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Archive 2022 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6

  
 
jj1804
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Hi all

Long time lurker, first time poster. I bought my first camera in 2008 - a used 5D Classic. Took thousands of shots with it, traveled with it, dropped it, repaired it and still kind of love it. After buying the 24 TS-E II and shooting extensively with it on the 5D with the EE-S, I decided to upgrade to a used 5D II in 2014 due to live view and easier manual focus with the TS lens. University and a side gig as sports photographer took most of my attention away from the 5D II and 24 TS-E and I kind of left them unused for some years. Last year I became a father and thus picked up the R6 because the AF of the 5D II is just not up to todays standards. I love (almost) everything about the R6 and wish I'd have upgraded sooner.

This was my first purchase of a brand-new body. Although I got a good deal and I initially wasn't willing to spend the money for the R5, I keep catching myself side eyeing the R5. I shoot portraits of my son/wife and landscape, architecture, cityscapes. I never really cared about the technicalities of cameras and resorted to "pressing the shutter button" as the bodies at that time were all in the realm of 20 Mp and switching over to a D800 was not in the cards since I loved my 24 TS-E. Most threads on this board on the R5 are about birding, which I don't have either interest nor the lenses for. But I am really interested in the discussion about resolution and detail.

I went down that technicalities-rabbit-hole while researching the R6. "Only" 20 Mp seemed quite low to me and would not have been an update over my 5D II. I initially wished for 30 as in the R or 5DIV as an upgrade over my old camera. As I later learned 20 vs 30 Mp is only a 20% (6700/5500) increase and not 50% as I falsely assumed. The 45 Mp of the R5 seemed overkill for me as I didnít need to double my resolution over my 5D II and wasn't willing to spend twice as much for the R5 over the R6. But wait, 8192/5472 is "only" a 50% increase and this puts it (in my mind at least) in a reasonable upgrade path over my previous body.

I don't do 8K video and am not relaying on heavy crops. I have a pretty decent lens kit with my 24 TS-E II, 35 1.4L II, 40 2.8, Tamron 85 1.8, 100L and the RF 70-200/4. I want to keep my bodies a long time and have a slight feeling of buyers remorse regarding the R6 or FOMO looking at that beautiful R5 resolution. It seems kind of irrational because I donít really "need" the high resolution but it sure is great to download samples online and pixel peep trough those huge files. Having the possibility to print another 60x90cm print in 232 instead of 154 ppi seems, at least on paper (or monitor), better to me.

Another potential use case for all that resolution could be DSLR MILC-Scanning of my 120 negatives. Although I don't have a Mamiya 7 with those beautiful lenses and their incredible resolution prowess, increasing working distance and taking one shot of a 120 negative instead of stitching 3 shots together sure does sound like a faster process as well. But then again, how often am I going to do this?

I have a M1 Max MacBook Pro with enough processing power and disk space. I have good lenses and a sturdy tripod to make use of the resolution of the R5. Only thing pulling me back is that I don't really need the resolution. It's a continues back and forth. On the one hand I kind of want the resolution on the other I don't need it. I'd estimate 98% of my prints are going to be A4 max. (family pictures for albums, framing) but it sure is enticing to at least have the option to print really big once in a while in superb quality. The faster and easier MILC-Scanning process is another, albeit minor, factor in this back and forth.

Is the difference in resolution (232 vs 154 ppi) really that noticeable from a normal viewing distance? I argued in my head that it is not and I'd rather spend the difference between those two bodies on the upcoming RF 35 1.2L (it will eventually comeÖ). But something in my head keeps coming back to the R5 and tries to convince me that I need 45 Mp.

Other differences/features of the R5 body over the R6 are "nice to haves" but not really necessary to me. The R6 is an almost perfect camera for my needs. If I could have the R5 sensor in the R6 body for 3k$ I'd have bought that instead. But at almost twice the price it is still a debate in my head I haven't completely settled and it keeps popping up once in a while. My R6 looks no different from a new camera and has about 4000 shots. I feel like if I'd sell it now and buy the R5 my financial loss wouldn't be that great as it's a like new camera still. But as said previously something in my mind hasn't clicked yet to pull the trigger on the R5.

TL;DR: Comment on why you chose the one over the other in regards to prints. Again, not interested in birding or heavy crops. It's all about the resolution and detail for prints. Please help me put a nail in that coffin for the foreseeable feature (as new bodies are always on the horizon). Thank you for reading.



Feb 16, 2022 at 06:47 AM
Alan Kefauver
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


IMHO, Once you have 45mps, it's tough to go back. Went from a 5D4 to the R5.


Feb 16, 2022 at 07:14 AM
jedibrain
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Went with the R6 as well. I have a 13x19" print on my wall from a digital Rebel, which was I think 6mp. From about 1 foot away it looks great. I've not tried to get closer.

I have a bunch of 24"x16" photos from my 5D3, which is 22mp. They also look great. And the R6 is effectively the same resolution as that so I was not worried, and have not been disappointed.

How big do you want to print?

