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APS-C, Pixels, etc.
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Oct 8, 2019 17:55:10   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Steve758 wrote:
Read all of the questions and reply's. There appear to be some very knowledgeable folks on this one so I'd like to ask for clarification on a couple of areas. Is it incorrect to state that pixel pitch (size) is an important aspect in image resolution and dynamic range which also effects image quality. As well, what about diffraction? Doesn't increasing the pixel count (smaller pixel) also have an effect on image quality when your shooting at smaller apertures? I'm under the impression that to minimize resolution issues (diffraction) on high mp count sensors that the max usable aperture go wider as the number of pixels increases. Doesn't this have an effect on depth of field in your images?
Thanks in advancd
Read all of the questions and reply's. There appe... (show quote)


In a general sense, the relative size of the pixels has been a direct impact on the noise performance / low-light performance during the early rounds of each of the major jumps into higher pixel sensors (10/12 to 18 to 24). But, to assume this historical observation applies to current / future designs is an invalid assumption, at least until the sensor and processor combination arrives to prove / disprove the expectation. I wouldn't base a camera purchase on the spec sheet of the pixel pitch, not in the top 10 criteria, if at all.

For diffraction, the literature assumes smaller and more dense sensors encounter diffraction as wider apertures as compared to older / lower-resolution / full-frame sensors and lenses. But, you really have to test your own specific lenses and body / sensor and determine on your specific equipment if / when diffraction comes into play. For my own equipment, I gain nothing beyond f/13 and the 1:1 compare is obviously inferior around f/18 and smaller. I've seen test results suggesting for some cameras / lenses, the softness becomes noticeable as early as f/8. One would have to review detailed analysis for the candidate model, or identify during their own equipment acceptance testing.

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Oct 8, 2019 18:24:58   #
RGG
 
Right now there are 60mp sensors on the market with 80 and 100 in the pipeline. If a crop sensor has 40% of a FF sensor's area, then crop sensors with the same pixel density will be 24mp, 32mp, and 40mp.

FWIW, this means 24mp crop sensors have had the same pixel density as a 60mp FF sensor for some time now. I expect the wait for 60mp+ sensors has had more to do with processing power in the camera than the ability to build the sensors.

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Oct 8, 2019 20:03:17   #
imagemeister Loc: Stuart, Florida
 
RGG wrote:
I expect the wait for 60mp+ sensors has had more to do with processing power in the camera than the ability to build the sensors.


That, and the higher production cost factor and the "apparent" willingness and ability of some users to pay this ....
.

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Oct 8, 2019 20:11:01   #
ButchS Loc: Spokane, WA
 
Ed Chu wrote:
...Try to keep responses simple, but is this true ?
So 20mp will continue to be, more or less, the max for MFT ?


Yes - this is true. The maximum resolution of the sensor is limited by its physical dimensions.

For all those folks who insist that you don’t need anything but a phone camera, and that “real cameras” are a waste of money, this is the reason they are quite wrong. The sensor in a phone camera is even smaller than a 4/3 sensor.

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Oct 8, 2019 21:48:18   #
User ID
 
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)


All that geeky explanation is pointless. Real world answer
is that 16 to 24MP is the sweet spot. Those who are sold
on the MP Olympics believe in things that happen to also
be optimized by a larger sensor size. There's plenty of
test results to prove that what can be gained by using
more MP is further enhanced by having those MP on a
larger sensor. It's science and it's facts ... even tho it's
not visible in photos of real subjects.

FWIW, even those who admit that it only takes 8 - 10MP
to render a truly outstanding image will often insist that
the extra MP are always handy for cropping. Thaz true
only if you've focused with accuracy far beyond normal,
have a super steady hand or tripod [cuz IS doesn't take
cropping into consideration], and other details too many
to discuss ... details never discussed by the "MP are for
cropping" adherents. And hey, some MP freaks do work
on a tripod, use the MF magnifier, base ISO, etc etc cuz
they are technical perfectionists all the way. They are
the users who actually CAN execute major cropping of
high MP images, tho it gives them nightmares to do so ;-)

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Oct 8, 2019 22:05:56   #
User ID
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
In a general sense, the relative size of the pixels has been a direct impact on the noise performance / low-light performance during the early rounds of each of the major jumps into higher pixel sensors (10/12 to 18 to 24). But, to assume this historical observation applies to current / future designs is an invalid assumption, at least until the sensor and processor combination arrives to prove / disprove the expectation. I wouldn't base a camera purchase on the spec sheet of the pixel pitch, not in the top 10 criteria, if at all.

