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by Jorge Córdoba

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96

One major difference is that a FF camera produces a depth of field that's around 1.3 stops shallower than an APS-C camera for the same subject & framing. This is most important when you have the aperture as wide as possible, e.g. for portraiture. To replicate the look of a 50 f/1.4 lens you'd have to use something like a 31 f/0.9 lens, which doesn't as ...


37

Quick summary Yes, bigger pixels do improve performance all else being equal, and Apple is doing a good thing by focusing on sensor size. However in this case the increase in size is so slight that the difference will be negligible, probably not living up to the level of improvement you may expect from their marketing. What does bigger pixels mean? This ...


36

There are two reasons why an ISO is not made part of the 'normal' range: It is considered a non-trivial drop in quality and you do not want users complaining about its performance. In other words, if the quality difference between ISO 12800 and 6400 is stronger than the one from 3200 to 6400. Note that there may be more changes than simply more noise, ...


35

You've asked several different questions, so here goes: How effective is it? It is a lot more effective in cameras that have it than those that don't. Not trying to be a smarty-pants, but since most manufacturers adopted automatic self cleaning systems, the number of complaints regarding dusty sensors went down by several orders of magnitude. See labnut's ...


34

Both have strengths and weaknesses - some of the top ones involve video mode (or live view mode). Vertical streaking In live view or video mode, CCD sensors exhibit vertical streaking, where bright points of light in the frame, even at the edge, can create a vertical bright line from the top to the bottom of the frame. This is caused by current from a ...


33

From a purely theoretical point of view: more megapixels good. People often talk about how high megapixel sensors were now outresolving most lenses, thus there was no point going higher unless using the very best glass. This is not always true. System resolution is the product of lens resolution and sensor resolution. Thus if you improve one, your system ...


32

Digitally blown highlight is worse than negative film because transition between blown and light areas is quite harsh. Slide film is only slightly better than digital in rendering details in overblown highlights. You don't even need high magnification to see the digital image blowing promptly plain white, while the negative film gives more gradual fading of ...


32

Nothing Special There is nothing particularly special about ISO 1600, although in some cases ISO settings beyond 1600 have incurred less effective and efficient ways of amplifying the image signal. When you set ISO on a camera, that is simply instructing the camera to change the maximum saturation point of the sensor, from which the signal will be ...


31

Remember that full frame is not explicitly better than APS-C, it's just 'different'. It's perceived as better because shallow depth of field is very trendy, and that's the advantage of full frame, and for the portrait work I do it's invaluable, and even more important is the fact that I can shoot a scene at f2.8 and have it sharp, if I shoot the same scene ...


28

Firstly, the number of wells on the sensor has no bearing on where you can focus or 'how much' you can focus on. Out of focus light is still light hitting the sensor. Simply put, you have shallower depth of field with a full-frame sensor because you have to get closer to the subject (or zoom in) in order to fill the frame. Note that in your example it says ...


26

Basically all "expanded" means is that this is not part of the standard recommended range. Often the expanded ISOs are implemented in software rather than hardware (which is bad) With ISO 50 you might be getting an overexposed ISO 80 (the native, unamplified ISO) so could end up with less dynamic range. This is done by metering for ISO 50 but actually ...


26

Digital camera sensor format-size names have their roots in television camera tubes. These were measured in inches diagonal, but for various practical reasons, the entire circle isn't used. So, from way back then, there's a concept called "the rule of 16", which says that the usable, actual sensor diagonal for a 1" tube is 16mm. (Yes, it mixes imperial and ...


23

I would say it really depends on if you have a SLR, DSLR or P&S (Point-and-Shoot) - and maybe even possibly it more (or less) depends if the sensor is CCD or CMOS. My own experiences says it doesn't occur with P&S cameras - ever. I have 4 cheap P&S (Canon PowerShot) cameras which I have used exclusively over the years for shooting time-lapse ...


23

It's very important to realize that it is not the high ISO setting itself that results in noisy image, it's that fact that using a high ISO setting means you capture very little light. Light is made up of photons which are randomly emitted by a lightsource. When the light levels are low or the exposure time very short then the number of photons you get will ...


23

The DxO Mark scores are misleading, but that doesn't mean the gap in performance isn't real! Several Nikon bodies (D800, D600 many of the D3xxx and D5xxx series) are using Sony Exmor sensors which feature a cutting edge ADC/read noise reduction system to achieve massive gains in dynamic range compared to Canon sensors, which are designed and fabricated in ...


