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Author Topic: Too many megapixels?  (Read 13770 times)
David Watson
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« on: May 16, 2012, 04:17:26 PM »
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Having read many threads extolling the virtues of the D800 (E or otherwise) I can confirm that it is exactly what they all say it is - a fine precision instrument.  Yes it requires careful and precise technique to get the benefit from all those photo sites and yes it is very unforgiving of any shortfall in that technique.

I sold my M9 to buy this camera and I am regretting it.  I have a 60MP MF system that only works well on a tripod in good light.  I now have a 35mm system that only works well on a tripod but additionally in not such good light.  What I don't have is a camera that I can hand hold and take images that utilise all the capabilities of the camera.  What I don't need is a smaller version of my MFD system.

I ordered this camera months ago without really being aware of the constraints placed on the usability of the camera by the multiplicity of megapixels. I am beginning to think that Canon might be right in concentrating on other more user friendly features?  Doesn't seem to be helping their sales though and I worry about being completely wrong in the face of an avalanche of praise for the D800.  I just wonder whether all of those users switching from D3S or D700 bodies might actually be wondering if they have done the wrong thing?   Is this heresy?  Am I wrong?  Feel free to comment.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 04:26:27 PM »
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Having read many threads extolling the virtues of the D800 (E or otherwise) I can confirm that it is exactly what they all say it is - a fine precision instrument.  Yes it requires careful and precise technique to get the benefit from all those photo sites and yes it is very unforgiving of any shortfall in that technique.

I sold my M9 to buy this camera and I am regretting it.  I have a 60MP MF system that only works well on a tripod in good light.  I now have a 35mm system that only works well on a tripod but additionally in not such good light.  What I don't have is a camera that I can hand hold and take images that utilise all the capabilities of the camera.  What I don't need is a smaller version of my MFD system.

I ordered this camera months ago without really being aware of the constraints placed on the usability of the camera by the multiplicity of megapixels. I am beginning to think that Canon might be right in concentrating on other more user friendly features?  Doesn't seem to be helping their sales though and I worry about being completely wrong in the face of an avalanche of praise for the D800.  I just wonder whether all of those users switching from D3S or D700 bodies might actually be wondering if they have done the wrong thing?   Is this heresy?  Am I wrong?  Feel free to comment.

Why not snap up a Sony NEX-7 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 with a kit lens for your handheld, carry everywhere camera?  If you still have your leica glass the Sony will let you use with some pretty snazzy focus peaking action too.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 04:31:44 PM »
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........... I just wonder whether all of those users switching from D3S or D700 bodies might actually be wondering if they have done the wrong thing?   Is this heresy?  Am I wrong?  Feel free to comment.

I  think you're right for your situation; however, not everyone has a 60MP back as another option, for them the D800 seems an obvious path to more resolution.  Will someone get all the resolution of the D800 without a tripod?  Likely not, but will it be any worse than D700?
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David Watson
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 04:51:53 PM »
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I  think you're right for your situation; however, not everyone has a 60MP back as another option, for them the D800 seems an obvious path to more resolution.  Will someone get all the resolution of the D800 without a tripod?  Likely not, but will it be any worse than D700?

Yes I think it might well be worse.  People will want to use all of that real estate and will be disappointed that the images do not exhibit the apparent sharpness that they were getting with their D700.  Lloyd Chambers suggests downsampling to 18MP to get a better end result?  Huh
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 05:06:22 PM »
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You might want to check this thread on DPReveiw:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41483528

The guy shoots hand-held, at high ISO, wide open or at diffraction-inducing f/stops, and it still looks very sharp.
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 05:59:59 PM »
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You might want to check this thread on DPReveiw:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41483528

The guy shoots hand-held, at high ISO, wide open or at diffraction-inducing f/stops, and it still looks very sharp.

Slobodan,
These images would tend to confirm my previous claim that a shutter speed of 1/FL, when used with a lens which has VR, should be sufficient for a sharp image with the D800, just as it should be with the DX D7000, using 1/FL 35mm equivalent.

The shot of the Lyre bird in the undergrowth, at ISO 6400, 200mm, F4 and 1/60th handheld, seems ridiculously good considering the conditions, although one could argue that the maximum potential resolution of the D800, when used at ISO 6400, is going to be compromised, and therefore a fast shutter speed is not so critical. Nevertheless, a sharp image at 1/60th with a 200mm lens hand-held is remarkable. But let's not forget the lens is a VRII which Nikon claim has up to a 4 stop advantage. Increase 1/60th by 4 stops and we get 1/1000th. Call 4 stops an exaggeration, and 3 stops more realistic, we've still got the equivalent of 1/500th with that shot.

This shot of the Lyrebird is an excellent demonstration of the value of optical image stabilisation.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 06:01:45 PM »
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David,

At a given print size the images of the D800 will never look worse than those of lower pixel count cameras.

The issue comes from expecting perfect sharpness when looking at images at 100% on screen.

This being said, I have plenty of very sharp handheld images with the D800. I have been configuring auto iso to use a shutter speed one stop faster than the inverse of the focal lenght. I shoot street images in A mode at the widest possible aperture of the lens at hand delivering the quality I need for the shot.

In fact I have never had as many tack sharp hand held images with another camera until now.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Derry
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 07:10:43 PM »
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so far I have seen some amazing photos that were taken hand held and not 1/8000 sec,, sure it is not a P&S camera but is very capable of delivering high quality photos,,

as one fellow on FM said, with the ability to crop it is like having a big telephoto now available with outstanding results,,

Derry
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 08:43:28 PM »
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I have plenty of very sharp handheld images with the D800. I have been configuring auto iso to use a shutter speed one stop faster than the inverse of the focal lenght. I shoot street images in A mode at the widest possible aperture of the lens at hand delivering the quality I need for the shot.


