HA HA! You suckers with your $1000 big megapixel cameras!

Discussion in 'Photography' started by CFB, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. CFB

    CFB Guest

    Turns out people can't tell the difference between a 5MP 16 x 24 inch
    print and a 12MP 16 x 24 inch print!

    AHAHHA AHAHHA AHHA HAH AH! Keep eating that big business bullshit!

    --------------------------

    November 21, 2006, 9:35 am
    The Truth About Digital Cameras


    As loyal Pogue's Posts readers are no doubt aware, I've spent the
    last seven weeks in TV land, filming a first batch of six episodes of
    my new Discovery-network series, "It's All Geek to Me." It was an
    exhilarating, exhausting, enlightening journey. Someday when we're
    all together, I'll tell you about it.

    Actually, I'll tell you about one thing right now. We did an episode
    on digital cameras. Part of the fun involved visiting a couple of big
    electronics stores, posing as somebody who didn't know much about
    cameras, and, later, commenting on what they told me.

    The clerks at one store recognized me. The guy at the other store had
    no clue that I'm a tech writer. Both of them were surprisingly frank,
    pointing out, for example, that five megapixels is plenty for prints up
    to smallish poster size.

    Now, every time I write that, I hear from furious or baffled readers.
    one. "A ten-megapixel camera produces
    photos about 3640 pixels wide-enough to make a 12-inch print at 300
    dpi (dots per inch) on a good printer. Sure, you can go lower, but
    quality is sacrificed; you can't make an 11×14 print, let alone
    anything bigger."

    I have to say, the math sounds right. But I also have to say that
    he's wrong.

    On the show, we did a test. We blew up a photograph to 16 x 24 inches
    at a professional photo lab. One print had 13-megapixel resolution; one
    had 8; the third had 5. Same exact photo, down-rezzed twice, all three
    printed at the same poster size. I wanted to hang them all on a wall in
    Times Square and challenge passersby to see if they could tell the
    difference.

    Even the technician at the photo lab told me that I was crazy, that
    there'd be a huge difference between 5 megapixels and 13.
    I'm prepared to give away the punch line of this segment, because
    hey-the show doesn't air till February, and you'll have forgotten
    all about what you read here today, right?

    Anyway, we ran the test for about 45 minutes. Dozens of people stopped
    to take the test; a little crowd gathered. About 95 percent of the
    volunteers gave up, announcing that there was no possible way to tell
    the difference, even when mashing their faces right up against the
    prints. A handful of them attempted guesses-but were wrong. Only one
    person correctly ranked the prints in megapixel order, although (a) she
    was a photography professor, and (b) I believe she just got lucky.

    I'm telling you, there was NO DIFFERENCE.

    This post is going to get a lot of people riled up, I know, because in
    THEORY, you should be able to see a difference. But you can't.

    And I'm hoping this little test can save you some bucks the next time
    you're shopping for a camera.
     
    CFB, Nov 22, 2006
    #1
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  2. CFB

    Celcius Guest

    Turns out people can't tell the difference between a 5MP 16 x 24 inch
    print and a 12MP 16 x 24 inch print!

    AHAHHA AHAHHA AHHA HAH AH! Keep eating that big business bullshit!

    The key word here is your "down-rezzed twice".
    You compared the same photograph. A better test would have been to compare 3
    photos: the first taken by a 12MP camera, a second with an 8MP and a third
    with a 5MP. However, even then, the comparison would be off because those
    three cameras have a different lens / ccd / etc. In short, they're of
    different quality. The 12MP might cost well over $3000 whereas the 5MP might
    be $250.
    Finally, who were the judges? People walking in who knew nothing or next to
    it about photography? How was the lighting when it was shown?
    Please think before putting out such drivel. The AHAAHAHAAA might be on you.
    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Nov 22, 2006
    #2
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  3. CFB

    Paul Furman Guest

    Indeed because of the Bayer and anialiasing filters, full res digital
    photos are softer than the MP count is capable of showing. That means
    you can squeeze it down from 10MP to 5MP without losing much at all but
    a photo shot on a 5MP camera is similarly soft... maybe optimal
    downrezzed to 3MP.

