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Against the hype of more and more megapixels

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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 14:23   #1
hinnark
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Against the hype of more and more megapixels

Dont know, if the information provided here is new for everybody, but I think it is worth a closer look:

http://6mpixel.org/en/

Steve
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 14:57   #2
Robert / Seattle
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Fascinating. Thanks, Steve. Useful information.

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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:00   #3
nigelblake
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This is only relavent to compact cameras, DSLRs have much bigger sensors, and have single pixel sizes bigger than the optimum size(3 microns) mentioned in this article, the new EOS 1Ds MkIII is 21.4Mp and has pixels that measure 6.2 microns.

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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:02   #4
Robert / Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelblake View Post
... DSLRs have much bigger sensors.
All of them? (4/3rds system, for example)

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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:08   #5
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Yes, there is a graphic on that site. In fact they contradict theirselves by showing that at 3 microns a full frame (35mm equivalent) could be as much as 96 megapixels
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:35   #6
hinnark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelblake View Post
This is only relavent to compact cameras, DSLRs have much bigger sensors, and have single pixel sizes bigger than the optimum size(3 microns) mentioned in this article, the new EOS 1Ds MkIII is 21.4Mp and has pixels that measure 6.2 microns.
Nigel,

I think they made this differentiation in the next to last paragraph.

Steve
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinnark View Post
Nigel,

I think they made this differentiation in the next to last paragraph.

Steve
Oh thats good, I did'nt read it right through........ the trouble with the net is that there is so much stuff written by people who think they know what they are talking about, and sadly it confuses many!
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 15:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelblake View Post
This is only relavent to compact cameras, DSLRs have much bigger sensors, and have single pixel sizes bigger than the optimum size(3 microns) mentioned in this article, the new EOS 1Ds MkIII is 21.4Mp and has pixels that measure 6.2 microns.
21.4Mp!!! just as well hard drives and memory cards are coming down in price

So in a normal situation (max. A4 prints rather than billboards) what does everyone reckon the optimum Mp to be?
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:00   #9
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At 300dpi 8.3" X 11.7" it works out at 8.7399 megapixels
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:18   #10
Robert / Seattle
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So, in layman's terms: There's an optimal pixel count for a sensor of a given size, above and below which (more or fewer pixels), the image can be said to deteriorate?
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert / Seattle View Post
So, in layman's terms: There's an optimal pixel count for a sensor of a given size, above and below which (more or fewer pixels), the image can be said to deteriorate?
Indeed that is the case, it is really down to optimum (individual) pixel size and pitch. However the quality of optics does have an influence here, higher quality optics have smaller 'circles of confusion' and less 'divergence' when stopping down to smaller apertures, so provided that the sensor is of high quality as well, with little 'on-chip' noise, you can have one with smaller pixels and therefore resolve greater detail.

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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:32   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelblake View Post
Indeed that is the case, it is really down to optimum (individual) pixel size and pitch. However the quality of optics does have an influence here, higher quality optics have smaller 'circles of confusion' and less 'divergence' when stopping down to smaller apertures, so provided that the sensor is of high quality as well, with little 'on-chip' noise, you can have with smaller pixels and therefor resolve greater detail.
Thanks, Nigel. I'm therefore guessing that all of the combined characteristics above is why my Leica Digilux 3, at 7.5 mp, produces a higher quality image than would be intuitively assumed given the modest pixel count. Correct assumption?
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:41   #13
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Thanks, Nigel. I'm therefore guessing that all of the combined characteristics above is why my Leica Digilux 3, at 7.5 mp, produces a higher quality image than would be intuitively assumed given the modest pixel count. Correct assumption?
Very likely, I'm not familiar with that camera but if its 4/3rds then the sensor will be 17mm X 13mm, so 7.5 Mp would mean the pixel pitch is about 5.5m, well above the 3m theoretical minimum pixel size (I'm sure that will change in time though as the technology advances).
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Old Friday 28th September 2007, 16:44   #14
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It will be interesting to see how the new 12 megapixel Nikon P5100 compares with the 10 megapixel P5000. I feel better about my puny 6 megapixel Fuji F30 already.

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Old Saturday 29th September 2007, 10:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelblake View Post
At 300dpi 8.3" X 11.7" it works out at 8.7399 megapixels
Nigel, assuming this is an answer to the "what is the optimum MP count" question above it, I have one comment - don't you ever crop? Especially with bird photography, seems to me that some cropping is often necessary. We need a little leeway, don't you think?

Last edited by RAH : Saturday 29th September 2007 at 10:45.
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Old Saturday 29th September 2007, 10:52   #16
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Yes I do very occasionally crop images that I put on the web, and publishers often crop my shots too, (sometimes not to my liking, but its OK as long as they send the cheque!!). My feeling is why spend 5.5K on a 16.7 Mp camera and use it as a 10Mp camera!.
I have spent 30 odd years shooting on slides, composing images to suit the format becomes second nature after all that time.

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