Shooting a 300-Megapixel Photo: Film vs Digital

24 thoughts on Shooting a 300-Megapixel Photo: Film vs Digital

  1. The digital one resolves a lot more detail and has more apparent dynamic range (ironic that it was shot with the 5D3 and its feeble dynamic range, yet it is somehow still besting the large film camera!). However the film version has a more natural perspective, and the vibrance slider hasn’t been pushed way up, like was done for the digital version. It’s not really a fair comparison, because the processes are so different. I don’t like the overall look of either version. The subject placement is too centered in both versions, but the digital version’s perspective is more bothersome (no doubt partly an artifact of the many stitched panned shots.)

    Also, I mean do the math, even a wall sized print does not need to be 300 megapixels. The client was just plain wrong in his request.

  2. Another case of a client having not a clue what they’re saying…
    Nowadays 100 megapixel is more than enough for every single job requested in the advertising industry. It’s all a matter of how it is being processed the final size (even the largest billboards in NYC) would not need 300mpx… the rest is religion and a question of preference

  3. This fight between “digital” and “analog” is akin to religion: the analog troops are the religious ones who believe in spite of facts and objectively assessed tests. To a disinterested observer (not “uninterested”, which is not the same thing), the progress represented by digital is undeniable.
    The “analogs” will die off, and some young people (the hipsters of the future) will dig into the past and keep the flag of mythologized analog high, the way Flat-earthers or followers of Odin do, among increasing indifference.

  4. The finished analog photo has a more naturally colored wooden fence, the sun shines at the frontwheel making it bling more and even seems to give it a reflection on the grass, but I particularly like the orange gradient of the car all the way to the car’s nose. The analog photo is also more interesting in terms of perspective and it looks sunnier, giving the photo a more pleasant look and making the car even more beautiful. And maybe the dogs colorlines fit the cars colorlines better with the analog photo too 😉

  5. Interesting article and comments. The customer payed for and got what and got what she wanted. Film v. Digital in this case is a matter of preference, as your customer illustrated. The variable in film is agitation, developer and developer strength and temperature. I like both images. However, the dog on the fender is a detail that adds nothing to the overall picture because it blends into the fender. I would think, with multiple images, that one would have been specific to the lighting on the dog to make it stand out.

  6. “The owner also requested that their dog sit on the car’s fender, and for the photos to be huge — 100 megapixels were too few.
    Three times that is the minimum needed for the print the owner wanted.
    The customer ended up choosing the analog version — the look fits the car so much better.”

    More proof that the customer usually does not know what they want, only what they think they want. 😉

  7. The digital wasn’t processed very well, and framed different than the analog. The grass is too green and the highlights seemed toned right down; the chrome looks grey even.

  8. Pixel peeping aside, the analog photo is simply a better photo. The perspective is better, the natural light is hitting in more flattering spots and the tones are more pleasing.

    Also, why not put some time into cleaning up the car pre-shoot? A small brush could have saved a ton of post processing.

  9. what a useless article… different framed photos, digital contrast is edited way too high. and as if we needed to know that multiple tight shots are going to have better detail than a wide shot on film? waste.

  10. Why is the grass so freaking green in the digital version? Also, angle is different, DOF in the analog is shallower, and digital version overall feels oversaturated, more compressed and the subject is smaller. And the dog needs to be on the left fender lit with a snoot.

    Gotta love film grain, though.

  11. First of all, the human experience is analog—that’s especially true for how we see and hear. What’s good and bad falls within a certain range and not a pre-defined, discrete set point.

    Truthfully, I don’t see a need for something bleeding that many megapixels if we’re talking about people as subjects. Your friendly neighborhood retoucher already spends too much time cleaning up too much human detail that we “don’t wanna see or remember”.

    I’d say we sort of peaked at around 16, got greedy at 24 and are going batshit crazy by juicing it up to 100 and beyond. It’s nice but is it truly necessary?

    Unless, of course, the point was to steal people’s souls (this applies on a couple of levels, at least). #2cents

    p.s. Let’s stop with the low-tech hate. If you shoot enough and understand the history of photography and manufacturing at all, you’d know that they actually did make better lenses back in the day.

  12. I understand they wanted a large file, but I’m not sure why it was necessary to stitch together 24 digital files. My pc, not a complete slouch, would’ve choked on that lump.

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