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Darkstar

Camera chip size limits

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HI

I wonder how many of you regularly upgrade your Nikon to get the latest 'big chip' which I think at the moment is 44 meg costing around £3,200 or so.

 

A long while ago I spoke to UK scientists at Malvern Radar Lab about a telescope camera (maybe at Cerro Tololo) which takes in the whole of the night sky universe by arranging chips on a dome

and that system was thought to be the greatest size that any ground-based camera could achieve at the time.

 

So between Nikon and that universe camera, how big do you want to go - 50meg - 100meg - 500 meg?

 

What would that do to jpeg sizes?  What would it do to upload times? (given the appallingly low speed of broadband in UK - sometimes I think the gerbils have died in the wheel)

 

Interested to hear your views.

 

cheers

 

David

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You will find some contributors here having to downsize because sensors are too big and are exposing lens flaws.

I have about a 20MP now and I started downsizing to 4500x3000 a couple of years ago. It's big enough for stock. Image size isn't so relevant for upload because of jpeg compression.

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A matter of personal taste. 

 

In theory 6Mpix for Alamy is sufficient. 

50Mpix allows to print pictures tack sharp on A3 @ rougly 300dpi.

Magazines, bill boards and web do not use that high dpi, with bill boards reportedly going down as low as 10dpi in cases). 

I do also use 10 and 20 Mpix cameras and am happy with the result.  

 

An advantage of the 50Mpix over lower resolution is that the additional pixels can be used like additional focal length, by cropping. 

There are a lot of 6 Mpix crop's in a 50 Mpix picture ;)

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Insufficient money (for me) in stock to continually invest in new equipment, although I did upgrade my camera recently (fortuitous as the old one failed from hard work a few weeks after I had received the new one!).

 

It's a case of fitness for purpose. As others have said, you don't need large files to sell here. I see very few IS (image size) searches from customers.

 

Similarly I don't buy expensive glass, most of my shooting is done with old film era manual focus lenses, many of which which perform very well on a crop sensor, the best easily outperforming modern consumer grade  zooms. I paid £10 for a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 (with "as new" camera attached)  and it provides images that are truly crisp from corner to corner with very little, if any, CA. I get extreme nerdish satisfaction from this lens, weird I know.  I also use an old Pentax 35 mm f2 that is almost as good.

 

Final thought, you can easily produce huge images by combining shots in PS. Even my ancient ( CS4) copy has excellent layer alignment and blending tools that will produce quality and massive horizontal or vertical format photos of static subjects. And while on the subject of avoiding unecessary expenditure, I don't subscribe to Adobe's pay monthly scam.

Edited by Bryan

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Billboards do not require a high megapixel count because you are viewing the billboard from a distance. It always looks sharp. Viewing a billboard from a distance is the same as viewing an 8X10 print in your hand. With billboards is not so much about the megapixels, it is about the viewing distance.

 

However if you are standing close to a large image, such as point of purchase display in the mall, or a wall size image in a party room, a image of tomato close overhead in a grocery store, an image in a gallery, etc then sharpness counts and a 50 or 100 megapixel image, not upsized, has an advantage at client selection time.

 

If you upgrade to a higher megapixel camera you may have to upgrade your lenses to take advantage. In my case, upgrading to 50 megapixels I replaced a Canon L 24-70 zoom with Zeiss 17mm, 28mm, 50mm  prime lenses. If I need 35mm perspective, almost never, I shoot at 28mm and crop. I miss the autofocus on the Canon zoom. My Canon L 70-200 F4 zoom, and other Canon L prime lenses, still excellent at 50 megapixels. For practical reasons, you may also have to upgrade your computer.

 

JPG sizes are bigger, making upload times longer. I usually upload using a cable modem and Fetch software in the evening Toronto time. I go read a book, or eat supper during upload and have not had an upload failure yet, so upload time is largely irrelevant.

