June 24, 2018, 05:41:33 AM

Author Topic: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?  (Read 4278 times)

mkabi

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:08:33 PM »
Bah...

canon rumors FORUM

Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:08:33 PM »

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 05:10:26 PM »
On my wall is a picture of a glacier that I made on a trip to Alaska in 2002 with my first digital camera. It was a not-quite-4-MP Casio. The print is on 13" x 19" paper, so image size is slightly smaller, and there is a slight crop to fit the aspect ratio.

It looks great, even from a foot or so away, which is closer than anyone would stand when looking at it. In theory it probably shouldn't look that good. Maybe it is the nature of the subject matter that makes it look that way. Here is a lores version that is on the web, and it probably won't look that great blown up as displayed by this site, but it will give you an idea of the nature of the picture:


The camera was from an attempt by Casio to make a little higher end camera using a Canon lens, and it received positive reviews compared with other much more expensive digital cameras of the period. It may have been a closeout deal, since it came with a free IBM hard drive for the card slot, memory being ridiculously expensive in those days, and measured in MB rather than GB.

The 8-color Epson printer probably helps the look and sense of color gradation of the print.

Certainly the 26MP of the 6D2 and the 20MP of the G7X II exceed my needs for almost every use I ever have.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • CR GEEK
  • ***************
  • Posts: 14239
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 05:58:20 PM »
I have a fujifilm digital camera from 1998.  I can sell it for a bargain price to anyone who wants 1.5 MP ;)


stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 06:04:09 PM »
I have a fujifilm digital camera from 1998.  I can sell it for a bargain price to anyone who wants 1.5 MP ;)

Do you recall what you paid for it back then and what memory prices were like?

scyrene

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2036
    • My Flickr feed
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 07:02:54 PM »
In answer to the question (and without watching the video - if I'm missing something, apologies! I just hate watching random videos), because I crop a LOT. Also, downsizing can make noise/sharpness tweaking easier. So this week I've been using the 5DS for garden birds occasionally, and even at close range and long FL (500-700mm), I crop down to under 3000px wide, and then downsize to 2000px wide for sharing online.
Current equipment: 5Ds, 5D mark III, 50D, 24-105L, MP-E, 100L macro, 500L IS II; 1.4xIII + 2x III extenders; 600EX-RT.
Former equipment includes: 300D; EOS-M, EF-M 18-55, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, EF 35 f/2 IS, 70-200L f/4 non-IS and f/2.8L IS II, 85L II, Sigma 180 macro, 200L 2.8, 400L 5.6

snappy604

  • EOS Rebel SL2
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 07:14:22 PM »
Have to agree with Scyrene.. I don't have quite the megapixel monster, but I crop many things post to get a better layout... I also tend to display it on a 50inch tv so older camera pics do show their pixels/age.

aside from megapixels... there are many other differences, the colour reproduction (dynamic range?) and other things have improved a lot since the 2 megapixel days.

IglooEater

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 899
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 08:03:20 PM »
With 5K displays becoming more and more common, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to want to have at least the 14.7 megapixels it takes to fill one up.  I doubt one can actually see every pixel, but it sure makes edges look crisp and colour gradations smooth.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 08:03:20 PM »

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 10:47:25 PM »
Just because my Casio was capable of good pictures that could print to a good size doesn't mean that I will dig it out to use instead of the cameras from in this decade.

mistaspeedy

  • EOS M5
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 11:26:52 PM »
In my opinion, for perfect pixel peeping sharpness, we need an original image 2x width and 2x height of the screen we will be viewing the images on. (just downsize image to exactly 50%). Seems to be the industry standard if possible... record 4K original video to downsample to very sharp 1080p.. etc.

To view on a full HD monitor/TV we need a 3840 x 2560 image (original image 3:2 aspect ratio, then we crop to 16:9), then downscale to 50% for super sharpness. So... roughly 9.8 megapixels for a perfect full hd viewing experience.

For a pixel peeping perfect image on a 16:9 UHD 4K screen, we need to start off with 7680 x 5120 = around 39 megapixels.

So... only a 5DsR will do :D

Meanwhile... I have only 8 megapixels.... looking to upgrade...
Canon 6D, Canon 1D mark II, Canon 50mm F1.4 USM, Tamron 28-75 F2.8

Mt Spokane Photography

  • CR GEEK
  • ***************
  • Posts: 14239
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 11:50:30 PM »
I have a fujifilm digital camera from 1998.  I can sell it for a bargain price to anyone who wants 1.5 MP ;)

Do you recall what you paid for it back then and what memory prices were like?

I bought the camera from a person selling gray market ones for around $400, the MSRP was $799!  At the time, it was a pretty advanced camera, but things changed almost monthly.  I then purchased the optional floppy card reader, a reader for smart cards that slipped into the 3.5 inch floppy disc slot of my computer.  USB readers were not yet out.  It originally included a 2MB Smart Media card, I bought additional ones later. 

Smart cards were expensive, but then all memory was expensive, I remember buying 8 mb sticks of memory for $150 and thinking it was a bargain.  I've either lost or archived my old email before 2000, so the prices are not available.  I had a disk crash in 2000 so it may be lost.  Thats when I bought my first Raid Setup.  No more lost data.

http://www.minidisc.org/boyde/fda1.html

Talys

  • EOS-1D X Mark II
  • *******
  • Posts: 1655
  • Canon 6DII
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2018, 02:19:45 AM »
Without watching the entire video...

