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Author Topic: What kind of camera do I need for 4x7 FT. gallery quality prints? (Newbie here)  (Read 2759 times)

1_Beatnikblake

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I am looking to print on canvas. I need gallery quality.(whatever that means) close up viewing? Thats 4x7.1 ft/(16:9 porportion). 100 megapixels as a base start? From my limited understanding the buffer zones include the quality of photo i capture and what can be done in photoshop. Where do i start?!
 
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BradSmith

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Are you new/unfamiliar with cameras and current digital technologies including printing?  If so, this is a very ambitious project. 

Here's a beginning of thinking about your needs.  At least how I would think about it.
You should have at least 150 pixels per inch for a solid looking image on canvas.  That means an image that 48" x 150 pixels/" equals 7200 pixels in width.  And 84" x 150 pixels/" equals 12,600 pixels in the long dimension.  That is approximately 90 megapixels.  If you want to produce your image from a single shot, then you'll need a camera with a sensor that has those dimensions at a minimum.  I say "at a minimum" to allow for some cropping.  There are no Canon, Nikon, or Sony dslr's that meet those specs.  That means you need medium format cameras/sensors.  The current Phase One, XF 100MP camera gets you close @ 11,600 x 8,700.  I just saw an ad for one of these with an 80mm lens for $38,000. As I said, a very ambitious project. 

Most of us here would "stitch" together multiple photos (in Photoshop) each with a lower resolution, taken with a much much lower priced camera/lens combo to get the same number of pixels in the final image.  If this is your preferred route, post a reply clarifying your path and others may chime in with info on stitching. Remember, Google is your friend.  There are many on-line tutorials regarding image stitching.

Brad
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1_Beatnikblake

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Yes, unfortunately I don't have 80k lying around for that camera so sounds like its stitching then. Whay camera will get the job done for me and what do I need to do once I have the camera?
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pcgpcg

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If you are stitching you will need a camera that allows you to set exposure (set f stop and shutter instead of relying on auto exposure). Most consumer grade cameras allow that, but be sure you check. To be more helpful you need to describe what are you photographing and what you want to show.

Micro photography with lots of depth of field? Portraits with shallow depth of field? Fast action as in sports? No action as in still landscapes? High light as in outdoors on a sunny day? Low light as in a nightclub? Milky way? Northern lights?
Do you require supplemental lighting? Do you need weatherproofing? Do you require light weight?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 01:35:48 PM by pcgpcg »
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ErikKaffehr

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Hi,

The largest print I made was 3'x13' and that was stitched from something like 9 images with a Sony Alpha 900 mounted in the vertical position. It was printed on glossy paper.

If you have 20/20 vision and look at the print at 20" / 50 cm, you would need 180 lp/mm to match the resolution of the eye.

Sharpening plays a role, probably more important than extreme quality.

My suggestions would be:

  • If possible, stitch
  • If you stitch, mount the camera vertically
  • Modern stitchers are pretty good, but it doesn't hurt to be a bit careful. Read, you can get a decent image handholding, but tripod, rotation around inlet pupil, manual exposure and focus would certainly help.
  • The built in stitching in Lightroom is a pretty decent one. That is always the first I try.
  • Use a good external sharpening tool. The one I think works best for me is FocusMagick. Don't sharpen in LR or any other raw converter.

Best regards
Erik

I am looking to print on canvas. I need gallery quality.(whatever that means) close up viewing? Thats 4x7.1 ft/(16:9 porportion). 100 megapixels as a base start? From my limited understanding the buffer zones include the quality of photo i capture and what can be done in photoshop. Where do i start?!
 

1_Beatnikblake

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I am taking overhead sidewalk photos such as these. What camera should I go with at the very least and maybe I can have someone else do the editing/stitching for 4x7 ft print.
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BradSmith

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Why???    Never mind, I couldn't control myself.

Get the least expensive Canon or Nikon DSLR with APS-c sensor and a so called standard zoom lens.  Here is a suitable Nikon (D3200 with 15-55mm zoom lens $400) from B&H Photo.  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/856049-GREY/Nikon_25492_D3200_DSLR_Camera_With.html

Learn how to take the necessary series of images to produce the stitched together final image.  Learn how to do this through online tutorials in stitching.  Then have some else do the stitching or learn how to do it yourself in Photoshop.
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luxborealis

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Really? Is this April 1st?

You are planning on shooting, processing and printing (or having someone else do it?!?) to 4x7 feet and you don't have the money for the "right" camera gear? And, If you don't have that, where will you find the money to pay someone to do your processing, printing and mounting, not to mention getting to the locations and spending the time there to capture the images, not to mention the computer gear to manage the images. Of course, if they are just sidewalks, I suppose that could be anywhere, anytime.

Is this a one-off to save on hiring a professional?

The camera gear is perhaps the least expensive part of this endeavour.

Confused.
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1_Beatnikblake

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Really? Is this April 1st?

You are planning on shooting, processing and printing (or having someone else do it?!?) to 4x7 feet and you don't have the money for the "right" camera gear? And, If you don't have that, where will you find the money to pay someone to do your processing, printing and mounting, not to mention getting to the locations and spending the time there to capture the images, not to mention the computer gear to manage the images. Of course, if they are just sidewalks, I suppose that could be anywhere, anytime.

