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Sigh. I'm thoroughly exhausted by all the megapixel mania of the past ten years.    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!   I find this a satisfying photograph. It won awards in two exhibitions, printed to 20x24". I made four 11x14" prints yesterday, three spoken for. I made it with the Olympus E-1, a 5 Mpixel camera that I've owned for eight years and that is thirteen years old. 

Until the M9 and 18MP, I DID want a camera with more pixels (having worked my way up from 7MP in 2005). Up to then I was limited (in my opinion) in what I could print for my walls (i.e. up A3-ish) by pixels. At 18Mp I knew I could print adequately at A3 myself, and I had some printed professionally at larger size.   24Mp is nice to have, but it wasn't a critical factor in getting the M240 - wider DR, better ISO, better screen, quieter shutter were the main factors. At the same time, I had to u

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015 Andy Farrer:     Good, prizewinning landscape photographs are not made by megapixels, they are made by photographers. Thinking that an unending quest for the next technological advance will magically bring your photography to the next, ultimate level is chasing a chimera.

Okay, perhaps a less grumpy response than my first comment above.

 

36MP will give you more pixels, for sure.  But let's look at that a little more carefully.  24MP gives you 6,000 pixels along the long edge and 4,000 pixels on the short edge.  As has been said on more than one occasion, in order to truly double the resolution you would need 12,000 x 8,000 - 96MP.  A move to 37.5MP (the S(007) sensor) would give 7,500 x 5,000, an increase of only 25% along each side.  So while an increase to 50MP seems colossal, it gives only a modest gain.

 

It is also worth recalling that the S sensor apparently has the same pixel density as the M(240) - I suspect this is more important than just the number of MP.  In practical terms, I don't really think MP is the issue.  That said, PhotoShop has a very good stitching tool which can give fabulous results if sheer resolution is what you want.  You may know this already, but stitching is best done with a 50mm lens (for 35mm format) or longer, and you should set your tripod so the point of rotation is at the aperture blades; set ISO, aperture and shutter at the same setting for all your images, and let PhotoShop do the rest.

 

The last panorama I took was 30 or so images stitched together, taken with my M Edition 60 and AA Summicron 90.  The resulting image was 2.75GB - pretty much impossible to print really, but extraordinary detail.  An interesting, but ultimately pointless exercise.

 

Conversely, a Monochrom landscape, taken with the 75 Summilux (stopped down) has more detail printed a metre across the long side than I know what to do with.

 

I hope this is a more helpful response for you.  24MP on the SL is, in my view, ample for pretty much anything that one might want to do in 35mm format.  If you want more resolution, then look to larger formats - cramming smaller pixels into 35mm isn't the answer, in my view.

 

Cheers

John

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This is a very interesting thread.  A few years ago, 10mp or 16mp was considered "enough"  Now a lot of people here say that 24mp are quite "enough".   That includes me.   But when the SL2 is announced in 2018 and has 36 or 42 mp, a goodly number of the same posters will rush out to buy one.  That includes me too.   When the new M is announced later this year it may well have more than 24mp.   I will bow my head and shuffle my feet and say I might buy one of those too.  We're all imperfect.   More megapixels at least will explain my "logic" to my wife.  In another two or three years there will be a thread on why 36mp is "enough,"   yada yada yada.

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I'll get burned at the stake for this but I would choose neither the M or SL as a primary camera for landscapes/nature. I have both and enjoy them immensely. My M is my most used camera and the camera I take everywhere.

 

But for lanscapes and nature I much prefer the Sony A7R2. Apart from the increase in resolving power, it also has other features that make it more suitable to landscape use than the Leicas. The first being the articulated rear screen which makes tripod use much more pleasurable, especially at very low and very high viewpoints. It has more dynamic range and uncompressed raw has been added recently. It has a very good EVF (but not at the level of the SL) and totally silent shooting, which can be very useful for wildlife. It's smaller and lighter and yet fits 5 axis IS into it. It requires great technique and great glass to get it to sing but when it does.....

 

Mostly though it's hugely adaptable for high quality glass. Leica M lenses longer than 50mm work beautifully on the Sony and for the wide stuff, there's a huge choice of Zeiss and other high quality glass available. R lenses all work well on it. You even have a huge choice of Sony, Sigma and Canon autofocus glass available.

.

When I shoot nature and landscapes I pack the A7R2 and A6000 and my M as a backup/general use camera. With the EVF the M also works with most of the lenses I prefer for landscapes.

 

Gordon

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Yet - I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole CCD vs CMOS debate was not triggered by the sensor technology, but by simple sensor size. Not only are CMOS sensels smaller than CCD ones, the MP count was increased for the M240, making them smaller still. I am convinced that increasing the pixel number will impact the smoothness of the image.

