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Old Mar 4, 2004, 3:38 AM   #1
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Default Pixels and Resolution

Just decided to dive into some higher end DP and bought a Nikon 5400. My last camera was a Kodak DC3200 ;-) I have a couple of newbie questions that I can't seem to find in any Nikon literature or anywhere else.

I am wondering if anyone knows whether pixels are binned to produce lowered resolutions? If they are binned do you know what the binning ratio is for the different resolutions?

Also does anyone know the pixel size in the 5400?

TIA
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 6:15 AM   #2
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Hello topnurse

I just had a look at the specs on the Nikon website for the 5400 – that looks a very nice camera and should take excellent photos. Look at the link at the bottom of this reply for details

I will try and explain in simple terms the answers to your questions

The 5400 has a 5.1M pixel sensor and at the highest 5M pixel resolution produces a 2,592 x 1,944 image. Multipy thoses figures and you get about 5.1M. In terms of maximum print size, you can divide the dimensions by 300 to get an idea of the print size you will get. So 2,592 x 1,944 pixels will produce excellent quality images upto 8.6 x 5.8 inches although this will scale quite nicely to 10 x 8 or A4 as well but with a slight loss in quality. You can do some similar arithmetic on the other image sizes the camera will store ie

Image Size: 5M (2,592 x 1,944), 2M (1,600 X 1,200), 1M (1,280 X 960), PC (1,024 X 768), TV (640 X 480), 3:2 (2,592 X 1,728)

So basically, pixels are “binned” or lost to produce the lower resolution images, and once thrown away – they are gone for good.

I am not actually familiar with the camera but I noticed it has a 4x optical zoom and additionaly, a 4x digital zoom. You need to appreciate that the digital zoom will just magnify a portion of the image by throwing away pixels similar to the way you would crop an image in a photo editing application, so best stick to using the optical zoom until you become familiar with the camera.

http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php...roductNr=25513
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 8:52 AM   #3
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Get a decent sized CF card and take the images full size at best quality JPG. You never know when you will get that great shot you want blown up and hanging on your wall. Or want to crop out a small part and still print a decent 8 X 10.

If the camera binned the pixels to make a lower resolution image it would increase the light sensitivity of the CCD and give you a higher ISO with lower noise – basically a better signal to noise ratio. I don’t know of a prosumer camera that does that. At least it doesn’t pass the exposure advantage on to the consumer and just eats it internally. I have read that cameras just downsample the raw image from the CCD to write a smaller file. High end optical equipment does binning but I doubt there is a prosumer digital that does. And the high end equipment has to do the binning in multiples to make squares. With a 5Mp image the next size down binned would be 1.25Mp as it combined 4 pixels to make 1. Obviously consumer equipment doesn’t do that.

I’m curious what costas is basing his 300PPI number on. I have a pretty good photo printer and it is hard to see improvement over 180 PPI. A 5Mp shot will give me a 135PPI 13 X 19 which is decent. And it will produce an 11 X 14 that can’t be improved on with more resolution.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 1:02 PM   #4
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Hello slipe

I was attempting to provide an answer in simple terms which Top Nurse, who asked a novice question, would find meaningful. It was not meant to be literally correct which is why I put the word “binned” in quotes. When the image is downsampled by the camera to produce a lower resolution, then as Top Nurse implies, the end result is some pixels end up in the dustbin and are lost. I am sure your fuller and more correct explanation will be appreciated – also the advice on getting a decent sized storage card.

With regard to resolution for printing – that is simple. You use whatever you find most pleasing and in your case that is to print images at 180 PPI. There is no right or wrong answer to this, everyone needs to establish a workflow that suits themselves and their equipment. I give a couple of links below about some interesting discussions on this topic.

For myself, I recently (well December) saw some prints produced on a neighbours new Canon printer at 200ppi, 300ppi and 600 ppi and could see a difference. The difference between 300 ppi and 600 ppi is small but discernable, but 300ppi was acceptable, 200ppi was not. So much so, I have bought an Epson R800 printer to replace my ancient HP printer (was only good enough for rough proofs, I used a print lab for my prints) and will be running tests this weekend to establish my own workflow. The tests will include printing images at various resolutions from 180 to 720 dpi to find the optimum settings for me on different types of paper.

Hope that clarifies things

thread called the Origin of so called “300 ppi myth” This is well worth reading and expalins why you might benefit by printing a lot higher than 180 ppi

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=7750881


http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...net%26rnum%3D2
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 5:36 PM   #5
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Hello Slipe and Costas...

I actually have some of that high end equipment, so that is how I know about dark current, binning, and other esoteric ccd stuff. One of my astro cameras from www.SBIG.com allows me to do a lot of interesting things. I was just wanting to know if my Nikon 5400 had any of these types of technology built into them.

I just queried Nikon TS to see if they will fork over the needed info. I don't suppose anyone knows what the actual CCD detector manufacturer and model number is for my 5400?

Clear Skies,
Top Nurse
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 5:45 PM   #6
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Your 5400 is using a Sony 5.24 Megapixel 1/1.8" CCD. If I'm not mistaken, it's Sony Part# ICX452

Here is a .pdf file datasheet on it:

http://www.sony.co.jp/~semicon/engli...1/a6803138.pdf
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 6:00 PM   #7
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Thanks JimC!!

This really helps out now that I know it is an Interline type chip and I was able to get the spectral response. I suppose I will have to do something about the high green response in the lab or come up with some filter that will even out the response.

Clear Skies,
Top Nurse

Added:

I have been doing some study on my camera and I think it gets a lot better response if I shoot B&W. If that is the case I wonder if I can just do a RGB filter wheel and recombine the images at home?
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