Wednesday 29 September 2010

Camera Requirements-Whats yours

With the new Nikon Cameras coming out with increased Megapixels its made me look at my requirements and whether or not to go with the flow and get a new body, Photographic agencies current requirements are one of two things, Images taken with a camera with a minimum of 10 MP or a 50MB file, Agencies that take the 10mp camera image will interpolate the image to 50mp for you and store that on file-Why 50mb you may ask, Well in the good? old days of slides if you scanned a slide at 4000dpi you got 50MB and that was good enough to print a double page i.e centre in a magazine, This has stayed with us even though digital images are far cleaner than a scanned slide and an image from say a 1D3 (10mp) which will give approx 28MB 8 bit tiff will easily give an excellent double page spread without the need to interpolate the image, So at the moment i use 2x12MP cameras so images are supplied full frame or with minimal cropping so a few extra pixels would be nice, A camera around 17-18mp will give a 50MB file without any need for interpolation which can slightly degrade an image, I dont sell many prints but i have been asked for very large poster prints before and last night i was talking to a client and we discussed images up to 36x24, So really my own personal requirements or ideal camera would be around 18- 20mp to cover all agency and print requirements-That would mean just one camera in the Nikon range that would suit me and that being the D3X, The problem is the low light performance which to me is more important that extra pixels so for the time being my ideal camera doesnt exist-from any manufacturer, I don't think it will be too long and looking at Nikon's new D7000 images i am sure next years D400 and D4 will be very exciting and a worthy upgrade for me at least,
I was talking to my buddy Pete yesterday and i said what if Canon/Nikon or whoever went against the grain-dropped back in the megapixels like they have done in some compacts-say make a 6- 8mp full frame body-affordable, Imagine the low light possibilities, Is there a market for such a camera-well and know back to my original question-What are your requirements? Just how many pixels do you need, The most basic cameras these days are around 14mp-does a beginner need 40+mp files
So take a moment and think seriously about what you do with 'your' images
1. Do you supply agencies
2.Do you print and if so what size? 6x4 8x10 A3+ Bigger?
3, Do you just use your images for the web
I dont think many of use really consider our own actual needs but get caught up in the 'must have' the newest and highest in the range bodies which is exactly what the camera manufacturers want, Sure the more basic or lower models tend to have less features, But take again Nikons new D7000 which has 16+mp, 6 frames per second and 39 focus points-I am sure thats a lot more than the average Joe needs and its certainly a spec that i could easily and happily live with, Plus it has 1080 video for those how now must have a camera with HD video built in, You certainly get a lot for your money these days but 99% of people going into to get their first Dslr probably dont need more than 6-8 mp, Dont want or need huge file sizes or the powerful PC and all that storage capacity which is now being forced upon us,
So back to the question again-what are YOUR personal requirements and more importantly why and maybe how would you like to see things progress in the future


1 comment:

  1. Hi Dave
    Glad you brought this up.
    I presently use a Canon 30D (8MP)and have done for several years. Most of my printing is up to 8x10 and I find this file size is perfectly adequate and have even printed up to A2 without a significant loss of quality. I do not submit photos to agencies.
    Over the years I have invested money in lenses rather than chasing the latest camera body.
    One of the lenses I have is the Canon 300 f4 which is currently priced at £1050, the Canon 300 f2.8 is available at £3500, so that is £2500 to gain one f stop (I know there are advantages in depth of field but I would question how often I would use a lens like this wide open whilst shooting wildlife.)
    If Canon were to produce a camera such as the 7D but with only 10mp I feel I would be able to gain that one f stop by increasing the iso, a much cheaper solution than spending an extra £2500 on a lens.
    It's about time camera manufacturers stopped this mp race and started producing cameras that produce clean high iso images, after all , as you say, how many of us really need 18mp.