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11-04-2008, 11:59 AM   #1
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RAW and Megapixel (MP)

From my limited knowledge, a camera's MP has to do mostly with how big you want to blow the JPEG up without it looking grainy.

If I shoot in RAW mode, does that mean megapixel doesn't matter?

11-04-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by 98wongjf Quote
From my limited knowledge, a camera's MP has to do mostly with how big you want to blow the JPEG up without it looking grainy.

If I shoot in RAW mode, does that mean megapixel doesn't matter?
yes erm no... let me phrase it differently.

technical comparisons and considerations aside, the larger the pixel count, the larger you can print without losing detail (altho i will point out that viewing distnace should also be considered..)

RAW is just a format.

so yes, if printing image size is your only concern, raw or jpeg has no impact.


i will finish though saying that if you shoot raw, you could theoreticaly produce a better jpeg for future printing, and you can even upsize it with better results.
11-04-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
yes erm no... let me phrase it differently.

technical comparisons and considerations aside, the larger the pixel count, the larger you can print without losing detail (altho i will point out that viewing distnace should also be considered..)

RAW is just a format.

so yes, if printing image size is your only concern, raw or jpeg has no impact.


i will finish though saying that if you shoot raw, you could theoreticaly produce a better jpeg for future printing, and you can even upsize it with better results.
A simpler version of my question would be: If I shoot in RAW mode, does that mean I can blow up the picture however big I want it regardless of MP?

So I guess your answer would be no, and that even if I shoot RAW, it will still have the MP limitation when printing.
11-04-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 98wongjf Quote
A simpler version of my question would be: If I shoot in RAW mode, does that mean I can blow up the picture however big I want it regardless of MP?
no, that is not the case.

RAW or Jpeg simply determines the quality of said pixel.

however, as i said, if you do use RAW, using 3rd party software you can enlarge beyond the original MP size with better results than if it was a jpeg.

11-04-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Nice! Sorry for misunderstanding your respond before.

Another question then: I always shoot RAW and I'm using the K100D (non Super). Does that mean I really have no need to upgrade to a K200D?
11-04-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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Obviously, I'm talk strictly for blowing up pictures. =)
11-04-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 98wongjf Quote
Another question then: I always shoot RAW and I'm using the K100D (non Super). Does that mean I really have no need to upgrade to a K200D?

Do you ever print larger than A3? Do you really need to?

If the answers to the above questions are "no", then you don't really need to upgrade. Unless you want SDM lens support and weather sealing, and 4 extra megapixels that allow you to crop your picture better.
11-04-2008, 03:58 PM   #8
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I don't know where you got the idea that RAW versus JPEG had anything to do with number of pixels, but either the person who told you that was just wrong, or you must have misunderstood whatever it was you heard (there is a difference in the way those pixels are counted, it is true).

Bottom line: if one camera has more pixels than another in JPEG, it has more pixels in RAW too. The K200D has more pixels than the K100D whether you use JPEG or RAW. Meaning you can blow up images bigger with the K200D whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. And yes, even JPEG on the K200D can be blown up bigger than the RAW on the K100D, to the extent that number of pixels is the only issue (there might be other reasons why the RAW file from one camera might yield better results than the JPEG from another).

11-04-2008, 05:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I don't know where you got the idea that RAW versus JPEG had anything to do with number of pixels, but either the person who told you that was just wrong, or you must have misunderstood whatever it was you heard (there is a difference in the way those pixels are counted, it is true).

