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ErikKaffehr

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« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2008, 12:33:22 am »

Hi,

Fake ISO isn't that like pushing B&W film?

Erik

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They are not in the habit of asking for permission before ignoring and violating standards. At the present, they can do anything and much of the crowd will be cheering.
Speculations are a recipe for disaster. It is the question of simple fact, which can easily be determined.

The essence is, again: *if* the ISO gain is real, you can count on some fraction gain by increasing the ISO. The light is not enough, you increase the ISO; you lose one stop in the highlights, and this loss may be "empty" if there are none, but anyway you gain something in the shadows.

However, with the fake ISOs you don't gain anything in the shadows. If you lose something in the highlights depends on the implementation: with DSLRs you alway lose one stop with every ISO stop, because clipping on the level of raw data occurs even if no pixel saturation occured. With the "ISO-less" MFDBs the loss is nominal: the raw data is there, but the raw converter may discard it; this depends on how the camera passes this information along, and how the raw converter reacts. The only certain aspect is, that there is nothing to save with such DSLR raw files, but the MFDB raw files can be manipulated into "recovering" that, what is there but the raw converter believes it is not there.

An example would be much more useful for demonstration than talking about hypothetical situations.
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Panopeeper

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« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2008, 01:08:31 am »

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Fake ISO isn't that like pushing B&W film?
It is like pushing the exposure in raw conversion. However, there is an important difference: when for example the D300 creates an ISO 3200 file, the multiplication of the ISO 1600 values leads to cutting off anything in the top EV; this can not be reversed any more. In contrast, if the raw data is recorded as ISO 1600, then you can increase it in raw conversion exactly as much as required, while the highlights can be saved, if there are any.
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Gabor

Rob C

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« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2008, 06:12:07 am »

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Merely replying to your post implied that I was a "fanboy", which is akin to putting me in the awkward position of responding to the proverbial paradox "When did you stop beating your wife?"
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But Tony, the answer to that was always simply: "the day before I started."

Rob C

Ray

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D700 IQ
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2008, 09:19:49 am »

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It seems that one's time on a forum and post count are directly related to their propensity to be an arse.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215297\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Catman,
I'm surprised that BJL has deigned to reply to you. It saddens me that such abusive language is directed to our senior and longstanding members of this admirable forum.

Your lack of respect is of no advantage to you.
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Moynihan

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« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2008, 11:03:51 am »

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Simple solution, tell those idiots what you really think of them.  Better still, start a few threads with titles like "This forum is full of fools and trolls", that will get Phil and his associates to kick you out soon enough.

Not a bad suggestion.  

I pretty much write in forums the same way i talk in "meat space", so I generally simply ignore trollish or impolite posts directed at my comments. I used to argue for a living. If some wants me to argue, they better pay me,  

My addiction is not to the argument, I think it is to the weirdness...
 

bluekorn

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« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2008, 12:05:37 pm »

The answer that I take away from your responses is that FX does not necessarily offer better image quality than DX so my ambiguity about which format to purchase lingers on. Thanks to all who responeded here. I appreciate your reflections.
Peter
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Tony Beach

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« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2008, 04:51:09 pm »

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Would anyone be willing to reflect for a moment, for the benefit of those of us amongst the laity, what factors besides sharpness (and excluding lenses and post processing), are to be considered in choosing between DX and FX regarding IQ? If DX and FX are equally sharp is there a gain to be had in IQ by spending for the FX?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215092\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That depends on what your shooting constraints are, particularly as regards ISO -- at high ISO Nikon's current FX DSLRs win hands down.  Likewise, for shallower DOF the FX  format is better, but a good, fast lens can get you a pretty darn shallow DOF even on a DX sensor.  FWIW, I'm more interested in landscapes and I will purchase 24mm and 45mm tilt/shift lenses before I purchase a D700.  In fact, I will skip the D700 and wait for an affordable higher MP FX DSLR, which is just as well as I will be spending nearly $4K on those lenses.
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MarkL

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« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2008, 05:32:42 pm »

Tests on DP review of the D3 (and so D700) appear that the IQ is identical to the 5D and low iso.

