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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: RayS2121 on December 03, 2011, 02:56:32 PM

Title: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: RayS2121 on December 03, 2011, 02:56:32 PM
First, this is a tongue-in-cheek missive to the high MP hogs who discount the need for high ISO and I typed it smiling. I hope you read it in the same spirit.

I liken those who want just high MP in a 35mm format to those guys who drive a duster of a car with a super-sized 25inch polished wheels on which their newly-painted clunker is perched. He drives by with music blaring, windows down, seat all the way back, content yet clearly clueless. You don’t design a high performance car based on this guy’s needs or opinions (hold the flames please). If you show him a high end car, he’d ask where are the flashing neon wheels? So the high MP maven is keen on comparing  “sizes” (*ahem*) with other manufacturers and owners…”I own a higher MP camera, my uncle can beat up your uncle”-crowd. 

Then we come to the all too familiar and all so reasonable-sounding,  “Oh, but I am a landscape photographer” gripe.  We are at the threshold if not well beyond lens resolution with some of the current sensors and lens combinations. Just adding more MP to a cramped image circle is simply taking a fuzzy image “unit” projected by the lens and projecting it on 3 pixels when one pixel would have done it just as much justice.  There is no additional information to be gleaned from more pixels. This is besides the physics of the light gathering power of pixels of varying sizes and all that good stuff. Original resolution for the area in which the image is projected is limiting (a lot of impressive “lines/per….insert-awesome-math-terms-here” technical discussions are out there but I am trying to keep this to where the guy driving the duster in a 25inch wheel will understand ;}).
     
Instead of relying on obscurantist math, look at this in layman’s terms: many of the current 35mm lenses that fare well with smaller sensors, perform at a much lower level when you look at them in the full frame context.  Just look at the evolution of 70-200mm versions in the EF line if you want evidence of lenses given the same sensor size. Medium format, with larger image circle have the potential to capture more detail, provided you have good lenses. So if you cannot move to medium format, then you are simply asking to put larger and larger wheels on a duster ;)

Higher ISO on the other hand is not an abstract concept or a trivial issue. It has the potential to increase the reach of the equipment we already have in the market. It is not based on pie-in-the-sky, coming soon to your hood in 20 years wishlist of 25 inch car-wheel enthusiasts. As someone covered earlier, even with the current crop of lenses, high ISO will expand the use of slower lenses in general, will allow substantive leaps in using them in sports photography and nature photography and the use of super-telephoto lenses which are already pretty slow wide open. Advantages to videography have been covered extensively before.

So, Canon is doing the right thing trying to update ISO performance and opting not to up the MP. Despite the rampant, if not rabid rumors, Nikon has not actually released a 38MP (12 inch phallic long-dong-silver equivalent for the 25 inch wheel lovers) and I will believe it when I see it. I am not averse to higher MP if they can decrease noise and up the inherent lens performance but this really eventually will have an upper limit in the 35mm image sensor arena. So if you are that much of a landscape lover, move to a medium format and hope they develop as many lenses as there are among the 35mm now (Aunt Ethel probably told you they already exist in medium format in droves from 5 different manufacturers for a few bucks as it does in the 35mm field).

If you need higher MP, stick to 5D2 which in all likelihood will survive or a replacement with bells and whistles which Canon will introduce just to appease the “I-am-a-landscape-photographer-who-wants-Medium-format-level-performance-from-a-35mm-image-circle-and-you-can-too-do-it-cuz-my aunt-Ethel-said-so-hold-your-thought-I-gotta-super-size-my-Quarter-pounder-with-Cheese-Order”- Crowd.
Now be nice. You know I love ya.  :)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: distant.star on December 03, 2011, 04:03:50 PM

as a former SAE member, I'm hoping you can define "duster."
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 03, 2011, 04:15:58 PM
Quote
Then we come to the all too familiar and all so reasonable-sounding,  “Oh, but I am a landscape photographer” gripe.  We are at the threshold if not well beyond lens resolution with some of the current sensors and lens combinations. Just adding more MP to a cramped image circle is simply taking a fuzzy image “unit” projected by the lens and projecting it on 3 pixels when one pixel would have done it just as much justice.  There is no additional information to be gleaned from more pixels. This is besides the physics of the light gathering power of pixels of varying sizes and all that good stuff. Original resolution for the area in which the image is projected is limiting (a lot of impressive “lines/per….insert-awesome-math-terms-here” technical discussions are out there but I am trying to keep this to where the guy driving the duster in a 25inch wheel will understand ;}).

@RayS2121: While I understand the humorous point to your post, I think you are entirely wrong about sensors out-resolving lenses. To my knowledge (I'll see if I can find the reference), Canon's newest L-series lenses (mark II's and newer releases from the last few years) can resolve up to around 45mp worth of resolution in a FF image circle. Granted, not every single canon lens can resolve that much detail, however there are quite a few L-series lenses that are purported to support high-MP resolution. Canon seems to be dedicated to producing lenses with high resolving power on into the future as well.

I also think you may be confusing the pixel size of compact cameras with the pixel size of a full-frame camera. The 21.1mp 5D II sensor has an 6.4 micron pixel, vs. an average of 1-2 micron pixels for point and shoot cameras. Comparing the 7D 18mp sensor with its 4.3 micron pixels, which takes superb images with incredible sharpness, the 5D III would have to have a 46.7mp sensor to have the same size pixels. Here is the (far from "obscurest") math, in case you doubt:

Target Pixel Size = 4.3µm
FF Sensor Area in mm = 36mm * 24mm = 864mm^2

Pixel Area => 4.3µm * 4.3µm = 18.49µm^2
Pixel Area in mm => 18.49µm^2 / (1000µm / mm)^2 = 0.00001849mm^2
Pixels per Sensor Area => 864mm^2 / 0.00001849mm^2 = 46,727,961.06 pixels

