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Motion blur, diffraction and noise are not impacted by high megapixel count

Nikon D800 sensor unit

Nikon D800 sensor unit

In today's guest post, Jinn Leong is explaining why  Motion blur, diffraction and noise are not impacted by high megapixel count (in our case the Nikon D800):

Diffraction
Diffraction depends on the lens, not the sensor. A higher megapixel count won’t increase diffraction. There’s a common misconception that a higher megapixel count increases diffraction because most of the time, images are examined at 100%. If you normalized the images from two cameras with the same lens to the same pixel count/print size, you’ll realize that both of the images have the same amount of diffraction.

Motion blur
Motion blur depends on the field of view. So, a higher megapixel count won’t increase motion blur. Of course, at 100% magnification, motion blur is more visible. If both are displayed at the same size, there will not be more motion blur.

Noise
Ever realized why there are two types of charts in DxOMark – Screen and Print? That’s because screen displays the chart information for images tested at 100% resolution. Instead, print is tested at 8 megapixels. DxOMark does this because they know if they examined/compared pictures from different cameras, the camera with a lower pixel count will definitely have an advantage at 100%. That’s why those test charts on the net aren’t an accurate way to compare sensors. The best way to compare sensors is to compare their pictures at the same display size. If displayed at a lower resolution, the SNR performance will increase. The effect is similar to pixel binning.

Many are misleaded by many review sites who compare 100% crops, and so are effectively comparing the amount of noise per pixel, even when those pixels represent different percentage of the total image. Moreover, the microlens design have already reduced the loss of light from gaps between photosites, so the advantage of a lower pixel count sensor is reduced.

File size & Frame per second (FPS)
This can be solved with pixel binning, but there’s no pixel binning feature in Nikon D800 for stills. For JPEG users, just shoot at a lower resolution.

Conclusion
Therefore, motion blur, diffraction and noise is not a problem. File size and FPS is still an issue though. Computer are getting cheaper nowadays, a $1000 computer could easily handle the files. 4 FPS is actually not bad too, and professionals sports photographers used to shoot at 4.5 FPS. The higher resolution will serve you well when you need it, and you don't actually need to compromise your daily shooting just to utilize all of the resolution unless you need them.

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  • Rajeev

    The points made are true (regarding diffraction, noise and motion blur), however the conclusion is not!
    The problems are…
    DIFFRACTION: Inability to get sharp images due to diffraction when stepping down to >f5.6
    compared with a medium format sensor that can step down to >f16.
    NOISE: when comparing sensors for noise, nobody looks at noise reduction and true iso — all modern sensors are almost the same– ie. less noise =better in camera noise reduction.–hence noise is not an issue.
    The problem being— even though camera manufacturers know this, they limit iso values to 6400 on the d800 for example.
    MOTION BLUR: higher resolution means these are amplified.
    This is my way of interpreting these.

  • alex

    Inspiring, but resolution is related to pixel count, right (well, upto the point that the lens can no longer resolve it)? what if the noise gets so high that masks the fine details that the high pixel-count is intended at resolving? specifically, what if the noise of D800 at a certain ISO is so high that its effective resolution is hampered to below say 22MP at the same ISO on another camera, in this case 5DIII?

    I guess most people are buying D800 over 5DIII for the higher pixel-count. They would be interested in knowing at what ISO point will that supposedly higher resolution advantage vanish.

    If people are printing at 8MP, I dare say that their money could be better spent on the good old D700.

    I have both D700 and 5DII, planning to upgrade neither. I never compared their images at 100%, and I use both cameras for different occassions.

    With all due respect, DxO Mark is just a number.

    • Tom

      It’s a standardized test. It’s not “just a number”. That’s something Canon-ites say because they generally do poorly on it.

      I just shot side by side with a D5100 and a 60D. Guess what. Everything that DXO numbers predicted turned out to be true.

