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20MP - the new baseline?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dhazeghi, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Just saw that Samsung has announced 3(!) new ILC models - the NX20, NX210 and NX1000, all using their 20MP sensor. Meanwhile Nikon's new entryish level DSLR, the D3200 is using a new 24MP sensor. Of course the Sony NEX-7, A77 and A65 already have 24MP sensors as well.

    Seems like 20MP is the new baseline for APS-C cameras. Rumors are that Sony will be replacing their Nex C3 and 5N shortly as well, also using a 24MP sensor.

    So, anyone want to take guess when the first 20MP or 24MP m4/3 will show up? My Panasonic 20/1.7, Olympus 45/1.8 and Olympus 12-60/2.8-4.0 are ready... 20x30 prints at 180 dpi :smile:

    DH
     
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I'd rather have a cleaner 16 MP sensor, given the choice...
     
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  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Nikon's flagship D4 is still 16mp and the king of lowlight D3S is 12mp. Anything above 16mp on a small sensor are companies just showing off how well they can smear an image! :rolleyes:
     
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  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Usually they make the choice for us!

    Still, how much cleaner do you think they can go? Particularly if the E-M5 is indeed as good as it appears (2/3 stop better than the GH2)...

    The D3s is also discontinued and no longer available in stores :smile: But pro cameras are in a different category on the whole.

    I'm curious why 16MP on a small sensor should be the threshold though? Why not 12, or 20?

    DH
     
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Holding out for the DXO numbers before making a call on the M5, but I want them to match the Sony 16MP sensor in APS-C format. I don't want the same pixel counts as APS-C, I want the same density and similar performance per pixel.
     
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Bring on the 20mp, 24mp, or 50mp! Better to have more megapixels than less. BUT it better be quality more megapixels. If it's going to be crappy more, I'd rather have better less. And it better not take one minute to write the file to the card. So whoever gives more megapixels better work on that in camera processor, and then give us faster cards (and reliable too).
     
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    At current sensor tech, Sony's 16mp still has better noise control than their NEX-7 24mp. We'll have to see how Nikon processing will handle the 24mp sensor in the upcoming D3200. I still consider the D3S the standard for high ISO.
     
  8. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I can't say I get too excited by the megapixel wars. I've made quite good 16x20 prints from raw files from my 10 megapixel E-510. And since I printed most of my 4x5 negatives on 11x14 sheets with at least 1 inch borders on all sides, going for a bigger holds no charm for me.Even my 8 MP E-300 did pretty well. Below is a 100% crop from it, iso 400, no noise reduction, noise filter set at low. I was just shooting jpegs that day, but a raw file processed in Lightroom would be much cleaner. AT 100% in corresponds roughly to a 28x35 inch print.

    We've gained in resolution and noise control, certainly; but even with the 8MP E-300 I found it hard to sympathize with the noise hysterics around 4/3 sensors. At an appropriate view distance for the size of the printed image (where noise would be less noticeable anyway) the thing holds up quite adequately. And the E-300 was built like a tank!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    The Samsungs and Sony mirrorless have less lens choice, so big megapixels will make up for short focal lengths. Whereas M43 has the Panasonic 100-300 for reasonable amount of money.

    People that buy less expensive cameras will want to crop more.

    That's also a reason why a camera like the Nikon 1 series can get away with a tiny sensor and 10mp. Attach a cheap 55-300 and it's like having 1000mm equiv lens.
     
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The Sony 16MP APS-C sensor has lower density than the E-M5's sensor, so I don't quite follow - similar performance per pixel to what camera?

    Sony's A77 clears 24MP a RAW file in just over a second from the buffer to the card, so I don't think that should be an issue for now. Perhaps that'll change when we reach 50MP, but for now so far so good.

    The whole-image noise-handling on the 24MP NEX-7 is pretty much on par with the 16MP NEX-5 from what I've seen, and at low ISO where noise isn't an issue, you obviously get the benefit of extra detail.

    D3s per-pixel performance is of course awesome, but I'm not sure we'll every see it's like in a smaller Bayer sensor.

    I'm sure there are a few people who do that, but for 95% of buyers I suspect it's simply about something small and high quality. So far, I've seen more UWA lenses on m4/3 than super-telephotos.

    Cheers,

    DH
     
  11. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    I hope instead that Olympus and Panasonic back up and present a 10mpx sensor. I do not understand 20mpx who can serve on a micro 4/3 sensor.
     
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  12. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    That's because there isn't legacy wide angles so there is no choice for people that want ultra wide.

    But for people that want telephoto, plenty of options.
     
