Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions
PK24X36NOW Senior Member • Posts: 1,877
Re: DPR samples ;)

Robin Casady wrote:

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

All 3 from DPR studio test shots. i downloaded the jpegs and compared each file zoomed in at 150 and 200% the d800 beats all hands down but i dont see a big different between the 7100 and 600 to justify going to FX. Im thinking d800 if i make the move because for landscapes i can still manage how many images i take. Sports might be a different scenario with those huge files, crop factor ay come in handy there.

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

Actually, it is only less challenging to get sharp corners IF the lens you're using is good enough (to resolve the DX corners with the detail at less than half the size as compared with FX better than it can resolve the FX corners with the detail at more than twice the size as compared with DX) - otherwise (i.e., as a rule), you actually get better image quality everywhere with FX, even the corners.

The challenge is finding a lens that is good enough. Mose wide lenses have problems with the corners on FX.

I think you have it backwards, i.e., its tough to find a lens good enough to make the DX corners better than the FX corners. It is only with the best lenses at their best apertures that the DX corners will be better, despite using less of the image circle, due to the much higher demand on lens resolution on the smaller sensor (across the entire frame).

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 13,574
FX for low light

24mp is 24mp - same resolution, regardless of being from a cell phone, dx, fx or medium format camera.   The quality of those pixels can vary a lot though.

As far as 'sharpness' goes, between DX and FX, it's a bit of a wash, but usually more in favor of DX.   With DX not using the corners (of FX lenses), you 'gain sharpness' at the edges of the frame.  On the other hand, you stress the center of the lens a bit more, so it's conceivable that some lenses may look better on FX than DX.  (My AF-D 80-400 seemed that way).

But resolution isn't why you choose DX or FX, unless you are talking about cropping.

The significant different in DX and FX these days is low light performance (and cost, of course.)  For a given sensor generation, an FX camera tends to have a 1-stop advantage in low light over a DX camera.    That's the main reason you'd want FX.

Of course you're going to pay for that, in various ways.

-the camera costs more.  (Expensive sensor)

-the lenses cost more (wide angle FX lenses have to be significantly bigger)

-FX wide angle lenses tend to be harder to pack (because they're bigger)

-you worry more about corner IQ with FX, both sharpness and IQ

-wildlife shooters lose pixels on subject when they crop

-landscape shooters lose some depth of field with FX

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fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX
1

Moto1d wrote:

After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

Ah...well no. why would you leave lower noise, better dynamic range, and better high iso performance aside? It can also be said that if you have enough disposable income, why not just get the D600, and be done with it, because it matches or slightly surpasses the D800 in all but resolution, and build quality.

The D7100 is not such a leap up from the D7000, but the D600 is, at least if you get one without the reported dust issues. Check DXOmark, and compare the two cameras side, by side, include the D800 for fun.

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sandy b
sandy b Veteran Member • Posts: 8,594
I would never buy a gray camera.

Go for a Nikon Refurb of the Nikon site. I saw them recently there for about $2300. Do not go gray, you have to have a Nikon warranty for a $2300 dollar camera IMO.

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ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: FX for low light
1

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

24mp is 24mp - same resolution, regardless of being from a cell phone, dx, fx or medium format camera.   The quality of those pixels can vary a lot though.

Depending on what you mean by "resolution".

As far as 'sharpness' goes, between DX and FX, it's a bit of a wash, but usually more in favor of DX.   With DX not using the corners (of FX lenses), you 'gain sharpness' at the edges of the frame.

Why can you not crop on FX?

Of course you're going to pay for that, in various ways.

-the camera costs more.  (Expensive sensor)

Thats all you pay.

-the lenses cost more (wide angle FX lenses have to be significantly bigger)

No they dont. for the same performance you generally pay less. compare 12-24 vs 18-35. (18-35 is actually a higher performing lens)

-FX wide angle lenses tend to be harder to pack (because they're bigger)

They are not, again, compare 12-24 vs 18-35. In fact, at only 381g, the 18-35 is almost the lightest UWA lens for all Canikon SLRs (for both APS-C and FF). most aps-c UWA are around 385g to 550g, the only lighter UWA is tamron 11-178, but that is such as slow ans sucky lens comparing it to the 18-35 is like comparing film era 28-85 to today's 24-70.

It is only bigger if you want ultimate performance which cannot be matched on APS-C so you cannot compare anyway.

-you worry more about corner IQ with FX, both sharpness and IQ

Corner IQ and sharpness concerns are exactly the same with aps-c as they are with FF. especially if you are talking about UWA since all UWA lenses for aps-c are aps-c only lenses. (EFS or DX lens)

-wildlife shooters lose pixels on subject when they crop

What is the difference between native aps-c and cropped FF?

-landscape shooters lose some depth of field with FX

This is completely false, unless you are shooting a lens with minimum aperture of F8 - which i do not think exists.

pes084k1 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

AZBlue wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

Something i was a little confused over was this. If an FX sensors pixel is large than a DX pixel then this should mean that printing each 1for 1 the FX would appear to be lower resoution or lower quality correct?  Im not sure how it could be any other way. Yes the sensor fits a larger or wider image in the frame but the pixel size is still larger.

Limiting my answer to the realm of printing... maximum resolution of D7100 is 6000x4000 pixels while maximum resolution of D600 is 6016x4016 pixels, so essentially the same. Printing at 1:1, you will get identical size prints at identical resolution and sharpness from each camera regardless of sensor size used. When printing, it's about the number of pixels, not the size of the sensor, that determines your size of print at a given output resolution.

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The issue has not an easy response, without factoring in post processing and camera architecture. Smaller pixels have higher MTF at the same frequency, but also higher noise. Moreover, the D7100 has not any AA filter. On the contrary, the same lens (even a diffraction-limited one) has higher MTF on a FX sensor (about 13-15%), which in turn has less noise. The DX for the same field of view has more depth of field, which favours perceived sharpness, and less vibrations handheld. Best DX lenses generally have better resolution than FX ones, but the choice is very limited.

So no naive comparison is acceptable. We have to choose the right lenses (same angle of view, optimum sharpness for each sensor), apertures giving the same depth of field in the same light and the optimal denoising/sharpening options, still different among cameras, and compare prints or at least 100% monitor images at 0.9 m of distance or more (or by a Retina display, to avoid seeing digital aliasing and artifacts at high frequencies). With a serious DX prime the difference at low ISO should be very limited (as I see with NEX 5n and D700) or nonexistent or even reversed because of easier stabilization of lenses.

Joe Tam Contributing Member • Posts: 832
noisy

I have the D700, D3, D7000, and D4.  The Nikon shutters(excluding the D7000) are like lawnmowers compared to the Canon 5d MK3(quiet mode) and 6d.  I have been at many assignments next to 5d MK3 and been embarassed how loud the Nikons are.  Even the D4 quiet mode is quite loud compare to 5d.  I tested the D600 and D800 and the D600 seem to be the quietest of the lot but not Canon quiet.

The D700 is super loud.  I've had to use the D7000 quiet mode in sensitive situations even though the image quality is terrible compared to the D4 and even D700.  I think it's the quietest Nikon camera I have ever used and I wish all Nikon cameras were this quiet.

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Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: DPR samples ;)

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

Actually, it is only less challenging to get sharp corners IF the lens you're using is good enough (to resolve the DX corners with the detail at less than half the size as compared with FX better than it can resolve the FX corners with the detail at more than twice the size as compared with DX) - otherwise (i.e., as a rule), you actually get better image quality everywhere with FX, even the corners.

The challenge is finding a lens that is good enough. Mose wide lenses have problems with the corners on FX.

I think you have it backwards, i.e., its tough to find a lens good enough to make the DX corners better than the FX corners. It is only with the best lenses at their best apertures that the DX corners will be better, despite using less of the image circle, due to the much higher demand on lens resolution on the smaller sensor (across the entire frame).

The Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S is a good example of a lens that does better on DX than FX. It is very sharp in the center, but on FX the corners suffer from strong field curvature.

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 13,574
Re: FX for low light

Sounds like you have DX but no FX experience?

I shot for years with D300 and D700, both 12mp cameras, similar sensor generations.   Cropping FX to DX on the D700 gives me 5mp.   It's pretty clear I have 'more resolution' shooting birds on the D300 than shooting them on the D700 and cropping.

On the other hand, I have a DX crop on the D800e of about 15-16mp, and a better sensor.   Plus, if I shoot in DX mode, I get up to 6fps, so it's a little more like shooting my D300 with more pixels but a worse viewfinder.    Consequently I don't carry the D300 anymore, nor the D700.

I've shot landscapes and portraits on both DX and FX.   It's quite clear to me that shooting the same subject with the same field of view on FX is giving me a shallower depth of field.   I stop down by approximately the same amount as the crop factor to equalize DOF when going to FX, but thinking in terms of DX apertures I typically use.    This means that when I needed F11 to get the DOF I wanted on the D300, I'm well into diffraction range on the D800e.

You say corner concerns are the same for FX and DX.  I say different.   Probably misphrasing you there, but I certainly have worse corners on FX than DX, and with some subjects and compositions, that matters a lot.  Not to mention certain lenses.

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PK24X36NOW Senior Member • Posts: 1,877
Re: DPR samples ;)

Robin Casady wrote:

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

PK24X36NOW wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Since they are both 24 MP, you wouldn't see much difference when pixel peeking. The caveat being that the lens and focus accuracy on the D7100 has to be about 1.5x sharper than on the D600 if they are capturing equivalent detail. However, the D7100 is using a smaller area in the center, it is less challenging to get sharp corners.

Actually, it is only less challenging to get sharp corners IF the lens you're using is good enough (to resolve the DX corners with the detail at less than half the size as compared with FX better than it can resolve the FX corners with the detail at more than twice the size as compared with DX) - otherwise (i.e., as a rule), you actually get better image quality everywhere with FX, even the corners.

The challenge is finding a lens that is good enough. Mose wide lenses have problems with the corners on FX.

I think you have it backwards, i.e., its tough to find a lens good enough to make the DX corners better than the FX corners. It is only with the best lenses at their best apertures that the DX corners will be better, despite using less of the image circle, due to the much higher demand on lens resolution on the smaller sensor (across the entire frame).

The Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8D AF-S is a good example of a lens that does better on DX than FX. It is very sharp in the center, but on FX the corners suffer from strong field curvature.

The test measurements for sharpness of this lens on a D7000 vs. D4 (same pixel count) on DxO Mark conflict with what you're saying. In fact, even with a D3 sporting 4 million fewer pixels, the FX image quality is still better, even in (and actually in particular in) the corners. At most focal lengths, the only place where the D7000 can match even the D3 is dead center, and then only at the best apertures (f5.6 & f8). Only at 28mm can the D7000 best the D3 (due to lack of pixels on the D3 only), and then only at the best apertures, and only in the center - even at the lens' best focal length and aperture combinations, the corners (in fact anywhere beyond 40-50% from center at f5.6 & f8, respectively) are better on the FX D3 than on DX, even with 4 million less pixels. The D4 with the same pixel count is equal in the center at even the best focal length/aperture combinations, and holds an advantage over an even bigger portion of the frame (again, including the corners).

Fred Mueller Senior Member • Posts: 2,528
seat of the pants ...

I've sat in my local camera shop twice now, with my D600 + very average 24-85 vr attached, and my own 16-85vr on the shops 7100 demo - for about 45 minutes the last time I did it.  These are the lenses I would use on both if I had both ...

I want to like the 7100, have the cash to buy one, still have the Sigma 8-16 as well as the DX mid zoom - I keep thinking the 7100 would make a great companion to the 600 - a DX/FX pair because there are times when you want more DOF ...

and it's a really fine camera and lots of folks are going to be knocked out by it and so forth ... so no crit. there at all for those folks

but I can't bring myself to do it because (FOR ME) there is just too much of a gulf between the output real world ... I'd be reaching for the 600 when possible - there is a lot of noise in the 7100 files at ISO levels where I would just expect to see very very little and a kind of "oatmeal" quality to the noise that reminds me of my old Canon G7 ! ... like the files have been worked over even before you work them over in post ...

my 2 cent review for what it's worth

OP Moto1d Junior Member • Posts: 32
Well dont kick me but ...

I just bought the D7100 body which will be my last and only DX camera assuming I sell the D7000 soon.I will give it some time to prove itself   on paper(print tests) before going to a D800.  I was going to getbthe D600 but I just couldnt do it as I dont trust that our local shops have sold the first batches with oil issues, thats the last thing I want to be worried about. Instead I will aim at getting the D800 body if I go FX.

Next question is I want a good wide angle lens for the DX that can potentially go onto the FX when the time comes. My current lenses include (no laughing hey

- Tokina 11-16

-Samyang 14 2.8

-samyang 8mm 3.5 fisheye

- sigma 18-250mm.

-sigma 70-200 dg os hsm

Is it too difficult to find a wide angle that can cover FX and DX ?

dantastical Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: Well dont kick me but ...

The effective focal length of a FX lens on DX is longer (1.5 times I believe) so a wide lens on FX isnt that wide on DX. I suppose the 14mm+ zoom would be quite wide even on DX, but it is expensive.

OP Moto1d Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Well dont kick me but ...

Suprisingly the Samyang 14mm has proven to be very sharp across the frame from edge to edge. Ive seen some good and bad reviews on this lens but my copy seems to be a good one. Apparently it works well on the D800 as well. I may hire a D800 on my next trip and try it out.

CFynn Veteran Member • Posts: 5,224
Re: Well dont kick me but ...

