Monday, 13 February 2012

HIgh Resolution from m4/3

The Nikon D800 is getting some rave reviews. Many of them talk about the incredible resolution. 

Well here's a way to create jaw dropping high resolution landscape images from a m4/3 12MP camera.

First I shot 5 images using an Olympus E-PL3 plus 45mm f/1.8 lens. making sure that my focus and exposure was identical for all.

I use Photomerge in Photoshop as I can work with raw files. I then opened them up in Photoshop Camera raw, adjusted them to taste, making sure that I didn't blow the highlights. A neat trick here is to set the files to "develop" at a higher file size, in this case I used the maximum that ACR allows for Olympus 12MP files, 28MP.

I then stitched them together.

Do note that if you have a computer with a slow processor, this can take a while!

I then ended up with a fle thats 200MB + and I then made all my adjustments at this file size including noise reduction and sharpening. I only sharpened the non-sky parts of the image, by using the magic wand tool to select the sky area and then chose inverse to only sharpen the bits that needed it. Clear blue sky doesn't need to be sharpened and global sharpening of the whole image only creates noise in block colour areas.

As you can see I used a high amount amount of sharpening with a small pixel radius. Finally I cropped the image and reduced it in size to just over 100MB.

As you can see the image has loads of resolution and incredible detail.

So, who needs a D800? Well obviously those who don't shoot static subjects!! However, if like me, you mostly shoot landscape, architecture and travel images, its an alternative to the expense, weight and size of something like the D800, and under these circumstances produces an almost identical image in terms of resolution, size and image quality and all from a camera a fraction of the price.