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Which is the ideal resolution for a DSLR?


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#1 DigitalDarrell

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 08:45 PM

4 megapixels 6 megapixels 8 megapixels 10 megapixels 12 megapixels 14 megapixels 16 megapixels 20 megapixels 25 megapixels 30 megapixels More than 30 megapixels I set this up as a different sort of poll. Instead of voting, let's SERIOUSLY discuss this issue. What is more important to you? More megapixels? In-camera image optimization? What do you desire? How many are "enough" megapixels for a 35mm sized DSLR?
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#2 Guest_Dave Whiteley_*

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:27 AM

When the eye cannot see any further difference - that's enough! Dave Whiteley

#3 Luis V.

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 05:30 PM

That's impossible to answer but I'll put my opinion in..... Given that I am working in 35mm format there are certain things that I expect. For one, I don't expect to shoot a photo and have it end up as a billboard in Times Square. OK I can dream for now, but it ain't happening anytime soon........If I did expect that, I'd shoot 8x10 sheet film. So.......given 30x40 or less in print size....12MP on the sensor has surpassed film detail which is ultimately what everybody compares. So if that is the measure, then we're done. If however, I want better..... I never ever said 35mm film was perfect..... I want more. Why? Well cropping into images for one. This goes back to the 30x40. If I could get a 24MP images that I can cut in half then go to 30x40 with the remainder....... well......... more is good. The problem I don't think is in the sensors though. I think we are getting to limitations on the glass. Of course I'll get "but MF goes to 39MP now"....... but you have to think that a 39MP MF back is about the same pixel size as the 12MP DX sensor (if memory serves me right. I may be wrong there) so again the glass is not being taxed any more. The question is if we halve the size of the pixel size and get huge MP counts, can the lenses keep up? One last note before I get a bunch of responses to "you can't print a 12MP image at 30x40 with the pixels you have".... I resize images regularly. I find that to be no different than the enlargement of a 35mm frame. I add pixels and sell the prints. Resizing is not taboo.....
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#4 justshootit

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 07:31 PM


One last note before I get a bunch of responses to "you can't print a 12MP image at 30x40 with the pixels you have".... I resize images regularly. I find that to be no different than the enlargement of a 35mm frame. I add pixels and sell the prints. Resizing is not taboo.....


To add a bit more fuel to Luis' statement, magazines were quietly making truck-folds from 3MP digital cameras long before the last round of high-MP digital bodies was available. My guess is they used something like Genuine Fractals to get the results they wanted. I seriously doubt anyone opened an issue of SI and said, "Hah - they used a low-res digital camera for this! They can't fool me!!!" <Melodrama mode off>

Also, there's a poster making the rounds from Nikon -- it's a huge (maybe 60x40 ??) print of a `57 Chevy taken with a D50 and a 18-55mm Nikkor. You can see a little digital artifact, but it isn't bad at all. The caption below the shot said the file had minimal processing in Capture before printing. A Bicubic Smoother or other good enlargement algorithm would likely give a better result. The poster is on display at Cal's Camera in Costa Mesa. If I get over that way, I'll stop in and get more details.

The upshot is that if you aren't going to enlarge that much, it comes down to other features like AF accuracy, frame rate, etc. A D2H is a better sports camera than a D70 because it's built for speed -- the 2MP difference between the cameras is really moot unless you're shooting for poster-sized images.
Don
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#5 darin d.

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 09:33 PM

WOW, have to agree with everyone above, but as is stated, it really comes down to what you're going to do with the pic. Billboard, more pix, magazines, less pix. I think as TC stated, I'd rather see improvements in quality rather than quantity... Darin D...

#6 Luis V.

