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Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Comments

"Having owned a 24-MP camera for a while now, I'm not quite seeing who 36 MP is aimed at. I can hardly think of a reason for needing 24..."

How about the fact that with this degree of crop-ability, the focal length range of any lens you put on it is effectively doubled (sort of, approximately...)? Anyone who shoots wildlife, or is travelling, is going to benefit. Amongst others. I speak as a D700 owner who'd love a D800 for the above reasons.
Roy

36 meg? Well, if (like me) you want to crop in Pshop, its a good thing. And, at 12,000 per $, maybe worthwhile. Now all I have to do is win the lottery....

This will also raise interest in Nikon's sharpest optics, as the 36MP resolution will mercilessly highlight the flaws of all but a few of Nikon's best lenses. Given how Nikon's regular availabilty problems with lenses, lens supply will likely be the limiting factor on this camera's immediate potential. I do hope they come up with an ultra-high ISO capable D800S, though, this camera is not a direct D700 replacement.

Interesting that there is a standard version from Nikon without the anti-aliasing filter for $300 MORE (!).

There is a wonderful bit of writing in the Nikon PR which tap dances around that fact that they're leaving something out and making it like they're putting something in. And of course charging for that.

e.g. http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/02/07/Nikon_D800_D800E_launch

This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling [sic!] the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera.

They can't even spell "cancelling" correctly.

Except I don't think it's a replacement. I would not use a D800 for what I use my D700 for (general photography with a tilt towards high ISO, but no real need for super high resolution).

This seems like a more special purpose machine. I'd hope that the "real" replacement for the D700 is a smaller D700. Maybe a D350.

And it's essentially no bigger or heavier than the camera it replaces.

From some comparisons I've seen floating around the web, the D800 is actually a bit smaller.

I'll tell you one thing, the D800 just made the price of used D700's shoot right up. You think you're the only one wondering what you might need 36MP for? Imagine the wedding and events photographers shooting 1000's of photos per weekend with a D700 (there are many of these people out there). They are doing the math of how much it would cost to triple their hard drive storage space and upgrade their computer so it can handle 36MP RAW files vs just buying a couple more slightly loved D700's.

I know what I would choose.

The photo leading into your column "Movies and Photography" measures 470 X 286 pixels. It would not print well, but it will be seen by some bazillions of yer loyal followers. If it were printed huge from files of 36 megapixies or even 24, the audience would be negligible. This huge file/print thing baffles me. We live in 2012, remember?

«One thing that does remain to be seen whether medium-format cameramakers should be quaking in their boots.»

Not Leica. The S2 is a Veblen good for starters. And. The S series lenses will by themselves create a merket for the S3.

Pentax will be relieved. They now have the necessary excuse to kill the 645D project, which is a shame. They just didn't develop the lens line-up fast enough. And sorry, the legacy Pentax 645 glass cannot compete with modern Nikkor glass.

Leaf? They´re safe for now with 80mp sensors.

Curiously, Fuji rangefinder fans are now wondering if 16 megapixels will be enough. Anyone cancelling pre-orders?

Very impressive. Like the idea of being able to buy one with the filter. Why would anyone buy a D3X now?

It does NOT replace the 700.

As one who is making large prints - up to 3 by 5 feet - I could "possibly" welcome such a boost in pixels. All of my prints now originate from Nikon 12 megapixel cameras, both DX (D5000) and FX (D700). Frankly it is the cropping "power" I would have over my current situation that would grab me on occasion. But, lordy, what are the file sizes 36 megs brings forth? Stitching images together now, coupled with modest photoshop work, creates multi-gigabyte sized files. Frankly, I would have preferred a 16 to 18 megapixel D800.

It might cut a little into medium format sales, though there are other reasons to go medium format than resolution, as most folks here know, and 36 mp is still at the low end. My guess is it will appeal to people who would like to try medium format, but know there is no way they will ever be able to justify the price (even the Pentax).
I live in a heavy tourist town with lots of photo galleries, and the trend certainly is for mega-prints, at least for the galleries that can afford the high rent close to the cruise ship docks. The D800 might be useful there. I still can't bring myself to walk into the one gallery that specializes in giant back-lit glassy landscapes, the current velvet paintings of photography.

