As always, I would like to preface this article with a bit of my background in commercial photography as well as my technical knowledge, or lack thereof.
For 10 years, I shot with a Canon 20-megapixel full-frame camera for 85% of my work. I was and still am very satisfied with the installation. When the work got really big, I rented a Phase One system. Small jobs started to go away, and my new smaller customers wanted resolution, but they weren’t paying the Phase One prices, so I looked at Canon’s high-resolution system and bought a camera body. fairly inexpensive opportunity as well as lenses that would help me. solve such a sensor. The majority of my commercial work is still lifes and food photography, and I think it’s worth noting before reading the article.
For the sake of this article, I’ll categorize high resolution as 50 megapixels or more, not for any real reason other than this is where brands seem to be going for it. I’m not a reducer either, so I won’t use overly technical terms, but rather talk about the realities of shooting with a high-res sensor.
Can you see the difference?
In all honesty, no, I can’t. The image quality in the real world, or at least my version of the real world, just isn’t there. There are more pixels, but that’s it. When printed as a full page magazine ad, you can’t tell the difference between the high resolution sensor or my old cameras. On Instagram, you will never be able to tell the difference between the different full frame cameras, and I guess that will be fine for the rest of the internet as well. I recently saw a six-leaf sheet in the real world, and I’d say it was still a bit better than my previous cameras used for this app, but at the same time the colors were nowhere near what I can get. for a similar result. prints with even a 2005 Phase One spine. Usually, other than the bigger picture, you don’t really get much more.
There are a few exceptions to this rule in my work. When shooting complicated flatbed with a lot of small items, the higher resolution makes the items appear clearer. The two images below have been exported in the same way; one is from a high resolution system and the other is from a standard resolution system.
Do you need 50 megapixels?
Probably not. Unless you’re filming for large prints, it’s just a pain to deal with. However, I have since found out that I even run web campaigns with it. I tell myself this is a just in case scenario, but in reality this is my new camera and I feel like I should be using it, having spent so much money on it. I think the six-sheet prints and point-of-sale prints are the only times I can really use it to its full potential. I also have the problem of art directors interfering in the work, which I have always managed in person before; now I don’t care which is good. I think it has a strong application in weddings for those massive group portraits as well, but having seen the power my machines need to edit these files, I certainly wouldn’t want to shoot them all day.
I was personally happy with 10 megapixels, and if the cameras back then could still attach, I probably wouldn’t have upgraded, but Apple did something funny and everything just stopped working. The higher resolution opens up a few doors for me commercially that really helps me, but it comes at a cost.
What prompted me to make the purchase?
The decision to make this purchase was a mixture of money and time savings. Before that, I used to shoot panoramic images with a tilt-shift lens if the client had a small budget but high printing aspirations; it saves me a lot of time and effort by being able to capture the work of these clients with a single image and not having to put them together in the mail. There is the added benefit that the live view is more accurate for stylists, as they now see the entire frame at the same time. It also means that for jobs that fall between the midrange full frame DSLR and a Phase One, I can save my money while still giving the customer something that fits. For me, the purchase was purely commercial. If this is your hobby and you enjoy making massive prints or maybe photographing wild animals and want to be able to harvest massive crops without losing resolution, this could also be a great investment for you. And finally, if you enjoy zooming in 100% to see the details and a few thousand dollars more is slipping a hole in your pocket, go get one of these cameras; you will not be disappointed.
What are the advantages ?
In my job, the main advantages are the efficiency of the workflow. I save a lot of time and have a lot less worry on shoots when it comes to high resolution prints. It also saves me thousands of dollars a year on mid-format system rentals as well as the worry of last minute bookings where I might need a few more pixels in a pinch. The camera will become a workhorse in my studio until it dies or a new printing requirement is invented, which is quite unlikely given the number of decades of current requirements in the UK. United.
What are the disadvantages
File size. They’re obviously big, which isn’t much of an issue for color grading or overall storage costs, but when you’re doing some really heavy touch-ups you’ll want to look for a better editing machine. My highly specialized MacBook Pro doesn’t cut it with these files when we’re about 10 layers in an edit, which isn’t something I was really thinking about, until it’s a little too late. The other important point to emphasize here is that the image quality of Canon sensors since 2008 has really not changed significantly. Bodies have had some improvements which in certain genres (mainly weddings and sports) make a huge difference, but for me since 2008 nothing has really changed in terms of picture quality; there is just more image.
Have you moved into the world of over 50 megapixel photography? If not, what stopped you?