 

I usually upgrade my main camera body every 5 years to the highest megapixel Canon body available. Hasselblad is way way beyond my budget.

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Darkstar

I am using the Nikon D750 which is full frame 24MP and it is comfortably the best camera I have ever used. For me 24MP is the sweet spot between amazing resolution and file handling. The only reason I upgraded from the D300 was its Af tracking and high ISO performance. The introduction of children into my life meant that these two factors became more important and the D300 was not good enough. If we had not have had kids its very possible I would still be with my D300, which is a superb camera. Its a camera company's dream that we now think our multi thousand dollar units are redundant after a year or so. I have good lenses (2 Nikon constant f4 zooms and Tamron's astounding 15-30mm f2.8) and they are great on 24MP. I wouldn't want to go up to the D850 just to find that my lenses are insufficient - that would lead to a painful interview with the Leader of the Opposition. She thinks I spend way too much already. I have on my wall two panoramas that I shot with my D300 (12MP) and they are sharp, even from up close. Forget the MP race unless you are in a business that demands high resolution. Spend the extra money on going to some awesome places and shooting knockout photos. Interesting point about water expansion's contribution to sea level rise - I hadn't thought about that.

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34 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

JPG sizes are bigger, making upload times longer. I usually upload using a cable modem and Fetch software in the evening Toronto time. I go read a book, or eat supper during upload and have not had an upload failure yet, so upload time is largely irrelevant.

 

 

I'm obviously spoilt with my 15Mbd fibre- uploads take about 3 sec. I do remember prehistoric times (2009) when it was at least 5 minutes.

Edited by spacecadet

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My camera gives me 6000 pixels longest side. 24mp. I’ve had a 36mb camera. To my taste, it was too big. 24mp is the size I always longed for. I started off after the D800 with a 16mb Fuji X-T1 which was ok, but I wanted more. When the T2 came out with 24mb, I jumped on it like a dog on raw steak.

Room to downsize marginally sharp images, cropping room, but not cumbersome.

I’ll  never actively seek larger.

Betty

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You definitely don't need a lot of megapixels for Alamy. I'm still licensing images taken with a Sony 10 PM camera. My current cameras are 14 MP and 16 MP.  I don't feel any pressing need to upgrade at the moment, which is a good thing since I can't afford to. My next camera will probably be in the 20-24 MP range. Can't see needing more than that for the type of photography that I do.

 

 

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I was quite happy with my 12 Megapixel D300. I still use it especially with longer lenses when I want the focal length factor. The only reason I upgraded to a 24 megapixel D610 is because it's full frame and most of the time I prefer to work with wide angle lenses. I have a 100/10 cable connection so uploading files isn't a major factor but these 70mb tif files do take up more space on my hard drive. Another advantage, as others have mentioned, is that it gives me room to crop, but if I need to crop too much I must be doing something wrong. At this point, I don't feel I have any need for more pixels.

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If you are shooting for stock only, then 12 megapixels will get you nicely at or above the line.

However if you are building a collection that you want to expand into other none stock uses, and last as long as possible, the highest practical megapixels without interfering with the execution of the work is the way to go.

 

Do once as best as possible, use many.

 

The grocery store that I shop in has mural size photographs above every section depicting the goods on offer. The images look like studio shots done with a Hasselblad. Maybe multiple Hasselblad shots merged in photoshop. Obviously the grocery store thinks that the customer will buy more if presented with a high resolution image, otherwise why would they go to the expense.

 

Here is someone who uses a Hasselblad with great success. In film days he shot 8 X 10 film and those images are still current today.
Photographs, books, films, TED talks, the sky is the limit.

Quality quality quality

https://www.edwardburtynsky.com/news/
 

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For me, megapixel count is only one factor.  It matters to me how good those little pixels are.  (poorly worded, I know).  I currently shoot with a Nikon D500, 20mp, APS-C crop sensor, and with a Fuji X-E2 16mp, APS-C crop sensor, when it works.  Both give me perfectly acceptable images for Alamy.  