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 12:11 AM

Well then we need to get rid of film as well. Film is nothing more than a bunch of crystals that turn black when light hits them. In essensce, geometric shapes, polygons, if you will, that mimic curves. Sounds vaguely familiar huh? :unsure: :rolleyes: I am just teasing of course. How the image is captured is irrelevant. Quality can always improve. It did for film over 100 years. Digital sensors will as well. Maybe not for 100 years but they will improve. I believe that 35mm film has been surpassed by the image quality and detail in the 10mp+ 35mm format digital cameras. In my eyes, that's not the bar anymore. So the question is "if you feel digital better than film already, why do you need more pixles?" my answer is simple.... "Why do I need to be satisfied with film quality? If I can get even better quality, give it to me." Does that mean more pixels or better pixels? Who knows? My question is....... why does it have to be one or the other? Bottom line......... give me more of everything.
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#7 Neil Rothschild

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 02:01 AM

Great topic! Very relevent. A more interesting question might be "when will the market be satisfied that they have enough pixels"? It is very possible that sensor densities will soon exceed the resolution of most lenses and there will still be demand for more, and the manufacturers will deliver. What is that magic number? Having just acquired a D200 to use in conjunction with my D2H, I like the fact that I can shoot smaller raws, or big raw files, depending on whatever trade-offs I want to make. Although I always felt that I wanted more pixels with my D2H (mainly for cropping, and some of my wildlife images need a lot of cropping), the files I get from my D200 are more than I can sometimes deal with, even if I want them. Just rendering D200 JPGs from RAW would take 8 HOURS for a typical day's wildlife or action shooting- 1,000 images. My laptop renders 2 per minute. That's 120 per hour. Eight hours for a day's shooting. I can shoot a lot faster than my machine can process them :( This has forced me to shoot RAW+JPG Fine in the D200; something I never had to worry about too much with the D2H. Instead of slightly less than 4MB per image, I am now shooting 14MB per image. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to take advantage of some nice Christmas season deals on 4GB cards, including a 4GB Lexar for $43 after rebate (assuming I ever get it). I think there is a need for specialist bodies, some maximizing pixels and some with more modest pixel sizes. I don't think the D2X HSC solves that problem for all situations. With that said, I think the next generation of Nikon bodies will be full frame. The D200 and D2X will be tough acts to follow. Each generation needs something that "demands" that the old users upgrade, otherwise it won't be successful. Aside from the real or percieved value of FF, it will provide a "free" boost to the pixel count and that all important selling spec. A FF body will make the card makers happy, the computer makers happy and the disk drive makers happy. And I guess my raw files will then render at 60 images an hour, making my D200 look like a speed demon. Regards, Neil

#8 justshootit

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 02:27 AM

If you lay the prints side-by-side and you can't tell the difference as to what media originated the image, then it's a toss-up. Shoot whatever best suits your needs. I'd like to see real-world test results that confirm, in side-by-side images which is best. My guess is that the result will depend more on the processing of the images than anything else. You get a MUCH better print from a color negative if you use a custom lab that does color dodges and burns than you get if you use the kid at Wal-Mart who's already printed 100 rolls of film before 10AM (I exaggerate only a little). You'll also get a better result from digital if you use a high-end digital finishing lab than if you process it yourself in PictureProject and print it on your $79.00 fax/printer/copier/scanner at home. The squareness of square pixels becomes insignificant when the squares get small enough just as the size and shape of film grains becomes insignificant when the grains become small enough. If the pixels are hidden by software or the film grains are hidden by chemical wizardry, what's the difference? If the eye can't detect the pixel boundaries in the final product or the grain boundaries in the final product, then, all else being equal, the results are the same -- the colors and tonal gradations are continuous to the eye. If your client is into the latest gee-wiz gizmos (as many are here in SoCal), you'd better show up with a digital -- an F4 will be looked at with suspicion. Fortunately, digital cameras (despite all the problems I've had with mine) are capable of producing images that such clients will likely be happy with. If your clients will be happy with either, shoot whatever will give the best results in your hands. If your client wants film, you'd probably be better off to borrow photojazz's idea and shoot an F4 (or F5, F100, N90s, F2AS, yada, yada). Sometimes client perception is more than half the battle. So is client workflow. A pro photog I know lost a client because he shot digital and the client's art department didn't know how to handle digital art. They'd rather fire a contract photog than admit they haven't kept up with the learning curve and ask for some help. He'd have been better off giving them the negs they'd originally asked for - preferably 6x6. OTOH, that same guy has gotten a lot of work because he promotes himself as "using the latest in digital photographic technology," which he does, and does extremely well. Film doesn't erase or corrupt images because of microchip glitches, CF cards do (something I found out the hard way this past weekend). 'Course my lab recently had a mechanical failure in their developer and toasted a roll of Velvia, so film isn't immune to processing errors either - I doubt that's as common as electronic glitches, but it happens. Film's high-ISO performance is definitely not as good as the latest digital. I hear tell of a future technology that'll give results at ISO-6400 that are as good as today's results with ISO-100. I doubt Fuji will be producing a film with similar characteristics any time soon (unless that film technology is called "8X10" or maybe even "20X24"). Digital doesn't give as good a result at EI 25,600 as film - yet - for P.I. and law enforcement types of applications in low light. Film is a pain in the rear-end to scan - a problem digital just solves by default. Of course if you screw up a scanned image file, you can just scan the original again. If screw up an original from digital, well, you really should've had everything backed up anyway. For me, digital is still proving itself. I've had some phenomenal results with it and have had some incredible frustrations as well. For today, my confidence level is still higher with my film cameras. However, I was scanning some color negs today, and swearing up and down I'm going to jump to digital soon. If I don't get the results I want with the D70, I WILL get them with some other digital camera. Electronic media is just too pervasive today to keep scanning film. Eventually, I'll make the jump. It's just a matter of when. Remember, there are a lot pf photogs making a lot of money with digital, and their clients couldn't be happier. Of course if your client needs to resolve fine lines on a billboard, large format film is the only way to fly, at least for today. If your only client is yourself, shoot whatever you want and don't be swayed one way or the other until YOU prove the worth of what your being asked to buy into FOR YOURSELF. If you have fun in the darkroom and hate computers, by all means keep shooting film. If the smell of developer makes you sick and you're an IT guru, get a digital. You can get outstanding results either way. `Nuff Outta Me...
Don
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#9 Virgil

