Craving more megapixels?

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Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,561
Craving more megapixels?
7

There are recurring discussions about wanting more megapixels and more resolution, usually for large prints. I have seen them here for the last 22 years. Obviously, buying a camera with more megapixels is the way to go for someone who really craves 40mp, 50mp, 60mp, etc., but here are some things that can be done that may work out for some people who occasionally want many more megapixels:

1. Here's how to create a super resolution photo with any camera using handheld pixel shift:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0727694641/here-s-how-to-pixel-shift-with-any-camera

2. Some cameras from various companies can do this pixel shift thing in-camera (some only on a tripod, some can do it handheld). Some Olympus, Panasonic, and Pentax models can do it and I am pretty sure that other companies can do it too.

3. One can also use software such as Gigapixel AI or Adobe Super Resolution to uprez a file and they can often do quite well -- of course, not the same thing as having more real pixels. Here is an excellent video comparing Gigapixel AI and Adobe Super Resolution:

https://youtu.be/9k8cF6yXJGE

And it is also worthwhile to think about whether you really need more than 16mp, 20mp, or 24mp to make big prints. See this thread from 2018 and remember that the photos were taken by older cameras. Cameras of the last several years can in most cases do as well or sometimes better than the cameras used to make the gallery photos from 10-20 years ago).

National Geographic photo gallery big prints

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61682138

Yesterday I was at a National Geographic photo gallery. It is very similar to the Peter Lik galleries with dim lighting, black walls, and big, beautiful, glossy, very well lit photos. Of course, they are trying to sell them so the presentation is very nice. The info for each photo was a short caption, location, year, name of photographer, and the size in meters (longest dimension) of the print. The smallest prints were 1 meter and the largest prints were 3 meters, but most were 1.5 and 2 meters. Most of the photos were taken 2004-2015, but I saw one that was in 1999 and another in 2002. A few of the photos were landscapes, but mostly animals in Africa and elsewhere. A few photos included people, but not many. I guess it is harder to sell people photos. Of course, they all looked wonderful and I think the prices are pretty high.

No mention of the camera gear used, but I suspect most of them were taken with DSLRs since the bulk of the photos were 2004-2015 of animals, often in Africa. National Geographic galleries believe they have enough megapixels to print 2 and 3 meter prints from DSLRs made even 14-15 years ago.

https://www.natgeofineart.com/

I think all the worry by some about whether a 24mp or 20mp or 16mp file is sufficient for fairly large prints is rather ridiculous.

Actually, most of the worry I see sometimes here about print size is asking about making something like 24x30 or 30x40 inch prints -- that is 0.762 meter or 1.016 meter prints. Just a very small number of the National Geographic prints were 1 meter. Almost all were 1.5 and 2 meters, but several were 3 meters. So, above where I say 'fairly large' that is not really correct. Most people asking and worrying about print sizes here are talking about the smallest or even smaller prints than what they have at the National Geographic photo gallery.

If you don't remember what were the common, high end Nikon and Canon DSLRs back in 2003, 2004, 2005 era that were probably used for many of the photos from 2004, 2005, and 2006 then look back and see. Nikon was selling only APS-C models, but Canon had FF, APS-H, and APS-C. And the megapixel counts would seem modest compared to current m4/3.

Later I received an email advertisement from the National Geographic Fine Art Galleries. In it there was a mention that their prints start at $4600. This 2010 one is $4900:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63169520

This 2007 one is $6750:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64219750

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Henry Richardson
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OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,561
Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

Henry Richardson wrote:

1. Here's how to create a super resolution photo with any camera using handheld pixel shift:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0727694641/here-s-how-to-pixel-shift-with-any-camera

Anyone tried this? It explains how to do it in Photoshop. I assume Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

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Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

chrisD46 Contributing Member • Posts: 724
Re: Craving more megapixels?

*What about shooting say 3 to 6+ images vertically with a 50mm - 135mm  lens (APS-C) and then post process to stich as a pano ?  When combined together you can achieve some pretty detailed , high pixel count image files ?

OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,561
multi shot stitched mosaics
1

chrisD46 wrote:

*What about shooting say 3 to 6+ images vertically with a 50mm - 135mm lens (APS-C) and then post process to stich as a pano ? When combined together you can achieve some pretty detailed , high pixel count image files ?

Yes, multi shot photo mosaics that are then stitched together on the computer is another way that has been used for years. It takes a lot more time to carefully take the overlapping shots than the other methods I mentioned, but certainly works.

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Henry Richardson
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Pixel8888 Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: Craving more megapixels?

