Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600

Started Mar 17, 2013 | Discussions
A Owens
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Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
Mar 17, 2013

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4), DXO reckons that the D800 will only give 3  more MP than the D3x, possibly only 2 MP gap than the D600 which reportedly has a very light AA filter. No numbers for the 800e.

Can this be right? If so what is the constraint? Why are the extra MP not counting for much?

We need the techies on this one!
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Alistair Owens
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Nikon D3X Nikon D600 Nikon D800
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BassFisher
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 17, 2013

Actually I think that Nikons best lens is 200 F2.0, and not taking into account the 200 f4.0 makro

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BillD
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A Owens
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to BassFisher, Mar 17, 2013

BassFisher wrote:

Actually I think that Nikons best lens is 200 F2.0, and not taking into account the 200 f4.0 makro

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BillD
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Time is the only thing I don't have enough of.

Quite possibly but DXO did not test the D800 on it. And with respect, what in fact is Nikons best lens is tangental to the main point.

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Christopher0us
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 17, 2013

DxO's numbers aren't based on actual pixels (of course, for then then D800 clearly has ~12 million more than the D600 and D3x) but their still relatively new "perceptual megapixels" measurement, which I have yet to see explained to my understanding/satisfaction. What they have to say about what they are actually measuring is,

"DxOMark’s new Perceptual MPix measurements are based on acutance and human contrast sensitivity function (CSF) published in recently-released image quality standards from the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A)."

I think it will be hard to answer your question until we (or at least I) better understand how they calculate the figures.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Looking-for-new-photo-gear-DxOMark-s-Perceptual-Megapixel-can-help-you

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Tony Beach
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 18, 2013

A Owens wrote:

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4),

Here is where your understanding gets tripped up. Does this lens resolve more than the D800 is capable of revealing?

DXO reckons that the D800 will only give 3 more MP than the D3x,

Can this be right? If so what is the constraint? Why are the extra MP not counting for much?

It's a matter of diminishing returns. DxO's rating of this lens suggests that it resolves all 12 MP from a D700, so the lens resolves more than the D700 can reveal, but it comes up short of everything that the D3x can reveal, and the D800 shows the shortcomings of the lens even more.

possibly only 2 MP gap than the D600 which reportedly has a very light AA filter. No numbers for the 800e.

Disabling the AA filter on a 36 MP sensor is going to get better results than weakening the AA filter on a 24 MP sensor.

If the Nikkor 85/1.4 is the lens you want to use, then you buy a Nikon camera to use it on (I am looking at a similar dilemma right now as I was looking this morning at a photo taken with my Minolta 200/2.8 and it has me thinking I should keep my A850 to use with that beautiful lens); this is why the lenses define which system you want to buy into and not the other way around. Now if you want the absolutely most you can get from the 85/1.4 then you put it on a D800E, but if the D3x or D600 suits you better then you are not losing that much with them, and if 12 MP is enough for you than you can just stick the 85/1.4 on a D700.


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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 18, 2013

I've seen some nonsense in my time, but this DXO voodoo takes the cake.

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dw1338
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More D600 justification
In reply to A Owens, Mar 18, 2013

A Owens wrote:

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4), DXO reckons that the D800 will only give 3 more MP than the D3x, possibly only 2 MP gap than the D600 which reportedly has a very light AA filter. No numbers for the 800e.

Can this be right? If so what is the constraint? Why are the extra MP not counting for much?

We need the techies on this one!

I'm sorry you didn't want to spend more on the D800 but there is no need to justify your D600 with these convoluted calculations. Be happy with what you have...

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A Owens
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to Tony Beach, Mar 18, 2013

Tony Beach wrote:

A Owens wrote:

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4),

Here is where your understanding gets tripped up. Does this lens resolve more than the D800 is capable of revealing?

What understanding!? I understand none of it - that is why I ask the question.

So your theory is lens constraint. Basically that resolution diminishes sharply after about 20mp (at least on the lens). Makes sense but a bit disconcerting given that the 85/1.4 is the highest resolving Nikon lens tested by DXO.

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sunnycal
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Yes. Perceptually, D800 is only marginally better than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 18, 2013

Look at the pictures takes from D600 and D800 taken under identical conditions. Do you see any difference? For that matter, compare pictures from any two DSLRs, do you see any resolution difference?

