Some perspective on "is 20MP enough?"

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gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,197
Some perspective on "is 20MP enough?"
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So like many in the Canon ecosystem, I'm still on DSLRs and looking at either a R5 or R6. In truth, the R6 ticks all the boxes I need but I keep having that nagging thought if 20MP is enough to keep me happy or will I always wish I'd bought the R5 for more pixels? Is that tiny sounding number of "20 megapixels" really enough in 2021 when I have 30 now? Or when I can buy used Sony's for under a grand that have 42?

Then I come back to the "if you print big you need more pixels". Sure, 45 is always better than 20 if you're going big. But then again, 150MP with a medium format Phase One is even better. But I don't print big...hardly ever. But the "If I want to I could" mentality has set in to a degree. So for the rare occasion I may want a large wall hanger, what could I expect? Does 20 still deliver the goods here, or will anybody who views it laugh, point, and say I needed more pixels?

For some perspective...I did the ol' print test. Like I've done numerous times with the 20 and 30mp FF cameras I already have. I took one of DPR's R6 review samples, processed the RAW to my liking, then ran it through Gigapixel AI. Then, sized it to 24x36" (two feet by three feet), and printed a 4x6" cropped area of that image on my little Canon Selphy printer. This gives an idea of what you could expect from a large print. Is 24x36 'large'? To some, no. To others, humungous. Big enough in my book.

Here's what it spits out.  I give you a half-assed picture of a picture.  This level of detail would look more than decent framed on the wall IMHO. So yes, I'd have to say if I need to go big the R6 should do a fine enough job.  In these days of pixel peeping on large 4K or even higher monitors, zooming way in with the click of a button, it's easy to forget that when you're putting pixels to paper it doesn't take as much as we think.  Back in the film days, any print this size would have required medium format to not have a fuzzy, grainy mess.  Now even the 'low res' stuff does very admirably.

The original if you're interested:

https://www.dpreview.com/sample-galleries/6671206782/canon-eos-r6-sample-gallery/0452162953

But dang...I still want 45MP!  Ya know...just in case.

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