To show a comparison in digital vs large format photography I have conducted a basic review of each.
The digital image was captured with a Canon 40D camera and the large format image was taken with 4×5 transparency film on a ShenHao camera. The film was scanned at 2400 dpi on an Epson 4990 flatbed scanner.
Adjustments were made to the perspective of the digital image to match the correct perspective. Why? As this is how the image would be used for its proper architectural purposes.
Below are the two full images, the first being the digital image and the second the large format. The image is not of much importance just a church in the city of Chester.
Colour difference is unimportant for this test as we are looking at the quality of each of the respective images.
Below are two crops of the images at 100% with the digital image being scaled to the same width as the large format image using the Photoshop image size > Bicubic Smoother tool.
From these two crops you can see a clear difference in the amount of detail and sharpness. At 100% the digital image is clearly unusable whereas the large format file is perfect to printing at sizes of up to 50″ x 40″.
So which format you use will depend on a number of factors, for what is the use and what is the subject. If the image is for web purposes for printing at not bigger than 10″ x 8″ then digital is perfectly fine, but for bigger print sizes the use of a large format camera is required to obtain detail and sharpness. Also as the subject here is architecture the use of a large format camera is desirable for the camera movements but more about this in a later post.
At a later date another basic review shall be conducted comparing the image of a full sensor Canon 5D mark II to a 4×5 large format image.