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05-07-2012, 05:26 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Good article on paid photography with small sensors

From 1001 Noisy Cameras

Professional photography with compact cameras ? Ming Thein | Photographer

05-07-2012, 05:52 AM   #2
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Ah, once again the truth rears it's ugly head.... all that's left is the hype from those who claim they need more than 12 Mp, although they never actually say why they need it. It's kind of like "I'm a better photographer than you so I need more mega pixels than you, if you don't understand why, that's because I know things you don't, talk to me when you know what I do."

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What does this mean? In the real world, my clients almost never have final uses for the images that require more than 12MP when properly shot and composed (i.e. not heavily cropped). We can delude ourselves into thinking more is better – all else equal, it usually is – but most of the time, it makes no difference. Even if you’re doing a billboard, you don’t need medium format – I’ve done a couple with the mere 4MP Nikon D2H – simply because the individual pixels are about the size of golf balls, but nobody notices because you never get any closer than 20 meters.
I produced my first 40 file Mb back in 94, to have a 4x5 film negative made for a poster. It was composed of 17 different images. Now you have people drooling over 36 Mb files. Been there, done that, no need to go back there. Despite the hype.
05-07-2012, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #3
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. Really enjoyed it! Thanks
05-07-2012, 06:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Ah, once again the truth rears it's ugly head.... all that's left is the hype from those who claim they need more than 12 Mp, although they never actually say why they need it. It's kind of like "I'm a better photographer than you so I need more mega pixels than you, if you don't understand why, that's because I know things you don't, talk to me when you know what I do."



I produced my first 40 file Mb back in 94, to have a 4x5 film negative made for a poster. It was composed of 17 different images. Now you have people drooling over 36 Mb files. Been there, done that, no need to go back there. Despite the hype.
Yea, we all get sucked into the bigger / better syndrome.

05-07-2012, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Thank you Unsinkable, i also appreciated the article.

I got my humble pie a few years back when i brought my K10D to a political rally for the state governor, and a reporter showed up with a P&S to take pictures and jot down a few notes for the local paper.

Ming is also right about the stealth natue of PS cams- black dslrs attract attention like flys on meat
05-07-2012, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Great article. Hope the author doesn't receive too much flak over it. Many don't appreciate others spreading the truth.

Same author did an article of Leica S2 medium format vs nikon D800 FF. The picture shows both cameras to be almost identical size. Amazing since Leica usually isn't known for small cameras.
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05-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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How true, my first digital camera was a Nikon E 5000. 5 meg. (Pentax didn't make a digital yet) Magazine covers shot with it than and magazine covers shot now with the K5 look the same.
05-09-2012, 03:42 AM   #8
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No matter what you guys say or think, more is always better. If there is a choice I will always take more.

Even if 6mp files are good enough, a 36mp file could be used to create a quality 6mp file. Not to mention the cropping advantage of more is always there. Here is a simple rule of mathematics, you can not create the information that is not captured but you can always discard the excess information if situation demands.


In the end 6mp is not enough, at least for me, I had k100d and mp count always created issue for me. I want min of 10mp.

05-10-2012, 02:13 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Thanks for a great article.
05-10-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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Too true,Look at the two pics, which was made with the higher resolution camera, or is it a trick, are they both from the same camera, or are they infact from the same original pic?..On a screen, viewing your image to fit your screen, what you used to take the pic and its resolution has little to do with what your computer produces to view on your screen, as the actual image at that viewing size does not have anymore resolution than what you see, as you zoom in, the image is recreated from your file, each time you zoom, so yes, more resolution of the file will let you zoom in and see more detail, but then you are not looking at the whole picture are you?, no, Do I climb to the top top of a mountain to look at the ants at my feet , no, I look at the entire view before me, so to see an entire picture you are looking at a low res render of the original file sized to fit your screen, regardless of how big or detailed the original file is that the viewing render is produced from.
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05-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
Too true,Look at the two pics, which was made with the higher resolution camera, or is it a trick, are they both from the same camera, or are they infact from the same original pic?..On a screen, viewing your image to fit your screen, what you used to take the pic and its resolution has little to do with what your computer produces to view on your screen, as the actual image at that viewing size does not have anymore resolution than what you see, as you zoom in, the image is recreated from your file, each time you zoom, so yes, more resolution of the file will let you zoom in and see more detail, but then you are not looking at the whole picture are you?, no, Do I climb to the top top of a mountain to look at the ants at my feet , no, I look at the entire view before me, so to see an entire picture you are looking at a low res render of the original file sized to fit your screen, regardless of how big or detailed the original file is that the viewing render is produced from.
Now shoot the same thing at iso6400 , apply the noise reduction by topaz denoise and scale down the large size image to small size image. If you do so even a blind will be able to see the difference.
05-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zxaar Quote
Now shoot the same thing at iso6400 , apply the noise reduction by topaz denoise and scale down the large size image to small size image. If you do so even a blind will be able to see the difference.
Sooooooo...Looking at the two pics, Your saying you can't tell which is from a lower megapixel camera and which is from a higher megapixel camera??

Each pic is shot at roughly the same ISO, same shutterspeed, same aperature, using the same lens, each is a jpeg directly out of each camera, no PP what-so-ever, not resized, just a screen capture of the images as the computer software renders each to view onscreen.
05-11-2012, 02:21 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Thanx for the link - very informative article from an unexpected perspective (a pro using small sensor cams for work).
The key elements of the article that stood out for me were the (i) importance of using base ISO whenever possible (no problem when there's lots of light), (ii) composing carefully to avoid too much cropping, (iii) the unobtrusive nature of small sensor cams.

I've done some A3 prints from the Q & been disappointed - understandable because I was trying to take a distant landscape & sky using ISO 500 after sunset with a very low shutter speed! Noise & lack of detail in shadows was very evident.

Currently I'm on a trip to Vietnam using Q (3 lenses) + K5 (2 lenses). Which one is getting the lion's share of pics? Yes - it's the Q, simply because of the convenience aspect, the light weight & low bulk. However, when we get to the really picturesque parts of the trip, I'm expecting the K5 will be doing most of the work, due to better color depth, availability of long tele (55-300) for cropping & much better prospects for larger prints.
Was only going to take Q on the trip originally, but decided the K5 weight/bulk penalty would be worth it to capture more detail when appropriate.
Thanks again for link - very thought-provoking!
05-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #14
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Glad everyone liked it. I thought it was a very interesting article and worth sharing.
05-17-2012, 10:24 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Good essay. This reiterates points I've made before:

* Various tasks call for different, appropriate tools.
* Bigger ain't always better; stealth may be needed.
* Almost any pic looks good if small or distant enough.
* Content will trump IQ. The IQ of a missed shot is zero.

I've sold shots taken with 1-3-5mpx P&S cameras. IMHO the main advantages of many-mega-pickle sensors are 1) more detail and dynamic range to work with, 2) more of the source can be cropped, and 3) heading-off a psychological urge to 'upgrade'. Careful use of a compact camera can counter (1) and (2). So whether or not a dSLR is in my bag or around my neck, one or two P&S cams are always in my pockets.
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