16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Started Jun 24, 2016 | Discussions
junk1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,762
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
1

Don't forget that the larger a print is, the further back people typically view them from, so you might not need many if any additional pixels.  Who walks up to billboards?

JDLaing
JDLaing Veteran Member • Posts: 6,426
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
3

Charley123 wrote:

JDLaing wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently. I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/333/do-more-megapixels-mean-better-photo-quality/

  • Better print quality over 8x10
  • Digital zoom quality
  • More detail

It is not so much need as it is want.

If it's available I'll take it.

Not better print quality over 8 x 10 inches. It won't help your print quality until you get larger than 2 x 3 feet!

I disagree.

Better digital zoom with more quality, yes, but only at EXTREME digital zoom.

I disagree.

No more detail at the size prints you probably work with and definitely no more detail on the computer screen for internet photos.

i print some 11x17 and it is noticeable. I also get much better shadow details. Internet photos are a poor judge of what a camera is capable of but for the majority they are useful. It also depends on what a website (like this one) does to degrade the photos. If all you care about is internet photos 16 is fine for you.

What's the largest you print at? I'll bet it's not even close to making use of the 16 megapixel sensor let alone a 20.

24x36 but I have done larger.

 JDLaing's gear list:JDLaing's gear list
Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Leica M8.2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Leica M Typ 240 Sony a7 II +17 more
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 42,576
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise. Camera makers may be able to work around that now, but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

Charley

I will support you swimming against the tide.  Screen resolution cannot really keep up with pixel density produced.  Much like newsprint the image seen is only an estimation that the human eye can detect.  But of course a high megapixel image uploaded in full size glory can provide much zooming in (cropping) of the detail which we can duly admire in its magnificence.

But in this limited time frantic world with so many great images produced they simply overwhelm their audience.  There is a certain conceit that if one produces that perfect high megapixel zoomable image that the netwaves will be full of ecstatic viewers zooming an ooh-ing from the wonder of it all.  More like the viewers will be purple with envy and be planning a sensor and lens upgrade in the hope that they can cause similar envy in others who have carelessly been left behind with yesterday's sensor.

The end result is simply put as "keeping up with the Jones' ".

Surely the more heavily populated sensor is going to be able to take more crop than a lesser populated sensor but we can also note that other mere mortals usually have a good enough lens on board and cropping is not universally a major requirement.

Furthermore there was a megapixel race in little fingernail sensors until one day in a sort of collective fashion the megapixel race was suddenly over as if that sales technique had duly run into the inevitable brick wall.

Methinks that we don't really need sensor increments at a fixed 4mp jump as a law of diminishing returns sets in.  Maybe a jump from 16mp to 24mp would be really exciting news, but I am afraid that 20mp might be useful but in most regular use must be only slightly more than a yawn.

Hey, but I expect that going from 16 to 20 to 24 sells more sensors than going straight to 24mp.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

junk1 wrote:

Don't forget that the larger a print is, the further back people typically view them from, so you might not need many if any additional pixels. Who walks up to billboards?

Good point. If looking at it that way, which is valid, then an 8 megapixel camera is all I would ever need and probably most people really need. A 16-megapixel cameras definitely plenty.

However, if we don't look at it that way, then a 16 megapixel camera is needed for an 11 x 14 with max detail (standing close to it), and a 20 megapixel camera is needed for a 16 x 20 with max detail (standing close to it).

Plus there's the argument of super telephoto users like wildlife photographers wanting to crop-in closer.

So I can now see the need for 20 megapixels for some people, but for my needs 8 to 12 megapixels is plenty. 16 is more than enough for me since I usually put my photos on the internet and occasionally want to print up to 8 by 10.

Over the course of this thread I learned some useful things.

GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 14,396
So, you think ALL cameras should be 12MP?
3

Maybe you missed it, but 1" sensors are now routinely 20MP (that's smaller than MFT), APS is 24MP and FF now goes all the way to 50MP.  Medium format goes as high as 100MP.

Do you really think that no one wants/needs those pixel counts?  If that were the case, they would not sell.

What you get with more MP is more detail in your images.  To me that is a good thing.

The Sony A7s is a highly specialized camera and not indicitive of what the market is doing in general.

-- hide signature --

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

 GodSpeaks's gear list:GodSpeaks's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 Panasonic FZ1000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Nikon D800E Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 +50 more
nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 17,342
What type of shots do you take ?
1

Do you need to crop something like 99% of your images? Do you take BIF's or sports shots where you need to crop?

