AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

Started Aug 15, 2022 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 20,431
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

You can't really discount crop factor, especially when comparing to two non-crop cameras.

Why?  Because the 200-500 lens sharpness changes somewhat dramatically between center and edges.  The DX crop area is simply sharper inside than outside of it.  (I can point to many examples).

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

So - 24mp, 20 (cropped at that) and 45.

Pretty darn sure the 45mp images will be better than the others.   This from having shot 36MP since the D800 and the D850 plus now the Z9.

More pixels = better.  Simple as that.

But I can think of one way where lower pixel count cameras have an 'advantage' - when shooting with less-than-perfect glass, it will often look a little better on a lower MP camera than a higher MP camera.  Because the higher MP camera magnifies the flaws and makes it obvious to a pixel-peeper that there are unfortunate differences between center and edge.

To some extent, you change the way you shoot with high MP cameras - you typically end up shooting at faster shutter speeds than before as that masks handling issues.   My 80-400AF-D looked better on my 12mp D700 than the cropped area of my D300, which was kind of weird.

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Sure.  But different advantages for different situations.

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

It's an advantage.  You can always resample down to the same MP size as another camera, and in so doing you downsize noise at the same time.  You cannot compare a 45mp image with a 20mp image directly - it's apples and oranges.  But downsample the 45mp image to 20mp?  Valid comparison.

Higher MP can be a disadvantage in ways other pixel peepers getting dismayed at lens performance in the corners.  The files are bigger, which means more storage space and possibly the need for a faster computer.  But really there is no downside for IQ - just remember you can only compare at same MP level.

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