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Archive 2013 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?
  
 
binary visions
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p.1 #1 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


Something has been on my mind lately as I ponder the current crop of available cameras.

There's a very pervasive idea that the latest-and-greatest high resolution beauties (e.g. D3x/D800), require the most exacting techniques and the best lenses in order to extract their highest quality images. To a certain extent this is true - the same thing can be said about any camera, right? - but I don't understand why this has become so common recently.

Thom on upgrading from D200/D300/etc:
"You will be taxed in a lot of different areas...remove all the sloppiness in your shooting habits...need some different lenses...need a better support system."

DPReview on what it took to get their test shots:
"Flawless technique...top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod)...low ISO are requirements not options. We've spent an inordinate amount of time...in order to reap what we feel the D800 is capable of producing."


The crux of this argument is that the pixel density is so high, that a motion blur because of inferior support or bad technique which used to take up one pixel now takes up several.

Here's where I'm confused. The D800's pixel density is lower than the pixel density of the D7000, and is not much higher than the D300. The D3x has lower pixel density than either crop body. Why aren't we seeing these dire warnings about the D300/D7000? Thom's advice is directly targeted D300 users who are already familiar with the D300's pixel density - which takes every opportunity to expose a sloppy technique or poor support, as I am excruciatingly aware .

There's an argument to be made about lenses because the DX crop uses the lens' sweet spot, but all of this harping on techniques or support doesn't make sense to me. The pixel density hasn't gone up - it's just caught up with DX cameras.

Comments? Is this one of those myths that get injected into the culture and pervades despite it not being logical?



Jan 21, 2013 at 02:55 PM
workerdrone
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p.1 #2 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


Not a myth at all, but the latest hi res beauties also take great photos, like their lower mp ancestors, with less than perfect technique - you're just not leveraging the resolution. If I ever run into a storage space issue maybe I'll downres my low rated D800 photos. Until then -


Jan 21, 2013 at 03:08 PM
davenfl
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p.1 #3 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


This has been discussed many times here at FM and become a shouting match between those claiming it's a myth and those holding firm in the belief that the pixel density is an issue. All I can say is in my experience with the camera's mentioned the D800 in fact is sensitive to technique. My words however simple don't carry the same weight as Nikon themselves speaking out on the subject. It is in fact of enough concern to them that they published a technical guide on the subject of reduction of blur on the D800/D800E. That should be a good read for you and make it quite clear that's it's a real issue. Here's a link to Nikon's publication

http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/o/Y6wrkA9OU_z04IreazIXl_22UII/PDF/D800_TechnicalGuide_En.pdf

Dave



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:23 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #4 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


Hi Dave -

Thanks for the link and the comments. I'm not really questioning whether the pixel density is an issue. In fact, I fully believe that it is an issue.

What I'm saying is that this is not a new issue, despite the reviews seeming to indicate that it is. Those of us shooting with fairly high megapixel crop cameras have already experienced and dealt with this issue, because the pixel density on the D800 is not, in fact, much greater than the existing "prosumer" crop cameras.

The reviews are saying the D800 is particularly demanding of technique and support because of the high pixel density, but did not make such claims on the D300/D300s/D7000/D5100/etc. despite similar pixel density. I'm just wondering why this is?



Jan 21, 2013 at 04:00 PM
BenV
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p.1 #5 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


From personal experience, I've noticed it to be true. However, its not nearly as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be. What you have to understand also, is with the more megapixels, the more detail you capture, the more detail you capture, the easier it is to see flaws. If anything, the D800 has taught me not to pixel peep. It's a waste of time.

All that being said, due to the file sizes, I try harder to get the photo I want the first time and I do tend to use a tripod more if its viable.



Jan 21, 2013 at 04:31 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #6 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


You guys are missing the point

Let's be blunt: yes, the higher pixel density, the more flaws will be exposed in your images.

Let's assume that is true.

The D800 does not have higher pixel density than the D7000 or D5100, and only marginally higher density than crop cameras that have been available for several years.

Why, then, are people claiming the D800 requires special handling, when these other cameras do not have the same claims?



