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04-02-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
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10 verses 14.6

I have compared my new K-7's jpeg picture quality (kit lens) and am hard pressed to see a difference between 10 and 14.6 megapixels. Actually, I think IQ is better when shooting with only 10 megapixels. Has anyone else noticed this too? I'm not complaining about the quality as it's way better than my 30d was, I'm just wonder because 14.6 megapixels tends fill up my 8gb SDHC card father fast.

04-02-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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From what I understand, the higher resolution sensor is much more demanding of the lens. I know I have to work a lot harder to get razor sharp off the K7 than I recall with my K10, and I am using very good lenses.
Note that the 14.5 megapixel sensor is seeing finer detail than the 10mp sensor.
I suspect with the kit lens, some of the qualities of the K7 are lost when compared to some of the better primes and zooms.
04-02-2010, 04:32 PM   #3
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You will see the differences when you either print huuuugeee pictures, or if you have a huge monitor.

I saw a very clear difference between my 12.4 Pentax K-x and the 15.1 Canon Rebel T1i I was using white editing pictures full screen on a 27" iMac...
04-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shub Quote
You will see the differences when you either print huuuugeee pictures, or if you have a huge monitor.

I saw a very clear difference between my 12.4 Pentax K-x and the 15.1 Canon Rebel T1i I was using white editing pictures full screen on a 27" iMac...
I'll have to buy a bigger monitor now

04-02-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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In the world of actual offset printing--when National Geographic or Playboy buys and prints your work (or even for large/poster size offset printing), where printing screens are involved, those megapixels matter big time.

Actual offset printing at 166 screen--which is high but there's a lot higher--means your DPI, to be safe, should be double that. Which means 330 something per inch.

Do the math from the "72" dpi coming out of your camera, multiply it by almost 5 without resampling so the size is correspondingly reduced, and now see what effective image size your actually left with for offset printing.
04-02-2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shub Quote
You will see the differences when you either print huuuugeee pictures, or if you have a huge monitor.
... or when cropping a small portion of the picture and then trying to enlarge it to 8 x 10 or 11 x 14. If you start with 14.6, you can crop a 7MP image and still get a decent enlargement. If you start with 10 MP and do the same crop, you have a 5 MP image. Enlarging a 5 MP image to 11 x 14 is probably going to give you, at best, an "acceptable" image. Maybe not even that.
04-02-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
From what I understand, the higher resolution sensor is much more demanding of the lens. I know I have to work a lot harder to get razor sharp off the K7 than I recall with my K10, and I am using very good lenses.
I think a lot of this had to do w/ the weaker AA filter of the K10D...I noticed a lot sharper images (viewed at 100%) than from the K20D...

And if the OP is comparing 10mpix images from a K7 w/ 14MP images from the K7, the 10MP images will look better at 100% because downsampling (resizing smaller) is a very effective postprocessing technique to get better looking images...you can have grainy full size images but then resize them down to 800x600 and they'll look great
04-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Actual offset printing at 166 screen--which is high but there's a lot higher--means your DPI, to be safe, should be double that. Which means 330 something per inch.

Do the math from the "72" dpi coming out of your camera, multiply it by almost 5 without resampling so the size is correspondingly reduced, and now see what effective image size your actually left with for offset printing.
[/me raises paw, grunts]

OK, I did the math. Going from 72dpi to 2x166dpi give a factor of bla bla, but your print size is about 9.3 x 14 inches. So you're not going to fill a page of W or that PB foldout. But you can probably get into Whips'n'Nips Weekly.

And that, fellow creatures, is why 120/220 and sheet film are still made.
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away.
--P.Simon


04-03-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
[/me raises paw, grunts]

OK, I did the math. Going from 72dpi to 2x166dpi give a factor of bla bla, but your print size is about 9.3 x 14 inches. So you're not going to fill a page of W or that PB foldout. But you can probably get into Whips'n'Nips Weekly.

And that, fellow creatures, is why 120/220 and sheet film are still made.
Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away.
--P.Simon
"Correct, Johnny. And now you can go home early for the Easter vacation."
04-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #10
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For me higher resolution is important. Being able to crop deeply is a wonderful luxury. And if you do much perspective correction the more pixels the better (I've been shooting a lot of buildings lately). I print often at 11X17 and you DO notice a difference. Also, printer technology is not standing still. The files from my old Nikon D100 (6mp) look better printed on an 8 year old printer than on todays higher resolving printers. The same thing will happen will happen in the future.

As long as DR and noise don't suffer, I'll take more pixels please.
04-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
"Correct, Johnny. And now you can go home early for the Easter vacation."
What a strange Easter feed it will be. A mix of Northern California atheists and Baptists, Southern California pagans, and Guatemalan Catholics, served in a suburban house between two prisons, in heavy fog. I'm responsible for vegetables for 16. No bunny stew -- in fact, I have to keep track of who can't eat dairy, nuts, fungi, onions/garlic, etc. Nikon and Canon P&S's will abound, once we're past the surveillance cams.

