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donfaulk Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 02:15 PM
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"Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"


Madison, US
          

In the threads discussing reported softness issues with the D7K, one of the most often mentioned points is that the new higher-resolution sensor requires the use of a faster shutter speed in order to avoid blur from camera shake. I can readily see that in a 1:1 comparison of images made with a 16mp sensor as compared with a 12mp sensor, problems in technique might be more observable in the 16mp image. The 16mp image would be larger and (in a sense) “magnified”. What I don’t understand is why, if both images are viewed at the SAME image size (e.g. 8”x 10”), the 16mp image would exhibit “camera shake” not seen in the 12mp image. What is the reason for this? (Assuming other factors such as lens focal length, etc., to be the same in both cases).
...Don F.

Don F.

  

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Reply message RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutte...
JPJ Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
1
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TakeTwo Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
2
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donfaulk Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
3
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billD80 Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
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dm1dave Administrator
18th Dec 2010
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Reply message RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutte...
donfaulk Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
9
Reply message RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutte...
donfaulk Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
7
Reply message RE: They do not!
Len Shepherd Gold Member
18th Dec 2010
5
Reply message RE: They do not!
TakeTwo Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
10
     Reply message RE: They do not!
briantilley Moderator
18th Dec 2010
11
          Reply message RE: They do not!
TakeTwo Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
12
Reply message RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutte...
MotoMannequin Moderator
18th Dec 2010
8
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donfaulk Silver Member
18th Dec 2010
14
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MotoMannequin Moderator
18th Dec 2010
15
Reply message RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutte...
gkaiseril Gold Member
18th Dec 2010
13

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 02:53 PM
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#1. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 0


Toronto, CA
          

Higher pixel density means smaller pixel size. Smaller pixels are more sensitive to camera shake, as a smaller movement will cause the image to move across more pixels.

Jason

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 03:58 PM
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#2. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 1
Sat 18-Dec-10 04:16 PM by TakeTwo

South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Jason,
Is that similar to thinking of the sensor as a lens. Where a 100mm lens does not require the shutter speed as fast say a 400mm lens does to capture a sharp image of a moving target? The sensor does shoot through glass and lots of it. Can we be getting into lens issues as well. I have had no problems with my d7k. It far easier for me to get great shots of static images versus fast moving ones. I think that's fair to say with almost any camera body. Can you touch a bit more on the pixel size being smaller. I do understand that the sensor size is the same yet me have more pixels on the sensor, but I don't know how the pixels are brought back to the same size for post processing. Does the software have to blow up the pixel size in the camera or during transfer to the software of choice? In my mind I would think that software is trying to replace what a full size sensor does naturally. I'm sorry for the rather layman way of asking theses questions but sharing my thoughts and putting them into words is not one of my strong points. Don

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donfaulk Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 04:04 PM
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#3. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 1


Madison, US
          

Thanks, Jason, for responding. Yes, I can see that more pixels will be affected. But each pixel location on either sensor corresponds to a single unique “point” on a final (e.g. 8”x 10”) print. So if the pixels had, for example, twice the linear density on the new sensor, then twice as many would be affected by the motion. So twice as many “points” would be affected in the print. But the points in the print would also have twice the linear density, so the same linear dimension on the print would be affected as with the older sensor. It appears to me that what would be seen on the print would be the same in either case.

If blur cause by “camera shake” is more problematic with higher megapixel counts, it would seem to me that the same would be true for blur caused by insufficient depth-of-field. If such were the case, then wouldn’t depth-of-field tables have to take into account the sensor’s megapixel density?

Don F.

  

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Sat 18-Dec-10 04:33 PM
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#4. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I can readily
>see that in a 1:1 comparison of images made with a 16mp sensor
>as compared with a 12mp sensor, problems in technique might be
>more observable in the 16mp image. The 16mp image would be
>larger and (in a sense) “magnified”. What I don’t understand
>is why, if both images are viewed at the SAME image size (e.g.
>8”x 10”), the 16mp image would exhibit “camera shake” not seen
>in the 12mp image.

If both images are viewed at the same image size, I'm not sure there is a detectable difference... But physics isn't my strong point.

What IS happening with the D7000 is that people can and do look at 100% magnification, and with 16mp, there is more to see.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sat 18-Dec-10 04:53 PM
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#6. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 4


Lowden, US
          

“If both images are viewed at the same image size, I'm not sure there is a detectable difference... But physics isn't my strong point.”

I think Bill is correct here.

The higher resolution sensor (more/smaller pixels) will record greater detail and it will also record smaller amounts of camera shake. It can also record lens aberrations that may not be visible at a lower resolution.

