Old 08-31-2010, 05:08 AM   #51
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Only one thing I know - I have a Nikon D3s at 12.1 mega pixels and I can shoot at some insane ISO's with no visable noise. Just got back from a trip to Canada and shot a number of handheld available light photos inside some of the RR built resorts in Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise and I am amazed at the results. Sure it would be nice to have more resolution to clog up my hard drives, but for me, I will give up resolution for high ISO performance in a moment.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:38 AM   #52
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Please point to the reviews saying, for example, that the 7D provides noisier images than the 50D.
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-Reviews? How about one from me. I have looked, and converted literally thousands of raw images from a multitude of cameras doing Photoshop work for magazines, (Mostly for Kalmbach's Locomotive), and I am here to tell you a lot of MP on a croped sensor does not give you the same quality of pixels as a full-frame sensor. While cropped sensors are improving, they have a long way to go to catch up to a full frame sensor. I had a lot of hope for the 7D, but compared with a full-frame, it is simply left in the dust. I actually think the 40D was better than the 50D or 7D in this area. Remember, all pixels are not created equal.
I did ask about the 7D vs 50D. But I hear you, and I will add you view to what I have read.

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I agree wholly, and have personally found the following:
5D Mark II > 5D > 7D > 40D/50D
Agree re Mike. Re your preferences, it isn't clear whether you are referring to noise, but if so then you are actually supporting what my reading has been, that the higher-pixel-count so smaller pixel 7D is better than the 50D. (Which is not to say that if the 7D had fewer/larger pixels, it would not be even better.)

On the other hand, both of you are saying the full frame cameras (larger pixels) are better on noise than the crop sensor cameras. OK
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:59 AM   #53
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I own a 5d and a 40d, and while I love the 5d, I rarely use it for RR photography because of the slow FPS, shutter lag and auto focus shortcomings. Basically you have to use center point only, the rest suck in my opinion. It gives absolutely outstanding IQ however. I tend to use the 40d when shooting trains. One of the things that fascinated me about the 7d was the new AF system which apparently is awesome.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #54
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I was remiss in writing out my latest, I blame the early hour.

The issue is pixel density. It is irrelevant what a camera with a different size of sensor does with respect to noise. Larger sensors capture images with less noise, and that is what we see with the 5d/5d2 vs 7d/50d. That is completely expected, larger sensor = more light captured = less noise.

The issue is whether changing the pixel density on a sensor of the same size affects the level of noise in the final image on the final medium. This is an image-level comparison, not a pixel-level comparison.

This is an apples-to-apples comparison that cannot be made exactly because (to my knowledge) no manufacturer makes two sensors of identical sizes and identical technologies but using different pixel density.

Put differently, the relevant question is whether a 12mp 7d will do better on noise than an 18mp 7d.

My reading is that in fact it will not and that the only way to improve noise performance is to a) increase the size of the sensor, or b) improve the sensor technology - without reducing the number of pixels on the sensor of the same size. I have not seen evidence that c) reduce the number of pixels on the sensor - is effective.

Toward that end, what do we know? We all agree that 5d > 7d, but that is not controversial. We have an opinion from matt that 5d2>5d and 7d>50d. This says that b) holds, even though the number of pixels on the sensors increased. So c) may or may not be true, but regardless b) offsets it. We have the opinion of Mike V, who first compares crop to full frame, about which we do not disagree (sorry for being unclear earlier). Mike then makes the additional claim that 40d>50d and 40d>7d. That may or may not be true, that is one opinion, I have seen opposite opinions expressed. For now I add that opinion to the mix but I retain the view that noise performance is improved with the more recent crop bodies.

But furthermore, I see no compelling body of evidence as of yet that reducing pixel count on a sensor improves noise performance. For now I will continue to believe that only the sensor size and the technology matters. I will continue to believe that releasing a new camera with the same sensor size and technology, but with fewer pixels, will not result in better noise control.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:38 PM   #55
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Agree re Mike. Re your preferences, it isn't clear whether you are referring to noise, but if so then you are actually supporting what my reading has been, that the higher-pixel-count so smaller pixel 7D is better than the 50D. (Which is not to say that if the 7D had fewer/larger pixels, it would not be even better.)

On the other hand, both of you are saying the full frame cameras (larger pixels) are better on noise than the crop sensor cameras. OK
I was referring solely to noise, but the image quality off of full-frame cameras is always fantastic.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:45 PM   #56
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The issue is pixel density.
More Pixels make for smaller ones and more amplified for less light getting in the pixel. FF has big pixels and lets in more light so less amplified and less noise. 1.6 sized with less pixels are less amplified and offer less noisy shots.
The program and setting can add or make less noise to.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:33 PM   #57
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More Pixels make for smaller ones and more amplified for less light getting in the pixel. FF has big pixels and lets in more light so less amplified and less noise. 1.6 sized with less pixels are less amplified and offer less noisy shots.
The program and setting can add or make less noise to.
And I am saying I believe this to be false - widely believed, to be sure, but false. You are right that individual smaller pixels are noisier at the level of the pixel. At the level of the image, however, accounting for there being more of those pixels that are individually noisy when using the sensor with higher pixel density, there is no effect on overall noise.

The benefit of full frame is not the size of the individual pixels but rather the larger sensor capturing more light in aggregate. Put those larger pixels on a smaller sensor (so have fewer pixels on the sensor of that overall size) and you should not expect better noise performance. That is my take on all the material I have read.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:18 AM   #58
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I have owned several full frame cameras over the past 6 years ( Canon 1Ds Mark II, 5D, 5D Mark II, 1Ds Mark III) and they ALL beat image quality of the crop bodies I have owned (50D and 7D) by a considerable margin. Even the 1Ds Mark II (2004 release) images beat the crap out of the (2009 release) 7D images, particularly at higher ISO. As cinderpath indicated, it is not even close. Crop bodies are a long way from competing with full frame goodness in terms of noise, particularly at ISOs higher than 400.

Having said that, I fully agree with JRMDC, that the marginally higher per-pixel noise of say a 18 MP 7D as compared to a 15 MP 50D is more than offset by the fact that each pixel accounts for a smaller fraction of the image and the resulting impact of the noise at the pixel level is lower. A 7D image reduced to 50D size is cleaner than an original 50D image.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:02 AM   #59
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I tell you what, after using my 5d, it's almost painful to use the 40d because I have gotten so used to the huge viewfinder. The crop viewfinders are so lacking.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:43 AM   #60
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I will say Troy, I too enjoy the larger viewfinder of my 35mm cameras over my crop camera.

In film days, 4x5 or 2 1/4 always beat 35mm in pure image quality. Ergo, it is the same thing that a full frame sensor beats a cropped one.

However, since cameras are merely tools, you pick the right tool for the job. Thus the 35mm camera worked better in certain situations than the bigger, slower film cameras. If I had a 1D, I'm sure I would fall under it's spell but also might fall over having to lug it around all day.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:51 AM   #61
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And I am saying I believe this to be false
Thats why I added camera settings In the edit. A lot depends on how the camera handles it, Yes the 7D is better then the 50D but until you see a FF shot at the same time made up my mind on this. I still think my 50D can keep up with all cameras with post processing. Canons DPP with fix most noises issues as in look at Craig Williams 800 ISO+- shots at night with a 50D.
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