Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Best pixel size or best format?  (Read 2683 times)

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11252
    • Echophoto
Best pixel size or best format?
« on: January 22, 2016, 03:16:12 pm »

Hi,

I recently have spent a lot of thought sensor size vs. pixel size. Many folks feel that 16, 24, 36, 50, 80 or 100 MP are just right for an image.

Indeed, I have seen an interview with Ctein and Michael Reichmann discussing a lot of things. Ctein very clearly said that 16 MP 4/3 was good enough for A2-size prints. Now, A2 is an interesting size, it is about 16"x23", what you essentially can pull out of the desktop printers today.

What I have seem myself was that I can make perfectly good A2 prints from say 12 or 16 MP.

So, if it is 16 or 24 MP we may need, the best way may be to go for a smaller sensor, that provides that resolution with ample edge contrast, AKA MTF, but without causing excessive aliasing.

Now, I never feel that 'oversampling' an image is a bad thing. But an optimal sized sensor may be much better than a sensor with oversized pixels.

So, if we don't plan on printing large, it may make a lot of sense to go with small sensor systems like 4/3 or Fuji's APS-C cameras.

Personally, I like to have the ability to print large, so I prefer to have as many pixels I can afford, but still with a well balanced performance.

Large pixels cannot resolve fine details, so they result in aliases that is low frequency fake detail in lieu of high frequency real detail they cannot reproduce. Smaller pixels that outresolve the lens or subject will deliver an image with a soft look but more accurate detail that will sharpen well.

My guess is that say 4.5 micron pixels would work well with f/8. Good sharpness, optimal detail and very little moiré.

Best regards
Erik
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

David Sutton

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1276
    • David Sutton Photography
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 05:10:52 pm »

Hi Erik.
Thanks for posting. For many of us it's finding the balance between cost, sensor size, lens choice and quality, weight, optimal detail, DR and probably a few other factors. Working out what will work for us makes for some interesting conversation.
I would still place lens quality over most other factors. One reason for moving to Fuji from Canon was that the XT-1 out-resolved the 5D2 and was a hell of a lot lighter. I put some of it down to Canon's 24-105 lens, which isn't that great, but it does have IS. (I don't do primes). The next factor was weight; I usually carry two bodies because I don't like changing lenses when the air is full of dust, rain, snow, insects etc.
I can't  speak for 4/3, but the APS-C is just fine for blurring a background with most lenses, and I can't  see anything wrong with A1 prints, though I have to get the composition right in camera as severe cropping is out of the question.
David
Logged

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11252
    • Echophoto
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 05:28:17 pm »

Hi,

Lenses are important, of course, but I am presuming good lenses.

Weight is important, both carrying the stuff and on air travel.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Erik.
Thanks for posting. For many of us it's finding the balance between cost, sensor size, lens choice and quality, weight, optimal detail, DR and probably a few other factors. Working out what will work for us makes for some interesting conversation.
I would still place lens quality over most other factors. One reason for moving to Fuji from Canon was that the XT-1 out-resolved the 5D2 and was a hell of a lot lighter. I put some of it down to Canon's 24-105 lens, which isn't that great, but it does have IS. (I don't do primes). The next factor was weight; I usually carry two bodies because I don't like changing lenses when the air is full of dust, rain, snow, insects etc.
I can't  speak for 4/3, but the APS-C is just fine for blurring a background with most lenses, and I can't  see anything wrong with A1 prints, though I have to get the composition right in camera as severe cropping is out of the question.
David
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

David Sutton

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1276
    • David Sutton Photography
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2016, 07:41:05 pm »


Lenses are important, of course, but I am presuming good lenses.


Yes, a fair assumption now. How things have changed in the last 5 years, Sigma being just one example.
Logged

Dan Wells

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 981
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 11:04:12 pm »

At least my take on this (and I ended up landing on Fuji for GREAT bodies and lenses, both in quality and in a wide lens lineup - the lenses aren't cheap, but they're about the best around).

It absolutely DOES depend on print size, up to a point... Remember that very large prints are viewed from a distance - Nikon's 4 MP D2h was used to shoot billboards - you see a billboard from 100 meters or more away, while driving past. (For that matter, only the very most modern stadium scoreboards are even 1920x1080 HD, despite being 50 feet tall - the only reason a scoreboard looks at all reasonable is because you can't get close to it).

