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Thread: Will it ever end?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Will it ever end?

    I wonder if the pursuit of resolution will ever end? How many digital pixels will be considered enough?

    In the days of film 8"x10" was medium of ultimate resolution and image quality. And it has withstood the test of time. A photographer could go from medium format to 4x5, 5x7 but 8x10 was basically it. Ultra-large film formats eg. 48"x48" or even 16"x20" did not become main stream and 8x10 remained the choice of photographers seeking that quality.

    With digital, when will we reach that point? A point that will withstand the test of time just as 8x10 film did. Or are we already there?

    Will a 80 or 100 or 120 mega-pixel camera/back become the defacto choice such that anything beyond that point will simply be a specialty format similar to 48"x48" flim?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Cheers!
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Diffraction limit for f/4.0-f/5.6 is about 16 MP for M43, 64 MP for 135 format and 160 MP for 645 format. After that, the sensor technology may shift towards X3 (such like the current Sigma DP series), where we get quadruple real pixels.

    Curved sensors may be evolutionary for compact cameras such like the Sony RX1R. Back-illuminated sensors such like the one used in Samsung NX1 may resurrect some wide angles. Organic sensors may be a game changer.

    We are in the digital era and technology will continue to develop. Unfortunately this will just make our current gear obsolete and depreciate, and if we are dragged into the trap of trying to keep up-to-date with the latest cool stuff we drain our wallet.
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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Last year's cameras are not obsolete.

    We need a "sky is falling" emoticon.
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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Whether or not the pursuit of higher resolution will ever end, I predict that talking about it won't.
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    I suspect physics of glass, diffraction, atmospheric factors etc. will make resolution at a particular sensor size max out at some point. At 5 microns we are getting there.

    But this doesn't meant that they can't make larger sensors. A full 6x9 CMOS sensor at 100-120MP with nice fat pixels would be just awesome! we certainly have glass that can cover that now.
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    I suspect physics of glass, diffraction, atmospheric factors etc. will make resolution at a particular sensor size max out at some point. At 5 microns we are getting there.

    But this doesn't meant that they can't make larger sensors. A full 6x9 CMOS sensor at 100-120MP with nice fat pixels would be just awesome! we certainly have glass that can cover that now.
    Jag, certainly sensor size can and probably will become larger. I doubt sensor size will grow to be as big as 8"x10". Perhaps 100-120MP 6x9cm sensor, as you said, will be that equilibrium point.
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 29th January 2015 at 09:23.
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Whether or not the pursuit of higher resolution will ever end, I predict that talking about it won't.
    I sincerely hope that talking about it will end
    That state of the art will reach a point that anything further would not be considered necessary.

    Were Richard Avedon and Ansel Adams wishing for 16"x20" or 48"x48"? Who knows. But their 8"x10" works have withstood the test of time.
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    as long as companies are able to come up with "new" technology, there will be people that dont need it, and buy it anyway.

    its like these new tv's with a bend screen.
    nobody asked for them, nobody needs them, but they are able to make and sell them.
    or the ever evolving iphone, porsche, adidas sneaker, ...
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    New Member Stephan S's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    When Lois Conner makes the "switch to digital" and sells her 8x10, 7x17 cameras and stops making contact prints, the discussion, very well, may be over. Looking at one of her prints is as close one can get to looking out a window.

    Until then we rage, rage! against the dying of the light!
    Stephan
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    I think todays world of many countries relies too much on constantly producing economical growth. This is only possible if the industry makes people buying things they don't really need.
    And the photo industry is not different here. (And yes, I am also a victim).
    For the end user its not easy to find out which "innovations" have a real impact/advantage and which ones just marketing.
    I think the industry focuses on factors which increase sales, and since reviewers and users talk a lot about resolution and noise and DR they focus on such things.
    Personally I wish they would focus more on a) lenses b) color c) user interface.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Something else to consider is that all the talk of higher resolutions and reference to 8x10 etc overlook the fact that whenever you've had such bleeding edge technologies there have also been limitations. In the case of resolution we hit a point where diffraction (and manufacturing abilities) becomes an issue. With the larger film formats it's actually gravity and film flatness plus the optics and a whole plethora of human error opportunities.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbn View Post
    as long as companies are able to come up with "new" technology, there will be people that dont need it, and buy it anyway.

    its like these new tv's with a bend screen.
    nobody asked for them, nobody needs them, but they are able to make and sell them.
    or the ever evolving iphone, porsche, adidas sneaker, ...
    I see what you mean but I believe there can be a point where more is not better (or does not matter).

