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APS-C, Pixels, etc.
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Oct 7, 2019 14:17:22   #
Ed Chu (a regular here)
 
24mp seems to be the max # on APS-C cameras - how come we don't see a race to see how many we can cram onto an APS-C sensor ( like Sony's new FF A9 with 61 )?

From a response on DP Review: "That being said, there is a max theoretical resolution for any given sized sensor due to the wave-like nature of light. Depending on how you do the math, you get slightly different answers, but it tends to be a few gigapixels for full frame sensors, and a little less than one gigapixel for a micro 4/3 sensor. That's assuming a perfect lens which doesn't exist in reality of course, but still, we're nowhere near the limits or resolution." Try to keep responses simple, but is this true ?

So 20mp will continue to be, more or less, the max for MFT ?

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Oct 7, 2019 15:02:07   #
MoT (a regular here)
 
On Spet 26, DP Review had a article about a new Sony MFT sensor. It is a 47 MP MFT sensor that is designated IMX492 LQJ. So 20 MP may not be it for MFT. We will have to wait and see.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:02:35   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
The de facto crop standard has been 24MP for a few years now, both cropped and full-frame. Both Nikon and Canon have / had several concurrent models each, all with a 24MP sensor inside hardly different bodies. The new EOS 90D is beginning the Canon push higher to 32MP. Sony too has maintained a consistency of 24MP on both cropped and full-frame sensors, with higher resolution options.

In general, the technology flows downward from the top-tier of a brand's cameras. First the 30 to 50MP sensors appears in the top-line full-frame bodies. Now 3ish years later, the cropped sensors are starting to grow to the same pixel resolution on a smaller physical sensor.

The larger resolution cameras push our computer equipment too, needing more storage and more memory and the latest software releases to efficiently process the large images. As you somewhat noted, the true top-line $6000 models use a slight smaller pixel resolution. High-volume work for sports, active wildlife and journalism don't need the 50MP resolution for wall-sized prints. If you want to do monster-prints, use (rent) a camera best suited to that purpose.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:10:27   #
BebuLamar (a regular here)
 
For Canon, Nikon and Sony all of their most expensive models have 24MP or less and they are FF. All of their highest resolution cameras are second most expensive models.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:12:34   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
BebuLamar wrote:
For Canon, Nikon and Sony all of their most expensive models have 24MP or less and they are FF. All of their highest resolution cameras are second most expensive models.


typo?

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Oct 7, 2019 15:13:30   #
MoT (a regular here)
 
They all have larger pixels which can obtain more information from the light hitting it so as to produce a very fine image.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:16:56   #
Ed Chu (a regular here)
 
MoT wrote:
They all have larger pixels which can obtain more information from the light hitting it so as to produce a very fine image.


knowing this ( I have seen this in articles, before ), does it follow that the 20mp MFT cameras COULD produce a better image than 24mp models ( not withstanding sensors used, etc. ) ?

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Oct 7, 2019 15:21:44   #
mas24 (a regular here)
 
Full frame cameras are generally semi pro or pro cameras. I remember taking a look at a 12.1 megapixels Nikon D700 in 2008. That was considered a lot back then. Crop sensor entry-level cameras were around 10 or less megapixels. Canon crop sensor DSLRs floated around 18 megapixels for a while, before it increased. The same Nikon, 24 megapixels crop sensor, is in the Nikon D3300 thru the D7200. Except the D7000, which has 16 megapixels. Most crop sensor cameras have to be affordable to the amateur/hobbyist. To increase megapixels means increasing the price. Sony's New a7r4 has 61 megapixels. I could not imagine any of Sony's a6000 series, which are all crop sensor mirrorless, ever having 61 megapixels, in the near future.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:25:32   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Ed Chu wrote:
knowing this ( I have seen this in articles, before ), does it follow that the 20mp MFT cameras COULD produce a better image than 24mp models ( not withstanding sensors used, etc. ) ?


I'd assume the image is exactly the same with slightly less options for cropping from the lower pixel resolution image. That is, assuming the 24MP vs 20MP comparison is cropped to cropped or FF to FF. The 4MP difference in these sensors is rather trivial, but still real, when you get into the cropping options.

There's so much more that comes into play than the size of the pixels on the sensor, of particular note is the camera's image processor (CPU) in the camera as well as the power and accuracy the body's auto-focus system. Those top-line $6000 models have multiple processors inside the body, one typically dedicated to managing the AF system. They also have larger (or multiple) batteries, again to supply 'power' to the AF system. So, for a static subject at a low ISO, where the 'power' of the more powerful camera is immaterial, differences in the results will be immaterial too.

The comparison of 24MP 'cropped' to 24MP FF is where the significantly different sized pixels comes into play, but maybe only for images in lower light / higher ISO.

