Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions
Moto1d
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Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
May 5, 2013
After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

Nikon D600 Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100 Nikon D800
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AZBlue
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

What images are you look at? I just looked at the D7100 image samples compared to D600 here on DPR, the D600 is clearly superior in sharpness as well as high ISO noise. It's no contest.

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sjberg
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to AZBlue, May 5, 2013

Not to mention (and it rarely seems to get mentioned) the tonal quality of the FX sensor over the DX one. I mean it's not and never will be film but it's closer and feels that much more organic (if you will) over DX.

But then the OP did say resolution alone so I'm going off topic.

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Moto1d
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DPR samples ;)
In reply to AZBlue, May 5, 2013

All 3 from DPR studio test shots. i downloaded the jpegs and compared each file zoomed in at 150 and 200% the d800 beats all hands down but i dont see a big different between the 7100 and 600 to justify going to FX. Im thinking d800 if i make the move because for landscapes i can still manage how many images i take. Sports might be a different scenario with those huge files, crop factor ay come in handy there.

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Moto1d
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to sjberg, May 5, 2013

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

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chlamchowder
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.

Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

At base ISO, I'd expect it to be a wash between the D7100 and D600, assuming the D7100 gets a magnificent lens that can deliver enough resolution to that 24 MP DX sensor (which would be over 50 MP if scaled to FF).

But the D600 will hold on to that resolution far better as you move up the ISO range. And at the highest sensitivities, the D600 gives a better chance of producing a usable image.

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Robin Casady
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

FX is capable of greater dynamic range than DX.

If you like to isolate subjects with shallow DOF, it is easier with FX. Conversely, if you want deep DOF, that is easier with DX.

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AZBlue
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

Limiting my answer to the realm of printing... maximum resolution of D7100 is 6000x4000 pixels while maximum resolution of D600 is 6016x4016 pixels, so essentially the same. Printing at 1:1, you will get identical size prints at identical resolution and sharpness from each camera regardless of sensor size used. When printing, it's about the number of pixels, not the size of the sensor, that determines your size of print at a given output resolution.

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Robin Casady
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Re: DPR samples ;)
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

All 3 from DPR studio test shots. i downloaded the jpegs and compared each file zoomed in at 150 and 200% the d800 beats all hands down but i dont see a big different between the 7100 and 600 to justify going to FX. Im thinking d800 if i make the move because for landscapes i can still manage how many images i take. Sports might be a different scenario with those huge files, crop factor ay come in handy there.

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

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michaeladawson
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 5, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

Really?  So based on this logic a cell phone camera is even sharper than a DX camera?  It doesn't work that way.

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PK24X36NOW
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Re: DPR samples ;)
In reply to Robin Casady, May 6, 2013

Robin Casady wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

All 3 from DPR studio test shots. i downloaded the jpegs and compared each file zoomed in at 150 and 200% the d800 beats all hands down but i dont see a big different between the 7100 and 600 to justify going to FX. Im thinking d800 if i make the move because for landscapes i can still manage how many images i take. Sports might be a different scenario with those huge files, crop factor ay come in handy there.

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

Actually, it is only less challenging to get sharp corners IF the lens you're using is good enough (to resolve the DX corners with the detail at less than half the size as compared with FX better than it can resolve the FX corners with the detail at more than twice the size as compared with DX) - otherwise (i.e., as a rule), you actually get better image quality everywhere with FX, even the corners.

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Placation101
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to michaeladawson, May 6, 2013

michaeladawson wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

Really?  So based on this logic a cell phone camera is even sharper than a DX camera?  It doesn't work that way.

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Mike Dawson

This.

you can argue it isn't worth it TO YOU, but exactly, when you look at it at the extreme like cell phone vs full frame it is obviously not true that they are the same and that the full frame is going to give you an equal or  better final print in all cases. Dx falls in between the two sensors and therefore fx is also equal or better. There are plenty of other good arguments either way, size, reach low light, etc, but this will be true.

furthermore you are looking at it the wrong way.

either you frame the shot the same in which case 24mp covers the same image so you get the same pixel density print and the performance advantage is evident.

or the dx you are cutting out the outer edge of the frame and concentrating all those pixels in the middle. that is why people like dx for wildlife and birds. While you don't get the true benefit of all those extra pixels youd think, you do get some resolution increase this way with good lenses.

basically the way I'd think about it is you use a 35mm on dx 50mm on fx and take the same framed picture the fx gives you in a 24 mp vs 24mp camera an equal or better picture generally.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 6, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)  

Notwithstanding the DR and high iso advantage of D600, even if we just look at resolution advantage alone, you need to understand that these test shots were done with the sharpest lens at its sharpest aperture.

