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Old Mar 5, 2007, 8:10 PM   #1
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Hey everybody,

I've been reading about the Megapixel Myth. Here iare some interesting links that talk about how there is no difference between 3MP or 12MP cameras. Enjoy!

-TheCartoonist

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/...ogues-posts-2/

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm

http://www.arizonahighways.com/page....803&page=1
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Old Mar 5, 2007, 8:44 PM   #2
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Been there. Talked about that.

The Megapixel Myth (11 replies - 315 views) Thu Feb 8th, 2007
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Old Mar 5, 2007, 10:43 PM   #3
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Hmm

yea i saw this thread the first time (the orignal one) and didnt thikn to look at it.

I personally use res for pp cropping. If i had a 3 mp camera i couldnt do half the work i do with such a limited palet of pixels to play with. I guess the res i have makes me a little lazy but i get shots which are traditionally difficult to get as i dont need to fill out the frame so much and risk chopping bits off. ou know fast car shots, or full body shots where i want to turn into a shoulders up portrait...... stuff which is... well impossible with 3mp. the results would be so grainy and even photoshop remapping the pixels would give poor results.

Obviously there is more to picture qlty than mega pixels and also megapixels play an important role in picture qlty.

i shifted from 5 to 8 and i am very happy.8 has given me versatility after the shot is taken which in my eyes is a better camera.


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Old Mar 5, 2007, 11:26 PM   #4
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Sometimes the megapixel matters, sometimes it doesn't. It depends on a lot of factors. I picked out a 3mp camera for my Mom a while back and she'd be perfectly happy to use that for the rest of her life if it never breaks. Her 4x6 prints look better than any photos she's ever taken with any camera and would not be improved by higher resolution.

I worked taking product photos for print. When we moved from a 6mp Canon Digital Rebel to a 12mp Canon 5D, there was a noticeable improvement in quality for large prints.

For my own photography, I probably only need 4-5mp, so my 6mp Pentax K100D has more than enough resolution. Since I tend to shoot a lot hand-held in low light, my images end up more like 3mp anyway since at 100% it usually isn't tack sharp. If I mostly shot with a tripod, a flash or in bright light, I'd probably see more benefit with 8 or 10mp.
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 7:40 AM   #5
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I'm going to make a few bold statements here. I'd be pleased to hear any dissenting opinions:

1. What these articles say is that the average, untrained, uncritical person can't tell the difference between a 3MP image and a 12MP image. So what? The average, untrained, uncritical person can't tell the difference between an F-150 and a 911 either.

2. Inside every amature snapshot, there is a great photograph trying to get out. If you don't have the megapixels to see it, then it's lost forever.
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 1:55 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
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2. Inside every amature snapshot, there is a great photograph trying to get out. If you don't have the megapixels to see it, then it's lost forever.
I guess I disagree - if a person has a snap, I'm guessing that 99% of the reason it isn't great has nothing to do with not having enough megapixels. Their vision was bad, focus is off, colors are dull, noisy, whatever. IMO, very few photographs from todays 6mp DSLRs could be greatly improved by having 10mp.

IMO, if you're doing heavy cropping then you're not doing your job as a photographer - you're either in the wrong position or with the wrong equipment. So, if it's a common practice, there is likely more wrong with your photography than extra mp will fix. Now, for larger prints - absolutely it helps.

And, when other advancements come along with it - like a larger sensor, or better noise reduction - sure your shots are better. So, if you're printing 8x10 or smaller - I don't believe people are going to tell the diff between a 6mp shot and a 10mp shot. And as I said - if your framing is so often off the mark you have to heavily crop all your shots you need to change your behind-camera workflow to get the framing better in the first place. There are always special cases - but I would think in the majority of cases, this holds true.
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 2:33 PM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
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TCav wrote:
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2. Inside every amature snapshot, there is a great photograph trying to get out. If you don't have the megapixels to see it, then it's lost forever.
I guess I disagree - if a person has a snap, I'm guessing that 99% of the reason it isn't great has nothing to do with not having enough megapixels. Their vision was bad, focus is off, colors are dull, noisy, whatever. IMO, very few photographs from todays 6mp DSLRs could be greatly improved by having 10mp.

IMO, if you're doing heavy cropping then you're not doing your job as a photographer - you're either in the wrong position or with the wrong equipment. So, if it's a common practice, there is likely more wrong with your photography than extra mp will fix. Now, for larger prints - absolutely it helps.

And, when other advancements come along with it - like a larger sensor, or better noise reduction - sure your shots are better. So, if you're printing 8x10 or smaller - I don't believe people are going to tell the diff between a 6mp shot and a 10mp shot. And as I said - if your framing is so often off the mark you have to heavily crop all your shots you need to change your behind-camera workflow to get the framing better in the first place. There are always special cases - but I would think in the majority of cases, this holds true.
I agree that good photos rely on the basics (focus, comp, colour, sharpness, dof blah blah blah) and i think mega pixels are just complimentary, not necessity. Now lets now get silly and start comparing 1 mega pixel camera phones to 12mp dslrs as today the norm is atleast 3mp up.