The largest print size I deal with routinely is 24x36" (I own an Epson 7900, and there is no place nearby with a 9900, so finding anything bigger is a real pain - I could do it in a special circumstance, but it wouldn't be easy). So for me, a 24x36 that stands up to inspection on a table before it gets framed and hung is what I'm after. This will differ among photographers, of course.

I hike (planning to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2017), and a non-trivial percentage of my landscape images are in the backcountry, so small and light is a relatively high priority (as is sturdy/weathersealed) - even if I could afford a Phase One system, it would only work for 50% of my needs, because it couldn't GET TO the other half. I am willing to have two partially overlapping sets of lenses (some lenses that are good as well as being light, and some that are great but heavier).

Canon or Nikon DSLRs tend to be either too flimsy (D3300 and friends) or somewhat heavy. Pentax, with their lighter, weathersealed bodies, is kind of intriguing, but I worry about their staying power.

Sony E-mount (not FE - see below) has only extremely low-end bodies (despite terrific sensors), and is short on lenses, with only a couple of good ones plus the better FE lenses, which are huge on the little bodies.

Sony FE-mount seems extremely appealing (a LOT of resolution in a very portable package), but I don't fully trust the sealing or build quality, and the lenses are limited in range, large and some of them are not stellar (others are).

Micro 43 is very appealing from a body size (and durability, especially in the case of some of the indestructable Olympus bodies) standpoint, and there are some really nice lenses (mixed in with a lot of junk), but I just don't quite trust the resolution or dynamic range. Unless there's dynamic range trouble, I can get a GREAT 12x18 out of Micro 43, and I can generally go to 16x24 except on very high detail images. I won't go to 24x36, unless the image is a foggy, atmospheric shot anyway.

Fuji finally came out with a weathersealed body, and I've always loved their lenses. Their seems to be about one print size of difference between 16 MP X-Trans II and Micro 43 - 16x24 is EASY from a Fuji, and 24x36 is possible on a lot of subjects. I have a big deposit down on the first X-Pro 2 to reach Vermont, because that last little boost (24 MP instead of 16, and a couple of sensor generations newer) should put the X-Pro 2 firmly in the 24x36 class.

My equipment saga will almost certainly at least pause at an X-Pro 2, an X-T2 and a bag full of Fujinons. I'll take whatever of this gear makes sense on a given shoot, but I'll know that I have access to focal lengths from 10 to 400 mm, all at uniformly high quality, plus some very compact lenses for long hikes. I'm not going to carry both bodies at once on the Appalachian Trail, but I'll probably switch bodies a few times over the six months, so I have access to both sets of features and ways of seeing.

For complete lines of high-quality lenses, there are only three choices - Nikon FF, Canon FF and Fuji (and Fuji is only complete if you don't need exotic telephotos or tilt/shift lenses). It's pretty well possible to get to a complete setup in Micro 43 as well, but it takes more dodging and choosing. Neither Nikon or Canon have sufficient options in their crop lineups, except by augmenting with full-frame lenses that are heavier and sometimes odd focal lengths. None of Sony's FOUR sets of lenses are near complete by my definition (the A-mount lines come closer than E or FE-mount).

One interesting new consideration with digital (especially mirrorless) is that some mounts are easier to design lenses for than others. SLRs are more forgiving, because any mount that avoids hitting the mirror also has sufficient distance behind the mount (flange focal distance) for most designs. Film is more forgiving, because it'll accept light from any angle, while digital sensors need more nearly parallel rays. The FE mount is apparently brutal to design lenses for, because it has an extremely short flange focal distance for the size of the sensor. The only lenses that will work with that constraint, especially when corner quality is taken into consideration, are large, heavy retrofocus designs. The Leica SL mount is going to have the same problem - its flange focal distance is equally short. This issue doesn't seem to plague APS-C and smaller mirrorless designs, perhaps because the flange focal distance is not as short in relation to the size of the sensor (Micro 43 actually has a LONGER flange distance than Sony FE, by a tiny bit).

If Sony FE is "undermounted" - its APS-C origins mean that the mount isn't really deep enough, Micro 43 may be "overmounted"?  The flange focal distance is relatively long for the sensor size, longer than Fuji, Sony or Leica's APS-C mount (the latter two of which have full-frame variants), and the mount diameter is only 6mm smaller than the full-frame Nikon F mount (and even closer to a couple of obscure 35mm mounts).

