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Old Oct 13, 2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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hello everyone.

I currently own a nikon d50 and have been seriously considering jumping into the four thirds system. I am, however, concerned about one factor: resolution. though I'm an advanced amateur, I do prize resolution above other things, and I do occasionally use photography in my work (I'm an architect and often do 3d photo-insertions and so on). my 3d images output is usually 5000px on its longest side, so that it can be used for banners and so forth. and that's been a down side for me. olympus currently offers 10 mp cameras, and, in my case, the extra megapixels above and below due to the 4:3 ratio is of little use since I usually use 3:2 or wider. so, though 12 or 14 megapixels don't sound that much more than 10 megapixels, a k20d does provide a 28% wider/longer print than an e520 at any given output resolution.

so, the e520 did its homework by increasing dynamic range and catching up with the competition in terms of noise. but what can be said about resolution in the 4/3s system in the years to come?

cheers.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 3:30 PM   #2
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kezs wrote:
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hello everyone.

I currently own a nikon d50 and have been seriously considering jumping into the four thirds system. I am, however, concerned about one factor: resolution. though I'm an advanced amateur, I do prize resolution above other things, and I do occasionally use photography in my work (I'm an architect and often do 3d photo-insertions and so on). my 3d images output is usually 5000px on its longest side, so that it can be used for banners and so forth. and that's been a down side for me. olympus currently offers 10 mp cameras, and, in my case, the extra megapixels above and below due to the 4:3 ratio is of little use since I usually use 3:2 or wider. so, though 12 or 14 megapixels don't sound that much more than 10 megapixels, a k20d does provide a 28% wider/longer print than an e520 at any given output resolution.

so, the e520 did its homework by increasing dynamic range and catching up with the competition in terms of noise. but what can be said about resolution in the 4/3s system in the years to come?

If your work is relegated to the 3:2 format, you probably need to stay with what you've got and just upgradewhen Nikon gives you the opportunity.

I imagine the next new Olympus body will sport a 12MP sensor and you probably can't expect more than that, at least in the short term, from Olympus.

3:2's great.....as long as you don't need to make many *traditional* sized prints bigger than 4x6. Start cropping 3:2 files for the5x7, letter-size, 8x10, 11x14 or 16x20reprints most people purchase(traditional sizes here in the US), most of the 3:2 *advantage* is gone as those sizes need very little cropping from a 4:3 file, and the current 10MP resolution is plenty to handle those sizes. I have four 16x20 prints at home I shot using the 8MP E300 back in 2006 during a trip to Paris that look great so long as you view them normally, from afrom 3-5foot distance, unlikea pixel-peeper who might get upless than one foot awayand try toviewa section of theprint with a loupe!

When I was using a 35mm camera and shot pictures for others, knowing most re-prints are in the 5x7/8x10 range, you didn't dare utilize that extra space on the sides for fear of cutting someone out of an enlargement. Today, as long as I don't crop someone off at the edge in-camera, I know everyone will be able to be included in any size print, and proofs, I print at 4x5 like I used to with 645 medium format film.

Any image I shoot at the 12mm setting (24mm equivalent) of my 12-60 Zuikowith my E510 is as wide orwider than an equivalently wideprint from a Pentax (or any other 3:2 DSLR) once both files arecropped to print at any sizeto fit mostalready made frames and/or albums easily found in most storesfor sizesother than 4x6. For someone willing to go the custom frame route or printingmassive 3:2 formatbanners like you are talking aboutof course, that's a different story.

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Old Oct 14, 2008, 3:48 PM   #3
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Hi Kez

Its a pretty tough question and something I'm sure that Pana and Oly are constantly thinking of. The G1 and I'm assuming the EA1 will both carry a new 12MP 4/3 sensor so it'll be interesting to see where they go with the E3s replacement. I know from memory that the 4/3rd lenses are designed for approx 20MP+ sensors and there might be a possibilty for the sensor being icreased in size and yet stay within the 4/3 standard (I could well be wrong).

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/sensor-size.html

My own feelings regards senor development for 4/3 is that they should aim to improve high ISO, DR and detail first and foremost - a lot like Nikon's D3 12MP sensor which produces some wonderfully detailed files, although I think everyone knows we'll be seeing a 20MP+ sensor version to match the 1DS and 5D MKII's.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Oct 14, 2008, 4:09 PM   #4
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HarjTT wrote:
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My own feelings regards senor development for 4/3 is that they should aim to improve high ISO, DR and detail first and foremost - a lot like Nikon's D3 12MP sensor which produces some wonderfully detailed files, although I think everyone knows we'll be seeing a 20MP+ sensor version to match the 1DS and 5D MKII's.

Cheers

Harj

:? :O
If Olympus were to introduce the E530 with a 8-9MP sensor, which is still enough resolution for up to 16x20 prints....as big or bigger than I'd ever need,with bigger pixels forhigh image quality capture to ISO 3200, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Hi Kezs: To clarify the concept of the four-thirds system, just re-read a sentence that you wrote inyourpost:

"..the 4:3 ratio is of little use since I usually use 3:2 or wider. so, though 12 or 14 megapixels don't sound that much more than 10 megapixels, a k20d does provide a 28% wider/longer print than an e520 at any given output resolution."

The K20d uses the extra pixels for the wider view. The Olympus four-thirds has a 2x factor, while your camera has a wider view . If you cropped your wider view print to gain a "closer" or more telephoto view, you would be cutting off those pixels on either side of the scene; the resulting bigger scene size in the same size print, would be printing onlythe center 10 megapixels of your 12 megapixel sensor. PopularPhotography Magazine did a comparison testa while back, anda 10 MP four- thirds sensor had the same solution of a 12 MP in other dSLRs.

Thinking of it in another way, a non-four thirds camera would have to have a 12 MP sensor to equal the 10 MP sensor in a 4/3 camera. (Again, they have to use those extra pixels to create the image on either sideof whatwould be the more telephoto scene view of the 4/3rds.


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Old Oct 15, 2008, 1:41 AM   #6
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hey everyone, thanks for the replies.

steven, just thought I'd clear up a misunderstanding: by "wider" I meant the width of a print, not the angle of view. it's clear that the aspect ratio can be a plus or a minus, resolution-wise, depending on your output. a 3:2 output from a 4:3 camera means wasted pixels, just as the opposite does. in my case, as far as resolution is concerned, I tend to use 3:2 or wider (8:5 or 16:9) when I need resolution the most, which means a 10mp photograph that's 4:3 ratio would mean an actual 8 or so used megapixels when cropped to fill a 3:2 output. like I said, it works both ways. my curiosity is to how much the 4/3s consortium might invest in actual resolution in the years to come, for those for whom bigger is better, considering the highest resolution currently available in the system is 3648x2736...

harjTT, that's quite an interesting link. I haven't read it through yet, but seems like a nice technical backup for when people just won't take samples as proof that high iso noise in the 4/3s system is comparable to aps-c cameras...
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