What comes after 36 MPixels and why?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Zenist
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

To me, 36MP tops. I like the specs of the D800 but just can not accept the form factor. I want it to look like a chopped D3x.

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ranalli
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to lickity split, 7 months ago

lickity split wrote:

ranalli wrote:

I don't think 36MP is bad per say but the size of the resulting files is just prohibitive to me at this point.

With a 12MP file I frequently am in the 1-2GB range for a Photoshop edit. I can't imagine how large that file would be for a 36MP raw file.

Around 41 mb

I know the size of the nef file...but the resulting Photoshop edit if the same layer work was done?  If it is three time as much I'm looking at 3-6GB PER retouched file.

I tend to use a lot of layers and with a few smart-objects thrown in these file sizes blow up QUICKLY.

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Bob GB
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D7100 points at 56.5 Mpix
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

The 24 Mpix in D5200/D5300/D7100 have a pixel density which will yield 56.5 Mpix on an FX sensor.

Obviously the owners of these DX cameras are quite happy.

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VincebusMaximus
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Re: D7100 points at 56.5 Mpix
In reply to Bob GB, 7 months ago

I'm always surprised, when these discussions of 'how many megapixels is enough/too much" that people don't mention the cropping potential that comes with more megabytes.

Not every shot is meant to be an artistic statement, or to be printed at huge sizes. For example, every year I cover a well-attended half-marathon/5k race in the forest. I don't have time to spend composing, or even fiddling with a tripod. I have to move around too much.

It was SOOO much easier this last time with my D800. I could actually shoot a scene with two or even three runners decently-framed, and crop it three different ways - one for each runner. I end up with decent-sized images that can print at 5x7 or 8x10, and are plenty large enough to use in the video we do each year after the race.

For this particular application, more megapixels was most welcome. These runners just want photos of themselves participating in the race. I'd rather be sure to get each and every single runner, which was a lot harder to do when I had to worry about framing single shots so that I'd have enough pixels to work with.

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ranalli, 7 months ago

ranalli wrote:

lickity split wrote:

ranalli wrote:

I don't think 36MP is bad per say but the size of the resulting files is just prohibitive to me at this point.

With a 12MP file I frequently am in the 1-2GB range for a Photoshop edit. I can't imagine how large that file would be for a 36MP raw file.

I know the size of the nef file...but the resulting Photoshop edit if the same layer work was done? If it is three time as much I'm looking at 3-6GB PER retouched file.

I tend to use a lot of layers and with a few smart-objects thrown in these file sizes blow up QUICKLY.

I'm getting by fine with 8 GB of RAM working 24 MP files, I don't think I would need to upgrade my RAM for 36 MP, but it wouldn't be a big deal to go to 16 GB.

Frankly, processors, SSD, RAM, and hard drives for storage are all cheaper now than when all we had was 12 MP, to the point where the computing costs have gone down and not up for 36 MP files.

While 12 MP can be enough, if you like working so much on your files then I would think you would actually appreciate 36 MP over 12 MP.  For my part, I have found every increase in file size going back to 6 MP to 10 MP has made post processing easier rather than harder.

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Tom Nokin
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

Megapixel will steadily increase, because it is technically possible and because it will be demanded. Though the increase will come at a much slower pace. The step from 36 to 54 isn't that much in resolution. To double the resolution you need four times more megapixel. So the increase of 18 MP from 36 to 54 is only 12,5% in resolution power, in theory! From 6 MP to 24 MP "only" doubled the resolution.
The limiting factors will be noise (no one will accept a step back), camera processing speed (D800 has only 4fps for a reason) and most importantly of course lens quality.
I am using a great number of older MF and AF lenses with my D800 (together with some new premium lenses) and I can say, most of them give good results, but only the very top lenses make full use of the extra resolution the D800 sensor provides. E.g.: I am also using a AF 3,5-5,6 28-70 Standard-Zoom from the early nineties, a decent, but not top lens and for most purposes with very good results. But don't expect the extra resolution to make a real difference to using the same lens on a D700. Lens quality will improve though. Almost all Nikons newest premium lenses are significantly better, Sigma released some very very good lenses and Zeiss just introduced a line (Otus) of stellar performers. But this will also be a slow process.
In that sense, it is very likely, that camera cycles and significant improvements will lengthen. Cameras like the D800 will remain very competitive for a much longer time than previous camera releases 7 or 8 years ago. So.... get a D800 for the rest of this decade!

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Tom Nokin
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to user_name, 7 months ago

I tend to put the main subject of my photos in and around the center of the frame. What do you do?

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Shotcents
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Re: 37 MPixels
In reply to paulski66, 7 months ago

paulski66 wrote:

Because 37 comes after 36...

42.

It will be the answer. To everything.

Robert

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to Tom Nokin, 7 months ago

Tom Nokin wrote:

I tend to put the main subject of my photos in and around the center of the frame. What do you do?

I have many photos where a face or something I want to draw your attention to is not in the center of the frame.  When I do landscape/architecture photos, even when everything "important" is closer to the center of the frame I find soft edges distracting and downright disappointing.

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Grevture
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But still ...
In reply to Tony Beach, 7 months ago

Tony Beach wrote:

Tom Nokin wrote:

I tend to put the main subject of my photos in and around the center of the frame. What do you do?

I have many photos where a face or something I want to draw your attention to is not in the center of the frame. When I do landscape/architecture photos, even when everything "important" is closer to the center of the frame I find soft edges distracting and downright disappointing.

