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[OP]
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Apr 24, 2012
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warpdrive wrote:
Dec 8th, 2014 11:48 pm
Ultimately yes.
The Panasonic should be pretty good in low light but the Nikon will be slightly better. In bright light the Nikon's larger sensor does give it better dynamic range (less chance of blown highlights).

The tradeoff is up to you of course, the sweet spot is different for everybody, that's why manufacturers keep churning out so many different form factors.
Really appreciate all the helpful advice. Small correction though. More like a nitpick maybe. :o It's not larger sensor that gives better dynamic range. It's larger pixels: http://www.dpreview.com/glossary/digita ... amic-range
But you are correct that Nikon would have larger pixels in this case.
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zaporozhets wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 12:06 am
Really appreciate all the helpful advice. Small correction though. More like a nitpick maybe. :o It's not larger sensor that gives better dynamic range. It's larger pixels.
I was using the term "larger sensor" loosely, it is all about pixel pitch technically.

But also the way the pixels are arranged can also affect low light. Back lit sensors can also give better DR as well. There's more factors that contribute to the sensor's performance than size.
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antaholics wrote:
Dec 8th, 2014 10:30 pm
No problem, I tried explaining as clearly as possible but it's a lot to digest and I'm sure there's places where I'm not very clear. I think Tony Northrup explains it pretty well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5zN6NV ... GQ7ZuDYyaD

F2.8 on a 1" sensor receives the same TOTAL amount of light as F5.04 on APS-C. Meaning if you shot a F2.8 shot on a 1" sensor and a F5.04 shot on APS-C, they should theoretically look very similar.

Edit: Tony also has a super super detailed and technical explanation should you have the time :P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtDotqLx6nA
+1 Tony's explanation is the best, and most concise without any "handwaving". It's all math and science.
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da_guy2 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 8:59 am
+1 Tony's explanation is the best, and most concise without any "handwaving". It's all math and science.
I really don’t like the way Tony is saying the companies are lying to you, it’s not that simple, but one has to understand what full frame equivalence really means to the performance of the camera and characteristics of the resulting picture

I prefer this article because it breaks down how full frame equivalence does or doesn’t matter comparing across camera systems.
http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-fram ... nt-matter/
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warpdrive wrote:
Dec 8th, 2014 10:52 pm
I wouldn't say the Nikon 18-200 is a very sharp lens. I've used that lens often on a 12 and 16MP body and it's fine, but when you strap it to a 24MP body, the limitations of its sharpness become pretty obvious. I wouldn't recommend that lens at all for landscape shots on that body, but if the OP is willing to swap in a prime, that is his best bet. OP if you're really interested in that lens, I've got one collecting dust I might be willing to unload.
Could you please elaborate more on why a higher MP body would negatively affect the lens sharpness?
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gontori wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 2:48 pm
Could you please elaborate more on why a higher MP body would negatively affect the lens sharpness?
It's not that it negatively effects sharpness, it's more that the lens just can't take full advantage of the 24mp sensor. According to DXOmark the 18-200 only has a sharpness rating of 8mp http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF- ... D7100__865 . So that means if you mount it on a camera with more than 8mp you wont see any advantage from the extra megapixels.
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da_guy2 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 3:05 pm
It's not that it negatively effects sharpness, it's more that the lens just can't take full advantage of the 24mp sensor. According to DXOmark the 18-200 only has a sharpness rating of 8mp http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF- ... D7100__865 . So that means if you mount it on a camera with more than 8mp you wont see any advantage from the extra megapixels.
Thanks for the link. That's literally an eyeopener here. According to their list of DX lenses, there is no point of having more than 18mp even with the best lens available.
http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Ratings/O ... ric-Scores
[OP]
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warpdrive wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 10:24 am
I really don’t like the way Tony is saying the companies are lying to you, it’s not that simple, but one has to understand what full frame equivalence really means to the performance of the camera and characteristics of the resulting picture

I prefer this article because it breaks down how full frame equivalence does or doesn’t matter comparing across camera systems.
http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-fram ... nt-matter/
Ouch, I was just patting myself on the back for finishing watching that Tonys video and feeling like a smarter photographer already and now you are saying that it's not that simple :-0
Thanks for the link :)
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The 18-200 lens was designed in the era of 12MP bodies (D70/D90 days), so if you are strapping it onto a newer high MP body, you’re not going to get anywhere near the resolution the sensor is capable of. You’re seeing the limitations on the lens that wasn’t apparent on the lower resolution body. It’s just not a very sharp lens. Your picture out of the 24MP body won’t look that much sharper than a 16MP body. If the OP is looking for sharper pictures, I would not recommend the 18-200. Basically a higher-resolution sensor needs higher-quality lenses to delivers its maximum image quality.

