Is 20MP enough? Wrapping my own head around R/P (or R5) vs R6

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 4,727
Re: Is 20MP enough? Wrapping my own head around R/P (or R5) vs R6

RLight wrote:

The Nikon Z folks have the same corundum, as do the Sony folks...

45MP or 24MP?

Except for us, it's 45MP or 20MP?

The answer however, is the same...

Likewise, I'll quote the 1DX III's Snapshot Asia article itself...

"Higher: Image quality, processing power

Taking imaging to the next level

The 20.1 effective megapixel resolution of the EOS-1D X Mark III might not seem like much of a difference from its predecessor, but behind that number lies enormous improvements to image quality brought about by incorporating various new technologies and features. This resolution was selected to achieve balance with the numerous advancements to specifications that we have previously described.

Know this: 20.1 megapixels is sufficient to create an A3-size print."

Lastly, have a peek at the sample gallery for the 1DX Mark III...

If you're perfectly happy with the images out of the 1DX III gallery, and don't crop frequently, it's a "winner".

The trouble becomes either if you crop, or print larger than A3 regularly.

If however it's going straight to social media, printed on A3 or smaller, viewed on even a 4K TV or high end 5K displays, you're simply not going to see the difference. But, your computer (if you're post processing RAWs), hard drive space and SD cards will all thank you.

As Ken Rockwell says, I don't have the exact quote, but essentially your shooting technique, particularly shooting at a higher shutter, is going to make a bigger difference in sharpness than most gear will. Likewise, the R6's improvements with SOOC output (JPEG engine improved and HEIF support added), autofocus and increased FPS for catching the fleeting moment, ISO handling, Dynamic Range, outweigh the loss of MP vs the R or RP in my book, unless you're a landscape only user shooting base ISO most of the time and have an R, not an RP (as the Dynamic range on the RP makes it less suitable for landscapes).

Trust me, I had to wrap my head around this last night; is it worth $1500 for 8K video and 45MP? I very rarely crop and the only time I do is when I'm shooting something far away with the wrong lens; not common.

Likewise, having owned the M6 Mark II with it's 14FPS and more advanced AF, I can say I really, really wish my EOS R with the RF 28-70 F/2L had more FPS, and had better AF. And somewhat frequently I wish my EOS R had just a little more ISO performance (noise), and likewise I wish it had more dynamic range. And then I got spoiled on uncropped 4K on the M6 Mark II.

The R6 is not to be underestimated at a mere 20MP. Wasn't that long ago in the DSLR world we were shooting either 22MP (5DIII), 21MP (5D Mark II) and lets not forget the 1DX II and III are both 20MP, which never stopped pro sports photographers or other wedding / event pro's from shooting entire affairs with.

But, unlike the DSLR predecessors around 20MP of the past, it addresses key issues from it's DSLR brethren that were common place complaints during the 5D Mark III era:

Autofocus microadjustment is banished with DPAF

Autofocus with eye-AF is now introduced, and perfected in the R5/R6 making fleeting candid portraits a breeze and not so fleeting

IBIS, with in-lens IS combination banishes camera shake

Improved DR and ISO mean you can mess up on exposure and fix it later or shoot in even lower light with reduced noise

4K uncropped video without rolling shutter, at 60 frames at that

12FPS with 20 in live view

Silent shutter

Touch and drag AF

AWB improvements

JPEG Engine, noise reduction, sharpness improvements


Where Canon distinguishes itself from it's mirrorless competitors:


SOOC / RAW Color reproduction

DPAF in video

Combination IBIS+Lens IS (except Panasonic)

-6.5EV without the camera stopping down ala Sony

Higher end RF glass access

(Inexpensive) EF glass access via adapter with native AF response in both stills and video (unlike Sony which is 90% stills but only 50% in video via metabones) AND combination IS support

HEIF Support

4K/60 support (vs competiting mid-range FF MILCs)


Really when you think about it, the only penalty the R6 has vs it's Z6 and A7 III counterparts is 4MP. Otherwise, it's beating them with glass, handling, colors, video, FPS, or combination IS.


Likewise, unless you're planning on viewing your footage on a greater than 5K screen (rare), printing on larger than A3 (rare), or crop frequently (only you know), than the extra MP go to waste, well unless you're a studio shooter (you know who you are) and need every last ounce of contrast and tones when downsampled for higher end paid gigs.

$1500 isn't chump change for most of us.

And neither is a 50MB RAW (24MP output) vs 100MB RAW (45MP output) for our computers.

I hope this helps someone other than me who is struggling to understand the R6 and why it makes sense for most of us R and RP owners over an R5. It's as DPR says, the R5 for the masses...

Everyone paying for and carrying lots of glass should go with the R5 because of the 45Mp. I'm not saying 20Mp isn't enough. But my first Sony Alpa 200 dslr had 10Mp from what i remember, and that was enough too. But it isn't always about enough, sometimes it's about more than enough. Yes, 45Mp is overkill. But once you're invested in overkill glass you should go with the overkill Mp-count too. And once you start arguing 20Mp is overkill you should sell your overkill glass too.

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EF glass = bang for my buck

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