Forever 21 billboard, and the camera that made it.

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It’s always fun to see your work blown up to a really large format, so it was great to catch this billboard along the freeway in Los Angeles with one of my images.

I’ve been asked a few times if we have to use an especially high megapixel camera to shoot for billboards.  It may seem like you would need a huge file to enlarge to billboard size, but that’s not the case as the Dots Per Inch of a billboard is actually pretty low.  I currently shoot most of my work on the Canon 1DS MarkIII or the 5D MarkII, and those files enlarge to billboard size without any problem.  Occasionally I’ll use a high megapixel digital back for jobs, but that is more of an aesthetic choice, for instance if I want especially sharp files.  This can be helpful if we anticipate a lot of compositing of images in post and want to be able to zoom deep into an image.  But the Canon camera works great for 99% of our jobs. It’s quick, easy to handle and really rugged, which is more important to us than having tons of megapixels.  Frankly, I think camera manufacturers are far too obsessed with making cameras with higher and higher megapixels, when they really should focus on creating cleaner files, more useful features, and better workflows off the camera.  There are a lot of features on my wish list for the “perfect” camera, but I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a long time for that…..

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Written by Christopher Kilkus

February 13th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

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