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Author Topic: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?  (Read 40913 times)

mecrox

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2015, 11:31:59 am »

Looking at the Americans visiting more famously scenic spots in the US (not kitschy tourist traps) over the past few months, I have to say at least half of those taking pictures came with a late model DSLR with kit lenses.

It seems to me the percentage of people with a real camera goes up dramatically the further off the main highway the scenic location happen to be.  It needn't be far at all.  2 miles seems enough to weed out 75% of the iphone snappers.
 

I concur with that after a recent trip to Venice. Stupendous numbers of people with a camera, and the ones from the Far East especially tended to have big Canon DSLRs. A surprisingly high number had big Canon full-frame DSLRs and L lenses, too. Masses of iPhone snappers, of course, but a lot of them were the same people. The same is true walking around where I live which happens to be one of the country's main tourist spots. I am sure that some kind of shakeout is going on in the photography market but it's not as end-of-the-world as the internet might lead one to believe. Canon, after all, still made a profit even if a smaller one.

A lot of people, I suspect, are still interested in photography and a "good camera", especially for those big far-away vacation trips. I guess one could argue that so far the camera industry hasn't been very good at identifying exactly what many buyers actually want and then giving it to them, instead of iterating the same old stuff, but that if the industry was better at it then more cameras might be sold. Who knows.
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2015, 11:40:44 am »

Lets see the following scenario: average photographer wants to buy a camera and lens. Say he has several options, of course, and compares a FF DSLR and 24-105 f4 zoom kit, with a EVF FF and 24-70 f4 zoom kit. The former costs around EUR 2500, the latter around EUR 3000 (say a Canon 6D vs. Sony A7II). For some, that is a significant difference. Plus, traditional DSLR systems offer an incomparable variety of lens for expanding one's system. Remember, the photographer in case does not care about using adapters and so on. All he wants is to leave the shop with the feeling and guarantee that he made a good choice for his/her money. Arguably, DSLR systems are a very compelling option for our customer. If you go APSC format, the gap is even larger in favour of the DSLR. I mean, the other day I saw a kit with two zooms being sold by EUR 300...

That's a pricing and market segmentation issue, not an inherent advantage of SLR bodies. If anything, an SLR body is more difficult to construct than a mirrorless sytem, having more moving parts.

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Another scenario is the pro photographer, who only changes if he/she sees and feels there is a compelling reason to do so. Most pros I know actually value stability, which is a reason why Canon ergonomics have changed little since say the days of the Canon T90... if it works, don't mess with it. For Sony, this is a big challenge, as they are perceived as a company that changes products lines too much, without hardly ever completing one line, or fully committing to a product line. Canon EOS and Nikon have been around for decades, they offer reliability. Sony offers "innovation" and "fun" (or does it), but all could be over in 2 or 3 years (see Sony NEX line for example). Look at Samsung NX1 as another example; is anyone using it?

For me, the better sensor was a compelling enough reason to swap (ergonomics and AF mattering little for landscape and non-action photography). For others I know (wedding photographers), it was the better video functionality compared with Canon.

The NEX line has not been discontinued - rather, it's been continued as the full-frame A7 series. Full-frame FE lenses are just as usable on the NEX-7 as crop lenses. And crop lenses can be used on full-frame bodies in crop mode, with no loss of function - the lens is still being used to its maximum capability.

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Finally, a third scenario is the "enthusiast" photographer, who wants to downsize the gear, but without compromising on quality. This is where Sony is having a success with the A7 series. A great combination of size, sensor quality, and some top quality lenses (with the help from ZEISS). And with (now) reasonable menu systems and ergonomics. This is what I have changed to in the last year or so, and it is working fine for me. I can carry the same quality with less bulk and weight. But to be honest, in the back of my mind, I still have a lingering doubt that Sony will "innovate" something in the future, and drop the A7 system... Again, look at Sony NEX line, it went the way of the Dodo for Sony APSC, not to mention the A mount system...

No doubt they will drop the A7 system at some point. But probably not the E-mount. And, ultimately, that's what matters.

