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Megapixels again - what is the advantage of more?
I read and understand that having 6, 8, 10 or 12 mp "doesn't really matter" if you don't blow up your pictures past 8x10..

But to turn the donkey around and look at it from a different angle - are there any ADVANTAGES to having more mp in a 5x7 or 8x10 picture?.

Why did you buy a camera with greater than 6 mp?.

Thanks,.

RNW123..

Comments (19)

Is in DSLR's where more megapixels 'can' mean more resolving power..

But generally more megapixels equals more noise - DSLR's are far enough along with their larger sensors that it's not a big issue. But on point and shoots with their smaller sensors it's a real problem. Somewhere on one of the forums there's a thread about cameras getting worse because they are trying to cram in too many MPs and IQ is suffering as a result..

RNW123 wrote:.

I read and understand that having 6, 8, 10 or 12 mp "doesn't reallymatter" if you don't blow up your pictures past 8x10..

But to turn the donkey around and look at it from a different angle -are there any ADVANTAGES to having more mp in a 5x7 or 8x10 picture?.

Why did you buy a camera with greater than 6 mp?.

Thanks,.

RNW123.

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Comment #1

To double linear resolution, you need to quadruple megapixels. An 8MP camera has only twice the linear resolution of a 2MP one; a 24MP camera has only twice the linear resolution of a 6MP one. So once you get into an acceptable area for 4x6 and 8x10 pictures (say, 4MP?), a small increment in MP doesn't mean much..

Photosite size (a determinant of noise) has a more linear relation to megapixels. It's (sensor size * some constant) / (number of megapixels)..

So as you ramp MPs, you reach a point where you sacrifice a lot of image quality (in terms of freedom from noise) for a tiny bit of image quality (in terms of extra resolution). The small sensors in most P&Ss reach this point a lot faster than the APS-size or 35mm-size sensors in most DSLRs do...

Comment #2

At a certain point, it's better to have fewer quality photosites vs. more photosites..

But to answer your original question, one advantage is that you can crop an image, and still have plenty of pixels to boot..

For example, a 12MP horizontal pictures can easily be cropped to a vertical 4x6 with plenty of pixels left overWarm regards,DOF..

Comment #3

What does that mean?.

Is this a correct analogy? I see 6 mp like a bucket of water, and 12 mp like a barrel of water. If you're trying to saturate a 3x3 foot square of concrete, either will do a great job; but if you want to saturate a 20 x 20 foot driveway you will notice dry patches with the bucket, but not the barrel?.

Sorry...that's about the best I can come up with!  .

Robb..

Comment #4

RNW123 wrote:.

What does that mean?.

Is this a correct analogy? I see 6 mp like a bucket of water, and 12mp like a barrel of water. If you're trying to saturate a 3x3 footsquare of concrete, either will do a great job; but if you want tosaturate a 20 x 20 foot driveway you will notice dry patches with thebucket, but not the barrel?.

Sorry...that's about the best I can come up with!  .

Think of the sensor like an ice cube tray. 6MP is splitting the tray into six cubes, 12MP is splitting into 12 cubes. You get six big cubes (6 high quality pixels) or 12 small cubes (12 low quality pixels). But in the end it's the same amount of water total (same total light)...

Comment #5

RNW123 wrote:.

I read and understand that having 6, 8, 10 or 12 mp "doesn't reallymatter" if you don't blow up your pictures past 8x10..

But to turn the donkey around and look at it from a different angle -are there any ADVANTAGES to having more mp in a 5x7 or 8x10 picture?.

Why did you buy a camera with greater than 6 mp?.

To answer your question, the one advantage is cropping. If you need to crop the photo, then you'll lose pixels..

Outside of this, there is ZERO advantage. A 5x7 picture will use something like 3MP. And this is the *maximum*, meaning the printer itself is only capable of printing 3MP worth of detail. Anything beyond this gets wasted, and only contributes to noise...

Comment #6

Yes. with good camera, it can be like this. wit P&S it isn't, because of quality decrease with higher pixel number... sofor good quality cam:.

