Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?

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JimH123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,971
Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
1

Tony Northrup just posted a video titled: The TRUTH: High Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE? iPhone vs Sony a7R IV vs Sony a7 III

Interesting comparison.  And he did come to the conclusion that to make big prints, that the number of pixels did matter.

I would like to see another twist to this test.  And that would be to use a similar panel of judges to look at images the same way, but to add another category.  I have been playing around with resizing SW and have compared ON1 Resize, Photoshop Precision Details 2 and Topaz's Gigapixel.  So far, I am liking ON1 Resize the best.

Anyway, he started with 8 x 10's and had the same image taken with an iPhone, A7iii, A7Riv and A7Riv in 240 Mpixel mode, and to then have his panel try to decided which ones look the best to worst.

The then simulated a 16 x 20 by cropping the originals and printing more 8 x 10's, and again had his panel judge them.

And he did the same with 32 x 40 and 64 by 60, always just printing 8 x 10's of smaller and smaller crops.

The results sorted themselves out as expected.

Now what would be interesting to add to this would be to resize images and put them in the mix for the panel.  For example, if the A7iii is resized 200% and the A7Riv is not resized, the 240 Mpixel version is not resized also, how would the panel sort the resultant 8 x 10's not knowing what produced the image?

I suspect that the resizing would bump up the standing of the A7iii as long as pixel peeping is not possible.  But the panel was only holding 8x10 prints, so they are limited in how close they could inspect the picture.

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Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,588
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
22

Tony Northrup AND the TRUTH.

That in one sentence - hmmmm...

Still interesting to see what he has to say.

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,836
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
13

JimH123 wrote:

Tony Northrup just posted a video titled: The TRUTH: High Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE? iPhone vs Sony a7R IV vs Sony a7 III

Interesting comparison. And he did come to the conclusion that to make big prints, that the number of pixels did matter.

I would like to see another twist to this test. And that would be to use a similar panel of judges to look at images the same way, but to add another category. I have been playing around with resizing SW and have compared ON1 Resize, Photoshop Precision Details 2 and Topaz's Gigapixel. So far, I am liking ON1 Resize the best.

Anyway, he started with 8 x 10's and had the same image taken with an iPhone, A7iii, A7Riv and A7Riv in 240 Mpixel mode, and to then have his panel try to decided which ones look the best to worst.

The then simulated a 16 x 20 by cropping the originals and printing more 8 x 10's, and again had his panel judge them.

And he did the same with 32 x 40 and 64 by 60, always just printing 8 x 10's of smaller and smaller crops.

The results sorted themselves out as expected.

Now what would be interesting to add to this would be to resize images and put them in the mix for the panel. For example, if the A7iii is resized 200% and the A7Riv is not resized, the 240 Mpixel version is not resized also, how would the panel sort the resultant 8 x 10's not knowing what produced the image?

I suspect that the resizing would bump up the standing of the A7iii as long as pixel peeping is not possible. But the panel was only holding 8x10 prints, so they are limited in how close they could inspect the picture.

Just print big and see for yourself. Tony is comparing pixels only, and not taking the printing process into account, nor close/far viewing.

I printed an image with the A7rII (42Mp) at roughly 4'x6' and it hangs in the dining room (two panels).

Standing back, you'd look at the image, and details don't matter too much, as you consider the composition.

Standing closely, you can see the many sharp details, and it does impress.

I have printed large panels before with lower res sensor cameras, and yes, the details are visible close up.

As to large prints, you can easily go down to 150dpi, sometimes even to 75dpi, without distorting the 'feeling of sharpness' when viewing from a distance. Closeup, this is not always true.

I would use a 300dpi as a factor to calculate a basic size, and allow a 150dpi to see if I can get larger without a major loss of quality (not, the printer will print at 300dpi anyways, and will 'sharpen' the image in doing so).

At 9504x6336, you are talking:

  • 31"x21" at 300dpi
  • 63"x42" at 150dpi
  • 126"x84" at 75dpi
    (or roughy 'around' 3x2 feet, 5x4 feet, and 10x7 feet).

Do the same for the 24Mp, and you'll get, at 6000x4000,

  • 20"x13" at 300dpi
  • 40"x26" at 150dpi
  • 80"x53" at 75dpi
    (or roughy 'around' 1.5x1 feet, 3x2 feet, and 5x4 feet, i.e. 'one size down').

