Comments for G Dan Mitchell Photography Daily photographs, news, observations, and ideas about photography Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:07:29 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on New Canon 5DS R DSLR: A Printing Test by G Dan Mitchell Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:07:29 +0000 Hi Spencer:

I did not use any special plug-ins — I basically used my typical up-rez process in Photoshop to prepare the print.

The answer to the question of “how big can I go with 50MP?” is somewhat subjective, and the answer depends on several things: What level of sharpness/resolution are you expecting at such large sizes (and 60″ x 90″ is truly huge!)? How often will you make such gigantic prints? How will you display them? What sorts of costs are you willing to accept in order to produce very large prints?

If I were going to regularly produce such gigantic prints for commercial purposes, I would have to think through very carefully the needs of my clientele and the cost/benefit equation. I can make extremely large prints with the gear I currently use — for example, I recently licensed an image to a client who made a 15-foot wide panoramic print. This image was a stitched composite. Another client intends to produce a photograph at about 30 feet wide. But in both cases we are not looking at a “fine art print,” but instead at installations that might be regarded as part of the design of interior spaces.

On the other hand, 90″ wide fine art prints will (at least with most subjects and in most cases) lead to a desire for some very high resolution original images. Depending upon your standards in this area, even 50MP from a full frame DSLR may or may not meet your expectations. My sense was that the 50MP image will produce a very, very high quality 30″ x 45″ print — perhaps roughly comparable to what I might get at 24″ x 36″ from my current 22MP system. From my perspective the quality at 60″ x 90″, while quite fine for many purposes, may not be quite what I want for fine art prints. I think it could work, but in my view we’re getting into borderline territory for full frame DSLR images at that gigantic size.

If you intend to frequently produce such gigantic prints and you also want the absolute highest quality, you might end up looking at stitching even with 50MP, or you could be looking at a high end MF digital system. I do think that a composite stitch from multiple 50MP images could be quite good.

Finally, you may already know this, but don’t forget that once you get to such huge magnifications the sensor resolution is not the only critical issue. In fact, excellent lenses, excellent and very careful technique, super camera stability, precise focus, and more will also be at least as important.