What comes after 36 MPixels and why?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
ranalli
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to rgolub, 10 months ago

rgolub wrote:

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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More detail is always better even for someone like myself who does retouches and does the occasional composite...but at what cost?

Even 2 TB drives would only allow 300-400 edits like I'm mentioning.  The actual starting NEF file becomes negligible at that point.

Perhaps I'm inefficient with PS and layers but the numbers don't seem to lie.

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ranalli
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to Tony Beach, 10 months ago

Tony Beach wrote:

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.

I would like 36MP but I'm hesitant to buy an entirely new PC setup.  Seems like I would go through hard drives like crazy.

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ranalli, 10 months ago

ranalli wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

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.

I would like 36MP but I'm hesitant to buy an entirely new PC setup. Seems like I would go through hard drives like crazy.

A couple of 3 terabyte hard drives are reasonably cheap now and getting cheaper all the time, and Nikon's 36 MP lossless compressed NEF files are about the same size as my uncompressed 24 MP ARW (Sony Raw format) files. I'm not burning through hard drives; in just over three years my total storage space for my A850 files is about 335 GB. My approach is to just save the original Raw file and discard my TIFF files after I'm done processing them. I guess if you want to save multiple TIFF layers then your saved files will balloon in size, but presumably that's only a few files and not every single one, so storage costs would still be manageable.

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to ranalli, 10 months ago

ranalli wrote:

rgolub wrote:

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.

More detail is always better even for someone like myself who does retouches and does the occasional composite...but at what cost?

Even 2 TB drives would only allow 300-400 edits like I'm mentioning. The actual starting NEF file becomes negligible at that point.

Just size down your original TIFF to a smaller file size and your files will be no larger than what you are currently working with. Then save the bigger native file size for when you want to do really detailed work and make large prints.

Perhaps I'm inefficient with PS and layers but the numbers don't seem to lie.

If you are repeating some actions then you can create those in Photoshop and execute them with a keystroke, and that goes a long ways towards making your workflow and storage issues more manageable.

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blackwiggle
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

Maybe the next generation of FF sensors could be 54mp, but it doesn't mean that those 54mp will be used in the same manner as the 36 mp of the D800/e, I think that would be too small a benefit for the increase of mp's

They could come up with some novel ways to use these sensors that aren't available on cameras at the moment.

How about  if the new 54mp camera of the future could take the equivalent of 3 x 18mp shots at the same time, one overexposed, one normal , and one under exposed [Basically auto bracketing 3 shots for HDR work, with one shutter release ]

Or, have a certain range within the 54mp's that could be configured in much the same way as Leica's M-Monochrom B&W sensor.

It's all rather moot anyway, as the needed technical improvements in photography in general aren't really in resolution, they need to be in dynamic range that can be captured by the camera as seen by the eye, ditto for displays that can show this [these are not far off, but still way,way too expensive] also photo processing software that can handle it, and lastly and most importantly, it is all rather pointless if the print medium can't reproduce the increased dynamic range, so a definite improvement needed there, if not a total re-think of the way hard copies of pictures are reproduced/viewed.

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Tom FX
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

Imagine a few years from now....

You decide to show some of your D800 photos on your new 8K television only to see black bars around your pictures, Oh bugger not enough resolution!

More please Nikon!

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blackwiggle
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to Tom FX, 10 months ago

Tom FX wrote:

Imagine a few years from now....

You decide to show some of your D800 photos on your new 8K television only to see black bars around your pictures, Oh bugger not enough resolution!

More please Nikon!

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Tom

Then use the TV's  Zoom mode, problem solved

No real advancement, 4K / 8K resolution does not equal several levels of perceivable dynamic range.

It's just resolution on a larger scale, with a similar sized screen.

I think you miss understand the differences.

Hopefully I don't appear as condescending, but very few people do understand this very real and important difference.

It has had little press , mainly because there are no products to support the expanded dynamic range.

Hopefully the general public will urge progress in this direction.

The numbers game [higher capture rates ] really means nothing to all but the most number crunching tech head of a photo geek.

