Pixel count

BackRoadsBackRoads Posts: 5Member
I am puzzled about one thing and hopefully someone can help me understand this. Nikon's flagship D5 has a 20 MP sensor and the D850 has about a 45 MP sensor. Wouldn't it make sense that the flagship should have this? My understanding is that since the flagship is for professionals and if they only need that, then the rest of us mere mortals can do just fine with a 20MP sensor as well? I understand a lot has to do with print size or what you intend to do with the pictures, but don't professionals benefit from the bigger sensor as well?
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Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,005Member
    edited July 8
    The D5 is for pro sports and photojournalists, neither of which require high resolution, since most of their images will end up on news websites and newsprint at low resolutions 1MP at most, anyway. Clean high ISO images, shooting speed, and short blackout times, are far more important for those applications, thus the lower resolution sensor. The D5 and D850 both have the same size sensor, just different pixel counts.

    The D850 is also a professional camera as well, just aimed at different users, mostly landscape shooters, wedding photographers etc.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • BackRoadsBackRoads Posts: 5Member
    Thank you for the reply.
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 816Member
    Hey you guys, my D810 (36MP) does just great with sports stuff and the added pixels give you so much leeway for cropping in close - I'm looking to a D850 soon to continue my golf photography and hopefully will give me slightly better high ISO results for when the light is not o great. That said, I'd love a D5 just can't justify the cost as an amateur who doesn't get paid for his shots!!!!
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,069Moderator
    @GPDen: You will notice the AF on the D850 leaves the D810 for dead however, I would not buy a D850 to use at hi ISO, I would buy the D750.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,831Member
    If there is enough light to play golf there is enough light for a D850.. or if there is enough light for a vicar to read his bible there is enough light to photo the wedding.
    You will find the focus leaves the D810 behind.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,043Member
    edited July 30
    I think that if your "only" consideration is high ISO performance, then buy a D750. But if great performance at low ISO is important to you, then buy a D850. After you downsample the D850 file to the D750 file, the difference is minor. I suspect that it is even less than minor, but I don't have the evidence to back that up. Remember, that comparing noise between two cameras of different resolutions "at the pixel level" is an apples to oranges comparison.

    This of course assumes that money is not a consideration. If it is, buy the D750 now. It is one of the best values on the market for full frame.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • GPDenGPDen Posts: 816Member
    Apols guys a bit late back to the party here...!! Interesting comments about the D850 and low light shooting, but surely it has to be better than the D810 (by a stop or two) even if it isn't the best of the current bodies out there in this department? Well that's been my assumption so far whilst considering the D850 to replace my ageing D700. I think I better do some searches for some reviews/comparisons etc. just to be sure. To be fair whilst a lot of my photography (70 - 80% maybe) is on the golf course I want the best all round performer as my next upgrade so I still think the D850 is my best bet (money not really a consideration). Will be great to have stella AF but whilst golfers may swing fast they don't actually move from the spot, apart from a little lateral swaying maybe, so once locked on focus doesn't need to change (f/4.0 usually works fine on the 70-200 f/2.8 and f/5.6 on the 200-500 f/5.6 - might up that to f/6.3 - f/7.0 if shooting more head on and light is good).
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,224Member
    I don't see it being one stop better than the D810, let alone two stops.

    There really hasn't been that much improvement in sensor performance. Z6 is a little better than D750 (noticably better if you shoot JPG) but considering it is five years newer the change is minimal.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,069Moderator
    To say I am sceptical of 'improvements' in low light performance that are purely the product of software algorithms is an understatement.

    I am a pixel peeper for sure, but then if we all aren't to some extent, why do we bother with high-res bodies? probably nearly none of us print images to the size that we need the pixels.

    @WestEndFoto, shame you can't prove your comments, it would be interesting.