Is this a one-off to save on hiring a professional?

The camera gear is perhaps the least expensive part of this endeavour.

Confused.

No unfortunately i dont have 40k for the camera to do this without stitching. I didn't know doing a 4x7 print would be so in depth.

I'd like to do 7-10 of these as a series. So I'm not sure hiring a pphotographer would be as practical.

The sidewalks must contain human feces. So its a bit of a treasure hunt. Thats why it would probably be easier
r to shoot it myself.

And now I have to figure out how to shoot it so that it can be stitched. Any tips?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 08:09:01 PM by 1_Beatnikblake »
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luxborealis

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Given the subject matter, do the photographs need to be of the same pristine quality as grand vistas? If not, they could be shot with almost any camera, the grainy quality of a smaller sensor imparting its own character.

Alternatively, do as suggested by Brad Smith. You can pick up the gear needed for less than a grand. Then spend some time learning the tech side and practicing.

Good luck finding human faeces on sidewalks. Can't help you there. All the travelling I've done in wealthy and poor countries around the world, I can't say I've ever seen human faeceson sidewalks.

This will be quite the unique installation!
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ErikKaffehr

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Well, I used to have decent shot if bison dumpling something like A1 on the wall off room at work where we would have coffee break and chat. When the boss was talking to much BS we just pointed at that picture.

Best regards
Erik

Given the subject matter, do the photographs need to be of the same pristine quality as grand vistas? If not, they could be shot with almost any camera, the grainy quality of a smaller sensor imparting its own character.

Alternatively, do as suggested by Brad Smith. You can pick up the gear needed for less than a grand. Then spend some time learning the tech side and practicing.

Good luck finding human faeces on sidewalks. Can't help you there. All the travelling I've done in wealthy and poor countries around the world, I can't say I've ever seen human faeceson sidewalks.

This will be quite the unique installation!

1_Beatnikblake

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How many photos should I take if using the $400 Nikon Brad suggested in order to stitch together a final piece that could be printed to 4x7 feet?

Also any tips on how to take these overhead shots of sidewalks? Do I need to adjust camera settings etc.?
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drmike

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Good luck finding human faeces on sidewalks. Can't help you there.

Come on now you could help him out if you were just prepared to eat the right things :) This is the trouble with this forum, no-one is prepared to go that extra mile for newbies.
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pcgpcg

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How many photos should I take if using the $400 Nikon Brad suggested in order to stitch together a final piece that could be printed to 4x7 feet?
How many pixels do you want? How many pixels are in your field of view (depends on focal length of lens and your distance away from subject)? If you want to be able to stitch frames you need to overlap the image in each frame by at least a third of a frame. You do the math.

Also any tips on how to take these overhead shots of sidewalks?
Watch your step.... Seriously, depends on what you want to achieve. This ranges from walking along and taking pics while holding the camera at a fixed angle and distance, to setting up an overhead motor-driven rail system, which is probably overkill for a poop on sidewalk series.

Do I need to adjust camera settings etc.?
Only initially. Don't change any settings during your sequence of shots.
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1_Beatnikblake

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How many pixels do you want? How many pixels are in your field of view (depends on focal length of lens and your distance away from subject)? If you want to be able to stitch frames you need to overlap the image in each frame by at least a third of a frame. You do the math.
Watch your step.... Seriously, depends on what you want to achieve. This ranges from walking along and taking pics while holding the camera at a fixed angle and distance, to setting up an overhead motor-driven rail system, which is probably overkill for a poop on sidewalk series.
Only initially. Don't change any settings during your sequence of shots.

My knowledge of cameras and photography is pretty non existent. I don't know how many pixels i want because I don't understand how it all works. All i want to do is to like i said, be able to produce prints at 4x7 feet that don't completely suck and that doesn"t need a magnifying glass detail although that would be cool.

How about this. You tell me. If you were embarking on the same project how would you go about it? If its possible to explain in photography for dummies format that would help. But either way. I just need something simple i can follow.

So far this forum has given me this.

1. Buy $400 dollar camera.

2. Take multiple photos of subject matter. (How many I have no idea)

3. Stitch together in photoshop.

4. Print.

And thats where I'm at.
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Ken Bennett

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This can be done. You'll want a digital camera with a moderate wide angle lens (just the zoom that comes with it is fine). Something like the Nikon D3400 is fine, will cost about $500.

Here is a link for basic information on stitched panoramas. The basics are conceptually simple, but the details get complicated: you would set the camera to manual exposure (manual everything, actually), tape down the zoom ring at a moderate wide angle, hold the camera vertically, and shoot 8 or 10 images of the scene, from left to right, overlapping by 50% or so with each image.

Then, you would take the photos into a software program and have it "stitch" them together to make a final single wide panoramic image. There are several programs that will work, PTGui is good and not too expensive at US$90. Lightroom and Photoshop can also do this, but they are more complex and more expensive.

