There are only so many photos you can take!!!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chibitul, May 27, 2004.

  1. chibitul

    chibitul Guest

    Hi, what are you guys gonna do when you run out of photos??? "What the
    hell are you talking about you crazy stupid?" yells one annoyed r.p.d.
    reader. Well, let me explain my friend.

    let's say 3000x2000 (6 MegaPixels) is plenty enough of information. Of
    course, there are cameras with 8, 11 or even 14 mega pixels. but that is
    besides the point. the final image is not that much different.

    so we're stuck with this 6 megapixels camera. each pixel has 3 colors,
    and each color 256 (8 bit) levels. So each pixels has 24 bits, or 2^24
    =16.7 million colors.

    Good. Now each pixel can have any color, so the total number of
    different shots yu can take is (6 million)^(16.7 million). Now, most of
    you don't realize, but this *IS* a finite number. Large, yes. Very
    large, of course. Super mega large, sure. But it is *finite*. At some
    point you will run out of pictures. No matter where you go, no matter
    what lens you use or how you compose the photo, that photo will be
    identical to another photo someone else took before you. whre is the fun

    sure, I have too much time on my hands, but did you ever think about
    it??? now back to my wine ;)
    chibitul, May 27, 2004
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  2. chibitul

    Lisa Horton Guest

    You are correct, you have too much time on your hands :)

    Lisa Horton, May 27, 2004
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  3. chibitul

    Ralph Guest

    Shouldn't that be 16.7 million factorial or something similar? I vaguely
    remember 3! = 3x2x1 = 6 but think that there was a way to factor (sorry) in
    the 6 million also.
    Ralph, May 27, 2004
  4. chibitul

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    hehehe.... 16.7! is a kinda large number :)

    Nary a one of us will last long enough to take that
    many pictures.... doesn't matter though, 'cause the
    sun will have gone out by the time we've barely started :)

    Ken Weitzel, May 27, 2004
  5. chibitul

    Bryce Guest

    It's not finite. It could only be finite if things never moved and things
    didn't die.
    Bryce, May 27, 2004

  6. Here's the really, really frightening part:

    Fully half of those photos will be of someone's cat!

    I'm gonna have problems sleeping tonight...

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, May 27, 2004
  7. chibitul

    gsum Guest

    Sorry mate, your maths is incorrect. A sensor with 6mpixels in which
    each pixel could only record black or white has 6million factorial (!)
    combinations (100! is 100*99*98 .... *3*2*1*1).
    Some years ago it was calculated that there were 110! unique games
    of chess. 110! is thought to be greater than the number of photons in
    the universe. 6 million! is a bit bigger!!!
    And that doesn't take colour into account so keep snapping.

    gsum, May 27, 2004
  8. No, factorials come into it when you have a finite set of blocks or
    balls (or whatever) to start with, so when a particular one is used up
    in a particular position it isn't available for later choices. For
    example, say you have 256 block labelled 0 to 255. The total number of
    arrangements of these blocks in a row is (256 choices for the first) *
    (255 choices for the second) * (254 choices for the third) *...
    which is 256!

    But for the image, each pixel can take any value. So you have
    2^24 choices for each pixel, and 6 million of these all multiplied
    together, for (2^24)^6e6 possible different 6 megapixel images.

    Note that the original formula of (6 million)^(16.7 million) is backwards.
    It has a value of about 10^(114 million), while the correct formula of
    (2^24)^6e6 has a value of about 10^(43 million). So his number is a
    factor of 10^(70 million) too large. That's a 1 followed by 70 million
    zeros, which is a *really big* error.

    Dave Martindale, May 27, 2004
  9. No it doesn't. 100 factorial is the number of ways you can arrange 100
    blocks, all identifiably different.

    For a 6 megapixel 1-bit image, the total possibilities are 2^(6e6), or
    about 10^(1.8 million). For an 8-bit monochrome image, it's
    (2^8)^(6e6), or about 10^(14 million)
    These are all ridiculously large numbers. No one can ever take even a
    tiny fraction of the total number of images. A computer program
    cranking them out as fast as possible (it's not hard, after all) would
    still take an enormous time.

