Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nikon D800 Announced - 36 Megapixel DSLR

According to Popular Photograhy, Nikon has announced that it will begin shipping the 36.3 megapixel D800 in March, 2012.

It will run about $3000. So are the megapixels worth it?

At the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium, we are digitizing Herbarium specimens that average 11.5 x 16" using the 21 megapixel Canon EOS 5D Mark II. At 21 megapixels, the Canon produces images that are 3722 x 5616 pixels. Using a simple formula, we can determine that the image will be about 52 x 78" when viewed on screen. That's about 4.5 magnification of the actual specimen.

So, the new 36.3 megapixel Nikon D800 will produce an image that is 4912 x 7360 pixels - which will result in an onscreen image that is 68 x 102" inches. That's about 6.3 times magnification of the actual specimen.

More magnification equals more detail. Here is a detail taken from an Epson Scanner, re-sized to simulate a 21 megapixel image and a 36 megapixel image. Click the image to enlarge and compare the difference in detail.

21 megapixel

36 megapixel

Considering that the Canon EOS 5d Mark II currently goes for $2,250, I would say that $3000 is not too much more to pay for significantly more detail. I have no brand loyalty to either Canon or Nikon, but our imaging lab has over $3000 of Canon lenses - so I am not jumping ship to Nikon just yet. I am sure Canon will come up with a counter strike in the megapixel war soon.

And yes, you guessed it. That's the Solenaceae Holotype, Cestrum acutifolium Alain.

No comments:

Post a Comment