"some restrictions apply to PC-NIKKOR lenses"
Well, why would anybody be interested in perspective control or Scheimpflug (the German version says "PC-E") with such a camera anyway ...

Mike,
It will require the sharpest of sharp lenses to exploit its native resolution - and all at about 5.6 max.
The images I have seen so far are very soft and taken at smaller apertures.

I think you're off your game this morning, Mike: Another repetition of the "X megapixels is more than enough, who on earth needs Y!" statements that we've been hearing since the days of the Nikon D1 and Canon D60, topped off with a comment about how medium format companies are peeing in their pants because of the latest 6/8/12/16/21/36 megapixel DSLR. I expect (and usually get) something better than that from TOP.

"Having owned a 24-MP camera for a while now, I'm not quite seeing who 36 MP is aimed at. "

36mp will be overkill for a large number of photographers out there, but the crop factors this allow will be very nice: 1.2x, DX, and 5:4. 15.3mp in dx format. This allows d300s/d7000 users to upgrade without really loosing much if anything. They'll get the DX's 1.5x for telephoto with almost the same pixel density as their dedicated DX bodys. They'll also get a better AF system (same cam3500 as the D4).

The biggest detractors might be the dip in FPS and larger file sizes. The latter of which is a none issue as HDD, CF & SD memory keep getting larger and cheaper every year.

This looks like a really solid camera at a suprisingly affordable price(same as the D700 when it was introduced). That was probably my biggest surprise, considering how inflated the Nikon 1 series was.

Very nice. But no one seems to have twigged to the really important question! What are you going to use for lenses? Is the current crop of lenses - specifically the 24-70/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8 up to playing with 36MP?

I have two Nikons currently, only because I haven't gotten around to selling the older one yet. I've been thinking seriously of downsizing ie micro 4/3, so this annoucement hasn't fired me up much. I find the price painful to contemplate( not saying it's outrageous). I estimate the pixel size to be 4.9 microns, surely that will freak some folks out viz. shadow noise and diffraction.

Knew I couldn't afford it when the rumours started firming up so I put it out of my mind and am picking up a used a850 soon. Quite happy about it too. No camera envy here.

They've rounded the d800 into a blob ala Canon, unfortunately. The d700 has an edge to it, an attitude. Squared-off, chiseled.

Also why I like the a850/900 and also how I know Sony is going to muck that design up with blob. Everyone get blobby!

Ctein needs to quickly write another article about how more pixels are better before we're inundated with posts about 36 megapixels being too many.
:-)

Okay, Mike and Ctein, here is a question. Can standard full-frame 35mm lenses keep up with a 36 megapixel sensor, especially when the anti-aliasing filter is removed? I would love to hear your opinion.

I know this is going to sound petty but......

Is it just me or does the Nikon D800 and and Sony A77 beginning to look like the Pentax K10D/K20D ?

In terms features and such, I don't care. They have sort of met my requirements a 5D ago. Anything else after that is gravy for me.

Personally, the 800E. After using a NEX-5N vs still with current DSLRs, it would be tough to go backward.

They don't take the AA filter out on the D800E, they add another one that is supposed to counter the effects of the first one!

Well, I've been and had a good look at the sample images from the D800 in Photoshop.

The blue channel is very murky.

The images look way too harsh to me, as though they're over sharpened.
I wonder whether this was done in post or in camera? If it's the latter, it's NOT for me!

Small correction: Nikon doesn't take out the anti-aliasing filter in the D800E. They change the filter stack such that it doesn't act as an AA filter. DPreview.com's preview has an illustration of the D800/D800E filter stacks. It remains to be seen how this will differ in practice from AA-filter-less cameras such as the Leica M9.

On pixel-addicition: Less is more some say, as fewer pixels on a sensor of a given area means more light for each one and hence less noise. But, the more the merrier some say as they print a gorgeously sharp 40x60cm print (trivia: 40x60cm @300dpi equals 36MP).
But, I have heard someone with a large beard in a cornes whisper about the "resolution" of lenses, claiming you don't get more detail beyond 16MP on a fullframe sensor because even pro glass can't "render" that extreme amount of detail, you just get more pixels stuffed into the same details.
If the beardy quiet guy is right, sucks to be the one buying a $3k hoping for more detail - you should have sold your kids to finance a Hasselblad.
Maybe the nerds down at TOP could clarify...?

