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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Lowdown On Zooms

Digital And Optical Zooms • How Many Clicks Do You Get? • The Color Of sRGB And Adobe RGB (1998) • Film Vs. Digital Vs. Sensor Size...Again

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Film Vs. Digital Vs. Sensor Size...Again
Q Can you tell me if the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II is equal in image quality to 35mm film or better than the quality of the 50D or Rebel with the smaller sensors? I’m ready to upgrade, but don’t know in which direction to proceed.
Via the Internet

A At the risk of receiving yet another rude letter from that avid film shooter (you know who you are) who keeps writing to me about film’s superior quality, I’ll say again that we surpassed the quality of film at 8 megapixels. Today’s 21- and 24-megapixel full-frame D-SLRs, in my opinion, are equivalent to a scan from a 6x9 medium-format film camera. I base my opinion on the quality of the prints I’m able to produce from 35mm film scans, medium-format film scans and digital files produced by D-SLRs from 3 to 21 megapixels. So if image quality is your biggest concern, choose a camera with a full-frame sensor and more megapixels.

There are other reasons for choosing a D-SLR with a smaller sensor or fewer megapixels. If you need a very fast camera to capture action, you might choose a D-SLR such as the Canon EOS-1D Mark III that can capture at 10.5 fps but has a slightly smaller sensor with only 10 megapixels, or the Nikon D3 at 12.1 megapixels and 9 fps. If your primary concern is extending your zoom range, choose a D-SLR with a smaller sensor to take advantage of the crop factor.

For information about upcoming seminars and digital-imaging workshops, visit www.geolepp.com. If you have any tips or questions, address them to: OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER, Dept. TT, George Lepp, 12121 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90025-1176 or online at www.geolepp.com.


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