I have a D700 and all I can say is that it doesn't come close to imacon scanned 6x7. It will not see much landscape use.
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Ray

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« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2008, 11:44:35 pm »

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The "total image noise" is a fiction. If you don't need the high pixel count, then buy a camera with less pixels but higher quality (like the D3). If you need many pixels, then don't compare your camera to one with low pixel count.
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Gabor,
I wouldn't call it a fiction, but rather a perception. I see a distinction between pixel noise and total image noise.

When comparing noise levels on our monitor to see which camera produces lower noise at which ISO, we sometimes forget that the degree of magnification of the crops we are examining is representative of a huge print, probably a far bigger print than we would ever make from a single frame.

When comparing, for example, a 1Ds3 crop with a D3 crop, both at 100%, the 1Ds3 crop is representative of a significantly larger print than is the D3 crop. The print would be roughly 1.33x longer in each dimension.

Now, I shan't argue that one should therefore view the larger print from a distance that is 1.33x greater, because one can't dictate what viewing distance should be. People will view a print from any distance they like, and in any case, people's acuity of vision varies so much it's not meaningful to have a fixed rule about viewing distance.

But I shall argue that, when comparing noise, it's more meaningful for the viewer to examine same size prints or same size image detail in the crops on the monitor.

Let's consider the dpreview comparison of the D3, 1Ds3, D300 and 5D at ISO 3200, below.

[attachment=7963:attachment]

Each image (crop) is comprised of the same number of pixels. It's a 'pixel for pixel' comparison of noise.

The D3 image in this comparison definitely looks cleaner than the 1Ds3 image. In particular, there is less chroma noise in the D3 image. I understand these are all jpegs straight out of the camera.

But what happens if we equalise the amount of image data in each crop by interpolating the D3 image so that the Queen's face is the same size as in the 1Ds3 crop? The noise in the D3 image then becomes more obvious, but it still has the advantage of lower chroma noise because that's already been removed in-camera. That's certainly an advantage for jpeg shooters, (which I'm not.)

If we pass the 1Ds3 image through a program like Noise Ninja which can specifically address chroma noise without applying the luminance NR which tends to soften resolution, we find that the noise in the 1Ds3 image becomes roughly on a par with that in the D3 image, but the 1Ds3 image is clearly more detailed.

Some have suggested that you can do the same for the D3 image. Pass it through a noise reduction program. You can, but you can't remove chroma noise twice. The only improvement that can be made to the D3 image (according to my tests) is to apply luminance NR and soften the image even more, resulting in the 1Ds3 image being even sharper by comparison.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #49 on: August 18, 2008, 12:21:21 am »

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I have a D700 and all I can say is that it doesn't come close to imacon scanned 6x7. It will not see much landscape use.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215705\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you consider adding stitching to the equation, then my view is that the D700 can easily outdo the Pentax for landscape usage.

Unless you do B&W, the D700 is already superior in terms of DR for single images compared to Imacon scanned slide film, with stitching you will also get superior results in terms of detail.

I won't even mention convenience, since it isn't even close.

Granted, stitching isn't always easy, but shooting slide film with grad filters isn't super easy either, is it?

Back to the original question, my view remains that APS sensors remain today the best option for those willing to do classical landscape with a lot of DoF. It is also superior for people needing to reach far, like most landscape shooters. The only area where FX has a very clear lead that will never go away is in shallow DoF situation.

Now the problem is that we don't know how far manufacturers will be able to go/want to go in terms of detail and DR with APS sensors. I don't expect Canon, Nikon and Sony to try to work hard on this, since they will want to preserve the differentiation of their FX high end bodies.

My view is that this decision is not driven mostly by the technological limitations of APS, it is mostly driven by the fact that these manufacturers know they can make more money with FX.

This uncertainty led me to invest in a D3 and matching lenses that I have been shooting happily with for 9 months. I have just sold my D2x yesterday (it was still in a very good condition actually) at a very low price on Yahoo Auction, following on most of my DX lenses, and my only remaining footprint in DX today is a D80.

Do I like the D3 for landscape work? It is a wonderful camera delivering very nice tonalities and colors. Detail is also excellent, but so was the detail of the D2x. Do I suffer from the lack of DoF? Yes I clearly do and use a lot DoF stacking a lot more than I used to.

