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Old Jan 31, 2007, 9:34 PM   #31
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David Pogue is popular because he's outrageous, not because he's correct.
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Old Feb 1, 2007, 4:29 AM   #32
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The Rockwell piece is mostly right on the money.

The Pogue piece, while right on a number of points, is very misleading on a big one. His experiment tested three prints, all from a 13 MP camera. So he really only proved that a 13 MP camera can make passable 16" x 24" prints. That comes to a resolution of 184 PPI, which is about what we already know will produce a high quality photo (though his test subjects apparently weren't asked either about the percieved quality of the print).

He further proved that you can compress that photo into a smaller 5MP file and still get a similar quality print out of it.

He didn't show that you can get the same quality photo from a 5MP camera. And I doubt that you can. At about 113 PPI, that would be at a point where at least some people likely would be able to notice the lack of resolution, according to other sources (and some of them based on more scientifically done, controlled tests).

But, overall, yes, the 16.7 MP Hasselband is still a digital camera. It's resolution isn't really going to be *that* much greater than an 8MP entry level DSLR using similar technology and a sensor half the size, especially since there are other limits to the technology which kick in before you can fully benefit from all those megapixels. And for what it does do marginally better, make very large prints, you can still easily beat it with a much less expensive medium format film camera.

But, I would asume that anyone really looking at a $12,000 limited edition model of which only 500 were made isn't buying based on entirely utilitarian impulses either.
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Old Feb 1, 2007, 6:06 AM   #33
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For all practical (consumer) purposes, the megapixel wars are over. However, not all pixels are created equal, so don't merely jump at any camera with xMP.

If you are not planning to print any larger than A3, a camera with 7MP will definitely take absolutely excellent photos. Any photo will look worse if you "pixel peep," namely look at the picture closer than its natural viewing distance, but viewed at the proper distance, a camera with 7-8 MP will fare very well. Even the "old" Olympus E-1 with only 5MP makes beautiful A3 prints. I've had pictures from an 8MP camera printed professionally at B2 size (that's over a meter tall) and they look extremely good viewed at the proper distance.

The issue of "noise" means electronic noise; like grain in conventional films, it tends to get worse at higher ISOs. This is true with all cameras, but it is "more true" with cameras equipped with smaller sensors (e.g., 4/3 system); given the same number of pixels, a smaller sensor has higher pixels density, leading to the greater potential for electronic noise to leak between pixel and circuitry as the gain is turned up.
With any dSLR this is no problem up to ISO 400 or so, but if you do a lot of shooting at ISO 800 or 1600, it will mean you probably want to do a bit more post-processing work with a noise reduction program like Noiseware or Neatimage, or Noise Ninja. Alternately, get a Canon if high-ISO performance is critical.

One reason the E-1's pictures are as good as they are is because of the lower pixel density in its Kodak 5MP sensor. At any rate, chip technology like Intel's new insulation breakthroughs will probably lead to further advances in the war against noise. Here's a shot at ISO 1600 from the Olympus E-300 (8MP) and sent through Noiseware afterwards. Lighting was a real pain, and the shot was handheld at about 1/60s using a 50-200mm lens at 72mm.



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Old Feb 1, 2007, 2:58 PM   #34
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3 meg fuji s3800:

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Old Feb 1, 2007, 3:05 PM   #35
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deleted - duplicate post
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Old Feb 1, 2007, 3:06 PM   #36
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kenbalbari wrote:
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The Rockwell piece is mostly right on the money.

The Pogue piece, while right on a number of points, is very misleading on a big one. His experiment tested three prints, all from a 13 MP camera. So he really only proved that a 13 MP camera can make passable 16" x 24" prints. That comes to a resolution of 184 PPI, which is about what we already know will produce a high quality photo (though his test subjects apparently weren't asked either about the percieved quality of the print).

He further proved that you can compress that photo into a smaller 5MP file and still get a similar quality print out of it.

He didn't show that you can get the same quality photo from a 5MP camera. And I doubt that you can. At about 113 PPI, that would be at a point where at least some people likely would be able to notice the lack of resolution, according to other sources (and some of them based on more scientifically done, controlled tests).

But, overall, yes, the 16.7 MP Hasselband is still a digital camera. It's resolution isn't really going to be *that* much greater than an 8MP entry level DSLR using similar technology and a sensor half the size, especially since there are other limits to the technology which kick in before you can fully benefit from all those megapixels. And for what it does do marginally better, make very large prints, you can still easily beat it with a much less expensive medium format film camera.