Camera bodies are short-term, disposable items. If Canon decided to discontinue the 1D series and make a 5Ds, 5D and 5Dx line (for resolution, general use and action/high ISO), for instance, it would make little difference. Dropping the EF-mount, on the other hand, would be a much bigger deal.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 12:14:34 pm by shadowblade »
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powerslave12r

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2015, 11:56:54 am »

Canon had it coming. As a current Canon user and one who has been a Canon-only user for many years, until the last couple of years, I'm sorry to say I don't feel Canon's pain.

Nothing surprising here.

Win for all consumers.
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2015, 01:30:24 pm »

I believe that the OP question of the topic, should be rather "Is FF mirrorless taking over our corner of the world?"

Theodoros, I wouldn't wish to argue with your beliefs, as beliefs are very personal. Thus you may continue to believe.

To me, it seems that what we are seeing with the A7R2 and S2 is not bare "mirrorless", but carefully crafted Sony tech, with the combination of on-sensor phase detect, reversed back-thinned sensors that can accept lenses that have reduced nodal distances and thus smaller flange distances, impressive 5 axis stabilisers that can still dissipate heat and allow video, on-chip A/D conversion, and of course stacked electronics that hugely increase the bandwidth.

When it comes to sensors, I would argue that Sony is using the spinoffs from its phone sensor business in the camera sensor segment and cross-subsidising the phone module development with the turnover from the large sensors.

So what I think we are seeing is a company, Sony, who very carefully and methodically drew up a strategic plan, identified tech enablers and implemented them. The only thing they couldn't do quickly was create a lens range, so there they broke the usual manufacturers Omerta' and poached.

I don't think this is the coming of mirrorless, I think it is Sony becoming a tier 1 prosumer camera supplier.

Edmund
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 01:36:25 pm by eronald »
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adias

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2015, 02:40:21 pm »

Canon hasn't released a game-changing model since the 5D2. The 5D3 was a mere evolution, while the 5Ds almost seems like a 'me too' response to high resolution requirements. ...

Interesting. I see it the other way. The change from the 5D to the 5DII was evolutionary. The 10-12Mpx range of cameras was a plateau for a while. To reach the next plateau one needs a 4x multiplier (double the linear resolution). The 5DS is it.

Re Sony... I have a NEX-series camera and it is OK. I try to love the Sony images (7-series) but I still think the Canon images are better - more photographic.
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Theodoros

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2015, 02:46:34 pm »


I don't think this is the coming of mirrorless, I think it is Sony becoming a tier 1 prosumer camera supplier.

Edmund

Who cares on the company that leads the market? ...if Sony will become No1, so much the better for photographers since the rest of the makers have to work as to catch up...

But one has to admit that Sony entered a "virgin area" because the rest of the makers couldn't see that there is one... Nikon for instance developed mirrorless with tiny sensors & interchangeable lenses (now that's something that proves the icon that marketeers have about the market needs !!!!!!!  :o  :'( )  because they thought that mirrorless is for tourists (that would bring their cell phone with them on their vacations and couldn't care less for interchangeable lenses)...
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MarkL

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2015, 03:00:49 pm »

Sony are the only ones really doing anything of note. Canon and Nikon go on making similar bodies but with updated sensors and Fuji are quiet presumably filling out their lens line.

Canon profits are down 21%

WTF is going on? I think Sony still has momentum, and as they say they're on a 6 months product release cycle (!) things are going to get even more interesting.

I'm sure the dslr will die but not quite yet:

The yen fell 8%
DSLRs outsold mirrorless by 3.1-fold in units and 3.2-fold in revenue
Their yearly profit estimates have been raised
The camera market as a whole is in bad shape
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Manoli

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2015, 03:11:13 pm »

DSLRs outsold mirrorless by 3.1-fold in units and 3.2-fold in revenue

Source ?
That looks suspiciously like USA-only data, certainly not CIPA figures.