Sincerely, Perfectly Happy at 12MP

Rightly or wrongly, I think the collective gear-head mindset (of which I am as much afflicted as the next TOPper) has come to expect miracles on a regular basis. I have to say, based on the specs, the D800 looks like a pretty impressive feat of engineering, particularly when compared to, say, the D200, just 6-7 years ago. Can anyone think of a comparable leap in absolute image quality (or capability) in a comparable 6 year period of film photography? I can’t. In 1985 I was shooting Tri-X in a Pentax K1000. In 1989, I was shooting Tri-X in a Pentax LX. In 1994 I was shooting Tri-X in a Nikon F4. Notice a trend? However in 2005, I was shooting with an Epson RD-1 and a Canon digi-Rebel. Now I am shooting with a D3 and an M9, and all the APS-C options for Leica glass (Ricoh, Sony NEX, Olympus Pens etc.), have better high ISO performance (by several stops) than my 2005 cameras. Just amazing.

Apart from the intense rivalry between Canon and Nikon, who are these people who really need 36 million pixels? And I mean 'need', not 'want'. Me, I'm happy with my compact K-7 and I don't even remember how many pixels that has. But it has some FA Limited glass.

Let me one of the first to say that this ridiculous mp size will require everybody to get new computers, that the files will take forever to load, none of the glass will be good enough, only the best technique will be acceptable because of the small pixel pitch will mean we have blur with the slightest bit of shake, that it's absurd to have to pay more for a camera without an AA filter than with one, that it's way too heavy, that the Nikon naming-and-numbering system no longer makes sense, that you need to double the pixels before you can see the result in a print, and since the last Nikon was ~24 something, there's no point in getting this one, that it's virtually impossible to do serious work without 60p and only a monaural microphone, that the D700 has better high-ISO performance at a lower price...did I miss anything?

Three things that make me really excited about the D800:

1. 100% viewfinder frame coverage
2. Enough resolution to crop into a square format and still retain good resolution (approx 25 megapixels)
3. Dual CF / SD memory card slots

"mo' is just bettah"?
Wait...is Xander writing for TOP now?
Git back to class, kid.

That there Nikon is butt-fugly, just sayin'. ..the elephant man of cameras.

More on the AA filter blurb I mentioned above ...

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond800/page3.asp

In the D800 they use two layers of birefringent crystal (lithium niobate? something more exotic?) in the conventional manner: one layer blurs horizontally then the other blurs vertically.

In the D800E they still include these two layers though it looks like instead of being at 90 degrees orientation to each other they're 180 degrees.

The reason they don't remove the OLPF completely is that it also performs IR and UV blocking and has an AR coating on the top too.

So they're charging you $300 for changing one part of the OLPF.

Well. I just told somebody last week that after 30 years with a Hasselblad I have finally decided that the D700 is finally the end-all digital camera that does everything I need better than 120, and I might never feel the need to replace it. I believed that all morning today. At lunch I read the news. Within two minutes I was on the phone with Dave ordering a D800e. Now I won't sleep tonight.

DxO analysis is contrary to the simplistic notion that increasing the number of pixels always results in a degradation of image quality and increased noise. Quality high pixel count sensors produce images that may have more noise than a lower pixel count sensor, but downsizing the image from the high pixel count sensor to the lower pixel count sensor tends to minimize that noise and yield a high quality image, perhaps better than the low pixel count sensor's. Recent articles have made comparisons in that vein have indicating that the high pixel count, smaller pixel size SONY NEX7, when downsized to the pixel count of the NEX5n, gives similar noise qualities to the NEX5n despite its having larger pixel size. All my life, I vainly lusted for higher ASA films which also would magically give decent quality. Not much joy there. My first DSLR, the Nikon D70s had large pixel size, but it also quickly got noisy with not much increase in ISO. I love my D700, which I bought more for its low light ability (at last satisfying that lust for high ASA ability) than for its being full frame sensor size. But, the digital sensor lesson missed by many is that more pixels can give one both the ability to make that exquisitely, highly detailed large print, or crop heavily to compensate for a too short telephoto, while also retaining the ability to downsize to smaller print size with reduced noise for the low light situations when the high pixel count sensor got itself stretched. I suppose the limit to the theory I am repeating here is reached when the sublime possibilities of the large sensors in DSLRs are compared to the ridiculous limits of the tiny sensors in cell phone cameras some of which have gone pixel crazy. See, e.g., this DxO article, "Contrary to conventional wisdom, higher resolution actually compensates for noise," by the DxO folks.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/More-pixels-offset-noise!