I like the concept of having a high rez FF sensor like the Sony A7R4. In crop mode it has the identical pixel pitch as the XT4 or GFX100. It can be used for landscape, or product shots in FF mode with high quality lenses and for high volume shooting in crop mode with an apsc lens like the Tamron 17-70 f/2.8 VC. And the body size is not much bigger than the flagship Fuji FX apsc models. The full frame lenses are smaller and cheaper than the GFX counterparts and the additional Tamron 17-70 f/2.8 VC does not add a lot of weight.

I wish Fuji would have done that. This sensor in a Fuji camera would have been perfect for MY needs.

I shot medium format film for years. As much as I like medium format. The limited depth of field is always a limit. I am not a big fan of stopping down to 16 or 22 with digital or using focus stacking to get everything in focus with a GFX.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 16,645
Re: Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

Henry Richardson wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

1. Here's how to create a super resolution photo with any camera using handheld pixel shift:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0727694641/here-s-how-to-pixel-shift-with-any-camera

Anyone tried this? It explains how to do it in Photoshop. I assume Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

I can't speak for Affinity, PaintShopPro, and etcetera, but GIMP does not have Auto Align. You'd have to use Hugin for that.

Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 13,916
Re: Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?
2

CAcreeks wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

1. Here's how to create a super resolution photo with any camera using handheld pixel shift:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0727694641/here-s-how-to-pixel-shift-with-any-camera

Anyone tried this? It explains how to do it in Photoshop. I assume Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

I can't speak for Affinity, PaintShopPro, and etcetera, but GIMP does not have Auto Align. You'd have to use Hugin for that.

Affinity has auto align stacks.

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
OP Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,561
Re: Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

Digital Nigel wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

1. Here's how to create a super resolution photo with any camera using handheld pixel shift:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0727694641/here-s-how-to-pixel-shift-with-any-camera

Anyone tried this? It explains how to do it in Photoshop. I assume Affinity, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, etc. can do it too?

I can't speak for Affinity, PaintShopPro, and etcetera, but GIMP does not have Auto Align. You'd have to use Hugin for that.

Affinity has auto align stacks.

Thanks for the info.

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Henry Richardson
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Don Simpson Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Craving more megapixels?

chrisD46 wrote:

*What about shooting say 3 to 6+ images vertically with a 50mm - 135mm lens (APS-C) and then post process to stich as a pano ? When combined together you can achieve some pretty detailed , high pixel count image files ?

A large megapixel image is straight forward using any digital camera by stitching overlapping images.

My first attempts are shown below after reading the technique on this forum. All I had was my Z6 with a 24-70mm lens.

The first image is a stitched composite of 16-24MP 24mm NEF images of Lake Geneva. The second image is a stitched composite of 6-24MP 24mm NEF images of the Roman Coliseum.

The process was to take overlapping images of the subjects vertically. All settings on the camera were set to manual after obtaining the initial exposure and focus. That includes ISO, focus, aperture and shutter. Also the camera was held as level as possible.

The images were imported into Affinity Photo under File/New Panorama. The output looks like the first Lake Geneva image below. At this point, traditional cropping, adjustments, etc. were applied and image exported.

Caveats:

These images were taken quickly hand held with moving subjects (people, waves, boats, etc.). Affinity Photo tools were required to adjust the overlap of images used to generate the composite. Much work was done to correct moving parts of the Lake, but very little work was required for the coliseum.

I've postponed looking at at 14mm lens now that there is an easy way to capture a wide subject area with a 24mm. That won't work for all subjects and my technique needs refinement and practice.

Statistics:

Lake Geneva:

  • Source 16-24MP NEF files;
  • Generated panorama 9432 x 7706 78 MP

Coliseum:

  • 6-24MP NEF files;
  • Generated Panorama 8198 x 5329 44 MP

The images are exported JPEGs and downsized to 1920x1568 for posting.

Output from Affinity Photo Panorama merge.

Lake Geneva with 14 and 24mm overlay boxes

Roman Coliseum Pano

 Don Simpson's gear list:Don Simpson's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
brucet
brucet Veteran Member • Posts: 3,797
Re: Craving more megapixels?

Around the year 2000 I got my first camera. 1meg. WOW. Now the benchmark has shifted a bit!!!

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I thought I made a mistake once. But I was wrong!
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 brucet's gear list:brucet's gear list
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Pixel8888 Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: Craving more megapixels?

brucet wrote:

Around the year 2000 I got my first camera. 1meg. WOW. Now the benchmark has shifted a bit!!!

I used a around 4 mp point and shoot at this time. Much cheaper than medium and 35mm format film. This little camera preserved a lot of memories from this time.

I saw your message with the number 2000 below Don Simpsons nice Roman coliseum shot. My first thought was, 2000 years ago they used wall paintings and mosaics as images. Some of these wall paintings and many of these mosaics have survived. I think in 2000 years time, there will be nothing left of our digital images.

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