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How to take XXL resolution shots with regular camera

Taking high resolution shots with regular camera ? sounds nonsense and crazy, but it is possible in certain situations. Let me explain.

  • First of all let’s explain quickly, what is Megapixels and how they affect our image quality.

Digital cameras capture images as pixel elements. 1 Mega-pixel is equal to 1 Million pixels, that means a digital camera with tech specs saying 12MP will be able to capture image that contain 12 Million pixels in it. The higher the number of MegaPixels is, the bigger is the number of pixels that the image is made of and so the resolution of these will be better. Does that make sense ?

Resolution relates primarily to print size and the amount of detail an image has when viewed on a computer monitor at 100%. So when you are planing to print your photos on large posters you will need a good resolution to get proper results. For example to print a  poster of 100x60cm size with a good resolution quality of 300ppi (pixels per inch), you will need an image with resolution 11811×7087 pixels, now you can calculate how many pixels contain such an image and how many Megapixels should your camera be able to capture, to make it easy for you i will tell you… it is 83.7Mp !!!. Don’t be disappointed, your regular camera with a combination of a little trick can give you such results ! 

Before i start to explain how to do that, it is good to say that these method is not working for every photographs and mostly it is usable for Landscape, Product, Urban photography or general in cases when the subject don’t moves a lot.
But i use to say that nothing is impossible, you could give it a try in any case and experimenting on these technique, who knows maybe you will find a way to make it work even with moving subject such as Portraits or whatever else.

So the trick is nothing else than the usual Panorama photography, but instead of capture 3-4 photos from left to right, here we divide the area in many pieces and capture these parts on separate photos that we will blend later in Photoshop. To make it more easy i will give you the bellow example of images and hopefully you will be able to understand how it works.

Part 1 (6000x4000)
Part 2 (6000x4000)
Part 3 (6000x4000)
Part 4 (6000x4000)
Blended and croped Image in Photoshop (Same can be done direct in Lightroom)
Final result after edit - 9349 x 5889 = 55056261 pixels = 55.1MP

As you see, i could create a nice 50MP image with my regular Nikon D5500 camera that capture 24MP, just by capturing the scene that i wanted in 4 different photos and blended them together in Photoshop. You can do the same even with your phone camera, just remember the above steps. The easiest way is to put your photos in Lightroom library, then select them all together -> Right click -> Photo Merge and select Panorama. That will automatically blend the images into 1 big Image, after that you can edit it as you wish. Try to not turn a lot your camera around and for best blending results every part should overlap by 1/3 the other parts of the image.

That’s it folks ! That was my tip for today, hopefully you find it useful. For any questions just leave a comment bellow.

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