Image/CCD Resolution Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by neil.j@virgin.net, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Guest

    I've just bought a new compact digital camera (Canon Ixus 85) to
    replace my excellent Canon Powershot S50 on those occassions where I
    don't need the manual control of the Powershot. I've always been
    happy with 5 the mega-pixel image size of the Powershot, and even
    though the Ixus has a rather over-the-top 10MP, I'm not really
    interested in using anything more than 6MP. However, if I set the
    camera to record images at 6MP, does it actually still "take" the
    image at 10MP and then downscale it to 6MP? If my understanding of
    CCDs is correct and that a 10MP has 10,000,000 sensors on it then I
    guess this must be the case, but if I'm wrong and the CCD "sees" in
    analogue, would this give me potentially better quality images?

    So I guess the crux of my question is if I want to take 6MP photos
    with my 10MP camera, am I going to get the better image quality
    setting the camera to 6MP, or taking them at 10MP and then downscaling
    them in PhotoShop (which I'm guessing would do a better resampling job
    than the camera)?

    Thanks for your advice!
    , Apr 15, 2008
    #1
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  2. wrote:
    []
    > So I guess the crux of my question is if I want to take 6MP photos
    > with my 10MP camera, am I going to get the better image quality
    > setting the camera to 6MP, or taking them at 10MP and then downscaling
    > them in PhotoShop (which I'm guessing would do a better resampling job
    > than the camera)?
    >
    > Thanks for your advice!


    I would suggest resampling out of the camera if you must, but why not just
    leave them at 10MP?

    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 15, 2008
    #2
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  3. Guest

    >
    > I would suggest resampling out of the camera if you must, but why not just
    > leave them at 10MP?
    >
    > David


    Thanks for the quick answer.

    No real reason (apart from storage perhaps), except I just wondered if
    taking them at 6MP would give me better image quality than 10MP, based
    on my understanding that a 6MP camera will often take better pictures
    that a 10MP, due to the individual sensors on the CCD being larger,
    and thus receiving more light. However, if the image size on the
    camera has no effect on what is actually recorded by the CCD, then as
    you say, I may as well leave it set at 10MP to avoid any loss of
    quality with resampling

    Neil
    , Apr 15, 2008
    #3
  4. wrote:
    >> I would suggest resampling out of the camera if you must, but why
    >> not just leave them at 10MP?
    >>
    >> David

    >
    > Thanks for the quick answer.
    >
    > No real reason (apart from storage perhaps), except I just wondered if
    > taking them at 6MP would give me better image quality than 10MP, based
    > on my understanding that a 6MP camera will often take better pictures
    > that a 10MP, due to the individual sensors on the CCD being larger,
    > and thus receiving more light. However, if the image size on the
    > camera has no effect on what is actually recorded by the CCD, then as
    > you say, I may as well leave it set at 10MP to avoid any loss of
    > quality with resampling
    >
    > Neil


    Yes, Neil, you are right about bigger pixels collecting more light, and
    providing a (slightly) better image. However, with resampling and noise
    reduction software you can get similar results. The newer sensors may be
    fractionally more efficient than older ones, partially cancelling out the
    loss in going from 7MP to 8MP, for example. The question is whether the
    camera's firmware or an external program can do a better job at
    interpolation, if you only need the 6MP. You /may/ find that you prefer
    the crisper, higher-resolution image even if it is a little noisier, or
    you may prefer the smoother, but less sharp image. Your preference may
    even depend on the subject.

    Storage is a good point - you may find that because of the increased noise
    and the greater number of pixels, the size of a JPEG increases more than
    you expect (between 6MP and 10MP), but storage is cheap today....

    BTW: I chose a 6MP DSLR rather than the 10MP model for exactly the reasons
    you gave.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 15, 2008
    #4
  5. Guest

    Thanks,

    I'll have a play around at the weekend, but I think I'll end up
    leaving them at 10MP. After all, who knows what resolution I'll be
    viewing them at in the future - I've still got old digital photos that
    I reduced to 640x480 as that was the resolution of my monitor ;-(

    Neil
    , Apr 15, 2008
    #5
  6. wrote:
    > Thanks,
    >
    > I'll have a play around at the weekend, but I think I'll end up
    > leaving them at 10MP. After all, who knows what resolution I'll be
    > viewing them at in the future - I've still got old digital photos that
    > I reduced to 640x480 as that was the resolution of my monitor ;-(
    >
    > Neil


    Quite!

    I have my earliest digital (1280 x 960) now displaying with a border on my
    1600 x 1200 monitor. (Yes, I know I could get my display program to
    resample....).

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 15, 2008
    #6
  7. On Apr 15, 4:37 am, wrote:
    > I've just bought a new compact digital camera (Canon Ixus 85) to
    > replace my excellent Canon Powershot S50 on those occassions where I
    > don't need the manual control of the Powershot. I've always been
    > happy with 5 the mega-pixel image size of the Powershot, and even
    > though the Ixus has a rather over-the-top 10MP, I'm not really
    > interested in using anything more than 6MP. However, if I set the
    > camera to record images at 6MP, does it actually still "take" the
    > image at 10MP and then downscale it to 6MP? If my understanding of
    > CCDs is correct and that a 10MP has 10,000,000 sensors on it then I
    > guess this must be the case, but if I'm wrong and the CCD "sees" in
    > analogue, would this give me potentially better quality images?
    >
    > So I guess the crux of my question is if I want to take 6MP photos
    > with my 10MP camera, am I going to get the better image quality
    > setting the camera to 6MP, or taking them at 10MP and then downscaling
    > them in PhotoShop (which I'm guessing would do a better resampling job
    > than the camera)?
    >
    > Thanks for your advice!


    One advantage of resizing in your computer is that the better editing
    programs give you options of which of various algorithms to use in the
    resize function.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Apr 15, 2008
    #7
  8. Matt Ion Guest

    wrote:
    > I've just bought a new compact digital camera (Canon Ixus 85) to
    > replace my excellent Canon Powershot S50 on those occassions where I
    > don't need the manual control of the Powershot. I've always been
    > happy with 5 the mega-pixel image size of the Powershot, and even
    > though the Ixus has a rather over-the-top 10MP, I'm not really
    > interested in using anything more than 6MP. However, if I set the
    > camera to record images at 6MP, does it actually still "take" the
    > image at 10MP and then downscale it to 6MP? If my understanding of
    > CCDs is correct and that a 10MP has 10,000,000 sensors on it then I
    > guess this must be the case, but if I'm wrong and the CCD "sees" in
    > analogue, would this give me potentially better quality images?
    >
    > So I guess the crux of my question is if I want to take 6MP photos
    > with my 10MP camera, am I going to get the better image quality
    > setting the camera to 6MP, or taking them at 10MP and then downscaling
    > them in PhotoShop (which I'm guessing would do a better resampling job
    > than the camera)?
    >
    > Thanks for your advice!


    One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that shooting at the highest
    possible resolution leaves you more options for cropping later as
    well... say if there's something in the lower-right 1/5 of the image
    that you want to zoom in on.

    And there's always the off chance you'll end up with a shot that you
    want to make a large print of - 6MP is generally considered to be
    sufficient for prints up to 14"x11" before pixels start becoming
    noticeable; 10MP will get you significantly larger than that. You may
    not expect to ever need to do this NOW, but you may shoot something
    tomorrow that you wish you could make a poster out of.

    Considering how cheap storage space is these days, there's really no
    reason NOT to shoot at the maximum quality your camera will allow.
    Matt Ion, Apr 16, 2008
    #8
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