On the other hand if you compare relatively small print like an 8 x 10 (probably up to as big as 20 inch) it is unlikely that you will be able to see the added detail (resolution) or defects such as softness due to minor camera shake.

The benefits and possible drawbacks of the added resolution will be most prevalent in very large prints (viewed up close), deep crops and at 100% on a computer screen.

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donfaulk Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 05:30 PM
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#9. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 6


Madison, US
          

Hi, Dave...
I agree. I just picked the 8"x 10" figure arbitrarily. I think that if a person could somehow swap the 12mp sensor for a 16mp sensor between two shots of the same scene in the same camera (ignoring all the firmware updates which would be required), he should see the same thing in the two resulting 16"x 20" prints (camera shake included). But comparing, for example, an 8"x 10" from the 12mp camera with an 11"x 14" from the 16mp sensor is probably what is happening, in effect.

Don F.

  

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donfaulk Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 05:03 PM
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#7. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 4


Madison, US
          

Hi, Bill...

<What IS happening with the D7000 is that people can and do look at 100% magnification, and with 16mp, there is more to see.>

I suspect that is exactly what is happening. I really don't see any reason why the higher megapixel density requires "better technique" otherwise. I know that what I'm calling a pixel is really a GROUP of sensing elements from which the data is messaged to effectively arrive at "one" pixel of data containing color, luminance, etc. And I don't understand how "demosaicing" is done well enough to know how this is affected by increasing pixel density. But unless something in this process is a contributing factor, I, like you, think most of this comes from comparing 1:1 images.

Don F.

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sat 18-Dec-10 04:48 PM
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#5. "RE: They do not!"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

"Safe" shutter speeds are based on viewing a 10x8 inch print of a 12 foot wide subject at 12-15 inches difference and accepting edge blur if 1/50th inch is OK.
This is, by modern standards, not very demanding.
If you zoom in by using a longer lenses you need a faster shutter speed because of the increased magnification.
If you zoom in on a monitor you need faster shutter speeds because of the extra magnification.
Because of more pixels on a D7000 zooming in to 100% is like using a longer telephoto. 100% on an average PC is a equivalent to an image at about 43 inches wide from 12 MP and about 51 inches wide from 16 MP.
Viewed as a 10x8 inch print (also the basis of depth of field assumptions) faster shutter speeds are not needed for higher MP.
Viewing a 51 inch wide print from around 15 inches (typical equivalent of 100% monitor viewing) needs about 1 speed faster than viewing viewing a 43 inch wide print from around 15 inches, because of the extra magnification.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 06:12 PM
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#10. "RE: They do not!"
In response to Reply # 5


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Len,

Thank you for your explanation. I got it. One more question. Our camera setting on fine exposure is 16.2mp. How does the camera sensor take an image with the reduced quality. I see all images taken at 4928x3264 weather I shoot in raw or fine,normal or basic. So how is the reduction is pixels done?

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 18-Dec-10 06:29 PM
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#11. "RE: They do not!"
In response to Reply # 10
Sat 18-Dec-10 08:48 PM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          

>So how is the reduction is pixels done?

The Fine, Normal and Basic settings affect the amount of JPEG compression that is performed in saving the file, but all three use the full pixel count.

It's the Image Size option (in the Shooting Menu) that controls the number of pixels used for the image - see page 88 in the D7000 manual.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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TakeTwo Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 07:18 PM
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#12. "RE: They do not!"
In response to Reply # 11


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

Thank you Brian, I do know how to change the setting but I didn't know how the compression was done since the pixel count stayed the same. Your explanation was successful. I know it was a bit off topic.

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Sat 18-Dec-10 05:21 PM
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#8. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 18-Dec-10 05:30 PM by MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
          

Bill, Dave, Len, all have it right. The reason 16MP is more demanding is because people view actual pixels (100% view) on screen, which means higher pixel density = more magnification, more magnification = stricter requirements for vibration, diffraction, etc. If viewing at the same size, i.e. the same size print, provided both images have enough resolution to print that size (which means you're downsampling the 16MP image) then it doesn't matter. People debate screen viewing but printing is where the rubber hits the road (we're talking 75dpi vs. 300dpi). If you're not printing then you have nothing at all to worry about. HDTV (1080p) is 2MP.

Think of it this way - let's assume a 6MP DX sensor is 24mm and 3000 pixels across. that means a single pixel is 24mm/3000 = 0.008mm or 8um across. If you're trying to photograph a dot, and your camera shake causes that dot to move 4um during the time the shutter is open, then you probably don't register that camera shake, because the dot remains over the same pixel during exposure.

