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Sony A900: Do you really need 24.6 megapixels?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote robsphotography Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sony A900: Do you really need 24.6 megapixels?
    Posted: 12 July 2009 at 00:01
Hello all, this is my first thread on Dyxum.

I am interested to know how you would reply to the comment that, itís ridiculous for amateur photographers to buy a 25 megapixel camera, because they simply donít need that many megapixels!

Since I purchased my Sony A900, I have been asked this question more than any others! Even sales people working for camera shops frequently make this comment to their customers and say that a 12 megapixel camera is more than adequate for an amateur photographerís needs.

I guess my answer to this question can be seen from the images on this page:

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sumatran-Tiger.html

I enjoy being able to make very good quality 40 inch wide panoramic prints and also, as shown on the web page above, to make large prints from images that have been quite heavily cropped.

So I am interested to hear your views on this question.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html
(Examples of the outstanding resolution of images from the Sony A900)

 



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DLNY View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DLNY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 00:10
I think your site sums it all up, those shots could have been taken with any camera or lens. If you're planning to only use your shots for the web or small prints a 6 megapixel is more than enough. Large format prints need more pixels so a A900 is the right choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote glass-hoper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 00:26
well, it is what it is and 24MP is the number of the day - or the year should I say I doubt that it's going down any time soon (noblesse oblige!) despite a lack of acute need outside the marketing department... luckily memory, software and processors are keeping the pace at affordable prices so shouldn't be much of an issue (NB, I don't have an 900 and I am staying away from it for fears of being seduced and GASed )
mehr licht!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JoeinLA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 00:34
The primary motivator for the A900 wasn't the 24 mp. It was the FF and the viewfinder. If Sony sold FF with such a great viewfinder for way less, I would have bought the cheaper option.

But I don't mind the 24 MP. It amazing the detail you get when you zoom in.

I don't know what other people do, but I think the future will demand more megapixels. I don't print out hardly any photos. I keep them in digital format and go back and look at them from time to time, so the more pixels, the better b/c there's more detail to see. If all you did was print or display in a small format, I can see the argument that you don't need a whole lot of pixels; but it seems to me that the way I store/view my photos lends itself to more and more pixels.

If anyone cares:Nikon D3S|1424|2470|70200|85 1.4|No Skills:Smugmug JoeinLA
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happy Hour Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 01:09
My opinion is you will never need 24 megapixels,unless you print very very large prints. I have never had the need to print anything bigger than 16x20 and the A700 accomplishes that without a problem. I would even bet you could print a 20x30 without loosing enough detail to care about. So is that a reason to buy the a900? It all comes down to who has the bigger one. There is way too many people out there who think the camera makes the picture, when it's the person behind the camera! I could never find a valid reason to dump that kind of money on a camera that will never be used to it's fullest potential. But I have recently been doing allot of band photography, and I can see the need for a better iso. The a900 seems to do a better job of keeping less noise in low lighting. (at least from what I have seen) But if Sony came out with a 6 mp camera that could produce better images in low light situations I wouldn't think twice about buying it. But mp mean nothing to me. You could never get the crisp flawless results with film that you can with today's cameras. So I don't see what the big fuss is about with who has the bigger MP. Whats important to me is who has the better Iso   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote robsphotography Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 01:14
Originally posted by DLNY DLNY wrote:

I think your site sums it all up, those shots could have been taken with any camera or lens. If you're planning to only use your shots for the web or small prints a 6 megapixel is more than enough. Large format prints need more pixels so a A900 is the right choice.


Thanks for your reply. I agree that the images on the page linked to below could have been taken with any camera. However, if I had tried to make a 100% crop of just the tigerís whiskers from an image taken from the same spot at the same time by my small compact 8 megapixel camera, the image would probably have been quite pixelated and out of focus! But, as you say above, if all I wanted was a 6 x 4 inch print of a distant tiger, then the small compact camera would have been quite adequate. But it would be hard to even see the tigerís face with such a small print, let alone his whiskers, because the tiger was quite a long way away from the camera.

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sumatran-Tiger.html

Regards
Rob

 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote robsphotography Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 01:38
Originally posted by JoeinLA JoeinLA wrote:

The primary motivator for the A900 wasn't the 24 mp. It was the FF and the viewfinder. If Sony sold FF with such a great viewfinder for way less, I would have bought the cheaper option.

But I don't mind the 24 MP. It amazing the detail you get when you zoom in.

I don't know what other people do, but I think the future will demand more megapixels. I don't print out hardly any photos. I keep them in digital format and go back and look at them from time to time, so the more pixels, the better b/c there's more detail to see. If all you did was print or display in a small format, I can see the argument that you don't need a whole lot of pixels; but it seems to me that the way I store/view my photos lends itself to more and more pixels.



But I don't mind the 24 MP. It amazing the detail you get when you zoom in.

I don't know what other people do, but I think the future will demand more megapixels. I don't print out hardly any photos. I keep them in digital format and go back and look at them from time to time, so the more pixels, the better b/c there's more detail to see. If all you did was print or display in a small format, I can see the argument that you don't need a whole lot of pixels; but it seems to me that the way I store/view my photos lends itself to more and more pixels.

