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Future Cameras and Lenses

As of mid-2010, the DSLR resolution champion is the 24-megapixel Nikon D3x or Sony A900 (not much has changed since 2008). In spite of the built-in anti-aliasing filter which some photographers could do without, detail rendition is excellent.

By 2011, we can expect delivery of a full-frame DSLR in the 28-40 megapixel range. A 40MP full-frame camera means 4.6 micron pixels (about 7750 X 5170). This is plausible in the context of existing DSLRs such as Canon’s 18MP EOS 550D, with its 4.3-micron pixels; scaling the existing 550D sensor to full-frame would result in a 46.6MP full-frame camera.

Can 40 megapixels (~5.1 micron pixels) really be used effectively in a DSLR? The short answer is “yes”: with the best lenses and perfect technical execution (e.g., focus accuracy). But here are just a few of the many caveats:

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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