more pixels are better!

Started Dec 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
chuxter Forum Pro • Posts: 21,714
Re: more pixels are better!

Iforgetwhat8was4 wrote:

or are they?

Could someone try to give a clear but comprehensive explanation of
why more Mp doesn't improve IQ?

Yes, but don't expect everyone involved in this thread to EVER agree.

Yes, more pixels are better, but pixel count is NOT the only parameter that makes the images better. Big photosites are also better. The issue is how to best balance the size of the photosites against the number of pixels.

Each camera manufacturer and each knowledgeable photographer tends to view the best balance differently. This difference is a result of their philosophy, education, vision, experience, etc. If I prefer larger photosites at the expense of fewer pixels, that doesn't make me wrong or ignorant. It just means that considering the types of pix I take, I need more sensitivity, even if the result is less resolution. My aesthetic judgement rates pix taken with cameras that conform to my "rules" as "better".

In the past few years, as the number of pixels has soared, manufacturers have increased the amount and complexity of noise reduction applied in cameras. The algorithms used are mostly quite simple, due to the limited processing power that is available. These simplistic NR algorithms are often worse than the noise they blur. However, with large photosites, there is little incentive to use NR in-camera...most MF digital backs don't seem to apply any NR, but consequently limit the sensitivity (ISO) to inherently noise-free settings.

I much prefer to have all NR done out-of-camera because I can select and adjust as necessary to get a good balance of low-noise (in areas that don't have important details) and good resolution/contrast (in areas where the details are important). A computer algorithm simply can't do this balancing very well!

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Charlie Davis
Nikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300
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