    For instance a vast majority TVs sold have moderate 45" to 60" screens. Not everyone is buying the 80" and 100" screens. So manufacturers have to do other things like 3D and curved screens and other gimmicks.

    A car (eg. Porsche) can have too much horse power. And a vast majority of consumers do not buy that uber car. They prefer their 400hp Carrera S over the 500hp turbo.

    So I think/hope there will be a point where the same happens to digital cameras.
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Jamgolf, agree with everything you've said except for the 911TTS thing
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Something else to consider is that all the talk of higher resolutions and reference to 8x10 etc overlook the fact that whenever you've had such bleeding edge technologies there have also been limitations. In the case of resolution we hit a point where diffraction (and manufacturing abilities) becomes an issue. With the larger film formats it's actually gravity and film flatness plus the optics and a whole plethora of human error opportunities.
    Thanks for chiming in Graham.

    Then perhaps such/similar technical limitations combined with costs, demand and diminishing perceived incremental improvements will lead to that point of equilibrium. A sweet-spot where components (lenses, cameras, software etc.) will be optimized in harmony with respect to image quality. And further tinkering will be deemed unprofitable.
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    Jamgolf, agree with everything you've said except for the 911TTS thing
    Jag, I take it you are a 911 turbo driver then
    Tell ya what - my C4S is sweet and never leaves me longing for more hp
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    Jag, I take it you are a 911 turbo driver then
    Tell ya what - my C4S is sweet and never leaves me longing for more hp
    So is my T5
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    As long as someone can make money by selling pixels, then manufacturers will continue to provide them. Cameras are a reflection of the market.

    Exactly speaking, what is the downside of better performance? It is kind of like complaining about having too much money, although bigger and better sensor can help out there.

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    Member JonMo's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Think of the benefits of super high resolution;
    you could use a selfie to see whether you are developing Glaucoma!
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Will - thank you for your comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    As long as someone can make money by selling pixels, then manufacturers will continue to provide them
    But isn't digital camera/back a much more complex and disruptive upgrade, usually involving upgrade of lenses, sometime computers, storage etc as well. So at some point fewer people will be able to afford or be willing, hence decreasing profitability for manufacturers hence a downward spiral to the equilibrium/sweet-spot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Exactly speaking, what is the downside of better performance? It is kind of like complaining about having too much money,
    Is more always better? I think beyond a certain point it does not matter. And beyond even that point it enters the bizzaro/obnoxious territory.

    Performance of a car 250 hp is nice, 400hp is great, 500hp is awesome, 1000hp is danagerous.

    How would one quantify too much money?
    Getting 10 million dollars will have a huge affect on most people's lives. Getting another 10 million will have a far smaller incremental affect. Getting another 10 million will have practically no effect and so on
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    With today technologie, for my type of shooting... 60mp backs are better than 80 because of depth of field limitation !

    how can i imagine camera of the future ?

    i'd like to have all of this in one camera :
    No more shutter (exposure made by the sensor itself )
    Automatic focus stacking in camera
    Better dynamic range
    Really good in camera level
    iso 25 to iso 3200 completely clean
    longue exposure capabilities without noise
    live view
    perfect color fidelity
    lens movements capabilities

    and of course for cheap ;-)

    But mega pixels, isn't the main problem now !
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Resolution is always increasing, be it the "megapickles" argument or better lens technology. Happily, the market is hitting a point where we can choose what tools best suit our needs, rather than chase a number. Numerous times with people that we work with for purchases we'll discover someone actually doesn't need as large of a sensor as they originally though, or wants something with more sensitivity rather than just the race for higher numbers.

    Speaking from my foray into digital, I know my Nikon D70 destroyed any data in the red channel, and 6 MP felt so restricting. Now we can choose 21, 50, 60, 80 megapixel backs with 14 stops of dynamic range.