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BJL

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2015, 03:52:21 pm »

Canon attributes this drop in profits partly to digital cameras.  How does this help us compare to Sony?  Canon's camera sales are dominated by "fixed lens compact cameras that aren't phones", and that category is shrinking for everyone, not just Canon.  Last, year, Canon seemed to be performing "least badly" amongst the pandemic of pain for camera makers – has that changed?

Does anyone have break-outs for interchangeable lens cameras?  Again looking at last years results, it seemed that mirrorless was doing "less badly" than DSLR, so it could well be that Sony is closing the [big] gap between it and Canon and Nikon for ILC's, but I do not see the evidence yet.

UPDATE: I found some more details, and deleted comments about exchange rated because I had misunderstood that part.  According to DPReview, Canon's Q3 ILC unit sales were down 17% YOY, and "compacts" were down 29%.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:13:23 pm by BJL »
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David Anderson

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2015, 05:07:55 pm »

Sony are the only ones really doing anything of note. Canon and Nikon go on making similar bodies but with updated sensors and Fuji are quiet presumably filling out their lens line.


Canon and Nikon release similar bodies with up-dated sensors because the bodies are pretty well sorted from a users perspective. I think the ergonomics of the 5 series and 800's are very good so why make big changes ?
Both companies are also smoking Sony for lens development and upgrades as well, but Sony seem to get all the press.
That said, I can see Sony is gathering momentum and the E mount is clearly on the radar of third party lens manufactures now as well, so it's an advantage that Canon/Nikon may not have forever.

I really like the idea of the Sony A7 system and find it very very tempting, but little things hold me back from switching.
The main is that the D810 is pretty awesome as are the lens options both old and new so why spend the money ?
(I'm sure a Canon user could argue the same)
The next is that Sony as a brand for pro use is still untested as far as I'm concerned and as much as I see great reviews for the A7's around the traps, there's not enough feedback about after sales service (here in Oz anyway) to make a clear decision.


Again, all this is a good problem to have.

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chez

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2015, 05:30:37 pm »

Eronald, Canon profits are down because they've delayed the 5DIV too long and Sony profits are up because they release a new model every other day.
If I was a Canon user I would be happy knowing my investment in the latest and greatest will be relevant for a few years and if I was with Sony, I might get a bit tired of the quick change-over.

As a Nikon user I'm happy to sit here on the fence with the 800's and get my happy snaps while enjoying the race..  ;D

Seriously, it's all a pretty god problem to have from a photographers point of view.

What would force you to need to upgrade to the latest greatest Sony...and what makes your existing Sony less functional than the day you bought it.

We get new cars every year...do we buy the latest and greatest car every year?
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Telecaster

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2015, 05:42:09 pm »

I like the Sony A7x series mainly because I can use nearly all my SLR (and all my longer rangefinder) lenses with it. Now I can do this with m43 too, but the Sonys make "normal" use of the lens' image circles…and also with certain lenses the outer zone rendering is part of the charm but is lost with a smaller image area. That's pretty much it. I have no emotional stake in Sony as a camera maker, and if Canon or Nikon or Fuji or whomever were making a 35mm format EVF camera I might well be using one of those instead.

-Dave-
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Theodoros

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2015, 06:06:15 pm »

What would force you to need to upgrade to the latest greatest Sony...and what makes your existing Sony less functional than the day you bought it.

We get new cars every year...do we buy the latest and greatest car every year?

+1...

Sony found the mirrorless FF market underestimated by the other makers and succeeded in feeling the empty space... This created a success (the more the skill, the more the success - right up to pros that could use the cameras instead of an MFDB on view cameras) and even had pro view cameras designed exclusively for it (call me Cambo Actus & Arca Universalis). That had very little to do with the sensors, but had a lot to do with the extra abilities mirrorless was fulfilling to the creative photographer's needs...
Now this success continues by Sony correcting the (ergonomical & software) mistakes of their first offerings having the photographers replacing their first cameras, yet again, the replacement is not due to the (little) improvements on sensors... With OVF DSLRs there is very little to justify replacement since neither there are significant ergonomical improvements that can be applied, nor there is significant difference in IQ during the later 3 years... With FF mirrorless, (it being newer) there is still room until "market saturation" and also for ergonomical improvements (but like the OVF DSLRs, none for sensors)... It should be another 2-3 years before the ball settles for the balance to stabilize and safe conclusions to be extracted...

