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10-21-2014, 07:58 AM   #91
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Norm - Their "lower tiered" Imac 27s still have above 1080p and they are stunning. I can't imagine how good an apple 5k screen will be! I still am in love with my 21" 1080p. It is amazing how much better their screens are than others even at the same resolution

10-21-2014, 08:16 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
50MP sensor would bring along all sorts of problems. The SR would have to be fine tuned, the lenses would need to be improved (coatings, materials, will not be cheap and might necessitate bigger lenses), CPU would have to be faster, buffer bigger, cards would need to allow faster write speeds as well as more space.. even computers would struggle - how many of us would have to buy new hard drives, faster computers to deal with 50MP raw photos?
We can see that with the Nikon 36MP it already struggled with the previously mentioned things, but is still manageable (even if it requires steadier hands). If you look at K-3 files they already feature so much detail and resolution.. unless they are making massive prints that will be viewed from close up, or cropping a lot, i can't imagine who would need 50MP. Except maybe the marketing department, to show consumers of the ignorant variety that "we are winning the MP war!"
Those are actually all pretty straightforward issues that can more or less be solved by throwing money at the problem. Overall a little extra onboard RAM won't bump the camera cost too much overall. 50MP is "halo product" territory and a marginally higher unit cost is swallowed by the profit margin on a $4000 camera. And for computers, 16GB of DDR3 ram is like $150 - peanuts to someone who is buying a brand new $4000 camera. More RAM will make everything nicer anyway - having 16GB is great day-to-day, going back to machines with 4GB sucks.

Samsung is doing great work on the "faster CPUs" front as well - most image processors are more or less a "fixed pipeline" with a few knobs that can be twiddled in software, but Samsung's DRIMe-V is jumping to a really flexible architecture (sounds FPGA-like) that lets them get a lot more out of it. They've got it capable of dumping bursts of 28MP RAW images at 240 fps, so I think 8fps at 50MP is plausible for continuous shooting. What I suspect they're doing there is adding strong lossless compression to the RAWs, reducing the filesize they're writing, which directly translates into "faster effective card speed". You can get a size reduction factor of 2 with reasonable effort, maybe 3 if you really threw lots of processing power at it. If you implement it as an FPGA, it doesn't necessarily need to consume a lot of watts. They're doing a similar thing on video - H265 rather than H264 lets them squeeze more and larger video onto the card much faster. They can do UHS-3 class performance on a Class 10 card, relative to H264. And if Samsung finds some really cool new way to do things - they can drastically change the operation of the processor with firmware updates.

All of this takes a more powerful and flexible CPU. Most camera manufacturers don't really care about that crap and just dump a variation on the Fujitsu Milbeaut processor in their cameras because it's easy and cheap. This includes Canon, Nikon, and yes, Pentax - all just tweaked Milbeauts. That architecture can't really be reconfigured on the fly, if functionality (compression codecs, etc) isn't baked in then it can't be added after the fact. That's the tradeoff you make - the camera is marginally cheaper, but you need to start running dual cards, UHS class cards,etc to compensate for a crappy processor.You've also removed potential for major feature updates with firmware - not that anyone except Fuji seems interested in doing that if it might cut into sales of next year's model. So overall you'll be buying another camera sooner and spending more on cards/etc. Penny wise, pound foolish.

To me the bigger concern is diffraction - the megapixel count keeps climbing, which means smaller pixel pitch, which means a low diffraction limit. The unspoken problem here is that you need a lens that can deliver 50MP worth of resolution by f/5.6. Of course this is a function of pixel pitch, and the 24mp APS-C cameras ran into this problem first, this is just bringing the pixel pitch of a 24mp APS-C to a FF sensor. Long term this will continue to be a problem and the real long term future (10-15 year timeframe) lies in MF-sized sensors. There have been persistent rumors about Nikon and Canon prototypes with these large sensors. Pentax is actually ahead of the game here since it has the 645 lineup. I tend to view that as a long-term, strategic product line.