22

Taking direct photos of the sun can destroy your camera, not to mention your eyes. It's exactly as you are afraid, the lens will act as a magnifier and multiply the suns intensity right on your cameras internals. What this effects can vary. Long exposures against the sun can cause permanent damage to your camera's sensor, but besides that, your camera's ...


22

The mirror has to be a lot bigger for 4x5, particularly at 90 degrees to the axis the mirror flips about. The shutter also gets bigger in the direction it has to move (there's a reason the shutter moves up and down not left to right). This means a slower moving mirror and shutter. Another consequence of the bigger mirror is the lens mount has to be further ...


22

It is somehow true! For a moment, forget about the live view and consider the case of long exposure. While long exposing, the sensor heats up and this will cause the infamous background noise. So in reality sensor over heating can cause the noise and what happens is that in low light, warmed pixels detect light when there is none. (This last sentence is very ...


20

Yes, digital sensors are indeed sensitive to UV light, as well as a considerable amount of the infrared spectrum. Most digital sensors are equipped with multi-coated, multi-layered filters that are designed to filter out the extended ranges of UV and IR. Generally speaking, filtered digital sensors are sensitive to a much broader range of light than the ...


20

The answer will most probably change in time. Current top cameras are said to capture around 10-11 stops at base ISO, less at higher ISOs, see DPReview tests of Nikon D3X for example. As a sidenote - you won't probably like the pictures that are processed to measure the maximum dynamic range, they'll simply lack contrast you'd expect from "normal" picture. ...


20

Cost. Every price raise results in fewer sales. Size. Cooling has to fit somewhere, those handgrips are already full of batteries... Weight. There's a reason P&S are popular and not lugging around a brick is one of them =) Battery Life. Cooling costs energy, lost energy means fewer shots in each battery pack. Minor Improvement: only shots pushing ...


19

Oh man. Yes lasers can and will damage your camera's sensor! Your laser pointer is probably weak enough, but I still wouldn't risk it. Light painting (as you were doing), is okay, so long as you're not pointing your laser directly into the lens, however, if you plan on doing more light painting, I would switch to an LED or incandescent source instead of a ...


19

Its easiest to understand the difference when both the larger and smaller sensor have the same megapixels. If we have a couple hypothetical cameras, one with a smaller APS-C sensor and one with a Full Frame sensor, and assume both have 8 megapixels, the difference boils down to pixel density. An APS-C sensor is about 24x15mm, while a Full Frame (FF) sensor ...


18

A rocket blower can be worse than not cleaning at all. it inhales air from your environment - which can be dustier than your sensor. I use Pec Pad (pecpads) and Eclipse cleaning solution, with a sensor swipe. This link has all of these products in the search. It works well to remove spots. A tip - take a picture of a clear blue sky at f/22 to identify ...


18

Please note that the following is a simplification of how things actually work Background: In digital photography, a light pattern is focused by the lens onto the image sensor. The image sensor is made up of millions of tiny light-sensitive sensors whose measurements are combined to form a 2-dimential array of pixels. Each tiny sensor produces a single ...


18

Film has always had a more nonlinear response than digital, due to the different processes of exciting chemicals to change states, and collecting electrical charge on a solid state device. Another reason is that film contains grains of different sizes which respond differently to light, whereas most digital sensors are homogeneous. What you ideally want is ...


18

Camera sensors (see this article for an overview) consist of a very large number of individual sensor elements, each of which can be regarded as a bucket that collects photons. These buckets have a maximum number of photons they can capture before they become full, which is called being saturated (this is when the highlights clip). This maximum capacity is ...


17

It depends where you draw the line. Many "pro" level cameras use full-frame sensors, which are about twice as big in area as the APS-C sensors common in lower (including mid-range) dSLRs. This gives an advantage, because surface area is the best way to get more light, and more light is never bad. So, more expensive cameras will have an image quality ...


17

If I understand your question correctly, stopping the aperture down to its narrowest ensures that light is focused as tightly as possible. If you take a photograph at a wider aperture, excess non-incident light will still make it to the sensor, and mitigate the effects of sensor dust. To put that in more precise technical terms...with a narrow aperture, the ...



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