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New sony 35 mm 25 MP CMOS and aps-c 14 MP CCD sensors


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#1 gobiodon

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 01:00 AM

My previous topic about the new sony models seems to be not very popular. OK the dominance of Nikon/canon is obvious in UW-photography and other brands are not that interesting. However, sony is one of the biggest sensor producer and these news might be interesting for other users (mostly Nikon ones).
Sony announced a new full-frame sensor with 25 MP:

http://www.dpreview....mcmossensor.asp

It will probably debut in the sony flagship model but I would bet on that we will see soon in one of the nikon cameras.
The a350 announcement contains also an important information for nikon users:

http://www.dpreview....onyalpha1st.asp

Sony hasn't given up the development of CCD sensors and we can expect new nikon cameras with 14 MP soon.

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:14 AM

My guess is that this will be the Nikon D3X sensor too - possibly with a scarifice of frame rate for an increase to 14bit.

With any luck, it will go in the same body as the D3, meaning housings will be available when the camera is (end of the year?).

Maybe we'll hear more after PMA, since I am sure Sony would not want Nikon stealing all the headlines and Nikon don't want to hurt D3 sales at this stage?

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#3 gobiodon

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 05:13 AM

My guess is also PMA, but I don't think D3X would hurt D3 sales. It's nice to have both resolution king and noise(less) king for nikon. Sony will focus only on the resolution :)
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#4 MikeVeitch

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:43 PM

it does look like Sony is trying to be a major player in the SLR area.

25mp? crazy

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#5 TheRealDrew

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:46 PM

25mp? crazy



Thankfully hard drives prices are dropping in price but 25 Megs is still going to be alot to store. I remember reading reports way back when that there were going to be 1/2 meg cameras, then the huge news there was going to be 1 Meg cameras. Jeez

#6 MikeVeitch

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 09:31 PM

i am still using 6mp.. hehe

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#7 divegypsy

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:46 AM

Hey guys,

Slow down a bit, maybe. Have you noticed on the Sony link that the chip has a 12-bit AD converter on the chip? Does this mean that the chip can only do 12-bit color which is a bit of a come down after Nikon's & Canon's newest DSLR's all doing 14-bit conversion? Is Sony sacrificing color quality to get a higher Mpixel count?

Having just received a D3, it is my sincere hope that the rumored Nikon D3x will be built on exactly the same body design. This would allow the photographer choose which body to put into the same housing depending on whether he expected to be able to shoot at low ISO's to gain m ore resolution, or whether he wanted the very high ISO's for lower light and was willing to give up some resolution in exchange.

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#8 gobiodon

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 08:28 AM

"Slow down a bit, maybe. Have you noticed on the Sony link that the chip has a 12-bit AD converter on the chip? Does this mean that the chip can only do 12-bit color which is a bit of a come down after Nikon's & Canon's newest DSLR's all doing 14-bit conversion? Is Sony sacrificing color quality to get a higher Mpixel count?"

Nobody has proven to me that the 14-bit has a visible advantage in color quality over 12 bit.
Or something is wrong with my eyes?

Edited by gobiodon, 07 February 2008 - 08:30 AM.

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#9 rtrski

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 08:47 AM

You could make the same argument about incremental improvements in pixel count. But it doesn't answer the question. (note: I got no dog in this hunt, just curious).

More pixels in a given surface area with their own 12-bit color data vs. 14 bit gradation available per pixel on a fewer pixels over the same area - either way I'd think it reduces visible discontinuities or "jaggies" along any row or column of pixels one way or another: one in space, one in chroma/luminance.

What's the right balance, when interpreted by human optical sensors, I have zippo idea. But I think the question was valid. It's kinda the same as the whole 1080i vs. 720p motion debate: one smooths motion by refreshing given pixels more frequently (progressive vs. interlaced every other cycle) but with fewer overall pixels, is it seen as 'sharper' by the eye? Always or only for fast motion? Then of course 1080p came along and kind of made the whole thing moot. :)

Edited by rtrski, 07 February 2008 - 08:48 AM.

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#10 gobiodon

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:52 AM

I agree with you about the impact of the incremental pixel count improvement, but this 25 megapixel is a huge step compared to my 6 megapixel. It would make a difference. If it has the color reproduction of KM 7D, which is excellent, I would be happy. (OK, I won't have the money for the sony flagship, but I can dream).
But this 12 vs 14-bit is a marketing thing in my opinion. There was a big discussion before the shipment of the nikon d300 and sony a700 in both camp, how superior the 14-bit will be or how negligible 2-bit is. But in the comparative tests it was never mentioned (or I just overlooked). The noise difference was discussed a lot. But not this 14 vs 12 bit.
Maybe because our printers and monitors have only 8 bit color space.
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#11 PRC

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:03 PM

Isn't dynamic range the key?

