Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Started Nov 14, 2008 | Discussions
ryanholio Junior Member • Posts: 38
Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the problem but would more MP do the same thing?

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

Thanks,
Ryan

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,245
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

It also depends on sensor sizes. With the same sensor size you'll need 4x (not 2x) as much MP for a 300mm lens to give you the same "reach" as a 600mm lens. So, a 40MP camera with a 300mm lens is equivalent to a 10MP with a 600mm lens.

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

In these cases you have different sensor sizes, but the answer is still no. Using the longer lenses on the 1DIII will give you better reach and most probably much better quality and less noise.

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density. With the same lens, the 1DsIII has more pixel density, so the image of your subject will be put on more pixels.

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Andy

Andrew dB Contributing Member • Posts: 970
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

No but it would be if you had 40MP. Doubling focal length is similar to doubling the linear resolution of the sensor which in turn quadruples the pixel count.

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

the greater pixel density of the 1Ds3 would be roughly equivalent to a 340mm lens so well short of what you are looking for.

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

As mentioned above you would need a much higher pixel density and probably the only Canon DSLR that would give you the required density is the 50D.

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density is the key rather than sensor size.

P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII
so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

In a sense, you're not losing out by using a 1.6 crop sensor assuming you are using the higher pixel density to simulate a longer lens through cropping. The big advantage of the 1D3 or 1Ds3 compared to the smaller DSLRs is the added sensor size but a 22x15mm crop of the larger sensor will be comparable to the performance of the small sensor but without the resolving power.

Thanks,
Ryan

LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

i am assuming you mean if you crop the image from the 20mp cam will it be the same as an image from 10mp with a higher zoom

20mp is 50% more resolution on each side versus a 10mp,so 300mm +50% equals to a 450mm lens on a 10 mp.

BUT

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

Definitely not,because:

300mm on your 1DIII is equal to 300mmX1.3(cameras crop factor) this means its like using a 390mm on a 1DsIII.

Now if you put your lens on a 1DsIII and crop each side by 50%,thus making a 10mp image it would give you 50% more zoom,300 X 150 / 100=450mm

So switching to a 1DsIII will give you 450mm(on 10mp crop) versus the 390mm you are getting now,plain speaking 60mm more,or 15.384% more zoom.

Less than getting a 1.4X converter on your 300mmF2.8 which will make it a 420mmF4(546mm on your cropped 1DIII),or even a 2X converter and get a 600mmF5.6(780mm on your cropped 1DIII)

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

no because you will loose the 1.3X crop,gain 50% more,but that's it.No big difference.

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII
so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

You are correct,1DIII is excellent,no comparison with an xxD model

Get a 1.4X or a 2X converter,for about $300,and you get either 546mmF4 or a 780mmF5.6

Thanks,
Ryan

hope this post helps you make the right decision(and i apologize for all the mathematics)
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LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Or,judging by your equipment money no real problem,you can sell(or keep) the 300mmF2.8 and get a 400mmF2.8,500mmF4,600mmF4,or even the 800mmF5.6

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LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Andrew dB wrote:

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

No but it would be if you had 40MP. Doubling focal length is similar
to doubling the linear resolution of the sensor which in turn
quadruples the pixel count.

And noise which reduces the image sharpness

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

the greater pixel density of the 1Ds3 would be roughly equivalent to
a 340mm lens so well short of what you are looking for.

actually it would be a 450mm lens

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

As mentioned above you would need a much higher pixel density and
probably the only Canon DSLR that would give you the required density
is the 50D.

Which is by far the WORST decision you can make(trade a 1DIII for a 50D)

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density is the key rather than sensor size.

wrong

P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII
so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

In a sense, you're not losing out by using a 1.6 crop sensor assuming
you are using the higher pixel density to simulate a longer lens
through cropping. The big advantage of the 1D3 or 1Ds3 compared to
the smaller DSLRs is the added sensor size but a 22x15mm crop of the
larger sensor will be comparable to the performance of the small
sensor but without the resolving power.

You are forgetting the image quality parameter(a shot from 50D will be unbelievably softer than one from 1DIII)

Thanks,
Ryan

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OP ryanholio Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

Thanks a lot for the great input guys!

I already have the 1.4 X TC II. It works great but of course it slows down the AF a bit.

