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Author Topic: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...  (Read 28443 times)

Paul Roark

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2015, 02:43:05 pm »

My view on MPs includes my experience that every geometric adjustment -- lens corrections, stitching, perspective control, etc. -- causes a loss of information/sharpness.  So, the more information I start with, the more likely I'll end up with an image file that is, at printing time, still sharp.

I also think that whatever issues are introduced by the Bayer pattern will end being reduced as the MPs increase, whether or not the pure resolution in ideal circumstances is affected noticeably. 

So, while balancing noise is critical, all else being equal, I want to see lots more MPs.  I don't think we're at the end of the line there for those of us who do landscapes and large prints.  (And the cell phones may take over most of the rest of the market.)

(Yes, my pre-order is in for the a7rii.)

Paul
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disneytoy

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2015, 04:14:27 pm »

I'm all for more MPX. My Uncle is getting the A7rII in a week or so. It is more important to pick lenses, modern lenses intended for high MPX. Luckily, Zeiss is making the Sony FF lenses, and they are aware of the sensors they need to resolve to.

The saddest thing is finding a favorite photo you shot years ago at non optimal mpx or even only from a jpg. and know you won't be able to print it larger.

I have 8,000 photos I shot in Cuba @ 15.9 mpx. Because I know what I'm doing I can get very nice 24x36, even some 30x60s. I always shoot at low ISO, well exposed raws, and a good noise reduction/ uprezzing workflow.

So 42 mpx will be very nice. Like I said, I have a new roll of 44" glossy to play with:-)
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2015, 06:18:08 am »

I understand how sensor shift works. What I don't understand is how "super sampling" say a 1980's era lens will get higher resolution, actual detail from the lens. To me the maximum resolution is still limited by the optics.

On a side note, I don't always care about sharpness. I've used some very cheap lenses for floral photography and they render beautiful soft gradations.

So, with sensor shift, can you really ernd up with a much sharpewr image from say an old Nikor 28mm f 2.8 lens?

I wouldn't describe The R>G>G>B pixelshift as super-sampling or over-sampling, the Bayer sensor/filter concept is more a kind of subsampling on color. You still need the lens resolution to address the individual pixels but the color information is limited (not considering the anti-aliasing sensor lenses). If the sensor resolution would be described per cell of RGGB pixels (or AA lens) we would read way lower sensor resolution figures. The dilemma Fovean had to deal with to get realistic figures for comparing both systems. R>G>G>B pixel shift is a 1:1 sampling on Bayer sensors, like a monochrome sensor + R>G>B filtering in time is a 1:1 sampling for RGB color. Alright, there is possibly some Green oversampling done in the first example.
Olympus adds oversampling on top of the R>G>G>B pixelshift with 4 extra steps halfway the pixel pitch, Pentax doesn't. Olympus does not deliver more than 64 MP in the RAW file (sensor 16MP) and concentrates the data even more in the JPEG output. Like with scanners that oversample, there is a gain on the signal/noise ratio which translates in better information. A solid base for upsampling and sharpening if this output is not directly expressed in sharper images.

I do not advocate the use of low quality lenses but at a point either the sensor or the lens out-resolve one another. With all sensor and lens tests we see the warning that they should be compared with one lens or one camera system. Enough lenses of the analogue past out-resolved the first digital sensors, that is hardly the case with today's sensors. Imaging Resource used the Sigma 70mm macro a long time for camera tests and it out-resolved a lot of sensors in the past. If the lens is optimal for a given Bayer sensor, both not out-resolving one another, then pixelshift R>G>G>B with that combination will still deliver more information than a single exposure with that system. Olympus' over-sampling can add information on top of that. Take the same lens and put it on a Bayer sensor with half the pixel pitch so 3x or 4x the resolution and you will not gain the same information with a single exposure, a lens with more resolution is needed. That is what I had in mind.

We have seen the pixel shift used in MF digital backs to compete with analogue large format and digital scanback resolution figures. It is introduced in Micro 4/3 as the sensor size limits higher resolution numbers, not to mention few lenses in the Micro 4/3 systems can actually keep up. Panasonic announced a 20MP M4/3 sensor recently so I wonder what it will improve. The first APS camera has pixel shift and I expect some FF cameras will follow.  Back illuminated sensors will improve with a wider dynamic range, better low light specs or more resolution for these sensor formats too but there is an end to it. Either sensors hitting physical laws on visible light or lenses becoming too expensive to keep up with the sensor resolution. Decades later than the wafer steppers hit on similar conditions and they go beyond the visible spectrum, the cameras we use can not. Yes, this is speculative. On the other hand some years ago I did wonder whether mechanical aspects of DSLRs or mirror-less would not limit further pixel pitch shrinking as the vibration goes beyond pixel pitch. Canon and Olympus had to deal with that aspect if you read in between the lines of recent DPreview camera reports. Sony encountered the same issue.

