When people test cameras and lenses for resolution, they commonly use special resolution test charts that are filled with black bars of varying lengths and thicknesses. They’re kind of like eye charts, except for cameras instead of eyeballs, and with lines instead of letters.
Well, did you know that in dozens of locations around the United States, there are gigantic resolution test charts on the ground? Read more…
Despite its girth, weight, and price, Canon’s original 24-70mm f/2.8L is a highly-regarded general-purposes lens. When the followup Mark II version was announced back in February, the higher-price tag, similar specs, and lack of IS had many photographers scratching their heads. Then the reviews started coming out. Read more…
If you’ve been using Dropbox as a photo backup solution and the official iOS app for accessing your images in the cloud, you may have noticed that downloading photos to your device didn’t give you the exact files that you wanted. Instead of beaming the full-resolution images to your Camera Roll, the app would shrink photos to a much smaller size to speed up downloading times. A 14MP 4592×3056 photo would only be saved at 960×638, for example.
This week, Dropbox finally updated the app and removed the resolution ceiling from downloads. Now you can save your entire photos from your backup to your iOS device without seeing it pass under a shrink ray. Read more…
It has only been a month since Sony announced its latest flagship full-frame camera, the A99, but rumors are already beginning to emerge regarding the company’s next top-of-the-line offering. sonyalpharumors writes that Sony has reportedly marked sometime between May and June 2013 as a tentative release date for its next high-end full-frame:
The camera will be more “photographer” oriented. There are currently a couple of different prototypes. One we heard of has a 36 Megapixel sensor (same as Nikon D800) and built-in vertical grip. Priced well above the current Sony A99. A second prototype has a new 50 Megapixel sensor which goal is to go as close as possible to a “medium format” quality.
The new camera wouldn’t be intended to replace the A99, but would instead become the flag-bearer by creating an entirely new tier in the Sony lineup. If the latest rumors pan out, then 50 megapixels may soon become the new standard resolution for flagship DSLRs; Canon is reportedly working on its own high-res (46MP) camera.
Update: Reader Scott Hutchison reminds us that back in May, there was a rumor that working on a “A1S” camera with a full-frame 36x36mm square sensor. Hmm…
“Super-Resolution From a Single Image” is an interesting research page by computer scientists over at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. It details the group’s efforts to create sharp enlargements of small photographs, and offers comparisons between their algorithm and other popular ones being used and researched (e.g. nearest neighbor, bi-cubic). The large image of the baby seen above was created from the tiny image on the left. See if you can create something more useable using Photoshop.
Last week we featured an amazing video by a girl named Madeline who documented 2011 by recording 1 second of footage from each day. The video above by Sam Morrison is similar: Morrison’s father bet him $100 that he couldn’t do a backflip every day of 2011, so he made it his New Year’s resolution to do so. After successfully completing the project, Morrison created the video above showing his favorite flips. The 365 individual videos can be viewed on this Tumblr page dedicated to the project. How’s that for a Project 365?
You probably know that stopping down (i.e. increasing your f-stop number) can increase the sharpness of your subject, but how much should you stop down to boost resolution without losing that nice, creamy bokeh? Roger Cicala did some research on this question and writes:
For those lenses that do benefit, stopping down just to f/2.0 provides the majority of resolution improvement. The difference between wide open and f/2.0 is generally much greater than the difference between f/2.0 and the maximum resolution.
Getting the edges and corners sharp requires stopping down to at least f/4 for most wide-aperture primes, and some really need f/5.6. Stopping down to f/2.8 may maximize center sharpness but often makes only a slight difference in the corners, at least on a full-frame camera.
None of the lenses performed any better after f/5.6 (for the center) or f/8 for the corners. Most were clearly getting softer at f/11.
If you’re using a wide-aperture lens, stopping down to just f/2.0 will reap big gains in sharpness while still keeping the depth-of-field narrow. Furthermore, for some lenses you don’t really even need to worry about stopping down for sharpness, since it hasn’t a relatively negligible effect on the outcome.
We have designed the Canon CMOS sensor for the EOS 1DX so that it is much thinner than before and so that the photodiodes are closer to the surface of the sensor. This way the pixels collect more light and produce a better, clearer, signal.
With less noise, and our new improved processing algorithms, the camera is able to reproduce more detail. While using MFT is perhaps not the best way to measure the resolution of the camera, if you did use this method the results for the EOS-1D X and EOS-1 Ds Mark III would be very similar.
The 1D X also has a mirror that utilizes mechanical movement both ways rather than gravity, allowing for faster frame rates while at the same time reducing mirror bounce.
Canon and Nikon broke ground when they launched DSLRs that have HD video capabilities. Now Sony’s taking a different approach by offering a comparatively affordable HD video camera with all the attractiveness of interchangeable lenses, plus the ability to take high resolution stills.
Not only will the camcorder share the same Sony E-mount as the NEX series (it comes standard with a kit 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens), Sony DSLR owners will be pleased to know that with a separate adapter, the camcorder can be mounted with any A-mount lenses — including Sony G and Carl Zeiss lenses.
The camcorder also has the same Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor as the NEX-3 and NEX-5. The DSLR sized sensor alone gives the camera a lot of extra real estate to work with; Sony boasts the sensor to be approximately 19.5 times larger than the standard sensor of conventional camcorders.
The NEX-VG10 can shoot 1920×1080 high def video at 60 fps, which Sony says is ideal for Blu-Ray recording. And for stills shooting, it can capture 14 megapixel images with a continuous burst of up to 7 fps.
Some benefits of using the NEX-VG10 over a video DSLR is that the camcorder has the right ergonomics and image stabilization for shooting video, and doesn’t have the same limited clip time that plagues DSLR video shooters — it can shoot up to 315 continuous minutes. Also, Sony says the NEX-VG10 has a silent auto-focus system that could cut down on noise typical on video DSLRs.
Stills shooters may appreciate the camera’s Auto HDR mode, but the fact that it doesn’t shoot RAW images could be a dealbreaker.