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ASA32

When will Sony upgrade their APS-C sensors with increased megapixels for the a6xxx??

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Been using and loving the Sony a6000 for 6 years now. I've been waiting to upgrade for a long time now. The problem for me is Sony has not updated the a6xxx sensors past the original 24 megapixels. I know the new cameras have better ISO performance but basically the image detail has remained the same over the last 6 years. Contrast this to their other line of cameras, especially the A7x line that has seen several new sensors that offer much improved detail over the originals.

I love the small form factor of the APS-C line. For a lot of the stuff I do, traveling, hiking, skiing, street  photography etc. I don't want or need a bigger camera, I just need more rez. I would like the new bells and whistles and better auto focus the new a6xxx models offer but I don't really need them. I have many prime lenses I use with my a6000 and love the quality I'm getting out of this small and portable kit. I will definitely not upgrade until Sony offers a new sensor with something like a 36MPX sensor. Anyone know why this is not a priority and why people are paying more than double for basically a newer a6xxx with the same old sensor?
 
Please Sony. Give us the more resolution already!
 
Frustrated.

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, why do you need more MP? 24 MP is plenty for any kind of print you may ever want to make if you factor in optimal viewing angle. All these bells and whistles you speak of result in a vastly better image than just boosting the MP-count would (better AF and subject tracking, better low light ISO-performance, etc). Higher MP is just marketing crap unless you plan to heavily crop or print billboard size and stand with your nose against the canvas.

For good reason the A7x you refer to has actually stuck with 24 MP ever since the first version. It's the A7Rx line which has received MP boosts because this line is ment for just that purpose: absolute best image quality despite bigger file size and more noise on pixel level. It's ment for those people who plan to crop their images or print billboard-size.

Here's one hoping Sony's future A6XXX-camera will still have 24 MP but even better AF and (dare I say) 1-2 stops better ISO-performance.

Edited by Pieter

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I was also going to mention the A7x's. 24mp is absolutely fine for me, image quality is great and it's more than big enough for any print I would ever want to do. Until then, I don't see a need for more.

For what it's worth, I previously owned a Pentax K1 (36mp). It was nice to have that additional crop-ability but it was entirely unnecessary for every scenario I would use my photographs (currently).

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Pieter,
 
You answer your own question why: " absolute best image quality despite bigger file size and more noise on pixel level."
 
Given my experience with 35mm, med and large format I know what increased resolution looks like even with much smaller prints of 8x10 and 11x14. In this case its certainly not marketing crap. Its a real world improvement. If you are using the kit zoom then perhaps there is not much more to resolve but again I'm using quality prime lenses and I know that in my case a newer sensor with increased MP would be capable of resolving more detail into the image file.
 
If you were talking about cell phone cameras which have tiny sensors, vastly inferior glass, digital zoom etc. then I agree there is not much achieved by adding more MP's. This is a different case entirely and is simple math. The A7R started as a 36MP camera, the next iteration was 42.4MP. The latest is 61 effective MP's. If you use the same pixel density of what they already have that would translate to a 40.6 MP APS-C sensor. I want the current technology in my camera.
 
Photos are not always viewed from what you think is the optimal viewing distance. There is a misconception out there that MP needed are tied to end print size needed and that high MP's are only used for billboard sizes or to crop. That is the BS salesman jargon! People with experience use their eyeballs and can clearly see the difference of higher MP sensors and quality glass.
 
When I was referring to the A7x I meant the R line as well. Two other reasons I like the smaller Sony's are they are much less assuming than bigger cameras. You can more easily blend in with any other Joe tourist and not be noticed while shooting. Also you inherently get much better depth of field at equivalent focal lengths (same field of view). Great for quick street stuff and many landscapes scenes.
 
Having shot many years with manual focus I don't need to have faster AF tracking. What is currently available is great. The high ISO capability and dynamic range of today's digital cameras are already way beyond what film could ever do, I don't need more of that. Long ago I learned how to hold my camera steady so I don't need IBIS (unless it offered pixel shift) which people don't understand does not freeze your subject. You guys have the rez you want and have plenty of bells and whistles already so you should be happy.  Simply for what I do, I want more resolution in the same form factor. 
 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ASA32 said:
If you use the same pixel density of what they already have that would translate to a 40.6 MP APS-C sensor. I want the current technology in my camera.

Err no. The pixel density of the A7Riv would translate to a 28 MP (effectively 26 MP) APS-C camera. Your math is off: should divide by crop factor squared (check A7RIV in APS-C mode). For all practical purposes this equals the 24 MP already in your camera. Ergo: you already have the latest technology in your camera (if you measure tech level by pixel density, not even considering those tiny 40 MP smartphone sensors).