Bernard,

Do those lenses you use at a shutter speed which is one stop faster than 1/FL, have VR? I get the impression you use mostly high quality primes without VR.

Regards,  Ray
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 08:43:54 PM »
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If you use a D800 or D800e with the same care as you'd use with a tripod mounted large format view camera you will get outstandingly detailed results. As a handheld camera you'll get more camera resolution (data) than you will out of any other DSLR of roughly the same resolution or lower. Whether you also get the better resolution of real world detail depends an awful lot on your handheld technique.

If you are using autofocus and do not bother to tune your specific individual body to your individual lenses you'll be disappointed either way ( with the exception of tripod mounted and using the camera's Live view autofocus modes.
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Ellis Vener
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 09:06:01 PM »
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Bernard,

Do those lenses you use at a shutter speed which is one stop faster than 1/FL, have VR? I get the impression you use mostly high quality primes without VR.

Regards,  Ray

Hi Ray,

Correct, none of these have VR. Frankly, I have not done rigorous comparisons between the amount of sharp images when using a shutter speed equal to 1/focal lenght vs 1 stop faster than that. The damping of the D800 mirror seems really excellent, so 1/FL might in fact be enough.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
BJL
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 09:09:38 PM »
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The linear resolution of the D800 is only a bit over twice as much as for low speed color negative film (which is matched by about 8MP from what I have seen), so doubling the traditional 1/FL guideline does not seem out of line even with non-stabilized lenses. (Unfortunately for this comparison, I have not shot my roughly D800-sized pixels without stabilization for some years, they being on a stabilized sensor.)

Pixel counts exaggerate the difference of course. I would prefer if the marketing people had never invented pixel counts as a resolution measure: for me a linear resolution indication like "5000 pixels per picture height" is more understandable.


Back on topic: worrying about not using all the available resolution is like worrying that being very fit obliges you to run everywhere instead of ever walking.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 09:15:45 PM by BJL » Logged
marcmccalmont
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 09:19:12 PM »
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Back on topic: worrying about not using all the available resolution is like worrying that being very fit obliges you to run everywhere instead of ever walking.

Perfect!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Ray
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 11:56:09 PM »
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Back on topic: worrying about not using all the available resolution is like worrying that being very fit obliges you to run everywhere instead of ever walking.

On the other hand, it may be the case that the reason why one is fit is because one runs everywhere instead of walking.  Grin

However, I agree there does seem to be some basic confusion out there about the significance of increased pixel count. It can never result in images being worse, whether due to diffraction or inadequate technique. The worst that can happen, assuming equal technique and equal f stop and shutter speed etc is used, is that there is no advantage compared with a lower pixel-count camera of the same format.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 12:53:58 AM »
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I sold my M9 to buy this camera and I am regretting it.  I have a 60MP MF system that only works well on a tripod in good light.  I now have a 35mm system that only works well on a tripod but additionally in not such good light.  What I don't have is a camera that I can hand hold and take images that utilise all the capabilities of the camera.  What I don't need is a smaller version of my MFD system.


It sounds to me, it might have been better to sell the 60MP MF system?
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Petrus
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 01:10:04 AM »
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I do not think there is any reason for concern. The shots you made with M9 were also not perfectly sharp and shake free, you just did not notice it even at 100%. Do not look at the D800 shots bigger than 50%...

Certainly you could get some cheap P&S for those shots which are not meant to be taken seriously, they will look so-so, but at least there is an excuse.
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David Watson
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 01:15:59 AM »
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It sounds to me, it might have been better to sell the 60MP MF system?

That is not an option.  There is no comparison between the 60MP Hasselblad and its lenses and a 35mm DSLR even as good as the D800E.  Amateur Photographer magazine did a recent comparison test between the H4D31 and the D800E which found that the Hasselblad had superior colour and tonality but similar resolution.  They would have made a different conclusion if they had compared the Nikon to a 60MP Hasselblad or Phase.

What I want from a DSLR are the features and utility that the Hasselblad cannot offer - live view and longer lenses - plus the capability to use it without a tripod.

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David Watson ARPS
David Watson
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2012, 01:19:27 AM »
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David,

At a given print size the images of the D800 will never look worse than those of lower pixel count cameras.

The issue comes from expecting perfect sharpness when looking at images at 100% on screen.

This being said, I have plenty of very sharp handheld images with the D800. I have been configuring auto iso to use a shutter speed one stop faster than the inverse of the focal lenght. I shoot street images in A mode at the widest possible aperture of the lens at hand delivering the quality I need for the shot.

In fact I have never had as many tack sharp hand held images with another camera until now.

Cheers,
Bernard

Thank you Bernard.  I had configured the auto iso feature but perhaps not aggressively enough.  What about a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 and a max iso of 1600?  At the moment I have it set for 1/125 which may not be fast enough given my shaky hands.   Grin
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David Watson ARPS
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 01:29:36 AM »
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David, both the H4D60 and the D800 are fine cameras but I wouldn't choose either for hand held shooting.
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 02:45:58 AM »
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Slobodan -

Photographs of haystacks prove nothing: by definition they are made up of any number of uneven and conflicting lines, spikes and angles of which very few can ever lie in exactly the same plane, so how can any camera focus properly, especially if in one of those silly autofocus modes? I believe that the photographs shown prove this, at least to my satisfaction.

As for using images of birds! I ask you, who has the slightest idea how sharp or otherwise a bird might really be? Think of it, seriously: where are its edges?

It's not by accident that the best photographs in photography are of unadorned, unplastered brick walls.

Rob C

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