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

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Subjective vs objective
In reply to LaszloBencze, Jun 18, 2013

LaszloBencze wrote:

Opinions differ. Sensitivities differ. Tastes differ. What's surprising though, is that the obvious and clear cut difference between 10 and 20 megapixels does not result in an obvious and clear cut improvement for all pictures as viewed by all people.

It seems that straightforward, scientific measurements do not relate directly to human responses. I take that as an indication that humans are more complicated than measurements.

This makes some sort of sense under certain conditions:

  • The lens is not sharp enough to make use of the additional pixels.
  • The aperture is so narrow that diffraction softening greatly diminishes the advantage of more pixels (e.g. if the f-ratio were f/16, or more narrow, the diffraction softening will certainly lessen the resolution advantage of 22 MP over 10 MP).
  • Motion in the scene or camera shake adds blur that greatly diminishes the advantages of more pixels.
  • The sensor with fewer pixels is more efficient, thus having less noise and/or greater DR.
  • 129 PPI (10 MP at 20 x 30 inches) with a "good enough" lens is beyond the visual threshold to distinguish higher resolutions still (e.g. 191 PPI from 22 MP) without going to "extraordinary efforts" to see the difference in resolution.
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