For most normal viewing/print sizes, D800 images are only marginally sharper than D600, or D700. It is not the fault of camera or sensor. Our eyes can only see that much detail  and all the extra resolution hidden in D800 (or Medium Format) files is not visible. Add to that the printing/display technology is designed to cater to normal human acuity, the prophecy becomes self fulfilling. We don't display/print more than our eyes can see, but our eyes can't see what is not printed/displayed.

As you start printing bigger and bigger, the higher resolution images will begin to pull ahead and the difference will be greater.

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3systermuser
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 19, 2013

A Owens wrote:

Can this be right? If so what is the constraint? Why are the extra MP not counting for much?

We need the techies on this one!
--
Alistair Owens
http://www.alistairowensphotography.com

>possibly only 2 MP gap than the D600 which reportedly has a very light AA filter. No numbers for the 800e.

I have all 3 D800E , D800 and D600 and I strongly disagree , the D800 and the D800E are very similar except the D800E is a bit better in extreme lowlight and a bit sharper in f4-5.6 range with an extremely good prime like the 85f1.4G , the 85f1.8G, the Zeiss 25f2ZF2 or the Sigma35f1.4HSM.

The resolution difference between the D800 vs the D600 is quite big , even the 1.2X crop mode of the D800 is better than the D600 at print level.

And always remember resampling the D800 file at 24.3 mp to make it the same size as the D600 file possibly makes the D800 quite much sharper than the D600 even at 100 percent pixel level.

I resample my D800 files most of times with CS6(Iuse DXO8 and then export all files to CS6) and I think it is quite good.

To be honest, if I were buying one FX camera right now , I 'd get a normal D800 , not the E , the resolution advantage of the E is exaggerated at best, it is not much better and even when it is slightly better, it can only be visible in  aperture range of  F4-F5.6  with a super sharp lens(if you use a lousy or a just good lens , you will never see it).

So IMHO, the E is overpriced and extremely overrated but both the D800 and the D600 are good value bodies.

Finally, if you also shoot video , then get the normal D800 , not the E or the D600 , the D800E has severe moire issue in video and the D600 video mode is really simple , no real manual control and no aperture control in LV ,etc are big issues for serious video shooter.

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derek.

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krikman
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 19, 2013

I tryed both one-by-one in dim light and found that THIS D600 was actually better than THAT D800 at ISO2000+. (had more distinguishable MP)

It means nothing because at good light and ISO200 D800 picture is acute and crisp.

(My car beats your one upto 120 km/h but your first at 160)

The DXO measurments true in general, but cannot define your decision because they are only measurments of some aspects.

I'm no big fan of D800 at ISO 2000+, D4 and D600 beats it in color accuracy and in pixel quality.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 19, 2013

It depends how D&O test

To double 24MP sensor resolution in isolation requires 96MP - unless technology improves by the time 96 MP becomes possible in 35mm format cameras.

Many sources suggest D800 resolution measured in isolation is about twice that of a gold lens tested in isolation. If this is right going from 12MP to 36MP improves file resolution from a good lens by about 30%, and by less going from 24 to 36MP.

Whether you rely only on a 1000 to 1 contrast chart test results is personal choice. Subjects with 1000 to 1 contrast in the real world about as rare as hens back teeth.

1000 to 1 contrast targets do not measure the ability of more MP to better record subtle changes in colour, texture or exposure in landscapes, portraits and any subject containing lots of fine detail.

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Leonard Shepherd
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FrithjofA
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Re: Question of definition
In reply to A Owens, Mar 19, 2013

A Owens wrote:

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4), DXO reckons that the D800 will only give 3 more MP than the D3x, possibly only 2 MP gap than the D600

The Dxo  P-Mpix score is a very good example for a misleading quantity.  All information is already contained in the MTF chart, the lens manufacturer provides you.  DxO came up with the definition

(http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Looking-for-new-photo-gear-DxOMark-s-Perceptual-Megapixel-can-help-you)

"Perceptual MPix: a much simpler tool to score and compare lenses

P-Mpix is the unit of a sharpness measurement. The number of P-Mpix of a camera/lens combination is equal to the pixel count of a sensor that would give the same sharpness if tested with a perfect theoretical optics, as the camera/lens combination under test."

The key sentence part is  "..would give the same sharpness if tested with a perfect theoretical optics,..."  we all know, that a "perfect theoretical optics" does not exists. Therefore, the conclusion, that P-Mpix score is equivalent to real life MP is a misconception people gain from a quantity called "Mpix".