Looking at the samples of the different lenses on Juza's comparison ( http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/articles/canon_supertele_test-800-1200-1600.htm ) he does a lot of the lens lengths and TC's If you take and compare them I can get REALLY close to what a 600mm can do with the 2X converter by using Photoshop's curves and linear contrast and sharpening. Of course the 600mm is gonna be faster than a 300mm + 2C TC and the IQ is better but I can't justify the cost, weight of that lens. I am gonna try out a 2X TC and see how I like or don't like it. At leas teh 1Ds is now out of the equation. I may just need to sell some more stuff and keep the 300mm and add a 500mm to the arsenal. = )

Thanks again all!

LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

saynomore wrote:

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

It also depends on sensor sizes. With the same sensor size you'll
need 4x (not 2x) as much MP for a 300mm lens to give you the same
"reach" as a 600mm lens. So, a 40MP camera with a 300mm lens is
equivalent to a 10MP with a 600mm lens.

Correct

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

In these cases you have different sensor sizes, but the answer is
still no. Using the longer lenses on the 1DIII will give you better
reach and most probably much better quality and less noise.

Correct

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density. With the same lens, the 1DsIII has more pixel density,
so the image of your subject will be put on more pixels.

But,softer pixels

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Andy

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saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,245
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

LeonXTR wrote:

saynomore wrote:

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

It also depends on sensor sizes. With the same sensor size you'll
need 4x (not 2x) as much MP for a 300mm lens to give you the same
"reach" as a 600mm lens. So, a 40MP camera with a 300mm lens is
equivalent to a 10MP with a 600mm lens.

Correct

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

In these cases you have different sensor sizes, but the answer is
still no. Using the longer lenses on the 1DIII will give you better
reach and most probably much better quality and less noise.

Correct

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density. With the same lens, the 1DsIII has more pixel density,
so the image of your subject will be put on more pixels.

But,softer pixels

Correct

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Andy

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Andy

Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 17,963
Simple formula

This applies to distant subjects where the lens is not diffraction limited.

Multiply together:

Focal length
Crop factor
Pixel count in horizontal dimension (not MP count)
Teleconverter multiplier

If the resulting number is higher, you can resolve more detail.

From this number, you must back off a bit for things like diffraction and softness introduced by adding extra elements, if appropriate (if using a teleconverter).
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saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,245
you get some things wrong.

On the whole, your implying that longer lenses are the best-quality solution is right, but there's almost always money considerations. And very usually these decisions are made when you already are focal-length limited. Anyway, we don't know about the OP. If he can afford longer lenses, we'll agree that that's what he should get (until he's focal-length limited, then higher density cameras would be more relevant).

Pixel density does matter. Your calculations are not right because they don't take density into account. I'm too lazy to confirm Andrew's numbers above right now, but for example this you said:

300mm on your 1DIII is equal to 300mmX1.3(cameras crop factor) this
means its like using a 390mm on a 1DsIII.

is wrong. Andrew's number is more like it. You should take pixel density into account as well. It's also true that the 50D or 1DsIII might give you "softer" pixels, but that's due to the AA filter (the L lenses in question are very much up to par with that kind of density), and unless you got detailed empirical tests of that, I don't think it's right just dismissing density out of hand. Higher-density cameras have been used by birders for years, some preferring the 1.6 crops over even the 1D cameras.

LeonXTR wrote:

i am assuming you mean if you crop the image from the 20mp cam will
it be the same as an image from 10mp with a higher zoom

[...]

Now if you put your lens on a 1DsIII and crop each side by 50%,thus
making a 10mp image it would give you 50% more zoom

[...]

So switching to a 1DsIII will give you 450mm(on 10mp crop) versus the
390mm you are getting now,plain speaking 60mm more,or 15.384% more
zoom.

You didn't really mean "zoom" did you?

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Andy

saynomore Veteran Member • Posts: 4,245
Nice, but why not vertical?

Victor Engel wrote:

This applies to distant subjects where the lens is not diffraction
limited.

Multiply together:

Focal length
Crop factor
Pixel count in horizontal dimension (not MP count)
Teleconverter multiplier

If the resulting number is higher, you can resolve more detail.

From this number, you must back off a bit for things like diffraction
and softness introduced by adding extra elements, if appropriate (if
using a teleconverter).

