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Are More Pixels Better at High ISO?

The 24MP Nikon D3x has has twice as many pixels as the D3, or 1.421 times as many pixels linearly. The D3x should have the same light-gathering ability as the D3, and therefore downsampling should provide similar noise characteristics, while at the same time reducing the digital artifacts introduced by Bayer matrix demosaicing: the net effect should be overall higher total image quality from the D3x.

The image sensor and the electronics that go with the sensor are not the same between cameras, so we can’t expect a perfect comparison here, but we can study whether the general proposition is reasonable: for the same sensor area, can a higher-resolution camera be expected to produce comparable or better image quality overall?

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Variants D3,D3x available in full article

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