Why use medium format when my Iphone takes great pictures

December 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Medium Format Image A medium format Hasselblad H5d image taken with an 80mm lens, lit with two Profoto B1 units, one with a 3ft Octa, the other with a 3ft strip box and Lastolite Hilite background lit with a Profoto B2 - headshotMedium Format Image A medium format Hasselblad H5d image taken with an 80mm lens, lit with two Profoto B1 units, one with a 3ft Octa, the other with a 3ft strip box and Lastolite Hilite background lit with a Profoto B2

As a photographer from time to time people might say, "Oh you don't need all that equipment my iPhone 6 takes fantastic pictures!"

Well the answer to that is yes and no.

I have been shooting with Canon dSLRs since things went digital and they produce great results, they have good resolution and they are fast to use but... and there is a but, very often with portraits and business headshots whilst everyone thinks speed is key, what actually is important is getting a very high quality image.

I invested in a Hasselblad H5D with an 80mm F2.8 lens, the sensor on the camera is nearly twice the size of my 35mm equivalents and it has at least twice the resolution, but its not all about pixel quantity, pixel size is very important. Pixels on a medium format sensor are bigger and the sheer size of the sensor allows it to capture much more light.

But because the sensor is bigger, the camera is bigger, the lens is bigger, there is better depth of field control and then there is that something... as a photographer my advice is that if you never intend to go down the medium format route - Don't look through a Hasselblad view finder - its very bright, very big and you'll never want to go back to 35mm or smaller every again!

Medium format does not do 14 frames a second, more like one, but that one frame, produces a 16 bit file - so why is that important?

A jpeg is typically 8 bit, this has 256 levels of grey per channel, (there are three channels, red, green and blue).

A Canon dSLR is capable of producing 14 bit files these have an impressive 16,000 levels per channel - significantly more.

But wait for it, a 16 bit tiff from a Hasselblad H5D has an incredible 65,353 levels per channel.

What does this mean in the final image, it means many things:

  • Headroom for editing or post processing
  • Provides very clean and smooth gradations
  • Accurately reproduces colour and subtle tonal changes
  • Holds detail
  • Helps with expanded dynamic range - the sensor can record further into dark and light subjects and be able to hold detail

The real answer is very high quality images with great detail and colour that are produced by the high possible quality professional camera, sensor and lens.

I shoot tethered, this means that files which the camera generate are ported directly to a laptop where they can viewed. Once they are on the laptop a little App called Phocus that is available on Apple Iphones, Ipads and Android devices allows clients to view and rate their images there and then too.

Reviewing the images on a laptop also helps with the sitting and coaching process to produce the best results.

So to conclude whilst it might be possible to take a headshot with an iPhone, it does not look quite so good when its ported to a computer, or even blow up to a photo frame - it would never make a poster. Literally its 256 levels of colour versus 65,353, its not really a competition. Much better to get it done properly.

Get in touch to talk about your headshot, business portrait or photography requirements. I come to you.

Telephone James on 01327 811627 or email: james@james-rudd-photography.co.uk


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July August September October (1) November December (1)
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December