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Canon, Nikon and Sony Cameras - Does Sensor Size Matter?

Spring is here. 

Are you looking for the best camera to capture great springtime memories? If so, you're probably thinking about the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 with 18MP images with its 1.2x crop factor or the Canon Powershot G9 with 16MP and 0.7x crop factor.

The decision you're about to make could not be any easier. These cameras have the same lens mount and have the same shutter speed and aperture capabilities. This means you can be confident that they'll deliver the same quality images even if you mount them on a single body and use the same lens.

You don't have to make that decision now, but if you are wondering if there's a better time to jump into this camera option, now is the time. These are cameras that have already delivered amazing results, and you can start using them right now to your advantage.

Here's a look at the Sony RX100 with 18MP images and a 1.2x crop factor. #camera #rypulmedia #images #pictures #picoftheday #instagrampic #photooftheday

This Sony RX100 with 18MP images and a 1.2x crop factor is compact. It's the smallest of the cameras we're discussing here. It's only 2.5" diagonally, and it fits in a backpack easily.

The RX100 is a mid-range DSLR camera. In the Sony lineup, it's the third smallest camera with a sensor, lens, and body with a pixel pitch of 10.4mm. Compare that to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 which is at 8.3" diagonal for the Olympus OM-D camera body and a 14.9mm pixel pitch on the 18MP sensor in the E-M1 body. Or the Panasonic Lumix LX1 with a 10.1" diagonal X 14.9mm pixel pitch and an 8.9" diagonal body, in that order. And no, these aren't full-frame cameras.

Now, even though this Sony RX100 with 18MP images and 1.2x crop factor is compact, it's capable of great results with very high-resolution photos. Let's take a look at the details.

* The Sony RX100 with 18MP images is rated at ISO 6400. That's quite high at 20000 for a full-frame body camera, but you'll find that at ISOs 100, 200, and 500 the resolution starts to drop. At ISOs 3200 and 6400, the RX100 is at or above 400ppi for a 4" diagonal sensor, and at 12800 the Sony RX100 is at or above 600ppi for a 5" diagonal sensor.

* And the Sony RX100 is able to maintain the brightness at ISO800 and above. You'll find at that same higher ISO the resolution of the RX100 drops and is able to maintain the brightness. At a higher ISO, the color depth drops to 2.3 (which is 2.39 at the native 400 ISO). The RX100 is able to maintain the brightness by using a Bayer pattern filter array. The RX10, 10-60, 50-140, 50-200, 50-250, and 50-400 are not able to maintain the brightness. These are all Bayer pattern cameras and have a limited ability to maintain brightness.

This is important to know for the Sony RX100. Knowing this, we know that the Sony RX100 has a limited ability to maintain the brightness at certain higher ISO values.

How to check for the Sony RX100's ability to maintain the brightness at certain higher ISO values? One way to do this is to make a high-contrast image and check for the brightness pattern in the image. If you see the brightness pattern in the image, the camera is able to maintain the brightness at that particular higher ISO.

And now let's take a look at the noise pattern of the Sony RX100.

* It seems that the Sony RX100 supports a high signal-to-noise ratio. This could be a combination of the Bayer pattern filter array and Sony's Noise Filter Array.

* You'll notice that the Sony RX100 offers a wide ISO range of 100 to 51200. The noise pattern for this range is quite high at about 50 or 60. However, you'll notice that the noise pattern of the Sony RX100 drops below 40 after you go down to ISO100 and beyond. This is a combination of the noise filter array and Sony's noise filter array. This means that the Sony RX100 is able to remove the high signal-to-noise ratio signal before going to the high ISO values.

* And finally, the Sony RX100 offers a very high peak brightness (above 1000) at about ISO3200. This is due to Sony's noise filter array and Bayer pattern camera. This would be done to remove the high signal-to-noise ratio signal that would be present in the image after the camera and camera processing software have removed the high ISO data.

The above information is taken from the Sony RX100 V: Noise Reduction and High ISO Noise Reduction for Webcam.

In short, your camera may or may not offer the option to select the ISO that the camera stores images at.

However, if your camera provides the option to select the ISO, you can determine the noise reduction capability of the camera by looking at the options screen in your camera. Here's how: Open the camera application and go to Settings > File Browser. It's a drop-down menu under ISO. Select High Sensitivity (it should have three dots with a plus in between them). Now change the setting from Low to High or High to Low. That's it. If your camera doesn't offer the ISO option, the noise will still be there, and the Sony RX100 V is capable of handling the noise.

Sony's noise reduction setting does not matter.

The image will still have a sharp enough edge and corner detail, to be able to be printed without a filter. And as long as you don't apply a lens distortion, the Sony RX100 V is capable of delivering the same high-quality image to the customer. If your camera offered an ISO setting, it would be easy to determine if they were capable of delivering the image at a specific ISO.

As for the noise, the noise of the Sony RX100 V is not that bad. I've seen photos taken with a normal camera, looked at in-camera, with an ND (Negative Filter) and looked at on a computer screen, and then taken back to the camera, and again, and looked at, and then taken back to the computer, and again, and then given a sharpened image, if you take the time to see all the pixels in the image, it is very unlikely that you would find any noise. At these high sensitivity levels, the camera does a very good job of noise reduction. It is a powerful enough filter to prevent the camera from overworking the sensor.

The Sony RX100 V can be adapted to high sensitivity mode for use with ND filters, however, the adapter might not last very long, as the filter is very thick. Therefore you might need to invest in a filter that is not as thick or more durable.

If you look at the Sony RX100 V compared to the Nikon D800E, you'll see that the RX100 V does not have a built-in wide-angle lens, so you will need to buy a hood. The Sony has a built-in lens hood, the D800E does not. The D800E will cost around the same as a Polarizer filter in use, but it also allows you to use the built-in lens hood. You might even find the built-in hood to be useful, especially for sunny days. The D800E has a built-in ND filter.

The D800E is not without its faults, I find the lack of a built-in ND filter a little strange, but there are plenty of options. Also, the D800E has a built-in wide-angle lens. The only other alternative would be to buy a hood for the built-in lens, but in my opinion, that should be built in too, to stop the lens hood from fogging, especially in bright sunshine. Other than that the D800E has an excellent sensor and an excellent lens.

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