On the use of (old) soft portrait lenses on high resolution sensors. There is no law forbidding it, there are tastes, there are conventions and any print that satisfies the viewer makes this whole thread pointless anyway. Upsampling from lower sensor resolutions with algorithms that deliver soft images has some analogy with the use of said portrait lenses though.

Going back to the subject line. I estimate that in best case; optimal inkjet paper coating, smallest ink droplet, best droplet addressing, the required PPI at printer output stage will not exceed 450. Bart van der Wolf's print target could add the right numbers. That said, I expect that if one starts from 225 PPI quality pixels and use best upsampling routines and sharpening it will be damned difficult to make the distinction between the same size prints made from either starting point. Upsampling on the 450 PPI data not translating in a better print, the information then simply out-resolving the printer/paper combination. The numbers falling back to 300 PPI and 150 PPI with heavy textured, matte papers. The best camera + lenses today will exceed A2 format data requirements with a good workflow on a 3.5 picoliter droplet printer, no printer model that can print A2 has smaller droplets than 3.5 picoliter. Starting from 50 MP quality pixels, with 150PPI input, sizes of 2 M2, 22 square feet on heavy textured matte paper will still be acceptable.

Few people start from the print size they use in practice and decide then what camera quality is needed.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 05:10:18 am by Ernst Dinkla »
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keithcooper

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Article added to LULA
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2015, 11:38:38 am »

A slightly tidied up version of my original article has been added to this site.

In another related test, I looked at the 5Ds with a couple of old lenses, confirming that more MP can help with almost any lens, even if spotting the difference needs big prints or tight crops.  Pretty much what I'd expected ;-)

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/cameras/canon_5ds-old_lens.html

The Tamron Twin-Tele 135/4.5 (from 1958)
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Article added to LULA
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 01:16:40 pm »

The Tamron Twin-Tele 135/4.5 (from 1958)

So cute ;)

Indeed, a denser sampling of the same lens projection will allow to extract more detail from an image, although it's a tandem of lens and sensor so the worst of the two will set a ceiling. By the time we reach 1 micron sensel pitch values, then we'll reach the practical limit of what a lens has to offer.

Cheers,
Bart
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Rob Reiter

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2015, 04:02:00 pm »

Obviously an improvement from previous Canon offerings, but not enough to make me regret switching to Nikon and this 3 year old camera:

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Canon-EOS-5DS-versus-Nikon-D800E___1008_814

But if you have a stock of Canon glass you don't want to give up, it's a no-brainer. Still, I have to say it's the dynamic range of Nikon's Sony sensors that really made the trade-up worth while to me. And I'm happy with the 40"x60" prints (largest I can print.)

Maybe Canon will be a leader again some day.
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keithcooper

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Changing kit...
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 05:15:52 pm »

For my own work, it's still primarily about the lenses. I've just added the Canon EF11-24 to my EF8-15, TS-E17 and TS-E24mm
The DxO figures mean somewhat less for me if a lens type I use isn't available ;-)
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Rob Reiter

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Re: Changing kit...
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 07:24:16 pm »

And that's obviously the best way to approach gear...it's just frustrating that Canon seems to be so half-hearted about their upgrades, not only for this series ever since the 5DII, but also for the video capabilities of their DSLRs, what with offerings by Panasonic and Sony that show those manufacturers apparently more interested in listening to their customers.

For my own work, it's still primarily about the lenses. I've just added the Canon EF11-24 to my EF8-15, TS-E17 and TS-E24mm
The DxO figures mean somewhat less for me if a lens type I use isn't available ;-)
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jjj

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2015, 07:36:02 pm »

A good thorough article as usual Keith.
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hugowolf

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2015, 10:33:06 pm »

..., Zeiss is making the Sony FF lenses, and they are aware of the sensors they need to resolve to.

Is that actually true, or are Sony having 'Zeiss' lenses made to Zeiss specs?

Brian A
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ysengrain

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2015, 12:47:54 am »

Incredibly precise job this article.
But, I read the sentence: "If you don’t print over A3+ size (13″x19″) then any advantage of the 5Ds over the 1Ds3 (or 5D mk3) is going to be minimal."

OK I bought a 5D Mk III 2 years ago.
OK… I keep it and am happy
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2015, 06:53:35 am »

Obviously an improvement from previous Canon offerings, but not enough to make me regret switching to Nikon and this 3 year old camera:

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Canon-EOS-5DS-versus-Nikon-D800E___1008_814

But if you have a stock of Canon glass you don't want to give up, it's a no-brainer. Still, I have to say it's the dynamic range of Nikon's Sony sensors that really made the trade-up worth while to me. And I'm happy with the 40"x60" prints (largest I can print.)

Maybe Canon will be a leader again some day.

Canon glass can be used on the A7R II. Add image stabilisation too for Canon lenses without that feature.
No DXO tests of that camera/sensor yet but it would surprise me if it would not equal or surpass the D800E.