      Go figure.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

        Of course, it’s generally agreed that Sony sensors are the best for DSLRs. Even Nikon has bad sensors. Look at D4, V1, J1 sensors – they’re crappy. A camera is just not about the sensor, it’s the whole package.

    • Andrew

      You make a number of wild assumptions, but let us focus on two:

      (1) Most people are buying the D800 over 5DIII for the higher pixel-count… how do you know?
      (2) The DxO Mark is just a number. It is like saying that $1 million is just a number. Well, I sure would like to get my hands on that number!

      With such analysis, why should anyone bother to attend school?

  • Harald Wörndl

    Some technical corrections to the article:

    SNR is definitely incrased by shrinking the pixel size.

    1) The quantuum efficency of digital cameras is very high. Alike 2 photons per digital count (measured on an old Canon 60D). So e.g. your 30% smaller light catching sensor elements can only catch half of the amount of photons per pixel. THIS produces quantisations errors on the physical level and decreases the dynamic range (DR). Nothing can compensate this problem.

    2) If analog pixel binning befor the A/D conversion is done, it can form bigger sensor elements and the DR will increase again. Higher elecron counts will also help the AD.

    3) The biggest part of low ISO noise is produced by the AD converters. This noise is spatial independent (!) and depends of the quality of electric design. Nikon often uses sony sensors, but they do the AD conversion by themself. They did a great job in the D800!
    Nikon is famous for low noise at ISO100.

    4) The problem with this AD noise is that if you downsample it – “digital pixel binnig” – you don’t loose it. It is “spatial independent” so smoothing your image does’t decrease your noise and your SNR stays exactly the same (bad). Software alike noise ninja doesn’t remove noise by blurring your pics. They know about the problem.
    Blurring has the same effect as “digital pixel binning”.

    So: be happy with the gigantic analog design of the D800. The pixel size is about the same of my D7000.

    Blurring or downsampling keeps the SNR the same!

    • Michael

      One thing though. The read noise in D800 and D7000 is really low, so your argument doesn’t apply to D800 and D7000.

    • timon

      where is your “Blurring or downsampling keeps the SNR the same” ? In eos5d2? In Phase One IQ180 (a 5μm sensor) ?

      Yes, the DxOmark’s Overall Score is unworthy with your fanatic overly, which is in an 8Mpix print mode, almost an A4 print size (300dpi).
      They ought to add another A3 print mode with 300dpi, and even print mode is A2 size with 300dpi.

      However, their impersonally Measurement data is valuable in focuses, especially under the screen mode to view the charts, (with a 100% magnification, pixel-for-pixel).

      d800, d7000, Phase One IQ180 Digital Back, measurement charts with screen mode, like TR, DR, SNR18%, Color Depth, etc…
      you have to keep in mind, not only a SNR is in there.
      http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/792%7C0/(brand)/Nikon/(appareil2)/746%7C0/(brand2)/Phase%20One/(appareil3)/680%7C0/(brand3)/Nikon

      d800, d7000, 5d2, measurement charts with screen mode,
      you have to notice that the d800 is a 4.85μm sensor (providing the details more closely), but the eos5d2 is a 6.39μm sensor.
      http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/792%7C0/(brand)/Nikon/(appareil2)/680%7C0/(brand2)/Nikon/(appareil3)/483%7C0/(brand3)/Canon

      • Harald Wörndl

        In simple words: storing pictures with a lower resolution doesn’t reduce noise!

        This is not about Nikon vs Canon or Sony with it’s cruel in-device RAW conversion.

        Nikon got very, very good A/D converters – the last years even one generation better than Canon (now catching up with the Mark III). So every step in resolution has to be compensated by better A/D converters what Nikon impressively did.

        My conclusion ist that the authors article is wrong, if he claims “If displayed at a lower resolution, the SNR performance will increase. The effect is similar to pixel binning.”

        harold

        • Michael

          SNR does increase unless you use nearest neighbour, which is stupid.

        • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

          I wrote the article, I think I have to clear up the confusion a bit. Displayed at a lower resolution, the overall SNR doesn’t increase, but SNR per pixel/image area will increase.

    • Astrophotographer

      There are a few thing wrong with this so I must set it straight. 1st, SNR is not increased by shrinking the pixel size. The principal thing that increases SNR is more signal. Decreasing pixel size tends to decrease well depth (maximum signal) but newer technology is increasing it.

      You point 3 is wrong. The biggest source of noise is the signal itself. Noise is the square root of signal. If you capture 1000 -e the noise would be ~30 -e, far larger than the typical 8 -e in modern A/D converters and leading to a SNR of 1000:38 or ~26:1. Increase the signal to 10,000 -e and noise jumps to 100 -e and SNR is 1:92

      Binning, like downscaling, definitely increases SNR. It’s used heavily it astrophotography for that reason.

      • Michael

        In astrophotography, they even take several shots and merge them too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

        It increases SNR per pixel, but the entire picture still has the exact same SNR.

  • burgerman

    Lets put this another way… Why do I need 36mp? Because my miserable D700 only had enough pixels for a 14 inch wide print at 300 dpi.

    Ok you can print that at 28 (30 inches?) if you want and it looks ok. But now we are down to 150 pixels per inch. You dont SEE these pixels as you can on screen, because the printer driver “invents” in between pixels (interpolates it up) as it converts the image. What you see is the lack of detail and biting sharpness that you get from a MF camera.

    And 30 x 20 inches isnt very big. You can get a print that size on most high streets for the cost of 3 beers. The difference here between prints from my d700 and the d800 are HUGE!

    Now consider crops… Or image leveling, lens correction, etc all taking away sharpness. Until you see the huge difference and understand the physics you wont get it.

    Less advantage if you stick to tiny images, or viewing on low res 100ppi monitors obviously.
    But view the full image on screen whatever percentage that is, or print both at any size you wish, and the D800 is indistinguishable from the D4 in regards noise. And at lower ISOs has more dynamic range, and enough pixels to print bigger prints without resorting to fax machine dpi levels!

    There are those that love the D800 and those that plainly dont understand it or physics.

    Noise, blur, etc is a function on input sensor AREA and output AREA. Not pixel COUNT.

    Detail is a function of lens capability and pixel DENSITY.

    Those that dont get this plainly dont really understand cameras.

  • burgerman

    What does a D4 do better? Almost nothing other than speed. And its FAST!
    Its 1/3rd of a stop better at high ISO noise. Which is invisible! And it maintains dynamic range better at higher ISOs. But when its dark who cares about that.

    And it has smaller files for those sad people that worry because their computer is out of date. With 12 terabyte of hard disk, a quad core cpu, USB 3, and 12gb three channel fast ram I cant see any real difference in speed or storage issues. Computers are cheap, get over it.

    • Michael

      Shooting RAW at 100000 shots per year (a very high rate, you’d exhaust your shutter in two years) you’d only be paying about $300 per year. 4GB RAM is sufficient for it, unless you do panorama which you shouldn’t need to with such high resolution. Most computers already have sufficient processing power and RAM to handle D800′s file. For those with lousy RAM and lousy processor, you only need to spend less than $200 to upgrade to suitable speed.

  • burgerman

    Just took 2 pictures of my german shephard dog two days ago. My D700 is gone. So borrowed my mates D3S.

    D800 and D3S printed from iso 400 at 30 inch wide with same 105vr lens. One shows a dog. The other shows a dog that you can see evey hair, and its fur looks softer. Less sharpening but masses more visible detail. No comparison.