Jan 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM
davenfl
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p.1 #7 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


binary visions wrote:
Hi Dave -

Thanks for the link and the comments. I'm not really questioning whether the pixel density is an issue. In fact, I fully believe that it is an issue.

What I'm saying is that this is not a new issue, despite the reviews seeming to indicate that it is. Those of us shooting with fairly high megapixel crop cameras have already experienced and dealt with this issue, because the pixel density on the D800 is not, in fact, much greater than the existing "prosumer" crop cameras.

The reviews are saying the D800 is particularly demanding of technique and support
...Show more

Well you are of course absolutely correct. It is not a new issue at all. We first saw it personally when we got our Canon 7D bodies. While not as sensitive to the issues as the D800 tons of people were up in arms over noise and soft images. The noise issues were mostly related to pixel peeping which tend to disappear in our work with proper PP and printing. The blur issues where definitely helped by higher shutter speeds, better lens, and more careful technique. So right you are it not new but based upon the popularly of the D800 the discussion built into the much talked about subjects we are now dealing with today. Simple matter of it happening for the first time in a premier FF body although it was definitely also there in the Canon 5D Mark II.

Dave


Edited on Jan 21, 2013 at 05:04 PM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM
BenV
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p.1 #8 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


binary visions wrote:
You guys are missing the point

Let's be blunt: yes, the higher pixel density, the more flaws will be exposed in your images.

Let's assume that is true.

The D800 does not have higher pixel density than the D7000 or D5100, and only marginally higher density than crop cameras that have been available for several years.

Why, then, are people claiming the D800 requires special handling, when these other cameras do not have the same claims?


It's just internet echo's. One person says something, another person repeats its, and soon it spreads like wild fire. Like I said for me, the special handling is I don't want to handle 10 different 36mp files. So i take my time to just get one or two great photos.



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:03 PM
lxdesign
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p.1 #9 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


BenV wrote:
If anything, the D800 has taught me not to pixel peep. It's a waste of time.

All that being said, due to the file sizes, I try harder to get the photo I want the first time and I do tend to use a tripod more if its viable.


Bravo, and well said ..... this is also my philosophy. Otherwise, you'll drive yourself crazy wondering if the image is sharp or not. And frankly -- sometimes I don't want a sharp image, especially when I am intending to do a soft filter or an Orton effect, or otherwise.



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:07 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #10 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


I recall that when the D7K came out there was in fact a lot of discussion about how your technique needed to be better - I recall a lot of people saying that they had bad lenses or the D7K was faulty, but it turns out now most had their shutter speed too low. Certainly the higher resolution sensor of the D7K showed more lens flaws in certain cases as well.

My personal experience was that coming from the D700 to the D800 I had to really watch my shutter speeds when hand holding a non-stabilized lens. I generally go 1/2xFL when using the D800 instead of 1/FL for shutter speed when I used the D700.

When I had my D300 I did not notice any particular problem because although the pixel pitch was high, the # of pixels per picture height was low. Thus I experienced no differences really going from the 12MP D300 to the 12MP D700 because I was still using 12MP over the same field of view - i.e., I was using shorter focal lengths on the D300 than I was on the D700 (and vice versa on the D700) to get he same FOV.

So I think to a first order it's the # of pixels for a given FOV that matters, not necessarily the raw pixel pitch.

John



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:12 PM
 

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Derek Weston
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p.1 #11 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


d800 performs like other smaller res dslrs ... if you downsample to match their size. A blown shot at 36mp might look acceptable at 16.

All the talk of the unique demands of the d800 are basically surrounding its 36mp sensor when viewing at 100%

Take 36mp or 100% viewing out and it's not any more demanding than anything else.



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #12 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


binary visions wrote:
You guys are missing the point

Let's be blunt: yes, the higher pixel density, the more flaws will be exposed in your images.

Let's assume that is true.

The D800 does not have higher pixel density than the D7000 or D5100, and only marginally higher density than crop cameras that have been available for several years.

Why, then, are people claiming the D800 requires special handling, when these other cameras do not have the same claims?


It's because at equivalent FOV the D800 has 1.5x higher pixel density per angle of view degree vs the equivalent density APS-C sensor (D7000/D5100).



