Do you really see THAT much difference in images?

Started Jul 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sergey_Green
Sergey_Green Forum Pro • Posts: 10,373
It's what you can do with it ..

Mark B UK wrote:

I think differences in resolution from one camera/sensor to another make little if any difference to real-world results, unless printing exceptionally large images that will be viewed up close, or making extreme selective enlargements (i.e. selecting only a small part of the image before cropping). My largest monitor is 27in and my printer goes only to A3; at these sizes, I'd defy anyone to see the difference between say 12 and 36MP.

The difference is instantaneous. It is much easier to work with 36MP files than with 12MP files. And the same goes for noise (as you said below, noise makes difference), cleaning up 35MP while retaining detail is not the same as it was with 12MP. Of course, come print both, when the files are good, and you may not see the difference.

Improved high-ISO noise does make a difference, I've found. My first digital camera was a Sony R1. It gave great results at base ISO. But at 1600 it was prone to colour banding, which distracted from the subject matter. Its replacement, a Panasonic GH-1, exhibited noticeable chroma noise and reduced dynamic range, shadow detail and resolution at the same speed, which was clearly visible and borderline distracting on a 27in monitor or an A3 print.

My current camera, a Sony E-M5, has a noticeable but 'tight' noise structure at ISO 1600 which I find not unattractive, and the colours, DR, shadow detail and overall sharpness are generally So I think there is a difference where high ISO performance is concerned.

Equally, I think dynamic range - one aspect of sensor performance - has improved, especially from the GH-1 to the E-M5. Highlights are much more recoverable, and boosting shadows is much less likely to result in an indistinct 'much' of chroma noise and minimal detail. This is actually more important to me than high-ISO performance, as I seldom use the latter, so I'd be more likely to upgrade to get better DR than noise, and almost certainly wouldn't bother solely for higher resolution.

In conclusion, for me it's about the improvements in noise and DR that have come over time, not the resolution race.

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- sergey

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