  • Remi

    The conclusion we already knew since a long time (which you really don’t need a to be a genius to find it) is completely stupid !!!
    Of course you won’t see any different when looking the images at the same size ! But if you only will look your pictures at the same size than your earlier 12MP pictures why the hell would you buy a D800 ?!?

    the real conclusion is YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE ! because having a 36MP sensor camera you will look at your pictures more closely or print them in bigger size and then YOU WILL SEE THE DIFFERENCE…

    how can such a dumb article be published on a website (NR) where so many people will read it…

    • burgerman

      its maybe not the website thats dumb here…

      Equal performance to D4 in the dark? Yep.
      Medium format resolution and detail handheld in the daytime? Better than D4? Yep… You better believe it.

      Medium format quality on a tripod at night? Yep…

    • Sien

      Dear Remi,

      the article is totally right. It is true, that one will probably want to print bigger when buying a D800 but that’s not the point.
      With bigger prints, people tend to look at them from a greater distance. So effectively each picture has the same size on the human retina. That’s why DxO normalizes the picture size (in print mode) before it measures SNR, DR and so on. So technically speaking, they are measuring what you see looking at a picture and not what you could see if you were peeping details.
      Of course you could look at a wall sized picture from only 2 feet (1/2 m) away but where’s the point in doing so?
      The advantage the D800 offers is detail. You can see the difference between a high resolution sensor and a standard one almost independently from print size. That’s what Nikon’s claim about Medium Format capabilities is all about.
      I hope I was able to shed some light on this difficult topic. :)

      Greetings
      Sien

      • burgerman

        I didnt think it was difficult. Unlike most of the people here.

  • http://sorinvacaru.photoshelter.com Sorin Vacaru

    These statements are somewhat misleading from both sides: it is true that diffraction is the same regardless of what sensor we have behind the lens. I guess it is a half empty vs. half full discussion. On one hand, diffraction won’t change with pixel density; on the other hand, the net effect of diffraction is that it reduces the effective resolution of the sensor. The higher the pixel density, the larger the loss, expressed in percentage of the total resolution. So, if you have a 10 MP sensor, you may obtain a 9 MP equivalent image. Big deal. The sensor performs near its specifications. If you have an 18 MP sensor, you will get an image with half the resolution it was designed for. If you understand and factor it in your work, you will be fine. Otherwise, you may be unpleasantly surprised.

    When it comes to noise, the discussion is somewhat similar, but there are differences due to the physics of extracting more useful data from smaller photosites.

    • burgerman

      At f11 its amazing. At F16 you may lose some detail, but its way better than the D700 is at any aperture. You lose some resolution, but its still way better. But you know this so avoid f16 if you are going to print 7 feet wide.

    • Anthony

      At least someone who seems to understand the L in Diffraction-Limited Aperture. The author doesn’t seem to really get it. An argument is made for higher pixel count while admitting that it’s useless.

      • Michael

        Even after being diffraction limited, the D800 is still gonna be sharper than D700 due to a weaker low pass filter.

  • Ertan

    Excellent. Get a 36MP camera and decrease pixel count to get rid of those issues? Great suggestion!

    • burgerman

      There are no ISSUES…

      Only a bigger more detailed image. You dont need to downsize, thats just to compare like with like. On screen. Yet another person that simply doesent get it…

  • Trevor

    This has probably been said before above, but I think everyone saying that the author is just dismissing issues by saying “make the size smaller” is missing a crucial point: the resolution of the D800 gives you opportunities that the resolution of the D3s,D700, or D3x don’t give you.

    If you put all the files in the same smaller size, the negatives of the D800 are naturally corrected. However, if you enlarge the images of the other cameras, the D800 will outshine them.

    In other words, if you need a 36mp shot, the D800 is naturally better. If you only need a 12 or 24mp shot, the D800 loses no ground quality-wise. The only trade-off is filesize and FPS. And, as the author points out, 4fps isn’t terrible and filesize always becomes less of an issue over time.

    If those trade-offs allow Nikon to market better, make some headway in MF territory, and still keep a cheap price, it sounds good to me. Of course, I have no dog in this fight, so it’s just my 2 cents.

