2005-11-27 2312 Photography:

Psst! Anyone want to buy a 25 mega-pixel camera?

I’ve been fiddling withy Adobe Bridge and Camera RAW today. I tend to stick to jpeg for the default output from my Canon 300D as I’m usually happy with the results, and if I’m not then I’ve enough knowhow to correct the shot anyways.

Except today I’ve found out something new that means I’m now officially a convert to RAW. I’ve always liked the amount of control that RAW format gives over an image; what I’ve not liked is the slower workflow or the reduction in shots that fit on a Compact Flash card. My discovery today has changed all that. It’s RAW all the way from now on.


What I’ve found is this: my camera isn’t really a 6-megapixel camera. It’s a 25 mega-pixel camera. I’ve been fooled all along.

In Adobe’s Camera RAW there’s a little tickbox in the bottom left corner labeled Show Workflow Options. Selecting this opens up another set of options – including being able to set the default dpi and the size of the image! Instead of setting the higest output to 6-megapixel, I can set it to 6144 x 4096 pixels at 300dpi. That’s a massive 52cm x 35cm print at full resolution. Amazing.

As far as I can see, this isn’t interpolation in any way; or if it is, it’s very, very well done as there’s no visible interpolation or processing taking place. The output equates to a 9 mega-pixel jpeg or a 25 megapixel uncompressed image.

What does this mean in real life? Well, here’s a not-so great shot of CroXie from a while back:

Click for full size image

This image is at 11% zoom in the window! To get an idea of what that means, here’s the shot at 100% zoom!!

Click for full size image

What you’re seeing at 100% zoom, by the way is the digital “grain” of the shot as it was taken at ISO 800.Asize from processing in Adobe’s Camera RAW, this image hasn’t been retouched at all. Tomorrow I’ll take some shots at ISO 100 to measure the amount of grain this throws up.

The 300D is easily the best camera I’ve ever owned, and it never fails to surprise and impress me. At this image size, film really is obsolete. And that is something I never thought I’d say.

That is a heck of a lot of pixels for your money, folks.

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