Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,628
Re: Reasons for wanting higher mega pixel count
1

joger wrote:

unfortunately these discussions are utterly useless.

You'll find two types of people participating:

One group will tell you that its stupid to "waste" pixel you'll never going to see - I have a problem with the framing "wasting" to begin with.

You're oversampling not throwing away pixels - they get used not wasted.

Another group is telling that more is always better without thinking twice what those pixels could do for us.

Truth is that too small pixels might have effects from shrinking the individual pixel and thus can be lower in image quality. There was some years ago a Nokia image sensor with 40 Megapixel in a smartphone camera - this camera only worked acceptable in super bright sunlight since the pixels were too small for the slightest raise in ISO.

With the new A7R IV Sony states that the pixel efficiency was upped to the same level or even above the pixel level of the A7R III due to the better BSI signal conversion plus the new AD conversion. Let's cross fingers this is true.

Noise from sensors with the same generation of signal processing will be similarly noisy in the output result as long as the enlargement doesn't exceed your resolution of your eye.

So yes - an A6 sized print will always look fine - you need maximum 4 MP to exceed the resolution of the human eye with your nose sticking to the postcard.

( Fortunately most of us don't have to earn their money with post card photography )

The two groups argue with good arguments until none of the two is happy at the end.

Truth is that there are many reasons for more 'good' pixels.

  • cropping
  • oversampling
  • image corrections on pixel level
  • pixel level editing

It looks like Sony has upped the pixel level signal : noise ratio quite a bit and thus we should see at the same output size a better image quality compare to the A7R III. The A7R III was already better than the A7R II and better than the A7R.

This will not continue forever. There will be limits in efficiency and to my best knowledge we are in some areas reaching that. Jim has sure some measures for that.

I'd not expect that Sony will bring ongoing more pixels for the "R" models. At some point this will end. My guessing is 70..80 MP for FF might be a natural end and trade off between pixel size and possible efficiency. Maybe the sensor makers have some tricks here and there.

But there will be an end.

Some day there may be an end. I thought it was already here. It seemed like there was a 50 MP barrier. I didn't get it, becaus Sony makes a very capable 1" sensor that captures 20 MP, which is much smaller than 1/4 the size of a full-frame sensor, so even an 80 MP sensor would perform better at a per-pixel level than the current 1" sensor, and that assumes no improvements in technology over time. In a few years we might finally see an 80 MP full-frame senosor. I hope so. I'm wanting a 100 MP sensor. As far as ultimate sensor resolution though, there are 20 MP sensors that are 1/2.3" in size. That's literally a tiny sensor, and many of them would fit on a 1" sensor, so if Sony were to make a full-frame sensor with the same pixel pitch, it would be hundreds of megapixels. How good would the image quality be? I don't know. If sensor fill factors, efficiency, and noise reduction continue to improve, the quality might be fantastic. I don't expect a 200 MP full-frame sensor any time soon though. Look how long it's taken to break the 50 MP barrier. We might not even see a 100 MP sensor for years to come. This new Sony sensor might remain king of high-resolution, full-frame sensors, for years to come.

The current almost 61 MP pixel count seems to work great for Sony and the initial images published look stunning to say the least.

I agree, so they've proven the concept of higher megapixels. I'm hoping Nikon and Canon and even Panasonic will take this to heart and develop their own high-res sensors.

The 'meh' and 'no' sayers forget that we see advantages - the proof is in the pudding.

Agreed, and those same people had the same reaction when sensors started to creep up over 10 MP.

The discussion will have - unfortunately - never an effect since both phenotype groups will never admit that the other one is right ignoring the grey area between them.

This is a social behavior we see in the western world in many formerly civilized and grown up perceived countries.

I am very sad about that.

I don't understand why you think the group of nay-sayers is correct. They're just Luddites, who can't see the future coming. They couldn't see it coming back in 2005, and they won't see it coming in 2020. The future still comes though, and megapixels are greater and greater through the years. One day all digital cameras will capture the equivalent of 200 MP or more. That future is coming, but when it will be here I do not know. It might be in 2030 or it might not happen until 2050, but it's coming.

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Scott Barton Kennelly
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