Thursday, July 6, 2023

Full-Frame vs. Smartphone (don't laugh...)

Probably my most influential blog post in the last 18 years - the one where I got the most number of people to re-examine long-held beliefs about what they thought was true - was the "Full Frame vs. Small Sensor (don't laugh)" post from 2017, where I pitted my 42 megapixel Sony A99 II against the tiny 20 MP RX100 V point-and-shoot.  When enlarged to poster size and scrutinized, nobody could tell which camera took which image.  

I was reminded of that when I started putting my new smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, through its paces.  This phone's two claims to fame are optical zooms on two of its lenses, and a whopping 200MP sensor on a third.  Check out these shots of the replica of the Mayflower ship taken at 200 MP resolution from far away (as always, click on any image to view larger and sharper):

And the 100% crop of the above:

Yowza!  That's pretty incredible for a phone.  I wonder what the quality difference would be if I pitted this new engineering marvel against my other engineering marvel, the Sony A7R V?