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How many megapixels is enough? Do you need 50mp+

ARI 16 530 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2019 7:20PM
I am a a recent adopter of the EOS 5DsR as a replacement to my original Eos 5D that sadly died The first and to dat the only outing of the DsR was in th Krugr Nat. Park whr I shot aprox 50 pics. Sil sizes rangd drom 58 through to 8 megs RAW files. Do I nd this, I would say yes. U cannot hav enough detail. U have to b mor disciplined ovr tecnique. Birds in fligt is difficult with 5 frames/sec.
This link xpands more on do u ned this lvel of dtail

Being able to disern individual long hair of a giraff's eyebrow does wow me. Down sid is that my hardware needs an upgrad. Could not convert fils into PEG as the PC slowd to a standstill

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thewilliam2 2 1.2k
13 Jul 2019 10:35AM
Thar dissn't get owt for nowt!

High pixel count must come with disadvantages, if only reduced hi-ISO capability. Nikon has always given us a choice from the days of the D1X and D1H, so maybe we need to select the appropriate tool for the job.
keith selmes 15 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2019 11:21PM
I'm upgrading from a 10 year old GH1 (12MP) to a 5 year old GH3 (16MP). Mainly because my two GH1 are getting tatty with bits held together with gaffer tape, and the GH3 is stronger and has other features like wifi and separate sockets for mic and phones.
Potential extra data in the images will be a bonus. I do sometimes want to crop quite a lot, but probably won't want to print larger than A3.
So most of this discussion is sort of in another reality.
gcarth Plus
15 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2019 3:07PM

Quote:How many megapixels is enough? Do you need 50mp+
As 'thewilliam2' points out "maybe we need to select the appropriate tool for the job."

The biggest advantage of lots of megapixels is that you can easily print to A2 and still crop fairly tightly.
Some of my best shots were taken with the Nikon 7000 which wasn't even a full-frame camera.
I returned to full-frame Nikons since then but haven't notice a big difference much of the time. The full-frame does give me extra peace of mind though - a bit more margin to allow more cropping, etc.

I think the advice 'thewilliam2' gives is spot on and all anyone should need in choosing a camera.

redhed17 13 864 England
14 Jul 2019 4:09PM
It is up to the individual as to whether they need, or indeed want, 100Mp. Manufacturers obviously think there is a market for it, or they wouldn't spend all the money developing them.

When I have changed cameras, there were other features involved, but as far as the sensor was concerned, the increase in pixels also came with larger dynamic range and improved high ISO performance, which may point to how often I upgraded. Wink

The pixel race seems to have slowed down, and big jumps in performance and pixels are rare. When something like the Fuji GFX 100 appears, it is trying to not only to increase the pixels and sensor performance, but mainly to attempt to make MF a little more portable, and appealing to more users. I don't think that will be a big market for them, but hopefully big enough for them to keep trying something different every so often.

You probably know if you need it, and if you don't need it, but want it, I hope you have the cash, for not only the camera, but the lenses to take advantage of it, and maybe have to update computers and storage. Wink I hope you have the cash if you need it too. lol

20Mp is enough for me atm. Smile Remember, you only need 6mp for A4. Wink
saltireblue Plus
9 9.5k 35 Norway
14 Jul 2019 4:25PM
Have a look at the first image - no log-in needed - the street scene - then click on the rh arrow to view the image cropped from it. You see the crop area in red in the lead image. That's pretty impressive, but there again it should be at that price...
I guess those who can afford it are as few as those who need it...and even fewer can justify it...Wink
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
14 Jul 2019 4:32PM

Quote:It is up to the individual as to whether they need, or indeed want, 100Mp. Manufacturers obviously think there is a market for it, or they wouldn't spend all the money developing them

Am I just being cynical when I think that manufacturers tell what we want rather than ask what we need? With cameras, cars and a thousand other consumer products, they seem to have convinced the punters that they can't live without all those minor upgrades. Why else would single-digit Nikons be upgraded in time for the Olympics, whereas consumer cameras seem to get an annual upgrade?

My wife delivered a 15 foot wide canvas that came from a 12 Megapixel file. It wasn't intended for close scrutiny because it was mounted 7 feet up, above the butchery counter of a farm shop.

I've said it before but impecunious photographers need to give thanks that so many snappers feel the urge for frequent upgrades and are happy to sell their old cameras for a fraction of the new price. Event photographers who deliver 5x7 or 8x6 inch prints are luckier still because they can get perfectly serviceable "pro" grade camera bodies almost free!
redhed17 13 864 England
14 Jul 2019 5:24PM

Quote:Am I just being cynical when I think that manufacturers tell what we want rather than ask what we need?

