Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Started Nov 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Andrew dB wrote:

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

No but it would be if you had 40MP. Doubling focal length is similar
to doubling the linear resolution of the sensor which in turn
quadruples the pixel count.

And noise which reduces the image sharpness

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

the greater pixel density of the 1Ds3 would be roughly equivalent to
a 340mm lens so well short of what you are looking for.

actually it would be a 450mm lens

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

As mentioned above you would need a much higher pixel density and
probably the only Canon DSLR that would give you the required density
is the 50D.

Which is by far the WORST decision you can make(trade a 1DIII for a 50D)

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density is the key rather than sensor size.


P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII
so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

In a sense, you're not losing out by using a 1.6 crop sensor assuming
you are using the higher pixel density to simulate a longer lens
through cropping. The big advantage of the 1D3 or 1Ds3 compared to
the smaller DSLRs is the added sensor size but a 22x15mm crop of the
larger sensor will be comparable to the performance of the small
sensor but without the resolving power.

You are forgetting the image quality parameter(a shot from 50D will be unbelievably softer than one from 1DIII)


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