1) if the pixel count isn't twice more, don't look at the camera with more pixels like something relly better. It isn't.2)if the sensor is smaller and pixel count higher, it will gain the noise..

3)higher pixel count can help you to make "deepr" crops a bit. it is useful for macro, for far away objects..

For P&Ss:1) forget high pixel count.

2) become an "anti-pixel" hunter - smaller count is better  because of really horrible noise or too strong horrible noise reductionWhy does he do it?..

Comment #7

Thank you for your reply - sorry I'm so dense.  .

Many folks refer to "noise" in a picture? What is that, and how does it appear in a picture? Again, sorry for the newbie question....

RNW123..

Comment #8

Ice cubes, water? How bout this..

Look at a picture in a newspaper. It is made up of dots (e.g. pixels). Get a magnifying glass and look at a portion of the picture. (now you've cropped and enlarged) What you see is dots with space between them. More dots = better quality/sharper imageto a point.



MaddogOlympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #9

The way I see it at this moment in time. (Which may change due to subsequent postings).

Your 3x3 concrete slab stays the same size!The water is light!6 Mpix is 6 million holes in the 3x3 slab that can gather water .10 Mpix is 10 million holes in the 3x3 slab that can gather water ..

Lets just consider screen presentation (72 pix/inch).

Look at a 6 or 10 Mp image and you wont see any difference to resolution..

Crop (cut out a small piece ) both and look at them again. You may or may not see any difference between the two..

Crop again. At some point you will see the individual pixels in the 6 Mp image, but the 10 Mp will still look the same. You now have 72 pix/inch left in the 6 Mp image..

Crop again the pixels in the 6 MP become bigger and bigger squares. To fill the screen the software has to duplicate (or more) the individual pixels..

This will eventually happen to the 10 Mp image, but you can fill the screen with a smaller crop from the 10 Mp and still have it look good..

TomWho is hoping that this is what you were asking about...

Comment #10

Nathan Yan wrote:.

To answer your question, the one advantage is cropping. If you needto crop the photo, then you'll lose pixels..

Outside of this, there is ZERO advantage. A 5x7 picture will usesomething like 3MP. And this is the *maximum*, meaning the printeritself is only capable of printing 3MP worth of detail. Anythingbeyond this gets wasted, and only contributes to noise..

Actually, that is incorrect. The second advantage is the ability to print larger without loss of quality. However, it runs into practical limits - if all you can handle is 8.5 by 11, then 6 mp is pretty much as good as 10 mp unless you are doing some pretty heavy cropping. If you are printing no larger than 5x7, 6 megapixels are already overkill. But if you want a 16x20, then 6 megapixels are not gonna be enough...

Comment #11

RNW123 wrote:.

Thank you for your reply - sorry I'm so dense.  .

Many folks refer to "noise" in a picture? What is that, and how doesit appear in a picture? Again, sorry for the newbie question....

Noise in a picture looks like sand...a texture upon which the image is placed. An analogy is the "grain" in a broadcast TV picture when the transmitter and TV receiver are far apart (thus the signal is weak)..

In a digital camera, noise comes in two flavors: B&W noise and color noise. They are both always there. In general, the color noise is more obvious..

Noise is noticed first in dark (underexposed) parts of an image..

Back to the first question, here is a good article:.

Http://tomberarducci.1000nerds.kodak.com/default.asp?item=503453.

To quote Tom, "Sensor technology is starting to reach the point where, with a fixed imager die size, you cannot simply continue to decrease photosite area as you increase imager spatial resolution. Lenslets, special dyes, etc. can only go so far until they too stop providing gains too. Barring some technological breakthrough, imagers will have to get physically bigger or the rampant increases in resolution will have to slow, or even stop, soon.".

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #12

Chuxter wrote:.

Noise in a picture looks like sand...a texture upon which the imageis placed. An analogy is the "grain" in a broadcast TV picture whenthe transmitter and TV receiver are far apart (thus the signal isweak)..

Another analogy might be:Imagine a quiet scene in a movie. So quiet that you can barely hear it.So, what can you do? You turn the volume wayyy-up to hear it better..