So what type of shots do you take?

Danny.

-- hide signature --
nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 17,342
You are right, you don't need it
2

SpinOne wrote:

bgalb wrote:

All other things being equal (they are not), a 20 mp camera will give more margin to crop in post vs a 16mp.

The jump from 16mp to 20mp provides very little advantage in terms of cropping. You can crop out an extra 15%. W00T! No, wait....

Also, the 16mp and 20mp sensors provide nearly identical performance. So in this case, all other things areequal.

You don't need to crop by the looks

http://www.dpreview.com/members/7173224127/galleries

So don't worry about it.

Danny.

-- hide signature --
bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 68,633
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
10

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

Well, you think wrongly. The extra sharpness is visible in just the same way that a sharper lens is visibly better even on an image displayed small. The reason is the same. There is not a sharp cut-off, but a gradual decrease. This graph from MTFmapper

The solid black line includes the AA filter, the dotted blue line doesn't. You see that the contrast reduces substantially even at low spatial frequencies. Note also that this is cycles per pixel, not absolute image, so as you get more pixels in the image, the MTF of the image as a whole goes up substantially.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

Again, you think wrongly. Here you see a test of a lens on a 12MP camera

http://www.lenstip.com/477.4-Lens_review-Sigma_C_30_mm_f_1.4_DC_DN_Image_resolution.html

The lens on this camera produces a peak resolution of 1105 line pairs per picture height. That's only just enough for HDTV, yet alone a 8x10 print.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise.

'Common knowledge' turned out to be wrong.

Camera makers may be able to work around that now,

No they didn't, it was never true in the first place.

but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

You're wrong, see above.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

It also produces noticeably sharper images at small sizes, see above.

-- hide signature --

Bob.
DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?

OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise. Camera makers may be able to work around that now, but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

Charley

I will support you swimming against the tide. Screen resolution cannot really keep up with pixel density produced. Much like newsprint the image seen is only an estimation that the human eye can detect. But of course a high megapixel image uploaded in full size glory can provide much zooming in (cropping) of the detail which we can duly admire in its magnificence.

But in this limited time frantic world with so many great images produced they simply overwhelm their audience. There is a certain conceit that if one produces that perfect high megapixel zoomable image that the netwaves will be full of ecstatic viewers zooming an ooh-ing from the wonder of it all. More like the viewers will be purple with envy and be planning a sensor and lens upgrade in the hope that they can cause similar envy in others who have carelessly been left behind with yesterday's sensor.

The end result is simply put as "keeping up with the Jones' ".

Surely the more heavily populated sensor is going to be able to take more crop than a lesser populated sensor but we can also note that other mere mortals usually have a good enough lens on board and cropping is not universally a major requirement.

Furthermore there was a megapixel race in little fingernail sensors until one day in a sort of collective fashion the megapixel race was suddenly over as if that sales technique had duly run into the inevitable brick wall.

Methinks that we don't really need sensor increments at a fixed 4mp jump as a law of diminishing returns sets in. Maybe a jump from 16mp to 24mp would be really exciting news, but I am afraid that 20mp might be useful but in most regular use must be only slightly more than a yawn.

Hey, but I expect that going from 16 to 20 to 24 sells more sensors than going straight to 24mp.

I agree with most everything you said. However my internet photos are not for showing off on photo forums. They are for selling real estate for the real estate development firm that I work for as their photographer, web developer, and programmer.

I don't think the general real estate shopping public zooms in more than the one time they click on a thumbnail. I think that also applies to most websites' photos in general, though probably not to photo forums.

My typical on-screen photos are 1200 x 1200 pixels or less. So all I need for that is 1.44 MP sensor. It's straight up math. 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels = 1,440,000 pixels aka 1.44 MP.

Printing is another matter that requires more pixels. I normally only print about 4 x 6 inches, which means 4" x 300 dpi x 6" x 300 dpi = 2,160,000 pixels needed, or 2.16 MP needed. So a 2.16 MP sensor is ideal for that.

Occasionally I want to print 8 x 10 inches. 8" x 300 dpi x 10" x 300 dpi = 7,200,000 pixels or 7.2 MP is ideal.

I rarely print larger than 8 x 10 inches, but I like to have the capability to print a nice 16 x 20 inches print. A 16 MP sensor can do that pretty well, but a 20 MP sensor is better, and a 24 MP sensor is ideal for that.