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:21 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #13 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


snapsy wrote:
It's because at equivalent FOV the D800 has 1.5x higher pixel density per angle of view degree vs the equivalent density APS-C sensor (D7000/D5100).


+1 Thanks for saying what I was trying to say in a much more compact and readable form than I was able to do!!

John



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:29 PM
James R
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p.1 #14 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


lxdesign wrote:
And frankly -- sometimes I don't want a sharp image, especially when I am intending to do a soft filter or an Orton effect, or otherwise.


Not sure why you wouldn't want a sharp image to use a filter or Orton effect. Starting with a sharp image always present more options for the photographer. The only reasons for a non-sharp image is achieving motion blur in camera, or lighting conditions determine slow shutter speed, or the photographer missed the shot by a little or a lot.

P.S. Nice remembrance of Granite.



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:44 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #15 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


I don't think Thom or anyone else is saying it is a *new* issue, just a more visible one. You can resolve more detail in today's 16MP/24MP/36MP files, so you can see the lack of good technique (or average/substandard glass) all the more.


Jan 21, 2013 at 05:53 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #16 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


jhinkey wrote:
+1 Thanks for saying what I was trying to say in a much more compact and readable form than I was able to do!!

John


Here's a quote from Thom Hogan describing an example of this:

“Consider this: a 16mm lens on D7000 puts ~5000 pixels across 74 degrees, while a 24mm lens on a D800 puts ~7000 pixels across the same angle. Put another way, 1° of motion is 68 pixels on the D7000, 94 pixels on the D800. …… You’ve got to handle a D800 cleaner than a D7000 folks."



Jan 21, 2013 at 05:55 PM
pburke
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p.1 #17 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


funny that nobody ever told me that when I was shooting Velvia on FF... I should have stuck to the 800 speed film to reduce the chance of exposing poor technique


Jan 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM
roman.johnston
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p.1 #18 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


I agree..."Best Shot Practices" will have as much validation on say a 24MP D5200, and the D800E.

Pixel Density is the culprit, and I think your on the right track wondering why it isn't spoken about the lower cameras in the lineup.

I can hint though about one reason...most people buyint eh D3200, or D5200, or D7000 are at the amateur level of photogaphy and print at Wallmart size and share on the web only....so the topic often dosnt come up as it is not seen.

Roman



Jan 21, 2013 at 06:04 PM
djjohnr13
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p.1 #19 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


Off topic: Are you the same Binary Visions that's a mod at Ridemonkey?

On topic:

You're right; if you crop an image to DX sizes (which would mimic the dimensions and pixel pitch of a D7000) it shouldn't be any more demanding of technique and lenses. In that respect both should require the same careful shooting approach; good technique will always pay off no matter what the equipment.

You will start to see differences in the lenses because lenses are inherently weaker as you get away from their optical center. Thus you'll see things on the edges of full frame that you won't on a DX camera like a D7000.

Theoretically if you match the new DX sensors pixel pitch you'll wind up at 54 megapixels. What remains to be seen is if the current lenses will hold up in the corners at that size. While DSLRs are starting to catch up with my 4x5 in terms of sheer color resolution theoretical capabilities (I think my D800e may be a match for drum scanned 6x9 chromes), they reveal more lens flaws due to the crazy enlargement ratios.



Jan 21, 2013 at 06:10 PM
djjohnr13
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p.1 #20 · A pervasive technique/gear myth on these high MP FF cameras?


Actually, you could argue that you'll need better technique on a D800 then a D7000 in this situation: if you're printing these files without uprezzing or viewing at the same ratios on your monitor using equal field of view. Let's say you're shooting with a 35mm in full frame. The old adage of shooting at 1/focal length would mean shooting at 1/30 (I prefer higher then that personally). Now, an equal FOV on DX would mean a 24mm lens, and a lower shutter speed would be required using the same rule (1/20). If you shot at 1/20 in full frame you'd wind up with a blurrier shot. Now you'd probably just use the rule in FX and shoot at 1/30, however the same principle applies to all other aspects of shooting (hand holding technique etc). So really you need to think about pixel density per arc minute of FOV.

Edited on Jan 21, 2013 at 06:39 PM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2013 at 06:27 PM
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