Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal.

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Phil
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Re: Do pixels matter? What 20" x 30" prints reveal.
In reply to LaszloBencze, Jun 14, 2013

LaszloBencze wrote:

I currently have a show of 38 20" x 30" prints appearing at the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento. Most of the pictures were taken with either a 5D MKII or 5D MKIII. However, some of them come from the Canon 1D MKII and 1DMIII which are not full frame and have about half the number of pixels of the 5D cameras (8 & 10 megapixels vs over 20 for the 5Ds).

What I noticed is that I could not tell which pictures were taken with the lower pixel count 1D cameras. They do not stand out as obviously inferior. In fact all the pictures look good and are indistinguishable in terms of sharpness or resolution.

Now I'm sure that there are benefits of the 20 megapixel cameras. And I do own two of them. But my point is that real life photo situations with large areas of bland texture or out of focus areas do not reveal such differences. This is a bit of a surprise for me but a reassuring one.

If you happen to live in the Sacramento area, you're welcome to look for yourself. The gallery is at 2015 J street and is well identified with signage.

It's funny, we all think what we know is reality. When I went back to school to formalize my training as a photographer I jumped over all the beginning level courses even starting in the advance courses is was hit or miss on learning something new each week so I started an on-line course out of Seattle as well.

The local class(es) were taught by a portrait and wedding photographer and the Seattle classes were taught by graphic artist. Each week I'd learn something new from the Seattle class and there were times when the local profession would swear you couldn't do that in Photoshop.

Long story short the local guy went to a 5D MKII when they were brand new and sold standard wedding products. The graphic artist was happy with a 20D and did works as tall as 20 feet for Las Vegas Convention customers.

It turns out the graphic artist approach produces output for the human eye seen from known viewing distance to calculate a require resolution for a project while the rest of us keep upgrading.

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Phil Agur
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