But to each their own: you may wish for a seperate A6xxxR-line but please let the A6xxx-line stick to a more sensible 24 MP. I too like the small form factor but don't want more MP even though my primes can indeed resolve way more.

Edited by Pieter

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Pieter,

You are correct, my pixel density math was wrong. Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe we are near the limit of pixel density right now but my guess is that after 6 years of Sony staying at 24MP mark, there is room for improvement. And that is by looking at how Sony has evolved the A7R line sensors which gives me hope that they can still squeeze more resolution into the APS-C sensors.
 
A question for you: If you believe your prime lenses could resolve way more detail, why wouldn't you want a camera of the same size and weight that could capture that?
 
I have always wanted the best quality I could get out of any system. In the past that usually required either a larger format camera, lots more money spent on glass or using very slow ISO's. With the newer A7R4 sensor they have managed to increase both resolution and ISO speed at the same time.
 
For me the only downside seems to be bigger files which is fine by me as hard drives per gig are as cheap as they have ever been.

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ISO-range of A7Riii and A7Riv are the same (100 - 32000), as is the dynamic range:

https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-a7riv-versus-a7riii-dynamic-range/

Even though I like the absolute sharpness and detail when I pixel-peep my photo's, it hardly serves a practical purpose. It's like the whole 4k - 6k - 8k discussion in video-world. Yes you'll see the difference if you're sitting at half a meter from your 65" TV, but who does that except the guy who just bought a new TV?

What would be an interesting concept though is if there was a native 'low-res' mode incorporated in high-res cameras. If enabled, it would still read the full high-res sensor but downsample the RAW-file to a lower resolution. That way you'd still have the ISO-performance of a full-sensor readout but stored in a lower file size RAW if you don't need all this resolution. I might even consider buying such a camera.

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Posted (edited)
Not a lot of difference between the R3 and R4 besides the added MP and the resulting detail. An ISO range of a camera doesn't show how noisy its sensor is. There is a big difference in the last 6 years from the R1 to the R4. Sony increased the resolution while simultaneously decreasing the noise at high ISO. This was once thought of as a trade off. I want that new tech in the APS-C sensor.

I always shoot in raw but looking at the a6000 menu there is an option when shooting JPEGs to down rez to 12MP and 6MP. Perhaps they could also do something like that with raw images? Since SD cards are big and cheap and HD space per gig also very cheap I can't understand why anyone would want to throw away data, but to each his own.

I think for all photographers there are those instances where you are at a special time and place and you would like to have the utmost in rez to capture the scene. That is why I want to have that extra detail and sharpness.
Its also nice to be able to crop and print large. Not that it solves all my wants but for now I would settle for IBIS pixel shift since all that is needed is a software update.
Edited by ASA32

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13 hours ago, ASA32 said:
An ISO range of a camera doesn't show how noisy its sensor is.

I know this, I was just giving 2 interpretations to the claim in your previous post:

On 6/3/2020 at 4:32 PM, ASA32 said:

With the newer A7R4 sensor they have managed to increase both resolution and ISO speed at the same time.

How should I interpret this statement then?

13 hours ago, ASA32 said:
There is a big difference in the last 6 years from the R1 to the R4. Sony increased the resolution while simultaneously decreasing the noise at high ISO.

This is simply not true. There is some increase in performance from the R1 to the R2, the R2 and R3 are practically identical (same sensor), the R4 actually shows slightly increased noise at high ISO (check attached comparison from DXO mark). Please back up your claims with references as I can not find any source showing an actual improvement in ISO-performance over the years in the R-series.

13 hours ago, ASA32 said:
Not that it solves all my wants but for now I would settle for IBIS pixel shift since all that is needed is a software update.

That would indeed be nice: easy to implement and gives the opportunity to make wallpaper-sized landscape shots.

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Use the comparison tool from DXO:

Look at the Sports (low light ISO) score  -  A7R = 2746 vs A7R4 = 3344

Sports & action score: Low-Light ISO

Unlike the two previous scenarios in which light is either generous (studio) or the camera can be mounted on a tripod (landscape), photojournalists and action photographers often struggle with low available light and fast motion in the scene. When shooting sports or action events, the photographer’s primary objective is to freeze motion, giving priority to short exposure times. To compensate for the lack of exposure, photographers have to increase the ISO setting, which results in a decreased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). How far can ISO be increased while maintaining decent image quality? The DxOMark low-light ISO metric will give you this information.

