View Poll Results: How many Megapixels is ideal for you?

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  • 20-25 MPs

    0 0%
  • 25-30 MPs

    3 27.27%
  • 30-40 MPs

    2 18.18%
  • 40-60 MPs

    5 45.45%
  • >60 MPs

    0 0%
  • <20 MPs

    0 0%
  • Why one? Two bodies, the R3 at 24 MP and the R5 at 45 MPs

    1 9.09%
  • Why one body? I want multiple sensor resolutions and I will explain below.

    0 0%
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Thread: How many MPs?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    Interesting....and that is with the 1DX III image being at ISO 8000. The 5DIV image is ISO 2000, R5 image is ISO 1600, and M6 II image is ISO 640.

    Not a controlled test, for sure.

    I thought the top three were adequate and fairly equal. I faulted the bottom and it turned out to be the 1Dx III. It may have been the high ISO, but the eye wasn't as crisp as the other three.

  2. #12
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    Love the reflection in the eye of the sparrow. LOL LOL LOL
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  3. #13
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    I thought the top three were adequate and fairly equal. I faulted the bottom and it turned out to be the 1Dx III. It may have been the high ISO, but the eye wasn't as crisp as the other three.
    I wish I had a better comparison to remove ISO as a factor. This is an ISO 5000 image, so a bit better.

    AC8I5506 by kayaker72, on Flickr

    Scrolling through the images I kept, It looks like I mostly used the 1DX III with the 1.4x TC and when using w/o the TC, I was at higher ISOs.

    As I mentioned, I can see a difference in detail that is resolved. If just thinking about it in terms of MP, I think it isn't much of a difference and attribute much of the issues with the 1DX III image to ISO 8000. But, when looking at it in terms of pixels on target, my bird feeder is ~30 ft from my window. Using the 500 mm lens, that would mean the 1DX III is resolving the birds at my feeder at 211 pixels per inch, 5DIV at 259 ppi, R5 at 316 ppi, and the M6II at 429 ppi. Use a 600 mm lens, and the 1DX III is putting almost the same pixels on target at the 5DIV. Use a 500 + 1.4x TC and you are right at 300 ppi.

    At least in my opinion, all of this matters. Resolution is part of the equation, but only part of the equation.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayaker72 View Post
    At least in my opinion, all of this matters. Resolution is part of the equation, but only part of the equation.

    Very true.
    For birds like this, properly framed, decent lighting at the minimum distance you would be hard pressed to notice any difference in the end result usable picture.

    Resolution only gives you a little bit more to crop and still have a decent picture.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    A decent pixel density for me would be around 350 DPI (Or higher if I can help it) for the maximum print size I would typically print. I currently have a 24" printer and so that boils down to roughly 45/50mp. Just taking the pixel width of the image and then the width of the print.

    But as we go up the resolution scale, it takes more and more resolution to get a significant change in DPI. The awesome GFX 102 MP sensor will give about 483 DPI on a 24" print, this is definitely a substantial difference but not as extreme as the 102mp seems. At least when others look at it the typical reaction is "Who in the world needs that!" But even at a 24" print, it's not nearly so extreme.

    But we can't talk about resolution without talking about all the other factors like ISO performance, what aperture you used, how sharp is the lens, any motion blur ect. It can negate the full potential of a given resolution. Or to put it another way, you'd be surprised what you can muster out of a lower resolution sensor under perfect conditions and settings. Like studio setup or an ideal landscape situation.

    This of course doesn't take into account what someone is happy with.

    But I'll take 483dpi if I have the opportunity. Heck, I'll take a 400mp image if/when technology makes it practical.

    Now granted many many MANY people don't even print at that size. So it has more to do with how high is the resolution of your display device at that point. But I can think of situations where it is great, like in S21 ultra. It has a crazy high resolution which gives it more digital zoom ability. So there can be advantages in certain applications beyond just the end result in a print.

    But this is just me. I like resolution.

    If we gonna dream big, really around 1400dpi, about the limit or near the limit which the human eye can see the tiny droplets of ink in a print, at any given size is ideal. Because you eliminate interpolation. The argument then becomes how substantial is that difference. Probably not big. But this is theoretically where any more is a waste of resolution.
    Last edited by Fast Glass; 01-08-2022 at 06:55 AM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    While we are on the subject, I think it is worth mentioning the best enlargement software to make the most of the available resolution at hand. I got a lot of very sharp 20/21mp files. I'm now curious as to how much better it can make a print.....

  7. #17
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    Really good question. I have seen some amazing results from others (i typically don't too far in post procesing...) other than say the 200 frame pano stitch from a 5dr using ptgui)

    I think it was topaz was the resolution enhancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Glass View Post
    While we are on the subject, I think it is worth mentioning the best enlargement software to make the most of the available resolution at hand. I got a lot of very sharp 20/21mp files. I'm now curious as to how much better it can make a print.....
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  8. #18
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Just a few hours left on the poll.

    Overall, 40-60 MP looks like it will receive the most votes. But 40-60 MPs receiving 5 votes and then the two categories from 25-40 MPs also receiving 5 votes. No one (thus far) has picked >60 MPs (although there is one mention in the comments) and no one is <20 MPs.

