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Old Feb 7, 2007, 11:03 PM   #1
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Today's NYT has an article by David Pogue describing the results of some recent tests he did (first test was described HERE) to see how many ordinary people could tell the difference between various megapixel resolutions. Good read for people wondering about the relevance of more versus fewer megapixels when choosing a camera.



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Old Feb 8, 2007, 6:26 AM   #2
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David Pogue is popular because he's outrageous, not because he's right.

This has been discussed in the topicMega Pixelson this forum. What Pogue did was use a 13MP camera to create the same image at 3 different resolutions supported by the camera.

What he showed was that a 13 megapixel camera can make good prints at a variety of settings. What he didn't show was how different cameras with different numbers of megapixels can create images of the same or different quality. The image he used in his test didn't contain any areas of high detail or high contrast where the advantages of a high megapixel camera over a low megapixel camera would have been apparent.

I use both a Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D (6.1MP) and a Nikon CoolPix 880 (3.2MP), and almost every time, I can tell the difference between images shot with one or the other. And that'sat 8 x 10 , not 16 x 24 as Pogue did.

I've caught Pogue in mis-statements and oversimplifications before. When he responds, he'll conceed my argument but maintain his original point.

Just because someone has a soapbox doesn't meant they're right about everything.
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 9:02 AM   #3
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You obviously saw the first article, not the second one (?) with the retest. You're right about shooting with different cameras--and he mentions the same point, but he deliberately defends his method since he's looking strictly for the effect of megapixels, not the effect of different cameras with their different lenses, sensors, circuits, etc. He also admits the advantage of more megapixels for cropping purposes, but his main point about the appearance of photographs with different megapixel resolutions is well taken, since his audience is the uninformed consumer, who tends to think that any camera with more megapixels is "better."



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Old Feb 8, 2007, 9:15 AM   #4
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Wrong is still wrong.

He proved nothing because he did not use different cameras with different MP sensors. The results would have been totally different if he had - and he also needed to use a subject that would benifit from higher MP - ie: one with a lot of fine detail.
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 10:03 AM   #5
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amazingthailand wrote:
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Wrong is still wrong.

He proved nothing because he did not use different cameras with different MP sensors. The results would have been totally different if he had - and he also needed to use a subject that would benifit from higher MP - ie: one with a lot of fine detail.
You're right, the results would have been totally different--but did you not see what he--or I--wrote? He deliberately didn't use different cameras precisely because he was trying to isolate the effect of megapixels alone. Using a different camera would introduce more variables--the sensor quality, lens, other processing circuitry--that would vitiate the whole purpose of his test.



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Old Feb 8, 2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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What Pogue showed was that a 13MP camera can make great 5MP images. That's not the same as showing that a 5MP camera can make images that are as good as those made by a 13MP camera. So he didn't "isolate the effect of megapixels alone."

In order to do that, you would take a picture at 13 megapixels, and then zoom out, take a second picture at 13 megapixelsand crop it so that the resulting imageis 5 megapixels. Even if you spent the time and effort to do that, any variations in the lens at different focal lengths would still affect the resulting image. THAT is the only way to test the importance of Megapixels. He didn't do that.

Andtheimage he used was still low in detail and contrast. Under those circumstances, I can usecrayons to make an image that's as good as a 13MP camera.

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Old Feb 8, 2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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There's an article in cnet, "More megapixels, better photos: Fact or fiction?" By Stephen Shankland, which covers similar ground. It's dated 2/6. Try
http://news.com.com/More+megapixels%...tml?tag=cd.hed
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Old Feb 8, 2007, 12:51 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
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In order to do that, you would take a picture at 13 megapixels, and then zoom out, take a second picture at 13 megapixelsand crop it so that the resulting imageis 5 megapixels. Even if you spent the time and effort to do that, any variations in the lens at different focal lengths would still affect the resulting image. THAT is the only way to test the importance of Megapixels. He didn't do that.
I still can't believe this. Did you actually read both articles? The professional photographer in the second article did exactly as you suggest, using a single camera, zooming out, etc. Sure, nothing is perfect, and the effects of zooming lengths will have a minimal effect, but please look at what he actually did.


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Old Feb 8, 2007, 2:13 PM   #9
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I have no problem with the method. He was comparing the difference in pixels with the same camera and lens, not doing a camera test.

I can see the difference between a 13 X 19 done with a 5Mp and a higher MP camera. The largest crop you can get from a 5Mp camera in 4:3 format rounds up to 135 PPI for a 13 X 19. The largest 16 X 20 you can get from a 5Mp image is 120 PPI, and that is probably lower in 3:2 format since you have to crop the long edge.

So he is saying you can't see any difference in prints using over 120 PPI. I think most experienced people would disagree with that.

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Old Feb 8, 2007, 2:32 PM   #10
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Norm in Fujino wrote:
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I still can't believe this. Did you actually read both articles? The professional photographer in the second article did exactly as you suggest, using a single camera, zooming out, etc. Sure, nothing is perfect, and the effects of zooming lengths will have a minimal effect, but please look at what he actually did.
I had touble getting to the article, butI have now read it. What it says is that, for the majority of ordinary, untrained amatures, more megapixels aren't necessarily better. So what? In the What Camera Should I Buy?forums, untold numbers of newbies have been told exactly the same thing. To a great extent, these forums are a meeting place for those who are NOT ordinary, untrained amatures, so what he has to say has little meaning for us.

So, it's not necessarily "Good read for people wondering about the relevance of more versus fewer megapixels when choosing a camera", especially the people that frequent these forums.
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