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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default Escalation of the megapixel wars ???

Now that Nikon has brought out their new D3200 and D5200 DSLR models that are rated at a whopping 24 megapixels, I can't help but wonder if this will force Canon and all the other camera companies to do the same. When will the megapixel wars stop ? How many megapixels is enough on a small crop sensor camera ? 24 megapixels on a full frame DSLR is fine but is cramming 24 megapixels on a small crop sensor camera a good thing ? DXO Mark labs and others have proven that cramming this many megapixels on a small crop image sensor makes each pixel so tiny that it inhibits the cameras light gathering ability which creates more noise when shooting high ISO in low light and has a detrimental effect on dynamic range and overall image quality. Futhermore, you must ask yourself if this many megapixels on a small crop sensor is really practical or desirable ? Do you really need to print your pictures up to the size of a barn or crop to the absolute extreme ? And what about the massive files that must be stored on your card and computer ? I think that after about 12 to 16 megapixels on a crop sensor camera, the camera companies should focus their attention on better lenses rather than more megapixels.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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Whilst avoiding another Mp v's IQ debate- I will suggest that maybe manufacturers might do some market research- and find out exactly what do the vast majority of low to mid range DSLR users actually shoot- and perhaps more importantly, what do these users actually do with their images. Are they printing gargantuan sized images...? I suspect not.
Perhaps manufacturers could supply a questionnaire in the camera packaging- asking what each user values in a camera- thus enabling them to focus (groan...) on what the next generation camera's priorities should be.

I personally value operational speed and AF performance, dynamic range, high iso noise control, build quality and logical/fast user interface FAR more than pixel counts- in fact high pixel numbers is the last thing that interests me. 8-12mp does me just fine..!

However, if manufacturers can increase pixel count with no detriment to any of my above preferred factors- then I'm all for it. After all, it does give you far more latitude for cropping- effectively increasing the zoom reach of your chosen lens..!!
Though the file sizes might be an issue for some....
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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Actually, Sony has 24MP APS-C cameras too. Three of them, in fact.

Is 24MP too much? With USB 2.0, yeah. But with USB 3.0, I'll be itching for more.

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DXO Mark labs and others have proven that cramming this many megapixels on a small crop image sensor makes each pixel so tiny that it inhibits the cameras light gathering ability which creates more noise when shooting high ISO in low light and has a detrimental effect on dynamic range and overall image quality.
No they haven't. DxOMark's measurements for SNR 18% have the D3200 and D5100 in a virtual dead heat, and remember that noise in a 24MP image is less conspicuous than the same amount of noise in a 16MP image. And the differences in Dynamic Range are miniscule. Remember that, just because the pixel pitch is smaller, doesn't mean the photoreceptors are smaller. Sometimes it means the space between them is smaller.

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Futhermore, you must ask yourself if this many megapixels on a small crop sensor is really practical or desirable ? Do you really need to print your pictures up to the size of a barn or crop to the absolute extreme ?
A 4x6 print, at 1440 dpi, is a 50MP image. Even with a 24MP photo, you're asking the printer driver to make up half the image. With a 16MP photo, you're asking the printer driver to make up 2/3 of the image.

And remember that, with JPEG, those images have been compressed. Every argument anyone ever made to use RAW instead of JPEG also applies to using more resolution over less.

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... the camera companies should focus their attention on better lenses rather than more megapixels.
... and why would you think they haven't been?

You're drawing conclusions that aren't supported by the evidence. In fact, you're drawing conclusions that are contradicted by the evidence. You are welcome to have faith that "more" is worse than "less". You're even welcome to share your faith with others, but I feel compelled to warn you that you're facing an uphill battle.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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The only think I'm going to take issue with is your statement about the printer resolution of 1440 DPI. That number is based on 4-color printing, with 4 color dots per pixel, so the actual resolution of the print is 360 Pixels per inch. My super-duper Epson prints at some pretty high numbers that turn out to be, at the finest resolution, 720 DPI, which is indistinguishable from 360 DPI without using a loupe.

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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The megapixel war exists because the general public has a ton of options. They compare those options based upon a spec sheet or often a spec card associated with the product. MP count is something that is easily displayed on a spec sheet or card. The industry has conditioned the buying public it is an important attribute. It's too late to go back. In marketing, perception is everything. As for focusing on just lenses - that again makes no business sense. People buy new cameras every 2-4 years. If your camera's spec sheet isn't as good as the competition's you lose customers. It has nothing to do with photography, it's about business and marketing.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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And there's me thinking it was all about making the "best" camera for the price...lol...!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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And there's me thinking it was all about making the "best" camera for the price...lol...!
All you have to do is look at Pentax market share vs. Canon market share to know that isn't the case.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 2:12 PM   #8
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G'day fellas

Let me add a bit of 'confusion' and mathematical 'fun' to the equasion...

If a small P&S camera with its tiny processor of say, 10% the size of an APS sensor can cram 16mpx on board, does this mean that the sensor designers are going to offer APS sensors of 160mpx with full-frame sensors of 320mpx??????

To me it's an "Of course not" - there's no point, nothing to gain but the sensor technology is already here

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 3:11 PM   #9
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If a small P&S camera with its tiny processor of say, 10% the size of an APS sensor can cram 16mpx on board, does this mean that the sensor designers are going to offer APS sensors of 160mpx with full-frame sensors of 320mpx??????

To me it's an "Of course not" - there's no point, nothing to gain but the sensor technology is already here
True, but the technology to support it isn't. Sony's 24MP A77 can shoot full size JPEG images at 8 fps, (It can shoot at 12 fps, but with reduced capability.), so clearly, it can't handle processing more than 192MP/s. With a 160MP sensor, it would be able to shoot a little faster than 1 fps, maybe. They'd need to put a lot faster processor and a lot more memory to make it useable, not to mention USB 4.0.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 3:33 PM   #10
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JohnG- are you suggesting that Pentax have the better product, but not the marketing savvy..?
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