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#1 Jim Nelson

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:19 PM

Hi,

Do bigger sensors have a higher dynamic range than smaller sensors?


Thanks for your help :)
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:27 AM

Depends on the sensor. Generally, larger sensor is better, but it also depends on how many photosites it has not to mention what's happening to that feed in the A-D conversion as well as numerous numerous other issues (codecs recorded to and the like).
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#3 Jim Nelson

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 02:26 PM

I'm sorry but I'm still a bit confused on whether the bigger the sensor, the higher the dynamic range :(
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 02:35 PM

The answer is there is no straight answer. As a generalization, yes, but it isn't always true. Look at something like the RED and the 5D. The sensor is bigger on the 5D but the one on the RED has better dyanmic range.

Even in terms of cameras which have similarly sized sensors, such as the DVX and the PD150, their dynamic ranges differ based on what's happening to that signal between the sensor and the tape.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

Also smaller sensor cameras tend to be 3 chip rather than a single chip, so you can't make absolutely direct comparisons size wise. The only cameras which you perhaps might be able to do this with in the future would be the 2/3" Scarlet and a Super 35 RED with the same sensor type.

1/3" HD cameras tend to have pixel size limitations which affect their noise levels, although the new Canon seems to do a good enough job for the BBC.
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:55 PM

The sensor size doesn't matter. It would be the photosites on that sensor, how they are constructed, CMOS v. CCD, microlensing, read/write cycling, driver orientation, fill factor, and a host of other variables in sensor design that can directly or indirectly effect Dynamic Range capabilities. The size of the sensor means nothing in this equation, as a large sensor can be made up of many small photosites while a small sensor could have fewer but larger photosites. And then it still might be the smaller photosite size that has better DR, as there are still many other factors.
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