With better dynamic range we can dig more useful data out of the same image. Assuming a similar noise floor that is.

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#12 james

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:47 PM

The 12 bit vs 14 bit A-D converter makes a difference in the dynamic range of about 1 stop from what I have heard - provided the photosites can provide that dynamic range. Some sensors can only provide 12 stops of detail... some can do 13 or 14 from what I've read.

I don't think it makes a bit of difference to the "color" IMO. Where I think it could make a difference that you could see would be in shadow noise or highlight detail.

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#13 gobiodon

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:01 PM

It's strange, because the 12 bit sony a700 version has a better dynamic range than the 14 bit nikon sister version.

I think it was a diwa or dpreview test. If I find, I will post it.
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#14 gobiodon

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:54 PM

nikon d 300 dynamic range:
http://www.diwa-labs...?...g&id=191587

sony a700 dynamic range:
http://www.diwa-labs...?...g&id=191649
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#15 herbko

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:15 PM

The higher resolution 14-bit A/D will not increase dynamic range which is still the ratio of the maximum signal level and noise level of the sensor. It will make better use of that dynamic range. Craig and I went over this awhile ago here:

http://wetpixel.com/...m...st&p=138797
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#16 craig

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:00 PM

You can argue the 14 vs 12 bit thing all you want, it is a complicated subject after all, but the fact is that we're not seeing current generation cameras demonstrate significant benefits out of their 14 bit converters. The new Sony imager uses the same converter design as in their new DX imager, and Nikon has shown that the design is capable of 14 bit conversions at the expense of frame rate. No reason to believe this won't be the case for the FF sensor. If Nikon uses this sensor, I'm certain there will either be a 14 bit mode or there will be no value in providing one. My guess is that there will be a 14 mode.

One thing I've wondered is why Nikon doesn't offer a setting where the camera generates the most bits it can for a given frame rate. Assuming it can do 8 fps at 12 bit and therefore only 2 fps at 14 bit, why can't I get 13 bits automatically when I set the camera to 4 fps? Seems obvious to me. 13 bits is a perfectly reasonable setting just as 12 and 14 are, and the TIFFs that result are always 15/16 bit regardless.

P.S. Anyone who believes the D300 can't offer more than 9 stops of dynamic range and the A700 beats it by more than 2 stops needs to study up. I'd rather disqualify diwa labs as a source of useful comparative test data than to spend time researching why their data is so inconsistent.
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#17 herbko

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:12 PM

One thing I've wondered is why Nikon doesn't offer a setting where the camera generates the most bits it can for a given frame rate. Assuming it can do 8 fps at 12 bit and therefore only 2 fps at 14 bit, why can't I get 13 bits automatically when I set the camera to 4 fps? Seems obvious to me. 13 bits is a perfectly reasonable setting just as 12 and 14 are, and the TIFFs that result are always 15/16 bit regardless.


It's probably 2 different A/D converters, 12 bit and 14 bit. You can't get 13 bits out of the 12 bit converter, and unless it's designed for it, you can't clock the 14-bit converter faster.

P.S. Anyone who believes the D300 can't offer more than 9 stops of dynamic range and the A700 beats it by more than 2 stops needs to study up. I'd rather disqualify diwa labs as a source of useful comparative test data than to spend time researching why their data is so inconsistent.


Agreed. That does not look believable to me. Wonder why dpreview hasn't reviewed the D300 yet.
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#18 gobiodon

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 01:38 AM

P.S. Anyone who believes the D300 can't offer more than 9 stops of dynamic range and the A700 beats it by more than 2 stops needs to study up. I'd rather disqualify diwa labs as a source of useful comparative test data than to spend time researching why their data is so inconsistent.


It seemed to me also a bit odd. I checked the German "foto magazin" and while the a700 has still a sligthly better dynamic range according to their tests, the differences are not that high.
But these tests convinced me that the 14-bit has no dynamic range advantage over the 12-bit mode.
It might give a better gradiation of blue but I haven't seen any proof so far. So I wouldn't cry for the loss of this 2-bits.

Has anyone tried the nikon d2x 14-bit vs 12-bit modes? (or D300?) Is there any visible difference?
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#19 craig

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:53 AM

I have not compared the modes on the D3. Discussions at dpreview are largely negative on differences.

Nikon says the D300 uses a unique sensor, but images of the part appear identical to the Sony one so it's clearly a derivative. My understanding is that the D300 ADC uses multiple samples (4) to produce 14 bits. I went for a quick search on the articles I read on that subject when the announcement was made but I came up dry. The Sony converter is unique in it's design and it appears they have taken a similar approach with the full frame sensor. I believe the D3 design is unrelated as it can do 14 bit at full speed.
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