"sharpness measurement" is already misleading, since a sharpness is a subject impression. Probably "resolution" is meant which is measure via contrast. We all know, that you can resharpen photos but you cannot increase the resolution of your Lens/camera combination, since it is a hardware property.

Resolution is given by a single point of the MTF curve. However, you can read out much more information from the MTF chart than sicj a single number!

Therefore, DXo provides no new information about a lens. Such a score has two function:

(i) create interest in a company such as DXO to help marked their produces

(ii) provide misleading lens quality data by condensing everything into a number which you can compare, suggesting the bigger the better!

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rayman 2
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You actually want to see the difference ? Here ya go !
In reply to FrithjofA, Mar 19, 2013

You actually want to see the difference ? Here ya go !

Peter





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JimPearce
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 19, 2013
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A Owens
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to JimPearce, Mar 20, 2013

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50602345

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Jim

Ok, those numbers are consistent with DXO's. Interesting to extrapolate that we will only go from 170 lines to 180 lines by going from 36mp to 54mp on a 35mm sensor. Although I cannot help but feel that there is something still missing. I use both a Nex 7 and D800e and cannot see that the Nex provides more resolution. And I use some very good m mount Leitz and Zeiss glass on it.

I can see why Canon stopped at 22 (ish) mp though!

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JimPearce
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I can't help you there Alistair...
In reply to A Owens, Mar 20, 2013

I just wanted to point out that the dxomark results are compatible with Photozone's MTF measurements from this perspective.

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Jim

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Tony Beach
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 20, 2013

I use both a Nex 7 and D800e and cannot see that the Nex provides more resolution.

The NEX7 provides less resolution than the D800.  The NEX7 would show more detail if you were merely comparing crops from from the two cameras taken at the same distance, but if you shoot the same scene with the same FOV using both cameras then the D800 will show more detail.

I can see why Canon stopped at 22 (ish) mp though!

Neither Canon nor Sony has stopped pursuing more megapixels in their cameras.  There are advantages that go beyond brute resolution to having more megapixels in cameras, but those advantages come at a cost; files take longer to process and you lose fps and buffer, so it's a trade-off between higher MP and more speed.  Canon will undoubtedly bite the bullet and pay for greater bandwidth and within a couple of years I'm sure we'll be seeing 48 MP 135 format DSLRs from both Canon and Nikon; I think Sony will be exiting the SLR market within the next couple of years, but they will likely have 36 MP APS-C sensors in their NEX cameras in the not-too-distant future.

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Tony Beach
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to A Owens, Mar 20, 2013

Tony Beach wrote:

A Owens wrote:

If we take the Nikons best lens (85/F1.4),

Does this lens resolve more than the D800 is capable of revealing?

So your theory is lens constraint. Basically that resolution diminishes sharply after about 20mp (at least on the lens). Makes sense but a bit disconcerting given that the 85/1.4 is the highest resolving Nikon lens tested by DXO.

Just to be clear, resolution does not diminish, the increases in resolution diminish. There was an increase in resolution going from 24 MP to 36 MP, and there will an increase in resolution going from 36 MP to 54 MP; it's just that as we get closer and closer to what any lens is theoretically capable of achieving, it will require exponentially more sensor resolution to get there.

The truth is that for most of us resolution stopped being an issue around 24 MP with FX/135 format. Realizing greater resolution requires longer lenses, wider apertures, more and more support, etcetera. In the real world -- even one where the photographer is using a solid tripod, a great lens, mirror lock-up with a remote trigger, and shooting subjects at low ISOs -- you just aren't going to squeeze much more resolution out of a 36 MP FX/135 format sensor than out of a 24 MP FX/135 format sensor. To get more we are back to stitching, and the dirty little secret about stitching is that when you do that you are no longer working in FX/135 format (you are in fact working in a larger format, the one that equates to the total sensor area from your combined frames).

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David Smith - Photographer
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Re: Is DXO Right - D800 only 2-3 mp more than D600
In reply to Tony Beach, Jun 11, 2013

"And the D800 shows the shortcomings of the lens even more". Come on man, shortcomings, are you serious? Have you ever actualy photographed with this lens? The results are only disappointing or showing shortcomings to hardcore pixel peepers. If you need huge pixel perfect prints, buy a medium format camera.

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