Re: Megapixel Limit

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mark Storkamp, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. In article <%fGMp.24571$>,
    "Gary Eickmeier" <> wrote:

    > Serious question - based on rumor of Sony a77 camera with 24 MP on an APS -
    > C chip - is there a practical limit to megapixels, beyond which no lens can
    > resolve any more detail? Besides the need for extreme noise reduction with
    > such small pixels, the file sizes get too large for practicality, especially
    > if technically unnecessary.
    >
    > Gary Eickmeier


    I'm guessing you're fairly young. I remember when I moved up from a 20MB
    hard drive to a 540MB hard drive, thinking that would be the last one I
    might ever need since it could hold 375 floppy disks. More on topic for
    this group, my first digital camera, an Olympus C3030, had 3MP. But the
    largest SmartMedia memory card ever made was 128MB, so a 5 or 6MP seemed
    impractical. In astronomy, we had reached a limit on what we could
    resolve from Earth, until adaptive optics were invented. So personally,
    I think we have a very long way to go yet, and we may not have even
    dreamed of what the next breakthrough will be.

    The real question, is it necessary? That old 3MP Olympus took some darn
    nice photos. I can't see better than 200-300 dpi at a convenient
    distance anyway.
    Mark Storkamp, Jun 23, 2011
    #1
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  2. Mark Storkamp

    PeterN Guest

    On 6/23/2011 11:20 AM, Gary Eickmeier wrote:

    >
    > But the question for normal photography is important, because there are
    > advantages and disadvantages to MP count. Too low, and not enough
    > resolution. Too high, and noise reduction will reduce resolution below what
    > it would have been before. I wonder what would be the practical test, or
    > paradigm, for determining the answer. I'm thinking that there is no "size"
    > to digital formats other than the MP count and results, so we might as well
    > determine what is important out here in the field and let the manufacturers
    > know when to stop BSing us. Sure, we have APS C vs full frame, 4/3 vs APS,
    > medium format and point n shoot formats, but if technology can make a 35mm
    > dslr look as good as a medium format with the same MP count, then there is
    > no difference in "size." Then there is the Foveon ad copy and endless
    > controversy - is it 16 MP or 48? A practical test should be all we care
    > about.
    >
    > So I am thinking of an enlargement test where we can blow up the images
    > until we can begin to see artifacts or pixels or loss of resolution or
    > something. Maybe we could agree on a maximum size that we will use, some
    > poster size than which no sane person would want to go bigger, and blow up
    > to an 8 x 11 section of that equivalent size. Or perhaps we should just keep
    > enlarging until we see some artifacting, then determine what size that would
    > be, and report that.
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >


    True. But as a photo artist I am only interested in the result. IOW is
    the image what I am looking for. When the image isn't quite what I want,
    it is helpful to understand why.

    --
    Peter
    PeterN, Jun 23, 2011
    #2
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  3. In article <WPIMp.304837$>,
    "Gary Eickmeier" <> wrote:

    > "Mark Storkamp" <> wrote in message
    > news:-september.org...
    > > In article <%fGMp.24571$>,
    > > "Gary Eickmeier" <> wrote:
    > >
    > >> Serious question - based on rumor of Sony a77 camera with 24 MP on an
    > >> APS -
    > >> C chip - is there a practical limit to megapixels, beyond which no lens
    > >> can
    > >> resolve any more detail? Besides the need for extreme noise reduction
    > >> with
    > >> such small pixels, the file sizes get too large for practicality,
    > >> especially
    > >> if technically unnecessary.
    > >>
    > >> Gary Eickmeier

    > >
    > > I'm guessing you're fairly young. I remember when I moved up from a 20MB
    > > hard drive to a 540MB hard drive, thinking that would be the last one I
    > > might ever need since it could hold 375 floppy disks. More on topic for
    > > this group, my first digital camera, an Olympus C3030, had 3MP. But the
    > > largest SmartMedia memory card ever made was 128MB, so a 5 or 6MP seemed
    > > impractical. In astronomy, we had reached a limit on what we could
    > > resolve from Earth, until adaptive optics were invented. So personally,
    > > I think we have a very long way to go yet, and we may not have even
    > > dreamed of what the next breakthrough will be.
    > >
    > > The real question, is it necessary? That old 3MP Olympus took some darn
    > > nice photos. I can't see better than 200-300 dpi at a convenient
    > > distance anyway.

