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02-28-2017, 07:55 PM   #1
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Screen resolution vs perceptual Mega Pixels

As I come to terms with DXO Mark's lens sharpness ratings, I'm left wondering, given that the average pc screen can display around 2 Mega Pixels, does that mean that a photo from a camera/lens combination with a DXO Mark sharpness rating of 3 will look as sharp on the screen as a photo from a a camera/lens combination with a DXO Mark sharpness rating of 15?

02-28-2017, 08:30 PM   #2
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It could, but a lot of factors that don't have much to do with resolution or lens sharpness are involved. For starters, the photo will be downsized to fit the screen (only the photographer and other photographers who want to denigrate the person who took the picture will scroll around the image to pixel peep). You are at the mercy of the computer programming that merges neighbouring pixels into a single pixel. A computer monitor is very much like a stained glass window with a backlight, images look very different on a projector screen or a piece of paper. Differences in hue and brightness between neighbouring pixels will greatly affect how sharp the image appears to be. If the image has small features that stand out from the background, it will look sharper, regardless of the lens sharpness. The more the image looks like how viewers remember similar scenes in their head (in other words, the more the photo looks like it is supposed to look) the sharper the image will appear to be. In the right circumstances, very average lenses can produce sharp images, especially if they are displayed on a computer monitor. It is more difficult to get images that look sharp when printed on paper at the same size as a computer monitor or larger. And that assumes you have the full screen of the monitor to work with, if it is being viewed on a website, it will be greatly downsized and compressed so that it downloads and gets displayed faster.
02-28-2017, 10:20 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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No. You'd have to test this to be sure I guess, but after editing thousands of pictures on a crappy sub 2-megapixel monitor, I've noticed that for the vast majority of time, differences in sharpness at 100% are easily seen zoomed out as well. Pictures that aren't sharp at 100% don't have that "razor sharp" edge even completely zoomed out.
03-01-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Displays these days are considerably better than 2MP.

But how an image is seen on a screen also depends on how close the display is. Good smartphones approach what, 220PPI? It's getting close to what one would see in a good glossy photo magazine. With 4k and 5k (5120x2880, or 14.7 MP) displays everyone sorta becomes a pixel peeper. You see more of that 6kx4k DNG, even at 1:1, and you're closer to it. So yeah, imperfections do start showing up.

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