    If anything, I think you'll start seeing better ergonomics and usability. We already are; digital backs and 35mm have wi-fi built in, GPS tagging, higher resolution displays, built in accelerometers, and so on. Rather than having to struggle with one amazing feature (resolution) being hindered by a poor display, bad battery life, or slow read speeds, we're starting to get to where you have multiple options, and that shows that manufacturers are no longer chasing the dragon of resolution and resolution alone.

    Will it stop? Probably not for a while, no. Car manufacturers are still engaged in the horsepower wars, but technology from the Bugatti Veyron has trickled down into consumer cars, and I can't say that's a bad thing. The same thing happens with sensor technology.

    Maybe I sound a bit giddy, but I know I'm excited for the future.
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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    60-80 megapixels, with full frame 6x6 and 6x7 sensors, in digital backs to fit my Hasselblad V and Mamiya RZ67 ProIID....those would satisfy my "needs" (wants) completely!

    In other words....I'm more interested in getting full frame medium format sensors than ever increasing resolution from smaller sensors.

    Gary
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    Will - thank you for your comments.



    But isn't digital camera/back a much more complex and disruptive upgrade, usually involving upgrade of lenses, sometime computers, storage etc as well. So at some point fewer people will be able to afford or be willing, hence decreasing profitability for manufacturers hence a downward spiral to the equilibrium/sweet-spot.
    Actually, making more expensive goods aimed at the high-end of the market has proven to be a good strategy. Luxury goods have done well even with the world recession. It is only the poor that can't afford these items. but these are not made for the poor, so there seems to be no economic downside. Actually it makes sense. The fastest economic growth is at the top. Pay has stagnated at the low and middle classes and so there is no point in pursuing that part of the consumer market.




    Is more always better? I think beyond a certain point it does not matter. And beyond even that point it enters the bizzaro/obnoxious territory.

    Performance of a car 250 hp is nice, 400hp is great, 500hp is awesome, 1000hp is danagerous.

    How would one quantify too much money?
    Getting 10 million dollars will have a huge affect on most people's lives. Getting another 10 million will have a far smaller incremental affect. Getting another 10 million will have practically no effect and so on
    In a consumer economy, more is better. It has nothing to do with reason. It has to do with human nature. Every year CEO pay increases astronomically. It has nothing to do with performance nor value of the individual to the organization. Why would these individuals that have more money than they would ever need need more? So, to answer your question, yes, to some more is better.
    Will

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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Man, I for one would definitely be more happy with 30 million than with 10 million....
    Megapixels, that is !!! Money, Naah. what good is that ?

    The one thing I would jump for would be a 120MP digital back in a 6x17 format.
    ( Now if only we had the xpan Digital...)
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    The one thing I would jump for would be a 120MP digital back in a 6x17 format.
    ( Now if only we had the xpan Digital...)
    Saty, Are you forgetting the Seitz 6x17 ?
    overview

    I think its no longer in production, but you might be able to find a used one if you are lucky.
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    Jag, I take it you are a 911 turbo driver then
    Tell ya what - my C4S is sweet and never leaves me longing for more hp
    It's a subtly tweaked TTS with about 625HP and 650ft/lbs of torque. And it is STICK! Hard to shift from 1 - 2 at full throttle as your dig into the thick leather wheel to keep one had there. 60MPH comes in just under 3s. From there, 100mph comes in another 3.4s. Taken up to about 196mph, but didn't have any more room, and wasn't wearing a helmet Took me a couple of days to wipe the smile off my face.

    No much different from my tech cam. Pain to drive in traffic, can't load groceries, extremely poor dynamic range, but the user experience is to kill for!
    Oh, it also depreciated a helluva lot less than my camera gear!
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Every year CEO pay increases astronomically. It has nothing to do with performance nor value of the individual to the organization. Why would these individuals that have more money than they would ever need need more? So, to answer your question, yes, to some more is better.
    Little can be further from the reality of CEO's lives.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Hi,

    For optimal reproduction the sensor should outresolve the lens, that is the lens should have low MTF at the sensor pitch. Schneider mentions the figure < 10% MTF.

    With excellent lenses like the Otus and probably the HR-digitals, the optimum pixel size is probably 2-3 micron, that is around 250MP on full frame. That is at f/5.6, stopping down to f/11 the optimum would be more like 60MP. On my P45+, it takes f/16 to virtually eliminate aliasing.