Bottom line: if one camera has more pixels than another in JPEG, it has more pixels in RAW too. The K200D has more pixels than the K100D whether you use JPEG or RAW. Meaning you can blow up images bigger with the K200D whether you shoot RAW or JPEG. And yes, even JPEG on the K200D can be blown up bigger than the RAW on the K100D, to the extent that number of pixels is the only issue (there might be other reasons why the RAW file from one camera might yield better results than the JPEG from another).
Well the reason I got that idea was actually from looking at my camera's menu. I noticed that the menu where I change megapixel is blocked if I choose RAW and back on when I choose JPEG. So I thought maybe megapixel doesn't matter with RAW....
11-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #10
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I think that just means RAW shoots at the camera's max pixals.
11-04-2008, 07:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 98wongjf Quote
Well the reason I got that idea was actually from looking at my camera's menu. I noticed that the menu where I change megapixel is blocked if I choose RAW and back on when I choose JPEG.
The RAW format is a direct representation of the sensor data. It is pixel for pixel what the sensor has seen. Each pixel has just one colour component (red, green, or blue). The conversion into a picture that you can look at, where each pixel has all red/green/blue components, is done when converting RAW to another format, such as JPEG. This process is known as demosaicing, BTW.

Therefore you cannot choose how many megapixels you save when shooting RAW. It is always the maximum number.

There is one application where selecting a subset of the RAW pixels makes sense; when you would like to crop out an APS-C sized image from a full frame sensor. No point in saving the RAW data which will contain mostly black (due to vignetting of APS-C lenses on full frame sensors). However, this only makes sense on a few full frame cameras.
11-04-2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The RAW format is a direct representation of the sensor data. It is pixel for pixel what the sensor has seen. Each pixel has just one colour component (red, green, or blue). The conversion into a picture that you can look at, where each pixel has all red/green/blue components, is done when converting RAW to another format, such as JPEG. This process is known as demosaicing, BTW.

Therefore you cannot choose how many megapixels you save when shooting RAW. It is always the maximum number.

There is one application where selecting a subset of the RAW pixels makes sense; when you would like to crop out an APS-C sized image from a full frame sensor. No point in saving the RAW data which will contain mostly black (due to vignetting of APS-C lenses on full frame sensors). However, this only makes sense on a few full frame cameras.
I think I need to get a better understanding of what megapixel really meas.
11-04-2008, 10:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by magnum1 Quote
I think that just means RAW shoots at the camera's max pixals.
the camera always takes pictures at maximum pixels

how it PROCESS the data and stores it on your memory card is up to you to decide.

when you select "6MP quality jpeg", the sensor doesnt magicaly become a 6 megapixle sensor, it simply converts the full 14 megapixles into an equivalent 6 megapixel jpeg.
11-05-2008, 12:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 98wongjf Quote
I think I need to get a better understanding of what megapixel really meas.
1 megapixel = 1,000,000 pixels (or 1024x1024 = 1,048,576 pixels, depending on who's counting). A 10MP camera has 10,000,000 pixels. When you shoot JPEG, you can choose to use all 10,000,000 or you can choose to not use all of them - that's the point of the option you mention. With RAW, you cannot choose to not use all the available pixels (nor would there normally be reason to want to make such a choice), which is why the option is grayed out. So with RAW, you always use all 10,000,000 pixels on a 10MP camera. A 6MP camera has "only" 6,000,000 pixels.
11-05-2008, 07:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
1 megapixel = 1,000,000 pixels (or 1024x1024 = 1,048,576 pixels, depending on who's counting).
The person counting 1,000,000 is counting incorrectly.

Also note that a RAW pixel (one colour component) is not the same as a JPEG pixel (three colour components).

Strictly speaking, specifying a 6MP resolution for a camera with a 6MP chip is not telling the truth exactly. You'd only have 6MP resolution if you shot a B&W scene and converted the RAW into, say JPEG, by converting each pixel 1:1 just making the three colour components the same for each pixel respectively.

In the case of a colour image, there are only 1.5 blue MP, 1.5 red MP and 3 green MP, i.e., less colour resolution than you'd may think you have. What you see when pixel peeping at a 6MP JPEG image is a lot of (clever) interpolation.

Sigma cameras quote a nominally higher MP count than they actually have in order not too look outclassed. Their sensors capture all three components per pixel and hence need fewer MP to get the same colour resolution. Hence they specify a Bayer-array equivalent number of MPs, not the actual number.

Last edited by Class A; 11-07-2008 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Corrected 2MP (typo) into 3MP
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