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Poll - Would you want 36 million pixels?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    It really isn’t all that long since Nikon told us that 12 million pixels were all we would ever need. The long line of cameras that produce 4256x2832-pixel images seems quite antiquated now that Nikon has just announced one that sports 36.6 million of those little light-receptive squares. I’m not especially old, but I also remember the time manufacturers were telling us that 10-million-pixel sensors would do all we ever wanted, and not long before that they said the same about 6 million pixels. AP, on the other hand, has always said we need about 24 million.

    Geoffrey Crawley wrote about this subject in the days when we had only 4 and 5 million to play with, and we were swamped with letters and manufacturers sniggered in meetings, but look where we are now. Do we really need quite so many pixels? It is easy to be happy with a pair of old glasses, but when you look through the new ones you realise what you couldn’t see before. With more pixels you do capture more detail – and you don’t have to make giant prints to see the difference. There are plenty of people who will say because they can’t see the difference it doesn’t exist, but there are also plenty of people who are wearing old glasses.

    Head to the homepage to vote in this week's poll - Would you want 36 million pixels?


  2. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Not on a full frame sensor.....I already get more detail out my 2 year old Canon:)
  3. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Most of my work is now done with a specialist camera with extended infra red response, no Bayer filter matrix and only 1.3 megapixels ... the freedom the lack of built-in filtering gives me is worth far more than the limited pixel count, and the "limited" resolution is frankly the least of my remaining issues, diffraction softening and atmospheric turbulence having a far more serious effect than pixel count.

    I've had A4 300DPI images from a 1.3 MP camera accepted ... it's the quality of the lens, focusing etc. that are important but, on the odd occasion when you really need to, resizing upwards works, provided the raw image quality is good enough.

    I'm sure there are lots of people who want 36 MP and even a few whose particular needs might need a very high pixel count, but, for me, the issues involved in storing and processing large numbers of very large image files outweigh the benefit.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    likely to come with less noise and greater efficiency of a full frame.
  5. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Don't stop progress. One thing leads to another.
    Not too many years ago people would have said "Do we really need a car that will do thirty miles an hour.."
  6. pilliwinks

    pilliwinks Well-Known Member

    No; not enough. And the sensor is too small.
  7. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    Why worry?

    In the next few years we will have billions of pix, holographic images in HD, cameras that rearrange composition before spitting out perfect pictures and the fora will be redundant, because no one will be able to improve the op's pictures for them. :p;)
  8. John_Black

    John_Black Member

    Yes! There is no limit to aspiration, even for APS C sensors.

    However the lenses would need to be improved. The pixel pitch of 3.2 microns for APS-C would require lenses capable reasonable contrast at 75 lppm. Noise at high ISO, however is not really the problem many think, noise suppression software exchanges noise for resolution. So a high pixel count camera could afford to loose resolution, the user just gets more choice.
  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    If (very big if) the lenses I was using were sharp corner to corner they might be of some use for very heavily cropped images, but at the moment I am getting the equivalent of A2 prints from my 12MB sensors that can be examined with a magnifying glass and just look sharp - so I have difficulty in seeing any personal extra benefit in more pixels.

  10. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Like it or not its probably a good move for Nikon. They have alway lagged behind Canon and agencies what as many MP as possible, these is why the 5d mk2 dominates in the pro market. If the agentcies or industry decide they now want 36mp the d800 may start to dominate. I'm sure nikon would not release a 36 if they wasn't happy with the noise levels there pretty good in this area.
  11. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    At the moment, I've only got a couple of lenses that can provide enough resolution to make use of the 14Mpxl I've currently got, and I've never yet made a print that needed that full resolution. I don't really want to have to upgrade all my kit, just on a fashion whim.

    However, people making wall sized gallery prints my well have a need for it in a more portable and faster responding system than medium format.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Nikon have a track record of doublespeak on such issues; I've said before that I think that at some stage, their ownership base will just stop believing them.

    And when DSLRs first came in, many people said that 35mm film was equivalent to about, well, 36 million pixels. Personally, I've never quite believed that, and would go with the AP figure.

    When I bought my 5D II, it wasn't for the extra pixels; I didn't think I needed them. It very soon became apparent that they were actually a visible improvement even on A4 prints if the subject was one with fine detail; if you can't capture it, you can't reproduce it. So is 21.1 MP enough? Maybe; I would like to see what 36 can do, though!
  13. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I've already got loads more than 36 Mpixels.

    Trouble is......

    that they are spread across many sensors, not all concentrated onto just the one sensor like Nikon have done :(
  14. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    To get the benefit of 36MP it has to be on a a large sensor ie 35mm full frame.

    So this will work. But do I need 36MP? No not in a heavy camera.

    We saw Prof Newman article only a couple of weeks ago about sensor and low light. Which I think shows that light energy is not being full captured (P43 4/02/2012) so there is room for technology to do a better job and have more pixels. Of cause you run into diffraction issues but when you try to shoot say low-light you tend to have the f stop at the bottom value.

    So I hope that engineers find a way of getting the missing photons into pixels but on slightly smaller sensor but not silly small sensors (3x or 2x crop factor). Thus giving us 24MP in a low weight & tighter design. But again diffraction becomes a problem.

    But pro will want 36MP for all sort of areas that say MF cover and boosting reach of lenses while avoiding using TCs.

    If people are unhappy about 36MP then they are going to be deeply upset if the next offering is the rumoured 48MP!
  15. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I don't think people are unhappy it's just at this stage they don't feel the need for that number of pixies running around in the camera and the possible implications on the noise they'll be creating:D.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  16. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I have to say i'm very tempted to buy a used 5d mk2 once the mk3 is out. I might jump ship and sell my d5100 nex-5 and lenses. and Get a 5d and a few used primes. I thought FF was all about the iso performance but now i see it's a lot more, it just feels right through the viewfinder and framing a shot.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  17. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I would have ticked "Possibly in the future" had that option been available.

    I currently have enough on my plate dealing with the large files from a 5DII. I would need to upgrade my computer and storage system to deal with 36 MP files. Presumably the relevant IT kit will eventually cost next to nothing when I might be tempted.

    Then there is the concern about dynamic range and noise. I would prefer to see further improvements in those directions before increases in the pixel count. However if technology does allow both more pixels and improved IQ then bring it on.
  18. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Got it already thanks - high resolution scans of medium and large format negs. :cool:
  19. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Are you buying, Damien?

    Thanks. Cheers! :D
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I don't know when they said that but certainly in the early days of digital (early 1990's) it was assumed that about 26megapixels would be the long-term goal for a 35mm style camera in order to make film - in the form of Kodachrome 25, Fuji RDF, Velvia 50, Agfa 25, Ilford Pan F and Kodak PanX - redundant. Little did we know ..... :rolleyes:

    It was also assumed by at least one engineer who was pioneering some digital developments that the progression for sensor development would pretty much need to follow ISO speed doubling for any development step to be a significant improvement so the 6mp sensor which really started the rush into digital would have to step up to 12, then 24, then 48 and so on, in its evolutionary trail. Again, little did we know back then ...

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