    13MP would most likely be a Canon 5D for $3,000 with a lens and a full
    size sensor to boot. Really nice stuff. 5MP would most likely be a $300
    pocket P&S camera with a tiny sensor and much less dynamic range, more
    noise, crappy lens, etc.

    A photo from a 5D downrezzed to 5MP is going to look *much* better than
    what comes out of the 5MP pocket camera.
     
    Paul Furman, Nov 22, 2006
    #3
  4. CFB

    m Ransley Guest

    The test should be done with one camera set at 13mp then 8 then 5mp, not
    a resized 13mp photo.
     
    m Ransley, Nov 22, 2006
    #4
  5. CFB

    smb Guest


    You have to realize where CFB is coming from. For some reason, he has
    a chip on his shoulder against "big business," and he has a history
    here of ranting against digital because he believes the medium
    discourages creativity. As you can see, he's also pretty abrasive to
    others. Be careful about criticizing what he says, though, or you will
    get the dreaded "I'm done with you" response; but first he will likely
    call you a f***ing idiot. Be prepared to start shaking in your
    boots.

    You're right, the conditions of that "test" were anything but
    scientific. It's true, though, that pixel count alone doesn't mean
    much by itself. I have a new 6MP p&s camera that makes terrible
    noisy images compared to my several year old 3MP dslr. I also have a
    10MP dslr that blows them both out of the water in terms of image
    quality. It's not just the number of pixels, it's also the "quality"
    of the pixels and the calibre of the camera's image processing
    circuitry.

    Another factor is that the higher MP cameras are far more sensitive to
    such things as camera shake, off-focus or poor lens quality. That may
    be one reason why some people couldn't tell the difference. If you
    have a big MP camera, you'd better be sure your optics and techni que
    can match it.

    The bottom line is that the more expensive cameras do indeed produce
    output that is better than the inexpensive ones, to a point. What
    you really get once you break that $1,000 barrier, however, is build
    quality and reliability along with better features and ergonomics.
    Those things alone can make the better cameras well worth the money.

    Steve


    Oh, to CFB: pssssst! In case you haven't heard, the big digital
    camera companies are one and the same as the big film camera
    companies. Film itself is also made by "big business." They all
    want your dollars, they are no different in that regard.
     
    smb, Nov 22, 2006
    #5
  6. CFB

    George K Guest

    How we can we not trust an individual who has never taken a bad
    photograph in his life? Heck, is better than Adams and Weston and
    contributed more to photography than Land.!

    At least in his own mind.
     
    George K, Nov 22, 2006
    #6
  7. CFB

    WHID Guest

    Hi, I am Steve, blah blah blah, I am right about everything! Blah blah
    blah, can't you see how important I am? Blah blah blah I am never wrong!
    Another factor...blah blah blah...i experienced everything...blah blah
    blah. What i say blah blah blah is the truth blah blah blah what you say
    is propaganda! But don't look at my crappy photographs cause they will
    give me away! The more I type...blah blah blah...the more important i
    feel! No one loves me so I have to be better than other people by blah
    blah blah.

    Steve

    P.S. Don't look at my photographs! They suck!
     
    WHID, Nov 22, 2006
    #7
  8. In addition to what others said (about the tests being flawed), I would
    rather say: tell me something I didn't know!!!

    The "truth" about digital cameras shows up when you compare a *30 by 20*
    enlargement taken with a 10MP (or 12, or whatever), vs. a 5MP (or 4, or
    3, or whatever lower resolution).

    It's like taking a photo with the same camera (a *film* camera, to
    stimulate one's creativity, if you will), plenty of light, and then
    take one with an f/1.8 lens, one with an f/4 lens, and when you see
    that no-one can tell the difference, you call everyone a sucker
    because they bought into the scam of getting the f/1.8 lens.

