Whats 50mp Like to Work With?

So you want the new 50mp beasts from Sony and Canon? Spare a thought for your workflow. The picture below was shot on a 50mp Hasselblad and exported from Lightroom as a JPEG with the quality slider set to 100. As we understand it this is a one to four compression. This gives you a 36mb file- I think you’ll need a bigger boat (Jaws reference, see the first movie). To put it in perspective the JPEGS from my X100T at the same export settings are 5mb.

Be prepared to-

  • Upgrade your computer.
  • Buy a new NAS.
  • Buy bigger cards.
  • Freak out about if your lenses can even resolve to 50mp.
  • Take three times as long to process files.
  • Wonder why I have 50mp for posting to Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr etc.

I get the medium format sensor argument because the sensor is big in area as well as pixels, amazing how much sharpening you can apply to a blad file before it even looks like falling to pieces plus the depth of field is truly like medium format film- there is a massive difference in the look of 35mm and medium format just as there was in the film days. This is as it should be.

Another thing- you had better get that electronic shutter thing sorted out because if you thought shutter shock on the D800E and the A7r was a pain you aint seen nothing yet. The blad avoids this by doing the civilised thing and having the shutter in the lens.

I cold be wrong but 50mp may be a step too far for 99% of photographers, its a bit like rocket powered bicycles- just because we can make them doesn’t mean its a good idea.

50mp of Hasselblad glory. Big JPEG files.

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