How many MegaPixels are too few?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by berk, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. berk

    berk Guest

    Well, there are many different types of camera, from cellphones with
    picture taking built in to point and shoot units and full on Cameras
    with interchangeable attachments and lenses.

    My experience had been based on the old silver nitrate days and the
    type of film in the retail market; 110 was pretty crappy and couldn't
    be blown up (enlarged) too well, 35mm was a certain plateau of
    acceptable quality then there was that plate stuff 'real
    photographers' hauled around.

    (I know, I know- those 'real photographers' didn't really use actual
    'plates' much any more but they use[d] big, square, single shot pieces
    of negative, right?)

    Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    megapixels.


    berk
     
    berk, Dec 16, 2009
    #1
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  2. berk

    Chris H Guest

    In message <
    ..com>, berk <> writes
    >
    >Well, there are many different types of camera, from cellphones with
    >picture taking built in to point and shoot units and full on Cameras
    >with interchangeable attachments and lenses.
    >
    >My experience had been based on the old silver nitrate days and the
    >type of film in the retail market; 110 was pretty crappy and couldn't
    >be blown up (enlarged) too well, 35mm was a certain plateau of
    >acceptable quality then there was that plate stuff 'real
    >photographers' hauled around.
    >
    >(I know, I know- those 'real photographers' didn't really use actual
    >'plates' much any more but they use[d] big, square, single shot pieces
    >of negative, right?)
    >
    >Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    >ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    >that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    >of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    >megapixels.


    For most purposes 6-12MP on a DX DSLR is equivalent of film. There are a
    VERY FEW highly specialised situations where film, under perfect
    conditions will performs as well or better than a DSLR

    However with the new high end Nikons and Canons in 2009 (especially the
    FX ones) digital DSLR's now surpass film.

    There is more to it than MP. Camera-phones have 5-8MP but their sensors
    are not as good and the electronics not as good ad a DSLR. There of
    course you have the Lenses... for Nikon using the F mount the lenses
    are/can be the same. For other DSLRs the quality is/should be the same

    However the comparison is academic. Just as it is for the new fangeled
    "miniature" 25mm compared to proper size cameras and for film compared
    to glass plates and so on......

    35mm wet film is just one phase of photography that has now had it's
    time. Just as glass plates have.



    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
     
    Chris H, Dec 16, 2009
    #2
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  3. berk

    Bob Williams Guest

    berk wrote:
    > Well, there are many different types of camera, from cellphones with
    > picture taking built in to point and shoot units and full on Cameras
    > with interchangeable attachments and lenses.
    >
    > My experience had been based on the old silver nitrate days and the
    > type of film in the retail market; 110 was pretty crappy and couldn't
    > be blown up (enlarged) too well, 35mm was a certain plateau of
    > acceptable quality then there was that plate stuff 'real
    > photographers' hauled around.
    >
    > (I know, I know- those 'real photographers' didn't really use actual
    > 'plates' much any more but they use[d] big, square, single shot pieces
    > of negative, right?)
    >
    > Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    > ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    > that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    > of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    > megapixels.
    >
    >
    > berk
    >


    It depends on what you want to do with the image.
    If you are just going to send e-mails or post images on the internet.
    1-2 MP is usually satisfactory. The catch here is that any camera that
    has a 2 MP sensor, most likely has a crappy lens and sensor as well.
    If you want to PRINT top quality images, the camera should have a sensor
    that can provide abut 300 pixels/inch at whatever size you want to print.
    For Ex. If you want to print excellent 8 x 10s, the camera should have
    at least (8x300)x (10x 300) or 7.2 MP.
    Most likely you will end up cropping your original image so to insure
    that your final image has 300 pixels/inch you would probably want 8-10 MP
    As your Prints increase in size, you can get by with 200-250
    pixels/inch, because you don't view the image from as close as you do a
    smaller print
    Lets say you wanted to print 16x 20s.
    Perhaps 200 ppi would be satisfactory so the camera would need to
    capture (16 x 200) x (20 x 200) pixels ....That would be 12.8 MP.
    Keep in mind, however, that the number of pixels is a highly overrated
    criterion for getting excellent prints from a camera.
    LENS QUALITY is a much more useful criterion.
    But there is no simple way to judge lens quality without extensive
    testing. Whereas citing a high MP count is extremely easy and is what
    the great unwashed masses look for when buying a camera.......Sigh
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Dec 16, 2009
    #3
  4. berk