    The depressing thing is that virtually all of these possible images are
    extremely boring. I don't think I'll give up using a camera to create
    carefully *selected* images.

    Dave Martindale, May 27, 2004
  10. chibitul

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Hey Al, I have new cat pictures... :)

    Lisa Horton, May 27, 2004
  11. chibitul

    gsum Guest

    You had me going there. I was about to and crawl under my desk in
    shame but I satnd by my assertion that the number of possible 1 bit
    images is 6,000,000!

    The number of combinations in a 4 pixel (2x2), 1 bit square is
    4! i.e. 24 unique 'pictures'. .
    The 'pixels' are all identifiably different as they are designated
    0 or 1.
    This can be proved by hand for 4 pixels but I wouldn't like
    to do it for 16.

    gsum, May 27, 2004
  12. chibitul

    Lionel Guest

    Nope, because our planet will be destroyed when our sun dies, which will
    be well before you generate your (assuming an EOS 10D DSLR photo format)
    2^10871635968 images[0]. You will also be be unable to display or store
    these images, as there will be more of them than there are atoms in the
    So, I don't think we have anything to worry about /just/ yet. ;)

    [0] 2^(12x12x12x3072x2048) = 12 bits of red, 12 bits of green, 12 bits
    of blue, by 3072 x 2048 pixels.
    Lionel, May 27, 2004
  13. chibitul

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that (Dave Martindale) stated that:
    Assuming a 10D, the numbers are 2^10871635968 in RAW format, or
    2^3221225472 if you prefer JPEGs.
    Lionel, May 27, 2004
  14. chibitul

    Lionel Guest

    Nope. I'm afraid that you're confusing Combinations with Permutations.
    The correct number is 2^6000000. This is because 6 million 1 bit pixels
    is exactly equivalent to a 6M bit binary variable, which can store any
    one of 2^6000000 values, each of which would be a distinct image.
    Lionel, May 27, 2004
  15. chibitul

    gsum Guest

    But I'm currently under my desk wondering why I can't do simple
    Maffs any more. Good job I'm on holiday next week.
    You are of course correct Dave.

    gsum, May 27, 2004
  16. chibitul

    mch42 Guest

    If you figure out how to desribe 24 different combinations using 4 bits,
    you'll get rich over night. Most people only figure out 16 different ways :)

    1: 0000
    2: 0001
    3: 0010
    4: 0011
    5: 0100
    6: 0101
    7: 0110
    8: 0111
    9: 1000
    10: 1001
    11: 1010
    12: 1011
    13: 1100
    14: 1101
    15: 1110
    16: 1111
    mch42, May 27, 2004
  17. chibitul

    Gorf Guest

    It's not finite. It could only be finite if things never moved and things
    I think you missed the point.

    Given that there's a finite number of pixels on the CCD, and there's a
    finite number of values each pixel can contain, there's a finite number of
    combinations of those colours and pixels.

    Admittedly it's a huge number - Excel blew up trying to calculate the number
    of combinations at somewhere between 30 and 50 pixels (that's right -
    pixels, not megapixels) - but it's still finite.
    Gorf, May 27, 2004
  18. chibitul

    Dan Pidcock Guest

    It's not factorial.

    If you had a 4 pixel black and white image you get the following
    possible images:
    00 00 00 00
    00 01 10 11

    01 01 01 01
    00 01 10 11

    10 10 10 10
    00 01 10 11

    11 11 11 11
    00 01 10 11

    16 images, which is 2^4, where 4 is the number of pixels, and 2 is the
    bit depth of each pixel.

    If we had a 6MP mono sensor we would have 2^6000000 possible images.
    If each pixel was an 8-bit grey sensor that could record 256 levels we
    could have
    256^6 million images.
    Assume shooting in 24-bit jpeg mode that means we have
    16.7 million ^ 6 million which is the opposite of the original poster,
    and nothing to do with factorial.
    This is less than originally suggested but still pretty huge.

    Dan Pidcock, May 27, 2004
  19. chibitul

    DJ Guest

    And most of the rest will be of someone's pussy.
    DJ, May 27, 2004
  20. chibitul

    DJ Guest


    Well George, aren't you going to inform us that a Sigma can take 3 times that
    many pictures?
    DJ, May 27, 2004
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