How big is big enough? Sensors, IQ, and all that

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Jock Elliott, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I love my Canon G12, and I have had hundreds of pictures published from my 3 mp Olympus D-550.

    But the other day I got caught in the rain with my G12 (luckily I was able to protect it), but it raised the issue of maybe a weather-resistant carry camera for me.

    The new Olympus OMD is dust and splash resistant, but bigger than the G12. None of the "prosumer" cameras is weather resistant that I know of. The new Lumix TS4 has some manual controls and a bunch cool toys, but it's a small sensor and 12 mp, which means small pixel pitch.

    My experience with digitals is limited. The G12 has bigger than point-and-shoot pixel pitch; and I presume the D-550 has big pixels with so few mps.

    So, the question: what's the smallest sensor you would recommend for decent IQ? Or has so much progress been made at the small end of the scale that it is not so much of an issue?
  2. Country Parson

    Country Parson Top Veteran

    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
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  3. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    IMHO - one of the considerations would be the kind of photography that grabs you

    not only MPs but also the different characteristics and drawbacks of smaller sensors, nomatter how many MPs they have

    The D800 looks marvellous to many ......36MP, (sorry, I should say 36.3 mega pixels) ..... and it will sell by the "bucket" load

    just look at some of the sample images on the Nikon site and you will be amazed
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  4. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I mage quality can be measure in in many ways. I suspect the size of your final image will determine the size of sensor that you favour. Well that and the type of images you take. I have seen wonderful images taken with a LX5 not only wonderful but stunningly beautiful. If you like massive amounts of DOF then a small sensor can be a thing of beauty. But for a person that shoots the way I do it is not a good choice. I like shallow DOF and for me the larger sensors deliver less DOF. I have a M4/3 and if I am careful it behaves reasonably well in the DOF area. That being said I tend to use cameras with larger sensors.

    So before you consider what it he optimum sensor size you should look into what you want to use your camera for.d
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  5. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    If you love your canon you could go for the waterproof housing. A little overdone for just rain but really when I have something I like I tend to work with it and it's limitations and until it's limitations call for something else, I don't budge.
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  6. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY

    You raise a good point. Lately, I have been very taken with sky photography, and great DOF is just the thing to have!

    Cheers, Jock
  7. nikki

    nikki Top Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    Dublin ,Ireland
    the pentax K5 is a weather resistant camera ? with weather resistant lens! the bigger the sensor -the better the pictures !
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