April 24, 2014, 11:42:54 PM

Author Topic: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade  (Read 2476 times)

vargyropoulos

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Hi all,

I recently had the opportunity to try out the 5D3 at Canon's "Photography in the Parks" (Yosemite) and I must say that I really like this camera so much that I'm trying to find a place for it on my Christmas shopping list. While I do shoot different things ranging from landscapes to street photography it looks like macro photography is what I am most passionate about. I currently have a digital rebel XT (8MP) which I use for wildlife and Macro as well as an AE-1 (35mm) which I use for landscape, street and portrait photography.

so here is my question: Since I like to shoot insects up close as possible to MFD and on my rebel XT I noticed that the sharpest images are at F/8 - F/11, would the 5D3 give me better detail resolution than say the 7D or whatever they replace it with? Assuming that I will be shooting at F/11-F/16 which is sometimes required to get as much of the insect inf focus.

I've been reading a few articles regarding DLA and I'm wondering how much of an effect does it have on image quality vs the pixel density of the APS-C camera. apparently the 5D3 has similar pixel density to my current DSLR and DLA of 10.4 where the 7D has a DLA of 6.9


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Tcapp

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Hi all,

I recently had the opportunity to try out the 5D3 at Canon's "Photography in the Parks" (Yosemite) and I must say that I really like this camera so much that I'm trying to find a place for it on my Christmas shopping list. While I do shoot different things ranging from landscapes to street photography it looks like macro photography is what I am most passionate about. I currently have a digital rebel XT (8MP) which I use for wildlife and Macro as well as an AE-1 (35mm) which I use for landscape, street and portrait photography.

so here is my question: Since I like to shoot insects up close as possible to MFD and on my rebel XT I noticed that the sharpest images are at F/8 - F/11, would the 5D3 give me better detail resolution than say the 7D or whatever they replace it with? Assuming that I will be shooting at F/11-F/16 which is sometimes required to get as much of the insect inf focus.

I've been reading a few articles regarding DLA and I'm wondering how much of an effect does it have on image quality vs the pixel density of the APS-C camera. apparently the 5D3 has similar pixel density to my current DSLR and DLA of 10.4 where the 7D has a DLA of 6.9

Any way you slice it, the 5d3 has better quality than the 7d. Unless you need that reach for when you are focal length limited, the 5d3 is going to waaaay out perform the 7d. Much much sharper. Dont worry about DLA or pixel density. You'll be much happier with your results from the 5d. Especially if you bump that ISO up.
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2n10

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Remember DLA is the theoretical point that quality begins to degrade and the degradation can be quite slow.  It is also quite difficult to recognize until it is great enough.
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TrumpetPower!

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Another big question is how big you'll be printing. Unless you'll be printing on a machine that takes ink by the gallon, I wouldn't even give it a second thought. Even then, it's unlikely to be a concern (though it can be).

b&

LetTheRightLensIn

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Hi all,

I recently had the opportunity to try out the 5D3 at Canon's "Photography in the Parks" (Yosemite) and I must say that I really like this camera so much that I'm trying to find a place for it on my Christmas shopping list. While I do shoot different things ranging from landscapes to street photography it looks like macro photography is what I am most passionate about. I currently have a digital rebel XT (8MP) which I use for wildlife and Macro as well as an AE-1 (35mm) which I use for landscape, street and portrait photography.

so here is my question: Since I like to shoot insects up close as possible to MFD and on my rebel XT I noticed that the sharpest images are at F/8 - F/11, would the 5D3 give me better detail resolution than say the 7D or whatever they replace it with? Assuming that I will be shooting at F/11-F/16 which is sometimes required to get as much of the insect inf focus.

I've been reading a few articles regarding DLA and I'm wondering how much of an effect does it have on image quality vs the pixel density of the APS-C camera. apparently the 5D3 has similar pixel density to my current DSLR and DLA of 10.4 where the 7D has a DLA of 6.9

It tends to all even out, whatever you do with to make one match some aspect you care about do as well as with the other then the same negatives come along with having done that action.

You may need to use extension tubes to get as much fine detail as with a higher density sensor though, of course then you will get more diffraction setting the same f-stop, there is no way to beat diffraction.

Sure you won't see f/16 causing as much diffraction image looking at 100% view from the 1:1 macro shot done on a 5D3 as with a 7D but you also won't see as much detail on the 5D3 image, but then add extension tube to zoom the 5D3 image of the bug into getting the same number of pixels put on it as from the 7D and then you are in the same exact boat with diffraction and the tubes let in less light so now your noise goes up to fall to the 7D noise (although with a flash this isn't likely a problem much, noise) although well not quite as the 5D3 is a little bit more efficient per area of sensor.

So neither really does any differently than the other, but you might need to use extension tubes on the 5D3 if you wanted to match how much extra 7D can zoom in due to the density and sometimes it can be more convenient to not have to use them. Granted you could use tubes with the 7D for even more macro reach but at that point you can always just get an MP-E and make the FF do what you want and yeah at 5:1 the 7D would have deeper reach yet again than the 5D3 but 5:1 at that density is supppper low DOF if you want to take advantage of the density and not have diffraction wash it away and it's all very tricky business and nothing to worry about IMO.