As I said, the details get complicated, and quickly. You can shoot handheld (and maybe you have to, given the situation), though often a tripod is better, and a pano rotator makes the best final panos. But I would start handheld. You can shoot in-camera JPEG files, which can be used immediately, but later you might want to shoot raw files in camera and process them for the best initial image quality. (You should start by shooting both and using the JPEGs for now and keeping the raw files for later.) You'll want to nail down the proper exposure for the entire scene and lock it down manually, same with white balance and focus, so that the final blending of the images looks smooth.

Making large gallery prints is a giant rabbit hole you can dive into and never get out. :) In my mind, your best bet is to find an expert printer with whom you can work on the final images together. You'll be able to figure out the best files to give the printer, and get test prints showing how they look before committing to a 4x7-foot canvas wrap.

Good luck.

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Equipment: a camera and some lenses. Images: Work photos. Personal photos.

luxborealis

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I'm sorry for asking, but is this a serious post?

Why are putting all you eggs in this basket? If your serious about this project, I'm not sure a forum, even this one, is the place to go for the depth of instruction you are looking for.

Do you have a smartphone? Use it to begin trying to do what you want you achieve. It may just fit the bill. You sure don't need a DSLR to get what you want. You need hands on experience with equipment then stitching software. My guess is, if you're asking the questions you're asking, you might not even notice the difference.

Visit the online tutorials. Google "how to stitch photographs.Go to the Library. Visit a local camera club.

Go out and TRY IT!
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1_Beatnikblake

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I'm sorry for asking, but is this a serious post?

Why are putting all you eggs in this basket? If your serious about this project, I'm not sure a forum, even this one, is the place to go for the depth of instruction you are looking for.

Do you have a smartphone? Use it to begin trying to do what you want you achieve. It may just fit the bill. You sure don't need a DSLR to get what you want. You need hands on experience with equipment then stitching software. My guess is, if you're asking the questions you're asking, you might not even notice the difference.

Visit the online tutorials. Google "how to stitch photographs.Go to the Library. Visit a local camera club.

Go out and TRY IT!

Serious as a heart attack. Too late tho just bought nikon d3200 for $250. tried out a test stitch using hugin and got a 150 MB image at 150 dpi. Measuring 8,506 pixels wide and 5662 tall with bit depth of 32. Do you think this would be good enough for the print size I am looking for?

Btw I thought this was a camera club.

Also just realized those were jpegs I stitched. so going back to drawing board now to see how it ends up with raw files stitched. should be interesting...

« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 12:00:10 AM by 1_Beatnikblake »
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langier

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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017, 02:21:04 AM »

My largest image? 48x14 from a billboard...seen along a freeway at 50-70 mph... shot on color negative film and scanned to a Kodak Pro CD back in the 1900s...

The largest recent image to canvas was cropped down to 40x80 inches from a single-frame capture from a D800. It looks nice on my client's wall. For a trade show display used at 6x8 feet a couple of years ago I simple used my D800 and 70-200 on a tripod and shot about 30 overlapping frames in three rows using a tripod.

I've been consistently producing canvas in-house for about 6-8 years now and some of the files I've started with have not been the best. However, it's surprised me that with a great-quality image, how large it will print well, especially on canvas which is a pretty forgiving surface for going big. Even from 10-12 mp files I've gotten some pretty nice 45x30 images and both I and my client were thrilled!

However, not every file will work and you must be choosy!

Use a good tripod...not some cheap and crappy "bundled" special. Figure a good tripod will start at $150 plus more for the head. Some have crappy mounting plates that never get tight...

Mastering of the craft and good technique gets you good images from lower-quality equipment compared to using better equipment with bad craft and lousy technique...

Shooting raw files, you should be able to stitch the files in Adobe Camera Raw. One way generate the files needed to shoot a longer focal length lens and overlap from 20-50 percent each frame. However, this is not perfect!

If you want to automate the shooting process, get a Gigapan robotic head to move the camera precisely and shoot automatically. If the light stays the same, the images should stitch together seamlessly and quickly. Otherwise, turn on the camera grid and practice a lot.

To check to see if your 8500x5600 pixel image will work, print a small section of it and take a look. I've printed an 8x11 print of a section of a larger file just to make sure many times...

With canvas, you can sharpen the image for output more than one can for glossy or fine-art stock. You can also start with lower resolutions.

To determine what will work for you, take the same section from your image and crate several files from it: Don't change the size, only the resolution. 300 ppi, 240 ppi, 180 ppi, 150 ppi, 100 ppi. Print each on its own sheet of paper or piece of canvas or have them printed. Line them up and take a look. This will give you a good idea of what resolution of file will work for your project.

These are only a few ideas and hints and I hope a couple will work for your project!

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Petrus

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Good luck finding human faeces on sidewalks. Can't help you there. All the travelling I've done in wealthy and poor countries around the world, I can't say I've ever seen human faeceson sidewalks.


Go India!

One time in Delhi I wondered why, in a typically busy intersection, nobody was using the brand new pedestrian overpass. The answer: in designing the overpass they had made the mistake of making the railings opaque. So the overpass had been turned into a public toilet almost instantly.

I can give the address of the intersection if the OP "artist" is interested...
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