Manufacturers can put out whatever they want, if people get drawn in to buying something they don't need, then more fool them. :-/

But then if they are not 'impecunious photographer's', (had to to look that one up Wink) and they are enjoying what they are doing/buying, then do/buy whatever they want. As you say, the consequence of the upgraders is it may enable other less fortunate people to get better spec stuff cheaper as it get traded or moved on.

I personally think few people would need over 24Mp, but for those that do, thankfully there are lots of options. 50Mp, 100Mp give a lot of cropping and printing options, not a lot of people may need that. If people get sucked into buying what they don't need, then as I said, hopefully they have the cash, and enjoy whatever they buy. People tend to want to like whatever they have spent a load of money on btw, and very rarely admit expensive mistakes. Wink lol
Carabosse 16 41.2k 270 England
16 Jul 2019 5:12PM
Well - 61Mp is now available on a full-frame sensor in a mirrorless body: Sony A7R Mark IV

The megapixel race continues!Tongue
JJGEE 14 7.5k 18 England
16 Jul 2019 6:40PM

Quote: thankfully there are lots of options. 50Mp, 100Mp

You have forgotten one Sad
Phase One currently have a camera that is 151Mp
gcarth Plus
15 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2019 9:17PM

Quote:Phase One currently have a camera that is 151Mp
Of course, that is a medium format camera…and a mere snip at about £41000 Wink

I think only professionals need something like that. The only sense in having such a camera, it seems to me, is that it will probably even beat 5"x4" film cameras for detail when blowing up to huge poster size. I must admit I have no direct experience of using either type of camera so I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Dave_Canon 13 1.5k United Kingdom
17 Jul 2019 10:09AM
I am sure many buy a camera which produces higher resolution than they need. Perhaps some choose their cameras based on other features and the hi res is incidental. A few years ago many used to complain that their new DSLR's had video and this was not a feature which they needed and felt that they were paying a lot extra. However, most seemed unaware that the video feature was relatively trivial to add and its main need was a powerful processor. The powerful processor was already built into the cameras by then for JPEG output. In fact those of us using just Raw did not need most of the processor power or video. However, I am sure we all realise that it would cost more to produce lots of variations so the package offered is a compromise.

An earlier post suggested that it was possible to produce Exhibition prints from a relatively low resolution and no doubt this is true sometimes. We all know that for competitions, it will be the composition, lighting, subject etc. which will be key but the winner will be the image which has all of this but is also technically high quality. When I set out on a photoshoot, I have no idea whether print of PDI, or web and nor how much I might crop. As I only really take images for competitions, any shot may potentially be used for a hi res print so all need to be captured at as high quality and possible with my particular camera (even the many that will be later deleted).

thewilliam2 2 1.2k
17 Jul 2019 10:42AM
Dave is right! In these days of cheap storage, both cards and computer memory, high resolution comes with a lower overhead. Nevertheless, we still can't have very high ISO capability AND high resolution.

The flagship Nikon D5 has a late-teens pixel count yet its maximum ISO is up in the millions. It'll shoot a good double-page tabloid image and in near darkness, which is presumably why Nikon chose the pixel count and ISO balance.

Some of us can remember the early image processing computers where storage was the problem. I played with one made by Kodak that used a VHS video tape to store the finished images!

Don't professionals and advanced amateurs like to keep their options open?
LenShepherd 11 3.9k United Kingdom
17 Jul 2019 10:47AM
While 61 MP on the latest Sony might sound a lot - it helps to get the relationship between MP and image resolution clarified.

From 45 to 90 MP should increase sensor resolution tested in isolation by around 42% - not by 100%.

45 to 61 MP implies a sensor resolution improvement of around 14%.

Image resolution is made up from a combination of sensor and lens resolutiona - and never reaches one hundred percent of either tested in isolation.

Actual file resolution can only be determined by testing with a specific lens and camera. The most that can be expected going from 45 to 61 MP is likely below a 10% increase.

Looked at another way going from 12 to 48 MP has the ability to double sensor resolution but - depending on the lens - about a 50% increase in image resolution is a reasonable starting point assumption.

Increases in MP have a relatively small effect on Image resolution - which is partly what this thread is about.
thewilliam2 2 1.2k
17 Jul 2019 12:30PM

Quote:While 61 MP on the latest Sony might sound a lot -

Increases in MP have a relatively small effect on Image resolution - which is partly what this thread is about.

I'd suggest that a lot of punters will clap their hands with joy at such a huge increase in pixel count and will buy the camera as soon as they can.

Remember that the 51 point something Brexit result was a "decisive and overwhelming majority".

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