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Author Topic: Too many megapixels?  (Read 11993 times)
BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2012, 04:18:16 AM »
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Hi Bart

I guess as a Scot who cannot abide waste it seems silly to buy a camera with 36MP when one only needs 12 or 18.

Hi David,

But 12-18 is already overkill for the majority of users. A full 1600x1200 display only has 1.92 megapixels, and a common output print size of 10x15cm requires 2.09 MP (at 300 PPI, say on a common Frontier printer).


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If one only needs 12 or so then surely it is better to go with bigger photo sites with the attendant benefits of lower noise and better high ISO performance.

That is not necessarily so. Although the per pixel dynamic range may be impacted negatively (apparently not the case with the Nikon D800 models), the number of photons collected per unit area is almost the same. The additional/denser samples will improve the resolution from any given lens, and as I said there is more data to allow restoration of quality with deconvolution sharpening, which will produce even sharper downsamples.

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I started this thread because I thought it was an interesting question and one I personally did not know the answer to - yet.

No problem with that, it's just that the answer turns out to be in favor of the larger number of pixels, provided that their individual quality is good to begin with.

Cheers,
Bart
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Petrus
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2012, 04:20:23 AM »
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 If one only needs 12 or so then surely it is better to go with bigger photo sites with the attendant benefits of lower noise and better high ISO performance.

Unfortunately (???!!!) the sharpest sensor seems to be also the one with lowest noise, best DR and best high ISO performance. it ain't fair!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 05:20:34 AM by Petrus » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2012, 04:53:42 AM »
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How about the impact of too many pixels on the ozone layer and Greek economy?

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Rob C
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2012, 08:11:05 AM »
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How about the impact of too many pixels on the ozone layer and Greek economy?

Cheers,
Bernard





Well, Bernard, I'm sure some of the Greeks already think that they are paying for your pixels; it's the voice of that bloody man in the street! Trouble with him is, he keeps on changing his stance: one moment he's for something and the next he's against it. I think he has close relatives here, too.

Rob C
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2012, 09:04:08 AM »
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"are a large number of pixels an asset or a liability in respect of this second requirement"

Is shooting Tmax 100 better than shooting Tmax 400? The look is different, but one is not better than the other.

So where does the pixel resolution become superfluous? That is a hard question to answer. I have made 24" prints from my 12MP E-P1 and Pentax 645D. Both prints are fine. Obviously there is a difference with a comparison, but the quality of one does not make the quality of the other "bad." As far as handheld sharpness, both cameras are the same--the Pentax just has more pixels.

Personally, the most important factor for me is sensor size, rather than pixel resolution. I find that influences the feel/look of the image more. The human visual system has a limited ability to resolve details and cameras today already surpass that ability--and print size ain't going to change that (and I print from 44" printers). If I were to pick up a 35mm camera, the ergonomics would be more important than the pixel resolution.

Maybe you should go back to the M9 just for the way it handles. Unless ISO is an important consideration.
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Rob C
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« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2012, 09:53:16 AM »
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Maybe you should go back to the M9 just for the way it handles. Unless ISO is an important consideration.




That's a revealing point, though: isn't the rangefinder-style of camera supposed to be made in heaven for 'street' guys and, consequently, isn't great high ISO quality pretty much paramount?

I can understand using a less than 100% frame-finder for street, where I suppose you have less than wonderful opportunities for exact framing and leaving a bit of extra space around the shot isn't the end of the world, but to condemn the M9 to static landscape-style work, tripod-bound as it would be for maximum quality (applicable to all formats/cameras anyway) strikes me as a little perverse, to say the least. If you are going to use a tripd, then it makes sense to be able to frame exactly as you want to frame, so other cameras would come higher up the list, even if the M9 kills most of them on high price rights... So where, exactly, does the M9 score best? It is starting to read like a less than best for anything sort of tool. Which is a pity, even if for me it remains a theoretical purchase only.

Rob C
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 02:15:56 PM by Rob C » Logged

David Watson
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« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2012, 09:58:07 AM »
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That's a revealing point, though: isn't the rangefinder-style of camera supposed to be made in heaven for 'street' guys and, consequently, isn't great high ISO quality pretty much paramount?

I can understand using a less than 100% frame-finder for street, where I suppose you have less than wonderful opprtunities for exact framing and leaving a bit of extra space around the shot isn't the end of the world, but to condemn the M9 to static landscape-style work, tripod-bound as it would be for maximum quality (applicable to all formats/cameras anyway) strikes me as a little perverse, to say the least. If you are going to use a tripd, then it makes sense to be able to frame exactly as you want to frame, so other cameras would come higher up the list, even if the M9 kills most of them on high price rights... So where, exactly, does the M9 score best? It is starting to read like a less than best for anything sort of tool. Which is a pity, even if for me it remains a theoretical purchase only.

Rob C

Rob

I actually liked the M9 a lot as an object and as a street photography camera.  I hated it for everything else.  On a tripod? forget it.  Telephoto lens? forget it.  Wide angle focussing accuracy?  Forget it. 
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David Watson ARPS
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« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2012, 10:27:23 AM »
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I actually liked the M9 a lot as an object and as a street photography camera.  I hated it for everything else.  On a tripod? forget it.  Telephoto lens? forget it.  Wide angle focussing accuracy?  Forget it. 

