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Yeah, I know, this could fall in the post processing forum, but this is relavant to Canon gear as well and...most of the guys from that forum are here along with many others with great insight.
Ok, I'm trying to get a grasp on "pixels". I know there are a lot of misconceptions on this topic, so the intended purpose of this thread is to get a better understanding of how "pixels" influence the picture quality.
First question, is one pixel on a camera equal to one pixel on a computer monitor? The resolution of a monitor is capable of being adjusted, this in turn changes the visual "size". Also, the native resolution in pixel pitch varies from monitor to monitor, so how is it all connected. Does one pixel from a camera equal one pixel on a monitor and we just see the image larger or smaller depending on the monitor resolution setting? Can I draw the conclusion a higher resolution monitor will "seem to be smoother" and a low resolution monitor appear to be "grainier" because of pixel spacing?
Second question. as far as "reach" we take a photo of a subject, but the subject only covers 50% of the sensor. To keep the math simple, lets say we have a 20mp camera. The subject would then cover 10mp. Then keeping things simple again, we have a second camera. This one has a 30mp sensor (same physical size sensor) We take the same photo at all the same distance, etc. So, I'm assuming the subject area (50%) would then cover 15mp.
Now back to the computer monitor if a pixel of camera equals one pixel of monitor (both images on the same monitor), Would the image from the 30mp camera be the equivalant of 5mp larger than the 20mp camera (1.5 or 150% larger)? Also, then this "gain" due to pixel density would be carried out to the output device, printer or whatever?
The exact math is not what I'm after, I'm just trying to get a grasp on the relationship between the peripherals.
Thirdly, Boiled down deeper, I'm trying to understand why some folks think the denser the sensor, the more "reach" and more "pixel per duck" they will attain, which will result in bigger and better image quality. Based on this theory, it seems to make sense, but in the real world where everything is not equal due to physical limitations, etc ie. pixel size 7D vs 5D the relationships seem to get skewed. I thought I'd go simple first before we go complex on comparing different sensor sizes, different pixel sizes, etc.