Dig that...are the pixels smaller sized? Or, same, just fewer?In many ways it is:
-- larger formats, shallower DOF at same f/stop and subject distance
-- larger formats need less enlargement for a given print size, so less IQ is lost and the noise (digital) or grain (film) is less obvious.
-- the larger the format, the smaller the aperture at which diffraction effects begin
Yes, I never could understand why, say, larger 66 were preferred, really. I used to use old Pearl and loved the renderings...now the thing sits with its extra lens/shutte...price of change, I suppose. Still think film is easier to use...but that is old me.135 and 6x6, I believe. 645 wasn't too popular yet. BTW when were the first 645 SLR cameras marketed? I remember shooting a Bronica ETR around 1977 or 1978 for a few jobs.
Well, yes and no. Just like today, when the prints are small, the weaknesses of the smaller film formats are less visible.the typical MF lenses were slower and the film speeds were the same and being lab dependent you could not take much advantage on finer MF grain on typical small prints - the smaller FF format must have been in a lens speed advantage back then..
But, if the pixels are smaller, are the issures the same as with film? Seems the smaller resolution or clarity is as good..Well, yes and no. Just like today, when the prints are small, the weaknesses of the smaller film formats are less visible.
Film cameras for amateurs kept moving to smaller and smaller formats as time went on, but professional formats didn't change once 35mm was finally blessed as being good enough. In the late 1960s many stock photo and advertising agencies still required 4x5 or larger formats. National Geographic was the first publication to move entirely to 35mm so they could use Kodachrome which was never made in roll or sheet formats.
Amateur cameras had moved from 6x9cm, 6x6cm, 4x4cm "Vest Pocket" (127) rollfilm and the 28x40mm Kodak 828 "Bantam" rollfilm format (all before WWII) before Kodak announced the 126 Instamatic in 1963 with a 28x28mm frame similar in quality to 35mm (Agfa's competing but unsuccessful Rapid instant loading cartridges retained the 24x36mm format of 35mm).
When Kodak moved to the even smaller 110 Pocket Instamatic format (13x17mm) they gambled (correctly) that most people would not be making large prints so the inferiority of the roughly 2x crop wouldn't be an issue. With their Disc cameras, Kodak went to 8x11mm (about a 3x crop), same frame size as the Minox subminiatures!
One could argue that the popularity of the 110 and Disc cameras set the stage for today's small sensor P&S, bridge and phone cameras with IQ clearly good enough for many shooters.