If more megapixels are always better why do manufacturers restrict the amount? Why no 36mpx 4/3rd ?

Started Oct 10, 2012 | Questions thread
Amin Sabet
Amin Sabet Veteran Member • Posts: 6,763
I think the more vs less megapixels issue is more nuanced

On the one side, we have people who think more MPs are bad, tremendously increasing noise and lowering dynamic range.  This is clearly not the case.

On the other side, we have people who say more MPs is always a good thing except for performance issues unrelated to image quality, eg processing, buffering, etc.  I think this is likely an oversimplification.

An oldie but a goodie is Emil Martinec's more nuanced discussion: http://theory.uchicago.edu/~ejm/pix/20d/tests/noise/noise-p3.html#pixelsize

Emil's analysis was based on a specific set of older cameras, and it may not all apply to today's situation, but we continue to hear from bright people in the industry that there are some reasons to use larger pixels.  A recent example: http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol69/pdf/imx144cqj.pdf

Perhaps those like Mr. Inoue and Mr. Yagi quoted in the referenced Sony paper are just BSing about advantages of using larger pixels in the current implementation, but more likely that they are not.  In theory there may be no image quality downside to the use of ever smaller pixels, but if you believe the people that are making these sensors, the practical reality seems to be more nuanced than that.

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