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.
Stop It Down. Just A Bit. [LensRentals]
Image credit: Margaritas a la bokeh by ganso.org
Nikon says the megapixel race ended years ago, but its upcoming camera is rumored to be a 36MP beast. Canon, on the other hand, actually took a step backward in terms of megapixels, dropping from 21 in the 1Ds Mark III to 18 in the new 1D X. However, the company states that camera’s resolution is by no means worse than the 1Ds Mark III, despite what marketers want you to believe. A representative recently spoke to Amateur Photographer, saying:
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 EOS-1D X Equals ’21MP’ DSLR, Claims Firm [Amateur Photographer]
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.
Sony revealed its plans to release a camcorder with the same interchangeable lens system as their NEX series cameras this past May, but announced today that the NEX-VG10 will be available in September for around $2000.
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.
You can pre-order the NEX-VG10 from Sony Style.