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10-31-2016, 05:24 AM   #1
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24 megapixel vs 16 megapixel image quality for macros

Hello ,
I have just joined the forum hope I can get some help with my new Pentax K3 Camera .
I purchased it because of the larger sensor , 24MP and have the option of getting further away from the subject and being able to crop , I do realize that it is best to compose the image in the first place , but I take mainly macros of wild flowers so it is not always able to fill the frame for all sorts of reasons .
regrettably have found that the image quality is not as good as I get on my Olympus OMD1 having a smaller sensor of 16MP .
I am using a DFA 2:8 50mm Macro lens , not a cheap lens by any means .
What am I doing wrong ? Or is 16 MP the optimum sensor size ?
Any help is welcome .


10-31-2016, 05:34 AM   #2
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To be able to take advantage of that extra resolution, you'll want to make sure that your camera is held steadily enough (preferably on a tripod if you're not using a fast shutter speed) and focused correctly. If you're hand-holding macros, chances are you'll have a bit of motion blur at the pixel level, or simply softness due to shallow depth of field.

Please do post some samples that you're unhappy with

Off the top of my head, I'd recommend increasing the ISO to be able to use faster shutter speeds. The increase in sharpness may well outpace the quality loss due to noise.

Adam
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10-31-2016, 05:51 AM   #3
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I believe that Olymus is a Micro 4/3's camera correct? That means it has a "crop factor) of 2.0 vs the APSC (K3) "crop factor) of 1.5x of 35mm format. The more knowledgeable and correct folks around here will fill in more I'm sure but the jist is this. Having a smaller sensor increases the depth of field at similar focal lengths to larger sensors. A point and shoot for instance may be better for macro in some instances than a full frame because of the much greater depth of field. The thinner depth of field on your K3 vs your Olympus is thinner which may appear to be a lack of resolution. As Adam mentioned a work around is different techniques. One think you can do as well is focus stacking. There's plenty of resources on line about it, here's one: An Introduction to Focus Stacking

Hope some of this is helpful.
10-31-2016, 05:52 AM   #4
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The K-3 will amplify any errors in your shooting technique. I had a bit of a tough time with the K-3 in the beginning as well. Start with the tips @Adam gave you and see how that goes. Welcome!

10-31-2016, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You didn't mention if you shoot RAW or JPG. If you're shooting JPG, Olympus has the Best in Camera JPG engine on the Planet. That would be your difference. Pentax JPG's need some processing.
Regarding Hand Held, what Adam says is true. My experience using Pentax and Oly, Oly's IBIS is better. I use the EPL series with out the viewfinder and even with the awkward hold of a P&S, the IBIS works great.
You might throw in a tripod or monopod in your routine.
Good Luck.
10-31-2016, 06:01 AM   #6
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As Adam indicated, without seeing the photo it is almost impossible to know what the issue might be. It could be camera or it could even be shallower depth of field with the larger format, as well as a myriad of things we all have to get used to with a different camera.
10-31-2016, 06:02 AM   #7
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Would you be able to post two photos, one from your K-3 and one from the Olympus, along with the aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings used? This would make it much easier for us to analyse why you're getting the results you mention; otherwise, it's just guessing. However, don't panic - it is almost certainly something to do with the settings or technique that you're using. The K-3 is capable of astonishing detail, as is the DFA50 f/2.8 - though you really ought to be shooting RAW and processing the images yourself to get the best results
10-31-2016, 06:04 AM   #8
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Posted examples from both your OMD1 and K3 with the Exif metadata helps for a better analysis.

Theoretical causes?
a) Your higher res sensor in the K3 will amplify any technical flaws in your technique.
b) You will inherently lose some depth-of-field when upgrading from a Micro Four Thirds to an APS-C sensor.
c) DSLRs have some mirror shock you wonʻt get with slower shutter speeds on a Mirrorless camera.

There are solutions to all this, such as shooting in Live View with a 2 second delay self-timer on a tripod with SR turned off, etc. With proper technique, the K3 is a more capable camera, but requires greater skill (than a micro four thirds mirrorless for shooting macro).

10-31-2016, 06:21 AM   #9
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If sharpness is of paramount importance, don't forget to turn off the simulated anti-aliasing filter on the K-3.
10-31-2016, 06:42 AM   #10
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Lots of good advice already given, so I'll just say welcome to the forum.
10-31-2016, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #11
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The larger the format the narrower DoF and the more work you have to do managing your focus plane.

But it can be done....
Some fall wild flowers... K-3 and FA 50 macro..








And a bee...


It can be successfully done, and you can increase your resolution, but perhaps not as dramatically as you might think. The Increase in MP may be a 50% increase between 16 and 24 Mp, but the resolution increase in MTF is more like 20% After about 6 MP the law of diminishing returns sets in pretty rapidly.
10-31-2016, 06:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The Increase in MP may be a 50% increase between 16 and 24 Mp, but the resolution increase in MTF is more like 20% After about 6 MP the law of diminishing returns sets in pretty rapidly.
... and then, if cropping more with the K-3 (which is how I interpreted the original post), the benefits will be even less... possibly swinging in the other direction if the cropping is really significant...
10-31-2016, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Here are a few shots I took with essentially the same camera/lens combination
Haven't you got anything a bit sharper and more detailed, Brian?

Just kidding!

Seriously, WOW...
10-31-2016, 07:43 AM   #14
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What is the focal length you used on the 4/3 camera?
10-31-2016, 08:18 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
increases the depth of field at similar focal lengths to larger sensors.
He means "at similar field of view".
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