    >
    > Yes, fairly young - 67.
    >
    > But the question for normal photography is important, because there are
    > advantages and disadvantages to MP count. Too low, and not enough
    > resolution. Too high, and noise reduction will reduce resolution below what
    > it would have been before. I wonder what would be the practical test, or
    > paradigm, for determining the answer. I'm thinking that there is no "size"
    > to digital formats other than the MP count and results, so we might as well
    > determine what is important out here in the field and let the manufacturers
    > know when to stop BSing us. Sure, we have APS C vs full frame, 4/3 vs APS,
    > medium format and point n shoot formats, but if technology can make a 35mm
    > dslr look as good as a medium format with the same MP count, then there is
    > no difference in "size." Then there is the Foveon ad copy and endless
    > controversy - is it 16 MP or 48? A practical test should be all we care
    > about.
    >
    > So I am thinking of an enlargement test where we can blow up the images
    > until we can begin to see artifacts or pixels or loss of resolution or
    > something. Maybe we could agree on a maximum size that we will use, some
    > poster size than which no sane person would want to go bigger, and blow up
    > to an 8 x 11 section of that equivalent size. Or perhaps we should just keep
    > enlarging until we see some artifacting, then determine what size that would
    > be, and report that.
    >
    > Any ideas?


    I remember reading that a 4x5 negative, no matter how large it is blown
    up, if viewed from a distance where you can take in the whole image,
    never shows any grain. Given the resolving power of film (what ever that
    might be), it should be possible to come up with an equivalent pixel
    count. But putting that many pixels in an arbitrary sized sensor will
    still not give the same results due to noise, bayer filter, diffraction
    limits etc. That might be the ultimate goal, and we haven't reached that
    point yet, but we are well beyond the old Kodak 110 pocket cameras and
    most of the junk pre '80s. I don't have the latest and greatest DSLR,
    but I still get better results shooting Velvia 50 in a Nikon S70 and
    scanning the slides, and the whole kit cost less than an equivalent
    DSLR. (truth be told, I hardly use it though since digital is just so
    much more convenient)
    Mark Storkamp, Jun 23, 2011
    #3
  4. Mark Storkamp

    nospam Guest

    In article
    <-september.org>, Mark
    Storkamp <> wrote:

    > I remember reading that a 4x5 negative, no matter how large it is blown
    > up, if viewed from a distance where you can take in the whole image,
    > never shows any grain. Given the resolving power of film (what ever that
    > might be), it should be possible to come up with an equivalent pixel
    > count. But putting that many pixels in an arbitrary sized sensor will
    > still not give the same results due to noise, bayer filter, diffraction
    > limits etc. That might be the ultimate goal, and we haven't reached that
    > point yet, but we are well beyond the old Kodak 110 pocket cameras and
    > most of the junk pre '80s.


    we're well beyond film for a given format size, period.

    > I don't have the latest and greatest DSLR,
    > but I still get better results shooting Velvia 50 in a Nikon S70 and
    > scanning the slides,


    you don't need the latest and great dslr. a 5 year old dslr will do
    better, and avoid the losses in the scanning too (it's now a second
    generation image).

    > and the whole kit cost less than an equivalent DSLR.


    not when you factor in film and processing costs it doesn't.

    > (truth be told, I hardly use it though since digital is just so
    > much more convenient)


    yes it is, and much more capable too.
    nospam, Jun 23, 2011
    #4
  5. Mark Storkamp

    PeterN Guest

    On 6/23/2011 10:19 PM, Rich wrote:
    > PeterN<> wrote in
    > news:4e035f45$0$12509$-secrets.com:
    >
    >> On 6/23/2011 11:20 AM, Gary Eickmeier wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>> But the question for normal photography is important, because there
    >>> are advantages and disadvantages to MP count. Too low, and not enough
    >>> resolution. Too high, and noise reduction will reduce resolution
    >>> below what it would have been before. I wonder what would be the
    >>> practical test, or paradigm, for determining the answer. I'm thinking
    >>> that there is no "size" to digital formats other than the MP count
    >>> and results, so we might as well determine what is important out here
    >>> in the field and let the manufacturers know when to stop BSing us.
    >>> Sure, we have APS C vs full frame, 4/3 vs APS, medium format and
    >>> point n shoot formats, but if technology can make a 35mm dslr look as
    >>> good as a medium format with the same MP count, then there is no
    >>> difference in "size." Then there is the Foveon ad copy and endless
    >>> controversy - is it 16 MP or 48? A practical test should be all we
    >>> care about.
    >>>
    >>> So I am thinking of an enlargement test where we can blow up the
    >>> images until we can begin to see artifacts or pixels or loss of
    >>> resolution or something. Maybe we could agree on a maximum size that
    >>> we will use, some poster size than which no sane person would want to
    >>> go bigger, and blow up to an 8 x 11 section of that equivalent size.
    >>> Or perhaps we should just keep enlarging until we see some
    >>> artifacting, then determine what size that would be, and report that.
    >>>
    >>> Any ideas?
    >>>

    >>
    >> True. But as a photo artist

    >
    > !
    >


    Thank you for the compliment. If you liked my work I would worry about
    its lack of artistic merit.

    Now where is your work.
    --
    Peter
    PeterN, Jun 24, 2011
    #5
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