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07-14-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
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I think 12 to 16 megapixels is plenty of resolution if you frame the right shot the right way. High pixel counts allow you to zoom by cropping but that always feels like trying to wiggle a good shot out of something that could have been done better. I understand there are times when you just have to take the shot and hope for the best afterwards but I see that as a very low percentage use case. If you find yourself zooming by cropping then I think you need a longer focal length vs. higher pixel count bodies.

Otherwise, I think the previous replies answer your question from a surface area / light gathering / sensitivity / etc perspective.

07-14-2014, 09:09 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
How come the Peterbilt can't do a 12 second quarter mile?
That's 75 miles per hour. They do that all the time? Or is that from a dead stop?
07-14-2014, 09:30 PM   #18
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Without getting into the technical aspects, you should also know that all pixels are not created equal. Many manufacturers up the pixel count by shrinking the size of the pixels and cramming them closer together to preserve sensor size. That is how they get tiny pocket cameras with high pixel counts. 12 megapixels of large, high quality pixels beats 18 MP of smaller, denser pixels every day of the week. Using only megapixel count as a determining factor in selecting a camera is a rookie mistake.
07-15-2014, 05:04 AM   #19
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I prefer the the A7r for it's 36mp image size .

07-15-2014, 05:45 AM   #20
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Sounds like you want a D3X or it's successor if it is ever released.

The D4 line is targeted at photojournalists, sports shooters or anyone that wants a high performance camera, but doesn't need 24 or more megapixels of resolution. The D4s is about fast auto focus, high frame rate and decent output at high ISO.

---------- Post added 07-15-14 at 06:52 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
Think of it this way Neo. Imagine 1000 pixels on a chip. How much light could that absorb? Now imagine 10000 pixels. Simple logic would say they would absorb 1/10 of the light. And all that would be assuming that as make things smaller, they still obtain the same properties they do when they are made larger, and usually that is not the case. Here is a good read for you.... Megapixels And ISO: Have We Reached The Limit? | DigitalPhotoPro.com
I always think of pixels in terms of a bucket. Higher megapixel sensors have more buckets on them. The sensor manufacturers have been able to shrink the capacity of the bucket, but the bucket itself has the same wall thickness, so at some point when the buckets are small enough, the walls of the bucket account for as much or more area than the light holding part of the bucket. At some point more megapixels only make a noisier photo, this of course varies by sensor size because a larger sensor will always be able to hold more buckets of a given size than a smaller sensor.

This is one reason the new Sony A7s is only 12 mp. Those buckets are giant compared to the A7r and the A7s kicks the A7r's tail in low light performance because of that. But if you want the cat shot with the most resolution, you need the A7r.

Cameras are compromises pick the best compromise for your situation.

Last edited by RyanW; 07-15-2014 at 05:53 AM.
07-15-2014, 06:47 AM   #21
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Everyone knows highest end just means most expensive. I think the op would be a great customer for a Hasselblad HV!
07-15-2014, 08:25 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by neostyles Quote
I don't understand why they wouldn't give people a little more megapixels.
Because megapixels are more important for marketing than for photography output. High-end cameras are generally sold to discerning photographers who don't fall for marketing hype.

The advantages of more MP are not as much as is often presumed. To double one's linear resolution, you must quadruple the number of pixels. And this only holds true if we assume that all pixels are created equal (which is not always the case, particularly with smaller sensor cameras).

I've seen large prints from both the Canon 5Dmk3 and the Nikon D800. While I'm sure there are measurable differences between these cameras which would look impressive on spec sheets, in terms of practical output it's difficult to notice much difference at all, whether in large prints or big crops. The biggest noticeable difference is file size, which can lead to longer PP times and greater demands on storage (and remember, unless a file exists in three places, it doesn't really exist).

QuoteOriginally posted by neostyles Quote
One of the many things i love about my d600 is the 24 megapixels which really gives me a ton of freedom for cropping
Perhaps a better strategy is to learn how to get it right in the camera. That's what most pros do (which is another reason why the pros go for lower MP cams).
07-15-2014, 08:52 AM   #23
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24 MP is relatively new. 16MP till recently was a lot of MP. Frankly I think it's overkill unless you're shooting billboards and that's why I don't have a K3. More money, far more camera than I need, and FYI, my camera is how I make my living so I have to choose carefully when I do. The K-30 is more than sufficient for my needs actually and it's a lot less expensive than the K3 or even a K5II. 24 MP I didn't need. Good digital prime glass I do. I'm saving up for something more important, a DA* 100mm for work and the 18-145mm WR lens. Not spending another grand on 24MP will probably get me there a bit faster. :P

07-15-2014, 01:06 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
it's overkill unless you're shooting billboards
Billboards don't require huge images. An 14x48 foot billboard (the largest typical billboard size) can display a crop from a 6 megapixel photo and still look good, though a 10 would be better.

