9 years in the megapixel race - noise or quality

Róbert Irházy (Birdie) - February 4, 2009. 14:00 (CET)

Kattintson ide a magyar változatért

A3 sized printes

We often say that higher resolutions come handy when larger prints are needed. So we picked a commonly used size to see how these images compare.

We decided to use the 40×30 cm size that is close to the standard A3 size. Most of the labs can handle this size without problem.
To make a 42 cm wide print at 300 dpi (common resolution of minilabs) we need a 4960 pixel wide image (42/2,54×300). This image, if we keep the 4:3 ratio will have a height of 3720 pixel. This gives a 18 megapixel image, so we will enlarge all our images to this size.

There are several algorithms available to interpolate an image. We selected Irfan View's Resample method to make the enlargements.

Enlargements for A3 prints, first crop

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Enlargements for A3 prints, second crop

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Enlargements for A3 prints, third crop

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Enlargements for A3 prints, fourth crop

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By clicking through the images from G1 to G10 we can see that details are gradually appearing on them. The details of the 500 Forint show up, and even the tiny prints become legible.
Due to the larger resolution, noise appears smaller on high resolution images. While these show up as large dots on G1/G2 images, they are only tiny, less distracting pixels on G9/G10 photos.

It seems that at A3 sized prints, larger resolutions have a clear advantage.

First look: Panasonic DMC-FZ18 preview

Manufacturers are predictable at most of the times. The replacement of a camera usually comes 10-12 months after it's announcement, while it is very rare that a camera is replaced after only 5 months. While the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 is officially not a replacement model of the DMC-FZ8, this latter model has to get an eye catching price tag to survive the in house competition.


Nikon D40X image samples

We have uploaded the first 15 images taken with the brand new Nikon D40X and the Nikkor AF-S 55-200 mm F4-5.6 ED DX VR lens.

     

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 image samples

See how the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 has performed on our tests. Our first test images are online. Detailed review is to follow soon.

     

Review: Dust removal systems / sensor cleaning

Sensor cleaning is becoming a standard feature on modern digital SLR cameras. While the manufacturers may use different techniques to get rid of the dust from the image sensor, they all promise clean, dust free images. Do they all work equally well? Can we throw our air blower away? We have tested the four different types of sensor cleaning technologies to see which one will most likely to fulfill the expectations.


Review: Fade resistance test

Do you want your grandchildren to sit around you and see your nice, old, color photographs in fifty years from now? If so, you better watch how you get those digital images printed. While some printer manufacturers promise that the photos will last for over 100, in some case 200 years, don't forget to read the footnotes. Those numbers are usually guarantied only when the prints are stored in albums locked away from sun, heat and air. Since we don't have 200 years to test which prints will last for as long as the manufacturer promises we did a not so scientific, but very demonstrative test to find out which printing technology is the winner these days.