Do more megapixels really matter? Camera manufacturers seem to think so, with the Sony NEX-7 pushing things up to 24MP and Nikon’s forthcoming D800 rumored to have a whopping 36MP. Well, I now have a 25MP photo in my collection:
I always link images to SmugMug’s X3 size, which is pretty big, but well short of 25MP. If you want to see every last pixel, this link is the full sized JPEG. Now, I like this picture independently of any of the technology behind it, simply because in all our thousands of photos we have very few that are of all four of us, which isn’t surprising given that someone has to hold the camera (especially since my camera is configured in a weird way that makes it hard to hand over to someone). So, what was this picture shot with?
As it turns out, not what you’d think given the subject line:
That’s approximately the camera that was used to shoot the picture – a Hasselblad 501CM. The particular image above comes from (and links to) an article that someone at Frog Design posted about the camera, and might be worth reading if you are interested! As the article notes, this line of cameras first started being produced in 1956 – about 50 years before digital cameras started producing decent images. It uses medium format 120 film (first produced in 1901!), which when shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio like the above, has 3.6x the area of a 35mm “full frame” sensor!
The photo itself was shot a year ago in Malaysia, by my step-dad, a semi-retired professional photographer, who looks like a pro even when using a small compact camera on vacation:
If you’re wondering why it took so long to write this post, besides that I tend to procrastinate, it’s that I only just got the high resolution scanned versions over Christmas this year. The scanning was done by a professional lab they use in Malaysia, and I’m sure it wasn’t cheap!