Sensor Size Does Matter

Herman

The Image Stimulator
Jul 11, 2010
The Netherlands
Herman
Acc to me: sensor size doesn't matter that much, go out, take pictures, everyday from now, enjoy looking around, taking images to its fullest fun, we (especially male) dream about new cameras, about more megapixel, etc, let's take (even non) serious images NOW and start sharing these here at SC , thanks.
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
Jul 6, 2010
Herman, as ever you bring a note of good sense to proceedings. I shall take your advice and go out shooting tomorrow
with the sole intention of having fun and enjoying using whatever camera I have to hand. (Though my suspicion is it
might begin with an X!!)


Acc to me: sensor size doesn't matter that much, go out, take pictures, everyday from now, enjoy looking around, taking images to its fullest fun, we (especially male) dream about new cameras, about more megapixel, etc, let's take (even non) serious images NOW and start sharing these here at SC , thanks.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
I feel that some of this discussion, and others, reflect a little uncertainty in camera / sensor development, and also in the way we share photographs.

Smaller digital cameras that produce excellent quality are now much more common than even a few years ago. From my perspective, it all depends upon what the photographer deems acceptable or excellent quality, and in turn this may be determined by the final output. Many people do not print their photographs, or if they do the print is small and print quality is not particularly important. For online use, overall image quality can be less important.

For me, sensor size does indeed make a difference. My ultimate goal is a high quality print. Sensor size is not the only factor, and really only makes a solid difference in combination with other factors such as the cameras usability, lens quality, the camera's logarithms etc. - not to mention the skill of the photographer. It is perfectly possible to get great, and large (11 x 17 for example) prints from smaller sensor cameras such as the Canon G series. See this story as an example:
Kidding

Much can depend on the degree of skill and care taken when shooting with smaller sensors, and of course the subject matter.

While I certainly agree that it's great to get out there and shoot, and that's the most important thing, my personal caveat is that I shoot with the end in mind. For that end, I prefer certain qualities in the photographs, and to date larger sensors provide these to a greater degree, under a wider range of circumstances, than smaller sensors.

From my experience, and with my end objective in mind, saying sensor size does not matter is a bit like saying the lens does not matter.
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
Jul 6, 2010
Just no Big Macs please... gave those up years ago in trade for haughty taughty expensive "foodie" burgers, organic, grass fed, bathed in sunshine and clovers... Now those are serious... :thumbsup:
I've always thought the best burgers are the ones you make yourself, on the grounds that you have the semblance of an idea as to whats in them.
However its not a policy I extend to cameras. My latest home made full-frame compact was a bit of a failure. The string kept breaking!
 
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Amin

Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
When I first found this web site, I took the title (SeriousCompacts) not to be used as a comparison to non-serious cameras (compact or otherwise) but rather as a statement for people who use these types of cameras to purposely create photographs.
That is and always has been the reason for this site's name and existence. Of course, it is natural for those who strive to make quality photos with small cameras to be interested in the available tools, and many of us also have a fascination with the technologies themselves. Those two aspects are not easy to separate, and if the gear itself were completely irrelevant to the site, then there would be less reason to focus on photography with smaller cameras rather than photography as a whole.

It's always been an issue for the site that it's easier to get engagement from readers about the gear than it is about the photography, and I have at times been to blame by often producing technical "shootouts" rather than "field reports". However, I think our current direction is well balanced, and we're going to try to keep it that way.

Going off topic on a tangent... I was talking with BB the other day about our Spotlight forum, which is meant to be similar to Mike Johnston's "Random Excellence" column at T.O.P. The idea was to each week feature a photographer who has been using smaller cameras to produce quality photography. We had a similar recurrent feature on the old blog. The problem is that it takes time to get permission from photographers to feature their work, and I don't have the personal bandwidth to make it happen on a weekly basis. If we can find the right person or persons to post the weekly Spotlight feature, I think it - along with the right kind of reviews and articles - is a feature which would help keep the site balanced.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
That is and always has been the reason for this site's name and existence. Of course, it is natural for those who strive to make quality photos with small cameras to be interested in the available tools, and many of us also have a fascination with the technologies themselves. Those two aspects are not easy to separate, and if the gear itself were completely irrelevant to the site, then there would be less reason to focus on photography with smaller cameras rather than photography as a whole.

It's always been an issue for the site that it's easier to get engagement from readers about the gear than it is about the photography, and I have at times been to blame by often producing technical "shootouts" rather than "field reports". However, I think our current direction is well balanced, and we're going to try to keep it that way.

