Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What a Difference a Sensor Makes or how to Capture UFO's More Better

The title of this entry does have some merit!

I found it very interesting that while is running a test to compare sensors of cameras, particularly an APS-C vs a full frame, that I caught some unexpected goodies to my surprise. I was curious about the "crop factor" thing, but even more curious about the real differences. Visually, that is. 

APS-C vs. Full Frame or a Canon T2i vs. a Canon 6D

Using the same lens, a true and classic "nifty fifty" (50mm 1.4) I did a couple of test shots just for the heck of it. I am well aware of the 1.6 crop factor on the APS-C sensor, hence, the "nifty fifty" really became a "latey eighty". Or simply put, multiply 50mm x 1.6 and you get 80mm. The stars seem so close now. Not!

In any case, the test was to evaluate that 600 rule to avoid star trails. And yeah, it works for some odd reason. The planet we reside on is rotating. This in itself would cause star trails if you happen to leave the shutter open too long. So for both scenarios I calculated approximate shutter speed. Hence, the 6D would leave the shutter open longer of course. 12 seconds as opposed to 7.5 seconds on the T2i (APS-C) using the exact same lens.

See those straight lines? Probably UFO's ;)

I think there be some missing stars.
Okay, so no star trails. Good. But looking at the two pics, one can see that a full size sensor picks up so much more. Particularly UFOs. (Those straight lines of light). Click on the images for full size. Who knows, you might even see little green men on the 6D version. 

The Conclusion: Full Frame Sensors pick up What the US Gov't has Denied for Years, Sort of...

Alright, so maybe those are just satellites traveling around the earth. The point is that one camera picked them up (6D) and one didn't (T2i). This is most likely due to the sensor size. A full frame sensor has a bit more capability due to the architecture of the sensor itself. The resolution is only about 2 mpixels larger, T2i=18,700,000 pixels where the 6D=20,200,000 pixels - but as the full frame sensor is approx 4 time the physical size, the pixels are a bit better spaced and perhaps a bit larger. I am sure there are several super duper techie reasons that come together to perform so much better. But I don't think boring you with that stuff will help here. The point is simple: the larger sensor picks up a heck of a lot more than the smaller sensor. Just ask any alien or little green man you encounter. That is if you can hold the camera still during such an encounter. 

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