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Canon 7D image quality at Medium and Small sizes

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Thread started 20 Jan 2010 (Wednesday) 14:29   
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briantium
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With all the talk of 18 MP being too much to cram into a crop sensor, and various degrees of criticism regarding the softness/lack of sharpness in the 7Ds pics, I was wondering if anybody has tried shooting at Medium (10 MP equivalent) or Small (4.5 MP) to see if there was a marked improvement in the image quality.

Post #1, Jan 20, 2010 14:29:24




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yourdoinitwrong
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I usually shoot in mRAW instead of full RAW and I can't say that I see any noticeable difference between the two. Then again I don't really have a problem with the IQ of my 7D to begin with. I don't want to start any kind of pi$$ing match but those "concerns" are usually only when pixel peeping at 100% which I do not do. An 18MP sensor at 100% is obviously a larger size than a 12MP or 15MP at 100% so I am only concerned with IQ at the size that I actually view the photo or print it. Neither of which do I do at 100%. If you have a photo that you are viewing at say 8x10 or whatever the 7D has more resolution at the given size than a 50D, 40D, etc. thus lessening any argument of softness, at least in my experience. I always shoot in RAW so all my shots are always sharpened in LR anyway. I am not a camera expert by any means and I'm sure there will be those that disagree with me but I have been pretty happy with with the output from my 7D. When I haven't been happy it's usually a result of user error, not the camera.

Post #2, Jan 20, 2010 15:18:43


7D2 w/ BG-E16, 7D w/ BG-E7, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, 24-105 f/4L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L, 85 f/1.8
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nicksan
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Didn't notice an improvement...

Post #3, Jan 20, 2010 15:20:57


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dmstraton
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I almost always shoot in mRAW right now (still early days), and versus the full size RAW their is not much difference and both frankly seem great to me for a crop camera (my other is the 5D II). There is a slight advantage to noise at the higher ISOs when shooting mRAW, but my statement here is honestly subjective - I have not quantified this. I can say that it is better at high ISOs than my 40D was, but is a stop or so behind the 5D Mk II - no surprise.

I am not really seeing the softness - I shoot RAW almost exclusively, and bumped my sharpness level up to 2 right off the bat for JPEGs after reading to do so at the Digital Picture, so I have no complaints. Second, the RAWs without post are already fairly sharp - and they take sharpening very well either in LR or in Nik Sharpener Pro.

Post #4, Jan 20, 2010 15:45:17


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billposter
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nicksan wrote in post #9434971external link
Didn't notice an improvement...

Nor me

Post #5, Jan 20, 2010 16:10:06


Canon 7D, 24-105mm L f/4, 70-200mm F4 L IS, Canon 100mm F2, Sigma 12-24mm, nifty fifty, 580 EXII, Elinchrom D-Lites (2) Slik tripod and bags up the ying yang

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artyman
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Shot this one in MRAW when I was trying it out, I prefer full size raws as it gives me more cropping room when shooting birds. OK if they are close like this guy was :)

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Not really tried with general scenes but indications are that it's fine if you want/need to save file space.

Post #6, Jan 20, 2010 16:12:17


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woos
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Why would anyone think that somehow shooting at a LOWER RESOLUTION would give you a higher quality file???

Using the mRAW and sRAW modes give you a lower quality file...obviously. They contain less information...lol.

It may end up looking "cleaner" at 100% view, however that is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with the actual quality of the image...

That's like making a 4x6 from a 6mp image and then making a 20x30 from an 18mp file, lookign at both from an inch away, and then claiming the 6mp file is higher quality.

Post #7, Jan 20, 2010 16:39:51


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briantium
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From Ken Rockwell's 5D2 review:

"Sharpness of smaller image sizes

As hoped, lower resolution files get sharper because Bayer Interpolation is no longer needed.

Unlike Nikons, which don't get any sharper at 100% when set to smaller resolution files, M and L files form the 5D mark II are super, duper sharp.

I don't need 21MP. I usually shoot set down to 11MP and get images much sharper than from 12MP (native) cameras."


His article on the Bayer Interpolation he refers to: http://www.kenrockwell​.com/tech/bayer.htmexternal link

Now it seems Ken Rockwell engenders a lot of ire among some people in the various forums. So if people could please refrain from turning this thread into a "bash Ken Rockwell" roast and focus on what he's actually claiming, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Post #8, Jan 20, 2010 16:47:17




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gabebalazs
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Softness? Lack of sharpness? CHeck out this thread:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=799284

My 7D is insanely sharper set at 8mp jpeg than my also 8mp Rebel XT. It also sharper than my old 40D was and on par or a tiny bit sharper than my old 50D (when set/resized to the same 10mp or 15mp respectively.) When left at 18mp it's about as sharp as my 40D was at 10mp.
See, when you set the 18mp resolution of the 7D to 10 or 8mp, that 2500-2600 lines resolution (amount of detail resolved in a shot) will be compressed at the same area as the 1800 lines resolution of the XT or 2000-2100 lines of the 40D. Hence your 100% crops will "look" sharper but that's irrelevant. It's absolute amount of detail, like lines on a resolution chart, matters.
But like I said check out the above linked thread.
In the meantime here are some 100% crops from my 7D:

full image:

IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7Dsigma.jpg


100% crop:
IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7DsigmaCrop.jpg

Another full image:
IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7D%20glove.jpg


100% crop:
IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7D%20glove%20crop.jpg


Full image:
IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7Dcoaster.jpg


100% crop, you can even see the printing dots on this: :)
IMAGE: http://gabebalazsphoto.com/misc_photos/7DcoaterCrop.jpg

Post #9, Jan 20, 2010 16:50:19


5DIII | 5Dc | 70D | Ʃ 70-200 2.8 OS | 120-300 2.8 OS | 18-250 OS | Canon 24-70 2.8L II | 24-105 f/4L | 17-40 f4L | 50 1.4 | 85 1.8 | EF-S 10-18 | 18-135 IS STM | Rokinon 14 2.8 | Sigma 1.4x & 2x | Canon 600EX-RT
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gabebalazs
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woos wrote in post #9435446external link
Why would anyone think that somehow shooting at a LOWER RESOLUTION would give you a higher quality file???