Dear Jeff and Richard,

Okay, did you guys conspire to set up those two tag-team posts?

Anyway, I don't need to write another article. Though maybe I will just for the hell of it. The ones I wrote 3 years ago, though, are probably sufficient:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/why-80-megapixels-just-wont-be-enough.html

35mm lenses can easily keep up with this. A decent (not exceptional) lens can deliver 150 line pair per millimeter. That works out to about 80 megapixels in a 35mm frame. But the lenses and sensors don't have to be equally sharp for improvements in one to improve overall picture sharpness. Read this:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/11/diffraction-in.html

( CF Salicath, take note: I have no idea who claimed that lenses couldn't beat out a 16 megapixel sensor, and I don't care. It's nonsense. That isn't even close to “extreme” amounts of detail by lens design standards. In fact, it's a pretty mediocre lens that can't do better than that. And I've got 30 years of equipment testing under my belt to back that up. )


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

At the risk of grotesque thread-jacking, the recent new-camera announcement I want a post on is the K-01, if only to give us Pentax saddos an open thread to cheer/boo in. (The XS 40mm has me excited: half the size, 2/3 the price of the Limited? OK!)

As always, Thom Hogan has an article up about the Nikons; theD800 and D800E http://www.bythom.com/d800intro.htm , including a post about misconceptions about the two on his main page: http://www.bythom.com/

Only $3000, and if you don't already have a good range of FF lenses, several more thousand. It may be an earth-shattering camera, but I believe I'd start looking for a nice used D700, if I were in the market.

I wonder, if more pixels=better, (ok, nobody really says that do they?) if we could come up with some new magic pixel making software that could change old 6/12/16/24 mp RAW files to 36 or 48, if those pictures would be better? Nah, I hope not, 'cause then I'd regret deleting some that I could have saved with more megapix.

I am perfectly satisfied with my trusty D100.

I lie.

The D800 is almost everything I've ever wanted in a DSLR. Full frame. 100% viewfinder. No vertical grip. Enough megapixels to match 6x7 film. Weather sealing. Check, check, check, check, and check. The only thing missing is in-body image stabilization, which nobody expects from Nikon.

Sony's upcoming A99 will have built-in IS, but it'll have an EVF instead of a prism. After last week's K-01 announcement, a Pentax full frame camera, DSLR or mirrorless, seems further away than ever. I've got my fingers crossed.

Canon's announcement of two image stabilized wide angle primes complicated things right back again. I had written off Canon as the company least likely to make anything of interest, but the thought that they might refresh all of the other non-L primes with image stabilization is enough to make me think twice. There's also the assumption that Canon's video is always one step ahead of Nikon, so the 5DmkIII will presumably shoot 4K video, which would be pretty cool. But Canon will probably never put 1-series technology in a camera that doesn't weigh as much as a brick.

Photokina should be awesome. I can wait.

I have a D7000, which is just about the same pixel pitch as this D800. I had a D200 prior to that. I have not had to throw out any lenses and things have not gone downhill.

Similarly, I'm sure lenses will remain usable on this D800.

finally.... a camera of my dream... or should I just wait for D800s ? Anyone has leaked info about the 's' version ? But I think the D900 will worth the wait, I guess... or the 's' version..

It's funny that both sides fixate on the MP. "Noone needs that many!" or "I need more!".

For me at least, MP is a sideshow number. Sure, I'll take more if they're offered, but they're not what's driving the purchase. It's like water. When you don't have enough, it's a big deal. Once you have enough though, more doesn't matter.

