Amazing Detail in New Cameras

I’ve been experimenting with my new camera, a Nikon D800. The camera captures very large files – 36MPs, or roughly 36 million pixels. My last camera (and still a trusty backup), the D700, captures 12 MP. These huge files in the D800 mean amazing detail in pictures is possible.

Here’s a rather ordinary picture I took this morning of Rowayton Harbor. I shot hand-held, with these camera settings: 1/320th of a second, F16, 70mm, ISO 640.

Notice the red arrow pointing to the white powerboat. I added the arrow in Photoshop, but really haven’t made any other edits to the image.

OK, we’re going to zoom in on the boat.This is the same image, we’re just cropping it. First Zoom:

And then zooming, or cropping in again, here’s the second Zoom:

Go back up to the original image and see how small this section is as a part of the whole image – just the transom of the boat. We can read the name and the hailing port of the boat very easily.

Remember, I shot this hand-held. If I had been careful to use a tripod and a remote shutter trigger, this detail would have been much sharper still. And, in Photoshop, there are many tools to add sharpness, reduce noise, add contrast, so we can make the image even crisper.

In most of my work – shooting portraits in the studio or on location, I probably don’t need this much detail, But it sure will be nice to have when the need arises. It’s a great time to be a photographer! Cameras, lens and software are getting better by leaps and bounds.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.




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