If I were Nikon or Canon, and considering getting into FF mirrorless, I have a radical suggestion - use your existing mount! Yes, there's going to be a bulge in the middle of the camera to get an F-mount in there, but it's still possible to save a ton of weight by ditching the prism and some of the grip (as well as, in Nikon's case, body focusing motors and related hardware - restricting it to newer lenses may well be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff for weight savings). A D810 is about 12 ounces heavier than an A7rII (and a D610 is only 8 ounces heavier). Some of that is battery, and Nikon should probably keep the larger battery - almost every A7rII shooter carries a bunch of spares anyway.

The prism is a large, heavy component, and it should be possible to save 6 ounces or more by replacing it with an EVF (the mirror and all of its associated hardware come along with the prism). Trim the grip down a bit, partially by going to the D610's dual SD slots instead of the D810 SD+CF configuration. Somewhere in the 24-25 ounce range (the A7rII is just over 22 ounces), it should be possible to have a mirrorless equivalent of a D810, with a fully functioning F-mount allowing massive lens choice. You can get the weight back in one basic lens... Nikon's 24-85 f3.5-4.5 is slightly lighter than Sony's 24-70 f4 Zeiss, and has a useful boost at the top end. More extremely, Nikon's 50mm f1.8 is 4 ounces lighter than Sony's 55mm f1.8. Most of the other primes are lighter for Nikon as well, although FF wide primes are getting heavier in general, because digital sensors work best with the heavier retrofocus designs.

The real weight savings come between FF lenses (whether SLR or mirrorless) and dedicated APS-C lenses.Fuji's 18-135 "travel lens" weighs 17 ounces, Sony's 24-240 (most people would say it's not as good a lens) weighs 30 ounces. Fuji's 56mm f1.2 portrait lens weighs 15 ounces, while a Nikkor 85mm f1.4 is 21 ounces. Fuji's 10-24 ultrawide zoom is 15 ounces and Nikon's 16-35 is 24 ounces. Fuji's 16-55 f2.8 is 23 ounces, while Nikon's portly 24-70 f2.8 is nearly 40 ounces.

If you can put up with the smaller sensor's image quality, Micro 43 lenses are significantly lighter still. The superb Olympus 12-40 f2.8 PRO is 13.5 ounces, more than half a pound lighter than the Fuji, and 1/3 THE WEIGHT of the Nikkor, although the other two Olympus Pro lenses are much closer in weight to their Fuji equivalents.

Every photographer's choices about how much weight they're willing to carry for increased image quality will differ - Ansel Adams got 8x10 inch view cameras surprisingly far into the backcountry (although many of his most famous images were made from the top of his car - he knew the weather and locations in Yosemite incredibly well, and made obvious locations special - Clearing Winter Storm is from a National Park Service visitor parking lot, but the timing was incredible).

I chose an intermediate solution, while there are certainly justifiable reasons for going both larger and smaller. An advantage which Fuji shares only with Micro 43, Canon Ff and Nikon FF is that the cameras, lenses and mount are all designed for the same frame size, and to work together. Sony's FE mount is an APS-C mount lightly modified for FF, and that has consequences for lens design. Both Canon's and Nikon's APS-C systems were originally FF, and only limited lens lines (heavily focused on cheap kit zooms) take advantage of the smaller size. Once you get beyond the limited APS-C lenses, you are using unnecessarily large lenses with odd focal lengths (until you get into telephotos, where coverage doesn't mattar - any 300 mm lens will cover medium format, so a Micro 43 lens will not be smaller than a FF lens of the same focal length and maximum aperture (it will, of course, have a smaller angle of view).
Logged

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11252
    • Echophoto
Re: Best pixel size or best format? Some reflections...
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 02:05:19 am »

Hi,

Some reflections:

It makes perfect sense to decide on a smaller format and design excellent lenses for it, like Fuji does. Same goes for Olympus and Panasonic. APS-C might have been a perfect idea but needs lenses optimised for APS-C.

Making a mirrorless system with an empty mirror box makes little sense to me, the smart thing is to make an optimal mirrorless camera and provide a mount adapter for the existing lens line. Like Sony has done. But I would think a mirrorless camera needs a new lens line for good AF performance.

You are absolutely right on lens system dominating weight.

Best regards
Erik



At least my take on this (and I ended up landing on Fuji for GREAT bodies and lenses, both in quality and in a wide lens lineup - the lenses aren't cheap, but they're about the best around).

