I Dare You!

by peter_budo

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I read with quite a bit of interest the new idea from Ming Thein: the Ultraprint(1).

The idea (if I understand well) is to make a print that, independently from the viewing distance, is so dense that the human eye can't resolve the dots (given that we have a minimum focusing distance...); more or less a "Retina print", borrowing from Apple terminology.

This leads to a thing around 720 (real) PPI on print, which means that for this kind of prints you need 36Mpix for a 10x15" print.

The photos and crops on the page looks really nice (especially the red tree).

Would this kind of prints reopen the megapixel race (if it has ever stopped)? Do you think that the idea could be worthwhile?

(1) I am in no way affiliated with this site. Just a reader.

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You'd actually need something more like 80MP (77.76) for a 10x15" print at 720ppi. The Phase One IQ280 can't do 10x15" at that resolution in one exposure because of the aspect ratio difference. –  user2719 Feb 27 '14 at 18:33
Ah well, I don't see whats new about 'the ultraprint'. The folks at luminous landscape said for years that having 720ppi resolution will have a visual advantage to 360ppi, but only if you have the image data for this. –  Sam Nov 11 '14 at 8:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It has no impact on it what so ever. More resolution is almost always a good thing. The reason the megapixel race died down is because the amount of gain we got for cramming in more megapixels was superseded by other advances.

Short of physical optics constraints (diffraction limiting), DSLRs are now at a point of resolution that used to be reserved for medium format cameras and medium format digital cameras are beasts to behold, more resolution means more detailed images, but when you have the choice of having slightly better color, slightly better optics or slightly more pixels, it is now preferable to get something other than more pixels.

This won't always be the case and in certain specific use cases, more resolution may still be the preferred way to go, but this concept of a very high DPI photo is neither new or unique and has no particular bearing on anything as far as the megapixel race goes.

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