David, how about an M10 with CMOS sensor, liveview and high res screen/EVF?
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David Watson
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« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2012, 11:01:04 AM »
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David, how about an M10 with CMOS sensor, liveview and high res screen/EVF?

Will you accept my D800E outfit in part exchange?  I'll have one. BTW how much is it - forget that I don't care I'll have it anyway. Grin Grin
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David Watson ARPS
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2012, 11:27:13 AM »
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Will you accept my D800E outfit in part exchange?

No chance  Grin

I'll have one. BTW how much is it - forget that I don't care I'll have it anyway. Grin Grin

Fingers crossed for Photokina.
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LKaven
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« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2012, 12:18:20 PM »
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Hi Bart

I guess as a Scot who cannot abide waste it seems silly to buy a camera with 36MP when one only needs 12 or 18.  If one only needs 12 or so then surely it is better to go with bigger photo sites with the attendant benefits of lower noise and better high ISO performance.  Someone said that a D800 with a D4 sensor would have been a nice product.

If only these things were so:

1) The native 36MP capture, after downsampling to 18MP, will transmit more high frequency detail than a native 18MP capture.  There is a difference in the total MTF, partly due to the AA filter on the 18MP sensor, partly due to bayer demosaicking artifacts.  The differences carry through even at web size.

2) Sensitivity and noise of a sensor are measured /per unit area of the sensor/, and by this measure, the D800 has as good a low light response as the D4.  The major difference between the D800 and D4 sensor in practical terms is the presence of thermal noise in the D800 sensor at very high sensitivity settings and handheld speeds.  But a simple dark-frame subtraction can solve that.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2012, 12:29:32 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.

Cheers,
Bernard

Bingo!  +1.   

You may not always be at an advantage with more megapixels, but you'll never be at a disadvantage, except for file size issues like using more storage space and have a slower throughput in the camera.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2012, 01:14:38 PM »
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Will you accept my D800E outfit in part exchange?  I'll have one. BTW how much is it - forget that I don't care I'll have it anyway. Grin Grin
David, since the D800E remains unattainable for mere mortals, I've already blown off the idea of getting one, and instead have turned my attention into acquiring something that really lights up my photographic chimes - an M Monochrom. Chances are I'll have one before Nikon production ever catches up.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 01:17:47 PM by JohnBrew » Logged

Petrus
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« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2012, 02:06:43 PM »
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David, since the D800E remains unattainable for mere mortals, I've already blown off the idea of getting one, and instead have turned my attention into acquiring something that really lights up my photographic chimes - an M Monochrom. Chances are I'll have one before Nikon production ever catches up.

I would wait until there are real side by side comparisons between M9m and B&W conversions form D800E. I place my bets on D800(E) to provide sharper B&W images with bigger DR, better high ISO performance, and the possibility of manipulating the color mapping into grayscale AFTER the shot is taken. Not to mention $5000 savings. (and several other usability things in favor of the Nikon)
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douglasf13
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« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2012, 03:07:28 PM »
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I would wait until there are real side by side comparisons between M9m and B&W conversions form D800E. I place my bets on D800(E) to provide sharper B&W images with bigger DR, better high ISO performance, and the possibility of manipulating the color mapping into grayscale AFTER the shot is taken. Not to mention $5000 savings. (and several other usability things in favor of the Nikon)

Well, the M cameras and lenses are about size, so that's the big plus with them.  Either way, I'm not sure how big all of you print, but I'd imagine it'd take pretty large prints to see much difference in resolution.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2012, 08:53:28 PM »
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David, how about an M10 with CMOS sensor, liveview and high res screen/EVF?

Hello, its called the NEX-7. And it cost a helluvalot less.
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Justinr
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« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2012, 02:18:57 AM »
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I would wait until there are real side by side comparisons between M9m and B&W conversions form D800E. I place my bets on D800(E) to provide sharper B&W images with bigger DR, better high ISO performance, and the possibility of manipulating the color mapping into grayscale AFTER the shot is taken. Not to mention $5000 savings. (and several other usability things in favor of the Nikon)

I'm yet to be convinced that B&W is about sharpness. If a mono image is heavily dependent on merely being super sharp to be considered good then there is probably something wrong with the picture as a whole.
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KLaban
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« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2012, 02:22:49 AM »
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Hello, its called the NEX-7. And it cost a helluvalot less.

Hello, I call it the most uninspiring camera I've ever used.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2012, 03:37:55 AM »
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Hello, I call it the most uninspiring camera I've ever used.

Wow, I've gotta disagree there.  I've sold all of my DSLR gear for that little camera, and I think having a separate dial for shutter, aperture and ISO is pretty fantastic.
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Rob C
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« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2012, 03:39:11 AM »
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Hello, I call it the most uninspiring camera I've ever used.


I'm glad you wrote that, Keith.

Cameras really do have their own contribution to how you feel and work. They become an extension of your personality and never more so than when you are a pro: you simply don't even think about which camera to use on a job - you just pick it up and go with it.

That can have its funny side. I was doing a shoot for the IWS at some stately home in England and, as usual, I'd brough along a double-up set of tools because I wasn't sure what I was gong to be facing down there. Anyway, I'd decided it was 500 Series time, and was into the shoot when the lady for whom I was working came over to me and said that she preferred it when I used the 35mm because it was much more exciting to watch... oy veh, already!

Never underestimate the value of appearances, of people or of cameras!

Rob C
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