90s-vintage lens design won't cut it for much longer, but the lens problem isn't totally insurmountable. Modern computer design and liberal use of exotic materials and aspheric surfaces do make a big difference. I am astonished at what Sigma has been putting out lately - they are just spanking Canon and Nikon with their Art series. Better resolution at half the price (eg 35/1.4). Faster lenses than anything anyone else has put out (18-35 1.8 for APS-C, rumored 24-70 F2 for FF) and also super sharp wide open. Zeiss has realized that diffraction is going to be a key factor too. This is exactly what the Otus series are aimed at in a long-term sense - letting people get >50MP out of their >50MP sensors at wide apertures, before diffraction starts eating up the resolution.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 10-21-2014 at 10:06 AM.
10-21-2014, 09:04 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul MaudDib Quote
Those are actually all pretty straightforward issues that can more or less be solved by throwing money at the problem.
I know, and that exactly what I don't want. For my usage, I would prefer a system that doesn't require the user to buy all new memory cards, computer, storage,.. and even lenses, since many of the good old ones will suddenly be too soft. Your points are perfectly right.
Diffraction, and even handshake blur will become much bigger problems than they are for most of us now.
10-21-2014, 09:11 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Norm - Their "lower tiered" Imac 27s still have above 1080p and they are stunning. I can't imagine how good an apple 5k screen will be! I still am in love with my 21" 1080p. It is amazing how much better their screens are than others even at the same resolution
I'm afraid to look at one. As I said, by the time I got the machine I wanted, it would be way our of my price range. Right now I'm hoping that a lot of production houses will sell off their existing units in favour of the 5k units and I'll be able to pick up a second machine similar to my own only a couple years newer for say $1200. But the new specs, an quad core i7 clocked at 4.4 Ghz... drool, 4000 pixels wide.. double drool... 4 Gb video ram.. triple drool, I have to get a napkin to dry my chin with.

Honestly, I've seen Aperture max out my 2.93 quad core i7, with all four performance bars on Activity Monitor running at the top. Especially after upgrading to the K-3 and 24 MP files, I'm ready for this machine. My wallet isn't.


Last edited by normhead; 10-21-2014 at 09:35 AM.
10-21-2014, 09:16 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I'm afraid to look at one. As I said, by the time I got the machine I wanted, it would be way our of my price range. Right now I'm hoping that a lot of production houses will sell off their existing units in favour of the 5k units and I'll be able to pick up a second machine similar to my own only a couple years newer for say $1200. But the new specs, an i7 clocked at 4.4 Ghz... drool, 4000 pixels wide.. double drool... 4 Gb video ram.. triple drool, I have to get a napkin to dry my chin with.
I have 27 inch 2560x1440 pixel screen from Fujitsu and that is already a great screen. Not even to expensive. For home use this is way overkill (as is the 50 megapixel).
10-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I have 27 inch 2560x1440 pixel screen from Fujitsu and that is already a great screen. Not even to expensive. For home use this is way overkill (as is the 50 megapixel).
Fujitsu does make great kit. I got 6 years of incredibly hard wear out of my Lifebook. I tried to move back down to a (cheapo) consumer HP, it always sucked and I gave it noticeable damage in under a year. Finally I had to move back up to an older refurb'd Thinkpad workstation to get something as durable and usable. I know someone who's got one of the Fujitsu SnapScan scanners too - very slick.

