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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ultimate-Resolution Cameras

When it comes to resolution, for most pros some is good, more is better and too much is just right


This Article Features Photo Zoom

Hasselblad H4D-200MS
Hasselblad H4D-200MS and H5D-200MS. Hasselblad's highest-megapixel cameras are the H4D-60 and H5D-60 60-megapixel units, but the highest resolution are likely the H4D-200MS and H5D-200MS. These feature a 50-megapixel sensor and can make single 50-megapixel exposures. In MS multishot mode, they can combine four exposures, shifting the sensor one pixel in each direction between them so that every pixel captures all three primary colors, eliminating Bayer-filter-sensor moiré and artifacts in the resulting 50-megapixel image. And they can make six-exposure captures (by adding two shots with the sensor moving in ½-stop increments) to produce 200-megapixel, 1200 MB images.

The new H5D models (not yet available as we write this in March) feature an improved ergonomic design with better weather sealing and an updated graphic user interface and quicker operation. Hasselblad's True Focus II system with Focus Confirmation automatically compensates for focus-plane shift when you focus and then recompose a close subject like a portrait; the AF algorithms are also improved. HNCS (Hasselblad Natural Color Solution) yields better skin tones and other colors. You now can have print-ready ¼-resolution JPEGs along with the RAW files. The 3.0-inch LCD monitor is now higher resolution (460,320 dots). The camera comes with an eye-level viewfinder, which can be interchanged with several optional finders, including a waist-level one. Tethered operation is possible in-studio or in the field via supplied Hasselblad Phocus software or the Hasselblad Tethered plug-in for the supplied Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. The optional Phocus Mobile App provides wireless connectivity to iPad and iPod touch devices. A wide range of leaf-shutter lenses from 28mm to 300mm are available.
 
DSLRs offer a greater range of available lens focal lengths, from fisheye to supertelephoto, including superfast lenses for low-light work. And most of today's DSLRs can do full HD 1080 video, not essential for many still photographers, but handy when you want to expand your ways of presenting subjects with motion and sound.
 

Sony SLT-A99
Highest-Resolution DSLRs
Medium-format cameras have the advantages in image quality and pro workflow, but full-frame DSLRs have their advantages, too. For one, DSLRs are much better in low-light/high-ISO work. DSLRs are also better for action shooting; they have better action AF systems and can shoot at much faster rates (more than 10 fps, for some). DSLRs offer a greater range of available lens focal lengths, from fisheye to super telephoto, including superfast lenses for low-light work. And most of today's DSLRs can do full HD 1080 video, not essential for many still photographers, but handy when you want to expand your ways of presenting subjects with motion and sound. DSLRs also cost far less than medium-format cameras; full-frame models start at around $2,000 and top out under $7,000 currently.


Nikon D800
Nikon D800/D800E. Just as medium-format cameras have advantages over DSLRs in sensor area and pixel count, full-frame DSLRs have such advantages over smaller-format DSLRs (APS-C and Four Thirds). The current king of the hill is Nikon's 36.3-megapixel D800, which comes in two versions: the D800, with OLPF, and the D800E, with the OLPF effect cancelled. The OLPF (optical low-pass filter, also known as the AA, or anti-aliasing filter) eliminates moiré and other artifacts that result from the demosaicing process with Bayer-filter image sensors, the type used in all DSLRs except Sigma's Foveon-sensor cameras. The OLPF eliminates moiré and artifacts by slightly blurring the image at the pixel level. When pixel density gets high enough, diffraction serves as an OLPF, and the filter can be eliminated, resulting in even sharper images. Hence, the 36.3-megapixel D800 delivers amazing images, and the D800E even sharper ones, but with the possibility of moiré/artifacts in images of subjects with fine repeating patterns. (Medium-format digital cameras don't employ low-pass filters.)

Up-Resing Software

If you need to make prints larger than your camera's pixel count permits, you can increase the pixel count via up-resing software. Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Camera Raw all have up-resing capabilities. There are also specific up-resing software products, such as Alien Skin Blow Up 3, Perfect Resize from onOne Software, PhotoZoom from BenVista and Qimage from DDI Software. Free trial versions often are available, so you can try several and see which you prefer.

For more information, check out Photoshop guru Jeff Schewe's article "The Art of the Up-Res
" in Digital Photo Pro Magazine at www.digitalphotopro.com/technique/software-technique/the-art-of-the-up-res.html.


 

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