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Until the M9 and 18MP, I DID want a camera with more pixels (having worked my way up from 7MP in 2005). Up to then I was limited (in my opinion) in what I could print for my walls (i.e. up A3-ish) by pixels. At 18Mp I knew I could print adequately at A3 myself, and I had some printed professionally at larger size.

 

24Mp is nice to have, but it wasn't a critical factor in getting the M240 - wider DR, better ISO, better screen, quieter shutter were the main factors. At the same time, I had to upgrade my PC to handle the larger files, an unexpected nuisance.

 

So if the next M or SL have 36MP or more, I wouldn't get it for that reason. If I got it, I'd want to be sure my PC and tablet could handle the files, or could be upgraded to do so. Why might I get the next M or SL? Wider DR, better ISO, other usability factors.

 

Ability to crop? If I have to crop a lot (I'm happy to crop a little), then I know I have failed to use my photographer's eye to see the shot before taking it with the right lens. That happens a lot - but I don't see cropping as the solution, just using my eyes better.

 

I admire and respect those for whom more pixels will make a difference to the shots they get: they have ability and bigger walls or a professional practice that I envy. I know that I am limited by ability rather than equipment. Nor do I suffer from p3n1s envy, so I am happy with 24Mp.

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Yet - I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole CCD vs CMOS debate was not triggered by the sensor technology, but by simple sensor size. Not only are CMOS sensels smaller than CCD ones, the MP count was increased for the M240, making them smaller still. I am convinced that increasing the pixel number will impact the smoothness of the image.

That sounds interesting. Perhaps something in it. As an aside, I do worry that both acuity and diffraction become more problematic if pixel size becomes too small -- when I look at some Sony A7r2 files, the files looked soft sometimes, even if the resolving power is there.

I get the impression that Leica is balancing such factors to produce cameras that aim for superlative "overall" image quality (for their form factor and limited sensor size, at least), ie, balancing resolution gains with pixel acuity, diffraction issues etc etc.

The S series is only 38mp, but its largish pixels and lens quality produce real bite / snap to the images, even if the resolution is comfortably exceeded by other systems.

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I find this a satisfying photograph. It won awards in two exhibitions, printed to 20x24".

 

 

It is a nice photo. Interesting subject and composition.

However, for me, this kind of photos are all about details and colors.

It would have been much nicer at higher resolution, and without the color fringing in the branches (which you can remove in post).

Just my opinion, of course.

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I get the impression that Leica is balancing such factors to produce cameras that aim for superlative "overall" image quality (for their form factor and limited sensor size, at least), ie, balancing resolution gains with pixel acuity, diffraction issues etc etc.

 

Quite the contrary. The best current Leica lenses are able to resolve three digits MP wide open.

My Apo Summicron 75 outresolves the A7R2 42 MP sensor, and I think it could nicely handle 200 MP.

I don't own the 50, but I guess it is even better.

 

Some people buy a Ferrari to drive at 35 MPH all the time. That's good, but not what they are meant for.

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This is a very interesting thread.  A few years ago, 10mp or 16mp was considered "enough"  Now a lot of people here say that 24mp are quite "enough".   That includes me.   But when the SL2 is announced in 2018 and has 36 or 42 mp, a goodly number of the same posters will rush out to buy one.  That includes me too.   When the new M is announced later this year it may well have more than 24mp.   I will bow my head and shuffle my feet and say I might buy one of those too.  We're all imperfect.   More megapixels at least will explain my "logic" to my wife.  In another two or three years there will be a thread on why 36mp is "enough,"   yada yada yada.

 

 

I'm sure that, like you, I will purchase the next version of the SL and/or the M.  That being said, the megapixel count is not likely to be a major reason for the selection.  The largest prints I routinely make in the 24" range and 24mp easily accommodates that with room for some cropping.  Not a ton of cropping, but as long as I'm not trying to make a large print of that puma I saw from 1,000m away I'm in pretty good shape.  I won't mind more megapixels, of course, but I wouldn't pay for them at this point.  I was fine with 16 mp.  I'm still fine with 24 mp.  I take very few pictures where the limitation in image quality--even just technical image quality--is the megapixel count.  More often it's slight mis-focus, not having enough depth of field, subject movement, camera shake, ISO/noise issues, diffraction, or some combination of the above.  

 

I run into this all the time in astrophotography.  You have the same megapixel wars going on with astronomy cameras as you do with terrestrial cameras, yet most astrophotographers don't realize their resolution is typically limited by seeing conditions (atmospheric turbulence) and tracking accuracy rather than their camera.  I recently traded my 11 megapixel astronomy camera in on a 6 megapixel astronomy camera to get better sensitivity, larger dynamic range, and lower read noise.  The detail in my images is unchanged, but the quality is improved.  