If Canon's statements about their latest L-series lenses resolving up to 45mp is true, then a 5D III with a 46.7mp sensor (which is the same density as the Canon 7D 18mp APS-C sensor) would be at the limit. Thats not surprising, and it gives more credence to the 7D being an 18.1mp sensor, as IT TOO is right at the maximum resolving power of Canon's current lenses, and pushing pixel density beyond that wouldn't provide much benefit (except perhaps minimizing aliasing and moire). That would also mean a 26, 28, or 32mp 5D III is most certainly well within bounds, providing better resolution (which can't be beat when you need to blow your prints up to immense size...post-processing interpolation doesn't  hold a stick to native resolution), and still potentially leaving room to improve ISO and other sensor characteristics. Here is a useful answer on a forum that explains megapixels, and how increasing resolution is rarely ever "bad", it simply provides diminishing returns after a certain point (45mp most likely with FF 35mm sensors):

http://photo.stackexchange.com/a/14776/124

It should also be stated that high ISO performance is NOT a necessity when shooting landscapes...I shoot exclusively in ISO 100 or 200 for my landscapes. Dynamic range is usually managed with optical filtration such as polarizers, graduated neutral density filters, etc. (Better sensor DR can be achieved with improved sensor fabrication techniques such as better micro-lensing, higher capacity wells, lower-noise readout electronics, moving electronics out of the light path to the photo diode, etc.)

I'm certainly not against Canon meeting the cry of many professional photographers who are asking for better ISO performance. They certainly did so with the superb specs of the 1D X. I'm not at all against Canon meeting the needs of sports and action photographers with high FPS rate cameras like the 1D X and the 7D. However I do think Canon needs to listen to their entire customer base, and not ignore the huge community of photographers, be they landscape, macro, studio portrait, etc. photographers who still do care about resolution and cropping power AS MUCH as they care about other factors like noise and AF performance. Making every camera in the Canon lineup cater to the low-res, high-speed, low-light photographers and cinematographers eliminates a position in their camera lineup that NEEDS to be filled. I, and I'm sure many other current 5D II owners, would be perfectly happy with the 5D III staying as a 21.1mp camera, so long as the AF system was improved, noise was lowered, and other factors of the camera were improved (a 4th custom dial mode in favor of the default automatic mode, for example?)

While you may not need high resolution camera yourself, some people DO, and calling those who do "chrome rim fanboys" doesn't service anyone. There are existing niches that are fulfilled by high resolution full-frame DSLR cameras, and it doesn't serve Canon well to ditch that huge market.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 03, 2011, 04:32:10 PM
If the maximum resolving power of the current L-series lenses is around 45MP for full-frame 35mm cameras then when the MP count exceeds 90MP is when we have too many MP. Why 90? Because at that point we've got enough resolution to properly sample the light and give clear definition to the 45MP worth of detail.

Kind of like how the music on CDs is sampled at 44khz, whereas the human can't hear much over 22k. The higher sampling gives better definition to what can be heard.

True, I guess it would take double nyquist to fully out resolve the nature of a bayer sensor, assuming diffraction didn't decimate the gains.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: te4o on December 03, 2011, 05:02:57 PM
I think the only way to exit this dilemma is to HAVE the 18 AND the 30+MP Canon and test them against all lenses :)
Let's shout CANON NOW for a while and it may work.
I think the 30+ owners will soon start looking into better lenses with less production errors while the 18 MP owners will continue shooting as usual
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Musicjohn on December 03, 2011, 05:22:54 PM
I can't tell who's right and who's wrong about max. megapixels / resolving power / resolution, because I am not a mathematician, nor a scientist.

What I CAN tell you is my personal experience.

I have owned a 350D (Digital Rebel XT) / 30D / 40D / 1D-mkII / 1D-mkIII / 5D-mkII / 7D / 1D-mkIV

My lenses are:

24-70 f/2.8 L
24-105 f/4 L - IS
16-35 f/2.8 L II
70-200 f/2.8 L
100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L - IS
200mm f/2.8 L
100mm f/2.8 L - IS Macro
35mm f/1.4 L
50mm f/1.4 (Sigma)

I shoot approximately 175.000 pictures per year!

My experience is that the 7D with it's 18 megapixels demands the MOST of all lenses. I get better results with the same lenses on my 1D-mkIV

It is my opinion that more megapixels on a sensor makes it demand more of my lenses.

To be totally honest, I have made my most beautiful pictures with the 350D (Rebel XT) and the 40D. Both sensors have excellent design characteristics, and get the very most out of all of my lenses. They just won't perform equally as good on any of the other bodies.

I feel that Canon would really need to re-design ALL of the above mentioned lenses in order to perform up to professional standards on the 7D / 5D-mkII / 1D-mkIV and the new 1D-X

That's just my two cents worth.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 03, 2011, 05:57:49 PM
If the maximum resolving power of the current L-series lenses is around 45MP for full-frame 35mm cameras then when the MP count exceeds 90MP is when we have too many MP. Why 90? Because at that point we've got enough resolution to properly sample the light and give clear definition to the 45MP worth of detail.

Kind of like how the music on CDs is sampled at 44khz, whereas the human can't hear much over 22k. The higher sampling gives better definition to what can be heard.

True, I guess it would take double nyquist to fully out resolve the nature of a bayer sensor, assuming diffraction didn't decimate the gains.

2.3x Nyquist, actually, to compensate for the low-pass filter.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: RayS2121 on December 03, 2011, 06:13:06 PM
Quote
However I do think Canon needs to listen to their entire customer base, and not ignore the huge community of photographers, be they landscape, macro, studio portrait, etc. photographers who still do care about resolution and cropping power AS MUCH as they care about other factors like noise and AF performance. Making every camera in the Canon lineup cater to the low-res, high-speed, low-light photographers and cinematographers eliminates a position in their camera lineup that NEEDS to be filled. I, and I'm sure many other current 5D II owners, would be perfectly happy with the 5D III staying as a 21.1mp camera, so long as the AF system was improved, noise was lowered, and other factors of the camera were improved (a 4th custom dial mode in favor of the default automatic mode, for example?)

Canon will certainly not ditch the high MP crowd. I am sure Canon understands “which side of their bread is buttered”.