The SNR indicates how much noise is present in an image compared to the actual image information (signal). The higher the SNR value, the better the image quality, as detail is not drowned out by noise. The SNR is given in dB, which is a logarithmic scale: an increase of 6 dB corresponds to doubling the SNR, which in turn equates to half the noise for the same signal. A SNR value of 30dB means excellent image quality. We have therefore defined low-light ISO as the highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve a SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits. A difference in low-light ISO of 25% equals 1/3 EV and is only slightly noticeable. Low-light ISO is an open scale.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Like I said: that jump in ISO-performance is only present between the A7R and A7R2. To complete your list:

A7R: 2745

A7RII: 3434

A7RIII: 3523

A7RIV: 3344 (less good than A7RII and A7RIII)

This increase in performance is due to dual gain architecture in the newer cameras (starting A7RII). This dual gain principle is also applied in the newest APS-C cameras (A6100, A6400, A6600) which causes them to perform significantly better at high ISO than the A6000. So again: the latest tech is already in the newer APS-C bodies.

Edited by Pieter

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:51 AM, Pieter said:
On 6/4/2020 at 3:25 PM, ASA32 said:
There is a big difference in the last 6 years from the R1 to the R4. Sony increased the resolution while simultaneously decreasing the noise at high ISO.

This is simply not true. There is some increase in performance from the R1 to the R2, the R2 and R3 are practically identical (same sensor), the R4 actually shows slightly increased noise at high ISO (check attached comparison from DXO mark). Please back up your claims with references as I can not find any source showing an actual improvement in ISO-performance over the years in the R-series.

Pieter,

You asked that I back up my statement with references and I have. Hard data from your preferred testing website DXO that proves my statement and shows that you are the one that was wrong. Your inability to accept that fact is beyond me. Of course you could've used your eyeballs to confirm the same.

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Posted (edited)

This discussion is going nowhere. I already agreed with you two times over that there is a boost in performance between the A7R1 and the cameras after that, I'm not denying that at all. Don't keep insisting that I am and be all snide about it.

Your main claim in this topic is that the latest fullframe-tech is not incorporated in the newest APS-C bodies. You're backing up this claim by comparing the A7R1 to the A7R4. Yes there is a very clear improvement, but you should put things into context by also including the A7R2 and A7R3 (see my previous post). Then you'll only see a relative boost in performance between the A7R1 and A7R2 (and all cameras after that). There has been no significant ISO-performance improvement between the A7R2 and A7R4. Whatever tech implementation caused the performance boost between the A7R1 and A7R2 is also implemented in the newest APS-C bodies.

My very point is therefore that the latest tech is incorporated in the newest APS-C bodies: there has been no dramatic new tech in the A7-line after the A7R2 with regard to ISO-performance.

Edited by Pieter

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You quoted a statement I made claiming it was untrue. I gave you the reference to prove it was true. Facts are pesky things. Since then you have been dancing around trying to change the argument.

We can agree that this dialog is going nowhere. The title of my post asks a question you are unable to answer. I really don't need to hear that what I am hoping for in a future sensor is useless nor do I need you to tell me how far away I should stand when I view art. I have already shown you how you can down rez your camera and throw away your mega pixels. Time for you to move along.

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Think it's quite up to me when to decide to move along.

In my very first post I indirectly answered your question: the A6xxx line will only get a MP boost when market demand is big enough. As of yet, it is not.

Your reluctance to respond to my statement about the improvement of technology between the A7R2 and A7R4 is quite the satisfaction I needed from this discussion. Thanks!

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On 6/6/2020 at 10:09 AM, Pieter said:

In my very first post I indirectly answered your question: the A6xxx line will only get a MP boost when market demand is big enough. As of yet, it is not.

No, that is not what you said nor implied. You did pontificate naive nonsense which I have thoroughly addressed.
It is pointless to engage in straw man arguments. You can't change the parameters of the discussion just because you were proved wrong and won't own up to it.
 
As far as your new opinion about market demand, again I would have to disagree with you. Sony has shown that full frame has been their priority up to now. I'm sure when they can get around to it they will release a high MP APS-C body, hopefully in the near future and I'm sure it will sell extremely well. Time will tell.

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The implication of my first post was 'I don't see why there would be a big market demand for such a camera' and since there still is none, Sony agrees with me. I thoroughly hoped you could have deducted that answer, I just gave you the indirect one hoping to get you thinking.

I'm trying to keep things civilized here but you keep coming with frustrated personal attacks. Well Mr. 'I've used APS-C, Fullframe, Medium and Large format cameras but please teach me how to properly use crop factor', this party is starting to go sour. Have fun enjoying it on your own.

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