    Rich Guest

    berk wrote:
    > Well, there are many different types of camera, from cellphones with
    > picture taking built in to point and shoot units and full on Cameras
    > with interchangeable attachments and lenses.
    >
    > My experience had been based on the old silver nitrate days and the
    > type of film in the retail market; 110 was pretty crappy and couldn't
    > be blown up (enlarged) too well, 35mm was a certain plateau of
    > acceptable quality then there was that plate stuff 'real
    > photographers' hauled around.
    >
    > (I know, I know- those 'real photographers' didn't really use actual
    > 'plates' much any more but they use[d] big, square, single shot pieces
    > of negative, right?)
    >
    > Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    > ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    > that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    > of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    > megapixels.
    >
    >
    > berk


    8 megapixels was probably the ideal density for the APS sensor, anyway.
     
    Rich, Dec 16, 2009
    #4
  5. berk

    Ray Fischer Guest

    berk <> wrote:
    >Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    >ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    >that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    >of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    >megapixels.


    Any camera you buy will have enough. What separates cameras is the
    quality of the image, the added features, the performance.

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Dec 16, 2009
    #5
  6. berk

    Ofnuts Guest

    On 16/12/2009 12:06, Bob Williams wrote:
    > As your Prints increase in size, you can get by with 200-250
    > pixels/inch, because you don't view the image from as close as you do a
    > smaller print


    Given the resolution of the human eye, if you hold the picture far
    enough to see it as a whole without moving neither your head nor your
    eyes, you wont be able to see details smaller than 1/1800 of the picture
    diagonal(*). If you double that to obtain enough pixels to avoid
    aliasing (ie. 3600 pixels on the diagonal), you still need only about
    6MPix, whether the picture will be on a 4"x6" paper or on a billboard.

    (*) this happens to be the basis for the calculation of DOF (size of the
    circle of confusion), for the same reasons.

    --
    Bertrand
     
    Ofnuts, Dec 16, 2009
    #6
  7. berk

    Charles Guest

    How many watts are too few? Shades of yesteryears when the audio amplifier
    industry went goofy and invited legislation regarding misleading
    advertising. Maybe a current legislator might seize this opportunity to
    protect consumers from their ignorance? And advance their career?

    Too bad that the audio sellers of yesteryear could not hawk megawatts! Has
    such a nice sound!

    Megapixel numbers have reached the goofy status of some marketing hypes of
    the past. Goofy sells and education lags far behind.
     
    Charles, Dec 16, 2009
    #7
  8. Ofnuts <> wrote:
    > On 16/12/2009 12:06, Bob Williams wrote:
    >> As your Prints increase in size, you can get by with 200-250
    >> pixels/inch, because you don't view the image from as close as you do a
    >> smaller print


    > Given the resolution of the human eye, if you hold the picture far
    > enough to see it as a whole without moving neither your head nor your
    > eyes, you wont be able to see details smaller than 1/1800 of the picture
    > diagonal(*). If you double that to obtain enough pixels to avoid
    > aliasing (ie. 3600 pixels on the diagonal), you still need only about
    > 6MPix, whether the picture will be on a 4"x6" paper or on a billboard.


    > (*) this happens to be the basis for the calculation of DOF (size of the
    > circle of confusion), for the same reasons.


    Ah! So they invented that standard before it was understood how the
    brain builds up a visual image from saccades. No wonder it never made
    much sense!

