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Too many megapixels?


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#21 craig

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 06:18 AM

If you read Jim Watt's webpage, he claims that the images captured by his D60 is a higher quality image than that captured by a drum scanner despite the smaller file size. A higher fidelity file should interpolate better for enlargements.


This is by no means a consensus opinion. A properly executed drum scan will yield results that will outperform the interpolated digital file at larger sizes. Defining "larger sizes" has been a matter of much debate, but usually goes beyond normal printing sizes of up to 11x17.


Absolutely. A one pixel image interpolates well, too. Absolutely no noise.
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#22 scorpio_fish

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 07:12 AM

Absolutely. A one pixel image interpolates well, too. Absolutely no noise.



LOL.

But wait, don't we need to two points in order to interpolate?
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#23 craig

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 10:07 AM

Absolutely. A one pixel image interpolates well, too. Absolutely no noise.


LOL.

But wait, don't we need to two points in order to interpolate?

You got me there, but the files will be twice as big!

I was actually trying to make a serious point, though. The terms "higher quality" and "high fidelity" need to be qualified. There's no doubt that the lower resolution image has less potential for detail and detail is certainly important in any discussion of quality or fidelity. I took that to the absurd extreme of "no resolution" to point out that an enlargement of a high quality image without detail isn't interesting.

At any rate I agree, few people accept that a D60 produces superior images compared to film and a high quality scanner. Most people focus on the resolving power of the imager compared to film where there's no contest. I've heard credible assertions that the resolving power of the lenses are the limiting factor. If and when that's true, Watt's claim might be true, but only after dynamic range issues are addressed.

Coming from a video background, I find dealing 6MP RAW files on today's computers fast, easy and painless. It's all a matter of perception. Try spending 2-3 hours a day loading and cataloging raw footage from one day's dives. I find digital still liberating. I have much more free time to relax than with video even though I'm doing most of my editing on the trip.
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#24 chrisg

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 05:30 AM

Can you explain in more detail? Maybe its an artifact of the process, but usually the lower the quality of the sampling in the final image, the poorer source material you can get away with. Maybe its an artifact of the process used to make the plates? I'm a techy, but don't know much about how images are prepared for printing presses. I can see from all conventionally printed materials handy that the sampling "foot print" is pretty large.


Hi chrisg,

I'll dig aroung to see if I can find something online that explains this in better detail and will get back to you.

OK, here are a few good links:
http://marvin.mrtoads.com/index.html
http://entertainment...t-printing3.htm

To summarize, a photograph must be broken up into different sized dots (screened) so it can be output to film and plates and get printed on a press. You'll see an example of this screening if you use a magnifying glass on any printed photograph. To make these dots, an image must be twice the resolution of the line screen. This is true with both B&W and color. To make things even worse, every color you see printed off a press is done with various combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. No red, no blue, no green, just CMYK*. So getting a nice turquoise background that fades to deep azure is a read trick when using only CMYK.

*With the exception of Hi-Fi color, which I know someone would call me on if I didn't mention.

What it boils down to, is that the printing process hasn't changed significantly in 100 years. Today there are digital presses, but they still use dots and CMYK and many of the traditional theories. Until this changes, we are going to suffer from some loss of quality in our beautiful underwater images.

Hope this helps.

I understand how the halftoning works and cmyk. I just don't exactly understand why it takes higher resolution source data for to produce a
"bad" (compared to photographic prints or inkjet) print in this way than it takes to produce a "good" print from other processes. I'd guess it has something to do with the way the plates are made rather than the nature of the actual physical printing process.

#25 mellingson

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 11:53 PM

I thought my Sony w/ 5mp in jpg printed 8.5x11 nicely on my Epson photo printer. I guess size does matter :huh:

Anyway, don't let me stop you from adding to this thread. Is interesting.

#26 Simon K.

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 03:47 AM

Just for your amusement and nice for the discussion.

French and Canadian scientist have just installed the "Megacam" at one of the smaller and older telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. It is a Digital Camera with a resolution of 340 Megapixel (!!!!)

Here is their Webpage

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#27 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 06:17 AM

Those eyes in the sky looking back at you are at least 3-times that!

