Digital Camera Image Sensor Size Image Quality Comparison

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In theory a larger sensor with the same pixel count as a smaller sized sensor should delivery better dynamic range because the larger photosites don’t suffer from the same noise and overload effects. Although not a very controlled test because of different cameras and lens qualities I wanted to show if there was any perceived difference at 1080 resolution. Covering both stills and video using the EOS 60d, Pansonic GH1 with hacked video, FZ100 (stills only) TZ20 and LX5 and the Sony HX9V. I set up each camera to sunny white balance and tried to get apertures as close as each other as possible, about f8. I invoked any incamera dynamic range tools such as icontrast and iresolution, it worked well with all but the LX5 which gave a very flat looking image because of the boosted shadows and flattened highlights. It show some cameras fair better at stills than video and others are much more video oriented than stills.
From the centre cropped images you will get an idea of resolution and noise. All images were taken at ISO100 and in bright sunny conditions.


Graham Houghton says:

@MrSonicAdvance You're absolutely right. Seen as a whole the images arenm't that bad, and as you rightly say anything under iso 400 is good. The video is probably its strongest feature, given good lighting.

MrSonicAdvance says:

I don't go pixel-peeping with my FZ100, it only makes me wince. 😉
I use intelligent resolution then set sharpness+1, NR -2 and saturation and contrast at 0. I only shoot at ISO100 and am pretty pleased with the results, even with some modest cropping. The more I use my FZ100, the more I like it.

Graham Houghton says:

@vwlover94 Hi, no I haven't taken any images with anything higher than iso 400 yet. I've never done night sky photos ( I'm near Manchester, England and we don't see a lot of clear skies LOL and if we do its full of sodium lamp light pollution) I'll try to remember to try it next clear night and let you know. The HX9 is giving better video than the TZ20 and FZ100 but nowhere near as the GH1 and EOS60d but they aren't as compact for descrete filming etc in public places as our police are vigilant

Graham Houghton says:

@wariomike Hi, it was the standard HD Lens the 14-140, the camera has the hack to give 32Mbps avchd video.

Graham Houghton says:

@TheMoo1231 Yes I saw tester13 had started a new blog for the GH2 and they have 2 seconds of high rate stability at the moment. The GH2 isn't on my radar, yet! I'm waiting for the JVC falconbird when it comes to market.

Enzo Cerullo says:

btw graham, there is now a hack for the GH2, although its very new so not exactly stable yet 🙂

Graham Houghton says:

@orthusnet …2 isn't worth the extra effort imho for the general pictures I take so i just use the jpegs from the camera with the camera noise reduction backed off and sharpened slightly. This gives me as good an image as I need for most things. I can always post process using levels and curves in photoshop if i need to add some sparkle. All the still images on this channel are processed jpegs but most are straight from camera. Hope that helps. Graham

Graham Houghton says:

@orthusnet .. continued. I shoot raw when it's something important and the light is stretching the sensor to its limits. It also allows fine tuning of white balance. It is such a chore if you are putting together say a slide show to process all the images frowm raw to jpeg. I sometimes use raw+jpeg so i can use the in camera jpegs for quick results but it does mean i have a lot more files on the computer! I know you should be able to get better results from raw, but for most images the time …

Graham Houghton says:

@orthusnet Yes these are my toys, plus a few more! It's be an evolutionary thing. No one camera does all I would like it too. I like the IQ of the EOS60D for large prints but to carry a bag full of lenses around all day, especially on long distance walks, is out of the question that's why i got the TZ20 and the LX5. The LX5 is nice because of the larger sensor and full manual control. I use the GH1 for some video work as its nice and light plus gives 29min clips rather than 12 mins on the EOS

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