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Author Topic: How much quality do you really need?  (Read 44621 times)

myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #120 on: March 05, 2016, 04:05:50 pm »

Photography is fun again!

I can't disagree with that, its one of the great things about digital, you can take it very seriously one minute and then just have a bit of fun in ways  that you couldn't in the days of film. I like the ease of doing some video.  Very very different, from my days of using 16mm and 35mm cine, wet processing and editing tables.

And as you say, quality is amazingly good, even with fairly lowly kit.

Cheers,
Graham
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razrblck

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #121 on: March 05, 2016, 04:16:17 pm »

This is one of these truisms that I don't thinks is really true.  The tools still need to be "good enough" to give you the capability of achieving your vision, and its easier to do this with tools you are familiar with.

Not always the best tool is the best tool. I don't need a 100MP camera to take pictures of my cats, my phone is good enough. And because I use it more often than some other (yet better) cameras I have, I'm also comfortable with it. Sure, no one wants to go around with a 0.9MP camera that takes smudgy pictures and chugs AA batteries for breakfast, but if that's all you have why not try anyway and have fun with it?

Just because you don't have the best tools you think you need doesn't make you any less of a photographer.
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #122 on: March 05, 2016, 04:40:33 pm »

Not always the best tool is the best tool. I don't need a 100MP camera to take pictures of my cats, my phone is good enough. And because I use it more often than some other (yet better) cameras I have, I'm also comfortable with it. Sure, no one wants to go around with a 0.9MP camera that takes smudgy pictures and chugs AA batteries for breakfast, but if that's all you have why not try anyway and have fun with it?

Just because you don't have the best tools you think you need doesn't make you any less of a photographer.

I'm a bit confused now, as I had assumed your original statement was in response to me saying  "I think I take better photographs with camera gear I feel "happy/comfortable" with" which is why I disagree with the idea that tools "don't matter".

Now that you are talking about 100mp cameras and not having the best tools not making you any less of a photographer, which are unrelated to my post, I realise my response was in error.

I agree with what you have said here.

Cheers,
Graham
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wmchauncey

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #123 on: March 10, 2016, 06:44:51 pm »

Where is it written that photographers base their decisions on either want or need?
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kers

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #124 on: March 10, 2016, 07:50:26 pm »

...
 I now carry a Nikon V1 with the excellent 70-300 cx lens nearly everywhere I go.  it weighs less than 1kg, and sits in the palm of my hand. In good light it gives very good results, in poor light - not so good :-(
But for years, when doing ecological field work, I couldn't carry any camera gear, and missed out on many  good wildlife photographs, now I have the nikon, with the equivalent of an 810mm lens,  with me all the time.
Cheers,Graham

I agree, i had the V1 but now the J5: and its sensor is even way better + 20MP... ( sony)
the 1.8 18.5 mm lens is also very good and cheap... AF more sharp than MF...
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #125 on: March 12, 2016, 09:57:32 am »

Where is it written that photographers base their decisions on either want or need?

There are many reasons behind any decision, but I would think a fair number are based on wants or needs.

Cheers,

Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #126 on: March 12, 2016, 10:00:18 am »

I agree, i had the V1 but now the J5: and its sensor is even way better + 20MP... ( sony)
the 1.8 18.5 mm lens is also very good and cheap... AF more sharp than MF...

If only I could live without a viewfinder, I look forward to a V4.

Within their limitations, these cameras are remarkably good.

Cheers,

Graham
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Ellis Vener

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #127 on: March 12, 2016, 11:54:57 am »

At 300dpi , if you want to make the (false) 1:1 pixel to dot ratio equation , 39mp or higher. I reality,  possibly you'll be happy with anything from 16mp up,  but starting with greater image resolution is better.