Better colour fidelity, more dynamic range, better noise performance, better focusing, lighter body. Those might sway me. Beyond the threshold of enough, MP makes no difference as long as the things I care about are improving enough.

Huh ....curious to see that the vast majority of posts are all complaints or at least critical of a product that has been greatly anticipated. Perhaps they are all trying to contain their own desire or maybe they just like to complain.
As for me I was thrilled to pick up a well used D700 on Craigslist
I Will probably never understand why so many people invest so much valuable time choosing to be disgruntled, when any one who wants a D800 will ignore them anyway!
Have a nice day I think I'll go watch some polical adv.

And lost in all this haze is perhaps the "real" future of photography: the new Olympus OM-D E-M5:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_omd.asp?section=pen

But the Nikon funded video by and for the D800 is pretty amazing: http://vimeo.com/36305675 (really shows off its low light performance. I would like to see more 14 or even 16 bit A/D converters instead of the 12 bit ones found in most systems today -- obviously something that contributes to noisy shadows --- instead of ever increasing pixel count).

Smells like a game changer to me, in exactly the same way the EOS 5d did when it came out. It'll definitely hurt MF manufacturers.

I estimate the pixel size to be 4.9 microns, surely that will freak some folks out viz. shadow noise and diffraction

I thing that there should be big banner on top of the Top page saying: "Pixel size has nothing to do with diffraction" using at least font size 36 ...

Darn, it looks like I will have to put a $2.00 diffusion filter on my $3,000 lens to do portrates now.

The price point changes things a lot. The rumors had this at $4k; having it come out at $3k is a HUGE difference.

It's annoying for me that they went with a 5d killer instead of a real D700 successor, but my D700 has years left in it I'm sure. I can't afford a D4 any more than I could a D3. Maybe used D4s will be feasible by the time I wear out my D700, or maybe the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (or a successor) will be good enough to get me to make my secondary system into my primary.

Can anything be *too* perfect? If so, the D800 pops to mind. It barely needs a human behind it. No spirit, no love, no heart. Deus ex machina.

Nice camera but I'm waiting for the main event - your thoughts on the newly announced Olympus OM-D and Pentax K-01 and the avalanche of discussion that they will generate!

I'm thinking some people who are currently carrying two cameras (an FX and a DX) would consider replacing them with this one, considering how high the resolution of DX mode on this would be.

did I miss anything? -JC

Yeah, you missed the part about these selling like hotcakes, at full retail, for the next 24months. :)

Okay, we've reached the tipping point now.
We shoot more pictures, bigger pictures, than anyone will ever SEE, let alone print, and we're just flogging more equipment to make 'em bigger and bigger.
BUT -- not necessarily better. The family pix I deal with most of the time NOW are shot on a little point and shoot I can carry in by pocket and pull a scannable 5x7 out of.
I have big, heavy, weightable cameras -- I'm just tired of carrying them to the beach, or on a picnic, or to a soccer game the kids are playing in..

...my pocket... I'm getting old, I can't see, and that probably explains why I'm tired of carrying big heavy cameras around...

The specs are great on paper. We will have to wait to find out what its performance really is in real life. Unfortunately for me that will be from the internet as I can't/won't afford the amount of money they are asking for it. I am sure it will be worth it for some.

I just thought that this is the perfect camera for the lazy photographer. You just point it in the general direction of the subject you want to take a picture of, push the button and compose in the comfort of your own home.

Who cares about the size of the files. All you need to do is take a few pictures in different directions and you can crop a whole bunch of photographs with the same resolution most of us get from our current cameras. You really don't need a big card at all; the space to hold 10 pictures or so should be plenty.

Weatherproofing is a little superfluous. No need to take time composing: you run out take a picture and get back inside. No time to get the camera wet.

I am being a little facetious here but I seriously wonder who really needs this kind of resolution? I am sure there are a few niche applications out there but this seems to be a camera that in most cases is bought because we can and not because we need.

This camera, to me, is foremost an excercise in marketing and not so much in fullfilling a need other than bragging rights. I am sure there are exceptions but I doubt there are many.

Of course the technology, in itself, is very impressive.