One can be cynical and say Canon is bound to split the full frame 5D II market similar to the 60D or 7D and 600D for the cropped sensors. It is debatable then what will fall in the higher end “7D-like” and what will go to the lower prosumer "600D-like” versions. Higher ISO performance, higher fps, body construction material, built-in flash (yes, that lame ploy) could all be used to “differentiate” (market?) the higher end from the prosumer version split. You correctly identify improved autofocus will have to be part of the package, whatever the split. Autofocus is atrocious on 5D II for the rung it occupies in Canon product line.

I would wager the high MP needs can easily be met by even tinkering with the gapless microlens aspect. http://www.flickr.com/groups/1dx/discuss/72157627941696082/

They may be able to squeeze out a few more MP’s without too much trouble for the higher MP customers. They may split it along 1) a professional line, higher end, but lower MP (perhaps same sensor as 1D-X), with higher ISO capabilities, higher fps, Lan, vediography tweaks, etc…at a higher price point;  and 2) a prosumer version that provides slightly higher MP or same as 5DII MP with lower fps, minor tweeks to ISO and some videography freebees at the same price point as current 5DII. Hopefully canon is smart enough to update autofocus on both versions. It will be fun to see which one will make the first appearance the higher MP version or the 1D-X-mini ;)

Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on December 03, 2011, 08:19:09 PM
One of the problems with very tiny photosites is the narrow angle of view of each photosite.  Those toward the outer edges have a real issue trying to get light due to the angle of the light rays.  Canon and other manufacturers have lots of tricks to minimize the effect, but it is still a concern, and gets more difficult to deal with as photosites get smaller.

I have a 7D and a 5D MK II, the 7D having much smaller photosites.  I'd prefer larger photosites and better high ISO performance, but my 7D isn't bad.  The 24 mp sensor that Sony has is for those who believe that more MP must be better.  You will gain a bit of resolution, but lose out on high ISO performance and noise. 

I lie 21 mp of my 5D MK II just fine, but I'd like to have better high ISO performance and better DR.  If a 18 mp sensor does that, I'm sold.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Edwin Herdman on December 03, 2011, 08:54:10 PM
My lenses are:

24-70 f/2.8 L
24-105 f/4 L - IS
16-35 f/2.8 L II
70-200 f/2.8 L
100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L - IS
200mm f/2.8 L
100mm f/2.8 L - IS Macro
35mm f/1.4 L
50mm f/1.4 (Sigma)

I shoot approximately 175.000 pictures per year!

My experience is that the 7D with it's 18 megapixels demands the MOST of all lenses. I get better results with the same lenses on my 1D-mkIV
My opinion is that you have a collection of mostly older lenses that struggle on current cameras (although the 100mm L IS should not).  Canon puts out many lenses that don't break a sweat on my T1i, at least, which has a similar enough pixel density (15.1 MP across an APS-C frame).

A good example of a lens that doesn't quite cut it is the 50mm f/1.4.  It is great at f/8 in terms of sharpness, but at f/1.4 it really struggles.

On the other hand, lenses like the TS-E 17mm and 90mm variants, the 135mm f/2L, and the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS do not have any problem at all pushing out impressive resolution even wide open (at least in the center).  If you have an APS-C camera (as I do) the situation is even better than full frame in that regard.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 03, 2011, 09:00:51 PM
My opinion is that you have a collection of mostly older lenses that struggle on current cameras (although the 100mm L IS should not).  Canon puts out many lenses that don't break a sweat on my T1i, at least, which has a similar enough pixel density (15.1 MP across an APS-C frame).

I would agree there. I think, out of the list shown, the 16-35mm f/2.8 L II and the 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro are the only two newer lenses that probably qualify for the 45mp resolving power. I don't know what the others might resolve to, however the pixel density of the 1D IV is so low (relatively speaking these days) the lenses are probably far outresolving it.

Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 03, 2011, 09:10:09 PM
I'm not really worried about the diffraction problem.

Why?

Because when the sensor resolution is such that the "airy disc" covers three pixels then you know exactly what the colour of that "airy disc" is.

I mean think about it for a second.

If a purple point of light shines on the sensor today, for the camera to know that it is purple, the point of light that hits the sensor needs to be bigger than just one pixel or it needs to hit the sensor in such a way that part of the light goes in at least both the red and blue pixel wells.

I agree with you in the sense that the nature of Bayer array sensors are starting to show their limitations. It would be nice to see the photography world capitalized on the Foveon concept, and move away from Bayer. I'd assume patents will prevent that for quite a number of years to come (either that, or one of the big players like Canon or Sony buys up Sigma.)

Regarding diffraction, though, physics would dictate that it have a detrimental impact. You can see it with a majority of point and shoots or phone cameras today...their sensors are about a quarter the size of a fingernail, with pixel areas some 5 times LESS than an 18mp APS-C today. Technically, the benefit you describe would begin to manifest itself in those tiny sensors with their immense pixel densities (which are equivalent to about a 240mp FF sensor!) On the contrary, diffraction severely impacts the IQ on those sensors. Granted, the physical apertures of such cameras are probably closer to f/22 with a 50mm lens on DSLR, but at 90mp, diffraction limitation would probably set in around f/4 or worse, and visible diffraction blurring would probably set in by f/7.1.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: unfocused on December 03, 2011, 10:49:20 PM
First, this is a tongue-in-cheek missive to the high MP hogs who discount the need for high ISO and I typed it smiling...Now be nice. You know I love ya.  :)

I'm glad you got that off your chest. However...if you're thinking of becoming a comedy writer, I'd suggest that you might not want to quit your day job just yet. :)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: TexPhoto on December 04, 2011, 12:16:46 AM
The more pixels vs. better pixels debate will be resolved in the same way as the epic "tastes great/less filling" debate of the 1980s was resolved: Violence.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: AprilForever on December 04, 2011, 01:05:53 AM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be? What ought a person to expect out of one's camera? Honestly, a tripod, a broader aperture, and a little patience can make up for a whole lot of ISO...

And as far as DR is concerned, what do one really actually need 37 stops of DR for? What about ND grads? What about HDR? Why about exposure stacking and masking? Or fill flash and reflectors? Honestly, my 7D RAW files have piles of DR, when I expose to the right.