The 15 x 22.5  inch prints from my Canon 5DS that I've been making using the Canon imagePRGRAF PRO-1000 using  high quality gloss stock are very satisfying to  my eyes, to my client's eyes, and to the people I give prints to.
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #128 on: March 12, 2016, 01:20:52 pm »

At 300dpi , if you want to make the (false) 1:1 pixel to dot ratio equation , 39mp or higher. I reality,  possibly you'll be happy with anything from 16mp up,  but starting with greater image resolution is better.

The 15 x 22.5  inch prints from my Canon 5DS that I've been making using the Canon imagePRGRAF PRO-1000 using  high quality gloss stock are very satisfying to  my eyes, to my client's eyes, and to the people I give prints to.

Do you really notice that much of a meaningful difference between 16mp and 36mp, I assume you mean 36mp.

The original premise was that once you got above a threshold which I rather arbitrarily suggested was 12mp, mainly because of the large number of superb images I have seen from Nikon D700s, that thereafter the 'quality" came from post processing skills and the quality of the content/lighting etc.  And this thread has bashed away at this idea from several directions.

Larger prints are "usually" viewed from further away, so maybe this means they need the same resolution as smaller prints closer up.  I'm not suggesting this has a definitive answer, just bouncing it around for discussion, a discussion that I have found very interesting and helpful.

Cheers,
Graham
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #129 on: March 12, 2016, 03:40:05 pm »

Hi,

What I have seen is that there is little substantial difference between my 24 MP DSLR and my 39 MP MFDB at the print size I usually make.

That said, much depends on the subject and the observer. Doing correct comparisons is very difficult. You can shoot test targets and that is a valid comparison, but once you shoot real life it is not very easy to make proper comparisons.

Personally, I wouldn't say that I could say which of my images were shot with which camera.

I would say that there is a lot of merit saying that 12 MP is quite enough for 16" x 23" as I am generally very happy with 12 MP 16"x23" prints. That rhymes pretty well with 180 PPI being needed for excellent prints and also with limits of human vision at 0.5m or 20".

Image quality is not the most important quality of a print. Differences in subject, illumination, composition, cropping, perspective and DoF are far more important than say 12 or 42 or MP.

Best regards
Erik

Best regards
Erik


Do you really notice that much of a meaningful difference between 16mp and 36mp, I assume you mean 36mp.

The original premise was that once you got above a threshold which I rather arbitrarily suggested was 12mp, mainly because of the large number of superb images I have seen from Nikon D700s, that thereafter the 'quality" came from post processing skills and the quality of the content/lighting etc.  And this thread has bashed away at this idea from several directions.

Larger prints are "usually" viewed from further away, so maybe this means they need the same resolution as smaller prints closer up.  I'm not suggesting this has a definitive answer, just bouncing it around for discussion, a discussion that I have found very interesting and helpful.

Cheers,
Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #130 on: March 12, 2016, 04:48:55 pm »

Hi,

What I have seen is that there is little substantial difference between my 24 MP DSLR and my 39 MP MFDB at the print size I usually make.

That said, much depends on the subject and the observer. Doing correct comparisons is very difficult. You can shoot test targets and that is a valid comparison, but once you shoot real life it is not very easy to make proper comparisons.

Personally, I wouldn't say that I could say which of my images were shot with which camera.

I would say that there is a lot of merit saying that 12 MP is quite enough for 16" x 23" as I am generally very happy with 12 MP 16"x23" prints. That rhymes pretty well with 180 PPI being needed for excellent prints and also with limits of human vision at 0.5m or 20".

Image quality is not the most important quality of a print. Differences in subject, illumination, composition, cropping, perspective and DoF are far more important than say 12 or 42 or MP.


Best regards
Erik

Yes,  the final quality of a print it depends on lots of things, and the perfect conditions used for testing don't relate that well to real life. As well as the things you mention, post processing also seems to be a crucial component.

But there does seem to be a reasonable consensus coming out of this thread. 

Cheers,

Graham




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GrahamBy

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #131 on: March 14, 2016, 12:21:12 pm »

Image quality is not the most important quality of a print.