    So it depends on aperture and lens quality.

    The reason that resolution is lost and aliasing is reduced when stopping down is diffraction.

    These crops may illustrate the issues:

    Top is 3.8 micron pixels and bottom is 6.8 micron pixels.


    This image is P45+ 6.8 micron pixels


    And this is Sony Alpha 77 3.8 micron pixels, shot with same focal length at same distance and resized to the same size as above. Keep in mind that the illustration is intended to show the benefits of small pixels and not to compare systems.


    The last two images show the effect of the aperture, the top one is f/8


    And the one at bottom is at f/16 and has much stronger sharpening. This shows how stopping down acts as an antialiasing filter, but also that sharpening can compensate a lot of lost MTF.


    The crops shown are very small parts of the images, probably 80 mm lenses at 4 meters.

    To sum up:

    - Small pixels are needed for correct reproduction of detail
    - If pixels are to large, the excess information will result in low frequency fake detail, known as aliases
    - With bayer sensors (which almost all sensors are) aliasing may result in colour aliasing, known as moiré
    - Stopping down reduces fine detail contrast and also resolution, stopping down enough reduces aliasing
    - Aliasing free aperture is f/16 for a 6.8 micron sensor like the P45+
    - Aliasing free aperture is around f/5.6 for a 3 micron sensor

    The complete article with the images is here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/in...ixels-are-good

    Just to mention, aliasing is very much present on the P45+ at f/11, it takes stopping down to f/16 to virtually eliminate it.


    Best regards
    Erik
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    I wonder if the pursuit of resolution will ever end? How many digital pixels will be considered enough?

    In the days of film 8"x10" was medium of ultimate resolution and image quality. And it has withstood the test of time. A photographer could go from medium format to 4x5, 5x7 but 8x10 was basically it. Ultra-large film formats eg. 48"x48" or even 16"x20" did not become main stream and 8x10 remained the choice of photographers seeking that quality.

    With digital, when will we reach that point? A point that will withstand the test of time just as 8x10 film did. Or are we already there?

    Will a 80 or 100 or 120 mega-pixel camera/back become the defacto choice such that anything beyond that point will simply be a specialty format similar to 48"x48" flim?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Cheers!
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 29th January 2015 at 23:14.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    In summary to 'will it ever end?'

    No.

    You're welcome.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 29th January 2015 at 23:47.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Considering my own photography 30 megapixels or so is quite enough concerning image details, but I want perfectly smooth down to the smallest detail without any aliasing or digital artifact whatsoever and for that it seems we need say 3um sensors suggested above, 200-300 megapixels with current MF sized sensors. If we continue to have bayer arrays we'd probably need a litttle bit more still. Let's say 600 megapixels, then I will be satisfied :-).

    I haven't really understood the current mainstream view on image quality and resolution where you want the optical system to outresolve the sensor. I guess people just love aliasing... I want it to be the other way around, when the sensor outresolves the optical system you don't have any digital artifacts, your image should just as good or better than a multishot back. Of course the optical system must be adequate too, good resolving power, not severe chromatic abberations etc, but in that apartment I think the current tech lenses have reached very far already.

    With today's technology there are disadvantages with small pixels too, the photodiodes get so deep down than wide angle compatibility get really bad, so for now I think we can stay at 6um pixels until those issues have been resolved.
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Hi,

    Yes, reducing pixel sizes has disadvantages. The beam angle effects are worse with small pixels. Also, halving pixel diameter will reduce DR in the technical sense by one EV. "Photographic DR" on the other hand is little dependent on pixel size.

    Another solution is of course to use OLP filtering, although I would say that the OLP filters I see are more intended to reduce color moiré than to reduce aliasing in general.

    There are practical reasons that we have the pixel sizes we have.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Considering my own photography 30 megapixels or so is quite enough concerning image details, but I want perfectly smooth down to the smallest detail without any aliasing or digital artifact whatsoever and for that it seems we need say 3um sensors suggested above, 200-300 megapixels with current MF sized sensors. If we continue to have bayer arrays we'd probably need a litttle bit more still. Let's say 600 megapixels, then I will be satisfied :-).