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:05 AM

Id have loved to see a D2-Series body with something arround 6MP. That would have given me all i ever wanted or needed. 90% of the lenses available could perfectly cope with the 6MP of my D70 and showed how sharp they are and how much detail was captured. Shooting in low light was easier as i could handhold very long shutter speeds and get sharp results. 6MP also offer enough data for very brutal cropping. High ISOs are no problem eihter as i feel that the pixeldensity of 6MP gives the right relation between detail and noise (4MP offer a bit less detail, 8MP might introduce to much noise). So, in my books a D70 Sensor with D2H noise-performance in a D2-Series body - perfect!
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#10 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 07:00 AM

Tony,

Pixels were not always square. TV has round pixels, the square ones were invented for computer monitors to provide better straight vertical and horizontal lines on screen for text.

See these examples of film grain and you will wonder why film does not show Jaggies!

http://www.imx.nl/ph...filmbasics.html

Unless sensor technology moves on with better pixel sites, simply reducing their size to cram more onto the sensor is going to degrade the image. Therefore the next step is present sized pixel sites but a larger sensor, i.e. full frame 35mm!

What has also to be remembered is whilst the designers could reduce the size of pixel sites they cannot alter the wavelength of visible light. The microscope ran into this trouble when things got smaller and smaller, that is why the electron microscope had to be invented, However, photographically that takes you back to the black and white days plus you are not seeing the actual subject but a metalic surface coating applied to the subject, neither do you have colour. I can't see black and white photography selling to the masses in this day and age! :lol:

As to whether people can tell the difference, you need to do a "blind test" so they do not know which image is from which camera so preconceived attitudes do not creep in. I remember years ago reading of a photographer who regularly submitted to a picture agency that would only accept 2-1/4 square transparencies because these were obviously better quality and more professional. He had a lot of work accepted, but in the end admitted he used a 35mm camera and enlarged his images onto sheet film and then cut it to the 2-1/4 square size for submission! How many "professionals" could tell the difference if a proper scientific "blind test" were used? They go on the usual visual clues that we all do, negative size or equipment used rather than the final result, deny them these clues and they flounder like the rest of us!

