1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

M43 vs Full Frame pixel per sq mm comparisons

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by rossi46, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Just out of curiosity, ...

    M43's 16 megapixel camera, sensor size 17.3mm x 13mm = 225 sq mm
    Total pixels per sq mm = 16,000,000 / 225 = 71,111 pixels per sq mm
    Size per pixel = 0.0000 14 sq mm

    Full Frame's 36 megapixel camera, sensor size 36mm x 24mm = 864 sq mm
    Total pixels per sq mm = 36,000,000 / 864 = 41,666 pixels per sq mm.
    Size per pixel = 0.0000 24 sq mm

    Though its not as straight forward as it seems, the general theoretical understanding is that the larger the pixel size, the better the dynamic range and high ISO performance in light gathering ability.

    So if we are to forego the advantage of higher megapixel count (eg. printing large), if we have a M43's latest sensor performance on 8MP, does that mean that it will perform better in high ISO and better dynamic range than Nikon D8000's 36 MP?

    Pixel size of 8 MP micro four third -
    M43's 10 megapixel camera, sensor size 17.3mm x 13mm = 225 sq mm
    Total pixels per sq mm = 8,000,000 / 225 = 35,555 pixels per sq mm
    Size per pixel = 0.0000 28 sq mm (vs. Nikon D800's 0.0000 24 sq mm per pixel).

    Not talking about the sensor design and technology, other than pixel size, what other physical factor affects the performance? Eg. will bigger full frame footprint and bigger lens means you get overall more light?
  2. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Bigger sensor = more light and means (for the same framing) you magnify less to get to a particular size print. Those two things define the noise visibility (the more you magnify, the more you see the noise).
  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Bigger sensor footprint definitely receives more light overall than a smaller sensor, but I believe the new HTC One is taking your suggested approach of decreasing the pixel count and, therefore, increasing the size per pixel.

    Rather than competiting on pixel count like its competitors, who are coming out with 13MP phone cameras, they are reducing the pixel count to 4MP on the HTC One. Their argument is exactly your point: improved low light performance and dynamic range.

    However, by reducing the MP count, one is also sacrificing the details being captured. It might work fine with a smartphone camera since the user will probably not print a large image of the shot, but when you are talking about a prosumer camera, one must strike a balance between pixel count, sensor size, and pixel size to achieve the best result for a particular format...
  4. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    For HTC it's much cheaper manufacturing technology to produce a lower density chip. Also, the yields are better since the parts per billion defect per unit area level needed to define a good part is far higher.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.