Print film ISO 50 has wild DR and low noise... could this work as a temporary stop-gap?
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Edwin Herdman on December 04, 2011, 01:23:31 AM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be?
A lot more than I'm currently getting with the T1i!  At ISO 400, things often are bad enough for critical purposes.

If you want to be able to submit those pictures for stock or a portfolio, those 18 megapixels go a lot farther (for many uses) if they are cleaner.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: AprilForever on December 04, 2011, 02:30:55 AM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be?
A lot more than I'm currently getting with the T1i!  At ISO 400, things often are bad enough for critical purposes.

If you want to be able to submit those pictures for stock or a portfolio, those 18 megapixels go a lot farther (for many uses) if they are cleaner.

So upgrade to a 7D... Or a 5DII... But what are you shooting? I've ne'er owned a T1i, but used to have an XSI... it was pretty bad at 1600, ok at 800, not too horrible at 400... Better lenses may also be a part of your solution...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: motorhead on December 04, 2011, 05:41:14 AM
RayS2121,

I've just read your opening post. We have completely opposite views. I tend to think of the high ISO, massive fps and video users as the "bling brigade", "no clue but never let that stop us".

So its all in the eyes of the beholder. I want better cameras, better lenses, no anti-alliasing filters, far better DR etc, etc, etc. But I have absolutely no need for more than 1600 ISO or video. So I see more MP as simply a progression down the road to a better product.

I shall be very happy when the sensors hit 10x the current levels. By that time the arguments/discussions will have been firmly put to bed and we will be debating some other issue entirely.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: smirkypants on December 04, 2011, 08:19:24 AM
There is such a thing as too many megapixels... there's no such thing as ISO performance that's too good.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Bob Howland on December 04, 2011, 09:36:33 AM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be? What ought a person to expect out of one's camera? Honestly, a tripod, a broader aperture, and a little patience can make up for a whole lot of ISO...

And as far as DR is concerned, what do one really actually need 37 stops of DR for? What about ND grads? What about HDR? Why about exposure stacking and masking? Or fill flash and reflectors? Honestly, my 7D RAW files have piles of DR, when I expose to the right.

Print film ISO 50 has wild DR and low noise... could this work as a temporary stop-gap?

I've been in situations where publication quality ISO 51200 would have permitted an exposure of 1/60 sec and f/2.8, allowing me to use a zoom lens instead of an f/1.4 prime lens. Using a tripod or flash was absolutely out of the question, due to the location.

Regarding DR, I'd settle for 18 stops, since that is apparently all the eye can see. And I use HDR routinely and productively when the situation permits, which is not as often as I'd like.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Lawliet on December 04, 2011, 09:57:10 AM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be? What ought a person to expect out of one's camera? Honestly, a tripod, a broader aperture, and a little patience can make up for a whole lot of ISO...
Remember those who want video (or just the movie lighting tools for stylistic reasons)?
To get decent shutter times&apertures - both are degrees of freedom that have artistic purpose, so they can't be changed for technical reasons, as a wider aperture won't give you sufficient DOF and a tripod won't stop motion - ISO 3200-6400 is really nice to have if you have to work within the confines of household electricity.
Now, to get that sensitivity without a nasty hit on image quality a few stops margin are prudent.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: motorhead on December 04, 2011, 10:10:09 AM
Smirkypants,

Of course you are completely entitled to you opinion. I think its crazy, but then my photography is only a small niche of the enormous range of subjects.

But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.   
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: AprilForever on December 05, 2011, 12:49:30 AM
Smirkypants,

Of course you are completely entitled to you opinion. I think its crazy, but then my photography is only a small niche of the enormous range of subjects.

But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.

Exactly.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: dtaylor on December 05, 2011, 02:23:35 AM
We are at the threshold if not well beyond lens resolution with some of the current sensors and lens combinations.

Nope. There are plenty of lenses which can resolve more then the 7D's sensor can deliver. At FF size the 7D's pixel pitch would result in 45 MP images. And I would gladly pay for a FF body with a 45 MP sensor that had the noise characteristics of the 7D. IQ at low ISO would be comparable to the 645D, and it would still be usable at ISO 3200 and 6400.

You're the guy bragging about the V8 in his car, talking trash about anyone with a V6 and claiming that they just can't squeeze the same power out of a V6, about to get his rear handed to him by a V6 with twin turbos.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: UncleFester on December 05, 2011, 02:41:42 AM
I would expect more megapixels is going to challenge the skill of the user.




Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: bycostello on December 05, 2011, 03:47:33 AM
for me the more mega pixals the more spare i have...  means i don't need that longer lens as i can crop the image and still have a print quality file...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 05, 2011, 06:59:34 AM
But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.

When those 'problems' involve basic principles of physics, like diffraction, overcoming them may prove difficult... 
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: dtaylor on December 05, 2011, 07:27:44 AM
But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.

When those 'problems' involve basic principles of physics, like diffraction, overcoming them may prove difficult...

Yes, diffraction imposes an upper limit on pixel density. No, we are not there yet, and a 35-45 MP FF sensor would yield benefits in fine detail and maximum print size.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: motorhead on December 05, 2011, 07:54:37 AM
Thats like the argument that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. For years science has claimed that as an unmovable barrier but now there are experimental results that show that is simply not true.