    With today's technology there are disadvantages with small pixels too, the photodiodes get so deep down than wide angle compatibility get really bad, so for now I think we can stay at 6um pixels until those issues have been resolved.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Btw, it would be amusing to be having this discussion with the current state of the art tech maybe even 5 - 7 years ago. I remember mortgaging the first born for a 2.74mp Nikon D1 which was the state of the art everywhere outside of NASA.

    Talk of 30mp+ is so pedestrian today that it's kind of funny when you think about it.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, it would be amusing to be having this discussion with the current state of the art tech maybe even 5 - 7 years ago. I remember mortgaging the first born for a 2.74mp Nikon D1 which was the state of the art everywhere outside of NASA.

    Talk of 30mp+ is so pedestrian today that it's kind of funny when you think about it.
    Yes, I wonder what we'll have in 10 more years... 600 megapixels is perhaps not unlikely.

    But in a way although lots of things have happened in electronics and computers, much is still the same, only higher fidelity. Software is not running that much faster today than before, it's just throwing around more data.

    And of course, all things need to be in balance, we won't see cameras with more image data than the current normal workstations are capable of handling with good performance.
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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    I think we're all suffering from time compression (it happens to all of us as we get older). My current still-seeing-active-use 16MP DSLR is over 10 years old. Things haven't moved quite as fast as we think.

    And for all the resolution and ISO advances, it's still the file quality that makes me stare slack-jawed at a screen or a print, and that's been fairly constant - some things better, some things worse.

    Now about that 50MP Canon....

    --Matt
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    No, 'it' won't end; however, we can chose to stop and concentrate on making photographs.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    At the end of the day I find myself caring less whether I shoot with my 16mp Df, 24mp A7s/A7II, 36mp A7r's, 28mp Aptus 65, or even 16mp CFV-16 back - they ALL produce superb images; the 60mp IQ260 is special though.

    (But so are my 617 Fuji, XPan II or F6 Nikon for various other reasons).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    I wonder if the pursuit of resolution will ever end? How many digital pixels will be considered enough?

    In the days of film 8"x10" was medium of ultimate resolution and image quality. And it has withstood the test of time. A photographer could go from medium format to 4x5, 5x7 but 8x10 was basically it. Ultra-large film formats eg. 48"x48" or even 16"x20" did not become main stream and 8x10 remained the choice of photographers seeking that quality.

    With digital, when will we reach that point? A point that will withstand the test of time just as 8x10 film did. Or are we already there?

    Will a 80 or 100 or 120 mega-pixel camera/back become the defacto choice such that anything beyond that point will simply be a specialty format similar to 48"x48" flim?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Cheers!
    I can only share my personal opinion on the subject of the endless pursuit to separate me from my hard earned dollars.

    I only need what I have. I've done the meg race (60 meg MFD, multi-shot, etc.). Don't need it anymore (if I ever really did).

    What I would prefer is ... what I have to be better, and for it to last longer. I'm far less concerned about obsolescence due to geek driven minute advancements, than I am of obsolescence due to sloppy QC and a "throw-away" mentality.

    Most stuff today is more than enough in the real photographic world ... as opposed to micrometer measures of DR, pixel peeping obsessions, and homogenization of image qualities ... most of which live and thrive almost exclusively on internet flora.

    It'd be nice if what you bought actually lasted longer than the lifespan of a Mayfly.

    Unfortunately, that's a manufacturer's race that'll never be run.

    - Marc
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It'd be nice if what you bought actually lasted longer than the lifespan of a Mayfly.

    Unfortunately, that's a manufacturer's race that'll never be run.
    I think it's more the responsibility of the consumers than the manufacturer. Higher end cameras hold up pretty well. We don't have to upgrade, and if we do we can buy second hand instead of something fresh from a factory.

    The problem is much larger in consumer electronics like mobile phones, and indeed computers. Apple is one of the worst offenders I think, which limit the expandability of their products - if a computer can take a lot of RAM it holds up longer, a good screen survives one or two computers etc but they limit RAM expansion more than others and often build screen and computer in the same unit making it impossible to reuse the screen, and has a tendency to make their older phones near unusable with new iOS upgrades.
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, it would be amusing to be having this discussion with the current state of the art tech maybe even 5 - 7 years ago. I remember mortgaging the first born for a 2.74mp Nikon D1 which was the state of the art everywhere outside of NASA.