Going off topic on a tangent... I was talking with BB the other day about our Spotlight forum, which is meant to be similar to Mike Johnston's "Random Excellence" column at T.O.P. The idea was to each week feature a photographer who has been using smaller cameras to produce quality photography. We had a similar recurrent feature on the old blog. The problem is that it takes time to get permission from photographers to feature their work, and I don't have the personal bandwidth to make it happen on a weekly basis. If we can find the right person or persons to post the weekly Spotlight feature, I think it - along with the right kind of reviews and articles - is a feature which would help keep the site balanced.
Amin,

I think the balance is better than most communities. Photographs and photographic technique may not deliver such long and emotive threads, but there are a lot of threads not focused on the technology or gear. I think you and the Admins have done a great job in working towards the balance, and the Spotlight feature and others will help this to continue.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
Amin said:
It's always been an issue for the site that it's easier to get engagement from readers about the gear than it is about the photography
Gosh that surprises me ... I think of SC as a site which is much less "geary" than many others , and full of photography rather than technicalities and for-sale-and-wanteds ...
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
Gosh that surprises me ... I think of SC as a site which is much less "geary" than many others , and full of photography rather than technicalities and for-sale-and-wanteds ...
I was thinking more about the visitors and readers of the front page than the forum members when I made that statement. Back when this was a blog without a forum, there was a time when we had quite a few subscribing readers and yet some thoughtful posts by contributing authors didn't get a whole lot of engagement while certain other gear-oriented posts got more. I agree that we have a good balance now, and it's getting better all the time.
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
Jul 6, 2010
I agree that we have a good balance now, and it's getting better all the time.
I think thats right and that amongst the gear questions and discussions, there's a very real concern about the personal philosophy of photography, and the whys, whats and hows of what we do by people who obviously think a great deal about about whats in the frame when they press the shutter.

Thats not the norm in many forums and on many sites. The fact that its done in a mostly unpretentious way and takes account of all levels is a tribute to the direction that Amin and the others have given it.

To me it strikes a good balance between the rudeness and aggression of some forums and the cosiness and blandness of others. Its nice to see the mix of strong opinions and humour that populate many threads including this one. Its also nice to see a love of photography and cameras rather than just the latter which is all too obvious on other forums.
 

flash

Veteran
May 6, 2011
Gordon
I've always believed that the quality of an image is limited by the weakest link in the chain and the perception of the viewer. Sensor size is certainly one of those links but it's not at the beginning of the chain. It's somewhere nearer then end. The first link is of course the monkey attached to the shutter button. And others include the lens, handling, camera functionality, ease of use, etc.... and of course sensor/film size/type/quality and its suitability to the task at hand. When you start out the thing that usually gets in the way of your vision is you and your lack of knowledge/experience. As you learn and develop gear matters more and more. Then at the end we get to the point where we stop wanting our gear to meet our vision and tailor our vision to the gear we have with us.

I do believe I can get a better image with a better sensor. Otherwise I wouldn't have dropped 10K on an M9 and lenses, yesterday.

Gordon
 

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
olli
Amin, I think the balance on this site and the quality of the discussions among members is excellent - the best I've ever come across. That's why I dropped every other forum I was involved with when I came across this one. (Doesn't mean I don't still peak though).

While it needs to be guarded to be maintained I think we have a nive virtuous circle - the character of the site attracts a certain kind of member, those members help maintain the character of the site...

Long may it continue.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Lili
My initial answer to this post mentioned my love for my e510/25mm combination; her is a shot I did just last week with it
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

ISO 200, F2.8, 1/125 sec.
In-camera B&W
I adore the images this camera can produce
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
olli, I think I have figured out what "a nive virtuous circle" means. I had to use my Urban dictionary, to do it, if I'm correct.:cool: And I agree.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
olli, I think I have figured out what "a nive virtuous circle" means. I had to use my Urban dictionary, to do it, if I'm correct.:cool: And I agree.
I expect the the "v" is right next to the "c" on olli's keyboard ...
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
olli, I think I have figured out what "a nive virtuous circle" means. I had to use my Urban dictionary, to do it, if I'm correct.:cool: And I agree.
I expect the the "v" is right next to the "c" on olli's keyboard ...
 

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
olli
Vorrevt and right PDH - I'm just a lousy typist.

I am intrigued though by what your Urban dictionary says BB. Care to share?
 

Brian

Top Veteran
Jul 7, 2010
I took the Leica M9 to the marine Museum at Quantico today. Several of the displays depict nightime, and a fast lens and High ISO is required for existing light.

50mm F1.1 Nokton, wide-open at ISO 2500.





These images are smoother than the Kodacolor 800 that I used to shoot here.

I used 16-bit DNG (raw) mode for the shots, imported into Lightroom 3.3, and then exported to JPEG. I am not using any custom profiles or additional processing.
 

andy_g

Rookie
Oct 16, 2011
Roma, Italy
I think that small sensor "serious" cameras can be as good as any other "serious" camera if you understand their limits.
I can have somethimg compact enough to, let's say, fit in my pocket, but it's either a small sensore camera, a 4/3 or APS-C camera with a pancake or with a tiny slow zoom. In any case I have limits, the first has a small sensor, the second just one focal length, the third a slow lens. In either case I can shoot some decent picture and I prevent me from shooting many other pictures that I could imagine. In any case I can fit it to my needs for a decent photograph in case I can't have a large sensor camera with a fast zoom or even better several fast prime lenses.
My point is that having the possibility of bringing often with me a sort of a compact camera, dissuades me from bringing a larger one even in the cases in which I could. I know that it prevents me from shooting some pictures, but allows me to shoot many others and this is welcome to me.
Of course, I agree that is just a point of view and I can understand who doesn't want to accept this sort of tradeoffs.

PS i'm sorry, but I notice only now that all of your posts are very old. I was mistaked by some confusion with European continental format for dates. However, I hope that my opinion is welcome.
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
I'm having the current experience that my medium sensor files are printing much better than my small sensor files, in most cases. More to consider.
 

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