Isn't vertical (the shorter dimension) better to compare cameras with different ratios? Or are crop factors (for instance, the 2x of FourThirds) calculated based on the horizontal? I guess I could just look up the specs...

EDIT: Yeah, looking at the specs, horizontal it is. I still think vertical is more relevant to come up with crop factors though.
--
Andy

Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 17,963
Re: Nice, but why not vertical?

saynomore wrote:

Isn't vertical (the shorter dimension) better to compare cameras with
different ratios? Or are crop factors (for instance, the 2x of
FourThirds) calculated based on the horizontal? I guess I could just
look up the specs...

EDIT: Yeah, looking at the specs, horizontal it is. I still think
vertical is more relevant to come up with crop factors though.
--
Andy

I wasn't going to mention this, in order to be as simple as possible. You can use any linear dimension. Possibilities are horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and square root of megapixel count. Just as long as you use the SAME dimension for each camera.

I could have obfuscated things further by mentioning aspect ratio, but I chose to assume any camera being considered used the same aspect ratio, so it can be ignored.

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drookie Regular Member • Posts: 159
No it's not!

When you crop an image in anyway you degrade the orignal. I used to try and get away with a 300 and framing diferent when I used E6 (AKA slide film) the whole idea was that I would just use the top half of a vertical frame. It degraded it too much most of the time to be printed in the mags. If you need to shoot 600 shoot 600. A bigger scensor helps you be able to have some cropping wiggle room but it doesn't add resolution to the lens. If that was the case we would all be shooting 50mm 50MP all the time and just cropping.
--
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rlshep Senior Member • Posts: 2,112
Another thing to consider is...

... how large the subject is in the frame. In my experience, no matter how good the camera or the lens, it's far easier to get better results on a bird, animal or whatever when it fills a reasonable area of the frame. 21 megapixels are all very well (and very nice to have) but if you are trying to photograph a small bird a long way away, then chances are you are going to struggle to get it really sharp. If you were using a 1.6x crop camera, then the bird is going to fill more of the frame and there should be a better chance of accurate focusing, aside from all the other factors mentioned above.
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----------------------------------
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Andrew dB Contributing Member • Posts: 970
Re: Is a 300mm @21mp same as a 600mm@10mp?

LeonXTR wrote:

Andrew dB wrote:

ryanholio wrote:

If I am shooting with lets say a 300mm f/2.8 that is 20+ MP camera is
that about the same as shooting with a 10mp camera using a 600mm lens?

No but it would be if you had 40MP. Doubling focal length is similar
to doubling the linear resolution of the sensor which in turn
quadruples the pixel count.

And noise which reduces the image sharpness

It's not the pixel count that's causing problems it's the fact that you are effectively using a much smaller sensor area which increases noise.

The reason I ask is I have a 1D MK III and a 300mm f/2.8 IS lens. IF
I were to switch to say a 1Ds MK III at 21MP is it ABOUT equal to a
using a 500-600mm Lens on my 10mp 1D MK III?

the greater pixel density of the 1Ds3 would be roughly equivalent to
a 340mm lens so well short of what you are looking for.

actually it would be a 450mm lens

No, the linear pixel density of the 1Ds3 is 15% higher than that of the 1D3 which translates to a 300mm lens being effectively a 340mm lens (probably closer to 345mm) when you crop the 1Ds3 to the same pixel density. Where on Earth are you getting a 50% higher pixel density from?

I find that shooting small birds/animals I have to REALLY crop to get
anything worthwhile. I know a longer focal length would solve the
problem but would more MP do the same thing?

As mentioned above you would need a much higher pixel density and
probably the only Canon DSLR that would give you the required density
is the 50D.

Which is by far the WORST decision you can make(trade a 1DIII for a 50D)

Not if you don't plan to buy massive lenses for something like birding although the 1D3 has plenty of other qualities that put it above the 50D that should influence any decision.

Other than the 1.3 crop factor what am I missing here?

Pixel density is the key rather than sensor size.

wrong

Actually it isn't. Increasing the pixel density allows you to enlarge the image more thus giving some of the advantages of a longer lens (up to a point).

Take a 6MP 1.6x crop sensor and tell me how much extra reach that gives you versus the 1D3. The answer is zero because they have the same pixel density and it's not giving you anything that you couldn't achieve by cropping the 1D3 image because it isn't recording any more detail in the centre of the image.