In other words, simply translate the 9504x6336 vs 6000x4000 as a 1.4x linear, or almost 2x area differences.

Being able to print twice-as-large is significant. Only if you cannot get close to a large print, then the higher resolution may not matter. Otherwise, it will always be more impressive - assuming that you did capture enough detail at full (pixel peeping) resolution.

As a corollary: a friend of mine printed a 6Mp image at 3'x4' - it is a portrait of his daughter when young. The printed image is beautiful, and resolution does not matter, as the background is OOF, and printer process sharpened the portrait lines just beautifully. In fact, the lower resolution works almost as a 'smoothing' filter for the skin textures. But yeah, you'd best look at it from some distance...

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Cheers,
Henry

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Chaplain Mark
Chaplain Mark Senior Member • Posts: 5,361
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
6

Trollmannx wrote:

Tony Northrup AND the TRUTH.

That in one sentence - hmmmm...

Well-said....

The moment we start declaring a person's viewpoint as The Truth, well, wesa inna beeg twouble......

😳😳

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Chaplain Mark
-----
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--------------
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Ken Sky Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
7

To be fair to Tony, his conclusion was that the higher pixel count was best viewed as "future proofing" his files.

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OP JimH123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,971
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
1

Ken Sky wrote:

To be fair to Tony, his conclusion was that the higher pixel count was best viewed as "future proofing" his files.

Yes, he did say that.

But I still wonder how resizing the A7iii 200% and comparing to the A7Riv would have worked out in his test. I suspect with only comparing 8x10 prints that it might be close.

For someone who rarely prints large, it might not be that bad of a way to go.

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Tuloom Veteran Member • Posts: 3,196
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
3

JimH123 wrote:

Tony Northrup just posted a video...

OMG, and I just got all masterbatory.

Bruce Oudekerk
Bruce Oudekerk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,617
High Megapixels + BIG Prints
3

JimH123 wrote:

Tony Northrup just posted a video titled: The TRUTH: High Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE? iPhone vs Sony a7R IV vs Sony a7 III

Interesting comparison. And he did come to the conclusion that to make big prints, that the number of pixels did matter.

I would like to see another twist to this test. And that would be to use a similar panel of judges to look at images the same way, but to add another category. I have been playing around with resizing SW and have compared ON1 Resize, Photoshop Precision Details 2 and Topaz's Gigapixel. So far, I am liking ON1 Resize the best.

Anyway, he started with 8 x 10's and had the same image taken with an iPhone, A7iii, A7Riv and A7Riv in 240 Mpixel mode, and to then have his panel try to decided which ones look the best to worst.

The then simulated a 16 x 20 by cropping the originals and printing more 8 x 10's, and again had his panel judge them.

And he did the same with 32 x 40 and 64 by 60, always just printing 8 x 10's of smaller and smaller crops.

The results sorted themselves out as expected.

Now what would be interesting to add to this would be to resize images and put them in the mix for the panel. For example, if the A7iii is resized 200% and the A7Riv is not resized, the 240 Mpixel version is not resized also, how would the panel sort the resultant 8 x 10's not knowing what produced the image?

I suspect that the resizing would bump up the standing of the A7iii as long as pixel peeping is not possible. But the panel was only holding 8x10 prints, so they are limited in how close they could inspect the picture.

There is no substitute for a well focused image using high quality glass, great light and using a camera with a lot of pixels when it comes to large print optimal quality.

Of course ‘optimal quality’ is in the eyes of the beholder and depends greatly on the viewer, the type of photograph, the setting of the displayed image and the context in which it is viewed.

… and, most relevant to this discussion, there is the issue of print preparation which Tony essentially ignores. It is very, very important. It is true that that we can’t create viable image ‘information’ in post because that’s baked into the capture. However we can prepare and present that information in a way as to make it appear of higher quality, especially with a good capture. In an ideal world, Tony’s experimentation should have included appropriate up-sampling at the printer’s native resolution and performing an output ‘sharpening’ suitable for that print. Admittedly that ‘sharpening’ is actually modifying image acutance but when viewing prints it can greatly affect how the image detail appears.

Admittedly in the long run, and all other factors being equal, more megapixels will eventually win out but we can effectively move the ‘acceptability bar’ significantly higher with skillful print preparation. I would love to see that same test performed using the same prints but also throw in some 24MP a7III, 61MP a7RVI and 240MP a7RVI shots into the mix that were expertly prepared specifically for print from those same RAW files.