Does it mean that I will not invest anymore in DX in the future? Probably not. I would probably buy a video enabled D90 with the new 18-105 VR lens for casual shooting (I would keep one in my bag all the time). I might even consider getting a D300 at some point of time as a back up since it does take the same batteries as the D3.

Now, generally speaking, I expect manufacturers like Pentax to keep pushing the DX enveloppe as far as they can. This is probably why they have chosen to work with Samsung for their sensors. They have understood that Sony had given up on high end APS...

Cheers,
Bernard

Quentin

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« Reply #50 on: August 18, 2008, 04:40:28 am »

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If you consider adding stitching to the equation, then my view is that the D700 can easily outdo the Pentax for landscape usage.
...
I won't even mention convenience, since it isn't even close.

Granted, stitching isn't always easy, but shooting slide film with grad filters isn't super easy either, is it?


Cheers,
Bernard
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I tend to agree, and moreover such is the ability of stitching software to stitch even hand held images seamlessly these days, a stitched D700 image would be a lot easier and faster to produce than a scanned transparency.  It won't look identical because the processes are too different and stitching cant be used for everything, but most landscapes and even architecture would work.  Add a pano head and HDR in to the mix, and you are way ahead of scanned film.  Taken to its logical conclusion, then a D700 becomes an alternative to MF backs and cameras for many purposes, as well as film.

Quentin
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 04:45:55 am by Quentin »
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MarkL

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« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2008, 07:26:14 am »

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I tend to agree, and moreover such is the ability of stitching software to stitch even hand held images seamlessly these days, a stitched D700 image would be a lot easier and faster to produce than a scanned transparency. It won't look identical because the processes are too different and stitching cant be used for everything, but most landscapes and even architecture would work. Add a pano head and HDR in to the mix, and you are way ahead of scanned film. Taken to its logical conclusion, then a D700 becomes an alternative to MF backs and cameras for many purposes, as well as film.

Quentin
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I've tried stitiching a few times and without pano gear it is often pretty difficult in post processing. I will spend more time with it since many people have good success.

Here is my issue with multi shot techniques:

Take a typical landscape image: foreground interest, high brightness difference between the foreground/sky, desire for high quality. You decide to shoot 4 frames alonge and two high, a total of 8 frames. Close foreground focus can be handelled by focus blending (say 3 shots) and the contrast by HDR (maybe 2 shots) right? Now you need to shot a minimum 8 x 3 x 2 shots which gives 48 shots all of which need to be focused the same on each pass or the stitching software throws it's toys out the pram (ok, some of the 'sky only' shots may not need to be duplicated).

Add to this the fact that framing and visulising the composition becomes very difficult and that the light may be fast changing and stiching suddenly isn't quite to appealing. Last time I was out I was glad to get back to using film. With my LF camera (shooting 6x7 with roll film back or 4x5 b&w sheet film) I can plonk it on the tripod (it's non-folding), compose on the groundglass, 10 secs to focus with lens tilt, exposue and job done.

Film goes off to the lab, I can forget about it. It comes back a few days later and I send a few frames off for scanning. Or for b&w I dev the film which I don't mind doing since I'm no pro with deadlines and send the frame(s) off to be hand printed.

Since I've only just got a digital camera perhaps people more familiar with using small format digital can help me better use my D700 in the field for landscapes.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 07:28:13 am by MarkL »
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Geoff Wittig

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« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2008, 09:02:25 am »

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I've tried stitiching a few times and without pano gear it is often pretty difficult in post processing. I will spend more time with it since many people have good success.

Here is my issue with multi shot techniques:

Take a typical landscape image: foreground interest, high brightness difference between the foreground/sky, desire for high quality. You decide to shoot 4 frames alonge and two high, a total of 8 frames. Close foreground focus can be handelled by focus blending (say 3 shots) and the contrast by HDR (maybe 2 shots) right? Now you need to shot a minimum 8 x 3 x 2 shots which gives 48 shots all of which need to be focused the same on each pass or the stitching software throws it's toys out the pram (ok, some of the 'sky only' shots may not need to be duplicated).

