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David Hay • Resolution

Should you always upgrade to the highest resolution camera available in the market? David Hay has been photographing with digital cameras since they became available and shares his experiences and advice

Fifteen years ago I got my first digital SLR, a 6 megapixel Canon 10D. I printed the images up to A3 size at 180ppi. Over the years I have upgraded several times and today I use 24-megapixel cameras. I still only print to A3 size, now at 300ppi. Looking at the prints side by side it is difficult to see much difference in them, even using a magnifying glass.

Resolution sells cameras
Working in a camera shop, I noticed that customers came in as soon as a new, higher resolution model was announced. They thought that their existing camera was obsolete and wanted to be put on the waiting list for the new model. When Canon replaced the 5D Mk II with the Mk III, many owners didn’t upgrade because the resolution was similar. Instead, they waited and switched to the 36 megapixel Nikon D800/800e when it was announced. Some of these customers then switched to Sony when the 42 megapixel A7r II came out. One customer switched from Canon to Olympus, then to Nikon and on to Sony – all in less than a year!

Various manufacturers such as Hasselblad, Olympus, Pentax and Panasonic offer higher resolution modes by moving the sensor to take 4, 6 or 8 frames and then combining them. Of course, any photographer can ...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

1 Comment

  1. My Canon 50D is getting old, doesn’t take video, even though I prefer Stills. Doesn’t do well in low light even upping the ISO. Anything over 600 is grainy, Looking to upgrade, and have been looking at the 6D mark 11 because of cost. Some of the reviews say that it still has a lot of grain and noise? Leaves me confused?

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