Bruce

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AlephNull Senior Member • Posts: 1,706
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
5

We used to have people shilling for Ken Rockwell's web site. Do we now have people acting as shills for this guy?

I don't care what he thinks. I just wish we didn't have posts in this forum acting as advertisements.

(edited to correct Ken R's name - he's not a tennis player...)

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Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 7,531
Many pixels = big cropping potential = good.
1

Picking up on one facet of the MP arguement to get viewers = lazy and wasteful.

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Ron.
Volunteer, what could possibly go wrong ?

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jay-A Regular Member • Posts: 338
WHAT a NEWSFLASH really
6

gotta LOVE it when TONY uses BIG uppercase LETTERS in his CLICKBAIT TITLES.

Apart from that, what a newsflash really: you need to have megapixels to print big. Thanks Tony, wouldn't have figured this out myself.

The guy is probably monitoring is advertisement income and posting a video whenever he sees a dip in revenue. So Tony, if you're out of inspiration, what about this for tomorrow's video:

The TRUTH about COLOR images: you need to TURN black and white OFF to HAVE a COLOR image!

Robjwilli
Robjwilli Regular Member • Posts: 460
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
3

The guy gives me the creeps...

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www.robjwilli.com

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Paul Barnard
Paul Barnard Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
He didn’t compare big prints
3

What Tony compared was not big prints. He compared same size prints at different dot densities.

That’s interesting in itself and a valid test of what happens when you step right up to an image and stare at the detail (which I do) but it doesn’t reflect print size in the least.

This was not his best technical analysis.

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Almazar80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,331
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
12

Actually, the title was basically a play on what some people say, that high megapixels are a waste.  What he says is quite the opposite, and that he suspects that technology will keep pushing the megapixel count and that this is fine.  No one ever regrets having more resolution, and that if you want things to be remembered the best way possible, capturing it in as a high resolution is possible is not such a bad idea.  The title may be click bait, but the content was quite interesting.

SilvanBromide Senior Member • Posts: 3,909
Re: WHAT a NEWSFLASH really

jay-A wrote:

gotta LOVE it when TONY uses BIG uppercase LETTERS in his CLICKBAIT TITLES.

Apart from that, what a newsflash really: you need to have megapixels to print big. Thanks Tony, wouldn't have figured this out myself.

The guy is probably monitoring is advertisement income and posting a video whenever he sees a dip in revenue. So Tony, if you're out of inspiration, what about this for tomorrow's video:

The TRUTH about COLOR images: you need to TURN black and white OFF to HAVE a COLOR image!

Brutal, but I'm afraid you do have a point.

It's a pity really. Some of Tony's commentary is reasonable and helpful, but it's all mixed up with nonsense opinion (i.e highly subjective assessments couched as fact) and clickbait (and occasional outright misinformation) which greatly diminishes the usefulness of the rest of his efforts.

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sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 15,120
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?

JimH123 wrote:

Ken Sky wrote:

To be fair to Tony, his conclusion was that the higher pixel count was best viewed as "future proofing" his files.

Yes, he did say that.

But I still wonder how resizing the A7iii 200% and comparing to the A7Riv would have worked out in his test. I suspect with only comparing 8x10 prints that it might be close.

For someone who rarely prints large, it might not be that bad of a way to go.

If increasing detail were just a matter of upsampling, there wouldn't be any need for high res sensors. You'd just have 24MP worth of detail spread across 48MP worth of pixels.

The way I see it, my eyes prob won't see more than a 40" 8K monitor's worth of detail, which when you factor in aspect ratios is 24MP for the full picture height. Maybe take a little more for cropping and detail. When I need more detail, the subject often lends itself nicely to a sweep panorama- I have plenty of big prints shot from that method and they look great. I don't need 100MP snapshots and portraits.

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raminm Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
3

Trollmannx wrote:

Tony Northrup AND the TRUTH.

That in one sentence - hmmmm...

Still interesting to see what he has to say.

He has certainly had many occasions where his name deserves to be in one sentence with 'truth'.

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raminm Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?
15

AlephNull wrote:

We used to have people shilling for Ken Rockwell's web site. Do we now have people acting as shills for this guy?