Here in the US, when you consider the retail prices of the cameras, and the high expense of CFexpress cards, the cost difference of the two cameras comes out to be about $2000. One very nice lens, or a couple of nice lenses could be had for the difference. That's a lot of money for resolution that isn't getting used. For those that know they'll use it, it could be worth the cost. But its definitely overkill for a lot of things.

You could always rent gear to scan your slides, since that is really a one time thing.

Brian



Feb 16, 2022 at 07:26 AM
dcisive
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


I have a Canon Pro-1000 large format printer. I can print up to 22x17's with it. In the 2 years I've owned it only printed 2 that size. The lions share I print are 13x19 followed by 8 1/2x11. 13x19 is no challenge at all. I printed astounding prints at that size from a Sony RX10MkIV, a measly 1" sensor camera. If you are cropping heavily THAT is where the R5 really earns it's keep. The R6 should be plenty for the "average" shooter, or if your limiting your shooting to weddings. For landscapes and birds the R5 leaps far ahead.


Feb 16, 2022 at 07:52 AM
lighthound
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Welcome to the forum and out from the shadows!

Before the pre-orders began I also struggled with the choice between the R5 & 6. I was having a hard time justifying in my head the need to spend nearly twice as much for a camera where the main difference was the resolution. Other than that, they are nearly identical.
Because I'm a wildlife guy I do need to crop often so that was the deciding factor for me to suck it up and go with the R5.

If I were in your shoes with the type of work you mainly do, I'd be enjoying the hell out of that R6 you have and don't look back. GAS is a terrible thing and you are clearly struggling through a bad case of it right now.

If you look around your house and walls and pick out the biggest print you have hanging, I guarantee you can print just as large or larger with better detail using your R6. Worse case if it's a giant print, you can always run the image through a software such as Topaz Gigapixel or simply use PS to upscale it.

Just enjoy capturing the wonderful memories of your new family with your R6 and print often. Use that money that's burning a hole in your pocket for your dream RF 35 1.2L lens down the road someday.

Your R6 can handle anything you plan on tossing it's way and then some.
In this case, don't give into your GAS.



Feb 16, 2022 at 08:19 AM
jhg photo
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


20MP
dpi long side [cm]
300 48.6
240 60.8
200 72.9
150 97.2

45 MP
dpi long side [cm]
300 69.4
240 86.7
200 104.0
175 118.9

1 inch = 2.54 cm



Feb 16, 2022 at 08:46 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


You note several times (and explain your reasoning for saying so) that you "don't need the resolution."

This seems a bit like (to re-use the acronym you used at least once) a case of FOMO. Your existing camera is fine. Keep using it. Focus on the photographs and not the gear or technical specs for now.

You can (and probably will) end up with something with more resolution eventually, but there doesn't seem to be any hurry.

The question of how much resolution is enough is both simple ("looks good to me!") and complicated ("what resolution is needed for a print a size X viewed from distance Y?"). But if you aren't actually encountering/sensing a problem...

... just go slow.

BTW, I still make very large prints from the 20MP FF camera that I used before I acquired the FF body that I use these days. They still look great. Unless you are making truly huge prints ó†on the order of 30" x 40" and larger ó and looking quite closely, 20MP can produce a really excellent result.



Feb 16, 2022 at 09:48 AM
Sy Sez
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


If you're not an ultra-purist,---There's always programs like Topaz Gigapixel to the rescue.


Feb 16, 2022 at 10:30 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Higher resolutions are sometimes more useful than just discussing print sizes.

Other uses for higher resolution sensors:
- when you are optically reach limited, cropping down to get that digital zoom will result in more detail on a larger print from a higher resolution sensor

- when the images are fairly noisy due to low light or high ISO, it is easier to post process a higher resolution raw/jpeg and retain detail than a lower resolution

- more cropping opportunities, ie. more results from a single frame in some situations



Feb 16, 2022 at 11:12 AM
bigpapi
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


How do you guys find the R3 would fare printing 8x8 and 12x12 wedding albums?


Feb 16, 2022 at 11:15 AM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


A 12x12 isnít an issue for any camera with 15Mpx or more resolution, so the R3 would do very well.


Feb 16, 2022 at 11:32 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


When I went from a 5D3 to a 5DSR the difference in large prints was stunning. It just took large prints to a new level. The 5DSR also had a marked improvement in dynamic range over the 5D3 just as the R5 has over the 5DSR. You always learn to get the most out of what you're currently using (hell, I made 32x48" prints from the original 1Ds) but in almost every case more is better - more resolution and more dynamic range. Reminds me of a time when Ferdinand Porsche told his engineers that every year when they wanted to increase power they could only do it with a concurrent decrease in fuel consumption. Digital camera development has followed a similar track, it seems.


Feb 16, 2022 at 12:13 PM
jedibrain
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


bigpapi wrote:
How do you guys find the R3 would fare printing 8x8 and 12x12 wedding albums?


Think of it this way, every digital image printed before the first 30mp camera was printed with less than 30mp (pick your number, the statement is true, the date just changes). People have been making stunning albums for the whole of the digital age. 24mp will be fine. Tens of thousands of such albums were made with 5D2s, 5D3s 1DXs etc. All fine. Only the R3 has better dynamic range, ISO performance, and newer tech AA filters. So the IQ will be incrementally better.

