Whilst pixel counts keep going up the general quality of most digital still images seems to have leveled off, especially when printed. I was looking through some old files and found this picture of two swans preparing a nest and remembered how pleased I was with the quality of the image and the finished print from my old Epson R1800 at A4, it was as good as any lab prints I had previously received using film.
I took this one about ten years ago and in view of the increase in camera quality I think its’ fair to say that this is a pretty good Image. We could expect that the general quality of an image should have substantially increased by now, but has it ? I think not, and the reason for that is obvious to me, ‘Digital Cameras’ have got much better but your average snapper has not..
Sadly many of the images I see today weather from recent mid range cameras or high end camera phones are really not that much better as far as stills go, or at least it seems not to show. I can tell you that the picture above was taken with a Fuji Camera with an APC sensor with 3 Megapixels and it’s as good as it needs to be for all but publishing.
The truth is that we don’t need more than about six Mega pixels to get a really good print up to A3 even with an APC sensor, and because of this fact now would be a very good time for the semi professional photographer to buy that high end SLR they could never afford or justify spending the money on, rather than the latest incarnation of your favorite brand.
Ok I should confess at this point that I have been as much a sucker for new gear as the next photographer and if I had so much available income as to afford myself anything I wanted I would probably be tempted to buy it, even though the ageing gear I own works just fine.
Who knows where pixel counts will be in another ten years or so, at this rate resolutions will be of the charts, but whatever happens I have come to realize that unless you need to fill a billboard with an Image and have it look ‘pin sharp’ you don’t need more than around six to eight MP for a very good image. When my own gear eventually gives up the ghost I will not be looking to buy the very latest that money can buy but some of the readily available used high end equipment that many people are getting rid of because it’s no longer the latest model.
Although it’s fair to say I have spent serious money on equipment in the past, I’m grateful I don’t need to do it quite so often now. Revisiting my old photo prints has reminded me that the My Canon 50D & Canon G9 are more than up to the job of capturing excellent pictures & that It’s my technique that needs to Improve.. After all, Good Photography is all about the Individual behind the lens, and not much else.. & Don’t be a Gear fanatic, be a Photographer…!
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