    • burgerman

      >>>In other words, if you need a 36mp shot, the D800 is naturally better. If you only need a 12 or 24mp shot, the D800 loses no ground quality-wise

      No, it gains quality. A downsampled image loses the low pass filter and the bayer blur. In ALL shots, the photos are cleaner and sharper than a 12 or 16 million pixel camera can do once resized or printed. The thing gives better 12mp images than any 12mp camera can. My 100 ISO photos downsized to 4240 px wide, same as D700 are just massively sharper than a natural D700 shot…

      here is a 6400 ISO shot!
      resized to D700 size…
      Of my dog (sorry no cat!) next to my PC for example. Exif intact.
      I cant get it this sharp at base iso with a d700… The 36mp version is extremely detailed… It was JPG from cam with sharpening set to 2 before resizing in corel photoshop… No photoshop on my laptop. Looks great on my 30 inch monitor. Looks better still in full size!

      http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/DOG.JPG

      • Trevor

        I’m not sure I follow on how down sampling “loses the low pass filter and the bayer blur,” but I think we can both agree that the D800′s high mp count is not a downside when comparing images at the same resolution.

        Nice looking dog!

        • Michael

          I think what he meant is downsampling decreases the blur caused by the Low Pass Filter and Bayer algorithms.

  • Sloaah

    Motion blur and diffraction are certainly not impacted. These are not sensor issues.

    Noise is more complicated, and can be affected by resolution: you are working with less space, and generally this exacerbates things like heat issues and various forms of interference, which cause noise. Also, the sensor tech is different: everything becomes harder to do at higher MPs since you are working with smaller pixels. For example, gapless micro lenses debuted on the D3, which had very large pixels. The D3x certainly did not have the noise performance of the D3; the 5D Mk II still fell a little short.

    What is definitely a mistake is comparing 100% crops; but people seem to be getting better at this, thankfully. Still MP count does affect noise characteristics to some degree, although less so than most imagine.

    • burgerman

      Yes the D800 is just an impossible to see 1/3rd stop behind the D4 according to the DXOmark tech testing.

      And in prints thats exactly what I see.

      No difference between D3s and D800 in regards noise at hi iso. But more detail. And massively better detail at lower ISOs and generally better sharper pictures with more information that is easily seen even in 24 inch images.

      • Michael

        Correction. 1/6 of a stop. That is totally impossible to see.

    • Michael

      The D3x had similar noise performance compared to D3.

  • Andrew

    One reason to get a high performance, high MP camera like the D800 (if one can afford it) is the future. That is, future proofing your pictures. Imagine if the original movie producers had high definition movie cameras, then those pictures will be stunning with today’s high definition TVs. Taking a picture that can scale up to very large print sizes at 300 dpi will preserve that image file for posterity. And when large format printers become inexpensive and of-course ink cost is significantly cheaper or one can walk into a mall and order that $5 large sized print , one would at least have a treasure trove of incredibly detailed picture images to choose from.

  • Paperman

    In contrast to the author , Nikon USA says “careful about diffraction ” .

    Page 13 & 16 – D800 Technical Guide

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

    • burgerman

      If you want better results from your lenses that takeFULL advantage of the high resolution he is right. But it will make more detailed prints than a D4 or any lower res camera, REGARDLESS OF F STOP. Total resolution will always be better but not by as much as it could have been.

      • Paperman

        Are you saying an image taken with 36 Mp at f32 will be better in resolution than an image taken with a 12 Mp camera at f8 with same lens ?? – After all, that is what “regardless of f-stop” means …

        • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

          A 36MP at f32 will be sharper than 12MP at f32.

    • Michael

      Why do they say that? Because they know that there are a significant group of pixel peepers that buys their camera.

  • Ravi

    Diffraction may not be affected by the sensor and may depend on the lens, as this article says. But, there are lenses over the sensor, the micro lenses, which are sized according to the pixels on the sensor. Doesn’t this size affect something called Diffraction Limited Aperture where The smaller the pixels the wider the aperture needs to be for perfectly sharp images?

