Noticed some discussion on the list about image size, sensor size, and
related issues. Such as, can an acceptable print be produced larger than
8x10 with an M4/3 camera based sensor. As I recall, the answer seemed to be
Perhaps you'd be interested in another perspective.
It depends, of course, on the expected use of the print, e.g., something
destined for a billboard probably isn't printed at 300 DPI. And, of course,
physical capabilities of the print device have something to do with it.
Consider this example.
These five images show 16 canvas-printed images, selected by the client and
shown here as they are hanging in a commercial space. Thirteen are 2'x3'
images; image 2 and 4 show 3'x5' images.
Most have some cropping. In particular, the three 3' x 5' images are
significantly cropped, perhaps to 1/3 of original image size.
Of the 16 images, 9 are from an E3, 1 is from an E620, and 6 are from an
I have to admit I was hesitant about producing several of them. What
surprised me is that they all work well in the spaces in which they're
displayed. The client is pleased and has received very positive responses
from their clients. (As an aside, these images are in spaces with large oil
and watercolors; many viewers think these images are paintings; the client
says they compete extremely well.)
What's my point? Image size and quality really depends on the expected
use and the kind of things being pictured. Something destined for display
as an art object (which is what this client wanted) has considerably
different requirements than something destined, for example, for a print
medium or magazine. And things like technical or architectural images, for
example, have significantly different requirements. My own experience
suggests that M43 has been very practical (for me) for large-image art
displays, with prints in the 30x40 and (in the example here) at least 3' x
5', where the image is viewed from distances of several feet to more.
Would other platforms/sensors be "better" for this use? Certainly a 4x5 or
Hasselblad or big Mamiya would produce something with different
characteristics. And perhaps "better." But when I hear conversations about
sensor size and expressed imperatives that "bigger is better" I wonder two
things: the first is whether as a universal truth this is true (experience
suggests otherwise), and second --- if this is indeed true, why stop at FF?
Surely a 2x2 or 4x5 sensor would be even better.
Anyway, food for thought. (As another aside, as another exhibition
demonstrated, the limiting factor on image quality is at least based on
glass quality, focus, and lack of camera movement; the latter two have been
challenging for me.)
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/