What is an 'optimal' resolution?

Started May 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
bobbarber
Regular MemberPosts: 360Gear list
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Re: For each sensor generation, there's a sweet spot.
In reply to Knight Palm, May 23, 2012

I think I said what needed to be said in my original post in this sub-thread.

The arguments that you guys make in favor of higher pixel counts are theoretical, and are not verified in actual use.

It is similar to engineers arguing on a chalkboard about what should make a better plane, without testing it first on in a wind tunnel or in the air. And as every engineer knows, there are lots of surprises when you start to put any hypothesis to the test.

So the devil is in the details. You can make all of the theoretical arguments you want about increased pixel count helping image quality, but in practice, there is a limit to the number of pixels that you can practically cram onto a chip, taking into account manufacturing tolerances for ever-smaller components and so on, and still get the best image quality possible for a given size chip.

You are focused on what could be, but when we put money down on a camera we don't buy what could be, we buy what is, and most of us have learned that lots of pixels on a small chip is a road to nowhere. That's why it is difficult for you to win this argument, no matter how beautiful your explanations sound to yourself--most of us have experience that directly contradicts your assertions.

I just sold my 2 7-megapixel Olympus C7070s on ebay (got ripped off by the buyer too, who claimed a practically new camera, that had never malfunctioned, was DOA, arghhh), and in the effort to replace them, I have been downloading all sorts of photos, from all sorts of compact cameras, high and low end, and resizing the images to 3072 along the long axis and 2304 along the short axis, which was the C7070s best image quality. The images from today's cameras are not only not better than the C7070 images, they are not as good, even when they start out at 14 or 16 megapixels or whatever.

If you want to try something similar, look at 7 or 8 megapixel images from Canon's old "A" line of cameras, from cameras like the A570 or A590 (IQ which was often criticized in reviews at the time). Those images are available in old reviews. Then downsize images from the current A line cameras, of 16 megapixels and more, to the same size. You might be surprised at what you find.

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