I continue to be amazed by the resolution that the D800 offers, perhaps because this is enhanced by something I didn’t adequately appreciate in advance – autofocus capabilities that are a step above what the D7000 offered. The combination of these things allowed just walking up to a flower in my garden and taking this snapshot, with the 105mm f/2.8 VR:
There’s nothing great about the above as a macro shot, and if you’re into macro you can get far closer and more detailed. Having the leaf in the foreground obscuring things is distracting too, and perhaps I should have cropped that out. But to able to see this much detail in the world with no preparation, no tripod, and no lighting is new, at least for me. I had taken the random macro potshot in the past when the kids were being less interesting than insects, but a big camera at close range tends to convince most other lifeforms to fly away, and being off even a little with focus totally blows a macro shot. So I was kind of surprised by how easy it was to get something like the above.
Also, we went to Twanoh state park a bit over a week ago, since once a year they open up for anyone to come clam digging. We didn’t actually bring any clams home or eat them, but it was a fun activity for the kids. I was kind of amazed to see a seagull flying by carrying what appeared to be a whole clam in its mouth. It was kind of far away, and I only had the old 85mm f/1.8 AF on the camera, but I took a picture of it anyways. Unfortunately, 85mm really doesn’t provide very much reach:
But fortunately, 36MP provides the flexibility to crop… a lot:
I’m still glad I’m not into taking pictures of birds, as that’s one thing that seems even harder (and more expensive) than taking pictures of uncooperative offspring. I was just pretty impressed that the seagull was able to get such a large object into its mouth, and then to fly around with it!
While my PC is definitely feeling the strain of dealing with RAW files from my camera that weigh in at over 40MB each, I have to think that with the way that things are going in the display world, that all this resolution is going to help some day. My 5-year old 30″ monitor displays roughly 4 million pixels – 12 million camera dots – and feeding it with a 36 million dot image is overkill (camera pixels are not monitor pixels; there’s just one color value per “pixel”, not three). But with Apple creating attention around “retina” displays that pack a similar resolution into a 15″ display, and Viewsonic offering this 31.5″ 4K display (albeit at “about the price of a car”), it seems pretty clear that the detail that you may have to zoom in to see today will be baseline requirements for looking good on displays of the future.