But, I would asume that anyone really looking at a $12,000 limited edition model of which only 500 were made isn't buying based on entirely utilitarian impulses either.
aaaaah...............................you forget interpolation

depending upon the subject and the lens quality and/or use of tripod etc.

some 1.3 megjpg files can be succesfully printed 16x20, some 7 meg files will barely make a 5x7

1.3 meg jpeg printed (professionally by mpix.com) 16x20 on archival grade canvas:

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Old Feb 2, 2007, 12:45 AM   #37
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Well, you can "succesfully" print it, but it certianly is going to look, like the example posted, like a low resolution image. Whether that's "acceptable" is a subjective matter. But in that example (perhaps affected also by downsizing here), you're not resolving any detail. The leaves are all just blurs, no detail, the ducks are just shapes. You are getting strange color artefacts on all the tree trunks; it looks like a watercolor painting.

Still, it might be possible in some circumstances to get an image that looks good blown up from 1 or 2 MP--not all subjects require high resolution--but noone is likley to mistake a 1.3 MP landscape at that size for something coming from 4x5" film.

So , it depends what the question is . You'll get different answers to:
a> What do you need to equal the highest resoutions possible with film?
b> At what point might you actually be able to tell the difference upon very close inspection?
c>At what point will it still look good to most people hanging on a wall a normal viewing distances (not close examination)?

The answers:
a> 300 PPI - or, for a 20x15" print, about 27 MP [20*300*15*300].
b> 180 PPI (or thereabouts) - so, for a 20x15" print, about 9.7 MP [20*180*15*180].
C> 100 PPI (maybe?) - now only 3MP for that 20x15" print [20*100*15*100].

That 1.3MP blown up to 20x16" is still around 64 PPI. That might still look OK! But, there would almost certainly be a visible difference in detail if you put it side by side with an image captured by a 5MP oir 10MP camera. Interpolation is just going to give it a smooth look and prevent jagged edges from the enlargement, it's not going to make up for detail you didn't capture to begin with.

It is worth noting though, that it does require an exponential increase in MP to really make much of a difference. The difference between 3MP and 30MP isn't really as much as most would assume.

And, for the few that really need the highest possible resolution--like a pro landscape photographer trying to sell work to a publisher who demands 300 PPI for large prints--they would likely be better off using a larger film format. But current digital cameras are already matching or beating resolutions possible with 35mm film.

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Old Feb 2, 2007, 3:47 AM   #38
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"the ducks are just shapes."

Dude...you need to get a better monitor...those aren't ducks...

the Hun

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Old Feb 2, 2007, 9:18 AM   #39
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Megapixels in digital cameras equates to grainyness in film cameras.

Kodak used to make two very popular B&W films: Plus-X and Tri-X. The difference between the two was the film speed, or ISO. Plus-X had an ISO rating of 100, and Tri-X had an ISO rating of 400. That meant that Tri-X needed only 1/4 the light for the same exposure.

But the film speed came at a price. In order to make the film more light sensitive, Kodak had to use fewer, larger grains of photosensitive material (the particles that turned opaque or transparent, depeding on how much light they were exposed to). The result was that, as you enlarged the photo, the grains on Tri-X film became visible before the grains on Plus-X film.

Now, the grainyness wasn't necessarily a bad thing. A number of photographers used the grainyness of Tri-X as an artistic element in their photographs.

But on film, the grains are randomly positioned, so they added something to the image. In digital photography, the pixels ("grains") are in a regular pattern, so they actually look unatractive, and simply show the limitations within the image.

In digital photography, you can set the ISO to anything you want (within the limitations of the camera) and it won't affect the resolution (unless you count noise), so, as far as the image is concerned, there's no reason not to get the highest resolution possible.

But why, then, do people who have 7 Megapixel digicams take snapshots at 640 x 480? Because they want to fit A LOT of pictures onto their 512 MB SD Card, or they don't want to wait for all those large images to download to their computer through the USB 1.1 interface, or they'll only ever print wallet sized photos, or ...

You can get the Hasselblad 503CWD, but what are you going to do with all those 23MB image files? (23 MEGABYTE IMAGE FILES!!! WOW!!! That's bigger than my first hard disk drive!)
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Old Feb 2, 2007, 12:13 PM   #40
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TCav wrote:
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....You can get the Hasselblad 503CWD, but what are you going to do with all those 23MB image files?
Store them on my 2 terrabytes of hard drives? :?
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