Category Archives: Thoughts on the craft of photography

Pixels Coming of Age

My thoughts today are all about pixels. Lots of them. I was one of the first to sign up for the new Nikon D800 and its amazing pixel count of 36 MP. That is a number that until now was only available to the medium format studio camera for $13-20,000. My 4×5 negative when scanned to 300 dpi would give me a black and white file size of around 100 mb. When opened, the Nikon files at 14 bit will probably give me a 75 mb RAW file. For a landscape photographer this is mana from heaven. I love my 4×5, but at 62 years of age I have to admit that the 30-40 pounds of gear it takes makes going to the Outback an aerobic exercise.

I know that the number of pixels does not necessarily translate into a better picture…take the scores of point and shoots that have been vying for the most pixel count in their tiny sensors. There are pixels and then there are pixels. What we all want are quality pixels. From what I’ve read, and from what images I have seen posted on the internet, I think the Nikon D800 will have both. I hope to have one in my hand within the week.

I still say, though, that the best camera you own is the one in your hand. It is, after all, about vision. So don’t leave home without one.