  13. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    Sony has the awful habit of dropping excellent sensors and forcing the pace for Nikon and Pentax. I found the k-x 12Mpixel to be just about perfect, and it amused me that Sony never made an Alpha cam with that sensor (I think the A500 had a 12M but dxo scores suggest it was not the same). Now the 16M is becoming less visible, though the K-01 has a refined version of it. Pentax at least once has said they are not bound to any supplier, so perhaps they will find a way to avoid the pixel inflation that Sony promotes.
     
  14. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    The 14 mp Pentaxes were made by Samsung and the 14mp Nikon D3200 designed by Nikon. The Nikon sensor was superior to the Sony 14mp sensors. In either case the higher mp 16 mp sensor was superior to both the 12mp, 14mp Sony sensors.

    I don't see it changing with the new 24mp sensor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    The megapixel myth needs to be put to rest. Don't fall for the marketing BS. Unless you are making large prints of landscapes you don't need that much detail and if you are shooting detailed lanscapes for large prints then shoot medium format if you want to get gobs of detail however then you also have to get larger hard drives, faster computers and the cost of a camera becomes the cost of a house.

    Thing about printing is the larger the print the longer the viewing distance. In 2007 I shot the largest "Best of" ever for Village Voice Media in Phoenix. At the party for the Best of they printed three of the images 40feetX60feet on canvas and draped them down the side of a building. Thats a BIG print! Guess what? I shot with a 12mp 5D classic. The OMD surpasses the 5D classic in terms of noise and sharpness.

    You really only need 8megs for a decent editorial print. Anything more then that helps just a bit in cropping but if you're shooting to a computer and you have a decent art director they are going to help you frame for the shot. Often times you'll even have a rough layout to lay over the files as they come off the camera or card.

    The reason we're seeing 20+mp from Nikon is because that is what Sony is selling them and that megapixel nonsense is what is taught to sales people by marketing people then to consumers. Having more megapixels was a real and good selling point back when you could go from 3 to 4MP. Unfortunately that sales point has stuck with consumers and many people think more is better.

    If you really want to get the most from your camera;
    -shoot raw or raw + jpeg
    -learn how your cameras sensor operates and taylor your exposures for that sensor
    -learn how to process your images in Lightroom or Aperture to get the most out of the files.
    -Learn good lighting and if you're shooting with people learn how to work with people.
    -most of all shoot lots of photos and have fun.
     
  16. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    +1. A lot of pros shooting lifestyle are very happy with the older Canon 1D cameras shooting 10MP. You don't need much more when shooting people.
     
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  17. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Sorry, those were separate thoughts. I want performance equivalent to the current Sony 16 MP, with the m4/3 sensor essentially trailing APS-C performance by a generation. Ideally this would be similar performance to the 24 MP APS-C units with less pixels (ie, a center crop of a 24 MP APS-C would be identical to an m4/3 16 MP), though from the reviews it sounds like 24 might be unreasonably aggressive on APS-C right now.

    Okay, that still sounded convoluted, but hopefully I got the point across?
     
  18. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    If the market continues to move in that direction, I think I will go in the opposite direction, and instead turn to new models, in a couple of years I will choose something like the D700. Even now, with sensors from 12-16mpx, the raw generated by the cameras are difficult to manage, both in size and in terms of "heaviness" for photo editing software. I dare not imagine with a 24-36mpx sensors....
     
  19. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Chinese have already beat everybody! They have a 5.5 terapixel camera out!

    [​IMG]

    All kidding aside I think the MP wars are 99% marketing and 1% science. I have had several digital cameras and the quality of the sensor and lenses has always proven far more important than the number of pixels in the sensor.
     
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I agree that more megapixels aren't useful for everybody, but as a landscape shooter, I've certainly never been in a situation where more detail wouldn't have helped.

    Medium format really goes against the spirit of landscape photography for me - being in unique places at unique times. If I could get a tripod and 30 lbs of gear there easily, it would mean I was in the wrong place.

    That makes sense, and I suspect it's why Nikon stuck to 16MP for their D4 and Canon 18MP for their 1DX and why both have done a lot work on JPEGs recently. Though I don't do that type of photography...

    Right. What most consumers need is a camera that can produce clean 5MP JPEGs with good colors and a minimum of fuss. That explains to some degree why m4/3 is doing well.

    But as said above, for my purposes more MP is actually helpful, at least up to a point. I don't think I'm alone in that regard - a lot of landscape folks are moving toward the NEX-7 or the D800 precisely for the resolution.

    Yup, agree to all of that. My Lightroom catalog (started in 2006) has more than 150k RAW files in it at present.

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    DH
     
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