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Am I going blind? (Pixel-peeping alert)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by nickthetasmaniac, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    DPReview have just posted their Sony A77 studio samples and just for giggles I compared the RAW files with my lowly Panasonic GH2 (I also chucked in the Pentax K-5 as probably the best example of Sony's excellent 16mp sensor).

    Now, what I'm seeing is more detail in the GH2 files at all sensitivity levels, as well as similar, and in some cases, slightly less noise. The difference seems to become more exaggerated the higher you go... Now I know that the Sony has 24 megapickles, but it still has a larger pixel-pitch that the 16mp GH2, plus its a much newer sensor so it should be better across the board... Interestingly, it looks like the GH2 would probably keep it's detail edge even if you upressed the files to match the A77.

    Thoughts? Am I just seeing things, or is Sony's sensor greatness perhaps not so great after all?

    **disclaimer** "Pixel-peeping is for suckers, go and take some photos etc etc..." I know, but it's a bit of fun :smile:
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    I am under impression that different cameras are focused slightly differently. Also Pentax K-5 and Nikon D7000 both use pretty strong AA filters, while Panasonic has almost none. That explains the difference in sharpness and detail.

    However, Panasonic GH2 does indeed look better than SLT-A77 in terms of image noise at ISO 3200 and up. But it seems they are using a beta version of ACR that's probably not yet fully optimized for A77 files.
  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    By the way, this comparison also makes clear that Pentax RAW files are not really RAW, but cooked. Just look at the distribution of color noise - it looks heavily blurred from ISO 3200 and up. Shame on Pentax for cheating their customers and degrading image quality in RAW.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I have to admit, the GH2 shot does look slightly better than the A77. The A77 would probably look better resized down to 16 or 12 MP, but it's still a fairly surprising result. Somewhat disappointed at how bad the Oly sample looks even with the new sensor. Oly, give it up and let Panasonic do the work.
  5. Dunno about high ISO; I turned them down to ISO 200 and 400 since that's where I'm going to use them 99% of the time.
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I did that too, and felt that the GH2 still had less noise (we're talking fractions of a percent) and more detail.
  7. I was pretty happy with what I saw, but I still struggle to figure out how to accurately compare cameras with different megapixel ratings. A camera with more megapixels may have less pixel-level detail but make up for it with more pixels. Not that I'm a pixel-peeper or anything...
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I know the GH2 has enough resolution and image detail to satisfy my needs. I strongly suspect the same is true of the Sony. Worrying about it beyond that is just pixel peeping.

    I suspect the Sony sensor has better DR, but then again, my GH2 has adequate DR for my needs, too.

    The simple truth is that if you can't get publication and display quality photos from any current digital the problem is most likely behind the camera, not inside it. I made the decision on what body / sensor to choose based on other factors, like ergonomics, system support, built-in EVF, etc.
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