Brian



Feb 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


I was looking at a print the other day. Probably uncropped on 17x22, 14x21 in or similar. Really happy with the resolution. The camera? A 40D. Have a 20x30 landscape I really like from 40D. And there just hasn't been a big difference between the R5 & R6 in online comparisons.


Feb 16, 2022 at 12:53 PM
cortlander
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


jj1804 wrote:
I keep catching myself side eyeing the R5.


And you always will...Get the R5. You live in Switzerland. All that gorgeous scenery.
If you spend a ton on those expensive lenses, spending a bit more will buy you more resolution to do justice to them.




Feb 16, 2022 at 12:59 PM
Mike_5D
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


AmbientMike wrote:
I was looking at a print the other day. Probably uncropped on 17x22, 14x21 in or similar. Really happy with the resolution. The camera? A 40D. Have a 20x30 landscape I really like from 40D. And there just hasn't been a big difference between the R5 & R6 in online comparisons.


Yep. People often don't realize how forgiving prints can be in terms of resolution and noise. My largest print is a 48 x 16 canvas three piece from a 22 MP 5D3. I used nearly the entire width of the frame but because of the aspect ratio, probably half or less of the pixels made it to print. It looks fine at the expected viewing distance of 5' or so.



Feb 16, 2022 at 01:08 PM
chez
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


TeamSpeed wrote:
Higher resolutions are sometimes more useful than just discussing print sizes.

Other uses for higher resolution sensors:
- when you are optically reach limited, cropping down to get that digital zoom will result in more detail on a larger print from a higher resolution sensor

- when the images are fairly noisy due to low light or high ISO, it is easier to post process a higher resolution raw/jpeg and retain detail than a lower resolution

- more cropping opportunities, ie. more results from a single frame in some situations


Yes, one should not estimate the ability to crop heavily and still get a great image. Shooting travel / street there are many times my 42mpix sensor saved my butt as I could not get closer to my subject and needed to crop heavily, still producing nice prints.



Feb 16, 2022 at 01:24 PM
Robin Smith
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


I reckon this is indeed FOMO. I'm not saying higher resolution is not nice to have, but no one else will know if you have it or don't, unless you are making really large prints. I doubt you are one of those. If you can't crop, then no one will know you didn't get the shot either. Nice to have if all other things are equal, but they rarely are. Also remember that doubling the number of pixels does not double resolution.


Feb 16, 2022 at 02:09 PM
Toothwalker
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Back in the film days, there were DOF scales on lenses based on an acceptable circle of confusion diameter of 30 Ķm for the 35-mm format. This corresponds to an amount of information that can be captured with 1 megapixel. This DOF criterion was about fine for 10x15 cm prints, but with large prints people would notice that the DOF was not as deep as promised.

Then came the digital cameras. People started pixel peeping, and for some reason inspecting large prints from close up also became popular. DOF fell apart.

From a normal viewing distance, something like 6 Mp should be adequate. I have a 6 Mp print at 50x75 cm, and it looks fine. I also have 50x75 cm prints from the 5D Classic, the 5D II, the 6D ... they all look jolly fine from a normal distance. Even from close up I am not able to detect a difference between 13 Mp and 20 Mp.

I have no immediate desire to print larger and went with the R6 instead of the R5. For me, the only advantage with the R5 would be the ability to crop more - at the cost of larger files and more cumbersome data management.

I had to transition from Y/C to EF, and now from EF to RF. Hopefully the RF mount will last until I die, and it makes more sense to spend the money on lenses now. New cameras will come with better specs. Video capabilities and high burst rates don't interest me, and even with the R6 I am paying for a lot of functionality that I don't use. The only development which may tempt me to buy into high resolution is a camera geared to stills photographers, where the money goes to raw image quality.

Back on topic: The angular resolution of a normal human eye is one minute of arc, which translates to 1/3400 of the viewing distance. For my 50x75 cm prints viewed from a distance of 1 m, this corresponds to 4.5 Mp of perceptible information. I need 18 Mp for a viewing distance of 50 cm, etc. A higher print resolution does not increase perceived sharpness. (These numbers are based on a normal or average human eye. People with exceptionally sharp vision may benefit from more pixels.)



Feb 16, 2022 at 02:33 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Resolution for prints: R5 vs R6


Its a rare day for me when I am happy to shooting at native dimensions. For landscape I usually like 16x9 and for portrait I usually crop to 8x10. And then I might finesse the edges so not to cut a tree in 1/3 on the edges, etc. For wildlife I generally centre the animal to expose the fur right and crop in to size for printing

So for me a 20mpx is not really a 20 mpx. It is really a 12mpx. I have lots of great 48x32 pictures printed from 5dii, 5diii, and 7dii. But I always regret not having more pixels. No one but me notices the slight loss in details in the wolves face - but I say if only I had more resolution for a once in a life time opportunity. Wolves, cougars, lynx are hard to find in the day time.

But it comes down to how big will you print and how much money you have available and what you are shooting. 20mpx is enough for family for me.



Feb 16, 2022 at 02:36 PM
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