Back to the plot...

you would have to be peeling onions to put a D60 shot in the same league as a drum scanned 35mm slide at any resolution.

Check out also the grain size of 100ASA Velvia to realise what digital has to compete with.

#28 wetpixel

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 02:33 PM

you would have to be peeling onions to put a D60 shot in the same league as a drum scanned 35mm slide at any resolution..

This depends on what your subject matter is, doesn't it? If you are shooting something in good lighting with not much DETAIL (lots of smooth areas), a clean digital camera will capture something that can, properly processed, will at least compete favorably with a high quality drum scan.

What's the "any resolution" part? What does that mean? (confused)
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#29 wetpixel

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 03:00 PM

This discussion prompted me to post the following page:

http://www.echeng.co...igital/d60crop/

I processed a D60 image and took some 100% crops from it. There is no scanned slide to compare it to. I'm not interested in that. I just wanted to show that if properly processed, a D60 image looks damn good. :huh:
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#30 craig

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 03:37 PM

I agree your sample looks very, very good, but you tipped your hand with the last sentence:

"I think it looks pretty damn good, and will take it over a scanned slide any day."

So really you're in the stealth "D60 better than scanned slide" camp. Do you believe the results would have actually been inferior if slide film was present in place of your CMOS sensor? If so, is it the film itself, the scan, or the two steps together make the results worse? I would be delighted to have achieved your result, but I also believe if that level of skill were applied with a comparable film camera and a high quality scan, the result would have been at least as good. Come on, Eric, jump in here!

Have to add the :ph34r: ninja smiley here. I'm baitin' ya.
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#31 wetpixel

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 03:45 PM

hehehe. yeah. Actually, I'm in the stealth "1Ds is better than film" camp, but I like my D60, too. :huh:

I like slide film. I still have one film camera! I'm just not willing to expose, develop, scan, and clean each slide. So it doesn't really matter which one I think is better, because I've pretty much made a complete transition to digital by now.

I'm sure a well-exposed slide drum-scanned with a very expensive machine would be fantastic. It's just that I can snap this shot -- and 100 more like it, if I want -- and be looking at them (or printing them) a few minutes later.

And, there's no way I'd have a drum-scanner at home. My scanner is a Nikon Coolscan IV ED, which is not going to achieve what I can get of a D60. Hmm. I wonder where my scanner is? I think someone has it. :(
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#32 craig

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 04:34 PM

OK. I agree with all that except possibly the last point. I own a slide scanner only so I can scan other people's slides. How weird is that?

I'm not sure how good the scanner has to be before it equals what a current 6MP camera can do. I doubt the 1200dpi Photosmart will. I'm confident the drum scanners will, but they get pricey in a hurry. I think a drum scanner would look very good in your home.
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#33 dhaas

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 04:37 PM

Digital versus film......Like comparing a painting to a lithograph. Both can look good depending on the subject, lighting and "message" the photographer intends. Constantly debating "sharpness" and "resolution", both highly speculative perceptions by anyone viewing a photograph doesn't hold water when debating film versus digital.

I'm with Eric, after going digital, film isn't an option anymore. I will admit to mostly shooting editorial work versus "fine art" but today's printers and www.pictopia.com can make almost any computer processed subsea image look great.

If you're a DAN member check out page 32 of the May/June issue coming your way soon. My article has a sepia toned image on the opening page captured with a 2.0 megapixel Canon A40 camera! No additional processing and the file was barely 1 MB. Images on the facing page were taken on Kodak E100VS film (tack sharp with a 8X loupe) and scanned by the art department at DAN. Can't judge Alert Diver's paper, printing process (since Skin Diver's demise) or other factors. All I know is the digital files are consistently producing better end products , at least for me. Art Directors embracing digital camera technology and agencies will be ahead of others as they learn what file criteria is important and help educate their customers, too.

Shooting digital also encourages risk taking in ALL types of photography due to the instant feedback and cost savings. If all we want to do is duplicate Geri Murphy and Stephen Frink photos (both very good shooters who's work is constantly being pigeon-holed by editor's using the same old style shots over and over) we should all just switch to video. CFWA has been done to death and we all keep replicating it (mental note, slice my own wrist if I take one more photo like that on my next dive trip :huh: If you look at UW magazines from Europe and Asia you will see photos unlike ANYTHING published over in the U.S. Not sure if it's other influences (art, appreciation for the simpler things in life) or whatever......I just know images I've seen in those magazines are almost dreamlike.....Very cool......