Indeed  :)

Cheers,
The other Graham
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myotis

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #132 on: March 14, 2016, 03:34:13 pm »

Indeed  :)

Cheers,
The other Graham

Which of course was part of the premise of my original post, that once you get to certain level of acceptable image quality, you should be focussing on other things. 

The original Graham :-)
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Ray

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #133 on: March 15, 2016, 07:07:46 am »

Image quality is not the most important quality of a print. Differences in subject, illumination, composition, cropping, perspective and DoF are far more important than say 12 or 42 or MP.

Hi Erik,

Let's be more precise here. There are 3 main aspects of the 'quality' of a print; image quality, paper quality, and ink quality.

Image quality involves many factors, including eye-catching illumination of the subject, clean shadows which the eye would have seen in the real scene, interesting, pleasing or eye-catching composition, interesting color combinations, and realistic detail visible from a relatively close distance, depending on the size of the print.

If the image quality is deficient in any one of those factors, then disappointment can result, depending again on the style and nature of the image. Certain types of images simply don't require eye-catching resolution, such as a misty scene of distant hills. Some images don't benefit from clean and detailed shadows when the detail in the shadows is distracting or irrelevant. Sometimes dark, or even black shadows are preferable.

From my own personal experience and testing, I have found that at least a 50% increase in pixel count is required to get a worthwhile or noticeable increase in resolution, using the same lenses with the same format.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #134 on: March 15, 2016, 04:42:42 pm »

Quote
Do you really notice that much of a meaningful difference between 16mp and 36mp, I assume you mean 36mp.

For what I do, yes I do. and in my equation I did mean 39mp. Do the math.


Quote
The original premise was that once you got above a threshold which I rather arbitrarily suggested was 12mp, mainly because of the large number of superb images I have seen from Nikon D700s, that thereafter the 'quality" came from post processing skills and the quality of the content/lighting etc.  And this thread has bashed away at this idea from several directions.

Larger prints are "usually" viewed from further away, so maybe this means they need the same resolution as smaller prints closer up.  I'm not suggesting this has a definitive answer, just bouncing it around for discussion, a discussion that I have found very interesting and helpful.

Cheers,
Graham

I would much rather start with more detail in the data. Also with a camera like the D810, the Sony A7RII, and the Canon 5DS, starting with more camera resolution leaves me with cropping option I just don't have with 12mp. Today I wouldn't recommend anyone buy a camera with less than 22~25mp  whether it it is a  "full frame" APS-H, or APS-C size sensor i the camera.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #135 on: March 15, 2016, 06:09:31 pm »

Hi Ray,

No argument about your points.

On the other hand, I feel that once the image quality is good enough it is more about printing craft.

Let's give an example:

I was shooting with my 24 MP full frame standing on the top of (very) small ridge, that position gave me an acceptable composition. I was shoot some trees in full autumn shroud and it was a bit dark. It was also windy, so I wanted to be able to use a bit shorter shutter time. First I made some shots with the 24 MP full frame I had a Sony Alpha 900. With that camera I used a Sony Alpha 70-300/4.5-5.6 lens. The Alpha 900 lacks live view, so I felt a need to stop down a bit for accurate focus. I raised ISO a tiny bit, but the A900 is not that good at high ISO.

Next, I felt that I could use the Sony SLT 55 I also had. I bought that camera mostly for it having live view. It had 16 MP on APS-C. The sensor on the SLT 55 is a bit newer so I could use a bit higher ISO. Also, the crop frame allowed me to use the Sony 24-70/2.8 which is very good on the APS-C crop. So, LV, better sensor and better lens gave a significant advantage for the 16 MP sensor.

So, I made an A2 print from both. Not a lot of difference between the prints. Visible pixel peeping with the naked eye? Nay, not really. Looking with a loupe? Yes I think so.

As predicted, the 16 MP image had less motion blur, so it made it to the wall.