2 megapixels MAY be ok to print a billboard, but that's because most billboards are meant to be viewed from far, far away.  When you look at digital billboards, most of them are very low resolution.  However, there are a lot of other types of large sized printing -- like wall and window decoration, bus wraps, or posters -- where people can come right up to it, and it's important that it looks good from 2 feet away. 

But anyways, I have to agree with the main reason that most everyone has cited here, the need to crop.  It's especially true if you like taking photos of little wee birds like hummingbirds or chickadees or bushtits, because otherwise, you'd need a monstrous lens to shoot one at twenty feet and fill the frame.

And even so, birds in flight (and I suspect a lot of other potentially unpredictable movement photography) usually need to be cropped; they're normally shot in a larger frame and cropped down because that's far preferable to accidentally lopping off part of the bird :D

Most of us who aren't pro photographers will generally tend to shoot a little wider and crop anyways (better safe than sorry).  Heck, I even cropped  in the days of film and enlargers.  And for studio photography, there's often a lot of crop -- to get rid of the lights and all that, since lighting can often be very close to the subject.  Plus, the lens you're using and the position you take is often based on the perspective you want and the distance you have available -- which might leave you with crop requirements.

LDS

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 1277
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 04:51:05 AM »
In 1998 - how fast time passes, sometimes - I started to work on a museum project to digitize their ancient textiles collection. They needed to be able to see from the general design of the decoration down to the texture, because among the interested people there were, besides historians, artists, designers and weaving experts technicians.

Only scan backs could deliver enough resolution in those years, and acceptable colours - it was my first exposure to the needs of an high-end colour management workflow, with the technology available in those years, and the museum curators had really very trained eyes, you couldn't mislead them.

I guess most art reproduction has the same requirements.

Resolution and colour fidelity depends highly on what you're trying to achieve. A billboard is just one use of photography. A very noticeable one, but only one use, and, after all, displaying images with a short useful life, others may be useful for a far longer time, and the more information they can capture, the better.

The originals may deteriorate or not exist any longer.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 10:16:28 AM »
Smart cards were expensive, but then all memory was expensive, I remember buying 8 mb sticks of memory for $150 and thinking it was a bargain.  I've either lost or archived my old email before 2000, so the prices are not available.  I had a disk crash in 2000 so it may be lost.  Thats when I bought my first Raid Setup.  No more lost data.

Remembering how expensive memory used to be reminds me of when in the early 1980s I added 16k to my Apple ][ Plus for only $500. It came with an implementation of UCSD Pascal, since it would run in a 64k machine. By the end of the decade I could upgrade my Mac Plus from one MB to 2.5 MB for $600, plus the risk of electrocution while installing it.

I think the hard drive for my Casio card slot held something like 172 MB when 16 MB cards were standard. I got all my pictures on the Alaska trip on it by shooting most of them at 1280 x 960, taking about 350k each on the disk. I reserved that for the most scenic shots I figured I would want to print out. The original JPEG of the glacier picture above was 2256 x 1504 and 1.1 MB, so not really all that close to 4 MP even, though without severe JPEG compression.

OT, music synthesis has changed greatly because of memory prices. In the early '80s FM synthesis was one of the best ways to get complex and interesting sounds that evolved like natural instruments. Now memory is cheap enough to use sampled sounds all over the place.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 10:16:28 AM »

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 10:44:46 AM »
Resolution and colour fidelity depends highly on what you're trying to achieve. A billboard is just one use of photography. A very noticeable one, but only one use, and, after all, displaying images with a short useful life, others may be useful for a far longer time, and the more information they can capture, the better.

The originals may deteriorate or not exist any longer.

Similarly, when I digitize sound from my rarer LPs, I archive them at 24-bit depth, though I usually just use a 48 kHz sampling rate. That would be enough to make a good quality audio DVD if I were of a mind to. Then I downsample to 16-bit 44.1 kHz to put on CDs or the iPhone. A friend will have her 90th birthday in September. As her present from me, I'm going to digitize recordings of her singing opera from long ago and make CDs for her family members. I'll archive the high-bit versions and maybe put a disc in my safe deposit box and probably give her an archival copy.

Downsampling audio doesn't seem to present the same challenges as reducing digital photos. Maybe the software is more mature. I use a Photoshop action that uses a multi-stage method similar to that recommended to me by a photographer who sells very high quality prints and didn't want his sample photos on line to look like crap. It gets the pictures from the 20 or 26 MP files from my cameras down to the ballpark of what I post on the web, so that Photoshop's save for web routine using a bit of sharpening for reduction handles the final bit of downsizing. And similarly to the audio archive, I keep my RAW files.

I realize that neither archival method will work forever, but short of cryogenics, they should outlast me.

ethanz

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 577
  • 1DX II
    • my website
Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 01:38:14 PM »
I have a fujifilm digital camera from 1998.  I can sell it for a bargain price to anyone who wants 1.5 MP ;)

Do you recall what you paid for it back then and what memory prices were like?

Back in 2001 my family had a Sony Mavica camera MVC-CD300, it was 3.3MP and recorded to mini CDs. So the memory was fairly cheap. The camera itself was $1,000 though.
1DX II, 16-35L f/4 IS, 24-70L f/2.8 II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II, 200-400L f/4 IS w/1.4 EXT
http://ethanzentz.com/

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Do you need more than 2MP? Why?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2018, 01:38:14 PM »