The truth about resolution and handheld shooting (mine at least)

Started Nov 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,539
The truth about resolution and handheld shooting (mine at least)

I posted in another thread that in my experience, shooting handheld in typical SSs would cause loss of resolution and that likely 36=24=16MP in that case. Horshack disagreed:

"If you're saying you don't need the extra resolution then sure. If instead you're saying there is no resolution difference when accounting for hand-held use, I would suggest trying your own experiments before believing this."

I decided to follow his counsel. Took the D7000, which has same pixel density as D800, and tested it on tripod and hh. I chose the FL 34mm and f/4 on the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, FL and aperture for good quality on that lens, then I used 1/60s. I didn't use 1/FL rule, because that is actually supposed to be used if you are printing image at 10x8"and viewing from 2ft away, the old Zeiss standards for that rule and also for DoF calculations. Since we are looking typically at much larger images, printed or on screens, I decided to go for a SS that is more typical. Could have used 1/125s, for that matter, the results change a bit but final conclusion not too different.

Then I fist checked AF FT, by shooting two series with PDAF and LV AF. LV AF, as expected, slightly better and more consistent, but not by much. As Roger Cicala has pointed out, one already loses some resolution because of that difference. So, the reference for my test must be LVAF, it's the closest thing I can do to approach the maximal res of sensor. MLU in all those shots to remove any possibility of mirror slap causing problems.

Next I shot a sequence of 20 images handheld, from same position, using camera as I typically do. I checked them at 100% using CNX2. Of the 20, 2 were clealry better then the rest, very close to the LV shots. But the other 18 showed some blur, so my view is that, yes, now and then you may be able to get a HH shot that gets close to extracting as much res as possible from the sensor, but that is not the typical shot. It's easy to understand that, since the moment you shoot you introduce a little vibration, mirror slap a little more, and misfocus a little more, but it may be that they cancel each other out now and then, just what from multiple factor variability.

So I chose one of the images that I thought was about in the middle of the sample in terms of blur, not the best, not the worst. Then I croped the AF area (best detail in both images) from the typical LV and that chosen HH shot. Saved in a sequence of 36MP (simulating the D800, so residence res for the D7000), 30, 24, 20, 16, 12 and cheked results. Decided it was worth going for 8 and 6 MP. The results are in the following post, see for yorusel. BTW, to save your and my time, I posted only the crops at 36, 24, 16, 12 and 6MP. Downres'ed using CNX2, no further adjustment.


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 rhlpetrus's gear list:rhlpetrus's gear list
Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D +4 more
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800
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