How many MP is enough?

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions
Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Forum Pro • Posts: 10,473
How big do you want to print?

I've made super-detailed 20" x 30" prints of landscape images from 11MP Canon 1Ds RAW files that look as good as anything I ever got from medium format film.

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Daniel Clune
Daniel Clune Veteran Member • Posts: 3,453
Re: How many MP is enough? For me

If I was never focul length limited I would be ok with about 30 but since iam often focul length limited I would like about 40 so I can still crop to say 1.6 and still get a decent amount of pixels on subject but if quality goes down to much then lower until tech can keep high quality pixels.
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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee Veteran Member • Posts: 6,186
Re: How big do you want to print?

Majikthize wrote:

I've made super-detailed 20" x 30" prints of landscape images from 11MP Canon 1Ds RAW files that look as good as anything I ever got from medium format film.

I would agree with that except for colour. The colour from film is better in my opinion.

I've scanned colour negs from 6x7. Prints are phenomenal. Files are enormous. Theoretically 80mp though there's grain. However prints are brilliant, but too tedious for normal use.
I still have my 6x7 cameras (last used maybe 2 years ago)

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DotCom Editor Veteran Member • Posts: 7,261
21MP is great, 40 would be, uh, more great

I turn out gallery-grade work from my 5D2 (and even my old 20D). No complaints. But, more pixels would mean less interpolation when making my 40x60-inch prints.

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yabokkie Regular Member • Posts: 483
the size of a door or bed

I think that's the standard size for TVs in the near future (the high-end now). at that size we will "print" 1800 pages per minute, 14400 ppm for sports.

the standard resolution will be 8K (30-40MPix) in a decade, 16K (120-160MPix) for home theaters, and 4K (8MPix) for kitchen and bathroom I think.

chironNYC Senior Member • Posts: 2,396
Re: 40MPix is the minimum

Interesting link, but I don't see where you got the 88pix from. As I read it the author is saying 24 mpix in the real world.

TonyCo wrote:

After reading this post, I did a search and found this: 88MP?

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_megapixels_would_it_take_to_equal_a_35mm_film_maximum_quality

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tomboy Senior Member • Posts: 1,107
Re: How many MP is enough?

60 thousand should do it..but in ten years u can expect million pixels

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photo_rb Contributing Member • Posts: 717
In the days of film....

...while not completely equitable, most people were quite happy with the size and flexibility of 35mm. Many (but not all) pros and advanced amateurs used medium format, and a few fools even went to 4x5 and larger.

I guess now you could say that todays full frame 35mm DSLR is equivalent to yesterday's medium format for quality, and digital medium format is equivalent to the old 4x5. There are still fools who would love to have a 80MP medium format camera...me for one.

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Dena Flows Regular Member • Posts: 391
21Mpix is OVERKILL 99,99% of the times

My 5DII's files have been too large on 99,99% of the photos I've taken with it.

For the remaining 0,01% I would had needed more that 100Mpix. Is the case of those times when you REALLY need HEAVY cropping.

And I shoot mainly 1600iso concert photos, which I regularly publish in professional magazines and do expositions printing 90x60cms copies.

Most likely, 12Mpix is more than enough even for professionals. Actually, It's been so many years.

All this being said, if only for that 0,01%, I would happily buy a 40+ Mpix camera.

All the best. Dena Flows

photoshutter Contributing Member • Posts: 748
Re: How many MP is enough?

8-12mp is more than enough.
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tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,615
Re: How many MP is enough?

I took a 36MP picture and split it into 9 11x16 pictures(33x48). Came out pretty well.

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: How many MP is enough?

For me, 12mp on full frame is great. But it isn't that simple. The new Nikon shoots in DX mode at about 16mp, and this is just perfect for photographing BIF, particularly since the tracking AF is very good. In addition, the camera offers a 1.2X crop and a 5 by 4 crop, which works well with several endeavors. So it appears the extra pixels provides the ability for some nice options. I think a 24mp camera with the option of 1.5X crop would also make a nice product. Still, for everyday shooting, 12mp is excellent resolution. I don't need 24 or 36 at full resolution. I'm sure others do, particularly landscape photographers. So I doubt there is one right answer to this question.

sjprg
sjprg Senior Member • Posts: 1,884
Re: How many MP is enough?

I'll settle for 180MP for the present.
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gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,714
For all practical purposes...

I'm there already. For my personal work and needs my 12.8mp 5D does just fine. It offers excellent detail and IQ at sizes I print at, and still allows for for heavy cropping.