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coudet
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

dellaaa wrote:

I read recently that Sony is developing a 54 MP FF sensor. Does this make sense?

Yes and no.

If we want higher quality pictures, and higher level of detail compared to what we have now - 54mp makes every sense in the world. If we want our cameras to record everything our lenses are capable of - 54mp makes no sense whatsoever, since it falls spectacularly short of what's needed. And that's only for today's lenses, tomorrow we will have even better ones.

Unless newer, better lens technology becomes available (and I have no doubt that it will, but it maybe a ways off) why produce a sensor that will out perform all existing glass?

Lenses for 54mp cameras are already available, we already use them. Sensor is the bottleneck, always has been and will be for some time to come.

What about non Bayer pattern sensors, like the Sigma Fovon. It is in theory a 46 MP sensor

No, in theory it's still a 15mp sensor. It's a 46mp sensor only in Sigma's marketing material. And it's a sensor that has some serious issues.

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coudet
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Re: The Corner Red Herring
In reply to user_name, 10 months ago

user_name wrote:

Grevture wrote:

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.

I agree with you here!

Any lens will not look as good as it can on a 54mp. For a lens to look the best it possibly can, well, that would require a lot more than 54mp.

While it is true I could get good performance with a good lens it soon became clear that the only way to extract the full potential out of the camera was to pay the price for the best glass I could get.

Same is the case for every camera in the world, regardless of the number of megapixels it has. Best results will always be obtained by the highest quality camera + highest quality lens combo.

It's like owning a Ferrari

Oh yeah, I know exactly what you mean here.

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jetstream
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Re: The Corner Red Herring
In reply to coudet, 10 months ago

While uping sensor pixel density has proved to be a good thing, there's definitely a limit where craming more pixel on a sensor will have a negative impact on image quality. We're maybe not there yet, but:

Latest APS-C 24 MP sensors are now showing diffraction effects as of f/5.6

Going with more MP's will mean no incrrease in image quality as of f/4 and thus, no improvement for landscape photography where you need large DoF and smaller apertures...

Keep in mind that hi-iso with hi-res cameras haven't been a problem despite smaller pixels because the added resolution allowed for more noise reduction, but in the case higher resolution won't bring more detail, it will then be at the expense of hi-iso

There's an "old" but interesting artcile about diffraction here:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

You may want to take a look a table 3: on a full frame sensor, stopping down to f/11 results in a max average resoluton of 16 MP, the rest is more or less wasted

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kenwj
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

12 years ago people were saying what comes after 4mp DX and why?

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dellaaa
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It comes down to if the sensor can out resolve the lens...
In reply to kenwj, 10 months ago

I guess the news to me, and I don't really know if this is true or not, is the fact that the 36MP sensor WILL NOT out resolve most lenses that are attached to it. So this is the real question. If the lens has more information to record, then by all means, develop higher resolution sensors to capture it. I know lenses vary in their the amount of detail they can resolve, I am speaking of the limiting factor, that is, the lens with the highest resolution capability.

One poster has said that any 'reasonable' lens can still out resolve the 36 MP sensor, I find that illogical. If that were the case, then every 'reasonable' lens attached to a D800 would resolve the same, that is, to the limit of the sensor, as the limiting factor is the senor. I do not think this is the case.

So whats the real story?

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SushiEater
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If we get D810 with 54mp.......
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

Canon forum would have to be closed because ALL Canon people will be in this forum trying to prove why they don't need high resolution because their lenses combined with their cameras can show more details. There will be no peace and quite here anymore.

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Brandon birder
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to BillyInya, 10 months ago

BillyInya wrote:

dellaaa wrote:

I am the owner of a Nikon D800 and NEX7. I love the D800, the NEX7, not so much.

My question may be naive but I will post anyway. In using the D800 and from most accounts, 36 MP really taxes both the lenses attached and the shooting techniques. In the film days, it would be analogous to loading Kodak's Tech Pan and shooting it at ISO 25, tremendous resolution capabilities, in many instances, out resolving the lens.