    Talk of 30mp+ is so pedestrian today that it's kind of funny when you think about it.
    True. But those were the early adopter prices in the earlier stages of a product development cycle.

    As digital sensor technology is reaching maturity, and I would think at some point it would arrive to a winning formula of pixel-count, pixel-size, sensor-size and optimally designed lenses with image circles that work well from wide to long end.

    I contend that manufacturers will not find it financially viable to invest in further tinkering that throws that hard-to-achieve balance out of whack.
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 30th January 2015 at 09:23.
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    Senior Member Jamgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    No, 'it' won't end; however, we can chose to stop and concentrate on making photographs.
    My 32HR and 90SW are finally arriving today.
    So I will be doing exactly that

    "concentrate on making photographs" ... you are absolutely right.
    IQ3 100 • Cambo 1600 • Rodenstock 23,32,50,90 • Zeiss 350SA
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    my biggest gripe is the used market gets out of whack. a two year old digital back should not depreciate 50% or more but it does do to perceived "obsolescence".

    what will happen to those perfectly good A7R's when a new one is released this spring?

    an old story, but exacerbated by the new product madness.

    if sony comes out with a 50mpx A7r, those will be tiny pixels
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    50 MP 135 FF release imminent

    Hi,

    It seems that the release Canon 5Ds/5Ds R at 50.6 MP is imminent.

    The pixel density on full frame 645 would correspond to around 135 MP.

    With some probability, Sony and Nikon will also release 50 MP digital cameras within a few days.

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Even if resolution seems be increasing at an alarming rate, it's not that big of a difference as it seems, because we need exponentially more pixels to increase the amount of real detail as far as the final print goes.

    We need 4x as many pixels to increase linear resolution (amount of pixels between any two points) by two, so going up from say 40mp to 50mp is a mere 12.5% increase in visually discernible detail. I think +50% is a better value to go by as a reasonable detail increase, since you're getting 9 pixels where you used to have 4 - enough to far more accurately determine the correct color and luminance for any point.

    Needless to say, digital processing technology needs to be able to keep up too... where computers were previously well off using a single graphics adapter or even an integrated solution, 4K and 5K displays need not just the fastest hardware, but sometimes two or more cards just to run properly, as the workload has quadrupled even compared to 2560x1440 displays, and this of course applies to the electronics used in cameras as well.
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Hi,

    The first Canon with CMOS sensor was introduced in late 2000, that camera had 3.1 MP resolution. That was 14 years ago. My first DSLR dates back to December 2004 and had a 6 MP CCD-sensor. December 2008 I bought my Sony Alpha 900 sporting a 24 MP CMOS-sensor, that was 6 years ago.

    So my interpretation of history differs from yours.

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, it would be amusing to be having this discussion with the current state of the art tech maybe even 5 - 7 years ago. I remember mortgaging the first born for a 2.74mp Nikon D1 which was the state of the art everywhere outside of NASA.

    Talk of 30mp+ is so pedestrian today that it's kind of funny when you think about it.

  45. #45
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    We can already see what overkill resolution looks like through stitching. 200mp is also already available with the H5D-200ms, although limited to static objects, of course. Its good but honestly, a bit boring, because we already have enough to meet most photgraphic situations. I hope for better, not more, so Lets move beyond the compromised Bayer designs and look for true three layer RGB technology, similar to Foveon but hopefully with better high iSO performance.

    Give me a 50mp true RGB sensor, and I will be happy.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, it would be amusing to be having this discussion with the current state of the art tech maybe even 5 - 7 years ago. I remember mortgaging the first born for a 2.74mp Nikon D1 which was the state of the art everywhere outside of NASA.

    Talk of 30mp+ is so pedestrian today that it's kind of funny when you think about it.
    Graham, this brought back some memories. I can remember the same way, in 2000, when the D1 was announced. I ran out to my local camera store (back then they were still around in Little Rock), and put my name on the list. The only folks in front of me were some local newspaper photographers.

    Before the D1, I had been working with the Sony 505, (still wish I had it as it was a bit unique) and then the Nikon 990, both non DSLR and non 1.5 crop styles.

    The D1 was a huge step, and I can remember all the test shots I took, wondering if digital would handle water (longer exposures) the same way as film did.