Aaaah... and the megapixel war is long over... (again, the more the skills, the more the war is over).
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2015, 06:48:19 pm »

Aaaah... and the megapixel war is long over... (again, the more the skills, the more the war is over).

Tell that to anyone who prints at huge sizes, or anyone shooting scenes for use in 3Dfx in cinema/animation/computer graphics.

The latter often require images of several hundred megapixels, if not gigapixels.

The higher the camera resolution and dynamic range, the simpler the workflow, since you need to align and stitch fewer images together.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2015, 06:57:01 pm »

Is Sony taking over the world?
Well, maybe... but maybe not.
As a long time Canon user who still uses a Canon 5D mark III and many very good Canon lenses I do value what I would call the maturity of the system (bodies come and go but interfaces and lenses remain).
Sony does not have a mature system (with any lens mount), yet.
However they do seem to have struck a rich seam of gold with the mirrorless FE combination.
I am using the Sony A7R and the sibling mark II version as well.
Both these bodies produce excellent IQ when used well but the interface is definitely not as well established and thought through as Canon (or Nikon?) and the native lens line up is still very definitely limited.
More lenses are coming from Sony and also third party manufacturers are getting behind the FE mount. Hopefully this will mean a good selection of lenses in the next year or two.

Unlike my Canon 5D mark III which is an excellent all-round camera (substitute other bodies from Canon or or other brands as appropriate) mirrorless cameras do have significant limitations in some areas of use. High volume shooters and those that require ability to shoot high action will find that mirrorless is not there yet. Small batteries, limited buffer size (file size doesn't help here), focusing limitations related to the mirrorless technology, all cramp their style. Customisation also has some quixotic limitations that will not please everyone.
It is possible, in the future, that Sony, and other makers, will iron out these limitations.

Why then did I buy into the Sony mirrorless system?
First up I accepted what these bodies could NOT do.
I got these bodies for the combination of high resolution and great dynamic range (call it a poor mans solution to a MF system!).
I am able to use nearly all my Canon lenses (super telephotos are a notable exception) including my Canon 100-400mm mark II, which works really well, with the Metabones IV adaptor (with up to date firmware of course).
This ability to use most of my Canon glass made the FE system very attractive. I can fill in the blanks in the Sony lens line up - including using my tilt-shift lenses that seem to work well with the latest Metabones firmware update.

When I need to shoot wildlife, birds, etc then I pull out my 5D mark III and my big lenses and this will probably continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.
However, when my shooting needs are more static the Sony's are plonked on the tripod to lever every ounce of IQ from those spectacular sensors.

Perhaps with different budget constraints I would have made different choices.
Nonetheless, despite the limitations of the Sony system, I have been able to use these bodies effectively. Because of the Metabones adaptors I now have an almost seamless crossover from action/wildlife ability to high resolution/high dynamic range/ high IQ tripod level photography as a really affordable system.

Despite the fact the I use, and like, this Sony system, I fully agree agree with all the posts in various threads expressing reservations about the general applicability of the FE mirrorless system as a ubiquitous professional camera.
However, if Sony's management are not complete blockheads, they will be aware of the various boxes that need ticking.
I cannot believe that Sony will abandon the FE mount in the foreseeable future - after all their goose has just laid the golden egg - so a lot more work will still go into the whole system.
They must also be aware of the fact that, with the various adaptors available that the FE mount has become a de facto universal mount making a move to the FE mount a practical proposition for almost all photographers.
The sensible commercial approach would be to make the FE mount an even more attractive proposition.

So, while Sony has the potential with FE mount mirrorless system to make a huge impact this will not be completely realised as things stand now. If, however,  Sony can continue to adapt and improve then this system may prove to be even more than, in the words of Michael Reichmann, a game changer!