Secondly, there is the fact that the lens is slow at its telephoto end, it starts at f5.6. On most lenses, you want to go at least one stop down at least to get more sharpness out of the lens (never shoot wide open for most lenses). On a 24 MP body, the limit of diffraction will likely mean you start LOSING sharpness once you go beyond around f8 or higher. You are better off using a telephoto lens that starts as say, f/3.5 or f/4.5 and stop down from there to get maximum sharpness. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutor ... tion.shtml
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warpdrive wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 10:24 am
I really don’t like the way Tony is saying the companies are lying to you, it’s not that simple, but one has to understand what full frame equivalence really means to the performance of the camera and characteristics of the resulting picture

I prefer this article because it breaks down how full frame equivalence does or doesn’t matter comparing across camera systems.
http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-fram ... nt-matter/
Tony makes the point that the companies are lying to you because they post "full frame" focal length equivalents but not full frame aperture equivalents, so it looks like some of the point and shoots with a full frame equivalent of 28-400mm at F1.8-2.8 would take better pictures than a DSLR lens, when it is a complete sham. The same goes for M4/3 lenses with really low apertures.

The article compares newest Panasonic sensors with Canon's really really old sensors... and Canon's sensors are really crap to begin with. If you compare for example, the D5300 with a D810 (both similar age sensors from Nikon/Sony), the ISO scores are 2853 and 1338, which is a difference of 2.13x, much much closer to the 2.25x improvement due to sensor size.

pixel pitch also seems to have very little to do with dynamic range... the D4S has 16MP on a full frame sensor, which makes its pixels much bigger than say a D5300, but actually has less dynamic range. Canon sensors have even worse DR, while the D810 (36MP) has a whole 1.5EV more than the D4S (16MP):

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/TRshCRB.jpg[/IMG]


Also worth noting, just because the 18-200 only resolves 8MP on the D7100 (24MP), it doesn't mean that a 8MP camera will be able to get the same sharpness. For example, the D90 (12.9MP) only resolves 5MP on the same lens. Coincidentally, DxO measured the 18-200 at 9MP on the D5300. Here's another really good example:

The Nikon 50mm/1.8G resolves very differently on a few cameras:
D810 (36MP): 22MP
D610 (24MP): 16MP
D7100 (24MP): 14MP
D7000 (16MP): 10MP

Anyways, I think the important thing here is that everyone has their own frame of reference for what is "sharp". For example, to me and warpdrive the 18-200 might not be very sharp, but coming from a point and shoot it should still be a really really big improvement. FWIW, I don't think zaporozhets's photo of the raccoon was a very good picture at all. The raccoon is out of focus, and the in focus parts (right behind the raccoon) are not not very sharp either. I didn't say this to bash the picture or bash OP, but to point out that everyone has a different point of reference, and I believe upgrading to DSLR will make improvements across the board, even though to us something like the 18-200 is not "sharp". I also think that, while the 18-200 isn't the best lens, it is probably still a hell of a lot better than a similar super zoom on a point and shoot (which to me personally, at $900, is a huge waste of money)
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gontori wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 5:48 pm
Well, that's disappointing for my D5200 :(
Don't worry, just buy some nice prime's and you'll be fine.
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Ok, this may sound silly, but based on some comments that:
a) A lens reaches a better sharpening in an aparture value other than the maximum available (ex. better use 2.0 in a 1.8 lens)
and
b) A lens doesn't take full advantage of the MP from a camera body (ex. Nikon 50mm/1.8G resolves 22 MP in a D810 (36MP))

I wonder why not build lenses and bodies that would use the full range for the specifications?