QuoteOriginally posted by slinco Quote
For me higher resolution is important. Being able to crop deeply is a wonderful luxury. And if you do much perspective correction the more pixels the better (I've been shooting a lot of buildings lately). I print often at 11X17 and you DO notice a difference.
The at-home standard in my youth was Verichrome Pan in a Minolta TLR. Crop a 6x6 neg and still enlarge a print to 2x3 feet. Those who don't print just don't grok resolution. This interesting article notes that printing in digital MF, there are noticeable differences between high end DSLRs and medium format backs.

QuoteQuote:
Also, printer technology is not standing still. The files from my old Nikon D100 (6mp) look better printed on an 8 year old printer than on todays higher resolving printers. The same thing will happen will happen in the future.
I guess the only options are print smaller, or print on bumpy paper.

Now, an observation: I'm more willing to tolerate grainier, noisier, lower-res images in monochrome than in color. Maybe my brain's conditioned from seeing Tri-X-pushed-to-6400 dramatic shots, and crisp grainless Kodachrome transfers. But grainless images, color or mono, seem to accentuate texture, and grainier shots are more about shape -- and color grain/noise distracts us from shape, because we're expecting to see the colorful sharpness and texture our eyes deliver when viewing the world.

So if I'm going to use a less-than-perfect lens at higher-than-minimal ISO, I'll switch the Custom Image to B&W, even though I'm shooting strictly RAW. It's almost like going from a McLuhanistic 'hot' medium (high resolution, see every detail) to a 'cool' medium (NTSC-TV resolution, unconscious fills in the details).
04-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
What a strange Easter feed it will be. A mix of Northern California atheists and Baptists, Southern California pagans, and Guatemalan Catholics, served in a suburban house between two prisons, in heavy fog. I'm responsible for vegetables for 16. No bunny stew -- in fact, I have to keep track of who can't eat dairy, nuts, fungi, onions/garlic, etc. Nikon and Canon P&S's will abound, once we're past the surveillance cams.
Sounds more interesting than mine:

Prime rib, scalloped blue cheese potatoes, artichoke, chocolate rabbits, and some other crap.

Yours doesn't sound more tasty, just more interesting.
04-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
OK, I did the math. Going from 72dpi to 2x166dpi give a factor of bla bla, but your print size is about 9.3 x 14 inches. So you're not going to fill a page of W or that PB foldout. But you can probably get into Whips'n'Nips Weekly.
And that, fellow creatures, is why 120/220 and sheet film are still made.
Doing the maths certainly comes out that way - but it really depend on the picture itself. An editor would not be worth their salt if they rejected a picture just because it was 10Mp instead of 15Mp. - eg: some pic of an extraordinary once in a lifetime weather event where the pic is mainly sky - is 10Mp that inferior to a 15Mp pic in this instance?

Then again do people remember that video linked in the thread -

How can they print that big with only 12mp?

From the UK TV The Gadget Show -
where they blew up a shot from a 12Mp Nikon D700.
(I don't seem to be able to view the video now from the USA....
- but I had saved a copy back when the thread was current
Hopefully people in the UK still can see it?)
but the gist is they printed to 17x10 metres(!)
and on the video the print looked not just "acceptable",
but great even on close ups, easily beating out the ISO400 35mm film shot......

So how big will a 10Mp print?

Last edited by UnknownVT; 05-16-2011 at 11:50 AM.
04-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Doing the maths certainly comes out that way - but it really depend on the picture itself. An editor would not be worth their salt if they rejected a picture just because it was 10Mp instead of 15Mp. - eg: some pic of an extraordinary once in a lifetime weather event where the pic is mainly sky - is 10Mp that inferior to a 15Mp pic in this instance?
I was referring to 'set' pieces, photos shot under controlled conditions for maximum rendition, hence the references to W & Playboy. Of course, photos of extraordinary events are a different matter. As I've mentioned before, some of the most important photos in history are blurry blobs that yet convey tremendous impact -- because of WHAT they show, not HOW they show it. We get back to the photographic hierarchy: what's most and least important to making good photos?
#1 the photographer
#2 the subject
#3 the light
#4 the lens
#5 the camera
We can still shoot page- and wall-fillers with Brownies.

QuoteQuote:
So how big will a 10Mp print?
That depends on the viewing context, as well as the subjective (non-resolution) qualities of the photo. On another thread, Marc S. (I think) shows some musician pics printed as publication covers, shot with a 2mpx P&S. I've blown up 912x1216 pixel 1mpx shots to 2x3 feet (shot in a grainless high-contrast black-white mode). A large image not viewed closely allows for much leeway -- recall that not-super-great cine frames the size of an APS-C sensor were projected onto 30x40 foot screens. Just don't sit too close.

So how big will a 10Mp print? As big as you want.
04-03-2010, 11:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HeavyD Quote
I'll have to buy a bigger monitor now
Haha, I have 2 measly 17"s at home. The 27 iMac is at my school. It's an i7 also.

It's AMAZING, but makes my camera look bad haha.
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