Hi-res mode and "reach" (?)

RAH

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As part of my mission to revive the crop factor = magnification controversy (kidding!!), I was thinking about hi-res mode and the 50MP jpgs vs the 80MP RAWs. I'll explain:

As I mentioned in other threads, I am photographing a painting at a museum. I decided to use the RAW because I need to edit the images I was getting (the jpgs weren't perfect). After finishing doing my editing on the RAW and cropping some (down to a mere 9966 x 7066; bummer! ;) ), I kind of realized that the 80MP RAW actually was giving me more resolution; I mean, I had a larger image than if I had just used the jpg and edited that and cropped that. Maybe not any more detail, but it was much like a had used a different camera that had greater resolution just by using the RAW. This is obvious, but I haven't really seen anyone mention it as a reason you might want to use RAW.

OK, so thinking about that more, it struck me (in the head) that when using telephoto lenses, using hi-res mode gives you more "reach." Again, I haven't heard anyone say this, but isn't it true?

I mean, for example, when talking about say a 20MP m43 camera vs a 24MP APS-C camera, we figure the m43 has more reach with the same focal length lens because the 2.0 vs 1.5 or 1.6 crop factor is more than enough to overcome the 20 vs 24MP resolution. I even read earlier an article somewhere that confirmed what I thought would be the case with the new Canon 32MP APS-C cameras - that that extra res boost pretty much made the Canon cameras equivalent to 20MP m43 cameras with the same focal length lens (I think this was comparing the new Oly 100-400 lens vs Canon's 100-400 lens). The nerve!

Sooo, taking that idea, a 50MP m43 camera in hi-res more gives you more reach, and yet even more using the 80MP RAW. Granted, this isn't going to help you with say wildlife photography (even with HHHR), but how about long-range photography in landscape scenes?

I have an example. When I was in Utah in 2016, I went to an overlook where you could see the famous Delicate Arch from about 1 mile away (I think). Our tour was not going to walk up to the arch - a long trek and not enough time - so this was as close as I was ever going to get. I had an Oly cheapo 40-150 lens with me mounted on a Pany GM5 (my E-M10.I had a P12-35 on it). I also had a tripod, which I used. I got this image at 300mm (actually MANY like it):
P1000629.JPG
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OK, not too bad, and after cropping some I was able to get results that printed OK at say letter-sized. But consider if I'd had an E-M5.3 and used hi-res for the same shot. Assuming no wind, it probably would have worked fine, and after editing and cropping, the arch would be much larger in the frame of the photo.

This "reach" is not the same as with m43 vs APS-C where the arch would appear larger in the frame on the m43 camera because of the crop factor. I mean, obviously the arch would appear the same in the m43 viewfinder whether I used hi-res or regular mode in the m43 camera.

Maybe all this is obvious and that's why people like hi-res mode, but generally it seems as though I've not heard anyone mention this idea of boosting your ability to get closer to far away objects like that arch without having such a small image after cropping that all you can print is a 4 x 6. I think this would be a really good reason for using HHHR (if you have an E-M1).

Related to this - shooting the moon! Could you use hi-res for that, I wonder? With even the 75-300 lens and hi-res and the RAW, if it worked (but the moon DOES move, unfortunately), I think you'd have a frame-filling shot and still plenty of MPs left for a pretty large print, especially with the 80MP RAW. See what I mean?
 

RAH

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The moon moves far too quickly to do a hi-res on it.
Actually, I just found a YouTube video on this very subject:

He tests a few options - taking a bunch of burst regular images and stacking them in Photoshop, taking a tripod-mode hi-res image with the E-M1.3, and taking an HHHR hi-res (pardon my redundancy, as W.C. Fields would say) image with the E-M1.3. ALL SHOTS taken using a tripod.

His results and conclusion are very interesting - the HHHR shot (USING a TRIPOD) came out the best. His guess is that the HHHR images are stacked in the camera and aligned nicely. He doesn't seem to realize that HHHR mode usually RELIES on you hand movement to get a bunch of slightly different images to stack, so using it on a tripod would normally not hurt but not do much. But my guess is that he's right - the camera is essentially using the movement of the moon as a substitute for hand movement and combining the images into a nice composite. In this case, the HHHR mode seems to work somewhat better than stacking a bunch of regular burst images in PhotoShop. I think this might be of interest to any Oly E-M1.3 users. Hmmm, I am having a GAS attack to get one! (I have an E-M5.3)

The tripod mode hi-res predictably doesn't yield very good results. It makes sense that the movement of the moon would just screw it up something fierce.
 
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I read somewhere that the E-M1.3 HHHR does align images (as it expect hand movement and the need for correction). The tripod HR mode doesn't correct/align images but yields more megapixels.

So if you want 80mp images there is no room to do any corrections (as aligning images cuts away some of the total mp), HHHR does correct and uses the 80mp information to align/correct one 50mp image. HHHR also corrects other movement in images better (e.g. moving cars in the distance).
 

RAH

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Sounds right. Tripod hi-res shifts the sensor around while taking the picture, slowly building a composite. So when it is finished, you have one 80MP RAW image. HHHR mode takes a burst of pictures (much as you could do yourself) and then aligns those burst pictures and composites into one 50MP image. Nowadays I think tripod mode also corrects movement in the distance, especially on Panasonic G9 (mode 2 or somesuch), although perhaps not as successfully as HHHR.
 

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