I found myself in a debate with a coworker this morning because he claimed that nice cameras (generally meaning cameras with lenses you can change.) take better photos then other cameras when blown up. (The photo that is, not the camera…although, I have had a few times when my camera was not doing what I wanted it to do and blowing it up would be a nice option; I’ll leave that to the Myth-busters though.)
I say any “functioning” camera can take as good of a photo as any other.
We’re both right to some degree, it just depends on how you look at it.
1. It’s a better photo because it’s a better camera = False.
– Technique in keeping the camera still, proper shutter speed to “freeze” the subject, and proper aperture setting to let in the right amount of light for the “film” or sensor the camera is using.
I can’t control much on a camera phone, but I know that if I have a nice amount of light, I can take just as good of a photo as I can with my pro-camera.
2. It’s a bad photo because when you blow it up or enlarge it, it gets grainy = False
– This has very little to do with the camera as much as it has to do with the resolution ability of the camera’s sensor. So when someone says, “This camera takes 10 Megabyte photos.” they are really saying it can produce a 9 inch by 9 inch printed photo at 300 dpi (Dots per inch) that should be nice and clear if the technique was right.
– Now, this is where the other person was right, anything after 9″x9″ @ 300 dpi starts to get a fuzzy quick.
3. It’s grainy because it’s a poor quality camera = False
– Just like in number 2, this is first a technique issue, then it’s a film/sensor issue.
So keep this in mind as a starting point before you rush out and get the most expensive camera on the market:
When people think about “Taking good pictures” they think, they need a good camera with great lenses, but the truth is, it comes down to two things: Technique and then film or sensor.
Don’t get me wrong, good quality lenses help, but it starts way before that because at the heart of it all, any camera is a “Light box.” If you go into a dark room and tape light sensitive paper “film” into one of the walls of a shoe box and then tape the lid down so no light gets in, then poke a small hole in the opposite wall, then put some duct tape over the hole, you have a camera that’s ready to record an image.
If you went outside, set the box on a table and removed the tape from the little pin hole; waited a given amount of time in respect to the intensity of the light and then recovered it, you could get a photo of the area the film could “see” through the hole. It could be a very clear picture up to the point it can be enlarged.
It’s tuff to carry around a shoebox for a camera, so thank you camera developers for hooking us up!
I hope this helps you understand that it’s not as much the camera as it is technique that’s holding you back from getting quality photos.