My $0.02 worth

Tony Jay
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Theodoros

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2015, 06:58:21 pm »

Tell that to anyone who prints at huge sizes, or anyone shooting scenes for use in 3Dfx in cinema/animation/computer graphics.

The latter often require images of several hundred megapixels, if not gigapixels.

The higher the camera resolution and dynamic range, the simpler the workflow, since you need to align and stitch fewer images together.

No need...  :o there very few on this forum that print as big (or as much) as I do...  ;) The mp war is long over.... and unfortunately the per pixel quality war hasn't started yet...  ;)
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2015, 09:30:24 pm »

No need...  :o there very few on this forum that print as big (or as much) as I do...  ;) The mp war is long over.... and unfortunately the per pixel quality war hasn't started yet...  ;)

It's not over until you can shoot a 96"x32", 300dpi image in one shot. Or a cinematic backdrop for CGI use.

Quality per pixel doesn't matter. It's just a matter of sampling. For any sensor, you can sample more densely and have more noise per pixel (but the same overall), or you can sample less densely and not see the noise (not tnat it's not there - just that the resolution's too low to see it). It would be very easy to make a 4MP camera with near-perfect pixels. It also wouldn't be very useful outside of scientific/technical applications.

Quality per square millimetre of sensor area - now, that matters a lot, and is independent of sampling density.
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BJL

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2015, 09:46:11 pm »




Quality per pixel doesn't matter. It's just a matter of sampling.

It would be very easy to make a 4MP camera with near-perfect pixels. It also wouldn't be very useful outside of scientific/technical applications.

Quality per square millimetre of sensor area - now, that matters a lot, and is independent of sampling density.
Exactly — and that "4MP camera with near perfect pixels" is not hypothetical; it has in fact been around for years, and as you say, it is only used for those scientific and technical applications.  I am referring to the 2000x2000 Kodak CCD sensor with huge per pixel dynamic range due to having huge 24 micron photosites on a roughly 50x50mm sensor.  Great for X-rays and some machine vision, but not for the sort of photography that this forum is about.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 10:02:53 pm by BJL »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2015, 05:30:54 am »

I go back to what, for me, is still the crux of the matter: the E mount system is not mature enough to be "convincing" to many potential users or buyers. Perception plays a very important role in this too. People in general do not yet perceive Sony as a "photographic name"; they may know that Sony makes some nice cameras, but it is actually difficult to understand what works with what... A mount, E mount, APSC, FF, adapters... is it NEX, Alpha, E, FE... it's almost like a deterrent:)

They need to sort out this mess, and instil confidence. A mount users and E mount APSC users are feeling a little like left overs and abandoned, to say the least... Sony is skilled at riding the "flavour of the moment", but people also like long term stability. After all, it can not be easy to switch from a well established system, to a system that feels like "half baked". It certainly was not easy for me; I waited 2 years before moving from Canon to Sony. I was of course attracted by a system that offered FF in a compact and high quality package. I do not shoot anything demanding in terms of action, my main interest is landscape and travel. Again, smaller, lighter, and no quality compromise.

It would be nice to see Sony cleaning out their house; it would be nice to see Sony completing at least one of their lens lines, be it f1.8, f1.4, or f2.0 lenses... at the moment, it is just a pot shot strategy, launching several lens lines concurrently, but failing, after 2 years, to complete even one of them. Thankfully, I do not demand a lot of lenses, and the ones I want, are available...

Theodoros

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2015, 08:09:16 am »

It's not over until you can shoot a 96"x32", 300dpi image in one shot. Or a cinematic backdrop for CGI use.

Quality per pixel doesn't matter. It's just a matter of sampling. For any sensor, you can sample more densely and have more noise per pixel (but the same overall), or you can sample less densely and not see the noise (not tnat it's not there - just that the resolution's too low to see it). It would be very easy to make a 4MP camera with near-perfect pixels. It also wouldn't be very useful outside of scientific/technical applications.

Quality per square millimetre of sensor area - now, that matters a lot, and is independent of sampling density.

I never print at 300dpi... and I avoid printing from cell phone size pixels... but I do often print larger than 96"X32"....
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