The 300 Megapixel Enigma

I just love my Nikon D700, if that wasn’t already evident through my last post. With this new camera I plan to take my photography to an entirely different level and with time and a whole lot of sweat, hopefully I’ll get into Stanford or Yale for a masters in photography.

Meanwhile I’ll be plugging along, taking pictures for pleasure, money and class.

One picture I took for pleasure, and sold for cash, and had commented on today by Iron Fist is titled Shades.

It was one of the first pictures I took with my new Nikon D700. I took it when I was in St. Louis with Karen (@ok2baprincess) at a loft-warming party.

And, until today, it seemed like a normal picture because until today, I had never tried to print it.

When I did, something strange happened. I had to decrease the size of the image by 75% to get it to fit on the A3 paper I was using. Typically I have to decrease the image by ~2-10%.

I went back to the Image Size window in Photoshop CS4 to see what was up.

At 360dpi, standard printing DPI for me, the image was at 21,000 pixels wide! That’s roughly five times larger than it normally would be.

What was really crazy to me was the fact that this wasn’t the first time the Nikon D700 had put out a 21,280x14140px image that clocked in at 1.2gb. It had happened just a couple of nights earlier when I was printing pictures for my photo critique, from a different computer.

So I guess I’m just asking you for your thoughts. How could this happen? I’m not complaining, the pictures still look super sharp and print just marvelously. But if I can get a camera to shoot at 300mp every time, well then hell yeah I want it to shoot that way every time.

Well, every time as long as the image isn’t terribly noisy.

Any theories on why this is happening? Thanks friends.

2 thoughts on “The 300 Megapixel Enigma

  1. Hi Justin, This isn’t a comment about the post so feel free to delete. I just thought you’d want to know that I had trouble viewing your site in Firefox 3 on OSX. It seems like something is wrong with lightbox plugin, it covers your whole page immediately after the page loads and just shows a spinner.

    Oh and congrats on your D700! I found your site searching around for D700 posts : )

    Ed Hos last blog post…never too late

  2. Uncheck the box marked “resample image”.

    You are not creating extra information by resampling, that would violate the second law of thermodynamics!

    In the future, just to avoid the hassle of doing this every time, set up 360 DPI as your standard image size in your photoshop preferences. You will then notice that the “inch” dimensions of your image are now smaller when you bring them in. DPI is set to 72 by default, so when you resample to 360 you get a big image with not one bit more detail than you started with.

    DPI is a meaningless term until you select a print size, at which point the resolution (pixel dimensions) of the native file AND your selected print size determine print DPI.

    If none of this makes sense try googling ‘qimage’, the author has good info on his site.

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