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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 05 Dec 2009 (Saturday) 17:15
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More Megapixels - Bear with me here.

 
JeffreyG
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Dec 05, 2009 17:15 |  #1

Canon seems to be headed down the path of adding megapixels with every new camera. Nikon seems like they don't care. That got me to thinking....am I limited by my low (10 and 12.8 ) megapixel cameras?

So I grabbed my kids and forced them to participate in a test shot (please ignore the un-combed hair and food stains). This test shot is with a 5D, 12.8 MP, 135mm lens and f/11. I then resized and uprezzed the shot to 20" x 30" at 240 DPI and had a 20x30 print made at Costco ($8.99). The linked image is not the uprezzed one because that sucker was 28 megabites.

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/41615​56676/ (external link)

Looking at the print, I'm hard pressed to note any lack of detail among the rear three kids. In fact, the biggest technical flaw (aside from the darkness of the rightmost child and the un-combed hair plus food stains) is that the little girl closest to the camera is slightly OOF at this large of a print size. DOF at f/11 seems to be almost inadequate to make a print this big.

Really then....I find f/11 for this little group of kids is the limiting factor. How then is 21 MP on the 5D2 or even more on the 1DsIV going to be of a huge value to most photographers? I can understand that a few people in real niche work might be able to use it, but I'm questioning if more pixels do anything for most of us beyond slowing down out computers and filling up our CF cards and hard drives.


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skygod44
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Dec 05, 2009 17:30 |  #2

Hey Jeffrey, do you really think we have a choice in the matter?
Until I upgraded the internal hardware in my computer a few weeks ago I was pondering on whether it's worth any "upgrade" for exactly the reasons you mentioned: more MP = slow computer and a full HDD.
But, I hear a lot of 5D2 guys stating that the skin-tone quality from the 5D2 beats the pants off anything else due to the sheer number of pixels covering each tiny detail. And the feature-set on that (or the 7D, or a 5D3 as-and-when) would be rather useful as my 30D lacks some refinements, for example, self-cleaning sensor, etc. And maybe the human eye can spot the differences between these pixel-counts, maybe it can't? Maybe the biggest factor is still the excellent glass stuck on the camera.....?
But Canon and Nikon are businesses who sell most of their products to people who "prefer using the little green box, 'cos in 'M', all the pictures go funny"!
And these people (perhaps, more often than not) think greater MP = better camera. So the top of the line cameras must also have more MP crammed in, or else their marketing would appear to be a lie.
I think we're stuck with it, whether we like it or not......
:rolleyes:


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Saint728
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Dec 05, 2009 17:34 |  #3

I say the more MP the merrier. You can never have too many MP's. Computer hard drives and storage are getting cheaper by the day. Sure most people will never use or need such high MP's, but it doesn't hurt to have them, just in case. Its like a car, HP is great but more HP is better. You may never use it, but at least you know its there if you need it. Its better to have too much MP then not enough.

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Silverfox1
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Dec 05, 2009 17:35 |  #4

IMO that photo is outstanding and personally i myself could not justify spending 2.5K+ on a body for 20+ MP. I would much rather have 10 to 15 MP max and 6K worth of great glass.

Hopefully the MP race is over and the manufacturers have decided to enfluence their sales with high ISO & video capabilities.

Regards, :D


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fWord
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Dec 05, 2009 17:36 |  #5

First of all, that's an awesome photograph. The expressions captured are just sincere and unforced.

Going back to the discussion however...many moons ago when I was still very new, I might have wanted more megapixels because it logically would allow for better print quality. While I haven't made thousands of prints, I've made enough to know that cameras in the order of 6-12 megapixels would be capable of making prints big enough for the vast majority of users.

Take the 1Ds Classic which I have, for example. I used it to make a canvas print 24X36 inches, and even with my nose up against the print I'd wager it would be possible to go far larger and still have no issues. There's a thing called 'viewing distance'. So if I were to print say, twice as large, and not have my nose up against the print (which is a stupid thing to do since visitors to my house would never do the same), the photo would look more than awesome.

I also have a 6 megapixel Fuji S5Pro which although is excellent for color and DR, is famous for producing images that smudge fine detail. While I have yet to do a really large print from this camera, I have been most pleased by 8X12 inch prints, and they look far, far better than on screen, even up close.

So I definitely agree with you that very high megapixel cameras would suit some niche users. But really, for the bulk of us, all that extra megapixel firepower is simply a waste.


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JeffreyG
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Dec 05, 2009 17:37 |  #6

skygod44 wrote in post #9141642 (external link)
Hey Jeffrey, do you really think we have a choice in the matter?
:rolleyes:

Well, my approach here was really to try and understand what features in newer cameras are appealing.

