Following on from the last post, I’ve been doing a little more technical analysis to convince myself I don’t need a new camera.

First off, noise at high ISO. Here are some crops of the image above, taken at various ISO settings. The full size view, which you can see by clicking on each one, is a 100% crop with no noise reduction.

20141213_0029-3200 20141213_0030-1600 20141213_0031-800

In order, these are ISO 3200, 1600 and 800. By 800 the noise has practically disappeared, but even at 3200 it really isn’t intrusive. To give an idea of how irrelevent it truly is at web sizes, the full frame shown at the top is the ISO 3200 version.

Also note that the ISO 800 image isn’t as sharp as the others. Camera shake, I’m afraid, even at 45mm and 1/125s. And that’s with VR on – really not good enough! It’s a reminder, should I need one, that the biggest limitation I have is not my camera – it’s my technique.

Finally I tried a little experiment with another image to see how it might pan out enlarged.


I took a crop and scaled it to A4, A3 and A2 and printed the result. The A4 crop is actually a slight reduction from full size and in each case I sized to print at 300dpi. It really was a quick and dirty experiment, as you can see from a scan of the resulting print on A4 paper:


It should give you an idea of how big the image would appear printed at each of those sizes. The final one, A2, would be near enough a 24″x16″ print. Looking at the print at arm’s length (and when do you ever view an A2 print much closer than that?), I reckon it’s good enough.

With care, I could probably get an A1 print out of the camera. This shot was handheld, at ISO 400 – if I was shooting landscapes with a view to making massive prints, the camera would be on a tripod at ISO 100 and I’d take a lot more care over the post-processing.

So what would a 24MP full frame camera give me? A bit more leeway, mainly, if I was making large prints – they’d be slightly smaller enlargements and therefore a little more forgiving of less than perfect technique. That’s about it, really.

Given how rarely I ever print anything, there really is no need to change my camera – although I do have to work on my technique! It’s been a useful exercise in that respect.

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