My little D800/5D2 res test...not much difference

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: My little D800/5D2 res test...not much difference
In reply to SubPrime, May 12, 2012

SubPrime wrote:

gipper51 wrote:

I'm not theoriziing, I'm posting real results. In my opinion based on this little exercise the extra 14mp is insignificant in practice.

Fair enough, and I apologize for dicreting unfounded criticism towards you.

No offense taken, it's just camera talk right?

Insignificant does not mean the advantages don't exist or are useless, but they are just that: insignificant.

Insignificantin in what situation?

I was printing off some images from a wedding I shot a rescently with a D700 and a 5D2. 8x10 and 5x7. Looking at the prints, there was no telling the difference in resolution between the two. I've printed at A3 size and still seen practially no difference.

Probably won't find any difference at these print sizes if it was a sharp capture.

First of all, you worked on the 5D2 file to make it look comparable to the D800 file (and did a nice job of it) and then printed them at the native resolution of the larger file which produced similar results. All that proves is that you were able to squeeze extra life out of the 5D2 file.

Like I mentioned to someone else, one cold just as easily repeat the excercise with the D800 file and upsample it to 50mpx and spruce it up so that it delivers a print that is close to a Pentax 645. So what? Does that make the Pentax MF redundant?

Possibly could squeeze more out of a D800 image, but I doubt it would hold up to the larger format Pentax. In all my attempts with images of similar pixel counts, I've found the bigger sensor always enlarges better. A D800 and a 645D upres'd to 80mp would probably still show a healthy advantage to the Pentax. I've not tried this, just speculating off past experience.

Secondly, you did a print test and made your conclusion, but that's not where the advantage of the higher resolution body ends. A 36 mpx file also provides huge flexibility with cropping. Yes we coudl do it before, but this is the first time I believe practical cropping latitude is available in a DSLR. A 1.5 crop still produces a 15 mpx file, while is more than adequate.

True, it does have more copping ability. But does that 15mp crop contain more detail than say a 8mp crop from a 5D2? By the numbers it would contain around 15-18% more, not really enough to impact print quality.

One could argue this debate happens every camera release, and I guess it does. But evidence is pointing towards 35mm running towards the top end of its resolution capturing ability.

Yes, the debate has been raging for quite some time, and such predictions are invariable proven wrong. I remember reading a comparison between the 1DSII when it came out and the Nikon D2X (12 mpx). The writers repeatedly made reference to the strain the 1DS was placing on the lenses, and questioning the wisdomn of the high res design and so on. Had they conducted a print comparison at A3, they'd be echoing the same semtiments as we are hearing today from you.

We always speculated on the merits of more resolution and if they would be an advantage, and when the next camera came out it was proven it does. But we're not speculating now, we're comparing. We have the next generation from the 21/24mp sensors, and we've shown it's offering less advantage than previous resolution hikes. The detail captured is not scaling proportionate with the pixel counts now, which is a sign that you are approaching the limits of the format. There will likely never be a "wall" where the resolution stops coming, but there is a practical limit where you just don't get a better print and I think the D800 is almost there. The D800 is already hitting diffraction around f8. I need to shoot f11-16 for DOF reasons in my paid work. Will 50mp on 35mm help me here? Probably not as much as 45mp on a medium format system would.

Now 16 mpx is found on entry level DSLRs.

The lenses have caught up, as has the image processing hardware and today we have people suggesting that the new sweet spot is 22 - 24 mpx. Yes, the D800 is exposing the limits of lenses and bandwidth, but that wil change. The next generation of lenses will address these limitations and in a few years, we'll have a body that spits out 36mpx or 40 mpx files at 6 fps and we'll be arguing about corner sharpness of the new lenses.

Lenses get better, but look at how expensive they have gotten to keep up with 20+mp sensors. They can only manufacture them to such a precise tolerance before the costs get unrealistic. The manufacturing logistics play a part in the equation too. There is a great article on about manufacturing tolerances and how they play a role in reported "soft lenses" on high res bodies. It basically comes down to how precise the whole optical chain can be manufactured, and how the ever-magnified microscope of high res sensors means they can't manufacture them precise enough at costs people are willing to pay. Perfect lenses costs lots of money (ask Leica), and a 50mp sensors will demand perfection every time.

People have been trying to bury the 35 mm DSLR for years. Micro 4/3's was going to be the killer, now it's mirrorless technology.

They have killed 35mm digital for the masses. Years ago we predicted when FF sensors would be found in Rebels. It's not going to happen any time soon. FF is now strictly a niche market for affluent amateurs and working pros.

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On the 5D3 and D800: "The fact there is still so much to criticize with cameras this good only proves the human race can never be satisfied with anything." (Me)

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