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 17, 2009
    #8
  9. berk

    Scott W Guest

    On Dec 16, 12:40 pm, Ofnuts <> wrote:
    > On 16/12/2009 12:06, Bob Williams wrote:
    >
    > > As your Prints increase in size, you can get by with 200-250
    > > pixels/inch, because you don't view the image from as close as you do a
    > > smaller print

    >
    > Given the resolution of the human eye, if you hold the picture far
    > enough to see it as a whole without moving neither your head nor your
    > eyes, you wont be able to see details smaller than 1/1800 of the picture
    > diagonal(*). If you double that to obtain enough pixels to avoid
    > aliasing (ie. 3600 pixels on the diagonal), you still need only about
    > 6MPix, whether the picture will be on a 4"x6" paper or on a billboard.
    >
    > (*) this happens to be the basis for the calculation of DOF (size of the
    > circle of confusion), for the same reasons.
    >


    I must be a bit odd, I have been known to move my eyes when viewing a
    photo.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Dec 17, 2009
    #9
  10. On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 03:06:27 -0800, Bob Williams <>
    wrote:

    >berk wrote:
    >> Well, there are many different types of camera, from cellphones with
    >> picture taking built in to point and shoot units and full on Cameras
    >> with interchangeable attachments and lenses.
    >>
    >> My experience had been based on the old silver nitrate days and the
    >> type of film in the retail market; 110 was pretty crappy and couldn't
    >> be blown up (enlarged) too well, 35mm was a certain plateau of
    >> acceptable quality then there was that plate stuff 'real
    >> photographers' hauled around.
    >>
    >> (I know, I know- those 'real photographers' didn't really use actual
    >> 'plates' much any more but they use[d] big, square, single shot pieces
    >> of negative, right?)
    >>
    >> Nowadays the picture you can take and print or view onscreen can be
    >> ridiculously dense for the dollar spent, if we are talking Digital
    >> that is. What I'm wondering is there an agreed upon range or bracket
    >> of what the old films would equate to vs the new way of advertising
    >> megapixels.
    >>
    >>
    >> berk
    >>

    >
    >It depends on what you want to do with the image.
    >If you are just going to send e-mails or post images on the internet.
    >1-2 MP is usually satisfactory. The catch here is that any camera that
    >has a 2 MP sensor, most likely has a crappy lens and sensor as well.


    More talking out of your ass. I bought a Fuji Finepix long ago that only
    has a 2.1 mpx sensor. It's matched perfectly to the lens so that 8x10"
    prints are exceptional and even 11x14" prints of some subjects are doable.
    When every photosite on that sensor is recording a discreet bit of
    information, as opposed to an 8mpx sensor where 4-6 photosites are
    resolving a discreet bit of information due to poor glass or sensor design
    (too strong of an AA filter, etc.), then the 2.1 mpx camera will win.

    If only you fools would give advice about things you actually knew. But
    then ... you'd have nothing to type about .... ever.
     
    The Ignorant Role-Play Trolls March On, Dec 17, 2009
    #10
  11. The Ignorant Role-Play Trolls March On <> wrote:
    > On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 03:06:27 -0800, Bob Williams <>
    > wrote:


    > If only you fools would give advice about things you actually knew. But
    > then ... you'd have nothing to type about .... ever.


    So it seems that your strategy to find something to type about is to
    hang out with people who know a lot less than you so you can sneer at
    them. What's the problem? Do the people who know as much as you all
    sneer at you?

    --
    Chris Malcolm
     
    Chris Malcolm, Dec 17, 2009
    #11
  12. berk

    Paul Ciszek Guest

    In article <>,
    The Ignorant Role-Play Trolls March On <> wrote:
    >
    >More talking out of your ass. I bought a Fuji Finepix long ago that only
    >has a 2.1 mpx sensor. It's matched perfectly to the lens so that 8x10"
    >prints are exceptional and even 11x14" prints of some subjects are doable.


    At 120 DPI resolution.


    --
    Please reply to: | "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is
    pciszek at panix dot com | indistinguishable from malice."
    Autoreply is disabled |
     
    Paul Ciszek, Dec 17, 2009
    #12
  13. berk

    berk Guest

    OK, Thx most everybody, currently I'm fooling around with a point and
    shoot 3Mp Vivitar.

    (It was on sale and I needed to take pictures of Server Racks early
    the next morning...).

    I'm beginning to outgrow it's limitations, even doing the whole Andy
    Warhol/Folk Art/Impressionistic thing I'd actually like to get into
    Old Dutch masters territory.


    berk
     
    berk, Dec 19, 2009
    #13
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