    Personally, I don't like the IQ of my D850 when working in low light. Too much tendency to be noisy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The D850 body and controls with the D750 sensor and therefore increased fps would be one hell of a camera.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,831Member
    edited July 30
    d750 not enough pixels for serious cropping ..I did not see much if any difference in sensitivity between the D810 and 850...DXO rates the 850 as less sensitive ...if there isn't enough light turn the flash on but remember that raises the base iso by 4x
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,005Member

    d750 not enough pixels for serious cropping

    Meh, better to have some pixels than grainy noisy useless ones. I'm often happy with shots form the D750 at ISO12800, wouldn't push the D810 over 6400. When I know I'm shooting in low light I take my D750 over my D810, that's for sure, flash or no flash, because the D750 simply focuses better in low light.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,043Member
    edited July 31

    To say I am sceptical of 'improvements' in low light performance that are purely the product of software algorithms is an understatement.

    I am a pixel peeper for sure, but then if we all aren't to some extent, why do we bother with high-res bodies? probably nearly none of us print images to the size that we need the pixels.

    @WestEndFoto, shame you can't prove your comments, it would be interesting.

    Personally, I don't like the IQ of my D850 when working in low light. Too much tendency to be noisy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The D850 body and controls with the D750 sensor and therefore increased fps would be one hell of a camera.

    Here you go Spraynpray:

    https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d850/7

    I admit that I am relying on an internet review, but I have always found Photography Life and Thom Hogan to be good reviewers. I will be damned if I can tell the difference between the two at ISO 6400, which is the comparison that I have been staring at.

    I think that the explanation is simple. The BSI sensor on the D850 does not block light, as the interfering wiring elements are not blocking the light path and the space between the pixels is minimal. In essence, it becomes irrelevant, or barely relevant, how many pixels a sensor is divided into.

    Personally, I think that the best lowlight sensor is a Z7 or D850 sensor at ISO 64 attached to a tripod, but that is a different conversation.

    So I look forward to the D6 80mp sensor with a sRaw option of 20mp (each pixel becomes an average of four). Tower Jazz anyone...……… I would fork over $10k for that.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,069Moderator
    edited July 31

    d750 not enough pixels for serious cropping ..I did not see much if any difference in sensitivity between the D810 and 850...DXO rates the 850 as less sensitive ...if there isn't enough light turn the flash on but remember that raises the base iso by 4x

    I don't need to crop that much and I haven't got a flash that illuminates stars...
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,069Moderator

    To say I am sceptical of 'improvements' in low light performance that are purely the product of software algorithms is an understatement.

    I am a pixel peeper for sure, but then if we all aren't to some extent, why do we bother with high-res bodies? probably nearly none of us print images to the size that we need the pixels.

    @WestEndFoto, shame you can't prove your comments, it would be interesting.

    Personally, I don't like the IQ of my D850 when working in low light. Too much tendency to be noisy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The D850 body and controls with the D750 sensor and therefore increased fps would be one hell of a camera.

    Here you go Spraynpray:

    https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d850/7

    I admit that I am relying on an internet review, but I have always found Photography Life and Thom Hogan to be good reviewers. I will be damned if I can tell the difference between the two at ISO 6400, which is the comparison that I have been staring at.

    I think that the explanation is simple. The BSI sensor on the D850 does not block light, as the interfering wiring elements are not blocking the light path and the space between the pixels is minimal. In essence, it becomes irrelevant, or barely relevant, how many pixels a sensor is divided into.

    Personally, I think that the best lowlight sensor is a Z7 or D850 sensor at ISO 64 attached to a tripod, but that is a different conversation.

    So I look forward to the D6 80mp sensor with a sRaw option of 20mp (each pixel becomes an average of four). Tower Jazz anyone...……… I would fork over $10k for that.
    Bleah, I don't believe anything other than what I see for myself and the D850 is only any good at low ISO or when reproduced at small sizes if used in low light (astro) in my experience.

    Studio work or decent light landscape on a tripod is very different to low light use.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,043Member



    Bleah, I don't believe anything other than what I see for myself and the D850 is only any good at low ISO or when reproduced at small sizes if used in low light (astro) in my experience.

    Studio work or decent light landscape on a tripod is very different to low light use.

