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Camera conference General and model-specific E-System camera chat.

View Poll Results: For your next (Micro) Four Thirds camera do you want more or simply better pixels?
More pixels please. 1 1.75%
The same number but better quality pixels please. 51 89.47%
Not sure. 5 8.77%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 27th June 2011
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More pixels or better pixels?

Olympus and Panasonic Lumix have been using the same 12MP LiveMOS Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds sensor for nearly three years since the launch of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 in September 2008. Panasonic introduced a new 16MP LiveMOS sensor recently with the new DMC-G3. It appears that the new Panasonic 16MP LiveMOS sensor performs about the same as the older 12MP sensor but of course with 25% more pixels, see the DxOMark ratings here:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cam...nd3%29/Olympus

But see what Sony can achieve with a similar pixel pitch to the 12.3MP sensor:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cam...3%29/Panasonic

So the question is, do you want more pixels at about the same image quality per pixel that we have now, or is 12MP enough but with improved pixel quality?

Please register your vote!

Ian
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  #2  
Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Same pixels please*, but sharper (anti alias filter I guess) and better at high ISO.

*Here's my theory, speaking as an engineer.

If I wanted to see a distinct improvment in your image, I would want it sampled twice as often. I.e - a new pixel in between each of my current pixels. Provided the lens was good enough then that would be a real step forward.

So, you have doubled the pixels in both directions. So a proper step up from a 12Mpixel sensor would be a 48Mpixel sensor

Hmm.
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
Same pixels please*, but sharper (anti alias filter I guess) and better at high ISO.

*Here's my theory, speaking as an engineer.

If I wanted to see a distinct improvment in your image, I would want it sampled twice as often. I.e - a new pixel in between each of my current pixels. Provided the lens was good enough then that would be a real step forward.

So, you have doubled the pixels in both directions. So a proper step up from a 12Mpixel sensor would be a 48Mpixel sensor

Hmm.
Actually, if you consider the pixel array as a two dimensional matrix, then placing an extra pixel equidistant from the existing pixels would only double the resolution, not quadruple it?

So have you voted?

Ian
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Actually, if you consider the pixel array as a two dimensional matrix, then placing an extra pixel equidistant from the existing pixels would only double the resolution, not quadruple it?

So have you voted?

Ian
Yep, vote first, comment later is my rule :-)

Pixels:

My '620 is (say) 4k by 3k = 12Mpixels

If I squeeze in these extra pixels along the horizontal axis, it will be 8k by 3k, and as you say, 24Mpixels. Clearly the horizontal axis now has twice the spatial resolution (which is what I want to see) but the vertical axis needs the same treatment as well. Hence 4k x 3k has to become 8k x 6k to get twice the spatial resolution in both directions. I maintain you would need to double the res in both directions to give you that smack in the face, can't miss it, real step forward.

I mean, you would think the jump from my old 8Mp 8080 to the 12Mp '620 would be enormous, but (raw for raw) it wasn't really

Pete
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
Yep, vote first, comment later is my rule :-)

Pixels:

My '620 is (say) 4k by 3k = 12Mpixels

If I squeeze in these extra pixels along the horizontal axis, it will be 8k by 3k, and as you say, 24Mpixels. Clearly the horizontal axis now has twice the spatial resolution (which is what I want to see) but the vertical axis needs the same treatment as well. Hence 4k x 3k has to become 8k x 6k to get twice the spatial resolution in both directions. I maintain you would need to double the res in both directions to give you that smack in the face, can't miss it, real step forward.

I mean, you would think the jump from my old 8Mp 8080 to the 12Mp '620 would be enormous, but (raw for raw) it wasn't really

Pete
OK, I was thinking of this:



Code:
O O O O O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O


O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N


Where O = 'original' pixels and N = 'new pixels'

Ian
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
OK, I was thinking of this:



Code:
O O O O O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O


O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N
O O O O O O
 N N N N N N


Where O = 'original' pixels and N = 'new pixels'

Ian
Ooh. "code".. Let me try that

If we were upgrading a camera design here to offer twice the resolution we would want to go for this

Code:
1 ONONONONON
Code:
O
 2 NNNNNNNNNNN
 3 ONONONONONO
 4 NNNNNNNNNNN
 5 ONONONONONO
(Sorry about that - the {code} thing is clearly cleverer than me.. But you see what I mean..