It absolutely DOES depend on print size, up to a point... Remember that very large prints are viewed from a distance - Nikon's 4 MP D2h was used to shoot billboards - you see a billboard from 100 meters or more away, while driving past. (For that matter, only the very most modern stadium scoreboards are even 1920x1080 HD, despite being 50 feet tall - the only reason a scoreboard looks at all reasonable is because you can't get close to it).

The largest print size I deal with routinely is 24x36" (I own an Epson 7900, and there is no place nearby with a 9900, so finding anything bigger is a real pain - I could do it in a special circumstance, but it wouldn't be easy). So for me, a 24x36 that stands up to inspection on a table before it gets framed and hung is what I'm after. This will differ among photographers, of course.

I hike (planning to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2017), and a non-trivial percentage of my landscape images are in the backcountry, so small and light is a relatively high priority (as is sturdy/weathersealed) - even if I could afford a Phase One system, it would only work for 50% of my needs, because it couldn't GET TO the other half. I am willing to have two partially overlapping sets of lenses (some lenses that are good as well as being light, and some that are great but heavier).

Canon or Nikon DSLRs tend to be either too flimsy (D3300 and friends) or somewhat heavy. Pentax, with their lighter, weathersealed bodies, is kind of intriguing, but I worry about their staying power.

Sony E-mount (not FE - see below) has only extremely low-end bodies (despite terrific sensors), and is short on lenses, with only a couple of good ones plus the better FE lenses, which are huge on the little bodies.

Sony FE-mount seems extremely appealing (a LOT of resolution in a very portable package), but I don't fully trust the sealing or build quality, and the lenses are limited in range, large and some of them are not stellar (others are).

Micro 43 is very appealing from a body size (and durability, especially in the case of some of the indestructable Olympus bodies) standpoint, and there are some really nice lenses (mixed in with a lot of junk), but I just don't quite trust the resolution or dynamic range. Unless there's dynamic range trouble, I can get a GREAT 12x18 out of Micro 43, and I can generally go to 16x24 except on very high detail images. I won't go to 24x36, unless the image is a foggy, atmospheric shot anyway.

Fuji finally came out with a weathersealed body, and I've always loved their lenses. Their seems to be about one print size of difference between 16 MP X-Trans II and Micro 43 - 16x24 is EASY from a Fuji, and 24x36 is possible on a lot of subjects. I have a big deposit down on the first X-Pro 2 to reach Vermont, because that last little boost (24 MP instead of 16, and a couple of sensor generations newer) should put the X-Pro 2 firmly in the 24x36 class.

My equipment saga will almost certainly at least pause at an X-Pro 2, an X-T2 and a bag full of Fujinons. I'll take whatever of this gear makes sense on a given shoot, but I'll know that I have access to focal lengths from 10 to 400 mm, all at uniformly high quality, plus some very compact lenses for long hikes. I'm not going to carry both bodies at once on the Appalachian Trail, but I'll probably switch bodies a few times over the six months, so I have access to both sets of features and ways of seeing.

For complete lines of high-quality lenses, there are only three choices - Nikon FF, Canon FF and Fuji (and Fuji is only complete if you don't need exotic telephotos or tilt/shift lenses). It's pretty well possible to get to a complete setup in Micro 43 as well, but it takes more dodging and choosing. Neither Nikon or Canon have sufficient options in their crop lineups, except by augmenting with full-frame lenses that are heavier and sometimes odd focal lengths. None of Sony's FOUR sets of lenses are near complete by my definition (the A-mount lines come closer than E or FE-mount).

One interesting new consideration with digital (especially mirrorless) is that some mounts are easier to design lenses for than others. SLRs are more forgiving, because any mount that avoids hitting the mirror also has sufficient distance behind the mount (flange focal distance) for most designs. Film is more forgiving, because it'll accept light from any angle, while digital sensors need more nearly parallel rays. The FE mount is apparently brutal to design lenses for, because it has an extremely short flange focal distance for the size of the sensor. The only lenses that will work with that constraint, especially when corner quality is taken into consideration, are large, heavy retrofocus designs. The Leica SL mount is going to have the same problem - its flange focal distance is equally short. This issue doesn't seem to plague APS-C and smaller mirrorless designs, perhaps because the flange focal distance is not as short in relation to the size of the sensor (Micro 43 actually has a LONGER flange distance than Sony FE, by a tiny bit).