    Absolutely, I want to see for myself too. But I am not going to expect anybody to believe me unless I can show them evidence. However, I might state my opinion with the understanding that maybe they need to see for themselves. But as it stands now, I have to believe that Photography Life is competent to do a comparison and I can't see the difference between the two. I have yet to see evidence of this quality that refutes the hypotheses.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,831Member
    edited August 1
    Spray said.
    I haven't got a flash that illuminates stars...
    Well I did ask a wedding photographer with his flash pointed upwards if he was bouncing his flash off the clouds...….


    In truth its horses for courses and what makes you happy. I miss the weddings, the bird photography does not compensate and have considered selling all my stuff and giving up.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 273Member

    Spray said.
    In truth its horses for courses and what makes you happy. I miss the weddings, the bird photography does not compensate and have considered selling all my stuff and giving up.

    Ow, hope you don't give up completely. There's all sorts of images happening out there, every second, gotta be some that appeal...

    FWIW, I submitted my retirement notice about six months ago, but they talked me into part-time, from home. The new situation feels right, a bit of a 'glide slope' into what I know will definitely be full-time retirement in a couple of years.

    Working from home is probably not an option for you, after all, who wants all those well-dressed strangers traipsing through their house... :smiley: but, is there the possibility of the occasional gig? Just thinking out loud........
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 816Member
    Whether birds or brides it's all about marketing.... Birds sell many in the right market done right while brides have to be a new photo for every sale except for the families... Birds and Butterflies are great for product images that kids go wild for... and sometimes those who sew them on fabric together for gifts they make to pass out. Who would have thought the Hula Hoop would have sold the millions of dollars that it did? Sometimes we have to think outside the bun or frame for the mass market dollars. I never did a wedding except for 3-4 poor souls who couldn't afford a real wedding photographer which I'm not. All were friends of family and such and I got roped into it and believe me they got just what they paid for and that was not much. The wildlife and landscapes I enjoy shooting don't fuss about a stray stand of hair not in place. Once years ago I had an amazing shot of a blond on a horse riding in a pristine environment on a windy day and she didn't like here hair. Lady don't let the door knob make that butt crack wider on your way out. No amount of pixels can fix some clients, but they sure help boardroom murals.
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 440Member
    edited August 2
    If someone stops working, we say in Holland, he sits behind the geraniums. The only thing is staring outside.

    50 years ago photography used to be difficult, but new subjects were always for the taking. In this time, a billion photos are posted on the internet every day, unfortunately all the same, because I don't see anything new anymore.

    Everything overboard and only doing what you feel like is a lot of freedom Pstnbroke and sometimes a wedding who knows, it is still so much fun, not always of course. :)

    At the moment I have the Nikon Z6 with the 24-70 mm f / 4 on my belt, one lens is enough, so much fun and for me it is perfect, I stopped thinking in money on photography many years ago, I am just an amateur with a little more knowledge than the average, set yourself free and have fun, nobody else does it for you.
    Post edited by Ton14 on
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 497Member
    Please don't do that @Pistnbroke. There's a huge world out there waiting to photographed. I've probably made less that $200 off photography over my lifetime. But I have a bucket list of things and places I want to shoot. Some of them I did on film (not for $$) years ago. Now I can go back and do them again in digital. This medium is, for me anyway, a brave new world.

    I can understand the withdrawl from the vocation. I'm sure it'll hit me when I retire next year. But, getting out of the professing game opens a lot of new doors. I suspect you'll find your doors. Second star on the right, straight on 'til morning.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 816Member
    I spent some time yesterday evaluating images from Sigma's new 35mm f1.2 Art lens used on a Sony a7RIII. No complaints at 48x72" from a 42MP sensor. That was landscape shots only. No facial portraits which don't interest me anyway. So now the next step I'm waiting for is that same lens on a Sony a7R IV using the high res mode at 240MP… This could get expensive as a new Epson 60" SureColor 20000 isn't cheap either. Life is getting more interesting by the day now.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,224Member

    I spent some time yesterday evaluating images from Sigma's new 35mm f1.2 Art lens used on a Sony a7RIII. No complaints at 48x72" from a 42MP sensor. That was landscape shots only. No facial portraits which don't interest me anyway. So now the next step I'm waiting for is that same lens on a Sony a7R IV using the high res mode at 240MP… This could get expensive as a new Epson 60" SureColor 20000 isn't cheap either. Life is getting more interesting by the day now.