So, my question is this, what is the next step in higher resolution FF sensors, and why? I read recently that Sony is developing a 54 MP FF sensor. Does this make sense? Unless newer, better lens technology becomes available (and I have no doubt that it will, but it maybe a ways off) why produce a sensor that will out perform all existing glass?

Is 36 MP all that anyone can really utilize, let alone need? What about non Bayer pattern sensors, like the Sigma Fovon. It is in theory a 46 MP sensor, but there are only 16 MP for each color channel. Would boosting this any further increase low ISO performance?

What do you all think?

Crazy isn't it.

The file sizes to have to work with, then the reducing in size to what you want to use it for, I mean even 24MP is way over the top in my opinion.

I reckon 16MP is around the sweet spot but even then that's a huge number. Seriously, when does anyone actually use every bit of that at its full resolution and size? let alone 24 or 36MP. I guess if you can't frame your shots properly and need to crop your brains out to get the subject matter sized the way you need it then massive res is going to be helpful.

As far as other sensors go, I'd get a DSLR syle mirrorless Nikon in a heart beat is it had the Fuji X-Trans sensor in it. Color purity and depth, skin tones, sharpness are all stunning with the X-Trans.

You use every bit of that high resolution every time you use high iso's. Most of us view an image on a monitor or print at sizes less than A4. In these situations the downsampling that the monitor or printer does removes some of the noise. If you want to do massive crops or print very large then the noise may have to be dealt with.

Much of the high iso gains cameras have made since the D300s sensor are down to increasing the pixel count and most of the gains from the D7000 onwards..

So we all benefit.

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Tony Beach
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Re: The Corner Red Herring
In reply to jetstream, 10 months ago

jetstream wrote:

There's an "old" but interesting artcile about diffraction here:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

You may want to take a look a table 3: on a full frame sensor, stopping down to f/11 results in a max average resolution of 16 MP, the rest is more or less wasted

I read this article some time ago, and it's hogwash.  According to the article I should not be able to demonstrate this:

Hmmm, 6 MP on the left, showing moire because I've maxed it out; and the 12 MP sensor on the right at f/16 is clearly showing more detail despite diffraction which the article says should not be there because at f/16 that sensor should only resolve no more than 6 MP (that according to, ahem, Table 3).

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hewhosculpts
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to Tony Beach, 10 months ago

Tony Beach wrote:

hewhosculpts wrote:

To be honest, I don't think it makes much sense to go beyond 36 MP. As it is, the 24MP APS-C sensor is a wasted effort on cameras like the D3200, D5200 abd D7100 except when shooting with the best possible lenses.

Here's the difference on a $200 lens.

Therefore, if Nikon comes out with a 54MP D900 for say $3500 then we'd have to spend another $10,000 to $15,000 to get a minimal kit of the high end lenses (which wouldn't be all that light weight or easy to shoot with.)

A complete PC-E lens kit runs less than $6000.

Now, that is pushing into the low end medium format price range and I'd expect that the very same sensor improvements that made a 54MP FF sensor cheap enough to be commercial would also help push down the price of medium format digital cameras...

If you fudge the numbers for both systems, with the 135 format upwards and the MFDB downwards then you get close, but any realistic comparison leaves them farther apart than you are suggesting. What's more, DSLRs have better AF, more available lenses, are smaller, etc. At best, you are comparing apples to oranges.

Those are huge resolution differences between those two 35mm lenses. I've seen the resolution numbers for the Nikkor 200mm F2.0 super lens on a 24MP APS-C sensor and it that much again better than the best of these.

Note, the Nikkor PC-E lenses are fairly pathetic when it comes to resolution so I don't have clue as to why you are bringing them up???

Finally, none of what I say is an argument against DSLR cameras, it's an argument against 54MP full frame sensor DSLRs.  Maybe some people our there will be able to afford a bevy of super lenses to go with them but it won't be a majority of the D800 users...