To get more DOF at the same time as tons of zoomed in detail the only secret is focus stacking. That can be tricky for things that move though.

If you shoot everything at f/24 using extension tubes or trying to take advantage of super high density sensor would just lead to waste since diffraction would make it all moot compared to just using a lower density sensor or no extension tubes (not that you'd do worse, you just wouldn't do better).

Anyway so long as you are willing to buy and use extension tubes with the macro (assuming all of your subjects are not large enough to frame as desired at 1:1 on FF, and maybe they are) then just get whatever camera you want and forget about aps-c vs ff for macro, it can all be made even between the two cameras one way or another for macro. If you don't want to buy tubes or deal with using them then the higher density aps-c may work out better for macro at times though, camera is lighter and a bit easier to handle and AF can work faster without them so you can get to a greater macro reach with less bother. IMO 5D3 is much nicer than the 7D for everything other than distant wildlife and macro and for the latter it's more like a tie so only for distant wildlife would I take 7D over it. Basically I'd head 5D3 as you want and not worry about the macro stuff, if you want more macro zoom than you get with your current camera then you can buy some kenko extension tubes, probably worth that sacrifice to get everything else the 5D3 brings you over the 7D (unless your second main passion for shooting will be distant wildlife).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 10:28:19 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

vargyropoulos

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Thank you everyone for the feedback on this topic. I'll try to address some of your questions and comments below:

as far as print size is concerned, I currently print 8x10 on paper and I often use 100% crops of some of the images for screensaver/background images. In the future I would not imagine printing past 16x20. I crop significantly due to the fact that most of the insects that I have available to me are really tiny and I want to showcase some details that I may find interesting.

I agree the 5D3 is probably one of the best overall DSLRs on the market at the moment and even though I "only" had the 24-70L f/2.8 on it, I was very impressed with the image quality, I found it virtually noise free up to ISO3200, minimal noise at 6400 and at higher ISO speeds it will let me walk away with a very good possibly usable picture.

on my current setup (rebel XT, 100L f/2.8), I've conducted experiments and I have noticed that for certain subjects (fabrics, rusted metal, etc) I can take pictures at f/22 without noticing much change. for insects or flowers with smaller details, I do notice a slight loss of sharpness at f/16 and by f/22 I have lost a fair amount of  detail already.

I have not played around with focus stacking, although like LetTheRightLensIn mentioned below, I may not be able to apply it to moving subjects. I haven't dealt with extension tubes either.

distant wildlife... yeah that is a whole other dilemma, last winter I found myself needing ISO1600 to get decent shutter speeds for early morning ducks needless to say I had a lot of noise issues there.

I suspect my next step is to head into one of the big stores here in NYC and play around with some of the equipment. I'm still keeping an eye out on the upcoming rumors as I am interested to see what the new APS-C "semi-pro" body will feature. I'm not shooting professionally yet so I am not in a big hurry to buy something.

AmbientLight

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During my recent summer vacation I have been shooting lots of macro photos. At first I thought I might use my 7D, because of the extra reach it provides, but I ended up using my 5D Mark III almost exclusively. Even with a 2x extender I got better results with the 5D Mark III than with my 7D. The 5D's sensor provides just so much more clarity and shooting macro at least I am always hunting for that extra bit of depth of field a smaller aperture will provide.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 09:59:53 AM by AmbientLight »

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Tcapp

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During my recent summer vacation I have been shooting lots of macro photos. At first I thought I might use my 7D, because of the extra reach it provides, but I ended up using my 5D Mark III almost exclusively. Even with a 2x extender I got better results with the 5D Mark III than with my 7D. The 5D's sensor provides just so much more clarity and shooting macro at least I am always hunting for that extra bit of depth of field a smaller aperture will provide.

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danski0224

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During my recent summer vacation I have been shooting lots of macro photos....

Nice picture.

Is that a crop?

What lens did you use?

AmbientLight

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Re: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 04:45:24 AM »
Yes. I've cropped the photo a bit. The picture was taken with a 100mm f2.8 L Macro IS lens and a 5D Mark III.

Regarding a comparison between a crop camera such as a 7D and a 5D Mark III used for macro shots it is important to note that even cropping I get better results with the full-frame body compared to the crop sensor body. The extra reach the crop sensor provides does not in any way make up for the pixel-level quality difference full-frame sensors provide. This also applies to the 1D-X.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 04:51:02 AM by AmbientLight »

sandymandy

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Re: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 07:49:50 AM »
Bigger sensor so of course it gives more details since its not just bloated up in size. Same like large format gives u more details. Just imagine APS-C being 1/5th of its size then maybe its easier to imagine it will show less details in the photos.

ncsa

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Re: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 07:55:58 AM »
You should also consider a 5DMKII as with the difference in $s you could then acquire an MP-E 65mm and have the best lens for that work you are seeking out



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AJ

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Re: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 12:22:58 PM »
A camera with a larger sensor does not overcome the diffraction problem.

Reason being - with a FF camera (and same 100/2.8 lens) you'll be closer to your subject for the same framing (field-of-view) which reduces DOF.  This offsets the gains made by higher fstop permitted by lower pixel density.

Same goes for landscape photography.


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Re: Macro Photography - DLA vs. pixel density considerations for camera upgrade
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 12:22:58 PM »