For diffraction, the literature assumes smaller and more dense sensors encounter diffraction as wider apertures as compared to older / lower-resolution / full-frame sensors and lenses. But, you really have to test your own specific lenses and body / sensor and determine on your specific equipment if / when diffraction comes into play. For my own equipment, I gain nothing beyond f/13 and the 1:1 compare is obviously inferior around f/18 and smaller. I've seen test results suggesting for some cameras / lenses, the softness becomes noticeable as early as f/8. One would have to review detailed analysis for the candidate model, or identify during their own equipment acceptance testing.
In a general sense, the relative size of the pixel... (show quote)


Yes. But don't be misled by f-stop numbers.
Diffraction is not directly linked to f-stops.
It's directly linked to actual aperture size.

IOW, a typical 24mm wide lens at f/11 on a
FF shows rather much the same amount of
diffraction as a 45mm portrait lens at f/11
on a m4/3 camera. Bottom line is we ought
not go around declaring f-stop limits for the
various formats ... unless perhaps we state
that it always refers to the normal lenses of
the formats. Wide lens, open up even more
... tele, safe to squeeze out some extra DoF,
all regardless of format.

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Oct 8, 2019 23:19:13   #
imagemeister Loc: Stuart, Florida
 
User ID wrote:
Yes. But don't be misled by f-stop numbers.
Diffraction is not directly linked to f-stops.
It's directly linked to actual aperture size.

IOW, a typical 24mm wide lens at f/11 on a
FF shows rather much the same amount of
diffraction as a 45mm portrait lens at f/11
on a m4/3 camera. Bottom line is we ought
not go around declaring f-stop limits for the
various formats ... unless perhaps we state
that it always refers to the normal lenses of
the formats. Wide lens, open up even more
... tele, safe to squeeze out some extra DoF,
all regardless of format.
Yes. But don't be misled by f-stop numbers. br Di... (show quote)



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Oct 9, 2019 02:33:08   #
speters Loc: Grangeville/Idaho
 
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)


Canon has some 32mp models!

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Oct 9, 2019 02:50:03   #
lamiaceae Loc: Los Angeles Area, CA
 
a6k wrote:
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.
There is some fuzzy thinking here but an otherwise... (show quote)



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Oct 9, 2019 02:57:08   #
lamiaceae Loc: Los Angeles Area, CA
 
There are some theoretical limits for pixel densities for all of FF, APS-C, and 4/3 sensors. Think about computers. The clock-rate for CPUs has been between 3 to less than 5 GHz for many years, but the number of cores per microprocessors has increased from 1 to 2, to commonly 4 today, some even 6 and 8 cores! And hyperthreading can in essence double the number of threads. Still usually around 3.5 GHz.

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Oct 9, 2019 09:36:36   #
WDCash Loc: Little Egg Harbor New Jersey, USA
 
a6k wrote:
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.
There is some fuzzy thinking here but an otherwise... (show quote)

""
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.""


Would you please be so kind as to post the comparison your talking about. I'm not arguing that your wrong or even suggesting the idea but rather hoping your correct and would like to see it in reality.
Obviously if you do post images to back this up please allow for the download of the images.

Thanks very much
Bill

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Oct 9, 2019 10:27:13   #
Ed Chu Loc: Rockville MD
 
WDCash wrote:
""
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.""


Would you please be so kind as to post the comparison your talking about. I'm not arguing that your wrong or even suggesting the idea but rather hoping your correct and would like to see it in reality.
Obviously if you do post images to back this up please allow for the download of the images.

Thanks very much
Bill
"" br An example of how inexact this an ... (show quote)


so, as I understand it, lesser pixels allow for larger pixels, which should result in better quality; however, more pixels also adds to better quality; so, there is a trade-off somewhere, or, am I oversimplifying things ?

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Oct 9, 2019 10:41:25   #
PHRubin Loc: Nashville TN USA
 
Ed Chu wrote:
so, as I understand it, lesser pixels allow for larger pixels, which should result in better quality; however, more pixels also adds to better quality; so, there is a trade-off somewhere, or, am I oversimplifying things ?


Larger pixels are better for light collection, so are better in low light.
Larger pixel count is better for more detail.

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Oct 9, 2019 11:44:40   #
Ed Chu Loc: Rockville MD
 
PHRubin wrote:
Larger pixels are better for light collection, so are better in low light.
Larger pixel count is better for more detail.


so, at the risk of being repetitive, all sensors being equal, a 20mp MFT camera would actually be better than a 24mp MFT camera ?

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Oct 9, 2019 11:51:17   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Beauty is everywhere when you have the best equipment.

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