« on: April 22, 2011, 01:24:10 PM »
I remember reading a very interesting article on just this subject in Amateur Photographer written by Geoffrey Crawley -sadly now deceased.
His argument was that "popular thinking" was wrong on so many points. He had no time for those who claimed "12 mp is enough............" and instead argued that difraction is not as much of a problem as some would have us believe and resolution is a moving target - always getting better, if at a price. He claimed that lens designers have known how to improve their products for a long time, but that it has not been financially justified.
As an example he referred to a decision made by the BBC in the 1950's to spend very large sums of cash on extremely high quality German lenses, but the results were extremely disappointing to say the least. The glassware was not at fault, but no amount of superb glass could improve things when the camera and film technology was the limiting factor at the time. Geoffrey claimed that this was exactly the situation with dSLR lens designs until now, with lens design having been carefully matched to the bodies being offered. He said newer, better glassware would appear as the camera sensor and processing justified it, until then there was no point.
We are certainly witnessing Canon in particular upgrading their range right now, ready for the next generation large mp cameras I for one fully expect to be using.
"Popularist thinking" seems to forget that ever higher mp's will give us ever smoother images as we have to stress the basic data less. It assumes we will never have more powerful computers or printers that will print at high ppi's than at present. Both these assumptions are obviously flawed.
One further point: I can print at A3+ provided I got the framing right in camera, any cropping at all the A3+ print exposes the flaws. If nothing else, the upcoming 50-100 mp images should give me more flexibility to crop.