PIX 2015

DX "reach" versus image magnification

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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It's not a question of DX/FX, it's pixel density...
In reply to Finch585, Feb 2, 2013

Simply put, higher density sensors (i.e. #pixels/square cm) put more pixels on the target image at any given magnification which simply allows you to crop more heavily to achieve any given output resolution as opposed to using a camera with a lower density sensor.

Often DX cameras come with higher density sensors than FX, so it's become common to talk about the "DX reach" as compared to FX, which is not technically correct. For example, my 36MP FX D800 has more "reach" than my 12MP DX D300 because the D800 has a higher pixel density.

The question of magnification VS cropping to achieve "reach" is complex with a lot of "moving parts", but it's generally better to use more *quality* magnification than it is to crop heavily as the latter starts to stress optics. Also, the best performing sensors always have a lower pixel density.

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Gary -- Some Nikon stuff -- and a preference for wildlife in natural light

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