I know for sure that I will pay for:
1. Fast and accurate AF
2. Large and bright viewfinders
3. Low noise at high ISO

I was wondering if more pixels would be of a real value to me. Since I don't have a high pixel count camera, my approach was to push what I have. So I made the biggest print I ever thought I might make (and the biggest print locally available) from my gear.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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K6AZ
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Dec 05, 2009 17:38 |  #7

The amount of pixels in the sensor stopped being a selling point for me around the time 8MP models were released. I'm perfectly fine with a 10MP XS/1000D and the 12MP Nikon D700. I know Nikon already has a good percentage of D700 owners lined up to buy the 24MP replacement for the D700 but I won't be one of them.

FWIW I did buy a 7D but it wasn't because of the 18MP.


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mike_d
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Dec 05, 2009 17:39 |  #8

More MP means more cropping options to me. But if adding MP adds noise, no thanks.




  
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schultzpaw
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Dec 05, 2009 17:43 |  #9

JeffreyG wrote in post #9141679 (external link)
I know for sure that I will pay for:
1. Fast and accurate AF
2. Large and bright viewfinders
3. Low noise at high ISO

Same here. Unfortunately the average person thinks Megapixels are the most important camera feature. A friend of mine asked my advice of how he should get into DSLR photography. I told him to buy a Rebel XT with a Sigma 18-200, and he looked at the specs and said "But that camera only has 8mp." He has money so of course he'll probably buy a 7D, stick it on auto and never know the difference. Incidently I bought the 7D mostly for the high ISO and fps.


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Photon ­ Phil
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Dec 05, 2009 17:51 |  #10

I love that the ISO wars are heating up between makers. We all win. Birders and non-birders.


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apersson850
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Dec 05, 2009 17:52 as a reply to  @ schultzpaw's post |  #11

Several of the images I shoot with my 7D I actually shoot with the M setting, not L.
I wasn't limited by the 10 megapixels of my 40D, but by the large gap between the AF points. For example.


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schultzpaw
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Dec 05, 2009 17:56 |  #12

apersson850 wrote in post #9141730 (external link)
Several of the images I shoot with my 7D I actually shoot with the M setting, not L.
I wasn't limited by the 10 megapixels of my 40D, but by the large gap between the AF points. For example.

I've heard that shooting at M lowers high ISO noise. Is this true?


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artyman
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Dec 05, 2009 17:59 |  #13

Having just moved from 350D to a 7D the extra pixels do give me cropability which for shooting birds, who always seem to want to be as far away as possible, it is a great help. It depends on what photography you do. I've printed 14x10 from a 4MP camera and it looks fine at normal viewing distances of a couple of feet. If people are going to get that close, I'll print 6x4 to save paper and suggest they use a microscope. :lol:


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Bob_A
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Dec 05, 2009 18:36 |  #14

JeffreyG wrote in post #9141679 (external link)
Well, my approach here was really to try and understand what features in newer cameras are appealing.

I know for sure that I will pay for:
1. Fast and accurate AF
2. Large and bright viewfinders
3. Low noise at high ISO

I was wondering if more pixels would be of a real value to me. Since I don't have a high pixel count camera, my approach was to push what I have. So I made the biggest print I ever thought I might make (and the biggest print locally available) from my gear.

I went through the same experiment a couple of months ago having one of my 12 MP D700 images printed 16x20 by EZ-Prints (Smugmug's print partner) who up-sample the images before printing. I'm extremely happy with the result ... nice sharp print with great detail even at very close inspection and no jaggies.

So, for me 12MP is enough for pretty much everything I shoot. No doubt that if you crop a lot higher MP's would be better and I have been in that situation a couple of times shooting small birds with my 70-200. However if I shot birds a lot I'd probably replace my 20D with a higher MP cropper.


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K6AZ
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Dec 05, 2009 18:57 |  #15

Bob_A wrote in post #9141915 (external link)
I went through the same experiment a couple of months ago having one of my 12 MP D700 images printed 16x20 by EZ-Prints (Smugmug's print partner) who up-sample the images before printing. I'm extremely happy with the result ... nice sharp print with great detail even at very close inspection and no jaggies.

So, for me 12MP is enough for pretty much everything I shoot. No doubt that if you crop a lot higher MP's would be better and I have been in that situation a couple of times shooting small birds with my 70-200. However if I shot birds a lot I'd probably replace my 20D with a higher MP cropper.

So I take it you're in my camp on the D700x, D800, or whatever they're going to call it. ;)


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