    Then within 1.5 years camea the D1x at 6MP. I did think for a while that that would be the end. I shot the D1x for quite a while and tried briefly the 660 and 560 (Kodak chip in a Canon body). Wish I still had the 660, as I did love the look of those files.

    Many have forgotten the D1x, with the strange layout of the CCD (and I believe that was a Sony CCD). That chip was a strange layout and had some really harsh interpolation errors. Then Qimage and Bibble came out with the 12MP output from the D1x, anyone remember those days?

    So my first move to CMOS was the Canon 1ds, in early 2003. Stayed in their camp until April 2014 and won't be going back anytime soon. The race is pretty much over for me. But it's fun to look back.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul2660; 31st January 2015 at 09:33.
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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Personally the most exciting aspects of photography are the creativity and the composition. While for a long time, I bought the latest technology because I wanted more and more detail in my images, the current state of availability allow me to tell my story with 50 megapixels and technical camera lenses.
    Here is some food for thought; in Palm Beach, Florida on the most exclusive street is a photography gallery called the Holden Luntz Gallery.
    He sells old masters along with emerging terrific masters of composition at prices usually exceeding $10,000.
    Many of the pieces he sells will not pass muster with the community on this forum because they are grainy and lack the contrast and sharpness that we all crave for.
    But the "ART" flies out of his gallery to well educated and obviously wealthy customers who see photography as a valuable form of expression- not as a technical achievement.
    I had dinner this week with a dear friend who was excited to read a rumor about a new Sony camera which will include some technology from cannon along with a 55 megapixel chip.
    I told him that I may have purchased my last camera....I am done chasing technology.....I stay up nights chasing great lighting, great subject matter, more creative ways of telling a pictorial story
    Stanley
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    In the days of film 8"x10" was medium of ultimate resolution and image quality. And it has withstood the test of time. A photographer could go from medium format to 4x5, 5x7 but 8x10 was basically it. Ultra-large film formats eg. 48"x48" or even 16"x20" did not become main stream and 8x10 remained the choice of photographers seeking that quality.
    That is an interesting remark.

    I think that the reason why 8"x10" was the biggest widely used format is the maximum size of prints. Fine art prints are rarely bigger than 1,5 meter, maybe 2 meters. The reason is that this is also the average size of humans, so any larger print cannot be hung so as to be observed close. Billboards are larger, but one cannot get close.

    Fine art papers (digital or analog), printers (epson or canon inkjets) or processors (lambda or lightjet) top at these sizes as well.

    To print at these sizes, a 8"x10" negative is sufficient.
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  49. #49
    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    I glanced through the discussion, maybe I'll read it closer sometime, but over the last few years I've sort of adopted my own philosophy, be it right or wrong.

    1. How much resolution is enough is an old debate, and their is no correct "truth". What's true for one isn't true for another. Easy to prove, yet people that don't need the resolution think there is something wrong with those that do. I have hundreds of images taken with less capable sensors that cannot hold up to the print sizes I desire. I have images with the same sensors that could be cropped to an interesting image, but then certainly won't hold up. When I am on a shoot, I rarely know what I'm going to get and whether any image will be worth printing large, but my goal is always to never limit my options later ... so I'll always use the highest resolving system I can, and more often than not stitch to take it further.

    2. The discussion of sensors out resolving lenses has been going on since the 1Ds Mark 2, a 16.7mp sensor. The idea is once you out resolve the lens more resolution isn't helpful. but resolution of detail using a bayer sensor array is pretty complex, and considering that detail is made up of blur circles, you have to over sample the data.(I think Eric demonstrated some of this in his replies). And most lenses are better than you would think at this. to me the goal is to resolve whatever image the lens forms on the sensor with enough data that you can reconstruct the image without artifacts or other issues at the size you want to display it. So even if there is some "softness", it's hard to capture that softness accurately. Ctein has some interesting articles about this here and here. So until we can get to a point that a sensor can completely out resolve the best lens meaning adding more pixels can't produce an observable difference there isn't a reason not to keep improving as technology allows.

    3. I really can't criticize camera makers for improving their products, after all without at least some new product cycles they soon may struggle to stay in business. It's not like you have to buy the new model, but someday the current one will wear out or die, and why not have something that's better. And this isn't something new to digital ... film cameras saw constant improvements to stimulate sales as well.