Dave Whiteley.
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#11 MarcBC

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 07:20 AM

There is a really good article (although perhaps with a hint of Canon sponsorship) in the latest Digital Camera magazine. In short, the public is pixel hungry and so the compacts are being produced with more and more pixels but also worse pictures. The only way forward, according to the article is larger sensors and also the Florian (sp?) three layer sensor model used by Sigma. This is apparantly more like film (three layers, one layer per colour. There are also issues with the amount of light a small pixel can cope with.

Edited by MarcBC, 14 January 2007 - 03:28 AM.

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#12 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 10:59 AM

Marc,

I think you mean the Foveon Sensor. See:-

http://www.sd9.org.uk/sensors.htm

Evidently the "Florian" sensor is some kind or respiratory monitor used in pediatrics when I looked it up!

Should we bother too much about the scientifically proveable deficiencies of our cameras sensors and how much resolution or Megapixels we really need? I can only repeat one of my first posts on PlanetNikon in April last year at the start of this thread :-

"When the eye cannot see any further difference - that's enough! Dave Whiteley"


All the best,

Dave Whiteley
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#13 Rebel

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 12:42 PM

Enough is never enough. The consumer always wants more. If the manufacturers can churn out higher resolutions we'll buy it whether we need it or not. Personally I believe that we have reached the limit at around 12MP for the 35mm style cameras that most of us here and over in the Canon world are using. If they tried to cram significantly more megapixels on the sensor I'm sure we'd start to see a loss of quality. With the way technology marches on it wouldn't surprise me, or many other people, if a new kind of sensor was developed that allowed us to get much higher resolution pictures using the same camera bodies and lenses that we use now. I can't imagine how it would work though. Why would we want cameras with higher megapixel counts when the ones we have now are good enough? There's the "wow" factor, the "bigger is better" factor and it would also allow us to make smaller crops to our pictures without losing quality. Canon are using larger sensors on some of their models, so called "full-frame". Even though these CMOS chips have been in production for years now they haven't upped the megapixels on them. From a layman's point of view it would seem that if 10 or 12 megapixels can be put on a cropped chip then how hard can it be to put more on a chip that is bigger. My guess is that it's not that simple, I'm sure they'd love to put more megapixels on their sensors, so there's got to be a big technical reason why they haven't.
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#14 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 02:56 PM

A further point is if you get this digital camera with utmost colour fidelity, plus no need to sharpen the image, are you prepared to accept the resolution and colours straight out of the camera and not try and muck about with them in Photoshop? Most photographers do not like absolute colour fidelity of a scene but want to either warm it up, cool it down, plus adjust hue or saturation in post processing software. In that case a camera producing true colour is no more an advantage to you than one that produces a very good approximation. Even natural history photographers tend to "guild the lily" occasionally. In the days of film none produced absolute colour fidelity of the scene in front of them and photographers selected their make of film to produce the same alteration of the subjects colours as they now achieve in Photoshop, or simply by "tweaking" the camera settings. Dave Whiteley.
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#15 justshootit

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 06:32 PM

Should we bother too much about the scientifically proveable deficiencies of our cameras sensors and how much resolution or Megapixels we really need? I can only repeat one of my first posts on PlanetNikon in April last year at the start of this thread :-

"When the eye cannot see any further difference - that's enough! Dave Whiteley"


The 'difference the eye can see' depends upon how big the final output will be and how sharp and continuously toned that output must be. For someone who will only ever enlarge to 10X15" prints, 6MP is fine. For someone who is creating 3-story-mural-sized art, a 39MP Hassie may still not be enough while 8X10" film will likely do well.

For most stuff, 12MP is probably plenty, but the camera companies will likely continue pushing the envelope to get/keep competitive advantage. Who knows where it'll level out. Just keep having fun and/or making money with it...
Don
==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#16 wapiti

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:52 AM

I totally agree with Virgil's "take" on this subject. My computer is somewhat modest as to "punch" and I don't want to hamstring it with large files. I love my D2hs. I have a D200 if I need larger files.
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#17 Juan Carlos

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 10:15 AM

I totally agree with Virgil's "take" on this subject. My computer is somewhat modest as to "punch" and I don't want to hamstring it with large files. I love my D2hs. I have a D200 if I need larger files.


Im with Virgil also and Luis... And like someone mentioned before, SI has been using a 4mpx camera for years, and even now some Pros still prefer the D2h over the Canons... Matter of taste or glass, maybe...