Just because present sensor and lens technologies have certain theoretical limits I believe it is a mistake to think that this can never be "side stepped". I know that lens design is just a case of pouring money at the problem and sensor design may well develop in future in directions we can only dream about.   
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: RayS2121 on December 05, 2011, 08:00:22 AM
There is such a thing as aesthetics that transcend numbers and ratios … that something we can’t put our fingers on intellectually, yet we recognize intuitively when we see it. I wouldn’t say, however, that this is beyond rational understanding; just that you momentarily drop the analysis and the stats and just recognize that there is something special about the picture you are viewing. Needless to say, this is a combination of the photographer’s talent, the technology of the sensor and the lens, and the subject (yes, the subject, it is difficult to make a seeping wound look nice regardless of talent or technology). I digress…

So what is it about those occasions when you recognize that there is something special about a picture, provided the human photographer, the viewer, the lenses, etc. are the same? More specifically, what would it be about the sensor as the *sole* variant that could make a picture, oh lets be less technical, “juicy”. I would refer to the Leica pictures that appeared on Canon Rumors article a while back… http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/leica-m9-a-second-opinion/

All things being equal, especially the lens, barring the sensor, I would argue, what your eyes are picking up, and what your brain is perceiving is the “physics” of the sensor: the overall quality… the combination of dynamic range, color depth, the tonal range… much of these take a dip in 5D II when we wander into the higher ISO range. There is scope to improve the physics of these pixels. As a Canon supporter, I see without subterfuge, guile, or pride, that Nikon has worked more on the quality of pixels and I want that for Canon.

I am not against more MP per se. My point was we could gain on that extra aesthetic, that “je ne sais quoi”, that non-technical “juiciness”, by working on the quality of the pixels instead of just their quantity. Peace   :)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: funkboy on December 05, 2011, 08:10:29 AM
I would expect more megapixels is going to challenge the skill of the user.

Joseph Holmes would (http://www.josephholmes.com/news-sharpmediumformat.html) certainly agree with you. (http://www.josephholmes.com/news-medformatprecision.html)

They're long articles on medium format shooting technique & precision, but well worth a read.

The summary is that merely using a "bomb-proof" tripod, using a cable release, waiting 6 seconds for mirror vibration to settle after lock-up, and using a 3x magnifier on the focusing screen is not good enough to get the full 40+ MP resolution out of a medium format camera system.

Phase One's tolerance for registration distance is 12 microns, but he's come across systems that were off by hundreds.  Joseph calculates that with this system's lenses the difference between the focal plane registering at infinity and 200 feet can be as low as 8 microns (depending on the focal length).  Among other things, he had to test *seven* 80mm lenses to find *two* that would really, truly focus to infinity at the micron level (meaning everything at 1000+ feet sharp; remember that we're talking about the mechanical tolerances of lenses in distances of microns here).  Other lenses worked out better, but you get the idea.  I'm not talking about the resolution of the glass or sensor here, but simply the mechanical tolerance of medium format lenses & bodies. 

If Joseph had to go through all this to really squeeze all the resolution capability out of a high-end hand-assembled ultra-quality-controlled medium format camera system costing tens of thousands of $US, how much resolution do you think non-professionals will really be able to effectively eek out of a mass-produced 30+ MP DSLR with even smaller pixels, mass-produced lenses?  How stable is "stable enough" from an I.S. system?  How much will the strong AA filter Canon tends to use impact the real capability of such a sensor?  How precise is phase-detect AF at these resolutions (even after calibration)?  And let's not forget that ultra-high resolution CMOS sensors like this tend to stink for video...

Mind you, sometimes Canon's approach to this sort of thing is "ship first, ask questions later" so who knows, but personally I think that they're purposely avoiding the high-resolution game as it would open up several proverbial cans of worms for them, none of which are economically lucrative for them to deal with.

Have a look at some of Joseph's samples BTW, they're truly stunning in terms of resolution.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: funkboy on December 05, 2011, 08:28:10 AM
All things being equal, especially the lens, barring the sensor, I would argue, what your eyes are picking up, and what your brain is perceiving is the “physics” of the sensor: the overall quality… the combination of dynamic range, color depth, the tonal range… much of these take a dip in 5D II when we wander into the higher ISO range. There is scope to improve the physics of these pixels. As a Canon supporter, I see without subterfuge, guile, or pride, that Nikon has worked more on the quality of pixels and I want that for Canon.

Excellent post.  This is exactly what I'm hoping for in the "accessible to mere mortals" followups to the 1DX.  It's also one of the reasons I think they're so afraid of Fuji.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Zuuyi on December 05, 2011, 08:43:18 AM
I just see these ISO people wanting a 1Dx for the 5d3 price.

How about give me a 5d3 with the normal increased pixels and higher iso. I'll take a 24mp camera (30 would be great but not needed).

You have a 1Dx and most likely the new 7D2 for your needs. We just want the 5d3. 

There is already a current camera in the Canon line for your needs, most just don't want to pay for it.  We want to ensure that we can buy a current camera and not have to go down in Megapixels.

When your client ask how many megapixels, they just want to hear MORE than the other guy.  If Canon made a MF camera then high MP wanters would have a natural progression but they don't so we want 1 camera(5d3) in the line.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: J. McCabe on December 05, 2011, 09:08:25 AM
Honestly, a tripod, a broader aperture, and a little patience can make up for a whole lot of ISO...

I'm shooting band shows, and putting a tripod on the seat in front of me or in the area in front of the stage is not practicle.

I'm already shooting at f/2.8 @ 3200 ISO. I could get another stop or two from primes, but a sensor with 2-3 more stops would make my life that much easier. Bands are not likely to make the stage any darker, so that's about all I want.

And as far as DR is concerned, what do one really actually need 37 stops of DR for? What about ND grads? What about HDR? Why about exposure stacking and masking? Or fill flash and reflectors? Honestly, my 7D RAW files have piles of DR, when I expose to the right.

Print film ISO 50 has wild DR and low noise... could this work as a temporary stop-gap?

I'm not looking for more DR, but ...

- Some lenses can't be fitted with ND grad filters (e.g. ultra wide lenses), and some can't be fitted with any filters.

- Where I live, nobody sells 35mm ISO 50 films. If I got some, say ordering abroad, the highest resolution scans shops offer is 6MP JPEGs (= 8 bits per channel). If I wanted more DR, ISO 50 films wouldn't be an attractive option.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 05, 2011, 09:14:13 AM
I just see these ISO people wanting a 1Dx for the 5d3 price.