But in amplifying the volume, you also amplify any extra noise. (like pops, hiss, hums, etc).

So, imagine a scene with low-light. In order for your camera to better record the image, you need to "amplify" the image. As you amplify the image, any errors introduced when converting the light to a digital image are also amplified.Warm regards,DOF..

Comment #13

RNW123 wrote:.

I read and understand that having 6, 8, 10 or 12 mp "doesn't reallymatter" if you don't blow up your pictures past 8x10..

Correct. Six mp can go up to 11x14..

But to turn the donkey around and look at it from a different angle -are there any ADVANTAGES to having more mp in a 5x7 or 8x10 picture?.

Not with the naked eye..

Manufacturers use mps as their lead marketing tool giving consumers the impression that more is better. It is not. In fact, medium and low light image quality suffers on higher mp P&S cameras. The problem is camera makers squeeze more mps onto the same size sensor. This has a negative effect on image quality. The best way to research cameras for a possible purchase is to evaluate the camera as a whole and not get overly concerned about actual megapixels...

Comment #14

Broadsword wrote:.

Nathan Yan wrote:.

To answer your question, the one advantage is cropping. If you needto crop the photo, then you'll lose pixels..

Outside of this, there is ZERO advantage. A 5x7 picture will usesomething like 3MP. And this is the *maximum*, meaning the printeritself is only capable of printing 3MP worth of detail. Anythingbeyond this gets wasted, and only contributes to noise..

Actually, that is incorrect. The second advantage is the ability toprint larger without loss of quality. However, it runs intopractical limits - if all you can handle is 8.5 by 11, then 6 mp ispretty much as good as 10 mp unless you are doing some pretty heavycropping. If you are printing no larger than 5x7, 6 megapixels arealready overkill. But if you want a 16x20, then 6 megapixels are notgonna be enough..

Well yes, that's why the original question was only asking about small (<8x10) prints...

Comment #15

RNW123 wrote:.

Many folks refer to "noise" in a picture? What is that, and how doesit appear in a picture? Again, sorry for the newbie question....

Noise is the result of inaccuracy in recording light. It shows up as spots or blotches all over your picture sometimes monochrome, sometimes colored, depending on the situation and on the camera's "noise reduction" algorithms..

Things that increase noise:.

1. Small photosites (== smal sensors, high megapixel counts).

2. Shooting at high ISO (since a sensor really only has one ISO sensitivity level; and when you amplify the signal, you amplify the noise along with it).

So a 6 megapixel DSLR, with an APS-sized sensor, taking pictures at ISO 100/200, would exhibit very little noise. (DSLRs are usually good up to ISO 800 before you even have to start worrying about minor noise.).

A 12 megapixel P&S, with it's tiny sensor, taking pictures at ISO 1600, would likely exhibit so much noise as to make it's pictures all but unusable. Many already show more noise at ISO 400 than a DSLR would show at ISO 1600...

Comment #16

Nathan Yan wrote:.

Well yes, that's why the original question was only asking aboutsmall (<8x10) prints..

And he also asked: "Why did you buy a camera with greater than 6 mp?" so the answer is relevant within that context. Greater latitude in cropping and larger final print size. If you shoot thoughtfully composed shots and don't need to radically crop or print beyond 8.5 x 11, then 6 MP will do you fine...

Comment #17

- Why did you buy a camera with greater than 6 mp?.

- To be able to skew and crop and print A0 size..

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Comment #18

Nathan Yan wrote:.

RNW123 wrote:To answer your question, the one advantage is cropping. If you needto crop the photo, then you'll lose pixels..

I can think of one more reason..

People buy cameras with more than 6MP because they are the ONLY new cameras made. If you want to take advantage of the newest technology (face recognition modes, better battery life, larger LCD screens, etc) then you simply won't find them in a 5MP or 6MP camera that was designed three years ago..

But I still think Nathan nailed the BEST reason.... cropping capability, without losing detail.MartyPanasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2Olympus C4000, C7000..

Comment #19

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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