Question about Pixel Shift and lenses

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fferreres Senior Member • Posts: 1,888
Question about Pixel Shift and lenses

I intuitively have my guess that a camera with Pixel Shift would need a lens able to resolve at the new resolution (even if Pixel Shift isn’t perfect or the same as a x*sensor). However, on the other hand, intuitively, if it can resolve well at the native resolution, then it should do so if the sensors is shifted 1/2 or 1 pixel in any direction as well. So, understandably, my intuition isn’t enough to be able to answer “does Pixel Shift” require a lens being able to resolve at the native resolution or at the computed one to take full advantage? This can be stated also as, wiill I be satisfied with Pixel Shift if I was already very satisfied (but not regarding resolution) at the native sensor resolution? Of course, I sense that how much contrast I really have at the smallest frequencies the native resolution can map from a particular lens will dictate what I can get from a Pixel Shift version. If contrast was already low, mushy of sorts, then I presume PS would not help much (two mushy things end up combining to a largely minimally improved very mushy thing at the new resolution).

If I had to be money, I’d say the lens does not need to be good at the PS resolution, but the gain will be proportional to the contrast achieved at the highest frequency related to the sensor pitch. If the contrast was say 60% then it will gain a lot. But if it was 20%, not much benefit.

So ultimately the benefit will depend on the level of microcontrast at pixel level on the native resolution and not need to resolve at the new resolution we’ll. But likewise, assuming 4x MP gains (double the linear  frequency) a lens that resolves with high contrast in the native resolution will tend to more than not still resolve (with some less contrast of course) to anyway resolve well at the new spatial frequency.

So in general, how I understand it is you benefit to the proportion the lens was not already a limiting factor, but generally, if it was already quite good, would likely still be good at 4x the megapixels. And if already bad, little to nothing gained. So it may be ending so that the question isn’t the best way to ask it, and rather say the benefit is proportional to how much clarity is already there at the native resolution.

How are thing really? Is there any way to assess how much can be gained depending on the lens in question or looking at the MTF, etc?

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