Rule of thumb for them - 1 foot is 1 inch. So if you can print something that looks decent (not "photo quality", just decent) at 14 by 48 inches, it will look good on a billboard.
07-15-2014, 02:09 PM - 2 Likes   #25
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Why do low end cameras have such high megapixel counts?
07-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Why do low end cameras have such high megapixel counts?
Apropos!
07-18-2014, 11:21 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Why do low end cameras have such high megapixel counts?


post of the month award winner!
07-19-2014, 04:27 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
The D4s is a very nice camera, but you really should not buy it until you know the answer for yourself. Nikon is not about to increase the pixel count, so you have to be comfortable with it.

Also, look into the meaning behind the brand new Sony a7s, also with 12 megapixels.
Exactly, if you don't know why you need it, you don't need it. But just a hint, one of the fellows who works as a second for wedding photographers says some of the guys he works for own 2 D4Ss, the requirements... 1. You're getting paid big bucks... 2. You need excellent pictures taken in low light situations, reception halls, churches etc. , 3. you need an extremely fast shutter speed to freeze action, being able to shoot at 6400 ISO without noise will help you achieve that.

When I worked as a cabinet maker, you rarely saw people making a big fuss over having good, or the latest tools. Some of the best framers I knew were using 30 year old hammers... too many people in photography assume they need the latest greatest equipment to stand out. My take would be, if your work doesn't stand out now, with whatever you're shooting, it's not going to stand out with the latest greatest equipment either. If your work does stand out, buying appropriate equipment for your style will help you stand out even more, If your work doesn't stand out, buying expensive equipment isn't going to change that.
07-19-2014, 02:45 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Exactly, if you don't know why you need it, you don't need it. But just a hint, one of the fellows who works as a second for wedding photographers says some of the guys he works for own 2 D4Ss, the requirements... 1. You're getting paid big bucks... 2. You need excellent pictures taken in low light situations, reception halls, churches etc. , 3. you need an extremely fast shutter speed to freeze action, being able to shoot at 6400 ISO without noise will help you achieve that.

When I worked as a cabinet maker, you rarely saw people making a big fuss over having good, or the latest tools. Some of the best framers I knew were using 30 year old hammers... too many people in photography assume they need the latest greatest equipment to stand out. My take would be, if your work doesn't stand out now, with whatever you're shooting, it's not going to stand out with the latest greatest equipment either. If your work does stand out, buying appropriate equipment for your style will help you stand out even more, If your work doesn't stand out, buying expensive equipment isn't going to change that.
I agree with you. I know a good photographer who takes fantastic photos on his iPhone everyday - those photos have even been published in newspapers etc.

However, just to argue a different perspective. Good tools do make a difference, even if it is about the pleasure of using the tool.

I have 3 bicycles (one of them I built myself, the other two factory models). People say the bike doesn't matter, but I broke a personal record riding my new bike the day after I bought it on Pacific Highway. Also I won a sprint the day after installing new wheels. It makes a difference, even if the difference may be mostly motivational.

A good camera should be a pleasure to use, even to pick up and "fondle." Who knows, it might even motivate taking a good picture. It should feel natural, an extension of oneself. One of the reasons I like MF and manual aperture lenses is the "connectedness" I feel to the photography process.

I have never used the D4 or D4s (the best Nikon I've ever used is a D800E) but I am sure it is a good camera and no doubt enjoyable to use. At the end of the day, that may be all that matters, even if the pictures aren't any better.
07-19-2014, 08:15 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
There are a lot of ways in which to make comparisons - MPs are one, but then you need to compare across sensor size and it gets more complicated. If you start to peel back some of the numbers, the best way to compare is pixel size or pitch. So, its interesting to note....
  • Pentax K100D - 7.87 micron
  • Nikon D4 - 7.4 microns
  • Canon 5DIII - 6.25 microns
  • Nikon D600 - 5.95 microns
  • Pentax 645D - 5.9 microns
  • Pentax 645Z - 5.3 microns
  • Nikon D800/e - 4.88 microns
  • Pentax K5/II/IIs/30/50/500/-01 - 4.75 microns
  • Canon 6D - 4.3 microns
  • Pentax K3 - 3.9 microns
  • Pentax Q - 1.5 microns
I am going to ignore a large part of the list and just look at the 645Z, D800 and the K5 family - the blue group. Their pixel size are all within 8% of each other, however they represent 3 very different sensor sizes. The D800 is twice as large as the K5 family, and the 645Z is 60% larger than the D800. The all have excellent high ISO (signal to noise) and resolution. For what its worth, they are essentially the same pixels, just placed on larger sensors.

Ok - I'll go ahead and address the first group - the green group. Here we have the 5DIII, D600, D4 and the 645Z, essentially three full frame sensors and a medium format. I think here, its pixel size that provides the bulk of image power here - large fat pixels on a full frame sensor - which in turn gives excellent signal at low noise. The 645D is both a much larger sensor (MF) and a different sensor technology (CCD) which is noted for its lower noise but that in turn limits it upper ISO capabilities.

Personally, I think the ASP-C sensor size at 16MP is just perfect - the K5 family. Low noise, excellent ISO range, sufficient pixels for excellent resolution. Its going on 5 year old technology - but what is important is that it works and works well, at an excellent price point (in part due to its smaller sensor size, which enables good sensor yields and equals low prices).

However, in the end - all that really matters is the pictures you are able to take. Do you like them?

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