Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

Started Jul 22, 2014 | Questions
AM4L
AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Thoughts?

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FloEvans Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

To get 100% of what the camera can do yes, you do need higher shutter speeds.

AM4L
OP AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Thanks!

Thanks, it correlates with my observations, of course the third rail being awesome light which allows both!

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William Carson
William Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 5,853
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

AM4L wrote:

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Thoughts?

The issues are are related to smaller pixel size receiving less actual information or signal compared to the same amount of 'noise' per time of the shutter being open and receiving light. Like a analog radio that is farther and farther away from the sending station. The static noise eventually overcomes the announcer's coverage of the baseball game. You find it harder and harder to hear the game (or see the actual image) until it is only noise. In the case of the radio, you turn the volume up but also increase the volume of static. In a camera, the brightness is increased but also increases the  visible noise.

That is one aspect of higher MPs. The other is that of movement of the camera or the movement of the objects photographed. The smaller size of pixel -per time the shutter is open- affects how long or brief the shutter has to be opened to have a crisp, sharp image or a smeared imaged where a distinct object is spread over several pixels. A smaller shutter speed is required for a larger MP camera. To increase the shutter speed to match the requirements to capture a sharp image it also requires an increase in ISO which also increases the noise of the image. Not so important on a bright day but not so good in a dimmer environment where a larger pixel camera would be better.

Compare the D4 camera to the D800/D810 on the DXO site.

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Ratings

FloEvans Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Thanks!

I guess I should add, the old "rule" used to be 1x focal length, I am finding for acceptably sharp shots I need 2x focal length at least.

wireless
wireless Contributing Member • Posts: 508
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

My experience is smoother shutter operation is needed.  Shutter vibration on my D800 is quite evident at shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/180 even on tripod.  Of course use MUP or exposure delay but where does this leave handheld shooting?

Of course that issue is supposed to be improved on the 810 and would probably be reason enough for an upgrade in my case.

regards, David

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ormdig
ormdig Senior Member • Posts: 2,243
In the real world
6

no. It's true that to get what the camera is fully capable of you have to have everything as perfect as possible. That's true of any camera.

But... the camera in low light with slow shutter speeds is going to put out excellent images because of those 36MPs and it's excellent low light capabilities. I am an inveterate pixel peeper and I  have taken thousands of images is less than stellar (not literal) light that are fine. These claims of it being a "studio only" camera are hogwash. It's the easiest camera to get great images in almost any situation that I have used,

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

AM4L wrote:

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Thoughts?

Many people find it appropriate to ask about the conditions under which the final image is viewed.  If we are talking about the very best attainable image quality and images viewed at 100% magnification, it is becoming fairly generally accepted that 1/(focal length X 2) is a good rule of thumb for hand held shooting.

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AM4L
OP AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

William Carson wrote:

to smaller pixel size receiving less actual information or signal compared to the same amount of 'noise' per time of the shutter being open and receiving light. Like a analog radio that is farther and farther away from the sending station. The static noise eventually overcomes the announcer's coverage of the baseball game. You find it harder and harder to hear the game (or see the actual image) until it is only noise. In the case of the radio, you turn the volume up but also increase the volume of static. In a camera, the brightness is increased but also increases the visible noise.

That is one aspect of higher MPs. The other is that of movement of the camera or the movement of the objects photographed. The smaller size of pixel -per time the shutter is open- affects how long or brief the shutter has to be opened to have a crisp, sharp image or a smeared imaged where a distinct object is spread over several pixels. A smaller shutter speed is required for a larger MP camera. To increase the shutter speed to match the requirements to capture a sharp image it also requires an increase in ISO which also increases the noise of the image. Not so important on a bright day but not so good in a dimmer environment where a larger pixel camera would be better.

Compare the D4 camera to the D800/D810 on the DXO site.

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Ratings

Thanks, I do have a DF as well, so I can tell the difference in a few ways.

I was out in not so great light today and pretty much created a card full of junk as opposed to yesterday (regrettably flash card mishap) I had some nice ones but lost them all. The light was so much better yesterday!  Its ok, I will eventually be able to make them again, nothing really that important.

Anyways, this today was with a longer lens so I think that is where things are going to hit me harder with the greater demand for 2-3X FL on shutter speed.  Even on the DF I noticed a small jump from the D700 in wanting a little bump on shutter speed.

The work I did with a wide's though where I shot the two side by side fared much better, but I was still at about 2-4x FL and it was all sharp sharp!  In fact, I applied no sharpening at all.

It will take some getting used to and some new thinking and mastery.  Will be a fun challenge!

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AM4L
OP AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

wireless wrote:

My experience is smoother shutter operation is needed. Shutter vibration on my D800 is quite evident at shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/180 even on tripod. Of course use MUP or exposure delay but where does this leave handheld shooting?