Since I rarely want to print larger than 16 x 20, I don't need more than 24 MP sensor.

So for my normal needs an 8 MP camera is more than good enough, but there are times when it would be nice to have a 20 MP camera. A 16 MP camera gets me by fine, but it would be nice to have a 20 MP after considering the above large print issues in case I ever want to print 16 by 20. Even so, I'm quite happy with my 16 MP camera. If they someday come out with a 24 MP sensor that has as good or better dynamic range and high ISO performance as my 16 MP, then I will consider upgrading to the 24 MP camera.

I have some beautiful posters printed from the old days of 300 DPI inkjet printers/plotters that are 2 x 3 ft and beautiful. I used an 8 megapixel camera for those posters back in the day. The images files were set at 150 DPI. Some of it is just knowing how to do it. Those posters looks great if you stand 3 feet away. Most people look at them from 3 to 6 feet away. So they look great even though created in an 8 megapixel camera.

The photographer's abilities and the person operating the printer matter as much as the specs  of the camera and printer.

Chippy99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,182
More pixels does not equal more noise
1

I'll caveat what I am about to say with the comment that it is undoubtedly more complex and there are limits.  However...

It is a myth that more (and therefore smaller) pixels means a more noisy image at any given ISO.  Smaller pixels produce more noise *per pixel*.  But if you resize (downsize) the image (effectively you are doing pixel binning) then the noise is broadly the same as if you had a sensor with the resolution of the downsized image.

So there is no real *disadvantage* to having more pixels, other than file size and possibly how many frames per second a camera can shoot.  And there are advantages in terms of ability to crop, and ultimate resolution of course.

 Chippy99's gear list:Chippy99's gear list
Sony RX100 Leica Q2 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +4 more
Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,579
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
1

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise. Camera makers may be able to work around that now, but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

Charley

I will support you swimming against the tide. Screen resolution cannot really keep up with pixel density produced. Much like newsprint the image seen is only an estimation that the human eye can detect. But of course a high megapixel image uploaded in full size glory can provide much zooming in (cropping) of the detail which we can duly admire in its magnificence.

But in this limited time frantic world with so many great images produced they simply overwhelm their audience. There is a certain conceit that if one produces that perfect high megapixel zoomable image that the netwaves will be full of ecstatic viewers zooming an ooh-ing from the wonder of it all. More like the viewers will be purple with envy and be planning a sensor and lens upgrade in the hope that they can cause similar envy in others who have carelessly been left behind with yesterday's sensor.

The end result is simply put as "keeping up with the Jones' ".

Surely the more heavily populated sensor is going to be able to take more crop than a lesser populated sensor but we can also note that other mere mortals usually have a good enough lens on board and cropping is not universally a major requirement.

Furthermore there was a megapixel race in little fingernail sensors until one day in a sort of collective fashion the megapixel race was suddenly over as if that sales technique had duly run into the inevitable brick wall.

Methinks that we don't really need sensor increments at a fixed 4mp jump as a law of diminishing returns sets in. Maybe a jump from 16mp to 24mp would be really exciting news, but I am afraid that 20mp might be useful but in most regular use must be only slightly more than a yawn.

Hey, but I expect that going from 16 to 20 to 24 sells more sensors than going straight to 24mp.

Being possibly one of the few people on here that actually owns and uses a 20 megapixel micro four thirds sensor I can honestly say it's a great and very noticeable improvement over the 16 megapixels in many situations but most people seem to want to ignore or deny it for some strange reason.

Possibly the improvement in detail may be down to the fact that the anti alias filter is weaker I do not know but in low light the 20 megapixel sensor is a massive improvement over the gx7 16 megapixel sensor.

For nature photographs and also landscapes the  difference in detail is also very significant.

A friend with a Nikon D4 and pro lenses recently accidentally shot in crop mode, reducing his sensor from around 16/18mp down to about 11 or 12mp. The images were really poor, he was in tears as he had captured some very special moments.

One of the problems was the background noise grain was significantly large compared to detail in the picture.

-- hide signature --
 Adrian Harris's gear list:Adrian Harris's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Sony SLT-A77 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 +1 more
OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Adrian Harris wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise. Camera makers may be able to work around that now, but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

Charley

I will support you swimming against the tide. Screen resolution cannot really keep up with pixel density produced. Much like newsprint the image seen is only an estimation that the human eye can detect. But of course a high megapixel image uploaded in full size glory can provide much zooming in (cropping) of the detail which we can duly admire in its magnificence.