Moto1d wrote:

I just bought the D7100 body which will be my last and only DX camera assuming I sell the D7000 soon.I will give it some time to prove itself   on paper(print tests) before going to a D800.  I was going to getbthe D600 but I just couldnt do it as I dont trust that our local shops have sold the first batches with oil issues, thats the last thing I want to be worried about. Instead I will aim at getting the D800 body if I go FX.

Next question is I want a good wide angle lens for the DX that can potentially go onto the FX when the time comes. My current lenses include (no laughing hey

- Tokina 11-16

-Samyang 14 2.8

-samyang 8mm 3.5 fisheye

- sigma 18-250mm.

-sigma 70-200 dg os hsm

Is it too difficult to find a wide angle that can cover FX and DX ?

Since you already have an 11-16 that will cover you as long as you use DX - and you already have a 14mm lens that will be be much wider on FX than it is on DX - why not the 16-35mm f/4?  That would be 24-50mm equiv when used on DX , a very useful range, and you've already got everything wider than that covered for DX.

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ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: FX for low light

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Sounds like you have DX but no FX experience?

I shoot D600.

I shot for years with D300 and D700, both 12mp cameras, similar sensor generations.   Cropping FX to DX on the D700 gives me 5mp.   It's pretty clear I have 'more resolution' shooting birds on the D300 than shooting them on the D700 and cropping.

On the other hand, I have a DX crop on the D800e of about 15-16mp, and a better sensor.   Plus, if I shoot in DX mode, I get up to 6fps, so it's a little more like shooting my D300 with more pixels but a worse viewfinder.    Consequently I don't carry the D300 anymore, nor the D700.

There you go, so you can crop on FX to get the same "sweet spot".

I've shot landscapes and portraits on both DX and FX.   It's quite clear to me that shooting the same subject with the same field of view on FX is giving me a shallower depth of field.

Only because you are using the same F-stop. All FF cameras are capable of having DOf from 30mm to infinity when using UWA lens.

I stop down by approximately the same amount as the crop factor to equalize DOF when going to FX, but thinking in terms of DX apertures I typically use.    This means that when I needed F11 to get the DOF I wanted on the D300, I'm well into diffraction range on the D800e.

And you thought F8 is not in diffraction range for a 16mp aps-c?

You say corner concerns are the same for FX and DX.  I say different.   Probably misphrasing you there, but I certainly have worse corners on FX than DX,

Compare 14-24 corner against 12-24. see which one gives you better corners.

OP Moto1d Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Well dont kick me but ...

CFynn wrote:

Moto1d wrote:

I just bought the D7100 body which will be my last and only DX camera assuming I sell the D7000 soon.I will give it some time to prove itself   on paper(print tests) before going to a D800.  I was going to getbthe D600 but I just couldnt do it as I dont trust that our local shops have sold the first batches with oil issues, thats the last thing I want to be worried about. Instead I will aim at getting the D800 body if I go FX.

Next question is I want a good wide angle lens for the DX that can potentially go onto the FX when the time comes. My current lenses include (no laughing hey

- Tokina 11-16

-Samyang 14 2.8

-samyang 8mm 3.5 fisheye

- sigma 18-250mm.

-sigma 70-200 dg os hsm

Is it too difficult to find a wide angle that can cover FX and DX ?

Since you already have an 11-16 that will cover you as long as you use DX - and you already have a 14mm lens that will be be much wider on FX than it is on DX - why not the 16-35mm f/4?  That would be 24-50mm equiv when used on DX , a very useful range, and you've already got everything wider than that covered for DX.

With all the hype the 16-35 is the one lens  which I have been considering. Original i iwanted the 14-24 but i use filters  so I think  thats the one to get.

I will be posting some comparison shots in the coming week of the Tokina, vs samyang 14mm on the d7100. will be interesting to see what transpires in terms of sharpness.mand CAs.

Appreciate everyones feedback and it wasnt wasted as a D800 is in my sights

cheers

Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,886
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barkingghost Regular Member • Posts: 190
Re: Pixel vs Pixel FX vs DX

Moto1d wrote:

After reviewing the d600 image samples online vs the d7100  im struggling to see why you would choose a the FX over the DX in this comparison based purely on resolution only, putting lens options and noise aside. Am I the only one  thinking this this?   Im looking to upgrade from my D7000 for landscape, cityscape and wildlife photography and there are huge gains to be had from the samples i have seen from both these 24mp cams but  if a d7100 wasnt enough i wouldnt waste my time on the d600 and just get the d800  and be done with it.
Anyone else thinking the d600 is a waste of money? ( dont mean to offend any d600 owners)

Its your struggle, not the owners of FX. Why should you care what others do? If you got it, flaunt it. If not, employ the 'I'm fine, you're not fine philosophy' and sleep well at night.

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