I just see these AF people as wanting a 1D X for the 5DIII price.   :P

Seriously, while we'd all like a 5DIII pro-level AF ('cuz Nikon does it, right?), higher ISO, better DR, fully-sealed build, and we'd all like it for the price of a 60D, it's just not going to happen.  It's not even going to happen for the price of a 5DII.  With the 5DII, Canon used the same sensor as the 1DsIII flagship - but does anyone really think the 5DII was a 'baby 1Ds'?  No - an the 5DIII will not be a 'baby 1D X.'  Either the 5DIII will be 'handicapped' in some (many) ways compared to the 1-series, or it will cost much more. 
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: RayS2121 on December 05, 2011, 09:30:13 AM
When your client ask how many megapixels, they just want to hear MORE than the other guy.  If Canon made a MF camera then high MP wanters would have a natural progression but they don't so we want 1 camera(5d3) in the line.

....We want to ensure that we can buy a current camera and not have to go down in Megapixels.

I dont' think you are in any danger of losing MP in 5d3 ...even if Canon splits the 5D product line, there will be one option that retains the same MP or slightly up it, just to keep people like you needing to tell other people your "inches" I mean MP numbers ;)


All things being equal, especially the lens, barring the sensor, I would argue, what your eyes are picking up, and what your brain is perceiving is the “physics” of the sensor: the overall quality… the combination of dynamic range, color depth, the tonal range… much of these take a dip in 5D II when we wander into the higher ISO range. There is scope to improve the physics of these pixels. As a Canon supporter, I see without subterfuge, guile, or pride, that Nikon has worked more on the quality of pixels and I want that for Canon.

I am not against more MP per se. My point was we could gain on that extra aesthetic, that “je ne sais quoi”, that non-technical “juiciness”, by working on the quality of the pixels instead of just their quantity. Peace   :)

There I was arguing about "aesthetics" and "je ne sais quoi"...but this clearly shows this is about the numbers, the "25 inch chrome wheel" I alluded to in the original post...   there is nothing inherently wrong with more MP, but increasing MP without addressing basic issues of quality is not productive. It is like putting lipstick on a pig. Or giving your granny a double-D cup implant when the rest of her face, shoulders, and stomach are sagging and she has bags under her eyes. A young, in shape model is going to stand out every time because it is more than the size of the bra.

Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 05, 2011, 09:30:59 AM
- Some lenses can't be fitted with ND grad filters (e.g. ultra wide lenses), and some can't be fitted with any filters.

True...but a large rectangular resin/glass filter can be held in front of the lens.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: thepancakeman on December 05, 2011, 11:05:04 AM
But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.

When those 'problems' involve basic principles of physics, like diffraction, overcoming them may prove difficult...

While I cannot even pretend to have the technical knowledge of neuroanatomist, I guess I have a higher opinion of where science can go and a lower opinion of where it is.  Whether you're talking about the discovery of quasicrystals for which the discoverer was practially barred from scientific circles because it went against "the laws of physics" (but has since been awared the nobel prize) or the more assinine "truth" that the 4-minute mile is (was) physically impossible, science grows and evolves and changes as we continue to push the boundaries.

For example, what about metamaterials for lenses?  (Haha--now I'm just using fancy words that I don't even know the meaning of!   ;D )
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: K-amps on December 05, 2011, 11:55:47 AM
If the maximum resolving power of the current L-series lenses is around 45MP for full-frame 35mm cameras then when the MP count exceeds 90MP is when we have too many MP. Why 90? Because at that point we've got enough resolution to properly sample the light and give clear definition to the 45MP worth of detail.

Kind of like how the music on CDs is sampled at 44khz, whereas the human can't hear much over 22k. The higher sampling gives better definition to what can be heard.

I may not be an expert in Digital photography, but I have spent half a lifetime as an Audiophile. If they had designed a "decent" Brick Filter at 22kHz, we would be fine. The issue was not frequency limitations, rather phase shifts caused by the brick filtering at 44.1kHz. Moving out the frequency bandwidth, merely softened the phase shift. PS: Most of us can't hear above 16kHz (maybe we could 20 years ago)   :-\ but in trying to stick to the topic, why not 135mp (each photosite does RGB ) or even 180mp for in Camera 4 to 1 binning?  :)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: K-amps on December 05, 2011, 12:04:49 PM
One of the problems with very tiny photosites is the narrow angle of view of each photosite.  Those toward the outer edges have a real issue trying to get light due to the angle of the light rays.   

Does that in any way translate to more vignetting at the corners on the 7D?
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 05, 2011, 12:29:35 PM
I guess I have a higher opinion of where science can go and a lower opinion of where it is.  Whether you're talking about the discovery of quasicrystals for which the discoverer was practially barred from scientific circles because it went against "the laws of physics" (but has since been awared the nobel prize) or the more assinine "truth" that the 4-minute mile is (was) physically impossible, science grows and evolves and changes as we continue to push the boundaries.

For example, what about metamaterials for lenses?

I have very high opinions of where science and imaging technology will go.  Can the diffraction limit be overcome?  Yes.  In the 19th century, Ernst Abbe (friend of Carl Zeiss and one of the pioneers of microscopy and optics) postulated that no amount of glass refinement or lens design could escape the limit of resolution for visible light, which is about 0.5µm.  Today, we have superresolution microscopy that breaks that limit (one approach to which actually does use lenses with metamaterials). 

But, I think it's likely that by the time we progress to breaking the diffraction limit, the dSLR will have gone the way of the dodo.  Picture Canon's 'wonder camera' combined with a plenoptic camera, then fit that into a cell phone - that's just one step along the road...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: K-amps on December 05, 2011, 02:04:29 PM
About 6 years ago, the air conditioning on the roof of the building I was working in had a problem with a bearing. It produced a very high pitch noise that I could hear and gave me a headache but nobody else in the office could (I was the youngest...)

Dare I ask what your thoughts are on 96kHz audio? I've got a few SACDs and the appropriate equipment to deliver 192/96 to the amp and out of the speakers...

Exactly! I suspect that if a 5DX were to have a foveon style sensor with colours arranaged vertically rather than in a horizontal 2x2, we'd find companies doing the Sigma thing and calling a camera with 15MP a 45MP camera.