But in this limited time frantic world with so many great images produced they simply overwhelm their audience. There is a certain conceit that if one produces that perfect high megapixel zoomable image that the netwaves will be full of ecstatic viewers zooming an ooh-ing from the wonder of it all. More like the viewers will be purple with envy and be planning a sensor and lens upgrade in the hope that they can cause similar envy in others who have carelessly been left behind with yesterday's sensor.

The end result is simply put as "keeping up with the Jones' ".

Surely the more heavily populated sensor is going to be able to take more crop than a lesser populated sensor but we can also note that other mere mortals usually have a good enough lens on board and cropping is not universally a major requirement.

Furthermore there was a megapixel race in little fingernail sensors until one day in a sort of collective fashion the megapixel race was suddenly over as if that sales technique had duly run into the inevitable brick wall.

Methinks that we don't really need sensor increments at a fixed 4mp jump as a law of diminishing returns sets in. Maybe a jump from 16mp to 24mp would be really exciting news, but I am afraid that 20mp might be useful but in most regular use must be only slightly more than a yawn.

Hey, but I expect that going from 16 to 20 to 24 sells more sensors than going straight to 24mp.

Being possibly one of the few people on here that actually owns and uses a 20 megapixel micro four thirds sensor I can honestly say it's a great and very noticeable improvement over the 16 megapixels in many situations but most people seem to want to ignore or deny it for some strange reason.

Possibly the improvement in detail may be down to the fact that the anti alias filter is weaker I do not know but in low light the 20 megapixel sensor is a massive improvement over the gx7 16 megapixel sensor.

For nature photographs and also landscapes the difference in detail is also very significant.

A friend with a Nikon D4 and pro lenses recently accidentally shot in crop mode, reducing his sensor from around 16/18mp down to about 11 or 12mp. The images were really poor, he was in tears as he had captured some very special moments.

One of the problems was the background noise grain was significantly large compared to detail in the picture.

I wonder how much of your improvement with your new camera is from the lack of anti-aliasing filter. Surely some of it is from that.

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 42,576
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Charley

I remember when my 2.6mp Canon Pro90 IS was top dog.  It had everything including image stabilisation way back in 2001. Zoom lens, no problem.  It actually held its own with newer 4Mp cameras for a while but the megapixel race started and it was left behind.

Much later other cameras "invented" in-camera Image Stabilisation.

But the point always is: in 2001 I was taking what I thought were great images with a 2.6mp camera and even today I regard some of them as continuing favourites.

Therefore the camera in your hand is always the best one you have for the job at the time.

Come 48mp 4/3 sensors we might cringe that some in 2016 thought a 20mp sensor so worthy of praise.

Nevertheless your rationality on what you need in camera mp is good.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Chippy99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,182
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

Adrian Harris wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

All else being equal, having more pixels produces sharper images. 20 MP isn't a huge upgrade over 16MP, but it is an upgrade. I always find it strange when people wonder about the point of having more pixels, but never question the usefulness of having sharper lenses. The two are much the same.

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

No, it wouldn't. 'Light sensitivity' doesn't depend on pixel size at all.

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently.

Only if you're counting 'recently' as 4 years ago.

I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

Only the Sony A7SII, and that is a very special purpose camera.

How does more pixels provide a sharper image when I'm taking smaller images for internet use or small prints? Typically 1080 x 920 pixels. I think the image would only be sharper if I was making images that were large enough to need more pixels.

For internet use and 8 x 10 prints a 5-megapixel camera is plenty. An 8 megapixel camera gives plenty of overkill for cropping.

In the past, it was common knowledge that more megapixels on same size sensor increases high ISO noise. Camera makers may be able to work around that now, but I don't think more pixels is an advantage if you're not printing large enough to need more pixels.

The amount of megapixels you advocate could print billboard-size photos. Who needs to do that?

Charley

I will support you swimming against the tide. Screen resolution cannot really keep up with pixel density produced. Much like newsprint the image seen is only an estimation that the human eye can detect. But of course a high megapixel image uploaded in full size glory can provide much zooming in (cropping) of the detail which we can duly admire in its magnificence.