 

Getting back to pixel greatness; I'm talking about dynamic range.  I am constantly searching for a camera that gives me the most dynamic range, is reasonable in size, (rules out the Nikon D850), and recently, I'm including in-body image stabilization (IBIS).  Dynamic range is huge for me because I usually only have the time to go out and shoot in horrible light; mid-day with very contrasty light (deep shadows, strong highlights).  The other issue with dynamic range is high ISO capability.

 

All of these wants have trade offs to deal with.  IBIS is now becoming important to me as I age.  I'm just not as steady as I used to be.  The upcoming Fuji X-T2s with IBIS, rumored to be out by June, and the new Sony A7r MkIII are very interesting to me.  But here in lies the rub.  I'm not necessarily a big fan of the Fuji X-trans sensor and I don't need the 42mp's of the Sony.  But, the Fuji gives me smaller lenses with a sensor I'm not in love with.  The Sony has great dynamic range and IBIS but the lenses are big and expensive even though the camera is small.

 

Long story short, megapixel count is now, for stock, not the most important trait in a camera, for me.

 

Rick

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Well - I'm glad I asked. So much helpful information. Thank you. It is fascinating to read how you work and how you think - and some of the replies were really amusing. I have an impression in my mind of a tomato shot by a Zuiko!  It does get very expensive keeping up - the astro version of the Nikon 810 is very expensive because you get hardly anything back in part exchange. It seems camera depreciate faster than cars and a £1,000 lens is worth £220 within 2 years. Thanks

 

kind regards to all

David

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On 20/11/2017 at 07:46, Darkstar said:

Well - I'm glad I asked. So much helpful information. Thank you. It is fascinating to read how you work and how you think - and some of the replies were really amusing. I have an impression in my mind of a tomato shot by a Zuiko! 

kind regards to all

David

 

 Not sure if it was the Zuiko, but a manual focus lens to be sure! Tomato Sungold growing in my greenhouse. If you've never tried them you've not lived, a taste sensation!

 

tomato-sungold-f1-growing-in-a-greenhous

 

 

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Yes I know what you mean. We grew the little vine tomatoes too and they went on producing for ages right to end of Oct outside. Not sure what variety but you can almost taste them from the quality of the photo he said, patting Bryan on the back for his horticultural prowess!

 

cheers

 

David

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I use two D7000s which I got for about £300 each secondhand. I usually downsize images before uploading, unless they are severely cropped.

I'd like more expensive cameras, but I'm not sure why.

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I use a d810 body and a d700 body with nikon glass ( not the most recent optics though, never had the money too)

File sizes are big for sure on the d810, but i adore this camera, it will do landscape one day, is fast enough (just) for sports the next, and gives the dynamic range at 64 as a 6x4.5 pentax..!

I am at the moment looking for a reasonablly priced compact camera i can carry wherever i go as its a bit on the big side.

Fuji too expensive. anyone used a lumix for stock?

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Upgrade, and upgrade, and upgrade creeps in this petty pace . . . but will there be an upgrade in license fees? 

 

I walk in step with the majority of contributors who have spoken on this matter: 20-24 MP, downsize a bit . . . and I always check my submissions at 100%. Assignment photography might call for different decisions, but I only do stock these days. 

 

Edo

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3 hours ago, steve harling said:

 

Fuji too expensive. anyone used a lumix for stock?

 

Some of my Panasonic GF1 (12 MP) files exported at sufficiently large sizes and pass QC.  Some of them didn't.  The more recent Panasonic and Olympus cameras are generally 16-20 MP.   The M4/3rds cameras have an impressive lens line up.   There's a very small Panasonic M4/3rds, the Lumix GM1, that might be useful.   Smaller than Micro 4/3rds sensors, dunno.   Better to have a little headroom.  