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hewhosculpts
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Re: Eh ... No.
In reply to Grevture, 10 months ago

Grevture wrote:

hewhosculpts wrote:

To be honest, I don't think it makes much sense to go beyond 36 MP. As it is, the 24MP APS-C senor is a wasted effort on cameras like the D3200, D5200 abd D7100 except when shooting with the best possible lenses.

Have you actually tried?

Hey I can't afford super lenses but I've seen what average or even very good lenses do on these sensors (and I wasn't impressed)... but I have seen the super lens to excellent lens on these sensors and it was significant.

It takes about one minute of shooting with almost any lens you can find to realize you are wrong in your assertion. And, yeas I have tried - a lot

Therefore, if Nikon comes out with a 54MP D900 for say $3500 then we'd have to spend another $10,000 to $15,000 to get a minimal kit of the high end lenses (which wouldn't be all that light weight or easy to shoot with.) Now, that is pushing into the low end medium format price range and I'd expect that the very same senor improvements that made a 54MP FF sensor cheap enough to be commercial would also help push down the price of medium format digital cameras...

You are way off target. A 54 MP D900 would make very good use also of low cost lenses (like 28/1.8, AF-S 50/1.8, 85/1.8). Actually, such a camera would mean improvements for more or less any lens currently sold by Nikon or third part manufacturers. More obviously with some, of course, but still very clearly with the vast majority and still noticeably with even the worst ones.

Even a mediocre lens would work on these cameras but my point is these shots are not going to be even close to the quality of a medium format camera with a similar resolution sensor. Hence the resolution is wasted unless you resort to super lenses.

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TOF guy
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Re: It comes down to if the sensor can out resolve the lens...
In reply to dellaaa, 10 months ago

dellaaa wrote:

One poster has said that any 'reasonable' lens can still out resolve the 36 MP sensor, I find that illogical. If that were the case, then every 'reasonable' lens attached to a D800 would resolve the same, that is, to the limit of the sensor, as the limiting factor is the senor.

"Limiting factor" is not the way it works. The resolving power of the lens & sensor combination is the product of the resolving power of each component. You get more details by using a sharper lens in front of the same sensor.

As for whether a lens out resolve the 36 MP sensor - you can answer your question looking at a resolution chart (most lens don't).

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Tony Beach
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Re: What comes after 36 MPixels and why?
In reply to hewhosculpts, 10 months ago

hewhosculpts wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

hewhosculpts wrote:

To be honest, I don't think it makes much sense to go beyond 36 MP. As it is, the 24MP APS-C sensor is a wasted effort on cameras like the D3200, D5200 abd D7100 except when shooting with the best possible lenses.

Here's the difference on a $200 lens.

Therefore, if Nikon comes out with a 54MP D900 for say $3500 then we'd have to spend another $10,000 to $15,000 to get a minimal kit of the high end lenses (which wouldn't be all that light weight or easy to shoot with.)

A complete PC-E lens kit runs less than $6000.

Now, that is pushing into the low end medium format price range and I'd expect that the very same sensor improvements that made a 54MP FF sensor cheap enough to be commercial would also help push down the price of medium format digital cameras...

If you fudge the numbers for both systems, with the 135 format upwards and the MFDB downwards then you get close, but any realistic comparison leaves them farther apart than you are suggesting. What's more, DSLRs have better AF, more available lenses, are smaller, etc. At best, you are comparing apples to oranges.

Those are huge resolution differences between those two 35mm lenses.

Just to be clear, that's the same lens (possibly different copies) on two different sensors, the 35/1.8 DX.

Note, the Nikkor PC-E lenses are fairly pathetic when it comes to resolution so I don't have clue as to why you are bringing them up???

I used the 24mm and 45mm PC-E lenses on my D300, as well as the 85mm PC-micro. These three lenses all ranked as the best lenses in my bag. What was I comparing them to you might ask? The Nikkor 14-24/2.8, 50/1.8 D, 70-200/2.8 VR (first version), and Tokina 90/2.5 macro, all of which were better than any lenses I had tried before at their respective focal lengths. If the PC-E lenses are "pathetic," then so were my copies of those other lenses, and considering how much I tested my gear I'm pretty sure they were all quite excellent.