Sorry for the rant.....Digital has given me the freedom to go in new directions, especially underwater at a lower overall cost. All we need is more time in the sea to experiment.

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#34 craig

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 05:02 PM

Shooting digital also encourages risk taking in ALL types of photography due to the instant feedback and cost savings. If all we want to do is duplicate Geri Murphy and Stephen Frink photos ... we should all just switch to video.

Exactly! Risk taking. New techniques. That's what digital enables. But don't switch to video. The UW video guys are also stuck in the mud with the same old, tired techniques but there isn't any digital to save them! Just because technology can liberate you doesn't mean you'll be set free.
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#35 wetpixel

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 05:35 PM

Craig - What about the new consumer HD camera coming out? I know it's compressed and stored on minidv tapes, but it's cheap. :huh:

JVC GR-HD1

JVC JY-HD10

The revolution continues -- even for video! err... at bit more slowly, maybe. :(
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#36 wetpixel

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 05:57 PM

OK.  I agree with all that except possibly the last point.  I own a slide scanner only so I can scan other people's slides. How weird is that?

I'm not sure how good the scanner has to be before it equals what a current 6MP camera can do.  I doubt the 1200dpi Photosmart will.  I'm confident the drum scanners will, but they get pricey in a hurry.  I think a drum scanner would look very good in your home.

That's the same reason I have a scanner! :huh:

And I concur: a drum scanner would look fantastic in my house. They're purty.

Posted Image
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#37 james

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 07:34 PM

Do you think it comes with the girl? ;-)

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#38 marriard

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 08:17 PM

Back to the original subject:

Just did four 40"x26"+ images for a tradeshow booth. Three of the images were mine, from my FujiS2 and the images were more than fine at this size. In fact one was done at 48" x 30" and still came out very nicely. Looking at the print, I should have no trouble with 2 of the 3 images going to 6' on the longest side and still be very happy (even with slide you have trouble at these sizes)

The one image the client had selected that was from a Oly4040 (not my image, but in my library) was not. Too much noise and pixelation at the size needed.

Some of this was the image (very, very sharp) , but in reality most of it was the extra megapixels.

M

#39 craig

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 10:46 PM

Craig -  What about the new consumer HD camera coming out?  I know it's compressed and stored on minidv tapes, but it's cheap. :)

JVC GR-HD1

JVC JY-HD10

The revolution continues -- even for video!   err... at bit more slowly, maybe. :)

I'm excited about HD but not certain about the time frame. My immediate thinking is that it could be very interesting even when the target is progressive scan SD.

I think that with still photography you have the case where people are very technique limited, at least those who dive only a couple times a year. Digital is nearly a revolution in that respect. With video, DV provided a significant quality bump and eliminated generation loss, but it didn't really do anything else. The rise of non-linear editing on the cheap was more a function of the progress of computers and storage than DV itself (although it was Sony that actually brought us firewire). In any case, digital hasn't really altered the way video is done, just improved its quality. Video pros still preach the same tired techniques: everything has to have a story line, don't cross the line, establishing shot then close-up, etc. I get really bored doing the same "story of a dive", but then I probably won't win any contests, either. I think video pros have lost touch with the tourist UW videographer as if they can't remember the last time they dived for enjoyment.

I am very excited about getting a shot at HD underwater. I hear it's much more demanding of technique due to its resolving power and more limited DOF. Of course, then I'll be truly a slave of two masters. Still is way too much fun to set aside.
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#40 John Bantin

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:20 AM

I know this is a very old thread but it makes interesting reading. No-one seems to mention bit-depth. When I started using digital I supplied 16-bit files but was told by an unwilling-to-modernise production man that the bit-depth was not sufficient.
It now seems that printers actually use 8-bit files so once you've done you converting to TIFF, supply as 8-bit files and you will get more files in the space. As I understand it, (and I may be wrong) bigger 16-bit files will simply be converted before printing.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?