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Author Topic: High megapixels and the need for tripods.  (Read 4006 times)

Harry

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High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« on: December 22, 2017, 10:49:39 AM »


I met a photographer recently who uses a Canon 5ds for landscapes. She says that the camera can not be used without a tripod because its super resolution reveals even the slightest hand movement.

Given her comment, one might ask about the high megapixel SONY and Nikon cameras. At over 40 megapixels would they not also demand a tripod?
Do their new image stabilizations and autofocus technologies make it possible to hand hold these cameras without blur?
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Chairman Bill

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2017, 10:55:09 AM »

I manage to shoot mostly handheld with my D800

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 10:59:36 AM »

I tend to agree with her. My recent trip, where I was shooting handheld all the time (from a ship, moving cars, walking), just proved that.

Now, tripod is not the only solution. Increasing the shutter speed is the other. It used to be in the film days that it would be enough to use a reciprocal of the lens focal length (e.g., 1/125s for 100 mm to 135mm lenses). If you wanted to be on the safe side, you'd double that. For high megapixel cameras, you might need to go 3-4 times the reciprocal. Obviously, image stabilization might help and let you get away with less than that, but only for really stationary subjects.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 11:01:28 AM »

I manage to shoot mostly handheld with my D800

Hehe... but of course, the real question is: what are the results? Acceptable for only web use, I'd venture.

Otto Phocus

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 11:06:31 AM »

Can a high MP camera be effectively used without a tripod?  Of course.  Many photographers do and do quite nicely

Is it recommended for some types of photography to use a tripod with a high MP camera?  Yes, if the situation permits, many times it is better to use a tripod.

Old shaky guys like me have used tripods even with lower MP cameras.

To each his own.

But to claim that "that the camera can not be used without a tripod" is incorrect.   In her opinion, the 5ds should not be used for landscape without a tripod, but that's her opinion and there is a difference between can not be used and should be used.

I would just nod my head and accept her opinion and then continue doing what you feel is appropriate for your type and style of photography.
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David Eckels

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 11:15:45 AM »

Now, tripod is not the only solution. Increasing the shutter speed is the other. It used to be in the film days that it would be enough to use a reciprocal of the lens focal length (e.g., 1/125s for 100 mm to 135mm lenses). If you wanted to be on the safe side, you'd double that. For high megapixel cameras, you might need to go 3-4 times the reciprocal. Obviously, image stabilization might help and let you get away with less than that, but only for really stationary subjects.
I second this! When I first got my D800E, I was disappointed with some of the images because many were somewhat soft. Now I find myself pushing the shutter as fast as possible by adjusting ISO, even ON a tripod! In my opinion, having a sharp, slightly grainy image is a fair compromise. One reason I am considering the D850 is its higher ISO performance.

Telecaster

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 02:23:51 PM »

If you're peeping pixels or making huge prints this stuff comes into play. Otherwise not.

-Dave-
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 03:03:34 PM »

... Otherwise not.

Otherwise there is no point in 5Ds.

Telecaster

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »

Otherwise there is no point in 5Ds.

Yup (not counting status signalling/posturing and the like).

-Dave-
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Farmer

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 04:04:08 PM »

My experience with my A7rii is that lenses, focus ability, and stability are far more critical than with my older, lower MP bodies or with film if you're looking for peak sharpness and making full use of the resolution (large prints or 1:1 digital images).  Stablised bodies and lenses help, but a more stable platform (even a basic tripod) definitely improves things.

You can definitely shoot without, and I do all the time, but make direct comparisons between tripod and hand held of the same thing at the same settings and you'll see a difference.
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Phil Brown

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 04:20:24 PM »

Personally i have the 5Ds and agree with the original comment.
My lower MP medium format gives a much better image if I have it with me.
The only reason I would not use a tripod is if I didn't have one.

Increasing the shutter speed is usually not an option if you want to shoot at say f11.
Half the posts these days are about how to get longer shutter speeds.
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MattBurt

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2017, 04:36:28 PM »

I shoot my 645D almost exclusively on a tripod but it's kind of heavy and has no stabilization.
My K-1 (same sensor as D800/810) does very well handheld but also has a great IBIS system and I'm also willing to bump ISO on that camera to get a faster shutter when appropriate.

But regardless of which camera, if I'm shooting something like golden hour landscapes I always use a tripod and keep ISO low.
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Alskoj

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 04:53:19 PM »

I look for every advantage when shooting and a tripod helps me keep my ISO low as well as keeping the camera level so that I don't have to sacrifice pixels during processing because the "unlevel" image needs to be rotated and subsequently re-cropped. But, to each his/her own.
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Tony Jay

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 05:17:08 PM »

My experience with my A7rii is that lenses, focus ability, and stability are far more critical than with my older, lower MP bodies or with film if you're looking for peak sharpness and making full use of the resolution (large prints or 1:1 digital images).  Stablised bodies and lenses help, but a more stable platform (even a basic tripod) definitely improves things.