If Sony FE is "undermounted" - its APS-C origins mean that the mount isn't really deep enough, Micro 43 may be "overmounted"?  The flange focal distance is relatively long for the sensor size, longer than Fuji, Sony or Leica's APS-C mount (the latter two of which have full-frame variants), and the mount diameter is only 6mm smaller than the full-frame Nikon F mount (and even closer to a couple of obscure 35mm mounts).

If I were Nikon or Canon, and considering getting into FF mirrorless, I have a radical suggestion - use your existing mount! Yes, there's going to be a bulge in the middle of the camera to get an F-mount in there, but it's still possible to save a ton of weight by ditching the prism and some of the grip (as well as, in Nikon's case, body focusing motors and related hardware - restricting it to newer lenses may well be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff for weight savings). A D810 is about 12 ounces heavier than an A7rII (and a D610 is only 8 ounces heavier). Some of that is battery, and Nikon should probably keep the larger battery - almost every A7rII shooter carries a bunch of spares anyway.

The prism is a large, heavy component, and it should be possible to save 6 ounces or more by replacing it with an EVF (the mirror and all of its associated hardware come along with the prism). Trim the grip down a bit, partially by going to the D610's dual SD slots instead of the D810 SD+CF configuration. Somewhere in the 24-25 ounce range (the A7rII is just over 22 ounces), it should be possible to have a mirrorless equivalent of a D810, with a fully functioning F-mount allowing massive lens choice. You can get the weight back in one basic lens... Nikon's 24-85 f3.5-4.5 is slightly lighter than Sony's 24-70 f4 Zeiss, and has a useful boost at the top end. More extremely, Nikon's 50mm f1.8 is 4 ounces lighter than Sony's 55mm f1.8. Most of the other primes are lighter for Nikon as well, although FF wide primes are getting heavier in general, because digital sensors work best with the heavier retrofocus designs.

The real weight savings come between FF lenses (whether SLR or mirrorless) and dedicated APS-C lenses.Fuji's 18-135 "travel lens" weighs 17 ounces, Sony's 24-240 (most people would say it's not as good a lens) weighs 30 ounces. Fuji's 56mm f1.2 portrait lens weighs 15 ounces, while a Nikkor 85mm f1.4 is 21 ounces. Fuji's 10-24 ultrawide zoom is 15 ounces and Nikon's 16-35 is 24 ounces. Fuji's 16-55 f2.8 is 23 ounces, while Nikon's portly 24-70 f2.8 is nearly 40 ounces.

If you can put up with the smaller sensor's image quality, Micro 43 lenses are significantly lighter still. The superb Olympus 12-40 f2.8 PRO is 13.5 ounces, more than half a pound lighter than the Fuji, and 1/3 THE WEIGHT of the Nikkor, although the other two Olympus Pro lenses are much closer in weight to their Fuji equivalents.

Every photographer's choices about how much weight they're willing to carry for increased image quality will differ - Ansel Adams got 8x10 inch view cameras surprisingly far into the backcountry (although many of his most famous images were made from the top of his car - he knew the weather and locations in Yosemite incredibly well, and made obvious locations special - Clearing Winter Storm is from a National Park Service visitor parking lot, but the timing was incredible).

I chose an intermediate solution, while there are certainly justifiable reasons for going both larger and smaller. An advantage which Fuji shares only with Micro 43, Canon Ff and Nikon FF is that the cameras, lenses and mount are all designed for the same frame size, and to work together. Sony's FE mount is an APS-C mount lightly modified for FF, and that has consequences for lens design. Both Canon's and Nikon's APS-C systems were originally FF, and only limited lens lines (heavily focused on cheap kit zooms) take advantage of the smaller size. Once you get beyond the limited APS-C lenses, you are using unnecessarily large lenses with odd focal lengths (until you get into telephotos, where coverage doesn't mattar - any 300 mm lens will cover medium format, so a Micro 43 lens will not be smaller than a FF lens of the same focal length and maximum aperture (it will, of course, have a smaller angle of view).
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

Dan Wells

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 981
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 11:38:06 am »

Hi Erik-

I'd be really interested to see what could be accomplished with a new full-frame mirrorless mount that wasn't "squeeze full frame into an APS-C mirrorless mount". I'm assuming that, if Sony had pursued the design of good lenses for APS-C E-mount (with one or two exceptions, all decent E-mount lenses are FE), it would have been a relatively forgiving mount to design lenses for (nobody's ever complained about the X-mount, and the dimensions of the two are similar). We have some slight evidence for this since the APS-C E-mount 10-18 is a pretty good lens and a reasonable size (and ultrawide zooms are a pain to begin with). I think Sony was REALLY surprised by the runaway success of the A7 series - they may not have planned to do that at all, but there was a huge outcry for "an RX1 with a lens mount", and they complied. They just used the mount they had, and the lenses have been a challenge to design.