I don't care what he thinks. I just wish we didn't have posts in this forum acting as advertisements.

(edited to correct Ken R's name - he's not a tennis player...)

I didn't see this thread as an advertisement. There is even a question mark at the end of the title. It only suggested the poster wants to examine TN's claims.

I wished we didn't have people like you in this forum. I like when people show the details of their works so that people can make their own assessment of their results compared to those who only claim with no evidence whatsoever.

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Ceistinne Senior Member • Posts: 1,881
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?

blue_skies wrote:

JimH123 wrote:

Tony Northrup just posted a video titled: The TRUTH: High Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE? iPhone vs Sony a7R IV vs Sony a7 III

Interesting comparison. And he did come to the conclusion that to make big prints, that the number of pixels did matter.

I would like to see another twist to this test. And that would be to use a similar panel of judges to look at images the same way, but to add another category. I have been playing around with resizing SW and have compared ON1 Resize, Photoshop Precision Details 2 and Topaz's Gigapixel. So far, I am liking ON1 Resize the best.

Anyway, he started with 8 x 10's and had the same image taken with an iPhone, A7iii, A7Riv and A7Riv in 240 Mpixel mode, and to then have his panel try to decided which ones look the best to worst.

The then simulated a 16 x 20 by cropping the originals and printing more 8 x 10's, and again had his panel judge them.

And he did the same with 32 x 40 and 64 by 60, always just printing 8 x 10's of smaller and smaller crops.

The results sorted themselves out as expected.

Now what would be interesting to add to this would be to resize images and put them in the mix for the panel. For example, if the A7iii is resized 200% and the A7Riv is not resized, the 240 Mpixel version is not resized also, how would the panel sort the resultant 8 x 10's not knowing what produced the image?

I suspect that the resizing would bump up the standing of the A7iii as long as pixel peeping is not possible. But the panel was only holding 8x10 prints, so they are limited in how close they could inspect the picture.

Just print big and see for yourself. Tony is comparing pixels only, and not taking the printing process into account, nor close/far viewing.

I printed an image with the A7rII (42Mp) at roughly 4'x6' and it hangs in the dining room (two panels).

Standing back, you'd look at the image, and details don't matter too much, as you consider the composition.

Standing closely, you can see the many sharp details, and it does impress.

I have printed large panels before with lower res sensor cameras, and yes, the details are visible close up.

As to large prints, you can easily go down to 150dpi, sometimes even to 75dpi, without distorting the 'feeling of sharpness' when viewing from a distance. Closeup, this is not always true.

I would use a 300dpi as a factor to calculate a basic size, and allow a 150dpi to see if I can get larger without a major loss of quality (not, the printer will print at 300dpi anyways, and will 'sharpen' the image in doing so).

At 9504x6336, you are talking:

  • 31"x21" at 300dpi
  • 63"x42" at 150dpi
  • 126"x84" at 75dpi
    (or roughy 'around' 3x2 feet, 5x4 feet, and 10x7 feet).

Do the same for the 24Mp, and you'll get, at 6000x4000,

  • 20"x13" at 300dpi
  • 40"x26" at 150dpi
  • 80"x53" at 75dpi
    (or roughy 'around' 1.5x1 feet, 3x2 feet, and 5x4 feet, i.e. 'one size down').

In other words, simply translate the 9504x6336 vs 6000x4000 as a 1.4x linear, or almost 2x area differences.

Being able to print twice-as-large is significant. Only if you cannot get close to a large print, then the higher resolution may not matter. Otherwise, it will always be more impressive - assuming that you did capture enough detail at full (pixel peeping) resolution.

As a corollary: a friend of mine printed a 6Mp image at 3'x4' - it is a portrait of his daughter when young. The printed image is beautiful, and resolution does not matter, as the background is OOF, and printer process sharpened the portrait lines just beautifully. In fact, the lower resolution works almost as a 'smoothing' filter for the skin textures. But yeah, you'd best look at it from some distance...

Henry,

Everywhere you mention dpi (dots per inch)  it should be ppi (pixels per inch).

dpi has to do with printers only.

S

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ttan98 Senior Member • Posts: 2,358
Re: Tony Northrup - The TRUTH: Hi Megapixels + BIG Prints are a WASTE?

Just visual perceptions from a number of viewers. It is not a scientific test and even worse still no mention no. of samples taken.

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