    • burgerman

      Oh god. I give up.

      It seems most people in the modern world dont have the slightest grasp of physics. Or whats actually going on.

      • ertan

        Yes, just give up.

    • Michael

      You can change the aperture of the microlenses can you?

  • Michael

    By the way, this article focuses on saying that things being displayed or printed at the same size. But at the same size, you still get the advantage of having a higher PPI/DPI.

  • M

    so my D40 with 6mpx rocks big time, the best camera ever! :D

  • John Swan

    Let me summarize if you will:

    Nikon Fan before 36MP sensor: “ZOMG CANON SENSORS SUCK DIFFRACTION DIFFRACTION DIFFRACTION!!”
    Nikon Fan after 36MP sensor: “DIFFRACTION DOESN’T MATTER DIFFRACTION DOESN’T MATTER”

    • Michael

      Realise that the Canon’s trinity is not as sharp as Nikon’s trinity?

  • burgerman

    Canon sensors DO suck. There isnt one anywhere near the top on DXOmark, for good reason. Youi need to scroll down a few screens to find one…

    And whats the point of resolution if the canon shooters have to use Nikon wide angles and adapters to get a sharp shot?

    We wont mention all that CA fringing that nikons automatically fixed in camera for years either… Or the plasticy cameras… Or dodgy flash exposures. Or focus systems…

    • Michael

      Not to say, Canon also have lousy auto ISO system, Sigma quality 24-70 and 70-200, very high read noise (low dynamic range), inferior entry level lenses compared to Nikon, and many more. I’m glad I went with Nikon.

  • Hom Thogan

    And where are the real life test shots to back up these claims?

    Sorry but I can write that high megapixel cameras tend up to show horses as unicorns but unless I show some proof then it is a ridiculous statement, just as ridiculous as this “article”.

    • burgerman

      You are one of the ones that doesent really understand physics, testing, the scientific method etc are you not… I

      can see clearly that the above testing and statements are all true. And have tested and printed from canons best up to the newest one.

      They really are a generation behind now. 13th best sensor on DXO after many nikons and a bunch of others. The newest canon camera has not been tested by DXO yet. So it may well jump back in at the top. We will soon see. These sony/nikon sensors are good though so its going to have to be pretty special.

      But it seems the D800 (at least mine) also has a very light low pass/anti aliasing filter and needs almost zero sharpening from a raw file. And the D800E has non at all. Wheras the canon seems to have a fairly heavy one. So its not likely it can be as sharp as the two nikons either.

      • GrumpyDiver

        Agreed Burgerman. This is pretty basic physics and you are right that most of the posters don’t understand the basics and go off on a tangent and come to some very interesting “conclusions” that can be rather wild.

        I remember the days in high school when I ran the Camera Club, there was a mix of members. Those of us that understood the physics (and math and chemistry) went off and studied engineering and got an even better understanding of the maths and sciences. In my case, I maintained photography as a hobby. Some of the camera club members that did not do well in the maths and sciences went off to study photography or other non-technical fields.

        They may have become very good photographers, but that doesn’t mean they understand the physics or the math. Somehow just because they are photographers some people seem to think they must understand this material but they don’t. They write all kinds of things that gets other people who don’t understand the physics (which by the way also means understanding the math) into a tizzy and all kinds or wild and irrational postings result. The spout off things about sensor size and low light performance and haven’t got a clue as to how a CMOS sensor works. I can respect someone who does not know something , and wants to understand. People that pretend they understand, but really don’t, I really have a problem with.

        I rather like the saying “it is better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”. A similar statement can be made regardings some of the posts.

        Ravi; the microlenses act completely differently than your camera lens. Think of the microlens as a funnel that directs light (photons) into the photodetector, while your camera lens actually captures the actual image. You want to get as much light into the photodetector as possible and this is what these components help to do. All photodetectors do is count the number of photons that have hit them. Other ciruitry amplifies and processes this data.

