Pixel density - can the playing field be leveled???

Started Jun 6, 2009 | Discussions thread
John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 21,574
Re: The answer of your question is right here

climbng_vine wrote:

On the other hand, while I get what you're saying about the maths...
I might suggest that in the real world, for the standard consumer who
is mostly dealing with the JPEGs straight off the camera, DPReview's
"wrong" approach is actually the right one. The average person isn't
going to (doesn't know how to) go to all these lengths to sort the
added noise from the added detail. They'll view and print images in
exactly the same way that Phil did in the original "megapixel myth"
blog, and they'll see what he saw there. Namely, that the
equally-"sized"--in nominal print terms--JPEGs from tiny sensors look
crappier the higher the density, after a certain point.

Thoughts?

What discussion are you in? That makes all the difference. Most of the pro-density arguments assume that we are talking about what the camera captures, at the RAW level. Cameras are free to screw things up with bad tone curves, bad conversions, ridiculous noise reduction levels, etc. Those things have no effect on what pixel density actually does to image quality; those are extraneous complications to the issue.

The fact is, a print of any fixed medium or large size, from a modern 14MP compact with RAW, with as literal a conversion as possible, will have less noise, more resolution, and more DR than a 6MP compact from a few years ago.

The fact that people want to magnify the 14MP more and hold their vision of it (NOT THE IMAGE!) to the same standards, is not a problem of the density; it is a problem of logic and psychology.

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John

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