    4. As far as the whole idea that only photographers look at an image up close and you only need to print based on the viewing distance ... not buying that one. While it is true that if the viewing distance is controlled and limited then that can be factored in (although consider that viewing distance maybe close ... I have large panos on the walls of 4 and 5 foot hallways), the idea only photographers view an image up close just isn't true. sure the majority don't. But bottom line, most large images getting printed now don't get observed close because they look bad up close. So why keep getting closer if the image has nothing to offer. Many images won't get looked at up close because the image just isn't appealing enough to the observer to look at period. But a great image may intrigue some to get pulled in, examining small areas to enjoy wonderful textures or shapes, the interplay of colors and details in small things ... maybe the character of a face in a portrait. As a photographer I try hard to make images that appeal to me personally, and while many may think they are rather mundane or non exciting, I don't see the world that way. I see the landscape as beautiful, peaceful, calming, relaxing. And I don't want to limit what an observer of my image that appreciates that quality to be limited in how they can enjoy the image. I don't think photography is different in this regard than any other art ... some pieces will pull some viewers in to examine things closer, the brush strokes, the use of technique and color to create detail ... and sometimes it's a "how in the world did they do that" kind of a thing. Some viewers also look at some photographs with similar thoughts.

    So for me resolution is important and I hope makers keep trying to offer better capturing systems. I don't mean ignore other aspects, it's all important, and I"m sure there are tradeoffs, so please improve all the aspects.

    I know many also mention the idea that a better camera won't make me a better photographer, and for the most part I completely agree with that, but to be honest I've always thought for skilled photographers to say that on a forum which is visited mostly by skilled photographers is sort of a weird thing to say ... sort of a "duh" statement. I print hundreds of images each week by photographers in my area, and some of them are very very good, and some of their images are fantastic ... and most of them can't make a decent 30x40 print, let alone 40x60 or 90" pano. Ok, maybe the don't "want" to ... or maybe they just say that because they can't. And I know it's often not their fault, I understand budget constraints. but I see most of these arguments as excuses for these limitations, and not a valid reason to continue improving systems. To offer these kind of tools to talented photographers seems only fair. And hopefully some day I can get the quality I'm after from a system half the size of what I haul around now.
    wayne
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  50. #50
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Will it ever end?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    4. As far as the whole idea that only photographers look at an image up close and you only need to print based on the viewing distance ... not buying that one. While it is true that if the viewing distance is controlled and limited then that can be factored in (although consider that viewing distance maybe close ... I have large panos on the walls of 4 and 5 foot hallways), the idea only photographers view an image up close just isn't true. sure the majority don't. But bottom line, most large images getting printed now don't get observed close because they look bad up close. So why keep getting closer if the image has nothing to offer. Many images won't get looked at up close because the image just isn't appealing enough to the observer to look at period. But a great image may intrigue some to get pulled in, examining small areas to enjoy wonderful textures or shapes, the interplay of colors and details in small things ... maybe the character of a face in a portrait. As a photographer I try hard to make images that appeal to me personally, and while many may think they are rather mundane or non exciting, I don't see the world that way. I see the landscape as beautiful, peaceful, calming, relaxing. And I don't want to limit what an observer of my image that appreciates that quality to be limited in how they can enjoy the image. I don't think photography is different in this regard than any other art ... some pieces will pull some viewers in to examine things closer, the brush strokes, the use of technique and color to create detail ... and sometimes it's a "how in the world did they do that" kind of a thing. Some viewers also look at some photographs with similar thoughts.
    Wayne,
    This is a good point. I saw it play out with my most recent show where I included some six foot prints. Three out of 40 images were that big; each was a 2-image stitch from the IQ180, so native 240ppi at that size. I had the chance on a few different days to observe people. They would get as close or closer to those prints than the others which ranged from 18x24 up to 22x30. It is obviously content-dependent, but for landscapes with detail I think you are spot-on. People get drawn in, or "absorbed" in the detail; it becomes part of the viewing experience. For certain subjects (which happen to be the subjects many of us like to shoot), viewers will get as close as as the detail allows.

    Dave
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    davechewphotography.com
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