View Poll Results: Your Ideal Sensor Size?

Voters
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  • Less than 15 MP

    0 0%
  • 15-20 MP

    0 0%
  • 20-25 MP

    7 31.82%
  • 25-30 MP

    10 45.45%
  • 30-40 MP

    3 13.64%
  • 40-60 MP

    1 4.55%
  • Greater than 60 MP

    1 4.55%
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Thread: Ideal Number of Megapixels

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Ideal Number of Megapixels

    It seems like this topic is somewhat tirelessly debated, especially contrasting the 36 MP of the D800 against the 22 MP of the 5DIII. I was wondering what your ideal number of megapixels would be? Taking everything into account: file size, computing time, lens resolution, noise, as well as image resolution, ability to crop, etc.

    Just curious. I think in practice my ideal is 28-30 MP, so a little bit more than I have now (22.1 MP). I would probably upgrade my computer's processor to accomodate the larger files, but I am am planning on doing that soon anyway. I really love the concept of infinite resolution, but in practice, I just can't see myself needing it enough to justify the processing time and storage that would go with the larger files. Just a little more would be nice, but really, 22.1 is more than sufficient.

    But that is me, I was wondering if there was actually much demand for larger sensor sizes.

    Thanks,
    Brant

  2. #2
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    You should qualify that this is a FF discussion, otherwise you may get medium format and crop body responses that really do not compare.

    I want so many MP and so much resolution that I only need one lens, something around 24mm. Then I can just digitally crop out of the picture what I want. For instance wildlife, BIF and such.
    Of course I want ISO performance so high that I can shoot stop action in low light (or on moonlit nights) and never have to worry about motion blur and camera shake again. This way I can take advantage of all the resolution without a tripod.

    But back to reality. I would welcome as much resolution and pixel density as offered for my landscapes, wildlife and macro photography.
    For everything else I think the 20-30 MP range is about right.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Thanks Rick.... That would also be an amazingly sharp 24 mm lens. But Zeiss Otus seems to be going that way ....I didn't think about Medium Format. I was specifically thinking about FF or APS-C.

  4. #4
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Many 40D users who upgraded to the 7D complained that the images weren't as sharp as they expected. Same complaint from many D700 users who upgraded to the D800 (ignoring the AF issues). More MP means you need faster shutter speeds for handholding, and I expect there's a point of diminishing marginal returns with increasing MP.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    Many 40D users who upgraded to the 7D complained that the images weren't as sharp as they expected. Same complaint from many D700 users who upgraded to the D800 (ignoring the AF issues). More MP means you need faster shutter speeds for handholding, and I expect there's a point of diminishing marginal returns with increasing MP.
    Agreed and even now there are no lenses that can out-resolve the Sony 36 megapixel sensor in the D800 including the new Zeiss Otus so why push it much further in a 35mm format?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    Agreed and even now there are no lenses that can out-resolve the Sony 36 megapixel sensor in the D800 including the new Zeiss Otus so why push it much further in a 35mm format?
    I think Canon could offer a sensor and body that would take advantage of what the Zeiss Otus will do.
    Whatever the limit is I think a sensor that out-resolves the available lenses should be on a wish list.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    My vote is for the 20-25 MP range, the lowest of all the other votes so far. I am happy to trade off high MP numbers for a sensor that gives me great performance in low light, like the 18 MP sensor on the 1DX. The fact that I can shoot wildlife at ISO 1600 and get a nice fast shutter speed with zero noise is a sheer joy. If I have to go higher than that then I can easily apply noise reduction in Lightroom, but that always comes with a loss in sharpness. If you have lots of light and a subject that sits still (and you use a tripod), then you might be happy with a high-MP camera. Otherwise, like Neuro said, there is the law of diminishing returns.

  8. #8
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    My 7D had 18 MP on a crop sensor, and the 1Dx has 18 MP on a FF. So the pixel density is quite a bit lower on the 1Dx, but empirically I find the 1Dx handles heavy handed cropping much better than the 7D. So I would rather have better pixels over more any day. However, a few more would help, but I do not want so many that I have to keep buying hard drives for storage (25-30 would be on te high end for what I need). This may change if I start running into printing limits in the future... but there would need to be a good business case for that to happen.
    5DS R, 1D X, 7D, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 24mm f/1.4L II, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.8, 100mm Macro f/2.8L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, 580EX-II
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  9. #9
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    Well, I went from T1i (15MP) to 7D (18 MP) to 1Ds2 (16 MP), so I'm obviously comfortable in that area, but as long as we're wishing...

    The new 70D and T4i/T5i are supposed to be nice and sharp APS-C bodies, so lets assume we can just take that pixel density and make a FF sensor that big. 18MP * 1.6 * 1.6 = 46.08MP.

    As for the difficulty of getting large high density sensors with any sort of reliability, couldn't Canon make the sensor a bit smaller, and place them in a 2x2 gapless grid? Or is placing sensors with that sort of precision out of reach. I'm remembering IBM spelling IBM out of atoms a decade ago... surely we can align a couple sensors... right?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    I say pixel size of 6 to 7m for any format
    Mark

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