For paid work the 5D2 is doing the job very well and will continue to do so. My clients were always happy even when I was shooting at 11mp with a 1Ds a year ago, nobody EVER complained the images were too small. 21mp delivers files bigger than most clients ever have a use for.

I'm sure many years down the road 21mp will look like a small number, and I'll need to upgrade. For today all a 30+mp DSLR will get me is a fuller hard drive and slower editing times. I sure would like that Sony DR though
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jedinstvo
jedinstvo Senior Member • Posts: 1,914
My biggest photo runs 469 pixels wide

That's because my newspaper doesn't run them any bigger than that. Still, I like high-quality images that will be suitable for something else someday. But my Canon 30D, with 3.25 megapixels, made very nice images. There's no point in comparing digital to Kodachrome 25. They are not the same and never will be.

Stop worrying about all this stuff that doesn't matter. What matters is getting out there and making exposures.

Peter 13 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,301
Re: How many MP is enough?

Funny thing, a year ago I was reading a long thread in the Nikon FF forums. Almost everybody (owning the D700 anyway) believed that 12 mp was enough. The roles changed now. Apparently in the Nikon world, 36mp is welcome, but 22 mp became the new "enough", for the Canonites. Go figure.

alien3333 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,476
12MP like the classic 5D :)

save my cash for big cards

sacentre wrote:

Not directly related to Canon but what with all the talk about the magapixel count of current sensors and whether or not a large MP Canon body was on the cards, I thought I'd post my question here.

A while ago, there was talk of the "equivalence" of MP count to analogue film grain and seem to recall someone saying that 25MP would be roughly equivalent to ASA 64 or maye it was 25.

Is this sort of equivalence comparison still valid? How many MPs would be considered the equivalent of a Kodachrone ASA 25 slide today? I realise MP is only one factor in IQ and not the whole story but how many would be enough all else considered?

When I look at the MP race which seems to be taking place at the moment, I'm reminded of the over-sampling race that dominated the CD player market at one time and the marketing hype that made us all think higher oversampling meant better sound.

Just wondering.

Trevor

sjprg
sjprg Senior Member • Posts: 1,884
Re: 21MP is great, 40 would be, uh, more great

I'm with you DotCom. Just added a D800E to my stable with a 24mm 1.4. Tommorow I heading for Big Sur to see what Rocky Point and Julia Phiffer looks like at 48X72.
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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: How many MP is enough?

Peter 13 wrote:

Funny thing, a year ago I was reading a long thread in the Nikon FF forums. Almost everybody (owning the D700 anyway) believed that 12 mp was enough. The roles changed now. Apparently in the Nikon world, 36mp is welcome, but 22 mp became the new "enough", for the Canonites. Go figure.

I see this a lot, and it is just wrong, IMO. I think D700 owners, like me, are satisfied with the camera because 12mp actually is enough for most endeavors. The fact that the sensor performs so brilliantly and that the functionality is so good doesn't hurt either. Nikon didn't ask us what we wanted as an upgrade.

Many D700 owners, like me, have tried DX crop sensor cameras to get better reach for certain situations, like wildlife and sports, and I expect most of them find, as I do, that the cameras don't perform as well as the D700, primarily because of the AF system. For those who have $8000 lying around idle the easy answer is to put a new 500mm f4 lens with a TC on the D700 and get the reach they need. For many of us a 300mm f4 is as long as it gets, so of course the D800 is immediately attractive. Shooting in DX crop mode the camera has great reach for all those times when we needed a second camera to augment our D700s (note that a Canon 21mp sensor doesn't have enough reach either, especially since the only way to do crop mode is to deal with the full sized image).

So some of us are stepping lightly into the D800 (D800E for me just shipped). I'm not sure I want it yet, even though it has shipped. I'm not sure I can believe that it does ISO6400 as well as a D700. I'm not sure I want to deal with full sized images, although I have plenty of computer and storage. I wasn't crazy about the large file size of the D7000. But I want that kind of reach, and I want a top notch AF system to make it useful. If the D800 AF is only as good as the D700, I'm all in.

This is what Nikon has given us, and it is up to D700 owners to decide if they want the added mix of benefits and liabilities. I'm going to try it, but I will keep my D700 for now because it is quite simply the best camera I have ever owned (I've owned a bunch of them since the 60s).

I believe a lot of the hype and excitement about the new camera is coming from owners of other systems. And apparently the sales are as well. If only Nikon users were buying these cameras you wouldn't be able to sell a D800E for $5000 on ebay, but if you check completed auctions you will see that you can. If the only buyers were current D700 owners, Nikon would be in trouble because many of them are not going to do it. But I think you have quite a few members in this forum who would give up a testicle for a D800E.

Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 18,557
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