[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your reply. I agree that the Sony A900 has a great viewfinder, but quite a few people have commented that they would have also liked a live view LCD screen instead of having to take all their images looking through a viewfinder.

I agree that you donít need to just make big prints to enjoy the benefit of 24 megapixel images. You can also see the benefits when you look at A900 images on a good TV screen. I use the Sony Playstation 3 and I zoom in on images with the games controller. The results doing this are very good indeed.

Regards
Rob
http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sony-A900.html



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Post Options Post Options   Quote madcat207 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 02:06
Frankly, I am glad Sony didn't waste money implementing live view. Given the amazing VF, what a waste of time that would have been!

Anyway, I love having 24 MP to play with. I can either print very large (which i love doing), or get great crops with still more DPI than my a700 did for smaller prints (8x10, etc). There is no realistic disadvantage that I can see to having more MP in a body like this..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote robsphotography Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 02:14
Originally posted by Happy Hour Happy Hour wrote:

My opinion is you will never need 24 megapixels,unless you print very very large prints. I have never had the need to print anything bigger than 16x20 and the A700 accomplishes that without a problem. I would even bet you could print a 20x30 without loosing enough detail to care about. So is that a reason to buy the a900? It all comes down to who has the bigger one. There is way too many people out there who think the camera makes the picture, when it's the person behind the camera! I could never find a valid reason to dump that kind of money on a camera that will never be used to it's fullest potential. But I have recently been doing allot of band photography, and I can see the need for a better iso. The a900 seems to do a better job of keeping less noise in low lighting. (at least from what I have seen) But if Sony came out with a 6 mp camera that could produce better images in low light situations I wouldn't think twice about buying it. But mp mean nothing to me. You could never get the crisp flawless results with film that you can with today's cameras. So I don't see what the big fuss is about with who has the bigger MP. Whats important to me is who has the better Iso   


Thanks for your reply, you highlighted well the argument when you talk about using a 24 megapixel camera to its fullest potential. The image size of the Sony A700 is 4272 pixels x 2848 pixels and the image size of the Sony A900 is 6048 pixels x 4032 pixels.

Therefore, all things being equal, you can get a print that is about 41% larger from the Sony A900. For example, assuming that you print at 150 pixels per inch, then the print size from the A700 image is 28.5 inches x 19 inches, and the print size from the A900 image is 40.3 inches x 26.9 inches.

So I agree with your comment that you could print a 30 inch x 20 inch A700 image and still get a very good result. But as shown with the tiger example in the page linked to below, I cropped out half the width and half the height of the original image, and I was still able to get a great 20 inch wide print from the resulting 3024 pixels x 2016 pixels image. If I had done this with an A700 image, the print size would have been only 14 inches wide.

http://www.robsphotography.co.nz/Sumatran-Tiger.html

Also, the ability to zoom right in on your picture (and get sharp detail) when viewing on a HD LCD TV screen is a plus for a 24 megapixel image. Try using the Sony Playstation 3 and its games controller for doing this, I was very surprised at the great results!

I agree that there can be too much of a focus on the camera, instead of the artistic side of making a good picture. But when you view the clarity of huge 40 inch wide panoramic prints from the A900, you start to feel that the investment was worthwhile!

Regards
Rob
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 02:26
Originally posted by DLNY DLNY wrote:

Large format prints need more pixels so a A900 is the right choice.


I have 24"x16" professional prints made from D5D images upsampled to 12Mp tif files that, in my opinion, were perfectly acceptable. I guess it depends how "big" you want to go, and from what distance you will look at them. Most people dont examine large prints from a few centimeters... ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 02:30
Originally posted by JoeinLA JoeinLA wrote:

I keep them in digital format and go back and look at them from time to time, so the more pixels, the better b/c there's more detail to see.


I really don't follow your argument, since unless you always look at your pictures enlarged on the screen, most monitors have somewhere between 800-1600 pixels horizontally, so in theory that is the maximum you need - far less than a 6Mp camera!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 02:38
No and that's why I didn't buy the A900 seriously I would have preferred a 12-16mp FF with a more advances AF and Im not going to say way cause it has been discussed so many times before   

Edited by aarif - 12 July 2009 at 03:22
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 03:17
Do you really need 24.6 megapixels?

Me? No. I need 6MP (which, coincidentally, is what my camera provides).

But plenty of other people need 24MP, which is fine.

BTW, when Sony eventually offers 36MP and 48MP cameras, there will be buyers who discover they need those resolutions as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2009 at 03:53
My comment above was probably too terse to make sense, so let me elaborate.

When pretty much all DSLRs were 8MP or less, I distinctly remember that there were folks who refused to buy the KM 7D because it was only 6MP, not 8MP. But I never knew exactly why they needed 8MP. The only answer I can come up with is because it was available.

Now, Rob, one reason why 24MP resolution is important to you is that it allows you to get a good photograph of a tiger's chin whiskers from a distance. May I ask...

Do you need such a photograph?
If so, did that need arise before or after a 24MP camera became available and affordable for you?
If it was before, did you instead move closer to the tiger, or use a longer lens, or simply not attempt to take that particular shot?

If you see what I'm getting at... now that such a shot is possible, some (not all) people will need the ability to take it. And I think it will always be that way.
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