Dilbert: We live in a world where the youth of today embrace the MP3... so 96kHz was pretty much dead on arrival. The beauty of SACD was not only the 96/192kHz sampling, but the ditching of discrete paralell bits and going for a stream of data. It was just a different way of processing data, not merely an upsampled engine that CD used. I too have a few SACD's lying around, they are not bad,  the pricing killed it as well.

Going back to the topic: Looking at apple/ google, buying off companies seems to be the best way to get Patents... however I suspect the fact that the Fovean did not dazzle people like they expected it to may have something to do with it...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on December 05, 2011, 04:16:06 PM
1. People use TCs with lenses on the 7D (over 40! MP FF equivalent) and still pull in more than detail than without using a TC.

2. Even a mediocre lens scores more resolution, near the borders, on an 18MP 7D than on a 10MP 40D.

3. Some of the SONY sensors that are far denser than the 5D2 sensor actually have much higher dynamic range per sensor area than the 5D2 does.

4. It's not hard to notice the extra detail you get on distant wildlife between using 12MP FF equivalent and 45MP FF equivalent even if you insist on poo-pooing more detail for landscapes for whatever unknown reason.

4b. Not everyone can afford an 800mm lens but if you want to buy a copy for all of us....

4c. Even at 800mm it's easy to have the subject not fill the frame

5. The crazy density 7D has a little bit BETTER SNR at middle gray per sensor area than the much lower density 5D2.
 
so just sayin'

(not that I want them to go too crazy with it and be able to get at least 6fps and a crop mode would be nice so as to not fill up HD with half wasted space for distant wildlife)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on December 05, 2011, 04:19:21 PM
I can't tell who's right and who's wrong about max. megapixels / resolving power / resolution, because I am not a mathematician, nor a scientist.

What I CAN tell you is my personal experience.

I have owned a 350D (Digital Rebel XT) / 30D / 40D / 1D-mkII / 1D-mkIII / 5D-mkII / 7D / 1D-mkIV

My lenses are:

24-70 f/2.8 L
24-105 f/4 L - IS
16-35 f/2.8 L II
70-200 f/2.8 L
100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L - IS
200mm f/2.8 L
100mm f/2.8 L - IS Macro
35mm f/1.4 L
50mm f/1.4 (Sigma)

I shoot approximately 175.000 pictures per year!

My experience is that the 7D with it's 18 megapixels demands the MOST of all lenses. I get better results with the same lenses on my 1D-mkIV

It is my opinion that more megapixels on a sensor makes it demand more of my lenses.

To be totally honest, I have made my most beautiful pictures with the 350D (Rebel XT) and the 40D. Both sensors have excellent design characteristics, and get the very most out of all of my lenses. They just won't perform equally as good on any of the other bodies.

I feel that Canon would really need to re-design ALL of the above mentioned lenses in order to perform up to professional standards on the 7D / 5D-mkII / 1D-mkIV and the new 1D-X

That's just my two cents worth.

Sure a 7D demands more than a 10D, of lenses and 100% micro-contrast might be a touch lower. BUT scale down the 7D to 10D dimensions and tell me which shows better 100% view micro-contrat. Scale up the 10D to 7D dimensions and tell me which shows more detail.

Only normalized comparisons make sense when trying to say one thing is better than another.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on December 05, 2011, 04:29:46 PM
Not to hate, but from all I read, it seems people want ISO capabilities far beyond their wildest dream. How much high ISO ability does a person really need? How perfect do one's pixels really need to be? What ought a person to expect out of one's camera? Honestly, a tripod, a broader aperture, and a little patience can make up for a whole lot of ISO...

And as far as DR is concerned, what do one really actually need 37 stops of DR for? What about ND grads? What about HDR? Why about exposure stacking and masking? Or fill flash and reflectors? Honestly, my 7D RAW files have piles of DR, when I expose to the right.

Print film ISO 50 has wild DR and low noise... could this work as a temporary stop-gap?

something bright and dark all randomly all throughout the frame and sometimes clouds are zipping through really fast or trees blowing all over or someone is walking so ND grads or exposure stacking don't solve everything evne when you do have a tripod with you. Sometimes you can sort of piece together scenes that had bright and dark all over and motion, but not always, and it can take a ton of time to rescue even modestly tricky scenes like that to any reasonable degree.

Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on December 05, 2011, 04:33:12 PM
Thats like the argument that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. For years science has claimed that as an unmovable barrier but now there are experimental results that show that is simply not true.

Just because present sensor and lens technologies have certain theoretical limits I believe it is a mistake to think that this can never be "side stepped". I know that lens design is just a case of pouring money at the problem and sensor design may well develop in future in directions we can only dream about.

experiments which most, including those who carried them out, suspect will eventually be found to have been flawed (although most hope they won't, since that would be interesting)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on December 05, 2011, 04:35:14 PM
I just see these ISO people wanting a 1Dx for the 5d3 price.

I just see these AF people as wanting a 1D X for the 5DIII price.   :P

Seriously, while we'd all like a 5DIII pro-level AF ('cuz Nikon does it, right?), higher ISO, better DR, fully-sealed build, and we'd all like it for the price of a 60D, it's just not going to happen.  It's not even going to happen for the price of a 5DII.  With the 5DII, Canon used the same sensor as the 1DsIII flagship - but does anyone really think the 5DII was a 'baby 1Ds'?  No - an the 5DIII will not be a 'baby 1D X.'  Either the 5DIII will be 'handicapped' in some (many) ways compared to the 1-series, or it will cost much more.

once upon a time canon did see fit to make such bodies as the EOS 3, don't forget....
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: contrastny on December 05, 2011, 07:13:19 PM
Interesting, but all of this is getting confusing... I might wait for the 5D mkIII to come out and buy the 5D II, hopefully at a discount and pair it up with a Zeiss 18mm, since I mainly shoot landscapes.
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Lee Jay on December 05, 2011, 08:51:36 PM
Canon's newest L-series lenses (mark II's and newer releases from the last few years) can resolve up to around 45mp worth of resolution in a FF image circle.

