Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

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Calibur Junior Member • Posts: 42
Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

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JohnNewman
JohnNewman Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
2

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

Possible a state of the art full frame camera is not the best option for a 5mb jpeg?

What's the eventual purpose of the image(s)?

A bit more information would help.

Cheers.

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pforsell
pforsell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,677
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

What will be the display size? Will you show the Z7 image at the same size as you would the Z6 image? If yes, then the reduced and compressed Z7 image will most likely look a bit better.

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Peter

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24Peter
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,374
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
2

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

There may be the slightest difference - but on most devices and at normal viewing distances that difference will probably be imperceptible. In fact, you probably couldn't tell the difference between a Z7 shot and a mid-range cell phone photo under those conditions.

Also keep in mind there's more to Image Quality than resolution. Dynamic range and low light/high ISO performance may also impact the final image. The Z6 excels slightly over the Z7 on both these metrics. But again you're splitting hairs and likely won't see those differences in a 5MP image.

The bigger question is why you're considering high end ILCs for this intended use. If you give us more information maybe we can steer you in a direction more suited to your needs.

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LightCameraAction Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

I suppose there may technically be some advantage to the z7 (e.g., you may have slightly more detailed color information depending on final output details).

The question is whether it will matter. I doubt the difference will matter much if you are not printing large or cropping significantly and plan to downsize the final image.

One consideration is if you want to shoot in crop mode to simulate an APS-C field of view. If you do, it's possible the number of pixels may start to matter (particularly if you shoot in crop mode and crop further in post).

michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,376
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

Saying "5MB JPG" doesn't mean much.  Or maybe it does.  If I save a full resolution Z7 file as a JPG at full quality out of Photoshop it is usually well over 30MB.  I have to down-rez the image to around 2400x3600 pixels to get something close to a 10MB JPG at full quality.  I can then get it down to 5MB by reducing the JPG quality.  So were looking at a 8.5 megapixel image at this point.

So let's say that in general you need to reduce your photos down to a 10 MP image and reduce the quality of the JPG output file.

Technically speaking the Z7 image downsized is going to yield a better quality photo than a Z6 file at the same MP.  But in practice I don't think most people will see a lot of difference without scrutiny.

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Z7 has slightly better DR if shooting below ISO 100.  The Z6 has slightly better high ISO IQ, although that advantage will mostly go away if downsizing the photos to 10 megapixels.

The Z6 reportedly auto-focuses a little better in very low light situations.

If you really are going to be reducing all your final images to 5MB JPG photos for viewing than I think a Z7 is way overkill.

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

I don't think full frame really plays into this.  I think APS-C would behave the same way.

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Mike Dawson

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 30,040
Don't downres
1

michaeladawson wrote:

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

Saying "5MB JPG" doesn't mean much. Or maybe it does. If I save a full resolution Z7 file as a JPG at full quality out of Photoshop it is usually well over 30MB. I have to down-rez the image to around 2400x3600 pixels to get something close to a 10MB JPG at full quality. I can then get it down to 5MB by reducing the JPG quality. So were looking at a 8.5 megapixel image at this point.

In general, if file size is the constraint (not the output device), it is better to reduce JPEG resolution than to downres the image. There are some corner cases where that isn't true, but using the relatively intelligent and psychology-aware compression of the JPEG DCT algorithm is almost always better than the meat-ax approach of downsizing.

Jim

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Hello123
Hello123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,433
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Calibur wrote:

If the final target for my image is a 5MB JPG, will the Z7 produce a better image than a Z6?

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

I'm curious, why have you set a target of 5mb jpg?

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OP Calibur Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Hello123 wrote:

I'm curious, why have you set a target of 5mb jpg?

Images will be put into cloud storage for gallery viewing. Likely on a 12 inch iPad Pro or Microsoft surface.

I found 5M to be a fairly good compromise on image quality vs storage space. This is about an 80% quality export of 24 megapixel image in lightroom.

OP Calibur Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

What will be the display size? Will you show the Z7 image at the same size as you would the Z6 image? If yes, then the reduced and compressed Z7 image will most likely look a bit better.

Target display is a 12 inch IPAD pro or Microsoft Surface. Yes the images will be viewed at the same size.

My first thoughT is if the images are shown on the same size display, and they both come from the same physical size sensor, that there’s not much of an advantage of having a higher megapixel count...but there might be.

OP Calibur Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

michaeladawson wrote:

So let's say that in general you need to reduce your photos down to a 10 MP image and reduce the quality of the JPG output file.

Technically speaking the Z7 image downsized is going to yield a better quality photo than a Z6 file at the same MP. But in practice I don't think most people will see a lot of difference without scrutiny.

Yeah that’s was my initial assumption, That the benefits of the higher resolution wouldn’t add much additional quality if I viewed on a normal display (12 inch iPad Pro in this case) unless you are pixel peeping.

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Z7 has slightly better DR if shooting below ISO 100. The Z6 has slightly better high ISO IQ, although that advantage will mostly go away if downsizing the photos to 10 megapixels.

The Z6 reportedly auto-focuses a little better in very low light situations.

If you really are going to be reducing all your final images to 5MB JPG photos for viewing than I think a Z7 is way overkill.

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

I don't think full frame really plays into this. I think APS-C would behave the same way.

Right the sensor size doesn’t matter, what matters is the comparison between 2 different resolutions from the same sensor size.