If I were a new player OTHER than Nikon or Canon, I'd go for a new mount with a longer flange focal distance than FE or Leica SL (from the fact that X-mount and E-mount are OK, my best guess is that it should be between 25 and 30 mm). I'd also strongly consider (depending on sensor cost) leapfrogging 24x36 and going for some sort of "almost medium format" (either 30x45mm Leica S format or the 33x44mm Pentax 645Z format, which Phase One also uses in one back). If almost medium format, the flange distance should be correspondingly larger (~40mm). Those lenses won't be a lot larger than full-frame, and you pick up a ton of sensor size and potential quality (as well as getting out of a crowded market niche). Why be constrained by film sizes from 20 years ago? While Nikon and Canon's APS-C offerings are definitely cropped sensors (and their approach to them shows it), I think there is a real argument that Fuji and Micro 43 aren't crop sensors at all, but rational systems in new formats... A new player might want to think more broadly about format - as long as you pick one and stick to it, digital offers that flexibility.

If I were Nikon or Canon, my thinking about the empty mirror box had been that most of the weight is in the mirror and prism assembly (and much of the size is in the prism hump), NOT the mirror box. By using the existing mount, they both avoid flange focal distance and similar problems, having built lenses for those dimensions for 50 years, and give themselves access to huge legacies of lenses without the complexities of adapters. Your point about AF and lens design is well taken, though - maybe the existing lenses won't perform well from that perspective, even if they're optically excellent. How does on-sensor PDAF affect that?

The really interesting characteristic of the A7rII (and ONLY the A7rII so far) is that its on-sensor PDAF allows it to autofocus any lens at a reasonable speed. With a couple of adapters, it's not really much lighter than a D810, but what D810 can use Canon lenses? It allows the photographer to choose "I like Canon's 24-70, but I prefer the Nikkor at 70-200, oh, and I really like the rendering of a Leica 35mm 'cron". Someone even introduced an adapter that autofocuses Leica M lenses (presumably with an extra focusing mechanism in the adapter - side benefit: that's a variable extension tube, and those M lenses have NEVER focused so close...). If I were Sony, I'd release really good Canon and Nikon adapters right away - a lot of photographers would rather have an adapter that said "Sony" on it and was guaranteed to work than one with a strange name that has to be bought on eBay. Alternatively, if I were Canon or Nikon, I'd release good adapters and count on lens sales to make up for any lost body sales.

Dan
Logged

dwswager

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1375
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 08:24:48 pm »

I've been struggling to make a response.  First, there isn't a specific pixel count, pixel pitch or sensor size that is "best" for all applications.  I always look at extra pixels as margin however.  They can be used to downsample to help noise and used for cropping.

On the upside, what this is really telling us is we have a plethora of choices in which to select what is best for each particular application.

Logged

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11252
    • Echophoto
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 01:08:35 am »

Hi,

My point is mostly that if someone feels that 16 MP is enough, it may make more sense to buy into say a Fuji or Panasonic system that is optimised for that pixel size than asking for a large pixel DSLR of MFDB.

Another point may be that I would guess that most buyers would be better served with a Sony A7II than a Sony A7sII, unless shooting motion or needing very high ISOs. The A7II has 24 MP, while the A7sII has 12M, meaning large pixels.

I would also say that it makes a lot of sense to have pixel size that matches the resolution of the lenses. Why buy an expensive lens and use with a sensor that cannot match it's capabilities.

Best regards
Erik

I've been struggling to make a response.  First, there isn't a specific pixel count, pixel pitch or sensor size that is "best" for all applications.  I always look at extra pixels as margin however.  They can be used to downsample to help noise and used for cropping.

