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Old Feb 9, 2012, 9:29 AM   #21
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Megapixels megapixels where and when is it going to end?.100 million pixels?? not long ago it was being said that 10 million was the optimum, full frame gives more room for extra but there has to be a point where less is better?? after all bigger and bigger file sizes?.
The answer is: there is no one size fits all answer. Without question, for most people, the actual benefit of so many pixels isn't extremely minimal. BUT, that doesn't mean there isn't benefit to SOME people. After all, why did people spend money on 1dsIII or d3x camera bodies? Are they all ignorant? No. Some people do benefit from it. Personally, I don't need that many pixels. And I don't like the trade-off. I loved the concept of the d700. Give the dynamic range, high ISO of full frame but an advanced focus system and good frames per second. A camera that could do it all. The d800 raises the cost and loses the ability to be a dominant action camera. And, Canon and NIkon did that with d4 / 1dx at a huge price tag. But there are enough people that WANT those extra pixels (and some of those masses actually benefit from the pixels) that canon and nikon have to provide an answer.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 10:08 AM   #22
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The answer is: there is no one size fits all answer. Without question, for most people, the actual benefit of so many pixels isn't extremely minimal. BUT, that doesn't mean there isn't benefit to SOME people. After all, why did people spend money on 1dsIII or d3x camera bodies? Are they all ignorant? No. Some people do benefit from it. Personally, I don't need that many pixels. And I don't like the trade-off. I loved the concept of the d700. Give the dynamic range, high ISO of full frame but an advanced focus system and good frames per second. A camera that could do it all. The d800 raises the cost and loses the ability to be a dominant action camera. And, Canon and NIkon did that with d4 / 1dx at a huge price tag. But there are enough people that WANT those extra pixels (and some of those masses actually benefit from the pixels) that canon and nikon have to provide an answer.
Point very well made, John.

Based on what I do, I don't want to lose the frames/sec as a trade off for add'l megapixels. At some point in time, I would like to get a FF body and the D700 sounds like it has the best mix of features -for my needs.


No doubt, there will be many who will benefit from the features and performance found in the D800. I just don't think it will be me.

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Old Feb 9, 2012, 10:24 AM   #23
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 11:20 AM   #24
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Interesting read Craig. As always though, nothing happens in a vacuum. If companies spend R&D money on cramming more pixels on a sensor, they spend less money in other areas. If we just want to consider benefits to the user of the tool - what provides more benefit:
going from 12mp to 36? or providing real auto focus during video? Or increasing dynamic range on the 12mp by another stop? Or providing focus systems that track moving subjects well in all light conditions?
Or increases in built-in wi-fi capability?

Or, imagine if that R&D money went into lenses instead? Would photographers not benefit more from that then more megapixels?

This may sound contradictory to my last post, but the author of the article you linked seems to be suggesting that manufacturers continue to cram more pixels because we haven't eked out the last discernible bit of image quality from sensors yet. I contend that, while hypothetically true, most photographers would benefit much more if that money was spent in other areas of R&D.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 2:24 PM   #25
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Possibly, but really the point is that improvements ANYWHERE inthe imaging chain will improve image quality. DR is affected mostly by reducing read noise, so high-ISO performance and improved DR are the same problem in practice. Improvements in resolution will help far far beyond 36Mp. So will better lenses, but they are on long cycles - at least 5 years. Each new iteration is much better than its predecessor.

I find it hard to imagine how much the D4 or 1DX can still improve.

We live in the golden age of photographic technological change.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 3:33 PM   #26
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Unfortunately, the optics have yet to catch up.

Or rather, the optics that the majority of us can afford haven't caught up yet.

Sony's A77 and A65 have a 24MP APS-C sensor in a very reasonably priced package ($1,400 and $900, respectively), but appropriate lenses cost more than the bodies. The Sony/Zeiss 24-70/2.8 costs $1,800, the Sony/Zeiss 85/1.4 costs $1,500, the Sony/Zeiss 16-35/2.8 costs $1,900, the Sony 70-200/2.8 G costs $2,000, and the Sony 70-400 G costs $1,800. This is, of course, an extreme example, but the same is true across all manufacturer's product lines.

What good is an affordable 24MP APS-C body, or an affordable 36MP 'Full Frame' body, if you can't afford to put decent lenses on it?
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 10:52 PM   #27
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The degree of innovation in the market at the moment is almost unbelievable:
Nikon 1, D4, D800
Canon G1X, D1X
Fuji X10, X100, XPro1
Sony NEX7, A77
Olympus OM-D

Absolutely amazing! If you can't find a camera you like from that list then there's something seriously wrong.
and didn't Pentax just come out with a new camera as well......

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Old Feb 9, 2012, 10:54 PM   #28
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It's true, I think they are talking about 75mb file size for RAW on the D800, that's going to take a while to open!
better have a 128GB card in the camera....... especially if you plan to shoot a full length wedding or basketball game

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Old Feb 10, 2012, 3:17 AM   #29
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better have a 128GB card in the camera....... especially if you plan to shoot a full length wedding or basketball game

dave
Wouldn't want to shoot a whole wedding on one card, if something goes wrong you've lost it all, I usually work with about 10 cards on a wedding day between the 2 cameras.

It would mean a huge increase in the size or number of cards I get through though, as well as storage on the computer and editing time. I would have been happy to see about 20mp from them.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 3:28 AM   #30
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You're not thinking of jumping ship are you Mark?
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