Another example:

When I got into medium format I had 39 MP on 49x37 mm. I have made a few comparison prints, still at A2, and I don't think I could observe any difference in image quality between 24 MP APS-C and the 39 MP MFD with the naked eyed. Using a loupe it was very obvious.

A final example:

I was bitching about LR producing some zipper artefacts on one of my A7rII images. One of the printing experts here at LuLa, Mark D Segal, checked out my files and agreed on my findings, but noted that he doubted it was visible in print. He made a large print from a small crop, corresonding to 29.5" x 44.2". He could not see the zipper artefacts with the naked eye, but has observed them with a 10X loupe.

Impressed by Mark's comments I made an even larger print corresponding to 38" x 48". Looking at short distance with out glasses I could see the jagginess (I am short sighted) but I could not see them with corrective glasses at short distance. Looking at 50 cm with correcting glasses I could not observe them.

So, human eyesight is a factor.

At 50 cm (20") viewing distance 20/20 vision corresponds to 180 PPI and I think that 50 cm is quite a close viewing distance for a large print. Many folks have better eyesight than 20/20, of course.

But, I would say that if you have 180 PPI and process decently well you will end up with a good print.

Best regards
Erik




Hi Erik,

Let's be more precise here. There are 3 main aspects of the 'quality' of a print; image quality, paper quality, and ink quality.

Image quality involves many factors, including eye-catching illumination of the subject, clean shadows which the eye would have seen in the real scene, interesting, pleasing or eye-catching composition, interesting color combinations, and realistic detail visible from a relatively close distance, depending on the size of the print.

If the image quality is deficient in any one of those factors, then disappointment can result, depending again on the style and nature of the image. Certain types of images simply don't require eye-catching resolution, such as a misty scene of distant hills. Some images don't benefit from clean and detailed shadows when the detail in the shadows is distracting or irrelevant. Sometimes dark, or even black shadows are preferable.

From my own personal experience and testing, I have found that at least a 50% increase in pixel count is required to get a worthwhile or noticeable increase in resolution, using the same lenses with the same format.
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kers

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #136 on: March 15, 2016, 06:57:22 pm »

hello Ray and Erik,
i agree that for a perfectly detailed 17 inch print you need a true 180dpi image.
But some images only need 1 or 2MP and may be brought to 180dpi without any sacrifice.

It all depends on the type of photo and what you want to communicate; some photographs look worse when being a perfect 180dpi ...
I do mainly architecture and then you want usually the best detail possible ... but some more emotional looking fashion or press photographs would do better without this quality..
for instance the latest world press winning photograph by Warren Richardson...
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/news/2016-02-18/world-press-photo-year-2015-goes-warren-richardson

PS it strikes me that the photo does not have a true black in it
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 07:01:33 pm by kers »
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Ray

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #137 on: March 15, 2016, 10:26:27 pm »

So, LV, better sensor and better lens gave a significant advantage for the 16 MP sensor.


Hi Erik,

The point should be made here that resolution is always a combination of lens quality, sensor quality and sensor pixel-count.

People often upgrade their lenses to a sharper or more recent model. Upgrading one's camera to another model of the same brand, because it has a higher pixel count, has the effect of upgrading all one's lenses that can be used with that brand of camera, and at a bargain price. That's the attraction.

If your print size doesn't require more than 12 or 16mp, that's no reason not to upgrade to a higher pixel-count model, unless of course one doesn't give a stuff about lens quality and is in the habit of always using the cheapest zoom.

As I'm sure you know, or would accept as true, a 36mp D810 image down-sampled to the file size of a 12mp D700 shot of the same scene, will tend to give the impression that the D810 image has been shot with a better quality lens than was used with the D700, even though in practice the same lens was used with both cameras.

DXOMark provide some illuminating results comparing the same model of lens with different cameras.
One of my most frequently-used lenses which I've also used with the D700, the D800E and more recently with the D810, is the Nikkor 14-24/F2.8.

Out of curiosity, I checked the DXOMark lens ratings for the two cameras, the D700 and the D810, when used with this lens.