    As I mentioned before, in my opinion, there is not an overall "right" answer to this. It really gets down to your intended use and output. One fashion photographer I follow shoots for Wrangler jeans and has defended the "high MPs" of the R5 that he uses mentioning that he has walked up in stores to see larger than life versions of his images. He's downplayed the need for Fuji and 100 MPs for this purpose and he and Wrangler seem content with the 45 MP from the R5. I also think back to when sharper lenses were coming around and several people in the fashion industry were labeling these lenses as "too sharp" as they showed every blemish.....output matters.

    For me, I picked 30-40 MPs as I have settled in as 35 MP as my optimum. Why? My largest prints are 24 x 16 inches, which x 300 ppi = 7200 x 4800 = 34.6 MPs. That said, all of my 24x16 prints I have up around my house were actually shot with my old 7D Mk 1 at 216 ppi, 5DIII at 240 ppi or 5DIV at 280 ppi at a 24x16 output size. I have yet to print an image from my R5, which would be 341 ppi in a 24x16 inch output. I do consider the R5 to be overkill in terms of resolution, but I would rather be over the standard I selected than under. Granted, under that 35 MP threshold is already on my walls and looks great.

    Still, thinking about this has made me wonder, would I go for the highest resolution possible if it was penalty free? While I quickly think excess pixels are unnecessary and see no reason to drive a F1 car to the grocery store, what if there were no trade offs?

    I suspect Canon is doing their best to minimize the primary tradeoff of higher MPs by introducing CRAW. As much as Canon takes heat for not being innovative, when I consider my issues, I usually find Canon has considered those issues and has a potential solution. In this instance, shooting RAW, higher resolution images follows a standard formula where resolution increases linearly, and area/file size increases exponentially. So, you start to get larger and larger file sizes with diminishing returns in true resolution. That is a problem....to which, Canon gives us CRAW which seems to be about as good as RAW at ~50-60% the file size.

    The primary benefit most people talk about for when a camera's resolution exceeds their desired output resolution is the ability to crop. As for cropping, that is how I use my extra resolution and it is a great feature.

    However, this gets complicated as there are two primary ways to get more pixels on target: higher pixel density/excess pixel and then crop or additional focal length/larger lens. There are pros/cons to each. If you use the cropping option to get more pixels on target, you have the option of a smaller lens and there is more space in your frame for the subject to move, both of which are great for BIF, etc. However, when you crop, you also are enlarging noise and its negative effects on detail and IQ. Also, for the same aperture, a longer lens gives you a higher degree of bokeh than the cropping option, so solving your pixels on target issue with a lens can give you better bokeh.

    Most of the time, I prefer to have a lens with the focal length that fits my composition. But, when this doesn't work or if I need more space in my frame for bird movement, I do lean on cropping.

    Just updating this table I created for the "Megapixel Wars" thread (R "HP" are hypothetical high MP cameras):

    Name:  Sensor Resolution.jpg
Views: 42
Size:  148.4 KB


    One of the things I really take away when I do the math and look at this table is cropping any of the cameras to 1/9th the frame gives you very similar resolving power except for the hypothetical R "HP" (here it is the 82 MP), which still could do a 24x16 print at >150 ppi. But really, as soon as we start significantly cropping, we are affecting our final output size unless we have massive MPs...currently not available MPs.

  9. #19
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    I downgraded from 22 to 20, never been happier.

  10. #20
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    I didn't vote, as I'm hardly shooting these days, but slclick's comment inspired me to write my own journey.

    I went from 15.1 MP (T1i), to 18 MP (7D), to 16.6 MP (1Ds mk II), to 20.2 MP (7D mk II).

    T1i MPs weren't the issue, it just couldn't AIServo fast enough to track a running dog. After getting the 7D I noticed images were now sharper, but I hadn't really noticed while using the T1i. More MP wouldn't help when it's already not using the existing pixels well.

    7D was fine. I occasionally felt I could use more MP for cropping. Biggest problem was the burst rate exactly matched my dogs stride time, so I'd get a series of nearly identical dog pose with changing backgrounds.

    1Ds mk II was great. Pixels were sharper than 7D, pictures had a great feel to them. Had great highlight handling the 7Ds couldn't touch. Controls and menus are a mess though. You couldn't exceed ISO 1600 though... that sensor really didn't like low light.

    7D mk II felt like a mistake. Visible noise in well lit ISO 100 images, but only minor high-ISO improvements (in camera JPGs looked much improved, giving an early impression of much better high-ISO handling until ACR added 7D mk II support). Auto-ISO M mode finally getting exposure compensation was great though.

    Judging by my feelings towards the 7D, 7D II, and 1DS mk II, I don't primarily want more MP. I want cleaner images with nicer tone and excellent highlight handling above megapixels... but I also want up to date controls, and decent AI Servo performance. Unfortunately, that's a combo that means investing more money than I'm willing to at this point.

    Note, that while I did feel I could use more MP on the 7D for cropping, the increased noise on the 7D mk II to get just a fraction of the MP needed to be useful meant I no longer craved extra MP on a crop-body. If any FF high-MP body experienced the same gains in noise as the 7D2 did, I'd also consider it a mistake... for me. I'm sure someone would find it useful, but high MP is not the only goal, and likely not the goal of most.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr
    1DsII | 7D | 7DII | 10-18mm STM | 18-135mm STM | 24-70mm f/4L | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 | 50mm f/1.8 | 85mm f/1.8 | 70-300mm f/4-5.6L

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