But in this limited time frantic world with so many great images produced they simply overwhelm their audience. There is a certain conceit that if one produces that perfect high megapixel zoomable image that the netwaves will be full of ecstatic viewers zooming an ooh-ing from the wonder of it all. More like the viewers will be purple with envy and be planning a sensor and lens upgrade in the hope that they can cause similar envy in others who have carelessly been left behind with yesterday's sensor.

The end result is simply put as "keeping up with the Jones' ".

Surely the more heavily populated sensor is going to be able to take more crop than a lesser populated sensor but we can also note that other mere mortals usually have a good enough lens on board and cropping is not universally a major requirement.

Furthermore there was a megapixel race in little fingernail sensors until one day in a sort of collective fashion the megapixel race was suddenly over as if that sales technique had duly run into the inevitable brick wall.

Methinks that we don't really need sensor increments at a fixed 4mp jump as a law of diminishing returns sets in. Maybe a jump from 16mp to 24mp would be really exciting news, but I am afraid that 20mp might be useful but in most regular use must be only slightly more than a yawn.

Hey, but I expect that going from 16 to 20 to 24 sells more sensors than going straight to 24mp.

Being possibly one of the few people on here that actually owns and uses a 20 megapixel micro four thirds sensor I can honestly say it's a great and very noticeable improvement over the 16 megapixels in many situations but most people seem to want to ignore or deny it for some strange reason.

Possibly the improvement in detail may be down to the fact that the anti alias filter is weaker I do not know but in low light the 20 megapixel sensor is a massive improvement over the gx7 16 megapixel sensor.

For nature photographs and also landscapes the difference in detail is also very significant.

At a pixel-peeping level, I can believe what you say is true.

But really, when looking at whole images either on screen or in print? (Not heavily cropped). I can't believe there's any discernable difference whatsoever. In fact, I am certain there is not.

 Chippy99's gear list:Chippy99's gear list
Sony RX100 Leica Q2 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +4 more
Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Re: 20 MPX 4:3 sensor = 16 MPX 3:2 format

Charley123 wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

And since I habitually shoot at in 3:2 format, I will be happy to have a 20 MPX sensor in my next camera.

With the bonus of 20 MPX 4:3 being available for those vertical format portraits.

When I get a new camera at some indefinite time in the future.

Interesting thoughts you have. That would be an advantage of 20 megapixels if you need to print large enough to make use of it.

However 16 megapixels is already more than enough, even if you do shoot 3-2 sometimes.

How large do you plan to print these things?

Vetricals: up to about 1.75 meters tall.

Horizontals: up to 2 or even 3 meters long.

These are both posters/banners. The vertical ones might be viewed fairly closely -- a meter or so.

I do this only rarely, but I have to be prepared for the eventuality.

-- hide signature --

Geoffrey Heard
Down and out in Rabaul in the South Pacific
http://rabaulpng.com/we-are-all-traveling-throug/i-waited-51-years-for-tavur.html

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic G85 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS +7 more
ZodiacPhoto
ZodiacPhoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,066
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
1

My typical on-screen photos are 1200 x 1200 pixels or less. So all I need for that is 1.44 MP sensor. It's straight up math. 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels = 1,440,000 pixels aka 1.44 MP.

Printing is another matter that requires more pixels. I normally only print about 4 x 6 inches, which means 4" x 300 dpi x 6" x 300 dpi = 2,160,000 pixels needed, or 2.16 MP

This would be true if you are using a perfect sensor, paired with a perfect lens.

In m4/3 world, we are dealing with Bayer color interpolation, which leads to reduced resolution on pixel level, and possible moire patterns:

Therefore, when printing or viewing on a screen, we would prefer to get away from the pixel level – your pictures would benefit greatly from downsizing and proper sharpening. For that, you need to have those extra pixels – ideally, at least 4x more than needed for 1:1 printing or viewing.

Look at low-contrast areas with similar colors, such as grass – at pixel level, it is a mess even when shooting RAW at low ISO. But zoom out and sharpen wisely, and you will get much better looking results.

 ZodiacPhoto's gear list:ZodiacPhoto's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Olympus OM-D E-M10 Sony a7R II
OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

I'm certain that 2 MP is more than enough for excellent photos to be displayed on screen, 7 MP for excellent 8 x 10 prints, 16 MP for excellent 11 x 14 prints.

However, I want to revise my opinion regarding 16 x 20 prints. I think 20 MP is enough, but 24 MP would be ideal with the best lenses I own.