Using the mRAW and sRAW modes give you a lower quality file...obviously. They contain less information...lol.

It may end up looking "cleaner" at 100% view, however that is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with the actual quality of the image...

That's like making a 4x6 from a 6mp image and then making a 20x30 from an 18mp file, lookign at both from an inch away, and then claiming the 6mp file is higher quality.

yeah, exactly. a reduced file size looks sharper at 100% view but like you said that's not going to make the output sized image better :)

Post #10, Jan 20, 2010 16:51:11


5DIII | 5Dc | 70D | Ʃ 70-200 2.8 OS | 120-300 2.8 OS | 18-250 OS | Canon 24-70 2.8L II | 24-105 f/4L | 17-40 f4L | 50 1.4 | 85 1.8 | EF-S 10-18 | 18-135 IS STM | Rokinon 14 2.8 | Sigma 1.4x & 2x | Canon 600EX-RT
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Mocows
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I haven't noticed anything different between full size and med format. I'm usually shooting in med format as I need to find another external hard drive.

Post #11, Jan 20, 2010 16:52:00


7D | XSi + Phottix Grip | 400 F/5.6 | 70-200 F/4 | Sigma 30 f/1.4 | Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 |430ex | Horusbennu C-2830V | Photo Clam PC-33
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gabebalazs
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People who do not pixel peep but print or view images a thier monitor size (image fills the monitor) will not see a difference. When you pixel peep you'll see a difference at 100% crop size, BUT at the same time you're looking at the same object/scene at a smaller magnification at 10mp than at 18mp.
This has been beaten to death so many times here :)

Post #12, Jan 20, 2010 16:55:22


5DIII | 5Dc | 70D | Ʃ 70-200 2.8 OS | 120-300 2.8 OS | 18-250 OS | Canon 24-70 2.8L II | 24-105 f/4L | 17-40 f4L | 50 1.4 | 85 1.8 | EF-S 10-18 | 18-135 IS STM | Rokinon 14 2.8 | Sigma 1.4x & 2x | Canon 600EX-RT
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yourdoinitwrong
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woos wrote in post #9435446external link
Why would anyone think that somehow shooting at a LOWER RESOLUTION would give you a higher quality file???

Using the mRAW and sRAW modes give you a lower quality file...obviously. They contain less information...lol.

It may end up looking "cleaner" at 100% view, however that is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with the actual quality of the image...

That's like making a 4x6 from a 6mp image and then making a 20x30 from an 18mp file, lookign at both from an inch away, and then claiming the 6mp file is higher quality.

I am not an expert and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you because I don't really know the answer to this. My initial thoughts though are that while an mRAW file DOES contain less information overall, it's in a smaller dimension photo so it might not resolve less detail than a full RAW file. On the 7D a RAW file is 5184x3456 and an mRAW file is 3888x2592. When viewed at 100% at the same dpi my thinking is that both types of files would give you about the same number of lines per inch, thus giving the same resolution of detail. I could be completely wrong though and probably am but that is just what I was thinking.

Post #13, Jan 20, 2010 16:56:57


7D2 w/ BG-E16, 7D w/ BG-E7, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, 24-105 f/4L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L, 85 f/1.8
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gabebalazs
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yourdoinitwrong wrote in post #9435564external link
I am not an expert and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you because I don't really know the answer to this. My initial thoughts though are that while an mRAW file DOES contain less information overall, it's in a smaller dimension photo so it might not resolve less detail than a full RAW file. On the 7D a RAW file is 5184x3456 and an mRAW file is 3888x2592. When viewed at 100% at the same dpi my thinking is that both types of files would give you about the same number of lines per inch, thus giving the same resolution of detail. I could be completely wrong though and probably am but that is just what I was thinking.

Well, technically the full size RAW will give you a better resolution. However, in the real world certain things work against it: inferior lens, motion blur etc. So quite often there is no difference between an mRAW and a full RAW file because the subtle details of the pictures get wiped out by some external factor like bad lens, atmosphere (tele lenses), motion blur, challenging AF conditions, etc. So you can take the fullest advantage of the full RAW vs mRAW if the circumstances are good for a nicely detailed shot. Most of my shots are full RAW, but there are occasions when I switch to mRAW because a full RAW would be overkill, I wouldn't gain any more detail in the full RAW shot anyway.

Post #14, Jan 20, 2010 17:02:12


5DIII | 5Dc | 70D | Ʃ 70-200 2.8 OS | 120-300 2.8 OS | 18-250 OS | Canon 24-70 2.8L II | 24-105 f/4L | 17-40 f4L | 50 1.4 | 85 1.8 | EF-S 10-18 | 18-135 IS STM | Rokinon 14 2.8 | Sigma 1.4x & 2x | Canon 600EX-RT
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bulldog-yota
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Excuse my ignorance, but my understanding is that the IQ concerns with the 7D is with the size of the individual sensors. Shooting at lower resolutions the camera simply throws away some of the input from some of the sensors, so the per sensor sharpness is still the same.

The only advantage is a smaller file to work with when all the resolution is not needed.

Anyway this is my understanding at this time.

Post #15, Jan 20, 2010 17:06:37




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