Focal Length vs MP

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Sanford, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. Micro four thirds, If I'm using a 200mm lens (400mm equiv) on a 12 mp camera and switch to a 150mm lens on a 16mp camera, do the additional mp compensate for the lost 50 in focal length?
  2. As I understand your question . . . Well, I'm not sure that I understand your question . . . Compensate in what way?
    Sanford likes this.
  3. Does the 16mp...hell, I'm not so sure I know what asking either. Will a photo take with a 150mm on 16mp camera and resized to 10" x 7.5" have about the same resolution a photo taken 200mm and resized to 10" x 7.5" lens on a 12mp camera.
  4. He's talking about pixels on target, will the higher resolution of the 16Mpix camera make up for the loss in focal length, delivering more pixels when a crop is made.

    Too late for me to be working it out now, but I have a silly question:

    Why not use the 200mm lens on the 16Mpix camera?

    Also, assumes that both lenses can resolve pixel level detail...
    Sanford likes this.
  5. Based on some unsure math (which I will explain if requested), I would expect that to retain the same field of view with a 150mm lens, you would have to crop your 16mp image to about 10.9mp. Given that, you would have less resolution than the 12MP sensor and less sensor real estate would be utilized, potentially reducing your DR and high ISO performance on the cropped image. That said, the ISO and DR performance of the 1st generation 16mp m43 sensor (Sony) is so materially better than the last generation 12mp m43 sensor, that I would much prefer the 16mp/150mm option over the 12mp/200mm option.

    I have extensive experience with the 12mp sensor in my E-PL2 and the 1st generation 16mp sensor in the EM-5, and the performance difference is day and night. Also, please note that while I believe my math is OK, it is certainly possible I screwed up the calculation, so Caveat Emptor!
    Sanford likes this.
  6. Here's why I ask. I have a 12mp Panasonic GF1 and a 45-200mm zoom. I'm looking at the Panasonic GX85 that comes with a 45-150mm lens. The 200 has seen better days, mold, etc. The 45-150 is smaller, lighter probably gained from tech developed over the intervening years between the introduction of the two lenses.
  7. Sanford, a note of caution, as I think you shoot principally jpeg..

    One of the reasons I sold my G3 was that I could not get B&W jpegs from the 16MP sensor that matched those I could get from the 12MP sensor on the G10 or GF1. In other respects, it was vastly superior, but I could never get a jpeg that pleased me and ended up relegating it to shooting RAW only.

    Maybe try before you buy, if possible?
    Sanford and mikemorrell like this.
  8. Steve, I have the 12mp GF1 and 16MP GX1 and they are so completely different in operation and output that it would be hard to make direct comparisons. Other than a similar button layout on the back its like they came from different manufacturers. Thats probably a good thing, who wants to go out with the same camera every day.
    steve_gallimore|1 likes this.
  9. Agreed, I'm starting to discover that with digital, you learn a sensor, not a camera, you can tweak settings, but, fundamentally, different sensors behave differently. Kind of like film I guess, only you can't change the sensor.

    I now have 3 generations of the X-trans sensor and they're all different, not better or worse, just different.

    Didn't notice you had a GX1, guess I haven't been paying enough attention.

    I just couldn't get comfortable with the G3. Other than the images, I mean that literally, Panasonic made some really backwards ergonomic choices with that camera compared to the G1/2/10. The viewfinder was lovely though.

    Took my wife's GF1 out for a play yesterday and found it very likable, will have a look at the images tonight and see if they match what I saw in my mind.
    Sanford likes this.
  10. That being said, the 12mp GF1 has a "Smooth B&W" mode and a "Silhouette" mode that are great starting points for B&W. The GF1 has also obtained classic status among early digital cameras.
  11. Today, its the Nikon D300, because I don't have anything current for Nikon Wednesday.

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