The differences are significant. The overall lens score for the 14-24 when used with D700 is just 21. For the D810, with the same lens, it's 30.
Regarding sharpness, the score for the D700 is 10 P-Mpix. For the D810 it's 23 P-Mpix. These are significant differences. I know which camera I prefer.  ;)
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #138 on: March 16, 2016, 01:38:56 am »

Hi,

A good point…

On the other hand, photojournalism often doesn't strive for perfect image quality. It is more about the story to tell. Lack of image quality often gives some credibility.

The thread here is about fine art printing, I guess.

Best regards
Erik


hello Ray and Erik,
i agree that for a perfectly detailed 17 inch print you need a true 180dpi image.
But some images only need 1 or 2MP and may be brought to 180dpi without any sacrifice.

It all depends on the type of photo and what you want to communicate; some photographs look worse when being a perfect 180dpi ...
I do mainly architecture and then you want usually the best detail possible ... but some more emotional looking fashion or press photographs would do better without this quality..
for instance the latest world press winning photograph by Warren Richardson...
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/news/2016-02-18/world-press-photo-year-2015-goes-warren-richardson

PS it strikes me that the photo does not have a true black in it
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: How much quality do you really need?
« Reply #139 on: March 16, 2016, 01:57:15 am »

Hi Ray,

My point of view is that something like 12-16MP allows for very good A2-size prints. That is about what the compact Fuji APS-C and 4/3 cameras deliver. So I think those systems are reasonable if you want to travel light, because lenses can also be small.

Personally, I think that sensors should match lenses. It is the law, Nyquist's law...

To be a bit analytic, it can be said that the perceived sharpness of an image relates to it's MTF at low to medium frequencies (*). That MTF is a product MTF of the lens, the MTF of the sensor, the MTF of the OLP-filter and the MTF of the sharpening.

A higher resolution sensor allows for less OLP-fitering, it has also higher inherent MTF. So, a higher resolution sensor will need less sharpening and will have less tendency to artefacts.

Personally, I only see benefits of high resolution. More specifically, I see very little benefits in providing less resolution than state of the art. The two exceptions I see is motion, where the final image is limited to something like 2 or 8 MP, and very high ISO-s where large pixels have a small advantage.

Large, high resolution sensors yield very large raw files that need a lot of CPU-power. That is clearly a disadvantage. Personally, I can live with large raw files.

Best regards
Erik

(*) Pixel peeping is a different thing, as at actual pixels we actually look at the highest frequency detail, exactly at Nyquist.

Hi Erik,

The point should be made here that resolution is always a combination of lens quality, sensor quality and sensor pixel-count.

People often upgrade their lenses to a sharper or more recent model. Upgrading one's camera to another model of the same brand, because it has a higher pixel count, has the effect of upgrading all one's lenses that can be used with that brand of camera, and at a bargain price. That's the attraction.

If your print size doesn't require more than 12 or 16mp, that's no reason not to upgrade to a higher pixel-count model, unless of course one doesn't give a stuff about lens quality and is in the habit of always using the cheapest zoom.

As I'm sure you know, or would accept as true, a 36mp D810 image down-sampled to the file size of a 12mp D700 shot of the same scene, will tend to give the impression that the D810 image has been shot with a better quality lens than was used with the D700, even though in practice the same lens was used with both cameras.

DXOMark provide some illuminating results comparing the same model of lens with different cameras.
One of my most frequently-used lenses which I've also used with the D700, the D800E and more recently with the D810, is the Nikkor 14-24/F2.8.

Out of curiosity, I checked the DXOMark lens ratings for the two cameras, the D700 and the D810, when used with this lens.

The differences are significant. The overall lens score for the 14-24 when used with D700 is just 21. For the D810, with the same lens, it's 30.
Regarding sharpness, the score for the D700 is 10 P-Mpix. For the D810 it's 23 P-Mpix. These are significant differences. I know which camera I prefer.  ;)
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