The (in)significance of resolution

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
Laurence Matson
Laurence Matson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,883
Re: The (in)significance of resolution

DMillier wrote:

A lot of people are obsessed with resolution. And why not, surely the more detail, the better?

Well, yes... and no.

I've just completed a little experiment.  Using my 16MP Bayer Nex 5n, I fitted a PC/shift medium format lens.  I flat stitched (shift left - no shift- right shift) a 3 frame composite. Files were alligned using Photomerge.  Flat stitching means no warping of the files so effectively it's like 3 normal frames placed side by side.

I then printed my 48MP image on A4 paper (image area about 10.5 x 7 inches), pretty near a traditional print size and compared to a straight single frame image.

No difference.

I then cropped the frame in half and printed that on A4 (equivalent printed area 14 x 10.5 inches).

No difference.

The results mimiced the print comparisons I did D800 vs DP2M vs RX100. The extra resolution is invisible in prints below A2 and insignificant until A1 size (c. 30 x 20 inches).

So there you go. Unless you are printing much larger than a 13" wide desktop printer or cropping like crazy, a 10MP class camera (4.6MP) is every bit at good detail wise as a D800/Merrill.

If you're a typical amateur photographer casting envious eyes at the uberCams, but feeling a bit short of the ready cash, don't worry, your 5 year old camera will get the job done just as well.

Hi David,

I thought you had some details of which printer and paper you used somewhere in this thread. I could not find it. Before tearing your argument to shreds (haha), could you give me those please?

How's the rug rat other than groan (sic)?

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laurence at appledore-farm dot com
"The fact of being reported multiplies the apparent extent of any deplorable development by five- to tenfold" (or any figure the reader would care to supply).
Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror

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