Of course that issue is supposed to be improved on the 810 and would probably be reason enough for an upgrade in my case.

regards, David

Yhea, I used the Front Curtain mode this morning on some landscapes.. so it works well on the wides, but then again, the shutter speeds can be higher anyways on that work as far as what I shoot.

On the longs, its a different problem set, especially shooting average glass which is obviously going to be paid for in effort verses a more premium expensive lens!

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AM4L
OP AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Thanks

I think it is true!  Even if its debatable for some!

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digital ed
digital ed Veteran Member • Posts: 3,539
Re: In the real world

ormdig wrote:

no. It's true that to get what the camera is fully capable of you have to have everything as perfect as possible. That's true of any camera.

But... the camera in low light with slow shutter speeds is going to put out excellent images because of those 36MPs and it's excellent low light capabilities. I am an inveterate pixel peeper and I have taken thousands of images is less than stellar (not literal) light that are fine. These claims of it being a "studio only" camera are hogwash. It's the easiest camera to get great images in almost any situation that I have used,

That depends upon what the standard you are using to define "excellent images." I regularly print large and often find it necessary to crop to get the composition I want. I may be an impractical perfectionist but I like the pixel level image to be as good as the camera and lens can provide so I have the flexibility to crop without seeing image blur. Situations do not always allow this, but it is my goal.

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wasserball Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

stet

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Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Amen to that!
2

ormdig wrote:

no. It's true that to get what the camera is fully capable of you have to have everything as perfect as possible. That's true of any camera.

A fact many people tend to forget.

But... the camera in low light with slow shutter speeds is going to put out excellent images because of those 36MPs and it's excellent low light capabilities. I am an inveterate pixel peeper and I have taken thousands of images is less than stellar (not literal) light that are fine. These claims of it being a "studio only" camera are hogwash. It's the easiest camera to get great images in almost any situation that I have used,

Agree. At its very worst, you will get about equal results as a lower resolution camera, but most often you get better results or significantly better results.

To the OP: For sure, with higher resolutions you can see smaller details and consequently you can also spot camera shake that would have remained hidden by a lower resolution camera. So yes, when looking at 100% pixels, it can appear slightly more difficult to hand hold a 36 MP camera then say a 12 MP camera. But try blowing up images from that 12 MP camera to the same scale as those from a 36 MP, view at 100% and then it won't look pretty either

First of all, going from say 12 MP to 36 MP is not even a doubling of the linear resolution, to get that you need to go from 12 to 48 MP. So it is a gradualincrease, not a dramatic one. Still, after over two years with the D800 quite a few people is still very intimidated by that seemingly large number. Just wait until we get 50 and at some point 100 MP cameras when they will argue how hard these cameras are to use and how much easier it was back when resolutions were kept at a reasonable level like, say, 36 MP

The point signature 'ormdig' makes is a good one: In most real world photography it is actually easier to get good looking images with a 36 MP camera then with a 6, 12 or even 24 MP one. Sure, it is a tad harder to get 100% out of every pixel yes, but since you got so much more of those pixels, most of the time you really do get better images also when not taking extra care and attention.

Look at it this way: With a lower resolution camera you are for sure hiding some issues like camera shake, but you are also hiding the full potential of the situation you are shooting. Quite a few people in these forums are so mortally afraid of not having every image looking perfect in 100%, so they rather use a low resolution camera to capture less detail in every image. Sure fewer images will look blurry in 100%, but that means their good images will only have a part of the sharpness and crispness they could have had ... To me that is just a backwards way of thinking.

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AM4L
OP AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,805
Re: Amen to that!

Grevture wrote:

ormdig wrote:

no. It's true that to get what the camera is fully capable of you have to have everything as perfect as possible. That's true of any camera.

A fact many people tend to forget.

But... the camera in low light with slow shutter speeds is going to put out excellent images because of those 36MPs and it's excellent low light capabilities. I am an inveterate pixel peeper and I have taken thousands of images is less than stellar (not literal) light that are fine. These claims of it being a "studio only" camera are hogwash. It's the easiest camera to get great images in almost any situation that I have used,

Agree. At its very worst, you will get about equal results as a lower resolution camera, but most often you get better results or significantly better results.

