Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 8, 2012, 9:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 142
Default megapixels vs image quality ???

Is it true that overall image quality can actually be hurt by cramming more and more megapixels on the same size image sensor chip ? I talking about a very large increase in megapixels, like going from 12 MP to 24 MP but not increaseing the size of the image sensor. I have read that pixel density vs sensor size is very important to overall image quality. They claim that cramming more pixels into the same size image sensor chip makes each pixel smaller thus capturing less light resulting in less accurate color capature, more noise and image quality that is less sharp. Is this possible ??? Your thoughts on this ? Thank you.
surplusshooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 8, 2012, 10:13 AM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

The statement is true at one level - if you change NOTHING else you will see a degradation. In actuality, manufacturers change other things about the sensors and how images are processed so picture quality generally improves. Not always the case, but generally speaking each generation of interchangeable lens cameras has both more megapixels and at least as good if not better image quality.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 2012, 11:11 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

All other things being equal, increased resolution only increases image quality.

History has shown that newer image sensors produce less noise than older sensors. We can also see that, since noise is random, noise in higher resolution image sensors is finer, and less conspicuous than in lower resolution sensors.

Another factor is that, when the resolution goes up, the pixel pitch goes down, but the size of the individual photoreceptors is not necessarily getting smaller. Sensor manufacturers are finding ways to reduce the space between the photoreceptors. So greater resolution doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor is capturing less light; in fact, it may be capturing more.

What is true, however, is that if your collection of lenses was only marginal when paired with a 16MP sensor, a 24MP sensor may produce better images of how bad your lenses are.

The Nikon D3200 already uses the same Sony 24MP sensor as the new Nikon D5200, and DxOMark's SNR %18 measurements show it in a virtual dead heat with the 16MP D5100.

I don't know who else you're reading, but I think you should stop.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Nov 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
TCav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 6:19 AM   #4
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

An article worth reading:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Pub...s-offset-noise!
__________________
My gallery
My X100 blog
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 12:39 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,734
Default

Haven't we been here before...?
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 12:46 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

... and don't kid yourself; we'll be here again.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 2:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 2,891
Default

G'day mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by surplusshooter View Post
Is it true that overall image quality can actually be hurt by cramming more and more megapixels on the same size image sensor chip ? .... Thank you.
You mention 12mp to 24mp sensor ... the numbers are not important just now

I am sure that ALL of us here have been thru this over the past couple of years - "upgrading" from 3MP to 6MP, then 6MP to 12MP etc etc ad infinitum

In my case, my first digicam was a 3mp superzoom - I have thousands of images on file taken in all sorts of lighting conditions and very few of them show any noise. [I'm almost inclined to state that 'none' show any noise, but I'm sure some here would find it via pixel peeping] The follow-on superzoom, same size sensor of 10MP was full of crappy noise when shooting in poor light

My conclusion - forget super-megapixel-sensor cameras: be prepared to drop back a notch or two with pixels & concentrate on the lens producing the image

and for the other fellas ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
Haven't we been here before...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
... and don't kid yourself; we'll be here again.
Yep I agree ... as the industry sells "megapixels" rather than "image quality" we'll be here again - and again - and again ...
Regards, Phil
__________________
Has Fuji & Lumix superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 2:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,214
Default

If we are talking about DSLR size sensors, there doesn't seem to be a problem with this, at least yet. Some of the smaller sensor P&S cameras do appear to be having issues, though. Of course there are other factors to consider also. Smaller sensor cameras use smaller lenses, and resolving power of a lens is directly related to its diameter. In any case, the technical details of the cameras matter a lot less than the abilities of the photographer.

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 2012, 5:10 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 142
Default

"OZZie_Traveller"s " comments and final conclusions sums it up very nicely.
surplusshooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 11, 2012, 7:49 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,145
Default

Posts like this make me chuckle a bit and make me wonder wether the marketing departments of major camera manufacturers ever take the time to read forums like Steve's in order to find out what consumers are really looking for.

If they do, they aren't paying attention. All one needs to do is to read the "what camera should I buy" forum to find out what the most common questions relative to cameras are. They would quickly find out that: "I need a camera with more megapixels" is not a request posted very often- if at all.

If there is a common thread to most all of the posts in that forum, it's the " baby is on the way and I need a camera with quick response time so I can take great photos of my baby playing with fido. Or the 2nd most common request, "my son/daughter is getting into school sports and I need a camera to take sharp images of him/her so that I can post the photos on Facebook or twitter for all the world to see".

Reading all the requests for helping people find the right camera for their particular needs quickly leads you to the conclusion that most people are looking for camera with a good auto focus system, a lens that is sharp, and a system with very little lag time. Nowhere, do I read that I don't have enough megapixels and want more ( except from nuts like me who print their images as large as 17" x 22").

The reality is that most people take a photo then post it on the internet. That person does not need a 36megapixel camera.

That's not to say that a camera with more megapixels is a bad thing, it's just not addressing what most people are looking for in a camera.

Zig
__________________
http://scortoncreekgallery.smugmug.com/

So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:49 AM.