This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maximize your sensor

Different cameras have different aspect ratios, and this has various impacts on your photography. For isolated stock photos, I've found that there is a way to increase your use of the sensor. For example, on my Canon 40D it has a 3x2 ratio - 50% longer than it is high. If I'm shooting something long, I often find I can get closer (making the subject larger in the frame) if I shoot it corner to corner in the frame, rather than squared up. Ultimately, this means I get an image out of it that is longer in terms of pixels. In the example below, I did two shots:

1. Key horizontal in frame.
2. Key rotated about 40% so it went corner to corner.

The first obvious thing was that I had to actually move closer with my macro lens to fill the frame when I went corner to corner. Below you can see the result of taking the rotated key and making it straight (right side of image). I ended up with a larger image. Here I've just copped the head of the key to show the difference in size with a 100% crop.
What does this all mean? It means that for an isolated subject you end up with a larger file that normally possible with your camera - say a 12MB file by pixels from a 10MB sensor. I would expect a little loss of something when I rotate, but close inspection of these two images suggests it is more than made up by getting more pixels on each detail in the subject.

Happy shooting!