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).
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!