I currently have a Schneider 28/2.8 PC Super Angulon I like quite well on my A850, it has delivered some very excellent 20x30 inch prints (it cost me $1200 used, and Sony and Nikon mounts cost about $250 each). When I get a D800 I will mount the Schneider on it along with the SMC Pentax 67 55/4 (total cost with Mirex T/S adapter is under $1000) and a Hasselblad Carl Zeiss Planar T* 100/3.5 (total cost with Mirex T/S adapter about $1400), and that complete system will deliver astounding resolution (and yes, I've seen samples of what these other lenses can do on a 5D2) for a total cost of less than $4000.

Finally, none of what I say is an argument against DSLR cameras, it's an argument against 54MP full frame sensor DSLRs. Maybe some people our there will be able to afford a bevy of super lenses to go with them but it won't be a majority of the D800 users...

If you are getting moire on the D800E with any lens, then that lens can resolve more on a 54 MP sensor. With careful technique and proper support, there are lots of lenses that will trigger moire on a D800E under the right circumstances.

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Grevture
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You still don't make much sense
In reply to hewhosculpts, 10 months ago

hewhosculpts wrote:

Grevture wrote:

hewhosculpts wrote:

To be honest, I don't think it makes much sense to go beyond 36 MP. As it is, the 24MP APS-C senor is a wasted effort on cameras like the D3200, D5200 abd D7100 except when shooting with the best possible lenses.

Have you actually tried?

Hey I can't afford super lenses but I've seen what average or even very good lenses do on these sensors (and I wasn't impressed)... but I have seen the super lens to excellent lens on these sensors and it was significant.

What I asked was if you had actually tried using those cameras you seem to think have pointlessly high resolution.

I have shot several thousands of images with D7100 using a wild assortment of lenses from my own dirt cheap DX 35/1.8 all the way up to Nikons AF-S 800/5.6. And I can very clearly state that you assertion about the resolution of those cameras being "wasted" when used with more plain lenses is nonsense.

Even a pretty mediocre lens like useful but unimpressive AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5 clearly benefits from being put on a high res body like a D7100.

It takes about one minute of shooting with almost any lens you can find to realize you are wrong in your assertion. And, yeas I have tried - a lot

Therefore, if Nikon comes out with a 54MP D900 for say $3500 then we'd have to spend another $10,000 to $15,000 to get a minimal kit of the high end lenses (which wouldn't be all that light weight or easy to shoot with.) Now, that is pushing into the low end medium format price range and I'd expect that the very same senor improvements that made a 54MP FF sensor cheap enough to be commercial would also help push down the price of medium format digital cameras...

You are way off target. A 54 MP D900 would make very good use also of low cost lenses (like 28/1.8, AF-S 50/1.8, 85/1.8). Actually, such a camera would mean improvements for more or less any lens currently sold by Nikon or third part manufacturers. More obviously with some, of course, but still very clearly with the vast majority and still noticeably with even the worst ones.

Even a mediocre lens would work on these cameras but my point is these shots are not going to be even close to the quality of a medium format camera with a similar resolution sensor. Hence the resolution is wasted unless you resort to super lenses.

So, you argue it is pointless to increase the resolution of DSLR:s because the results with cheap DSLR lenses will be inferior compared to images shot with ten times as expensive MF cameras using ten times as expensive MF lenses?

That is just plain silly.

What matters is if you can see a difference when shooting with that cheap DSLR lens on a higher resolution DSLR as compared to when using it with a lower resolution DSLR. If there is a improvement, then the resolution increase is indeed useful. And yes, I am fully aware the improvement will be greater the better lens we use, but that does not take away the fundamental fact that all improvements are, well, improvements.

To turn the question around for you: Why should we limit the resolution of our sensors just because some cheap lenses do not fully utilize all the sensor can deliver? Does it not make a lot more sense to aim for sensors which pulls the most out of our best lenses?

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