 

I know this is a topic that comes up a lot, but I think a lot of us don't believe in our heart of hearts that megapixels really don't matter much any more.  We say it, but we don't really feel it.  I'm finally now getting to the point that I feel it.  I'm cool with 24 megapixels and am glad I don't need the extra computing power for larger files.

 

- Jared

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Not only are CMOS sensels smaller than CCD ones, the MP count was increased for the M240, making them smaller still.

 

 

But at the end of the day, the M240 is a better camera also at low ISO:

 

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Leica-M-Typ-240-versus-Leica-M9-P___844_721

 

About CMOS sensels smaller than CCD ones, modern BSI sensors have solved the problem.

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I would like to thank to all of you who has responded to my post and offered constructive information and advise. It have been helpful to me to make a further decision as far as to what camera I gone go for or with into the future. Next I will research combination of SL body with my set of M lenses and take it from there. As much as I would find AF useful and desirable at times for majority of application MF would be just fine. As far as the Megapixels war goes I proved it to myself that with a proper technique even 10 MP Ricoh GXR (purchase years ago as a M9 backup) with A12 module and a 2/75 APO Summicron Aspherical is capable producing excellent images. Regards, Vlad.

 

 

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Okay, perhaps a less grumpy response than my first comment above.

 

36MP will give you more pixels, for sure.  But let's look at that a little more carefully.  24MP gives you 6,000 pixels along the long edge and 4,000 pixels on the short edge.  As has been said on more than one occasion, in order to truly double the resolution you would need 12,000 x 8,000 - 96MP.  A move to 37.5MP (the S(007) sensor) would give 7,500 x 5,000, an increase of only 25% along each side.  So while an increase to 50MP seems colossal, it gives only a modest gain.

 

It is also worth recalling that the S sensor apparently has the same pixel density as the M(240) - I suspect this is more important than just the number of MP.  In practical terms, I don't really think MP is the issue.  That said, PhotoShop has a very good stitching tool which can give fabulous results if sheer resolution is what you want.  You may know this already, but stitching is best done with a 50mm lens (for 35mm format) or longer, and you should set your tripod so the point of rotation is at the aperture blades; set ISO, aperture and shutter at the same setting for all your images, and let PhotoShop do the rest.

 

The last panorama I took was 30 or so images stitched together, taken with my M Edition 60 and AA Summicron 90.  The resulting image was 2.75GB - pretty much impossible to print really, but extraordinary detail.  An interesting, but ultimately pointless exercise.

 

Conversely, a Monochrom landscape, taken with the 75 Summilux (stopped down) has more detail printed a metre across the long side than I know what to do with.

 

I hope this is a more helpful response for you.  24MP on the SL is, in my view, ample for pretty much anything that one might want to do in 35mm format.  If you want more resolution, then look to larger formats - cramming smaller pixels into 35mm isn't the answer, in my view.

 

Cheers

John

 

Kia Ora, no offend taken John, after some further research and given that photography is my hobby I am realising that 24 MP is sufficient for me. As I only try image stitching using free software that was next to useless I will be upgrading my Lr 5 to Lr 6 that has proper stitching application and will experiment with this technique. I have no desire or need to purchase medium format digital Leica, Pentax or other.  P.S. love N.Z. last May I spend 7 days photographing around Queenstown, Arrow town and Milford Sound during beautiful autumn, just stunning.

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Vlad,

 

If you need more resolution for whatever reason, you may want to try stitching and your M and lenses are adequate.

 

Yevgeny

 

Thank you for your suggestion Yevgeny, I will be exploring this technique. Regards, Vlad.

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With age my eyesight is getting worse. This seems to be the escape from the megapixel race for me.  

At a certain point I will not be able anymore to see more details.

I just wonder what will be the final point (of resolution).

 

Generally for many people HD resolution on TVs seems to be the perfect fit. (That's less than 2 megapixel, but there is also 4K TV, or 5K on the apple monitors).

So eyesight seems to be related to financial possibilities.

 

Stephan

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So eyesight seems to be related to financial possibilities.

 

 

... and to dpi and viewing distance.

 

The interesting thing is that the iPhone 6+ also has a HD display (2 MP resolution), and even if people cannot see each single pixel, it renders a much crisper image.

 

The new iMac 5k has about 15 MP, each of which contains 3 subpixels for R, G and B. For a total of about 45 MP in terms of "camera pixels" (arranged differently, but still a valid comparison).

Hence the iMac 5k display outresolves the SL.

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But at the end of the day, the M240 is a better camera also at low ISO:

 

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Leica-M-Typ-240-versus-Leica-M9-P___844_721

 

About CMOS sensels smaller than CCD ones, modern BSI sensors have solved the problem.

I've always qualified these scores as : "scores better/worse at DXO"  I don't go with their self-proclaimed " the benchmark for image quality"

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