If you are happy using a DSLR body, I guess 12 MPX will do, or a well captured file from a 6 mpx (S3, D70, S2) will do...
If speed is an issue, Jpeg's are fine (if well exposed), no need to suffer time lags with RAW...

Under extreme conditions Raw will save your butt :mellow: , and if you are a MF shooter, then you are probably used to slow film and great quality, so DSLR won't make you happy for your line of work...

The more I use the D70 (for speed) the more I like it... It used to sit on my camera bag because of weird responses from frame to frame, but now is behaving!!! and is back in use...
The S3 is still my favorite(after the S2, of course) but then again, I don't need speed for the main load of work I do...
Eventually, I will give the S5 or the D200 a try, and if I play mi cards right and do the laundry and the dishes :unsure: I might convice my wife to let me get a D2X or s...

:)
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#18 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:43 AM

"For someone who is creating 3-story-mural-sized art, a 39MP Hassie may still not be enough while 8X10" film will likely do well."

Depends on how close you are viewing it. Advertisment hoardings based on photographs are nowhere near 3 stories high and usually taken on large format studio cameras but whilst they look OK from across the street, walk up to a couple of feet away and the circle of confusion has been enlarged to the extent that they look a bit fuzzy all over.

I suppose there is a limit to the amount you can enlarge even a 10" x 8" negative so it apears sharp to the eye if viewed at close quarters, as in an art gallery.

I found this whilst browsing the Web:-

http://www.shotaddic...04/12/3203.html

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#19 photographix

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:08 AM

i shoot a D70 and love it. 6MP is good 12MP is better for poster prints.i have a wide shot of a sun rise at 16 x 24 done that is on the wall. every one loves it. it took me 2 hours to get it right in post. the dynamic range of the D70 is just not there. so it's the D2xs for me. i can definitely see the difference be twine the D70 and D2xs. i don't think it's going to be much more MP's as much as better software. i don't crop a great deal but i have to some times. so one more time 12 is better then 6 so for me it's quality not quantity! how many people shoot a D2xs and do it at 6MP? they never think about it and do fine work! it's the quality of the camera and software! but in the end i think we Will top out at around 15 to 20 MP's just for the file size if nothing else....rick
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#20 Edo

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:30 AM

"I love my D2hs. I have a D200 if I need larger files." -- Bill in Austin The problem with that is it assumes two things before you shoot: 1. that you know you're subject and situation in advance, and 2. that you know how you will use the finished image. Me, I'm often working like a trout fisherman; I'm out casting without knowing what I'm going to get or if I'm gonna get anything at all. Since, most of the time, I'm shooting for stock, my goal is to remain competitive, towards the front, rather than lagging behind. Pixel-wise, I want any image I submit to be able to work as a double-page magazine spread. And every image I submit to Alamy (or any other stock house) gets interpolated to 50 MB. (I've stopped worrying about the pros and cons of that---I just do it.) Stock sales these days are rare, and poster sales are rarer still. In my travel-marketing, film days I did three rounds of posters, one for PanAm, one for American Express and one for American Airlines. Most everything was shot on Kodachrome 25, and some imaging outfit somewhere handled the blow-ups. I see pixel numbers as just one of the many factors that dictate quality.

Edited by Edo, 26 February 2009 - 11:38 AM.

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#21 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:32 PM

Really megapixel numbers don't matter, it's pixel site size, and with higher densities the reduction in pixel site sizes needed. Keep enlarging the sensor size and you can keep adding megapixels, but if you retain the same size sensor you eventually run up against their effective density limit, when simply adding further megapixels degrades rather than improves the image.

The compact cameras now seem to have exceeded this limit, and the DX, APS-C sensor seems to have about got there since many reviewers think the 10 megapixel Canon 40D has better image quality than it's 15 megapixel replacement the Canon 50D. Therefore probably 13 megapixels is about the sensible limit for modern technology on the DX sensor.

The move to the 35mm sized FX sensor by both Canon and Nikon indicates they both have realised this and they can therefore keep adding more megapixels to that until pixel site density is more or less is equivalent to 13 megapixels on the DX sensor.

