Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

Does size matter or are some people just compensating for something?

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This is a picture taken at sunrise on October 3, 2009. It is taken from Pilot’s Monument in Yellowknife, NWT. I used my a700 with my 11 to 18 mm lens. I often wonder what my wide landscapes would be like with a full frame camera. They are said to do a much better job with wide-angle shots. The f-stop is suppose to be a little different on full frame as well. A DOF issue I believe.

Does size matter or are some people just compensating for something?

Yes, you read the title correctly and yes it is a photography question. Just keep reading, you’ll see.

Does your camera have a Charge-coupled device or a Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor? Is it Advanced Photo System type-C or Full Frame? Maybe it is APS-H or Four Thirds or Foveon. Once you answer those questions the next would be, how many mega pixels does it have? Is it 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or whatever is available to 25? Boring tech stuff don’t you think? How important is it if you were in the market for a new photography toy? I think it is very important and it is becoming more and more important with time. I am not sure of the advantages of ccd or cmos, so I won’t chat about it. I think mega pixels are often focused on, no pun intended, much more than they should be but, as all these things apply to your camera they can have a big impact. I won’t get into APS-C (or whichever small sensor you use) versus Full Frame. I think the important decision deals with the question of how many mega pixels do you need. So, here is my view. I believe that 90% of the camera buying public wouldn’t need more than a 6 mp camera. That said, as camera companies development new models I believe that two things occur. The first is that most people think more mega pixels means better quality pictures, bigger is better (the camera companies know we think that too). The second is that most camera companies will make more mega pixels available because they know what most of us will think. So size matters but, biggest may not be best. My little brain has me believing some of the things I hear. The first is, as a pixel processes the image (or part of the image) that it displays, it heats up. That heat can affect the pixel next to it and so on. So the more pixels on a sensor the more heat that maybe generated which can effect the quality of your image. Also, I think that too many pixels on a sensor can reduce quality, not increasing it as most people think. If the pixels are too small the information (gathered by the pixel) will bleed into the next pixel. Image quality will suffer. I believe the size of the individual pixel may be as important as the number of pixels in total. I have recently been experimenting with night photography and it would seem to me that a bigger pixel could help with the low light issue. This only works to a certain point however. I went to DPReview for some comparison info and what I read seems to confirm what I have been thinking. They stated when reviewing Canon’s 50D, it had trouble keeping up with some 10 or 12 mp cameras when you compare per-pixel sharpness. They also stated that the smaller pixels seem to produce more noise. Interesting, just a few weeks ago I had stated that I would rather have the 40D than the 50D. Nikon’s D300 is only 12 mp as is my Sony a700. Nikon seems to be keeping things in that 12 mp range, maybe they know something that no ones else has figured out. So what does all this mean? I think it just makes it harder and harder for us to decide what we need for a camera. It may also explain why I can’t seem to find a Konica Minolta 7D for under $ 400.00 (body only). Maybe, people have figured out the pixel thing and are buying up old model cameras while we continue to upgrade (although other camera electronics change with updated models so, there is more to look at than just mega pixels).

Anyway, just my thoughts. I did read a good article about this subject in the September 2009 issue of Photolife (although the tech stuff made my head hurt). So, Sony if you are listening (or reading) when you make a replacement for my a700, leave it at 12 mp, add live view and keep DOF preview. Better yet make it 15 mp Full Frame with live view and all my current a700 features and I am in (depending on price of course).


Written by leesacrey

October 4, 2009 at 12:00 PM

One Response

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  1. Great text!

    I have three digital cameras. I bought my first digital camera in 2004 and it is Panasonic Lumix DMC-F7. Only 5.0 megapixel.

    Second digital camera I bought in 2006. It is Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1. It is 8.4 megapixel camera.

    Both of these cameras are equipped with Leica high quality lence. I can say that DMC-F7 is nearly as good as LX1. Why? I guess the size of a pixel is answer. Also both these cameras have optical image stabilizer

    I am carring with me every day every where that older Panasonic DMC-F7. It fits so nicely into my shirt’s pocket.

    The third camera I have is Nikon D300. About what I like in this camera, is that I can use ISO 3200 when taking photos inside dark churches. I dislike to use flash.

    There is one thing which I have been thinking, but not at all so much spoken. The quality of a lence. Think this: It does not matter if one’s camera has a million megapixels, if those pixels are blurred.

    Firfty years ago the quality of lences was ruling. Has times changed since then?


    December 2, 2009 at 11:23 PM

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