Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,596
Re: Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count

canonpfs wrote:

Much is said about the Sony A7R IV's "too high" mega pixel count. It seems the only reason that people can think of for needing a high mega pixel count is cropping. Besides cropping, here are two additional reasons for wanting more mega pixels:

1. Sharper images. Have you ever looked at an image on your rear LCD and thought that they were sharp only to find them blurry on your home monitor? Yes, I know we should look at our images on the LCD at higher magnifications but please bear with me for a moment. The reason why the blurry images looked sharp on the LCD is because a large image is displayed very small. So you shoot in low light and there is a breeze. You are already at a high ISO to get a higher shutter speed but the flowers in the foreground are still slightly out of focus. With lots of mega pixels available this image can be down sampled. At a smaller size the flowers are now sharp. Taking an image from 61MP down to say 18MP sharpens slightly out of focus areas.

2. Lower noise. Provided the 61MP sensor provides the same high ISO performance as the 42MP sensor the larger sensor will result in lower noise when down sampled. Noise just seems to magically disappear with down sampling. So if you have noise in the 61MP image just down sample it and the perceptible noise will be less.

3. Higher usable ISO. For the same reason as mentioned above the higher mega pixel count allows you to use a higher ISO because the additional noise generated by the higher ISO will be cancelled out by down sampling the image (within reason of course).

So call me crazy if you please but I am very pleased with the higher mega pixel count. It has its uses other than just cropping.

I can't imagine having too many pixels in a photo. Sure, it might slow down my computer. It's time for me to get a new computer anyway, so that would give me an excuse to get one that's maybe four times as fast (mine is 8 years old now), with at least twice the RAM and faster ports. (I only have USB 2, and USB 3 would let me do some things ten times as fast.) Still, I've upgraded my cameras quite a lot to higher resolution models during the time I've had my current computer, and frankly that doesn't seem to slow down my computer that much. Today's 6-core computers with 16 GB of RAM must be so fast that even a 100 MP photo wouldn't slow them down at all.

Cropping is nice, but I just like to be able to see details in my photos that I couldn't see when I shot photos with my 10 MP Sony R1 or my 12 MP Canon 5D. Really big prints seem to just need a lot more pixels to look good, and I want to be able to make really big prints from any photo I shoot. That means I need to shoot the best "quality" photos I can, whenever I shoot photos, but that means taking a tripod with me everywhere these days. Sure, I don't always use it, but I know I should. How can you expect to get sharp pictures if you have motion blur?

Ultimately I think the extra pixels of the new Sony A7r IV will make almost no difference for most people most of the time, but for some people, when they use a tripod or a very fast shutter speed and a really good lens at f5.6 or f4, the image quality will be a bit better, and I like that Sony has decided to let people buy a camera that's capable of doing that. After-all, why limit people who want to shoot really high-definition photos? It seems pretty obvious to me that a lot of people want the extra pixels. Sure, there are those people who are happy with a 20 MP camera, but there are people who are happy with their cell phone photos too. This is real photography (with interchangeable lenses, which is all about more quality really), so why limit people, when the technology is readily available to make sensors that capture more data?

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Scott Barton Kennelly

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