Where lines 2 and 4 are whole new lines you didn't get before, so for each "old" you and up adding three "news"

Now that would have some serious resolution :-)
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Numbers-wise, 12 Mpix does me fine. It is "enough" for my use of the camera, I don't see any great advantage in an incremental increase. Any application that I can imagine using that wants more is probably pathological and would need an order of magnitude increase.

Despite the better high ISO results the E-5 gives, there is still plenty of room for improvement there. I suspect that a lot of the recent improvement has come from smarter processing of the sensor data rather than the sensor itself, which is more or less confirmed by Ian's comments. I find it pretty good for sports work up to about 1600, but at 3200 the images are reasonably clean but lose quite a bit of detail. This isn't a theoretical requirement - at one rugby match in January I was using the 150mm f/2 wide open with no converter, shooting at 3200 and eventually almost gave up because the shutter speeds were still too slow.

Ciao ... nocturnal John
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

To drift off-topic a bit, I wondered about monochrome sensors. The sensors we use are basically monochrome devices which construct colour data by having lots more actual sensor sites than there are pixels, with coloured filters in front - the so-called Bayer Matrix. The processing the camera combines the data from the individual sites to give us RGB values. This has two effects - it vastly reduces the potential pixel count, and because each sensor site has two thirds of the light filtered out it limits low light sensitivity.

Having been used to shooting bands in badly lit pubs on black & white film, I could get quite excited about using a 30 Mpix sensor ran well at ISO 10000. It should be feasible using current technolology but sadly I suspect the market would be minuscule.

Ciao ... John still in the dark
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

As regards Ian and Snaarman,

Oh No. Anoraks.

I'll take better quality as increased no of pixels means much larger files therefore the computer has to be upgraded to cope. So more incidental costs that have to be written in.
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer View Post
As regards Ian and Snaarman,

Oh No. Anoraks.

I'll take better quality as increased no of pixels means much larger files therefore the computer has to be upgraded to cope. So more incidental costs that have to be written in.
Now there's the answer of a stereotypical Scotsman

Ian
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

12 mpx
0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

48 mpx
0X0X0X0X0
X X X X X X
0X0X0X0X0
X X X X X X
0X0X0X0X0
X X X X X X
0X0X0X0X0
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

I really don't see I'd need/want more pixels for the images I take. I wouldn't want to spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for a large number of large files to be downloaded from the camera or card reader. I agree with John re the low light sensitivity and if this could be improved that would be the first thing I'd plump for.
I've voted.
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

For me, it's all a question of the quality/price ratio. So whether it's 12 or 16mp is a secondary factor. This is also why I'd rather keep an E-3 and spend money on quality glass rather than upgrade to an E-5.

So I vote for better quality. And to be more specific, I'd like the better quality to be focused on results under low light conditions. I think we can all agree that the current crop of Olympus products do give pleasing results when the conditions are conducive to photography.
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Old 27th June 2011
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

No more pixels with four thirds but if you look at full frame (my eventual goal), the more the better.
Olympus will be more and more off the pace when it comes to attracting new people to photography. It is these people that think the higher the MP count, the better the camera.
Unfortunately.
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Re: More pixels or better pixels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by benvendetta View Post
It is these people that think the higher the MP count, the better the camera.
It must be a factor. Then again, I don't think Olympus attracts people who only think that way. Already, if you make the choice to go for 4/3 or m4/3, you've already made a conscious decision. However, the pixel race must have played a part in the reason why Olympus have lost grounds and market share on the DSLR front.
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