Pixel Density is GENIUS!

Started Jul 13, 2008 | Discussions thread
Andrew dB Contributing Member • Posts: 970
No really, it isn't

RRJackson wrote:

We've suffered at the hands of the "Megapixel Race" for years now.
Every time some useful camera is introduced it seems to get
phased-out in a few months and replaced with a version just like it
only with a higher megapixel count, which effectively renders the
camera less useful. Go try to find a deal on a used F31fd if you have
any doubts about whether or not people actually want cameras with
less "Pixel Density."

I agree with you that the advent of higher MP cameras (particularly compacts) has brought along with it massively overdone noise reduction which to me looks hideous. I was very glad to find that the CHDK hack allows me to get unprocessed raw files from my little Ixus 70 and even without any NR, they look far better than the somewhat overprocessed in camera JPEGs. If only all compacts had that option.

If you want to blame anything, it's probably down to cost cutting which means that software NR is cheaper than high quality read stages combined with pixel peeping reviewers who would pointlessly view images at 100% and whinge about pixel level noise while ignoring overall image noise.

If the public at large catch on to the concept of pixel density it
means the manufacturers will be prompted to build cameras catering to
a "Pixel Density Race" and everyone wins.

Good luck with that.

There's no good reason why a person with a 5-6 megapixel compact
shouldn't be able to shoot photos in the same range of conditions
that a guy with a D3 can shoot today. Make the sensors bigger and
drop the megapixel count until the average person can shoot snapshots
at dimly-lit family gatherings without tragic results. 95% of the
people who take photographs probably won't ever see them larger than
4x6, anyway. Those people will be much better served by latitude and
high-ISO sensitivity than by enough resolution to print a 16x20 at
300 dpi.

The day you see a 5-6MP compact with a sensor the size of that in the D3 (which is what you would need to get the performance you want) is the day hell freezes over! No-one would pay the massive pricetag for what would inevitably be a very large 'compact' if it had a zoom of any useful range.

95% of the camera buying public really don't care. If they get a picture at all that they can email to a friend/put on Facebook/print to 4x6 then they're pleased. it's only a tiny proportion of camera nuts who know what the technology could do and they still enjoy the benefits of cheap, tiny cameras that deliver good enough image quality (particularly if you know how to process them)

And it's a handy metric for more experienced photographers, as well,
since it gives a clear indication as to how small the photosites have
been made to yield a 24-megapixel sensor (or whatever the next
goalpost turns out to be).

Give Phil and Phriends props for a great idea.

It's a worthless metric that has no basis in science. Outside of very specialised fields such as astrophotography, I've never heard of pixel pitch having any real significance to the photographer.

Sensor size, on the other hand is absolutely worth emphasising.

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BJN
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