Since I've only just got a digital camera perhaps people more familiar with using small format digital can help me better use my D700 in the field for landscapes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215767\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a worst-case scenario. The real world is a lot more forgiving. I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds III, and I find that with absolutely perfect technique I can occasionally shoot something so sharply it can withstand enlargement up to 24x36" and still look really great. The ability of a digital file to withstand sharpening is far greater than scanned film, where you generally end up sharpening the film grain. If I need more resolution, especially for a pano, I start stitching. But just a moment or two to level the camera makes post-processing pretty simple. The hardest thing I've done is HDR followed by stitching for a big panoramic; but you can't even begin to do something like that using film. I always hated the obvious dark line across film images using a graduated neutral density filter; too many darkened tree-tops. As far as focus blending goes- with medium format film, depth of field issues rapidly become a major PITA compared with 35 mm or APS-sized sensors. You may need to bite the bullet and go to a view camera to deal with that. And the drudgery of cleaning and scanning film, not to mention the difficulty finding really good processing anymore...

Plus it's all a moving target. I can safely predict that within 5 years or so one of the major D-SLR makers will introduce a body that automatically captures HDR frames, making the whole thing a lot easier.
Just my 2.
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2008, 10:31:34 am »

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« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 10:33:39 am by BernardLanguillier »
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BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2008, 10:33:19 am »

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That's a worst-case scenario. The real world is a lot more forgiving. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215778\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Even then, it isn't too hard to deal with such extreme situations when they show up:

1. HDR pano sample



2. Infinite DoF with moving objects



3. Panorama shot in the rain with moving objects



All shot with a D3.

Cheers,
Bernard

MarkL

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« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2008, 10:45:49 am »

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That's a worst-case scenario. The real world is a lot more forgiving. I'm using a Canon Eos-1Ds III, and I find that with absolutely perfect technique I can occasionally shoot something so sharply it can withstand enlargement up to 24x36" and still look really great. The ability of a digital file to withstand sharpening is far greater than scanned film, where you generally end up sharpening the film grain. If I need more resolution, especially for a pano, I start stitching. But just a moment or two to level the camera makes post-processing pretty simple. The hardest thing I've done is HDR followed by stitching for a big panoramic; but you can't even begin to do something like that using film. I always hated the obvious dark line across film images using a graduated neutral density filter; too many darkened tree-tops. As far as focus blending goes- with medium format film, depth of field issues rapidly become a major PITA compared with 35 mm or APS-sized sensors. You may need to bite the bullet and go to a view camera to deal with that. And the drudgery of cleaning and scanning film, not to mention the difficulty finding really good processing anymore...

Plus it's all a moving target. I can safely predict that within 5 years or so one of the major D-SLR makers will introduce a body that automatically captures HDR frames, making the whole thing a lot easier.
Just my 2.
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How many frames are you stitching?

I shoot 6x7 (and 4x5 b&w) on an Ebony LF camera due to the dof issue. This is what drove me mad with my mamiya 7 which my D700 now replaces as it is a more workable travel/wedding/mountain hikes camera.

So far the dynamic range the D700 can deal with has impressed me so needing HDR may only be required on occasion, processing RAW files twice with different settings might be enough or simply using auto-bracketing to shoot the other exposures.

Bernard, impressive shots under difficult conditions for stitching. Looks like a lot can be accomplished after figuring out the process some more.
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Tony Beach

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« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2008, 11:12:00 am »

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I might even consider getting a D300 at some point of time as a back up since it does take the same batteries as the D3.

Now, generally speaking, I expect manufacturers like Pentax to keep pushing the DX enveloppe as far as they can. This is probably why they have chosen to work with Samsung for their sensors. They have understood that Sony had given up on high end APS...
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The D300 only uses the same batteries as the D3 if you use the MB-D10.

I believe that Nikon, Sony and Canon will defend DX and APS-C markets against competitors -- they will not likely neglect the much more widely adopted smaller format and give smaller players an opening to chip away at overall market share which might allow those competitors to eventually compete for the higher end, larger format users by establishing a base of consumers invested in their lenses and accessories.  Here's a very notable piece of evidence of Nikon's commitment to DX, their newest top of the line Speedlight has a DX mode.
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Panopeeper

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« Reply #57 on: August 18, 2008, 12:30:30 pm »

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Take a typical landscape image: foreground interest, high brightness difference between the foreground/sky, desire for high quality. You decide to shoot 4 frames alonge and two high, a total of 8 frames. Close foreground focus can be handelled by focus blending (say 3 shots) and the contrast by HDR (maybe 2 shots) right? Now you need to shot a minimum 8 x 3 x 2 shots which gives 48 shots all of which need to be focused the same on each pass or the stitching software throws it's toys out the pram (ok, some of the 'sky only' shots may not need to be duplicated)

There certainly are some settings not suitable for panorama technique. OTOH, focus blending can often be avoided by targeted framing. Bernard's second image (the pod) is an excellend demo of this: it could be shot in several raws, so that every frame is well-focused on its own.