You can definitely shoot without, and I do all the time, but make direct comparisons between tripod and hand held of the same thing at the same settings and you'll see a difference.
I agree with Phil here.
Using a tripod and a remote release will give better results than handheld, even with the various forms of lens and body stabilisation available today.
Even using a mechanical shutter can cause vibration and degradation of image quality depending on the shutter speed used.

That said, excellent results are possible with good handheld technique.
Some people do struggle to hold a camera still when shooting.
Your friend is a female and the truth is that some women do struggle to hold camera/lens combinations still when shooting. I would say that her comments exactly reflect her experiences and her pursuit of image quality necessitates the use of a tripod and remote release for any kind of image quality.

On a larger note there is something of an urban legend that digital imaging makes getting excellent images easier. In certain situations this is true. However, high resolution sensors and the newer lenses developed to take advantage of those sensors has created, IMHO anyway, a welcome contradiction to the legend. Very close attention to detail and any very good camera technique are required to get the best out modern photographic equipment.

Largely, we need to think how our medium format brothers used to think when shooting. It appeared that the size and weight of those camera/lens combinations necessitated using camera supports however, really, the resolution of those cameras was always the more important reason for using a big and steady tripod. (Of course a big heavy camera does require a larger more robust tripod than a small light camera.)

The fact that we now have such huge resolution available in much smaller form factors may have fooled certain people into thinking that hand-holding these cameras will always work. It doesn't! The issue was never the weight of the camera rather it is the resolution that limits the situations where hand-holding will give acceptable results.

Again, some people will still get good results handholding when others cannot, but the limits remain.

There is no point in shooting with high resolution cameras unless one is planning to exploit that resolution. If all one is planing to do is post low resolution images to the web or on social media then get yourself a 12 MP camera. 40 or 50 MP cameras were developed for those people who want to print large - very large.

In addition, these cameras are also not primarily developed as sports/action/wildlife cameras where hand-holding is common and often the best camera support one can use is usually a monopod. In, general, high resolution cameras are developed for a slower, more contemplative, shooting style where the use of a tripod and remote release makes sense. Obviously, if the light and the type of shot desired allows a high shutter speed relative to the focal length employed then good results can still be attained by shooting handheld. Nonetheless, visibly better results will be attained in nearly all circumstances, using the same camera settings, if a tripod and remote release are employed.

The question that every individual needs to ask is how good is good enough. Your friend clearly has high standards and for her can only be attained by using a tripod, and probably a remote release as well. Your standards may be different...
Nonetheless, in a lot of situations, I would be advising a tripod and remote release, and even a large heavy sandbag draped over one's camera and lens to reduce vibration from any cause. Attention to good technique, whether handheld or not, is absolutely key to modern high-resolution digital shooting...

Tony Jay
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Two23

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 05:20:31 PM »

While image stabilized lenses help in a pinch, I think I use a tripod 95% of the time with my 36mp Nikon D800E.  There very clearly is a difference.


Kent in SD
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GrahamBy

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2017, 08:29:48 AM »

Almost never use a tripod, but then I have IBIS and I'm often using 3200+ ISO. It depends what you are shooting.

Of course if you use the 50MPx as a point & pray and then crop it down to 8Mpx, yes. If you want to print at a scale that you would never have done with a lower-res camera, yes. But the same size print, same situation, no.
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kers

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2017, 08:54:15 AM »

With every more mega pixel camera i use i see more the nuances of sharpness, lenses and even shuttershock.
The d850 again shows this compared to the d810 that is used.
You have to examine everything to get the best and the expected results...

for instance the nikon d850 has far less shuttershock so it does not interfere with VR anymore as the d810 did.
I can make 100% sharp images with my 300mm lens even at 1/30s handheld.
other example...
i have 500mm reflex nikkor- non vr.
Handheld i get more reliable sharp results than with a tripod - I live in Amsterdam build on soft soil and the micro vibration of the city is transported through the tripod.
my body is a soft intermediate that absorbs these vibrations.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 11:13:24 AM by kers »
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langier

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2017, 09:08:41 AM »

Besides the tripod for good craft, there's IBS on some of the latest cameras along with lens stabilization. On a few, there's a combo of both. As i age, i appreciate this new tech, but still need to use a tripod when I can for the best practice for the sharpest images.
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Larry Angier
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kers

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2017, 10:04:18 AM »

Besides the tripod for good craft, there's IBS on some of the latest cameras along with lens stabilization. On a few, there's a combo of both. As i age, i appreciate this new tech, but still need to use a tripod when I can for the best practice for the sharpest images.

I agree; i just depends on the subject and if a tripod can be used...
I am in favor of using tripods+ remote control in most conditions..
I have 5 tripods and use them all ...

On extra thing a tripod will give you is ...more time to think over what you are doing ..if it is the right position and all.
The position is one of the most important aspects of making a better photo.
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Pieter Kers
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langier

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Re: High megapixels and the need for tripods.
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2017, 07:03:27 PM »

+1!

If the situation allows, a tripod can be one of the best tools for not only good craft and image quality, but to lock-down the best POV as one contemplates and fine tunes. Some times the best way to photograph is to simply slow down and think before pushing the button.
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Larry Angier
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