It wasn't that long ago in this post: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/12/a-rant-about-th.html
Seems that there was quite a lot of talk about the high price of the newly introduced Nikon D3X, I believe it was somewhere around $7000 when introduced, my point being, here we are a little over 2 years later, the D800 comes out with a price of around $3000 with 1.5 times the number of megapixels. I would hate to be a D3X owner, especially if one was trying to sell his/her D3X or just bought one.

I'm so happy this camera has finally come out of the closet. I've been thinking about it for about a year now. Saving my shekels. Drooling. I have a D700 and love it to death. The mp numbers are fine for what I do. It has all the whiz-bang-booms I need (and then plenty that I do NOT need). And I have absolutely NO need for video: I don't like it, don't want to shoot it, have no clients who like it, have no clients who want or ask me to shoot it. And yet ..... I have been waiting.

So now that it's out I can use those saved shekels to buy a Fuji X-pro 1 with an m mount adapter, and I can use my much fondled Leica glass again - on a digital body that I can afford.

Thank you Nikon for producing a camera I don't need or want.

Medium format makers have nothing to fear. The D3x is so far away from anything that a medium format back can do that 12 megapixels isn't going to make a difference. See Tim Parkin's excellent big camera test for a lot of good data and test images - http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/

The interesting thing to see is what kind of lp/mm the sensor really delivers, while Ctein notes that some 35mm lenses can hit 150 lp/mm, that's likely at extremely low contrast.

As for who needs these huge sizes - I would have a couple of years ago :) I started with DSLRs but moved to 4x5 because I wasn't happy with the quality of large prints from my 5d, which is now my P&S. In fact I'm hoping to pick up one of those used D700s to become my new P&S.

It seems like no one has noticed the presence of Face Detection autofocus. I like how they slipped that in! I think it will come in handy for event photography. Are there any other SLRs with face detect?

I'm in a pickle. I'm a D3x owner I was going to wait for the D4x to come out before upgrading my backup but now..... Maybe I will go D800. I dunno.

My Pentium III computer handled my 50 megapixel scans of 6x9 film in the year 2000. It took time, but it handled them. Why would a modern 2012 computer not be able to handle a 36 megapixel file? I'm dismayed by the number of people who react like Chicken Little to this camera's pixel count.

A lot of people do need more than 24 MP. And a lot don't. This camera is for the photographers who do. Any photographer who shoots a tall human model full length, head to toe, won't be able to reproduce the texture and weave of the textiles that make up the clothing on the model. A lot of fashion photography gets printed large and viewed up close in a retail shop environment. My 5D MkII at 21MP can't resolve the detail in textiles when the model is shot full length. So for me, 36MP makes sense.

The leap to medium format digital is mighty big. A 36MP DSLR offers an alternative. And even if I did buy a medium format digital camera, I still need a backup. Again, a 36MP DSLR makes sense at the mentioned price point.

"In terms of aesthetics, the D700 and the D3 were absolutely beautiful. I can clearly see Giorgetto Giugiaro's absence in the design of the newest Nikons, and it saddens me."

I thought the D3 and D700 had a case of lizard throat under the name plate, but at least nobody took an icing spatula to the top plate. The new replacements also have a swollen AF mode switch housing, which is surely easier to manipulate, but I dislike it when small details clumsily interrupt the basic lines of a design.

http://i.picasion.com/pic49/b145a9779c07a17f01bb8e2e327a2323.gif

Here's an actual question. If you print at 360 dpi, which is pretty commonly accepted as standard for "high quality" printing (although some people print with more and less dpi), then the native print size for the D800 would be about 20x13, right? Or have I screwed up the math? Because this seems like an okay-sized print, but not the jumbo prints everybody keeps talking about.

Dear John Rodriguez,

I can answer that one for you. The D800's gonna resolve somewhere in the range of 75 lp/mm, give or take 10-15 lp/mm. Resolution "efficiency" of cameras these days doesn’t vary a whole lot. It used to be quite unpredictable, but no more.