    You pay more for the *increased flexibility* --- if you compare two
    photos with a setup that does not make use of that flexibility, that's
    your problem, not everyone else's.

    That said, it is worth noting that of course the megapixels are being
    used as marketing propaganda by digital camera manufacturers and
    retailers (mostly the retailers, I estimate), so maybe your post
    qualifies as marginally above troll-quality.

    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Nov 22, 2006
    #8
  9. From: "Carlos Moreno" <>

    |
    | In addition to what others said (about the tests being flawed), I would
    | rather say: tell me something I didn't know!!!
    |
    | The "truth" about digital cameras shows up when you compare a *30 by 20*
    | enlargement taken with a 10MP (or 12, or whatever), vs. a 5MP (or 4, or
    | 3, or whatever lower resolution).
    |
    | It's like taking a photo with the same camera (a *film* camera, to
    | stimulate one's creativity, if you will), plenty of light, and then
    | take one with an f/1.8 lens, one with an f/4 lens, and when you see
    | that no-one can tell the difference, you call everyone a sucker
    | because they bought into the scam of getting the f/1.8 lens.
    |
    | You pay more for the *increased flexibility* --- if you compare two
    | photos with a setup that does not make use of that flexibility, that's
    | your problem, not everyone else's.
    |
    | That said, it is worth noting that of course the megapixels are being
    | used as marketing propaganda by digital camera manufacturers and
    | retailers (mostly the retailers, I estimate), so maybe your post
    | qualifies as marginally above troll-quality.
    |
    | Carlos
    | --

    I think where hi mexapixel cameras come into play is when you grab a section of a given
    picture and zoom in and at what point when you zoom in the graphic becomes pixelated. The
    higher the megapixel value the more you can digitally zoom into a given are of a photo on
    the computer.
     
    David H. Lipman, Nov 22, 2006
    #9
  10. CFB

    Steve B Guest

    Get a life and grow up!

    Track break again already from middle school?
    Mama left you home alone?
    Again?
     
    Steve B, Nov 23, 2006
    #10
  11. Yep, that is indeed related to my argument above, but it's a good idea
    that you mentioned it specifically. (*)

    Still, I don't think these two arguments combined defeat the point of
    megapixels being used as "scammy" propaganda tool by retailers and
    manufacturers --- as much as Gigahertz are used for misleading
    customers with PC computers --- for the general public, megaixels is
    kind of a measure of the quality of a camera (as if you had a
    qualitimeter with a scale showing megapixels as the unit of measure).
    That's a legitimate reason for complaints ... Although one could
    argue that if people don't understand that megapixels is not an
    absolute measure of a camera's quality, that's their problem, and
    fortunately they're the only ones affected by it.


    (*) Notice also that the argument about megapixels being mistakenly
    used as a measure of the quality sort of overlaps with this issue;
    if the *lens* that you use does not have good resolution, then
    zooming in and cropping won't produce any good results. It's all,
    as we know, a combination of many factors --- high megapixel being
    one of the several positive factors (or limiting factor, if you will).


    Carlos
    --
     
    Carlos Moreno, Nov 23, 2006
    #11
  12. CFB

    smb Guest

    With every post you make, WHID, you display your serious need for
    professional help. You can't even do a good job of mocking someone.
    Why not write about something you actually know about, and people will
    listen to you. You'll find that people will take you seriously if
    you just act with a little respect toward others.

    Since you have displayed multiple personalities in the film petition
    thread (caring animal rights advocate, "Christian," false "Bible
    expert," gutter-mouthed angry child, raving lunatic), I'm beginning to
    wonder if you and CFB are one and the same person. You both use the
    lame "AHAHHA AHAHHA AHHA HAH AH" line when you can't think of anything
    constructive to say. Last time I looked at CFB's blog link it had
    been replaced with some kind of animal rights message. Now I see
    that the 'nothing to understand' blog is back up. Are you the same
    person? If so, good job! But now your secret is out. Time for
    another alter ego.


    Steve
     
    smb, Nov 23, 2006
    #12
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