Sunday, December 25, 2022

Old Year's Resolution

How much is enough?

The cover photo of this book was shot with a Nikon D700 on the garage floor here at Roseholme Cottage with a white Rubbermaid tub lid for a backdrop.

Now, the D700 was a big deal when it was released, but that was 'way back in 2008. It's a fourteen year old DSLR with a twelve megapixel sensor, but it's still up to doing photos for the full-color glossy cover of a book.

"Oh, but Tamara," you reply, "That's just a small soft cover book! The cover's only six inches by nine inches!"

To which I reply that the photo was originally splashed, more or less life-sized, across a full page of RECOIL Concealment, which is a pretty substantial magazine at about 9"x11"... (You should subscribe!)

"Okay, okay," someone says, "But that's a 12MP camera with a full-frame sensor!"

Fair enough! So here's a 2-page spread in the latest issue of RECOIL Concealment that was shot with an Olympus E-5 using a Zuiko Digital 14-35mm f/2 lens. The E-5 is another older twelve megapixel DSLR, except this one was released in 2010 and only has a little Four Thirds sensor, a fraction of the physical size of the one in the Nikon.

So that's 12MP printing a full 18"x11" double spread.

It turns out that twelve megapickles is definitely plenty for print, as Tim at Leicaphilia points out, and probably more than enough if you're mostly transmitting your images to friends via social media, per Thom Hogan.
"The maximum resolution of an iPhone (Max model) is 2778 x 1284, or 3.5mp. A current iPad Pro is 2732 x 2048, or 5.6mp. Your TV is likely 3840 x 2160 pixels (8.3mp), but not a lot of you are viewing your images on TVs. You might be looking at them on a TV-like monitor when you edit your images; a 5K iMac is 5120 x 2880, or 14.7mp, though once you add your software's windowing and controls, you're probably looking at the actual image being observed back down near 4K. "
There's not necessarily anything wrong with more resolution*, but don't let anyone tell you that you need it.

*Well, under most circumstances. I think Leica's new 60MP M11 is idiotic for a couple of reasons, but that's a topic for another post.