When that is reached then maybe the rumoured 35mm sized lower medium format sensored camera like the new Leica will be produced by Canon and Nikon in order to increase the megapixel count further? However it needs a whole new bayonet mount and new range of lenses since the former 35mm film lenses used on DX and FX cameras up to now cannot fully cover the sensor. That would mean no more backwards compatibility with Nikon's or Canon's present lenses:-

http://www.imaging-r...1222235975.html

The sensible pixel density limit with modern technology seems to be around 3.3 MP/cm, as with the Nikon D300. The Canon 50D has 4.5 MP/cm . I cannot see future technology overcoming this barrier by much either.

Already sensors with high pixel densities are starting to out resolve the lenses used on these cameras, so if your lens only resolves the equivalent of 10 megapixels, putting it on a 13 megapixel camera still means you will only obtain the equivalent of 10 megapixel resolution. Even in photography "a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link".

http://www.luminous-...esolution.shtml

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#22 mule_patterson

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 05:45 PM

Like most conflicts in this world, we don't need a war to settle anything. This is natural technological development and we simple slot in where we fit best.

Most amateurs can live with a 6-10mp body for adequate file size and print quality.

Semipros will range from 10+ depending on their output needs.

Ditto with pros - the ability to crop out of a 24 mp image is no different than what we used to do with film - only now it can work!

Therefore, we need all the megapixel variety we can get - with no stop to developing more. Nikon is beginning to get converts from the MF world. Recently read a comment about a Hassy customer that gave the nod to a D3x. And Canon is on the ropes for matching this incredible stream of innovation.

Just cuz you (and I) can't keep up with the latest and greatest doesn't mean it's not needed.Capability is what's going on here - we can get resolution, low noise and better glass than ever now. Don't stop Nikon!

Let us all know what YOU use and need to accomplish your feats of photo daring - click over to my latest poll and comment on what Your Resolution Requirements are...

Peace out...

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#23 tlsmith1000

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 08:31 PM

After reading through the replies, I have to say I feel the number of pixels in my D60is sufficient, but then a thought occurred to me that almost made me hyperventilate. I used to use a large format many years ago, a 4x5 Calumet and an 8x10 something or other. Just think if you had a sensor that was basically 80 10.2 megapixel sensors all jammed together to make a HUGE 8x10 sensor. Over 800 megapixels in one sensor. You would need almost a gig of memory per shot, but just imagine. (I just shivered) Think of an Ansel Adams type image but when you zoom in to the top of a mountain you can tell the sex of a flea on a dog's ear. I just shivered again.
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#24 Black Pearl

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:48 AM

Untill Tuesday I would have been happy with about 12-15 for anything I was ever likely to do. Thing is I went to Focus on Imaging and the very nice people at Hasselblad let me use one of their H3DII 31's also giving me the 2G CF card to take home with a copy of the Phocus software to open the RAW files. Errrrr.............31 million pixels with no Anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor has changed my world. Nothing I have seen comes close (not even the D3x) to the levels of detail and clarity. Problem is the price at 10k + VAT I would risk much more than a divorce.
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#25 photojazz

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:41 AM

Having seen images >12 MP that are beyond belief at the resoultion and color and my pocket book, I am also happy at the 6-12 MP images that my cameras capture. Not being paid for photography, I do not desire these mega pixels wonders at the moment. :)

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#26 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:32 AM

You can have as many megapixels as you like provided you keep enlarging the sensor size and obviously the size of the camera. However there is a pixel density threshold where a greater pixel density and smaller site size will simply degrade the image rather than advance it.

Also you cannot alter the laws of optics, or the wavelengths of visible light, so there comes a point where conventional optics cannot resolve any more detail. That is why in microscopy the electron microscope had to be invented, using wavelengths other than visible light. But obviously that is impractical for cameras as electron microscopes only produce monochrome images even if some have been false coloured by computers afterwards.

At some stage all sensor sizes are going to run up against their practical optical limits. Some say the compact camera has now reached theirs, and the DX sensor seems to be getting close. Eventually the FX one will do so also, and then if you want more pixels you will have to step up to medium format and beyond.