 

I like having a viewfinder and flash shoe -- and I like APS-C better than M4/3rds.  My smaller camera is a Sony a6000, which is a good deal these days, but more jacket-pocketable than pants pocketable.   I generally use a lumbar bag (given that the agency is British, I won't use the other term for lumbar bags).    Sony has some other smaller ASPC cameras without viewfinders and flash shoes that might work as pocket cameras, too.  

 

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9 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

Some of my Panasonic GF1 (12 MP) files exported at sufficiently large sizes and pass QC.  Some of them didn't.  The more recent Panasonic and Olympus cameras are generally 16-20 MP.   The M4/3rds cameras have an impressive lens line up.   There's a very small Panasonic M4/3rds, the Lumix GM1, that might be useful.   Smaller than Micro 4/3rds sensors, dunno.   Better to have a little headroom.  

 

I like having a viewfinder and flash shoe -- and I like APS-C better than M4/3rds.  My smaller camera is a Sony a6000, which is a good deal these days, but more jacket-pocketable than pants pocketable.   I generally use a lumbar bag (given that the agency is British, I won't use the other term for lumbar bags).    Sony has some other smaller ASPC cameras without viewfinders and flash shoes that might work as pocket cameras, too.  

 

I made the mistake of using that name on the forum once and was roundly made fun of. I mentioned it when telling about carrying a spare lens in it.  I still don’t understand why to this day it caused an uproar.  I guess the translation or meaning is naughty.

I never heard it called a lumbar bag.

Betty

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Ok. Looked it up. Now I understand. Not the same meaning in the US because 15 years ago, there was a sign in a handbag store with those words on it, denoting a section of the store where those bags were.

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40 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Ok. Looked it up. Now I understand. Not the same meaning in the US because 15 years ago, there was a sign in a handbag store with those words on it, denoting a section of the store where those bags were.

 

Oh my!  I had to look it up thanks to you @Betty LaRue.  :P  Sure doesn't mean that here.

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5 hours ago, steve harling said:

I use a d810 body and a d700 body with nikon glass ( not the most recent optics though, never had the money too)

File sizes are big for sure on the d810, but i adore this camera, it will do landscape one day, is fast enough (just) for sports the next, and gives the dynamic range at 64 as a 6x4.5 pentax..!

I am at the moment looking for a reasonablly priced compact camera i can carry wherever i go as its a bit on the big side.

Fuji too expensive. anyone used a lumix for stock?

 

Steve, a brand new Fuji X-E3 (24mp APS-C sensor) with the darn good kit lens (18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS) is $1300 here in the U.S.  I don't know where you are at but if that is too much then I would look for a used X-E2 with the kit lens.  You can probably get one for around $1000 or possibly less.  I rented an Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk II for a couple of days and found the m4/3's chip fine in perfect light but I was not happy with the dynamic range, or lack there of and the noise at higher ISOs, compared to the APS-C sensor cameras.

 

I take my Fuji X-E2 everywhere with me.  My Nikon D500 only comes out for specific shoots.

 

Rick

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Speaking of megapixels, I'm thinking of trading my Sony NEX-6 in for the a6000. I use the 16MP 6 with my 10-18 f/4 zoom. With 24 MP, I would be able to crop and think of that zoom as going from 15mm to about 50mm. The a6000 has a better sensor, too. 

 

Edo

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

Speaking of megapixels, I'm thinking of trading my Sony NEX-6 in for the a6000. I use the 16MP 6 with my 10-18 f/4 zoom. With 24 MP, I would be able to crop and think of that zoom as going from 15mm to about 50mm. The a6000 has a better sensor, too. 

 

Edo

 

That particular zoom is considered one of the better zooms in the Sony APS-C line up if I'm remembering correctly.   I've read some people's accounts saying that the NEX-7 is better yet, but dunno, and it wasn't easily available.

 

My thinking was that almost anywhere in the world, if something happens to a Sony body, there's always going to be at least a a3000 for sale within a 50 mile radius, and probably an a6000 or a5000.

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