Now imagine that same sensor at 24MP, pixels are now 4um across. Now that same 4um of camera shake is enough to move that dot into the adjacent pixel. Of course if you downsample the image to 6MP, now that dot will only occupy one pixel, so at equivalent magnification there is no difference. However, to take full advantage of your 24MP camera, you'd need to double your shutter speed (so the vib only results in 2um of movement) or otherwise reduce vibration.

A similar case can be made for diffraction - that as diffraction increases to the point where the airy disk is greater than the size of a pixel, your resolution is now limited by diffraction. People will say with 12MP you shouldn't go smaller than f/11, but a 12MP image at f/16 is not worse than a 6MP image at f/16, it's the same. I always find it curious that people will say diffraction doesn't matter with film, and they'll also tell you that film has higher resolution than digital. Huh? but I digress...

This is a very oversimplified example, but I think it illustrates the point. If your overall technique is only good enough to resolve 6MP, then you'll get an effective 6MP image with a 10MP, 12MP, 16MP etc. camera.

It's also worth noting that a sharp, noise-free 6MP image is plenty of resolution to produce fantastic 13x19" prints, so if you're running a 13" or smaller printer then any camera around today is overkill.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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donfaulk Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Aug 2009Sat 18-Dec-10 08:15 PM
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#14. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 8


Madison, US
          

Hi, Larry...

What I am reading here is that if a D90 and D7K are used to produce images of the same scene made under the same conditions and (without cropping) to the same print size - no greater "technique" is required in producing one than the other. That of course is assuming that the print size doesn't reach the point where it "pushes" the smaller sensor. This is what I would have thought to be true, but thought all the emphasis on "technique" appearing in the D7K forum recently implied something different.

I enjoy most of my finished images (12mp sensor) by viewing them on a monitor and have only displayed them at 1:1 on occasion - specifically when doing lens resolution tests.

Incidentally, I recently wanted a wall print of a Disney World landscape. Because no cropping was acceptable, it couldn't be done as a 16"x 20". The next size up was 20"x 30". To my dismay it was perfectly acceptable even when viewed only a foot or so away. At normal viewing distance, it is super. After having it printed (at Sam's Club) I bought a copy of onOne Software's Essentials 2 and used the "Enlarge It" algorithm to yield a 300dpi 16"x 20" image for reprinting. There was no discernible difference. Apparently Sam's Club's photoshop must already be doing something similar in rendering large prints.

Thanks for the comments!

Don F.

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Sat 18-Dec-10 10:30 PM
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#15. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 14


Livermore, CA, US
          

> What I am reading here is that if a D90 and D7K are used to
>produce images of the same scene made under the same
>conditions and (without cropping) to the same print size - no
>greater "technique" is required in producing one
>than the other. That of course is assuming that the print size
>doesn't reach the point where it "pushes" the
>smaller sensor.

That's basically correct. I'd state it like this: Given the same technique (technique encompassing everything from stabilization to exposure) and same output size, the extra pixels on the D7K will not result in a lower quality print. At the same or especially larger print sizes, the higher pixel density of D7K has the capability to produce a superior print, but improved technique may be necessary to take advantage of the extra pixels.

>This is what I would have thought to be true,
>but thought all the emphasis on "technique"
>appearing in the D7K forum recently implied something
>different.

Bear in mind most of us upgrade a camera hoping it expands our capabilities somewhere. If the goal in moving to a D7K is to make the same quality prints as you made with a D90, I'd question the need for the upgrade. So upgrading the camera is the first step. A climb further up the learning curve may be required to actually realize an improvement.

I'll add, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and often reading on the internet someone's opinion, you don't know if the person is unknowingly reviewing his or her own technique, or just repeating something heard elsewhere. I'd suggest checking out the person's photography as a guide to knowing if that's someone's advice you'd like to follow. If you don't see some great photos, look elsewhere for knowledge.

Also worth noting, the jump from 12MP to 16MP only increases the pixel density enough for 15% larger prints on the linear dimension, all else being equal. My rule of thumb is that you need to double the pixels for the resolution to make a significant difference in prints. Therefore I consider the newer wave of 12-14-16MP cameras to be roughly equivalent regarding the type of things we're discussing here.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Sat 18-Dec-10 07:31 PM
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#13. "RE: Why do higher pixel densities require faster shutter speeds?"
In response to Reply # 0


Chicago, US
          

You need a steadier camera during the exposure. This can be accomplished by a faster shutter speed, a better hand holding technique, or a tripod.

With a smaller photon receptor site, the amount of movement to the next photo receptor site is much less when there are 12 mp vs 6mp. The distance is cut in 1/2. This decrease in distance makes it very easy for the recorded image to cover more than one sensor element.

George
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