See maximum theoretical megapixel limits for various sensor sizes at the end of the links below. But remember most lenses designed for these sensors cannot equal that resolution, so your effective megapixels are limited by the lens and more megapixels than your lenses can resolve are simply wasted, as I said in a previous post. Pointless having a DX sensor that can resolve 26 megapixels if lenses used on a DX camera can only resolve 10:-

http://www.photorevi...ally-need-.aspx

http://i.gizmodo.com...snt-more-better

http://www.ayton.id.au/wp02/?p=237

http://www.cambridge...photography.htm

Also I note one link reinforces what I constantly say. If you handhold your camera forget about high megapixel ones since you will only achieve the same results as using a lower megapixel version due to camera shake. The advantages of high megapixel cameras can only be achieved by using it on a stout tripod.

Obviously when people pay big money for a highly resolving camera they tend to see improvements in the image resolution that are not strictly there in order to justify their extra expense. But the only way to actually test if perceived resolution was better would be a properly conducted scientific "blind test" where the viewer had no knowledge of what camera took the image and all images were printed to the same size. Something almost never done in comparison of cameras.

The other point about stepping up to larger formats is in theory their lenses do not need as high a resolution since the sensor image is not enlarged so much for the same final image size. That is not to say their lenses are not as good, but means that larger formats will perform better with higher megapixel counts than smaller format ones as I understand it since lens resolution is now becoming a limiting factor too?

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#27 Edo

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:08 PM

In film days, as now, the question of quality has always had two parts: 1. What is possible under controlled situations?, and 2. What can be done on the run? That Hasselblad set-up or even the D3x are not handy for PJ work or travel, anymore than a big view camera was.
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#28 Dennis

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:36 PM

I have simple requirments. if I can get the 16x24 to look like I inmagined, then that was the right resolution. I have the D200, but I have not done a print of a 16x24 with high ISO so far. But the low ISO, no problem for me. So I guess, right now 10meg is good for me. But, then I am saving for the D700. The real interesting thing for me is what Luis said in another post... extracting (cropping in) the resolution of higher megpix is something to ponder for me in that case.

Edited by Dennis, 02 March 2009 - 01:38 PM.

Thanks, Dennis.

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#29 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:51 PM

Somebody will correct me if I am wrong Dennis, but whilst say a 24 megapixel camera would theoretically allow you to crop severely and still retain the resolution of say an 18 megapixel camera. If the system is lens limited because that aperture, due to diffraction cannot resolve more than say 16 megapixels, 16 megapixels resolution is all you will get on the 24 megapixel sensor. Cropping then would result in an image having even less than 16 megapixels resolution if blown up to the same size, though taken with a 24 megapixel camera.

Somebody tell me if I am misunderstanding a lens (aperture) limited system?

The link below gives these lens diffraction limited resolutions:-

"Full frame 35mm maximum = 60mp

(29mp at f/8, 16mp at f/11, 7mp at f/16, 4mp at f/22, (BUT remember most 35mm optics struggle to do 16-22mp, thus they are lens-limited at f/8 or wider)

APS-C maximum = 27mp

(13mp at f/8 and 7mp at f/11, (remember most lenses struggle to do 10-12mp on this sensor crop, thus, they too are lens limited at f/5.6 and wider)"


http://www.ayton.id.au/wp02/?p=237

This link says how many megapixels are needed for a print:-

http://www.quazen.co...y-Prints.329299

The point is though the camera sensor may be able to resolve X-number of megapixels, if the lens (or the aperture) you use cannot you are stuck with that lower megapixel count. Diffraction is better understood in macro photography than general photography since it's effects apply more at smaller apertures and greater magnification, but it still reduces resolution in normal photography.

In macro to combat diffraction lenses often have to be opened up to larger apertures to avoid diffraction effects and techniques like photostacking used to gain the depth of field you loose from not being able to stop down.

With the 13 megapixel ASP-C sensored Nikon's and the 24 megapixel FX D3X we seem to have come to the sensible megapixel limits for those formats, since the present lenses cannot resolve any more megapixels.

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#30 Dennis

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for the links Dave... I will check them out.

Thanks, Dennis.

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