Not cheap by any means, but I think nice interface equipment (display, keyboard, mouse, etc) is worth it. You're gonna be using it all the time.
10-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #97
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Ron, do you know the model? My Imac is a 2009-2010 model and it is always maxing out in Aperture, Norm! I love it though and it has been so good to me. I am considering a high end Mac Mini and getting a different brand monitor if the price and quality is right. Apple's screens are pretty stellar. I don't need "better" per se, I do want a 27 though. 50 MP is nonsense though. I can't even imagine the K3's 24MP sensor. I've never had someone want to print something that I couldn't because of the megapixels in my K5II or K30.
10-21-2014, 11:07 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Ron, do you know the model? My Imac is a 2009-2010 model and it is always maxing out in Aperture, Norm! I love it though and it has been so good to me. I am considering a high end Mac Mini and getting a different brand monitor if the price and quality is right. Apple's screens are pretty stellar. I don't need "better" per se, I do want a 27 though. 50 MP is nonsense though. I can't even imagine the K3's 24MP sensor. I've never had someone want to print something that I couldn't because of the megapixels in my K5II or K30.
We have an i7 Mac mini, don't go there. The issue is the video card performance. Aperture is real time like a video game. A slow card without at least a half Gig of dedicated ram will slow down performance and cause the little wheel to spin. There are lot of 27 inch Aperture capable iMacs available right now from the guys who buy them from the production houses when they upgrade. $1300 gives you a machine slightly better than mine and two years newer. I paid over 2k for mine.

10-21-2014, 11:12 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
We have an i7 Mac mini, don't go there. The issue is the video card performance. Aperture is real time like a video game. A slow card without at least a half Gig of dedicated ram will slow down performance and cause the little wheel to spin. There are lot of 27 inch Aperture capable iMacs available right now from the guys who buy them from the production houses when they upgrade. $1300 gives you a machine slightly better than mine and two years newer. I paid over 2k for mine.
You, my friend, just did me a big favor for sharing that. Refurbished you can get those 27s for as low as 1350 on Apple's website. I bought a 1.5 TB firewire WD harddrive to get me to 5 years with that computer. Aperture gets dicey sometimes when you move the files around. I think it has to do with the fact that it always saves the original and the edited photos - which is pretty sweet. Takes way more space though. Thanks for that point, points my dream away from that!
10-21-2014, 11:20 AM   #100
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If it's anything like Lightroom, it actually stores the original plus a set of processing instructions. So each time you make a correction, it re-renders the "display" image from the original. But it's not actually stored anywhere until you do an "export to jpg".

It's always going to max the CPU during a batch export. Each image can be independently exported - one image per core. If it's not doing that, you're actually wasting some of your performance.

Using the GPU for processing is definitely getting to be A Thing nowadays. I wouldn't buy a machine with integrated graphics ever, and some of the low-end ones aren't much better. They're just there to help out playing 1080p movies. Every 3-4 years I drop $150-$175 on a midrange graphics card - currently running a Radeon HD 7850 I picked up 2 years ago. Doesn't play 4K or ultra-everything-quality games, but it does great on reasonable settings.

Doesn't work for you Mac guys of course. Nice hardware, I just wish it wasn't quite so locked down.
10-21-2014, 12:14 PM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Ron, do you know the model? My Imac is a 2009-2010 model and it is always maxing out in Aperture, Norm! I love it though and it has been so good to me. I am considering a high end Mac Mini and getting a different brand monitor if the price and quality is right. Apple's screens are pretty stellar. I don't need "better" per se, I do want a 27 though. 50 MP is nonsense though. I can't even imagine the K3's 24MP sensor. I've never had someone want to print something that I couldn't because of the megapixels in my K5II or K30.
http://globalsp.ts.fujitsu.com/dmsp/Publications/public/ds-display-p27t-6-ips.pdf
10-21-2014, 12:16 PM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I know, and that exactly what I don't want. For my usage, I would prefer a system that doesn't require the user to buy all new memory cards, computer, storage,.. and even lenses, since many of the good old ones will suddenly be too soft. Your points are perfectly right.
Diffraction, and even handshake blur will become much bigger problems than they are for most of us now.
It's important to keep in mind though that lower-res sensor will *never* resolve more than a higher-res sensor, and that even if a lens is only mildly sharp it will still resolve more on 50MP than 16 or 24. The better the lens, the greater the delta will be.

