Will the D850 be Nikon’s last professional DSLR? Would a greater resolution sensing unit out resolve the lenses?
It simply might … if Nikon truly does supply a big resolution boost. Canon’s also rumored to be dealing with this. And Sony just revealed one: their A7R IV. Early shots show it’s an enhancement, however where do you run into constraints?
Digital Gets Greedy!
Depending on who you ask, digital was a match for film at someplace between 10 and 20 megapixels. Ok, sure, you can ask people who will claim 100 and 200 megapixels, however they’re madmen, and must be in politics, not photography. And they’re ignoring how movie really works.
That’s also simply thinking about resolution. By the time digital sensors were difficult movie on resolution, they were already clobbering it on noise vs. grain. And a huge part of that is merely how digital works. Before factoring in color filtering, digital sensing units can have up to a 95% approximately quantum performance (the efficiency of photon to image conversion). Movie benefits about 6%.
As for lens vs. sensing unit, Canon actually responded to that concern years back. They produced the first actually high resolution sensor full frame camera, in the Canon 5DR/5DRS back in 2015. At 50 megapixels, the 5DR had more than doubled the resolution of the 5D Mark III, Canon’s previous resolution leader in professional full frame bodies. They had actually also blown away any pretense to resolution that routine film had to offer.
The tiniest unit of resolution in white and black film is the developed silver grain that forms from an exposed silver halide crystal. And these can be quite small, 2um to 0.2 um, smaller sized than full frame pixels even on that brand-new Sony chip (they’re about 3.6 um on that one). A digital video camera pixel has a grey level too, at 14 to 16 bits of resolution. Color, if it’s a traditional Bayer sensor. The silver grain particle is all-or-nothing. On or off. Luminanxe-wise, it’s 1-bit digital. The only analog aspect to film is the random placement and size of such particles. For color movie, it’s not silver particles, but the dye clouds chemically form around them, and larger than any modern-day complete frame pixel (see also connected article).
Canon’s First-Mover Issues
Anyway … Canon published a list of lenses (just 36 suggested) for the 5DS because they had a long history of EOS lenses, and there had merely never ever been the requirement to develop a lens for that kind of resolution. Some did quite well support it, including (to my surprise at the time) 2 non-L series prime lenses that I owned.
One might presume that current lens designs at least take into account that kind of resolution. That will not keep your $50 package lens from being fuzzy, but you simply might be able to get lens recommendations for this class of electronic camera out of the producer.
At the 62 megapixels of the Sony A7RIV, we’re up to 135 lp/mm, and for the rumored Canon 5DS replacement (which may or may not still be a DSLR) at 75 megapixels, we’re talking about 150 lp/mm. And obviously, I’m oversimplying, since your real life outcomes are much more most likely based upon the len’s 50% MTF (modular transfer function) than an idealized resolution chart and the old lp/mm measurement. Lp/mm is easy to conceive.
APS is Even Worse
I must keep in mind, and explain a thing most photographers don’t always wish to think about, which’s the truth that Sony’s brand-new sensor is equivalent in pixel size to a 26 megapixel APS-C sensor or 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds chip. Definitely, 16 megapixel M43ccameras have actually been around for several years with perfectly sharp images, as have at least 24– 28megapixel APS-C cameras. But the secret here, once again, is lens design tradeoffs.
When Fujifilm develops a pro lens for APS-C, when Olympus or Panasonic/Leica design a pro lens for M43, they design for a finer lp/mm resolution over a smaller sized location as part of their criteria. When you pop a complete frame lens on your Canon, Nikon, or Sony, you are cropping that designed-for-fullframe area and very most likely not getting the finest out of your camera. It’s not the electronic camera per se, it’s the reality that Canon, Nikon, and Sony do not really make pro-quality APS-C glass.