Camera for macro

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Camera for macro

Post by clarnibass »


Not getting into stitching yet (ok I do that but preferably not often and no more than 3-4 photos)... I'm considering a higher MP camera specifically for macro. I'm wondering if it's worth it and what are the options.

I currently use Nikon FX (FF) and DX (APSC), both 24MP, with all manual lenses and all manual flash system.
A new camera would have to work with that (I imagine most could with a simple adapter).

From what I found so far, Nikonת Canon or Sony only make high MP FF cameras (42MP to 50MP). Since at least 60% of the photos are with the DX, it would only improve the FX photos, not worth it.

I found an interesting option which is the Olympus EM1 II. It has a high resolution mode which gives 50MP. It is a 4/3 sensor, which means I almost always use a lower magnification if necessary. I can't imagine the sensor being too small for the exact magnification I have, because I could always use a step below, crop a little, and probably get significantly more than 24MP anyway (I have up to x1, x1.3, x1.9, x3.5, x5, x10).

I also have no idea how that high res mode works with an electronic rail, since it it supposed to take a few photos and combine them, so a few passes might be needed, or if it has to be one after th other, I have to see if my controller can do that.

Any other suggestions?

Thank you

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Post by Macro_Cosmos »

What are the cameras you're talking about? Ideally, you want no OLPF, and electronic-front-curtain shutter capabilities.

This leaves us with the following Nikon cameras:
D7500 D500
D810 D850
Z7 (5-axis, a no in my book)

The Nikon D7500 is pretty decent, but too many features traditionally found on the D7x00 line has been castrated, so I can't recommend that either. The D5 and Z6 do have EFCS, but also an OLPF, so they are both out. I'm personally saving up for a D500.

You have to be careful with these high MP small sensors, everything would depend on the resolution of your lens. If the lens can't handle it, although you acquired a high MP exposure, the fine details will be lacking.

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Post by clarnibass »

Thanks. My cameras are the D600 and D5500, both 24MP. It doesn't have to be a Nikon camera. The Nikon cameras you mentioned won't be an improvement enough (or no improvement at all).

The OLPF and no-EFCS don't seem to be a problem with my cameras that I want to solve i.e. a camera with those features but otherwise the same is not enough for me to buy it.

The new camera would have to be significantly higher. Even with no LP filter and EFCS I can't imagine the result would be much better with the same or less MP e.g. when printed at the same size. At least not enough for me to buy it, based on examples I've seen comparing e.g. D800 and D800E.
FX cameras are not a good solution anyway because I would have to get much higher magnification, or crop to less than what I have now. Basically I dout this would be an improvement.

The Olympus EM1 II is unique with its high res mode. It's unclear to me how that would work with an electronic rail (might not). I've seen photos from it that looked excellent. However they had a very different setup (using Olympus lenses and extension tubes).
It is actually just a 20MP sensor, but the high res mode moves the sensor between frames to combine them for a 50MP photo.
I've seen comparisons of a regular 20MP photo and the high res 50MP photo and it looked like a very significant difference. How big of a difference it would be from my current 24MP cameras, when viewed at the same size... I don't know.
It is also mirrorless so no mirror to cause vibration.
Macro_Cosmos wrote:You have to be careful with these high MP small sensors, everything would depend on the resolution of your lens. If the lens can't handle it, although you acquired a high MP exposure, the fine details will be lacking.
I've always found that, as long as there isn't some issue with the camera, sensor (i.e. they are good), the higher resolution independent of the lens. A better lens would be better, but if the sensor gives a better result with a good lens, it would give a better result with almost any lens. The exact proportion of "better" might not be the same, but I haven't found that I needed to get different lenses when getting higher resolution cameras.

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Post by mawyatt »

One thing worth considering if you plan on getting into stack and stitching is the long term effects on the mechanical shutter curtains.

Some folks are doing 10K, 20K and even 30K images in a single session at Giga-pixel resolution. Under these conditions you don't want to use even the EFCS mode since the rear curtain shutter is activated at each image exposure end. Cameras with fully electronic curtains, like the D850, Z6 & Z7, and others (I use Nikon so don't know about the others) are worth considering.

These fully electronic curtain cameras also offer the potential of doing almost "on the fly" image capturing since no curtain vibration is introduced assuming your setup can be configured for such. With a 10K image session at 5 seconds per image, this equates to ~14 hours! If you can reduce the image interval to ~1 second, then a more reasonable time of ~3 hours is possible.

Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

There is a huge amount of information on this forum about sensor shifting, high resolution, Olympus cameras, and the many other cameras that do sensor shifting. Try doing searches on those terms.

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