An interesting image quality test of pixel shift cameras versus the D810:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-k3-ii/pentax-k3-iiTECH2.HTM
Both the Pentax K3-II and Nikon with the Sigma 70mm macro lens.

Any reason why Sony would not use pixel shift on the replacement of the A7 II or A7R II ?
Or prolong the A7R II's place in the market with a firmware upgrade like that ?


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots





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movinglight

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2015, 04:09:06 pm »

Hi Keith, Thanks for a great review.

I advise a few garden photographers in the UK, and every so often 1 metre+ prints are required by their clients or print sellers for exhibition stands etc.
As you can guess general garden views with lots of plant detail would really benefit from a good many more quality pixels that this camera could potentially offer.

In the past I found that the deshake filter works wonders on 1ds Mk111 garden shots, even mounted on a tripod when the mirror is up and a separate release is used, guess that's why the block around the shutter on the 5dsr was made a little more robust.


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rdonson

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2015, 05:01:47 pm »


Any reason why Sony would not use pixel shift on the replacement of the A7 II or A7R II ?
Or prolong the A7R II's place in the market with a firmware upgrade like that ?


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst


It may be a question of licensing the pixel shift technology.  I think it may belong to Olympus.
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Ron

Ernst Dinkla

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2015, 05:42:13 am »

It may be a question of licensing the pixel shift technology.  I think it may belong to Olympus.

Pixel shifting must be more than two decades old now, it has been used even before Sinar MF digital backs started to use it in 2000: http://www.jenoptik.com/en-progres-25-years-1989-1999
Maybe an Olympus patent on pixel shift combined with sensor image stabilisation but we see that Pentax can use that method too. Sensor image stabilisation has been used since 2003 by Konica-Minolta so before Olympus did and Sony must have the KM patents or at least a deal to use that technology. It has used the technology for other camera models since. So far I mentioned actual camera/sensor introductions and no patents, often enough patents are in the hands of companies that will not use the technology themselves.

No, I do not see patent issues preventing Sony to go that route even if Olympus has control, the market segments of FF and M4/3 differ enough to make a license deal possible.

EDIT: to put this thread in perspective http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56218279


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 06:44:24 am by Ernst Dinkla »
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jjj

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2015, 04:29:29 am »

It may be a question of licensing the pixel shift technology.  I think it may belong to Olympus.
Patents normally protect how something is done, not the concept itself which in this case is several shots combined into one.
You cannot patent washing windows for example, but you can patent a handheld fancy vacuum device's workings.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2015, 05:52:47 am »

In the US Apple etc could today patent a round wheel and a square one IMHO. Nothing in patent law is impossible meanwhile.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots

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dwswager

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2015, 09:38:37 pm »

Having recently moved from a Canon 1Ds3 to a 5Ds as my main camera, I've been looking at how the new camera fits into my work.

Although not the biggest part of my business, architectural/landscape print sales do matter, so I was interested to see how I might need to change how I handle the bigger files for print.

Having made steps from 11MP to 21MP to 51MP over the years, I thought a simple print test would show the massive improvements since my 2002 vintage Canon 1Ds (effectively my first DSLR)

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/cameras/canon_5ds-print-comparison.html

Sure, the differences are there, but the real surprise came when I asked some non photographers to compare the prints.

Diminishing returns! 

First, the limitation of the printing technology comes into play.  Epson will tell you that 360ppi is the limitation of the technology so if the print size requires less than the original image, you have hit a printer limitation.

Also, printing dimensions doubling requires a quadrupling of the MP count (and print area) so 48MP allows double the size of 12MP, not 24MP, at the same output ppi.

There are more uses for those pixels as well.  And more options.  I shoot the D810 in 1.2X crop mode at 25MP for some sports situations. 
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Miles Middlebrook

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2015, 08:30:45 am »

Hi,

My impression is that:

- 12 MP is OK up to A2 size, but more is beneficial
- 24 MP is absolute OK up to A2
- 24 MP is probably OK at A1, but weaknesses may show up
- 24 MP is pretty similar to Velvia 67 scanned at 3200PPI when printed at 30"x40" decent but not really good. Can be probably be pushed quite a bit with excellent processing.
- 39 MP on MFD looks like 24 MP in A2 prints. At A1 size the MP advantage starts to be noticable.

Best regards
Erik


That's exactly what I have found. You'd think there would be more difference between FF 12 mp and 24 mp at A2 size, but in fact it's subtle at normal viewing distance.

However you can see the benefit of 24 against 12 when cutting out, and I guess 50 will be better again for this, assuming decent technique.

Alan Klein

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Re: So, how much difference does 50MP really make with prints...
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2015, 01:07:14 pm »

That was a great review.  I was very impressed by the comments made by average people who didn't really notice the difference with all those extra pixels, that content and interest appears to be more important. 
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