In theory, 28 MP is ideal for 16 x 20 prints, but that's only be true if I had perfect lenses. None of my lenses are perfect.

So I conclude that 24 megapixels is ideal for those wanting to make large prints 16 x 20 or larger. At that point the lenses are limiting factor, IMO. More than 24 megapixels isn't going to help you with an M4/3 thirds camera no matter how large you want to print.

In conclusion, I'm quite happy with 16 MP for my internet published photos and up to 11 x 14 prints. If I wanted to make 16 x 20 prints, I'd be looking for an APS 24 MP camera.

Bottom line IMO, a 16 MP camera is dandy for my needs: On screen image viewing and up to 11 x 14 prints. If I wanted to print 16 x 20 with best quality I'd get an APS camera with 24 MP.

A 20 MP camera falls into a gap where it's more than you need for 11 x 14, but not quite enough for 16 x 20. If you want to print 16 x 20, you should get an APS camera with 24 MP. IMO

OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 20 MPX 4:3 sensor = 16 MPX 3:2 format

Hen3ry wrote:

Charley123 wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

And since I habitually shoot at in 3:2 format, I will be happy to have a 20 MPX sensor in my next camera.

With the bonus of 20 MPX 4:3 being available for those vertical format portraits.

When I get a new camera at some indefinite time in the future.

Interesting thoughts you have. That would be an advantage of 20 megapixels if you need to print large enough to make use of it.

However 16 megapixels is already more than enough, even if you do shoot 3-2 sometimes.

How large do you plan to print these things?

Vetricals: up to about 1.75 meters tall.

Horizontals: up to 2 or even 3 meters long.

These are both posters/banners. The vertical ones might be viewed fairly closely -- a meter or so.

I do this only rarely, but I have to be prepared for the eventuality.

It sounds to me like you'd be best served by a full frame camera with 40 or 50 MP. Why are you using M4/3 for giant prints?

OP Charley123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

My typical on-screen photos are 1200 x 1200 pixels or less. So all I need for that is 1.44 MP sensor. It's straight up math. 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels = 1,440,000 pixels aka 1.44 MP.

Printing is another matter that requires more pixels. I normally only print about 4 x 6 inches, which means 4" x 300 dpi x 6" x 300 dpi = 2,160,000 pixels needed, or 2.16 MP

This would be true if you are using a perfect sensor, paired with a perfect lens.

In m4/3 world, we are dealing with Bayer color interpolation, which leads to reduced resolution on pixel level, and possible moire patterns:

Therefore, when printing or viewing on a screen, we would prefer to get away from the pixel level – your pictures would benefit greatly from downsizing and proper sharpening. For that, you need to have those extra pixels – ideally, at least 4x more than needed for 1:1 printing or viewing.

Look at low-contrast areas with similar colors, such as grass – at pixel level, it is a mess even when shooting RAW at low ISO. But zoom out and sharpen wisely, and you will get much better looking results.

I'm getting great results shooting jpg set on small superfine. I have my camera set on the resolution setting that I want for my final image size. It's working great for me and I don't have to do any post-processing other than sometimes perspective correction or rotation, if the walls are leaning, followed by minor cropping.

samtheman2014
samtheman2014 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,571
Re: 16 vs 20 megapixel sensor cameras
2

Charley123 wrote:

A 16 MP m4/3 sensor can make a 2 x 3 ft printed image of excellent quality. Why would someone need a 20 MP sensor?

I publish my photos on the Internet and only occasionally print. When I print, it's never larger than 8 x 10. Even a 16-megapixel cameras overkill for what I'm doing. I'm sure I could be quite happy with an 6 megapixel sensor.

If I was printing 2 x 3 ft posters, I would be quite happy with a 10 megapixel camera.

So where is the need for 20 megapixel sensors?

Wouldn't higher megapixels on the same size sensor result in less light sensitivity?

Some of the best full frame pro cameras stayed with 12 megapixels until recently. I'm not sure, but I think some of them are still at 12 or 16 megapixels.

http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/333/do-more-megapixels-mean-better-photo-quality/

If you are only printing 10x8" and for the internet ,one could argue that any system camera is massive overkill .

-- hide signature --

The rose of all the world is not for me. I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet—and breaks the heart.
:Hugh MacDiarmid

 samtheman2014's gear list:samtheman2014's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Sony a7R II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads