Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,252
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...
5

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

Other people more frequently do take pictures of details, and the image is to some extent of and about those details. Gate Bois (Noel Billy) recently posted a whole series of images from Paris made with the Sigma Quattro ("Q")  sensor which were, in my view, excellent. Plenty of details. And the images were, to a large extent, as I see it, about those details. Gate Bois is very good.

I would have thought that would be the end of any Q/Merrill detail discussion.

The detail issue is, again as I see it, that if you want those details you don't just stop and snap. It takes some thought and planning. And a good tripod. It is not just the camera.

In my use of cameras, sometimes things work out well, sometimes they don't. And I have made some images that I like, and a few that seem to bring some pleasure to other people.

But my use of any camera is to make images, not to test it as a camera. Testing cameras seems to be an undertaking on its own, and bears only a slight relation to actually making good or pleasing or even excellent images. In terms of camera design, I really like the Sigma, as a tool. At this point I expect the Sigma company to do plenty of camera testing, to the point where I don't have to. My test of an image is not if I can blow it up to over 100% and see some particular detail, although I admit that can be fun, but rather if at normal viewing distance the image is clear, if I meant it to be clear.

When I used MF film, I frequently used a heavy wooden tripod, and a Leitz ball head. These days I don't tend to do that. Detail suffers. Or should I say "details suffer?" Such is life. Examining nature pictures and rocks in the distance introduces issues of atmospheric haze, etc., AND issues of "haze reduction" in the processing software.

But everyone has their own pleasures in life, I guess.

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xpatUSA
OP xpatUSA Forum Pro • Posts: 15,874
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

richard stone wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

I understand your puzzlement. I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

By way of illustration, I went outside and shot my truck in low-res:

OOC JPEG, FastStone Viewer:

No editing, no re-sampling, nut'n.

Looks "OK" bearing in mind it's a picture of the truck, not the shrubbery or grass.

Now I look at 400% to check image quality:

I see general softness and a really poor rendition of the rock which "just happened" to be lying there. Based on viewing at 400% I'd say the whole image is a failure ... which was not obvious at 100%. Had I looked at someone else's shot and posted a 400% crop with similar comments - it would not be unusual to get a huffy response. I have a vague memory of someone's 'boat on the beach' Quattro shot, hmmm ...

Obviously, a picture of an actual detail would look a bit mo' better:

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Ted

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docmaas
docmaas Veteran Member • Posts: 6,578
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

The same rock from the same perspective in full res might have been beneficial.

An image is the sum of lots of factors, one of which is the number of pixels that capture any particular part of the image. Here the rock is captured by and limited in appearance by the number of pixels used to capture it. More pixels will allow for finer gradations in the appearance of the rock. I once saw the walls of the grand canyon used an an example of fractals. Increasing resolution showed how the subset of a larger chunk of the canyon revealed similar appearances of the larger chunk to the smaller chunks that made up that larger chunk. In a similar way more pixels can reveals subtleties fewer pixels cannot. If the whole of the rock is viewed at a certain level the eye is incapable of seeing the differences in resolution and one image appears just as good as the other. However the closer one looks the more the differences become visible in an image rendered with more pixels than one with fewer.

My own opinion, stated heretofore many times is that our brains differ and just like some people are genii in different fields due to inborn talents, some people are capable of seeing differences in images that others do not and perhaps cannot see also due to inborn abilities. Quite often these differences seen by those so cursed or blessed fall into the "there's no there there" world of inadequate tools to make the differences visible to those who don't sense them. Pixel level examination quickly loses itself as magnification grows the sought to examine image disappears into blocks of pixels that are only subtly different and seemingly incapable of making the differing observations of the whole image believable to those who don't have the natural ability to see them. Yet there are a pareto portion of those of us who do.

These differences appear throughout photographic fora often in conversations about micro contrast and other nebulous terms. There is something there but not everyone can see it.

Another example of not everyone being able to see the same way is two image 3d viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBa-bCxsZDk  I can't do this, I suspect because of my amblyopia discussed in other threads about eye dominance, but a lot of other people can.  There use to be viewers in the library when I was in school that were built on this technique to present classical images in 3D.  They always just looked like two blurry images to me.

xpatUSA wrote:

richard stone wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

I understand your puzzlement. I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

By way of illustration, I went outside and shot my truck in low-res:

OOC JPEG, FastStone Viewer:

No editing, no re-sampling, nut'n.

Looks "OK" bearing in mind it's a picture of the truck, not the shrubbery or grass.

Now I look at 400% to check image quality:

I see general softness and a really poor rendition of the rock which "just happened" to be lying there. Based on viewing at 400% I'd say the whole image is a failure ... which was not obvious at 100%. Had I looked at someone else's shot and posted a 400% crop with similar comments - it would not be unusual to get a huffy response. I have a vague memory of someone's 'boat on the beach' Quattro shot, hmmm ...

Obviously, a picture of an actual detail would look a bit mo' better:

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xpatUSA
OP xpatUSA Forum Pro • Posts: 15,874
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

docmaas wrote:

The same rock from the same perspective in full res might have been beneficial.

My shoulders are slumping with the sense that I've still failed to illustrate my main point correctly. However,  in answer to the above:

1) It was the same rock in each shot.

2) When stepping closer to shoot the rock, rather than the truck, it's perspective changes by definition .

3) My monitor is only 1920x1200px. Therefore my DP2M is normally set to low res: 2336x1568px.

An image is the sum of lots of factors, one of which is the number of pixels that capture any particular part of the image. Here the rock is captured by and limited in appearance by the number of pixels used to capture it. More pixels will allow for finer gradations in the appearance of the rock. I once saw the walls of the grand canyon used an an example of fractals. Increasing resolution showed how the subset of a larger chunk of the canyon revealed similar appearances of the larger chunk to the smaller chunks that made up that larger chunk. In a similar way more pixels can reveals subtleties fewer pixels cannot. If the whole of the rock is viewed at a certain level the eye is incapable of seeing the differences in resolution and one image appears just as good as the other. However the closer one looks the more the differences become visible in an image rendered with more pixels than one with fewer.

My own opinion, stated heretofore many times is that our brains differ and just like some people are genii in different fields due to inborn talents, some people are capable of seeing differences in images that others do not and perhaps cannot see also due to inborn abilities. Quite often these differences seen by those so cursed or blessed fall into the "there's no there there" world of inadequate tools to make the differences visible to those who don't sense them. Pixel level examination quickly loses itself as magnification grows the sought to examine image disappears into blocks of pixels that are only subtly different and seemingly incapable of making the differing observations of the whole image believable to those who don't have the natural ability to see them. Yet there are a pareto portion of those of us who do.

These differences appear throughout photographic fora often in conversations about micro contrast and other nebulous terms. There is something there but not everyone can see it.

Quite so. You might find this interesting:

http://filmicworlds.com/blog/visual-acuity-is-not-what-the-eye-can-see/

Another example of not everyone being able to see the same way is two image 3d viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBa-bCxsZDk I can't do this, I suspect because of my amblyopia discussed in other threads about eye dominance, but a lot of other people can. There use to be viewers in the library when I was in school that were built on this technique to present classical images in 3D. They always just looked like two blurry images to me.

xpatUSA wrote:

richard stone wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

I understand your puzzlement. I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

By way of illustration, I went outside and shot my truck in low-res:

OOC JPEG, FastStone Viewer:

No editing, no re-sampling, nut'n.

Looks "OK" bearing in mind it's a picture of the truck, not the shrubbery or grass.

Now I look at 400% to check image quality:

I see general softness and a really poor rendition of the rock which "just happened" to be lying there. Based on viewing at 400% I'd say the whole image is a failure ... which was not obvious at 100%. Had I looked at someone else's shot and posted a 400% crop with similar comments - it would not be unusual to get a huffy response. I have a vague memory of someone's 'boat on the beach' Quattro shot, hmmm ...

Obviously, a picture of an actual detail would look a bit mo' better:

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Ted

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Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,033
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...
1

xpatUSA wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

FDecker wrote:

So, you artificially created an object with single pixel resolution just to show that, without pixel-peeping, the details of this object can‘t be properly seen on a normal monitor or iPad or whatever....?

I detect a certain incredulity and a bit of spin:

1) The object has single pixel dimensions, not "resolution".

2) The illustration proves to my satisfaction that the details of ANY object "can‘t be properly seen on a normal monitor or iPad or whatever" - not just "this object". My thread uses "this object" as an example because, being an artificial construct, it avoids the inevitable obfuscation caused by a real image taken with a real lens by a real photographer.

The main point of this thread is to show that pixel-peeping is necessary when one is interested in examining how detail is rendered in an image. Often, 100% doesn't hack it, unless ...

Oh . . . now I get it. Thanks for the explanation Ted. Sorry your initial posts went over my head.

So why are you arguing about pixel peeping being necessary?

Do I STILL not get it?

As you know, when commenting on an image, I have been known to post zoomed-in illustrations of detail - often when I'm bashing Quattro processing artifacts.

For illustrative purposes only, here's a 100% crop from a nice Merrill landscape posted here by @Ceistinne:

There's some rock detail (circled) which looks fine in this view and quite good in the original view.

But now please view that same detail at X7 (700%):

No need to see the original of this crop, the artifacts are now obvious and cause for concern in a pedantic view.

This thread is aimed directly at those who decry pixel-peeping as if it were somehow "wrong".

Interesting Ted. Do you think the artifacts could be a result of the scaling?

No. The scaling was by Nearest Neighbor with no smoothing, just the same as the mesh image.

Here's my result from scaling it with Preview:

I don't know what "Preview" is - but the smoothing that it applied is quite obvious, even in the above post view.

Here's my result from clicking the 'Smooth' checkbox in FastStone Viewer:

Looks quite similar, d'ya think?

I just figured Preview (the image and PDF viewer that comes on every Mac, and can be used to turn images 90 or 180 degrees, crop, resize, sharpen, convert, and adjust color, brightness, contrast, etc.) was using a different scaling method vs. bicubic, but maybe you're right Ted. Maybe it smoothes the image too. Whatever it does, it looks like the image has far less artifacts.

As always, an element of doubt is cast on my post, starting with "Maybe" ... and ending with "the image has far less artifacts"!

If you choose to re-sample with something other than a positive integer ratio of Nearest Neighbor, your re-sampling of the image has NO relevance in this thread.

Oh. Sorry Ted. I didn't realize that. Hmmm . . .

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Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,033
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

Looks good. To me tonality is more important than details one cannot see. One of the reasons I wish one could adjust the microcontrast of the Merrills. When taking a portrait photo of a kid and you notice all the facial hairs, that you do not when looking at same kid, then the microcontrast is excessive. In other situations it might not be an issue and people mistake it for details.

I think one reason I turn down the "Sharpness" and "Detail" settings when processing my Sigma raw files is the excessive micro-contrast. There are many benefits though, such as less noise, and less-intense sharpening halos.

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richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,252
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...
1

Scottelly wrote:

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

Looks good. To me tonality is more important than details one cannot see. One of the reasons I wish one could adjust the microcontrast of the Merrills. When taking a portrait photo of a kid and you notice all the facial hairs, that you do not when looking at same kid, then the microcontrast is excessive. In other situations it might not be an issue and people mistake it for details.

I think one reason I turn down the "Sharpness" and "Detail" settings when processing my Sigma raw files is the excessive micro-contrast. There are many benefits though, such as less noise, and less-intense sharpening halos.

Scott

Yes but... Seriously, lots of people, self included, sometimes lose sight (pun intended) of the "image" issue here. You look at, or manage to create a scene, and you want to capture it for others to see, maybe not just as you see it, but in some similar way. What I have discovered in many years of reading Sigma forum posts is that lots of people take pictures of scene "A" and then discover, on peeping, that they not only have captured the scene A, but also all kinds of other interesting and fun stuff. And possibly some other not so fun stuff too. It happens all the time.

The peepers see detail they had not seen before. Is this good? Well, it is grand, in the sense of wonderful, if it is part of, or is complementary to, the image you had in mind, or somehow enhances the image or message. But how about skin blemishes and skin discoloration produced by the camera system itself. Occasionally ugly and generally somewhat distracting. It occasionally makes you go "wow, amazing" but it is not part of the plan.

In terms of pretty girls at the beach, I have my own beautiful model (perfect skin) and very slender, and I live on a small island in the Pacific Ocean, with palm trees and white beaches and all the rest, and it really does not help to use high resolution with the sdQ for portraits. It isn't that she looks better on low res, it is just less distracting from the image as a whole. It is seems better to use portrait mode and calm down some of the detail issues. I generally cannot resist taking pictures of her, although I sometimes wonder why I bother, because  she takes selfies like crazy.

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saltydogstudios Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

Macrae wrote:

HI Ted,

This is a very interesting exercise. I actually love this kind of thing because it has helps me make decisions regarding resolution dimensions in my printing so that I achieve the look/print I am after.

I must admit that I am a low resolution photographer. That is I have not (for my own work) been able to create more descriptive prints with higher pixel count sensors. I know this sounds a bit mad, but it is true.

In your virtual example, you equate detail with individual pixels. But a pixel (colour and luminosity) is not detail. It is a building block of detail. Like an atom to a molecule. It is only when group of pixels reach a certain quality is readable "detail" formed.

Think about this. Imagine you are standing in a great hall where the floor is constructed of long strips of boards that run the length of the room. The boards have normal variegation, and their colour varies as you would expect. When you look down at your feet, it is easy to differentiate the separate boards. But as they extend away from where you are standing, it becomes increasingly difficult to visually separate one board from another until it is impossible.

If your position remains unchanged what would have to happen to the distant boards in order for them to be perceived? They would have to be enlarged and contrast added so that the minimum visual threshold for tonal separation was reached.

Below is a crop from a 24x36 inch print sized at 90 PPI made from alternating black and white pixels. It is a fascinating thing to look at and to print especially when one keeps in mind that these are black (0) and white (255) pixels. Imagine, like the floor example above if these pixels were variations of gray not unlike what we find in nature. What would happen if they were smaller (higher resolution)? The question of how "good" is the detail in your mesh relies on so many things. The one thing it most relies on is viewing conditions. This is why my inkjet prints cannot be optimized for two different viewing distances.

black and white pixel checkboard. crop from 24x36 inch at 90PPI.

I did something similar when I was experimenting with subtractive color systems - read: paint mixing.

I wanted to see if I could really start from a few primary colors and create "all" the colors.

Perhaps because the pigments I was starting from were not pure Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, I found that what I produced was a muddier, grayer version of the color I was aiming for.

When I replicated this on an additive system - read: a computer monitor, by doing much the same as you - placing adjacent "red" and "yellow" pixels next to each other (I think I chose those colors because of my experiments in paint mixing and not for any theoretical reason) - the result was the same.

A muddy grey version of the color that theoretically should have shown up.

In retrospect, it's likely because each color wasn't "pure" CMY or RGB and therefore was triggering multiple frequencies. Does anyone even bother to sell pure CMY paints (like oil pant or watercolor)?

BTW this thought process is very much at the root of one of my new photographic projects. I'll try to sneak in a Foveon here and there.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,393
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

saltydogstudios wrote:

Macrae wrote:

HI Ted,

This is a very interesting exercise. I actually love this kind of thing because it has helps me make decisions regarding resolution dimensions in my printing so that I achieve the look/print I am after.

I must admit that I am a low resolution photographer. That is I have not (for my own work) been able to create more descriptive prints with higher pixel count sensors. I know this sounds a bit mad, but it is true.

In your virtual example, you equate detail with individual pixels. But a pixel (colour and luminosity) is not detail. It is a building block of detail. Like an atom to a molecule. It is only when group of pixels reach a certain quality is readable "detail" formed.

Think about this. Imagine you are standing in a great hall where the floor is constructed of long strips of boards that run the length of the room. The boards have normal variegation, and their colour varies as you would expect. When you look down at your feet, it is easy to differentiate the separate boards. But as they extend away from where you are standing, it becomes increasingly difficult to visually separate one board from another until it is impossible.

If your position remains unchanged what would have to happen to the distant boards in order for them to be perceived? They would have to be enlarged and contrast added so that the minimum visual threshold for tonal separation was reached.

Below is a crop from a 24x36 inch print sized at 90 PPI made from alternating black and white pixels. It is a fascinating thing to look at and to print especially when one keeps in mind that these are black (0) and white (255) pixels. Imagine, like the floor example above if these pixels were variations of gray not unlike what we find in nature. What would happen if they were smaller (higher resolution)? The question of how "good" is the detail in your mesh relies on so many things. The one thing it most relies on is viewing conditions. This is why my inkjet prints cannot be optimized for two different viewing distances.

black and white pixel checkboard. crop from 24x36 inch at 90PPI.

I did something similar when I was experimenting with subtractive color systems - read: paint mixing.

I wanted to see if I could really start from a few primary colors and create "all" the colors.

Perhaps because the pigments I was starting from were not pure Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, I found that what I produced was a muddier, grayer version of the color I was aiming for.

You can get paints in the Process Colors, which are basically the same pigments as are used in printing inks. They certainly give better mixtures than red, yellow and blue.

Some painters like to do a lot of mixing and prefer the range of near-grey colours that they get. Personally, I prefer to do as little mixing as possible.

The great advantage of paint is that you have the iron oxide pigments (Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red, Mars Red, etc ) which are ideal for skin colours and many other natural colours. These are not available in photography or four-colour printing.

When I replicated this on an additive system - read: a computer monitor, by doing much the same as you - placing adjacent "red" and "yellow" pixels next to each other (I think I chose those colors because of my experiments in paint mixing and not for any theoretical reason) - the result was the same.

A muddy grey version of the color that theoretically should have shown up.

In retrospect, it's likely because each color wasn't "pure" CMY or RGB and therefore was triggering multiple frequencies. Does anyone even bother to sell pure CMY paints (like oil pant or watercolor)?

Yes. For instance, "Winsor & Newton 120ml Galeria Acrylic Paint - Process Magenta".

BTW this thought process is very much at the root of one of my new photographic projects. I'll try to sneak in a Foveon here and there.

PrebenR Veteran Member • Posts: 4,146
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

xpatUSA wrote:

I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

Pixel-peeping does not show the image quality, at all. It shows sensor/lens capabilities, accuracy of the photograph (in focus). All those aspects can be perfect, and the image is still crap.

Image quality doesn't come from perfect details alone.

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Don't blame the camera
Still trying to upgrade photographer body

xpatUSA
OP xpatUSA Forum Pro • Posts: 15,874
I recant
2

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

Pixel-peeping does not show the image quality, at all.

I bow to your superior digital photographic knowledge.

I recant: pixel-peeping does NOT reveal:

- Artifacts

- CA

- Blur

- Noise

All images should be assessed only after zooming smoothed so as to fit fully within the viewing medium, whatever that might be.

It shows sensor/lens capabilities, accuracy of the photograph (in focus). All those aspects can be perfect, and the image is still crap.

Image quality doesn't come from perfect details alone.

Here's a definition of "image quality" for you to disagree with, all or in part:

It's for camera phones but just as applicable to other imagers, I reckon:

http://www.imatest.com/solutions/cpiq/

I will of course give your opinion much more weight than that of Norman Koren and Imatest.

A picture of a beautiful girl on the beach has a much higher image quality than a small, artificially-generated, pixel-sized mesh.

Thank you for pointing out my glaring error. Please feel free to have the coveted Last Word.

'bye ...

-- hide signature --

Ted

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,393
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...
3

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

Pixel-peeping does not show the image quality, at all. It shows sensor/lens capabilities, accuracy of the photograph (in focus). All those aspects can be perfect, and the image is still crap.

We are talking about technical image quality, not aesthetic quality. Resolution, noise and focus are all components of technical image quality.

Image quality doesn't come from perfect details alone.

Nobody said it did.

But what would have been a good picture artistically can be spoiled by a technical defect such as wrong focus or camera shake. I have a great many examples in my archives.

Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,033
Re: I recant
1

xpatUSA wrote:

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

Pixel-peeping does not show the image quality, at all.

I bow to your superior digital photographic knowledge.

I recant: pixel-peeping does NOT reveal:

- Artifacts

- CA

- Blur

- Noise

All images should be assessed only after zooming smoothed so as to fit fully within the viewing medium, whatever that might be.

It shows sensor/lens capabilities, accuracy of the photograph (in focus). All those aspects can be perfect, and the image is still crap.

Image quality doesn't come from perfect details alone.

Here's a definition of "image quality" for you to disagree with, all or in part:

It's for camera phones but just as applicable to other imagers, I reckon:

http://www.imatest.com/solutions/cpiq/

I will of course give your opinion much more weight than that of Norman Koren and Imatest.

A picture of a beautiful girl on the beach has a much higher image quality than a small, artificially-generated, pixel-sized mesh.

Thank you for pointing out my glaring error. Please feel free to have the coveted Last Word.

'bye ...

Touché!

-- hide signature --

Scott Barton Kennelly
https://www.bigprintphotos.com/

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furtle
furtle Contributing Member • Posts: 933
Re: I recant

xpatUSA wrote:

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

Pixel-peeping does not show the image quality, at all.

I bow to your superior digital photographic knowledge.

I recant: pixel-peeping does NOT reveal:

- Artifacts

- CA

- Blur

- Noise

All images should be assessed only after zooming smoothed so as to fit fully within the viewing medium, whatever that might be.

It shows sensor/lens capabilities, accuracy of the photograph (in focus). All those aspects can be perfect, and the image is still crap.

Image quality doesn't come from perfect details alone.

Here's a definition of "image quality" for you to disagree with, all or in part:

It's for camera phones but just as applicable to other imagers, I reckon:

http://www.imatest.com/solutions/cpiq/

I will of course give your opinion much more weight than that of Norman Koren and Imatest.

A picture of a beautiful girl on the beach has a much higher image quality than a small, artificially-generated, pixel-sized mesh.

Thank you for pointing out my glaring error. Please feel free to have the coveted Last Word.

'bye ...

Ted, please don't get the 'ol hump; it ain't worth the extra heart beats.  You started an interesting thread that has, interestingly, drifted.  In my book, a good thing as it opens up the discussion.

I mentioned up thread I've printed a dozen photos from various cameras, something I've not done for a while.  Whereas I can see great advantages of Foveon pics on a screen, those advantages quickly  fall away when printing.  That brought me up short and I've now questioned my interest in Sigma cameras.

Of course there are differences between technical and artistic quality.  I think all can agree with this.  I now think artistic quality trumps techical quality but have no criticism of those striving for the ultimate technical quality.

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Best, Steve

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MyReality
MyReality Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: I recant
3

Agree. Below is my reply to Richard Stone above about Foveon:

"You said you like the detail of what a Foveon sensor produces. I am assuming you are talking about pixel peeping. To me detail is only relevant in a practical sense. If I can pick out a Foveon print from all others in a valid double-blind test of same size prints, then a will be impressed."
"Some people like to look at detail or tech for its on sake. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not part of my makeup.

Foveon sensor people seemed to be very biased towards their equipment.

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docmaas
docmaas Veteran Member • Posts: 6,578
Re: I recant
3

Foveon sensor people seemed to be very biased towards their equipment.

First why bring it to the people level and why group all the members of the forum under a single umbrella?

Second, how is this different from any other equipment forum here or elsewhere.  It is the equipment after all that brings the majority of posters to any equipment forum.

Why, other than bias whether based on technology or iq or any of several other characteristics, would anyone choose any camera or anything else for that matter.  Did you just throw a bunch of names of cameras in hat and pick one?  I think not.

Mike

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"At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past."
Maurice Maeterlinck

docmaas
docmaas Veteran Member • Posts: 6,578
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

xpatUSA wrote:

docmaas wrote:

The same rock from the same perspective in full res might have been beneficial.

My shoulders are slumping with the sense that I've still failed to illustrate my main point correctly. However, in answer to the above:

1) It was the same rock in each shot.

2) When stepping closer to shoot the rock, rather than the truck, it's perspective changes by definition .

3) My monitor is only 1920x1200px. Therefore my DP2M is normally set to low res: 2336x1568px.

Sorry to have added to your burden however the critique stands.  You only needed to view and crop the rock and state that the only difference was the number of pixels and say "Look, it must be a miracle how we get better definition of details with more pixels." You don't need a larger monitor to do that.

An image is the sum of lots of factors, one of which is the number of pixels that capture any particular part of the image. Here the rock is captured by and limited in appearance by the number of pixels used to capture it. More pixels will allow for finer gradations in the appearance of the rock. I once saw the walls of the grand canyon used an an example of fractals. Increasing resolution showed how the subset of a larger chunk of the canyon revealed similar appearances of the larger chunk to the smaller chunks that made up that larger chunk. In a similar way more pixels can reveals subtleties fewer pixels cannot. If the whole of the rock is viewed at a certain level the eye is incapable of seeing the differences in resolution and one image appears just as good as the other. However the closer one looks the more the differences become visible in an image rendered with more pixels than one with fewer.

My own opinion, stated heretofore many times is that our brains differ and just like some people are genii in different fields due to inborn talents, some people are capable of seeing differences in images that others do not and perhaps cannot see also due to inborn abilities. Quite often these differences seen by those so cursed or blessed fall into the "there's no there there" world of inadequate tools to make the differences visible to those who don't sense them. Pixel level examination quickly loses itself as magnification grows the sought to examine image disappears into blocks of pixels that are only subtly different and seemingly incapable of making the differing observations of the whole image believable to those who don't have the natural ability to see them. Yet there are a pareto portion of those of us who do.

These differences appear throughout photographic fora often in conversations about micro contrast and other nebulous terms. There is something there but not everyone can see it.

Quite so. You might find this interesting:

http://filmicworlds.com/blog/visual-acuity-is-not-what-the-eye-can-see/

I did find it very interesting.  I'm left wondering if my "addiction to accutance" might be partially an "addiction to aliasing." 

I was always told that my depth perception deficit was permanent but apparently that is not the case and modern optometry and optometrists and neuroscientists have developed methods to correct the lack and restore the 3dness of the world to those who have not theretofore had it.

I may pursue this.  Not being able to see the results leaves one standing on the edge of a new world but without anything other than verbal descriptions to say what is there.  Ironically the referents for the verbal description are the of the same nature as the unseen world itself leaving them more full of promise but frustratingly empty of anything else.

Another example of not everyone being able to see the same way is two image 3d viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBa-bCxsZDk I can't do this, I suspect because of my amblyopia discussed in other threads about eye dominance, but a lot of other people can. There use to be viewers in the library when I was in school that were built on this technique to present classical images in 3D. They always just looked like two blurry images to me.

xpatUSA wrote:

richard stone wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

I understand your puzzlement. I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

By way of illustration, I went outside and shot my truck in low-res:

OOC JPEG, FastStone Viewer:

No editing, no re-sampling, nut'n.

Looks "OK" bearing in mind it's a picture of the truck, not the shrubbery or grass.

Now I look at 400% to check image quality:

I see general softness and a really poor rendition of the rock which "just happened" to be lying there. Based on viewing at 400% I'd say the whole image is a failure ... which was not obvious at 100%. Had I looked at someone else's shot and posted a 400% crop with similar comments - it would not be unusual to get a huffy response. I have a vague memory of someone's 'boat on the beach' Quattro shot, hmmm ...

Obviously, a picture of an actual detail would look a bit mo' better:

-- hide signature --

"Dao ke dao, fei chang dao. Ming ke ming, fei chang ming" Laozi
"At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past."
Maurice Maeterlinck

xpatUSA
OP xpatUSA Forum Pro • Posts: 15,874
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

docmaas wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

docmaas wrote:

The same rock from the same perspective in full res might have been beneficial.

My shoulders are slumping with the sense that I've still failed to illustrate my main point correctly. However, in answer to the above:

1) It was the same rock in each shot.

2) When stepping closer to shoot the rock, rather than the truck, it's perspective changes by definition .

3) My monitor is only 1920x1200px. Therefore my DP2M is normally set to low res: 2336x1568px.

Sorry to have added to your burden however the critique stands. You only needed to view and crop the rock and state that the only difference was the number of pixels and say "Look, it must be a miracle how we get better definition of details with more pixels." You don't need a larger monitor to do that.

An image is the sum of lots of factors, one of which is the number of pixels that capture any particular part of the image. Here the rock is captured by and limited in appearance by the number of pixels used to capture it. More pixels will allow for finer gradations in the appearance of the rock. I once saw the walls of the grand canyon used an an example of fractals. Increasing resolution showed how the subset of a larger chunk of the canyon revealed similar appearances of the larger chunk to the smaller chunks that made up that larger chunk. In a similar way more pixels can reveals subtleties fewer pixels cannot. If the whole of the rock is viewed at a certain level the eye is incapable of seeing the differences in resolution and one image appears just as good as the other. However the closer one looks the more the differences become visible in an image rendered with more pixels than one with fewer.

My own opinion, stated heretofore many times is that our brains differ and just like some people are genii in different fields due to inborn talents, some people are capable of seeing differences in images that others do not and perhaps cannot see also due to inborn abilities. Quite often these differences seen by those so cursed or blessed fall into the "there's no there there" world of inadequate tools to make the differences visible to those who don't sense them. Pixel level examination quickly loses itself as magnification grows the sought to examine image disappears into blocks of pixels that are only subtly different and seemingly incapable of making the differing observations of the whole image believable to those who don't have the natural ability to see them. Yet there are a pareto portion of those of us who do.

These differences appear throughout photographic fora often in conversations about micro contrast and other nebulous terms. There is something there but not everyone can see it.

Quite so. You might find this interesting:

http://filmicworlds.com/blog/visual-acuity-is-not-what-the-eye-can-see/

I did find it very interesting. I'm left wondering if my "addiction to accutance" might be partially an "addiction to aliasing."

I was always told that my depth perception deficit was permanent but apparently that is not the case and modern optometry and optometrists and neuroscientists have developed methods to correct the lack and restore the 3dness of the world to those who have not theretofore had it.

I may pursue this. Not being able to see the results leaves one standing on the edge of a new world but without anything other than verbal descriptions to say what is there. Ironically the referents for the verbal description are the of the same nature as the unseen world itself leaving them more full of promise but frustratingly empty of anything else.

Another example of not everyone being able to see the same way is two image 3d viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBa-bCxsZDk I can't do this, I suspect because of my amblyopia discussed in other threads about eye dominance, but a lot of other people can. There use to be viewers in the library when I was in school that were built on this technique to present classical images in 3D. They always just looked like two blurry images to me.

xpatUSA wrote:

richard stone wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

I must admit to being somewhat puzzled by this post. I don't take pictures of "details." There are generally details in the pictures I take, of course.

I understand your puzzlement. I must have failed to make it clear that I use pixel-peeping only for the checking of image quality, NOT as a means to "take pictures of details".

By way of illustration, I went outside and shot my truck in low-res:

OOC JPEG, FastStone Viewer:

No editing, no re-sampling, nut'n.

Looks "OK" bearing in mind it's a picture of the truck, not the shrubbery or grass.

Now I look at 400% to check image quality:

I see general softness and a really poor rendition of the rock which "just happened" to be lying there. Based on viewing at 400% I'd say the whole image is a failure ... which was not obvious at 100%. Had I looked at someone else's shot and posted a 400% crop with similar comments - it would not be unusual to get a huffy response. I have a vague memory of someone's 'boat on the beach' Quattro shot, hmmm ...

Obviously, a picture of an actual detail would look a bit mo' better:

A pity that the discussion has morphed into one solely about the rock, to the exclusion of the original subject. The rock was placed there by me to serve as a "detail", not placed there to be an unsatisfactorily-rendered main subject.

I'll re-do the pixel-peeping assessment of the truck image, using instead part of the truck.

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Ted

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docmaas
docmaas Veteran Member • Posts: 6,578
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

Things often don't go as intended (perhaps even "don't often go").  Best laid plans of mice and men and all that.

What was the title of the thread as originally posted again?

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"Dao ke dao, fei chang dao. Ming ke ming, fei chang ming" Laozi
"At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past."
Maurice Maeterlinck

richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,252
Re: I recant
3

MyReality wrote:

Agree. Below is my reply to Richard Stone above about Foveon:

"You said you like the detail of what a Foveon sensor produces. I am assuming you are talking about pixel peeping. To me detail is only relevant in a practical sense. If I can pick out a Foveon print from all others in a valid double-blind test of same size prints, then a will be impressed."
"Some people like to look at detail or tech for its on sake. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not part of my makeup.

Foveon sensor people seemed to be very biased towards their equipment.

MR: This is a Sigma "digital camera" forum, a site dedicated to discussion of Sigma cameras, which at one point meant only Foveon sensors. What else would one therefore expect except a discussion of Sigma digital cameras?

I bought the SD10 in 2005 because I liked the various pictures it produced that I saw on this site and others. After I bought it remained pleased with it.

I bought the sdQ in 2017 because I like the images I saw on this site and others. I remain impressed with the detail that shows up on the screen and in the prints. but to truly do the files justice I would have to buy a bigger and better printer. Yes, it does better than what I can print.

I didn't really buy the  cameras only because of the detail I saw, but it was part of the decision. Before the SD10 I had been using MF film and a Contax G2. I liked the Foveon colors. I liked the simple camera menu. I still think the Foveon does better than similarly priced Bayer cameras in almost all aspects. Is the "resolution" better in the Sigma cameras? The sdQ Foveon is about as good as it gets. The lenses are superb. The sensor is unique.

The wife doesn't think the pictures of her need to get any sharper.

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