Nikon D200 and Fuji S5 megapixel count

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by \(used to be\) Fat Sam, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. I've been looking at these two cameras, but I'm seriously confused.

    From what I can see, the D200 is an 8megapixel body, and the S5 is a 12.34
    megapixel body.
    All makes sense to me so far.

    So I asked a photog mate of mine who has used both bodies a few questions
    about it, and he say's it's not as simple as that.

    He says that yes, the S5 is offering 4.34 more megapixels than the D200, but
    you don't actually get 4.34 megapixels more.

    So what I want to know is, can I trust the numbers printed on the box or

    Assuming I'm a dumb consumer who has just walked into Jessops and saw two
    more or less identical camera bodies. One a Nikon, and the other a Fuji,
    both at a similar price.
    The only thing I can see that sways me one way or the other is the megapixel
    count printed on the box. The Fuji is higher, so naturally I opt for that

    Now I'm told that even though the Fuji box says 12.34 megapixels, it doesn't
    actually deliver a 12.34 megapixel image, and in actual fact doesn't produce
    an image any bigger than that produced by the D200.
    Appartently it's all down to the way the pixels are arranged on the Fuji

    What's going on here?
    Are Fujis pixels smaller than Nikons or something?
    How can a camera produce an image that's 4.34 megapixels bigger, yet at the
    same time not produce an image that's 4.34 megapixels bigger?

    Surely this sort of deceptive marketing is quite underhanded, and intended
    to deliberately mislead the camera buying public?
    \(used to be\) Fat Sam, Sep 11, 2008
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  2. \(used to be\) Fat Sam

    Vance Guest

    Sam, pardon me for saying so, but it seems that you are going about
    this a little wrong. There is an old saying that goes something along
    the lines of "When you buy a drill bit, do you want a drill bit? No.
    You want the hole it makes." It's the same with cameras, you should
    want the pictures you can produce with it, not the camera.

    Here is a review directly comparing the Fuji to the Nikon:

    Pixel count is not the Holy Grail of digital photography, it's the
    image first last and always at a dollar value that makes sense for
    you. You should know this, but it isn't that simple. You want to
    shoot sports? The Fuji wouldn't seem to be the camera to use.
    Portraits? Sounds much more like it. A camera that doesn't get you
    the images you want, whatever else it has going for it, isn't the
    camera you want.

    All cameras are a compromise and your the only one that can make a
    decision about whether the compromises match your needs (or desires).

    Just my 2 P.

    Vance, Sep 11, 2008
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  3. \(used to be\) Fat Sam

    Mark Thomas Guest

    As Alan said, MP numbers give you a guide, but you need to know a lot
    more, eg sensor arrangement, type of sensors, density, etc... Witness
    the endless bickering about Foveon and the way it is marketed. Pixels
    do not equal pixels.
    If you are a dumb consumer, yes you might be 'misled', but it would be
    your own fault. The information is not very well hidden...
    Pardon me asking, but are you from the old school of film users? You
    could say the same about buying film - Two boxes of film, one is
    Kodachrome 25, one is Konica 3200 (!! both long discontinued..). Do you
    just buy the Konica because it has higher ISO?
    It doesn't, but nor does the D200 give you 8Mp true resolution.
    Nyquist, anti-aliasing, bayer interpolation...
    And their types.
    Yes. Fuji has sacrificed some resolution for dynamic range by using a
    twin sensor design. Half the sensors are specifically for recording
    highlights beyond the range of the normal sensors.
    You can apply that to every camera that uses megapixel count rather than
    measured resolution. In other words, that would be *every* camera. But
    back in the film days, was there any useful indication of resolution on
    the boxes, or even in the advertising? So you could argue it is better
    nowadays... (O:

    And the S5 is a pretty nifty camera by most accounts, if you want the
    best dynamic range and very good colours. What will you be shooting?
    Mark Thomas, Sep 11, 2008
  4. Thanks for all the answers guys. It's a lot clearer now.
    I'm currently using a 6mp camera and I don't find that limiting in any way
    so the S5's 6.17mp would b fine for me.
    I do mostly landscape and architecture shots, so in that respect, the higher
    dynamic range would be perfect for me.
    I'm trying to dip my toe in the waters of sports photography, shooting local
    rugby matches, but more for the experience than anything serious, and it's
    not my main area of focus.
    So on the whole, the S5 seems to be a pretty good option for me.
    Having said that, I'll probably change my mind a dozen more times before I
    settle on a final decision - and then doubtless I'll see something diffeent
    six months later and wish I'd chosen that instead. That's just the way I am.
    \(used to be\) Fat Sam, Sep 12, 2008
  5. A mate of mine uses one professionally, and he got booked to shoot a footy
    match. He reports that it's not the best body for the job. He reckons he'd
    rather have used a Canon for a sports shoot.
    There seems to be plenty of UK online sources that still have them in stock.
    Well, for the time being anyway...
    LOL, This is nothing. You should see how indecisive I am when I'm buying
    Cheers :)
    \(used to be\) Fat Sam, Sep 13, 2008
  6. \(used to be\) Fat Sam

    Peter Guest

    Sometimes that's good. When the new model that satisfies your needs comes
    out, you'll be glad you waited.
    Peter, Sep 13, 2008
  7. Hahaha. true.
    There's nothing worse than buying something only to find it's been replaced
    by a newer improved model a week later.
    \(used to be\) Fat Sam, Sep 13, 2008
  8. \(used to be\) Fat Sam

    Peter Guest

    the next day is worse
    Peter, Sep 13, 2008
  9. I use both D200 and S5 canera bodies, the D200 is the best choice for
    maximising detail particularly in RAW images, the S5 is really only a 6Mp
    sensor equipped camera that uses a second set of photo sensors to increase
    its dynamic range.

    Images captured with the S5 are rich and tonally similar to negative film,
    its great for portraiture, weddings and other subjects which benefit from a
    smooth tonal range.

    In contrast, the D200 delivers images which resemble film transaprencies,
    sharp and punchy, but with a restricted highlight to low light range when
    compared to the results obtained from the S5.

    I find exposure with the D200 to be far more critical than that of the S5. I
    tend to underexpose by .5 to 1 full stop on the D200 to get the images I
    need, whilst the S5 seems to be able to deliver near perfect results in
    automatic mode with no need for exposure compensation.

    They are both 'great' cameras, built like tanks and certainly built to last!
    NigelCummings, Sep 15, 2008
  10. \(used to be\) Fat Sam

    Peter Guest

    With my D200 ( and 300) I was doing as you did, then I started exposing so
    that the histogram was as far to the right as I can get it, without
    clipping. In post processing I first adjust using a curve layer. You can
    also make two or more images and merge them to HDR. If you only shot one
    image you can make a copy and post process both in Raw, then merge to HDR.
    This gives you the best of both worlds.
    Peter, Sep 15, 2008
  11. I agree taking two or more mages of the same subject with differing
    exposures and merging them to HDR is a very good technique. I also agree
    with you about getting the histogram as far to the right as possible - these
    are both techniques I adopt when I think I need them.

    Returning to the Fuji S5 for a moment, I have to say I was a little sad to
    see that the S5 is probably the end of the line for this type of Super CCD
    camera. I certainly would be a customer for an S6 with true 12MP resolution.

    Though I guess the only way it would be possible to squeeze 2 x 12MP sensors
    together on one chip to accomodate both normal and
    highlight sensitive photo pits would be to opt for a full frame design -
    NigelCummings, Sep 16, 2008
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