Now in relation to heavy cropping. Ofcourse on occasions this cant be helped. On avg with my shots I would shave off say 3-5% of my shots to get a crop suited how I like it. This is partly due to the 80% or so coverage on my viewfinder in my dslr plus I like to have a tad of room around my ideal composition so if I need to clone something in or if my subject starts to move unexpectedly theres no train smash.



I do this due to stuff ups in past where I cropped where I saw the final image being and things moved or the backing needed work. It just makes my life so much easier to have that slight boundary and if I didn't adapt and learn from my mistakes then theres something wrong with me.



For motorsport in particular, if you are brave enough to try to fill out your frame everytime with speeding cars and risk loosing or missing every shot of the entire day then ok. I tend to shoot with a much larger border so my margin for error is much higher. You know, the same old story you always swap lenses then something happens and you wished you just kept your tele lens on for 1 more min so you do your best to capture the action a mile away using the 18-55……

Dragracing, in these situations im cropping the shots say 10-15% on bad occasions. For me anyways, this extra res makes this possible. Even after my crops the shots are still very sharp and clear and my res of my final crop can still easiliy make a3 print.



Now I think a good photographer can probably eliminate this need for digital cropping as years of practise and technique prevail plus gear with a mini fortune helps too.



Now also, I take shots and can sometime extract 2-3 very different crops from that same image. Again still plenty of res and very useable end results. Taking shots in the heat of the moment, its difficult to get the basics under your belt quickly

Shooting in Raw and at hi res makes the photo taking easier so we can focus on capturing the subject as best we can, then using raw and the megapixels later to frame it up nicely and present the image as we envisioned it. Ofcourse this may not be biased to the mega pixels as it is to the raw attributes but its another aspect to add versatility.



I also agree that a shot should be framed up as best when the shot is taken. I mean you pay for a 8mp camera so you want to make use of as much as possible so I think this should be done when ever it can.



I think on topics like this its important to talk to the people who use these cameras every day. You know, you don't realise how useful or useless something is until it integrates into your daily life.



For me anyways its clear cut that res is excellent and a real advantage for me. It has definitely helped me take better photos on many different level



Cheers
Ken
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 2:54 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
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2. Inside every amature snapshot, there is a great photograph trying to get out. If you don't have the megapixels to see it, then it's lost forever.
I agree that to a great extent, a great photograph requires a great (or at least a lucky) photographer. If you dropped one anywhere in the world, he or she will take great photographs.

What I'm saying is, if you givean amature snapshot to a great photographer, he or she will find a great photograph somewhere within it. If you droppedthatgreat photographer into the scene pictured within an amature snapshot, he or she will find a great photograph. But if the resolution of the image isn't good enough to allow the great photograph to stand on its own, then the great photograph is gone.
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 3:49 PM   #9
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Cropping is sometimes necessary. The percentage of the photos needing cropping depends on the subject. If you are trying to catch a facial expression on the elderly man playing cards, it shouldn't be necessary. Other situations, of course, are different.

My passion with the camera is currently trying to capture gun dogs flushing birds during the course of their work. There are many unknowns. The bird can fly in any direction and I find myself relying on my reaction time to get any shot at all. In this situation there are multiple subjects, both the bird and the dog. My most common crop is to change the landscape orientation of the camera to a portrait crop due to the way the bird came off the ground.

I'll admit I've even snapped off a shot as a reaction to try to catch some passing action that would be over if I raised the camera to the eye. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Beautiful thing about digital is it costs no more that one shutter count. Sometimes cropping doesn't bother me a bit and a bit more resolution doesn't hurt because of that.
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Old Mar 6, 2007, 4:17 PM   #10
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TCav wrote:
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1. What these articles say is that the average, untrained, uncritical person can't tell the difference between a 3MP image and a 12MP image. So what? The average, untrained, uncritical person can't tell the difference between an F-150 and a 911 either.
Average, untrained, uncritical people are also the ones who are getting suckered into thinking they NEED more megapixels, so I think the articles make a good point for those people.

The fact is, megapixels can only go so far until they hit the limit of what a lens can resolve. In order to get truly effective higher resolution, you need to invest in much more expensive lenses, like in the thousands of dollars. Also, when doing extreme cropping or extreme enlargements where the image will be viewed up close, you have to factor in that slight motion blur, out of focus areas and image noise will be more pronounced, and depth of field effectively decreased, meaning you'd have to use smaller apertures, faster shutter speeds, and lower ISO settings, which means larger, more expensive sensors in larger, more expensive bodies. How much money is the average, untrained, uncritical person supposed to spend for pictures of their cats?
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