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03-03-2021, 10:56 AM   #1
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I feel an explosion in megapixels coming now

I don't know if the rest of you think this is happening, or going to happen very soon, but it certainly appears as if megapixels are increasing, at this time, very quickly. From the latest smartphones to some manufacturers camera bodies, megapixels are going to 50 and 100 (and perhaps more) at the current time.

A penny for your thoughts

03-03-2021, 11:21 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Nowadays, 24Mpixel is the low-end / entry level or sport cameras (although the sport bar is now set to 50Mpixels by the Sony A1).
50Mpixels is pretty much the standard for general purpose full frame cameras.
50Mpixels medium format is not price competitive with full frame standard, is going to be slowly buried by 100Mpixels.
I believe is a few years from now, these Mpixels will be fairly standard (50Mp FF is normal, 100Mp MFD is normal), especially as image processing performance necessary for 100Mp becomes standard.
Performance of image processing slowly improves over the years for both for video and still images, it's undeniable, and I think it's great.
03-03-2021, 11:30 AM - 7 Likes   #3
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My thoughts are that standalone cameras shouldn't be concerned. For cellphone shooters all they really understand is megapixels and for years more was better. However the laws of physics (diffraction) are a killer. On cameras formats like APC-C, FF, and 645 more pixels aren't going to improve things. If one takes into account diffraction and real lenses (not even theoretical ideal ones) seeing sensors in the 25mp, 50mp and 100mp ranges for each format is going to be best. For most apertures this provides near ideal pixel sizes with diffraction starting to kick in at f/8 to f/11 which are very useable and in the f/16 to f/22 range actually becomes a concern. Going beyond that is just going to provide false magnification so you get bigger images but they won't be sharper images. What I find really interesting is that the pixel sizes on some of those sensors is only a few nm larger than the bottom of the red wavelength. At that feature size noise is really going to become a problem because of the chances of photons just not hitting the photo site that can accept them.

I have one of those phones with a generally better camera that comes in at 16mp and can produce raw files. I am not impressed with what it can produce even with raw files. The jpg files look fine if you don't look too close but if you do you see lots of sharpening artefacts and all the fine details have been eaten from the noise reduction. If you process the raw file you can get some more of the detail but there is a huge amount of noise even in bright light. One thing I also noticed in the raw files is just how flat and unsaturated the files are as well as how much vignetting there is.

So let the phones have a 108MP sensor (I think that is the biggest I have seen stated as going into a phone) that provides no more detail than a good 4mp sensor with their small wide aperture lenses. I will be plenty happy with my "big" pixel sizes the give lower noise, higher dynamic range, better tonal gradations, and lack of diffraction softening.
03-03-2021, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #4
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On cameras the megapixel race have slowed down.
The 36MP FF sensor in K1 II is like 8 years now, and no FF hass doubled MP since then.
In earlier years doubling MP went much faster.

On APS-C and smaller sensors the megapixel race have slowed down even more.

in an decreasing market development will slow down.

03-03-2021, 11:40 AM - 4 Likes   #5
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The practical limits have been reached for accessible formats...'nuff said.


Steve

(...who has hardware to process/print over 50Mpx?...)
03-03-2021, 11:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The practical limits have been reached for accessible formats...'nuff said.
What's a practical limit?

I can talk about the USA, but in Europe the standard photo poster size is 50x75cm (price is 7.99Euros in Fuji Crystal Archive DPII paper), which at 300pi requires 52.2Mpixels.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-03-2021 at 11:56 AM.
03-03-2021, 12:01 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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It's for bragging rights.

You can make great large prints from 10 or 12 megapixels - ask most wedding photographers and there are plenty who actually think 12MP or 16MP are the sweet spot. 24 even allows you to "pixel peep" a large print. 100 megapixels is probably so you can analyze a print with a lab microscope? If that's a thing now....
03-03-2021, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
I don't know if the rest of you think this is happening, or going to happen very soon, but it certainly appears as if megapixels are increasing, at this time, very quickly. From the latest smartphones to some manufacturers camera bodies, megapixels are going to 50 and 100 (and perhaps more) at the current time.

A penny for your thoughts
Useful if you want to print large above 24"x16".

Otherwise not particularly important

03-03-2021, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The practical limits have been reached for accessible formats...'nuff said.
I wonder how much minds will change with time and the push from manufacturers of DSLR and mirrorless falling over each other to gain a share of what may be a diminishing market by pushing their own features and USP?

QuoteQuote:
(...who has hardware to process/print over 50Mpx?...)
Me sir, I do . 645Z 51Mpx, painless to process in a modest Intel PC via PS or LR. Similarly print a breeze with files over 1GB handled just fine.


I suspect hardware will be somewhat strained for many with the 50,000 Hasselblad H6D -400C with raw files coming in at well over 800MB and TIFF at around 1.5GB !.
03-03-2021, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
who has hardware to process/print over 50Mpx?
While I don't have what is needed to print (I farm that out since the color laser sucks for photo printing but is great for docs) but as far as being able to process huge images that is accessible now. I've done a stitched stacked super res image of the full moon that came out at 144mp using a 2000mm f/20 setup on the K-3ii. Even now I am working on a super res image of the moon with about 1000 shots from 3 days where the tight crop of the moon comes out at 36MP but taken with a 400mm plus a 2x converter with shots taken at 800mm f/11 effective with my K-3ii. I do a lot of stitched images that easily get into the 100+mp range even on my previous computer. Having enough RAM is key but getting in to 32GB range solves most problems and going beyond that really opens things up.

The recent moon one is a learning attempt so that I can make an attempt at an all terminator shot of the moon which I've wanted to do for a few years but until seeing one last year I didn't know if it would turn out awesome or awful but it is even more awesome that I could have imagined. I kind of wish I had got off my butt and done one first but only having 400mm at the long end for a good lens prevented a serious attempt.
03-03-2021, 12:49 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
What's a practical limit?

I can talk about the USA, but in Europe the standard photo poster size is 50x75cm (price is 7.99Euros in Fuji Crystal Archive DPII paper), which at 300pi requires 52.2Mpixels.
Speaking as a professional art handler and fine arts repro photographer, I would say the practical limit for the average middle class to lower-upper middle class person is a floated print under glass allowing for 4cm all the way around at about at about 122 x 183 cm, this dimension includes the frame. I say this because this is a size that could still be hung by a couple w/o assistance due to size/weight. After that it's wiser to get professional help for installation. And the framing for this would easily run to 200 euros, so there's another "practical" limitation. These were not the limitations you were addressing I don't think, but they are real ones.


My own aims run more to even larger sizes for the works I have in mind, but these would be diptychs and triptychs, so the individual prints are smaller. I can get to this size with my 645Z w/o stitching using Gigapixel AI at a not extreme setting (I have done this for my museum, and it worked excellently---I was very pleased with the result). I personally believe you can cheat a bit on big prints and go a bit below 300ppi, depending on subject and sort of paper. Then of course there's P-shift and stitching, and here you can get to quite large sizes quickly.

On the other side of things, the practical limitations reside with storage, computing power, and bandwidth for cloud storage. Hard to say where that's going, but I think there will be some kind of cutoff eventually.


QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Nowadays, 24Mpixel is the low-end / entry level or sport cameras (although the sport bar is now set to 50Mpixels by the Sony A1).
50Mpixels is pretty much the standard for general purpose full frame cameras.
50Mpixels medium format is not price competitive with full frame standard, is going to be slowly buried by 100Mpixels.
I believe is a few years from now, these Mpixels will be fairly standard (50Mp FF is normal, 100Mp MFD is normal), especially as image processing performance necessary for 100Mp becomes standard.
Performance of image processing slowly improves over the years for both for video and still images, it's undeniable, and I think it's great.
Agree with all you say here. I see the "plenty good enough" standard for FF settling in at 50 - maybe 80 mp, and medium format needing to be in the 100 - 150 range.
03-03-2021, 01:18 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I hope not. Post-processing very large files can be taxing even on decent modern computers.
03-03-2021, 01:22 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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More megapixels also means huge RAW files which are no fun to work with by the hundreds. And they eat up storage fast. I'm still happy with 24mp and feel no need to go for more megapixels. Also how many lenses can even resolve 100mp? Don't most struggle with the current 45-50 megapixels?
03-03-2021, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Smartphones usually have QuadBayer arrangements, so the MP in the final picture is much lower than the nominal (advertised) value.

Regarding MP count at large, I find that there has to be a balance between camera MP count, interface/card/mass storage transfer speed, HDD size and cost, CPU processing speed/RAM cost/performance and software speed in general.
All or most of these factors need to be aligned at reasonable values, otherwise the whole Jenga tower collapses.


With 8TB HDD being cheap-ish, PCs being quite powerful, SD cards being big and cheap, many manufacturers implementing USB 3 in their cameras etc. I'm starting to feel like I manage with more than 16 MP per shot 24-36 looks like my personal sweetspot ATM, but it's largely a personal preference.
After all, if one doesn't print, you can't really have more than ~8 MP on screen at a time

For professionals it's another story entirely, obviously.
03-03-2021, 01:42 PM - 12 Likes   #15
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The pixel race has ended. The new trend is eye, bird, squirrel and camel detection.
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