I don't think I understand why you're bringing up the fact that high spatial frequency content is low in contrast. That's just a given, with any photographic system. Doesn't matter the design of the lens, doesn't matter if it's film or digital. The higher the spatial frequencies, the lower the contrast. Always has been that way, probably always will be. So what's the import of mentioning it? It's simply a constant in our photographic lives.

When I talk about a lens “delivering” a certain level of resolution, I'm talking about it in practical terms; that is, it is doing so at what has proven to be a visually useful contrast level even if it is low.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

I for one would like it......accept for one reason......traveling alone on a bike with a 3500 euro camerasystem on my back....now way!

Greetings, Ed

Dear Kevin

"Cancelling" is the correct spelling, if one writes in English ;-)

See http://amaediting.blogspot.co.nz/2009/06/how-do-you-spell-canceling.html

@ John Camp

...360 dpi, which is pretty commonly accepted as standard for "high quality" printing ....

When did the standard jump from 300 to 360?
Cite your sources.

Sneye, let's get Nikon to sponsor a test. They give both of us D800s, we spend two weeks shooting, and put up our best pictures all mixed up in a gallery.

Since the shooter hardly matters any more (you claimed), nobody will be able to tell which are by which of us, right?

(Meanwhile, both of us are up by a D800 :-) .)

Mike, I see this not as the end of Medium Format, but perhaps a shot across the bow of MF, to bring down the prices, expand their systems, and perhaps make my all time dream camera: A Pentax 67II with a real 6x7 sensor inside. A Texas Leica with modern lenses. I see Pentax upping the ante with the 645D with more mp, and perhaps a specifically designed autofocus/metering system rather than an upscaled K5. Sinar, Leaf, Phase One, are you listening???

@daugav369pils

Look up "native resolution" on Google. Apparently (I'm not an expert) printers have "native resolutions" and optimally, you should print at the resolution or some multiple of it. The native resolution of Epsons is supposedly 360 dpi, and 300 for Canons and HPs. If you print at 180, 360, 720, ect. the Epson software doesn't have to do any interpolation to produce the image...so I said 360 because I found that when I was looking up instructions for my Epson printer. You may think 300 (and be correct) because you have a Canon or HP.

Rather than me explaining something I don't totally understand, just look it up.

Dear JC (and dauga),

And, as it turns out, it doesn't really matter. With recent (as in the last half dozen years) printers, the improvement from printing out at "native" resolutions is almost insignificantly small. I've got special test targets that can show it but they're, umm, "special."

In real life, resampling a photo to match a native resolution degrades it more than printing it at a non-native one. Me, I'll have file of some particular size (pixel dimensions). I'll want prints of a certain size (image area). I just tell Photoshop to resize (NOT resample) to the image area I want. The ppi end up being whatever they end up.

So, fee free to call 300 ppi or 360 ppi the default for good print quality, but otherwise don't sweat it.

pax / Ctein

Still no reason to dump my "lowly" 33 megapixel Leaf Aptus. The sensor is twice as big at 36x48 mm. Sure for low light and high iso maybe but I'd rather save for an Aptus-12

I was blown away with Nikon D800 image samples. This will be the camera with highest image quality (645 sensors shot at ISO100 aside). Body specs are first-class too.

Very interested in it.

Sadly the step from D700 to D800 was thrice as many pixels... Couldn't they produce D750 with "mere" 16 MP and the asking price below USD 2000???

Again, horses for courses. I compared Sony A850 with Pentax K-7. I had a friend of mine coming for a visit from USA and we drove to Negev desert for some quality shooting and quality time together. Surely Sony A850 came well on top but was it 2 times better? Well, no. Actually except enlargement size, I've no clue how such a comparison can be made objectively. Subjectively, I found K-7's output good enough only lacking in dynamic range department which was taken care of by K-5.

So, ladies and gentlemen, we have now a camera that costs about USD 3000 (probably slightly less), can do 36 MP and also can do ISO 204800... Anyone care to put some numbers in for the camera two generations thence?

Ctein - my only point was that frequencies that high are probably well below 10% contrast, at which point it becomes very hard to compare results. I wish we as a community could agree on a single contrast level to measure at.

For instance, the old adage that human vision sees to about 5 lp/mm at close viewing distances. 5 lp/mm at 90% or 10% contrast?

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