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Oct 7, 2019 15:32:14   #
rmorrison1116 (a regular here)
 
I have a 50 megapixel full frame Canon DSLR and the IQ and detail of the images it produces are mind bogglingly amazing. The 5DSr has been around for several years now so it's using, by todays standards, older technology. The real limit isn't how many pixels the manufacturers can put on an image sensor, it's how to effectively communicate with those individual pixels and differentiate between wanted and unwanted signals. This is where the image processor comes into play. The more powerful the available micro processor technology, the more megapixels they can effectively cram into an image sensor chip. Canon has been working on high megapixel sensors for years now but putting those sensors into a small handheld camera body hasn't been practicle because the processing technology required is still too large for a small DSLR or MILC sized camera body. Recent advancements in processor technology is now tearing down this barrier and soon you will be seeing 80+ megapixel cameras the size of today's DSLR'S and MILC'S.
Personally, I feel it's more about bragging rights and selling cameras, of course selling cameras, than the ability to produce better quality images. One can only crop so much...
I'll be using my 30 and 50 megapixel cameras for a while longer.

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Oct 7, 2019 16:12:48   #
MoT (a regular here)
 
As the MP number gets larger the lenses in front of those sensors have to be close to perfect so all that light gathered by the lens is not distorted when it hits all those pixels. So lenses will become more expensive when paired with high number MP sensors as they already have for mirrorless FF cameras like Nikon, Sony and Canon. I think the technology that the processors and algorithms that the cameras will need are already available in smart phones. Will some of these smart phone companies merge with some camera companies to solidify the photographic revolution that has already started?

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Oct 7, 2019 16:32:54   #
BebuLamar (a regular here)
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
typo?


What is wrong?

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Oct 7, 2019 19:17:56   #
a6k (a regular here)
 
Ed Chu wrote:
24mp seems to be the max # on APS-C cameras - how come we don't see a race to see how many we can cram onto an APS-C sensor ( like Sony's new FF A9 with 61 )?

From a response on DP Review: "That being said, there is a max theoretical resolution for any given sized sensor due to the wave-like nature of light. Depending on how you do the math, you get slightly different answers, but it tends to be a few gigapixels for full frame sensors, and a little less than one gigapixel for a micro 4/3 sensor. That's assuming a perfect lens which doesn't exist in reality of course, but still, we're nowhere near the limits or resolution." Try to keep responses simple, but is this true ?

So 20mp will continue to be, more or less, the max for MFT ?
24mp seems to be the max # on APS-C cameras - how... (show quote)


There is some fuzzy thinking here but an otherwise reasonable question. But first, the final line contradicts the first line. There are crop-sensor cameras beyond 24 MP but the arguably best one, the Sony a6xxx series, is 24 (just an example).

Here is where the thinking gets a bit fuzzy.
1. there is no exact relationship between image quality and gross number of pixels.
2. pixels density (or its inverse - pixel pitch [size]) is more important to image quality
3. more pixels affects the ability to crop and/or the ability to make large prints but see #1.
4. pixels pitch or size bears heavily on potential image quality for very basic reasons (physics). A bigger bucket gathers more raindrops. The general trend is that larger pixels can have greater dynamic range (DR) for that reason.

An example of how inexact this an be: compare a shot taken with a Sony a7Rm3 (full frame) to a shot taken with a Sony a6400 (crop frame). Use the same subject at the same distance in the same light. Crop to identical appearance. Please note that identical appearance won't be the same as identical print size. The one taken with the a6400 will have about 14% more pixels. The one taken with the a7Rm3 will be better IQ if you pixel peep. This is not speculation; I speak from experience. The quality is easier to observe in more difficult lighting and, thus, higher ISO. But it's there on all shots.

I only use an a6500, not an a7R. I've rented the a7R2. I've used the same lenses on both. I accept the very slight IQ loss but I don't kid myself that it is not there. My point is that IQ and pixel count and pixel density are not precisely linked, only generally. In this comparison, the camera with more pixels is the A7Rm3 but for the same shot, cropped identically, the a6400 (any a6xxx) has more pixels in the shot. But the one with fewer pixels in the shot has the better IQ.

I agree with anyone who points out the issue of lens quality but in this comparison it is possible to use the actual same lens. I have done it. Any full frame e-mount lens will fit either of those cameras.

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Oct 8, 2019 10:30:34   #
sippyjug104 (a regular here)
 
CHG CANON, I highly value your skills and experience and you have been helpful to me in the past so I'll ask the question that if most photographs taken are displayed or shared electronically, does the limitations of computer display or the web impact the viewed quality and perceived resolution of the image? Also, when images are processed does the JPEG or other file format (other than RAW) impact the final result also.

Thanks in advance for response and sharing your knowledge.

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Oct 8, 2019 10:36:07   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
I am not a sensor guru and as a matter of fact I am not very good when it comes to technology. I had once a Nikon D2H, a professional camera with only 4.1 Mp. It was a disaster when it came to noise but it was great for enlargements. I could not believe the excellence of details when it came to enlarge a file.

Indeed bigger pixels perform very well. I know that those sensors cramped with Mp. offer very good image quality and it has been something in their technology that I ignore. The use of Mp. I guess has to do with the intended use of the file and the size of the sensor. I see excellent resolution from mirrorless sensors which are smaller than APS or cropped sensors. I do not see in my enlargements a big difference between 17 and 24 Mp. I for sure do not need more than 24 Mp. and I have been very happy with the 17 MP. of my mirrorless cameras. I do not enlarge to mural sizes. The D3 and the D700 with only 12 Mp. have been very capable cameras that yield excellent enlargements.

I cannot make comments on the number of pixels that can be added to a cropped sensor. I do not have the knowledge for that but I have not had quality issues using my old D7000 with 16.2 Mp. as far as what my eyes can see.

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