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What about 36MP DSLRs?

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What about 36MP DSLRs?
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It seems that 36 MP full frame DSLRs are coming around pretty sure. Nikon is rumored to have a 36 MP DSLR coming pretty soon and so is Sony said to have one in coming. On the other hand, Canon introduced a "pro" DSLR with 18 MP full frame sensor, the latter leading to statemenst like the "pixel race is over".


What can we predict about the upcoming 36 MP sensors? Quite a lot, because the technology has been around for about a year, on APS-C sensors. A 16 MP APS-C sensor transferred to a full frame sensor would give 36 MP! Sensor evolution is not very fast, so we can sefely assume that the coming 36 MP sensors will be very similar to 16 MP sensors of present.


So what we do need to find out about a 36 MP full frame sensor?

  • Put camera on tripod
  • Mount a good lens on a 16 MP APS-C camerade and shoot a well made picture
  • Put the same lens on a full frame camera and reshoot the image from the same position
  • Multiply the size of the APS-C image in pixels with the crop factor and rescale the full frame image to that size
  • Start pixel peeping

Here are my results

First the uncropped APS-C image. The image contains some different subjects.


  • A dollar bill I use for testing '
  • A fake USAF test target The obligatory Color Checker
  • A red flow (pelargon) for fine and natural structures
  • A black espresso cup placed in artificially shadow to check dark end of DR
  • A white percallan teapot for highlight en of DR
Focus was placed on the Dollar bill.


The images on the left are always APS-C (corresponding what you would see on 36 MP while the right one is the enlarged full frame 24.5 MP image.

Click on image for "actual pixels" view.

The "flowers crop" illustrates difference between the two sensors on natural 3D objects. Click on image for "actual pixels" view.

The espresso cups are are placed in artificial shadow. Iluminiation is one sided, Bill Atkinsons "In the Stone" casts shadow on the coffe cups. A foambord on the reflects som light.

The whole subject is illuminated by 80 cm bouncer on the left.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 20:26  


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