How does 737MP strike you (18 * 4^2 * 1.6^2) with the old 400/2.8?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=37493247
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: tjshot on December 06, 2011, 03:42:50 AM
But I completely and totally reject the argument that its possible to ever have a sensor with too many megapixels. Yes, extreme MP counts create problems for the scientists and designers to overcome and I'm confident that they will overcome them.

When those 'problems' involve basic principles of physics, like diffraction, overcoming them may prove difficult...

Yes, diffraction imposes an upper limit on pixel density. No, we are not there yet, and a 35-45 MP FF sensor would yield benefits in fine detail and maximum print size.

That's actually the case.
On a previous post I proposed a simulation of performance increase for different sensor densities, assessing the effective performance boost (both resolution and contrast) stepping up from 21 to 36 an then 50 mpxls.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,1902.0.html (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,1902.0.html)
There is also discussed how the concept of a sensor "outresolving" a lense is definitely prone to misconception.
In a few days I'll be posting a similar scenario based on real glossy prints (Epson R1900) from artificially generated targets simulating the same sensors; it could be useful to assess how camera performance is related to effective increase in print quality.
Test results confirm that with proper sharpening applied, despite diffraction, a 50 Mpxls sensor will perform at ISO A2 print size exactly the same as an actual 21 Mpxls one at ISO A3 size and a 36 Mpxls sensor at 16x enlargement (i.e. betwen A3+ and A2).
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: Edwin Herdman on December 07, 2011, 01:37:45 AM
But, I think it's likely that by the time we progress to breaking the diffraction limit, the dSLR will have gone the way of the dodo.  Picture Canon's 'wonder camera' combined with a plenoptic camera, then fit that into a cell phone - that's just one step along the road...
I don't think light field cameras have anything to offer over traditional sensor tech, for almost all applications.  They certainly throw away much of the advantages of high resolution (and, correspondingly, would only aggravate the high sensitivity problems of sensors as small as those found in cell phone cameras, because to get anything like a reasonable final image size you need many, many more pixels to waste in capturing the light field).  Plenoptic technology is silent in the mirrored / mirrorless camera debate, as well (the concept can work in either physical system just as well or as badly).
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 08, 2011, 01:43:12 AM
I have very high opinions of where science and imaging technology will go.  Can the diffraction limit be overcome?  Yes.  In the 19th century, Ernst Abbe (friend of Carl Zeiss and one of the pioneers of microscopy and optics) postulated that no amount of glass refinement or lens design could escape the limit of resolution for visible light, which is about 0.5µm.  Today, we have superresolution microscopy that breaks that limit (one approach to which actually does use lenses with metamaterials). 

But, I think it's likely that by the time we progress to breaking the diffraction limit, the dSLR will have gone the way of the dodo.  Picture Canon's 'wonder camera' combined with a plenoptic camera, then fit that into a cell phone - that's just one step along the road...

Just to make sure I'm clear...when you say "diffraction limit", are you actually talking about the "diffraction cutoff frequency"? I ask because of this statement:

Quote
"...postulated that no amount of glass refinement or lens design could escape the limit of resolution for visible light..."

The diffraction limit is a limitation of an entire imaging system ultimately affected by the resolution of the imaging medium and the aperture of the lens. Given your reference to the wavelength of green light, I think you actually mean to refer to the diffraction cutoff frequency, which would be the point at which the resolution of a lens approaches the wavelengths of the light its imaging. As a simple matter of physics, that would be the hard limit, and literally unbreakable in any normal optical system.

Superresolution, even optical solutions, rely either on oscillations and multiple images, or information fabrication, and while they can break the diffraction limit of any given imaging system, I don't know that they can actually image detail beyond the wavelength of light (unless they fabricate it, which leads to a debate unto itself.)
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: AprilForever on December 08, 2011, 03:15:04 AM
Canon's newest L-series lenses (mark II's and newer releases from the last few years) can resolve up to around 45mp worth of resolution in a FF image circle.

How does 737MP strike you (18 * 4^2 * 1.6^2) with the old 400/2.8?

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=37493247

Impressive!!! I eagerly await the 7D mkII and the more megapixels hopefully to come...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 08, 2011, 06:28:16 AM
Superresolution, even optical solutions, rely either on oscillations and multiple images, or information fabrication, and while they can break the diffraction limit of any given imaging system, I don't know that they can actually image detail beyond the wavelength of light (unless they fabricate it, which leads to a debate unto itself.)

I routinely do brightfield optical microscopy at the Abbe limit (1.4 NA oil objectives and 1.4 NA oil condensers).  Near-field scanning can image detail smaller than the wavelength of the illumination (for fluorescent samples), because the illumination is effectively compressed into a source that is smaller than the wavelength of visible light. 

But you're right that most practical implementations of superresolution (e.g. STED) rely on software-intensive processes and image combination.  Still, a relevant analogy is the use of HDR to increase the dynamic range of current sensors. 
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: K-amps on December 08, 2011, 03:03:18 PM
... Still, a relevant analogy is the use of HDR to increase the dynamic range of current sensors.

Not picking on you John, but Isn't HDR a misnomer? I mean what we are really doing is "reducing" the dynamic range to display on our monitors... in reality it is Dynamic range compression, is it not?
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: jrista on December 09, 2011, 03:09:38 AM
... Still, a relevant analogy is the use of HDR to increase the dynamic range of current sensors.

Not picking on you John, but Isn't HDR a misnomer? I mean what we are really doing is "reducing" the dynamic range to display on our monitors... in reality it is Dynamic range compression, is it not?

Its a misnomer in the context and manner its normally used, yes. In the context of a 32-bit (or greater) float per color channel pixel HDR image (where the potential value range for each color channel in a pixel is on the order of 0.000000001 to 100,000,000,000), then and only then is the term actually valid. The moment you downconvert a source HDR image into a 16-bit/8-bit integer per color channel pixel image, you are once again limiting your DR. I've always had the same beef with "HDR"...
Title: Re: A tongue-in-cheek missive to those who want a high MP 5D3 :)
Post by: AprilForever on December 09, 2011, 04:01:17 AM
I have always had a hard time figuring HDR with PS out... My pictures always look pretty bad... I tried ColorEfex, it it seemed to work a lot better...