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How Big A Difference Do Those Extra Pixels Make?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Garrett, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I was just doing the figures as initially a leap from 3 to 4 mega pixels sounds a big jump yet if you find the square of the figure this means the difference of 1732 pixels in a line compared to 2000, which is only a 13.4% increase if you go to the next level 4-5 the difference is 10.55% and the next 5-6 is 9.5%.

    The question is the difference that noticeable on the actual print or how big the print before noticing.
     
  2. dolph

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    I simply look at it this way - don't print below 200 dpi, so 3 mpix = max 8 inches, 4 mpix = max 10 inches (based on your numbers)
     
  3. apreading

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    3-4 can make quite a difference to enlargement ability.

    However:

    In order to cram more pixels on the sensor they have to make the photosites smaller which means they each receive less light - this means that low light ability (anything other than full sunlight) is reduced and noise is increased significantly as the signal has to be amplified greater.

    I would rate quantity over quality any day of the week.

    Some of the 4Mp cameras are very good though - but when you get up to the 8Mp models noise becomes a major problem in my opinion...

    You really need to get some sample output and secide for yourself - see dpreview.com for some good comparisons.
     
  4. m@rk

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    This was exactly the thinking when I bought my new Minolta A1.

    I had the choice of the A1 at less than £500 or the A2 for at least another £150. The only real difference being 5mp against 8mp.

    All the reviews I read on the A1 were great when it came to picture quality yet I did spot one or two not so good reviews on the A2. I then noticed that all the other 8mp cameras in the field seems to have similar problems (especially with noise) so decided to use that £150 on a 1-GB CF card and a few bits.

    If you have a look at the higher end of the scale, people rave about the likes of the 300D and 70D DSLRs yet both of these are 6mp.

    Sure more pixels mean bigger prints but in reality, just how big do you want/ need to go? Bigger is not always better.
     
  5. dolph

    dolph
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    The nice thing about the Canon A80 at 4MPix is that it has a larger sensor than many of it's competitors which helps to reduce noise.

    Hopefully we will begin to see larger sensors on new cameras.
     
  6. GaryG

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    Certainly noise on the Oly 8080 widezoom is an issue, not sure what point you were making with regard to the 300D and D70 as the sensor on those cameras is considerably larger than the 8mp sensor in Minolta/Oly et al cameras.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0210/02100402sensorsizes.asp
     
  7. m@rk

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    I think the point I am making is the same as yours.

    In the case of the 300D and D70, the number of pixels is not the whole story. As you rightly says, the sensor is larger as well and I am guessing that the optics are better than average as well. All of which lead to better pictures.
     
  8. GaryG

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    Yep, optics certainly make a difference. With regard to the original query, I still find the pictures taken with the 3mp D30 I used to have take some beating, if you don't want to crop and don't print above 8x10" it's impressive, along with reasonable file sizes. The TIFF files from the 6 and 8mp camera make post processing tiresome, even on a fast disk subsystem.
     
  9. tomson

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    I've printed up to A3 from mine and was very impressed (as was the couple whose wedding i was photographing) - shooting RAW and increasing the image size graduallly keeps things sweet.

    I even know a guy at an ad agency who has used pics from his D30 for billboard size work.
     

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