Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 26,282
Re: Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count

Jacques Cornell wrote:

JimKasson wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

JimKasson wrote:

SilvanBromide wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

Cudacke Dees wrote:

There are people saying 12mp is enough 10 years ago.......... which is correct. It is enough. But we can have better and better is better.

But, if you're printing 12"x18" or smaller, "better" is invisible. ...

Not true. If you apply processing (to reduce noise, lift shadows, enhance detail etc.) prior to downscaling for print, the difference will be palpable, even at 12"x18" or smaller.

It's not a processing issue.

The difference will be visible no matter what the shadow lifting. It take 6500 pixels for an 18 inch wide print at 360 ppi

Yes, but your eyes likely cannot resolve 360ppi. That 360ppi number is widely cited, but it is randomly selected and bears little relation to the average person's eyesight. Furthermore, it assumes that you view prints with your nose on the paper, which nobody but pixel-peeping photo tech enthusiasts does.

I find almost no visible difference, even at a viewing distance of 12", between 200dpi and 300ppi in a print that's been appropriately sharpened for the specific media and output size. Try it. You may first have to learn how to appropriately sharpen for print. You can start by trying Pixel Genius' now-free PhotoKit Sharpener.

( a few more than you can get with a 24 MP 3:2 camera). A 12 MP camera will get you about 240 ppi. That's good enough for most things, but not for all uses. If you print on matte paper, there's probably no visible difference.

Some folks will do just fine with 12 MP. Others

who examine prints with a 4x loupe

will want more.

Actually, IMO, 360 ppi isn't enough.

Print out a B&W image on a 360 ppi/2880 dpi inkjet printer. Take that print and an 8x10 B&W contact print, hold them in your hands, and take a good look. You'll see that even the 360 ppi print is visibly unsharp compared to the 8x10 contact print.

Then take a 200ppi/2880dpi inkjet print and see if there's any difference.

What you're describing is a difference between digital inkjet and conventional photo materials. It's got nothing to do with the difference between 200ppi and 300ppi in an inkjet or continuous tone digital print, which is the topic of this thread.

You're saying the eye can see detail any finer than 200ppi. If that were the case, you would be able to see no difference between a 360 ppi print and an 8x10 contact print.

And, if you really want to drive the point home, print out a 360 ppi color print and compare it to an 8x10 Ektachrome original -- not a copy, but the film that was in the camera at the moment of exposure.

If you suffer from presbyopia, you'll need your reading glasses for this experiment.

I am sorry that Cymbolic Sciences is gone.


You're moving the goalposts. The comparison I suggested was between 200ppi and 300ppi digital prints.

The topic is megapixel counts. No MP count, no matter how high, is going to produce an 8x10 silver halide contact print or an 8x10 Ektachrome without digitally printing the image onto film, which is likely to have the same resolution limitations as printing onto paper.

In the old days, except for Cymbolic Sciences and a few others, film recorders were limited to 8000 pixels in the long dimension, and even then there was so much CRT blooming that the resolution was less than that, so you're right.

But you made a claim that went beyond MP count and to a more fundamental constraint: the resolution of the human eye. I am disputing that claim.

I learned photography with film, developed my own B&W, shot small, medium and large formats, and made my own darkroom prints for years before working digitally. I know what you're talking about, I know the differences, and I also know from experience in making my own inkjet digital prints and getting contone digital prints from pro labs that 200ppi

We're not talking about contone prints at 200 ppi here, or haven't been up to now, but about sending 200 ppi files to the halftoning engine of an inkjet printer.

is largely indistinguishable from 300ppi and that, therefore, at a given print size capturing more than 200ppi yields little to no benefit other than cropping. Hence, getting back to the original point, the benefit of 61MP over, say, 42MP is realized only a really huge print sizes that very few people ever make. 20MP is plenty for a salable poster-size print.

I can tell you from experience that, with a 17-inch high print, you can tell the difference between a 36 MP capture and a 50 MP one. With a 34-inch high print, the difference is quite noticeable, but not striking.


-- hide signature --
 JimKasson's gear list:JimKasson's gear list
Nikon D5 Sony a9 Sony a7 III Nikon Z7 Fujifilm GFX 100 +4 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow