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Thread: Digital Camera Sensor sizes

  1. #1

    Default Digital Camera Sensor sizes

    I am just curious, for film, there is a difference in quality between medium format and 35mm format because of the physical size of the film.

    However, for digital, 35mm DSLRs are slowly increasing their mega pixel count which is getting close to Medium format digital backs. Lets pretend that Canon comes up with a 30MP full-frame digital SLR... and compare it with a 22MP medium format digital back... although the physical size of the DSLR sensor might be smaller, but since the pixel count is higher, wouldn't the images be superior?

    Its just something that crossed my mind... anybody has thoughts about it?

    BTW, anybody know of any Canon DSLRs that would be supersceding the Canon 20D or the Mark IIs in the near future?

  2. #2


    larger is better. Pixel count is only one of many things that matter. The 6MP medium format digital back from a year or 2 ago will take the current full frame DSLR sensor to the cleaners. Then, as technology improves, the larger back theoratically will always have lower noise.

    Another comment re pixel counts, the current pixel war is definately marching down the wrong track, and is a marketing thing. Pixel is important, but there are many other factors. I would stay at the current 8MP for the 20D, but will kill for one that has a 16 or better 24, and even better 32 bit sensor. Then next a full frame sensor, much less noise ... however, pixel count is sexy, easy to market, sell more cameras.
    my portfolio

  3. #3


    interesting.... so assuming a medium digital back and a digital SLR are tested side-by-side and both have the same megapixel count... the medium back would have lower noise. Apart from noise, what other attributes does the medium format have an advantage over?

  4. #4


    more DOF, higher quality, essentially the same things that 4x5 film has over 35mm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Better resolution as well..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003


    The Canon 1DS Mark2 already out resolve most lenses. Packing more pixels into a 35mm full frame sensor is unlikely to give any more detail than what the lens can provide.

  7. #7


    Law of diminishing returns more pixels is cramped on a given area, the pixel ability to collect the light declines.
    More is better but up to certain point for a given area.
    Every wonder why some cameras doesn't offer ISO100 or lower equivalents ?

    Sensor quality is much more complex than just pixels but as of now, the size of the sensor stills carry a high weightage in influencing its quality.

    Wonder what happens if the size gets too big

  8. #8


    Every pixel have a macro lens infront to capture light from the lens,when more pixel is squeez into the sensor,the smaller the lens,than less light is reaching the sensor,as conpare the 1Ds MK II against the 22MP digital back,more light is reaching the digital back's sensor,noise is much lower than the 1Ds MK II.

    This was told by a pto photography friend,if I am wrong,pls correct me.

  9. #9


    great info guys, thanks for enlightening me....

  10. #10


    Popular photography demonstrated with real photos that denser pixel count may be better in certain situations, especially when it is complicated with the crop factor. In short, they proved that if the image cast on the sensor is the same size for sensors with different densities, the image caught with the sensor with more densely packed pixels will produce a sharper image...did anyone read this?


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