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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2013

Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

I create large layered photos and I want a higher resolution camera for an upcoming series. I would of course prefer Canon as I have a lot of Canon glass and I have been waiting patiently for the rumored Canon 40 megapixel but I see nothing on the horizon. So I am starting to consider buying a Nikon D800 and one good lens. This would cost around 5-6K, the rumored cost of the Canon 40 megapixel. Suggestions?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

[ Edited ]

You have about 4 options:

 

1) Jump ship.  Nikon or MF.

2) Wait.  Canon isn't coming out with a big sensor this year.

3) Go GigaPan

4) Re-weigh why you think you need higher resolution.

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2013

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

Thanks, I had not heard of Gigapan. It is close to my present process and might just do the trick. I'll look into it further.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,815
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

The Gigapan is a good option ... especially because if you really _need_ high resolution, a high resolution sensor wont just solve the problem.

 

As you increase resolution on a sensor with the same dimensions, each photo-site on the sensor gets smaller.  It turns out light doesn't focus to a point... it focuses to a circular area called an "Airy disk" discovered by an astronomer several hundred years ago.  The disk has to do with the wave nature of light and what happens when you bend light through a small opening.  The camera begins to suffer from diffraction.  The math behind the process assume perfect optics... so it's not really a matter of the lenses not being good enough.

 

The only way to get around the problem is to use a physically larger sensor.  You could buy a medium resolution sensor camera (Hasselblad, Leaf, PhaseOne, etc.) but those are _extremely_ expensive.

 

Using a Gigapan, "simulates" the idea of having a larger sensor with higher resoultuion without actually needing to have all of this in a single sensor at one time -- provided you can use a tripod and take multiple images (that doesn't work well for action photographer, but it's great for landscapes and architecture.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2013

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

Thanks, in theory the Gigapan is the answer but I'm reading mixed reviews as to its worth. I've done many stitched shots in the past and they more or less do the trick. The extra precision may make it worth the cost. I;ll investigate further. I guess I was foolishly hoping that they could make a sensor the same size with the resolution of a medium format. I appreciate the lesson.

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,341
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

Firstly I don't shoot what you do so my info is just an FYI. What I do shoot isn't even close to mainstream & my needs aren't easy to satisfy especially since my event work is as a volunteer. I shoot radio control flying events & deep crops are a part of the final product so more resolution is highly desired. I've shot Canon since the mid 70's & DSLR's since the introduction of the 20D, but last week I bought a Nikon D7100 & 70-300 to see just how it might do relative to my needs. I got the idea to try one out after talking to a friend who had made the move to a DSLR from a Canon P&S and price was important & Nikon was the cheaper option. After our talk & having seen some of his photos I did some fast math in my head & thought his 300 mm images just might have more pixels per plane (or duck) than my 1D4 / 100-400 @400 images & that proved to be true, by about 20%. A really good sale price sealed the deal & I bought a Nikon, something I've never shot before.

Fortunately I had just enough time to learn how to set the camera up for a local Fun Fly & test it the next day & frankly it creates very nice jpg's as shot, but the lens used (research said it's one of the fastest AF wise in their line up) wasn't comparible to my Canon L's and worse yet they don't seem to have a line of lenses that can go head to head with the majority of L's. I've spent a big part of the last week researching Nikon mount lenses (knowing my needs are not mainstream) & am totally disappointed with the offerings compared to Canon.

Your needs are different BUT before you buy do your homework. Canon offers several grades (price levels) of lenses especially in the 70 to 200 or 300 range including very cheap consumer grade lenses thru several pro grade lenses while Nikon offers only a few & the majority of those are consumer grade. I'm really surprised by the fact they've built up a good reputation with such a poor lens selection. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2013

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

Yes, I've heard that is a problem with Nikon. I was thinking a wide angle (I've heard the 14-24 is good) for the large shots and then my Canons for the smaller. That would solve one problem of the Gigapan-detailed shots with moving elements, waves, animals, etc. but obviously not yours. I can see your dilema. RC planes would be tough to shoot. I love my 100-400L but it is slow. The 70-200L is much faster but doesn't always have the guts. Thanks for your input.

VIP
Posts: 11,334
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suggestions for a higher resolution camera than my 5D mark II

Actually everyone thought the Canon 1Dx would come out with a mammoth number of pixels since the 5D Mk III has 22.

But for the reasons stated by Mr. Campbell, it has only 18. Other areas of the sensor such as the processor (Digit 5+ in the 1Dx) make a world of difference. Low noise for instance.

Every camera has it's "best use" and than some average uses. No camera does it all.

Have you considered the Canon 200-400mm f4 IS USM with built in 1/4 extender?

It and the 1Dx would be as good as it gets. ALthough, you may need to be sitting down, maybe a defibrillator close by, when you hear the price.

I have a friend that uses GigaPan Pro and he swears by it. It can even be used indoors as most folks tend to think of it as outdoor equipment.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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