24 MP APC vs 45 MP Full frame - Full frame will produce the better image once scaled down, assuming equivalent lenses.

24 MP FF vs 45 MP FF - images are probably? very close once scaled down so there isn’t much benefit of going higher resolution in this case.

pforsell
pforsell Veteran Member • Posts: 3,677
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Calibur wrote:

What will be the display size? Will you show the Z7 image at the same size as you would the Z6 image? If yes, then the reduced and compressed Z7 image will most likely look a bit better.

Target display is a 12 inch IPAD pro or Microsoft Surface. Yes the images will be viewed at the same size.

My first thoughT is if the images are shown on the same size display, and they both come from the same physical size sensor, that there’s not much of an advantage of having a higher megapixel count...but there might be.

The Z7 is a better 24 mpix camera than the Z6.

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Peter

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OP Calibur Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
1

24Peter wrote:

There may be the slightest difference - but on most devices and at normal viewing distances that difference will probably be imperceptible. In fact, you probably couldn't tell the difference between a Z7 shot and a mid-range cell phone photo under those conditions.

I don’t think this is correct. I have 5 megabyte (byte not megapixels) JPGS now from an APSC and I can clearly see the difference on a computer monitor between those and a cell phone photo.

Also keep in mind there's more to Image Quality than resolution. Dynamic range and low light/high ISO performance may also impact the final image. The Z6 excels slightly over the Z7 on both these metrics. But again you're splitting hairs and likely won't see those differences in a 5MP image.

The bigger question is why you're considering high end ILCs for this intended use. If you give us more information maybe we can steer you in a direction more suited to your needs.

FF ILC is considered because the pictures are for moving objects (pets/kids) indoors and outdoors.

It’s about having options. Outside I can have optical zoom capability, inside I can put on a fast lens.

So far based on the opinions here, the high resolution won’t offer much benefit for my use case, so the Z6 is the sensible purchase.

Only thing I think I’d be missing out on is the ability to put a DX lens on the camera for extra reach in outdoor situations. I think if I put the 50-250 DX Z on a Z7 it will produce a better image than putting It on the Z6, even if the image quality is reduced to 5 megabytes.

j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 4,871
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
1

Calibur wrote:

What will be the display size? Will you show the Z7 image at the same size as you would the Z6 image? If yes, then the reduced and compressed Z7 image will most likely look a bit better.

Target display is a 12 inch IPAD pro or Microsoft Surface. Yes the images will be viewed at the same size.

My first thoughT is if the images are shown on the same size display, and they both come from the same physical size sensor, that there’s not much of an advantage of having a higher megapixel count...but there might be.

For the majority of circumstances, you will not see any difference. However there are some conditions where one or the other camera might stand out. For example, if cropping heavily, the Z7 can produce a sharper image. Or in very low light, the Z6 may have an advantage.

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 30,040
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference

Calibur wrote:

michaeladawson wrote:

So let's say that in general you need to reduce your photos down to a 10 MP image and reduce the quality of the JPG output file.

Technically speaking the Z7 image downsized is going to yield a better quality photo than a Z6 file at the same MP. But in practice I don't think most people will see a lot of difference without scrutiny.

Yeah that’s was my initial assumption, That the benefits of the higher resolution wouldn’t add much additional quality if I viewed on a normal display (12 inch iPad Pro in this case) unless you are pixel peeping.

You’re gonna res both images down for that display? Then the only advantage of the Z7 will be better control of aliasing artifacts, especially false color.

What would be the advantages of the Z7 over the Z6 (if any) in this case? Or would the Z6 have any advantages?

Z7 has slightly better DR if shooting below ISO 100. The Z6 has slightly better high ISO IQ, although that advantage will mostly go away if downsizing the photos to 10 megapixels.

The Z6 reportedly auto-focuses a little better in very low light situations.

If you really are going to be reducing all your final images to 5MB JPG photos for viewing than I think a Z7 is way overkill.

Normally if you start with a higher resolution image and compress it, you end up with a better picture than if you started with a lower resolution image. However since both are full frame sensors, I'm not sure if this is still true.

I don't think full frame really plays into this. I think APS-C would behave the same way.

Right the sensor size doesn’t matter, what matters is the comparison between 2 different resolutions from the same sensor size.

24 MP APC vs 45 MP Full frame - Full frame will produce the better image once scaled down, assuming equivalent lenses.

24 MP FF vs 45 MP FF - images are probably? very close once scaled down so there isn’t much benefit of going higher resolution in this case.

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NCB Senior Member • Posts: 1,450
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
3

The Z6 has an AA filter, the Z7 doesn't. That and the resolution difference tends to mean the Z7 image holds more detail. I suspect that would also hold true after the jpeg compression. Only you know whether that matters to you.

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Hello123
Hello123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,433
Re: Z6 vs Z7 Image Quality Difference
1

Calibur wrote:

Hello123 wrote:

I'm curious, why have you set a target of 5mb jpg?

Images will be put into cloud storage for gallery viewing. Likely on a 12 inch iPad Pro or Microsoft surface.

I found 5M to be a fairly good compromise on image quality vs storage space. This is about an 80% quality export of 24 megapixel image in lightroom.

Okay, I understand.  Either Z6 or Z7  w/Photoshop/LR would fit the bill in my opinion.  I own the Z7 and I love it!

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