That may be obvious to some folks but it's not to everyone - some people think that higher-res images can somehow look worse, resolve less than lower-res because of a diffraction limit or handshake. Also, it would need to be a truly terrible lens to give the same MTF system score on 16 or 24MP vs. 50MP. There are probably few lenses in active circulation that are that bad.

With 50MP you just may hit a steeper diminishing-returns curve than you want.

Last edited by jsherman999; 10-21-2014 at 12:23 PM.
10-21-2014, 12:23 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
It's important to keep in mind though that lower-res sensor will *never* resolve more than a higher-res sensor, and that even if a lens is only mildly sharp it will still resolve more on 50MP than 16 or 24. The better the lens, the greater the delta will be.

That may be obvious to some folks but it's not to everyone - some people think that higher-res images can somehow look worse, resolve less than lower-res because of a diffraction limit or handshake. Also, it would need to be a truly terrible lens to give the same MTF system score on 16 or 24MP vs. 50MP. There are probably few lenses in active circulation that are that bad.

They won't. You just may hit a steeper diminishing-returns curve.
Ya, that's the thing, the diminishing returns thing.... it happened from 12 to 16 MP even worse 16 to 24. The 16 to 36 going to a D800 was huge... but that's more than twice the size. 36 to to 50 is a 50% increase. My guess is that 16 to 36 is always going to stand out as the defining moment in the MP race, when people were able to look at the images and say "wow". That's not likely to ever happen again. Even the 24 MP K-3 compared to a 36 MP FF, it's still an incremental improvement.. but not nearly as wow.
10-21-2014, 01:01 PM   #104
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You're right, 50MP will be less of an improvement than 36MP.

What's the next big improvement? Foveon-type? It's a bit silly that they have such poor ISO, seeing as in theory they should start with something like 3x the signal of a 'normal' sensor...
10-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #105
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e: ^^^ Hah, we had the same thought.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Ya, that's the thing, the diminishing returns thing.... it happened from 12 to 16 MP even worse 16 to 24. The 16 to 36 going to a D800 was huge... but that's more than twice the size. 36 to to 50 is a 50% increase. My guess is that 16 to 36 is always going to stand out as the defining moment in the MP race, when people were able to look at the images and say "wow". That's not likely to ever happen again. Even the 24 MP K-3 compared to a 36 MP FF, it's still an incremental improvement.. but not nearly as wow.
Yup, I usually figure that a 50% resolution increase is about where you notice a worthwhile difference, and doubling the resolution is what you need to make a big difference.

Physics dictate that there won't be too many more doublings in resolution at this point. I think 50mp APS-C (100mp FF) is the end of the road for 2d planar image sensors, if even that far. I haven't done the math, but that will be requiring some pretty nutty lenses to deliver enough resolution wide open. Past there we will have to figure out a workaround, or start increasing the sensor size. Which currently would lead to some pretty awful yields.

Maybe we will get around it by switching to Foveon sensors where R/G/B pixels are stacked on top of each other. Potentially you could triple the resolution like that, assuming the same number of pixel sites (real pixels, not their triple-counted marketing number). Currently the resolution on those is considerably behind Bayer sensors, though. Or maybe light field - although their resolution is far worse than even Foveon.

Or, maybe we will figure out a way to utilize "failed" sensors, effectively increasing yields on large sensors.. If it's just a couple pixels that are broken, they could be marked as "broken" in the RAW file and then automatically cloned out in processing. Pretty sure some cameras do this for "hot pixels" or dust. Dunno if it's possible, but I'd love a larger sensor even if it meant that 1mp out of my 200mp was kinda broken and needed some post-processing work. Full-frame-6x7 or 6x9 sensors would be amazing.

I do have faith that people will expand their activities to utilize whatever resolution is available, though. Maybe 3d photographs will become A Thing and suddenly the effective resolution is cut in half for each side of the stereo-pair. "Good enough" has rarely stayed good enough forever.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 10-21-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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