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Will Canon Make High Megapixel SLR?

Scott Pickering "25 ASA" , Mar 24, 2012; 04:13 p.m.

Since the Nikon D800 camera has finally had some testing samples done and shown, its turning out to be a winner of a camera. Im seriously thinking of switching to Nikon because of that camera. I shoot medium format film because I like high rez pics. Since Canon announced the new 5D, Im thinking it may be a very long time before they produce a full frame high megapixel camera to compete with the D800. Will Canon cede to Nikon in this example? Or do you think Canon will produce say a 3D that is full frame and 45 megapixels for example?

Only reason Im hesitating to switch to Nikon is investment in my current gear and the cost to replace it all. I'd be looking at over 8 grand to get the flash, lenses, and body from Nikon to switch. Not chump change for me. Only thing is waiting another 2 or 3 years before Canon decides to compete in this area (megapixels). By then who knows what Nikon would come up with to replace their D800.


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Bob Atkins , Mar 24, 2012; 04:27 p.m.

I can give you a definite maybe on that one

If you absolutely need the resolution of the D800, I'd suggest you go out and buy one tomorrow (if not today...)

If you can afford to wait 2 or 3 years, then you obviously don't need it.

Gil Pruitt , Mar 24, 2012; 04:34 p.m.

If you think/believe a 36mp camera will make you a better photographer you should immediately go for it. Help out the economy in Japan and elsewhere. Free up some good Canon gear for others to utilize. I doubt that Canon will bring out a higher mp camera unless there is a huge migration out of Canon and into Nikon. Seems to me that Canon and Nikon are making more sense with their new pro cameras the D4 and 1DX with their modest mp and higher performance in almost everything else. Good luck!

J. Harrington USA (Massachusetts) , Mar 24, 2012; 04:41 p.m.

Scott, does your desire for more pixels relate to you being unsatisfied with large prints you make from your current cameras?

Dave S , Mar 24, 2012; 04:53 p.m.

Three alternatives.
(i) If you make your living from photography, you already know what you need, and you would know whether this is a good business investment. So you wouldn't be asking here.
(ii) If you're rich and have no financial worries, like net worth well into seven figures, you can do whatever the hell you want, so go for it.
(iii) If you're an ordinary working stiff like most of us, put the 8K into your retirement savings and forget about it. Wait for the dust to clear from this generation of camera bodies, and decide in 2015. When you need a 20 x 24 print, dust off the RZ and buy a box of Ektar.

Jeff Spirer , Mar 24, 2012; 04:56 p.m.

does your desire for more pixels relate to you being unsatisfied with large prints you make from your current cameras?

That's the fundamental question. What's the need here? I already print and exhibit 20x30 prints from an 11.3mp camera. I went to an exhibit of two photographers, one from photo.net, a few weeks ago - all 20x20 images from iphones, covered in a big way by the San Francisco daily, and very positively. So what's driving this?

Scott Pickering "25 ASA" , Mar 24, 2012; 05:03 p.m.

Mr. Harrington- I currently try to use my Pentax 67 when I know I will be making blows to a big size. I like to pixel peep my big pictures, so wanting full rez is desirable. I want the camera to be able to do 300 dpi at 24x36", and see all the little detail in the pic that I can when I use my 67 camera.

Another reason is having larger then needed files for smaller pics helps too. I use Bicubic sharper when downsizing pics, and this helps to add extra detail in the smaller file. Same reason video cameras pixel bin with larger sensors when going to 1080P video.

I could use my 67 camera, but its increasingly becoming a huge hassle when taking on long trips (like flights out, and on busses). Its heavy, takes up room I don't have, and other reasons. I've resorted to using SLR cameras on my last few trips because of the size of cameras. Using a D800 would give me medium format resolution in a small size camera.
I've seen Canon trend on reducing mexapixels in cameras (which for some people is desirable). To me it tells me they don't plan on producing a D800 equivalent. Im wanting to buy a better 50mm lens for my kit, but am having second thoughts on sticking with Canon. My concern is they will not make a D800 type camera in the future (Im saying within 3 years), in which case getting a D800 would be prefered.

G Dan Mitchell , Mar 24, 2012; 05:06 p.m.

I do make large prints. I can currently do a pretty fine job with the 5D2, but I would also be happy to have greater photo site density on a full frame sensor at some point.

I'm confident that Canon will eventually produce a higher MP full frame body. Basically, if for no other reason, market pressure will encourage Canon to do this. But there are reasons for some of use to welcome even greater pixel dimensions.

Regarding 20" x 30" prints from a 11.3 MP sensor and 20" x 20" prints from iPhones... having shot with everything from a 8MP cropped sensor DSLR to a 21 MP full frame DSLR and working with an in-house Epson 7900 printer, I'm certain that those sources will not produce photographs in those sizes that I would be pleased with. In my view the 5D2 can do a very nice 20" x 30" print and even 24" x 36" if the photograph was shot carefully and handled well in post.

That said, the current 5D2 full frame sensor is way more than enough for the majority of folks shooting this camera.


Robert DeCandido, PhD , Mar 24, 2012; 05:12 p.m.

You can increase the MP of any digital camera by (a) stitching if you do landscapes - take several exposures and use an external program such as PTGUI to make one image from 6 vertical images (even Photoshop can be used to do this); or making several exposures of the same scene and blending the exposure with Photomatix or a similar program.

Yes I think Canon will make a high MP camera - my guess is that the 1Ds4 will be that camera...and it will be available in autumn 2012.

Here is an example of stitching: http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=8468680

David Wu , Mar 24, 2012; 05:20 p.m.

If you bought all of your gears 3-4 years ago, you should not lose too much $$ (may for lenses), due to weaker US$.
I bought a 50mm F1.8 new for $68 4 years ago; now I think I can sell it for at least $80.

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