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Add to this the fact that framing and visulising the composition becomes very difficult and that the light may be fast changing and stiching suddenly isn't quite to appealing

Changing light can be a real PITA even with only a few frames (what about moving clouds?). This would not ruin the pano, but the pre-stitching preparation would become more laborous.

On the other side is, that the DR of the entire scenery may be so high, that it can not be captured even by the best MFDB, but often it works well with several smaller frames (using variable exposure, again lots of pre-stitching preparation).
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Gabor

BJL

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« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2008, 06:23:02 pm »

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this situation exists only in fairy tales; two half-pixels don't make one whole, and one whole pixel does not make two halves.
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What situation are you referring to? Processes like downsampling can give output pixels with higher S/N ratio and so higher DR than that of the input pixels, so the mere fact that the individual pixels of a 24MP sensor have lower S/N ratio that those of an equally large 12MP sensor do not tell us how the S/N ratio will be in the pixels of, for example, a 12MP TIFF produced by downsampling of that 24MP output.

By the way, it is also fairly clear that downsamping 24 million Bayer CFA pixels to a 12MP RGB file (e.g. TIFF) gives more resolution that a 12MP Bayer CFA sensor. There are many examples of the fact that downsampling to X MP from a higher MP sensor gives more resolution than a Bayer CFA sensor of X MP. (The basic reason is that the 12MP RGB file has 12 million values for each of R, G, and B derived from 12 million G, 6 million each of R and B, while the 12MP sensor has only 6 million G, 3 million each of R and B.)

So if anything, downsizing output of a 24MP sensor to match the resolution of a 12MP sensor for a visible noise and dynamic range comparison might involve downsampling the 24MP file to somewhat less than 12MP.

This sort of complication is why I prefer the idea of just comparing equal sized prints, relying on the higher PPI used with the higher MP file to reduce the visible effects of the per pixel S/N ratio.


[Edit] P. S. I do not expect such "down-ressing" to completely eliminate the noise level advantage of a sensor with fewer, bigger photosites, so those who never want more than X MP are probably better off with a camera of X MP rather than 2X MP. But the processing or printing procedures could reduce the gap in visible noise levels and DR to the point that a photographer who sometimes has a use for higher resolution can benefit from the higher pixel count sensor without losing much sleep over how much worse high ISO images will look.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 05:06:58 pm by BJL »
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Ray

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« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2008, 10:15:04 pm »

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So if anything, downsizing output of a 24MP sensor to match the resolution of a 12MP sensor for a visible noise and dynamic range comparison might involve downsampling the 24MP file to somewhat less than 12MP.

This sort of complication is why I prefer the idea of just comparing equal sized prints, relying on the higher PPI used with the higher MP file to reduce the visible effects of the per pixel S/N ratio.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215881\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed! And that extra resolution from the sensor with the higher pixel count can be traded for lower noise by passing the image through a noise reduction program in situations, or for print sizes, where low noise is of greater priority than high resolution.

These factors when combined will tend to ensure that, for example, no 1Ds3 image will be be at a noise disadvantage compared with a D3 image. However, it is certainly true that there will be circumstances when a D3 image will be at a resolution disadvantage compared with a 1Ds3 image.

I'm also not convinced by Panopeepers's argument that one should get a camera with a pixel count that's just sufficient for one's purposes. That might involve carrying many cameras for different size prints and for situations that cannot be predicted. For example, I don't find it ideal that, in the interests of best image quality and longest reach using my longest telephoto lens, I feel it necessary to always travel with a 20D in addition to a 5D. Both purposes could be served with one full frame 35mm camera with the pixel pitch of the 20D.

However, the 1Ds3 is both too expensive and too heavy for me   .
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