Do you shoot at max resolution?
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Old 08-31-2011   #1
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Default Do you shoot at max resolution?

I recently read this from Ken Rockwell, don't know now whether if I should start shooting at 8mp as my hard drive is starting to get full fast shooting at 18mp:

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"No one really needs 18MP. All it does is slow everything and clog your hard drive, unless you're printing 10 feet wide.

Try shooting your 7D at its M (8MP) or S (4.5MP) settings. If you look at your images at 100%, you'll see that the lower resolution shots are sharper pixel-by-pixel!

When I'm photographing family and friends, I shoot at SMALL JPG. Even SMALL is good enough for great 20x30" prints.

The smaller-sized images out of the 7D are spectacular. They are sharper and cleaner than images from cameras on which that is their native resolution. The 7D always starts with 18MP, so it looks pretty good when you set the 7D to record at only 8MP or 4.5MP.

Why? Because they use less, or no, Bayer interpolation. No digital camera really resolves its rated resolution; they cheat and interpolate up, so at 100% at its rated resolution, no digital camera image is as sharp as a true scan from film.

At the 4.5MP setting, you have 100% R, G and B pixels, exactly as if you were using a Sigma Foveon sensor. If Sigma was selling this, they'd sell the 4.5MP (S) setting as if it were 13.5MP (also a lie).

What this means is that the lower resolution settings actually pack away lot more detail than you think. The S (4.5MP) setting of the 7D is a lot sharper than any 4.5MP camera.

M looks almost as good as L for the same reason.

If you're testing lenses, sure, shoot at L, but for everything else, try the settings for yourself, You'll probably get what you need at the smaller settings. For instance, the 11MP setting of the 7D has way more detail than any of the 12MP (native) Nikon cameras.

The resolution advantage of the 7D is obvious, even at lower settings. Try them.

I use LARGE for my scenic shots that I might print ten feet wide some day, but my family photos at 4.5MP, which is more than enough."

Thoughts?

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Old 08-31-2011   #2
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Always, because I use raw, there's no real option to get change the resolution there. I paid good money for my camera to have all those megapixel, so it would be a waste not to use them if it doesn't inconvenience me.

Yes, I have only a 12 megapixel camera, but that doesn't make such a big difference. My harddisks would fills up just as badly if I didn't delete second rate pictures aggressively. I do this not so much out of disk space consideration but to make reviewing them later easy. I just want to remember the good pictures, not all the failed ones too. But then, I'm just an amateur.

I was a professionnal, I would do the same I do in my daytime job: I keep everything necessary no matter how big and budget the costs of the additional harddisks into the costs of doing business. No problem there either.

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Old 08-31-2011   #3
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

BULL!!! I don't know anything about the Canons but my Nikon D90 is much better than my D50 which was a 6.2 mp. The enlargements look better and I can crop more and have the same quality. If what he says is true we would all be using 6/8 mp cameras. Nikon or Canon would not be producing the cameras that they are today.

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Old 08-31-2011   #4
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Medium or low res JPEGs may be good enough for Ken Rockwell, but not for some PhotoCamels. Deleting poor photos and storing on an external HD is better. We can never know when maximum quality may be needed in the future for today's photos.
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Old 08-31-2011   #5
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Ken Rockwell is a silly, silly man. Buy an extra external hard drive.
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Old 08-31-2011   #6
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

I pretty much ignore EVERYTHING Ken Rockwell says. Go to your local home electronics store, you can buy a 1TB drive for $100. I can store almost 30K 24MP images off my A900 on 1TB...
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Old 08-31-2011   #7
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Ken Rockwell is a good source of entertainment.
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Old 08-31-2011   #8
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handoogies View Post
Do you shoot at max resolution?
Yes.

Storage memory is cheap, cheap, cheap.

As mentioned, why buy an 18 MP camera to use only 8 MP, and if you are capturing images as JPEGs instead of Raw files, JPEG is a lossy compressed image file type that discards about 80% of the image color data that 18 MP (or 8 MP) image sensor recorded. That's why JPEG is called a lossy file type.

Be aware too that JPEGs are then also edited in the camera (saturation, contrast, sharpening) based on editing decisions made by a committee of camera software engineers long before you ever released the shutter.
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Old 08-31-2011   #9
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

I think you guys are missing the point. Rockwell claims that images actually look BETTER when taken below full resolution because that extra bit of resolution are usually achieved with some algorithms that introduce noise. I manufacturer industrial machinery and I am very familiar with how manufacturers fudge numbers. Any of you think your camera's highest ISO setting is remotely useable?

I thought yes while he is a clown, this was something to consider.
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Old 08-31-2011   #10
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Default Re: Do you shoot at max resolution?

Lower resolutions means less details are being noticed. He is correct that any imperfections you see will never be noticed on a normal print and that if you printed out a full resolution image it would be a super poster sized. But some what the extra resolution and detail that higher mp yields


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