    So have you been impressed by the results and usability of the pixel shift feature on the Sony's or the Panasonics? Honestly to me the results I have seen were kind of underwhelming. I mean, it did look better, but not as much better as I had hoped.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 816Member
    mhedges said:

    I spent some time yesterday evaluating images from Sigma's new 35mm f1.2 Art lens used on a Sony a7RIII. No complaints at 48x72" from a 42MP sensor. That was landscape shots only. No facial portraits which don't interest me anyway. So now the next step I'm waiting for is that same lens on a Sony a7R IV using the high res mode at 240MP… This could get expensive as a new Epson 60" SureColor 20000 isn't cheap either. Life is getting more interesting by the day now.

    So have you been impressed by the results and usability of the pixel shift feature on the Sony's or the Panasonics? Honestly to me the results I have seen were kind of underwhelming. I mean, it did look better, but not as much better as I had hoped.
    No not pixel shift. Just the base sensor at 42MP. I want to see pixel shift files and hope to acquire landscape images using pixel shift. I am most content with my D500 for what I use it for with the lenses I have for it. If I could have my way I'd add a D850 and a pixel shift body. The hope is that Nikon will surprise us with a new Z body with superior autofocus and pixel shift for 240MP landscape images. I want to use a Nikon body with tilt shift lenses also and those are not available to my knowledge for any major camera other than Nikon and Canon. I can visualize a long pano print made with a 400-450MB file by using pixel shift with a tilt shift lens. I'm not sure even at this point if the process will work with a tilt shift lens. Post processing can make or break any large file that is going to be used for large format printing and I've learned the hard way somethings not to do. I've learned to take a small area of a file and print that rather than the whole image first. What looks good on a monitor may not look good on canvas. I tried to work some images up from a Sony a7R IV but the only lens used was a Sony 24-70 and actually I'd be ashamed to sign my name to what I saw when enlarged. 61 lousy MP's for my take on it. The aR7 III images where much better when enlarged. When I see the Sigma 35mm f1.2 images of something besides street images then I will form my own real world opinion. Right now I'm faulting the lens and not the body... and maybe the photog and publisher for not having a more diversified set of images to use. For what ever reason the 42MP raw files were 82MB sized and the 61MB came sized at 60.x MB. Something is wrong. I suspect downsized RAW was used to make for easier downloads. Why don't people show the best they can do instead of watering things down?

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,043Member
    mhedges said:

    I spent some time yesterday evaluating images from Sigma's new 35mm f1.2 Art lens used on a Sony a7RIII. No complaints at 48x72" from a 42MP sensor. That was landscape shots only. No facial portraits which don't interest me anyway. So now the next step I'm waiting for is that same lens on a Sony a7R IV using the high res mode at 240MP… This could get expensive as a new Epson 60" SureColor 20000 isn't cheap either. Life is getting more interesting by the day now.

    So have you been impressed by the results and usability of the pixel shift feature on the Sony's or the Panasonics? Honestly to me the results I have seen were kind of underwhelming. I mean, it did look better, but not as much better as I had hoped.
    Well, I think that many forget that an optical system is only going to be as good as the weakest link. If the lens is good enough to benefit from a 75mp sensor but not more for example, then pixel shift that takes it to 200mp is not going to provide any more benefit than a 75mp sensor. An improvement? Sure. But I doubt that there is any 35mm lens that would benefit from a sensor larger than about 100mp (this is not scientific, it is my gut and my objective is to illustrate the point) so in this example a sensor that achieves more than 100mp is a gimmick and of no benefit. Cell phones that have any sensor more than about 12mp are guilty of this.

    And another thing to remember. There must be zero movement for pixel shift to work.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 816Member




    And another thing to remember. There must be zero movement for pixel shift to work.

    All mostly true. I've yet to have a painting on an easel move during copy though. I do think though that each frame taken during pixel shift should be only the native res of the sensor? The gain is when they are assembled together as I understand.

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