Thursday, April 19, 2012

Too many megapixels?

So Nikon has come out with two of the highest megapixel cameras on the market recently.  the 36mp D800 and now the 24.2mp D3200.  I currently use a Canon XS which only has a measly 10.1mp and I can still take great pictures.  Granted, I haven't blown anything up to greater than an 8x10 picture, but I know I could if I wanted to.  I can go up to poster sized if I'd like.  My typical file size is approx 3MB for JPG and 10MB for RAW.  That is alot of file space, especially if you believe and exercise the spray and pray approach.  I recently took 118 pictures of my daughter with both RAW and JPG files and ended up with 1.55GB of files!  How big would my hard drive need to be to handle those files if my JPG's were 12MB and 20.4MB for RAW!

The other drawback to having that many pixels is digital noise.  I've been told that the digital noise on a D800 is ridiculous.  Now if you pack that same ratio of pixels into a crop sensor like the D3200 what would you expect for noise?  I would expect the same amount and even with the new processors, are you really going to be able to use ISO 12800?  At what point does the industry decide enough is enough?  I guess never and we'll just have to keep dealing with features that MOST OF US WILL NEVER NEED!  Sure, I would like to upgrade to a 7D or even a 60D but not because of the higher megapixels, but because of the better AF and faster burst rates and quieter operation.  I would even love to eventually upgrade to the 5D line to make use of the full format sensor for landscape photography, but not (I repeat NOT) for the higher MP and ISO rates.  Those are just silly and unnecessary for almost anyone.

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