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| p.1 #16 · 16 Gigapixel Machu Picchu with Canon 100-400mm lens |
It's a nifty photo. However, zooming as far in as the viewer allows puts you well past the level of real resolution in the image. My own rough estimates, from zooming out to what I'd consider reasonable resolution for a 100% crop and estimating the fraction of the whole scene, puts the "useful" amount of data in the image at ~1Gpxl --- the remaining factor of 16 just gives you blurry mush.
In other words, you should be able to get about the same actual image info (more quickly and with less processing/storage) by using a sharper wider lens (e.g. a 100mm, instead of a 100-400 @ 400mm); I suspect it would be even better, since I see a lot of areas where the imperfect corner performance of the 100-400 (which would be handily beat by, e.g., a 100/2.8L) creates blurry zones. Chasing after the "biggest number of pixels" is somewhat of an empty feat if 15/16ths of the pixels aren't worth viewing (though the remaining reasonably sharp 1Gpxl of panorama is still a not unimpressive feat).