        Hom; Your statement is a little bit like saying “I won’t believe that a SmartCar gets better fuel economy than a dumptruck unless you let me drive one”. Showing you test shots is not going to prove anything, because a test shot is going to show you the influence of multiple variables. Even in a studio shot; same camera and same lens one shot wide open (where lens performance is “worst”) and stopped down all the way (where diffraction becomes apparent, but depth of field is large). How will you be able to separate out these complex interactions and isolate the effect that you want to see?

        It’s a little bit like going to your doctor when you have an infection and you are prescribed a specific antibiotic. Do you argue that he or she has given you the wrong one? If I discuss the Rayleigh criterion or duality of light, or airy disks, etc. your eyes will probably glaze over. I suggest you need to understand a bit about them to intelligently discuss diffraction, not the sample images you are asking for, as these would not prove a lot.

        • Michael

          +1

        • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

          You don’t need to learn physics to understand this actually. This is about logic. Those people who doesn’t understand this can try to test this out and prove me wrong.

  • Thomas

    The article here states that pixel size does not affect diffraction. This article, while slightly dated, states the opposite. Which one can we count on?
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

    I want to know for sure the effects of pixel size vs lens diffraction.

    • GrumpyDiver

      Thomas – please read the article carefully. Both articles say the same thing; senor pitch i.e. sensor size = megapixels have NO impact on diffraction.

      What the CiC article states is that a finer (higher MP) sensor will be able to resolve down to the level where diffraction can be detected. A smaller MP count sensor (at the same sensor size) will have photosensors that are so large that they cannot resolve details that are fine enough to indicate that the lens has been stopped down so far that the diffraction limit comes into play.

  • Joe Zilch

    I have to point out the part that bothers me from the article –

    “Computer are getting cheaper nowadays, a $1000 computer could easily handle the files. 4 FPS is actually not bad too, and professionals sports photographers used to shoot at 4.5 FPS.”

    Yeah, computers are cheaper but it doesn’t mean that I should have to invest in a new one simply because I upgraded cameras unless you want to factor that into the argument over price. The camera ceases to cost “x” when I have to spend an additional “x” to use it.

    As for FPS, portrait photogs used to shoot with their subject’s head held in a brace because of the slow speed of the shutter so that must be good enough for you too, right? I mean, it used to be good enough.

    In fact, didn’t we go to the moon with 64K of RAM? Do you really need more RAM than it took to reach outer space?

    Please. Don’t tell us in one sentence that we just need to drop $1K+ on a new computer and then tell us that outdated tech regarding FPS is A-OK because it used to work just fine.

    • GrumpyDiver

      Frankly, image processing is not going to tax your computer. The only reason I’ve upgraded a computer is for video processessing; rendering HD takes a lot of computing power. Doing a single image, even heavy duty effects or filter processisng does not take all that long.

      Actually, that’s not totally true. I installed a 4TB Hitachi hard drive to handle the large file size of the D800…

      • d800 shooooooooter

        Beyond basic processing like sorting and making some RAW adjustments in Lightroom/Aperture, the D800 file size definitely does put a heavy load on the computer. If you’re using some of the various plugins for LR/Photoshop that stack various filter effects, and you’re doing that across a large number of images, a faster computer will save a ton of time. And working of an SSD will make the whole thing run a bit snappier, too. As a generalization, I think D800 shooters that upgrade their computers (processing speed, RAM, faster hard drives, etc.) are more likely to get good ROI from that upgrade if they are shooting higher volumes of shots. All I can really claim is impatience.. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/leong.qijin Leong Qi Jin

          So far, I’m using a mid-low end gaming computer with IPS screen to edit my photos. It’s not that laggy, until you edit panoramas. Anyway, those lags are caused by panoramas, not D800′s files.

    • Michael

      The computers needs to be better to support the programs etc. But sports haven’t gone much faster the last 10 years.

  • Tim Jones

    This doesn’t make any sense.

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