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| p.1 #10 · Why I'm switching/upgrading to the Nikon D800 and why you shouldn't. |
Does the over kill of MP's really matter when printing, especially if your money allows for the purchase of a camera of this size. Maybe I am missing something with this thread but, if I plan on printing only 4x6 but my budget allows for a 36MP camera will the quality of the print suffer? If not what different does it make?
If you are printing at 4' x 6', it could matter - but you'd want a larger format anyway. If you print at 4" x 6"... it doesn't matter. :-)
Joseph Taub wrote:
Does not cramming more pixels onto a sensor necessitate that those pixels be smaller? If this is so, does that not mean that they will be more susceptible to the effects of diffraction at smaller f-stops--which, of course, we landscape shooters often use to maximize DOF? I certainly see the effects of diffraction with my 17-40L and my 30D's reasonably sized pixels. (Perhaps they just need calibration).
There is no more or less diffraction with sensors of different photo site density. A 36MP full frame sensor produces images with exactly the same amount of diffraction found in photographs made with a 12MP FF sensor.
When it comes to diffraction blur, the news about the higher MP sensor is neutral (if you shoot at small apertures where diffraction could be more of a factor). When it comes to other resolution issues, the news can be better than neutral if you shoot at slightly larger apertures with outstanding lenses and you manage all of the other issues that can affect sharpness. In most cases, though, this improvement will be so small as to be insignificant.
Diffraction blur - along with a number of other issues that affect resolution - becomes more of an issue with larger print sizes regardless of the photo site density.
Further, doesn't decreasing the pixel size also decrease the signal-noise ratio, making the sensor more susceptible to noise? I was under the impression that (relatively) few, large pixels and correspondingly high signal-noise ratio were in part responsible for the 5D series' excellent low-light performance. Based on that understanding, I was by no means upset that the 1DX, for example, was reported to only have 18MP.
The theory is that every increase in photo site density (and consequent decrease in potential size of individual photo sites, all else being equal) will reduce dynamic range and increase noise. However, consider that this claim has been made every time MP count increased - 6MP to 8MP, 8MP to 12MP, 12MP to 21MP, etc. If this were true, noise would be absolutely awful by now and dynamic range would have gotten smaller and smaller. But, in fact, pretty much the opposite has happened, and today's cameras have better noise performance and more dynamic range.
Perhaps advances in sensor technology have offset or worked around these issues?