Some info on the 24 MP Nikon - from a Sony engineer

Started Oct 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: expensive strategy

FrankG wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

FrankG wrote:

...

That statement is broadly right. The issue is, what is the point of
100% scrutiny.

I expect that will get debated again!
...

The use of the phrase 'of course' assumes that the pixel centric view
is natural. I submit that it's not. For all practical purposes (apart
from index prints) we upsize the image from the sensor (using the
word 'size' literally). We may also upsample or downsample, depending
on the output medium. Unless one wants to insist on a rule that there
will be pixel for pixel correspondence between input and output
(which is almost undoable in the real world, anyway), 100% has little
relevance to anything, so why should it be used as a reference for
'upsizing' or 'downsizing'?

Name me any digital imaging/processing software that does not use
this approach (Photoshop, NX2 ...etc etc). Onscreen views are
"resized" in terms of % size in pixel terms. There is no way that
you can consistently reference resizing to output size (in
conventional size terms) in the world of digital viewing on monitor
screens where output real sizes are arbitrary in absolute terms. For
example I happen to be using a 19" Monitor set at 1024x768 pixels
res. There are a very large number of combinations of other
Monitor size/resolution settings in use out there!

The issue is, what do you lose by increasing pixel density? The answer is
nothing (except file size and processor capacity).

Purchase cost!

Nothing intrinsic about high pixel density that increases purchase
cost (apart from the already mentioned memory and processor
requirements). the manufacturers may decide that it is a desirable
enough feature to charge a price premium.

Isn't there? Is the yield rate as good (I don't know - just
speculating on this)?
If you make a product that intrinsically appeals to a smaller market
niche then you lose economies of scale too. Will be interesting tio
see how Nikon price their High Mpix camera whenever it eventually
arrives - I'll bet it's more expensive!

That is true for very Low ISO range pictures. In fact we ought to be
able to do prints of double the size from 24Mpix - but it is a case
of how big do we need to go when we can already get large prints of
extremely high quality from 12Mpix?
...

Why 'ought' we. The extra pixel density brings demonstrably extra
detail (in terms of more contrast at high spatial frequencies) even
at A3 size.

"we ought to be able to" = "it should be feasible to" - make sense?
...

It's also evaluated at a per pixel level in JPEG. I referred you to
the thread where a comparison has been done in raw at equal output
size. That, as I said, looks to within 1/3 of a stop. You need to be
aware that DPReview has a definite party line here, and the text of
their reviews consistently reflects this. Many other reviewers are
using similar methodologies, and failing to compare at equal output
sizes. The consequence of this is that manufacturers are trying to
square the circle, producing the extra pixel density that the market
sensibly wants, and trying to avoid being slammed in 100% jpeg noise
tests by going for absurd amounts of NR by default. Sony does this,
and now Canon is too. Only Pentax seems brave enough to go for the
pixel density without heavy NR, but their products are getting
criticised in reviews and on these forums as a result.

  • but see the reference below

The other thing we don't know is how the read noise of the Sony fares
above 1600. If it's poor that could produce poir noise at high ISO's
but that woulnb't be a result of high pixel density or a poor sensel
design, but poor read chain design - however, the D300 seems to do OK
on the same read chain.
Show me an equal output size raw test that backs up your contention
that the noise at high ISO's is much worse, and I will concede, but
certainly not on the basis of per pixel noise measurements and 100%
crops.

Here you go:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra900/page34.asp
scroll down the page and check the section "ISO3200 processed RAW .."

again I quote:
"Although the Alpha 900's inherently noisier sensor means that it is
struggling to produce usable results at ISO 6400, at ISO 1600 and
3200 the difference between it and the D700 can be reduced if you're
prepared to shoot raw and do some noise reduction - and crucially, if
you resize the Alpha's output to the same dimensions as the D700
(approx 12.1 megapixels).

That all said, even with some Photoshop noise reduction there's still
a lot more chroma noise in the A900's end result, and if you try to
get the noise levels down to match the D700 you end up with visibly
less fine detail than the Nikon is delivering. And if you go one stop
further (to ISO 6400) the D700 starts to pull well ahead of the Sony."

Hmmm!

  • Frank

-- hide signature --

ACR/Lightroom is commonly know to be lackluster at high ISO with A700/A900 files compared to other converters like Raw Developer, Aperture, Bibble, Capture One, etc. You'll notice that every rebuttal to the A900's high ISO noise is done by users of anything other than Adobe. Unfortunately, Adobe and Sony just don't seem to mix well with RAW conversion.

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