Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-01-22 – Resolve what?

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A word or two about resolution.

Those who have been reading this blog for a while have no doubt taken note that I shoot with a Canon 30D.  You’ll have heard me mention how much I love it, and witnessed me extolling its virtues.  You’ll have seen some of the lovely images it’s captured.  Those of you with an inquiring turn of mind will no doubt have looked up the 30D’s specs and have discovered it’s a ‘mere’ 8-megapixel camera.

7:42:30 AM, 1.6 seconds at f/22 on ISO 100

7:42:30 AM, 1.6 seconds at f/22 on ISO 100

7:41:10 AM, 4.0 seconds at f/22 on ISO 100

7:41:10 AM, 4.0 seconds at f/22 on ISO 100

As you can see from the captions, these photos were taken at roughly the same time of day under roughly the same weather conditions.  One was taken with an 18-mp camera (Ivan’s Sony), the other with my Canon; both were saved at maximum file and quality size.  Can you tell which one is which?

Resolution at its simplest is the amount of information contained in the digital image.  Higher resolution means more detail, which means you can enlarge the image to a greater extent before you start seeing the square edges of the individual pixels.  THAT’S ALL.

Why is it important?

_MG_5303Mostly because there’s a kind of widely-held belief that the more the megapixels, the better the camera, and the better the camera, why, the better the image is going to be.  Not so.  The mind and skill of the photographer are the determining factors on a photo’s quality, (with the added qualifier of quality and kind of sensor the camera uses – even on actual cameras, some are better than others).

Now, you could research this resolution question all day and still not come up with a satisfying answer about what, how, which stuff is best, and why.  Then you could get into comparing a smart phone’s camera with a point-and-shoot or a DSLR (there’ve been some amazing advancements recently in smart phone camera sensor capability, for true).  But all in all you’re really better off not worrying about the resolution and just learn how to take the pictures you love better, with the equipment you have.

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2 thoughts on “2016-01-22 – Resolve what?

    1. Ellemar Post author

      Welcome! (You should have seen the original draft of this post – wow is there a lot of information out there on this subject!)

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