Megapixels and Image Quality

John King

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Apr 20, 2020
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Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
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John ...
I play to a different tune from most, apparently.

If I have to crop, I have failed my own composition 'test'.

I do understand that photographing LBBs (little brown birdies) is probably an exception to this 'rule', but I try never to crop.
 

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
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Feb 19, 2010
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Boston
I found the move from 16MP to 20MP was very noticeable when it came to cropping.

On the topic of MP, below are a couple of shots that my wife chose to print at 8x10 and hang on the wall. Bear with me, as this was from when I didn’t know my head from my aperture. They were 4MP shots and they look just fine. I have to remind myself of this when I wonder about printing something newer and wondering if there will be enough detail for an 8 x 10. Fun fact: this camera still works to this day.

View attachment 837340
Beautiful color! I’m guessing a CCD sensor on that one
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Sep 6, 2019
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Tanagra (not really)
Beautiful color! I’m guessing a CCD sensor on that one
It was by far my longest owned camera. I think I bought it in 2005 and used it for years. When I finally upgraded, I gave it to my dad, who just recently lost the charger. It does not like memory cards that are over 2GB in size!
 

Aviator

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Apr 15, 2019
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Mexico City
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Arturo
I find this to be true.

Even if I'm a Micro 4/3 user I'll leave M43 cameras out of this topic.

I own a Canon 5D (12 MP) that I would never sell. To my eyes, the combination of that specific sensor with vintage lenses is just magical. The LOOK as someone said above is different than other digital sensors, it is ironically less digital and more organic. I then "upgraded" to a Canon 6D (20 MP) and while the camera features were miles ahead of the original 5D it lacked that magic on the files so I sold it.

Between the 5D and the 6D I bought a Sony A7R (36 MP), the resolution was incredible, it blown my mind. That camera was by far the best sensor I have worked with in terms of pure technical image quality and resolution, but that had a cost: the file size was outrageous and I just didn't enjoy the shooting experience with it, it was like an engineer's camera not a photographer's camera, so I sold it.

The other camera that I currently own that I can say is in the same boat that the original 5D is the Fujifilm X-Pro1. The EVF is by today standards absolutely horrible, it doesn't even have a diopter, the camera lacks a lot of the current non-sense features that many non-pro users demand, but the magic is there, the rendering of the sensor with vintage lenses is awesome.

I'm not a fan of huge cropping in post. I prefer to get it right from the shot and just do some fine tunning like perfectly straight the horizon, but no major crop so I don't care about having only 12 MP or 16 MP available.
 

hoggdoc

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That's a good point Loren. But I think the opposite is true. Some of the special shots are completely unspectacular in terms of the moment. And not that I shot the exact same scenes with multiple cameras, but I've almost always had more than one camera at the same time. So I would've shot the same generic photos with the X100, for example, and whatever ILC I had at the time.

I was just going comment along the same lines. If the "special look" was limited a few images Loren's idea might hold some water, but in my case as I remember most if not all of the images shot with my E-PL1 hsd that special look.
 

hoggdoc

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Longview, Washington USA
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Wayne
I fully understand that other people have different wants (and sometimes even needs ... ) from what mine are.

I think you may have hit on a very big point in the MP race. My feeling is many people have been conditioned to think BIGGER is always better. Many fall into the trap of "mine is bigger than yours" as well.
 

hoggdoc

Mu-43 Veteran
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Longview, Washington USA
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It maintains all industries. The next camera, the next computer, the next guitar. Will my photos be better? Will my playing improve? "Yes! Of course!" The ad copy reads.

I've always maintained that all of my guitars play better than me, all of my cameras take better photos, etc. etc.

Still, if we only bought what we needed and not what we wanted, the world economy would fail. It's never about 'need', is it?
Oh I think it definitely NEED sometimes, but I get your point.
 

doady

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2020
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Canada
7 months ago I went from 7MP Olympus C-7070WZ to 20MP Olympus E-M1 mk2. Upgrading my camera for the first time after 15 years, higher megapixels was certainly was an expectation. But expecting something from an upgrade is different from something being the main reason for the upgrade.

If I ever print, no doubt I see some improvement in the E-M1 mk2 files, especially at larger sizes like 18x24", but it probably won't be an earth-shattering difference. And how of that non-earth-shattering difference will be from megapixels, how much from the optics of the 12-100mm F4, how much from the Sync IS, how much from me improving as a photographer, who knows.
 

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