P.S. I already have a 40D and it is not nearly as good as the MKIII
so I don't want to go the 1.6 route.

In a sense, you're not losing out by using a 1.6 crop sensor assuming
you are using the higher pixel density to simulate a longer lens
through cropping. The big advantage of the 1D3 or 1Ds3 compared to
the smaller DSLRs is the added sensor size but a 22x15mm crop of the
larger sensor will be comparable to the performance of the small
sensor but without the resolving power.

You are forgetting the image quality parameter(a shot from 50D will
be unbelievably softer than one from 1DIII)

The difference will be far less than you think with any good lens. People who have conducted proper tests on the 50D have shown it gives almost exactly the gain in measured resolution that you would expect from the increase in pixel density.

If you're photographing small objects such as birds where you can't fill the frame, the 50D's extra resolution will pay dividends over the 1D3 when you are limited by the focal length of your available lens. The advantage of the 1D3's larger sensor counts for absolutely nothing in these circumstances.

can_ka_no_rey Senior Member • Posts: 1,564
Here are my thoughts:

You need to see it as pixel density. Go take a look at dpreviews' Reviews of bodies. You'll see the Pixel density of a 21Mp FF body is equal to a 8Mp x1,6 APS-C sensor body.

So roughly, shooting 300mm L IS on 21Mp is like shooting 480mm L IS on 8Mp. Not as much as you hoped to huh?

Seriously, birding with a 300mm lens isn't the right option. It's of course not the same price, but I would consider

500L + APS-C Body or
500L + TC x1,4 + FF Body
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grandellphoto Junior Member • Posts: 35
Get a teleconverter

Get yourself a teleconverter. Say you use the two times, you loose about 2 stops of light (if I am not mistaken), making your 2.8 lens a 5.6 (check my counting am not mistaken). You now have a 600mm f/5.6 lens, taking a 20+ MP picture. And for what about $180 if memory serves me.

Plus, now you get the best of both worlds, and could drop a little more if you like. And lets face it, if you are birding, that two stops of light probably will not make as large a difference as if you were shooting indoors.
--
Chris

Thicoz Contributing Member • Posts: 856
hum

20mp with a 300mm+ 2XTC. I don't think you'll get your 20mps...

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LeonXTR Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: you get some things wrong.

saynomore wrote:

On the whole, your implying that longer lenses are the best-quality
solution is right, but there's almost always money considerations.
And very usually these decisions are made when you already are
focal-length limited. Anyway, we don't know about the OP. If he can
afford longer lenses, we'll agree that that's what he should get
(until he's focal-length limited, then higher density cameras would
be more relevant).

Pixel density does matter. Your calculations are not right because
they don't take density into account. I'm too lazy to confirm
Andrew's numbers above right now, but for example this you said:

Actually i am very much right

Leave the math to people who are not too "lazy",don't draw conclusions without having basic knowledge of math or digital technology.

300mm on your 1DIII is equal to 300mmX1.3(cameras crop factor) this
means its like using a 390mm on a 1DsIII.

is wrong. Andrew's number is more like it. You should take pixel
density into account as well.

I did took pixel density into consideration,read my post,don't be "lazy"(or not-smart)

It's also true that the 50D or 1DsIII
might give you "softer" pixels,

It will DEFINITELY give you a softer image

but that's due to the AA filter (the
L lenses in question are very much up to par with that kind of
density), and unless you got detailed empirical tests of that,

Read dpreview's review on 50d

I
don't think it's right just dismissing density out of hand.
Higher-density cameras have been used by birders for years, some
preferring the 1.6 crops over even the 1D cameras.

Find me one,ONE professional (and by that i mean someone who makes his living out of the pictures he shoots),that will prefer a 50d over a 1DIII for ANY KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY

i am assuming you mean if you crop the image from the 20mp cam will
it be the same as an image from 10mp with a higher zoom

[...]

Now if you put your lens on a 1DsIII and crop each side by 50%,thus
making a 10mp image it would give you 50% more zoom

[...]

So switching to a 1DsIII will give you 450mm(on 10mp crop) versus the
390mm you are getting now,plain speaking 60mm more,or 15.384% more
zoom.

You didn't really mean "zoom" did you?

What else would i meant?

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