When you use less perfect lenses at less than optimal apertures, resolution of D7100 deteriorates faster than than D600. which is what happens with 99.9% of our photos - especially for landscape because you would be shooting a lot of wide angle with small apertures - how many landscape photos do you shoot with 85mm at F57.1 or 50mm at F5.6?

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Robin Casady
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Re: DPR samples ;)
In reply to PK24X36NOW, May 6, 2013

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

All 3 from DPR studio test shots. i downloaded the jpegs and compared each file zoomed in at 150 and 200% the d800 beats all hands down but i dont see a big different between the 7100 and 600 to justify going to FX. Im thinking d800 if i make the move because for landscapes i can still manage how many images i take. Sports might be a different scenario with those huge files, crop factor ay come in handy there.

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

Actually, it is only less challenging to get sharp corners IF the lens you're using is good enough (to resolve the DX corners with the detail at less than half the size as compared with FX better than it can resolve the FX corners with the detail at more than twice the size as compared with DX) - otherwise (i.e., as a rule), you actually get better image quality everywhere with FX, even the corners.

The challenge is finding a lens that is good enough. Mose wide lenses have problems with the corners on FX.

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Steve Bingham
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Another answer
In reply to Moto1d, May 6, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resolution or lower quality correct?  I'm not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

It's just the opposite. A larger pixel gathers more light, some say more color information also. If a printer prints 240 pixels per inch (ppi) which pixel would contain more information? Think of D600 pixels as being big fat pixels. Think of D7100 pixels as being thinner and smaller - and not able to hold as much total information.

Real world: At base !SO of 100 it is very difficult to see the difference - but it is there. At a higher ISO, such as 1600, it is VERY obvious. Look at the dpreview comparisons and choose your camera and ISO carefully.

If you can't see the difference, or it doesn't matter, get the D7100.

If it matters, get the D600.

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Steve Bingham
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History repeats itself!!!!!
In reply to ultimitsu, May 6, 2013

D300 vs D700. Few argued, after awhile, that they were equal.

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thomo
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 6, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

When I first saw the D600 I was really keen to get one as a travel camera since it was almost the same size and weight as my D7000's but with the advantage of being able to use premium lenses. I was scared off by all the oil spot issues and bought a D800E instead - and I'm soooo glad I did.

If you are looking predominantly at landscape/cityscape I would pass on the D7100 since it doesn't really give you much more than the D7000. Even with the same Mp sensor resolution, an image from a FX body looks better than a DX image and a MFD image looks better than an FX one - and it's largely due to the better optics as much as it has to do with sensitivity, DR or noise.

As one of the other respondants said, there is more to image quality than simply sensor resolution. The same with car engines - "there's no replacement for displacement" (no offense to WRX owners).

All that said, I'll probably get a D7100 to replace one of my D7000's for travel use and I'll eventually get a D600 when they iron out the QC problems.

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dantastical
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Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
In reply to Moto1d, May 6, 2013
After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

Putting lens options and noise aside is a mistake - lenses are hugely important for IQ, as is noise, even at low ISO where it manifests as better DR.

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Moto1d
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Based on all the above...
In reply to dantastical, May 6, 2013

Im not overly sold on the D600 given the close comparison to the d7100 even if there is a difference it just doesnt seem worth the move. As the saying goes, Poor men do things twice. Therefore I guess its a D800.

A quick question without deviating too much. I have the option of buying a grey market D800 brand new without warranty 700usd cheaper than the official reseller with local warranty. None of my retailers offer international warranty which makes me think they are all grey market, who knows.

Is it worth the risk? Maybe before handing over the cash I can take a test shot and run Dead pixel testing software?

Im assuming the biggest problem i couldhave would be dead pixels?

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public_af_lobster
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Re: Based on all the above...
In reply to Moto1d, May 6, 2013

Moto1d wrote:

Im not overly sold on the D600 given the close comparison to the d7100 even if there is a difference it just doesnt seem worth the move. As the saying goes, Poor men do things twice. Therefore I guess its a D800.

A quick question without deviating too much. I have the option of buying a grey market D800 brand new without warranty 700usd cheaper than the official reseller with local warranty. None of my retailers offer international warranty which makes me think they are all grey market, who knows.

Is it worth the risk? Maybe before handing over the cash I can take a test shot and run Dead pixel testing software?

Im assuming the biggest problem i couldhave would be dead pixels?

In the old mechanical days the risks weren't that high. In the modern digital age despite the hypochondria that can blossom here, dead pixel would be a minor problem if something does go wrong with your camera, consider where can you send it for checks/repairs, how much will it cost, how long will it take. That's the price of grey...

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