To the OP: For sure, with higher resolutions you can see smaller details and consequently you can also spot camera shake that would have remained hidden by a lower resolution camera. So yes, when looking at 100% pixels, it can appear slightly more difficult to hand hold a 36 MP camera then say a 12 MP camera. But try blowing up images from that 12 MP camera to the same scale as those from a 36 MP, view at 100% and then it won't look pretty either

First of all, going from say 12 MP to 36 MP is not even a doubling of the linear resolution, to get that you need to go from 12 to 48 MP. So it is a gradualincrease, not a dramatic one. Still, after over two years with the D800 quite a few people is still very intimidated by that seemingly large number. Just wait until we get 50 and at some point 100 MP cameras when they will argue how hard these cameras are to use and how much easier it was back when resolutions were kept at a reasonable level like, say, 36 MP

The point signature 'ormdig' makes is a good one: In most real world photography it is actually easier to get good looking images with a 36 MP camera then with a 6, 12 or even 24 MP one. Sure, it is a tad harder to get 100% out of every pixel yes, but since you got so much more of those pixels, most of the time you really do get better images also when not taking extra care and attention.

Look at it this way: With a lower resolution camera you are for sure hiding some issues like camera shake, but you are also hiding the full potential of the situation you are shooting. Quite a few people in these forums are so mortally afraid of not having every image looking perfect in 100%, so they rather use a low resolution camera to capture less detail in every image. Sure fewer images will look blurry in 100%, but that means their good images will only have a part of the sharpness and crispness they could have had ... To me that is just a backwards way of thinking.

I get what your saying, I believe in that the "Image Rules" and not so much the detail, unless, of course that detail is in fact the subject and or one is cropping for the desired "Image".

Its obvious though so far that when hand holding, the 3X rule works better for me as I always tried to follow a 2x rule previously anyways.

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Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 7,311
Sometimes I'm too lazy to set up a tripod
2

AM4L wrote:

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

If your goal is to maintain per-pixel sharpness, then yes, you generally need to increase shutter speed in proportion to image width in pixels (for a given format).

That is not to say that lower shutter speeds are unusable. One recent evening, I wanted to compare the corner quality of the Nikon 50mm primes to my new Sigma 50 Art, and couldn't be bothered to set up a tripod. I used 1/100 sec shutter speed and had little difficulty with motion blur.

The comparison was surprising. I had known that the Nikkors weren't anything special at close distance, but I didn't expect the difference to be so stark.

Just for fun, since it was handy, I used the Zeiss 135/2 APO for the last shot before retiring, moving back to 1.5m shooting distance. Shutter speed was still 1/100, but it worked fine for this hand-held shot. Lower-left corner 100% crops from D800E:

Having the Zeiss, I'm not sure if I still need to keep my macro lenses.

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Today's Bayer sensors are near the theoretical limit already. If you want a significant ISO improvement, look for someone to introduce a monochrome sensor.

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Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 31,241
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

FloEvans wrote:

To get 100% of what the camera can do yes, you do need higher shutter speeds.

Sometimes.

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sgoldswo
sgoldswo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,717
Not necessarily

AM4L wrote:

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Thoughts?

In my experience they are simply more sensitive to vibration combined with poor technique. The D800E produced more vibration at lower shutter speeds, so sometimes, you might see an image that would show that as blur (often when the camera was handheld) whereas a lower res camera might not show it. However, if you handle the camera properly and you aren't simply handholding with one hand, you'll get great results at most shutter speeds (and that includes the D800/E). To be clear, not for one moment am I saying this is a tripod only studio camera. That's hogwash. However, if you are used to handling a DSLR like a P&S, that is less successful as a technique with the D800 series. Also, the D810 is better in this regard, due to a lower amount of vibration (though that's anecdotal from me).

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Lance B Forum Pro • Posts: 31,241
Re: Sometimes I'm too lazy to set up a tripod

Marianne Oelund wrote:

AM4L wrote:

Is that what this amounts to is very stable or very fast or both on D8X0's?

If your goal is to maintain per-pixel sharpness, then yes, you generally need to increase shutter speed in proportion to image width in pixels (for a given format).

That is not to say that lower shutter speeds are unusable. One recent evening, I wanted to compare the corner quality of the Nikon 50mm primes to my new Sigma 50 Art, and couldn't be bothered to set up a tripod. I used 1/100 sec shutter speed and had little difficulty with motion blur.

The comparison was surprising. I had known that the Nikkors weren't anything special at close distance, but I didn't expect the difference to be so stark.

Just for fun, since it was handy, I used the Zeiss 135/2 APO for the last shot before retiring, moving back to 1.5m shooting distance. Shutter speed was still 1/100, but it worked fine for this hand-held shot. Lower-left corner 100% crops from D800E:

Having the Zeiss, I'm not sure if I still need to keep my macro lenses.

That's an inpressive result from the Zeiss and the Sigma ain't too shabby either.

I think if thats the case then maybe ISO improvements need to come faster than more pixels for non studio shooters?

Today's Bayer sensors are near the theoretical limit already. If you want a significant ISO improvement, look for someone to introduce a monochrome sensor.

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Oldan New Regular Member • Posts: 499
Re: Do higher MP camera require faster shutter speeds?

*Slow head shaking.*

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