On the upside, what this is really telling us is we have a plethora of choices in which to select what is best for each particular application.
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 

dwswager

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1375
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 10:24:27 am »

My point is mostly that if someone feels that 16 MP is enough, it may make more sense to buy into say a Fuji or Panasonic system that is optimised for that pixel size than asking for a large pixel DSLR of MFDB.
Yes, I agree that if you have a target size, then it makes sense for a number of reasons to match the sensor to the output size.  I can't do that because my target output ranges from very large wall prints to small web images.  I can't justify numerous systems so I bias to more pixels to support all outcomes as best as I can.

Another point may be that I would guess that most buyers would be better served with a Sony A7II than a Sony A7sII, unless shooting motion or needing very high ISOs. The A7II has 24 MP, while the A7sII has 12M, meaning large pixels.

Agree.  I own the D810 and while it is not a great sports camera from a performance standpoint, it is the best low light performer I have so in daylight I currently shoot the D7200, but at night I shoot the D810 in 1.2x crop mode.  When the D500 is tested, I hope it performs on par at night with the D810.  I wouldn't have minded an even smaller pixel count down from 20.9 if it meant a reasonable jump in high ISO performance.  When shooting 2 bodies, I much prefer 2 identical bodies, but given the strengths and weakneses between D810 and D500 and the similarities in the bodies it will work for me.  The D7200 is a great value in a camera, but the dial interface difference between the D810 button interface was always an impediment.

I would also say that it makes a lot of sense to have pixel size that matches the resolution of the lenses. Why buy an expensive lens and use with a sensor that cannot match it's capabilities.

Again I understand, but only if a single system works for you or you can justify multiple systems.  Even though I have shot Nikon DX bodies since 2007 I only ever owned 1 DX lens because I always knew I would go back to FX at least sometimes. 

I usually follow the Greatest Common Factor versus Least Common Denominator when making these types of choices.  Will the lens perform going forward to higher density sensors?  What is the likelihood I will use these higher density sensors?  How much is enough for the applications I anticipate now and in the future. 

I find it amazing people that own Canon, Nikon and Sony systems and switch between them.  I hardly can keep Nikon straight in my head.  Kills me on sidelines when people ask me advice and how to manipulate their Canon cameras.  It's like them handing me kryptonite!
Logged

ErikKaffehr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11252
    • Echophoto
Re: Best pixel size or best format?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2016, 05:21:06 pm »

Hi,

I agree on the greatest common denominator principle. I have two crop frame lenses a 16-80/3.5-4.5 which I like to have as a walk around lens and a Sigma 10/3.5 Fisheye. I bought the Sigma mostly because the alternatives were old designs with ugly MTF data (I am shooting Sony).

When shooting telephoto I find a crop frame camera may be useful. It is really about pixels on target, at least with good lenses.

Best regards
Erik



Yes, I agree that if you have a target size, then it makes sense for a number of reasons to match the sensor to the output size.  I can't do that because my target output ranges from very large wall prints to small web images.  I can't justify numerous systems so I bias to more pixels to support all outcomes as best as I can.

Agree.  I own the D810 and while it is not a great sports camera from a performance standpoint, it is the best low light performer I have so in daylight I currently shoot the D7200, but at night I shoot the D810 in 1.2x crop mode.  When the D500 is tested, I hope it performs on par at night with the D810.  I wouldn't have minded an even smaller pixel count down from 20.9 if it meant a reasonable jump in high ISO performance.  When shooting 2 bodies, I much prefer 2 identical bodies, but given the strengths and weakneses between D810 and D500 and the similarities in the bodies it will work for me.  The D7200 is a great value in a camera, but the dial interface difference between the D810 button interface was always an impediment.

Again I understand, but only if a single system works for you or you can justify multiple systems.  Even though I have shot Nikon DX bodies since 2007 I only ever owned 1 DX lens because I always knew I would go back to FX at least sometimes. 

I usually follow the Greatest Common Factor versus Least Common Denominator when making these types of choices.  Will the lens perform going forward to higher density sensors?  What is the likelihood I will use these higher density sensors?  How much is enough for the applications I anticipate now and in the future. 

I find it amazing people that own Canon, Nikon and Sony systems and switch between them.  I hardly can keep Nikon straight in my head.  Kills me on sidelines when people ask me advice and how to manipulate their Canon cameras.  It's like them handing me kryptonite!
Logged
Erik Kaffehr
 
Pages: [1]   Go Up