Last week I had a discussion with a client about a shoot for a Billboard.
The other photographer that was bidding (and did not get the job)
had told the client that they would shoot 50MP digital for the Billboard shots.
The client brought this up and appeared to be somewhat convinced that
it was necessary.
I assured the client that it was not necessary and that Billboards are actually quite low res
and are viewed at a distance.
A quick call to the billboard company and here are the specs...
Work scale needs to be set to 1:12 at 300 dpi
Delivery file size comes out to 3,600 x 1800 px for a 6'x12' billboard.
D800 at 7,360 x 4,912 is just fine.
Client also brought up 14x48ft digital billboard.
The spec for that is 1408x384 px
I also pointed out that Billboards are very horizontal and that MF sensors have a 4x5 aspect ratio while 35mm cameras have a 3x2 aspect ratio that is closer to the 1x2 aspect ratio
of most billboards.
So even if we wanted to be sticklers the actual difference is....
8176x4088 for the 50mp sensor
7360x3680 for the 36mp sensor
The percentage difference is 11%
So once this is down sampled that 11% becomes totally irrelevant.
But what really sealed the deal is that some electronic billboards permit some animation.
So I told the client that we could shoot uncompressed video with dress waving and wind in the hair
just in case the opportunity of motion came up. Still shooting stills, but moving stills...
This is another reason why this Hasselblad wording did not go down well with me.
A Hasselblad camera is not a reward for having achieved a successful career. A Hasselblad camera is the tool with which you build your successful career to begin with.
There is never any time like the present to start building for the future. And if you think 35mm is good enough for this stage of your career, then you’d better hope that your clients are also willing to settle for “good enough”. The best clients, however, are almost never willing to settle for “good enough”. And why should they, when there are photographers out there who can provide the best? And providing the best is what Hasselblad and the new H5D are all about.