Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal.

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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John Sheehy
Forum ProPosts: 17,073
Re: My findings are...
In reply to XeroJay, Jun 16, 2013

XeroJay wrote:

5. Megapixels. This only noticeably comes into play after factors 1 through 4 are near optimum.

Megapixels can help correct some of those other things better, though.  CA is correctived less destructively with more MP.  Motion blur, while it has not historically been something that people have been correcting in post-processing, can be corrected by deconvolution, and corrects better with more MP.  Tomorrow's image processor may let you draw a squiggle on top of a recorded squiggle and deconvolve it.  The less image area that needs to be convolved, the less noise the deconvolution creates.

This isn't fact, and ymmv, but believe me, this comes from years of paying the mortgage by capturing and producing large prints. Megapixels are less of an issue today than ever before.

For current display media, and for images that are perfectly level and perspective-correct at exposure time.  Change any of those two conditions, though, and the need for more MP can not be written off.

If anyone thinks that they could ever tell the difference between my 1Dx and my 5D3 by spotting the extra 4mp from prints of any size, I would bet my pants they're mistaken.

22 vs 18MP is not supposed to be very different.  Who said it was?  The square root of 22/18 is only 1.106; a 10.6% greater resolution in the 22 vs the 18.  10.6% greater resolution is miniscule.  It's not like an investment with a 10.6% return!  80, 120, 200, 360MP, that's where real differences are going to be with very sharp lenses.

Also, who expects to see a huge difference in 30x20" prints?  That's not a very large print; that's barely bigger than a monitor, and the ink spread and dither matrix limit the resolution.  Tomorrow's prints and monitors may be much more revealing.

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