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View Poll Results: What do you want in your next Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds camera sensor?
More pixels at about the same quality as we have had for 2 1/2 years. 1 2.27%
The same number of pixels but significantly improved quality. 39 88.64%
Not sure. 4 9.09%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 27th June 2011
Anders Nielsen Anders Nielsen is offline
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I think he might mean pixel 'binning' or 'combining', where a group of sensor photosites represents a single image pixel at the expense of overall resolution.

Ian
Exactly, if they somehow could pool the data from several pixels in order to minimize error.
My main issue are those black backgrounds with some blue and red spots inside. And banding!


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  #12  
Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

Voted not sure. Cause of there is a simple reason:

- as we all know size matters
- people in different areas have different needs
- but for a home user I have most of the times even 5Mpix enough and never felt short with 10

So entry and pro level would love to have more pix. People between those 2 don't need more pix so they're happy with quality improvement only. The problem is that most of the users get into one brand from one or another side.
So bigger number = bigger marketshare = better support and development.
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  #13  
Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

I would like to see what Olympus can do with a FOVEON sensor.
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  #14  
Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

I am sure that I would prefer 12 MP with improved quality. One could argue that more pixels would be "nice," but for what I do with my camera and photos--and what most people do, if I had to guess--additional pixels are irrelevant. Unless you are doing extreme cropping or printing at very large sizes (at least 20x24" IMO), there is nothing gained by having more than 12 MP. Extreme crops require top-notch (i.e. expensive) lenses for good image quality. And even huge prints can look great with only 12 MP as when viewed from a normal distance.

Additional dynamic range and better high-ISO performance are much more useful to me. And although I would never suggest designing cameras simply to satisfy critics and reviewers, the issue that reviewers most often cite with 4/3 gear is the image quality compared to cameras with APS-C size sensors. It's the DR and high-ISO performance that puts (some) people off. Far fewer reviews complain that 12MP is not enough. Given that a smaller sensor must make some compromises, I would much rather compromise by having fewer pixels. I think that this would also be much easier to justify to critics--to say "we have equal image quality, and few people need any more pixels."

Also, even if both pixel count and quality could be improved, keep in mind that the extra pixels still don't come for free. More pixels require sharper lenses (which will be larger and more expensive) to gain any advantage. And physics dictates that more pixels means a lower diffraction limit--diffraction will limit sharpness at larger apertures than with fewer pixels, thus making one choose between sharpness and depth-of-field.

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  #15  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

Well, I don't know about Micro Four-Thirds lenses, but I know that good Zuiko Four-Thirds lenses easily out-resolve the Four-Thirds sensors. So greater sensor resolution could certainly be achieved without needing an upgrade to lenses - at least with Four-Thirds lenses that I know of.
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  #16  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

I have two different requirements from my sensors:

For landscape and similar photography the current 12.3m is as much as I need, as minimal cropping is required. So for this type of image better dynamic range and high ISO ability are the deciding factors.

For my wildlife and macro work which sometimes involves huge crops then a higher number of pixels would be an advantage.

All my lenses are Pro or Top Pro so I am totally confident in their ability to deliver the goods and I would not think of changing them in the foreseeable future. Sensor development may see me changing one of my cameras for wildlife work one day, but the E5 for landscape will see me out I think!

David
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  #17  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

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Originally Posted by davidmorison View Post
I have two different requirements from my sensors:

For landscape and similar photography the current 12.3m is as much as I need, as minimal cropping is required. So for this type of image better dynamic range and high ISO ability are the deciding factors.

For my wildlife and macro work which sometimes involves huge crops then a higher number of pixels would be an advantage.

All my lenses are Pro or Top Pro so I am totally confident in their ability to deliver the goods and I would not think of changing them in the foreseeable future. Sensor development may see me changing one of my cameras for wildlife work one day, but the E5 for landscape will see me out I think!

David
Theoretically, as macro work (unless you are image stacking) works with apertures well beyond the diffraction softening threshold, I wouldn't have thought more pixels would be beneficial.

Ian
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  #18  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I think he might mean pixel 'binning' or 'combining', where a group of sensor photosites represents a single image pixel at the expense of overall resolution.

Ian
Ah, I think I understand. On, say, a 16mp sensor 2 adjacent pixels would combine to double the light gathering capability in low light, giving an effective resolution of 8mp but with much greater sensitivity towards light without amplifying the signal. Have I got that right? If it would work it would be a great idea.
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  #19  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

Looking at the numbers 16mp seems a massive improvement over "just" 12mp. However, in real life it means a 15 inch print at 300ppi instead of a 13 inch print, which really isn't much to get excited about. In fact on a print that large 250ppi is more than adequate (I suspect even less on an E-5) and that gives a 16x12 print from 12mp. Bearing in mind that the frame size for that print when mounted is most likely to be 20x16 I can't see many people wanting to hang anything much bigger on their wall. And that's before we even start to upsize or interpolate the 12mp file!

So, apart from a marketing ploy to people who probably don't print larger than 6x4 or 7x5, the extra pixels are of little consequence, whereas higher ISO capability and increased dynamic range would be a real benefit to us all.

As an exemption from that I do accept that more pixels are beneficial to wildlife togs who often need to crop quite severely. However, bear in mind that due to sensor size 12mp on Four Thirds is already the equivalent of 48mp on full frame at any given focal length!
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  #20  
Old 28th June 2011
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Re: More megapixels or stay at 12MP but improve the quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Perriment View Post
Looking at the numbers 16mp seems a massive improvement over "just" 12mp. However, in real life it means a 15 inch print at 300ppi instead of a 13 inch print, which really isn't much to get excited about. In fact on a print that large 250ppi is more than adequate (I suspect even less on an E-5) and that gives a 16x12 print from 12mp. Bearing in mind that the frame size for that print when mounted is most likely to be 20x16 I can't see many people wanting to hang anything much bigger on their wall. And that's before we even start to upsize or interpolate the 12mp file!

So, apart from a marketing ploy to people who probably don't print larger than 6x4 or 7x5, the extra pixels are of little consequence, whereas higher ISO capability and increased dynamic range would be a real benefit to us all.

As an exemption from that I do accept that more pixels are beneficial to wildlife togs who often need to crop quite severely. However, bear in mind that due to sensor size 12mp on Four Thirds is already the equivalent of 48mp on full frame at any given focal length!
200ppi is normally fine for prints. And the larger the print, the lower the ppi is required as the viewing distance increases.

Ian
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