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Explanation required of CMOS Size and Pixels relative to Quality and Light
Hi All.

I have what is to me an interesting question: Can someone explain to me how a bigger CMOS sensor can create a better picture, quality and noise wise, than a smaller sensor with the same resolution. I am typically referring to the concept of the Canon APS-C to APS-H to 35mm sensors..

Now, I have read plenty of posts here about CMOS size and noise, but there are a few things I don't fully understand..

I have gone through the following explanation on Canon's site: http://web.canon.jp/imaging/cmos/technology-e/size.html, but struggle to understand how a single pixel can get more information than a smaller pixel..

How can one pixel gain more information the bigger it gets? Surely a pixel gets a single signal, r/g/b, and this it stores to compose the picture, which is made up of millions (mega's) of pixels (the jpg "resolution" we see.) So, how can the quality be better on a bigger pixel than on a smaller pixel, as you are only getting r/g/b? How can Green on a bigger pixel be "better" than Green on a smaller pixel?.

And how does this relate to noise. Surely noise is related to the input, not the device itself. As they show with the bucket example, there is less noise in the bigger bucket than the smaller bucket, but surely the noise is something that is generated from the light source/water source, as opposed the bucket/sensor? So 10l of water has 300ml of noise, then surely 100l of water will have 3l of noise?? The ratio is still the same..

Or am I thinking too technical and interpreting this thing completely wrong?.

An explanation, in as simple terms as possible, would be appreciated, even though I am a highly technical individual - I think that is what has put my thinking in the state it is in already, ie half the cause of the problem!! .

Regards.

Richard Westby-NunnTrigger Happy! ..

Comments (6)

Nunnsby wrote:.

I have gone through the following explanation on Canon's site:http://web.canon.jp/imaging/cmos/technology-e/size.html, but struggleto understand how a single pixel can get more information than asmaller pixel..

It doesn't get more information in the sense that there is more detail in the image or so, but it catches more light so the signal to noise ratio is better. That means you can say the information will be *more accurate*..

Johanhttp://www.johanfoto.com..

Comment #1

Surely noise is related to the input, not the device itself....

One possible if not major source of noise is electrostatic discharge. Under controlled conditions, I have noticied differences in luminosity characteristics between consecutive shots (as observed in the Capture NX histogram palette). If others of you could supply additional explanations then that would be great..

But really it would be beneficial to treat the dslr like you would treat your cpu cards until the facts are in.-Garrisonhttp://www.umefotographie.com..

Comment #2

Nunnsby wrote:.

Hi All.

So 10l of waterhas 300ml of noise, then surely 100l of water will have 3l of noise??The ratio is still the same..

As the photon signal increases by X, the noise is increased by the square-root of X. So if 10L of water has 300mL of noise, 100L of water has 948mL of noise..

The ratios are not the same...

Comment #3

To those of you who replied, thanks, to those who have read it, and need a good explanation, I came across this, which to me explains it brilliantly..

Http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/sensor-design.shtml.

Thanks all, and happy snapping!! .

Trigger Happy! ..

Comment #4

I am thinking right when I compare CCD size to standard film size?IE: 35 mm better than 110 because of the idea of 35mm needed less blowing up?Or is it another reason all together?.

Thanks..

Comment #5

Ken2400 wrote:.

I am thinking right when I compare CCD size to standard film size?IE: 35 mm better than 110 because of the idea of 35mm needed lessblowing up?Or is it another reason all together?.

Thanks.

In a way, yes, it is pretty similar. In fact, that might be the easiest and best way to explain the whole thing...

Comment #6

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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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