It sounds to me like there's a waste of aperture values and megapixels, because people would avoid them as they can't get sharp pictures.

I own a 50mm 1.8G with a D5200 but now I know that
a) Will avoid using the lens at 1.8
and
b) Will be using only 11 MP from my camera
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gontori wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 6:09 pm
Ok, this may sound silly, but based on some comments that:
a) A lens reaches a better sharpening in an aparture value other than the maximum available (ex. better use 2.0 in a 1.8 lens)
and
b) A lens doesn't take full advantage of the MP from a camera body (ex. Nikon 50mm/1.8G resolves 22 MP in a D810 (36MP))

I wonder why not build lenses and bodies that would use the full range for the specifications?

It sounds to me like there's a waste of aperture values and megapixels, because people would avoid them as they can't get sharp pictures.

I own a 50mm 1.8G with a D5200 but now I know that
a) Will avoid using the lens at 1.8
and
b) Will be using only 11 MP from my camera
SO it all comes down to cost and size. You can make a 50mm lens that's sharp all the way to f1.8 (or better yet f1.4), but its going to cost 10-20 times more than and be 2-3 times larger than you're 1.8G costs (look into the sigma 50mm f1.4 Art, or the Zeiss Ottis 55mm f1.4). In the end it comes down to the look you want to achieve and what you're definition of "sharp enough" is. Sometimes you really need to blow that background out, and even if the photo isn't 100% tack sharp you just need to shoot at f/1.8.
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antaholics wrote:
Dec 9th, 2014 4:22 pm
Tony makes the point that the companies are lying to you because they post "full frame" focal length equivalents but not full frame aperture equivalents, so it looks like some of the point and shoots with a full frame equivalent of 28-400mm at F1.8-2.8 would take better pictures than a DSLR lens, when it is a complete sham. The same goes for M4/3 lenses with really low apertures.

The article compares newest Panasonic sensors with Canon's really really old sensors... and Canon's sensors are really crap to begin with. If you compare for example, the D5300 with a D810 (both similar age sensors from Nikon/Sony), the ISO scores are 2853 and 1338, which is a difference of 2.13x, much much closer to the 2.25x improvement due to sensor size.

pixel pitch also seems to have very little to do with dynamic range... the D4S has 16MP on a full frame sensor, which makes its pixels much bigger than say a D5300, but actually has less dynamic range. Canon sensors have even worse DR, while the D810 (36MP) has a whole 1.5EV more than the D4S (16MP):
I think Tony saying the equivalence marketing is a lie is too extreme, because full frame equivalence is only useful for determining focal length, DoF and comparison of total light gathering in terms of the arbitrary 35mm reference point. Yes the marketing might be a bit misleading to the person who takes the marketing at face value without understanding how different camera system render images, so that's why the article I posted is so important to understand. It makes a case that equivalence doesn't really matter except for a user to wrap their head around what the field of view and depth of field is in equivalent terms. The way a user operates the camera is the same, "This means that, a Four Thirds camera with a 50mm f/2 lens at ISO100 should produce a JPEG of the same brightness as a Full frame camera with a 100mm f/2 lens at ISO100 and, set to the same F-number and shutter speed, even though its smaller sensor means it is receiving 1/4 as much total light (dpreview)."

The issue the article points out is that full frame equivalence tends to be used to bash crop system cameras. It implies that a 2X crop factor means the camera is 2X inferior. Some people take it to a ridiculous level and say that a high end m43 lens with expensive glass elements is overpriced because it only gives the same equivalent aperture as some cheap slow full frame lens, which is the ultimate fallacy because equivalence doesn't apply to all other parameters of a lens' performance

Re: the whole issue of DR vs pixel density. As your DP comparison numbers show, DR does not scale to pixel density when comparing different sensors, even though both are made by Sony in this case. That's why the OP's question of what formula can be used to determine which camera will perform better in low light is impossible to answer accurately. The author comparing the Canon to the Panasonic sensor was used to prove his point that equivalence of sensitivity is at best, loose due to different designs of sensors. You can never be sure there isn't something else masking the differences like a change in the fabrication/design process which produces different grouping of pixels or using a completely different diode material.

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