P&S actually beat the DSLR sensors per area (a few years back at least)?



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:49 PM
Dave_EP
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p.1 #5 · What drives high ISO performance?


Nikon tends to also have a higher base ISO (200) - so you already have a 1 stop advantage. A base ISO of 200 does NOT mean that it's equal to the Canon noise at ISO 200 like most people think.

If you need to go slower you can always add ND filters but making a camera go faster in situations where you CAN'T add light (not allowed) is something many photographers need - hence the desire for great high ISO performance.




Dec 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Dave_EP
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p.1 #6 · What drives high ISO performance?


jcolwell wrote:
I think that the absolute size of the pixels, or photo receptors, is an important factor. That's why the full frame sensors tend to lead for high ISO performance.


skibum5 wrote:
but don't some of the little P&S actually beat the DSLR sensors per area (a few years back at least)?


Yeah, but so did DSLRs Put a Canon 1D (4MP) next to a 1D4 and see which one has better low light performance. New developments in sensors have helped a LOT.



Dec 29, 2011 at 10:54 PM





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