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Run and gun, small vs large sensor


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#1 Deji Joseph

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:31 PM

If two cameras are 1080p, one is 1/3 inch the other is super 35, the smaller sensor would be preferable. However if the larger sensor was stopped down till the same depth of field was achieved wouldnt it still have more photons per pixel therefore better color and less noise, assuming chip technology was similar?

thanks

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:55 AM

I'm not sure what you're arguing, there are a number of factors involved. Are you comparing a 3 chip 1/3" camera to a single chip camera, which may be a DSLR? You also have to take into account the recording codec. Certainly the larger sensor should be more sensitive.
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#3 Deji Joseph

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:54 AM

Thanks for replying Brian, I am comparing using an Fs100 versus an EX1 for low light interiors. The smaller zoom range of the Fs100 isnt an issue nor is the codec, however the form factor seems a bit silly.

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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:02 AM

The EX1 is 1/2", but the FS 100 would be much better for low light. Quite a few people seem to be modifying the FS100, regarding it as a modular camera - there are loads of mounting positions on the body. From my playing with it, the supplied V/F can get a bit wobbly.
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#5 Deji Joseph

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:33 PM

The EX1 is 1/2", but the FS 100 would be much better for low light. Quite a few people seem to be modifying the FS100, regarding it as a modular camera - there are loads of mounting positions on the body. From my playing with it, the supplied V/F can get a bit wobbly.


Thanks for the heads up

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#6 Mei Lewis

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:29 AM

This is something I've wondered about since I moved from a crop sensor still camera to full frame and noticed I had to use smaller apertures in certain circumstances and therefore a higher ISO, negating some of the supposed noise advantage of full frame.

The book Science For The Curious Photographer has a chapter "What Is an Equivalent Image?" that does a detailed comparison of a large and a small sensor. It's for stills but the same would hold for video and you could adapt the equations they give for different sensor sizes. It compares a point and shoot camera to a full frame one.

Suppose that the FF camera in the last example required 1/30 s at an ISO sensi-tivity of 800 for an adequate exposure. The P&S
camera with F-number 3.5 admits (21/3.5)2, or 36 times more light and can achieve the same expo-sure with a shutter speed of 1/1000 s


That's a bit confusing out of context but essentially they're saying that to achieve the same DOF with a full frame camera needs 36 times as much light.
That could mean setting the ISO/gain five and a bit stops higher.
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#7 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:35 AM

This is something I've wondered about since I moved from a crop sensor still camera to full frame and noticed I had to use smaller apertures in certain circumstances and therefore a higher ISO, negating some of the supposed noise advantage of full frame.

The book Science For The Curious Photographer has a chapter "What Is an Equivalent Image?" that does a detailed comparison of a large and a small sensor. It's for stills but the same would hold for video and you could adapt the equations they give for different sensor sizes. It compares a point and shoot camera to a full frame one.



That's a bit confusing out of context but essentially they're saying that to achieve the same DOF with a full frame camera needs 36 times as much light.
That could mean setting the ISO/gain five and a bit stops higher.

But I guess the DOF would look far superior on the full frame as supposed to the tiny sensor camera.

Although Michael Mann was specifically shooting with small chipped cameras to achieve deeper depth of field on Public Enemies, then again we all saw how that looked.
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#8 Mei Lewis

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 03:21 AM

But I guess the DOF would look far superior on the full frame as supposed to the tiny sensor camera.
...


If you use the appropriate apertures the DOF would be exactly the same on the small and large sensor.
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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 04:00 AM

Although Michael Mann was specifically shooting with small chipped cameras to achieve deeper depth of field on Public Enemies, then again we all saw how that looked.


It was more the video look than the DOF in that case. There are quite a few deep focus films shot on film, some more or less during that period.
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#10 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:34 AM

If you use the appropriate apertures the DOF would be exactly the same on the small and large sensor.

But aren't the appropriate apertures relative, as in an f/2.8 isn't 2.8 on a small sensor as it is on a larger sensor? Doesn't that affect the exposure value and how much light is needed?

It was more the video look than the DOF in that case. There are quite a few deep focus films shot on film, some more or less during that period.

But from what I understand it's the same fundamentals even with a film negative as with digital, 35mm apertures aren't exactly equivalent to 16 in terms of depth of field.

So if after deep focus on an extreme budget, wouldn't the smaller negative/sensor make more economical sense than needing to work with more light?
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#11 Deji Joseph

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:48 AM

But aren't the appropriate apertures relative, as in an f/2.8 isn't 2.8 on a small sensor as it is on a larger sensor? Doesn't that affect the exposure value and how much light is needed?

But from what I understand it's the same fundamentals even with a film negative as with digital, 35mm apertures aren't exactly equivalent to 16 in terms of depth of field.

So if after deep focus on an extreme budget, wouldn't the smaller negative/sensor make more economical sense than needing to work with more light?


I think your getting confused. The original question was about true 1080p sensors with equivalent number of photo-sites. If a larger 1080p sensor was stopped down to the equivalent DOF of a smaller sensor 1080p camera, the larger sensor would have less noise and better color due to more photons per photo-site. DSLRs have native sensors in the 16MP+ range so the photosites are smaller than a 1080p camera thats why the F3 thrumps the 5D in low light even though its sensor is smaller. If you want to have a deep DOF and cant spend the bank on light, 16mm is a much better choice than 35mm.
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:53 AM

But from what I understand it's the same fundamentals even with a film negative as with digital, 35mm apertures aren't exactly equivalent to 16 in terms of depth of field.

So if after deep focus on an extreme budget, wouldn't the smaller negative/sensor make more economical sense than needing to work with more light?


Yes, but I was referring to "Public Enemies", which had a video look, rather than the DOF itself. You can have a shallow DOF, but it still looks like video.

With film the smaller neg would increase the graininess, perhaps less of an issue with digital, although that would depend on how noisy the sensor is. You may also find less resolution on the smaller sensor (as with the smaller neg size), although that may vary from camera to camera and doesn't seem to apply to the same extent with the digital cameras (although sensitivity may be lower).
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#13 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:52 PM

I think your getting confused. The original question was about true 1080p sensors with equivalent number of photo-sites. If a larger 1080p sensor was stopped down to the equivalent DOF of a smaller sensor 1080p camera, the larger sensor would have less noise and better color due to more photons per photo-site. DSLRs have native sensors in the 16MP+ range so the photosites are smaller than a 1080p camera thats why the F3 thrumps the 5D in low light even though its sensor is smaller. If you want to have a deep DOF and cant spend the bank on light, 16mm is a much better choice than 35mm.

I don't think the F3 thrumps the 5D due to the sensor size in low-light, I think it has a more of a factor with the compression rate and codec in each camera.

I can't factor in an SLR in this situation cause the codecs are ridiculous.

Yes, but I was referring to "Public Enemies", which had a video look, rather than the DOF itself. You can have a shallow DOF, but it still looks like video.

With film the smaller neg would increase the graininess, perhaps less of an issue with digital, although that would depend on how noisy the sensor is. You may also find less resolution on the smaller sensor (as with the smaller neg size), although that may vary from camera to camera and doesn't seem to apply to the same extent with the digital cameras (although sensitivity may be lower).

Ah yes that is understandable, but the video look in Public Enemies was definitely irritating cause it just pulled me out of the film.
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