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A basic sensor question.
I'd like to know what differences there might be in images taken by a compact digital camera (ie Canon A720IS)and a APS-C sized sensored camera(ie Canon XT) provided all settings are set similarly? In other words, everything is as eqaul as possible except the size of the sensor. What differences might I see? Would these differences(if there are any) only become apparent as the printed image size increases?Thanks..

Comments (5)

BobT wrote:.

I'd like to know what differences there might be in images taken by acompact digital camera (ie Canon A720IS)and a APS-C sized sensoredcamera(ie Canon XT) provided all settings are set similarly? In otherwords, everything is as eqaul as possible except the size of thesensor. What differences might I see? Would these differences(ifthere are any) only become apparent as the printed image sizeincreases?Thanks.

You will get much higher image quality from the larger sensor of the DSLR, which is something like 10x bigger. For the same exposure the light *per unit area* falling on the two sensors is the same, but the larger sensor will collect 10x more light and the image from the larger sensor needs to be magnified much less to achieve the same print size. Hence, 10x better 'signal to noise'..

It's like the difference between turning up the volume up to max on a small radio to get a certain volume, and getting the same volume from a good hi-fi system turned up to about 3/10. Same volume of sound... but much higher sound quality with less noise (hiss) in the latter case..

As the printed size increases the differene in image quality will become more apparent. if you take a picture at ISO 400 or 800 on a compat and print it at 12 x 16 it will look like mush; the same print made from a DSLR would look fine..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

You'll have a hard time telling two prints apart if the light is good up to sizes you'd likely print yourself..

Dslr can capture a wider range of tones so you won't blow out the bright spots of a image as easy. Dslr can take much cleaner pictures when light isn't optimal. If image quality is the most important aspect compacts don't cut it.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #2

Depth of field (the front to back area that's in focus) will be different, especially if the same aperture is used on both lenses..

Http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Optical/Depth_of_Field_01.htm.

Basically a smaller sensor camera will have a greater depth of field than a larger sensor camera in general. The larger sensor camera can be adjusted to vary the depth of field quite a bit, the smaller one has a much more limited control if any..

Many times a beginner with a dslr will complain their camera doesn't take "sharp" images. They usually mean they don't understand depth of field and how to control it by using the aperture settings..

The second difference you'll notice is that high ISO images on the APS-C will be less noisy than on the smaller sensor..

Third the handling and ergonomics of the APS-C camera will be different. IMO better. Of course this means the DSLR will be larger and heavier. There is quite a difference in ergonomics between the different brands of DSLR's. Do look at all the major brands, they all make very good entry level DSLR's, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Pentax...

Comment #3

All else being equal, there will usually be greater noise on the image from the smaller sensor...

Comment #4

Chaz345 wrote:.

All else being equal, there will usually be greater noise on theimage from the smaller sensor..

Or the image will be much softer because the smaller sensor camera has to use Noise Reduction software even at base ISOs like ISO 100..

10 & 12 Mpixel small sensor cameras now commonly apply NR at ISO 100 which somewhat defeats the advantage of those extra pixels..

The other two big differences will be:.

Depth of field will be less on the APS-C - This might be thought a disadvantage. It is not. You can increase DOF by using a small aperture or reduce it using a large aperture. Thus you have much more control (So the left overs on your plate at the birthday meal will not be in as sharp a focus as the birthday boy for example).

Dynamic Range will be much better on the APS-C - Small sensor cams blow the highlights leaving light colour shirts and even faces bleached out also reflection off water etc etc..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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