Brunei Darussalam

BEYOND THE HUMAN EYE

I am fascinated by large mechanical objects that defy gravity. The application of science and engineering to overcome the law of nature (gravity) is nothing short of amazing. I’m equally fascinated by camera sensor technology that captures more detail than what the human eye is capable of seeing. Back when Brunei Shell Petroleum newly acquired their Sikorsky S-92As helicopters, I enjoyed seeing them take off and land and because the helipad isn’t very far from my residence, I saw (and photographed) a lot of it during their test flights. Stuffed with more than enough under belly pictures, I decided to stop by the road side one day when the airfield hadn’t been fenced up. With my then EOS 5D and 100-400 L lens, I took these pictures and only decided to publish them today (an epiphany I got while listening to  Europe’s classic The Final Countdown—where the relevance between the two lies I don’t know).

sikorsky-2009-1

This is a 100% cropped photo of the above and clearly the 12.8 MP sensor of the EOS 5D did a wonderful job of retaining ample details for a closer inspection. Given the opportunity to photograph (I’m careful and sensitive about using the word shoot when referring to aircrafts) the Sikorskys again with the 21MP 5D Mark II with the same lens, I think I’d be able to tell if the pilot shaved or not. The 5DII captures with significantly more pixel density that it would (I think) easily retain more detail than if the same picture had been photographed with the 20D and 100-400 (equivalent of 640mm) … 8 MP @ 640mm versus 21 MP @ 400mm full frame!

sikorsky-2009-2

7 thoughts on “BEYOND THE HUMAN EYE

    1. I think you mean “when am I going to grab (another) Mk 2?” I picked
      one up from my local Canon distributor since December 2008 right
      after my Kota Kinabalu trip. I like it so much that I would like to
      get another body because, quite simply, I cannot bear to use my 20D
      anymore for critical work and changing lenses in the field takes the
      pleasure away from the work. Not to mention the risks and possibly
      losing the moment (something that has happened to me many times).

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  1. I just recently upgraded from a 40D to a 5D. My works normally uses the advantage of a crop factor, and sometimes the fast fps. Took the FF body out on a trial, tested it and surprisingly, I didn’t miss the crop factor. The lack of that extra range actually gave me a different FOV, and gives me room to compose more! I do miss the ability of 6.5fps in some cases, but I guess I’ll just have to train myself to time the moment.

    I didn’t look back anymore. Now, I’m enjoying my FF body. 5D is an amazing body! 🙂

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    1. You have captured some breathtaking landscapes on your site and some
      of my viewers enjoyed them as well. Well done.

      Like you, I was originally worried about losing so much reach moving
      from the 20D to the 5D. The thing is, full frame gives you that much
      FOV and a brighter one too that it’s so difficult to go back. The
      ability to see (clearly) is just as critical as the ability to
      visualize (creatively) and since I moved up to the 5D MKII last
      December, clean high ISO performance has taken me to a whole new
      level of available/unavailable light photography.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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  2. Too bad jumping to a 5D would mean a hefty investment on my side. Guess I’ll go save up for the D700 🙂

    And love the 2nd photo. Nicely done. Just watched Wolverine, now I feel like jumping up to that heli and err.. do some damage 😛

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  3. You’ve lost me on the technicals but I absolutely love what all those techs can do when capturing an image.
    Amazing details with the 2nd photo – really impressive!

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