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Is 12 megapixels enough?

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2009, 08:39 PM
Frank Lopes's Avatar
Frank Lopes Frank Lopes is offline
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Is 12 megapixels enough?

This is an interesting admission from Olympus.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-10189546-39.html

What u think?

Do you feel 12 megapixels is enough for what you do most of the time and the most important factors are indeed low light noise, color and dynamic range?

Or are you from "the more pixels the better" school of thought?
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:06 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

I believe that digital has made us all lazy. The ability to take near unlimited images at no cost; we no longer have to make it perfect the first time. 12 mp is not enough for me as I am accustomed to being sloppy. I need the extra dynamic range to compensate for my and camera’s inability to get perfect exposure. I also need more mp to allow for more cropping when I don’t always frame properly.

As for low light, digital is really coming around at making very good high ISO pictures (D3). Even my D300 can take 3200 with ease when exposed properly. Really comes in handy in indoor events.

There is a reason PRO's pay over 30K for the 50 mp Hasselblad H3DII-50. The fact is that the more pixels...the sharper the image can potentially be, assuming a very good lens and good focus. But the best camera and largest sensor is useless unless you know how to use it.

My thoughts,
-Keven
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:03 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

Ive blown up and printed 6MP sources to A1 format and hung it next to 15MP sources without anyone seeing any difference.

My medium format Eyelike Precision M11 back (11MP) blows my 15MP EOS 50D out of the water in sharpness, dynamic range and skintones and it's from 2003.

Megapixels is not equal to dynamic range, and it's very different how the camera will actually use those MP in the end.

The need for the extreme medium format backs (65 / 50) is getting smaller and smaller since very few clients actually require that resolution even though they may demand it out of habit, just like they once demanded film rather than digital. If you have the type of client who absolutely need it, then you shoot medium format with one of the higher end backs. If not, you dont. Simple as that.

The DSLR are closing in when it comes to resolution and dynamic range, and there are way to many websites and reviews claiming this. The one thing that is not so evident is the resulting picture quality (tone reproduction, range etc). Its very hard to measure the "right" tone in a test as it is also dependant on the camera system rather than the sensor so lenses, software and such are all a part of the equation.

A lot of clients (at least mine) want work that end up on the web, in paper and in smaller catalogues and pretty much all DSLR's out there can handle this without breaking a sweat and in fact have been handling it for quite a few years now. So the price tag associated with a high end medium format system is hard to justify, thank god for rental service though =)

More megapixels also doesnt necessary mean more sharpnes either. A P21 back is 16 MP and it will be significantly sharper than a 5D mk2 at 21 MP. But this is not dependant on the actual sensor, but rather on the camera system attached to it. The lenses on a small format is generally not as sharp as the ones on medium format and one of the major factors is also what the camera does with the sensor data. Anti-aliasing filters will slightly blur the finer detail which can be a right pain on smaller format DSLRs. These cannot be turned off easilly (i did read about a mod for the 5D (old) that would do it, but its not simple) and in the smaller format combined with higher pixel/photon density, removing that filter will introduce other problems.

So to answer your original question, yes =) 12Mp is enough. If you were shooting billboards i might consider a larger resolution but there have been (and will be) even billboards shot with that resolution and then upscaled.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:55 AM
zganie zganie is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

First it is not megapixels,but the sensor size
the smaller sensors Do not lay down the pixels as smooth
if it was just megapixels ,why would you not just buy a point and shoot
As far as skill goes most people do not learn it,Thats why you see Wedding photographers advertising we take 3000 to 4000 images
Shooting until you get the right shot is not skill sorry

Do you really think when people were shooting film they did this?
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:10 AM
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Salomon Salomon is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

i am convinced that for profesional use, a full frame (for dynamic range) 16mp (for resolution)is the very very least. i'd rather chose a 22mp mark III DS or nikon D3x. or if i had really too much money id go Leaf or Hassel and have a model as a wife ! I find myself cursing the photographer when i receive a 12MP file cause i find the resolution is slightly "too tight" when it comes to work the skin, in a beauty shot for exemple.

hey guess what, leibovitz does a lot of work with her 16mp canon mark II. not even an L lens, just a "silly" 17-55mm 2.8 lens
but well she also happen to have an H3 as well..

Last edited by Salomon; 03-06-2009 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:16 AM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

I am sorry to say that, but my 1DsIII shots were better slightly than my 1DsII, i printed some on A2 sizes, also i printed some photos of Scotland taken by 5D, to my eyes those prints out of 1DsIII were the best, and again sorry to say that, i made a simple silly test on a paper currency of our country using 1DsIII and H3DII-39, too bad the winner was clearly H3DII-39 in sharpness and colors, anyone interested to see that simple normal tests?!
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:30 PM
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Salomon Salomon is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tareq View Post
I am sorry to say that, but my 1DsIII shots were better slightly than my 1DsII, i printed some on A2 sizes, also i printed some photos of Scotland taken by 5D, to my eyes those prints out of 1DsIII were the best, and again sorry to say that, i made a simple silly test on a paper currency of our country using 1DsIII and H3DII-39, too bad the winner was clearly H3DII-39 in sharpness and colors, anyone interested to see that simple normal tests?!
well that doesnt surprise me. the bigger the sensor, the better. wider dynamic range, less noise, more DOF... they have to justify the +20 000euros dont they ?
that being said, is spending +20 000 worth it ? and the reflexs are getting better and better.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:35 PM
Tareq Tareq is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salomon View Post
well that doesnt surprise me. the bigger the sensor, the better. wider dynamic range, less noise, more DOF... they have to justify the +20 000euros dont they ?
that being said, is spending +20 000 worth it ? and the reflexs are getting better and better.
Exactly, still i didn't print anything from my H3D, but i don't want to do that so then i hate my Canon DSLRs more and more.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:44 PM
Craig Willes Craig Willes is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

I say find the file size that meets your needs and allows you the best work flow.

I for my current needs, do not need more then 12 MP, the D3X does not interest me at all.

But after moving from my three D2H bodies to a D3 and two D700, you don't catch me using a D2H any longer, there is just no way.

But I do miss the quick work flow of the D2H, and I have printed very nice 60 inch prints from the D2H with no problem.

The main reason I went to the D3 D700 body is FX size sensor the the ISO abilities of the camera.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:39 PM
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Algarve Images Algarve Images is offline
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Re: Is 12 megapixels enough?

I have the D3, but long for the xtra MP of the D3X because a lot of my art is in the cropping and i would love the extra headroom, but would still keep the D3 simply because it's excellent in low light, regards, Gary.....
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