... that is still a lens issue, not a sensor issue. To me it remains a mystery why at times bad corner performance is brought up as an argument against higher sensor resolutions. If anything, the higher resolutions increase the opportunities to deal with sub par corner performance caused by the lenses. And why should we limit the center image resolution just because the corner resolutions is not as good?

It is like those arguing higher resolution sensors are pointless since some older zoom lenses cannot utilize the sensor to its fullest performance. That is a bit like arguing it is pointless to have a car which can go faster then 20 Mph since we at times are stuck in traffic ...

To turn the question around: Should we limit our sensors so not to embarrass our worst performing lenses (or the worst corners of lenses) or should we make sensors which can utilize the very best of our lenses?

I certainly prefer the latter

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BackPacker1532
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to tektrader, 7 months ago

"I just want a D800 with 8 FPS"

Or a D4 with 36mp!

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cpkuntz
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

I think a practical goal should be the ability to print 24" by 36" at 150 lines per inch. This equates to something like 7200 x 10800 pixels = 77.76 megapixels. This would represent a meaningful improvement over the D800's 95 line pairs per inch at that print size, anything less wouldn't be a very dramatic improvement.  It's still not at the limits of human resolution when viewed at, say 6 inches, but it's enough for most practical viewing.

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PHXAZCRAIG
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That's easy
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

What comes after 36 and why?   The answers are 'more pixels' and 'marketing'.

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Tony Beach
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Re: But still ...
In reply to Grevture, 7 months ago

Grevture wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

Tom Nokin wrote:

I tend to put the main subject of my photos in and around the center of the frame. What do you do?

I have many photos where a face or something I want to draw your attention to is not in the center of the frame. When I do landscape/architecture photos, even when everything "important" is closer to the center of the frame I find soft edges distracting and downright disappointing.

... that is still a lens issue, not a sensor issue.

True, and I am not saying I don't want a higher resolution sensor because some lenses are poor performers in the corners.  I was merely responding to your question (even though it wasn't directed to me specifically).

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golf1982
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Re: 54MP is next
In reply to Horshack, 7 months ago

Horshack wrote:

Which is a 24MP APS-C pixel in a FF form factor. As to the why, it's so that camera companies stay in business.

My understanding is that the 24 mp dx is less good than the 16 mp dx in some areas (shadow recovery). i understood that nikon chose the 36mp as the sensor had the best charictoristics of a number they considered during development, not just for the mp count.

i would expect nikon will choose a sensor with 36 or more mp, but the choise will be guided by other IQ questions.

i would not be at all surprised to see a 54 mp d4x. I am intrigued as to how much detail will ultimately be able to be extracted from a ff sensor.

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ccd100
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ranalli, 7 months ago

I recently stiched together 10 - 12 D800 raw files for a panorama that a friend asked for. I checked the memory usage while it was working and it crept up to 10.3Gb - it wasnt a problem as my workstation has 16Gb but it certainly put it through the paces.

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rgolub
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ranalli, 7 months ago

Wow. 2 GB out of a 12 MP NEF?  That's a whole lotta layers.  I would imagine that you aren't going for pixel perfect resolution - you're aiming for a different result and you may have little use for a bigger initial file.

The rest of us, who don't go for the massive Photoshop tweaks you are apparently doing have not quite so much in the way of headroom to worry about.

That said, my 2008 MacPro handles 4 GB D800 Panoramas with no problem at all. (24 GB RAM, 250 GB SSD scratch disk).  It's not a particularly high end machine these days.  54 MB won't stretch it's capabilities much.  I don't see an overriding need for larger files,  but I'm sure somebody does.

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noirdesir
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Re: The Corner Red Herring
In reply to user_name, 7 months ago

user_name wrote:

Grevture wrote:

user_name wrote:

For landscape you want sharp edges and few lenses really perform well in this domain. The Zeiss 21mm is one example, but most lenses have trouble in the corners and must be stopped down a good bit to compensate.

But putting any lens on a 54 MP camera will in no single instance ever look any worse then it did on a 36 MP camera. Or a 12 MP camera for that matter.

On the contrary, it will in most cases look slightly or noticeably better with a 54 MP sensor then it did with any of the previous resolutions.

But may not look as good as it could.

So, you make this a matter of principle and say: 'I won't burden my computer with 54 MP files, unless at least 50 of those are sharp'?

But if that is so, why aren't you using the best lenses available for a given focal length? As long as a better lens could improve the image quality, you images do "not look as good as they could " .

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ccd100, 7 months ago

ccd100 wrote:

I recently stiched together 10 - 12 D800 raw files for a panorama that a friend asked for. I checked the memory usage while it was working and it crept up to 10.3Gb - it wasnt a problem as my workstation has 16Gb but it certainly put it through the paces.

My old computer used to pretty much freeze up when I was stitching together multiple shots taken with my A850. I haven't experienced that problem with my new computer, which only has 8 GB of RAM, but I can see where your scenario would be very taxing. What I did when my computer was overtaxed was to downsize the files before stitching them together since I didn't really have a need for such massive files; of course, if you plan on doing an enormous print then more computational horsepower or a lot of patience will be required.

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maljo@inreach.com
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A problem for the camera companies...
In reply to dellaaa, 7 months ago

How do they keep us spending money?

I am very happy with the D800/E twins.

I'm not interested in 50+ mpixels.

Nikon has not made anything I want in the last year.

My last purchase was Dec 21012: the 70-200 f4 VR zoom.

This is the first time in 25 years I've gone a year without buying anything Nikon.

We are at a point where the products we have are very good.

Nikon is going to have to come  up something pretty exciting to tempt me.

And it is not the D610 nor the DF.

maljo

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